Perfect Picture Book Friday: IF YOU HAD YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ON THE MOON plus #50PreciousWords WINNERS!

Hold on to your seats, everyone! We are ready to blast off! Our Perfect Picture Book Friday story is the obvious choice for such a momentous blog post that will also contain the WINNERS of #50PreciousWords.

Most of you know that I left home on February 19 and didn’t get back until April 8. That time was spent in Sydney at the Australia/NZ SCBWI conference (which rocked!) and sightseeing through the beautiful city and its lovely beach areas. Maria Marshall and I walked EVERYWHERE! Below is a photo of Maria and me at a beach where they had the most amazing poster art graffiti – since my slogan is Nothing is Impossible if You Can Imagine It…we had to take a pic with the bottle of dreams and me holding the little heart pillow my six-year old granddaughter had sewed for me to take on my trip as a little lovey.

viv and maria at sydney beach poster Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOGI: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

Hurray! I’m back home…and it’s Friday…and you know what that means. A review of a wonderful picture book!

Before I share the review, I need to celebrate my return from an incredible round-the-world journey by announcing the winners of several giveaways (and hopefully, by Sunday, I will be able to announce the winners of the #50PreciousWords and give everyone a heads-up regarding the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge).

A big thank you to all of the generous authors and illustrators who have donated these books.

A double-header giveaway of Lindsay Leslie’s THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and NOVA THE STAR EATER goes to:

KATHY HALSEY

A copy of HAND IN HAND by Andria Rosenbaum goes to:

KELLY FARNSWORTH

A copy of LITTLE TIGER by Julie Abery goes to:

SUE TWIGGS

A copy of LITTLE PANDA by Julie Abery goes to:

RENE AUBE

A copy of THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH goes to:

CARMELLA SIMMONS

And last, but certainly not least, a signed copy of GROWING SEASON by MaryAnn Coccoa-Leffler goes to:

JENNY BUCHET

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE WINNERS AND A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE GENEROUS AUTHORS!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…which is a review of a brand-new book from one of my favorite picture book authors who writes LOTS of nonfiction, Barbara Rosenstock! When I heard she had written a book about Yogi Berra, I knew I had to read it…I was born and bred in NYC…so the Yankees and the Mets were the baseball teams I would always root for. In fact, during the 1961 season, I ran home from high school to watch them play. Roger Maris was trying to break the homerun record…which he did…batting in 61 home runs that year!

Yogi cover

YOGI: THE LIFE, LOVES, AND LANGUAGE OF BASEBALL LEGEND YOGI BERRA Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: HAND IN HAND Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! I can’t believe it is the end of March…my round the world adventure is winding down…I’m off to Italy in a couple of days and will be reporting to you via social media from the Bologna Book Fair.

But right now, I’m thrilled to bring you what I think will be one of the star new releases of 2019. I received a copy of this book last month and fell in love with it. Using just the right words, the author, Andria Rosenbaum, managed to write a beautiful story about the horribly difficult topic of the Holocaust and the effect it had on everyone, but especially on children.

hand in hand 2

HAND IN HAND

Written by Andria Rosenbaum

Illustrated by Maya Shleifer

Published by Apples and Honey Press (2019)

Ages: 8-12

Themes: Loss, Separation, Holocaust

Synopsis: It’s wartime and when their mother goes out in search of food but doesn’t return, two young bunnies are taken to an orphanage where Lieb is adopted, leaving Ruthie behind. As they say their goodbyes, Ruthie rips a picture of them in half and gives one piece to her little brother, telling him she will never forget him.

Opening lines: “Mama had a smile sweeter than strawberries in summer. So did my little brother Leib.”

Why I love this book:

  • This is a gentle telling of a brutal story…I don’t know how Andria was able to do that – but I am going to study this book as a mentor text because she found a way to deal with a terrible topic – the Holocaust – in a way that is appropriate for children to hear.
  • The genius of the illustrator who depicted the children as bunnies – and the art is amazing – plus the words themselves, because of the various fonts used, are part of the art.
  • The language is hauntingly lyrical, yet powerful and the ending is filled with hope.

To connect with the author or find out more about her many wonderful books:

www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com
HAND IN HAND, Apples & Honey Press, Behrman House 2019
BIG SISTER, LITTLE MONSTER, Scholastic Press 2017
TRAINS DON’T SLEEP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
MEG GOLDBERG ON PARADE, Kar-Ben Publishing 2015
A GRANDMA LIKE YOURS/ A GRANDPA LIKE YOURS, Kar-Ben Publishing, 2006
TWO SWEET PEAS, Bebop Books, Lee & Low Inc., 2006

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make a bunny finger puppet for role playing and discussion

This is an exceptionally easy finger puppet to make…you just need a piece of paper, scissors, glue, markers. Make a few with your child and then enact the story.

