Perfect Picture Book Friday – Groundhug Day

Hey, Everyone!

Welcome to February and another fun-filled edition of Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Before I share today’s book, I want to take a quick moment to remind everyone what Perfect Picture Book Friday is all about.

The purpose of Perfect Picture Books is for us to share picture books we highly recommend, that we feel other readers will genuinely enjoy, and to provide resources for teachers and parents that will allow then to expand on the use of the books in their classrooms and homes.  The resources are what set our reviews apart from the many other reviews out there on the internet.

Recently it has come to my attention that a number of people who are listing their book reviews on the Perfect Picture Book link have not included resources.  If teachers and parents visit those sites and are disappointed, it detracts from the credibility of the whole list and potentially discourages people from using it, thereby potentially decreasing our readership.

The guidelines for Perfect Picture Books are clearly posted HERE (please scroll down to How To Participate In Perfect Picture Book Fridays), and I respectfully ask that anyone who contributes to our weekly list be sure to include resources so our list can continue to be one of value to teachers, parents, and librarians, as well as writers.

Many thanks!

Now then! A fun Groundhog Day/Valentine book for today!!! 🙂

groudhugday

Title: Groundhug Day

Written By: Anne Marie Pace

Illustrated By: Christopher Denise

Disney-Hyperion, December 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-6

Themes/Topics: spring holidays (Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter), friendship, teamwork, acceptance

Opening: “Valentine’s Day was only two weeks away, and Moose was planning a grand party.

screenshot2019-01-31at5.30.25pm

text copyright Anne Marie Pace 2017, illustration copyright Christopher Denise 2017

Brief Synopsis: “Moose is having a Valentine’s Day party, and all his friends are so excited! Everyone except Groundhog, that is. If Groundhog sees his shadow outside, he’ll hide in his hole for six more weeks and miss the party!  Determined to help their friend join them, Moose, Squirrel, Bunny, and Porcupine put their heads together and come up with a plan. But will it be enough to get Groundhog out to play?” (from the publisher description)

Links To Resources: How To Make Shadow Puppets With Your Hand (video); How To Make Heart-Shaped Valentine Animals

Why I Like This Book: Well, for starters, you all know what a Groundhog Day fan I am 🙂  But that aside, I love the warm friendship of this story, the way all the animals work together to find a solution, their acceptance of each other (Groundhog has reasons for missing the Valentine’s Day party, but later when he suggests a St. Patrick’s Day party everyone understands why Bunny can’t make it 🙂 ), the kindness with which they treat each other, and the humor (Moose’s solution to keeping Groundhog from seeing his shadow is to sit on the entrance so he can’t come out 🙂 ). And I love the art – warm and soft and appealing – just beautiful! I think most kids will like this one!

screenshot2019-01-31at5.29.57pm

text copyright Anne Marie Pace 2017, illustration copyright Christopher Denise 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!!! 🙂

And Happy Groundhog Day from Phyllis!  Anyone want to take bets on six more weeks of winter or early spring???!!!

Would You Read It Wednesday #311 – Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Pick!

Hey there, Peeps!

How are things in your reading, writing, teaching, library-ing, and parenting worlds today?

There is snow in my world, and it’s making me want to write a picture book about snow. The Snowy Day has been done 🙂  but there’s got to be another possibility!

snow scout

For any of you who didn’t notice the post I snuck in on Sunday evening, the guidelines for the 4th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest have been posted!  And for those of you who did see it, the prize list has been updated! 🙂 So hop on over and check it out.

Then hop back here and make your choice in the October Pitch Pick!

Here are the revised pitches from our talented October participants.  Please read through them and choose the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta, then vote for your pick in the poll below by Sunday February 3 at 5 PM (see? you’ll be done before the Super Bowl! 🙂 )

#1 – Katie – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB ages 3-6)

Mischievous Bedtime decides sleeping is boring. When she and one playful little girl sneak outside for some starlit hide & seek, parents everywhere wonder if their children will ever sleep again—until Bedtime discovers the one thing that makes sleeping sound fun.

#2 – Ciara – Drop The Dragon (PB ages 4-12)

Dragon theft is a real problem for Lily.  Her best frenemy, the family dog, is a pilfering pup.  To thwart the theft of her toy dragon, Lily engineers towers, traps, and more. But when their toy disappears, these two must join forces to save their beloved dragon. 

