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Picture Books about the Moon
Picture Books about the Moon

Picture Books about the Moon

In honour of the 2016 Super Moon on November 14th (which I didn’t see because it was too cloudy here in Wales), here are some of picture books about the moon to share with your little star-gazers and would-be space-travelling astronauts.

I Took the Moon for a Walk

I took the Moon for a walk

“I Took the Moon for a Walk” by Carolyn Curtis is a gorgeously illustrated, gentle book which is just right for bedtime.  The moon follows a little boy as he walks round his neighbourhood and then waits outside his window until the morning. And this book contains some seriously gorgeous artwork.

Kitten’s First Full Moon

Kittens first full moon

“Kitten’s First Full Moon” by by Kevin Henkes. Kitten thinks the moon is a bowl of milk in the sky. This cute story follows her attempts to reach it.

The drawings are black and white but they are very sweet, as is the story. Kitten attempts to lick the milk/moon but she gets a bug on her tongue, falls off the porch, gets stuck up a tree and, after seeing the reflection of the moon in the pond, gets terribly wet when she jumps in. Happily, there’s a real bowl of milk waiting for her at home.

Little readers will love the silly kitten.

On the Moon

On the Moon

The books so far have all been fiction but “On the Moon” by Anna Milbourne is a fantastic book which combines artist’s drawings with real life images from NASA which shows what it’s really like on the moon. There are also actual facts that my grandson found really interesting, like it takes four whole days to fly to the moon. He also got very interested in the rocket that takes the astronauts to the moon and we’ve had to re-enact the blast off procedure several times with many of his toys lol.

If you decide to go to the Moon

if you decide to go to the moon

If you decide to go to the Moon in your own rocket ship, read this book before you start … so starts “If you decide to go to the Moon” by Faith McNulty. This book has a lot of advice and hard facts for future astronauts; what to take, how long it will take to get there and the information they’ll need to get themselves back.  There is quite a lot of text in this book but there are also great illustrations to talk about with younger space enthusiasts. It ends with the explorers returning and promising to “protect all life on our beautiful Earth.”

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of picture books picture books about the moon, even if, like me, the good old British weather obliterated your view of the biggest super-moon in nearly seventy years.

Suzie xx



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Five little Monkeys jumping on the Bed – #PictureBookMonth – Nov 3

picture book month“Five little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow

…#PictureBookMonth – Nov 3

November is Picture Book Month – a celebration of great picture books with a daily theme.

Today’s theme is Monkeys.

My choice of book for today is “Five Little Monkeys jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow.

five little monkeys

This is a fun take on a story that we all know. It has lovely illustrations and a twist at the end that doesn’t usually feature in the words that I remember 🙂 .

Here it is in a great video from Grandma Annii

Five Little Monkeys is one of Amazon’s top selling picture books. A classic for little ones. The only problem is, you may have to read it multiple time.

Suzie x



Tammymum

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Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten #PictureBookMonth – Nov 2

 picture book month“Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate…

…#PictureBookMonth – Nov 2

November is Picture Book Month – a celebration of great picture books with a daily theme.

Today’s theme is school.

books about starting schoolI wrote a post about books for children preparing to start school back in the summer. Hopefully, all those new students (and their parents) are well into the swing of school by now and enjoying it. So, today my book choice has the incredibly long title of “Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate.

OK, so this year’s September starters haven’t been in school for 100 days yet, but this is a fun read on many levels. It won’t be long before they will be having their own 100 day celebrations.

miss Bindergarten

The story starts as Miss Bindergarten tells her students that their homework is to bring

100 of some wonderful, one-hundredful thing.

picture book month calendarIt then documents what each of the pupils (who have names for every letter of the alphabet) will bring, so one builds a fort with 100 lolly sticks, one makes a 100-link paper-chain, whilst another covers themselves with 100 stickers. At the same time, Miss Bindergarten is getting ready for the celebrations with her class. She devises all sorts of great number games for them to enjoy which reinforces the concept of 100 whilst they are having fun.

The book is told in rhyme and the illustrations have lots of detail for you and your child to talk about. As well as that, there are alphabet and number concepts too.

I think the 100 day celebration is a great idea. Hope you enjoy the book.

Suzie xx



My Random Musings
Something About a Bear – #PictureBookMonth – Nov 1

picture book month“Something About a Bear” by Jackie Morris…

…#PictureBookMonth – Nov 1

Happy November 🙂

November is Picture Book Month – a celebration of great picture books with a daily theme.

Today’s theme is Bears.

There are so many picture books about bears it was hard to choose just one. Inspired by children’s cuddly animals everywhere, bears in books play games, try to delay bedtime, have fun at school and just about any other thing a regular child can do.something about a bear

There’s Old Bear, and Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh and Sam Bear from my grandson’s favourite, “Kiss Goodnight, Sam” to name just a few. However, I decided to feature a book a picked up the other day from the library. “Something About a Bear” by Jackie Morris has become a quite a hit at our house and I can see I’ll have to buy a copy of our own.

Unlike most of the other bear stories in children’s literature which project human qualities onto animals, “Something About a Bear” focuses on eight types of real bear.

So let me tell you something, something about a bear.

There is the Black Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacle Bear, Sun Bear, Panda, Moon Bear and the Brown Bear. (Yes, me and the grandchildren are now something of bear experts)

something about a bearReaders follow the bears doing normal ‘bear’ things such as hunting, caring for their cubs and swimming. The illustrations are gorgeous watercolour paintings of them in their natural habitat; the forest, jungle or icy waters.

Swimming through the water where the ice-flow meets the ocean, lives the great, white Polar bear.

picture book month calendarWe particularly like the picture of bear-sized paws to compare with your own hands on the last page. (They are as big as my grandson’s head!)

There is a fascinating story of how “Something About a Bear” was written over on Jackie’s website. It’s well worth a read.

We’ve really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a change to cuddly, humanized bears often found in children’s books.

Suzie xx



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Problem with the Amazon link to “Things Evie Eats” paperbacks
Problem with the Amazon link to “Things Evie Eats” paperbacks

Problem  with the Amazon link to “Things Evie Eats” paperbacks.

Yikes! I just discovered there’s a problem with the Amazon link to the print copy of “Things Evie Eats”. It’s disappeared. Arrrrgghhhh!!!!

Things Evie Eats

I am trying to find out what has gone wrong.

In the meantime, the link to the Kindle ebook version works fine and, of course, Kindle Unlimited members can still download the book for free.

However, if you would like to buy a paperback copy of the book, please email me and I will send one out to you straight away.

Suzie xx


 

I am Otter: Book Review

Book review of “I am Otter” by Sam Garton.

I am OtterOne of my grandson’s favourite books at the moment is “I am Otter” by Sam Garton. I first encountered this book on Facebook in the days before it was picked up and published by Harper Collins. Sam Garton is a fantastic illustrator. His work has a retro look to it that I love. Buying the book when it came out was a no-brainer for me.

I am Otter

The funny logic of Otter and his sidekick Teddy makes for a great children’s book. Who can fault Otter for opening a toast restaurant because he’s bored while otter-keeper is at work? However, it’s not all plain sailing at Otter’s restaurant.

I am Otter

Otter decides the problems are Teddy’s fault and promptly fires him but things don’t improve … and then the Otter Keeper comes home. Otter tries to blame Teddy for the mess. But where is Teddy?

Otter and the Otter Keeper search high and low for Teddy but he can’t be found. Otter is very sad. The trouble is, he can’t sleep without Teddy so more searching ensues. Eventually Teddy is found and Otter is happy again. “And now, when things go wrong, I understand they are not actually Teddy’s fault at all.”

There are some good talking points in this book which are particularly relevant at the moment to my grandson and his little sister. Was Teddy to blame for the problems at the restaurant? Why did Otter tell the Otter Keeper it was Teddy’s fault? What should he have done?

Other Otter adventures include Otter in Space, Otter goes to School, and Otter loves Easter but if you join Sam Garton’s mailing list, he regularly sends fun newsletters with the latest exploits of Otter, Teddy and the long-suffering otter-keeper which always make me smile.

This is a lovely book with detailed illustrations that give you lots to talk about with your child. A modern classic.

Suzie x

P.S. Ninetyfive percent Human, a YA sci-fi romance written by my alter-ego, Suzanna Williams, is on Free promotion from 23 – 27th September.

Ninety-five percent Human



 

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Picture books about the beach

Picture books about the beach.

picture books about the beachAugust is here. The summer is in full swing. Whether you’re heading for the beach or just getting in the holiday mood, here are some of my favourite picture books to share with children who are just discovering the sea and sand.

Just Grandma and Me.

Just Grandma and Me

In this book from the Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer, Little Critter has to navigate the problems of a trip to the seaside including dropping his hamburger in the sand, the tide washing away his sandcastle and almost being blown away with the beach umbrella. The illustrations are beautiful and there’s plenty to talk about with your child.

Where is Baby’s Beach Ball

Where is Baby's Beach BallIn this fun lift-the-flap book by Karen Katz, we help Baby find her ball, discovering shells, crabs and other beachy stuff along the way.  Great for very young children.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach.

scaredy squirrel at the beach

There are several titles in the series by Melanie Watt about Scaredy Squirrel and they’re all very funny for both children and adults. In this book our anxious little hero comes up with a plan to visit the sea in order to collect a shell to complete his own private beach under the nut tree.

And if you’re not going to the beach this year, Scaredy Squirrel’s guide to building a safe beach would be a great starting point to build your own 🙂

Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef.

over in the ocean in a coral reefThis book, by Marianne Berkes, hits the spot in so many ways. Not only are the illustrations fantastic but the text is set to the tune of ‘Over in the Meadow’ and there is even an audio version of the book if you need some assistance with your singing. We see puffer fish puffing, seahorses fluttering and octopus squirting. Who could ask for more? This is a true classic.

