Category Archives: Perfect Picture Book Friday

Super Happy Party Bears: Book Review and Activity PLUS GIVEAWAY

Is it Friday already?

The days and weeks are flying by. Do you feel the same way?

There are pros and cons to time passing at warp factor speed.

The con: I keep getting a week older!

The pro: It’s PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY AGAIN! Oh, and St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe I should be writing with green ink.

We had a wonderful response to the Q&A with author Jessica Petersen and the OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS posts…and that means that lots of people were entered into the special prize package giveaway.

AND THE WINNER IS:

GABRIELLE FROM BUTTERFLY KISSES AND SILLY WISHES

Gabrielle…let’s connect so I can get your information to Jessica and she can get the prize package to you.

And more good news! (Isn’t it nice to know there is a place you can go where good news abounds?)

Author Marcie Colleen is providing a giveaway this weekend! Just comment on this post or tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies and you might win a copy of SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS GOING NUTS or SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS STAYING A HIVE. Woo-hoo! Two books? That means two winners!

Are you still with me? Good, because as usual, I have a few important things I want to share with you!

  1. The #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge was so well-received (251 entries and over 2100 comments). I’ve decided to host another challenge. This one is for children! #50PreciousWordsforKids will coincide with Children’s Book Week, May 1-7. I’ll be inviting elementary school teachers to have their students write stories of 50 words or less. The teacher and/or class will choose one of the stories to email to me and I will post it on my blog on May 11. Homeschooled kids are also invited to participate as long as  a parent approves and submits the story. This challenge is for grades K-6. And the Children’s Book Council thinks it is a great way to celebrate Children’s Book Week.

Here’s the 50-word story my grandson wrote during the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge…he was staying with me while he had a week off from school:

Locked Out by Jeremy (age 8)

One evening, when me and my mom got home from school, we tried to unlock our door. We heard a snap. Our house key broke! We went to our neighbors for help. They said, “Get a ladder and climb into a window.” We followed their advice. Unlocked the door. Home!

One of the #50PreciousWords particpants shared a 50-word story her daugher wrote:

DINOSAUR SNOW by Bethany (age 6)

It snowed a lot through the day. Pteranodon and her sister Teethless were bored. Pteranodon said, “I planned to go outside and it’s almost time for lunch. Oh it’s 11:00. Let’s go wake Mom and Dad.” “You’re right,” said Teethless. So they did. And then they ate lunch.

Pretty spectacular, right? I sent a special prize to Bethany. And my grandson got to pick out some books at the local indie bookstore. I think that kids are just bursting to express their imagination in stories…I’d love to provide a platform for them to do just that!

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I’m reaching out to all of you…if you have connections with elementary school principals or teachers or library specialists, please let them know about this…or provide me with their contact info. Flyers will be available by the end of the weekend. I’m hoping that author/illustrator friends will donate signed books or even mini Skype classroom visits as prizes. Or anything else that would be appropriate. And I’ll have journals and books that I can give as prizes also.

 We are all about wanting to encourage kids to become lovers of books and reading…and what better way than to have children write their own stories! Many classrooms are supposed to have activities for Children’s Book Week…this would be an ideal one. Please let me know what you think? Do you have any suggestions that would make the challenge better.

2. The ReFoReMo Challenge (Reading for Research Month) is going strong. I’ve still got a bunch of posts to catch up on…and my own contribution to the challenge will be up on March 21…hope you get to read it! A huge thank you to Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call for the enormous effort they put into making the challenge a success!

3. Did you know that Jodell Sadler’s KidLit College is having a birthday bash! Starting March 27, there will be 30+ days blog posts about the building blocks of writing success. And there will be prizes, too! My post will be about the importance of critique groups.

4. And last, but certainly not least, nonfiction picture book guru, Kristen Fulton, has announced an impending NonFicPicWeek, June 26-30. If you are writing nonfiction picture books or want to, you CANNOT miss this challenge. Seriously.

And now, before I go off on another tangent, however fun and informational it might be, here is our Perfect Picture Book review of what probably isn’t really a picture book…but it’s got a lot of pictures and my 8-year old grandson absolutely LOVES the whole series. So I am reviewing the first four books in the series.

cover book 1

SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS GNAWING AROUND

Written by Marcie Colleen

Illustrated by Steve James

Publisher: Imprint – Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (2016)

Ages: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Themes of this book and all the others in the series:

Friendship, ingenuity, getting along

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

The first book in a funny chapter book series filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals!

