Monthly Archives: March 2017

Book Review: Snappsy the Alligator (did not ask to be in this book) – by Julie Falatko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Snappsy the Alligator (did not ask to be in this book)
Author: Julie Falatko
Illustrator: Tim Miller
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: children's picture book; pre-school-3; age 3-8
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating:  An unusual and amusing story

 

Snappsy the Alligator – Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! is the first picture book written by Julie Falatko.

Snappsy is going along minding his own business, just living his ho-hum life. When he realizes he’s suddenly in a book being narrated about him he objects, to no avail.

Snappsy the Alligator Does Not Want to Be in This Book! – and he really does not want to be in this book! – is presented in a way quite different from the usual method of writing a picture book. Julie Falatko has included a narrator to whom her main character is talking.

If you pay attention to Tim Miller’s funny illustrations in relation to the words you will see that what the narrator is saying is, at first, describing everything Snappsy is doing. Snappsy finds that irritating. The reader can figure out what he’s doing without being told step-by-step, but then the narrator starts saying things that make Snappsy sound mean and adventurous. He also calls Snappsy out on his habits, challenging him to try something different. It’s amusing. And it’s effective because Snappsy does something different to make the narration more interesting. 

This is a funny story children will enjoy once they catch on to what’s happening.

You can find Snappsy the Alligator Does Not Want to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko on my BUY THE BOOK page.

I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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Book Review: A Gift of Music: Emile Benoit & his Fiddle

 

 

 

 






Book: A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle
Author: Alice Walsh
Illustrator: Geoff Butler
Publisher: Tuckamore Books
Date: May 1, 2010
Genre: non-fiction children's picture book; gr K-5; age 5-9
Pages: 32; paperback
Price: $12.95
My rating: an interesting story about a gifted musician

 

This is another picture book I purchased from one of the authors at the children’s book fair last year.

A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is a non-fiction story by Canadian author Alice Walsh about a young boy who grew up to be a well-known fiddler in Canada, the United States, and other countries.

Émile Benoit (March 24, 1913 – September 3, 1992) was born in Newfoundland and weighed only one pound, seven ounces at birth. Émile’s father sheared one of their sheep and his mother wrapped their tiny baby in the raw wool, placed him in a small box under the wood stove to try to save him, and fed him from a dropper. No one thought he would survive, but his mother’s loving care brought him through.

Émile loved music. He especially loved violin, and would practice on the small toy one his father made him that had thread for strings. (Notice the cover illustration above.) His father promised to make him a real violin when he was old enough to have one. When he was twelve, one day he came home from school and there it was! Émile had imagined this so often that he picked up the violin and – within minutes – began to play the tunes he had composed in his head! Friends and family came from all around to hear him play, amazed at his gift of music. In his lifetime he composed more than one hundred tunes.

Alice Walsh has written an interesting story of how, from an early age, Émile Benoit’s life was centered on music. The realistic illustrations by Geoff Butler capture the life and passion of Émile and people in his life. A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is an encouraging story for children – who have dreams of their own – to not give up on their talent and important life goals.

At the back of the book there is a page called Historical Note on which is information about Émile. There is also a music score of a tune called Émile’s Dream that he composed in his sleep!

You can find A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle by Alice Walsh on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

MozART Group video

Today I’m sharing some musical talent with you, a link that was shared with me. (Thanks, Faith.)

CLICK HERE for some fun entertainment.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful weekend.

Do you play any instruments?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight – by Penny Parker Klostermann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Author: Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; pre-school-2; age 3-7
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: A very fun twist on an old nursery rhyme

 

I’m sure you know the nursery rhyme that starts with “there was an old woman who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why she swallowed a fly … ”  And I’m sure you’ve heard several variations of that rhyme. Well, if you haven’t read this one you really must treat yourself to this book.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann is a very entertaining story. She substituted the woman with a dragon and the fly with a knight. That in itself is funny, but when you see the illustrations it’s quite hilarious combined with the story-telling.

