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Pete the Cat’s Got Class by James Dean

PETE THE CAT’S GOT CLASS
Written and illustrated by James Dean
(HarperCollins; $9.99, Ages 4-8)

 

Pete the Cat's Got Class by James Dean book cover

 

James Dean’s series continues with his latest book, Pete the Cat’s Got Class. Pete’s in school and loves math because of the way numbers “work together,” but his super smart friend, Tom, struggles to understand it. “Pete has an idea! He will help Tom become awesome at math. Helping is cool!”

Using race cars to demonstrate the concepts of addition and subtraction, Pete and Tom work together, building Tom’s math proficiency levels. When their teacher, Mr. G., suspects the two cool cats have copied from one another on a math test, they demonstrate how using race cars made learning fun.

This hardcover book comes with 12 flash cards, a fold-out poster, and stickers. To do Pete’s “Meow Math,” twelve number stickers are included along with addition, subtraction, and equal signs. You can also count blocks or race cars, or play with the Pete and friends stickers.

The flash cards feature numbers one through ten; the word is printed on one side and digit on the other. For example, the back of “Five” shows “5” and five surfboards. Two “Directions” cards explain that kids can either learn the sight words or use the cards to practice their math skills.

Dean’s bright, deadpan-funny illustrations are once again a mainstay. The story line is interwoven with basic addition and subtraction problems, presenting an element of education in Pete the Cat’s Got Class.

Find out about author illustrator, James Dean here.

 

  • Reviewed by Christine Van ZandtWriter, editor, and owner of Write for Success www.Write-for-Success.com@WFSediting, Christine@Write-for-Success.comCo-editor of and writer for SCBWI’s Kite Tales 

 

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Coloring Books To Brighten Everyone’s Christmas

GIVE THE GIFT OF COLOR

BRIGHTEN YOUR CHILD’S CHRISTMAS BREAK
WITH THIS COOL COLLECTION OF COLORING BOOKS

 

Juli Barry’s dipped into them all and has this to say:

Christmas to Color
by Mary Tanana
(HarperCollins; $15.99, Ages 4 and up)

ChristmastoColorcvr_Looking for a way to keep the peace during holiday gatherings? Or do you need a way to get those eternally bored teens to put down the phone and interact with family members?  Try gathering those cousins around a table and color together! Mary Tanana’s Christmas to Color provides ultra-attractive, over-sized pages of beautiful Christmas scenes to tempt even the grouchiest Grinches of the family! Snowflakes, wreaths, ornaments in detail, and so many other festive designs are sure to add amusement to any family gathering. Tanana cleverly draws some designs that can be cut out and placed in outlined areas on facing pages. “Trim” an intricately decorated tree with colored pens or pencils, then place it in the blank center of a background of poinsettias and mistletoe. Or have the relatives color any of the pages of sleds or stockings, animals and stars and so much more, to create a collage of everyone’s work.

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Bright and cheery stocking colored by Juli Barry from artwork in Christimas to Color by Mary Tanana, HarperCollins, ©2015.
ChristmastoColor
Twinkling toppers colored by Juli Barry from artwork in Christimas to Color by Mary Tanana, HarperCollins, ©2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IHeartColoringFlowers.jpgColoring books are all the rage this year and they come in every size and theme. Lizzie Preston and Jane Ryder-Gray, Jess Bradley, and Felicity French all illustrate a new, smaller (6” X 6”) coloring book series appropriately entitled I Heart Coloring … These make great stocking stuffers and provide fun distractions during those holiday trips in planes, trains, and autos. Specifically, I Heart Coloring Flowers with artwork by Preston and Ryder-Gray includes intricate floral patterns and challenging motifs as well as lighter fare for those just starting out. You can mat and frame your completed pages and give them as presents, or cut out particular flowers and add them to hand-made cards. Use now or save for Valentine’s Day or Easter.

