Monday, May 31, 2010

We Remember - Memorial Day 2010

Today we remember and honor those men and women in uniform who have died in service to our country.

Presidential Proclamation--Memorial Day 2010
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day."

"In Flanders Fields" Poem Printable for Kids
About the VFW Buddy Poppy

Friday, May 28, 2010

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (5/28/10)

Another late edition of FTTB! I got a little too busy working on my ArmchairBEA posts this week and didn't follow the giveaways as much. Regardless, there seems to be plenty to browse through this week. Please check out my other "Full to the Brim" posts as well. Many contests are still underway. I publish "Full to the Brim" every Friday. Thanks for visiting my blog and come back soon!

Fish for more children's book giveaways at Lori Calabrese's Fish for a Free Book linkup each Friday

My giveaways:
Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman (picture book) - Ends 6/14/10

Other book giveaways:
Tolivers To Texas - Book Giveaway Ends 5/30/10
S is for Score or 'Til the Cows Come Home
The Mommy-Files - Book Giveaway Ends 6/3/10 US
Where Is Love? by Laura Nadler Scott
Little Birdie Secrets - Book Giveaway Ends 5/29/10
Klutz Glossy Bands
Hip Mama's Place - Book Giveaway Ends 6/12/10 US/Canada
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier
Mom's The Glue - Book Giveaway Ends 6/13/10 US
4 Scholastic Books
512 Kidz - Book Giveaway Ends 5/30/10 US
Kohls' Toy Story prize package that includes the Toy Story books 1 and 2, plus Toy Story plush characters- Buzz, Woody, and Rex
The Nurse Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 6/5/10 US
Sid the Science Kid: Everybody Move Your Feet
Misadventures in Baby Raising - Book Giveaway Ends 6/3/10 US
3 picture books by Mark Teague
The Mom Reviews - Book Giveaway Ends 6/7/10 US
Angelina Ballerina book, and an Angelina tee
Reading Through Life - Book Giveaway Ends 5/30/10 International
(1) boxed set of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books
Books, Movies, Reviews! - Book Giveaway Ends 6/1/10 International
Book of choice from under $15
The World of Peachtree Publishers - Book Giveaway Ends 6/1/10
4 Signed books: 14 Cows for America signed by Carmen Agra Deedy; Throwing Heat signed by Fred Bowen; The Blue House Dog signed by Deborah Blumenthal and Adam Gustavson; How to Play Ball Like the Pros signed by Steven Krasner
There's A Book - Book Giveaway Ends 5/29/10 International
Signed copy of The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Dancing with Dragons is Hard on Your Shoes - Book Giveaway Ends 5/2/10 US
Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them - Book Giveaway Ends 5/31/10
One of Us by Peggy Moss or a signed copy of Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins
Stephanie's Written Word - Book Giveaway Ends 6/4/10
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
5 Minutes for Books - Book Giveaway Ends 6/9/10 US/Canada
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
5 Minutes for Mom - Book Giveaway Ends 5/31/10 US/Canada
Potty Animals: What to Know When You’ve Gotta Go! by Hope Vestergaard
Did You See That? - Book Giveaway Ends 6/3/10
Nancy Drew Prize Package
That's It Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 6/7/10
Round The Garden book and Round The Garden cards
Muse Reviews - Book Giveaway Ends 6/1/10
Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea
Coolest Kid Reviews - Book Giveaway Ends 6/2/10
Time For Bed, Baby Ted
Mommy PR - Book Giveaway Ends 6/7/10
Annabel Karmel Mom and Me Cookbook

Have a children's book you are giving away on your blog? Let me know! I'll spread the word here!

Weekly Book Memes, Link-ups and Round-Ups : A List

Today, several book bloggers are meeting at the BBC Convention in NY and discussing various blogging topics including Writing and Building Content as well as Marketing. A while back, another blogger asked me how I connect with other blogging moms that love books. The book blogging community is a wonderful place to start, but I've also connected with a number of wonderful book-loving moms outside the book community. Most often I've discovered their blogs while participating weekly meme/link-ups. As far as building content for blogs, do like the link-ups. I follow so many great bloggers and would love to read each and every one of their posts every day, but the reality is that my personal life just doesn't allow me unlimited time online reading hundreds of daily posts. The weekly link-ups give me a chance to reconnect weekly with bloggers I've met over the last two years. The memes also serve another purpose in providing me with some inspiration and motivation for my book review postings.

Florinda at The 3 R's Blog offers a slightly different view of memes today on her blog. I do agree that sometimes bloggers rely a little too much on memes for content builders. And I also agree that it's important to make sure to personalize meme posts so that readers can get a sense of, as Florinda says, the "voice of its writer." But I disagree with the statement that a book blogger can outgrow memes. If you have a book blog and are serious about getting the word out about your blog, you would be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring memes and link-ups. When I spend my precious time writing a review, I sure hope that someone will take the time to read it. And from my experience, the posts I've written for link-ups in general get more traffic. But here's my little secret about participating in memes and content. Chose ones that allow you to post on a topic that could easily stand alone without the meme. Make memes a bonus, not the driving force behind a post. Your original content will shine through and just maybe someone new will stop by your blog and say hi!

Zoe at Playing By the Book posted a couple great lists of kids’ book memes and weekly play memes in April. I've expanded her lists and also added a few other general memes. There's also a good list of memes in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Events Calendar. If you know of any other memes that fit this list, please let me know!

Childrens' Book Related Weekly Memes, Link-ups and Round-Ups:

Nonfiction Monday - host schedule at Picture Book of the Day

Book Sharing Monday at Serendipity Home School

Winning Kids at Winning Readings

stART (Story + Art) at A Mommy's Adventures

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word

The Adventure of Motherhood Feed Me Books Friday at The Adventure of Motherhood

Poetry Friday - host schedule at Kidlitosphere

Fairy Tale Fridays at Tif Talks Books

Retro Friday at Angieville

What My Child Is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns

Kid Konnection Kid Konnection at Booking Mama

Other Book Memes:
The Sunday Salon at The Sunday Salon
In My Mailbox at The Story Siren
Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at Book Journey
The Book List at Lost in Books
Teaser Tuesdays at Should Be Reading
WWW Wednesdays at Should Be Reading
A-Z Wednesday at Reading At The Beach
Book Review Wednesdays at Cym Lowell
Booking Through Thursday at Booking Through Thursday
Book Blogger Hop at Crazy for Books
Friday Finds at Should Be Reading
Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon

General Memes:
Wordless Wednesday or Wordful Wednesday hosted by several blogs including 5 Minutes for Mom and Seven Clown Circus.

Jenny Matlock Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock

Some other lists of memes:
Mom's Blog Resource Memes
I Blame My Mother List of Memes and Carnivals

Read more ArmchairBEA posts relating to BBC topics at today's Book Blogger Convention Roundtable linkup.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes - Book Review and Craft

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin; illustrated by James Dean. HarperCollins (March 2010); ISBN 9780061906237; 40 pages
(Book Source: Review copy from publisher)
I'm not sure what our cat would do if we tried to put shoes on his feet, but I bet he wouldn't appreciate it one bit. However, a blue cat named Pete, in the book titled Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, doesn't have a problem with shoes and wears his styling white pair everywhere. While he walks, he sings this song, "I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes." His song and shoe color changes along the way as he walks through various colored piles of strawberries, blueberries, mud and even a puddle of water. Does he get worried? "Goodness, no!" He just keeps walking along, singing his song.

This singable and groovy picture book is by an interesting author and illustrator pairing. Eric Litwin, a songwriter, approached artist James Dean about his blue cat paintings and decided to write a song and book about the cat. The pair first self-published the book, and HarperCollins eventually snatched it up. You can read more about the inspiration behind Pete the Cat and his shoe story here. Inside the book is a card that lists a website where you can listen to the song for free. My kids both enjoy singing the cute and easy to remember song along with me as we read the book together. There's plenty of repetition, the book teaches color recognition and it even has a moral of sorts--keep going no matter what happens because it's all good.

The book reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite stories from childhood, Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham. Storyline Online has videos of stars reading popular picture books. Recently they added an awesome video of Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog. If you've never been there, it is worth a visit!

Related Links:
Pete the Cat Shoe Coloring Page [pdf]
Pin the Shoe on Pete Printable [pdf]
Pete the Cat Find a Match Game [pdf]

❖❖❖❖❖❖ stART Project - Pete the Cat Dry Erase Cutouts ❖❖❖❖❖❖

The book is all about Pete's shoes getting dirty and changing color, so I decided to try and help the kids recreate the story by making some Pete the Cat cutouts covered in contact paper.

The kids used dry erase markers to color Pete's shoes in any color they wanted.

When they wanted to change the colors of the shoes, they just used a paper towel to erase the marker.

We even had our Pete the Cat pictures walk through some blackberry jelly (I didn't have strawberry). Pretty cool!

Jenny Matlock

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well. This week's Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock focuses on the letter "S" so we've linked up our Shoe book review with the groovy Song and hope you enjoy our Shoe craft and don't forget to check out Storyline Online!

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Birthday Bash and Armchair BEA Book Giveaway - Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman

What do Margaret Wise Brown, Arnold Lobel, Ian Fleming, Diane deGroat, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Pope Osborne, Lillian Hoban, Margret Rey, Eoin Colfer, L. Frank Baum, Edward Lear, James M. Barrie, Leo Lionni, Charles Shaw, and Don Wood all have in common? They were all born in the month of May!

My birthday is in May, too, so I thought I'd have a special birthday bash book giveaway to celebrate. Plus, today also happens to be Armchair BEA Giveaway Day! One of our favorite picture books about birthdays is Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman. I reviewed Otto Grows Down last year on Brimful Curiosities and here's a snippet of my summary (make sure to click on over to my whole review if you want to learn more about the book):
The birthday. The candles and cake. The WISH! Otto, on his sixth birthday, feels rather neglected. You see, one week earlier, he became a big brother. No longer the center of attention, Otto takes his birthday wish to heart and wishes his baby sister Anna was never born. In theory, you'd think a wish like that would set things like they were before. Not quite so, as Otto quickly learns. The wish makes time go backwards. Yes, Otto's parents take his sister back to the hospital. But backwards time doesn't stop there. Time continues to go in reverse. Otto, to his dismay, grows younger, smaller and more frantic as each former birthday passes and he desperately tries to set things right.
Believe me, Sussman's humorous and unusual book is definitely memorable. My daughter frequently requests to read "the birthday book" because the premise of growing down and time going backwards is so very interesting and unique. As I near my mid 30's, the thought of time going backwards does sound kind of appealing. But even though I sometimes dread growing another year older, I'm going to think on the positive side and take each day as it comes, enjoy my life and count my blessings. No, I won't be wishing to for time to go in reverse. But it's still fun to take a trip down memory lane. Today I'm posting pictures and taking you on a journey as "Janelle Grows Down," from age 6 to age 1. Enjoy and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end!

Michael Sussman
and Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation have kindly offered to giveaway one copy of Otto Grows Down to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

To enter, leave a comment about a birthday memory of yours. Or name another author or illustrator with a May birthday that I haven't mentioned.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US
• Contest ends on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CSN Stores - KidKraft Step N' Store Stool Giveaway (2 Winners)

One of the items that gets the most use in our bathroom is our step stool. The kids use it to wash their hands and they like to store little items in the step storage area. My husband and I use it to reach the top shelves of our storage cabinets. Sometimes I even pull it out of the bathroom and use it to reach the top shelves of my bookcases! Thanks to CSN Stores, I have the opportunity to offer a giveaway not one but TWO KidKraft Step N' Store Stools.

If you read yesterday's bathroom post, I'm sure you expected some sort of bathroom book holder giveaway from CSN. Now I'll be perfectly honest with you. I did an online search for a shelf or rack that would work for books in the bathroom. After all, CSN Stores is a huge group of over 200 online stores so I thought something interesting might pop up in my search. CSN does has a ton of bookcases and other storage products, and there were plenty of interesting options that I found. The Lexington Studios Bathroom Reading Book Organizer is one option. The Little Colorado Potty Chair with Accessories comes with a built in book rack, but it is meant for toddlers. Good options but I thought not everyone would find them useful.

Everyone can use a good step stool though, right? CSN Stores has kindly offered to giveaway a KidKraft Step N' Store Stool to two (2) Brimful Curiosities readers. I don't personally own this step stool, so I can't offer a review, but it has received several favorable comments on both CSN and Amazon. Each winner will be able to choose a KidKraft Step N' Store Stool of their choice valued at $24.95 or less. There are several varieties and colors available in this style, including a pretty cool John Deere tractor design.

To enter to win a KidKraft Step N' Store Stool ($24.95 or less), visit CSN Stores and leave a comment mentioning the step stool color/design you'd choose if you won. (Note: The KidKraft Two Step Stool in Natural or White ($24.95) are also options in this giveaway, if you'd prefer a taller stool.)
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US
• Contest ends on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

This post was written for CSN Stores who provided the item for giveaway. I was not compensated for this post, nor did I receive a product to review. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews and informational posts.)

Wordless Wednesday - Surrounded by Books

That's little me surrounded by books. Things haven't changed much over the years. (Except now I try to wear matching socks.)

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom or Seven Clown Circus.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Book and a Bubble Bath - Reading aloud in the bathroom

My daughter threw a huge temper tantrum last night. No, it wasn't over a toy or anything else that would usually set off a child. She became upset because I told her that we didn't have time for our nightly read-aloud. A week ago we began reading a chapter a night from The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Treasury. I recently picked up copy of the book in the Borders Bargain section because I remembered liking the stories as a child and thought my daughter might also like to listen to them. Like is an understatement. She loves the stories and looks forward to the nightly dose, giggling over the silly cures.

We've been strapped for time lately, so I have been reading a chapter to her while she takes her bath. Finding time to read aloud to kids, especially finding time to read a chapter book isn't exactly easy. My toddler son is too young to listen patiently to a chapter book so that makes trying to find some one-on-one reading time with my daughter even harder. Turns out that bath time works perfectly because she can play while also listening. Plus, it is right before bedtime so it's a great way for us both to wind down. She won't be needing Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's radish cure anytime soon!

Lots of people read in the bathroom, whether in the bath or on the toilet. In fact, there is a whole series of books meant for bathroom reading -- those Uncle John's Bathroom Readers. Plus, don't forget the Reader's Digest. That's a standard in my parent's bathroom. In fact, in June some brave individuals even celebrate National Bathroom Reader Week. No, I'm not kidding. Look it up!

Where am I going with this? Well, the problem with reading in our bathroom is that there is not really a good place to put the reading materials. I have a basket on top of the toilet that we use currently, but I'm a little concerned that the book might accidentally fall off and end up in the bowl. So here's what I'm wondering. Why don't more bathroom vanities include a book holder or rack?

This week, thanks to CSN stores, I'll be giving away a bathroom accessory to a lucky reader. Bet you can't guess what it is! Watch for the giveaway in a few days.

Armchair BEA and a few author event pictures

BookExpo America begins today and runs through Thursday. So what exactly is BEA? Well technically I'm not the person to ask because I've never attended this fair, but apparently it is the largest publishing event in North America. Anybody who is anybody in the publishing world is in NYC this week -- that means publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers, bloggers. Basically anyone who lives and breathes books. Then there are those of us that love books but for various reasons are not attending. The Armchair BEA is for us. Several book bloggers are participating so be sure to check out all the related posts this week.

Part of the fun of attending BEA is visiting publishers' booths, learning about upcoming titles and waiting in line for free galleys and authors' signatures. I'm not much for lines, so I'm really not that all sad to miss the crowds. However, if you've never been to an author signing, I do highly recommend the experience. Be sure to bring along your kids if a children's author visits your area. It really is exciting and interesting to meet the creator of a book!

So far this year, we have attended two author signings: Kevin Henkes and Sharon Lovejoy. I apologize for the first photo. I forgot my camera when we went to see Kevin Henkes so we snapped a quick shot with my husband's BlackBerry. Unfortunately I'm not able to download it to my computer so I had to take a picture of the picture and the result is really blurry! My daughter loved listening to Kevin Henkes discuss his newest book My Garden and also loved watching him draw the Kitten and Lilly, but she was too shy to talk to him when he signed her books.

At the Kevin Henkes book signing for My Garden.

Posing with Sharon Lovejoy, author of Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars.

