Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LDSPBP: Mark Nielsen

I believe in Jesus Too by Mark S. Nielsen

A book that celebrates the diversity of the world wide church, I believe in Jesus too, shows how children all over the world participate in living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The book highlights the different ways children travel to church, what their church buildings look like, different languages children pray in, different ways families do FHE, and the different places in which children are baptized. The text is smooth and easy to read and highlights different cultures with traditional names and details that are often iconic of each country highlighted.

The illustrations are highly detailed realistic paintings with beautiful and vivid colors. The illustrator also does a wonderful job at giving each child distinct features and unique expressions so each appears to have their own personality.

I really like how this book isn’t focused on teaching a specific doctrinal principal. Instead it shows how children all over the world participate in the daily activities of the gospel. I also like the fact that it has so many countries and nationalities featured. Books are a wonderful way to show children all the richness and diversity of the world and this book does a particularly good job at showing a large number of different places, customs, and people. 

Visit Mark Nielsen's Website

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Book Trek! Hurrah!

LDS Publisher is hosting another reading challege focused on LDS Authors! Here is you chance to catch up on all those LDS titles you have been wanting to read. I am way excited that this feature came back. There are tons of awesome prizes and there are tons of ways to earn points. The challenge runs through the month of August.

I am planning to read:
The Hidden Branch by G.G. Vandergriff
Freshman for President by Ally Condi
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Before I say Goodbye by Rachel Ann Nunes
Castles on the Sand by E.M Tippetts
Paige by Annette Lyon

Wish me luck! Hope to see other bloggers join in the fun. Just click on the picture to sign up. It should have a link.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

LDSPBP: Teresa Bateman

Teresa Bateman's love of stories came from her mother who incouraged all her children to read. When she was young she used to tell stories to her sister, who shared a room with her. That tradition only carried on to her nieces and nephews. Her love of stories led to to pursue a career as a librarian.

Leprechaun Gold
 Donald O Dell, a lonely handyman, happens upon a trapped Leprechaun. He rescues the poor creature and is offered a pot of gold. Yet, gold is not what Donald O’ Dell wants, and so he refused the Leprechaun’s offer. The Leprechaun, offended by this tries all kinds of shenanigans to get Donald to accept his gold. Until finally, one day the Leprechaun manages to lead Donald to what he really wants.

I felt like this picture book was a bit text heavy, but the story was a satisfying and clever read. 

Fiona’s Luck
Another Irish theme tale about a woman named Fiona, who outwits the Leprechaun King. Ireland used to be a place full of luck for everyone until the Leprechauns became jealous of how much luck the humans were using. So they collected it all up and as a result everyone suffered. The crops refused to grow, cow didn’t give milk, and hens wouldn’t lay eggs anymore. Fiona uses her wits to trick the Leprechauns into sharing their luck again.
I liked how this story arc felt like an old piece of folklore--magical creatures, a witty heroine, and a clever twist at the end.   A very satisfying read.

April Foolishness
The first day of April brings the grandchildren to grandma and grandpas farm. Grandpa won’t fall for his grandchildren’s tricks. He goes about making his breakfast certain that their reports of animals escaping and causing mayhem are false. Will he be tricked into an April fool?

This is a charming story and so much fun for April Fool’s Day! I loved the brief text, and funny illustrations and a twist that made me laugh at the end.  

The Frog with the Big Mouth

This story is about a proud little frog who goes out to greet the other animals in the rain forest and tell them about his mighty feat of eating the biggest fly in the whole world. He should be more careful because he runs into a forest creature that is more interested in eating him then hearing him talk.
This little story quickly became my daughter’s favorite. The illustrations successfully convey the lush rain forest setting, and the cheerful and enthusiastic frog that shines through in the text, which is full of alliterative phrases, and easy to read rhymes which makes this book fun to read out loud.     

Fluffy by Teresa Bateman
Fluffy the poodle is out for a pleasant cruise on his yhat and is captured by pirates. What is a dog to do but bluff his way out of the situation. Fluffy, despite his soft name and appearance must prove his mettle and his gruff or the pirates will force him to walk the plank.
I loved the delightful lyrical verse in this funny pictures book that showcases the cleverness and bravery of one very resourceful pup. Fluffy truly becomes the scourge of the sea of at least of the pirate captain.

