Perfect Picture Book Fridays Begins! – Llama Llama Misses Mama

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  I’m off to a school visit this morning and….!

Welcome to the new feature – Perfect Picture Book Fridays!  I’m so excited about this!  I’m hoping it will become a really great resource for parents, teachers, homeschoolers, writers, and gift-givers 🙂  Here and on all the linked blogs, you will find highly recommended picture books along with fantastic ideas for how you can use them at home and in the classroom, often including links to classroom guides and activity pages, hopefully making life easier for parents and teachers and giving writers great examples of craft to study.  The books will be archived in the Perfect Picture Books tab above, organized alphabetically by age and subject, making it easy to find an age-appropriate book on a given topic for home, classroom, or gift.

(For those of you posting your own Perfect Picture Book, please add your link to the link list at the bottom so people can come over and find your recommendations and the resources you’re offering!  For details on how to post, please click here.)

Without further ado, let’s jump into our very first entry 🙂  There are so many wonderful books out there it was hard to choose, but we’ve got to start somewhere 🙂

Llama Llama Misses Mama
written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
Viking Juvenile, March 2009, Fiction
Suitable for:  Preschool – Kindergarten (ages 3-6)
Themes/Topics:  first day of school, separation, missing a loved one.
Opening and brief synopsis:  “Llama Llama, warm in bed.  Wakey, wakey, sleepyhead!  Llama school begins today!  Time to learn and time to play!”  Llama Llama is excited for his first day of school, but when it’s time for Mama to leave, Llama Llama doesn’t feel so sure.
Links to resources:  Activity Kit, Llama Llama in the classroom, Same and Different Activity (click on “assets” then pdf)
Why I Like This Book:  Llama Llama’s uncertainty and sadness over Mama leaving him at school are portrayed genuinely, and the story is told with such warmth and reassurance that children experiencing separation anxiety of their own are sure to feel comforted.  School is shown to be happy, engaging place.
For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books!

I’m excited for Monday, the opening day of our Thanksgiving week contest!  I hope you’ve all got your stories ready to go (or will have them ready after the weekend :))  I can’t wait to read them!!!

Before we go, here’s our Farewell Fun Friday Foto.  Our final theme is THANKSGIVING, so here’s mine:

my Thanksgiving 🙂

Now, whether you’re looking for something fun to read with your child, a great book to add into a lesson plan, the perfect gift for your niece, or a shining example of picture book writing craft, click on the links below for some Perfect Picture Books!  I’m off to visit PK-3s!  Have a great weekend 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday – The 17th Pitch

Isn’t it great when you wake up looking forward to the day?  And I know you all did because it’s Would You Read It day 🙂

Before we get started, let’s select our Something Chocolate snack.  It’s very drizzly and drab here this morning, so I’m thinking some hot chocolate would be mighty nice.  Care to join me?

because this is exactly how hot chocolate is always served at my house 🙂
google images

Ahh!  That’s better!

Now, before we get to today’s pitch, a couple of teensy housekeeping details.

First, a reminder about our new feature which starts Friday – Perfect Picture Books Friday.  For the full description, click here.  This new feature is intended as a resource for all of us – parents, teachers, homeschoolers, writers, and gift-givers.  The posts will showcase a favorite book and include ideas and links on what it’s good for and how to use it at home and/or in the classroom.  (I’m going to try very hard to get my post up early on Friday so that anyone who needs to look at an example of how it’s done can do so – I might even post it late Thursday.)  Not only will this be a great resource, it will also strengthen our community and hopefully encourage people to visit all of our blogs 🙂

Second, don’t forget that next week is the Thanksgiving writing contest!!!  Click here for details.  (Please scroll down – it’s the last item in the post.)  It should be really fun and the winner will get a prize along with all our admiration, so please join in!  You still have time to write your entry (and it’s short!) 🙂

And last but not least, our theme for this week’s Fun Foto, if anyone wants to do it, will be THANKSGIVING.  This will be out last Fun Foto because it didn’t turn out to be as fun as we thought and we’re hoping people will get a lot more out of Perfect Picture Books!

