Friday, February 26, 2010

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss - Feed Me Books Friday

On March 2nd, kids from across the nation celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday by participating in NEA's Read Across America Day events, a huge reading celebration. This week's Feed Me Books Friday theme at The Adventure of Motherhood is "Books by Dr. Seuss in honor of his upcoming birthday". Link up your favorites there.

Surprisingly, I don't really recall liking too many Dr. Seuss books as a child. One of his books that I do remember reading with my mom often is Horton Hatches the Egg. I'm not sure where my mom bought our copy, but she probably found it at a garage sale or maybe she got it for free from the store. If I remember correctly, the paperback copy we owned had a mark on the cover indicating that it was part of a promotion for Crest/Prell/Wondra. Our copy suffered some wear from the frequent readings. I'm not sure if my mom still has our copy, but if it was still in good condition it looks like it would be worth more than many of the normal editions because of it's rarity. Who would guess a once free book would have any worth? Go figure.

Horton Hatches the Egg is one of Dr. Seuss's earlier works, first published in 1940. In the book, Horton agrees to sit on a Mazie's (a lazy bird) egg while she goes off on a "short" vacation. He faithfully sits on the egg through the rain and snow and kept on, even though the other animals teased him and people made him part of a circus act.

"I meant what I said / And I said what I meant.... / An elephant's faithful / One hundred per cent!"
Horton is an extremely lovable character. Readers can easily sympathize with him. The witty, rhyming verses in this book are top notch, showing Seuss's genius way with words. The book does contain an image of hunters with guns, so sensitive children may get a little frightened at this part. Several moral themes run through the book including responsibility, perseverance and keeping your word. In an Anchorage Daily News article from 1978, Seuss says that the idea for Horton came while he was working in his studio one day and the wind blew a picture of an elephant on top of another piece of paper where he had drawn a tree.

In that same article he remarks, "Teaching a child to read is a family setup. It's the business of having books around the house, not forcing them. Parents should have 20 books stacked on tables or set around the living room. The average kid will pick one up, find something interesting. And pretty soon he's reading." Horton Hatches the Egg is on top of one of our piles right now!

We made Horton Handprint Elephants for a corresponding craft. I saw the idea for the handprint elephants on the Learning 4 Fun blog and we added a tree, nest and egg to complete Horton inspired pictures. They turned out pretty cute.




The Adventure of MotherhoodRelated links, activities, printables:
Seuss Egg to Go [pdf] - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
Paper Plate Elephant - FreeKidsCrafts.com
Connect the Dots to Horton [pdf] - Seussville.com
Horton's Coloring Page [pdf] - Seussville.com
Everyone's an Elephant [pdf] - Seussville.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Garden by Kevin Henkes - Book Review and stART

The sun managed to shine a few beams down this past week. Such a welcome sight considering that the snowman we built early last December still has not completely melted! It's been a long winter here and we are ready for some warmer, spring weather. Pretty soon those spring garden flowers will add color to the landscape, spreading cheer and happiness. We had a head start on the season with a brand new spring garden themed picture book, just released this week by Wisconsin author Kevin Henkes.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, move over. There's a new girl in the garden -- a happy, little daydreamer who envisions chocolate rabbits, jelly bean bushes and seashell fields. Kevin Henkes sows the seeds of imagination and illustrates with colors of spring in his newest picture book, My Garden. A barefoot little girl helps her mother in a cheery garden by watering and weeding the plants. All the while, she fantasies about her ideal garden.
"In my garden, the flowers could change color just by my thinking about it -- pink, blue, green purple. Even patterns."
The little girl's vast imagination takes readers beyond the restraints of the world, into a extraordinary place where the flowers never die and where umbrellas conveniently pop out of the ground just as the spring rain begins. Kevin Henkes adds another feather to his brimming hat with this beautiful book. His spectacular, watercolor illustrations overflow the pages with creative page layout. Fanciful images appear as full bleeds and then he takes readers back to reality with smaller spot illustrations. His book presents endless possibilities as a read aloud and spurs the imagination.

When I finished reading My Garden to my daughter, I asked her what her garden would contain. First she would grow all the toys she wants so that she wouldn't have to visit the store. Her plants would keep growing even in the snow. The garden would be filled with kittens, puppies, and balloons. And one last thing - the garden would take all the garbage away by grabbing it so it would disappear and you wouldn't see it anymore. The imagination truly is a garden where anything is possible.
My Garden by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books (February 2010); 40 pages; ISBN 9780061715174
Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher.

What would grow in your garden? Do you have a favorite garden or spring themed picture book?

Related Links:
Kevin Henkes - Author Website
Printable activities from My Garden [pdf]
Under the Green Willow - "The Making of My Garden"

Children's Garden Book Lists:

Brimful Curiosities - Favorite children's garden books
The Almost Librarian - How does your garden grow?
Gardening Books for Schools & Children (University of Florida)
Top 10 Children’s Picture Books About Gardens and Gardening (About.com)
Children's Books for Garden and Plant Lovers

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We tried making Reversible Accordion Fold Pictures this week for our stART (story+art) craft. If you turn the paper one way, you see Mom's Garden and when you turn the paper the other way, you see the child's imaginary garden. This is one of those projects I should have prepared in advance, because I pushed the boundaries of my daughter's patience with too many folds. She didn't finish her project, but enjoyed making her garden change from all pink to many colors. Later on, I went back and made a simple design with only 5 folds (six total sides to color) instead of the seven we started with.

To begin, divide the 8-1/2 x 11 paper into 6 sections lengthwise and accordion fold 5 times. On alternating strips draw images for mom's garden and then for the child's imaginary garden. Position the paper to see mom's garden from one direction and the child's garden from the other. It's like magic!










Post what you've been reading each week with your kids at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. 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. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Busy Coloring




Thank goodness for markers. They allow mom a moment's peace every once and awhile. Especially needed when mom is sick. I've learned a sinus infection does not equal good times.

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mandy and Pandy Book Series by Chris Lin - Review and Book Giveaway

The Chinese New Year began on February 14th, 2010, ushering in the Year of the Tiger. The celebrations are underway, and last week I noticed several blogs that mentioned Chinese New Year themed crafts and books in their posts. Last year my family attended a Chinese New Year celebration, but we missed this year's local events due to illness. My kids were looking forward to watching the lion dance again so they were disappointed we could not attend the festivities.

To compensate for missing the event, we immersed ourselves in the Chinese language by reading several books from the Mandy and Pandy book series by Chris Lin. He created the series after he adopted his daughter, Mandy, from China and could not find fun, age appropriate books to teach her Chinese. The books teach young children (and their parents) simplified Mandarin Chinese by displaying English phrases along with the corresponding Chinese characters and also use pinyin phonetics to help with pronunciation. The small sized board books retail at $12.95 each and feature cute and colorful illustrations by Ingrid Villalta.

Each book includes an accompanying CD that helps readers learn through an auditory medium as they listen to the book read aloud. The book is read three times on the corresponding CD. First, Chris Lin, the author, reads the phrases in English followed by Jiao Jing, Mandy's Chinese teacher from China, who pronounces the characters in Chinese. Secondly, Jiao Jing says the characters in a teacher's tone. Finally, Jiao Jing reads the book in Chinese using a conversational tone.

The first book in the series is Mandy and Pandy Say, "Ni Hao Ma?" This book introduces the main characters -- a little girl named Mandy and her panda friend, Pandy. They converse using short, basic phrases like, "Hi Mandy, how are you?" (màn dí, nǐ hǎo ma?) The book also includes terms like Mommy, Daddy, a few different foods, and sleep and good night. The characters talk about outdoor activities like visiting the park, swimming and playing in the snow. Quiet music plays in the background behind the narration.

The second book, Mandy and Pandy Play "Let's Count", helps children learn the numbers one through ten in Chinese. Mandy and Pandy use the numbers in short sentences to describe things they see while on a walk. For instance, the page discussing number nine reads, "Nine clouds...in the sky" (jiǔ duǒ bái yún...zài kōng zhōng, zài kōng zhōng.) A few pages in the back give a complete overview of all the numbers. My kids really like singing the song, "One little, two little...friends" on the last pages of the book. In the audio recording, the narrators use rhythm sticks to help with cadence and pronunciation. Chris Lin also provides a very brief description of the four tone marks used for the different Chinese sounds in this CD.

Mandy and Pandy Visit China (book 3) is formatted a little differently than the first two. In this book, Mandy and Pandy speak to each other using complete sentences and discuss their flight and visit to China. Together they see the capital of China, Beijing, the walk along the Great Wall of China, view cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xi'an and a mountain called Changbai. Four different people narrate the book, two men provide the voice for Pandy (Chris Lin and Jerry Xu) and two women provide the voice for Mandy (Michelle Shulman and Jiao Jing).



Another book in the series is Mandy and Pandy Play Sports (Book 4). Corresponding with this year's Chinese New Year, two new titles were just released, Mandy and Pandy Play "What Colors Do You See?" (Book 5) and Mandy and Pandy Visit the Zoo (Book 6).

China is an emerging country and there is an increased demand for Chinese education in places around the world. The Mandy and Pandy books provide a good basic introduction to the Chinese culture and their language for English speaking children. The adorable illustrations of Mandy and Pandy help engage young children and compliment the text. I especially like that the books don't just teach single words but put the words into context by using sentences and short phrases. My preschool-aged daughter liked the counting book best of all and really enjoyed singing along with the number song and learning the numbers. As soon as I put the CD from the first book into our player, my toddler son came running, shouting "Kai-Lan?" His only exposure to Chinese prior to this book series was from the popular Nick, Jr. show, and I found it impressive that he knew that the language being spoken was the same as that heard on the show.

Early exposure is important in raising bilingual children, and TV shows like Kai-Lan and books such as the Mandy and Pandy series provide interactive and entertaining ways for young children to learn the Chinese language. While we enjoy the Kai-Lan shows, the Pandy and Mandy book series goes much farther in providing a solid introduction to the Chinese language because they provide English text along with the corresponding Chinese characters and spell out the sounds using pinyin. Most importantly, the audio CDs provide the correct pronunciations and tonal inflections and children are given time to repeat the sentences and phrases. I found the Mandy and Pandy website somewhat lacking. It would be helpful for me, as a parent, if the site included a brief introduction to the Chinese language, discussed the Chinese tones in more detail, and included printables and other activities to use along with the books. Hopefully, as the books gain popularity, the site will become more interactive. Besides in home use, the Mandy and Pandy books would work perfectly in teaching basic Chinese to preschoolers and early elementary students and for use in daycare settings.

Related Links:

Mandy and Pandy Website
Panda Bear Shapes Craft Printable at Tired, Need Sleep
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan - Nick. Jr.


Celebrate sports and the Chinese New Year by entering for a chance to win a copy of book 4, Mandy and Pandy Play Sports. I have one copy of the children's book to give away to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

To enter, leave a comment with a word or phrase you would like to learn how to say in Chinese.
• 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, March 8th, 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

Book Source: Review copies provided by publisher and KidStuff PR. 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.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (2/19/10)

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 book giveaway(s):
Black History Month Picture Book Giveaway Ends 3/1/10

Other book giveaways:
Dealiciousmom - Book Giveaway Ends 2/26/10
National Geographic Kids Weird But True: 300 Outrageous Facts
The PlanetEsme Plan - Book Giveaway Ends 2/21/10
LIN YI'S LANTERN: A MOON FESTIVAL TALE by Brenda Williams and Benjamin Lacombe, Patrica Polacco's JANUARY'S SPARROW and SUNDAY LOVE by Alison Paul
Bonggamom Finds - Book Giveaway Ends 3/4/10
Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus by Jeanne McNaney
Simply Stacie - Book Giveaway Ends 3/3/10
Dr. Hippo series of books by Dr. Charlotte Cowan, MD
Usborne Books and More - Book Giveaway Ends 3/1/09
Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord (tweens)
Katie's Literature Lounge - Book Giveaway Ends 2/20/10
Black History Month Picture book giveaway
Abby (the) Librarian - Book Giveaway Ends 2/26/10
ARCs of Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci, Strawberry Hill by Mary Ann Hoberman, Flawed Dogs by Berkeley Breathed and Epitaph Road by David Patneaude. And a paperback copy of Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
The Deepening - Book Giveaway Ends 3/1/10
Goodnight Baby Bear by Michael Shoulders
Vintage Kids' Book My Kid Loves - Book Giveaway Ends 2/22/10
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
This Full House - Book Giveaway Ends 2/24/10
Marsupial Sue Presents, "The Runaway Pancake" by John Lithgow and two (2) $10.00 Pizza Hut Gift Cards

Lee and Low Books is having a HUGE Black History Month Giveaway with four ways to enter - Ends 2/28/10 Details at http://bit.ly/dksIkE
Plus, you can also enter to win Janna and the Kings, by Patricia Smith http://www.leeandlow.com/p/book_giveaway.mhtml


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

Magical, Imaginative Books - Feed Me Books Friday

We can all use a little magic in our lives and the imagination can fuel some pretty magical moments. Picture books portray amazing fantasy worlds, providing inspiration for children to think imaginatively on their own. This week's Feed Me Books Friday theme at The Adventure of Motherhood is Books that encourage imagination. Link up your favorites there.

Magic Box by Katie Cleminson. Disney Hyperion (June 2009); 32 pages; ISBN 9781423121091

Eva receives a very special box for her birthday. When she jumps into the box she turns into a master magician and, with the flick of her wand, throws a huge party with all sorts of wondrous guests and activities. The illustrations by Cleminson are magical in their own way -- the book starts out with muted grays and blacks and then, as the magic begins, bright splotches of color appear all over the pages. The book makes a great birthday present and shows the power of imagination.

The Magic Hat by Mem Fox, illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Harcourt (April 2002); 32 pages; ISBN 9780152010256

A fabulous, magical blue hat appears one day and spins through the air, landing on the unsuspecting heads of various people in a town. The hat magically transforms each individual into an animal until a large wizard appears and performs his own special magic. The kids love rocking back and forth repeating the rhyming, rollicking refrain, "Oh, the magic hat, the magic hat! It moved like this, it moved like that!" The fantastical, fun text is paired with whimsical watercolor illustrations by the amazing Tricia Tusa. If you've never witnessed her artistic magic, you must!

Here's a perfect coloring page by Crayola that captures today's theme, stating, "Imagination is Magical!"
http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/imagination-is-magical-coloring-page/



The Adventure of Motherhood
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.)

Baby Shower Gifts with Johnson’s Baby Products


Baby showers are filled with smiles and excitement. I had such fun at my own showers, and it's hard to believe they took place nearly five years ago. My friends and family planned two separate baby showers for me before my daughter was born. We brought home so many wonderful gifts. My husband and I enjoyed registering for all the baby gifts even more than our wedding gifts. All the little cute clothes and products--it's a world of babies, baths, books and bedtimes and absolutely nothing can prepare you for the exciting and exhausting times ahead.

One of my favorite gifts to give when I attend a baby shower is what I call a bath and bedtime basket. I usually fill a basket or bag with some Johnson's baby products, a rubber ducky, washcloths and, of course, plenty of children's books. I wrap the basket with a baby blanket and tie a bow on top. A new mother can never receive too many bath products or too many books!

I received three bottles of Johnson's head-to-toe baby wash for my own shower and still use the product every night for my son. A few years ago, we started using Johnson's bedtime bath (the one in the purple bottle) for my daughter. It has a wonderful, soothing aroma, the no more tears formula and includes NATURALCALM™ essences that, according to the manufacturer, helps the child fall asleep easier at night. But, I absolutely love the scent and would use the product for that reason alone.

Just recently Johnson's came out with a new combination bubble bath and wash. We had the chance to try out the baby bedtime bubble bath & wash in the purple bottle. The aroma is slightly less strong than the normal bedtime bath and smells a little more like bubble bath. As expected, when used in the bath it does generate bigger and more numerous bubbles for the kids than the normal bedtime bath product and it lathers a little more. My daughter likes the idea of using bubble bath and prefers the bottle design with all the bubble graphics. I think we'll use the product occasionally when the kids want a few more bubbles in the tub and use the normal bedtime bath for everyday use.

The johnsonsbaby.com website includes several printable coupons for their products, other informative guides and even downloadable lullabies. It's definitely worth a visit if you use Johnson's products regularly or plan to pick up a few gifts for an upcoming baby shower.

Next week, Tuesday, February 23rd from 3-4 pm EST Mom Central is hosting a Johnson's Baby Shower Twitter Party. Talk about favorite baby shower gifts, Johnson's Baby products to gift at showers, and other tips and tricks for new Moms. They will give away Johnson's products and prizes! Use the hashtag #MCBabyShower and join the virtual shower.

What kind of gifts do you give at baby showers? Some of my favorite books to give include Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose, Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton, any of the Bright and Early Board Books and Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis. One of the favorite books I received at my shower is The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears, Martha Sears. I'm pictured to the left opening that gift at my shower and have referenced it often.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Johnson’s and received samples of Johnson’s Baby products to facilitate my review. View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Deer in the Snow Picture Books & stART

Last week we received some snow though not as much as many other areas of the country. The day after it snowed we noticed some fresh prints and went outside to investigate. A deer had visited our yard and stopped by our mulch pile looking for food. The kids really enjoyed checking out all the deer tracks. We noticed that the tracks are shaped a little like an upside-down heart, and my daughter said it was like little valentines all over the yard. I recently read in our local paper that heavy snow cover is harder on deer than cold weather because snow makes it harder to browse for food. After a little research we also learned that the pointed end of the white-tailed deer tracks points the direction the deer was traveling. Unfortunately when we went back outside to snap some pictures later in the week, the tracks had already started to disappear so I couldn't capture a really clear picture.

We searched for a few picture books that showed deer in the snow. Here are some we found and enjoyed:

Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick. Carl R. Sams II Photography (November 1999); 48 pages; ISBN 9780967174808

Stranger in the Woods
was our favorite book this past week. The book features actual photographs of various wildlife exploring the woods during the wintertime, including a buck, a doe and a fawn. The wildlife in the woods all wonder about a new stranger that suddenly appeared and argue who should be the first to investigate. The enticing stranger is a snowman wearing a red hat holding birdseed and showing off his long carrot nose. Later in the book, readers discover more about the creators of the snowman. My especially kids like it when I read the dialog between the animals using expressive, silly voices. "Who-hoo's in the woods? Why is he here? When? When did the stranger come?"

Snow Music by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow Books (September 2003); 32 pages; ISBN 9780066239569

We picked up Snow Music after seeing it featured on another blog. (I can't remember where I first saw it, but I'm pretty sure someone used it for their stART craft.) This one awakens the senses of sight and hearing by discussing winter sights and sounds. From the peth peth peth of the winter snow to the scraping of a plow, sounds are everywhere. Several wildlife animals are shown in their habitat, sleeping and then walking around in the snow, and a little boy searches for his lost dog. The illustrations are varied and interesting, and my daughter loved pointing out all the animals hidden behind the falling snow. "Does the deer feel the cold of the snow in her hoofs?"

White Snow, Blue Feather by Julie Downing.

One winter a little boy carries a bag of seed outside to feed to the birds. While walking in the woods he sees various plants and animals, even some deer. He discovers a feather from a blue jay and takes it back home to his mother. The book captures the fun of walking through the woods in the snow and the joy of feeding the birds.

Have you noticed any other books that show deer in the snow? Let us know so we can check them out.

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We made a deer track stamp for our stART project this week. First we cut small teardrop shaped pieces out of foam paper. We arranged the two shapes into a heart-shaped deer print and taped the piece to a milk cap using double-sided tape. Both kids enjoyed making tracks on paper using the homemade stamp.






Post what you've been reading each week with your kids at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. 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. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Our Own Westminster Winner




We conducted our own Westminster Dog Show, and the Scottish terrier won Best in Show. The show was interrupted by a protester holding a sign that said, "Mutts Rule."

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flawed Dogs: the Novel by Berkeley Breathed - Book Review

The 134th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is underway with the Best In Show to be announced this evening. Last night we watched part of opening night on USA until the broadcast switched to CNBC just as my daughter was ready to watch the Toy Group. (CNBC unfortunately isn't part of our cable plan. Very frustrating!) The group results from last night indicate that the Whippet, Toy Poodle, French Bulldog and Puli placed 1st in their groups. We don't have a favorite at this point, but we are looking forward to watching closing night this evening. My daughter is also conducting her own stuffed animal version of Westminster and currently the St. Bernard looks like the sure winner.

A few months back I had the chance to read an unusual and memorable middle grade fiction book by Berkeley Breathed titled Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster. Underneath the humorous and relatively offbeat cover is a story that both shocks and entertains, interweaving animal rights messages into a book with a patchwork of intriguing and comical canine and human characters.

At the center of the story is Sam the Lion, a dashing dachshund destined to be famous, sporting the amazing "Duuglitz tuft" on his head. He escapes from his large and obnoxious owner into the loving hands of a Heidy, an orphan who recently reconnected with her uncle and is traveling home to live at the McCloud Heavenly Acres dog ranch. There Sam encounters Cassius, a conniving poodle that has Westminster dreams of his own. Cassius frames Sam, and Sam is thrown out of his home. Over the next few year, Sam endures a series of horrible and sad events, and eventually winds up at the Westminster Dog Show with his battalion of flawed dog friends. Berkeley Breathed intersperses several of his amazing illustrations throughout the story.

This book strikes an interesting and powerful balance between tragedy and comedy. The evils of animal cruelty are all fleshed out in the book and at times the book seems like a ASPCA commercial. Sam loses a leg in a steel trap, gets transferred to a research lab, and ends up pitted against another dog in a professional dog fight. Not exactly the usual middle grade fare. But the spunky characters, particularly the loveable "unloved" flawed dogs bring a comedic lightness into a dark world and shine with their resourceful actions. The Westminster scenes are hilarious and heartwarming. This isn't a book for sensitive children, and I wouldn't recommend it for those younger than 11. But for older tweens and teens, the book provides an engaging look into the world of animal welfare and humane education lessons and offers an often light-hearted, playful approach to a very serious topic and the plight of homeless dogs.

When I was in high school I took an environmental awareness class and the instructor touched on animal cruelty. I clearly remember viewing pictures of rabbits that had been used for testing cosmetics. The story, Flawed Dogs, will remain in my memory in much the same way as those shocking images, but at least I'll be able to smile at parts. Dogs deserve loving homes and plenty of dogs, ones in need like the large-hearted Sam the Lion, are available for adoption at your local animal shelter.
Flawed Dogs: The Novel by Berkeley Breathed. Philomel (September 2009); 208 pages; ISBN 9780399252181

Related links:
Berkely Breathed - Author Website
ASPCA Education.org - (Includes recommended book list)


Book Source: Advanced Uncorrected Galley provided by publisher. 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.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sidelined by Science Fair

Once again I've been busy working on preparations for our school's science fair. I'll be back posting soon, once all the busywork is finished!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (2/12/09)

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 book giveaway(s):
Black History Month Picture Book Giveaway Ends 3/1/10

