Odd Duckby Cecil Castellucci (Author), Sara Varon (Illustrator)
Theodora is a duck with a routine. Her days are filled with routine exercises and swimming sessions at a nearby pond with a tea cup on head for perfect posture. Her afternoons are spent running errands at the grocery store, a visit to the craft store for occasional projects and finally a visit to the library for some interesting reads. All is well and her life is perfect. She wishes that nothing in her life would ever change.
One day Theodora finds a moving truck in the empty house next door. It seems she has a new neighbor. By the look of things (smelly armchair, giant cardboard chicken, weeds in the pot!), Theodora is unsure about this odd duck with strange objects around his house. But Theodora makes an attempt to be gracious and invites Chad her new neighbor to her home. At the end of the visit, Theodora has determined that she and Chad could never be friends!
In the days that follow, Theodora keeps to herself and goes about her usual routine. It’s almost winter and all other ducks are flying off to warmer places. Theodora stays back and to her surprise finds her neighbor Chad has stayed back too!
Over the winter Theodora and Chad get to know each other better. They find things that they both liked such as gazing at stars at night, their mutual love for mango salsa and a love for books! Finally Theodora has to admit that “Maybe Chad was not so bad after all!”
What follows is a wonderful story about friendship, impressions and acceptance. We absolutely loved this tale. The author/illustrator duo have created a charming story in a “graphic novel” format. Word balloons, clear pastel colors and strong lines with lots and lots of whimsical, quirky details makes this book very endearing!
This tale has an age old theme of “be yourself”. The unique twist however comes when the “Odd Duck” seems to think that their world is quite normal while the others are somehow “different”. At the end, however, the “Odd Duck” realizes that being different, isn’t that bad after all..
Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza
Happy Holidays! Wishing everyone a Wonderful New Year!
StackingBooks blog is celebrating this Christmas and our First Year Anniversary with an AWESOME Giveaway. As a BIG Thank you to all our readers and followers, we are giving away ONE copy of Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury, a collection of beautifully illustrated winter tales. A winner will be randomly chosen by the Rafflecopter giveaway (Link below) and the book will be shipped to all countries served through www.bookdepository.com.
Our Giveaway is also a part of the Kid Lit Holiday Extravaganza hosted by Renee from MotherDaughterBook Reviews and Katie from Youth Literature Reviews. Do take a moment to see all our Holiday Giveaway participants on the host’s websites. (link below)
Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury
by Jan Brett (Author, Illustrator)
A Perfect Gift!
This book is a collection of four wonderful books by Jan Brett. Stunning borders, beautiful details and heartwarming stories for winter reading. This book is a perfect gift for the season. This book has all the memorable characters and stories perfect for read aloud as well for quiet bedtime or fireside reading.
A family classic, this version of the timeless Gingerbread Man story, is perfect for young readers. Set is the beautiful snowy landscape of Switzerland, this story takes you through the Swiss countryside as the Gingerbread baby escapes Matti’s kitchen and the encounters from other animals. The “spin” in this wonderful story is that Matti “knows” the fateful ending of the traditional tale. Will he be able to “rescue” the little baby in time??
This is a wonderful story set in Ukraine. A boy named Nicki wants his grandmother to knit snow white mittens for him. Grandma warns him that “white” was not the right choice of colors for mittens during winter time! But Nicki is insistent. Alas, as suspected Nicki manages to loose his mittens in the snow. What happens next is a surprising delightful tale involving a refugee mole, rabbit, hedgehog!, owl, badger and a FOX! But wait! there is more.. turns out that a BEAR comes sniffing and finds the mitten too! A perfect tale for a frosty night by the fireside!
Curiosity gets the best of this little hedgehog called “Hedgie”. Lisa’s red and white stocking blows off the clothesline one day and Hedgie find its. He sticks his nose inside to discover that he is now STUCK! All the nearby farm animals gather around to see whats going on. Hedgie tries to hide his despair by pretending how he actually likes being stuck inside . How will poor Hedgie make his way out of this “situation”?? Wonderfully illustrated, this story is set in the Denmark.
