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Archive for children’s picture books

Something to be Happy About! Purple Santa Suit Free Kindle Book!

Download Purple Santa Suit Free Kindle Book November 24-26, 2016

Purple Santa Suit Free Kindle Book November 24-26, 2016

Something to be Happy About! Purple Santa Suit Free Kindle Book.  Yes. Well it seems that interesting times are upon us.  No doubt we are living in a time where it seems we look at what is wrong in the world instead of what is right. Yet there are lots of things that indeed still go right. Every day we still move forward and find more things that will bring us that smile. We get to spend the holidays with people we love.

All things considered, this may be the year where we need to get back to basics and focus on the little things that make us happy. I hope we find ourselves back in the kitchen creating amazing foods to nourish us and to tantalize our taste buds. It is such a wonderful way to connect to each other. And I hope we find time to snuggle up with someone in our life that makes us happy. And maybe we take a little extra time to stop and read out loud to a child, or even a grown up, in our life. We hope that this might be a little something to be happy about.

So……….if you need a little something colorful in your life, maybe something that will make you giggle inside.  Perhaps you need something that will for sure bring a smile to a child or even a room full of grownups. If so, then check out Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas. It will be the delight of your holiday white elephant gift exchange, or Christmas Eve party, or any day along the way between now and then. And if you just aren’t sure, we are doing a FREE Kindle book give away over Thanksgiving, November 24-26, 2016. You will be able to download if for free before you splurge on the hard copy. (We think you will!) Find out just what the Purple Santa Suit Free Kindle Book is all about. Happy Holidays to you.

Other Ideas:

Check out our past posts on ideas on how to spend your holiday season.  We have great ideas for a December bucket list., and ways to use the book in the classroom. We also have fun ideas of how to make cookies that go along with the book for some extra dose of HAPPY!  Again, check out the FREE Kindle book or just take the splurge and enjoy!

 

Purple Santa in the classroom

We want to see how you use our Purple Santa in the classroom.  Got Purple Santa? To help you out, Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas has been Free all weekend on the Kindle.  Today is the last day! Download it. Read it. Get some ideas. If you love it and think you can come up with ideas, buy a hard copy to share in the class, or check one out at the library. (Many have it, but if not you can request they order it for their collection.) We think it is a great book to explore many many ideas with reading, imagination, vocabulary, art, writing and so much more. And we want to hear your ideas!  We want to hear the best idea.   See our classroom page for ideas. And we are reposting a blog from last year for further inspiration below. Send us your ideas. We would love to post pics of how you used it! Fun holiday book! Got Purple Santa?#GotPurpleSanta #BlackFridayin3words

Encore Blog:

Reading Santa’s Night Before Christmas for classroom enrichment activities is so much fun! We have lots of ways to spark the imagination with this book by encouraging creativity in art, writing, and oral expression! –At home, or in a read aloud classroom or library setting!  Please see our classroom page here for a growing list of ideas of how to enrich your classrooms with our book.

Meanwhile here are a few thoughts:

