Showing posts with label Books for Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books for Kids. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Biblio.com - A Site Review for Booklovers and Booksellers

Biblio.com - A Site Review for Booklovers and Booksellers
Logo created on PicMonkey


Do You Buy or Sell Used Books?



Just last week I started listing some of my new, used, and slightly shop-worn Preschool - Grade 12 textbooks, workbooks, and teaching materials at Biblio.com. I created a logo on PicMonkey using this image from Pixabay for my storefront at Biblio. That's what you see above.

I have added a few books manually while updating my 6000+ book database for a bulk upload. I'm getting back into the bookselling game again. I chose Biblio as my new bookselling home for many reasons, but I haven't been there long enough yet to review the site from a seller's point of view. I will say Biblio has a very responsive support team that answers my questions. You can watch my store shelves at Biblio fill as I begin to offer bargain books on cooking, gardening, crafting, and other interests as I have time. Please check out Barb's People Builders' new home at Bibio.com 

As I've been spending more time on the site, I've discovered a lot of new features that weren't there a few years ago. It's a very user-friendly place for book buyers. I like to support the independent booksellers who have opted not to rely completely on Amazon as a selling site. Many of those sellers you see at Amazon also list on Biblio. But on Biblio they are able to offer you more than they can on Amazon.

I Love the Newest Biblio Search Feature

Biblio.com has unique search features.
Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay 


As you may expect, you can search Biblio for books by author, title, ISBN, and keyword. There are also several filters you can apply to narrow your search, including price, attributes such as type of cover, condition, whether a dust jacket is present, publish date, whether the seller has included a photo,  and more. There are also many ways you can sort your results.

The new feature I especially love is the ability to always show or exclude certain dealers from your searches. You can easily change your mind later about your favorite stores to search or include excluded stores again. I hate having a couple of bargain sites with multiple copies of the same book monopolizing my search results, and I can easily exclude them so I can see what other dealers are offering.

Biblio Sellers Are Independent and Can Communicate with You


If you have a question about a book you can probably call or email a Biblio seller directly without a middleman getting in the way. Although many of us work from home and don't list our phone numbers, you can email us and arrange for  phone call if you prefer that.

Independent booksellers, especially those with open stores, know their books. I don't know of any of us who have had time to list them all yet. I still have hundreds unlisted I'd like to sell. Let's say, for example, a homeschool wants to teach a unit study on frogs or pond life. So far I haven't listed the books I have on those subjects, but I do have lots of them I could suggest if someone contacts me.

Nonfiction books for children are one of my specialties. I could probably meet most of your needs from unlisted books sitting on my shelves and give you a consolidated shipping price for them if you contact me directly. In contrast, Amazon often charges a standard $3.99 shipping fee per book, even if five books are shipped together. Not everything you buy from third party sellers qualifies for free or prime shipping. Some Biblio sellers also offer free shipping. We are also required to ship internationally.

Are you a book collector? There is probably are Biblio sellers who specializes in the books that interest you. When you contact them directly they can watch for books you might want as they acquire them and let you know about them. On Amazon  you need to put specific titles on their wish list. They use artificial intelligence. A human bookseller uses human intelligence and may know about books in your speciality you don't know about yet.

Amazon sells books, but it's not a bookseller in the same sense as an independent bookseller is. Amazon is primarily a book marketer. There's a difference. Independent booksellers know what's on their shelves at home or in their storefronts. They've often read a lot of them related to the topics they specialize in. They can advise you on content or style. Most of them love to talk to customers about what they are both interested in. You may find that this direct communication is worth the extra bit you might have to pay for postage.

Other Reasons I Like Biblio.com


Biblio provides services to independent sellers with reasonable fees and lets them communicate with buyers directly. Their individual stores post a way to contact them.

Biblio.com - A Site Review for a Socially Responsible Independent Used Book Site
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 


Biblio is socially responsible. It cares about the environment. It uses its profits to provide jobs and benefits to its employees as well as to give back to the community. Think of it as your local bookstore in the worldwide community. It is independent instead of being owned by a large corporation. Biblio also founded a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring literacy and education to impoverished communities. See the details here.

I hope next time you're searching for an out-of-print or used book you will give Biblio a try. And please check out my storefront while you're there, especially if you have children or grandchildren who like to read or need academic practice at home.

