Perfect Picture Book Friday: Bunny’s Book Club

Hello friends!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…and I’ve got a PERFECT PICTURE BOOK for you!

But we need to make THREE announcements first.

  1. The lovely Susanna Hill is hosting her Valentiny Contest. For details on how to enter and win one of the fabulous prizes, go here.
  2. Last week we promised a copy of Andrea J. Loney’s debut picture book, BUNNYBEAR…and the winner is…


Congratulations, Jean! I’ll be contacting you ASAP so I can give your address to Andrea.

  1. Next month we’ll be honoring Dr. Seuss with the #50PreciousWords Contest…last year we had an unbelievable 128 entries…and prizes galore. I’m putting the challenge together now…more details to follow. If you’d like to donate a picture book, book on the craft of writing, piece of art, critique, or whatever else you think would warm the heart of a kid lit writer, please contact me:…I plan to list the prize donors and their bios and photos/book covers on the February 11th contest post.

And now…hurray…I get to tell you how much I LOVE Annie Silvestro’s debut picture book!



Written by Annie Silvestro

Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3


Reading, libraries, friendship


From Amazon:

Join Bunny for a top-secret trip to the library in a story that celebrates the love of reading.

 Bunny loves to sit outside the library with the kids and listen to summer story time. But when the weather gets cold and everyone moves inside, his daily dose of joy is gone. Desperate, Bunny refuses to miss out on any more reading time and devises a plan to sneak into the library at night . . . through the library’s book drop!

 What follows is an adorable caper that brings an inquisitive, fuzzy bunny and his woodland pals up close and personal with the books they have grown to love. A warm celebration of the power of books, Bunny’s Book Club is sure to bring knowing smiles to any child, parent, teacher, bookseller, and librarian who understands the one-of-a-kind magic of reading.

And the book has received glowing praise from major reviewers:

“A sweet salute to reading.”—Kirkus

“[Annie Silvestro] makes the pleasures of reading abundantly clear.”—Publishers Weekly

“Mai-Wyss’ soft, muted watercolor scenes sprinkled with charming, expressive cuddly animals is the perfect complement to Silvestro’s enchanting story about the love of books.”—Booklist

Opening Lines:

“Bunny loved books.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that encourage young children to become lovers of books and reading…and this book definitely does!
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Encourages parents and children to utilize the library.
  • Beautiful illustrations team perfectly with Silvestro’s text.


bunny-paper-bag-puppet-slidePhoto courtesy:

Paper bag bunny puppet

Paper bags are one of my favorite craft materials…they are inexpensive, easy to work with, and so versatile.

You will need: 1 paper bag, construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons or markets.

  1. Cut out eyes, nose, whiskers, and ears from construction paper and glue on.
  2. Use crayons or markers to add details.
  3. Kids will enjoy role-playing with the puppet.
  4. Visit for more fun activities for kids.

This book provides a unique opportunity to get a library card for your child if he or she doesn’t already have one. And please check out your local library…most libraries have an array of free activities for children and adults.

That’s all for today…but don’t forget to come back tomorrow:





This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program for an announcement!

Marissa Moss of Creston Books has bought Vivian Kirkfield‘s debut picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah, the story of Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to own a U.S. patent; Chris Ewald will illustrate. The story showcases not only the invention but the spirit and determination of the inventor herself. Publication is set for spring 2017; Essie White of Storm Literary Agency represented the author and Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.

As you can imagine, I am over the moon about this. Sweet Dreams, Sarah will one day sit on library shelves and be heard by young kids. Now that is a sweet dream come true!

Nonfiction picture books are fun for me to write…I love researching and finding little gems of history that time has forgotten. And they are fun for me to read, for myself and with kids. Here’s today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection:

miss moore thought otherwise

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise:

How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

Written by Jan Pinborough

Illustrated by Debby Atwell

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2013)

Age: 6-9

Themes: Mighty girls, libraries, following your dream

First lines:

“Once in a big house in Limerick, Maine, there lived a little girl names Annie Carroll Moore. She had large gray eyes, seven older brothers, and ideas of her own.”


