Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy – Book Review & Author Interview!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! We are reading all of our favorite Christmas books and introducing some new ones as well. We had the pleasure of reading Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy over the last few days and I have our official review for you and an interview with the author as well!

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Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy

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Blurb:

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen.
In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge!
Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life!

My Thoughts:

This is the first book of three in the ‘Reindeer flying Academy’ series. I read this with my children in one sitting and we all enjoyed it very much.

Ronaldo is a reindeer who dreams of being just like his hero Vixen–part of the North Pole Reindeer Team. Only the best reindeer will be chosen by Santa for the team. When it comes time for the Endurance Challenge during Saturday’s Flying School, Ronaldo dreams to win. He remembers his grandad’s advice,

“Don’t just think it! Imagine! See it, feel it, believe it!”

Will Ronaldo win the challenge and receive the Golden Wings?

Ronaldo has strong family support and a best friend named Rudi who became one of four favorite characters. Everyone could use a friend like Rudi! Ronaldo is nearly reluctant to heed his families advice at times, but may learn that they’re smarter than he thinks!

I thought this book was very inspiring and appreciated all the important lessons that influence young readers about standing up for yourself, trusting your loved ones, following your dreams, and believing in yourself. The story is well written, cute, and comical. The illustrations are perfect and offer breaks in the reading. When paired with the short chapters, this makes it an easy read for early chapter book readers.

Overall, I personally found this to be an encouraging book for all ages that my children adored. We’re looking forward to reading the other two books including the full-color illustrated edition. 4****

4-stars

 


 

  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Maxine Sylvester; 1 edition (December 16, 2015)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2015
  • Ages: 5-10
  • Grades: 2-5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read this book for free!


 

Author Interview with Maxine Sylvester

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Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: I wrote my first book in the Ronaldo series, The Reindeer Flying Academy, three years ago. I followed up with The Phantom Carrot Snatcher one year later, and self-published Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza a few months ago. Some reviewers for the first book commented that they would have preferred colour illustrations. I liked the suggestion so recently published a second edition of The Reindeer Flying Academy in glorious colour. I think children will love the colour illustrations. The book is a perfect Christmas read.

(Click the covers to find these on Amazon)

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Q: What made you decide to write children’s books?

A: I’m still a child myself! I get as excited as a five-year-old every time a new Disney film comes out. My illustrations are inspired by animation. My niece says I am in touch with my inner child. I think it’s an advantage as I naturally write for children.

Q: What are some of your favorite childhood books? (or one favorite)

A: My first reading books were Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, and Paddington by Michael Bond. As I grew up I read anything by Enid Blyton, The Famous Five and Secret Seven books. I also loved The Railway Children by E. Nesbitt.

Q: What influenced you to write Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy, and are any of your books influenced by your childhood?

A: I have to admit, I stole an idea from A.A. Milne! He wrote about the toys in Christopher Robin’s playroom. I wanted a reason to illustrate so decided to write a short story. I looked around my bedroom, and my favourite toy was a plush reindeer. I took it from there. Some incidents in the book were inspired by my childhood. Ronaldo has a different name to all the other reindeer and gets teased because of it. I was teased about my name. He also has to wear a hideous hat. I had one of those as well. Furry and with pom poms!

Q: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

A: I have written three Ronaldo adventures, but there are four books. Two editions of The Reindeer Flying Academy are available, one has colour illustrations, the other has black and white.

I think my favourite book is the last one, Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza. The characters are well-developed now, and I had a lot of fun with them. The book still makes me laugh even though I know what’s going to happen. I also have a soft spot for the ending of The Reindeer Flying Academy.

Q: What do you think makes a great children’s book?

A: I think values should be in there, but it’s important not to preach. Children are smart; you never want to talk down to them. I try to get a message across in a fun way. Ronaldo is a good role moral for children. He’s kind, conscientious and brave, but never boring. He also has to overcome adversity and I think it’s good for children to see how he handles things. Needless to say, the stories need to be entertaining with lots of laughs and fun illustrations. The Ronaldo books have heart and I hope that children feel they are picking up a friend in a Ronaldo book. You never know what is going on in a child’s life, and books can provide comfort and inspiration.

