Tag Archives: Eileen Spinelli

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Love You Always by Eileen Spinelli

22 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a sweet book about a family’s love for their children.

Love You Always
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Gillian Flint
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by WorthyKids/Ideals on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Love/Family

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Seasons come and seasons go. Mama loves you always.”

Synopsis from publisher: “A child is a treasured leaf on a family tree, surrounded by love from mom, dad, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends too. This sweet, reassuring picture book from Eileen Spinelli acknowledges the whole tree — the many who are invested in a child’s life — with expressions of unconditional love from each.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book about how family always loves you, no matter what. Spinelli is a master at crafting poetry infused with messages of caring and kindness and then making it accessible to younger readers. Her picture books always make me feel better. I think other readers get that impression as well. One of the things I love about this quiet book is how it not only has a positive message, but the illustrations help share the message.

Flint reflects the soft tone of Spinelli’s writing with soft toned illustrations, being pleasant on the eyes, and making the book perfect for bedtimes.

I really think that this amazing picture book pair has an excellent chemistry, and I would definitely be interested in seeing more from the two of them!

Activities and Resources- Momentsaday.com has great activities to teach about love HERE.

Oureverydaylife.com has a great article about teaching family love to your children HERE – it also includes games you can play as a family and other activities!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli

19 Mar

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a really sweet book about noticing your blessings.

countblessCounting Blessings
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Lee Holland
20 pages (board book) – ages 2+

Will be Published by Zonderkidz on April 19, 2016

Theme/Topic- Blessings

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “ONE family – loves you sweet.

TWO hands. TWO feet.

Synopsis: Publisher’s description- “Children count along from 1 to 10, following the sweet rhyming text by beloved author Eileen Spinelli and the cute and cuddly illustrations by Lee Holland. Along with counting, this padded cover board book teaches children to see the blessings in life.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet board book. It highlights 10 blessings that everyone probably has, and then points out that you probably have more, and cannot count them all. Mrs. Spinelli has written a great story in poetry that makes you smile while reading it. It is a nice way to teach counting to ten too. Mr. Holland has a nice, warm illustrations that go perfectly with the book. Paired together, this is the perfect bedtime story. I enjoyed this board book tremendously.

Activities and Resources-

Crayola has a great Count Your Blessings craft that kids and adults can do together. Click HERE to go to it.

The Catching fireflies blog has a great list of activities around the idea of thankfulness, go HERE! Some of the crafts are Thanksgiving themed but I particularly think that the heart-sun thing with the clothespins is a great idea, and can be used year round.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

I’ve got another great Eileen Spinelli book for you guys to check out (in April)!

busybusyBusy, Busy!
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Elina Ellis
20 pages (board book) – ages 3+

Will be Published by Ideals Childrens Books on April 5, 2016

Synopsis From the publisher “Sometimes, when life gets hectic and schedules get crowded, children may feel a little lost in the shuffle. In this new board book, the animals are all quite occupied. Beaver is busy; squirrel is busy; frog is busy. Mole is digging, bear is fishing, and cat is pouncing. And like many parents, Mama is busy too. But she’s not too busy for a hug!”

What I Thought- This is a meaningful book that shows how common animals are always busy doing things, and ends with the mother having a lot of work and being busy, but still has enough time for her child. Mrs. Spinelli wrote the book in nice rhymes, and it was an enjoyable read. Ms. Ellis’ illustrations are playful, and add another dimension to the story. Another great book from Eileen Spinelli!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Thanksgiving Picks from Eileen Spinelli

13 Nov

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a very sweet book.

Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Archie Preston
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Zonderkidz on September 1st, 2015

Theme/Topic- Being thankful

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “

The waitress is thankful for comfortable shoes.

The local reporter, for interesting news.”

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “Thankful, by bestselling and award-winning children’s author Eileen Spinelli, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the fireman, for putting the fire out, readers are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming picture book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.

