Monday, February 28, 2011

Just in time for Einstein's birthday

Meet EinsteinPerhaps you let your young reader choose her own book for bedtime and she chooses Einstein's famous book, "Relativity." What's a parent to do? Introduce your budding scientist to Meet Einstein by Mariela Kleiner!

Okay, the chances of your two year old reaching for "Relativity" are a little slim, but it's exactly what happened to Mariela Kleiner and the reason why she wrote this book. Improvising the story of Albert Einstein so that her daughter could understand it, Kleiner debuts with a wonderful introduction for preschoolers to learn about concepts of science.

Young readers will be fascinated to learn that a scientist studies the Earth and the sky, animals, plants, and even our bodies. Scientists like to ask lots of questions about why things happen and how things work. They'll also learn that Einstein discovered many new things about light and that gravity is the reason why things fall down to the ground.

I was totally captivated by the illustrations by Viviana Garofoli and parents will enjoy the end of the book that includes a section for parents to learn about Einstein, so they can help their kids learn more about him and explore the concepts in this book. Chances are your young readers will learn that they are already great scientists, but your children will also realize that science is all around them and they just might think about Einstein the next time you turn off the lights. 

Meet Einstein is available just in time for Einstein's birthday and if you get the chance, be sure to peruse the book's website at http://www.meeteinstein.com/. It's a lot of fun!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 2-5
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Meet Books, LLC (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0615389732
ISBN-13: 978-0615389738
Source of review copy: Publicist


This post is part of Nonfiction Monday! Nonfiction Monday takes place every Monday as various blogs throughout the kidlitosphere write about nonfiction books for kids and collect them all in one place. This week, check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Rasco from RIF. To see the entire schedule, please visit the blog of Anastasia Suen.

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fish for a Free Book: February 25

It's time to fish for a free book! 

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: The Bug Book Launch (11/31)
Your URL: http://thebugbooklaunch.blogspot.com/2010/10/your-mission-should-you-choose-to.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Fish For a Free Book Participants
1. Livin' la vida Latina - ends 3/5/11
2. Mymcbooks
3. I Eat Books for Breakfast - end 3/5
4. Adorable picture BABY SAYS "MOO!" ends 3/7

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

James Kennedy's 90-Second Newbery Video Contest!

Have you guys heard about the 90-Second Newbery Video Contest taking place over at James Kennedy.com?

The Newbery Medal is the most prestigious award in children’s literature. The American Library Association has awarded it every year since 1922. (This year it went to Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest.) That’s a lot of Newbery winners. Maybe too many? You can’t read all 90 books! (Well, maybe you can.)

But you do have 90 seconds to spare, right? So here’s the contest, open to anyone: make a video that compresses the story of a Newbery award-winning book into 90 seconds or less.

Pretty cool, huh?


You can check out the very first entry below... a 90-second version of A Wrinkle in Time (1963).

"A Wrinkle In Time" In 90 Seconds from James Kennedy on Vimeo.

In addition to the contest, they're even planning a star-studded 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the New York Public Library in Fall of 2011.

Get working on those videos! The deadline is September 15, 2011.

To learn more, please visit James Kennedy.com and GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Young readers will devour this like a box of Crackerjacks

Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul-up (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))I had the honor of interviewing author David A. Kelly for the release of his book, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) two years ago at Get in the Game Read! That's why when I found out that he was going to be the author of an upcoming baseball series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy! The series is called The Ballpark Mysteries and as you can probably guess, it combines mysteries and some of the most famous ballparks across the United States! Talk about a great combination!

The first book in The Ballpark Mysteries, Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul-up (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)), takes place at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins are cousins and since Kate's mom is a sports reporter, they get great seats and not to mention, all-access to the ballpark. What kid wouldn't dream of that? However, as they watch batting practice, they discover that the bat of Big D, the Red Sox's best hitter, is stolen! Mike and Kate set off an adventure to uncover the clues that will solve the mystery.