More Places You Can Find Great Books for Children and Education


If you are homeschooling, you also may want to check out this post: Should Homeschoolers Sell Used Curriculum at Homeschool Used Book? I think it's not only a good place for homeschoolers to find materials they need, but they can also find new homes for teaching resources and textbooks they no longer need. They can use credit from from their sales to buy different books they see listed on the site. Or they can get cash for their sales instead.

And don't forget to visit the site I've been resurrecting since going back to bookselling -- Books to Remember. I'll be listing and reviewing many of my education resources there with links to where you can get them. The site also hosts one of my book blogs for parents and educators.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Grandmothers Love to be Remembered Come Mother's Day (A Book Review)

Being a Grandmother is one of the most satisfying jobs in the world.  We get to have fun with our Grandchildren and not have the day to day responsibility of raising them.  (We have done that already!)

We are the ones that love to see our children and their children in settings that are remembered with much fondness.  I know I enjoy seeing my son and his children doing some of the same things that we did when he was a youngster.  Grandpa loves watching them play road hockey! Some of the funniest memories come from when he played with his children.  They still laugh an awful lot about some of those times.

When Mother's Day rolls around (and it does every year), sometimes Grandmothers get overlooked.  But, I must say this, when we are remembered, it is a wonderful feeling.

We grandmothers are called upon to look after little ones when Mom and Dad just need some "quiet" time on their own.  Date nights can be a rarity when you have little ones that are always on the go!

I'm just getting back from a week at their house, while mom and dad headed south for a 10 year anniversary "get away"!  Believe me, grandmomming for a week at a time can be a workout!

Having said that, I came across a great book for Grandmothers (and there is even one for Grandfathers), that makes being the "Grandparent" a special treat!  It would make a great little gift for that special "Grandma" in your life!  Especially great at Mother's Day!



This is a book that every grandmother should have!  I love the story and how it reverses the roles of the sitter and the one being babysat!  This Grandmother in particular, loves reading books to her "grands", so this is a shoe in for me.  Whenever I am in charge of looking after my little ones, reading is one of the pastimes that we all enjoy.  This book makes it even easier, because the little ones enjoy the role reversal.  They are the ones looking after Grandma!

With the cost of greeting cards these days, I would much rather receive a book like this one and the cost is not much more!  Being remembered by your children on a day special to all mothers (and grandmothers) makes your heart swell  just a little bit and you get a great story to share with those that you love so much.  Try it out for your grandmother and see if there isn't just a little twinkle in her eyes.  Shared love and sharing a great story are two of the best things in life, at least for this grandma!





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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Anne of Green Gables Early Reader Chapter Book Reviews

Anne of Green Gables Early Reader Books
I do not have any wee folk around anymore nor did I ever have any wee girls about the house but that did not stop me from holding throughout my life a love of all things related to Anne of Green Gables and Prince Edward Island.  A hold over from my girlhood, I am thrilled to know that the red headed heroine we loved as girls continues to be introduced to successive generations of girls through some beautiful books and television programming.

Green Gables in Anne Arrives
Anne Arrives and Anne's Kindred Spirits are a retelling of the traditional Anne of Green Gables story for early readers in an easy chapter book format that have been adapted by Canadian author Kallie George. Kallie, that is, with an e. Anne Arrives was released in 2018 and Anne's Kindred Spirits will be released in 2019.

The first story introduces the young reader to Anne Shirley and sets her down at Green Gables where we all know that she belongs. She settles in, that is, after a rough start when they find out she is a girl and not a boy and after she has a run in with the neighbor, Mrs. Lynde.

The second story introduces Anne and the reader to her bosom buddy, Diana. In this book, Anne enjoys a community picnic, which is her first, although that outing is jeopardized when Marilla's prized brooch goes missing.

Author Kallie George has written a number of other books for children including a picture book about Anne Shirley called Goodnight, Anne. Kallie says that she believes that she and Anne Shirley are kindred spirits!

Anne Shirley in Anne Arrives

The illustrator Abigail Halpin says that she was gifted with a copy of the original book when she was a teenager and that that book still holds a special place on her book shelf.  The illustrations in Anne Arrives, she says, were "influenced by her memories of one of the most beautiful, magical spots on the planet, Prince Edward Island." Her illustrations were crafted using a combination of traditional and digital media.

Both of these books were written with children aged 6 to 8 or in grades 1 through 3 in mind. However, if you child is not quite ready to read these books on her own, you could certainly read them to her. Although intended for children, they are suitable for any one who loves Anne.

