Review of Jayne Moraski’s pb How Alligator Got His Smile Back

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First I want to welcome Jayne Moraski to the the Guardian Angel Publishing Family.

Congratulations, Jayne, on publishing your first picture book.

 

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What made alligator lose his smile in the first place? For the answer, we must take a look at this “just so” story made up by Jayne Moraski and illustrated by Carl Kocich.

HOW ALLIGATOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK begins in the murky past when Tadpole Frog and Alligator had no feet, only flippers. They lived in the water and Alligator smiled a lot. These two were friends and loved to play together until the Tadpole Frog became too boastful. He thought so highly of himself he didn’t realize Alligator let him win the race. Then eventually, Frog developed legs and hopped onto land, and his pride really took off. He sang, “Frogs are special. We are grand. We live in water and on land.”

This hurt Alligator’s feelings and Alligator cried and cried salty tears. He cried so much he turned the fresh-water swamp salty. The cypress trees had to pull away from the salty water.

Alligator’s friends, the little plover birds, asked the Great Spirit for help. The Great Spirit granted Alligator one wish. Alligator simply wanted to have legs. The wish was granted.

Now Alligator walks on land the same as Frog. And he SMILES! Frog wonders about that smile. And when he sees Alligator smiling that mysterious smile, he stops his loud croaking. There’s no boasting in Alligator’s presence.

The pictures by illustrator Carl Kocich are too pleasant to scare a little child. The early ones of the distant past give a dreamy cast to the atmosphere. And when Alligator cries, the reader feels sympathy for him. The bordering around each page is a bonus that adds to the beauty of the book.

Some of this story is made up, but the book also has interesting facts that make learning about swamps and amphibians (that’s what Frog is) and reptiles (Alligator is one) lots of fun. There are also suggestions for activities in which kids compare and contrast the two species in the book using textual clues. Some students in classrooms have already enjoyed doing the activities.

(A note about “just so” stories. That is the term Rudyard Kipling used when he made up pretend ways that animals changed from some original form to the one we know today. “The Elephant’s Child” or “How the Elephant Got its Trunk” is one of the best. I love this kind of story). Jayne calls her story a modern myth with a science twist.

HOW ALLIGATOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK is published by Guardian Angel Publishing and is available here: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/alligator.htm

go ANGELS           and       go GATORS!

 

 

Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2, by Barbara Cairns

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We enjoyed Gatsby’s first grand adventure so much, I think we should take a look at his second.

If you remember, Gatsby is the cat that lives with Miss Annabelle. He just can’t resist jumping into the paintings in Miss Annabelle’s art gallery. His first adventure was with the boys playing snap the whip in Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip.” The second adventure, by Barbara Cairns, is titled Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2: August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.”

Everything would be fine if Gatsby remembered to leave the paintings before daybreak. But sometimes, time gets away from him.

That’s what happened when Gatsby is chased up a tree by the little black dog in Pierre August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.” The apple seller with her basket of apples, two little girls, and the mother of the two girls, run after the animals, and finally, one of the little girls scoops up the dog. He escapes from her, but in the meantime, Gatsby gets away and returns to the art gallery. UT OH! He left behind a mess!

It takes Gatsby two more nights of jumping into the painting to set things straight.

Eugene Ruble’s illustrations again show Gatsby as the enthusiastic, bouncy ball of grey and white fur. The line drawings filled with watercolor depict the scenery and characters of the story in pleasant pastels with lots of movement and activity. In contrast, the apple seller is dressed in dark colors and the little dog is black. The apples are a delicious red.

It’s a treat to see a small reproduction of Renoir’s “The Apple Seller,” rendered in the artist’s soft, feathery style. The biography of Renoir at the end of the book is an excellent introduction to this great artist.

Mrs. Cairns has promised us more adventures starring the inquisitive cat, Gatsby.

Gatsby Grand Adventures series can be found at Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore, as well as other bookstores.

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The Booker Award

Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases

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Here is a great selection of books for young children coming from Guardian Angel Publishing. And You Parents will enjoy reading along side your kids, as well. You can count on GAP books to be exciting, wholesome, fun, and informative–with lots of heart.