And now, it’s time for Would You Read It!  If you need to refill your hot chocolate, go ahead.  I’ll wait 🙂


This week’s pitch comes to us from Halli who hails from rural Alberta, Canada, and whose YA novel Shifters is being released in March 2012 from Imajin Books.

Working Title:  SIMBIOTE
Age/Genre:  YA Sci-Fi
The Pitch:  Kal is a donor in the illegal bulb trade.  He donates his own symbiotic bulbs to the humans on the multi-million dollar black market.  Their addictions can cost them a pretty penny, but what does it cost Kal?  What does he suffer every year at harvest time?  When he gets caught he realizes the risks he has put upon himself, his potential girlfriend and his family are far worse than he ever imagined.

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 Halli 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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  (And please spread the word about Would You Read It to anyone you know who might be interested in pitching.  I have openings in mid-January which isn’t that far away :))

Halli is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to your Perfect Picture Book posts on Friday.  (I can’t WAIT to see what you all choose!)  And also to your Thanksgiving contest entries next week 🙂

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza, Straight From The Editor #3, and more!

There is just too much fun to be had to stick to a single category!  So get ready to start your day off with a bang 🙂  We will be whooping it up with Fun Friday Foto, Straight From The Editor #3, the Thanksgiving Contest!!!, and a secret!!!!! (I’m not going to manage Warm Fuzzies this week – I’m afraid of scaring you away with too much reading – but feel free to check out the other Warm Fuzzies :))

So let’s get comfy.  This morning I am in the mood for something besides donuts so, in keeping with the season, we will be having pumpkin muffins hot out of the oven.  Please help yourselves 🙂

google images


Gfyih shuf fgioh mnbysr
Sorry.  I didn’t mean to talk with my mouth full 🙂

Now then.  Let’s start with Fun Friday Foto.  This week’s theme is HIBERNATION, and you’ll note that those of us who have posted so far are all having the same problem – choosing just one!  Here are mine:
This guy is getting ready!
(and yes, I know he looks like me with my muffin :))
google images
This guy’s thinking of spending the winter here, but he’s afraid you can see him 🙂
google images
These two are looking cozy and settling down for their long winter’s nap 🙂
google images

I hope at least one of those gives you a story inspiration!  If it does, please share 🙂  Now hop on over to Catherine’s and Stacy’s and see their hibernation photos, and then if you’d like to post one (remember, kid-friendly) you can put your link in the comments and everyone will come visit you.

Next, it’s time for Straight From The Editor!  As you will recall, our pitch winner for October was Kim.  Readers felt fairly unanimously that her pitch was strong, and it turns out our fabulous editor felt the same way.  Here, once again, is Kim’s pitch:
Working Title:  Henry Hears You
Age/Genre:  YA
The Pitch:  13-year-old boy finds his voice as the new advice columnist for the school newspaper only to discover that some problems don’t have easy solutions when he gets a letter from a kid threatening to kill himself if the gay bashing doesn’t stop.
And here are Erin’s comments:
I definitely want to read this! I am intrigued. The only advice I can offer is to break it up into two sentences like this: 13-year-old boy finds his voice as the new advice columnist for the school newspaper. But he discovers that some problems don¹t have easy solutions when he gets a letter from a kid who threatens to kill himself if the gay bashing doesn¹t stop. It makes it easier to read -- not such a run-on sentence -- and gives it slightly more punch.

I hope you all find this helpful in writing your own pitches!
And now, the moment all you eager writers have been waiting for….  The announcement of the
Thanksgiving Contest!
Write a children’s Thanksgiving story beginning with the sentence:
They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast….
Maximum word length: 250 (but anything less is fine)  Prose or poetry is fine (and if you choose rhyming poetry you have permission to twist that first sentence a bit so it fits your rhyme scheme, or use the first sentence outside the rhyme and then continue in rhyme.)  Remember everything you’ve learned about writing stories for children 🙂  My assistant judge and I are prepared to be dazzled 🙂
Post your story on your blog any time between Monday November 21 and Thursday November 24 and link to the link list.  Or, if you don’t have a blog but would like to enter, just copy and paste your entry into the comments the week of the contest.
Three finalists will be chosen from among the entries and posted here on Friday November 25, and you wonderful readers will get to choose the winner! 🙂
The prize will be your choice of a Thanksgiving picture book (to be selected) or a $15 Amazon gift card – in time for the holidays 🙂
And now for the secret!  I love secrets, don’t you?  They’re so exciting.  I bet right now you’re rubbing your hands together in anticipation and wondering, what could it be?
I’ll tell you on Monday.
I know.  I’m just that mean 🙂
Have a great weekend, and see you Monday!!!

Tons Of Fun Monday!

I hope you’re all feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning (and really, don’t ask me what being “bushy-tailed” means exactly or what it has to do with being awake… :))

Since it’s Monday, I assume some of your bushy tails look like this:

google images

and some like this:

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But if you’re feeling like the second one, never fear!  You’ve come to the right place!  We have donuts 🙂

And, as you know, we always have plenty of fun around here!  Today is extra-especially fun because of all the winning!  Ready?

First  off: this week’s Fun Foto theme is HIBERNATION!  So scout around for a child-friendly photo that says hibernation to you and get ready to post it on your blog Friday for everyone to enjoy and use as a story prompt 🙂

Next up: the October Pitch Pick.  The winner, whose pitch will be sent to the awesome editor Erin Molta for evaluation and comment, is none other than KIM!!!!!  Congratulations, Kim!!!  Well done!!!  And congratulations also to Carla, Christie, and Tracy, our other brave contestants, who put their work out there for everyone to see and critique.  As always, all the pitches were wonderful, and I’m sorry that everyone can’t win.  But please, keep those pitches coming.  It’s great practice, and who knows?  You could be a winner next time!  Stay tuned for Straight From The Editor coming up whenever Erin’s comments happen to arrive… 🙂

Next: the winner of which book will go on a journey around the world is Can’t Sleep Without Sheep! If you would be interested in having Can’t Sleep come to your neck of the woods, please sign up in the comments.  I will either choose one person to start with (possibly by a contest of some kind… mwah-ha-hah!) and let them send it on, or if enough people from enough far-flung places sign up, perhaps I’ll just put together an itinerary.  The idea is for the book to travel around and be signed with a first name, location and date (and a tiny message if you like) and then come back to me eventually to share with kids on school visits!

illustration copyright Mike Wohnoutka 2010

Finally: here are the Halloweensie Contest finalists for you to vote on.  Boy did this turn out to be way harder than I expected!  Everyone’s entries were so good!  In the end, though, my assistant judge and I narrowed it down with heaviest emphasis on what a child would most enjoy since the point is, after all, to write for kids, with secondary consideration to how close you came to the 100 word count.  So here are the 3 finalists, identified by number. not name.  Please read them and vote for #1, #2, or #3!


Oh Judy!
A gaggle of boys and girls dressed like soldiers, dancers, animals and one lone devil walked down the street in search of Halloween treats.
Before they reached Judy’s house, a ghost darted out of the bushes.
A ballerina jumped throwing her candied apple into the air.
A bear cried as the gooey treat fell on his furry head.
The devil stumbled over a jack o’lantern into the bushes.
The group joined together to return the devil to his feet.
“Oh Judy,” they yelled.
“What?” she cried from her front porch, as a shadowy figure slipped into the bushes.


Red candied apple dripping in goo.
Orange carved pumpkins spelling out BOO!
Yellow glowing jack o’lantern’s grin,
Green as the wart on an ugly witch chin!
Blue satin Cinderellas looking for a shoe,
Purple bubbling cauldron of stinky witch brew.
Black is the cat, white ghost in flight,
A rainbow of colors on Halloween night!


Boo smirked and pulled Jack O’Lantern to the spooky looking house.
“Come on. Let’s go here.”
Jack O’Lantern gasped at skeletons and ghosts hanging from trees. The eerie sound of a wind chime, the only noise.
“Maybe we should have come out earlier,” said Boo, shivering in the cold and dark.
Circumnavigating a hanging ghost to reach the door, Boo dared to ring the doorbell.
Just as the door creaked open, a gust of wind blew the hanging ghost into them.
“Aargh!” They screamed as two candied apples were thrust toward them.
The boys ran and called back,
“Thank yoooooooo!”

