children’s books

Children’s Readathon – Maxine Sylvester

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In today’s final week, we’re focusing on author who blog. One of the authors I’m highlighting on my children’s book readathon extravaganza is Maxine Sylvester. Check out this wonderful author on Twitter and all the book reviews I’ve completed:

Author Page on My Blog

The Flying Academy

The Phantom Carrot Snatcher

Rudy’s Birthday Extravaganza

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If you’ve never read these books, they are a must check out for children around the holidays. I can’t even begin to say how adorable they are…. just a short post today to give you a quick heads up so you can check them out in time for the upcoming holiday season!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Biscuit Art Sailing Boats

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I’m hosting a children’s book readathon in the month of August 2018. We’re reading 2 or 3 books each week ranging from children’s pictures to young adult novels, including a few award winners and authors who blog. We’re currently in our third week reading 2 young adult books: Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. To learn more, check out the main page at the Children’s Book Readathon.

Throughout the month, we’ve highlighted books from Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful and talented author who has at least a dozen extraordinary books she co-writes and co-designs with her children. Check out previous posts on her author spotlight and latest short story. Today, we’re in for a special treat as Robbie shares with us some baking tips… and knowing how amazing all the dessert photos look from her blog and books, this is one we’re all gonna want to read and learn. BISCUIT ART! SAIL BOATS! HOW FUN!

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(a preview of the book cover we’re reading in two weeks!)

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(Biscuit Art from Robbie!)

I discovered during my days as a Sunday School teacher, that small children love biscuit art. It is easier to co-ordinate in a classroom than a baking activity as no baking is required. I started making up all sorts of different designs for fun objects that children could make with their parents at home or at school under the guidance of a teacher.

One of Michael and my favourite designs is this sailing boat which is made from finger and wafer biscuits.

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I find that royal icing works best for making biscuit art as it dries up hard quite quickly. You can find my recipe video to make royal icing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYuknMJYNCI&feature=youtu.be. I spoon a few scoops of royal icing into a sealable plastic sandwich bag. When I am ready to use the icing, I nip a small bit off one of the corners of the plastic bag and it works very well as an icing bag. A few children can share one bag of icing.

To make this fun sailing ship you need the following: 1 finger biscuit, 1 wafer biscuit, 1 square Licorice Allsorts broken apart, 4 Smarties and a small quantity of royal icing.

To make the boat, cut the wafer biscuit in half from one corner to the opposite corner. Trim one of the halves to make it shorter as per the picture. These will be the sails. Squirt a thin line of royal icing along the long edge of the larger sail. Attach the smaller sail to the larger one (straight sides together). Cut one of the coloured square pieces of the Licorice Allsort in half and then attach it to the larger sail just above where the smaller sail ends. Let this harden for a few minutes.

Squirt a thin line of royal icing along the bottom of the joined sails and attach them to the finger biscuit boat. Hold it in place for 10 to 20 seconds until it is firmly stuck. Attach the Smarties as decorations.

Michael made a wonderful sailing boat [better than mine]. He had a great idea of using a jelly baby for a sailor. This is his creation:

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Michael also added a rudder [How will you steer it otherwise, Mom? – how indeed [grin!]

 

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So who’s gonna be the first to make one and share it with everyone on the blog???

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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As part of a children’s book readathon on my blog in August 2018, voters chose Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne as one of our award-winning books to read this week. I was very excited to pick up this classic again as I haven’t read it in over thirty years. I’ve seen several shows and cartoons with nieces, nephews, and cousins, but reading the wonderfully illustrated picture books was a fresh experience. I adore the world Milne has created with all the amazing characters in the woods. It’s a bit of fantasy and magic combined with reality and lessons. I’d forgotten how ‘mischievous’ Pooh and his friends could be.

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When we picked this classic, I never specified which of the books to read — silly of me, actually, as Pooh might think or say! I left it up to each reader. I borrowed the book from the library, and it seems to be books 1 and 2, so I read more than I’d planned. At about 150 pages, it has some illustrations but way more text than I remembered. It was still adorable to read. There were ~10 stories introducing different characters and scenarios ranging from an encounter with bumble bees (where Pooh classically steals the honey — or tries to!) to poor Eeyore losing his tail.

If you’ve never sampled Winnie the Pooh, get to the library now and read one of the stories. At the very least, tempt yourself by watching a cartoon version. At least now I know where Christopher Robin comes from… who the bear family is and what a pooh actually means! I definitely want to check out the movie that came out earlier this year (last year?) on Christopher Robin!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children’s Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!

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This picture book was such a delight. I hadn’t remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me… either way, it was like a whole new experience! It’s always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don’t have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he’ll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I’ve been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it’s time to sleep.

The bunny’s are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren’t normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963 was a Caldecott Medal winner the year after it was published. I treasured this book in elementary school when I played the lead in our school play (okay, co-lead with another kid so we didn’t have to work too hard). I wrote a review a few years ago from memory, then explored it during my college years when I studied children’s literature and language. Now, in August 2018, I’m hosting a Children’s Book Readathon on my blog. Come check it out!

