Perfect Picture Book Friday: How to Babysit a Logan PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

We have a double-decker weekend here – a book giveaway with today’s post and another book giveaway tomorrow thanks to our Will Write for Cookies guest, author/editor/publisher Callie Metler-Smith.

hOW TO BABSIT A LOGAN

HOW TO BABYSIT A LOGAN

Written by Callie Metler-Smith

Illustrated by Cindy Vattahil

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (2019)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Autism, pet therapy, cats

Synopsis: From Amazon

Thunderbolt the Cat takes his position of babysitting Logan, his human, very seriously. Logan has autism so it is Thunderbolt’s job to protect and provide support for Logan throughout his day. In this heartfelt true story, view the world of living with someone with autism through the eyes of their beloved Cat.

Why I love this book:

  • I love the way the cat states in a matter-of-fact way that Logan like spaghetti and meatballs without sauce, that he needs comfy clothes with particular collars, and that because he prefers to sleep in a small space, they sleep in a tent. These needs are no big deal to the cat, and so they are no big deal to any child reading the story.
  • The illustrations are very vibrant and simple…we see everything from the cat’s vantage point and so we are able to get close into the picture from the cat’s POV.
  • The best way to help kids embrace inclusivity and encourage understanding is to provide stories about people with different needs.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

cat-crafts-kids-will-lovePhoto courtesy: http://www.playideas.com/25-curiously-cute-cat-crafts-for-kids/

How about TWENTY-FIVE cat crafts? Check out this website for details on each one: http://www.playideas.com/25-curiously-cute-cat-crafts-for-kids/

Did you know that some libraries allow patrons to request particular books be purchased for that libraries collection? Why not check with your library…some even let you do it online. And, when you find a book you love, why not review it on Amazon or Goodreads? Those reviews really help the author by encouraging others to buy books that entertained, educated, or inspired you.

For more wonderful picture book reviews and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Leonard HIll’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of HOW TO BABYSIT A LOGAN. And definitely don’t forget to be back tomorrow for a wonderful Q&A with editor Callie Metler-Smith!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Maryann Coccoa-Leffler: Will Write For Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

Cocca-Leffler_MaryAnn-2018a_RGB

 

TODAY’S GUEST

MARYANN COCCOA-LEFFLER

As most of you know, one of the things I love best about this kidlit community is the connections we make. And what could be better than to have a multipublished author/illustrator who wants to critique with you and Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. And I’ve got a wonderful book to review that fits perfectly with this season of spring.

GrowSCOVERJ

GROWING SEASON

Written and illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Published by Sterling House Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship, gardening

Synopsis: From Amazon:

El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they’re inseparable. But what happens when Jo starts to grow? This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up.
 
El and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asked every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El! Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: HAND IN HAND Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! I can’t believe it is the end of March…my round the world adventure is winding down…I’m off to Italy in a couple of days and will be reporting to you via social media from the Bologna Book Fair.

But right now, I’m thrilled to bring you what I think will be one of the star new releases of 2019. I received a copy of this book last month and fell in love with it. Using just the right words, the author, Andria Rosenbaum, managed to write a beautiful story about Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I know it looks like I am here, but I really am not! I am in Switzerland with my dear Storm teammate, Julie Abery.  Yesterday we met with a local SCBWI group and today we are going to the village of Gruyere…the home of cheese and chocolate. You can be sure I will be tasting! Tomorrow we fly to London for the weekend…I’ll be sharing photos on social media, so please stay tuned.

BUT…MEANWHILE…I am totally excited to share a brand new picture book…from fellow debut author B.J. Lee!

I guess you could say that today’s story is a retelling of a wildly popular progressive tale. But it so different, it is really new. It is truly the best of both worlds. A time-honored favorite, like an old friend. But with such a charming twist, it has become new again. And perhaps that is the key to a great book. They say there are only seven stories in the entire world…and every book is a variation. What makes each different is the voice, perspective, and flavor that the author brings to it. And B.J. Lee certainly brought all of that!  Plus, she is offering a copy of the book as a giveaway. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

there was an old gator cover

THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH

Written by B.J. Lee

Illustrated by David Opie

Published by Pelican Publishing (2019)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Progressive story, Florida animals

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Gators and panthers and crabs, oh my! The classic cumulative tale There Was an Old Lady gets a Floridian flourish in this charming adaptation. Down in the southern swamps a hungry gator accidentally swallows a moth. Of course, he swallows a crab to get the moth! What will he swallow next? The gator predictably continues swallowing bigger and bigger creatures until the unexpected happens―all over the page! Along the way to its hilarious ending, the story―strengthened by the delightful illustrations―introduces readers of all ages to the many critters, both big and small, of the Florida swamp. With a familiar use of repetition and an abundance of rhythm, this silly story is perfect for read-aloud experiences.”

