Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Caldecott Contender

I have a dismal track record of picking Caldecott winners, the Oscars for Picture Books.  Now the Newbery is a different story, but the Caldecott just shows me no mercy.  So while I will tell you that the book I am profiling today should probably be on the Caldecott short list, don't hold your breath.  My track record speaks for itself.

However, if you want a book that absolutely touched me in both a sentimental and a humorous way, then this is the one.  If those judges don't at least give it serious consideration, well that's on them.  Although now that picture books are winning Newbery awards, perhaps this one has a better shot  at some hardware than I thought.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss my own personal picks for award winners.  I have included an interview on the Daily Show with the author which I absolutely loved!

Title: Thunder Boy Jr.

Author: Sherman Alexie

Target: Preschool - Grade 3

What this book is about: 
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad.  His dad is Big Thunder and he is Little Thunder.  But Little Thunder has a secret ….. he hates his name!  He attempts to come up with new names that represent the things that he has accomplished in his life such a touching the nose of a wild orca or climbing mountains.  But he has no idea how to broach the subject with his dad.  As luck would have it, his dad comes up with a new name for Little Thunder that is more than perfect, proving this father/son duo will “light up the sky.”

Why I love this book:
  • I was a child of the ’60/‘70s in California with a name that represented my Norwegian heritage.  It was a name that NO ONE had heard of, I felt I had no connection to and I hated it.  But you don’t have to be named Freya or Little Thunder to come to the conclusion that there are times growing up that you will hate your name or the responsibly of a family name.  Alexie Sherman has taped into this universal truth and given kids a voice when they are fed up with the poor decisions their parents have saddled them with.  (For the record I now love my name, although still few people have heard of it.)
  • I love the imagery in this book.  As Little Thunder tries to come up with new names, his accomplishments, wishes and personality are revealed with humor and a sense of delight.
  • When his dad comes up with a new name for Little Thunder my favorite line in the book is revealed “My dad read my heart!”  I know, I know, I hate touchy feely stuff but what a gift when someone can read your heart!  Love it!
  • This book is funny.  While touching and sentimental, this book never loses its sense of humor and that is what nailed it as a must read for me.

Who this book is for: 
Great for all kids.  Wonderful way to show Native Americans in a contemporary light.

Final thoughts: 
I have not touched on the illustrations by YuYi Morales.  I was not initially drawn to them, but after reading the book several times, I couldn’t imagine a more vibrant and expressive artist to make this story come to life.  She is constantly playing with perspective, shape and color and her work is striking.  These illustrations definitely grew on me.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Thunder Boy Jr.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fabulous Picture Book for Kids

Let us not forget the picture book this summer!  My "big kids" still pull picture books down from the shelf to peruse and frankly, I think they get the humor on a whole new level now.

I just love it when I find a picture book that makes me giggle and that I am willing to read numerous times.  Today I have just such a book!

Now for your summer reading tip!  Get all the kids involved.  Why not have the older kids read to the younger ones?  Or you can share the duties in the story, giving your older kids the pages or parts they feel the confident presenting.  Your older kids will feel responsible, they get to practice their reading and they strengthen that sibling bond ... that is until the next disagreement!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss any picture books that you are willing to read until the cows come home! Yep, that's quite a few times.

Title: We Forgot Brock!

Author: Carter Goodrick

Target: Preschool - Grade 1

What this book is about: 
Phillip has a best friend Brock.  Oddly enough, no one else seems to be able to see Brock.  When the family goes to the Big Fair, Phillip falls asleep after a long day and Brock does not come home with them … he is lost!  While Phillip is searching frantically for Brock, Brock has met up with a lovely girl Anne and her “best friend” Princess Sparkle Dust.  They keep him company until Phillip and Brock are reunited and the whole gang become the best of friends.

