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Results 1 - 25 of 182
1. #539 – Two Hands to Love You by Diane Adams & Paige Keiser

TWO HANDS TO LOVE YOU.

Two Hands to Love You

by Diane Adams & Paige Keiser, illustrator

Chronicle Books      2014

978-0-8118-7797-8

Age 4 to 8     36 pages

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“With two loving hands, an adoring mother cradles her baby after bath time and a devoted father introduces his toddler to the wonders of he world. Sister, brother, grandma, and grandpa all can’t wait to share what they love best about the world with their newest family member. And when it is time to step ot into the world, this caring family is right there alongside. In simple, heartfelt language, this soothing picture book for the very young will tug at the heartstrings and remind us all of the caring hands that helped us along our way.”

Opening

“When the world is a strange place, unfamiliar and new,

my two hands will hold you, will carry you through.”

The Story

In a nutshell, the story is about a couple who begin a family and the paths they take with their children as they grow and become a family of five—plus two involved grandparents. The first baby is gently cared for, everything new for everyone, not just the baby. As he grows, mom plays outside with her toddler, pulling him in a wagon after an afternoon bath in the sun.

Dad takes over, playing airplane with his son, then cradles the new baby and pledges his love. The first-born cares for the second-born, a girl as curious as her brother. Then the third arrives and the three kids guide and love each other.

Grandparents read to their grandson and blow bubbles for this newest child. The joys of childhood and a mother who races to her crying child. This all is part of this family of five, who love each other.

Review

My loyal readers know what I will write in this space and it will not be that I hated this book. The story is composed of fragments of time, caught like photographs. A mother holds her first-born close, never wanting to let go, but she does. With dad, the toddler continues to grow and this happy family of three thrives. Then enters child number two, a girl. It is daddy’s turn to hold the baby close, his little girl. The images that accompany each frame of time softly plays the scene out for us.

mom

Using watercolors and ink, the artist catches these tender moments, making them precious and tenderer, if that is even possible. Her images could tell this story without the text, which is what a good illustrated picture book should do—words for adults and kids, images for little ones, not yet a reader. I tended to pick up this book and turn its pages carefully, feeling the fragility of family, and the joys of one so close.

Children have real childhoods, playing with each other, guiding each other. Along the way, various hands help the children to grow: mom, dad, grandma and grandpa, and many more not shown.The sweetness is palatable. Two Hands to Love You may well have you thinking about your own little ones, whether they are still little or grown and on their own, maybe starting families. Alternatively, of your own childhood and what that meant to you.

dad

I love the rhyming text. The words fit together perfectly, meaning I did not immediately recognize the rhyme, just the smooth flow of words that belonged together in that precise order. I think this story can help others remember what a family needs to be—a shelter in the storm and a place to learn and grow without ridicule and maybe a little rhyme.

I love the inherent gentleness the illustrations give us. I love the extended family all involved in raising a child. I guess I simply love Two Hands to Love You, which is an ideal baby shower gift. This is also an, “Oh, my, gosh, you’re pregnant” gift. New parents will cherish Two Hands to Love You. It would be the couple’s first, How to Raise Baby book.

For children Two Hands to Love You reinforces that parents will always be there for them, no matter the distance. That home is a shelter from the storm. A place to recharge before heading back into the world. Children want to know their parents will also be there for them. That message rings loudly through the tender pages of Two Hands to Love You.

kids

TWO HANDS TO LOVE YOU. Text copyright © 2014 by Diane Adams. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Paige Keiser. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

To learn more about Two Hands to Love You, click HERE.

Make Two Hands to Love You yours by going to AmazonB&NChronicle Books—or your local bookstore.

 

Meet the author, Diane Adams at her website:   http://www.dianeadams.net/

Meet the illustrator, Paige Keiser at her website:   http://www.paigekeiser.com/

Find other incredible books at the Chronicle Books website:   http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

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Also by Paige Keiser

The Little Green Pea

The Little Green Pea

One Night In Bethlehem

One Night In Bethlehem

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. I Love My Hat (October 2014)

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NEW from Chronicle Books

I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . .

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .

 Peek-a Zoo

Peek-a Zoo

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2 hands to love you

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Today is National Library Workers Day

Be extras nice to those who staff your library!


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: children, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, Diane Adams, family, family relationships, grandparents, growing up, Paige Keiser, parents, raising children

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2. #525-6 – bunnies near and far & orange triangle fox by sarah jones

Today we start with a question. Two questions, to be exact.

  1. Can you count to ten?

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10”

Good!

 2. Do you know your colors?

Red, blue, yellow, green, orange— ”

—Okay, that’s great!

“. . . pink, purple, brown, black . . .”

Let’s get started. Debut Author Sarah Jones.

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bunnies near and far.

Bunnies Near and Far

by Sarah Jones

Blue Manatee Press      4/01/2014

978-1-936669-22-6

Age 1 to 4      10 pages

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“Colors. Shapes. Critters! Three concepts in one make learning fun! Inspire bedtime or story time, with this fun and educational concept book! Watch colorful native forest animals including red square owl and yellow star frog take shape, teaching basic concepts simultaneously. Rich, sweet watercolor illustrations are a delight for sharing over and over again.”

Opening 

1 bunny near. 2 bunnies far.”

