Picture Book Review and Activity PLUS CRITIQUE Giveaway: 7 ATE 9

Is it Friday already?

Good thing, because I’m excited to share another 2017 picture book with you. The author, Tara Lazar, is a dear picture book mentor for this kid lit community. Her Storystorm Challenge (formerly PiBoIdMo) helped more than 1600 writers gather ideas this January. And she was a Will Write for Cookies guest back in 2014.

Since then, she’s had a bunch of picture books launch…and I’m thrilled to bring you her latest for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

AND GUESS WHAT TARA IS OFFERING AS A GIVEAWAY?

A PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE! OH YES! So please, tell all your friends and even people who aren’t your friends, to come on over and leave a comment. One lucky person is going to get that fabulous prize!

But first, we have a another fabulous prize to give away! Last week, Kristen Fulton offered a copy of her debut picture book, LONG MAY SHE WAVE. And the lucky winner is…

Ali Earle Pichardo

Congratulations, Ali…let’s connect and I will put you in touch with Kristen so she can get a copy of the book out to you!

And now for our Perfect Picture Book Friday review!

7 ate 9

7 ATE 9: The Untold Story

Written by: Tara Lazar

Illustrated by Ross MacDonald

Publisher: Disney/Hyperion (2017)

Ages: 4-7

Themes:

Mystery, numbers, humor

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

6 has a problem.

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that’s true, 6’s days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don’t add up.

It’s odd.

Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?

Why I like this book:

  • It is funny. More than funny. It is one of the funniest books I’ve read. And kids LOVE funny.
  • Great illustrations…perfect for the text.
  • The story will engage kids from the first page to the last!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Sensory Art with Numbers

sensory art with numbersPhoto courtesy: http://handsonaswegrow.com/40-number-activities-for-preschoolers/

You will need: Cardboard (you can even use the side of an empty cereal box), glue, marker, your choice of sand, rice, oatmeal, Cheerios, or glitter.

  1. Draw numbers on the cardboard.
  2. Trace over the numbers with a glue stick.
  3. Sprinkle with your choice of topping…sand (might be messy in the house), rice, oatmeal, Cheerios, or glitter (will definitely be messy in the house).
  4. Let dry.
  5. You can do this with letters also.

For many more number activities, click here: http://handsonaswegrow.com/40-number-activities-for-preschoolers/

Thank you all for stopping by today. My generous author friends have connected with the #50PreciousWordsforKids teachers and parents. Maybe we will get some feedback by next month and find out how much fun everyone had, connecting adult authors and kid writers on Skype.

And don’t forget to leave a comment today if you would like a chance to win a MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE FROM TARA LAZAR. Please share this post on your social media…and if you have read Tara’s book, please leave a review for her on Amazon. 

Happy Memorial Day, dear friends…please be safe if you are traveling…and I will see you again in JUNE! Lots more picture book reviews, giveaways, author/illustrator Q&A’s!

Will Write for Cookies: KRISTEN FULTON plus Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

headshot

KRISTEN FULTON

What impresses me most about this kid-lit community is the generosity of its members—especially those who have achieved success and graciously share their knowledge. I met our Will Write for Cookies guest back in 2014. I’d heard she was taking the world of nonfiction picture books by storm. And 2014 was the year I had earmarked to take classes. So, I dipped my toes into the nonfiction pool and participated in her WOW Nonficpic Week Challenge – and fell in love…with her spirit, her wealth of expertise, and writing nonfiction pbs. I registered for her June Nonfiction Archaeology class. In July, I wrote Sweet Dreams, Sarah. And received LOTS of feedback and help from Kristen and our critique group. And LOTS of agent interest (and signed with my agent) because of it. Yup, that girl knows what she is talking about.

 Nonfiction picture book author Kristen Fulton is happiest wearing her favorite set of pearls and carrying a notebook into any museum or history center where she could spend hours researching. Wafting through old books or around dusty artifacts, Kristen believes that is where she will find her next story hiding. As a lifelong student, Kristen is always on an adventure to learn something new, from a foreign language to veterinary science, her love for education has given her the discipline to do the research and bring pure nonfiction stories to children with the ability to entertain.

 book cover

Dear readers…this Q&A is going to knock your socks off! Please leave a comment at the end to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of LONG MAY SHE WAVE which has just launched and has already been selected as a Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild selection.

