Category Archives: Book Trailers

New Releases

Today we are looking at a few new releases from the first half of 2012 that are worth checking out.

Penny and Her Song

Penny and Her Song is by the wildly popular Kevin Henkes.  This is a beginning reader chapter book (2 chapters) that follows Penny as she tries to capture an audience to listen to her new song.  In the clip below, Henkes introduces us to the character, Penny.


Builder Goose (It’s Construction Rhyme Time)

Builder Goose: It’s Construction Rhyme Time! by Boni Ashburn and Sergio DeGiorgi plays off classic nursery rhymes with a construction twist.  The illustrations are bold and lively.  This is a fun read for young readers.

Pete the Cat & His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat & His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin is next in a series of Pete the Cat picture books.   In this tale, Pete sings a groovy song about his buttons.  However, his buttons keep popping off.  No need to worry.  Pete discovers he will always have a bellybutton that he can sing about.  Children even learn a little basic subtraction in this tale.  Get a little taste of the book in the clip below.

Bugs Galore

Bugs Galore by Peter Stein and Bob Staake is a perfect book for your little bug lover.  Lots of descriptive adjectives to describe all those bugs also helps build vocabulary.

Enjoy checking out one of these 2012 new releases.  What other 2012 releases have you found to be noteworthy?

*Please check out the linky party directory to see where this post has been linked to for the week.

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Author/Illustrator Profile: Eric Carle

Eric Carle

Eric Carle has to be one of the most beloved authors/illustrators of all time.  He was always a featured favorite in every school that I worked in by classroom teachers and art teachers alike.  There are also a slew of ideas floating around cyber world that piggyback off dhis work.  Today we will look at some of my favorite, a great clip about his work and a few great finds of extension activities.

Carle has illustrated over 70 books, many of which he has also written.  He uses hand painted paper from which he cuts and assembles collages to create his easily recognized illustrating style.  My top three favorite Carle books are Draw Me a Star, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Pancakes, Pancakes!  Here is a video clip from Eric Carle about his newest book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.  He talks about the importance of nurturing children’s  curiosity and ideas.

In 2002, the Carle family opened the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts.  One day when I can get to the east coast, I will definitely be making a visit.

There are oodles of ideas for extension activities related to Carle’s work.  Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite literacy activities.

1.  Puppets for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I created this caterpillar from a green sock and painted some red eyes on it.  I then cut out all of the foods from the story out of construction paper and laminated the pieces.  Finally, I bought a small butterfly finger puppet and presto I had the beginnings of a puppet show retelling.

2.  Letter Collages

The Imagination Tree created tissue paper letter collages and then framed the letters.  What a cute idea!

Letter Collages from the The Imagination Tree

3.  Author Study

The Scholastic website has a very helpful author study on Eric Carle including an interview with him.

4.  Felt Board for Little Cloud

Time for Play walks you through creating a DIY felt board.  Felt boards are inexpensive and great for a variety of literacy uses including retellings of stories.

Little Cloud Felt Board from Time for Play

5.  Story Patterns

Kidzclub has some great story pattern printables for Today is MondayFrom Head to Toe,  and Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me.

Interested in more ideas of all things Eric Carle?  Head over to my Eric Carle Pinterest board.

*Please check out my linky parties page to see where I’ve linked up to this week.

Let It Snow!

Ah, it’s January and here in our part of the Midwest we have yet to see a significant snow.  I guess I’ll just have to read some books about snow to tide me over and help me dream of a winter wonderland.  Here are a few of my favorite fiction and non-fiction snow titles.  Some are classics and some are new-found reads.   Oh, and a bonus snowman bookmark idea that I originally saw on Pinterest.  By the way, did you see that you can now follow me on Pinterest?  Just click the little red button on the right side of my home page.

Fiction Picks

Red Sled by Lita Judge is such a cute almost wordless book.  A sled is left outside a cabin where some creatures borrow it to go exploring in the snow.   I love when the pictures and your imagination have to create the story.  Check out the book trailer below.

Making a Friend by Alison McGhee tells of the changes a snowman deals with as the weather warms.  These changes include melting and turning to fog only to return as snow again the next winter just in time to build a new snowman friend.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic wintertime story.  This story is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year.  Peter explores a fresh snow packed outdoor world and even tries to keep a snowball in his pocket for another day.  Watch and listen to the book being read in this clip from YouTube.

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a beautiful book that shows that your imagination + found objects + packed snow= a whole snow family.  I just love Lois Ehlert’s work.

Non-Fiction Picks

It’s Snowing by Gail Gibbons gives all the facts you wanted to know about the white stuff.  Learn what happens when it snows and the different forms snow can take.  There are even tips for preparing for a snowstorm.  (P.S.- Stay tuned for an author profile on Gail Gibbons on Growing Book By Book soon.)

