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Results 1 - 25 of 231
1. SDCC ’15: Marvel Presents Jack Kirby Monster Variants– Full List Inside!

So, it looks like October is going to be pretty terrifying this year.  Yesterday, DC announced that they’d be giving 25 of their books “Monstrous” variants.

Today, Marvel announced that they would be offering “Kirby Monster Variants” for their titles.  They’ve hired talented artists such as Paul Pope, Cliff Chiang, Mike Del Mundo, and Jeff Lemire to pay homage to the legendary Jack Kirby, whose imaginative monsters inspired a generation of artists.  Comicbook.com revealed some of the covers earlier today.

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Awesome Android by Erica Henderson (Doctor Strange #1)

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Groot by Mike Allred (Guardians of the Galaxy #1)

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Rommbu by Eric Powell (Karnak #1)

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Infant Terrible by Paolo Rivera (Amazing Spider-Man #2)

Check out the full list of covers below:


 

Title Monster Artist
A-Force #5 The Crawling Creature (Tales to Astonish #22) Marguerite Sauvage
All-New, All-Different Avengers #0 Devil Dinosaur (Devil Dinosaur #1) David Marquez
All-New, All-Different Point One #1 Nezarr, the Calculator (Eternals #7) Paul Pope
Amazing Spider-Man #2 Infant Terrible (Fantastic Four #24) Paolo Rivera
Ant-Man #1 Scarlet Beetle (Tales to Astonish #39) Tradd Moore
Captain America: White #3 Jinni Demon (Thor #137) Glenn Fabry
Contest of Champions #1 Xemnu the Titan (Journey Into Mystery #62) Dan Brereton
Doctor Strange #1 Awesome Android (Fantastic Four #15) Erica Henderson
Extraordinary X-Men #2 Yeti (Black Panther #5) Phil Noto
Groot #5 Quonian (Fantastic Four #97) Christian Ward
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Groot (Tales to Astonish #13) Mike Allred
Civil War #5 Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom (Journey Into Mystery #75) John Cassaday
All-New Hawkeye #1 Elektro (Tales of Suspense #13) Jeff Lemire
House of M #4 Kraa the Unhuman (Tales of Suspense #18) Dave Johnson
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Orrgo (Strange Tales #90) Michael Del Mundo
Invincible Iron Man #2 Fin Fang Foom (Strange Tales #89) Mark Brooks
Karnak #1 Rommbu (Tales to Astonish #19) Eric Powell
Ms. Marvel #19 Wrecker’s Robot (Fantastic Four #12) Cliff Chiang
New Avengers #2 The Blip (Tales to Astonish #15) Simon Bisley
S.H.I.E.L.D. #11 Poker Face (Strange Tales of the Unusual #7) James Stokoe
Sam Wilson, Captain America #2 Zetora (Journey Into Mystery #57) Tony Moore
Spider-Gwen #1 Hypno-Creature (Tales of Suspense #23) Francesco Francavilla
Spider-Man 2099 #2 Ulvar (Journey Into Mystery #63) Chris Samnee
Uncanny Avengers #1 Mangog (Thor #154) Geoff Darrow
Uncanny Inhumans #1 Vandoom’s Monster (Tales to Astonish #17) Art Adams

 

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2. The Book Review Club - Always October

Always October
Bruce Coville
Middle Grade

In breaking with my world tour of literature from Down Under to Italy, I decided on a good, ole-fashioned monster book that doesn't even take place in this world...much, Always October by Bruce Coville.

Admittedly, it would seem this has a Fall slant to it, but no!, Always October is another world, a world inhabited solely by monsters who arise from human nightmares. Ghoulish, right?

But no! not ghoulish, not entirely. The monsters are actually nice, some of them anyway.

Basic Plot: A baby is abandoned on Jacob's doorstep with a note asking that someone take care of it. Jacob and his mom take said baby in. He's sweet and adorable so they name him Little Dumpling. But alas, when the moon is full, Dumpling turns into a full-fledged monster.

Methinks Coville has spent many an hour with small children.

As it turns out, Little Dumpling isn't just your run of the mill abandoned on the doorstep monster-baby. He is actually the savior of the world of monsters and humans, and there are monsters out to get him. Jacob and his friend, Lily, must travel (are first chased, actually) to Always October, world of monsters, in an attempt to save Dumpling from the bad guys, only to discover they have to cross back into the world of humans and hide Dumpling to keep Always October and the human world from total annihilation. The journey there and back again is a monster-style Candy Land with a River of Doom and Bridge of Doom and Veil of Tears and Queen of Sorrow and CliffHouse.

The action and fast-moving plot aren't what made me choose this book for my review, though (or the need for a good horror read during the doldrums of summer!). It is Coville's use of alternating first person POV between Lily and Jacob. I was excited to find a middle grade with alternating POV. I'd tried the trick before myself, and I was eager to see what someone with Coville's writing chops had done comparatively.

To keep the characters and POV separate, each chapter is labeled (Jacob), (Lily), (Jacob), etc underneath the chapter title. Coville gives Lily a quirky metaphoric vocabulary with a decidedly B-horror movie bent, while Jacob has physical quirks, e.g. he has to tap the wall three times when going upstairs, or he taps his fingers against his thumb to calm down. It's a pretty ingenious approach, connecting with expressive trends within this middle grade age group.

Nevertheless, I found myself flipping back to the front of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating, and I began to wonder why. Why does alternating POV work seemingly so much more easily in YA vs. MG? I came up with a couple of possible reasons: 1) the dual characters in YA, as in this MG, tend to divide up along gender lines, but in the YA case, love enters into the dynamic, and so we readers get two different viewpoints on love. 2) It helps that in the dual YA I've read, somebody usually is turning into, say, a werewolf, or other monster. The human/monster dichotomy goes a long way in keeping characters separate. 3) I've also read adult lit with alternating POV when both characters are of the same gender. Usually, in that case, age tends to differentiate characters and their views of the world are thus seen through the lens of more or less life experience.

Despite these de facto differences that may make it easier to write more distinctly different older protagonists, I still believe alternating POV can work better in middle grade. I'd love to hear from anyone who has read Always October and whether they had the same experience, or if you've got a suggestion for a middle grade title in which the alternating POV worked well. I'm on the hunt!

For more great summer adventures, paddle (here in the midwest anyway) over to Barrie Summy's website!


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3. Monster to the Max



Exciting news!

Jolly Fish Press has acquired my middle-grade fantasy series Monster or Die and will be publishing the first book, From the Grave, in Fall 2016. Editor TJ da Roza fell in love with my wacky and wonderful monsters with his first read—and who wouldn’t.  

Frightful and fun.
Delightful and deadly.
These creatures bring a whole new meaning to monster.

Be sure to follow along the journey to publication. With monsters in charge, most anything might happen.



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4. Monster Day at Work, by Sarah Dyer| Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Monster Day at Work, written and illustrated by Sarah Dyer. Giveaway begins April 25, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 24, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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5. #655 – Bigfoot is Missing by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt & MinaLima

bigfoot cover

 

 

Bigfoot is Missing!

J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt (Children’s Poet Laureates, past and present)
Illustrated by MinaLima (Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima)
Chronicle Books          4/1/2015
978-1-4521-1895-6
40 pages      Ages 7+

 

“What beast stalks the dim northern forests?
What horror tunnels under the sands of the desert?
What monster lies in wait beneath murky lake water?

“Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm, the Loch Ness Monster—these and many more creatures lurk within these pages. Are they animals yet discovered? Are they figments of imagination? Only eerie whispers and sinister rumors give us hints at the truth.

“Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis (2011-2013) and Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt (2013-2015) team up to offer a tour of the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend—the enticing, the humorous, and the strange.”

bigfoot-is-missing_int_bigfoot

Review

“CRYPTOZOOLOGY is the study of hidden animals, or those whose real existence has not yet been proven.”

Have you ever wondered about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or any other cryptid? If so, then this interesting picture book is for you, regardless of age. Is this nonfiction or fiction? That will depend on whether you believe any of these extremely unusual creatures are real, or from the imagination.

bigfoot-is-missing_int_loch-ness-monster

I do love the layout of the book. Reading feels like a world tour of the odd. You must look everywhere to find the poems: missing posters, park signs, classified ads, and on plastic bottles stuck in the mud of a swamp. Immediately, you will realize an ingenious poet—uh, two ingenious poets—wrote Bigfoot is Missing .

Kids will enjoy this book, especially if they like the weird and unusual. The illustrations are colorful renderings of the cryptid’s home, be it park, ocean, or roaming the United States. Despite the subject matter, not a single scary page or poem exists in this kid-friendly picture book. Bigfoot is Missing  is a great choice for April Poetry Month. For those unsure what to believe, the authors included a short descriptive history of each creature.  Chronicle Books offers a teacher’s guide, in line with several common core areas.*

bigfoot-is-missing_int_chupacabra

BIGFOOT IS MISSING. Text copyright © 2015 by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt. Illustrations copyright (2015) by MinaLima. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Bigfoot is Missing at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryChronicle Books.
Learn more about Bigfoot is Missing HERE. (check it out!)
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Meet the former Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, at his website:  http://www.jpatricklewis.com/
Meet the current Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, at his website:  http://www.poetry4kids.com/
Meet the illustrators, MinaLima, at their website:  http://www.minalima.com/
Find more picture books that are wonderful at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/
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*“Correlates to Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration, 2-5.2; Presentation of  Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.4, 2-5.5; Reading Standards for Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.7” (from Chronicle Books Poetry Picture Books teacher’s guide)
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Poetry, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: Chronicle Books, cryptids, cryptozoology, forlklore, J. Patrick Lewis, Kenn Nesbitt, MinaLima, monsters

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6. Halloween Circus Time-Lapse Animation

It’s interesting to me how some ideas take time to marinate, while others click right away. The Halloween Circus concept came late last year after the Quest For The Ore Crystals. The story concept was entirely different at the time. After a while, the project went to the back burner until recently. Out of nowhere the genie hit me on the head and I scripted the first draft of Halloween Circus.

One of the fun parts for me is the creation of the cover of a new project. Who knows if this cover will stick or not, but it was enjoyable to work on. Check out the time-lapse video below and let me know your thoughts. Ciao.

 

Here’s the final image from this session:

Talbot-Toluca-Halloween-Circus-Cover2

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7. Review: Emergence by John Birmingham

John Birmingham delivers in spades in the first book of his explosive new trilogy. Dave Hooper is not your typical hero. In fact he is a bit of an arsehole. He works on the oil rigs and blows most of his pay packet on booze, drugs and women much to the ire of his very-soon-to-be […]

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8. Monster Week: MARILYN'S MONSTER SNEAK PEEK!


And to conclude Monster Week '14, here's some preliminary art from my upcoming picture book, MARILYN'S MONSTER by the great Michelle Knudsen and published by the extraordinary Candlewick Press. Coming to a bookstore near you in MARCH 2015!




HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



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9. Monster of the Week: Thursday!


0 Comments on Monster of the Week: Thursday! as of 10/30/2014 3:49:00 PM
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10. Bedtime Monsters: Josh Schneider

Book: Bedtime Monsters
Author: Josh Schneider
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4-8

Bedtime Monsters is a new picture book by Josh Schneider, who won a 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for Tales for Very Picky Eaters. Bedtime Monsters is a fun story about using your imagination to conquer nighttime fears.

By day, Arnold pretends to be a New York-destroying, animal-eating monster. But when bedtime comes around, he worries about "the monster that comes out at night and bits off toes." His pragmatic mother says: "I'm sure he's just as scared of you as you are of him." Arnold is then visited by a series of monsters, each of whom is afraid of the next, right up until his mother's supposition proves to be indirectly true.

Bedtime Monsters is written with short, declarative sentences that lend themselves to a suspenseful tone. Schneider uses carefully selected vocabulary words to make the sounds of the night come alive. Like this:

"Arnold and the terrible toe biter looked into the dark.
Arnold looked to the left.
The terrible toe biter looked to the right.
The bed made a squeaking noise.
The radiator made a glinking noise.
The closet door made a creaking noise."

There is plenty of dialog, which I think also helps to make it a fun read-aloud (parents can do monster voices). The monsters have creative names like "winged fargles." 

Schneider's watercolor, pen-and-ink, and colored pencil illustrations show Arnold's early pretendings via sketched outlines of the pretended elements surrounding the real elements (e.g. Arnold, with the outline of a monster around him). The monsters who visit Arnold, however, are shown as fully colored, three-dimensional creatures, supporting the conceit that the visits from the monsters are real. This works well, because it makes Bedtime Monsters into a straight-up story, and leaves any message about conquering one's fears in the background where it belongs. There's a humorous bit at the end where we see the last monster pretending to be Arnold. 

Striped PJ-clad Arnold shows a range of emotions, ranging from afraid to annoyed to proud, via both facial expression and posture. His nighttime room is shown with a twilight purple background, against which the monsters stand out clearly. 

I see Bedtime Monsters being popular with kids who are afraid of the dark, as well as with kids who like playing monster (are there any who don't?). As an adult reader, I like the subtlety of the message, and the way "he's more afraid of you than you are of him" plays out slowly over the course of the book. I also like the matter-of-fact authority of the mother (if only it were really that easy), and the general sense of fun of the text. Recommended for home and library purchase.  

Publisher: Clarion Books (@hmhkids) 
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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11. Halloween Skype Contest Finalists! Please Vote!

Wow, I was blown away by the creativity of the kids who entered my Halloween Skype monster contest! I asked them to draw the monster they’d like to purchase at The Monstore, and they came through with some very useful companions, just right for doing tricky things around the house. In fact, I’d like to borrow all of them!

It was tough to pick just five finalists, but here they are, in no particular order.

Please leave a comment voting for your favorite entry #. The monster with the most votes will win a Skype classroom visit with me on Halloween! 

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MONSTER #1
REPRESENTING MS. ROSENBERG’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
MS. GO EYES by JULIA B.!

skypecontestjuliab

I like how Ms. Go Eyes can dance with Julia whenever she pleases, plus this monster can reach high to get the most coveted snacks in the cabinet. Of course, Ms. Go Eyes loves THE MONSTORE book, too! Congratulations, Julia!

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MONSTER #2
REPRESENTING MS. MELLIN’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
TRASH MONSTER by SIERRA V.!

skypecontestsierrav

Well, Trash Monster can certainly find a welcomed place in my home. I like how neat and environmentally conscientious he is. And he’s so brightly colored, he’ll fit right in with my decor. Congratulations, Sierra!

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MONSTER #3
REPRESENTING MS. MACCRI’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
BULLEYE by NATHAN H.!

skypecontestnathanh

Considering that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, I think everyone could use a friend like Bulleye right now. He’s so fierce-looking, he just has to stand there and bullies will steer clear. Congratulations, Nathan!

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MONSTER #4
REPRESENTING MS. ABATE’S 1st GRADE CLASS
SPARKLES by KATIE F.!

skypecontestkatief

As Sparkles is already aware, we could all use a little more sparkle in our lives. Everything she touches glitters and shines. What a happy-making monster! Congratulations, Katie!

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MONSTER #5
REPRESENTING MS. BROWN’S 1st GRADE CLASS
DAGA BY DOANH!
skypecontestdoanh

Ms. Brown’s class got very creative and used shapes to create their monsters. They even counted up all the shapes. I’m impressed! This monster’s needed in my house because my daughter does not like to eat meat. It merely touches her tongue and she spits it out.  What’s a mom to do? Maybe she will follow Daga’s example. Congratulations, Doanh! (And wow, what neat handwriting!)

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Skype monster contest. It was so difficult to choose the finalists because all the creations were terrific. I’m sincerely blown away by the creativity expressed in this exercise!

Kindly comment below with your # monster choice by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th and I will announce the winner on the 28th!

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON HALLOWEEN!


12 Comments on Halloween Skype Contest Finalists! Please Vote!, last added: 10/23/2013
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12. Post Holiday Doldrumoids

duldromoid5 450

We’ve always known of their existence, but for the first time ever, caught in mid listless, despondency, is what experts commonly refer to as the Post-holiday Doldrumoid…in the flesh……or rather, in the doodle.

No matter. It’s official. We have a Doldrumoid pandemic on our hands. They are here and we have got to deal with them.

Some effective methods for coping with these ubiquitous yet unwelcome creatures are as follows:

1. Ignore them. Doldrumoids have been known to eventually lose interest in their host and reluctantly disappear after a week or two.

2. Keep that crunchy Christmas tree up for another month, along with the exterior icicle lights and the inflatable snow globe on your lawn. Do this while ignoring the fact that the holidays are over. This method seems to keep the Doldrumoids at bay, but leaves the door wide open for Lackus Deselfrespectus spors to take hold.

There are no easy answers, but…

3. For those of us who need to get back to business… pronto, there are some drastic measures that can be implemented. Take tree and exterior lights down, box up Christmas decorations, shove said boxes up in garage rafters, eat salad, go to the gym and then actually make that deadline for your employer/client as opposed to staring blankly at the computer monitor (close mouth, wipe drool off chin, mind don’t get any on the keyboard.)

In the event none of the above methods prove effective, one can always hold on until February 14 when a virulent strain of Guiltus Cupidus overcomes the weakened Doldrumoids, offering minimal relief to some sufferers.

This has been an important public service announcement. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Another redraw and a repost from a few years ago. Thought it might be apropos.


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13. Ten Monsters in a Bed


Do you like burps, slurps, snores or sneezes? How about monsters? What about monsters that burp, slurp, snore or sneeze (and fart)? Well, then, here's the book for you- Ten Monsters in a Bed!



A fun, colorful, noisy picture book- perfect to read before bedtime! It's published by Templar Publishing, the same wonderful UK publisher that I illustrate the shark series- Harry Hammer for!

 Templar's description-


In this play on '10 in a bed', 10 monsters are very squished on a bunk bed. On each spread, a monster gets pushed out on to the floor, where readers can press them to hear the fun sounds they make, for example: snoring, scratching, burping, slurping, sniffing and farting.

In each spread, a different noisy monster is kicked out of the top bunk bed by his fellow monsters, where the reader can press a button to activate that monster's noise.



Some near-final sketches of the ten monsters-

Pick up your copy here-

Templar Publishing
Book Depository
Waterstones
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Some early nice reviews-

Read it Daddy!
Red Reading Hub

PS- Sorry for the long time of (8 months!) lack of blogging- I've been posting all news on my Facebook and Twitter but I'll try to add more big news here when I can!

My Facebook Page
My Twitter Page

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14. Coming Soon!: Moonflower by Angela Townsend

moonflower

Natasha remembers little from her Russian childhood, other than the lingering nightmares of her mother’s tragic death. So when someone close to her hands her a one-way ticket to Russia, along with the deed to her family farm, and then is brutally murdered, she has little confidence about what awaits her in that distant land.

With doubt and uncertainty, Natasha has no choice but to leave her life in America for an unknown future. Once overseas, the terrifying facts as to why she was really summoned home come to light.

Fact one: Monsters do exist.
Fact two: The only thing keeping those monsters out of the world is an ancient mural hidden below her family’s farm.
Fact three: The mural that keeps the evil out of the world is falling apart.
The final fact: It’s up to Natasha to restore it and save the world from a horror unlike anything seen before.

Luckily, Natasha isn’t alone in her mission. Three Russian Knights are tasked with protecting her from the demons as she restores the mural. And leading the Knights is the handsome and strong Anatoly, who seems to be everything Natasha could hope for in a man. Unfortunately, there is one huge problem. Her Knights are forbidden from having relationships with the artists they protect, and Anatoly is a hardcore rule follower. But rules cannot stop the way she feels.

When a horrifying demon breaches the barrier and pulls Anatoly inside the mural, Natasha can’t help but charge, once again, into the unknown—this time to save the man she secretly loves. Now on the demons’ turf, she risks her own life to free the very one who is supposed to be protecting her. Little does she realize that if she should fail, it could mean the destruction of the very last barrier shielding mankind. Will Anatoly refuse Natasha’s help? Or will he finally realize, when love is at stake, the rules will be broken.

COMING MARCH 31, 2014!

 

You can add Moonflower to your list on GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20924104-moonflower


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15. #517 & 518 – The Sugary Sherburts by Heather Ellis, age 10 AND The Thing about Things by Cheryl Chen, age 17

CaptureThe Sugary Sherburts

by Heather Ellis, age 10

illustrated by James Ellis

978-1-48950776-1

Age 5 to 8   28 pages

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“Herbert Sugary-Sherburt has just finished his magnificent chocolate rock masterpiece. When he gets home from work, there is a big disaster at the chocolate factory. How did it start raining hundreds and thousands in Thornton? And how on earth did the Sugary-Sherburts get involved? Kit and Kat are on the case. Will they be able to save the families and their homes in time?”

Opening

“A long time ago in a very frosty village called Thornton, there lived a family called the Sugary-Sherburts.”

The Story

The Sherburt family lived in a small village supported by one industry, chocolate. Herbert Sherburt worked at the chocolate factory in the village. One day, after constructing a gigantic ball of chocolate, Hebert strolled home. Later that evening, a commotion started outdoors and ended with the huge chocolate ball Herbert had made at work ramming through the front of his house. With half of the house was gone, Mom Charlotte needed to think of a solution because the kids (Kit, 6 and Kat, 7), could not get to sleep until the house was fixed. She sent her children out to collect as much candy as they could carry, which Charlotte used the candy to rebuild their home. Everything was fantastic . . . until cold Thornton became unexpectedly warm.

Review  [continue reading]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

thing about things coverThe Thing About Things

by Cheryl Chen, age 17

978-1-49440746-9

Age 7 to 9   30 pages

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“There is nothing worse than being ordinary. At least, according to seven-year-old Joey Jones. When Joey gets picked not first, not last, but right in the middle for playing dodgeball at school, he feels unspecial and unwanted. But through an encounter with a certain monster who has been hiding in his bedroom all along, Joey learns that everyone, including Thing, is special in their own way.”

Opening

“The kids of Mrs. Larson’s second grade class were splitting up into dodgeball teams that day on the playground.”

The Story

Seven-year-old Joey finds himself picked just before Sheldon—“Smell-don” chosen last—for a game of dodgeball at school. Joey wanted to be first choice and that thought had him tossing and turning in his hammock that night. Joey loved his new hammock. He could see everywhere, even under. Then came the noises.

“Thump. Thump. Thump.”

As Joey watches, the moonlight turned into The Thing. Thing is not a scary monster despite his seven eyes and extra-large fangs, but Joey doesn’t yet know this. He runs for the door tripping on a toy instead. Thing tells Joey he had a bloody knee and then scoops him up. Joey bites down hard on Thing’s arm upsetting the monster, who was afraid Joey wanted to eat him. Joey tells Thing to go home tp his family. Thing tells Joey Things do not have families.

“As a Thing, you are just like every other Thing.”

Thing sadly says he is nothing special but Joey protests saying Thing was the only Thing living in his bedroom.

Review [continue reading]


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Picture Book Tagged: Cheryl Chen, chocolate factories, Heather Ellis, James Ellis, monsters

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16. Even Monsters …, by AJ Smith | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Even Monsters ..., by A.J. Smith. Giveaway begins April 6, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 5, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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17. Storytime: Mother’s Day round-up, part 1

  Ladybug Girl and Her Mama by Jacky Davis & illustrated by David Soman Ladybug Girl loves her mama, and can’t wait to spend the day with her. They plant flowers in the garden, share a special lunch, and enjoy a favorite movie. Together-time has never been so sweet. Just right for Mother’s Day! My …

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18. Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone): Laini Taylor

Book: Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, Book 3)
Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 624
Age Range: 13 and up

Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the final books in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. (See my reviews of Book 1 and Book 2). If you have read the previous books, you will certainly wish to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I think that it wraps up the series in a quite satisfactory manner, while leaving the door open for other books set in the same world. 

As in all of Laini's books, the prose in Dreams of Gods and Monsters is rich and evocative, particularly when addressing love and longing. The characters are so fully developed that even when they surprise you, you find their change/growth consistent. The world-building in this series is very strong, with this third book in particular making the history of Eretz (and Earth as conceived by Laini) more clear. The plot is full of twists and surprises, including a character newly introduced in the final book who plays a pivotal role. 

I will confess that I had to put this book aside about half-way through, and read something else. The characters were facing so much suffering that I needed a break. But once I came back to Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I read eagerly to the end, and was pleased by the interweaving of plot strands as well as the personal resolution for Karou. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes (though in truth one could open this book at random and find something lyrical and worth quoting on nearly every page):

"Out of betrayal and desperation, amid hostile beasts and invading angels and a deception that felt like an explosion waiting to happen, somehow, here was a beginning." (Page 30, Karou)

"So much to rue, but to what end? All unlived lives cancel one another out. She had nothing but now. The clothes on her back, the blood in her veins, and the promise made by her comrades. If only they would keep it." (Page 110, Karou)

""My wife likes to say that the mind is a palace with room for many guest. Perhaps the butler takes care to install the delegates of Science in a different wing from the emissaries of Faith, lest they take up arguing in the passages."" (Page 274, a Professor of Science)

"No one would understand it, but who cares? She'd just glare at them until they went away. That worked in almost any situation." (Page 419, Zuze) 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a must-read conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. If you haven't read the first two books, and you enjoy fantasy novels with strong characters (particularly strong female characters) and lavish world-building, you are in for a treat. Gather up all three books, and immerse yourself in Laini Taylor's world of angels and monsters, battles and resurrections, suffering and love. 

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (@LBKids) 
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Source of Book: Purchased it on Kindle

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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19. #558 – Monster Needs His Sleep by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb + Giveaway

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Monster & Me™

Book 2: Monster Needs His Sleep

written by Paul Czajak

illustrations by Wendy Grieb

Scarletta Kids         4/15/2014

978-1-938063-26-8

Age 4 to 8        32 pages

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“In this silly bedtime story, it’s time for bed, and Monster needs to go to sleep. But he just keeps finding more things to stay awake for! It isn’t until Monster admits he is afraid of the dark that he finds a glowing solution to his nightmare problem. In this playful, rhyming story, Monster shows kids that with a little help from a friend, the dark isn’t so scary after all. The Monster & Me™ series helps kids build character, social, and emotional learning skills through entertaining and memorable real life situations”

Opening

“Monster needs to get his sleep. It’s time to go to bed. But when I said it’s sleepy time, he roared, “Let’s play instead!”

Interview with Boy and Monster. If you have not read this, it is worth checking out! Click HERE.

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Review

In the first book in the Monster & Me series, Monster Needs a Costume, it is Halloween and Monster cannot decide what to wear. He tries on several costumes, all of which are great for Monster, but none of which he wants. In the long awaited follow-up, Monster Needs His Sleep, Monster simply needs to go to sleep. Boy must be exhausted after caring for Monster all day, but he has one more thing to do before tomorrow can arrive: get Monster in bed and asleep.

Monster is stubborn and strong—not to mention large—and knows how to get his way. But Monster is also a kind-hearted soul who loves Boy. Monster is really not a monster at all. Just like most two-year-olds, Monster is a sweet creature that sometimes jumps into his monster disguise. Do these excuses sound familiar: I’m still playing; one more story; I need a snack; I need a drink? Yup, kids will identify with Monster. Boy does a good job of moving Monster along, in much the same way parent’s move their little ones to bed and sleep.

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The illustrations are fantastic with oodles of details to delight your child—and you! The rhyming story is fun to read aloud. The words leave your tongue as if they were meant to slid off and amuse your child. The rhyming will help hold kids’ attention while they enjoy this silly story and time with you. Monster and Boy are a great team and Boy a wonderful monster-parent. Monster Needs His Sleep is the perfect bedtime story to help your child close his or her eyes and fall fast asleep dreaming of their own Monster.

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COMING SOON!  Monster Needs a Christmas Tree, September, 2014.

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MONSTER NEEDS HIS SLEEP. Text copyright © 2014 by Paul Czajak. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Wendy Grieb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Scarletta Kids, Minneapolis, MN.

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Monster Needs His Sleep is now available from AmazonB&NiTunesScarletta Kidsyour local bookstore.

Meet the author, Paul Czajak, at his website:   http://paulczajak.com/

Meet the illustrator, Wendy Grieb, at her website:   http://wendygrieb.tumblr.com/

Check out Scarletta Kids at the publisher’s website:   http://scarlettapress.com/scarletta-kids/

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Also by Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb

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Monster Needs a Costume

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monster needs his sleep

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ENTER TO WIN a copy of Monster Needs His Sleep from Scarletta Kids!

  1. Leave a comment.
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  3. Check out a blog or two from the CBW Giveaway Blog Hop, then return here and in this comment section, tell me what blog you left a comment and the blog number (A MUST for verification.)

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Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Contests-Giveaways, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Poetry, Series Tagged: bedtime, children's book reviews, Children's Book Week celebrations, going to bed and stalling, monsters, Paul Czajak, Scarletta Kids, Scarletta Press, Wendy Grieb

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20. #596 – Jack the Boogey is My Real Name: the Truth About “The Boogeyman” by Chase and Davon Washington & Ana-Gabriela Stroe

CoverbigJack the Boogey is My Real Name: the Truth About “The Boogeyman”

by Chase and Davon Washington & Ana-Gabriela Stroe, illustrator

Bedford House Books        2014

978-0-9960916-0-2

Age 4 to 8       34 pages

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“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only a second to lose it. Why is it that we are so quick to judge before giving people (or monsters in this case) the benefit of the doubt? There is nothing that feels more wonderful than being recognized for all of your hard work. However, when that recognition does not come, does it make the task a hand any less important? Sometimes the very thing that we are scared to encounter can be the thing that moves us forward. Facing a fear can mean the difference between failure and success. With that in mind, we thought that a good place to start would be with the wrongfully accused “Boogeyman.”

Opening

“A long time ago, someone called me the Boogeyman, the name stuck. Maybe I should take the time to formally introduce myself . . . I’m Jack the Boogey.”

The Story

Jack the Boogey, protector of children’s sleep, is a monster. Yes, monsters haunt children by living under their beds, hiding out in closets, and maybe even tickling them and then hiding when the child wakes up afraid of the dark. Those monsters are afraid of Jack the Boogey. Jack is the night patrolman who keeps children’s dreams from becoming nightmares. Nasty monsters do not like Jack. Jack ruins all of their nighttime fun. So what is a scary monster to do? Unionize.

One fateful night, Jack the Boogey was hiding in a closet waiting for monsters to shoo away, when a bad monster showed up. Jack pounced on the monster, but there were more, many more. The monsters were waiting for Jack, and they had a plan. Instead of running, the monsters turned on the bedroom lights, screamed, and then ran. The two children awoke, saw Jack, and then they screamed. Jack tried to explain, but it was useless. Jack the Boogey was now Jack the Boogeyman.

The next day, the two frightened kids told their friends all about the monster Jack the Boogeyman, their friends told their friends, those friends told their friends, and now friends are telling their friends and will until there are no friends left to tell that Jack, is the Boogeyman. From that night on, while monsters ruined kids’ sweet dreams, Jack stayed home in bed, depressed. Would Jack ever return to protect his charges? Will monsters continue to harass children, scare them silly, and make them scream until they can no longer utter a sound? How many more nights will children make parents look into closets and under beds looking for the elusive monsters?

