Nicole’s wonderful books for kids Blog

April 29, 2009

Just dance!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 10:07 pm

toDanceCover325Siegel, S. (2006). To dance. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Genre: Graphic Novel
Grades: 6th-8th

To Dance is a precious graphic novel about Siena Cherson Siegel’s life. This book leads the reader inside to her life as a dancer. Siegel tells her story from when she was a little girl up until she goes to college. She undergoes moving from one home to another, new dance classes, meeting new people, a divorce between her parents, a boyfriend, quitting dancing, going to college, and much more. From Puerto Rico, her birthplace, she goes to Boston for dance school and then ends up dancing with the New York City Ballet. This book is great for a young teenager to read especially if he or she is a dancer because they will be able to relate to the story and maybe learn from the Siegel’s mistake or what she experienced. Siegel’s husband Mark who is the illustrator, uses light colors that make sense with the story since it is a female novel. Through the faces of the characters you will be able to understand and feel what they are expieriencing. The graphic novel teaches hard work and dedication like she had throughout the story. These are two characteristics that are necessary to have throughout one’s life so by learning these leassons through this story is really helpful for the young reader so they can acquire these life skills. Read this with your daughter and she will be entertained and will learn valuable lessons about hard work.

About the Author and Illustrator

b-sporty-ballet-shoes-2409237_270111057_stdSiena Cherson Siegel has not made many books but the memoir To Dance is certainly a great start. She teams up to make a wonderful story based on her past. Mark Siegel is a wonderful illustrator who’s most well known work is in To Dance. While she wrote this graphic novel he created great art work. His work is a graphic artwork in a feminine way coincide with the theme of the book. He uses bring colors and detailed drawings to bring the comic strips to life. Information was found from: and



April 27, 2009

Witch or not a witch?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 8:57 pm

witch_from_blackbird_pondSpeare, E. (1958). The witch of blackbird pond. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
Genre: Mystery
Grades: 6th-8th

Set in Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1987, The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a mysterious and thrilling book. Kit Tyler becomes an orphan once her Grandfather passes away and moves to Wethersfield to live with her Aunt and Uncle. They are English settlers who she has never met. She not only struggles with trying to be true to herself and belong but she struggles with trying to survive in this new home. A friendship with Hannah Tupper gives her hope even though she is believed to be a witch by the colonists. Kit runs into a dilemma between being a faithful friend or falling into the towns narrow beliefs. There is often a conflict between the adolescent young people and the authority. This is definitely an aspect where young teenagers relate to since they experience conflict with rules and authority daily. Also the romance in the novel attracts a long of young female readers, so it is a great read for girls especially! Speare does a great job with building tension throughout the book by the way she writes. This book is a really great mystery and historical fiction. The location Speare chooses are real and based on real events. Pick up this book to find out what really happens to Kit when she makes this new and scary move to Wethersfield, Connecticut!

About the Author

speareElizabeth George Speare is an extremely successful author who is known for her many great works which have won awards. Some of her well known books include The Bronze Bow, Calico Captive, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Of those, The Bronze Bow and The Witch of Blackbird Pond have both received Newberry awards. Information found about Speare was found at


Not only numbering the stars but much more!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 8:33 pm

numb-starsLowry, L. (1989). Number the stars. New York: Dell Publishing.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grades: 4th-8th

Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars is a fantastic, short novel told by the perspective of Annemarie Johansen, a ten year old Danish girl. During the early 1940’s Denmark was undergoing the Nazi invasion and therefore the relocation of Jews. When the family of Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, was being forced to move, Ellen moves in with the Johansen’s and pretends to be part of their family. Through many deaths, run-ins with the Nazis, and a lot of traveling, Annemarie is required to show great strength and bravery to help save her best friend and to keep her safe. Young readers can easily relate to Annemarie because of her dilemma with her best friend. They can understand what Annemarie is experiencing because they love their best friends as much as she loves hers. Lowry’s style of writing keeps the reader hooked. Since she has great descriptions that makes the reader be able to visualize the plot, you’ll never want to put it down! Even though this story is historical fiction it provides great information about the time period of the Nazi’s invasion. It also gives the reader an inside view of what life was like during this trying time. This book is an educational, entertaining story that is great to read in schools or just as a night time story.

