Perfect Picture Book Friday: THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS Plus Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

In four more days, I’ll be hopping on a plane and winging my way to Sydney, Australia. But please don’t fret! Even though I may not be HERE…I will be hopping around the blogsphere, visiting with Kirsti Call on Writers’ Rumpus, sharing lists of female inventors with Mia Wenjen on Pragmatic Mom, answering questions for Maria Marshall on Picture Book Buzz, chatting with Darlene Beck-Jacobsen on Gold from Dust: Bringing Stories to Life, and more. Plus there will be several Perfect Picture Book posts right here as I continue to celebrate the fabulous 2019 debuts…like today’s wonderful book!

And as a special treat, I’ll be sharing the cover of author Lindsay Leslie’s SECOND debut picture book of 2019…PLUS, she’s offering a double giveaway.

spineless cover

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS

Written by Lindsay Leslie

Illustrated by Alice Brereton

Published by Page Street Kids (February 19, 2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Sensory Perception, Humor, Problem Solving

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.

Does it hear spooky wails from a ghost story?
Can it see a mysterious something peeking around a corner?
Is that the dizzy feeling of zero gravity it senses?
Might that be the stinky smell of animals in nature it detects?
Could it be tasting the saltiness of a story on the high seas?

The reader and book navigate the book’s contents together, becoming friends as the book becomes braver with every page turn. This multilayered book incorporates the five senses, multiple literary genres, and various book parts, with the relationship between book and reader bringing everything together.”

Why I love this book:

  • I love books that are interactive and encourage participation between reader/listener and the story.
  • This book has heart and humor…great combination for any picture book.
  • The illustrations are lots of fun and will engage children to keep turning the pages.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

dream-catcher-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk

Make a DREAMCATCHER to grab your dreams, both good and bad. For detailed instructions: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/children/dont-be-afraid-god-is-with-us/

And check out author Leslie’s second debut picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER that launches in May.

nova_cover-lowres

Here’s a little bit about the author of these brilliant books!

Bio: A diary keeper, a journal writer, a journalism major, a public relations executive—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. When she became a mom and began to tell her kids bedtime stories, Lindsay connected the dots to children’s literature. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books. Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, her debut picture book (Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019). Her second picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER (Page Street Kids), will launch on May 21, 2019. Her third picture book, DUSK RAIDERS WANTED (Page Street Kids), will launch in spring of 2020. Lindsay lives with her husband, two young boys, and two fur-beasts in Austin.

Links: www.lindsayleslie.com

Twitter: @lleslie

Instagram: @lindsaylesliewrites

Dear friends, one of the things I’m always encouraging people to do is to write reviews for the books that you love. Lindsay kindly supplied the links for Goodreads, so if you get to read either or both of her books, I hope you will hop over and post your review. This is the best gift you can give an author…other than buying their book, of course.

Goodreads:

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046021-this-book-is-spineless?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/This-Book-Spineless-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531156153&sr=8-1&keywords=this+book+is+spineless

NOVA THE STAR EATER:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150332-nova-the-star-eater?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/Nova-Star-Eater-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535051997&sr=8-1&keywords=nova+the+star+eater

Lindsay and I are actually members of one of the debut picture book author groups and I’ve gotten to know her a bit. She is mega-smart about writing and lots of other things, so, I asked her to share an author tip with us.

Lindsay says:

When I was in the throes of querying, I took advantage of every opportunity available to me. Not only did I have a targeted list of agents I was interested in working with, but also I participated in all of the Twitter #hashtag events, such as #PitMad and #PBPitch, as well as the online contests, including #PBParty, among others. I even submitted to a Writer’s Digest competition (and I placed fourth for children’s literature). What I felt was important was feedback. I wanted to see if my concepts caught eyeballs. Did my pitches make people pause? Am I getting a reaction? For the pitches that got no love, I knew I had work to do and needed go back to either rework the manuscript or figure out why my pitch wasn’t connecting. For the pitches that received a “heart,” I knew I was on the right track. This was all part of my market research. Of course, this process came after running my manuscripts by several critique partners. So, if you are feeling fearful or timid about putting yourself out there with these types of contest and opportunities, know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way and that there are so many upsides to participating! For me, it was a book deal with Page Street Kids.

How cool is that! And, if you’re in the market to win a copy of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and an F&G (unbound copy) of NOVA THE STAR EATER, please don’t forget to leave a comment. I’d love if you would share what, if anything, made you feel spineless as a child.

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.

cover Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: FINDING A DOVE FOR GRAMPS Plus Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. The year is winding down, but the windfall of fabulous picture books of 2018 is not. And the author of today’s book is offering a VERY special giveaway: a Picture Book Critique OR the first 10 pages of a novel. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ROCK AND ROLL WOODS Plus PB Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! 

Do you love music? I do! All kinds! From classical to rhythm and blues. From jazz to folk. But best of all, I love rock and roll. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY plus Picture Book Manuscript Critique Giveaway Plus Book Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! I’m continuing on my journey through the fabulous debut picture books of 2018. And today, you are in for a treat.  I think most of you know how much I LOVE non-fiction picture book stories. And here is one that is going to go to the top of the charts!

book cover

THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY: The Creations of Diamonds & The Life of H. Tracy Hall

Written by Hannah Holt

Illustrated by Jay Fleck

Published by Balzer & Bray (October 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Inventors, curiosity, bullying

Opening lines: “A ROCK named graphite. A BOY named Tracy.

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the Boy follows the stories of both natural diamond creation and the life of H. Tracy Hall, the inventor of a revolutionary diamond-making machine. Perfect for fans of Rosie Revere, Engineer, and On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein.

Before a diamond is a gem, it’s a common gray rock called graphite. Through an intense trial of heat and pressure, it changes into one of the most valuable stones in the world.

Before Tracy Hall was an inventor, he was a boy—born into poverty, bullied by peers, forced to work at an early age. However, through education and experimentation, he became one of the brightest innovators of the twentieth century, eventually building a revolutionary machine that makes diamonds.

From debut author Hannah Holt—the granddaughter of Tracy Hall—and illustrator Jay Fleck comes this fascinating in-depth portrait of both rock and man.”

Why I like this book:

  • Based on the life of her grandfather, the author had access to fabulous research resources…and it shows. The book has an authenticity that you don’t often find, even in nonfiction.
  • I love that there are so many layers in this story…the life of the diamond, the life of H. Tracy Hall, bullying, staying true to who you are, following your dream.F
  • The talented Jay Fleck brings the story to life with vivid colors and fabulous illustrations.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Diamond Shaped Craft for Kids

diamond-shape-activity-for-preschool-childrencourtesy: http://cleverlearner.com/shapes/diamond-shape-activity.html

For detailed instructions and other crafts: http://cleverlearner.com/shapes/diamond-shape-activity.html

Diamond facts for kids: http://www.scienceforkidsclub.com/diamond.html

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a picture book manuscript critique from Hannah Holt. It will be a priceless gift to one lucky winner!

PLUS…I’m adding another giveaway…a brand new copy of THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY. Here’s the back story: I ordered a copy from Amazon months and months ago. And then, for some reason, I forgot (life has been a bit busy and distracting for me this year)…and so I ordered one from my local indie bookstore. And I picked that one up  a few weeks ago…and then the other day, I got a message from Amazon saying my book order would arrive on Thursday. So, now I have two copies and I want to share the joy! I’ll choose one winner for the critique and a different winner for the book. Make sure you comment on today’s post and tomorrow’s and Tuesday’s Book Birthday post. That way you will have three chances. 

And I want to thank everyone who shared and/or commented on my Facebook post about the new cover and corrected launch date for Sweet Dreams, Sarah…I’m getting really excited about 2019…I’ve received the hard copy of Pippa’s Passover Plate and I can’t wait to share the cover of Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book…I think it will be ready to reveal in the next month or so!

For more wonderful picture book reviews and activities, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Enjoy your weekend, dear friends! The autumn leaf colors are deepening. If you are driving or traveling, please be safe.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: FLYING DEEP

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

Before we get to the review of today’s picture book, thanks to our generous authors and their publishers, we have some giveaways to announce. 

The winner of A Campfire Tail by Sarah Glenn Marsh is…

SHERRY HOWARD!

The winner of SELFIE SEBASTIAN by Sarah Glenn Marsh is…

BECKY SCHARHORST!

And the winner of THE MANIC PANIC by Richa Jha is…

JOANNE SHER!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL…I will connect with you all so we can ship out your books!

Thank you, dear readers, for spending your precious time here on my blog. I truly appreciate it and I know our wonderful authors and illustrators love reading the wonderful comments you leave. And the best way to thank these wonderful authors is to buy their books, review their books, and tell other people  about their books!

Speaking of wonderful authors (what’s that you say…I am using the word ‘wonderful’ too many time?) – I met the author of today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday at a conference a couple of years ago. She was already deep into her research for this story and maybe, when she stops by for Will Write for Cookies tomorrow, we will learn more about that.

flying deep cover

FLYING DEEP: CLIMB INSIDE DEEP-SEA SUBMERSIBLE ALVIN

Written by Michelle Cusolito

Illustrated by Nicole Wong

Published by: Charlesbridge (2018)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Underwater exploration, Submersible Alvin

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean.

Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot and join scientists at the seafloor to collect samples and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. Extensive back matter explains how Alvin works, describes the author’s research, and includes a glossary and further reading.

“An appealing, exhilarating, and informative vicarious journey of discovery” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Why I like this book:

  • Fabulous information written in a very accessible and engaging manner.
  • Super fun illustrations
  • And if you are in the neighborhood of the Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, you can join in the launch party: https://www.facebook.com/events/209296316324369/

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

15-Ocean-Crafts-for-Kids-1Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com

For details on any of these fun underwater themed crafts, please click on this link: https://iheartcraftythings.com/15-ocean-kids-crafts.html

If you are looking for more picture book reviews, head on over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Do you have plans for this weekend? I’ve promised my daughter that I’ll help her plant tomatoes.  I also need to get herbs and vegetable plants for my own garden. I love the smell of sun-warmed soil. And there is something very healing about planting things that blossom with life.

 

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!

cbw-logo

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.