Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This Earth Day, Celebrate Nature, Animals, and Healthy Living with New and Popular Releases from Candlewick Press -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Earth Day 2014 Desktop Wallpapers

Don't let today (Earth Day) be the only day that you talk to your child about the planet.  Do your part by teaching them how to be more Eco-conscious through recycling and reusing, planting trees and gardens, turning off lights when not in use, etc.  Little things made a world of difference, and help set the path for our children to be more pro-active when it comes to protecting our Earth for future generations to come.  

While Earth Day generally involved outdoor activities, why not continue the education inside at bedtime with a good book?  Here are some great books for children of all ages to enjoy from Candlewick Press that are perfect to share on Earth Day, and every other day of the year, as a reminder to children that they have to do their part to protect our Earth.


Candlewick Press

For Growing Gardeners:

By Judy Sierra, illustrated by Matthew Myers
HC: 9780763660437 ∙ February 2014 ∙ $16.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ Ages 4-8


"Old MacDonald has a farm, but it wasn’t always that way. Judy Sierra’s playful picture book takes a familiar nursery rhyme and spins it into a tale of home-grown organic vegetables and the joys of backyard farming. Kids and parents will love singing along to the familiar rhyming verses while learning just how a small patch of grass can bloom into a thriving, organic urban farm."

 Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden
HC: 9780763669873 ∙ March 2014 ∙ $12.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ 2-5 years


"Peppa Pig is back for another adventure with her brother George. This time, they’re exploring the vegetable garden with Granny and Grandpa Pig, and learning all about how tiny black seeds can become ingredients for a fresh salad or a scrumptious blackberry pie. Great for grandparents and grandchildren, this playful read-aloud book will please Peppa fans young and old."

Rose's Garden
By Peter H. Reynolds
HC: 9780763646417 ∙ October 2009 ∙ $15.99 ∙ 40 pages ∙ Ages 0+


"A sweet fable dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy that celebrates the spirit of community, the beauty of nature, and the power of faith and imagination ----- After traveling the world in her fantastic teapot, Rose is ready to put down roots. She sets about planting flower seeds in a neglected corner of a bustling city. And then she waits - through rain and cold and snow. Rose waits, never doubting that the garden she envisions will one day come to be. With a simple narration and lovely, fanciful illustrations, this luminous picture book resonates with readers of all ages. Author-illustrator Peter H. Reynolds dedicates it to the matriarch of the Kennedy family - herself the namesake of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a series of gardens, plazas, and tree-lined promenades.
A sweet fable dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy that celebrates the spirit of community, the beauty of nature, and the power of faith and imagination."

Maisy Grows a Garden
By Lucy Cousins
HC: 9780763646417 ∙ February 2013 ∙ $14.99 ∙ 16 pages ∙ Ages 0+


"Maisy loves to try new things, just like her young fans. This interactive science story invites toddlers and preschoolers to help Maisy dig, sow seeds, water the earth, and weed the garden. Little ones will love seeing the carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and beans spring from the pages as they take the first steps to develop a green thumb with Maisy and Panda.

What makes Maisy’s garden grow? Children can pull the tabs and help Maisy plant and grow a tasty vegetable garden."

Isabella's Garden
By Rachel Williams, illustrated by Jenny Bowers
HC: 9780763660161 ∙ March 2012 ∙ $16.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ 3-6 years

The Animal Hedge
By Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
PB: 9780763638429 ∙ May 2008 ∙ $7.99 ∙ 48 pages ∙ 6-10 years


"No one loves animals more than the farmer. But when a drought befalls the land, and he must sell his livestock and move to a cottage with only a hedge around it, he and his three sons discover something remarkable about their hedge --- and something unique about each person who trims its branches. A testament to vision, passion, and destiny, matched by Bagram Ibatoulline’s virtuoso paintings."

For Eager Environmentalists:

Little Pear Tree
By Rachel Williams, illustrated by Jenny Bowers
BB: 9780763671266 ∙ March 2014 ∙ $14.99 ∙ 12 pages ∙ 3-7 years


"In this stylish lift-flap picture book, watch as a small seed blossoms into a fully-grown pear tree! Readers can discover the complex relationship between plants and animals as they lift flaps to reveal hidden creatures and their names. Jenny Bowers’ captivating illustrations will fascinate budding botanists while aspiring wordsmiths will love the lilting, poetic explanations of the growing process."

 The Promise
By Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
HC: 9780763666330 ∙ February 2014 ∙ $16.99 ∙ 40 pages ∙ Ages 5-9


"Deep within the city, a thieving girl tries to steal an old woman’s handbag and ends up giving her something instead – a promise. Inspired by the classic French tale, The Man Who Planted Trees, this uniquely illustrated picture book tells the magical story of one girl’s chance to change the world for the better while enchanting young readers with the beauty and value of nature."

Big Yellow Sunflower
By Frances Barry
HC: 9780763637248 ∙ March 2008 ∙ $16.99 ∙ 19 pages ∙ Ages 2-4


"Includes instructions for growing a sunflower.
A seed is falling to the ground. What will it be? Turn the shaped pages as a mole, a worm, a snail, a bird, a bee, and other creatures watch the seed take root and sprout up through the soil. As each page fans out, revealing a bright splash of yellow, a gigantic sunflower unfolds in a brilliant display.
Explore the wonders of things that grow! These Fold Out and Find Out books have pages that open and transform before your eyes."

For Budding Biologists:

Flight of the Honey Bee
By Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
HC: 9780763667603 ∙ September 2013 ∙ $16.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ Ages 3 and up


"Follow the incredible flight of a honey bee as she travels from flower to flower before finally returning to her hive. She uses her finely-tuned sense of smell to find flowers to pollinate, predators to avoid, and other bees to share her journey with. Young scientists and nature lovers will be amazed that these tiny insects are responsible for pollinating every flower, fruit, vegetable, and tree in the garden—and the world."

Maisy's World of Animals
By Lucy Cousins
HC: 9780763669898 ∙ April 2014 ∙ $14.99 ∙ 16 pages ∙ Ages 3-7


"From the Arctic to the desert to the jungle and beyond, Maisy is curious to learn about animals in their own environments. Pull a tab to see meerkats popping up in the sand, a monkey playing in a tree, two goats butting heads in the mountains, penguins and their babies, and plenty more. Learning about nature is always more fun with Maisy!
Take an interactive journey from the North Pole to the South Pole with Maisy -- and visit animals who live in various habitats along the way."

Let's Save the Animals
By Frances Barry
HC: 9780763645014 ∙ February 2010 ∙ $11.99 ∙ 40 pages ∙ Ages 4-7


"Did you know that a giant panda likes to do somersaults? That a black rhinoceros can run faster than an Olympic sprinter? That a monarch butterfly flies up to eighty miles a day? All of these animals -- and many more, from tigers to elephants to polar bears, orangutans to dolphins, penguins to sea turtles -- are disappearing, threatened by deforestation,poaching, fishing nets, global warming, and more. After enjoying the book’s eye-catching, dramatic format, kids can follow the simple suggestions offered to help save the animals.                                                         
Bold illustrations, big flaps, and an ingenious die-cut design invite young readers to peek at the lives of endangered animals -- and learn how to help."

On the Farm:

Flip Flap Farm
By Nosy Crow, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
HC: 9780763670672 ∙ February 2014 ∙ $11.99 ∙ 26 pages ∙ Ages 0+


121 possible animal combinations!
"What do you get if you cross a pig with a turkey? Why, that would be a purkey! And a sheep with a rabbit? That would be a shabbit, of course! A very silly but absolutely compelling book that will charm the whole family."

By Anne Vittur Kennedy 
HC: 9780763666798 ∙ April 2014 ∙ $11.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ Ages 3+

"When you see a horse, say neigh! The animal sounds tell the story in an infectiously rhythmic picture book that’s a delight to read aloud.
What mischief do the animals get up to when the farmer’s back is turned? Anne Vittur Kennedy lets us know in the animals’ own words! There will be boating, of course, and a picnic, a rollercoaster ride, Jet Skiing, a hot-air balloon, ballroom dancing — oh, no! Could that arf! arf! arf! mean the farmer’s heading back? Even the youngest listeners can read this book aloud by following along with the pictures and making each animal’s sound."


My girls and I have been having a blast these past few days reading each and every one of the above books.  While my youngest was a fan of the lift the flap books, I loved watching Savannah's eyes light up as I read the books about planting a garden, and she saw how seeds turned into vegetables and flowers. The past few years, we have been members of the local CSA and would pick up weekly vegetables.  But, seeing that the girls are getting old and want to help out more, we decided that this year we will be planting our own vegetable garden, so that they can experience and reap the rewards of having a green thumb.  

In honor of Earth Day today, I started seedlings in egg cartons with the girls.  They had a blast helping me count and add the different vegetable and herbs seeds to the soil, before we watered them.  All afternoon the girls kept stopping by the window to see if their seedlings had begun to sprout.  Savannah remembered some of the stories from the garden books above and kept telling Bella that they had to be patient and wait, and in time, they would get to enjoy things like tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and more.  She was so excited talking about what their garden would produce, and said she couldn't wait until the ground was ready outside to transplant the plants and watch them grow bigger. :-)  

In addition to creating a vegetable and herb garden, I also talked to the girls about recycling and reusing things, to cut down on waste, as well as reminded them to turn off lights when they leave a room to conserve energy.  Little by little they are learning how they can do their part to help take care of our planet.  And, Earth Day today was just a reminder how important it is to live an Eco-conscious life every day.

You can find the above books perfect for talking about Earth Day with your children, as well as other great books that celebrate nature, animals and healthy living available now from Candlewick Press by visiting their website -- http://www.candlewick.com/.


Flight of the Honey Bee

Thanks to the kind folks at Candlewick Press, one lucky reader will win "Flight of the Honey Bee" by Raymond Huber to share with their child.  This was one of my girls' favorite books to have read to them, and has become a staple at bedtime.  This beautifully illustrated book by Brian Lovelock, does an amazing job at introducing little ones to the fascinating life of a honey bee.

To enter this giveaway, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.


  1. We don't do anything special on Earth Day

  2. For Earth Day we left the lights off at night and instead lit candles.

  3. Every day is earth day here, we garden and raise chickens and ducks.