Category Archives: Picture Book Review

An Interview with CAP’N REX AND HIS CLEVER CREW and more

 Ahoy there, mateys!

I’m so happy you’ve come aboard today because we’ve got a treasure chest of awesomeness in store for you…all thanks to Henry Herz, author of the brand-new pirate picture book, CAP’N REX AND HIS CLEVER CREW. First a book review…then a Q&A with Captain Rex and his clever crew, .and then links where you can find yummy pirate recipes and fun stuff to do

cover

Written by Henry L. Herz

Illustrated by Benjamin Shipper

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (August 2017)

Opening Lines:

Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sailed the seven seas.

Synopsis

Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure. But whenever they hit an obstacle—like a giant shark or pea-soup fog—the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex always glares with teeth bared and says, “CAN’T YE?” And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution. This delightful story highlights the value of one’s creativity and determination in tough situations. It will encourage kids everywhere to think and say, “I can!”

Why I like this book:

  • Just the right amount of piratey language
  • Great read aloud
  • Bold colorful and quirky illustrations that will keep a child turning the pages
  • Wonderful combination of humor and heart

What others are saying about this book:

“Arrr, if ye be lookin’ for a rollicking read about pirate treasure and persistence, REX marks the spot.”
Molly Idle, Caldecott Honoree author/illustrator of TEA REX
“A darling book about problem solving and utilizing arrr! gifts. And the gorgeous illustrations are a treasure. Pure gold!”
Sherri Duskey Rinker, NY Times bestselling author of MIGHTY, MIGHTY CONSTRUCTION SITE
“This story will certainly thrill the pirate in your house. Through humor and ingenuity we learn that anything is possible!”
Barney Saltzberg, NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of BEAUTIFUL OOPS!
“Pirates, dinosaurs, a voyage to a volcano? Well, shiver me timbers! There be surprise and rollicking adventure within these gorgeous pages. CAP’N REX gives readers a taste of pirate etiquette in this see-worthy treasure.”
Pat Cummings, Coretta Scott King Award winning author/illustrator of MY MAMA NEEDS ME
“Cap’n Rex and his jaunty crew take us on a jolly journey, fraught with perilous adventures. Sticking together and using their wits to overcome obstacles at every treacherous turn, these dino heroes are destined to rake in their fabulous bounty. Gorgeous textures and sumptuous-shaped illustrations help make this book a delight for any young pirate.”
Joe Cepeda, Pura Belpre Honoree author/illustrator of I, FREDDY
“A clever yarn about overcoming obstacles that will have little buccaneers chanting “Can’t ye!” even after the last page has been turned.”
Corey Rosen Schwartz, author of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD
To find out more about author Henry L. Herz:
 
Henry_sword
So hold onto your hats, me hardies…now that you’ve got a little background on this story, I know you are anxious to meet my special guests, the four characters from CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW. We’re sitting in a park, because we cannot all fit inside my house. And really, you don’t want dinosaurs sitting on your furniture.
ME: Hello there! Thank you all for being here (and for not eating me).

 

Cap’n Rex: 

It’s arrr pleasure to be here, lassie. We can spare a few moments before we must resume sailing the seven seas in search of buried booty. Our frigate is double parked at the yacht club.

ME: Can you tell me what it’s like to be characters in a picture book?

 

Kyle (the ankylosaurus): I like the colors that the illustrator used to draw me. I like how the author shows me as strong and brave. But, as a crewman, I always have to follow the captain’s orders.

 

Cap’n Rex: Aye, as it should be, laddy! I know what’s best fer ye!

 

Terry (the pterodactyl): I like that we get to wear clothes – it can get cold out on the high seas. I like that the author lets me fly. Sometimes when there are obstacles, the best way around them is to go over them.

 

ME: Speaking of obstacles, what is the theme of CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW?

 

Pat (the apatosaurus): Hmmm. I couldn’t say.

 

Cap’n Rex: Can’t ye? (note: Rex is glaring at Pat with teeth bared)

 

Pat:Oh, well, I guess the lesson of the story is that if you are persistent and think outside the box, you can solve pretty much any problem.