The Three Snow Bears:
Aloo-ki, an Inuit girl, lives in the Arctic snow-lands. One day she glances up from his fishing and sees that her sled dogs are floating away on a ice floe. She races off to look for them and ends up at an igloo. Curious, Aloo-ki peeks inside to find… Sounds familiar? A polar bear family, a curious girl and a cozy igloo is a setting for Jan Brett’s Three Snow Bears story. Readers will fall in love with this spin on the traditional Goldilocks tale set in the Arctic woods.
Win this Fantastic collection of stories by entering the GIVEAWAY below
And don’t forget to visit my Children’s Literature bolggers who are also hosting some AWESOME Giveaways here:
Click here to view this Linky Tools list…
WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Stackingbooks.com. The “Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury” will be shipped through Bookdepository.com website and is available to anyone served by the website.
Kid Lit Blog Hop #29
Welcome to the 29th <strong>Kid Lit Blog</strong> Hop.This will be our final Hop of 2013. Yes, that means we will only be hosting one Hop in the month of December, so this is the one to link into for this month. Also, we will be keeping the Linky List open for THREE weeks this time around. So, link in, have fun hopping around, and we will see you in the new year!
Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!
Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*
1. We ask that you kindly follow your hostesses. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we’ve added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick “follow” or “like” that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks!
2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!
4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!
5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
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Cat Talkby Patricia MacLachlan, Emily MacLachlan Charest (Authors), Barry Moser (Illustrator)
Cuddle-some to Troublesome!
Princess Sheba Darling is a beauty queen.
Romeo is a lover.
Tuck knows the coziest spots to sleep.
And Eddie.. has a job to do.
From the cutest to the most troublesome kittens, cats and toms, “Cat Talk” features furry friendly poems for children to read. Authors MacLachlan captures the many “cat” personalities in 13 different poems. Written with a gentle flow or words, these poems are told in first person and delightfully easy to read.
Meet “Tough Tom” who walks into a window with his nose scratched and ear torn up from a street fight with cats. He is cold and hungry and scared but he takes a chance and walks into a new life.
Then there is Princess Sheba Darling. This majestic graceful cat poses herself and shows off her importance in this world.
At the end there is playful and friendly Eddie who has a “job”. He meets and greets people. He runs when the phone rings and makes himself busy all through the day.
A lovely set of poems for a cat lovers. Enjoy reading these out and talking about the different personalities of the feline world. Barry Moser’s wonderfully warm watercolor paintings of sometimes playful and sometimes graceful cats are charming and kind to the eye.
The Giraffe, the Pelly and Meby Roald Dahl (Author), Richard E Grant (Narrator)
A story about friendship!
The Ladderless Window Cleaning Company is unique. They can clean any window and make it spotless. They can reach the highest windows and clean them quickly. The Ladderless Window Cleaners consists of the Giraffe who has an ever-extending neck, a Pelican who can carry a large amount of water in its deep retractable beak and a dancing, singing agile, Monkey. Together the three use their very unusual talents to form a business. Now all they need is customers!
To attract customers, they have a wonderful jingle too:
We will polish your glass
Till it’s shining like brass
And it sparkles like sun on the sea!
We will work for Your Grace
Till we’re blue in the face,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me!
The story of The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, begins with a boy named Billy. Billy stumbles across an old store that has recently been closed. There he meets these three unusual friends.
As they get acquainted, a limousine drives up to them. The rich duke of the Hampshire House needs his windows cleaned urgently. His huge mansion has 677 very dusty windows which haven’t been cleaned for a long time! No one can reach that high and clean that fast to keep them dust free!
Excited about the opportunity, Billy and the Giraffe, the Pelly and Monkey head over to meet the Duke. As they go about their very first cleaning job, they meet the singing Duchess and a most notorious thief.
