Friday, November 30, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Christmas Tugboat


Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday! I hope this post will be a help to those who love picture books and want to share them with their own children or those they teach.

Today’s book I received in the mail yesterday. I was the lucky winner of a copy from Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog Cynsations. Thank you so much Cynthia!

THE CHRISTMAS TUGBOAT

Written by: George Matteson and Adele Ursone 
Illustrated by: James E. Ransome

Clarion Books 2012
Fiction for ages 4 to 8

Themes: Christmas, family, educational

Opening and brief synopsis:
Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake to the ringing of my dad’s alarm clock.

From the jacket flap:  Early one chilly November morning, a young girl wakes. Her dad is a tugboat captain, and today she and her mom will accompany him on a very special journey. They’ll travel by tug past the Statue of Liberty, around the tip of Manhattan, and up the Hudson River to fetch the giant Christmas tree that will stand at Rockefeller Center in New York City!

Why I like this book:
This wonderful tale describes in great detail the exciting journey on the tugboat. Through the eyes of the girl, the reader is taken right along amid the adventure of such a special job. The paintings/illustrations are beautiful and capture the spirit of the book. What an amazing experience for a young child, as the book is based on the author’s experience with his own family.

Resources:
Show children pictures of this year’s Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and then share the book describing the tree’s journey to New York City.
Click here for a coloring page of a tugboat.

Perfect Picture Book Friday is a wonderful idea started by Susanna Leonard Hill. For other “Just Right” books and resources listed by theme and title, visit her blog.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

I have some giveaway winners to announce!


The winner of CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING is

ROSI!

The winner of IVY + BEAN NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS is

AKOSS!

Please email me with your mailing address, and I will get the books right out to you.  Congratulations to you both! 

Since I won't be posting again this week, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo


Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday! I hope this post will be a help to those who love picture books and want to share them with their own children or those they teach.

EVERY COWGIRL LOVES A RODEO

Written by: Rebecca Janni 
Illustrated by: Lynne Avril

Dial Books for Young Readers 2012
Fiction for ages 4 to 8

Themes: honesty, kindness, friendship

Opening and brief synopsis:
Every cowgirl needs a blue ribbon. So when I heard the county fair was comin’, I signed up.

From the jacket flap:  There are games to play, animals to pet, and rides to go on. But, of course, Nellie Sue is really looking forward to the Bike Rodeo. She hopes that practicing will make her and her two-wheeled horse good enough to win against the reigning champion and Rodeo King, A.J. Pickett. But when a nearby goat gets loose and threatens to ruin A.J.’s turn, Nellie Sue knows that it’s her job as an honest cowgirl to help out.

Why I like this book:
This is the third book about Nellie Sue and horse, Beauty. Really Beauty is her bicycle, but Nellie refers to everything like she is a cowgirl and she lives on a ranch. It is cute to see what she says and what the illustrator is really showing. (This is true in all her books.) For this book, I love that no matter how important Nellie wants to win the Bike Rodeo, she thinks of her friend first. It is a great lesson of friendship and thinking of others first.

Resources:
A variety of Nellie Sue activities can be found on Rebecca Janni's website. Kids can act out the book on their own, just like Nellie Sue.  Nellie Sue's imagination can spark theirs as well!

Perfect Picture Book Friday is a wonderful idea started by Susanna Leonard Hill. For other “Just Right” books and resources listed by theme and title, visit her blog.

And for those of you who missed it, check out my post from Monday where I'm giving away TWO middle grade books!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mid-Month Update

At the beginning of the month, I shared my goals for November with all of you.  With today being November 15th, I thought I would check in and see how the month is going.  Also, putting it out there makes me accountable to you all!

Here are my goals for November:

  • Start and complete PiBoIdMo 2012 
  • Finish the novel writing class I'm taking with the Institute for Children's Literature by completing revisions of my middle grade novel in preparation to begin the querying process.
  • Complete a rough draft for November for the 12x12 in 2012 challenge.

And here is my progress so far:
  • I'm a few days behind, but have quite a few ideas in my PiBoIdMo notebook.
  • I've completed all the major revisions I wanted to make in my novel, have turned in the first half to my instructor, and am finishing up the end.  I'm also getting a critique from a fresh set of eyes, so we'll see if anything else needs to be adjusted.
  • This one I haven't started yet, I think I have the idea I want to work with, just need to get it flowing on paper.
So, I'm doing okay.  I have some work to do this weekend to make sure I don't get too far behind for the month, but I'm feeling confident I will get everything accomplished - although Thanksgiving might complicate things a little.