 Let’s give her a big Picture Books Help Kids Soar welcome!

 Kristen, thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us.

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

 KRISTEN:

Believe it or not, I don’t remember any picture books from my childhood. The first book I remember my parents reading to me was The Boxcar Children. My dad had this bizarre talent, he could draw anything on an Etch a sketch. I remember him reading and then stopping to sketch out the image, such as the dog or loaf of bread. We moved up to Anne of Green Gables with etch a sketch images of carrots, slates, and lakes of shining waters. Continue reading

Picture Book Review and Activity: LONG MAY SHE WAVE plus Giveaway

I’m always happy when Friday rolls around – because it means it’s time for Perfect Picture Book Friday. And today’s book is amazing. In fact, it was just selected as a Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild selection!!!!  

But first, some blog housekeeping. BTW, did you know this is blog post #700 for Picture Books Help Kids Soar? Where has the time gone?

Last week, Chana Stiefel offered a copy of her debut picture book, DADDY DEPOT. And the lucky winner is…

PATRICIA NOZELL

Congratulations, Patricia…let’s connect and I will put you in touch with Chana so she can get a copy of the book out to you!

Today’s book is close to my heart for two reasons. I am a lover of nonfiction picture books…it’s what I love to write…and the author is actually the guru of writing nonfiction picture books. In June of 2014, I took Kristen Fulton’s Nonfiction Archaelogy class and it was a life changing experience for me. Kristen, who will be here tomorrow on Will Write for Cookies, is offering a copy of the book. So, if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway, please don’t forget to leave a comment.

book cover

LONG MAY SHE WAVE

Written by: Kristen Fulton

Illustrated by Holly Berry

Publisher: Simon and Schuster (Margaret McElderry Books – 2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

U.S. history

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Discover the story of the girl who sewed the American flag that inspired the lyrics of the National Anthem in this beautifully illustrated celebration of our country’s iconic symbol for freedom.

Caroline Pickersgill came from a family of the best flag makers in Baltimore. She and her family proudly stitched the grand flag that gallantly whipped in the wind over Fort McHenry.

But when the British attacked Baltimore on September 12, 1814, would those broad stripes and bright stars still wave strong? Would America still be free and remain the home of the brave?

Why I like this book:

  • Exciting action-packed text marries perfectly with bold illustrations.
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Kids love books where the main character is a child.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

craftsPhoto courtesy: http://www.thecraftycrow.net/fourth_of_july/

Lots of fun crafts and project at: www.thecraftycrow.net/fourth_of_july

Or how about a sponge painted flag at http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2008/07/happy-fourth-of-july.html

sponge-painted-american-flag-4th-of-july-craft-

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to qualify for the giveaway of a copy of LONG MAY SHE WAVE.

And Kristen and I will see you here tomorrow for her Will Write for Cookies Q&A.

Will Write for Cookies: Chana Stiefel PLUS Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

headshot 

CHANA STIEFEL

TA-DA!!! I’m so happy to roll out the red carpet for today’s Will Write for Cookies author. Chana is part of the debut picture book author/illustrator group, Picture the Books 2017.

 But although DADDY DEPOT is a debut picture book for her, it is NOT the first book she has written. Chana Stiefel is the author of more than 20 non-fiction books for kids about stinky castles, exploding volcanoes, and other wild stuff.  Chana is currently writing a book about creepy critters for National Geographic Kids (Fall 2018). WAKAWAKALOCH, Chana’s semi-autobiographical picture book about a cave girl who wants to change her unpronounceable name, will be coming out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019. More great news coming soon! Visit Chana at http://www.chanastiefel.com and her blog for authors kidlittakeaways.com, which she writes with her critique partner, Donna Cangelosi.

 Welcome, Chana! We’re so glad you stopped by today!

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

 CHANA:

Robert McCloskey, BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL

P.D. Eastman, ARE YOU MY MOTHER? & GO DOG, GO! (Can you spot my wink to this book in DADDY DEPOT?)

