Perfect Picture Book Friday: I AM A THIEF Plus Book Giveaway AND Manuscript CRITIQUE

Authors, illustrators, and publishing company publicity departments often reach out to bloggers to see if they can feature upcoming picture books. I try to do as many as I can – because I LOVE reading them and I LOVE sharing them with parents, librarians, teachers, and all of my kidlit friends. Sometimes I get a chance to read them to my six-year old granddaughter over Skype…and, when she asks me to read the book again and again and again, I know we’ve got a winner.

That’s what happened with today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection. Sophie absolutely loves I AM A THIEF…and I think you will also. PLUS, the author and publisher are donating a copy of the book as a giveaway AND…the illustrator is offering a picture book manuscript CRITIQUE to one lucky winner. Make sure you leave a comment at the end.

But before we get to the review, we have a giveaway to announce. Continue reading

BARRY WITTENSTEIN: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

 

unnamed

TODAY’S GUEST

BARRY WITTENSTEIN

Sometimes I want to join every kidlit Facebook group there is because I meet the best people in them – like our guest today. Barry and I are both members of Susanna Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic alumni Facebook group. He’s a cracker-jack writer – I love his sometimes bluesy, sometimes power-punching, all the time awesome free verse writing style…and if you’ve Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: A PLACE TO LAND: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! As promised, we have a double-decker, close-out-the-summer special: a brand-new picture book (just released on Tuesday – and if you leave a comment, you will be entered into the giveaway of a shiny new copy) that is sure to take plenty of awards…it’s already garnered amazing starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Horn Book. And here’s one from Continue reading

Happy Book Birthday: WAKAWAKALOCH Plus Giveaway

LET’S ALL SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chana Stiefel’s newest picture book that launches TODAY:

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to WAKAWAKALOCH, Happy Birthday to You!

wakawakaloch

MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH

Written by Chana Stiefel

Illustrated by Mary Sullivan

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (August 27, 2019)

Here’s a bit about the book:

No one can pronounce Wakawakaloch’s name. Why couldn’t she be called something simple . . . like Gloop? That’s a name you can find on a T-shirt! But after a visit with her village’s elder, Wakawakaloch discovers what her name means, and how powerful names can be. Gloop may be easy to say, but the girl who helps her friends embrace differences and wear their names proudly? Her name is Wakawakaloch!

Continue reading

SHANNON STOCKER: Will Write for Cookies Plus CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

photo Shannon

TODAY’S GUEST

SHANNON STOCKER

Why do I love this kidlit community so much? Because of people like today’s guest, Shannon Stocker, that’s why!

Shannon Stocker is an award-winning author and proud word nerd who loves all letters equally. She lives with her husband, Greg, and her children, Cassidy and Tye, in Louisville, KY, where she molds the alphabet into picture books and songs all day. LISTEN, Shannon’s picture book biography about deaf percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, is next in line (Dial/Random House), and several of her stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. Shannon currently serves as SCBWI social co-director for Louisville, a judge for Rate Your Story, and she created the blog series, Pivotal Moments: inHERview, highlighting transitional life stories of female picture book authors.  Cool facts: Currently writing her memoir, Shannon is a medical school graduate, a coma survivor, and an RSD/CRPS patient and advocate. She’s also a singer/songwriter who once performed two songs, including one original, as part of an opening act for Blake Shelton. To subscribe to her blog, visit her website, http://www.shannonstocker.com/blog/. She can also be found Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: CAN U SAVE THE DAY? Plus Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. It’s been a couple of weeks – a bit of a summer blog break, plus with the #PBChat Mentorship applications and manuscripts, I knew I’d be a bit buried for a while. I’ve started working with my mentee, the lovely Helen Ishmurzin – and we are both enjoying connecting and finding out more about each other.

Life here is busy as usual – I received a phone call from the publicity department at Continue reading

National Family Fun Day: A WONDERFUL DAY by Michael Samulak Plus GIVEAWAY

Did you know that almost every day is a national holiday of sorts?

It’s true! Yesterday was Mutt Day. And tomorrow is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day…and also National Beer Day…I guess you can take your pick, depending on what you love the most.

But the entire month of August is NATIONAL FAMILY FUN MONTH. Which is perfect for residents of the Northeast, where I live. The temps rise and the sun shines and it is wonderful to get out and do things, especially if you have young children. Today I’m sharing a lovely book from a dear writer friend of mine that is all about spending time with family and having fun. He was kind enough to send me two books…one for me and one for…a giveaway! Please leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

cover

A WONDERFUL DAY

Written by Michael Samulak

Illustrated by Louise Pulvera

Published by: Pen It (2019)

Ages: 3-7

Themes: Zoo animals, family togetherness, diversity

Synopsis: A child wakes and discovers that today the family is taking a trip to the zoo. Page by page, we travel alongside, seeing all the animals and also, all of the other zoo visitors. And when the day ends, the last page turn provides a sweet closure, as the tired child is tucked into bed.

What I love about this book:

  • It’s an easy reader – so an older child would be able to read it to a younger sibling.
  • Colorful illustrations harken back to a kinder gentler time
  • Diverse families populate the story

RELATED ACTIVITIES

20-paper-bag-animal-crafts-8-1Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com

PAPER BAG ANIMAL PUPPETS

I’m a big fan of paper bags as a craft supply to keep on hand when you have little ones. They are inexpensive, safe, and oh so versatile.

For detailed instructions: https://iheartcraftythings.com/20-paper-bag-animal-crafts-for-kids.html

Here’s a mini bio about Michael:

Mr. Samulak obtained his bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Michigan State University (’96) and finished his master’s in Reading Curriculum and Instruction at Cleveland State University (’12). He’s been working as a full-time youth minister and educator for almost 20 years.

Michael uses his formal education, experiences, world travels and life’s adventures to write award-winning children’s picture books.
The author currently resides in the city of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and five children.

Michael is also the author of two other books: A IS FOR AFRICA, illustrated by Sswaga Sendiba. Plus there is a companion coloring book that contains the same text, but the illustrations aren’t colored in, so children can use their own imaginations to create fantastical creatures.

To find out more about Michael and his books: http://www.michaelsamulak.com/

Thank you for stopping by, my friends. The selection process for the #PBChat Mentorship organized by Justin Colon has ended…but the mentorship itself is just beginning. I received over 100 amazing applications and manuscripts…writers poured their hearts onto the pages…and for the past two weeks, I have been struggling, not only to read them all (100 manuscripts is a lot of manuscripts!), but also to choose the ONE person I thought could benefit most from my help. Oh my, if only I was able to clone myself!

In the end, just under the wire, I did choose…Helen Ishmurzin. I am so excited to work with her over the next three months. And she speaks five languages….so I know that I will be learning a lot from her.

I also have been making plans for my trip to Colorado in August. And guess what? The day I am in Denver, I will be doing a book event at 10:30am on August 23rd at Second Star to the Right, an awesome bookstore on S.Pearl Street. Huge thanks go to our very own Laura Roettiger, author of the fabulous ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, who was a major player in arranging this…I owe you big time, Laura!!! I’m hoping that lots of Colorado friends will be able to come…what better place for kidlit folk to meet than at a children’s bookstore, right? And maybe after the event, we can walk up S.Pearl Street and find a little cafe to sit and chat before I have to head off to meet up with my family and fly back home.

photo of store

And before I let you go, last night on Facebook I announced the winner of Laura Roettiger’s wonderful book. Congratulations, Ellen Leventhal…you will be receiving a copy of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, thanks to dear Laura.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend – stay safe and stay cool! Oh, and don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of Michael’s book!