News & Reviews

Moonbeam Awards gives HOLD THIS! Silver in ‘Picture Books 4-8 Years Old’

Jenkins Group is proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Launched in 2007, the awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Congratulations to all the winners!

See list of all awards here.

HOLD THIS! – One of the 16 Best Picture Books of Winter 2016 by Forward Review

This charming book is about a child exploring nature as she walks through the woods with her father. She is enthralled by the world around her and wants to hold on to everything she finds. Her father helps her to see that she can only really hold on to what is truly important. The watercolor illustrations depict the joy of a little girl’s treasure hunt and the woodland creatures that follow in her footsteps add humor to a very sweet story. Ages 3-7.

See whole article here. Originally posted February 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews ‘Hold this!’

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A toddler and her dad take a walk in the woods, where there is much to behold and to hold.

A “sparkling stone,” a “spiny spiral pine cone,” and a “bumpy brittle brown twig”: each find summons the titular imperative from Mika to her father. He reminds her that she’s a big girl and can hold her treasures herself. A stumble causes her to lose them, but with a kiss from dad, she’s ebulliently looking around again. Here, swirling display type accentuates her renewed enthusiasm as she lights upon leaves, a stream, and a frog, all gathered (the stream in a cupped leaf), all lost again. Mud and a mushroom are next. (Either dad is a mycologist and recognizes it as harmless, or he is secure in the knowledge she won’t eat it, for no parental warning issues forth.) A rotten log is an immediate fail, but Mika has distracted herself (rather abruptly) with a fairy house. On the way home, a final “Hold this!” finds hands joined in companionship. Alpaugh illustrates Scoppettone’s brief, onomatopoeic text with bright watercolors. Mika has East Asian features, while her father is a blond Caucasian. Their relative sizes may give some readers pause—very young Mika seems at times quite big—but this serves to visually unite them. Small animals play fancifully in the background; at one point, mice float by on inner tubes.

A sweet celebration of sharing in the outdoors. (Picture book. 2-5)

Read whole article here. Originally posted on October 6, 2015.

HOLD THIS! — Introducing debut picture book author Carolyn Scoppettone. By Christy Mihaly

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A warm welcome to Carolyn Scoppettone, author of the new picture book, HOLD THIS! She is sponsoring a book give-away today, so be sure to leave a comment to enter.

Carolyn’s debut picture book was published this fall by Maine publisher Islandport. It’s illustrated by Priscilla Alpaugh. The story follows an enthusiastic little girl and her father on a walk in the woods, where they find many fascinating objects to examine and hold onto.

The book has been well reviewed — see the Kirkus review here. Carolyn has been busy promoting her book in and around her home town of Montpelier, Vermont, with story walks, and more. Don’t know what a story walk is? Read on.

Q: Carolyn, what inspired you to write HOLD THIS?

CS: When my daughters were little we would take long walks in the woods. The girls would rush ahead and return, beaming, with one woodland treasure after another. And, of course, they wanted me to hold them all.

IP: Can you speak a little bit about the evolution of this story idea? 

CS:The book grew from the walks I took with my girls when they were little. Like my character, Mika, my girls were delighted with what they found. Bumpy twigs, smooth stones, crunchy leaves, all these items were scooped up and brought to me to hold.

See whole article here. Originally posted November 13, 2015

Hold This! – Q&A with Carolyn Scoppettone by Bear Pond Books

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Last Friday while we were reviewing early chapter books (more on those tomorrow), Kellogg-Hubbard Library was hosting a launch event for the publication of “Hold This!” a debut picture book by Montpelier author Carolyn Scoppettone. “Hold This!”recounts a walk through the woods with a daughter discovering many treasures – or “treasures” – to share with her father.

Earlier this month, Islandport Press published a short written Q&A with Carolyn about the origin of the book, linked here. Now, she has nicely taken the time to do another round for our educators blog. 

We’ve had authors in our educators series before speak about the sense of play and wonder as an important part of engaging kids in learning – looking a little beyond the text on the page, do you have thoughts for inspiring the feeling of play in planned activities, like you would find in a school setting?

