Category Archives: Craft activities for kids

Perfect Picture Book Friday: MOTH AND WASP, SOIL AND OCEAN

Hello dear friends! I hope you haven’t given up on me. With a March 1st deadline, I’ve been writing and revising for the past three weeks. I’m happy to say that four of the manuscripts for the compilation book are already on the editor’s desk. I have one more ready to go, another almost there, a third that needs a bit more research, and a fourth…well…let’s just say that one is still a rough draft. 

January was also Tara Lazar’s STORYSTORM challenge and I now have a notebook with 30+ new story ideas. If you didn’t get a chance to hop over to read my post, you can click here. I shared how I got ideas for all of the books that are now under contract – and a few that are out on submission. If you are writing with the view to getting traditionally published, I urge you to read Jane Yolen’s post – I am always inspired by her words.

Speaking of being inspired…our Perfect Picture Book Friday selection does exactly that! The text by award-winning author Sigrid Schmalzer is glorious and the illustrations by debut picture book illustrator Melanie Linden Chan are incredible!

moth and wasp soil and ocean

MOTH AND WASP, SOIL AND OCEAN: Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong’s Work for Sustainable Farming

Written by Sigrid Schmalzer

Illustrated by Melanie Linden Chan

Published by Tilbury House Publishers (2018)

Ages: 6-9

Themes: Sustainable farming, Chinese culture, conservation

Why I like this book:

  • A true gem of history that will inspire adults and kids
  • A beautiful diverse story that will help children get a better picture of life in other places and times
  • Incredible illustrations from debut picture book illustrator Melanie Linden Chan…just incredible!
  • I love the message of sustainable farming!


Plant Seeds

plants14Photo courtesy:

One of the favorite activities of my kinders was planting seeds. They loved getting their hands in the soil, pressing the small beans, peas, or other seeds with their fingers. Best of all, the loved watching the little green sprouts push up and flourish. For detailed instructions, go here:

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. And for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up, go here.

And while you are there, why not check out her Valentiny Contest that starts soon!

And last, but definitely not least, if you’d like to get a peek at the 2018 Debut Picture Books, please visit the Epic Eighteens website.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend. Stay warm or stay cool, whichever you prefer.




Perfect Picture Book Friday: I LOVE YOU FOR MILES AND MILES Plus Giveaway

Hooray for reading picture book stories! That’s what Perfect Picture Book Friday is all about, right?

And Hooray for writing picture book stories. That’s what Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest is all about…did you enter? There is still time to write your story and post it on your blog or on her page. Just click here. Great prizes…critiques and books!

And speaking of prizes, hooray and thanks to author Gregory Bray for the giveaway of a copy of THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. And the winner is…


Congratulations, Sue. Let’s connect so Greg can get you the book.

And now, since it is Friday, I have a super lovely review for you! It’s Alison Goldberg’s debut picture book and it launches the DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS!



Written by Alison Goldberg

Illustrated by Mike Yamada

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (December 26, 2017)

Ages: 2-6

Themes: Reassurance, love, vehicles


From Amazon: Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. And no matter where you go, love travels with you always. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Alison Goldberg and Mike Yamada’s I Love You for Miles and Miles is an I-love-you book perfect for children who love things that go!

Why I like this book:

  • Simple yet lyrical rhyme that young kids will love
  • Bold colorful illustrations
  • So much heart in the text and in the expressions on the faces of each character…this is definitely an AWWWW book…perfect for bedtime or anytime


Advent Calendar Train

matchboxesPhoto courtesy:

For detailed instructions:

Paper Plate Cars

paper plate carsPhoto courtesy:

For detailed instructions:

Dear friends, we are in a very busy time of the year. I know many of you are juggling home, family, job, and your writing career. Sometimes it just seems like there isn’t enough time for everything. Please make sure you do find the time to sit with your children…hold them…read with them (even if they are older)…and if you can, get out the craft supplies and make something together. Those are the memories that will last…not the expensive toy or gadget they see on TV.

Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of I LOVE YOU FOR MILES AND MILES…if you want to find out more about the book or order it, check out the author’s page or an indie bookseller, and definitely be back here tomorrow for our Q&A with debut picture book author, ALISON GOLDBERG.





Perfect Picture Book Friday: PICK A PINE TREE Plus Giveaway

Here we are again! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving where good food, friends, and family took center stage. I have so much to be thankful for…starting with all of you, dear readers. And also all of these wonderful picture books of 2017 and their talented authors and illustrators!

Our book review today is perfect for the season…but first, we have some winners to announce. A lot of winners thanks to our generous authors!

A copy of MOTOR GOOSE: RHYMES THAT GO! by Rebecca Colby. And the winner is…


A copy of CAPTAIN BLING’S CHRISTMAS PLUNDER by Rebecca Colby. And the winner is…


A copy of FINN FINDS A FRIEND by Jenna Grodzicki . And the winner is…


A copy of ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES, TOO! by Katy Duffield . And the winner is…


A copy of NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER: A FAKE NEWS STORY by Darcy Pattison. And the winner is….


Oh my gosh…is it the season of giving gifts or what?

And here is my gift to you today…a review of Patricia Toht’s fabulous new picture book!

Pick a Pine Tree Cover


Written by Patricia Toht

Illustrated by Jarvis

Published by Candlewick Press (2017)

Ages: 3-7

Themes: Christmas, decorating a tree, family time


From Amazon: A festive read-aloud brimming with all the joy and excitement of Christmastime — beginning, of course, with picking out a tree!

 magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.

Why I like this book:

  • Wonderful rhyming text that parents will enjoy reading and kids will enjoy listening to over and over again.
  • Great illustrations…I especially love the double-spread fully decorated Christmas tree that you turn the book on it’s side to see.
  • A perfect addition to any home bookshelf – it’s nice to have a new holiday book to add to your collection!




Christmas-crafts-for-kidsPhoto courtesy:

Here are a bunch of awesome crafts for the season. You will find details on each one here:

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a copy of PICK A PINE TREE. If you’ve already read this wonderful book, why not hop over to Amazon to leave a review. And definitely be here tomorrow when author Patricia Toht stops by to chat about her writing journey.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!








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