So please vote for your favorite today or tomorrow!  (Poll will close Wednesday November 9 at 5 AM EST so I can post the winner on Wednesday morning.)

<a href=””>Halloweensie Contest</a>
The winner will receive a signed hard cover copy of Haunted Party by the incomparable Iza Trapani!
And as I said, all of the entries were fantastic – I was so impressed with the quality and with how imaginative people could be within the constraints of the writing requirements!  I’m looking forward to the Thanksgiving Contest I’ve had requests for which I will post as soon as I think up what it is 🙂

Don’t forget to vote for the Halloweensie winner, let me know if you’d like to have Can’t Sleep journey to your house, and pick out a hibernation foto for Friday!

Who Will It Be? – Pitch Pick #3!… Plus Some Extras

Sorry for the mess my blog has been this week.  You may blame Mother Nature and her very clever idea that we should have 2 feet of snow for Halloween 🙂  Talk about trick vs. treat!  I’m still playing catch-up, so today’s post will be a bit of a smorgasbord – not that I haven’t done that before 🙂

Included in today’s awesomeness will be Fun Foto, Warm Fuzzies #2, and the October Pitch Pick.

I know.

That’s a lot to pack into a Friday.  But after all, it IS Friday, so the weekend is coming and I know you are all full of happiness and enthusiasm about that, so hopefully you will feel generous with your energy and wade on through so we can get back on track next week!  Anyone who is in a hurry should feel free to skip to the part that’s most relevant to them… no hard feelings… (although I did get up at the crack of dawn and slave over all the parts… )  (oops, did I say that?!)  I promise, I’ll try to be brief.  For me 🙂

(This is the part where no one will point out that if I was technologically able in ANY way I would have long since figured out how to schedule posts ahead and then if my power went out it wouldn’t matter and I would never have gotten behind in the first place.  Thank you all for not mentioning that :))

So.  Fun Foto.  Technically, we’re not doing it this week because we didn’t get it together we knew you were too busy!  But I hate to skip it altogether, so here is my themeless Fun-not-really-a-Foto just for kicks:

Isn’t it sweet?  Write a story about this!
(courtesy weheartit)

Anyone else who wants to put up a themeless foto, friendly for kids ages 0-12, feel free to post your link in the comments.  And for one of the best photos I’ve seen in a long time, check out Cynthia’s blog, Random Thoughts, from yesterday.  Is that a great photo or what?! 🙂

Onto Warm Fuzzies Week #2:

This week’s task: post a picture or piece of music that describes your WIP.  Then in the comments, people are supposed to guess what your WIP is about 🙂

Here’s my picture for that:

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Any guesses? Remember, I write picture books 🙂

And finally (we’re moving right along, aren’t we? I’m being so brief!) it’s time for Pitch Pick #3!!!  One lucky participant is going to get her pitch read by the epitome of awesome editors, Erin Molta!!!  To refresh your memory, the October contestants are listed below.

#1 Carla

Working Title:  Witches Don’t Dance
Age/Genre: Picture Book
The Pitch:  What happens when witches dance?  Little Linda knows it can get messy, but she also thinks it might just be the witches’ only chance to save their Halloween Party.
#2  Christie
Working Title: Gleek
Age/Genre: MG Contemporary
The Pitch:  A math whiz but not great at reading and writing, eleven-year-old Art Schaeffer unknowingly stumbles upon the school bully’s rule-breaking science fair project and must find a way to expose him before the judges make their final decisions.
#3  Tracy
Working Title:  Pizza’s Band
Age/Genre:  Early Reader
The Pitch:  Pizza, JuiceBox and Cake are best friends. Cereal arrives with his brand new guitar they head to the garage for band practice. But when Bratwurst interrupts, will Pizza be brave enough to protect his friends from this bully?

#4  Kim
Working Title:  Henry Hears You
Age/Genre:  YA
The Pitch:  13-year-old boy finds his voice as the new advice columnist for the school newspaper only to discover that some problems don’t have easy solutions when he gets a letter from a kid threatening to kill himself if the gay bashing doesn’t stop.
On your mark… Get set… VOTE!!!!!

<a href=””>Pitch Pick #3</a>
In the interest of trying to get back on track, the poll will close on Sunday, November 6 at 11:59 PM EST so that I can announce the winner in Monday’s post, so please get your votes in as soon as you can because I love announcing winners.  I will also post the finalists for the Halloweensie Contest for you to vote on Monday, so we will have another winner next week.  Yippee-ay-oh-ky-yay!  Is next week going to be fun or what?

Thank you all for your patience this week.  Hopefully next week will be a little less crazy!  Oh, and since people have expressed interest, we will be having a Thanksgiving Contest of some sort, so feel free to leave me words that evoke Thanksgiving for you in the comments!

Have a great weekend!!!

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza – Halloween! – and Warm Fuzzies!

Important Update to the Halloweensie Contest!
Want to enter but don’t have a blog?  No problem!  Just copy and paste your entry into the comment section on Monday!  (We may all be doing that if I don’t get the Linky Tool thing figured out :))

To start today’s festivities, I ask you all to witness my awesome fun foto!  I realize, of course, that this is technically another pumpkin, but it’s so unbelievable I have to show you.  Prepare to be amazed!


No pumpkin I ever carved came out looking remotely that artistic.  In fact, the ones I carve are generally no longer recognizable as pumpkins…

But if you’re going to get nitpicky and require something Halloween but non-pumpkin, I always go for the cuteness.  How’s this?


Catherine and Stacy have fun fotos up, too, so please go check out theirs!  Anyone else who would like to join in the fun, please post a 0-12-year-old friendly photo that says HALLOWEEN to you on your blog, then hop back here or Catherine’s blog and put your link in the comments so everyone can come visit you.

Now, onto item #2: The Warm Fuzzies Blogfest!

Juliana Brandt is running this awesome fest.  Please visit her over at her brand new beautiful website.  This week’s discussion topic is as follows:

This week, be it good or bad, funny or sad, share with us the best response you’ve heard when you’ve told someone you’re a writer. Also, tell us, do you tell other people that you’re a writer?

So here are my thoughts.

For a long time, I didn’t tell anyone I was a writer.  I mentioned it once or twice and was met by the question, “Oh!  What books have you written?” at which point I was forced to confess that I’d written all kinds of things but none of them were published.  So I stopped mentioning it.

Then came the wonderful day when I got an actual offer from an actual, reputable publishing house.  At last I could say I was a writer and when people asked the inevitable I could say, “I wrote The House That Mack Built!”  To which most people would say, “O-oh!” in an uncertain voice with that look that said clearly, I’ve never heard of that so it must not be too good.  (Or they would say, “You mean The House That Jack Built?” as if I might not know the title of my own book…)

A book or two later, when I was starting to feel a little more like a writer, people would say, “What have you written that I would have heard of?”  Well, truthfully, most people aren’t all that well-versed in young children’s literature.  If it’s not on the New York Times Bestseller list, they probably haven’t heard of it, and I have never been on the New York Times Bestseller List… yet!  So I would mention my 2 or 3 titles, they would look at me blankly, and there would be an awkward pause in the conversation.

Another frequent response is, “Oh, I’m going to write a book.  I have tons of ideas.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”  Like it’s easy, something to be tossed off in a spare afternoon.

But somewhere along the line I have become comfortable with the fact that I am a writer.  Maybe not famous.  Maybe not the best writer in the world.  But a writer is who I am.  Nowadays when people ask what I do I say I’m a writer, and I say it with assurance.  And I feel a certain sense of pride.  Neither I nor my books are particularly well-known (can you say virtually unheard of :)) but I feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

As to the best moments, I have a couple.  One I wrote about last week – when a woman asked me to sign a copy of Can’t Sleep Without Sheep for her newborn daughter, to be the very first book in her child’s library.  There is no way to beat that.  Really.

