Perfect Picture Book Friday: SELFIE SEBASTIAN and A CAMPFIRE TAIL plus GIVEAWAY

I had a lovely surprise the other day. I received two beautiful picture books in the mail. Written by author Sarah Glenn Marsh, they are bright and bold and so much fun. I knew I had to share them with you today. One is about taking selfies. How awesome is that! And the other is about camping and finding the courage to be a real friend. And because my bookshelves are overflowing, I plan to give both of these away. So please make sure you leave a comment. And don’t hop off until you scroll through the entire post BECAUSE after the picture book review, I’ll be giving everyone a heads up about #50PreciousWordsforKids which is COMING ON MONDAY!!!

SELFIE SEBASTIAN

Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Illustrated by Florence Weister

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2018)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Friendship, travel

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

You can’t take the perfect selfie if you’re all by yourself.
Sebastian is one handsome fox—and he really, really loves to take selfies. But somehow, no matter how camera-ready he is, his pictures always lack a certain something. And he can’t put his paw on exactly what. So Sebastian sets off on an elaborate quest to take the perfect selfie, dashing from a glamorous red carpet in Hollywood to the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon. He even zooms to the Moon! Still, none of Sebastian’s photos make him happy. Could it be that the secret to his special selfie is right where he started . . . at home, with his friends?

Why I like this book:

  • I loved the relevant theme of taking a selfie…even young kids want to do it.
  • I enjoyed the travel/geography layer to the story – kids will love to guess where Sebastian is.
  • GREAT illustrations – the front and back covers are amazing!

A CAMPFIRE TAIL

Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Illustrated by Ana Gomez

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (May 1, 2018)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Friendship, courage, camping

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Ever been stuck with a friend who’s totally uncool—and worried that it will rub off on you?
Welcome to Camp Wildwood! It’s Dragon’s first day, and his buddy would LIKE to show him a good time. But Dragon doesn’t seem to fit in with the boys and girls. He overturns the boat, ruins the puppet show, and even sets the tent on fire. Then, just as his buddy is about to give up, Dragon comes through in a pinch. This sweet, funny picture book teaches an important lesson about the true meaning of friendship—and in accepting the strengths and weaknesses of others.

Why I like this book:

  • I love friendship stories!
  • The illustrations are fantastic…just love the main character!
  • Text is full of heart and humor…great combination for a picture book!

Activities for both stories: 

  • Make a list of how to be a good friend.
  • Take selfies with friends and create an album of friendship.
  • Role play with your kids…different scenarios where being a good friend might be difficult.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway. If you’d like to see more picture book reviews, please go to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture book Friday link up. And remember the best gift we can give the authors of our favorite stories is to buy their book or ask the library to order their book or write a review on Amazon or other book review sites.

And now, dear friends, a few words about #50PreciousWordsforKids! Last year, I hosted an international writing challenge for kid writers in grades K-6. I invited them to create a story for children in 50 words or less. #50PreciousWordsforKids drew participants from 15 states and 4 foreign countries. What amazed me was the incredible creativity that was unleashed by the restrictive word limit. Click here to see the stories from last year’s challenge.

MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT!

As a former kindergarten teacher, I’ve always been on a mission to help kids become lovers of books and reading. What a thrill it was to invite them to become their own storytellers!

This writing challenge is ALL-INCLUSIVE and INTERNATIONAL!

#50PreciousWordsforKids coincides with Children’s Book Week, April 30-May 6. Every child in grades K-6 is invited to participate. Teachers can have each child write a story of 50 words or less…then the teacher and/or class will choose one story to submit. Last year, some classes formed teams and wrote collaborative stories – that is totally fine. Parents who homeschool their children can submit one story per child. The official #50PreciousWordsforKids post will go live on Monday morning!

Here are the guidelines.

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  •  Each child, grade K-6, writes a story of 50 words or less.
  • Title not included in word count.
  • Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Happy or sad, silly or serious, true or make-believe.
  • Teachers/students choose one story to submit per class.
  • Homeschooling parents submit one story per child.
  • Please email story to: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by May 7 at 11:59pm.
  • Stories post on my blog: viviankirkfield.com on May 11.
  • Teacher/parent receives a certificate to copy and present to each child who wrote a story.
  • Giveaway of seven mini-Skype author classroom visits.

