Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop

Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop in Honor of Children’s Book Week

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - Button

I’m trying something new here with Bookworm Bear:  the Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop in Honor of Children’s Book Week.  Bookworm Bear will be giving one lucky reader a $20 gift certificate to  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!

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.  So if you want to know more about any of the books, just click on the cover.  Happy reading.

Picture Books

Bears-picture-review-BookwormBear.comMouse-MessIsh-review-BookwormBear.comBear Snores

Bear’s Picture and ish have themes that deal with self expression, and being yourself – and art as you, the artist, want to make it.  Mouse Mess and Bear Snores On are cute, sweet, and were big favorites in this house.

Beginning Readers and Chapter Books

Meet Mr and Mrs Green-review-BookwormBear.comGooseberry Park-review-BookwormBear.combecause of WinnDixie-review-BookwormBear.comTuesdays at the

Meet Mr. and Mrs Green is a wonderful beginning reader, sweet and silly.  Henry and Mudge is a good series for beginning readers, too.  Gooseberry Park is a sweet story of friendship and adventure for readers ready to move into chapter books.  Because of Winn-Dixie and Tuesdays at the Castle are great books for 8-12 year old chapter book readers.


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, May 13, 2013, and closes at 11:59pm on Sunday, May 19, 2013.  (Times are EST.)

The prize:  The winner will receive, via email, a $20 gift certificate to

To enter:  So, to enter the Bookworm Bear Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop for a chance to win a $20 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 Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop in Honor of Children’s Book Week is hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews.  If you get a chance, stop by their blogs.

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The Cobble Street Cousins

The Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia Rylant has a sweet, old-timey feel – with everyday things making the stories, and nothing really upsetting happening.  These books are great for newer readers who are ready to tackle chapter books (around 55 pages), but still enjoy having smaller illustrations on most pages.  The series has at least 5 books.  I’ll discuss the first two here.

In Aunt Lucy’s Kitchen by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Aunt LucysKitchen coverIn this first book of the Cobble Street Cousins series, readers meet Aunt Lucy and her three nieces.  The girls’ parents are touring the world with the ballet (the parents are dancers), so the girls are staying with their Aunt Lucy for a year.  This seems like a good arrangement for everyone.  The cousins (all 9 years old) are good friends – their very different personalities seem to compliment each other.

Rosie is sweet, likes stained glass windows, paper dolls, and crafts.  Her twin sister, Lily, likes to write poems, collects stuffed animal bunnies, and wants to be a writer when she grows up.  Their cousin, Tess, is outgoing, loves to sing (and has a good voice), has a cat named Elliot, and wants to be a famous singer when she grows up.  Aunt Lucy is warm, friendly, and fun – and enjoys spending time with her nieces.  Aunt Lucy owns a flower shop around the corner from her comfortable, old house.

The cousins live in Aunt Lucy’s attic.  They each have a room (created by hanging quilts or folding screens), and have a big area they call the playroom – with blankets and pillows spread on the floor – that has stuffed animals, books, and paints.

AuntLucys girls walkOver the summer, the cousins decide to have a cookie company.  They put up signs and take orders on the phone.  They bake batches of cinnamon crinkle cookies and deliver the cookies.  (Note:  They are dealing with strangers, and do go inside houses to deliver the cookies.  I pointed out to my children that it is not safe to go into strangers’ homes.  But, in the story, the three girls always are together, and nothing threatening ever happens.)

Through the cookie company, the cousins meet Michael, who becomes Aunt Lucy’s beau.  They also meet Mrs. White, a friendly 90 year old woman.  They hold a performance and tea for their new friends.

A Little Shopping by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

ALittleShopping coverThe cousins decide they need a fun project to do after school.  Lily suggests they make a model of Aunt Lucy’s flower shop as a surprise gift for Aunt Lucy.  The others love the idea.

They make a plan, gather materials – and make a trip to The Olde Craft Shoppe for the little things they need to furnish and decorate the flower shop.

