Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Story Time Snack: Stanley's Marshmallow Buildings

Every night before Stanley (You know Stanley, don't you? Adorable hat-wearing hamster? Great with colors and machines?) goes to bed, he has supper and a bath.

But what is Stanley the Builder's favorite food? William Bee hasn't personally confirmed, but I'm pretty sure it's...

marshmallow buildings!

Pantry items make great indoor toys! Build a 3-D house or tepee with pretzel sticks and marshmallows: http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/indoor/kids-indoor-games-activities/?socsrc=pmmpin122012wwfPretzelMarshmallowToy
Photo via Parents.com

Grab your favorite early reader and head to the kitchen for this Storytime Snack!


  • 1 bag of pretzel sticks
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows 
  • 1 can of colorful frosting (optional)
  • 1 bag of M&M's or other small candies (optional)


  1. Decide what you're going to build. Will it be a house, like Stanley built for Myrtle? Or, will you make a spaceship? A skyscraper? Something completely new?
  2. Insert each pretzel stick into a marshmallow.
  3. Go on connecting until your masterpiece is finished!
  4. If you're feeling fancy, use frosting to attach M&M's, gumdrops, or other small candies for decoration!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Blog Tour for "Pig and Small"

Two friends learn that size doesn't matter in this hilarious story about finding common ground.
Pig and Bug just want to be friends. But their size difference is proving to be a BIG problem. Pig wants to play games - but Bug is too small. Bug wants to make things for his friend - but Pig is too big!
Just as they've given up all hope for their friendship, Pig has an idea...
But will it work?
(Yes, it will!)

Alex Latimer lives near the border of a national park so when not writing or drawing, he spends his free time shooing baboons out of his lounge. The Boy Who Cried Ninja is his first book for children. He lives in South Africa. Publishers Weekly Reviews notes that "Latimer (Lion vs. Rabbit), whose deadpan visual comedy is always a treat, once again proves he's adept at conveying life lessons with the lightest of touches." 
School Library Journal recommends this humorous tale of unusual friendship for storytime, especially for the big bright illustrations. See what our bloggers say!
Monday 9/15- Green Bean Teen Queen
Tuesday 9/16- Geo Librarian, & Kid Lit Reviews
Wednesday 9/17- Chat with Vera
Thursday 9/18- The Fourth Musketeer 
Friday 9/19- Sally's Bookshelf 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quilting & Literacy: A Guest Post by Debbie Higgins

Debbie Higgins & her 14 Cows quilt 
A few weeks ago, I came across a beautiful quilt inspired by Carmen Agra Deedy's 14 Cows for America. I was genuinely touched by the artistry and emotion it conveyed, so, in honor of this day of remembrance, I've invited Debbie Higgins--the creator of the 14 Cows quilt--to share the initiative behind it. 


14 Cows for America… the perfect book for the central Colorado Valley Quilt Guild’s “QuiltedStories” project.

The book, written by Carmen Agra Deedy, is a simple read about a very significant event. The illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez inspired me to create a quilt that would enhance the story. That mission is at the heart of our Quilted Stories program: instilling a love of quilts and art while promoting literacy in our hometowns.
Inspired by Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

In January 2013, after the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild’s presentation of their similar initiative, our members overwhelmingly pledged to support the creation of a CVQG chapter of the Quilted Stories program. We set to work donating money, books, quilts, fabric, and our love of quilting.

We now have liaisons that furnish 18 area schools with a Quilted Stories bin. Each plastic bin contains 5 – 6 picture books and the accompanying quilts for use in the schools’ libraries and classrooms. At the end of each semester, the bins are rotated to another school.

All sorts of beautiful storybooks—especially those with quilt themes—are made available to members by donation. Quilt-makers are encouraged to use their original designs along with traditional patterns. Each quilt is truly a piece of art.

