Posts tagged ‘games’

THE CITY BY THE BAY

Kid’s Travel Guide: San Francisco- The Fun Way to Discover San Francisco, Especially for Kids

Written by Kelsey Fox and Shiela H. Leon

kidsguidesfpic

Fun way to introduce school age children to the city of San Francisco. The book is a guide book and travel diary of sorts. Children will have lots of fun learning how to prepare for their trip and what to pack. Authors include a short history, what to see, and how to get around. Points of interest covered of special interest to kids are spots like Chinatown, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Telegraph Hill.

All of the information is presented by using fun activities, puzzles, games, coloring, and lots of interesting illustrations. Near the end of the book, children are encouraged to summarize their trip and are presented with the challenge of a fun to do quiz to test their vacations smarts. When all is said and done, the completed book becomes a souvenir for the child and all those who participated in the experience with her. Recommended for children ages six through twelve; a worthwhile investment for parents, grandparents and teachers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

#Happy Mamas Children’s Book Review Blog Tour, Interview and Giveaway

happymamaspic

HAPPY MAMAS SYNOPSIS

Written by Kathleen Pelley

Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper

Publisher’s Synopsis: Happy Mamas is a lyrical read aloud that pays tribute to the universal joys of mothering in the animal and in the human kingdoms. Charming illustrations depict all the activities that bring joy to a mama and her baby over the course of a day: feeding her little ones bundles of bamboo shoots, teaching her calf how to trumpet loud a jungle cheer, playing peek a boo, watching her little ones fly from the nest, singing a serenade to the man in the moon, or crooning owly lullabies through the deep dark woods. But as the moon glows and the stars shine, what is it that makes all Mamas from desert to jungle, from forest to field, from land to sea happiest by far?

Mamas and babies everywhere will delight in this happy romp – a perfect ode to Motherhood. Perfect for one on one sharing or for use in the classroom. Ages 3-6 Ages 3-6 | CWLA Press | October 10, 2016 | 978-1587601606

Available Here:

(also available in Spanish)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathleen Pelley was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but spent most of her childhood summers playing on her grandparents’ farm in Ireland. Her passion for stories stemmed from listening to them on the radio during the BBC children’s story hour. Later, her gentle Irish father fanned the flame even more by feeding her his tales of fairies, leprechauns, and banshees.
So much did Kathleen love stories, that off she went to Edinburgh University and earned a degree in HiSTORY. She didn’t much care for all the facts and dates and numbers, but how she loved the stories of Rasputin, Napoleon, and Bonnie Prince Charlie! One character in particular captured Kathleen’s imagination—Florence Nightingale. After completing her degree, Kathleen studied to become a children’s nurse, but it was a brief and disastrous dalliance. For much as Kathleen loved children, she did not like to see them sick and suffering. However, decades later, Kathleen now sees herself as a kind of a nurse, because she believes that stories can heal the hurts in our hearts.
As a former elementary teacher, Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion with people of all ages. She has been a regular speaker at Regis University on “Nurturing a Passion for Stories,” makes frequent presentations at schools and conferences, and has been telling stories at an inner city elementary school for the past 20 years. She believes that one of the best ways to teach our children empathy is through stories that help them “walk a mile in another man’s moccasins.” When she’s not reading, writing, telling, or listening to stories, Kathleen enjoys knitting, Scottish music, and hiking with her husband and two Golden Retriever dogs along the trails of sunny Colorado.
OFFICIAL LINKS
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Ruth is a self-taught English artist who fancies herself as a spiffy writer-in-the-making. She is the illustrator of #1 classic The Kissing Hand and Sassafras, and Happy Mamas is her 3rd book for CWLA. Powered by dark chocolate, she heartily knits stories together with letters, pencils and paintbrushes. She is often snatched up by breezes and colors and pint-sized things like rocks, leaves, shells, bugs, feathers, and creatures. You may also find her gardening, hiking, wildly dancing, and riding her bike really fast in an odd looking helmet. She now breathes easy in Iowa with an adorable husband, a dog, two cats, and six marvelous kids between them (with handfuls of grandbabies!). See her art at www.rutheharper.com.

 MY INTERVIEW WITH KATHLEEN PELLEY

What was it that inspired you to write a book about happiness?

For many years I used to run a mother/daughter book club at my home and no matter what story we discussed, whether it was Tolstoy’s, “The Two Brothers,” or a classic fairy tale such as Jack and the Beanstalk, it seemed we always circled back to this whole notion of happiness. What was it? How did our main character find it….or lose it? Were rich people happier than poor people? These were the kinds of questions we grappled with.

