Perfect Picture Book Friday: ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON Plus Giveaway

On July 20, 1969, something momentous happened.

Two human beings walked on the moon!

It’s the kind of occurence that, if you were old enough to know what was going on, you probably remember exactly what you were doing. My husband and I were on our first cross-country trip. We’d left NYC at 11:30pm (because we were so excited, we couldn’t wait for the morning) on June 29, 1969. We were both teachers and were taking the entire summer to travel. And by July 20th, we had made our way to Bakersfield, California. Here is my journal entry:

It is Sunday, July 20, and we are at our motel. Today we drove about 150 miles and toured through the Italian Swiss Colony Wine factory and tasted a little, too. Tomorrow we will go into San Francisco and go to the AAA office to make reservations and plot out our stay in the city. By the way – it is really an historic night – the astronauts have landed on the moon and are walking around there – HALLELUJAH!!!

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of that amazing feat. And to help celebrate, we’ve got a very special weekend planned here on Picture Books Help Kids Soar.

Today we are turning the spotlight on ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON…with a giveaway of a copy of the book thanks to the generosity of the fabulous debut author author. And tomorrow the lovely Laura Roettiger will be stopping by to chat and share a fabulous treat recipe. Then on Sunday, we have another special guest. But more about that later. Right now, it picture book review time!

AlianaReachesfortheMoon-ebook

ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON

Written by Laura Roettiger

Illustrated by Ariel Boroff

Published by Eifrig Publishing (2019)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Moon, scientific method, family

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Aliana loves observing everything in nature. Noticing how bright the light of the moon is in her bedroom, she spends time learning about the moon and experimenting with light. As she prepares for her brother’s birthday, she plans for a wonderful surprise to be revealed at the next full moon.

inside spread

Why I love this book:

  • A strong mightygirl who loves science
  • Additional layer of family love
  • Wonderful story
  • Great illustrations that keep the reader turning the pages
  • A perfect story to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon walk

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Moon-activities-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.howweelearn.com/moon-activities-for-kids/

For detailed instructions on various moon crafts: https://www.howweelearn.com/moon-activities-for-kids/

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of this awesome book. And also remember that the best gifts we can give our favorite authors are:

  1. Buy their books
  2. Review their books
  3. Tell our friends about their books
  4. Ask our local library to purchase the books for their collections

And last of all, don’t forget to be back here tomorrow for a super cool interview with the awesome Laura.

Plus on Sunday, we’ll have a special post from self-published author Carmen Gloria. You won’t want to miss that because she is going to chat about her writing journey…and many other journeys. Oh, and there will be a giveaway. of her newest book in her planet series, Dear Pluto. Plus, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon walk, Carmen is giving us a link for a free download on Amazon Kindle of the Dear Pluto ebook.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend!

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: HONEYSMOKE: A Story of Finding Your Color…Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends.

We are moving forward into 2019 and it will be my pleasure to share with you my reviews of the some of the year’s fabulous new picture books. Sometimes, we’ll even have giveaways, like today, thanks to our generous author, Monique Fields.

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Perfect Picture Book Friday: OPERATION RESCUE DOG Plus GIVEAWAY

Friday is one of my favorite days and I’m sure you all know why. It’s the day I get to review a brand new picture book! Hurray!

And today’s selection is from one of my favorite kidlit authors, Maria Gianferrari, who is so generous and kind. She is offering a copy of OPERATION RESCUE DOG as a giveaway. Please make sure you leave a comment for a chance to win!

operation rescue dog 1

OPERATION RESCUE DOG

Written by Maria Gianferrari

Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Published by Little Bee Books (September 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes:

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other.

Lulu’s ears flap in the wind

as the rescue truck rolls into the lot.

Lulu’s tail thumps—

Everything smells . . . new.

Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain.

Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq. Alma wears Mami’s scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug?

Why I like this book:

  • You’ve got a dog who needs a home and a little girl who needs a friend…that’s a formula for a book filled with heart…and I love books filled with heart.
  • Wonderful illustrations will keep the kids wanting to turn the page to see the next one.
  • Maria has such a wonderful understanding of dogs…and the relationship they have with people.

