New Spring Picture Books from Creston Books

CRESTON BOOKS – the small publisher run by Marissa Moss in Berkeley, CA – continues to impress readers and reviewers alike.  Many of its books, my own WHEELS OF CHANGE included, have won awards.  The new spring list is out and it looks like another winner.   Check out these gems:

The Girl Who Saved Yesterday
Written by Julius Lester, Illustrated by Carl Angel                Yesterdaycvr

Julius Lester at his best, language so rich you can feel it on your tongue

When the girl, Silence, is sent by the trees to save Yesterday, she doesn’t know what her
task is, only that it is important. Returning to the village that cast her out, Silence recognizes her
purpose: to join the dead with the living in an act that celebrates their memory.

“The Girl Who Saved Yesterday reads like an ancient myth. At times I found myself getting
lost in the dreamlike text, but the joys of re-reading allowed me to dig deeper into the stunning
illustrations. A challenging, but ultimately very provocative tale with illustrations to match.”
– Martha Pettit, Folio Books
ISBN: 978-1-939547-24-8              Ages: 4 to 9

Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep
By Robin Newman, Illustrated by Chris Ewald

Hildie Bitterpickles has the perfect home until a cast of noisy neighbors move in next
door. Who can sleep near a giant clomping on his beanstalk, children running all over their
shoe house or three blind mice who like to play with hammers and saws?     HildieCoverFINAL

“Bewitchingly funny, Hildie Bitterpickles’s story leaves kids howling with laughter while
sharing with them a lesson about how to solve our problems and get along with others.”
– Mr. Gilvarry’s Third Grade, Southold Elementary School

“This magical story teaches us all that it is better to face your troubles, rather than run
away from them. Young readers will delight as they recognize some noisy guest stars among
the pages, visiting us from classic fairy tales.”
– April Howe, Villa Park Public Library
ISBN: 978-1-939547-23-1        Ages: 4 to 8

Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming By Marissa Moss
Mira travels to 1864 San Francisco to confront her mother about changing history only to learn that things aren’t what they appear and much more is at stake than she could have imagined.
In the last book of the time-travel series, Mira explores the past of her familiar Bay Area,
discovering layers of history in San Francisco and learning the real reason her mother has
been working to change history. On the way, she meets Mark Twain and uncoversMiraCalifCvr the Watcher’s real identity.

“Readers will enjoy this enthralling glimpse of history.”
– School Library Journal
“An engrossing, diary-style blend of history, mystery, and time travel.”
– Publishers Weekly

ISBN: 978-1-939547-22-4    Ages: 8 to 13

 

 

Busy Busy by Lucy Scott

What do toddlers really do all day? Busy, Busy lets you in on the secrets of their imaginative world.
Parents may think their toddlers are simply playing or making messes, but really they’re building cities, going on exciting adventures, and creating masterpieces.

“Busy Busy captures in stunningly detailed illustrations the glory that is an energetic toddler. Kids will adore seeing what a mess the nameless busy, busy narrator can make in this quirky, fun book.”
– Martha Pettit, Folio Books                 BusyCvr

“In the delightful Busy Busy parents are sure to recognize their own child, whether she is an explorer, an architect, a master chef, or just plain tired.
– Jim Averbeck, author of One Word from Sophia
ISBN: 978-1-939547-25-5
Ages: 3 to 5

Please address any questions to Marissa Moss:
marissamoss@crestonbooks.co
Creston Books
PO Box 9369
Berkeley, CA 94709

facebook.com/crestonbooks

Twitter @CrestonBooks
http://www.crestonbooks.co

 

Got Pancakes? Try These.

I don’t know about you, but pancakes are one of those comfort foods that taste great any time and any place.  They’re so easy to make, yet when done it feels like something special.  A perfect Sunday breakfast or brunch, or busy weekday supper.  Who doesn’t love having breakfast for dinner?

I know many people have their favorite pancake mix or go to recipe, and I’d like to share one of mine in honor of NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY (SUNDAY 20-28).

Multi-Grain Pancakes
IN A LARGE BOWL COMBINE: ¼ C white flour 1/4C whole wheat flour ¼ C oats 1T brown sugar 1T wheat germ 1tsp baking powder
IN A MEASURING CUP COMBINE: ¾ C + 1T almond milk 2tsp oil or melted butter 1 egg
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until combined and smooth. If mixture appears thick, pancakes will be thicker. I like thinner ones, so I add a bit extra milk. This is your call.
Pour onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet.
Serve with butter, maple syrup, or jam.       2015-02-18 03.02.54

What is YOUR favorite pancake recipe?

Happy Eating, and please pass the syrup (real maple only, thank you!)

