Thursday, October 28, 2021

DINOSAUR HUNTER and HEADSTRONG HALLIE! Two Dreamers, Two Picture Book Biographies, and One Giveaway

 I have two wonderful STEM picture book biographies (courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press) to share with you today. 


JACK HORNER, DINOSAUR HUNTER 

---Written by Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Dave Shephard.
                                 
                                          

"As a baby, Jack's lullaby was the sound of his father's gravel trucks digging in Montana." 

The reader doesn't know it yet, but that simple opening sets the scene for the entire book, as "CRUNCH SWOOSH" resonates throughout.



Jack grew up dreaming about becoming a paleontologist and hunted for dinosaur bones EVERYWHERE. Around town, in the woods, and near the mountains...Jack was always searching and looking. 



When he found a clamshell he imagined an ocean filling his backyard with ancient beasts. When he spied an odd rock on a hike he stopped to investigate. 

"Jack swept the sand aside, his hopes soaring like a Pterodactyl on the wind.  CRUNCH SWOOSH."



But, Jack had a big problem.


Although Jack struggled to read, he was determined to learn about science on his own. Although he failed classes, his science projects won awards and he caught the attention of a prestigious university. But, unfortunately he dropped out before the first year was over--he couldn't keep up with academic demands. 

But that didn't stop him. Jack got a job in Princeton University's natural history museum. Scientists realized that although he couldn't read words, he could read fossils. (At this point he was diagnosed with dyslexia).



Jack was sent into the field where he led digs, excavated sites, and discovered the first intact fossilized dinosaur embryo in his home state of Montana!

Eventually,


Jack even was hired as the dinosaur expert for the blockbuster movie...Jurassic Park!  

The last illustration shows dinosaurs roaming around a city. The text reads, "Jack understands dinosaurs aren't alive anymore, but he wishes they were."

The cartoon-type illustrations and text boxes gives this book the feel of a graphic novel.  As a result, I think this will not only appeal to young readers, but I think it will be a great resource for older reluctant readers. Back matter includes more information about Jack Horner and how to design and name your own dinosaur.

HEADSTRONG HALLIE! 


--Written by Aimée Bissonette and illustrated by David Hohn.


Here's another great opening line: 

"Hallie leapt from her bed and raced to the window, pulling back the curtains. A bright orange glow filled the sky."

Hallie saw and smelt the fire and knew the forest was in danger. "Hallie had to help save her forest home."

In this way, the reader is introduced to Hallie Morse Daggett, the first female "fire guard."


The only thing that Hallie feared was fire. 

So whenever US Forest crews came to fight the fires, Hallie Joined the fight. She and Leslie [her sister] stamped out abandoned campfires. They brought food and supplies to the men at the fire line.

Fire was a constant worry in Hallie's life. 


 

In the early 20th century women didn't work for the Forest Service and they certainly weren't fire fighters. She applied for work several times, but always received No as an answer. 

But that didn't stop her. Finally, after several years of applying for work, she finally got the job!

When she started work as the new lookout at Eddy Gulch in California, Forest Service men made fun of her and predicted she wouldn't last. But they didn't know how headstrong Hallie was.



"Hallie loved the tiny look out cabin from the first time she saw it."



Her cabin also because a home for pet chipmunks and porcupines. During one of her seasons she had to kill a bear, four wildcats and three coyotes. But despite the danger and loneliness, Hallie loved protecting the forest, its animals, and people. Nothing deterred her from reporting smoke during the day and fire at night.


Hallie worked for fifteen seasons and didn't regret not marrying or having children. She followed her dream of a "life where she would protect the mountains and forests she loved."




Back matter includes more information about Hallie and some original photographs. For an interesting tidbit, click here to see how Hallie made the Eddy Gulch news in 1913. And check out this interview on Caroline Starr Rose's blog.

GIVEAWAY 


I am keeping Dinosaur Hunter as a mentor text. Leave me a comment by October 30 and I'll enter your name to win Headstrong Hallie. If you are an educator or new to my blog let me know; I'll enter your name twice. PLEASE leave your email address if you are new to my blog.

Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef who won Rochelle Melander's book, Mightier than the Sword.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Playing with Writing Types by Guest Blogger, Rochelle Melander

Last week when I introduced Rochelle Meander's new book, Mightier than the Sword, I promised a follow-up blog by Rochelle. In this post, Rochelle takes her suggestions for students and challenges writers to try their hands (and computers!) at using a different format. 