Around this time, I also noticed too that there was a bounty of books on this topic and one of them, The Pursuit of Happiness by William O’ Malley referred to the ancient Greek definition of happiness as the evolving of a soul. This description resonated deeply with me, because of course, happiness is never actually static, but rather continually unfolds and evolves over time, and seems much more connected to the interior life than the exterior life.

O’Malley also mentioned watching his Golden retriever swimming in a pond to retrieve his ball, and how the dog would literally continue swimming and retrieving to the point of utter exhaustion. Why? Because he was in his element – doing what he was born to do, to swim and to retrieve.

That was my “Aha” moment, because it seemed to me that we humans are born to do two things -to love and to create. And what can be more loving and creative than – MOTHERING!

I wrote Happy Mamas as a way of exploring the myriad ways human and animal mamas love their babies over the course of a day and to show how mothering and happiness are inextricably entwined. Any mother will tell you that what she wants most in all the world is for her child to be happy – and that happiness is completely and absolutely related to – GOODNESS – to the evolving of a soul.

The animals included within the pages of Happy Mamas are all so adorable. Do you have any favorites?

It’s hard to choose which animals in the book are my favorite as Ruth has done such a fabulous job of depicting all of them in various kinds of cheery cavorting, but probably, if I had to choose, then it would be the wolves singing their serenade to the man in the moon, “to make him smile and light up the night!” I love how Ruth has painted them perched on the desert rocks and howling their little hearts out. It has such great child appeal as most children naturally enjoy singing together and in those early years, seldom do they suffer from any inhibitions about the quality of their voices – they just sing away with great gusto.

You have been writing children’s books for quite some time. Do you feel that storytelling has changed over the years? What lessons have you learned through your experiences as a writer?

At the risk of sounding cynical, I think the hardest thing I’ve learned is – adapt to the market place or suffer the consequences! Early on in my career, I loved writing stories with a folk tale/fable like feel to them, with rich lyrical language that could appeal to children as old as 10– these were the kind of stories I liked to read to my class when I was a teacher in Scotland, and the type of stories I shared with the children at the inner city school where I worked for over twenty years. But – they are NOT the type of stories publishers want now. The industry has changed so much since then and now most picture books have little or no text and are very visually driven and geared to the 3- 6 year olds. Hence my most recent book – Happy Mamas is geared to this age group AND their mothers – I think one of the great joys of a picture book is they allow adult and child to bask in the beauty of the language and even if children do not understand the meaning of a word, it should not matter one whit as long as they enjoy the experience of sitting in a lap with a Mama’s soothing words seeping into their little souls.

Ruth E. Harper is a talented illustrator. Together you have created a wonderful keepsake book. DO you have a favorite part?

Children are always surprised when I tell them I always have a favorite part of my books. But because I am not the illustrator and seldom have that much control over the illustrations, it is often a surprise to me when I see the final pictures and there is always one illustration that resonates with me deeply. In this book it is the picture of the adorable Asian big sister picking up her baby brother to “kiss him better.” To me, this picture illustrates the most important lesson any Mama can teach her child – how to love.

What do you hope readers will take away from reading Happy Mamas?

Picture books distill some truth or beauty to its finest essence and so after that last page is turned or final word uttered, some bolt of beauty or some whiff of wonder should linger with you. I think the essence of Happy Mamas is simple – all we really want for our children from the moment we first hold them in our arms to the day we send them out into the world on their own (and beyond) is for them to – BE HAPPY.

The endearing picture of a Happy Mama panda feeding her little one on the book’s cover is a perfect embodiment of this truth, for the first act of mothering is – to feed our babies, be it bamboo sticks or bottles of milk. And at the same time as we are feeding their bodies, we are also feeding their hearts and souls with – our love. If you look at the faces of the Mama panda and her baby on the cover, I think you will agree that Ruth has managed to capture perfectly that moment of Mama/Baby bonding bliss.

Can you share with us your favorite part of the writing process?

Definitely revising. Drafting is so hard because I just never know if this idea I have is going to make it as a picture book, but when I am at the final revision stage, especially if it has made it to my editor’s desk, then I have the confidence to know that it will work and all I need to do is to polish and shine and make the story sparkle.

What should we expect to see from you next?

If things go well with Happy Mamas, I would love to do a Happy Papas, but….after some initial research, I realize it is much harder to find Papas in the animal kingdom who stick around to “father” their little ones – but there are some.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with your readers?

