July 23 – Gorgeous Grandma Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-cover

About the Holiday

Today we celebrate grandmothers and give them the praise they deserve! Besides loving and always being there for their grandkids, grandmas are out there working, having fun, exploring new adventures, and sharing it all with family and friends. They’re also the source to go to for family memories and stories of generations past. In short, grandmas are gorgeous inside and out! Children benefit in many ways from having a close relationship with their grandparents. To celebrate today’s holiday, plan an outing or a visit between children and their grandmother. If that isn’t possible, call or write, and it’s always fun to read a book about grandmas—like today’s sweet book!

With Love, Grandma

Written by Helen Foster James | Illustrated by Petra Brown

 

Little Hedgehog waves goodbye to Grandma, who’s off on an adventure. Along the way Grandma writes letters to her grandchild about all the fun she is having and how her experiences remind her of her dearest love. Grandma’s first letter is dated May 15th and addressed Dear Sweat Pea…. She is writing from a meadow of wildflowers and says “Grandma misses you, but your love grows in my heart. She also sends along a packet of wildflowers for her grandchild to plant.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-waving-goodbye

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

May 18th finds Grandma describing a mountain hike she took with friends, and she includes a picture of a deer and fawn she saw. She suggests that she and her “Sunshine” “go for a hike the next time you visit CAMP GRANDMA. She closes saying, “I love you ‘over the river and through the woods’ and to the tippy-tip-top of the highest mountain.”

It’s June 3rd and Grandma’s writes “Ahoy, Matey!” to tell her little one about her “full-of-fun day” kayaking. She even made a pirate hat complete with feathers to send along with her letter and promises to make one together at CAMP GRANDMA. She signs off, “I’ll always love you to the stars and back. With Love, Grandma XOXO. PS Explore more!”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-meadow

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

“Dear Snickerdoodle,” Grandma writes on June 10, “I was at the beach today.” Making s’mores with her friends reminded her of the time she made them with little Hedgehog. She’s ready to do that again at CAMP GRANDMA and sends a “funny saying, but it’s true. ‘Every day, I LOVE you s’more!’” On June 15th Grandma’s travels are over and she’s back home ready to have her “Dear Cupcake” come to visit. She’s whipping up a batch of cupcakes they can share at CAMP GRANDMA because she and her grandchild “go together like fronting on a cupcake.”  She ends her letter “With Love, Grandma XOXO. PS Grandma loves you!”

As quick as a wink, Little Hedgehog is packed and running up the walkway to CAMP GRANDMA with arms stretched wide to receive Grandma’s loving hug.

Free of personal pronouns and illustrated with gender-neutral clothing, With Love, Grandma XOXO will be embraced by all children. Beautiful, easy-to-follow illustrated directions for making s’mores and a paper pirate hat follow the text.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-hiking

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

Helen Foster James’ story in letters is so adorably charming that young readers will snuggle in to learn about Grandma’s next adventure and her endearing reminders to her grandchild. James’ grandma is energetic, creative, and accomplished, and her independence and zest for life mirrors today’s grandparents. Each page is filled with tons of love and the knowledge that little ones are always in a grandparent’s heart even if or when distance separates them. While sharing encouragement, teachable moments, gentle advice, inside jokes, and favorite activities, Grandma reveals her pride in and devotion to her grandchild. Little listeners will be reminded of their own grandmas and the special bond they have.

Petra Brown’s stunning two-page spreads gorgeously depict Grandma’s adventures—from a wildflower meadow, mountain pass, plein air painting class, and Memorial Day parade to a rambling river, bookstore, and rainy day. Playful snapshots of Grandma and Little Hedgehog laughing and enjoying each other’s company at home are also interspersed among the lovely illustrations. Images of the flower seed packet, photo, postcard, and pirate hat Grandma sends with some letters adds depth and interest to the story.

This tender, warm-hearted book is like a big hug from Grandma on the bookshelf that can be shared again and again. With Love, Grandma makes a joyful gift to or from Grandma—one that will be cherished.

Ages 5 – 7

Sleeping Bear Press, 2018 | ISBN 978-1585369423

Discover more about Helen Foster James and her books on her website.

To learn more about Petra Brown, her books, and her art, visit her website.