#3 – Meghan – Weeping Willow (PB ages 4-10)

Todd is a young boy that faces an unexpected choice: one that could ruin or fulfill his new friend’s deepest dreams. She is a tree that yearns to be made into something magical, but the consequence might be too much for Todd to bear. Can he handle the pressure?

#4 – Sarah – The Punching Ballerina   (PB ages 4-8)

KC, a karate student, longs to take ballet lessons.  He weaves all things dance throughout his days, which encourages negative attention at school.  After several minor social losses, a group of kids confronts him on the playground.  He sticks up for himself peacefully, winning confidence, and gaining something else.

Thank you all in advance for your votes!  I think everyone has earned Something Chocolate! I’m on a Valentines theme apparently, started last week with the creme filled chocolate cake hearts, so let’s have heart-shaped butter cookies dipped in chocolate today!

Easy Cream Cheese Butter Valentines Cookies

That’s what I call breakfast/second-breakfast/elevenses/afternoon snack/dessert/bedtime snack/midnight snack! Perfect for dunking in coffee/hot chocolate/milk/maybe even tea 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Fanny who says, “I’m a Chinese-American writer who used to design multicultural dolls and puppets for the early childhood education market. After my retirement, it’s natural I want to write for children.”

Find her on the web at www.fannywrites.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)

The Pitch: A Chinese-American woman fighter pilot in WWII? No way! Women shouldn’t be flying alone, they are too nervous, too emotional. But Hazel Lee is not the stereotyped Chinese women!

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 Fanny 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 March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Fanny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing my snow story!  I hope I get farther with it than I did with last week’s pie story! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Oh, and P.S.  If I manage to scrape it together, I will post a Straight From The Editor post with the 6 I have hopefully on Saturday or Sunday!

What’s Short And Sweet And Read All Over?

I know!

It’s Sunday evening!

You’ve spent the afternoon baking princess cookies and building the world’s most awesome train track around the entire living room with the littles and now it’s time for pajamas and bed!

What on earth am I doing bugging you at this hour?!

Well, I’ll tell you 🙂

I’m trying to give you enough time to cogitate and write! 🙂

Three years ago, a bunch of folks asked for a contest to cheer them out of the winter doldrums!

The result?

The First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!

(Valentiny because, like the Halloweensie Contest, it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂 )

We had so much fun that we went ahead with the 2nd and 3rd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contests and now it’s kind of a tradition!  I mean, no one wants to get bested by a doldrum 🙂

So here we are!  The reason I’m interrupting your Sunday!

Announcing . . .

The 4th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

 

valentiny writing contest 2019!

~ for children’s writers~

The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels guilty!  Your someone can feel guilty themselves or make someone else feel guilty.  They may feel guilty for good reason, or just because they think they should!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone guilty (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)  If you are so inclined, you are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 🙂  No illustration notes please!

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Wednesday February 13th and Thursday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my February 13th post.  There will be no Would You Read It that week, and no PPBF, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of that post once it’s up. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! Please copy and paste your entry into the body of the email – no attachments! And please do not submit emailed entries until the contest begins on Feb. 13!)  Please only post your entry ONCE! Either on your blog and the associated link list, or in the comment section of my post!  Otherwise it gets confusing 🙂

The Judging: over the next several days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-10 top choices depending on number and quality of entries (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with the narrowing, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Wednesday February 20th (or possibly a day or two later if the judges need extra time.)   The winner will be announced Friday February 22nd or Saturday February 23rd depending on judging and voting time needed. (And there will be no WYRI or PPBF that week either so that everyone will have time to read and vote and so that we don’t confuse PPBF with announcing winners.)  The dates of the judging/voting/winner announcements are subject to finagling depending on how much time the judges actually end up needing!

Judging criteria will include:

  1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
  2. Creativity in using guilt and success in making us feel the guilt!
  3. Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
  4. Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
  5. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
  6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂

The Prizes:  As usual I’m still working on prizes.  If anyone has anything fabulous to offer, drop me an email 🙂  But meanwhile, here are some of the awesome prizes just waiting to be won!

“Skip The Slushpile” AND get a Query Letter Critique from Charlotte Wenger, associate editor at Page Street Kids, the picture book division of Page Street Publishing. She earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons University (then College) and is a board member of the Mazza Museum’s National Advisory Board of Visitors. She enjoys working with debut picture book authors and illustrators and is excited about the 19 Page Street Kids picture books pubbing in 2019.

