Posted tagged ‘Picture Books’

It’s National Homemade Bread Day

November 17, 2022

What do we need? We “knead” bread!

There’s nothing like the delicious smell of bread baking in the oven on a chilly day. The thought of it makes my mouth water.

When I think of homemade bread, I think of my mother. She was a master breadmaker. It was always a treat when we came home from school and opened the door to the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through the house. It was a delicious after-school snack.

Swedish Limpa Bread

Whether it’s a loaf of white, wheat, or rye bread lovingly baked or sweeter bread like banana nut bread, pumpkin bread, or chocolate zucchini bread, homemade bread is a tasty treat that can evoke warm memories of days gone by. It easily satisfies a craving at the same time.

Bread has been around for thousands of years. It’s nourishment that can feed the soul. It can symbolize faith, love, friendship, and much more. The sharing of bread has brought people together for the better.

Celebrate today by breaking bread with family, friends, or a special someone.

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” ~ Poet, Robert Browing

Below is a beautiful picture book told in verse about a Native American Family making a special family recipe that represents their history and traditions.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, Roaring Brook Press, 2019

A Bounty of Books

November 10, 2022

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. It’s a time to be thankful for the bounty of gifts we have received.

Besides being thankful for my family and friends, I’m also thankful for the wonderful books that are available. With Thanksgiving in mind, I’m sharing some seasonal books that you and your family might enjoy this holiday.

I’ll begin with three of my favorite Thanksgiving books.

Fiction

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, Schwartz & Wade, 2015

Thanksgiving Mice! written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Doug Cushman, Clarion Books, 2001

A Turkey for Thanksgiving written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Diane de Groat, Clarion Books, 1995

Nonfiction

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Clarion Books, 2011

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story written by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten and illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr., Charlesbridge 2022

Board Books

Llama Llama Gives Thanks  written and illustrator by Anna Dewdney, Viking Books for Young Readers, 2017

Pookie’s Thanksgiving written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton, Boynton Bookworks, 2022

Thankful Thanksgiving written by Deb Adamson and illustrated by Benedetta Capriotti, Cottage Door Press, 2022

Fun Books

Happy Thanksgving, Biscuit! written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperFestival, 2019

Turkey Trouble written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper, Two Lions, 2009

Duck and Hippo Give Thanks written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, Two Lions, 2018

Take time to enjoy some of these Thanksgiving stories with your young ones.

Picture Books You’ll Like

June 23, 2022

Here are a few of the books I’ve enjoyed during the month of June. See what you think.

Viking in Love

Stig is a Viking who is afraid of the sea. One day, he sees Ingrid, a fearless Viking with the sweetest voice he’s ever heard. Before he can say anything, the sea sweeps her away. Stig is in love. He writes a mushy love note to Ingrid and waits, and waits, and waits on the beach to see her. When he finally sees her, she’s too far away. He tries everything to reach her, but nothing works. There is only one thing left to do – venture into the sea. GASP! He finds a floaty and begins his journey to his love. It does not go well. Will Stig and Ingrid end up together? You’ll have to read this book about love, persistence, and overcoming fears to find out. 

Knight Owl

The day he is born, Owl knows he wants to become a knight – brave and clever. When knights begin disappearing from the castle, Owl applies to Knight School and is accepted. He is a good student, but because of his size, he has difficulty with his sword and shield. He graduates and is assigned to the Knight Night Watch. Other knights tend to fall asleep, but not Owl. He is perfect for the job. All goes well until he comes beak to snout with a hungry dragon who is looking for a snack. Being not only brave but clever, Owl outwits the dragon. Knights stop disappearing from the castle, and Owl is happy at his Knight Owl post with Dragon as his friend. This is a sweet book about following your dreams. 

Wild for Winnie

Winnie is not an ordinary classmate. She doesn’t quite fit in. Winnie does things that might be considered inappropriate in class. The teacher understands and suggests that the class give her a chance. For one week, the teacher guides the class with activities that help make Winnie feel more comfortable during the day. By the end of the week, everyone sees Winnie and their world a bit differently. Back matter has calming activities that can help kids who have difficulty settling down. Kudos to teachers who have the patience and wisdom to help all children fit in.