From Amazon: “Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.”

Why I love this book:

  • First of all, I love libraries and have used them since I was a little girl. I was fascinated to find out that children were not allowed in libraries originally. And it was Miss Moore who campaigned for them to be able to take books out when they finally were admitted.
  • This is a gentle story…a beautiful read aloud. It shows how a person can follow their dream and get things done.
  • The illustrations are detailed, colorful, and perfect.

How parents can use this book:

  • Wonderful story to enjoy with your children -lots of history woven into the pages.
  • If your child doesn’t have a library card yet, PLEASE help them get one…libraries are one of the last and best free resources we have.
  • Check out the various programs that are available at your local library…there are often story hours, activity programs, and even presentations and classes for aduts.

Related Activities

  • Visit your local library
  • Make a reading goal chart and let your child earn stickers for every book he reads. Plan activities, like a craft or cooking project, around the stories to enrich the learning experience.
  • You can find the ALA’s Most Notable Children’s Books here.

Parents and teachers…are you looking for more picture book recommendations? Head over to Susanna HIll’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. I know there is bad weather and big snowstorms in some part of the country…stay safe and stay warm!

Sunday Post: Attraction – Why Libraries?

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Jake, at Time after Time, has a Sunday Post Challenge – today’s theme is ATTRACTION.

Attraction definition: A quality or force of someone or something that pulls others in.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Why Libraries?

Libraries are an amazing attraction.

For me, libraries are the best place to spend a couple of happy hours.

Are you interested in photography? The library has awesome books for you.

Do you want to find a recipe for a delicious Indian curry dish? Continue reading

Winners and a contest and Bravo Maurice…oh my!

The week has just FLOWN by!  Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

Before we get to the picture book review, I need to let you know about:



Last month I offered to donate 25 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to libraries across the country and around the worldI am disappointed that there weren’t more entries, but I’m thrilled to be sending books to the twenty libraries listed below.  Please email me at and let me know if you would like to present the book to your library or if you’d like me to mail it to the library directly.  Also, several of those who nominated libraries said they’d like to do a review of Show Me How on their blog/website/newsletter.  Let me know if you still would like to do that…I’ll need your address in that case so I can send you a copy for yourself.  And, for those who do a review, if you don’t have a need for the book after you have reviewed it, I would really appreciate it if you would donate that copy to a family shelter or other deserving organization.  I’ll try to email everyone individually…and please forgive me if I spelled the library name incorrectly or didn’t have the city…and some of you did not give the actual library name.


  1. San Carlos Branch of the San Diego City Library, California (Michelle R.)
  2. Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, Pennsylvania (Erik N.)
  3. Bonney Memorial Library, Cornish, Maine (Heather N.)
  4. Lancaster Public Library, Los Angeles, California (Kirsten L.)
  5. Verona, New Jersey (Tracy B.)
  6. Maria Island Library, Deal Island, Florida (Nancy H.)
  7. Literacy Volunteers at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Florida (Martha R.)
  8. Troy Public Library, Troy, New York (Gail T.)
  9. Gulf Gate Library, Sarasota, Florida Diana D.)
  10. Kalona Public Library, Kalona, IA (Hawkdad73)
  11. Rust Library (Clarike)
  12. Chester Library, Chesterfield Country, Virginia (Marcy K.)
  13. Old Colorado City Library, Colorado Springs, CO (Marylin W.)
  14. Wheaton Public Library, IL (Barb V.)
  15. Lee County Library, Cape Coral, Florida (Krista R.)
  16. ABBE Library, Aiken, South Carolina (Heidi A.)
  17. Scarborough Public Library, Maine (Kimberley)
  18. Maple Library, Canada (From the Pews)
  19. Barrington Area Library, IL (Sheila G.)
  20. Santee Library of the San Diego County Library System, California (Milka)

It’s also time to announce the winner of the April Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge:

Congratulations, Milka at Perfecting MotherhoodA brand-new picture book will be on its way to you in the next few days!