 
Find Charlotte on Twitter at @WilbursBF_Char, and learn more about Page Street Kids via www.pagestreetpublishing.com, Twitter: @PageStreetKids, and Instagram: pagestreetkids.

 

Charlotte will read the winner’s picture book manuscript of choice, then send an email letting you know she’s read your story and including one thing you did well and one thing you might work on to improve the manuscript.  In addition, she will give you a query letter critique.  Like all editors, she has a hectic schedule, so she will aim to fulfill the prize within 2 months of receiving the manuscript.

Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the incredibly talented, multi-published author/illustrator Iza Trapani!

Iza 2014  Old MacDonald

Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the Queen of KidLit411 herself, Elaine Kiely Kearns, author of Noah Noasaurus, forthcoming April 1, 2019 from Albert Whitman!

elaine  noah

– Top Ten Reasons for Rejectiona 52 minute webinar from Alayne Kay Christian, author of Butterfly Kisses (picture book) and the Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy series (chapter books), and Content and Developmental Editor of Blue Whale Press.

Webinar Description: If you want tips on some corrective action that you might take to improve your chances of submission success, and/or if you would like to deepen your understanding of plot and arc, this webinar is for you.

(And if you’re interested in seeing what else Alayne has to offer, like her Writing For Children Webinars and Courses page on FB and keep an eye out for upcoming offerings!)

 

15-30 Minute Your Questions Answered Phone Call – with Ryan Sias, author/illustrator of Balloon Toons: Zoe And Robot, Let’s Pretend, Sniff Sniff!, and the Woof And Quack beginning reader series (Green Light Readers), and the Super Doodle Series. He has worked in animation, film, and television, including Sesame Street 🙂

Do you have questions about writing, revising, submitting, whether or not to try for an agent, what happens after the sale, or anything else publishing industry related?  If so, this is your chance to ask away and get answers from a professional!

85044-ryan_headshot  SniffSniffcover-300x300  woof and quack snowy doodle

Query Letter Critique by Heather Ayris Burnell, creator of the Sub It Club and author of Bedtime Monster, Kick! Jump! Chop! The Adventures Of The Ninjabread Man, and the Sparkly New Friends early chapter book series from Scholastic!

heather burnell  Kick Jump Chop

2-Pack of Personalized Signed Picture Books from amazing author Melissa StollerScarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, Gorilla!

Picture2  Picture1 gorilla

…and more good stuff coming!

I can’t thank these authors enough for their incredible generosity!  Please visit their sites, buy and recommend their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, write them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!

Now then!  Aren’t you feeling inspired to write the best Valentiny Story you can so you can win one of these awesome prizes?

Get a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream (fuel, people, your brain needs fuel to write and chocolate is the best!), bring it over to your comfiest writing spot, settle in with some kind of writing implement and a cozy throw to keep you warm, and rev those writing engines!

Ready, set, WRITE!

I so look forward to reading your stories in a couple weeks!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Dragon Night

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Wait ’til you see the gorgeous book I have to share with you today!  I dare you not to love it! 🙂

dragon night

Title: Dragon Night

Written & Illustrated By: J. R. Krause

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, January 22 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, kindness, childhood fears (nighttime), word play

Opening: “Georgie is afraid of the night.
It’s too dark with the lights off.
Too quiet with everyone asleep.
And being alone makes everything worse.”

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.23.29 pm

text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

Brief Synopsis: Georgie is afraid of the night.  The dragon is afraid of the knight.  The dragon knows just how to help Georgie overcome his fear, and the two set off on a unforgettable adventure. But when the morning comes, Georgie feels better about the night, but the dragon is still afraid of the knight. How can Georgie help his friend?

Links To Resources: Make Your Own Night Light; write your own story for the dragon the way Georgie does – what items would you include? what setting? Make Dragon Egg Sugar Cookies! 🙂

Why I Like This Book: Lots of kids are afraid of the dark and the night, so this charming story is sure to be relatable and I think any child will find it comforting.  It’s a lovely story for bedtime.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.16 pm

text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

The combination of text and illustration hits the exact magical note that makes a picture book truly perfect. Both Georgie and the Dragon are appealing characters (I hope no one misses that his name is Georgie 🙂 ), and the story is one of kindness, empathy, and understanding.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.43 pm

How endearing is this? 🙂                                                                                                                              (text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019)

My favorite part, aside from the lovely relationship that develops between the two, and getting to see the knight from the dragon’s point of view, is the fact that Georgie’s solution involves creative writing – what a great model for young readers! 🙂

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 #310 – BYOB, Bring Your Own Bear (PB)

Howdy, Folks!

