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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Childrens Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,506
1. Flight School – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Flight School By Lita Judge Published by Athenium Books for Young Readers, April 2014 Ages: 3-7 Themes: penguins, flight, courage, dreams Opening Lines: “I was hatched to fly’” said Penguin,                   … Continue reading

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2. Rainbow Bird

Here are some illustrations from a recent project - an Australian folk tale about the rainbow bird, commonly known as the rainbow lorikeet. In the tale, the lorikeet which starts out grey obtains his beautiful colors from the rainbow.






0 Comments on Rainbow Bird as of 4/17/2014 8:25:00 PM
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3. Children’s Books Illustrators Contribute Pieces to ‘Imaginary Friends’ Art Show

BeekleSeveral children’s books illustrators will contribute pieces for the “Imaginary Friends” art show hosted at Gallery Nucleus.

The participating artists include Chu’s Day illustrator Adam RexThe Shabbat Puppy illustrator Jaime ZollarsAstronaut Academy graphic novelist Dave Roman, and more. The show will open on April 19th and run until May 11th.

The theme of this exhibition celebrates the main character of Dan Santat’s latest picture book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. Santat announced on Facebook that he will share limited prints, unpublished art, and design sketches from the book for the display.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Interview at All Creativelike

I was so happy to be interviewed by Leigh Medeiros at All Creativelike. I have worked with Leigh as a consultant and she is fantastic. I highly recommend that you check out All Creativelike and the many ways that Leigh works with artists. Coaching, products for artists, Retreats & Workshops, Classes, Research/Story Notes-she does it all. Subscribe to her blog to see the many way that she works with creative people and be sure to read the testimonials-she is the real deal.



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5. #541 – Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub by Darci Pattison & Kitty Harvill

abayomi the brazilian puma.

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub

by Darci Pattison & Kitty Harvill, illustrator

Mims House           2014

978-1-62944-001-9

Ages 6 to 8       32 pages

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“From the award-winning team that brought you WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS, comes a new heart-warming story of an orphaned puma cub. A mother puma, an attempt to steal a chicken, and an angry chicken farmer—the search is on for orphaned cubs. Will the scientists be able to find the cubs before their time runs out?

In this “Biography in Text and Art,” Harvill takes original photos as references to create accurate wildlife illustrations. Pattison’s careful research, vetted by scientists in the field, brings to life this true story of an infant cub that must face a complicated world alone—and find a way to survive.”

Opening

“In the far south, in Brazil, a puma cub was born in the early spring month of October 2012.”

The Story

Brazil, once covered by deep forests, now houses more people in cities and villages. To keep their cars moving more sugar plantations took over much of the remaining forest. Pumas, and other wild animals, must live closer to man and find it more difficult to hunt for food. One night, a female puma spotted some chickens in a farmer’s barn. Their normal diet of armadillos, capybaras, and ring-tailed coatis were getting hard to find. The puma needed to feed her cub and the chickens were easy prey. But she fell victim to a farmer’s trap. Before wildlife officials could get to the farm and safely remove the puma, she died.

Alone, hungry, and no mother to help, her cub had to hunt, but would he know how? Wildlife officials followed the mother puma’s trail trying to find her cubs but came up empty. Twenty-three days after his mom left and never returned, dogs a mile away from home cornered the cub. Dehydration and starvation ravished the cub’s body, stealing the energy he needed to walk. He staggered from place to place. This time wild life officials safely caught the cub, naming him Abayomi, which means happy meeting in the Tupi-Guarni native language. Scientists did what was needed so this little guy could return to the wild. Were they successful?

mom in wildlife officials cage

Review

The team of Darci Pattison and Kitty Harvill have made their second successful wildlife children’s book about a fascinating survivor. The first, Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, garnered starred reviews. Abayomi will undoubtedly do the same. With simple language and thoughtful prose, the story of Abayomi will come to life for schoolchildren, many of whom live in urban areas and have never seen a puma. Though the death of the mother puma was most likely gruesome, Pattison wrote,

“. . . She fought back. Once, she hit her head hard against the side of the cage and was dazed. After hours of struggling, she died.”

The illustrations were just as easy on the subject. You see the puma in a cage and some chickens in a roost, but nothing more. Not one spittle of blood mentioned or seen. Children should not experience nightmares after reading Abayomi. All of the illustrations are soft watercolor renditions of actual locations in this true story, completely vetted by experts. Each image is realistic yet gentle on the eyes. The scrawny cub, shown from the backside, does not noticeably display starvation. The hips are noticeably larger due to a lack of abdominal body fat, yet not so much as to scare even the youngest children.

starving cub

The book concludes with some facts about Abayomi, the Corridor Projects, and urbanization, along with some resources children can look up for more details. Children could write an interesting book report after reading Abayomi the Brazilian Puma. Pattison and Harvill make a splendid team that children, parents, and teachers should not ignore. Conservation and wildlife experts and scientists fact check Pattison’s research. Harvill uses photographs taken on site when painting her illustrations. The pair have made clear choices that make the books assessable to younger children, while still interesting older kids. (Yes, like myself.)

As with Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma should be in school libraries and homeschooling bookshelves that cover wildlife, conservation, or the changing world. As starting points, Abayomi and Wisdom, are great resources for children. While not an expansive missive, these two books will guide students to other resources and further knowledge. The two books also allow younger children to learn about these subjects in a mild, non-scary manner that will peak curiosity, not provoke nightmares.

mom and cub

ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA: THE TRUE STORY OF AN ORPHANED CUB. Text copyright © 2014 by Darci Pattison. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Kitty Harvill. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mims House, Little Rock, AK.

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Learn more about Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma HERE.

Get your copy of Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma at AmazonB&NMims Houseask for it at your local bookstore.

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Meet the author, Darci Pattison, at her website:   http://www.darcypattison.com/

Meet the illustrator, Kitty Harvill, at her website:  http://www.kharvillarte.com.br/artist.html

Find more Mims House stories at the publisher’s website:  http://mimshouse.com/

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Also by Darci Pattison

Saucy and Bubba, a Hansel and Gretel Tale

Saucy and Bubba, a Hansel and Gretel Tale

Vagabonds

Vagabonds

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.Also by Kitty Harvill

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time

Vida Livre (published in Brazil)

Vida Livre (published in Brazil)

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Also New from Mims House

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle

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abayomi


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Series Tagged: a changing world, Abayomi, Brazil, conservation, Darci Pattison, forest depletion, Kitty Harvill, Mims House, pumas, wildlife, wisdom

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6. Look Who is Moving & Shaking

Bee Movers and Shakers 041614

 

We are so proud of our children’s book, The Bee Bully.  He is being featured currently on Bookbub.com through April 17th and he is being very well received.  He is currently #4 on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers List for kindle and he is #1 in the Children’s Ebook category.  He has been reduced to $.99 during this promotion period and has over 80 five-star reviews.  Be sure to get a copy today and see what all the buzz is about!

