Monday, July 27, 2015

Eight Picture Books for Your Little Builder

Do you have a little handyman (or woman) in your house? A little guy or girl who can't seem to get enough of that toy work bench? Some kids really love their tool toys, maybe even more than they love books! (gasp!) If that is the case for you, or if you are simply looking for books that will appeal to your child's fix-it or build-it nature, then these eight books might be just right for you and your little builder.

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez
Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi

Of course I would have to include my own book on this list! Tools and building are front and center in this book about a group of friends building a tree house.

TOOLS RULE! by Aaron Meshon

This bright and colorful book is about a team of tools pitching in to build a shed.

TAP TAP BANG BANG by Emma Garcia

The littlest builders will enjoy learning about what tools do and the sounds they make in this simple, colorful companion to TIP TIP DIG DIG and TOOT TOOT BEEP BEEP.

Illustrated by Meg Hunt

This is a terrific re-imagining of the classic Cinderella story, with a sassy heroine who's great with tools, especially when it comes to building spaceships!


The name says it all here! What little tinkerer wouldn't want to read about a monkey who works his way out of a problem with his very own tools?


For the slightly older builders. They'll enjoy reading about a little girl and her family building their very own house.

Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

Fans of the FROGGY books will enjoy this story about Froggy and his friends (with some help from dad) building a tree house.


Based on the T.V. show, this is an interactive book that comes with its own little movable tool.

Do you or your child have any favorite books that feature tools? I'd love to hear about them. In the mean time, happy reading. And building!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Poetry Friday: Monster Goose

One of my current projects is a rhyming picture book inspired by various nursery rhymes. So I thought it would be fitting to choose a poem from Judy Sierra's MONSTER GOOSE for today's Poetry Friday post.

Children's poetry is, I think, the perfect format to explore all things slimy, spooky, or strange. It's a
safe way for kids (and adults) to get a little sense of something uncomfortable without actually getting their fingers gooey or their toes bitten off! And very often, it brings on the giggles!

Here is my favorite poem from MONSTER GOOSE. Enjoy, and then be sure to check out today's Poetry Friday round-up over at The Logonauts.

Cannibal Horner 
Cannibal Horner
Sat in the corner
Eating a people potpie.
He bit his own thumb
And cried, "Oh, yum, yum,
A tasty young morsel am I"!

Hungry for more? Check out MONSTER GOOSE at your local library, or oder it online today!

Do you have a favorite monster-themed poem or poetry book?

Friday, July 03, 2015

Poetry Friday: Grave for a One-Week-Old Chick

My daughters have been house/dog/chicken sitting for the past week. It has been a fun experience for them overall, I think. They've had a chance to spend a few nights on their own, away from mom and dad, having to fend for themselves for food, and being responsible for the care of two dogs and a few dozen chickens!

All has gone well overall, except for the tragic, untimely death of one baby chick. My daughter wrote a poem about that experience and gave me permission to post it here on my blog for Poetry Friday.

Enjoy! And then head on over to Mainely Write for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

Grave for a One-Week-Old Chick

With my hands I returned him to the soft earth,
a snug (if somewhat stifling) bed
of packed dirt,
topped with a twine-and-twig cross
and a bouquet of wildflowers.

I know it seems
but it was the least I could do
to make a decent grave.
I mean,
a plastic bag is such an ugly thing,
meant for holding the refuse
of an unfinished meal,
not the delicate, still-warm remains
of a wee baby chick.

He was shrunken in death,
feathers on one side matted
from the inconsiderate bustlings
of his loud and pushy wash bin-mates.
They must have sensed his frailty,
his exhaustion,
long ago,
and resigned him to his fate.
No mourning on their part,
no weeping
or gnashing of beaks.

The realism of the natural world is cruel,
but efficient.
And hope
is an inconvenience with which,
it appears,
only humans have been burdened.

(c) 2015 Samantha Gomez