Wednesday, July 6, 2022

We have Winners in the #7DaysOfBooks for Children Celebration


Thank you so much to everyone who participated and supported our authors and each other in the 7 Days of Books celebration. It was so much fun to read your comments on the blog and out in social media. I wish I could send everyone who stopped by a copy of all the books!

Fortunately, there is a back-up for all of us! Your local libraries can a be huge resource for new books for young readers. They especially like to purchase books that their patrons are interested in, so if you have a chance, visit your library and let them know which titles you'd like to see on the shelves, if they aren't sitting there already.

And without further ado, here are our WINNERS! Winners will be notified by email with more info.

Day 1 Humor

Nelly Nunez:  A copy of DONUT from author Laura Gehl, illustrated by Andrea Zuill

Ashely Sierra: A copy of CHICKEN BREAK from author Cate Berry, illustrated by Charlotte Alder

Jessica Seitz: A PB critique or a copy of GET READY, MAMA! from author Sharon Giltrow, illustrated by Arielle Li

Day 2 Nature and Animals

Jessica Milo: A copy of WAKE, SLEEPY ONE from author Lisa Kerr, illustrated by Lisa Powell

Jenna Johnson: A PB critique from Michal Babay, author of I'M A GLUTEN-SNIFFING SERVICE DOG, illustrated by Ela Smietanka

Jennifer DuBose: A PB critique from Jen Lynn Bailey, author of THIS IS THE BOAT THAT BEN BUILT, illustrated by Maggie Zen

Becca Morfeld: A copy of OUT OF THE BLUE from author Elizabeth Shreeve, illustrated by Fran Preston-Gannon

Day 3 Persistence, Resilience, and Inspiration

Cathy Sheafor: A 20 min author chat or virtual classroom visit with Janie Reinart, author of WHEN WATER MAKES MUD, illustrated by Morgan Taylor

Reed Hilton-Eddy: A 20 min author chat or virtual classroom visit with Debbie Zapata, author of UP AND ADAM, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang

Day 4 Social-Emotional Learning

Jasmine Fang: A copy of AMERICAN DESI from author Jyoti Rajan Gopal, illustrated by Supriya Kelkar

Hannah Roy LaGrone: A virtual classroom visit or copy of THE HAPPIEST KID from author Sarah Bagley Steele, illustrated by Clarice Yunyi

Janet Sheets: A copy of BLOB from author & illustrator Anne Appert

Aimee Satterlee: A copy of DANCING IN THATHA'S FOOTSTEPS from author Srividyha Venkat, illustrated by Kavita Ramchandran

Stephanie Maksymiw: A copy of BRAVE IN THE WATER from author Stephanie Wildman, illustrated by Jenni Feidler-Aguilar

Day 5 STEM/Historical Nonfiction

CK Malone: A 30-min Q&A with Lynne Marie, author of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, illustrated by Wendy Fedan

Aubrey Allie: A copy of A PENNY'S WORTH from author Kimberly Wilson, illustrated by Mark Hoffman

Ryann Jones: A PB critique from author Julia Lyon or a copy of A DINOSAUR NAMED RUTH illustrated by Alexandra Bye

Day 6 Family Relationships, Culture, & Traditions

Steena Hernandez: A author chat or copy of TOGETHER WE RIDE from author Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Susan Johnston Taylor: A copy of TOFU TAKES TIME from author Helen Wu, illustrated by Julie Jareema

Brenna Jeanneret: A copy of WILD AND BEAUTIFUL from author Amanda Esch-Cormier, illustrated by Naya Krichenko

Day 7 Problem-Solving

Jane Martin: An Ask Me Anything zoom meet with Elisa Boxer, author of ONE TURTLE'S LAST STRAW, illustrated by Marta Alavarez Miguens

Emily Holewczynski: A copy of LILA LOU'S LITTLE LIBRARY from author Nikki Bergstresser, illustrated by Sejung Kim

Katie Mahood: A copy of BUGS FOR BREAKFAST and tasty book swag from author Mary Boone

Stephanie Owen: CAYUGA ISLAND KIDS BOOK 3 SWAG from author Judy Bradbury

And That's a WRAP!  

Congratulations to all our winners. Keep Reading, Keep Sharing, Keep Supporting!

Saturday, July 2, 2022

7 Days of Books for Children, Day 7 Problem-Solving

Here we are! Day 7 of #7DaysOfBooks! 