 

beecover

 

 


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7. Pubslush’s Little Reader Snapshot Contest

littlereader

Book crowdfunding site Pubslush is running a contest to support Children’s Book Week, encouraging parents to submit photos of their children reading their favorite books.

Entrants can post the photos on the Pubslush Facebook page or share them on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #littlereader and #CBW14. Viewers can vote on their favorite photos on the site.

The photos will be categorized as Newborn to 4, 5-9, 10-12 and group classroom. The winning photos, which will be announced on May 20th, will earn prizes.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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8. Where In The World: How One Class Used Google Maps to Explore the Vanishing Cultures Series

Throughout April, we are exploring how Jan Reynolds’ Vanishing Cultures series can be used in the classroom to teach about the environment, geo-literacy, global citizenship, and nonfiction. Today, we want to share how one school has integrated geo-literacy with digital and visual literacy.

Michael Willis and the Kaleidoscope Team at Williston Central School in Williston, Vermont helped their 3rd and 4th grade classroom build a map on Google Maps of the cultures featured in the books. Through this project, students were able to investigate topics and themes in the Vanishing Cultures series, practice deriving information from other formats and develop visual literacy skills, and gain rich social studies/ geography content knowledge.

The Google Maps assignment is an exciting way to engage reluctant or struggling readers, facilitate the participation of visual learners and English Language Learners, or provide an extension opportunity for ready or advanced learners. The 3rd and 4th grade students hope that in addition to deepening their own knowledge about traditional cultures, their project provides useful and valuable information for others.

From educator, Michael Willis: My 3rd and 4th grade team wanted to get an author in to share their experiences with our young writers.  Ideally we wanted a local person and sure enough Jan Reynolds, who lives in Vermont, was available.  First we hit up our library as well as the others in our area and got our hands on Jan’s Vanishing Cultures series.  We read aloud her books, visited her website, and then Jan came.

She shared a movie about her work and travels with our whole team in the auditorium and then spent time answering questions in smaller groups.  It was during one of the small presentations that Jan mentioned how great it would be to use Google Maps to highlight her book locations.  I thought it would be a great project for our students, and they were motivated to do it by the idea that the project could be shared with other students who read Jan’s books.

We used Google Maps to plot out where in the world Jan’s Vanishing Cultures books take place, and put together this map.

Map

Williston Central School Google Earth Map for Vanishing Cultures series

Here’s what the students had to say about the project:

What was it like doing the Google Earth Project?

Grace – I thought that it was really fun because we were working with a famous author.  We had to get all of her books and look up where she had been using Google Earth.

Isabelle – We dropped pins on the locations using the facts and map information on the inside covers of her books.  Doing this project motivated us to have to read her books and learn about the cultures that she visited.  It made me appreciate how lucky we are to have the things we have.

Logan – The map project was really interesting.  It helped me understand how many different places Jan had been.  I didn’t know that there were cultures vanishing from the Earth.  It made me want to learn more about the cultures.  The books were helpful because she had really been to visit the people, talk to them, and learn how they live.

Addie – We used the summaries and the content from the books to add a brief description to the pins which marked the places.  This project motivated us because we wanted to help others learn.  It felt special because we were the first ones to do this and actually get published!  Plus, I didn’t even know these cultures existed!

Myleigh – The motivating part of the project was that I don’t usually get to explore the world. How often do people get to learn about this kind of thing?  It was almost like traveling the world reading Jan’s books.

What do you think is the purpose of Jan’s books?  What do they help you realize?

Sean – Her purpose was to teach children about the Vanishing Cultures and what is happening to them.  I think Jan’s message was not that they need our help because they have been surviving for a long time.  She was telling us that we should respect them, their way of life, and to respect their land.  I learned that they are just like everyday people.  To them, I bet we would look like the outsiders.  Everyone has traditions that they do.

Addie – We are lucky to have so many resources to use.

Grace – It made me realize how different these cultures are from us

Isabelle – It also made me realize that we all are not that different.  We may have different stuff and live in different parts of the world, but we all are people.

Grace – We can help other cultures by protecting the regions where they live

Addie – We realized that while our cultures are different, we shouldn’t force them to disappear because we all have something to learn from each other.  We could be more conscious of our waste and our pollution and that could help them keep their culture and survive

Isabelle – I think that it is important to respect different cultures because it’s how they live.  The Celebrations book helped me learn that different cultures celebrate different holidays

What was it like having Jan visit?

Myleigh – It was really cool to see Jan’s presentation and to hear her describe her trips first hand.  It really helped me put myself in her shoes and understand what she was going through.  When I was hearing her use such descriptive language it felt like I was right there with her.

Katrina – I think that since she came it really helped us understand that you should appreciate what you have – even though the people in the other cultures don’t have a lot they still seemed happy.  The people in those cultures work hard to live off the land and work with nature by using their resources. It really helped me learn about cultures that I didn’t know about.

For more resources on the Vanishing Cultures series, check out:

How are you using the Vanishing Cultures series in your classroom? Share your thoughts, experiences, and strategies that have worked in your school and community! Post a comment below or email Lee & Low at curriculum@leeandlow.com.

 

 


Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: CCSS, children's books, classroom projects, close reading, common core standards, digital literacy, diversity, Educators, ELA common core standards, environmentalism, geography, geoliteracy, reading comprehension, visual literacy

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9. #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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10. Going Global



I received some great news from my publisher that all of my books are going to be available for sale in China and other Asian markets.  Guardian Angel Publishing has finished negotiating with an agent to distribute English language books.  This is coupled with a mandate in China that all school children should learn English.  So I’m really excited that my books will be open to such a huge market.  Also in the works is distribution to India and other emerging markets where my books are not available.  I’ll keep you posted on any further developments.  But I couldn’t wait to spread the word.  How cool is that?

