Melissa Stoller: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT, INSPIRATION, INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

head shot

MELISSA STOLLER

What a joy it is to connect with those in the kidlit community! I’d seen Melissa’s name as a participant in many of the challenges. I’d read her comments on blog posts. And when I discovered she had a new chapter book series launching, I knew I’d want to invite her to be my guest.

Melissa Stoller is the author of the debut chapter book THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND (Clear Fork Publishing, July 2017); the debut picture book OLIVE’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH (Clear Fork, March, 2018); and THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: THE LIBERTY BELL TRAIN RIDE (Clear Fork, April 2018).  She is also the co-author of THE PARENT-CHILD BOOK CLUB: CONNECTING WITH YOUR KIDS THROUGH READING (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009). Melissa is a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, an Admin for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and an Assistant for Mira Reisberg’s Children’s Book Academy. Melissa writes parenting articles, and has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy. When not writing or reading, she can be found exploring NYC with family and friends, travelling, and adding treasures to her collections.

ME: I’m so thrilled to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar, Melissa!

MELISSA: First, I’m so honored to be chatting with you on your Will Write for Cookies Blog, Vivian! I’m a huge fan! You are the sweetest cheerleader for the KidLit World and I love your #50 Precious Words Writing Challenge. Also, I have benefited from your excellent critiques. I hope to meet you in person one day soon!

ME: I really appreciate your kind words, Melissa…and I’m sure we will meet…maybe at a conference one day soon!

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

MELISSA: I had so many favorite authors and books when I was a child! I loved the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene, and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (I still love a good mystery). I also enjoyed The All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor (I still enjoy inter-generational family stories) and Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hillary Knight (Eloise is the classic precocious imp! My children and I loved the Eloise Tea at The Plaza in New York City). And of course anything and everything by Judy Blume! All these stories and more informed my own writing style. Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Enchanted Snowglobe Collection – Return to Coney Island PLUS Giveaway

Oh my goodness….we are taking a slight detour from our usual picture book review because, when I heard that there was a chapter book about Coney Island, I knew I had to share it with all of you.  I grew up in New York City…and Coney Island was a favorite desitination during the summer months for my family.

img048Yup, that’s me, at about 18-months old, not a fan of the sand.

These days, even younger kids are enjoying chapter books, either reading them or listening to them. If you are a fan of The Magic Tree House series, I think you will be head over heels in love with THE SNOWGLOBE COLLECTION.

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THE SNOWGLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND

Written by Melissa Stoller

Illustrated by Callie MetlerSmith

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (August 2017)

Opening Lines:

“Ha! I won again,” said Emma. She reached her grandmother’s door just before her twin brother, Simon.”

Themes: 

Family, time-travel

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

They thought it was an
 ordinary sleepover . . . 

When nine-year-old twins Emma and Simon shake a snow globe from their grandmother’s enchanted collection, they are transported back to Coney Island on June 24, 1928. According to family legend, that’s the day their great-grandparents meet on the Coney Island trolley. But if events don’t work exactly as they’re supposed to, the meeting won’t take place and the twins might never be born. After a day of adventures – from the Cyclone roller coaster to the boardwalk arcade, and finally to the all-important trolley ride – will the twins help make it happen? Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with CAP’N REX AND HIS CLEVER CREW and more

 Ahoy there, mateys!

I’m so happy you’ve come aboard today because we’ve got a treasure chest of awesomeness in store for you…all thanks to Henry Herz, author of the brand-new pirate picture book, CAP’N REX AND HIS CLEVER CREW. First a book review…then a Q&A with Captain Rex and his clever crew, .and then links where you can find yummy pirate recipes and fun stuff to do

cover

Written by Henry L. Herz

Illustrated by Benjamin Shipper

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (August 2017)

Opening Lines:

Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sailed the seven seas.

Synopsis

Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure. But whenever they hit an obstacle—like a giant shark or pea-soup fog—the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex always glares with teeth bared and says, “CAN’T YE?” And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution. This delightful story highlights the value of one’s creativity and determination in tough situations. It will encourage kids everywhere to think and say, “I can!”

Why I like this book:

  • Just the right amount of piratey language
  • Great read aloud
  • Bold colorful and quirky illustrations that will keep a child turning the pages
  • Wonderful combination of humor and heart

What others are saying about this book:

