Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: The ROAD That TRUCKS BUILT – by Susanna Leonard Hill; fun activity, & announcements!

 

 

 

 

 

Book: The ROAD That TRUCKS BUILT
Author: Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustrator: Erica Sirotich
Publisher: Little Simon
Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: picture book; age 4 - 7, Preschool - 2
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $12.99
My rating: A fabulous book to delight the whole family

This is my seventh of twelve scheduled posts as my part in the back-to-back blog tours for Susanna Leonard Hill‘s three books coming out this month. How exciting is that! 🙂

Today I am reviewing the third of those three, a stand-alone book called The Road That Trucks Built, illustrated by Erica Sirotich. Even though it’s about trucks, this is a book that will appeal not only to little boys.

The first thing you’ll notice is the wonderful design (by Chani Yammer, as noted on the back cover) that allows the child to view each type of truck as it’s introduced in the story by turning a wheel that’s part of the front cover and tucked inside it. It’s not flimsy, either, but sturdy like the solid part of the covers. And it looks like a truck tire. Fun!

The Road That Trucks Built is a story written in easy, bouncy rhyme and rhythm. The reader is taken from being presented with a problem – that of traffic congestion and the need of a new road – to being taken through construction of the new road. Each step along the way is represented in lovely illustrations, showing the work done by each different type of truck in the road crew.  The trucks – a bulldozer, a scraper, a grader, a paver, a roller, a paint marker – are brightly illustrated and happy-faced. Then the story backtracks, reminding the reader of how the road got built taking each step in reverse, from paint marker to bulldozer.

This can be a wonderful memory game, a matching game, a learning colours game as each truck is a different colour, and identifying the words that rhyme.

In the very back are two facing pages on which is A guide to the trucks: and each one is shown with some descriptive words. An example is GRADER – Cab, Edge Blade, Engine, Front Axle – with a line from the word to the identified part. This is another way to learn and strengthen memory of the name of the truck, or its parts, or the colour. Susanna Leonard Hill has included many fun things for this book.

Erica Sirotich did a fantastic job at creating all the different trucks for this story.

 

 

And look at this illustration of the backed-up traffic before the new road is built:

 

 


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

A cute illustration feature of this book is that both the front and back end-pages are covered with construction pylons – which you might know by another name such as traffic cones, road cones, highway cones, or  safety cones.

The Road That Trucks Built is available July 25, so you can pre-order now!

BONUS: To add to the fun, Susanna has provided us with a truck craft!

*** Popsicle Stick Pick-Up Truck

You will need:

4 jumbo popsicle sticks (per truck you want to make)

2 mini popsicle sticks (per truck you want to make)

Craft Paint and Paint Brushes  OR  Markers

Glue

Colored card stock

Scissors

Lay four jumbo popsicle sticks next to each other on a flat surface.

Glue two mini popsicle sticks across them (going the other way) one near each end.

This makes the body of the truck.

Set them aside until the glue has dried completely.

When the glue is dry, the kids can paint (or color) the popsicle sticks however they want while you cut wheels (circles), cabs (large trapezoids), windows (smaller trapezoids the same shape as the large ones), and grills (half circles) from card stock.

Glue the card stock wheels to the bottom of the popsicle stick truck body.

Glue the cab on top, and glue the window onto the cab.

Glue the grill on the front.

Feel free to embellish with rhinestones, glitter, paper flames, etc… whatever strikes your fancy!


Now you can play with the trucks or just display them proudly 😊 ***

Wait! Before you go I have two other important things to tell you.

Come back on Thursday, July 20, for my second illustrator interview! Erica Sirotich, illustrator of Susanna’s The Road That Trucks Built, shares some interesting insight into illustrating. And we’re having a giveaway! (Be sure to follow the fun and easy rules to get into the draw.)

Exciting things are happening all month! Read about it HERE

We look forward to your supportive comments.

You can find The ROAD That TRUCKS BUILT by Susanna Leonard Hill on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there. 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

BONUS: Blog tour schedule for The Road That Trucks Built (with slight variation regarding my posts near end of July)  This link takes you to Susanna’s blog.

 

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Book Review: When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles – by Susanna Leonard Hill; fun activity, & announcements!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: When Your ELEPHANT Has the SNIFFLES
Author: Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Publisher: Little Simon
Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: children’s – age 2-4; Preschool & up
Pages: 26; board book
Price: $7.99 US; $10.99 CDN
My rating: An enjoyable story for picture book lovers of all ages

This is my fourth post (I’ll have 12) as my part in the back-to-back blog tours for Susanna Leonard Hill‘s three books coming out this month.

When Your ELEPHANT Has the SNIFFLES, written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman is the second delightful story just right for little ‘uns in the new series of When Your … books.

The very exciting thing is that – as of TODAY – both books are available for purchase!