0 Comments on Going Global as of 4/14/2014 1:43:00 PM
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11. GOING ON AN ADVENTURE WITH GARY PAULSEN

Today’s wonderful post comes from my blogger friend Marriah K. Nissen.  Here’s Marriah:

Every night at bedtime, my daughter and husband crack open a book and wander through a story someone else has dreamed up. My daughter is more of the fairytale fanatic, enjoying journeys that take place in a realm that I read about as a child. Her most recent personal read has been the original story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. My husband, on the other hand, tends to be more of a realist. The middle ground they both decide on means that the book they choose has to have adventure. Lately, the type of adventure they’ve both been seeking has centered on the works of one author in particular – Gary Paulsen.

The fact that my husband enjoys Paulsen’s work comes as no surprise. I never read any of Paulsen’s books while I was growing up, and when I saw the tomes lining my shelves after I got married, I wasn’t surprised to see why I hadn’t. Paulsen has a flair for writing more from the young boy perspective, which sadly enough, I feel is lacking in MG and YA literature today. That’s not to say that works aren’t being written for boys, but the most popular ones tend to hinge on fantastical elements and far-fetched storylines, like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, both of which still hit the tops of most MG and YA lists. What’s missing in these books is real-life adventure, something a boy can go out and experience on his own.

You might be asking then why my daughter loves Paulsen’s books so much. Mainly because the stories hinge on that big “S” word we all like to find in our novels – Suspense. In Paulsen’s stories, like Dogsong, The Voyage of the Frog, and Hatchet, the main characters are boys, but these are kids around her age, kids going through real-life conflicts and hardships. They find themselves in uncertain, often times harrowing circumstances, and she’s just hoping that they survive in the end. She loves anything that will take her on a great adventure as seen through the eyes of a child around her age.

In Dogsong, young Russel Suskitt leaves the modern world with nothing more than a dog sled and a chance to find his own “song” inside himself. In The Voyage of the Frog, David Alspeth sets out to fulfill his uncle’s final wish and sets sail in the Frog.     voyage of Frog

And in Hatchet, Brian Robeson finds himself stranded in the wilderness of Canada and must somehow stay alive. In all of these stories, unknown adventures await the main characters, adventures they never knew they’d encounter. What makes these stories so wonderful to read is that the characters come out better for it on the other end:

 Russel finds his “song” and helps a young girl along the way.       Paulsen_-_Dogsong_Coverart

 David, even after being lost at sea, knows he’s fulfilled his uncle’s last request.

 Brian not only survives the wilderness, but teaches others how to as well in The River, the sequel to Hatchet.

In all, Paulsen writes stories about survival, something for which children today still hold a keen interest. Not only do they get to read a story that puts them on the edge of their seat, but they also absorb a learning experience about how to hack your way out of the wilds of Canada or survive a storm at sea in a tiny sailboat. If we are to believe as writers the old saying, “Write what you know,” much like Paulsen did, then we should also take it one step further. Add a little excitement and suspense into the mix. After running away from home at the age of 14, Gary Paulsen used his experiences in his writing when he embarked on a life filled with odd jobs, such as traveling with a carnival, being a sailor, and entering the Iditarod.                     200px-Hatchet

When he decided to write about his journeys in life, he managed to do it with a suspenseful flair. To this day he remains a mainstay in the young adult market and continues to show his “intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them.”*

If you’ve never taken the opportunity to read one of Paulsen’s many stories, then I encourage you to do so. You just might glean a little insight into your own life.

*According to: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/garypaulsen/about.html

Marriah K. Nissen is an adult historical author and co-author of the award-winning blog The Writing Sisterhood. Her previous work has won both regional and national competitions, including the Soul-Making Keats Literary Awards, the Southwest Writers Literary Contest, and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. For the third straight year, she has recently received the New Mexico Press Women’s Award for best informational blog. She has her M.A. in French language, literature and culture and is an active member of SouthWest Writers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is currently working on her latest novel, which centers on the building of the first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

 


1 Comments on GOING ON AN ADVENTURE WITH GARY PAULSEN, last added: 4/17/2014
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12. #538 – Two Little Birds by Mary Newell DePalma

birdcover.

Two Little Birds

by Mary Newell DePalma

Eerdmans BfYR         2/14/2014

978-0-8028-5421-6

Age 4 to 8            32 pages

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“Each little bird has a part in nature’s grand scheme: the earth tilts, the seasons change, and songbirds arrive in new places just as insects hatch, fruits ripen, and flowers bloom. In this story, two plucky young birds launch into their first journey, which proves to be full of challenge, peril, and wonder.”

Opening

“After much effort . . . two little birds emerge from their eggs.”

The Story

Two little birds enter the world and learn to do what little birds like them have always been doing: they eat, they play, and they grew up. Then, seeing a flock of birds heading south, the birds decide to join the journey. They flew farther than they ever had. Home was getting farther away and then a thunderstorm struck. The two little birds tumbled and lost their way. The flock is gone. The two little birds need to find their way to the flock or to home. Can they find their way?

Review

A simple story of nature that is more complex than one might think. The birds leave at night, when all songbirds leave for the migration south. The little birds want to go. Something in them must say it is time. They go, but find the flying is harder than they have ever done, but that they are stronger than they thought. The story of Two Little Birds is about two little song birds, yet, kids can find ways to relate to the little birds. It is time to change schools. The family has moved, or it is time for high school. The child’s confidence is less than normal. The situation is new and they wonder if they can make it in this new place, but then, they find that with a little hard work they can make it, just like the little birds. Relating this story to sports is far easier. A new team, will the child make it? A little harder to play at the newer level, but with some extra effort, a bit more hustle, and keeping their eye on the ball, the child fits in just fine, just like the little birds fit into their society.

nest

The story is also cute, one that young children will enjoy. The birds flew and flew and then tumbled. How many times do young kids tumble? Children will relate to the little birds, who muster on until they found their way, just like children bounce up and keep on going. [Not like an energizer bunny, but the analogy works.] Two Little Birds will make a very good story time or bedtime story, and is perfect for the kindergarten or preschool class.

The illustrations are wonderful. Mostly in blues and pastels, the author/illustrator used a mixed-media collage, which is most evident in the first and second spreads, where the birds lay upon the nest in their eggs or just hatched from them. Knowing this is a collage makes it easier to find those layers, such as the map of South Carolina as the birds tumble from the sky, thanks to lightning and thunder booms. Knowing the artist’s process, methods, or materials makes the illustrations more interesting.

flew and flew

Young children will love the two little birds, who are unnamed—at least until the first reading. I imagine kids will have those two birds named in no time. The beautiful books will catch your eye with these two newborn birds leaving the nest. You can read Two Little Birds multiple times without any loss of enthusiasm, perfect for parents with young children who become hooked on one book for an undetermined amount of time. I hear that includes most every child, so it is a good thing the story is interesting and a nice read aloud.