They have a wonderful time making the dollhouse-like version of Aunt Lucy’s shop.

ALittleShopping make shopAnd, of course, Aunt Lucy is thrilled with her surprise.  The cousins are happily creative in making the gift.  Other events include going out for ice cream and another trip to the craft shoppe.

The books in The Cobble Street Cousins series deal with friendship, family, and small, fun adventures like having a cookie company or creating a model of a shop.  They are great books for young readers ready for chapter books.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss and Read Across America

Dr Seuss books groupToday, March 2, is the anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss.  Today also is Read Across America (  Folks in my town organized a day (they are guessing it may take 8 hours to read all the books) of reading books by Dr. Seuss.  The local event was the result of efforts by a kindergarten teacher, the library, and volunteer readers.  They had children’s crafts, special snacks, and decorations based on illustrations from different books.  What a nice way to celebrate the birth of someone who contributed so much to children’s literature, literacy, and imagination.

Geisel was born in 1904, and died in 1991.  His first children’s book, To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was published in 1937.  The Cat in the Hat, his thirteenth book, was published in 1957.  The success of The Cat in the Hat “inspired Seuss, his wife Helen, and Phyllis Cerf to found Beginner Books, a division of Random House that would publish books designed to help children learn to read.”*

Seuss’ fantastical creatures and many, many stories continue to appeal to children (and their parents) today.  “Indeed, treating children with respect was key to Seuss’s philosophy of writing for them,” says a brief biography by Philip Nel.  And, once in an interview, Seuss lamented the way many children’s authors are patronizing to children and said, “I, for some reason or another, don’t do that. I treat the child as an equal.”*

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

* Biographical information taken from an online biography by Philip Nel (2010)

Orange Pear Apple Bear

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

orangepearapplebear coverThis is a sweet, simple picture book for the youngest audience, or for beginning readers.

The story is presented through just five words:  apple, pear, orange, bear, and there.

This book explores the concepts of color, food, and shape.

The lively illustrations convey much about the bear’s playful character.

Each item is presented first on its own orangepearapplebear eatpage, then in combination with other objects.  The bear changes color – taking similar color and shading as the orange and the apple.  The bear takes on the shape and color of the pear.  The bear stacks the fruit and juggles the fruit.  Finally, the bear eats the fruit.



Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

cowgirl-kate-and-cocoaCowgirl Kate and her horse, Cocoa, are good friends who spend time riding, and counting and herding cows.  Like most friends, they disagree sometimes – for instance:  is it time to eat, or time to count cows?

When Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa ride into the pasture, Cocoa needs a drink of water, then an apple, then another apple before he can herd cows.  When Cocoa then is too full to do anything, Cowgirl Kate tells him the story of how they came to be together.  After the story, Cocoa is ready to work.

Other adventures include counting cows together – Cocoa interrupts the counting to eat grass, and Cowgirl Kate tries to get high enough in a tree to see to count the cows – and Cowgirl Kate giving Cocoa a surprise gift that he tries to eat before realizing it is something to wear.

cowgirl-kate-and-cocoa-insideIn the final chapter, Cowgirl Kate sleeps in the barn one night.  She crawls into her sleeping bag.  Cocoa asks her to fluff his straw.  After she fluffs the straw, Cowgirl Kate crawls back into her sleeping bag.  Cocoa is hungry.  Cowgirl Kate gives him three carrots.  Cocoa needs more water.  Cowgirl Kate fills his water bin.  When Cowgirl Kate crawls back into her sleeping bag, she cannot sleep. Cocoa sings her to sleep.

This is a cute book for beginning readers.  Betsy Lewin’s (think Click Clack Moo) colorful illustrations appear on every page.  The story is told in four chapters.  This is a sweet – and sometimes silly – story about friendship and working together.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time by James Howe,                              illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Houndsley-and-Catina-quiet-timeHoundsley and his friend, Catina, find themselves snowed-in for a day (with the first snow of winter).  Catina worries at first – she has things to do before the concert that evening.  Houndsley loves the quiet and isn’t worried at all.

