Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books

Could your classroom or home library use a little updating? Are there picture books you have just been dying to get your hands on?  Would you like $500 in books?  Well, here is your chance...and it won't cost you one single penny! That's right...this is not a joke.  I never joke about FREE BOOKS!!!  During this season of gift giving, Chronicle Books is offering an amazing opportunity to book bloggers and their readers in their Happy Haul-idays Giveaway!

Here's how it works.  Bloggers get to create a wish list of $500 worth of Chronicle Books that they would like to add to their collections. By posting about this giveaway and listing their “wish list”, bloggers are entered to win their entire $500 list of books. Not only that…any reader who leaves a comment on this blog post will also be entered to win the same $500 in books! That’s right $500 in books from Chronicle Books.

I have carefully chosen a variety of picture books (and a few chapter books) that would be fabulous additions to any classroom or home library.  There are a total of 36 books on the list!   I can barely contain my excitement about the AMAZING opportunity this truly unique publisher is offering!  All you have to do to get in on the winning is look over my wish list and see what fantastic titles are available for grabs. Then comment on what books you would most like to win off the list. Don't forget, with just one comment…you could win all $500 worth of books!

The Book Maven's Happy Haul-idays Wish List
(in no particular order...they are ALL great!)

Spot the Plot by J. Patrick Lewis  $15.99
Out of Sight by Pittau & Gervais  $19.99
Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen  $15.99
Ivy & Bean: What's the Big Idea? Book 7 by Annie Barrows  $14.99
Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier  $15.99
The Present by Bob Gill   $15.99
A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska  $15.99
Chicken BIG by Keith Graves  $16.99
Shadow by Suzy Lee  $15.99
Day & Night by Teddy Newton  $14.99
Look Out Jeremy Bean! by Alice Schertly  $14.99
Manfish:  A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne  $16.99
Spot 7:  School by Kidslabel  $12.95
Spot 7:  Animals by Kidslabel  $12.95
Spot 7:  Toys by Kidslabel  $12.95
The Other Side by Istvan Banyou  $15.99
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes  $16.99
One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert  $16.99
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston  $16.99
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston $16.99
A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Aston $16. 99
Picture This:  How Pictures Work by Molly Bang  $12.99
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  $14.99
Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  $14.99
Little Oink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal $14.99
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  $16.99
Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai  $14.95
The World's Greatest:Poems by J. Patrick Lewis  $16.99

So there you have wish list of books!  Now don’t forget that this giveaway from Chronicle Books isn't just for me but for you, my readers too!  Just leave a comment  on this post about the book or books you are most interested in and you could win all $500 worth of the books on my wish list! Also make sure to leave me your e-mail address so that I can contact the winner! For a complete list of all the blogs participating click hereDeadline to enter for this great giveaway is December 10th.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks...with great books!

With Thanksgiving just two days away, I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  Unfortunately, I won't be seeing any of my younger nieces and nephews but if I were here a few of the picture books we would be reading together. 

Turkey TroubleTurkey Trouble
by Wendy Silvano (illus. Lee Harper)
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Reference (2009)
Ages: 3-9
(description from
Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and he's the main course. But Turkey has an idea--what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?  After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

A Plump And Perky Turkey (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)A Plump and Perky Turkey
by Theresa Bateman (illus. Jeff Tilley)
Publisher: Turtlebeck (2004)
Ages: 4-9
(description from
"The people in Squawk Valley/ were downhearted and depressed./ Thanksgiving was approaching,/ but without its special guest." All the turkeys have fled town except for one fowl named Pete who responds to a ploy a "model wanted" ad for the local art show. After posing for various sculptors, painters and collage artists, Pete steals off with a turkey made from oatmeal as payment and joins up with his other feathered pals.

A Turkey for ThanksgivingA Turkey for Thanksgiving
by Eve Bunting (illus. Diane de Groat)
Publisher: Clarion (1991)
Ages: 4-8

(description from
Although a paper turkey decorates Mrs. Moose's Thanksgiving table, she longs for the real thing--so her obliging husband sets out to find her one. He is joined by his soon-to-be dinner guests: Rabbit, in his quilted down vest; poky Porcupine, in his furry earmuffs; and ravenous Mr. Goat, who devours everything in sight, including Sheep's plaid hat. They find Turkey hiding in his nest, surrounded by signs that discourage visitors. Trying to console the terrified bird, Mr. Moose explains: "We just want you for Thanksgiving dinner," which only confirms Turkey's fears.

This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story
This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Storyby Laura Krauss Melmed (illus. Mark Buehner)
Publisher: HaperCollins (2003)
Ages: 3-7

(description from
Through a simple, rhyming text of 12 short poems, young readers will experience 10 Wampanoag and 10 Pilgrim friends getting ready for the first harvest feast in the New World.  This story adds the enjoyment of hidden pictures on each page. There is a turkey to find in each colorful spread and lots of small creatures to count. The feast scene has at least 10 critters, maybe more, frolicking, even making off with food. Lots of smiles and counting practice result in a super read-aloud.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with lots of friends, family and of course...reading!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Poetry Friday: Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Rick Allen
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Ages:  8 and up
Review copy provided by McArthur Public Library

Night-Spider's Advice

Build a frame
and stick to it,
I always say.
Life's a circle.
Just keep going around.
Do your work, then
sit back and see
what falls in your lap.

You can read the rest of this poem in Dark Emperor & Other Night Poems by Joyce Sidman

In her latest book, Sidman welcomes us to the night, inviting us to learn about the creatures that inhabit it and to witness the changes to ordinary things after the sun has set. Poems, composed in a variety of styles, introduce us to several night creatures - a moth, a snail and the Great Horned Owl depicted on the cover, among others. Alongside the poems are related facts told in very accessible language. This is interesting stuff - the sort of facts kids and those reading to them will enjoy learning and will remember. For example, I didn't know a baby porcupine was called a 'porcupette', nor did I know that snails added a layer to their shell every night or exactly how the legs of crickets produced their chirps. Learning right along with my students as I read to them added an extra layer of enjoyment to this book.   Rick Allen's lino cut prints are the perfect match for these night themed poems because of his use of dark lines and subtle colors which allows the reader to find each creature slowly, almost mimicking the feeling one has as their eyes adjust in a darkened room. 

If you aren't familiar with her other collections of poetry, I would suggest you take the time to also read her Caldecott Honor Book, Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, and Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors, which along with Dark Emperor has been named an Outstanding Science Trade book by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book CouncilDark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night has many cross-curricular possibilities and will make an excellent addition to your classroom or home library!

Today's Poetry Friday Round Up is being hosted by Diane at Random Noodling.