Perfect Picture Book Friday: LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE Plus Double-Header PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

Today’s picture book is so darn relatable for kids – in fact, it stirs memories of my own. I’ll bet lots of you can remember family gatherings and wanting to sit at the ‘big’ table. Well, author Pj McIlvaine has tapped into those memories to create a story that is sure to strike a chord with everyone who reads it. And the lovely Pj is offering not one, but TWO Picture Book Manuscript Critiques as a giveaway!!!! So please make sure you leave a comment.

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LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE

Written by PJ McIlvaine

Illustrated by Leila Nabih

Published by Big Belly Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Growing up, family

Synopsis: From Amazon

Little Lena has her heart set to sit at the big table. But every year her family tells her she’s just not big enough. Little Lena is determined to show everyone how big she is.

Why I love this book:

  • Sweet story about something most kids will be able to relate to
  • Charming illustrations with a hint of Mary Engelbreit
  • I think this will be a favorite at all holiday times and family gatherings

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make a Placemat

pic-cutout-placematPhoto courtesy: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/placematsartscraftideaskids.html

Kids love creating! They love cutting! They love pasting! And these placemats can be designed for any holiday or occasion. All you need: a sheet of paper, two sheets of wax paper for each placemat, pictures cut from magazines, catalogs, old greeting cards, glue, scissors. To make: cut pictures and glue in place on sheet of paper. Lay paper on one piece of wax paper which is about an inch wider and longer than the decorated paper and cover with the other piece of wax paper. The next step must be done by an adult!  Press a hot iron over the wax paper…the wax paper sheets will stick together all around the edges and will form a lovely waterproof placemat. For more detailed instructions and directions for other placemats: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/placematsartscraftideaskids.html

And as much as kids love creating, they love feeling useful even more. Give your children’s self-esteem a boost by including them in the planning of your next family event. They can help with the shopping and with the food prep and with getting the house ready. Feeling useful and needed builds self-worth.

With the summer upon us, some things slow down while others speed up. Please don’t be too busy to take a few minutes to review a favorite book or recommend it to a friend or to your local library…other than buying the book (which is also a lovely thing to do), those are the best ways we can help our favorite authors!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will be away in Massachusetts, cheering my son and son-in-law as they compete in the Tough Mudder. Here’s a  photo from last year’s event.

tough mudder hand in air

#50PreciousWordsforKids: THE STORIES

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Logo by Vicky Fang

Drum roll please!!! Strike up the band!!! It’s time to post some wonderful stories written by children!!!

When I do school visits and story hour events, there’s one thing I notice. The kids love telling their OWN stories. And that’s what #50PreciousWordsforKids is all about!

These young kids have definitely discovered the storyteller that lives in them.

MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT Continue reading

Picture Book Review and Giveaway: Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Best

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday…and we are reviewing another BRAND NEW 2017 release.

fuzzbuster-cover

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

Written by Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by Edward Hemingway

Publisher: Two Lions Press (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 2

Themes:

Friendship, self-esteem, pets

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.… Continue reading

PPBF: Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great

No..it can’t be! Friday already? They say time flies when you are having fun…I must be having a ball!

Well, actually, I am. Still participating in ReFoReMo which means I am reading picture books EVERY DAY! And soon to be starting another month of challenge, RhyPiBoMo. Don’t you love these acronyms? The new challenge is Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Picture Book Month.

Last year was an unbelievable success – an intensive month-long workshop of lessons, writing prompts and camaraderie. Oh, and PRIZES! There’s still time to register…just click on the link above to find out all about it.

And now it’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review and activity. And if you’d like some more wonderful picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s blog.

I had no problem choosing today’s Perfect Picture Book. I just asked my six-year old grandson. Ever since we got this book from the library last week, he’s requested it as a bedtime story.

unicorn

Title: Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great

Written and illustrated by Bob Shea Continue reading

#PPBF: Little Toot – Valentine’s Day – International Book Giving Day Giveaway

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources. On her blog you will find a page called Perfect Picture Books – parents and teachers can use that to locate books that address specific topics.

Today is also International Book Giving Day and Valentine’s Day ! I’m sharing one of the most beloved classic picture books and a craft activity that appeared on my blog three years ago.  Plus, there will be a giveaway of a picture book (I’m not telling which one…don’t you love surprises?)…all you need to do is comment on this post and you will be entered. littletoot_smLittle Toot

Written and illustrated by Hardie Gramatky

Publishers: G. P. Putnam (original: 1939, but many different editions over the years)

Ages: 3 – 7

Themes:  I’m taking Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class…and learning so much about story themes…here are a few Susanna shared with us that apply to Little Toot: Believe in yourself and you can achieve your dreams; there is a time for play and a time for work; courage is doing something even though you are afraid of what might happen

Opening: “At the foot of an old, old wharf lives the cutest, silliest little tugboat you ever saw.  A very handsome tugboat with a brand new candy-stick smoke-stack.  His name is Little Toot.”

Synopsis: Little Toot spends his days “playing” in New York City harbor, getting in the way of the other tugboats that are working hard.  The little tugboat enjoys sailing in a figure-eight and blowing big smoke-balls.  While his father and grandfather, famous for their strength and bravery, work diligently, Little Toot fools around.  The entire fleet of tugboats wonders if Little Toot will ever learn to do the job he was born to do.  However, when a big ocean liner gets into trouble during a storm Continue reading

Sunday Post: Reflections…Do You Love Yours?

