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
Written by Henry L. Herz
Illustrated by Benjamin Shipper
Published by Sterling Children’s Books (August 2017)
Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sailed the seven seas.
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:
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.
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…
And then we had a book birthday for Lisa Amstutz’ APPLESAUCE DAY…and the winner is…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: email@example.com.
And now for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick!
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
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?
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:
Interview with the illustrator and a giveaway on Jill’s blog:
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