• Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary School (Ages 3-7)
• Genre: Fiction, Picture Book
• Author/Illustrator: Marian Dubuc
• Publisher: Kids Can Press
• Publication Date: March 1, 2015
• Binding: Hard Cover
• Dimensions: 11″ x 6.75″
• Printing: Full Color
• Length: 32 Pages
• Retail: $15.95
• ISBN: 978-1771382090
Marianne Dubuc is the author/illustrator of the best picture book I’ve ever read, The Lion and the Bird (Enchanted Lion Books).
It’s All in the Details
The Bus Ride is so much more than a ride on a bus. It’s an adventure that unfolds illustration by illustration and page by page. This is the story of Clara, a little girl who takes her first solo bus ride to visit her grandmother. Naturally, Clara’s not the only one on that bus; there are other creatures too, like wolves, a bear, opossums, rats, a sloth and more. The story of the bus ride is whatever you make it to be. Marianne is a master of details, and the stories within this story are written in the illustrations. There are clues about what’s going on, on the cover of the newspaper someone is reading, and with each stop there’s someone new on board or someone leaving, and with each exchange comes a new adventure. In the end, little Clara has quite a story of to tell her granny when she arrives at her destination.
Illustrations that Will Charm Your Socks Off
Marianne uses watercolors and colored pencils to create her signature illustrations. Her artistic methods afford her the ability to create enchanting details that entice you to linger on every page. What’s more, the book’s unusual trim size – 11 x 6.75 makes the visual experience extra special. When the book is open, it’s the ideal format for depicting a bus.
Why You Should Buy This Book
The Bus Ride. gives young readers the chance to use their sharp eyes and clever brains to determine what’s going on in the story. I read the book myself a few times before I caught all the little happenings on that bus. Kids love mysteries and figuring stories out themselves; they have a way of spotting details we adults just might miss. The story teaches kids about independence and it will make them want to pay closer attention to the world around them, wherever they may be. If you’re like me, you’ll be hooked on Marianne’s outstanding books and you’ll want to collect every last one.
About the Author
Marianne Dubuc received her degree in graphic design from the University of Quebec, Montreal. She has created many different kinds of books for readers of all ages. She is an internationally acclaimed illustrator whose work has been published by major publishers in fifteen countries.
• Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary School (Ages 3-8)
• Genre: Non-Fiction
• Author/Photographer: Marcia Goldman
• Publisher: Creston Books
• Publication Date: June 9, 2015
• Binding: Hard Cover
• Dimensions: 8.5″ x 6.5″
• Printing: Full Color
• Length: 32 Pages
• Retail: $16.95
• ISBN: 978-1939547163
Meet Lola, the Service Dog
Lola is a five-pound Yorkshire Terrier and a certified therapy dog. She and her owner, Marcia Goldman go to work together to help those in need, such as autistic children, struggling readers and the elderly in nursing homes. Lola is gentle and calm, loving and smart, and she touches the lives of all who are fortunate enough to meet her. Through her books, she teaches and inspires children everywhere.
Lola’s in a Predicament with Her Tattling Little Brother, Zeke
In the first two books in the series, Lola goes to work helping others, but in Lola and Tattletale Zeke, Lola shares her personal real life challenges as a big sister to a younger – but physically larger – brother named, Zeke. The problem is that Zeke is a tattletale about everything. When Lola forgets to bring her toy bear in from outside, he tells on her. When Lola leaves muddy paw prints on the floor, he tattles. But when Zeke does something wrong, Lola doesn’t tattle because she knows it’s just an accident. When Isabel the black cat tells on Zeke for breaking his toy, Lola feels so bad for her distraught little brother she does all she can to make him feel better. Will Zeke repay the kindness the next time Lola has an accident?
A Curriculum Guide with Activities
In the back of the book is a curriculum guide with vocabulary words and a list of questions to pose to readers, such as “What is the difference between telling about and telling on someone?” There are several suggested educational activities too, such as using puppets to playact different scenarios.
Why You Should Buy This Book (and Plush Toy)
Lola is so cute, I can hardly stand it. And she’s loving and kind and always does the right thing when it comes helping others. Lola is a true leader and the youngest readers can so relate to her predicament with her brother. Every child with a sibling has experienced the dreaded tattling problem or has been a tattler himself. Lola lets children know that it’s normal to experience sibling rivalry, and she teaches them that acting out of kindness is the best way to go. Getting along with others is a life lesson rarely taught in schools, but Lola is here to teach it to your children. With all three titles in this series, plus the new plush puppy, your child will get to know, love and respect Lola the adorable and irresistible therapy dog.
