Friday, April 28

15 Fun Extension Activities for The Adventures of Beekle

Welcome back to my series of posts highlighting some of my very favorite, favorite picture books and the supplementary games, songs, and activities you could use with them. This could be useful for library programs, the classroom, homeschooling, or (of course) to just have fun with your kids! You can see all my book activity ideas here. But today, I'll share ideas for...

Not only one of my favorites, but also a Caldecott winner! The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat is an awesome story with even awesome-er illustrations. It's colorful, it's bright, it inspires share lots of awesome activities. These are targetted at the book's target age group of about 4 to 7 years old. Check them out below!

1. Draw your own imaginary friend -- This one pretty much goes without saying, but this book does provide the most excellent of opportunities to exercise one's imagination. So draw a portrait of your buddy, whether he/she comes purely from your mind's eye or whether you draw some inspiration from Beekle's end pages. Giant sketchbook and pen are not necessary (but could be fun!)

Dan Santat at work, from The Horn Book

Wednesday, April 26

Feminist Baby (Review and Giveaway!)

You see the pattern now? Yeah. Like I said, lots of love to giveaway this month. With this fourth giveaway, we're going to deviate from all of these picture books that I've been giving away and cater to an even younger crowd. Yep, start 'em young with Feminist Baby, a board book from Loryn Brantz. Check out my review and then enter the giveaway for a copy of the book, a pin, and an adorable tote! (Thanks to Disney Books for sending me a copy and providing a prize pack!)

Feminist Baby
Written and illustrated by Loryn Brantz

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-1484778586
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: April 11, 2017
Age: all ages
Format: ARC from publisher

Themes: babies, rhyme, gender roles, humor

"Feminist Baby likes pink and blue.
Sometimes she'll throw up on you!
Feminist Baby chooses what to wear
and if you don't like it she doesn't care!

"Meet the irrepressible Feminist Baby in this refreshing, clever board book about a girl who's not afraid to do her own thing, and wants to make as much noise as possible along the way!"

Monday, April 24

Reviews of the Week 4/24

This week, I'm excited to share a new middle-grade book that's really unlike anything I've ever read. It's timely and well-written for our country today. So definitely give that a look-see. And the other two? Well, they're almost a given due to their fantastic authors/illustrators...

Thursday, April 20

Happy Dreamer (Review and Giveaway!)

Continuing with awesome book giveaways here on the blog, I'm lucky enough to share Peter H. Reynolds' newest book! Here's my review and don't forget: enter to win the book and a Doodle Pillowcase below! (Thank you Scholastic for sending me a copy and providing the prize pack!)

Happy Dreamer
Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0545865012
Publisher: Orchard Books
Date of publication: March 28, 2017
Age: 4 - 8 years
Format: ARC from publisher

Themes: imagination, dreaming, individuality

"While the world tells us to sit still, to follow the rules, and to color inside the lines, Happy Dreamer celebrates all those moments in between when the mind and spirit soar and we are free to become our own true dreamer maximus! This empowering picture book reminds children of how much their dreams matter, and while life will have ups and downs, readers should stay true to who they are, to tap into their most creative inner selves, and to never ever forget to dream big!"

Tuesday, April 18

Reviews of the Week 4/17: Earth Day Reads!

Earth Day is coming up! And books are a great way to celebrate, of course (books are always a great way to celebrate). I have a BUNCH of new reads that celebrate all things Earth and wanted to share three reviews here. Lot's of nonfiction/animal/earth-science love today!

Friday, April 14

Reviews of the Week 4/10

This month is full of new books to review and giveaways to share! my schedule is a little in flux. But! There's still plenty to see and get excited about. This week's picks are quite the range—a big contrast between city living and the great outdoors. 

Wednesday, April 12

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea (Review and Giveaway!)

Yes, another giveaway! I'm pleased to share a review and giveaway for quite a special book, a unique story that's perfect for your next tea party. But what's more important? In the spirit of the book's message, the author, Kate Hosford will donate $1 (up to $500) for every retweet (be sure to include @khosford_author!) of a review or interview from her blog tour to First Book. Established in 1992, First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. So pass along this review!

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea
Written by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-1467739047
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Date of publication: March 1, 2017
Age: 5 - 9 years
Format: ARC from publisher

Themes: tea, friendship, internationality, royalty, journey

"Each day when the Queen wakes up, three maids dress her, two more style her hair, and her butler James makes her tea. But when she grows dissatisfied with her brew, the Queen and James set out in search of the perfect cup. With each stop on their hot-air balloon journey, the Queen encounters new friends who expand her horizons—in the kitchen and beyond." (Check out the fun book trailer here!)

Friday, April 7

"First Stories" Board Books Review

While I may not have a regular "reviews of the week" this week, I do want to share a review of three special board books. This series has a particularly timely recent release, what with the success of Disney's new Beauty and the Beast movie...

Tuesday, April 4

Author AND Illustrator Interview: Anna Kang & Christopher Weyant (with a GIVEAWAY!)

Guess what?? I got to interview the amazing creators behind I Am (Not) Scared (which I raved about a couple weeks ago), the third book from Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant featuring the antics of two fuzzy (if contradictory) friends. Basically, this awesome husband-and-wife, author-and-illustrator team are super talented, brilliant, and hilarious. Just check out some of their responses! And, of course, stick around because, at the end, there's a HUGE giveaway to enter that includes their newest book and more!