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


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.


fingerprint shark art for kids

For detailed instructions, please go to:

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.


A Star Wars RENN-dition of Chicken Little

Today’s post is a very special one for a very special boy.

Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill has put together an amazing treat for one of the families in our kid lit community. Here’s a bit from her post to explain:

“Renn has a challenging week ahead.  He has epilepsy, and the doctors are having a difficult time figuring out how to control his seizures.  He has to go into the hospital for several days to undergo a number of tests, and last time I checked, that wasn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.  If you’d like to learn more, you can join the blog at The Brain Of A Jedi, or the Face Book Group at Purple Day, but suffice to say he is only 5, and facing some things no 5 year old should have to.”

Susanna asked if I would like to participate by writing something fun for Renn. During his stay at the hospital, he and his mom will be able to visit all of the stories, poems, videos and pictures by clicking on the different links on Susanna’s post. You can enjoy them as well by clicking here.

Renn…here’s a fun “Renn” dition of the story of Chicken Little.

Photos courtesy of

Chicken Little was in the woods one day when an acorn fell on her head. It scared her so much, she trembled all over. She shook so hard, half her feathers fell out.


Chicken Little said, “Help! Help! The sky is falling! I have to go and tell the king!”

So she ran in great fright to tell the king. Along the way, she met Luke Skywalker.


Luke Skywalker asked her, “Where are you going?”

Chicken Little replied, “Oh help! The sky is falling! I am going to tell the king.”

Luke asked, “How do you know the sky is falling?”

And Chicken Little replied, “I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!”

Luke answered, “I will be happy to help you, but the way of the Jedi is to observe and find out what the problem is…think and decide what the best solution is…and then act intelligently and carry out what must be done. First, take me back to the place where it happened.”

So they went along and went along and soon they met R2D2.


“Where are you going?” asked R2D2.

“I am going to tell the king that the sky is falling.” said Chicken Little.

“How do you know that the sky is falling?” asked R2D2.

I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears and a piece of it fell right on top of my head.”

Luke said, “First we are going back to find out what happened.”

So they went along and went along and soon they met C3PO.


“Where are you going?” asked C3PO.

“I am going to tell the king that the sky is falling.” said Chicken Little.

“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked C3PO.

“I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears and a piece of it fell right on my head.” exclaimed Chicken Little.

“But first we are going back to see what happened.” aid Luke Skywalker and R2D2.

So they went along and went along and went along and soon they met the Grand Masters of the Jedi Council.


“Where are you going?” they asked.

“I am going to tell the king that the sky is falling.” said Chicken Little.

“How do you know the sky is falling?” they replied.

“I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears and a piece of it fell right on my head.” exclaimed Chicken Little.

“But first we are going back where it happened” said Luke and R2D2 and 3CPO.

Just then, they came to the place in the forest where the acorn had fallen on Chicken Little’s head. Luke, R2D2, 3CPO and all of the Jedi Grand Masters carefully searched the area.

“Is this where the piece of the sky fell on your head?” asked Luke Skywalker, standing over the large acorn that lay amongst the leaves.

“Yes, yes, yes…that is the exact spot!” Chicken Little jumped up and down excitedly, but she wasn’t really feeling frightened anymore, not with her Jedi friends there with her.

Luke bent down and picked up the acorn. “I believe that this is what fell on your head, Chicken Little. It was an acorn, not the sky.

“Oh dear, I think you are right.” said Chicken Little, feeling a little embarrassed. “Thank you, dear friends. With you and the force with me, even if the sky had been falling, I would have felt safe.”

All of her companions smiled. Luke said, “We all feel afraid sometimes, especially if something happens that we don’t understand or we have to do something we don’t like. Just remember that when you have those you love around you, they will help you through it.”

With their hands raised in a farewell salute, they all shouted, “LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!”

I join in the salute, Renn…’LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU’…and your family and your doctors!

I hope you had fun with the story. I will be thinking about you and your family this week…sending lots of love and good wishes!

Sunday Post: Landscapes and a February Poetry Contest

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is LANDSCAPES. 