Why I love this book:
  • Ok, I have had this aversion to the firestorm of books about imaginary friends.  Seems like they are cropping up at a pace equivalent to whack a mole!  So I had little hope for this story, until I read it!  Kids do not need to have an imaginary friend to appreciate the humor and silliness of this book, which is present in spades.
  • The artwork is ideal.  Imaginary friends are drawn as childish versions of illustrations, but their expressions are perfect.  That the author has chosen to represent Brock as a full out pirate/gearhead with a pencil thin mustache is just hysterical.
  • The fact that Phillip is incredulous that his parents can’t see Brock is just perfect.   How those adults can’t see the obvious is beyond me.
Who this book is for: 
Great for kids who like The Adventures of Beekle or frankly any child who likes to laugh.  No imaginary friend required.

Final thoughts: 
Loved this book.  It is a real gem.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: We Forgot Brock!  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Books to Keep Kids Reading Over the Summer

Friday is here again and for Flashback Friday I have a book that I just loved when I first read it.  It was one of those stories that my son begged me to read because he couldn't stop talking about it and frankly I felt the same way after I finished.  Despite being written in the 1980's, it has stayed amazingly current and relevant for today.  To top it off the action is nonstop, making it a can't put down read.

Now for my summer reading tip.  Books on Tape!  There I said it.  When you have road trips coming up, why not download something for the car ride?  My kids and I recently went to Disneyland and I downloaded Frindle by Andrew Clements on my phone.  They were actually visibly disappointed when it was over and had to go back to their video games!  Another favorite of my husband and myself from previous trips is The Twits by Roald Dahl.  I think we got just as caught up in the story as the kids.  Just make sure you get the full versions and not the abridged.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single book from the past that will keep them reading in the present.

Title: Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Target: Grades 6 and up

Series: Yes

What this book is about:
Earth has defeated an attack from an alien species.  In an attempt to stop future attacks, they have sent ships across the galaxy to try and neutralize the threat.  However, they need to groom a great leader to defeat these aliens.  Ender Wiggins is the earth’s great hope.  He is strategic, brilliant, ruthless when he needs to be - and only six years old.  He is taken from his family and sent to battle school to be molded into the hero Earth desperately needs.  But will battle school train him or break him?

Why I love this book:
This is a great book.  Ok .... did you hear me?  Just in case you missed it, this is a great book!  I have no idea why it took me so long to read it, despite the pleas of my son.  I knew I needed to get it under my belt, but now I am just mad it took me so long!  

The development of Ender as a leader is fascinating.  The battle games they play in zero gravity at battle school had me on the edge of my seat.  The reaction to Ender’s brilliance and the threats to his well being had me off balance throughout the story.  This is a can’t put down book in the best possible way.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like dystopian books, especially series such as Maze Runner will love this story.  I do have to warn parents that there is some bad language, although it isn’t rampant.  There are also some mature references, and some violence, so be warned if you have younger kids.  Grade six is the earliest I would recommend it based on these things.

Final thoughts:
Ender’s Game combines powerful messages about war and forgiveness with an incredibly engaging story.  Despite the fact that this book was first published in 1985, it remains current and relevant.

To purchase this book
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Ender's GameA portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.   Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Book For Kids About Making Assumptions

Summer continues and more good books are available to keep your kids reading.  The book I am profiling today is an insightful look at fitting in and more importantly about making assumptions about people.  If you have a child who will be going to a new school in the Fall, this might be the perfect book to hand them this summer.

Of course I want to share another summer reading tip with you.  Food!  Yes, that one word can make a difference.  I have a basket of "book worms" aka gummy worms.  When the kids read they are free to grab a bag to snack on, but only when reading.  Once again, it makes reading feel more like a treat than a punishment.  Behold the power of the snacks!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss the latest books to not only keep them reading, but get them ready for the new school year.

Title: Save Me a Seat

Authors: Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Target: Grades 3-6

Series: No

What this book is about: 
Told in alternating perspectives, this book focuses on Joe, a 5th grader with an auditory processing disorder and Ravi, a new student who has just move to Joe's school from India.  Both become the target of Dillon, the class bully.  Joe has to work on not letting Dillon define him and Ravi must confront the fact that first impressions are not always correct.  As Ravi adjusts to a new culture he also comes to realize that he acted just like Dillon in India and perhaps with this fresh start he can define himself differently.

