What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'childrens Books')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2015>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: childrens Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 3,013
1. Little Robot Blog Tour

Thanks to First Second Books for providing a review copy and a giveaway for Ben Hatke's latest title, Little Robot, due out this coming Tuesday (09/01/2015)! Read on for my honest review, and remember to check the rest of the blog tour stops along the way for more reviews and chances to win!

About the Book

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

#1 New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages.

 

Visit the publisher's page to view excerpts and find links to purchase the book.

Click here to find out more

 

About the Author

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel trilogy and the picture book Julia's House for Lost Creatures. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. His latest book is Little Robot.

Alethea's Review

Even if you've never read a Ben Hatke book or graphic novel before, you're in for a treat with Little Robot. Hatke's drawing and storytelling style is deceptively simple; at first glance it doesn't seem like there's much going on--muted color palette, subtle lines, mostly wordless panels. But as you turn the pages, a deeper appreciation takes root as you get to know the characters and their quirks. 

A lonesome little girl finds a robot after it literally falls off a truck. Unpacking the Little Robot, she tinkers with it a bit as it seems unsteady and unsure. After parking the little robot in a junkyard car overnight, she returns the next day for adventures and play. Little Robot goes along with her, and for a while things are great--but then a big, mean robot from the warehouse is sent to retrieve the missing unit. As if that weren't enough to deal with, Little Robot doesn't seem to understand the difference between "alive" and "not alive", and starts to look for things that are a little more like him, and a lot less like his new friend.

Hatke deftly illustrates emotion, not just on the part of the little girl--her elation at finding a companion, the enthusiasm she puts into fixing things with her tools (she wears them on a handy utility belt), and her dismay when her new pal seems less interested in her and more interested in an abandoned pickup truck they find. He also infuses personality into everything from a beat up old truck to a perky transistor radio, and admirably does so with an economy of words. Little Robot and various other androids that appear later in the book show varying degrees of sentience, and the interplay between them makes for some funny, but also touching, scenes. Tension builds when Little Robot, Little Girl, and Big Robot's objectives clash and result in some unexpected twists. A few action sequences also liven up the plot, and the little girl has to rely on her wits and mechanical know-how to get out of a tight spot.

Aside from presenting us with spirited, playful art and a compelling tale, Hatke takes a "traditionally" boy topic (technology) and turns it on its ear with a non-white female character as the protagonist, doing so without losing the everyman (or everywoman?) appeal of a darned good yarn. 

5 stars - stay up all night

Blog Tour Schedule

Read Now Sleep Later, 8/31 http://www.readnowsleeplater.org/

Teen Lit Rocks, 9/1 http://teenlitrocks.com/

Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup, 9/2 https://innocencewalker.wordpress.com/

Bibliophilia, Please, 9/3 http://www.bibliophiliaplease.com/

The Book Monsters, 9/4 http://thebookmonsters.com/

Fly to Fiction, 9/5 http://flytofiction.blogspot.com/

Bumbles & Fairy Tales, 9/6 http://bumblesandfairytales.blogspot.com/

Stacked Books, 9/7 http://stackedbooks.org/

Ex Libris Kate, 9/8 http://exlibriskate.com/

The Book Rat, 9/9 http://www.thebookrat.com/

Working for the Mandroid, 9/10 http://www.workingforthemandroid.com/

Heise Reads, 9/11 http://www.heisereads.com/

The Hiding Spot, 9/12 http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com/

Fleen, 9/13 http://fleen.com/

Cuddlebuggery, 9/14 http://cuddlebuggery.com/

Giveaway Time

Win Little Robot by Ben Hatke, prize provided by the publisher, First Second Books. Just enter with the Rafflecopter widget below!

  1. Open to the US only, ends 9/8/2015.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on Little Robot Blog Tour as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. #726 – Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook by ViiiZ

Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook

By ViiiZ*
Quirk Books       8/20/2013
978-1-59474-652-9
160 pages       Age 8—12 +
.
“You’ve never seen a doodle book quite like this one!”
”Wait, you can talk?”

“Photo Doodles combines kid-friendly photographs and cool creative challenges into the perfect canvas for anyone capable of wielding a crayon. Young artists and designers can complete dozens of fun and playful pictures of everything from roller coasters and soda cans to book covers and palaces. Perfect for sketching, scribbling, and coloring outside the lines, Photos Doodles will unleash the aspiring artist inside children of all ages.” [front jacket]

Review
Photo Doodles is a fun-filled book for those kids—and adults—who love to doodle, but may not know how to get started. Similar to writing prompts, each spread contains a one sentence prompt to help you with ideas to doodle your way to a fun, satisfying end. Here are two of those prompts:

download

“Who (or what) is at the other end of the rope?”

2marked

“What outfit will the puppy wear today?”

With 160 pages to doodle and color, it seems the options are endless. From decorating a sea of umbrellas to filling in storyboards with your own story. There is even one many students will find hard to resist:

“It’s your turn at the blackboard . . . what will you write?”

How about “No more math problems,” or maybe “School’s out early today: Leave at noon,” or maybe you would use your turn to make tomorrow a teacher conference day—“Students stay home!”

1

There are plenty of open spaces in Photo Doodles or those kids and adults who can doodle and draw with ease and loads of pages with images to make colorful and expressive, rather than drawing from scratch. A total of 200 pictures await your crayons, colored pencils, markers, or other artistic medium. While marketed for the middle grade set, younger children will enjoy many of the easier prompts in Photo Doodles and adults will love the range of images and prompts.

I enjoyed playing with Photo Doodles. I love to draw, but have a hard time getting started. Photo Doodles made getting started easy and the images and prompts got me thinking of ways to doodle other than the normal doodles in the margin of a page.

3

Coloring books for adults are in every corner of every bookstore online and off, but doodle books that prompt you to create imaginative scenes and messages, like Photo Doodles, is not as common. I think kids of all ages will enjoy Photo Doodles as much as I have.

PHOTO DOODLES: A CREATIVE SKETCHBOOK. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by ViiiZ. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Quirk Books, Philadelphia, PA.

Buy Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook at AmazonBook DepositoryQuirk Books.

Learn more about Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook HERE.
The Sell Sheet can be found HERE.

Meet the authors/illustrators, ViiiZ.
Vahram Muratyan at his website:  http://www.vahrammuratyan.com/
Elodie Chaillous at LinkedIn:  https://fr.linkedin.com/pub/elodie-chaillous/84/79a/462/en
.        . (ViiiZ is the artistic team of Vahram Muratyan and Elodie Chaillous andfounders of ViiiZ, an art    direction and graphic design studio created in 2005 in Paris. They graduated from the acclaimed Parisian design school ESAGPenninghen.)

Find middle grade novels at the Quirk Books website:  http://www.quirkbooks.com/
.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook by ViiiZ, and received from Quirk Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Middle Grade, NonFiction Tagged: art, art prompts, colored pencils, crayons, creativity, doodling, imagination, Photo Doodles: A Creative Sketchbook, Quirk Books, ViiiZ

Add a Comment
3. Brains behind the Brand - Ruff Life

Get to meet the Ruff Life team and listen in to future plans for the brand.


0 Comments on Brains behind the Brand - Ruff Life as of 8/28/2015 11:54:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. An Interview with Monster & Boy — Not To Be Missed!

Today I am honored to have two wonderful guests from the Monster & Me series, including the recently released Monster Needs Your Vote (reviewed here). You might remember them from another interview (read it here). There is no better way to get at the story than from the view point of the characters.

monster-banner-1

Monster and Boy cut to the chase as they answer a few of my hard-hitting questions. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from an interview with a political candidate. Monster is vying for President! Yep, he doesn’t play around folks (well, not much), and aims for the top! Monster’s long-time friend goes along on the campaign trail, giving guidance and help as only Boy can. (NOTE:  Kids, any Boy—or Girl—and any Monster can aspire to this relationship, as enviable as it is.)

HOLD ON, HERE WE GO!

Welcome Monster and Boy. Your new book Monster Needs Your Vote is in bookstores now. The author, Paul Czajak, chose an interesting topic for your 5th book:  politics. What did you think, Monster, when you found out you would be running for president?

m1.

“First off thanks for having me, any opportunity to get the message out I am up for!”

“MONSTER 2016!! Turn your voice into a roar!”

b5“Monster we’re no longer campaigning, remember? You already saved the library.”

m4“Oh yeah, I forgot. Sometimes I forget stuff. Anyway I want to point out when I was running I was my OWN Monster and not an imaginary Monster created by Mr. Paul Czajak. I decided to run for President when I found out I wasn’t old enough to vote. Which is not fair!”

I BELIEVE IN MONSTER 2016!!
Capture

True, at first, you simply wanted to vote. Have you ever voted before that day? I know I’m not supposed to ask, but my curiosity is overpowering my good sense. Which candidate did you vote for?

m1“I never voted before. In fact I didn’t even know what it was until that day. Once I heard about it I thought, “How cool is that?! Being able to voice your opinion on how decisions are made! What an awesome responsibility!” Then Boy told me I wasn’t old enough to vote yet, UNFAIR! So I figured I would run for President and help change that rule.”