After Two Little Birds, Ms. DePalma writes a little on the migration of songbirds. She explains that songbirds, orioles in particular, migrate at night from the north to the Yucatan Peninsula, which includes an 18-hour nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. It is no wonder the two little birds became so tired. Your child and you do not need to make this flight to enjoy the migration. Simply read Two Little Birds.

lost

TWO LITTLE BIRDS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Mary Newell DePalma. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.

Learn more about Two Little Birds HERE.

Get your copy of Two Little Birds at AmazonB&NEerdmans BfYRyour local bookstore.

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Meet Mary Newell DePalma at her website:   http://www.marynewelldepalma.com/

Find more books that are fascinating at Eerdmans BfYR website:   http://www.eerdmans.com/YoungReaders/Default.aspx

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

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Also by Mary Newell DePalma

Uh-Oh!

Uh-Oh!

Bow-Wow Wiggle-Waggle

Bow-Wow Wiggle-Waggle

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NEW at Eerdmans BfYR

Jesus

Jesus

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

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2 little birds


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: bird migration, children's book reviews, Eerdmans BfYR, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, finding your way, growing up, Mary Newell DePalma, songbird migration, songbirds, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

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13. #537 – Don’t Turn the Page by Rachelle Burk & Julie Downing

dear

DROP EVERYTHING (YOU’RE DOING) AND READ,

D. E. A. R.

Today is Drop Everything And Read Day celebrating children’s books and reading. The folks at the official website have this to say, “Our assertion around here is that reading, whether you’re on your own or cozied up on the couch with your kids, is so much more fun and rewarding than just about anything else . . .”

So, stop what you are doing and go read with a kid or by yourself. Read and then come right back here . . . you still have this review to read. OR, BETTER YET! Read this review and then go read a book. Reading is reading, right?!

dont turn the page.

Don’t Turn the Page!

by Rachelle Burk & Julie Downing, illustrator

Creston Books               6/10/2014

978-1-939547-06-4

Age 4 to 8              32 pages

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“Like most children, Sami puts off going to bed for as long as possible. But reading a story about Little Bear’s bedtime ritual inspires Sami, just as the young reader will be inspired by this soothing story and clever book-within-a-book conceit. A bedtime book that both parent and child will relish reading one more time, Don’t Turn the Page! features a surprise ending that reinforces the sense that it’s bedtime for everyone.”

Opening

“’How about a bedtime story?” Mama asked. Sami shook her head. “I don’t want to go to bed. I’m not tired yet.’”

The Story

Sami is not tired and not ready for bed. Mama reads her a story, but Sami only wants her to read one page. In the story, the Little Bear is yawning and getting ready for bed. After the first page, Sami said, “Don’t turn the page.” Mama places a bookmarker between the pages and closes the book. Then Sami asks a question about how bears get ready for bed, but Mama doesn’t know. They must read one more page, but only one more. Sami continues to ask questions and Mama reads the bedtime book slowly, page-by-page, and question-by-question. Soon, Sami becomes interested and allows Mama to read one more page, but only one more “don’t turn the page,” while Sami brushes her teeth. In the story, Little Bear gets a goodnight kiss from his mama.  Sami is ready and says, “Don’t turn the page.” Will Sami ever go to sleep?

Review

Don’t Turn the Page! It’s time for the review, so please do not turn the page. Sami and the bear stories are both bedtime stories about going to bed. Sami is not ready, or so she says. Her body language is saying something different. Mama is patient and seems to be letting Sami make the decisions. The story of Sami the hedgehog is simply adorable as is that of Little Bear. The two stories mirror one another. As Little Bear puts on his jammies and fuzzy slippers Sami puts on her jammies and fuzzy slippers.

LB brushing teeth

It is difficult enough to write one publishable story but the author wrote two for this picture book. The story of Little Bear could be a solo book kids would love. I suppose the question to ask is which story do you like best? That of Little Bear or of Sami Hedgehog? Kids and parents might differ but I choose them both. The illustrator did a fantastic job on both stories. Each are different in style and color. I really like the turned up page corner on Little Bear’s right side page. It is just waiting for Sami to tell her Mama to turn that page. The ending is quite a surprise and may have you thinking about reality. At the very least it will give you a huge smile, as will the back of the book.

Young children and parents will love this dual bedtime story. The story of Sami going to bed and the story of Little Bear going to bed, flow well together as you read from one story to the next. For those kids not ready for bed, not yet tired, or simply determined to stay awake, Don’t Turn the Page will send them off to where sweet dreams lay waiting. Mama, or Daddy, will enjoy ready this story in a story. The title, Don’t Turn the Page, is possibly not the best title because all you will want to do is turn the page. I’m betting your little one will want these pages turned as well. However, don’t be surprised if the new stalling tactic in your house is “Don’t Turn the Page!”

Sami brushing teethDON’T TURN THE PAGE! Text copyright © 2014 by Rachelle Burk. Illustrations copyright C) 2014 by Julie Downing. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books, Berkeley, CA.

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Learn more about Don’t Turn the Page HERE.

Buy your copy of Don’t Turn the Page at AmazonB&NCreston Booksyour local bookstore.

Meet the author Rachelle Burk at her website:   http://www.rachelleburk.blogspot.com/ 

Meet the illustrator, Julie Downing at her website:    http://www.juliedowning.com/

Find more Creston Books at the publisher’s website:    http://www.crestonbooks.co/

 

.Also by Rachelle Burk

Tree House in a Storm

Tree House in a Storm

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Also by Julie Downing

Mozart Tonight

Mozart Tonight.

No Hugs Till Saturday

No Hugs Till Saturday

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.NEW at Creston Books

Mini and Moo: Hooves of Fire

Mini and Moo: Hooves of Fire

Blood Diaries

Blood Diaries

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Both reviewed here soon!

 

dont turn the page


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: bedtome stories, children's book reviews, Creston Books, hedgehogs, Julie Downing, Rachelle Burk, ready for bed, teddy bears

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14. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: April 11

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.

