Category Archives: Crafts for kids

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SNOW SISTERS plus Critique Giveaway

What a totally perfect day for a totally perfect picture book entitled SNOW SISTERS

Yes, here in New Hampshire, we are in the middle of a BLIZZARD! It’s actually lovely if you don’t have to go anywhere and have plenty of food and water and power to heat your home and keep the internet going.

And the lovely Kerri Kokias, author of Snow Sisters, has graciously offered a picture book manuscript critique as a giveaway. Woo-hoo! And tomorrow, Kerri will be stopping by to chat and share a delicious recipe for hot cocoa! MMMMM…whose got the marshmallows?

SnowSistersLargeCover

SNOW SISTERS

Written by Kerri Kokias

Illustrated by Teagan White

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (2018)

Ages: 3-7

Themes: Sisters, friendship, being yourself

Synopsis:

From Amazon: Just like snowflakes, no two sisters are alike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together to make the perfect snow day! A heartwarming sibling story from the illustrator of That’s Me Loving You.

When snowflakes fall, two sisters react very differently. One is excited and the other is wary. The first sister spends the morning outdoors, playing until she’s all tuckered out. Meanwhile, the second sister stays indoors, becoming ever more curious about the drifts outside. Soon, they switch places, and spend the second half of the day retracing each other’s footsteps. But each sister puts her own unique spin on activities like sledding, baking and building.


The simple mirrored text is spare and lovely, and each spread is split to show what each sister is doing independently–until at last they come together in the sweet, satisfying conclusion. LeUyen Pham’s Big Sister, Little Sister meets Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Snow.

Why I like this book:

  • I have a sister and remember well our differences, but I also remember how we found ways to come together

  • I love how each sister goes her own way, but in the end, they show how much they love each other

  • Wonderful illustrations and perfect pacing of the text will engage children from the first page to the last.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

30-ways-to-make-a-snowflake-2Photo courtesy:https://handsonaswegrow.com

Make a snowflake craft: for detailed instructions on any of these beautiful snowflakes: https://handsonaswegrow.com/make-snowflake-crafts/

For lots of fun when summer comes, why not fill a plastic container with clean snowballs and put it in the freezer. On a hot summer day, go out with the kids and throw snowballs. Just make sure they aren’t too hard. If they are, you can make a game of tossing them into a bucket. 

Thank you so much for spending your precious time here. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the picture book manuscript critique giveaway…and definitely pop in tomorrow for the Q&A with Kerri Kokias.

The 2018 books are coming in fast and furious and I hope to review lots of them this year! Please remember that authors need reviews and shout outs…I’m off to write an Amazon review right now.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: MARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM

The year is winding down, dear friends. It’s been a whirlwind of political upheaval, natural disasters, and global unrest. But here in picturebookland, at Picture Books Help Kids Soar, we’ve tried to keep our eyes and hearts on beautiful books that will educate, entertain, and inspire our children!

I’m thrilled to say that my blog made Feedspot’s Top 100 Children’s Book Blogs…that means the world to me because it means that people are finding value in my posts and I’m truly honored to see my name in a list with bloggers I have long admired and respected: https://blog.feedspot.com/childrens_book_blogs/

Today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I want to shine a light on MARTI’S SONG OF FREEDOM by debut author Emma Otheguy. It came out earlier this year, but I missed doing a review and it is so special for so many reasons, I knew I had to share it before the year was over.

martis song for freedomMARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM

Written by Emma Otheguy

Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

Bilingual translation by Adriana Dominguez

Ages: 7-10

Themes: justice, political activism

Synopsis: 

From Booklist: Cuban poet and political activist José Martí witnessed an injustice at a young age and gave his life trying to right that wrong. He opposed slavery in Cuba and knew that the only way to end it would be to free Cuba from Spain s rule. Cuban American author Otheguy illuminates the life of a young man endeavoring to make a difference through affecting bilingual verses, which make Cuba s complicated history with slavery and colonialism accessible to young readers. By incorporating excerpts of Marti s writing into the narration, Otheguy introduces a new generation of readers to an important champion of human rights. Vidal s gouache artwork captures the beauty and the injustice of which Martí wrote, showcasing his country s vibrant colors, as in the pinks and oranges of the sunset, and illustrating the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans, who are shown performing backbreaking labor in sugarcane fields. Dominguez s excellent Spanish translation makes Martí s story available to a wide audience, and the text offers significant additional information via an afterword on Cuba s history, a selected bibliography, and excerpts from Martí s Versos Sencillos. Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sings songs for freedom. 

