Perfect Picture Book Friday: Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush PLUS PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway and Book Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Picture books are magical…especially when they are about a magical item. And Perfect Picture Book Friday posts are magical when they have DOUBLE GIVEAWAYS. Yes, author Melissa Stoller is donating both a pb manuscript critique AND a copy of her brand-new picture book! Woo-hoo!

scarlet's magic paintbrush


Written by Melissa Stoller

Ilustrated by Sandie Sonke

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (October 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Creativity, be yourself, self-esteem

Opening lines: 

“Years ago, Scarlet found a magic paintbrush and everything changed.”

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

What would it be like to have a magic paintbrush?

Scarlet knows. 
She paints perfect pictures . . . until her brush disappears. 
Will she ever be
able to create another 
masterpiece without it?

Why I like this book:

  • The element of magic appeals to kids…who wouldn’t want a brush that magically draws perfect pictures?
  • I loved seeing Scarlet come to the realization that her own creativity is important.
  • The illustrations are full of color…perfect for a book about a girl who loves to paint.


Painting With Kids


Photo courtesy:

For detailed instructions for 50 painting projects:

Ask your kids, what would they draw if they had a magic paintbrush? If they could imbue any item with magical powers, what would it be and what would it do? And wouldn’t we all like to have an item that had magical powers? What item would you want to be magical?

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in this double-your-pleasure giveaway. And, when you read Melissa’s book, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or other review sites. Reviews are like a birthday gift to your favorite author!

And speaking of picture books, for more wonderful recommendations and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Safe travels if you are away from home.



Parenting Tip – How To Teach Problem Solving

What do you get when you give two seven-year olds some construction paper, markers, scissors and tape?

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problme Solving

You get the most amazing creations! And you get happy kids!

I encourage parents to keep simple arts and crafts supplies on hand. Paper, scissors, markers and glue are imagination enablers. Kids can spend hours, happily engaged in expressing their creativity, exercising their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Last week, my son and his family stopped by.

Knowing that my grandchildren LOVE making things, I had put a few arts and crafts supplies on the dining room table. After we visited for a while, I asked the kids if they wanted to sit down and use the materials.

Before I had even finished the sentence Continue reading

International Dot Day…Self-Esteem Through Artistic Expression

 Raise your hand if you think you can draw.

If you didn’t raise your hand, you are like most of us…our inner artist has been discouraged and hammered down.

How does this happen?  A parent says, “No, the grass should be green!”  The teacher says, “That’s not how a dog looks!”  A fellow classmate says, “You can’t draw!”

In 2003, Peter Reynolds wrote and illustrated a book that encouraged children of all ages to be to imagine, dream and create.   His premise was that there is no right or wrong way.  

This week over 500,000 children in all 50 states and around the world will be participating in International Dot Day, in their classrooms or at home. 

Visit to learn more about International Dot Day.  You will find activity suggestions, resources, a global map showing participants…you can even take a look at the dots being created by celebrities.

As parents and as teachers, we can

  • Encourage our children to enjoy all types of art mediums…paint, clay, paper cutting, drawing and sculpting.  
  • Provide the materials and participate with our kids.
  • Make thoughtful, but non-judgmental comments about our children’s art.
  • Proudly display the art our children produce.

Creative expression is art in its purest form. 

If you allow yourself to have fun with art, so will your children.

During my time in New Hampshire, my almost four-year old grandson became fascinated with Cheerios.  We had a Cheerios Halloween Board Book that called for using Cheerios on different pages to fill in missing buttons, eyeglasses, etc.  Jeremy had a ball…placing Cheerios in the “proper” places…and then eating each one!  Here’s his International Dot Day dot picture.