Jun 22, 2011

Picture Book Day: Janet Halfmann (& Giveaway)

I was delighted last fall when I was contacted by Janet Halfmann, the author of both these picture books. She arranged to have copy of each sent to me and due to my own lack of organization I lost one of them! But I found it this week, so even though it is much later than I meant to review these books I am finally doing it.

Fur & Feathers:
This is an adorable book about a young girl striving to help her animal friends when they lose all their covering. The writing is fun and the pictures are playful. The best part is that kids don't even know they are learning when they read the book! Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
When Sophia dreams that howling winds whisk the fur and feathers right off her animal friends, she shares some of her clothes with them. But her clothing doesnt work well for the animals. Seeing their disappointment, she offers to sew each one the right coat. Animals line up to explain what they need and why. Polar Bear needs white fur to stay warm and hide in the snow. Fish needs scales, but with slime. Snake needs scales too, but dry ones. And how will Sophia make a prickly coat for Porcupine? The award-winning team of Halfmann and Klein (Little Skinks Tail) reunite to bring animal coverings (and classification) to life in an imaginative way. Sophias friends include Duck, Fish, Frog, Ladybug, Polar Bear, Porcupine, Snail, and Snake. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Scientific Classification, Skin Coverings, and Animal Classification. Additional Teaching Activities and Interactive Quizzes are available on the Sylvan Dell Publishing website.
When I got this book I decided to give it a trial run with my fellow librarians little girls (although my sons still enjoy picture books, I wanted a younger take). Both girls loved it! One of them set out to draw some pictures of the animals and the other just wanted me to read it again.

The great thing about this book is that teachers of older students (I am thinking middle grade even) could read this book to their kids when they start introducing classification. It is packed with information. In fact, I have a few copies placed on my fall order for just this reason!

Here's a book trailer for Fur & Feathers:

Good Night, Little Sea Otter:
I am going to do this review very different from my normal way, but it works for me and this book! I am going to list the reasons I adored this book:

*Darling illustrations. Seriously, they are such sweet, cozy illustrations. Perfect for the text of the book.

*Because this was a good night book I read it to my sons one evening before bed (they are 11 & 13). We love the ocean but live no where near the ocean. We've been lucky enough to visit several times and this book brought back several wonderful memories for us!

*The author dedicated the book to her grandson! That is the most precious thing.

*I read it to my son (my 13 year old) this last week when he was in the hospital. Adding a sweet picture book to this experience made it a little better for us--I read it several time. There is just something about a night time picture book that makes kids of all ages feel safe and loved!

Janet has graciously allowed me to giveaway a copy of Good Night Little Sea Otter! To enter please fill out the form below:
*Open to US residents only (sorry!)
*Contest closes July 6.


  1. Thanks so much for the wonderful reviews of both of my books. I was especially happy to read that Good Night, Little Sea Otter helped make your son's stay in the hospital a better experience. Happy Summer Reading to All!

  2. Thank you for sharing the delightful reviews of these two books, Jana. They are both such cute stories, and it's nice to know that even your 13 year old son enjoyed Good Night, Little Sea Otter. So sweet!