LAURA SASSI: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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LAURA SASSI

We are so very fortunate to have generous mentors like today’s Will Write for Cookies guest. I’ve been a fan of Laura Sassi for years. Her website is a treasure trove of information and resources for parents, teachers, and writers. So, I was thrilled when she agreed to stop by and chat with us today.

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014) and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018), and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

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Welcome, Laura! It’s wonderful to have you here. I know everyone is excited to get to know you a little better. 
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child? 

Laura: I loved reading as a child and my all-time favorite author was Madeleine L’Engle. I loved her writing so much that as a twelve year-old— in quick succession – I read every book she’d written up to that point.  And now, with the recent release of the A Wrinkle In Time movie, I’m enjoying rereading that book – which was the first book of hers I ever read – with my daughter. We just finished it last week and it’s as marvelous as I remember.  Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE Plus Giveaway

They say that time flies when you are having fun. I guess I must be having the most fun in the world because I can’t believe that it is Friday already!

It’s a special day here on Picture Books Help Kids Soar because we are part of Laura Sassi’s book blog tour for her brand-new picture book, DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE. So, it will be no surprise that I am featuring it today! And guess what? Laura is graciously offering a copy of this AWESOME book to one lucky winner!

DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE

Written by Laura Sassi

Illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (2018)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: Cooperation and teamwork

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Tra la la la! Can an opera house mouse and a disrespectful diva make beautiful music together? Maybe . . . if she learns some manners!
Fernando loves Mozart, Puccini, and Strauss, and lending a paw at the old opera house. Unfortunately, diva Delores wants no help from a mouse. She craves glamour and spotlights and praise—and she’s getting her chance to take center stage. But it’s all going wrong; she’s missing her entrance and flubbing her song. Fernando can save her—but only if Delores behaves. Will Delores hit a sour note? Or will she team up with Fernando . . . and bring down the house?

Why I like this book?

  • Laura Sassi’s spot on rhyme is delightful!
  • Rebecca Gerlings’ illustrations and use of the words as part of the art are masterful!
  • I love the message of cooperation and teamwork.
  • And the glitter on the cover ROCKS!!!!

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

FanCraftPin2Photo courtesy: https://thecraftyclassroom.com

Make a Japanese Paper Fan

On the cover, Diva Delores has a feather fan. But kids can make a beautiful Japanese paper fan with just paper, Popsicle sticks, glue, and markers/crayons. And for those Divas in your house, why not add a bit of GLITTER. Detailed instructions here: https://thecraftyclassroom.com/crafts/japan-crafts-for-kids/japan-paper-fan-craft/

Here is the line up for author Laura Sassi’s book blog tour…why not visit a few stops:

DIVA DELORES BLOG TOUR FLYER pdf

 

Dear friends, please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of DIVA DELORES. Please don’t forget to come back tomorrow when author Laura Sassi stops by to chat and share a yummy cookie recipe. AND, please don’t forget to give your favorite authors some book love by leaving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book sites. It will make all the difference!

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a safe and happy weekend!


Perfect Picture Book Friday: JOAN PROCTER, DRAGON DOCTOR Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

One of my favorite types of picture books are nonfiction picture book biographies. I love when authors are able to bring history alive for young readers. It’s what I try to do with so many of my stories. And just this past week, a brand-new one launched and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! And guess what? Debut picture book author, Patricia Valdez, is offering a giveaway of a copy of her book!!!! Big congratulations to her on a fabulous story!!! And make sure to leave a comment – you might be the lucky winner!

JOAN PROCTER, DRAGON DOCTOR: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Written by Patricia Valdez

Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Published by Alfred Knopf (2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Women in science, zoology, reptiles

Synopsis: From Amazon:

For fans of Ada Twist: Scientist comes a fascinating picture book biography of a pioneering female scientist–who loved reptiles!

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere–she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties–with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

With a lively text and vibrant illustrations, scientist and writer Patricia Valdez and illustrator Felicita Sala bring to life Joan Procter’s inspiring story of passion and determination.

Why I like this book:

  • Fabulous text that takes us from Joan’s childhood days of collecting lizards to her success as a world renowned zoologist.
  • Vivid illustrations that evoke a sense of fun and adventure – kids will LOVE the pictures of all of the lizards and dragons and other animals.
  • A story that will inspire children to dream and be different and go out and learn about science.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Lizard Craftphoto courtesy: http://www.doodlesandjots.com

Make a leaping lizard. For detailed instructions: http://www.doodlesandjots.com/2012/02/29/leapin-lizards/

Other activities to do with the kiddos:

  • Visit a pet store or zoo to see the reptiles
  • Talk about different jobs people have who take care of animals: zookeeper, zoologist, beekeeper, groomer, vet, etc.
  • If you could be a reptile, which one would you be?

