Category Archives: Picture Book Review

Perfect Picture Book Friday: 5 LITTLE DUCKS Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday. I’m honored to feature the newest book (which is PERFECT for this Father’s Day weekend) from multipublished Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Denise Fleming. And guess what? Denise will be here TOMORROW for Will Write for Cookies.

But before I share this very special review with you (special because I’m going to point out how the author updated this old classic to make it more relevant for today’s market), I need to announce the winner of the picture book manuscript critique that author Ellen Leventhal is giving away.

And the winner is…

DIANE TULLOCH

Congratulations, Diane! Ellen gives super feedback…so you are in for a treat.

And now, we are all in for a treat.

cover

5 LITTLE DUCKS

Written and illustrated by Denise Fleming

Publisher: Beach Lane Books (2016)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 1

Themes:

Independence, counting, family relationships

inner page day of week

Synopsis:

From Kirkus:

A traditional rhyme serves as the basis for an adaptation with an expanded worldview. As in the original, the story begins with five ducklings and a parent. But this time it’s Papa Duck doing the calling. The little ducks’ adventures take place over a week, with one fewer returning home each day. Rather than always going “over the hills and far away,” however, these five little ducks enjoy exploring new places and meeting new friends. They have fun playing in the woods with a winsome flying squirrel, frolicking with wild turkey chicks, imitating a turtle, wallowing in the mud, and splashing in a kiddie pool. On Saturday, however, all five respond to their father’s call, and the family is reunited just in time to share a day of rest on Sunday (mandated by Mama Duck). Two pages of information follow, offering close-up portraits and basic facts about some of the animals featured. As always, Fleming’s artwork, created by pulp painting with pastel pencil accents, is lively and appealing. Her clever tweaks to the familiar text allow her to showcase a variety of natural environments. Whether it’s a panorama of farmland or a shadowy woodland glade, each double-page spread offers plenty of intriguing details limned in bright colors. Packed with personality and charm, these five ducklings will waddle their ways into the hearts of readers and listeners.

inner page papa duck

Why I like this book:

  • Denise has taken a simple classic rhyme and updated it to be more relevant for today’s children.
  • Her art is amazing. AMAZING!
  • Great read-aloud.
  • Here’s another wonderful book that celebrates fathers, just in time for this Father’s Day weekend.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE PAPER

how-to-make-paper-with-kids1Photo courtesy: http://tinkerlab.com

Denise Fleming is well-known for her amazing paper-making which she uses in her illustrations.

Making paper is a fun-filled activity for kids. For simple instructions, go here: http://tinkerlab.com/how-to-make-paper/

For Denise’s very own instructions on papermaking, go here.

For more awesome activities, visit the 5 Little Ducks activity page.

If you are looking for more picture book reviews, hop on over to Susanna Hill’s blog. After today, she’ll be taking a summer hiatus, but I invite everyone who writes picture book reviews to leave their post links along with their comments every Friday so that readers can hop around and visit other blogs.

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of one of Denise’s fabulous books, BEETLE BOP! And come back tomorrow to chat with her on Will Write for Cookies.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend! Happy Father’s Day!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets PLUS Critique Giveaway

Hurray for June…school will be out soon for many children, but that doesn’t mean they stop reading—at least I hope not. My plan is to continue with Perfect Picture Book Friday throughout the summer…I’ve already got every weekend scheduled with some of 2017’s best picture book releases.

Today’s book is special for a couple of reasons. It originally launched in 2009, but there was such a demand for it, it’s been reissued, bigger and better than ever before (after all…it’s about Texas Bluebonnets, right?). I’m thrilled about this because the author, Ellen Leventhal, is one of my dearest critique buddies and she’ll be stopping by to chat with us tomorrow. She’s also agreed to do a giveaway of…A PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE! Yes! I know how much everyone loves getting feedback from a published author. And having been on the receiving end of MANY wonderful critiques from Ellen, I can promise you that the lucky winner is in for a TREAT!

cover1

DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS

Written by: Ellen Leventhal and Ellen Rothberg

Illustrated by: Joel Cook

Publisher: Spork (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Responsibility, decision-making, getting along with others

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets is the story of Sue Ellen, a cow with a mind of her own, who loves the taste of bluebonnets. When she gives into temptation and eats every yummy bluebonnet, she must figure out a way to get them back. After several humorous attempts to make things right, Sue Ellen learns the importance of responsibility and decision making.”

Why I like this book:

  • The text is filled with heart and humor. This is a truly funny book.
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Great illustrations.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A PAPER PLATE COW

Paper-Plate-Cow-5Photo courtesy: http://www.housingaforest.com/paper-plate-cow/

You will need: Paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers or crayons, googly eyes (optional…you can also use construction paper).

  1. Cut pink circle for muzzle of cow. Glue in place onto plate.
  2. Cut splotches of black construction paper. Glue into place.
  3. If you have googly eyes, glue those on. If not, just use construction paper and glue in place.
  4. Use marker or crayons to add feature details.

For detailed instructions and more crafts: click here 

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of a critique from Ellen! And come back tomorrow when she shares her journey…and something sweet…on Will Write for Cookies.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Picture Book Review and Activity: GRACE HOPPER: Queen of Computer Code

Hurray! Another nonfiction picture book hot off the presses for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! And it is about another Mighty Girl! Woo-hoo!

But first, it’s time to award Tara Lazar’s special giveaway of a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE.

There were over 80 comments on that post…Tara’s critique is a fabulous prize!

And the winner is…

LINDA HOFKE!

Congratulations, Linda! And thank you so very much, Tara, for providing this plum of a prize. I’ll reach out and connect you both.

Speaking of awards, today’s picture book is definitely going to win some! And tomorrow we’ll be chatting with the author, Laurie Wallmark.

 hopper cover

GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE

Written by: Laurie Wallmark

Illustrated by Katy Wu

Publisher: Sterling Books (2017)

Ages: Kindergarten  and up

Themes:

Computers, science & technology, mighty girls

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“If you’ve got a good idea, and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.”

The inspiring story of Grace Hopper—the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science—is told in an engaging picture book biography.

 Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys.

Why I like this book:

  • Wonderful STEM story.
  • Great illustrations.
  • I love the way the author sprinkled in actual quotations from Grace…I felt I really got to know the amazing woman she was.
  • We get to see many of the moments in Grace’s childhood that show how she loved math and science and finding out how things worked.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A COMPUTER MODEL

creatifulkids-paper-laptop-HelloRuby-3Photo courtesy: http://www.creatifulkids.com/paper-computer/

You will need: Piece of cardboard, paper, markers or crayons, scissors, glue.

For detailed instructions: http://www.creatifulkids.com/paper-computer/

Watch a documentary about Grace Hopper here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-queen-of-code/

 

And Laurie Wallmark and I will see you tomorrow for her Will Write for Cookies Q&A.

And don’t forget that one of the nicest things you can do for an author is to give them a great review on Amazon or Goodreads: Grace Hopper on Amazon

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