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Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ Category

Time for a Hug by Phillis Gershator and Mim Green illustrated by David Walker

Posted by hollybookscoops on February 9, 2013

Need an excuse for a hug?

Need an excuse for a hug?

I had a blast reading this board book with my little guy. There are lots of reasons for hugs throughout little rabbit’s day. Even though rabbit has lots to do, there is always time for hugs.

Not only will the carefully crafted verse roll off your tongue, but Walker’s art plants a little bit of spring and summer in your heart. This short, sweet book has it all- numbers, counting, rhyme, rhythm and lots of room for hugs and bed time loves. A perfect gift for Valentine’s Day or any occasion, Time for a Hug is a gift that keeps on giving every time you open it’s pages and share it with your little loved one. Time for  a Hug will make every day special!

 

Check out the Author(s) and Illustrator’s websites:

Phillis Gershator & Mim Green

David Walker

What others are saying about Time for a Hug:

Bookfoolery: “A happy book with a nice rhythm is always a pleasure to read. Time for a Hug is one of those books I can imagine a small child adoring and it’s certainly a great book to snuggle up and read (plus, a good excuse for lots of hugging).”

Lisa Reviews: “This is one of the cutest stories you will see out there. I love the illustrations too. The words are sing songy, so it definitely holds your kids attention.”

*I received a review copy courtesy of Josh Glickman at Sterling Publishing- thank you! The opinions in my review are my own.

Posted in Board Books, Picture Books | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Bedtime at the Swamp and The Middle Child Blues by Kristyn Crow and a Giveaway!

Posted by caribookscoops on January 9, 2013

All my children love Bedtime at the Swamp and The Middle Child Blues by Kristyn Crow. My favorite part about these books is that they are so fun to read out loud.  These two books are some of our favorites. I had to go out and buy my own copies after receiving these copies for this giveaway. My kids love them so much that they quoted their favorite phrases while out shopping just the other day.

bedtime_at_the_swampBedtime at the Swamp is a fantastic bedtime story. Short rhymes and lots of fun. The illustrations by Macky Pamintuan compliment Crow’s text exceptionally well. Bedtime at the Swamp is about a little boy who is supposed to be going home to get ready for bed, but instead ends up hiding from a monster. It sounds scary, but it really isn’t. In fact, the monster ends up hiding with him. I think kids are more likely to giggle at the end of this book than be scared.

My kids’ favorite line

Splish Splash Rumba-rumba bim bam BOOM!

middle child blues

The Middle Child Blues illustrated by David Catrow is just like the title reads,  a story about all the woes and struggles of being a middle child. Lee is told a little too often that he is too small, too old, too young and so forth. This leaves him  sick and tired of being stuck in the middle. To cope with all this middle childness, Lee gets out his guitar and sings the Middle Child Blues. My children once again love Crow’s rhyming and catchy rhythms that go with the classic blues. In fact I wanted to sing through the book.

My children love the illustrations and now my 2.5 year old wants a guitar for his birthday. They couldn’t agree on a favorite line so you’ll just have to read The Middle Child Blues to pick your own.

As mentioned, I am doing a giveaway. I was given an autographed copy of each book by the lovely Kristyn Crow (I don’t want to admit how long ago, but you know I’ve had a baby,  dealt with a daughter’s health issues, finished a book and moved) still, even with all my excuses this is long overdue.

Kristyn Crow’s website. Check out her other books Cool Daddy Rat, The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare and more.

Macky Pamintuan’s website. Macky illustrated Bedtime at the Swamp and he did  illustrations for Flat Stanley as well as Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew.

David Catrow’s website. David illustrated The Middle Child Blues and also  Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon and lots of other fantastic books.

Giveaway details

More then one entry possible. If you enter more then once you can leave one comment telling us everything you did to enter.

1. Make a comment about your favorite bedtime story.

2. Tweet about our giveaway and leave a comment to tell us.

3. Like our Facebook page and leave us a comment to tell us.

4. Post our giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment to tell us.

Bookscoop’s giveaway is limited to the continental United States only. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified shortly after the close of the giveaway. The giveaway will close at midnight, MST, Saturday, January 19, 2013. First person chosen will win Bedtime at the Swamp. Second person will win The Middle Child Blues. We will make reasonable attempts to contact the winner, however if the winner cannot be contacted we reserve the right to randomly choose another winner.

Posted in Giveaways, Picture Books | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Poopendous! by Artie Bennett

Posted by hollybookscoops on September 10, 2012

I have to admit I was excited to get this book to review courtesy of Author Artie Bennett. I know it sounds rather odd that a book like this would excite me so much. But not really, when you consider that I am the mother to four boys. We once spent a whole dinner discussing the finer points of passing gas- yes, everyone- well actually, everything that has a digestive tract does this (we had to do our research after we came to a draw). Your possible next book idea Mr. Bennett?

