The Musings, Notes & Book/App reviews of a Children's Writer

Posts tagged ‘picture books’

Black History Month Book of The Month ‘Jazz Age Josephine’ by Jonah Winter

This guest post is by Tia Biamont, Elementary School librarian, Teacher and Mom. Tia’s inspirational Black History Month displays are both educational and entertaining. The perfect mix of digital media & traditional books to appeal to the varied tastes of modern day kids. This included Author bio’s, Book Reviews, scannable barcodes and video footage on iPads/computers.



Of all the books and dynamic video footage of amazing & notable people who’ve contributed so impressively to our society, the one that’s getting the most attention from the children is Jazz Age Josephine


Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 to a laundress and a musician. At the age of 13, she began touring the United States with the Jones Family Band and The Dixie Steppers, two comic groups. She performed various comical skits. When the troupes split, she tried to advance to a chorus girl, but she was turned down because she was “too skinny and too dark.” She continued to have trouble landing roles as a singer, actress, and dancer, so she moved to France.

She was wildly popular in France. During World War II, she performed for the French troops and smuggled secret messages for the French government that were written on her music sheets. In the 50s and 60s, she visited the United States to help fight for Civil Rights. She spoke out about her experience of being refused service at the Stork Club. To show that children of different colors could get along, she adopted 12 children from around the world. She called her family the Rainbow Tribe. She spoke at rallies and was a speaker at the civil rights convention where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Click to See Josephine in action 


December Picture Book of the Month – Santa Claws by Laura Leuck





 “A Scary Christmas to all” 

For those who haven’t had enough of Halloween & have a fascination with monsters, here’s a book for you! Santa Claws is a weird twist on the old Saint Nick but this story takes place in Monster Town. ‘Santa Claws’ is wonderfully told in rhyme and is great for the 4-8 lot.

“It’s Christmas Eve in Monster town and Mack & Zack, two monster boys want gross & grizzly Christmas toys” Like all good little monsters they anxiously look forward for a visit from Santa Claws who rides thru the air on a Dragon, but you have to read it to see what happens next. The Author also takes us on a trip thru monster town with it’ ‘dead pine trees’ and ‘spooky shacks’. It’s quirky illustrated by Gris Grimley in his usual offbeat and sketchy style. This book is an offbeat Christmas treat which is a keeper to be read for many Christmases to come.

– If you’re an Author and have a picture book that you’d like reviewed, contact me thru the website link below or leave a comment below.

– All picture books reviewed on this blog may be purchased thru the link on the Blue Sandpiper website –

November Picture Book of the month – Balloons over Broadway

While volunteering in the Elementary school library, I stumbled across a picture book that quickly became a must have for my collection. A beautifully written & illustrated biography of the immigrant puppeteer ‘Tony Sarg’ who was instrumental in creating the very first Macy’s day parade. This book traces the steps from his first marionettes to the creation of the upside down marionettes or ‘giant balloons’ that thousands line the streets of Broadway yearly to see. It brought back memories of braving the cold NY weather & crowds, to catch a glimpse of those amazing balloons. Some years we headed to Central Park on the prior night to watch our favorites being filled & get a sneak preview of the newest addition. This is a great co-reading book that adults and children will love equally. Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet


The Picture Book Depot has featured Monster Jam!

Come to The Monster Jam…And Bring Your Dancing Shoes!

PICTURE BOOK DEPOT absolutely loves outstanding picture books, and that’s why we’re supporting Project Director Michelle Anaya and her adorable KickStarter project, MONSTER JAM.”

– Monster Jam is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book and interactive app about a little Monster with a big dream. With fun things to see and do on every page, it’s perfect for ages 4-9! This KickStarter campaign will be used to create this dynamic kids book & app, a portion of which will be donated to elementary school libraries. This is an all or nothing campaign which ends on November 24th 2012. Pledge your support, Monster Jam needs you. Great awards in every pledge level!

                    For More information and to pledge your support, CLICK HERE:



The Picture book depot Monster Jam feature spot.

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