Thursday, October 30, 2014

Storytime Test

Will your kids sit still during a P. Zonka storytime? The illustrations have to read well from far away, and  they should tell a story along with the one told through the text.  Submitted for your approval is the Stand-Far-Away-Holding-the-Book-Cover-Test. How'd we do??

PS: Storytimes are even better if you're willing to do voices ;)


Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Tell a Scary Story

There are SO MANY scary stories out there. In fact, there are entire books and movies and magazines dedicated to them.

It may seem like spinning a spooky yarn ought to be easy as pumpkin pie, but, like tight rope walking, writing a children's book (Am I right, guys?), and drinking black coffee, telling a scary story is a skill that must be honed with years of careful study.

But, since Halloween is just a few days away, consider this Scary Story Bootcamp.

(via duplexproductionblog.com)
Props: 

The only true necessity is a flashlight. Shine it under your face in the dark and give your audience a ghoulish grin. Works every time.

Other props might be things like a scary mask, a storyteller's costume (cape? tophat? pipe?), maybe some fake snakes or bugs, or spooky music to play in the background.


Setting: 

You might think the setting in which you tell your creepy tale story isn't important. Wrong. Atmosphere is vital. Here are some tips on working your audience into maximum fright before you even open your mouth.

  • Indoors: 
    • Make a blanket or pillow-fort. First off, they're awesome. Second, they'll hide all the light from outside the fort, leaving your flashlight as the only source of light. And third, forts are awesome.
  • Outdoors: 
    • Do you have an outdoor fire pit? The eerie light will flicker; the fire will crackle; and creatures of the night will skulk and slither in the shadows just out of sight...
(via stellarfour.com)


The Story: 

You've selected your setting and collected your props; now it's time for the main event.

Speaking in front of an audience can be nerve-wracking. But just remember: it's important to seem confident in the story you're telling. Whatever the story is, it is true. If you believe it, your audience will believe it too.

But how do you pick one?

The best thing to do is to learn a few on your own, improve them, and then swap them with your friends. Pretty soon you'll have a good collection built up! Here are a few tried and trues to get you started:

(via nypost.com)
Not Very Scary/Kinda Funny:
Moderately Scary:
(via marydoodles.deviantart.com)
Super Scary/Proceed with Caution: 
The Best Original Scary Story Ever:






Okay, that last one might be biased, but it is a great spooky story and you can read it (or hear it!) yourself in Bill Harley's latest Charlie Bumpers book, Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull!

Did we miss any of your favorite stories? Have you made up an awesome one that you'd like to share? Do you have any more tips on how to tell them? Leave a comment below!


Warehouse Special Delivery!

Days like these are very exciting.  What was once an email attachment, "How about this design?" is now realized as a final picture book cover.  Behold the Advanced Reading Copy! Julie Paschkis makes cover design look E-Z.

Guess what?! The inside is just as lovely.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Farewell Fall 2014!

Thanks for following our Fall 2014 Blog Tour! It was a good three months, but all good things must come to an end.  We hope that you discovered some great kid lit bloggers along the way and got a sense of our exciting season.

Let's do a quick montage! Like they do in the movies!

In August we learned all about parrots, and learned a couple of football gambits from Jesse, Jay and Savannah.

In September Stanley had two full career changes! Pig and Small became lifelong friends! And Charlie Bumpers used desensitization techniques to overcome his Halloween fears!



We wrapped up in October with an animal parade, a skiing sock and pup, and a lifesaving dog


That wraps it up for this season, but we've got exciting changes in store for Spring 2015 titles.  In addition to reviews, we'll also be showing blog tour followers storytime ideas, crafts, flannel board patterns, discussion questions, and more extension activities!  You can thank our guest bloggers for that! As always, visit our website for free Teachers Guides.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blog Tour for "Murphy, Gold Rush Dog"



An action-packed and heartwarming story of a dog in gold rush-era Alaska
All Murphy wants is a home and a loving family. After escaping from his brutal, merciless owner, he is taken in by a young girl named Sally. She and her mother have just arrived in Nome, Alaska, intent on joining the other gold seekers and making a new life for themselves, free from their wealthy but oppressive family in Seattle.
Yet, even with Murphy at their side, Sally and Mama find living in the mining town harsh and forbidding. When it seems they may have to give up and return to Seattle, Sally and Murphy decide to strike out on their own, hoping to find gold and make a permanent home. But dangers await them - not only blizzards and grizzly bears, but also Murphy's original owner, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, whether it is an ill-gotten fortune or a valuable dog.

