Thursday, January 23, 2014

Word of the Week: Katrina believes that the CELESTIAL bodies in the sky line up to look like her.

Word of the Week for Jan. 27, 2014

We have a special treat this week! Our inaugural Word of the Week video with guests. Scroll down to view the video.

You may listen to the live official WOW announcement broadcast each Monday at 7:20AM on WEEU 830AM from "The voice of Berks County and Beyond." Click here to view a picture of Ryan, who will be reciting the WOW word on Monday.
Links to broadcasts may be found on the Muhlenberg School District website. Click here to go there.


Are you ready for the free printables? Visit Kid Lit Printables to find these free printables:

== W.O.W. Video Featuring The D.I.R.T. Kids ==
This week we are introducing a new feature where guests will help me introduce the Word of the Week. This week the D.I.R.T. Kids have the honor of participating in our inaugural video. If the video does not appear below, click here to view it on YouTube.

Now tell us, how will you use the word CELESTIAL this week? Have you seen it used anywhere? Is your school using these words? What fun activities do you have for the word? I want to know and so do my friends - please share your creations and let us know if you are using our printables - that makes us happy!  

If you and/or your family completes an activity, we would love to see a picture of it, or hear all about it. You may do this in the comments below; on our Facebook page; on Twitter (use the hashtag #kidlitwow); pinterest; Google+ - truly, anywhere you want to tell the world with gusto!

Word of the Week with free printables.” (Click to Tweet:)

As always, thank you for reading and sharing,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 27th is Multicultural Children's Book Day. We have a book review to get you excited!

  We are thrilled and honored to be one of the bloggers participating in the first ever Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature. This paw-some day is the brainchild of co-creators
Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom, and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.
These two paw-riffic children's reading advocates present this much needed event as a way to draw attention and raise awareness about diversity in children’s literature.

Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

Thank You Sponsors...
The wonderful sponsors for this event are Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of  My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

What is really exciting is that we can fit this book into the 
We are using it as our "book with someone's name in the title." Yippee!

ALSO, the timing allows us to add the review to Kid Lit Blog Hop #31. 
Kid Lit Blog Hop
We love it when things work out so nicely. :) 

Now for the review from Neighbor Girl & Cool Mom...

The first thing I want to do is thank Chronicle Books for sponsoring this fantastic event and for sending us review copies of Josephine. Next I want to thank Patricia Hruby Powell for telling Josephine's story in such an accessible way. Finally, thank you to Christian Robinson. Mr. Robinson your artwork is fun from start to finish. By the way, we loved your recent Google Doodle! ~Cool Mom

Title: Josephine
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Year Published: 2014
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 104
Age Level: 9+ (my recommendation) Note: Amazon says 7-10 but I think this book is great for kids and adults much older than 10! 
Summary (Amazon): In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way fro the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

The Book's Trailer

Neighbor Girl's Feedback

Josephine was more of a grown up book than I was expecting. It was overwhelming with how much information is in the book. I enjoyed the illustrations and how she was a spy. 

Mom's Feedback

This book is BEAUTIFUL. It is a HUGE picture book (104 pages!) with fun and tremendously colorful illustrations. There wasn't a page I turned that was anything other than beautiful - even the pages without illustrations. 

The book could easily be heavy for young kids (depending on the child), as it encompasses Josephine's entire life from living in the slums and having to be Santa to her siblings, to her death. It includes her journeys around the world as a dancer and a spy; how she dealt with segregation throughout her life and fought through it; and her "rainbow tribe" of twelve adopted children from different counties. Josephine not only adopted children from other countries but raised them in their own religions! 

I found the book riveting. It is profoundly sad that I had never heard of Josephine Baker until reading this book. It shows exactly why Multicultural Children's Book Day is so very important. 

Patricia Hruby Powell tells the story well, and her level of research shines through the verse which is artfully displayed using different fonts. There are breaks in lines that seem almost wrong - but work here. 

Neighbor Girl enjoyed the book very much. Her review may be brief, but it is more than we get for most books. 