I think that this book is wonderful, sharing as it does a simple version of the classic story with the accompaniment of some charming illustrations. My favorite picture might be the two page spread that shows Green Gables in the distance, shown above.  It sets the scene in my head, for sure.

As you can tell, yes, this book is RECOMMENDED by me. I think it is lovely but I am biased toward anything from Anne's world.  However, Kirkus Reviews calls Anne Arrives, "A dream of an adaptation that is an unabashed love letter to the series that inspired it." In my mind that is high praise indeed.

I think that either book would make a beautiful gift for anyone who loves Anne but it would be especially appropriate for any young girl who is learning or will soon be learning to read. If you want to expose your children to Anne's world, you can never start to young!

You can find both books on Amazon by clicking here.  If you are looking to put a great gift set together, you might consider bundling one of these books with one of the beautiful Anne of Green Gables gift ideas found on this page.

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Anne Arrives and Anne's Kindred Spirits on Amazon.
Find a page full of beautiful Anne of Green Gables gift ideas.


Anne Arrives by Kallie George

Anne's Kindred Spirits by Kallie George






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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Favorite Christmas Pop Up Books By Robert Sabuda

Pop Up books always bring a smile to my face! My favorite pop up book creator is Robert Sabuda. I was first introduced to Robert Sabuda when moonlighting at Borders Books (ah, I remember it well, we miss you Borders!). His pop up books bring the Christmas classics to life and are a must on the Christmas list for all ages!
Robert Sabuda pop up reindeer.

Christmas Pop Up Books By Robert Sabuda


 My first Christmas pop up book was The 12 Days Of Christmas! One of the special treats in the pop up books are the extra pop ups intertwined in the story. Loved finding a reindeer in my 12 Days Of Christmas !
The 12 Days Of Christmas

The Christmas pop up books by Sabuda cover the Christmas and winter classics like no other and are a wonderful addition to your library. These books will be a permanent addition to your library.


  • The 12 Days Of Christmas
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • The Christmas Story
  • Christmas Alphabet
  • Winter In White
  • Winter's Tale
  • Cookie Count
  • Believe




Who Is Robert Sabuda?


Robert Sabuda is the author, creator and renowned paper engineer who creates intricate pop up books for kids. The books are unique, whimsical and visually stunning. His artistic career spans many mediums with a specialty in 3-D paper engineering which uses to transform children's stories into stunning pop up books.

Find out more about Robert Sabuda in the video > (in his own words.) It is fascinating to hear the authors' view of his craft.

How To Make Pop Up's?


Feeling crafty? Robert Sabuda's website offers step by step tutorials on how to make your own pop up! The tutorials are organized by category and skill level plus provide pdf templates, instructional slideshows and motivation to DIY a pop up. My next DIY is the Pop Up Lion and Reindeer for the holidays.

Christmas Pop Up Books For All Ages


What I love about the Robert Sabuda collection of Christmas books is the appeal to all ages. If a book lover is on your Christmas list I guarantee delight when a Sabuda pop up book is received. Half the fun of giving a popup book is watching the facial expressions as the pages are turned and each page brings spectacular artistry mixed with the classic stories of Christmas.

More Robert Sabuda Pop Up Books


Classic children stories and topics are also artistically created by Sabuda and a wonderful gift for any occasion. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Movable Mother Goose and Cookie Count are among my favorites. Dinosaur fans will love -  absolutely love the Dinosaur book.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector's Edition Book Review

The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector's Edition Book Review
The book The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a spin off from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter world. Using words translated by Hermione Granger, a thin volume was created. It includes text and pictures from J.K. Rowling and commentary from Professor Albus Dumbledore. Packed between the covers are five stories, fairy tales called The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump, and The Tale of the Three Brothers. These stories share glimpses into the wizards of Harry Potter’s world.

J.K. Rowling created an affordable ‘ordinary’ copy of the book that mere mortals like you and I could afford. You can read my review of that book here. Interestingly, it was created with a wide variety of covers and even re-released in 2017 with a new U.S. cover.

Rowling also created seven magnificent copies of this story by hand. Those amazing books were given to people closely related to the series and one of them was auctioned for charity. Take a look at those amazing books here in this Youtube video and see what those that have been sold fetched at auction.