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RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Dog-Crafts-for-KidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/dog-crafts-for-kids/

WOW…what a fabulous collection of dog crafts for young kids. If you’d like detailed instructions, please go here: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/dog-crafts-for-kids/

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Autumn is definitely here…our leaves are already changing color and the temperature in the morning is decidedly crisp. I am fortunate to live in New England because the fall foliage is something many people travel here to see.

School is underway in just about every town and city…but this is a perfect season to do day or short weekend trips with the kiddos. Do you have any travel plans in the near future? My son is flying in from Chicago next week to participate in the Tough Mudder in Gilford, NH. What is a Tough Mudder you ask? Here a short video clip: https://toughmudder.com/events/2018-northeast

It’s a 10 mile race with 20 obstacles…like a slog through ice cold water (filled with ice cubes), a run between wires that have electricity going through them…and you…OUCH! As well as climbing up walls, swinging from rings and more! My daughter and I will definitely not be participating…only cheering him and her hubby on. And then the next day, we’ll be making a bittersweet drive to Connecticut to hold a tribute to my husband at the river where he fished for decades. 

And my writer friends…how is your writing life going? We are in the last quarter of the year…are you working on anything new? Revising manuscripts? I just finished a new story and just need to polish the author’s note (it’s another nonfiction pb) befoe I send it to my agent. And then…a new story! YAY! I just came back from visiting a dear friend in New Jersey. We stayed up late…talking for hours and hours. In fact, her husband was sure we would lose our voices. But we didn’t! And I came home with TWO fabulous story ideas that I can’t wait to start researching and writing.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of Maria Gianferrari’s brand new book: OPERATION RESCUE DOG…it’s available for preorder and launches in just a few days!!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE REMEMBER BALLOONS

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I’ve been away, visiting family in Chicago…came back for a few days…and this weekend I am off to Tom’s River, New Jersey, to stay for a week with my best friend of 70 years. We will definitely be remembering all the good times we had over the years. And with that thought in mind, I decided that Jessie Oliveros’ debut picture book, THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, would be the perfect book to review today!

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THE REMEMBER BALLOONS

Written by Jessie Oliveros

Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2018)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Alzheimer’s, dementia, grandparents

Synopsis: From Amazon: What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

Why I like this book:

  • Heartfelt text helps young kids grasp how we build memories as we grow up…and how some of us lose memories as we get older…this is a difficult concept for children…but using the various color balloons to signify memories was a stroke of genius.
  • Wonderful illustrations with diverse characters – the color palette is reserved for the balloons which is extremely effective in highlighting the importance of memories.
  • Many children are impacted when grandparents or other relatives suffer from Alzheimers or other memory-robbing diseases…reading this book will provide parents and teachers with a great opportunity to talk with kids about the problem.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

BALLOON CRAFTS AND GAMES

balloon-activities-for-kids-433x650Photo courtesy: https://handsonaswegrow.com

For detailed instructions: https://handsonaswegrow.com/28-ways-to-play-with-balloons/

Multigenerational activities are good for the young and the old: https://www.familyeducation.com/videos/12-great-activities-grandparents-grandchildren

Thank you so much for stopping by, dear friends. I’m always grateful for your comments and your company. It’s hard to believe the summer is in it’s final days…have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ELLA AND MONKEY AT SEA Plus Giveaway

When I moved from Colorado Springs, I left behind a wonderful kidlit group. And I wondered…would I find other writer friends in my new home in New Hampshire? Happily, I did. And I am still critiquing with my old friends. 

But the fear of going to new places and leaving behind old friends is a fear many people deal with, children included. So when I saw that Emilie Boon had a new picture book about this very topic debuting this week, I knew I wanted to feature it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. And when I reached out to her, she agreed to stop by tomorrow to chat on Will Write for Cookies. What good luck! Even better, she and her publisher are offering a giveaway of a copy of this adorable book, so please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win.

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ELLA AND MONKEY AT SEA

Written and illustrated by Emilie Boon

Published by Candlewick (August 2018)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Moving/loss, adapting/acceptance, expressing emotion

Synopsis: From Amazon:

” Leaving home and traveling to a whole new place is overwhelming, so it’s good to have a beloved toy who can help express how you feel. 

Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind — and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions.”

