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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: be yourself, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 6 of 6
1. The "Great Create"

Our local library hosted a creative contest using their iMac lab. 
The theme was "Unmasked" and required participants to create something visual using the lab for a part of it. Why not! And what do you know?! I won first place for my age division! And what's more, wouldn't you know that I was the only entry in my age division!! Ah well, so it goes. 
It was fun just the same, and the prize money was a sweet wedding gift for my daughter. I chose a quote by Dr Suess that has always been a favorite: 

"Be who you are and say what you mean. 
Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 

Of course, such a statement needs to be examined somewhat, for there are times when we still need to choose our words with care, but for this use, I found it most fitting. 

Above on display in the library, and below a detail of the illustration.

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2. #689 – Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy




Dress Me!

Written by Sarah Frances Hardy
Illustrated by Sarah Frances Hardy
Sky Pony Press           5/05/2015
20 pages               Age 3—7
“This little girl can be a lawyer, doctor, superhero, or plumber. She can be graceful, creative, brave, caring, silly, and even scary. She can wear braids or glasses, a crown or a beret. There are infinite, limitless possibilities, and this little girl gets to choose who and what she wants to be. And there’s always the option for her to be ‘just me.’ From the author/illustrator of Paint Me! comes a delightful, imaginative story about a little girl with some incredible aspirations.” [book jacket]

The nameless young girl, along with her loyal puppy, take readers through part of their day as they move from room-to-room, outfit-to-outfit, and activity-to-activity. They start their day deciding what to wear. Deciding to start with some exercise, the girl pulls down her pink tutu, matching top, a violet sash, and . . . wait, what about her feet? No worries, pup has fetched the girl’s pink ballet slippers, dutifully waiting for his friend to slip them on her feet. With a high twirl and a long leap the pair dance, never out of step. The young girl and her dog take on a gamut of outfits (tutu, smock, scrubs, dresses, and masks), and identities (artist, teacher, lawyer, diva, builder, or plumber), as they dance, paint, fly through the air, and take lunch orders.

Dress Me! interior 1pass JAM_page19_image17

Older children have books such as WIGU Publishing’s When I Grow Up I Want to be a . . . series to help them decide what they might like to become. Dress Me does the same for younger children, in terms they y understand. More than that, Dress Me is about being yourself while enjoying who you are, right now. The illustrations tell the majority of the story. I like that Dress Me leaves much of the narration to the reader—or he young listener. While the young girl teaches a couch full of attentive stuffed animals (and one real puppy), the text reads,

“Teacher me.”

I like that kids can decide why the girl is teaching, what she is teaching, and to whom she, dong a great job of blending in to the scene. Pup does the same in this scene. Dress Me will appeal to young girls more than boys, even though Hardy includes male-oriented careers and activities boys enjoy. The illustrations are delightful. Each spread is loaded with detail, adding continuity by carrying items from one spread to the next. For example, the puppy pulls a blue-striped tie from the laundry basket. In the next image he wears the tie while pretending to be in court, on the wrong side of the young girl’s law. She has pushed a pair of glasses atop her head while waitressing and worn correctly as a teacher.

Dress Me is the perfect book for preschoolers beginning to self-explore their world and their place in it. Parents will appreciate the creativity Dress Me can inspire in young girls, who will begin to think out of their prescribed female roles. More importantly, Dress Me encourages young girls to enthusiastically be themselves.

Dress Me! interior 1pass JAM_page19_image14

A final note: the illustrations are the best yet from Hardy who improves with each book. Dress Me! is Hardy’s third book. Her others are Paint Me! and Puzzled by Pink (reviewed HERE).

DRESS ME! Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Sarah Frances Hardy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sky Pony Press, New York, NY.

Purchase Dress Me! at AmazonBook DepositorySky Pony Press.

Learn more about Dress Me! HERE.
Meet the author/illustrator, Sarah Frances Hardy:
Website:  http://www.sfhardy.com/
Blog:  http://sfhardy.blogspot.com/
Facebook:  http://bit.ly/SarahFrancesHardyFacebook
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sfhardy2
Find more picture books at the Sky Pony Press website:  http://www.skyponypress.com/

Sky Pony Press is an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing

Also by Sarah Frances Hardy

Paint Me!

Paint Me!