Review

1

Farmer Bo has lost track of his bunnies. Where could they have gone? We know 1 bunny is nearby and 2 bunnies are far off. Where did 3 bunnies go, and 4 bunnies? I saw 5 bunnies going up and 6 bunnies going down—they were on a teeter-totter. Wherever 7 and 8 bunnies went in opposite directions. Then I heard 9 bunnies singing to 10 bunnies playing an instrument. Farmer Bo does not know where any of his bunnies are. Oh, look! Farmer Bo counts as the bunnies return home. 1-one, 2-two, 3-three . . . all the way to his 10-ten musical bunnies. Wow! How many bunnies is that?2

There are bunnies everywhere in Bunnies Near and Far. The situations the bunnies get into are common and recognizable by little kids. This is a fun way to learn how to count. The bunnies are cute though a tad plump and do some goofy stuff. Little kids will giggle at these bunnies on an apparent day off. I love the color of the book, which is predominately green with a few other colors tossed in on a few pages. The car is carrot orange and is somewhat shaped like a carrot. There even looks to be a smidge of green at the back of the car. I love details like this; things you would never expect. The theme of Bunnies Near and Far is more modern than most simple counting books and maybe that is what makes it so utterly charming.

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Still remember your colors. (Please do not tell me, I remember.) Let’s look at colors.

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orangr triangle fox.

Orange, Triangle, Fox

by Sarah Jones

Blue Manatee Press     4/01/2014

978-1-936669-21-9

Age 1 to 4     10 pages

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“Farmer Bo wants to know where his bunnies are. Some are near, some are far, some walking some in a car, and all are as cute as can be! Little ones will learn counting and opposites in this fun tale of bunnies on the go. Perfect for sharing: read and count along to find out what they’ll do next!”

Opening  

brown circle hedgehog”

Review

3

Orange, Triangle, Fox is about colors, shapes, and animals. What could be more perfect than all of these concepts in one book for the youngest children? Interestingly, the shape and color become the shape of the animal and its color. The title page is orange and the shape is a triangle. The fox is an orange triangle. I think this will delight kids. The forest animals include an owl, a fox, frog, and a turtle among others. Young children will simultaneously learn about three concepts—shapes, colors, and animals—learning to process multiple stimuli. They may start looking at the world around them for animals or other objects in a certain shape. The forest animals are adorable, maybe more so because of the shape they have become.

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As a set, Orange, Triangle, Fox and Bunnies Near and Far help young children learn, or reinforce, their numbers, colors, and forest animals. The books are kid shaped, just the size for little hands to hold. The pages are thick to stand up to kids excitedly turning the page. Spilt milk and blobs of jelly should wipe right off the heavy, glossy pages. At ten pages, bedtime reading of Orange, Triangle, Fox and Bunnies Near and Far can start a tradition of reading and a lifelong love of books. Both of these books are nontraditional in form, but very much traditional in content. Little ones can learn about the numbers one through ten, and about colors, shapes, and animals. Four important elements your child needs to learn, packed into two adorable books with designs by Sarah Jones. Beautiful and functional, child-sized and childproof.

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Learn more about Sarah Jones books for young children HERE.

Buy Bunnies Near and Far at AmazonB&Nyour local bookstore.

Buy Orange, Triangle, Fox at AmazonB&Nyour local bookstore.

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Meet Sarah Jones at her profile at scbwi:  http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/sarah-jones

Find more board books at the website of Blue Manatee Press:  http://bluemanateepress.com/

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ORANGE TRIANGLE FOX and BUNNIES NEAR AND FAR. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Sarah Jones. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Blue Manatee Press, Cincinnati, OH.

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NEW FROM BLUE MANATEE PRESS.

Water, Baby Unplugged

Water, Baby Unplugged

Toast to Family

Toast to Family

Your Red Shoes

Your Red Shoes

 

 

 

 

saraah jones


Filed under: 4stars, Board Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books, NonFiction Tagged: animals, baby, basic concepts, bedtime, Blue Manatee Press, children's book reviews, colors, counting 1 to 10, home learning, Sarah Jones, shapes, story time, toddler

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3. #508 – Churchill’s Tale of Tails by Anca Sandu

9781561457380.

Churchill’s Tale of Tails

by Anca Sandu

Peachtree Publishers*    March 1, 2014

978-1-56145-738-8

Age 4 – 8     32 pages

Inside Jacket

“When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying on new tails is so much fun that soon Churchill has forgotten his friends completely.  Can Churchill solve the mystery of his missing tail? But more importantly, can he learn to put friendships first?”

Opening

“Churchill valued many things in life:  smelling beautiful flowers, painting self-portraits, playing classical music, and reading good books.”

The Story

Churchill is a proud pig. Nothing unusual about that, as he is a pig and pigs are a proud animal. He loves spending time with his friends Billy and Gruff. Of all the things Churchill loved to do, the things he possessed, or the friends he had, there was one most important thing to Churchill: his small, curly, tail. That tail made Churchill feel great.  Then one morning, Churchill woke up to find his precious tail was gone. He searched everywhere but came up empty. Churchill was miserable without his tail. Billy and Gruff came up with a bright idea. They called Zebra, who arrived with a spare tail for Churchill.

fr 1

Churchill did not think the zebra tail felt right ad decided to try other tails. Churchill’s tail made him feel proud. He lost the feeling when he lost his tail. Maybe Peacock would have a tail that would make him proud once more. The large beautiful peacock tail made Churchill feel beautiful. He decided to try on other tails. 

