Sunday, November 28, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday – Mutton Soup

Or should I say Mutton Tin Monday...

This week's muffin tin meal is based on Mutton Soup: More Adventures of Johnny Mutton, by James Proimos. In this fun-to-read graphic novel, Johnny Mutton is a sheep being raised as a boy who learns many things: that it's not so important to set a world record if you're just going to get sick doing it; that there's a time for fun and a time for eating; and that not all old people are scary. The only downside is that Johnny Boo now goes around saying, "Old people are scary!" whenever he sees an old person. Fortunately, none of them has ever heard him say it.

More Johnny Mutton books: The Many Adventures of Johnny Mutton; Johnny Mutton, He's So Him

And now for the muffin tin, which includes some of Johnny Mutton's favorite foods:

  • Mutton Soup: 100% melted vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top
  • Mutton Pudding: chocolate pudding with a cherry on top
  • Mutton Gravy: the maple syrup that goes over the pancakes that have a cherry on top
  • Mutton Pie: cherries in a bowl with a cherry on top
  • Mutton Sandwich: two cupcakes with a cupcake in between and a cherry on top

And the boys:

Check out more muffin tin meals at Muffin Tin Mom.

Also, enter my giveaways (please?).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giveaway: Happy Haul-idays From LitLad and Chronicle Books!

Chronicle Books is offering $500 worth of books to one blogger and one commenter. Just comment on this post and you'll have a chance to win the following books from Chronicle Books with us!

Here are our choices for beginning and independent readers (descriptions from Chronicle Books):

Let's Draw and Doodle Together: Blue Apple Books, Elise Gravel

Inside this clever and innovative activity book, each spread becomes a shared creative adventure. Draw airplanes or cars, birds or shapes, even each other! Great for long car or plane rides, rainy aft ... more

Faces, Faces Everywhere: Color and Draw Activity Book: Blue Apple Books, Yukiko Kido

Faces are everywhere in Yukiko Kido's universe. With 220 full-color stickers included, kids will enjoy stickering, creating kooky faces, and coloring—inside (and outside) the bold lines. more

Ants In Your Pants: Color-and-Draw and Read-and-Write Activity Book: Blue Apple Books, Yukiko Kido

Yukiko Kido's entertaining, engaging, all-in-one reading and coloring book offers a fresh and fun way to develop a child's creativity and literacy. By encouraging children to color, draw, sticker, and ... more

Monster Comics:Blue Apple Books, Mike Herrod

Drawing monsters is fiendishly fun in Mike Herrod's newest addition to his bestselling Comics to Go! series. The "invisible ink" pen and light reveal both the hidden images printed within the more

Comics to Go: Blue Apple Books, Mike Herrod

Mike Herrod's playful illustrations give the beginnings of many different stories, and it's up to the reader to complete them by adding just the right villain, musical instrument, ice cream cone. Once ... more

Other Goose: Re-Nurseried and Re-Rhymed Children's Classics, J. Otto Seibold

It's Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Jack Be Nimble, Miss Muffet, Little Boy Blue, and more, like you've never seen them before! Renowned artist J. Otto Seibold re-nurseries and re-rhymes over the Mothe ... more

Bear in Underwear: Blue Apple Books, Todd H. Doodler

Best-selling pop artist Todd Goldman makes his Blue Apple Books debut with this zany story about a bear, a backpack filled with underwear, and a group of furry friends who cheer him on. Readers of all ... more

Around the World with Mouk, Marc Boutavant

Filled with vibrant illustrations, search-and-find challenges, and 46 reusable stickers, this oversized book is a spectacular play space for future world travelers. And Mouk is the perfect tour guide! ... more

Long Tail Kitty: Blue Apple Books, Lark Pien

Lark Pien's clever, precise, unique comics are favorites with graphic-novel fans, and Long Tail Kitty marks her debut in the children's-book world. Meet Long Tail Kitty and his friends and ne more

Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles, J. Patrick Lewis, Lynn Munsinger

Thirteen witty and wacky poems pose riddles that challenge readers to "Name That Book." With a glass slipper here and a spiderweb there, Lynn Munsinger's adorable illustrations lead young readers to t ... more
Big Rabbit's Bad Mood, Ramona Bădescu, Delphine Durand

Big Rabbit has a mood. A bad mood. A mood with attitude. A big, disgusting mood that won't leave him alone. What's a rabbit to do? He tries watching TV, but the bad mood is on every channel. more

