Happy Book Birthday to THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY plus PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! 

I’m definitely singing at the top of my lungs because THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY: The Creation of Diamonds & the Life of H. Tracy Hall launches today! And this is the debut picture book of one of my critique buddies from the VERY FIRST CRITIQUE GROUP I EVER JOINED! (and we are all still going strong!) I saw this story as a rough draft and watched as it grew more and more polished…until it became a shining gem of a book.

CONGRATULATIONS, dear Hannah Holt!

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Make sure you come back on Friday for a Perfect Picture Book Friday review and craft ideas for kids. PLUS, on Saturday, Hannah will be stopping by to chat and share some of her writing journey with us. And don’t forget to leave a comment here and on the other THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY posts…BECAUSE…Hannah has graciously and generously agreed to give away a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE…and I can tell you from many years experience, this talented author knows how to give unbelievable feedback!

Meanwhile, what can you do? Well, you can head over to pick up a copy of her book on Amazon or at your local indie bookstore. You can write a review on Amazon or Goodreads or some other book review sites. You can go to your library and ask them to purchase a copy or two for their collection, if it isn’t already available there. And you can share this post on your social media channels so the whole world will find out about this fabulous book. It’s going to be such a great #STEM addition to every elementary school and library. And if your kiddos are curious, inventive, lovers of anything science, or have ever been bullied, you definitely want to read this with them.

CONGRATULATIONS, Hannah! This is the first of many more book birthdays to come for you!!!!

 

 

Happy Book Birthday: MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS Plus Giveaway

Sometimes a book cover grabs your attention. Other times it’s the title. With this book, for me, it was BOTH!

A VERY HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS!!!!

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MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS

Written by Margaret Chiu Greanias

Illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow

Published by Running Press Kids (TODAY: August 28, 2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Acceptance, be true to yourself

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

“For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day.

Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance.

Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.”

Dear friends…I know this is a book that kids are going to love. I feel like I already know the author, Margaret Chiu Greanias. From my very first toe-dipping into the water of this kidlit community, I saw her name as an active participant. And when I spoke to her, I found out that she has loved writing for a very long time.

 Margaret wrote her first terrifically terrible book in fourth grade. From grade school through college, she suffered through English—she was especially bad at analyzing stories and writing essays. Then, during her very last year of college, she took a creative writing class and discovered she loved writing. Despite this, it wasn’t until her second child was born that she remembered her love of children’s books. She’s been writing ever since. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, and a fluffle of dust bunnies.

To learn more about Margaret and her books, please visit her website: http://margaretgreanias.com/

And guess what? The author has graciously offered a copy as a giveaway! Please leave a comment for a chance to win!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! And whenever you have the time, why not hop over to one of the book review sites like Amazon or Goodreads and leave a review for your favorite picture books!

Happy Book Birthday: Tina Cho’s RICE FROM HEAVEN

Don’t you love birthdays? I do!

Especially when they are book birthdays and I don’t get any older!

And especially when they are book birthday for one of my dearest kidlit friends!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAY TO RICE FROM HEAVEN!

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And not only is this a story by a dear critique buddy, the other amazing thing is that this book is based on true events! 

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I am extremely grateful to Tina for writing this story and informing children and adults of what is happening on the other side of the world. We read a lot about North Korea in the news – but this is something that is going on behind the scenes. It shows such love and compassion on the part of the South Koreans who want the people in North Korea to have food. Learn more about RICE FROM HEAVEN tomorrow on Perfect Picture Book Friday.

 

And how excited I am to see that RICE FROM HEAVEN is the #1 New Release on Amazon in Children’s Asia Books!

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I know you won’t want to miss our Perfect Picture Book Friday post when I review RICE FROM HEAVEN…and then, to top off this special week, Tina Cho will be stopping by to chat with us and share one of her favorite treats.

Thank you for spending your precious time here.  Pleases remember that the finest gift you can give the authors of your favorite books is to buy their books, review their books, tell your friends about their books, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

I hope you have a wonderful week and I hope to see you back here on Friday!

 

Happy Book Birthday: NO FROGS IN SCHOOL Plus GIVEAWAYS

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear NO FROGS IN SCHOOL Happy Birthday to you!

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NO FROGS IN SCHOOL

Written by Alexandria LaFaye

Illustrated by Egalitine Ceulemans

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (August 7, 2018)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Pets, humor, working together

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

“Bartholomew Botts loves pets—but his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, says No Frogs in School! So what will happen when Bartholomew’s beloved creatures meet up with Mr. Patanoose’s rules? Lots of FUN!
 
Hoppy pets, hairy pets, scaly pets: Bartholomew Botts loves them all. And he doesn’t want to go to school without one. Unfortunately, when Bartholomew brings his brand-new frog to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, declares: No frogs in school! How will Bartholomew keep his animal friends close at hand . . . and follow Mr. Patanoose’s rules, too? Illustrated with energetic and humorous artwork, this back-to-school story will be a favorite with every animal-loving kid!”

As a former kindergarten teacher, I love school stories…and this one is hilarious! The art work is so engaging and the text is filled with humor and will have every teacher and parent nodding their heads and kids will be rolling on the floor as Mr. Patanoose tries to restore order to his classroom.

The author, Alexandria LaFaye, is one of my Storm teammates…so I am doubly excited to help her celebrate her book’s launch. And because it is a book birthday, we need to have presents, right?

