Posts tagged ‘chapter book’

March 8, 2015

Cooking is a science? Who knew!

By Angela Verges

Did you know cooking could be a science? Phineas MacGuire found this to be a fact when he had to start cooking dinner every night. Phineas is a fourth grader and the main character in the book Phineas L. MacGuire…Gets Cooking! By Frances O’Roark Dowell and Preston McDaniels. Phineas loves science, but cooking is unfamiliar territory.

When I read Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Cooking! I was reminded of times when my boys worked on science projects. Sometimes their experiments involved cooking up creations in the kitchen. Phineas’ journey began when he complained about eating pizza all the time (even though it was his favorite food).

Title: Phineas L. MacGuire...Gets Cooking! Author: Frances O'Roark Dowell Illustrator: Preston McDaniels Ages: 8-12

Title: Phineas L. MacGuire…Gets Cooking!
Author: Frances O’Roark Dowell
Illustrator: Preston McDaniels
Ages: 8-12

Humor is used throughout the book to develop the character of Phineas and his friends. When Phineas is told that the babysitter, Sarah, will help him cook, he is less than excited. He doesn’t believe it will be time well spent. Phineas tells us that Sarah is “into” Purple and he is allergic to it.

In the story it is Phineas’ friend who opens his eyes to the fact that cooking is science. She tells him that in fact, “It’s chemistry.” As Phineas warms up to the idea of cooking, he actually wants to prepare a dinner that will blow up.

The reader is easily drawn in to this story through quirky characters, vivid images and amusing scientific facts. No protective goggles are needed to join the wacky scientific journey of this book. After spending time with Phineas and his friends, you are sure to discover a new way of combining science and cooking.

Would you let your child incorporate science and cooking in your kitchen?

September 2, 2014

Kick off the school year with reading

Title: Dino-Football Author: Lisa Wheeler Illustrator: Barry Gott Genre: Picture book Ages: 5-8yrs

Title: Dino-Football
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: Barry Gott
Genre: Picture book
   Ages: 5-8yrs

By Angela Verges

It’s the time of year where parents are kicking into gear for the start of another school year. In addition to back to school season, it is the beginning of football season for my family. My teen son has played football since he was a little tyke.

We decided to welcome the season by selecting some of our favorite football themed books to read. One of my favorite picture books is Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott. The author uses rhyme to tell the story of the Greenblade Snackers and the Redscales on the gridiron.

 

The illustrator brings the story to life with colorful, active Dino’s. There’s an interception and even an end zone dance by one of the Dino’s. Did you know that Dino’s tailgate before a game? You have to check out the story to see what I mean.

One of my son’s favorite football books is Kickoff! by Tiki and Ronde Barber. This chapter book was inspired by the childhood of former NFL football players (and twin brothers) Tiki and Ronde Barber. My son has always been a reluctant reader, to find something that he likes to read speaks volumes about that book.

Title: Kickoff! Author: Tiki and Ronde Barber Genre: Chapter book Ages: 8-12yrs

Title: Kickoff!
Author: Tiki and Ronde Barber
Genre: Chapter book
Ages: 8-12yrs

 

I liked reading Kickoff! because of the underlying theme of teamwork and perseverance. My son liked the book because he could relate to the characters.

If your child is feeling like he has the back to school blues, huddle up and select a book to kick off his new season of school.

What book would you select to read to kick off the back to school season?

September 19, 2012

Ivy and Bean Dance for Free

 

Title: Ivy and bean Doomed to Dance
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall

I love this one. Who doesn’t have memories of dance class? My memories of my friend and I starting tap dance in 8th grade. For some reason, maybe partly because it was an older age for kids to start, or maybe it’s just the class we found, we took a class with women 50 and above. Some way above. It was absolutely awesome. I totally fit in. I think I’ve always been about 75 at heart…I guess that’s the opposite of being young at heart, but in a good way, I think. My 4yo, the Wizard of Why, is similar. 🙂

Someone told me recently (while I was wearing a top from Talbots) that I couldn’t wear Talbots yet, I had to save that for when I was older. I replied that I had to start on Talbots now because I needed to have time for my LL Bean days. 🙂 But in reality, I’m already wearing LL Bean. In fact, I have one of their sweaters on right now, and one of the things I’m most excited about my move from Nashville to Michigan is that I can put aside the trendy sundresses for some way more practical winter coats. My mom’s LL Bean boots are already in my front closet, just waiting. But back to dance, I am hoping in my new town to find an adult tap class to start again. And this time, I won’t be out of place.

Want to win a great book about a dance class? Just comment below. Tell me about a dance class experience, or if you, too, are an old soul or maybe you are young at heart. Or just leave your name. Good luck!

And here, of course, are WEEK 5’s winners:

THE BOOK: Heidi Grange
The mini-notes: Jennifer Rumberger, Mary Comfort Stevens, and Carol L

Thanks for playing everyone! Come back every week for more books to win! And don’t forget to comment below to enter this week!