Penny‘s rhyming is fun to read and even to sing-along to, which – yes, I did, just to see how it sounded, you understand. (The rhythm is great, by the way.) She has the dragon swallowing the knight, then the knight’s royal steed – clippity, clippity, clippity, clopping around which became quite annoying to the dragon, the squire with his pants on fire, the cook with his recipe book, and more characters until he even swallowed the castle. Oh my! That was too much. The dragon had the realization he was being impolite and … well, you have to read it.  🙂  The ending has a surprise twist to it, too.

The illustrations by Ben Mantle are beautiful. The characters’ expressions and actions are so funny and in vivid rich colour. Each time I read There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight it makes me snicker, so I expect for children it’s so much fun to read and examine the pictures.

You can find There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann on my BUY THE BOOK page.

I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: The Darkest Dark – by Chris Hadfield, astronaut

 

 

 

 






Book: The Darkest Dark
Author: Astronaut Chris Hadfield with Kate Fillion
Illustrators: The Fan Brothers, Terry and Eric 
Publisher: Tundra Books (a division of Random House)
Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: children's picture book; pre-school-3; ages 4-8
Pages: 48; hardcover
Price: $17.99
My Rating: An excellent book to encourage children to dream
big and conquer their fears

I was very happy to win from Library Thing a copy of The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield. This is my honest review.

The Darkest Dark is a non-fiction picture book written by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield – with Kate Fillion – about his dream of being an astronaut from the time he was a little boy.

Chris loved to pretend play that he was an astronaut. It was something he imagined most of the time and dreamed about at night.

It was summer vacation when the moon landing was shown on TV on July 20, 1969,  so Chris and his family went to a neighbour’s cottage to watch it. Chris was amazed to see real astronauts walking on our moon. It was then that he realized that outer space is the darkest dark there is, and he knew he had a problem. He was afraid of the dark. How could he be an astronaut if he was afraid of the dark?

That night Chris did an experiment. Instead of waking his parents or leaving his nightlight on he sat in the dark. Before that day he was afraid of any dark shadows and he imagined aliens in his room, but that night something was different. Nothing around him had changed, but Chris had changed. He realized the beauty of the dark sky and he made the decision to overcome his fear so that he could be what he most wanted … an astronaut.

This is a wonderfully told story about Chris Hadfield‘s childhood dream and his fear, the moment his life changed, and that dreams can come true. It is an encouraging story for children – anyone, really – who have hopes and dreams but fear stands in the way.

The Darkest Dark has gorgeous illustrations by The Fan Brothers, Terry and Eric. The pictures are mostly dark, which suit the story very well.

You can find The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Video: hummingbird rescue

For some of us, spring weather has been moving in with dips into winter weather. Another bit of “weather” is coming today, so I thought this might be a good time to share a video with you to encourage you that warm weather is coming soon.

I hope this video works for you. It’s amazing!

Have you ever rescued an animal or bird?

Thanks for watching, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    

Today is the day of the wearing of the green.

(I am repeating a post I wrote here in 2012.)

 

Did you know that Saint Patrick was not really Irish? And Patrick was not his birth name? His real name was Maewyn Succat but he took the name of Patrick when he became a priest.

Patrick was born in Scotland in 373 AD, but was captured by raiders when he was sixteen and taken to Ireland as a slave. After six years he escaped by ship, then returned years later on a mission from God at about 430 AD.

Do you know how the shamrock became known as a symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day? Legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock as a visual aid in teaching about the Trinity.

 

 

 

Patrick grew to deeply love Ireland, and as an old man that is where he died on March 17, 460 AD, having fulfilled his mission. If you are interested in reading more about his life, click here.

Even though their history is tumultuous and rugged I love that some of my ancestors came from Ireland and some from Scotland.

Dance a little jig, count your many blessings, and hug a leprechaun today – if you can catch one.   🙂

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!

Do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in any way?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