Picture Book Month

Picture Book Month

PBMLOGO-COLOR_WEBRESPicture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.

Every day in November, there is a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important.

Check out the website at:  http://picturebookmonth.com/ They’ve put together tons of activities and a calendar with suggestions for each day.  Today, for instance, features the subject of libraries and librarians.

Bookworm Bear recommends:

library lionLibrary Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (reviewed)





thelibraryThe Library by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small




November is Picture Book Month. Read * Share * Celebrate!

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

International Talk Like A Pirate Day – September 19

talk like a pirate dayToday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  Recent dinner conversations in our home have been peppered with silly pirate talk like, “Avast ye scurvy dogs!” and “Shiver me timbers!”  and “Arrr!”

What is International Talk Like A Pirate Day?  and what is the point?  Well.  Um.  I think it is just to be silly….a little lighthearted silliness.  And, couldn’t everyone use a little just plain silliness once in a while?

I’ve recommended a good book with an engaging pirate main character, and included a link to learn to read treasure hunts at the end of the post, so, read on….

According to the official website, http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html:

Talking like a pirate is fun. It’s really that simple.

It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers.

In other words, silliness is the holiday’s best selling point.

The folks who started International Talk Like A Pirate Day do point out that they are talking like “movie pirates, the pirates of books, myth and legend. Think Long John Silver in “Treasure Island.” Pretend pirates.”  And, they point out that: “Real pirates were and are bad people and are in no way worthy of emulating.”  This is just a way to be silly, to have fun being silly.

So, me mateys.  Be ye wantin’ te know ’bout pirates?  This be a good read:



Bookworm Bear recommends Jack Plank Tells Tales – you can read the review here.




Ad site button reading treasure hunts

Be thar treasure?

These fun treasure hunts help children learn to read – free downloadable learn to read treasure hunts.

International Dot Day

International Dot Day – September 15

interntl dot dayToday is International Dot Day, “a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration.”  This creative celebration was inspired by the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds.

A teacher’s guide, some videos, Celibri-dots blog (dot images by authors, illustrators, and other famous folks), and a gallery of images of creative projects folks have done in the past to celebrate International Dot Day.  To learn more about International Dot Day, or to find ideas for activities, visit the website:  http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/get-started

Bookworm Bear loves Peter H. Reynolds books.  We’ve reviewed The Dot and Ish here – they are well worth looking for at local libraries and bookstores.

Dot cover smallIsh


Roald Dahl Day September 13, 2013

Roald Dahl Day September 13, 2013

Roald dahl day 2013Some of our long-time family favorite books are those written by Roald Dahl.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Danny Champion of the World.  These books tend to have unlikely heroes, involve creative solutions to problems, fantastical situations, and elements that celebrate childhood.

Today, September 13, 2013, is Roald Dahl Day.  For some fun reading and activity ideas, visit http://www.roalddahlday.info/Resources.aspx.  You’ll find free downloadable pdfs with activity guides, posters, sticker templates, and party packs.

James and the Giant Peach guideThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of James and the Giant Peach.  There is a special Teacher’s Resource Pack – as a free pdf.  This is a fun guide with ideas on exploring teamwork and friendship, science, dance and drama, creative writing, and history.

Celebrate reading, celebrate childhood.  Read and giggle together.  Cheer on unlikely heroes.  Think about an enormous chocolate river, a clever window washing team, a brilliant plan to capture pheasants, and a bighearted giant who sends wonderful dreams to sleeping children.


Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Winner

Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - ButtonFirst, thank you to everyone who stopped by Bookworm Bear, looked around, left a comment, visited Bookworm Bear on Pinterest, and entered the Rafflecopter!  You’ve mentioned some wonderful books – I’ll be adding many to my list of books to review for Bookworm Bear.


And the winner is….

A few moments ago, Rafflecopter did its magic random selecting thing, and declared a winner for the Bookworm Bear Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop.  Congratulations to Kathy Davis!

Give Mouse CookieKathy left a comment about If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.  She will receive the $25 Amazon gift card via email today.

Thank you again to everyone for visiting Bookworm Bear, and for all the comments on favorite children’s books!





Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop

Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop – Win a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card

Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - ButtonBookworm Bear is joining in the Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop, and offering a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card.

Bookworm Bear will be giving one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  All you need to do to enter (one entry per person, please) is leave a comment with the title of a favorite children’s book, and complete the Rafflecopter entry below.  Good luck, and thanks for stopping by Bookworm Bear!

There are many other Kid Lit blogs joining in this blog hop – please take a moment to visit their sites.  There is a link at the end of this post to see the other blogs in this giveaway blog hop.  Also, please stop by the hosting blogs, Mother Daughter Book Reviews, and Youth Literature Reviews.

Since I’m asking you to tell me one (or more) of your favorite children’s books, I’ll share some of mine with you – ones I’ve reviewed on this site already.  If you want to know more about any of the books, just click on the cover.  Happy reading.

JackPlankTellsTales The Big Balloon RaceWho Stole Mona LisaBears-picture

Bookworm Bear is offering free printable Learn to Read Treasure Hunts

Ad site button reading treasure hunts

Giveaway Details:  To enter, make a comment with the title of a children’s book you like.  The book can be a picture book, beginning reader, or chapter book — this also helps me know that yours is a real entry, not made by a random computer on its own.  One entry per person only, please.  Entering several times will disqualify you (sorry, but just trying to be fair here).

This giveaway uses Rafflecopter to collect entries and randomly select a winner.  The winning entry must have made a comment with the title of a children’s book to actually win.  The Giveaway starts at 12:01am on Monday, August 26, 2013, and closes at 11:59pm on Friday, September 6, 2013.  (Times are EST.)

The prize:  The winner will receive, via email, a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

To enter:  For a chance to win a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate, enter through the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget, you need to leave a comment with the name of a children’s book.  Thanks, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop is hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews.  If you get a chance, stop by their blogs.  Please visit the other blogs that are participating in the Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop:

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Blucy Book Blast

Blucy by Julia DweckI’m trying something a little different today – with a great new book, and a chance to win $100.  I’ve joined in a Book Blast Giveaway for Blucy by Julia Dweck, illustrated by Erika LeBarre.  (Xist Publishing, 2013)  (21 pages, recommended for ages 3+)

See below for information on the $100 Blucy Book Blast Giveaway.

Summary (Amazon): Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along. When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn’t realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Features full screen images and pop-up text.

Blucy Facebook Page * Blucy Pinterest Page * Goodreads


Purchase & Special Offer

Xist Publishing is pleased to offer you a special Buy One Get One FREE (BOGO) offer when you purchase Blucy by Julia Dweck. The Deal? If you purchase Blucy (e-book) through Amazon, you will receive a FREE electronic copy of Julia Dweck’s newest book, Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep (released September 5, 2013). All you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation email to sales@xistpublishing.com and Xist Publishing will send you a complimentary copy of Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep. Don’t wait to take advantage of this great deal!



The Early Buzz

“Julia Dweck scores another winner Blucy! This book is beautifully illustrated, features solid rhyming verse, has a most unusual main character in Blucy the cat, and will surely be loved and appreciated by all cat-lovers! I would recommend this wonderful picture book to children who love cats and for their grown-ups who will recognize their own cat’s behavior in this funny story. .” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Ms Dweck and Ms Lebarre have created a delightfully humorous read that will no doubt capture the attention of every little mischief maker. The rhythm and rhyme are wonderful and flow so beautifully throughout the book. The illustrations are absolutely exquisite. I honestly wish I could purchase every one of them to put upon my toddlers walls.” ~ WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

“The illustrations are amazing and beautiful and the story pulls you in and had Dino telling Mandy and Blucy what to do and got upset when they didn’t listen to him. He was hysterical with some of Blucy’s antics and wanted to know if Balboa could do that to. Really and truly a cute book and one that Dino will keep reading, especially now that he think he’s a catosaurous.” ~ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

A blue cat? I love color – lots of color and these illustrations are exactly that. The rythmic method used by Julia is perfect for all ages and the content is entertaining for all – including adults. My daughter loves mood rings so she found this book particularly interesting – what about a “mood cat”. I am also a firm believer and supporter of pet adoptions – so another plus for this story…That Blucy is quite a mischievous cat. Blucy has special facts at the end of the story as well as a game for the kids to keep them thinking. I love this book as I have all of Julia’s books and so do my kids. ~ The Stuff of Success

