Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE ROUGH PATCH Plus Double Giveaway

Sometimes things are just meant to be.

A couple of months ago, I noticed author/illustrator Brian Lies was promoting a new book and offering a signed copy and an original illustration sketch as a giveaway. All you had to do to enter was to share the post. Of course, everybody knows I love sharing the word about new picture books…so I did. And guess what? Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR Plus PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

Did you know that my 5-year old granddaughter’s name is Sophie? She’s a ball of fun and energy…and she LOVES books and hearing stories and having the mailman deliver envelopes with her name on them. And so, when one of my dear friends and critique buddies, Amber Hendricks, wrote a story called Sophie and Little Star and it got published, I knew I’d be getting a copy for her. And of course, sharing it with all of you for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And guess what? This talented and generous author is gifting some lucky reader with a Picture Book Manuscript Critique…yes! Just make sure you leave a comment and you will be entered into the giveaway.

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SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR

Written by Amber Hendricks

Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (2018)

Ages: 3-8

Themes: Friendship, helping one another, determination

Opening lines: 

“Every night, when the sun had set and the stars gathered in the heavens to shine their light on the world, Little Star watched, wishing she could join.”

Synopsis:

“Sophie and Little Star is a delightfully charming tale about friendship and finding where we belong. A wonderful bedtime treat!” -Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles

When a little star falls from her home in the sky, she finds help from an unexpected friend. Together, the new friends search for a way to send Little Star home, but soon discover that not everyone you meet is kind, or helpful. Little Star begins to wonder if she’ll ever find a way home, and if she does, will she be able to leave her new friend, Sophie, behind?”

Why I like this book:

  • I love stories about friendship, especially those with a bit of pixie dust and magic woven in.
  • I love stories where the main character shows determination – and this one is a mighty girl who just isn’t going to give up until she helps her new friend, Little Star.
  • The illustrations are beautiful and Raissa captures the dreamy night-time feel throughout the pages.
  • I love sweet bedtime stories and so do kids!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Star-Crafts-for-Kids-10-Ideas-433x650Photo courtesy: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/

STAR PROJECTS FOR KIDS: For detailed instructions, please go to: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/

Bundle up and go out in the evening to look up at the stars. Get a book for kids on the constellations and see how many you can identify. Check you library for Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky by Michael Driscoll.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please make sure you leave a comment to enter the giveaway…and come back tomorrow when Amber visits Picture Books Help Kids Soar and shares her writing journey and a very special No-Bake cookie recipe from her mom.

This post joins all the others on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up where bloggers review their favorite picture books.

And please don’t forget that our favorite authors need our help to spread the word about their books. BUY THEM! REVIEW THEM! TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THEM!

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush PLUS PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway and Book Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Picture books are magical…especially when they are about a magical item. And Perfect Picture Book Friday posts are magical when they have DOUBLE GIVEAWAYS. Yes, author Melissa Stoller is donating both a pb manuscript critique AND a copy of her brand-new picture book! Woo-hoo!

scarlet's magic paintbrush

SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH

Written by Melissa Stoller

Ilustrated by Sandie Sonke

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (October 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Creativity, be yourself, self-esteem

Opening lines: 

“Years ago, Scarlet found a magic paintbrush and everything changed.”

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

What would it be like to have a magic paintbrush?

Scarlet knows. 
She paints perfect pictures . . . until her brush disappears. 
Will she ever be
able to create another 
masterpiece without it?

Why I like this book:

  • The element of magic appeals to kids…who wouldn’t want a brush that magically draws perfect pictures?
  • I loved seeing Scarlet come to the realization that her own creativity is important.
  • The illustrations are full of color…perfect for a book about a girl who loves to paint.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Painting With Kids

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Photo courtesy: https://artfulparent.com/painting-activities-kids-60-ideas/

For detailed instructions for 50 painting projects: https://artfulparent.com/painting-activities-kids-60-ideas/

Ask your kids, what would they draw if they had a magic paintbrush? If they could imbue any item with magical powers, what would it be and what would it do? And wouldn’t we all like to have an item that had magical powers? What item would you want to be magical?

