Perfect Picture Book Friday – Old MacDonald Had A… Zoo?

Psst!  The word on the street is it’s Friday!

This may be a completely unfounded rumor.

After all, due to the holiday last Monday it doesn’t really feel like Friday yet, does it?

But let’s go with popular opinion 🙂

I have a fabulously fun Perfect Picture Book to share with you today.  Get ready to enjoy! 🙂

Old MacDonald

Title: Old MacDonald Had A… Zoo?

Written & Illustrated By: Iza Trapani

Charlesbridge, September 12 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: animals (farm and zoo), nursery rhyme retelling, language (prepositions)

Opening: “Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O,
And on that farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O.
With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there,
Here a moo, there a moo,
Everywhere a moo moo,
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Brief Synopsis: Old MacDonald is tending his farm, milking his cow, minding his own business when along comes a herd of disruption!  What on earth are a bunch of zoo animals doing on Old MacDonald’s farm???!!!

Links To Resources: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others – think up groups of animals where 3 match in some way (farm, zoo, jungle, aquatic, color, pattern, food preference, feathers, fins, number of legs, tail, etc.) and the 4th doesn’t and get kids to tell you what the 3 have in common and why the 4th doesn’t match; draw your favorite farm animal and tell why it’s your favorite; what animal would YOU invite to Old MacDonald’s farm and how would your song verse go?; play Old MacDonald Says and practice the position words from the story – above, below, near, far, high, low, etc…

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 8.12.13 PM

text and illustration copyright Iza Trapani 2017

Why I Like This Book: Everyone knows the familiar story/song of Old MacDonald and his farm…but this version takes it to a whole new level as a bunch of escaped zoo animals wander in and start making themselves at home, much to the surprise of the regular farm inhabitants and to Old MacDonald’s chagrin!  The rhyme is perfect and fun to read aloud, telling a humorous story (and as an added bonus using a lot of positional words (above, below, near, far, high, low, etc.) so kids get practice in understanding the physical relationship of things.)  The art is lively and full of delightful hidden details.  And the facial expressions of both Old MacDonald and the animals are priceless 🙂  An all-around fun tale that will have little ones singing along!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

P.S.  You may have noticed that Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what THAT means…  the annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!  Stay tuned for details, hopefully coming early next week so you’ll have time to write, polish, and perfect!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #264 – Belly Button Piranhas (PB)

It’s Wednesday, my friends, and because I am genetically predisposed to be psychic (my mother’s great aunt’s second cousin once removed’s middle daughter-in-law grew up next door to a medium!), I know what the burning question in your minds is!

I know that you woke up this morning wondering to yourselves: what the heck do they do with the middle part of a bagel?

Really, it’s a mystery for the ages.

The middles of donuts become munchkins.  Everyone knows that!

But what becomes of bagel middles?

I’m glad you asked!

Because luckily, having recently traveled to the hinterlands of the untamed west (the outskirts of Los Angeles 🙂 ), I know the answer!

Bagel middles become Shmearfuls!

(I am not making this up!  Check out Einstein Bros Bagels if you don’t believe me! Or just look at the picture below – actual living proof!)

shmearfuls

All I wonder is why it took someone so long to come up with this absolutely amazingly awesome idea!  I mean, it looks like a munchkin but it’s actually a little round bagel middle stuffed with cream cheese and warmed to the perfect temperature… I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say pure genius!!!

So, now that I’ve answered the morning’s burning question, how about Something Chocolate (to go along with our Shmearfuls 🙂 )  You know.  So we can do like the black bears and get ready for winter hibernation 🙂

Chocolate Craving Cake

chocolatecravingcake

Recipe HERE at i am baker (video link HERE)

 

Mmmm-mmmm!  Lip-smackin’ good!  I feel more prepared for winter already!  How about you? 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kim who says, “I’m an aspiring children’s book writer lost in the corporate world, using each book as a stepping stone to escape the gray cubicle realm I’m trapped in.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Belly Button Piranhas

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch:  Olivia is a gullible eight year old girl that must come to terms with her Dad’s explanation of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt. With the help of her friends and her dog Rowdy, they will cure the infestation of the belly button piranhas.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kim improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in November, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to cleaning my office.

Okay.

That may have been a small fib.

If you know me at all, you know I consider cleaning an act of desperation, only to be attempted when the writing is Just Not Happening.

