Perfect Picture Book Friday: SELFIE SEBASTIAN and A CAMPFIRE TAIL plus GIVEAWAY

I had a lovely surprise the other day. I received two beautiful picture books in the mail. Written by author Sarah Glenn Marsh, they are bright and bold and so much fun. I knew I had to share them with you today. One is about taking selfies. How awesome is that! And the other is about camping and finding the courage to be a real friend. And because my bookshelves are overflowing, I plan to give both of these away. So please make sure you leave a comment. And don’t hop off until you scroll through the entire post BECAUSE after the picture book review, I’ll be giving everyone a heads up about #50PreciousWordsforKids which is COMING ON MONDAY!!!

SELFIE SEBASTIAN

Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Illustrated by Florence Weister

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2018)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Friendship, travel

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

You can’t take the perfect selfie if you’re all by yourself.
Sebastian is one handsome fox—and he really, really loves to take selfies. But somehow, no matter how camera-ready he is, his pictures always lack a certain something. And he can’t put his paw on exactly what. So Sebastian sets off on an elaborate quest to take the perfect selfie, dashing from a glamorous red carpet in Hollywood to the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon. He even zooms to the Moon! Still, none of Sebastian’s photos make him happy. Could it be that the secret to his special selfie is right where he started . . . at home, with his friends?

Why I like this book:

  • I loved the relevant theme of taking a selfie…even young kids want to do it.
  • I enjoyed the travel/geography layer to the story – kids will love to guess where Sebastian is.
  • GREAT illustrations – the front and back covers are amazing!

A CAMPFIRE TAIL

Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Illustrated by Ana Gomez

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (May 1, 2018)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Friendship, courage, camping

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Ever been stuck with a friend who’s totally uncool—and worried that it will rub off on you?
Welcome to Camp Wildwood! It’s Dragon’s first day, and his buddy would LIKE to show him a good time. But Dragon doesn’t seem to fit in with the boys and girls. He overturns the boat, ruins the puppet show, and even sets the tent on fire. Then, just as his buddy is about to give up, Dragon comes through in a pinch. This sweet, funny picture book teaches an important lesson about the true meaning of friendship—and in accepting the strengths and weaknesses of others.

Why I like this book:

  • I love friendship stories!
  • The illustrations are fantastic…just love the main character!
  • Text is full of heart and humor…great combination for a picture book!

Activities for both stories: 

  • Make a list of how to be a good friend.
  • Take selfies with friends and create an album of friendship.
  • Role play with your kids…different scenarios where being a good friend might be difficult.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway. If you’d like to see more picture book reviews, please go to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture book Friday link up. And remember the best gift we can give the authors of our favorite stories is to buy their book or ask the library to order their book or write a review on Amazon or other book review sites.

And now, dear friends, a few words about #50PreciousWordsforKids! Last year, I hosted an international writing challenge for kid writers in grades K-6. I invited them to create a story for children in 50 words or less. #50PreciousWordsforKids drew participants from 15 states and 4 foreign countries. What amazed me was the incredible creativity that was unleashed by the restrictive word limit. Click here to see the stories from last year’s challenge.

MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT!

As a former kindergarten teacher, I’ve always been on a mission to help kids become lovers of books and reading. What a thrill it was to invite them to become their own storytellers!

This writing challenge is ALL-INCLUSIVE and INTERNATIONAL!

#50PreciousWordsforKids coincides with Children’s Book Week, April 30-May 6. Every child in grades K-6 is invited to participate. Teachers can have each child write a story of 50 words or less…then the teacher and/or class will choose one story to submit. Last year, some classes formed teams and wrote collaborative stories – that is totally fine. Parents who homeschool their children can submit one story per child. The official #50PreciousWordsforKids post will go live on Monday morning!

Here are the guidelines.

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  •  Each child, grade K-6, writes a story of 50 words or less.
  • Title not included in word count.
  • Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Happy or sad, silly or serious, true or make-believe.
  • Teachers/students choose one story to submit per class.
  • Homeschooling parents submit one story per child.
  • Please email story to: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by May 7 at 11:59pm.
  • Stories post on my blog: viviankirkfield.com on May 11.
  • Teacher/parent receives a certificate to copy and present to each child who wrote a story.
  • Giveaway of seven mini-Skype author classroom visits.