I Know a Lot of Things, Paul and Ann Rand

This reissue of the childhood classic I Know a Lot of Things is a celebration of all the new and intriguing knowledge children delight in possessing. Written from the simplicity of a child's more

Flip-a-Word: Quack Shack: Blue Apple Books, Harriet Ziefert, Yukiko Kido

The Flip-a-Word series has won accolades from consumers, teachers, and librarians with its fun, innovative approach to word families. Now two more books join the series! Learning phonics is even more ... more

Flip-a-Word: Wet Pet: Blue Apple Books, Harriet Ziefert, Yukiko Kido

The Flip-a-Word series has won accolades from consumers, teachers, and librarians with its fun, innovative approach to word families. Now two more books join the series! Learning phonics is even more ... more

The World Almanac for Kids Puzzler Deck: Reading, Ages 7-9: Mind-Bending Brainteasers, Lynn Brunelle

The No. 1–selling kids' almanac becomes a fun educational tool in these portable decks tailored by age and subject. Seventy-five curriculum-based activities encourage children to develop their compreh ... more

The World Almanac for Kids Puzzler Deck: Geography & the 50 States, Ages 7-9: Mind-Bending Brain Teasers, Lynn Brunelle

The No. 1-selling kids' almanac becomes a fun educational tool in these portable decks tailored by age and subject. Seventy-five curriculum-based activities encourage children as young as 3 to develop ... more

Kangodile: A Mix-and-Match Menagerie, Janet Landay

What's a kangodile? It's a kangaroo-crocodile! Mix and match heads and tails to make a kangodile, a babodile (baboon-crocodile), a shurtle (shark-turtle), and many more with this playful accordion-sty ... more

All Mixed Up: A Mix-and-Match Book, Carin Berger

Once you start to play with this clever mix-and-match book, you won't be able to stop. By flipping the cut pages, readers can create more than 13,000 quirky characters, each accompanied by its own sil ... more

Fillmore and Geary Take Off!: The Adventures of a Robot Boy and a Boy Boy, Mark Shulman, Phillip Fickling

Fillmore and his robot pal Geary are best friends and expert inventors. So it's only natural that when they decide they need a dog, they work together to build one. But Sbot (short for Super Dog Robot ... more

Find a Face, Francois Robert, Jean Robert, Jane Gittings

If you look hard enough, you can find a face in the most unexpected places: on a light switch, a shoe, a cardboard box, or a map. Look around. They're everyplace! With its funny illustrations, colorfu ... more

Sumo Mouse, David Wisniewski

"Grrr!" growl the cats. "Eeek!" squeak the mice. So it goes in the battle between cat and mouse. But when feline crime hits Tokyo, an unlikely hero strikes back. He's not lean and mean. He's round and ... more

His Shoes Were Far Too Tight, Edward Lear, Daniel Pinkwater, Calef Brown

Renowned author Daniel Pinkwater and best-selling poet and artist Calef Brown team up to champion the ridiculous! These endlessly fascinating and imaginative poems are as fresh and delightful today as ... more

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition Boxed Set, David Borgenicht, Justin Heimberg, Robin Epstein

Boxed set includes: • The Original Junior Edition • Extreme Junior Edition • Weird Junior Edition more
The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest: You Decide How to Survive!, David Borgenicht, David Morton, Yancey Labat

An interactive adventure like no other! On this epic climb up Mount Everest, readers are part of the youngest team ever to climb the world's tallest peak. Only YOU can make the right choice about your ... more

Balloon Toons™: Adopt a Glurb!: Blue Apple Books, Elise Gravel

With simple text and cartoon artwork, Balloon Toons™ are the the perfect way to engage and encourage new readers. Award-winning and up-and-coming cartoonists lend their inimitable and illustrati ... more

Balloon Toons™: Super Crazy Cat Dance: Blue Apple Books, Aron Nels Steinke

With simple text and cartoon artwork, Balloon Toons™ are the the perfect way to engage and encourage new readers. Award-winning and up-and-coming cartoonists lend their inimitable and illustrati ... more

Balloon Toons™: Rick & Rack and the Great Outdoors: Blue Apple Books, Ethan Long

With simple text and cartoon artwork, Balloon Toons™ are the the perfect way to engage and encourage new readers. Award-winning and up-and-coming cartoonists lend their inimitable and illustrative tal ... more

