Book Title:  Sam & Dave Dig A Hole

Author:  Mac Barnett

Illustrator:  Jon Klassen

Genre:  Picture Book, Fiction

Publisher:  Candlewick (October 14, 2014)

  • ISBN-10: 0763662291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763662295

Pages: 40

Age: 4-8

Why Did I Choose It?  I saw this one in another book review; I'm sorry I don't know which one!  But I was quite intrigued - enough so to buy it for a Christmas present! I was also recommended the title by one of my followers here on the blog! ...continue reading "Book Review Wednesday: Sam & Dave Dig A Hole"


Book Title:  The Book With No Pictures

Author: B.J. Novak

Genre:  Picture Book (or is it?), Fiction

Illustrator:  NONE!

Publisher:  Dial - 1st Edition  (September 30, 2014)

  • ISBN-10: 0803741715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803741713

Pages: 48

Ages: 4-8

Why Did I Choose It?  It was a book I had just read about on another blog, Julianna Lee - Crafting Stories and I spotted it on the shelf at Target during the Christmas season.  It was too tempting not to buy. The idea simply fascinated me.  My son adored it so I thought you might too!

A Bit From The Inside Cover:  A book with no pictures?  What could be fun about that? After all, if a book has no pictures, there's nothing to look at but the words on the page.  Words that might make you say silly sounds.... in ridiculous voices...  Hey, what kind of book is this, anyway?

My Review:  Well, it certainly passed the young child test!  My son laughed all the way through and made many funny faces which further delighted this reader.  It's a fun book to read;   you as the reader gets to use all sorts of voices as you read (or sing) nonsense words and imaginative sentences like "And now I am reading you this book with my monkey mouth in my monkey voice".  And it's really okay if you're not sure how to say, "Aiee!" or "Ba-Dooongy Face" because that's half the fun.  Just be sure that you're only friend in the world doesn't hear you read that "My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt!" because, well.... oh, go ahead, it might make them laugh too!  This is a really fun book to read and a nice change in pace to the typical picture book!

Other Books By This Author: One More Thing:Stories and Other Stories (a book of short stories ;adult fiction)

For a wonderful read on Picture Books and Metafiction, take a look over at this blog post written by Patricia Toht on Group Blog!

Book Title:  Home For Christmas

Author: Jan Brett

Illustrator: Jan Brett

Genre:  Picture Book, Christmas

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

  • ISBN-10: 0399256539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256530


Pages: 32

Age: 3-7

Why Did I Choose It?  Honestly, because it's the Christmas book we just read last night so it's fresh in my mind! 😉

My Review:  Jan Brett is a favorite storyteller/illustrator of this blogger, so it's not a surprise to me that I've enjoyed this book.  I recall the reason I chose this book from the shelf was the beautiful moose on the front cover. The illustrations alone could sell this book as they are full of  'living' details!  The storyline follows a troll who is a quite naughty and a bit selfish -  he doesn't want to do his chores, something every child can identify with! Rollo chooses to leave home and not be kind and helpful.  Each time Rollo encounters an animal family he believes he has found a better place to live, only to be dismayed at something not so wonderful.  Read the story to find out what takes Rollo back home and what happy event in the life of a troll occurs when he learns his lesson. While this isn't a Nativity story, it does fit into lessons of kindness for young children which is always a good quality to have at Christmastime.

Other Books By This Author: The Mitten, The Hat, The Three Snow Bears and many others

Jan Brett Page at Amazon

Book Title:  Floss

Author:  Kim Lewis

Illustrator:Kim Lewis

Genre: Fiction,  Picture Book

Publisher:  Candlewick Press (Reprint 1994)

  • ISBN-10: 1564022714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564022714

Pages: 32

Age: 4-8

Why Did I Choose It?  This is  selection from my son's library pile.  I believe it was the cover that attracted him. What boy doesn't love a book about a dog?

A Bit From the Back Cover:  Nose kicks, passes, springs in the air -   Floss is a young Border Collie who really knows how to play ball!  But when she's sent to a distant farm to become a sheepdog, there's so much work to be done that Floss has little time for fun. Will she ever get the chance to play ball again?

My Review:  This sweet picture book tells the memories of a sheep dog and the trial of this animal going from a life of play to a life of work.    A father gives his own dog to his son to work the son's sheep farm.  Floss has trouble transitioning, not because  she doesn't want to do her job, but because not only does she want to work - she wants to play!  What young boy or girl wouldn't be able to relate to what Floss is going through?  The illustrations are beautiful and help to convey the emotions of the story.  It's an enjoyable story that could easily be a catalyst for discussion of chores and play or transitions to new environments or habits.

