Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR

Today we have a fabulous Perfect Picture Book Friday review.

But first…some winners! Last week I promised to give away a copy of Jessica Lawson’s middle grade mystery Nooks and Crannies.

cranberries-cover

AND THE WINNER IS…

Sherry Howard

Congratulations, Sherry…I will contact you for your mailing address.

We also had a giveaway last month for a copy of Emma Bland Smith’s Journey: The Most Famous Wolf in the West.

journey-emma-bland-smith

AND THE WINNER IS…

Mona Pease

Congratulations, Mona…I’ll get it in the mail ASAP. No guarantees, but considering I’m in NH and you are in Maine, you might even get it in time for Christmas!

There will also be info coming soon on the voting for Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest…I will share that as soon as I get it. Did you get to read any of the entries? They are FABULOUS!

The Perfect Picture Book Friday spotlight is on one of my favorite books of 2016. And tomorrow, the award-winning author/illustrator, Duncan Tonatiuh, will be our Will Write for Cookies guest.

p-and-w

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanos

Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Publisher: Abrams (2016)

Ages: 6-9 (this is the recommendation on Amazon…but I think the book is appropriate for younger AND older kids)

Themes:

Courage, loyalty, accepting others for who they are

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico’s cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side. So two volcanoes were formed: Iztaccíhuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatépetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.

Opening Lines:

“Once upon a time, there lived a kind and beautiful princess named Izta.”

Why I like this book:

  • First of all, I not only like this book, I LOVE it. The illustrations, done in Duncan’s familiar style, are AMAZING! The text is deceptively simple…on each page, with short succinct sentences, Duncan weaves a compelling story. AND he provides us with an authentic voice, giving us the names of various objects in the Nahuatl language, which is the language the main characters would have spoken.
  • I’m a great fan of folktales…this would be a perfect first folktale for young children…courage and loyalty are two traits we want to encourage kids to develop.
  • I remember studying about those two volcanos when I was a student…how fabulous to discover there was a legend…and thanks to Duncan’s wonderful glossary in the back, now I know how to pronounce the names.
  • This book won the Pura Belpre Award which was established in 1996. It is presented to a Latino/Latina (or as Duncan would say, Latinx) writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. I love books that help multicultural children see themselves…and just as importantly, help all children learn about different peoples and cultures.

 RELATED ACTIVITIES for Parents and Teachers

  1. Find other folktale picture books and read them with your children.
  2. Pick an animal, object, or place and make up a folktale about how it came to be.
  3. Make a volcano…for quick and easy instructions go here: http://www.preschoolinspirations.com/2014/05/28/easy-baking-soda-and-vinegar-volcano-eruption-for-kids/

super-easy-volcano-eruption-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: http://www.preschoolinspirations.com

 This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

And please don’t miss tomorrow’s post when we will welcome our Will Write for Cookies guest:

DUNCAN TONATIUH

Make sure you stop by and leave a comment – you’ll be entered into the giveaway of a copy of The Princess and the Warrior. Do you have a favorite folktale from your childhood? I’d love to hear about it.

Stay safe and warm, dear friends. I’m wishing the happiest  and healthiest of holiday seasons to all of you!

The Twelve Surprises for Santa and a Review of Nooks and Crannies

Hurray…we’ve had our first real snowfall…our little New England village is a fairytale wonderland. I really do enjoy the look of the snow…I just don’t like to drive in it.

Today is Friday. But before our book review, I want to tell you something else VERY IMPORTANT!

12-days-1

 Yesterday was the first day of Susanna Hill’s Mostly-World-Famous Holiday Writing Contest. Click here for the guidelines…there is still time for you to enter and join in the fun! When you finish reading my book review, you can scroll down and read my entry to the contest.