“Arrr, if ye be lookin’ for a rollicking read about pirate treasure and persistence, REX marks the spot.”
Molly Idle, Caldecott Honoree author/illustrator of TEA REX
“A darling book about problem solving and utilizing arrr! gifts. And the gorgeous illustrations are a treasure. Pure gold!”
Sherri Duskey Rinker, NY Times bestselling author of MIGHTY, MIGHTY CONSTRUCTION SITE
“This story will certainly thrill the pirate in your house. Through humor and ingenuity we learn that anything is possible!”
Barney Saltzberg, NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of BEAUTIFUL OOPS!
“Pirates, dinosaurs, a voyage to a volcano? Well, shiver me timbers! There be surprise and rollicking adventure within these gorgeous pages. CAP’N REX gives readers a taste of pirate etiquette in this see-worthy treasure.”
Pat Cummings, Coretta Scott King Award winning author/illustrator of MY MAMA NEEDS ME
“Cap’n Rex and his jaunty crew take us on a jolly journey, fraught with perilous adventures. Sticking together and using their wits to overcome obstacles at every treacherous turn, these dino heroes are destined to rake in their fabulous bounty. Gorgeous textures and sumptuous-shaped illustrations help make this book a delight for any young pirate.”
Joe Cepeda, Pura Belpre Honoree author/illustrator of I, FREDDY
“A clever yarn about overcoming obstacles that will have little buccaneers chanting “Can’t ye!” even after the last page has been turned.”
Corey Rosen Schwartz, author of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD
To find out more about author Henry L. Herz:
 
Henry_sword
So hold onto your hats, me hardies…now that you’ve got a little background on this story, I know you are anxious to meet my special guests, the four characters from CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW. We’re sitting in a park, because we cannot all fit inside my house. And really, you don’t want dinosaurs sitting on your furniture.
ME: Hello there! Thank you all for being here (and for not eating me).

 

Cap’n Rex: 

It’s arrr pleasure to be here, lassie. We can spare a few moments before we must resume sailing the seven seas in search of buried booty. Our frigate is double parked at the yacht club.

ME: Can you tell me what it’s like to be characters in a picture book?

 

Kyle (the ankylosaurus): I like the colors that the illustrator used to draw me. I like how the author shows me as strong and brave. But, as a crewman, I always have to follow the captain’s orders.

 

Cap’n Rex: Aye, as it should be, laddy! I know what’s best fer ye!

 

Terry (the pterodactyl): I like that we get to wear clothes – it can get cold out on the high seas. I like that the author lets me fly. Sometimes when there are obstacles, the best way around them is to go over them.

 

ME: Speaking of obstacles, what is the theme of CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW?

 

Pat (the apatosaurus): Hmmm. I couldn’t say.

 

Cap’n Rex: Can’t ye? (note: Rex is glaring at Pat with teeth bared)

 

Pat:Oh, well, I guess the lesson of the story is that if you are persistent and think outside the box, you can solve pretty much any problem.

 

Cap’n Rex: Aye, yer a clever lass. It’s amazin’ what a powerful creativity stimulant the threat of being eaten can be.

 

Pat:Persistence is a particularly potent property for pirates to possess.

 

Cap’n Rex: Belay that alliteration!

 

MR: Let’s move on. How was the book title chosen?

 

Kyle: The origin of this story was the idea that if kids like pirates and they like dinosaurs (and who could blame ’em), then kids’d REALLY like a story that combined both. Sort of a literary Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. In fact, the author was going to write about dinosaur SPACE pirates. Can you imagine us sailin’ the stars?

 

Terry:That’s flying too high, even for me. Luckily, the author’s critique partners said that was mashing up too many things. So, we sail a frigate, not a spaceship. And did you notice how our ship is shaped like a giant triceratops head?

 

Cap’n Rex:None of ye arrr answering the lass’s question! The original title was going to be DINOSAUR PIRATES. As the artwork was being finalized, the author discovered that another book was coming out with that very title. So, at my (humble) suggestion, the author changed the name to better reflect the story (and to include me name).

 

ME: Where can people find out more about you?

 

Pat: The author’s website at www.henryherz.com be full o’ free fun features…

 

Cap’n Rex: BELAY THAT ALLITERATION!

 

Pat: including a downloadable study guide, a book trailer video…

 

Cap’n Rex:I cut a fine figure.

 

Pat:and chestfuls of information about famous pirates, pirate language, ships, recipes, movies, activities and jokes. 

 

Kyle: There’s also a Goodreads Giveaway right now where readers can enter to win a free copy of the book.

 

Terry: And in September through December, readers will have a chance to win original signed art from the illustrator!

 

Cap’n Rex: Well, the tides are shifting. We must take arrr leave.

And

ME Thank you for visiting! And safe journey!!!!!

Oh my gosh! Do you believe that, dear readers? A Q&A with a bunch of pirate dinosaurs…now THAT is a first on Picture Books Help Kids Soar!

And here’s another first…we’ve got to catch up on some giveaways. A week ago,

we interveiwed Moose the dog and Maria Gianferrari offered a copy of HELLO GOODBYE DOG…and the winner is:

JANE HEITMAN HEALY

Then, we had a book review of Susanna Hill’s newest picture book, THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT…and the winner is…

ANDREA MACK

And then we had a book birthday for Lisa Amstutz’ APPLESAUCE DAY…and the winner is…

MONA PEASE

I’ll be contacting all of you to arrange for ythe shipment of your books!

 

Thank you so much, dear friends. Your faithful comments really mean a lot to me and to our guests. Plus I’m grateful for all of the social media shares on Facebook and Twitter! Please don’t forget that Amazon and Goodreads reviews are needed by authors…take a few minutes and review this or one of your other favorite books!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please excuse any typos that I didn’t catch…my vision is still somewhat blurry.

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