As with When Your LION Needs a Bath, the first thing you’ll notice about this board book is the adorable illustrations. On the front cover is a miserable-looking elephant with flushed cheeks and lots of tissues. He obviously is not well. Oh dear.

From the beginning of the story you know this little elephant needs some loving care. He is sniffling and has a fever, and the reader is informed that “you don’t want your elephant to start sneezing!”

The little girl in the story sets out to care for her elephant. She removes anything that will make him sneeze. The illustrator, Daniel Wiseman, came up with a funny idea for this visual included below; see it? She tucks her elephant into bed and makes sure he has all he needs. The clever touch you will notice as you read this book is his favourite stuffed toy is … the lion from the first book!

 

 

 

 

Text copyright © 2017 by Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustration copyright © 2017 by Daniel Wiseman
Used by permission of Little Simon

The real challenge begins when Elephant becomes bored as a patient but who is not yet well enough to get out of bed. The little girl is reminded to not make him sneeze as she tries to entertain him with props she chooses. But what if it happens anyway? You find out on the very last page. It’s a cute ending – an awwww moment – that will make you smile with Elephant.

This story, as with the first one, is not written in little words, or only three or four per page. It is written to be read to little ones. The uncomplicated, muted – with occasional splashes of bold colour – illustrations are well-suited to calm the child who is sick with the sniffles. When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles has definite child appeal so the child can fully appreciate what is being told. It will be fun for beginning readers to figure out the bigger words through remembering the story while feeling accomplished with the easier words. This story is for everyone’s reading pleasure.

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles is the second book in the When Your … series, and there are already two more being released later with more planned.

BONUS: To add to the fun, Susanna has provided us with an elephant game! 

*** Elephants On A Tightrope Game

This is a fun activity for a group of preschoolers – at home, at the playground, or at school.  (Plus they’ll think it’s a game, but they’ll actually be practicing their balance and coordination 😊 ) It can be played indoors or outdoors.

Make a “tightrope” line with chalk or tape.

Start with one child balancing on the line while everyone sings: (to the tune of 5 Little Ducks)

“One elephant went out to play

On a tightrope string one day.

He had such enormous fun

He called for another elephant to come!”

The child calls out the name of another child who comes and joins him/her on the “tightrope”

Then the song starts again with:

“Two elephants went out to play

on a tightrope string one day…” etc.

The cycle repeats until all the children are balancing together on the “tightrope” and the last singing verse ends with:

They had such enormous fun

The tightrope broke and they all fell down!”

And all the children can collapse on the floor 😊

If you want to make the game a little harder, or appropriate for kindergartners or slightly older kids, use the raised edge of a sidewalk or patio or wooden border at the park or around landscaping or a floor-level preschool balance beam if you have one as the “tightrope”. ***

Wait! Before you go I have two other important things to tell you.

Come back on Thursday, July 13, for my first interview with an illustrator! Daniel Wiseman, illustrator of Susanna’s Lion and  Elephant books, shares some fascinating info. And we’re having a giveaway! (Be sure to follow the fun and easy rules to get into the draw.)

Exciting things are happening all month! Read about it HERE

We look forward to your supportive comments.

You can find When Your ELEPHANT Has the SNIFFLES by Susanna Leonard Hill on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there. 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: When Your LION Needs a BATH – by Susanna Leonard Hill; fun activity, & announcements!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: When Your LION Needs a BATH
Author: Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Publisher: Little Simon
Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: children’s – age 2-4; Preschool & up
Pages: 26
Price: $7.99 US; $12.99 CDN
My rating: An enjoyable story for picture book lovers of all ages

 

This is my first post (I’ll have 12) as my part in the back-to-back blog tours for Susanna Leonard Hill‘s three books coming out this month.

When Your LION Needs a Bath, written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman is a delightful story for little ‘uns.

The first thing you’ll notice, besides When Your Lion Needs a Bath being a board book, is the vivid comical illustrations in this little book. On the front cover is a lion dripping beside a bubble-filled bathtub. He is looking a little disgruntled. Now you know bath time was a challenge. 

Inside it starts out with the lion looking very happy, very dirty but very happy about it. The instructions begin with the warning that to give your lion a bath you must be a little sneaky. There are several failed attempts at tricking the lion into a prepared bubble bath; however, the little boy who is intent on getting him in there does not give up. He’s prepared for almost anything.

 

 

 

 

Text copyright © 2017 by Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustration copyright © 2017 by Daniel Wiseman
Used by permission of Little Simon

Children will giggle over the illustrations that show the lion dizzy from chasing a toy mouse ’round and ’round, getting tangled in a ball of yarn, and always managing to escape the bath somehow.