A Phenomenal Children’s Classic. Children & Adults will love and cherish this beloved tale. Julia Dweck has always amazed me with her talent at writing children’s books and Blucy is by far my favorite one yet. I laughed and giggled my way through the whole book and had to read it again several times for the pure joy of the story. The illustrations are fabulous and very colorful and I found myself staring at each page as I read and just loved the details in the illustrations. This is a RECOMMENDED MUST read story that adults and their children will fall in love with. This book will become the best bedtime story that children will want to hear over and over again. ~ Back Words, White Pages


About the Author: Julia Dweck

Julia Dweck, Author

Julia Dweck‘s background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read and what makes them giggle. She’s collaborated with leading artists in the world of children’s literature to produce over 20 Amazon eBooks. Her titles have garnered placement on Amazon’s bestsellers in children’s color picture books multiple times with two #1 bestsellers: PIE-RITS and Zombie-Kids. These titles have been chosen by Amazon Editors for the prestigious “Kindle Daily Deal.” Many of Julia’s titles have earned placement on Amazon’s top ranked lists based on customer review. In her spare time, Julia is a designer of educational adjuncts for children’s literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers. She presented at the 2011 National Center for Family Literacy for her creative use of technology in the classroom.

For more information about Julia Dweck and her books,please visit her website:  Jule Loves 2 Write.

Twitter * Facebook


* Where’s Blucy? *

Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you. If you head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page, you will find the “Where’s Blucy?” contest. Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of “blue” places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis’ blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre. Head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page to enter and…

Pssssttt… if you enter the contest before August 20th, 2013, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!

Julia Dweck - Blucy


* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: August 13 to September 15, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email!

* This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julia Dweck and by Xist Publishing. *

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Understood Betsy

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, illlustrations by Kimberly Bulcken Root

Understood Betsy coverWhen readers first meet the main character, they see a timid, worried Elizabeth Ann, who lives with her Aunt Harriet and Aunt Frances in a city.  Elizabeth Ann is in the third grade at the big, local school.  Aunt Frances devotes herself to taking care of, protecting, explaining, and understanding Elizabeth Ann – and passes on all of her own fears to the young girl in the process.

Things change suddenly for Elizabeth Ann when Aunt Harriet becomes terribly ill with pneumonia, and Elizabeth Ann is sent away to stay with other relatives.  As the next set of relatives have just contracted a different illness, and don’t really want her anyway, Elizabeth Ann is sent to the Putney cousins.  Aunt Frances has told Elizabeth Ann about them – they live in Vermont, are horrible, and make children do chores.

When Uncle Henry meets Elizabeth Ann at the train station in Vermont, he calls her Betsy, wraps her in a warm shawl, and asks her to drive the team of horses for him while he does some figuring (math) on a scrap of paper.  Elizabeth Ann has never driven horses before, but the job keeps her mind busy and distracts her from feeling frightened.  The reader gets the feeling that Uncle Henry is watching, and would step in if there were any real danger – and that the horses know the way home on their own.

The Putney cousins – elderly Uncle Henry and Aunt Abigail, and their grown-up daughter, Cousin Ann – welcome Betsy into their home in their own way.  Soon Betsy has her own kitten to take care of, is walking to the little school on her own, is helping make applesauce, and discovers that she really isn’t afraid of dogs.

At the one-room school, Betsy is confused when the teacher puts her in different levels for different subjects (unheard of in her former school) based on Betsy’s abilities – seventh grade for reading, third grade spelling, and second grade math – but that is one of the many different things about her new school, and her new life.  The teacher asks Betsy to help a younger girl, Molly, with her reading – which is another new experience for Betsy – helping a younger child – and makes Betsy feel good about herself.

Betsy grows to love the Putneys, her new home, and her new life.  Young Molly comes to live at Putney Farm, too, when circumstances make it necessary for Molly to find a new home.  Betsy grows in confidence, and is able to take care of herself, and Molly, when neighbors accidentally leave them at a Fair (think state fair, with livestock judging, food booths, games, and rides) many miles from home.  Betsy has grown healthier, more independent, and happier than she was in the city as Elizabeth Ann.

