FIONA HALLIDAY: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

FIONA HALLIDAY

Blogger error alert!!!!

This post was supposed to go live NEXT SATURDAY! But for some reason (we all know the reason – Vivian is kind of distracted because she has her book launch at Barnes and Noble this morning) it posted today, instead of Laura Renauld’s WWFC post. So some of what I say in the post refers to NEXT WEEK. Please forgive me, everyone…especially Laura and Fiona! What follows is what should have made sense if this was posted on January 25…

You may be thinking this is Fiona Halliday week over here at Picture Books Help Kids Soar. Tuesday we had a Happy Book Birthday celebration for her new picture book, NUMENIA AND THE HURRICANE, which just launched from Page Street Kids. Yesterday, we featured that beautiful book for Perfect Picture Book Friday. And today, I’m thrilled to welcome Fiona as our guest for Will Write for Cookies. She’s one of my Storm Literary Agency sisters…and I was fortunate to meet her in person at the Bologna Book Fair last year. She is a brilliant author/illustrator – and a really lovely lady – and here are a few words about her…in her own words:

Since childhood I always wanted to be a writer, but I had no real aspirations to be an illustrator. (My family are all very artistic.) I have a degree in English Literature from Edinburgh University, 2004. In 2012, I moved to Austria without being able to speak a word of German. It was then I started dabbling with illustration, I think perhaps out of frustration at not being able to communicate very well! I was always a very keen photographer, but it is quite limiting compared to illustration.

Since then I haven’t really looked back. I signed with Essie White of Storm Literary Agency in 2016. I didn’t sign my first PB deal until summer of 2018, but now I have ‘Numenia and the Hurricane,’ to be followed in May 2020 by ‘Hello Little One,’ written by Zeena Pliska, I illustrated, and then in 2021 comes ‘The Storm Goose’ (written and illustrated by myself), all with Page Street Kids.

ME: And now, my friends, you can see why I just had to make this FIONA HALLIDAY week! Welcome, Fiona…it’s so lovely to have you stop by to chat and I know everyone is waiting to hear a bit about your journey, so let’s get started.

Who were your favourite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

FIONA: My favourite illustrator when I was small was Errol Le Cain, because he illustrated ‘Hiawatha’s Childhood’ (by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I think this version is out of print?) My sister and I were entranced by his depictions of the forests, the animals, the simmering sunsets and old Nokomis. He had a very dark, luminous palate and his images crackled with a lovely dark energy.

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

FIONA: Haha, that question could produce a book in itself! I wish I had known just how much dedication and patience it requires to produce a picture book, and how much easier and nicer the journey is when you surround yourself with others who understand and love the craft.

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

FIONA: Honestly, I will write anywhere I can. My phone is cluttered with notes written whilst I am at work, on the train, sitting on the couch… I find my phone better than scraps of paper which tend to get lost. I dream of a tranquil, light-flooded studio, but it is still a building site!

 

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

FIONA: I tend to write/illustrate in the afternoons simply because I work in the mornings. Depending on whether I’m working to a deadline I will often work evenings as well.

ME: Why do you write for children?

FIONA: his may sound deeply selfish, but honestly, firstly, I write/illustrate for myself. The idea that I could enchant a little stranger with my words and images is so lovely, but as a debuter, that feels somehow unreal to me still! I must admit I feel a strong sense of loyalty to and love for the characters I create. They feel real to me.

ME: Fiona, is there anything else you’d like to share – advice for aspiring writers and illustrators, perhaps.

FIONA: The most valuable thing I have learned in the last few years is that the Kidlit Community is utterly amazing and if you are a budding writer, the best thing you can do is to jump in and join it – there are hundreds of doors through which you can go: SCBWI, online courses like 12×12, Kidlit 411, local and online writing and critique groups, mentorships of every kind to help you hone your craft… they and the people they contain are invaluable. Writing can be lonely, rejections are tough, the waiting is excruciating, but the landscape of Kidlit is enchanting and full of friends and magic. I live in the depths of Upper Austria but I feel like in the KidLit community I have my own personal Hogwarts.

