Tag Archives: picture books

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory E. Bray

6 Aug


The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey

by Gregory E. Bray

Illustrated by Holly J Bray-Cook

32 pages  ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 1, 2013

My summary – Sometimes kids play with pets a little too rough. What a kid thinks is fun, isn’t always what their pet thinks is fun. Harvey didn’t was a kid who played with his pets in an unkind way. Harvey didn’t know why his dog and cat hid from him. One night Harvey had a dream and in his dream he became the pet… and he didn’t like getting “played” with! Seeing the world through his pet’s eyes changed the way he plays with his pets!

This was a funny, cute book. I like the idea of it – be nice to your pets. It is a unique story idea about teaching kids the right way to play with pets. Harvey is a nice kid – he’s not purposefully mean to the pets – he just doesn’t know any better. I think that kids will really like this book, and get a giggle when the tables are turned on Harvey. The illustrations are not my style, but they followed the story well. I think that young kids will love this book and any family or class room with a pet can benefit from it.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!

4 Aug

sleepyanimalsWhat the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo

by Grace Millsaps & Ryan Murphy

Illustrated by John Clark IV & Alyson Kilday

44 pages – ages 4+
Publisher: The Sleepy Animals, LLC; 1st edition  on July 15, 2013

This is an awesome picture book! What’s even better is I have TWO copies to give away to TWO lucky people! (Sorry US addresses only)

“Erik, How do we enter such an awesome give away?!?” you ask…

Well read to the bottom and find out!

Goodreads description –

Rhinos rock out. Alligators stroll under limbo polls. Elephants pound the piano. Pelicans cater.

Ever wonder why the animals at the zoo are always so sleepy? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo will answer your questions once and for all.

When Renee asks her father why the zoo animals are snoozing all day, he dreams up an elaborate answer. At night, the monkeys steal the zookeeper’s keys, and all of the animals come out of their cages to dance, eat, and play. By the time the visitors arrive in the morning, the animals are all tuckered out. Renee doesn’t believe her father’s tale, but dads have a way of being right about these things…”

What I thought- Who hasn’t wondered why the zoo animals are always sleepy? Well, you can find out in this hilarious book! The illustrations are big, bright, kooky and super fun to look at. You could read this book 5 times, and catch something new each time in each illustration! I swear that I have seen a dinosaur or two in the details! Even the end pages of the book are fun to look at. The pictures make it seem like you are right in the party with the animal! The story is great too! The rhyme is great, and is kind of sing-song when you read it. It makes the story fun to read! This book makes a great bedtime story – or for kids interested in animals or zoos. I would certainly read other books by this team! 🙂

I give this hilarious book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks


Hey – I make it easy – just comment and say you’d like to be in the drawing. 🙂 My sister will pick 2 lucky names out of a hat (US addresses only, please) and I will announce the winners on August 18th. Good Luck!

To learn more about this book, check out the website HERE!

Like the Sleepy Animals on Facebook HERE!

Find the Sleepy ANimals on Twitter HERE!

Check out this fun video about the book!


Check out more great Kid Lit posts at the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Click on the image to see more!


Guest Book Review! Minnie in Paris by Sheila Sweeny Higginson and a Prize Pack Giveaway!

28 May

Today I have a special guest book reviewer – my little sister Josie! 😀

Josie is 10 years old and has her own blog called Animals and Art. You can clock HERE to go THERE.

Josie is here to tell us what she thought about a new book called Minnie in Paris! What is even better, Disney Press is offering a book prize pack for us to give away to one lucky reader! Check out the details at the end of the post!

MinnieinParisMinnie In Paris

 By Sheila Sweeny Higginson

Illustrated by Mike Wall 

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Disney Press on May 13, 2014

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher)
Fashion is Minnie’s passion! And, as a result, she’s been invited to show her bows on the runways of Paris!

  –MinnieSpread_01 MinnieSpread_4


At the airport, Minnie is so busy taking care of her nieces, Millie and Melody, that she accidentally switches suitcases with Penguini the magician–and finds that his suitcase is full of bunnies instead of bows! Minnie must round up the mischievous little bunnies, find Penguini, and make her bows in time for the show. Will she make it? MinnieSpread_1


Readers are treated to a stunning tour of famous Parisian locations, from the Louvre to Tuilleries Gardens to the Eiffel tower, to a classic Parisian bistro—all in search of Penguini’s bunnies.




This charming hardcover picture book comes with a code to access the Minnie in Paris eBook.

