Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Ray Got Away

By Angela Johnson
Illustrated by Luke LaMarca
$16.99, ages 5 and up,40 pages.

How do you keep the sun down on a bright and clear day, especially if it's been tethered to the ground for years?

Well, if it's a sun called, "Ray", an enormous parade balloon, and "today's the day," there isn't much you can do but watch it slip away.

(And if you're like me and enjoy seeing a balloon get free, if only to imagine how far it might go, maybe you smile and blow a bit of air his way.)

Just in time for the Thanksgiving Macy's Day parade comes a sweet, simple story of a trusty old helium balloon that tires of being obedient, takes to the sky and never looks back.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ivy & Bean Blog Tour: Day 2

How could ants fussing about in the grass help Ivy and Bean come up with their best idea ever? 

Read this delightful book and you too might see how instructional a colony of uptight bugs can be.

Thanks for stopping by Day 2 of the Ivy & Bean Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy my review and share a comment below.

Everyone who comments now through Dec. 3 automatically will be entered in a drawing to win Book 7 in the series, What's the Big Idea?

Be sure to leave a way to contact you, either in the comment itself or by emailing me with your email address.

Then scroll down to the end of the review for live links to more blogs on the tour!

Ivy & Bean: What's the Big Idea? (Book 7)
By Annie Barrows
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Chronicle, 2010
$14.99, ages 6-10, 128 pages

Best buddies Ivy and Bean may not know much about global warming, but they sure know about grownups -- and teaching them to relax might be just the trick to stopping a planetary melt-down.

In this 7th book in the beloved Ivy & Bean chapter-book series, the gals with big ideas and a knack for mischief take on cars, cow poop and other stuff mucking up the planet one group of parents at a time.

When Ivy and Bean's 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Aruba-Tate, asks the class to come up with ways to cool down Earth for the Emerson School science fair, the light bulbs start going on over Ivy and Bean's heads. Well, sort of.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth

Written by Kate Klise
Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
Harcourt, 2010
$17, ages 4-8, 32 pages

A grumpy little rabbit tries to pass off his mother as a scary circus act after she grounds him for not doing what she says.

The only problem is, she doesn't look at all like the act he's promised, and now Little Rabbit has nothing terrible to show the circus crowd.

Or does he?

In this adorable picture book, Little Rabbit tries to get back at his mother for not taking him to the circus, then realizes she's the last person he wants to hurt.

One day, while building a castle in his playroom, Little Rabbit hears a circus parading into town and scampers out to the sitting room to ask his mother if they can go.

His mother tells him, "Of course," if he cleans up his playroom -- after all, he hasn't put anything away all day and his clothes are tumbling out of drawers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Haul-idays Giveaway!

Enter here for a chance to win a "haul" of Chronicle books valued at nearly $500!

Comment at the end of this post by Dec. 10 and you'll be automatically entered in a drawing to win the 29 books listed below.

Be sure to leave a way to contact you, either through your comment profile or by emailing me with your email address.

Yesterday, Chronicle contacted bloggers across the web to post their favorite Chronicle books for the "Haul-idays."

In turn, each blogger and the readers who comment on their lists are entered in the giveaway to win those books.

That means one set of Chronicle books will be given to a reader and another to a blogger, for a total value of about $1,000.

To enter, you must be a U.S. resident 18 years or older. Chronicle will announce the winners Dec. 13!

Here are my picks!

Magical Menagerie: 20 Punch-Out Animals for Play and Display by Junzo Terada ($24.95)
Scribbles: A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book by Taro Gomi ($19.99)
Fairy Tree House by Saviour Pirotta and Lockheart ($19.99)
Little Snowman: Finger Puppet Book ($6.99)
Wave, By Suzy Lee ($15.99)
Olive, the Other Reindeer: Deluxe Edition by J.otto Siebold and Vivian Walsh ($19.99)
Up by Jim LaMarche ($16.95)
Rosie and the Nightmares by Philip Waechter ($15.95)
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace ($14.95)
Bruno Munari's Zoo by Bruno Munari ($17.99)
Eric Carle Decorative Prints by Eric Carle ($24.95)
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld ($16.95)
Daily Doodle: 2011 Daily Calendar ($12.99)
The Sock Monkey & Friends Kit by Samantha Fisher and Cary Lane ($17.99)
Noonie's Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback and Sarajo Frieden ($18.99)
The Chore Board: A Helping-Around-the-House Game by Sarah Malarkey and J.otto Siebold ($14.99)
All Mixed Up: A Mix-and-Match Book by Carin Berger ($8.95)
Ivy and Bean: What's the Big Idea by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall ($14.99)
Little 1 by Ann and Paul Rand ($16.99)
I Heard it from Alice Zucchini by Juanita Havill and Christine Davenier ($15.95)
The Other Side by Istvan Banyai ($15.99)
Wookie Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook ($18.99)
Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones ($24.95)
Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Fuzzy Felted Friends ($14.95)
Cake Pops by Bakerella ($19.95)
MoMa Modern Play House ($19.99)
Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids ($24.95)
Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman ($19.99)
Bear and Ball by Cliff Wright ($5.95)

For a grand total = $499.24

 For more about the contest and for links to other blogs in the giveaway, go to Chronicle Books here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Watch the Book!

Book trailers are popping up everywhere and the best of them are going viral before the book even comes out.

The goal is to launch a book. But along the way, book videos have become entertainment in themselves and, in some cases, are as anticipated as the book itself.

One of my favorites, originally titled Stokebird: The Invention, went on to win the Chicago International Children's Film Festival for best animated short.

It's based on Wouter Van Reek's picture book, Coppernickel: The Invention, about two best friends who try to invent a machine for picking high-hanging berries.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


By Suzy Lee
$15.99, all ages, 44 pages.

A shadow puppet with sharp, jagged teeth comes to life and chases a little girl across the fold of this magical wordless book.

But will the girl and her make-believe playmates be clever enough to scare him away?

As with Lee's breathtaking wordless book Wave, in which a girl teases a wave to try to splash her, Shadow tells the story of a girl lost in play.

But instead of playing with a wave, the girl dances around an attic with shadows that look like happy jungle friends, with one scary exception.

While playing in the attic, she also imagines a shadow of a big, bad wolf and if she's not careful, he might just gobble her up.