Tag Archives: tara lazar

Perfect Picture Book Friday! 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar

3 Jun

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 fun story involving numbers and word play!

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Written by Tara Lazar
Illustrated by Ross MacDonald
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16, 2017

Theme/Topic- Numbers
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I was dozing in my chair when an urgent banging on my office door bolted me awake.

‘7 is coming to get me,’ said 6.”

Synopsis from Publisher:

 “6 has a problem.

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that’s true, 6’s days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don’t add up.
It’s odd.
Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?”

What I Thought- This is a great picture book collaboration from two great picture book creators! Lazar has a wacky sense for writing scenes kids will love, and MacDonald knows just how to bring those scenes to life. Lazar cleverly weaves the story with plenty of fun play-on-words, puns, idioms, irony, etc.  The illustrations utilize a lot of white-space, creating an old-timey feel; perfect for the detective-themed book.

The end pages are even really cool.

The story could teach kids a little bit about identifying numbers, and could introduce them to detective/private-eye stories too! The story is fun to read and I think adults will get a chuckle out of it as well as kids. I really like this picture book, and hope to see more from this great duo!

Activities and Resources- Handsonaswegrow.com has a nice list of number-activities for preschoolers HERE!

Learning4kids.net also has a good list of number activities HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Want to learn more? Visit Tara Lazar’s website!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! I Thought This Was A Bear Book by Tara Lazar

11 Sep

Perfect Picture Book Friday is Back! Let’s start this off right with a book from the one and only TARA LAZAR!


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 fun fractured fairy tale story!

taralazarbearI Thought This Was A Bear Book
Written by Tara Lazar
Illustrations by Benji Davies
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Aladdin on August 4th, 2015

Theme/Topic- Fractured Fairytales

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Once upon a time there were three bears.”

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “After an unfortunate bookcase collapse, Alien suddenly finds himself jolted out of his story and into a very strange world, complete with talking bears. Desperate to return to his book, Alien asks the Bear family for help so he can get back to his story and save his beloved Planet Zero from total destruction before it’s too late.
Mama Bear and Papa Bear try all kinds of zany contraptions (with some help from their nemesis, Goldilocks) without much luck. Baby Bear might have the perfect solution to get the Alien out of the woods and back to his planet…but will anyone listen to the littlest voice in the story?

Why I liked this book- Ms. Lazar is a great picture book writer. (I reviewed her picture book “The Monstore” HERE.) I love the story idea for this book! It will have kids and adults giggling uncontrollably! Prince Zilch, the Alien, is a funny character who needs to get back to Planet Zero to save it from ultimate destruction! He seems so out of place in the Bear’s book! Mr. Davies’ illustrations are spot on and fit perfectly into the story! The writing was funny and clever. This is the kind of book that you can read over and over again. This story is perfect for bed times, and any times!

Activities and Resources- This book is a giant fractured fairy tale, because some books fell on the floor, and the characters got jumbled up. Why don’t you take some random [picture] books, and jumble THEIR characters together? What would happen? How would they handle the problem?

Ask your kids what would happen if the alien landed in the Three Little Pigs book or an Elephant and Piggy book?

There is so much fun to be had here!

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

12X12 Update!

1 Sep


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 2013. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it.

How did I do in August?

I got an ENTIRE draft done and edited it! WOO! I worked on a picture book idea I had during Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo last year. It is based on a true story called Don’t Hug a Cactus (let’s just say the “true” part involves my Dad and the Arizona desert 😉 ).

I took Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic course in August and I know that is what helped me write a whole book this month. I learned a lot in the class and I found out a lot of why it’s been really hard for me to keep my word count down when trying to write a PB.

The 12×12 challenge is a great challenge. It kind of makes me try to be a better writer. I just try to keep my goals to what I think I can do. Next month I hope to write another draft (maybe try to edit it). If you are doing 12×12 – good luck in September! If you are not, you should join next year! 😀

The Monstore By Tara Lazar

5 Jul

monstoreThe Monstore
By Tara Lazar
ages 5-101.5 years old – 32 pages
Published by Aladdin on June 4th 2013

Zack didn’t want his pest of a sister to come snooping into his room anymore. That’s why he went to the Monstore. To buy Manfred, who’s job is to keep little sisters away. Sadly, Manfred “doesn’t work”. Nor does Mookie or Mojo. Zack keeps buying monsters, but none of them do their job. What’s worse is that the Monstore has one policy – NO RETURNS. As the monsters keep piling up, Zack isn’t sure what to do.

Okay, I must honestly say that I wish I had a Monstore nearby. And I must honestly add that I have been waiting for this book for TWO YEARS! Ms. Lazar’s blog is one of the first blogs I followed when I first started my blog and I kept hearing her talk about her book that would be coming out and I REALLY wanted to read it. I even sent her a drawing of a monster I would like to buy in the Monstore. And now, I FINALLY GOT A COPY! WAHOO!!! It was worth the wait! I love the story idea and the whole idea of a Monstore! The plot was unique and totally fun to read. The illustrations are AWESOME! The colors and the way all the monsters are drawn go so well with the story. I enjoyed reading this book SO much, I read it 18 times (okay maybe more)! 😀


I give the Monstore 100,000,000,000,000,000 (a Monstrous number) out of 5 book monsters! … Errr… I don’t have any book monsters nearby, but what about my friends, The Worm Family? “Hey! Guys! I need 5 of ya!” 😉fivebooks


I am going camping for a week so I am sorry if it takes a while to respond to any comments!