WHAT JOSIE THOUGHT – I really liked the pictures. They are colorful. There were a couple of words I couldn’t read but my dad helped. I liked it when he read it out loud and then I got the ebook and it could read it to me too. The voice was nice on the ebook and it played music. I liked the bunnies and Penguini. I think little kids will learn how to count to ten with the book because Minnie has to find the bunnies and it counts up to ten.  I got to learn some places in Paris like Notre Dame, and the Louvre. I thought the story was great and I love Minnie Mouse. 🙂

I want to give this book 5 bookworms. fivebooks

Thank you Josie for a great review! Now onto the giveaway!


We get to give away a 5-book prize pack! Just mention in the comment section that you’d like to be in the drawing (sorry only U.S. addresses). Next week on June 3rd, we will announce the winner. We will put all the names in a hat and the winner will be chosen out of the hat by Josie. Here is the description of what the winner gets:

Minnie in Paris is part of a new collection of books from Disney Publishing that includes digital content such as songs, eBooks, iPhones/iPads apps and more. Other titles in this collection include Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast, which includes a code to download the song “All You Desire,” Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Follow that Sound! which includes a code to download the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Shapes and Patterns app, Minnie: Trouble Times Two which includes a code to download the Minnie Bow Maker app and Sofia the First: The Royal Slumber Party which includes a code to download the Sofia the First: Story Theater app.  






For more information on this series, please visit the Minnie in Paris official product page.

Follow Disney Publishing on Twitter,Facebook & Instagram


My Fingerpaint Masterpiece by Sherrill S. Cannon

8 May

fingerpaintMy Fingerpaint Masterpiece
by Sherrill S. Cannon
Illustrated by Kalpart
28 pages – ages 4 – 8 years
Paperback: 28 pages
Published by Strategic Book Publishing on January 31, 2014


A student makes a fingerpaint picture in school but doesn’t get it finished. The student takes it home but a gust of wind takes it away – Oh no! There is no name on the picture. It is lost forever! Imagine the student’s surprise when he/she sees it in an art gallery and it won first place in an art contest! The judges think this painting was made by a professional artist because it is a masterpiece!  When  the student tells everyone that he/she painted the picture, no one believes it. The student is confused that the judges won’t admit that it’s just a kid drawing (and not really that great – according to the student).

What I Thought – I love Ms. Cannon’s rhyme in the book. I can see why she’s won a bunch of awards for her other books. I also like that she purposely didn’t tell the reader who the student is, even though the student is the one narrating the story. It can be a boy or a girl. In fact Ms. Cannon has an author’s note section in the back of the book asking the reader who they think the student is. The illustrations in the book are nice and I really like the kid-art “fingerpaint masterpiece.” 🙂 The ending is open. It leaves the student asking “Why can’t they admit that they really don’t like my print one little bit?” I usually don’t like it when a book doesn’t tie everything up, but with this story, I like that you can take the story to  mean a couple of things. I think that it can mean “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or that kids can create wonderful artwork or don’t follow what someone else is saying, just because they are an expert. I am not sure if this is what Ms. Cannon is going for, but that’s how I see it. 🙂

Five out of five bookworms for My Fingerpaint Masterpiece! fivebooks


NEWS FLASH! Ms. Cannon’s “My Fingerpaint Masterpiece” was just chosen one of the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winners for Spring 2014! Congratulations! 🙂


Check out Sue Morris’ review of this book by clicking HERE!

Please check out Ms. Cannon’s other award-winning books at her website by clicking HERE. Including “Manner-Man.”

mannerTaken from a press-release – 

“Manner-Man” is the story of a superhero that helps children learn how to control bullies and see the true superhero within themselves. The five-star rated book has won six awards: the 2014 Reviewers Choice Winner, the Los Angeles Book Festival Winner, a London Book Fair H.M. , a Rebecca’s Reads H.M., a 2013 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal and  NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award. In addition to fighting against bullying, Ms. Cannon supports CureJM, a foundation funding research to find a cure for Juvenile Myositis (JM). She donates 50% of the cost of all of her book sales through the Fundraiser at http://sbpra.com/curejm to the cause. Her award-winning book, “My Fingerpaint Masterpiece” includes in the illustrations Cassandra, a young teenager who suffers from JM, as well as Juvenile Arthritis, deafness is one ear, and who has also been bullied. However, Cassandra has not been deterred; she entered the National American Miss Texas Pageant and has been named a finalist. Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency (SBPRA) and author  Sherrill S. Cannon are combining their efforts along with ImBullyFree.org to organize a similar fundraiser to help raise funds to put an end to this cruelty seen in today’s in children’s lives. I’m Bully Free has committed to sponsoring Cassandra in the pageant with some of the contributions from this new fundraiser, http://sbpra.com/imbullyfree. I’m Bully Free is an organization aimed at helping schools commit to a safe, secure, bully-free environment. Their services include coordinating events and activities that encompass the anti-bullying message and advocate for the funding for research and prevention of bullying.”

