Perfect Picture Book Friday: Marigold Bakes a Cake PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

We’ve actually just passed the half-way mark in this year of reviewing as many 2017 picture books as we can. Which means we have a whole other half of a year to go. Yes! Six more months of fabulous stories to review.

But first…a word from our sponsor. Oh, wait a minute…we don’t have a sponsor here. But we DO have some prizes to give away thanks to Maria Gianferrari. She offered to give away a copy of Hello Goodbye Dog. And the winner is…

CHARLOTTE DIXON

And that’s not all…Maria also offered to give away a Picture Book Manuscript Critique. And the winner is…

SUNWALKER2013

Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be contacting you soon to connect you both with Maria.

Plus, don’t forget to leave a comment on today’s post and tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies because our wonderful debut picture book author/illustrator, Mike Malbrough is giving way a copy of MARIGOLD BAKES A CAKE.

Marigold_COVER

Marigold Bakes a Cake

Written and illustrated by Mike Malbrough

Publisher: Philomel Books (July 2017 – Happy Book Birthday!)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 2

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

For fans of Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon… series. Baking the perfect cake is how Marigold spends Mondays. Being messy, noisy, and disruptive in Marigold’s kitchen are how one finch, two pigeons, and three loons spend their Mondays!

 Marigold the cat loves Mondays, for that is when he bakes cakes! With his favorite recipe in front of him, he rolls up his sleeves and gets down to it. He whips up egg whites . . . Easy. He adds a cup of milk . . . Peasy. Then he sprinkles in just a pinch of . . . of finch?! That’s not right at all! Neither are the smidgeons of pigeons or the spoonsfull of loons. Clearly a chase is in order! Yet all that leads to is a spectacularly messy kitchen. And no cake.

 With a recipe comprised of equal parts humor and charm, author-illustrator Mike Malbrough has cooked up a scrumptious laugh-out-loud addition to the great tradition of interruption books. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken.

Opening Lines:

“Marigold liked everything just so.”

Why I like this book:

  • Great pacing and page turns!
  • Fabulous illustrations!
  • Spot on FUNNY!
  • Wonderful read aloud!
  • And who doesn’t love a cat who can bake?

RELATED ACTIVITIES

KID-FRIENDLY AND IBS FRIENDLY BRER RABBIT CARROT CAKE

brer rabbit carrot cakePhoto courtesy: http://www.food.com/recipe 

I love inviting kids into the kitchen…it’s fun! And they learn so much. Science. Math. Literacy skills. Geography and Social Studies (where the foods come from).

I’ve made this recipe hundreds of times for my husband…it is his favorite cake. And because he has nothing artificial…it’s great for the kids, too. The recipe is originally from:  Eating for IBS by Heather Van Vorous.

You will need:

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon allspice

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

3⁄4 cup granulated sugar

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

3⁄4 cup egg whites or 3⁄4 cup egg substitute

1⁄2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons fresh orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1⁄2-2 cups carrots, packed finely shredded or grated

3⁄4 cup canned crushed pineapple, with liquid

Sweet Orange Icing

 

3⁄4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For detailed instructions, please click here.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway and please come back tomorrow for:

Will Write for Cookies

With debut picture book author

MIKE MALBROUGH

 

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.

Old Tracks, New Tricks: Picture Book Review Plus Craft Activity and Giveaway Prize Package

What? You guys are back?

Not tired of hanging out with me?

I’m so glad, because we’ve got a 2017 debut picture book to review for Perfect Picture Book Friday plus an awesome fun craft to create with kids. Plus a fabulous giveaway prize package from author Jessica Petersen. More about that at the end of the post.

But first, more picture book goodness…author Peter McCleery reminded me that we have a copy of Bob and Joss Get Lost to give away from last week’s Will Write for Cookies post.

AND THE WINNER IS:

SANDY PERLIC!

Congratulations, Sandy…I will give Peter your email so he can connect with you and get you the book!

And now, let’s get back on track with our Perfect Picture Book of the week.

cover

 

OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS

Written and illustrated by Jessica Petersen

Publisher: The Innovation Press (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Trains, imagination, working together

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Wooden train tracks Trixie, Tracky, and Tinker are thrilled to finally join a train set of their own. Unfortunately, their excitement derails when they discover things at their new home are not what they expected. Bossy wooden trains blare orders, and the old tracks snore on the floor. But with a little creativity, the three new tracks work together to prove that you really can teach old tracks — and trains! — new tricks.

 With rhyming text and clever word play, Old Tracks, New Tricks is sure to entertain parents and children of all ages, from train-obsessed toddlers to school-age kids looking for new ways to play with their old favorite toys. Full directions for each fun “trick” from the story can be found at the back of the book to inspire hours of creative train play.

 Why I like this book:

  • Visually stimulating, this book encourages creativity, inspires imagination, and creates many moments of working together.
  • I’m a big fan of repurpose and recycle…I know many parents relegate the train sets to the back of the closet when kids lose interest in them…this book is your best reason to pull them out again.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make A Ride On Train

cardboard-trainsPhoto courtesty: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/trains-craftsideasactivitieskids.html

Wow…can you imagine how much fun your child will have with this.

You will need: Cardboard boxes, paper plates, empty oatmeal box, glue, scissors, markers…optional: tempura paint, construction paper/newspaper/gift wrap.

  1. Cut the boxes as show in the picture or as you desire.
  2. Cover with some type of paper (newsprint, giftwrap, construction paper) or paint or let your child color with markers or crayons.
  3. Decorate the paper plate wheels and attach with glue (or stapler).
  4. Cover oatmeal box with construction paper and attach to front top of train.
  5. Cut front grill from paper, decorate, and attach.
  6. With only a few cents of materials, you and your child will have a ball.
  7. If you don’t have boxes large enough for your child to sit in, make a train from shoeboxes or cereal boxes, attach a string, and you’ll have a pull-toy.

For more train crafts: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/trains-craftsideasactivitieskids.html

Jessica’s book include many creative ideas also.

creative ways to use tracks

So cool, right? Who would’ve thought! If you’d like to throw your conductor’s cap in the ring, leave a comment here and/or on tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies post. Author Jessica Petersen is giving away a super prize package: a signed copy of Old Tracks, New Tricks plus a wooden track decorated as one of the characters in the book plus a sheet of decals so the child can decorate his own tracks (or anything else…like walls, baby sisters, etc.).

giveaway

Have a wonderful weekend…and don’t forget to come back tomorrow to hear all about the all aboard moment that set Jessica on the right track to create this wonderful book.

And to join in more picture book review fun, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s website for more Perfect Picture Book Friday posts.

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: If You Were the Moon

It’s the first Perfect Picture Book Friday of 2017! And guess what?

Every book I review this year will be a brand-new book published in 2017!

There are so many beautiful picture books launching this year…and I am excited to be featuring so many of them. PLUS, on almost every Saturday, we are going to turn the spotlight on an author in our Will Write for Cookies series. PLUS, for many of these posts, we’ll be hosting a GIVEAWAY!

Most of you know I am a fan of nonfiction picture books…but I’m more familiar with the ones that tell a story about a historical figure or an event. Today’s story is a bit different—it incorporates science facts in a beautifully illustrated picture book story.

 if-you-were-the-moon

IF YOU WERE THE MOON

Written by Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrated by Jaime Kim

Publisher: Milbrook (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

The moon

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

If you were the moon, what would you do? You’d spin like a twilight ballerina and play dodgeball with space rocks! Find out more in this lyrical list poem accompanied by stunning illustrations.

Opening Lines:

“If you were the moon, what would you do?”

Why I like this book:

  • Lyrical language
  • Beautifully illustrated
  • A fun introduction for young kids to facts about the moon
  • Glossary and further reading suggestions at the back of the book

 RELATED ACTIVITIES

pin-moon-activities-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: http://www.123homeschool4me.com

Check out this link for fabulous moon related activities for kids…did you know that July 20th is Moon Day? http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2016/07/24-moon-crafts-activities-for-kids.html

The book is available for preorder on Amazon.

Laura Purdie Salas has a fabulous website chock full of resources for parents, teachers, and kids

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.

Today is the final day of Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas challenge. It was a fabulous way to look back at last year’s accomplishments and start planning how I can build on them to create a successful 2017.

Doing that, I thought about how much I love reading manuscripts and doing critiques and so I decided to offer critique services through my website...I hope if any of you have stories that need a fresh pair of eyes, you’ll think of me.

And if you are looking for inspiration and encouragement for your writing career, hurry over to Tara Lazar’s STORYSTORM for fabulous blog posts by industry leaders.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: MONSTER TRUCKS

Last weekend I attended the SCBWI ENCORE presentation at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts. I’m thankful for kid lit friends, Mona Pease, who drove all the way from Maine, and Beth Gallagher, who picked us up and chauffeured us to the event. The fall foliage was astonishingly beautiful and the day-long conference was filled with inspiring and informative programs.

Next weekend, another book event takes place…the Keene State College Children’s Book Fair. I’m hoping to be able to go. The only problem with going to these book events is that it’s tempting to buy every book!

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection is one I actually didn’t have to buy. At our local indie bookstore’s Teacher Appreciation Week, I placed my name in a raffle bowl. And I could hardly believe my ears when the manager from Toadstool Bookshop called and informed me that I was a winner of a picture book which is perfect for this Halloween-is-around-the-corner season. To read all of this week’s Perfect Picture Book reviews, hop over to Susanna Hill’s website.

monster-trucks

MONSTER TRUCKS

Written by Anika Denise

Illustrated by Nate Wragg

Publisher: Harper Collins (2016)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Courage, never give up, you don’t have to be the biggest in order to win

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Readers will delight in this lively read-aloud story with a clever and surprising twist at the end—perfect for Halloween and year round!

 Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book.  On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan!

 Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think.

