Thursday, September 25, 2014

Story Time Snack: A Pear Mouse for Any Adventure!

Photo by Jill Dubien via
I don't know about you, but nothing makes me hungrier than an adventure.

You know who else loves adventure? Mouse from Can I Come Too?

With a few healthy ingredients and some circle-cutting skillz, you can make a tasty snack to accompany your Can I Come Too? story time.

This one's so cute, you might buy a cage for it and name him Paul.

  • 1 Boscoe pear (those are the brown ones!)
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 2 round, thin slices of carrot
  • 1 strip of green onion
  • Cream cheese
  • String cheese
  • 1 sharp knife

  1. Wash the pear and slice it in half so it lies flat on the plate.
  2. Pull apart one strip of string cheese and slide it under the back of the pear to create a mouse tail.
  3. Using your knife, cut several small circles out of the cheddar cheese.
  4. Dab a little cream cheese on the small end of the pear; press one of the cheddar cheese circles onto the cream cheese. (This will make a mouse nose!)
  5. Use two dabs of cream cheese to make mouse eyes above the nose.
  6. Using your knife, cut two horizontal slits into the top of the pear above the eyes.
  7. Stick the carrot slices into the slits to make ears.
  8. Cut two more slits--this time they should be vertical and on either side of the nose.
  9. Take your green onion, chop it into 6 smaller pieces. 
  10. Stick three onion slivers in the left vertical slit and three in the right.
Voila! Adorable and healthy! Could you ask for a better adventure treat?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Claude's Picture Adventure: au revoir!


Greetings from Claude and Sir Bobblysock!

Today, the first day of Autumn, marks the end of Summer (can you believe it?!), which means this wandering duo is trading their water shoes for plaid shirts and their beach trips for bonfires. 

It's been quite a summer. Check out all these fun places they went with you:

But this isn't the end!

Adventures don’t stop just because the school bell rings.  Hold onto your Claude and Sir Bobblysock cut-out and bring the gang along on your school trip or holiday vacation. (Don’t forget to tag us!) 

Read all about Claude and Sir Bobblysock’s trip to the snowy ski slopes in Claude on the Slopes, out October 1! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Tour for Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull

It's true what Kirkus Reviews says! "Charlie Bumers is back on the scene, "scaring himself into another life lesson" with his fourth- grade friends. 

Can Charlie face his fear of horror movies and enjoy Halloween?
Charlie and Tommy have big plans for Halloween. They're going to trick-or-treat and sleep over at Alex's house. But when Charlie finds out that the entertainment at the party will be the "Scariest Horror Movies Ever," he is struck by panic. Charlie loves candy, he loves sleepovers with his friends, but he absolutely hates horror movies.

Bill Harley is a two-time Grammy Award-winning storyteller, musician, and writer who has been writing and performing for kids and families for more than twenty years. He is the recipient of Parents' Choice and ALA awards. Bill won a 2007 Grammy Award for his children's storytelling album Blah Blah Blah and a 2009 Grammy Award for his children's spoken-word album Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live. He lives in Massachusetts.

Adam Gustavson has illustrated sixteen books for children, including Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!and Snow Day!. He lives in New Jersey.
Check out our Blog Tour: 
Tuesday 9/23- Geo Librarian & Kid Lit Reviews
Wednesday 9/24- Kiss the Book 
Thursday 9/25- Blue Owl

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:
Photo via

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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