But it IS fair and true to say that I’m looking forward to when my office IS clean!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Good Night, Little Bot

What a crazy whirlwind week this has been!  But here we are, happily arrived at Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My mom is recovering from surgery, so I’m going to be very short and sweet today because I’m short on time.  Just remember, my brevity is out of necessity, not because I don’t love you 🙂

I absolutely love today’s book, hot of the presses from my friend Karen Orloff (whom you may know from I Wanna Iguana and other awesome titles!)  Check it out!

robot

Title: Good Night, Little Robot

Written By: Karen Kaufman Orloff

Illustrated By: Kim Smith

Sterling Children’s Books, October 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: robots, bedtime, language fun (rhyme)

Opening: “Little Bot, it’s time for bed.
Let’s get ready, sleepyhead.
Put down the game.
Turn off TV.
It’s almost bedtime,
Can’t you see?
Don’t say ‘NO,’ and don’t protest.
Little robots need their rest.

Brief Synopsis: It’s bedtime, and Little Bot doesn’t want to power down!  But little robots need to sip warm oil, comb their circuits, brush their bolts, and count robot sheep just like all kids 🙂

Links To Resources: Robot Activities Kids Will Love; Scholastic’s Robot-Themed Activities

Why I Like This Book:  Such a fun twist on robots and bedtime!  All the little robot details are delightful (powering down, sipping warm oil, combing circuits, brushing bolts, etc..)  The story is told in perfectly cadenced rhyme that is fun to read aloud.  And the bold, bright art and cute robots are just right for the story!  Cute and clever, delightful and fun, this is one that kids will demand again and again! 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #263 – The Puffin That Couldn’t Fly (PB)

Would you look at that?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again already!

I apologize in advance for horn-tooting, but there is great excitement in the Land of Hill because look what happened yesterday!

WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH made the Parents Magazine Best Children’s Books of 2017 List!!!

IMG_4194

Such an honor and a thrill!!!

Okay.  Thank you for indulging me!  Horn-tooting over 🙂

Onto today’s REAL business.  First, I’m happy to announce the winner of the June/July Pitch Pick, and that is Jenny with her PB pitch for Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma!

Woo hoo!  Congratulations, Jenny!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments!

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers who stepped up and put their work out for everyone to see and comment on!  It’s not easy!  All of us recognize that and applaud you for doing all you can to hone your craft and letting us learn with you!  I hope it was helpful to you even if you didn’t get Erin to read and comment!

Due to the above-mentioned celebratory announcement, I think we need Something Chocolate that is very decadent!  How about this delightful-looking chocolate mousse cake?  Look ma, no eggs!

Eggless Chocolate Mousse Cake

eggless chocolate mousse cake

Recipe HERE at OhSweetDay

Yum Yum Yummy Yum Yum if I do say so! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corine.  Corine loves to write stories and haiku poetry. When she is not writing she may be found adopting another street dog, tending to her farm animals, or walking with friends. She studied Business and Interior Design (in a previous life) and is now exploring her passion for writing.

Find her on the web at http://www.bicadeideias.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Puffin That Couldn’t Fly

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)

The Pitch: When Paolo the penguin adopts a friendly puffin colony he doesn’t understand why he can´t fly like his friends—until he follows his gut into the deep sea where his flippers lead him to his family and true identity.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Corine improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in November, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Corine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Warwick Children’s Book Festival this weekend where I will be on Saturday along with my friends and fellow children’s authors Iza Trapani, Nancy Furstinger, Karen Orloff, and many others!  Please come join us!  We’d LOVE to see you!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Rufus Blasts Off

Tra la!  It’s Friday!

There are just some words that make you feel good, aren’t there?  You know, like cupcake and cottage, raindrop and starlight, bakery and bookstore…and Friday! 🙂

I’ve got big plans for a fancy dinner – pizza with my favorite 4 and 6 year old – tiara NOT optional 🙂 – and a library visit for Big Truck Day.  A pretty hard-to-beat weekend, if you ask me! 🙂  I could have gone to the Garlic Festival… but somehow garlic ice cream sounds less appealing to me than chocolate anything.

However, that reminds me that we did have a conversation at Book Club this week about all the local festivals which include the Garlic Festival, and of course the upcoming NYS Sheep and Wool Festival (where Iza Trapani, Nancy Furstinger, Nancy Shaw, and I will all be so I hope you’ll all come visit us and get signed books for Christmas presents 🙂 ), but did you know we also have a Pickle Festival and a UFO Festival?  Seriously!  I am not making that up!