Follow Ms. Cannon on Twitter HERE.

Check out a review by Sue Morris of Kid Lit Reviews HERE!


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.

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

7 Apr


I’ll get right to the point. I’ve got three – YES 3! – copies of Mo Willems new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath to give away! Let me know in the comments if you want to be included in the drawing. On April 14th I will announce the winners. To pick the winners, I will put all the names of the commentors who say they want to win the Pigeon in a hat and my sister Josie will pick 3 names out. You have until Sunday April 13th to enter. I am sorry but the contest is only open to US addresses (no PO boxes). Good luck!

PigeonNeedsaBathThe Pigeon Needs a Bath

By Mo Willems

40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 1, 2014

Summary – The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon‘s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

What I thought –

Mo Willems + Pigeon = Awesomesauce

I love Mo Willems. His humor and story telling skills are incredible. He didn’t disappoint with his newest Pigeon book. I love how there are “stink” fumes drawn coming off Pigeon and the flies are even grossed out by him… or is Pigeon a her… gee, I never really thought about that… *NOTE* just googled it – Mo Willems purposely doesn’t have Pigeon being a guy or girl, that’s why he likes animals, you don’t have to say (click HERE for the interview I found that answer to in People Magazine) what gender the animal is. Very cool!  I think parents with kids who don’t like to take baths or maybe are scared of the water can read this with their kids and they can have fun with it. Like all other Mo Willems’ books, I found myself reading this a couple of times over already. His books never get old!

Five out of five bookworms – and get that Pigeon a bath!!! fivebooks

To learn more –

Visit the Official Site

Follow @The_Pigeon on Twitter



About the Author
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let’s Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Don’t forget to comment and tell me if you want in the drawing for a copy of The Pigeon Needs a Bath!!!

Check out the book’s trailer –

12×12 Update! February 2014

1 Mar


I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge again this year. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2014. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it.

February has been a pretty successful month for me. I wrote a new PB draft, and I revised an old one. Two super awesome members of the group let me be in their critique group this year. I can’t wait to get started with that (we are starting this month). I also have found the 12×12 Forum easier to use this year (WOO HOO – Ms. Hedlund!). I have used it a bunch already and submitted a pitch and the first 250 words of a PB MS I wrote. Life is good. 🙂

I am looking forward to learning a lot this year!

How about you? How’s your writing going? Are you doing 12×12?

What to Do with Thanksgiving Leftovers (A.K.A. Recipe by Angela Petrella & Michaelanne Petrella)

29 Nov

Thanksgiving (for Americans) was yesterday. You know, that day where you call 25 relatives over to your house and serve a 60 pound turkey, lathered with 5 gallons of gravy, a tub of thick mashed potatoes, along with 20 cans of cranberry sauce, and 6 bushels of corn, plus a bunch of other stuff you didn’t even get to? Well, chances are, you aren’t going to eat it all in one day (geeze – I hope you don’t!) and you are going to have a ton of leftovers.

After a few days of eating Thanksgiving dinner leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it may be time for something new! Well this book has a great idea – just dump it all together! 😀


Written by Angela Petrella & Michaelanne Petrella

Illustrated by Mike Bertino & Erin Althea

48 pages – ages 4+

Published by McSweeney’s McMullens on November 19, 2013

Summary- Kristen told her mom “it was time for me to learn to cook” and comes up with a recipe that she invents. Kristen wants to finally be in charge and tells her mom she can help if she listens to her. On her shopping list for her mom, she lists things like 20 bags of marshmallows, 4 hundred hot dogs, bowl, NEW PUPPY (no the puppy doesn’t go into the recipe, but what a great idea to get one), water squirter, horse meat substitute and other unusual things needed  for her unique recipe. Mom, being the good mom, gets the stuff on the list and the girl starts making the recipe. Mom takes over at the parts where Kristen has to use boiling water. Kristen thinks that’s okay. The recipe keeps growing and growing (literally) and they make a hard, mountainous pile of… whatever. Well, at least the racoons will like it.

