Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE EDIBLE PYRAMID

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! Here’s a quick writing update before I start the review:

  • I finished another query for Boys’ Quest Magazine and got it out the door. They accepted my last two submissions, so I’m hopeful.
  • I have a couple of magazine stories kicking around for Fun For Kidz and Appleseeds. Work begins on those next week.
  • My wonderful critique group helped me whip my latest manuscript into shape. My goal is to finish revisions this weekend so I can send out. I have a writing conference next weekend, where I’ll have a session with an editor I think might be a good fit.
  • I’m working on another picture book idea! It’s been awhile, since I’ve had one come to me as a full concept versus just the subject matter.
  • I signed up for a picture book workshop with one of my writing idols Ann Whitford Paul.
  • I won a copy of Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, which I will review in the coming weeks.

Unrelated: The kids are out of school for Good Friday and Easter Monday, and I’ve planned lots of fun. Today we’re headed to the Natural History Museum of LA to see the dinosaur exhibit.

Now, on to today’s review.

TITLE: The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Loreen Leedy

PUBLICATION INFO: Holiday House, 1994 (reprinted 2007)

ISBN: 978-0-08234-2074-2

SOURCE: Library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: 5 and up

GENRE: fiction

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“On the day of the grand opening of The Edible Pyramid restaurant, customers lined up to get inside.”

From the book jacket:

“Soup’s on at the Edible Pyramid. The feline host is serving everything a kid needs to eat for a healthy, balanced diet. There are yummy items from every group in the food pyramid and advice on getting plenty of exercise too!”

THEMES/TOPICS: healthy eating, food, exercise, science, nature

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Loreen Leedy is a favorite. She blends factual information with comedic characters and great plots to make highly readable books. I can’t think of a better way to teach kids about healthy eating. One note: the USDA has forgone the “Food Pyramid” in favor of the “My Plate” analogy. However, the information in this book continues to be valid.

RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES:

  • Leedy has activities on her site, including a challenge to pick five foods and see where they fit on the pyramid.
  • Or give your child a food group, fruit for example, and let him or her pick a new food to try.
  • You could also serve kids a favorite food and challenge them to estimate how many servings from each food group the food contains. (MATH!)
  • Have kids think about the ways they exercise and add up the minutes: recess, t-ball practice, gymnastics, dance party in the living room, for example.
  • Learn more about MyPlate from the USDA.

Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

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Perfect Picture Book Friday: What to Expect When You’re Expecting Hatchlings

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, my favorite day of the week! This week, I picked a book I have been studying closely for voice and structure. I’m revising a tongue-in-cheek nonfiction manuscript, and Heos’s work provides inspiration, especially when I’m trying to get into the voice.

TITLE: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING HATCHLINGS

AUTHOR: Bridge Heos

ILLUSTRATOR: Stephane Jorisch

PUBLICATION INFO: Lerner’s Millbrook Press, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5860-2

SOURCE: Library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 6-11

GENRE: faction (nonfiction/fiction blend)

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“Congratulations, crocodilian parents-to-be! You have little ones on the way. You must be thrilled! You’re probably a little nervous too.”

From the publisher’s Website:

“Read this book to find out where to lay your eggs, how you’ll know when the babies are ready to hatch, and what you and your babies will do all day long. Whether you’re an alligator, caiman, crocodile, or even a funny-looking gharial, you’ll find answers to all your parenting questions here. But there’s one condition: don’t eat the book!”

THEMES/TOPICS: crocodilians, reptiles, animals, nature, science

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Heos makes informational books fun for kids AND parents. As a parent who devoured What to Expect When You’re Expecting, this animal spoof is irresistible.

RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES:

The book features many resources in the backmatter. Here are a few others:

Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

Mad Lib Magic

IMG_2740_2We are big fans of mad libs in our house. For Cooper’s Star Wars LEGO birthday party, I ordered mad lib books for the goody bags. The mad libs have been a big hit with the Curious Kids, especially on road trips.

As a mom/teacher/writer, I love that mad libs help the boys recognize parts of speech. To complete the mad libs, they have to know what adjectives, verbs or nouns are. They are getting practice with sentence structure all in the name of fun.

Here’s a MadLib (MS Word) I wrote for a special Star Wars fan, Renn. Learn about Renn and his galactic battle with epilepsy here. May The Force be with you, Renn!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ALL STAR!

TITLE: ALL STAR! HONUS WAGNER and the MOST FAMOUS BASEBALL CARD EVER

AUTHOR: Jane Yolen

ILLUSTRATOR: Jim Burke

PUBLICATION INFO: Penguin’s Philomel, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-24661-6

SOURCE: Library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 6-8 (Publisher’s recommendation)

GENRE: picture book biography

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“In July 2007 a rare baseball card was sold at auction for almost three million dollars.”

From the publisher’s Website:

The Honus Wagner baseball card is the most valuable baseball card of all time! But he was born poor, ugly, bow-legged, and more suited to shoveling coal in his Pennsylvania mining town than becoming the greatest shortstop of all time. How could it happen? Did those strong arms and fast legs turn him into a Pittsburgh Pirate and one of the game’s most unforgettable players?

In this true story, Jane Yolen shows us that wit, talent, perseverance, and passion score more than home runs. As Honus would say, “How about that!”

THEMES/TOPICS: baseball, perseverance

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: As Yolen points, out Wagner was a star in the days before performance enhancing drugs and fancy training schedules. As an early teen, he gained strength and endurance by working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania alongside his father. Also, the reason Wagner’s card is so rare, is because he had it pulled from the market. The card was found in packs of cigarettes. Wagner was a nonsmoker and worried about the health of his young fans.

RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES:

Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.