Why I love this book:
  • I got totally caught up in the plight of Joe and Ravi.  Joe is the kid who just warms your heart and you feel for him on so many levels.  Ravi kind of annoyed me at first with his arrogance, but I came to appreciate his desire to fit in and his realization that his past behavior was less than admirable.  That self realization made me like him quite a bit by the end.
  • I love the technique of alternating view points.  It gives the reader so much more insight into the characters and I appreciate seeing the same scene from different points of view.  It also breaks up the text making it a much more mageable read, especially for reluctant readers
  • The one problem I had with the book was how mean Dillon was to the boys.  I have a hard time believing someone could get away with all that name calling in Fifth grade.  I also felt that bullies are usually quite a bit smoother around adults.  However, I was completely caught up in the story, so a quibble.

Who this book is for: 
Great for reluctant readers because of the alternating viewpoints and larger print.  Good book for kids who like realistic fiction and are fans of books like Wonder.

Final thoughts: 
I really enjoy learning more about the immigrant experience, especially immigration from India.  I am several generations away from my Norwegian/German ancestors who came to America so I haven’t heard about their assimilation.  However, we have a plethora of new Indian families in my area and it did shed light on their efforts to fit in while maintaining their heritage.

To purchase this book: 
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Save Me a Seat.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Reading for Kids

Summer fun continues this week with a book that explores the immigrant experience.  But don't worry, I haven't gotten too serious on your kid's beach vibe.  While this book will prove extremely enlightening for your children, it is also full of humor and laugh out moments.  This author has been able to combine heart with levity making this a refreshing and thought provoking book.

Ok, now for my summer reading tip.  Make trips to the library fun!  Kids who aren't book lovers can feel lost at the library. I am giving you a link to a blog that has delightful library challenges: Growing Book by Book.  While they apply mostly to picture books they can be adapted to middle school readers as well.  Why not check out the Newbery winners from the year you were born?  What about checking out the first and last books in the fiction stacks?  Some will be hits, some won't, but they will certainly give you a place to start.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and by email so that you don't miss books that can be entertaining and informative during the summer.  The best of both worlds.

Title: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

Author: Firoozeh Dumas

Target: Grades 5-8

Series: No

What this book is about: 
In this semi autobiographical story,  Zomorod has moved from Iran to California.  Newport Beach is their latest stop.  It is the late 1970’s and she is about to start middle school.  First off, she is so tired of people asking her about the camels in Iran that she decides to go by Cindy, I mean it works on the Brady Bunch.  She is also dealing with the typical embarrassment any middle schooler feels towards her parents, compounded by the fact they haven’t quite mastered the language or the culture.  As she navigates between these two worlds she is also confronted by the hostility towards Iran in the wake of the Hostage Crisis.  This is a lot for one kid to handle.  Thankfully she has supportive friends and healthy sense of humor to manage through it.  Oh, and by the way, the only place she has ever seen a camel is the zoo!

Why I love this book:
  • Ok, full disclosure.  I grew up in California and am the same age as the author, so I could really relate to this story.  I wanted a puka shell necklace and a canopy bed just as much as Cindy!  I also had an unusual Norwegian name that I would have done anything to change.  However, I did not have the immigrant experience which plays so prominently into this story.  It is the humor and honesty with which the author tackles this narrative that charmed the socks off me.
  • Did I mentioned I laughed throughout?  Any girl will relate to Cindy being mortified by her family at times, but throw in some of the Persian customs and I had a hard time not laughing out loud.  Let me just say Sexy Grandma T-Shirts with sequins and It’s a Boy wrapping paper figured prominently in my vocal outbursts.
  • Despite the giggles, what I loved about this book was that it humanizes the immigrant experience for kids, and gives them a wonderful peak into our history with Iran.  I learned something and I even lived throughout the experience!  I also think it figures nicely into how we talk to kids about immigrants in the US, especially during this politically charged time.  A story about a real family and their challenges is quite powerful.

Who this book is for: 
I can’t wait to give this to my tween.  Wonderful for kids entering middle school who like realistic fiction.

