Archive for ‘Rhyming’

April 10, 2015

Stick and Stone – plus Giveaway!

Stick and StoneTitle: Stick and Stone

Author: Beth Ferry
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Friendship

Opening Lines:

“Stick. Stone.
Lonely. Alone.
A zero. A one.
Alone is no fun.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.

Activities:

  • Activity Kit including circle-time games, printable (friendship bracelets, drawing, maze)
  • Classroom lesson for on anti-bullying using the rhyme “sticks and stones can …”
  • Another anti-bullying lesson plan.

 

Why I Like This Book:

A heartwarming friendship story between a stick and a stone. It is amazing what Ms. Ferry has achieved in only 139 words and in rhyme. It’s a simple story of finding a friend, losing a friend, and finding them again. The story is filled with loads of good things we want our kids to see such as compassion and loyalty, and the joys of friendship. Kids will enjoy seeing how Stick and Stone play together and Stone’s superb way for saving Stick.

As a writer, I like the short one word sentences in the beginning spreads that help convey the isolation each character is feeling. Sort of like two parallel stories that come together. Whereas later when the duo are together the author uses a comma “Stick, Stone”. Subtle but poignant.

Mr. Lichtenheld’s endearing child-like pencil and watercolor illustrations heighten the emotion of the author’s sparse text. I remember pausing and feeling the character’s loneliness the first time I saw this spread.

stickstone_4

 

Here is the scene where the two become friends after Stick sticks up for Stone. I love their silly smiles. I have yet to figure out what makes these characters so child-like but I love it.

stickstone_1

 

Love this art, totally feeling the scariness here.

stickstone_2

 

The three-panel spread (on the left) is brilliant in heightening the emotion. I love the increasing size and jitteriness of the text as Stone calls out for Stick.

stickstone_3

 

This book is perfect for lap-reading at home or for use in preschool storytime.

Checkout my interview with Beth Ferry!

Giveaway:

For a chance to win this book, leave a comment. Deadline to enter is Thursday, April 16th at 9pm PST.

Here is a short trailer of this charming book.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

STICK AND STONE. Copyright © 2015. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

February 13, 2014

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears

Goldi Rocks and the Three BearsTitle: Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears

Author: Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton
Illustrator: Nate Wragg
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’ Sons, 2014
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Fractured Fairy Tale, Music

Opening Lines:
“Once upon a rock-and roll time,
three bears in a band jammed with ease.
The Papa Bear drummed,
the Mama Bear strummed,
and Baby bear ticked the keys.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone—the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right. Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard?

Activities:

Have kids make their own musical instruments, guitar, bells and drums, and more. Then have a jam session.
Lesson plan on writing fractured fairy tales for 3rd-5th grades.

Why I Like This Book:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears has to be the most popular story to do a fractured fairy tale. I’m not sure why but this rhyming version by Ms. Schwartz rockets to the top of the charts for sheer originality and fun. The rhythm and pop feel of this rendition will engage today’s kids and their American Idol watching parents. This book is a pure read-aloud joy that is enhanced by the colorful pencil and digital illustrations.

gold_tryouts

Picture Book Writers: Check-out this wonderful post by Ms. Schwartz at the Writerly Wisdom blog where she discusses Rhyme and Meter in Goldi rock style!

One lucky winner will receive their choice of a signed copy of this book OR a free picture book critique from Ms. Schwartz. In the comments answer “What favorite pop song do you like to sing or bee-bop too?” Deadline to enter is February 20th 9pm PST.

My favorite song to rock out on these days is “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Disclosure: I received a F&G (fold and gather, not bound) copy of this story from the author. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

November 18, 2013

Teeny Tiny Trucks

TTTrucksTitle: Teeny Tiny Trucks (book, app)

Author: Tim McCanna
Illustrator: Keith Frawley
Publisher: Little Bahalia, 2013
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Trucks, Insects

Opening Lines:
“Teeny tiny trucks. Smaller than a dime.
So much to deliver, in very little time.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Slugs in traffic jams, busy bees and caterpillar bridges you never know what you’ll encounter with Teeny Tiny Trucks! Teeny Tiny Trucks hits the road with a convoy of micro-sized rigs as they trek through a treacherous garden, down a grassy landscape, across a wide stretch of sidewalk and into the great beyond. Will they deliver their teeny tiny cargo on time?