He tried Fish’s tail and could swim. Each tail, from Mouse’s tiny tail to Elephant’s big tail allowed Churchill to do something he could not do with his own tail. Soon, Churchill was so busy trying on tails he forgot about his friends. He just did not have time for them anymore.

Review

 I love the play on words in the title, Churchill’s Tale of Tails. Churchill is a happy pig when he had his tail. He did all sorts of things and had time for tea with his friends. When he wakes up missing his tail, he is frantic. Churchill’s good friends try to help him but Churchill becomes so carried away trying on tails he forgets all about his friends and the other things he loved to do. Churchill goes from being a proud pig to a selfish, self-centered pig. It is easy to fall into such a pattern, especially when trying out something new or trying to fix something important, like your missing tail. But Churchill may lose his friends if he does not wake up.

fr2

I love the illustrations and all the little details Ms. Sandu included. Churchill wearing a peacock tail is great. All those feathers nearly smother Churchill. Churchill felt strong and brave wearing the tiger tail. One of the best scenes is Churchill behind a dressing divider, with dozens of different tails to try on. How many tails can you recognize? A little fun for kids to do. Ms. Sandu used Adobe’s Illustrator software and added hand-drawn textures and shading. This works well, giving the illustrations a soft, pastel look.

In the end, it is best for Churchill to wear his own tail, if only he can find it. Maybe then, he will remember he has friends and spend time with them. When Churchill finds his tail, he learns a valuable lesson and makes a new friend. He also discovers that his important, proud tail does not mean the same to others. The animal that found Churchill’s tail but, not knowing what it was, he came up with several things it could,  then decided against them. In the end, the animal decides Churchill’s tail is useless.

fr3

I think young kids will enjoy Churchill’s Tale of Tails. The various tails will keep them entertained as Churchill tries to find the right fit. Kids will love the way Churchill acts with each new tail. The story stresses the importance of friendship and self-identity.  Churchill finally gets his tail back, remembers his old friends, and the other things he enjoyed. He needs to ask his friends to forgive him for his selfish behavior. I like that Churchill takes his new collection of tails and uses them to help his new friend. Turns out, tails can be something other than a tail.

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Learn more about Churchill’s Tale of Tails HERE!

Get your copy of Churchill’s Tale of Tails at AmazonB&NPeachtreeyour local bookstore.

Also available at Waterstones

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Find out more about author/illustrator Anca Sandu:      website     blog     facebook     twitter

Get more great books at Peachtree Publishers:    website     blog     facebook     twitter

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*Churchill’s Tale of Tails was originally published in Great Britain in 2012 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Random House Children’s Publisher, UK.

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CHURCHILL’S TALE OF TAILS. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Anca Sandu. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

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chuchillc tale of tails

PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

Churchill’s Tale of Tails

Check out all the participants!

Monday

Sally’s Bookshelf   www.sallysbookshelf.blogspot.com

It’s About Time http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/

Tuesday

Reading to Know.  www.readingtoknow.com

Wednesday

A Word’s Worth.  www.awordsworth.blogspot.com

Thursday

Tolivers to Texas www.ToliversToTexas.com

Kid Lit Reviews. www.kid-lit-reviews.com

Friday

Geo Librarian   http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Anca Sandu, animal tails, animals, children's book reviews, friendship, Peachtree Publishers, picture book, self-identity

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4. #509 – How to Make and Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome 50 Common Social Challenges by Nadine Briggs & Donna Shea

make friends50 common.

How to Make & Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome 50 Common Social Challenges

by Nadine Briggs & Donna Shea

Released 2011

978-1-45631346-3

Age 8+  142 pages

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Back Cover

“Donna Shea, Director of The Peter Pan Center an Nadine Briggs, Director of Simply Social Kid are passionate about helping kids make and keep friends. They have spent years working with children who experience mild to moderate social difficulties and understand that social nuances can and should be taught. Parents and kids often need quick social skills advice that is easily understood and even easier to do in the moment. How to Make & Keep Friends provides 500 tips for children to learn how to manage 50 common social challenges in easy to digest top-ten lists. For parents and professionals check out How to Make & Keep Friends: Coaching Children for Social Success”

Introduction for Parents & Educators

“Welcome to How to Make and Keep Friends! Many kids struggle with social nuances which can make it difficult for them to form lasting friendships. Our tips have been successful for children with mild to moderate social challenges.”

Introduction for Kids

“Welcome to our book, How to Make and Keep Friends! We wrote this book for kids because we understand that making and keeping friends can be really hard to do sometimes. We help lots of kids learn how to get better at making and keeping friends, and with this book, we can help you too.”

About the Book

There are four sections in the book, each specializing in one particular area. The first contains tips for normal social situations and the common problems that can occur, including making new friends and figuring out body language and other non-verbal communications. The second section contains tips to help kids enjoy social success, such as knowing the difference between sharing something as opposed to bragging and handling embarrassment, anger, and impulsiveness. Section 3 covers the tough subject of being a good friend. This includes playing fair, playdates, proper etiquette, and even good table manners. The final section has suggestions for handling social challenges such as bullying, jealousy, and knowing when and how to get adult help.

Review

Interestingly, the subjects in each section have suggestions and tips in lists of ten, rather than explaining problems or solutions. The idea is to allow kids and parents to open the book, find the problem, look through the ten suggestions, then go out and immediately use the chosen tip. Number one is not necessarily better than number ten, nor is ten better than one. What works best depends upon your child, and the situation. Most of the tips are great, though some—mostly verbal suggestions are not kid-friendly.