I am still a homeschooling mother at heart, I guess. If I had this book while homeschooling, I could do studies off of it for a couple of weeks easily. There are so many fantastic topics covered in this book that I would want to have lessons around. I'm sure I missed some but take a look at my quick list:
    ~Music (Ragtime, Trombones, Tuba, Fiddle)
    ~Dancing (Charleston)
    ~Geography: Saint Louis, MO; Mississippi River; New Orleans; Philadelphia, NYC, Paris, France, Germany, Russia, Egypt, Sweden, South America)
    ~What it would be life to have six people live in a shack
    ~Segregation (The largest theme of the book - how segregated America was while France had no such thing.)
    ~Traveling by train 
    ~Traveling by ship
    ~What it means to "steal the show." 
    ~Leopard (Exotic Pets)
    ~The Red Cross
    ~World War 2

The illustrations complement the verse beautifully. I snapped these pictures of a few pages that impressed me. As you see on the left hand side,  there is an illustration of the ship Josephine travels on from America to France. America's segregation is clear even on the ship, but the next page (the bottom left picture), she is in France where people seem to be colorblind. I love the dullness of the color to represent that. Fantastic. 

The picture on the top right is of Josephine dancing. I took a look at a video of her dancing and wow, is this captured perfectly. She was a great dancer but also a complete ham who loved to steal the show.  Yes, she even crossed her eyes at times. :) 

The bottom right pictures are of free printables available at the publisher's website. We printed them out and tested them. They don't take much time, but it is always nice  to have activities to go along with a book. 

This is easily a five star book. While I would love to keep our copy of Josephine,  it will do more good for others at our local library. They will be receiving the two copies that we were given from Chronicle Books. 

Disclosure: We received a copy of Josephine from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.. We received no monetary or in-kind compensation for our honest review. This post does NOT contain affiliate links. 

Check out all of the bloggers participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day:
2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children's Book-a-Day Almanac · Children's Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son's Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom ·Just Children’s BooksKid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout's Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators' Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books  · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil 

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge (and Stanley)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We want you to be part of our Word of the Week posts!

All you need is a video camera and a willing spirit: 

This post was updated on November 16, 2014.
This post was updated on June 19, 2015.

Wow, wow, wow! In less than three months, our guest spots filled for the entire school year!  We are happy pets. :0)

Thank you for a successful year of Word of the Week videos. Click here to watch them all!

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge (and Stanley)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Author Diane Cantrell's $100 Book Blast Hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews

About the Books

Riley's Lost Tooth by Diane Cantrell
Title: Riley's Lost Tooth 

Author: Diane Cantrell 
Illustrator: Heather Castles 
Publication Date: February 16, 2010 
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group 
Number of pages: 24 
Recommended age: 4+ 
Summary: Oh no! One of Sunday's very favorite humans, Riley, has lost her tooth! But where did it go? How did she lose it? Why does no one besides Sunday seem to care? It isn't long before the tooth fairy steps in and tries to teach the pups all about growing up. Join Sunday and her two puppy-pals, Precious and Mr. Lee, as they try to hunt down . . . Riley s lost tooth!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Author Website

Riley's Lost Tooth Book's Trailer


Good-bye Baby Max by Diane Cantrell
Title: Good-bye Baby Max 
Author: Diane Cantrell 
Illustrator: Heather Castles 
Publication Date: February, 2008 
Publisher: Bridgeway Books 
Number of pages: 32 
Recommended age: 4+ 
Summary: Mrs. B's class excitedly awaits the birth of three baby chicks. When Max is unable to crack open his shell, the children's loving teacher assists them in expressing their feelings of loss and planning a special good-bye.   

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Author Website


The Buzz

Riley's Lost Tooth: "The book is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. The book will definitely appeal to all children (including children at heart like this reviewer) and their parents / grandparents / elder siblings and other care givers. The book is strongly recommended as a good gift that is educational and also entertaining." ~ 5 Star Review, S.V. Swamy, Amazon
Good-bye Baby Max: "This book is amazing! I have given it as several gifts to my friends with children. It is very well written and the illustrations are fun and colorful. This book it a great tool to help parents and teachers talk to children about loss of a pet and a loved one in general. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!" ~ 5 Star Review, Dawn N., Amazon
Good-bye Baby Max: "This colorful, hardcover children’s title Good-bye, Baby Max (Bridgeway Books, Texas, 2007) by Diane Cantrell & Heather Castles is special in its purpose of teaching an invaluable lesson: that of properly saying the final farewell to a loved one who is no more ... Diane Cantrell has created a very purposeful book for children-one that is at once a story, a poem, and a healthy course of helping children get over grief. The book’s illustrations by Heather Castles are very appealing to a child’s imagination. There is a good deal here in Good-bye, Baby Max to learn for children ages 4 to 8 years and the 32-pages book is a must read for all kids of this age category." ~ Ernest Dempsey, Book Corner
Good-bye Baby Max: "I bought this book to help my nieces and nephews deal with the loss of a beloved pet. The storyline and illustrations were used as a springboard to discuss their own loss. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has young children and is looking for a way to help them cope with a loss in their lives." ~ 5 Star Review, Jeanne B., Amazon
Good-bye Baby Max: "[Good-bye, Baby Max] is a tender story about death, a tough topic for young children. Kindergarteners eagerly await spring and the hatching of the class' three chick eggs. But one chick, Max, dies. What ensues is a gentle exploration of grief and its many expressions -- from tears to songs to artwork. At the end, the surviving chicks' peeps encourage the children to embrace the living without forgetting the dead." ~ Michele Siuda Jacques, Detroit Free Press