  • After reading the book and finding out that there is no longer Milk and Cookies, but instead Tea and Honey, introduce a Tea and Honey Party. It can be as formal or as informal as you like. Bring a variety of teas, maybe some more traditional and a couple of holiday blends, along with some honey. Then expose kids to traditions and tastes of other cultures of which they may be unfamiliar.One book- oodles of classroom actvities.
  • Initiate a Christmas Caroling activity. After reading the book and talking about funny sounding carolers, discuss the practice of Christmas Caroling. Choose some songs. Make them funny if you wish. Go around to other classrooms and sing carols.
  • In a group setting following a read aloud there are many topics of discussion that could be focused upon in verbal format and then flowed into a writing assignment if desired. (Most of these could also be presented in front of the class as well.)
    • What details are in the drawings that that aren’t mentioned in the story? (Hint- hunt for Matches the Mouse!!)
      What other zany and wacky things that could go wrong with Christmas if Santa’s suit were purple?
      What other things could have happened instead? Like could the milk and cookies be turned into carrots and celery? Why or why not? Could the candy canes be chocolate or sour instead of burnt? Would it have been a problem to change the story because of the rhyming?
      Launch for a theme of show and tell – bringing in their favorite holiday book, other books with Santa, or anything else related.
      Talk about cause and effect – consequences; how things relate, how this one change morphed Christmas, and how doing one thing differently day to day might have different effects in our own lives.
      Read the original The Night Before Christmas story (or any other version) and have a compare and contrast discussion
  • Art Projects galore! Have them do an art project of any kind to illustrate any idea of a zany, wacky Christmas. Use your own zany imagination-this book can spark all kinds of artistic expression and creativity.Choose your own color santa suit- Milk Carton Santas. One of many ways to tie Santa's Zany Wacky Just Not Right Night Before Christmas into classroom activities.
    • Santas with suits of a different color. Almost any normal Santa project you do can be converted into a purple  Or better yet, you could let the kids express themselves and let them choose what color they want their Santa to be.
    • Similarly, blueberry blue reindeer might be fun! Or let them choose their own fun color.
    • Upside down snowmen and trees of all kinds. Any project you might normally do with snowmen or trees could be done upside down. One I like is the Name Snowmen. Just put the face and hat one on the bottom upside down.
    • Art and Writing worksheets, like “If I were a Zany Wacky Reindeer, I would…” Download: Zany wacky reindeer worksheet.  Please see the classroom page for more ideas; as well as that is where we will be posting new ones.Worksheet to go with Santa's Zany Wacky Just Not Right Night Before Christmas available hardback, kindle or via Interactive Touchbooks app.

Got Purple Santa? #BlackFridayin3Words

Got Purple Santa? Free on Kindle. Wow! I can hardly believe it is already the holiday season again. But maybe I can since they have been promoting Black Friday for the entire month of November.Fun holiday book! Got Purple Santa?

In any case this weekend, we have a very special promotion for our purple Santa lovers, or wanna be purple Santa lovers.  So mark your calendars. This weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas is available for FREE on the Amazon Kindle.

Preview free on Kindle before buying the hardback version. November 27-29, 2015

Preview free on Kindle before buying the hardback version. November 27-29, 2015

So if you’ve been curious now is your chance to try before you buy. You get to keep the kindle version. But then if you love it you can order the hard copy to add to your Christmas book collection, or give it to special kids (big and little) in your life, or even stash away as a white elephant gift. So enjoy, and pass the word! We want to see how many people “Got Purple Santa?” this year during the #BlackFridayin3words. #GotPurpleSanta?  Get yours now!

American Library Association Youth Media Awards Caldecott and so on! #ALAYMA

American Library Association Youth Media Awards! Today was a big day in the children’s book world.  It was like the Oscars for youth books.  There was all kinds of excitement as the American Library Association presented the 2015 Youth Media Awards.  If you love children’s books, I encourage you to check out all of the honorees.www.ilovelibraries.org/yma.  I couldn’t help but watch, as Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas had been sent in.  And well, though it tends to be only large publishers recognized, one just never knows. American Library Association Youth Media AwardsThere are a slew of books if you are interested– in just about anything.  There seemed to be an assortment of winners, ranging from diversity topics, homosexuality, and even just for fun books.  As an author of a children’s book (We’re Having A Tuesday) that helps kids with seeing their own situations and being able to relate, I was happy to see the myriad of topics addressed.  There is nothing quite like having a book help a child feel like they are not the only one who feels that way. It is even better if they are books that will work as read aloud books, as then they can go one step further, in which they can foster discussion.  I really love books that do that.  I will look forward to reading and writing about some of them here in the coming weeks.  Also, as an author of a book that is strictly for the pure pleasure of reading for fun, laughing and using our imagination Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas, I was very thrilled to see that the winner of the Caldecott Award this year appears to be just that kind of book.  I have not seen it myself yet, but The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, has moved up high on my priority list of books to read.  I love nothing more than a book that just carries kids away.  I can’t wait to read it!  There were all kinds of awards, and all kinds of books.  So I recommend if you have any interest in reading out loud to kids that you check them out. They cover picture books, chapter books, and even audio books.  You are bound to find something that your little listener will enjoy hearing.  And if you are reading out loud, maybe a family read aloud, or to an older group of kids in middle school or even high school, be sure to check out the Alex Awards, as they are books that are recognized as adult books that a teen audience is likely to enjoy.  Just check them all out on the list!  If you are like me, your library hold list, or your books to buy list might grow by leaps and bounds after reviewing it.  And if you want even a little bit more excitement, watch the replay video of the announcements here.  To me, there isn’t much more exciting than hearing a room full of people cheer about BOOKS for KIDS! I love the American Library Association Youth Media Awards.  Makes me want to buy up a pile of books!