This is wonderful, Fiona! Thank you so much. And I know there is a bit more to this post…a special recipe that pairs beautifully with your book…so take it away, my friend!

FIONA: This is a recipe for Birsay Biscuits made from Beremeal. Beremeal is the ancient flour (which possibly predates the Vikings) used to make the famous Orkney Bere bannocks, a traditional flat bread (eaten normally with cheese ) which my mother loved. You may want to increase the amount of sugar in this recipe!!

RECIPE for BIRSAY BISCUITS

8 oz. Plain Wholemeal (you can use more Beremeal and less Wholemeal)
6 oz. Sultanas
8 oz. butter/marg
6. Oz sugar
8 oz. Beremeal
2 eggs
2 teasp. baking powder

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, slowly add dry ingredients and sultanas. Roll out and cut out on floured board. Place on greased tray and bake at 175 degrees celsius for 15 mins.

Thank you again, Fiona. I would love to try these biscuits. It’s a very simple recipe…something my daughter-in-law would love for my granddaughter…I’m in Chicago right now with them…maybe we will give it a whirl. (Blogger error alert…I am not in Chicago right now…I will be there next week!)

To learn more about Fiona:

Website:Thedoodlesack.com

Twitter: @Fdhalliday

And please don’t forget to leave a comment and share this post on social media for more chances to win a copy of this amazing book!

Thank you for spending your precious time with us, my friends. As I mentioned,  I am in Chicago right now…last night was the Author Night event at my granddaughter’s school…and now I’ll be heading out to the Chicagoland suburbs for a visit with my sister, some school programs, and a bookstore event at Andersons in Naperville…looking forward to seeing lots of Chicagoland kidlit friends. (Blogger error alert! No, I am not in Chicago yet…I fly out on Sunday, January 19)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. On Sunday (Blogger Error Alert! The Grammys are NEXT Sunday, January 26 – but there’s no error about Ella being the best jazz singer around!) it’s the GRAMMYS…did you know that Ella Fitzgerald won TWO Grammys the very first year they were awarded, in 1959? What an amazing singer she was.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT Plus Giveaway of PB Critique or Book

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! I already know that today’s selection is going to be one of my favorite picture books of 2020 – the author, the talented Beth Anderson, is one of my critique buddies and I saw the early drafts of this story and loved it then. As most of you know, nonfiction pb bios are near and dear to my heart…and this one is about Elizabeth Jennings who fought for the right to ride the streetcars in New York City. And guess what? This amazing author is offering a giveaway and the winner gets to choose either a copy of the book OR a Picture Book Manuscript Critique…WOW! Please make sure you leave a comment to get your entry. And then, before you go on to your other activities, check out the other wonderful books on review over at Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT! Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights

Written by Beth Anderson

Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Published by Cawkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press/Kane (January 2020)

Ages: 7-10

Themes: Discrimination, Courage, Civil Rights

Synopsis: From Amazon:

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.

One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race–even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court–where future president Chester Arthur represented her–and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.”

Why I love this book:

  • Powerful text brings history alive for young readers
  • I love that this little known event is brought to life – who would have imagined that 100 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, Elizabeth Jennings had already sued…and won…for the right to ride on a streetcar with white folks.
  • Captivating illustrations will engage kids – and keep them turning the pages

Here are a few of the STARRED reviews:

  •  “Anderson’s third-person text allows readers under Lizzie’s skin… Lewis’ dappled watercolors depict the action and extend it.  A two-page author’s note fleshes out the history, including mentions of Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks. Necessary.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • “Anderson’s vivid, well-researched narrative includes dialogue that “closely follows” accounts of Jennings’ experience that appeared in newspapers at the time. Using brighter hues than his usual palette, Lewis creates a series of vibrant, expressive watercolor paintings that transports viewers back in time, while portraying characters as distinct individuals. A memorable picture book introducing a nineteenth-century defender of civil rights.” — Booklist, starred review
  • “…(T)he first victory in what would become a 100-year-long battle to end segregation on public transportation. Shimmering jewel-toned watercolors blur and delineate details in Lewis’s paintings.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

RELATED ACTIVITIES

There are many activities that parents and teachers can use to help promote racial and cultural awareness – the idea is NOT to ignore the differences among people, but to EMBRACE the differences. Ignoring the differences is like saying that the art of Picasso is the same as the art of Rembrandt. We can help children observe and appreciate different shades of skin and different textures of hair.