When I talk to parents and children at literacy events, I like to emphasize that learning to be a good reader/writer is not only important because it means better grades, improved listening skills, entering good colleges and getting good jobs – important as all of those are – it is about being a happier person and living live more compassionately, creatively, and joyfully. Our job as parents, storytellers, and educators is to raise the future heroes and leaders of our world and so we need to give them models of courage, compassion and goodness by feeding them GOOD stories. “All of earth is crammed with heaven.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The best part about being a children’s author is rummaging around my day for a piece of heaven and then writing about it!

 

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win an autographed 6 picture book prize pack from acclaimed author Kathleen Pelley. The prize pack includes finger puppets, adorable stuffed animals, and Happy Mamas (illustrated by Ruth E. Harper, illustrator of the NY Times best seller The Kissing Hand).

 

One (1) grand prize winner receives:
Value: $150.00+

 

Three (3) runner-up prize winners receive:
  • A copy of Happy Mamas autographed by Kathleen Pelley
Value: $14.95

 

Giveaway begins October 10, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends November 10, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by Kathleen Pelley.

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2016/10/win-an-autographed-6-picture-book-happy-mamas-prize-pack-from-kathleen-pelley.html

HALFWAY THERE

The Imagibles 2 Snarl the Brave

Written by A.J. Cosmo

Imagibles2,pic

The story begins when Alex and his mom hear a crash. Someone or something has just knocked over the street light outside. Alex spies his imaginary friend, a lizard called Slips, cowering outside. Slips informs Alex that the situation is serious. At school Jimmy tells Alex that he and his imaginary friend, Snarls also saw something strange last night.

It turns out that Alex, Jimmy and their circle of friends all have imaginary creatures as friends. Slips reveals that a “half-formed,” is an idea that someone has that is not finished because the creator has been distracted. They decide that there is real danger; the kids must find who has created the “half-form” and then make sure that it is finished. When a trashcan flies by Janet’s head, they think they are close to finding it. The gang will have to track down the creator and force him to finish creating his creature.

I won’ t go into the adventure, who the owner might be or whether they can finish the creature and eliminate the danger. This book is an early chapter book targeted mostly for students in second and third grade. The colorful characters, humor, and colorful illustrations of the creatures sustain interest in the short chapter book. While the author recommends the book especially for boys, I think that female early readers will also find it enjoyable. This is book 2 in the series so fans will have new adventures to anticipate in the future.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING

                                                      HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kindle Fire Apps For Kids: 22 Kick-Ass Apps Parents Should Buy and Why

Written by Elaine Donato

KindleFireAppsWhile I am not crazy about the name chosen for the subtitle, this short guide is an informative and useful one for parents trying to navigate the world of apps for their children.

Donato begins by talking about recommended ages and the benefits of iPad use for children. She reminds parents that it is important to set and enforce limitations and know that apps are a supplement not a substitution to a child’s education. Subsequent chapters highlight games for kids like Curious George’s Town and Toca Hair Salon. Donato moves on to preview traditional story book apps like Little Red Riding Hood as well as those that explore geography and science such as Barefoot World Atlas and Bobo Explores Light. In her chapter on art, writing, and music the author includes apps for comics, playing piano and creating your own book. Then there are educational apps for learning the alphabet, phonics, counting, and common object recognition.

Donato urges all parents to test the waters with these apps and share the experience with their children. These apps provide an excellent opportunity for both generations to grow and learn together.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

KEEPING KIDS ENGAGED

The Children’s Busy Book:365 Creative Learning Games and Activities to Keep Your 6-10 Year Old Busy

Written by Trish Kuffner

365ActivitiesBusy,pic

The author is not trying to reinvent the wheel; she does want to help you make the most of your child’s free time. Contents of this book are designed to stimulate creativity, social skills, imagination and thinking skills. They can be used after school, during the summer, or on a weekend. The ages six to ten are recommended but not arbitrary as younger children as well as adults might also enjoy them. They are not gender specific; the categories are generalized with much overlapping.

Let’s look at some of the chapter headings: rainy days, indoor Olympics, fun outdoors, my family and me, arts and crafts, and holiday fun. Under these headings the reader will find some traditional games like jump rope and hopscotch, marbles and card games. There are some great recipes in the kids in the kitchen section like oatmeal pancakes and Teriyaki chicken. In the math area there are activities like naming that coin and calendar games. Budding scientists learn how to make rock candy crystals fossils, and invisible ink. For a family project children might want to research a family tree, create a scrapbook or set up a “praise box.”

In the Appendix, Kuffner lists more suggestions for reading, resources for parents, and an index of supplies needed to complete or create the projects. This book leaves nothing to be desired. Everything needed is clearly delineated and indexed. The guide is a valuable resource to be placed on the shelves of parents, camp counselors, librarians and teachers. Just the thing to reach for as soon as an adult hears a child say, “I’m bored.”