Why I liked this book- Mrs. Spinelli has done it again! This is a fantastic book to start a discussion about the blessings your family has. I really like the simple illustrations. They go perfectly with the story, and have a whimsical feeling to them. I like how the book shows the kids dressing up / interacting with parents for the careers. That was cute. This book would make a nice edition in any home or classroom. The two characters could be any children, and young kids will love that. There is a sweet rhyme throughout the book, making it a perfect read-aloud for young children.

Activities and Resources- For this book, and Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’ [BELOW], talk about the blessings that your family has. That things like a turkey or pie isn’t what Thanksgiving is about.

For younger kids, they can also say what different people would be thankful for

A NASCAR racer is thankful for good gas.

A blogger is thankful for his readers.

A cookie is thankful for his monster (well maybe not).

Check out the sweet trailer!


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Here is my other Thanksgiving pick!

tappletonsThanksgiving at the Tappletons’
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperTrophy on October 1st 1992

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “Mrs. Tappleton gets up early to prepare the turkey. Mr. Tappleton sets off to buy the pies. Kenny makes the salad, and Jenny mashes the potatoes. Then all the relatives arrive for an enormous Thanksgiving dinner. But this year nothing seems to go right. First the turkey slides down the icy hill and into the pond — “plop! splash!” Then the bakery sells out of pies. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty bleak holiday…until Grandmother reminds everyone that there’s more to Thanksgiving than a turkey and trimmings.

What I Thought- This is a pretty funny book. I like how everyone means well, but still messes up. It makes for a really nice message at the end. The illustrations are nice, and remind me of our family’s Thanksgiving get-togethers. The story really captures the sense of family. Especially the fact that Uncle Fritz and Grandpa Tappleton keep saying that they are getting hungrier (“I could eat four elephants!”). I found that pretty realistic (sorry, Dad! 😉 ).

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli

19 Dec

Before I get to Perfect Picture Book Friday I’d like to tell you that Felicia and I have the latest episode of The Write Chat up! In this episode we hunt track down and interview award-winning author/illustrator MATT PHELAN! CLICK on over to –

~Watch me make a fool of myself Witness the mayhem that occurs when Erik & Felicia forget to book their guest.
~Find out what Mr. Phelan would do with Jeanne Birdsall’s shopping list.
~Find out what the set rules are to make a graphic novel.
~PLUS we have a fun quiz where you can win prizes. 🙂
Sign up for our newsletter to be informed of when our monthly Vlog goes live and stay up to date on our future guests. On the website you can submit your own questions to ask our upcoming guest. They include; New York Times award-winning author, Chris Grabenstein; Amazon best-selling author, Bart King; Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of the awesome new series The Guardian Herd, Tara Lazar author of The Monstore, mastermind and  head honcho of PiBoIdMo; and award-winning author/illustrator (and all around very cool guy) Tom Angleberger ! 
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? CLICK HERENO WAIT!!! First read my Perfect Picture Book Friday post – 😀

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because, as an avid collector of hats, I think this book is awesome!

doyouhaveDo You Have a Hat?
By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Geraldo Valerio

40 pages – ages PreK+

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2004

Theme/Topic- Famous People

Genre- Historical Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Do YOU have a hat? Something fuzzy, warm, and red, to keep the snowflakes off your head?

Synopsis – From Inside cover:

A fancy hat. A hat that’s plain.
A hat for keeping off the rain.
A glowing hat. A hat with fruit.
A hat for that new dress or suit.
All herein have hats, it’s true —
fantastic, magnificent hats!
Do you?
What do Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky, South American entertainer Carmen Miranda, African-American cowboy Nat Love, and President Abraham Lincoln have in common?
HATS! Unique, distinctive, wonderful hats! And this bright and cheerful picture book from best-selling author Eileen Spinelli and colorful newcomer Geraldo Valério will have you thinking twice before going outside without yours!