Roald Dahl weaves yet another fantastically funny tale. Richard E Grant’s voice over is delightful to listen. His enunciations and tone changes with every character in the tale. Apart from all the usual Dahl quirky parts of the story, what we loved most was the theme of making the most unusual friends in the most unusual places! Moral of the story for us: Friends can be made and found anywhere… even in a rundown abandoned building.
by David FitzSimmons (Author, Photographer)
The Curious always learn!
David FitzSimmons is still learning! As he travels through North America looking for critters commonly found in nearby woodlands , in local lakes and sometimes in our own backyards, David clicks on his camera and captures stunning pictures of some fantastic critters. Photographed against a white backdrop, these 21 critters are portrayed in stunning detail. But what is more fantastic is the clever poses and personalities that David has been able to capture with his camera.
Along with every animal, David has also included an educational snippet. What we loved is how the snippet matches the personality of the animal in the picture. Told from the creature’s point of view, this little snippet is entertaining and enraging. What a fun way to keep young readers learning and reading! For example this Southern Flying Squirrel says : “Yes. I can fly. Just a secon. Okay. I spread my legs. Wait! Yes! I’m a bit jumpy, jittery… I spread them. Then I gracefully G L I D E…”
This Monarch caterpillar says… “It’s the most curious thing: A few minutes ago, he broke out of his covering and he’s a butterfly now. ..I guess like is all about change, and change looks good!”
At the back David also includes a nice Natural history description for parents to read aloud. There is also a neat match-the-silhouette activity to encourage little learners to remember the common names of the animals. A beautiful book all around! Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books
Mitchell Goes Bowlingby Hallie Durand (Author), Tony Fucile (Illustrator)
How can you NOT pick up a book that has THIS adorable a cover?
Mitchell loves to knock things down. That’s just how he rolled.
He is always knocking things down…
Until ONE Saturday, Mitchell’s dad took him bowling…
There were lots of bright colored balls, good pizza smell and giant crashing noises.
Mitchell picked the biggest ball.. and he threw it. He just KNEW that he was going to win!
Mitchell Goes Bowling is a HILARIOUS story of a four year old and how his dad combats, with AMAZING amount of patience, a simple every-day problem of keeping his son’s energy in check. This cool dad finds the perfect way to give his son a way to knock things down and be safe.
As Mitchell plays the game, he looks up at the scoreboard. Against his dad’s name are several “X” marks and Mitchell has none. Strike after strike, his dad keeps rolling the ball and getting “X”‘s… Will Mitchell EVER find a way to win this game???
This cartoon style illustrated book keeps the humor alive and in place. Durand and Fucile play the words and the art in perfect balance. We loved reading this one. At the end, the dad has to figure out how to keep playing without his son giving up. If you got to know how this story ends…
Grumbles from the Forestby Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Authors/Poets), Matt Mahurin (Illustrator)
” Spell’s over, Imagine this! All because of a stupid kiss”
For a long time now we have enjoyed reading the classic fairy tales such as the Princess and the Pea, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Three Billy Goat Gruffs. But have you ever wondered, what these popular fairy tale characters were thinking?
Did you ever wonder whether Cinderella really enjoyed wearing glass slippers? Or whether it was the mattresses and not the Pea that kept the Princess awake in the night? Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Doltlich gave some thought to these questions and came up with some interesting answers! “Grumbles from the Forest” is a collection of 13 creative poems, each beautifully illustrated on double sized pages, each giving you a glimpse on the alternate reality of these characters.
In “Beauty and the Beast”, Beauty wonders whether she has made the right choice of spouse.
Snow White looks into the magical Mirror and wonders if really she is the “prettiest” woman in the kingdom!
And the troll wonders what he would be having for dinner tonight
These are poems, some rhyming, a haiku .. each a voice from a character of these fairy tales. They grumble, plead and confide. And if you can’t get enough, the authors invite you to think some more of your own!
It was hard to pick a favorite one from this surprisingly creative list of poems. Here is one that I really liked.. Can you guess which character this one is?
