Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Three Picture Books for the Youngest Readers (and their Parents) from Sleeping Bear Press + Two Giveaways!

 Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef who won the ARC of Between Sam and Me. Stay tuned! You'll have another chance to win an ARC in October.


The holidays will be here before you know it and my shelves are overflowing with Sleeping Bear Press Books to review and give away. Win them now and stash them for presents later. I'll do my best to get them into as many hands as possible!


Helen Foster James is no stranger to my blog. Her series of "Love and Family" books (my title, not hers!) feature animal characters who adore their little ones. Welcome to the World is no exception.

Mommy and Daddy Squirrel welcome their new arrival into their lives with nicknames such as sunshine, smiley, and cutie. 

I love the soft, pastel illustrations by Petra Brown that almost beg you to touch them. I particularly like how she showed where baby squirrel sleeps. 

Little squirrel plays with toys that readers will recognize are just like their own; and sings and dances with her parents --just like people do! 

And at the end of the day, little squirrel is surrounded by those who love her.

This book would make a lovely baby present (or new parent or grandparent gift); the spot in the front of the book for a photo of Baby's First Days waits for the perfect picture. 


In this unique first book on yoga, little ones will learn eleven poses as modeled by three unicorns--an instructor and two "assistants" who can more or less accomplish the poses. 

Yoga is for everybody...and for
every body. Big, small, young, old. The practice makes us strong and graceful.

Cow Pose instructions are to the point:  Roll up onto your hands and knees and take a deep breath in through your nose. Drop your belly, lift your tail, and look up. What child won't love lifting his tail??

Forward-Fold Pose provides interesting challenges for unicorns and kids.

And then of course, afterward, everyone gets to rest in Relaxation Pose.

The back matter includes information and definitions. Unicorn Yoga is written by the mother and daughter team, Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard. I wondered about their choice of subject material, and found the answer on their website:

Because yoga provides so many benefits, it seems only logical to introduce the practice to children as early as possible.  So, we approached our editor with a picture book to do just that. She shared it with the wonderfully creative team at Sleeping Bear Press and came back to us with the idea that unicorns might encourage children to become engaged.

The concept was not as far-fetched as our editor feared we might find it. After all, both yogis and unicorns are joyful, playful, and magical. There is an even more concrete correlation. In the Indus River Valley, in India, five-thousand-year-old bronze seals have been found; some depicting yogis and some depicting unicorns.

The fun illustrations are by Jennifer Sattler, another fine illustrator whom I have featured on my blog before. 


This humorous book is about four bird friends who love to sing. Their "voices" not only are filled with musical vocabulary (that is defined in the back matter) but are also brimming with a desire to Sing Some More.

Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Howard Gray, each page feels the birds' poetic rhythm. Toddlers will quickly learn to chime in on the "chorus."

We're the birds that make the music 
that you hear up in the trees,
And we vocalize with gusto 
as we hit the notes with ease.

The birds wake a family up and follow them to their picnic.

We perform our songs for others
And we hope they'll sing along.
We have tunes for all occasions,
And our harmonies are strong.
We create new music daily.
And it never comes out wrong.

The birds leave each page with the refrain of, "And when we're DONE?" that is answered on the next page with, "We sing some more!"

After a busy day of "singing from their hearts," the birds FINALLY admit they are tired. 

Well actually...
I think we're really done." (says the Robin).
"Yeah, I'm pretty tired." (says the Cardinal).
"Time to call it a day." (says the Wren).
"Good night!" (says the Blue Jay).

But in the end, they're not done because they promise that tomorrow, 


I am giving away Unicorn Yoga and Sing Some More. In your comment please indicate your preference. Leave me your email address if you are new to my blog. Speaking of which--if you're visiting my blog for the first time, sign up to follow my blog and I'll enter your name twice! (If you're uncomfortable leaving your email address, you can contact me here.) Giveaway ends on September 25. 


Susan said...

You find the best books! I'd love to have any of them for the grandkids!

Jean said...

Sing some More looks lovely! My 3 yr old grand will love it. Please enter me. Thanks.

Melissa Henderson said...

How sweet! These books look awesome.

Melissa Henderson said...

These books look awesome. Have a blessed day!

Lois said...

SING SOME MORE looks like a real treasure. I tried to sign up for your blog. Did it work. I love all the books you review.

Carol Gwin Nelson said...

Three fun books to share with the grandkids! They sound delightful.

Grannyjo said...

The unicorns and yoga look like so much fun! I would love to read this to my grands!

Carol Baldwin said...

Jolynn, You're in For Yoga. Carol Nelson I have you down for either. Jean, I'll put you for Sing SOme More. Susan- I do get great books from Sleeping Bear Press!

Carol Baldwin said...

Lois, can't see if you signed up via email. You'll know next week if you get an email notification. I'll assume that you did and put your name in twice.

Cathy Ogren said...

Great post, Carol! All three books look delightful and entertaining. SING SOME MORE is a perfect choice. No one wants to hear me sing, but I do a great job reading aloud!

Danielle H. said...

I love Deborah Diesen's books! I would choose Sing Some More please and thank you. Unicorn Yoga also looks so much fun and so cute (I love unicorns still). Thank you for the chance!

Carol Baldwin said...

YOu're in for Sing Some More, Danielle.

Carol Baldwin said...

Cathy-- You're in too!

Kathy and Greg said...

They all look wonderful! I would share Sing Some More with friends who lead children's church choirs. Thanks for letting us know about all these wonderful books!

Rosemary Basham said...

Sing some More!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Rosemary and Kathy--you would both love this book!

Jana Leah B said...

Both of these books look sweet & fun. I'd be happy with either one. Thanks for the giveaway!
turtle6422 at gmail dot com

Debbie Allmand said...

I have 2 nieces that are pregnant. I will take either one. Your descriptions were so lively. Thank you Carol for always promoting other authors.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

These are all so special but of the two being given away, I would probably choose the unicorn and yoga.
Thanks for another great giveaway!

Rosi said...

All so cute! My great-granddaughter loves books. Either would be fine with me. Thanks for the chance.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Connie, Jana Leah, and Debbie for your comments. You're all in.

Anonymous said...

Either one of these books would be perfect for my two toddlers. They love to exercise with their mom and would like doing the positions in Unicorn Yoga. The older one could quickly learn the songs in Sing Some More which would entertain her during her quiet times. Thanks for introducing these books.

Anonymous said...
Thanks for introducing these two books. I know two toddlers that would love having the Unicorn Yoga book. They often try to imitate their mom's exercises. This book gives them easy to do positions that they can try and call their own.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Jane, for leaving a comment. I'll put you in for both.

Barbara Younger said...

Both books look and sound wonderful, but I best go with Unicorn Yoga for granddaughter Emerson, who is nuts over unicorns and has parents who love yoga.

Carol Baldwin said...

You got it, Barbara! THis is definitely a book for Emerson!

Unknown said...

Both are lovely, and I will be happy with either.

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