Perfect Picture Book Friday: Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program for an announcement!

Marissa Moss of Creston Books has bought Vivian Kirkfield‘s debut picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah, the story of Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to own a U.S. patent; Chris Ewald will illustrate. The story showcases not only the invention but the spirit and determination of the inventor herself. Publication is set for spring 2017; Essie White of Storm Literary Agency represented the author and Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.

As you can imagine, I am over the moon about this. Sweet Dreams, Sarah will one day sit on library shelves and be heard by young kids. Now that is a sweet dream come true!

Nonfiction picture books are fun for me to write…I love researching and finding little gems of history that time has forgotten. And they are fun for me to read, for myself and with kids. Here’s today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection:

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Miss Moore Thought Otherwise:

How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

Written by Jan Pinborough

Illustrated by Debby Atwell

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2013)

Age: 6-9

Themes: Mighty girls, libraries, following your dream

First lines:

“Once in a big house in Limerick, Maine, there lived a little girl names Annie Carroll Moore. She had large gray eyes, seven older brothers, and ideas of her own.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.”

Why I love this book:

  • First of all, I love libraries and have used them since I was a little girl. I was fascinated to find out that children were not allowed in libraries originally. And it was Miss Moore who campaigned for them to be able to take books out when they finally were admitted.
  • This is a gentle story…a beautiful read aloud. It shows how a person can follow their dream and get things done.
  • The illustrations are detailed, colorful, and perfect.

How parents can use this book:

  • Wonderful story to enjoy with your children -lots of history woven into the pages.
  • If your child doesn’t have a library card yet, PLEASE help them get one…libraries are one of the last and best free resources we have.
  • Check out the various programs that are available at your local library…there are often story hours, activity programs, and even presentations and classes for aduts.

Related Activities

  • Visit your local library
  • Make a reading goal chart and let your child earn stickers for every book he reads. Plan activities, like a craft or cooking project, around the stories to enrich the learning experience.
  • You can find the ALA’s Most Notable Children’s Books here.

Parents and teachers…are you looking for more picture book recommendations? Head over to Susanna HIll’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. I know there is bad weather and big snowstorms in some part of the country…stay safe and stay warm!

Laurie Wallmark – Will Write for Cookies

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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LAURIE WALLMARK

I discovered nonfiction picture books when I took Kristen Fulton’s Nonfiction Archaeology class in June of 2014. From that moment on, I wanted to write my own…and I read every single one I could get my hands on. When I saw the cover of Laurie’s debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, it was love at first sight.

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Laurie Wallmark writes exclusively for children. She can’t imagine having to restrict herself to only one type of book, so she writes picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry, and nonfiction. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing or studying, Laurie teaches computer science at a local community college, both on campus and in prison.

I was thrilled when Laurie and I connected. Back in November, I did a Perfect Picture Book Friday post and she made a guest appearance with about fascinating information about women in history.

 

Welcome, Laurie! It is a pleasure having you here.

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

 

LAURIE:

As a child, I didn’t actually read a lot of children’s books. Instead, my shelves were filled mostly with science fiction. My favorite authors were the big three from the Golden Age of Science Fiction—Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. I read and reread their novels and short stories over and over again. Much of my early scientific knowledge came from the factual underpinnings of their work. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Shmulik Paints the Town

The mailman delivered a box the other day. I couldn’t wait to open it. Inside…a copy of the debut picture book of a dear friend. And I knew right then and there that I would be reviewing it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

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Shmulik Paints the Town

Written by Lisa Rose

Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Hot Air + Activity

Brrr…we’re in the middle of a cold spell here in the Northeast. But never fear, we’ll soon warm things up with our Perfect Picture Book selection for today. My next nonfiction picture book story is going to be about balloon flights, so I’ve been researching books that are already out there and came across this very funny one.

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Hot Air

Written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2005)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Early balloon flight, animals, humor Continue reading

How to Stay Healthy This Winter Plus Giveaway

Batten down the hatches…we’re in for a cold spell!

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But that doesn’t mean we have to all get colds, right? Most kids are returning to school which exposes them, and everyone in their homes, to lots of illnesses. In addition, homes and schools in the northern hemisphere crank up the heat which creates indoor conditions which dry out throats and noses which make us more susceptible to viruses and colds. I didn’t know that…did you?

Check out what WebMD has to say about the need to improve indoor humidity during the winter months: http://www.webmd.com/women/home-health-and-safety-9/dry-indoor-air

So other than that, what can a parent or teacher do to help kids stay healthy?

Here are five simple steps:

  1. Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family.  This helps colds from spreading. Another good idea is to keep a basket of small washcloths near the sink…instead of reaching for the big bath towel to dry a little pair of hands, there will be less laundry with these smaller ones.
  2. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads.
  3. Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them.  Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep.  Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep?  For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
  4. Make every meal and snack count:  a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters.  Breakfast doesn’t have to be a bowl of cereal. One of my sons loved having left over pizza or lasagna for breakfast. For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
  5. Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you. If your child has to stay home, a board game, some picture books and a pad of paper and box of crayons will help pass the time.

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These are simple steps…but they really work!! How you keep your family healthy? Please share in the comments. Someone will win a set of washcloths and someone else will win some fun packs of tissues.

Who Else Wants Less Clutter? Plus a Giveaway!

Hodgepodge! Jumble! Chaos! Muddle! Holy Mess!

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There are many words to describe clutter—but it all boils down to one thing: a state or condition of confusion. And that is what most of us should be trying to avoid. Life is stressful enough without adding more, right? Yet even though studies show that clutter contributes to stress, many people live with it.

  • Do you have more than one ‘junk’ drawer in your home?
  • Is your email inbox clogged with messages you don’t even open?
  • When you open your closets, does stuff fall out on you?
  • If unexpected company comes, do you rush around, clearing books, papers, and other items?
  • Have you had a late fee from an unpaid bill because it got lost in the mess on your desk?

If you answered YES to any one of these questions, it may be time to take control. If you are a parent, organization is especially important – those last minute searches for missing homework or a lost shoe are no fun at all!

This is my plan:

  1. Get a big shopping bag for each room…clear off every counter/desk/shelf/chair of anything that doesn’t belong. Ahhh…now that looks much better. When I have time, I can go through each bag and decide whether the items should be stored, given away, or thrown away.
  2. Use a letter file holder to keep bills and important mail…if possible, set up auto-pay.
  3. Set aside 15-30 minutes every day to go through one drawer or one closet or one cabinet and divide the contents into three piles: keep, give away, throw away. If you are a fan of Craig’s List or garage/yard sales, you can have a fourth pile…you might even make some money!
  4. Do the same thing with my emails—15-30 minutes every day to delete and unsubscribe from unwanted spam.

Are you ready?

It’s really as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. CLEAR
  2. CLEAN
  3. ORGANIZE

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I’ve got a busy year ahead of me, so it’s really important that Continue reading