To the Super Happy Party Bears, everything is a good thing. Their entire attitude can be summed up in one word: YAY! They love doughnuts, dancing, and above all else—a good party. Not so for the rest of the animals living in the Grumpy Woods. They find the bears terribly annoying.

When a few beavers come to town, the Grumpy Woods are even grumpier than usual. These beavers are drying up their river with their dam . . . the beavers are ruining everything! They must leave—it is decreed!

But the Super Happy Party Bears just love the beavers! As the Grumpy Woods scheme to unwelcome them, the Super Happy Party Bears throw them a housewarming party that will prove dancing can always save the day.

Why I like this book and all the others in the series:

  • The adventures of these little fun-loving bears are kind of like a child’s walk through the world…lots of people saying ‘no’, ‘you can’t do this’, and ‘stop making noise’. I think kids really relate to that.
  • The text has so many funny twists and turns.
  • The illustrations are really colorful and the expressions on the animals’ faces are hilarious.
  • I read this with my 8-year old grandson and he LOVED it. When we finish, he wanted to read the rest of the series.

cover book 2

Knock Knock on Wood

Written by Marcie Colleen

Illustrated by Steve James

Publisher: Imprint – Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (2016)

Synopsis:

The second book in a funny chapter book series filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals!

 The Grumpy Woods dislike Wallace Woodpecker only slightly less than the Super Happy Party Bears. They find his pecking preposterously loud, but the bears think Wallace is beating a nice rhythm–it’s great for early-morning dancercise! The bears convince Wallace he has great skills to offer the woods, and they give him ideas for unsolicited handy work. Instead of endearing him to the neighbors, it annoys them even more. Can the bears really help this noisy neighbor?

cover book 3

Staying A Hive

Written by Marcie Colleen

Illustrated by Steve James

Publisher: Imprint – Macmillan (2017)

Synopsis:

The third book in a funny chapter book series filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals!

When Queen Beetrice and her beehive opens for business in the Grumpy Woods, the Super Happy Party Bears are excited–they LOVE honey! But the other Grumpy Woods residents are very unhappy with all the noisy buzzing going on, and they boycott the bees!

Too much sugar sends the bears into early hibernation and soon the woods are overflowing with uneaten honey. The townscritters need a fast solution to the sticky situation–and so they decide to throw an Un-Slumber Party to wake those bears up

book 4

Going Nuts

Written by Marcie Colleen

Illustrated by Steve James

Publisher: Imprint – Macmillan (2017)

Synopsis:

The fourth book in a funny chapter book series filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals!

The squirrels of the Grumpy Woods have finally finished gathering their nuts for winter, when the Super Happy Party Bears find their stash…and eat the whole thing. To make it up to them, the bears show the squirrels another hoard they’ve found—one that belongs to the chipmunks!

Suddenly, the bears’ huge appetite has caused an all-out civil war between two rival nut hoarders: the Puffy Cheeks (the chipmunks) and the Twitchy Tails (the squirrels). Can the bears prevent the Grumpy Woods from getting too nutty?

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A FELT BEAR THAT IS SOFT TO TOUCH

circles-bear-mainpicPhoto courtesy: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Animals/circlesbear/circlesbear.html

You will need: Pieces of felt, scissors, glue, 1 piece of poster board or thicker construction paper.

  1. Cut felt in various size circles as seen in picture.
  2. Glue ears, eyes, nose and muzzle onto head.
  3. Glue onto background.

For more detailed instructions: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Animals/circlesbear/circlesbear.html

Paper bags would also make perfect Super Happy Party Bear puppets…just cut out features from construction paper and glue onto bag. You can turn a few paper bags into a Super Happy Party Bear party!

And now get set for a comment party…if you leave a comment here and/or on tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies post, you will be entered to win either STAYING A HIVE or GOING NUTS.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends, Happy St. Patrick’s Day…and please come back tomorrow for:

Will Write for Cookies

MARCIE COLLEEN

 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.

PPBF: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes PLUS LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY

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.

At the end of this post you’ll find a special giveaway for National Library WeekPLEASE DON’T MISS IT!

I’m kind of like a kid when it comes to picture books…if I love the story, I want to hear it over and over and over. So I hope you won’t mind if I share a book I reviewed a year ago. It’s a perfect Easter Bunny tale.

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The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Written by Dubose Heyward

Illustrated by Marjorie Flack

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (1939)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, Easter, gender discrimination, working together.

Opening Line:

“We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one. But this is not so.”