The Seaside Switch.

The Seaside Switch

The Seaside Switch by Kathleen Kudlinski is a great book which explains how the beach, ‘pulled by the moon and the sun,’ changes with the tides. Reading it before a trip to the sea will give you plenty to talk about and look for. It’s aimed at slightly older children, 5 and up. However, younger children will enjoy talking about the creatures in the pictures they could discover.

Goodnight Beach.

goodnight beachMy final choice by Adam Gamble is a great way to end a tiring day by the sea. This board book goes through all the things you might do at the beach, fishing, splashing in the waves and looking at the wildlife before having a bonfire and falling asleep.

Whatever you do this summer, I hope you have a wonderful time. I leave you with my grandson discovering the waves. 🙂

Suzie xx

the beach

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway on Goodreads for Things Evie Eats.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Things Evie Eats by Suzie W.

Things Evie Eats

by Suzie W.

Giveaway ends August 23, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


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Goodreads Giveaway for Things Evie Eats

Goodreads Giveaway for Things Evie Eats

Goodreads Giveaway for Things Evie Eats

I’ve holding a Goodreads Giveaway for Things Evie Eats and it starts today, 26th July. You can win a brand new paperback copy of the book simply by entering on the form below and to make it even better I’ll autograph the book to you or your child.

You do have to be a member of Goodreads but joining is free and easy and you could enter lots of other giveaways too. Bonus 🙂

The winner is chosen by the Goodreads team on the 23rd of August and I’ll be posting it straight to the lucky person.

Fingers crossed for you to win.

Suzie x

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Things Evie Eats by Suzie W.

Things Evie Eats

by Suzie W.

Giveaway ends August 23, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Things Evie Eats is available on Amazon

Things Evie Eats is available on AmazonThings Evie Eats is available on Amazon

Suzie W with Things Evie EatsI’m sorry but this is an unashamed promotional post because my book, Things Evie Eats, is available on Amazon and I’m super excited. Hurray!

There was going to be a lot more promotion of my book but, after last week’s attack of author overwhelm, I ran away to the seaside for a few days. I feel much better now 🙂

So, “Things Evie Eats” is the story of a little girl with very definite ideas on the things she’d like to eat, as told by her big(-ish) brother.

You can get it in paperback and also in kindle edition. And if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free 🙂

Things Evie Eats  Things Evie Eats

Find out more about Evie’s story here.

Things Evie Eats  Things Evie Eats

I had so much fun writing this book and I love the gentle illustrations. I hope you’ll love Evie too.

OK, promotion over.

We’re having some super, awesome weather here in Wales. I hope the sun is shining on you too 🙂

llyn-gwynant

Suzie xx 


My Random Musings
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Designing my picture book text.

Me  v  Picture Book Text Design.

Page from Little Boy who Lost his NameEvery so often you come across a book where the picture book text is so well incorporated into the page it almost becomes part of the illustration and not just a means of delivering the story.

Have a look at these pages from my grandson’s copy of ‘The Little Boy who Lost his Name’.

I love how the text in the first picture follows the movement of the water and the mermaids hair in swirling lines. The irregularity of the size of the letters and the variation in the boldness of the font makes them interesting to look at.

picture book text

In the second picture, the text complements the houses as it marches up the hill, whilst the huge word ‘Ants?’ emphasizes the little boys horror when the kindly Aardvark offers him some to eat. Brilliant.

My next book, Things Evie Eats, is a completely different design to Better Buckle Up. The illustrations are painted by an artist rather than being computer generated and I’ve tried to capture the lovely texture of the art paper she used for the pages of the book. This gives it an old-fashioned feel.

After spending so long perfecting the words of the manuscript, I wanted the layout of the text to be visually interesting so that actual letters add to the look of the book.

I chose a font which has simple letters similar to those used in early reading books. This should support letter recognition and help any early readers I might have. I felt this was important even though the book is most likely to be read aloud by parents, rather than by the children themselves,

Here’s a sneak peak at some of my pages.

Cheese Block Tower.

picture book text

On this page I wanted the text to mimic the wibbly, wobbly tower that Evie builds with her cheese blocks.

Pouring milk down Mummy’s leg.

milk-down-mummys-leg

Here the text follows the milk and cereal as naughty Evie pours them down Mummy’s leg.

Squishy, squashy peas.

picture book text

This makes use of a different size font and I tried to make the word ‘spoon’ into a spoon shape. This taxed my InDesign skills to the limit.

Spider’s web text.

picture book text

This is the text that goes with last illustration. It took a while to suss out how achieve the spider’s web and make the text hover above it. Thankfully, my artist drew the ‘biscuit’ spider 🙂

I am not an expert in layout design. In most cases my ideas are greater than my skill set but am still pleased with how the book is shaping up … just a few more tweaks before it goes to the printers.

So, do you like wibbly, wobbly, squishy, squashy picture book text?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Suzie x

Pre-order Things Evie Eats for 20th July Things Evie Eats

 

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