Wake up, princess, time to rise.
Open up your dreamy eyes.
Never mind the prince or kiss.
By no means were you raised for this.
Take the plot back from the witch.
Kick her spindle in the ditch!
Fatima and the Dream Thiefby Rafik Schami, Els Cools (Author), Oliver Streich (Illustrator)
A Folk Tale from Middle East!
Hassan and Fatima are siblings. They are very poor. Their widow mother works hard to provide for them. But one day she falls sick and the family is running out of food. So Hassan decides to go and find work.
After asking around and knocking on several doors, Hassan finally arrives at the castle of a wealthy master. The Master hires him on ONE important condition… that Hassan cannot lose his temper. If he does, then Hassan loses his weekly pay of 1 gold coin and all of his dreams! Hassan would never be able to dream again!
Hassan readily accepts and sets upon his daily tasks. He encounters an old woman who works to clean the hundred rooms in the castle. One room is always locked and only the old woman is allowed inside. The master of the castle visits it once a day. When he comes out of the room, he seems to be re-energized and happy. Hassan observes all of this.
Finally on the day of the payment, Hassan arises early. He is eager to get about his duties and earn his gold coin. He can’t wait to take it home and feed his hungry sister and mother and make them proud. But alas, the master has other plans.. evil plans. He taunts Hassan and tests his patience. He makes Hassan do his chores over and over again. He makes him work out in the cold. Finally Hassan can’t take it anymore. Hassan loses his temper! and stomps out of the castle losing not just his gold coin but also his dreams.
Hassan returns home empty handed and dejected. His mother and sister Fatima are happy to see him home. Hassan then shares all that had transpired. Fatima listens carefully and decides to take matters in her own hands and teach this Dream Thief a rich lesson!
This rather long but engaging folk tale is a choice read-aloud. This tale of wit and courage will engage readers and make you want to read it again! The story setting is exotic and the illustrations capture this beautifully. The minarets, palaces and the “Aladdin” style atmosphere is appealing.
The First Drawingby Mordicai Gerstein (Author, Illustrator)
Imaginative and Compelling
“Imagine..” begins the author and takes you back 30,000 years ago during the stone age. Imagine you were born then.. born when “drawing” was not invented. Imagine that you are a kid who lives in a large cave with your parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins and your wolf!
You are a little kid who loves to watch animals and watch them for hours! You are a little kid who sees clouds drift above the valley. You see the shapes changing and they look like animals parading in the sky.
“Papa!” you call out. “Do you see that wooly mammoth in the sky there?” Papa looks at you and says “It looks like a cloud.”
“Mama! do you see this stone looks like a bear?” you ask. “It looks like a stone” she says.
“Look! galloping horses on the walls!” you exclaim. ” Go to sleep!” says everyone in the cave.
“Why can’t they see what I see?” you wonder.
Mordecai Gerstein draws you into the story of the Very First Drawing. Who made the first drawing he asks? Was it an adult or a kid? When did he make it? How did he make it? What triggered him to make the very first drawing?
Told in a second person narrative, Mordicai Gerstein asks the reader to put themselves in place of the boy who sees things and wants desperately for everyone else to see what he sees! Gerstein uses acrylics and black ink and pen drawings to complete this story with a prehistoric setting. Read “The First Drawing”. Find out what the little boy might have done and accidentally created the very first drawing.
Is This Panama? A Migration Storyby Jan Thornhill (Author), Soyeon Kim (Illustrator)
Wonderfully narrated story about migration!
It’s Fall. It’s getting colder every day. We look outside at our backyard and see fewer birds. There are not many squirrels running around. If you were looking for a book to explain what happens to all those birds and critters then read this one!
“Is this Panama?” is a story about little Sammy, a young Wislon’s warbler. It’s getting cold and Sammy can feel it on his feet. He knows he must go to a place with warmer weather. He must fly to Panama. But Sammy has no idea where Panama is and which direction to fly. He doesn’t see his buddies around.
