Posts Tagged ‘familiar story’

Score a Winning Hockey Picture Book!

Posted on November 15th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Hockey Picture book

My youngest son has played hockey since he was five years old. For years, bedtime stories included books about playing hockey. Many of these stories include great messages about friendship, teamwork, bullying and working together toward a common goal.


hockey picture book Clancy with the Puck
Clancy With the Puck written and illustrated by Chris Mizzoni
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a traditional story) published by Raincoast Books

Just as Casey could hit a baseball, Clancy is a star when it comes to hockey. When Clancy Cooke joins the Hogtown Maple Buds, hopes are raised for a Stanley Cup win. Alas, in the final moments of a playoff game, when Clancy takes a penalty shot, “The puck deflected off the post, like a comet to the sky. The Buds had lost the Stanley Cup – and the fans went home to cry.” A sure winner, especially for hockey fans and those familiar with the classic story of Casey at the Bat.

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.com

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey CardThe Hockey Card Written by Jack Siemiatycki & Avi Slodovnick and illustrated by Doris Barrette
Hockey picture book published by Lobster Press

When Uncle Jack shares the story of the best hockey card he ever had, we take pleasure in a glimpse of the great Maurice Richard and a schoolyard duel against a tough hockey card shark. This is a book that made a lasting impression in our household – my youngest son is now a 13 year old bantam hockey player and just noticed me working on this post. He remarked, “Now that was a good book.”

The Hockey Card at Amazon.com

The Hockey Card at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey TreeThe Hockey Tree written by David Ward and illustrated by Brian Deines
Hockey picture book published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

This is a favourite wintertime picture book that beautifully captures a Canadian winter day. Set in Saskatchewan, Owen and Holly are excited because Humboldt Lake has finally frozen over and it is a perfect morning for a spirited game of pond hockey. The two children are excited to drive to the lake with their dad and before long their skates are laced and the three are laughing and playing together. Unfortunately, just as the family starts to talk about taking a break and enjoying a mug of steaming hot chocolate, Holly smacks at the puck and it flies across the frozen lake and disappears into an ice fishing hole.

The children are terribly disappointed that they’ve lost their puck and assume that the game will have to end. Dad is not quite so willing to concede. He helps Owen and Holly to find a fallen poplar tree near the lake. Once a suitable tree is found, dad saws a piece from the trunk to create a wooden puck and the hockey game resumes.

Brian Deines’ luminous illustrations include icy cold winter scenes that are made warm by his depiction of the joy of playing a favourite sport with friends and family.

A lovely book to share with young children, this is one of my favourite wintertime picture books.

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.com

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Moccasin GoalieThe Moccasin Goalie written and illustrated by William Roy Brownridge
Hockey picture book published by Orca Book Publishers

Danny, Petou, Anita and Marcel live in a small, prairie town and they love to play hockey. They play road hockey when the weather is warm and ice hockey when the temperature cools and their outdoor rink is flooded. Everything changes when a new team is organized for their town. The four friends can’t wait to be part of the fun. They are devastated when only Marcel is selected to play for the Wolves. Anita is refused a spot because she is a girl, Petou is considered too small for the team and Danny is refused a place on the team because his disability means that he cannot wear skates.

All three children are terribly disappointed to be left out but, as the end of the hockey season approaches, the Wolves’ goalie is injured and the coach asks Danny to play.

The Moccasin Goalie is the first of a three book series. The Final Game is the second book. Victory at Paradise Hill is the third. Gorgeous illustrations – many using a pointillist technique – beautifully depict the joy of outdoor wintertime play. The story itself invites discussion of fairness, friendship and overcoming challenges.

Highly recommended for children five years and older.

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.com

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book  Over at the RinkOver at the Rink – A Hockey Counting Book written by Stella Parthenhiou Grasso and illustrated by Scot Ritchie
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a familiar song) published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Exuberant fun awaits in this hockey-theme adaption of Over in the Meadow. Young hockey fans will enjoy discovering all the elements of a great game – anthem singing, on ice- officials, a close score, players defending and scoring, earnest coaching, an enthusiastic mascot and excited fans. The wintry outdoor rink setting adds to the festive atmosphere.

Good fun for children four years and older.

Over at the Rink: A Hockey Counting Book at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book SplintersSplinters – written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Hockey Picture Book published by Tundra Books

Cindy loves to play hockey but it is an expensive sport to play and her family is poor.   Showing great determination and resourcefulness, Cindy is excited to finally earn enough money to join a neighbourhood team.  Unfortunately, at the rink, Cindy encounters three nasty Blister Sisters who make playing hockey very unpleasant. 

At her very first practice, she met the Blister Sisters. They could tell she was one good hockey player, and they were jealous.

They insulted her old equipment… Then they made her look bad on the ice… They could do this because their mom was the coach

Thank goodness Cindy has a fairy goaltender watching out for her. The fairy’s magic provides Cindy with a dazzling new uniform, gleaming skates and a Zamboni – to transport her to the all-star team tryouts. Cindy rushes to the rink and does not disappoint – she is a star.

Knowing that the magic spell will end once the final buzzer has sounded, Cindy rushes away from the rink, leaving a shiny skate behind.

Coach Prince is determined to match the shiny skate to the player who wore it during the tryouts.

Coach Prince went from locker room to locker room, trying the skate on every girl she could find. Finally she arrived at Cindy’s rink ensuring a happy ending for Cindy and her new team.

Splinters will have greatest appeal for children who are familiar with Cinderella. We love the idea of taking a familiar story, like Cinderella and retelling it with new characters and a contemporary setting. In a primary classroom, we suggest using Splinters as a jumping off point, inspiring young writers to imagine other situations for Cinderella to encounter.

Splinters at Amazon.com

Splinters at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book Z is For ZamboniZ is for Zamboni – A Hockey Alphabet Written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose
Hockey theme alphabet book published by Sleeping Bear Press

If hockey plays a part in your household, this enticing hockey alphabet book will appeal to the entire family. Young children will enjoy the simple rhymes while older children and adults will appreciate the more detailed information bordering the charming illustrations.

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.com

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Free Hockey Theme Printables for Kids

Hockey Theme Writing Paper

image of PDF icon  Hockey Theme Writing Paper for Kids

image of PDF icon  Ice Hockey Picture Dictionary


Me and You – A Fresh Look at Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Posted on December 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Me and You written and illustrated by Anthony Browne
Picture book published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux





Shortlisted for the 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, Me and You is a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

While on a rather boring outing with her mom, Goldilocks is distracted by a floating balloon. She follows the balloon but can’t quite catch it. Separated from her mother, she finds herself in a dark and dismal part of town, characterized by foreboding brick walls, cracked windows and narrow alleyways.

Meanwhile Baby Bear, Mummy Bear and Father Bear have decided to go for a walk while their morning porridge cools. They leave their sunny-yellow house and head to a nearby park.

“Daddy talked about his work and Mummy talked about her work. I just messed about.”

Beautifully illustrated,Me and You depicts Goldilocks’ experiences (wordlessly) in tones of gold and sepia. Baby Bear lives in a decidedly cheerier, more colourful world.

Highly recommended for children who are familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Me and You offers many opportunities to make comparisons and consider perspective.

Suggested visual literacy activity for Me and You from CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards site

Me and You at Amazon.com

Me and You at Amazon.ca

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books


Storytelling Around the World

Posted on November 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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This five-book series is written is written by Veronika Martenova Charles‘ and illustrated by David Parkins. Generously illustrated, each book includes three versions of a familiar story and was written with newly independent readers in mind. The books are each 56 pages and contain five chapters. Suited to readers aged five to eight, the series could be used effectively in a classroom with children exploring similarities and differences the ways Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood and other stories are told.

It’s Not about the Apple!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.com

It’s Not about the Apple!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.ca

It’s Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.com

It’s Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.ca

It’s Not about the Hunter!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.com

It’s Not about the Hunter!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales at Amazon.ca


Splinters is an Icy, Hard-Hitting Take on Cinderella

Posted on October 31st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at Splinters, a picture book with a modern day hockey take on the Cinderella storySplinters – written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Picture book published by Tundra Books



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Cindy loves to play hockey but it is an expensive sport to play and her family is poor.   Showing great determination and resourcefulness, Cindy is excited to finally earn enough money to join a neighbourhood team.  Unfortunately, at the rink, Cindy encounters three nasty Blister Sisters who make playing hockey very unpleasant. 