 Questions? Contact me at viviankirkfield@gmail.com

I’m asking all of you who have connections with elementary schools or homeschooling families in any state and any country to please spread the word. Last year, I contacted the Children’s Book Council and they agree – it’s a perfect activity for Children’s Book Week. Click here to read last year’s stories.

The challenge runs April 30-May 6 and the stories need to be emailed to me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, May 7th. I’ll post those stories on Friday, May 11th. Teachers and parents will receive a certificate that can be copied and personalized with the name of each child who participated. And there will be mini-Skype author classroom visits randomly awarded—one per grade level if I get enough volunteers. 

Let’s help our kids stretch and grow their imaginations.

Which brings me to the next request…I still need volunteers to do mini-Skype author or illustrator visits. If you would like to donate a mini-Skype author or illustrator visit, please contact me ASAP either by email or on FB or Twitter. It’s a wonderful way to connect with our audience of parents, teachers, and kids!

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Chicken Wants a Nap PLUS Giveaway

YES! YES! YES!

It’s a good day to review a picture book and I’ve got a fabulous one for you!

CHICKEN cover

CHICKEN WANTS A NAP

Written by Tracy Marchini

Illustrated by Monique Felix

Published by Creative Editions (August 15, 2017)

Ages: 3-8

Themes: Life on the farm, humor, dealing with frustration

Synopsis: From Amazon:

The sun is up, and a happy barnyard chicken is looking forward to a comfortable day—preferably one that includes a relaxing nap. However, every time she tries to find a good spot, something goes wrong. The sun disappears and is replaced by rain. She is driven out of the warm barn by obnoxious noises and smells. The dog is too curious for her to stay on the porch. Finally, the rain stops, and the worms come out. This is good news for the chicken—but bad news for the worms!

Why I like this book:

  • Simple text that draws the listener in and invites reader participation
  • Great illustrations that tell part of the story and marry with the text perfectly
  • Filled with humor and a SUPER twist at the end
  • Super read aloud!

Related Activities:

Make a paper plate chicken

plate-chickenPhoto courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/chickens.htm

Paper plate crafts…I love them so much…and so do kids!

You will need: One paper plate, construction paper, markers, scissors, glue.

For detailed instructions and more chicken crafts, visit: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/chickens.htm

Author Tracy Marchini and her publisher, Creative Editions, are giving away a copy of CHICKEN NEEDS A NAP. To be entered, please don’t forget to leave a comment.

Although CHICKEN NEEDS A NAP is not launching until August 15th, you can preorder the book on Amazon or from your local indie bookseller…and don’t forget that reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are very important

And I hope you all will come back tomorrow when Tracy stops by to chat and share an AMAZING recipe with us on Will Write for Cookies Pizza!

 

 

 

PPBF: Officer Buckle and Gloria & We Have a WINNER!

NOVEMBER is Child Safety and Protection Month. So I thought it might be a great idea, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, to review an oldie, but goodie, by Peggy Rathmann.

But first, a couple of important announcements:

  1. Hallweensie Contest Update: I hope everyone will head over to Susanna Hill’s blog this weekend…all of the Halloweensie Contest entries are available to read. And next week, Susanna will be posting the finalists…you WON’T want to miss VOTING! Just think…two opportunities to VOTE…and with the craziness that’s surrounded our nation’s Presidential race, I’m thinking that picking  your favorite Halloweensie entry will be a much more pleasant task than picking the next President of the United States.
  2. Giveaway Updatte: At the end of this post I’ll be announcing the winner of A Morning with Grandpa, the beautiful debut picture book by Sylvia Liu.
  3. Sweet Dreams, Sarah Update: I’m really excited to be part of a group of 2017 debut picture book authors…we’ve got a new website where teachers, librarians, parents, and all book-lovers will find information about the upcoming book launches, events, and other book-related activities. I encourage you to visit, follow, and fill out the survey…there will be PRIZES! And we also have a Twitter home: @PictureTheBooks…I hope you will hop over and like us.

officer-buckle

OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA

Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (1995)

Ages: 4-8

Themes:

Safety, teamwork

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle’s school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Stealthily pantomiming each safety tip behind Officer Buckle’s back, Gloria wins the children’s hearts. Meanwhile Officer Buckle assumes the cheers and laughter are all for him. As the master comedian Jerry Lewis once explained, every slapstick artist needs a straight man! Children will be highly entertained by the laugh-out-loud, adorable illustrations in this 1996 Caldecott Medal winner, while learning the value of teamwork and a pawful of nifty safety tips.