Q: Do you create all of your own illustrations?

A: Yes, they take longer than the actual writing of the story. I trained in “cartoon art’ and was mentored by British cartoonist/, caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. I did further studies in children’s book illustration with talented artist/illustrator, Jan Nesbitt.

Q: What’s the publishing process been like for you and how do you market your books?

A: As a self-published author on Amazon, it was quite easy; especially as my partner Mark does most of the technical stuff! I am hopeless. He say’s Facebook and Twitter are great tools for reaching people. We have had varying success with promotions. A lot of it is trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Q: Do you like to read a lot? If so, who are some of your favorite authors and are there any that heavily influence your writing?

A: I read every night before going to sleep. I read all sorts! I’ve read all of Sidney Sheldon’s books and most of Lee Childs, Jack Reacher series. If ever I feel anxious or wracked with self-doubt, I read Dr. Wayne Dyer. His gentle words always encourage me. I think he’s a must for anyone in this industry!

I loved the Harry Potter books; they were like picking up old friends. I have so much respect for J.K. Rowling. The whole world waited with baited breath for her books and she never disappointed.

I am a total Disney geek and have just finished a book on Walt Disney. What a visionary! Walt Disney has always been my biggest inspiration. I think my stories come from a lifetime of watching Disney movies.

Q: Are you working on anything now and do you have any future projects planned?

A: I have just started writing the fourth book in the Ronaldo series – The Vixen Pederson Workshop. It will be ready by Christmas 2018.

Q: Can we expect more books in this children’s series?

A: Absolutely. I find as one book evolves, ideas for another book come to the surface. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is limitless!”

I’d like to thank Maxine Sylvester for participating in this interview.

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Continue reading “Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy – Book Review & Author Interview!”

Music Monday: Sting “I Saw Three Ships” Live from Durham Cathedral

-Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday!

musicmonday

This Week’s Pick

Sting

“I Saw Three Ships”

I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it. My daughter’s dance teacher used it for one of the group’s Christmas ballet performances and I was amazed! The album version is considerably slower and not as busy, but this version here is even more special because of the plethora of instruments. It’s like a huge jam session. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

LYRICS
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three?
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
And what was in those ships all three?
On Christmas day in the morning.

Our Saviour, Christ, and His Lady
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
Our Saviour, Christ, and His Lady
On Christmas day in the morning.

Pray, whither sailed those ships all three?
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
Pray, whither sailed those ships all three?
On Christmas day in the morning.

O, they sailed to Bethlehem
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
O, they sailed to Bethlehem
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the bells on earth shall ring
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
And all the bells on earth shall ring
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the angels in heaven shall sing
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
And all the angels in heaven shall sing
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the souls on earth shall sing
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
And all the souls on earth shall sing
On Christmas day in the morning.

Then let us all rejoice and sing
On Christmas day, on Christmas day
Then let us all rejoice and sing
On Christmas day in the morning.


Continue reading “Music Monday: Sting “I Saw Three Ships” Live from Durham Cathedral”

Shabby Sunday: The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore 1983

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

The Night Before Christmas

by Clement C. MooreLeonard Weisgard (Illustrator)

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Blurb: Not a creature was stirring when jolly St. Nicholas came down the chimney…except the narrator of this well-loved rhyme. His eyewitness account of the arrival of the toy-filled sleigh and eight reindeer is beautifully illustrated by Leonard Weisgard’s warm and glowing pictures, while soft-to-touch pages make this book as special as the season.


 

My Thoughts:

This is one of my most treasured Christmas books to read over the holiday season, particularly on Christmas Eve. I believe most people already know the classic poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore, and I couldn’t tell you how many different editions we have of this one, but what makes this edition so special to me are the classic vintage illustrations by Leonard Weisgard that take me back in time to my childhood. I think I cherish this version more than my kids do for that reason alone.

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My edition is the 1983 printing by Grosset & Dunlap. The cover is in bad shape and I’ve had to hot glue the pages back in already.

