Saturday, March 31, 2018

#NationalCrayonDay - Book Ideas to Celebrate Today

National Crayon Day:

Every March 31st children and adults alike open up a box of crayons and enjoy coloring.  What a better way to take part in National Crayon Day?
Wax and chalk based crayons have been used by artists around the world for centuries.  Edwin Binney created the brightly colored crayons we are familiar with today.  He was part owner of Binney & Smith, a company that produced products such as paint, pigments and slate pencils for schools.
In 1903, Binney & Smith created the Crayola Division and produced colored wax crayons for children for the first time. Then in 1904, they presented their An-Du-Septic chalk at the Colombian Exposition in St. Louis winning a gold medal.  The chalk was designed to be dustless at many teachers’ requests and was an immediate success.

Bunnicula - Review


Bunnicula (Bunnicula, #1)

Book Title: Bunnicula - Book 1
Author:  James Howe, Deborah Howe
Illustrator: Alan Daniel

Summary: Hilarious story about Harold the dog and Chester the cat who have some odd experiences with their humans new pet...a bunny with fangs?

Genre: Children, Fantasy, Mystery

Rating: 5 stars

Opinion: Read this in fourth grade was hilarious and still find it funny.

Recommendation: Yes. 

This is a series with six books in it.

The Most Magnificent Thing - Ashley Spires - Review

Title: The Most Magnificent Thing
Author: Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Day: April 1, 2017 available to buy now!

Summary: A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

Review: I love this it shows a child persistence toward making the magnificent thing. As she's doing this she's still making things that other people can use or love even though she doesn't like it. It shows a positive way of working through something -- take a break and come back with fresh eyes.

Recommend?: Yes! Great for lessons or at home reading!

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hush! A Thai Lullaby - Minfong Ho - Review

Score: 4/5

Summary: A mother is doing her best to keep her child asleep. She gets onto animals throughout the story.

I enjoy this it's hilarious. The picture and the lullaby tell two sides of the story. Mom is trying to keep the baby asleep, however, baby is wide awake. She's wearing herself out while the kid doesn't sleep.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Free Printable Bookmarkers Group 1

If you're a kid make sure you've asked your parents to be here and to print things out first.

 These are meant to be small thin bookmarks


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Title: Becoming the Dragon
Author: Alex Sapegin
Publisher: Worldlit 
Genre: Scifi & Fantasy, YA
Release date: December 1, 2018 Can buy it today!

Summary: From Goodreads, From now on he’s got two hearts beating in his scale-clad chest, and two mighty wings on his back. In the faraway planet of two moons, he was born again as a dragon… but would it make him any less human? 

My Opinion: I didn't finish this. I couldn't get into the story something was missing but can't put my finger on it. It was not meant for me. Something for someone out there. Based on the reviews it ranged from 3 to 5 stars so someone out there is loving it!

Recommend: Yes simply because I recognize that this was a me problem & not the story as a whole.

This book is a series ther eare currently four books attached to this! 

 From the next books Goodreads:

 Get ready for breathtaking battles: it’s time to sharpen the swords and prepare the magic scrolls. Let the adventure begin!
Although Andy has already adapted to his dragon form, he still struggles to make sense of his very human feelings from his previous life. Now he goes forward to the biggest city in the continent.
In his efforts to find a way back home, Andy enrolls into the Magic School of Orthen. However, his peaceful days of study are quickly interrupted, as he soon discovers that the cellars are full of secret archives and dangerous mysteries. The students are not always who they say they are, and the Magic School holds of labyrinth of never-ending intrigue.
The World of Ilanta is preparing for war, with natural disaster pushing events to a climax. The world of Ilanta as Andy knows it is on the edge of destruction.
“Wings on my Back” is the second addition to the series “The Dragon Inside” by Alex Sapegin. It is a story of mystery and the cruel realities of a dying world. Andy learns about true friendship, honor, justice, and experiences life firsthand as the last “True Blood” dragon.
Will Andy be able to save the ones he loves? Will he be able to reconcile the duality of his human heart and dragon instincts? Follow Andy on his journey through Ilanta in Alex Sapegin’s “Wings On My Back.”