Puzzled by Pink

Puzzled by Pink




Review word count = 455

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews.

dress me ftc

Filed under: 4stars, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book Tagged: aspirations, be yourself, Dress Me!, enjoy being yourself, inspiration, little girls books, make-believe, puppies, Sarah Frances Hardy, self esteem, Sky Pony Press

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3. #673 – Nickerbacher by Terry Jon Barto & Kim Sponaugle



Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon

Written by Terry John Barto
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
AuthorHouse                 3/23/2015
34 pages             Age 5—8
“Nickerbacher is a sweet-tempered, bushy-browed beast who spends his days guarding Princess Gwendolyn and dreaming of being a stand-up comic—not exactly a profession for a dragon! He’s true to his duty as dragon—as dictated by his Papa—but wants only to make the world laugh. Gwendolyn is supportive and encouraging, telling his he needs to do what makes him happy. It isn’t until the dashing Prince Happenstance comes along, ready for a fight, that they realize that instead of battling each other, they should do what’s in their hearts and pursue their true desires (the Prince wants to e a baseball pitchwer). With a winning set at The Comedy Castle and his family’s newfound support and pride, it’s all laughter, happiness, and dreams come true for the good-natured dragon!” [press release]
The sign by Nickerbacher’s station below Princess Gwendolyn’s tower window states,


Maybe at one time, but Nickerbacher is no threat to any Prince or enemy. The softhearted dragon loves the princess, but he would rather be doing something else—telling jokes—on stage, on the road, or just about any place he might land. Nickerbacher’s papa is not one for tomfoolery. The gigantic orange and red-spotted dragon strictly obeys one commandment,

“Every dragon has a duty to guard princesses.”


Nickerbacher is to be no exception and quickly stands guard—fearfully—whenever Papa checks up on him. Poor Nickerbacher, he tries to explain, but Papa will not budge. Nickerbacher may display his angst but will not disobey Papa. Kids will feel for him, but they will identify more with Prince Happenstance, who would rather be a baseball pitcher than a knight. (Did baseball exist at the time of knights and dragons?) The story is cute and the illustrations are captivating, nicely enhancing Barto’s story. I love the spread where Prince Happenstance flips a coin, which bounces off Nickerbacher’s nose.

Though he looks young for a knight (maybe eleven or twelve), Prince Happenstance is a tad full of himself, which fits his knightly role. Once the prince decides to follow his dream his attitudes takes a major shift. Nickerbacher’s family finally accepts his true self, encouraging him to pursue his comedic dreams. The story does not end there. We see Nickerbacher signing his book How to be Funny with modern appearing people waiting in a long line for his signature. Nickerbacher no longer looks like a dragon as he dons a red hat and an Hawaiian-styled shirt.


Being a tad fussy,]]] I notice out-of-place details: baseball, Hawaiian shirts, and modern looking people in the era of knights and dragons. I doubt kids will care and may appreciate the reference to a game most have played. Those details side, Nickerbacher is a good story about standing up for your true self. Barto gets his message across without hammering them by using kid humor. It is a shame the book is in paperback (eBook is available). Kids may well wear out the pages with repeat readings. They will love the goofy jokes. Parents who like read using different voices will have loads of fun with Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon. Barto’s first foray into children’s book was Gollywood (review here).

NICKERBACHER. Text copyright © 2015 by Terry John Barto. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kim Sponaugle. Reproduced by permission of the AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN.

Purchase Nickerbacher at AmazonBook DepositoryAuthorHouse.

Learn more about Nickerbacher HERE.

Book’s website:  http://www.nickerbacher.com/
Meet the author, Terry John Barto, at his website:  http://www.tjbkids.com/
Meet the illustrator, Kim Sponaugle, at her website:  http://www.picturekitchenstudio.com/
Find more picture books at the AuthorHouse website:  http://www.authorhouse.com/

2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist: Picture Books
Mom’s Choice Award Gold

 Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

nickerbacher by Barto - authorhouse 2015

Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: AuthorHouse, baseeball, be yourself, comedy, dragons, follow your dreams, Kim Sponaugle, Nickerbacher, Terry John Barto, the Funniest Dragon

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4. Victricia Malicia, Book-Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard

…………………… Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer Carrie Clickard, author Mark Meyers, illustrator 4 Stars ………….. Inside Front Jacket:  Victricia Malicia Barrett may have been born on a pirate ship and raised in all the best pirate ways, but she sure is a wreck on deck. Her knots slip, she falls from the rigging, and rats abandon [...]

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5. Whoever Heard of a Fird? by Othello Bach

5 stars Whoever Heard Of A Fird? Othello Bach Shann Hurst 60 Pages     Ages: 7+ ………….. Back Cover: If you haven’t heard of a fird, part fish, part bird, you don’t know that he’s looking for a head of fird. He wants to find out if he’s “firding” right. You see, Fird was raised by [...]

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6. Be Your Own ‘Bot

If you’re a subscriber to the club, you can skip ahead and enjoy the post. If you’re not in the club, here’s what’s happening:

Members of the Sparky Firepants Images Club enjoy the benefit of an original, high-resolution illustration every month. Sometimes they’re big, sometimes they’re small, but they’re always wacky and fun. You can do pretty much whatever you want with them except sell them or use them on products for sale. On the right you can see a little detail of the awesome image that subscribers are getting.be_your_own_bot

If you want to sign up, you can click on that box in the sidebar or just go here. Love to have ya.