Thank you so much for traveling with me on this journey! I hope that you have found some new titles to check out, as well as some old ones to pull off the shelves and read again with the young readers in your life.

As a teacher, I can't say enough for how important reading with children is

Twenty minutes a day of reading Out Loud with a child can make all the difference in putting that child on a path to success. When children are young, they are learning to read, which can be as enjoyable, and challenging, and rewarding as it can be. It also can be frustrating in learning how letters work together to form different phonic sounds, which is why learning to read, with daily exposure to words being connected in sentences is so important. By the time children are in the middle grades and in high school, students are reading to learn. See that subtle switch? In the upper grades it's expected that kids can interpret text in order to discern details and absorb information.

Thus, as we are at the end of this week, I hope you are inspired to dive into the summer reading program at your local library. In Utah, I've seen that the state-wide summer theme is "An Ocean of Possibilities.

Over the last week, we've certainly seen some ocean-related stories. But summer reading doesn't need to be all about that particular ecosystem. We've also seen books related to dinosaurs, building rockets, celebrating family, and laughing for laughing's sake. And so much more.

I particularly like today's topic because it involves books that touch on solving problems. We humans naturally lean toward trying to help one another in figuring things out. Perhaps this is why mysteries are popular with kids, as well as hands-on projects in school. Figuring things out is an activity which allows a child to view situations from all sorts of different perspectives. The more practice children have at finding solutions, the better they become at seeing alternative possibilities to current predicaments and daily situations. 

Plus, we have 4 giveaways today! Four! I hope you'll dive in and support these authors by buying their books or requesting them at your local library! 

Also, after checking out the book recommendations, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. 

Because a new giveaway has been presented every day, you'll want to make sure you renew your chance to win and enter each Rafflecopter on each day. 

Best wishes! Happy reading! Thank you for stopping by and checking out #7DaysOfBooks!

One Turtle's Last Straw
written by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens (Random House Children's Books 2022). 

How many straws do you think young readers have used in their short lifetime? How many end up in the ocean where they can cause problems with marine animals? This book is a perfect story for launching young readers into the effects of plastic waste on our planet and the importance of recycling. It shows how one straw ended up in the ocean and caused problems for one turtle that ended up inhaling it as it ate. Keep in mind, this is one turtle of many that are affected by ocean pollution. The story also shows that the turtle was lucky enough to encounter marine biologists who were able to remove the straw. Overall, this book is perfect for the presentation of a problem and offering an easy solution that readers can take to eliminate plastic pollution. I may be biased given my love of oceans and marine life, but this book is a favorite!

Lila Lou's Little Library: A Gift from the Heart
written by Nikki Bergstresser, illustrated by Sejung Kim (Cardinal Rule Press 2021). I can completely relate to this book! 

When a girl realizes she has too many books, she comes up with a creative solution. She decides to share them with others by turning an old stump in her yard into a little library. Because my neighborhood has its own little library (which gets used frequently, based on the changes in stock that I see on my regular walks), this book holds a special place in my heart. I love the problem-solving approach where Lila Lou is able to come up with a positive outcome for her friends and neighbors! I also love this book because it shows the resourcefulness of the young girl in setting out to build something. Having grown up with similar encouragements, this book is a must-read for kids that like to dive into problems and create hands-on solutions.

Bugs for Breakfast. How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet
written by Mary Boone (Chicago Review Press 2021). 

A handful of years ago, I shared a short news article from National Geographic with my students. It shared how different insects pack an amount of protein that beats or meets what is found in regular hamburgers. My kids were mesmerized, but also somewhat grossed out. And truth be told, that kind of reaction is totally due to their lack of exposure to the idea. Because across the globe in other countries, insects are a regular part of the daily diet, and are regularly found at markets in order to make specific recipes. 

Mary Boone's book is fascinating, easy to read, and full of interesting and unputdownable facts. I highly recommend this book for any reader. According to the World Heath Organization, insects are going to become a more common-place household staple that will be found at the supermarket in the future. We might as well be prepared and educated on the topic, and most importantly take steps to save our planet. After all, it's the only planet we've got!

Book 3 in the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series: The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts
written by Judy Bradbury, illustrated by Gabriella Vagnoli (Cross Your Fingers 2022).

In this series young readers will certainly find a favorite character out of the five to identify with, as the characters contend with missing glitter pens, false information about chocolate chip cookies, and getting the facts right on a school research project about explorers. It's all about figuring out which facts are real, and which ones aren't and aspiring to be a good person.

