Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Uncategorized

There’s no bigger fan than Nana!

Nana Says I Will Be Famous One Day, by Ann Stot/Illustrated by Andrew Joyner, (Aug. 2020, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9780763695606

Ages 3-6

Who’s got a bigger fan than Nana? Not this little pup, whose Nana cheers him on at all his games, schedules her hair appointments around his swim meets, and buys up all his art at school auctions. Nana’s there to argue with the referees and dance in the aisles at recitals, but when she takes a spill and hurts her foot, Nana needs a fan to cheer her on, too: it’s not easy for someone to sit still when they’re used to being in constant motion! A cute little story about a grandmother who may be a little over-enthusiastic, judging by the expressions on folks when she’s pushing her way onto the swimming pool bench to nudge her grandson to the front of the line, or arguing a bad call with a referee during a softball game, Nana is relatable to a lot of us (some of my own loving, but not finest moments come to mind). What turns this around from being another “unconditional love from grandparent” story is how Nana is derailed by her injury – she’s super-competitive and an athlete, herself – and how her grandson has to use the motivation she always has ready for him to convince her that she can take it easy and take care of herself, with his help, just for a little while. Tender and funny, this is a good grandparent story for littles and the caregivers who love them.

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour: Duck and Hippo – The Secret Valentine!

Duck and Hippo are back, spreading their messages of friendship and celebration, with their fourth adventure!

Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine, by Jonathan London/Illustrated by Andrew Joyner,
(Dec. 2018, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781503900356
Ages 4-7

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Duck has a fun idea to bring her friends together to celebrate! Hippo, Elephant, Pig, and Turtle all receive mysterious cards, inviting them to meet their Valentine at the park at 4 p.m. Each friend has their own idea of who it could be, and when they get all dressed up and arrive at the park with their gifts, they’re in for a big SURPRISE!

The Duck and Hippo books are just adorable, and The Secret Valentine does away with the idea of having one set Valentine: everyone gets to share the day here! Sharp-eyed readers will spot Duck as she hides before being discovered, as she delivers her Valentine invites. There are great sound effect opportunities, too: there are water SPLOOPS, pizza dough SPLATS, street sweeping HUSHA-SHUSHA-SHUSHAS, and more, all emphasized with bold, colorful, oversized fonts. Great to get the kids pantomiming along! The whole idea of the book is perfect for a storytime or classroom Valnetine’s party: everyone gets a Valentine, and everyone gets to celebrate together. Like every Duck and Hippo book, the heart of the story is friendship and sharing – a lovely message to pass along! Jonathan London and Andrew Joyner have created adorable, memorable, children’s book characters with Duck, Hippo, and their friends. I look forward to spending time with them again and again.

Learn how to draw Duck and Hippo in this free downloadable activity page! https://www.andrewjoyner.com.au/activities/.

 

Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, which has sold more than fifteen million copies. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more at www.jonathan-london.net.

Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author whose work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He has created the artwork for many picture books, and he is author and illustrator of a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. Andrew lives in South Australia. Learn more at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

 

 

One lucky winner will receive a copy of DUCK AND HIPPO: THE SECRET VALENTINE courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance!

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour: Duck & Hippo Give Thanks – plus, a giveaway!

Duck & Hippo’s newest outing is here, just in time to bring to your Thanksgiving gatherings!

Duck & Hippo Give Thanks, by Jonathan London/Illustrated by Andrew Joyner,
(Aug. 2018, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1503900806
Ages 3-8

Duck and Hippo are having a Thanksgiving feast, and Hippo is so excited. He’s looking forward to spending time with his friends, Turtle, Elephant, Pig – and Duck, of course! – at an old-fashioned gathering; he makes meticulous plans and cooks wonderful meals, all in anticipation of a traditional holiday. But Duck has plans of her own, and when everyone shows up, Hippo is very upset – this isn’t an old-fashioned gathering at all! Thankfully, in the spirit of the season, Hippo realizes that he has so much to be thankful for: especially the friends around his table. Let’s celebrate!

Duck & Hippo Give Thanks has such a wonderful message about embracing tradition, but it also carries the important message about being thankful. When things don’t go our way, we have a tendency – kids and adults, alike! – to pout and carry on, which can really hurt the people around us. Instead of being upset at what we don’t have, Hippo teaches us to stop, take a moment, and celebrate all that we do. On a holiday like Thanksgiving, and as families get ready for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, these are messages that take on even greater importance. Family, friendship, and gratitude are the big concepts here.

I love Duck & Hippo’s “Friendsgiving”. For so many of us, our friends are an extension of our family, and “Friendsgiving” is a great way to celebrate a holiday where you’re grateful for all you have. My friends and I have had two separate celebrations – Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving – over the years, but they’ve all kind of morphed into one as we bring friends and family together for the season. Letting kids know that friends can be an extension of that family table is such a heartwarming and encouraging message, especially at this time of year. There’s also the message that long-standing traditions are something to look forward to and honor, but always leave space for the new and different. Keep expanding horizons. And be grateful for the opportunity to try something new.

I love Jonathan London’s storytelling. My kids grew up on his Froggy stories, and I hope that Duck & Hippo attains the same iconic status. Andrew Joyner’s artwork never disappoints: his vintage feel brings me back to stories I read as a kid, wehether he’s embracing the simple joys of jumping in a leaf pile or creating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Put this one on your holiday shelves, bring it to your Thanksgiving dinners, and after you’re done reading it to the kiddos, make sure to have some Duck & Hippo activity sheets ready for everyone to color. (You, too, grownups! You’ll be glad you did.)

Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, which has sold more than fifteen million copies. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more at www.jonathan-london.net.

(Photo from Penguin Random House)

Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author whose work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He has created the artwork for many picture books, and he is author and illustrator of a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. Andrew lives in South Australia. Learn more at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

(Photo from Andrew Joyner’s website.)

Duck and Hippo give thanks for good friends in this sweet book trailer.

 

Two Lions is offering a set of all three Duck and Hippo books–DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM, DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND, and DUCK AND HIPPO GIVE THANKS–to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses). Just check out the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Duck & Hippo get lost and found!

Duck and Hippo: Lost and Found, by Jonathan London/Illustrated by Andrew Joyner, (Aug. 2017, Two Lions/Amazon), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1542045629

Recommended for readers 3-7

Duck and Hippo: Lost and Found, the second book in Froggy author Jonathan London’s new buddy series is every bit as sweet as the first one, Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm. In this latest tale, the friends go on a picnic with their friends Turtle, Elephant, and Pig. Everyone’s brought something to share… except for Hippo, who forgot! Determined to make things right, he sets off into the forest in search of wild berries. As night falls, Duck and friends worry that Hippo’s gotten lost, but what should they do?

There are great themes at work here: friendship, the main plot point that drives the Duck and Hippo adventures; sharing and caring for one another emerge as the story progresses. Kids will appreciate Duck’s decision to search for her friend, and the decision to stay in a group and loudly call for Hippo will provide relief to parents, who likely give the same advice to kids in the event of a separation (I know I do). Repeated phrases provide kids with the chance to jump in and be part of the Hippo search party. I love Andrew Joyner’s cheerful art, and the colorful, emphasized fonts that add to a reading. Andrew Joyner offers free, downloadable activity pages on his website, too – the kids at my library love the coloring sheets, which have been a staple of my summer coloring club.

Jonathan London has written more than one hundred children’s books, including the bestselling Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. He is the author of the popular Duck and Hippo series, illustrated by Andrew Joyner. Many of his books explore nature, among them Flamingo Sunset, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas, and Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica, illustrated by Julie Olson. He is also author of the Aaron’s Wilderness middle-grade series, illustrated by his son Sean London. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more online at www.jonathan-london.net.

Andrew Joyner is an illustrator, author, and cartoonist based in South Australia. He has illustrated a number of picture books, and he wrote and illustrated a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. He is the illustrator of the popular Duck and Hippo series, written by Jonathan London. He has also illustrated for newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and Rolling Stone magazine, among others. Learn more online at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

Giveaway!

Two Lions is offering a set of the Duck and Hippo books–DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM and DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND–to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses only, please). Just enter this https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.jsecopter.com/rafl/display/bbc165de19/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="bbc165de19" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_scf2jfhw">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“>Rafflecopter giveaway!

Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads

Duck and Hippo brave the rain together!

Duck and Hippo In the Rainstorm, by Jonathan London/Illustrated by Andrew Joyner, (March 2017, Two Lions/Amazon), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-5039-3723-9

Duck and Hippo are the best of friends, and want to go for a walk in the rain. But the umbrella isn’t big enough for them both! Luckily, the two friends find a solution and go off on a rainy day walk, filled with adventures, until a strong gust of wind sends one of them up in the air!

Jonathan London is best known for his Froggy series, most of which end up on my library kids’ summer reading lists every year. Booktalking Duck and Hippo will be a breeze – the author already has a tremendous fanbase. Then, we have Andrew Joyner’s brush and ink illustration, with wash and pencil, then digitally colored; which it makes me happy just looking at it. It’s classic illustration; hearkening to timeless books like Frog and Toad and Danny and the Dinosaur. colors are soothing with bright touches, like Duck’s red jacket and yellow umbrella, which matches Hippo’s yellow rain boots. The definitive outlines make each piece, each character, step off the page. Sound effects are in playful font sizes and colors, swirling along like the water in a creek or coming down with the rain.

This book is a fun read-aloud about friendship and sharing. Read and display with Frog and Toad, James Marshall’s George and Martha, or Sue Gallion’s Pug Meets Pig. Hand out a Duck and Hippo coloring sheet, courtesy of Andrew Joyner’s website – and give your bigger readers Joyner’s How to Draw Duck and Hippo instructions!

About the Author and Illustrator

Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the bestselling Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. Many of his books explore nature, among them Flamingo Sunset, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas, and Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica, illustrated by Julie Olson. He is currently writing a middle-grade series, which started with Desolation Canyon, illustrated by his son Sean London. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more online at www.jonathan-london.net.

Andrew Joyner is an illustrator, author, and cartoonist based in South Australia. He has illustrated a number of picture books, and he wrote and illustrated a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. He has also illustrated for newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and Rolling Stone magazine, among others. Learn more online at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm!