Voila! Quinn spent the morning in their workshop, and they emerged with Something Great! But what is it?
No one seemed to understand that Something Great isn’t supposed to be anything. It was just itself… Something Great.
Quietly profound, this sweet tale and its mixed-media illustrations are a delightful combination of elements blending STEM activities (for those inclined to catch them!) with casual nonconformity in a picture book that is, well, Something Great!
Thoughts: Something Great is an easy-to-read picture book with images that will capture its audience. I love the way that this book is able to capture STEM topics without being too dense so that younger children wouldn’t understand. I love how just like something great in this story, this book can be about so many things depending on who is reading and who your audience is. I love that our main character is non-binary without that being the focus of this book, you just learn about this because Quinn uses they/them pronouns.
Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. Now she writes, draws, and makes books for kids. Her books include Something Great;, No Voice Too Small; No World Too Big; Love, Mama; and When the Babies Came to Stay. Jeanette lives in Rhode Island with her wife and kids. jeanettebradley.com
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ARMADILLO ANTICS by Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, Nathalie Beauvois Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About The Book
Title: ARMADILLO ANTICS
Author: Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, Nathalie Beauvois (Illustrations)
Children will love the rhythm and rhyme that are hallmarks of the beloved author duo of Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 as they follow the adventurous armadillo through nighttime fun as dawn approaches.
Bill Martin Jr was the beloved author of more than three hundred books for children and teachers, including the classics Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
Michael Sampson taught kindergarten through fourth grade before meeting fellow literacy expert Bill Martin Jr at a conference in Tucson, Arizona in 1978. They established a lifelong friendship and collaborated on many bestselling and award-winning books for children, including Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
“A wonderfully musical nighttime romp with stunning illustrations.” –Matt de la Peña, Newbery Medal-Winning, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Beauvois, whose elaborately textured, highly dimensional surfaces recognize the paper collage legacy of Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, creates a series of striking contrasts to the repeating text’s simple rhymes. As the mammals appear, ready to “romp and play till the night is done,” they’re shown in deep jewel tones with patterning reminiscent of a Missoni sweater… tagging along with this self-possessed, graphically stylish critter and chanting its name as it leaps, digs, and dines makes for a memorable outing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“For a romping night in the life of a roly-poly armadillo, pick up Armadillo Antics!”–Parade Magazine
“This short rhyming story about a night in the life of an armadillo is cozy and soothing. Beauvois’s collage-style art, especially the armadillo curled up inside its next, gives Eric Carle vibes. A collection of eight facts on the final page will fascinate kids and grown-ups alike.”—Parents Magazine
Thoughts and Themes: The minute that this book arrived and I started reading it I fell in love with this book. I really enjoyed all of the pictures in this book and found that they would keep a child’s attention. I also liked the rhyming in this book since it doesn’t seem forced but it went with the story. I thought it was a great bedtime story for children ages 2 and up but also a great read for adults looking for something cute and fun. This is one that I wouldn’t mind reading out loud over and over because of how fun it was to read the first time.
Writing Style and Art Style: The pictures in this book have so many different colors and they all go well with each other. I like how the colors take us from day to night and to different settings throughout the book.
About Bill Martin Jr.
BILL MARTIN JR was the beloved author of more than 300 books for children and teachers, including the classics_ Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, which was illustrated by his friend Eric Carle, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Bill was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame by the International Literacy Association. The Bill Martin, Jr Picture Book Award, which is the Kansas State award for best children’s picture book, was established in his name in 1996. Bill wrote Armadillo Antics with Michael Sampson when he moved to Texas, in honor of the fun, inquisitive creatures that roamed the woods outside his house. Visit Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson’s website at billmartinjr.com
MICHAEL SAMPSON taught kindergarten through fourth grade before meeting fellow literacy expert Bill Martin Jr at a conference in Tucson, Arizona in 1978. They established a lifelong friendship and collaborated on many bestselling and award-winning books for children, including_Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3_and_Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Sampson often speaks at schools, book festivals, and literacy conferences, where he is known for his high-energy, entertaining performances. Dr. Sampson is a Fulbright Scholar and a professor of literacy at St. John’s University in New York City. Visit Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson’s website at billmartinjr.com. You can also follow Michael on Twitter and Instagram @michaelsampson.
