Tag Archives: friendship

Book review: Two Speckled Eggs – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

Book: Two Speckled Eggs
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 5-8 yr; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99
My Rating: a wonderful story about enjoying being oneself

Two Speckled Eggs, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a story to encourage uniqueness, showing it’s okay to not follow the crowd.

Ginger was having a birthday party to which she wanted to invite all the girls in her class at school – all except Lyla. Lyla smelled like old leaves all the time and she didn’t talk much. Ginger thought Lyla was weird. But, Ginger’s mother wisely said to invite Lyla too or she could invite none of them. Ginger invited Lyla, too.

Lyla was the first guest to arrive at the party. — Here’s where you begin really appreciating Jennifer’s illustrations, because you see what Lyla’s interests are and how she sets herself apart. — When all the other girls came they started playing the party games. Ginger soon began feeling disappointed. The other girls didn’t play any of the games right, but kind of took over and did things their own way. When it came time for cake, all the girls, except for Lyla, were fussy and thought they didn’t like it so wouldn’t eat any. They left Ginger and Lyla sitting at the table while they ran off to play. The two girls start to connect when a funny thing happens while they are enjoying cake together.

When Ginger opens her presents later, her favourite one was from Lyla who’d obviously put thought into what she wanted to give her. Ginger discovered that, even though Lyla didn’t care about being like everybody else, she was more fun and a better friend than all the other girls Ginger had thought she wanted to be around.

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann is a story to which many children can relate. (And adults, too.) The illustrations are adorable and wonderfully expressive in their simplicity. In fact, the reader can appreciate the story just through the illustrations and not miss anything. It’s beautifully done.

Two Speckled Eggsand don’t you love the title? – takes the reader from the hopeful anticipation of a little girl, through her disappointment, and into the realization of a new and unexpected friendship. That friendship shows her it’s not a bad thing to be different.

You can find Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann 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: Buster the Little Garbage Truck – by Marcia Berneger

 

 

 




Book: Buster the Little Garbage Truck
Author: Marcia Berneger
Illustrator: Kevin Zimmer
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Date: April 1, 2015
Genre: Picture book; age 3-6; Preschool - 1
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99
My rating: A good story to encourage children to be 
confident and brave

 

Buster the Little Garbage Truck, written by Marcia Berneger, is a story young children will relate to and understand.

Buster admired his father and all the other trucks who were big and capable. He wanted so much to be just like his father. He even practiced doing big truck things like lifting and beeping when he played with his best friend, Kitty, a small kitten.

One day his father took Buster along when he went to work. Buster was excited until all his dad’s friends came over and welcomed him with their loud honks and beeps. He was so afraid of the noise that he skidded to his daddy’s side and wouldn’t leave him all day. His dad didn’t know what to do about him.

At home again Buster tried to get unafraid, but he didn’t know how to not be scared by loud noises. How could he ever be like his dad and work with other big trucks if he is afraid?

One day Kitty was in danger. Buster tried to beep a warning, but he couldn’t be heard. He had to save his friend!

Buster the Little Garbage Truck is sweetly illustrated by Kevin Zimmer. Children will love the bright friendly tone of the pictures and will also enjoy finding out how Buster’s courage comes out. This is a very well told story to encourage little children that they, too, can overcome their fears.

You can find Buster the Little Garbage Truck by Marcia Berenger on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Sky Pig – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 

 

Book: SkyPig
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: April 1, 2016 - Canada; September, 2016 - USA
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs; K - 2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95
My rating: a sweet story of determination and friendship

 

If this book looks familiar to my regular readers, it is because I mentioned it in this blog post last year. 

Here is Jan reading her book at the launch in May of 2016.

 

 

 

SkyPig by Jan L. Coates is a sweet story about friendship and determination. 

Ollie, a little pig, wanted so very much to fly. He watched birds, and airplanes, and bugs, and things being blown in the wind, and he wanted to fly more than anything. His friend Jack, being an inventive boy, did all he could to try to help him attain his dream – even though everybody knows pigs can’t fly.

To launch Ollie airborne they collected leafy branches and fastened them onto his back. They climbed all the way to the top of a very high hill, and Ollie did his very best to fly. Just when he was thinking, “I’m flying! I’m flying, I’m …” Crash! he came down hard, and sadly limped home.

