Posts tagged ‘knights’

HANDY FOR HALLOWEEN

23 HALLOWEEN CRAFTS for KIDS: Halloween Costume Ideas and Spooky Décor

Compiled by Prime Publishing Décor

 

This book is an interesting read that can be shared by the whole family. Halloween costumes have become ridiculously expensive. There are some good ideas here for easy to make costumes from materials found around the house. Skeletons, monsters, knights, fairies, and superheroes are featured. Directions are included for luminaries, wreaths, pinecone owls and spooky spider webs. Monster snot is a meringue dessert that is sure to please.
Younger children can help with the simpler crafts and older children can get involved with paper mache, cutting and gluing materials. What a fun way for a family to share a chilly, Fall weekend afternoon or evening!
Recommended for siblings and families to share or a classroom project.

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The Knights Before Christmas – Book Review Blitz

My Book Review…….

The Knights Before Christmas

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

Knightsbeforexmas,pic

A very clever version of a Christmas tale base on the poem, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. I was immediately drawn to it by the cover and clever play on words in the title. Who can resist a bright and vividly illustrated picture book read aloud? The book’s large size makes it perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to hold, while the clever conversation among the knights provides a humorous and modern version of the Christmas classic for older siblings.

Brave Knight, Silent Knight and Polite Knight are entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the king’s castle. On Christmas Eve, a stranger in a red suit appears accompanied by eight dragons seeking a chimney to enter. Of course a castle does not have a chimney. Santa remains undaunted and determined to enter and leave his Christmas gifts, while the three knights redouble their efforts to repel the invasion. Who will win the battle?

I believe this book is destined to become a new Christmas favorite among teachers and parents of preschoolers and primary grade readers. Available in kindle and hardcover editions.

 

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon 9780805099324 image copy 2

About the Book

Title: The Knights Before Christmas | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Scott Magoon | Publication Date: September 8, 2015 | Publisher: Macmillan / Henry Holt | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 8

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Book Description:

‘Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .

But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts,
he just would not go!

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore’s well-known poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly. Sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind!

 

Sneak Peek

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon pages 12

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon page 26 image

 

The Buzz About the Book

“There’s an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained”~ Kirkus Reviews

“A royal romp of holiday pratfalls and punnery. Yule love it!” ~ Tom Lichtenheld, bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

“A royal delight of a book! Sure to become a favorite holiday read-aloud in every household throughout the land!” ~ Judy Schachner, creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones

“A great premise…Magoon’s illustrations are vibrant and fun…!” ~ Publishers Weekly

“This rousing, ridiculous medieval “Night Before Christmas” parody jingles with castle- and holiday wordplay. Cheeky digital illustrations brim with good cheer.” ~ Horn Book

 

About the Author: Joan Holub

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub SIBA 2015 imageJoan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books). Watch for her upcoming chapter book, What Was Woodstock?, and her board book, This Little President, both available in early 2016!

 

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Copyright © 2015 Mother Daughter Book Reviews, All rights reserved.

SUBWAYS TO SCOTLAND

The Camelot Kids: Part One

Written by Ben Zackheim

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First book in a new middle grade series that mixes medieval history, knights, castles, adventure and coming of age with a modern twist. Protagonist Simon Sharp is a fourteen year old who becomes an orphan at the age of twelve when his archaeologist parents die in an airplane crash over Scotland. Simon finds himself in a New York City orphanage and foster care. He is clever, smart and streetwise, though he is bullied by Brad. When strangers ask how his parents died, he replies, “King Arthur killed them.” Their lifelong mission had been to find Camelot.

Simon’s unlucky situation becomes more mysterious, when he gets a letter from an uncle in Scotland who claims that he has just found out about the accident and will assume responsibility for Simon. The boy is soon on a plane to Scotland and a new life in a mysterious castle. Though he now attends a private school, the bullying situation is the same. Simon will discover hidden passages and meet mysterious creatures like gargoyles, trolls, and magicians. Who are they and what is his connection to them?

This book of slightly less than one hundred pages has charming black and white illustrations that add to the depth of the characters and setting of the tale. The writing of the plot is well-executed and the characters are interesting and endearing. Zackheim seems to have found the right combination of modern day grit and medieval fantasy in setting the right tone for the series. I think tweens and teens will want to get involved with this story. I know that many adults like me have fond memories of Camelot.