I don’t know if any of you remember the Valentine Poetry Contest over at Marylin’s Things I Want To Tell My Mother.  Well, Marylin is having another contest for Mother’s Day.  Write an original Mother’s Day card to any mother you know.  I’ve entered with a verse I wrote for my daughter who is the mother of three-year old Jeremy…you can check out the post and enter the contest here.  Maybe some of you will be inspired to add an entry.

Are you ready for your picture book?


Bravo, Maurice!

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Bond

Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2000)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Family, valuing one’s own unique qualities and strengths, careers, self-esteem


When Maurice is born, his family members are convinced that he will grow up to be like each of them.  His father, who is a baker, is sure that Maurice has the big hands needed to knead bread.  His grandmother believes that Maurice has a nose just like hers and is sure he will become a wonderful gardener.  As Maurice grows up, the members of his family make sure he has opportunities to try doing the things they love to do.  Will Maurice follow in the footsteps of someone in his family, or will Maurice discover a voice of his own?

Why I like this book:

What a beautiful story of a loving extended family!  Even though Maurice’s family members wanted him to love what they loved doing, they were thrilled and excited when they discovered Maurice’s special gift.  Young children should be encouraged to have all types of experiences.  The story shows kids that we each have special talents and strengths and that everyone is unique and wonderful!  This is a message parents MUST teach their children!

Related Activities:

It’s springtime!  Take a walk outside with your little ones and observe the budding trees and bushes and the tulips and daffodils blooming everywhere!  Maurice’s grandmother was an exceptional gardener and she encouraged Maurice to learn about planting. 

Gardening is a multi-generational activity and kids LOVE it.  Why not make a planter and help your children plant some herbs that can be grown indoors or outside and then harvested during the summer and used in your meals.



1.      Cut a clean milk container.

2.      Use self-stick shelf paper to cover the outside.

3.      Poke several holes in the bottom of the container.

4.      Fill ¾ high with gardening soil.

5.      Buy herb seedlings at the store or use seeds (parsley, basil, oregano, etc.) and plant in the soil.

6.      Set planter on a waterproof tray or plate.

7.      Water, set in a sunny spot and watch it grow!

Nice crafts using milk cartons here at DTLK.

Other crafts with milk cartons can be found here at eHow

And even more at Artists Helping Kids here. (The picture above comes from that website)

Kids LOVE to help in the kitchen and cooking and baking are two of the best activities you can do with them…builds self-esteem, develops better literacy skills and strengthens the parent-child connection!

Maurice helped his father bake bread.  Here’s a wonderful herb bread recipe from my book that you and your kids will enjoy.



You will need: 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 ½ tsp baking powder, 3 TB sugar, 1 Tb herb blend (oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary…your choice), 12 oz milk, a large bowl, and a 9×5 inch loaf pan greased.

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and herb blend.
  2. Stir in the milk.
  3. Turn the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees.
  4. Turn out and cool on rack…delicious toasted or plain.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I also wanted to add a link to an article of interest to every parent and teacher:

The public schools in our country have been slowly shrinking the block corner in the kindergarten…in some classrooms, it is non-existent.  Block play and play centers have given way to ditto sheets and computer centers…in the false belief that the earlier we try to teach children to read and write, the more successful they will be in school.  But of course, this was never true.  The article relates that the Journal of Pediatrics has just revealed a study that shows we need to CUT DOWN on ditto sheets and screen time (TV, computers, leapster, etc.) and BULK UP on block play and the old-fashioned puzzles, pretend play, etc.  I wish I could be happy to have my long-time argument in favor of PLAYTIME  as a social and academic learning tool validated…but I”m not!  I’m only sad, because I’m afraid the situation in the schools is not changing anytime soon.  It will be up to each parent to insure that their young children are getting enough playtime…if you need to get a gift for your child…buy a good set of quality wooden blocks!!!!!!

Sunday Post: Shelter

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is SHELTER.

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.

The dictionary defines “shelter” as a something that covers or protects.


“Oh wert thou in the cauld blast, On yonder lea, on yonder lea; My plaidie to the angryairt, I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee.”

