Tag Archives: nina laden

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Are We There Yet? by Nina Laden

24 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 is a great story.

areweAre We There Yet?
Written by Nina Laden
Illustrated by Adam McCauley
36 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on March 1, 2016

Theme/Topic- Using Imagination

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Are you ready?

Synopsis from Publisher: “We’ve all been there. Or more accurately, we’ve all been with kids in the backseat clamoring (over and over!) “Are we there yet?” In this genius of a picture book, bestselling author Nina Laden combines forces with dynamic illustrator Adam McCauley to turn that dilemma on its head. Fun for kids and adults, the book is filled with details that readers will want to hunt for (over and over!). Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

What I Thought- I think that this book is a great tribute to the imagination. The book never goes out and states that the kid is imagining the things outside the car, but it can lead into a great conversation between parent and child! A great concept story, the book has minimal text, consisting mostly of the child asking the question “Are we there yet?” (and what parent hasn’t experienced this!) and his mother answering “No” – along with a few other word bubbles. The main focus is definitely the illustrations. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes. They are whimsical, having the essence of reality intertwined with the marvel of imagination.

arewe2 arewe3 The book is a fabulous collaboration between two very creative individuals, and I hope to see them working together again!

Activities and Resources- I found a great post about the importance of imagination, along with activities to spark it HERE at Parenting.com!

There is also a fabulous list of imaginative games you can play from Familyeducation.com HERE!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Halloween Picks!

25 Oct

I know, it’s Sunday. I’m late. I’m busy. But HEY! – better late than never right? Here’s some Halloween Picks and my SPOOKTACULAR a perfect picture book pick.

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 these books because it is almost Halloween – I love the illustrations and  this story is very sweet.

otterhalloweenOtter Loves Halloween!
By Sam Garton
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Balzer + Bray on July 21st, 2015

Theme/Topic- Halloween

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Halloween is the best holiday ever! Teddy and I had been waiting a very long time for Halloween. There were lots of things we had to do to get ready.

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “Hi! I am Otter.

Halloween is the best holiday ever! It is also a very busy time for me and Teddy: We have to pick pumpkins, decorate the house, and make scary costumes. With so much to do, it’s a good thing I’m a Halloween expert!”

Why I liked this book- Otter is really cute. That is my main reason for picking this up. I was also really happy to read this great story. Otter is an awesome character, that has many qualities of a young child. The book has great illustrations that have a cartoony / whimsical feel, with bits of humor laced into them.

Activities and Resources- Make your own Halloween costumes and decorations! Be creative – can you reuse anything around the house in new ways? Can you recycle and combine old Halloween costumes to make a new one?

Facing Halloween fears: talk about facing large crowds, and what to do when you feel overwhelmed (Otter is scared of the trick-or-treaters when they come). Make sure children are ready for scary costumes or images. Host a kid-friendly Halloween party having the kids dress up like their favorite storybook character.

Check out the book’s trailer!

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

Here are some more great Halloween picks!

petepumpkinsPete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins
By James Dean
32 pages – ages 6+
Published by HarperCollins on July 21st, 2015

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Five little pumpkins

sitting on a gate.

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “Pete the Cat takes on the classic favorite children’s song “Five Little Pumpkins” in New York Times bestselling author James Dean’s Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins. Join Pete as he rocks out to this cool adaptation of the classic Halloween song!”

Why I liked this book- This is a fun Pete the Cat book! Kids will love to sing along to this, and grooving along with Pete! The illustrations will have kids smiling a mile wide, and then some. The Pete the Cat books are a fun mix of songs and writing. You can’t go wrong with a Pete the Cat book!

clarkdarkClark the Shark: Afraid of the Dark
Written by Bruce Hale
Illustrated by Guy Francis

32 pages – ages 6+
Published by HarperCollins on September 8th, 2015

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Clark the Shark looked over his list.

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “Clark the Shark is ready for his first big sleepover! He’s nervous about sleeping outside without his glow-fish night-light, but he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s just a teeny-tiny bit afraid of the dark. So Clark makes up a rhyme to help him stay cool: “Take heart, be smart, sharks aren’t afraid of the dark.”

But when the sun sets and his friends begin telling spooky stories, Clark’s voice sounds quiet and small and not brave at all. In this empowering tale about conquering nighttime fears, Clark the Shark learns how friendship can help light the way through the dark.

Why I liked this book- I really like the Clark the Shark series. Mr. Hale does a good job of describing the average young elementary school student’s life in the books. Clark is a very realistic character. I really like the humor in the illustrations (the game “Whirlpool” instead of “Twister”). In this book Clark has o deal with his fear of the dark. While this isn’t a Halloween book, it does deal with a subject little kids have to face on Halloween and I think it would be helpful to get kids to talk about their fears.

peekabooPeek-a BOO!
By Nina Laden
22 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on August 18th 2015

Opening and Synopsis- Opening[over two pages]: “Peek-a

BREW!

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “In this third title in Nina Laden’s Peek-a series, the classic game of peekaboo becomes spookily fun! Colorful pictures and lively, rhyming text—featuring bats, jack-o’-lanterns, and ghosts galore—help children predict what is peeking through die-cut windows. Read the clue…guess the rhyme…giggle wildly…and repeat!

Why I liked this book- I like the inter-activeness of this board book. There are little peep-holes to look through and guess what is on the other side. I love the word play on Peek a Boo and how it is adapted to a Halloween theme. Take a look at the illustration sequence below. It’s really quite fun to read aloud. Young kids will love this book!

peekapeeka2

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