I’d like to let you into my brain for a few moments, so you can see how I thinkified the idea for “Be Your Own Bot.” Watch your step around that sinus cavity, it’s a little slippery.

Be Your Own ‘Bot

Be your own ‘bot. Robot, that is. Or human, dog, monkey, sasquatch. Whatever.

Whatever you happen to be, be it. Be it 1,000 times. Be bookish if you like books. Be a girl who likes building mechanical things. Be a giant sandwich dancing on the corner if you like lettuce and traffic (or you happen to work for a guy who makes you dance on the corner selling them).

It’s funny. We start out in life weird little creatures who put crackers on our heads and yell, “Ga-ZOO ZOO!” just because it strikes us as something we should probably do. We fall down and stay there. Just felt like it. We wear socks on our hands.

As we grow up, other people start defining for us what’s weird and what shouldn’t be done anymore in social situations. It’s not a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s part of life and it’s learning how to function in a world full of people who hesitate to give us money or jobs if we break crackers on our heads. Still, it’s sad to put our crackers away.

Some people manage to find ways to break the crackers, yell “ga- ZOO ZOO” and bring in large sums of money on a regular basis.

Many people secretly want to do that. Not many know how. Not everyone needs to. Do you get that?

Thing is, if you enjoy being in an office and crunching numbers all day, that’s cool. Someone obviously needs you to do that because there you are. If you enjoy wearing button-down oxfords and khakis, get yourself a closetful. Crunch, numbers, crunch!

Who’s to say that because you like doing data entry and dressing Office Casual that you’re not living up to your potential? Only one person and that’s you, Dude. Or Lady. Maybe you crunch numbers all day and break crackers on your head at night. Salut!

The world currently uses outward appearance to make first judgments about potential pals. I do it all the time. Can’t help it, even if I wanted to pretend otherwise. You would think that the fact that I’m frequently wrong would change my thought process. It does to a certain extent, but there’s always a tiny nugget of judgment in the lower regions of my cerebral cortex.

I’m writing this at a large convention of AFOLs, or Adult Fans of LEGO. Yep. LEGO Geeks. Total geeks, 1,000 times geeks. Geeks in the sense that they know every single thing there is to know about LEGO.

Cool part is, these people have an amazing passion for this little plastic building brick toy from Denmark. That downward-cast quiet dude who looks like he couldn’t string two sentences together suddenly leaps from his seat and starts animatedly discussing the awesome potential of something called “Power Functions.” Woa.

Now who’s the wallflower? Yours truly. I’m an idiot here. I am officially uncool. I don’t know my Technic from my Bionicle. I do not fit in. I suddenly I wish I did.

I admire the people who are so into whatever it is they’re into that it actually becomes part of their outward appearance. They fit in to a group, somewhere. They can’t help it. The group forms.

I think one of the worst conditions in which an individual can be is the state of “blended in.”

Of course we’ve all got our own groups we fit into, which is different from blending. For example, I have my children’s book group (which makes other dudes I know utter huge catlike yawns). We love our groups because they make us feel safe in what we love. Groups are awesome. Yay groups.

Within every group, you’ve got unique individuals. In this LEGO group, there’s something distinctive about every person here, outside of their LEGO love. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes you have to get to know a person before you even get a hint of what it might be.

It’s hard for an adult to recapture the cracker-on-the-head thing. It’s a little fear and a little conditioning (don’t fit in and you might not get the job/house/car/loan). When you’re in your group, it’s a little easier because you already share a commonality.

It’s funny but I struggle with this all the time. I got very good at blending. I’m an expert at nodding my head and remarking in tiny bits to establish my status of belonging, even in groups I’ve never visited. Turns out that’s not a blessing, its a curse. I’ve missed out on a lot by doing that.

This weekend I practiced very hard to let go of that curse. I was… stupid about LEGO. I asked dumb questions (apparently there are still a few of those left). I made an effort to open my face up and talk to people I wouldn’t normally rub elbows with at the local brew pub. I learned. I experienced. I remained myself even when that meant that I stuck out like a Galidor arm on a Toa.

I enjoyed, more than usual.

In this world, this weekend, I am decidedly… different.

It’s awesome. I even have some new pals. The ones that decided I could actually be taught.

One of the most important skills I want to pass on to my kids isn’t how to blend, it’s how to feel comfortable being different. Not in-your-face-anarchy-in-the-UK different or don’t-look-at-me different, but rather teach-me-something-about-your-world different.

It’s about how to be your own ‘bot.

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