Why I like this book:

  • So relatable to young children – leaving behind all you know and going to a new place, traveling alone, using a stuffed animal to talk to and comfort you
  • Beautifully illustrated – the emotions leap off the page

RELATED ACTIVITIES

sock craftsPhoto courtesy: https://www.sheknows.com

What could be better than not one, not two, but TEN sock crafts.

For detailed instructions: https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1038115/simple-sock-crafts-for-kids

Dear friends…thank you for spending your precious time here. I hope you will stop by tomorrow when author/illustrator Emilie Boon will be chatting with us. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: IRVING BERLIN: THE IMMIGRANT BOY WHO MADE AMERICA SING

I’m sure nobody will be surprised that one of my favorite activities is reading picture books. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s even more fun when the book is written by someone I know…someone I’ve met in person. Today’s Perfect Picture Book is one of those! Author Nancy Churnin has DONE IT AGAIN! She is on a roll with her fabulous nonfiction picture book biographies!

irving berlin

Written by Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez

Published by Creston Books (May 2018)

Ages: 6-9

Themes: Music, The American Dream, Believe in yourself

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With “God Bless America,” he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

Why I like this book:

  • Inspiring story of overcoming the odds
  • The text sings, just like the songs Irving Berlin wrote
  • Amazing illustrations have rhythm and movement

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

12-flag-crafts-for-kids-fbPhoto courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com/12-fabulous-american-flag-crafts-kids.html

With Flag Day and the 4th of July just around the corner, here is a wonderful selection of crafts for kids! Irving Berlin was so proud to be an American…you can help your kids create something to help celebrate these important holidays.

For detailed instructions: https://iheartcraftythings.com/12-fabulous-american-flag-crafts-kids.html

And for a very detailed review of Nancy’s book, there’s a wonderful blog post at Books My Kids Read: https://booksmykidsread.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/irving-berlin-the-immigrant-boy-who-made-america-sing/

For more picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s resource list of over 1000 picture book reviews. And for today’s rainbow array of picture book reviews from some of our favorite kitliters, click here.

Thank you, dear friends, for stopping by. If you are traveling this weekend, please be safe. But wherever you are, if you have children, take time to read them a picture book. And if you don’t have kids, read one anyway!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

I’ve been blogging a bit less in the last couple of weeks, but when I received this book in the mail, I knew I had to share it with you today. I’m a fan of anything written by Miranda Paul and this book is cowritten by her husband, Baptiste, whose debut picture book, THE FIELD, just launched earlier this year!

Adventures to School

ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL

Written by Miranda and Baptiste Paul

Illustrated by Isabel Munoz

Published by Little Bee Books (May 2018)

Ages: 4-8+

Themes: School, cultures around the world

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Kids around the world get to school in unique ways. Take a peek inside this book and see how they reach their destinations!

Children all around the world go to school. Whether they’re from Japan, Ukraine, Ethiopia, or the United States, all students have the desire to learn about the world and shape the future. In Bhutan, children walk for three hours to make it to school, and in Pakistan, children travel by rickshaw. Some children in China must climb a heaven ladder, while children in Nepal must walk over a wire bridge. The treks of these students are unique, extraordinary, and even dangerous, and they signify the common determination, perseverance, and sense of adventure shared by young people around the world.

Read along as students from thirteen different nations embark on their journeys to get to school in the morning, and learn about the diverse landscapes and cultures of these countries along the way!

Why I like this book:

  • Love the content – amazingly personal stories of children on their way to school PLUS so much history and culture is included.
  • Love the illustrations – bold, bright, and filled with heart.
  • This is a perfect book for kids who want to/need to learn about cultures around the world.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

homework-finalPhoto courtesy: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids

How about TEN awesome crafts for back to school? Check out PBS: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/10-favorite-back-to-school-crafts/

Illustrated above is a homework center to help young kids organize their pencils, crayons, and other school supplies.

Other activities…take a trip to your child’s school…by car or bus or walking…and draw a map, taking note of stores and other landmarks you pass along the way.

Thank you all for stopping by today and spending your precious time here. If you have a few minutes left over (I know this is Memorial Day weekend and many of you may be celebrating), please thank your favorite authors by posting reviews of their books on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book review sites. This is the best gift we can five them!