In case you were wondering, today is National Pie Day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure there are a number of picture books in that!

– the biggest pie in the world
– the smallest pie in the world
– friendship pie
– magic pie
– a pie baked by pirates
– a pie that isn’t baked at all
– a pie that burns, ensuring burglars are brought to justice
– a pie with a secret
– a pie that is a trick
– a pie baked with love
– a pie baked for revenge
– a pie for every season
– a pie that goes for a motorcycle ride
– a pie that is sailed down an underground river
– a mystery pie
– a pie with very unusual filling…

I could go on, but I hope all you writers are hastily scribbling notes for the story you’re going to write as soon as you finish Would You Read It! 🙂  Think of me (and pie) as my contribution to Storystorm 🙂 (And if by some bizarre chance you haven’t heard of Storystorm well, by golly!, click that link!)

But enough about pie!  (As if…! 🙂 )

The Halloweensie and Holiday Contests wreaked havoc with my resolution to do a better job of keeping up with the Pitch Picks and Straight From The Editor.  I was trying to sort it all out Monday night, and realized I don’t think I ever announced that the winner of the September Pitch Pick was Sarah with her pitch for No Shoes Stanley!  Congratulations, Sarah! I have, in actual fact, sent your pitch to Erin and I’m sure you’ll hear from her as soon as she’s able!  I’m sorry if your win fell through the cracks of October!  But more fun for you now… 🙂 A surprise!  With confetti and balloons!!  And PIE!!! 🙂

The backlog of Straight From The Editors is extreme, due to them all showing up at once the week before Christmas when we were all distracted.  I think rather than try to fit about six of them into an already packed Would Your Read It Wednesday, I might just post a special Straight From The Editor Thursday or something.  What do you guys think about that?

While you’re thinking (and to help aid in your thinking) how about a little Something Chocolate?

I thought so.  Great minds think alike!

What with Valentine’s Day just around the bend, I thought we could all put a little love in our hearts… and a little cream filling in our chocolate 🙂

Ding Dong Valentines Chocolate Hearts

 

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jennifer who is an aspiring picture book author, registered nurse and French fry fanatic living in the deep south. She is a woman of many hats but her favorites are the ones that say wife, mom, & writer. She spends some of her time auditing and educating for a regional hospice company and can also be found blogging at her personal site Magnolias & Manuscripts and as a regular contributor on Lafayette Mom’s Blog. She has a passion for creativity and whole heartedly believes Brene Brown when she says, “The magic is in the mess.”

You can also find her on FB and twitter:
Twitter: @jennygprevost
Facebook: @JenniferGPrevost

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: BYOB, Bring Your Own Bear

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

The Pitch: Of course, Jillian knew that Rex wasn’t a bear, it wasn’t something that had ever mattered to her before. But, on the day of the Teddy Bear Picnic, it suddenly mattered… a lot. Without a new bear to bring, Jillian decides do whatever it takes to fit in, even if it means keeping a secret from all of her friends.

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 Jennifer 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 February, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Jennifer is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing a story about pie! :). I think I’ll start…

The Princess And The Pie
Once upon a time, there was a princess.
She didn’t look much like a princess because she had a passion for wading through swamps in search of bog turtles.
“You are not a princess,” said her swamp-wading companion, Wellsley.  “Princesses do not wear hip-waders and smell like pond scum and have brambles in their hair.”
“I’ll prove I’m a princess,” said the princess.  “I can feel a pea under twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds!”
Wellsley knew that only a true princess was that sensitive.  But where was the challenge if she knew there was going to be pea?
“I’ll put something under twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds,” said Wellsley, “but you have to tell me what it is!”
“Game on!” said the princess.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Folks!

If you live in the northeast, I hope you’re all prepared for the white stuff that’s coming!

Today I have such an amazing book to share with you that we must just jump right in!  With Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month all on the near horizon, this really is a Perfect Picture Book!

g brooks

Title: A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Written By:Alice Faye Duncan

Illustrated By: Xia Gordon

Sterling Children’s Books, January 2019, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 5+ (I think maybe a little more on the + side – the basic story is accessible to age 5, but there’s a fair amount of vocabulary)

Themes/Topics: writers/authors/poets, working hard to reach your goals, girl power, creativity, believing in yourself

Opening: “SING a song for Gwendolyn Brooks.
Sing it loud – a Chicago Blues.

Skip to the beat of elevated trains.
They grumble, rumble, and roll real fast.

The year is 1925.
Gwendolyn Brooks is eight years old.

Gray bursts of smoke hide the yellow sun.
Can flowers grow without sunlight?

Gwendolyn leans on the front yard gate.
Gwendolyn is unsure.

gwen 1

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

Brief Synopsis: Gwendolyn Brooks grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1920s. She wrote her first poem at age 7, and was nurtured and encouraged by her parents  to cultivate her talent. She ultimately published twenty collections of poetry, two autobiographies, and a novel.  She gave voice to the urban black experience and became the first Black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Links To Resources: this book is a resource in itself, using some of Gwendolyn Brooks’s own poems, including an information-filled author’s note, a timeline of Gwendolyn Brooks’s life and accomplishments, suggested further reading, and a useful bibliography; encourage your students or children to write their own free verse poems about moments and/or details of their own experience.

gwen 3

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

Why I Like This Book: I just love the way this book is written – a mixture of Gwendolyn Brooks’s poetry and Alice Faye Duncan’s.  The text is so lyrical – wonderful to read aloud – and expresses so much in so relatively few words.  Anyone who has ever had doubts – writers in particular – will connect with this story.  My favorite part is:

But sometimes – Gwendolyn doubts her radiance,
When jarring, crashing, discordant words,
Splotch and splatter her notebook paper.

And when RIGHT words don’t crystallize,
Gwendolyn grabs her mother’s garden trowel.

She digs beneath the snowball bush,
And buries her poems in a backyard grave.

Doesn’t that sum up the creative experience well?! The art is mostly warm hues of brown and pink that perfectly suit the mood of the writing.  This lovely book gives us a glimpse into the life and creativity of an incredibly talented writer – a beautiful and interesting read!

gwen 2

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

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 – stay warm and safe!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #309 – Mawbelina Ballerina (PB)

Bom Dia! Buenos Dias! Buongiorno!

You have now heard my entire vocabulary in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian 🙂
(and it’s possible I slightly cheated by looking up spelling…!)

But good morning!!! 🙂

I’m not sure about the regions you inhabit, but in my neck of the woods we’ve got these pesky critters called weather forecasters who seem to have a hankering for stirring up trouble!

They are currently making dire predictions about the the “FIRST BIG SNOW EVENT OF 2019!” which, if they can be believed, will descend on Saturday.

I ask you.

How bored do you have to be?

I know why they’re all hyped up though.  It has nothing to do with the actual weather systems.

It’s because it’s been winter for weeks and nothing interesting has happened weather-wise, so they’re casting about looking for something to jazz things up!

I will believe it when I see it!

But I will also prepare a Just-In-Case Plan by making sure I have a few handy ingredients lying about.  That way, if we DO get snowed in, I’ll be ready to practice Something Chocolate – Super Bowl Cupcakes!

It’s a couple weeks early, but practice makes perfect, right? We need to do warm-ups – a test run, if you will – of this line-backer-sized* treat.  Just look…!
(disclaimer: football is NOT my area of expertise! I’m only guessing line-backers are the extra large folks on the field???)

Super Bowl Cupcakes!

OH. MY. GOODNESS!

I DARE you not to drool! 🙂

Get right on it.  Whip up a batch and sample them so you can perfect your technique in time for Super Bowl Sunday!  If you need to do it more than once, who can blame you? You just want to achieve ultimate flawless deliciousness!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Dedra who says, “I am a late-in-life writer who just found her bravery. Five years ago, I started writing professionally after receiving a journalism degree twenty-six years earlier. Writing has always been in my heart. I wrote three children’s books almost thirty years ago, received a no, and filed them away. Because I now write regularly and have the confidence, I am writing more children’s manuscripts. And this time, I will continue until I get a yes!”

Find her on the web at:

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Mawbelina Ballerina

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: Mawbelina Ballerina is a young weenie dog desperate to go to dance school with her older siblings. Not long enough or tall enough to go, she whines and pouts until her mom teaches her patience, showing her being small is fun for now.