A Good Place

A bee, ladybug, beetle, and dragonfly are looking for a good place to live. They try and try, but they can’t find that special place. When they think they’ll never find a home, a butterfly surprises them with a perfect place. Vibrant colorful scenes add to the fun of this book.

Milk and Juice A Recycling Romance

Juice and Milk fall in love while in the refrigerator. But when Juice is empty, Juice ends up at the recycling center and is devastated. Juice keeps getting recycled into different bottles all while looking for Milk. True love is gone and Juice is in despair. After being recycled for a final time, who does Juice find? Milk! Juice and Milk are as close as ever. They have been recycled into a park bench – never to be parted again. A fun book about recycling with back matter to go along with it. 

Look for more delightful picture books next week.

Creating a Picture Book

May 5, 2022

After working for over two years on research, writing, and revising, my nonfiction picture book about Colonel Thomas S. Meacham and his “big cheese” was accepted for publication. It’s now in the works.

Here are just a few of the many things that need to be addressed: 

Tweaking text

Tweaking back matter

Tweaking the book title

Page count

Page layout

Designer input

Copyediting

Making sure illustrations are historically accurate without infringing on the creativity of the illustrator

Checking for kid-friendly vocabulary and appeal

Pacing

Page turns

All this takes time and careful consideration.

Luckily, I have a fabulous editor, a talented illustrator, and creative team members who are working together to make the best decisions to create a winning end product.

Stay tuned for more as my book moves along toward publication.

Its debut is in the spring of 2023!

Celebrate Earth Day!

April 21, 2022

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin came up with an idea to raise awareness of environmental issues. On April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born. Demonstrations took place across the United States to protect our planet Earth from pollution and deforestation. Groups picked up litter and planted trees. Earth Day is now an international celebration. About one billion people observe this day every year. There are many more things that humans can do to continue to protect our Earth. This year’s theme is “Invest in our Planet.” Do it!

Check out these picture books about our planet Earth.

All from a Walnut

One Million Trees

The Garden We Share

Hey, Water!

Emile and the Field

Ice! Poems About Polar Life

The Tide Pool Waits

Little Monarchs

My Favorite March Picture Books

March 31, 2022

Choose your favorites

How to Write a Story

With each page turn, readers go through step-by-step instructions on how to write a story. The author accomplishes this in ten easy-to-understand steps. Each one provides suggestions to help the readers and future writers create their own masterpieces. The lively illustrations offer inspiration for readers to get their writing juices flowing. This is a perfect book for students and teachers.

Slug in Love

Simple rhyming text along with playful illustrations tell the story of Doug a slug who needs a hug. Doug is not exactly the most huggable creature until he meets Gail, a snail. Alas, their romance does fail. Then, Doug, the slug meets a bug. Do Doug and the bug become snug as a bug in the rug? You’ll have to read this delightful book to find out.

If You Live Here

What’s it like to live in an unusual place? A spaceship? A burrow? A dollhouse? This book offers all types of imaginative places and what you might have to do if you choose to live there. The whimsical illustrations add to the experience of using imagination to discover what it would be like living in a unique place.

Born on the Water

This is a poignant telling of how 400 years ago Africans were kidnapped by white men and brought to a new land as enslaved people. Written in verse and accompanied by dramatic illustrations that touch the heart, this is a story of hope, strength, and determination for a better life to come.

Chirp!

As night slowly fades away, the birds greet the new day with their songs. As more and more birds join the chorus, the sounds get louder and louder until one small bird hushes them so he, too, can greet the day with his song. Rhyming text and onomatopoeias fill the pages of the book, creating an entertaining experience for readers.

Where is Bina Bear?

Tiny, a rabbit, is having a party for her friend, Bina Bear, but Bina is nowhere to be found. When Tiny finally finds Bina hiding under a grocery bag, Tiny and Bina have a heart-to-heart talk. Bina doesn’t like parties but doesn’t want to disappoint Tiny because Bina likes Tiny. When the guests arrive, Tiny and Bina Bear are nowhere to be found, and that’s just how they like it. Clever illustrations by Mike Curato show Tiny and Bina hiding in plain sight. This is a charming book about shyness, empathy, and friendship.