 

Cap’n Rex: Aye, yer a clever lass. It’s amazin’ what a powerful creativity stimulant the threat of being eaten can be.

 

Pat:Persistence is a particularly potent property for pirates to possess.

 

Cap’n Rex: Belay that alliteration!

 

MR: Let’s move on. How was the book title chosen?

 

Kyle: The origin of this story was the idea that if kids like pirates and they like dinosaurs (and who could blame ’em), then kids’d REALLY like a story that combined both. Sort of a literary Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. In fact, the author was going to write about dinosaur SPACE pirates. Can you imagine us sailin’ the stars?

 

Terry:That’s flying too high, even for me. Luckily, the author’s critique partners said that was mashing up too many things. So, we sail a frigate, not a spaceship. And did you notice how our ship is shaped like a giant triceratops head?

 

Cap’n Rex:None of ye arrr answering the lass’s question! The original title was going to be DINOSAUR PIRATES. As the artwork was being finalized, the author discovered that another book was coming out with that very title. So, at my (humble) suggestion, the author changed the name to better reflect the story (and to include me name).

 

ME: Where can people find out more about you?

 

Pat: The author’s website at www.henryherz.com be full o’ free fun features…

 

Cap’n Rex: BELAY THAT ALLITERATION!

 

Pat: including a downloadable study guide, a book trailer video…

 

Cap’n Rex:I cut a fine figure.

 

Pat:and chestfuls of information about famous pirates, pirate language, ships, recipes, movies, activities and jokes. 

 

Kyle: There’s also a Goodreads Giveaway right now where readers can enter to win a free copy of the book.

 

Terry: And in September through December, readers will have a chance to win original signed art from the illustrator!

 

Cap’n Rex: Well, the tides are shifting. We must take arrr leave.

And

ME Thank you for visiting! And safe journey!!!!!

Oh my gosh! Do you believe that, dear readers? A Q&A with a bunch of pirate dinosaurs…now THAT is a first on Picture Books Help Kids Soar!

And here’s another first…we’ve got to catch up on some giveaways. A week ago,

we interveiwed Moose the dog and Maria Gianferrari offered a copy of HELLO GOODBYE DOG…and the winner is:

JANE HEITMAN HEALY

Then, we had a book review of Susanna Hill’s newest picture book, THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT…and the winner is…

ANDREA MACK

And then we had a book birthday for Lisa Amstutz’ APPLESAUCE DAY…and the winner is…

MONA PEASE

I’ll be contacting all of you to arrange for ythe shipment of your books!

 

Thank you so much, dear friends. Your faithful comments really mean a lot to me and to our guests. Plus I’m grateful for all of the social media shares on Facebook and Twitter! Please don’t forget that Amazon and Goodreads reviews are needed by authors…take a few minutes and review this or one of your other favorite books!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please excuse any typos that I didn’t catch…my vision is still somewhat blurry.

Happy Book Birthday: Applesauce Day PLUS Giveaway

What could be better than a birthday?

A birthday that promises a yummy snack, that’s what!

Today we are turning the spotlight on a BRAND NEW PICTURE BOOK from veteran author Lisa Amstutz. When I heard about her book, I knew I had to help her celebrate because I, too, spent many happy autumns, picking apples and  preparing applesauce with my family!

Viv picking apples1 2015

Don’t they look amazing! When I moved to New Hampshire a couple of years ago, we went apple-picking with my grandson. And then, we made applesauce!

So Happy Book Birthday to APPLESAUCE DAY!

cover

APPLESAUCE DAY

Written by Lisa Amstutz

Illustrated by Talitha Shipman

Published by Albert Whitman (August 1, 2017)

Ages: 4-8

Opening Lines:

I spy the big pot on the counter right away. “Hooray,” I say. “It’s Applesauce Day!”

