Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Reading Post 2- Pick a Program (And Giveaway!!)

One of my daughter's favorite moments from last summer was heading to the library to turn in her reading log and receiving a book. Then we headed to Barnes and Noble with her reading log for another book. It was certainly a joyous day for her. This summer, I am scouting out the best of summer reading programs for the 2015 summer to share with you, my readers! (And a giveaway at the end!!!)

1. Check out Barnes and Noble's Summer Reading program. This program requires your child to read eight books and record them in a reading journal. You then take the journal to the store and get to pick out one book from their list. Here is a link to learn more about the program; Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program
And here is a link to the reading journal and list of books they are offering as prizes Reading Journal.

2. It is time to power up and read with Scholastic's Summer Reading Program. A HUGE favorite with my daughter, you can track your minutes reading right now their website to unlock stories and earn rewards.
3. When I learned that the BOOK IT! program still exists, I got all nostalgic. I can remember dutifully reading my little heart out as a child to earn the coveted star stickers on my button and free personal pan pizzas. Their summer reading challenge runs from June 22 through August 14th and is being done with Wimpy Kid. How cool is that? This program is geared for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade. Thank you Pizza Hut! We will be visiting you this summer. 

4. If your child is a Percy Jackson fan, they will flip over the Summer Quest Books-A-Million Reading Adventure. If you read four books from their reading list and record it, you can turn the list in to get a Camp Half-Blood tote bag for free!

5. If you have a budding book reviewer, you will love the Summer Reading program from DOGO books. This website features kids's book reviews by kids. Their summer reading program runs from May 14th though September 30 and allows your child to earn free books if they review books from a select list on the DOGO website. It is a great way to teach responsibility because they are working for these books by writing and publishing reviews. 

6. Penguin books has an amazing free printable that includes a reading log, advice for parents, and book suggestions. Here is a link to the printable.

7. Shiver me timbers! Barefoot Books has a great pirate-themed program coming this summer and I want you to be the first to get our Barefoot Books summer reading list, book log and scavenger hunt. Comment on this blog post show your interest and enter the Rafflecopter and I’ll randomly select a winner to receive one of the books from the reading list for FREE!

Keeping with the theme...the book I will be giving away is:The Barefoot Books of Pirates.
What makes this Barefoot Books program stand out? You can:
  • Host a virtual book party on Facebook and shop from the summer reading list. The more your friends order, the more free books you will receive. If you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, I can come to your house and host a Pirate themed Barefoot Books party.
  • Starting June 2nd, there will be a website dedicated to this program. 
  • Starting June 16th, there will be a weekly email. These emails will be full of valuable information around reading, literacy and keeping kids’ minds engaged throughout the season. Make sure to include your email in the Rafflecopter to get signed up for these emails.
  • You will have me as a personal contact for advice and information about preventing the summer slide. 
  • Our reading list is sorted by age and subject area to focus on sustaining learning in all subject areas all summer long. Check it out here! 
  • You can also sign up for 12 weeks of summer reading advice from Barefoot Books here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check in next week when I share some amazing summer programs available in Georgia! Happy reading! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Itty Bitty Kitty by Joan Holub - A Review

Title:  Itty Bitty Kitty

  • Author: Joan Holub
  • Illustrator: James Burks 
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (May 19, 2015)
  • Language: English

About the Book

Ava wants a pet, but Mom and Dad say she's too little. So when she finds a kitty, Ava decides to name him Itty Bitty and keep him a secret. There's just one tiny problem: Itty Bitty starts growing and growing and growing . . . until he's neither itty nor bitty! Kids will laugh and cheer along as Ava and Itty Bitty try to keep Mom and Dad from discovering their not-so-little secret!
From New York Times bestselling author Joan Holub and award-winning illustrator James Burks comes this unlikely friendship story with enormous heart! Featuring lively, bouncy text and bold, colorful artwork, this picture book is purr-fect for pet lovers and their parents alike.

Miss M's Review (Age 8)

The book was about a kitty that grew a lot! I loved how it said what the cat was doing. Reading this book made me wonder about why Ava took the cat in even when her mom said not to???? I think the pictures in the book were beautiful, and amazing!!!! I give this book five stars!!