Guardian Angel August 2013 Releases
Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Mary Jean Kelso, art KC Snider
Great Gobs of Gustation: The Sum of Our Parts  Book 8 Academic Wings
by Bill Kirk, art by Eugene Ruble
A rhyme which describes the sense of taste and how it works to help you tell what you like to eat and what you don’t. Book 8 of the Sum of our Parts anatomical educational series
Just Too Little  Littlest Angel
by Judith J. Miller, art Sonal Panse
At her grandparents farm Pam is too little to help with the chores.
Michael’s Safari Littlest Angel
by JennaKay Francis art by Craig Howarth
Michael takes an imaginary journey.
The New Puppy Animals & Pets
by Raelene Hall art by Kevin Collier, Gisele LaBlanc
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Review of Barbara Cairns’ Gatsby’s Grand Adventure

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I’m happy to present a recent addition to the Guardian Angel Publishing family, Barbara Cairns, whose picture book is illustrated by a familiar GAP illustrator, Eugene Ruble.

In Gatsby’s Grand Adventure we get a double helping of artistic fare. No—make that a triple helping. We have Barbara’s colorful, energetic writing, Eugene’s amusing illustrations, and Winslow Homer’s realistic, homey Americana paintings.

Gatsby

Barbara presents the problem right up front. “Gatsby the cat lived in Miss Annabelle’s art gallery. At night, he had the most peculiar habit. He jumped into famous paintings. When he remembered to jump out before sunrise, everything was fine. But sometimes, Gatsby forgot.”

Ut, oh. Did you see the word “WHEN”? I think we have one of those “when”s coming up.

And what more fun painting for Gatsby to jump into than Winslow Homer’s “Crack the Whip”!

In the painting, eight boys are playing crack the whip in front of a small one-room schoolhouse. Homer captures the spirit of fun and freedom of children of the 1870s (check out those clothes).

If you or your child, grandchild, or school class don’t know how to play crack the whip—you must take a look at this painting. Kids used to have hilarious fun without gadgetry—just friends.

Eugene not only had to reproduce Homer’s subjects, but add Cairns’ characters as well. And they are Gatsby the cat, his Mistress Miss Annabelle, and a mouse and a dog. He even goes inside the schoolhouse. And he does it smoothly and convincingly, integrating past and present.

Barbara’s main character, Gatsby, has a penchant for entering the paintings in the gallery. But when he enters “Crack the Whip,” he causes a minor problem. It’s funny the way one problem leads to another until Gatsby finally sets things right.

Gatsby’s now looking forward to more adventures with the new paintings set to arrive soon. But that’s another story.

This entertaining and educational book is available at Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore and other fine book stores . http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/gatsby-snap-the-whip.htm

My review copy was provided by the author. I enjoyed reading it and reviewing it.

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literary classics GOLD AWARD SEAL

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, II

I want to thank Tina Cho for tagging me to participate in “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.” These answers pertain to my book, which has yet to have a publication date. After the questions, I tag other authors, where you can read about their “Next Big Thing!” Please join us!

My answers to these questions will introduce you to my next big adventure.

What is the working title of your book? Arctic Danger

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired to write a story about some kids I saw swimming in a river in Alaska when my husband and I were traveling there in our motorhome. But I had no plot. Then I heard about an Alaska pipeline oil spill, and there was my plot.

What genre does your book fall under? Middle Grade Adventure

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I would choose a couple of unknown kids for the two main characters, Athabascan brother and sister.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A leisurely kayak trip by two kids is interrupted whey they must rush to report an oil pipeline spill.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It is under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About a week or two

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Any middle grade book that has children being courageous.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The depiction of an unusual environment and the typical lives of youngsters living in a cold climate. Also, that the pipeline zig-zags across the countryside.

Thanks, Tina, for giving me the opportunity to talk about what I hope will be MY next big thing.

Now I would like to tag Jayne Moraski who has a beautiful book in production.

Sunshine Blogger Award

My fellow Guardian Angel Publishing author, Penelope Ann Cole, has passed on to me the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Thank you, Penny, for this honor.