Boy has always helped you, like when he helped you choose a Halloween costume, find a Christmas tree, and when he helped you go to sleep. How did Boy help you on the campaign trail?

m1“Well, he’s very good at making posters, and he’s great at coming up with campaign slogans. He created “A chocolate cake on every plate, a pie in every pot!” I thought that was very clever.”

b2.

“Thanks, Monster!”

m4“Even though I really liked that slogan, Dessert For Dinner was probably not the best platform, or issue, to run on. Boy helped me figure out that I should stand behind something that isn’t about what I need but what everybody needs, like a library staying open. But honestly who wouldn’t want chocolate cake for dinner?”

b11s

“I like vanilla.”

m3.

“You’re so difficult.”

Boy, I’m curious again. You have a giant amount of confidence when guiding Monster, but he is, like, 100 times bigger than you. Aren’t you afraid Monster might, well, become a monster?

b5

“I don’t get it? Monster is a monster, that’s why his name is Monster. He can’t become a monster since he’s already a monster. Any idea what she’s talking about?”

m4

“Sorry I wasn’t listening, I’m still thinking about chocolate cake.”

In Monster Needs Your Vote, both of you use some odd words and combinations of words, like soapbox (a box of soap?), oratory, platform, grassroots movement (moving grassroots?), “give a voice” (you can do that?) and “all for naught” (who is naught?). What do these words mean and why are these important when running for president?

m3

“This sounds an awful lot like a “gotcha question.” Where’s my agent?”


b5   
“Monster, you don’t have an agent. Plus, I think she just wants to know how you got such a big vocabulary.”

BottomSpot_DONE_REVISED-copy-copy-150x150.

“Oh! Mr. Czajak teaches me lots of big words. No reason not to use them when the opportunity presents itself,

“New Hampshire, then to Iowa he caused a rousing raucous,
“Speaking to the voters at the primary and caucus.”

b11s

“Monster, no one likes a show off.”

m1

“Tell that to Trump.”

People running for president usually have a running mate, why isn’t Boy your running mate instead of your campaign manager? (Did the author veto that idea?)

BottomSpot_DONE_REVISED-copy-copy-150x150

“He was going to be my running mate!”

“Monster needs a running mate, “So who’s it going to be?”
“Monster said, “My only choice is you for my V.P.”

“But I never got to that point since it turns out you have to be 35 to run for President. Which, again, is unfair! I know, I’ll run for President and change that rule too!”

I don’t recall from your first adventure, Monster Needs a Costume, if we found out where you came from. President Obama had to show his birth certificate to prove he was born in the U.S.  Running for President is tough to do. Did anyone ask to see your birth certificate?

m5“It all happened during a debate with one of the other candidates, I think I still have the transcript.”

“A Monster can’t be President, he has no expertise!
“Who is Monster? Where’s he from? I think he may have fleas.”

“Fleas are not the issue, this is just something that misleads
“This country needs a Leader that will focus on the needs.”

“After the debate the officials asked for my birth certificate which showed I wasn’t 35, dumb rule.”

b5.
“Also, I would like to go on record that Monster does not have fleas. That man was just being mean.”

What I really like about Monster Needs Your Vote is all the other monsters Wendy Grieb brought out. There are some interesting-looking monsters. Monster, there is one that sure looks like he/she could be a relative. Do you know any of these monsters?

m7.

“A lot of them came to my Birthday Party this past April! It was such a surprise when I came home from Pirate Land and found all my friends in the house.”

 

I’m so sorry. I missed your birthday party. I bet it was a frightful affair!  Anyway, I think Monster would be absolutely terrific at any sport or getting fit (kids need that—adults, too). Boy, what is next for Monster?

a1

.

.

“We will focus on Monsters message of “Reading Turns Your Voice into a Roar!” for the rest of the election. Then I think Monster might go to school next fall… His sports career will have to wait a bit. Though he will definitely get involved in something.”

.

m1“Yup, like basketball, or swimming, or tennis, or yoga, or maybe surfing or cheerleading…”

.

Ah, Monster, you are such a dreamer . . . I mean you have great dreams . . . um, what I really mean to say is, “Yes! You go Monster!”  So, is there anything either of you would like to say directly to the readers?

BottomSpot_DONE_REVISED-copy-copy-150x150.

.

“Read! Read! Read! And support your local library!”

b2.

“What he said, it’s why he’s the best candidate.”

.

That is a fantastic message! Monster and Boy, thank you for stopping by . . . Oh, wait! I forgot to ask one BIG QUESTION. In Monster Needs Your Vote (you have my vote)—DID YOU WIN?

Capture2

m3.

“Well I guess someone didn’t read the book. It’s only 350 words, it’s not like it would take that much time.”

b5.

“Monster, I think she’s just pretending to have not read the book to build up suspense. You know, a bit of suspended disbelief on the part of the interviewer.”

a2“Suspended what?”

“Suspended Disbelief, when something doesn’t make sense, but you let it go for the sake of the story. You know, kind of like if someone wrote a story about a monster who’s too young to vote but then decides to run for President.”

m4.

“You lost me.”

Monster and Boy, thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Reviews once more. It is always a delight and a surprise!

Boy and Monster, what a pair. You got to love them and I believe you will while reading the Monster & Me series. This is one series that has never disappointed me. The stories and illustrations are full of humor, bold images, and a gentle message no one, not even a Monster, tries to blast at you.

You can start the Monster & Me series with their the latest, Monster Needs Your Vote (reviewed here), as each book can stand on its own (and no, Monster, I do not mean that they actually stand on their own, but that you can read any story without having to read the story before it).

Soon it will be Halloween, a good time to read Monster Needs a Costume (reviewed here). And then Christmas will be upon us and Monster Needs a Christmas Tree (reviewed soon) is the perfect holiday story.

If holidays are not your thing (really, could that be true of anyone?) how about a birthday party story with Monster Needs a Party (reviewed soon), or a story to help you nod off with Monster in Monster Needs His Sleep (reviewed here)?

It sounds like Monster will be heading off to school—for the first time—next Fall and maybe joining a sports team—or the cheerleaders. I cannot wait for those stories. Until then, I hope you have enjoyed this latest interview with Monster and Boy.

And don’t forget to “Read! Read! Read!” Support your public library, and VOTE FOR MONSTER!

#5 needs your vote

.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

 

Full Disclosure: Monster & Me by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, and published by Mighty Media Kids. Monster and Boy’s interview answers by Paul Czajak. Images copyright © by Wendy Grieb.  The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monster & Me Series

Monster Needs a Costume

Monster Needs a Costume

Monster Needs His Sleep

Monster Needs His Sleep

Monster Needs a Christmas Tree

Monster Needs a Christmas Tree

Monster Needs a Party

Monster Needs a Party

Monster Needs Your Vote

Monster Needs Your Vote

.

.

Purchase at  Amazon  IndieBound Books  Mighty Media Kids

11.

.

.

A HUGE THANKS to Paul Czajak!


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Guest Post, Interviews, Picture Book, Series, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: Boy, Mighty Media Kids, Mighty Media Press, monster, Monster & Me series, Monster Needs a Christmas Tree, Monster Needs a Costume, Monster Needs a Party, Monster Needs His Sleep, Monster Needs Your Vote, Paul Czajak, Wendy Grieb

Add a Comment
5. KidLit’ers Help Needed! – Wizard Pickles by Author-Illustrator Chuck Whelon

One of the newer ways for self-publishing authors to get their books out is to start a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. I have helped to fund a couple of these ventures, but never tried to help a book by posting about it here at Kid Lit Reviews.

Well, today I am actually going to do just that. Traditionally published children’s author, Chuck Whelon (Dover Publications, Simon & Schuster, Michael O’Mara Books, SKODA Man Press), and winner of the 2002 Web Cartoonists’ Choice Award for Best Fantasy Comics (The Weird Worlds of Pewfell Porfingles), is publishing a story/puzzle book called Wizard Pickles (which will be reviewed soon). Here is the Kickstarter video about Wizard Pickles:

Wizard Pickles tells the story of young Mazie Pickles and her Aunt Wilma. Aunt Wilma works as a wizard at the local castle. Well, she did, until angering Queen Blackthorne, who is set to award the Golden Cup at the annual Picklefest. For one, Aunt Wilma has lost her wand, which was found by pickle gnomes. The pickle gnomes had a glorious time using the magical wand to reek havoc throughout the village. Now, Mazie needs to help her aunt retrieve the wand before anything worse should happen (hint:  it does!)