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 Dedra 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 February – not far off! – so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Dedra is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing exactly how wrong the weather people are.  My bet? A dusting.  We’ll just wait and see who’s right and who can’t predict weather!  (And no, Phyllis isn’t helping.  Even though this is fake winter, she’s currently asleep and will not be available to venture weather opinions until February 2!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Business Pig

Welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Friday – the 2019 Edition! 🙂

I have an unusual (but fun) title to share with you today!

business pig

Title: Business Pig

Written & Illustrated By: Andrea Zuill

Sterling Children’s Books, September 4, 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: fitting in/belonging, someone for everyone, being yourself

Opening: “One morning at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals, Jelly Bean the sow gave birth to a litter of piglets.
Right away the volunteers noticed something unusual.”

Brief Synopsis: Jasper the pig is different from the other pigs – a suit-wearing, flow-chart-loving, genuine business pig.  The farm animals mostly accept him for who he is.  The trouble is, no one seems to want to adopt him.  It takes a special person to bond with this special pig.

Links To Resources: make your own business model for getting adopted – what are your good points? what are your skills? what makes you lovable and fun to have around? make a poster! 🙂 How To Make Piggy Cupcakes

Why I Like This Book: The premise of this book is familiar – someone longing to be accepted and find his place in the world – but the delivery is delightfully inventive.  Who would think of a business pig being born at an animal sanctuary? 🙂 Jasper applies his considerable business skills to the most important task of all – getting adopted – and proves in the end that there’s someone for everyone – you just have to look in the right place.  The girl who ends up adopting Jasper is perfect 🙂  The art is very engaging, somehow managing to make a pig in a business suit look irresistibly sweet and cute.  Although some kids might not engage with the whole business model, I think many kids will find the originality of this presentation fun and fresh.

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 #308 – Professor Steed And The Elusive Thieves (CB)

Happy New Year, Everyone!

And welcome back to the wonderful world of writing for kids, reading with kids, reading to improve our writing skills, and writing to improve kids’ reading experience!

I hope everyone’s holidays were warm and happy and restorative (although I know for a lot of us getting back to work feels like a rest after the holidays! 🙂 )

I am not quite fully back into regular work mode because I still have one little Hill at home… but I’m getting there…!

I’m pretty sure Something Chocolate would help us ALL get back in gear, don’t you think?

Let’s start the new year off healthy with some Triple Chocolate Brownie Cake for everybody!!! 🙂

Triple Chocolate Brownie Cake

triple_chocolate_brownie_cake2-s

Recipe HERE at Lil’Cookie

Mmmmmm!!  Scrumptious!!! 🙂

I feel more like a nap energized already, don’t you? 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Aileen.  Besides writing, Aileen Stewart spends her days reading, attending Library Board of Trustee meetings, managing the local farmers’ market, taking pictures, cooking, tending to the needs of her family, and herding three cats which is just as difficult as it sounds!

You can find her on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AileenWStewart
On her blog: http://www.aileensthoughts.com
Or on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAileenStewart

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Professor Steed And The Elusive Thieves

Age/Genre: Chapter Book (ages 8-12)

The Pitch: When solving a rash of burglaries leaves everyone in in Collarsville at a loss, dedicated hound, John Steed, uses both his undercover skills gained by working for B.O.N.E. and his position as a professor at Hound Academy to sniff out the thieves and recover the stolen goods.

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 Aileen 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 February, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Aileen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to my nap some extremely productive work time today 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Great Opportunity For Writers

Hi Everyone!

I’ll be back to business-as-usual on the blog this week, but just a quick PSA for those of you who might be interested in a fantastic writing opportunity!

Tara Luebbe is once again running her Writing With The Stars mentorship program and there is still time to apply.

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What is Writing with the Stars?

Writing with the Stars is an opportunity for aspiring picture book writers and illustrators to win a free, three-month mentorship with a published author or author/illustrator. Mentors will help mentees further develop their craft and share invaluable advice and insight into the publishing world.

When is Writing with the Stars?

The application window is from January 9, 2019 through midnight January 13, 2019 EST. Winners will be announced on Twitter (@T_Luebbe) and on my blog on January 31, 2019 at 11:00 am EST, and the mentorships themselves run from February 1 through April 30, 2019.

For official rules click here.

So jump at the chance!  Who knows what you might achieve in 2019!

Have a great rest of the weekend and see you Wednesday! 🙂