Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

Book Review: Dear Santasaurus – by Stacy McAnulty

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Dear Santasaurus
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Jef Kaminsky
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press 
Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $15.37
My rating: a fun and funny read

Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty is unlike any dinosaur book – or santa book – you’re likely to read.

Dear Santasaurus is a funny story about Ernest B. Spinosaurus, a young dinosaur who starts early in the year writing letters to Santasaurus. In fact, January 1 his first note is a thank you for his Christmas present – even though he already broke it. Every month he writes to Santasaurus, sometimes twice, and more in December just so he can try to be on the nice list.

 The notes also serve as his wish list which changes and grows throughout the year. In March, what starts out as a scooter, by April has increased to a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9. In May is it a sea serpent blue Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 and a raging raptor action figure. In June, it is now a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 with a working headlight, and never mind the raging raptor action figure – he now wants tar pit goo. Amusingly for the reader, Ernest B. Spinosaurus’s request gets more elaborate almost every month, and the bold creative illustrations by Jef Kaminsky add to the humour.

On Christmas Eve Ernest leaves a note for Santasaurus, just to remind him of the long list of features he wants his scooter to have. The description is so detailed (and changed) it’s quite funny.

The illustrations by Jef Kaminsky are very well-suited to the story, as Ernest B. Spinosaurus tries to do more nice things than naughty ones – a hard task for a mischievous young dinosaur to accomplish. Children will love the antics Ernest gets up to, and his attempts to convince Santasaurus he had good reasons for everything.

Children are sure to enjoy Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty. It’s a fun story for adults to read to them, too.

You can find Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: When a Dragon Moves in – by Jodi Moore

 

 

 

 

 

Book: When a Dragon Moves In
Author: Jodi Moore
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Publisher: Flashlight Press 
Date: May 1, 2011
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-2
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95
My rating: a delightful story of imaginative play

When a Dragon Moves In is the first book of two – the second being When a Dragon Moves in Again which I reviewed HERE. The author, Jodi Moore, came up with the cutest personalities and storyline for children (and adults) to enjoy.

With his parents and older sister, a little boy spends an enjoyable day at the beach. He builds a perfect sand castle that turns out to be just right for a dragon to move into – and so begins a very imaginative day at the beach.

The dragon becomes his playmate – toasting his marshmallows, being his raft in the water, playing in the sand, scaring away bullies (when actually the reason they run is because his father is standing behind him). The boy is careful to hide his dragon for a while, but then decides it’s time to let his family know. Of course, they don’t believe him and have reasonable explanations for all his clues of the dragon’s existence.

Soon, to prove he’s real, “his dragon” starts doing things that get the little boy into trouble. His dad says it’s got to stop. The boy realizes he has a decision to make.

Children will understand the boy’s quandary, and will be amused with the wonderful ending of the story.

When a Dragon Moves In is such a delightful story. The illustrations by Howard McWilliam are absolutely fabulous. When a Dragon Moves In and When a Dragon Moves In Again are two books that are ‘must reads’ for your young readers – and the whole family.

You can find When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Ross MacDonald
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; humour
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99
My rating: Entertaining story filled with puns and humour

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story is a very entertaining story. And how can it not be, having been written by Tara Lazar?

Private I is asked by the number 6 to help him. He has heard that 7 Ate 9, and he is scared 7 would soon be after him. Private I pointed out that 7 is always after him – as in 5, 6, 7. That fact doesn’t console 6 and he fears his days are numbered as both 7 and 9 seem to be missing!

Private I goes to the café for a slice of pi.  (No, I didn’t mean to type pie.) The waitress, whose name is B, has the scoop. She’d heard that 7 ate 9, and she drops a scoop of ice-cream onto Private I’s pie that’s shaped like the number π – which is the mathematical pi.

As you can easily figure out from what little I have said – not wanting to give away the whole story – there are many puns and word plays in this funny picture book 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. The bold, creative illustrations by Ross MacDonald (a Canadian now living in the US) are perfectly suited to the story and visually add to the puns. The reader must pay attention to the illustrations to not miss the added humour.

In a surprising and funny conclusion, Private I cleverly solves the mystery of missing 9 and 7, reminding the adult reader a little of Sherlock Holmes.  🙂

Tara Lazar has cleverly written a book for children that is full of puns, plays on words, and humour. Young readers are sure to enjoy 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story.

You can find 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK pageI also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Author/illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: June 9, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: Such a delightful story!

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a sweet story.

Schoolteacher Mrs. Benson gives stars on the blackboard for spelling and math and right answers and neatness. Rose just KNOWS she’ll NEVER get a star because she can’t seem to give the right answers on anything. She likes to doodle, and her desk is always messy, too. Mrs. Benson doesn’t give stars for that.

One day, Mr. Sullivan comes to visit the class and he talks about being an artist. After his visit Rose thinks a lot about what he said, so much that she’s distracted and spills the class snack on Mrs. Benson! How can she ever get a star that way!