Why I like this book:

  • Love the clever simple rhyme that is matched perfectly with illustrations full of kid-appeal
  • Totally a new twist on a Halloween story for children that has just the right amount of tension and suspense without being scary

RELATED ACTIVITIES

  1. Let your children design their own monster trucks.
  2. Make up silly Halloween rhymes with your children…take turns with each line.
  3. Check out other great Halloween picture books here: http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/holidays/tp/halloween.html

 

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.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear friends and readers. If you enjoy writing children’s stories, don’t forgot about Susanna’s Halloweensie Contest. I’ll be posting my entry to the contest next Friday right here on my blog. But if you want to find out more about the contest, click on this link.

friendly-jackolantern

 

PPBF: If a T-Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party

Has it been a busy summer for all of you? It definitely has been for me! In July, I attended the WOW Retreat in Georgia! Kristen Fulton organized a conference that was chock full of top notch authors, agents, and editors.

Wow 2016 attendees in T shirts

Presentations, Round Tables, One-on-One Critiques, and close up and personal attention from the faculty just about 24/7 all combined to provide a fantastic week of writing. And I even got to spend quality time with my very own agent, the incredible Essie White.

me and Essie

Then, earlier this month, I went to Dana Farber/Brigham Women’s in Boston for my surgery. I truly need to speak out about the power of positive thinking and prayer. When I woke up from the operation (a bilateral mastectomy), I felt great and continue to do so, without any pain medication whatsoever. Two days after the surgery, I was discharged from the hospital and stopped off for lunch at one of Boston’s  Indian restaurants with my son and daughter.

Indian food after mastectomy

A bona fide miracle! Thank you to EVERYONE who sent healing thoughts, cards, gifts, and most of all, love. According to my surgeon who is a veritable magician, I am CANCER FREE!!!! So back to writing, back to revising, back to critiquing, and back to blogging.

But before we proceed to our Perfect Picture Book Friday review, we need to announce the winner of a copy of Pat Zeitlow Miller’s brand-new picture book, Sophie’s Squash Goes to School.

AND THE WINNER IS:

JESSICA LAWSON

Congratulations, Jessica…I loved hearing about the dead squirrel you brought to school…and thank you so much to everyone who shared their strangest school show and tell.  Jessica, please email me with your address so I can get the book right out to you: viviankirkfield@gmail.com.

 And now for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick!

t rex

If a T-Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party

Written by Jill Esbaum

Illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (August 2016)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Birthdays, dinosaurs

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

You never know what will happen when a T. Rex crashes your birthday party. Sure, you’ll be super excited when he turns up at your door. But then he’ll stomp. He’ll ROAR. He’ll look at you as if he’s wondering how you taste with a little mustard. In the end, though, you just may find yourself asking him to come back next year!

Why I like this book:

  • So funny…and full of tongue in cheek humor…and I’ve found, from reading hundreds of picture books with my grandson, that kids LOVE funny books!
  • Great illustrations – bright, simple, and lots of color!
  • Dinosaurs, birthday parties…need I say more?

RELATED ACTIVITIES

From the author’s website, an activity kit for a birthday party: http://www.jillesbaum.com/assets/t.rex-party-kit.pdf

Other reviews of this book:

https://kid-lit-reviews.com/2016/08/16/938-if-a-t-rex-crashes-your-birthday-party-by-jill-esbaum-and-dasha-tolstikova/

Interview with the illustrator and a giveaway on Jill’s blog:

http://picturebookbuilders.com/2016/08/if-a-t-rex-crashes-your-birthday-party-and-giveaway

 Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

 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.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear friends and readers. And please don’t forget to come back tomorrow for:

Will Write for Cookies

With

JILL ESBAUM

AND A

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Rooster Prince of Breslov

We have a winter wonderland here in New Hampshire. I’m sure the Presidential candidates aren’t thrilled with having to stump around in all of this snow in preparation for the primary…but it sure is pretty to look at.

snowy presidential primary

Photo courtesy: David Lane – http://www.unionleader.com

With the Presidential debates a nightly news item, the subject of leadership has been on my mind. And when I came across The Rooster Prince of Breslov, I knew it would be my Perfect Picture Book Friday choice this week.

the rooster prince of breslov

The Rooster Prince of Breslov

Written by Ann Redisch Stampler

Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Publisher: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – 2010)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Leadership, humor, Jewish folktale

Opening Lines:

In Breslov, there lived a prince who had more than he wanted. When he was hungry for a scrap of bread, he got a slice of cake dripping with honey. When he asked for a raisin, he was given a silver bowl of candied plums. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Retired Kid

Are you ready for a brisk fall weekend?

That’s right…it’s FRIDAY!

And you know what that means—a Perfect Picture Book to review.

I mentioned last week that I’m writing a book about a boy who wants to play on his tablet more than anything else. He’s had enough of school, soccer, and all the other activities his mom wants him to do.

So when I found this awesome book, I knew it was another one I could use as a mentor text. And the funny thing is, even though I had never read it before, the activities the boy in this book wants to avoid, are pretty much the same ones as my main character. I guess that goes to show what many writing classes have taught me…there are only a couple of stories in the world. And my mission, should I choose to accept it (just saw Mission Impossible 4), is to put a unique spin or twist on it and tell it in my own voice.

51kSWFCBX7L

THE RETIRED KID

Written and illustrated by Jon Agee Continue reading