Anyway,  (watch how I pull this off! 🙂 ) speaking of UFOs, let’s have a look at today’s Perfect Picture Book which is about a pig in space: RUFUS BLASTS OFF! 🙂  (It took me years of practice, my friends, but it all paid off in the end.  My tiara says “Segue Queen” on it 🙂 )

Rufus

Title: Rufus Blasts Off

Written By: Kim T. Griswell

Illustrated By: Valeri Gorbachev

Sterling Children’s Books, September 12 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: pursuing your dreams, space, perseverance, love of reading

Opening: “Rufus Leroy Williams III had a pirate’s chest filled with books.
He loved every one.
And he read each book again anf again…and again.
One day, Captain Wibblyshins wanted a new story.
‘Arrrh!” said Rufus’s pirate mates.  “A new story!’

Brief Synopsis: In this third adventure of Rufus the pig, he has already been to school and sailed the seven seas with pirates.  Now, fascinated by Mars, he wants to go to space!  But Commander Luna says, “No pigs in space!”  What’s a pig to do?  He’ll just have to show up over and over, ready for blast off, until Commander Luna finally realizes he has the right stuff!

Links To Resources: make constellations out of pretzel sticks and mini marshmallows; Pie Plate Solar System Game; Glow-In-The-Dark Star Mobile; Moon Dust Writing Tray (for practicing letters)

rufus int

text copyright Kim T. Griswell 2017, illustration copyright Valeri Gorbachev 2017

Why I Like This Book:  It’s hard not to love a pig on a pirate ship.  Especially one who is so devoted to his story-loving pirate audience that he’s ready to blast off into space just to get them a new story (and if he gets to explore Mars while he’s at it, so much the better!)  Rufus is a delightfully determined little soul, never daunted by the repeated refusals of Commander Luna to join the crew.  He just keeps coming back…and coming back…and coming back until she realizes that they really can’t go to Mars without him (though I won’t tell you why – you’ll have to read and find out 🙂 )  Rufus is charming, and the art makes him so cute that he’s irresistible 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #262 – Pirate For Hire (PB) PLUS The June/July Pitch Pick!

Good Morning, y’all!

(Can you tell I just got back from Texas? 🙂 )

I had a fabulous time!  The conference was so well organized and beautifully run, right down to little details like an old typewriter placed on the faculty lunch table with crumpled drafts surrounding it and a page in it that said

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
BY:

IMG_4126
Isn’t that amazing???

And everyone was so so nice, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of wonderful people that I’ve previously only known online.  So I heartily recommend the North Texas SCBWI Conference should you ever find yourself in a position to attend!!!

Anyway, we have a very busy day today, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

First off, we finally have the June/July Pitch Pick.

Here are the revised pitches from our intrepid pitchers.  Please read through them and decide which one you like best and feel is most deserving of a read by editor Erin Molta!

#1 Chambrae – Oscar’s Noggin (PB 4-8)
Oscar can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles with his extraordinary noggin… except one. Oscar has to go to school and, despite his efforts to make it more stimulating, school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. When his teacher hires a substitute Oscar’s noggin starts to spin. Has he finally found a way to finagle his freedom?

#2  Jenny – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma (PB 3-6)
Little Medusa loves everything about snakes–just as long as they’re not slithering and sliding through her hair! She’s tangled up in knots trying to follow tradition. Using her imagination and heart, Little Medusa tries her best to please her family, her snake and herself.

#3  Katy – The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock (PB 3-7)

Have you ever stopped to ponder,
where all your lost socks go.
Where on Earth could they possibly wander?

You know the ones I mean,
your best socks, the very favourite kind
Where do they end up?
We seek them out, but we never can find?

Discover the world of a tiny, secretive, sneaky little creature, who adventures out at night in the night in a plot to steal your socks.

