Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloweensie Contest Entry

Thank you to Susanna Hill for setting up the 7th annual Halloweensie Contest!

Munster Knows (70 words)

Monsters, Monsters
Tonight’s their night
if they dare

to leave their lairs, 
to mix and mingle,
shadows left,
at last— commingle.

On Halloween,
no one knows
who is who 
under clothes.

Girls with crowns
and boys with horns
go house to house
for candy corn.

Munster knows 
it’s trick or treat,
but… he never
keeps a sweet.

Instead he has a
trick to share—

confetti bombs
for your hair!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale by Penny Klostermann

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
written by: Penny Parker Klostermann
illustrated by: Ben Mantle
Published by: Random House
Date: September 5, 2017

If you love fractured fairy tales, you will love this mash-up.  It is full of delicious fun!

Book Hooks:

1- Who ever thought of Fairy Tales as having the common element of FOOD?  Ms. Penny Klostermann did! The opening page spread sets the scene with William, who is lucky enough to live in a fairy tale land...but, he "...preferred pastries to princesses, kitchens to kingdoms, and recipes to the Royal Reporter."

2- A boy who loves to cook - I love that! I have three boys who are young adults now - and they ALL love to cook!

3- A mash-up story - I really enjoy mash-ups!  But...YOU will have to read the book to find out which fairy tales appear in this mash-up! Remember...think 'food'.

4- There are so many good things about this story - I have already purchased it for my nieces AND nephews. 

From Goodreads:
From the creators of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight comes a fun fractured fairy tale about an aspiring chef who mistakenly turns story ingredients into delectable dishes. . . . Uh-oh! 

In the magical land of fairy tales, William doesn't quite fit in. He'd rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and he values gnocchi over knighthood. . . .

When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters (a pumpkin, apples, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White's wicked stepmother doesn't exactly want her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel.

The team that brought you There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight delivers a hilariously fractured, whipped, and souffleed fairy tale that is chock-full of delicious details and jokes to satisfy every appetite!

Bon Appetit!

If you are looking for another fabulous, fun read - pick up There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, one of my personal favorites.  You will  beg to read this one again!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Symphony of Cowbells by Heather Preusser

A Symphony of Cowbells
written by: Heather Preusser
Illustrator: Eileen Ryan Ewen
Published by: Sleeping Bear Press
Date: March 15, 2017

I fell in love with this sweet story the moment I heard it. It has a timeless quality that reminds me of a long told fable.

Book Hooks:

1- In the story Petra and her father have to figure out why stubborn Elfi, the cow, won't cooperate.  I love how they try to help the cow like it's a big ole pet.

2- I love that because Elfi is missing her big brass bell, the whole cow 'symphony' is off beat.  

3- I love little German coo-coo clocks. I grew up with a tiny one on my bedroom wall.  It now sits in a draw of treasures awaiting repair. The illustrator brought the characters of a coo-coo clock right into the story.

You will have to read the story to see where the cowbell went, and how they got it back.  There's a little mystery going on in these pages!  I totally want to go visit Grimmelwald to see an Elfi!

From Goodreads:

Petra just loves spring in Gimmelwald Each season she and her family lead their prize dairy cows into the pastures to graze and each cow wears her own jingling jangling clanging bell What a symphony But when Petra s favorite cow Effie loses her bell the whole herd is out of harmony and refuses to move Will Petra be able to find Effie s bell before it s too late With charming illustrations this whimsical story is sure to delight children and adults alike.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley

A Bedtime Yarn
written by: Nicola Winstanley
illustrations by: Olivia Chin Mueller
published by: Tundra Books
expected publish date: September 26, 2017

I can't stop thinking about this book!  It is so simple and so magical at the same time!
This book will be my new go-to 'littles' gift book.

Book Hooks: It's all about connections with this one!
1- A bedtime story to remember! Kids will love the connections to their bedtime routine.
2- The ball of yarn is ingenious!  I don't want to give it away - you'll have to read!
3-Tha magical ball of yarn near the end - still not giving anything away!
4-The connection to Frankie's mom - so sweet!

From Goodreads:
Like a well-worn, snuggly blanket, this sweet bedtime story about a little bear who's afraid of the dark and his mother's creative solution will warm and comfort readers big and small.

Frankie is a little bear who has a hard time falling asleep. The dark is scary, and he hates to be alone. So his mother gives him a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and she keeps the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for Frankie.

Every few nights the yarn color changes, and Frankie dreams in all the colors that he and his mother pick out. One night he's swimming in turquoise water, another night he's in a cool gray fog. He plays with a marmalade kitten and eats delicious chocolate cake. Eventually Frankie and his mother create something special--and Frankie learns that he's always connected to those he loves, even when he's alone in the dark.