Final thoughts: 
A really lovely book that combines honesty, humor and history to deliver a story that will stay with me.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: It Ain't So Awful, Falafel.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Sweet Read for Kids

When I found out that one of my favorite books was about to have a sequel published, well that made the book I was going to highlight for Flashback Friday an easy pick!  Make sure you get The Candymakers into the hands of your kids.  It is full of fun, mystery, action and candy!  I really can't give you a better pick.  And with the sequel The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase on the horizon there is even more to love.

Of course I also have to leave you with a summer reading tip!  Don't think reading means a novel!  For kids reading can be a joke book, a handbook or even a magazine.  My son loves Sports Illustrated Kids and my daughter can't wait for American Girl or Teen Vogue.  Don't get me started on the amount of knock knock jokes that have been read to me over the years!  Just remember that reading is reading, no matter what form it takes.

Don't forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss the latest installments of some great series.  Not all my picks are this sweet, but they are guaranteed to please!

Title:            The Candymakers
Author:        Wendy Mass
Target:         Grades 4-7
I really had a hard time putting this book down.  I was surprised how well written it was.  It started off very much like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Four kids are selected to participate in a candy making competition and are allowed into a chocolate factory that was closed to visitors long ago.  However, this is where the similarity ends.
The fun of this book is that the story is told in five parts, the first four are from the perspective of each of the participants.  You see the story from the first child’s perspective, and then low and behold, when you get to the next child, your perception of the events are thrown on their head.  I loved it each time my son got to a new revelation, he looked up at me just as amazed as I had been.  The story gets richer and more interesting with each child’s version. 
I will say that some of the scenarios are bit far fetched, but it is a children’s book, set in a candy factory for goodness sake, so I will certainly allow the author the whimsy that the books subject conjures up.  Once I was into this story, I found it difficult to stop reading (kind of like a bag of M&Ms, you can't take just one handful), which I think is the best kind of recommendation!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Candymakers.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Great Summer Reads for Kids

The fun continues with more summer reads that will get your kids excited about books over the break!  Today I have one that teaches us about Wonder Woman when she was just a teen, trying to manage friends and please her mom.  Perhaps she was a little more typical than anyone would have first imagined?

Of course I have another summer reading tip for you.  Try to put out a variety of books for your kids to choose from.  The library is a great place to go to get a stack at no cost to you!  Sometimes when parents only purchase or bring home that one book they think will work for their kids, they put too much pressure on their child to like that particular story.  If it isn't a hit, the child feels guilty and thinks they have disappointed their parent.  So let variety be their guide and don't worry if one book isn't a fit.  A month from now it may be the perfect read!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss any of the summer books that will make kids realize that reading really is a fun summer activity.

Title: Wonder Woman at Super Hero High

Author: Lisa Yee

Target: Grades 3-7

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
In this story, Wonder Woman is just a teen who wants to hone her skills and be the best Super Hero she can be.  While she loves her mom, she has never left her home on Paradise Island, and she wants to see the world and make new friends.  She convinces her mom that she should attend Super Hero High which is far from her island.  As she navigates new friends, social media and learning valuable life skills, all she wants to do is to make her mom proud. But someone doesn’t want Wonder Woman at Super Hero High and she needs to find who and why!

Why I love this book:
  • Ok true confession time.  I was very skeptical of a book that has a full on marketing blitz of action figures and lower grade readers tied to it.  What you can end up with is a book that is meant to sell toys and not a book that is well written.  I am happy to say that this one surprised me in the best possible way.  While not highbrow literature, it is funny, full of suspense and thoroughly engaging.  What a delight.
  • I love the focus on female comic heroes.  I never had a real interest in the comic books with male dominated action heroes, but I was all in to learning about the ladies.  It makes these comics much more accessible and interesting to girls.
  • Lisa Yee has created a story that gives us the history and power of Wonder Woman, but also deals with everyday issues that girls are navigating through in school.  There is social awkwardness, finding friends and managing difficult social situations  Girls will be able to relate to these stories minus the bullet deflecting cuffs of course.

Who this book is for: 
Girls who have liked books series like Ever After High will enjoy this one.  But girls who also like books where the women are strong and problem solvers will also gravitate to this series.

