“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Oops! I’m late, I’m late. But I do have a lovely picture book to share as we countdown to Christmas Day.

Christmas for a Kitten

book-xmas-kittenWritten by: Robin Pulver

Illustrated by: Layne Johnson

Published by: Albert Whitman & Co USA 2003

Ages:   5 – 8 years old

Theme: fear, loneliness, happiness, belonging

Opening Lines: On a chilly night, in a barn far, far away from the North Pole, a kitten that had never seen or heard of Christmas slept snug against his mother.

Synopsis: When a kitten in a barn is snatched from his mother and dumped by the side of the road in the country, he must survive in the wild on his own. He climbs into the trunk of a car whose owners are bringing a tree home on Christmas Eve. Hiding from the owners and their dog he knocks down some ornaments and climbs the tree. The Santa’s milk and cookies are a treat, but It’s not until a visitor arrives that the kitty is rescued and gets a new lease on life and a name.

Why I like this: I thought this a beautifully illustrated Christmas book for kids. The reader will be captivated by the illustrator’s portrayal of fear and happiness in the eyes of the kitten as it experiences some of the most horrible experiences and the most wonderful experiences within the story. The realistic beginning may be a bit too much for younger readers as the kitten is snatched and put inside a bag as he hears the words “too many cats,” uttered, and then thrown into the forest and left. The author uses this event to set the stage for this kitten to find real happiness in a most unusual place. I am sure kids will be glued to this story from beginning to end as they follow the kitten on its journey to find Christmas. While very realistic in the beginning the ending is unexpected and a treat. And no the kitten does not stay with the family. Hahaha you will have to read it to find out what happens. Gorgeous deep blues and whites of a snowy cold night dotted with Christmas glow on full pages of illustrations is a feast for the eye you will enjoy.

The story was inspired when Robin and her family found a cat while tramping through the snow at a Christmas tree farm.   Layne is a cat lover and has two. It is his water-loving yellow cat that helped him draw the kitten for this book.

Resources/Findings: Here is a video of the beautiful pictures but beware of spoiler alert.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksLoorH8El8

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

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As it’s the last of Perfect Picture Book Friday for 2016 I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.  Enjoy the festivities, take care if you are driving long distances.  Look after your pets, they too deserve a Christmas treat, so don’t neglect them.  Whether serving up hot toddies round an open fire in your part of the world or a BBQ at the beach, I hope dear friends you all have fun, love one another and I’ll see you back here soon in 2017.  All the best.

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

POOKA

book-pookaWritten by: Carol Chataway

Illustrated by: Nina Rycroft

Published by: Working Title Press, Australia 2012

Ages:   2 – 6

Theme: friendship, dog, companion, lost and found, attachment

Opening Lines: “Someone’s left an old coat on our doorstep,” said Dad. “It’s not a coat,” said Mum. “It moved. Think it’s a lamb.” “It’s not a coat, or a lamb,” I said. “It’s a dog!”

Synopsis: From the moment she is discovered on the doorstep, everyone loves Pooka. She’s the best dog ever! “Don’t go getting attached,” Grandad grumbles. But it’s too late for that!

Why I like it:   This is a very sweet heart felt story of the love between a dog and young boy. It’s obvious the dog belongs to someone as he is so well mannered. Grandad constantly reminds the boy not to get too attached. Someone will come looking for him. The saying – but it’s too late for that, becomes a refrain. Grandad is right of course even though the boy and dog become inseparable. One day a young man comes to claim Pooka and the boy learns that Pooka has a very important job. The boy finds it hard to live without Pooka until one day there is a knock at the door. This story is very realistic and you get the feeling, thanks to Grandad, that something is going to happen and that maybe the story, will not end all that well. Kids will resonate with the boy especially at the heartbreak of having to give Pooka back. Let’s face it, every little kid wants a dog.   I love the beautiful illustrations by New Zealand illustrator Nina Rycroft.  Pooka is a gorgeous book.  It’s cover begs to be picked up and cuddled. Aww just look at that face.

