Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas | Book Review

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

Written By: Lynne Cox

Illustrated By: Brian Floca

Published 2014 by Schwartz & Wade

Children’s Picture Book

Based on a True Story

 14823914

Author and swimmer Lynne Cox was on a trip to Christchurch, New Zealand gazing down at the waters of the Avon river when a boy asked if she was looking for Elizabeth, their elephant seal. Once she heard the story, Lynne knew she had to share this with the world! After some research and seeking permission from the town of Christchurch, Lynne brought us this beautiful book.

Brian Floca, a Caldecott award winning illustrator, created a beautiful look of pencil and watercolor looking images that marry the story and illustrations wonderfully.

This book follows the true story of Elizabeth, the elephant seal. Normally, elephant seals live in the cold waters of the ocean and no one is quite certain how or why Elizabeth wound up in the Avon river, but wind up there she did! A beloved member of the community, Elizabeth was quite happy to sun herself in Christchurch until the day she discovered her new favorite spot, across a busy road. The people of her town were afraid for her life and had her towed out to sea…three times. Elizabeth continued to find her way home.

The end of the book has some information on elephant seals that is very interesting and a great addition. I always love when authors include facts in the back of their books because it can lead to some amazing conversations with your child or students.  If you are a teacher working with students on either book reviews or science presentations dealing with animals this book could be something wonderful to help them along. I highly recommend this book for all ages!

 

Cover/illustrations – 4.5/5

Story/Writing Style – 4.5/5

Relatability – 5

Characters – 5

Things to learn – 5

Star Rating – 4.8

 

We had a BOOK SIGNING!

Yesterday (Saturday, June 25, 2016) was AMAZING!

First off, my parents, my 3 yr old, and myself were all up, ready, in the car, and able to pull out of the driveway at 8:30 am straight up…the time we had set to leave! Many of you won’t understand the significance of this; I assure you that it is a huge accomplishment (especially more my daughter and I!).

So, we were all up early on a Saturday, we stopped for donuts, and Dad drove us two hours to a Kansas zoo…but not just ANY zoo, NOPE! We went to Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard Kansas, where mom and I had a book launch/signing for Leonard the Lemur.

Exactly one year to the day after Matt Fouts (the amazing director of the park) gave us his go ahead to include Tanganyika in our children’s picture book, we were there signing copies, scoping out animals, and having an absolutely wonderful time!

Lucas (Media Ma Extraordinaire) hung out during the signing and took pictures, talked, asked questions…basically just made us feel like a part of the Tanganyika family!

So a BIG THANK YOU is in order to Matt, Lucas, Lauren, and all the rest of the staff (and animals) at that amazing place. Below are just a spare few of the pictures I took during this fun day. You can find Leonard the Lemur on Amazon and Createspace (check out amazon.com/author/eliabethtyree for all of my published works).

For MORE on the real life Leonard, his friends, and his home check out the park at twpark.com

Leonard June 25 2016

Leonard the Lemur! (Who just took over his bachelor group. Way to go Leonard, We’re Proud of you!) Taken by Lucas at TWPARK.com

Artsy Animals

Do you like random facts? Do you enjoy animal artwork? Do you love tiny little books that can conveniently be carried with you virtually anywhere???

THEN I HAVE JUST THE BOOK FOR YOU!!

9781607748328

*Slightly smaller than actual size*

Maja Safstrom is an architect and illustrator from Stockholm who has worked with Ten Speed Press to bring us a small book with a big impact. Coming at a mere 6.3×0.7×7.8 inches in dimension, The illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts combines pen and ink/black and white drawings with facts about several different animals, all seemingly hand lettered. This book gives us not only  peek aat nature, but  look at the author’s nature journal (of sorts).

The book is very well made, the cover binding feels nice and fits very well into a hand, the interior pages have the look and feel of thicker art paper, and the entire piece feels like a work of art lovingly created for the audience.

If you enjoy Maja’s style of artwork, as I do, I highly suggest also following her on Instagram!

I’ll leave you with a  fact to ponder while you’re waiting on that page to load.

“Penguins laugh when they are tickled.”

You’re welcome and have a marvelous day!

Leonard the Lemur

A few years ago I wrote an early elementary book about a little lemur. The lemur’s name was Leonard and he LOVED lighthouses. Now Leonard was raised by a sweet lady who read to him and taught him about all sorts of things, and when he was old enough to move to the zoo she still came to visit him often. I have always loved this book and intended to edit, illustrate, and include lemur and lighthouse facts. However, by the time I finished Stone Dragon 1 and 2 and thought to take a break for Leonard, the old computer had lost most of his story again.

I felt dejected and upset at myself, so I went back to my dragons and tried to remember what I had lost with the lemur. Fast forward 2 years. I am sitting at my desk observing while a classroom full of 22 students takes state tests. Suddenly, a little lemur begins to dance across my mind again. Not to give me the story I had already written, but to show me how it began. So I wrote a new book. A picture book prequel. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses. 

A few days later came the realization that I would have had to re-write the 1st (now 2nd) book anyway, even if it hadn’t been lost, because it is actually TWO books! So Now my illustrator (Mom) is really going to have a load of work to so this summer because there are 3 early literacy (hopefully leveled) readers to get done. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses, Leonard the Lemur Takes a Trip, and Leonard the Lemur Finds His Home.

Each one will come complete with a small section of facts about lemurs, lighthouses, and other animals/areas he encounters during his adventures.

I am SO EXCITED to get this project back up and running again.

I always look forward to hearing what you think. Leave a note and let me know!

May your inspiration lift you up from the mundane and let you dance in the clouds today!

Sheep

This morning my daughter looked very seriously at the wall in our restroom and told me that there were sheep eating RIGHT THERE MOM! I suppose it is true that inspiration can come from anywhere…Enjoy!

There were sheep on the wall in the bathroom,

grazing on grass we could not see.

Sheep on the wall in my bathroom,

not one, not two, but THREE!

Sheep on the wall in the bathroom,

Wandering by the corner happily.

Sheep on the wall in my bathroom,

Where are they from? You can search me!