For example, in “How to Greet Others and Enter a Room or Place:” one friend greets another—your child—by saying, “Hello, how are you today?” Not many kids speak like an adult. They will say, “Hi,” or maybe “What’s up?” or “You okay?” but not “Hello, how are you today?” Even if they did, any kid who responds, “I’m fine, thanks, and how are you?” will be met with a funny stare and maybe a laugh. Leave out “and how are you” unless it was Aunt Mildred who asked. Parent’s need to make sure their child still sounds like a kid.

I like that How to Make and Keep Friends is for the parent as much as it is for the child. Under the heading Working Things Out, adults are reminded that when they tell their kids to “just work it out,” their child may not know what to do. Without a parent’s help, a child may end up in worse shape than before. For this reason, I think parents need to read this before or, preferably with, their child. Doing so might help the parent understand their child’s difficulties. Parents need to know when to help and when to step back.

The writing style of Ms. Briggs and Ms. Shea is conversational. A few sentences need a good editor’s pen, but overall this is a well-written guide kids and parents will find easy to read. There are no illustrations. I think a few, maybe at the head of each chapter, would have punched up the text and made the book look more like a guide for kids. And, admittedly, I like illustrations in books for kids. They give the eye a nice break, especially when the subject becomes emotional.

I truly like How to Make and Keep Friends. Kids need somewhere to turn and many of the suggestions are excellent.

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Handling impulsivity:

“Being impulsive means doing or saying things without stopping to think first.” (tip 1) “When you have strong feelings like excitement or anger, breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself down, since these are times when you might be impulsive” (tip 10)

Bad Peer Pressure:

“If someone is doing something wrong (like swearing) and wants you to do it too, you have the choice to say no. Remember choice is power.” (tip 3)

Handling Embarrassment:

“The best thing to do is to not make a big deal—if no one says anything, just be quiet and let it go” (tip 2) “Try to remove yourself from the situation. Take a break, especially if you feel like you might cry.” (tip 6)

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The book is dedicated to “the “what” to do rather than the “why” it needs to be done.” Hence, the ten tips for each problem. I am not a fan of “do” without knowing “why.” I never found this to work long term, yet How to Make and Keep Friends, with the tools and suggestions they do give kids, is impressive. Included is a reading reference guide for both kids and parents, a glossary of terms, and five ways to draw sides when choosing sides or deciding who plays first. Adults can incorporate most of the tips and suggestions into their own life. Bullying, making new friends, and not knowing what to do in social situations does not stop once someone reaches the age of 18. Until then, How to Make and Keep Friends will give kids a treasure of social tips and suggestions to guide them through the perilous seas of sticky social situations.

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Learn more about How to Make and Keep Friends HERE!

Purchase a copy of How to Make and Keep Friends at AmazonB&NBook Websiteask your local bookstore.

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Donna Shea is the director of The Peter Pan Center. Learn more about her and her center at: Ms. Shea’s websitelinkedin—facebook—twitter & The Peter Pan Center’s websiteG+facebooktwitter

Nadine Briggs is the director of Simply Social Kids. Learn more about her and her center at: Ms. Brigg’s website—linkedinfacebooktwitter & Simply Social Kidswebsite—blog—facebooktwitter

ALSO AVAILABLE FROM BRIGGS & SHEA

how to oCHIG.

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How To Make And Keep Friends: Coaching Children For Social Success

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HOW TO MAKE & KEEP FRIENDS: TIPS FOR KIDS TO OVERCOME 50 COMMON SOCIAL CHALLENGES. Text copyright © 2011 by Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea. Reproduced by permission of the authors, Donna Shea and Nadine Briggs.

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how to make friemds 50 common


Filed under: 4stars, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, NonFiction Tagged: children's book reviews, Donna Shea, guide for children, guide for parents, Nadine Briggs, nonfiction kids book, Simply Social Kids, social situations, The Peter Pan Center

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5. #511 – Because Dragons Love Milk by Marie Chow & Miki Tharp

dragons love milk.

Because Dragons Love Milk

by Marie Chow

Miki Tharp, illustrator

978-1-49541484-8

Age 3 to 7     28 pages

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Opening

“They were halfway through dinner when Tycho announced, “I don’t want to go to bed tonight!”

The Story

Tycho does not want to go to sleep because there are dragons under his bed. Dad lets his son in on a secret. Dragons love milk. He explains that milk soothes a dragon’s fiery throats. If a dragon’ throat is soothed it becomes a happy dragon. Tycho is happy about the dragon but wants to know about the alligator. Dad had an alligator under his bed and it liked old shoes. Because alligator do not floss, their gums always hurt. Chewing on an old shoe helps sooth an alligator’s gums.

Review

Because Dragons Love Milk will entertain any young boy who has ever had a dragon, an alligator, or a T-rex under his bed. It is refreshing to read a story about a young boy and his dad. At least two of a boy’s favorite animals are under Tycho’s bed (dragon and T-rex). The way dad breaks down his son’s fears is imaginative and adorable. The three terrifying animals become less threatening when they are fond of milk, stories, and old, stinky shoes.