Inspired by Tony Johnston's The Quilt Story
Our Quilted Stories project was showcased at the 2013 International Quilt Show in Houston to encourage guilds around the nation and world to start their own project. My quilt, depicting 14 Cows for America, was recently used in a workshop for upper-level teachers to demonstrate creative ways to enhance lessons. By incorporating a book and quilt into their plans, teachers can do anything from leading a unique storytime, to inspiring a writing project, to a presenting multi-media history lesson.
Inspired by David McKee's Elmer

I’ve seen how children absorb the story, almost becoming a part of it, when they have such a beautiful and large-scale visual to inspire their creativity and conversation.

Because of the overwhelmingly positive feedback that we have received, the Colorado Valley Quilt Guild is continuing to create works of quilted art while enhancing great literature for children!

- Debbie Higgins

Debbie Higgins hard at work on her 14 Cows quilt

If you'd like to get involved by donating books, fabric, or your own quilting talents, you can contact Janice Raabe at the Colorado Valley Quilt Guild via email with the subject line “Quilted Stories.”  

How do you use treasured books creatively?


Monday, September 8, 2014

Blog Tour for "Stanley's Garage"

Can Stanley fix all the cars in his garage today?
Stanley is working at his garage. From filling up Hattie's red speedster with gas to changing the tire on Shamus and Little Woo's blue station wagon, it sure is a busy day. As his friends each come in with their car problems, Stanley knows just what to do to get them back on the road.

School Library Journal states "Bee's uncluttered and boldly colored illustrations feature thick black outlines and plenty of white space, making everything easy to see. This layout perfectly suits the one or two lines of text (or occasionally no text) found on each page. These simple books are great choices for younger kids to start looking at jobs, identifying colors, and hanging out with Stanley and his mice friends."  What do you think? Follow along the Blog Tour: 
Monday 9/8- Green Bean Teen Queen
Wednesday 9/10- Chat withVera
Thursday 9/11- Blue Owl

Friday, September 5, 2014

#FreeBookFriday: William Bee's STANLEY Series

I find that my deepest, most meaningful, thoughts occur when I first wake.

Somewhere between shaking off dreams and reconciling myself to reality, you know? Of course, the very first thought being the most inspired is a rare occurrence. Often it will be my fifth or--as it was today--my sixth thought that is the real gem.

For example...

My first thought on this lovely Georgia morning was something along the lines of: "Coffee."

About fifteen minutes later (half-way through my cup of liquid inspiration) my second thought occurred: "It's Friday."

Slowly, a third: "Fridays...those are nice."

They came more rapidly now: "Stanley the Hamster is nice."

Aha! The genius, the brilliance, of the fifth!: "My blog friends would love Stanley."

And finally the epiphany: "Stanley should definitely be this month's #FreeBookFriday."

And so, dear readers, STANLEY THE BUILDERSTANLEY'S GARAGE are indeed this month's #FreeBookFriday. Enter to win your FREE copies below!

When Myrtle buys a plot of land, she asks STANLEY THE BUILDER to construct a new home for her. He works step by step—from clearing the site with a bulldozer to painting the finished house in her favorite colors.

But building isn’t the only thing Stanley does!

Visit STANLEY’S GARAGE where he gasses up Hattie’s red sports car and changes the tire on Shamus and Little Woo’s blue station wagon. No matter the problem, Stanley knows just what to do to get his friends back on the road.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Tour for "Stanley the Builder"

Meet Stanley, an adorable an industrious hamster, who makes his debut on this side of the pond this month!  Author/ illustrator William Bee has created a charming cast of character who live in a busy world in this new series.  Young readers transitioning from board books to picture books will gravitate to his bold illustrations and simple text that tell stories of occupations and machines.  School Library Journal also recommends this series as early readers for “slightly older children”.

When Myrtle buys a plot of land, she asks Stanley to build her a new house. He works step by step—from clearing the site with a bulldozer, to pouring the foundation, to painting the finished house in Myrtle’s favorite colors. Luckily, Charlie helps out too. Building houses is hard work, but all three friends are happy with a job well done.

Kirkus Reviews comments, “ Stanley and his fellow rodents are adorable, their dot eyes and line mouths expressing emotion, though without much nuance. Nonetheless, little listeners are sure to come back to Stanley over and over, as he explores jobs and uses equipment sure to pique their interest.” We hope you like Stanley, too! 