Houndsley loves the way the world looks and feels while it is snowing.  He calls it the “quiet time.”  When Catina continues to worry, they decide to practice for the concert (Houndsley plays cello, and Catina plays clarinet), just in case there is a concert that evening.

Before they began to play, Houndsley said, “Listen, Catina.  Can you hear it?”

“Hear what?”

“The quiet.  It is almost like music.”

Later, Houndsley suggests they pretend they are on an island – they can’t go anywhere, but they have things on the island with them.  They read poems to each other, then try writing their own.  They bake cookies.  They play board games.  They build a fire and talk about things they see in the fire.  They sit quietly thinking.  They go outside to get more logs for the fire and end up playing in the snow – making snow creatures.

They snowshoe to the gazebo with their instruments.  The musicians seem to feel the quiet time too – and play softly to the audience.

This is a sweet book for beginning readers.  It is told in three chapters.  There are color illustrations on every page.  It captures the sense of magic and quiet that sometimes comes with a day of snow.

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole by Wong Herbert Yee

upstairs-mouse-downstairs-moleMouse and Mole are neighbors, sharing the same tree.  They are friends, and they have their differences.  But, as friends, they try to work out any conflicts with some creative problem solving.

Mole sweeps his hole every morning to keep it tidy.  Mouse sweeps her house every evening – and the dirt falls down into Mole’s hole.  When Mole complains, they come up with a solution.  Together they sweep Mouse’s house, then sweep Mole’s hole.

Mole invites Mouse to lunch.  But, Mole’s hole is dark (Mouse can’t see very well), and damp (Mouse shivers), and she doesn’t like worms.  Mouse invites Mole to dinner.  But, Mouse’s house is bright (Mole can’t see very well), and the smell of Limburger cheese makes his stomach upset.  The solution:  Mole gives Mouse some candles to bring to his hole, and Mouse gives Mole a pair of sunglasses to wear when he visits her house – and they go out for cheesecake and worms.

These are sweet stories – told in four chapters – with colorful illustrations on each page.  The overall feel reminds me of the Frog and Toad books (by Arnold Lobel), with friendship and interesting ways of looking at situations.  This is a good book for young readers who are ready for paragraphs and short chapters.

The Blue Hill Meadows

The Blue Hill Meadows by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Ellen Beier

blue-hill-meadowsWillie Meadow lives with his family (mother, father, and big brother) in Blue Hill, Virginia – a green valley with mountains and lakes nearby. Things in Blue Hill seem to belong to a simpler, slower time.  This is a book about Willie and his family, told in four stories.

In the first story, the family adopts a stray dog.  They name her Lady, and they all dote on her in their own ways.  The mother brushes Lady’s coat.  The big brother wakes up early to feed her and take her outside.  The father sneaks her ice cream.  Willie seems to understand Lady the most.

“And when Lady wanted to play, Willie knew how to be a dog for her and tug and jump and roll.  Willie didn’t mind being a dog and sometimes wished he could stay one a good long while.”

When they realize that Lady will have puppies, the family is thrilled.  They find good homes for the puppies, and keep one for themselves (along with Lady of course).

In another story, the father in the family (Sullivan) takes a day fishing trip with one of his sons.

“Sullivan liked to take the boys fishing one at a time (‘to get to know them on their own,’ he’d say), and this delighted Willie.”

On the day of the fishing trip, Willie and his father wake up at dawn, eat a big breakfast, and set off.  They rent a boat on a lake, and spend the morning happily (and quietly) fishing together.  They have a grilled cheese lunch at a nearby restaurant where they talk and tell stories.

In the third story, the weather report says eight inches of snow is coming – and people get carried away, closing shops, getting off the roads, and sending children home early on the school buses.  Willie Meadow is supposed to take a bus home.  But, the buses park in different places and he can’t find his bus.  By the time he finds his teacher to help him look, all the buses have already driven away.  Willie and his family (who come to get him at his teacher’s house) end up waiting out the storm at Willie’s teacher’s house – playing games, making cookies, and playing with cats).

