Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pout-Pout Fish Blog Tour

One of my favorite jobs as an elementary librarian is reading and reviewing new picture books. When asked to review a copy of the newest book - The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish, of course I said yes! My Kindergarten students love Pout-Pout Fish. I was ecstatic to see a Christmas version of this adorable story.

Pout-Pout Fish is worried about finding the perfect Christmas presents for his fishy friends. Pout-Pout learns the best gifts are not found at a store.  Filled with lively illustrations and wonderfully rhyming text, this one will be a hit with my students. The repeated rhyming text will be perfect as a read-aloud with the younger students. 

Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna, these two talented artists are creating beautiful stories for me to add to my collection of picture books. 

Interviews with Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna (at least my favorite parts):

Deborah Diesen
What is Mr. Fish up to now? Does he have a case of the “dreary wearies” in the latest book, too?
Mr. Fish’s newest adventure is called The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish.  In it, Mr. Fish is in a bit of a holiday panic, searching for perfect gifts for all of his friends.  His shopping trip is unsuccessful, and Mr. Fish is sure that he’s let all of his friends down.  But his friend Miss Shimmer reminds him that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart, and she helps him craft simple and meaningful presents to bring to the holiday party.  His friends are delighted with their presents, and together everyone celebrates peace, joy, and love – what a very merry gift!

What do you hope young readers (ages 3-6) will learn from The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish? Is there a message here for grown-ups as well?

I hope that Mr. Fish’s latest tale will help children to realize that presents don’t need to be expensive or complicated or splashy.  Simple, heartfelt presents that connect us to one another are the best gifts of all.  A drawing; a craft project; time spent together; even just a smile!  These sorts of gifts are the most cherished and the most enduring.  It’s a lesson we grown-ups have to re-learn periodically as well.

Dan Hanna
What medium do you use to make the illustrations? What’s your favorite to work with? Tell us about your creative process.
I use the PPPPP approach: Paper, Pencils, Pens, Paint and Photoshop.

My favorite is just pencil and paper.  When I start a new book I like to visit a variety of coffee shops in my area.  I let my caffeinated mind roam, scribbling out ideas and laughing to myself.  If a sketch doesn't make me laugh then it usually doesn't make the cut.

What illustration in The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish did you have the most fun creating?
I especially like the one where Mr. Fish imagines giving Ms. Clam the robot body.  She just looks so happy and empowered.

The items in the shop and the gifts Mr. Fish imagines in this story are so detailed and quirky. How did you come up with them? Did you have a specific inspiration?
For the imagined gifts, I drew on my own experience as a kid where I would dream up magnificent presents for my family and friends.  Eventually, as with Mr. Fish, I would have to confront reality and drastically scale back my plans. The shop items are based on all the goofy stuff you can find on the shelves of some of the more interesting gift shops.

Follow the blog tour with these talented bloggers:

Chat with Vera 
Anakalian Whims
  Mymcbooks Blog 
 Outnumbered 3 to 1 
Picture Books Review
 Check It Out 
 Jumpin Bean 
Caiafa Craziness
 Kid Lit Reviews
 Heck of A Bunch
 Leslie Lindsay
  Double Duty Twins 
 Cassandra M’s Place
  Philly Burb Moms 
Not So Average Mama 
Tales of Mommyhood
 Susan Heim on Parenting 
Bookish Babes 
Bea’s Book Nook 
Bumbles and Fairytales
  Be the Difference 
Stacking Books
 Local Busy Bees
 Reading through Life
 Parenting Healthy 
Unleashing Readers
 Kristen Remenar
 Oh My! Omaha 
My Silly Little Gang
 The Corner on Character
 Mommy Ramblings
 SoCal City Kids
 Saffron Tree
 Mrs Brown Loves Bookworms 
 The Neighborhood Moms 
 Inspired by Savannah 
 The Reading Nook Reviews 
 In the Pages Blog 
Writers’ Rumpus Miss Marple’s Musings Investing Love 
 Natural Mama 
One Crazy Kid
  Mommy’s Block Party 
 Mommy Has to Work  

Would you like to win a copy of The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish? Enter my little Rafflecopter for a chance to win your own copy. If you have or work with 5 - 6 year old's, you'll love it!

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Daredevil Duck Book Tour

I recently received the cutest picture book to review. When Cassie from Running Press asked if I was interested, of course I said yes! I love reading picture books.  I will admit to  hanging out at Barnes and Noble just to check out the new books to add to my wish list for the library. I was a little worried as I hadn't heard of Charlie Alder. After a little research I discovered she is an English illustrator. Daredevil Duck is her firstsolo book to author and illustrate.  Like Daredevil Duck I has a little afraid in the beginning.

Fear not! If you have a preschooler or a kindergarten, they will love this one. In a nut shell - Daredevil Duck dreams he is the bravest duck in the whole world. In reality he might be described as the biggest scaredy cat in the whole world. (Bless his heart, he's just like a kindergartener those first few days of school. They act real brave but really the big kids down the hall terrify them.) Love that he overcame his fears to help a friend. Everything about school/life is less scary with a good friend. The books flaps are the only drawback I have for this one.  I will have to be really careful with this one. Maybe use this one when I'm discussing book care at the beginning of the year.... Will keep tabs on Ms. Alder for future books. Talented new author!

Follow the book tour for chances to win a copy of Daredevil Duck! If you are interested in winning a copy, enter the following rafflecopter by May 17th. Contest open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By Charlie Alder  
Blog Tour Schedule
5/10 ReaderKidz

I like reviewing books I can use with my students. This one is definitely going in the stack for next years Kindergarteners. I did receive a free copy of the book for my honest review.

Keep Reading!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Go, Pea, Go! Book Tour

Normally I only review books I am considering for my K - 8 library. I made an exception for Go, Pea, Go! by Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg.  It sounded really cute for my friends who have young children, and I'm so glad I did. This adorable story is not only encouraging but engaging as well. I love using stories to interact with the students at school. This one is perfect for parents who need just another method to encourage their darlings with potty training. I'm definitely recommending this one to my day care friends.

In a nutshell, Pea Junior is running a race. The prize, it's the Potty Prize of course! Personally I loved the page were Pea's friends are encouraging him to win. It brought back memories of me cheering on my two boys as they learned to "go potty".

This one is full of puns the younger children may not catch, but will keep the grown ups laughing! Great illustrations and a song for those of you musically inclined. The sticker chart will be great for tracking personal successes in the "potty race"!

Visit the following blogs for their review of Go, Pea, Go!
By Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg
Blog Tour Schedule

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This contest will run from April 22nd - May 4th. One winner will receive a prize pack consisting of a pea plush, pea beach ball, pea tote bag, pea hair clips, stickers, and a copy of the book. Three winners will win a prize pack consisting of a pea beach ball, pea postcards, stickers and a copy of the book. Five runners up will win a copy of the book and stickers. Winners will be contacted by email and must notify us within 48 hours of the notification email with address and acceptance. Please note this contest is for US residents only.

(The only compensation I received for this honest review was a free copy of the book.)

Keep Reading!!!

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