The illustrations need detail to define one object from another. I see blocks of color, some of which fade or blend into the next. A color picture book needs to have lots of color, and details help. Give the child something to look at. If he cannot yet read, the only way to hold his visual attention is through details. A few toys, pictures on the walls, a window, any of this would have improved the boy’s room. Monsters get restless when there is nothing to play with in a room. The other problem is the lack of a credit page/copyright page. Every book must have certain pages and this is one of them.

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Spreads are lighter in finished paperback book.

Kids will love the story. They will enjoy the odd things each “monster” needs and the reason they need them. Suspending belief is easy thanks to the author’s pen. She writes sentences that flow into one another, making them easy to read, and easy for a young child to understand. This is a nice debut story. I wish it were longer just so I can read more of the author’s imagination. Because Love Milk would be the perfect story to read right before a kindergarten classroom nap. A good choice for boys and dads.

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Learn more about Because Dragons Love Milk HERE!

Buy your own copy of Because Dragons Love Milk at Amazonyour local bookstore.

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Author Marie Chow’s website.   http://mariechow.com/

Illustrator Miki Tharp’s website.  http://mikitharp.com/

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BECAUSE DRAGONS LOVE MILK. Text copyright © 213 by Marie Chow. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Miki Tharp. Reproduced by permission of the author, Mare Chow.

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dragons love mik


Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: alligators, children's book reviews, dragons, Marie Chow, Miki Tharp, picture book, T-Rex

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6. say hello to lisa rose

Meet Lisa Rose

Meet Lisa Rose

It’s my delight to introduce you to vivacious, rap-writing debut author Lisa Rose. I first met Lisa through our regional chapter of SCBWI and was immediately attracted to her bright smile, energy and enthusiasm. And wait until you hear her good news . . .

Tell us about your book–details! We want details!
SHUMLIK PAINTS THE TOWN will be published by Kar-Ben in 2016. It’s about a painter named Shumulik who needs to create a mural for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). He can’t think of anything to paint and soon all of Jerusalem will be there. What is he going to do? It has a funny surprise ending!

Can’t wait to read SHUMLIK PAINTS THE TOWN and find out what the surprise is. So, when did you know you wanted to write for children?
It sounds cliché, but I was in second grade. I wrote a poem and my teacher called me a writer. I always wanted to write. But my mother told me to do something that made money. So I became an elementary teacher and got really, really, really rich! Moral of the story: don’t listen to your mother.

Very funny, Lisa. Now, what is it about writing for children that appeals to you versus writing for adults?
Hope. All children’s book must end in hope or by definition they are not a children’s book.

What’s the best writing advise you’ve ever been given?
I was a playwright before I wrote for kids, but this still applies: “No amount of sequins can save a bad script.”

Love that. And it definitely applies to children’s writing too. As you know, Frog on a Dime is all about encouraging children’s writers, so what’s the most encouraging thing anyone has ever said to you (related to writing)?
It was from Michigan’s own Debbie Taylor. I was writing outside of my race and shared with her I wasn’t trying to be revolutionary, I just wanted to write about something that touched me. Debbie said, “That’s your answer!” Recently, I was working on a project and it just wasn’t working. I tried and tried. Until I realized I was writing it for all the wrong reasons. I think good writing must have passion and purpose. The idea must scrape your soul.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

What advise would you give to someone who has been pursuing publication for a long time, with close calls, but no contracts?
Keep going and learn how to flip-turn. I was swimmer before I was writer. It is excellent training. I was used to going as fast as could into cement walls. Instead of crashing after rejection, I just turned around and swam as fast I could into another cement wall. I sent the editor at Kar-Ben over twenty stories. We were on a first name rejection basis. But she kept encouraging me to send more stories. And so I did. I told myself I was going to keep writing until I got a contract or a restraining order from her. Luckily for me, the contract came first.

That’s great advise, Lisa. I’d never thought about flip-turns, but that’s a perfect analogy for the submission process. Time for one last question? Okay, name three things we’d be surprised to learn about you.
1. While I have this nice Jewish book coming out with Kar-Ben, most of my novels feature African-American characters and I am working on a digital media project with the former producers of rapper Eminem. Yes, I even write rap music.
2. I have partnered with a Detroit graffiti artist, Fel3000ft. to create a chapter book. I joke that I write everything from shalom to shazizzle!
3. I like eating ice cream with a fork.
4. BONUS! I have an e-book coming out with MeeGenius in the Spring: OH NO! THE TOOTH FAIRY BROKE HER WING! It is a sequel to OH NO! THE EASTER BUNNY IS ALLERGIC TO EGGS!

Hey, this was fun, Lisa. Thank you for stopping by Frog on a Dime. Wishing you many more publishing success stories. Keep doing those flip-turns!


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7. Collide, Gail McHugh, Cover Reveal

Collide, Gail McHugh 
Pub Date: January 21, 2013


Synopsis:
A missed first encounter…

Colliding with a second chance…

On the heels of graduating college and trying to cope with her mother’s death, Emily Cooper moves to New York City for a fresh start.

While harboring secrets of his own, Dillon Parker takes care of Emily through her grief. Knowing he can’t live without her by his side, he’s sweet, thoughtful, and everything Emily has ever wanted in a man.

Until she meets Gavin Blake—a rich and notorious playboy who is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Emily tries to deny the instant connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome is not inclined to let go so easily. Recovering from his own painful past, Gavin will stop at nothing to win Emily over.

This unexpected encounter compels Emily to question her decisions, forcing her to make a choice that will destroy friendships, shatter hearts, and forever change her life.

0 Comments on Collide, Gail McHugh, Cover Reveal as of 12/29/2012 2:47:00 PM
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8. author interview – Katherine L. Holmes

Kid Lit Reviews would like to welcome Katherine L. Holmes, author of The House in Windward Leaves, which will be reviewed here tomorrow and can be read HERE! The House in Windward Leaves is a middle grade novel full of, according to the back cover, “madcap fantasy.”  Is this your first book?   Please give us a short synopsis of …

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9. review – The House in Windward Leaves by Katherine L. Holmes

. The House in Windward Leaves by Katherine L. Holmes Couchgrass Books 6 Stars Interview with Ms. Holmes is HERE! From Back Cover:  Halloween night, the wayward Sadie leads her friends past cardboard cut-outs of the painter Mistral and a lady at the leaf-covered house on Windward Road. A wall mural transports them to a …

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10. The Adventures of Max, Book 1: Little Dude by Michelle Hennessy

. The Adventures of Max, Book 1: Little Dude by Michelle Hennessy illustrations by Luke Harland 3 Stars . . From Press Release:  Max always dreamed of surfing.  Every day he’d go down to the beach and watch all of the other surfers riding the waves and having tons of fun.  The sun was going …

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11. Malcolm Finney, Medical Detective Series: The Case of . . . Itch and Rash by Erika Kimble

. Malcolm Finney Medical Detective – The Case of… Itch and Rash by Erika Kimble illustrated by Laurel Winters Bandages & Boo-Boos Press 4 Stars Back Cover:  Malcolm Finney, Medical Detective Series: The Case of Itch and Rash, is an adventurous story that explores the skin disease called eczema.  It is a book that teaches …

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12. review#399 – The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea By Erik Weibel

. . The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea By Erik Weibel CreateSpace 4 Stars .. Back Cover:  For years the evil villain Wintergreen has tried to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato, and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg.  In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his …

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13. #506 – Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth by Keith Lohnes & Linda Manne

woolly mammoth.

Windsor The Bullied Wooly Mammoth

by Keith Lohnes

Linda Manne, illustrator

978-0-98949110-5     8/13/2013

Age   6 to 9     72 pages

Amazon Author Description (unedited)

“Walking home from school alone, Windsor the Wooly Mammoth was startled to hear the shouting. Looking up, peering at him from a stone perch, was a mean Tyrannosaurus Rex named Trevor. At that moment, Windsor discovered the shouting was directed at him. The cruel words poked like tiny pins all over Windsor’s body. Why would someone say cruel things to me? I haven’t done anything to him! Windsor did his best to scurry away as fast as possible while all of his friends at school looked on in astonishment. Feeling trapped, alone and isolated, Windsor was confused at Trevor’s behavior. The story takes a turn when Windsor’s best friend Marvin steps into (sic) help. Marvin was concerned that Windsor did not know how to deal with Trevor’s bullying. Being a quiet, shy Mammoth, Windsor didn’t want anyone to know what was happening. Marvin knew better. Identifying the bully and immediately dealing with the events is the only way to make it stop. So Marvin enlisted the help of his friends and went to speak to Trevor about his bullying. In the beginning Trevor was very defensive. Over time however, Trevor began to understand that being a bully made him look bad and treating others poorly was not good for himself or anyone else. As the story and the characters evolve, bullying becomes evident. The resolution is for everyone to come together to prevent the behavior. In the end, Trevor discovers Windsor is a pretty nice Mammoth and they become great friends.”

Opening

“All the other Dinosaurs liked t play in the field after school, except for Winsor the Wooly Mammoth.”

The Story

Windsor loved to read so much that instead of playing with friends after school he reads. On the way home from school, Trevor yelled mean things at Windsor, called him names and threatened to knock his glasses off his face. Windsor was “a geek” because “all you do is read.” Windsor ignored Trevor, but still felt frightened. Trevor’s words and his taunting made Windsor feel bad about himself. The other young dinosaurs said nothing to Trevor. Some even laughed along with him. No one did a thing to help Windsor.

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Everyone knew Windsor liked to read Jurassic Book, a dinosaur social network. Trevor went on the website and wrote mean things about Windsor and Betty Brontosaurus. None of what Trevor wrote was true. Soon dinosaurs who did not know Windsor wrote bad things about him. When he found out, Windsor knew the others would believe the lies. Windsor became so despondent that he no longer wanted to live.

Marvin, Windsor’s best friend, told him to tell someone about Trevor’s bullying. Windsor did not want anyone to know. Marvin went to Betty Brontosaurus for help. Betty talked to all the other kids and explained that what Trevor did to Windsor was mean, hurtful, and wrong. Then Betty talked to Trevor. Trevor responded to Betty by laughing and refused to stop bullying Windsor. Marvin would not give up. He decided to gather all the kids and confront Trevor as a group. Would it help? 

Review

Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth is a cautionary tale about bullying. The bullied kid is different from the other kids. He likes to be alone and read. One dinosaur, Trevor, decides to bully Windsor. Marvin, who is a mouse and Windsor’s best friend, assumes Trevor is lonely because his meanness meant none of the other dinosaurs would play with him. Bullies often are not lonely people or dinosaurs. Kids gathered around Trevor and he considered a few of them friends. I think this missed the mark—in this story—but the author is true when saying bullies are often lonely kids. Most often, though, it is the bullied kid who becomes lonely and alone.