Participate in The Butterfly Project: https://www.hmh.org/ed_butterfly1.shtm

Lesson plans for older grades: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons-plans/holocaust-day-of-remembrance-lesson-plans-and-activities/

There is also a curriculum guide for this book on the author’s website: http://www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com/events.htm

On the dedication page, the author provides several ideas for parents and teachers – children should be encouraged to ask questions and discuss feelings as the story is read.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a list of various groups of people who, since World War II, have been, at one time or another, systematically  eliminated in their countries: https://www.ushmm.org/mobile/confront-genocide/cases-of-genocide

What can we do?  Be informed. Create an atmosphere for children of inclusivity and understanding. Teach children that if they see someone being bullied, they should not just stand by. And read books like HAND IN HAND.

Thanks to the generosity of author Andria Rosenbaum, we have a giveaway of a copy of this must-read book. Please leave a comment for your chance to win.

As always, dear friends, I’m grateful for the time you all spend here.

 

 

 

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: BABOONS ON BALLONS

Most of you know that I am on an around-the-world book tour – launching three debut picture books, speaking at SCBWI conferences, and meeting kidlit friends  But what is the most fun of all is when I read my stories to children.

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of visiting Point Chevalier School in Auckland, NZ. Diane and I were invited to attend their Friday morning assembly – what a joyful occasion that was! The principal, Stephen Lethbridge, strummed the guitar as the children sang the national anthem, first in Maori, then in English, as well as in sign language. Then the school chorus performed. And various children were recognized with certificates for good behavior, civic awareness, and excellent academics. I spoke with the principal after and told him how impresed I was with how the children were encouraged and supported by their teachers and each other!

The children enjoyed hearing FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK…which, by the way, launches TODAY!!! I hope you’ll check out Maria Marshall’s PPBF review of it. And on Diane Tulloch’s blog, you’ll find a video of the school visit and a continuation of Where in the World are Vivian, Pippa, Sarah, and those Tobogganing Otters.

I was totally impressed with the participation of the students…100 six-year olds…all anxious to ask questions and answer them. Can you believe that most knew what threatened meant…and many had excellent responses when I asked what might cause animals to become threatened. Our discussion of authors and writing books also elicited enthusiastic interaction – I probably could have stayed there all day, chatting with them!

Diane Tulloch, my stellar host, PR person, photographer, event planner, and dear critique buddy and I were invited to morning tea…and the principal presented me with a copy of a book written and illustrated by the school’s students. It’s a beautiful story and I just had to share it with you today.

baboons on balloons

Written by Elodie Gibbs

Illustrated by the students of Point Chevalier School

Published by Tsunami (2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Resilience, animals

Opening lines: “A honeybee’s making fun of me…and it stings a bit.”

Synopsis:

A child who is being made fun of decides to look around and see the wonder of the surrounding world, including some baboons on balloons, a squirrel feeding berries to a bear, and a lemur in a steamer looking for the beach.

Why I love this book:

  • Written and illustrated by kids! What a wonderful way to encourage creativity and build self-esteem!
  • Happy bouncy rhyme
  • Fabulous collage and other mediums used for the art

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Super-Fun-Animal-Crafts-for-Kids.-A-lot-of-animal-paper-crafts-nature-materials-crafts-and-a-lot-more.-A-perfect-activity-for-kids-to-make-them-busy-and-entertained.

Looking for some animals crafts? Check out this website: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/animal-crafts-for-kids/

Help your child write and illustrate a story. Staple the pages together in a book.

Thank you, my friends, for stopping by and spending your precious time here. Speaking about time, the days are flying by and I can’t believe that I leave beautiful New Zealand in just a few days. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Diane and her hubby…they’ve taken such good care of me. But I’m also looking forward to meeting my “Swiss connection” Julie Abery.

On a very sad note, the news here in NZ is filled with reports of shootings. Over 40 people where killed in Christchurch (where I was just the other day). This type of attack is almost unheard of in New Zealand…a country that embraces diversity and practices inclusivity. And the city of Christchurch suffered devastating losses of life and property during the earthquake of 2012. My heart goes out to all of those impacted.

Please stay safe and have a beautiful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE and a peek at the #50PreciousWords Contest

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. I’m not sure anyone has ever done what I am about to do.

Am I committing a faux pas, a blooper, a blunder, a breach of good etiquette by reviewing my own book?

I hope not. But since no one mentioned they were doing a PPBF for Pippa AND the book just launched on Tuesday AND I wanted to give everyone a sneak peek at the upcoming #50PreciousWords Contest which goes live next month, I thought, why not?

cover on amazon Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday – – – – – – – – HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! And Happy World Read-Aloud Day! Are you reading a story to children today? I hope you’ll share your experiences in the comment section below.

And guess what? It is FEBRUARY! Oh my gosh…my great adventure starts later this month. But does that mean you won’t be getting notification of blog posts from me? Heck no! I’m scheduling them in advance as much as I can. And although I’ve been busy working on guest posts that you will no doubt run into as you surf the blogsphere, I’ll also be shining a spotlight on a few of my very favorite 2019 picture books. Like today’s selection from an old friend of mine, Laurie Wallmark.

Many of you may know today’s author because I’ve showcased her books before. I absolutely positively love the way she writes and the strong women she writes about.

hedy cover

HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor Continue reading