Do You Know the Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Holiday Shopping With Kids?


jeremys first day at soccer made a goal 9_7‑13

Please check out the lovely post Barbara did this morning. Corner on Character is an awesome blog that encourages parents and teachers to help their kids develop an awareness of the importance of reaching out and helping others.

I loved that Barbara used the SHOW ME HOW FORMULA to combine a picture book story, craft and cooking activity for a fun time with kids.

Thanks so much, Barbara…I really appreciate you spreading the word about the HUGE HOLIDAY SALE going on right now on Amazon. ONLY $10 A COPYand if you order 2 copies, I’ll mail them priority so you will have them in time for the holidays.

Holiday shopping can be very stressful, especially if you have little ones along for the ride. Internet shopping can make life easier…and items you find in online catalogs are only a click away. Shopping with the major retailers like Amazon gives you peace of mind…they guarantee satisfaction and will intercede if there is a problem with the transaction.

If you do have to take your children shopping, please follow these simple steps: Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic: WordPress Family Blog Award

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

In every field, there are awards that are bestowed in recognition of excellence. The Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the Oscars and Emmys are a few of the well-known accolades. Even the blogsphere has some…The Versatile Blogger, Stylish Blog, Candlelighter Award…there are dozens. One of the newest is the WordPress Family Blog Award.

All bloggers are writers…and all writers need encouragement and support. Being part of the WordPress Family, I’ve found so much support and encouragement from fellow bloggers. Some write picture books, some write memoirs, some write YA or MG, some are not trying to write a book, but are investing their talent in writing great blog posts.


Marylin over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother honored me with it the other day. One of the things I regret is that while I lived in Colorado Springs, I never connected in person with this amazing writer. In her blog, she shares the wonderful accomplishments and giving nature of her mom who now suffers from Alzheimers. Marylin supports aspiring authors with writing contests and her blog is a cornucopia of goodness and love and information…on child care, recipes, gardening anecdotes and family matters.  If you don’t know Marylin, I hope you will stop by her blog to say hello…you won’t be disappointed.

When I received the award, I tried to find out a little more about it. I discovered that it was started by Shaun from Scotland:

This is what Shaun said about the award:

“This is an award for Continue reading

Penguin – A Picture Book Review About Communication

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

Thanksgiving is next week…it is a time for being thankful for those we love…but sometimes, because of a lack of communication, there can be misunderstanding and unhappiness.

My picture book choice echoes that theme.



Written and illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2007)

Ages: 4 and up


Communication, friendship

Opening Lines:

“Ben ripped open his present. Inside was a penguin. “Hello Penguin!” said Ben.” Continue reading

Will Write for Cookies – Susanna Leonard Hill






 Susanna Hill and Baahb read at MCP

When I first started blogging, I was posting a picture book review every week. Another blogger told me that there was a site I just HAD to visit because that author was putting together a resource list of great picture books and activities. “It’s called Perfect Picture Book Friday,” she told me. “You must check it out!”

I did…and the rest is history.  Not only did I join in every Friday with an entry to Susanna’s linky-list, but I also participated in her many writing prompts like Short and Sweets, holiday story contests like the Halloweensie Contest and helpful weekly features like Would You Read It Wednesday (pitches) and O Susanna (answers to specific writing/publishing questions).

Susanna Leonard Hill is the award winning author of nearly a dozen books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice),No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner.)  Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one hopefully forthcoming in Korean.  Her newest book, Alphabedtime!, is forthcoming from Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, in Fall 2015.  She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

She conducts a picture book writing online course, MAKING PICTURE BOOK MAGIC, and is also well-known for her ‘hare-brained schemes’…which means she is always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need and to creatively support and encourage others. Oh, and every week she feeds us virtual CHOCOLATE and other goodies!

Susanna, I really appreciate you hopping on board this ‘hare-brained’ scheme of mine!

So, without further ado, HERE’S SUSANNA!!!!

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

I am a lucky girl.

I grew up in a family of readers and a house full of books.  Literally.  There were piles of books on the floor in the hall (I thought that was normal… :)) until my dad built new shelves… and then those were filled… and then there were more piles 🙂  My mom used to read to us not just at bedtime but while we ate lunch sometimes, or when we were driving in the car (of course not while she was driving :)).

I really don’t remember thinking in author/illustrator terms at the picture book age, but I loved Make Way For Ducklings, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, The Story of Ferdinand, Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel, Harry The Dirty Dog, and Curious George.  Oh! and Madeline and Bread And Jam For Frances 🙂  Those delightful characters and the magic of the words and pictures together filled me with joy.  Even way back then I knew that someday I wanted to write books like those!

When I got a little older I loved everything Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery, Beverly Cleary, Sydney Taylor, Louisa May Alcott, and Nancy Drew… and horse stories – every single one 🙂  (And I’ve written my share of horse stories and Nancy Drew books which have thankfully never seen the light of day :))

Picture 3

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

Hmmm….   That’s a tough one.  There are a lot of things I’m glad I didn’t know 🙂

But I wish I’d known that 2700 words was considered too long for a picture book 🙂

I wish I’d known that all writers, even famous, successful ones, have the same struggles you and I do.  They have mornings where they don’t know what to write.  They have days when the delete key gets a serious work-out.  They get stuck in the middle of their stories.  They get rejections.  It’s comforting to know that my heroes work too.  And I don’t mean that in a negative way – I’m not glad they struggle sometimes.  It just makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one 🙂

Which leads me to wishing I’d known Continue reading

Little Pig Joins the Band – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner – I’m thankful to be closer to family and those I love. This year, my daughter and I will share the joy of cooking the family meal together.

My picture book choice echoes that theme.



Written and illustrated by David Hyde Costello

Publisher: Charlesbridge (2011)

Ages: 4 and up


Self-esteem, family togetherness

Opening Lines:

“Sometimes Little Pig did not like being little, or even being called Little Pig.”


From Amazon: “Little pig has trouble keeping up with his older–and bigger –brothers and sisters. When they get out Grandpa’s old marching-band instruments, Little Pig is too little to play any of them. But when the disorganized band has a pig-pile mishap Continue reading

Kickstarter Campaign Kicks Off!

Picture Books: A Child's POV

Do you love books?

Do you love children?

Do you want to invest in something of great value?

My friend and fellow writer Julie Foster Hedlund has written a beautiful picture book celebrating the love between a parent and child. Artist Susan Eaddy, has completed one stunning illustration to provide a sense of what the final book will look like. But they need help to get it published. They’ve launched a campaign on Kickstarter to fund the production, publication and printing of the book. Check out their campaign, and if you love the book as much as I do, please consider backing the project.

Julie already has two awesome picture book story apps that are loved by children: A Troop is a Group of Monkeys and Shiver of Sharks. I know that My Love for You is the Sun is a book that will take its place beside Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You as a favorite read-it-to-me-again-please story.

I’ve already visited the Kickstarter site and pledged my support for this valuable project. I hope you will check it out!

Authors for the Philippines – An Auction to Help



This is an online auction to raise money for the Red Cross’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Friday (8 November), causing catastrophic damage. It is the strongest storm ever to make landfall, hitting an area where thousands of people are already homeless after an earthquake in mid-October.

Please visit their blog:

via About.

You can help by:

  • Donating an item for auction
  • Bidding on an item
  • Spreading the word by social media

I’m spreading the word and also donating a copy of my book. I’d love to bid on a bunch of the items…wait till you see what is being offered!