Nina’s website…    http://ninarycroft.com/

 

Resources/Findings:   Great idea for making pretend animals so kids can learn how to look after pets….    http://www.mylittlebookcase.com.au/books/activity-creating-and-caring-for-pretend-pets.

More about pets.  -http://www.caninefriends.org.nz/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Rudie Nudie

book-rudie-nudieWritten and Illustrated by:   Emma Quay.

Published by: Harper Collins (Australian) first 2011 and again in paperback 2014

Ages:   2 and up.

Theme: nudity, playtime, bath-time, bedtime.

Opening Lines: One, two Rudie Nudie, Rudie Nudie in the bath. Squeaky clean and splishing, splashing, sploshing – Rudie Nudie laugh.

Synopsis: From bath to bedtime Author/Illustrator Emma Quay captures the joy, playfulness and highjinks of a little brother and sister preparing for bed.

book-rudie-nudie-2Why I like this: Now before you say “Oh but it’s full of nudity.” So what! The dark pencilled human outlines cleverly concealing the “necessaries” throughout, show a brother and sister playfully enjoying the time between bath and bedtime. Slipping out from their thick towels, rolling on the rug, racing down the passage and out into the back yard, totally ignoring their differences, before mother calls them back inside to help them dress for bed. I loved this.  As a grandparent, or parent, remember the giggles the little ones made when tickled by towel drying or blowing bubbles on their chest. Oh how delicious they smelled, so clean and sweet, and the talc powder spraying through the air. It is such a moment in time, an innocence to treasure. They grow so fast and what a way to capture that but in a picture book. The title is eye catching and the cover illustration entices you to check it out. What this also teaches children is cleanliness, routine, fun and equality. Yes everyone needs a bath and everyone must go to bed at some time. This book certainly brings a smile, see you’re already smiling at the pictures, with its minimal rhyming text and soft warm hue illustrations.

Emma Quay has illustrated some beautiful books such as Goodnight, Me, and the 2010 CBC Early Childhood Book of the Year for ‘Bear and Chook by the Sea’ (written by Lisa Shanahan). Emma lives in Sydney with her husband and two young daughters.

Resources/Findings:

Great trailer for this book.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc-KeMXpRCc

Here are some great ideas for making bath-time fun especially if your child has a sensory disorder… http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/bath-time-fun.html

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog

book-blind-dogWritten by: Carol Chiodo Fleischman

Illustrated by: Stephanie Ford

Published by: Pelican Publishing Company, USA 2015

Ages:   8 – 12 years

Theme: Trust, respect, teamwork

Opening Lines: One morning soon after I came home from the guide dog school, I woke up and stepped down on the cold floor. My foot brushed over a soft lump, so I picked it up. Phew! Were these dirty socks? I guessed right.

Synopsis: (from amazon) In this delightful true story told through a first-person narrative, a sight-impaired young woman describes how her service dog, Nadine, loves to play tricks around the house. From hiding dirty laundry to avoiding her harness, Nadine is quite mischievous! Their first day together as a team is the focus of this story. Through the struggles to get ready, the sheer enjoyment of the winter day, and the scary moments along the way, Nadine proves herself trustworthy and reliable-that is, until they return home and she gets into mischief again!

Why I like this: I love the illustrations of crisp, humorous drawings in wintery colours. This book provides a fascinating glimpse into life with a guide dog. The relationship between a blind person and her canine companion, Nadine, is explored in this charming and informative tale of a playful young dog. This true story set during the onset of a major snow-storm and it demonstrates the mixture of serious work and playfulness of these valuable and beautiful animals.

(from Amazon) Carol Chiodo Fleischman is a professional writer who just happens to be legally blind. Since 1992, she has used a guide dog for mobility, and her articles frequently focus on life as a visually impaired person, especially the joys and challenges of working with a guide dog. Her writing has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers including the New York Times Syndicate, Guideposts, the Buffalo News, The Simon & Schuster Short Prose Reader, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has been a member of the Association of Professional Women Writers for more than twenty years.

