PPBF: City Shapes PLUS GIVEAWAY

Perfect Picture Book Friday…I almost missed it. And then I realized that tomorrow is Saturday…the third Saturday of the month… the Will Write for Cookies Saturday which this weekend will feature the incredible Diana Murray.

I was lucky enough to win some swag from Diana…one of the items was an advance copy of her newly launching picture book, City Shapes.  I fell in love with it!!! So I chose it for today’s review. PLUS, if you leave a comment telling us your FAVORITE city, you’ll be entered in the random drawing for a brand new copy of this brand new book!

city shapes cover

City Shapes

Written by Diana Murray

Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (2016)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: City life, shapes, curiosity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

From shimmering skyscrapers to fluttering kites to twinkling stars high in the sky, everyday scenes become extraordinary as a young girl walks through her neighborhood noticing exciting new shapes at every turn. Far more than a simple concept book, City Shapes is an explosion of life. Diana Murray’s richly crafted yet playful verse encourages readers to discover shapes in the most surprising places, and Bryan Collier’s dynamic collages add even more layers to each scene in this ode to city living.

Why I like this book:

  • Wonderful rhyming text encourages young children to join in with the reading.
  • I’m a New York City girl, born and bred…so this book is close to my heart.
  • The illustrations are magnificent…can I say that again? MAGNIFICENT!
  • Great read-aloud.
  • Parents and teachers can use this story as a springboard for a discussion on shapes or city life.

 

Related Activies:

Take a walk with your child whether you live in the city or in the country. Observe. Discuss. Then go back home and draw pictures of what you saw. You can help your child make his or her own book by stapling the pages together. Ask your child to describe what was seen and write that on each page.

 

Have a wonderful weekend! Please don’t forget to come back tomorrow for our wonderful interview with Diana Murray. And leave a comment telling us which city is your favorite one…you might be the lucky winner of a copy of Diana’s brand new book!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Sit In

I’m so excited about this weekend!

First off, today is Perfect Picture Book Friday. My book choice was inspired by the Picture Book Summit presentation of Andrea Davis Pinkney. Her picture books address sensitive topics like prejudice and discrimination and segregation in a way that even young kids can grasp.

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SIT-IN: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Written by Andrea David Pinkney

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney 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.

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THE RETIRED KID

Written and illustrated by Jon Agee Continue reading

#PPBF: G.G. Rock Climbs

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday.

I am doing a review of a chapter book for ages 6-10. I know that many parents are moving towards chapter books as their children begin reading on their own. And, although I believe that picture books are wonderful for elementary grades even when kids are reading themselves (for so many reasons), I also know that great chapter books continue the engagement of young readers with the world of books. My favorites were Little Women, Black Beauty and ALL of the Nancy Drew series. And, if G.G. Rock Climbs by Marty Mokler Banks had been around then, I know I would not have been able to put it down.

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G.G. ROCK CLIMBS

Written by Marty Mokler Banks

Photo Illustrations by Alisa Mokler Harper

Publisher: Switch Monkey Press (2014)

Ages: 6-10 (But I was totally engaged!)

Themes:

Friendship, self-esteem/self-confidence, overcoming challenges, rock climbing

Opening Lines:

“Does your mom let you have cake? With thick creamy frosting. And little flowers on top?

Well. My mom does not!

Oh, all right. Maybe on special occasions. But it seems like never. Mom says sugar is Not Good for a Healthy Body.

Boring!

So when I first opened Stinky Sarah’s birthday party invitation, I immediately thought: CAKE! I get CAKE!”

 

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Eight-year-old G.G. climbs all over stuff—from the couch in her apartment to the boulders at the park. So when she’s invited to Stinky Sarah’s birthday party at Rock Star climbing gym, G.G.’s up the wall in no time. G.G. likes it so much, she and her friend, Isaac, take a rock climbing class. When they head outside, things are suddenly more difficult. Can G.G. brave those steep rock faces up Zoo Canyon?

Why I like this book:

  • Well-written, exciting page-turner that will keep kids engaged from the first page to the last
  • Love the photo-illustrations – placed at just the right points in the story – really connects you to the story and the characters
  • Great message about friendship, facing and overcoming fears, the importance of challenging ourselves

How a parent can use this book:

  • Read it with your child – great opportunity to talk about things your child would like to do but maybe is afraid to try
  • Talk about how Isaac and G.G. supported and encouraged each other

 

The book is available on Amazon.

If you’d like to connect with Marty Banks (she the co-coordinator of southern Colorado SCBWI) or learn more about her other books, please visit her website: http://www.martymoklerbanks.com/

Or her blog where she reviews all things chapter book: Chapter Book Chat

Related Activity:

Why not visit a local gym or play center that has a rock climbing wall for kids?

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Photo courtesy: http://www.ssww.com

For AMAZING crafts and activities using rocks, stones and pebbles, please visit: http://www.kidactivities.net/post/ideas-with-stones-and-rocks-for-kids.aspx

If you are looking for more wonderful book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

And, because today is my grandson’s sixth birthday, here’s a yummy birthday cake – please help yourselves to a BIG slice!