My Review

The main character, Ava, is an ornery little girl who just wants her own pet. Ava is not a stretch for most kids to believe and channel. Readers will delight in the playful banter of this book and the irony of each step of the story. Children will fall in love with the not so itty bitty purple cat as much as parents will fall in love a modern children's book that begs to be read over and over again.

I found it ironic that my oldest daughter, who is eight, commented on how she couldn't believe Ava would disobey her parents and bring home a pet cat after she had been told no. Meanwhile, my three year old completely channeled the injustice and said how Ava's parents made her mad. Seeing the different perspective my children had reading the books really helped me appreciated the layers embedded into the seemingly simplistic children's book. I hope there are many more Itty Bitty Kitty books to come.

Little J's Explanation of Why Little Ava Was MAD

Check out the Joan Holub's Itty Bitty Kitty giveaway.

FTC Required Disclosures:
 *I received a review copies from the author free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review represent my honest opinions about the book. **This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Reading- Post 1- Books Everywhere

So I have a confession to make...I may or may not have gotten carried away at the Scholastic Book Warehouse Sale. OK. I did get just a teeny bit carried away. One of the best benefits from volunteering at my daughter's Scholastic Book Fair is getting invites to the Warehouse Sales. Most all the books are deeply discounted, and it is easy to get caught up in the moment. That said, these books I purchased are intended to coax as much summer reading out of my kids as possible. And, for us down here in Cobb County, Georgia- Summer Vacation begins tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day of school!!!

Now, I have this theory about reading: the more the books are available, the more kids will read. I don't worry about reading level or subjects, especially for summer reading. I just try and choose books that my kids will enjoy reading and re-reading.

This summer, we will be taking one big trip to drive and see family. For this drive, I need to keep my kids busy for 800 miles! Am I crazy? Probably. However, one way I will keep them busy is by bringing a bag full of a wide range of books.

We will read books in the car...
and on the beach...
and on the train...
and on a plane.

We can read them in the morning...
and after lunch...
and while waiting for dinner to cook...
and at bedtime.

OK- I know that didn't rhyme, but you get the point. I will have books on hand at all times to offer as an alternative to screens.

Here is a glimpse of what I picked up at the Scholastic Warehouse sale. (Images link to Amazon if you would like to add them to your summer reading).

1. Penny and Her Marble (I Can Read Book 1) by Kevin Henkes

I choose this one because I have a friend who tells me her kids can't get enough of this story. We have so many other Kevin Henkes titles. It was time to invest in this one. 

2. Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach (My First I Can Read) by James Dean\

Little J loves Pete the Cat. What not read about Pete the Cat on the way to the beach? 

3. Ocean Soup- Tile Pool Poems  by Stephen R. Swinburne and illustrated by Mary Peterson 

This is a phenomenal poetry book that pack a whole lot of science in between the pages. This will be perfect for short reading times to take on a page at a time. 

4. Grimmtastic Girls books 1 and 2 by Joan Holub.

I know these books will make the perfect beach reads for my oldest.

5. Have Fun Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow. 

If you haven't read any Molly Lou Melon books, you certainly should. She is imaginative and strong willed, just like my girls. 

6. Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony.

All I have to say is this book is about Panda bears and donuts- my two favorite things.

7. Spuds by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Wendy Watson.

This isn't a typical summer read, but it does provide some lessons about growing potatoes.


8. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Robert Byrd.

This is Miss M's reach read. It is a little above her reading level; but I wanted to pick up something to challenge her skills. Also, she is always faking a British accent, so I figured she would enjoy a book about a Medieval English village. 

9. Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld

This book will reside on our front porch this summer for Sunday morning reading. Outside Your Window is a book of poems that also provides lots of scientific information about nature. I adore this book. It is beautiful. 

 10. Ganesha's Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes and illustrated by Sanjay Patel. 

Everything about this book captures my kids' attention. The words, the pictures, the story all play together in a perfect multicultural story about eating junk food. Yes, we need this book in our house. 

11. Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth.

I know this is "technically" a Halloween book, but my Little J is obsessed with Panda bears. Any book that has a Panda bear will capture her attention. The book is stellar. 

Next week, I will be sharing an amazing pirate themed summer reading program being presented by Barefoot Books, and I will be sharing a reading log printable. 

How will you be kicking off summer reading? 

Check out other great reads and book suggestions on the Kid Lit Blog Hop: 

FTC Required Disclosures:
**This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support!   

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Monsters Three by Rosalind Bunn and Kathleen Howard- A Review

The Monsters Three

  • August 26, 2014
  • A 0 - 18
  • P - 5
  • Print Length: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Deeds Publishing (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English 

About the Book

 “Another winner from Rosalind and Kathleen. I loved this tale of The Monsters Three, in which three little monsters discover their monster ways will have to change if they want treats this Halloween. Bright colors and rhyme make this a delicious Halloween treat. I can’t wait to hand sell it at FoxTale!”

—Karen Schwettman, co-owner of FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA

My Review

This book has been on my "to-review" list for quite some time; however it has also been in my youngest daughter's bed each night. Little J, who just turned three, absolutely adores this book and must sleep with it every night. She also brings it with her when we drive places in our car.
Halloween may be a long way off, but my daughter likes to channel the hope for lots of candy by reading this book over and over. I don't mind that she asks to be read this book over and over because the story is about the importance of using manners. The three monsters in the story learn that their screaming and shouting will not bring them any candy. For a three year old, any book that includes monsters shouting "Smell our Feet!" will be a winner.

The bright colors of the illustrations captivate my daughter's attention, and we both have so much fun connecting the costumes in the story to other children's book. She loves that one of the kids is dressed up like Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  Whenever a children's book provides the opportunity to open various forms of discussion, including manners, costumes, other children's books, holidays, etc, it makes a great read aloud.

In the end, the monsters soon see that the children using their manners end up with full bags of candy. The monsters follow the lead of the other children and start using their manners. The result is what every kid wants- lots of candy. We found a sweet spot for this book, and you will too.
You can purchase the book through Amazon, or better yet- head on over to your local Indie Bookstore and purchase a copy.


FTC Required Disclosures:
 *I received a review copies from the author free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review represent my honest opinions about the book. **This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support!   

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Children's Book Week

Happy Children's Book Week! I am so excited to be celebrating one of things I love the most- children's books, during the happiest time of the year- the end of the school year. (Here in Georgia, we are done school by the end of May. I know this is much earlier than other areas. Also, I am most excited about school ending because my daughter's school bus comes at 6:50 AM! No one in this house can handle getting together that early.) OK, back to my Children's book week discussion. Children's Book Week is actually the longest running national literacy initiative.

We have lots of reading planned to celebrate. Some of the books we plan on diving into this week include:

We were given Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin on Saturday. I have had this book on my to purchase list for the longest time. I am looking forward to reading this one with Miss M.

Here is a little snippet about the book:
"This Newbery Honor book features magic, adventure, friendship, and even a dragon who can't fly!

In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer" 

With Little J, she is going to be turning three years old on Sunday! I cannot believe how quickly time have flown by with her in our lives. She is obsessed with fish right now. We are having a "Nemo" party. Let me tell you what! I think she is the only three year old girl that doesn't want a Frozen birthday party. Her obsession with Nemo cracks me up because she NEVER asks to watch Finding Nemo. She just likes fish and refers to them all as Nemo. Her favorite book of all right now is A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea.

 This is one of the Barefoot Books that made us fall in love with this publisher. The book comes with a CD that plays audio of the song that goes with the story, or you can pop it into your computer to watch a video sing-along.
It is the only thing we listen to in the car.

Not only is the book entertaining, but it is also educational,

How will you be celebrating Children's Book Week?

Interesting in Purchasing either of these selections? 
Where the Mountain Meets the MoonPurchase from Amazon.
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea:  Through my Books, Babies, and Bows Barefoot Bookstore

FTC Required Disclosures:
**This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Barefoot Books. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support! 
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