Thank you so much for spending your precious time here. I am working my way through the list of winners of #50PreciousWords, distributing the prizes. Thank you again to all the participants…your stories were fabulous! I know there will be many picture books that emerge from this year’s challenge.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be eligible to win a copy of this wonderful book, JOAN PROCTER, DRAGON DOCTOR!

And remember, the best gift you can give an author or an illustrator is to buy their book, tell someone else about their book, ask your local library to get a copy for their collection and/or leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or other book review sites.

For more super picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Have a safe and happy weekend!

 

#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge WINNERS

 

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CONGRATULATIONS!

The #50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge was a HUGE success! You all made it so with your fabulous participation: 298 awesome stories and a comment thread that contained almost 1900 positive comments!

The guidelines were simple:

  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 of 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. Please post your story in the comment section below. If you have your own blog and want to post your story there also, please do. And let us know your post link.  I ask for the link so that people will visit each other and find new friends in the kid lit community. Please make sure you put your name in the post. If you have any trouble at all posting the story, please email me and I will be happy to do it for you: viviankirkfield@gmail.com.
  6. Deadline for posting the story in the comments is Tuesday, March 6, at 11:59pm.
  7. Winners will be announced in a special blog post on Sunday, March 11.

Here are the prizes: Continue reading

Baptiste Paul: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

baptiste_headshot

BAPTISTE PAUL

In 2016, I attended the Wild Wild West SCBWI conference in Chicago and got to meet our Will Write for Cookies guest. His wife, our own Miranda Paul, was signing some of her books and I had a chance to chat with Baptiste. I don’t know if he will remember…I’ll have to ask him. But we talked about books and families and it was lovely. And when I discovered he had a debut picture book coming out in March, I knew I wanted to have him stop by to share some of his journey with us.

Baptiste Paul is a man of many talents—from woodworking to gardening to entertaining hoards of children for hours on end. Born and raised in the Caribbean (Saint Lucia), Baptise is a native Creole/Patois speaker and enjoys roasting his own coffee and chocolate. Baptiste holds Degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Bucknell University and currently resides with his family in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His debut picture book, THE FIELD, launched on March 6, 2018.

Welcome, Baptiste! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us. I’ve got a bunch of questions and we’d all love to hear your answers, so let’s get started. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE FIELD Plus Giveaway

WOW…I’ve had an awesome week! Thanks to almost 300 incredible writers who shared their stories in the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge. More about that on Sunday when we announce the winners and honorable mentions and hand out some prizes.

But we’ve got prizes today also. Oh yeah! A couple of weeks ago, author and circus guru Jackie Leigh Davis stopped by to chat and offered a copy of her brand-new book, DIY CIRCUS LAB FOR KIDS…and it is SIGNED! And the winner is:

ANGIE QUANTRELL

The next week, author Carol Gordon Ekster visited and generously donated a picture book manuscript critique as a giveaway. And the winner is:

BEV BAIRD

Congratulations! We’ll connect so you can get your prizes. And don’t forget, dear friends, on Sunday, we will hand out FIFTEEN super prizes for the #50PreciousWordChallenge.

And not to disappoint, our post today ALSO has a giveaway…thanks to debut picture book author, Baptiste Paul, who will answer some questions here tomorrow on Will Write for Cookies.

Are you ready for our picture book review? 

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THE FIELD

Written by Baptiste Paul Continue reading

#50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is OPEN!!

 

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Today is the day, dear friends! Ready! Set! Go! The #50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is now OPEN!

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For those of you who have not participated before, let me give you a bit of back story. March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. For the last two years, I’ve hosted a little contest based on Bennet Cerf’s 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.

In 2016, I thought it would be fun to try 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. And then I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! And last year, there were 253 entries. And I hope we have a great turnout again this year because I am passionate about helping others follow their dream of writing for children.

In 2012 I had a dream. I wanted to write picture books. And I wanted to be traditionally published. And one of the most important things I did was to participate in writing challenges like Susanna Hill’s contests. Why was that important? Because it got me writing. It got me revising. It got me submitting. Hmmm….writing/revising/submitting. I believe that if we do those three things enough times, our writing improves and agents and editors get a chance to see our work. And as much as I am thrilled with my own success, nothing makes me happier than to hear about the success of others in our kidlit community.

So, please sharpen your pencils. Fire up your computers. And share your #50PreciousWords with us. Continue reading