Cover Reveal: DIBS! by Laura Gehl

I’m a big fan of Laura Gehl’s books. And so are lots of kids. Especially One Big Pair of Underwear! So, when I heard that Laura had a brand-new picture book releasing next year, I knew I’d want to spread the word. And guess what? 

I get to do the COVER REVEAL!

Welcome to the world, DIBS! Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: FAMOUSLY PHOEBE

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Fall is here in New England…leaves are changing color and the temps are decidedly chilly when I get up in the morning.

2017 has exploded with amazing children’s books and I’m thrilled to bring you one that will help older siblings when the new baby arrives. Author Lori Alexander is offering a copy of her newest picture book as a giveaway. Please make sure you leave a comment below and come back tomorrow to double your entries when she stops by to chat about the writing life.

Phoebe cover JPEG

FAMOUSLY PHOEBE

Written by Lori Alexander

Illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2017)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Sibling rivalry, family dynamics, self-worth

Synopsis:

From Amazon: 

Phoebe was the shining star of her family. Then someone came along to take her place.   
For as long as Phoebe can remember, she’s known the clickety click click of a photographer snapping her picture. Thanks to the camera-carrying “paparazzi” (aka Mom and Dad), she’s always been the star of the show . . . until the day a tiny newcomer arrives on set.
Will Phoebe learn to share the spotlight and assume the role she was born to play: big sister? This sweet tale of sibling rivalry resolved is perfect for every older brother and sister.

Why I like this book:

  • A story that engages from the opening lines to the last page.
  • Fabulous bold illustrations that invite the reader into the action.
  • A universal theme that never loses its appeal.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make a Family Newspaper

familynewspapers

Photo courtesy: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/

You will need: Paper, ruler, pencil/pen, markers/crayons, family photos, scissors, glue

What fun! Each family member can write a column for this newspaper!

For detailed instructions: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kidscraftsactivitiesblog/2010/04/make-a-family-newspaper-to-talk-about-family-news/

Please make sure you come back tomorrow when we chat with Lori Alexander on Write for Cookies. And don’t forget that one of the greatest gifts you can give an author is to review their books on Amazon or Goodreads.

For more great picture book reviews and activities, hurry over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!

 

#PPBF: When I Was King – Sibling Rivalry

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Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday. Before I share not one, not two, but three wonderful books that address the topic of sibling rivalry…I want to encourage you to hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog where you will find many other awesome picture book reviews. AND, if you are an illustrator or an aspiring one, please check out her NEW Illustrator Contest.

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I also want to give a shout-out to Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo, a month-long challenge for those who want to/love to write rhyming picture books. Every day, Angie’s blog has a post that is a complete workshop in itself…with Golden Quill guests who share information and inspiration. I’ve always loved poetry…Angie’s posts are like a college course…deeply examining the subject and then relating it to writing picture books. The Facebook page interaction is amazing and so helpful. As of today, there are 200 participants registered! The critique groups that were formed at the beginning of the month are proving to be incredibly supportive. Even if you didn’t sign up before…or you don’t think you can participate fully, please check out the blog posts…each one is worth its weight in gold!

And now to our picture book review!

When I first started blogging, most of my posts were geared towards parents with young children. In past year or so, since I’ve been so actively involved in writing (and learning how to write) picture books, many of my posts have had a more ‘writerly’ emphasis. But the Building Self-Esteem Using Picture Books and Other Activities teleseminar I did on Wednesday, reminded me that parenting concerns are still number one with me. And, when you think about it, that’s one of the main reasons I want to write great picture books. With that in mind, here are three books that will bring a smile to any parent’s face…and will help older siblings deal with the difficult challenge of accepting and loving a younger brother or sister.

when I was kind

When I Was King Continue reading

Sibling Rivalry and Prayers for Those Impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire

Two Sisters

Two Sisters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mommeeeeee….Rachel pushed me!”   “Mommeeeee…Brandon took that toy and I had it first!” 

If you grew up with brothers and/or sisters, the above scenarios probably sound familiar.

If you have more than one child now, you have probably heard similar complaints in your own home.

Sibling rivalry seems to be inevitable, but is it ALL bad?

And what, if anything, can parents do to ease the tension and reduce the conflicts between their kids?

Last year, the University of Cambridge did a study that showed that siblings can have a positive effect on a child’s early development of social understanding (the awareness of others thoughts and feelings) even when there is some discord such as arguing or teasing.  The communication between siblings helps them learn to express their feelings and emotions.  It is important for parents with only children to make sure they are providing their child with many opportunities for conversation about thoughts and feelings.