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in this double-your-pleasure giveaway. And, when you read Melissa’s book, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or other review sites. Reviews are like a birthday gift to your favorite author!

And speaking of picture books, for more wonderful recommendations and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Safe travels if you are away from home.

 

 

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: HEY, HEY, HAY! PLUS PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, everyone!

The leaves are already turning color and the evening air has that autumn nip in it. What a perfect time for today’s picture book review!

Tomorrow, the author of this book, Christy Mihaly, will be stopping by to chat and she has graciously agreed to offer a picture book manuscript critique as a giveaway. Please leave a comment to be entered and come back tomorrow for the Q&A and, if you leave a comment there, you will have two chances to win.

heyheyhay

HEY, HEY, HAY! A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them

Written by Christy Mihaly

Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

Published by Holiday House (August 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Farm machinery, farm life, girl power

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“A joyful rhyming story about a girl and her mother and the machines they use on their family farm to make hay.

Mower blades slice through the grass./A new row falls with every pass./Next we spread the grass to dry./The tedder makes those grasses fly!

A girl tells the tale of making hay as Mom uses a mower for mowing grass, then a tedder for aerating the grass, and eventually a baler. Told in rhyme and illustrated with fabulous art by JOE CEPEDA, each part of the process is a celebration of summer, farming, and the mother-daughter relationship. Back matter includes a glossary.”

Why  I like this book:

  • Growing up in the city, I didn’t know much about farm life…I think it is important for kids who grow up in the city to find out how life is on the farm. Plus, kids who grow up on a farm these days need to see themselves in a book other than Old Macdonald.
  • Great palette used by the illustrator with bold drawings.
  • LOVE the rhyme…and kids will love it, too.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

15-Baby-Animal-Days-Farm-Crafts-1-750x750Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com

Who can resist baby farm animals? These crafts are so simple. For detailed instructions: https://iheartcraftythings.com/15-baby-animal-days-farm-crafts-for-kids.html

Please don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a Picture Book Manuscript Critique by author Christy Mihaly.  Then, come back tomorrow when she stops by to chat on Picture Books Help Kids Soar. And remember our authors need our help. Spread the word about the books you love and make sure you leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. I am waving from Chicago today!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: RICE FROM HEAVEN

I’ve been waiting a long time to review this book for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

How long, you ask? Well, I will tell you. I’ve been waiting ever since I read one of the first drafts from my critique buddy, Tina Cho. Because honestly, even from the first drafts, I knew this was going to be a real live book one day!

RicefromHeaven cover

RICE FROM HEAVEN

Written by Tina Cho

Illustrated by Keum Jin Song

Published by Little Bee Books

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Compassion, courage, South and North Korea

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea.

We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.
Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea.

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We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.

Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border.

Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields.

Rice From Heaven _Page_16

With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that are based on true events…bringing history alive for young readers is so very important.
  • The text is lyrical and helps us connect to the main character.
  • The illustrations engage the reader/listener from the first page to the last.
  • This book is a perfect launchpad for any school or home discussion about helping others, compassion, and the world situation.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

All Kinds of Rice Crafts

RiceRoundUp-001-400x546Photo courtesy: https://funfamilycrafts.com/rice-activities-crafts-for-kids

75 crafts using rice! For more detailed instructions, please go here:

 https://funfamilycrafts.com/rice-activities-crafts-for-kids

Thank you for stopping by – I hope you will be back tomorrow for our chat with author Tina Cho…she is sharing some of her writing journey, a couple of author tips (like revision is a key ingredient to author success), and a treat recipe that includes…you guessed it…something rice-like.

And if you want to read the second installment of the peek inside my life, head on over to the blog of Sarah Hetu-Radney, Writer. She’s offering a giveaway of one of her own pb critiques!

