Dinnertime for Chickies (board book)

Dinnertime for Chickies
by Janee Trasler (Author, Illustrator)

Booktalk: Eat dinner with the Chickies in this rhyming padded board book!

Dinnertime, Chickies.
Let’s all eat.

Wash your wings
and take a seat.

Hear the book sung in this 2:35 Dinnertime for Chickies book trailer.

**Janee is one of my former students!**

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up will be hosted by Check it Out.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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A Cool Summer Tail

A Cool Summer Tail
by Carrie A. Pearson (Author) and Christina Wald (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Do you ever wonder how animals stay cool in the summer? Well they wonder how humans do too!

(Baby fox)
How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?
Do they hang out their tongues,
like a spring that’s been sprung,
breathing fast in and out like this?

(Mama fox)
No panting! No puffing!
No huh, huh, huh huffing!
They sweat through their skin when it’s hot.

Two years ago, I hosted this author on the blog tour for her first children’s book. Today Carrie A. Pearson is back for the sequel as she answers just 3 questions….

Q. When did you start writing?
A. I started writing very early in life and continued because I realized my words provoked a response. Some of it was good—like when I wrote an affectionate note to my grandma and received a warm hug—and some was not so good—like when I wrote a fictionalized biography that conveyed my teen angst (rather than the truth) and hurt people I loved. My teaching degree in early childhood education further reinforced the impact of words on people, especially little people. I love choosing just the right words to tell the story I want to share. To me, the power of words will never grow old!

Carrie headshot

Author Carrie A. Pearson

Q. Describe your writing process.
A. Since June 2013 when I took on the volunteer role of co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI-MI, my writing days often begin with email correspondence about various projects and activities for our region or the larger organization. At first, I worried my writing time would be eaten up, but the opposite is true; my brain is more engaged for creative writing after it has been called into service to solve problems or work out details. I am careful to chart out how my time will be spent early in the week and check my progress daily to stay on track. I write at my computer in my office that has a lovely view to the outside world. This view reminds me that as much as I’d like to be writing 24/7, my product will be more interesting if writing time is interspersed with doggy adventures, running, hiking, mountain biking, family and friends.

Sierra in rocking chair 001

Sierra in rocking chair

While I dabble in pure fiction, I’m most at home at the intersection of fiction and nonfiction. Science is the underpinning of a lot of my work so accurate research is crucial. I use the internet to begin my research, but find that personal interviews with experts often lead in directions I might not have dreamed. So, after I’ve pulled together intelligent questions, I pick up the phone—or visit locations whenever possible. In fact, when this interview posts, I will have just returned from Redwood National Park to interview and tour with a well-known park ranger for an exciting new project funded by a grant from SCBWI.

Q. Tell us about your latest book.

A. A Cool Summer Tail (Arbordale Publishing, March 2014) is a nonfiction picture book for readers ages 4-8 that explores how woodland animals adapt to summer heat. While the content is true to life, the story is told in a fictional style with lyricism, rhyming, alliteration, and imagery. The book is unique because it is told from animals’ perspectives, and because it compares and contrasts how animals and humans adapt. A Cool Summer Tail is a companion to my earlier book called A Warm Winter Tail which won a Gelett Burgess Award in the Nature for All Ages category. Christina Wald, the illustrator for both books, created visuals that are authentic but still child-friendly and ask to be explored over and over. We hope each book individually and both books together will provide insights into the amazing world of animal adaptation.

WarmWinter cover art high res with Burgess Award

A Gelett Burgess Award Winner in the Nature for All Ages category.

Readers who visit each stop on the blog tour and comment are eligible to be chosen for a free copy of A Cool Summer Tail and a plush animal featured in the book. One winner will be chosen randomly. Here are the tour stops and hosts:

August 11: You are here!
August 14: Brittney Breakey: Author Turf
August 15: Deborah Diesen: Jumping the Candlestick
August 18: Jennifer Chamblis Bertman

See more booktalks at the Booktalking #kidlit blog.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Shaping Up Summer (Math in Nature)

Shaping Up Summer (Math in Nature)
by Lizann Flatt (Author) and Ashley Barron (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Nature comes to life to help children grasp the concepts of geometry, symmetry, and spatial sense. It’s mathematical problem solving combined with poetry!

But the Sun is so far
from where we all are
that we see it as a circle.
(Did you know it’s a star?)

Two in One!

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by A Year of Reading.

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Do you blog about science or math? Join us! Share your posts on the STEM Friday group blog.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Emmy’s Book of the Day ~ It’s Summertime

It’s Summertime!


Plum Island ~ Massachusetts

 What Emmy loves about SUMMER…lazy days, flip flops,

chocolate ice cream, juicy watermelon, swimming pools, walks in the woods, bike riding,

the ocean:  the smell of the warm sea breezes, the sound of the crashing waves,

the warm sand between her toes and so much more.  SUMMER!

With more time spent outdoors during the summer, we find ourselves working to create moments in the day for reading and creating indoors (quite different from wintertime when we work on creating moments to be outdoors).

When we first wake up and right before bed seem to be the best times for reading and creating in our household. I recently restocked Emmy’s paint supplies and set up her art table with an “invitation to paint.” When she woke up the next morning and saw her table, she was so surprised and very motivated to get back to painting.

Emmy’s art table and her painting of a sailboat at sunset 

inspired by the view outside of our living room window.  

We’ve also been motivated to keep reading thanks to our local bookstore and library.  Both have fun summer reading programs going on right now.  At The Book Rack, children are given a passport to Find Waldo in Newburyport.  Local businesses have a small cutout of Waldo hidden somewhere in their store and it’s up to the child to find him. Emmy is much better at this seek and find game than I am. She gets so excited when she can ask the shopkeeper to sign her passport.  We have two more Waldos to find and then we can enter our name into the grand prize drawing (a set of Where’s Waldo books).

The library’s Fizz, Boom, Read program has Emmy reading books for prizes like a coupon to her favorite frozen yogurt shop – Orange Leaf, a free book (she choose Gingerbread Friends by one of her favorite authors Jan Brett) and a free Topsfield Fair ticket!  Emmy fractured her wrist six weeks ago so I’ve been helping her to fill in her reading log with the titles of the books.

Here are a few books that we’ve been reading to celebrate the season of SUMMER! (books are listed from a more difficult reading/listening level to an easier one)

Time of Wonder, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, won the Caldecott Medal in 1958 for the gorgeous illustrations which depict the Maine landscape in summer.  This is McCloskey’s second Caldecott award the first being for Make Way For Ducklings. Time of Wonder revolves around two sisters who spend the summer with their family at the seashore.

When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant illustrations by Steven Gammel  You can just feel the family love as soon as you open this book about distant relatives coming to stay for the summer. Many people will relate to the connection one has with relatives that you only see once or twice a year ~ you make the visit worthwhile filling each other up to last until the next gathering.

Summersaults and A Summer Day by Douglas Florian…the first is a collection of poems that shares the joys of summer and the not so joyful things – annoying flies! The second is the story of a family that leaves the sweltering heat of summer day in the city to spend time exploring in the country.  Emmy and I love it when a book shows a family that lives in an apartment since that is home to us.

Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee  I love the nostalgic feel of this sweet story. Emmy loves that the main character is the same little girl from one of our favorite winter books Tracks in the Snow (check out our post here).  Yee creates a summer day that is full of wonder and magic from sun up to sun down.

I See Summer by Charles Gigna, better known as Father Goose, thrills us with his lyrical rhymes. This book is one of four in a series of books about the seasons. Emmy’s favorite part is when the children are chasing fireflies in the dark. Such fascinating little creatures.

Summer by Gerda Muller – This book is one of four in a series of wordless picture books about the seasons.  We have enjoyed this set of books since Emmy was a baby first talking about what we saw as we slowly turned the pages to telling a different story each time we opened the book using the beautiful detailed pictures.  Now we use the books to inspire creative writing about the seasons.  Here’s an example of a recent poem inspired by the book…


by Emmy

hot and sweaty, sunny and rainy,

biking and swimming, chilly and juicy

splashing and diving


We wish everyone a summer full of fun adventures and relaxing days!

Please check out Emmy’s Book of the Day!

Moving to the Weekends

Yes, you read that headline correctly! Effective immediately, I am moving this blog meme to the weekends. That means you can share a favorite #kidlit book blog post every weekend on this Carnival of Children’s Literature group blog AND our Carnival of Children’s Literature group board on Pinterest. An email for each shared group blog post will go out one by one on Saturdays and Sundays. (Click on the “gear” at the top of the blog to open the email sign up form.)

If you are already a member of this blog, you can log in and add your posts right away. (I will add new members on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014.)

~ Anastasia Suen, Carnival of Children’s Literature Manager Site Meter

June 2014 Carnival of Children’s Literature

What was your favorite children’s book this month? Select ONE of your June 2014 blog posts about children’s literature and add it to the carnival!


If this is your first time to add a post to our board, please email me using the contact form on our About page.

  1. If you are already on Pinterest, I will invite you to the board so you can add your own pin.
  2. If you are NOT on Pinterest, I will pin the blog post for you.

Please add your June 2014 pin by the 30th. Thanks!

~ Anastasia Suen, Carnival of Children’s Literature Manager Site Meter