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The Circus Ship: Book Review

Author/Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen Best for kids: who love animals and good books On the dust jacket: When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the circus animals must stagger to the shore of a small island. At first the townspeople view them with suspicion, but it’s not long before locals and… Read more »

story

Writing Your Own Book: Part 3- Revision

At our book launch party a charming little girl named Mikayla informed me that she wanted to be a children’s book author. She treated me a bit like a celebrity and wanted to know all about my journey to authorhood. The role of celebrity suited me rather well, I thought. I love kids. Especially the forward ones. Mikayla informed… Read more »

name

The Name Jar: Book Review

Author/Illustrator: Yangsook Choi Best for kids: who are learning about diversity, who ever thought about changing their own name On the dust jacket: Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead… Read more »

storks

I Took My Kids to See Storks this Week… Twice

My kids loved it, but then again, kids are easy to entertain.  Most will sit and watch the most inane drivel as long as the movie is brightly animated.  I’m looking at you, Turbo. Sometimes, especially with non-Pixar animated films, I get the feeling that the film was made just to provide Netflix content which… Read more »

green-beans

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans: Book Review

Author: David LaRochelle  Illustrator: Mark Fearing On the dust jacket: “Green beans are good for you. Green beans will make you big and strong.” Martha doesn’t believe what her parents tell her. And nothing will ever -EVER- maker her eat them.  But when some beady-eyed, boot stomping beans bust into town and start causing trouble,… Read more »

BOOKS

Writing Your Own Book- Part 2: Putting Pen to Paper

Since reading Part One, you’ve learned how to become inspired and how to hone that drive into a more focused idea.  Now it’s time to start writing something.  But what to write?  Where to start? Here are the two best pieces of advice I ever got about writing: First, write where the energy is; and… Read more »

momma

6 Ways To Be A Little Better Mom Today

My mantra this month is, “Be a little better everyday”. This is a nice healthy mantra for me because I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of a person. Either I am the president of the PTA or I don’t go at all. Either I am making a perfect meal or we are having nachos… Read more »

tadpole

Tadpole’s Promise: Book Review

Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross On the cover: Where the willow tree meets the water, a tadpole met a caterpillar. They gazed into each other’s tiny eyes… and fell in love. “I love everything about you,” said the caterpillar. “Promise you’ll never change.” And foolishly the tadpole promised… But we all know that tadpoles… Read more »

snip

Snip Snap! What’s That?: Book Review

Author: Mara Berman Illustrator: Nick Maland On the dust jacket: Snip snap! Snip Snap! Snip snap! What’s that? And what will the children do once they find out? Candy House Review: This book is a riot. I love when a book insists that you read it with gusto… this book insists! I was impressed by… Read more »

BOOKS

Writing Your Own Book- Part One: Finding Yourself as a Writer

In this six-part series titled Writing Your Own Book, I will take you through everything from: finding your genre, structuring ideas, the revision process, submitting to publishing houses, and even how to get famous once your work is published. I will be focusing on Children’s lit because I am a published author in that field… Read more »

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  • hat11

    Book Review: I Want My Hat Back

    Title: I Want My Hat Back Author/Illustrator: Jon Klassen Publisher: Candlewick Press Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who love a good joke From the dust jacket: A bear has lost his hat. What if he never sees it again? WAIT! He has seen his hat… The Review: I bumped into this book… Read more »

  • 10 Reasons to Marry a Nerd

    I firmly believe that everyone should marry a nerd. Here’s why: 1. Nerds are Loyal. Nerds do not spend their free time reading Cosmo magazine and wondering if you are hot enough…you’re hot enough.  2. Nerds are Genuine. Nerds live in the same world as us…but nerds don’t live in the same world as us. You see,… Read more »

  • princess1

    Book Review: Princess in Training

    Title: Princess in Training Author/Illustrator: Tammi Sauer/Joe Berger Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who are powerful girls. From the dust jacket: Princess Viola is great at skateboarding, karate-chopping, and splashing into the moat—but she’s lousy at the royal wave, walk and waltz. The king and queen are… Read more »

  • Dharma Frozen

    The Lost Piece of the Frozen Puzzle

    Remember last year when the news feed of every parent in the world was exploding with headlines like, “The Real Message from Frozen” and “Mind-Blowing Disney Theory”? Well, I never could have found the real message from Frozen while simultaneously discovering the most mind-blowing Disney theory if it weren’t for these bored parents showing me… Read more »

  • snaggle1

    Book Review: The Snaggle Grollop

    Title: The Snaggle Grollop Author/Illustrator: Daniel Postgate/Nick Price Publisher: Scholastic Interest level: Ages 5 to 8 Best for kids: Who have big imaginations From the dust jacket: Is it a monster? Is it make-believe? And can it make a friend? What the fiddle-fraggle is a snagglegrollop?! Don’t ask Sam! He just made it up. His… Read more »

  • flower

    Book Review: The Dandelion’s Tale

    Title: The Dandelion’s Tale Author/Illustrator: Kevin Sheehan/Rob Dunlavey Publisher: Random House Interest level: Ages 3 to 7 Best for kids: Dealing with death of a friend or family member From the dust jacket: Dandelion is no longer bight yellow, and the next gust of wind could blow her completely away. Knowing that her time is… Read more »

  • scale

    Raising Healthy Daughters

    Last month, my best friend came to me with concerns about EVERYONE calling her two year-old daughter “pretty.” Her concern was that “I feel like the world only notices her looks and is trying to place value on her outward appearance rather than her real strengths.” I can imagine people telling my friend and her daughter that they… Read more »

  • Least Likely to Succeed

    Six Easy Steps to Bully-Proof Your Child

    I wasn’t alive for all of the 80s, but I did catch about half of them.  My memory might be colored by my youth, but as far as I understand, it was a time when you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a girl named Jennifer.  There wasn’t a cheerleading squad in the country without… Read more »

  • ABC

    Book Review: 123 versus ABC

    Title: 123 versus ABC Author/Illustrator: Mike Boldt Publisher: Harper Collins Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who are learning their Numbers and Letters From the dust jacket: Welcome to this book about Numbers! Welcome to this book about Letters! Wait…WHAT?! Numbers and Letters BOTH want to be the stars of this book!… Read more »

  • DOG1

    Book Review: Dog Days of School

    Title: Dog Days of School Author/Illustrator: Kelly DiPucchio/Brian Biggs Publisher: Hyperion Books Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who complain about school From the dust jacket: Charlie thinks his dog, Norman, has got it good: he gets to spend his days lounging on the couch or playing fetch, and he never has… Read more »

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