Perfect Picture Book Friday: OPERATION RESCUE DOG Plus GIVEAWAY

Friday is one of my favorite days and I’m sure you all know why. It’s the day I get to review a brand new picture book! Hurray!

And today’s selection is from one of my favorite kidlit authors, Maria Gianferrari, who is so generous and kind. She is offering a copy of OPERATION RESCUE DOG as a giveaway. Please make sure you leave a comment for a chance to win!

operation rescue dog 1

OPERATION RESCUE DOG

Written by Maria Gianferrari

Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Published by Little Bee Books (September 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes:

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other.

Lulu’s ears flap in the wind

as the rescue truck rolls into the lot.

Lulu’s tail thumps—

Everything smells . . . new.

Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain.

Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq. Alma wears Mami’s scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug?

Why I like this book:

  • You’ve got a dog who needs a home and a little girl who needs a friend…that’s a formula for a book filled with heart…and I love books filled with heart.
  • Wonderful illustrations will keep the kids wanting to turn the page to see the next one.
  • Maria has such a wonderful understanding of dogs…and the relationship they have with people.

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RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Dog-Crafts-for-KidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/dog-crafts-for-kids/

WOW…what a fabulous collection of dog crafts for young kids. If you’d like detailed instructions, please go here: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/dog-crafts-for-kids/

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Autumn is definitely here…our leaves are already changing color and the temperature in the morning is decidedly crisp. I am fortunate to live in New England because the fall foliage is something many people travel here to see.

School is underway in just about every town and city…but this is a perfect season to do day or short weekend trips with the kiddos. Do you have any travel plans in the near future? My son is flying in from Chicago next week to participate in the Tough Mudder in Gilford, NH. What is a Tough Mudder you ask? Here a short video clip: https://toughmudder.com/events/2018-northeast

It’s a 10 mile race with 20 obstacles…like a slog through ice cold water (filled with ice cubes), a run between wires that have electricity going through them…and you…OUCH! As well as climbing up walls, swinging from rings and more! My daughter and I will definitely not be participating…only cheering him and her hubby on. And then the next day, we’ll be making a bittersweet drive to Connecticut to hold a tribute to my husband at the river where he fished for decades. 

And my writer friends…how is your writing life going? We are in the last quarter of the year…are you working on anything new? Revising manuscripts? I just finished a new story and just need to polish the author’s note (it’s another nonfiction pb) befoe I send it to my agent. And then…a new story! YAY! I just came back from visiting a dear friend in New Jersey. We stayed up late…talking for hours and hours. In fact, her husband was sure we would lose our voices. But we didn’t! And I came home with TWO fabulous story ideas that I can’t wait to start researching and writing.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of Maria Gianferrari’s brand new book: OPERATION RESCUE DOG…it’s available for preorder and launches in just a few days!!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: NO PEACOCKS Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

It’s been such a wonderful week so far…reconnecting with my dear friend Jane in her home on the New Jersey shore…we’ve known each other since we were two years old and have spent the last few days talking and hugging and talking some more! On Wednesday, we walked on the boardwalk,  listened to the waves crashing on the beach. and shared food I haven’t had forever like hot dogs and pizza and fries. 

Which made me think of NO PEACOCKS!, a brand new picture book by one of  my favorite kidlit authors, Robin Newman, about a bunch of birds who want to get some variety in their diet. And thanks to the lovely Robin, we have a giveaway of a copy of this wonderful book!

cover

NO PEACOCKS

Written by Robin Newman

Illustrated by Chris Ewald

Published by Sky Pony Press (September 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Humor, ingenuity, food

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Every day, Phil, Jim, and Harry are fed sunflower seeds by the staff who care for them at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. But one day, they decide they’re sick of them. They make a break for the New York City streets in search of pizza or Chinese takeout.

But everywhere they go, they’re told “No peacocks!” So they try to get an ooey, gooey, delicious meal closer to home. But how are they going to sneak into the school’s dining hall and get their wings on the school’s world-famous mac ‘n cheese? A little plotting, some stolen disguises, and help from the students, and mission mac ‘n cheese is a go! Will the peacocks finally get their mac ‘n cheese? Or will their cover be blown, forcing them to fly the coop?