And a few others, when people have told me that one of my books is their child’s favorite.  That it is read over and over in their house.  That’s why we write.  To share our stories and hopefully make someone’s day a little better.  To me, there is no higher compliment than to be told something I wrote is treasured by a child.

So that’s my Warm Fuzzy 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope you’re all ready for Halloween – stocked up on candy that of course you are most certainly not going to eat any of yourself… except for a few pieces that are required to fulfill your Something Chocolate quota for Would You Read It… 🙂 and ready to don your costume.  In case anyone is wondering, this year I will be dressing up as a write-at-home mom.  It’s a stretch, I know, but sometimes you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone 🙂

And I hope everyone is ready for the Halloweensie Contest (click the link if you don’t know about it yet) on Monday!  I’ve already heard from one person that her entry is ready to go.  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to read everyone’s creative 100 words!

See you Monday!  Trick or treat!

Would You Read It Wednesday – The 14th Pitch

Greetings, folks!
Apologies for being absent from the blogosphere yesterday and late in posting Would You Read It today!  Yesterday was a C-RAAZY day!

First, I went to the New York State Readers Association Conference in Rye Brook, NY to mingle, sign books, and give a talk to actual professional grown-ups (and any of you who have been around here long know what terror talking to actual professional grown-ups strikes into my pitter-pattery little heart!)  I would be sharing a photo of me with fellow writers Lesa Cline Ransome and Ann Burg, but I don’t have one yet!  (I’ll add it in when I get it, or post it Friday along with my fun foto :))  The talk, much to my surprise, went well – such lovely people attended! – and I ended up having a really nice time.

When that was done, I high-tailed it home, picked up my daughter, drove her back to college after her long weekend (a 4+ hour drive), turned right around and drove back home.  By my reckoning, close to 550 miles of driving in about 11 hours in one day.  Thank goodness for my 3 month free subscription to satellite radio which allowed me to listen to a comedy station on the long drive home alone!  I felt like a cartoon.  Toward the end, near 11 PM which is WAY past my bedtime, I had to get out and run around the car a few times in the cold night air to wake up 🙂  If only I had video footage – it would be so entertaining!  I could post it on YouTube and go viral… but I digress!

So anyway, fueled up on coffee and imaginary chocolate donuts, I am here at last to post this week’s Would You Read It 🙂  Just first, I want to mention that the theme for this week’s Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza (which I keep thinking I should abbreviate to FFFF but it’s too much fun to say fextravaganza!) is HALLOWEEN!  What a surprise 🙂

I also want to remind everyone about the HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST which will be taking place on Monday, which actually is Halloween – how apropos 🙂  A bunch of people seemed enthusiastic, so lets hope we get some entries – I already have the signed book prize in my hot little hands and I’m looking forward to the fun!

OKAY.  Time to welcome today’s pitcher, Kim, a former journalist and current Communications professor who loves to write creatively.

Working Title:  Henry Hears You
Age/Genre:  YA
The Pitch:  13-year-old boy finds his voice as the new advice columnist for the school newspaper only to discover that some problems don’t have easy solutions when he gets a letter from a kid threatening to kill himself if the gay bashing doesn’t stop.

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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.
Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!
Don’t forget to join us Friday for Fun Foto (Halloween), and get right to work on your Halloweensie Contest entries!!!  I know they’ll be spooktacular 🙂

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza – Pumpkins!

I’m in a rush again – another parent/teacher conference day at another school for another child – so for the second Friday in a row I will bless you with brevity 🙂

As it is Friday, that means it’s time for the Fun Foto Fextravaganza.  This week’s theme is PUMPKINS/JACK O’LANTERNS.  I know this is cheating, but I was unable to choose only one.  So here are my two:

The new fashion – I think everyone will be wearing them soon 🙂
(courtesy google images)


Really, what the heck is going on here? 🙂
(and how creative/artistic is that pumpkin monster?!)
(courtesy google images)

Please check out fellow fextravagansist Catherine’s foto, as well as Stacy’s and Robyn’s (our 2 other die-hard players in this wacky game 🙂 – Robyn’s isn’t up yet, but I heard a rumor it will be later so keep your fingers crossed!)  If you’d like to join in, choose a photo appropriate for ages 0-12 that says pumpkins/jack o’lanterns to you, post it on your blog, and put your link in the comments below so everyone can come visit you!