Farm Flu
In an unfortunate twist of fate mom is out of town just when the barnyard animals start to show signs of sickness. The cow lets out a huge “Ka-choo.” So our main character decides to do just as his mom would do. He pulls the cow into the house and into nice warm bed. She seems to be doing well after getting some tissues and a nice pot of alfalfa tea. Then more “Ka-choos” spread around the farm. Pretty soon the chickens, pigs, turkeys, donkey, and sheep have all been infected too!
Soon the entire house is full of animals needing care and attention. Soon our caring protagonist begins to get the hint that the animals are taking advantage. His mom has taught him how to take care of that too.
I love the pictures that attend this hilarious picture book text. They are the right blend of lighthearted and funny.
The Princesses Have a Ball
The story is familiar twelve wee princesses up late up into the night. Each morning their shoes are in a terrible state. A suspicious father hires investigators too discover just what his daughters are doing staying up so late. With tricks a plenty the princesses keep the investigators off their tail until the shoemaker discovers just what they have been up to—basketball.
This clever retelling of the twelve dancing princesses has a unique and clever twist that will leave you cheering.  
Full Bibliography:
  • The Ring of Truth: An Original Irish Tale, illustrated by Omar Rayyan, Holiday House, 1997.
  • Leprechaun Gold, illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger, Holiday House, 1998.
  • Harp o' Gold: An Original Tale, Holiday House, 2001.
  • A Plump and Perky Turkey, Winslow, 2001.
  • Farm Flu, Albert Whitman, 2001.
  • Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who?: The Stories behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols, Holiday House, 2001.
  • The Merbaby, Holiday House, 2001.
  • Hunting the Daddyosaurus, Albert Whitman, 2002.
  • The Princesses Have a Ball, Albert Whitman, 2002.
  • April Foolishness, Albert Whitman, 2004.
  • The Bully Blockers Club, Albert Whitman, 2004.
  • Hamster Camp: How Harry Got Fit, Albert Whitman, 2005.
  • Fluffy, Scourge of the Sea, Charlesbridge, 2005.
  • Keeper of Soles, Holiday House, 2005.
  • Will You Be My Valenswine?, Albert Whitman, 2005.
  • Traveling Tom and the Leprechaun, Holiday House , 2007 
  •  The Eye of the Unicorn, Holiday House, 2007
  • Gus the Pilgrim Turkey, Albert Whitman & Company, 2008
  • Damon, Pythias and the Test of Friendship,  Albert Whitman & Company , 2009
  •  Paul Bunion vs Hal Halson: The Giant Lumberjack Challenge, Albert Whitman & Company 2011
  • The Christmas Pups, Albert Whitman & Company, 2011

  • Friday, July 13, 2012

    Three very most favorite picture books of summer season

    The Everything Book by Denise Fleming

     No ordinary picture book this book has over 60 pages packed full of pictures and text. The majority of the book contains illustrated nursery rhymes, most of which I wasn’t familiar with. There were also illustrations of baby eating, baby playing with pots and pans, shapes, the alphabet, the seasons, a couple of counting pages, and other activities that makes this a fun and interesting book to go through. Sera loved this one and would sit through the entire thing!  Sometimes we shortened some of the rhymes depending on her mood. I am going to be sad to return this one to the library. We may have to keep this in mind for a Christmas, Easter, or birthday present in the future.

    Who’s in the Forest? by Phyllis Gershator

    We loved this little peakabook board book. First off the art design of the book is so great. It has a scrapbook type theme throughout the entire book, and so the book feels very layered. Very much like the details that pop out at you on a nature stroll. Random birds can be found in the trees on all the pages. I loved pointing out the hiding animals and insects out to Sera. The pages have a circle cut out of them so you get a spoiler for what is on the next page but not the full reveal, which makes the book interesting and surprising. The text is short and easy to read out loud, and encourages the reader to ask  what new creature will appear on the next page. This is another one we are going to miss when it goes back to the library. We will probably check it out again and put it on the list for Christmas, Birthday, or Easter gifts for Sera.

    The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood

    Thank goodness for the library or I don’t think I ever would have found this cute little book that was published the year before I was born! This is my favorite picture book of the year. This one was so delightful that I could read it over and over and still be amused by it. The narrator’s voice is so strong and the accompanying art is so hilarious. Neither Sera nor I could get enough of this cute little board book.


    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Daisy by Josi Kilpack

    Daisy by Josi Kilpack

    Daisy never had an easy time raising her children as she did most of it herself. She first got pregnant as a teen with a boyfriend who refused to marry her. Relying on her family she worked her way through high school and found herself a good job and life. Ten years later she finds herself pregnant again and unmarried, though this time her boyfriend decided to at least try marriage. Several years later the marriage fails and Daisy find herself as a single mom once again. Now that her older daughter is expecting a child and her younger daughter is in the last year of high school Daisy is very ready to move into a new phase of her life without children.  Both she and her husband Paul are counting down the days until they get the house and their time schedules all to themselves.

    Then Daisy starts to get signs that she is pregnant, and offends her daughter so badly that she decides to go live with her dad. She realizes that perhaps her view on life needs adjustment, as she goes through the struggle of accepting her new pregnancy she learns to embrace the opportunity to be a mother again.

    At first I was worried that it was going to be awkward to read four books that were interrelated over many of the same events and time period, but I think this series manages to make the characters with diverse enough lives and situations that they manage to keep the story interesting.  Daisy the second novel released in the Newport Ladies book club tells the story of a main character, who is very different from Olivia in the first book.  

    It was interesting to read about how Daisy reacted to the events in the book group as she did have a unique take on all of the conversations in book group.  Being in a stage where she thought it was weird she was having pregnancy signs when she was certain she wasn’t pregnant lent a lot of new tension to scenes I was already familiar with. It was also nice to get to know a few more details about others in the book group. Daisy interacts with Paige on a more regular basis, for example, although she knows little about the struggles others are going through.

     I really loved the balance the Kilpack was able to strike in the book. The main character was not a Mormon but her friend Paige was. This lead them to have a few interesting conversations about god and Mormonism, but not in a context that was missionary in tone. Their conversations were really natural and were meaningful without being info dumpy.  I also loved the balance the author was able to achieve in the ending.  This book does not have a very happy romantic ending, but it was still an uplifting read. I loved that about this book.  The ending was not fairy tale perfect but at the end of it I felt really proud of the way the main character had navigated the most recent crises in her life. I felt like she was moving on to better and happier places. Daisy had come to understand the most important priorities in her life and was willing to accept the changes (good and bad) that her new mindset would bring.       

     To find out more about this series visit the Newport Ladies Book Club website