Please have a safe and happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Edmund Pickle Chin and A Few Words To Honor Clara Bowman-Jahn


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Some of you in the kid lit community may have heard the sad news of the passing of Clara Bowman-Jahn. Clara was one of the first people who welcomed me into this picture book writing world. She was a bright light of kindness and was always looking for ways to help others.

Since today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, I am reblogging a portion of a post I did back in 2014 when her second picture book launched.

 

Edmund Pickle Chin – A Donkey Rescue Story

Written by Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood

Illustrated by Lynne Bendoly

Publisher: eTreasures Publishing (April 2014)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:Animal rescue, animal abuse

Synopsis: From eTreasures

Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story is based on a true story. Edmund, the main character, is an abused donkey who is the first of many animals to call Evermay Farm, a small rescue in central Georgia, home. Susan, Edmund’s care giver in the story, not only gives the shy donkey the time and patience he needs but gives him a new name every day of the week. The title takes on one of those nicknames she so lovingly calls him. As Susan starts to take in new critters, Edmund finds himself changing. As his name grows, so does his trust and acceptance. Edmund soon learns that he is not only needed but wanted. This confused, frightened donkey’s life changes as he becomes a hero, a babysitter, and a companion to the other residents at Evermay Farm.”

 

Why I like this book:

  • Beautiful illustrations
  • Wonderful introduction for young children to the need to care for and be kind to animals
  • Helps children understand that everyone feels strange in a new place…but we get more comfortable as time passes
  • Based on a true story
  • When you can make a non-fiction book appealing to children, you have a winner!

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about how people need to be responsible pet owners – what do animals need?
  • How do different animals help us? How should work animals be treated?
  • Visit a local animal shelter
  • Older children can take part in a fundraiser for a local animal shelter

 

Related Activities:

paper-plate-donkey

PAPER PLATE DONKEY

If you visit my blog often, you’ll know that I love to use paper plates as the base material in crafts for young children.

You will need: 1 paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers or crayons.

  1. Color the plate gray or brown (depending on the crayon colors available or if desired, your child can paint it).
  2. Cut out the eyes, nose, hair, teeth and ears from construction paper and glue in place.
  3. Use the paper plate as a mask or puppet to role play parts of the story.

For more donkey crafts go here: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/donkeys.html

 

Clara Bowman-Jahn is one of the talented authors of Edmund Pickle Chin.

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Clara Bowman-Jahn worked as a registered nurse for thirty two years finally trading that job for her true love, writing. Clara’s short stories have been published in three anthologies, Campaigner Challenges 2011The ‘I’ Word and Charms Vol. 2. She is also the author of Annie’s Special Day, a children’s picture book. Her second picture book is a true story, Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story.

When Clara is not writing, she volunteers by teaching ESOL to adult students. She also likes Pilates, blogging, reading books and taking long walks with her husband. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic, Pennwriters, Bethesda Writer’s Center and Round Hill Writer’s Group. She lives in rural Loudoun County, Virginia with her brilliant husband, and two cats. She is the proud mother of two wonderful grown sons and a grandmother to a delightful grandson.

 

Susan April Elwood is the other talented author of Edmund Pickle Chin.

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Susan April Elwood has worked with children for over twenty years in Northern Virginia as a preschool teacher, kindergarten assistant, and a library assistant. With her passion for animals it made perfect sense to combine the two and write an animal story for children, teaming up with author Clara Bowman-Jahn.

Susan and her husband Tom moved from Northern Virginia in 2007 to central Georgia where they founded Evermay Farm, a non-profit rescue for farm animals. This is the setting for the book titled, Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story. The story is based on Edmund, a donkey, the first of many animals to call Evermay Farm home. Susan and her husband Tom have two treasured sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a precious grandson. In her free time, Susan enjoys photographing animals and antiquing.

 

To read more awesome picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Thank you, dear friends, for spending your precious time here. I hope you will stop by tomorrow as I continue remembering Clara on Will Write for Cookies with a post she did for me several years ago on GOALS.