 

 

September 10, 2012

Want to win a book? Or maybe you already did!

Yes, it’s week 5 already of our Ivy and Bean giveaway countdown! You can tell I’m surprised by that because I haven’t even announced the week 3 winners. 🙂 So here are the winners of the last two weeks. And if you want to enter to win Ivy and Bean Book 5, please leave a comment (with a way to get in touch with you if you win) below!

Week Three Winners

Ivy and Bean Book 3: Melissa Spradlin

Mini-notes: Heidi G, Vanessa, and Yolanda

Week Four Winners

Ivy and Bean Book 4: Erin Gutierrez

Mini notes: Tammy Shelnut, Jamilee Xiong, and Alson Burke

Happy reading to the book winners and happy writing to the mini note winners! Let the Ivy and Bean celebrations continue!

Title: Ivy and Bean Bound to be Bad
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Realistic Fiction, School, Chapter Book
Age: Early Elementary School

The Ivy and Bean website says this about book 5: Ivy and Bean decide to be so good and kind and pure of thought that wild animals will befriend them. When this doesn’t work, they decide that perhaps a little badness can be good.

Maybe when you are done reading it, you can convince your own offspring to try being good and kind and pure of thought. It’s certainly worth a try!

If you’d like to see other blogs participating in the Ivy and Bean countdown, check these out:

Media Darlings  http://www.mdarlings.com/
There’s A Book  http://www.theresabook.com
Kid Lit Frenzy  www.kidlitfrenzy.com
In the Pages  http://inthepages.blogspot.com
The O.W.L.  http://owlforya.blogspot.com
Coquette Maman  http://www.coquettemaman.com
Ruth Ayres Writes  http://ruthayreswrites.blogspot.com
Watch. Connect. Read. http://www.MrSchuReads.com
One Page to the Next  www.onepagetothenext.blogspot.com
Van Meter Library Voice  http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The Family That Reads Together  http://thefamilythatreadstogether.com
Roundtable Reviews for Kids  http://roundtableforkids.blogspot.com/
sharpread  www.mrcolbysharp.com
The Children’s Book Review  www.thechildrensbookreview.com

Comment below to enter to win Book 5!

September 4, 2012

Your chance at two mischievous plotters

Ivy and Bean want to show that Bean’s sister is the WORST babysitter ever. Will they? Let me know your prediction in the comments below for a chance at a free copy of this book! REMEMBER TO INCLUDE an email address, or to check back and see if you won! I cannot give you anything if I cannot find you!

TitleIvy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter
Author
: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Early Chapter Book
Age: Early Elementary

And remember to check out these other cool blogs who are giving away Ivy and Bean books, too! Free free to enter there as well!

Media Darlings  http://www.mdarlings.com/
There’s A Book  http://www.theresabook.com
Kid Lit Frenzy  www.kidlitfrenzy.com
In the Pages  http://inthepages.blogspot.com
The O.W.L.  http://owlforya.blogspot.com
Coquette Maman  http://www.coquettemaman.com
Ruth Ayres Writes  http://ruthayreswrites.blogspot.com
Watch. Connect. Read. http://www.MrSchuReads.com
One Page to the Next  www.onepagetothenext.blogspot.com
Van Meter Library Voice  http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The Family That Reads Together  http://thefamilythatreadstogether.com
Roundtable Reviews for Kids  http://roundtableforkids.blogspot.com/
sharpread  www.mrcolbysharp.com
The Children’s Book Review  www.thechildrensbookreview.com

Comment below WITH SOME WAY TO CONTACT YOU to win!

August 30, 2012

Week 2 Winners

And the winner from Week 2
(for the awesome Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go) is:

#7: Melissa East

Congrats and happy reading!

And the runners-up (who will each win a set of mini Ivy and Bean notes):

#9: Anne W

#1: Sarah P

#10: Jasmine

Thanks to everyone who entered! Remember the prize package, which will go to one of the winners from all the previous weeks from all the previous blogs, is awesome! (See below) More books and notes each week for nine weeks! Come back soon!

August 17, 2012

Make friends with your kids and win an Ivy and Bean book

Did you have a best friend growing up? Someone with which you could waste hundreds of glorious hours? If so, they you will certainly relate to the wonderful Ivy and Bean from this best-selling series. If you haven’t met them, here’s a good intro from the Ivy and Bean website: “The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends.” You can guess how that turns out!

Ivy and Bean books are great for early readers, especially girls, and fun for parents to read, too, either as a read-aloud, or just to get some info so you can talk with your kids about them. When your daughter slips the bookmark in her copy and goes to turn off the light, you could snuggle up next to her and talk about your own childhood friends. Did you do anything like Ivy and Bean? Does your daughter have a best friend? Ask her if they ever do anything like Ivy and Bean. I always find bedtime is the best time for confidence-inducing conversations.