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A PRINCESS FOR ALL

Sir Princess Petra’s TALENT: Book Two The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Written by Diane Mae Robinson

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This is the second book in The Pen Pieyu adventure series. The author provides a synopsis of Book One to get all readers up to speed though the book can stand on its own. Sir Princess Petra is no ordinary princess; she is spirited, stubborn, sensitive, and devoted to her friends and subjects. In the last book, the reader met a nine year old girl who was determined to become the first knight in her magical kingdom. Petra achieved knighthood by slaying the howling dragon named Snarls in a series of adventures; he later becomes her friend and master connoisseur in the palace kitchen.

At the beginning of Book Two, the king and queen summon Petra informing her that she must go away to the Land of Lost Donkeys to attend training in a Talent School in order to become a “proper princess.” This does not sit well with Petra, but she is an obedient daughter and loyal subject and so she acquiesces to her parents’ request. On her journey she meets Prince Duce Crablips who is secretly betrothed to her, but who would really like to go to school to learn how to crochet. The selection of talents available to Petra at the school are all unappealing, sewing, etiquette and knitting are not her cup of tea. Together with Snarls and Prince Duce, they eventually find a satisfactory course and complete certificates before being forced to make a quick exit. The three compatriots become embroiled in an adventure with the ganutes on their way home to the kingdom. Petra assists all her friends in employing their new found talents; Pen Pieyu attains subjects with new talents in the process. Petra enthralls her parents and her subjects with her new abilities, which I suspect might be the start of a new adventure.

This series is the perfect chapter book for new or reluctant readers. Because I write picture books, I have a definite preference for illustration in children’s books; the black and white pencil drawings in this book are a definite enhancement to the plot. The short length of the chapters are perfect for serial read alouds in the classroom or multiple bedtime stories. Petra is a strong role model for encouraging a young girl’s potential. Her strength of character along with the other rich and humorous characters extend the book’s appeal to boys as well. There is humor, adventure, magic, fantasy and just enough silliness to appeal to children and parents of children from early elementary through middle grades. I anticipate a lot more exciting adventures and lessons in store for Petra’s fans as she matures. Another good chapter book by award-winning author, Diane Mae Robinson.

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A PRINCESS WITH PIZAZZ!

Sir Princess Petra: The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Written by Diane Mae Robinson

SirPrincessPetrapicAs the story opens, we meet Princess Petra who is about to celebrate her birthday on the ninth day of the ninth month on the ninth year. According to royal custom, she may request anything she wishes as a birthday gift. Petra addresses her parents and informs them that she is tired of the usual gifts of jewelry and clothes. This year she wants to become a royal knight. Her father, King Longstride cannot find anything disallowing her request in the royal rulebook. However, she must choose and successfully accomplish one of three acts of royal bravery: capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair, quiet the howling dragon named Snarls who lives in the Forest of Doom, or eat a roomful of raw onions! The princess dislikes onions and is friendly with the kingdom’s crocodile, so she quickly decides on quieting the dragon.

Princess Petra departs the castle in a suit of armor made of pots and pans because all the royal armor is too big for her. Her weapon looks more like a cake knife than a sword. The poor princess soon meets adversity. During her adventures, she must figure out how to stop the dragon from howling and keeping the royal family awake, cope with a witch in the bog, and deal with an army of knights from a neighboring kingdom who want to challenge her. This princess has brains and common sense along with her beauty. She does not win her battles with force and bullying; Petra is a good judge of character and human nature! (even if some of those characters are not technically human)  She has a wonderful sense of humor and can turn adversity into advantage.

Petra provides an outstanding role model for young boys and girls for she has many lessons of courage, friendship and character to teach them. She and the other quirky characters in this book possess a delightful sense of humor. The black and white pencil drawings are soft and subtle complementing the quick moving text of this short chapter book which could be read in one sitting as a read aloud or in chapters for discussion in a classroom setting. Looking forward to reading more of The Pen Pieyu Adventures from this talented new author.

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PRINCESS IN PERIL

The Escape of Princess Madeline

Written by Kirstin Pulioff

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This book has been classified as a young adult novella. The protagonist is Princess Madeline and the setting is the medieval kingdom of Soron. Madeline’s mother,  Queen Eleanor, is introduced in the Prologue by the wizard Elias and again alluded to in the Epilogue. The subtlety of these allusions will become evident to the reader at the conclusion of the tale.