I do wonder what one of those original handcrafted books would sell for now. Anyway, Rowling also released a collector’s edition of the book as shown in the pictures on this page. This version was more readily available though still much more expensive than the 'ordinary' hardcover book.

This limited printing collector's edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a beautiful set that was produced exclusively for sale on Amazon and released on December 4, 2008. I do not know what it originally sold for but as I write this page today in the spring of 2018, I see that it is available on Amazon at prices over $200 and on eBay where it appears to be more affordable, selling at prices starting around $100 and ending at about $230.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector's Edition Book Review
Included in the collector's edition are the five fairy tales that you find in all of the versions of this book. However, they are packaged in a handsome case that looks like a wizarding textbook straight from the library at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry making it a wonderful addition to a Harry Potter fan's collection.

Inside the case you will find ten prints that can be framed, a reproduction of J.K. Rowling's introduction, ten pictures that are not found in the standard version of the book and, packed inside a velvet bag, the copy of the book itself, which is embellished with a metal skull, corners and clasp as well as replica gemstones and a green ribbon.

All profits from the original sale of the book in 2008 originally went to the Children's High Level Group. Of course, that is not likely the case today. Click here to read more about the Collector's Edition of the Tales of Beedle the Bard on Amazon.

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard on eBay.
Find a great selection of Harry Potter gifts here.
Add a Harry Potter coffee mug to your collection.
Follow my Harry Potter board on Pinterest!







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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Patricia Polacco Is a Storyteller with Heart: A Review

Why I Love the Books of Patricia Polacco


Patricia Polacco's books aren't just stories. They are connections to the hearts of her readers. You will see why in a moment. Polacco is not just a talented artist with a style that's easy to recognize, but she's a storyteller with heart.


Patricia Polacco Is a Storyteller with Heart: A Review



Patricia Polacco is only a year younger than I, but she led a much less sheltered life. Her parents had divorced when she was only three, and she and her mother had been living with her grandmother in many different towns until her grandmother died. In one of those towns, Union City,  Michigan, they had lived on a farm. Life on the farm with her Babushka (grandmother) provided Polacco with many of her story ideas when she later began to write.

Most of Polacco's stories relate to problems and fears that children have. In some a child has lost a beloved adult -- a grandparent or neighbor.  I have read many other children's books, both fiction and nonfiction, that deal with these issues, but none have made the connection with my heart that Polacco's did. I believe that in almost every one of her books I've read, and I've read lots of them, her own heart and feelings were involved. In others, her love of books and reading connected with me.

Polacco understands the importance of family relationships in both the nuclear and extended family. She understands the value of intergenerational relationships. In many of her books a child and a lonely elderly person make a connection that ends their isolation. Not all children have grandparents and not all widows and widowers have grandchildren. Polacco shows that these intergenerational relationships can be just as vital even when child and elderly person come from different races or cultures.


Gifts of the Heart by Patricia Polacco


In this precious Christmas story, young Patricia and her brother have been living with their mother and her parents on a farm in Michigan. When Patricia's grandmother dies, her grandfather wants to sell the farm and move because the house is so full of memories. Meanwhile, Grandfather has hired a woman who says she is Kay Lamity to look after the children, as their Babushka used to do, while their mother went to work. Patricia's brother, especially, rebels at the thought that anyone can replace their Babushka. Rather than me summarizing the story, I will let you listen to the book be read aloud in this video. You will also see Polacco's wonderful illustrations as you listen, and you will also see what I mean by stories that have heart in this Christmas picture book for children 5-8. I really think it's for all ages.




A Gift for a Child with Dyslexia: Thank You, Mr. Falker


My brother had the misfortune to have dyslexia before anyone knew what it was. Born into a family with a mother and sister who loved reading and read to him all the time, everyone assumed he'd also become a reader. Except he didn't. As much help as he had from a mother who was a teacher and a sister who wanted to help, he just became more frustrated when books didn't make sense to him. Like Patricia, he didn't get help until he was in middle school. Like Patricia, he thought he must be dumb. He never told me what he might have suffered from teasing by his classmates. This is a book every teacher and parent should read -- especially if they have a child with a reading problem. Listen to Jane Kaczmarek read it on YouTube and see if you can keep your eyes dry. I couldn't




If you know a child who needs this book, please get Thank You, Mr. Falker for him or her. I recommend a physical book for all the picture books to enhance the reading experience.