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The pages, however, are in near perfect condition! They’re crisp and clean for their age and the illustrations are still as vivid as ever.

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore 1983”

Throwback Thursday: Let it Snow by CJ Carmichael – December 7th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

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Let It Snow!

by C.J. Carmichael

Blurb:

Let It Snow! (Christmas Anthology)

Snowbound In Montana (novella)
A broken heart and the need to find peace compel Eliza Bramble to sign up for a Nordic ski holiday at Baker Creek Lodge, Montana. When a blizzard traps Eliza in the remote mountain hideaway, along with rugged ski guide, Marshall McKenzie, and a group of discontented skiers, Christmas looks like a write-off. But Marshall has a special touch with people…and with Eliza in particular. Soon she realizes Marshall isn’t just fixing Christmas—but her broken heart, too.

A Cowgirl’s Christmas (novel)
For years Callan Carrigan has been her father’s right hand man, so when her dad’s will names city slicker Court McAlister the new owner of The Circle C Ranch, Callan feels betrayed on every level. Then she and her sisters find their mother’s diaries, hidden from them by their father since their mother’s accidental death 18 years ago, and the shocking revelations explain a lot. When Court offers her a deal—if she agrees to be foreman at the Circle C for one year, he’ll deed fifty percent of the ranch back to her and her sisters—it seems too sweet at first. Until Callan realizes Court has his eyes on something she protects even more than her family’s land—her heart.

The Gift (short story)
What would you do if a child in need showed up at your door on Christmas Eve? Amy Gold, Bandit Creek’s kindergarten teacher, is not the sort of person to flout the law. Especially since she’s dating the local deputy, Gray Cassidy. But an unexpected Christmas gift is about to change everything–not just Amy’s plans for a traditional Christmas, her her entire future, and Gray’s as well.


My Thoughts:

I’ve been wanting to read this one for some time now. It’s a collection of three Christmas stories by CJ Carmichael–Snowbound in Montana, A Cowgirl’s Christmas, and The Gift.  I took a chance and purchased a copy on Amazon last week because I couldn’t find this Christmas edition anywhere. I’ll be starting it this week.


 

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Tule Publishing Group (November 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940296978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940296975

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

 

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Let it Snow by CJ Carmichael – December 7th”

Music Monday: Bing Crosby and David Bowie “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy”

-Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday!

musicmonday

This Week’s Pick

Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy

This song is always overplayed on the radio over Christmas and I still never tire of it. David Bowie and Bing Crosby are two of my favorites. I grew up listening to my grandfather sing Bing Crosby all the time and he could sing just like him. I can still hear my grandfather when listening to Bing. I’ve always loved this song and what makes it even more special to me is that it was released in 1977, my birth year. This full version is my favorite. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Lyrics:

David: Hello…… you’re the new butler?
Bing: Hahaha! well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been the new anything!
David: What’s happened to Hudson?
Bing: I guess he’s changing.
David: Yeah, he does that a lot, doesn’t he? uhm… oh, I’m David Bowie, I live
down the road.
Bing: Oh!
David: Sir percival let’s me use his piano if he’s not around. He’s not around, is
he?
Bing: I can honestly say I haven’t seen him, but come on in! Come in!
David: But uh…
Bing: Come on in!
David: Are you related to sir percival?
Bing: Well, distantly…
David: Oh, you’re not the poor relation from America, right?
Bing: Ha! gee… news sure travels fast, doesn’t it? I’m bing.
David: Oh, I’m pleased to meet you. You’re the one that sings, right?
Bing: Well, right or wrong, I sing either way.
David: Oh well, I sing too.
Bing: Oh good! what kind of singing?
David: Mostly the contemporary stuff. Do you eh… do you like modern music?
Bing: Oh, I think it’s marvellous! Some of it’s really fine. But tell me, have you ever listened to any of the older fellows?
David: Oh yeah, sure. I like ah… John Lennon and the other one with eh…Harry
Nilsson.
Bing: Mmm… you go back that far, uh?
David: Yeah, I’m not as young as I look.
Bing: Haha, none of us is these days!
David: In fact I’ve got a six year old son and he really gets excited around the Christmas holiday-thing.
Bing: Do you go in for anything of the traditional things in the… boy, household, Christmas time?
David: Oh yeah, most of them really. Presents, tree, decorations, agents sliding down the chimney…
Bing: What??
David: Oh, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
Bing: Haha!
David: Actually, our family do most of the things that other families do. We sing the same songs.
Bing: Do you?
David: Oh, I even have a go at ‘White Christmas’.
Bing: You do, eh!
David: And this one. This is my son’s favourite. Do you know this one?
Bing: Oh, I do indeed, it’s a lovely theme.