And because I just cannot close without at least one book recommendation, today I will focus on the 2014 Newberry Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell. This is a darling chapter book complete with wonderful illustrations.  To me it is a great bridge for kids that are getting to big for picture books, but might not be quite ready for books without any pictures at all.  It is a whirlwind tale about a girl, a squirrel, and superhero type adventures.  It made me think of crazy old cartoons where the characters were getting into slapstick humorous trouble.  I loved the use of vocabulary in this book.  I think most kids would be pretty anxious to see what happens next.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was the part in which they turn the Mom into a lunatic stressball smoker, complete with an illustration.  Couldn’t she have been crazily chomping ice, or eating lollipops, or winding ringlets in her hair?  I just hate anything in kids books that makes it seem like smoking is ever ok.  Sometimes I have to overlook it when a book was written long before we knew better, but this one is not that case.  In any case, don’t let that detract you from an enjoyable ride.  And maybe use the smoking as a talking point with your kids.  I liked it!

Children’s Divorce Bill of Rights – a new tool to help children of divorce!

Children's divorce bill of rightsI came across this wonderful little scroll, Children’s Divorce Bill of Rights, on Pinterest the other day.  (I think someone created it based on an blog at Psychology Today, though I didn’t seem to see the graphic there) I was reminded about how many divorces seem to happen just after the holidays.  We’ve had so much fun playing with our Zany Wacky Santa, but for many  kids fun time is over now.

I thought the Children’s Divorce Bill of Rights should go into every divorcing parent’s tool box! It goes so much with what I am trying to tell people all of the time.  Divorce is tough.  It is tough on the parents because they are going through changes emotionally, and likely financially.  Stress is at probably an all time high!  But I think so often we forget that though we are going through the trauma, our kids are going through it even more.  They are often being put in the middle.  And though you may think your ex is (insert whatever you want here!), your child still loves them and wants them as their parent.  There is absolutely no reason to bad mouth the other parent in front of your child, no matter WHAT you perceive they are doing. If it is a dangerous situation, then involve professional help, but even then it is probably best to keep your mouth shut.  They didn’t like it when you argued in front of them when you were married, and they certainly aren’t going to like it now.  They just want to be kids.  They want to be able to live their life as close to the life they just involuntarily gave up as possible.  They should be allowed to be kids………..therefore they are not your sounding board, they can’t solve your problems.  And…..whatever you do, do NOT put them in the middle and at any point make them choose.  As much as you might think it is giving them the right, having to choose one parent over another is a heart wrenching experience no child should have to endure.  I love this scroll.  And I think this scroll, along with the picture book We’re Having A Tuesday, and the parenting book, Mom’s House, Dad’s House, you should be armed to be off to a good start.