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

Look in the mirror.  Do you see your reflection?

The picture that you have in your mind’s eye may be quite different.

This reflection or self-image…who we are and how we look…forms in early childhood and is influenced in large part by how our parents act and react with us.

I’ve been taking part in a creative writing exercise for the past eight weeks.  Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill organized “Summer Short & Sweets” and each week she provided writing prompts.  Last week she posted this beautiful illustration by gifted artist and picture book illustrator, Heather Newman, and asked us to think about a children’s story based on that picture.

Illustration copyright Heather Newman 2012 – Used by Permission

AND NOW THERE IS A CONTEST!

THE INSTRUCTIONS: WRITE A STORY OF 250 WORDS OR LESS BASED ON THIS PICTURE.  SOMEWHERE IN THE STORY, SOMEONE HAS TO SAY, “DID YOU SEE THAT?”  AND SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE STORY, SOMEONE HAS TO SAY, “GOODBYE OR FAREWELL”.

I’m going to share the story I wrote for the contest…and it ties in with the Sunday Post theme of Reflections…how we see ourselves and what happens when a person doesn’t have a positive self-image.

I hope you all enjoy it…I’d love to have your feedback and comments.

Working Title: Boot Camp at Old Dragons-Lair

Genre: Picture Book

Word Count: 240

BOOT CAMP AT OLD DRAGONS-LAIR by Vivian Kirkfield

The first day of boot camp at Old Dragons-Lair

The white witch decided to darken her hair.

So tired was she of her colorless locks

She lifted the red from the tail of the fox.

 

“Did you see that?” all the campers cried out.

“I’ll do as I please!” the witch said with a shout.

“I don’t like how I look…I’ll take what I wish

The tail of the dragon…the eyes of a fish.

 

“You can’t take from others”, the raven explained.

Your magical powers should be more restrained.

You’re leader of boot camp at Old Dragons-lair

You can’t create havoc and cause such a scare.

 

The black bird continued, “It’s what people do

That shows their real beauty…believe me, it’s true!”

And nodding her head, the witch waved her thin wand

Her hair began changing from red back to blonde.

 

The campers all gathered around the white witch

And loudly applauded the spell-binding switch.

She’d learned to treat others with love and with care

You don’t bully people at Old Dragons-lair!

 

The last day of boot camp at Old Dragons-lair

The campers took part in a Renaissance Fair

The white witch placed first in the costume parade

And raven won gold in the gaming arcade.

 

The campers were packed and excited to go

The sky was alight with a fiery glow

Each clambered to mount his own flying gazelle,

And said to the raven and witch,”Fond farewell!”

That’s it…what do you think?

We have one more month to get nominations to give 12 free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like them to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!  Please tweet this or spread the word across any of your social media networks.  At the beginning of October we will use Random.org to choose 12 lucky schools.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Sunday Post: Stairway to Self-Esteem

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

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.  Since the dictionary defines “stairway” as a passageway from one level to another by a series of steps, I’ve decided to outline the basic components or “steps” in the stairway to building a strong self-esteem that are found in the introduction to Show Me How!

How can we help our kids navigate the passageway of childhood and achieve a positive self-image?

What steps does a child have to climb to reach a level of high self-esteem?

  1. MASTER TASKS AND SKILLS…Let your child help around the house.

2.  VALUE ONE’S OWN STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES…Encourage your child in different pursuits.

 

3.      FEEL APPRECIATED, LOVED AND ACCEPTED…Spend loving and positive time with your child.

 

4.      LEARN TO EXPRESS FEELINGS…Allow your child to talk about his joy, anger and sadness.

 

5.      ACKNOWLEDGING AND COPING WITH FEARS…Share things you were afraid of as a child.

 

6.      FEELING GOOD ABOUT ONE’S BODY AND ONESELF…Celebrate the gift of life and dance.

 

I just got back from spending a glorious week in New Hampshire, taking care of my three-year old grandson.  His favorite book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  His favorite game: Soccer/kick ball.  His favorite TV show: Peppa Pig.  His favorite foods: Fresh strawberries and bananas. 

It was hard to leave to come home…I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

Here are a few websites with other resources and info on helping children build healthy self-esteem:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/self_esteem.html

http://life.familyeducation.com/self-esteem/parenting/34401.html

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/child-rearing-and-development/12-ways-help-your-child-build-self-confidence

http://www.livestrong.com/article/246770-self-esteem-building-exercises-for-children/

The SMH Library Project:

 

We are in the final two weeks of the Show-Me-How Library Project, so if you haven’t done it already, please nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries will receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  NOMINATIONS CLOSE April 30!  Don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers and your entire community.  A big thank you to all of those who have already spread the word about out this great opportunity via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterist, Google+ or by mentioning it in your posts!

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/sunday-post-stairway/

http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/weekly-sunday-post-stairway/

http://nprimopiano.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/stairs-2/

http://davidrwetzelphotography.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/sunday-post-stairs/

http://catbirdinoman.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/the-sunday-post-stairway/

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/sunday-post-stairway/

http://orples.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/sunday-photo-challenge-stairs/

I also wanted to mention that today is Earth Day 2012…how will you help observe this special day?  Children can get involved in local park and playground cleanups.  Perhaps you can take a walk around your community…bring a big plastic garbage bag so that everyone can help pick up litter.  Maybe there are special events going on in your neighborhood…why not check them out.

http://act.earthday.org/

http://www.earthday.org/2012