Why I love this book:

  • Fabulous read-aloud!
  • Love the regional flavor of the story!
  • The illustrations are perfect!
  • Meter and rhyme are delightful!

 

The book launch was pretty special – at a Nature Center and there was a reading, a sing-a-long, crafts, and….a gator walk with a park ranger!

Gator Day Flyer 3 10 19 final

And here’s a bit about B.J.

I am a former college music librarian turned full-time writer and poet. My debut picture book, There Was an Old Gator Who Swallowed a Moth, launched on February 1, 2019 from Pelican Publishing. Additionally, I am an award-winning children’s poet with over 100 poems and stories published/forthcoming in major anthologies and magazines. Anthology credits include Construction People (Wordsong, 2019), I Am a Jigsaw (Bloomsbury, 2019), National Geographic’s Poetry of US (2018), National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry (2015), One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown, 2016), Moonstruck (Otter-Barry, 2019), Spaced Out (Bloomsbury, 2019), Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble (Bloomsbury, 2019) and many others. Magazine credits include Spider, Highlights, and The School Magazine. I blog at Today’s Little Ditty, where I am an authority on poetic forms.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

alligator-craftsPhoto courtesy: https://momfoodie.com/alligator-crafts-for-kids/

For detailed instructions and other ideas: https://momfoodie.com/alligator-crafts-for-kids/

Remember friends, leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH by B.J. Lee. And as always, help spread the word about the books you love. Buy them, review them, ask your library to purchase them for their collection, and tell your friends about the them.

For more wonderful book reviews, please stop by Susanna Hill’s PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY.

Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me.

Happy Book Birthday: LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA Plus Giveaway

WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?? I see two birthday cakes!! Could it be??

YES!!!!

We are celebrating the birth of TWINS! Two book babies for the lovely Julie Abery!!!

And although I’d be thrilled for any of my kidlit friends who had TWO BOOK BABIES…there is a reason why I am particularly tickled pink and blue about this. And here is the lovely Julie to give you a bit of the back story of how these beautiful books came to be. Take it away, Julie!

JULIE:

What inspired Little Tiger…

The inspiration came from a list of tigerish words I had scribbled in my notebook and your wonderful ‘50 Precious Words’ story writing challenge, Vivian! To my delight and amazement my lovable Little Tiger’s rhyming romp around the jungle won your heart and first place! I was so astonished to see it at the top of the winners’ list that I called my daughter, Sarah, to check I wasn’t dreaming. Then things got even better! As my prize I chose an agent critique with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency, and to my delight this resulted in her offering to represent me and you became my agency sister!

I am thrilled that Little Tiger, and Little Panda are now going to be the first two in the Little Animal Friends series of board books with Amicus Ink in Spring 2019 with the second two publishing in Spring 2020.

Thank you so much, Julie. What fun that we are debut author sisters AND I’m so very happy that I’ll get to hug you in person in exactly ONE WEEK!

There you go, my friends. Participating in writing challenges and contests is a wonderful way to get your work out there. And now, without further ado, here’s a big slice of cake for each of you as we enjoy looking at the precious covers of these brand-new books that were both illustrated by the talented Suzie Mason.

little tiger cover

 

little panda cover

And we can do more than just enjoy looking at the covers, right? Because the best gift we can give an author of a book we love is to buy the book, review the book, ask our local library to purchase it for their collection and tell friends about it.

I also want to add a little icing on the cake, so to speak. I’m giving away a copy of each of these book babies. And you  might be one of the winners! Please leave a comment  If you participate in writing contests or challenges, will you share which is your favorite?

As most of you know, I am on the other side of the world right now, enjoying the beauty of New Zealand and getting ready to fly to Geneva next week where I will visit with Julie and then train with her to the Bologna Book Fair. I’m so grateful for these friendships and for all of you in kidlitland who come by to visit my blog and comment and share on social media when good news is announced.

 

Will Write for Cookies: JULIE ABERY Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

julieabery-2

TODAY’S GUEST

 

JULIE ABERY

Today’s guest holds a special place in my heart. I got to know her when she submitted an entry to the first #50PreciousWords Writing Contest in 2016. Now she is a Storm Literary Agency teammate and the author of TWO debut picture books in 2019…plus more in the pipeline.

Julie Abery is a children’s author and Pre-K teacher. Originally from England, she has spent half of her life living in Europe, bringing up her three (now grown up) children and experiencing new languages and cultures. She now calls Switzerland home.

Julie is looking forward to welcoming: her debut board books Little Tiger and Little Panda publishing in Spring 2019 with Amicus Ink with a further two in the Amicus Little Animal Friends series publishing in Spring 2020 ; a nonfiction picture book biography entitled Yusra Swims from Creative Editions (TBA); a true story Mr. Joao and Dindim the Penguin, Kids Can Press (Fall 2020) and a nonfiction picture book Sakamoto and the Sugar-Ditch Kids from Kids Can Press (Spring 2021). She is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency. You can find out more about her on her website: https://littleredstoryshed.wordpress.com/ and connect with her on Twitter or on Facebook: @julieabery

little tiger cover

ME: WELCOME, my friend! It is an absolute pleasure and thrill to have you here. I know my readers want to get to know you a little bit better. Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

JULIE: As a child I loved to read the Amelia Jane books by Enid Blyton. Amelia Jane was a big rag doll with a bright red dress and corkscrew curls. I had a few books in the series… but Naughty Amelia Jane! was my favorite. As the title says, she was naughty and loved to play tricks on the other toys! I was never naughty, of course, just for the record! The book was a compilation of short stories, which were well read and very much loved.

ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?

JULIE: Probably that writing picture books isn’t as easy as it looks! I sometimes look back at my early work and wonder how I really thought that it was good enough to share with an agent.

ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?

JULIE: I have my writing table in the lounge, in front of the windows overlooking the garden. I like to watch the birds while I work. I have notebooks too, so I work with pen and paper first and then I transfer onto my laptop.

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

JULIE: I am an early bird, so most of my writing is done in the daytime, although when I am puzzling on rhymes I have been known to wake up in the early hours with the complete stanza in my head, and sometimes the perfect rhyme and meter comes to me when I am out jogging with my dog, so I need a notepad or phone on hand to jot everything down.

little panda cover

ME: Why do you write for children?

JULIE: I love picture books and, as a teacher, I have been fortunate to have a career sharing stories and singing songs with hundreds of children from around the world. Through those years, picture books have been my friends and allies bringing rhyme, rhythm and repetition to the ears of young EAL students. It is the magic that picture books create for children that inspires me to write.

 

ME: Do you have any thoughts for aspiring authors?

JULIE: Read lots. Write lots. Take courses to learn more about your craft. Share your writing with a critique group, listen to what they have to say and revise – lots. And most of all be persistent and patient, because perfecting your story may take longer than you think.

YAY! Persistent! Patience! And read and write and revise! The magic formula, right? Although there is probably nothing magic about it…just hard work and determination. Thank you so much, Julie. I loved having you, and I know you have one more treat for us. And I saw the word ‘ginger’ in the name of the treat, so I know this is something I am going to LOVE!

JULIE:

ginger fairings

GINGER FAIRINGS

85 grams of butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

170 grams of flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

85 grams fine sugar

Melt the butter and syrup in a pan over a gentle heat. Sift the flour, bicarb., ginger and add these to the melted mixture with the sugar. Mix well. Form the mixture into small balls, using a rounded teaspoon of the mixture for each. Put balls onto an ungreased baking tray, leaving space for each to spread.

Bake in a moderately hot oven, about 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for approx. 8 – 12 minutes or until golden. Leave on the tray to stiffen slightly before placing on a cooling rack.

Oh my goodness! I do love any cookie with ginger. I hope you all give this one a try. In a week or so, I’m going to be hugging Julie in person…how lucky I am! But meanwhile, I’m giving away a copy of each of Julie’s two 2019 board books, LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA to one lucky winner. And if you share on Twitter or Facebook or other social media, please do let me know and I will add another entry for you.

Until the next post (Little Tiger and Little Panda’s book birthday on March 12), I hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend. Right now, I am in Auckland, NZ, reading Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book to a lovely group of little kiddos at a local Auckland library.

auckland library flyer