Synopsis:

A young country bunny sets a goal for herself of becoming one of the five Easter bunnies who deliver Easter eggs all over the world. It seems her dreams will not be realized as the little bunny grows up and becomes the mother of twenty-one baby bunnies. Using ingenuity, common sense and lots of determination, she trains each of her children to master certain skills. Will Little Cottontail Mother prove that she is the kindest, wisest and fastest bunny in the whole world? Can she complete all of her tasks? Does she win the golden shoes that will enable her to fly?

Why I like this book:

This book was written over seventy years ago…yes, you know how I love these old classic picture books! This is a modern feminist tale…twenty-nine children and she still has a dream that she never stops pursuing.

Little Cottontail Mother is a loving and caring mom…but that doesn’t stop her from expecting her children to be responsible and helpful and courteous. She teaches them the life skills they will need as adults.

The illustrations are from the ‘illustrious’ Marjorie Flack…need I say more!

Related Activities

HANDPRINT EASTER BASKETS

9handprinteasterbasketscraft4kidsfinal

I’ve made this craft with my kindergarten classes…they really love it! This is a lovely keepsake because it is made from your child’s handprints. Hang on the refrigerator or use as an Easter door decoration. The picture here is from Artists Helping Children.org They have lots of great ideas and instructions on their website.

You will need: Construction paper, tape, glue stick, crayons or markers, scissors

  1. Trace at least 8 hands for each basket (these are the handle).
  2. Cut out a basket shape and cut a slit in the top (the eggs will slip in here).
  3. Lay out the handprints, overlapping slightly, to form a handle shape. Tape them while you are arranging them and then glue in place.
  4. Cut out a bunch of Easter egg shapes. Your child can decorate them before sliding them into the slit. Glue in place when they are in the right place.

 

More Activities:

Talk to your children about the tasks that Little Cottontail Mother taught her bunnies. What tasks can your child help with?

Make a goal chart…Little Cottontail Mother had things she wanted to accomplish…help your child make a chart of tasks and skills he or she wants to master.

AND NOW FOR OUR SHOW ME HOW LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY…

National Library Week is April 10-16. To help celebrate, why not visit the library with your children…and make it a habit to go often. Does your child have a library card yet? Find out how old your child has to be…if he doesn’t have one yet and is old enough, help celebrate National Library Week by signing him up. A child’s library card is a passport to learning about the world. And libraries are one of the last free resources in our communities…they provide so much more than books…check out the programs they have available for children and adults of all ages.

In honor of National Library Week, I’m donating THREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Wouldn’t it be awesome to present a copy of this valuable parent/teacher resource to your children’s librarian? Just subscribe to my mailing list. Three names will be chosen by Random.org at the end of April. Already subscribed? No worries…your name is already entered.

Many libraries are very limited in what new materials they can buy for their collections because of reduced revenues. Help your library receive a resource that will be used by parents and teachers for their kids. Just click on this link and subscribe to my mailing list.

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Do you tweet on Twitter? Are you a fan of Facebook? Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet? Please help me spread the word about the Show-Me-How Library Week Giveaway by tweeting, posting and/or pinning.

 

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 sign up for my newsletter – doing so will nominate your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

Click here to sign up to receive my newsletter and other awesome stuff.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend…and a Happy Easter. Spring is finally here!!!!!!

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PPBF: The William Hoy Story PLUS Winners

I looked at the calendar and realized that we are just about at the end of the month. Didn’t I promise a couple of giveaways would happen then?

You bet I did! I hope you all love jam…because this is going to be a jam-packed post. First I want to congratulate the winners of Susanna Hill’s First Annual Almost World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest. Did you vote? It was pretty hard to decide…I hope all of those wonderful writers will take their stories and turn them into picture books. Writing contests are a great way to exercise your writing muscle.

Talking about writing muscle, both of the books we are giving away are full of writing muscle…Dianna Aston’s An Egg is Quiet and Doris Burn’s Andrew Henry’s Meadow. Both are classics and are books that can be read over and over again…for the text, for the illustrations, for the messages that will constantly be uncovered each time you turn the pages.

We’ll get to announcing the winners shortly, but first we should talk about our Perfect Picture Book Friday pick. One of the really neat things about being in this kidlit community is that I get to connect with lots of writers. And those writers write books. And those books get published! How cool is it to hold a book in your hands that was written by a friend? Totally cool!

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The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game

Written by Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by Jez Tuya Read the rest of this entry

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