About the Author: Diane Cantrell

Diane Cantrell
Diane Cantrell began her career in education teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Transitional First Grade. She also worked as a counselor providing assistance to parenting teens in a local school district. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Diane has provided therapy for adults, families, and children in agencies and private practice settings. As part of her private practice, she offers parent training to her clients and to parents in local schools. Diane is presently writing and publishing children’s books as well as provides counseling services to adults and children in her private practice, Life Designs Counseling. Diane’s time at Fort Sam Houston I.S.D. provided inspiration for Good-bye, Baby Max. The book, which is based on a true story, describes how Ms. B helps her kindergarten class cope with the loss of a classroom pet. At the time Diane wrote the book she was working with many children who were experiencing a great deal of loss in their lives. Her hope in writing Good-bye, Baby Max was that the story would help parents, children, and other caring professionals begin talking about losses rather than responding to their losses from a state of fear. Her second book, Riley’s Lost Tooth, was written for her granddaughter, Riley as a Valentine’s Day present. Mr. Lee, and Sunday are main characters in the book as is Precious, who died before the book was written. When Diane is not involved in writing or listening to people’s stories, she enjoys being with her husband, Rich, and their two dogs, Sunday and Mr. Lee. Diane and Rich live in San Antonio, Texas.

Website | Twitter


* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest runs: January 20th to February 19th, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Diane Cantrell and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Martin Luther King Day Resources

Are you celebrating the US Holiday, Martin Luther King Day?

Neighbor Girl was explaining to Stanley and I that she has off from school, tomorrow, and her school requests that they do a service project in honor of Martin Luther King. She will be getting together with the D.I.R.T. Kids to plan and begin rehearsing for their late spring performance.

I didn't really understand what she was talking about and what this Martin Luther King human guy had to do with it, so I did some online research. I found a couple of posts that helped me understand why this man got his own holiday. Martin Luther King's legacy is aspiring. Do you like how I got those Words of the Week in there? I am a #smartcat!

Anyway, Neighbor Girl told me to look at Brain Pop, first. She highly recommends this resource and uses it often. Guess what? Brain Pop has a free video and activities about Martin Luther King Jr. Cool Mom said that I have to tell you that they have a subscription to BrainPop, but get nothing if you click the link or purchase your own subscription - it is just one of their favorite resources.

Note: If you are mobile, the Brain Pop link may take you to the app page. It is a free app to view the "featured movie of the day" maybe on 1/20 it will be Martin Luther King? Otherwise, check it out on a computer. 

I also happened upon Squishy Lady's recent post, "Demystifying Martin Luther King Jr - Simply for Young Children." This is paw-riffic. Take a look. 
Mia of Pragmatic Mom has shared some great book resources in the past for Martin Luther King Day. Click here to view them all.

Now, something that Cool Mom is excited about is her & Neighbor Girl's upcoming book review of JOSEPHINE by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson. This book was sent to Neighbor Girl courtesy of Chronicle Books as part of  Multicultural Children's Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature. Cool Mom told me that this Josephine human was the ONLY woman to speak alongside of Dr. Martin Luther King on August 28, 1963. Talk about amazing. Wait until you read our review of this book - expected out later this week! For now, check out these fine resources above; hop over to learn more about Multicultural Children's Book Day;  and let us know how you are celebrating Martin Luther King Day. 

I think that maybe I'll try to do a service to my owners and help myself to my dinner this evening. 

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge (and Stanley)

Disclosure: We received a copy of JOSEPHINE from the publisher. We received no monetary or in-kind compensation for posting this list. This post does NOT contain affiliate links - our paws don't have time to do all of that linky stuff. We are authors anyway. This blog is about what we like. :)