Monday, March 9, 2015

Build a Book for Boys: Creative Writing Journal #Review + #Giveaway

One of the cool things about being  a parent, is watching your child grow, and develop their own personality. For my husband and me, it's been a lot of fun to speculate which one of us our son will take after the most. B definitely takes after both of his parents, but because he spends the most time with me, it's only natural that for right now, he takes after his mom a tad more than he takes after his dad. B and I spend a lot of time being very silly, and very creative. We love to sing songs, often making up our own, and have recently learned that he possesses the skill that his Papa and mommy have, as well- being able to change the words to songs on the fly, without breaking the melody, phrase or rhythm. Gotta love improv! B is also a fantastic storyteller. Since he was just a little guy, I have been making up stories for him at bedtime, and now, he makes up his own stories for me and his daddy! 

I so enjoyed writing as a child, and I know that the encouragement of my parents had much to do with me becoming a writer. I still remember my mom allowing me to use the typewriter at our dining room table, typing out scripts for a pretend radio show that my sister and I used to put on! I want to encourage B the way my parents encouraged me, and when I was offered the opportunity to check out a brand new creative writing workbook for children, from our friends at Little Bee Books, I was all but geeking out over it. 

Build a Book for Boys is a anew and exciting creative journal for kids, ages 5+. With this book, boys will develop a love of writing. The book is jam-packed with activities, and tips for budding authors!
I'm not sure who's going to wind up having the most fun with this journal- probably me, but I definitely wanted B to check it out, and get a jump-start on some of the activities, even if we work our way through the book slowly.

Build a Book title page- a fun introduction for little writers.

I love the bright, colorful pages of this journal for children. Even at the very first page, the book is offering helpful tips for little ones, such as not to worry to much about spelling or handwriting- just to follow their creative process, and make edits later on. Great advice! It even lists some of the supplies the kiddos might want to have on hand, like a pencil, sharpener, eraser, and the journal, of course!

Just one of the fun activities among the first few pages in this journal...

One of the first things we did, was to sit down and work on The Author pages, where the child is encouraged to write about himself. We wrote his name and age on the page, and then answered some questions about physical appearance and characteristics, such as hair and eye color. We were also prompted to write down some adjectives, which described B's personality, so we wrote down: Funny, Loving, Adventurous, Creative, and a few others. Next, we shared some of B's hopes and dreams for the future, like what he wants to be when he grows up, and some of the things he has been wishing for... like a puppy, or a brother (but not a sister).

We also had a chance to jot down some things about B's best buddy (B does have a best friend from school, but his Cousin C will always be his best buddy). We described C, and even drew a picture of him! We also made a list of B's favorite books!

One of my favorite spreads in the book- a quick lesson on adjectives and 'wow' words.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the over-use of the word 'awesome,' as they are many other words one can use to describe something wonderful or exciting. Hubby and I don't shy away from using descriptive words, or words that many people would deem 'too big' for a child. We take care to explain the meaning of a word when we use a word that B may be unfamiliar with. We ask him to repeat the word a couple of times, and then we try to remember to use it in everyday conversation, so we're building his vocabulary (which is already pretty impressive for a four-year-old). The exercises in this journal encourage children to think outside of the box when it comes to the words they're using to describe something.

One of B's favorite activities in the Build a Book for Boys journal, is My Pet Dragon. In this exercise, the child is given a pet dragon, and asked to name the pet, write some 'wow' words to describe their personality, and then asked a series of questions about how the dragon looks, feels, smells, etc. What a fun afternoon we spent dreaming up the perfect pet dragon, and sharing all about our dragon adventures!

We even worked on creating our own comic strip!

There are so many fun exercises and activities in this book! I love the outline of the Story Arc, which helps children understand the five basic parts to a story: The Beginning, The Build-Up, The Problem, The Resolution, and The Ending. There's plenty of room for character development, story webbing, and lots of space to fill the blank pages with finished stories! I wish that I'd had a book like this as a child, when I was exploring my love for writing. This journal is even a great tool for me as an adult writer, reminding me to think outside of the box, use different words to describe something, and to map out the story. 

B has one more year of preschool before he begins kindergarten, and we'll spend the summer months working on exercises and activities in all subjects, so that he'll be prepared for the new school year. My hope is that when he does begin kindergarten, he'll be ready, and perhaps even ahead of the curve a bit. I know that one of the best things that I can do for my child, is to encourage him to explore his interests... so we'll keep on making messy art, getting our hands dirty in the kitchen or outside, reading and writing, making music, and playing together. Will B grow up to be a writer or a musician? Who knows? I know B's interests may very well change over time, and if/when they do, his daddy and I will be there, right alongside him, encouraging him all the way.

Build a Book for Boys (or Girls) would made a wonderful gift- think Easter Baskets, school graduations, birthdays, or think ahead for Christmas! This is also a wonderful resource for parents and teachers!

Want it? Buy It!

To learn more about Little Bee Books, and this wonderful children's journal, head on over to Little Bee Books' website. Also available- Build a Book for Girls- each book retails for $5.99.
You can stay up to date on Little Bee Books' latest and greatest, including news, events, and buzz surrounding their latest releases. You can also connect with Little Bee Books on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Want It? Win It

One lucky reader will win a copy of Build a Book (for Boys or Girls), from our friends at Little Bee Books. Just use the RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older- one entry per household. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Special thanks to our friends at Little Bee Books for allowing us to share about this wonderful creative writing journal for children, and for offering this giveaway for our readers, as well!

Good luck!


  1. We encourage them to ask questions, and if we don't know the answers we help them look them up. It's always fun to learn something new.

  2. Communication!!!

  3. We let them try anything they are interested in! Even if it's just a momentary interest :)

  4. I get material for my daughter to learn more about it.

  5. P always ask if they would like to try specific activity

  6. Reading is a great way to expose kids to a lot of different things, and then you can build on that.



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