#4  Colleen – If I Could Only Be A Cat (PB 3-8)
Envy causes a young child to want to become her cat Daisy May. Who wouldn’t want to be able to stay out past suppertime and have no chores? The child’s imagination allows her to make the switch; now she’s free to chase mice and miss the school bus. But what about her friends? What about hugs from Mom and Dad? Maybe she doesn’t want to be a cat after all.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read and evaluate, please vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday October 1 at 5 PM Eastern.  Thanks in advance, from me and all the pitchers! 🙂

Phew!  That is always such a tough decision to make.  I’m sure you’re feeling the need for Something Chocolate.  I know I am 🙂  Since we’ve embarked on the Everything-Must-Be-Pumpkin-Related time of the year, and as always I have the best interests of your health at heart, I have chosen the perfect breakfast for you this morning!

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies!

Don’t those look delicious?  And so healthful!  I mean, think of all the vitamin A! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie who says, “I’m a mama to four and a wife to one. Before starting a family, I had the very good fortune to be an English teacher. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in British and American literature. It doesn’t get much better than reading and writing, does it?”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Pirate For Hire

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Pirate Patch has broken the ship’s plank…again. He must rustle up the money to fix it or be on deck duty till doomsday. With one month on land to earn the loot, Patch fumbles as a barber, flounders as a singer, and fails at selling jewelry before finding a job perfect for a pirate.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Katie improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in October, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon  for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Book Club tonight.  We will be discussing this month’s book, The House At The Edge Of Night.  Has anyone else read it?  What did you think?

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Maurice The Unbeastly

Darlings!

Right now this very second while you are reading this, I am winging my way to the Lone Star State for the North Texas SCBWI Conference!

texas
Sing with me!
“The stars at night
are shining bright
deep in the heart of Texas!”

Okay.  I confess that’s all I know.  But I am very excited!  I have only been to Texas once before and that was a drive-thru on a family cross-country trip when I was 12.  My only memory of Texas is of being forced to eat Velveeta sandwiches on white bread whilst we drove.  Yuck!  Seriously, whose idea was THAT?!  So I’m hoping it’s going to be a lot more fun this time… if I survive my presentation… which I have been nailbiting over for weeks already!  If you hear a jackhammering sound, that’s just my teeth chattering with nerves! 🙂

ANYway.

I’m thrilled beyond measure to be sharing this fabulous book today, written by the very talented Amy Dixon.  Such fun!  I love it!  I hope you love it 🙂

Maurice

Title: Maurice The Unbeastly

Written By: Amy Dixon

Illustrated By: Karl James Mountford

Sterling Children’s Books, September 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: individuality, being true to yourself, monsters, humor

Opening: “Maurice was not like the other beasts.  His voice was as sweet and refreshing as dandelion lemonade on a hot day.

Brief Synopsis: Maurice the beast is a misfit, about as un-beastly as they come.  His worried parents enroll him in the Abominable Academy For Brutish Beasts, hoping to help their son be more like he should.  But Maurice is just different… and maybe that’s not a bad thing!

Links To Resources: make a collage of pictures that represents who you are; make a list of at least 5 words that describe you; draw a picture of yourself doing something you love to do; write a poem about someone who makes you feel valued; draw a picture of the animal you feel is most like you and make a list of at least 5 words that explain why you are like that animal (e.g. brave, pretty, strong, fast, etc..)

Why I Like This Book: Maurice is delightful!  He is so gloriously and humorously un-beastly, with his melodious voice like “dandelion lemonade on a hot day”, his love for organic kale, and his smile which makes him “ridiculously photogenic”.  And when it comes to “messy meat eating” he asks for “the vegetarian option” 🙂  You’ve got to love a character who is so much himself in spite of how different he is from his peers.  And this is a message so many kids can benefit from, because we should all be true to ourselves.  The art is perfect for the story in shades of muted rust, green, and black with touches of red and white, and includes fun details like the Academy sign with the slogan “Hear us roar.  Hit the floor.  We’re the mighty carnivore!”, and Maurice pictured with birds and flowers.  A humorous, entertaining but also sweet read!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

And please wish me luck in Texas!!!!!!!

Would You Read It Wednesday #261 – I’m Hungry Mummy (PB)

Happy Would You Read It Wednesday, Everyone!

Do you know what day it is?