Every page in Wizard Pickles is filled with different picture puzzles for readers to solve. They range from simple search-and-find activities to muddling mazes, cryptic codes, and complex logic problems that will keep you baffled for many hours of puzzling fun! More than a puzzle book, Wizard Pickles contains a mystery story that runs throughout the whole book.

2

5

Chuck is looking for a total of $1000, meager by Kickstarter standards. The campaign is open until September 17th and offers many perks to those who pledge from $5 to $500.

WP_00_FrontCover_800px_noBleedWhat I have always liked about Kickstarter book campaigns is the opportunity to help wonderful authors and books you can believe in, and help the book travel from conception to publication. As with Wizard Pickles, most book campaigns give you enough information that you can discern the story and the illustrations, getting a good idea if this is a book you would want your children or students to read. For a small $5—less than a cup of Starbucks coffee—you can help a deserving author’s dream come true.

Here are the Fund “Rewards”
Pledge of $5 or more – a PDF eBook of Wizard Pickles
Pledge of $20 or more – the above, plus a Hardback edition of Wizard Pickles (PDF offers endless solving of the puzzles!)
Pledge of $35 or more – all the above, plus your name (or any name you choose) on the Dedication page of Wizard Pickles
Pledge of $50 – all the above, plus a copy of Chuck’s original game Legitimacy* (Minion Games $40.00)

The “rewards” increase from there. To see them all, and to read more about Wizard Pickles and Chuck Whelon’s plans for publication, go to the Kickstarter link below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whelon/wizard-pickles-puzzle-adventure-book

Chuck explained to me that many publishers loved Wizard Pickles, but when the book got to the marketing department, they had a difficult time categorizing his book and this makes any traditional publication all but dead. So Chuck did what any author who truly believes kids will love their book does:  He found a way to get it published.

BIG CVER

*LEGITIMACY
“The kingdom of Legitimant is in turmoil. The old king has died, leaving no legitimate heir… He has, however, left several illegitimate ones.

“Since you were an infant, your mother has told you of the royal blood that runs in your veins. Now the time has come for you and your trusty animal sidekick to set out on an epic quest to fulfil your destiny and claim the throne that is your birthright.

“Whether you choose to follow a path of righteousness or use every dirty trick in the book, you’ll need nerve, cunning and just a little luck as you assemble an assortment of strange creatures and magical objects to out-maneuver and overpower your rivals and prove that you are, indeed, the one true heir of Legitimacy!” [website]

Legitimacy is a fast-paced board game for 2—6 players, who fight to claim their birthright as heir to the throne of a magical kingdom.

chuckheadshot2Chuck explains the game’s creation like this,

“I created and designed the game as a showcase for my illustration and graphic design skills, and as something strategic and fun to play with my 8 year-old son which would not give me a competitive advantage!! It is fun to play and has a unique mechanic where your character can switch from being good to evil, or vice-versa.”

Chuck Whelon is a proficient author and illustrator of many children’s books, comics, and games. Below is a sampling.

Traditionally Published by Chuck Whelon
Where’s Santa?
Where’s the Penguin (in multiple languages)
Word Play: Write Your Own Crazy Comics (also many other editions)
What to Doodle?
Alien Invasion!
Create Your Own Monsters Sticker Activity Book
The Comic Book Guide to the Mission
           . . . and many more, including
Games Published by Minion Games
Legitimacy
Those Pesky Humans
Battle Merchants
Tahiti
         . . . and many more
Comic Book Series
Pewfell
Trogs
Rooftops

⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓Now you have the total scoop!⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓

HELP WIZARD PICKLES MAKE IT TO PUBLICATION.
Even a small $5 pledge goes a long way in this Kickstarter book campaign!

BookAnima_02

Book size: 17″ x 11″ — 26 pages (12 full-color spreads)

Wizard Pickles Kickstarter Campaign Link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whelon/wizard-pickles-puzzle-adventure-book

Read more about the Kickstarter Campaign:  https://www.patreon.com/cartoon?ty=h

Here area few ways you can connect with Chuck Whelon.
Website:  http://whelon.com/
Blog:  http://whelon.com/blog/
Blogger:  http://wizardsofur.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/pewfell
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/chuck.whelon
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/whelon
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Whelon/e/B0036Q6OQO

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators:  http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/chuck-whelon
National Cartoonists Society:  http://www.reuben.org/members/
Wikiwand:  http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Chuck_Whelon

Comics Sites:  http://www.stripamatic.com/~pewfell/whelon/  —  http://www.pewfell.com/  —  http://comicfury.com/comicprofile.php?url=pewfell  —  http://tapastic.com/chuck

whelon drawing.

.

.

Ask Chuck any question you might have:  chuck@whelon.com

 

 

.

 

1

2

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.

Full Disclosure: Text and illustrations of Wizard Pickles copyright © 2015 by Chuck Whelon, and received from Author/Illustrator/Publisher, Check Whelon for promotional purposes.


Filed under: Author Spotlight, Children's Books, Comics, Digital Book, For Writers, HELP!, Illustrator Spotlight, Picture Book, Special Event Tagged: Chuck Whelon, Kickstarter, Legitamacy, traditionally published children's author/illustrator, Wizard Pickles

Add a Comment
6. #725 – Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett & Christian

cover
Leo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Chronicle Books    8/25/2015
978-1-4521-3156-6
52 pages        Age 3—5

“Most people cannot see ghosts. Can you?

“You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin.” [press release]

Review
Leo has lived alone in his house for some time as evidenced by his attire. He spends the time amusing himself with his drawings and taking adventures through the books he reads. Then, much to Leo’s delight, a family moves in, but when Leo tries to welcome them with mint tea and honey toast the family runs into the bathroom, locks the door, and considers their options. The young boy defiantly states,

“I hate tea! And I hate ghosts!”

(I suppose in their fright they forget a locked door won’t keep out a ghost, and it doesn’t.) Leo is floating above the tub. He hears the young boy’s words and decides it is time to leave his home and explore the world. But no one can see Leo. Worse, they walk right through him as he stands on the sidewalk.

Leo_Int 2Fortunes take a good turn the day Leo meets Jane.  Jane is in need of a knight and thinks Leo will fit the bill. King Jane is introducing the new Sir Leo to her royal court—all imaginary friends. Leo is disappointed Jane thinks he is imaginary, rather than real, but Leo does not want to risk scaring Jane with the truth. That night, Leo moves into the living room just in time to see a burglar climbing through the window. The thief does not see Leo, walking right through the young ghost. Leo is not deterred. He finds a way to capture the thief and prove to Jane he is more than imaginary.

Leo_Int_Chalk Drawing_Image OnlyLeo: A Ghost Story begins to impress right from the cover. Underneath an inviting book jacket is a classy blue cover with Sir Leo’s shield. The spine simply says, “LEO.” The acrylic painted cut-out construction paper illustrations are shades of blue and blue-grey, and if you look closely—if you contain the imagination—you can see Leo in nearly every spread.

blank coverThose without the needed childlike imagination get a chance to see Leo on the occasions he chooses to reveal himself. I love that Leo draws and reads books. An adventure awaiting in books is a terrific message to send young children. I also love that Leo and Jane become friends, showing children that friendship does not need to be conventional, just accepting of differences. Leo is a great friend and an inspiring example for young children, as is Jane. I love Jane’s unquestioning acceptance of Leo, the ghost. When Leo tells Jane he is a ghost and her real friend, Jane replies,

“Oh! Well that’s even better.”

Young children will adore Leo and enjoy his friendship with “King” Jane. Many will commiserate with Leo when his “new family” misunderstands his intentions. What young child has not had something they meant one way been taken the other way? What adult, for that matter. Accepting others despite their differences is a good message and very appropriate for today’s world.

The press release for Leo: A Ghost Story states that Leo is a “charming tale of friendship . . . destined to become a modern classic that will delight readers for years to come.” After reading the story and enjoying the illustrations, it is difficult to disagree. Leo is a charming little ghost who easily captures the reader’s heart.

LEO: A GHOST STORY. Text copyright © 2015 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, an imprint of Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Buy Leo: A Ghost Story at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksChronicle Books.

Learn more about Leo: A Ghost Story HERE.
An Activity Kit with Discussion Guide can be found HERE.

Meet the author, Mac Barnett, at his website: http://www.macbarnett.com/
Meet the illustrator, Christian Robinson, at his website: http://theartoffun.com/
Find more interesting picture books at the Chronicle Books website: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

AWARDS
Starred review Kirkus
Starred review Publisher’s Weekly
Junior Library Guild Selection

Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson_BW with Leo

.

ALSO BY MAC BARNETT
Extra Yarn (Caldecott Honor Book)
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole (reviewed here)
Telephone

ALSO BY CHRISTIAN ROBINSON
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Multi-Award-Winning Book) (reviewed here)

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett & Christian Robinson, and received from Publisher, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: acceptance, acclaimed, award-winning illustration, Christian Robinson, Chronicle Books, classic illustrations, friendship, ghosts, imaginary friends, Leo: A Ghost Story, Mac Barnett, misunderstandings, New York Times Bestselling author, reading as an adventure

Add a Comment
7.

