It’s another Board Book Saturday! Last week I mentioned how important board books are in developing literacy skills of little ones including helping young children learn how to use a book. They are constructed so that babies and toddlers with limited fine motor skills can hold them easily and turn the pages, something most cannot do with the pages of a traditional picture book. And the sweetly rounded corners of board book pages are very kid-friendly.
Something else that is very kid-friendly are the two new board books in the Amicus Little Nature Explorers series written by one of my dearest kid-lit friends, Amber Hendricks and illustrated by Gavin Scott. And as we are just coming off of another sensationally successful #50PreciousWords with 756 fabulous entries, I thought it would be perfect to feature Amber’s board books because they started out as contest entries several years ago.
This book only has 23 words! With only 2 or 3 or 4 words on a page, the young child is focusing on the glorious pictures – colorful images with just enough going on to capture a little one’s attention…and imagination. And the companion book, WILDFLOWERS GROW, is equally perfect.
And luckily, there are two other books in this Little Nature Explorers series by Amber,
Writers, are you inspired to try your hand at creating a board book? Parents, are you excited to share these lovely books with your little ones? Early childhood educators, are these books in your classroom reading corner?
Well, to help you acquire some of these board books, here is a SPECIAL OFFER from the publisher just for my loyal blog followers. If you’d like to purchase ANY board books from Amicus Ink, please go to their website: https://www.amicuspublishing.us/books and use code Board25 at checkout to receive 25% off your order of board books – any titles and any quantity. Dear friends, think baby gifts and holiday gifts and birthday gifts…the offer is valid for a limited time only.
And if you leave a comment and tell us which of Amber’s board books is your favorite, I’ll send one lucky person that book! Sharing the post on social media gets you extra tickets in the giveaway hat.
Please stop by next week for Cover Reveals and Perfect Picture Book Friday and Will Write for Cookies posts that feature more new books launching. The prize distribution for #50PreciousWords is moving along…so many amazing opportunities for writers. And guess what? I had a school visit at Mont Vernon Village School earlier this week and I shared the flyer for the #50PreciousWordsforKids Challenge that happens during Children’s Book Week, May 2-6. And one young girl got home from school and wrote her story!!! And her mother texted it to me because her daughter was so excited to enter the challenge! THAT is the level of enthusiasm we need to foster with students, right?
Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. When I first heard the topic of today’s featured book, I was sure I was not going to like it. I’ve never been a fan of what some might call ‘potty humor’. But you know what? TOBY TOOTLES is so much more than that! It’s a book that EVERY child will relate to (and also every adult) because we ALL have had embarrassing moments JUST LIKE THOSE IN THE STORY and it’s both empowering and comforting to feel seen and heard.
Synopsis: From Amazon: Toby is having the best birthday party ever until an ill-timed and unintended toot draws unwelcome attention and teasing. Poor Toby–he is so embarrassed! And now everyone is calling him “Tootles.” To get out from under his cloud of shame, Toby goes to visit his grandmother, hoping to get some sympathy and understanding. But as it turns out, Grandma is a bit of a gasbag herself with her own windy issues. She toots not once, not twice, but THREE times during Toby’s visit. And she’s not even embarrassed about it! But Toby is. He’s embarrassed by her and for her. It’s only when Toby is facing another digestive episode that he realizes maybe it’s time to follow Grandma’s lead and not let little things get in the way of enjoying life. After all, gas happens! A sweet and funny lesson on how to handle life’s hiccups and other unexpected “eruptions.”
Why I Love This Book: 1. The topic is something that every kid and every adult will relate to – and an SEL book about farting and learning to be comfortable in your own skin is much needed! 2. The illustrations are so much fun – and I love that the characters are animals – this allows the child reader to connect but not feel anyone is pointing a finger at them. 3. The text provides so many wonderful examples of embarrassing moments. I believe that many of us worry too much about what others are thinking. And we often worry about what others are thinking of the people we are with…I know that was true for me. When I was a kid, I wished my dad wouldn’t tell jokes that I was sure others wouldn’t find funny. I love that the author shows us how embarrassed Toby is when his grandmother farts.