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I will tell you about some of my favorite things so you can get to know me better:
Favorite Color – Rainbow
Favorite Animal –at the moment, Elephants, because I’m working on a story about an elephant
Favorite Number – 10, that’s how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren I have, combined
Favorite Drink – Gatorade (purple) mixed with cran-grape juice
Facebook or Twitter – don’t care much for either
Your Passions –Writing/Wild Flowers/Ecology
Giving or getting presents – Giving and getting
Favorite Day –Saturday. This is a holdover from when I was teaching–sleep in!
Favorite Flowers – Milkweed/Passion vine/Roses/Princess flower

I am now extending this honor of the Sunshine Award to 3 more Bloggers.

This prize is given to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” 

 

The 3 blogs I have awarded are listed below. A huge hug and thank you to each of  these bloggers for inspiring me with their knowledge, humor, and creativity:

Maggie Lyons: http://www.maggie-lyons.blogspot.com

Maggie’s blog is sunshine manifest; a smorgasbord of literary ideas.

 

Tina Cho: http://tinamcho.wordpress.com

Tina’s Tidbits is a glimpse into an active mind. If you need inspiration, go here.

 

Laura Sassi: http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com

Laura’s blog is a place that celebrates writing, reading, and life. It’s a joy simply to look at her home page.

 
Thank you, Maggie, Tina, and Laura for bringing SUNSHINE into the lives of children with your books.

 

Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s Magical Matthew

It is my pleasure to introduce Penelope Anne Cole and her picture book for kids ages 4-9, Magical Matthew.  This books is published by Guardian Angel Publising

 

 

 

 

Penelope Anne Cole is an observer. When she noticed a child moving into “double digits,” she wondered how she could put this aging process into a book for children. Magical Matthew is the result. She herself is much like Matthew; she has worked helping people as a Human Resources person and as a teacher. Ms. Cole has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University and a Masters in Human Development Education from the University of Maryland.

What kid wouldn’t want to have special powers—like the one Matthew has? Matthew can magically fix things, but he keeps it a secret for a long time. It’s important that whoever learns about the secret can be trusted. Lily, Matthew’s good friend, helps him find things that need to be fixed. When she figures out about the secret power, Matthew shares everything with his grandma. Grandma wonders if Lily can be trusted and Matthew says he thinks she can. But suddenly Matthew no longer has his power. He lost his last baby tooth and this is a signal that he’s getting too old. At first he’s angry, but Grandma convinces him there are other ways to fix things, even though those ways take more effort. He and Lily will continue to do good deeds. But the power to fix things isn’t lost. When you read the book you will see how the spirit of helpfulness lives on!

Kevin Collier’s illustrations show just how excited and astonished Matthew is when he realizes he has this power and later, his disappointment when he outgrows it. It’s very interesting the way Kevin interpreted Penelope’s poem about the way Matthew sees himself. Together, Penelope and Kevin have created characters whom young readers will be happy to know and parents will find trustworthy.

disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Magical Matthew from Guardian Angel Publishing http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/matthew.htm in order to review it. I enjoyed it and think it is a worthwhile book to  add to any child’s collection. The book is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Written Inspiration, Nov. 4, 2012

Illustration by Jack Foster for Fantastic Flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Flight was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Gold Seal Book Award.

“Written Inspiration: A Children’s Book-Signing Event” at the Harn Museum of Art
will showcase Florida Authors and Illustrators

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida will be holding “Written Inspiration: A Children’s Book-Signing Event” on November 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. The books featured at this event will appeal to children ages five to thirteen.

More than 20 authors and illustrators from various areas throughout Florida will participate in the event. Visitors may browse booths, talk with authors and have their purchased books personalized. Each author and illustrator will offer a hands-on art activity that relates to his or her book.Book readings throughout the day include Troubles on the St. Johns River by Jacksonville author Jane Wood at 1:15 p.m., Some Call Me ‘Superstar’ by Tallahassee author Carl Joseph at 2:15 p.m., Victricia Malicia by Gainesville author Carrie Clickard at 3:15 p.m., and Jason and Elihu: A Fisherman’s Story at 4:15 p.m. by Gainesville author Shelley Fraser Mickle.