My Favorite Polacco Book: Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair

This my favorite because I can't imagine a life without reading.  I've loved reading since I was three years old, and I loved being read to even before that. I've never been a great fan of TV, either. So I can imagine how it would feel to be Eli's Aunt Chip, the Triple Creek librarian, when people stopped reading to watch TV. Television was the center of their lives and they always had it on. Pretty soon even school teachers were replaced by television.

Although Aunt Chip still faithfully showed up to work every day, no one came. Finally the library was demolished and replaced by a giant TV tower, and Aunt Chip took to her bed. She told told the mayor and the townspeople there would be consequences to replacing books with television.

When Eli arrived on the scene, he loved his Aunt Chip. He did think it strange she'd not left her bed since he'd known her, but she told wonderful stories. Finally he asked her one day where she got her stories. She replied, "Some come out of thin air. Some come out of my dreams. Some come right out of books!"

Eli asked how you would get a story from a book. All he'd seen books used for were patching holes in the street, sitting on, building things, and even shoring up the dam. Never for reading. This is when Aunt Chip discovered that not only Eli, but no one else in the town could still read. So she showed Eli the inside of a book and explained about writing.

'Now look at this. Those are words. They tell about ideas, dreams, and feelings. They take you to places far from here....Books are a treasure. All you need is the key.'
Patricia Polacco Is a Storyteller with Heart: A Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay, edited on PicMonkey


I don't want to give the story away, but Aunt Chip leaves her bed and the town soon learns the consequences of their rashness in closing the library and replacing books with television. I think the ending will make you happy, and you will love what happens to Eli. This book is not a tear-jerker like the others I reviewed. Give it to anyone who thinks reading isn't important.

I finally found a video of someone reading this aloud, so if you don't mind a spoiler, enjoy the story.


Give a Child You Love a Patricia Polacco Book 

Here are more of my favorites. There's a story for almost any child in this group of books. You can find more detailed reviews of the books below and many others, as well as more about Patricia Polacco's life and inspiration in "Patricia Polacco and Her Books" at Books to Remember.  You will also find study guides and readers' theater scripts for the most popular of her books.




Find more reviews for children's books here at Review This!

***


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 Outstanding Picture Book Stories to Win Little Hearts

Three Outstanding Picture Books to Win Little Hearts (A Review)

Today we will look at three books written by Pat Furstenberg


Everyone knows that children love Pictures and Picture books with lots of interesting words and sounds.  Part of every childs' development comes from those times when they are snuggled up with mom or dad, Grammie or Grandpa listening to the words and looking at the pictures.  It's also a wonderful time to bond with our children and grandchildren in a way that will bring fond memories back to them one day.


From my own experience, there is nothing quite like the quiet time spent with my little ones telling a story, listening to them describe how they see the pictures and teaching them some great life lessons all at the same time.  Books and the words they contain are stepping stones that children love to learn and hear.  So when you come across some books that you know children will love, it's only fair to share what you have found.


Rhyming and word-play are an important part of every child's verbal development.  There are word rhymes that are still taught to children today that go back at least 60 to 70 years and we are still teaching these same rhymes with their sing song rythms.  The kids just love them all.



These three books by Pat Furstenberg are all written in this way.  The pictures are delightful and the stories themselves are ones that will resonate with big and  little hearts.  Children will enjoy the stories of unlikely friends, while parents and grandparents can tell little side stories too. 


The Cheetah and the Dog are an unlikely pair, yet they become and remain good friends even though no on thought this was possible.  Too many differences don't matter when your hearts are in the same place.  How many times does that happen in real life?  Do you have a friendship that is still as strong as the Cheetah's and the Dog's? 



The Elephant and the Sheep is an endearing story too!  How often we make friends but don't think beyond what we see right in front of us.  Each of our lives are different, but, the one thing we all need is a friend.  A friend that can see beyond our hardships and differences. Only when we try really hard do we sometimes find out the truth.  Little sheep learns a valuable lesson about friendship,  love, and family.  Elephant learns something too,  family can be much more than living with other elephants.  Family can be living with those who love us!


The Lion and the Dog is another story about our differences and how they really don't matter.  What matters is how we care and treat each other.  Lion is so sad, yet the little dog Milo doesn't give up on Leo, even when he is less than friendly.  Milo knows what every good dog knows,  everyone needs a friend!  


If you have children, reading them stories about friendship and caring for others is a great way to encourage empathy at a young age.  The world needs more of that!  Word play and stories with great illustrations makes it easy for parents and grandparents to instill little life lessons in a very heart-warming way.  