I really enjoyed The Fenway Foul-up and can see how any 6- 9 year old baseball fan would step to the plate and devour this book like a box of Crackerjacks! Kelly intersperses the perfect mix of sports action, crime-solving and facts about Fenway Park. For example, young readers will be fascinated to learn that Fenway Park still uses a hand-operated scoreboard and the initials of the former owners are even hidden on the scoreboard. Dugout Notes at the end of the book provide more fun-filled baseball facts and you can catch a glimpse of Book #2, The Pinstripe Ghost--can't wait for this one!

To learn more about the series, please visit the official website, which even contains a personal blog from Mike Walsh himself.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 6-9
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0375867031
ISBN-13: 978-0375867033
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some School Visit Awesomeness!!

I just had to share some recent SCHOOL VISIT AWESOMENESS:




Is that the coolest or what?

If you or your class wants to share some amazing artwork, please use the contact link above and I'll provide you with a mailing address! I would love to see them! I can't even begin to tell you how this makes my day! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paying tribute to our nation's favorite pastime

This Is the GamePut together sports, the love of the game, fun rhyming text, and beautiful illustrations that capture our nation's favorite pastime and you have This Is the Game by Diane Z. Shore.

In this beautiful picture book, Shore pays tribute to all of the aspects we love about baseball...

This is the swish!
as the pitch whizzes by
from the mound to the plate
in the blink of an eye.


It's all covered from schoolchildren playing the game in back alleys to the grandstand with tall wooden bleachers to star players such as "Dizzy" Dean and "The Babe." The lyrical verse makes for a fun read aloud and the amazing double page spreads by Owen Smith will have your jaw dropping to the floor just as if you had seen one fly out of the park!

As long as kids collect bubble-gum cards and dream of stepping on the diamond, this is sure to be a favorite of those who rise to sing a song about peanuts and Cracker Jack rings!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 006055522X
ISBN-13: 978-0060555221
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A presidential testament to technology through the years

What Does the President Look Like?With the rise of technology, we all know what the President looks like. Chances are you've seen him on television, in magazines, books, posters, etc... But if you were alive in 1789 when George Washington became president, you probably wouldn't have known what he looked like unless you saw him in person.

In What Does the President Look Like?, Jane Hampton Cook introduces young readers to the various ways people found out what the President looked like through the years. Young readers will be fascinated to learn that in the early years, paintings and drawings were the only ways most Americans had of knowing what the president looked like; in the years of Andrew Jackson, Americans relied on political cartoons; and it was Abraham Lincoln who ushered in the era of photography.

From stereographs to silent movies to TV debates to digital cameras, every era is covered with interesting facts compiled on each page. Adam Ziskie's cartoon-like illustrations make this a fun read and really prove how technology has changed what we see and how we see it.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers (February 2011)
ISBN-10: 1935279637
ISBN-13: 978-1935279631
Source of review copy: Publisher

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday! Nonfiction Monday takes place every Monday as various blogs throughout the kidlitosphere write about nonfiction books for kids and collect them all in one place. This week, check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Three Turtles and their Pet Librarian. To see the entire schedule, please visit the blog of Anastasia Suen.

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A fun book when it comes time to hibernate

Bedtime for BearAs any Mom and Dad can attest, many children just don't know the difference of when it's time to sleep and play. Bedtime for Bear by Brett Helquist is the book for every parent who tries to tame their own little cubs when it comes time to hibernate.

Bear is snug in bed, ready to hibernate until his raccoon friends come running to his house, begging him to come out and play. Bear tries to explain that it's bedtime for bears, but as he attempts to close his eyes, he still hears his friends playing. His friends continue to beg, but when Bear opens the door and gets hit with a snowball, it's ON!  As Bear tries to shoo them away, he trips, flips and slips and finds himself covered in snow, laughing. Bear gets swept up into the fun and after a long day of play, it's the raccoons who are asking, "Isn't it bedtime for bears?"

