Perfect Picture Book Friday: BRAVE WITH BEAUTY Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I always love writing these blog posts, but right now, this a welcome break for me…every day this week I have been sorting through stuff and clearing out closets and cabinets…the house closing is Monday. I’m also excited because I love meeting new author friends…and Maxine Rose Schur, the author of BRAVE WITH BEAUTY, was introduced to me by another author friend, Arlene Schenker. And it turns out that Maxine is also the author of several other picture books including MARIELLE IN PARIS…a story about a little mouse who is a fashion designer in Paris. Now this is where things get really interesting. My 7-year old granddaughter goes to the French school in Chicago…and loves to design clothes for her dolls and I knew she would LOVE this book. And Maxine very kindly and generously inscribed a copy for Sophie and sent it to her. Maxine is also offering a copy of her new book as a giveaway for this post.AND she’ll be stopping by tomorrow to share some insights into her writing journey and a favorite cookie recipe! We are all in for a treat! But for now, let’s find out more about BRAVE WITH BEAUTY.

BRAVE WITH BEAUTIY

Written by Maxine Rose Schur

Illustrated by Patricia Dewitt-Grush, Robin Dewitt, Golsa Yabhoobie

Published by Yali Books (2019)

Ages: 7-9

Themes: Women in Stem, diversity, Queen Goharshad

Synopsis: From Amazon:

This is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15th century monarch, who many historians now believe was the most powerful woman in world history.  Ruling from the Timurid artistic and cultural center of Herat in western Afghanistan, Queen Goharshad ushered in a remarkable, rare period when poetry, music, calligraphy, painting and the sciences flourished as never before. A poet and an architect, she designed a complex of buildings that were considered to be some of the most beautiful structures ever built on earth.

Why I love this book:

  1. A true story of a young girl who chose to spend her time learning and creating even though most girls in those days did not do that.
  2. The writing hooks you in from the first page – this is a fascinating story of action and determination.
  3. The illustrations are exceptional…rich with detail and color.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Photo courtesy: https://creativefamilyfun.net/watercolor-tiles-exploring-afghanistan/

How about making a mosaic of watercolor tiles? For detailed instructions: https://creativefamilyfun.net/watercolor-tiles-exploring-afghanistan/

And here’s a link from the Yali Books website: https://yalibooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Flyer_Islamic-Tiles.pdf

Find Afghanistan on a world map…look up information about it – what type of climate does it have? Are there any animals that are native to this country? What types of fruits or vegetables grow there?

I know that many children will be returning to school soon…but school will look very different this September. Whether your child is attending remotely, on-site, or some hybrid model, the time you spend reading will go a long way to developing literacy skills in young children and sparking the curiosity of older ones. A book like BRAVE WITH BEAUTY would be a wonderful launch pad for a discussion about diverse cultures, their contributions to the world, and how they enrich our lives.

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of BRAVE WITH BEAUTY, thanks to our generous author, Maxine Rose Schur. And make sure you are here tomorrow when Maxine stops by to chat about her fascinating writing journey.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please stay safe and well!

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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: Chicken Wants a Nap PLUS Giveaway

YES! YES! YES!

It’s a good day to review a picture book and I’ve got a fabulous one for you!

CHICKEN cover

CHICKEN WANTS A NAP

Written by Tracy Marchini

Illustrated by Monique Felix

Published by Creative Editions (August 15, 2017)

Ages: 3-8

Themes: Life on the farm, humor, dealing with frustration

Synopsis: From Amazon:

The sun is up, and a happy barnyard chicken is looking forward to a comfortable day—preferably one that includes a relaxing nap. However, every time she tries to find a good spot, something goes wrong. The sun disappears and is replaced by rain. She is driven out of the warm barn by obnoxious noises and smells. The dog is too curious for her to stay on the porch. Finally, the rain stops, and the worms come out. This is good news for the chicken—but bad news for the worms!

Why I like this book:

  • Simple text that draws the listener in and invites reader participation
  • Great illustrations that tell part of the story and marry with the text perfectly
  • Filled with humor and a SUPER twist at the end
  • Super read aloud!

Related Activities:

Make a paper plate chicken

plate-chickenPhoto courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/chickens.htm

Paper plate crafts…I love them so much…and so do kids!

You will need: One paper plate, construction paper, markers, scissors, glue.

For detailed instructions and more chicken crafts, visit: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/chickens.htm

Author Tracy Marchini and her publisher, Creative Editions, are giving away a copy of CHICKEN NEEDS A NAP. To be entered, please don’t forget to leave a comment.

Although CHICKEN NEEDS A NAP is not launching until August 15th, you can preorder the book on Amazon or from your local indie bookseller…and don’t forget that reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are very important

And I hope you all will come back tomorrow when Tracy stops by to chat and share an AMAZING recipe with us on Will Write for Cookies Pizza!