Fleischman volunteers with GuildCare, an active speaker at schools and many international conferences. She and her husband share their home in New York with her trusted guide dog.

Resources/Findings:  

Protecting Pets: Do you have a safety plan for your pet in the event of a disaster. Here is a link that kids may find interesting, create conversation and awareness…     http://protectyourpet.worldanimalprotection.org.nz/?id=K2016W26&gclid=Cj0KEQjwmri_BRCZpaHkuIH75_IBEiQAIG0rIVx94HauYhQgBCVFJP1d5qskHWz8054t-JJ8k4Epys8aAkxB8P8HAQ

Here is a link to the Foundation of the Blind – puppies here in NZ . Maybe you have one in your area….   https://blindfoundation.org.nz/get-involved/guide-dogs/

More facts about guide dogs…   http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/5469575/Wanted-Homes-for-guide-pups

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Sometimes

book-sometimesWritten and Illustrated by: Rebecca Elliott

Published by: Lion Hudson (March 1, 2014)

Ages:   5 – 7 years old

Theme: friendship, support, empathy, caring

Opening Lines: Clemmie is the best sister. She plays cowboys. She has enormous hair. She makes me laugh and sometimes she stays in hospital.

Synopsis: Toby loves his big sister Clemmie. She always looks after him and he looks after her—no matter what. Toby knows his sister is very brave, but when she has to go to the hospital again, they both have to help each other face their fears. Together, they still find ways to have fun and make the hospital a much better place

Why I like this: It has that aww feeling. From the colourful popeyed round faces and cute expressions, so much is said in a few words. A little brother who adores his big sister understands that from time to time she has to go to hospital. He helps by playing doctors and nurses, jumps on her bed and eats the hospital food when she can’t. He joins in the games with other kids in the hospital and there is their comparison of fear – her with the needles and him with eating peas. Aww…   yeah see, I knew you would feel that… Parents will love that children can see themselves in these situations and what a lovely way to show that hospital can also be fun. I only wish this book was around when I was little. I hated hospitals’, I was so scared, screaming and crying. Books like this would have calmed me.

Rebecca Elliott is the author and illustrator of Just Because and Zoo Girl. She has also illustrated several children’s books, including Jungle Tumble, Monkey Tumbles, My Nativity Jigsaw Book, and My Noah’s Ark Jigsaw Book

Resources/Findings: author’s website…   http://www.rebeccaelliott.com/toby-and-clemmie

Preparing children for hospital stays…   http://www.kidspot.com.au/preparing-your-child-for-a-visit-to-hospital/

The importance of play while in hospital for children…   http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/your-child-hospital-importance-play

Both in the classroom and at home ask the children what they think would be some great items to take to hospital for a sibling who is having to stay for a few nights. Make a list or help them with making some gifts to take.

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

We’re in the wrong book!

book-wrong-bookWritten and Illustrated by: Richard Byrne

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2015

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: interactive, friendship, adventure, belonging.

Opening Lines: Bella and Ben were jumping down the street, from one side of the book… to the other.

Synopsis: When a potato sack race goes awry, Bella and Ben find themselves bumped from their familiar page by Bella’s dog into uncharted territory. It’s a brave new world of lollipops and sphinxes… They have to travel through many other books to find their way home. From the back of the book…   Nice reader wanted to help us find a happy ending.

Why I like this: Well for a start the title was a knock out, and begged to be picked up. A great concept in where the reader is encouraged to follow Bella and Ben through the different books they find themselves in, such as a counting book, a comic, and at one time the library assistant pointed to a side room where they end up in non-fiction. Bella’s dog knocked them off the page into the wrong book, and now they just want to get back to their own book. Each page turn is a new adventure, through puzzle books, and how to make paper planes as well as coming across a monster… or is it? This is a wonderful book to encourage children to join in the activities such as counting, or doing puzzles to help Bella and Ben find their way. A wonderful way to bring fun to reading. The illustrations are simple, bold and effective giving at times the feeling that this was a colouring book or that Bella and Ben are cut-outs. I loved their expressions on big round faces.  I loved this book.