Book Lists

Stacked: Revisiting YA Verse Novels: A 2014 Guide to the Format http://ow.ly/vwXku #yalit

Always good choices | Waterstones Children’s Book Prizes 2014 | @tashrow http://ow.ly/vwXAV #kidlit

A roundup of Rapunzel retellings from @alibrarymama http://ow.ly/vCtot #kidlit

Diversity

Color Your Bookshelf: 39 Diverse Board Books to Give a Baby or Toddler from @SproutsBkshelf http://ow.ly/vx18R #kidlit

On not stereotyping | Joseph Bruchac responds to "You Don't Look Indian" @CynLeitichSmith http://ow.ly/vwV9z

Entertainment Weekly — Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White — thoughts on @ew article from @lizb http://ow.ly/vzC4X #diversity

Events (National Poetry Month)

Poetry writing for kids: 14 Ideas from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/vzBCc #NationalPoetryMonth

For #NationalPoetryMonth, Five Teen Poet Ambassadors Will Present their Works Across the Country | @sljournal http://ow.ly/vzD4h

Growing Bookworms

Nursery Rhymes: Not Just for Babies! (Activities for older and younger kids)| @ReadingRockets via @librareanne http://ow.ly/vwMHP

How Can a Child Learn to Write in 30 Minutes? (after lots of groundwork) by @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/vwZ7a #literacy

Relevant for many! The Lesson I Learned From My Daughter About Reading Choice by @littlemamab @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/vwWR2

Great advice from @SunlitPages Raising Readers: Teaching Children to Read With Expression http://ow.ly/vzCnu #literacy

Miscellaneous

Fusenews: All you need is love (and books before the age of 3) — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/vCuGS#kidlit

Very cool! See a time-lapse video of LEGO Fenway Park being built | BetaBoston http://ow.ly/vwAqG via @tonkazona #RedSox

MagicAndMLK3My photo w/ Magic Johnson + Martin Luther King III at We Day CA, in blog post by my friend Jonathan White http://ow.ly/vwB90 #WeDay

OK, this is very fun! From @escapeadulthood | Dude Transforms Deck Into Pirate Ship http://ow.ly/vzACo

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

The 9 Most Mischievous Literary Pranksters, Ranked | @HuffPostBooks via @tashrow http://ow.ly/vx0wm

Perspective, people. Thoughts from a mother + author on why she can't respond to everyone's emails from @haleshannon http://ow.ly/vwUtU

Yes (most anyway). Should celebrities stop writing children's books? | The Observer @Guardian http://ow.ly/vzKex via @PWKidsBookshelf

LA Times - 'Fault in Our Stars' writer John Green has a good read on teens, tech by @Gwenda via @PWKidsBookshelf http://ow.ly/vzK3U

How I learned to stop worrying and love the @Kindle @DailyDot via @tashrow http://ow.ly/vx0Th

Schools and Libraries

Nice! New Jersey Librarians Get $116,000 in Makerspace Grants - @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/vzCV6

SummerReadingKids-1Infographic about positive impact of library #SummerReading programs as reported by parents http://ow.ly/i/5a9ww @SantaClaraLib @alscblog

Nice infographic about the positive impact that library #SummerReading programs have on kids http://ow.ly/i/5a9qN @SantaClaraLib @alscblog

Parenting

Food for thought | I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical | @BunmiLaditan @HuffPost http://ow.ly/vwYp1 via @FreeRangeKids

Risky Play: Why Children Love It and Need It | Peter Gray at Psychology Today http://ow.ly/vwWcx

What Parents Should Know About Kids’ Social Networking from @StratfordSchool http://ow.ly/vwXwZ

Programs and Research

News: @Scholastic Launches Classroom and School-wide Registration for Students to Join the #SummerReadingChallenge http://ow.ly/vwJ8h

Join the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge - @CoffeeandCrayon http://ow.ly/vzBqR #STEM

© 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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15. #534 – You Are My Baby: Garden & You Are My Baby: Ocean By Lorena Siminovich

cover postYou Are My Baby: Garden

You Are My Baby: Ocean

By Lorena Siminovich

Chronicle Books     2014

Age up to 4     10 pages

.“Two books in one! Turn the pages of the little book nestled inside the bigger book to match the baby animals to their parents. La-la-chirp! Buzz-buzz! Swish! Splash! Perfect for learning and playtime fun.”

Openings

“You sing a happy song in our leafy tree. You are my baby little hatchling La-la-chirp!

“You crawl on the sandy ocean floor. You are my baby, little octopus. Fizz!

Review

You Are My Baby:  Garden includes animals you will find in your garden or backyard. Animals such as the answer to the opening line above top: a Blue bird and a baby blue bird. You will also find a spider, snail, squirrel, and a bumblebee, all with their baby.

yamb gardenYou Are My Baby:  Ocean includes animals from the sea. In this board book, you will find an octopus (the answer to its opening lines), a seahorse, goldfish, turtle, and a big wale with water spouting out of its blowhole.

yamb oceanBoth books have soft colors, many in a pattern, such as the bluebird made of blue with a white dotted body and a yellow beak with smaller white dots.Each book is also two books in one. The adult animals and the baby animals move independently giving any possible combination as you please. If you want the whale to raise the baby turtle, simply put the two together. Both are easy to handle. Made of thick cardboard, the books—all four—will withstand the toughest of little hands that grab, pull, and drop.

fish1

I really like the two books together. I like the mix and match of the two without carting out a second book. Kids like to match things up. As a kid, I matched up playing cards. One of these books would have been so much more fun. I could have sat in my grandpa’s lap instead of next to him; I could have practiced on my own. Plus, I know from experience, jelly wipes right off these pages.

Both the Garden, and the Ocean version of You Are My Baby series is adorable and will enchant children and peak their growing curiosity of the world around them. The series is a collection of four including, You Are My Baby: Farm and You Are My Baby: Safari. These You Are My Baby books are one other way of interesting your child in books and reading at an early age. Babies like other babies, making this perfect for the child recognizing his or herself in the world.

missing covers 2

YOU ARE MY BABY: GARDEN and YOU ARE MY BABY:  OCEAN. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Lorena Siminovich. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Learn more about the You Are My Baby series go HERE.

To purchase any of the You Are My Baby books go to AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour local bookstore.

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Meet the author/illustrator, Lorena Siminovich at her website:  http://www.lorenasiminovich.com/

Find more board books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

*all illustrations courtesy of Chronicle Books

Also by Lenora Siminovich

You Know What I Love?

You Know What I Love?

Monkey See, Look at Me!

Monkey See, Look at Me!

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New Chronicle Board Books

We're Going to the Farmers' Market

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market

A Tree for All Seasons

A Tree for All Seasons

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you are my baby gardwen and ocean


Filed under: 5stars, Board Books, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Series Tagged: animals, baby animals, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, Lorena Siminovich, matching, relationships

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16. Illustrator Interview – Akiko White

As all my blog followers know, I am a huge fan of the SCBWI and highly recommend children’s authors and illustrators to join and become involved in this society. I apply for and follow keenly their awards, and just as … Continue reading

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17. Sketching ideas in watercolor and ink

A modern family crest for the Scottish Stewarts.

