July 24, 2012

July 24th, KKCO News 11, Today, Summer Reads Series


     In my house of educators, summer is a time of grand plans and adventures often buffered with a great deal of resting.  We look for a balance which is about as easy to make happen as winning the lottery. It's July 24th and the retail "back to school" chant has begun.  My goal was to create great lists for parents to have for summer reading.  Although I have created them in my mind and on my legal pad, I have not got it translated into this website.  Perhaps this was a long term goal that was pretending to be just a short term summer goal.  Stay tuned.

     Today on KKCO, I shared about books and needs for young children, ages 2-6.  Children are always developing on multiple levels.  But, this time frame in particular is the ground floor or foundation for self esteem.  I recently visited a writer and colleague who is know as the "queen" of play.  A retired, child psychologist that focused on early years and play, Leah Kunkle Acus is such an inspiration and expert.  We talked a great deal about helping adults to understand the role of play and correlation with the development of self esteem. When I came home from our visit, there in my book pile sat the perfect fit with this conversation I had and today's book talk.

Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen, Illustrated by Jeff Mack

     Award winning author, Lori Mortensen has taken a classic children's nursery rhyme to the next level, CINDY MOO, a positive, fun children's picture book where a spunky cow does not buy into what the herd believes.  Cindy Moo believes.  She believes in herself.  Can a cow jump over the moon?  Cindy thinks she can.  Illustrator, Jeff Mack helps to lift the text into a magical, night time adventure with his use of strong shapes, vibrant colors, and moonlit, cuddly, cow images.  You can check out their book trailer to this positively, wonderful book for little ones of all ages at Book Trailer, CINDY MOO.
     I rate this a 4 apple book, a good to very good, summer or anytime read.  Lori has created a strong voice in her character Cindy Moo who can do anything she sets her mind out to do.

    CINDY MOO  is 32 page picture book for young children, toddler to early elementary ages.  This book would be appealing to both genders. 

    The themes in this book are barnyard fun, "I Can Do It.", positive thinking, creative thinking, and self esteem.

    You can learn more about Lori and where to buy her book at: Lori's Website

     This book is published by Harper Collins Children's Books. You can find this book through your local independent bookstore.  In Grand Junction, our independent bookstore is GRAND VALLEY BOOKS.  Or you can find it at Harper Collins, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

SHOW ME HOW! by Vivian Kirkfield

     The beginning of  author, Vivian Kirkfield's book SHOW ME HOW!, she includes the following poem, IF I HAD A CHILD TO RAISE OVER AGAIN by Diana Loomans.  This poem is about the building of self esteem in childhood and the power of play and love.  It is the perfect entry into the amazing resource guide for parents SHOW ME HOW!  Vivian has created a volume of work laid out in themed based chapters with an average of 15 picture books per chapter that help address the chapter's theme.  The picture books Vivian shares are a diverse mix of old classics and current books. After  a description of each book, Vivian gives a Positive Parental Participation Note to help parents and caregivers understand the the importance of the concept or idea brought through the picture book. This is done in a very professional, caring, non preachy way.   Each book is paired with a craft activity and a cooking activity.  The activities and books are meant to be used by caregivers, parents, and teachers working with young ones.  
I rate this a 4 apple book, a good to very good, parental/caregiver resource.  Vivian's expertise as an educator and parent speaker makes this book a wonderful resource.

    SHOW ME HOW! is 220 pages and for adults looking for books and activities that support building a strong self esteem in early childhood.  

    The themes addressed in this book are I can do it, I'm special, I love you and you love me, I am really mad right now, I'm a friend, and I like myself.

    You can learn more about Vivian and where to buy her book at: Vivian's Website

     This book is Indy published by MoneyPenny Press, Ltd . You can find this book through Amazon and Vivian's website.

July 11, 2012

July 12th, KKCO, Summer Reads Series,

     Welcome back to my summer reads series at Book Wisdom by Diane.  The country has been heated up with above normal temperatures.  Fireworks that linger into late July and early August have been silenced.  Mid summer has turned the corner like the shallow, brown, Colorado River that slowly slips southwest.  What's normal this summer?  Children visiting relatives and relatives coming to visit is a theme among families regardless of weather.  Summer is a time of visits both planned and unplanned. It brings with it positive and negative emotions.

     This morning on KKCO, News 11, Morning Show with Terri Chappel, I talked about two middle grade novels. I chose two very different books with commonalities. One book has been out for a short time and is written by a  California educator who is relatively new in the children's publishing.  The second is a tried and true, novel written by a very well-known New Zealand, author.

     I will be giving a copy of a book so leave a comment related to this blog.  Better yet, don't miss out and sign up for email updates!  You will be entered every month as a subscriber. The winner will be picked on July 23rd.  Check the bottom of the blog to see the winners name.  If you are the winner, please email me if I do not have your contact information.

      Virginia Kamhi is a master teacher in in Southern California who has taught grades K -4 in both bilingual and English only classes. CALLING HIM DAD, THE SUMMER MY FATHER APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE is a 174 page middle grade novel and her first novel. The illustrations are by Florence Ko. Virginia's teaching experience has given her the knowledge and understanding how to create an authentic ten year old character.  Fourth grade has ended and a young, smart Latina learns the father she never knew has made plans with her mother for Brianna to spend summer vacation getting to know her father.  This unplanned summer visit takes the reader through the viewpoint of an unsuspecting girl as she goes through the ups and downs of getting to know her father and a different way of living.  The twists and turns of the story line create suspense as Brianna works through situations she had never imagined.  Virginia's real life experiences with her students and their lives solidify this storyline.

     I rate this a 4 apple book, a good to very good, summer read.  Virginia's real life experiences with her students comes through her polished, strong voice.

    Calling Him Dad is 174 pages and for middle grade readers.  This book would be most appealing to girls although the theme applies to both genders.

    The themes in this book are family issues, summer vacation and visits, unexpected family changes, and adjusting to change.

    You can learn more about Virginia and where to buy her book at: Virginia's website.

     This book is Indy published by WPR Books, Carlsbad, Ca. The publisher is dedicated to accurate portrayal of Latinos in the US.  You can find this book through,, and WPR.  

     I had a magical time meeting New Zealand, author, Joy Cowley last summer at the Highlight's Foundation Children's Writers and Illustrators Workshop in Chautauqua, New York.  Her speeches, invocations, workshops, and her availability to talk to novice writers allowed me to experience something a writer often only dreams of.  To make it even more relevant, the editor of her book, CHICKEN FEATHERS, Patricia Lee Gauch read from the book.  CHICKEN FEATHERS is illustrated by David Elliot and is a 149 page middle grade novel.  Life is about to change for for young Josh Miller.  A new sibling on the way, a strict grandma coming to take care of the house, a pet chicken, and a fox set the stage for an unforgettable story and lovable characters in this summertime read.  Joy is a master story teller both verbally and with written language.  She has more than 600 titles published.

    I rate this book a 5 apple book, an outstanding, cream of the crop, summer read. Joy's story telling ability parallels E.B. White in Charlotte's Web.

     CHICKEN FEATHERS is for middle graders of both genders. It is meant to be read alone or aloud.

     The themes in this book are changing families, pets, and growing up.

    You can learn more about Joy and books and where to buy them
at: Joy's Website

     This book is published by Philomel Books of Penguin Young Readers. Your local book store can order this book for you. On the West Slope of Colorado, our local independent seller is Grand Valley Books. In addition, it can be found online.