It is George R.R. Martin’s birthday!  (I believe he’s 69.)  Although I have yet to watch the HBO series, I am a fan of the whole Song of Ice and Fire and have read all the books published so far.  So, speaking of Would You Read It, would you (or have you) read A Game of Thrones and its sequels?  In my opinion, that is some good story-telling! (Except the 4th book… that one was a little slow and tough to get through…)  I don’t envy George R.R. though, having to produce books 6 and 7!  Talk about pressure! Yikes!  The very idea makes me feel lightheaded!  Luckily there’s a remedy for that… 🙂 (Which doubles as a celebratory confection we can honor George’s birthday with! 🙂 )

Since tomorrow is technically the first day of Autumn, and in my neck of the woods that seems to mean that Every Single Thing we eat for the next 8 weeks should involve pumpkin 🙂 how about Something Chocolate along the lines of Death By Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Bread?!

Death By Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Oops!  Careful!  Don’t drool on your keyboard! 🙂

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that this recipe is technically a “bread” not a “cake” and involves healthful vegetables (pumpkin and the nutritious cocoa bean! 🙂 ) and therefore qualifies as a Healthy Breakfast!  So help yourselves to seconds… or thirds… think of all the vitamin A in there! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Leonie who says, “Writing is my fun, I love putting pen to paper and watching a story unfold. I just know you’ll love my stories too! I live in Melbourne, Australia and work for a big company during the day and write early in the morning or late into the night. My husband, 3 daughters and I live in a Bayside community with our pooch, Jade – a German Short-haired Pointer. My love of reading started when I was a young girl and continued into my first job as a librarian. I now spend as much time as I can, reading and writing fiction.”

Find her on the web at
Twitter: @leonie_hearn
FB: Leonie Hearn Author

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: I’m Hungry Mummy

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-6)

The Pitch: I’m hungry, but so is Mommy… She pretends to ‘eat you all up’, but there are some problems I make her overcome first!

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Leonie improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in October, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Leonie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to going to Texas this weekend for the North Texas SCBWI Conference!  Anyone going?  Tell me in the comments and we’ll try to meet up! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Monday Funday Short & Sweet

Hey Everyone!

Isn’t it great to be back in the swing of things?

Well, almost back in the swing… since I didn’t realize until about midnight that today was the 3rd Monday of the month already which means it’s a Short & Sweet day! 🙂

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

But since we’re all just starting into the new school year – not just as writers, but many of us as teachers and students as well – I thought it was important to have our beginning-of-the-week (and school year!) inspirational writing prompt.

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s as much as I do! 🙂

milking

Here’s what to do – and your answers can relate to yourself, one of your children, or a character in a story you’re writing… or maybe you’ll create a character for a story you haven’t written yet!  Whoever you choose to write about, hopefully it will end up inspiring story from somewhere!

Okay!  Write each of the following on a piece of paper (or a word doc or whatever)

  1.  a specific ordinary item from your childhood home (e.g. clothespins, books, embroidered doilies)
  2. two product names from your childhood/past (e.g. Clorox, vinegar, Tide)
  3. a phrase describing your childhood home (e.g. dirt under the back porch, slamming screen door, shingles red as sunset)
  4. adjective, adjective, sensory detail relating to the phrase in #3 (e.g. black, glistening, it tasted like beetles)
  5. a plant, flower, tree or natural item from your childhood home (e.g. the forsythia bush, Dutch elm)
  6. description of item in #5 (e.g. whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own)
  7. family tradition and family trait (e.g. fudge and eyeglasses, easter eggs and hair in braids)
  8. 2 names of family members (e.g. Imogene and Esther; can also be something like Grammy or Dad)
  9. description of family tendency and another description of family tendency (e.g. know-it-alls and pass-it-ons)
  10. something you were told as a child and something else you were told as a child (e.g. Perk up! and Pipe down!)
  11. 2 representations of religion or lack of (e.g. he restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb and ten verses I can say myself)
  12. place of birth and family ancestry (e.g. Artemus and Billie’s Branch)
  13. 2 food items that represent your family  (e.g. fried corn and strong coffee)
  14. specific family story about a specific person and detail (e.g. the finger my grandfather lost to the auger)
  15. another detail of another family member (e.g. the eye my father shut to keep his sight)
  16. location of family pictures, mementoes, archives (e.g. under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures)
  17. line explaining the importance of family items (e.g. those moments snapped before I budded, leaf fall from the family tree)

Now, take everything you wrote and turn it into an I Am From poem by filling in the blanks: (the numbers from above are in parentheses below the lines) (and don’t worry!  there are examples of finished poems below to help you get the idea! 🙂 )