20140408-160700.jpg


0 Comments on Sketching ideas in watercolor and ink as of 4/8/2014 7:35:00 PM
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18. Paddington Bear Returns in New Book

paddingtonbearMichael Bond is bringing back the children’s book character Paddington Bear in a new collection of letters written from the bear to his Aunt Lucy.

Love from Paddington is slated for publication by HarperCollins in November. In the book, the Peruvian bear will recount his world travels and tell how he arrived at Paddington Station in London. In the book, he will also reveal how he met the Brown family and came to live with them.

The new book comes as a film adaptation of the book is also in the works. The film, directed by Paul King and starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, is slated for release in December.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. #530 – My Friend Suhana by Aanyah Abdullah & Shaila Abdullah

suhana.

My Friend Suhana

by Aanyah Abdullah & Shaila Abdullah

Loving Healing Press      1/1/2014

978-1-61599-211-9

Age 6 to 8    30 pages

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 “A simple tale of love and friendship to warm your heart. This is the tale of a little girl who forms a close bond with a child with cerebral palsy. The girl finds that through her art, she can reach her special friend Suhana.”

Opening

“My friend Suhana is like no other girl I know.”

The Story

Suhana has Cerebral Palsy or CP for short. She is a quiet girl who moves little and depends upon others for all her needs. Despite all her limitations, Suhana can communicate. It takes someone special to understand all of Suhana and her needs. The narrator, an unnamed little girl, is trying to be that someone special for Suhana. The young girl, a budding artist, tries to use her art with Suhana. She uses different colors to symbolize Suhana’s various moods. Red equates being upset, blue is calm and pink is love. The young girl rocks Suhana in her arms and shows her the pictures she draws. Both girls are seven-years-old, which is not lost on the young girl.

Review

My Friend Suhana is a sweet homage to a young girl with cerebral palsy from a young girl who tries to be her friend. As narrator, the young girl tells us about Suhana and their relationship. The young narrator displays a great deal of empathy for Suhana, a girl her own age. Suhana’s mother tries to help the young girl understand her daughter. The young narrator volunteers with Suhana each week–

“But for one hour each week I get a chance to rock her in my arms and imagine that she is my special friend!”

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What the young girl fails to realize is that she needs not imagine. Suhana is her special friend and she is Suhana’s special friend. Volunteering at the special needs class, the young narrator begins to understand Suhana through her own art, probably more than Suhana understands what the young artist is trying to say. The young volunteer does not say if she has helped Suhana make her own art, but that would be a great step to take.

As a story, My Friend Suhana falls quite short. The protagonist is the young narrator, telling her own story, but there is no antagonist, unless you consider CP. A teacher tells the narrator that her art can help ease anxiety in others, so the girl starts giving her art to her friends. What changes does this make? Do these kids find relief and does this help the protagonist grow? The narrator is seven-years-old, as was the author when she co-authored this book. She relates her experiences well, but for what reason. What is the story? Where is the conflict that will change her? Who is the protagonist?

2

Rather than go into craft, conflicts, and all that stuff the young writer may not grasp, but a story needs, I would rather say this is a fine attempt for a first book. Putting oneself out there with kids who are so extremely different from yourself is difficult. Then telling the world about it, trying to relate what a great kid Suhana is, turns a hill into a mountain and this young author climbs that mountain gracefully and with much empathy. Aanyah is a great kid.

She realistically explains Suhana’s reactions to things she does not like, “she clenches her fists,” and when happy, “she waves her legs and arms wildly.” When Suhana bumps her head she, “screams unhappily . . . tired from crying, she fell asleep.” For seven years of age, this young girl is extremely observant and insightful. Everything the young narrator mentions about Suhana, I have seen repeated many times by kids with CP I have worked with. It takes a special individual with great empathy and patience to help these kids, even more to be a friend. Which is why I would rather exult the young author’s ability to work with others, her empathy, her patience, and her art, which she uses to help others.

3

My Friend Suhana is not a story. It is a loving tribute to a special friend and as such can be very helpful for other kids to read. Mainstreamed schools are a great place for this work to be available. Volunteer centers that allow kids to help, is another. Obviously, places with cerebral palsy patients are great places for this work, but any place with young children as clients that allows children to volunteer can benefit from having the volunteers read this young writer’s first work. My Friend Suhana may not be a “story,” but it has a lot of heart.

MY FRIEND SUHANA. Text copyright © 2014 by Aanyah & Shaia Abdullah. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Shaila Abdullah. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Loving Healing Press, Ann Arbor, MI.

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Learn more about My Friend Suhana HERE.

Buy My Friend Suhana at AmazonB&NLoving Healing Pressyour local bookstore.

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Meet the author, Aanyah Abdullah at her website: http://myfriendsuhana.com/

Meet author, Shaila Abdullah at their website:  http://www.shailaabdullah.com/

Find other interesting books at the Loving Healing Press  website: http://www.lovinghealing.com/ 

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.my friends suhana


Filed under: 3stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Aanyah Abdullah & Shaila Abdullah, art, cerebral palsy, children's book reviews, CP, friendship, hardships, Loving Healing Press, relationaships, volunteerism

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20. #531 – Peek-a Zoo by Nina Laden

peek a zoo.

Peek-A-Zoo!

by Nina Laden

Chronicle Books        2014

978-1-4521-1175-9

Age 0 to 3    20pages

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“Peek-a mew? Peek-a ‘roo? Peek-a zoo! In this hilarious follow-up to the bestselling board book Peek-a Who, Nina Laden turns her playful eye (and ear) to the animal world. Read the clue . . . guess the animal . . . giggle wildly . . . and repeat!”

Review

Peek-a Zoo. What can I say about this interesting board book? First, when you even open it, you see a pair of eyes encased in blue. What in the world could this be? Check real close. The eyes have long eyelashes. Below the eyes would be a nose, but instead, there are two lines down that have lines moving horizontally from the first line to the second. This cannot be a nose, so what is it? The one big clue is this . . . “Zoo.” It has to be an animal. A blue animal? Well, I give up. I am turning the page . . . oh, my, gosh! It is an elephant! No, not just an elephant, but a kangaroo, a panda, a tiger, and a cockatoo, too.

frame 1 a

Now there is nothing left to do but turn the thick, baby-safe pages and find out what is next in this Peek-a Zoo. The page is orange with black stripes. Maybe it is black with orange stripes. There is also a stripe of orange running down the middle that looks more like a river. What animal has a river of orange running down the middle of . . . what? Its face, its arm, its back, its stomach? Do you know? Me either. I’m turning the page. Whoa! It could be an orange kitty playing with a ball of yarn or a baby tiger. Look at the eyes! They are green and look maniacal. Look at the ears; they are round, not pointy like most kitties. I think this is a baby tiger!