Get to know Stanley and his friends on this blog tour: 
Wednesday 9/3- Chat withVera
Thursday 9/4- Kiss the BookBlue Owl

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Peachtree at a 2014 Conference Near You!

Hello educators, librarians, teachers, reading specialists, principals, administrators, literary consultants, authors, illustrators, bookstore owners, agents, literature enthusiasts, and friends of Peachtree!!

We've announced the remainder of the conferences we will be attending in 2014. We will be adding more details as the days draw near, so stay tuned.

And are we bringing your favorite Peachtree author to your neck of the woods? Don't forget to contact us to schedule an author visit! Email Dengel@peachtree-online.com or call 404-876-8761, ext 106.

Friday, August 8, 2014

#FreeBookFriday: Susan Stockdale Pack

I'm happy to announce that #FreeBookFriday is here to stay!

Just drop by the blog on the first Friday of every month to get the scoop on the month's giveaway. Each giveaway will run for 7 days, and (because we're all about making Mondays less dreadful) the winner will be announced on the following Monday.

WOAH. You know what that means, don't you?

If you just jumped up and down while clapping your hands, then launched into a quick but enthusiastic version of the Mocarena while shouting, "It means that TODAY, the first Friday in August, is a #FreeBookFriday and Niki and Christine are TOTALLY going to send me free books!", then A: you should do it again and send us the video, and B: yes, emphatic book nerd, you're right!

Since the official Stripes of All Types Teacher's Guide is hot off the press, we're making this #FreeBookFriday a Susan Stockdale pack of Stripes plus Fabulous Fishes, Carry Me!, and Bring on the Birds.

With engaging rhymes and bold images, award-winning author and illustrator Susan Stockdale introduces young readers to nature’s patterns in Stripes of All Types.

Enter to win your Susan Stockdale pack below (and don't forget your Teacher's Guide)!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Blog Tour for "Double Reverse"

This week we will take a closer look at our Fred Bowen Sport Series with his latest middle grade title for Football fans, Double Reverse.

Jesse is experienced as a wide receiver - but can he play against type and help his new team as a quarterback?

The Franklin High Panthers need a new quarterback. Freshman Jesse Wagner knows the plays, but he feels he is too small to be QB material. Jesse's brother Jay has a problem of his own: his college coach wants him to switch from quarterback to safety. The brothers agree on a deal: Jesse will try out for quarterback, and Jay will try playing safety. Meanwhile, Jesse and his teammates recruit an unlikely kicker for their team - a girl named Savannah.

Kirkus Reviews suggests this tale for the "reluctant reader who is captivated by football... There's plenty of descriptive action on the field and even a few diagrams of different key plays to enhance the text...The simple sentences and basic vocabulary of this novel will be attractive to struggling readers.An apt choice to surprise a young football fan with the power of words."  

Do you know a young reader who fits that description? See what our reviewers have to say about Double Reverse:

Monday 8/11 TheWrite Path
Tuesday 8/12 Kid LitReviews and Geo Librarian
Wednesday 8/13 Librarian in Cute Shoes

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blog Tour for "About Parrots"

Our first stop on the Fall 2014 Blog tour is About Parrots!  John and Cathryn Sill deliver the latest in this acclaimed series showcasing the natural world of parrots.

Through simple language and beautifully detailed paintings, this guide describes the characteristics of different types of parrots - from the colorful Blue Lorikeets of the Polynesian Islands to the Rosy-faced Lovebirds of southwestern Africa.

Kirkus Reviews calls this "uniquely attractive work...an appealing and comprehensive introduction" for readers ages 3-8.  The information is masterfully "portrayed in clear, vivid watercolor illustrations with a simple text describing physical characteristics and habitats." 

Here is the tour schedule:
Monday 8/4- JeanLittle Library
Tuesday 8/5- GeoLibrarian and Kid Lit Reviews
Wednesday 8/6- Chat with Vera
Thursday 8/7- Blue Owl and Kid Lit Frenzy
Friday 8/8- TheFourth Musketeer