NATHALIE BEAUVOIS has a graphic design background in advertising and has also studied industrial design. Nathalie started her career in the art departments of ad agencies and eventually transitioned into freelance illustrating. Since then, she has illustrated dozens of books and hundreds of magazines in countries all over the world. Her creations always start the traditional way — with paper and pencil. Depending on the visual task at hand, she mixes in techniques such as watercolor, collage, vector drawing and Photoshop coloring and texturizing. When not playing with the antics of armadillos, she is happily living and working in Argentina with her family. Visit her website at nathaliebeauvois.weebly.com. You can also find her on Instagram @tanebeauvois_illustrations.
A hilarious and clever bath-time picture book by humorist, novelist, and TV writer Simon Rich, with illustrations by Tom Toro (How to Potty Train Your Porcupine). And so begins a hilarious dip into the choppy waters of a nightly ritual that parents and children alike often dread. Filled with soapsuds, rubber duckies, and existential angst, Simon Rich’s debut picture book is a splashy tale of cleanliness—and survival. This irreverent read-aloud treat about facing fear and embracing adventure might just change the way you see bath time (and your bathroom) forever.
“A visual (and comedic) feast for budding smart-alecks.”―Patton Oswalt
“Along with offering a bit of bathroom behavior modification, this is, undeniably, storytime gold for young audiences large or small.”―Booklist
“This delightful picture book turns the widespread phenomenon of toddler bathtime fears on its head…The book’s skillfully crafted storyline will appeal to children as well as adults working to avoid meltdowns when little ones have a wash. … A refreshing, amusing approach to overcoming ablutophobia in small children.” ―Kirkus
This is such a cute and funny picture book about bathtime and is great for children who have a difficult time taking a bath. I loved seeing this bathtub be terrified of bath time because of the things that happen when a child is afraid to take a bath. I love how the tub is explaining how bath time can be a good thing for both of them if only they do these things instead of the things that usually happen when they fight taking a bath.
I really liked the illustrations in this book and think they go well with the story. It’s a simple story that is easy to follow along for toddlers and is a great read for children who may be learning to read. This is one that will hold your children’s attention and is one that you can always elaborate on based on what is happening in the pictures.
Simon Richhas written for Saturday Night Live, Pixar, and The Simpsons. He is the creator and
showrunner of Man Seeking Woman (FXX) and Miracle Workers (TBS), which he based on his books. His other collections include New Teeth, Hits and Misses, Spoiled Brats, and Ant Farm. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker.
Tom Torois a cartoonist and writer. He is the author-illustrator of How to Potty Train Your Porcupine. Over two hundred of his cartoons have been published in the New Yorker since 2010. Tom lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, kid, and cat.
Pink, Blue & You!: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publishing Date: March 8, 2022
Simple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone’s right to be their true selves.
Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.
With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how appropriate male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.
The first thing that stood out to me about this book is the style in which it is written. This book is written as questions to children who you may read this to along with factual information about gender, sexuality, and sex. I really liked that this book is written this way because it opens up the conversation for children and shows them that it is okay to question things that they may have learned from society.
I know that this is going to be a book that conservatives have issues with just because of the way it opens up these conversations. I believe that this book is acceptable for children as young as 4 because it is a great introduction to these topics in a way that they would understand. I shared this book with my mom who works with young children and she said it was a great book.
Something that I enjoy about this book is how it frames the concept of family and the diversity that it shows in the families that are displayed. I love how throughout the book there is a diversity in the images that are drawn and in the examples that are given. I think that was an important part that was included because so many children will be able to see themselves in this book.
I was born in Montreal in 1977 and I started drawing not very long after I was born. In kindergarten I was popular because I was able to draw princesses with long spiral hair. Then, in high school, the girls would ask me to draw their ideal guy in their diary. I became very good at drawing muscles and hair, which I used later when I illustrated my book The Great Antonio . On the other hand, I am always just as bad when it comes time to use a diary correctly.
Later, I studied graphic design at Cegep and that’s when I understood that I wanted to do illustration. After my first book, the Catalog des Gaspilleurs , I wrote and illustrated about thirty others . One of my books, The Wrench , won the Governor General’s Award in the Illustration category, and since that time I have a big head and I brag all the time.
I live in Montreal with my two daughters, my husband, my cats and a few spiders. I am currently working on various projects in Quebec, English Canada and the United States. My books are translated into a dozen languages. I hope to live a long time so that I can still make lots and lots of books because I still have lots and lots of ideas.