Time to turn the page again. Then again, and again. Each new set of two pages has a new zoo animal for you and your child to guess. Add some ferocious sounds and you will have your child roaring along in laughter. I’ve not seen the first by Nina Laden, titled Peek-a Who, but if it is anything like Peek-a Zoo, I understand why it was a bestseller.

frame 2 a

The illustrations are bright, colorful images kids will instantly recognize. Plus, little ones love animals. I think one reason they like animals is because it gives mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, aunt or uncle, or maybe even big brother or sister, the opportunity to not only read the book, but to add voices as well. Animal voices. What could be better than that? “Roooaar!” How about each page having an “oo” sound one might find in a z-oo, as in a kangar-oo, bamb-oo, and cockat-oo. The “oo” sound is one of those that you can elongate and exaggerate, which is usually good for a smile, if not a laugh. One word of caution: be careful of the last animal, it is the most ferocious of them all.

PEEK-A ZOO! Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Nina Laden. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

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Learn more about Peek-a Zoo Here.

Buy Peek-a Zoo at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour local bookstore.

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Meet the author / illustrator, Nina Laden, at her website: http://www.ninaladen.com/

Find more wonderful board books at the Chronicle Books website:  https://www.chroniclebooks.com/

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Also by Nina Laden

daddy wrong legs

Once  Upon a Memory

Once  Upon a Memory .

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Also by Chronicle Books

We're Going to the Farmers' Market

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market

You Are My Baby: Safari

You Are My Baby: Safari

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Peek a Zoo.

 

 


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Board Books, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: Chronicle Books, Nina Laden, peek-a-boo, zoo animals

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21. What Do Libraries and Poetry Have in Common?

April is the month we will honor and celebrate to very reading/writing related things: Poetry and Libraries.  April is National Poetry Month and also National School Library Month. What better way to celebrate than to gather poetry books from the school library and read aloud in class. This could be a lead-in to having kids write their own poetry.  Ken Nesbitt has a great website especially for kids:  http://www.poetry4kids.com   You’ll find all kinds of wonderful poems, a rhyming dictionary and even poetry contests.  Be sure to check out this wonderful sight.

To learn more about activities to celebrate School Libraries, visit the American Library Association website at: http://www.ala.org


0 Comments on What Do Libraries and Poetry Have in Common? as of 4/7/2014 4:45:00 AM
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22. Capstone Young Readers to Launch ‘Craft It Yourself’ Lifestyle Brand

capstone youngCapstone Young Readers will initiate a new lifestyle brand called Craft It Yourself (CIY)™.

According to the press release, the crafting and lifestyle books that will be published through this venture target tween and teen female readers. CIY launches with the release of seven books that have been previously published by Capstone Young Readers including Planning Perfect Parties, Dessert Designer, and Paper Artist.

Group publisher Ashley Andersen Zantop had this statement in the release: “Our readers amaze us with their creativity, skill, and appetite for new and innovative crafts. Craft It Yourself is a brand readers can count on for inspiration and unique, contemporary projects they can make their own.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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23. On my way…

I am a Traveling artist. I have packed my brushes and am going on my journey. As a traveling muralist/ artist I have to figure out ways to make my time away feel more like home, this time I am bringing my daughter’s “little one” and my son’s Mr. Swiss.

20140407-070644.jpg


0 Comments on On my way… as of 4/7/2014 11:17:00 AM
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24. #533 – The New Old Truck by Jennifer Somervell & Margery Fern

cover.

The New Old Truck

by Jennifer Somervell & Margery Fern, illustrator

Tales from the Farm Publications          2014

978-0-473-27125-1

Abe 4 to 8         38 pages

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“Old truck backfires, graunches gears, won’t start and often has to be towed. Retired, rejected and shut up in the shed, he feels old and useless. Is this the end for Old Truck? Then brother John comes home . . . “

Opening

“Old Truck loved to work. He was happy carting soil. He was excited carting hay. He loved carting children.”

The Story

Old Truck has worked the family farm for many years. Now, he is getting too old to work like it used to, often needing a tow from Blue Truck. Blue Truck was tired of rescuing Old Truck and Dad said it was time to retire Old Truck and get a new one. Despite much opposition from his children, Dad went out looking for a new truck. He came home with nothing new, having gien in to his children. Blue Truck would have to handle the load. Old Truck was retired to the shed, where it sat. One child had been missing. One John came home he asked about Old Truck. Would he be able to help the old, tired, out-of-date truck?

kids riding

Review

Based in a true story, The New Old Truck retells the story of a family’s beloved old-fashioned truck, about to be retired. Old Truck had been a useful truck, but needed replaced with a modern truck. All the kids objected. They loved to ride in Old Truck; one of the first trucks ever built. It had a hand crank, which is not always included in the illustrations. In general, the illustrations are smart, extremely detailed, and are nicely colored. The one-dimensional characters remind me of the thin magnetic “paper dolls” of old that stuck to a special board. Beyond this, the illustrations will entertain young children as the Old Truck goes from a tired, worn-out machine to a crisp sharp machine ready to beat any truck of any age.

Sentences are short and simply structured, making it easy for children to read. There is a lot of dialogue, mostly of the children protesting, which can be fun to read aloud. There is a little confusion with Old Truck’s savior. John is there, protesting with the others, when Old Truck is retired to the shed. An unspecified amount of time passes, Old Truck is a mess and,

“Then one day John came home.”

This sentence implies John had not been around; had not been home. Yet he was. John was around when all the kids, including himself, protested the retirement of Old Truck and the purchasing a new truck. I think this might confuse the children who notice John had been around. How can, “one day John came home?” When did he leave? Where did he go? Why didn’t he rescue the Old Truck earlier? Picky? Maybe, but continuity is important in a story, including knowing where your characters are at all times. If John was there when Old Truck was retired, and he was, then he should know where Old Truck is when he returns.

kidds told of new truck

Young boys will love the story of Old Truck. Old Truck likes carrying around kids, has a nice smile, and often farts, causing black smoke to trail behind it. What little boy wouldn’t love that? Blue Truck is actually rather boring in comparison, though much nicer looking truck. When restored, Old Truck is so beautiful everyone around wants a ride. This shows how much we like our histories and want them to live on. This simple truck spoke of a simpler time; many would like a return to that time.