In the comments, let me know how you might change up your writing. So, without further ado...here's Rochelle.


 

Several years ago, the artist Jessica Hagy suggested that dangerous habits emerge at the intersection of the “tried, tired, and true.” No kidding. As a freelance writer, I’ve written dozens of profiles, hundreds of how-to blog posts, and more essays than I can count. These familiar formats come easily to me. Do they work? Yes. But are they tried and tired? Yup. 

 

I admire writers who play with form. Jennifer Egan put a power point presentation into her novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. Amy Krouse Rosenthal used an encyclopedia format to tell her life’s story in Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.

 

Playing with the form of your piece, even just for fun, can help you break with “tried and true” habits. Even if you don’t end up using the new format in your finished piece, the work you put in will add richness to your writing and possibly ignite your creativity.

 

When I invite my students to play with new formats, it has an additional benefit. Many students feel daunted by traditional formats with stringent requirements. They get stuck on the mechanics and cannot access their creativity. But introducing a format with different or fewer rules can bypass the panic and unlock their playfulness. 

 

Here are three ways you might play with form. Use these ideas to play with your current project, create a new piece, or simply as writing practice. If you’re a teacher, each of these can be used as a mini-lesson.




 

Play with Poetry

The last time I taught poetry, I had to convince a seven-year-old boy that the poems he was about to hear were not just about love and other disgusting emotions. It took about seven “gross” poems to get him to believe me. 

 

Even though I know the many uses of poetry, I tend to save it for my more emotional moments. I rarely use poems to write a profile of an artist or a how-to piece. But I should! In Infinity: Beyond the Beyond the Beyond, the mathematician Lillian R. Lieber used poetry to explain the mathematical concept of infinity. (It’s brilliant!)

 

Your turn: Consider your work in progress: could you write it as poetry? Or do you have an essay you might write as a poem? Japanese writers link together several haiku to tell a story. (This is called Renga—and is usually done collaboratively, with writers alternating stanzas.)

 

Make your Manifesto

Throughout the centuries, people have written manifestos to protest injustice, declare their rights, and announce their vision for a better future. The French playwright and political activist Olympia de Gouges wrote her manifesto to challenge inequality: Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen (1791). At the Senaca Falls Convention held in 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others wrote their manifesto expressing the injustices against women and demands for equality. In recent years, people have written manifestos on creativity (How to Be Creative by Hugh McLeod) and Design (The Design Funnel by Steven Hay).

 

Your turn: But what about you? If you or your character could write a manifesto, what would you declare? You don’t have to write about the most serious problems in the world. You could simply write a manifesto about the dirty socks littering your floors or the horrible food in the cafeteria. What do you need to declare?

 

Create a Speech

Have you ever watched a TED Talk and wondered what it would be like to give a speech like that? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote books and letters—but he was known for delivering riveting speeches that helped people see a new and different world. The young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survived a horrific shooting then used their visibility to give speeches against gun violence.

 

Your turn: Take your best personal story, your favorite topic, or a cause you care about, and write a speech. You get bonus points if you create a talk that doesn’t use a power point presentation!

 

What next?


Oh, the fun you can have! There are so many forms you can play with—cross-examination, instructions, recipes, plays, texting, and more. Make it a part of your writing practice to try a new form each week—and see if it changes what or how you write. You might just land on a mash-up that works!

 

 Maybe you'll try writing a rap, like Sonita Alizadeh did!



Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their word - transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference.

 




About the author: Rochelle Melander wrote her first book at seven and has published 11 books for adults. Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is her debut book for childrenShe’s a professional certified coach, an artist educator and the founder of Dream Keepers, a writing workshop for young people. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, children, and two dogs. Visit her online at writenowcoach.com or rochellemelander.com


GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment by 6 PM on October 27 to enter; continental U.S. addresses only. If you are a writer, tell me your plans to switch up something you're writing and I'll enter your name twice. PLEASE leave your email address if you are new to my blog.

Congratulations to Rosi Hollenbeck who won The Ghoul's Guide to Grammar and to Connie Saunders who won The Lady of the Library in last week's giveaway. BTW, if you don't already follow Rosi's blog you should--she has lots of great giveaways and reviews too!

 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Ghoul's Guide to Grammar and The Lady of the Library: 2 Reviews and 2 Giveaways

It's the time of year when pumpkins, scarecrows, and colorful leaves abound. So, I thought it would be a good time to feature two fall picture books published by Sleeping Bear Press.

