Perfect Picture Book Friday: THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I know it looks like I am here, but I really am not! I am in Switzerland with my dear Storm teammate, Julie Abery.  Yesterday we met with a local SCBWI group and today we are going to the village of Gruyere…the home of cheese and chocolate. You can be sure I will be tasting! Tomorrow we fly to London for the weekend…I’ll be sharing photos on social media, so please stay tuned.

BUT…MEANWHILE…I am totally excited to share a brand new picture book…from fellow debut author B.J. Lee!

I guess you could say that today’s story is a retelling of a wildly popular progressive tale. But it so different, it is really new. It is truly the best of both worlds. A time-honored favorite, like an old friend. But with such a charming twist, it has become new again. And perhaps that is the key to a great book. They say there are only seven stories in the entire world…and every book is a variation. What makes each different is the voice, perspective, and flavor that the author brings to it. And B.J. Lee certainly brought all of that!  Plus, she is offering a copy of the book as a giveaway. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

there was an old gator cover

THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH

Written by B.J. Lee

Illustrated by David Opie

Published by Pelican Publishing (2019)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Progressive story, Florida animals

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Gators and panthers and crabs, oh my! The classic cumulative tale There Was an Old Lady gets a Floridian flourish in this charming adaptation. Down in the southern swamps a hungry gator accidentally swallows a moth. Of course, he swallows a crab to get the moth! What will he swallow next? The gator predictably continues swallowing bigger and bigger creatures until the unexpected happens―all over the page! Along the way to its hilarious ending, the story―strengthened by the delightful illustrations―introduces readers of all ages to the many critters, both big and small, of the Florida swamp. With a familiar use of repetition and an abundance of rhythm, this silly story is perfect for read-aloud experiences.”

Why I love this book:

  • Fabulous read-aloud!
  • Love the regional flavor of the story!
  • The illustrations are perfect!
  • Meter and rhyme are delightful!

 

The book launch was pretty special – at a Nature Center and there was a reading, a sing-a-long, crafts, and….a gator walk with a park ranger!

Gator Day Flyer 3 10 19 final

And here’s a bit about B.J.

I am a former college music librarian turned full-time writer and poet. My debut picture book, There Was an Old Gator Who Swallowed a Moth, launched on February 1, 2019 from Pelican Publishing. Additionally, I am an award-winning children’s poet with over 100 poems and stories published/forthcoming in major anthologies and magazines. Anthology credits include Construction People (Wordsong, 2019), I Am a Jigsaw (Bloomsbury, 2019), National Geographic’s Poetry of US (2018), National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry (2015), One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown, 2016), Moonstruck (Otter-Barry, 2019), Spaced Out (Bloomsbury, 2019), Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble (Bloomsbury, 2019) and many others. Magazine credits include Spider, Highlights, and The School Magazine. I blog at Today’s Little Ditty, where I am an authority on poetic forms.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

alligator-craftsPhoto courtesy: https://momfoodie.com/alligator-crafts-for-kids/

For detailed instructions and other ideas: https://momfoodie.com/alligator-crafts-for-kids/

Remember friends, leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH by B.J. Lee. And as always, help spread the word about the books you love. Buy them, review them, ask your library to purchase them for their collection, and tell your friends about the them.

For more wonderful book reviews, please stop by Susanna Hill’s PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY.

Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: BABOONS ON BALLONS

Most of you know that I am on an around-the-world book tour – launching three debut picture books, speaking at SCBWI conferences, and meeting kidlit friends  But what is the most fun of all is when I read my stories to children.

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of visiting Point Chevalier School in Auckland, NZ. Diane and I were invited to attend their Friday morning assembly – what a joyful occasion that was! The principal, Stephen Lethbridge, strummed the guitar as the children sang the national anthem, first in Maori, then in English, as well as in sign language. Then the school chorus performed. And various children were recognized with certificates for good behavior, civic awareness, and excellent academics. I spoke with the principal after and told him how impresed I was with how the children were encouraged and supported by their teachers and each other!

The children enjoyed hearing FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK…which, by the way, launches TODAY!!! I hope you’ll check out Maria Marshall’s PPBF review of it. And on Diane Tulloch’s blog, you’ll find a video of the school visit and a continuation of Where in the World are Vivian, Pippa, Sarah, and those Tobogganing Otters.

I was totally impressed with the participation of the students…100 six-year olds…all anxious to ask questions and answer them. Can you believe that most knew what threatened meant…and many had excellent responses when I asked what might cause animals to become threatened. Our discussion of authors and writing books also elicited enthusiastic interaction – I probably could have stayed there all day, chatting with them!

