Archive for the ‘picture books’ Category

Nurse Vaccine By Justin Noble

Title: Nurse Vaccinejustin noble flu shot children's book

Author: Justin Noble

Illustrator: Ann Cannom

With the advent of flu season and the rush to get my flu shot I stumbled on this charming children’s book. Any parent who has struggled with a frighten pre-preschooler or kindergartner trying to get them to stand still long enough and stop their wailing and kicking long enough to get their flu shot will want this book.

The illustrations are simple and colorful and the dialogue between characters moves along swiftly making the story line easy to follow and engaging for even a reluctant listener. Even though the shot will still hurt for a little while, the story will make the event go much smoother.

I had the recent opportunity to interview the author of Nurse Vaccine, Justin Noble and I learned this is but one in a series of books planned on health related issues for little ones:

What made you want to write a children’s book?

Author: I’ve always had an interest in health and fitness.  One day I was in a store and I walked by a row of vitamins, and as I read the word vitamin I thought to myself, “it sounds like Vita-Men.” I thought “What if the Vita-Men were these little guys that lived in your body and protected you and kept your body energized?”  As the story built in my head, I realized — Hey, these would make great cartoon characters for kids.  From there, the idea for The Body Village was born and I wrote my first book, “Artie’s Party: Featuring the Vita-Men”.
You use body parts to present your story, where did that idea come from and how did you narrow them down for kids?

Author: I think personifying internal organs as the main characters in the story makes it easier for kids to relate to what’s going on inside of them.  Kids are able to form a relationship and identify with the characters on a personal level.  In turn, they form a healthy relationship with their bodies.  The stomach, to a kid, is just a stomach; a foreign object.  But if you make it “Steven Stomach”, he’s a friend.  If you are friends with your body, you are more likely to treat it well.In the first few books of the series, the characters are all main organs.  As the series continues to grow, many more characters from The Body will be introduced.
Who is your primary audience for your books? Who do you see finding your books most useful?

Author: The books in The Body Village series are written for young children (ages 2 to 7 years old) so they can understand how their bodies work on a fundamental level and also learn how to treat their bodies right from an early age.The book series is meant to be used by parents, teachers, doctors — anyone who has an interest in the future of our children and their health.
I see educators and scout leaders and health care professionals finding this ok and   incredibly useful, are there any additional support materials that go with these books? How would educators implement the content in conjunction with health units in the classroom?

Author: There are some activities on the web site, but I hope to have more posted soon.  As more books come out, I will continue to add more activities and fun learning tools to the web site.The books are meant to be a fun way to learn.  Not only do the books teach the basics of the body but they have fun stories as well.  Just by reading the books during story time children are entertained and, whether they realize it or not, they’ve learned something too.
What do you plan to write about next?

Author: The next book coming out is Steven The Upset Stomach.  It deals with eating too much junk food and getting sick.  I’m currently working on Betty The Overanxious Bladder.  That one’s about wetting the bed. There are many issues that face The Body Village and I’m tackling them one at a time.

Attu’s Adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks by Mingo Marvin

Mingo Morvin Bears UnlimitedTitle: Attu’s Adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Author: Mingo Morvin

Publisher: Bears Unlimited

Date: 2010

Attu’s Adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is the fun, colorful, and highly educational presentation of the landscape and the wildlife of these two magnificent American treasures. Told from the darling little polar bear Attu’s viewpoint,  the land and the animals come alive in photo and in the charming presentation from the touring bear.

Mingo Morvin, a noted wildlife photographer and expeditionary mountaineer, has created a tremendous resource for introducing the western mountains with its rugged mountains, high alpine meadows, and geothermic structures to children in a way that is informative as well as highly engaging for an emergent reader. The gorgeous photography of wildlife in their habitat makes this book a terrific instructional resource for any units on animals, American National Parks, or eco-systems. Attu’s Adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is a must have for your classroom or library resource shelf. It will grab the heart of all the young animal lovers and outdoor adventurers in your home as well. I give this book 4 paws up!

Dingle The Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog – Audrey Kinsella

Title: Dingle The Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog

Author: Audrey Kinsella

Illustrator: Susan Anderson-Shorter

Publisher: Author House

Date: 2010

Dingle is a cute colorful book about Dingle a dog who wants to be an adaptive little helper.  His lovable face and clever idea make him the type of character that small children will love. The charming pictures and helper-related storyline makes this a good book for showing pre-schoolers that assistance to others in need takes many forms.

While the illustrations are darling, the mixture of bubble conversations with the repeated dialog lower on the page is a bit redundant and difficult to follow. Much of the story is bogged down in the over simplification of the story. This is further complicated by names that show relationships between people who are not introduced to the reader. For the emergent reader this might prove difficult to follow; however, a good story leader should be able to carry it off as a read-aloud to a younger audience.

Kinsella has a cute idea and a great illustrator that should help children see that ingenuity and a helping spirit can go a long way…even for a cute little dog!

Chicken Scratches – Poultry Poetry and Rooster Rhymes

Latest Read-Aloud from George Shannon and Lynn Brunelle

T itle: Chicken Scratches-Poultry Poetry and Rooster Rhymes

Authors: George Shannon and Lynn Brunelle

Illustrations: Scott Menchin

Date: 2010

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Bainbridge Island authors have done it again! George Shannon and Lynn Brunelle have created a hilarious look at some fowl fellas and hinky hens who have some good clean fun in around the pages of this book. From Helga the Hen to Hula Zelda, these chica chickens will have you cracking up poem after poem.