Why I liked this book- I love hats. There. I said it. Happy? I collect hats of all types. So, learning about famous people and their hats, to me, is just plain awesomeness. Mrs. Spinelli has written a fun factual story that makes you want to smile. I loved reading about the famous people and what hats they wore. The illustrations are warm and are full of things in the fore- and background that catches your eye. Plus, this is a good time of year to talk about hats. For those in the Northern Hemisphere – hats that keep you warm. For those in the Southern Hemisphere – hats that keep the sun off! This is a perfect book for young kids (and old kids)! Mrs. Spinelli is a master of picture books!

Activities and Resources-

The Deep Space Sparkle website has a great  art lesson/activity plan to go along with this book – click HERE to go to it.

I think a cool activity would be to learn more about the people with hats shown in Mrs. Spinelli’s book. Just pick one that is mentioned and research more about them.

Another activity would be to gather a bunch of hats and have one kid pick out a hat for another kid and they have to act like the person who would be wearing the hat. Can you guess who I am?


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli

3 Jun

Happy Tuesday! Guess what I get to do today?!? I get to announce that Bluerose (of the Bluerose’s Heart blog) won the giveaway copy of “The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw” by Christopher Healy (Read my review HERE). Congratulations – Josie picked your name out of the hat!!! I will be emailing you to get your mailing address!

HG3 - Final Cover


anotheremilyAnother Day as Emily

by Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

240 pages – ages 8+

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 13, 2014

Summary- Suzy Quinn has had enough. Ever since her younger brother, Parker, got called a “hero” in the news (for calling 911 when a neighbor had “a spell”), Suzy has felt unimportant. She and her best friend, Allison, have totally different personalities. Things get even worse when Allison gets a party in a play that they both try out for, but Suzy doesn’t. Suzy feels like she is “nothing.” While taking summer classes with a theme of “The 1800s” at the local library, Suzy chooses Emily Dickinson for a report. After reading about Emily, Suzy thinks that she and Emily have a lot in common. So, she decides to live her life as Emily Dickinson did – to the exact. She changes her name to Emily Dickinson, changes her goldfish’s name from Ottilie to Carlo (Emily Dickinson’s dog), cooks, sews, and writes poems. Suzy Emily even becomes a recluse, not seeing anyone – not even her friends. But does she really want to spend another day as Emily or face all the things bothering her in her life?

What I Thought- This was another great novel-in-verse from Eileen Spinelli. The verse is in a style that I think makes the story read like a diary or journal.  I like how Mrs. Spinelli writes the story so you can really understand how Suzy/Emily feels about the stuff going on in her life. I think Suzy/Emily went a bit over-the-top in handling her problems, but at least it was inventive! 😉 The problems Suzy is having is pretty much what a lot of middle school aged kids have and I think it makes the characters more realistic. I thought it was cool to learn a bit about Emily Dickinson too from the story. I’ve heard of her and read some of her poetry, but this story taught me about Emily Dickinson as a person. It was a quick read for me, but the story felt complete when I was done. I think this book is terrific for young advanced readers and middle-grade readers will enjoy reading about characters that are a lot like them.  There are random black and white, small illustrations scattered in the book by Ms. Lew-Vriethoff. They are a nice addition to  the story.

Five out of five bookworms for “Another Day As Emily”!fivebooks

Easter pick – God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

13 Apr

Here’s a great book for Easter by one of my favorite authors!



God’s Amazing World
by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Ideals Children’s Books, an imprint of Ideals Publications on March 1, 2014

Cousins Gracie and Bo are amazed by the world around them. Gracie tells Bo about the 7 Days of Creation. Together the children discover how great and beautiful the world is.

This is an extremely cute book! The illustrations are just beautiful and a perfect fit for the story. I love the two little cats in the background of  pretty much all the pictures. They are funny. Gracie and Bo are great characters. I like the happy feeling the story has. I like how Gracie explains the 7 Days of Creation to her younger cousin by just playing outside. It is very simple and fun but not “preachy”. Mrs. Spinelli has done it yet again! 😀

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Florian and her illustrations, please visit her website HERE.