So, how about you PiBoIdMo'ers and 12x12'ers?  How is your month going?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Clementine AND Ivy +Bean PLUS a Giveaway!

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday features two series for early middle grade readers - the Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker and the Ivy + Bean books by Annie Barrows. Continue reading to find out more, as well as how to enter to win a book from each series!

Both of these series are great for kids who are ready for longer books, but still enjoy see pictures of the characters. The characters are familiar and readers love to have friends like Clementine, Ivy and Bean.


First up - CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING
by Sara Pennypacker with pictures by Marla Frazee 
originally published in 2011 

From the back cover: 
Clementine is having a nervous breakdown. The FAMILY MEETING! sign is up in her house, and she just knows she's in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what's on the agenda, her parents won't reveal anything before the meeting. As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: "We're getting a gorilla." But no, it's something entirely different. And different doesn't always mean good! 

This is the fifth book in the series and shows the sibling perspective of adding another child to a family. With Clementine, you always know you're in for a laugh! 



Second - IVY + BEAN: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS 
by Annie Barrows with pictures by Sophie Blackall 
published in 2011

From the book jacket:
Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars, to be exact. Never mind what for. Okay, it's for cheese. Two bags of lowfat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size. Don't ask why. Ten dollars! How are Ivy and Bean going to make ten dollars? Should they babysit? Diapers! Yuck! Should they wash the car? Probably not. Should they write a newspaper about Pancake Court and sell it? Yes! Great idea, and easy, too. All Ivy and Bean have to do is snoop around the neighborhood to get some news. Wow. It's very interesting what you can find out when you look in your neighbors' windows. It's even more interesting when the neighbors read about it in the newspaper. 

This book is the eighth book in the series. October 13, 2012 was Happy International Ivy + Bean Day, and in honor of the special occasion  many bloggers were giving away copies of the books and other fun prizes. I was lucky enough to win two hardcover copies of Ivy + Bean books.  One I have for you and one I'm donating to the library at my boys' school. For tons of fun stuff about Ivy + Bean check out www.chroniclebooks.com/ivyandbean/.

Now for the giveaway.  I realized recently that I've been blogging for over a year. It has been fun sharing books and writing with you, and I look forward to many more posts. I'm so thankful for those of you who stop by, especially those of you who are followers. It means so much to me to know that you enjoy reading my posts!  So to celebrate you, I'm giving away not one, but two books this week. One of you will win a paperback copy of CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING and another lucky person will win a hardcover of IVY + BEAN: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS. Two of you win a great book for yourself or a young reader you may know. They would both make great Christmas presents, too!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. this Saturday, November 17. For those of you who follow the blog, you will get an additional entry. If you follow via email, please let me know in the comments. (US and Canadian entries only, please.)

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll announce the winners next Monday. For my favorite MMGM links - please see the list of links to the right. Have a great week!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

I have a winner!  Using random.org, the winner of  Recipe for Trouble: The Cupcake Club by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk is:

* * * JOANNE ***

Congratulations, Joanne!  I will be emailing you shortly for your mailing address.

Thanks everyone for stopping by.  Now back to writing! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Picture Book Month and PiBoIdMo 2012


Today's the day!  Not only is November designated as Picture Book Month, but November 1st is also the first day of Picture Book Idea Month aka PiBoIdMo.  
I'm so excited to start November!  I've made a decision to get some serious writing done, as well as lots of ideas written down for the future. My goals for the month:
  • Start and complete PiBoIdMo 2012 (My ideas will be going into my brand new journal that I received for completing Susanna Leonard Hill's Summer Short & Sweet writing challenge.)
  • Finish the novel writing class I'm taking with the Institute for Children's Literature by completing revisions of my middle grade novel in preparation to begin the querying process.
  • Complete a rough draft for November for the 12x12 in 2012 challenge. (I haven't completed a draft for the last few months and need to get back in gear.)
Sounds like a lot, I know, but I figure since I'm putting this out there, I'm accountable to all of you to complete my goals.

With that said, I may not be posting as much this month for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday or Perfect Picture Book Friday or making the rounds to comment on other blogs. I do have a couple giveaways in the works, though, so make sure to stop by occasionally.

For those of you participating in PiBoIdMo, I'm sure I will see you around Tara's blog and the Facebook page.  For those of you who haven't signed up, but want to, there's still time. 

Best of luck for everyone's writing goals for November. I will post back to let you know how my goals are going and if I completed all three.