Scott Menchin’s artwork is devilishly irreverent and will have the most stoic of child and adult alike turning the page to find out what ridiculous outfit the little cluckers will be wearing next! Cute, cheeky, and chortling fun this book is guaranteed to bring out the pre-school giggles in anyone!

George Shannon has authored many children’s books and knows the genre well. He plays to his strengths with the lilting tweaks of the language he is famous for in books like Dance Away, April Showers, and Tippy Toe, Chick Go! Lynn Brunelle, award winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy, brings her vast experience with teaching and working with eager young scientists and eye for art to the book. Two great writers who obviously work great together!

This book will work great in any poetry unit, farm lessons, or just because you want a great read-aloud at circle time book. Soon to be a favorite with children and those who read to them…Chicken Scratches is high on my list of gifts to give little ones this year! This book will make you cackle with your clutch. I guarantee it!

10 Writing Tips to Help You Achieve Writing Success in 2009

When working on your own writing for marketing and promotion purposes, it is important to read good writing. Go out and find examples of similar items that are done well.

NOTE: Avoid reading Hemingway, Faulkner, and any Russian writers! Yes…it is good writing and great literat ure to study…if you were a PhD candidate in Literature. I love them all but I must admit in today’s fast paced and hurried life, few take the time to read that stream of conciousness style anymore.

2.   Write Like You Speak

Write like you were talking to the person across the table from you. Follow George Orwell’s writing maxim, “Never use a long word when a short one will do.”  If you have a simple message, why make it complicated with technical jargon and fancy words found only in a thesaurus? Avoid passive voice…who actually talks that way?

Active Voice: “Eloise, the dog bit the boy.”

Passive Voice: “Eloise, that boy was bitten by the dog.”

3.   Just Get It Out of Your Head

Don’t worry that your first attempt is not perfect. You have to conceptualize your work and then edit brutally, revise and rewrite. It is called “the writing process” for a reason.

 4.   YOU! YOU! YOU!

Make it personal. Talk directly to your reader. Use “you” and “your” so your reader knows this information is for them personally.

5.   Have Something to Say

Have something to say that benefits others. Write something worth talking about in an interesting and different explanation. Say it in a way that it stands out and makes your reader laugh, smile, or get angry. Say what you have to say so it is memorable.

6.   Use Imagery

Add visual details to your writing so your reader can create mental pictures.

“Bad-Ass coffee has a kick to it!”

7.   Headlines with Sex Appeal

If 10 people glance at your writing only 2 will read past your headline. Ouch! How do you beat those kinds of statistics? Killer headlines are rich in keywords, short, and sassy.

Bad Example Headline:

Attention authors, speakers, entrepreneurs: Get The Shocking Truth On What You Must Do To Create a Sell Sheet by Following This Writing Formula And Stay Lite-Years Ahead Of The Marketing and Crowd!

 Good Example Headline:

5 Steps to Super Successful Sell Sheets

8.   KISS – Keep it Short, Sweetie!

Remember what your 9th grade English teacher told you about how many sentences go in a paragraph? She was wrong and you were right!  Avoid three syllable words. If you write a sentence with more than 15-17 words in it, you have said too much. A paragraph with more than 3-4 sentences also means you have said too much.  Writing today means saying it directly and concisely. We just don’t have time to dig for meaning.

9.   Call to Action

Do you want your reader to buy your product? Visit your website? Read your book? Tell your reader specifically what to do next. Give them precise directions on what they are to do next so they can take action.

10.       Sleep on it!

Once you have written your first draft and revised it once, put it aside for a day or so. Coming back with fresh eyes and a new perspective will expose many flaws, omissions, and glaring errors. You won’t believe what you missed!

Rabbit’s Gift, An Allegory on Living Abundantly

Rabbit’s Gift

ISBN: 978-0-15-206073-2

George Shannon

Publication Date: Harcourt, Inc.  2007 

George Shannon’s Rabbit’s Gift, a modern retelling of the “giving” fable, is a treat for readers and listeners of all ages.  The spirit of the original story is cleverly revealed by the re-gifting of a turnip by a well-intentioned community of animals. The classic unfolding of the story of the self-less generosity of these forest friends is a special treat to be shared.  

Rabbit’s Gift is a wonderful parable of the power of giving. Through the eyes of the adorable forest creatures so wonderfully illustrated by Laura Dronzek, the audience sees that while he is not responsible for the happiness of others, one’s actions do deeply impact all those who come in contact with them.  

In Rabbit’s Gift, a new family tradition is born. The easy conversational writing style, the logical flow of the story, and the twist to the original story makes this book a new classic.  Shannon does a marvelous job of telling a complex story in simple language that is meant to be shared.  

Rabbit’s Gift is the perfect gift; to share this book with the little listener is to give the gift of one’s time. George Shannon has created a rich allegory that redefines the importance of giving to a whole new generation of readers and listeners. Rabbit’s Gift, is that rare special treat that simply must be savored and shared.

Shannon Evans, senior editor of lives with her best friend Rick on Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound just a “ferry ride from Seattle.” She works at her desk with her two Labrador virtual assistants, Mocha and Luke, and her feline copywriting assistants, Caesar and Yoda. She is widely recognized as one of the top writing coaches to authors of non-fiction. Shannon has over 17 years in the academic world teaching English composition to native and non-native speaking students.