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can get these books and so many more by Patricia and other authors as well, delivered right to your Kindle device and some are free with Prime Membership.









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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Meet Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat: A Book Review

Why Is This Book So Popular with Children?

I first met Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat when I was about seven. I was already reading by then, but Mom still read it to me. It had been a gift from my Cousin Edna, who was the first to read it to me. I liked the book so much I kept it. When my brother came along about three years later, both Mom and I read it to him as soon as he was old enough to understand it -- about three. He loved it and couldn't get enough of it. We had to read it over and over. The author, Morrell Gipson, has a real feel for what appeals to children. The illustrator, Angela, evokes just the right emotions with her watercolor paintings.

Mr Bear Squash You All FlatMr Bear Squash You All Flat


Why do young children love this book so much when it might seem violent to an adult? Young children often feel small and helpless, just like the animals who watched Mr. Bear squash their houses. They can identify with those animals who run and hide when they see Mr. Bear coming toward their homes. Then they can rejoice when Mr. Bear gets what he deserves at the end of the book. 


Encourage Interaction As You Read Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat Aloud


This book is full of the repetition that children love.  Adults can help them build anticipation by asking them what they expect to happen next. Adults can make the book for fun by imitating Mr. Bear's voice as he issues his warnings. By the time the child has heard the book read several times, the adult can invite him to repeat the warning with Mr. Bear. The adult can also ask children toward the end of the book what they think will happen when Mr. Bear tries to squash the tire house. Those are just my ideas. You will think of many more ways to interact with the child you read to. 


Meet Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat: A Book Review
Check Price for Mr. Bear Squash-You-All Flat
I scanned this book cover from my own copy. 


Meet Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat

Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat got his name because he liked to squash things -- especially the houses of smaller animals. He was too lazy to build himself a house. 

Most of the time Mr. Bear lived peacefully and didn't bother the other animals. He would sleep quietly under the trees since he had no home of his own. When the moon was full, though, all that changed. That's when he would get really grumpy and go on a house-squashing rampage and squash every house he saw. You can see how he does it on the cover of this book. (See it above.)

The Illustrations

The edition I owned almost seventy years ago is out of print. I was happy to see this new edition bring it to new generations of readers. It has the same illustrations by Angela that I loved. Although they reveal Mr. Bear's grumpiness and anger, they aren't scary. Sometimes there is even a touch of humor. The artist does a great job on the facial expressions of all the animals. You can check out more of the book's illustrations on its Amazon page by clicking to Look Inside.

The Plot

Whenever Mr. Bear decides to squash a house, he gives fair warning by stating who he is and that he intends to squash the animal's house after he counts to three. That gives the animal inside time to run away and hide. Then the homeless animal goes in search of another house. On the day described in this book, he squashes three houses. After each house he squashes, he feels less grumpy, and on this day he felt cheerful enough after squashing the third house to go take a nap. 

Meanwhile, the homeless animals discovered a very large tire and moved into it together. They were quite happy there until after the next full moon when they saw Mr. Bear approaching their new house. The baby rabbit spotted him first and ran to warn the mouse and the chipmunk. They ran to hide behind a large oak tree, hoping Mr. Bear would leave their house alone. Not a chance! I'll leave it to your imagination what happens next.

Get Mr. Bear Squash-You-All Flat for a child you love now. 



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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fishy Tales Book Review

Fishy Tales - a DK Reader for Pre-School Age


Fishy Tales on Amazon

This is part of the DK Readers series, which includes 4 levels for you to choose from to match your child's reading ability.  The levels include:

  • Pre-Level 1 - Learning to Read - These books include simple sentences to introduce and reinforce vocabulary.
  • Level 1 - Beginning to Read - Books which have short and simple stories to engage interest.
  • Level 2 – Beginning to Read Alone - Books with longer stories to develop fluency and understanding.
  • Level 3 – Reading Alone - These include more complex stories to build confidence in reading. 

Fishy Tales & Friends





Fishy Tales is a DK Reader in the Pre-Level 1, for children ages 4-6.  The Fishy Tales story takes a journey in the deep blue sea where we see fish swim through through a coral reef.  There is also a starfish on the sandy ocean floor and a jellyfish floating up and down in the waves, plus pages about the sea turtle, Sea horses, jellyfish, sharks, octopuses, crabs, eels, rays and dolphins.

