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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!

LAURA SASSI: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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LAURA SASSI

We are so very fortunate to have generous mentors like today’s Will Write for Cookies guest. I’ve been a fan of Laura Sassi for years. Her website is a treasure trove of information and resources for parents, teachers, and writers. So, I was thrilled when she agreed to stop by and chat with us today.

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014) and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018), and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

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Welcome, Laura! It’s wonderful to have you here. I know everyone is excited to get to know you a little better. 
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child? 

Laura: I loved reading as a child and my all-time favorite author was Madeleine L’Engle. I loved her writing so much that as a twelve year-old— in quick succession – I read every book she’d written up to that point.  And now, with the recent release of the A Wrinkle In Time movie, I’m enjoying rereading that book – which was the first book of hers I ever read – with my daughter. We just finished it last week and it’s as marvelous as I remember.  Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Picture Book Friday: DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE Plus Giveaway

They say that time flies when you are having fun. I guess I must be having the most fun in the world because I can’t believe that it is Friday already!

It’s a special day here on Picture Books Help Kids Soar because we are part of Laura Sassi’s book blog tour for her brand-new picture book, DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE. So, it will be no surprise that I am featuring it today! And guess what? Laura is graciously offering a copy of this AWESOME book to one lucky winner!

DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE

Written by Laura Sassi

Illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2018)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: Cooperation and teamwork

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Tra la la la! Can an opera house mouse and a disrespectful diva make beautiful music together? Maybe . . . if she learns some manners!
Fernando loves Mozart, Puccini, and Strauss, and lending a paw at the old opera house. Unfortunately, diva Delores wants no help from a mouse. She craves glamour and spotlights and praise—and she’s getting her chance to take center stage. But it’s all going wrong; she’s missing her entrance and flubbing her song. Fernando can save her—but only if Delores behaves. Will Delores hit a sour note? Or will she team up with Fernando . . . and bring down the house?

Why I like this book?

  • Laura Sassi’s spot on rhyme is delightful!
  • Rebecca Gerlings’ illustrations and use of the words as part of the art are masterful!
  • I love the message of cooperation and teamwork.
  • And the glitter on the cover ROCKS!!!!

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

FanCraftPin2Photo courtesy: https://thecraftyclassroom.com

Make a Japanese Paper Fan

On the cover, Diva Delores has a feather fan. But kids can make a beautiful Japanese paper fan with just paper, Popsicle sticks, glue, and markers/crayons. And for those Divas in your house, why not add a bit of GLITTER. Detailed instructions here: https://thecraftyclassroom.com/crafts/japan-crafts-for-kids/japan-paper-fan-craft/

Here is the line up for author Laura Sassi’s book blog tour…why not visit a few stops:

DIVA DELORES BLOG TOUR FLYER pdf

 

Dear friends, please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of DIVA DELORES. Please don’t forget to come back tomorrow when author Laura Sassi stops by to chat and share a yummy cookie recipe. AND, please don’t forget to give your favorite authors some book love by leaving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book sites. It will make all the difference!

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a safe and happy weekend!


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