This book hold multiple layers in finding solutions, treating others well, and fact-checking information--something every kid can benefit from getting practice at.

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Anna Hymas (Rocky Pony Books 2012). 

When the family of a young Malawan boy faces starvation after they lose their crops to drought, he figures out how to build a windmill in order to create electricity that can pump water out of the well so that it can be used in their agricultural fields. Need I say more? 

This memoir begs for being read aloud and shared with younger readers.

Princesses Can Fix It! 
written by Traci Marchini, illustrated by Julia Christians (Page Street Kids 2021). 

When alligators invade the castle and the king doesn't know what to do, three princess sisters pull their science and engineering skills together to solve the problem and save the day (or night--because that's when they spend their time figuring it out). 

This book is a wonderful introduction the simple tools (based in physics) that we actually use every day!

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World,
 written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh (Candlewick 2008, 2012).

This book remains a must-have for every collection. It offers simple, kid-centered approaches to things that kids can do to be less wasteful of resources and care for the planet, along with clear reasons why. Instilling this idea at a young age will make a world of difference in communities everywhere (pun intended), and . . . all because I love my world. 

Be sure to find a copy to share with the young children in your life.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs
written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe (Chronicle Books 2018).  

This book is all about restoration science, and the fact that it presents it in a story that can be easily understood by kids is one of the main reasons I love it. As well as the idea that about ten years or so ago, the belief about coral reefs was that they couldn't be fixed after they died. However, when faced with challenges, scientists often rise up and meet them.

What a great example for young readers, especially with so many habitats in need of restoration on our planet. 

Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts
written by Joyce Grant, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte (Kids Can Press 2022). 

Learning to discern good facts from facts that are not based in truth is an important skill for young readers to learn and practice. It is one that will be used for all of their lives. 

I remember coming across a news article a few years ago about about a "new hybrid" corn crop in Minnesota that was so rigorous, it was taking over the highways and making them impassible given their strong root systems and crazy growth rate. When I read the article to my class, the students sat listening, mesmerized. I realized then and there that learning how to find good information for the research project they would be completing was a lesson I hadn't prepared on giving. If I'd had this book available at the time, it would have made my job much easier -- not only for me, but for the students. 

Told in kid-friendly text, with lots of illustrations and examples, this is a wonderful book for all young readers as they step from "learning to read" and into "reading to learn."

Today there are 4 giveaways! Be sure to follow the Rafflecopter below to log your entries.

1) An Ask-Me-Anything session with author Elisa Boxer

2) A signed copy of Lila Lou's Little Library from author Nikki Bergstresser

3) Book swag for the Cayuga Island Kids Book 3 from author Judy Bradbury

4) A signed copy of Bugs for Breakfast and tasty & decorative swag from author Mary Boone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 1, 2022

7 Days of Books for Children, Day 6 Family Relationships, Culture, and Traditions

Welcome back to Day 6 with children's books that share stories of Family Relationships, Culture, and Traditions.

In today's list, I see one common thread that rings clear: family relationships are all about creating cherished memories together and caring for one another. Given that this is both a singular and universal experience that all humans hold, it's my hope that sharing these types of stories with young readers plants a seed for mutual understanding and respectful curiosity for what lies at the root of all of our planet's diverse families: Love. 

Believing that we can all recognize similarities in each other, in a sea of numerous traditions and upbringings, is certainly something to be celebrated.

As we ease into Day 6, here is a quote that resonates with me.

    "Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life." - Albert Einstein

    Happy reading, Happy requesting, Happy sharing!

Below you'll find 3 giveaways from authors Valerie Bolling, Helen Wu, and Amanda Esch-Cormier

Together We Ride written by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Chronicle Books 2022). 

Once again Valerie Bolling has created another wonderful book that tells a story in sparse, rhyming text, which Kaylani pulls together in joyful illustrations. 

The story in this case is of a bicycle ride that is shared between a father and daughter, and then afterward, with the whole family. The words and pictures work seamlessly together. The simple rhyming text lends itself to building confidence in beginning readers. This book is one that will be enjoyed again and again. 

Tofu Takes Time written by Helen Wu, illustrated by (Yeehoo Press 2022). 

This story offers a tender exploration of a child's and grandmother's special relationship with tofu as they prepare it from scratch together. The impatience and perspective of the child is spot-on, along the patience and love from the grandmother. I was especially drawn to the child-like imaginings and lyrical prose that connected the steps of the recipe with elements of the natural world. 

