#50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge is OPEN!!

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Logo by Vicky Fang

When I do school visits and story hour events, there’s one thing I notice. The kids LOVE listening to me read. But even more, they love telling their OWN stories. And that’s what #50PreciousWordsforKids is all about!

We want to encourage young kids to discover the storyteller that lives in them. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!  I’m still in Chicago, but I wanted to make sure I shared this lovely new book by Jodi McKay. Think THE DOT meets THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT. It’s a story that will encourage kids to draw for pleasure, do their best, and have fun…and it launches in just a few days. And author McKay is donating a copy of the book as a GIVEAWAY…YAY! Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win.

61ue4z8Xu+L PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE

Written by Jodi McKay

Illustrated by Juliana Motzko

Published by Albert Whitman (2019)

Ages: 3-5

Themes: Do your best; art; believe in yourself

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Pencil is trying to draw the perfect picture for his dad. So, he asks his friends Brush, Pastel, Marker, Crayon, and Chalk what makes their art perfect. But they each have a different answer. How will Pencil be able to create his own perfect picture?

Why I love this book:

  • Wonderful text that will encourage discussion about tackling projects we are unsure of
  • Creative illustrations that help us connect with the main character, even though it is a pencil
  • I love that the author used art supplies as the characters to show how kids feel

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Deocrated Pencils

Decorative-Pencils-Family-Craft-thediydreamer.com_Photo courtesy: https://thediydreamer.com/crafts/decorative-pencils-family-craft/

How about making the perfect pencil? For detailed instructions: https://thediydreamer.com/crafts/decorative-pencils-family-craft/

And remember, the greatest gift we can give an author is to buy their book, review their book, tell a friend about their book, and ask our local library to add the book to their colloection.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE. We’d love to hear how you felt about your art when you were a kid.

For more wonderful picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please stay tuned for the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge: April 29-May 6…if you know any teachers or parents who might want their children to participate, please pass along the information.

EARTH DAY 2019 and a few words about #50PreciousWordsforKids

Happy EARTH DAY 2019. I can hardly believe that next year will mark the 50th Anniversary. Where were you on that day in 1970? I think Stuart and I were collecting litter at one of our favorite fly-fishing spots on the Shepaug River in Washington, Connecticut.

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It was a place like that which inspired me to write FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: An Animal Counting Book. And I was fortunate to have the amazing talent of Mirka Hokkanen to bring the story to life with her modern woodcuts. For more thoughts about how we can protect endangered animals, please hop over to Ronna Mandel’s blog, Goodreads with Ronna, and say hello – I’m chatting about Earth Day and the environment and why I wrote FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN in the hopes that it would encourage children to cherish their world and its wildlife.

We are all storytellers. One of the things that fills me with wonder and joy is when I interact with kids at schools, libraries, and bookstore events. They love listening to the story I read. But even more than that, they want to tell me THEIR stories.

And that is what #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge is all about.

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We want to encourage young kids to discover the storyteller that lives in them.

And we also want them to understand the value of each word. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: IF YOU HAD YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ON THE MOON plus #50PreciousWords WINNERS!

Hold on to your seats, everyone! We are ready to blast off! Our Perfect Picture Book Friday story is the obvious choice for such a momentous blog post that will also contain the WINNERS of #50PreciousWords.

Most of you know that I left home on February 19 and didn’t get back until April 8. That time was spent in Sydney at the Australia/NZ SCBWI conference (which rocked!) and sightseeing through the beautiful city and its lovely beach areas. Maria Marshall and I walked EVERYWHERE! Below is a photo of Maria and me at a beach where they had the most amazing poster art graffiti – since my slogan is Nothing is Impossible if You Can Imagine It…we had to take a pic with the bottle of dreams and me holding the little heart pillow my six-year old granddaughter had sewed for me to take on my trip as a little lovey.

viv and maria at sydney beach poster Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOGI: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

Hurray! I’m back home…and it’s Friday…and you know what that means. A review of a wonderful picture book!

Before I share the review, I need to celebrate my return from an incredible round-the-world journey by announcing the winners of several giveaways (and hopefully, by Sunday, I will be able to announce the winners of the #50PreciousWords and give everyone a heads-up regarding the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge).

A big thank you to all of the generous authors and illustrators who Continue reading

Maryann Coccoa-Leffler: Will Write For Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

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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.

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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