Review

The Boogeyman. Definition: an imaginary monster that causes fear, especially in children; regarded as hateful, evil, or frightening; an imaginary evil creature used in stories for frightening children.

jackJack the Boogey is NOT the Boogeyman. Monsters maliciously maligned dear Jack. They wanted him out. As in gone. Permanently. They settled for inflicting anguishing mental pain that so debilitated Jack that he became bedridden and depressed. Yes, some monsters are very frightening. Jack is not one of them. Not many know about boogies, nor how they protect children and adults. I did not know. Nor did I know that a gang of marauding monsters had bullied Jack. Yet they did. Kids will enjoy learning of Jack the Boogie.

The illustrations of Jack and the monsters look cartoonish. Best not to scare children. The monsters do not look as scary as many of them are. Again, best for children. Jack the Boogey-man is a pale blue little guy with rosy cheeks, bright white eyes with small pin-point pupils, and two purple horns atop his head. Before the attack, Jack wore a constant smile that radiated from rosy check to rosy cheek. He looked like a janitor with his key ring hanging off his belt. If he ever wore pants and bent down, well, you get the picture. Jack was harmless except toward monsters. The real monsters that tear apart sweet dreams, hide under beds, and cause mayhem.

2The one negative is the end pages. Instead of adhered to the inside front and back covers, they flap in the air as additional pages. Poor planning in the constructions phase.

Jack’s story is difficult to believe, but kids will immediately understand and empathize with Jack. Bullies are the same, be they in a schoolyard or in a dark bedroom, late at night. The monsters easily fooled the frightened children who immediately told their friends to be careful. Of course, as time went on, the story of Jack the Boogeyman became embellished, and now hoards of children and adults are afraid of boogies, the very monster sent to protect them from monsters. It is a shame really, but the story needed told.

There is a redemptive moment for Jack. He misses the quiet breathing of sleeping children and hates the sound of their screams. Eventually he decides protecting youngsters—and some of us older kids—is more important that his bruised ego and returns to duty, much to the distress of many really scary monsters. Jack puts others before himself, does the right thing, and deflates his bruised ego. The monsters, who had become arrogant, once again run from boogies like Jack.

kiddsJack the Boogey is My Real Name is the debut children’s book for both authors and illustrator. The story is imaginative but a bit wordy, yet easy to read aloud. It will become a nighttime favorite. Right before parents drop to their knees for an under-the-bed monster check.  Jack has a mission statement and an official wallet identification card. He is the real deal of imaginary monsters. You’ll never see him as he protects you, but he is there. Young children going through the monster phase may feel comforted when reading about Jack and his protection skills. Nothing in the story is scary or nightmare inducing, making it the perfect anti-monster remedy.

JACK BOOGEY IS MY REAL NAME: THE TRUTH ABOUT “THE BOOGEYMAN.” Text copyright © 2014 by Chase and Davon Washington. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Ana-Gabriela Stroe. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Bedford House Books, Brooklyn, NY.

Buy Jack the Boogey is My Real Name at Amazon—B&N—Bedford House Books—your local bookstore.

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Learn more about Jack the Boogey is My Real Name HERE.

Meet the authors, Chase and Davon Washington, at their website:   http://www.jacktheboogey.com/

Meet the illustrator, Ana-Gabriela Stroe, at her blogs: http://cargocollective.com/fluffylefluff  http://blog.gessato.com/2011/08/05/around-the-world-with-ana-gabriela/

Find more books at the Bedford House Books website:  http://bedfordhousebooks.com/ 

Ana-Gabriela Stroe’s portfolio:  http://www.dailyinspiration.nl/the-portfolio-of-ana-gabriela-stroe/

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Filed under: 3stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Debut Illustrator, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Ana-Gabriela Stroe, Bedford House Books, Boogeyman, bullies, Chase and Davon Washington, children's book reviews, monsters, monsters under the bed and in the closet, picture book

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21. #612-613 – Monster Knows I’m Sorry and Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites

Here are two wonderful board books for the youngest kids out there ready to open a book or two. Both are colorful and made me laugh. First up, an appropriate book for the mess my shotty computer has caused.

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9781479522019.

Monster Knows I’m Sorry

written by Connie Colwell Miller

illustrated by Maira Chiodi

Picture Window Books          3/06/2014

978-1-4795-2964-3

8 x 8 18 pages

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“Monsters are at Plooble School. There’s time for work and play. Monsters make mistakes at times. “I’m sorry” is easy to say.”

Opening

“At Pooble School the monsters play. They also learn the words to say.”

Review

The monsters at Plooble School are a fearsome bunch. From one eye to three eyes or no eye at all, these monster will not scare the little reader. Every monster wears a smile and is glad to be at school. The words to learn today are “I’m sorry.”
All the monsters are seated at their desks, except for one. This monster is goofing around, but when he realizes what he is doing, he faces his classmates and says,

“I’m sorry, friends. I’ll calm down.”

I’m sorry is used in many ways.

“I’m so sorry you feel bad.”
“Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot that rule.”
“I’m sorry, that wasn’t fair.”

FOR REVIEW USE

What a great way to help young children understand how and why one says, “I’m sorry.” The monsters are funny, kind, and considerate. What wee one does not want to go to school like their big brother or sister? Now, they can go to school at Plooble School with the friendliest monsters seen around books this year. In addition to Monster Knows I’m Sorry, there are three more manner books: Monster Knows Excuse Me, Monster Knows Please and Thank You, and Monster Knows Table Manners. Each book is colorful and uses fun situations to help little children understand the concept of that particular book. I really like this series. I think kids will like the series and may just learn some manners faster than they might otherwise learn them.
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But we are not done. No, not yet. Now we have the biggest beast know to man—the elephant. Meet Eddie and Ellie.

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9781410953551.

Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites

written by Daniel Nunn

llustrations by Steve Walker

Heinemann Raintree         8/29/2014

978-1-4109-5355-1

8 x 8 18 pages

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“Eddie and Ellie are good friends. But sometimes, Eddie and Ellie can’t stop arguing. You see, everything that Eddie likes . . . Ellie likes the opposite!”

Opening

“This is Eddie the Elephant. And this is Ellie the Elephant. Eddie and Ellie love animals! But they can never agree which ones are best.”

Review

Eddie and Ellie are the cutest elephants you will ever see anywhere. I love their big white curious eyes and the green bow atop Ellie’s head. Eddie and Ellie are so adorable a stuffed toy companion of each would be irresistible to hugs. Oh, who would not enjoy a “real” Eddie and Ellie sitting on their bed ready to show them some terrific animals? If only they could agree!

Eddie likes BIG animals like white polar bears. But Ellie likes SMALL animals like lizards. (I’ll go with Eddie on this one.) Poor Ellie is cross-eyed watching the lizard crawl up her long trunk. Yuck! Some kids will love it and it is funny to see. Eddie likes HEAVY animals like the rhinoceros, but Ellie likes LIGHT animals like the lemur. (I’m with Ellie, light is best for a pet.) Back and forth, these two elephants compare their likes to one another. One likes DIRTY animals while the other likes CLEAN animals. One likes animals that live in COLD places and the other likes animals that live in HOT places. (Hot, definitely wins.)

one to use with review

Kids will get more than a few animals to admire while Eddie and Ellie counter each other. By book’s end, young children should understand the concept of opposites. Young kids will love Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites. They never argue, just compare their likes to the other’s likes. Eddie and Ellie smile, stand up on two legs raising their arms in excitement, and seem to have a good time with the other animals. Ellie rides a hippo and Eddie admires the long neck of a giraffe. Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites is another cute board book from Heinemann Raintree/Capstone.

.Now, off with you. Go get your own Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites and of course Monsters Knows I’m Sorry. Go on. They are waiting for you. Don’t keep monsters waiting. Those elephants will remember how fast you came for them. Now, shoo!

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MONSTER KNOWS I’M SORRY. Text copyright © 2014 by Connie Colwell Miller. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Maira Chiodi. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Picture Window Books/Capstone, North Mankato, MN.

Buy Monster Knows Manners series at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryCapstoneyour favorite bookstore.

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Learn more about the Monster Knows Manners series HERE.

Meet the author, Connie Colwell Miller, at her website:    http://conniecolwellmiller.com/

Meet the illustrator, Maira Chiodi, at her website:    http://mairachiodi.com/

Find more board books at the Picture Window Books website

an imprint of Capstone Books

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EDDIE AND ELLIE’S OPPOSITES. Text copyright © 2014 by Daniel Nunn. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Steve Walker. Reproduced by permission of the publisher Heinemann Raintree, North Mankato, MN.

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Buy Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryCapstoneyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about the Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites HERE.

Meet the author, Daniel Nunn, at his facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/danielnunn

Meet the illustrator, Steve Walker, at this website:    http://stevejwalkerstudio.blogspot.com/

Find more board books at the Heinemann Raintree website

an imprint of Capstone Books
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USE TOGETHER


Filed under: 4stars, Board Books, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: board books, Capstone, children's book reviews, Connie Colwell Miller, Daniel Nunn, Eddie and Ellie’s Animal Opposites, elephants, Heinemann Raintree, Maira Chiodi, manners, Monster Knows I’m Sorry, monsters, opposites, Picture Window Books, Steve Walker

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22. BIG BAD BUBBLE

How Could This Perfect Bubble Be Scary?


This new title, Big Bad Bubble is by picture book power duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.   They are known for Dragons Love Tacos and Secret Pizza Party.    The cover grabs your attention right away with a yellow monster with sharp teeth falling over at the sight of a tiny bubble.   They reader learns that bubbles do not disappear when they pop. Instead they reappear in La La Land where monsters live.  The monsters are terrified of bubbles. One monster is most frightened of all and thinks the bubbles will kill them.  However, all the monsters soon learn the joy of bubbles.   This fun story will have the attention of young readers who have faced a fear and they will be delighted at the end when the monsters learn to face the fear and love bubbles.  

Children will want to play with all sorts of bubbles after reading this title.   Check out the book trailer below and order your copy today.  

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23. Burp or Treat... Smell My Feet!


Happy (almost) Halloween everyone!

Sorry for the extreme lack of blog posts and news on here. I've been very busy with lots of projects- including my first book as author. I usually just post quick news to my Facebook Page and Twitter. So feel free to follow me there, but I'll try to blog news more often. Lots of good monstery mayhem coming up!

The new George Brown , Class Clown book came out way back in August but it's Halloween themed, so I thought it was the right time to post about it. The brilliantly titled- Burp or Treat... Smell my Feet! is a double book Super Special and full of spooky and silly mischief from GB and his pals.



Some interior illustrations- 





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24. Monster Week Tues!


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25. Monster Week Wednesday!



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