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this post.

DIGGING DOWN DEEP

Minecraft: Herobrine and the Nether Dragon

Written by World of Minecraft

MinecraftNetherworld,pic

I recently discovered this series which is trademarked to accompany devotees of the Minecraft game and characters. There are a whole series of books available online and at their website www.minecraftstories.com. This particular selection features Herobrine, a young man who is distinguished by the fact that his eyes are pure white and his fascination for building things. Because of these traits, others think of him as a sorcerer or wizard.

At the beginning of the tale, Herobrine is preparing to build an amphitheater made of black obsidian. He had spent much time underground locating the mineral. Herobrine thought that this black building would contrast nicely with his white leaning tower of cobblestone located nearby. While he was lighting torches to keep the zombies away one night, Herobrine sees a mysterious purple light and a figure with a pig-like face emerge from a portal. Herobrine did not realize he had created a portal. The pigman screams at him to close the portal. Too late….a dragon emerges and with one loud roar succeeds in destroying Herobrine’s castle and both buildings. Now Herobrine must ally himself with Peg, the pigman, and figure out a way to destroy the dragon before he destroys the rest of their world.

Their adventure will lead them to beaches, volcanoes, and a band of pirates headed by Captain Dedwang, who is interested in treasure, not dragons. Will Peg and Herobrine find a way to survive all these threats and defeat the dragon? Fans of the minecraft game including reluctant readers will find this book, as well as others in the series, an interesting read. The text is not difficult and the dialogue moves the plot along quickly. Recommended for boys and girls age eight and up. The book also makes a good read aloud for classroom teachers.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

JAMAICAN ADVENTURES

Essie’s Kids and The Rolling Calf -3:Island Style Ghost Story

Written by Dr. & Mrs. Luke Brown

Essie'sKids3pic

I came across this e book as a promotion. I had not read the first two books in the planned five book series. This third short story is a strange combination of Jamaican folklore, adventures, and moral lessons that pleasantly surprised me. It makes a good addition to a classroom multicultural library. The book is well written with lots of colorful verbs, analogies and descriptive language though I did find one typo in which the word joint was used for the verb join. A smattering of Jamaican lingo like the word, “mon” also provides an authentic touch.

At the outset, the reader meets Karl who is tossing in his bed because he is haunted by the memory of the dreadful beast known as a rolling calf , a large swift running creature with dragon like eyes who voices terrifying sounds. Karl has met this creature in previous stories and now is anxiously awaiting to confront him once and for all. When he finally succumbs to sleep, he dreams that he is tiptoeing down the ghost-like streets at night. Suddenly, his brother Leonard shakes him; Karl realizes it is all a nightmare.

Karl’s family has journeyed from the city of Montego Bay to their country home in Clear Mont for the summer. His sisters, Myrtle, Geena and Betty play hopscotch and jump rope, while the boys play tag in the front yard. The author contrasts nicely the differences between the “city” and “country” folks. The country children wear plain clothes and no shoes. City kids are teased for being cowardly and not willing to get dirty. In the end, both learn to give and take and respect each others skills and differences.

Junior’s best friend here is named Ben. He encourages Junior to come to the river and fish. Junior realizes his mother will probably say no, so he hesitantly decides to slip away without asking permission. Ben meets up with his friends, Johnny, Dave and Jasper, who he calls “bad company” because they always manage to get him in trouble. The girls, on the other hand, get their mother’s permission to go to the river and enjoy their day without worries.

Karl had not been himself since the nightmare. He sat by himself most of the day. Karl continued to believe that this strange beast had a message for him. Then he decides to go to the river by himself. As night is about to fall, he sees a bolt of lightning flash before him and feels the swaying of the ground beneath him. Will Karl find his way home? Does he succeed in his quest to confront the beast?

The story abruptly shifts back home to the children listening to their mom, Essie, relating one of her nightly stories. She talks of two men locked in a prison cell. The innocent prisoner sees the possibility of being set free someday even though he has no money to defend himself, but the other guilty prisoner is unhappy and mean. Essie’s lesson is that the mean prisoner continued to see only bad things, but the innocent prisoner continued to see promise and beauty outside his window. Before sending the children to bed, they are reminded to look for the good in every situation.

Boys and girls age seven and up will each find elements in the story to their liking. Adults will enjoy the clever interweaving of sound moral lessons intertwined with the charming setting and folklore of Jamaica and the familiar antics of children everywhere.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner of this post.

%d bloggers like this: