2018 Picture Book–That Fruit Is MINE!

Another Picture Book Review by Jean Matthew Hall.

That Fruit is MINE! was written and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz. It was published in 2018 by Albert Whitman & Company.

First, let me say I LOVE the illustrations. 51j-k4SONRL._AC_US327_QL65_

Five elephants in a jungle. Five totally unique elephants in a jungle a dozen shades of greens and blues.

The theme of That Fruit is MINE! became obvious to me after the first few page turns. I think it will be that easy for kids who read it to get the point, also. And, they are going to love the cute illustrations as much as I do, I think.

Five greedy elephants going after the same fruit. Guess who’s going to get there first? To an observant young reader that answer will be both obvious AND funny.

And most kids love funny, don’t they?

GET THIS BOOK–That Fruit is MINE! Your kids will enjoy it again and again. And you won’t’ even need to have a philosophical discussion with them about the theme of

C-O-O-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N.

P.S. This little book is a 10!

The Winner Is…

TA-DA!

 

Did this the low-tech way!

And the winner of Laura Sassi’s lovely new picture book

LOVE IS KIND

is

DIANA BUIE

Congratulations!

Thanks, everyone for your wonderful comments!

We’ll be having more giveaways soon.

Writing On Your Child’s Heart

 

There are at least five places in the Bible that talk about  writing on our hearts.

God writes on our hearts.

These verses lead me to believe that we write on each other’s hearts, too.

Especially parents on their children’s hearts.

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Our children’s hearts are soft and moldable. Just as our little ones press and squeeze into clay to make fun things, so we adults impress images and words on our children’s hearts. Unfortunately, we cannot smash the clay of their hearts together and start all over again.

The impressions we make on their hearts are permanent.

Are you leaving beautiful images? Tender words? Forgiveness? Respect?

Or, are your children’s tender hearts trampled on and crushed by your careless words and actions?

Do you make a point to daily touch your children lovingly? To hold them in your arms or on your lap every single day?

Do you applaud their efforts? Their responsible behavior? Their persistence?
Or do you only applaud their achievements?

Every word, every deed, every reaction leaves a mark.

We are writing on their hearts LOVE, JOY, WORTHINESS, TENDERNESS…
Or we are writing FEAR, SELF-DOUBT, WORTHLESSNESS, HARSHNESS?

Live intentionally, Mom and Dad.
Parent intentionally, please.

 

Scripture References:

Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 7:3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Picture Book Give Away

We’re still taking entries for  giving away one free copy of Love is Kind to one of my blog readers. To enter you must be a US resident, age 18 and over, with a US mailing address.

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Read my review here.

To enter leave a comment below.

To be entered twice leave a comment AND share this post on Face Book (leave your Face Book name in the comment below.) OR sign up for Jean’s newsletter (leave that info in your comment, please.)

Easy-peasy!

 

 

The winner will be selected and notified Tuesday, February 12!

You can download free Love is Kind resources from author Laura Sassi by clicking on the link below. They include Little Owl coloring sheets, post cards and mask template.

ENJOY!

love-is-kind-activitiesSassi

Love is Kind – LAURA SASSI Interview

Another picture book review PLUS an author interview PLUS a give away of a copy of Laura Sassi’s adorable new picture book Love is Kind.

Little Owl coverLove is Kind was published in 2018 by Zonderkidz.

This little book about love is lovely indeed. Laura Sassi skillfully weaves the truths of I Corinthians 13 into a heart-shaped story just right for young children. And Lison Chaperon’s precious illustrations of Little Owl and his furry friends make Love is Kind too cute to resist.

I’ll bet you know some little person (hint-hint to grandparents, aunts and uncles) who will adore this book.

Today I’m delighted to share not only my book review, but a visit with author Laura Sassi herself.

PLUS we have a free Love is Kind book mark for you to download. Click on the image!

PLUS Laura and I are giving away one copy of Love is Kind complements of Zonderkidz. I mean, a blog post just can’t get any better than this!