Final thoughts: 
Loved learning about Wonder Woman and can’t wait for the next installment, Super Girl.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Wonder Woman at Super Hero High.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fun Summer Book for Kids

You can never get on the summer brain drain early enough!  Get those kids reading right off the bat and you can literally watch their brains grow over the break.  The book I am profiling today is the perfect story to start their summer off right!

In our house we designate 30 minutes of reading time Monday through Friday.  Everyone stops and picks up a book ... yes even mom.  Now the kids can of course read any other time they want to, but by reading together it creates feeling of community.  No one thinks reading is a punishment.  Instead it's something we do together.  Everyone has their favorite spot in our side yard with pillows and a place to prop up their feet.  Mom has even been known to provide snacks!

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Title: Slacker

Author: Gordon Korman

Target: Grade 3-7

Series: No

What this book is a bout: 
Cameron is all about playing video games in his basement.  He has made a life of flying under the radar so that he can perfect his performance in his favorite computer game Rule the World.  But one day he is so caught up in the game that his house literally almost burns down around him.  His parents demand he gets an activity outside of gaming.  In his infinite wisdom he decides to make up a club, the Positive Action Group (PAG) and become the president.  The problem is that students start joining the club and promoting good deeds, which goes squarely against Cameron’s desire to lay low.  Will he actually have to get involved (gasp) or will he find a way to remain the ultimate slacker?

Why I love this book:
  • Cameron is every kid who sits on the couch and just wants to be left alone while they play.  Sound familiar?  Kids will relate to Cameron and his game playing addiction.
  • This story is told in multiple perspectives and short chapters which makes it an engaging read.  Korman is a skilled author and so there are plenty of laugh inducing moments.  This book reads quickly and it’s funny, making it a winner from the start.
  • I have been liking Korman’s recent books.  I was totally caught up in this story and wanted to see how long Cameron could hold out and remain a slacker.  Of course the less Cameron does, the more people in the school revere him for being their fearless leader of PAG.  Oh the irony!

Who this book is for: 
Great book for reluctant readers.  Also good for kids who like Dave Barry, Stuart Gibbs or Korman’s other series Master Minds.

Final thoughts: 
I don’t know how the twist at the end caught me by surprise.  I guess I am getting slow in my old age.  Can’t say more, you must read the book!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Slacker.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Book for Kids About Fitting In

This is about the time when book folks start talking about which titles will pop up around awards season.  I have a feeling that the book I am profiling today will be included in those talks.

I have to confess that the idea of a robot stranded on a deserted island didn't quite make my "must read" list, but I was curious enough to finally pick it up and I am so glad that I did.  It really captivated me.  I am always impressed when a book that initially held no appeal for me ends up being a can't put down read.  That takes some real skill.  Well done Peter Brown!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single book that may be the talk of the town come awards season.

Title: The Wild Robot

Author: Peter Brown

Target: Grades 3-6

Series: No

What this book is about: 
Roz, a robot, is being transported across the ocean when her container ship sinks and she is jettied onto a deserted island.  She is the only robot that isn’t destroyed in the crash and some curious otters flip her switch to the “On” position by accident.  Suddenly Roz awakens to the only world she has ever know.  As she discovers her surroundings and learns what it means to survive she must make friends with the inhospitable animals who think she is a monster.  However, when new robots descend upon the island to bring Roz back to the factory where she was produced, it is the animals she has finally befriended who fight to keep her there.

Why I love this book:
  • I was absolutely captivated by this story.  Animals adhere to a routine to survive and the robot must adapt her routine to survive as well.  By understanding how and why the animals successfully exist, Roz is able to make friends and live a full life.  But beyond robots and furry creatures, this is a story about fitting in and finding your purpose in the world.  
  • I loved the short chapters and the illustrations scattered throughout the story.  This book was easy to read and visually enjoyable, which only enhanced the whole experience.  The ending is a bit ambiguous in terms of being happy or sad so I will call it hopeful.  I think kids will appreciate an ending that feels true.
  • I have loved Peter Brown’s picture books so I was very anxious to try his foray into middle grade fiction.  A brilliant debut.
Who this book is for:  
The type is large and the chapters are short making this a wonderful book for kids on the younger side or reluctant readers.  I will say that the big action sequence doesn’t take place until the very end, so kids have to be willing to invest in an emotional and clever story before they get a satisfying battle on which to end the narrative.  