 War has broken out. It’s time for the young Dragon to show everyone just what he’s worth. With his wounds healed, wings spread and both his hearts beat passionately, Andy takes part in a new battle!
All peaceful days are long gone. The world is on the edge of destruction: armies are posed to attack and are starting their military campaigns. Magic is running low, and the distant sea is getting closer, with nothing holding it back anymore. This is all the price that mortals pay for being fooled.
Still, in a land far-away is a simple man, still trying his best to find his missing son. Portal technology is developing more and more, and soon the group of scientists will be able at least to get a glimpse of Andy… but will they like what they see?
“A Cruel Tale” is the third book of Alex Sapegin’s epic “The Dragon inside” series. Here we reach the point of no return in Andy’s arch. The tension is coming to a breaking point, and all mistakes and misunderstandings, all human vices, deaths and struggles have led the world of Ilanta to catastrophe. However, there is a ray of hope; a golden, crystal ray of hope, and he is ready to fight for justice and those he loves.
In “A Cruel Tale,” we are faced with a seemingly enormous task for just a boy, but one that’s maybe just enough for a Dragon.

A treacherous betrayal.
The most cunning and masterfully orchestrated conspiracy has changed the world forever. All humans, elves, orcs, and the whole planet is being left to die without any magic left.
Now it’s time to uncover the truth — the shape-shifter dragon Andy is just the savior we need.
Once a teleporter — always a teleporter. This new trip has cost Andy so much more than the one before. Just the thought of where he will appear makes him hold his breath in fear and anticipation.
“Crown of Horns” has answers to all the questions asked in previous books of “The Dragon Inside” series. It reveals a cruel truth. It’s a story of Andy’s crusade in the name of revenge and justice. He knows how to fight: his swords, teeth, and claws are always sharpened, and he is an adept magician and a fire-breathing Dragon. However, this all appears to be worthless on the new battlefield, contending with other equally skillful combatants. There is a poison instead swords in their scaly claws; there are filthy lies instead of fire in their breath. They rule the world and change destinies. They are ancient Dragons — Royal blood.
Our hero must change history, defeat the vice of ignorance and face the consequences made by these power-hungry dragons. Will Andy survive? 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin, David Shannon

Score: 4/5

Summary: A disfigured Algonquin girl wins the heart of an invisible being.  A Cinderella story. I own a copy of this story. It's meant to follow a girl with a kind not-so rough heart even though she has a 'rough' face.

It's a lovely Cinderella story about what matters the most is kindness.

Charlotte's Web - Review & Class Materials

Charlotte's Web 

Book Title: Charlotte's Web
Author:  E. B. Wells
Illustrator: Garth Williams/ Rosemary Wells

Summary: Follows Wilbur's adventures on a farm. He makes friends with the other animals on the farm. His friend, Charlotte, creates a way to help him live.

Genre: Children, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Opinion: Loved this when I read it in 3rd grade. First book that made me cry because it was an emotional story.

Recommendation: Yes. 

Material to use while reading:

Super Teacher Worksheets -- has free items

Free Printable Bookmarks

This entire thing is 2" x 6" it's meant to be two thinner bookmarks in one. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down - Paul Brett Johnson

Score: 4/5

Summary:  A story that follows a farmer who has a cow who is avoiding her day job doing everything in her power not to do it. Which includes, flying.

Illustrations are lovely and so is the story. Great silly read.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella - Jan Brett - Review

Score: 5/5

Summary: Russian winter for a Chicken Cinderella setting.

This is one of my favorite versions of Cinderella. The illustrations for this is just absolutely lovely to look at.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dragon's Egg by Sarah L. Thomson

Score: 4/5

What if dragons were more like chickens? The bigger than life dragons only existed as fairy tales.

As we have domesticated animals, wild animals and myths... and there are some myths we all would like to be true.

I was quickly on board with this idea of dragons.

The two characters in this book neither is damsel in distress. Not really. They work as a team to get things done. 

The adults that they encounter question why they're out and about. They all in their own way try to parent them. In this world it's not an everyday thing to see kids out on a quest.