Activities:

  • Downloadable coloring sheets of the Teeny Tiny Trucks.
  • Grab some building sets, some trucks/cars, and whatever else you have and make your own truck route.

Why I Like This Book:

Breaker .. Breaker. We have got a new truck that is sure to delight all kids and will have them speaking like veteran trucker in no time. This colorful, rhyming book from debut author Tim McCanna is wonderful. I enjoyed the microcosm aspect of the book, teaching kids to see ordinary things in a new way. For example, a water hose is like a tunnel and a garden is like a jungle to teeny tiny truck.

Best of all kids can enjoy it in print form or as an interactive app. The two formats complement each other well. The print version has the bonus trucker glossary in the back. The app version has interactive elements at each spread, where kids can help the teeny tiny trucks by loading stuff onto the truck or moving obstacles out of the way. My 5yr-old daughter’s favorite part wasn’t the “helping” actions … nope, it was making the snails run into each other for the “fender bender” scene. So yes there is something for every child in this app.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the author. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

September 12, 2013

Robots, Robots Everywhere!

Robots Title: Robots, Robots Everywhere!

Author: Sue Fliess (listen to her fantastic interview-episode 12 at Part Time Author Podcast)
Illustrator: Bob Staake
Publisher: Golden Books, 2013
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 2-5
Themes: Robots

Opening Lines:

“On the ground and in the air,
Robots, robots, everywhere!
Up in space, beneath the seas,
Robots make discoveries.”

Synopsis (from Amazon Website):

So begins this rollicking Little Golden Book featuring robots of all kinds, from ones up in space to the ones we use at home. With bold, colorful artwork by award-winner Bob Staake, it’s a perfect introduction to the fascinating subject of today’s real robots!

Activities:

Why I Like This Book:

One of the things I love about picture books is it makes learning so much fun. Who wouldn’t want to look at colorful illustrations with to the point text instead of reading some dry technical article with no pictures. That is exactly what Ms. Fliess has done with this high-energy book. She has made it fun to learn. It looks like a fiction book, but shhhh … it’s really non-fiction. There was a lot of research and most (maybe all) of the robots mentioned are either in-use today or there are prototypes.

Mr. Staake’s whimsical, bold colored illustrations captivate the eye while the rhyming text keeps the reader zipping along (and learning). There are deep-sea robots, vacuum robots, even planting crop robots. The only thing that upset me was there was no bibliography at the end so I could go read more on all these interesting robots. But alas this is a picture book for the little ones, for them it’s perfect. For the older kids (adult kids) go check-out Wikipedia.

Check-out this awesome book trailer, I love the music.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher Golden Books. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

November 16, 2012

Tons of Trucks

Title: Tons of Trucks

Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Betsy Snyder

Publisher: HMH Books, 2012
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: Birth – 4
Themes: Trucks, Rhyming, Interactive

Opening Lines:

“Tons osf trucks before our eyes, in every color shape and size.

Big trucks, strong trucks, scoop and dig trucks.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Big trucks, small trucks, dump trucks, tow trucks, and all kinds of other trucks can be found in this playful touch-and-move book. A backhoe scoops and digs, a cement truck spins, a tar truck oozes sticky tar, and tabs pull up and out to reveal surprises. The trucks eventually slow down for a rest, where little hands can lift the flaps to see animals snuggling up for sleepy-time—under a rising moon. Filled with vibrant art and adorable characters, this book gives a child everything he’s looking for when he presses his face against the fence at a construction site!

Activities:

Read more truck books, sing truck songs, or do truck crafts! (see this awesome post by Playing by the Book)

More links for truck crafts, printables (coloring sheets, mazes, word puzzles), and Pinterest boards on Cars & Trucks and Transportation.

Why I Like This Book:

Colorful, engaging concept book about trucks which have cute animals too. I fell in love with this book right away. The rhyming text has a good cadence, and the illustrations are just gorgeous. I love the way the colors just pop and the animals have a roundness to them making them appear child-like. The best part is the interactive aspect. The reader gets to pull, push, spin, swing, and lift as they explore all the different trucks. A unique aspect of the book design is that in some of the “lift” or “slide” parts, you don’t just see the rest of the truck but also the characters doing something fun or silly. Good feature which increases the re-readability and play-ability. Each spread shows the trucks at work. The final spread is a bedtime scene with parked trucks under a full moon. Lift the flaps to see how the animals are getting ready for bed.

Perfect holiday gift for any toddler, girl or boy!

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

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