Parents will appreciate the short history, after the story, including original pictures. Manufactured in Michigan, the 1921 Model 10 Republic truck journeyed to New Zealand, where the author and illustrator’s grandfather bought it in 1938. The truck worked on the family dairy farm until it was retired. The real John restored the truck several times, finally showing the 91-year-old truck at a vintage rally in 2012. There is beautiful photograph of the family farm, showing the snowy Ruahines Mountain Range (New Zealand), in the background. Also included is glossary of words special to Old Truck, such as chassis, crank handle, and graunch (the loud, grating noise of gears not smoothly moving).

old rretired to shed

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THE NEW OLD TRUCK. Text copyright © 2013 by Jennifer Somervell. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Margery Fern. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Tales from the farm Publications, Oxford, NZ.

Learn more about The New Old Truck HERE.

.Buy at author / illustrator website.

Meet the author, Jennifer Somervell and illustrator, Margery Fern at her website: Tales from the Farm Productions:   http://www.talesfromthefarm.co.nz/

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Also by Jennifer Somervell & Margery Fern

The Day Dad Blew up the Cowshed

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new old truck


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books Tagged: 1921 Model 10 Republic, farm life, Jennifer Smervell, Margery Fern, old trucks, relationships, Tales from the farm Publications

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25. Beyond “Did you know…”: Teaching Geo-Literacy Using the Vanishing Cultures Book Series

JillJill_Eisenberg Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

Vanishing Cultures: Mongolia

Vanishing Cultures: Mongolia

Last week on the blog we spotlighted the work of Jan Reynolds, an author and explorer who has written nonfiction for young readers about cultures across the globe. If we had read the Vanishing Cultures series when I was a classroom teacher, my students would have been competing with each other over who knew the most outrageous fact. Did you know the Tiwi, an aboriginal tribe from an island off the coast of Australia, eat mangrove worms fresh? Did you know the Inuit from the Hudson Bay build rock piles that are stacked to look like men in order to scare caribou toward the real Inuit hunters?

My students loved to play the “did you know…” game. That became a popular sentence starter in our classroom. Students would scramble for the latest book or periodical on animals, prehistoric times, and exotic locales. The peregrine falcon, megalodon, and the giant panda were unshakable favorites.

Yet, we don’t want students to know “just facts” as if they are mini-encyclopedias. We aspire for our students to wonder and to investigate how our world works, how we are all connected to our environment and other humans halfway around the globe, and how our actions here affect others way over there.

The Common Core brings a refreshed spotlight to the nonfiction genre in children’s books, challenging publishers, educators, librarians, and parents to present children with high interest, high quality texts. What a time to engage students’ senses, sustain their wonder, and teach them geo-literacy!

National Geographic affirms, “with the rapid pace of change in the 21st century, it is more important than ever that young people understand the world around them.” It has adopted the concept of “geo-literacy,” and even gone so far as to create a community to support and cultivate “geo-educators.”

Vanishing Cultures: Himalaya

Vanishing Cultures: Himalaya

Enjoyed in classrooms around the nation, Jan Reynolds’ collection on at-risk traditional cultures is even more significant and striking today than when the series was first published. The persistent popularity of the Vanishing Cultures series speaks to its captivating power to make geo-literacy learning personal and tangible. This collection supports geo-literacy learning because each book challenges students to examine:

  • the characteristics of each culture
  • what makes this featured culture unique
  • how this group of people has adapted to survive in its environment
  • what challenges this group of people faces
  • the modern human impact (positive and negative) on this traditional culture and the environment
  • why the author would want to share this story with children and create a whole series on this topic

When we educate children about other cultures and geo-literacy more broadly, we are implanting the idea that we learn in order to make better, more informed decisions. Before our students become adults in positions of power, we want them to have practice in pausing and thinking how their choices to construct their community could disturb the environment of another community or animal species.

The Vanishing Cultures books encourage students to reason and reflect critically and deeply about how humans affect other humans and why we all benefit from diversity. As classrooms around the country can attest, Jan Reynolds’ books will not only spark enthusiasm that we hope ignites into lifelong careers and hobbies, but also conversation on what information we need to make decisions that will shape our and others’ health, environment, and well-being.

Vanishing Cultures: Down Under

Vanishing Cultures: Down Under

Classroom Ideas for Comparing and Contrasting Between Vanishing Cultures Books and Teaching Geo-Literacy

(Reading Standards, Integration of Knowledge & Ideas, Strand 9)

(Writing Standards, Research to Build & Present Knowledge, Strand 7 and 9)

  1. How are these cultures similar and different from each other? What actions do these families take in both books to protect their ways of life?
  2. Compare how the challenges of each culture are similar or different.
  3. Compare how the children in each book demonstrate their pride in their culture. Why is it important for the children to feel proud of who they are and their way of life?
  4. What is the author’s purpose in starting each book with the parents telling their child a story from long ago? How does this affect the tone of and set the mood in the series? How does this opening support the central idea?
  5. After reading two or more of the Vanishing Cultures books, what common features or characteristics does a Vanishing Culture book have? If you were to write a book about your family’s culture, what kinds of things happen in a Vanishing Cultures book? What are some things that will not happen in a Vanishing Cultures book? What central ideas and lessons will be in the book?
  6. Have students create a chart to compare different aspects of life across two or more cultures. Write the name of each cultural group being compared on the top of the chart, and list the topics for points of comparison down the left side. Here are some possible topics: Food, Clothing, Climate, Geography, Important Animals, Homes, How Children Help (Chores), Roles of Men & Women, Family Life, How People Have Fun, Beliefs, Means of Transportation, Challenges Faced Today, Celebrations, Honoring Loved Ones. Have students record appropriate information as they read and re-read the texts.
  7. One elementary class created the “Around the World with Jan Reynolds” project on Google Earth. Explore where each of the books takes place. Compare the political map with the satellite map. Reflect on how geography has helped or hurt the survival of these ancient cultures. Students can create their own maps of the different cultures at National Geographic’s MapMaker’s 1-Page Maps.

Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: CCSS, children's books, close reading, common core standards, diversity, Educators, ELA common core standards, environmentalism, geography, geoliteracy, guided reading, Multiracial, Reading Aloud, reading comprehension, vanishing cultures

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