[Verse 1: Bowie and Crosby]
Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
A newborn king to see pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Rum-pum-pum-pum, Rum-pum-pum-pum

[Verse 2: Bowie and Crosby]
Peace on Earth can it be?
(Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Years from now, perhaps we’ll see?
(A newborn king to see pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
See the day of glory
(Our finest gift we bring pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
See the day, when men of good will
(To lay before the king pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Live in peace, live in peace again
(Rum-pum-pum-pum, Rum-pum-pum-pum)
Peace on Earth
(So to honur him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Can it be
(When we come)

[Bridge: Bowie and Crosby in unison]
Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

[Verse 4]
I pray my wish will come true
(Little baby pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
For my child and your child too
(I stood beside him there pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
He’ll see the day of glory
(I played my drum for him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
See the day when men of good will
(I played my best for him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Live in peace, live in peace again
(Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum)
Peace on Earth
(Me and my drum)
Can it be

[Outro: Bowie and Crosby in unison]
Can it be


Continue reading “Music Monday: Bing Crosby and David Bowie “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy””

Shabby Sunday: Welcome Christmas! A Garland of Poems Chosen by Anne Thaxter Eaton – 1965

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Welcome Christmas

by Anne Thaxter EatonValenti Angelo (Illustrator)
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Blurb: A collection of fifty Christmas poems, old and new, chosen for their ageless spirit of the season.

My Thoughts:

I chose this book for Shabby Sunday because it’s one of my favorite Christmas books to bring out and read over the holiday season. I ended up finding this at a local library sale years ago and what a find! I get so excited whenever I find vintage Christmas items and this one is truly special. My edition is a 7th printing hardcover from 1965.

This is a delightful compilation of fifty poems for Christmas written by various authors including Christina Rossetti, Martin Luther, Walter de la Mare, G.K. Chesterton, Anne Thaxter Eaton (author), and many others. The book includes illustrations by Valenti Angelo which give a warm feel to the book and complement each poem perfectly.

Some of my favorites are “Carol” by Christina Rossetti, “Earth and Sky” by Eleanor Farjeon, “Nowel” by Walter de la Mare, “The Ending of the Year” by Eleanor Farjeon, and my most favorite “The House of Christmas” by G.K. Chesterton.

Many of the poems are spiritual in nature, but anyone can enjoy this gem of a book, including children and adults. I’m happy to have this on our Christmas shelf.


The House of Christmas

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

–G.K. Chesterton


Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The Viking Press (September 16, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067075708X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670757084

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Welcome Christmas! A Garland of Poems Chosen by Anne Thaxter Eaton – 1965”

Flower Friday: Poinsettia for December 1st!

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having fun sharing some flower pics! Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already.

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It’s December 1st! I thought I’d share a picture of beautiful poinsettia blooms for Christmas.

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It’s Christmas time!

Continue reading “Flower Friday: Poinsettia for December 1st!”

Throwback Thursday: Christmas In Cornwall by Marcia Willett – November 30th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

throwback-thursday

This Week’s Pick:

Christmas in Cornwall

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Blurb:

“We’re all pilgrims,’ he said thoughtfully. “One way or another, aren’t we? Always searching for something.”

Twelfth night – time to put away the Christmas angel. A new year dawns, and everything seems to be falling into place for Dossie. Her son Clem and his adorable five-year-old son Jakey have moved to Cornwall to be closer to her. She runs her own successful catering business. All she needs now is some better luck in her romantic life.