I found the following abstract – and although it may seem dated by the year it was created, I feel it gives a true picture of how young children perceive racial differences and it offers some really concrete activities that might promote inclusivity.

Children develop their identity and attitudes through experiences with their bodies, social environments, and their cognitive developmental stages (Derman-Sparks, 1989). As these three factors interact, young children progress through certain stages of racial and cultural awareness. In this article, we’ll talk first about the stages of racial awareness. Then we’ll give you some ideas for activities that will help children accept themselves and others.

When does it start?

The foundation of self-awareness is laid when children are infants and toddlers. At these stages, children learn “what is me” and “what is not me.” Toddlers are sensitive to the feelings of the adults around them, and they begin to mimic adult behavior. By age two, children recognize and explore physical differences. They are also learning the names of colors, and they begin to apply this to skin color. Natural curiosity will lead to questions about differences.

dancing kids5THE PRESCHOOL YEARS (age 3 and 4). Children of this age are better at noticing differences among people. They have learned to classify, and they tend to sort based on color and size. They can’t yet deal with multiple classification, so they get confused about the names of racial groups and the actual color of their skin. They wonder why two people with different skin tones are considered part of the same racial group. Many preschool children will comment – in words or through actions – on hair texture, eye shape, and other physical characteristics. They want to know how people got their color, hair texture, and eye shape.

Children at this age believe that because other parts of their body grow and change, skin color and other physical traits could also change. Some young black children prefer white dolls over black dolls (Clark, 1963). More often than white children, they may say that they don’t like their skin color, hair texture, or another physical trait. By age four, children begin to prefer one race.

At this age, children’s thinking is limited, distorted, and inconsistent. For these reasons, it is easy for them to believe stereotypes and form pre-prejudices. In the Anti-Bias Curriculum (1989), Louise Derman-Sparks states, “The goals are to facilitate children’s awareness that their racial identity does not change, to help them understand that they are part of a large group with similar characteristics (not “different” from everyone else) and to foster their desire to be exactly who they are.”

KINDERGARTEN (age 5 and 6). Kindergartners continue to ask questions about physical differences, and they can begin to understand the explanations for these differences. They can now make distinctions between members of the same racial or cultural group. At this age, children are developing social skills and becoming more group-oriented. They enjoy exploring the culture of their friends. By age six, most children understand the concept of fair and unfair, and they often use these concepts as they try to deal with issues.

child playsTHE EARLY PRIMARY YEARS (age 7 and 8). At this age, children acquire racial constancy. They now understand that a person’s skin color will not wash off or change but will remain the same as she grows up. At this age, children can also consider multiple attributes at one time. They can now understand how one person can be a member of several different groups. For example, a person can be part of a family, a classroom, a culture, and a race.

Children can also understand feelings of shame and pride at this age, and they are aware of racism against their own group. They are able to empathize, and they are interested in learning about the world. It’s the perfect time for giving them accurate information so they grow out of “preschool” ways of thinking (York, 1991).

Now that you understand how children develop their racial and cultural awareness and identities, it’s time to encourage them to accept and celebrate their differences. We want to help all children develop a positive self-concept and feel proud of who they are – although we don’t want them to feel better than other groups, either! If this positive sense of self and others is allowed to flourish, today’s children will become adults who accept and affirm differences, identify unfair situations, and strive to eliminate racism of any sort. A first step in helping children feel positive about racial and cultural identity is reflecting diversity in their surroundings. Children notice when the only dolls there are to play with don’t look anything like them. Books and toys that reflect racial and cultural diversity serve two purposes. They not only help children of color feel good about themselves, they help all children feel positive about differences. Here are some ideas you can try.

– Remove materials and visuals that promote stereotypes.

– Display images of all the children and families in your program.

