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May 2017

    children's books, family fun, giveaways

    Celebrating 10 Years of Elephant & Piggie + An Instagram Giveaway!

    Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Disney-Hyperion.

    We love Elephant & Piggie at our house, and were so excited to partner with Disney-Hyperion on a sponsored post to celebrate 10 years of the series!  Can you believe this series has been around for 10 years?

    Recently, the kids and I celebrated in a big way with our own Elephant & Piggie book party! The kids said their favorite part was pressing the good for nothing button (over and over again) while reading the latest Elephant & Piggie book entitled The Good for Nothing Button. So fun!  We also wore our party hats, ate yummy snacks, unwrapped our book presents in the adorable themed wrapping paper and of course, enjoyed story time.


    How cute and fun is this Elephant & Piggie themed wrapping paper?

    When it comes to Elephant and Piggie I may be a wee bit obsessed with them, more so than my kids, but they seem to love these books too. Apart from the humor, I love the simplicity of these books. The illustrations, expressions and word bubbles are so well done making reading simple for kids. Plus, they have a lot of repetition of sight words so they are great for beginning readers.  Our top 10 favorite books E&P books (in no particular order) are: I Broke My Trunk, Waiting is Not Easy, We Are in a Book, Let’s Go for a Drive, I Am Invited to a Party!, Should I Share My Ice Cream?, I Love My New Toy, The Thank You Book, I Really Like Slop and I Will Take a Nap.

    Right now, we have an exciting giveaway taking place over on our Instagram page.  One (1) lucky winner will receive the following:

    •The Good for Nothing Button
    •4 books from the Elephant & Piggie series
    •Plus Elephant & Piggie stress balls and temporary tattoos!

    Want to use some of the fun printables we used at our book party?  You can download the free printables to make your own lanterns at home here!  You can find the free printable activity sheets here.

    Be sure to follow along with all the fun celebrating 10 years of Elephant and Piggie by doing any of the following:

    Visit the PigeonPresents.com website
    Follow @The_Pigeon and @DisneyHyperion on Twitter
    Follow @DisneyBooks on Instagram
    Like @MoWillems on Facebook
    Check out the hashtag #MoFun across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

    Your turn: Have you read any of the Elephant and Piggie books to your kids? If so, what are some of your favorites? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books

    My Mummy is Superwoman by Casey Elisha + A Book Giveaway!

    My Mummy is Superwoman by Casey Elisha, illustrated by Aliecee Cummings

    Publisher: Casey Elisha Books
    Format: Paperback
    Pages: 28
    Age Level: 3 – 6 years old

    Synopsis
    Aimed at 3-6 year olds, My Mummy is Superwoman shares all the things a young girl loves about her mummy!

    A simple story that highlights the admiration daughters have for their mothers, My Mummy is Superwoman is a book little girls will be able to relate to.

    Reflection
    Moms are the best, aren’t they?  Whether they’re taking care of you when you’re sick, reading bedtime stories, doing the laundry or cheering you on from the sidelines at a dance competition, they’ve always got your back — even when you don’t come home with the first-place trophy. So for all her grace, patience, hard work and most importantly LOVE, be sure to always let your mother know how amazing and special she is – not just on Mother’s Day.

    In the book My Mummy is Superwoman a young girl shares all the things she loves about her mommy.  Told in rhyming verse with the little girl as the narrator, it’s a simple story that acknowledges some of the physical traits her mom has as well as some of the things she does to make the daughter feel special.

    My mummy is superwoman, she always knows what to do,

    If anything goes wrong, it’s mum to the rescue.


    Photo Credit: Casey Elisha Books

    The illustrations show the mother doing some of the typical things moms are usually known to do like: washing dishes, doing laundry and cleaning up messy spills.  But moms aren’t just all work and no play – this mother daughter duo is also shown having fun together and acting silly.  Simply put, being a good mom (or dad) requires a lot of work.  In a child’s mind, they may very well equate that to being a superhero.