Gorgeous Grandma Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-world's-best-grandma-certificate

World’s Best Grandmother Certificate

Do you have the world’s best grandmother? Of course you do! Show her how much you love her by giving her this printable certificate!

World’s Best Grandmother Certificate

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-cover

You can find With Love, Grandma at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

November 25 – It’s Family Stories Month

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-auntie-loves-you-cover

About the Holiday

Children benefit so much from close relationships to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members. This month and next, as family gathers together for special holiday events, it’s fun for adults to share family history and their own funny stories of growing up with the younger generation. Letting kids know how much they’re loved by everyone in the family is important too. It helps them develop a sense of belonging, a good self-image, and confidence. Reading together is a perfect way to spend time together and get conversations started. Today’s book is a sweet way for aunts to let their nieces and nephews how cherished they are.

Auntie Loves You!

Written by Helen Foster James | Illustrated by Petra Brown

 

A baby bunny’s aunt remembers the first moment she gazed lovingly at the tiny new family member. She thought: “The moment we met / I knew you would be, / bunny-kins bunny, / a treasure to me.” She knew that as the bunny grew they would be “best buddies / like carrots and peas…” and have lots of adventures, dancing and singing and playing fun games.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-auntie-loves-you-meets-bunny

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

Yes, the auntie reminds her wee little bunny “we go together like sprinkles on cake, / like kisses and hugs, / or ducks on a lake.” They’ll laugh and play all the day through then as they watch the sun dip into the sea, auntie will whisper “…my love goes with you / wherever you go.” When the bunny snuggles into a bed of soft grass, Auntie is there to sing a soft tune: “Snuggle down, bunny. / Sleep tight, love, sleep tight.”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-auntie-loves-you-carrots

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

Helen Foster James’ sweet tribute to the relationship between an aunt and her nieces and nephews is the prefect snuggle together book. Sprinkled with giggly words that are fun to say and reflect the freewheeling joy of spending time with little ones, James’ rhyming story reinforces the idea that Auntie’s heart is always filled with thoughts of and love for her nephew or niece. Family bonding is at the center of each page, and little ones will feel the warmth of that special friendship with a beloved aunt.

Petra Brown’s soft illustrations are filled with the tender moments between baby and aunt as they get to know each other while exploring nature. In the garden nibbling veggies, at the seashore collecting shells, and sailing a tiny boat made from a walnut shell, twig, and leaf on a pond, the aunt and bunny pair enjoy their days together. Gorgeous double spread images of the two sitting on a cliff watching the sunset as a lighthouse glows nearby, Mom and Auntie putting the little one to bed under a full moon, and the “best buddies” standing on the beach holding hands and looking out to the horizon and all that awaits them in the future make Auntie Loves You! a book that adults and kids will want to read again and again.

With a special page to record  who the book is presented to, who from, and the date, Auntie Loves You! makes an endearing keepsake and a wonderful gift for new babies and young children. Appropriate also for anyone who assumes an aunt-like relationship with a child.

Ages Birth and up

Sleeping Bear Press, 2018 | ISBN 978-1534110113

Discover more about Helen Foster James and her books on her website

To learn more about Petra Brown, her art, and her books, visit her website

Family Stories Month Activity

CPB - Rabbit Puppet made

Paper Bag Rabbit Puppet

 

With this easy and fun craft you can make your own little bunny who likes to play! Create a puppet for everyone and then use family stories or make up some of your own to act out!

Supplies

  • Rabbit Puppet Template
  • A paper lunch bag
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Cotton Ball
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

Directions

  1. Print the Rabbit Puppet template
  2. Color the parts of the rabbit and cut them out
  3. Place the flat paper bag on a table with the bottom flap facing you. Glue or tape the eyes, and the nose and whiskers to the bottom flap. Attach the ears, placing the tabs behind the top of the bottom flap. Attach the paws to the body below the bottom flap. Attach the cotton ball tail to the opposite side of the bag.  
  4. When it’s dry, use your puppet to tell family stories or make up tales of your own 

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-auntie-loves-you-cover

You can find Auntie Loves You! at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

July 23 – Gorgeous Grandma Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-cover

About the Holiday

Today we celebrate grandmothers and give them the praise they deserve! Besides loving and always being there for their grandkids, grandmas are out there working, having fun, exploring new adventures, and sharing it all with family and friends. They’re also the source to go to for family memories and stories of generations past. In short, grandmas are gorgeous inside and out! Children benefit in many ways from having a close relationship with their grandparents. To celebrate today’s holiday, plan an outing or a visit between children and their grandmother. If that isn’t possible, call or write, and it’s always fun to read a book about grandmas—like today’s sweet book!