– If your group is not diverse, display images of diversity in your community or in U.S. society.

– Add toys and materials that reflect the cultures of the children and families in your group. Then expand to include materials that mirror the diversity in the world.

Activities for Preschoolers

Skin-Color Match-Ups

Set out a number of nylon knee-high stockings in various shades, tan, black, white, pink, yellow, and red. Encourage children to try them on their hands and arms or their legs and feet. Ask questions to help the children increase their awareness of skin color. For example, “Can you find a stocking that is the same color as your skin?” Or “What color is that stocking you have on your arm?” Ask the children to “Try the _________ stocking. Is it lighter or darker than your own skin?” Tell the children no one’s skin color is really white, pink, yellow, or red. Emphasize that skin-color differences are interesting and desirable.

Hair

Ask parents to give you a tiny bit of hair from each child. If parents cannot do this, use photographs of different hairstyles and hair-care products for the children to use, explore, and talk about. If parents do give you the hair, paste the hair from each child on a 3″ x 5″ index card, put them in a box, and ask the children to identify each bit of hair. Talk about how hair has texture and curl. For instance, some people have fine hair while others have coarse hair. Some people have straight hair, and others have curly hair. Talk about how people have different hair colors and lengths. Take a photo of each child’s face and make a collage of different hairstyles.

Music and Dance

Ask parents to lend you recordings of music that their family enjoys. Teach the children songs and dances from different nations of the world. Children will begin to see that all people like to sing and dance, but every group has its own special ways of doing it. Talk with the children about how different music sounds: loud, soft, fast, or slow. Listen for the different instruments. Again, ask parents if they have any instruments children could listen to or try.

Activities for School-Age Children

Alike and Different (Thumbprints)

Set out white 3″ x 5″ cards, a black ink pad, a pen, and a magnifying glass. Ask the children to make prints of their thumbs by pressing them on the ink pad and then on the cards. Label each print with the child’s name. Let children use the magnifying glass to see how the prints are alike and different. Point out that everyone has patterns on the skin of their fingers and each person’s fingerprints are different from anyone else’s.

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Biles, B. (1994). Activities that promote racial and cultural awareness. In Todd, C.M. (Ed.), *Family child care connections*, 4(3), pp. 1­p;4. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service.

Please join me in celebrating Beth’s wonderful new book – the best way to do that is to

  • Buy a copy of the book
  • Review the book on Amazon/Goodreads/or other review sites
  • Tell your friends about the book
  • Ask your local library to purchase a copy for their shelves

Thank you for spending your precious time here – I hope you all have a wonderful weekend…and if you have a few more minutes, please hop over to Beth’s blog where I stopped by to share some thoughts, plus I’m offering a giveaway for her Mining for Heart series: The Voice of Heart.

Also, don’t forget to leave a comment here to be entered in the giveaway of the winner’s choice of either a copy of LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT or a PB manuscript critique from the amazing Beth Anderson! And remember…if you share on social media, you get an extra ticket in the giveaway hat…the more you share, the more chances you’ll have!

Happy Book Birthday: THE SYLVIE SERIES Plus Giveaway

Put your hands together, my friends…and get ready to sing a rousing Happy Book Birthday for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR books by author Ali Bovis that are launching today! It’s a fabulous series for kids ages 7-11.

We all know how important it is to encourage kids to cherish the planet…and we also know how important it is for books to showcase diverse heroes. Plus we’re all fans of #amightygirl books, right? Well, hold on to your hats, because Continue reading

DEBBIE GONZALES: Will Write for Cookies Plus SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

DebGonzalesHeadshot

 

TODAY’S GUEST

DEBBIE GONZALES

Hurray for new connections! Joining debut picture book groups has expanded my already rich network of authors and illustrators. And that’s how I came to become acquainted with today’s Will Write for Cookies guest.

