Children's Book Specials

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Flap Your Wings" Review

Author: P.D. Eastman
Publisher: Beginner Books a Division of Random House
Copyright: 1969, 1977, 2000
ISBN: 0-375-80243-6
Accelerated Reader Book, reading level 2.0

With simple, bright illustrations, this colorful book is easy for a young child to follow.  Not too busy or overstimulating. I love the expressions on the little birds faces throughout the book and especially love Mrs. Bird's red scarf.   

The story starts out with a boy walking down a path near several different types of animals.  He finds an egg.  He sees an empty nest.  He decides the egg must have come from that nest and places the egg there.  When Mr. and Mrs. Bird come home she notices the egg. "That's not our egg," says Mrs. Bird. "Look how big it is!" I love what Mr. Bird has to say about that....."But it is an egg.  It's in our nest, " said Mr. Bird.  "If an egg is in your nest, you sit on it and keep it warm.  It doesn't matter whose egg it is."  As the story goes on, Mr. and Mrs. Bird keep this egg warm until it hatches and then raise "Junior" as their own.  They feed and feed and feed and feed "Junior".  Until finally "Junior" has grown so large he must be taught to "fly" and "flap his wings" for he is too large to stay in the nest.  

My son, 4 1/2 yrs, enjoyed this book.  He understood the humor and the mistake of the wrong egg being in their nest.  He really thought it was funny when we found out what was inside of the egg.  My 3 yr old daughter seems to understand how sweet it is that Mr. and Mrs. Bird take care of the creature that hatches from the egg.  The message of acceptance and love in this story, along with the humor has kept me reading it over and over to my children.  

This is also a good companion book to be read along with Guji, Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen.  Guji, Guji is a very similar story.  At home we read the two together and then compared them.  

On a scale of 1-10, I will give this one an 8.  This sweet little story is sure to become a favorite.  If you notice the copyright (1969), this book has been around for a long time, so it must have been a favorite to many over the years.  I wonder if I heard this story as a child?  

Do you have any favorites from your childhood?  

Review by Christy F. @ PrincessPinkk's Ponderings. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Author: Jerry Pallotta

November 2009

I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Pallotta a year ago when he visited Roanoke, VA for the VEMA (Virginia Educational Media Association) Conference and a visit to the elementary school where I work.  He is such a nice man!  That is such a simple way to say it, but it simply is true. He did several presentations with different age groups (with student involvement, the children were very engaged), sold books and even autographed them. He was kind, funny, attentive and is full of neat ideas....his books are really fun! 

He tends to write more nonfiction, but has done several fiction books, as well.  He is well known for his alphabet books.  His alphabet books include many interesting details.  He spends a lot of time researching for these books.  He even collaborated with many other popular childrens book authors and illustrators in the book Guys Write for Guys Read

The children and teachers at my school really enjoy his math books, such as Hershey's Milk Chocolate Weights and Measures, Twizzler's Shapes & Patterns and The Crayon Counting Book (and there are many more!) Some of the books that we have at my house that my own children enjoy are The Construction Alphabet Book, The Butterfly Alphabet Book and Who Will Help Santa This Year?

 I would recommend reading his books....all of them!  And I would also recommend him as a visitor to your conference, school or library.

Do you have a favorite Jerry Pallotta book?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Brown Eyed Girl

(about a week before she was born)