About the Author

lowrylois3After marrying young and having 4 children, Lois Lowry went back to school to receive her degree and begun to write professionally. She is the author of many wonderful books including The Giver, A Summer to Die, and Gathering Blue. Even though each one of these books is different she says that she uses the same general theme with each one: the importance of human connections. Pick up one of her books for a deep and refreshing read! Visit her at


April 16, 2009

Miss “Scary” Spider’s Tea Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 1:30 am

miss-spiders-tea-partyKirk, D. (1994). Miss Spider’s tea party. New York: Scholastic Inc. Callaway Edition.
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Grades: Kindergarten- 1st

Kirk’s picture book, Miss Spider’s Tea Party, is an animated, colorful tale about Miss Spider attempting to have a tea party. When she asks other bugs to join her for tea, they quickly decline in fear they would get eaten because they thought she was a “scary” spider. One bug finds out how truly nice Miss Spider is and spreads the word to the other bugs. In the end, Miss Spider gets the tea party she deserves. A lesson can be learned from the rude behavior from the mean bugs in Miss Spider’s Tea Party. Pick up this book to teach your children to never judge others based on their appearance; they should always get to know them first before making judgments. The illustrator uses so many bright blues, yellows, greens, and reds in the pictures that will directly attract the readers eye. The story is written is poetic form which attracts young readers due to the rhyming words. This is a colorful and creative way to teach an important lesson!

About the Author/Illustrator

david-kirkDavid Kird learned abou bugs and painting while growing up in central Ohio. He now has been making toys and art for children for over ten years. He has made many books including the Biddle Book series and the Nova Robot series. Information about him can be found at



Rainbow fish is not so filled with rainbows

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 1:21 am

rainbow_fishPfister, M. (1992). The Rainbow Fish. New York: North-South Books
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Grades: Kindergarten-2nd

The Rainbow Fish is an inspiring story about the most beautiful fish with shimmering, gorgeous scales. In the beginning of the book, Rainbow Fish was self-centered and had an arrogant personality; whenever any fish asked for one of his many scales, he would always decline and never would share. Throughout the story, Rainbow Fish slowly realizes that being beautiful is not the key to happines. The lesson learned is that sharing and being a good friend is how you become happy. This lesson Rainbow Fish learns is very important and should be taught to all children. The Rainbow Fish’s character develops and is defined through the text and illustrations therefore making it easy for children to relate to. By seeing Rainbow Fish’s reactions on his face and reading how he is feeling, the reader can sympathize with his character. By sympathizing with Rainbow Fish’s character, the reader will be able to learn the moral of the story. Share this story with your kids and not only will the be entertained by the wonderful, iridescent illustrations but they will learn a lifelong lesson.


About the Author/Illustrator

marcus_pfisterBorn in Switzerland, Marcus Pfister started out as a graphic desgner of an advertising agency. He then realized he wanted to dedicate more time to children’s books. He illustrated and wrote his first book The Sleepy Owl in 1983, his career blossomed from there. Rainbow Fish is his best piece thus far but other books he has created are Penguin Pet and Hopper. Information can be found at







I wish I could play with the moon…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 1:11 am

papa-please-get-the-moon-for-meCarle, E. (1986). Papa, please get the moon for me. Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio.
Genre: Picture Book, Realistic Fiction
Grades: Pre-K – 1st

Papa, please get the moon for me is a precious story that displays the love that a father has for his daughter. Monica feels so close to the moon that she tries to grab it and play with it, yet she is not close enough. Therefore, she asks her dad to retrieve the moon for her so she can play with it. Her father is able to find an extra long ladder and climbs up to the moon. When he reaches the moon and it becomes small enough to carry he takes it back to his daughter. This is a great bed time read for a father and young child, it is easily understood and the illustrations are very original. The illustrations are so great and original because of the action and detail portrayed in the pictures. Also there is an interactive part of the book where the pages extend, wich is always fun for readers. Pick up this book for a short, heartfilled read and you will not be disappointed!