After eating, why not enjoy a delightful picture book, LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST by Josh Funk.  Here’s the trailer: https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=lady+pancake+and+sir+french+toast+book&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

Get Heart Healthy

Even though Valentine’s Day is over, it’s never a bad time to think of our hearts and keeping them healthy through exercise and activity.  Since February is AMERICAN HEART MONTH, what better way to celebrate your wonderful heart than with a HEALTHY CHALLENGE SCAVENGER HUNT.  There is no need to leave the house.  Follow the link below for a list of 40 things to scout out around the house.  You can break up into teams and see who is fastest at hunting down the items.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyKids/ActivitiesforKids/Get-Active-with-our-Healthy-Challenge-Scavenger-Hunt_UCM_312472_Article.jsp#.VsMp0kDws4B

Enjoy the challenge.  Your heart will love you for it!

Winter Crafts For Kids.

While many of us may be itching for spring, there is still snow and winter weather to contend with.  There will also probably be a few more days stuck indoors.  If your kids are getting a bit stir crazy, why not try some fun-filled crafts to pass the time away from the usual video games.

At FUN CRAFTS KIDS, you can make EGG CUP PENGUINS, LEGO BIRD FEEDERS, Marshmallow Polar Bears, and much more using recycled items or things you are likely to have around the house.   There are 17 fun filled winter crafts on this site.

http://www.funcraftskids.com/winter-crafts-ideas/

So, make a cup of hot chocolate, or break out the FROZEN BANANA PENGUIN TREATS (Also on the Fun Crafts Site) from Monday’s post and have a craft day.  Spring will be here before you know it!

Penguin Pops: Easy, Nutritious Frozen Treat

I saw these adorable treats while scrolling around on the Reading Confetti Site.  http://www.readingconfetti.com/2014/01/sledding-penguins-frozen-banana-snack.html    2015-02-07 05.45.36

Not only will your kids have fun making them, they will gobble them up as well.  To make FROZEN BANANA PENGUINS you will need the following:

bananas, Orange colored Reeces Pieces or orange M n M’s, chocolate morsels, ready made candy eyes (or almond slivers as I used in the photo).

2015-02-07 03.09.591. Lay down a sheet of waxed paper over a cutting board.  2. Slice bananas in half as shown in the photo left.  3. Melt morsels in a microwave safe dish at 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 sec.  Once morsels are melted, use a craft stick or knife to spread the chocolate over the banana as shown in the photo above.  4. Use the chocolate “glue” to stick eyes, beak, and feet in place as shown.

5. When finished, slide the cookie sheet into the freezer to let the banana and chocolate harden.  When hard, you can bag up the treats for whenever you want to serve them.

Here’s another way to enjoy your bananas: 2015-02-07 05.45.47Cover them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped almonds as shown right.  You can also use other chopped nuts of your choosing. Freeze until chocolate is hard.  I LOVE these treats…and so will your kids!

 

Looking for LOVE in all the Right Places: by Marilyn Ostermiller

LOVE is in the air.

And on the sidewalk.

And in the park, as Valentine’s Day approaches.

That’s LOVE as in Robert Indiana’s iconic sculpture. The image is the word LOVE in upper-case letters, arranged in a square with a tilted letter “O.” The face of LOVE’s letters are scarlet, set off with vivid shades of blue and green.     

Philadelphia LOVE Statue

Manhatten LOVE Statue

Indiana created the image in 1965 when he was commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art to design a Christmas card. The next year Indiana’s sculpture of his LOVE image was featured in a solo exhibition at the Stable Gallery in New York City. That marked a turning point in the pop artist’s career.

Since then, LOVE has been emblazoned on countless prints, paintings, banners, rings, tapestries, and stamps. In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service put LOVE on the first of its regular series of “love stamps.”

LOVE sculptures have been installed in New York and Philadelphia. Additionally, Indiana created similar sculptures in French and Hebrew. They are in accessible locations and are popular photo settings for the romantically-inclined.

Where to visit them:

— New York City: The corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street It is on the street, accessible 24/7.
— Philadelphia: JFK Plaza, 1599 John F. Kennedy Boulevard. It is unofficially known as Love Plaza. It was installed there diagonally across from City Hall.

Also in Philadelphia through this coming spring is the AMOR sculpture, which Indiana created in 1998. It is similar to the LOVE sculpture, even the “O” is tilted the same way. The Philadelphia Museum of Art borrowed it to honor Pope Francis when he visited the United States last year. The colorful, six-foot-high sculpture can be visited on the museum’s East Terrace, overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That was the site of the public papal mass that culminated the World Meeting of Families 2015. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. Open Tuesday through Sunday. http://www.philamuseum.org

The AMOR sculpture is owned by The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden, which is on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW. It is on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Morgan Art Foundation.

Images of the art Indiana created throughout his career can be found online at http://www.robertindiana.com where Indiana had this to say about his LOVE image:

“I had no idea LOVE would catch on the way it did. Oddly enough, I wasn’t thinking at all about anticipating the Love generation and hippies. It was a spiritual concept. It isn’t a sculpture of love any longer. It’s become the very theme of love itself.” — Robert Indiana

Marilyn Ostermiller
This post was prepared by Marilyn Ostermiller, a long-time business journalist who has begun writing for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.