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So how DO you feed a hungry giant?

December 14th, 2011

Any time someone wants me to review a children’s book, I’m all over it. We are definitely bookworms in this family and enjoy any opportunity to add a new one to the collection…especially if it’s one my kids love reading over and over again. And that’s what happened when we were sent a copy of How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant? by Caitlin Friedman (illustrated by Shaw Nielsen).

How-Do-You-Feed-a-Hungry-Giant

We have read this book multiple times in the few days we’ve had it. George and Livi love it and it’s easy to see why. The illustrations are fun and colorful, the writing is clever (“You’re seriously not going to believe it.”) and the addition of lift-the-flap-style fun seals the deal.

The book includes 8 fun recipes perfect for feeding a hungry giant, including the popular Pizza-Sized Cookie. We’re anxious to try the Ginormous Blueberry Muffin. (Perhaps that will be our Christmas morning treat!)

I love this Q & A with the author. If you’re still wondering if you should buy How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant, this will help you place it in your shopping cart.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the story?
A: Well…I would have to say my kids. They were six when I wrote this story…the age of the priceless questions. You know what I’m talking about…do your toes ever stop growing? Why do chickens have wings if they don’t fly? I am sure that there was some Saturday morning that Declan (Oscar in the book) asked me how much food a giant would eat.
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Q: How can parents use Hungry Giant to talk to their children about the importance of charity?
A: The story is about a little boy helping to feed a lonely, hungry giant he finds sitting in his backyard. Oscar has a big heart and so does his mother…and at no point are they scared by the giant’s size. I used this story and Oscar’s instinct to help to talk to my kids about the opportunities they have in their day to help those around them. I also talked to them about thinking a little bigger…yes, you can help the boy in your class pour his milk AND you can help a boy you have never met by donating a can of food. If you are lucky enough to have what you need then you have a responsibility to help those that don’t.
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Q: In what ways can families incorporate philanthropy into their {holiday} traditions?
A: Take a moment to talk to your children about the issue of hunger, take a moment to teach your children to be grateful for the food in front of them and the family around them. If you are lucky enough to have what you need then you have a responsibility to help those that don’t. You could even have your children start their own food drive. Little kids LOVE looking through cabinets and finding things to donate. If they feel a part of it and like what they are doing is making a difference they will experience the joy of helping others.

We love giving the kids books at Christmas time. In fact, each child will receive one book from us this year. How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant would make the perfect addition to your current collection of children’s books. The best part? You won’t mind reading it over and over again, which is a good thing because you’ll find yourself doing just that!

Get familiar with “The Familiars” {giveaway}

January 20th, 2011

Our family is made up of book lovers, each and every one. (I’m counting my husband who prefers listening to reading…) We have shelves lined crammed with books, so when I was approached about a review of the new children’s chapter book The Familiars, I was all over it.

The FamiliarsAuthors Adam Epstein and Andrew Jacobsen took their shared love of animals and magic and turned it into Vastia, an imaginative, fantastical, creative world full of magic. Here is a bit about the book from the website:

Running to save his life, Aldwyn, the street-wise orphan cat, ducks into a strange store. Moments later Jack, a young wizard-in-training, comes in to pick out his familiar—a magical animal companion. Aldwyn’s always been clever. But magical? Apparently Jack thinks so—and Aldwyn is happy to play along. Anything to get out of town!Once home with Jack in Stone Runlet, Aldwyn thinks that he’s got it made—a life of ease with a boy who loves him. He just has to convince the other familiars—the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert—that he’s the telekinetic cat he claims to be.

Then, after the sky lights up with an omen, the unthinkable happens. Jack and the other young wizards are captured by the evil queen of Vastia. Together Aldwyn, Skylar and Gilbert must save them—but how? On their thrilling quest across the land, the familiars will face dangerous foes, unearth a shocking centuries old secret, and discover a mysterious destiny that will change them all forever.


The FamiliarsI handed The Familiars to Lauren (age 10) knowing she’d totally get into a book filled with animals and magic—and she totally did! She whizzed through that book in record time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s what she had to say about The Familiars:
It was an awesome book because the words were pretty big and because they only had pictures when you really needed it to picture it in your head. And there’s much action and I couldn’t put it down. I love how it’s about magic and animals, my two favorite things. And when I was almost done with The Familiars, the teacher said, “Okay class, we’re going to have to do a book on the Newberry Award.” And I raised my hand and asked if we could already be reading a book. I thought it could be a Newberry book because of how good it was!

Apparently The Familiars is going to be made into a major motion picture soon, so you better grab a copy and familiarize yourself with the story. You’ll want to be first in line (and totally in-the-know) once the movie opens! In the meantime you can get acquainted with The Familiars blog and read more about the authors. As for where to buy the book, click here.—Emily

** Giveaway! The authors are giving away one (1) copy of The Familiars! **

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•Leave a comment telling us who will read this book if you win.
Join The Familiars group on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined.
Follow The Familiars on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 28, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Is your name Isabella? {giveaway}

October 1st, 2010

And if it is, did you ever pretend it was something different? I used to imagine my name was Miss Nancy and I was the best second-grade teacher ever.  I think I also pretended to be a movie star and a model, but never anyone truly famous like the little girl who’s the star of the new children’s book  My Name Is Not Isabella.

My Name is Not Isabella

My Name Is Not Isabella features a little girl whose given name (Isabella) takes a backseat to all the other amazing women she imagines herself to be:

This picture book conveys an empowering and inspiring message that mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters will want to pass along to little girls in their lives. The protagonist, Isabella, celebrates everything a woman can be by using her imagination pretending to be some of the groundbreaking women who changed history: Annie the sharpshooter, Rosa the activist, Marie the scientist, and many more.

George and Livi were sent a copy of My Name Is Not Isabella to read—or rather, for their mom to read—for a Daily Dish review. And believe me, we read it. Over and over and over again. I think we read it twice in a row for two weeks straight. It took a minute for my four-year-old to figure out the whole name-change thing as Isabella reminds her mom her name is not Isabella (and then not Rosa and not Annie) as she imagines herself as different historic women throughout the day. But once he caught on, he was sold…as was I, especially when the kids also wanted me to read the mini bios at the end of the book featuring all the women Isabella had imagined herself to be.

Here’s what George had to say about the book when I asked him why he enjoyed reading it: “Because I like it. Because I like watching her do different characters.” (I had no idea he knew the word “characters”—I guess that’s what reading will do for you!)

We’re definitely avid readers of My Name Is Not Isabella and avid fans of the little girl whose name graces the cover. In fact, I think I have the book memorized, and I’m way okay with that!—Emily

***Giveaway! We are giving away one copy of My Name Is Not Isabella!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Leave a comment telling us what you wanted (or want) to be when you grow up.
•  ”Like” My Name Is Not Isabella on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: October 8, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Lisa L., the winner of the My Name Is Not Isabella book giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!
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