It’s a joy to have Laura share with us FIVE TIPS FOR FOSTERING KINDNESS IN OUR KIDS.

WELCOME, LAURA! So, what inspired you to write Little Owl’s story? And how can his book help parents in teaching kindness to their kids?

One of the reasons I wrote Love is Kind was to show in fun story form what love and kindness in action could look like. Now, I thought it would be fun to share a few book-inspired tips to foster kindness in our kids. My hope is that they will inspire you and your little ones to follow in Little Owl’s footsteps and spread love and kindness near and far.

Tip #1

Be kind yourself. As Grammy from Love is Kind would most certainly remind us, our little owls, I mean kids, are watching our every move. They are learning from us, seeing if our words match our actions. If we want them extend love and kindness to others, we must first be intentional about being kind ourselves in ways big and small.

Tip #2

Brainstorm ways to be kind. Little Owl was kind and loving every step of the way on his quest to get Grammy those chocolates, but he didn’t realize it until Grammy pointed it out. Sometimes reminders are helpful, so after reading the story, spend a few minutes brainstorming with your children some ways we can be kind to others. Consider having an older child write down your family’s ideas, then put them on the fridge as a visible daily reminder.

Tip #3

Make “good manners” a habit. Did you notice how polite Little Owl was throughout the story? And how good manners came so naturally to him? He said things like, “Have a good day!”, “Congratulations!” and “That’s nice.” I suspect Little Owl’s mama and papa were hard at work on a daily basis instilling those simple niceties. As parents (and grandparents) and caregivers, we can do the same with our kids so that when they are out and about those kind and friendly interactions are second nature.

Tip #4

Wear “kindness glasses.” I like to wrap up author visits by challenging the kids to be kind to those around them just like Little Owl. To help them remember this, I have them first hold their hands together so that thumbs and fingers touch to form a heart shape. I explain that these are their kindness glasses and I ask them to look through them every morning when they wake up and we all try it, which generates giggles all around. Then, while looking at them through my heart-shaped glasses, I challenge them to find at least one opportunity before the sun sets to extend kindness to another in an unexpected way. The silliness is part of the magic and it sets the tone for a good day. (Note: This tip pairs nicely with tip #2)

Tip #5

Catch each other being kind! Grammy caught Little Owl completely by surprise when she pointed out that he’d shown love and kindness along the way to Grammy’s house. And what was Little Owl’s reaction? He was thrilled! He realized HE was the gift and that his kindnesses towards others were better than any store-bought gift. Likewise, your children will be delighted when you notice their kind deeds. And this, I am certain, will spur them on to more and more and more! And that should make every parent’s heart sing. It sure makes mine!

Blessings to you and your kids as you lovingly instill in them hearts for spreading love and kindness. Happy Valentine’s Day!

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO THE RIGHT  OR THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD YOUR LOVE IS KIND BOOK MARKERS 

THANK YOU, LAURA, FOR THOSE ENCOURAGING WORDS TO PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS!

Now, on to our book giveaway.

P.S. Be sure to click on the bookmark above to download your copies. Print them on cardstock and share them other parents, please.

We’re also giving away one free copy of Love is Kind to one of my blog readers. To enter you must be a US resident, age 18 and over, with a US mailing address.

To enter leave a comment below.
To be entered twice leave a comment AND share this post on Face Book (leave your Face Book name in the comment below.) OR sign up for Jean’s newsletter (leave that info in your comment, please.)

Easy-peasy!

The winner will be selected and notified Tuesday, February 12!

You can download free Love is Kind resources from author Laura Sassi by clicking on the link below. They include Little Owl coloring sheets, post cards and mask template. ENJOY!

love-is-kind-activitiesSassi

Love is Kind-Interview with author, Laura Sassi

Tomorrow I’ll host a picture book review and interview with the author, Laura Sassi, about her new (adorable) book, Love is Kind.

See you back here tomorrow!Laura Sassi

The Write Life

I’m excited–again!

