book review, Children's Writing, Giveaway, Lissa Evans, Natural History Museum Explorer Dinosaurs!, Ryan T. Higgins, We Don't Eat Our Classmates, Wed Rabbit, Writing

Natural History Museum Explorer Dinosaurs! — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Defeat is not the worst of failures.  Not to have tried is the true failure.” 
~ George Edward Woodberry ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Grammar can be vexing for a lot of people. Laura Fineberg Cooper has a terrific post HERE at Writers’ Rumpus with common mistakes and how to avoid them. 
Cliches have a way of creeping into our writing, but the post HERE from Writer’s in the Storm can make quick and fun work of fixing that problem. 
The dreaded synopsis again. There is a very good post HERE about how to do it.

My website isn’t quite ready for Prime Time yet, but I expect it might be ready next week. I will keep you posted.  

I don’t often talk about picture books here, but once in awhile I run across one

that I simply have to talk about it. This week I read one called We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Author/Illustrator Ryan T. Higgins that knocked my socks off. I have shared it with everyone who came near me in the days since, and everyone has loved it as much as I have. It is the funniest picture book I think I have ever seen, and it is sweet and has a great message. It doesn’t get any better. I just ordered every Ryan T. Higgins book my library has. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates won’t be available until June 19, but you might want to preorder it so you don’t miss it.


Last week I offered a gently-read hardback of Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans to one of you. If I thought there was a chance in the world I would have time to read this one again, I would never give it away, but that’s not gonna happen. So, lucky Carol Baldwin is going receive my copy. Congratulations, Carol! I will get the book out to you this week. If you don’t know Carol, she is a North Carolina writer and you can learn more about her at her cleverly-titled blog, Carol Baldwin’s Blog found HERE. For the rest of you, I have a very interesting book to send to one of you, so keep reading. 

I am loving all the non-fiction books for middle-graders that keep popping up, and I have never quite gotten over my childhood love of dinosaurs, so when I ran across the Natural History Museum Explorer Dinosaurs! I was happy to take it for review. It’s a different take on this topic and a lot of fun. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review. 

Young paleontologists take note. There is a new dinosaur book that will fascinate dino-loving youngsters, which would include just about all youngsters. Yet how can there be a truly fresh take on this most ancient of subjects? The Natural History Museum brought together a team of three authors and an illustrator to create this incredible new dinosaur book. Modeled almost as if it were field notes from an explorer and done in muted colors on heavy stock, this is different from other dinosaur books. Every page is packed with excellent information written in such a way as to speak to the middle-grade audience as if they were peers of the explorer and even part of the excavation team. The writing is crisp, the research shines, and the illustrations complete and support every chunk of text. Perhaps the pièce de résistance, though, is a timeline at the back that is a single sheet of heavy, glossy stock, the equivalent of nine pages, that covers 240 million years jam-packed with illustrations and small text blocks designed to be removed from the book and mounted on the wall. Youngsters (and others) will eat this book up. Don’t miss  it.

I have a gently-read UK edition hardback for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.



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