So Sammy decides to just fly and maybe find his way by asking someone on his way. Indeed he finds many “friends” who are also migrating to warmer places. But many of the new friends aren’t going to Panama! They are all on their way to different places. The Caribou is off to a winter forest. The Monarch Butterflies are flitting off to Mexico. The garter snake is going deep underground for the winter.
Sammy is beginning to get worried. Will he able to find his way? What kind of dangers lie in wait for the little bird flying alone thousands of miles? Can anyone show him the way to Panama?
Read this marvelous book about migration. The beautiful intricate paper collage, watercolor and pen and ink art work is exquisite and adds to the beauty of this story. The inside front and back cover of this book has sketches of different types of warblers. At the back there is a map of Sammy’s migration path with notes of where he meets his other migrating mates. The author also adds a detailed note on each of these migrating friends, who they were and why and where they were migrating to. Finally the author and illustrator duo finish off by explaining “How Animals Migrate”. I love how this book feels “complete”!
Overall this is a fantastic book to read for a vast range of ages. Booklist review says “ A truly educational journey“.. I couldn’t agree more!
Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Educationby Elizabeth Suneby (Author), Suana Verelst (Illustrator)
A tale of 2 Razias! A true story.
Razia and her cousins are all curious about some developments down the street. Men and women have gathered around an empty lot in their village. Some important looking people were laying down large stones on the ground. Women were passing out chocolates wrapped in shiny papers. Just then grandfather, Baba gi, walks over to the girls and announces “This is where my school once stood”. He says “ Now they are building a new school… for girls“.
Razia cannot contain her excitement. Every night Razia would fall asleep dreaming about going to school like her brothers. She begs her Baba gi “Please Baba gi, ask Baba and Aziz if I may go too! I MUST go!”
Razia’s family is a traditional Afghani family. They live in a time of danger. Baba, the head of the family works in the farm. Aziz and Ahmed , Razia’s two elder brothers helps at the farm. Razia’s two younger brothers Jamil and Karim go to school and study at night. They attend the boys’ school in the next village.
Little does the family know that Razia has learnt to read and write on her own! She has memorized the Dari alphabet and she could spell her name. She takes scraps of newspaper that the baker wraps the bread in and learns to read from there. But Razia is afraid to tell anyone about her special skills. She must keep quiet.
But now Razia cannot wait for the school to open. A special school for girls! It was indeed a dream come true. Whenever she sees Baba gi she whispers and asks him, “Did you ask Baba and Aziz yet?“ Baba gi replies that he is waiting for the right time.
Many months pass. Razia watches the school building rise brick by brick. She hears the other girls in the village chatter about the nice woman (the other Razia) who started the school. She sees girls going back home with registration forms in their hands. She sees them carrying away crisp new uniforms too! Yet there is no answer from Baba gi.
Finally one night Baba gi asks for an audience. He speak to Baba and Aziz. He tells them “Some of you were not even born yet.. long before the evil entered their country, long before Taliban and long before when women in Afghanistan were educated.” He says” Razia wants to go to school and I support her desire“. He goes on to make a case for Razia trying to convince Baba and Aziz to see how things would only get better for the family, for the village and ultimately for the country if and when girls are educated.
Razia waits breathlessly for a response. Will she finally get to go to school? Will she be able to live her dream?
As I write this book, I am reminded that today in the 21st century there are girls in many parts of the world who wish to do so much more than they ever dreamed of. There are girls like Malala who stand up for what is right and never give up. I can only imagine little Razia’s impatience to learn because I have never known what it was NOT to have school.
This is also a true story of the other Razia. The Razia who started the school for girls. Razai Jan was named one of CNN’s Heroes in 2012 for her incredible work in changing the lives of the girls in Afghanistan.
This is indeed one of the most important book that I have read. Not only is this story inspiring, but deeply moving and touching. Which is why this is a MUST read.