We’re Having A Tuesday  will help parents and children of divorce. It begins a conversation, by opening up pathways to talk with children about the effects of living in a shared custody situation. Kids who are living the all too familiar experience of living in two houses easily relate to the story where the little girl is acting out and having to remind herself of the good things about both houses. Parents or other bystanders (teachers, counselors, grandparents, caregivers) can relate to this wonderful story about a little girl bouncing between her parents, as she struggles with living between two homes. She misses simple things like her dogs, her bike and even sometimes her clothes. She misses things about Mommy. She misses things about Daddy. Some of her behaviors reflect it. She eventually discovers that her parents’ love is with her no matter where she is living. The story refers to her carrying their love in a very special kind of backpack wherever she goes. (Her heart.) It is a great reminder that the love between parent and child doesn t change because of divorce. This book beautifully illustrates a touching story and includes an interactive element at the end to facilitate conversation about how kids are feeling about their shared custody living arrangements. It’s perfect for kids 2-10 years of age. And it will help start a conversation to help your kids deal with their new arrangements.  Remember your child didn’t ask for these changes.  They just were just going along happy being a kid!

Parade Magazine and Velvet Giggles feature Santa’s Zany Wacky in Holiday Gift Guides 2014

Original Article on Books for Kids from Parade: Read Now

Video Review on Christmas Gift Ideas: Watch Now

We are very proud to be listed in Parade Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide -Books for Kids this year.  There are always so many wonderful titles to look over.  It is such a passion of mine that we keep reading out loud to kids, so to be included in an article in which the author is looking forward to reading our book snuggled up with her niece this holiday season makes me proud!  I certainly think that Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas is a book worthy of an annual holiday tradition.

And the video gift guide by Velvet Giggles is a delight.  Again, we are very proud to be included.  If you’ve never seen a review by Renae, you are in for a treat.  She has some great ideas and has a way of making me want all of them!  Enjoy!

Oh- and in case you missed it, we are now available in Kindle format as well as a great interactive app.  For more on the interactive version go to Interactive Touch Books.  You can click on Santa turn his suit from purple to red, hear jets roar, sleighbells ring, snowmen turn upside down and so much more!

Parade Magazine and Velvet Giggles holiday reviews

 

List of Children’s books about Santa

See our list of Santa books at www.purplesantasuit.com

So I’m the co-author of a book about Santa.  I love Christmas.  I love Santa.  I love children’s books. I thought it might be fun to find a list about the best children’s books about Santa.  After all, I wanted to see who else has been dreaming up fun stories about Santa.  Surely there must be many favorites.  I went to my friends at Pinterest, and surprisingly I didn’t find much in the way of lists.  So, I decided to do some research and come up with my own list.  Though I might be a bit bias, because I think everyone’s Santa collection should include Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas, I also think there are lots of others that are worth taking a peep at for consideration of your own Santa Book box!  Here is a list to get you started.   And if I’ve left something out, by all means, leave a comment and we can look into adding it!  I can think of nothing better than having a group of “go-to” books to read out loud after putting up the tree, or on Christmas Eve.  Here are some Santa ones to get you started. List of Children’s books about Santa:

Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas DK Simoneau and David Radman – a whimsical twist on the Night Before Christmas in which Santa finds himself in a Purple Santa Suit and Christmas becoming zany and wacky.  Great for both kids and adults!  And if you love art……..every time you page through you will find yourself noticing more and more detail.

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner?  –Tomie dePaola –We all sit through family dinners that can be a bit of mayhem.  But imagine Santa and his family.  This is a smile on your face book for sure.

Oh, What a Christmas! Michael Garland –Maybe we are a bit partial to Christmas going  haywire here, but this is a fun story about Santa’s sleigh breaking and how to get Christmas on track!

How Santa Got His Job  –Stephen Krensky and S.D. Schindler –Did you ever think about Santa just being a Chimney sweep?  Check this out for a fun spin on how Santa got to be the Santa we love today!

The Night Before ChristmasClemet C Moore – There are so many editions to choose from! But check some out.  The pictures are always fun and beautiful, and there is nothing better than seeing the finger aside of the nose!