As I read this I kept on, "Man, I hope there is a sequel." but I don't believe there is. I think it's a standalone.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Zombie Blondes - Brian James - Review

Score: 3/5

I bought this book from the library. It cost a dollar to purchase.

It felt like a strange book it should have been something I found interesting but didn't. Each chapter would start off interesting and I would think, "Okay, this is it" but then it would sizzle out by the end of the chapter.

Very twilight zone / kid horror book ending 

Extra thoughts on this:

Describes their hair as "halos" a million times. Uses the description of "dogs" a lot. And, actually uses a sentence or two to say "cat fight" instead of just using the word "cat fight" to describe to of the girls fighting. If you're going to use it then just outright say it so eye-rolling is quicker."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager and Illustrated by Kristin Blackwood

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

Score: 4 out of 5

Summary: Follows Ivy Van Allsberg as she waits for spring. Through pieces of poetry from different poets we go through her time as she waits.

A great read for kids ages between Pre-k to 3 either for poetry or for weather lessons.

Illustrations are fun and beautiful.

My favorite from this book:

Poem pieces to make this story come from Hendry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, William Cullen Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, e.e. cummings, Christopher Morley, Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Thomas Nashe,  A.A. Milne, and Robert Browning. Which this book lists which poems the words come from along with the poets name in the back.

Purchase when: Now. This came out in 2009!

Recommend?: Yes.

Tracking Your Nightmare - Baron Specter

Score:  3/5

My Review from Goodreads:
A story of four boys who formed a discussion group called, "Zombie Hunters" to talk over things they've heard or witnessed. Of course, soon it was no longer who had the scarier story anymore when two ghosts appear dragging a body ...and for whatever reason have it out for Jared.

Alright, I liked the way the author decided to get rid of the ghosts. It fit in for a children's novel about the scary stuff so it wasn't too frightening of a way to get rid of them.

This series seems to have been made specifically for libraries. To get a copy on Amazon the only available are library binding which is pretty pricy.

There are six in this series

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dragonbreath - Ursula Vernon - Review

Score: 4/5

My review off Goodreads:
This read more like sarcastic teenagers than 5th graders. I enjoyed every moment of it. If this was available when I was in elementary I would have been checking the library obsessively until they had the next one out. 

There are currently 11 of these so far.  

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Journey - Aaron Becker - Review

Score: 5/5

This is a picture book that the illustrations  may draw in the older children than younger. You follow a girl who draws a magical door to another world full of adventure.

There are two more books after this.

Happy St. Patrick Day

What is your favorite St. Paddy's Day books? What are some of YOUR St. Patrick's Day traditions?

How to Catch a Leprechaun. Can YOU catch one?!

He likes all colors but he loves yellow the most. The Little Leprechaun Who Loved Yellow!

It's a happy book.

Leprechaun in Late Winter. A Magic Tree House/Merlin Mission story.

Annie & Jack run into a girl who grows up to be Lady Gregory, an Irish woman who started a theater and help Irish people!

Jack and the Leprechaun.  Jack Mouse is visiting his cousin Sean who is in Ireland. Jack decides to catch a Leprechaun.

Emeraldalicious. Instead of her usual Pinkalicious self there some St. Paddy way in this adventure.

The Irish Cinderella.  It's a man who is the Cinderella in this. His father marries a stepmother, who banish him to the field and barely feed him.

Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick's Day Parade. He's not doing the trouble-making...the Leprechauns are this time.

Old lady and her weird food eating ways is back.. St. Patrick's Day style.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Book Review Template

Book Review Template Free from Erin Clark on TeachersPayteachers

Contains everything in easy to read font and is roomy for the big-letter writing kids out there.

Donuthead - Sue Stauffacher - Review

Score:  5/5

A neurotic 5th grader, who is preoccupied by problems that prevent him from being a normal child. He befriends a tough girl, who through his mother's help is able to become "girly". She comes from the typical "bad home" and he comes from a decent enough home where the mother is completely nice. It's a great read, though some of it seems a bit too old for the age group this is for. 

