Category Archives: recipes

Sandra Beckwith – Will Write for Cookies

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

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INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

SANDRA BECKWITH

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Let’s time travel back about four years…my self-published parenting book was due to come out in September of 2010…I had no blog, no website, thought tweeting was the sound a bird made, had never been on Facebook and didn’t know the first thing about how to market or promote my book or myself. YIKES!

Then I found out about Sandra Beckwith and her Build Book Buzz online class. I signed up and learned more in those 6 weeks than I could ever have thought was possible. But more importantly, I discovered that some people are just angels in disguise. Sandy was kind and patient and knowledgeable and delivered on her promises…always. The class was filled with personal interaction and hands-on assignments. And I know I will always have a friend who supports and encourages me.

Sandy’s written quite a few books and she knows the business from publishing to press release, from using social media to creating a media kit.

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Welcome, Sandy! I really appreciate your being here. I’m so happy you agreed to participate. You bring a very important perspective to the Will Write for Cookies interview.

Me: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

SANDY:

My first favorite author was Carolyn Keene because she wrote the Nancy Drew series. My friends and I used to swap books on the school bus or in class so we all had access to as many of those wonderful mysteries as possible. Not long after that, I fell in love with Louisa May Alcott’s books. After I read Little Women, I wanted to write her a letter telling her how much I enjoyed that book. I was so sad when my mother told me that she died almost a hundred years ago!

Me: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing?

SANDY:

It took me a while to discover that a good editor can both improve your writing and teach you how to do it better the next time. I still pay attention to edits now, a long time after I became a professional writer. Read the rest of this entry

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Activities for Kids

Today is Friday – time for a children’s book and an activity to keep the kids happy and busy!

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Cooking Activities

I found this book in a box at an open air town flea market when I was visiting my daughter and grandson in New Hampshire. I get into trouble at these places – how can you say no to a beautiful picture book for 25 cents? The seller wanted me to take the entire box of over a dozen hardcover beautifully illustrated multicultural books for two dollars. That’s right…two dollars. And did I buy all of them? No, I exercised GREAT restraint and only spent $1.00 because I knew I would have to lug those hardcover books back on the plane. After I made my frugal purchase, I walked over to the next seller. Oh no!!! She was selling children’s books also! There was  Frog and Toad, The Fire Cat and Danny and the Dinosaur – each for…you guessed it…25 cents. I couldn’t resist…I bought TWELVE…but I left those with my grandson!

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Activities

Mei-Mei Loves the Morning

Written by Margaret Holloway Tsubaklyama

Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (1999)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Multigenerational activities, family bonding, urban China

Opening Lines:

“Mei-Mei loves the morning. When she wakes up, she always hears Bai-Ling rustling impatiently in his cage and Grandpa’s slippers sip-slapping on the kitchen floor. Mother and Father are still asleep, but Mei-Mei jumps out of bed.”

Synopsis:   Read the rest of this entry

Maria’s Mysterious Mission…Hiking the Colorado Rockies with John Fielder

The east coast has been pounded by massive snowstorms recently. But here in Colorado Springs, the last few days have brought some unmistakeable signs that spring is coming soon.

spring dragonfly from MalouPhoto courtesy of Malou, a fantastic photographer in the Netherlands.

The breeze carries with it the fragrance of warmth and new green day lily shoots are poking their spikes up through the decaying leaves of a past autumn.

Yes, I know. We may still get major snowstorms and plenty of frosty mornings…we often have heavier snowfalls in March and April than we do during the winter. But spring is definitely on my mind, especially since I’ve been working on my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s In Just Spring Children’s Story Contest. Head over there to check it out…submissions are due next Friday!

What luck! A book arrived in the mail yesterday. When I opened the package, I knew it was just the one to review for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. It demonstrates the beauty of Colorado’s majestic mountains and contains an important lesson about finding one’s way in a new place.

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Maria’s Mysterious Mission

Written by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Illustrated by Anna-Maria Crum

Photography by John Fielder

Publisher: Westcliffe Publishers/John Fielder Publishing (2007)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Homesickness, moving, new experiences, friendship

Opening Lines:

“Maria was homesick. She spent her days wandering in and out of the barn and poking around the corral. She hadn’t cut a trail or carried a pack in months, not since she’d come to this new place in Colorado, far from her home in South America.

I don’t belong here, she thought. Her eyes stung, and her throat felt tight. “I miss the Andes.”

Synopsis:

From the Amazon page: “Far from her native South America, Maria is homesick. When she sets off on a mysterious mission with a heavy pack on her back and a heavier weight on her heart, she forges a new friendship and comes to see her life in Colorado with very different eyes.

Why  I like this book:

Many children experience anxiety when they move to a new place or face the challenge of doing something different. The story of Maria, the llama, is one of realizing that we can be happy no matter where we are and that no matter where we go, there will be some things that are the same and some that are different. Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can also be a stepping stone to new and wonderful friendships. This book was especially relevant to me because it spoke to the fears I had to face concerning my upcoming trip to Singapore  in May for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

The book is an amazing collaboration between author, illustrator and America’s foremost outdoor photographer, John Fielder. Each spread contains the text and illustrations against a background of Mr. Fielder’s fantastic photography. Living in Colorado…and having hiked many of the back-country and high mountain trails, I was overjoyed to see familiar scenes with the turn of  each page.

How a parent can use this book:

  • As a lovely read-aloud (let’s make a pact…let’s celebrate World Read-Aloud Day EVERY DAY of the year by reading aloud to children at every opportunity).
  • To encourage children to accept new challenges and try new things
  • To help kids whose families have just moved or are planning to move
  • As an introduction to hiking and outdoor pursuits as well as to photography
  • To show children the amazing natural resources and wildlife habitats that exist and that need our careful protection

Related Activities:

Here’s a great trail mix recipe from my book. Why not invite your child to help make a batch…and then go out for a hike together. Do you have a local nature sanctuary or botanic gardens nearby? If not, how about a walk to a nearby park or playground. First Lady Michelle Obama is encouraging parents and schools to make physical activity a priority in every child’s day.

HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX

trail-mix

Photo courtesy www.livelearnloveeat.com

You will need: 1 cup unsalted nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc.),1 cup hulled sunflower seeds, 1 xup coconut flakes, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup dried fruit cut into small pieces, 1 large bowl and a package of zip-lock sandwich bags.

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Store in airtight container or large glass jar with lid.
  3. Scoop into sandwich bags, grab a bottle of water and take a walk.
  4. Makes about 5 cups of trail mix.
  5. If your child is allergic to nuts…or too young for them…you can substitute healthy dry cereals and mini-pretzels.

Join Perfect Picture Book Friday with Susanna Leonard Hill and dozens of other kid lit lovers who post a picture book review every week:

Would you like to take the muss and fuss out of planning fun activities with your child. No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Please click this link to purchase a copyshow me how build your child's self-esteem,positive parental participation, http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

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