The Milkman – August Fiction Review & Activity!

The Milkman – August Fiction Review & Activity!

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

This month I have a fun, reminiscent book for your littles!
THE MILKMAN by Carol Foskett Cordsen, art by Douglas B. Jones.

Now before you start inserting “adult” jokes about milkmen, hear me out! (I was totally guilty of this…)
This book has such charm. Short, punchy sentences. Great illustrations that really capture the era, and a welcoming, community feel that leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside.

This is what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:
“With its cheery, 1940’s retro art and its small-town nostalgia, this good-humored tale about a helpful milkman is as fresh as dairy cream.”

It is a rhymer that features lovable characters from a lovable town. In a weird way, it was totally refreshing to read it. I think because it is a callback to everyone having each other’s back. Where there are no strangers, only friends. And that’s comforting!

I hope you like this one, it’s a heart warmer!

Activity Guide for The Milkman: ROCK AND ROLL BUTTER!
In the book, Mr. Plimpton, the milkman, delivers all kinds of dairy. Now you and your child can make your own butter! It’s pretty simple, actually. Spread it on some crackers or bread and have the snack while you read this story! You can even color in the activity guide. Download HERE. 

Happy Reading!

July Non-Fiction: Henri Matisse!

July Non-Fiction: Henri Matisse!

It will also teach you how to spell iridescence…

Non-Fiction Review & Guide: The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan. Pictures by Hadley Hooper

Hi-ho Book Buddy!

Time for a little non-fiction action on your reading list! “The Iridescence of Birds”is such a beautiful book about the artist Henri Matisse. The text is stream-of-consciousness and reads like a poem, going from thought to thought, while painting the picture (pun intended) of Henri’s childhood and why, perhaps, he became the artist we all know and love.

Interestingly enough, the illustrator used an art technique that Matisse himself used! The cut-outs you see on the page were a throwback to Matisse’s cut-out art, which was very popular at the time.

Fun fact: Matisse apparently loved pigeons, and when he died, he left his pet pigeons to his good buddy: Pablo Picasso! The iridescence of birds was definitely in Matisse’s life every single day.

I loved this book because it’s simple, yet beautiful. It’s a perfect example of how picture books can tell a whole life story with only a few words. Not to mention, the illustrations are so reminiscent of Matisse, it’s as if he had done it himself!

You can purchase this book HERE or get it from your local library for free!

Perfect book for that little painter, drawer, or craft-sy kid in your life!

Activity Guide for The Iridescence of Birds: 
I’m going to throw in a couple here, since art is so fun!
Shaving Cream Marbling: One of my favorite activities! This will help your kid make art in the Henri Matisse style the very first time! Click HERE.

More fun activities (I was blown away by the drill one, I can’t wait to try that myself!):
Click HERE. 
Je t’aime!

Nino Wrestles the WORLD!

Nino Wrestles the WORLD!

Get ready for out-of-this-world contenders!

Fiction Review & Guide: Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Hi-ho Book Buddy!

Get into the ring and read this fun, explosive, dive-into-another-culture picture book about Lucha Libre! Lucha Libre is a form of professional wrestling developed in Mexico where the dudes wear crazy masks on their faces. This book features the fierce NINO who goes head-to-head with other hispanic cultural icons.

Not only is this book zany and fun to read aloud (especially if you do your announcer voice), but it teaches your little one Spanish words. They will be immersed in the world of Luche Libre, with interesting opponents, and laugh-out-loud wrestling moves!

My son loves this book and pretends to Nino all the time! He loves for me to be his favorite foe, La Momia de Guanajuato. He always defeats me with the tickle tackle. I have no chance to win!

Nino Wrestles the World is loaded with awards. It won the Golden Kite for it’s bold illustrations and also the Pura Belpré Award, which recognizes a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

It’s time to celebrate the diversity of our world! Get your masks on and read this one. It’s super fun and has a heartwarming family tie-in at the end introducing the amazing LAS HERMANITAS!

Activity for Nino Wrestles the World: 
Of course, we’re gonna make our own LUCHA LIBRE MASKS! 

Birdy Jones



This elephant really packs a sneeze!

Fiction Review & Guide: “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas. Pics by Wallace Tripp

Hi-ho Book Buddy!

We’re going to jump back in time and review this Seussian classic, “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant. “I’m Going to Sneeze!” Sure, it’s a long title but it matches the long, poetic text that follows an elephant on the verge of a sneeze.

If you’re thinking, “So what? A sneeze can’t be that bad.” THINK AGAIN. This elephant blows the stripes off of zebras, the hair off of bears, the wings off of bees, and blows monkeys out of the trees. Unfortunately, that’s only the beginning!

Classic books tend to have longer texts, and this one is no exception, but it is fulfilling in a way that only classic picture books are: It’s charming, educational, and fun.

This rollicking book is hilarious, teaches kids about animals, and what happens when you try to scare an elephant out of his sneeze. Hint: Don’t.

You can purchase this book right over HERE. Or get it at your local library for free!

Activity Guide for “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” 
Since this book is a classic, it has some words that kids may not be as familiar with. This is great because we are building on that vocabulary, yo!
There’s also a fun “match the prints with the animal” that will further explore the animal characters in this book.
Download your activity HERE. 

Happy Reading!

Sly Like A Fox – PBs Into Movies!

Sly Like A Fox – PBs Into Movies!

Hi-Ho Book Buddy! It’s MOVIE TIME!

Once a month, I’ve been highlighting picture books that have been turned into movies and posting the review of that film (whether good or bad). If you’ve seen the movie, perhaps it’s time for a re-watch! If not, make it a movie night with some delicious popcorn!

It’s all about “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” directed by Wes Anderson, based on the story by Roald Dahl.

Talk about quirk.
The book has it.
The movie has it, too.

Donald Chaffin actually did the ORIGINAL, vintage artwork for Roald’s book, and if those illos look familiar to you, it’s because Mr. Chaffin collaborated with Wes Anderson on the visual style of the movie! Wes Anderson decided that the stop-motion animation was a perfect style to depict the folksy, homey-feel of the book. And it sure pays off!
P.s. The newer illustrations that you will find on shelves today are by Quentin Blake.

Review from Roger Ebert:
“The creatures of Dahl’s valley seem to know more than they’re letting on; perhaps even secrets we don’t much want to know. Children, especially, will find things they don’t understand, and things that scare them. Excellent. A good story for children should suggest a hidden dimension, and that dimension of course is the lifetime still ahead of them. Six is a little early for a movie to suggest to kids that the case is closed. Oh, what if the kids start crying about words they don’t know? — Mommy, Mommy! What’s creme brulee?” Show them, for goodness sake. They’ll thank you for it. Take my word on this.” -Roger Ebert

After the movie, why not read the actual book if you haven’t already?! (Buy here).

*ACTIVITY GUIDES For The Fantastic Mr. Fox:
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw in an activity guide to make this viewing party a little more awesome:
1. Make a fantastic fox mask to wear while you watch the movie/read the book! There’s nothing like getting into character. Download your mask here.

2. Think a little bit deeper about the characters. Download your “Character Trait Worksheet” here.

Most of all, HAVE A FUN TIME!