Perfect Picture Book Friday: IF YOU HAD YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ON THE MOON plus #50PreciousWords WINNERS!

Hold on to your seats, everyone! We are ready to blast off! Our Perfect Picture Book Friday story is the obvious choice for such a momentous blog post that will also contain the WINNERS of #50PreciousWords.

Most of you know that I left home on February 19 and didn’t get back until April 8. That time was spent in Sydney at the Australia/NZ SCBWI conference (which rocked!) and sightseeing through the beautiful city and its lovely beach areas. Maria Marshall and I walked EVERYWHERE! Below is a photo of Maria and me at a beach where they had the most amazing poster art graffiti – since my slogan is Nothing is Impossible if You Can Imagine It…we had to take a pic with the bottle of dreams and me holding the little heart pillow my six-year old granddaughter had sewed for me to take on my trip as a little lovey.

viv and maria at sydney beach poster Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ROCK AND ROLL WOODS Plus PB Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! 

Do you love music? I do! All kinds! From classical to rhythm and blues. From jazz to folk. But best of all, I love rock and roll. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: NO PEACOCKS Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

It’s been such a wonderful week so far…reconnecting with my dear friend Jane in her home on the New Jersey shore…we’ve known each other since we were two years old and have spent the last few days talking and hugging and talking some more! On Wednesday, we walked on the boardwalk,  listened to the waves crashing on the beach. and shared food I haven’t had forever like hot dogs and pizza and fries. 

Which made me think of NO PEACOCKS!, a brand new picture book by one of  my favorite kidlit authors, Robin Newman, about a bunch of birds who want to get some variety in their diet. And thanks to the lovely Robin, we have a giveaway of a copy of this wonderful book!

cover

NO PEACOCKS

Written by Robin Newman

Illustrated by Chris Ewald

Published by Sky Pony Press (September 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Humor, ingenuity, food

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Every day, Phil, Jim, and Harry are fed sunflower seeds by the staff who care for them at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. But one day, they decide they’re sick of them. They make a break for the New York City streets in search of pizza or Chinese takeout.

But everywhere they go, they’re told “No peacocks!” So they try to get an ooey, gooey, delicious meal closer to home. But how are they going to sneak into the school’s dining hall and get their wings on the school’s world-famous mac ‘n cheese? A little plotting, some stolen disguises, and help from the students, and mission mac ‘n cheese is a go! Will the peacocks finally get their mac ‘n cheese? Or will their cover be blown, forcing them to fly the coop?

Inspired by the real-life beloved, celebrity birds living on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and brought to the page in bold, bright style, No Peacocks!is a hilarious romp and a perfect read-aloud.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids love funny books…I love funny books…and this is a very funny book!
  • Great diversity in the school children!
  • Bold bright colors will engage kids from the first page to the last!

And here is some more info about the book, straight from the author’s mouth!

My latest book, No Peacocks! A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Sky Pony Press) flies onto bookshelves on 9/4.

Let me introduce you to some friends of mine:

This is Phil. He’s a white leucistic peafowl.

white peacock

This is Jim or Harry.

jim or harry

Or Harry or Jim. They’re your traditional blue-green peacocks.

harry or jim

Phil, Jim, and Harry reside on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. From the moment I saw them, I knew I wanted to write a story about them. But it wasn’t until I was attending a meeting for The Cathedral School’s book fair, when my son was a student, and someone announced—Did anyone leave a stroller on the porch with a sandwich? Because one of the peacocks just ate it—that I knew the kind of story I was going to write.

No Peacocks! is a fictional tale about Phil, Jim, and Harry’s quest to taste the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese. With a little plotting, some stolen school uniforms, and help from the students, Mission Mac ‘n Cheese is a go! No Peacocks! is a cheesy story of friendship and teamwork, with a mild sprinkling of fowl behavior. 

Every day tour buses line up along Amsterdam Avenue from 110th Street to 112th Street to see the three celebrity peacocks and visit the cathedral (which also happens to be where Madeleine L’Engle had worked as the librarian and writer in residence).

