Posted in Nana's Nook Reviews 2016

Nana’s Nook – Review – Shh! Bears Sleeping by David Martin – Pictures by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Nana's Nook

I used to review children’s books when Kaden was younger and now Remi and Natalie are getting to that fun age where they love to read with me. Kaden is into chapter books and learning new words everyday. So I have decided to say “yes” when a children’s book crosses my path that I think they would enjoy.

shh bears sleeping

Shh! Bears Sleeping
Viking Books for Young Readers (January 5, 2016)
Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670017188

In the fall
When leaves turn red
Bears know soon
It’s time for bed
Comes winter
Comes snow
Bears are ready
Bears go
In their cave
Warm and deep
Winter is time
For bears to sleep

A lilting read-aloud text and stunning pictures combine to make an irresistibly appealing picture book that follows these fascinating animal friends through the cycle of the year. A page of facts about bears will answer young readers’ questions as they begin to explore the wonders of the natural world.

Nana’s Thoughts

What an absolutely wonderful book!

The first thing I noticed and all readers will notice is the spectacular oil paintings that illustrate this book. They and the prose take us through an entire year of bears. The rhythmic writing is fun to read with children of any age. Most of the words are ones children learn early so it is great when they can pick out the words they know. The paintings are so well done you almost expect to touch the page and feel the bear’s fur.

In addition to the story, there are 2 pages of Bear Facts. Again written in easy to read and understand language for children. It is like a 2nd story. A few of the words like “lethargy” and “omnivores” will need a little explanation but this makes for some great learning moments.

A spectacular book to be read aloud to children. A great bedtime story or an anytime story. These bears are so cute. I am sure this will be a book that will be reread many times. My grandchildren love it.


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About The Author 

Readers of David Martin’s books won’t be surprised when they meet the author and find that he is just as entertaining as his books – he sings, plays the guitar or the kazoo, or even juggles during his school visits. As David Martin says, “I have never minded particularly making a fool of myself,” so he is never at a loss to illustrate his points or to make a connection with the kids. In his interactive sessions, he also works with students to create their own books or to produce oversized class books. The author’s ease in the classroom comes from his hands-on teaching experience: he’s an eighteen-year veteran of elementary and middle schools.

A native of Queens, Martin has lived in northeast Vermont with his family since 1970.

About The Illustrators

Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have collaborated on over 45 picture books, using an unusual approach wherein both artists conceive, draw, design and paint. Their work has appeared in annual reports, advertisements, magazines, and movies, including Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, for which they provided pre-production set and character designs.

No Star Nights was their first children’s book. Together, they have illustrated The Salamander Room, by Anne Mazer, Felix Salten’s Bambi, adapted by Janet Schulman, Cat, You Better Come Home, by Garrison Keillor, The New York Times best-selling My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss, The Velveteen Rabbit, abridged by Lou Fancher, and Amazing Peace, by Maya Angelou. Their 2000 release, I Walk At Night, by Lois Duncan, was recognized as one of The New York Times Best Illustrated Books. They are the recipients of a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators and their work has appeared in Communication Arts, Print, and Graphics.

Find our more on their webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Spotlights

Spotlight – Race Against Bullying – Matt Kenseth’s Race For Success

I haven’t been sharing children’s books lately but when my favorite NASCAR driver, Matt Kenseth, and his wife Katie released this book I just had to tell you all about it!!
RACE AGAINST BULLYINGRace Against Bullying was released August 26 to coincide with National Youth Literacy Day. It is a book aimed at educating and empowering children to make good choices if faced with bullying situation. It is also the first installment of a four-part series of educational children’s books that Matt and Katie Kenseth championed. The series is designed for family reading for children ages 4 through 8 to become more self-confident and empowered to make good choices.

The book is only available at Dollar General stores and online at We were able to pick up a few copies at our local store last Saturday and the clerk said they were going fast.

It is a really cute story with a fantastic message.

BOOK SYNOPSIS: Nine-year old Matt is starting fourth grade when he encounters a bully who teases him about his racing. A frustrated Matt seeks the assistance of his parents and his friends to help him deal with the school bully. With their help, Matt discovers several methods to help him with this difficult situation.

According to Kenseth:

“This book is designed to help families discuss the effects of bullying with their kids. We believe it’s important our kids not only know how to deal with a bully, but also understand that it’s not OK to act like one.”

The book is excellent made too with a strong heavy board cover and beautifully illustrated – 22 pages – 10″x10 –  And it is priced right too at just $3.00!!!!

This book would be a great gift to a new reader. At this price you could buy a copy for your child or grandchild and then purchase an extra one to donate to their school or classroom library.

According to, more than 70 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools and less than 30 percent of students who are bullied notify an adult. More statistics, further reading about bullying, and ways that adults can help can be found at the website.*

About Matt Kenseth
Kenseth, an avid reader and literacy advocate from the small town of Cambridge, Wis., is the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who currently drives the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. A father of four, Kenseth championed this project in hopes these books can help spark dialogue among families to better prepare today’s youth for the challenges that await them.

Kenseth has helped support literacy programs throughout his career and currently serves as an ambassador for the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Sharing in both Dollar General and Kenseth’s commitment to literacy is long-time Kenseth sponsor CITIZEN Watch, who made a $25,000 donation on Kenseth’s behalf to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of the book launch.*

Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports literacy programs for children, youth, adults and families in 40 states nationwide. The Foundation works to:

  • Increase access to programs that are designed to help adults and youth who are struggling with basic literacy and education.
  • Ensure individuals are able to read English at proficient levels to advance toward and obtain their high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Help create models of success/best practices that can be replicated in order to help increase the high school graduation rate and GED attainment rate in the United States.

To that end, it makes grants in the areas of:

  • Adult literacy: Grants support adult basic education, GED preparation and English language acquisition.
  • Family literacy: Grants support adult education instruction, children’s education, Parent and Children Together Time, and parenting classes.
  • Youth Literacy: Grants support implementation of new or expansion of existing literacy programs; purchase of new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; purchase of books, materials or software for literacy programs.
  • Summer Reading Programs: Grants go to local nonprofits and libraries to support summer reading programs for pre-K through 12th grade students.
  • Beyond Words: Grants go to school libraries recovering from major disasters.

For more information go to

I will be posting about future books in this series when they are released!

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*This information is from an article posted on MSN Money on August 26, 2014.