Richard Byrne is the author and illustrator of ” This book just ate my dog!”  He grew up in Brighton, England, and worked in graphic design before discovering his true passion in children’s books.

Resources/Findings:

The book itself has a number of interactive activities that could be carried out in the classroom or at home.

Richard is a man of few words and his blog is very much the same… but has written some wonderful books… take peek..   http://www.richardbyrne.co.uk/wordpress/portfolio/picture-books/

Other paper crafts that could be done in the classroom or at home…   http://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/collection/paper-craft

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

 

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

YAYYYYY!!!  I am always happy when the Perfect Picture Book series is back.  It’s such fun reading other blogs and reviews from Susanna’s list, catching up with all the other authors and readers and I get to showcase some great books that I have been reading while hibernating during our woolly winter down-under, while the northern hemisphere have been enjoying there summer.  It also means that spring is here and I am enjoying sunny mornings now and looking forward to summer just around the corner.  Lots to be so happy about huh?

book-birdRia the Reckless Wrybill

Written by: Jane Buxton

Illustrated by: Jenny Cooper

Published by: Puffin Books of Penquin Group in 2010

Ages:   2 – 6 years

Theme: reckless, special, obeying orders

Opening Lines: From the moment Ria Wrybill hatched from the egg, her parents knew she was different.

Synopsis: From the time she is born Ria is told to stay perfectly still whenever there is a predator about. But Ria knows she is special and is reckless and doesn’t listen to warnings and hide in the river stones. Ria only becomes aware of the consequences when she is captured.

Why I like this: The wrybill or ngatuparore is an endangered native bird of New Zealand that breeds on riverbeds only in Canterbury and Otago. In the cooler months they move to the north island. It is the only bird in the world with a bill that is bent sideways. Children will love this lively story about a feisty native bird. They will also love how she uses her uniqueness in a cheeky way. Jenny Cooper’s stunning illustrations evoke the humour of Buxton’s writing and portray these rare birds in their riverbed habitat.

Ria the Reckless Wrybill received a Storylines Notable Books award in 2011.

Resources/Findings: Janes Website, and you will love her latest book, the Runaway Toilet….     http://janebuxton.wix.com/home#!about-me

http://knslibrary.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/ria-reckless-wrybill-written-by-jane.html

About New Zealand birds –   http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

LEMUR DREAMER

BOOK LEMUR DREAMERWritten and Illustrated by: Courtney Dicmas

Published by: Templar Publishing, UK in 2015

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: fun, friendship, dreamers

Opening Lines: The residents of 32 Pebbly Lane led mostly unextraordinary lives. All except one, that is.

Synopsis: Louis the Lemur is a sleepwalker! After his night-time antics cause mischief, his friends decide to follow him one night, as he snuffles and snoozes far away from his home, with hilarious consequences. There is just one question on their minds – what on earth is Louis dreaming of? This is the crazy, colourful, wonderful new title from the artist of Harold Finds a Voice, nominated for the 2014 Waterstones Prize.

BOOK LEMUR DREAMER11Why I like this: When I saw the title I had to get this. Being a dreamer myself and I used to as a child sleepwalk often and on one occasion frightened the life out of my parents. But hey that’s another story. I love the cover and they say opening lines of text should hook the reader but in this case the cover certainly has a great hook, with silver moon and the lemur teetering on the edge of what appears to be a diving board. This can’t possibly end well. Dreaming while sleeping is therapeutic, we go to amazing places, have adventures and are brave and fearless and the world is our oyster. Courtney captures this well in her simple outlined illustrations of gorgeous colours. (Blue is her favourite by-the-way). Courtney also uses minimal text making every word BOOK LEMUR DREAMER22count…   “snoozed down a washing line” and “snuffled right out onto Pebbly Lane.” This is a fun read for any age.