             –  Robert Burns

Yes…parents need to be a shelter for their children.  Sad to say, all too often, here in the United States and in many places around the world, parents are not.  Sometimes it is because they don’t know any better or because the parenting they received was lacking in love and nurturing.  In many instances, though, it is because of conditions beyond their control…war, famine and drought. 

Is there anything we can do to help?

One mother and her son have found a way.

Did you know that in many parts of the world, children walk several hours a day to collect the water needed by their family for drinking, washing and cooking?  And the water they finally get is often contaminated…but they must use it anyway, because there is no clean water available to them.

Angela, over at A Child’s Heart of Faith, and her six-year old son, Jackson, are doing something to help!

Instead of getting a bunch of gifts from his friends for his birthday, Jackson asked them to donate $6 to his Water Wishes Project…when the goal of $5000 is reached, they will be able to provide a well for one of the many communities around the world where children are giving up their childhood because of the lack of clean water.  Please visit Jackson’s Birthday-Earth Day Water Wishes page…your children are invited to draw a picture for the project…and your donation will move them closer to their goal of providing clean water for an entire community.

Just as houses are shelters to protect our bodies and parents are shelters to protect their children, libraries are shelters that protect the books that serve as windows on the world to many.

“To a historian libraries are food, shelter, and even muse.”  – Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

There is only ONE MORE DAY LEFT in the The SMH Library Project.


And, if you haven’t done it already, please nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries will receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  NOMINATIONS CLOSE April 30!  Don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers and your entire community.


Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post? 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

Sunday Post: Stairway to Self-Esteem

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is STAIRWAY.

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.  Since the dictionary defines “stairway” as a passageway from one level to another by a series of steps, I’ve decided to outline the basic components or “steps” in the stairway to building a strong self-esteem that are found in the introduction to Show Me How!

How can we help our kids navigate the passageway of childhood and achieve a positive self-image?

What steps does a child have to climb to reach a level of high self-esteem?

  1. MASTER TASKS AND SKILLS…Let your child help around the house.

2.  VALUE ONE’S OWN STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES…Encourage your child in different pursuits.


3.      FEEL APPRECIATED, LOVED AND ACCEPTED…Spend loving and positive time with your child.


4.      LEARN TO EXPRESS FEELINGS…Allow your child to talk about his joy, anger and sadness.


5.      ACKNOWLEDGING AND COPING WITH FEARS…Share things you were afraid of as a child.


6.      FEELING GOOD ABOUT ONE’S BODY AND ONESELF…Celebrate the gift of life and dance.


I just got back from spending a glorious week in New Hampshire, taking care of my three-year old grandson.  His favorite book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  His favorite game: Soccer/kick ball.  His favorite TV show: Peppa Pig.  His favorite foods: Fresh strawberries and bananas. 

It was hard to leave to come home…I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

Here are a few websites with other resources and info on helping children build healthy self-esteem:

The SMH Library Project:


We are in the final two weeks of the Show-Me-How Library Project, so if you haven’t done it already, please nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries will receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  NOMINATIONS CLOSE April 30!  Don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers and your entire community.  A big thank you to all of those who have already spread the word about out this great opportunity via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterist, Google+ or by mentioning it in your posts!

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post? 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

I also wanted to mention that today is Earth Day 2012…how will you help observe this special day?  Children can get involved in local park and playground cleanups.  Perhaps you can take a walk around your community…bring a big plastic garbage bag so that everyone can help pick up litter.  Maybe there are special events going on in your neighborhood…why not check them out.

PPBF: Sloppy Kisses…Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure…What’s the Connection?


Hurray!  Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

Please bear with me for two important reminders:

1.      If you haven’t already been to Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book resource page, I encourage you to go.  You will find HUNDREDS of picture book titles to choose from…divided into dozens of categories that will make it easy to find ‘JUST THE RIGHT BOOK’!  Click on the title and you will be whisked away to the story summary and review…there will almost always be great resource and/or activity suggestions as well.

2.      If you haven’t nominated your local library to win one of the 25 FREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking that we are donating, PLEASE do so now!  Click the book title link above and you will travel to sunny Spain where you can read the most recent review of this must-have resource that makes choosing picture books and planning fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities a snap for parents, teachers and children’s librarians.


