Category Archives: Picture Book Review

Picture Book Review and Activity: WAY PAST BEDTIME

Happy Friday! I’ve got a wonderful Perfect Picture Book for you today, but I wanted to share a bit about the NESCBWI conference.

MPBM with Susanna HillI’m still processing the experience and I urge all of you who are writers or illustrators, but aren’t yet members of SCBWI, to please, run, don’t walk, and become a member.

with Carrie Finison and Hannah HoltIt is an organization that supports all writers and illustrators and the conferences are the best. The keynote speakers, like Jane Yolen and Melissa Sweet, provided inspiration and information by the bucketful. The accommodations and food were great. But truthfully, the best part of the weekend was getting to hug old friends

12x12

and make new ones.

PTB 2017 group 

I also wanted to remind everyone to continue to spread the word about the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. This morning a teacher at the Birchwood School in Cleveland, Ohio emailed to say that her 5th grade class is going to participate. Woo-hoo!

final jpeg of flyer

I’ll be putting up a post on Sunday, April 30 because the challenge starts May 1, but we may have international participants and on the other side of the globe they are many hours ahead of me. All entries should be emailed to me by either a teacher or parent. This is going to be GREAT FUN!

And before we get to today’s book, we need to giveaway a copy of Jackie Azúa Kramer’s THE GREEN UMBRELLA. And the winner is…

YVONA FAST

Congratulations, Yvona! Please email me so I can connect you and Jackie.

The author of today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is well-known to most of this kidlit community. She’s the founder of Storystorm (formerly PiBoIdMo) and a force to be reckoned with.

way past bedtime cover

Way Past Bedtime

Written by Tara Lazar

Illustrated by Rich Wake

Publisher: Aladdin (2017)

Ages: 4-7

Themes:

Mystery, ingenuity, bedtime

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Little Joseph turns into a bedtime super-sleuth as he tries to solve the mystery of what happens after the lights go out in this fun spin on classic bedtime stories.

Bedtime is Joseph’s least favorite time of day. When his parents tuck him in at night, Joseph imagines all kinds of things that he’s missing out on: big parties, hot-fudge fountains, exotic animals, and more.

But there is only one way to find out if what he imagines is actually true—and bedtime super-sleuth Joseph is determined to discover what happens way past bedtime.

inside photos

Why I like this book:

  • This book is a whole lot of fun…and kids will love sleuthing along with Joseph. I bet lots of kids wonder what goes on while they are sleeping.
  • Great cartoon-like illustrations…and that’s not a bad thing because I think it will encourage some kids, especially boys, to pick up the book and keep turning the pages…and that’s what it’s all about!
  • Oh, and did I say it was funny? Well, I’ll say it again…kids LOVE funny!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Tons-of-fun-spy-activities-and-free-printables-for-kids-Perfect-for-planning-a-spy-themed-DIY-summer-camp-or-partyPhoto courtesy: http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/spy-school-kids-activities/
  1. Start a secret agent spy school with the downloadable forms from http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/spy-school-kids-activities/
  2. Set up a scavenger hunt with clues…my 8-year old grandson thinks being a detective is the coolest thing. I know I have to get a copy of this book for him!
  3. Talk about how codes have been used to deliver secret messages: http://www.mathsweek.ie/2012/puzzles/code-breaking-for-young-secret-agents
  4. Try writing a message in code and decipher it.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…I hope you’ll visit tomorrow for:

 Will Write for Cookies

Anna Forrester

(we reviewed her BAT COUNT book a couple of months ago)

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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.

Picture Book Review and Activity: IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU

Hello friends!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated a book birthday for IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU. There was a Q&A with author Rosie Pova. And a fun giveaway of a teddy bear and swag package.

Today we’ll review that wonderful picture book to honor Mother’s Day which is just around the corner, because the book is all about Willy Bear and the deep love his mama has for him.

 cover if I were you

IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU

Written by: Rosie Pova

Illustrated by Philip Martineau

Publisher: Spork (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 2

Themes:

Mother-child love, curiosity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Mom, if I weren’t here, what would you do?” Willy starts a conversation with Mama Bear while he’s on the move, acting like a natural youngster. In a series of simple and direct questions, the bear cub seeks and receives his mother’s reassurance of love and security as the two take a walk in the forest. Mama Bear uses imagery of the forest to communicate her feelings to her cub.