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I read the book twice this week. Once to absorb it as a fresh set of eyes, then again to see what I liked and didn’t like. On the whole, I still love it. I also see how it could encourage a few bad behaviors, but then again, so can movies, overhearing conversations, and music. Books are about learning. It’s important to read them with a child at the appropriate age and use it was a way to teach what’s wrong and right. For those reasons, I highly recommend sharing this with kids from 6 to 8. Younger might understand it. Older might find it amusing. But that’s the sweet spot in my opinion.

Max doesn’t like being told what to do. He just runs around a lot. I have a 5-month-old puppy named Baxter who’s just like Max. I get frustrated, but I love him. I’ve put him in time-out. Max was sent to bed without supper. I can only imagine where Baxter goes in his imagination… if it’s anything like where Max goes, we’re in for trouble!

So glad to re-read this one!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Fondant Art

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I’m hosting a children’s book readathon in the month of August 2018. We’re reading 2 or 3 books each week ranging from children’s pictures to young adult novels, including a few award winners and authors who blog. We’re currently in our second week reading 3 books that have either won the Caldecott or Newbery honors. To learn more, check out the main page at the Children’s Book Readathon.

Throughout the month, we’ve highlighted books from Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful and talented author who has at least a dozen extraordinary books she co-writes and co-designs with her children. Check out previous posts on her author spotlight and latest short story. Today, we’re in for a special treat as Robbie shares with us some baking tips… and knowing how amazing all the dessert photos look from her blog and books, this is one we’re all gonna want to read and learn. And a little secret… I love hibiscus flowers either in a pot on my terrace or dried and in a margarita!

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(a preview of the book cover we’re reading in two weeks!)

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How to make a hibiscus flower out of fondant

(from Robbie)

Flowers are one of my favourite things to make as decorations for cakes. The look so pretty if you get them right and they have the delicate and subtle appeal of the real thing.

My Mother is turning 80 years old in October this year and we are having a party for her. She decided she wanted a Polynesian theme. I am making the five-tiered birthday cake which will be a surprise for her and I plan to decorate it with 80 fondant hibiscus flowers. As fondant flowers take time to make I have started making the flowers. My plan is to make about 10 a week so I will have them all ready in time for the party.

To make a hibiscus flower out of fondant you need a few items as follows: fondant (I buy bulk 15 kg buckets but you can buy 1 kg packets in most supermarkets), powdered food colouring in the colour/s of your choice, sugar glue, a ball tool, a shell tool (you can use a cocktails stick but it takes longer), silver foil cut into squares, a large rose flower cutter and white sugar.

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Colour the white fondant the colour of your choice. You must use powder food colouring or the fondant will go sticky. Roll a medium size ball of coloured fondant and flatten it between your palms. Lay it in the plate of corn flour and turn it over so that both sides are covered.

Roll the fondant out with a rolling pin on a sheet of wax paper. The corn flour will stop the fondant from sticking. You need to roll the fondant out as thinly as possible.

Use the rose cutter to cut out three rose shapes. Don’t cut out too many shapes as the fondant will dry out and you can’t work with it. Use the shell tool or cocktail stick to draw the lines detail on the petals. Use the ball tool to go around the edges of the petals and frill and flute them as per the picture.

Shape the square of silver foil into a bowl shape and lay the hibiscus flower shape inside it to dry. Pour some white sugar into a bowl and colour it sunflower yellow. Break off a small ball of yellow fondant and roll it into an elongated triangle shape. Cover the triangle shape with edible glue and roll it in the sugar mixture. Glue the flower pistil into the centre of the hibiscus flower, the sugar creates the look of the stamens.

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Leave the flower to dry completely. The last step is to use a paint brush and some powder food colouring to add depth to the flower by dusting the centre of the petals with the food colouring. Blow on the flower gently to get rid of any excess food colour.

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These are my completed flowers in yellow and pink. I will leave them in the silver foil cups until I use them for my cake.

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So who’s gonna be the first to make one and share it with everyone on the blog???

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Children’s Readathon – Picture Books (Week 1) – Links to Reviews!

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Our first week focuses on children’s picture books. A few dozen people are participating this month by reading and sharing reviews on many childhood favorites that were selected in a previous poll. For picture books, we read them from 8/4 to 8/9 and posted our reviews around 8/10. Below are all the links I collected; they’ll take you to the original blogger’s review. I’ll keep updating this week as more reviews are posted (including my own which are still in draft mode since I’m linking everyone else’s first!

Please email or message me if you’re participating or posting a review so I can add you to the list below of blogs to watch. You can add in anything into your post besides a review, e.g. giveaways, author profiles, background material, educational ideas, etc. Have fun with it!

Children's Books Readathon - August 2018

Participating Books / Blogs

 

 

 

*Blog links will be available when the review is posted and the person notifies me.