Posted tagged ‘Picture Books’

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.

The Cake Fiasco

January 20, 2022

My husband is a cake person. Several months ago he bought a cake mix to have on hand when his sweet tooth came calling. Last Sunday, he decided he needed cake. I was fine with that as long as he made it. I looked at the ingredients to see what was needed. Water. Three eggs. Seven tablespoons of butter and the cake mix. WHAT? Water? Butter? I asked what kind of cake mix he bought. He answered that it looked like the one I usually buy. No, not really. To help, I greased and floured the cake pan, preheated the oven, and headed to the office to write a book review.

Shouting between kitchen and office began.

Husband: What bowl do I use?

Me: The mixing bowl in the bottom cabinet.

Husband:  Do I melt the butter and stir it in the cake mix?

Me:  Did you read the directions?

Husband:  What spoon do I use to make sure the butter gets mixed in?

Me:  READ THE DIRECTIONS!

Husband:  Where’s the mixer?

Me:  In the pantry where it always is.

Husband: This batter doesn’t look right.

Me:  Did you follow all the directions?

Husband: Yes. It’s ready to put into the pan.

Me:  Do it.

Husband:  How do I set the timer?

Me:  I’m coming.

After that, it was quiet for a while. Until…

Husband:  The oven is off!

A fuse blew. We reset everything, hoping the cake would survive.

About 20 minutes later, I heard the timer go off. The next thing I heard was a crash and my husband loudly expressing himself.

Me:  What happened? I yelled, running to the kitchen.   

My husband put the grip side of the oven mitt on wrong. The cake pan slipped out of his hands.

Grip Side
Slip Side

I looked at the mess. My only reaction was to laugh at the cake fiasco. I laughed so hard I cried.

Later that evening, we enjoyed a plate of crumby cake hidden beneath ice cream and fruit.

Clearly, from the events of the day, my husband conveniently forgot everything he was able to do in the kitchen before we were married. A smart move on his part.

Do you have a taste for cake? Check out these yummy books.

Every Cake Has A Story written by Christina Tosi and illustrated by Emily Balsley, Dial Books, 2021

Eat the Cake written by M.H. Clark and illustrated by Jana Glatt, Compendium Publishing & Communications, 2020.

Please note: Next week’s blog will be posted on Friday, January 28 to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

My Favorite September Picture Book Choices

October 7, 2021

Below are some of the books I read during the month of September that piqued my interest.

Beatrice Was a Tree written and illustrated by Joyce Hesselberth, Greenwillow Books, 2021

Not wanting to go to bed, Beatrice stays outside. She imagines herself to be a tree that changes during the four seasons. She stretches her branches, feels the warmth of the sun, provides homes for animals, sheds her leaves, and, after a snowy winter, she blossoms once again. The magic of imagination is broken when Mom calls, “Beatrice, Bed! Now!” This book is filled with whimsical illustrations and lyrical text that will delight readers who appreciate nature. 

Mel Fell written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor, Balzer + Bray, 2021

I love this book because of its unique format. It’s not your usual book as you follow Mel who wants to learn to fly. But before she flies…”Mel fell.” Readers follow Mel as she falls down, down, down past the critters in the tree who try to help her. Mel and the book take a turn (literally) as she plunges into the water. Make sure you follow the directions on how to turn the book to find out if Mel ever learns to fly. This book is sure to entertain readers!

Are You a Cheeseburger? written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo, Katherine Tegen Books, 2021

Grub, a raccoon, and Seed, a seed, meet in a garbage can. Grub is convinced if Seed grows, cheeseburgers will blossom. Grub plants Seed and the two spend every night talking to each other and describing what is going on above ground and below ground. When Seed finally sprouts, they celebrate. Grub makes sure to water Seed every day as he longs for the promise of delicious cheeseburgers that will soon appear. But when Seed blossoms as a flower – not a cheeseburger plant – Grub is quiet. What is he thinking? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I love the uniqueness of this delicious book and the unusual friendship that evolves.

Mucky Truck written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Elisa Ferro, Henry Holt and Co., 2021

Kids will love this rollicking story about a little truck, a crane, a digger, and a forklift that get stuck in the muck until the firetruck comes to get them out. Onomatopoeia and rhymes will keep kids engaged along with an unexpected messy ending.

The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round written by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu, Orchard Books, 2021

This is a delightful story of a Chinese family coming together to prepare for their evening dinner. Readers will have fun joining in with the rhythmic text that goes along with the familiar song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” 

The Longest Storm written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, mineditionUS, 2021

Stuck in their house with no place to go, a single father and his children slowly learn how to reconnect with one another to become a supportive family unit once again. A definite must-read!

Norman Didn’t Do it! written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, Disney-Hyperion, 2021

A humorous picture book about learning to share your best friend with others and accepting new friends.

Bright Star written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Neal Porter Books, 2021

A beautifully illustrated book about love, honor, and respect.

If any of these books are of interest to you and your family, make sure to check them out and enjoy!


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