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The text is long. Little kids will have a tough time keeping their attention on the story. The story needs tightened to reduce redundancy, correct punctuation errors, and help the story move along smoothly. Plus, a credit page needs added to the front. Before—on occasion after— a character speaks, the narrator explains what the character will say and why. This happens so often it becomes annoying. It is not necessary to alert the reader to what the character will say or why and then have the character repeat, sometimes verbatim, what the narrator just explained. I felt like the narrator did not trust that readers would catch on to the story.

Betty also explained that she wanted to get to know Trevor a little better.

Betty smiling at Trevor said, “And one other thing Trevor, I would like to get to know you a little better. Most of us don’t know you very well either.”

There were many books about bullies last year and more on the way this year. Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth may be the most ambitious. Usually, we learn about the bullied, how they are bullied, and what to do about that bully. Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth also lets us know how those witnessing the bullying, but not part of it, feel and how they can help, plus why the bully acts as he or she does. Every angle is covered.

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The large sized book has great illustrations on one-half of the spread. The dinosaur and the mouse are cute with their big bright eyes. The dinosaurs have cherry-bright tongues and have different colored complexions. Windsor is the only one to wear eyeglasses and look geeky. He really is out of place in this dinoland. Kids will enjoy the illustrations. The art draws your eye to that side of the spread every time. The back of the cover has a laughing Trevor with the words, “Bullies aren’t born . . . bullies are made!”

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Learn more about Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth HERE.

Buy Windsor the Bullied Wooly Mammoth at Amazon—B&N—Createspaceask your local bookstore

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Links for the author, Keith Lohnes:         blog     facebook      createspace

Links for illustrator, Linda Manne:     flickr     freelanced

WINDSOR THE BULLIED WOOLY MAMMOTH. Text copyright © 2013 by Keith Lohnes. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Linda Manne. Reproduce by permission of the author, Keith Lohnes.

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windsor wooly mammoth

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Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Picture Book Tagged: abuse, being bullied, bullies, children's book reviews, dinosaurs, Keith Lohnes, Linda Manne, picture book, wooly mammoths

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14. #508 – Churchill’s Tale of Tails by Anca Sandu

9781561457380.

Churchill’s Tale of Tails

by Anca Sandu

Peachtree Publishers*    March 1, 2014

978-1-56145-738-8

Age 4 – 8     32 pages

Inside Jacket

“When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying on new tails is so much fun that soon Churchill has forgotten his friends completely.  Can Churchill solve the mystery of his missing tail? But more importantly, can he learn to put friendships first?”

Opening

“Churchill valued many things in life:  smelling beautiful flowers, painting self-portraits, playing classical music, and reading good books.”

The Story

Churchill is a proud pig. Nothing unusual about that, as he is a pig and pigs are a proud animal. He loves spending time with his friends Billy and Gruff. Of all the things Churchill loved to do, the things he possessed, or the friends he had, there was one most important thing to Churchill: his small, curly, tail. That tail made Churchill feel great.  Then one morning, Churchill woke up to find his precious tail was gone. He searched everywhere but came up empty. Churchill was miserable without his tail. Billy and Gruff came up with a bright idea. They called Zebra, who arrived with a spare tail for Churchill.

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Churchill did not think the zebra tail felt right ad decided to try other tails. Churchill’s tail made him feel proud. He lost the feeling when he lost his tail. Maybe Peacock would have a tail that would make him proud once more. The large beautiful peacock tail made Churchill feel beautiful. He decided to try on other tails. 

He tried Fish’s tail and could swim. Each tail, from Mouse’s tiny tail to Elephant’s big tail allowed Churchill to do something he could not do with his own tail. Soon, Churchill was so busy trying on tails he forgot about his friends. He just did not have time for them anymore.

Review

 I love the play on words in the title, Churchill’s Tale of Tails. Churchill is a happy pig when he had his tail. He did all sorts of things and had time for tea with his friends. When he wakes up missing his tail, he is frantic. Churchill’s good friends try to help him but Churchill becomes so carried away trying on tails he forgets all about his friends and the other things he loved to do. Churchill goes from being a proud pig to a selfish, self-centered pig. It is easy to fall into such a pattern, especially when trying out something new or trying to fix something important, like your missing tail. But Churchill may lose his friends if he does not wake up.

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I love the illustrations and all the little details Ms. Sandu included. Churchill wearing a peacock tail is great. All those feathers nearly smother Churchill. Churchill felt strong and brave wearing the tiger tail. One of the best scenes is Churchill behind a dressing divider, with dozens of different tails to try on. How many tails can you recognize? A little fun for kids to do. Ms. Sandu used Adobe’s Illustrator software and added hand-drawn textures and shading. This works well, giving the illustrations a soft, pastel look.

In the end, it is best for Churchill to wear his own tail, if only he can find it. Maybe then, he will remember he has friends and spend time with them. When Churchill finds his tail, he learns a valuable lesson and makes a new friend. He also discovers that his important, proud tail does not mean the same to others. The animal that found Churchill’s tail but, not knowing what it was, he came up with several things it could,  then decided against them. In the end, the animal decides Churchill’s tail is useless.

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I think young kids will enjoy Churchill’s Tale of Tails. The various tails will keep them entertained as Churchill tries to find the right fit. Kids will love the way Churchill acts with each new tail. The story stresses the importance of friendship and self-identity.  Churchill finally gets his tail back, remembers his old friends, and the other things he enjoyed. He needs to ask his friends to forgive him for his selfish behavior. I like that Churchill takes his new collection of tails and uses them to help his new friend. Turns out, tails can be something other than a tail.

