Thursday, October 25, 2012

Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey

Hello Good Readers,
The Queen here with a groovin' new book for you. Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Henry Cole is about little chick who wants to surf like her dad, but that big, wide ocean sends her feathers all in a ruffle. Read to see how Surfer Chick overcomes her fears and masters to totally awesome waves.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: Surfer Chick
Author: Kristy Dempsey                                                                     
Illustrator: Henry Cole

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Abrams Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 32 pages
Genre: Children's Picture book
ISBN: 978-1419701887

Book Theme:
Surfing, ocean, facing fears, learning to swim, learning a new skill

Book Summary  from Amazon
“Two birds of a feather, a chick and her dad, lived by the shore, in a radical pad. A legend in surfing, Chick’s dad ruled the Roost. Chick’s dream was to learn every move he produced.”
So begins the story of a little chick and her dad who take to the beach so she can finally learn how to surf. At first Chick’s mood is foul as she struggles through some gnarly waters, but soon she is catching waves on her own board and even doing righteous tricks, just like her rad dad!
Filled with cool surf lingo, this sweet rhyming picture book is perfect for summer at the beach and for celebrating the love between a father and a daughter.

Activity Adventures:

Discussion Questions:
Talk about fears. What are they? Name different kinds of fears.

What are steps that can be taken to get over a fear?

Make a wave bottle. While putting it together, talk about what makes waves

Here's a site that talks about surfing waves
More information lesson ideas on ocean waves.

Writing Prompts:
Write about a fear you've had and how you got over it.

Authors Arena

Kristy Dempsey is the author of Me with You and two other forthcoming picture books. She lives in Brazil.
Find out more about Dempsey here.

Illustrator: from Harper Collins

Henry Cole grew up on a dairy farm outside Purcellville, Virginia. Always interested in art and science, he studied forestry at Virginia Tech. He is a self-taught artist, although his mother was a professional illustrator and gave him many pointers along the way. His education required him to study nature closely, and his observation of such details helped him with his drawing. Henry worked in a number of jobs, including magazine illustration, and for sixteen years taught elementary grade science classes. He now lives in Washington D.C., and on the island of Aruba.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Knight, The Princess &The Magic Rock by Sara Azizi

Good day dear reader friends,
The Queen here with a magical tales of bravery, adventure and magic. The Knight, The Princess and the Magic Rock is an old Persian tale taken from the legendary “Book of Kings” (Shahnameh), written over a thousand years ago. This story has been retold time and again, and now is beautifully told and illustrated by Sara Azizi and Alireza Sadeghian.

This book will fit in nicely with any cultural study lesson plans.

Happy Reading!
The Queen


Book Title: The Knight, The Princess & The Magic Rock
Author: Sara Azizi                                                                             
Illustrator: Alireza Sadeghian

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Wisdom Tales; 1 edition (July 16, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 32 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1937786014

Book Theme:
Persian folklore, bravery, adventure, love

Book Summary from
The Knight, the Princess & the Magic Rock beautifully brings to life the enchanting story of Bijan, a brave young knight from the ancient land of Persia, and his star-crossed lover, Manijeh, princess of an enemy kingdom. Originally written over a thousand years ago, the story has been rendered into films, operas, and plays. Rich in symbolism, and filled with acts of heroism, secret potions, and the king’s all-knowing golden cup, the tale will delight children everywhere.

Activity Adventures:

Talk about what folktales are. Some are truth, some are fables or made up stories. Some are stories passed down from generation to generation and nobody is sure if they are true or not.

Compare folktales from other countries. Are there any similarities?  How are they different? Some counties and cultures share a common story, but have a different way of telling it, such as the story of Cinderella. Google the numerous versions of this favorite story.

Crafty Ideas:
Coloring page from one of the book illustrations. Click this link to download the pdf file.

Writing Prompts:
Some writers take a folktale and turn it into a modern day story. How could you take this classic Persian tale and re-write it in a modern setting? Try and see what kind of story you come up with.

Authors Arena

Author bio: from Wisdom Tales

Sara Azizi is a writer and storyteller who has wide-ranging interests in the arts in general and traditional Persian literature in particular. A native of Iran, she has lived and studied in Potsdam, New York, and Toronto. The Knight, the Princess, and the Magic Rock is her first book to be published in the US.