Just a thought…. We woke up this morning to find the garage roller door was up, our car unlocked and the meter board off our meter box. inside the garage….. Oh no! Had we simply forgotten to lock up properly last night… or… had I gone sleepwalking?….   *headdesk*

Resources/Findings:

A You tube teaser…..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAHObBkH3vc

About the author….   http://www.courtneydicmas.com/about/

Fun facts about Lemurs for kids….     http://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/lemurs-are-mammals-fun-lemur-facts-for-kids/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Adelaide’s Secret World

Adelaide1Written and Illustrated by:   Elise Hurst

Ages : 4 – 8 years

Publisher: Allen and Unwin November 2015

Theme: Courage, change, and finding ones soul mate.

Opening Lines: Adelaide lived in a little old shop behind a soft red curtain. Once it had been a bustling place full of wonders.

Synopsis: (from back of book) Adelaide leads a quiet life in the midst of the city. At night she listens to the song of the stars, but during the day she watches over the others like her: the still ones, the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone.

Little does Adelaide know that her secret world will soon be transformed into something unexpected and full of joy.

Adelaide2Why I like it: At first sight the beautiful, deep haunting cover illustration holds a stillness, deep thoughtful, inner feelings. One wonders what the rabbit is thinking or feeling. The pages inside reflect similar images with sweeping brushed oil strokes in deep hues. The articulate text sings across the page …. “the hum of the setting sun…” and … “the soft pure song of the evening star.” “The rain-soaked windows glittered like a jewellery box.” Doesn’t that sound gorgeous? Adelade an artist observes those around her and her surroundings creating a small world of her own. But there is something missing in her life. Until one day.

Elise has created a mysterious city inhabited by a rich cast of animal characters and humans, while her enchanting and superbly illustrated story celebrates creativity and friendship with courage and change. It almost has a sense of mystery.

Resources/Findings: I could find no direct resources for this book but here is Elise showing off her book before its release date in November last year, 2015…… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBCES81XPU

http://www.elisehurst.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=130

Here is a little craft idea of making family and friends…   http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/family-string-puppets/

http://www.kinderart.com/multic/

A thought provoking activity for a class of students would be to draw a picture of how they see themselves in what they would be doing when they leave school … i.e. job     Maybe pair them up and get them to draw what the other’s profession would be, going from the information they are provided with.

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

 

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Mogie   The heart of the house

Book - MogieWritten by: Kathi Appelt

Illustrated by: Marc Rosenthal

Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Imprint of Simon & Schuster 2014

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: Caring, Bonding, sickness, healing

Opening Lines: Right smack in the heart of the Big City is a very special house.

Synopsis: (from Amazon) Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it. One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, like Service Dog, or Search and Rescue Dog, or Groomed for the Show Ring Dog. Each puppy, that is, except Mogie. Mogie was a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. Not the kind of pup for any of those jobs! But there is a place that is just right for Mogie: a very special house where sick children and their families can stay while they undergo long-term treatment. A place with children who NEED a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. And there’s one little boy in particular who needs Mogie. And Mogie is about to prove he’s the best darn pooch in the passel. Based on a true story, this heart-warming picture book is published in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House.

Why I like this: Based on a true story it has that heart felt warm aww feeling about it. Mogie with his cheeky ways and cute little face is a special little dog with an inner special bond with sick kids. Like anyone who loves dogs you will fall in love with Mogie. The author felt extremely lucky to have met Mogie and she fell in love with him. He is a very special part of the Ronald McDonald mission and brings a ray of light, and healing to each child. I love the light coloured pencil, charcoal drawings positioned in different places on the pages throughout. Interesting that the story started with the boy (Cage’s) point of view and then shifts to Mogie’s.   This story was a Washington’s Children’s Choice Award.

Resources/Findings: Here is a clip of the story on youtube…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AuVvi_3SBs

On author Kathi Appelt’s website you will find wonderful teachers and parents discussion and activity pages to use with kids. http://www.kathiappelt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Mogie-Teachers-Counselors-Parents-Guide.pdf

This is another page of Teachers Aid and Core curriculum ….     http://www.kathiappelt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Mogie_CG.pdf

Some amazing facts about Ronald McDonald for kids….   http://topyaps.com/7-interesting-facts-ronald-mcdonald-kid-know

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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