    There is also a cute activity section in the back of the book for kids to complete.  The activities are probably more suitable for kids ages 4-6 and up because most of them involve writing prompts like: “My mummy makes me laugh when she…” and “When I become a superwoman, I am going to…”.  It’s also worth mentioning the author of this book is a British author located in London.  Therefore, there are a couple of words that are spelled differently than from what we use in the United States like: mummy (mommy) and favourite (favorite).

    It’s clear to see just how much this little girl admires her mother…such a sweet book for mothers and children to enjoy reading together around Mother’s Day or any time of the year.  Order a copy of the book here.

    Connect with Casey Elisha on Instagram or her website!

    For all inquiries, please contact Casey Elisha directly at: CElishaBooks@gmail.com

    The Giveaway!
    Casey Elisha Books was kind enough to sponsor this book giveaway for one (1) lucky winner to win a copy of their latest book, My Mummy is Superwoman.  Open only to US residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    My Mummy is Superwoman Book Giveaway

    Your turn: What does being a superwoman mean to you?  Who are some superwomen you admire?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books, giveaways

    Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer + A Book Giveaway!

    Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Troy Cummings

    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
    Pages: 32
    Format: Hardcover
    Age Level: 3 and up
    Grade Level: Preschool and up

    Synopsis
    What happens when you expect an itty-bitty kitty . . . but get a lion instead?
    It’s kitten delivery day, but—SURPRISE. Congratulations on your new LION! We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions—like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. Or a gazelle. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But soon the feathers and fur start flying and everything’s in chaos. Is there any way a lion could actually be a child’s purr-fect pet?

    Reflection
    Upon receiving this book, the first thing I noticed was the clever hidden cover underneath the book jacket that looks like the the top of a pizza box.  Apparently, a pizza company called Sergengeti Bros. has been caring for lions since 1925!  Even before reading this book, I knew it was going to be funny just by looking at the pizza toppings selected on the top of the “pizza box”: sausage, pepperoni, gazelle, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and rhino.

    Caring For Your Lion is a cute and fun read aloud book for little readers.  It features a little boy who ordered a kitten from a pet delivery service, but receives a lion instead.  They’re practically the same thing – right?  The book is a funny step-by-step how-to guide that instructs little readers how to properly take care of a lion by following 14 “easy” steps.

    Step 1. Take a deep breath.  Then carefully open the crate.
    Step 2. Locate the enclosed feather.  Keep it handy in case of an emergency.
    Step 3. Try very hard NOT to look like a zebra.  Or a gazelle.  Or a bunny.

    When the little boy notices he has a picture of a bunny on his t-shirt, he immediately covers it up with the other button up shirt he has on.  My kids crack up whenever we get to this page and the page right after it.

    The instructions listed throughout are funny and silly – perfect for the preschool/kindergarten crowd!  Since this book is presented in a step-by-step format, I think the digitally created illustrations are what make this book really come alive. They are so bright, cheerful, detailed and downright silly.  The additional black-and-white diagrams from the manual are shown as well which add even more humor to the story.

    Be sure to check this book out with your little readers if you’re looking for a funny story.  Oh, and if you order a kitten, but receive a lion instead – no worries.  You’ll already have this handy manual that tells you exactly what to do!

    The Giveaway!
    Our friends at Sterling Children’s Books were generous enough to sponsor this giveaway to ONE (1) lucky winner! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer.  Open to US and Canadian Residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    Caring For Your Lion Book Giveaway!

    About the Author
    A former teacher and library specialist, Tammi is an active blogger and highly involved in the children’s writer community.  Her local bookstore, Best of Books in Edmond, OK named July 9 Tammi Sauer Day!  Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

    About the Illustrator
    Troy Cummings runs his own design studio, and his clients have included Time for Kids, New York Daily News, Random House, and the Cartoon Network.  He has written and/or illustrated several children’s books.  Troy lives in Greencastle, IN.  You can visit his website by clicking here.

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    book reviews, children's books, giveaways, read aloud

    The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk + A Book Giveaway!