When Mrs. Benson announces she’s going to do a desk check for neatness, Rose’s heart sinks, but the next morning she cleans it the best she can. When her teacher gets each student to make a thank-you card for Mr. Sullivan, Rose’s artistic flair is released. What a mess, even worse than before! In fact, Mrs. Benson laughs because not only is Rose’s desk a mess, so is Rose! She is very impressed with the little girl’s artwork, though, and says that Rose is a true artist like Mr. Sullivan.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Benson calls Rose up to the blackboard. The little girl is worried, but then something wonderful happens.

Jennifer K. Mann‘s illustrations are fabulous in I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard. I wish I could share a couple of my favourites here for you, but since I can’t you’ll have to read this delightful book for yourself to see them. Jennifer pulls the reader right in with her combination of words and visuals. Her illustrations are uncomplicated and expressive – very enjoyable.

You can find I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments for authors and illustrators are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: I Love Sharks, Too! – by Leanne Shirtliffe

 

 

 

 

 

Book: I Love Sharks, Too!
Author: Leanne Shirtliffe
Illustrator: Lorenzo Montatore
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: children's picture book: age 3-6; Pre-school-K
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99 
My rating: educational and fun at the same time 

I Love Sharks, Too!, by Canadian author Leanne Shirtliffe, is a book to experience and enjoy. If you ever wonder about sharks but you don’t want to get into heavy science facts, or get too close to them in person, this would be an enjoyable read for you. Written for children it’s safe and fun. 🙂

Stevie is a little boy who loves sharks. He loves them so much he wishes he were one himself. He thinks about them a lot! And why not? Sharks are amazing creatures!

One day, every time his mother spoke to him about something, he replied with a shark fact that fit the topic. When his mother said to stop squirming, he told her that whale sharks can’t stop moving or they’ll die. When she told him to use his manners at dinner, he said bull sharks tear their food apart with their fifty rows of teeth! When she warned him about trying to scare her, he had a fact about hammerhead sharks’ eyes.

They really weren’t communicating very well all day. Even when she told him to turn out his light at bedtime he replied with the fact that lantern sharks glow in the dark. Imagine what that must be like.

Lorenzo Montatore’s illustrations in I Love Sharks, Too! are full of energy and will make young readers – and grown-up ones – giggle. His art for this story is bold and crazy – which suits the story well. It’s enjoyable and educational at the same time.

I Love Sharks, Too! has a surprise ending, a satisfying one. The actual story is followed by eight pages of very interesting shark facts humorously illustrated. 

You can find I Love Sharks, Too! by Leanne Shirtliffe on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

We have a winner of The Road That Trucks Built!

It’s been a busy month of July here on Polilla Writes, and it’s been a great experience to be involved in the blog tours of When Your Lion Needs a Bath, When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles, and The Road That Trucks Built – all written by Susanna Leonard Hill. We’ve met her two illustrators – Daniel Wiseman and Erica Sirotich. We’ve learned some crazy, fun, surprising things about Susanna who shared recipes and crafts with us, and we’ve had three giveaways, one for each book, which brings me to …

the pleasure of announcing the winner of The Road That Trucks Built!

Using the random name picker thingie, I learned that ….

the winner’s comment included this: If I were one of these construction vehicles, I’d be a roller. 

And that person is …

DANIELLE!

CONGRATULATIONS,  DANIELLE!

You can expect a book in the mail from Susanna; just give her a little time. 🙂

Huge thanks to everyone who came to read and learn, participate and encourage. It means a lot to me that you came to visit my blog, and to Susanna, Daniel and Erica that you came to learn about their work.

I hope you all go purchase at least one copy of each of these fun books. (I’ve even made it super easy for you to find them by going to BUY THE BOOK here on my blog.) There are children out there who’ll enjoy them. Perhaps you’d like to donate a copy of one, two, or all three to your local school library or public library or day care. Books are meant to be shared and loved.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Last chance to win The Road That Trucks Built – by Susanna Leonard Hill

Hi, Picture Book Lovers!

I am adding my last extra blog post into my busy all-about-Susanna-Leonard-Hill-&-her-books-and-illustrators-in-July schedule. This is to remind you that today – at 9 PM EST – your chance to win, here on my blog, a copy of The Road That Trucks Built .. brakes to a halt … red light, over.

You can go HERE to read my interview with illustrator Erica Sirotich and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Susanna Leonard Hill‘s children’s book The Road That Trucks Built.

Take a look at this fun illustration created by Erica:

 

 

 

Text copyright © 2017 by Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustration copyright © 2017 by Erica Sirotich
Used by permission of Little Simon

If you want to enter the draw, just leave a comment on the July 20 interview post telling us which truck you would want to be or drive – the bulldozer, the scraper, the grader, the paver, the roller, or the paint marker – and your name will go into the random name picker tool I use to determine who is the winner … of a book, not of permission to drive the truck.  🙂  It’s fair and easy!

The month is coming to a close – can you believe it! – ending my part in Susanna’s blog tour for Trucks.  Thanks to Susanna (author), Little Simon (publisher), and Erica Sirotich (illustrator), and – of course – to everyone who enjoyed this with us. We greatly value your interest and comments. 🙂

Be sure to check your email tonight if you entered the draw. In the next post (on July 30) I will announce the winner of The Road That Trucks Built.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