THE GHOUL'S GUIDE TO GOOD GRAMMAR

This definitive ghoul's version of Eats, Shoots & Leaves will appeal to first-third grade students and their teachers. Written by Leslie Kimmelman and humorously illustrated by Mary Sullivan, this book is a fun way to reinforce punctuation, spelling, and homophone rules. 


For example, how does adding a period change the meaning of a sentence?
Or, what about changing the placement of a comma? It could be the difference between being eaten or staying alive!



And what about the lowly apostrophe? That little mark means the difference between BEING slime or EATING slime! 

Contractions, possessives, capitalization, tricky words, (then/than who's/whose) a few spelling examples, and homophones get explained and shown:



I think these ghouls will help students remember grammar rules and make teaching more fun for you. 


THE LADY OF THE LIBRARY




When a beloved old library is scheduled for demolition, an unusual "library lady" and a young patron team up to protect their favorite place from being torn down.



The lady sees how books are being packed up and can't believe her eyes. 


The little girl is determined to save the library and together:

They plot 
   and plan, 
       prepare 
         as this crisis is extreme. 
And this their first attempt at a risky rescue scheme. 

First, they create a library train of falling books to raise money--but it's not enough.

Next, they build a slide inside the library to collect MORE money--but it's still not enough.


Finally, in a last ditch effort to save the library, the lady tells stories by flashlight. 


In the end, the mayor pledges his support and the beloved library is saved.


Back matter includes one page devoted to Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana which inspired this imaginary story, and a page about libraries. 

GIVEAWAY

Leave your name (and email address if you are new to my blog) and your book preference (if you have one) in the comments before 6 PM on October 23. Continental U.S. addresses only.

Monday, October 18, 2021

MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: AN ELA RESOURCE, AUTHOR INTERVIEW and A GIVEAWAY!

 In the "it's a small world department," my sister Barbara (who lives in Milwaukee) met Rochelle Melander at a July 4th picnic this past summer. After hearing Rochelle speak about her book, Mightier than The Sword (Beaming Books, 2021). Barbara told her that she should contact me because I love encouraging kids to write. (In case you didn't know, my second book was Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8.)  After the picnic, Rochelle looked me up and realized that I was on her list of people to contact to be part of her blog tour!

I am proud to introduce you to Rochelle's inspirational and educational new book.  Rochelle has so much to say about teaching writing to kids, that today I'm reviewing her book and interviewing her. Next week she will guest blog about, "Playing With Writing Types."





REVIEW

From Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese novelist and poet who lived from 978-1016 to Malala Yousafzai, a contemporary Pakastani activist, writer, and the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Mightier Than the Sword highlights men and women throughout history and from diverse cultures who changed the world through their writing.

Rochelle's list includes well-known figures who you may or may not think of as writers: Charles Darwin, Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Nellie Bly, Ida B. Wells, and Rachel Carson. But there are also many lesser-known individuals such as Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta, Wang Zhenyi, Ada Lovelace, Mary Garber, and Sequoyah and many more. 

 



In addition to the short easy-to-read essays about each writer and the ways in which the individual's writing affected the world, there are suggested writing activities and a pithy quote from the writer.

"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." - Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a German theologian who wrote in the early16th century. After his biography and work as a writer, his entry includes the development of Gutenberg's printing press which enabled more people to read the Bible. Luther's Ninety Five Thesis against the Catholic Church invited debate and promoted change. The author uses that point in history to challenge readers to find ways to invite debate.

This is the "Write to Create" activity for Luther: 
Martin Luther used repetition and rhythm so people would enjoy reading his words aloud. He used relatable images to explain complex topics: “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes.” Keep a notebook to record juicy words, favorite phrases, and interesting snippets of conversation. p. 17

Mightier Than the Sword is a rich curriculum resource for grades 4-8. Besides the writing activities associated with each writer, the book ends with ten more pages of activities! There are ideas to get the reluctant writer going, revision ideas, advice from the featured writers, and of course, a list of books about writing.

                                                *****


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

CAROL: Did you write the book or the pitch first?

ROCHELLEI wrote the pitch first. When an agent expressed interest, I wrote the proposal. (I did that quickly, in about 6 weeks.) When the publisher accepted it, I wrote the book.


CAROL: How did persistence help you sell your book?