All in all, this story will satisfy any young reader and spark a curiosity about what might be explored in their own kitchens, as well as those of others.

Wild and Beautiful 
written by Amanda Esch-Cormier, edited by Sarah Fabiny, illustrated by Naya Kirichenko (Little Adventures Press 2021). 

This tender story reads as a love letter from mother to child as memories are reminisced and hopes for the future are shared. The artwork in this book is absolutely stunning, and the loving and lyrical message rings from the pages like a song. It's a perfectly comforting book to share with a child at anytime of day.

When Lola Visits
written by Michelle Sterling, illustrated by Aaron Asis (Katherine Tegen Books 2021). 

This story, told through a bounty of similes and metaphors, a young child sets scenes of how she enjoys summer when her Lola visits from the Philippines. Steeped with lyrical language that soaks joy into each activity they share, this book will pull at the heart strings in all readers--young and old alike--and leave them longing to make memories of their own with each other. 

We Wait for the Sun written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa (Roaring Brook Press 2021). 

This picture book is based on a story that Dovey Johnson Roundtree liked to tell about nighttime walks she took with her grandmother to pick blackberries in the forest, and how when the picking was over, they waited to enjoy the dawn together. 

Dovey Johnson Roundtree was born in Charlotte, NC, in 1914 and grew up to become a legendary civil rights attorney, which makes this lyrical story all the more wonderous and beautiful. 

Fishing with Grandpa and Skye written by Candace Spizzirri, illustrated by Beverly Love Warren (Spork Publishing 2022). 

Like the girl in this story, I also created special memories while fishing with my grandfather on a lake in Minnesota. With our time in the boat, there was always the joke of the big one that got away, the waiting and anticipation for a bite on the hook, and then the thrill of reeling one in. This lovely story captures all that. 

Readers will be inspired to make their own special memories together with a grandparent or parent, and speaking from experience like that of the author's, hopefully that will be on a lake in summer time!

Powwow Day
written by Traci Sorrel, illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight (Charlesbridge 2022). 

The combination of the lyrical language, sounds, and illustrations work together in this book to create an absolutely amazing reading experience for young children as they connect with River, a native American child who is working on recovering from illness. However, as she prepares to attend the celebratory Powwow day, she's anxious over whether she will be able to join in the dances and participate as she has done in the past. 

One of the many layers of this tender story involves discovering how we can both connect to and care for each other. Which in itself, is a beautiful thing.

Goodnight Ganesha written by Nadia Soloman, illustrated by Poonam Mistry (Viking Books for Young Readers 2021). 

One word to describe this story of nighttime routine for two children visiting their grandparents in India is this: STUNNING. 

The lyrical text, the gorgeous illustrations, the loving bonds and sentiments that come through on the pages amount to a wonderful bedtime experience. This book will evoke warm-hearted emotions in any child before being tucked in at night, no matter the cultural routines. Most certainly it will ignite a spark for special bedtime routines to be added to families that connect over stories at the end of the day.

I Dream of Popo written by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julio Kuo (Roaring Brook Press 2021).

"She whispers to me in a voice soft as bird song." 

This tender tale of the special bond between a Taiwanese girl and her grandmother and how it changes when the young girl's family moves away to San Francisco is for any reader who has experienced the feelings of separation. The beautiful similes and emotions found in this book shouldn't be missed. You'll want to share this story with your young readers. 

The Whole World Inside Nan's Soup written by Hunter Liguore, illustrated by Vikki Zhang (Yeehoo Press 2021). 

I could have put this book with the nature category, but it landed here to remind readers of the special bonds that can be formed in the kitchen through the stories and experiences that can be shared from parents and grandparents to children. In this story the interconnectedness of living things--from seeds to gardeners to the sun to the delivery systems and more are explored as a grandmother recounts all the numerous things that went into the pot of soup she is cooking on the store. This book is a wonderful example of the power of story and the spirit of childhood imagination, as well as the most important thing that is shared between a grandparent and child.

Today, we have 3 amazing giveaways! Follow the guidelines in the Rafflecopter below.

1) A copy of Together We Ride or a phone/book chat from author Valerie Bolling.

2) A copy of Wild and Beautiful from author Amanda Esch-Cormier

3) A copy of Tofu Takes Time from author Helen Wu.

a Rafflecopter giveaway