Debbie Glade’s Indiegogo Project

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The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica

20130423060916-Image_5 debbieglade1-150x150It’s not every day that I can help out my blog partner, Debbie Glade (that’s obviously not Debbie to the left but her poodle, Darwin! She’s the lady to the right). She is a tireless supporter of literacy, science and geography for children. Now she’s found a terrific way to get her book, The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Ricainto the hands of children who can benefit from her experience on these subjects. If it weren’t for her book, she and I would never have met so I am slightly partial to all things  Lilly P. Badilly. Lilly happens to be a strong-willed millipede who, along with her funny family members, stows away on a flight to Costa Rica. Once there, the multi-leggers get caught up in all sorts of adventures sure to entertain youngters.

dsc_00211Just a few days ago Debbie launched an ambitious IndieGoGo crowd sourcing project to raise $18,500 to cover the cost of printing 3,000 (high quality 64-pages) books and CDs. With 47 days to go, Debbie’s goal is to be able to give away every last one of these books to underprivileged elementary school children in south Florida where she lives. After years of visiting schools, libraries and charities to educate children about geography, Costa Rica’s flora and fauna, and naturally, millipedes, Debbie realized so many children who wanted the book were unable to afford to purchase it despite the deep discounts she offered.

Let’s change that and get these books into the hands of eager kids who want to smile, learn and listen to the hysterical CD!

Click here to view the campaign.


Your Teacher as Your Travel Guide

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Today’s review is by Ronna Mandel.

Because You Are My Teacher (Abrams Books For Young Readers, $16.95, ages 4-8) written by Sherry North and illustrated by Marcellus Hall is a book that will get kids excited about going back to school while also celebrating the dedication teachers bring to the classroom. If readers happen to get bitten by the travel bug along the way, then that’s just an added bonus.

I found myself hooked immediately by the cover image depicting a teacher and her students high up in a hot air balloon observing some spectacular scenery. Author North has teamed up with illustrator Hall for yet another installation in the successful series that brought us Because You Are My Baby and Because I Am Your Daddy. With this new picture book told in rhyme, readers will travel the world all because of a teacher’s commitment to sharing her knowledge in a colorful way.

Imagine learning about the world through every mode of transportation. Any book can introduce exotic sites and cities to children.  What works so well with this story and what will excite children is that they’ll study the Atlantic on a schooner, get a peek of the pyramids while atop camels, tour the Amazon on a river raft, and dive deep down into the ocean to discover illuminating sea life. They’ll even get to hang glide over the Australian outback! All the while the students are journeying courtesy of their teacher’s imagination, they are discovering what makes going to school so special – teachers. End pages include info on the seven continents visited and all the animals or places mentioned.

 


A Great Book to Celebrate the End of Geography Awareness Week

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In light of Geography Awareness Week, Debbie Glade reviews a fact-and-photo-filled book about Cambodia.

Did you know that Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the entire world? It was built in 1100 C.E. during the Khmer Empire. The architects of this grand structure designed it around the sun’s movement, planning out where each and every shadow would fall. These and many other fascinating facts can be found in The Mysteries of Angkor Wat: Exploring Cambodia’s Ancient Temple ($17.99, Candlewick Press, Ages 6 and up) by author Richard Sobol.

Back in January I reviewed Richard Sobol’s wonderful book, The Life of Rice. This author and award-winning photographer must be commended for his continuing efforts to increase geography awareness through his children’s books. In Angkor Wat, Sobol takes readers through the history of the ancient structure and also writes about his most interesting personal travel experiences while in Cambodia. The building of this Buddhist temple remains a mystery, as it is unclear how the sheer number of massive stones used to build it were moved into place thousands of years ago.

What I love about this book is that there is a perfect blend of Cambodian history, modern life and culture, and the photographs are spectacular. The author describes his experience touring the structure with local children, who lead him to a very special place to share a secret about Angkor Wat. He writes in a way that really makes readers feel like they are right there with him touring Cambodia.

I highly recommend this book as a way to teach children about the world. Please note that the story is a bit long and sophisticated for most six-year-olds to read on their own. However the book is ideal for reading together with your young child.


Postcards about Planet Earth: Q & A

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ask-drkfisher_pearth-6Ask Dr. K. Fisher About Planet Earth ($10.99, Kingfisher/Macmillan, ages 4-8) is a clever, sturdy hardcover book by author Claire Llewellyn. Full of postcards and letters written by animals who pose the most unusual questions to expert Dr. Fisher, this book is sure get kids thinking about Mother Nature. For instance, a salmon wants to know what life will be like for him when he swims from the river to the ocean. Dr. Fisher helps the salmon rest easy by telling him this is a completely natural and safe process for him. All the ask-drkfisher_pearth-7letters teach young readers about the animals and the places where they live.

9780753463048Each of the postcards and letters, both to and from Dr. K. Fisher, are craftily illustrated by Kate Sheppard. This makes the book extraordinarily fun to read. There’s a simple glossary and an index in the back of the book as well.

ask-drkfisher_pearth-12The best aspect of this book is that it teaches kids fascinating facts in a subtle way rather that pounding them over the head with them. I suppose I already knew there are three different layers of the earth, and the core is too hot for any creature to survive. But somehow, seeing an illustration and reading a real simple description, really hit home with me.

debbiegladeDebbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.


If America Were a Village

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Startling Statistics About the USA for Little People

Regular contributor Debbie Glade reviews this terrific book from the Citizen Kid series published by Kids Can Press:

2046_cv2David J. Smith is the author of If the World Were a Village, which sold more than 400,000 copies in 16 languages. In If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States, Smith takes facts and figures about the 306 million people of America and reduces them down to a village of 100 people, to give children vital information they can easily understand in the simplest terms. Essentially, this is a book of statistics for little people, and I for one think it’s a brilliant idea.

Did you know that in 1900, 40 people out of 100 in the US lived in towns and cities, and 60 lived in the country? And today, 80 out of 100 live in cities and 20 live in the country? Well, you will learn many more fascinating facts like these when you read this beautiful book. Statistics regarding where we come from, our religions, what we do for a living, how wealthy we are, how many products we consume (this will astound you), how healthy we are and more are all covered. There’s a helpful section in the back of the book with tips to help children understand more about America. And like all books with facts and figures, there’s a list of sources of information.

I love the unique, slightly hazy yet colorful illustrations done by Shelagh Armstrong, depicting Americans in every day life situations. Her cover design, an aerial view of a village is more defined and is also incredibly appealing. The talented Ms. Armstrong has had a lot of experience designing packages for international products, some of which you can see on her Web site by clicking here.

As a geography literacy advocate myself, I am so pleased when I find creative books like this that teach kids (and their parents and teachers) about the world in unusual ways. And what better way to start teaching children about the world than helping them understand their own country first? I highly recommend all children in the USA read If America Were a Village. It certainly would be a welcome addition to any classroom.

Now why didn’t I think of this idea for a book myself?

debbiegladeDebbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.


Animals As Seen By Darwin & Polo

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Yesterday, guest reviewer Debbie Glade looked at Charles Darwin and today she is also reviewing Animals Charles Darwin Saw: An Around-the-World Adventure and Animals Marco Polo Saw: An Adventure on the Silk Road, two Chronicle Books by author Sandra Markle.

9780811850490_normAnimals Charles Darwin Saw (Chronicle, $16.99; ages 7-10) is beautifully illustrated with bright colors by Zina Saunders. The depictions bring the reader closer to the reality of Darwin’s nineteenth century world. Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzinni’s illustrations in Animals Marco Polo Saw (Chronicle, $16.99; ages 7-10) are both vivid and somewhat smoky at the same time, demonstrating her originality. Her use of light and shadows are incredibly impressive, and I really enjoyed studying all the detail.

In the Darwin book, readers learn about the naturalist’s expedition aboard the HMS Beagle. The author does a good job introducing his theory of evolution to young readers, and I like the way she explains what Darwin was trying to accomplish on his voyage. In reality, Darwin’s findings and theories are quite sophisticated, and Sandra Markle simplifies it for children in a way that is understandable yet not at all patronizing. In Marco Polo, readers are taken on a j9780811850513_normourney from Italy, through the Middle East and to China, along the same path this great explorer took during the 13th century. Young readers learn about Marco Polo’s interest in the people he encountered (Kublai Kahn among them), their cultures and religions, as well as the many unique animals he saw that were unfamiliar to him. Both books highlight specific animals with offset copy, giving the reader a greater depth of information.

Also, each book starts off with a note to parents and teachers and has a Table of Contents. In the back is a Glossary, a “For More Information” page and even a helpful Index.

unknownAnimals Charles Darwin Saw: An Around-the-World Adventure and Animals Marco Polo Saw: An Adventure on the Silk Road teach children about two curious men from long ago, with great minds, who journeyed afar in search of answers. They each brought back an abundance of new information to share that would change the way we think and live. There is so much that Charles Darwin and Marco Polo have taught us, and these books are a great way to expose young readers to these great men.


dsc_0024-300x217Debbie Glade is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.


Let’s Go Exploring for Geography Awareness Week

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According to guest reviewer Debbie Glade, Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure (Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick, $19.99; ages 8-12), written by A.J. Wood and Clint Twist, “is the highest quality, most inviting, most creative, most entertaining, most sophisticated and most informative children’s science book I have ever read. There, I said it.”

dsc_0024-300x217Debbie Glade is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.


51lyslu9b5l_sl500_aa240_As soon as I took one look at the unique cover, I knew this was a special book. The pages are accessed by opening the flaps of a sturdy, magnetic cardboard cover. What lies inside is a visual wonderland of flaps to flip and envelopes to open, revealing letters, illustrations, maps, photos and scientific information regarding Darwin’s findings aboard the HMS Beagle. You will actually feel as though you are reading Darwin’s diary from the famed voyage of 1831 to 1836. The pages were even printed to look as though they were hand sewn to the binding! (FYI – This book is one of three historical notebooks from Templar Books, all of which I’d love to read.)

This is not a book for you or your child to rush through; rather you will want to curl up on the couch and take your time reading and discovering. You don’t want to miss a thing. Open the inside cover to pull Darwin’s family tree out of an envelope. Then continue on to read about the experiences that led Darwin to a life of scientific exploration and discovery. View a map of the track the HMS Beagle took, read a letter from Darwin to his father about his decision to take the voyage and then soak in all the flora and fauna as seen by the great naturalist himself. And of course, learn about Darwin’s theory of evolution.

0763645389int1Did you know that the HMS Beagle’s departure was delayed numerous times before setting sail? Or that there were 74 people on board the not-so-large ship? And that Darwin experienced severe seasickness? Or that Darwin was a very religious man? You will learn about these facts as well as details about Darwin’s tracking of plant and animal species and how he collected specimens in South America, around Cape Horn and on his voyage back to England.

Reading Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure is as close as you can get to actually being on Darwin’s voyage of 1831-1836. This book is indeed a lifetime keeper.