Get Ready for NaPiBoWriWee – National Picture Book Writing Week!

You know how you’re planning to travel so you decide to be really organised and schedule several blog posts weeks in advance?

Well that was what I planned to do before flying off to England, followed by Singapore to visit my sister and Malaysia tomorrow for hubby’s 40th birthday… and did I actually schedule any of those blog posts? Um… no. I’m not THAT organised.

However, I do keep a list of blog post topics for the coming weeks (in some cases even months), and it’s been clear for a long time that today’s topic would be NaPiBoWriWee a.k.a. ‚ÄúNational Picture Book Writing Week!

I’ve never done it before, but I’m looking forward to taking the challenge for the first time this year!

Hosted by kidlit author Paula Yoo, NaPiBoWriWee takes place the first week in May, and involves attempting to write 7 picture books in 7 days!

You can find more information on the NaPiBoWriWee website.

And finally, to prove I really am in Singapore right now, here are some Singlish phrases for you from a coffee shop wall:

IMG_20190411_192706.jpg

 

Cover photo courtesy of: https://napibowriwee.com

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Book Review: A Colorful Tail

Title: A Colorful Tail
Author & Illustrator: Joan Waites
Age: 4-6

A little red fox lives in a beautiful garden. Every season he attempts to make the colours stay by collecting blossoms, pebbles and leaves and arranging them into pretty patterns.

But each time, his artwork is blown or washed away. Then he notices a man putting colours onto canvas. A man named Claude Monet. And fox learns the secret for creating art that will withstand time and the elements.

While the story about the fox is fictional, it brings to life Claude Monet’s style of painting and love of nature in a delightfully unique way.

A Colorful Tail would make a wonderful first introduction to a great artist even for very young children, and would no doubt captivate older childen and adults too!

The stunning illustrations overflow with colour and with the joy of nature. Children will have fun spotting Monet in the distance in the first spreads until he appears up close.

An author’s note at the beginning of the book provides interesting facts about this influential artist.

You can get hold of a copy of this gorgeous picture book by clicking one of the links below!

A Colorful Tail was released on 28th March 2019. Many thanks to NetGalley and Schiffer Kids for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

IndieBound
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Bea’s Bees & Follow That Bee! – Two Great Bee Books to Add to Your Picture Book Library

You’ve heard about the world’s bee crisis, right? More and more often in recent years we’ve been told that bees are in decline worldwide. Without them, not only do many pretty flowers not get pollinated, but neither does much of the fruit, veg, and other crops that we eat.

That’s why it’s important that the next generation is made aware of the problem. Today I’d like to share two great picture books with you that aim to do just that: Bea’s Bees and Follow That Bee!

Bea’s Bees
Author: Katherine Pryor
Illustrator: Ellie Peterson
Age: 5-6

Beatrix loves to watch the bees that buzz in and out of their hive in a tree in her local park. So when they mysteriously disappear, Bea is determined to find out what happened and bring them back.

Bea first goes to her teacher, then reads up on bees at the library and finally raises awareness by making her science fair project all about bees – even handing out wildflower seeds to other children to plant themselves. In more ways that one, Bea sows the seeds for change. Finally, she’s rewarded when her bees return!

I love the way this book teaches children that they can really make a difference if they feel strongly about a topic. It also presents them with a determined, intelligent, diverse female main character.

The soft, colourful illustrations nicely complement the text, showing all kinds of interesting details, such as the various steps of the scientific method written on the wall when Bea is talking to her teacher.

Informative back matter explains reasons for the bee crisis and tells readers what they can do to help. There are also names and pictures of various flowers that bees like to visit.

Follow That Bee!
Author & Illustrator: Scot Ritchie
Age: 4-7

Follow That Bee! demonstrates the importance of bees even in towns and cities as five children help out a local beekeeper, Mr Cardinal.

Readers discover along with the children what bees eat, how they pollinate plants, how their hives are constructed, how they communicate with each other, and much more.

Gone are the days when informative books for children consisted of dry descriptions punctuated with the occasional picture. Follow That Bee! feels like a fun story from which children can learn a huge amount without even really noticing they’re learning.

Friendly, cheerful illustrations on varied spreads bring the text to life.

Included at the back of the book are instructions on how to make a bee bath, as well as a glossary of important words.

You can get hold of copies of these fantastic books by clicking on the links below!

Bea’s Bees was released on 28th March 2019 by Schiffer Publishing. Follow That Bee! will be released on 2nd April by Kids Can Press. Many thanks to NetGalley, Schiffer Publishing and Kids Can Press for advance reader copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Bea’s Bees
IndieBound
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Follow That Bee!
IndieBound
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Book Review: Astro Pea

Title: Astro Pea
Author & Illustrator: Amalia Hoffman
Age: 2-6

There are books about space and books about vegetables, but it’s not often that these two topics are combined, and I doubt it’s ever been done in such a delightful and humourous way as in Astro Pea!

After popping from his pod, a little pea named Pete journeys through space, encountering all manner of heavenly bodies that are depicted as fresh vegetables. He rides (and crashes) a carrot spaceship, uses an asparagus spear as a telescope and a mushroom as a parachute, encountering along the way cauliflowers and artichokes, sweet corn, spring onion and more.

The story itself is very simplistic, but this only adds to its charm. The greatest appeal for me was the quirky, whimsical illustrations, which beautifully contrast chalky colours against a pitch-black background, giving the effect of drawings on a blackboard.

If you have a child who is reluctant to eat vegetables, Astro Pea could provide the perfect solution – especially if they enjoy reading about outer space!

This is a fun, quirky board book that will appeal to children and adults alike.

You can get hold of a copy by clicking one of the links below!

Astro Pea will be released on 28th March 2019. Many thanks to NetGalley and Schiffer Kids for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

IndieBound
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

 

Get Ready for Picture Book Party on 19th March!

This coming Tuesday, 19th March, is Picture Book Party!

Unlike Twitter pitch parties, where everything takes place on Twitter and you share pitches and hope for “likes” from agents and editors, the procedure for Picture Book Party more closely resembles a query. You send one or two submissions by email, following the submission guidelines here. They must be sent within a 1-hour window from 4 to 5 pm Eastern time (as always, don’t forget to convert to your local time!)

The organisers, Michelle Hauck, Sharon Chriscoe and Mindy Alyse Weis, will then pick around 20 of their favourite entries, which will be posted on Michelle’s blog for agents and editors to read (and possibly request). Throughout the week you can head over to #PBParty on Twitter to join in with the conversations and celebrations.

For more information, visit Michelle’s blog.

Good luck to everyone who’s planning to enter!