Help your favorite library win a copy!  Just leave a comment on this post or email me at, naming the library and telling why the people in your community would benefit from having the book available to them.  At the end of the month, twenty-five libraries will be chosen using

Do you tweet on Twitter?  Are you a fan of Facebook?  Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet?  Are you active on LinkedIn?  Please help me spread the word about the Show-Me-How Library Project by tweeting, posting and/or pinning.  Last week several people re-blogged my post…that’s a great way also!



Sloppy Kisses

Written by Elizabeth Winthrop

Illustrated by Anne Burgess

Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company (1980)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Peer pressure, teasing/bullying, family, self-esteem


Emmy Lou’s family is not ashamed to show how much they love each other.  However, when a school friend tells her that kissing is only for babies, Emmy Lou begins to question the way her family shows their love.  For several days, the little piglet refuses to allow her father to kiss her goodbye when he drops her off at school and she won’t let her parents kiss her when they say goodnight.  Although she doesn’t realize why she is so unhappy, her parents do.  When Emmy Lou can’t get to sleep one night, her parents sit and talk with her.  How will this problem be resolved?  Will Emmy Lou go kiss-less for the rest of her life or will she decide to continue her family tradition and ignore the peer pressure.


Why I like this book:

Peer pressure is a very powerful influence, often with negative consequences.  Children can reject it only if they have a very strong sense of self-confidence and the knowledge that they are worthwhile individuals, entitled to say no or disagree with what someone else says they should do.  Emmy Lou’s parents respected her temporary wish to refrain from kissing…the respect that they showed her enabled Emmy Lou to believe in herself and make her own decision to ignore her school friend’s advice.

Young children need to hear stories like this where the main character triumphs and is able to stand up for what she believes in.  The loving relationship is evident in Emmy Lou’s family…her parents paid attention to what she had to say and were respectful of her wishes…up to a point…after all, they ARE the parents.

The text and illustrations work well together…keeping the reader and listener anxiously awaiting the problem’s resolution.

Related Activities:

When our children were young, we enjoyed helping them make things to give as presents instead of buying gifts at the store…a way of saving money while encouraging their creativity.

One of our favorite presents was to make a “gift certificate” for something the recipient might want or need which was something the giver could do, or make.  ***GOOD FOR ONE CAR WASHING***   ***REDEEM FOR ONE HOUR OF VACUUMING***   ***GOOD FOR ONE EVENING OF BABYSITTING***

This tradition became so ingrained that even in 1989, when our oldest son was 17, he gave me this card for Valentine’s Day.


When our daughter was 6 years old, she made her own hugs and kisses coupon book as a gift for her father for his birthday.  He still has that as well.


Here is a lovely craft activity to do after reading Sloppy Kisses.  Young children need hugs and kisses from those they love on a daily basis…how about making a “hugs and kisses” coupon book so that your child can get extra ones as needed.  When your children come to you with a hug or kiss certificate, you will have a great opportunity to talk with them…maybe they had a bad day at school, perhaps they are worried about an upcoming assignment…or maybe they just need a little reassurance and demonstration of your love.

You will need: Construction paper, markers or crayons, stapler, scissors.

1.      Use one piece of construction paper for the cover…cut it if you wish and fold it in half.

2.      Your child can decorate the cover.

3.      Cut another sheet of construction paper (or copy paper) into coupon-size certificates.

4.      Write the words: Good for 1 Kiss and Good for 1 Hug on them.

5.      Let your child decorate each coupon.

6.      Staple the coupons into the cover.

I’ve been making these coupon books and gift certificates for over 40 years, but now everyone’s doing it.

Dltk has some adorable printable coupons here that look like this:

Family Crafts has a wonderful assortment of printable coupon ideas here.

eHow has a page on making printable coupons here

Cricket Magazine has a board book set called Mommy Hugs and Daddy Kisses here.

The Bennington Free Library has a story page with activities for Sloppy Kisses here.

Parents Magazine has a page of instructions for making coupon books here.

Nick Jr. has some printable hug coupons here.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.  And please don’t forget to leave a comment, nominating your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!