This book was first published in 1917, and has a few old-timey aspects:  the author steps in as narrator in the first few pages as we meet Elizabeth Ann, but disappears as Betsy lives at Putney Farm.  My children find the few pages of Elizabeth Ann living in the city a little less than thrilling, but really enjoy the story once Betsy leaves Aunt Frances and heads for Vermont (change happens in the first chapter).

The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award has honored children’s literature for over 50 years – students in the 4th – 8th grades in Vermont vote to determine the winning books.  To learn more about this award:  https://sites.google.com/a/cesuvt.org/dcf-award/

More about the author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher:

Named by Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the ten most influential women in the United States, Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958), brought the Montessori Method of child rearing to America, presided over the country’s first adult education program, and influenced American literary tastes as a member of the Book-of-the-Month Club selection committee from 1926 to 1951. A committed educational reformer and social activists, the popular Arlington, Vermont, writer produced 22 works of fiction and 18 nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects.*

* from biographical information at:  https://sites.google.com/a/cesuvt.org/dcf-award/

Thinking of Maurice Sendak

Thinking of Maurice Sendak

This week marks what would have been Maurice Sendak’s 85th birthday.  Google even did a little animation showing some of his well-known characters.  Sendak was born June 10, 1928.  He died on May 8, 2012.  Sendak was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1964 (Where the Wild Things Are); the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1970; the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1983; the National Book Award in 1982; the U.S. National Medal of Arts in 1996; and the Astrid Lindgren Award in 2003.

where the wild things are coverSendak’s stories and illustrations have reached children and their parents throughout the world.  They reached my house, too.  My children loved to dance around a room chanting:  “Rumpus!  Rumpus!  Rumpus!” as they held their own wild rumpus across the furniture.  And, they loved Little Bear and his wonderful imagination – often pretending to be on adventures just like Little Bear imagined, like making a space helmet and going to the moon.


where the wild things are max“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another….” Sendak begins Where the Wild Things Are with Max at home in his wolf suit.  Max is sent to bed without any supper, and imagination takes over.  A forest grows in Max’s room “until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around.”  Max gets into a boat, and sails “through night and day, and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are.”  There, he becomes the king and celebrates with the wild things.  Eventually, Max becomes lonely and wants “to be where someone loved him best of all.”  So Max gives up being king, and sails back home – where he finds his dinner waiting for him in his room – “and it was still hot.”

I have some friends who didn’t like Where the Wild Things Are  — or their children didn’t like the wild things.  But it was very big in my house for a long while.

Little Bear coverThe Little Bear books also were big in my house.  These were written by Else Holmelund Minarik, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and are written for beginning readers (but work as read-alouds too).  Little Bear books are sweet, and full of joys of childhood – and were written in the late 1950s and early 1960s (the first, Little Bear, was published in 1957).  Little Bear has a fantastic imagination – and has wonderful adventures through his imagination.  The grown ups in his world are supportive and loving, and give him enough space to play and have those great imaginary adventures.  I read these books to my children when they were toddlers, and we shared many Little Bear – style imaginary adventures.

Thank you, Maurice Sendak!

What are your favorite Sendak books?


Kid Lit Blog Hop Giveaway Winner

congratulationsFirst, thank you to everyone who stopped by Bookworm Bear, looked around, left a comment, and entered the Rafflecopter!  You’ve mentioned some wonderful books – I’ll be adding many to my list of books to review for Bookworm Bear.  Some were books I remember reading, and loving, as a child.  Others I read to my children.  Some I’d forgotten – or hadn’t yet heard of or read.  Thank you for all of the book suggestions!

And the winner is……..

This morning, I clicked on the little green Rafflecopter button to select a winner.  Rafflecopter then produced a box declaring Karen Walkup Hester the winner.  Congratulations, Karen!

Karen left a comment with her favorite books from childhood: The Little House books, Caddie Woodlawn, and Where the Red Fern Grows.  She will receive the $20 Amazon gift card via email today.

Thank you again to everyone for visiting Bookworm Bear, and for all the comments on favorite children’s books!