“Written Inspiration” is organized through the Harn Museum of Art Store and is sponsored by Wild Onion Press of Gainesville, FL and Friesens Printing. The Disability Affairs Cabinet of University of Florida Student Government is supporting Carl Joseph’s reading of Some Call Me ‘Superstar.’ A portion of book sales supports exhibitions and programs at the Harn Museum of Art.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

The following books, authors and illustrators will be featured:

Mark Wayne Adams, Longwood, Florida
Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous
Jilli, That’s Silly!
Best Sketchbook
The Belly Button Fairy
The Fart Fairy
A Guinea in My Cap?
Teddy Tales
Pop the Bubbles 1, 2, 3
My Friendly Giant
Along the Cliff Walk
Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: I Met Gandhi!
Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: Kenya, Kenya!
King for a Day: The Story of Stories

Jan Godown Annino, Tallahassee, Florida
She Sang Promise

Nikole Brooks Bethea, Marianna, Florida
G is for Grits: A Southern Alphabet

Barbara Bockman, Gainesville, Florida
Fantastic Flight

Dr. Ruth E. Clark, Palm Harbor, Florida
Florida Santa: Is He Real? How Do We Know it?
Whilomeena Loves White
Airport Mouse
series and related activity books

Carrie Clickard, Gainesville, Florida
Victricia Malicia

Carl Joseph and Dr. Kevin McCarthy, Tallahassee, Florida
Some Call Me “Superstar”

Ann Clare LeZotte and Andre Frattino, Gainesville, Florida
Here Comes Julie Jack!

DeBorah Denson McCray, Gainesville, Florida
Diary of a Painted Lady

Shelley Fraser Mickle, Gainesville, Florida
Jason & Elihu- A Fisherman’s Story
The Story of Amos, the Bummed Out Canine
The Polio Hole

Nancy H. Murray, Jacksonville, Florida
The Night the Elephants Cried- A Story of the Tsunami
Gullah, the Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina

Bonnie Ogle, Gainesville, Florida
Arthur the Arthropod

Vivian Owens, Eustis, Florida
Nadanda The Wordmaker
The Rosebush Witch
How Oswa Came to Own All Music

Colleen Rand, Gainesville, Florida
Big Bunny

Merri Roderick, Naples, Florida
AlphaZany

Rob Sanders, Brandon, Florida
Cowboy Christmas

Annette Simon, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Robot Zombie Frankenstein!

Patricia Poyet Swingle, Gainesville, Florida
Incredibly Clever Critters

Elle Thornton, Atlantic Beach, Florida
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis

June Weltman, Jacksonville, Florida
Mystery of the Missing Candlestick

Ellen Wolfson Valladares, Weston, Florida
Jonathan’s Journey to Mount Miapu

Jane R. Wood, Jacksonville, Florida
Trouble on the St. Johns River
Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country
Voices in St. Augustine
Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, A Princess and Buried Treasure

Janelle Woodyard, Sorrento, Florida
A Girl’s Guide to Softball

 

About the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 8,300 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia and educational programs for adults, students and children.

The Harn Museum, at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in Gainesville, Fla., is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

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my award winning picture book, Fantastic Flight

Literary Classics Announces Youth Media Top Book Winners

SOUTH DAKOTA, Monday, October 15, 2012 – Literary Classics announced its 2012 selection of top books for children and young adults today.  Award recipients were selected from entries received throughout the world.  The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize the following titles in children’s and young adult literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics Awards committee.