There is a sequel Donutheart out as well  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson - Review

Score: 5/5

For me, this was an extremely intense independent read. I read it in 9th grade when I read this. I didn't have any experience with the topic but the loneliness and depression I understood.

This follows Melinda a girl who is raped at a summer party. When she calls 911 to report the incident she doesn't say why she's called. The people at the party are upset with her for calling 911 so everyone shuns her.

Through her art class she is able to work through what happened to her. Through her silence that school year she is able to gain her voice, her strength to come to terms with what happened and to reach out to the people she once knew.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'dell - Review

Score: 5/5

This book was written in 1960 was a group class read in either fourth or fifth grade. I cannot remember. But teacher would read out loud then we'd have to go home and read chapters. I really got into this book.

My pretend play would involve elements of this book. It was depressing to find out that this was based on actual life events of NicoleƱo native Californian Juana Maria (not her native name) she was left alone for eighteen years on the island.

The book the character is named Karana who jumps ship when her brother misses the ship. He dies leaving her alone on the island. She lives there alone and then taken to the mainland years later. There is a sequel that tells about Zia, Karana's niece and what happens when Karana is brought to the mission.

By Source, Fair use,

Friday, March 9, 2018

Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

When to buy: May 1, 2018

Summary: Hugo is a Sasquatch who is still in school. He wants to be more and do more than what he's destined to do/be. He meets a human named Boone and they go on adventures together.

This book starts off really slow and feels like it's all filler just so we can reach the middle-end sections.

This book hits on bullying and needing to find a friend. Siblings who don't fully get along with one another. A child being (momentarily) a disappointment to his parents.

I enjoyed it after he accidentally meets a human during the sneaking class.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Herodotus the Hedgehog by Jean-Luc Buquet

Score: 4/5

First Sentence: Herodotus was a young hedgehog, curious about everything.

Description on Amazon:
"A curious hedgehog asks the other forest animals what they believe in, but he eventually needs to choose his own beliefs"--
This will be ready to order and buy, March 15, 2018!!


The font is easy to read and follow along. The illustrations in this story are fun and quiet it's not screaming with color and not quite pastel. 
I believe the grade level for this is first / second grade. The story is interesting but it feels like older kids or even adults may be more interested in this conversation that goes on in it.  
But for the grade this is -- it would be easy enough to follow along with the story and create their interpretation on what is being said. 


I could see where the story line could be problematic for the religious folks. It doesn't advocate for a non-religious life. But for those who are very restricted with their thinking and can't -- won't feel comfortable with this.. is probably not great for them.


Yes! It is adorable and has something in it that is a good conversation piece. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

National Soup Day!! Soup Theme Books. What is Your Favorite Soup?

Nat'l Days Calendar Here  


Books to help celebrate National Soup It Forward Day March 3rd

Soup Sisters founded National Soup it Forward Day to encourage everyone to make a difference in each other’s lives through the warm, healing kindness of sharing a bowl of soup.

From wikipedia; Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as axe soup, button soup, nail soup, and wood soup.

This version is a hen making a soup to safe herself!!!

 A 1977 picture book written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Simple read for the youngers. The mouse is the made aspect of the soup unless he figures out a way to save himself.

From pure survivor mode to not become someone's dinner to this weirdo.  A Halloween version of Stone soup.

 A recipe book for kids to use their imagination and have fun.

Grandpa's depressed. Grandma's died and he isn't handling it very well. He decides to create a soup that his wife used to make. In doing so he finds friends.

This talks about death repeatedly may not be something you feel comfy with. But it exists for anyone interested or dealing with the topic of death.

Mom had a baby and the kids with their father are making a special soup for when they come home. A bonding story and working through new changes.

Is adorable.

Children's novel about two boys. One boy is the title character who goes by "Soup". He doesn't like his actual name so they call him Soup.

There's 13 of these books. There is even a younger age version of these called Little Soup.

Then Chicken Soup for the Soul books with their bajillion different versions and variety that they now have.

Usually sappy or emotional stories involved.

What is your favorite soup? Homemade or store bought?