Complementing Dossie’s rather unconventional family set-up is the wonderfully eccentric Janna: a warm-hearted, generous woman who looks after the quirky nuns of the local convent – and little Jakey. With humour, kindness and the support of friendship, they form a tight bond.

But the Sisters’ life as they know it is thrown into doubt when an avaricious property developer starts prowling around their beautiful, historic home. Will this close-knit unit who so depend on each other still be together next Christmas? And what will they have learnt about the true meaning of family, and about having somewhere you really belong? Find out in Marcia Willett’s touching and timeless holiday tale, Christmas in Cornwall.

My Thoughts:

I’m so excited to read Christmas books this season because there are so many I didn’t get to read last year. It seems like Christmas comes so fast and it’s gone before you know it, so I’m starting now to get as many reads as possible. This is one of them that I’ve had my eye on for some time and I plan to read it over the holidays this year. I was instantly attracted to the blurb and cover and went ahead and ordered it. I hope to finally get to it soon!

You can find this on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250003709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250003706

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Christmas In Cornwall by Marcia Willett – November 30th”

Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books

I picked up three new wordless picture books this week. I can’t express enough about how much I LOVE viewing books like these with children. It really makes them think and use their imagination.

If you’d like to add any of these on Goodreads, just click the title in the review…

Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day

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Carl’s Christmas is a story about a dog named Carl and a sweet little baby. Carl is left to be responsible for the baby on Christmas Eve and they go on a little adventure together. This book has text on the very first page and the rest of the book is strictly pictures.

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What I liked about the story was the idea of a dog taking care of a baby. It’s unrealistic, but so adorable. Carl knows how to care for the baby and their adventure consists of strolling around town visiting stores, carolers, and finally a visit with Santa.

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We really enjoyed the classic painted illustrations and couldn’t wait to find out how the story would end. Follow along to see if Carl receives a gift of his own this year.

4-stars

 


Sector 7 by David Wiesner

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Sector 7 by David Wiesner is one of the most imaginative wordless books I’ve read. A boy takes a school trip to the Empire State Building and winds up taking a whole different trip to Sector 7, a cloud dispatch station in the sky. He’s taken there by a little cloud who becomes his friend. He has ideas of his own for what he thinks clouds should look like and he isn’t afraid to share them.

Children will love this picture book as it’s easy to follow with beautiful illustrations. We loved it and talked about it for quite a bit of time. We were surprised to see this author again as we recently read Free Fall. This is definitely a keeper.

stars


Continue reading “Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books”

Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books

This week I have four different wordless picture books to share with you that we really enjoyed. Like most, these are all perfect wordless picture books for parent child reading and enjoyment.

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You can read on to see my reviews on each. If  you’d like to view last weeks picture books and learn some benefits to reading wordless books, you can see my previous post HERE. If you’d like to add some of these wonderful books on Goodreads, just click the title.


The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

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Blurb: Illustrated in full color, this is a wordless story. The pictures have “the hazy softness of air in snow.” A little boy rushes out into the wintry day to build a snowman, which comes alive in his dreams that night. The boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside.

My review

The Snowman is a wonderful wordless book for children. The story starts with a young boy who sees the snow outside and rushes out of his home to build a snowman. As the boy sleeps, the snowman comes alive and is welcomed into the boy’s home to discover what it’s like inside. In return, the snowman will show him his home as well. A dream to be remembered forever.

This book is packed full of sketched illustrations in color. This is a beautiful Christmas book that can be read by all ages and any time of the year.

stars

Check out this short movie based on The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. It’s introduced by David Bowie!


The Giant Seed by Arthur Geisert

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Blurb: In this follow up to the magnificently inventive Ice, Arthur Geisert once again charms us with his porcine world. This time his pigs must get creative when a volcano destroys their home. Fortunately they got busybefore trouble hit by planting a huge mysterious seed, for it’s the seed plus imagination, as well as a good dose of can-do spirit, that save the day! Illustrated with inventive, sensitive, and unusually lovely etchings that seem to come from an old cherished album, The Big Seed is a worthy successor to Geisert’s Ice.