Diane Tulloch, my stellar host, PR person, photographer, event planner, and dear critique buddy and I were invited to morning tea…and the principal presented me with a copy of a book written and illustrated by the school’s students. It’s a beautiful story and I just had to share it with you today.

baboons on balloons

Written by Elodie Gibbs

Illustrated by the students of Point Chevalier School

Published by Tsunami (2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Resilience, animals

Opening lines: “A honeybee’s making fun of me…and it stings a bit.”

Synopsis:

A child who is being made fun of decides to look around and see the wonder of the surrounding world, including some baboons on balloons, a squirrel feeding berries to a bear, and a lemur in a steamer looking for the beach.

Why I love this book:

  • Written and illustrated by kids! What a wonderful way to encourage creativity and build self-esteem!
  • Happy bouncy rhyme
  • Fabulous collage and other mediums used for the art

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Super-Fun-Animal-Crafts-for-Kids.-A-lot-of-animal-paper-crafts-nature-materials-crafts-and-a-lot-more.-A-perfect-activity-for-kids-to-make-them-busy-and-entertained.

Looking for some animals crafts? Check out this website: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/animal-crafts-for-kids/

Help your child write and illustrate a story. Staple the pages together in a book.

Thank you, my friends, for stopping by and spending your precious time here. Speaking about time, the days are flying by and I can’t believe that I leave beautiful New Zealand in just a few days. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Diane and her hubby…they’ve taken such good care of me. But I’m also looking forward to meeting my “Swiss connection” Julie Abery.

On a very sad note, the news here in NZ is filled with reports of shootings. Over 40 people where killed in Christchurch (where I was just the other day). This type of attack is almost unheard of in New Zealand…a country that embraces diversity and practices inclusivity. And the city of Christchurch suffered devastating losses of life and property during the earthquake of 2012. My heart goes out to all of those impacted.

Please stay safe and have a beautiful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS Plus Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

In four more days, I’ll be hopping on a plane and winging my way to Sydney, Australia. But please don’t fret! Even though I may not be HERE…I will be hopping around the blogsphere, visiting with Kirsti Call on Writers’ Rumpus, sharing lists of female inventors with Mia Wenjen on Pragmatic Mom, answering questions for Maria Marshall on Picture Book Buzz, chatting with Darlene Beck-Jacobsen on Gold from Dust: Bringing Stories to Life, and more. Plus there will be several Perfect Picture Book posts right here as I continue to celebrate the fabulous 2019 debuts…like today’s wonderful book!

And as a special treat, I’ll be sharing the cover of author Lindsay Leslie’s SECOND debut picture book of 2019…PLUS, she’s offering a double giveaway.

spineless cover

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS

Written by Lindsay Leslie

Illustrated by Alice Brereton

Published by Page Street Kids (February 19, 2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Sensory Perception, Humor, Problem Solving

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.

Does it hear spooky wails from a ghost story?
Can it see a mysterious something peeking around a corner?
Is that the dizzy feeling of zero gravity it senses?
Might that be the stinky smell of animals in nature it detects?
Could it be tasting the saltiness of a story on the high seas?

The reader and book navigate the book’s contents together, becoming friends as the book becomes braver with every page turn. This multilayered book incorporates the five senses, multiple literary genres, and various book parts, with the relationship between book and reader bringing everything together.”

Why I love this book:

  • I love books that are interactive and encourage participation between reader/listener and the story.
  • This book has heart and humor…great combination for any picture book.
  • The illustrations are lots of fun and will engage children to keep turning the pages.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

dream-catcher-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk

Make a DREAMCATCHER to grab your dreams, both good and bad. For detailed instructions: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/children/dont-be-afraid-god-is-with-us/

And check out author Leslie’s second debut picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER that launches in May.

nova_cover-lowres

Here’s a little bit about the author of these brilliant books!

Bio: A diary keeper, a journal writer, a journalism major, a public relations executive—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. When she became a mom and began to tell her kids bedtime stories, Lindsay connected the dots to children’s literature. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books. Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, her debut picture book (Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019). Her second picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER (Page Street Kids), will launch on May 21, 2019. Her third picture book, DUSK RAIDERS WANTED (Page Street Kids), will launch in spring of 2020. Lindsay lives with her husband, two young boys, and two fur-beasts in Austin.