Kids who enjoyed The Iron Giant would also like this book and this book would make a wonderful read aloud.

My daughter has been reluctant to pick this one up despite the fact that the story is right up her alley.  I think the first few chapters and the cover art appeal more to boys in general.

Final thoughts: 
I know we will see this one again come awards season!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Wild Robot.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Book for Kids that Teaches Optimism

I love it when one of those "touchy feely" books gets me right through the heart!  This one did that in spades and I hate overly emotional narratives,  The main character is a delight and the story is so well written that kids will be rooting for our main character from the first chapter.  This one is quite a gem.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single story that will absolutely surprise your kids in the best way.

Title: Just My Luck

Author: Cammie McGovern

Target: Grades 4-6

Series: No

What this book is about: 
Benny is having a tough year.  His best friend moved away and he has to make new friends.  His brother George, who is autistic, can kill it on a bike, but Benny hasn’t ridden in two years after a bad fall.  When his dad finally convinces him to go to the track to practice his biking skills, they crash, which triggers a brain aneurism in his father.  It sends his dad to the emergency room and on to a tough recovery.  Oh and did I mention his teacher seems to never see him?   He feels invisible at school. How will Benny get through this year?

Why I love this book:
  • First off Benny is just a wonderfully written character.  He is realistic and caring.  I appreciated that even through the tough stuff Benny has a loving family and people around who care deeply.  His friendships and struggles feel real and not exaggerated for the story.
  • While I do not have a child with autism, if you have a child or know a child who struggles with  autism, this book is a wonderful reminder of how special these children can be in your life.  It isn’t always easy to manage, in fact sometimes it is downright hard, but the book does a realistic job at portraying the gifts Benny’s brother brings to the family.
  • I couldn’t put the book down.  I read it in one day.  McGovern’s writing just sweeps you into the story.  I hate sad stories, and this one has some tough stuff, but Benny is such a delight that I had no problem getting through this book, rooting for Benny all the way.
Who this book is for: 
Fans of The Meaning of Maggie, Counting by 7s or any book by Joan Bauer will absolutely be the right audience for this story.  For any child that likes realistic fiction, have them give this book a try!

Final thoughts: 
This story took me out of my book funk and got me excited about kid lit after a bit of a drought finding compelling stories.  

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Just My Luck.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Clever Picture Book for Kids

I usually post a wonderful book from the past on Fridays that may have been forgotten, but shouldn't be.  However, today I am changing things up because I have a cornucopia of books that I love that are overflowing in my office and I just have to get them on to your radar.  So next week I will return to the Flashback Fridays.  But today, prepare to be amazed.

I have a funny picture book this week, which is really an oxymoron when I write it because I rarely profile books without a sense of humor.  This one is right up my alley and challenges kid's assumptions, one of my favorite pastimes.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single book that has a hungry lion surrounded by an assemblage of fury friends.  Can temptation be kept in check?

Title: A Hungry Lion

Author: Lucy Ruth Cummins

Target: Kindergarten - Grade 2

What this book is about: 
In this book a very hungry lion is surrounded by a bevy of fury animals and as the reader turns the pages the animals slowly begin to disappear.  Of course we fear the worse, especially when the lights go out, but instead we are treated to a surprise party for lion with a giant cake and all our furry friends in tact.  But sadly our hungry lion is not a fan of cake ….

Why I love this book: 
  • Oh I am a fan of a darker humor in kid books.  Kids love it when their expectations are challenged and the best part of this book is that they think the worst, realize the error of their assumption which then proves all too true in the end!  But our no longer hungry lion does get his just desert in the end!
  • The play with graphics and text in this book is wonderful.  The dark pages arrive when a reader has to make a decision about the outcome and can use nothing but their imagination.  The text which highlights the dwindling assortment of animals, cleverly begins to omit animals to the dismay of the reader.  Of course the ending which surprises the reader and teaches our lion a lesson is just perfect.
Who this book is for:  
Any child who likes Caldecott winner This Is Not My Hat will love this book.  Of course it is also great for kids who love a few surprises.