Award-winning children’s book author Arthur Geisert‘s pigs are legendary in the world of children’s books. They carve ice sculptures, teach Roman numerals, create ingenious machines, and get up to all kinds of antics. Did Arthur grow up on a farm? No. He grew up in Los Angeles and claims not to have seen a pig until he was an adult. Trained as a sculptor in college, Geisert learned to etch at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. He has published just about a book a year for the past thirty years and every one of his books has been illustrated with etchings. In 1996 (as well as once previous to that) he won The New York Times Best Illustrated Award. Geisert lives in Bernard, Iowa.

My review

The Giant Seed by Arthur Geisert is a story about a community of pigs that live near a volcano. They are blessed with the arrival of a giant dandelion seed which they decide to plant and grow. Little do they know, this seed that will soon grow into a new plant just might be a life saver for them all.

We loved the author’s adorable pig illustrations. The ending was left wide open which made me think there might be another book to continue the story, but I haven’t found one yet. This is the first book we’ve read by this author and I’m definitely interested in reading more about this pig community. This one strikes up a lot of conversation!

4-stars


Here I Am by Patti Kim – Pictures by Sonia Sanchez

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Blurb: Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident kid he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.

Because this book is based on the author’s experience, here is some author information: Patti Kim was born in Pusan, Korea, and immigrated to the United States on Christmas of 1974 with her mother, father, and older sister. At the age of five, she thought she was a writer and scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mother’s Korean-English dictionary and got in big trouble for it. Her scribbling eventually paid off. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland. She lives with her husband and two daughters who give her plenty to write about every day.

You can visit her blog HERE

My review

Here I Am is a wordless children’s picture book of one incredibly inspiring story of a child’s immigration to the United States.

A child and his family leave their home and move into a busy city in the United States. This is difficult for him and he struggles getting used to his new life in the city. He has a new school, new house, and is surrounded by new people. In his hand he carries a keepsake from his homeland which helps him along the way. He accidentally drops it out of a window and down into the street. He realizes in order to get it back he’s going to have to go outside and explore which might just be the best thing for him.

This is a story about starting a new life and overcoming fear of the unknown. We enjoyed all the rich, detailed illustrations and the author’s note at the end.

stars


Continue reading “Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books”

Lessons from Grandpa #1

My grandfather was a very prominent figure in my life as I was growing up. He was a teacher, school principal, and father to five children. Everyday I learned something from him whether it be something I should eat, something I should do, how I should act, or how I should think. He always had something interesting to say.

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Me and GP just before my baptism

My grandfather was a serious conservative. He lived by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it is, just put some duct tape on it!” I’m not even joking. Have you seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and witnessed how Toula’s father would put Windex on everything? Well, that’s my grandfather, except with him it was simply, “Put some duct tape on it.”

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I remember one day he came home from the golf course and when he pulled up in the driveway, his car was missing the driver’s side mirror. I asked him what happened and he told me, “I think I sideswiped a truck.” I couldn’t believe it and I know that if he had that mirror in his hand, he’d be duct taping it back on.

Another repair was on his left boot. He had visited a doctor for hip pain and learned that one of his legs was longer than the other. He brainstormed about how he could fix the issue without having to wear a brace of some sort. He wound up making a platform for the bottom of his boot and duct taped it on. Voila! When the zipper broke on one of his other shoes, he taped that too. He would put duct tape on vacuum hoses, tools, shoes, furniture, and even books. He didn’t care what anyone thought either. When I was a kid I thought it was silly. Now that I’m older, I love that he was like that and wish that I could be more carefree about what people think.

The one duct taped object that I have from my grandfather is his Bible. He read his Bible every day. Once the binding started to break down, he fixed it so that he could use it for many years to come.  It’s a large print and fairly big Bible. Here’s a picture of it here with his tape repairs.

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Continue reading “Lessons from Grandpa #1”