We met Sharon Lovejoy at the Way to Grow Lands' End event in Madison earlier this month. She gave my daughter a worm. That's even more exciting than a signature!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nontraditional Nonfiction Monday - Rabbits (Blastoff! Readers: Farm Animals) Book Review and Q & A with the Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Even though I don't write many posts focusing on nonfiction books, we actually read several nonfiction books each week. In fact, my preschool-aged daughter nearly always picks out a nonfiction book to bring home from the school library. She especially adores books about animals or nature.

Today, Travis at 100 Scope Notes is hosting a Nontraditional Nonfiction Monday. He has challenged participating bloggers to think creatively and go a different direction with their reviews. To change things up, for this post I was planning to have my daughter post her own review of whatever book she brought home from school, fully expecting it to be a nonfiction selection. However she caught me off guard last week and brought home Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. Surprise, Mommy! Not exactly nonfiction, but a great book nonetheless (if you haven't read it, shame on you). So we adapted our plan, checked out a nonfiction book about bunnies from the public library and found a way to work those silly rhyming dust bunnies into the post with a Q&A about our nonfiction pick of the week. Now, without further ado, let the craziness begin...

Rabbits (Blastoff! Readers: Farm Animals) by Hollie Endres. Bellwether Media (2008); ISBN 9781600140853; 24 pages
(Book Source: Copy from our local library)

Brimful: Hello, Rhyming Dust Bunnies! Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob, it's so nice to have all four of you join us today on Brimful Curiosities. Thanks so much for letting us know what you think about the book, Rabbits (Blastoff! Readers: Farm Animals).
(Just a note to those not familiar with the Rhyming Dust Bunnies -- they love to speak using rhyming words...that is all except Bob, the observant one. He tries to impart useful information.)

Ed: Hey!
Ned: Yay!
Ted: Hooray!
Bob: Pleased as Punch!

Brimful: So, what is the book, Rabbits (Blastoff! Readers: Farm Animals) about?

Ed: Huh?
Ned: Uhh...
Ted: Duh!
Bob: The kid-friendly book provides a VERY basic introduction to the life of a farm rabbit and also discusses various bunny traits. Readers learn about things like hutches, rabbit teeth and rabbit fur. The book does not really discuss the care of a pet rabbits. A short glossary in the back provides definitions for words highlighted in the main text.

Brimful: Let's talk reading levels. What age group would most enjoy Rabbits?

Ed: Easy
Ned: Peasy
Ted: Lemon Squeezy
Bob: Kittens! Did you know a baby rabbit is called a kitten or kit? In the human world that translates to Beginning or Early Readers (ages 2-6).

Brimful: Did you find the book's photos visually appealing?

Ed: Lovely sight
Ned: Quite bright
Ted: A delight
Bob: Yes, every other page shows wonderful photos of cute, fluffy bunny rabbits. We may be a bit partial, but really we could stare at those perfect animals for hours. Wait a minute...Hey, book bunnies! Watch out for that big, blue, wavy graphic at the top of each page! It might sweep you away!

Brimful: What part of the book did you enjoy the most?

Ed: Funny
Ned: Bunny
Ted: in the Sunny
Bob: We all loved the final picture of the bunny lounging in a humorous reclined position. As soon as this Q&A is finished, we plan to take a nap on our backs, too. Where is the nearest farm without a vacuum or broom?

Brimful: Thank you, Rhyming Dust Bunnies! I know you are very busy, and I appreciate you rolling in for this Q&A.

Rabbits (Blastoff! Readers Farm Animals)
by Hollie Endres is part of the Bellwether Media Blastoff! Readers series, an imprint of Scholastic Library Publishing. The company's website is well laid out and those interested can preview the Blastoff! Reader books using the fun, interactive page turning graphics. While I wouldn't say the rabbit book is overly in-depth, my preschool-age daughter enjoys reading it with me and especially likes the large photos. We will be searching for other books by this publisher to read in the future. I bet my toddler son would really love the Mighty Machines Blastoff! Reader books!

Activity alert - Send your kids on a hunt for dust bunnies, armed with adhesive tape lint rollers. Believe me, this is a very amusing activity for children, and your house will be a little cleaner as a result!

Check out this week's Nonfiction Monday posts at 100 Scope Notes. This post is also linked-up at Book Sharing Monday hosted by Serendipity Home School. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)