“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Monday, October 21, 2013

Franklin the Turtle books ▪ Picture books, early readers

Franklin the Turtle books
by Paulette Bourgeois  illustrated by Brenda Clark  
Available now  Kids Can Press  Ages 3- 7  
Everyone's favorite turtle returns for a new generation of readers!
Story: With over 65 million copies sold worldwide in over 30 languages,  Franklin the Turtle is every young child’s friend. Children instantly connect with the big-hearted turtle’s sense of adventure and enjoy watching him work through familiar problems and solving them in his own way and making everyone feel good. Many of the Franklin books help children identify their own feelings, fears, and anxieties (whether real or imagined) as featured in stories about going to school, dealing with bossy friends, hospital stays, class trips, having a bad day and many more common childhood experiences and milestones.  
Story behind the storyPaulette Bourgeois, a former journalist and occupational therapist, had wanted to write children's books but was waiting for that idea. Well, it came from the TV show
M*A*S*H, she said in an interview. "Alan Alda's character, Hawkeye, tells Hot Lips that he can't go into a cave for protection from heavy bombing because is he so claustrophobic that if he were a turtle he'd be afraid of his own shell.  The next morning, I wrote the story of Franklin, a turtle afraid of crawling into his shell because of 'creepy, crawly things.'"  And the rest, after working with publisher Kids Can Press and illustrator Brenda Clark, is history.

No matter a child's age, reading level or interests, there's a Franklin story for all types of readers:
Bring Franklin to your school, library, or book festival!  Submit your request for the Franklin costumed character.

Download activity sheets including coloring pages, word searches, matching games and how to learn Franklin's secret handshake.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips from Scaredy Squirrel ▪ Public Service Announcement

He's been called "one of my all-time favorite children's book characters"*. Everyone understands and loves (more than 1.6 million books sold) Scaredy Squirrel, Melanie Watt's nutty worrywart.  Well, leave it to Scaredy to come up with his Top Three Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating Public Service Announcement video.  

It takes just a minute to learn about safe costumes and candy consumption.  

More can be found in the book SCAREDY SQUIRREL PREPARES FOR HALLOWEEN: A Safety Guide for Scaredies from Kids Can Press

Watt certainly has hit on a formula that provides readers with a familiar but guaranteed-to-be-hilarious experience.” — Kirkus Reviews, August 2013
The timid and brave alike will laugh their way through this holiday addition to Watt’s series.— Publishers Weekly - Starred Review, July 2013
Here's to a fun-filled, safe Halloween.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elephant's Story ▪ Picture book

written and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
October 22, 2013   Margaret Ferguson Books / FSG   Ages  4-8
A book about letters and words forming a friendship you will never forget.
Story:  The day Gracie loses her favorite book, Elephant finds it. He sniffs the words ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS and--oops--they go up his trunk, where they wiggle and jiggle and make him sneeze.  The letters fly through the air helter skelter, and when Elephant tries to put them back together, he can't figure out how to make the right words that fit.  He asks his friends for help, but they just choose some of the letters to make up their own words--Aligator wants to CHEW them, Seal SPINs them, Monkey THROWS them, and Bear just SNOREs.  Lucky for Elephant, Grace comes looking for her books.  She makes the letters into the right words and then adds some of her own.  
Children ages 3-7 will love following befuddled Elephant as he works to right the book; they'll enjoy finding letters throughout, reading the words of his friend, and clap when Gracie comes to the rescue.  Plus young readers might just be inspired to create a few words of their own along the way.  
Story behind the story:  With over 35 books for children and countless awards from Parenting magazine, Parents’ Choice, Time magazine and starred reviews from top literary magazines and more, there’s no doubt that author-illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson gets kids. She understands what it takes to get a child to say, “Read it again, please.” With both carefully chosen words and chock-full-of-energy illustrations, Pearson tells her stories with a pace and rhythm that has kids anxious to turn the page to see what’s next – and she throws in a bit of humor to keep them laughing along the way. So, where did ELEPHANT'S STORY come from?

Ideas come from the strangest places; here, it all started with a phone message from a librarian who called Pearson to see if she’d create a logo for a literary program featuring an elephant. With elephants, letters, and words on the brain (and perhaps a memory of carrying around a favorite book when she was a child), Pearson turned the logo request into a new book. 

DOWNLOAD an activity kit filled with a word scramble, maze, Elephant and Gracie finger puppets, color Elephant letter sheet and more.  

Want to meet the author-illustrator? Tracey's on the road this fall, drawing Elephant and Gracie everywhere she goes.  Maybe she's coming to your area?  See this schedule.

Look!  Elephant has been selected by booksellers nationwide to grace the cover of their annual BEST BOOKS FOR CHILDREN catalog!


"A sweet, funny story—though not without its awkward moments—with a metafictive theme that should entertain." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Pearson’s humorous illustrations are drawn with a loose flowing line. An overlay of light watercolors brings to life Elephant’s expressive face. Endpapers show him making the letters of the alphabet with this body. A lighthearted picture book for storytimes about friendship, cooperation, or books." -- School Library Journal