Perfect Picture Book Friday: LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE Plus Double-Header PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

Today’s picture book is so darn relatable for kids – in fact, it stirs memories of my own. I’ll bet lots of you can remember family gatherings and wanting to sit at the ‘big’ table. Well, author Pj McIlvaine has tapped into those memories to create a story that is sure to strike a chord with everyone who reads it. And the lovely Pj is offering not one, but TWO Picture Book Manuscript Critiques as a giveaway!!!! So please make sure you leave a comment.

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LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE

Written by PJ McIlvaine

Illustrated by Leila Nabih

Published by Big Belly Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Growing up, family

Synopsis: From Amazon

Little Lena has her heart set to sit at the big table. But every year her family tells her she’s just not big enough. Little Lena is determined to show everyone how big she is.

Why I love this book:

  • Sweet story about something most kids will be able to relate to
  • Charming illustrations with a hint of Mary Engelbreit
  • I think this will be a favorite at all holiday times and family gatherings

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make a Placemat

pic-cutout-placematPhoto courtesy: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/placematsartscraftideaskids.html

Kids love creating! They love cutting! They love pasting! And these placemats can be designed for any holiday or occasion. All you need: a sheet of paper, two sheets of wax paper for each placemat, pictures cut from magazines, catalogs, old greeting cards, glue, scissors. To make: cut pictures and glue in place on sheet of paper. Lay paper on one piece of wax paper which is about an inch wider and longer than the decorated paper and cover with the other piece of wax paper. The next step must be done by an adult!  Press a hot iron over the wax paper…the wax paper sheets will stick together all around the edges and will form a lovely waterproof placemat. For more detailed instructions and directions for other placemats: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/placematsartscraftideaskids.html

And as much as kids love creating, they love feeling useful even more. Give your children’s self-esteem a boost by including them in the planning of your next family event. They can help with the shopping and with the food prep and with getting the house ready. Feeling useful and needed builds self-worth.

With the summer upon us, some things slow down while others speed up. Please don’t be too busy to take a few minutes to review a favorite book or recommend it to a friend or to your local library…other than buying the book (which is also a lovely thing to do), those are the best ways we can help our favorite authors!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will be away in Massachusetts, cheering my son and son-in-law as they compete in the Tough Mudder. Here’s a  photo from last year’s event.

tough mudder hand in air

Perfect Picture Book Friday: NO BEARS ALLOWED and Picture Book Manuscript CRITIQUE Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

Today is the first day of summer…and what could be a more perfect selection for our picture book review? Here’s a story about bears and summer and…well, you’ll find out.  Plus, to celebrate the summer solstice and the launch of this adorable book (July 1, 2019), the author, the lovely Lydia Lukidis, is offering a Picture Book Manuscript Critique as a giveaway! What a fabulous prize!

no bears allowed cover

NO BEARS ALLOWED

Written by Lydia Lukidis

Illustrated by Tara J. Hannon

Published by Blue Whale Press (2019)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Overcoming fears, friendship

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Rabbit is afraid of many things, but most of all he’s afraid of gigantic, monstery, BEARS! The very nervous Rabbit is soon confronted by his worst fear who appears to be far more interested in making new friends than causing Rabbit any real harm. Despite his apprehension, Rabbit agrees to join his jovial new acquaintance for dinner, but wait a minute . . . is Bear planning to “have” Rabbit for dinner? In this tender story about a very nervous rabbit and a lovable bear, Rabbit discovers that things aren’t always as scary as they seem, and sometimes you may just have more in common with others than you think.”

“Tara J. Hannon’s whimsical, fun, colorful drawings enhance a fine picture book story highly recommended for either independent pursuit by ages 4-7, or read-aloud pleasure.” — D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“This adventure offers an effective brain exercise in graphic storytelling for young readers. . .” — Kirkus Reviews

Why I love this book:

  • Love the refrain about the pointy teeth and sharp claws
  • Love the humor
  • Love the simple message of friendship helping to conquer fears
  • Bold, bright kid-friendly illustrations will have children turning the pages

RELATED ACTIVITIES

paper-bag-puppet-bear-craft-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.craftymorning.com/paper-bag-bear-puppet-kids-make/

I think you all know how much I love paper bag crafts…inexpensive and so easy for the little ones to work with. For detailed instructions: https://www.craftymorning.com/paper-bag-bear-puppet-kids-make/

For more information about this talented author, please visit: http://lydialukidis.com/

Lydia Ludikas headshot

And remember, Lydia is giving away a picture book critique…which is AWESOME! Just leave a comment below…and don’t forget the best way to let our favorite authors know how much we love their books is to: buy their books, review their books on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites, tell friends about the books, and ask our libraries to purchase copies for their collections.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: How to Babysit a Logan PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

We have a double-decker weekend here – a book giveaway with today’s post and another book giveaway tomorrow thanks to our Will Write for Cookies guest, author/editor/publisher Callie Metler-Smith.

hOW TO BABSIT A LOGAN

HOW TO BABYSIT A LOGAN

Written by Callie Metler-Smith

Illustrated by Cindy Vattahil

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (2019)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Autism, pet therapy, cats

Synopsis: From Amazon

Thunderbolt the Cat takes his position of babysitting Logan, his human, very seriously. Logan has autism so it is Thunderbolt’s job to protect and provide support for Logan throughout his day. In this heartfelt true story, view the world of living with someone with autism through the eyes of their beloved Cat.

Why I love this book:

  • I love the way the cat states in a matter-of-fact way that Logan like spaghetti and meatballs without sauce, that he needs comfy clothes with particular collars, and that because he prefers to sleep in a small space, they sleep in a tent. These needs are no big deal to the cat, and so they are no big deal to any child reading the story.
  • The illustrations are very vibrant and simple…we see everything from the cat’s vantage point and so we are able to get close into the picture from the cat’s POV.
  • The best way to help kids embrace inclusivity and encourage understanding is to provide stories about people with different needs.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

cat-crafts-kids-will-lovePhoto courtesy: http://www.playideas.com/25-curiously-cute-cat-crafts-for-kids/

How about TWENTY-FIVE cat crafts? Check out this website for details on each one: http://www.playideas.com/25-curiously-cute-cat-crafts-for-kids/

Did you know that some libraries allow patrons to request particular books be purchased for that libraries collection? Why not check with your library…some even let you do it online. And, when you find a book you love, why not review it on Amazon or Goodreads? Those reviews really help the author by encouraging others to buy books that entertained, educated, or inspired you.

For more wonderful picture book reviews and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Leonard HIll’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of HOW TO BABYSIT A LOGAN. And definitely don’t forget to be back tomorrow for a wonderful Q&A with editor Callie Metler-Smith!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SUMO JOE Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! I had a fabulous time at the NESCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts last weekend. The keynotes were amazing…Jane Yolen, Patricia MacLachlan and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. My presentations went really well…I think folks walked away feeling they had gotten something of value. And getting to hug lots of kidlit friends was so much fun!

Today’s book  is so much fun also and it’s from one of my fellow #Newin19 teammates, Mia Wenjen who hosts the fabulous Pragmatic Mom blog.

But, before we get to the review, we owe someone a book. Two weeks ago, Jodi McKay offered a copy of her newest picture book, PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE, and the winner is: Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!  I’m still in Chicago, but I wanted to make sure I shared this lovely new book by Jodi McKay. Think THE DOT meets THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT. It’s a story that will encourage kids to draw for pleasure, do their best, and have fun…and it launches in just a few days. And author McKay is donating a copy of the book as a GIVEAWAY…YAY! Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win.

61ue4z8Xu+L PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE

Written by Jodi McKay

Illustrated by Juliana Motzko

Published by Albert Whitman (2019)

Ages: 3-5

Themes: Do your best; art; believe in yourself

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Pencil is trying to draw the perfect picture for his dad. So, he asks his friends Brush, Pastel, Marker, Crayon, and Chalk what makes their art perfect. But they each have a different answer. How will Pencil be able to create his own perfect picture?

Why I love this book:

  • Wonderful text that will encourage discussion about tackling projects we are unsure of
  • Creative illustrations that help us connect with the main character, even though it is a pencil
  • I love that the author used art supplies as the characters to show how kids feel

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Deocrated Pencils

Decorative-Pencils-Family-Craft-thediydreamer.com_Photo courtesy: https://thediydreamer.com/crafts/decorative-pencils-family-craft/

How about making the perfect pencil? For detailed instructions: https://thediydreamer.com/crafts/decorative-pencils-family-craft/

And remember, the greatest gift we can give an author is to buy their book, review their book, tell a friend about their book, and ask our local library to add the book to their colloection.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE. We’d love to hear how you felt about your art when you were a kid.

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please stay tuned for the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge: April 29-May 6…if you know any teachers or parents who might want their children to participate, please pass along the information.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOGI: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

Hurray! I’m back home…and it’s Friday…and you know what that means. A review of a wonderful picture book!

Before I share the review, I need to celebrate my return from an incredible round-the-world journey by announcing the winners of several giveaways (and hopefully, by Sunday, I will be able to announce the winners of the #50PreciousWords and give everyone a heads-up regarding the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge).

A big thank you to all of the generous authors and illustrators who Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. And I’ve got a wonderful book to review that fits perfectly with this season of spring.

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GROWING SEASON

Written and illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Published by Sterling House Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship, gardening

Synopsis: From Amazon:

El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they’re inseparable. But what happens when Jo starts to grow? This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up.
 
El and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asked every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El! Continue reading