All posts by

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up (part 2 of 2)

Summer Chapter Book Reading List GIVEAWAY (part 2 of 2)

I’ve been “book tasting” or sampling two dozen or so middle grade chapter books to find books for my 12 year old son. I’m also reading for myself, trying to discover that possible Newbery gem in these piles.

From this list, I’m narrowing down my reading pile to:

  • Lemons by Melissa Savage (getting buzz)
  • A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (for possible autism list I’m working on)
  • Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis (I do like magical realism)
  • Kid Beowulf: The Song of Roland by Alexis E. Fajardo (my son likes graphic novels and I’m also going to add to my Medieval/Middle Ages book list; a period of history that is growing on me)
  • Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying by Amanda Hosch (I have a spy/superhero chapter book list that I can add this one to)
  • A Dog Like Daisy by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb (I might make a service dog book list)

How about you? What middle grade books are you loving right now?

p.s. I’m giving away 6 of these books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

p.p.s. Part 1 of this list here.

 

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY (part 2 of 2)

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager

I loved Hour of the Bees so I’m excited to read Lindsay Eager’s newest book that has a breezier feel than the slight melancholic heaviness of Hour of the Bees. 11 year old Fidelia Quail becomes an orphan where her parents are killed in a submarine of her own invention and now it’s up to her to escape a pirate who has kidnapped her, and figure of the mystery of a treasure he’s desperate to find on the bottom of the ocean. This book feels a little like Half Magic meets The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Lemons by Melissa Savage

There seems to be a growing buzz for Lemons, Melissa Savage’s debut chapter book. It’s 53 chapters of about 6 pages each. I personally find short chapters appealing because the pacing tends to be fast and thus hold my son’s interest. Nearly 11 years old Lemonade Liberty (Lem for short) is moving to a tiny town to live with her grandfather after her mother dies. It’s here that she makes a new friend who is determined to capture Bigfoot on film. This book reminds me of The True Meaning of Smekday thus far. I’m excited to read further. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Read more…

Where Are All The Wheelchairs in Children's Books? GIVEAWAY

Where Are the Wheelchairs in Children’s Books? 3 Book GIVEAWAY

My 15-year-0ld daughter, PickyKidPix, has been working for a year to get our dog to pass the therapy dog test through Pets and People.

therapy dog training

Her goal is to do library dog volunteer work with him. She signed up for about ten dog training sessions and our dog made great progress. She even practiced at home with him.

The issue is that our dog can do all of the different components of the test, but just not at the same time:

training dog as therapy dog Read more…

DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

This STEM project is to help the bees. Offering native bees a home to build their nests is a good way to share our spades and support them in their hard work of pollinating our gardens. Native bees, if they decide to take up residence in your bee house, are docile and make good neighbors because they are unlikely to sting.DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

Thank you to Monsanto for sending us this DIY Bee House kit! Learn about bees with Val from Monsanto. She also goes over how to make the bee house. We made our own bee house, and our video is at the bottom.

Build Your Own Bee House from Monsanto STEM Education Outreach on Vimeo. Read more…

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY

I have a stack of middle grade chapter books to review so I thought I would do a book tasting to screen them. It’s basically a perusal — check out the cover, the back cover, the flap summary for first impressions — then read the first few chapters, skip around the middle reading here and there, and see if you can guess the ending. If the book grabs me, then I’m pulling it aside to read in depth.

I’m also including my sixth grade 12-year-old son’s book recommendations of the books we’ve read together. He like Rick Riordan and fantasy adventure like Percy Jackson, but also mysteries, nonfiction, and graphic novels. Here are his recommendations:

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

I loved Schooled by Gordon Korman so when I saw Ungifted at a used bookstore, I snapped it up for my son. Korman knows how to write for middle school kids. This is a funny, realistic story about a boy who evades punishment by being accidentally enrolled in a school for gifted students and the transformation he creates by being the average student that he is. We are almost done with it and will seek out more of his books. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

The Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibottson

Readers who like the Half Magic series or Roald Dahl will like this British realistic fantasy caper about aunts living on a remote island with magical creatures. My son read this for a class assignment and we both really liked it. It’s perfect for readers who think Harry Potter might be scary because it has that same fantasy magical element but is a more gentle story. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

FunJungle novels series by Stuart Gibbs

My son picked the first two books from a used bookstore and he’s enjoyed it so much we’ve read all the books written so far, and are waiting impatiently for more. Teddy is a sixth grade boy who lives at zoo with his world renowned primatologist mother, and wildlife photographer father. FunJungle is a new state-of-the-art zoo built by a billionaire for his seventh grade daughter, Summer. Someone is trying to sabotage the zoo, and Teddy’s detective skills are called into play. Working with Summer, Teddy has to find culprit or risk juvenile hall since often he’s the main suspect. This series also has an endangered animal environmental message. [chapter book series, ages 8 and up]

Read more…

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children’s literature. We welcome you to the July 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children’s literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Summer is winding down and the kids will be returning to school soon. There is still a number of Summer reads left for kids around the blogsphere. Let’s show them off again on the blog hop and see what else you are reading! Read more…

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY: 3 Book Bundles

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY: 3 Book Bundles

Dog picture books seem to be in much more abundance than cat picture books, but I did find a few that combined both dogs and cats. I’m giving away most of these newly published picture books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to win.

How about you? What are your favorite dog or cat picture books?

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY

Bow-Wow-Meow by Blanca Lacasa, illustrated by Gómez

I thought I’d start off my cat and dog picture book list with this hybrid picture book about a dog who is really a cat deep down inside. It’s a story about being true to yourself, and the gratification when your family does as well. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Raymond by Yann & Gwendal Le Bec

My husband says that in his next life, he wants to come back as our family dog. It’s true. Our dog has it made. Raymond in this picture book, doesn’t realize how good his doggy life was until he gets a high powered job in Dogue Magazine and becomes a Very Important Dog. Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are best. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

A Day With Dogs by Dorothée de Monfreid

Kids who like Richard Scarry’s books will like this similar type of information book with everything labeled. In this case, though, it’s a dog’s world and they are running the show. The dogs take us through a house and all its rooms AND the items in each room. This is perfect for little ones who are learning words and how the world works. [picture book ages 2 and up]

Read more…

Phonics Museum App

Phonics Museum App

Phonics Museum App

Phonics Museum App is an interactive phonics app for kids to learn to read. It’s like a personalized educational TV show that takes kids on an adventure in an art museum.

What’s really fun about the app is that it combines animated characters in some segments with the character, Miss Biddle, also appearing as a real person.

The app first starts with animated characters including the person playing who gets to choose an avatar. Starting in the lobby of an art museum, a magical suit of arms called Percival tells the player how this adventure works.

Phonics Museum App

By going through the different rooms of the museum and playing games, singing songs, and tracing letters on the screen, the player earns points. Read more…

My Book of Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

#BeautifulOops! Prize Pack GIVEAWAY

I’m thrilled to be doing a giveaway with Workman Publishing on an arty interactive board book journal to inspire young artists. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

My Book of Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

A Scribble it, Smear it, Fold it, Tear it Journal for Young Artists

My Book of Beautiful Oops! is a hands-on journal that’s designed to help young hands and minds turn an “oops” into art. The friendly green alligator-familiar to readers of Beautiful Oops!-prompts the reader to imagine the possibilities of a bent page. Decorate a smudge. Play with splats and spills. Even complete a poem that was accidentally ripped in half. [interactive board book, ages 3 and up]

Read more…

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author and illustrator Gaia Cornwall with her list of ten picture books that spark courage. She took the jump from illustrator to author with her first picture book, Jabari Jumps, a charming story about a boy who wants to dive for the first time, but finds it a little scary.

We are giving away 3 copies of Jabari Jumps! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. How about you? What picture books that spark courage do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is ready to jump off the diving board for the first time!… Right after he does some stretches. And thinks about what kind of jump to do. Actually, everyone else can go first… With the help of his supportive dad, Jabari figures out how to deal with his fear and tackle a new challenge. [ages 2 and up]

Read more…