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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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  • Zack meme

    Five Parenting Lessons from Saved by the Bell

    I am a Millennial.  After selfies and Y2K,  perhaps no force has been more important in shaping my generation than Saved by the Bell.  And since more and more Millennials are becoming parents.  So here are some parenting lessons that I didn’t even know SBTB was teaching us. Lesson One: Mario Lopez is an immortal who… Read more »

  • Emily's Blue

    Book Review: Emily’s Blue Period

    Title: Emily’s Blue Period Author/Illustrator: Cathleen Daly, Lisa Brown Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2014 Interest Level: Ages 6 and Up Best for kids: Children who are torn between two homes. From the dust jacket: Emily wants to be an artist. She likes painting and loves the way artists like Pablo Picasso mixed things up. Emily’s… Read more »

  • faster 1

    Book Review: Faster! Faster!

    Title: Faster! Faster! Author/Illustrator: Leslie Patricelli Publisher: Candlewick Press Interest level: 2-5 Best for kids: Who have really fun Dad’s From the dust jacket: A day at the park. A ride on Daddy’s back. Run, Daddy! Faster! Faster! How fast can Daddy run? Faster than a dog? Faster than a horse? How about a cheetah?… Read more »

  • legos

    Dad + Saturday = Dadderday

    My wife, Kristin, works weekends. It’s a 24 hour shift starting Friday evening and ending Saturday evening. Everything in between is called Dadderday (Dad + Saturday). I’ve always tried to be an involved father so when she started the job I was excited about the prospect of spending lots of quality time with the kids…. Read more »

  • sunflower1

    Book Review: The Sunflower Sword

    Title: The Sunflower Sword Author/Illustrator: Mark Sperring/Miriam Latimer Publisher: Andersen Press USA Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who love dragons, who love to fight From the dust jacket: In a land filled with fire and smoke and endless fighting, where knights fight dragons, there lives a little knight who wants to be big like the others,… Read more »

  • hat1

    Book Review: Do YOU Have a Hat?

    Title: Do YOU Have a Hat? Author/Illustrator: Eileen Spinelli/Geraldo Valerio Publisher: Simon & Schuster Interest level: Ages 3 to 8 Best for kids: Who love history From the dust jacket: A fancy hat. A hat that’s plain. A hat for keeping off the rain. A glowing hat. A hat with fruit. A hat for that new… Read more »

  • monster11

    Book Review: M is for Monster

    Title: M is for Monster Author/Illustrator: J. Patrick Lewis/Gerald Kelley Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press Interest level: Ages 6 to 10 Best for kids: Who love monsters, who want to know everything From the dust jacket: What horror story of science gone wrong was the result of a story-writing contest between three competitive writers? What creature is said to haunt the… Read more »

  • Horay1

    Book Review: Hooray For Hat!

    Title: Hooray For Hat! Author/Illustrator: Brian Won Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who are grumpy!  From the dust jacket: Elephant wakes up in a grumpy mood, but a present on his doorstep-a hat- cheers him and he sets out to greet his neighbors who all, it seems, need… Read more »

  • awesome

    Book Review: The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man

    Title: The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man  Author/Illustrator: Michael Chabon Publisher: Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins) Interest level: Ages 4 to 8 Best for kids: Who love superheros, who are active  From the dust jacket: Awesome Man can shoot positronic rays out of his eyeballs, fly as straight as an arrow, and hug mutant Jell-O! Even villains like Professor… Read more »

  • you and me

    Book Review: You and Me

    Title: You and Me Author/Illustrator: Martine Kindermans Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Interest level: Ages 3 to 5 Best for kids: Who need a little love From the dust jacket: All we need is you and me to be as happy as can be. And no matter where we go, I will always love you so. Thus… Read more »

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