Here is where author Susanna Leonard Hill‘s love of desserts, especially with chocolate in them, comes into play …  try tempting your lion with a tasty treat such as … a brownie banana butterscotch berry marshmallow strawberry-smothered caramel-covered peanutty-buttered double-dip chocolate-chip triple-whipped jelly-bean sundae supreme. Oh My! Daniel Wiseman‘s illustration for this one makes the reader want to start off to the ice-cream store! 

When the right idea is hit upon, bathtime is quickly accomplished, until …   😉  I’ll just say it’s a funny ending.

This story is not written in little words, or only three or four per page. It is written to be read to little ones. The bold-coloured, uncomplicated illustrations have definite child appeal so the child can thoroughly appreciate what is being told. Later, when learning to read, it will be fun for children to figure out the bigger words through remembering the story while feeling accomplished with the easier words. In short, this story is for everyone.

When Your LION Needs a BATH is one of the first two books of a series called WHEN YOUR … books. (Watch for the other one coming here July 11.)

BONUS: To add to the fun, here is an extra created by Susanna for kiddies:

*** After you’ve read WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH, you might want to play a lion game – I know I would! 😊  This game requires at least 4 or 5 children – the more the merrier! – and works well at the playground, at preschool, at a birthday party, or just at home in the living room or the back yard.

Catch The Lion’s Tail

Catch The Lion’s Tail is a twist on Duck, Duck, Goose!  Make a lion’s tail using yellow felt, string, or yarn with a knot tied in the bottom.  (And if you don’t have anything like that on hand, a regular old belt will do 😊 )  Give the tail to one player and have her tuck it into the waistband of her pants at the back so it hangs down.  All the other players sit in a circle.

The lion walks around the circle tapping the sitting players on the head saying Lion each time.  When she says Hyena, that player must chase the lion around the circle and try to catch her tail before the lion gets back and sits in the hyena’s spot.  If the hyena catches the tail, the lion must be lion again.  If the lion makes it to the hyena’s seat and sits down, she gives that player the tail and the hyena becomes the new lion. ***

Wait! Before you go I have two other important things to tell you.

Come back on Thursday, July 6, for my interesting interview with the author, Susanna! And … we’re having a giveaway!

Exciting things are happening all month! Read about it HERE

We look forward to your supportive comments.

You can find When Your LION Needs a BATH by Susanna Leonard Hill on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there. (After its release date I will post my review on the above sites.) 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Turkey Tot – by George Shannon

 

 

 

 

Book: Turkey Tot
Author: George Shannon
Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Holiday House
Date: August 31, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs, Preschool - 1
Pages: 32
Price: $16.77
My rating: wonderful story to encourage ingenuity

 

Turkey Tot by George Shannon is an adorable story reminding one of the story of the Little Red Hen.

Turkey Tot had three friends, Chick, Hen, and Pig. One day they spied juicy berries on a bush, but they were too high to reach. The friends sadly went on their way to the pond, but then Turkey Tot came up with an idea. If they could find … something … it would help them reach the berries, but his friends said no, they won’t find that, he’s being silly, and he has been different from the day he was hatched. 

Turkey Tot was not one to give in to defeat. He kept coming up with ingenious ideas. His friends continued to reply the same negative way. Finally, they refused to listen to more of his schemes, so Turkey Tot worked at a plan alone with a variety of things he did manage to find.

When Turkey Tot appears in a way they never expect to see him – and with juicy berries to share – they marvel over his cleverness. After all, they decide, he has been different from the day he was hatched!

This is a cute story with bright, bold illustrations created by Jennifer K. Mann. The images give such expression to the story, each little character has its own personality and appeal. For little people learning to read, the font is large and dark for easy reading.

Children will enjoy this story, and very possibly be prompted to make things themselves.  It’s a great way to encourage creativity and to encourage children to trust themselves, to not be discouraged by other people’s negativity, and to not give up trying.

You can find Turkey Tot by George Shannon 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: A Northern Alphabet – by Ted Harrison

 

 

 

 

Book: A Northern Alphabet
Author/Illustrator: Ted Harrison
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: Board book edition Feb. 28, 2017
Genre: Children's board book  
Pages: 28
Price: $12.99 (US $8.99)
My rating: A charming, beautiful work of art 

 

I “discovered” Ted Harrison a few years ago when I came across a poster of his work. About a year ago I donated it to the local elementary school, and then the librarian sent me a book to read about him. I was hooked!

I received a copy of this book – A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison – from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review.

This edition of A Northern Alphabet is a board book. It’s a very nice size – 7″ wide, 9″ high (22.9 cm x 17.9 cm) – for little hands.

Ted Harrison (1926-2015) was born in England but when he came to Canada he fell in love with the northern part of the country and stayed for the rest of his life. His paintings changed to capture the beauty of the Yukon and its people, as shown in this book. He was famous for his remarkable bold-coloured paintings and in later years he was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian culture through his paintings and books. 

In A Northern Alphabet, for every letter of the alphabet Mr. Harrison illustrated with paintings from what he saw and experienced around him in the Yukon. His work is simplistic and meaningful, delightful and full of colour.

Two examples: H h The husky is watching the boys play hockey. N n  The northern lights shine in the sky at night. The art illustrating those letters gives readers an education in some of the culture of Canada, as it does throughout the book.

A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison is a beautiful book for young children to learn both the alphabet and something about the culture of the Canadian far north. They will love that the renowned artist chose to paint a moose a deep pink, a bear orange, and the sky always in bands of bold colour. They will even learn new words such as anorak, Inuit, muskeg. This is an excellent book to introduce children to art that looks as if it was made just for them, and for anyone who wants to know more about Canada’s north.

You can find A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments are very much appreciated.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart – by Julie Andrews Edwards & Emma Walton Hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

Book: The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart
Author(s): Julie Andrews Edwards & Emma Walton Hamilton
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: children’s picture book: 3 – 6 yrs; Preschool – 3
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99
My rating: a sweet story to help a child build confidence

The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart, written by the mother-daughter team Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton, is book six of the The Very Fairy Princess series.

Gerry believes in her heart that she is a princess because she can feel the sparkle inside. Valentine’s Day is coming up and that day is a favourite for Gerry. She worked hard making sparkly valentines for everyone in her class, even for the boy who pulls her hair.

Her mommy gave her a folder like her daddy’s to keep all her special valentines safe, and on Valentine’s Day morning Gerry got all dressed up, grabbed the folder, and rushed out to catch the bus to school.

Gerry could hardly wait for when their teacher says it’s time for everyone to give out their valentines. She was so excited, so when it was time to pass out the valentines she eagerly opened her folder. Oh-oh! – she had one of her daddy’s folders filled with his work papers! She must have mixed them up. Her day quickly went from sparkly to un-sparkly. Although Gerry was very sad about the mistake, she came up with a special idea for each person in the class. This is another adorable story in the The Very Fairy Princess series by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton. The story is told in a way that encourages the child reader to share from the heart, and is illustrated by Christine Davenier in bright and sweet images with lots of sparkle.

You can find The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton 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 very much appreciated. Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Onward and Upward in the Garden – by Katharine S. White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Onward and Upward in the Garden
Author: Katharine S. White; edited by E. B. White
Publisher: various
Date 1977; reprint editions available
Genre: gardening
Pages: 392
Price: $17.95 and up
My rating: impressive collection of very interesting essays 

 

Katharine S. White was an editor at the New Yorker for thirty-four years. Near the end of that job she began writing garden pieces in a column called Onward and Upward in the Garden, and over the next twelve years her series grew to fourteen pieces in print. Katharine had become a well-respected garden writer who researched thoroughly for each piece.

Katharine was convinced by a writer friend that her garden essays were worthy of being published as a book, but it wasn’t until after Katharine’s death that it happened. Her husband, E. B.White – author of Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and other books – collected, edited, and, in 1977, published his wife’s work into the book Onward and Upward in the Garden, named after the column that started it all.

This is not my usual reading; however, I found it very interesting. It’s almost a memoir, although the author revealed very little about her personal life in her writing. Her focus was centered on varying aspects of gardening, and she wrote with humour in all the right places. The historical and detailed information she shared is impressive.

Mrs. White wrote a critical, but not harsh, review of the seed catalogues current at the time. As a passionate gardener, she expressed her joy of some specimens, her disgust of a few others, and her ideas of how to improve both the catalogues of seeds and plants and the gardens into which they would be planted.

Found at the beginning of the book is a very fitting introduction written by E. B. White. Following the fourteen chapters listed below is an afterword by Jamaica Kincaid – novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer.

Chapters of Onward and Upward in the Garden:

  1. A Romp in the Catalogues
  2. Floricordially Yours
  3. Before the Frost
  4. The Changing Rose, the Enduring Cabbage
  5. War in the Borders, Peace in the Shrubbery
  6. Green Thoughts in a Green Shade
  7. For the Recreation & Delight of the Inhabitants
  8. An Idea Which We Have Called Nature
  9. The Million-Dollar Book
  10. The Flower Arrangers
  11. More about the Arrangers
  12. Winter Reading, Winter Dreams
  13. Winterthur and Winter Book Fare
  14. Knots and Arbours – and Books

Following the Afterword is listed a section called Seedsmen and Nurserymen, which precedes the section Books in Print.

For anyone who loves gardening and a quiet informative read, Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katharine White is a book to enjoy. It is full of information about flowers, flower selection, seed catalogues and nurseries, flower shows, historic facts about people and plants, and the feeling of listening to a friend.

You can find Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katharine S. White 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 are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