#PPBF – My Love For You Is The Sun

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

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I love reviewing picture books! It gives me the perfect excuse to read them myself, just in case I can’t find a willing child-listener. But most of all, I love reviewing picture books written by my friends! Julie Hedlund, founder of the 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, has a beautiful new picture book out – and I just had to tell you about it.

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MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN

Written by Julie Hedlund

Illustrations by Susan Eaddy

Publisher: Little Bahalia Publishing (2014)

Ages: 0 and up

Themes: Parent-child love, unconditional love, nature

 

Opening Lines:

“My love for you is the sun,

Rising to your tender heart.

It shines on you when we’re apart.” Continue reading

Tara Lazar: Will Write for Cookies

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

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INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

TARA LAZAR

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Before the internet, if a writer wanted to connect with another writer, a trip to a known literary hangout might have to be made. Fortunately, we have the world-wide web now, filled with authors and illustrators who blog. One of the most generous and knowledgeable of those is our guest today. Tara Lazar, author, mom, entrepreneur and founder of the famous PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) is smart, savvy and spunky. I know there are quite a few published picture books out there now that got their start as ideas in aspiring authors’ PiBoIdMo notebooks.

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Welcome, Tara! I really appreciate your being here. I know how busy you are, so I’ll get to the interview right away.

ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

Tara: Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and William Steig. I was fascinated with Steig’s “CDB”. I thought it was marvelous that I could speak only in letters and make complete sense! Dahl, for me, was wickedly good because he seemed to know so much about how children thought, how I thought. His adult villains were always so despicable—brilliant! He taught me not only do you need a character to root for, but someone to root against!

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ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

Tara: That it’s not about selling a book to a publisher, it’s about selling a book to a child. That seems like a very simple thing to understand, a given, but I think you get so caught up in chasing this dream in the beginning, that you lose sight of who you’re truly writing for. The children must come first.

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ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? Continue reading

#PPBF – Oliver’s Hunger Dragon

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

My daughter and grandson came home yesterday with pumpkins and several pots of mums to help decorate the outside of the house for autumn. Jeremy was so excited to show me the four pumpkins…the biggest Grandpa one, the next, with the curly stem (for my curly hair) is the Grandma one, a medium sized one for his mom and the small Jeremy pumpkin. We’ll probably carve at least one of them, maybe paint another and, in the end, use the pumpkin meat for yummy breads, muffins and pies. If any of you have special recipes using pumpkins, I’d love if you would share.

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I connected with the author of today’s #PPBF pick in and around the kid lit community. When I heard Sherry Alexander had a new book coming out, I knew I would want to review it here.

From the author: “According to World Hunger, there are 870 million people in the world who go to bed hungry. In America that translates to 15.9 million children–that’s MILLION! When children are hungry, they are often too tired to play or to concentrate, and are too embarrassed to ask for help. 

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon was written to give these children a voice while demonstrating the power of friendship and sharing. To help fight child hunger a portion of the proceeds for this book will go to the Clark County Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division. 

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OLIVER’S HUNGER DRAGON

Written by Sherry Alexander

Illustrations by Amy Rottinger

Publisher: Halo Publishing International (2014)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Child hunger, friendship, sharing

 

Opening Lines:

“Oliver has a secret he does not want to share. He has a hungry dragon who follows him everywhere. Oliver has never really seen it, but it is always there. Rumbling and grumbling and making people stare.”

 

Synopsis:

Oliver cannot enjoy anything because he is always hungry and his hunger makes him tired. He thinks he is alone in feeling this way, until he discovers that several other children also have ‘hunger dragons’. They band together and start sharing their food and then other children join in to share and soon none of the children are going hungry.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids will love the colorful bold ‘hunger’ dragons
  • The rhyming text includes several repeat sound words like rumbling and grumbling – children will enjoy saying those as the story is read aloud
  • The story encourages children to talk to each other (and hopefully to parents and teachers) about what is bothering them and then reach out and help each other
  • Hunger is a huge problem, even in the United States – but it is a problem that often doesn’t get enough attention
  • Children often feel they are suffering alone – this story will help kids understand that if something is bothering them, it is probably bothering others as well

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about the importance of eating healthy foods every day – without good food our bodies cannot produce energy for us to work and play
  • Go shopping with your child for several items to bring to a local food bank or see if your child’s class can do a food bank project
  • Lovely read aloud

Related Activities:

DRAGON EGG CARTON

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Photo courtesy: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dragons – Visit their website for many more dragon activities.

You will need: 1 egg carton, construction paper in several colors, scissors, glue, paint, markers.

  1. Paint the egg carton and let dry.
  2. Cut out scales/spikes, nostrils, tail and eyes (in the photo, the eyes are made from the bottom cups of an egg carton – but you could use construction paper if that is easier) from construction paper.
  3. Glue in place and use markers to add details.

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon is available on Amazon

If you’d like to connect with author Sherry Alexander or find out more about her other books: http://www.sherryalexanderwrites.com/

And please come back tomorrow (that is, if my computer hangs on a couple more hours – I dropped it last night and it is now barely functioning) for Will Write for Cookies with TARA LAZAR!!!

#PPBF: Belches, Burps and Farts – Oh My!

Welcome, everyone! Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

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I hope all of you have had a great summer. I stepped back from blogging to work on my vegetable garden and focus on picture book writing. I took Kristen Fulton’s Non-Fiction Archaeology class in June, Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab in August, and attended a writing retreat at Squam Lake in New Hampshire just last weekend. It’s definitely been a rewarding summer.

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Back in June, I did a review of Peter Panda Melts Down by Artie Bennett. My grandson loved that book! So I am really thrilled to be reviewing Artie’s newest picture book, Belches, Burps, and Farts – Oh My!

 

Belchess_CVR_forppt_lrBELCHES, BURPS, AND FARTS – OH MY!

Written by Artie Bennett

Illustrations By Pranas T. Naujokaitis

Publisher: Blue Apple Books (2014)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Facts about belches, burps and farts and how to deal with them, humor, body functions

 

Opening Lines:

“On these pages, we’ll explore some body sounds we can’t ignore! No, not the sneeze, the wheeze, the sigh, but belches, burps and farts, oh my!”

 

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“Young readers will discover many fascinating facts about burps, belches, and farts. Real science and zany rhyme combine to teach kids the how, why, and where of gas-tastic eruptions made by people and animals, such as:

• why we can’t burp while on our backs
• which animals can’t “cut the cheese”
• how fish communicate via burp bubbles
• why soda and burps go together
• who farts more—boys or girls”

 

Why I like this book:

  • A fun way to learn about a topic most people are embarrassed to talk about – I learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know
  • I read it to my grandson – he thought it was hilarious and was really interested in the facts
  • I love the mix of humor and nonfiction which is very appealing to reluctant readers and perfect for classroom units on body science

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about belching, burping and farting – they are natural functions of our bodies – but we can be polite and say excuse me
  • Have fun with the book with your kids

Have you seen Artie’s other books? They are hilarious!

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If you’d like to find out more about the author and his books, please visit: ArtieBennett.com

Related Activities:

Cartoon Drawing for Kids

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Photo courtesy: http://artforkidshub.com/how-to-draw-a-raccoon-cartoon/

Kids love cartoons. And they are really easy to draw. Click the link above to find detailed instructions for drawing the raccoon and many other animals.

 

And a big thank you to Artie for the final picture…quite appropriate for the END of this post, wouldn’t you say?

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