Sara Azizi is a writer and storyteller. The aim of her work is to bring the beauty of foreign lands and especially Persian culture to a wider Western audience. A native of Iran, she has lived and studied in Potsdam, New York, and Toronto, Canada. The Knight, the Princess & the Magic Rock is her first book to be published in the US.

Sara Azizi would like to share some of her thoughts and experiences on her development as a writer of children’s books with you: Read More Here

Illustrator bio: from Wisdom Tales

Alireza Sadeghian is a professional painter and illustrator. In addition to his design and illustration work, he has also taught children’s art classes. He holds a degree in the preservation and restoration of historic sites and monuments, and lives in Isfahan, Iran with his wife and two children. The Knight, the Princess & the Magic Rock is his first book to be published in the US. He truly enjoys illustrating children’s books!

Alireza would like to share some of his experiences as a painter and illustrator with you:READ MORE HERE.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Out of the Blue by Vanita Oslschlager

Happy October Good friends.
Today, I've found a delightful book that can be used by home-schools, in the classroom, or even at home. Out of the Blue uses fun illustrations of what idiom phrases describe literally. The reader will then have to guess the “real” meaning of the phrases. If you're unsure, Vanita Oelschlager has added an explanation at the bottom of each page. You'll need to be able to read upside down. Of course, turning the book over works as well.

At the end of the book, readers are invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

This is a great book to use for beginning lessons on idioms, especially in younger grades. The phrases are simple, and focus on colors words.

Happy Reading,
The Queen

Book Title: Out of the Blue
Author:  Vanita Oelschlager                                                             Illustrator:Robin Hegan

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Vanita Books (May 1, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 40 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book: Language Arts
ISBN: 978-0983290421

Book Theme:
Idioms, play on color words, language arts lessons

Book Summary from Netgalley
Out of the Blue shows children the magic of idioms - words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different. Children are curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh ("Tickled Pink"), sound silly ("Shrinking Violet") or trigger images that tickle a child's sense of the absurd ("A Red Letter Day"). Out of the Blue uses outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally.

Activity Adventures

Young Readers:
Idioms are confusing for younger children to grasp. As you go through the book, talk about how people have common sayings that get repeated and repeated until eventually, they become part of our cultural way of speaking.
Use the upside-down phrase explanation to talk about what the saying means. 

Older Readers:
Look up the origins of the idioms listed in the book. Find more idioms and illustrate a literal picture of the saying.

Crafty Ideas:
Find a book of idioms. Read or write a few phrases on a board, picking some of the more simpler sayings. Don't explain the meaning behind the phrase yet.
Tell children to close their eyes, get a picture of what the phrase means, then illustrate it. In a classroom, the drawings can be hung up and discussed. Did everyone see the same thing? Are the pictures different? Why? Finally, after talking about what the idiom might mean, tell children what it really means and where the phrase originated from. 

What are idioms?
(taken from Vinita Books)
Every language has “figures of speech”, or idioms. They are kind of a short hand way of explaining something unfamiliar or complicated.

The English language has thousands of them. You cannot understand them because the group of words together has little, often nothing, to do with the meanings of the words taken one by one.

Hundreds of years ago, the words might have meant what they said, but today they do not.

In order to understand a language, you must know what the idioms in that language mean. If you try to figure out the meaning of the idiom word by word you’re likely to get nowhere – you will get befuddled or confused. You have to know the “hidden” meaning. You need to read between the lines and behind the words.

Authors Arena

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet.

She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee.

She has also supported and helped Jim as he built Oak Associates, ltd. into a successful investment management firm.

Today, as an accomplished author, Vanita shares openly the experiences that she, Jim and their families have had with multiple sclerosis. She has likened MS to living with an elephant, one that won't go away or be ignored. Together, she and Jim have found ways to live with this "elephant", and to share some of the larger lessons about life they've learned through the disease.

Her first book of idioms, Birds of a Feather (2009), dealt with birds, insects or animals. The second, Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries (2011) uses food idioms. Out of the Blue uses color idioms. All three are fun – and instructive.

Illustrator: Robin Hegan

 Robin Hegan has many artistic talents but she enjoys illustrating children's books the most. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Integrative Arts. Robin resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.