In addition, Marylin Warner over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother is having a February Poetry Contest 

The Rules:

“Be a rebel with a writing cause; break away from the expected February verses and write a poem about a date or an activity or adventure that WASN’T what you (or your mother) wanted to do…and how it ended.

You choose: rhymed, free verse, a sonnet or a series of Haikus or even non-bawdy limericks, etc.   Just keep your poem to a maximum of 50 words (not counting the words of the title–and please have a title).  JOIN THE FUN!”

I began to wonder how I could combine these two seemingly unrelated ideas into one post.

And then I had an idea!

According to the dictionary, a landscape is a picture representing a view or expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view.

My poem, Fears of the Inner Child, is really a landscape of my life.  I hope you enjoy reading it.


Childhood often invades adult life.

Fears laid down early create later strife.

Afraid of adventure and trying new things,

Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!

To conquer that panic is my fervent wish.

I’ve parasailed, skydived and swum with the fish.


If you have the time and want to see the sky-dive I did with my son in the summer of 2010, you can go here.

It was an amazing adventure…and a wonderful bonding experience to have with an adult son.   With my book, Show Me How! and my school programs and workshops, I encourage parents to spend time with their young children…reading, crafting and cooking or doing anything positive.   “Raising the Next Steve Jobs”, the cover story in the February issue of Parenting Magazine, offered parents some simple advice: read with your children, talk with your children, participate with your children.  I was quoted in that article…and my book was mentioned.   You know that if want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  The fantastic skydive I did with my son only strengthened the connection we forged over thirty years ago when he was a little boy…believe me, those early years are so very important!

If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post: 

And here are a few of the posts from other participants in Jake’s Sunday Post:


We’re All Afraid of Something Sometime

Winston Churchill in Downing Street giving his...

Image via Wikipedia

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
-Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill, prime minister of England during World War II, wanted to inspire his countrymen and motivate them to continue their fight against a formidable enemy.  To learn more about this courageous man, go to 

  What he said applies to our young children who often are beset with many different fears: fear of the dark and going to sleep, fear of monsters, fear of separation and getting lost, fear of new experiences and new places and fear of illness and death.Do you have a young child who is afraid of something?  Is that fear keeping him or her from joining activities or socializing?  Sitting down and talking to your child is a good step to take to try to help your child overcome that fear.  But sometimes it’s hard to start a conversation about difficult topics.  That’s why picture books are so valuable because they set the stage for a relaxed discussion about almost anything.  For this situation,

a wonderful choice would be Frizzy The Fearful by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.  This little tiger is afraid of EVERYTHING, but with the help of his friends and mother, he learns that he can cope with those fears.

Written by Majorie Weinman Sharmat
Illustrated by John Wollner
    Poor Little Frizzy Tiger!  He is afraid of everything…high places and low places, the dark, loud noises, and pits in pit-less fruit.  He avoids going places with his friends and he misses out on many fun-filled activities because he doesn’t want anyone to know how frightened he is.  When he climbs a tree to help a friend, even though he is terrified, Frizzy realizes that everyone has fears and he begins to feel a little better about his own situation.

As you read the story with your child, you will have an opportunity to talk about it.  When you are finished, ask your child to relay to you what happens in the story.  You can share with your child about times that you were afraid of something and how you overcome your fear.   


Participating with your child in a simple craft project is another great way to open a discussion.  The following easy instructions

will produce a badge of courage that your child can wear with pride.Perhaps your child has just been to the dentist for a cleaning and went without making a fuss.  Maybe he has finished his first week of nursery school and, even though he was anxious about being separated from you, he managed to enjoy his time there.  Here is a badge of courage you can pin on your child that affirms his willingness to overcome his fears and accept life’s challenges.



You will need: 2 pieces of construction paper (1 light and 1 dark), aluminum foil, ribbon, paste and a pair of scissors.1. Cut a 3-inch circle from dark paper and a 2-inch circle from aluminum foil and help your child paste the aluminum foil circle on the dark circle.
2. Cut a 1-inch circle from the light paper, write your child’s name on it and help him paste it in the middle of the aluminum foil circle.
3. Paste the ribbon at the back of the badge so it hangs down a few inches.
4. Pin the badge to your child’s shirt with a small safety pin.