RELATED ACTIVITIES: Make Some Noise Putty
What a fabulous activity to pair with this book! Making farting noises is something many kids love to do…and creating this special Noise Putty is fun and educational, too. It’s always a plus when we can combine Science and Math with Reading.For detailed instructions, visit https://gluesticksblog.com/homemade-noise-putty/
I know I love to hear about the story behind the story…and I think all of you do, also. It’s always inspiring and informative to learn about another author’s path to publication. And happily, Stephanie stopped by to chat. Welcome, Stephanie!
STEPHANIE: Thank you for spreading the word about my debut picture book, Vivian. Toby Tootles is a social emotional learning (SEL) book with a message about feeling comfortable in your own skin, but on the surface it’s a funny fart book. Because of that, I almost didn’t submit this manuscript to my agent. I wasn’t sure how she would feel about the potty humor. I initially queried her with a middle grade nonfiction project, and when she asked to see more material, I chose several other nonfiction projects and only two fictional picture books – neither of which were Toby Tootles. I worried about blowing my chance if she didn’t find farts funny. It was only after we signed the contract that I risked letting her read it. And it tickled her fancy. In fact, it was the second manuscript we submitted to editors! Thank goodness I took a chance and let her read my tale about toots.
WOW…I love hearing this, Stephanie. If you love your story, go for it. We do need to have confidence in what we write about…and if the topic is close to our heart for one reason or another, that really helps. And honestly, this story is so very important because it touches on a topic that most people will relate to: bodily function embarrassment. I actually love this book because I think it will help kids to feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Here’s a little bit about author Stephanie: Stephanie Gibeault earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ecology and evolution and a Master of Science in animal behavior. As a former biologist and certified professional dog trainer, she loves writing about dogs and other animals including farting rabbits! She spends her days just outside of Toronto, Canada, convincing her cat Heton not to take over her keyboard. Her middle grade book Can’t Get Enough Dog Stuff (co-authored with Moira Rose Donohue) releases in April from National Geographic Kids. And there are more books about animals to come including From Calculating Chimpanzees to Brainy Bees: Mathematical Abilities in Animals (Candlewick/MIT Kids Press, illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett, published by), Making Sense of Dog Senses: How Our Furry Friends Experience the World (Owlkids Books, illustrated by Raz Latif), and Dogs Versus Humans: Showdown of the Senses (Owlkids Books, illustrated by Bambi Edlund).
And, dear friends, please remember that the best way we can show an author or an illustrator that we love their books is to: Buy them: Amazon Indie Bookstores Review them Tell friends about them and share on social media Ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection
Please make sure you leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of TOBY TOOTLES. Maybe you can share an embarrassing moment when you were a child. Please share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever your favorite social media channels are for extra tickets in the giveaway hat. And don’t forget to flutter back tomorrow for a special Board Book Saturday post with Amber Hendricks and BUTTERFLIES SOAR. Plus next week we’ll be celebrating a Cover Reveal on Monday for AN OFRENDA FOR PERRO by Judith Vales B and a Cover Reveal on Tuesday for Bábo: A Tale of Armenian Rug-Washing Day by Astrid Kamalyan. Wow…two cover reveals in one week…we are so lucky! And then we are featuring CALL ME CALVIN by Mary Vander Plas for Perfect Picture Book Friday and our Will Write for Cookies post on Saturday will shine the spotlight on one of my dearest CPs, Ellen Leventhal and her brand-new nonfiction picture book biography, DEBBIE’S SONG: The Debbie Friedman Story.
Phew! That’s a lot of blog posts…and what that means is that there are a lot of awesome picture books being published! Hurray! I’m also busy as I continue to contact the fabulous #50PreciousWords prize winners and connect them with the wonderful prize donors. What fun!
WELCOME, DEAR FRIENDS! Please let me share my joy for your participation in the #8th Annual #50PreciousWords #756 Amazing Entries #3745 Encouraging, Positive and Supportive Comments on the Blog Post #200+ Books Purchased for the Literacy Initiative #60 Fabulous Prizes #8 Exhausted Judges #1 INCREDIBLE KIDLIT COMMUNITY