Debbie Gonzales is a career educator, curriculum consultant, former school administrator and adjunct professor, a podcaster (The Debcast), and past SCBWI RA for the Austin Chapter. Deb currently devotes her time to writing middle grade novels, crafting teacher guides and various other freelance projects. She’s the author of six transitional readers for New Zealand publisher, Giltedge, and the non-fiction picture book Girls with Guts: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records (Charlesbridge, 2019). Deb serves as a member of the Michigan Reading Association board and earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learn more about Deb and her many projects by accessing her websites at www.debbiegonzales.com and www.guidesbydeb.com.

ME: Welcome, Deb! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us. We’ve got a lot to cover, so I’ll get right to the questions.

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

DEB: Sad to say, I can’t recall the names of any beloved childhood authors or illustrators. Believe it or not, I wasn’t an avid reader as a child. While I cherished being in school and enjoyed spelling tests, memorizing math facts and vocabulary words, I wasn’t an independent reader. I wasn’t anti-reading, by any means. It’s just that, in my house, reading wasn’t activity that was practiced or supported. I did, however, fall in LOVE with children’s literature when my first child was born. My son and I thoroughly enjoyed going to the library together. We’d often would fantasize how wonderful it would be if we were to be locked in the library overnight, free to read whatever we wanted to for as long as we wanted to. Sounds like terrific fun, doesn’t it?

 

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

DEB: That marketing was going to be a critical component to the ultimate success of my books, that I would have to consciously put myself out “there” (Wherever “there” might be). That building a publicity platform is as important as crafting a clever query letter. There are lots of ways to establish visibility that don’t feel icky and that are actually fun to do!

 

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

DEB: It depends on what part of the process that I’m in. First, I brainstorm with paper and pencil (You can bet that there’s lots of erasing going on during this phase.). Then I write – more like a brain dump – on a laptop with the internet turned off. In this phase, I am not worried about spelling or sentence structure. I just work to get my thoughts on the page. Lastly, I polish the piece at my desk. I bop around each of these phases as need be.

workspace

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

DEB: Because I have a vibrant freelance business, I must schedule time to get my creative work in. Quite honestly, there are times when a client’s work takes precedence over the needs of my characters (They are very understanding about this, though.). I find that blocking out an entire day to work on creative rather than squeezing minutes in throughout the day works best for me. My ultimate goal is to reserve two full days a week for creative. Let’s keep this plan a secret, okay? We don’t want to disappoint my clients, do we?

ME: Why do you write for children?

DEB: You know, maybe I write for the young Debbie that wasn’t a reader. Perhaps, I’d like to give her opportunity and permission to lose herself in a book, one that I’ve crafted just for her. I’d love to have a nice chat with her about important things such as character development or ways that comprehending a story helps one to better understand their life. I think that’s it. I write for Little Debbie and she seems to like what I say.

Missy

This is Missy! Obviously, she is Deb’s first eyes on every manuscript!

 ME: Also, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear. 

 

DEB: I’d like to expound on the notion that “there are lots of ways to establish visibility that don’t feel icky and that are actually fun to do”.  For a year and a half before GIRLS WITH GUTS was published, I immersed myself in all things marketing. I read scads of books written by relationship marketing gurus – Micheal Hyatt, Tim Grahl, Derek Sivers, and Jeff Walker to name just a few. While doing so, the thought stuck me that others might like to know about things I’ve learned. As a result, I produced two online courses that were very well-received. And, much to my delight, these efforts paid off! Not only have I established a program based on the principles the gurus presented, the prelaunch sales numbers for my book were phenomenal! It worked!

Currently, I’m developing a program in which I coach authors how to gain clarity, focus, and the skills required to enhance visibility in the kidlit marketplace. The premise for this program is founded on building thoughtful personal and online relationships. To achieve this, we explore options that align with one’s digital skill set and circles of influence. Then, we discover avenues of opportunity to develop a publicity platform that feels authentic and sincere.  The process is remarkably painless. It’s true!

As a giveaway, I’d like to offer an hour-long strategy session during which we will explore options that are just right for you. Enter the drawing and let’s have some visibility platform building fun.

ME: YAY…that is fabulous!!! What a special giveaway! And dear friends, wait till you see the special Vanilla Wafer Hamburger Cookie recipe Deb is sharing with us. You heard me right! Vanilla Wafer HAMBURGER Cookie…the kids are going to love asking for this one!

DEB:  You’re not going to believe how easy it is. My daughter actually won the blue ribbon at an annual back-off for her elementary school with this recipe.

Vanilla Wafer Hamburger Cookies
Ingredients:
  • A box of Vanilla Wafers
  • A bag  of small-sized York peppermint paddies
  • a bag of coconut
  • green food coloring
  • yellow food coloring
  • water
  • sesame seeds
  • a microwave plate or platter
  • two small bowls
  • two spoons
  • a microwave oven
Instructions:
  • Place a generous amount (1/3 of a cup)  of coconut in a bowl. Sprinkle a few drops of green food coloring on the coconut. Mix well. You have just made the lettuce for your Vanilla Wafer Hamburger cookies.Place a generous amount (1/2 of a cup) of coconut in a bowl. Sprinkle a few drops of yellow food coloring on the coconut. Mix well. You have just made the shredded cheese for your Vanilla Wafer Hamburger cookies.
  • To build your hamburgers, place on Vanilla Wafer. top side down, on your plate. Next, place a York peppermint paddy on the the cookie. Sprinkle bits of “lettuce” and “cheese” on the paddy. Cover the “hamburger” with another Vanilla Wafer. Dab small drops of water on the upper portion of the Vanilla Wafer on the top and sprinkle a few sesame seeds on the water.
  • Nuke in the microwave over for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • There you have it! An award-winning and very delicious Vanilla Wafer Hamburger cookie!

WOW…thank you so much, Deb…for your insights in the Q&A, for the very special giveaway, and of course, for the Vanilla Wafer Hamburger Cookie recipe!

And dear readers, please don’t forget to check out Deb’s wonderful new picture book: GIRLS WITH GUTS: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records.

Remember that the greatest gift we can give our favorite authors is:

  • to buy their books
  • to review their books
  • to tell friends about their books
  • to ask our local library to purchase the book for their collection

And please leave a comment to be entered into the special giveaway…and share, share, share the post for extra chances in the giveaway hat.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend. I’ll be going to have family pictures taken with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson at a chateau in New Hampshire…a chateau in New Hampshire? Below is the family photo we took last year at an apple orchard. when you see this year’s, I guarantee that Jeremy is going to be the same height as I am!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: GIRLS WITH GUTS Plus Very Special Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

This post is chock full…so hold on to your hats. But before we get to the review of this amazing #mightygirl book, I need to announce some winners of previous giveaways:

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a fabulous parody – GOODNIGHT BUBBALA, written by Shery Haft. Illustrator Jill Weber offered a prize of a copy of the book. And the winner is:

ARLENE SCHENKER!

And we also reviewed a wonderful #STEM picture book by Jenna Grodzicki – I SEE SEAFOOD. And the winner is:

JENNIFER MERRIFIELD!

Plus, we turned the spotlight on Dawn Prochovnic and her books, WHERE DO COWGIRLS GO POTTY and WHERE DO PIRATES GO POTTY. She offered a choice of giveaway…either an ARC of one of her books or a picture book manuscript critique…the winner decides which. And the winner is:

EILEEN MAYO

Congratulations, Arlene and Jennifer and Eileen. We’ll be in touch and make sure you receive your prizes!

Please help me give a huge round of applause to our authors and illustrators! Whether we are reviewing one of their picture books or meeting them during a Q&A, they are always gracious and generous with their time and expertise. And they are providing kids with wonderful books like today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection.

:girls with guts

 

GIRLS WITH GUTS: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records

Written by Debbie Gonzales

Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Published by Charlesbridge (2019)

Ages: 6-9

Themes: #mightygirls, courage, sports

Synopsis: From Amazon:

No chasing! No stretching or straining! And never, ever sweat. These were the rules girls were forced to play by until Title IX passed in 1972. And it was a game-changer.

A celebration of the strength, endurance, and athleticism of women and girls throughout the ages, Girls With Guts! keeps score with examples of women athletes from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, sharing how women refused to take no for an answer, and how finally, they pushed for a law to protect their right to play, compete, and be athletes.