There are 12 different sea-life creatures shown in two-page spreads with color pictures and simple one sentence descriptions.  Each sea animal has words that describe different parts of the animal. 


TURTLE


For instance, the turtle page says:
Turtles – The turtles play in the ocean. 

The words Shell and Flipper are labels which point to those matching parts on the turtle. 

Terrance Turtle reading Fishy Tales

A handmade plush tortoise from my Etsy Toybox loves reading about the sea turtle who lives in the deep blue sea. This plush turtle is named Terrance (Terry for short) and he is hand-crocheted. 



Terry the Turtle
 He has  a tan body with a sage green shell. His head, legs and tail are done in yellow. His eyes are embroidered. He's soft and cuddly and ready to be hugged by a child who loves turtles.



Crabs & Clams

 


My Etsy Shop doesn't currently have any toy crabs, but this little yellow yarn clam in her clamshell is fascinated by the ocean crabs who can hide in the coral and in big shells. She can imagine how  much fun it would be to be 'real' and live by the seashore like the crabs in this story. 

Plush Clam in Clam Shell - Etsy
This two-piece set includes a bright yellow clam with black safety eyes and filled with soft polyfil. The 'clam' measures 3 inches across. She comes with her own 'clamshell' crocheted in brown and tan. Clamshell measures nearly 4 inches across.

Yellow clam loves the sandy beach, but she'd be just as happy living in a child's toy box or reading books with a child.  She could also be a friendly plushie sitting on your desk.




Fishies



Colorful fishies swim everywhere through the Coral reef and elsewhere in the ocean. This plush toy tropical fish pretends he could join them when he reads about them in the book. 



Plush Toy Tropical Fish

The Tropical fish in my Etsy Shop is handmade in the Amigurumi style of crochet. Fish has two back fins, two side fins, one top fin and one bottom fin -- all crocheted in royal blue yarn. He is stuffed with non-allergenic polyfil and measures 12 inches long from nose to the top of back fins and about 4 inches across the body. Fish is 6" tall from bottom fin to top fin.



Octopus

 


The many toy octopuses in my Etsy Shop find the page about the octopus in the storybook Fishy Tales to be their favorite, of course. Two of these plush yarn octopuses are busy reading about the octopuses who live in the sea.



Mini Crochet Octopus
This plush Mini Octopus with a yellow button flower is hand-crocheted in tan and Aspen Print green-tan-brown ombre yarn.  Mini octopus has yarn embroidered eyes and 8 tentacles, which are crocheted spirals. The body is stuffed with a small amount of polyfil.  Octopus measures 2.5 inches tall and 5 inches wide. 

Dolphin

 


My favorite page in Fishy Tales is the one about the dolphin, as there are multiple dolphins in plush in my Etsy crochet toybox.  And, since I live near the ocean, I also get to see real dolphins swimming and leaping in the sea close to my nearest beach.



Plush Toy Crochet Bottlenose Dolphin
Come meet my replica of a blue Bottlenose Dolphin - a plush, stuffed toy version of a favorite sea animal.

Hand crocheted in denim blue and light gray acrylic yarn and filled with a soft new polyfil, this dolphin is ready to swim his way into your heart. He has a blue top and a light gray underside. 


Denim Blue Dolphin measures about 14 inches long and 9 inches across his side fins. He is about 3.5 inches high (6 inches at his dorsal fin). His eyes are blue craft eyes.

Summary

 


Any child would enjoy reading all about these marvelous sea creatures shown here in Fishy Tales. And we hope you have enjoyed the featured crochet plush sea animals who have also enjoyed reading about the real-life sea animals which were their creators' inspiration in crochet.


  • For more DK Reader books for pre-school and older children, visit their website at DK.com.


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*Children's book review of Fishy Tales by Wednesday-Elf



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Monday, July 17, 2017

Have You Met My Friend, Flat Stanley?

Flat Stanley, First Edition 1964
It is unlikely that introductions are needed, but in this review I'd like to re-introduce you to Flat Stanley. Nearly everyone has a favorite childhood story that they remember well into adulthood. Do you remember yours? I was a voracious reader as a youngster so I had many "favorite" books. Flat Stanley was definitely one of those favorites. Over the decades, he's been a favorite of many.