At the beginning of the story, we meet Princess Madeline and her twin brother Braden. They will soon be celebrating their sixteenth birthdays. Madeline’s best friend in Sophia who is a commoner. Alas! She cannot really understand the life of a princess. Sophia is in love with Braden and it seems that her dreams of happiness with him are doomed. King Theodore has attempted to raise his children to be proper heirs of the kingdom, but Madeline is a determined, headstrong and passionate princess who has begun to question her father’s authority. He presents Madeline with a beautiful green gown that was once worn my the mother she never knew. The trouble begins when Madeline learns that the ball to celebrate her birthday is really an opportunity for all the royal suitors to compete for her hand. Enraged by this prospect, Madeline wears another gown in defiance and then feigns illness to escape the ball. This behavior infuriates her father and embarrasses the family.

When Madeline is awakened by Sophia the next morning, she learns that there is to be a jousting tournament to determine which of the knights will become her Knight Protector. Her father forces her to attend. She spies a young knight named Daniel who evokes “butterflies in her stomach” and other unexplained emotions in her head. Madeline disappears from her viewing point before the end of the contest. She is determined to escape what she feels is a life in prison.

When her disappearance is discovered, all the knights in the kingdom go to search for her. Daniel, especially is determined to win her back. Madeline is clever; she switches her gown with the clothes of a peasant girl that she meets in the forest. She bribes her with a bag of gold coins. But Daniel discovers that the family is hiding the royal dress and finds out that Madeline is still alive. Madeline is alive but she has been captured by bandits in the forest. This young pampered princess has never had to use survival skills, but she is clever and strong. She manages to escape not once but twice. Things are looking gloomy for her; Madeline has learned a few lessons about family, love, and responsibility along her journey. The wizard Elias and his green robed elves make an appearance. Here is where the author successfully merges the fantasy environment with the strong characters and modern day coming of age plot.  What will happen to Madeline? Does Daniel win the princess?  Will the king and his daughter mend their relationship?

This book contains in depth character studies and a story line that moves along well with a few twists and turns. Mature middle grade readers might enjoy the fantasy elements though the plot is more suitable for young adult readers. In fact, I did feel like I was reading a story more intended for an adult audience so my suggested audience would be twelve plus. Looking forward to hearing more about Princess Madeline and her life’s journey.

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BOYS BOOKS?…. or maybe not so much

Five Fun Rhyming Boys Stories: Best Sellers Collection

by: Lily Lexington

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This review is being done on the Kindle edition of five of Lily Lexington’s most popular stories. They are advertised as being boy’s stories, but I would not restrict them to one gender. While the themes of the books are traditionally viewed as male, the lessons imparted can be absolutely applied to both sexes.

In the first story, Danny is a geeky nerd whose wish it is to be a hero. As soon as his mother leaves his bedside, Danny becomes a knight who must slay beasts and rescue a princess. Only the princess proves to be anything but a damsel in distress!  Danny learns a lot about friendship.

The second book features a boy named Jack and his dinosaur friend who does not like to eat vegetables. Of course Jack does not eat them in support of his friend. When mom decides there is nothing else in the house to eat but vegetables, Jack and his dinosaur go about their day at play and learn important lessons about good nutrition.

In the third book we meet two very competitive brothers who both have dinosaur pets. They have planned a great race riding on their dinosaurs. When trouble arises, they each think that they have a better solution, but to their surprise neither of them can win alone. Will they be able to save themselves and solve the problem?

Six pirate friends are the characters in the fourth book. Though close friends each of them have very different personalities. They could not agree where to sail their pirate ship. Worse than that, the pirates had run out of food! So the wise pirate finally takes matters into his own hands and sets sail while the rest sleep. When they awake in a strange place, they will have to learn a valuable lesson if they are going to survive.

The last selection features Billy; a brave little cowboy who does not like to bathe. He goes to bed and rides his horse to rescue a little girl’s cat. The poor cat has been trapped in the bank by a smelly bank robber! Will he be successful in his quest and what price will Billy have to pay?

All of the stories are written in rhyme. Preschool children will enjoy them being read aloud. Older children in the primary grades should be able to manage reading them independently. These books are a good choice for parents with siblings of different ages. Illustrations are simple, colorful, clear and explicit, displaying exactly the messages that the characters wish to impart.

This is a fun collection and a good investment.

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