A beautiful story of love and crafting, A Bedtime Yarn will appeal to knitters, sleepy little bears and any parents dealing with their child's fear of the dark.

Okay - so this summary gave some things away...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Zoo Zen

Zoo Zen 
A Yoga Story for Kids
by Kristen Fischer
illustrated by Susi Schaefer
published by Sounds True
expected date July 1, 2017

This is an adorable book that follows Lyla as she learns her yoga poses.  The really cool thing is that Lyla is at the zoo, and the animals join in the fun.  Her poses mimic each animal, so she's leaning yoga from the animals! Kristen Fischer uses a relaxing meter for her story which works well. The zoo animals also add pointers along the way.  The animals in the illustrations are adorable which kids will love!  An added layer of counting will make Zoo Zen that much more alluring to kids, and parents too.  There is back matter which will help parents lead their children through Lyla's Yoga Flow.  All in all, a great find.  I have it on my list to purchase for some little ones in my life!  I also read a tweet that it will be available at Target.  That makes it easy!

*Thanks NetGalley for an advanced ebook to review.  My opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reading For Research

What better way to get kids excited about books and research, than by celebrating research all month!  Using picture books to help students become better writers and writers to become better researchers using mentor texts.  Reading for Research Month provides a month long intensive with guest bloggers to help you do just that!  The daily presenters are librarians, teachers, and authors or illustrators. The calendar and more information is provided in the link above.  

The super fantastic line-up? 

Matthew Winner @MatthewWinner, Marcie Flinchum Atkins @MarcieFAtkins, Heidi Stemple @heidieys, Susannah Richards @sussingoutbooks, Bridget Heos @bridgetheos, Nancy Churnin @nchurnin, Wendi Silvano @WendiSilvano, Tricia Lawrence @authorblogger, Caron Levis @caronlevis, Kelly DiPucchio @kellydipucchio, Katey Howes @kateywrites, Keila Dawson @keila_dawson, Danielle Smith @the1stDaughter @LupineGrove, Vivian Kirkfield @viviankirkfield, Jessixa Bagley @jessixabagley, Yolanda Scott @yoscottbooks, Janie Reinart @smile73777, Mira Reisberg @MiraReisberg @childrensbookac, Jodell Sadler @kidlitwriting @kidlitcollege, Kirsti Call @kirsticall, Carrie Charley Brown @carriebrowntx)

I hope you join in the fun. I know I'll be there!

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Artist and Me

The Artist and Me
by Shane Peacock
Illustrated by Sophie Casson
published by Owlkids
April 2016

Funny that I should pick up this book on the same day as The Tree in the Courtyard.  As I mentioned in that post, I was very blessed and got to visit Amsterdam.  Amsterdam not only has the Anne Frank House, but also the Van Gogh museum.  It is a marvelous tribute to Van Gogh.  As you explore each floor of the museum, you make your way through his life and can clearly see his painting style evolve.  

The Artist and Me is written from the unique perspective of a young boy who lives during Van Gogh's lifetime.  He watches as others bully Van Gogh, the crazy man, and even joins in.  I'm very impressed with illustrator Sophie Casson. The color palette she chose for the pages of this book, and how they match the actual painting of Van Gogh is mesmerizing.   Another wonderful nonfiction picture book for kids!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Tree in the Courtyard

The Tree in the Courtyard
Looking Through Anne Frank's Window
by Jeff Gottesfeld
illustrated by Peter McCarty
published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 2016

I absolutely adore this book.  I love how illustrator Peter McCarty used the sepia tones to match the heavy subject matter. I read the Diary of Anne Frank as a young girl more than once.  As an adult, I got to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  It was an experience I will never forget.  I started to reread her diary on the flight over and recall the tree.  This change in perspective for Anne's story is touching and perfect for a picture book.  I happen to love trees and what they represent in nature; their cyclical nature, their growth, their refusal to die even after a forest fire (saplings).  After reading the afterword, I wanted to know more about these chestnut tree seedpods which live on.  I found the The Sapling Project and read about the locations where the saplings grow to represent freedom and tolerance around the US.   The Tree in the Courtyard is a winner for me!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gratitude List

Day 7 of 12 Days of Christmas
From Flicker Google Open Stock Images

 I am grateful for my writing life blessings.

1. was able to participate in Chapter Book Blueprint
2. was able to participate in Picture Book Summit
3. am able to write from wherever I am, therefore can travel with husband
4. have good draft starts
5. have growing idea bank
6. finding these writerly groups
7. finding 12 Days of Christmas was perfect timing - thanks so much Julie!
8. and, of course, my supportive family

and I'm currently participating in StoryStorm, and am super excited to sign up for 12x12 this year! Hope to see you over there.

Sunday, January 1, 2017