Illustration
The Goodnight Star
How it began

I always find it interesting when I have finished a book to look back at my very first thoughts. Some spreads end up almost identical to my first thumbs where others go through many changes. It took me a while with Goodnight Star to get Megan right. I had a lightbulb moment when I decided to put her in pyjamas rather than a floaty nightdress. Suddenly I felt she had the right attitude.



Click on all images to enlarge.

'The Goodnight Star'  author Amy Sparkes will be having a book launch on Saturday 12th September from 10.30-11.30 at Tiverton Library.
Find out more about Amy here.

0 Comments on as of 8/21/2015 6:28:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. #724 – Fowl Play by Travis Nichols

fowl play
Fowl Play
Written & Illustrated By Travis Nichols
Chronicle Books        8/04/2015
978-1-4521-3182-5
40 pages         Age 7—12

Just what kind of monkey business has befallen Mr. Hound’s shop? Who has broken his window? And most importantly: why?

“Luckily, our team of plucky detectives has been chomping at the bit to take on their first case. When Mr. Hound hires them to investigate, they hoof it to his shop. And once they get sleuthing, wild horses couldn’t drag them away from the scent of a clue. But is it all just a dog and pony show to distract them from the truth

“Idioms are everywhere in the Gumshoe Zoo detective agency’s hilarious first case as they attempt to get to the bottom of Mr. Hound’s mystery.” [inside jacket]

Review
The Gumshoe Zoo Detective Agency has finally received their first case: someone has broken Mr. Hound’s shop window. But why? Each member of the detective agency is on the case, each having something to say:

“Hmm . . . Yes. There’s something fishy going on around here.”

This is said by Quentin, a goat. All of the Gumshoe Zoo detectives are animals. But Quentin’s fishy statement was overheard by Reggie, who happens to be a fish. Quentin quickly saves face.

“”Oh! No offense, Reggie.”
“None taken. But you are right. There is some definite monkey business at hand, my friend.”

Reggie agrees with Quentin, but makes his assessment within earshot of Steve, a monkey. And so it goes through the line-up of detectives, each one making a clichéd remark that indicts a fellow detective, yet none take offense at the off-handed remarks. The detectives are too glued to the case to become offended at these idioms. Then a clue is found that opens up the case and makes an unexpected turn. The detectives are not confused. They immediately figure out what happened at Mr. Hound’s shop. They quickly deduce who threw a can of tomatoes through the shop window. The answer is not a pretty picture.

fowl2

Fowl Play is the first of a series that will have children quickly understanding parts of speech, such as the idioms used in Mr. Hound’s case of the broken window. The story is hilarious, not just because of the witty idioms, but also because the comic book illustrations are terrific. Fowl Play is one unusual book but it does its job. Teachers will have loads of fun integrating this series into their lesson plans. Kids will love the humor and the illustrations of the detectives.

The Gumshoe Zoo detectives are: Josie (a rat), Morgan (a chicken), Sharon (a duck), and Mike (a bull), in addition to the detectives referenced above. Of course, the victim, Mr. Hound, is a dog. The case does not end as one would expect. In the middle of an interview for W-IDM Channel 4, an urgent situation develops downtown . The Mayor, a cat, wants the Gumshoe Zoo detectives on the case. This case will not be as easy as Fowl Play and Mr. Hound’s idiom filled broken window. According to the final page, this case will be a “beast of oxymoronic proportions.” This is one case I am anxious to read and one new series I think will be an educational blast.

fowl1

After the Fowl Play mystery is solved, the definition of “idioms” and the meaning of each idiom used in the story is given in a mish-mash style perfect for this comically fowl story. This section is worth reading for the humor and the explanations. Kids will love the references and may just find themselves using an idiom or two in their speech.

Fowl Play is No Sweat for this Author!

FOWL PLAY. Text & illustrations copyright © 2015 by Travis Nichols. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, an imprint of Mighty Media Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Buy Fowl Play at AmazonBook DepositoryiTunes BooksIndieBound BooksChronicle Books.

Learn more about Fowl Play HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Travis Nichols, at his website:  http://iamtravisnichols.com/
Find more children’s books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

ALSO BY TRAVIS NICHOLS
Monstrous Fun: A Doodle and Activity Book
Uglydoll: My Hero?
The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information
. . . any many more

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Fowl Play by Travis Nichols, and received from Chronicle Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Filed under: Books for Boys, Children's Books, Comics, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: animals, Chronicle Books, Chronicle Kids, crime, Fowl Play, Gumshoe Zoo Detective Agency, idioms, mysteries, Travis Nichols

Add a Comment
9. Diversity Part 2

I originally posted this article on WritersRumpus.com. As one of my heroes, the Dalai Lama, once said…“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”  Let’s each one of us be the mosquito!   —Lin Oliver This week Lin Oliver, co-founder and Executive Director of the international Society of […]

Add a Comment
10. Firefly Hollow development part 2: Curiosities.



This is part two of a short series of posts about the development of my most recent book, Firefly Hollow written by Alison McGhee. See my post from June 26th to read part one.

Putting a story together, or rather discovering one and unearthing it, is tricky business. Steven King describes it this way:

“Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you uncover is small; a seashell. Sometimes it’s enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth.” 

What parts of my story did I have? Not much. I had a few sketches that were resonating and some notes about the characters, but still no real sense of the story yet.
I tried asking myself questions about the characters: Who is this vole? Where does he live? I caught a few glimmers of things but any sort of narrative remained elusive.

So, I did what many illustrators do when they are stuck: Research. 

I started collecting images of voles, crickets and paintings of water that I really loved. I looked up rafts and boats, grabbing  anything that caught my eye. Some of the images I already had in a folder that is constantly updated called "curiosities".  In his book on creativity "Catching the Big Fish", David Lynch calls these collections "firewood". I love the term, and it is perfect the way he describes it, but I shied away from naming my folder likewise. I didn't want to burn through my material too quickly! I started putting things up and soon I had a wall of the shed covered in images. 
Writing is hard work, I happen to think that it is MUCH harder than illustrating though many of my writer friends disagree with me. Writing good picture books is particularly difficult, you will know this if you have ever tried. Trying, as I was, to write something like the final manuscript of Firefly Hollow Firefly...was....lets just say that it is like showing at Wimbledon and trying to compete because you beat everyone in your family at badminton. Nevertheless, I tried to write the picture book version of my story-numerous times. They were terrible; really, really bad. 

As an illustrator, I respond to a text and then begin to add my own voice. Ultimately, I try to create a corresponding visual narrative that enhances and supports the written word-basically creating a parallel emotional narrative. That is a summarization, and I don't think about it that way when I am working, but its the closest I can come to describing the process. I had nothing to respond to so I continued on with what I felt right...the pictures. I sketched little visual "notes" about things that I thought would be fun to paint. 
I was still on hold for the project in my desk so I scanned a few of the sketches and painted them up in Photoshop (just for the fun of it) as a color studies. 

0 Comments on Firefly Hollow development part 2: Curiosities. as of 8/18/2015 2:22:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. #723 – Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate

Layout 1
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Written & Illustrated by Don Tate
Peachtree Publishers      9/01/2015
978-1-56145-825-7
32 pages       Age 4—8

“GEORGE LOVED WORDS. But George was enslaved. Forced to work long hours, he wqas unable to attend school or learn how to read. GEORGE WAS DETERMINED. He listened to the white children’s lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read. He read everything he could find. GEORGE LIKED POETRY BEST. While he tended his master’s cattle, he composed verses in his head. He recited his poems as he sold the fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the slave poet traveled quickly among the students. Soon, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?” [inside jacket]

Review
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is indeed remarkable. Author and artist, Don Tate, has written an amazing story which he illustrated—with gouache, archival ink, and pencil—beautiful scenes of Chapel Hill, North Caroline, circa mid-1800’s. George Moses Horton is a real person. Young George’s desire to read and write were so strong that he listened in on the white children’s lessons while working long hours for his master. With diligence and hard work, George mastered the alphabet and learned to read and then write. He loved the inspirational prose he found in the Bible and his mother’s hymnal, but most of all, George loved poetry. He wrote poems while working those long hours in the field, but without paper or pen, he had to commit each poem to memory.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-004[1]At age 17, George and his family were split up and George was given to the master’s son. George found the silver lining in his situation while selling fruit on the University of North Carolina’s campus(where he was teased by students). George distracted himself from his tormentors by reciting his poetry. It was not long before George was selling his poetry, sometimes for money—25c—other times for fine clothes and fancy shoes. A professor’s wife helped George put his poetry onto paper and get it published in newspapers, making him the first African-American to be published. George often wrote about slavery and some poems protested slavery, which made his work extremely dangerous in southern states—some states actually outlawed slavery poems, no matter the author’s skin color. The end of the Civil War officially made George a free man, yet his love of words and poetry had given George freedom since he learned to read,

“George’s love of words had taken him on great a journey. Words made him strong. Words allowed him to dream. Words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.”

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is one of those “hidden” gems the textbooks forget about, but history should not. Tate’s picture book portrays George’s life with the grim realities of the era, yet there are moments of hope when the sun literally shines upon a spread. This is more than a book about slavery or the Civil War. Those things are important, because they are the backdrop to George’s life, but Tate makes sure the positives in George’s life shine through, making the story motivational and awe-inspiring.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-010[1]Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is about following your dreams and then taking your dream and yourself as far as you can go, never giving up on yourself, regardless of negative influences. For those who dream of a better life, especially writers and poets, George Moses Horton’s story makes it clear that the only thing that can truly get in your way is yourself. Schools need to get this book into classrooms. Stories such as George Moses Horton’s should be taught right along with the stories American history textbooks do cover.

POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. Text and illustrations (C) 2015 by Don Tate. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

Buy Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksPeachtree Publishers.

Learn more about Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton HERE.
Find a Teacher’s Guide HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Don Tate, at his website:  http://dontate.com/
Find more picture books at the Peachtree Publishers’ website:  http://peachtree-online.com/

AWARDS
A Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2015
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Also by Don Tate
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
Hope’s Gift
She Loved Baseball
. . . and many more

.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.Full Disclosure: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate, and received from Peachtree Publishers, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: African-American History, American History, Civil War, Don Tate, George Moses Horton, Peachtree Publishers, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, poetry, prose, slavery, University of North Carolina

Add a Comment
12. Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten

Ah, back-to-school: sad but true, there are some youngsters who are already up and at 'em for another year of edumacation. But what if you've never been? Author/illustrator Marc Brown explores the first day of school jitters in this recent release, Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten. Read on, and you also have the chance to win a copy!

Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Brown

Publication date: 23 June 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Category: Picture book

Keywords: Anxiety, first day of school, social skills

Format: Hardcover

Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

About the Book

Marc Brown, creator of the beloved Arthur books and TV show, offers a charming new character—and a fun and reassuring story about preparing for the first day of school.
 
Kindergarten is only a week away... but Monkey is NOT ready. What if he gets on the wrong bus? What if they don’t have any red crayons? What if he doesn’t like the snacks? What if he doesn’t make new friends? There are so many thoughts running through Monkey’s head! But step by step, his family eases his worries: they get him a new backpack, help him read books about school, prepare his lunch, and make sure Monkey is excited—and ready—for the Big Day.

Alethea's Review

If you're an Arthur fan, you probably think of Marc Brown's iconic artwork as flat, flesh-toned anthropomorphic characters, most notably Arthur (an aardvark-ish youngster) and his sister, D.W. Indeed, Brown's prolificness in books and TV makes this association with humor, heart, and animals that would look perfectly at home in a minivan almost unavoidable. Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten definitely carries this signature style, without the flatness we're used to from Arthur.

Monkey is drawn in scribbles that look like crayon spattered with paint or what looks like watercolor resist (it's really colored pencil and gouache). The backgrounds are delightfully busy, riddled with letters and numbers you sometimes have to squint to see. The splotches and scratches, along with the childlike scrawl of the text, leap off the page in gorgeous bright color. You'll still recognize a bit of what we expect from Marc Brown in the roundness of the monkey family's eyes and the shapes of their heads; the cheerfully suburban outfits of Mom, Dad, and Monkey; and the playful, sweet dynamic between Monkey and his older brother, but the flatness is gone. I, for one, don't miss it.

Meanwhile, the family tries different things to soothe Monkey's anxiety about his first day of school. They go to the library and look at books, talk with his friends (some of whom have already heard about kindergarten from their older siblings), and play pretend-school, drilling the numbers 1 through 12 and the letters from A to Z. As much as they try to help, Monkey's still not ready. Will he ever be? 

Brown is known for inserting his own kids into his Arthur books, so if you look carefully, you might spot some familiar looking elements, an homage to Jean de Brunhoff--and maybe Richard Scarry, or is it just my imagination?--as well as images that look like they might have some sort of back story to them. (Look closely at the books in the library, if you get a chance.) I'd like to ask Marc for these stories, but I'd be equally happy coming up with my own ideas of what these are and why they're here. 

All in all, Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten is a good addition to that list of books to get kids excited and prepared for their first day of school, like First Day Jitters and Countdown to Kindergarten. Not just that, but I can see a whole line of books developing with our anxious little protagonist at its core (the mom is pregnant)! There may be scary times ahead in life, but with family and friends to learn from, Monkey's in good hands.

4 Stars - Stay up late

Find the book: IndieBound | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository

Find the author: www.marcbrownstudios.com

Giveaway Time!

Win a copy of Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Brown. The sample for review and giveaway were provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

  • Open to US only, ends 8/23/2015.
  • No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  • We and the publisher are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  • One set of entries per household please.
  • If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  • Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  • PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. #722 – (NatGeoKids) Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth by Steve Tomecek & Fred Harper

cover
Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, & Even DIRT!

Written by Steve Tomecek
Illustrated by Fred Harper
National Geographic Society      6/09/2015
978-1-4263-1903-7
128 pages      Age 8—12

“Geologist Steve Tomecek, aka The Dirtmeister, and his sidekick Digger unearth all kinds of amazing information in this comprehensive book about geology. Clear explanations of geologic processes will teach future geoscientists the fascinating topics while fun facts and simple experiments reinforce the concepts. So grab your shovel and get ready to play IN THE DIRT.” [back cover]

Review
Divided into ten relatively short, but in-depth, color-coded chapters, (such as “The Dynamics of Soil,” “How it (Earth) All Began,” and “Digging Old Dead Things”), Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth will teach kids a lot about geology and how it helps answer many questions. While very educational—teachers will love it—the kid-friendly book is equally entertaining. Kids are at the center of Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth. In fact, each chapter begins with a question put forth by a middle-grade-aged kid:

“Is that you down there, Dirtmeister?
I thought I recognized your dirtmobile.
My name is Richie and I have a quick
question . . . How did the Grand Canyon
get to be, you know, so grand?”
(Richie, in chapter 6, “What Goes Up Must Come Down”)

Other kids ask questions about such things as volcanoes, earthquakes, the shape of the continents, if can rocks make other rocks, and if dinosaurs are really extinct. The questions are interesting and the answers fascinating and fun. The Dirtmeister adds “cool” facts he calls “Dirtmeister’s Nuggets,” short biographies of important people, and simple experiments that let kids see geology at work. The illustrations are cartoonish and the images of Dirtmeister and his sidekick Digger are quite expressive. The art, especially the first spread of each chapter and its graphic novel layout, help draw in the reader and make the book feel personal, as if Dirtmeister is talking directly to the you. The remaining of the book is filled with photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and text that answers each question and then digs a bit deeper.

introI thoroughly enjoyed reading Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth from cover-to-cover. Being a National Geographic Kids publication I should have realized, even before turning to page 1, that I was in for a humorous, engaging, and educational read with incredible illustrations by Fred Harper. Geology, heck science of any kind, was never this easy to understand or could grab me from start to finish. I was amazed at geology’s reach. Topics included not just how to find Earth’s age, but how she came into existence.

The variety of subjects, tied into the Earth’s soil and its importance to humans, makes Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth ideal as an adjunct middle grade science text. I think elementary teachers could also find ways to utilize this book in their science classrooms. The entire book is kid-friendly and larger words are defined (in context). Home-schoolers should not miss a page of Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Earth. The author has correlated each chapter with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)* and STEM** Science Standards, both for grades 3 to 8. These follow the final chapter. There is also an extensive Index.

From volcanoes spewing hot lava and earthquakes splitting open Mother Earth, plus experiments such as designing rocks, building sediments, and simulating the Big Chill, Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth is probably the dirtiest middle grade book ever written—parents and teachers will approve. Oh, yeah, so will kids!

*NGSS was developed by the National Research Council and are based on the Framework for K—12 Science Education.  Website:  http://nextgenscience.org/

**STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Teachers can find relevant information on STEM at the National Education Association (NEA), PBS, and at Teach.com.

DIRTMEISTER’S NITTY GRITTY PLANET EARTH:  ALL ABOUT ROCKS, MINERALS, FOSSILS, EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANOES, & EVEN DIRT! Text copyright (C) 2015 by Steve Tomecek. Illustrations copyright (C) 2015 by Fred Harper. Photographs copyrights vary and are listed in the book. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.

You can buy Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksNational Geography.