After reading other reviews, I was prepared for much laughter and hilarity. I was not prepared, however, for what we actually got. My two year old has a new bible. Poopendous is his potty training, all about poop bible. He holds this book and studies it like it is the be all-end all book about poop. I only wish it had a picture of a kid actually sitting on the potty instead of running for the bathroom door in desperation. He knows now that pooping is normal (I’m not sure he was wondering, but just in case) and that there are many different animals that do it in many different places. So, he’s decided he is a puppy and needs to poop like a puppy outside. He ran outside with no pants on just yesterday in a serious attempt to prove to me that he is in charge of where he goes to the bathroom. All the characters in his ‘bible’ poop in different places, so why should he be restricted to the toilet?  I just hope he doesn’t take any cues from the monkey in the book, “Monkeys fling when ender stress it helps the monkey decompress.” Over all though it has encouraged him to make all kinds of poops in his potty. Thank goodness!

A big thumbs up goes to this book about the finer facts of Professor Pip Poopdeck’s favorite subject. And just so you know there was no laughter, just quiet internalizing and digesting of these exhaustive facts. By all four of my boys. I was rather surprised. The other children who have been in our home and looked at this book have all gotten a silly grin on their faces. There’s just something special about a whole book devoted to poop- and in rhyme no less. It deserves our utmost respect and hallowed devotion. Kudos to Mr. Bennett and thanks again for the book!

Posted in Books for teaching Math and Science, Picture Books | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B Robert and Shirin Adl

Posted by hollybookscoops on June 25, 2012

This is a sweet book written in verse about the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. I first learned about Ramadan from one of my neighbors in Forest Grove, Oregon back in 2001. I believe my neighbor was pregnant at the time, and the idea of fasting from dawn to dusk was astonishing to me. Iman (my beautiful neighbor) was cheerful about it though. I wish I had this book back then to help me understand all that was celebrated and looked forward to with henna patterns on hands, Eid day and an increased focus on charity, sharing, praying and giving.

Ramadan Moon is a rich and comprehensive picture book that reaches out to share some of the treasured beliefs of Muslim families everywhere. I love the collage enhancements on the illustrations. Well done!

Posted in Picture Books, Poetry | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Posted by hollybookscoops on April 16, 2012

We are all about fresh starts, here in America. Fresh starts have been forced upon many families as a result of the real estate crash, massive job-losses, or even after the loss of loved ones whether from divorce, death or any number of unfortunate circumstances.  The House on Dirty-Third Street is a glimpse into the resiliency of the human spirit. Gonzalez’s illustrations gradually fill with more and more color as life gets better and better for a struggling little family starting over. There is a truth to the fact that the help they receive comes after the Mother and her daughter first reach out to help their neighbors, and then are humble enough to ask for help at the corner church on Sunday. Soon, their yard and home are filled with people giving service, reaching out to lift their neighbors. It reminded me of the times when communities would gather for barn raisings and accomplish something in a brief amount of time that would be almost impossible to achieve independently.

Magic is real. You can see it all around you in the wonderful acts of kindness that go on in our schools, neighborhoods and churches. Ugly things can be transformed, communities can be changed. Life does get better. We create a wonderful synchronicity when we come together for a worthwhile cause. Kittinger’s nameless character expected starting over would bring adventure and possibly buried treasure. In her journey of beginning again, she really does find treasure- the treasure of a changing and caring community!

Posted in Picture Books, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

What Do Illustrators Do? written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow

Posted by hollybookscoops on April 2, 2012

I have a child who wants to be an illustrator when he grows up. I used to dream of that when I was younger myself. So, when I saw this book at the library I thought it would be the perfect thing for both of us. I really liked it. I loved seeing the whole process. Some of my favorite visits with author/illustrators have been learning about the development of pictures to final products. Creativity is such a variable thing for everyone. The book, in summary is about two different illustrators each illustrating the same story. It shows how an illustrator designs a character, chooses which perspective to illustrate each scene from, and what tools they use to create their illustrations. Each person comes up with a completely different version of the same book.

I highly recommend this for anyone interested in illustration, young or old. It’s full of great pointers and practical advice. Even my five year old could use some of these pointers, even though he’s not the one interested in illustration. He was in tears today over his homework- he had to draw a picture of his favorite television show, which is Wild Kratts. He was very unhappy with his picture. It wasn’t perfect- the hair, in his distraught opinion looked like birthday candles on a cake instead of spikes. I did try to tell him that even professionals make sketches and mess up a lot and start over. He didn’t want to believe me. They could mess up, but he wanted to be perfect. Without practice. Hmm. That would be kind of nice. I’d sign up for that ability any day.