About the Author/Illustrator

eric-carleEric Carle is a very successful authr of many popular books including The Ver Busy Spider, The Foolish Tortoise, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He started out as a graphic designer for the New York Times and then an art director for an adverstising company. He found his niche when he was asked to illustrate a book and his career blossomed from there. He has very recognizable art that is adored by millions of readers. He always wants children to be able to learn about their world from his books. Information found about Eric Carle is from



The Big, “Good” Wolf?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 12:59 am

true-story-of-three-pigsScieska, J. (1989). The true story of the 3 little pigs! New York: Puffin Books.
Genre: Picture Book, Modern Fantasy
Grades: 1st-4th

Have you ever read the story of the Three Little Pigs? If you have not, this version of the original is completely different and one you will not forget! Scieska’s hilarious “remake” of the Three Little Pigs story is a must read. In this edition, the Big, Bad Wolf narrates and tells his side of the story. Throughout the book he explains what happens at each Pig’s house and how in the end he gets framed. Lane Smith’s illustrations perfectly describe the story and are very detailed. The illustrations reinforce the text making the book even better. In one illustration, when the Wolf is wiping his nose with a tissue, Smith even drew the patterns on the tissue! It is written in simple language and is appropriate for mostly all ages in Elementary school. Share this book with your class or children and your audience will not be disappointed!




About the Author

jon-scieskaJon Scieska started working as an elementary and secondary teacher but soon discovered that his passion for life was creating books for children. Jon has won so many different awards and has sold over 11 million copies global. Some of his other famous books are The Frog Prince Continued, The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales, Math Curse, and Science Verse. Visit him at

About the Illustrator

lane-smith1Books that Lane Smith has either authored or illustrated have made the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best sellers list, won a Caldecott award, or some other kind of award. Lane Smith has paired up with Jon Scieska many times to create hilarious, original childrens book. Visit him at



The funny Founding Fathers

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 12:42 am

john-paul-george-benSmith, L. (2006). John, Paul, George & Ben. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
Genre: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Grades: 2nd-4th

Lane Smith’s John, Paul, George & Ben is a hilarious, historical story about the Found Fathers. Through illustration and text, Smith goes through each of the Founding Fathers, John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, as a child. He displays each ones’ significant contribution to history and adds sarcastic plotlines to the story. For example Paul Revere is shown as a young boy who joined bell-ringing clubs and because of this loud hobby, he became accustomed to speaking loudly which would explain one of contributions to history, yelling “the red coats are coming!” The illustrations are comical and flow perfectly with the entertaining yet factual text. Not only will this book leave the reader laughing but will educate the child in a unique way.



About the Author/Illustrator

lane-smithLane Smith has authored and illustrated numerous award winning books. Not only did John, Paul, George & Ben make it to the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best sellers but his other most recent book Madam President did as well. His illustrations have received the Caldecott Honor award for Stinky Cheese Man and he has many more accomplishments. Smith is known for his unique illustrations and great humor. Pick up his books for a great read AND laugh! His biography is



Will he ever get out of the bathtub?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by npappas13 @ 12:29 am

king-bidgoods1Wood, A. (1985). King Bidgood’s in the bathtub. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers.
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Grades: Kindergarten-2nd grade

King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub is a hilarious picture book written by Audrey Wood with wonderful illustrations by her husband, Don Wood. This is one of many collaborations of the spouses and it is perfect for younger readers in grades from Kindergarten up to second grade. The Page is in a predicament; King Bidgood is in the bathtub and refuses to get out. Many volunteers, including the Knight, the Queen, the Duke, and the court, attempt to get the King out of the tub, but none had success! Finally in the end the Page realizes a clever way to get the King out! Wood has a funny representational style where he illustrates the characters as normal people but he dresses them in comical ways and adds a exagerrated element to his drawings. This unique story will leave you with laughs and is a perfect read for a parent and child. If you want to find out how the King gets out of the bathtub, pick up this book!

About the Author

audrey-woodAudrey Wood was born in Arkansas and attended the Arkansas Art Center for drama and art. She has taught art and drama to kids, owned a book store, and has traveled to South America to study Indian folk art. Currently, Wood is writing and illustrating children’s books and also sculpting papier-mâché life-size figures. She has written many books including Little Penguin’s Tale, Weird Parents, and Silly Sally. You can visit her at


About the Illustrator


don-woodDon Wood was born in California and in sixth grade he decided to be an artist. Wood’s work has appeared in magazines and picture books. He has painted for Selley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. Having a B.A. from USC at Santa Barbara and M.F.A. from California College of arts and crafts, he has been a very successful artist.  He has illustrated many pieces including Piggies, Napping House, and Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Information about Don Wood is from



Blog at