These books are great for me right now because we just moved to a new house. The Wizard of Why is nervous about making new friends. He’s still at an age where he doesn’t mind if the books are about girls or boys, and I can’t wait to unpack my copy of Ivy and Bean and read it to him. He’s going to love the story. Of course, the prime audience for these books are early readers, and probably girl early readers at that, but there’s no rule that says you have to stick to that! Because the Ivy and Bean series starts out with two neighborhood girls who meet, it’s great for families who are moving.

One thing I’ve done with my son is talk to him about how I will be making new friends too. This week we tried out a new playgroup (our first one actually; I’ve never done one before) and I told him how he might find some new kid friends and I might find some new mom friends. And judging by the way he was rolling around in the grass in a middle of a pile of four-year-old boys while I gabbed on about working and staying at home, I think we both did. Of course, we can overload our little ones if we tell them too much–they need to know that we are the rock, that we are always there. But we can also model for them, show them that we also have things to deal with in life–like making new friends–and show them how it isn’t scary, but something exciting, and that most importantly, it is something with a solution. Reading and discussing books are often a great way to do that.

I’ve blogged about Ivy and Bean before, in this post here, and I will be doing so again (a lot!) as we count down to the release of the next book in their series.

What is an Ivy and Bean Blog-a-Bration?

1) Every week for nine weeks I will be giving away one Ivy and Bean book. (yea!)

2) On the last week (week 9), which will be in early October, one winner from all the previous winners on all the blogs participating will will an awesome prize package that includes a complete set of the hardcover books, Ivy and Bean paper dolls, an Ivy and Bean button factory, a poster, Ivy and Bean Silly Bandz (yes! we are THAT cool!), Ivy and Bean stickers, and a super-secret prize that is, apparently, still in the works (which may be why it’s super-secret?). On the right is a picture of all that awesomeness.

So, enter away! Leave a comment HERE (or at another location where this blog is posted) BEFORE MONDAY, AUGUST 20th, at midnight Eastern time and tell me one thing about your best friend growing up. Or, if you’d rather not, just tell me your name and a way to contact you.

And come back next week for another Ivy and Bean giveaway! If you want to know all the rules and how I will pick the winner, please read this. And if you can’t wait to win a contest, you can find the books at your local indie book store here.

August 17, 2012

Ivy and Bean Blog-a-bration with lots of book giveaways!

Ivy and Bean are getting ready to release their 9th book. And I am here to help them count down the weeks until it comes! With free books for you! And when I realized how long it was going to take me to explain all of the nitty-gritty stuff, I decided I should put it in a separate post. 🙂 Good luck!

Here are the details of the Ivy and Bean Blog-a-Bration:

1) Every week I will be giving away one Ivy and Bean book. (yea!)

2) On the last week (week 9), which will be in early October, one winner from all the previous winners on all the blogs participating will will an awesome prize package that includes a complete set of the hardcover books, Ivy and Bean paper dolls, an Ivy and Bean button factory, a poster, Ivy and Bean Silly Bandz (yes! we are THAT cool!), Ivy and Bean stickers, and a super-secret prize that is, apparently, still in the works (which may be why it’s super-secret?). On the right is a picture of all that awesomeness.

CONTEST DETAILSOne entry per person. Enter by leaving a comment ON THE POST (NOT HERE–THIS IS JUST THE RULES!) that includes a way to contact you.

People may enter by commenting on this blog in any of its published locations, which include TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com, ParentMap.com, and NashvilleParent.com. I will choose one winner with a random number generator. (Comment number 1 on TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com will be assigned #1. Comments will be numbered successively, with comments on ParentMap.com next and comments on NashvilleParent.com last (so the last comment on NashvilleParent will be the highest number). If that doesn’t make sense,  take a coffee break and then reread. Or just email me.) ONE winner will be chosen from each week’s comments. As in, NOT one from each site, but one total. I will also be giving away sets of Ivy and Bean mini notes, in separate posts, only at TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com.

Ivy and Bean Contest Deadlines:

Book 1: Blog posted Friday, August 17. Comment deadline: Monday, August 20, midnight Eastern time.
Book 2: Blog posted Monday, August 20. Comment deadline: Saturday, August 25, midnight Eastern time.
Book 3: Blog posted Monday, August 27. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 1, midnight Eastern time.
Book 4: Blog posted Monday, September 3. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 8, midnight Eastern time.
Book 5: Blog posted Monday, September 10. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 15, midnight Eastern time.
Book 6: Blog posted Monday, September 17. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 22, midnight Eastern time.
Book 7: Blog posted Monday, September 24. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 29, midnight Eastern time.
Book 8: Blog posted Monday, October 1. Comment deadline: Saturday, October 6, midnight Eastern time.
Book 9: Blog posted Monday, October 8. Comment deadline: Saturday, October 13, midnight Eastern time.