Erik’s Thanksgiving Picks!

20 Nov

Erik’s Thanksgiving Picks!

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)

It’s that time of year again – pumpkin pie, turkey, sweet potato casserole, my grandmom’s filling… a time to remember what I am truly thankful for. I am thankful for all of you guys so I am having a great Thanksgiving give away! I have a copy of Eileen Spinelli’s “The Perfect Thanksgiving” to give to one lucky person (see my review below)! All you have to do is comment and I will announce the winner on Friday so I can get the winner’s book to them by Thanksgiving!

givingthanksGiving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving

Edited by Katherine Paterson

Illustrated by Pamela Dalton

56 pages – ages 5+

Published by Chronicle Books on October 15, 2013

Description from the inside jacket:

“Katherine Paterson’s meditations on what it means to be truly grateful – a celebrations of joy at once exuberant and introspective – and Pamela Dalton’s meticulous and exquisite cut-paper illustrations are paired with a collection of more than fifty graces, poems and praise songs harvested from a wide variety of cultures, religions and voices.”

What I thought – The illustrations are gorgeous! They are made from cut paper, and are beautiful! There are some small, colored illustrations, too. Those are pretty, though they are less seen. I like the variety of poems and prayers and praises in the book, and that they are divided up into sections about different things. I like how there are quotes, poems, songs, prayers scattered in the book. They are from all different cultures and times. There is really something for everyone in this book!

About the author and illustrator:

Katherine Paterson is a two-time Newbery Medal winner and a two-time National Book Award winner.

Pamela Dalton is a master of scherenschnitte. No I didn’t sneeze. Scherenschnitte is the art of paper-cutting. I think you will agree about Ms. Dalton’s master status when you look at the illustrations in the book.


Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews did a nice review of this book. You can check it out HERE.


Sophie’s Squash

By Pat Zietow Miller

Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

40 pages – ages 3 – 7 years

Published by Schwartz & Wade; First Edition edition on August 6, 2013

Editor’s description: “On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?”

What I thought – This isn’t a “Thanksgiving” book but it is a nice fall time book and I figured a lot of people who read my blog aren’t from the US and this is a great Thanksgiving-y fall-time pick. 😉 The illustrations are a nice shade for the book. They drag you into the story because you can see how much Sophie cares for Bernice. 🙂 See?


The story line is cute, and the ending is just wonderful! I felt bad when Bernice started to get a  bit rotten, but it all worked out. 😉 I love the message of the book, that you can really love and care for anything and it will grow. My whole family enjoyed this story. 🙂

My last pick is a book that was my pick last year. 🙂 But I love it so much I am picking it again! Plus, I have a copy to give away to one lucky person! Just comment below! And, if you want to make it fun, you can say your favorite Thanksgiving/Fall food! 😀

perfectThe Perfect Thanksgiving
By Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Joann Adinolfi
32 pages – Ages 4+
Published by Square Fish October 2007

Summary – Abigail Archer’s mother wears pearls and bakes homemade pies. My mother wears blue jeans and her pies are from the store. Abigail’s cousins read books on velvet chairs. My cousins hop atop the furniture while hollering. Abigail’s turkey is plump and golden. My turkey is burnt like toast. Who has the perfect Thanksgiving?

What I thought – I really like this book! It is silly but has such a great message. It doesn’t mater that your Thanksgiving is not like you see in the movies. What matters is the love a family has for each other and THAT makes a Perfect Thanksgiving! The illustrations in the books are really great too, they are bright and colorful. The story is told in a nice rhyme and this is my pick for The Perfect Thanksgiving Book!

My October UBFP Newspaper Article : An Interview With Eileen Spinelli

1 Oct

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the October issue! The online version was published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 16).

An Interview With Eileen Spinelli!

