Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay



No More TANTRUMS (a Big Kid Power book) 
by Maria van Lieshout

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Kara LaReau.)

What it's all about...
You thought I was going to pick a holiday book, didn't you? Well, this is a holiday book — or, at least, one that will help you and your little ones get through the winter break, and beyond!

Why I love it...
Every book in this Big Kid Power series spotlights a toddler milestone. Their book I Use the POTTY was indispensable in our house! (My review of it here.)

Favorite lines...
When I was little and I didn't get my way, I cried.
"I want to go home!"
"I DON'T want to go home!"
"I want a CUPCAKE!"


Sample illustration...




What's the kid-appeal?

It conveys all the emotions and details of this milestone experience with gentle humor and bright, fun illustrations. 

What's the grownup appeal?

Um, the title says it all!

Where to find/buy NO MORE TANTRUMS
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Maria van Lieshout is the author-illustrator of several picture books, including Backseat A-B-SeeFlight 1-2-3, and the first two titles in the Big Kid Power series, Bye-Bye Binky and I Use the Potty. Born and raised in Holland, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay

ELF IN THE HOUSE
by Ammi-Joan Paquette
illustrated by Adam Record

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Anika Denise.)

What it's all about...
On a snowy Christmas Eve, a little girl tip-toes from her bed to find some surprise friends in her house, including a mouse, an elf, and even the big jolly guy himself.

Why I love it...
Paquette's first book in the series, Ghost in the House, is a perennial Halloween favorite my youngest daughter loves. I purchased the new one at a signing I did with Joan back in October. I plan to wrap it up and give it to my daughter on Christmas Eve. She'll no doubt recognize and appreciate the bouncy rhymes and adorable illustrations that echo the first book.

My favorite lines...
And the ELF goes third
on this snowy Christmas Eve,
In a line dance of jingle-bell hop!
Festive friends in a row,
Down the hall they go,
Until suddenly they hear. . .
CLIP-CLOP!
 
My favorite illustrations...




What's the kid-appeal?
The best part of Christmas Eve for those that celebrate is often the anticipation! Elf in the House will ramp up holiday cheer in the countdown to Christmas.

What's the grownup appeal?
Just like the first, this book is simple, sweet, and fun to read aloud. It's the perfect book to tuck  between leaving cookies out for Santa, and that goodnight, see-you-on-Christmas-morning kiss.

Where to find/ buy Elf in The House
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Or at a school or library near you!

Ammi-Joan Paquette is the author of many books for young readers, including the spooky picture book Ghost in the House. In addition to her writing, she is a literary agent representing authors of children's books. She lives outside Boston with her family. Visit her on the web at www.ajpaquette.com.




Adam Record started doodling on a bench in church and now gets inspired by old children's books and vintage posters. He lives in Utah with his wife and three children. See more of Adam's work at www.adamrecord.com.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Little Cooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay



SMOOT: A Rebellious Shadow
by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Sydney Smith

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Kara LaReau.)

What it's all about...
As a shadow to a boy with a "yawn-colored" life, Smoot yearns for "sky blue-colored freedom." Then, one day, with a *pop*, he breaks free, and his adventure begins!

Why I love it...
I can't resist a book with "rebellious" in the title, especially this inspiring tale by Michelle Cuevas, with lovely, lively illustrations by Sydney Smith.

Favorite lines...
Other shadows watched Smoot.
The sight made them brave.
"If he can follow his dreams, we can too."


Sample illustration...



What's the kid-appeal?

What child (of any age!) doesn't yearn to break free like Smoot, and go a little bit wild?

What's the grownup appeal?

It's also a story about being bold and brave, and following your dreams.

Where to find/buy SMOOT!
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Michelle Cuevas graduated from Williams College and holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She lives in Massachusetts.

Sydney Smith was born in Nova Scotia and has a BFA in drawing and printmaking from NSCAD University. He is an award-winning children's book illustrator whose work can sometimes also be found in magazines and on festival posters and album covers. Sydney also plays a little banjo, stands on his hands, and can ride his bike really fast. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and baby son.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay


TWINDERELLA, A FRACTIONED FAIRY TALE
by Corey Rosen Schwartz
pictures by Deborah Marcero

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Anika Denise.)

What it's all about...
Think you know the true story of Cinderella? Guess what, you don't know the half of it! Turns out Cinderella has a twin sister, Tinderella, who splits the chores.

Why I love it...
In signature Corey Rosen Schwartz style, this fractured "fractioned" fairy tale delivers irresistible wordplay, plenty of girl power, and a unique twist on a beloved classic. Deborah Marcero's charming mixed-media illustrations are perfect for the story.

My favorite lines...
They'd each do:
Half the mopping,
half the raking,
half the shopping,
half the baking.
Half the folding,
half the mending,
Half the mean
stepsister tending.
   
My favorite illustrations...





What's the kid-appeal?
It's a fantastic read-aloud with fun-to-read rhyme and math puns throughout. Young readers love a clever twist on a fairy tale, and this one delivers on every level: humor, relatability, and a satisfying, super-cute ending.

What's the grownup appeal?
Parents and story hour hosts will enjoy its bouncy rhythm and clever concepts. Educators can use it to make STEM connections, and for fairy tale/ creative writing units.

Where to find/ buy Twinderella:
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Corey Rosen Schwartz always longed to write a fractured fairy tale and got the perfect inspiration from her son. When he was three years old, he was asked if he spoke Spanish. His answer was: “No, but I speak a little karate.” Instantly, the idea hit her . . . the three little pigs could go to ninja school! Corey has no true Ninja training, but she can sure kick butt in Scrabble. She is the author of The Three Ninja Pigs; Hansel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks, Ninja Red Riding Hood, What About Moose? and more. She lives in Warren, New Jersey with her family. Learn more about her books at http://www.coreyrosenschwartz.com.



Deborah Marcero grew up in Michigan farm country where from a very young age drawing, writing, and reading filled her time.  She received a BFA in drawing, printmaking, and photography from the University of Michigan, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Writing. After teaching in Chicago Public Schools as a Literacy Specialist, Deborah realized that writing and creating books for kids was how she wanted to spend her life. Learn more about her work at http://deborahmarcero.com.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay



Main Street Magic
by Ingela P Arrhenius

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Jamie Michalak.)

What it's all about...
On this Main Street, nothing is as it seems. Kids can explore more than 30 lift-the-flaps and pop-ups to discover lots of strange surprises!

Why I love it...
The striking, graphic art is enormously appealing, and the mini mysteries illustrated on each page double as fun story starters. Who is peeking out of the hole in the bakery wall?

Favorite line...
Elephants never forget eternal love! 

Sample illustration...
From MAIN STREET MAGIC by Ingela P. Arrhenius. Copyright 2017 Chronicle Books.

What's the kid-appeal?
The unexpected details hiding under the flaps will keep little ones guessing until the grand finale -- a magical circus.

What's the grownup appeal?
The illustrations stir the imagination. Grown-ups can ask children to offer up their own explanations as to what's happening on Main Street.

Where to find/buy Main Street Magic!
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Ingela P Arrhenius is a Sweden-based illustrator. She says, "I have quite a naive style and love the design of the 50s and 60s. To learn more about her work, visit www.ingelaparrhenius.com.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay!



the scariest book ever
by bob shea

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Kara LaReau.)

What it's all about...
A reluctant little ghost encourages readers to go ahead into the "spooky" forest, where it turns out an adorable bunny is hosting a costume party.

Why I love it...
Bob Shea's artwork is as bright, graphic, and inviting as ever, and the funny interactive narrative is scary-good.

Favorite lines...

It's okay, you don't have to go back.

You can stay here and help me with the haunted housework. We'll tell spooky stories and clean the bathroom.

That's scary, right?

Sample illustrations...





What's the kid-appeal?
Kid readers will delight in knowing something the ghost narrator does not — that the story isn't scary at all.

What's the grownup appeal?
It's a terrific read-aloud for Halloween and beyond, and an excellent way to address (however-unfounded) fears.

Where to find/buy the scariest book ever!
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Bob Shea is the author-illustrator of the popular Ballet Cat series, the Dinosaur vs....series, and several other picture books, including The Happiest Book Ever, Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don't Play with Your Food!, and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great. He's a really nice guy, and he lives with his wife and son in Madison, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.bobshea.com.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Little Crooked Bookshelf on #ReviewsDay!


LUCKY BROKEN GIRL
by Ruth Behar

(This week's #ReviewsDay pick is from cottager Anika Denise.)

What it's all about...
Ruthie Mizrahi has only just begun to adjust to her life in America, so different from the one she left behind in Cuba. She's finally switching out of "the dumb class" into the smart one, now that her English is improving. Her Papi buys her first pair of go-go boots as a surprise. And she's the reigning neighborhood "Hopscotch Queen." But all that changes when a car accident leaves her in a body cast for months. With the help of family and neighbors, and by unlocking secret talents and passions within her, Ruthie slowly puts the pieces of her broken leg, and spirit, back together.

Why I love it...
While poignant and sometimes downright sad, Ruthie's story is ultimately one of hope and healing. Out of a terrible tragedy, Ruthie finds love, community, and most importantly, a deeper understand of herself. I fell in love with her character's wisdom and grit. I also love how Ruthie uses writing and painting as a means of working through her complex feelings about the accident. Art is transcendence for so many kids. (It was, and still is, for me.) Behar's exploration of fixing the broken pieces of oneself through artistic expression is both beautiful and powerful.

One of my (many) favorite passages...

      "That's good," I say to Joy. "Because I don't want them to send me back to the dumb class after missing so much school!"
      "That won't happen," Joy says. "Not if we keep your brain working. Being bedridden shouldn't hold you back."
      "Bedridden?" The word sounds to me like a witch's curse: And you, Ruth, will be BEDRIDDEN for the rest of your days. . .

What's the kid-appeal?
Kids will feel Ruthie's emotions right along with her, from her frustrations to her triumphs. Any child who has ever had to navigate a new country, city, community or school, will relate to Ruthie's situation. Those who haven't, will have their eyes (and hearts) opened. Behar's fearless writing makes it impossible not to empathize with Ruthie, and cheer for her.

What's the grownup appeal?
Parents and educators will find much to savor and appreciate in Behar's novel about overcoming challenges and adversity. It's a lovely springboard for discussions of history, immigrant experiences, inner strength, forgiveness and perseverance.

Where to find/buy Lucky Broken Girl:
Indie Booksellers
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

Ruth Behar (www.ruthbehar.com) is an acclaimed author of adult fiction and nonfiction, and Lucky Broken Girl is her first book for young readers.

She was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York City, and has also lived and worked in Spain and Mexico. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, she is also co-editor of Women Writing Culture, editor of Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba, and co-editor of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World. Her honors include a MacArthur "Genius" Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. Much in demand as a public speaker, Ruth's speaking engagements have taken her to the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Finland, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Poland, England, the Netherlands, Japan, and New Zealand. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.