November 21, 2011

IVY and BEAN probably don’t play German Crossing

The little one escaping to play with the neighborhood kids.

I loved my neighborhood friends growing up. With the exception of one or two families, I wasn’t really close to that many of them, but that never mattered when it came to baseball or tag. On a long Seattle summer night, when the light stayed up as late as your mom let you, neighborhood friends were always there and ready to play. One of our favorites (and this admittedly sounds ridiculous in 2011) was German Crossing. Yes, one side of the road was East Germany and one was West. You had to cross from one to the other (presumably from East to West although the details of the game escape me) without being tagged by the guard with the flashlight, who wasn’t allowed to stray far from his/her post. You could sneak your friends out of jail by sneaking over to the jail near the guard and tagging them. Hours and hours and even nights and nights were spent at this game, sneaking through the neighbors yards, hiding in their bushes, and trying to stay out of their sight if they were one of those “adult” houses with no kids in the game who may or may not understand people sneaking through their yard.

Reading Ivy and Bean–the at first reluctant to be friends neighbors–reminded me of that game. But when they finally cross the street and meet, the tomboyishly adventurous Bean and the imaginative bookworm Ivy become fast friends and hilarity ensues. There’s even some sneaking around in neighbors’ yards. I want to thank my niece because without her recommendation of these books, I might never have found them!

Title: Ivy and Bean
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Early Chapter Book
Age: K – third grade

Follow-up with the kids: This is the kind of level for kids who are really starting to read on their own. This is a great time to engage them in conversations about books so they get used to thinking about their reading and talking about it while they still have memories of cuddling up with picture books with their family. Ask your daughter (it is probably a daughter reading this book as boys tend to prefer books with boy characters–the same is not necessarily true for girls) if she is more like Ivy or more like Bean. Or does she have elements of both? What about her friends? Getting kids to think about their reading and to relate their reading to their own lives, is an important first step to higher level reading comprehension. And also a great step towards really enjoying books!

September 26, 2011

a single good book in A SINGLE SHARD

My husband constantly makes fun of my reading habits. Examples: when one of his relatives picked us up at the airport and I spent the entire car ride home reading a book by flashlight. Well, flashlight app to be more accurate. Yes, I have a flashlight app and yes, it’s probably the most used of all my phone apps. It’s also great for reading at night in hotel rooms when the kids are trying to go to sleep.

Last night I told him I was exhausted and going to bed early and he came upstairs two hours later to find me with my nose in a book. I think I just have a special fondness for staying up late with a book. It conjures memories of Nancy Drew books in elementary school, staying up way past bedtime.

Recently, it conjured a different memory–that of staying up late reading to cram for a class in high school and college. I haven’t had to do that in while, but with my SCBWI writer’s conference coming up, I was mortified that I was about to meet Newbery Award-winning author Linda Sue Park without actually having read any of her books. So after the first day of the conference I came home and started A Single Shard around 9:00 so I’d be ready for my intensive with her the next day. My husband turned the lights out and put his head under the pillow.

9:00 PM for me today is probably the equivalent to what 2:00 AM was for my college self. It seemed a daringly late time to be starting a project; it felt like a secret endeavor, like I might get in trouble or had something important to do.  Maybe both. And so there I sat, cuddled under the quilt, my family asleep, sharing the nighttime hours with a story about a young boy. A simple story, told with simple words, on a simple night. It was heaven. I’m on a Linda Sue Park kick right now, so you’ll be hearing about more of her books later.

Title: A Single Shard
Author: Linda Sue Park
Genre:  Middle Grade
Age: 8 – 12, upper elementary and young middle grades

Summary and Review:

It won a Newbery so I don’t need to tell you it’s a great book. This is the story of a homeless boy and the man he lives with under the bridge. It is the story of the boy’s quest to learn pottery. It’s the story of how he learns about himself and how he learns to belong to others.

What stood out most to me about this book was how disarmingly simple it was. The prose is clean and spare, light on its feet. I found out at the conference that Linda Sue Park is also a poet and that comes through strongly in this book. If I told you what happened in the book–the boy wants to learn pottery and apprentices to a potter, you might start yawning. But even though the action is there, and the plot strong, it’s the characters that make this a story you want to read. It’s the boy’s simple yet ardent desire and his willingness to work hard—and always put others first—to fulfill it.

I read it about a week ago. I liked it then, but the more I think about it, the more the story seems to seep into some place deep inside me and I like it more and more every time I think about it. What really stayed with me is the boy, the main character, and how straightforward, honest, and hard-working he was. He was the kind of kid you’d like to raise, or teach, or meet, or be, depending on whether you are reading this as a parent, a teacher, a girl, or a boy.