I am lucky that I am able to meet a lot of the great local authors. I was especially happy when I met on of my favorite authors, West Chester resident, Eileen Spinelli. Every time I see Mrs. Spinelli at an event, she is always upbeat, full of energy, and very happy to talk anyone. The bio on Mrs. Spinelli’s website reveals how she got started as a writer;

“As a young child I spent Saturdays at the Sellers Memorial Library in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was there that I fell in love with words and decided to become a writer. My father gave me his old black manual typewriter. The key of Z stuck. Fine. I would not write stories about zebras or zippers. My father made me a desk from orange crates. My mother filled a box with paper. And that’s how I began.”


I was happy when Mrs. Spinelli quickly said yes when I asked her if I could interview her for the UBFP!



Erik – Thank you for doing this interview Mrs. Spinelli! How many books have you written all together?

Eileen Spinelli – “I have lost count of the books I’ve written. But it’s over 50 altogether.”

Erik – That’s a lot of books! Can you tell us about your writing process, how you get inspiration and who you write for?

Eileen Spinelli – I write in my home office. It’s very cozy with lots of books and photos of family and friends and windows that look out onto the garden. I try to write most mornings. I write longhand first…sitting in a comfy overstuffed yellow chair. Then when my piece is ready to type I go over to my computer.

So many things inspire me…my own childhood memories…my children and grandchildren…books…music…newspaper articles…the seasons 


I think I write for the child I used to be…for the child who still lives in me. Sometimes–

as in certain poems I write for the grown-up that I am now.

Erik– Your office sounds really nice and a great place for inspiration! What is your favorite topic to write about?

Eileen Spinelli– Whew! I have so many topics I like to write about. Here are some: kindness…nature…family…friendship…the seasons…birds…animals…whales…people in history…caring for the earth…spirituality…courage…humor…relationships between the generations…

Erik– Speaking of great topics, your picture book, “Nora’s Ark,” published earlier this year, is a great re-telling of Noah’s Ark. My sister and I norasarkreally enjoyed it. Along with all of your wonderful picture books, you’ve written some terrific middle-grade books too (one of my all-time favorite books is “The Dancing Pancake”). Which do you prefer to write – middle-grade books or picture books?

Eileen Spinelli– I’m so glad you like THE DANCING PANCAKE which was partly inspired by a homeless woman I met in Washington DC many years ago. I enjoy writing both–middle grade books and picture books. But I seem to get more ideas for picture books.


Erik– I love that on your website you list your favorite author as your husband, Jerry Spinelli. Mr. Spinelli has written some of the best middle grade novels I have ever read (Maniac Magee (Newberry Award), Loser, Jake and Lilly, Stargirl). What’s it like having two famous authors in one house?

Eileen Spinelli– Two authors in one house…it’s like having our own private writing group–or in-house editor. If I run into a snag while I’m working I simply walk down the hall to my husband’s office and he and I will brainstorm until the snag is sorted through. If he is uncertain about a certain plot thread…he walks over to my office and we discuss it. We understand the highs and lows of the writing business. We can cheer each other on…comfort each other when the writing isn’t going well…and celebrate happy writing events together over hot chocolate at the Gryphon Cafe.

Erik– I bet the Spinelli grandchildren get the BEST bed-time stories! What’s your next book about and when does it come out?

Eileen Spinelli– My book ANOTHER DAY AS EMILY will be out in 2014. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl who is going through some disappointments and decides to take on the persona of the poet Emily Dickinson as a way of coping.

Erik– I can’t wait to read it! Thank you very much Mrs. Spinelli!

To learn more about Eileen Spinelli and her books, please visit www.EileenSpinelli.com

For more on books, please visit my blog http://www.ThisKidReviewsBooks.com

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Nora’s Ark by Eileen Spinelli

10 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I love Mrs. Spinelli’s books and the message is great!

norasarkNora’s Ark

By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Nora Hilb

32 pages – 4+ years

Published by Zonderkidz on February 19, 2013

Theme/Topic – Religion / Imagination

Opening and Synopsis – 

“The Weatherman predicted rain.