Final thoughts: 
There is always a bigger fish in the pond!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Books to Cure Summer Boredom

Summer is upon us, and the two most dreaded words for a mom in the english language are of course "I'm Bored!"  So I am here today with some tricks, I mean books, for you to use against any kid who utters those foreboding words.

No I am not talking about a novel or a chapter book.  That will more often than not get you the evil eye roll.  I am talking about books that give your kids something to do, without you (or with you if you are so inclined).  That is what I call nirvana.

Don't forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss any of the books, yes books, that give kids something to occupy their time - in a productive way.  Horray for books.

To purchase any of these recommendations, click on the photo and it will take you to Amazon.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Creating Really Awesome Free Things: 100 Seriously Fun, Super Easy Projects for Kids by Jamie Dorobek 

I love this book because you will not have spend your kids college savings at Michaels!  This book actually uses what you have around the house.  Out of paint sticks, use a chopstick.  Out of chopsticks, use a twig.  That I can get behind.  The crafts are cute, think pizza purse or emoji photo props and super easy is just up my alley.

Big Magic for Little Hands: 25 Astounding Illusions for Young Magicians by Joshua Jay

This book is wonderful because kids can perform tricks using the things they have around the house.  They also get to learn how to levitate their sibling ... levitate!  How cool is that?  There is a chapter about how to scare the pants off your parents, not that kids haven't already mastered this trick.  If you gives your children this book, be prepared for an evening show where they display their new found skills and you can ooh and aah over their performance.

Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids by Revell

I can't tell you how much fun I had as a kid learning and telling jokes.  This book gets kids reading and they don't even realize that they are working on their literacy!  Hee Hee!  You just need to be prepared to be bombarded with jokes at dinnertime and you have to appreciate the corny in all of them.

The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit by Klutz

This book has been used so many times in my house it has a place of honor in the craft drawer!  Kids spend so much time refining their planes that an hour has gone by before they know it.  They can use this solo as they test how far their individual planes can fly or they can have competitions with friends to see whose airplane has the most props.  There may or may not be a sibling competition currently underway in my home, but I am forbidden to pick sides!

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make by Andria Lisle 

The youngest sewers may need parental help with these projects, but kids who already know the basics will find lots of cool projects that don't need a sewing machine!  I love to see the creations my daughter comes out with when she is inspired.  I am hoping she perfects her throw pillow technique this summer because momma has a new outside patio she needs to furnish!

Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit by Klutz

The reason I love this book so much is that if your house is anything like mine, it is overrun with Legos!  At least my kids have a hard time getting inspired after they have built the kit that was purchased and I end up just stepping on Lego pieces from sets that have been played into oblivion.  So bring on a book that teaches them how to make machines that can throw things with those leftover bricks.  I never thought I would say this, but it is a mother's dream.

The Big Book of Boy/Girl Stuff by Bart King

These books have updated their covers from when my kids were young, but they still remain books your children will go back to time and time again.  These are laugh out loud funny and touch on just about every subject kids care about from friends to sports to food.  They are full of activities, advice and even a few pranks to keep things interesting.  My kids read theirs ragged.

Pranklopedia: The Funniest, Grossest, Craziest, Not-Mean Pranks on the Planet! by Julie Winterbottom

Ok, first of all, fear not.  I am not recommending that your kids prank you all summer so that you are afraid to go into the house.  This book is decidedly not mean and teaches kids clever ways to "get you or a friend" without causing embarrassment.  However, you will need a good sense of humor and the ability  to laugh at yourself.  And who knows, you are certainly allowed to take a look at the book and  return the favor!

Lettering: in Crazy Cool Quirky Style by Klutz

I have included this book because as the mother of tween girl, she is always experimenting with bubble letters and cool ways to write things to her friends.  This book is filled with examples and teaches kids all sorts of fun new ways to write the alphabet.  You may even find yourself sitting down with your child and creating some quirky shopping lists.