My Brown Eyed Girl

Three years ago today, it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday.  I woke up, felt a bit strange, but not too bad.  Went on over to my Mom's house for my normal Saturday routine.....eating breakfast with them and then cleaning their house.  I had my boys with me, Joey and Jake.  I kept having contractions, but thought they might have been Braxton Hicks.  As the morning progressed, they became stronger.  But, I was in no rush to get to the hospital, so I just kept cleaning and every so often would have to stop, bend over and breathe....then I just cleaned some more.  Finally, I decided I should be heading home.  I left my little Jake (age 21 months) with Mimi and Gramps.  And I asked Joey (age 15) to drive me home.  I had never let him drive me anywhere up until that point....he had his learners permit.  He was pretty excited that I let him drive.  I called my doula, Autumn, before leaving Mom's and asked her to meet me at the house.  (A doula is a birth assistant.) She seemed to think I was still doing pretty good.  I remember having to stop and get gas for the car....seemed like it took forever.  Got home, rushed around to pack my bag and gather baby things.  Autumn arrived, Lee was ready to go!  He was afraid I'd have the baby at home!! (I would have loved a home birth.)  I wanted to go upstairs and take pictures....I have beautiful pictures of me from the day I gave birth to my son.  Unfortunately, I couldn't handle the contractions too well at this point, so no pictures.  Autumn tried to check and see how dilated I was, but she couldn't tell....I thought she just didn't want to tell me that I was like a 3 or 4.  When we arrived at the hospital and they had me in triage, the nurse yelled for the doctor to come check me.....she said I "sounded like a 7".  I was actually at 8 cms!!  woohoo!  I was sooooo excited.  But, when I had Jake I was a 7 when I arrived and didn't have him for 5 hours.  So I was thinking I still had awhile.  Well, things began to move pretty quickly, they got me to a room and before you knew it....we became proud parents of our beautiful Julz Alaina.  Total time at the hospital until she arrived: 20 mins!!  Awesome delivery!  2/23/08 @ 3:36pm, 7lbs12oz. Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet girl.  

February 23, 2008

With big bro, Joey.  February 23, 2008

Giving sis her first present. February 23, 2008

I love this pic!!  February 25, 2008

Julz is a beautiful little girl with big brown eyes and light brown hair.  She loves all things dolls, Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, etc.....but, she also enjoys playing cars, trucks, trains, monsters, etc.....she does have brothers!  She makes me smile every day.  She loves to color.  She can fold laundry almost as good as me.  She is potty trained!!  She loves us all, and has the best giggle in the world when we tickle her.  She likes zebras and pigs.  She is a people pleaser.....except when she is being Miss Independent and trying to get her way!  She does have a bit of a stubborn streak at times! 

~{{She makes our family complete.}}~

December 2010

My big 3 yr old!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

"How to Make a Night" Review

Author: Linda Ashman
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Publisher: South China Printing Co. Ltd.
Copyright: 2004
ISBN: 0-06-029032-3
Summary: "After a hectic day, it is time to bring on the night so that a child and her family can finally rest."
Accelerated Reader Book, reading level 1.5

I chose to review this book since it has such an interesting cover and title.  How to Make a Night.....hmmmm how do you make a night?  use your imagination.  

This story is written in rhyme, which I really like.  Rhyming books are fun to read out loud and keep the attention of little ones.  In this story you get a detailed account of this family's day....everything seems to be going wrong.  So it comes to a point where the little girl makes the night and puts away the day.  Where would you put the sun if you had to put it away for the night?  my little boy loves seeing the illustration of the hiding place.  

"Time to settle down!
 Time to clean the mess!
 Time to bring the night around
 So everyone can rest."

The art in this book is has a bold, messy look.  Lots of color, very busy.  Collage style using paint, fabric, markers and cut outs of real items.  One page showing the planets uses a globe, golf ball, lemon, artichoke, etc.

My son, 4 1/2 yrs,  likes this book, as I stated above he thinks it's funny what happens to the sun at night.  The children at my school seem to enjoy this book as well, it circulates a lot.

On a scale of 1-10, I will give this one an 8.  It is a visually interesting book, with a nice rhyming text and a quirky little story.

Review by Christy F. @ PrincessPinkk's Ponderings. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

"The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum" Review

Author: Kate Bernheimer
Illustrator: Nicoletta Ceccoli
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, New York
Copyright: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-83606-0
Summary: "Children come to visit a little girl who lives alone inside a castle, 
which is housed inside of a museum."
Illustrations are rendered in acrylic paint, clay models, photography and digital media.
Accelerated Reader Book, reading level 2.8

You know the saying, "don't judge a book by it's cover"?  Well, I do try to heed this most of the time, but there are just times where I am drawn to a book just by what I see on the cover.  This happens to be one of those books.  The cover just drew me in with the solemn looking faces on the front, the girl in the tower, the colors, the font used for the title.  