But, since that’s not likely to happen, I decided to take an illustration class this summer from Julie Oleson. I’m a little nervous. I want to be perfect too. Even though I know I’m not and I will never improve if I throw fits and whine about how I’m not as good as I would like to be. I’m taking the plunge. I signed up for the class. There are no refunds. Wish me luck!

Do you have a life-long dream that you’ve thought about pursuing? Maybe you want to be a writer, or an illustrator, or a dancer? Take some lessons, sign up for a class! You’ll never get there if you don’t start down the path no matter how scary it may be.

Posted in Non-Fiction, Picture Books | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill illustrated by Russell Ayto

Posted by hollybookscoops on March 27, 2012

This book is hilarious. I just have to say it. Marjorie is a cow who can’t seem to measure up to the amazing cows she sees all around her. Those cows can do handstands and ride bikes. Crazy cows! So, the chickens- mother hens that they are, hatch a plan to boost Marjorie’s self esteem. It’s so funny to see the other cows get jealous of how cool Marjorie is that she could actually have laid an egg. But the real test comes when it’s time for that egg to hatch. What will come out of that egg? It can’t possibly be a cow, can it? You’ll have to read to find out the funny twist at the end. My kids gave this book raving reviews and we all read it over and over. I think you’ll love it too.

Posted in Picture Books | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Prince’s New Pet by Brian Anderson

Posted by hollybookscoops on March 25, 2012

I love graphic novels. I love picture books. This is not a graphic novel, but it appears to be a magical creative blend of graphic/comic/picture book. It reminds me of a comic in picture book form. Fitting, since the author and brilliant illustrator, Brian Anderson is also the comic artist for Dog Eat Doug. My third grader just finished reading two of the Lemony Snicket books and this brings to mind a similar dark feel- everything in Prince Viridian’s life is so dim and dull. Since his mother died and King Cerulean became depressed- the color has just gone out of life.  The color catcher is an evil being that nightmares are made out of, and he’s done his job so well, that there is no color at all. Until the prince gets a special present.

I think this book has a myriad of applications to life. It may have a place in child psychology as an opener to discussions about feelings of sadness and depression. It can be the basis for in-depth discussions with your own children- whether at home or in a classroom. It’s interesting how much literature gets picked apart to discover hidden meanings, an author’s agenda, or that sort of thing. I wonder if Anderson had anything particular in mind or not? Sometimes the story just comes and you go with it and think about hidden meanings later.

I highly recommend The Prince’s New Pet. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever felt like the color has gone out of life? How do you get the color back in if it’s left? It’s an interesting question to pose to children and adults alike.

Posted in Picture Books, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Astro the Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Posted by hollybookscoops on February 24, 2012

Winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award!

Sea Lions are adorable, and Astro is the perfect poster boy for his species- Steller Sea Lions. Many, if not all of us love stories about chubby round baby animals, and little Astro will pull on anyone’s heart strings. Here’s a quick summary: Poor Astro is found as a baby without his mother, and after being cared for by The Marine Mammal Center in California, he is returned to the ocean. But, Astro is not happy to be kicked out of his comfort zone! Having imprinted on humans rather than Sea Lions, Astro works hard to make his preferences for human society known by traveling over 27 miles to reach the people that he loves again. And again. So, while he would be the perfect poster child for Sea Lions, I’m sure Astro would probably illustrate himself as a human poster boy, if his little flippers could hold a pencil, anyway. And if that happened, Jeanne would have a whole other kind of picture book to write.

Jeanne’s debut as a Picture Book Author is well-done. She has some definite teaching skills, which Sylvan Dell has definitely taken proper advantage of. And illustrator Shennen Bersani’s pictures leave me wishing for a vacation to the coast right now.  It’s amazing how realistic her illustrations are done- especially when you know that she uses colored pencils, crayons and paint. I’m impressed!

A Great Classroom Tool:

This would be a great book for a classroom unit on Math or Science, among many other options. Another big plus for teachers, educators, and even families is the additional online resources and support at www.SylvanDellPulishing.com. Astro now makes his home in Mystic, Connecticut- so if you have any plans to head that direction, you should go visit him and definitely pack this along as a souvenir. I think this would be a fun addition to a family trip to any coastal retreat or aquarium. But, then again, I’m all about reading. Add it on to anything, and it’s a great addition!


*Note: I received a review copy of Astro the Steller Sea Lion courtesy of the author Jeanne Walker Harvey. Thanks, Jeanne, for the opportunity to review your adorable book!

Posted in Books for teaching Math and Science, Picture Books, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

A Few Things on My Summer Reading List…

Posted by hollybookscoops on July 20, 2011

 

It’s been a very busy summer, as I’m sure you all agree. Cari and I spent our first full week of summer vacation at the WIFYR 2011 Writer’s conference (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers). Boy did we come home changed! Cari took the YA novel class by Emily Wing Smith and I (Holly) took the Picture Book class by Kristyn Crow. I think my inner creator grew three sizes. At least! So, due to opportunities to submit manuscripts and all the entailing writing and revising, things here at Bookscoops have slowed down. I know, you thought they were already slow. It’s probably a little more honest to say they practically came to a standstill. Sorry about that!

