picture 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: 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.

Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

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Earlier this summer, I decided to host a children’s book readathon in August 2018. All month long, we’re reading about a dozen books, then sharing reviews, interviews and feedback. This first week is ‘picture books’ and we voted on our top three books to read. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is one of the winners. I read the book as a kid and wrote a review a few years ago, but I re-read this week and am sharing a second review.

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Dr. Seuss has always been a favorite. This is the first time I’ve re-read one of his books since I’ve written and published a few of my own. I caught myself analyzing the book way too much while I was reading thinking some of the rhymes were stilted or forced. I would have changed a few words around and used a different rhyme choice. Then I slapped myself. This is such a fun book and I should sit back to enjoy it, not pick it apart! I rarely do that, so I’m not sure why it happened here… other than it’s such an amazing approach for helping kids (or adults!) deal with change in their life. I must have wanted to take it even further (farther? see, that’s why I shouldn’t judge!)… that’s when I got my head on straight and fell in love all over again with the book.

Life is hard. Bad things happen. You have to push past them or you’ll be unhappy and miss out. That’s the key message we need to understand from here. At graduation, or major life changes, kids worry that things might not work out. This is an opportunity to show how you learn from those fears and moments. I would love to listen to this one on audio just to hear all the noises and sounds of how the narrator thinks. The illustrations were fun and immersive. I definitely recommend this as a gift for those graduating from middle school or high school. It can also be read to younger kids to help them prepare.

This readathon is so much fun! I hope more folks will join. Thanks.

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.

Review: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Book Review
4+ stars to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, a children’s picture book, written in 1957 by Dr. Seuss. I adored this favorite as a child, and I still watch the cartoon ever year at Christmas. I’ve also seen the Jim Carrey movie and will watch that one, too. It’s such a wonderful take of love and revenge…

Most folks who celebrate Christmas must have read or seen some version of this story at some point in their lives. If not, it’s basically a grinch that wants to stop Christmas because he has no heart… but when he sees the heartache he causes on all the children who no longer have presents under the tree (because he stole them), his heart grows bigger… and he returns everything ten-fold.

It’s a feel-good kinda story, when you are down and need something to make you feel better. But it has rhymes and beautiful pictures as well as moral lessons.

Every version brings something new to my eyes and mind and ears. I love this story and would watch it All the “who” people and the way the town celebrates Christmas… it’s May and all I can think about is watching it right now!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. 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.

View all my reviews