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#PPBF – My Love For You Is The Sun

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

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I love reviewing picture books! It gives me the perfect excuse to read them myself, just in case I can’t find a willing child-listener. But most of all, I love reviewing picture books written by my friends! Julie Hedlund, founder of the 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, has a beautiful new picture book out – and I just had to tell you about it.

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MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN

Written by Julie Hedlund

Illustrations by Susan Eaddy

Publisher: Little Bahalia Publishing (2014)

Ages: 0 and up

Themes: Parent-child love, unconditional love, nature

 

Opening Lines:

“My love for you is the sun,

Rising to your tender heart.

It shines on you when we’re apart.” Continue reading

#PPBF – Oliver’s Hunger Dragon

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

My daughter and grandson came home yesterday with pumpkins and several pots of mums to help decorate the outside of the house for autumn. Jeremy was so excited to show me the four pumpkins…the biggest Grandpa one, the next, with the curly stem (for my curly hair) is the Grandma one, a medium sized one for his mom and the small Jeremy pumpkin. We’ll probably carve at least one of them, maybe paint another and, in the end, use the pumpkin meat for yummy breads, muffins and pies. If any of you have special recipes using pumpkins, I’d love if you would share.

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I connected with the author of today’s #PPBF pick in and around the kid lit community. When I heard Sherry Alexander had a new book coming out, I knew I would want to review it here.

From the author: “According to World Hunger, there are 870 million people in the world who go to bed hungry. In America that translates to 15.9 million children–that’s MILLION! When children are hungry, they are often too tired to play or to concentrate, and are too embarrassed to ask for help. 

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon was written to give these children a voice while demonstrating the power of friendship and sharing. To help fight child hunger a portion of the proceeds for this book will go to the Clark County Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division. 

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OLIVER’S HUNGER DRAGON

Written by Sherry Alexander

Illustrations by Amy Rottinger

Publisher: Halo Publishing International (2014)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Child hunger, friendship, sharing

 

Opening Lines:

“Oliver has a secret he does not want to share. He has a hungry dragon who follows him everywhere. Oliver has never really seen it, but it is always there. Rumbling and grumbling and making people stare.”

 

Synopsis:

Oliver cannot enjoy anything because he is always hungry and his hunger makes him tired. He thinks he is alone in feeling this way, until he discovers that several other children also have ‘hunger dragons’. They band together and start sharing their food and then other children join in to share and soon none of the children are going hungry.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids will love the colorful bold ‘hunger’ dragons
  • The rhyming text includes several repeat sound words like rumbling and grumbling – children will enjoy saying those as the story is read aloud
  • The story encourages children to talk to each other (and hopefully to parents and teachers) about what is bothering them and then reach out and help each other
  • Hunger is a huge problem, even in the United States – but it is a problem that often doesn’t get enough attention
  • Children often feel they are suffering alone – this story will help kids understand that if something is bothering them, it is probably bothering others as well

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about the importance of eating healthy foods every day – without good food our bodies cannot produce energy for us to work and play
  • Go shopping with your child for several items to bring to a local food bank or see if your child’s class can do a food bank project
  • Lovely read aloud

Related Activities:

DRAGON EGG CARTON

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Photo courtesy: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dragons – Visit their website for many more dragon activities.

You will need: 1 egg carton, construction paper in several colors, scissors, glue, paint, markers.

  1. Paint the egg carton and let dry.
  2. Cut out scales/spikes, nostrils, tail and eyes (in the photo, the eyes are made from the bottom cups of an egg carton – but you could use construction paper if that is easier) from construction paper.
  3. Glue in place and use markers to add details.

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon is available on Amazon

If you’d like to connect with author Sherry Alexander or find out more about her other books: http://www.sherryalexanderwrites.com/

And please come back tomorrow (that is, if my computer hangs on a couple more hours – I dropped it last night and it is now barely functioning) for Will Write for Cookies with TARA LAZAR!!!

#PPBF: Peter Panda Melts Down – Dealing With Temper Tantrums

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

 

I recently connected with the author of today’s selection…Artie Bennett is super funny and super talented…so it’s not surprising that his new book is super awesome as well! My grandson was repeating the refrain after the first couple of pages…and gave the book an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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PETER PANDA MELTS DOWN!

Written by Artie Bennett

Illustrations by John Nez

Publisher: Blue Apple Books (2014)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: Expressing feelings, appropriate behavior, temper tantrums

 

Opening Lines:

“Let’s meet the Pandas. Here’s Peter. He’s three! And Mama, who calls, “Climb down from that tree!”

 

Synopsis:

From the author:

“Uh-oh. Here it comes. Here comes that frown. Peter Panda melts dowwwnnn!”

     Poor Peter Panda. He’s only three and filled with frustration. And when things don’t quite go his way, he’s apt to throw a tantrum—in the car, in the library, in the supermarket, in the . . . He’s the most meltdownable panda we know. Continue reading