And now, since Susanna won’t have her Perfect Picture Book Friday link up, I’m reviewing a middle grade mystery I would have LOVED to read when I was a kid. The author is Jessica Lawson. You will meet her tomorrow on Will Write for Cookies. How special is that? I hope you will come back tomorrow…there will be a giveaway of a copy of the book.

cranberries-cover

NOOKS & CRANNIES

Written by Jessica Lawson

Illustrated by Natalie Andrewson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2016)

Ages: 8-12

Themes:

Courage, teamwork, investigative skills

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue when six children navigate a mansion full of secrets—and maybe money—in this “delightful gem” (School Library Journal, starred review) with heart.

Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.

Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess has a very big secret—one that will change their lives forever.

Then the children beginning disappearing, one by one. So Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, attempts to solve the case and rescue the other children…who just might be her first real friends.

Opening Lines:

 “Just past three o’clock in the afternoon, when schools across London were releasing much-adored children by the bucketful, Tabitha Crum was ushered into the cold as well.”

Why I like this book:

  • As I said earlier, I loved books like this when I was a kid…the girl who no one thinks much of is the one who perseveres and solves the mystery…a modern-day Nancy Drew.
  • Don’t you just love the names: Tabitha Crum, Camilla Lenore DeMoss: Countess of Windermere, Barnaby Trundle, Edward Herringbone.
  • I plan to send a copy of this book to my 10-year old granddaughter for Christmas…I think it is the perfect book for a delicious afternoon of reading.

PLEASE DON’T MISS TOMORROW’S WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

SPOTLIGHTING

JESSICA LAWSON AND A GIVEAWAY

But wait!!!!!! Don’t go yet!!!!!! Please stay and read my entry to Susanna Hill’s Mostly World Famous Holiday Writing Contest. Here’s a quick run-through of the guidelines: Write a children’s holiday story of 300 words or less, based on The Twelve Days of Christmas. To read the other entries, please visit Susanna’s blog.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF SURPRISES FOR SANTA (293 words)

by Vivian Kirkfield

 

On the first day of Christmas, Santa grumbled, groaned, and gritted his teeth. “Last night was too cold,” he told Mrs. Claus. “No more Christmas Eve deliveries for me.”

Just then, a package arrived.

Before Santa could open it, Mrs. Claus snatched it away. “Just some treats for the reindeer.”

On the second day of Christmas, another package arrived. Santa had already peeled off the tape when Mrs. Claus grabbed it. “Just some vitamins for the elves.”

On the third day of Christmas, Santa waited by the front door. He’d be ready this time. But Mrs. Claus had told the mailman to come around to the back.

For nine more days, boxes arrived at the North Pole. Santa always seemed to be doing something else when the package was delivered. Talking on the phone. Feeding the reindeer. Going to the bathroom. Eating a snack. Taking a nap. Reading a book. Ironing his shirt. Trimming his beard. Polishing his boots.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Santa came down for breakfast. He stopped. He stared. He sputtered. “W-w-what’s all this?” Instead of eggs and oatmeal and juice, the table was filled with presents. Twelve of them.

Mrs. Claus smiled. “You give gifts to all the children,” she said. “These are for you.”

Santa could hardly believe it. It felt like…Christmas. He opened the boxes.

Twelve woolen mittens.

Eleven quilted blankets.

Ten fleecy jackets.

Nine velvet earmuffs.

Eight hats with pompoms.

Seven red suspenders.

Six flannel nightshirts.

Five underpants.

Four knitted scarves.

Three long johns.

Two balaclavas.

And a super-duper heated seat cushion.

Santa tried on all the clothes. He tested the seat-warmer.

He looked at the calendar. “We’d better start making new toys,” he told Mrs. Claus. “I can’t wait for next Christmas Eve.”

                                                  The End

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE…AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT. AND DON’T FORGET TO BE BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR WWFC AND A GIVEAWAY!

#PPBF: Medusa the Rich

It’s the beginning of a special weekend. Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday (although Susanna Hill is taking a summer hiatus, you can still access her incredible Perfect Picture Book resource list here.Tomorrow is Will Write for Cookies with my very special guest, author Suzanne Williams. And Sunday is Father’s Day AND the first day of summer. Woo-hoo!

