Kid Lit

Picture Books At The Library: Christmas Edition

Here’s some great Christmas picture book recommendations from Frog On a Blog!

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Below are a few I've cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.) In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a 🙂 to my favorites. Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

I love Christmas, so I am super excited to share a sleighful of wonderful Christmas picture books, newly available At The Library!

🙂 What can a small angel give a most important baby? A Christmas story about the greatest gift of all.

Anticipating he will be eaten, a gingerbread boy cookie nervously awaits Santa’s arrival. When rough-housing puppies threaten Christmas morning joy, the cookie comes to the rescue, earning the Night Watchman job at the North Pole.

🙂 Sidekick Chick’s new mission for his best friend-and hero-Pug, who would rather sleep, involves dressing…

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Picture Book Pass it On

Picture Book Pass it On

picturebookpassiton

Picture Book Pass it On is a literacy initiative that encourages folks to donate new or gently used picture books to children. Picture Book Pass it On was founded by Michelle Eastman in November 2014. Michelle is a teacher and a mom who is passionate about children’s literacy and the power of picture books.

Picture Book Pass it On 3 calls to action:

#1 Post a “shout-out” to celebrate your favorite picture book. It can be anything from posting a selfie of you and your fave picture book kickin’ it, to tweeting a line from one of your favorite characters or scenes, or post a picture or video of you reading a favorite picture book with a child, pet, or loved one. Or blog about a favorite picture book memory from your childhood.

#2 Pledge to donate a copy of your favorite picture book to a local children’s charity or cause (domestic violence women’s shelter, prison waiting room where children wait to visit an incarcerated parent, a struggling school, etc.)

#3 Pass it on. Help spread the word about Picture Book Pass it On (#PBPiO). Encourage others to accept the 3 calls to action, and pass it on.

Visit Michelle’s blog for the full story behind Picture Book Pass it On. There is also a Picture Book Pass it On Facebook page.

I interned at Womenspace to complete my second major in women’s and gender studies at the University of Oregon. Working at a women’s and children’s shelter was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I spent a lot of time playing basketball with the children, helping them with homework, and reading to them. I also organized the donations we received so I know first hand how important they are! When I learned about Picture Book Pass it On, I immediately thought about children at shelters and decided my first donation would be to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance in my hometown Boise, Idaho.

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One of my favorite things about being a children’s author is participating in readings and book signings. I always bring coloring sheets to color with the children and give away balloons and bookmarks. I love to see their eyes light up with joy for reading. Kiddos love books and this is the perfect time of year to give to those in need. It felt absolutely wonderful to donate signed copies of my first picture book, Mama’s Purse, to help make the holiday season a little brighter for children in my community.

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I encourage you to get involved with Picture Book Pass it On. Give the gift of reading and help make a difference in the lives of children in your community. Michelle Eastman says it best, “Never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book!”

Kid Lit

Reading Teaches Children About the World

Mama's Purse Bookmark

Reading teaches children about the world. Reading encourages children to use their imaginations. Reading leads to meaningful conversations with children.

Reading is awesome.

November is Picture Book Month so I’ve been reading a ton of picture books with my children. November is also Picture Book Idea Month so I’ve been working hard to come up with some spectacular picture book ideas. I also discovered the We Need Diverse Books campaign, which I feel is extremely important.

Our family always reads a lot of books, but this month I have made an extra effort to discuss the books with my children. I have also tried to include a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction books because we definitely read more fiction than nonfiction. We have had some pretty inspiring and fascinating conversations after story time.