So Nora built an ark.

Just like Noah.

Well… not just like Noah.”

Nora heard it was going to rain, so, she built an ark. She gathered animals 2 by 2. She uses her imagination and a broken chair, planks, and boxes, to make a great ark. Now all she has to do is wait for the rain!

Why I liked this book – Once again Mrs. Spinelli creates a masterpiece! Besides being a wonderful re-telling of Noah’s Ark, this book has a great message about using your imagination!  Nora uses what ever she can find to use her imagination to build an arc and save the world’s animals. The illustrations are soft and beautiful and go perfectly with the story. They show what Nora thinks is going on in her mind – what she is imagining, and then shows what really is going on. I love that Nora paints her toenails waiting for the rain and one of her crew mates (her little brother) has to leave to take a nap! I won’t give away the ending, but you will probably figure it out! 😉

Activities and Resources –

I found a great activity on PBS kids that I actually did in school. You build a boat out of tin foil and then put pennies on it until it sinks. Then you try to change the design of your boat and see how many pennies it can hold. It teaches you about how a boat floats! Click HERE to get the activity!

Foil boat activity

Foil boat activity (Photo credit: Micah Sittig)

Boatful of Pennies.

Boatful of Pennies. (Photo credit: San José Library)

I also found a boat building activity on Scholastic Book’s teacher’s site. It is meant for younger kids (PreK-K). Click HERE to go to it!

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli, please visit her website HERE!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

PPBF! When No One Is Watching by Eileen Spinelli

1 Feb

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it portrays how lots of kids feel and Mrs. Spinellli does it really well!

whennooneiswatchingWhen No One Is Watching

By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by David A. Johnson

26 pages – ages 4+

Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on February 7, 2013 (this is the official release date, but you can gt it already)

Theme/Topic – Being shy – Friendship

Opening and Synopsis –

“When no one is watching, I dance. I leap and I spin and I prance ’round the room. I twirl with my pillow and whirl with the broom. When no one is watching, I dance.”

A girl talks about her being shy around others and how she is herself when no one is there. But when people are there, she hides, keeps to herself and doesn’t want anyone to notice her. When she is alone, she is brave and she dances and she has a loud voice. The girl also tells us that with her friend (who is also shy) she feels more brave and less shy. Together the friends “don’t care who’s watching at all.”

Why I liked this book –  This is a great book about shyness by Eileen Spinelli, an amazing poet and author! The writing is musical and flows well. The message about being shy when people are watching is one a lot of kids (and I am thinking adults too) will like reading about. I also like the message about friendship and finding a person that can help you feel not so shy. I especially liked the rhyming and the rhythm of the story! I really like the illustrations, and the backgrounds chosen for each page. The artwork went well with the story. I think kids 4+ would absolutely LOVE this book like I did!

Activities and Resources –

Play “Red Light! Green Light!”. This is a game (if you don’t know it) where one person is “it” and they stand in one place. The rest of the people playing line up facing the person who is “it” a little way away from the “it” person. The “it” person turns around so she can’t see the others and yells “green light.” The others start walking (or running depending on how far away they are) until the “it” person turns around and yells “red light.” If the “it” person sees anyone moving, that person has to go back to the start. The “it” person keeps doing the “green light,” “red light” thing until someone reaches him/her. Then that person wins.

Discuss shyness with your child if they seem to be shy. Tell them that even presidents and movie stars and adults and kid book reviewers can be shy. 😉

Make some fun masks to “hide behind” for shy kids. My sister Josie actually gave me this idea. 🙂 When she was younger (like around 5), she made a mask and would wear it when she was feeling shy about saying something. She pretended it was her friend Zoe. Zoe would come and say things that Josie was too shy about. I think it helped her because we don’t see Zoe anymore. 🙂

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and all of her awesome books, please visit her website HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

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