Helquist is an amazing illustrator and his graphic-novel style turns this book into one giant cartoon that you'll be reading over and over at bedtime. Chances are your little cubs will want to keep playing while you're ready to hibernate!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (December 21, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0060502053
ISBN-13: 978-0060502058
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The ABCs of Writing for Children

I Wanna New RoomHave you always wanted to write for children? It's important for aspiring writers and anyone interested in learning the nuts and bolts of children's publishing to be on the hunt for a class or workshop that will get you started and headed in the right direction because, believe me, there is A LOT to learn!

Well, just the class is being offered in Millbrook, NY called The ABCs of Writing for Children and it's headed up by two very successful children's authors, Karen Kaufman Orloff and Della Ross Ferreri.

The six-week class will start April 5th and meet Tuesday afternoons, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Merritt Bookstore, Front Street, Millbrook.

Class will cover:

•       How to get ideas
•       How to structure a story
•       Writing in different genres, including rhyme
•       Creating great characters
•       First drafts and re-writing
•       Writing effective query letters
•       Submitting to publishers

In addition, there will be:

•       Manuscript critiques
•       In-class writing exercises
•       Ample Q & A time

About Your Instructors -
I Wanna IguanaKaren Kaufman Orloff, author of I Wanna IguanaIf Mom Had Three Arms  and The Little Book of Baby Names, as well as her latest I Wanna New Room and the forthcoming Talk, Oscar, Please!  Karen, an ex-editor, also writes a weekly column on family life for "The Poughkeepsie Journal" and has had many articles published in parenting magazines.



How Will I Ever Sleep in This Bed?Della Ross Ferreri, author of How Will I Ever Sleep in This Bed? and  Star of the Show, as well as two easy-readers, Hey! You're Eating My Homework and Early Reader: Picnic on the Sidewalk. Della has also been published in numerous children's magazines.

Karen and Della are members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and are co-coordinators for the Eastern NY division's June conference.

Class fee - $150 for the 6-week session.
--Small, intimate class setting. Informal atmosphere.
Dates:  April 5, April 12, (skipping April 19), April 26, May 3, May 10,
May 17

NOTE: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ILLUSTRATOR TO WRITE CHILDREN”S BOOKS!

For more information, contact Karen Orloff (orloff@bestweb.net/)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A reminder that love is the best medicine

You Are the Best MedicineImagine being a child and watching a parent go through cancer treatment. It can definitely be overwhelming. That's why You Are the Best Medicine by cancer-survivor, Julie Aigner Clark is a must have for a child with a parent who has been diagnosed.

The book follows a mom as she explains to her daughter that she has cancer. As the mom discusses some of the trials and tribulations she'll go through, she relates it back to many of the memories she has of her child: How she will be sad because she's sick, but she'll be happy since it's a sickness her daughter can't catch. How she will feel scared, but will remember all the times her daughter had a nightmare and came into her room to sleep with her. And how she will have to take medicine that makes her lose her hair, but will remember her daughter's sweet little baby head, round and bald.

As it prepares a child for the rough road ahead, it's a great resource to teach children about the importance of love and support. It truly is a wonderful reminder that love and kindness really are the best medicine.

About the author: Julie Aigner Clark is a mom, a writer, and a teacher who has survived breast cancer twice. As the founder of the Baby Einstein Company and the Safe Side, Julie has been writing books and creating media for children since 1997 and has sold millions of copies worldwide. You Are the Best Medicine was inspired by her daughters, Aspen and Sierra, and by her husband, Bill.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 7, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0061956449
ISBN-13: 978-0061956447
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the 2010 Cybils Winners Are...

It's Valentine's Day, so that means red roses, chocolates, flowers and THE CYBILS! (The Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards)

Cybils judges have been working hard to narrow down the titles that stole literary bloggers' attention in 2010 in categories such as fiction picture books, nonfiction picture books, easy readers, short chapter books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction and more.