Since that unsuccessful attempt didn’t dampen Ollie’s determination, Jack helped him construct a kite (fail), then wings with feathers and things (fail), and more inventions to try to make Ollie fly. Nothing worked, and nothing made Ollie smile, until the day they discovered something wondrous. 

Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo created amazing illustrations for Sky Pig. To quote: “The illustrations were rendered with plasticine, polymer clay, paper collage, milkweed fluff, watch gears, and other doodads.”  Take a close look at the cover illustration to see many of those doodads.

Sky Pig was a selection for the 2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens, won the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, and was a finalist for the 2017 Shining Willow Award.

Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates is an inspiring story written with repetition of some phrases and humour children will love. Her word choices are delightful. Suzanne Del Rizzo‘s illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. When you get to read this book, watch for two little friends who appear in almost every picture with Ollie and Jack, adding a smile for the reader.

You can find Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

Gift experiment

It’s getting so close to Christmas! I don’t know about you, but I’m still not ready. We have one more week to finish everything.

Today my husband and I are attending the wedding of a young lady who is our youngest daughter’s best friend. They met in elementary school so have been best friends for most of their lives, making this even more special. Our daughter is one of her bridesmaids. Fortunately yesterday was the snowstorm and frigid temperatures, today is much better.

Before I end this post I want to share with you something you may have not seen yet. It’s a gift experiment. If you can get all the way through it without a tear in your eye by the end, you did better than I did.

GO HERE to watch it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Any comments about the video? Did you shed a tear?

How are you doing with getting ready for Christmas or whatever it is you will enjoy this month?

Oh, and remember my final draw of 2016 is Tuesday night! Did you get your name in yet?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Book Review: The Moon has a Date with the Sun – by Marc Geller

The Moon has a Date with the SunBook: The Moon has a date with the Sun
Author: Marc Geller
Illustrator: Robert M. Henry
Publisher: Marc Geller
Date: February 8, 2013
Genre: children’s fantasy
Pages: 44
Price: Paper – $10.80; Kindle – under $1
My rating: fun story with great illustrations
 

The Moon has a date with the Sun by Marc Geller is a fascinating story for children. The illustrations are fabulous – bright, cheery, realistic portrayals of cityscapes, day and night sky, and more colourful, beautiful pages by very accomplished artist Robert M. Henry.

The Sun is king of the sky, but he gets lonely even though he demands he is the only one who can take up space in his sky. A little cloud befriends Sun and suggests maybe he and Moon can meet. Moon is lonely too and is interested when the cloud mentions the possibility of her having a friend. Sun and Moon begin to have hope.

You have to read this yourself to see what happens. It’s a cute story, one which children will love to read or to have read to them. The words are rather advanced in places for the youngest ones, but it’s a great way to introduce words with their meanings in context. It also will teach them some historical facts in a fun way.

The Moon has a date with the Sun is quite a different story, well done and interesting, almost like a fable.

You can find The Moon has a date with the Sun listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Mother’s Day, and time away

To all my readers to whom this applies …

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

This day is sometimes bittersweet. Today I visited my mother’s grave, not something I do often since her spirit is not there, but it seemed right to do today. Not sure why.    I miss her so much.  I miss her hugs, her gentle loving touch, her soft voice, her sweetness, her tears when she is touched by kindness.  I miss her.

I have heard from all four of my girls today, which is so nice for this mother’s heart. ♥♥♥♥

Time away…

Remember the trip I mentioned I would be taking this month? It happened this past week. Since it was on my week at Dad’s, my sister took the overnight shift so I could be free to go, and a morning shift was adjusted a little. It all worked out well.

On Tuesday I left Dad’s with my friend at 9:00 AM, went to her house for a few minutes, then on to the bus stop in town. Left there at 9:40 on our way to Moncton, New Brunswick. There were a few brief stops along the way, only one transfer, and we arrived at 4:00 PM. It was very good travelling and I even was able to read in my Kindle and not get motion sick — a huge plus for me! Yay! I’m making my way through a book I will be reviewing soon.

When we arrived in Moncton we walked from the bus stop (grateful for luggage on wheels) to our hotel – The Crown Plaza – where we rested a few minutes, then went down to the restaurant for our delicious evening meal. Back to our room where we got ready for the Steven Curtis Chapman concert, and then a taxi picked us up. The driver was friendly but sneaky, took us the long way around since we were out-of-towners.