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a Caldecott winner from 1999.  The beautiful woodcut illustrations help to tell the story of the first scientist who captured pictures of snowflakes which led to the discovery that no two snowflakes are alike.

To keep your place in all of your new snow books, you will need a snowman bookmark.    I love this activity because the bookmark is made with recycled materials.  Here are the materials you need for one snowman bookmark: one white paint strip sample, an old magazine, pair of scissors and a glue stick.  Simply cut a hat, eyes, nose, mouth, scarf and buttons from a magazine.  Glue the pieces onto the paint strip sample.  My picture doesn’t show the bookmark laminated, but I highly suggest doing so for durability purposes.  There are so many literacy things that you could do with your snowman if you decided not to use it for a bookmark.  One idea (pictured below) would be to use it for a labeling activity.  You could also give your snowman a name and create a character description of him followed up by an oral or written story about him.

Interested in some other snow literacy ideas?  Head to my snow Pinterest page.  Can you think of other literacy ideas to do with your snowman creations?  Please share! Let it snow!   Let it snow!  Let is snow!

Linking to:  No Time For Flashcards, I Can Teach My Child, JDaniel4’s Mom, ABC and 123, Playing With Words 365 and Sun Scholars

Celebrate New York

One of the most bustling cities in the United States is New York.  This city has a bit a magic like no other.  I visited for two special events in my life.  The first was a weekend trip with my dad for my high school graduation.  We enjoyed a lunch at La Tavern on the Green in Central Park, walked across the piano on the floor at FAO Schwartz and attended my first Broadway show.  Skip ahead about 16 years and I return for a festive Thanksgiving weekend with my aunt.  The highlights of this trip were the Macy’s Day Parade and standing in the outside audience of the Today Show.

Take one great city and add children singing (one of my favorite sounds!) and you have a wonderful tribute to New York in this recent State Farm commercial commemorating 9/11.  Get ready…

There are several books that highlight this great city.  Here are two of my top picks.

The Inside-Outside Book of New York City by Roxie Munro is a beautifully illustrated book of landmarks in the city.  On one page you’ll see an image of the Statue of Liberty as if you were standing in front of it.  On the next page, you are looking out at the city from the crown.  It’s an interesting book on perspective.  Other landmarks include the New York Subway, Madison Square Garden and The Flatiron Building.  Murno also has a book that showcases New York during the holiday season.

Check out this book trailer for New York, New York!: The Big Apple From A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed.

Whether you live in New York, Chicago, Louisville, San Francisco or somewhere in between, why not make your own inside-outside or alphabet book about the city or town where you live?  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Inside-Outside Book:  brainstorm some landmarks in your town or city.  Arm yourself with a camera and travel around taking a picture from the outside of the landmark and then one from within the location.  Choose about six different locations to make a good size book.  Arrange your pictures on pages to form your book.  Label each location.  Design a cover and don’t forget  about the author page.  Viola, you have your own book.

ABC Book:  Create a list from A to Z.  Brainstorm places in your town or city that begin with each letter.  You may have to be creative with letters such as Q or X.  Maybe quiet library, x-tra big statue, etc.  Next, either draw or take pictures of each landmark.  Each page represents one letter.  Arrange your pages in ABC order and then you’ll have your own alphabet book.

Interested in book binding ideas.  Stay tuned next week when I’ll show you some creative ways to make books.

Book Trailers

We are all familiar with movie trailers.  They precede the feature film and entice us with clips to excite us into spending more money to see those movies too.  I just recently discovered that publishers and authors are now creating book trailers very similar to those movie trailers with which we are all familiar.  Librarians around the country now utilize book trailers to hook readers into a good book.

I have mixed feelings about book trailers.  Part of me likes the idea that they can get kids excited about books and reading.  Another part of me believes that we should use our imagination to bring a book to life and not rely on a “movie” to do it for us. However when I watched the book trailer for Blackout by John Rocco, I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book.  I felt that the trailer enhanced my reading experience and didn’t derail my imagination.   Check out the book trailer and see what you think.

Here is another book trailer for Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder.  In this clip the author and illustrator both speak about making the book.  I think it is fantastic that kids get to see that authors and illustrators are real people.  Clips of this type would be very powerful to use when talking with kids about where authors and illustrators get ideas and how they develop those creative nuggets.  Take a look.

Would you like to access more book trailers?  Just visit You Tube and search children’s book trailers.  You can also search on most publisher’s sites such as Scholastic and Harper Collins.   But, best of all, you can keep following this blog where I will showcase some of the best book trailers.  So, what do you think about book trailers?  Do they have a place in helping to cultivate readers?