No Peacocks! is a quintessential New York story. There may be Eloise at The Plaza Hotel on the east side of town, but there’s no doubt that the peacocks at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine are THE celebrities on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

WOW! Don’t you love getting a behind the scenes look at how/why a book came to be? Is this not fantastic? And just think…one lucky person is going to win a copy of this fascinating book!!! Make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Peacock-Crafts-and-Activities-for-KidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/peacock-crafts-and-activities/

For detailed instructions on many peacock crafts: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/peacock-crafts-and-activities/

Here are some great learning extension activities from Robin:

activities from robin

more activities

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more 3

more 4

And for more picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

I hope you will all come back tomorrow to visit with author Robin Newman who is stopping by to chat with us on Will Write for Cookies. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway…and remember that book reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads are one of the best gifts you can give to your favorite authors.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Hedgehog Needs a Hug PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! I’m so happy to bring you one of the new 2018 debuts! This one is such a perfect marriage of text and illustrations – and one of the reasons for that is because it was created by the very talented author/illustrator Jen Betton. I fell in love with her heartfelt drawings of all of the animal characters and I think you will also. And guess what? Jen will be stopping by Will Write for Cookies tomorrow with an inside peek at her writing/illustrating life.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post and on tomorrow’s for a chance to win a copy of this wonderful book!

 

hedgehog needs a hug coverHEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG

Written and illustrated by Jen Betton

Published by G.P.Putnam’s Sons (June 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Everyone needs hugs, even if they’re prickly.

When Hedgehog wakes up feeling down in the snout and droopy in the prickles, he knows a hug will make him feel much better. But none of his animal friends are eager to wrap their arms around Hedgehog’s prickles, and he’s too smart to fall for Fox’s sly offer.

Then Hedgehog gets a surprise: Another animal in the forest is feeling exactly the same way.

Luckily, both are kind and brave enough for the perfect hug

Why I like this book:

  • Text filled with heart and humor is paired with gorgeous heartfelt illustrations
  • I LOVE friendship stories – and so do children
  • Kids will really relate to how Hedgehog is feeling

RELATED ACTIVITIES

25-cute-hedgehog-craftsPhoto courtesy: https://totallythebomb.com/25-totally-cute-hedgehog-crafts

Can you believe all of these awesome hedgehog crafts? For detailed instructions, please go to: https://totallythebomb.com/25-totally-cute-hedgehog-crafts

Matthew Winner gave a shout out to Jen’s new trailer for HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG:  http://www.matthewcwinner.com/single-post/2018/06/05/HEDGEHOG-NEEDS-A-HUG-Book-Trailer-Premiere

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the book giveaway…and please support your favorite authors and illustrators by buying their books, telling friends about their books, and writing reviews for their books.

And definitely don’t miss coming tomorrow when author/illustrator Jen Betton stops by to chat on Will Write for Cookies.

Happy Summer to all…and have a safe weekend!

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: FLYING DEEP

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

Before we get to the review of today’s picture book, thanks to our generous authors and their publishers, we have some giveaways to announce. 

The winner of A Campfire Tail by Sarah Glenn Marsh is…

SHERRY HOWARD!

The winner of SELFIE SEBASTIAN by Sarah Glenn Marsh is…

BECKY SCHARHORST!

And the winner of THE MANIC PANIC by Richa Jha is…

JOANNE SHER!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL…I will connect with you all so we can ship out your books!

Thank you, dear readers, for spending your precious time here on my blog. I truly appreciate it and I know our wonderful authors and illustrators love reading the wonderful comments you leave. And the best way to thank these wonderful authors is to buy their books, review their books, and tell other people  about their books!

Speaking of wonderful authors (what’s that you say…I am using the word ‘wonderful’ too many time?) – I met the author of today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday at a conference a couple of years ago. She was already deep into her research for this story and maybe, when she stops by for Will Write for Cookies tomorrow, we will learn more about that.

flying deep cover

FLYING DEEP: CLIMB INSIDE DEEP-SEA SUBMERSIBLE ALVIN

Written by Michelle Cusolito

Illustrated by Nicole Wong

Published by: Charlesbridge (2018)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Underwater exploration, Submersible Alvin

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean.

Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot and join scientists at the seafloor to collect samples and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. Extensive back matter explains how Alvin works, describes the author’s research, and includes a glossary and further reading.