Opening Lines:

“Officer Buckle knew ore safety tips than anyone else in Napville.”

 Why I like this book:

  • This book is hilariously funny…Officer Buckle has no clue that Gloria, his dog, is creating the stir among the students…he thinks it is his brilliant presentation.
  • Wonderful illustrations mesh perfectly with the text.
  • It won the Caldecott…enough said.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

  1. Talk about safety in the home…walk through the house with your child and make a list of things that need to be attended to…and then do them.
  2. More safety tips here: http://www.parentguidenews.com/Articles/NovemberBringsChildSafety PreventionMonth

Have a wonderful weekend! I’m going to really enjoy this month…did you know it is also Peanut Butter Lovers Month! But Peanut Butter isn’t the only type of nut butter you can enjoy…I’m a fan of Almond Butter and Sunflower Butter. My favorite way to eat it is slathered on apple slices. YUM! How about you? What type of nut butter is your favorite?

And next week I’ll be flying to Florida to attend my daughter’s destination wedding on St. Pete’s Beach…I’m pretty excited, as you can imagine. Can hardly keep things straight.

Oh, wait a minute…that’s right…we need to announce who won the copy of A Morning with Grandpa.

AND THE WINNER IS:

KELLY LANIHAN

Kelly, congratulations!!! And I will contact you by email so I can get your address.

Stay tuned, dear readers…later this month we’ll be welcoming Emma Bland Smith to the Will Write for Cookies spotlight…and another giveaway…of her debut picture book, JOURNEY.

PPBF: Ballots for Belva PLUS THE WINNER!

Life has gotten very busy. The WOW (Week of Writing) Retreat is only one month away. I’m so excited to see dear friends again, like Kristen Fulton, the fearless leader and founder of WOW, and connect with critique partners and other kid lit friends, many whom I’ve never met in person. I’ll also be able to hug my incredible agent, Essie White…she is one of the faculty mentors. I’ve been working feverishly on getting my manuscripts polished. Since many of them are nonfiction picture books, my library has been inundated with requests from me for mentor texts. So it was almost impossible to pick just one story for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I finally decided on one that was written back in 2008 by one of the shining lights in this kid lit community, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. With the Presidential election just around the corner, I thought it was a perfect choice.

Oh…and when you finish with the picture book review, don’t forget to keep scrolling down…because today we announce the WINNER of a brand new copy of The Hole Story of the Doughnut.

ballots for belva

Ballots for Belva

Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Illustrated by Courtney A. Martin

Publisher: Abrams (2008)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Determination, courage, women’s rights, Presidential election

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers.” Continue reading

PPBF: The Camping Trip That Changed America + a prize!

I’ve been writing a picture book story about a camping trip one of our Presidents took with several special friends. And then one of my critique buddies suggested I read a particular book as a mentor text: The Camping Trip That Changed America, written by Barb Rosenstock.

Barb Rosenstock? Oh my goodness! She’s going to be at the WOW Retreat in July. I will get to meet this amazing nonfiction picture book writer. Better than that, I will get writing advice from her!

So I immediately got a copy of the book and, since this is Perfect Picture Book Friday, I decided to share it with all of you.

the camping trip that saved america

The Camping Trip That Changed America

Written by Barb Rosenstock

Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Reader (2012)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Conservation, National Parks

 

Opening Lines:

“Teedie and Johnnie didn’t have much in common—but they shared a love of the outdoors. They both loved a good story, too. And that was enough to change America.” Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Shmulik Paints the Town

The mailman delivered a box the other day. I couldn’t wait to open it. Inside…a copy of the debut picture book of a dear friend. And I knew right then and there that I would be reviewing it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

shumlik

Shmulik Paints the Town

Written by Lisa Rose

Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri Continue reading

PPBF: Tough Eddie

Hurray! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! For more picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

And while you are hopping around the blogsphere, please please please hop over to Darlene Bock-Jacobson – I’m guest posting there today: Summer Activity Tool-Kit For Your Kids.

 

I’ve got a special book to share with you today – it has to do with being honest, with yourself and with others. Continue reading