Friday, April 30, 2010

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (4/30/10)

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 related giveaway(s):
EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures by Roxie Munro picture book - (Ends 5/3)
Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars by Sharon Lovejoy book - (Ends 5/10)


Other book giveaways:
Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves - Book Giveaway Ends 5/2/10
Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Deal Wise Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 5/4/10
Getting Dressed Sticker Book
Mom's Best Bets - Book Giveaway Ends 5/20/10
Simon & Schuster Little Green Books book bundle
The Coupon High - Book Giveaway Ends 5/4/10
The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonaza by Laura Numeroff
The Ivy Twines - Book Giveaway Ends 5/12/10
What's It Like, Living Green? by Jill Ammon Vanderwood
Mommy 2 Two Girls - Book Giveaway Ends 5/7/10
Simon & Schuster Little Green Books book bundle
Teaching Authors - Book Giveaway Ends 5/4/10
Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham (middle grade)
reanbean - Book Giveaway Ends 5/4/10
Humpty Who?: A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless Moms and Dads by Jennifer Griffin
Letters from a Hill Farm - Book Giveaway Ends 5/2/10
Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith
jama rattigan's alphabet soup - Book Giveaway Ends 5/2/10
Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman
Wild Rose Reader - Book Giveaway Ends 4/30/10
Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School by Laura Purdie Salas
Book Aunt - Book Giveaway Ends 5/13/10
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R.L. LaFevers; The Magic Thief: Lost by Sarah Prineas and A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (middle grade/YA)
Happy Birthday Author - Book Giveaway Ends 5/7/10
The Endless String: Poems for Children (and the people who read to them) by Tom and Tess Hannah
There's A Book - Book Giveaway Ends 5/15/10
Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith
Spilling Ink - Book Giveaway Ends 5/9/10
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook


Check out blogmania tonight - lots of giveaways one day only 4/30
http://betweenthelinesandmore.blogspot.com/2010/04/welcome-to-blogmania-day-blogging.html


Other giveaways:
Muse Reviews - Ends 5/4
Scholastic He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands…and more stories to celebrate the environment DVD
love2learn2day - Ends 5/3
Book, Walk Past the Wolf - A Mythmatical Battles Adventure and a set of Mythmatical Battle Playing Cards (game blending mythology and multiplication)
Just Playing Around - Ends 5/7
SpellQuizzer Download


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

Read Aloud Poetry - National Poetry Month Blog Tour

Do the numbers 808.81, 811 or 821 ring a bell? We've been hitting the library stacks this month in celebration of National Poetry Month and have become quite familiar with the books in these Dewey Decimal system sections. I'm rather ashamed to admit that before this past month, we hadn't checked out any of the offerings in this part of the library. But, blogging does have a way of broadening your horizons in delightful ways. We've read some beautiful, lyrical, funny and all around amazing children's poetry that we never knew existed. And the best part? The kids love it.

Now I am by no means a poetry expert. This month has been about baby steps for both the kids and me. In fact, I did not particularly like the poetry lessons in school. The word poetry leaves me trembling and feeling a little intimidated. But, that's mostly because in school I was required to write verses as instructed and work to interpret meaning in poetry. (Read J. Patrick Lewis' "Can Children’s Poetry Matter?" for more on this topic.) My perspective completely changed when I started reading poetry for my own personal entertainment. Likewise, young children should be able to freely choose and seek out poetry, much like they would any other form of entertainment.

What poetry books do you have in your home? If you want your children to immerse themselves in the verses they must first have access to poems. Before my children were born, I purchased a volume of Mother Goose rhymes. One of the best purchases I've ever made. I still sing nursery rhymes with them daily. But, there's a whole lot more out there...volumes and volumes just waiting to be discovered by little hands. Today, as part of the Savvy Verse & Wit National Poetry Month Blog Tour, I'm writing about a few read aloud poetry books for young children we discovered and, in some cases, eventually purchased for our home library.

Find poetry in ANTHOLOGIES
We started out our poetry month with a superb collection of poems -- Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky. The first poet to serve as the U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (2006-2008), Prelutsky is a super star in the world of children's poetry. His anthology is packed with over 200 poems that were specifically selected to appeal to the youngest children, baby to age six. Sun up to sun down, the poems in the book cover a variety of child-friendly topics ready to spark the imagination -- the seasons, animals, imaginary creatures, outdoor exploration and personal feelings. Some are familiar (like "I See The Moon") but many are not and some are just plain silly. Nearly every poem is accompanied by one of Marc Brown's fun illustrations. What I really like about the book is that it's a perfect launch pad for exploring the children's poetry world. With so many poets featured, it's like a who's who book of kid friendly poets. My daughter's favorite poems so far (we haven't read them all) include, "When All the World's Asleep" by Anita E. Posey and "Birthdays" by Mary Ann Hoberman.

(A couple other anthologies we enjoyed: Here's A Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry by Jane Yolen, Andrew Fusek Peters; illustrated by Polly Dunbar and Sing a Song of Popcorn : Every Child's Book of Poems by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers et al.)

BIRTHDAYS by Mary Ann Hoberman
"If birthdays happened once a week
Instead of once a year,
Think of all the gifts you'd get
And all the songs you'd hear..."


Find poetry in PICTURE BOOKS
Speaking of Mary Ann Hoberman, she's the current Children's Poet Laureate. She calls herself the Pied Piper for children's poetry. While she has written some awesome poetry books (For example: The Llama Who Had No Pajama : 100 favorite poems), she's also a good example of an author that has an extraordinary talent for writing lyrical picture books. That's right, don't only canvas the nonfiction shelves...many picture books contain poetic elements. One such book my daughter picks up again and again is All Kinds of Families! Through rhyming verse, Hoberman gives examples of all sorts of families and groupings and get kids thinking about families around them. Thimbles, toes, seashells and toothbrushes over the sink all are considered families, just like families of people. Impressively illustrated by Marc Boutavant in a retro and unique sort of way, the pictures are as equally enchanting as the text. There's a lot to think about while reading this book, and it also lends itself to discussions about family trees, birth, and what makes a family. This book has left its spot among the family of books on our shelf multiple times!

"You might say the numbers belong in a family
Or alphabet letters or notes in the scale
The colors in rainbows, the words in a language
The keys on a piano or stamps in the mail"

- All Kinds of Families by Mary Ann Hoberman


Search out BOOKS BY INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS
If you start reading enough poetry with your children, you'll quickly amass a list of children's poem writers and start a search for their books -- J. Patrick Lewis, Karla Kuskin, Shel Silverstein, Bobbi Katz, to name a few. When you find a writer with a certain style you love, it's fun to delve into a collection of their work. We recently received a review copy of The Wonder Book, a "treasury of poems, tongue-twisters, silly stories and other kinds of wordplay" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. We're big fans of Rosenthal's picture books so we had high hopes for this oddball collection of wonder and it surpassed our expectations. Paul Schmid illustrated the book in a similar manner to Shel Silverstein's works, using sketchy line drawings. There's a lot to peruse in this book and here are some of our picks:

"Stop That! Be Quiet! Please Sit Still" captures the energy of a young child and the desperate plea of parents. The ending surprises.
"A Man, a Plan, a Canal...Palindromes" consists of several creative palindromes. Our favorite? "The mall llama!"
"Half Birthday" made us think that we should all celebrate our half birthdays...or then again maybe not.

And our very favorite - "The Less Famous Friends of Mary Mack" - You know Mary Mack, the girl in black? Apparently she has friends in yellow, blue, red, white and pink.

"Miss Mary Stink Stink Stink
All dressed in pink pink pink
Scrubbed her feet feet feet
In the sink sink sink
"

The book is all about silliness and is such fun to read aloud to preschoolers on up or browse in bits by yourself. Even the index is hilarious. I wonder why it has to end so quickly and wish it was longer!

Other resources and read aloud poetry booklists:

A Treasury of Read-Alouds: Poetry for Children by Jim Trelease
Judy Freeman's 150 Favorite Poetry Books for Children
Tips For Reading with the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky [pdf]
Sylvia Vardell's blog - Poetry for Children
Elaine Magliaro's blog - Wild Rose Reader

POET-TREE for Arbor Day
Back in the beginning of April, my preschool daughter decided it might be fun to create her own "My Poetry Book." Nearly every weekday this month, she has selected a poem, copied and pasted it into her book and drawn a corresponding illustration. Here's her newest entry, in time for National Arbor Day today. She made a "POET-TREE" by cutting the stanzas of a poem into leaf shapes and attaching them to a tree. (Idea inspired by Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire!) The tree poem she picked is "Open House" by Aileen Fisher.




Please share your favorite read aloud poetry books with us...we're always open to suggestions! And be sure to check out the other posts in this month's Poetry Blog Tour (and vote for your favorite post) or join in the fun by participating in today's Poetry Friday or today's Feed Me Books Friday.

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.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arbor Day Square / Who Will Plant a Tree? - Book Review and stART

When we first moved into our home, we enjoyed the shade of a large white oak tree in our front yard. The double-trunked tree added much interest to our lot, but the same year we moved, a strong storm with high winds hit our neighborhood. One part of the tree twisted and fell over, crashing within a foot of our home. We heard the bang as we huddled in our basement. The tree stood in the city right-away and the officials, concerned with the health of the remaining trunk, removed the other half of the tree a few years after the first half fell. The next spring after the removal, an amazing thing happened. Little oak trees sprouted up all over our front yard! It was almost if the tree had sensed its destiny and decided to ensure its survival through propagation. We have been nurturing a few of the seedlings and hope they survive, growing into strong and healthy native oaks. While we'll likely never see the grown trees, we hope other generations will enjoy the shade.



The last Friday of April, many states celebrate Arbor Day. Nebraska holds claim to the first Arbor Day, held on April 10, 1872. J. Sterling Morton initiated the tree planting and, according to the Arbor Day Foundation website, more than one million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day. This year we are celebrating by reading a few newly published books about trees.


"Year after year they gather in the Square for another Arbor Day, a tree planting day, a holiday. Carrying shovels, rakes, and hoes, Katie and Papa help plant trees throughout the town." - Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Cyd Moore

Arbor Day Square takes readers back to frontier days on the prairie. While the pioneers like living in their new town, they decide something essential is missing -- trees. They take up a collection and order a large number of trees to be shipped by train. When the trees arrive, a little girl named Katie plants small sapling trees in the new town square along with her father and other townsfolk and farmers. Katie is concerned about the small size of the trees but her father assures her they will grow. Together they plant one very special tree in the corner of the square in memory of Katie's mother. Year after year they continue to plant trees in the town, for future generations to enjoy. The author's note in the back explains the origins and history behind Arbor Day.

This is a wonderful and quaintly illustrated picture book to share with children, and it is especially useful for teaching about Arbor Day. Arbor Day Square really captures the essence of what Arbor Day is about, kids and adults planting trees together for future generations to enjoy. My daughter was already familiar with the pioneer days through reading Little House on the Prairie books, and she quickly caught on to the similarities. She especially liked how the little girl planted a special tree in memory of her mother and loved how the book ends.
Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Cyd Moore. Peachtree Publishers (April 2010); ISBN 9781561455171; 32 pages (Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher)


"Last fall a squirrel buried an acorn. He didn't know it, but he planted an oak tree." - Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Tom Leonard

People aren't the only inhabitants of Earth that plant trees. The animals do their share of the work, too. Jerry Pallotta tells young kids how animals help in his book, Who Will Plant a Tree? Creatures as small as an ant and as large as an elephant give Mother Nature a hand by scattering the seeds, often accidentally. The book features realistic, close-up illustrations of a diverse selection of animals from all different areas -- a camel, pacu fish, and wren join the more familiar animals like a bear, goose and dolphin in dispersing seeds. In the end, school children learn about trees and join in the fun by planting trees during a field trip.

Young children, even toddlers will enjoy the brief and simple text and bright illustrations. Both my kids were fascinated by how the animals each help plant a tree. We especially appreciated how the illustrator depicted the growing trees on many of the pages by also picturing tree roots in the soil. There's a very small amount of potty humor in this book. Yes, sometimes the animals help plant the trees by pooping.
Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Tom Leonard. Sleeping Bear Press (April 2010); ISBN 9781585365029; 32 pages
(Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher)


❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖ Leaf Rubbings - stART project ❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖


During a short walk outside, we found several leaves to use for our stART (story+art) leaf rubbing craft this week. Leaf rubbings are so easy to make - you just lay a piece of paper on top of a leaf and rub the side of a crayon on top of the paper and the leaf print appears. (We found this craft mentioned on page 39 of Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars by Sharon Lovejoy. Look for our review of that book and a corresponding giveaway later this week.)








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. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

It's Poem In Your Pocket Day


How are you celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day? My daughter is taking a stack of pocket poems about going to a farm to share with her classmates. Her class is going on a field trip today to a local farm.

General farm poetry for kids isn't easy to find. I ran across several poems about specific farm animals but very few poems about farms overall. I finally settled on a singable, rhyming poem called "To The Farm." If anyone else knows of any other poems about farms, please mention them in the comments so I can share them with my daughter this evening. I hope that all the kids enjoy putting the poem in their pockets and have fun visiting the farm today!




Here's one more pocket sized farm poem:

A FARM PICTURE.
THROUGH the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sunlit pasture field with cattle and horses feeding,
And haze and vista, and the far horizon fading away.

- Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Worm or Flower?




My daughter never gets squeamish about holding earthworms. She doesn't usually like bugs, but worms are another story. However, one day I dug up a nightcrawler and she refused to hold it. Apparently a worm by another name is not a worm. Come to think of it, the name nightcrawler does sound a bit creepy...

My son refuses to hold any kind of worm. Wonder how long that phase will last? He is perfectly happy touching the pretty apple blossoms, though.



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

This week we're participating in 5 Orange Potatoes Children and Nature Awareness Month The Great Outdoor Challenge. Get outdoors with your kids!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

International Postcard Swap for Families



There's nothing better we like to find in our mailbox than a friendly personalized note or letter. Zoe at Playing by the book is hosting an International Postcard Swap for Families. The deadline for signing up is this Friday, April 30th. She's hoping that families from all over the world will participate. The swap isn't too intensive - all it requires is that you send 5 postcards to the families she picks for you. In turn, you'll also receive 5 postcards.

For those that like to receive postcards, I'd also recommend Postcrossing. This is a large and well organized postcard exchange site. We've been members for a while now and have received some wonderful cards from all over the world.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nonfiction Monday - Meteor Showers

Almost two weeks ago, on the evening of April 14th, my husband and I were just starting to get ready for bed when a flash of light outside lit up our entire home. A little bit later we heard a huge boom. Puzzled, my husband went outside to investigate, thinking it might have been a thunderstorm coming but the sky was perfectly clear. Later on we learned that the bright light and boom was a meteor. According to news reports, the meteor shot across the sky a little after 10:00 p.m. and was witnessed in at least six states including Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Michigan. Now, farmers in the rural Southwestern part of Wisconsin are finding meteorite fragments in their fields and meteorite hunters are canvasing the area, hoping to find one of those special chunks from the sky. One of my high school friend's parents found a meteorite on their farmland.

Upon hearing the news of the exciting nighttime event, my daughter looked extremely disappointed. She wished she had been awake to see the light and hear the boom. Even though she didn't witness the fireball, she still is quite interested in learning more about them. We've watched a few of the news updates that have featured people talking about the meteorites and read a few of the news articles online. This week we also checked out a couple of books from the library about meteors and meteorites.

Meteor Showers (True Books)
by J.A. Kelley. Children's Press Scholastic (2010); ISBN 9780531168974; 48 pages
(Book Source: Copy from public library)

Meteor Showers
, part of the A True Book Series, is an up-to-date and educational book on all things meteor related. The text discusses meteor showers, how meteors are created and shows how the Earth's gravity pulls the meteor into the atmosphere. One section focuses on the material make up of meteorites and another covers meteoritics, the study of meteorites. Major keywords like meteor, meteoroids and asteroids are in bold with the pronunciation in parenthesis. The well laid out design includes color pictures on nearly all the pages and the stylish layout makes the book fun to browse through like a magazine or read from cover to cover.

My daughter loved the picture of the largest meteorite found in the US (Willamette Meteorite) and also the picture of the Meteor Crater in Arizona. Here's one other fun fact we learned: "About 26,000 meteorites that are larger than a pebble land on Earth each year." That leaves us to wonder how many meteorites they'll discover in Wisconsin from the meteor that flew by a couple weeks ago!



We also read Meteor! by Patrica Polacco. The humorous story tells what happens when a meteor falls on the farmland of a grampa and gramma that live in Mudsock Meadow, a place near the town of Union City, Michigan. In the story, the meteor seems to have magical powers. The illustrations wonderfully portray the excitement of the curious townspeople as they check out and talk about the special meteor. Meteor! is based on an actual meteorite crash on Polacco's grandfather's farm. According to Polacco's website, the family uses the meteorite as their headstone. The story is a bit lengthy, best read to kids ages 5 and up.






Related Links:
Stardate Online - 2010 Meteor Showers and Viewing Tips
Wisconsin State Journal - "Meteorite mania: 'They're going to tell their grandchildren about this"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - "Meteorite hunters descend on Iowa County farms"

Check out this week's Nonfiction Monday at Check It Out. 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.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rain and Watercolors

A while back I read a post about painting in the rain at Your Wild Child. We thought we might as well make use of the gray, rainy weather this weekend, but it is a little too cold to sit outside and paint. So, the kids drew a couple pictures using watercolor pencils and we placed the paintings outside in the light rain. The rain produces a random, mottled effect and both kids were happy to let the rain combine the colors for them.






After watching small puddles appear on the paper, the kids decided to find a few bigger ones to splash in...




The Great Outdoor ChallengeThis week we're participating in 5 Orange Potatoes Children and Nature Awareness Month The Great Outdoor Challenge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lily's Victory Garden by Helen L. Wilbur - Book Review & stART

Yesterday we took a break from technology and celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in our own way by visiting with my grandparents. While it is wonderful that Earth Day encourages everyone to stop and reflect on ways to live in a more earth conscious way, being a friend of the environment isn't just a one day deal. It is a way of life, day in and day out. My grandparents have practiced sustainable living their entire life. They grew up during the Great Depression and lived through WWII, helping out on the home front by keeping the family farms running. They continue to live frugally in their small home, waste very little, compost, reuse what they can and tend a large garden.


Gardening is once again becoming a popular pastime. The focus on earth friendly living has sparked an increased interest in home gardening as many try to reduce their carbon footprint and eat organically. Also, several community garden projects have taken off. The community gardens bring people together, help families save money and teach individuals how to become more self-sufficient. During WWII, the U.S. government promoted a similar campaign for self-sufficiency through gardening by asking individuals on the home front to plant "Victory Gardens" as a way to address food scarcity and supplement food rations. Sleeping Bear Press just recently published a new book in their Tales of Young Americans Series that helps kids learn about the Victory Gardens from the World War II time period.

In Lily's Victory Garden, a young girl named Lily learns about a new way to help out the war effort by growing vegetables. Even though she lives in an apartment, she dreams of having her own huge garden. She tries to apply for her own plot with the local Garden Club, but learns she is too young to qualify. Undeterred by this obstacle, she decides to ask the Bishop family for permission to garden on their expansive property. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop's son recently died fighting in the war, and despite his grief, Mr. Bishop agrees to allow Lily to start her garden as long as she doesn't disturb Mrs. Bishop. Ultimately, Lily learns that her Victory Garden isn't only about growing plants and supporting a cause -- friendships can also blossom and hearts can mend when people work together in a garden.

This book not only offers children a snap shot of a period in history, it also shows them the power of friendship and gives a wonderful example of how a children can help out in their communities. Before reading Lily's Victory Garden, I wasn't familiar with the Victory Gardens of WWII. According to the informational section in the back of the book, "More than 20 million Americans answered the call in 1941 through 1943, producing nearly 50% of all the vegetables, fruit, and herbs for civilian consumption in the United States." The author, Helen Wilbur was actually inspired by her own mother, Edith, who kept her own Victory Garden during WWII. Because they lived on farms, both my grandparents already assisted with large gardens before the war so they didn't plant Victory Gardens, though they do remember the movement. My daughter loves helping out her great-grandparents with their large garden, especially assisting with the potato planting. She liked this book because of the gardening aspect and enjoyed the page where the characters fell in the mud. She even remarked at the illustrator's watercolor illustrations, saying, "I didn't know a boy could paint such beautiful pictures." This heart-warming book about Victory Gardens is perfect to share with elementary school children, especially those that may be helping out with their own community or home gardens.

Wouldn't it be great if it didn't take a war movement to encourage the volume of home produce production and conservation realized during WWII? If everyone followed the advice to "Make Every Day Earth Day" just think what we all could achieve!

Lily's Victory Garden (Tales of Young Americans) by Helen L. Wilber, illustrated by Robert Gantt Steele. Sleeping Bear Press (February 2010); ISBN 9781585364503; 32 pages
(Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher)

Related Links:
Helen Wilbur - Author Website
Robert Gantt Steele - Illustrator Website


We didn't do many indoor craft projects this week, choosing outdoor activities instead. For our stART (story + art) project, my daughter planted violas. It's more of a story-stretcher rather than art, but flower arranging does require some artist talent. She put the yellow flowers in the center and planted a ring of purple flowers around the outside! She's also hoping to help out with bigger gardening projects when the danger of frost in our area has passed.



The Great Outdoor ChallengeThe Adventure of Motherhood


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. Today's Feed Me Books Friday is hosted by Silly Eagle Books. This week we're also participating in 5 Orange Potatoes Children and Nature Awareness Month The Great Outdoor Challenge.

Victory Garden poster public domain image from Wikipedia.

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.)

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (4/23/10)

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 related giveaway(s):
10th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling - Book Giveaway (Ends 4/26)
Seventh Generation "Disinfecting Cleaning Kit" (includes the book, The Conscious Kitchen by Alexandra Zissu) - (Ends 4/26)
EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures by Roxie Munro picture book - (Ends 5/3)