Santa Claus and the Three Bears  –Maria Modugno and Jane Dyer –Another delightful twist, this time on Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.  And who do you suppose the intruder is??  Santa!!

Polar Express  –Chris Van Allsburg –I can hardly believe this book is already about to be 30 years old.  But a list of Christmas books about Santa simply cannot exist without this one.  It really opens hearts to the idea of believing.  And as a Caldecott Medal winner, this book should just not be overlooked.  The art is stunning.

Snowmen at Christmas  – Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner –One of our favorite holiday books ever is Snowmen at Night.  And this one awaits the snowman Santa.  The art is brilliant how the lights and the snow just light up the pages.  Be sure to check out these snowman books!

 Santa Claus  –Rod Green –If you really want to know what makes Santa tick, this is the one to check out!

The Christmas Wish   –Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen –This is a newer one, and it is a beautiful tale about a girl trekking her way to be one of Santa’s elves.  Gorgeous.

Babar and Father Christmas Jean De Brunhoff  -if you love Babar you will love how he tries to bring Christmas.

Using Books Like Santa’s Zany Wacky to Expand Our Imagination and Thinking

The following article regarding using children’s books to promote imagination and thinking was posted at Kidzedge.com

Books. Many of us love them. We love the feel of snuggling up and turning the page to see what awaits on the very next page. They are like an adventure unraveling right between our fingertips, sometimes telling us a magical story. Sometimes teaching us about something we might long to know. But what we don’t realize is how important they are to helping our minds think and grow, so that we are more productive in our world.

Like so many I grew up reading books, starting with picture books when I was very small. I remember memorizing the stories so that I could “read” them to my parents. Sometimes I read little board books. Sometimes my mom would read long stories from big story books. Other times I just read along with the magical “ding” as the record played along. Whatever the way, for most of us, reading books as a child was the beginning for our love of books and to our path of thinking outside of the box.

Is reading books when we are young just about learning to read? They lead to us sparking our imaginations. They lead us to think even in picture format which helps us think in much bigger thoughts than the specific ramblings of just words on a page. Often what we read on the pages is playing out in our mind. As we see the illustrations in a picture book, our minds begin spinning out its own little movie. When we read words on a page, with or without pictures, our minds begin picturing what it is we are reading. That picturing is what ultimately leads to more creativity. When we imagine things we begin thinking bigger. We aren’t static. And thinking bigger ultimately makes us into better people because we can brainstorm and think in ways beyond what is concrete and in front of us.

Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas was written because of thinking bigger. It was sparked by an innocent conversation with my daughter. She (who has been an avid reader her entire life) asked an innocent question about why Santa’s suit was red? I didn’t really have an answer, but that inquiry made me wonder. Why is it red? What would Christmas look like today if it weren’t? Would changing that one thing change all of Christmas as we know it? My mind began imagining all of the things that might change. And my hope is, as kids read this book today, they ask themselves those same questions. What might change? What might change in their house at Christmas time if one thing were different? What if Santa’s suit stayed the same, but the date changed? I hope they are picturing striped reindeer and polka dotted snowmen. I hope they are imagining the most whimsical Christmas ever, because those thoughts are what will make their minds expand. There can be so many questions and answers that come from just one question. And reading books can and will help expand those ideas by teaching our minds how to think beyond what is on the page.

We operate in a global world. We must learn to think and look at things differently than we’ve always done. Learning to read and imagine stories as we read helps us to do that. Even reading a how-to book with a mind that has learned to imagine can help us improve upon the process we are learning about. Perhaps we follow the basic how to, but we then can improve upon it. When we learn to expand our minds, we aren’t limited to seeing what is, but rather we are able to create beyond that with our minds. It makes us better thinkers, storytellers, writers, and more. It makes us active in a world that is constantly changing. It makes us creative. So do yourself a favor. Go read a book. And let your mind wander. Better yet, read a book to a child, and teach them how to imagine and let their mind wander too.

 

As posted at KidzEdge.com