About the Author
Marcia Goldmanhas her Masters Degree in Special Education and has spent the last 25 years focusing on providing therapeutic-based programs for children with autism and their families. Marcia and Lola live in California.
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There will be one winner for this Lola Giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
This giveaway starts on Friday, March 27, 2015 and ends on Friday, April 3, 2015 at 4 pm.
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Congratulations to the winner of this giveaway, Stephanie Jacobsen from Maine!
Spring has just arrived, and soon it will be time to discover butterflies in your garden just like Pipsie. Today I am giving away this new book by Two Lions Publishing to one lucky winner. Simply leave a comment on this post. If you share my Facebook post about this giveaway on your Facebook status, you’ll receive TEN extra entries. I will announce the winner at 5 pm today, March 24, 2015 on our Facebook Page. The winner must email his or her mailing address within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. So check Facebook and/or your email at 5 pm!
Pipsie is a curious little girl who loves animals and solving mysteries. One day Pipsie notices that Alfred, her turtle has some mysterious yellow and black stripes on his head. With her magnifying glass, she discovers that it’s a small caterpillar! She names her Frannie, and she sure is a hungry little insect. She eats non-stop and grows 1000 times bigger in just ten days! But one day, Frannie is nowhere to be found. Pipsie and Alfred look everywhere for their caterpillar friend but just can’t find her. Looking for answers, they go to the zoo to ask the bug expert about caterpillars, and he shows them what a chrysalis looks like and explains what is happening to Frannie. But can Pipsie and Alfred find Frannie’s chrysalis in their backyard? Or is Frannie gone forever?
What I love about Pipsie is that she shows readers that it’s wonderful to be smart and curious about the world. By asking questions and seeking answers, there are so many wonderful facts about plants and animals just waiting to be discovered. In addition to the charming story, there are facts about the life cycle of the monarch in the back of the book.
Kids love a mystery, and along with Pipsie readers can try to figure out what happened to the caterpillar, and all the while learn about the life cycle of the butterfly. Children will love admiring the colorful, lovely watercolor illustrations too. Pipsie Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar offers the perfect combination of entertainment and education to keep budding scientists interested in the story. This book encourages kids to get outside to explore the natural world around them, and isn’t that the best kind of book of all?
About the Author
Rick DeDonato started writing and drawing storybooks for his two kids, Alexis and Matt, when they were little. They’re grown now, but Rick is still creating stories! When he’s not dreaming up adventures for Pipsie, he’s an award-winning creative director in advertising. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with Nancy McAleer; their two dogs, Tugger and Nacho; and their turtle, Alfred E. Turtle!
About the Illustrator
Tracy Bishop won an art contest in kindergarten, and she’s been creating art ever since. A graduate of San Jose State University, she is also the illustrator of Not the Quitting Kind by Sarra J. Roth. She lives in San Jose, California, where she is inspired on a daily basis by her son, husband, and a hairy dog named Harry.
Hudson in Provence is the delightful sequel to Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog. Hudson takes the speed train from Paris to Provence with his human owner, where they stay in a quaint old stone house. Hudson reads his guide book about the area and decides he does not not wish to be a tourist there; rather he wants to do exactly what the working dogs do there – he wants to be a “Provencal Dog.”
Everywhere he goes, Hudson meets other dogs. His first friend shows him how to herd sheep, but that doesn’t work out very well for Hudson. Next he tries to learn how to hunt truffles, but all he can seem to do is dig up grass and find nothing there. When he sees the cyclists in the Tour de France, he hops on a bike and tries to keep up, but simply can’t. After his owner buys him some paints, Hudson starts enjoying himself, and before long his new canine friends are all asking him to paint their portraits. Could painting make him the true “Provencal Dog he wishes to be?”
Jackie Clark Mancuso’s gouache illustrations are vibrantly beautiful and are ideal for a picture book about France. Cezanne, Monet, Renoir and other famous French painters of the Impressionist era would approve of these charming depictions of Provence. Jackie paints in a way that is playful, yet avant-garde, and children will be enchanted by the colors and all the different types of dogs illustrated throughout the story.
Hudson teaches readers that we lose ourselves when we try to be like others. We each have a unique talent, and that’s what we must nurture to find our purpose in life and true happiness. It’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to discover we simply can’t be good at everything. He also shows us that we must take risks and try new things in order have the fullest lives. In addition to these very important life lessons, Hudson teaches young readers about geography, traveling and even a little bit about speaking French with a one page French vocab list in the back of the book.
Well, for one thing, there are lots of dogs in this story and even a standard poodle. (I LOVE standard poodles, because I have one the size of a small horse myself.) The book is written for a young audience, with a lot of dialog and of course, with the beautiful illustrations, children as young as three will be happy to sit through the story to find out what happens next. The life lesson that Hudson learns offers a wonderful message to children. Plus readers will be introduced to the beauty of France and traveling in general. The ending of the book is heartwarming and clever and proves to readers that if they do what they love most, there will be great reward in it down the road. Hudson in Provence is simply a lovely little picture book that you’ll enjoy reading with your child. And rest assured, you’ll want to take a trip to France after you’ve finished the book.
Jackie Clark Mancuso is a graphic designer and illustrator. She is the former Art Director at Parenting and Baby Talk magazines and has designed books for Weldon Owen/Pottery Barn, Sunset Books, and Nolo Press. She is the author of Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog. She lives in Los Angeles.
Find France on a map and specifically Paris and Provence. How many miles is Paris from your home and how long would it take to fly there?
Trapped! tells the true story of a humpback whale that got entangled in a fishing net long the Pacific coast near San Francisco in 2005. The poor sea mammal struggles for air as she flips and flops, trying to break free. Then divers come to the rescue, risking their own lives in the frigid water to do their best to swiftly cut the net away from the whale. They must hurry before it’s too late!
A Valuable Lesson in Conservation for the Youngest Environmentalists
Through carefully selected, rhythmic text with playful, descriptive vocabulary words, readers discover the habits of a humpback whale, the largest mammal on earth, and her plight as a victim of human error. A discarded fishing net becomes a weapon for the whale, and it’s up to humans to rescue her. She seems to understand they are there to help her and cooperates with the divers, who are at risk of being injured or even killed accidentally by any sudden movements by the gargantuan whale. Once free, she even swims past the divers, gently touching them, as if to thank them for saving her life.
In the back of the book are two excellent pages of information with facts about the true story of the trapped whale highlighted in the book, more details about what it takes to rescue a whale and fascinating facts about the habitats and behaviors of these sea mammals. Plus there’s a page of resources for further learning.
The Finest Illustrations Tell a True Tale
For any children’s book author or publisher, having artist Wendell Minor illustrate their story is like having a winning lottery ticket. His personal love and respect for nature shines through in all his artwork, with impeccable detail. He doesn’t just paint – rather he researches his subject and “lives in it” for a while first. His paintings here are absolutely stunning and depict the action of the whale in as poetic of a manner as Bob Burleigh writes his story. Together the words and pictures marry beautifully to make this a truly exceptional non-fiction story. Wendell’s likeness of splashing water alone kept me mesmerized for quite some time, and I almost felt as though I were one of the divers in the ocean helping to free the trapped animal. We as readers are treated to what a whale looks like from beneath the surface too – a rare and glorious sight indeed.
Why You Must Buy This Book
We must teach children from a very young age about conservation and ecology in order to preserve our precious earth. Children love to learn about animals, and whales are among the earth’s most intriguing and mysterious creatures to explore. Since Trapped! is based on a true story, children are reminded of the importance of human responsibility when it comes to protecting our natural wonders. The story along with the resources in the back of the book lead readers down a path of further learning, as there is so much more to discover about whales and other sea mammals. In addition to all there is to learn on these pages, the superbly written story is ideal for reading aloud, and the illustrations – or rather, paintings – are beyond spectacular. I expect to see Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue win a number of book awards; it’s that outstanding.
Robert Burleigh earned his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and his Master’s in Humanities from the University of Chicago. He has written more than 40 picture books on many different subjects, including several illustrated by Wendell Minor – Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond and most recently, Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. In addition to writing, Robert paints under the name of Burleigh Kronquist. He splits his time between Grand Haven, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois.
About the Illustrator
Wendell Minor is the illustrator of over fifty children’s books including The Last Train, Daylight Starlight Wildlife, Sequoia,How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow and most recently, Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. He works in oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolors in his beautiful studio in rural Connecticut. His interest in nature and the environment has taken him and his wife, Florence from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between. Wendell’s outstanding artwork has been exhibited in universities and museums and has been acquired by private collectors. An exhibition of 25 years of his children’s book art, entitled, “Wendell Minor’s America,” was on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum from November 2013 through May, 2014.