Animals In Costume

While perusing the shelves recently, I came across these gems and what a better time to read books about dressing up!   These books totally crack us up and your kiddos will love them.

Ron Barrett’s illustrations paired with Judi Barrett’s writing…you can’t beat it. It’s perfect, PERFECT!  After reading Animals Should Definitely Not Act Like People and Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, we go back through the books and laugh at all of the illustrations.

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I’m leaving you with the cover of both and an illustration sample.  Not much more I can say about these without ruining the whole thing.  I think the pictures speak for themselves:)

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Go get these!  You totally won’t regret it:)

That Book Mama

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Squeal!!! Princess Diaries Is Back!

Princess Mia is back, all grown up and has a little sister named Olivia. Like Mia, Olivia had no clue she was a princess until the whole Kingdom of Genovia fell into her lap. 

  
Olivia is your typical 12 year old. Living with her Aunt and Uncle is not the greatest, especially when she isn’t treated as an equal to her step cousins.  She has to deal with “mean girl” Annabelle Jenkins at school. Then, insert a bombshell of a family secret. 

I’m so excited for this book!  My Farmgirl is just the right age to start reading all of the Princess Diaries books. This book is a great stepping stone to introduce characters from the first books that Princess Mia narrated. 

Eeeeeee!! Can’t wait for more! I 💜 you, Meg Cabot!

That Book Mama

Gifts From The Sea

Just finished up Gifts From The Sea by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.  Wonderful little historical fiction children’s book!

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Quila lives on an isolated island with her father, who is the lighthouse keeper.  Keeping ships safe from the rocky edge of their island was a full-time job.  Quila never liked to see what would wash up after a shipwreck.  She made it a habit to avoid any debris.

One particular day, she was down at the shore and saw that a tied up mattress had washed up.  she became curious and pulled it ashore.  Inside, tucked safely away, was a little baby girl.  After that, Quila’s life was completely turned upside down.

Based on actual historical events, Natalie Kinsey-Warnock weaves a beautiful tale that you won’t want to put down.

Recommended for ages 9-12

If you like this book, be sure to pick up her other books.  She also writes historical picture books. Hooray!

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

Horse Reading – Gotta Have It

My little Farmgirl has been reading up a storm this summer.  She came to me the other night in tears and clutching a book in her arms.  I took one look at her and knew something was wrong.  I asked her if the ending was sad and started to explain that, that happens sometimes.  She proceeded to tell me that the reason she was upset was because she had finished the book and was worried that there wouldn’t be another one in the series.  That’s my girl:)

She is reading the Canterwood Crest series so I asked her if she would write a review over the first book for me.  She was excited to do so…we will see if she’s this excited when it comes time to do one at school…  Anywho, here it is.  Farmgirl’s first book review:

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“Canterwood Crest books are the best horse books I have ever read!  The first book in the series is called, Take The Reins.  They are by Jessica Burkhart and they are about horses.  Sasha moved into Canterwood.  She rides horses and goes to school there.  She saw this guy, his name is Jacob and he loves her.  There is also a guy named Eric and he likes her too.  So, she is stuck between two guys and on top of that she has to plan a Winter Ball.”

Sounds to me like a typical love triangle:) I’m going to say that this book should be recommended for ages 8-12. 

I’m sure we will have more reviews to come from our girl so stay tuned!

That Book Mama

Ivan, His Story Lives On

Talk to me about books for 5 minutes and I’ll probably tell you about my love for audio books.  Being a Mom and finding time to read as much as I want is a real challenge.  Like seriously…then insert audio books into the picture.  Long Commute + Audio Book = Happy Mama!

Now, I read all across the board.  Juvenile to YA to Adult books. However, in the summer, I have a copilot with me.  For this reason, book selections are taken from the juvenile section.  Not a problem at all!  This summer we’ve picked several great books and one of them was, The One And Only Ivan by:  Katherine Applegate.

photo 1 (18)Told through his point of view, Ivan tells the story of his life from inside the Exit 8 Big Top Mall.  Ivan has lived in the mall the majority of his life and his days are pretty much the same.  He has made friends with Stella the elephant and Bob, a stray dog.  Watching tv, talking to his friends and having people visit his cage is a normal daily routine, but then something magical happens.  Ivan discovers his love for drawing and painting.

Ivan is an artist.  He often wonders why people can’t figure out what he’s drawn.  Honestly, I’m sure lots of artists feel the exact same way.  When he isn’t drawing, he is talking to Stella.  He worries about her because she isn’t well.  They also can sense that something is about to change.  Then, in pops Ruby, the baby elephant.  I can just see her!  She asks a billion questions a minute and is totally adorable and innocent.

Even with the story having funny parts and the animals being such characters, there’s still a lesson to be learned.  Ivan is in an enclosure with no access to the outside world.  He’s been living in basically a box for years.  Stella is very sick and her owner seems not to care.  Bob was a puppy that was dumped and ended up at the mall.  It creates a ton of opportunity to talk to your child about proper animal care.  Great, great story!

After reading the Author’s Note at the end, we found out that the book was loosely based on a true story.  I then found the book, Ivan:  The Remarkable True Story Of The Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate.  It is a simple nonfiction book that tells Ivan’s story.

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Pick them both up!  You totally won’t regret it!

Enjoy!

That Book Mama

P.S. You may want to grab a tissue, just in case:)

Charles Fuge, Won’t You Be My Illustrator?

I’ve always said, “A children’s book is only as good as the illustrator.”  One of my very favorite illustrators is, Mr. Charles Fuge.  I’m pretty sure, he could take a story about a napkin who got lost at picnic and make it totally great, just by creating pictures that were absolutely awesome!

I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I need to write a book.  I personally think that most of my humor would be lost on most kids…too bad most adults don’t read picture books:). Even if I did write a book, I for sure couldn’t do my own illustrations!

I decided a few weeks ago that I would work on this post and illustrate my point by comparing my drawing skills to that of a professional.  I went out and bought my very own colored pencils.  (The kids thought they were for them…no, silly!)  Here’s my rendition of one of the books that was illustrated by the great Charles Fuge.  Just in case you can’t tell…mine is on the right:)

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Here are a few books that he has illustrated.  All are great stories made even greater by Mr. Fuge’s vivid illustrations:)

  • Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball – By Vicki Churchill
  • Yes We Can – By Sam McBratney
  • Three Little Dinosaurs – By Charles Fuge
  • A Lullaby For Little One – By Dawn Casey
  • I Love It When You Smile – By Sam McBratney

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If I ever do write my own book, I may have to take a trip to jolly ol’ England and look up Mr. Fuge.  Maybe I’ll luck out and he won’t call the cops because I’m stalking him:)

That Book Mama

National Poetry Month! …Even For Boys:)

Wahoo!  April is National Poetry Month!  Who doesn’t love a good poem?  I have a confession…I didn’t really like poetry much, not too long ago.  Well, I like it now and that’s all that matters:)  Anyway, finding poetry is not normally a problem.  Finding poetry that boys will read, sometimes proves to be difficult.  I’ve listed 10 poetry books for boys.  Are they the only ones out there?  NO WAY!  This is just a short list for your reluctant poetry reader.  Here they are in no particular order.  P.S. Girls will also enjoy these:)

Enjoy!

That Book Mama

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Poetry For Boys

  • Dirt On My Shirt – Foxworthy, Jeff
  • Toad By The Road – Ryder, Joanne
  • Dinothesaurus – Florian, Douglas
  • Bugs:  Poems About Creeping Things – Harrison, David L.
  • Rules Of The Game:  Baseball Poems – Maddox, Marjorie
  • Comets, Stars, The Moon, And Mars – Florian, Douglas
  • A Whiff Of Pine, A Hint Of Skunk – Ruddell, Deborah
  • Guyku:  A Year Of Haiku For BoysRaczka, Bob
  • Truckery Rhymes – Scieszka, Jon
  • The Brothers’ War:  Civil War Voices In Verse – Lewis, J. Patrick