Inspired by the real-life beloved, celebrity birds living on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and brought to the page in bold, bright style, No Peacocks!is a hilarious romp and a perfect read-aloud.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids love funny books…I love funny books…and this is a very funny book!
  • Great diversity in the school children!
  • Bold bright colors will engage kids from the first page to the last!

And here is some more info about the book, straight from the author’s mouth!

My latest book, No Peacocks! A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Sky Pony Press) flies onto bookshelves on 9/4.

Let me introduce you to some friends of mine:

This is Phil. He’s a white leucistic peafowl.

white peacock

This is Jim or Harry.

jim or harry

Or Harry or Jim. They’re your traditional blue-green peacocks.

harry or jim

Phil, Jim, and Harry reside on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. From the moment I saw them, I knew I wanted to write a story about them. But it wasn’t until I was attending a meeting for The Cathedral School’s book fair, when my son was a student, and someone announced—Did anyone leave a stroller on the porch with a sandwich? Because one of the peacocks just ate it—that I knew the kind of story I was going to write.

No Peacocks! is a fictional tale about Phil, Jim, and Harry’s quest to taste the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese. With a little plotting, some stolen school uniforms, and help from the students, Mission Mac ‘n Cheese is a go! No Peacocks! is a cheesy story of friendship and teamwork, with a mild sprinkling of fowl behavior. 

Every day tour buses line up along Amsterdam Avenue from 110th Street to 112th Street to see the three celebrity peacocks and visit the cathedral (which also happens to be where Madeleine L’Engle had worked as the librarian and writer in residence).

No Peacocks! is a quintessential New York story. There may be Eloise at The Plaza Hotel on the east side of town, but there’s no doubt that the peacocks at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine are THE celebrities on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

WOW! Don’t you love getting a behind the scenes look at how/why a book came to be? Is this not fantastic? And just think…one lucky person is going to win a copy of this fascinating book!!! Make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Peacock-Crafts-and-Activities-for-KidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/peacock-crafts-and-activities/

For detailed instructions on many peacock crafts: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/peacock-crafts-and-activities/

Here are some great learning extension activities from Robin:

activities from robin

more activities

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And for more picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

I hope you will all come back tomorrow to visit with author Robin Newman who is stopping by to chat with us on Will Write for Cookies. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway…and remember that book reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads are one of the best gifts you can give to your favorite authors.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ELLA AND MONKEY AT SEA Plus Giveaway

When I moved from Colorado Springs, I left behind a wonderful kidlit group. And I wondered…would I find other writer friends in my new home in New Hampshire? Happily, I did. And I am still critiquing with my old friends. 

But the fear of going to new places and leaving behind old friends is a fear many people deal with, children included. So when I saw that Emilie Boon had a new picture book about this very topic debuting this week, I knew I wanted to feature it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. And when I reached out to her, she agreed to stop by tomorrow to chat on Will Write for Cookies. What good luck! Even better, she and her publisher are offering a giveaway of a copy of this adorable book, so please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win.

book cover

ELLA AND MONKEY AT SEA

Written and illustrated by Emilie Boon

Published by Candlewick (August 2018)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Moving/loss, adapting/acceptance, expressing emotion

Synopsis: From Amazon:

” Leaving home and traveling to a whole new place is overwhelming, so it’s good to have a beloved toy who can help express how you feel. 

Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind — and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions.”

Why I like this book:

  • So relatable to young children – leaving behind all you know and going to a new place, traveling alone, using a stuffed animal to talk to and comfort you
  • Beautifully illustrated – the emotions leap off the page

RELATED ACTIVITIES

sock craftsPhoto courtesy: https://www.sheknows.com

What could be better than not one, not two, but TEN sock crafts.