Today is the day that the Cybils announce the winners of the titles of 2010 that combined literary merit with kid appeal. As the Cybils states, "That's the secret sauce that makes a child or teen want to pull it off the shelf (or download it onto their gizmo of choice) and not move/eat/sleep/breathe until the last page is turned."

To see the list of winners, please visit The Cybils' official website and a big congratulations goes out to all of the winners!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fish For a Free Book: February 11

It's time to fish for a free book! 

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: The Bug Book Launch (11/31)
Your URL: http://thebugbooklaunch.blogspot.com/2010/10/your-mission-should-you-choose-to.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Fish For a Free Book Participants
1. Danika Dinsmore
2. Gift Card Giveaway from Miriam Forster
3. Mymcbooks
4. Playingby the book (2/27)

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another fun, rhyming romp in the swamp

Swamp LullabyIf you're looking to lull your little ones to sleep and teach them about life in the swamp, then Swamp Lullaby by C.E. Walz is just the book!

It's nighttime in the swamp, but no one is sleeping. In fact...

It's time for a swamp lullaby.
Crick-crick, zoom-zoom, flit-flitter.

Yes, it's time for a swamp lullaby.
Buzz-buzz, chirp-chirp, twit-twitter.


The fireflies are doing as they please, little green junebugs are crooning a tune, the Katydid just can't sit still, and the mosquitoes are dining on a tasty swamp delight. Nighttime is definitely fun, but when the sun finally pops up, there isn't a peep because finally the bugs are asleep!

Walz, who brought us Alley Loo: A Spooky Swamp Tale, bring us another fun, rhyming romp with this lyrical, rhythmic verse, sure to delight your own little bugger who wants to stay up and croon a tune!

Additional Information:
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. (April 25, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0984098062
ISBN-13: 978-0984098064
Source of review copy: Authorr
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Give your young reader something to savor on Valentine's Day

On January 31, Publisher's Weekly published an interesting breakdown of the children's book market in their article, What Do Children's Book Consumers Want? It doesn't come as much of a surprise that parents and those close to children are more influential than ever and that for children under seven, friends and family are most likely to determine what they read.

So what do you have planned for Valentine's Day? Candy's always a hit, but how about serving up your favorite young reader with another treat--a book that celebrates Valentine's Day?

A String of HeartsIn A String of Hearts by Laura Malone Elliot, Sam wants to give just the right valentine to Tiffany, the most popular girl in the glass, but Sam has a lot of competition. When walking home from school, his friend Mary Ann asks him what's wrong. Sam tells her he needs to make a really good valentine, so Mary Ann promises Sam to show him how. Mary Ann gives Sam some valuable advice--that a valentine should say why you like a person and what's special about them. As it turns out, Sam discovers he really doesn't know much about Tiffany, but there is one person he could think of a hundred things to write about--his friend Mary Ann.

A String of Hearts reminds us of the true meaning of Valentine's Day and how special it makes you feel to receive a valentine. But it delivers a really strong message--that it's those valentines that take a lot of thought that soar
to the top of the stack.

[Additional Information: Ages 4-8/ 32 pages/ Katherine Tegen Books]

Marley: Marley Looks for LoveIn Marley: Marley Looks for Love, young readers will have fun as they lift the flaps and help Marley find the adorable poodle who has stolen his heart.

One day at the park, Marley meets a new friend, Fifi and he can't wait to return to the park to see her again. He even finds a special gift to give her, but he searches the neighborhood and there's no sign of Fifi anywhere. Where can she be?

The bright colorful illustrations make this a great addition to any young reader's Valentine's Day collection and the lift the flaps will keep little fingers busy instead of ripping open another box of candy hearts!

[Additional Information: Ages 4-8/ Paperback: 16 pages/ Publisher: HarperFestival]
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book. I maintain affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you purchase a book through one of my links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). You can support this site by originating your purchase via these links and I appreciate your support of Lori Calabrese Writes!