I am happy to announce the winners to two recent Board Books featured on this blog.
A copy of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD by Laura Sassi goes to Sandra Nichols.
A copy of HANUKKAH NIGHTS by Amalia Hoffman goes to Johannah Luza.
Please forward your mailing addresses to me so I can let the authors know where to send the books. Thanks for being part of the giveaway. If you enjoy these wonderful stories, be sure to leave a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. The best way to show an author how much you love their writing is with a review.
Devin Scillian has written a new picture book, A PARLIMENT of OWLS, illustrated by Sam Caldwell and published by Sleeping Bear Press. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.
Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Devin and Sam.
If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss…
It is always a delight to feature a new book by author/illustrator Amalia Hoffman. Her newest one is HANUKKAH NIGHTS. Amalia is excited to share the book with readers and will give away a copy to one.
Here is my review of HANUKKAH NIGHTS:
“A simple and festive celebration of the eight nights of Hanukkah and the lighting of the menorah. Children will delight in being able to count and create the colorful lights themselves through various painting techniques. A thoughtful and creative addition to the holiday genre.”
For a chance to win a copy of this creative take on the eight days and nights of Hanukkah, leave a comment. One winner will be chosen at random and announced later this month.
We all have to eat, but more than 785 million people around the world don’t get enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle, according to the World Food Program. That includes an estimated 13.5 million Americans.
Armed conflict, extreme weather patterns, economic shocks and health crises — including the Covid-19 pandemic — are driving increased food insecurity. Additionally, the U.S. annual rate of inflation was 8.3 percent in August, up from 5.25 a year ago, making it more difficult for the needy to buy food.
October 16 has been designated as World Food Day by the United Nations to draw attention to this serious problem. On World Food Day more than 150 countries unite to raise awareness of the issues surrounding poverty and hunger.
The federal nutrition program provides needy children meals at school. Difficulties in providing food for them include the number of meals per day that are provided and the effectiveness of getting meals to kids when schools aren’t in session.
Families in need can text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304 to find meals nearby.
Youngsters need to learn early where food comes from and that not everyone gets enough to eat. Among the children’s picture books about hunger:
Lulu and the Hunger Monster by Erik Talkin. A young girl tells friends what it’s like to battle the Hunger Monster.
Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt. A young girl discovers that her friend’s refrigerator is empty.
Here is a YouTube link of actress Jennifer Garner reading the book:
Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill, a sensitive story about food insecurity.
How to Help People in Need:
Donate money and non-perishable goods to food banks and relief organizations. Food banks have been busier than ever in recent years as the number of displaced people increased dramatically.
Support nonprofit efforts. No Kids Hungry and National Resources Defense Council are not-for-profit organizations that lobby for government food assistance for the needy. Both accept donations.
Volunteer at a local food bank or an organization that provides meals to the poor. By helping out in your community, you can learn first-hand about local needs.
Volunteers hands putting grocery products, foodstuff to food donations box.
Respect food. Buy only what you need and consume it before it spoils. Some experts believe world hunger could be significantly reduced if less food was wasted during agricultural production and post-harvest storage.
Choose food wisely. Local foods that travel short distances from farm to table are usually less expensive.
Reduce your energy consumption. It cuts our impact on the environment and makes more available for food production.
Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time journalist who also writes stories for children.
I chose for my new book HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD to both rhyme and count because it has all the right components: a kid-friendly setting and theme (It’s Jesus’ birthday in the stable), fun, countable characters and items, a young intended audience, and a poignant, upbeat feel.
But there’s another reason I decided to infuse counting into this particular story. Counting is not just something that little ones love to do, it can also be a soothing, rhythmic way to slow ourselves down when we are rushing through a story (or through life). The process of pausing to count images on a spread, or stars in the sky (or whatever) compels us to pause for a moment to look, to point and to ponder. And that’s exactly what I hope little ones and their caregivers will do as read this simple counting Christmas story.
With joyful counting in mind, here are five tips for using COUNTING to get the most out of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD as you enjoy it with little ones, ages 2 – 4.
Do some pre-read counting. Before reading, get your little ones in the mood by counting to ten together using fingers or toes. Then look around your reading space and see what else there is to count. Maybe window panes or number of chairs or cozy pillows? Close by asking if they will help you count in the book they are about to enjoy.
Count items on book cover. Before opening the book, see if your little ones can 1) guess what the story might be about using picture clues from the cover and 2) count things on the cover. For HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILDthis could include counting eyes, halos, animals, hands and feet and one big star.
Read, pause, point and count across each and every spread. Now is the time to enjoy the story, pausing to engage with the text and illustrations, counting as you go. With HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD, it’s nice to conclude the story with this thought: How about we count the days until Christmas together? Then, using a calendar, X off and count each day until Christmas.
Make numbers out of dough! After reading the story, grab some play dough. Then using the numerals in the book as models, have your little ones roll the dough into coils and then shape into one of the numerals from the story. Roll the remaining dough into little balls to match the numeral. Or, for extra fun, shape them into their corresponding items in the story. (Ex: six spiders) Squish and repeat as often as is fun.
Go on a post-reading COUNTING hunt. After reading the story, extend the counting fun by investigating your tree or a family nativity and counting items. Count by color, shape, or any other category, looping in the thought that we are also counting with anticipation the days until Christmas, Jesus’ birthday!
BONUS FUN: Be sure to check out https://happybirthdaychristmaschild.com for more book-themed fun including the book trailer, an inspirational message, a downloadable activity kit and purchase links. (Available wherever books are sold.)
I have been a huge fan of Author/Illustrator Deborah Marcero ever since she came out with the book IN A JAR.
“A marvelous picture book, charmingly written and beautifully illustrated, about the power of memory and the magic of friendship.
Llewellyn, a little rabbit, is a collector. He gathers things in jars–ordinary things like buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones. Then he meets another rabbit, Evelyn, and together they begin to collect extraordinary things–like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls. And, best of all, when they hold the jars and peer inside, they remember all the wonderful things they’ve seen and done. But one day, Evelyn has sad news: Her family is moving away. How can the two friends continue their magical collection–and their special friendship–from afar?”
So, I knew I was in for another wonderful trip with Llewellyn in this sequel to the story.
Instead of collecting wonderful things in the jars, this time Llewellyn puts his feelings into jars and hides them away.
Here’s my review for this amazing book:
Llewellyn doesn’t like to feel afraid, so he locks his fear inside a jar and hides it away. He does the same thing with all his other feelings, until he walks around feeling nothing at all.
But when there is no more room to hide his feelings, they break out and crash around him.
This is when Llewellyn learns something important. The best way to handle feelings is to feel them, share them, look them in the eye, give them a hug, and let them go.
This is an important and beautiful book to share with anyone who has feelings that can sometimes seem overwhelming. Its lesson is valuable for all of us.