In the final story, Willie’s teacher reminds his students that Mother’s Day is coming.  Willie is worried about this, and wonders how to find the perfect gift for his mother.

“This year he could think only of one thing:  he must give his mother a gift that meant something.”

Two days before Mother’s Day, Willie finds his mother staring out the window watching a large wild rabbit.  And, Willie knows what to do – get her the rabbit.  But, since Willie knows his mother wouldn’t want a wild rabbit in a cage, Willie wants to make the rabbit stay around.  So, on Mother’s Day, Willie plants a garden for the wild rabbit, right under his mother’s tree.  It is the perfect gift.

This is a book of sweet stories of family life, perfect for beginning readers ready to move on to chapter books.  There are small, colorful illustrations on every page.  The text is in longer paragraphs.  There are four chapters.  The stories are full of family comfort and caring, told in Rylant’s flowing, easy-to-follow style.

Iris and Walter

Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest, illustrated by Christine Davenier

Iris-and-WalterIris’s family moved from the big city to the country.  Iris was sad because she missed things from her old life – like roller skating in the long hallway, tango music at night from a neighbor’s apartment, playing baseball after dinner with the neighborhood children, and her big front stoop.

Iris’s mother and father tried to cheer her up by suggesting ways she could play.  Iris did not cheer up.  Iris’s grandfather asked her to take a walk with him.  While walking, Iris told her grandfather that she hates the country because there are no children.

“Iris, my girl, there must be some children somewhere,” said Grandpa.

“Do you think so?” asked Iris.

“I know so.  We shall have to find them, Iris.  We shall be explorers!”

Iris and Grandpa walked until they found a huge tree.  A ladder came down as they stood under the tree talking, and Iris climbed up.  Iris found a tree house and a boy her age in the tree.

“Hey, Grandpa, there’s a kid up here named Walter!” yelled Iris.

“How wonderful,” said Grandpa.

And it was.

Iris and Walter became good friends.  They played together everyday and taught each other things – like how to roller skate in the house, and how to ride a pony.  Even though Iris still thought about her old life in the city, she was happy in the country because there were fun things to do, and a new friend to share in the adventures.

This is a good book for beginning readers – or for anyone facing a move to a new town.  Even though Iris is sad at first, her family is there to try to comfort her.  I particularly like that Iris’ grandfather tells her “You may tell me anything” when they go walking and Iris confides in him.

Iris and Walter has colorful illustrations on every page.  There are four chapters.

Bramble and Maggie

Bramble and Maggie by Jessie Haas, illustrated by Alison Friend

Bramble-and-MaggieBramble is a horse who gives riding lessons in a riding ring.  But, Bramble is getting bored of riding around and around the ring while Mrs. Blenkinsop tells the riders what to do (and they tell Bramble what to do).

Bramble expresses her boredom by slowing down, or walking backward instead of forwards, or going too fast, or, just not doing anything at all.  Mrs. Blenkinsop realizes that Bramble is bored with being a riding lesson horse.  Mrs. Blenkinsop tells Bramble she won’t have to do any more riding lessons – and that Bramble needs a person of her own.

” A person of her own.  Bramble liked that idea.  But not just any person.  She would have to be picky.”

And, Bramble is picky.  Two families with children come to look at Bramble, but she does not want to go live with them.  One family talks about their riding ring.  One family wants a horse that is a jumper.  Bramble finds ways of telling the families they aren’t for her.

Maggie and her parents come to look at Bramble.  Maggie instantly falls in love (even though she knows she should be picky).  Bramble is picky.  But, after riding together – Maggie asks to ride outside of the ring – Bramble decides that Maggie is the person for her.

Maggie gets everything ready for Bramble to come and live with her.  Bramble settles in, and Maggie takes care of her – and learns what Bramble likes.

“I have a horse!  Maggie thought.  And she has me.”

This is a fun story for a beginning reader with colorful illustrations on every page.  There are four chapters.