Archive for October 2015

Get on Board with Board Books

October 29, 2015

Books have always been an important part of my life, but now that I have two sweet granddaughters, I’ve become obsessed with board books.

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What better way to introduce them to the magic of words and colorful illustrations than through board books. They’re just the right size for their tiny hands. It’s never too early to begin reading to children so I’m on the prowl for some first-class board books. Here are a few I highly recommend.

You Are My I love You written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa. This charming book, delightfully illustrated in muted colors, can be enjoyed by both adults and children. It’s written in rhyme and follows the child and parent through various events of an ordinary day and the sweetness of daily life.

Everywhere Babies written by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee. If your little ones like seeing other babies, this is the book for them. Susan Meyers’ rhyming text celebrates babies being dressed, fed, kissed, rocked, making noise, and doing all the things babies do. The combination of Meyers’ text and Marla Frazee’s enchanting illustrations depicting babies from many different places makes this book one to add to your collection. 

The next two books are from the talented Sandra Boynton. You’ll get your groove on with these.

In Barnyard Dance!, the animals are having an old-fashioned square dance in the barnyard. You’ll want to grab a partner and do-si-do with the animals in this rollicking rhyming story!

And if you like Barnyard Dance!, you’ll love Pajama Time! It’s another one of Boynton’s fast-paced rhyming texts about getting ready for bed. Bedtime has never been so much fun!

I’m still on the lookout for more great board books. If you have any you’d like to share, please do.


National Nut Day – Are You Nuts?

October 22, 2015

Today is National Nut Day.

There have been times I’ve been called nutty as a fruitcake, but never mind that now. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of eating nuts. They’re healthy for you! In a nutshell, nuts are filled with omega-3 fatty acids that are perfect for heart health. They’re filled with protein, fiber, and lots of other good stuff. They’re an ideal snack and easy to carry in your pocket or purse. Choose raw or dry nuts. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews are some of the best. I could go on and tell you everything I know about this subject from soup to nuts, but I won’t. No need to make you more nuts than I already have. I just want you to go nuts over nuts!

If you’re nutty like me, share these books with your kids.

Here’s one of my favorites:

Product Details

Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat written and illustrated by April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane Books, 2013. It’s a rhyme! It’s a chant! It’s a cheer! This book is so much fun you’ll want to read it again and again. Go nuts and read!

Product Details

Nuts to You written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt Children’s Books, 1993. What are nuts without a squirrel? Make sure to take a bite out of this wonderful rhyming book filled with colorful paper collages expertly constructed by Lois Ehlert.

In the Beginning – Thoughts on Writing

October 15, 2015

As a writer, I find the first page of a picture book to be the most challenging to write. The words you choose to put there are critical. You want to hook your readers immediately and keep them turning the pages. In a picture book, every single word counts. Waste not, want not.

Below are a few examples of beginnings from picture books that kept me turning the pages.

CLICK, CLACK, MOO COWS THAT TYPE written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

“Farmer Brown has a problem.

His cows like to type.

All day long he hears

Click, clack, moo.

Click, clack, moo.

Clickety, clack, moo.”

My thoughts:  Right away the reader knows the farmer has a problem – cows that type. How? Why? Turn the page to find out.

THE BOSS BABY written and illustrated by Marla Frazee, Beach Lane Books.

“From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.”

My thoughts:  A baby that’s the boss. I like that! The beginning sentence and Frazee’s humorous illustrations entice the reader to turn the page and read more.

THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS written by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier, Little, Brown and Company.

“Hi! I’m Geraldine.

I’m a fairy princess.

You may not believe me, but I can tell you that I AM.”

My thoughts:  I like this character. She’s upbeat and bold. I want to see why she says she’s a fairy princess. Turn the page.

TOUGH CHICKS written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber, Clarion Books.

“From the moment Mama Hen’s eggs burst open, she knew she was dealing with some pretty tough chicks.”

My thoughts:  Little chicks chip away at their shells, they don’t burst out. What mischief are these tough chicks up to? Turn the page to find out.

The combination of the right words and the creativity of the illustrator can result in a fabulous picture book.

Do you have favorite beginnings that you’d like to share?

What’s the Scoop?

October 8, 2015

Ice cream is the scoop!

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What better way to spend a beautiful fall day in Vermont than at Ben & Jerry’s Factory! A big round of YUM from everyone!

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Enter into the ice cream parlor.

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Ben & Jerry’s is a place that can stir excitement in the hearts, souls, and mouths of the very young to the very old. If you’re an ice cream aficionado, then this is the place to be. From the beginning, Ben and Jerry had it right when it came to their ice cream business – quality ingredients and a work ethic that led to success.

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In the beginning, there was a renovated gas station…

The tour begins with an entertaining and educational video that’s the perfect length. It touches on the highlights of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream career and demonstrates how they thought outside the ice cream box when they established their business.

Takin’ it to the road…

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An ice cream road trip!

The next part of the tour took us into the inner workings of the ice cream factory. Shhh, it’s a secret! From there we went to the tasting room. The ice cream of the day was chocolate chip, caramel swirl! Yummy! It really didn’t matter what flavor it was because you can’t go wrong with any flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. There’s a great story behind this successful business. If you ever have a chance to tour the factory, take advantage of it. It’s a tasty treat!

If you and your family like ice cream, you might want to check out these books.

Ben and Jerry:  Ice Cream Manufacturers (Food Dudes) by Joanne Mattern

Milk to Ice Cream by Lisa M.Herrington

Ice Cream:  The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons

The Scoop on Ice Cream by Bonnie Williams

Ice Cream by Elisha Cooper

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