Learn more about Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth HERE.
Information for Teachers and Librarians HERE and HERE.
National Geographic + Common Core is HERE.
More for Kids from National Geographic Kids HERE

Meet the author, Steve Tomecek, at his website:  http://www.dirtmeister.com/
Meet the illustrator, Fred Harper, at his website:  http://www.fredharper.com/
Find more books at the National Geographic Kids website:  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

ALSO BY STEVE TOMECEK
Dirt (Jump Into Science®)
Moon (Jump Into Science®)
Sun (Jump Into Science®)
Rocks and Minerals (Jump Into Science®)
Stars (Jump Into Science®)
Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids Everything)

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Even DIRT! by Steve Tomecek & Fred Harper, and received from National Geographic Society, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, NonFiction, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: Big Bang, Digger, dirt, Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth, earth, Fred Harper, geology, National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Society, Steve Tomecek, The Big Chill, The Dirtmeister

Add a Comment
14. The Book Awards Kindle Winner July 2015

And the winner of The Book Awards top Kindle book for July 2015 is…

 

Kindle Winner July15

Add a Comment
15. #720-1 – My Barnyard! And My Dinosaurs! By Betty Schwartz & Lynn Seresin

barnyard cover

My Barnyard!: A Read and Play Book!
Written by Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin
Illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello
Cartwheel Books       6/30/2015
978-0-545-69077-5
10 pages      Age 3—5
dino cover

My Dinosaurs!: A Read and Play Book
Written by Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin
Illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello
Cartwheel Books       12/30/2014
978-0-545-69076-8
10 pages          Age 3—5

“A new novelty book featuring six large puzzle pieces that won’t get lost. Learn all about barnyard animals (and dinosaurs), as you match each animal piece to its appropriate spread.” [authors]

Review
My Barnyard will be loved by young children who are interested in animals—and what child is not? The rhyming text tells the story of each animal’s day, starting with the chickens and the sheep.

CHICKENS ‘cluck’ as they go,
With their little chicks in tow.
SHEEP are fluffy and eat grass.
They say ‘baaaa!’ as their lambs pass.”

IMG_5458

The name of each barnyard animal is capitalized and color-coded to match its cut-out and attached ribbon. I love the color-coded ribbons. What a nice addition to My Barnyard and a thoughtful hint for young children as they match each animal into its corresponding space. At the end of the story, the six animals meet up in the final spread. Little fingers will appreciate the colorful cardboard cutouts and the size of the book, which are a perfect fit for little hands. My Barnyard has thick, glossy pages that will stand up to sticky fingers—cleaning off quickly—and rough handling, as young children learn to turn pages.

IMG_5459

Kids will squeal with delight at the sound of each animal’s call, be it the “baa” of the sheep or the “oink-oink” of the pig. The rhyming text is a joy to read and won’t get on a parent’s “last nerve” when read for the tenth time that morning. Having young children “speak” for the animals will increase the joy of this board book for the youngest of beginning readers. My Barnyard is a perfect complement to My Dinosaurs, the first in this board book in this series by the talented team of Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin.

IMG_4953

In My Dinosaurs, six different dinosaurs, again with color-coded names and matching ribbons, fit their corresponding cutout spaces nicely. Four of the dinosaurs make-up the cover, just as three of the barnyard animals help make that cover come alive. My Dinosaurs has all the benefits of My Barnyard, as I hope each new book in this series will have. Young boys will especially love My Dinosaurs, but don’t count out the girls. The dinosaurs are realistically brought to life by artist John Bendall-Brunello, who also illustrated My Barnyard.

IMG_4955

Young children and their parents will love this new Read and Play board book series from Cartwheel Books (an imprint of Scholastic). The books are realistically drawn and offer young children the opportunity to learn about animals as they listen to the stories and then place each animal in its correct environment. The rhyming text is expertly written in each book. Young children will want to go through these books on their own, “reading” the words—from memory or imagination—and having a blast with each turn of the page.

MY BARNYARD! A READ AND PLAY BOOK! and MY DINOSAUR! A READ AND PLAY BOOK! Text copyright © 2015 by Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by John Bendall-Brunello. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Cartwheel Books (a Scholastic, Inc. imprint), New York, NY.

Purchase My Barnyard! at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksCartwheel Books.
Purchase My Dinosaurs! at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksCartwheel Books.

Learn more about My Barnyard! HERE.
Learn more about My Dinosaurs! HERE.

Meet the author, Betty Schwartz, at jacketflap:  http://www.jacketflap.com/betty-schwartz/16354
Meet the author, Lynn Seresin, at her twitter page:  https://twitter.com/lynnsere
Meet the illustrator, John Bendall-Brunello, at his website:  http://www.johnbendall-brunello.com/
Find more board books at the Cartwheel Books website:  http://www.scholastic.com/

Cartwheel Books is an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

ALSO BY BETTY SCHWARTZ & LYNN SERESIN
Hop, Hop Bunny  (A Follow-Along Book)    (reviewed HERE)
Run, Run Piglet (A Follow-Along Book) 
Ten Playful Tigers  (A Back-and-Forth Counting Book)  (reviewed HERE)
Busy Little Dinosaurs  (A Back-and-Forth Alphabet Book)  (reviewed HERE)
You’re it, Little Red Fish  (A Back-and-Forth Colors Book)

.
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.
Full Disclosure: My Barnyard! A Read and Play Book! And My Dinosaur! A Read and Play Book!, by Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin & John Bendall-Brunello, and received from Cartwheel Books, (an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 5stars, Board Books, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Series Tagged: barnyard animals, Betty Schwartz, Cartwheel Books, dinosaurs, John Bendall-Brunello, Lynn Seresin, matching board book, My Barnyard! A Read and Play Book!, My Dinosaur! A Read and Play Book!, Scholastic Inc.

Add a Comment
16. Here and There (August 9, 2015): Starring Children's Book Lists & Recommendations


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

The Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Fall 2015 

BOOKLIST





BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS




THE HORN BOOK





Great Read Alouds for Preschoolers

Great Read Alouds for Kindergarteners 

Great Read Alouds for First Graders

Great Read Alouds for Second Graders

Great Read Alouds for Third Graders



<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->

GUYS READ
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->









0 Comments on Here and There (August 9, 2015): Starring Children's Book Lists & Recommendations as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. Review of The Veterans' Clubhouse

I recently had the opportunity to review The Veterans' Clubhouse by Kristen Zajac.  This book addresses the problems of homeless veterans from a child's point of view.

Becoming homeless can happen to anyone.  But when it happens to Charlie, a Vietnam Veteran that Patrick and Hailey meet, they decide to take matters into their own hands and do something about it.  With the help of their church and community, they build the Veterans’ Clubhouse to help homeless vets get back on their feet.

What a terrific message author Kristen Zajac delivers to children in showing them how they could get involved to help the homeless.  I bet after reading the book, kids will come up with their own creative ideas on how to help as well.

Jennifer Houdeshell’s illustrations leap off the page and really add another dimension to this wonderful book.

This book would make a splendid addition to any home or library.  It shows a way to give back to those who served this country and demonstrates how compassion plus action achieves great things.  Nicely done!

0 Comments on Review of The Veterans' Clubhouse as of 8/7/2015 12:11:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. The Other Side of Quiet – An Intern’s Perspective

intern

Kandace Coston is LEE & LOW’s summer intern. She is one of five recipients of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Program inaugural grant. She graduated from Barnard College where she majored in music and took every creative literature class possible. In her free time, Kandace pursues her other interests, which include American Sign Language, handmade jewelry, and composing cinematic adventures!

Intimate. Calm. Inviting. That’s the atmosphere of the LEE & LOW BOOKS office in New York City. Twelve floors removed from the noisy hustle and heat of the city streets, this diverse books publisher’s office is a small levitating oasis.

I first noticed the Quiet during my interview in late May for the summer internship position in Marketing and Publicity. I stepped off the elevator, opened the door slowly (in compliance with the instructional sign), and instantly noticed the cool and calm. Initially I found the Quiet unnerving like the eerie silence in a horror movie that cues a tragic event. But the inviting display of bright books put my nervously pounding heart at ease. They make children’s books. I thought to myself. They make magic. I gazed at the sunny, shiny titles and was instantly relaxed.

intern deskOne month later I started my internship excited to be a small part of the magic LEE & LOW BOOKS creates. I was also excited to step over onto the other side of the Quiet. Now that I was an official member of this exclusive team I was sure my ears would tune into the buzz of the office like a radio tuning into a tricky channel. What I found instead was an immense Quiet accompanied only by the hum of a distant printer and the occasional disembodied sneeze. By July I’d surrendered. My ears stopped scanning for transmissions within the white noise that is the office’s Quiet.

As I ceased my mission for sound, I began my mission of getting to know the office. I made appointments with personnel in various departments to learn how the largest publisher of diverse books in the country operates. Everyone I reached out to was more than happy to oblige me which I was grateful for but not surprised by; the office is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

With each interview I learned new facts about children’s books and the publishing industry:

  • Children’s books take over a year to create.
  • Marketing a book entails intensely creative work.
  • The difference between dystopian and post-apocalyptic.
  • How to spell apocalyptic.

With each interview I also noticed a recurrence: every person I spoke to is excited about the work they do here. Their faces lit up as they eloquently, passionately, and patiently explained to me how they contribute to the LEE & LOW BOOKS message. Each person brings pride and a distinct expertise to their work that makes them invaluable. Many people in my life are not content with the way they earn a living. It seems the team at LEE & LOW has that life conundrum figured out. I found everyone’s enthusiasm refreshing and encouraging.

summer intern

Nowadays when I enter the office I’m not caught off guard by the Quiet. Instead I’ve realized that within the Quiet is progress. The diligent staff members of Lee & Low Books are busy bettering the world through children’s literature. In this intimate oasis of an office the Quiet is a sound; the sound of focus and fulfillment.

0 Comments on The Other Side of Quiet – An Intern’s Perspective as of 8/6/2015 10:09:00 AM
Add a Comment
19. Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Greetings, I want to share a recent illustration that completed for my MFA program. The program has us traveling around the country for different contact periods twice a year, spring and fall. We always return to home base which is the Hartford Univeristy in Connecticut in the summer time. Last fall we traveled to New York […]

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1CJMmb4

0 Comments on Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel as of 7/19/2015 1:22:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. #717 – If An Elephant Went to School by Ellen Fischer & Laura Wood

After a brief, thankfully, lupus flare-up, I am pleased to bring you a wonderful picture book from the talented team of Ellen Fischer and Laura Wood. I think you will smile and enjoy a laugh with this wonderful follow-up to If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant 

Cover-Elephant_700
If an Elephant Went to School

Written by Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by Laura Wood
Mighty Media Kids 8/11/2015
978-1-938063-61-9
32 pages Age 3—7

“Would an elephant learn the ABCs if she went to school? No way! She would learn how to use her trunk as a nose, a straw, a hand, and a hose! Through a series of questions and answers, readers learn about animals and their unique behaviors. And in the end, you might find yourself asking what you would learn.” [press release]

Elephant Spread final_2

Review
If an Elephant Went to School utilizes ten different animals to showcase what each would not learn in school, and then what it might learn based on that animal’s abilities, needs, and nature. The back cover asks:

“If a platypus went to school, would she learn to play the violin? NOT LIKELY! But what would she learn?”

“A platypus can’t play a violin,” young readers are bound to say. But what would a platypus learn in school?

“A platypus would learn to dive to find her food. NO SNORKEL NECESSARY.”

Kids will love learning what these animals—elephant, owl, zebra, frog, eel, bee, skunk, caterpillar, and platypus—would learn in school, while laughing at what it would not—could not—learn. Each “not learn” is something that a child will learn in school. For preschoolers, If an Elephant Went to School is a wonderful introduction into what they will encounter when kindergarten and first grade roll around. Older children will enjoy learning about these animals and poking fun at their own education.

Elephant Spread final_1

If an Elephant Went to School is a wonderful read a-loud book that encourages listener participation. With its winsome illustrations, If an Elephant Went to School is a funny, delightful read that children will want to go through on their own after a first reading. I think this charming follow up to If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant, will have kids wanting to read—or listen to—If an Elephant Went to School several times. Reading this enjoyable, educational, and entirely humorous picture book should not press on any parent’s nerve while reading multiple times. If an Elephant Went to School—a truly fun giggle-book—should be a wild bullseye for booksellers.

I have not had the privilege of reading If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant (book 1 in the series), though I would love to do so. I am also hoping that this picture book series from Mighty Media Kids (formerly Scarletta Kids), will continue with its fun pokes at the wild kingdom, while teaching youngster about wildlife. For me, If an Elephant Went to School earns an A+!

Wait, you say I only listed 9 animals, not 10?! You are correct. The tenth animal is YOU!

IF AN ELEPHANT WENT TO SCHOOL. Text copyright © 2015 by Ellen Fischer. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Laura Wood. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, an imprint of Mighty Media Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase If an Elephant Went to School at AmazonBook DepositoryiTunes BooksMighty Media Kids.

Learn more about If an Elephant Went to School HERE.
Teacher’s Guide can be found HERE.  (forthcoming)

Read my friend Eric’s excellent review of If An Elephant Went to School  HERE.

If you live near Greensboro, NC, plan to meet Ellen Fischer at the If An Elephant Went to School 08/15 Release Party.
Information can be found HERE.

Meet the author, Ellen Fischer, at linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ellen-fischer/66/640/779
Meet the illustrator, Laura Wood, at her website:  http://laurawoodillustration.com/
Find more interesting picture books at the Mighty Media Kids website:  http://mightymediapress.com/

Mighty Media Kids is an imprint of Mighty Media Press.

If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant: Learn more HERE.  Purchase HERE.  View Illustration Samples HERE.

ArmadilloCover_web_1060

.

 

.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: If an Elephant Went to School, by Ellen Fischer & Laura Wood, and received from Mighty Media Kids, (an imprint of Mighty Media Press), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Series Tagged: animal behaviors, Ellen Fischer, If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant, If an Elephant Went to School, Laura Wood, Mighty Media Kids, New for Summer 2015, school

Add a Comment
21. Papa Gave Me a Stick reviewed by School Library Journal


Papa Gave Me a Stick has received a warm review from School Library Journal. Maria D. Salvadore, a former librarian of the District of Columbia Public Library and a current reviewer for the publication praised the book's illustrations, which "are soft, gently colored, creating a sense of place." She, additionally, mentioned the book's plot, pacing, and useful Spanish glossary as some of the book's other notable facets, all of which contributed to a story that had "the form and cadence of a folktale."

Star Bright Books would like to thank Ms. Salvadore for her kind and thoughtful review.

0 Comments on Papa Gave Me a Stick reviewed by School Library Journal as of 7/23/2015 12:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Pain-free Writing and Art

also posted on WritersRumpus.com most visuals by author Here’s something for writers and illustrators to consider: the painful physical effects of your work. Don’t laugh. I kid you not. You might think that the arm in the photo (mine, actually) looks pretty healthy. After years of making welded steel sculpture using all sorts of heavy […]

Add a Comment
23. #718 – Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner & John Parra

cover
Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

Written by Phil Bildner
Illustrated by John Parra
Chronicle Books      8/04/2015
978-1-4521-2578-7
44 pages     Age 3—5

“In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along—The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi—and a storm bigger than anyone had seen before. Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspirational story of a humble man, and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.” [inside jacket]

Review
Marvelous Cornelius, the person, embodies the best of us. Day-to-day he performed his job—one many would consider unglamorous—with dignity, enthusiasm, and a spirit of giving to those he served. People responded positively to this larger-than-life man. Kids enjoyed his spirited antics. When disaster struck in the name of Hurricane Katrina, this French Quarter-New Orléans resident went to work cleaning up his city with the same joyousness as before, only this time, the residents responded not only with enjoyment to see their local “hero,” but pitched in following his lead. Together—including many volunteers from outside of New Orléans—Marvelous Cornelius led his neighbors in cleaning up their beloved city. Just as he did on his daily job, Marvelous Cornelius helped keep New Orléans clean, for he was a garbage man by trade; garbage man extraordinaire.

s2With the use of many writing techniques—alliteration, repetition, and exaggeration—author Bildner keeps the story lively. Children will enjoy Cornelius Washington’s story of how an ordinary citizen can help keep their city or town upbeat, their neighbors friendly and joyous, and their streets clean, making for a wonderful place to live.

Marvelous Cornelius_Int 2At times, the illustrations  portray Marvelous Cornelius as a literal giant emphasizing his larger-than-life persona. He becomes more realistic when portrayed with the residents he served. I would have liked to have seen a more multicultural representation of the residents of New Orléans, though artist Parra may have decided to show a true representation of the resident’s Cornelius Washington actually served. Of note: the illustrations do show a multicultural people once the city is swept clean of the “gumbo of mush and mud.”

s1The art is a delight with its rustic feel and animations of Cornelius “Tango-ing up Toulouse” and “Samba-ing down St. Peter.” I loved the changing text size and font when Marvelous Cornelius sang out his familiar calls:

“WOO! WOO! WOOOOO! WOO! WOO! WOOOOO!”
“RAT-A-TAT-TAT RAT-A-TAT-TAT
“HOOTIE HOO! HOOTIE HOOOOO! SHOWTIME!”

Marvelous Cornelius_Int 3

At story’s end, the author writes more about New Orléans, its people, and Hurricane Katrina (which brought major devastation to this coastal city). Bildner also delves into his writing style, saying his use of alliteration, repetition, and exaggeration helped him write Cornelius Washington’s story as a folktale, similar to that of John Henry. Together with artist Parra, Bildner has succeeded in writing a story every child should read and will most definitely enjoy. Teachers can find many lessons in Mr. Washington’s story of an average person who rose to heroic heights simply by doing his best every day.

MARVELOUS CORNELIUS: HURRICANE KATRINA AND THE SPIRIT OF NEW ORLEANS. Text copyright © 2015 by Phil Bildner. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by John Parra. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans at AmazonBook DepositoryiTunes BooksChronicle Books.

Learn more about Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans HERE.
Find a Common Core-Aligned Teacher’s Guide HERE.


Read more about Katrina’s Children HERE.
Watch the full length video Katrina’s Children free HERE.

Meet the author, Phil Bildner, at his website:  http://philbildner.com/
Meet the illustrator, John Parra, at his website:  http://www.johnparraart.com/
Find more picture books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans, by Phil Bildner & John Parra, and received from Chronicle Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Historical Fiction, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: alliteration, Chronicle Books, community spirit, Cornelius Washington, exageration, folklores, Hurricane Katrina, John Parra, joy, Katrina's Children, Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans, Phil Bildner, repetition, writing technique

Add a Comment
24. #719 – Monster & Me #5: Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb

Yesterday was “National Friendship Day.” To all my cyber-friends and fantastic readers, I am thrilled to know you! I also have a new friend in my life. Her name is Molly, she’s eight-years-old, and her four paws follow me everywhere. (The kitties are adjusting fine to a dog that pays them no mind—except for the occasional nose-to-nose greeting.)

monster-banner-4

Welcome to the “Monster Needs Your Vote” Campaign Tour!

Plus, I have wonderful character-friends in Boy and Monster who—with Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb—have a new picture book in their award-winning Monster & Me series. This new, relevant picture book is entitled Monster Needs Your Vote. So forget about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and . . . 

VOTE FOR MONSTER!

#5 needs your vote
Monster & Me #5: Monster Needs Your Vote

Written by Paul Czajak
Illustrated by Wendy Grieb
Mighty Media Kids         8/25/2015
978-1-938063-63-3
32 pages         Age 2—6 +

“Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders. Election season is finally here, and Monster can’t wait to run for president. But getting voters to care about his campaign is harder than it looks—until he finds a monstrous cause worth fighting for. Show your kids that whether you’re blue, red, or 9 feet tall and furry, real change can come from the most unexpected places (even if you’re not technically qualified to run for office).” [publisher website]

Review
The Monster & Me series has been one of my favorites since Monster needs a [Halloween] Costume. Always fresh, humorous, and on point, Monster & Boy give children young and old enjoyable stories for anytime of the day, not simply at bedtime. But, if you enjoy giggles, smiles, and sweet Monster dreams, each of the Monster & Me books are perfect for a bedtime reading—night, after night, after night . . .(how many editions are there?)

1

Monster Needs Your Vote, the 5th Monster & Me picture book, is a timely story given the beginning of the presidential nominations and soon the 2016 election. Monster runs into a few Presidential candidates while at the fair. He decides he must vote in this election. Boy nicely tells Monster he is not old enough to vote—he’s not yet eighteen! Undeterred, Monster decides if he cannot vote he will participate in the election by running for President of the United States. Boy, Monster’s constant companion, tells Monster he needs a “platform.” (One of many larger-election terms that will have children learning new words.) Monster’s platform is one kids will love and understand but, voting adults just do not comprehend the importance of Monster’s platform—or his next.

Monster’s second platform, a black and white illustration, with period clothes, will remind most adults of the 1930s and a famous election quote. Only when Monster sees a closed sign does he find the issue/platform with the potential to propel Monster to Mr. President Monster. The other Presidential contenders begin to look discouraged, until . . . dear Monster receives horrible news from two dull-looking men—government types. In the end, Monster wins . . . just not the Presidency.

It is clear to me that Monster makes the perfect candidate, given his persistence, comic antics, and Boy’s unwavering support. Like most candidates, Monster runs into a few problems along the way. With each problem, Monster rallies back stronger and more determined. He learns to take a stand for things he believes in, despite all those set-backs. With Boy’s campaign advice and encouragement, Monster finds the courage he needs to persist. Monster is infectious on the campaign trail and is adorable in his organic presidential blue suit.

CKEAjivUMAA0mgT

Wendy Grieb’s illustrations have remained consistent between books, helping to endear the Monster & Me brand. Her palette is bright when needed, like the stunningly red full-page background that makes Monster and Boy POP! I enjoyed all the wonderful details on each spread. Boy is not the only kid to have a Monster pal. One young girl rides upon an ostrich-like bird with Big Bird-ish legs; an oval, purple body with green feathers; a giraffe-like neck; and a prehistoric-like pelican head. I love this highly imaginative monster, along with all the other new, maybe-old-enough-to-vote monsters that stand among the adults. Sadly, a few monsters are kidless, so I hope there is a matching service for kids and monsters somewhere on the Internet.

Paul Czajak’s newest Monster & Me picture book is perfect for the upcoming elections. Though written for preschool children older kids will enjoy Monster’s political career while learning the basics of U. S. Elections. This means Czajak often used an election-related higher vocabulary: cast, platform, issues, oratory, grassroots, and mission to name a few. Grab a dictionary kids—one you must flip through to find a word—it’s time to expand your vocabulary. Which brings me to what is probably the first negative thing I have ever said about this humorous and often educational Monster & Me series. Given the number of election and campaign words Czajak so deftly included in his story, a glossary would have been a welcome addition.

new no 3

Monster Needs Your Vote is written in rhyme with the sing-song quality I love. Parents won’t mind multiple reads thanks to Czajak’s strong voice, and the words and verses which leave your lips like a perfect melody. Grieb’s art captivates readers’ and their young listeners. Her humor is infectious. Czajak and Grieb are the perfect collaborators for Monster & Me. I hope the pair continue telling Boy and Monster’s story. Is there another Monster political caper coming soon?

“And  Monster’s roar in politics had only just begun.”

Monster Needs Your Vote meets Common Core and many state curriculum standards. Teachers, parents, and librarians can download a free Monster & Me Series Educator’s Guide and Event Kit. Monster Needs Your Vote is appropriately dedicated to “all the librarians in the world.”

REMEMBER: VOTE FOR MONSTER—IT’S YOUR KIDLIT DUTY! 

visits

MONSTER NEEDS YOUR VOTE (Monster & Me #5). Text copyright © 2015 by Paul Czajak. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Wendy Grieb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase Monster Needs Your Vote at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksMighty Media Kids.

Learn more about Monster Needs Your Vote HERE.
Schedule a Skype in the Classroom Campaign Stop with Paul Czajak HERE.
Find Monster’s Campaign Kit HERE.  (contains the reviewer’s apology, um, a glossary of election terms)
Download Coloring Pages HERE.

Check out what Monster dreams about HERE.  (short animated story)

Visit Boy & Monster’s Twitter Page:  https://twitter.com/MonsterandBoy

Meet the author, Paul Czajak, at his website:  http://paulczajak.com/
Meet the illustrator, Wendy Grieb, at her twitter page: https://twitter.com/boodlewink 
Find more Monster & Me books at the Mighty Media Kids website:  http://blog.mightymediapress.com/

Mighty Media Kids is an imprint of Mighty Media Press.

AWARDS for the Monster & Me series
A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient—2011
A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient—2013
tug-o-war-cropped_award

.

.

.

Monster & Me series
#1: Monster Needs a Costume (review HERE)
#2: Monster Needs His Sleep (review HERE)
#3: Monster Needs a Christmas Tree (reviewed soon)
#4: Monster Needs a Party (Unfortunately, I missed this edition—”AW!”)
#5: Monster Needs Your Vote (Well, go to the top and read again!)

#1 - needs a costume

#2 needs his sleep

#3 - needs a christmas tree#4 - needs a party

.

.

.

.

Also by Paul Czajak
Seaver the Weaver (illustrated by the Brothers Hilts)

seaver-the-weaver-cover-e1426889190373

 
.

.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Monster Needs Your Vote (Monster & Me #5), by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, and received from Mighty Media Kids, (an imprint of Mighty Media Press), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

monster-banner-3

The Preceding Review was an Unpaid Announcement from KLR. — Boy, Campaign Manager


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: campaigning, civics, humor, Mighty Media Kids, monster, Monster & Me, Monster Needs Your Vote, Paul Czajak, politics, United States Presidential elections, voting, Wendy Grieb

Add a Comment
25.

Illustration
The Goodnight Star
by Amy sparkes

I'm really pleased to be able to share with you my latest book 'The Goodnight Star' beautifully written by Amy Sparkes and published by Random House Children's Books. 'The Goodnight Star' will be available to buy from 27th August.

 'Megan is afraid of the dark.'


 'Holding the star carefully, she climbed up to her treehouse...

 This image was my favourite so I was really pleased that it was chosen for the cover.

'The Goodnight Star' is my 8th book with Random House Children's Books. I'd like to thank the team at Random for all their help. Special thanks to Kerrie and Joe.

0 Comments on as of 8/4/2015 10:09:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts