Friday, April 27, 2012

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (4/27/12)

Full to the Brim is a list I compile by hand of children's book giveaway online contests. Please check out my other "Full to the Brim" posts as well. Many contests are still underway. I *try to* publish "Full to the Brim" every Friday, though this month my postings have been few and far between. If I missed your book giveaway, feel free to mention it in the comment section or send me an email.

Book Giveaways:
Mommy of Two Little Monkeys - Ends 5/15
Little Learner Children's Books from Parragon Publishing
Simply Stacie - Ends 5/10
Take Two and Bug Off by Jane Yolen
Mommies with Cents - Ends 5/2
Prize pack of baseball books from Candlewick Press
The Children's Book Review - Ends 5/8
Rosie Flo’s Coloring Fashion Show by Roz Streeten
Mundie Kids - Ends ??
Puzzled by Pink by Sarah Frances Hardy
Mommy Maestra - Ends 4/30
United States Activity Atlas
Silver Dolphin Books Blog - Ends 4/30
Classic Books from Thunder Bay Press: Jane Austen, War & Peace and The Arabian Nights
Books 4 Learning - Ends 4/30
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Bookalicious - Ends 4/30
Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe by Nathan Bransford (middle grade)
Simply Shop and Save - Ends 4/4
I Can Read! Princesses Twins book set by Zonderkidz
No Water River - Ends 4/29
The House by J. Patrick Lewis
Teaching Authors - Ends 5/21
one of three $30 gift certificates from
Good Reads with Ronna - Ends 5/9
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, plus a promotional JBJ calendar
The Hate-Mongering Tart - Ends 4/30
3 Books from Candlewick Press: Falling Hard by Betsy Franco, The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf & The Hound Dog's Haiku by Michael J. Rosen
The Hate-Mongering Tart - Ends 4/30
FORGET-ME-NOTS: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley
Walden Pond Press - Ends 4/30
Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, and Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (middle school/YA) Blog offers several giveaways each month. The April 2012 giveaways include: A Little Book About Feelings and My Feelings Activity Book, Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World, How Many Jelly Beans, Guacamole, and The Surrender Tree. View their site for details:

Because Your Mommy Loves You by Andrew Clements, illustrated by R. W. Alley -- Giveaways
5 Minutes for Mom – Ends 5/3
Resourceful Mommy – Ends 5/7
Our Ordinary Life – Ends 5/6

The Extraordinary Education of Nicolas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart --- Giveaways (middle grade)
5 Minutes for Books – Ends 5/2
Frugality is Free – Ends 5/16
Milk and Cookies – Ends 4/30
A Life Bound by Books – Ends 4/28
Mundie Kids – Ends ??

Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals 2 DVD set by Scholastic Storybook Treasures/NewKideo --- Giveaways
Muse Reviews – Ends 5/1
Building Carpenters – Ends 5/8
Natural Mama – Ends 5/10
Connected 2 Christ – Ends 5/2
Wee Share – Ends 5/4
A Mom's Take – Ends 5/4

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - when the world is mud-luscious

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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Welcome to the 2012 Ultimate Blog Party at Brimful Curiosities! Please grab a wood stump chair, put up your feet, make yourself at home and stay awhile. We like to keep things whimsical and relaxed here.

My name is Janelle -- I'm the hostess and blog proprietor here at Brimful Curiosities. I'm a stay-at-home mom to two young children. And, in case you didn't guess by the subtitle, I like to read children's books with my kids and blog about our reading experiences. We also spend time crafting, exploring the outdoors and doing all the normal things families do together like building Christmas trees out of books and making silly things out of Popsicle sticks.

One of the regular features here is my Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List, published each Friday (though this year I've been somewhat lax at publishing each week, but I hope to get back into the groove soon). If you like children's books and entering giveaways, you'll probably want to take a look at my lists. Additionally, my kids and I often post a fun, book-related craft each week, and I try post a photo for Wordless Wednesday each week. Other than that, my posts vary ranging from reviews to personal observations.

April is National Poetry Month so we've been reading a few poems together. This week our favorite poetry book is Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook. It's full of spoonerisms in rhyming verse -- poems that feature crazy, mixed-up words with switched letters that can take on new meanings. The poems in Silverstein's book inspired this amateur attempt at writing spoonerisms. It's my topsy-turvy description of what Brimful Curiosities (or rather Crimful Buriosities) is all about:

Crimful Buriosities is a blog
mostly about bhildren's cooks.
My family likes to cead and rraft,
be sure to lake a took!
Niction or fon-fiction,
it doesn't batter a mit.
On our lrips to the tibrary,
we always bind fooks that are a hit.
Besides books, it's sard to hay
just what I'll decide to post.
Products, giveaways, Full to the Brim, nature activities,
it's best not to bit and soast.
So friends, don't hesitate to stop, hay si!
I cruly therish each and every comment left here.
And I promise to feturn the ravor,
it's cun to fonnect at the UBP every year!

This is my fourth year participating in the party, and I've been blogging since 2008. If you want to know more about me you can read my previous party posts 2011 and 2010 and 2009.

And, if you'd like, connect with me via other social media sites: @iambrimful or Facebook or

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Three Trees by Elena Pasquali - Book Review and Stand Up Cross Craft

I know that many people read the story of the three trees at Christmas, but for me the story is one that evokes especially poignant emotions at Easter. While several retellings of this story exist, I really like this new, beautifully illustrated picture book version by Elena Pasquali and illustrated by Sophie Windham.

