Will Write for Cookies: Peter McCleery + Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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PETER MCCLEERY

Because my picture book was slated to pub in 2017, I was lucky enough to become part of a great group of 2017 debut picture book authors and illustrators. They’ve been truly lovely and haven’t kicked me out of the group, even though Sweet Dreams, Sarah was pushed back to 2018. Which is fine by me because it’s given me a chance to be part of the chain mail exchange of ARC’s and F&G’s. (ARC’s are Advanced Reading Copies. F&G’s are Folded and Gathered…the actual pages of the finished book before they are bound together). And it’s also given me a golden opportunity to connect with all of these talented creatives, review their books, and feature them on my blog.

Peter McCleery is the author of the hilarious Bob and Joss series of children’s books, Bob and Joss Get Lost! (available February 2017) and Bob and Joss Take a Hike! (coming in 2018). He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon where he occasionally gets lost. His favorite things include kids (and adults) who laugh. He’s also written for Highlights magazine and for grown-ups on the McSweeney’s humor website.

Peter…we are so darned excited to have you here…I’ve truly enjoyed your debut picture book…as well as the wonderful post you did for the Picture the Books blog. I urge you all to read this…Peter did a survey and interviewed some of the debut authors…it’s an inside peek into why they wrote what they wrote on the dedication page.

Dear friends, I want to remind you that if you leave a comment below, you’ll be entered into the giveaway of a copy of Peter’s debut picture book, BOB AND JOSS GET LOST which I reviewed yesterday on Perfect Picture Book Friday.

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And now we are going to get an inside peek into the who, what, where, when, and why of Peter McCleery.

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

 PETER:

I was a big fan of Babar and had a bunch of those books growing up, which I still have. I remember being easily engrossed by Brunhoff’s fanciful illustrations. I could just pop open a page and become immersed in the scene. I especially loved the unique architecture of Celesteville and the how each animal had their own type of building that perfectly suited them.  When I got older I sort of skipped typical middle-grade and YA novels and read a lot of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. What’s funny is that none of that style is apparent in my writing now!

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

PETER:  

How to be patient. When I first started writing I thought I could crank out great stories and be done. It doesn’t really work that way. I learned to slow down and take my time with a manuscript. (Some might say too slow.) Even if I write a draft really fast I will let it sit and steep like a good tea. Sometimes a solution or a new idea will pop in my head during this “downtime.” It’s important to make space for that to happen. The hard part is balancing that notion with actually getting things done.

Or all of that might be an excuse to procrastinate.

ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook?

PETER:

I work in a bunch of different places. Sometimes at home or in my local coffee shops.

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Although recently, to help increase my production (see answer above), I started renting a small office. It’s a very basic space in a medical/health office building. Gray carpet, white walls, etc…It’s me and a bunch of orthodontists and physical therapists! It’s funny to be doing creative work in such an uncreative space. We’ll see if it works!

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ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?

PETER:

I find that mid-day is my most productive time.  Early on I tried working at night after the kids went to bed but I realized that my brain was fried and writing was a struggle. Being a stay-at-home dad allows me to write during the day when my kids are in school and in between errands or their activities.

ME: Why do you write for children?

PETER:

This is such an interesting question! I think a big part of it is that I feel very comfortable with that age audience.  They take easily to the absurd. They don’t quite know what the “rules” are yet. Every time they read a book they are learning, “this is what a book is. This is how a book works.” I want to leave them with the impression that books can be fun and weird and full of clever delights.

ME: Peter, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear.

PETER:

I think some of the best writers are the ones most connected to kids’ sensibilities. Whether it’s humor, light or dark emotions, understanding relationships, etc., they get how kids think, how they see the world. Sure, adults should like and appreciate what you do (after all they are the ones making the purchase), but first and foremost the thing you are making should connect with kids.

I always try to imagine myself in front of a bunch of 6-year-olds (or whatever age range I’m writing for) with just my manuscript. It’s a scary thought, right? And it should be. Kids have no patience for the dull, the flat or the self-indulgent. Then I ask, can I honestly say this will hold their attention? Are there parts that would make me hesitant to present in front of them? If so, why?

Thank you so very much, Peter! This was amazing. I love that you suggest we connect with young kids if we are going to write stories they will love…it’s obvious that your connection with them is super strong!

And for all of you who want to find out more about Peter and his books, you can find him at http://www.petermccleery.com and at Twitter @pmccleery.

Okay friends…you know what they say…it’s not over until the cookie recipe is shared!

PETER:

 This cookie recipe is an old family traditional recipe. My mom makes them every holiday and so did her mother. While it’s a Greek recipe, my grandparents actually immigrated from Albania but there is a lot of cultural overlap. It’s not a very sweet cookie, in fact they taste best at breakfast with tea or coffee. The sesame seeds seem like an odd choice for a cookie but it works. Perfect for dipping!

cookies

cookie-recipe

My goodness…this is amazing! I love the way they look, Peter! And I’ll bet they taste even better. Not sure that the heavy cream, 4 cups of sugar, cup of butter and 12 eggs are quite what the doctor ordered…but hey, writers need nourishment…and eggs are very nutritious, right?

I know we all join together to thank Peter for his insights…and his wonderful recipe!

I hope your weekend is sprinkled with joy. And I hope you are all getting ready for #50PreciousWords…Challenge post goes live on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Thursday, March 2.

Picture Book Review and Activity: BOB AND JOSS GET LOST + Giveaway

Hello dear friends!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…so you know we are going to have a super picture book to review. Actually, it is one of the brand-new 2017 debut picture books. And the author, Peter McCleery, will be our guest on tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies.

But as is often the case, we need to make a few announcements first.

  1. The ReFoReMo Challenge will be getting underway on February 27…you can still  find out more about it and register here. ReFoReMo is an excellent way to earmark a month to read LOTS of picture books that you can use as mentor texts. Thanks to Carrie Charlie Brown and Kirsti Call for all of their work in organizing this for the kid lit community. I’m honored to have been asked to contribute the blog post for March 21.
  2. Last week we offered a copy of MR. FUZZBUSTER KNOWS HE’S THE FAVORITE. And the winner is…

SHERRI JONES RIVERS

Congrats, Sherri…I’ll be in touch and we will get a copy of the book to you.

3. And this weekend, we are giving away a copy of today’s wonderful picture book, BOB AND JOSS GET LOST. So please don’t forget to leave a comment below.

4. A dear friend, Michelle Eastman, is on a mission to put books in the hands of children in this country who have none. With the help of the VNS of Iowa, MARCHing Books to Kids will allow incarcerated parents to record their voices reading a book…then the VNS will send the book AND the recording to the child. What a positive impact this can make for children who are separated from a parent! The book you send might make all the difference in that child’s life. Any book is welcome…but can you imagine how special it would be for these kids to get books actually SIGNED by the author or illustrator?

5. And last, but definitely not least, I hope you are all thinking about your #50PreciousWords. Contest opens March 2. I JUST finished mine…after all, it wouldn’t be fair to expect you to write a story in just 50 words or less if I didn’t give it a try. I know you will laugh when you read it…hopefully because it is funny…and not because it is hopeless.

And now, thank you for your patience…it’s time for our #PPBF review.

bob-and-joss-cover

Bob and Joss Get Lost

Written by Peter McCleery

Illustrated by Vin Vogel

Publisher: HarperCollins (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Friendship, ingenuity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Perfect for fans of I’m Bored, Bob and Joss Get Lost! is a hilarious story about two friends who get shipwrecked on what may or may not be a deserted island.

“I’m bored,” Bob said, “Let’s do something.”

“Let’s take a boat trip,” said Joss.

“We will get lost,” said Bob.

We won’t get lost,” said Joss.

From debut author Peter McCleery and esteemed children’s book illustrator Vin Vogel comes a fun, comical escapade where two best friends get more excitement than they bargained for. Full of bold illustrations and clever one-liners, Bob and Joss Get Lost! is sure to have young readers laughing along.

Opening Lines:

“Bob was bored.”

Why I like this book:

  • This book is FUNNY and so darn REAL. The characters are funny. What happens to them is funny. But what I love most is that I could relate to these two friends…so different from each other…but so perfect for each other. I know many people who are just like Bob…no matter where they are or what they are doing, they are bored. And I think kids who hear this story will identify with McCleery’s characters.
  • The illustrations are perfect for the text…Vin Vogel captures the frustration of Bob…and the Zen-like acceptance of Joss. And his use of words as art packs a great punch for the story.
  • I read this with my 8-year old grandson and he LOVED it. When we finished, he took the book and read it through again, on his own.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A MAP

 making-mapsPhoto courtesy: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org

  1. Take a walk with your kids. Make a note of stores, parks, other landmarks.
  2. Draw a ‘picture’ of the area you traveled.
  3. More maps here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/makemapstreasuremapscraftsideasdecorationskids.html

Look at a globe…identify the continents, bodies of water…have children find where they live, places they have visited.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…and please come back tomorrow for:

Will Write for Cookies

With debut picture book author

PETER MCCLEERY

Will Write for Cookies: Stacy McAnulty Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

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INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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STACY MCANULTY

I’ve met many wonderful people on this journey into kid lit writing. One of the most generous is today’s Will Write for Cookies guest. Early on, I discovered her website which remains a source of information and inspiration for me.

Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, who’s also qualified to be a paleontologist (not really), a correspondent for The Daily Show (why not), and a Green Bay Packer coach (totally!). She’s written several picture books including Brave and Beautiful, both illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang; and Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. She’s also authored the chapter book series Goldie Blox, based on the award-winning toys, and The Dino Files. Her debut middle grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, will publish in 2018. When not writing, Stacy likes to listen to NPR, bake triple-chocolate cupcakes, and eat triple-chocolate cupcakes. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 2.5 dogs, and 1 husband.

Stacy…welcome!!!! Before we begin, I want to remind everyone that there will be a giveaway of Stacy’s newest picture book, Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, so please stick with us throughout the post and then leave a comment at the end. I did a wonderful Perfect Picture Book review of it right here. Continue reading

Picture Book Review and Giveaway: Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Best

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday…and we are reviewing another BRAND NEW 2017 release.

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Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

Written by Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by Edward Hemingway

Publisher: Two Lions Press (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 2

Themes:

Friendship, self-esteem, pets

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.… Continue reading

#50 Precious Words Writing Challenge is Almost Here

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Are you ready for a whole lot of fun?

As many of you know, I’m a BIG fan of writing contests and challenges.  I love them because

  1. they encourage writers to write
  2. they push us to submit our work
  3. they engage us in the kid lit community and provide us with positive feedback and inspiration.

 

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March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Last year I put together a little contest based on Random House founder Bennet Cerf’s 1960 challenge to Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words. And the classic Green Eggs and Ham was born. It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.

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My challenge is a bit different…yout MAX WORD COUNT for the entire story is 50.

If you are currently writing picture books…or just reading them, you’ll notice that the average word length for many is getting shorter and shorter. So I thought, wouldn’t that be a great challenge…to write a story for kids with only 50 words? With a beginning, a middle, and an end. I wondered if I could do it. I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! And now it’s time to DO IT AGAIN.

Please put on your thinking caps and get busy writing. You have a couple of weeks until you need to post your story. Here are the guidelines:

#50 PRECIOUS WORDS WRITING CONTEST

  1. Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count for the story is 50 or less.
  2. It can be prose, rhyme, free verse, silly or serious…whatever works for you.
  3. Title is not included in the word count.
  4. No illustration notes please.
  5. The contest officially opens on Thursday, March 2nd, in a special post on my blog.
  6. Between March 2nd and March 6th, post your story on your blog if you have one and put the link in the comments of my #50 Precious Words Challenge blog post OR post the entire story in the comments of my #50 Precious Words Challenge blog post. Last year, because the stories were so short, eventually, we had all of them in the comment thread. Please make sure you put your name in the post.
  7. Deadline for posting the story or the link in the comments is Monday, March 6, at 11:59pm.
  8. Winners will be announced Thursday, March 9.
  9. Winners? Of course, there will be winners…and prizes, too! The book prizes are limited to USA addresses, please.
    1. A critique from my beloved agent, Essie White (some of you may remember that the winner of last year’s contest chose Essie’s critique as her prize…and she subsequently signed with Storm Literary Agency!) essie

2. A seat in author Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing Making Picture Book Magic online writing class (the first writing class I ever took and it set me on the path of writing wonderful picture book manuscripts).

mpbm3. A seat in author Kristen Fulton’s incredible Nonfiction Archaeology online writing class (that was the class that opened the door for me to discover the joy of writing nonfiction picture books).

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4. This next prize can be chosen by two people…there are TWO 50% off coupons for Alayne Kay Christian’s ART OF THE ARC online writing class (this is the next class I would love to take).

art_of_arc_v35. OR…if you have already taken Alayne’s awesome class, you can choose 50% off an in-depth critique from her (when Alayne says it is an in-depth critique, she isn’t kidding. I had one of those…it is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious).

6. A seat in one of the KidLitCollege webinars (I’ve attended a few and they are FABULOUS!) OR $19.99 off a critique, donated by Jodell Sadler, JCLA Editorial Agent and Founder of KidLitCollege. Winner choses one and will get a special code.

