Little Author in the Big Woods by Yona Zeldis McDonough

little author“Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.”  This sentence opens Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first in a series of children’s books that gave middle grade readers a glimpse into the life of America’s pioneer families. And for some–like myself–this would be the start of a lifelong desire to learn more about the real life of Laura, her sisters Mary, Carrie, and Grace, and her parents Charles and Caroline Ingalls.

In a style similar to the  Little House books, author Yona Zeldis McDonough has created a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder aimed toward middle grade readers that not only helps point out the fact and the fiction behind Wilder’s classic children’s books, but also celebrates the independent mind of the Quiner and Ingalls women along the way.

McDonough’s book opens not with Wilder, but with a brief prologue discussing the life of Caroline Lake Quiner, who would one day become Caroline Ingalls. This sets the tone for the rest of this biography, as it highlights how Caroline’s mother, Charlotte, believed in higher education for girls; something Ma Ingalls also wanted for her daughters.

Told in chronological order, Little Author in the Big Woods follows Wilder’s life and the journeys she took not only with her family, but later with her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose. It talks about the hardships the Wilders faced as a young married couple and of their leaving De Smet, South Dakota to settle in Mansfield, Missouri. Readers learn about the building of the dream house on Rocky Ridge Farm and Wilder’s early career writing for the Missouri Ruralist, before moving on to the creation of the Little House series. McDonough ends with an epilogue that discusses the longevity of Wilder’s work and Michael Landon’s classic television show, Little House on the Prairie, which is based upon the books. Readers are also treated to quotes from Laura Ingalls Wilder, details on some of the games that Laura played, crafts, and recipes. Also included is a list of other writings by Wilder and a list with some of the other books about her.

While I have to admit I learned little new about Laura Ingalls Wilder as a result, I believe middle grade readers will enjoy getting to know more about her real life and the independent nature of the women in the Quiner, Ingalls, and Wilder families. With a similar writing style and design to the Little House series, readers will feel right at home with this book. Jennifer Thermes did an excellent job in capturing the essence of McDonough’s book and Wilder’s life with her beautiful illustrations. I’m thrilled to add Little Author in the Big Woods to my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection.

 

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: Christy Ottaviano Books
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080509542X
ISBN-13: 978-0805095425

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Yell and Shout Cry and Pout by Peggy Kruger Tietz, Ph.D.

yell

Yell and Shout Cry and Pout by Peggy Kruger Tietz, Ph.D. is a helpful resource to identify emotions: for children, for parents, for teachers, and for a multitude of others. Anger, fear, shame, sadness, happiness, love, disgust, and surprise are featured in this short book that is tall on content.

This book has an excellent style that is repeated as the reader delves into each emotion. The emotion is bold text and is followed by a description of what purpose that emotion serves. Example: “Anger tells us when we’ve been mistreated so we can defend ourselves.” Then a short fictional story is told and the emotion the character is feeling is stated. The book then goes on to say how those feelings might make you feel, how we might react, and finally explains some things that could happen to cause you to feel that emotion. Illustrations by Rebecca Layton appear throughout the text so the reader can visualize what emotion is being discussed. The final page is a Note to Adults that includes interesting facts about emotions.

The back cover blurb states: “When children can identify their feelings they gain self-awareness, become better communicators and are able to ask for the help they need.” I truly believe this book will go a long way in helping children and those around them better understand these emotions.

Highly recommended.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Title: Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings
Author: Peggy Kruger Tietz
Publisher: Peggy Kruger Tietz
Pages: 40
Genre: Nonfiction/Psychoeducational
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZONPeggy Kruger Tietz

Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas.  She sees a wide range of children with normal developmental problems as well as children who have experienced trauma.  Her Ph.D is in developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College.  Before entering private practice Dr. Tietz treated children in multiple settings, such as family service agencies and foster care.  Dr. Tietz, trained at the Family Institute of Philadelphia, and then taught there.   She specializes in seeing children individually, as well as, with their families.   She has advanced training in Play Therapy as well as being a certified practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for children and adults).   She has conducted workshops on parenting, sibling relationships, and emotional literacy.

Her latest book is the nonfiction/psychoeducational book, Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings.

For More Information

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Yell and Shout banner

In My Mailbox

These are some books that arrived unsolicited this week.

Classic illustrations convey the magic of St. Nick’s visit, from the shadows cast by his sleigh to the twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks of his friendly face.

A fresh take on a timeless fairy tale

This stunning edition of the favorite fable about a little girl in red on her journey through the woods makes brilliant use of laser die-cut paper and silhouette-like illustrations to enliven every page. Sybille Schenker’s evocative and exquisite illustrations bring a unique beauty and graphic excellence to this beloved favorite.


A young bird finds the strength to overcome bullying

Little Raven was last to hatch in the nest and the last to learn to fly, but he was the first to be teased and ridiculed. His only wish was to fly and play with the others, so one day he took a dare and, to show his courage, Little Raven decides to fly to the moon. Beautifully produced and with artwork from an acclaimed illustrator, this picture book gently handles the issue of wanting to find acceptance.

One of the best loved of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, this retelling of The Snow Queen is both delightful and accessible.

These timeless, classic stories have been gloriously illustrated and made accessible for younger children to read alone, or for all the family to enjoy together. This fresh approach brings the stories and their characters to life. There are also special pages giving background detail to set the scene of each story.

When the Snow Queen abducts her friend Kai, Gerda sets out on a perilous and magical journey to find him.

From the Family Bookshelf – October

childrenreading000006462340xsmall1

 

It’s hard to believe another month has come and gone. Here in New England, the weather started to cool off a bit earlier than usual. We still have some nice days, but it’s chilly in the mornings. I fear winter will come early this year.

As for reading, I’ve been getting a lot done, just haven’t had time to write reviews. On the positive side, I love my new job. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  • The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick,
  • The Hybrid Author by Dianne Sagan,
  • A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer, which I read for the Amazon VINE program,
  • Real Skills, Real Income by Diana Schneidman,
  • Copycat Bear! by Ellie Sandall,
  • Harry and the Monster by Sue Mongredien, and
  • No! by Tracey Corderoy.

I am currently reading Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life by Pamela Smith Hill. I’m taking an online course on Laura Ingalls Wilder given by this author.

Dad is still making his way through The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. I’ll be amazed if he finishes it off before Christmas.

The Lil’ Princess is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl for a book report project at school. The Lil’ Diva has curbed some of her reading–not her book buying habits, but her actual reading–in favor of a young man she is talking to online. I’ve talked with him a few times. He’s a good kid. Thankfully, he lives far away, so she can only be so distracted by him. She recently finished The Lost Hero, part of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

That’s it for this month’s issue. Hope you’re getting to read some great books. Feel free to share.

A Tough Little Squirrel by Beth Lauzier

bethWho knew being brave would be so hard.
That’s a lesson Zippy learns when challenged by his older brother.
So he sets out to prove just how courageous he is.
Join Zippy on a nighttime adventure as he discovers not everyone in the forest is friendly.

Paperback: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937690970
ISBN-13: 978-1937690977

Hardcover: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937690962
ISBN-13: 978-1937690960

File Size: 24689 KB
Print Length: 50 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: White Bird Publications, LLC; 1 edition (September 2, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00MTACKIO

PURCHASE HERE!

In My Mailbox: Books by Liesbet Slegers

These books arrived unsolicited from the publisher this week. I don’t have time to review them, but I wanted to make mention of them because Liesbet Slegers is one of my favorite authors for this age group.

 

Is bunny playing on the swings all by himself? And who is gliding down the slide? This playful, interactive book offers a surprise on every page, inviting children to slide the flap to look at a whole new picture. A delightful little book in which toddlers can look and move to find the hidden pictures at the playground.

Is the pilot flying all alone in his plane? And will the fast car win the race? A delightful little book in which toddlers can look and move to find the hidden pictures. The unique extending system in this playful, interactive book offers a surprise on every page, inviting children to slide the flap to look at a whole new picture.

It’s a nice day today. I put on my bib and eat breakfast. Yummy. Then I go and play. I also take a bath today. I wash myself and play with my boat. Then it’s time for bed. An ideal book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to learn all about what happens in a day.

How fun the four seasons are! In winter I love to play in the snow and in spring beautiful blossoms grow on the trees. In summer the sun shines nice and warm and in fall I love to jump in the puddles. Everything about the seasons of the year that toddlers and preschoolers would want to (and need to) know. Filled with recognizable pictures, these books stimulate the language development of young children. Printed on thick and sturdy paper, with round corners and a soft quilted cover, it makes a sturdy and delightful gift.

Copycat Bear! by Ellie Sandall

The game of copycat takes a funny and sweet turn in Copycat Bear! by Ellie Sandall.

Mango is a bird who has a bebearar friend name Blue. Blue likes to copy everything Mango does like hopping, flying, and singing. But Mango finds it so annoying that she flies away. By the evening, Mango has a change of heart and learns to appreciate how you can be different, but still best friends.

This delightful book focuses on friendship. Blue frustrates Mango by trying to copy her, but once they are apart, Mango realizes how much she enjoys Blue’s company. Sandall has written and illustrated this wonderful book, bringing to life the concept of appreciating our differences and being able to become friends again after a disagreement. The soft, warm colors are as comforting as when Mango snuggles up to Blue at the end of the story.

This is a sweet book that will make a great addition to any home library.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tiger Tales (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589251202
ISBN-13: 978-1589251205

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.