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Learn more about Churchill’s Tale of Tails HERE!

Get your copy of Churchill’s Tale of Tails at AmazonB&NPeachtreeyour local bookstore.

Also available at Waterstones

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Find out more about author/illustrator Anca Sandu:      website     blog     facebook     twitter

Get more great books at Peachtree Publishers:    website     blog     facebook     twitter

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*Churchill’s Tale of Tails was originally published in Great Britain in 2012 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Random House Children’s Publisher, UK.

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CHURCHILL’S TALE OF TAILS. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Anca Sandu. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

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chuchillc tale of tails

PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR

Churchill’s Tale of Tails

Check out all the participants!

Monday

Sally’s Bookshelf   www.sallysbookshelf.blogspot.com

It’s About Time http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/

Tuesday

Reading to Know.  www.readingtoknow.com

Wednesday

A Word’s Worth.  www.awordsworth.blogspot.com

Thursday

Tolivers to Texas www.ToliversToTexas.com

Kid Lit Reviews. www.kid-lit-reviews.com

Friday

Geo Librarian   http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Anca Sandu, animal tails, animals, children's book reviews, friendship, Peachtree Publishers, picture book, self-identity

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15. Beautiful Wild Rose Girl by B. Magnolia

4.5 Stars Beautiful Wild Rose Girl B. Magnolia Mystic World Press No. Pgs: 32  Ages: 4+ ................. From Back Cover: If everyone in the village calls her “Beautiful Wild Rose Girl,” why does this poor, sad girl live in a swamp? And why, when she goes to bed every night, does she hear bullfrogs sing to [...]

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16. Q&A with author Peter Goodman

…………………………………….. Peter Goodman We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats website: kittycatsbook.com ……………. Today, Kid Lit Reviews is honored to have with us the author of a fascinating new picture book series called We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats. Tomorrow, the first book in that series, titled First Day of School, will be reviewed [...]

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17. We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats by Peter Goodman

4 Stars We're All Different But We're All Kitty Cats Peter Goodman Nicholas Milano No. Pages: 4 Ages: 4+ ................... Inside Jacket: “My name is Carlos and I have no fur.” A kitty with no fur? How strange, thought the other cat, laughing and giggling at Carlos. Hurt and embarrassed in front of the class, [...]

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18. My “What If?” Book by Tonya and Chad Walker

4 Stars My "What if?" Book Tonya and Chad Walker Troy Palmer-Hughes CreateSpace No. Pages: 32 Ages: 4+ ......................... .......................... From the Forward:  Child safety experts and non-profit groups dedicated to the prevention of child abduction encourage parents to take a proactive approach in protecting their children against the threat of abduction. One of the [...]

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19. Seymour’s Christmas Wish by Jane Matyger

4 Stars Seymour's Christmas Wish Jane Matyger Javier Duarte Mirror Publishing 28 Pages    Ages: 3 + ..................... ...................... Back Cover: Seymour, a tiny, tiny mouse, lives at the North Pole. Each Christmas Eve, he shines Rudolph’s red nose before Santa’s big trip. This year Seymour has a special wish . . . a wish that [...]

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20. Animal Andy by Kathy Sattem Rygg

4 Stars Animal Andy Kathy Sattem Rygg 144 Pages    Ages: 8 to 12 .................... .................. Back Cover:  Ten-year-old Andy Ohman is spending his summer working at the Aksarben City Zoo where his dad is the curator. There are rumors the city might close the zoo due to budget cuts. An anonymous donor has given the [...]

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21. Jack Templar, Monster Hunter Tour, Day 1

4 Star The Templar Chronicles, Book 1: Jack Templar Monster Hunter Jeff Gunhus 184 Pages    Ages 8 to 12 …………………….. Back Cover: If you have this book in your hands, I assume you are already a monster hunter or in training to become one. I hope my story helps you in the many fights ahead. However, [...]

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22. CHRISTMAS BOOKS — 2012

CHRISTMAS BOOKS FOR 2012 Today we have a sampling of seven Christmas Books. The first five are new to Kid Lit Reviews. Next to each small cover is the beginning of the review. Click on the link “HERE” and you will see the full review. At the bottom of each review will be a link [...]

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23. Pobble’s Way by Simon Van Booy

4 Stars Pobble’s Way Simon Van Booy Wendy Edelson 32 Pages   Ages: 4 to 8 Inside Jacket: Pobble’s evening walk with Daddy is a magical adventure in which branches wear sleeves of snow and mushrooms become frog umbrellas. When Pobble’s mitten—small and pink and as soft as a bunny’s chin—is lost on the path, woodland animals gather to discuss [...]

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24. Autobiography of a Duck by John Arnold

3 Stars Autobiography of a Duck John Arnold 36 Pages    Ages:  7 and  up …………. Autobiography of a Duck is just that, the life of one Pekin Duck, not a chick, as told by the duck. Duck hatched and then lived with his siblings and his mother on a farm. Then one day, some humans [...]

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25.

I Couldn’t Love You More by Jason Ingram & Matt Hammitt illustrated by Polona Lovsin 4 stars ……….. Back Cover:  I couldn’t love you more is the message of a parent to a child. While it depicts the immense love a parent has or a child, it highlights on an even deeper level the unconditional [...]

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