 

ROCHELLE:  As an artist educator, I’ve longed for a book like Mightier Than the Sword. I believed the book would help me introduce young people to writing mentors from a variety of disciplines and support students in writing their stories. When I hit obstacles, connecting to this purpose kept me going. 

 

Researchers call this grit. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, “Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals. … Grit is about having what some researchers call an 'ultimate concern'—a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do.” 


When I first pitched the book in early 2018, an agent loved the idea and requested the proposal. But she rejected it—because she wanted more of a deep dive into history. I revised and submitted it to more agents—only to get a slew of rejections. Many of them said the book was too educational—and not right for the trade market! Then an agent requested a revise and resubmit—which I did. As I waited for their response, I sent it out to just a few more agents. When an agent I met at a conference offered representation, I sent a note to the agents who’d been sitting on the proposal for months. They all rejected it. I wasn’t keen on the representing agent, so I tried #PitMad. Surprise! I had four hearts from four different editors. One of those, Beaming Books, offered a contract. Woot!


For me, grit meant repeatedly reminding myself of my purpose—to help young people fall in love with writing. Once I got the contract, I still had hours of research and writing ahead of me—and that purpose helped me shape every single essay in the collection. If you’re stuck or struggling, consider your ultimate concern: why is this project important? Who will it serve?




Rochelle teaching
young writers.

CAROL: How did you come up with these particular writers? You had centuries and the whole world to choose from!

ROCHELLE: The writers! I first came up with the idea for the book in 2009 and started collecting names. When I decided to get serious about the book, I searched online, read anthologies and talked to professors to find names. Once the publisher accepted the book, we worked together on finalizing the list. I wanted to make sure the list was diverse in multiple ways: disciplines, gender, race, culture, writing genres, and more. The book includes 40 writers, 5 interludes, and many short profiles!

CAROL: What were the lessons about writing that you learned while researching and writing this book?

 

ROCHELLE: I learn from every book I write, but Mightier Than the Sword brought so many more lessons—probably because I was researching and writing about people who used their writing to make a difference in their worlds. Here are three of them:

 

  • It’s okay if you weren’t a successful student. Follow your passion. Many of the writers I featured did poorly in school. Charles Darwin skipped out on grade school lessons and dropped out of medical school. But when he discovered his passion for nature, he succeeded.

  • Write about what matters to you. Passion drives persistence. When congresswoman Patsy Mink was in college, she started a letter campaign to protest segregated student housing. She succeeded—and the college changed their policy.

  • Writing is difficult. Do it anyway. Because of social media, we see writers celebrating their wins, but we don’t see the sweat equity that went into their work. It took James Baldwin ten years to write his autobiographical novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain. During that time, he struggled to earn money and deal with self-doubt. 

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment to enter the giveaway. You'll have a second chance to enter after  Rochelle's next post. A winner will be drawn after 6 PM on October 27. If you are a media specialist, home school educator, or ELA teacher let me know--I'll give you another chance to win this book. AND if you compare Mightier than the Sword to What's in Your Pocket? from last week's blog, you get an additional chance!

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IF YOU ARE NEW TO MY BLOG.

Congratulations to a new subscriber, Suzy Leopold, who won WHAT'S IN YOUR POCKET? from last week's blog. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

What's in Your Pocket? A Picture Book Review, A Mini Author Interview, and A Giveaway!

Nine curious children who grew up to become scientists. Nine adults who discovered new products, new species, and new ideas. These nine individuals are the backbone of Heather Montgomery's latest book, What's In Your Pocket?  (Charlesbridge, 2021). Illustrated by Maribel Lechuga, this STEM book will be an asset to any K-3 classroom.


REVIEW

When you explore the great outdoors and find something strange and wonderful, do you put it in your pocket?   
Scientists collect specimens so they can observe the details of natural artifacts.

Immediately, young readers will be drawn into the opening pages of this book. The young girl who is pictured on the cover, is seen stooping down, examining a rock, and then pocketing it. 

As she walks off, the reader turns the page and sees a field where young George is examining a seedpod.  He must have put it in his pocket because,


The section ends with a repeated refrain,
Nobody knew that George would grow up to be the famous scientist George Washington Carver....He discovered almost three hundred new uses for the peanut including soap, glue, and fuel...
In this charming way, children are also introduced to William Beebe who held eggs in his mouth while climbing down a tree... and became the first person to see glowing fish and other deep-sea animals alive in their habitat; to Valerie Jane who put wiggly worms under her pillow...and became the famous primatologist, Jane Goodall.


Readers meet Charles Darwin (naturalist, biologist), Meg Lowman (biologist, ecologist), Diego Cisneros-Heredia (naturalist and scientist),



Mary Anning (paleontologist), Bonnie Lei (conservation biologist), and Maria Sibylla Merian (naturalist and scientific illustrator).




I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the little girl "narrator" as she explores and collects elements from nature, and the nine mini-biographies of scientists who loved the outdoors as children. The text is very child-friendly and I can practically hear Heather Montgomery speaking directly to the reader!  

The last two pages are a wonderful spread of the animals seen in the book along with the little girl marveling at one of her discoveries. The text reads:

Throughout history, kids have found all
kinds of strange and wonderful things.

They've created collections.
They've made discoveries.
They've changed the world of science.

Every discovery started with just one thing.
One little thing that could fit in a pocket.

What's in your pocket?

Can't you just picture children checking what's inside their pockets after that last line?


BACK MATTER

I'm a back matter junkie and What's In Your Pocket is an example of one of the best. Four and a half pages are filled with "More About These (Grown-Up) Kids. One and a half pages are delightful notes from the illustrator and author. Readers hear about how nature inspired both Maribel Lechuga and Heather Montgomery and how they researched this book. (Artists and writers: Get ready to be impressed!) I particularly like how Heather included that she respects nature, that she respects the people she lives with by "making sure my artifacts are clean and (mostly) stink-free, and she respects herself. "I don't put my hands where my eyes can't see (like under a rock or log). Field guides and a bibliography complete the book.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

CAROL: This is a longer picture book than most.  How did you and Charlesbridge determine the length? 

HEATHER: Originally, I paced this manuscript to be 32 pages; fortunately, in an early discussion about the project, editor Alyssa Pusey suggested expanding it to 40 pages. At that point in 2018, she was looking for longer picture books. I was delighted. It allowed two full spreads for most of the scientists, gave extra space for backmatter, and made room for more of that luscious art.

CAROL: Closely tied to that first question—how did you pick which scientists to focus on? Were there others you wanted to feature who didn’t make it into the book?

HEATHER: Finding just the right stories was the challenge. Researching full biographies, I developed a list of scientists and stories. But those biographies did not showcase enough diversity. I crossed names off my list to make room for others. And that required some creative research (like a Google survey sent to scientists around the world). Not only that, but the anecdotes had to convey the right mix of sweetness and skills. It took careful selection and sequencing to illustrate skill-building.

CAROL: I love the structure of the book where you show the scientist as a child and then the reader turns the page and finds out who they became as an adult. Did you indicate that was how you conceived the book when you submitted the manuscript?

HEATHER: The pause of the page turn can be so powerful. From early on in this project I wanted to make use of the page turn to let readers predict what kind of scientist the young collector might become. It's like an entire biography condensed into two spreads. When I submitted my draft, I used numbers in brackets (i.e. [Page 4-5]) to suggest where page turns might fall. Not every editor wants that, so research before you submit! 


GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment by Saturday, October 16 at 6 PM to enter the giveaway. For an extra chance, start following my blog and let me know that you did. U.S. postal addresses only. IF YOU ARE NEW TO MY BLOG, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!

                                            


Monday, October 11, 2021

THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY: UNCOVERING TUTANKHAMUN'S TOMB

 If you're like me and think that middle grade books are some of the best books available and if you like reading about history and ancient mysteries--then Candace Fleming's newest book, THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY (Scholastic, 2021) is for you--or for a young reader in your life.


What reader can resist this opening that is printed in white on a black page:

"It was said...the boy king's tomb was cursed."

Those ominous words are followed by six curses associated with opening the tomb of Tutankhamun. 

What kind of book is this?

Quickly, Candace Fleming shows you exactly what this well-researched book is: an exploration of how ancient Egyptians buried their kings and the ten years that it took to discover and clear out the tomb. From embalming procedures to the innumerable possessions that the deceased would need in the after life, to Carter's meticulous documentation, Fleming included details about it all. 

But don't get me wrong. This is not my boring junior high textbook with lists of dates and facts to be memorized for a test. The Curse of the Mummy reads like a mystery as the reader is lured into wanting to know, "Who were the tomb robbers who carried off golden jewelry, jars of perfume, figurines, mummies, and other priceless treasures?" "Did they ever get caught?" "Were they scared of the mummy's curse?" 

Tutankhamun's tomb (lower left) in the Valley of the Kings,
near Luxor (ancient Thebes), Egypt.
https://www.britannica.com/place/Valley-of-the-Kings

In 1906, 50 years after the Antiquities Service was created, an Englishman named Lord Carnarvon invested huge amounts of money to excavate portions of the Valley of the Kings. The evening after his first "real find"--a mummified cat--Carnarvon witnessed domestic chaos as his staff were convinced that the spirit of the dead cat had come back to haunt him. In the second "It was said..." section the reader may get goosebumps wondering along with Carnarvon, "If a cat could do this, imagine what the spirit of an angry pharaoh might do."

                        

                                    Egyptian mummies of animals in the British Museum. 

Throughout the book, details about the excavation are interspersed with black pages (all written in white ink) that begin with "It was said..."  These pages tell stories about the curses (and rumors of curses) that were popular during the time period of the preceding chapters.

"Why did people get sick and die soon after they were near the pyramids?" "Why were some people tormented with Egyptian visions after looking inside the tomb's lid?"

Questions like these propel the reader through the book. 

Using wonderfully descriptive language, Fleming allows readers to hear conversations between Carnarvon and Howard Carter, the now-famous archeologist who found King Tutankhamun's tomb and catalogued every item in it.  We can smell the scent of oils and perfumes that still lingered in the air inside the tomb and feel the incredible amazement when Carter and his team looked upon treasures that had been buried for over 3,000 years. 

 

Photograph taken in 1922 of 
Carter looking at the sarcophagus. 





                                         King Tut's sarcophagus

I follow several writing blogs and heard about The Curse of the Mummy on the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. After reading about Candace's visit to King Tutankhamun's tomb and the description of the book, I was hooked! 


In addition to her comprehensive chronology of the excavation itself and the cultural context of archeological digs in Egypt, I was interested in Fleming's opinions about how these ancient artifacts were plundered. First, by grave robbers; second by European treasure hunters who carted away invaluable objects as small as jewelry and as large as monuments--to be sold or placed in museums. And then thirdly, by Carter himself. 

This is her description of November 11, 1925 when Carter and his team unwrapped the mummy:

No one present seemed to care that removing the mummy's bandages meant permanently destroying it. No one seemed concerned that ruling through the boy king's human remains was indecent or a sacrilege. Even Carter, who took great care in conserving the tomb's objects, saw no reason why the mummy shouldn't be unwrapped. (p. 198) 

 

So, what about the curses? Was Carter cursed as a result of opening the tomb and the way in which he handled King Tutankhamun's remains?

Of course, they weren't true. But, the superstition and myths surrounding finding the child-king make for a good story. And, there's a lot of lessons to be learned in this fast-paced book. 

                                        ****     

No giveaway this time; I'm saving this book for my granddaughter who at six-years-old has begun learning about ancient Egypt!

Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef who added another book to her picture book collection by winning LET'S POP, POP POPCORN from last week's blog. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Let's Pop, Pop, Popcorn! A Picture Book Review and Giveaway

Today my 9-year-old granddaughter, Libbie, is helping me review books. Here's her first review of a recent Sleeping Bear Press picture book. 

 Guest Reviewer Libbie K.

REVIEW

Let's Pop, Pop, Popcorn! by Cynthia Schumerth, is a good book for little kids showing them the process of making popcorn. It includes how to plant, water, and grow corn and all the work that goes into it. 







I think kids will also like this book's clever rhymes. 



The illustrations, by Mary Reaves Uhles, are also very well done and show exactly how to grow corn and make popcorn.

This is an easy book to read and it makes me want to get up, pop some buttered popcorn, and eat it! You can always sit down and eat popcorn while you are reading this fun book (just make sure not to get buttery fingers on the book! 🍿 😂). This book was very good and I recommend it to 3-6 year olds. Or just about any age!


BACK MATTER

Did you know there are four types of corn? If you read the STEM  information and activities you will learn the differences between dent corn, flint corn, sweet corn, and popcorn, as well as the layers inside each kernel. Readers will discover what old maids are and have fun with two different popcorn activities. And like Libbie suggested, there's always good eating when someone says, Let's Pop, Pop, Popcorn!


                            
                
                            I found this cute reading of Let's POP, POP, POPCORN on youtube!


GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment by 6 PM on October 8 to enter this giveaway. Tell Libbie your favorite popcorn story and I'll enter your name twice! Continental U.S. addresses only.

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