Also, if you have any good recipes that involve pumpkin, it’s about that time…  My recipes tend to involve things like:
Step 1:  go to store
Step 2: buy pumpkin pie because there is no time to bake during parent/teacher conference season 🙂

BTW, in case you were wondering, I went to a wonderful school visit yesterday (where Woolliam/Baahhb, my sheep puppet, was such a hit I could barely get out of the classroom!) and I picked up the beautiful signed copy of Haunted Party that is going to be the prize in the Halloweensie Contest.  If you haven’t read about it yet, go here and get those gears a-turnin’ 🙂

OK.  What else do I have to share with you today?  Probably a million things, but no time!  So have a donut on me, have a great weekend, and I hope I’ll see everyone here Monday for the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop – SO EXCITING!!!

Ahoy, Sea Serpent!!!

(Yes.  That is my version of brevity :))

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza

It’s parent/teacher conference day, so I’ll be shockingly brief.  You won’t even recognize me 🙂

Today’s Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza theme is MIGRATION.  Here’s mine 🙂

courtesy google images

If you want to join the fun, post a 0-12 year-old friendly photo that says “migration” to you and then put your link in the comments below so everyone else can enjoy them.  Be sure to check out fellow fextravaganzist Catherine’s photo!  Hopefully we’ll all end up with lots of story ideas 🙂

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this week’s Would You Read It, please go here, and please tune in Monday for Straight From The Editor.

Have a great weekend!!!

(See?  I told you you wouldn’t recognize me! :))

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza Etc. Etc.

Whoopee!  It’s Fun Friday!  And today we have Fun Times Five!!!

Fun Times One:  My Foto for the Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza.  Those of you who have been paying attention will know that this week’s theme is HARVEST.  Here is mine:

courtesy goole images

Quite a haul, don’t you think?  🙂

Anyone who would like to join the fun, please post a 0-12 year-old-friendly photo on your blog, then pop back here and put your link in the comments so we can all visit and enjoy, and possibly be inspired to write a story!  Be sure to check out Fellow Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganzist Catherine’s photo too 🙂
Fun Times Two:  I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you to save the date of October 24th for the More-Fun-Than-You-Can-Stand Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop.  I’ve read a number of the entries, and it promises to be edge-of-your-seat fun!
Fun Times Three:  I’m cooking up an idea for Halloween.  Some of you already contributed on my Face Book page yesterday, but for anyone who would like to join in, I need 3 Halloween-related words.  If you have some good ones, please post them in the comments below 🙂
Fun Times Four:  I’m going to have an exciting announcement Monday but you’ll have to wait until Monday.  (I know.  That was just mean, wasn’t it?  Hinting and then making you wait?  I didn’t think I had it in me.  Who knew?)
And finally, as promised, Fun Times Five!!!: the reason you came over here today in the first place!  It’s time for me to tell you who won the September Pitch Pick!
But first, I want to tell you a story my mother-in-law told me about her gall bladder….
Actually, my mother-in-law has more gall bladder (and other far worse) stories than you’d ever care to hear, but I’m not really going to make you sit through any of them.
Anybody need a chocolate break?  Should I wait to make the Pitch Pick announcement until you’re back with a fistful of Snickers bars?
No?  You’re ready now?
Well, all right.
The winner of the September Pitch Pick, whose pitch will be sent to the wonderful and only Erin Molta, editor extraordinaire, for helpful hints and thoughtful critique is….
ddddddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm rrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllll!!!!!


Congratulations, Aimee!  And congratulations to Kimberly, Saul, and Catherine, too – your pitches were all great.  You guys really gave Aimee a run for her money 🙂  Thank you all for being brave enough to put your work out there and good luck with your books!

So now, go have fun with the fotos, put some Halloween words in the comments, and hold you breath until Monday 🙂

Have a great weekend!