A list of the 2012 recipients follows:

Best First Picture Book, PreSchool, A Box Story by Kenneth Kit Lamug

Best First Picture Book, Early Reader, Terple Always Dream Bigger by Richie Frieman

Best Illustrator, Bella & Harry, Let’s Visit Athens, Illustrated by Kristine Lucco

Best Series, The Bella & Harry Book Series by Lisa Manzione

Best First Chapter Book, Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes by PHC Marchesi

Gold – Picture Book, Preschooler,  Fantastic Flight by Barbara Bockman

and illustrated by Jack Foster

Silver – Picture Book, Preschooler, Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep by Kathy Stemke

Gold – Picture Book, Early Reader, Bella & Harry Let’s Visit London by Lisa Manzione, Illustrated by Kristine Lucco

Silver – Picture Book, Early Reader, Bella & Harry Let’s Visit Cairo by Lisa Manzione, Illustrated by Kristine Lucco

Gold – Educational, Early Reader, The Great Divide, Suzanne Slade

Silver – Educational, Early Reader, Animal Animalogies by Marianne Berkes

Gold – Environmental Issues, Early Reader, Sea Turtle Summer by Nancy Stewart

Silver – Environmental Issues, Early Reader, One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart

Gold – Non Fiction Preteen, Clara’s Great War by Evelyn Rothstein

Gold – General Preteen, the Casting by Joyce Shor Johnson

Silver – General Preteen, Return to Finkleton by KC Hilton

Gold – Fiction Preteen, the Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Silver – Fiction Preteen, Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi

Gold – Fantasy Preteen, Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes by PHC Marchesi

Silver – Fantasy Preteen, Shield Maiden by Richard Denning

Gold – Science Fiction Preteen, Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes by PHC Marchesi

Silver – Science Fiction – Preteen, The Crystal Ship by CJ Carter-Stephenson

Gold – Mystery Preteen, the Stone Child by Dan Poblocki

Gold – General Young Adult, Runaway Twins by Pete Palamountain

Silver – General Young Adult, Young, Funny & Unbalanced by David Smithyman

Gold – Fiction Young Adult, Caves, Cannons & Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure

Silver – Fiction Young Adult, Young Knights of the Round Table The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello

Gold – Non-Fiction Young Adult, Black & White by Larry Dane Brimner

Gold – Fantasy Fiction Young Adult, Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Silver – Fantasy Fiction Young Adult, Drawn by Marie Lamba

Gold – Science Fiction Young Adult, the Limit by Kristen Landon

Silver – Science Fiction Young Adult, the Orphan Ship by Sterling R. Walker

Gold – Mystery Young Adult, Stalked by Kristiana Gregory

Cultural Issues, Clara’s Great War by Evelyn Rothstein

Holiday, Santa & The Little Teddy Bear by Peter John Lucking

Self Esteem, Beautiful Wild Rose Girl by B. Magnolia

Female Audience, My Sister is my Best Friend by Nicole Weaver

Mature Issues, In Memory of Dad by Maranda Russell

Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations.  Judging is based upon the criteria set forth by Literary Classics’ highly selective awards committee which honors books promoting character, vision, creativity and learning, through content which possesses key elements found in well-crafted literature.

The Literary Classics judging committee consists of experts with backgrounds in publishing, writing, editing, design, illustration, and book reviewing.   To learn more about Literary Classics, visit their website at http://www.literaryclassicsawards.com.

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My Congratulations to all the winners. This is an awesome list of books. And my thanks to Lynda S. Burch, my publisher, and Jack Foster, the illustrator of Fantastic Flight.

Good News

I’m happy to announce that my picture book, Fantastic Flight, illustrated by Jack Foster, was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE LETTER THAT CAME WITH THE AWARD:

Children’s Literary Classics is pleased to announce that the children’s picture book, Fantastic Flight, written by Barbara Bockman and illustrated by Jack Foster, has been selected to receive the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children’s Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

Fantastic Flight is the whimsical tale of a young girl staying for a week at her grandparents who becomes homesick after only one night away from home.  When her grandfather takes her for an adventure to help cure her homesickness, she soon learns that an outing with Grandpa is anything but ordinary.  Barbara Bockman has crafted an imaginative tale that is sure to enchant young readers.  Paired with delightful illustrations by Jack Foster, this book is a high-flying adventure in reading.

Children’s Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in  children’s literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic children’s literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations.   To learn more about Children’s Literary Classics, you may visit their website at http://www.clcawards.org or www.childrensliteraryclassics.com

Fantastic Flight is available at: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/fantastic-flight.htm

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