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7. A manuscript or query letter critique from author Rebecca Colby.

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8. A picture book critique from author Lori Degman

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9. A picture book critique from author Anna Forrester.

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10. A fiction picture book critique from author Ariel Bernstein

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11. A picture book critique from author Rosie Pova

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12. A book on the craft of writing from author Rosie Pova

13. A copy of Bunny’s Book Club from author Annie Silvestro:

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14. A book on the craft of writing from author Maria Marshall

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15. A copy of Hello, My Name is Tiger from author/illustrator Jennifer P. Goldfinger.

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16. A copy of LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL plus an adorable SEAL NECKLACE from author/illustrator Patricia Keeler.

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17. A copy of CLAMS ALL YEAR by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.

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18. A SUPER HAPPY book prize package from author Marcie Colleen with copies of Super Happy Party Bears Gnawing Around and Super Happy Party Bears Knock Knock on Wood.

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19. A copy of Mutt’s Promise,  a middle grade dog adventure written by Julie Salomen…donated by illustrator Jill Weber.

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20. A picture book critique from me and a copy of my parent-teacher book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

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I am exceedingly grateful to all of these kid lit pros who generously donated prizes…to find out more about these wonderful people, please click on each link above to visit their websites…follow them on social media..and buy their books!!!!

Please help spread the word and share this around your social media…the more the merrier… #50PreciousWords.

Are you excited?

I am!

And I just can’t wait to read all of your precious words.

P.S. Don’t forget…this is NOT the post you will be using for the contest entries…that post will go live on March 2nd.

 

 

Valentiny Contest Entry: A Valentine’s Day Cake for the Queen

Today’s post is a treat…my story for Susanna Leonard Hill’s 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest.

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Before you read my entry,  it might be fun for you to see a bit of the process I used in writing it.

  1. I read Susanna’s guidelines. Whether you are entering a contest or submitting a story to an agent or editor, ALWAYS make sure you follow the guidelines.
  2. When my kids were young, I loved baking cakes for their special occasions…and they loved eating them. I figured that a story about a cake might be something kids could relate to.
  3. Since the guidelines called for confusion on the part of one of the characters, I thought that it would add a bit of humor and tension to have the pastry chef perplexed by the stacking of the layers of the cake.
  4. Children need to identify with a character in the story so I added a young kitchen boy who saves the day.
  5. I wanted to add some fun words, so I checked the thesaurus for alternative terms for confused…I found a LOT and chose two that made me smile: befuddled and discombobulated…I hope they make kids smile also. I also gave her a name that’s a play on the famous Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Kids may just laugh at the name, DOUGHLITTLE, but parents and teachers may enjoy the deeper joke.
  6. I wanted the reader to know that Eliza, the pastry chef, was a bit arrogant and full of herself…but in picture books, we are not supposed to TELL…we are supposed to SHOW. I didn’t say: Eliza was arrogant. Instead, I said: Eliza STRUTTED into the kitchen. If you close your eyes, you can just imagine how she entered the room. And before she began, she PUFFED UP HER CHEST. Yes, she’s quite vain about her baking abilities. When the young boy wants to help, Eliza PURSED HER LIPS AND RAISED HER EYEBROWS. Quite hoity-toity (hmmm…that’s another fun word…maybe next story).
  7. Keeping within the 214-word limit was a challenge…but I made it! I hope you enjoy my little story. If you want to read a whole bunch of wonderful Valentine’s Day tales or enter with your own story, please hop over to Susanna’s post.

 

A Valentine’s Day Cake for the Queen (210 words)

 

Pastry chef Eliza Doughlittle strutted into the castle kitchen. Valentine’s Day was tomorrow. The king had ordered a 7-layer cake for the queen.  Eliza snapped her fingers. She puffed up her chest—she could do it!

She pulled out pans. She lined up ingredients. She studied the recipe.

“Can I help,” said a small voice from behind the flour sacks.

“How can you help me?” Eliza told the kitchen boy. “You scour pots and pans!”

Eliza measured. She mixed. She poured. She baked. She frosted. Perfection!

Eliza stacked the layers.

The cake leaned to the left.

Befuddled, Eliza tried again.

It leaned to the right.

Discombobulated, Eliza rearranged the layers.

The tower teetered

                                    and

                    tottered.

“Please,” said the kitchen boy. “Let me help.”

Eliza pursed her lips. She raised her eyebrows. “What do you know about making cakes?”

“Not much,” said the boy. “But I stack stones by the riverbank.”