“I find that this book tells the story of courageous and remarkable women that has brought the opportunities for today’s girls in a positive and fun way even though the fight has not always been easy. But this book captures history in way where the first thought is strength and will of these remarkable ladies.

It is also a good book to remind that it is not that long ago that we were in a very different situation still. A good reminder that even though there are still things and attitudes to change, women’s sport has come a long way to the point we had in Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games for the first time ever, 50/50 female and male athletes competing!”

—Emma Terho, a multiple-time Olympic and Women’s World Championship bronze medalist

Why I love this book:

  • I love books that provide role models for young kids.
  • I love books that inform and inspire…I learned a lot from this book – I think it has a place in every school library and home bookshelf.
  • The illustrations are fab: A ulous – full of action!

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

podcast avatar - the debcast 5

The Big Kahuna: is a big activity guide for GIRLS WITH GUTS created by author Debbie Gonzales…it’s filled with lots of things to do with kids after you read the book.

I mentioned a VERY SPECIAL GIVEAWAY…Debbie has devoted a whole lot of time and thought to developing her own marketing program to spread the word about her books. And guess what? She’s sharing that with the world. WOW! And she’s offering an hour-long session as a giveaway to one lucky winner. Here’s a bit about what she has accomplished…take it away, Debbie!

DEBBIE:  I’d like to expound on the notion that “there are lots of ways to establish visibility that don’t feel icky and that are actually fun to do”.  For a year and a half before GIRLS WITH GUTS was published, I immersed myself in all things marketing. I read scads of books written by relationship marketing gurus – Micheal Hyatt, Tim Grahl, Derek Sivers, and Jeff Walker to name just a few. While doing so, the thought stuck me that others might like to know about things I’ve learned. As a result, I produced two online courses that were very well-received. And, much to my delight, these efforts paid off! Not only have I established a program based on the principles the gurus presented, the prelaunch sales numbers for my book were phenomenal! It worked!

Currently, I’m developing a program in which I coach authors how to gain clarity, focus, and the skills required to enhance visibility in the kidlit marketplace. The premise for this program is founded on building thoughtful personal and online relationships. To achieve this, we explore options that align with one’s digital skill set and circles of influence. Then, we discover avenues of opportunity to develop a publicity platform that feels authentic and sincere.  The process is remarkably painless. It’s true!

As a giveaway, I’d like to offer an hour-long strategy session during which we will explore options that are just right for you. Enter the drawing and let’s have some visibility platform building fun.

Isn’t that fabulous? Please leave a comment and most importantly, please share the post on any social media channels you have. And make sure you come back tomorrow when Debbie stops by to chat with us on Will Write for Cookies – and if you leave a comment and share that post, you get extra chances in the giveaway hat!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for spending your precious time with us.

 

 

DAWN PROCHOVNIC: Will Write for Cookies PLUS PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

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TODAY’S GUEST

DAWN PROCHOVNIC

 

One of the things that always impresses me is how multi-talented my kidlit friends are. Many have had (or still have) careers as engineers, educators, and doctors. Others are, as Paul Simon wrote:

I’m sitting in the railway station.
Got a ticket to my destination.
On a tour of one-night stands my suitcase and guitar in hand.
And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band.

I think, after you finish reading this post, you’ll agree that my guest today fits the bill of that last line.

Dawn Babb Prochovnic is the author of Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?; Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?; First Day Jitters, featured in the award-winning book, Oregon Reads Aloud; and 16 books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes Series, including one title that was selected as an Oregon Book Awards finalist. Dawn is a vocal advocate for school and public libraries and was honored Continue reading

ALLEANNA HARRIS: Will Write/Illustrate for Cookies PLUS Original Art Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

alleanna_headshot

TODAY’S GUEST

ALLEANNA HARRIS

 

What an honor this is for me! Today I’m hosting the illustrator for one of my upcoming picture books…and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how she has brought the characters of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe to life. Every page turn sings…Alleanna has definitely made their voices be heard!

Alleanna Harris is a illustrator who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. As a little kid, she would Continue reading