For detailed instructions: https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1038115/simple-sock-crafts-for-kids

Dear friends…thank you for spending your precious time here. I hope you will stop by tomorrow when author/illustrator Emilie Boon will be chatting with us. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: 100 BUGS: A COUNTING BOOK Plus Giveaway

Hello dear friends! Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday to you all!

Summer is here in New England with hot temps, iced tea, and…

LOTS OF BUGS!

And today’s book is the perfect one for a very buggy day. 

Thanks to the generosity of debut picture book author, Kate Narita, if you leave a comment on this post, you will be entered into the giveaway of a copy of 100 BUGS: A COUNTING BOOK. And, if you don’t win the copy, please consider buying one, asking your library to add one to their collection, telling a friend about it, and leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any of the book review sites. This is the best gift you can give to authors who write the books you love to read!

100 Bugs a counting book

100 BUGS: A COUNTING BOOK

Written by Kate Narita

Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (June 2018)

Ages: 5-7

Themes: Counting to 100, bugs

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

How many bugs can you count? From walking sticks to spittlebugs, dragonflies to katydids, discovering 10 bugs at a time, you just might see 100 bugs!

Little explorers will learn 10 different ways to count to 10, using 10 different kinds of bugs, and get all the way to 100 by the end of their adventure. With Suzanne Kaufman’s bright, whimsical illustrations and Kate Narita’s clever rhyming text, 100 Bugs! is part look-and-find, part learning experience, and all kinds of fun.

Why I like this book:

  • Bugs, bugs, and more bugs – a topic most kids LOVE to learn about
  • Fabulous illustrations
  • Clever rhymes and super interactivity to engage the kiddos

RELATED ACTIVITIES

  • First off…take a walk and find bugs! 
  • Make a list or chart of all the bugs – place them in different categories like flying, crawling, creeping.
  • Create one of these crafts

16-Creative-Ways-to-Make-Bug-Crafts-with-Kids_A-Little-Pinch-of-Perfect-6-copyPhoto courtesy: https://alittlepinchofperfect.com/creative-bug-crafts-with-kids/

Visit: https://alittlepinchofperfect.com/creative-bug-crafts-with-kids/  for detailed instructions on any of these fun crafts.

Thank you for spending your precious time here…please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the book giveaway. And have a safe and happy weekend!

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

I’ve been blogging a bit less in the last couple of weeks, but when I received this book in the mail, I knew I had to share it with you today. I’m a fan of anything written by Miranda Paul and this book is cowritten by her husband, Baptiste, whose debut picture book, THE FIELD, just launched earlier this year!

Adventures to School

ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL

Written by Miranda and Baptiste Paul

Illustrated by Isabel Munoz

Published by Little Bee Books (May 2018)

Ages: 4-8+

Themes: School, cultures around the world

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Kids around the world get to school in unique ways. Take a peek inside this book and see how they reach their destinations!

Children all around the world go to school. Whether they’re from Japan, Ukraine, Ethiopia, or the United States, all students have the desire to learn about the world and shape the future. In Bhutan, children walk for three hours to make it to school, and in Pakistan, children travel by rickshaw. Some children in China must climb a heaven ladder, while children in Nepal must walk over a wire bridge. The treks of these students are unique, extraordinary, and even dangerous, and they signify the common determination, perseverance, and sense of adventure shared by young people around the world.

Read along as students from thirteen different nations embark on their journeys to get to school in the morning, and learn about the diverse landscapes and cultures of these countries along the way!

Why I like this book:

  • Love the content – amazingly personal stories of children on their way to school PLUS so much history and culture is included.
  • Love the illustrations – bold, bright, and filled with heart.
  • This is a perfect book for kids who want to/need to learn about cultures around the world.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

homework-finalPhoto courtesy: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids

How about TEN awesome crafts for back to school? Check out PBS: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/10-favorite-back-to-school-crafts/

Illustrated above is a homework center to help young kids organize their pencils, crayons, and other school supplies.

Other activities…take a trip to your child’s school…by car or bus or walking…and draw a map, taking note of stores and other landmarks you pass along the way.