Tilda Tries Again

Tilda’s world is just right until…it turns upside down. Things suddenly go from easy to hard. Too hard. Tilda gives up and does nothing. When she sees a ladybug stuck on her back. The ladybug keeps trying to turn over with no success. But the ladybug doesn’t give up. She keeps on trying until she achieves success and flies away. Tilda realizes there are times when she must be brave in her topsy-turvy world to make things work. This book addresses facing adversities and trying your best to overcome them.

There’s a Unicorn in Your Book

This interactive book stars a cute unicorn who stopped singing. Worry gremlins are hanging around, and Unicorn needs help from the reader. By following the directions on each page, the reader can make the worry gremlins disappear, and bring Unicorn’s singing back. If unicorns are a favorite thing in your house. This is a book that can be fun for your family.

Using Picture Books to Enhance Reading, Writing, and Math in Schools

February 24, 2022

As a former elementary school teacher, I believe the early years of school instruction should concentrate on the basics of reading, writing, and math. Mastery of these skills will open the door to a successful future.

There are many creative ways to make reading, writing, and math exciting for young students. Learning should be fun. As a teacher, your excitement about teaching will engage students in learning. Teaching skills like phonics, math facts, and a proper way to write a sentence can be a bit tedious, but, like pepper, you can spice them up.

Enter the picture book. It is a versatile tool. A picture book tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It presents information in an imaginative way. Captivating illustrations within a picture book encourage students to want to read more. Below are a few examples of picture books that can be paired with teaching skills to enhance learning.

Writing

The Plot Chickens is a humorous book that demonstrates what to do and not to do when writing a story.

Punctuation Takes a Vacation Learn what happens when commas, periods, question marks, and other punctuation go on a holiday.

Reading and Writing

You Are Reader! You Are a Writer! This rhyming book is two books in one. Read it from the front. Read it from the back. The stories meet in the middle. It’s an inspiration for reading and writing.

Reading and Math Concepts

Circle Under Berry A delightful study of concepts that combines colors, shapes, and words, and how they relate to one another.

Math

Dozens of Doughnuts A delectable book about dividing and sharing doughnuts with friends.

The Pizza Problem A yummy way to learn about fractions.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? Work on estimation and skip counting skills with pumpkins big and small.

There are numerous picture books that can be paired with teaching skills to enhance learning. Give it a try. Once students have achieved success in the basic skills of reading, writing, and math, the flood gates will open, and learning in all areas of the curriculum will flow freely.

Bring on the Valentines! Picture Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2022

Valentine’s Day is Monday. Love is in the air. Greeting cards, flowers, candy, sparkly gifts are all ways to show the special people in your life that you love them. For the younger generation, plush toys may be a just-right gift. But what about books? There are a variety of picture books that illustrate love, caring, friendship, and kindness. They would make terrific heartfelt gifts for the young and old.

Maybe one of these books will touch your heart!

The Love Letter

Sealed With A Kiss

Groggle’s Monster Valentine

I’ll Love You Till The Cows Come Home

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You!

This Is N0T A Valentine

The Pete Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love

Love You By Heart

Viking In Love

What Is Love?

Here Comes Valentine Cat

Love Is For Roaring

Love From The Very Hungry Caterpillar

If You Were My Valentine


Celebrate Black History Month

February 3, 2022

The month of February is designated as Black History Month. It’s a time to celebrate the history, accomplishments, and contributions of African Americans. Below are a few of the powerful books that display the grit and courage of some amazing Black Americans. They are a definite must-read.

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone written by Traci N. Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2021

The People Remember written by Ibi Zoboi and illustrated by Loveis Wise, Balzer + Bray, 2021

We Wait for the Sun written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, Roaring Book Press, 2021

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Carolrhoda Books, 2021

Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Sews Her Way to Freedom written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Holiday House, 2021

Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas written by Jeanne Warner Harvey and illustrated by Loveis Wise, HarperCollins, February 22, 2022

Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight written by Karyn Parsons and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth  written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, Thomas Nelson, 2022

Kids, check out this website for an easy-to-understand history of why we celebrate Black History Month.

Tomorrow Is the Day

January 27, 2022

Just a reminder that my blog will appear tomorrow in celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.


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