Other Books By This Author: Goodnight Harry,  A Puppy for Annie, Just Like Floss, The Shepard Boy, and many others  (see Amazon Link above)

Buy It Here:Floss


Book Title:  Flora and the Flamingo       

Author: Molly Idle

Genre:  Picture Book

Illustrator: Molly Idle

Publisher: Chronicle Books

  • ISBN-10: 1452110069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452110066

Pages:  44

Age: 4-6

Awards: 2014 Caldecott Honor

Why Did I Choose It?   Molly Idle is a featured author/illustrator for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo)  this year at Tara Lazar's big event!  So in my trip to the library with my four-year old before PiBoIdMo started, Molly's name was on my list of books to look for by a particular author.  Flora and the Flamingo was chosen.  My son has tried to dance like a flamingo ever since.

A Bit From The Inside Cover:  In this innovative wordless book, a tentative partnership blooms into an unlikely friendship between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo.  With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony.

My Review:  I will admit, I'm not the biggest fan of wordless picture books.  I think they have their place - they allow for good discussion between parent and child, they allow the child to think through the story themselves, etc.  I've just never taken to them personally.  But this one is different.  Somehow I felt pulled into the pages and lifting the flaps to find out what would happen next and I could see the delight in my son's eyes and his own animation as he tried to copy exactly what the flamingo and Flora were doing.

Book Trailer:  Click Here to Watch

Other Books By This Author: Flora and the Penguin, Nighty Night Baby Jesus, Emma's Gift, Tex Rex, and more!

Buy Here:  Amazon Link




Book Title: The Casual Observer

Author: Elizabeth Whitson

Illustrator: Elizabeth Whitson

Genre: Picture Book

Publisher: C.R. Gibson Company (1973)

  • ISBN-10: 0837880017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837880013

Pages: 28

Age: 4-10

Why Did I Choose It? This picture book was, indeed, one of my very favorites as a child. While it's out of print and hard to find, it is occasionally found on Amazon or Ebay - and I believe every child's private library should contain a copy! I did not keep many picture books from my childhood but this is one that I did.  It's language and imagery are spectacular.

A Bit From The First Page: The Casual Observer simply turned up one day from Nowhere in Particular.  From precisely where, the creatures in the wood never discovered.  Many of them had enjoyed summer vacations at Someplace or Other; a few had spent Christmas with their grandmothers at Hither and Yon; but not one had ever heard of Nowhere in Particular.  Hattie Raccoon's world atlas was not help at all...

My Review: I found this story delightful a child and still find it charming as a homeschool mom, especially one embarking on the nature adventures in a Charlotte Mason homeschool setting.  Who wouldn't find this tale of the  little girl in a sunbonnet charming? There she appears in the garden out of "Nowhere in Particular", quite astounding  to the creatures living in the wood, making them all rather curious about what she is doing there. She does not speak. She stands above a small clump of violets, staring intently.  The animals perform a number of silly antics to attract her attention - but the quiet child in the sunbonnet pays them no mind and won't  be sidetracked from her observations.  Later, we, the reader and the adorable creatures do find out exactly who she is and what she is doing - teaching us an important lesson of casual, albeit finely detailed, observation.  The language is magnificent, greatly reminding me of the wording used by a favorite child's author of mine,  A.A. Milne.

Wouldn't you love to be more like the girl in the sunbonnet?  Keeping your focus on God's creation and not so easily distracted by the frenzy around us?  Oh but to have that realization that there is so much more to see and observe in our natural world than the obvious things that meet the eye! I hope to endear this habit onto my young son. I shall start by reading him this precious story.

Other Books By This Author:  The Casual Observatory

Read this book and share with me your own thoughts!

P.S.  Don't forget to check out the post on National Picture Book Month and enter the GIVEAWAY!!!!



Book Title: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Author: Eric Litwin
Illustrator: James Dean
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Publisher: Harper

  • ISBN-10: 0062110586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062110589

Pages: 40
Age: 3-7
Awards: Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor
Why Did I Choose It? James Dean is one of the participating illustrators in this year's PiBoIdMo and the book was therefor included in our last big pile of books my four year old son and I checked out of the library! I had heard about Pete the Cat, but had never actually read any of the series of picture books. My son absolutely loves it!
 A Bit From The Inside Cover: Pete the Cat is wearing his favorite shirt - the one with the four totally groovy buttons.  But when one falls off, does Pete cry? Goodness, no!  He just keeps on singing his song- after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons?
My Review:  This book does an amazing job teaching kids  to handle a difficult situation without getting upset and realize that things do come and things do go - but do we need to cry?  Goodness, no!  We can keep on enjoying the things we do have!  This book offers a great way to handle emotions, a funny groovy character, a song to sing and a superb introduction to subtraction skills to boot! I highly recommend it - in fact- I've included it as the prize for my Picture Book Month Giveaway!
Other Books By This Author:  Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,   Pete the Cat Saves Christmas,   Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes,  The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nuthouse














It's picture book month!

This is thrilling to me as a writer, as a homeschool mom, as a mom in general and as an avid book reader!

I want you to join me in my excitement!

To celebrate this month, and all that's going on with it - I'm going to post several links here to some great sites that involve the world of picture books.....

AND I'm hosting my first ever GIVEAWAY!

I've selected a Picture Book (based on my 4-year-old son's recommendation from our most recent stacks of Picture Books we got from the library) for the person (follower) selected using the Rafflecopter  below!

It's simple:  For each item you complete, back and click a button to say it's done.  Then you can gain a 'point' or 'chance' for every one you complete.  At the end of the month, Rafflecopter will perform an automatic drawing and tell me the winner.  I'll announce the winner on December 1st and notify the winner- once given the address of the winner ( Only United States Addresses PLEASE of the contingent states - postage is a concern of mine as this is coming from my own personal funds) I'll be happy to ship the book out immediately! 🙂

But first:  Here's a list of resources you can use to enjoy this month to the fullest of your ability!  Be sure to comment below and tell me more of any you are aware of so I can add them here and share with all of our Picture Book fans!



Picture Book Database

Children's Book Council

Society of Book Writer's and Illustrators

American Library Association

International Reading Association


And Now the GIVEAWAY!

(Be sure to follow the Blog to be eligible!)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

So what IS your favorite picture book? Tell us about it!

Book Title:  Rosa                                       

Author:  Nikki Giovanni

Illustrator:  Bryan Collier

Publisher:  Square Fish; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)

  • ISBN-10: 0312376022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376024

Pages:   40

Age:  4-8

Awards:  Caldecott Honor Book;  Child Magazine's Best Children's Book of the Year, Oct. 2005; Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration

Why Did I Choose It?  This book has been sitting on my shelf since purchasing it and getting it autographed at the SCBWI conference back in February of 2006!  Well - it hasn't just sat there- it has been read on quite a few occasions. I am often drawn to the illustrations and the tremendously well-written telling of the amazing Rosa Parks story....so I wanted to be sure you (and your child) haven't missed it!

A Bit From The Inside Cover:  Rosa Parks is one of the most famous figures in American history.  On December 1, 1955, she got on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus after work and refused to give up her seat to a white man, an act that sparked a revolution.  Suddenly, Mrs. Parks became the center of one of the most important events in the battle for civil rights.  This is the story of that event, and of a woman whose quiet determination changed our history.

My Review:  My daughter was an avid fan of books about Black American History and the Civil Rights Movement.  We read a lot of books about Rosa Parks and this was and is by far my favorite.  The combination of Ms. Giovanni's writing style and Brian Collier's illustrations bring Rosa's story to life in a powerful, personal way. It is a picture book, so obviously there's not going to be a lot of detailed information here - but it's an outstanding starting block for pulling a child into an important person's personal life and the emotion of the event.  It's a Living Book that will deepen the desire of a young child to want to learn more about this great lady and the time period she was such an important part of.  This book is an absolute must read!

Other Books By The Author: Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship;   The Sun is So Quiet;   The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop's Fable Revisited;  Numerous Poetry books - check them all out on Amazon!

It's time for this blog to pick an official book review day and make it a HABIT!  So Wednesday it is!  The books reviewed here will be of various sorts - fiction, non-fiction, YA, adult, middle grade, picture books and homeschool and other resources.  Today is a favorite of my youngest child 🙂


Book Title:  The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR

Author:  Don and Audrey Wood

One of his favorites!
One of his favorites!

Illustrator:  Don Wood

Publisher:  Child's Play Library 1984

  • ISBN-10: 0859530124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859530125

Pages:  32 (paperback)

Recommended Ages:  2-5

Why Did I Choose It? This book was a gift to my son.  This is, no doubt, one of my son's favorite books to hear at bedtime.  It's also one of my favorite books to read!

A Bit From the Back Cover:  The little mouse will do anything to save his strawberry from the big, hungry bear.  This bear holds all the cards, who is playing the fox's role?

My Review: This delightful story has the narrator (you) speaking right to the main character, the mouse.  This is a wonderful twist that adds to the delight of the child listening to the story. It presents with a very light and humorous conversational tone. The illustrations are colorful and charming. It is a perfect short read for bedtime or for little ones with shorter attention spans.  We, the reader and the listener, feel drawn into the story. The Big Hungry Bear is never to be seen but we can certainly imagine that he is lurking around the nearest corner sniffing the air and is quite determined to find that big juicy strawberry!  We must help the mouse protect that strawberry! We must eat the strawberry! NOW!  This book makes me want red ripe delicious strawberries every time.

I adore the look on his face!


What's Your Favorite Part of This Tale? Please share 🙂