Many thanks to Tracy Crump and Marylane Wade Koch for featuring my article , “Some DOs and DON’Ts of Writing for Young Children” in their newsletter today.

Here is a direct link. https://mailchi.mp/ef88a5284389/the-write-life-2962405?e=21c6d6d469

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Thanks for supporting the writing work God has called me to do.

2018 Picture Books–They Say Blue

It is 2019. Ta-da! For most of this year Jean Matthew Hall will review some of the amazing picture books published in 2018.

They Say Blue was published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in 2018.

I’m stuck!

I’m feeling reluctant to give my truthful review of the book They Say Blue by author/illustrator Jillian Tamaki. The artwork is lovely, wistful, provocative.

But I can’t make real sense of the text.

TheySayBluepageI read reviews by Library Journal and others, plus the jacket copy, but I can’t find a theme or a logical sequence or an arc of any kind. I see a little girl musing on the colors around her in the first half of the book. That I can follow and understand. As a child I wondered what IS blue? What makes something blue or orange and why are things the colors they are.

But, then, the book takes a couple of sharp curves and I wind up in a ditch. The same child who wonders about the colors around her is suddenly depressed and glum and dismisses the golden color of grain.

On the next spread she doesn’t like winter, then perks up at a purple flower—hope that change is coming!

On the next spread she “becomes” a tree. The next several spreads are devoted to the changing seasons.

Then we are in her black bedroom while she sleeps, her black hair flung across her pillow. Then, we see her mother waking her, plaiting her hair while they wonder what the crows outside are thinking.

I think I’m a little bit of a philosopher. I wonder. I contemplate. I ponder. I search for answers.

But I’m afraid I simply get lost in They Say Blue. It poses a lot of possibly-related questions.

But it doesn’t hint at any answers.

IRRITATION!

 

Is there something about your son or daughter that drives you up the wall?

Be honest!

Some habit.

Some response.

Some tone.

Some attitude.

It simply pushes all your buttons. And they know it, so they do it especially when around you.

You’ve tried to correct them. Why don’t they listen?

You’ve tried to discuss it reasonably. They can’t see that it’s a problem.

You’ve tried punishment. That makes it worse.

You’ve even prayed for wisdom to find a solution.

Well, here’s a little wisdom learned during 50 years of parenting.

LOOK WITHIN. Not within the child. Within yourself.

Could it be possible that this THING your child does is the same thing YOU do?

The same irritating habit?

The same response you have in a similar situation?

The same tone of voice that you take with others?

The same attitude you display when dealing with authority?

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Remember those two-sided mirrors? One side makes you appear normally. The other side magnifies those pimples and brown spots 10 times?

Could it be that you see your THING in the normal side of the mirror,

but you see that same thing in your child in the 10 times side of the mirror?

As my then-teen daughter used to say, “Just saying!”

2018 Picture Books–The Day You Begin

It is 2019. Ta-da! For most of this year I will review some of the amazing picture books published in 2018. I love my job!

new2Blogo255B2255DToday is MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY. MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the need for kids’ books celebrating diversity in homes and schools and libraries. It also works to get more of these books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.
 

61BV6jUe6aL._AC_US327_QL65_The Day You Begin was written by award winning children’s author Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López. It was published in 2018 by Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin).

In The Day You Begin Woodson and López beautifully handle a tough theme—belonging. Woodson’s voice is one of authority, to me. The narrator of this picture book sounds like she’s been there—on the outskirts of a group, trying desperately to belong.

The children in the book are multiethnic, multicultural. But being “different” and feeling alone in a group isn’t limited to those traits. Longing to belong is, I think, an American epidemic.

And I think that Woodson handles the subject courageously and competently and beautifully. Her gentle message, in my opinion, is YOU HAVE A VOICE: SPEAK UP.

López’ artwork complements the sensitive text beautifully, too.

I highly recommend The Day You Begin to classrooms, to churches, to families.

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