“An appealing, exhilarating, and informative vicarious journey of discovery” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Why I like this book:

  • Fabulous information written in a very accessible and engaging manner.
  • Super fun illustrations
  • And if you are in the neighborhood of the Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, you can join in the launch party: https://www.facebook.com/events/209296316324369/

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

15-Ocean-Crafts-for-Kids-1Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com

For details on any of these fun underwater themed crafts, please click on this link: https://iheartcraftythings.com/15-ocean-kids-crafts.html

If you are looking for more picture book reviews, head on over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Do you have plans for this weekend? I’ve promised my daughter that I’ll help her plant tomatoes.  I also need to get herbs and vegetable plants for my own garden. I love the smell of sun-warmed soil. And there is something very healing about planting things that blossom with life.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHARK NATE-O Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

First, some announcements.

Congratulations to Amber Hendricks. She was the winner of Patricia Valdez’ wonderful JOAN PROCTOR, DRAGON DOCTOR…and she has already received it…thank you so much, Patricia…you are FAST!

And the winner of Laura Sassi’s DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE is…

ANNE IVERSON…Congratulations, Anne…I’ll connect you and Laura so she can mail you the book.

Today’s wonderful picture book is by debut picture book author, Tara Luebbe and her sister, Becky Cattie. And guess what? Tara and her sister have TWO picture book debuting this year! And guess what else? Tara will be stopping by to chat with us tomorrow and share a yummy gluten-free recipe for a cookie that doesn’t have to be baked. AND, can you stand one more piece of awesomeness? Tara is graciously offering a copy of SHARK NATE-O as a giveaway prize. So, please don’t forget to leave a comment today and tomorrow. 

Shark Nate-O cvr (1).jpg

SHARK NATE-O

Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie

Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

Published by Little Bee Books (April 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Swimming, sharks, overcoming fears

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . .

Nate can’t swim.

When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Why I like this book:

  • I totally identify with Nate…I, too, was a nonswimmer…and had to overcome my fear of the water when I took swimming in high school and college. I’m still not a fan, but perhaps I could save myself if I had to.
  • Great text from the opening lines to the satisfying ending.
  • Super cool illustrations.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

fingerprint shark art for kids

For detailed instructions, please go to: www.frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com

Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway. And come come tomorrow to join us for Tara’s Q&A on Will Write for Cookies. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

If you have a few minutes, don’t forget that writing a review on a book site like Amazon or Goodreads is a wonderful gift to your favorite author.

And for more picture book reviews and activities, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: MOTH AND WASP, SOIL AND OCEAN

Hello dear friends! I hope you haven’t given up on me. With a March 1st deadline, I’ve been writing and revising for the past three weeks. I’m happy to say that four of the manuscripts for the compilation book are already on the editor’s desk. I have one more ready to go, another almost there, a third that needs a bit more research, and a fourth…well…let’s just say that one is still a rough draft. 

January was also Tara Lazar’s STORYSTORM challenge and I now have a notebook with 30+ new story ideas. If you didn’t get a chance to hop over to read my post, you can click here. I shared how I got ideas for all of the books that are now under contract – and a few that are out on submission. If you are writing with the view to getting traditionally published, I urge you to read Jane Yolen’s post – I am always inspired by her words.

Speaking of being inspired…our Perfect Picture Book Friday selection does exactly that! The text by award-winning author Sigrid Schmalzer is glorious and the illustrations by debut picture book illustrator Melanie Linden Chan are incredible!

moth and wasp soil and ocean

MOTH AND WASP, SOIL AND OCEAN: Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong’s Work for Sustainable Farming

Written by Sigrid Schmalzer

Illustrated by Melanie Linden Chan

Published by Tilbury House Publishers (2018)

Ages: 6-9

Themes: Sustainable farming, Chinese culture, conservation

Why I like this book:

  • A true gem of history that will inspire adults and kids
  • A beautiful diverse story that will help children get a better picture of life in other places and times
  • Incredible illustrations from debut picture book illustrator Melanie Linden Chan…just incredible!
  • I love the message of sustainable farming!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Plant Seeds

plants14Photo courtesy: https://www.prekinders.com/category/themes/plants-seeds/

One of the favorite activities of my kinders was planting seeds. They loved getting their hands in the soil, pressing the small beans, peas, or other seeds with their fingers. Best of all, the loved watching the little green sprouts push up and flourish. For detailed instructions, go here: https://www.prekinders.com/category/themes/plants-seeds/

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. And for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up, go here.

And while you are there, why not check out her Valentiny Contest that starts soon!

And last, but definitely not least, if you’d like to get a peek at the 2018 Debut Picture Books, please visit the Epic Eighteens website.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend. Stay warm or stay cool, whichever you prefer.