With Love, Grandma

Written by Helen Foster James | Illustrated by Petra Brown

 

Little Hedgehog waves goodbye to Grandma, who’s off on an adventure. Along the way Grandma writes letters to her grandchild about all the fun she is having and how her experiences remind her of her dearest love. Grandma’s first letter is dated May 15th and addressed Dear Sweat Pea…. She is writing from a meadow of wildflowers and says “Grandma misses you, but your love grows in my heart. She also sends along a packet of wildflowers for her grandchild to plant.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-waving-goodbye

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

May 18th finds Grandma describing a mountain hike she took with friends, and she includes a picture of a deer and fawn she saw. She suggests that she and her “Sunshine” “go for a hike the next time you visit CAMP GRANDMA. She closes saying, “I love you ‘over the river and through the woods’ and to the tippy-tip-top of the highest mountain.”

It’s June 3rd and Grandma’s writes “Ahoy, Matey!” to tell her little one about her “full-of-fun day” kayaking. She even made a pirate hat complete with feathers to send along with her letter and promises to make one together at CAMP GRANDMA. She signs off, “I’ll always love you to the stars and back. With Love, Grandma XOXO. PS Explore more!”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-meadow

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

“Dear Snickerdoodle,” Grandma writes on June 10, “I was at the beach today.” Making s’mores with her friends reminded her of the time she made them with little Hedgehog. She’s ready to do that again at CAMP GRANDMA and sends a “funny saying, but it’s true. ‘Every day, I LOVE you s’more!’” On June 15th Grandma’s travels are over and she’s back home ready to have her “Dear Cupcake” come to visit. She’s whipping up a batch of cupcakes they can share at CAMP GRANDMA because she and her grandchild “go together like fronting on a cupcake.”  She ends her letter “With Love, Grandma XOXO. PS Grandma loves you!”

As quick as a wink, Little Hedgehog is packed and running up the walkway to CAMP GRANDMA with arms stretched wide to receive Grandma’s loving hug.

Free of personal pronouns and illustrated with gender-neutral clothing, With Love, Grandma XOXO will be embraced by all children. Beautiful, easy-to-follow illustrated directions for making s’mores and a paper pirate hat follow the text.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-hiking

Image copyright Petra Brown, 2018, text copyright Helen Foster James, 2018. Courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press.

Helen Foster James’ story in letters is so adorably charming that young readers will snuggle in to learn about Grandma’s next adventure and her endearing reminders to her grandchild. James’ grandma is energetic, creative, and accomplished, and her independence and zest for life mirrors today’s grandparents. Each page is filled with tons of love and the knowledge that little ones are always in a grandparent’s heart even if or when distance separates them. While sharing encouragement, teachable moments, gentle advice, inside jokes, and favorite activities, Grandma reveals her pride in and devotion to her grandchild. Little listeners will be reminded of their own grandmas and the special bond they have.

Petra Brown’s stunning two-page spreads gorgeously depict Grandma’s adventures—from a wildflower meadow, mountain pass, plein air painting class, and Memorial Day parade to a rambling river, bookstore, and rainy day. Playful snapshots of Grandma and Little Hedgehog laughing and enjoying each other’s company at home are also interspersed among the lovely illustrations. Images of the flower seed packet, photo, postcard, and pirate hat Grandma sends with some letters adds depth and interest to the story.

This tender, warm-hearted book is like a big hug from Grandma on the bookshelf that can be shared again and again. With Love, Grandma makes a joyful gift to or from Grandma—one that will be cherished.

Ages 5 – 7

Sleeping Bear Press, 2018 | ISBN 978-1585369423

Discover more about Helen Foster James and her books on her website.

To learn more about Petra Brown, her books, and her art, visit her website.

Gorgeous Grandma Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-world's-best-grandma-certificate

World’s Best Grandmother Certificate

Do you have the world’s best grandmother? Of course you do! Show her how much you love her by giving her this printable certificate!

World’s Best Grandmother Certificate

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-with-love-grandma-cover

You can find With Love, Grandma at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Picture Book Review