Deborah Zemke Presents: TALE OF A SCAREDY DOG.

Author/Illustrator Deborah Zemke has just released the third book in her popular BEA GARCIA Chapter Book Series.  I am thrilled to be able to spread the word.  Here’s Deborah:
The third book of my Bea Garcia chapter book series, 
Tale of a Scaredy Dog,is out!
BeaandSophieBea Garcia’s beloved dog, Sophie, is smart, sweet, loyal, and brave—until she meets the monster cat who lives next door. 
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* “Bea Garcia is an honest and funny protagonist with whom readers will identify and want to check back with regularly.” —School Library Journal, starred review.
My Life in Pictures strikes me as the best of the new crop (of chapter books).”–New York Times

Here’s what other critics have to say about this award-winning series:

 

“There isn’t anything real or imaginary that the endearing Bea cannot draw…Readers will find inspiration to write, draw, explore, and imagine.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[Zemke] clearly shows how art, self-expression, and humor can be solid allies when life doesn’t go as planned.”  —Publishers Weekly

“The everyday ups and downs of Bea’s life will be familiar to readers, who are sure to appreciate Bea’s perky humor.” —Booklist

“Zemke has a gift for portraying the trials and tribulations of elementary school…. A promising launch to this new series. Pass this one to aspiring artists, those missing a friend, or anyone who could use a laugh as she navigates childhood.”  —BCCB

You can find Bea and Sophie at your favorite store or online at:
​Help celebrate Bea Day by calling your legislator to fight for liberty and justice for ALL.        Thanks, Deborah
deborah zemke

Deborah Zemke has written and/or illustrated more than fifty books for young readers. She grew up reading, drawing, writing, and climbing trees near Detroit, Michigan and now, many years later, does exactly the same thing in Columbia, Missouri.  

For more about the Bea Garcia series: http://www.bookolage.com/bea-garcia-tale-of-a-scaredy-dog-by-deborah-zemke/

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Part 2: Flavors of Summer — Seven Ways to Serve Ice Cream by Marilyn Ostermiller

Attention Ice Cream Lovers: Here’s a challenge to make you smile. Enjoy ice cream served a different way every day for a full week.  These seven suggestions demonstrate how easy and enjoyable this challenge can be. Feel free to include your own favorite ways to serve ice cream as well.

Ala Mode: A fancy way of saying, “I’ll have a scoop of ice cream on top of my pie.” A classic combination is warm apple pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Banana Split: Cut a banana in half lengthwise and lay together in an oblong bowl. Top with three scoops of ice cream. The classic combination is vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but use your imagination. Spoon one or more syrups over the ice cream. Hot fudge is a good place to start. Garnish with whipped cream and chopped nuts.

banana_split_with_icecream

Brownie Alaska: Start with a pan of brownies cut in 3-inch-square pieces. Cut slices of ice cream the same size. Keep ice cream in the freezer until time to bake in a 350-degree oven. Make a meringue by beating six large egg whites, a dash of salt, and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar in a mixer, until soft peaks form. Continue to beat while gradually adding 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, until peaks stand alone, when the beater is lifted out of the bowl. Arrange the brownies on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place a slice of ice cream on each brownie. Spoon the meringue over each brownie until no brownie or ice cream is showing. Bake until meringue begins to brown, but no longer than five minutes.

Cone: Legend has it the first ice cream cone was created by a fast-thinking waffle maker at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, when the ice cream vendor in the adjacent booth ran out of cups. He quickly rolled one of his waffles into the shape of a cornucopia and handed it to the ice cream vendor, who filled it with ice cream. The idea quickly caught on. Months earlier, an Italian immigrant to the United States was granted a patent for the ice cream cone. Like they say, great minds think alike.

i cream 2B

Root Beer Float: Place 2 scoops of ice cream into a glass. Hold the glass at an angle and slowly pour 3/4 cup root beer over the ice cream. It will fizz, but take it slowly and it won’t overflow.

Sandwich: Start with two cookies, 2-3 inches in diameter. Spread one with a generous scoop of ice cream, Top it with the other. Sugar, chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies are among the popular choices.

Waffles: Toast frozen waffles or bake batter in a waffle maker. When cooled, top with scoops of ice cream, and syrup or fruit preserves.

For a fun picture book about the joys of ice cream check out SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK by Patricia Keeler.  SCOOP, PIN & MAGNET

Marilyn Ostermiller

Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time business journalist who now writes for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.

 

In case you missed Part 1 of this ICE CREAM series, here’s the link:

https://wordpress.com/view/darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com

 

Worried About Your Kids Not Reading This Summer? Join the Dr. Seuss Summer Reading Challenge.

We, and our children, have grown up with the wonderful books written by Dr. Seuss.  Those books taught many of us how to read independently.  What better way to insure that our kids keep their reading skills sharp during the non-school summer months than with a reading challenge.  I heard the groans.  Who wants to have to read TONS of books during the carefree days of summer?

What makes the First Annual DR. SEUSS SUMMER READING CHALLENGE different is the focus: Not how many BOOKS read, but how many WORDS.  The Scripps National Spelling Bee, and the  Carnival Cruise Lines, are teaming up with Dr. Seuss to encourage kids to keep on reading.

To provide readers with extra incentive to read and record their word tallies, Carnival is awarding one registered challenge participant (to be selected at random) with a Caribbean cruise for four and a $1,500 Visa gift card for airfare. Two runners-up will each receive a cache of Dr. Seuss books.

To register or learn more about the challenge visit: http://www.Seussville.com  

The Cat in the Hat (Beginner Books(R))   Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Classic Seuss)Go, Dog. Go! (Beginner Books(R))

Author Kathleen Burkinshaw With a Discussion Guide for THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM.