At the end of “Hold This!,” Mika builds a fairy house. For young children, building small structures like these engages the imagination as well as the senses. Handling bark, leaves, stones, and other natural materials gives a child a chance to notice shape, texture, and fragrance, among other things.

While you might not build a fairy house in a classroom, natural materials can come into school to be used in crafts and art activities. I especially like art activities that highlight the complexity and beauty found in nature. Leaf rubbings, natural collages, shoe box dioramas, and many other activities allow children to create something beautiful out of things they find in nature.

There are also many crafts that highlight certain properties of natural objects. For example, when studying snowflakes in Four Winds, we would have the children cut out paper snowflakes. This is a simple but beautiful craft that reinforces the concept that the shape of each snowflake is unique.

Puppet shows and felt board activities are always great, as well. In the Four Winds program, we would start each lesson with a puppet show that introduced the learning objectives. For a unit on camouflage, for example, the puppet characters blended in with the background. When I do an author visit with a preschool audience, I bring along a felt board version of “Hold This!” Children love helping me find the various natural treasures that Mika asks her father to hold. There are a wide variety of games, as well. Memory games, for example, work particularly well with a nature theme.

Read whole article here. Originally posted on October 8, 2015.

“The Naturalist: Hold This!” by Pamela Brill of the Talking Walnut

The Talking Walnut

I made a meaningful discovery doing laundry the other day. While emptying out the contents of a pair of pants, I came upon a handful of unexpected treasure: a piece of sea glass and an acorn. I didn’t need to know whose clothing these came from; judging from these finds, I knew it had to be my 7-year-old. She’s the first one in our family to bring home a red fall leaf, and has been known to stuff her pockets with weeds, wildflowers and pine tree pieces…only for me to find them in paper cups filled with water on her bedroom dresser. Little slices of childhood like these are more precious than gold, but to the parent of a young child, they can be also be a mixed blessing. In the delightful new picture book, Hold This!, this experience is the premise of an all-too-familiar story of a young girl and her father walking through the woods. As the two set out on a seemingly uneventful stroll, Mika soon begins to find treasure after treasure, much to her patient parent’s chagrin. It’s not long before this sweet journey turns sour, as Mika slips, fall and loses some of her findings–not to mention her cool. Any parent worth his salt will understand the mixed emotions that arise out of watching one’s child stumble, while trying to encourage independence. By story’s end, readers will smile knowingly as they ultimately realize that like Mika’s walk, childhood innocence is something worth savoring. It’s something I remember, too, each time I unearth those outdoor treasures before turning on the dryer.

In a Nutshell: A poignant tale that captures the beauty of childhood curiosity, a treasure worth hanging on to.

Read the whole article here. Originally posted on October 2, 2015.

“5 Questions with ‘Hold This!’ Author Carolyn Cory Scoppetone” by Islandport Press

Islandport Press

Later this month, we are launching “Hold This!”— a charming, new picture book illustrated by Boston-area artist Priscilla Alpaugh and written by Montpelier, Vermont, author Carolyn Cory Scoppettone. The story takes readers on a sensory journey through the woods with a young girl and her father. There are many treasures to be found along the way, but the greatest discovery is the joy they find in simply spending time together.

We recently chatted with Carolyn about the making of her debut picture book and her life as a working writer.

P: Where did you get your inspiration for the book? 

CS: When my daughters were little we would take long walks in the woods. The girls would rush ahead and return, beaming, with one woodland treasure after another. And, of course, they wanted me to hold them all.

IP: Can you speak a little bit about the evolution of this story idea? 

CS: Actually, “Hold This!” started out as a longish picture book about a mother and seven children taking a walk at the seashore. The children collected treasures . . . a grain of sand, a stalk of grass, etc. Gradually their treasures grew bigger and bigger. Their mother held everything, but the weight of a baby elephant seal eventually caused the pile of treasures to come tumbling down. The story was absurd and funny and received some nice rejections from editors, but it was missing something – heart, I think. I put the story aside for a while, but I kept thinking about it. How could I capture that childish delight in the natural world? How could I express the parent’s poignant experience? Finally, I hit on the right approach. I love the way “Hold This!” turned out.

Read whole article here. Originally posted on September 2, 2015.