I truly delighted in the illustrations of this book  Just very unusual, soft, whimsical and full of movement. The girl in the castle, her hair appears to be blowing in the wind.  There are funny little creatures hanging from the ceiling and flying about the castle.  Buttons, balls, dice speckled here and there throughout the book.

The story is magical, imaginative and reads well. "There is even a tower, the girl's favorite place.  Inside that tower she sits.  And inside that tower, at night she dreams.  What does she dream of, the girl in the castle inside the museum?" How would you like to live in a castle? {forever} how would you feel,  maybe lonely sometimes?  the little girl in the castle feels lonely, but at the end of the book she has figured out a way to not be so lonely anymore. 

I have checked this book out from the library a couple of times to read to my kids.  My son, 4 1/2 yrs, really likes this book.  I asked him why he likes it, and he said, "because it's really pretty", I think there are other reasons that he just didn't voice so well. My 3 yr old daughter enjoys the book as well.

On a scale of 1-10, I will give this one a 10.  I enjoyed the easy to read story and I think it would be a good jumping off point for an imaginative conversation with a child.  

Review by Christy F. @ PrincessPinkk's Ponderings. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love for Books

Anyone that knows me, even barely knows me....probably knows that I love books!! 

I especially love children's books.  I am a library assistant in an elementary school, where I have worked for nine years.  I handle hundreds of books in my hands every day.  Thousands a week.  Just since September, approximately 13,000 books have circulated in the library.

I, also, have over 500 children's books in my home. (to my husband's dismay!)

Because of my love for books, I would like to share some book reviews with you on occasion.  I thought initially I should pick some of my favorite books to review....but how do I narrow that down?  I can't.  Just can't.  I like tooooooo many!  So, I decided that the way I would go about doing this is to randomly pick a book as it comes across my desk in my daily work that interests me.  No real rhyme or reason, just something that appeals to me.  And I will, also, let you know what my children think about the books and even the school kids, too.  (I will refrain from reading other reviews of the book before I write mine, so as not to cloud my view of the book.)

Stay tuned:  soon I will be posting a review of the book The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Babies, Old and Ugly"

I went out the other night with some girlfriends to have a few drinks and listen to a band. (First girls night out in Forever!!) Three of us are married/in relationships.  One wasn't.  So she was "looking".  She pointed out to me that there aren't many options in our age group (35-40).  She asked me to look around the packed room and tell her what I saw....I looked....wasn't sure what her point was.  So, I asked her what she saw and her answer was, "Babies, old men and ugly men", (babies=college boys).  Lol, she did have a point.  There were some cute guys....too young.  Older and unattractive men.  Honestly, not many "lookers"/"eye candy" in our age range.  I. Am. So. Glad. I'm. Not. LOOKING!!  I know that looks certainly aren't everything.  But, when you are looking, there needs to be some physical attraction.  Again, let me restate how happy I am....that....I'm....NOT....Looking!!!  Of course, no lie, I did really enjoy helping her look.  It was fun to say, "hey what about that one?", "how about him?", etc., but I love my man.  And I wouldn't trade him for the world.  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

High Standards

Really proud of my son, Joey, for posting this on his blog.  For a young man, he really has high morals and is a good Christian.  Please take a minute and read his newest blog entry.  It is referring to a song he listened to, Gym Class Heroes/Faces in the Hall.  At this time I haven't had a chance to listen to the song, but he explains the lyrics well and what the song meant to him.

Here is Joey's

Any opinions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sibling Love....For. Ever. More!

(my photo)

How long will it last?  

My kids are so freakin' adorable *sometimes*, lol!  

But, really, they truly love each other.  

It just melts my heart sometimes the sweet things that I see them do for each other or the things they say to each other.

We really encourage this love in our home.  We talk about how we are a team and that we are supposed to love and take care of each other.  

Oh yes!!!  we do have the "he hit me", "she bit me" moments, but they are also the first to jump up and defend the other.

The other day, our 4 1/2 year old had gotten in trouble.  On the way home from daycare Mommy & Daddy were fussing at him for his behavior.  Our daughter, who is almost three says, "Don't you be mean to my Jake for. ever. more!!!" (not "forever", but she said each word separate)

Love them!!

What do you do to encourage sibling love?

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