Balloon Toons™: Doggie Dreams: Blue Apple Books, Mike Herrod  

Do dogs really dream? In Mike Herrod's hilarious Doggie Dreams, they do! And this pooch has dreams of grandeur: dining in a fancy restaurant, being a rock star, and becoming a brave knight. more

The World of Noodoll: Ricehead's Revenge: Blue Apple Books, YiYing Wang

Who is Noodoll? He's the number one singer, dancer, athlete, and star of Noodletown, where everyone and everything is made of noodles. But not far away lives Ricehead, the number one troublemaker of R ... more

L Is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue

A is for apple? B is for ball? Humbug! Forget about that hackneyed gobbledygook. In this lexicon of linguistic delights, word lovers of all ages will discover that A is for alle more

Children's Miscellany: Useless Information That's Essential to Know, Matthew Morgan, Samantha Barnes, Niki Catlow

Do you know . . . . . . how to milk a cow? . . . the symptoms of a venomous spider's bite? . . . where to find the fastest roller coasters? You won't find such an eclectic col more

 Children's Miscellany Too: More Useless Information That's Essential to Know

Do you know... to hypnotize a chicken? ...why the sky is blue? ...which animals are most commonly named "Jaws"? to make invisible ink? ...where to find the town more
Even More Children's Miscellany: Smart, silly, and strange information that's essential to know, Guy Macdonald, Nikki Catlow

Even more fascinating and bizarre facts to excite and entertain young readers! How to talk like a pirate . . . which snakes can eat a 6-foot crocodile . . . whose favorite food is caterpillar milk . . ... more

Mazescapes, Roxie Munro

On your mark, get set, GO! It's time for hours of fun with Roxie Munro's A-to-Z round-trip search-and-find. more

Circus: Over 50 flaps plus seek-and-find!, Roxie Munro

From the Astounding Agile Acrobats and the Elephant Ballet, to terrific trapeze stunts and high-wire acts at dizzying heights, there's always lots to see at the circus—and lots to do, too! more

Books to Check Out for Kids: A Journal, Imagineering Company, Grady McFerrin

Following up on the success of Books to Check Out, this version for youngsters offers space to track books they've read and want to read, plus provides mad-lib style book reviews, a time chart, 

And for me:

The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game, Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski, Matt Lamothe, Dave Eggers

In The Exquisite Book, one hundred indie artists play an ingenious version of the Exquisite Corpse drawing game. Each adorns a page with artwork—having seen only the page of the artist immedi more

52 Fun Family Games, Lynn Gordon, Karen Johnson

These 52 entertaining activities include a wide range of games that will amuse family members of all ages and interests. They're perfect for any family that finds itself stranded on a desert island, t ... more

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win these books. Winners will be announced December 13. And if you want to win just one book from Blue Apple/Chronicle Books, check out my other giveaway.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marco and the Temple of the Cybermen

A story by Tintin, age 7

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was a boy named Marco. He was 9 1/2 years old. He lived with his mom, dad, brother, and cyber dog.

Chapter 2

Marco liked to eat Poppies cereal. He disliked soup and raisins. He was fat! His favorite color was black. He lived in a green house. Marco had a big brother named Jon.

Chapter 3

He had brown hair and eyebrows. His mom was pretty and nice. His dog was for the science fair.

Chapter 4

They heard a ring on the door. Marco's family was sick and didn't have any money. Marco answered the door. Cyber gave an ancient map to Marco. Marco made his family feel better so they could go on the trip. His family only had five dollars and the trampoline cost 100 dollars. They bought 5 dollar plane tickets to go to the Temple of the Cybermen in China.

Chapter 5

When they got to China it was nighttime. There were no people about. They slept at China Tree Hotel. In the morning they started their big adventure.

Chapter 6

They went to a dug up place. Then they felt something weird. They were turning small. Their father brought guns with them. They found the temple. They went into it.

Chapter 7

There were cybermen there. Marco's dad killed them. They got the treasure on their way back. There were more cybermen. Jon killed them.

Chapter 8

Then they left China and went back home to Italy. They were so happy with all the gold.

Chapter 9

Finally they bought Jon and Marco the big trampoline. They bought some chocolate for his mom and dad.

The End

Coming soon:

Marco and the Ape King
Marco and the Silver Moon Crystal

Books of the Week – November 21, 2010

Here are our favorites from the past week:

Tintin, age 7

Magic Trixie; Magic Trixie Sleeps Over
Author/illustrator: Jill Thompson

Magic Trixie and Magic Trixie Sleeps Over are the first two books in the Magic Trixie series (the third is Magic Trixie and the Dragon). In Magic Trixie, the title character becomes jealous of her baby sister, who gets to do things her big sister isn't allowed to do, like look at the pictures in the big spell book and ride on the big broomstick because it calms her down. In the second book Magic Trixie tires of her bedtime routine and decides to sleep over at her friends' houses instead. Her friends, by the way, are all monsters, werewolves and vampires. At the end of each book, Magic Trixie realizes she has it much better than she thought. Tintin devoured these books, both because of the stories and the colorful pictures.
The 3-2-3 Detective Agency
Author/illustrator: Fiona Robinson

Five animals meet and become friends on the 3:23 train to the big city after leaving their old lives behind and decide to form a detective agency. Together they try to find out why the animals of Whiska City are disappearing. Like Magic Trixie, this is another colorful graphic novel perfect for second graders. Tintin was really hoping this was a series but, alas, it is not (not yet, anyway).

Johnny Boo, age 4

Ivy and Bean
Author/illustrator: Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall

This is the first of seven books about two seven-year-old girls who become friends even though they don't think they have anything in common. Bean is a tomboy who likes to sneak into her neighbors' yards and Ivy spends her time reading a huge book (which turns out to be a spell book). They bond when Ivy helps  Bean escape from her older sister and they cast a spell on her. Johnny Boo saw this book at the library and without even looking inside begged for it. We've read it two times so far and now when I ask him what he wants for his birthday, he says, "I want all of the Ivy and Bean books."

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes
Illustrator: Hilda Offen

Mostly, Johnny Boo likes this book because it has, according to Johnny Boo, "all of the Wiggles songs in it" (although I'm pretty sure Mother Goose came first). Of course, it doesn't have all of the Wiggles songs in it, but Johnny Boo has been pretending it does anyway. I've seen this book left open on various floors throughout the house for the past few days.

We're linking this post up at Kid Konnection and What My Child Is Reading.

And don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flip-a-Word Books and a Giveaway

Johnny Boo's favorite books when he was learning to read were the Flip-a-Word books by Harriet Ziefert and Yukiko Kido. He couldn't get enough of them then, and he still enjoys reading them now, even though he's on to more-advanced books.

Each Flip-a-Word book focuses on three word families:

  • Crab Cab (the ot family, the ab family, the it family)
  • Pig Wig (the ig family, the ug family, the at family)
  • Quack Shack (the ack family, the ick family, the ock family)
  • Snake Cake (the ake family, the oat family, the ant family)
  • Snow Bow (the eet family, the ate family, the ow family)
  • Stop Pop (the op family, the un family, the an family)
  • Wet Pet (the et family, the ed family, the am family)

Review by Johnny Boo, age 4

Flip-a-Word: Snake Cake
Author/illustrator: Harriet Ziefert/Yukiko Kido
Publisher: Blue Apple Books

Snake Cake is about a snake, a cake, a rake, a goat, a boat, a coat, an ant, a plant and a slant. My favorite part is when the goat is in a coat and the goat floats on a boat. I like this book because it's funny and recommended. I think the pictures are fantastic because they're nicely painted. I would recommend this book to kids who like fantastic and enormous* books.

*Editor's note: If by enormous he means "able to carry in one's medium-sized purse..."

Johnny Boo modeled his own mini flip-a-word book after Flip-a-Word: Pig Wig and turned a rug...:

...into a bug:

Of course, he told me that these words are too easy for him now and requested that we make a book with harder words (he suggested "comet" and "vomit," but I don't think those will work).

And now, a giveaway! I have an extra hardcover copy of Flip-a-Word: Stop Pop to send to one of my readers.

Here's a little blurb from the publisher:

Turn the pages to see new words and pictures appear before your very eyes! 

Bold illustrations and die-cut pages add special kid appeal and guarantee success for beginning readers. Learning how to read has never been so much fun!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me your favorite book for beginning readers. Also, follow and subscribe to my blog. Or not. I'll use to pick the winner. Giveaway probably ends December 2, 2010. Residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

Dec. 3 Update: Giveaway is almost over. I've decided to let Johnny Boo pick from a hat, so I'll accept comments until that happens.

Dec. 5 Update: We have a winner, picked by a blindfolded Johnny Boo. Congrats to Danelle, whose comment was "My favorite first book to read is Good Night Moon. I also like Baby Baby Baby."