Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

Click here for full recipe: http://www.werecallingshenanigans.com/2013/06/14/red-white-and-blue-strawberries/

Summer is in full swing, and we hope your July Fourth weekend is filled with sparklers, fireworks, picnics, and maybe even a day at the beach!
            
As a special treat, here is one of our favorite Fourth of July recipes that kids will be sure to love!


July 4th Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients: 

12 large strawberries
4 ounces of white chocolate
1/4 cup blue sprinkles

Instructions: 
  1. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pour blue sprinkles into a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for only 30 seconds at a time and stir in between to avoid burning. The chocolate is ready when it is melted and smooth.
  3. Hold strawberry by the stem and carefully dip about 2/3 into chocolate. Make sure to leave a portion of the red strawberry visible near the stem.
  4. Right after covering the strawberry with white chocolate, dip the fruit halfway into the blue sprinkles so that blue, white, and red are all still visible on the strawberry.
  5. Place strawberries 1-2 inches apart on the parchment paper and refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  6. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Free Book Friday: Lilliput


Free Book Friday is Back!

In Lilliput, Lemuel Gulliver returns to London after his travels with more than stories in tow, he brings back proof. Lily, the tiny but fierce Lilliputian, spends half of her life in a birdcage as Gulliver's captive. In this adventurous tale, Lily must race against time to return to her family and break free from the clutches of Gulliver himself.

Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, this work of fiction is sure to excite any young reader's imagination. Enter to win your free copy today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher Tuesday with Murphy, Gold Rush Dog


Historical Fiction: Grades 2-4

In this suspenseful tale, Murphy and Sally are brought together by fate and they always protect each other in the face of danger. This dynamic duo is driven not only by a need to survive, but by a fierce love and loyalty for one another.

This action-packed story demonstrates the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and perseverance, while also conveying historical information about the gold rush itself. Historical fiction can help students to realize that learning—no matter what the subject matter—can be fun. Try the following assignment with your class after reading Murphy, Gold Rush Dog together. This activity may also work well when reviewing social studies lessons for the semester or quarter.
  •   Ask your students what other history lessons they remember from the semester so far.
  •  Ask each student to write down the historical topic that they enjoyed learning about the most.
  • Once everyone has chosen a topic, explain to the class that they will write a story about a fictional character during their chosen time period.
  • Suggest that the students use any notes or handouts from their chosen unit
  • Encourage imagination and creativity in creating a fictional story within a true one.

This assignment will provide practice in both social studies and writing. If time allows, students might also visit their school library or computer lab as a class to research their chosen topic.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Roundup

Happy Father’s Day!

We would like to say thank you to all of the incredible fathers and father figures out there who have made a difference in so many lives.

From Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird  to Mr. Weasley in Harry Potter, fathers have always played an important role in literature. As a special tribute to fathers around the world, we want to give a shout out to some of our favorite fathers and father figures. Who’s your favorite literary dad? Let us know in the comments!



  • Papa from Flying Written and Illustrated by Kevin Luthardt

  • Text© 1988 by Harper Lee. Illustrations©1988 by Grand Central Publishing. (Grand Central Publishing)

  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird


  • Father from Dad, Jackie, and Me Written by Myron Uhlberg and Illustrated by Colin Bootman

  • Text© 2013 by Victor Hugo. Illustrations ©1985 by Cameron Mackintosh. (Signet)
  • Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

  • Father from Into the Woods Written by Elizabeth Spurr and Illustrated by Manelle Oliphant

  • Text © 1998 by J.K. Rowling. Illustrations © 1998 by Mary GrandPre. (Scholastic)
  • Mr. Weasley, Sirius Black, and James Potter from Harry Potter

  • Father from The Printer Written by Myron Uhlberg and Illustrated by Henri Sorensen

  • Text© 1983 by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Illustrations © 1983 by Stan and Jan Berenstain. (Random House)
  • Papa Bear from The Berenstain Bears

  • Mikey's Dad from That’s Not How You Play Soccer, Daddy! Written by Sherry Shahan and Illustrated  by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

  • Text© 2005 by Cornelia Funke. Illustrations © 2005 by Carol Lawson and Ian Butterworth. (Scholastic) 
  •  Mo from Inkheart

  • Text©  2002 by Jane Austen. © Illustrations 1825 Sir Thomas Lawrence. (Penguin Classics)
  • Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Season, New List

Summer is officially here, and we could not be more excited to reveal our new list of books coming out this fall! Over the next few months, we will reveal stories with fantastic adventures, misbehaving dogs, history-making poets, and brave heroes of all kinds. Make sure to check back in for our New Book Wednesdays every other week to see more details about these incredible books.
          
But first, we want to give you a preview of everything headed your way this fall:

New Picture Books


Poet, Written and Illustrated by Don Tate
Based on the life of George Moses Horton, Poet chronicles the life of a slave boy who has an insatiable love for words. Despite the many challenges he faces, George finds a way to break through the bonds of slavery and eventually become the first African-American man to publish a book in the South.


Stay!, Written and Illustrated by Alex Latimer
Taking care of a new dog can be exhausting, and Buster does not make it easy on his new family—he misbehaves all of the time! Ben’s family decides it is time for a vacation away, and Buster has to stay home with Grampa. While they are gone, both Ben and Buster learn a lesson or two in responsibility and how to listen.  


Claude in the Spotlight, Written and Illustrated by Alex T. Smith
Claude and Sir Bobblysock join a dance troupe, but when it is time to perform, they discover that being backstage is more frightening than they thought. Join Claude as he uncovers the truth about the legend of the theater ghost.


Stanley’s Diner, Written and Illustrated by William Bee
Stanley works hard to cook for all the hungry customers who come into his diner. Follow along with Stanley as he makes his way through a busy day!


About Habitats: Polar Regions, Written by Cathryn Sill and Illustrated by John Sill
In this installment of the About Habitats series, the Sills provide beautiful color, images, and words to explain which animals and plants thrive in polar environments.

New Middle Grade


Lilliput, Written by Sam Gayton and Illustrated by Alice Ratterree
Lemuel Gulliver returns to London after his travels with more than stories in tow; he brings back proof. Lily, the tiny but fierce Lilliputian, spends half of her life in a birdcage as Gulliver’s captive. In this adventurous tale, Lily must race against time to return to her family and break free from the clutches of Gulliver himself.


Watch Out for Flying Kids!, Written by Cynthia Levinson
Truly one of a kind, Watch Out for Flying Kids! takes readers inside the world of social circus—a movement that brings kids together and facilitates social justice through circus arts. Cynthia Levinson follows the child-stars of two professional circuses: Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Galilee in Israel. The young performers are forced to see past class, religion, and ethnicity, and the result is a beautiful display of young athleticism and teamwork.


Out of Bounds, Written by Fred Bowen
Sportsmanship is sometimes harder to maintain than we may think. In Out of Bounds, Nate must make the pivotal decision about whether to continue playing after an opponent in his soccer game is injured; the lessons he and his team learn afterwards will stay with them forever. 


Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey, Written by Bill Harley and Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
It is Thanksgiving time in the Bumpers household, and Charlie is not very happy about his cousin, Chip, coming into town. Charlie must learn how to handle his rambunctious cousin and maybe even discover the true meaning of family.


Finder, Coal Mine Dog, Written by Alison Hart and Michael Montgomery
This suspenseful tale follows Finder and his owner, Thomas, as they head below ground to work in the coal mines. Although Finder’s is not renowned for his bravery, a catastrophic fire puts this sweet, tawny-colored dog into action, and his loyalty transforms him into a true hero.

New Young Adult


Believarexic, Written by J.J. Johnson
This semi-autobiographical work chronicles the life of Jennifer, a young girl struggling with bulimia, anorexia, depression, and more. As Jennifer works to overcome her issues, she must also convince her family of their very existence
            
We hope that you are as excited about these new titles as we are! Don’t miss our first New Book Wednesday of the summer on July 8th Lilliput.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are you celebrating DIA, today and everyday?

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. 

We're celebrating! As proud supporters of Día! Diversity in Action, Peachtree Publishers will offer 40% discount to Día participants purchasing Spanish and bilingual titles. Call 1-800-241-0113, ext. 126 to place your order. For a complete list of our Spanish and bilingual titles, visit http://bit.ly/1HZH9gd


Need ideas for your Día program? Find booklists, planning tools, coloring, Book Club Toolkits and activity sheets and more, right here, and all of Peachtree’s Book Guides here

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DIY: Poem in your Pocket Day Display

Hey Guys!

(Or should we say poets and artists?)

In honor of National Poetry Month's upcoming Poem in your Pocket Day (TOMORROW, APRIL 30TH), Peachtree Publishers wanted to show you all how we decided to celebrate and at the same time teach you how to make a perfectly poetic poetry project (Alliteration ftw!). Here's a great Do-It-Yourself idea!



Supplies


Tri-fold Display Board
1 pack of multi-colored construction paper
Jean Pocket template
Stickers
Writing utensils (Markers, Color pencils, Crayons, etc.)
Scissors
Glue
Set of cherished poems

Instructions

1.       Using the Jean Pocket template, print 12 pockets and cut them out separately.
2.       Lay out your Tri-fold board.
3.       Next, glue down pockets to board in three parallel rows. Remember to only glue the sides and bottom of the pockets down so there can be space for the pockets to open at the top.
4.       With your writing utensils, copy some of your favorite poems onto the sheets of construction paper.
5.       Then, fold these sheets in half length-wise.
6.       Adorn the sheets with stickers and other doodles.
7.       Once done beautifying your poems, slide the folded sheets into the pockets on the board. You may choose to leave a pocket with blank paper and markers for others to write their special poems.
8.       Finish by adorning the pockets and display with your remaining stickers and other fun doodles.
9.       Enjoy sharing your poems! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

National Poetry Month: Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse

Hey Guys!

We’re sure that by now you know all about the big news…it’s NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!!!

via www.writersblock.lofts.org

All of April has been a wonderful celebration of alliteration and assonance, metaphor and meter, voice and verse. With the month almost at its end, Poem in your Pocket Day is fast approaching! Do you have your #pocketpoem folded up and ready to go?

Well, seeing how such an exciting day is headed our way, we here at Peachtree Publishers thought why not introduce our poetic present?



Random Body Parts:Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse, written by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Mike Lowery, incorporates witty and nimble verse about body parts paired with whimsical drawings that are both informative and fun!



Bulion makes learning a game as each poem poses a puzzle in verse (with a sly wink and a nod to Shakespeare) and provides hints for uncovering the body part in question.


This book is not simply heads, shoulders, knees, and toes though. Sidebars further educate readers about the anatomical subject in question, while appended notes offer a crash course on poetic form and a few facts about the Shakespearean works that inspired the verses. 


Why not pick up a copy of Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse from your local bookseller or local library and make your Poem in a Pocket Day both educational and fun? Here are some creative ideas to get you started!


Poem in your Pocket Day Ideas

Visit the Academy of American Poets  to download poems and get started
Add an poem to your email footer
Write a poem on the back of your business card
Text a poem to a friend
Visit Read.Write.Think for suggestions
Visit the 811 section of your library for books on poetry
Create artist trading cards, but add poems! And then trade with friends.

via www.daysoftheyear.com
Have fun, take plenty of pictures, and don't forget to use the hashtags #pocketpoem and #ppsquared2015 (Peachtree Publishers Pocket Poems) to tag your photos on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to get creative and share your favorite poems all around! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This Day in History: Reaching the North Pole

Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole chronicles the 18 year journey to reach latitude 90° North. After thousands of bitter-cold miles, African-American explorer Matthew Henson, Admiral Robert Peary, and four Inuit men complete the last leg of their grueling journey on April 6th, 1909.  They reached the North Pole.


School Library Journal calls this a "strikingly illustrated illustrated picture book" which "tells of the life of a man whose achievements were, until recently, largely overlooked."  Many know the story of Robert Peary's 1909 expedition, but few realize that Matthew Henson, was more than Peary's assistant. He was vital to the expedition. Henson was born just after the Civil War when few opportunities were available for black people. This brief biography brings life to a great but under-recognized figure from America’s past, perfect for ages 6-10.   

Celebrate their discovery on April 6th by visiting your local library and sharing it with the young reader in your life. Read on for more information.

Peachtree will be releasing a Paperback version in the Fall! 




Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Afternoon Picnic with Susan Stockdale

photo via marthastewart.com
Welcome to our new illustrator guest post series, Saturday Afternoon Picnics! And welcome to Susan Stockdale, author and illustrator of Spectacular Spots, and our very first guest blogger!

In this series, we'll turn the blog over to your favorite Peachtree illustrators. They might take you on a studio tour, share an exclusive illustration, or do something completely different!  


So pour yourself a glass of lemonade, sit back, and learn all about Susan Stockdale's process of creating the illustrations that Horn Book called “eye-pleasingly dramatic” and Kirkus called "a feast for the eyes."

***

Illustrating Spectacular Spots
a guest post by Susan Stockdale



What kinds of animals have spots, and why do they have them? To hide more easily? To warn enemies to stay away? To recognize animals of their own kind?

I wrote and illustrated Spectacular Spots, a companion to my book, Stripes of All Types, to answer these questions and to introduce young readers to the behavior of all kinds of spectacular spotted animals. Spotlighting (pun intended!) animals with spots allowed me to paint intricate patterns - my favorite activity. Painting patterns calms and soothes me. Looking at repeating patterns also helps me feel a sense of order in a chaotic world.

The illustration process for all my books is the same: create many sketches of each animal; select the one I like best; create a final drawing; submit it to scientists to confirm it is factually correct; revise if necessary; and paint the image in acrylic on paper. Here are two Spectacular Spots illustration progressions:
  
Owls:
I looked at reference photos like this...



and began drawing the owls. At first, I focused on the babies and showed the mother owl flying in the background before a full moon.


            
Then I moved the mother owl to the foreground and showed her flying diagonally, as seen in this sketch.



Here is my final drawing, in which I changed the text from “spotted owl” to “swooping owl.”



Here is the final illustration.



Holstein Cows:
                                   


I created many sketches of the spotted cows in a pasture. I liked this one best.
                   


Next, I decided to make the illustration more engaging by having the cow with the larger face look out at the reader. I had fun embellishing the tufts of hair on top of the cows’ heads in this final illustration, in which I changed the text from “spotted oxen” to “grazing cattle.”
   


Matching Game:
Pattern recognition is important for developing critical thinking skills and math comprehension. At the end of my book, I invite readers to match the spotted patterns to the 19 animals featured in my book.



Shapes that repeat,
what a visual treat.
I had fun with this book,
using spots as my hook!


***

Thanks so much to Susan for giving us an inside look at her process! (Aren't those owls just precious?) Spectacular Spots is on sale now! Visit your local library or bookstore to pick up your copy. And don't forget to visit Susan at www.susanstockdale.com