Alison Hart is the author of more than forty books for young readers, including Emma's RiverAnna's Blizzard, and the Racing to Freedom trilogy. Hart is a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and lives in Virginia. You can visit Alison Hart’s website here.
Michael G. Montgomery has illustrated numerous children's books. He attended Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia. Montgomery lives in Georgia. You can visit Michael G. Montgomery’s website here.
Follow Murphy on his Alaskan adventure: 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blog Tour for "Claude on the Slopes"

Claude is no ordinary dog - he leads an extraordinary life!
Claude and his best friend Sir Bobblysock go to the Snowy Mountains to swish down the powdery slopes. They throw snowballs, learn to ski, and enter a snow-sculpture contest. But when an avalanche threatens their winter wonderland, Claude must come to the rescue.
After briefly considering careers in space travel, cookery, and being a rabbit, Alex T. Smith finally decided to become an illustrator. He graduated from Coventry University with a degree in illustration and won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Illustration. He lives in England.
You can visit Alex T. Smith’s website here.
School Library Journal warns children who have not met Claude and his best friend Sir Bobblysock to expect delightful mayhem and hilarity. Get to know Claude on this Blog Tour! 

Monday,10/13- Picture Book to YAThe Write Path
Tuesday, 10/14- Geo Librarian & Kit Lit Reviews
Wednesday, 10/15- Chat with Vera
Thursday, 10/16- The 4th Musketeer
Friday, 10/17- Librarian in Cute Shoes


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DIY: Claude Sock Puppet

Do you ever wonder if Claude gets jealous of Sir Bobblysock?  

Think about it: Sir Bobblysock is both a sock and quite bobbly. I mean, talk about a double threat.

What if we leveled the playing field a bit? What if we made Claude into a sock?

There's a whole world of puppetry arts that we could explore... Claude could have his own adventure vlog... 

That's it. This is happening. Go grab your supplies and meet me back here in five.

Supplies:

  • 1 white sock
  • 1 black pom-pom
  • 1 red pom-pom
  • 1 piece of black felt
  • 1 piece of red felt
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

  1. Warm up your hot glue gun.
  2. Stick your hand inside the sock. Create the indent where Claude's mouth will be in the space between your forefinger and thumb.

            4. Cut out Claude’s ears and beret using shapes like this: 


             5. Using the hot glue gun, put a dab of hot glue in the following places: 
           tip: Adhere the pieces immediately and press firmly. Hot glue dries quickly.

a.       On the top of his head; attach his ears


b.      on the top of his ears; attach beret


c.      in the center of the top of the beret; attach the red pom-pom


d.      on Claude’s nose; attach the black pom-pom


e.       where his eyes will be; attach the googly eyes


  TA-DA!


We'd love to see your Claude or Sir. B sock puppets! Post your sock puppet theater videos on social and tag us, or send them to publicity [at] peachtree [dash] online [dot] com!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog Tour for "Can I Come Too?"

Join a tiny mouse as she searches for the biggest creature in the world.
A very small mouse sets out to find something special - the biggest creature in the world. Along the way she meets a menagerie of animals, including a frog, a badger, and a tiger. But which is the biggest of all? Follow their journey in this gentle cumulative tale from a world-renowned author and artist team.

Brian Patten is the author of The Big Snuggle-Up, as well as several poetry collections for children. He lives in England.You can visit Brian Patten’s website here.
Nicola Bayley has illustrated many acclaimed picture books for children, including The Big Snuggle-Up and The Jungle Book. She lives in England.

School Library Journal notes that this cumulative tale has "meticulously executed colored-pencil illustrations, whether of feather or fur, ferns or foxgloves, are so exquisite that children will become lost in them. Stunning art, paired with a simple poetic text, pulls readers along as they wonder which animal they will meet next."
Follow along the Blog Tour:

Friday, October 3, 2014

#FreeBookFriday: CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE SQUEAKING SKULL by Bill Harley

When I was in elementary school, the coolest thing to have (after Lisa Frank folders, Tamagotchis, and shell necklaces, of course) was the ability to tell a really scary story.


I vaguely remember tales of a girl with a ribbon necklace, an escaped hangman, and intruders impersonating dogs, but--and trust me when I say this--those have nothing on the story of The Long Fingered Man.

It's so creepy, so goosebump-inducing, that you need to experience it for yourself. Seriously, I can't even talk about it.

No stand alone copies of the story exist (the Long Fingered Man took care of that), but Bill Harley has captured the tale in Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull.

Since scary stories are better when they're told by grammy award-winning storytellers, let's make The Squeaking Skull audiobook our October #FreeBookFriday!

Enter below for your chance to win.


Meet Charlie’s spookiest nemesis yet in CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE SQUEAKING SKULL, the third laugh-out-loud audiobook in the Charlie Bumpers series, read by Grammy award-winning storyteller, Bill Harley.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Scavenger Hunt Printable!

In Can I Come Too?, animals band together to search for the biggest creature in the whole world.

While you may not have whales in your pond or tigers in the forest behind your house, you do have lots of Autumn nature to discover!

So, print out this Fall Scavenger Hunt list (or make your own!), grab your scarf, and head into the great outdoors!


Click HERE for your printable Can I Come Too? scavenger hunt sheet!