TheNeonColoringBookCheck out the bold, over-sized The Neon Coloring Book with its hints of neon orange and pink adorning pages of animals, skateboards (!!) and other funky objects. Black or neon-colored backgrounds radiate other pages of delights to color. So buy a pack or two of neon markers and join in the fun! Coloring provides both a quiet way to interact with loved ones and a creative break from all the work and stress of the holidays. And Price Stern Sloan has a tempting array of coloring books sure to brighten everyone’s day!

 

 

I Heart Coloring
by Felicity French
I Heart Cute Coloring
by Jess Bradley

I Heart Coloring Flowers
by Lizzie Preston and Jane Ryder-Gray

(Price Stern Sloane; $9.99 each, Ages 10 and up)

The Neon Coloring Book
by Richard Merritt, Amanda Hillier, and Felicity French
(Price Stern Sloane; $12.99, Ages 5-8)

 

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Absurdly Entertaining, Creatively Fun

Author, Dan Gutman, who penned the 21-book series, My Weird School and Baseball Card Adventures, among other titles, has sold millions of books. Now he’s at it again with The Genius Files series. Let’s read what reviewer, Debbie Glade, has to say about the newest title in the series.

In a word, The Genius Files: Never Say Genius, ($16.99, Harper Collins, ages 8-12) is absurd. And I mean that in the most complimentary way.  It’s also hilarious, fascinating and extraordinarily entertaining.  Who wouldn’t want to read about a set of boy/girl twin protagonists named Coke and Pepsi McDonald? These two 13-year-old geniuses find themselves in the most compromising predicaments (such as being lowered into a vat of boiling oil) as they travel across the country in an RV with their parents on a quest to get to a family wedding.  In a previous book in the series, the twins discover they are part of a secret government program, and they seem to be thrown into unavoidable life threatening situations time and time again. It’s their genius, and a few convenient props (such as cheddar cheese head) that help them get through it all.

The parents take the twins to the most atypical attractions during their RV trip, such at the National Mustard Museum and to see The World’s Largest Egg. As a geography advocate, I love the fact that this series incorporates maps, directions and distances in the story. There are twists and turns to the plot and non-stop action and adventure. You’ll absolutely love the creativity of this book.

If your child has yet to read the earlier book in The Genius Files Series – Mission Unstoppable – the author familiarizes readers with the most important facts about the story using cheeky prose and witty humor. Even reluctant middle grade readers will find The Genius Files: Never Say Genius to be totally fascinating and a great read.

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Won’t You Be Mine, Valentine?

Debbie Glade reviews three heart-warming Harper Collins books, perfect for the little Valentine in your life. Scroll down to see our easy Valentine card you can make with your child.

Who wouldn’t love a Valentine book with glitter on the cover and on the inside pages? Plant a Kiss ($14.99 Harper Collins, ages 4 and up) by NY Times Bestselling author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is charming, fun and so perfect for Valentine’s Day. A young girl plants a kiss in the ground to see what will grow. She waters it and waits and waits for something to happen. Just when she thinks nothing is ever going to happen, she is pleasantly surprised. The book is written with just a few clever rhyming words on each page. The small, cute illustrations by Peter H Reynolds really make the story extra special. I love this book, and you will too.

Snowy Valentine ($15.99, Harper Collins, ages 3-8), written and illustrated by David Petersen, is a story about Jasper the bunny, who longs to find the perfect Valentine for his wife, Lilly. He asks all the other animals in town what they are giving their wives, yet he still cannot find the perfect gift – that is until he discovers something extraordinary by accident. This story is endearing and has a great message. What’s more, the illustrations are outstanding, and you will want to take the time to look at all the details on every page with your children.

As you might imagine from the title, Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love ($9.99, Harper Collins, ages newborn-7) is a story about an animal with pesky spikes that get in the way of everything. Hedgehug is a little guy who just wants what all of us want – to find true love. So he makes a special card and sets out on Valentine’s Day to find a special someone who may just return his Valentine wishes. It’s just that his hugs cause his would-be-Valentines too much pain.  Just when he thinks there is no hope in finding true love, something really special happens. This adorable story was created and illustrated by Dan Pinto and was written by Benn Sutton. The pictures are colorful and darling, just like the story.

Make a Fun and Easy Valentine Card!

Click here for instructions on how to make the card.

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