    The Case of the Stinky Stench (Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast) by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney

    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
    Pages: 40
    Format: Hardcover
    Age Range: 5 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

    Synopsis
    There’s a stinky stench in the fridge–and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Sir French Toast’s nephew, Inspector Croissant, begs him and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron von Waffle? A fetid fish lurking in the bottom of Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring the same delectable wordplay and delicious art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast–this fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids and adults alike!

    Reflection
    Let’s face it, opening your refrigerator and smelling spoiled food is awful, right?  But sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s in your refrigerator and how long it’s been there until one day you open the door and encounter a very unpleasant smell…ewwww!  When food overstays its welcome, it can eventually fill your fridge with a terrible odor and no one wants that especially not our favorite food detectives Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast.  In The Case of the Stinky Stench they’re on a mission to solve a smelly mystery.

    I love the use of rhymes, fun food-related wordplay and the engaging illustrations featured throughout this book.

    Back in the kitchen and deep in the fridge,
    past Trifle Tower, across Taco Bridge,
    on a vacation at Marshmallow Coast,
    sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast.

    There are also some great vocabulary words for little readers you don’t often see in picture books like: nefarious, devious, knave, vicious, sleuthing, dejected, fermented, fathom, prevail and delectable.  I had to pull out the dictionary to look up the word nefarious…hahaha!

    In the end, it’s Inspector Croissant who solves the mystery AND does a good deed for his fellow foodie friend.  My kids and I really enjoyed reading this entertaining and funny mystery.  It’s currently our new favorite breakfast time read aloud book – so fun!  Just make sure you have some food or snacks nearby after reading it in case your kids start asking for something to eat immediately after like mine do!  Want to enter for your chance to win a copy of this book?  See our giveaway listed below.

    THE GIVEAWAY!
    Our friends at Sterling Children’s Books were generous enough to sponsor this giveaway to ONE (1) lucky winner! Enter for your chance to win a copy of The Case of the Stinky Stench written by Josh Funk.  Open to US and Canadian Residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    The Case of the Stinky Stench Book Giveaway

    Connect with The Author!
    Josh Funk spends his days writing computer code and his free time writing picture book rhymes.  Visit Josh’s website or find him on Twitter.

    Connect with the Illustrator!
    Brendan Kearney specializes in illustrating children’s books.  He currently lives in the UK.  Visit his website or find him on Twitter.

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    book reviews, children's books, diverse books

    Swimming in the City: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

    Swimming in the City: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

    Publisher: Candlewick
    Pages: 32
    Age Range: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 3
    Available for Sale: May 9, 2017

    Synopsis
    Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

    Reflection
    Little Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board, or so he thinks he is. He passed his swim test and completed his swimming lessons. Now he’s ready to tackle diving into the pool by jumping off the diving board. With a little encouragement and a pep talk from his dad, Jabari overcomes his fear and works up the courage to make a big splash into the pool.

    The kids and I really enjoyed reading this book for a few different reasons.  I absolutely LOVE the author decided to showcase the father being with Jabari and his little sister instead of the mother.  We need to see more books like this with Black and Brown fathers bonding with their children doing everyday and normal things.  I also like the fact that Jabari’s father was supportive and didn’t push him to take the big leap – he was patient waited for him to decide he was ready to try jumping off the diving board.

     

    I think this story is well formed, easy to follow and has a good overall story line.  The text uses a couple of fun water-related phrases that appeal to little ones like: “splash”, “whoosh” and “down, down down” with cute and lively illustrations to match.  I also like that this book builds a foundation for water safety for children.  Jabari is shown stretching, wearing his safety goggles, and his little sister is wearing appropriate swim gear as well.

    With themes of: overcoming fear, courage, family, water safety, positive affirmations, encouragement, patience and determination I think Jabari Jumps is a great book to read during the upcoming summer season.  It can also be read around Father’s Day or anytime of the year.  Don’t miss the fun hidden book cover underneath the book jacket – it’s so cute!  Jabari Jumps publishes May 9, 2017 from Candlewick Press.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this with your little readers?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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