Why I like this book:

  • A perfect book to reassure young children that their parents will always love them.
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Lyrical language combines with lovely illustrations that speak of gentleness and safety.

There is also a short trailer for the book right here.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

paper plate bear

Paper Plate Bear

You all know how much I love paper plate crafts for kids. And Rosie loves them also. This craft idea is from her!

You will need: 1 paper plate (colored if you have it, otherwise you can use markers or crayons or paint), construction paper or felt (depending on what you have and how you want the bear to feel), glue, scissors, markers to add the details, googly eyes if you have them.

  1. Cut paper or felt for the face, muzzle, nose, ears, and eyes.
  2. Glue onto the plate.
  3. Add details with the marker or crayon.

I know how busy parents are these days…but kids really love doing stuff like this. Cutting out shapes and gluing googly eyes on a paper plate is more than just about crafting something to hang up…it’s about crafting a lasting relationship with your child.

We build lasting relationships with our friends also. The NESCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts was a perfect opportunity to do just that.  It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. The presentations and workshops were incredible. I attended a revision workshop with Harold Underdown, founder of The Purple Crayon, that I know is going to make me a better critique partner. I listened to a program given by Candlewick editor Carter Hasewaga entitled Failure that was uplifting and encouraging. One of the highlights was the thirty minutes I spent chatting with Jane Yolen during my stint as a volunteer in the AskAMentor Round Table session. OMG! I thought I had lots of energy and passion for what I do. But she puts me to shame. And she is almost ten years older. Maybe one day, when I grow up, I can be just like her.

Thank you so much for hanging out here today. See you all at the end of the week for a Perfect Picture Book Friday review of one of Tara Lazar’s new books!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: BunnyBear

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Have I got a treat for you!

One of the FIRST picture books of 2017!

cover

BUNNYBEAR

Written by Andrea J. Loney

Illustrated by Carmen Saldaña

Publisher: Albert Whitman (January 2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Acceptance, friendship

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Although Bunnybear was born a bear, he feels more like a bunny. He prefers bouncing in the thicket to tramping in the forest, and, in his heart, he’s fluffy and tiny, like a rabbit, instead of burly and loud, like a bear. The other bears don’t understand him, and neither do the bunnies. Will Bunnybear ever find a friend who likes him just the way he is?

Opening Lines:

“There was once a bear who was more than a bear.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that help kids accept who they are…and Bunnybear does exactly that.
  • The gentle humor will be enjoyed by young listeners and appreciated by adult readers.
  • The illustrations marry perfectly with the well-written text.
  • My favorite line? ‘When I see you, I feel more like me.’

RELATED ACTIVITIES

PAPER PLATE BEAR

fuzzypaperplatebear-mainpicPhoto courtesy http://www.firstpalette.com

I’m a big fan of paper plate crafts…quick and easy for parent and child…and so much fun. Why not let your child be creative…maybe his bear will have bunny ears. For a very simple bear plate, you will need 1 paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue, and markers or crayon.

  1. Cut ears, nose, and eyes from construction paper.
  2. Color the plate with crayons or markers.
  3. Glue the features onto the face.
  4. Display your child’s work proudly. You can also use it for role playing.

More instructions here for a fuzzy bear: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Animals/fuzzypaperplatebear/

JUST OUT: Trailer for BunnyBear:

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers and writers 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 stop by here tomorrow for our Will Write for Cookies Q&A with debut picture book author, Andrea J. Loney. And yes…there will be a GIVEAWAY of a copy of Bunnybear! Just leave a comment on tomorrow’s post—what animal would you want to be?

Oh my goodness…I had already posted this and am editing to include the winner of the copy of Loir Degman’s NORBERT’S BIG DREAM. And the winner is

DAVID MCMULLEN

David, I’ll reach out to get your address so I can mail you the book!

Thank you for visiting today—I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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