There are a small handful of books that were my favorites as a child, so well-loved that I plan on making sure my grandchildren have those same stories. Not so long ago, I had a chance to visit with Flat Stanley again. At first, I could not recall all of the details of the his story, but I could clearly recall that he had become flat and made the best of his situation by traveling. He was such a fun childhood companion. I recall imagining where I would travel if I could just fold myself up in an envelope and mail myself anywhere. Imagine my complete delight when Stanley Lambchop showed up in my own mailbox and spent the weekend in my neighborhood. 


The Original Flat Stanley 


Flat Stanley, the original children's story that inspired me, was written in 1964 by Jeff Brown and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer (pictured above). It is the first in the Stanley Lambchop series. 


The New Adventures of Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley - I Can Read 2

Jeff Brown has since passed away. I hadn't realized that until I took my visiting friend to the bookstore. "We" had gone there to look for a book about Maryland to send home with him as a momento of his visit with me in Baltimore. I saw that Flat Stanley has many new adventures! Jeff Brown had written many stories about Flat Stanley prior to passing away in 2003. 

Since then, additional authors have written about Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures

You will find that the books can be found in a variety of reading levels and are suitable for children of many different ages. 


Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures

How Did Stanley Lambchop Come to Visit Me?


Are you wondering how Stanley Lambchop arrived in the mailbox in order to visit me over four decades after his creation? The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade school teacher in Canada. It was a project meant to teach and encourage letter-writing by students to each other via sending a Flat Stanley through the mail. Dale Hubert received the Prime Minister's award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project. I agree that teachers who go above and beyond in order to engage our youth in learning should be recognized. 

More about the Original Flat Stanley Project by Dale Hubert.

Since that time, amazing teachers are continuing this wonderful project. And Stanley left his classroom in Indiana to come visit me in Baltimore, Maryland. Even though I am a grandmother-aged woman, I was transported to the land of make-believe. Stanley and I had a great time riding around in the Jeep together, watching the Maryland National Guard Warthogs take off from Martin State Airport, book shopping at a local bookstore, and driving around the Baltimore beltway and over the Frances Scott Key Bridge. Then, before I knew it, it was time for Stanley to return home.


Highly Recommended Children's Book and Educational Activity


Whether you are looking for a book to gift to a single child or an educational activity for a group of children, I highly recommend Flat Stanley. It will likely be an experience  that is remembered for years to come. 


dreary, cold morning as Stanley and I hopped in the Jeep

watching the warthogs prepare for take-off

Frances Scott Key bridge


at the bookstore with Flat Stanley




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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Reviewed

It is now a classic 

Harry Potter Train Image from Pixabay.com
It might seem a little silly to do a review of Harry Potter since it has literally been around for twenty years this week. That is kind of my point, though. June 26th marked the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series by J. K. Rowling.

The fantasy series geared to the young adult audience soon became an international phenomenon. Children (of all ages it turned out) were captivated by the young wizard Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Their adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry tickled the imaginations and funny bones of children and their parents. The most remarkable feat of all is that it created an awakening of sorts. A generation of new readers rose up out of the fog to READ books.

As each new book in the series was published parents were convinced by their children to wait in long lines at book stores to get their own copy of the book. Libraries couldn't keep the books on the shelves. I don't know about you but I think this was a most wonderful event. Anything that can introduce a child to the joys of reading is a very good thing and J. K. Rowling encouraged millions of children to do just that.

Let's get the next generation reading

So, I've been thinking that there is something we can all do to help the next generation fall in love with reading. It could start with our little friend Harry Potter. To celebrate his twenty years in children's literature, let's get another generation excited. How can we do this, you ask? 

My suggestion is a simple one, really. If you have children in your life who have not been introduced to young Harry, get them a boxed set of the books to begin their reading adventure. Another idea is to purchase single books and donate them. Donate to your local library or to a children's hospital. Find out if there is a local shelter for mothers and children and donate a book or two for them to read. Volunteer to read at the local library or on the cancer ward at a pediatric hospital.

I used to be involved in an outreach program at my church. Every month we visited a shelter for battered women and their children. We had a birthday party for the kids that were there and having birthdays. This would be a great time to give each child a Harry Potter book. So, ask around and see if there is a church near you that does something like that. Donate a book for a birthday child. You could also just visit the shelter and inquire if you could just leave a copy or two for any child that might enjoy reading it.

Let's get another generation of young people excited about reading by introducing them to the magical world of Harry Potter. And thank you J. K. Rowling for sharing your wonderful imagination with the world!




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