What I liked about it- This is a cute book. I think all kids want to be “in charge” in the kitchen. The mom in the book lets her daughter be creative (and very messy) and it shows that there is no wrong in cooking – just have fun with it! I like the idea of it – a mother and a daughter having fun and cook a “masterpiece” together! The illustrations are awesome with great details in them (like when the girl is outside with the puppy and Mom is supposed to keep the recipe from burning, but through the window, you can see Mom, back turned to the stove, talking on the phone, while the pot is giving off black smoke). That made it fun. I really like the endpapers also. There is a fun recipe at the back of the book to make your own candy roll-up. I can’t wait to try it!

I give Recipe 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Now, my friends, grab your most (or least) trusted kid/adult, and get to work on YOUR recipe!

Ann and Nan Are Anagrams by Mark Shulman AND Chippy Chipmunk Winner!

20 Sep


We have a winner of the Chippy Chipmunk: Parties in the Garden!


Congratulations! I’ll email you to get your address!

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 am a word nerd and I LOVE anagrams! 

annandnanAnn and Nan Are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma Hardcover

By Mark Shulman

Illustrated by Adam McCauley

36 pages – ages 5+

Published by Chronicle Books on October 1, 2013

Theme/Topic – Words/Anagrams

Genre – Fiction

Opening and Synopsis – 

My name is Robert (or Bert). Please, don’t call me Bob.

That’s a whole other story.

Word problems run in my family.”

Robert (or Bert) thought that his Grandma Reagan had lost her mind when she asks Robert (or Bert) to pick up an Aunt who is a nut. But, Robert (or Bert) doesn’t have an aunt. Robert (or Bert) realizes his Grandmother Reagan is in ANAGRAM DANGER! His Mom and Dad can’t help him, for they are Mod and Mad. Plus, his sisters Nan and Ann are also anagrams! Robert (or Bert) finds that his world is getting mixed up in Anagrams!

Why I liked this book – 

Like I said, I am a word nerd! I love word puzzles and this book  is a great introduction to anagrams for kids! The anagrams in the book are easy to pick out because they are highlighted in different colors or different fonts (the different colors and fonts also make the book fun to look at and read). Mark Shulman is a master of word play because he can write a whole story packed with anagrams! The illustrations are done in bright colors that are great to look at.

Activities and Resources –

This book is a follow up to “Mom and Dad are Palindromes” which I am getting to read!


Word Smith has an online anagram creator. Click HERE to get to it.

It would be fun to just have kids try to write anagrams of their names.

Erik Seth Weibel –

Thee Kiwi Rebels

Bike Tire Wheels


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


Before you go – if you get a chance, visit S.W. Lothian’s (What Lions) (author of the awesome books in the Quest series!) blog HERE for his review of my book – The Adventures of Tomato and Pea! Check it out! It’s the last day of my blog tour! 😀

Thank you, everyone, for following along, and a special thanks to those people who participated. THANK YOU!!!


Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMonia

18 Sep

leahsvoiceLeah’s Voice

by Lori DeMonia

Illustrated by Monique Turchan

28 pages – ages 5+

Published by Halo Publishing International  on October 6, 2012

Logan is excited to have her friend, Abby, over for a play-date but when Logan meets Abby’s sister (Leah), Abby wonders why Logan had to tell Leah to say “Hi.” Leah isn’t like other kids. Leah barely speaks and she acts differently. Abby doesn’t like the way that Leah acts and she gets mad and doesn’t want Leah around. After the play-date, Logan thinks about what Abby said but she loves her sister and she is really okay with the way Leah is. She’s okay with it, until their mother took them for their first trip to the movies and Leah ruins it by breaking down. Logan then learns that Leah has Autism.

This is a very nice story from the point of view of a  girl whose sister has autism. I like that it shows (sadly, in reality) how some kids react to people who act differently. The picture book is simple and the message can be understood by young kids. The book is based on two real-life sisters too!

backcover-07 11-56-10

The illustrations are very nice and there is artwork from the real Leah put into the book! The book is a good way to help kids understand Autism.

Five out of five bookworms for Leah’s Voice! fivebooks

You can find more information about Leah’s Voice, get activities and find more about Autism and the kids who inspired this book at the book’s official website HERE!


Please hop over to Julie Rowan Zoch’s blog for an interview with me and the next stop on the  –


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