WOW! Where did 2012 go?

31 Dec

On the Eve of 2013…

2012 has been a good year, but it went to fast (at least I think so). I want to thank everyone who reads my blog and takes the time to offer me advice and help and comment here. I really like doing my blog and I like reading what everyone has to say about what I think about books. Well it’s New Year’s Eve. That means I get to talk about what I did last year, and what my resolutions are for 2013.

English: Father Time and Baby New Year from Fr...

English: Father Time and Baby New Year from Frolic & Fun, 1897 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First I want to thank the Bodhimoments blog for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Please check out Bodhimoments !


Dr. Clune of On The Plum Tree nominated me for a 2012 Blog Of The Year award! Dr. Clune’s blog is an awesome place for poetry, stories, books and art. Please check it out if you haven’t (Click HERE).

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

To accept these awards I am supposed to link back to the blogs that gave them, tell some things about myself and nominate some more blogs for the awards.

I figured I am telling you in this post about my New Year’s goals from 2012 and for 2013, so that’s things about myself. I also can’t pick which AWESOME blog to pass the awards on to so just check out my side bar and see all the great places I like to visit and I, Sir Erik, pass these awards on to thee! 😀

Now on to the New Year!

What I did in 2012!

  1. I worked on my MS-in-progress.
  2. I wrote 4 manuscripts for 12×12. My goal for 12×12 was to write 1 PB and I wrote 4!12x12-large
  3. I enjoyed doing Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays.PPBF
  4. I finished the unabridged version of  “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne (FINALLY)
  5. I completed PiBoIdMo 2012 and got 30 AWESOME ideas.piboidmo12participant
  6. The world didn’t end on December 21st (I don’t think this was an accomplishment for just me, but it would have really stunk if it did).
  7. I flew on 4 planes.
  8. I met and got support from the nicest people all over the world through my blog! 😀 Thank you to everyone!

Next – What I think I will do (and what might happen).

  1. I will finish my MS.
  2. I will participate in PiBoIdMo 2013.
  3. I will try to finish the unabridged version of “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas (maybe next year I will try to read it in the original French).
  4. Someone will say the world will end again. *sigh*
  5. After I got my black belt in TaeKwon-Do and we moved, I started to study Karate and Jujitsu. I hope that in 2013 I will go up in rank in Karate and Jujitsu (I am currently a yellow belt).
  6. I will try to convince my parents to get me a library ladder for my own personal private library. 😉
  7. Read 250 or more books of any kind.
  8. Be nice and kind to everyone I meet.
  9. Beat my school’s Advanced Reader reading record. The current record is 950 points (it ends in May). I had 612 points before we left for Christmas vacation. My goal is to shatter the record with a score of 1500+ points!
  10. Read more Nonfiction.
  11. Stick to my posting schedule when I can.
  12. Do my best at everything I try.

How about you? What is your most important goal in 2013? What was the best goal you reached in 2012?


Happy new year

Happy new year (Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde)

Quote of the Week – Joseph Brodsky and Contest! OOGA!

11 Mar

This week’s quote was sent to me by Michelle Isenhoff, author of the great children’s historical fiction novels  ”The Color of Freedom,” “The Candle Star,” “Broken Ladders,” and her new  fantasy fiction book”The Quill Pen.” It is by Joseph Brodsky. He was a Russian poet and was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky

If you have a great quote about books or reading for my quote of the week please email it to me at Erik@thiskidreviewsbooks.com !

To read more about Mrs. Isenhoff’s books, visit her site HERE.


Image  Tara Lazar is having a contest on her blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them). Click HERE to go to it. The is a give-away for Tammi Sauer’s new book “Me Want Pet!” The rules are simple –

Cave Boy sad. He want pet. You draw pet. Ooga. You send pet. Ms. Lazar pick pet. You win book!

I draw Cave Boy and pet. Send to Ms. Lazar. Here picture –

Little Sister draw pet too. Look her blog HERE .

I Got to be a Guest Blogger for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo)

3 Dec

Check out my guest blog post for the very last day of PiBoIdMo! Tara Lazar organized Picture Book Idea Month a 30 picture book ideas in 30 days challenge! I really learned a lot from reading all the guest blogger’s posts and I get to blog about what I learned!

Check it out by clicking the badge!!

Check out Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) hosted by Author Tara Lazar!

24 Oct

I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo)!! How cool! At the end of the month I get to blog about what I learned during PiBoIdMo. Every day there will be a different post by bloggers, authors, writers, publisher, all sorts of people! To participate you have to write an idea for a children’s picture book a day for 30 days. At the end of the event you can win prizes. To learn more about PiBoIdMo visit Tara Lazar’s blog Writing for Kids by clicking HERE! Pickup the cool participant badge too!!

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