At her very first practice, she met the Blister Sisters. They could tell she was one good hockey player, and they were jealous.

They insulted her old equipment… Then they made her look bad on the ice… They could do this because their mom was the coach

Thank goodness Cindy has a fairy goaltender watching out for her. The fairy’s magic provides Cindy with a dazzling new uniform, gleaming skates and a Zamboni – to transport her to the all-star team tryouts. Cindy rushes to the rink and does not disappoint – she is a star.

Knowing that the magic spell will end once the final buzzer has sounded, Cindy rushes away from the rink, leaving a shiny skate behind.

Coach Prince is determined to match the shiny skate to the player who wore it during the tryouts.

Coach Prince went from locker room to locker room, trying the skate on every girl she could find. Finally she arrived at Cindy’s rink ensuring a happy ending for Cindy and her new team.

Splinters will have greatest appeal for children who are familiar with Cinderella. We love the idea of taking a familiar story, like Cinderella and retelling it with new characters and a contemporary setting. In a primary classroom, we suggest using Splinters as a jumping off point, inspiring young writers to imagine other situations for Cinderella to encounter.

Splinters at Amazon.com

Splinters at Amazon.ca

Four Eye Popping Picture Books for Children

Posted on October 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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I want to let you know about four picture books for children that are sure to appeal to both boys and girls. I sincerely hope you will make time to share special books with the children in your life each and every day.



Welcome Winter
Written by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Nancy Davis

This sturdy, fun board book caught my eye and will have great appeal for toddlers. The illustrations and text are simple and yet very engaging. I especially liked the description of “snow crunching under boots” and a matching slippery, noisy surface that begs to be touched. Very young children will thoroughly enjoy checking out a variety of textures as they learn about the season of swirling snowflakes, cold temperatures and wind.

Welcome Winter at Amazon.com

Welcome Winter at Amazon.ca

The Little Word Catcher Written by Danielle Simard, illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Originally published in French, The Little Word Catcher won a Governor General’s Award for Illustration. It was written with Alzheimer patients and their families in mind but also illustrates the impact of aphasia (an acquired communication disorder that is often due to stroke). Elise’s grandmother is losing her words. When in conversation, she has difficulty coming up with the right word to use. The affliction is terribly difficult for her young granddaughter to understand. Eventually, Elise takes comfort in the thought that perhaps Grandma has given her the words to use. A lovely story about the special relationship between a grandparent and a child, The Little Word Catcher will have special poignancy for families dealing with aging and loss.

The Little Word Catcher at Amazon.com

The Little Word Catcher at Amazon.ca

Smart-Opedia Junior

The Amazing Book About Everything from Maple Tree Press

It is all too easy to get locked into the idea that bedtime stories or even picture books ought to be fictional. For many children, a good nonfiction book will have terrific appeal not to mention loads of valuable information. Smart-Opedia Junior is intended for children aged 5 through 8 and provides all manner of interesting facts. Generously illustrated, youngsters will learn about body science, inventions, plant and animal life, our universe and more.

Smart-opedia Junior: The Amazing Book About Everything at Amazon.com

Smart-Opedia Junior Smart-Opedia Junior: The Amazing Book about Everything at Amazon.ca

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks
Written by Margaret Willey, illustrated by Heather M. Solomon

I wonder how many different books tell the recognizable tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I expect there are dozens and dozens of interpretations but perhaps none quite as original or fascinating as this one. Here, a bold and daring Goldilocks discovers a small, cave-like cabin that is home to three extremely untidy creatures. Should we really be surprised that bear porridge is not at all like the oatmeal humans enjoy or that a bear’s bed is similarly unfamiliar? Children who know the traditional story well will thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to consider an alternate account of Goldilocks’ adventure.

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks at Amazon.com

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks at Amazon.ca

Favourite Stories Transformed Into Terrific Picture Books

Posted on October 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Three familiar tales are given ingenious ‘make overs’ . Readers are sure to enjoy comparing these terrific picture books with the originals that inspired them.



The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark written by Ken Geist and illustrated by Julia Gorton
Picture book published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When Mama Fish sends Jim, Tim and Kim off to make their homes in the deep blue sea, a Big, Bad Shark is watching. It is not long before he knocks at a door and roars, “Little Fish, Little Fish, let me come in.” A really delightful addition to a picture book collection, youngsters will enjoy chiming in when the Little Fish replies, “Not by the skin of my finny, fin, fin!” Bold, bright illustrations compliment this clever adaptation and ensure a very happy ending.

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark at Amazon.com

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark at Amazon.ca


Clancy With the Puck written and illustrated by Chris Mizzoni
Picture book published by Raincoast Books

Just as Casey could hit a baseball, Clancy is a star when it comes to hockey. When Clancy Cooke joins the Hogtown Maple Buds, hopes are raised for a Stanley Cup win. Alas, in the final moments of a playoff game, when Clancy takes a penalty shot, “The puck deflected off the post, like a comet to the sky. The Buds had lost the Stanley Cup – and the fans went home to cry.” A sure winner, especially for hockey fans and those familiar with the classic story of Casey at the Bat.

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.com

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.ca


The Three Snow Bears written and illustrated by Jan Brett
Picture book published by Putnam Juvenile, an imprint of Penguin Books

When Baby Bear’s soup is too hot and burns his mouth, he and his snow bear family leave their igloo and go for a stroll. Meanwhile, Aloo-ki is searching for her sled dogs. She happens upon the bear family’s igloo and is soon inside, tasting soup, trying on boots and sleeping in Baby Bear’s “just right” bed. Beautifully illustrated, this is a truly inspired adaption of Goldilocks’ story.

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.com

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.ca


Delightful Wordplay + Clever Illustrations = The Three Silly Billies

Posted on March 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at The Three Silly Billies, a picture book by Margie Palatini and Barry MoserThe Three Silly Billies – written by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Barry Moser
Picture book published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers





Here is an altogether new and modern take on the Three Billy Goats Gruff. When the three Silly Billies can’t put together enough change to pay the $1.00 toll to the grumpy stumpy troll at the Trollgate Plaza, they decide to form a rather unconventional ‘car pool.’ Enter a family of three bears, a boy named Jack and young girl carrying a basket and wearing a red hood. Mama Bear fretted. “What ever will we do? If we don’t get home soon, our porridge will be cold.”…. “Why not add your money to our money?” blurted out Billy Bob. “Join our car pool so we can cross the bridge together.” “Makes a lot of cents (sic) to me, ” said Baby Bear.

Lots of fun wordplay, delicious language and vivid, clever watercolor illustrations make The Three Silly Billies well worth a careful look especially for students in the primary grades who are familiar with The Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. The illustrations include “inside” jokes for readers to discover including Jack’s “Giant Buster” ax and the “Wolfbanextra” in Red’s basket. Be sure to follow the link (above) to Ms. Palatini’s website. You will find all sorts of treats for young readers.

Pass the Buck Brainteaser from the author’s website

Vote For Books’ Lesson Plan and Activities for The Three Silly Billies

The Three Silly Billies at Amazon.com

The Three Silly Billies at Amazon.ca


Of course, only a true princess can feel a pea under twenty mattresses

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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The Penguin and the PeaThe Penguin and the Pea – written and illustrated by Janet Perlman

Here is a delightful twist on a familiar tale. Poor Prince Penguin is lonely and filled with despair – will he ever find a penguin princess suitable for marriage? It seems unlikely until a stormy evening when a drenched young penguin arrives at the castle. She claims to be a princess seeking shelter. Prince Penguin is enchanted – the Queen is unconvinced. Will the ‘princess’ pass the test and ensure a happy ending?

The Penguin and the Pea is a fun take on a familiar story. Children will enjoy comparing this with other versions of The Princess and the Pea. Also fun for penguin theme.

32 pages, Ages 3 to 7

Mathwire’s Penguin Math page

The Penguin and the Pea at Amazon.com

The Penguin and the Pea at Amazon.ca


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