Alexandria’s publisher sent me a copy of NO FROGS IN SCHOOL and one lucky person is going to receive that as my book birthday gift. Just leave a comment on this blog post to be entered.

Plus there is chance to win another book birthday gift that is for K-2 teachers. Imagine a teacher starting the school year with THIRTY new books! WOW! Alexandria is hosting this giveaway on her Facebook page. She says:

Please help me spread the word about this book giveaway to help K-2 teachers building-expand their inclusive classroom libraries. Thanks.

It’s time for a great giveaway of 31 books for a K-2 classroom, including a signed copy of NO FROGS IN SCHOOL by A. LaFaye Kirkus says, “each page lends itself to an energetic seek-and-find storytime that promises new discoveries upon multiple reads.” See the rules in the comments below or visit Sylanocity and check out the pinned post athttps://bit.ly/2vs8fuq. I’ll be reviewing books from the giveaway each day in August. The contest runs Aug 1-30th. #kidlit #bookgiveaway#NoFrogs #TeachersRule #Diversity #Equity Sterling Publishing

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So dear friends, please share this if you know any teachers or school librarians…and don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for NO FROGS IN SCHOOL And please remember that the best present you can give to your favorite author is to:
  • Buy a copy of their book
  • Ask your local library to purchase a copy for their collection
  • Tell your friends about the book
  • Post a review on Amazon or other review sites

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. And stop by on Friday and Saturday when a dear writer friend of mine, Emilie Boon, will be in the house.

Happy Book Birthday to FINN’S FEATHER

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Finn’s Feather, Happy Birthday to you!

I’ve really been looking forward to the launch of this book! The author, Rachel Nobel, is one of my fellow Storm teammates. When my husband passed away last month, Rachel sent me a copy of her book because she hoped it would comfort me. And it did.

finns feather

FINN’S FEATHER

Written by Rachel Nobel

Illustrated by Zoey Abbot

Published by Enchanted Lion Books (June 12, 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Coping with loss

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

Finn knows his brother is gone. But he also knows that Hamish sent the beautiful white feather on his doorstep.
Finn runs to show his mother the feather from Hamish, but she only gives him a big hug. In school, Finn’s teacher responds similarly. Why isn’t anyone as excited as he is? Finn sits quietly, cradling the beautiful, amazing feather. “Why did Hamish give it to you?” asks his friend, Lucas. “Maybe he wanted to say hi?” wonders Finn. “Maybe,” Lucas says, “Hamish wanted you to have fun with it.” Finn’s Feather is a story about resilience and memory―about a child, his brother, and a friend who meets him where he is.

Why I like this book:

  • Fabulous illustrations
  • Kid-friendly scenes at school, playground, home with Finn and his friends doing and saying exactly what kids do and say…children will be able to identify with Finn
  • This is a story filled with hope and heart
  • Powerful example of how we can be the most help to someone who is grieving…often by just being there. 

Coping with loss is something we all have to do…and it can be especially difficult for young children who usually don’t have a lot of experience with it. Rachel used her own family’s personal loss to craft a story that would help others…and we are all so grateful to her. It takes a great deal of courage to do something like this. And now we have this perfectly  lovely story that is heading out into the world!

I’m also heading out into the world…flying to Chicago tomorrow to visit with family and hopefully hook up with some writer friends in the Chicago area.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday: DIY CIRCUS LAB FOR KIDS Plus Giveaway

Hello dear friends!

I know all about birthdays – I’ve had 71 of them! But there is nothing like the first one. And that’s why I’m so thrilled to wish a big Happy Book Birthday to:

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And big congratulations to author and circus-guru, Jackie Leigh Davis.

Are you a  camp director or counselor, looking for a great program to offer the kids?

Are you a teacher or after-school center youth leader needing a new activity?

Are you a parent looking to do something fun-filled and family-friendly with your children?

This book is a hands-on, step-by-step guide with easy instructions and clear photos that demonstrate each juggling, balancing, clowning, and show-making activity.

Jackie is one of my local SCBWI buddies and I’m totally excited to attend her book signing event at the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford, NH on Saturday, February 17th from 2-4pm. Yes, that’s right! It’s in only a couple of days. So if you are local to the Milford area, why not stop in and say hello! Toadstool is our wonderful Indie bookstore where I get to hang out with my local writer buddies sometimes.

By the way, I plan to buy a copy of DIY CIRCUS LAB FOR KIDS while I’m at Jackie’s book signing and I’ll be giving it away to one lucky winner! So, if you’d like to win that signed copy, please leave a comment below…and for an extra entry, come back on Saturday when Jackie stops by to chat on Will Write for Cookies.

And please make sure you are here on Friday. I’ll be posting a special Perfect Picture Book Friday with a peek inside this year’s guidelines for the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge. There will be some awesome prizes, including a critique with my wonderful agent, Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.

A bit of news from me on the book front: I just got to see the tentative cover for the counting book that Pomegranate Books bought. My fellow Storm teammate, Mirka Hokannen is illustrating and oh my gosh…she is amazing! And the story that used to be called Visitors to Deep Pool is now entitled…hmmm…maybe we’ll have to have a TITLE REVEAL sometime down the road. The book hasn’t been announced yet, hopefully any day. But I have to tell you, it is heaven when author, illustrator, and editor are able to collaborate together…that is a recipe for a beautiful book!

I know many of you are participating in Susanna’s Valentiny Contest…there is still time to enter…or you can just hop over to read some of the wonderful stories.