Other book giveaways:
Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves - Book Giveaway Ends 4/25/10
Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
CakeBlast - Book Giveaway Ends 5/9/10 (US/Can)
Time For Bed, Baby Ted by Debra Sartell
Maman A Droit - Book Giveaway Ends 5/12/10
ABCs by Charley Harper
Bless Their Hearts - Book Giveaway Ends 5/8/10
Camera For Kids by John Crippen
Resting in the Mystery - Book Giveaway Ends 4/28/10 (US/Can)
Coloring & ARTivity book
Mommy 2 Two Girls - Book Giveaway Ends 5/7/10
Simon & Schuster Little Green Books book bundle
The Cajun Book Lady - Book Giveaway Ends 4/30/10
A Tree for Emmy by Mary Ann Rodman
Beth Fish Reads - Book Giveaway Ends 5/4/10
Harry Potter book set and $50 gift card
Sage and Savvy - Book Giveaway Ends 4/21/10
EcoMazes by Roxie Munro
Wild Rose Reader - Book Giveaway Ends 4/28/10
Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Seasons—with poems selected by Christine San Jose and Bill Johnson and illustrations by Melanie Hall.


Where's Spot? 30th Anniversary Edition DVD Giveaways:
Guessing all the Way - Ends 5/6
Mom Most Traveled - Ends 4/24
Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports - Ends 5/8
My Wee View - 4/30
Feisty Frugal and Fabulous - Ends 4/26
5 Vinez Monkeys - 5/11


Other giveaways:
Raising Creative and Curious Kids - Ends 5/3
Paint By Number Cupcake Pop-Art
A Mom's Balancing Act - Ends 5/10
Faber-Castell Paint By Number Kit of their choice


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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Dandelion Spirals

A dandelion + a little water = a magical experiment. Just pluck the head off a dandelion, peel the stem into several long sections, put the stem pieces in the water and they magically curl into tight spirals. This week the kids and I decided to pick some dandelions, get our hands wet and have fun making a few dandelion spirals.

Why does a dandelion stem curl? One side of the stem piece absorbs more water than the other and expands faster, causing the stem to curl up into a tight coil.







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

This week we're participating in 5 Orange Potatoes Children and Nature Awareness Month The Great Outdoor Challenge. Get outdoors with your kids!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kaskey Kids Website and "Baseball Guys" Mini Pack Giveaway


The Parks and Recreation Department of our city offers several summer programs for kids. I'm planning to sign my daughter up for a few of them including swimming and t-ball. I played t-ball as a child and learned a lot about the fundamentals of baseball by participating. As I grew older, my love of baseball also grew. My parents took my brother and I to a Brewers major league game when we were in grade school, and I remember my excitement. Some of the more famous Brewers players were on the team including Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. When I reached high school, I enjoyed playing on the girl's softball team. Spring and summer would just not be the same without baseball.

Kaskey Kids is a company that produces sport action figures. Last fall I had the chance to review the Kaskey Kids Baseball Guys toy action figure set. (Click link to read my full review.) Their baseball action figure sets offer a wonderful way to explain the basics of baseball, and we're planning to use the set to prepare my daughter for her t-ball season. We wouldn't want her running the wrong way around the bases during her first game! Additionally, I'm hoping my son will love playing with the baseball guys we received last year while he watches his sister play ball this summer.

The Kaskey Kids recently updated the Kid's Corner part of their website. The website now has a few fun online games to play. I tried out the Baseball Homerun Champion game. It's easy enough for kids to play, but adults will also find it a little challenging to see how long they can manage to continue play. I ended up with a score of 38560 my first time so you'll have to see if you can beat it.

Fans can also upload their own photos that include a Kaskey Kids product on the Fans Photos portion of the website. When the photo receives 100 views it reaches "All Star" status. My favorite pictures are the ones that show the figures used as cake or party decorations. If kids need a few suggestions on ways to play with their action figures they can check out the Ways to Play section.



To kick off the baseball season, the company is offering to give away one "Baseball Guys" Mini Pack to a Brimful Curiosities reader. The pack retails for $9.99 and includes 12 players in grey and black uniforms and an umpire (just enough for one team). The figures are approximately 2" tall each. The set would make a great gift for any baseball fan and encourages imaginative play.

To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about the Kaskey Kids new Kid's Corner part of the website.
• 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, May 3rd, 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 did not receive a free product or any other type of compensation from Kaskey Kids in exchange for writing this post. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)