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

:Maria and her family visit an apple orchard and pick apples. Then it’s time to turn the apples into applesauce! Every year they use the special pot that has been in the family for generations to make applesauce. First they wash the apples. Then Grandma cuts them into quarters. Follow each step in the process as everyone helps to make delicious applesauce!”

Why I like this book:

  • Beautiful family-building story
  • Charming illustrations with a vintage feel
  • Wonderful launch pad for family activities with a great recipe and fun apple facts at the back of the book
  • Kids will see the child characters playing important roles in the applesauce making process

Related Activities:

Crockpot Applesauce

crockpot applesauce picPhoto courtesy: http://abeautifulmess.com

You will need:

  • Apples* (enough to fill your crockpot)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • Sugar, honey, or other sweetener
  • Paring knife
  • Potato masher or blender
  • Crockpot

 

Directions:

  1. Peel and core the apples and put them in the crockpot.
  2. Add a cinnamon stick, a drizzle of lemon juice, and about an inch of water.
  3. Simmer on low for 6–8 hours or until the apples are soft.
  4. Mash or puree the cooked apples using a potato masher or blender. The latter will make a smoother sauce.
  5. Sweeten to taste with sugar, honey, or other sweetener. Enjoy!

 

* Cortland, Jonathan, McIntosh, Winesap, Transparent, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Fuji are good sauce varieties.

Dear friends…Lisa’s publisher, the wonderful Albert Whitman, has generously offered a copy of APPLESAUCE DAY as a giveaway. Please leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. We’d love to hear about your apple-picking, applesauce-making, or applesauce-eating experiences!

To find out more about Lisa and her wonderful books, go here.

A nd PLEASE, don’t forget that reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are  a breath of life for authors and illustrators.

I appreicate you all spending a little of your time with us here at PIcture Books Help Kids Soar. Have a wonderful week!

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: A BAND OF BABIES Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Before we get to today’s wonderful picture book, we have some PRIZES to award!!

Last week, the lovely Patricia Keeler offered two exciting giveaways…a copy of LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL along with a pair of silver flip flop earrings. And also, a copy of her book along with a charming silver seal necklace.

And the winner of the book and earrings is…

KATHY MAZUROWSKI!!!!

And the winner of the book and necklace is…

JILANNE HOFFMANN

CONGRATULATIONS! I will put you both in touch with Patricia so she can send you your prizes.

June is winding down…I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the 1st day of July.

Which is why today’s book is definitely a perfect choice with the 4th of July right around the corner. Parades. Fireworks. And…

cover band of babies

A BAND OF BABIES

Written by: Carole Gerber

Illustrated by: Jane Dyer

Publisher: HarperCollins (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

 Working together, independence, diversity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

It was just an ordinary day at play group until Benny arrived. With flute in hand and drums in tow, Benny’s love of music inspires the babies to get up and put on a show. Toot! Toot! Whee! Benny and his band of babies are a sight to see!

 

With rhythmic text from veteran author Carole Gerber and lively illustrations from bestselling artist Jane Dyer, this musical journey will have readers of all ages snapping their fingers and tapping their toes!

Why I like this book:

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Homemade Rainmaker

homemade_instrument_rainmakerPhoto courtesy: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk

You will need: Empty roll from aluminum foil or paper towel or empty snack cylinder, paint and glitter or construction paper and markers, masking tape or duct tape, glue, scissors, dry uncooked lentils or rice.

  1. Tape one open end of the roll. If you are using a snack cylinder, one end is already sealed.
  2. Fill with ¼ cup dry lentils or rice.
  3. Tape the other end shut. If you are using a snack cylinder, tape the lid securely.
  4. Cover with construction paper, glue in place, and decorate with markers or paint and decorate with glitter. (the paint and glitter will be the messy option)

More homemade instruments here: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/homemade-instruments-rainmaker

And here: http://www.howweelearn.com/spectacular-homemade-musical-instruments/

Why not arrange a playdate for your child and create a rhythm BAND OF BABIES?

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of a copy of A BAND OF BABIES! And come back tomorrow when award-winning author Carole Gerber shares her writing journey…and something yummy…on Will Write for Cookies.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend

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