Why I like this book:

  • I’m a fan of nonfiction picture books…what a fabulous vehicle to help young kids see history come alive
  • This was a story I did not know much about – and I love the poetry and bilingual format
  • Author and illustrator combined their talents perfectly

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

american-flagPhoto courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com

  1. Make a Flag: to make the flag of a different country, find a picture online and copy the correct colors and design.

For detailed instructions for the American flag: http://www.dltk-kids.com/usa/flag-day.htm

     2. Talk about freedom…what does it mean to live in a country where you are free?

3. Write topics on slips of paper and pick one to write a poem about.

This really was a stellar year for brilliant picture books. To check out many more of them, please go to www.PicturetheBooks2017.wordpress.com

To give your favorite authors and illustrators the best gift, why not post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites.

It’s been a fabulous year for me as well…nothing officially announced yet, but I just signed one book contract, will be signing another before the end of the year, and just waiting on the third contract to arrive. I can’t thank my agent, my critique buddies, and all of my friends and family enough for their unfailing support and encouragement. I hope to be able to share more details soon!

And I’d like to pass along a link to a wonderful mentorship opportunity. Writing with the Stars could be the jumpstart you need to get your manuscript where it needs to be: http://beckytarabooks.com/wwts-contest/

I’m wishing all of you a happy holiday season…if you are traveling,  please be safe. If you are home, I hope you are surrounded by friends and family. And I thank you for spending some of your precious time with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Bath of Least Resistance PLUS Giveaway

Hello dear friends. Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Before we get started, thanks to the generosity of author Patricia Toht, we have a copy of PICK A PINE TREE to give away. And the winner is…

LIZ (who mentioned she had read a library copy of it with her 2-year old daughter)

CONGRATULATIONS, LIz! Now you’ll have a copy for your daughter’s own bookshelf! 

And heads up, all of you writers out there! Next week, Susanna Hill will be hosting her Holiday Contest. If you are interested in participating, go here for details and guidelines. There are going to be some fabulous prizes, I know! I’m busy writing and revising manuscripts for that book whose name shall still be nameless since I can’t yet shout out about it because the contract isn’t signed, but…busy or not, I’ll be hopping around to read as many of the entries as I can. The Halloweensie stories were awesome…and I know the holiday ones will be as well.

Today I want to share a lovely picture book by a friend who has participated in many of the writing contests and challenges in this wonderful kidlitland. And when I received a copy of his latest picture book, I knew I had to share it. Please don’t forget to leave a comment because author Greg Bray has generously offered to do a giveaway.

bath of least

THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

Written by Gregory E. Bray

Illustrated by Steve Page

Published by MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing (2017)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Ingenuity, pets

Synopsis: 

From Amazon: THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE is told from the perspective of Bogie the puppy as he watches his brother’s attempts to get him into the bath. It’s filled with laughs, loves and the incredible friendship between a little boy and his dog. THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE is also an excellent way to coach your little ones about the joys of taking a bath…just in case you need a little help.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids will love the story of a dog who doesn’t want a bath.
  • I love the single-mindedness of both the dog and the boy.
  • Fun illustrations filled with color and action and adorable expressions on both the dog and the boy.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

sponges paintingPhoto courtesy: https://buggyandbuddy.com/sponge-painting/

Sponge Painting

Kids love painting…and sponge painting is so much fun! With the holidays coming soon, you could sponge paint large sheets of paper…or even newspaper…for inexpensive homemade wrapping paper. For detailed instructions: https://buggyandbuddy.com/sponge-painting/

And please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of a copy of THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE!

Thank you so much, dear friends, for stopping by. I truly appreciate the time you spend here and hope you have a beautiful weekend.

 

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