Today is also the first day of Kristen Fulton’s NonFicPic Week…a challenge to get all you nonfiction picture book writers…writing! Can you do seven rough drafts in seven days? http://www.kristenfulton.org/nonficpic.html

I just mentioned that tomorrow’s WWFC’s guest is Suzanne Williams. She’s the author of over sixty books for kids. And today’s review (even though it is not a picture book) is of her latest book in the GODDESS GIRLS series.

GG16 cover

MEDUSA THE RICH

Written by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub Continue reading

#PPBF – The Story About Ping

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

karate week 2 jan 2014

My grandson at his first karate class – wish I could focus so intently (and lift my leg that high).

The month has flown by with lots of picture book writing activity. I finished Meg Miller’s ReviMo (all about revising) and I’m currently participating in Shannon Abercrombie’s Start the Year off Write. There are several contest deadlines looming – Highlights Fiction Contest entries (Holiday theme) must be postmarked by January 31…and the contest being hosted by Rate Your Story ends on February 3rd. Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 is gearing up with a fully functioning Forum where you can post the 1st 250 words of a manuscript, as well as queries and pitches for critique. Emma Walton Hamilton has again graciously agreed to critique queries this month for Golden Book level members…if she isn’t able to get to all of them, Julie will complete the task. And, the lovely Mira Reisberg, talented teacher of Picture Book Academy and head of Hummingbird Literary, will be critiquing pitches in a free live webinar tonight at 6pm Pacific time. I’ve already completed my January 12×12 picture book draft and I’m furiously working to get all of those contest entries in on time. Thanks to my two wonderful critique groups, I’ve gotten great feedback and suggestions for revision and polishing. PLUS, I’m jumping up and down with excitement since February will be here before we know it and Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic class will begin.

So now that you know how January is going for me, are you ready for a picture book review?

I’m a fan of classic picture books, although recently I’ve been reviewing mostly the newer ones as I also read them to help me in my picture book writing. Today, I’m reverting back to a tried and true classic that does not seem to be on the Perfect Picture Book list. It’s also a Perfect Picture Book for the upcoming Chinese New Year – although the China it depicts has changed drastically – the book was written OVER EIGHTY YEARS AGO!

51pxIPW2B0L._AA160_

The Story About Ping Continue reading

Little Pig Joins the Band – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner – I’m thankful to be closer to family and those I love. This year, my daughter and I will share the joy of cooking the family meal together.

My picture book choice echoes that theme.

51Pgk1X22HL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

LITTLE PIG JOINS THE BAND

Written and illustrated by David Hyde Costello

Publisher: Charlesbridge (2011)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Self-esteem, family togetherness

Opening Lines:

“Sometimes Little Pig did not like being little, or even being called Little Pig.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Little pig has trouble keeping up with his older–and bigger –brothers and sisters. When they get out Grandpa’s old marching-band instruments, Little Pig is too little to play any of them. But when the disorganized band has a pig-pile mishap Continue reading

#PPBF: Chopsticks – Fostering Creativity and Self-Reliance

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

51JtSoFw7eL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

CHOPSTICKS

Written by Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books (2012)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Learning to be independent, friendship

Opening Lines:

“Perhaps you’ve met Chopsticks? They’ve been best friends for…forever. They go everywhere together. They do everything together. They’re practically attached at the hip.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Meet Chopsticks! They’ve been best friends forever. But one day, Continue reading

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea Blog Book Tour

T&P1BLOGTOURBANNER

It’s cool when someone you know publishes a book.

It’s even cooler when that someone is an eleven-year old boy!

Erik2

Erik Weibel, the genius behind This Kid Reviews Books, has written a fun, sci-fi adventure book.

When I heard he was putting together a blog book tour, I rushed to nab a place in the line-up.

Erik has impressed all of us in this amazing kid lit community with his dedication, enthusiasm and down-right great writing! He is part of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge and also participates in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and also takes part (VERY SUCCESSFULLY) in the writing contests she hosts.

t&pcover1.7D

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – Book I: A Bad Idea

Written by Erik Weibel

Based on characters created by Dave Costella

Synopsis from Erik:
For years the evil villain Wintergreen had tried to destroy Continue reading