Perfect Picture Book Friday: Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review and craft activity. Susanna Hill’s blog is the place to go to find a whole bunch of other picture book reviews.

Last week I promised you that I would be reviewing lots of non-fiction picture books this year…this one is just lovely.

elizabeth queen of the seas

Elizabeth, The Queen of the Seas

Written by Lynne Cox

Illustrated by Brian Floca

Publisher: Schwartz-Wade Books (2014)

Ages: 4-8

Themes:

Pursuing your dream, friendship, elephant seals

 

Opening Lines:

“There was once a lovely elephant seal who lived in the city. Most elephant seals live in the ocean, in salt water. They sleep on rocky coasts and lie along sandy beaches. But this seal was different. She swam in the sweet, shallow waters of the Avon River where it flowed through the heart of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

The incredible story of Elizabeth, a real-life elephant seal who made her home in the Avon River in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth decides to stretch out across a two-lane road, the citizens worry she might get hurt or cause traffic accidents, so a group of volunteers tows her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. The volunteers catch her again and again—each time towing her farther, even hundreds of miles away—but, still, Elizabeth finds her way back home.” Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Running with the Horses

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for the first Perfect Picture Book review and craft activity of 2015.

I’m going to be participating in Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books, so I can guarantee that quite a few of the reviews this year will be non-fiction ones. I discovered the ‘new’ non-fiction picture books when I enrolled in Kristen’s Non-Fiction Archaeology course last June…for those of you who have ever thought about writing in that genre, I urge you to check out her stellar class.

Before I took the class, my idea of a non-fiction book was based on what I had read as a kid. Back in the day, most non-fiction books, even those for kids, were BORING. But not anymore! And there are many different types of non-fiction…kids might not care, but parents, teachers and librarians might want to make the distinction.

For more detailed information, you can go here:
http://nonfictionandthecommoncore.blogspot.com/

running with horses

RUNNING WITH THE HORSES

Written and illustrated by Alison Lester

Publisher: NorthSouth (2011)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Conquering fears, Lipizzaner horses, war

 

Opening Lines:

“A long time ago, a young girl named Nina lived in a palace that stood in the heart of a graceful old city. The palace was home to the Roayl Academy of Dancing Horss, where Nina’s father, Viktor, was the stable master.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Nina and her father live in a beautiful riding school famous for their Lippizaners–precious, rare performing horses.  Nina loves the horses that her father looks after, but she also loves Zelda, one of the old carriage horses who she sneaks out to see.  It’s a perfect world for a little girl, although she has to compete with her father’s work for his attention.  But a war is coming, one that will threaten their lives and the very existence of the school. 

When the city is under attack, Nina and Father are in charge of fleeing with the horses to a safe place across the border, but can they pass enemy soldiers, bombed out bridges and the fearsome cold of the Alps to get there?  And can Nina save her beloved Zelda, too?” Continue reading

#PPBF – Count the Monkeys

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.

Counting books are always fun – and Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell make a great author/illustrator team. I’m thinking this was already done recently for PPBF, but it’s not on the resource list, so I’m adding it just in case.

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COUNT THE MONKEYS

Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (2011)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Counting, getting along with others, animals

Opening Lines:

“Hey kids! Time to count the monkeys! It’s fun. It’s easy. All you have to do is Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

It’s time for a Happy Dance!!!!

perfect picture book friday: mr tiger goes wild

Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill, founder of Perfect Picture Book Friday, is resuming her picture book review link-up after a well-deserved summer hiatus.

Last weekend, I attended a special book event at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.

perfect picture book friday: mr tiger goes wild

Award-winning author/illustrator Peter Brown is touring the country to help launch his new picture book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. From left to right: Stacy Jensen, Julie Rowen-Zoch, Sheri McCrimmon, me and Julie Hedlund. Oh, and of course, front and center is Peter Brown!

We all enjoyed hearing him read the story…and the little art demo he did for the kids (and us) was FANTASTIC! Peter empowered all of us to believe we COULD draw…maybe I will have to give it a whirl.

perfect picture book friday: mr tiger goes wild

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2013)

Opening lines: “Everybody was perfectly fine with the way things were. Everyone but Mr. Tiger.” Continue reading

Emma’s Elephant: Picture Book Review and Activity

Emma's Elephant: Picture Book Reivew and ActivityI’m adding another wonderful story 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.

Emma's Elephant: Picture Book Review and ActivityPlease let me share some good news first! Starting now, the price of the Kindle Edition of Show Me How! will be ONLY $2.99 for the ENTIRE SUMMER. I wanted to make it more available to parents, teachers, VBS, summer playground groups and homeschooling families. This is a SUBSTANTIAL discount off the regular $9.99 price. The activities (100 crafts and 100 recipes and 100 picture book summaries) will definitely help provide fun and educational projects for the kids.

 

 

 

In the spotlight today is another one of the treasures I scooped up in Singapore at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

Emma's Elephant: Picture Book Review and Activity

Emma’s Elephant

Written by David Seow

Illustrated by Enrico Sallustio

Publisher: Bonnie Books (2013)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Friendship, animal conservation, family, overcoming fears

Opening Lines:

“Hello, I’m Emma and I have an elephant. Her name is Ella. She has one long trunk, two floppy ears, four big feet, one tiny tail. And she is invisible! But if she likes you, she’ll let you see her. Can you see her?”

Synopsis:

Ella, a young elephant is so scared by hunters that she becomes invisible, except if she likes and trusts you. She seeks help from a little girl named Emma. Emma joins the elephant on a journey to see if they can make the jungle a safer place for all of the animals.

Why  I like this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Wonderful message of hope and family togetherness
  • Bold, bright illustrations
  • I attended the book launch for Emma’s Elephant at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore and had a chance to chat with the author, David Seow, and the illustrator, Enrico Sallustio. They both signed my copy of Emma’s Elephant (which I will be giving to my new grand-daughter, Sophie) and it was a pleasure to chat with this talented multi-published duo.

Emma's Elephant: Picture Book Review and Activity

David Seow on the left, Enrico Sallustio on the right and happy me behind them.

How a parent can use this book:

  • Lovely read-aloud
  • Talk about animals in the wild and how we can protect them and their habitats
  • Take a trip to a zoo to see some of the animals mentioned
  • Talk about how Ella reacted when she was afraid…how do you feel when you are afraid? What do you do?
  • If you make the craft, your child can role play with her elephant.

Related Activities:

PAPER PLATE ELEPHANT

Emma's Elephant: Picture Book Review and Activity

  • I love simple crafts for kids.
  • Paper plates are inexpensive and easy to work with.
  • This one is painted…but you can use markers or crayons.
  • Cut pieces of construction paper or material scraps for the legs, trunk, tail, ear and eye and glue in place.
  • Just a few minutes of your time, participating with your child…that’s all it takes…the long-term rewards are amazing!

You can connect with the author and illustrator.

Bonnie Books Publisher

David Seow’s Website and Blog

David Seow’s Facebook

Enrico Sallustio’s Website

Enrico Sallustio on Goodreads

Parenting Tip – How To Teach Problem Solving

What do you get when you give two seven-year olds some construction paper, markers, scissors and tape?

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problme Solving

You get the most amazing creations! And you get happy kids!

I encourage parents to keep simple arts and crafts supplies on hand. Paper, scissors, markers and glue are imagination enablers. Kids can spend hours, happily engaged in expressing their creativity, exercising their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Last week, my son and his family stopped by.

Knowing that my grandchildren LOVE making things, I had put a few arts and crafts supplies on the dining room table. After we visited for a while, I asked the kids if they wanted to sit down and use the materials.

Before I had even finished the sentence Continue reading