#PPBF: Hoot and Holler – A Story About Friendship

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.

reading with Jeremy

I spent the most delightful morning at my grandson’s Kindercare kindergarten class. We had made a book together – he drew the pictures and told me what to write. Then he told his teacher that he wanted his grandma to come in to read the book to his friends. The teacher was thrilled (another pair of hands is always appreciated in a classroom filled with active kids)…and today was the day. Jeremy could hardly wait to get to school…in the car, he told me that he was a gazillion and trillion excited.

Of course I had a ball – and read a whole bunch of picture books with them in addition to the book Jeremy had made. It’s always fascinating to observe the interactions amongst the kids – friends one moment and arch-enemies the next.

So I decided to bring a book to you that addresses the topic of friendship…and with Valentine’s Day just two weeks away, it seems very appropriate.

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Hoot and Holler

Written by Alan Brown

Illustrated by Rimantas Rolia

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (2001)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Friendship, expressing emotions, overcoming fears

Synopsis:

Holler, a big owl, and Hoot, a little owl, played together every night in the woods.  They were both shy, and Continue reading

Have You Seen That Groundhog? Punxsutawney Phyllis’ Fashion Show

February 2nd is Groundhog Day.

You know the drill, right?

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Luckily, I am good friends with a very special groundhog…author Susanna Leonard Hill’s famous Punxsutawney Phyllis.

So, I thought I’d call her to get the low-down on up-coming weather trends.

Phyllis was very close-mouthed about it – and refused to spill the beans before the official date – but she did share something with me.

She’s planning a vacation at an undisclosed nude beach in the Caribbean  – to attend the 1st Annual Groundhog Fun-in-the-Sun-Spectacular (or Spectacle…it was a bad connection and I wasn’t sure what she said).

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Here’s a picture she emailed me…that’s Phyllis, on her beach blanket, covered by her towel…this is a G-rated blog, after all.

I know we all hope Phyllis has an awesome time – for more adventures of Phyllis, go here.

If you want to submit an entry or see the other posts, Susanna has a linky up on her blog…lots of others are joining Phyllis’ Fun Fashion Show.

#PPBF – The Story About Ping

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.

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My grandson at his first karate class – wish I could focus so intently (and lift my leg that high).

The month has flown by with lots of picture book writing activity. I finished Meg Miller’s ReviMo (all about revising) and I’m currently participating in Shannon Abercrombie’s Start the Year off Write. There are several contest deadlines looming – Highlights Fiction Contest entries (Holiday theme) must be postmarked by January 31…and the contest being hosted by Rate Your Story ends on February 3rd. Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 is gearing up with a fully functioning Forum where you can post the 1st 250 words of a manuscript, as well as queries and pitches for critique. Emma Walton Hamilton has again graciously agreed to critique queries this month for Golden Book level members…if she isn’t able to get to all of them, Julie will complete the task. And, the lovely Mira Reisberg, talented teacher of Picture Book Academy and head of Hummingbird Literary, will be critiquing pitches in a free live webinar tonight at 6pm Pacific time. I’ve already completed my January 12×12 picture book draft and I’m furiously working to get all of those contest entries in on time. Thanks to my two wonderful critique groups, I’ve gotten great feedback and suggestions for revision and polishing. PLUS, I’m jumping up and down with excitement since February will be here before we know it and Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic class will begin.

So now that you know how January is going for me, are you ready for a picture book review?

I’m a fan of classic picture books, although recently I’ve been reviewing mostly the newer ones as I also read them to help me in my picture book writing. Today, I’m reverting back to a tried and true classic that does not seem to be on the Perfect Picture Book list. It’s also a Perfect Picture Book for the upcoming Chinese New Year – although the China it depicts has changed drastically – the book was written OVER EIGHTY YEARS AGO!

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The Story About Ping Continue reading

Singaporean author David Seow – Will Write for Cookies

 

WOW! DO I HAVE A TREAT (IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE) FOR YOU TODAY!

When I got the opportunity to travel half-way around the world to attend the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content/SCBWI Conference, I was excited, and somewhat anxious. What would I find there? How would it be? Where would I stay? When would I ever get back? Who would I meet?

Those questions were soon answered…all very positively. I found a beautiful country, with amazing facilities, an awesome hotel and had no problem getting back (although I didn’t want to leave). I met the most incredible people – and today, on WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES, I’m honored to introduce one of Singapore’s leading picture book authors, DAVID SEOW.

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That is David on the left and Enrico Sallustio, one of the illustrators he works with, on the right…and lucky me behind them).

I asked David five questions – here are his answers:

WHO WERE MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD AUTHORS

 

When I was little, my favorite authors were Eric Carle Jean de Brunhoff, Roald Dahl, Astrid Lindgren and Oscar Wilde.

 

 

WHAT I KNOW NOW

 

I wish I had known a lot more than I did when I first embarked on this crazy adventure in children’s publishing.  Like most first-time authors I was relatively idealistic about writing and publishing. I have to admit that it was a dream to have my first book published. After 15 years I’m a bit wiser and a lot less idealistic. It’s a tough industry and you’ve got to be prepared to handle disappointment and rejection on a regular basis.

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Yes, that’s right…Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking with David and Continue reading

PPBF: The Story of Black Beauty – The Year of the Horse

jeremy horseback with carrie

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.

January 31st starts the Chinese Year of the Horse. In honor of that…and because I’ve always loved horses, I offer a picture book version of one of the most beloved of all horse stories.

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The Story of Black Beauty

Written by Anna Sewell

Illustrated by Alan Marks

Publisher: Usborne Publishers Ltd (Picture Book Classics – 2008)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Friendship, horses, animal welfare, treating others with kindness and consideration

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Anna Sewell’s classic story of a young horse’s journey from the rolling hills of the English countryside to the dark, cobbled streets of London, retold for young children in picture book form.” Black Beauty grows up on a pleasant farm, surrounded by loving caretakers and good friends. But Continue reading

#PPBF – Count the Monkeys

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.

Counting books are always fun – and Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell make a great author/illustrator team. I’m thinking this was already done recently for PPBF, but it’s not on the resource list, so I’m adding it just in case.

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COUNT THE MONKEYS

Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (2011)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Counting, getting along with others, animals

Opening Lines:

“Hey kids! Time to count the monkeys! It’s fun. It’s easy. All you have to do is Continue reading

Goal-Busters: Moving Ahead in 2014

2013 was a year of change for me. I moved 2000 miles across the country to be closer to our daughter and five-year old grandson.

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2014 will also be a year of moving closer – closer to my dream of having one of my picture book stories published.

Along this journey, I’ve met many others who share this dream – and every month this year, I’ll be turning the spotlight on them and asking them to:

  •  Reveal their goals for 2014
  • Tell us the steps they are taking to reach them
  • Share how they will reward themselves

I hope you will return every 1st Monday of the month to meet them – there will be familiar faces – and some new ones, too.

I thought it only fair for me to go first…so for today, you are stuck with me.

“IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU ARE PLANNING TO FAIL.” – Benjamin Franklin

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I believe that clever Mr. Franklin knew what he was talking about.

Success in any undertaking calls for preparation. I’ve been Continue reading