The concert was worth the bus trip. It was Steven Curtis Chapman‘s first night of his tour in Canada, and he got off to a good start with loads of audience support. He had with him his good friend Geoff Moore, also a contemporary Christian singer, and the show was opened by Canadian artist Dan Bremnes, who is making great strides in the Christian music scene.  The concert was also to raise more awareness about Compassion and Show Hope through which orphaned children find their forever families through adoption. That part was emotional and well-delivered. 

Of course, I purchased some CD’s before our taxi ride back to our hotel. The ride back was much shorter, and that amiable taxi driver was surprised to receive a sizable tip. He was told it was because he was honest, but he looked a little puzzled at that explanation. 🙂

In the morning we received room service … both of us propped up against pillows on my bed and enjoyed a yummy breakfast. That was worth the trip, too! 🙂  After we checked out we moseyed on downtown and eventually sat at a sidewalk table and talked about the redesign of my kitchen. My friend is skilled in kitchen design, and my outdated kitchen needs it! When we had just enough time for dinner before boarding the 2:00 PM bus home we found a little eatery called Eva’s Restaurant. Oh my! It is just a wee little Japanese restaurant but that was the best meal I enjoyed on the whole trip! If you are ever in Moncton, look for this little place and tell Eva you were sent by the two ladies from Nova Scotia who ate there before catching the bus home. I think she will remember us. 🙂

The ride home was as good as on the way there, I got more reading done, and my friend and I had lots of laughs along the way. I am grateful for the friend He gave me so many years ago. That evening around 8:00 our husbands met us at the bus stop in town and actually seemed pleased to see us. 🙂 I went back to Dad’s for the rest of the week, but I must say, for two days I was wiped out. Even with the Lord’s blessings I find travelling to be exhausting.

I’m glad I went; I really needed the change since I seldom go anywhere. Now I am home for a week and glad to be here – although I have a lot of housework to do, much reading to catch up on, reviews to write, and so on, and so on …

How was Mother’s Day for you? Were you the giver or the recipient?

Do you enjoy travelling? Why or why not?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Ups and downs, but Spring is here

This morning my daughter who lives in Alberta boarded the plane for back … meaning … I MISS HER ALREADY!  😦  It was a lovely visit, but, as always, too short.

flying(This photo is actually from my flight to Holland. Exquisite cloudbanks!)

As you may recall, my third daughter arrived home secretively to surprise her oldest sister on her special birthday April 19. She was home to enjoy that celebration, family Easter dinner with all of us – her first holiday meal with us in six years! – and her brother-in-law’s birthday. She and I went bargain clothing shopping for a few hours one day and her younger sister joined us, which was fun. On Wednesday I took all my girls and my grandson out to a Thai Japanese restaurant, which is when I ate sushi for the first time — and liked it! Then on Friday all my girls got an identical tattoo which they call their sisters tattoo. It’s a dainty infinity ring with four tiny doves flying up from it. Quite nice, and meaningful. My girls enjoyed their time together, and it was even harder for our ‘away’ daughter to leave this time.

There were such good things, positive things, that happened during these past nine days, things for which I am thankful. We all have concerns in our lives so I continue to pray, because often times that is the only thing a mother can do.

The newest excitement for me is that a girl friend asked me to go with her to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in another province in May! (Steven Curtis Chapman is a Christian singer – do you know him?) It will be a day’s journey by bus, followed by the concert, an overnight stay in a hotel and then the bus trip home the next day. The drawback is Meyya and it’s during one of my weeks at Dad’s, so now I’m getting things in order so I can go on this much appreciated adventure. The Lord knows how I need this; I’m hoping everything works out.

We are now enjoying the beautiful Spring weather, although we did experience another cold dip that brought some fresh snow. I’m not sure but this one may be the smelt snow. Know about that? There’s the robin snow, the smelt snow (little fish that come up the river), and the poor man’s fertilizer snow – or some call it the farmer’s snow. Whatever it is, it doesn’t stay long. Our mornings are much warmer than they have been when I take Meyya out early, and I get to enjoy the birds singing with such glorious abandon. Love it!

What do you love about Spring? What positives has Spring brought to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