These are some of the children’s books my family has read this month:

A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead by Nancy Luenn * illustrated by Robert Chapman

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Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen * illustrated by Kadir Nelson   

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Bridget’s Beret by Tom Lichtenheld

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Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson * illustrated by R.G. Roth

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Courage by Bernard Waber

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Dinosaur Farm by Frann Preston-Gannon

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Food Trucks! by Mark Todd

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Frederick by Leo Lionni

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Frida by Jonah Winter * illustrated by Ana Juan

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Goyangi Means Cat by Christine McDonnell * illustrated by Steve Johnson

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Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine * illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid

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I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont * illustrated by David Catrow

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Just the Two of Us by Will Smith * illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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King & King   by Linda De Haan * illustrated by Stern Nijland

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Little Cloud by Eric Carle

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My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

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My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits * illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

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Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson

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Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

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The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

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The Boy Without a Name by Idries Shah * illustrated by Mona Caron

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The Heart and the Bottle  by Oliver Jeffers

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The Hula Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin * illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

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The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

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The Lion and the Mouse by Jenny Broom * illustrated by Nahta Noj

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The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson * illustrated by E. B. Lewis

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The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy * illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

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The Recess Queen by Alexis O’neill * illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

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Thomas and the Shooting Star by W. Awdry * illustrated by Tommy Stubbs

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Thumb Love by Elise Primavera

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Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells

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Use your mighty imagination!

Mama's Purse Poster

  • What children’s books have you read this month?

 

  • Do you read fiction and nonfiction children’s books?

 

  • Which diverse titles do you recommend?

 

  • What techniques do you use to encourage children to discuss books?

 

Writing

Juke Box Hero

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This is my first year participating in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). PiBoIdMo is a writing challenge that encourages picture book writers to develop 30 picture book ideas in 30 days.

My son, Mason, and my daughter, Sophie Ann, inspire me every day. What they say and do keep my writing flame burning bright.

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  • PiBoIdMo Day 1: I completed my first PiBoIdMo idea with ease and worked side-by-side with my six-year old son on some art projects.

This is what I created.

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Mason made this.

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I think it’s pretty clear he is the artist in our family! My favorite part about this project was his explanation of his color choices. “Brown is boring, Mom. Red is my favorite color.” He also let his little sister design the roof :).

Tiny moments in our days have triggered some pretty surprising and fun picture book ideas. Sometimes all it takes is a car ride with music playing on the radio to spark a new idea. I never would have imagined a song by Foreigner would lead to a manuscript idea.

  • PiBoIdMo Day 2: Mason sang “Juke Box Hero” with such gusto, but the best part was his version of the lyrics. Boom. PiBoIdMo idea #2 was born.

My friend keeps a journal of all the funny things his daughters say. I think I am going to start doing this as well. Mason and Sophie have certainly said some hilarious things that I wish I would have written down. Oh! I just thought of one! Mason passed gas at the dinner table one night. “Excuse me,” he said, “my butt is making music.” I don’t think I will turn that one into a picture book, but it still makes me chuckle.

On a sweeter note, he put his head to my chest one time and said, “I can hear your heart, Mom. It’s pumping love.”

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Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

Welcome to Children’s Book Week ~ Kid Lit Giveaway Hop! May 12-18

CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINAL

Are you a children’s book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book? Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen’s books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week?

Children's Book Week 2014 poster

I am very excited to participate in the Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. Children’s Book Week is a great opportunity to celebrate children’s literature and to encourage children to develop a lifelong love for books. So join in the fun and enter to win some really great books! AJ’s Children’s Books is giving away one middle grade novel AND one picture book of your choice.

Middle grade choices:

Gooney Bird and All Her Charms
Gooney Bird and All Her Charms

“It’s March!” Mrs. Pidgeon said as she wrote the day’s date on the chalkboard. “In like a lion, out like a lamb!”

The morning bell has rung at Watertower Elementary School, and it’s time for Mrs. Pidgeon’s class to turn to page 52 in their science books to learn about one of the most spectacular scientific subjects of all—the human body! As usual, Gooney Bird has a special plan to make learning more fun. But what on earth is in that scary-looking box that her uncle, Dr. Oglethorpe, has brought to the second grade? And what does it have to do with the charms on Gooney’s jingling silver bracelet? It looks as if another special story is in the works!

Poached by Stuart Gibbs
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Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery—this time it’s a koala caper—in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.”

School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry.

Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit.

Teddy didn’t commit the crime—but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper.

The Dragon in the Library by Kate Klimo
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Dragon keepers Jesse and Daisy need help!

Emmy, their rapidly growing dragon, has become a real grouch, saying she’s missing “something,” and the cousins don’t have a clue what that something is. Jesse and Daisy go online to ask Professor Andersson, their favorite dragon expert, for help and end up seeing him being kidnapped!

The kidnapper is none other than Sadie Huffington, the girlfriend of their enemy, St. George the Dragon Slayer. She has hatched a wicked scheme to use the professor to both find St. George and capture Emmy. Now the dragon keepers and their dragon must storm Sadie’s castle and rescue the professor from the witch and her pack of vicious dog-men!

In this third fantasy book in the Dragon Keepers series, Kate Klimo introduces readers to a magical library filled with shelf elves and reveals the secrets of the gigantic red book that Jesse and Daisy discovered in The Dragon in the Sock Drawer. She keeps the action and adventure flying while bringing both heart and imagination to this tale of two kids and a dragon, growing up together.

The Dragon Keepers series is perfect for kids who crave books about dragons and magic but are caught betwixt and between—too old for Magic Tree House and not yet ready for Eragon and the Inheritance cycle.

Picture book choices:

Then the Twins Came by Sharon Rose Anderson
Then the Twins Came
THEN THE TWINS CAME is based on the heartwarming true story of a dog’s unwillingness to share her human Mom with the new twins born to the family. Ruby shares her canine perspective on the interruption in her family dynamics. Will Ruby learn to share? To find out, read this book by Sharon Rose Anderson and illustrated by Natalie Beus.

The Christmas Tin by Sheila Eismann and Ali F. Putz
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The Christmas Tin is a most delightful read for the young at heart anytime during the year! This endearing book is based upon a true story featuring the older of the two authors when she was a young girl and conveys the timeless message that “love truly is the best gift of all.” Children will especially enjoy all of the colorful illustrations contained within this treasure!

Mama’s Purse by AJ Irving
Mama's Purse cover on Hyde Park online store
WHAT’S IN MY MAMA’S PURSE? Much more than bandages and bananas! You won’t believe your eyes because so much fun hides in my mama’s purse. From a yellow moose and a caboose made of juice to a trout and numbers to count, Mama’s purse is full of super silly surprises. You’ll never guess what zooms out next!

Mama’s Purse has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom’s Choice Awards® Other awards include: Top 10 Idaho Author, Top 5 Idaho book, and 1st Place Best Children’s Book at the Top Idaho Author and Book Awards, Best Picture Book 5 & Younger and Best Cover Design awarded by the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.

Enter the giveaway!

Make a comment on this blog post for the middle grade novel AND picture book you would like to win. Then, click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

More prizes . . .

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop!
Click here to view the complete list of participating bloggers and authors…

 

Writing

Picture Book Dummy, Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Editorial Anonymous provided a great explanation of basic picture book construction a few months ago.

At that time, I skimmed the info. Today, I’m studying it.

Why? An editor asked me to make page breaks on my current manuscript. And know what? I had more page breaks than a 32-page picture book would allow! Whoops. I knew that my manuscript had to fall within the 500- to 800-word length, but I had neglected to pay attention to logical page breaks.

The editor said, “Page turns can make or break a book, and it can be helpful to an editor to see how you envision the text.”

In a 32-page picture book, you don’t actually have 32 pages for your story. You only have 24 pages since 8 are used for the book ends, copyright and title. And 24 pages translates to 12 spreads (an illustration that spans the two opened pages…

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Kid Lit

Top 10 Things Picture Books Taught Me by Beth Shaum

Nerdy Book Club

What “counts” as reading? Well it turns out that lots of people have an opinion on that question, or more accurately, what doesn’t count as reading. Here’s what I’ve been told doesn’t count as reading, either explicitly or implicitly:

  • Picture books
  • Audiobooks
  • Graphic novels
  • YA lit
  • Choice reading in class
  • Anything other than the canon of old, dead white guys
  • Anything a kid might actually enjoy

As recently as just a couple weeks ago, I was celebrating the number of books I’d read in 2013 and someone told me that picture books don’t “count” as books. I probably shouldn’t have been so indignant about such a statement since only a few years ago, I felt the same way. But thanks to this wonderful community of readers known as Nerdy Book Club, I have since seen the light.

So often picture books are looked upon as a lesser form of reading…

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