I thought that I would make a quick list of some of the books that I have read and enjoyed this summer. I know, I know. How can I have time for reading, if I have no time for blogging? The key to reading even when you’re busy is having a book every place you might have a moment to read. Even with four kids, there is always a moment to read. Like, that 3 minute time slot when everyone is taking forever to buckle their seatbelt… don’t get mad, read! They’ll get the point eventually, and even if they don’t, you’ll get more reading time :) So, without further ado, here is the list:

Hitch by Jeanette Ingold: I actually re-read this book on accident. Apparently, I had no memory of the original first two chapters. Or the cover. But I did, all of a sudden, have one of those Ah Hah! moments, and it all came rushing back. Despite my questionable memory, I did love this book the first time, and the second time. So, since it was worth the re-read to me, it’s definitely worth a look for you. Did you know that during the Great Depression there was a government funded program that paid young men to work? Most of these young men worked on National Parks and agricultural projects. It was amazing. What a concept- provide jobs, and improve our country, all at the same time. I’m a little curious to know why no one has thought of this during our current recession. I have read multiple times in the news about how difficult it is for young people to get jobs these days. Perhaps we are not yet desperate enough to do this kind of back breaking labor.

Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller: How many of you have ever thought of the Helen Keller story from the teacher’s perspective? I loved this peak into the life of Annie Sullivan. Amazing, and profound. I can’t believe what she rose above to become Helen Keller’s key to life. Annie and her brother spent time sleeping in the corpse room at a sanatorium after their mother dies and their drunk father abandons them to relative who can’t handle their handicaps or Annie’s spunky attitudes. Defnitely a must-read.

Dark Fire and Fire World by Chris D’Lacey: Books 5&6  in his Dragon series. My soon-to-be 5th grader and I have been fighting over these all summer. I steal the book from him after he goes to sleep and he steals it from me in the morning. All the time in between is a free-for-all. When his friends are over or he’s at swimming lessons, it’s my turn. I just finished Fire World last night. Anyone interested in dragons and who likes fantasy will find these books a fun escape from reality. If you are, or have, a voracious reader that needs something new to read, this series will keep you busy for a good amount of time as each one is three inches thick.  Fire World was quite different than I expected, there definitely will be at least one more book to come. It’s been fun tag-teaming the series with my son, I look forward to the next one- actually, we both do!

Picture Books

The Three Little Gators by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Will Terry: This is a fun remake of the three little pigs, with gators and a big bottom boar. The author and illustrator are the same as the fun fractured tale of the Little Red Hen: Armadilly Chili (loved this one too!)

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis: a husband and wife team. I was tipped off to this book by a friend I met at the WIFYR conference (Thanks Christy!). It’s a fun book about compromise and friendship- the text is honestly a little long for my taste, but the pictures are adorable.

Mudkin by Stephen Gammell: A rolicking tale of fun in the mud, imagination… you get the drift. Perfect for my kids who turned our backyard dirt pile into a mud slide. What’s amazing about this is that there are only around 55 words! The rest is all illustration. Sometimes I wish I had more experience with illustration. I would love to be like Stephen Gammell and be able to tell stories through my art as well as my words. Maybe someday…

My Cat, The Silliest Cat in the World by Gilles Bachelet: Take a look at the cover. No, that is not an elephant, it’s a cat. Really. I’m not kidding. Neither is Gilles Bachelet. We loved this book, over and over and over. There’s just something inherently hilarious about a cat that’s an elephant. The twist at the end, was very satisfying. Your kids will love this book!

Fuddles by Frans Vischer: Fuddles is a spoiled, fat house-cat. Fuddles dreams of adventure, but when he experiences the real thing, he’s not so sure he dreamed the right dream anymore.

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett: Physical comedy in a picture book! An adorable chameleon changes color and shape as he tries to match the things he encounters. What he really wants is a friend- someone like him. This is another author-illustrator project, with few words, and lots of laughs.

Owls Backyard Animals by Nick Winnick: A fun non-fiction picture book full of fun information about these varied creatures of the night sky.

These aren’t all the books I’ve read- just some of them. I do read adult books too, which I don’t review here- anywhere, actually. Plus lots of books that are still in the que for special features, coming soon. I went to a few great book signings and I’ve gotten some fun review books in the mail. Stay tuned for more fun reads!

Posted in Books for teaching history, Books for teaching Math and Science, Children's Literature, Fantasy, News, Non-Fiction, Picture Books, Uncategorized, Young Adult Fiction | 3 Comments »

 
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