I am from ______________________________
#1 (specific ordinary item)
From ________________________ and __________________________
#2  (product name)                      #2  (product name)
I am from the ______________________________________________
#3 (home description)
___________________ , _________________ , ________________________________
#4 (adjective)              #4 (adjective)           #4 (sensory detail)
I am from _________________________________________ ,
#5  (plant, flower, natural item)
________________________________________________________________________
#6   (description of above item)
I’m from ____________________________ and ______________________________
#7  (family tradition)                         #7   (family trait)
From ______________________________ and _________________________
#8  (name of family member)            #8   (another family name)
I’m from the ____________________________ and ______________________
#9 (description of family tendency)           #9 (another one)
From _________________________________ and ________________________
#10 (something you were told as a child)                #10 (another)
I’m from ___________________________ , __________________________________
#11 (representation of religion or lack of), (further description)
I’m from _______________________________________________
#12 (place of birth and family ancestry)
______________________________________ , ________________________________
#13 (a food item that represents your family)      (another one)
From the ______________________________________________________________
#14 (specific family story about a specific person and detail)
The _________________________________________________________
#15 (another detail of another family member)
_________________________________________________________________
#16 (location of family pictures, mementos, archives)
__________________________________________________________________
#17 (line explaining the importance of family items)

And for examples of finished poems:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 10.40.34 PM

So try your own!  Have fun with it!  See how poetic and evocative you can make it and share it in the comments below for all of us to enjoy!  Remember, it can be about your own self, your child, or a character from a story you’re working on!

I hope it will give you some inspiration!

(And I will try to add in my own sample this morning, but as I mentioned I wasn’t quite in the swing of things and it’s way too late for me to pull that off now!  We’re talking wee hours 🙂 )

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Daddy Depot

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

In my typical yes-sure-I-was-totally-organized-ahead-of-time! fashion 🙂 I am writing this post on an airplane on my way home from California.  We are somewhere over Utah experiencing the kind of turbulence that makes people gasp and clutch their arm rests, and I’m busily typing away hoping the internet actually works and this post will post!  Who can tell?  I guess if you’re reading this it worked!

First things first!

The lucky winner of Penny Klostermann’s fabulous new picture book, A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale, from last week’s giveaway is ANGELA VERGES!!!  Congratulations, Angela!  I will put you and Penny in touch!  And thank you, Penny, for offering the giveaway!

Now then!  I have a terrifically fun yet sweet book to share with you today about the special relationship between dads and kids – in this case, specifically, a daughter.  I think it’s a book you’ll want to share with your little ones 🙂

Daddy Depot

Title: Daddy Depot

Written By: Chana Stiefel

Illustrated By: Andy Snair

Feiwel and Friends, May 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5 (according to publisher info, but I think 3-7 works)

Themes/Topics: family relationships, appreciation, love

Opening: “Lizzie loved her dad, but he was always watching football.
‘Dad! Check out my new ballet twirls.’
‘You’re a star, Lizzie… TOUCHDOWN!'”

Brief Synopsis: (from the Amazon description) “Lizzie loves her dad, but he tells the same old jokes, falls asleep during story time, and gets distracted by football while Lizzie does her ballet twirls. When she sees an ad for a store called Daddy Depot, she decides to check it out―and finds dads of all kinds!”

Links To Resources: draw a picture of yourself and your dad; cut a piece of paper into the shape of something your dad loves (a football, a motorcycle, YOU 🙂 ) and write a note to him telling him what you love about him; things for dads and kids to do together; invent  your own “perfect dad” – draw him on paper, or use felt or cut foam, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glitter, cotton balls, whatever! – maybe he’s different from your actual dad… or maybe he’s just the same 🙂

Why I Like This Book: I’m guessing pretty much every kid has wished for a different mom or dad at some point along the way!  It’s a very grass-is-always-greener kind of feeling 🙂  The idea of a megastore that sells dads is such a fun concept!  So many possibilities!  Rocker Dad, Astro Dad, Chef Dad…  Surely there’s someone out there who will make a better dad for Lizzie then her football-obsessed, boring-joke-teller, often embarrassing dad!  But though they all look good at first, in the end none of those dads are for Lizzie.  The story is a humorous and sweet reminder that sometimes what we have is just right 🙂  The art is bright and cheerful – I love that Dad makes pancakes while wearing a monkey hat 🙂 – and suits the story nicely.

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Text copyright Chana Stiefel 2017, Illustration copyright Andy Snair 2017

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