Links: www.lindsayleslie.com

Twitter: @lleslie

Instagram: @lindsaylesliewrites

Dear friends, one of the things I’m always encouraging people to do is to write reviews for the books that you love. Lindsay kindly supplied the links for Goodreads, so if you get to read either or both of her books, I hope you will hop over and post your review. This is the best gift you can give an author…other than buying their book, of course.

Goodreads:

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046021-this-book-is-spineless?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/This-Book-Spineless-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531156153&sr=8-1&keywords=this+book+is+spineless

NOVA THE STAR EATER:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150332-nova-the-star-eater?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/Nova-Star-Eater-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535051997&sr=8-1&keywords=nova+the+star+eater

Lindsay and I are actually members of one of the debut picture book author groups and I’ve gotten to know her a bit. She is mega-smart about writing and lots of other things, so, I asked her to share an author tip with us.

Lindsay says:

When I was in the throes of querying, I took advantage of every opportunity available to me. Not only did I have a targeted list of agents I was interested in working with, but also I participated in all of the Twitter #hashtag events, such as #PitMad and #PBPitch, as well as the online contests, including #PBParty, among others. I even submitted to a Writer’s Digest competition (and I placed fourth for children’s literature). What I felt was important was feedback. I wanted to see if my concepts caught eyeballs. Did my pitches make people pause? Am I getting a reaction? For the pitches that got no love, I knew I had work to do and needed go back to either rework the manuscript or figure out why my pitch wasn’t connecting. For the pitches that received a “heart,” I knew I was on the right track. This was all part of my market research. Of course, this process came after running my manuscripts by several critique partners. So, if you are feeling fearful or timid about putting yourself out there with these types of contest and opportunities, know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way and that there are so many upsides to participating! For me, it was a book deal with Page Street Kids.

How cool is that! And, if you’re in the market to win a copy of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and an F&G (unbound copy) of NOVA THE STAR EATER, please don’t forget to leave a comment. I’d love if you would share what, if anything, made you feel spineless as a child.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE and a peek at the #50PreciousWords Contest

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. I’m not sure anyone has ever done what I am about to do.

Am I committing a faux pas, a blooper, a blunder, a breach of good etiquette by reviewing my own book?

I hope not. But since no one mentioned they were doing a PPBF for Pippa AND the book just launched on Tuesday AND I wanted to give everyone a sneak peek at the upcoming #50PreciousWords Contest which goes live next month, I thought, why not?

cover on amazon Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday – – – – – – – – HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! And Happy World Read-Aloud Day! Are you reading a story to children today? I hope you’ll share your experiences in the comment section below.

And guess what? It is FEBRUARY! Oh my gosh…my great adventure starts later this month. But does that mean you won’t be getting notification of blog posts from me? Heck no! I’m scheduling them in advance as much as I can. And although I’ve been busy working on guest posts that you will no doubt run into as you surf the blogsphere, I’ll also be shining a spotlight on a few of my very favorite 2019 picture books. Like today’s selection from an old friend of mine, Laurie Wallmark.

Many of you may know today’s author because I’ve showcased her books before. I absolutely positively love the way she writes and the strong women she writes about.

hedy cover

HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Captain Green and the Plastic Scene

POW! BAM! SHAZZAM!

Sorry, friends, I just reread today’s featured book and and it is so much fun, I got a little carried away. But it’s also a book with a serious message which is another reason I love it.

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday. Before we get to today’s wonderful selection, I wanted to announce some giveaway winners! I’m way behind and I apologize to one and all. Life has gotten a bit busy with preparations for my upcoming trip.

A number of weeks ago, Katy Farber, author of SALAMANDER SKY, offered a giveaway of a surprise book. And the winner is…

LESLIE HELAKOSKI.

Then, author Alexandria LaFaye, offered a copy of FOLLOW ME DOWN TO NICODEMUS TOWN. And the winner is…

BETH CHARLES

And last, but certainly not least, author Monique Fields, is giving away a copy of her debut picture book,  HONEYSMOKE: A STORY OF FINDING YOUR COLOR. And the winner is….

LIV’ EE REHFIELD

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the winners and a big thank you to our generous authors for sharing their insights and also their books!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…Perfect Picture Book Friday.

cover Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday : NEEMA’S REASON TO SMILE – Multicultural Children’s Book Day Selection

Hello my friends…Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today’s story is very special – it’s part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Bloggers from around the world have been reviewing selected books and posting them on their websites and shouting out about them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social medial channels. I’m thrilled that my own Sweet Dreams, Sarah was also chosen and will be reviewed by bloggers who want to share diverse books with kids. And I’m honored to have the pleasure of sharing NEEMA’S REASON TO SMILE with you!

81brb8jvucl Continue reading