MARCH-ing Books to Kids

You all know how passionate I am about helping children become lovers of books and reading.

As I journey along on this picture book writing path, I meet others who share the same mission.

Yesterday I visited the website of author AJ Irving and discovered a brilliant initiative to get books into the hands of kids who don’t have any. Yes, you read that right! There are plenty of kids, here in the good old USA, who grow up in homes without books. And we can help!

MARCH-ing Books to Kids.

PB 14:14 – Day 8 – Top Ten Elements in Picture Books – Theme

This is the last day of the PB 14:14 Challenge…and although I already posted today, I’m going to add an additional post because I missed one day last week.

This is one of my all-time favorite books…before it was published, the author read it to kids in schools, libraries and children’s hospitals.

cover of the kissing hand 

Title: The Kissing Hand Continue reading

PB 14:14 – Day 14 – Rhyme – PLUS…PPBF – Cowpoke

Woot! Woot!

And how about a Hip Hip Hooray!

It’s Day 14 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge. http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-14-how-big-is-million-patterns.html

 And, it’s also Perfect Picture Book Friday. http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2015/02/perfect-picture-book-friday-finding.html

Life can’t get much better!

I’ve been trying to polish a particular picture book manuscript…it’s about a boy who wants to be a cowboy…and it’s in rhyme. Complicated rhyme. Which is hard to do. I’m so reluctant to change it up – into prose or free verse – because, as you know if you are a writer, it’s difficult to ‘kill our darlings’… that is, get rid of something we love or have gotten attached to.

And then I found this book in a library discard pile – a totally fun romp of simple rhyme and active verbs and awesome illustrations – all about a little cowpoke who joins a cattle drive.

So I will be rethinking my own manuscript – and offering this charming picture book as an example of the top ten element of rhyme.

cowpokes Continue reading

PB 14:14 – Day 13 – Top Ten Elements in Picture Books – Patterns

My selection today for Day 13 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 is another classic picture book…just can’t help myself!

 

This one is from 1928… Wanda Gag won the 1929 Newbery Honor Book Award.  Ms. Gag pioneered the double page spread in this book, using both pages to move the story forward, putting them together with art that swept across the entire page spread.

Millions of Cats is the oldest American picture book still in print!

And if you are looking for a picture book that showcases patterns, you can stop right here!

millions of cats

Title: Millions of Cats

Author and Illustrator: Wanda Gag

Publisher: Coward McCann (recent editions are Penguin)

Date: 1928

Top Ten Element: Patterns

 

Opening Lines:

“Once upon a time there was a very old man and a very old woman.  They lived in a nice clean house which had flowers all around it, except where the door was.  But they couldn’t be happy because they were so very lonely.” Continue reading

PB 14:14 – Top Ten Elements of Picture Book Stories – Word Play

Almost two years ago, I was privileged to travel to Singapore to speak at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I met authors and illustrators from all over the Pacific Rim countries and beyond.

For Day 12 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge, I’m offering one of the books by author/illustrator Christopher Cheng. Not only is he an amazing creator of children’s content, he’s also a stellar speaker at events all over the world – he’ll be presenting at the NESCBWI Conference in Chicago this April…wish I could go!

water-300x257

Title: Water

Author: Christopher Cheng

Illustrator: Susanna Gaho-Quek

Publisher: AFCC Publications

Date: 2013

Word Count: 180 estimated

Top Ten Element: Word Play

 

Opening Lines:

“In the air that we breathe

on ice capped peaks

frozen in time Continue reading

PB 14:14 – Day 11 – Top Ten Elements in Picture Book Stories – Rhyme and Pattern

Ready to read another picture book story?

Only three more days in Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge.

For Day Eleven, how about a book I bought for my grandson when he was a baby? He loved the gentle rhyme and the sweet pictures…and so did I.

huggle bear

Title: Where, Oh Where Is Huggle Buggle Bear?

Author: Katherine Sully

Illustrator: Janet Samuel Continue reading

PB 14:14 – Day 10 – Top Ten Elements in Picture Book Stories – Conflict

Today is Day Ten of Christie Wright Wild’s PB 14:14.

In many picture book challenges, we are encouraged to use books that have been published in the last five to ten years. However, being the classic picture book nut that I am, I just had to get in a couple of the older stories. Here is one of my favorites.

a bargain

Title: A Bargain for Frances

Author: Russell Hoban

Illustrator: Lillian Hoban

Publisher: Harper & Row Publishers

Date: 1970

Word Count: 1000+ estimated

Top Ten Element: Conflict

 

Opening Lines:

It was a fine summer day, and after breakfast Frances said, “I am going to play with Thelma.”

“Be careful,” said Mother.

 

Synopsis:

Frances is a little badger. The last few times she played with Thelma, her friend took advantage of her. This time, they are going to play tea party. Frances has been saving for a special china tea set. When Thelma hears about that, she persuades Frances to buy her old plastic tea set. Frances doesn’t want to until Thelma convinces her that no one wants a china tea set and plastic is better. Continue reading