 Questions? Contact me at viviankirkfield@gmail.com

I’m asking all of you who have connections with elementary schools or homeschooling families in any state and any country to please spread the word. Last year, I contacted the Children’s Book Council and they agree – it’s a perfect activity for Children’s Book Week. Click here to read last year’s stories.

The challenge runs April 30-May 6 and the stories need to be emailed to me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, May 7th. I’ll post those stories on Friday, May 11th. Teachers and parents will receive a certificate that can be copied and personalized with the name of each child who participated. And there will be mini-Skype author classroom visits randomly awarded—one per grade level if I get enough volunteers. 

Let’s help our kids stretch and grow their imaginations.

Which brings me to the next request…I still need volunteers to do mini-Skype author or illustrator visits. If you would like to donate a mini-Skype author or illustrator visit, please contact me ASAP either by email or on FB or Twitter. It’s a wonderful way to connect with our audience of parents, teachers, and kids!

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on April 27, 2018, in #50PreciousWordsforKids, book giveaway, Children's Book Week, Perfect Pictture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Oh, Vivian, These books sound wonderful, Would love to win one! The contest is exciting too. Kids will take a challenge much quicker than adults, and they can tell stories! You will get a zillion entries!!! Thanks for all you do in our children’s writing community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha…not sure I could handle a zillion entries, Mona! But I’m glad you excited about the challenge for kids also. And you know how much I love what I do…so it is a joy for me!
      And aren’t the books engaging looking? The covers rerally pop!

      Like

  2. Both of these sound like winners, Vivian. And how exciting that it is time for another contest for the kids. You are helping to flesh out our next generation of authors. Go, vivacious Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so much fun, Sherri, because kids are natural storytellers and they LOVE spinning a tale…sometimes the more out of the box, the better. 😉 Thanks for your support and encouragement, Sherri!

      Like

  3. I always love your thorough reviews! And, can I say a dragon at camp will hook so many kids! I think each high school should carry Selfie Sebastian!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What delightful books! Their themes should have LOTS of folks–of all ages–waiting in line or online–to purchase these gems. Vivian, your enthusiasm for what you do the reviews you write can’t help but inspire others! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Vivian- these look like terrific books. I love your comments as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They both look marvelous – thanks for sharing, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky Scharnhorst

    Both of these sound like such fun reads! And I love the focus on friendship. Thanks for sharing, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Entertaining reads for young children. Can’t believe technology is now in picture books. Kids will love that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes…I guess technology isn’t going anywhere, Patricia. I remember one of my first stories had the mc looking something up on Google…and an agent told me never to use technology in a pb story because it would date the story and maybe in 10 years there would be no Google and the book would be irrelevant. Hmmm…guess not! 😉 😉

    Like

  10. Kristen Schroeder

    Excited to see a review of these great books from my agency sis, Sarah! Thanks for featuring them on your blog, Vivian.

    Like

  11. Wow, they look big bright and hilarious. Fun books for kids to enjoy. I wondered when someone would put out a book about selfies… lol. Thanks for sharing Vivian.

    Like

  12. The book sounds wonderful Vivian.

    All the best
    Lily

    Like

  13. Books look adorable! Thanks for sharing them. What fun you must have when you get new books to review! Hope you have LOTS of participants in your #50 Precious Words Challenge!

    Like

  14. Sue Heavenrich

    What fun books – and I love the Campfire tale… as a long-ago camp counselor I know lots of kids feel they don’t fit in. But I especially like the idea of a dragon – and imagine he could come in useful for making s’mores on a rainy day.

    Like

  15. The selfie book sounds so good and I love the illustrations.

    I will share the info for the contest with my teaching friends

    Like

  16. Sandy Perlic

    I’m excited to hear about these books: both feature great illustrations and original takes on their theme. Thanks for the heads up about them, Vivian!

    Like

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