Friday, March 5, 2010

Our Latest Reads (and a giveaway!)

This giveaway is closed.

With all of the snow and freezing cold weather (ugh!) we have been making a lot of library trips.  Our library has a nice children's section, so the kids really enjoy going.  We usually read a few books while lounging on the comfy bean bag chairs, play a couple of games on the computers, and pick out some books and movies to check out.  Amongst all of these reads, we have made some great finds. I thought I'd share some of our favorites with you.
*Notice the author and character websites, as well.  They are awesome!

Sam's Picks 
 The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin (one of my favorite authors)
Grace Lin's Website

Gracen's Picks

Wes's Picks

Wes has also enjoyed some books from BubbleGum Books.  They generously sent us three books to review.  All three books feature a likable main character named Sam.  Sam has a wonderful imagination that will inspire young readers.

 The Things a String Can Be
With rhyming, repetition and bold colorful graphics, children are mesmerized with Sam and his fascination with a silly old string. Sam’s imagination takes children on adventurous journeys that lead to a heartwarming ending. The book includes free fun and educational "string" activities.

 Something Shiny, Something Round 
With all of the snow we have had, Wes could totally relate to this book about how
...Sam and his friends turn an ordinary object into extraordinary adventures. This time, the ordinary object is a hubcap and the adventures are as clever as ever with a lesson of responsibility in the end. The book includes a free activity guide/lesson planner filled with fun, educational activities that complement a number of scenarios from the story.

 The Topsy-Turvy Towel (Our Favorite) 
Sam, Sally and Suzy continue to wow children with their elaborate imaginations. This time, their object d’art is a big, colorful beach towel. In their minds it becomes a hot air balloon, a flying magic carpet, a superhero’s cape… and that’s just the beginning. See where this remarkable towel and their playful imaginations take them! Beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations with computer-enhanced graphics. Text that sings. Places where only the mind can take you. The book includes a bonus activity guide.

Wes particularly liked The Topsy-Turvy Towel.  It was easy for him to relate to the concept of pretending a towel is a cape, a magic carpet, etc. because he uses his "blankie" in imaginative ways almost every day. He even commented on this coincidence, "Mommy, I use my blankie like Sam uses his towel!".  

As an educator and mother, I appreciate the related activity ideas at the end of each book.  They are all fun and engaging ways to encourage children to stretch their imaginations.  

The BubbleGum Books website offers free printables, as well.  Check out this page.

Now for the best part ~ BubbleGum Books is offering two lucky winners a copy of The Things a String Can Be. 

To enter:  Leave a comment telling us about something imaginative your child likes to do.

For additional entries:

*Make sure and leave a comment after this post for each entry, so I can give you all the credit you deserve (and don't forget your email address too)! The winners will be announced Friday, March 19, and contacted by email. They have three days to contact me at After three days another winner will be drawn.*

Promo Code ~ They are also offering my readers a 20% discount off of any of these three books.  Simply, order from their website and enter the voucher code "itty" at the bottom of the shopping cart page.  They will even have the books autographed by the author.  Great deal! 

**BubbleGum Books provided the books  for us to review.  However, as always, I blog with integrity and these are our honest opinions.