Sustained or continuous sibling rivalry, however, can result in behavioral problems and relationship building issues later in life.

With summer here and kids at home, here are some simple steps parents can take to create a more peaceful and positive atmosphere:

  • Plan family activities that are fun for everyone.
  • Make sure each child has his or her own space.
  • Encourage cooperation, not competition…when picking up toys; have the children race the clock, not each other.
  • Teach conflict resolution.
  • Don’t play favorites or compare siblings.
  • Make sure your kids are not hungry or tired or bored.
  • Plan family time such as eating meals together.
  • Teach positive ways to get attention from each other and from parents.
  • Set aside along time with each child.
  • Don’t take sides.
  • Teach kids to compromise and respect one another.
  • Encourage children to express their feeling and find words for them.
  • Be a good role model.

Picture books are a wonderful tool to use as well.  If you are looking for a great picture book that addresses this problem, there are several to choose from:

Queen of the World by Thomas Yezerski

I Love You Purplest by Barbara Joosees

Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes

And one of my favorites:

The Day No One Played Together by Donalisa Helsley.

The Day No One Played Together: A Lesson About Compromise, is a beautifully illustrated (by the talented Sarah Harkey) story of two sisters who want to play together.  However, each wants the other to play HER game.  When the sisters come to a stalemate, their mom steps in with a suggestion: COMPROMISE.  The girls begin to brainstorm many ideas of how they can incorporate what each wants to do so that they can play together.  They happily solve their problem and the book ends with the sisters spending the rest of the day playing with each other.  Parents…read this story with your children…help them apply the concept of compromise next time there is an argument…and enjoy the peace and harmony.

On the last page of the book, Ms. Helsley provides a simple definition of some of the words in the story that young children might be hearing for the first time.  I love this feature of the book…we should always encourage children to understand what they are reading or hearing…this helps build their vocabulary…one of the most important components of literacy. 

You can find out more about this great children’s author by visiting her website: www.wildaboutreading.net  She has a new book out, I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies.

To contact her: wildaboutreading@ymail.com

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N.com, Goodreads and the author’s website.  

Take advantage of the more laid back pace of summer and provide your children with fun-filled moments they will remember forever.  Spend time reading with them and doing other activities.  If you are looking for great book suggestions and quick and easy activities, please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

Life has been turned upside down, here in Colorado Springs.  The past week has brought devastation and terror to many residents as the Waldo Canyon Fire raged…fueled by record heat and an exceptionally dry winter and spring.  Over 300 homes were destroyed on Tuesday night…consumed by the hungry flames before our eyes as we watched television coverage in shock and horror.  The fires are still burning…and the impact will be felt for years to come.  Please join me in praying for the brave firefighters and others who are still battling the fire…and for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Sibling Rivalry Got You Down?

Portrait of Lady Cockburn and her Three Eldest...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s hard to share!

That goes for toys, treats and parent’s attention!

Here’s a wonderful picture book story that focuses on sibling rivalry.

NOBODY NOTICES MINERVA

Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan

            Poor Minerva!  Her older brother and her baby sister seem to get all the attention, so Minerva decides to do some naughty things like poke her brother with a fork and pick all the leaves off her mother’s plant.  Her father speaks very kindly to her and explains that she is very special to him, but that perhaps she would like to be noticed for other behaviors.  Minerva helps her brother set the table and reads a story to her baby sister and, enjoying the wonderful praise she gets from her parents, Minerva resolves to be noticed for good behavior instead.

            When young children exhibit negative behavior, they are usually sending out a cry for attention and help.  We need to let our children know, on a daily basis, that they are loved and valued.  Try not to wait until your child is misbehaving to notice what he or she is doing.  Why not notice when your children have picked up toys without being asked to do so or have amused themselves for a short period of time while you were busy on the phone?

     It’s not easy to be the one in the middle.  It’s difficult to be the older child who has been “replaced” by a baby brother or sister.  And sometimes it’s hard to be the only child.   Growing up is a challenge, no matter what!  And being a parent is a challenge as well. 🙂  A positive can-do, matter-of-fact attitude on your part helps create balance and harmony for the entire family.


Choosing stories from the overwhelming number at the library or bookstore can be difficult…Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking divides the 100 story titles into six chapters, each focusing on a different component of building self-esteem.  This great resource is filled with simple fun-filled activities that go along with the stories…and you can pick up a copy during the Jump Into Summer Sale…50% off the cover price.