Eliza moved aside. The kitchen boy set the largest layer on the platter.

One

by

one,

he

stacked

each

layer.

Eliza peered at the cake from every side.

No teeter.

No totter.

Perfection!

“Thank you,” said Eliza. “Now I have a Valentine’s Day cake to present to the queen.”

“You’re welcome,” said the boy. “Now I have a job as assistant pastry chef.

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I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE STORY.

If you’d like to read the other entries, please hop over to Susanna’s blog. The contest ends on February 14.

And on February 15th…HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS…we are going to unveil the 2nd Annual #50PreciousWords contest. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare your entry…the contest opens on March 2nd, the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THAT POST!

Picture Book Review and Activities for THE GREEN UMBRELLA

Hello friends!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…and I’ve got the PERFECT PICTURE BOOK for you! It’s another wonderful 2017 debut! We are part of the book blog tour…if you’d like to visit any of the other stops, please click here.

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THE GREEN UMBRELLA

Written by Jackie Azua Kramer

Illustrated by Maral Sassouni

Publisher: NorthSouth Books (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Friendship, sharing, imagination

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

When Elephant takes a peaceful walk with his green umbrella, he’s interrupted by Hedgehog, Cat, Bear, and Rabbit—all claiming that they’ve had exciting adventures with his umbrella. After all, it is an umbrella, and it certainly hasn’t been on any adventures more exciting than a walk in the rain. Or has it?

Here is what the reviewers are saying:

Illustrated in spreads that alternate the rainy-day narrative in vignettes with full-bleed spreads that allow the flight-of-fancy retellings to render a deeper mood, the animals’ stories are delightfully descriptive…The lesson about sharing and generosity is elegantly wrapped around lovely language. (Kirkus Reviews)

 Debut author Kramer’s imagination-fueled encounter makes good use of fellow newcomer Sassouni’s gift for conjuring up fairy-tale landscapes…And Kramer’s storytelling passages sustain their lofty tone with no off notes—no easy task. (Publishers Weekly)

A sweet story of a blossoming friendship between five lovable and imaginative characters, united by one special green umbrella. I want to jump right in to the lush paintings and join in their fun!(Lauren Castillo, Author/ Illustrator of Caldecott Honor Book “Nana in the City”)

Whimsical and cartoonlike animals, depicted with a touch of vintage style, will delight readers as the story shows all the imaginative ways an umbrella can be used. The brightly colored acrylic illustrations complement the conversational text, which is suitable to read aloud to an audience.  (Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Services School Library Journal)

Here is a story for those who love an object, be it a blanket, a toy, or in this case a green umbrella, so much so that it’s very being is imbued with memories that make it unmistakably yours. And a story for those who have lost one such object and wish more than anything to have it back. Azúa Kramer reminds us all that many memories can be shared over a single prized possession. And as Sassouni’s art plays in the worlds of joy and longing over a green umbrella, we see a group of characters come together to discover what they can offer another in need. There’s no mistaking how easy it is to share this book. (Matthew Winner, All the Wonders Podcast)

 Opening Lines:

“One rainy day an Elephant was taking a walk with his green umbrella. Along came a Hedgehog.

“Excuse me,” said the Hedgehog. “I believe you have my boat.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that encourage young children to use their imaginations!
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and match the text perfectly!
  • Each page turn compels you to…turn the page.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Paper Plate Elephant

elephant-paper-plate-med-300x225Photo courtesy: http://www.activitybucket.com

Just like paper bags, paper plates are wonderful to use for crafting with kids.

You will need: 1 paper plate, construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors, glue.

  1. Color the paper plate with crayons or markets (or paint if you are adverturous)…what color does your child want the elephant to be…encouraging children to use their imagination is one of the most important things we can do. Maybe the elephant needs to be purple with green stripes…let your child be creative.
  2. Cut out ears, eyes, trunk, mouth and glue in place.
  3. Use markers or crayons to add detail to the features.
  4. For in depth instructions: http://www.activitybucket.com/creative-crafts/elephant-paper-plate

Other activities to do after reading the book:

  1. Take a walk in the rain, with and without an umbrella.
  2. Buy a small umbrella just for your child.
  3. Let your child chose a possession…mug, pillow, toy…who else could use this and how? For example, a mug might be a bathtub for a little mouse. This type of activity helps children start thinking out of the box.

 

 This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow’s post will be my entry into Susanna Hill’s Valentiny Contest…I hope you are able to stop by and let me know what you think of it.