One of the most timely and heart-wrenching middle-grade books I’ve recently read is THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw.  It is my pleasure to feature the Discussion Guide for this book that should be in every classroom.

 

THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM       

Discussion Guide: By Kathleen Burkinshaw

1.Do you have relatives who were teens during WWII in the U.S.?  What were there worries or fears at that time? Were they similar to what the Japanese children felt? If different, how were they different?

2.Did you or someone you know have to deal with a new step family.  Was it difficult to meld the two households together? What made it easier? Did anything that made it easier surprise you?

  1. Yuriko, like many of us, hated change. How would you have handled the news about her family secrets, if it happened to you?
  2. Why do you think the author chose THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM for her title? What do you think it signifies?
  3. Cite specific examples from the book that show how protective Yuriko was of her Papa. Why do you think Sumiyo came to mean so much to Yuriko? How or when does this change occur?
  4. What aspects of Japanese culture were revealed in THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM?
  5. Which cultural details interested you the most? Which details surprised you the most of life in Japan during the war?
  6. How do you think the time period that THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM took place influenced Yuriko’s personality?

9.What did you know about Hiroshima Japan during WWII, before reading THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM?

10.Does reading THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM change your view on using nuclear weapons in the future? Why or Why not?

11.List the Statistics of Hiroshima and state which surprised you the most? Which surprised you the least? Why?

Kathleen Burkinshaw would love to hear from you. You can email her through her contact page on her website: http://kathleenburkinshaw.com/#contact

For more information on what nuclear weapons could do if used today visit:

www.ICAN.org

Also, for more information on Hiroshima bombing please visit the Kids Peace Station of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum:

http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/kids/KPSH_E/top_e.html

Instruction on how to make an origami crane, now a symbol of hope and peace:

http://www.origamiway.com/origami-crane.shtml

revised 9/2017

A Book Festival to Remember

Saturday, May 5, 2018, I had the joy of participating in the annual West Deptford Book Festival held at the Riverwinds Community Center.

https://patch.com/new-jersey/westdeptford/calendar/event/20180505/334125/west-deptford-township-book-festival

Here are some photo highlights of the day:

2017-05-05 00.42.10 West Deptford Student summer theatre group sang songs for the spectators.

2017-05-04 21.44.39

It was fun sharing the day with PB author Patricia Lugo, and watching the kids dance to a band, get balloon critters, and face painting.

2017-05-04 21.14.20      2017-05-04 23.47.47

Sold a few books, and met many nice people.  Thanks to all who participated and attended.

YA Author Jeffry Johnston Presents: Curriculum Guides For His Popular Novels.

YA Author Jeff Johnson is my guest today to tell you about his books and teacher resource materials.  Here’s Jeff:

FRAGMENTS (Age 12 and up): A 2008 Edgar award nominee for Best Young Adult Mystery by the Mystery Writers of America, and a 2008 Quick Pick For Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection by YALSA.   FRAGMENTS cover

From the cover copy: Ever since the accident, Chase feels shattered. He can’t remember that night, and everyone’s treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he’s relieved. He’s sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over. But then the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He’s desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and for all, he must face the truth about who he is … and what he has done.

No discussion guide was created for FRAGMENTS.

THE TRUTH (age 12/13 and older): A 2017 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection by YALSA, and a 2017 In the Margins Book Award Winner by Library Services for Youth in Custody (LYSC).     Thr Truth cover.png

From the cover copy: When Chris wakes up in a dark basement tied to a chair, he knows that he’s trapped – and why. Eight nights ago a burglar broke into Chris’s home. Eight nights ago Chris did what he had to do to protect his family. And eight nights ago a thirteen-year-old runaway bled to death on his kitchen floor. Now Derek wants the truth about what really happened that night. He wants proof that his little brother didn’t deserve to die. For every lie Chris tells, he will lose a finger. But telling the truth is far more dangerous…

Here is a link to the Discussion Guide Sourcebooks had me put together for THE TRUTH: https://cdn.sourcebooks.com/assets/downloads/discussionguides/TheTruth-DiscussionGuideFINAL.pdf
NDC-L-TruthAuthor-0203          Besides my two YA novels, I have also published close to 40 short stories. I have written hundreds of articles on various subjects including feature articles on theatre, and I worked as a theatre and film reviewer. My next YA thriller, FOLLOWING, is due out Feb 5, 2019 from Sourcebooks.

Hug a Tree…And Celebrate Arbor Day.

We take trees for granted, so having a day that reminds us of their wonder and life-giving presence should be celebrated. Tomorrow – April 27, 2018 is ARBOR DAY.  Here are some fun facts about trees:

The tallest species of trees in the world include the Coast Redwood, Giant Sequoia, Coast Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce and Australian Mountain Ash.

The Giant Sequoia is not only tall, it is also wide. Because of its amazing size, some believe that the Giant Sequoia is the largest living organism in the world!

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Trees produce oxygen and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They purify the air we breathe. If it weren’t for trees, we wouldn’t be alive!

For more tree facts visit: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/plants/trees.html

For fun, printable worksheets about trees visit: http://www.kidzone.ws/plants/trees.htm

There are lots of picture books that honor trees.  Here’s one I especially enjoy.

THE LITTLE TREE by Muon Van (Creston Books 2015) The Little Tree

Visit this blog on Monday, 4-30-2018 for my poem honoring the Oak Tree.

Now, go outside and hug a tree!    tree hugHAPPY ARBOR DAY!