Virginia Lee Burton, MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL

Patricia Lee Gauch, CHRISTINA KATERINA & THE BOX (I still have my original copy with my name spelled backwards)

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

CHANA:

The warmth and support of the kid-lit community is extraordinary! When I went to my first NJSCBWI conference in 2013, I was terrified that it would be very cutthroat, with everyone vying for the attention of agents and editors. I was worried that published authors would be pushing out the newbies. But it was the opposite. Everyone was warm, welcoming, and supportive. During a Round Table, I met Donna Cangelosi, who became my critique partner, co-blogger, and soul sister. I also met dozens of other authors who have become dear friends. And I met my awesome agent at a four-minute pitch! All that in two days! Since then, I’ve joined many online kid-lit groups, like Storystorm, 12 x 12, ReFoReMo, KidLit411, Picture The Books (go 2017s!), and many more. Day or night, whatever you need—writing advice, critiques, comp titles, shoulders to cry on, comic relief, and political support—these people are there for you! And I think everyone will agree that one of the most supportive authors out there is right here…. Thank you, dear Vivian, for all you do to lift up and encourage everyone around you. Continue reading

Picture Book Review and Activity: DADDY DEPOT plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

I hope all of you have scrolled through yesterday’s #50PreciousWordsforKids post. There were 57 wonderful stories written by kids in grades K-6. Children in six countries and thirteen states participated. And honestly, I read the makings of several awesome picture books. Many of the parents said their children wanted to know when the next challenge would be. I’m thrilled to have created a platform for our future authors. I’ll be reaching out to the friends who generously offered to donate a mini-Skype author visit – I’ll randomly pick one name from each grade level and that child’s class will receive the author visit.

Before we get to our wonderful picture book, we have a giveaway to take care of. Last week, Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum generously offered a copy of TRAINS DON’T SLEEP.

And the winner is…

KIM CHAFFEE.

Congratulations, Kim…let’s connect and I will put you in touch with Andria so she can get a copy of the book out to you!

Today’s picture book review is another of our fabulous 2017 debuts and I know you are going to love it! And the author, Chana Stiefel (who will be here tomorrow on Will Write for Cookies), is offering a copy of the book. So, if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway, please don’t forget to leave a comment.

book cover

DADDY DEPOT

Written by: Chana Stiefel Continue reading

#50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge Stories are HERE!

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HURRAY! It’s time to unveil the wonderful stories from children all over the world.

Many thanks to the parents and teachers who encouraged their kids to participate.

The guidelines were simple.

final jpeg of flyer

I got several requests from teacher friends who asked for a few more days…so I extended the deadline to May 10th.

And the notes I got from parents and teachers were filled with thanks for creating this writing opportunity.

“Best wishes for a fabulous contest. This is a wonderful thing you are doing for kids!”

“My daughter told me she wants to write books like me, and my heart melted!”

“Thanks for hosting such a wonderful contest for young students.”

“Thank you again for organizing this fun event! My students were challenged to keep their stories under 50 words – especially since we’ve been working so hard in second grade to add details to lengthen our writing!”

I also decided to open the challenge to children all over the world—believing that, especially in these times, it’s important for us to come together—with children leading the way as the storytellers.

Each story was submitted by either a parent or a teacher. Teachers were requested to send one story per class. A couple of classes wrote a collaborative story. And one child even drew an illustration for her story.

grace illustrationBy Grace, author of Brothers

#50PreciousWordsforKids BY THE NUMBERS:

#57 ENTRIES

#6 COUNTRIES

#15 U.S. STATES

 

I’ve already had inquiries as to when the NEXT children’s writing challenge will take place. So, I guess I need to start thinking about that…maybe it would be nice to have one in the summer to keep those young minds creating…and definitely one later in the fall.

Hosting this has been a thrill…the diverse topics and creativity are impressive. These are the future writers of our world!

Without further ado, I present the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge stories, listed in the order I received them. Continue reading

Will Write for Cookies: Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum PLUS Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

 Andria W. Rosenbaum

ANDRIA WARMFLASH ROSENBAUM

I’m excited to welcome another 2017 debut picture book author today. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to qualify for the giveaway of a copy of Andria’s debut picture book, Trains Don’t Sleep.

 trains dont sleep

Here’s a bit of the bio from Andria’s wonderful website:

 Reading didn’t come easily to me, but making up stories and poems did. It took a lot of hard work, frustration and a few buckets of sweat and tears until I got the hang of it. Along with help from my parents and teachers, I finally figured out why everyone was so excited about reading. I earned a master’s degree in special education from Bank Street College of Education so I could help other kids learn to read faster than I did. Now I live in New Jersey with my husband and children. I can usually be found in the library stuffing shiny new books into a bottomless book bag. Too bad it isn’t weightless too Continue reading