Thank you all for stopping by today and spending your precious time here. If you have a few minutes left over (I know this is Memorial Day weekend and many of you may be celebrating), please thank your favorite authors by posting reviews of their books on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book review sites. This is the best gift we can five them!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHARK NATE-O Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

First, some announcements.

Congratulations to Amber Hendricks. She was the winner of Patricia Valdez’ wonderful JOAN PROCTOR, DRAGON DOCTOR…and she has already received it…thank you so much, Patricia…you are FAST!

And the winner of Laura Sassi’s DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE is…

ANNE IVERSON…Congratulations, Anne…I’ll connect you and Laura so she can mail you the book.

Today’s wonderful picture book is by debut picture book author, Tara Luebbe and her sister, Becky Cattie. And guess what? Tara and her sister have TWO picture book debuting this year! And guess what else? Tara will be stopping by to chat with us tomorrow and share a yummy gluten-free recipe for a cookie that doesn’t have to be baked. AND, can you stand one more piece of awesomeness? Tara is graciously offering a copy of SHARK NATE-O as a giveaway prize. So, please don’t forget to leave a comment today and tomorrow. 

Shark Nate-O cvr (1).jpg

SHARK NATE-O

Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie

Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

Published by Little Bee Books (April 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Swimming, sharks, overcoming fears

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . .

Nate can’t swim.

When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Why I like this book:

  • I totally identify with Nate…I, too, was a nonswimmer…and had to overcome my fear of the water when I took swimming in high school and college. I’m still not a fan, but perhaps I could save myself if I had to.
  • Great text from the opening lines to the satisfying ending.
  • Super cool illustrations.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

fingerprint shark art for kids

For detailed instructions, please go to: www.frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com

Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway. And come come tomorrow to join us for Tara’s Q&A on Will Write for Cookies. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

If you have a few minutes, don’t forget that writing a review on a book site like Amazon or Goodreads is a wonderful gift to your favorite author.

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

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOU KNOW WHAT? PLUS Critique Giveaway

Hello dear friends! 

Somehow, the day has almost gotten away from me. But it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and I wanted to make sure that I shared a picture book that will be a wonderful addition to every young child’s library. Plus, author Carol Gordon Ekster has offered to donate a picture book manuscript critique as a giveaway! Woo-hoo! So please make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win it!

You Know What

YOU KNOW WHAT?

Written by Carol Gordon Ekster

Illustrated by Nynke Talsma

Published by Clavis Group (2017)

Ages: 3-7

Themes: Bedtime, Procrastination, Curiosity

Synopsis: 

From Amazon: Oliver should go to sleep. But there is so much he wants to tell his mother about: what happened that day at school, the things he read in books, everything he sees around him.
A touching and familiar picture book about (postponing) the ritual of going to sleep.

Why I like this book:

  • I have three children and I remember the words, “You know what?” because they were the words my kids used to put off their bedtime. They all knew their mommy loved to engage in conversation (yup…I haven’t changed) and they knew I would never cut off their curiosity. This is a book that will strike a chord with every parent and every child.
  • Great illustrations that show Oliver in all of his bedtime preparations…kids will identify with his routine.
  • Filled with heart and humor.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Make a bedtime routine chart

Bedtime-Routine-side-by-side

Photo courtesy: https://bitzngiggles.com

I think if you surveyed parents, one of the most difficult tasks for them is getting the kids to bed. One thing that helps is to put routines in place. And here’s a super cool chart that you can make with your kiddos. For detailed instructions, please go to: https://bitzngiggles.com/printable-bedtime-routine-charts/

Thank you for spending some of your precious time here, dear friends. I hope you’ll hop over to author Melissa Stoller’s blog on Monday because I’ll be stopping by there to chat about my writing process and more. Here is a link to her website, but my post won’t be up until the 26th. https://www.melissastoller.com/

I’m kind of sad to say goodbye to February…but I am so looking forward to the beginning of March because that will mean it is time for the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge.  Please come back on Friday, March 2nd when we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with our 50-word stories. I’m excited to read all of your precious words!

And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the picture book manuscript critique from Carol.