Other book giveaways:
A Patchwork of Books - Book Giveaway Ends 2/12/10 (11:59pm ET)
D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet by Nancy I. Sanders and Pappy's Handkerchief by Devin Scillian
Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian - Book Giveaway Ends 2/28/10
Let Them Play by Margot Theis Raven
Christian Children's Book Review - Book Giveaway Ends 2/25/10
Two Christian Children's Book Packages
Frolicking through Cyberspace - Book Giveaway Ends 2/16/10
personalized copy of Trouble with Treasure by Susan K. Marlow
Hip Mamas Place - Book Giveaway Ends 2/21/09
Kohl's for Kids Giveaway: four Dr.Seuss books with their coordinating plush toys
thatsIT Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 2/12/10
4 Maisy books by Lucy Cousins
Cynsations - Book Giveaway Ends 2/13/10
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (YA)
A Few More Pages - Book Giveaway Ends 2/28/10
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Alice I Have Been and Looking Glass Wars and bookmarks
Reading to Know - Book Giveaway Ends 2/18/10
Five Minute Devotions for Children
Dad of Divas - Book Giveaway Ends 2/18/10
Feeding Penny Pig and I'm Up in a Tree
A Busy Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 2/26/10
Pirate Potty and Princess Potty plus $30 Target Gift Card
Bits and Pieces from my Life - Book Giveaway Ends 2/12/10 (9 pm ET)
Charles Dickens and Friends by Marcia Williams
Sunnydaytodaymama - Book Giveaway Ends 3/2/10
Love and Kisses by Sarah Wilson
Thimbleberry Kitschen- Book Giveaway Ends 2/16/10
Cooking Fun: 121 Simple recipes to Make with Kids by Rae Grant
My Four Monkeys - Book Giveaway Ends 2/15/10
A Spider Lives in My Belly Button and A Monstrous Smile by James Miller
McMommy and Me - Book Giveaway Ends 2/21/10
Marsupial Sue Presents “The Runaway Pancake" by John Lithgow
Vintage Kids' Book My Kid Loves - Book Giveaway Ends 2/14/10
More Spaghetti, I Say!, Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas, There's No Such Thing as a Dragon and The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo by Jack Kent
The Shady Glade - Book Giveaway Ends 2/14/10
Multiple books appropriate for different age groups
Lori Calabrese - Book Giveaway Ends 2/22/10
Wet Friend! (Adventure of Meno) by Tony and Angela Diterlizzi
Cool Moms Rule - Book Giveaway Ends 2/19/10
Kohl's Cares for Kids Dr. Seuss set

HarperTeen is sponsoring a 28 Days of Winter Escapes A Book A Day Giveaway. More here: http://www.28daygiveaway.com/sweepstakes/

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

Feed Me Books Friday - LOVE-ly Books


The Adventure of Motherhood

Feed Me Books Friday is all about LOVE this week. Here are a few of our favorite love themed books, just in time for Valentine's Day. If you have time, visit The Adventure of Motherhood to link up your favorites.

My toddler son loves to cuddle and give kisses. I don't know how long that will last, but I'm sure enjoying his displays of affection. He is my little love bug, and he adores the book You're My Little Love Bug by Heidi R. Weimer, mostly because of the flashy lights and music. The book consists of rhyming, cutesy endearments and whimsical illustrations. It is super sugary sweet so watch out if you're usually not one to go overboard with the sweetie phrases. It's one of those "small batteries required" books...just warning you. The music from the book doesn't quite match up to the text so you have to either make your story shorter or close and reopen the book to finish singing along. The last phrase is the best, "You're everything that's wonderful/You're all of the above!/But most of all/What you are/Is God's sweetest gift of love!"


My preschool daughter checked out several Valentine's Day themed books from the library. Her favorite is Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat. A furry animal named Gilbert needs to write out Valentine's Day poems for his classmates but doesn't feel like being nice towards Lewis and Margaret. Earlier they made fun of him so he retaliates by writing nasty poems and making it sound like Margaret and Lewis sent them to each other. The book stimulates discussion about classroom dynamics, friendships, apologies and forgiveness. I especially like that the children solve their own problems. One of the girls in the class asks Gilbert why he did such a mean thing and mends hurt feelings.


A short and sweet book I really like is Love and Kisses by Sarah Wilson. It's a kissing pay-it-forward book that shows that love does really come back around and grows.

The book pairs perfectly with the song, "Love Grows One By One."
Love grows, one by one
Two by two and four by four
Love grows 'round like a circle
And comes back knocking at your front door.

(Hand Motions Guide)


Color Me Katie has a super cute Kiss in Your Pocket Valentine's Day gift idea that you should check out. Perfect corresponding craft activity for the Love and Kisses book.


Here's our post from last year about favorite Valentine's Day board books: http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com/2009/02/peek-boo-i-love-you-book-review.html

Other love themed books we've reviewed:
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr

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.)