"Long ago, on a hillside, stood three trees ... Under the cold night sky that glittered with stars, they dreamed their dreams."
The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali, illustrated by Sophie Windham. Lion UK / Kregel (September 2011); ISBN 9780745962894
Book Source: Copy from our personal library
The Three Trees folktale is one with a Christian message that tells of Jesus' life journey from cradle to cross from the perspective of three forest trees. Each of the three trees stand together on a hill and dream of greatness: the first wants to be made into a chest and hold a fine treasure, the second yearns to be a proud ship and carry a king and the third tree hopes to remain forever on the hillside pointing to heaven. One day, woodcutters climb the hill and chop down the trees. The three trees lament over their situations as the forms they eventually take are not as they had dreamed. However, overtime the trees each realize they play a greater role than they could ever imagine. They are each part of God's plan and play a part in Jesus's life.

I like several things about this version of the familiar tale. First of all it provides a wonderful example of how God's will may not always be the same as our will, but God does have wonderful plan, a purpose in mind for each and every one of us. Also, in Windham's illustrations each of the trees is different, just like each of God's children. The text is not overly long and slightly simplified when compared to alternate retellings, and Pasquali retains the heart and emotion of the story. For this reason, this retelling is particularly suited for younger children. Windham's folksy artistic style definitely is a good fit for this story. My kids remarked at all the extra details in Windham's colorful illustrations, and we especially like the elaborate borders and different sized panels.

"The tree that had borne his death was now a symbol of his life. And the third tree knew that it would stand for ever, pointing to heaven."

Because of the way the final sentences are worded, the book can be used as a useful tool in talking about the symbolism of the cross in Christianity -- the cross is not only a symbol of the suffering and death of Jesus but, as it stands empty pointing toward heaven, it also serves a reminder of the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. Windham's final illustration shows a cross superimposed over a tree full of life, a lovely image showing the Easter blessing of new life through Jesus Christ.

✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ Stand Up Cross Craft ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞

My kids made 3D crosses that stand up as a tie-in activity for The Three Trees book. In order to make this cross you need two pieces of cardstock paper. Cut out two identical cross patterns, then cut halfway down one cross and halfway up the other cross. To make the cross stand up, fit the two crosses together up the center. Once you have the cross assembled, flatten and color on all four sides. We strengthened our crosses with a bit of tape at the top and the bottom.

Printable PDF Cross Craft Template - Print on 8 x 11" paper:

The craft is really simple to make but it looks beautiful and points to heaven just like the cross in the book. Another craft that would correspond well with this book is the Life of Jesus Cross Craft found at Prekinders. You could adapt the images to show the parts of Jesus's life discussed in the book.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
- Hebrews 12:2

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Wrote a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.

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, April 11, 2012

Rosie Flo's Fashion Show Pop-up Coloring Runway Set - Review and Giveaway

Today you're cordially invited to my daughter's virtual coloring fashion show, a glitzy extravaganza showcasing the new Rosie Flo's Fashion Show Pop-up Coloring Runway Set. My daughter has worked hard and long to ready her fabulous models and spectators for the show.

Rosie Flo's Fashion Show is a box gift set published by Chronicle Books that contains a ready-to-assemble paper theater and catwalk along with 18 paper models, 8 front-row spectators and a little poodle for kids to color and personalize. There are also pop-up chairs for the front-row spectators, little invitations to pass out and a paper camera to set up at the show. Along with coloring in all the designer dresses, kids get to complete the character line drawings, a sort of "filling-in-a-person" drawing activity. Like all Rosie Flo products, the dresses are ready for a creative mind to take over and add heads, faces, legs, arms and all the extra flourishes. Kids get creative by making up their own characters to fit the costumes.

The pop-up theater is impressively detailed, both inside and out. Models "get-ready" at the outside back of the theater in a dressing room and then enter through the doors onto the catwalk. No glue or scissors is required and the theater itself isn't too hard to assemble though smaller kids will probably need some assistance. According to the outside of the box, this set is recommended for ages six and up but with parental help I imagine younger kids would also enjoy coloring and creating the models.

My artsy daughter has already spent several hours drawing and coloring the models and spectators in her set and still has several more models to color. I asked her what she likes most about this product and she replied that, "It is better than a coloring book because when you are done coloring you can play with it. It is hard work but a lot of fun because you get to draw people."

Models walking the catwalk.

A variety of spectators watch the fashion show.

As a parent I really like that this set challenges young artists by helping them practice the art of drawing people. The ready-made dress sketches help set the proportions and kids can take off from there by making their own creative characters and adding color and expression. The 3D pop-up theater is also wonderful as it allows the kids to endlessly play with their creations after they are finished completing the characters. In addition, a group of girls could easily work on the project together because of the large number of figures included in the set.

If you have an artistic child, this product would make an excellent gift. No markers or colors are included with the set, so make sure to purchase those as well if the child doesn't already have their own art supplies.

Rosie Flo's Coloring Fashion Show by Roz Streeten. Chronicle Books (March 2012); ISBN 9781452107844

The Rosie Flo’s Coloring Fashion Show Set product released a few weeks ago and Chronicle Books has kindly offered to give away a copy to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

For a chance to win, take a look at the spectators my daughter drew (pictured above) and let her know which spectator you like the best. Thanks for taking part in our fashion show!
• 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 only
• Contest ends on Monday, April 23rd, 2011 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 via GFC or Facebook 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.)

Wordless Wednesday - Kite Weather

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