PPBF: Ballots for Belva PLUS THE WINNER!

Life has gotten very busy. The WOW (Week of Writing) Retreat is only one month away. I’m so excited to see dear friends again, like Kristen Fulton, the fearless leader and founder of WOW, and connect with critique partners and other kid lit friends, many whom I’ve never met in person. I’ll also be able to hug my incredible agent, Essie White…she is one of the faculty mentors. I’ve been working feverishly on getting my manuscripts polished. Since many of them are nonfiction picture books, my library has been inundated with requests from me for mentor texts. So it was almost impossible to pick just one story for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I finally decided on one that was written back in 2008 by one of the shining lights in this kid lit community, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. With the Presidential election just around the corner, I thought it was a perfect choice.

Oh…and when you finish with the picture book review, don’t forget to keep scrolling down…because today we announce the WINNER of a brand new copy of The Hole Story of the Doughnut.

ballots for belva

Ballots for Belva

Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Illustrated by Courtney A. Martin

Publisher: Abrams (2008)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Determination, courage, women’s rights, Presidential election

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers.” Continue reading

PPBF: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes PLUS LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children.

At the end of this post you’ll find a special giveaway for National Library WeekPLEASE DON’T MISS IT!

I’m kind of like a kid when it comes to picture books…if I love the story, I want to hear it over and over and over. So I hope you won’t mind if I share a book I reviewed a year ago. It’s a perfect Easter Bunny tale.

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The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Written by Dubose Heyward

Illustrated by Marjorie Flack

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (1939)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, Easter, gender discrimination, working together.

Opening Line:

“We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one. But this is not so.”

Synopsis:

A young country bunny sets a goal for herself of becoming one of the five Easter bunnies who deliver Easter eggs all over the world. It seems her dreams will not be realized as the little bunny grows up and becomes the mother of twenty-one baby bunnies. Using ingenuity, common sense and lots of determination, she trains each of her children to master certain skills. Will Little Cottontail Mother prove that she is the kindest, wisest and fastest bunny in the whole world? Can she complete all of her tasks? Does she win the golden shoes that will enable her to fly?

Why I like this book:

This book was written over seventy years ago…yes, you know how I love these old classic picture books! This is a modern feminist tale…twenty-nine children and she still has a dream that she never stops pursuing.

Little Cottontail Mother is a loving and caring mom…but that doesn’t stop her from expecting her children to be responsible and helpful and courteous. She teaches them the life skills they will need as adults.

The illustrations are from the ‘illustrious’ Marjorie Flack…need I say more!

Related Activities

HANDPRINT EASTER BASKETS

9handprinteasterbasketscraft4kidsfinal

I’ve made this craft with my kindergarten classes…they really love it! This is a lovely keepsake because it is made from your child’s handprints. Hang on the refrigerator or use as an Easter door decoration. The picture here is from Artists Helping Children.org They have lots of great ideas and instructions on their website.

You will need: Construction paper, tape, glue stick, crayons or markers, scissors

  1. Trace at least 8 hands for each basket (these are the handle).
  2. Cut out a basket shape and cut a slit in the top (the eggs will slip in here).
  3. Lay out the handprints, overlapping slightly, to form a handle shape. Tape them while you are arranging them and then glue in place.
  4. Cut out a bunch of Easter egg shapes. Your child can decorate them before sliding them into the slit. Glue in place when they are in the right place.

 

More Activities:

Talk to your children about the tasks that Little Cottontail Mother taught her bunnies. What tasks can your child help with?

Make a goal chart…Little Cottontail Mother had things she wanted to accomplish…help your child make a chart of tasks and skills he or she wants to master.

AND NOW FOR OUR SHOW ME HOW LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY…

National Library Week is April 10-16. To help celebrate, why not visit the library with your children…and make it a habit to go often. Does your child have a library card yet? Find out how old your child has to be…if he doesn’t have one yet and is old enough, help celebrate National Library Week by signing him up. A child’s library card is a passport to learning about the world. And libraries are one of the last free resources in our communities…they provide so much more than books…check out the programs they have available for children and adults of all ages.

In honor of National Library Week, I’m donating THREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Wouldn’t it be awesome to present a copy of this valuable parent/teacher resource to your children’s librarian? Just subscribe to my mailing list. Three names will be chosen by Random.org at the end of April. Already subscribed? No worries…your name is already entered.

Many libraries are very limited in what new materials they can buy for their collections because of reduced revenues. Help your library receive a resource that will be used by parents and teachers for their kids. Just click on this link and subscribe to my mailing list.

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Do you tweet on Twitter? Are you a fan of Facebook? Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet? Please help me spread the word about the Show-Me-How Library Week Giveaway by tweeting, posting and/or pinning.

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities. And please don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – doing so will nominate your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

Click here to sign up to receive my newsletter and other awesome stuff.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend…and a Happy Easter. Spring is finally here!!!!!!

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The Winning Stories – 750 Precious Words

The 50 Precious Words Contest is over. The level of participation was bested only by the level of quality of the stories. I thank everyone who posted a story or shared about the contest. So many people commented that writing the stories and reading the entries were a great exercise in honing their writing skills…I was so happy to hear that because I know we are all on a quest to write books of precious words for children..

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Some of you suggested that it might be nice to have the fifteen winning stories in one place so they could be easily read. GREAT IDEA! I hope you all enjoy reading these as much as I did. If you find any of the entries have been deleted…those lucky stories are out on submission and I have removed them as per the author’s request.

And if you want an inside peek into the process I used to select the winners, please visit the GROG blog, where Janie Reinart asked me some probing questions: groggorg.blogspot.com/2016/03/a-peek-behind-curtain.html

  1. LITTLE TIGER by Julie Abery

Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – PiBoIdMo Success!

I’m happy to say I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).

I now have more than 30 ideas for new picture books – some good, some bad and some downright ugly!

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700The challenge: write 30 picture book ideas in 30 days

The inspiration: read 30+ posts by authors, illustrators and others who are successful in the field of kid lit.

Some days it was hard to make the time to read the post and comment…but I didn’t miss a day.

My family thought it was hysterical every time I jumped up from the dinner table and ran willy-nilly to grab my PiBoIdMo notebook and jot down a phrase or catchy book title.

True story: We moved to New Hampshire at the end of September. I’ve been reading AND telling my 5-year old grandson LOTS of stories. This morning, Jeremy could not find Continue reading

Sunday Post: Focused Attention…Does Your Child Get Yours?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is FOCUSED ATTENTION.

01-ural-owl-670Photo by Sven Zarek for National Geographic

Birds do it!

 bumblebee from Malou

Photo by Malou of the Netherlands

Bees do it!

Jeremy cleaning house with vacuum

Even precious little kids do it!

Have you ever watched young children coloring a picture? Head close to the page, crayon gripped in their fingers, tongue clenched between their lips…they are focusing every fiber of their attention on what they are doing.

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Observe your children next time they are learning a new task or playing ball or dancing…you will see how their entire body is involved.

Do you give your children YOUR focused attention when you are reading a story with them or participating in some activity or just listening to them tell you about something that happened at school?

So often, parents are busy and listen with ‘half an ear’.

320925_10151303564318046_1899968953_n All dressed up in her Easter finery…Carrie at age 3.

I remember, years ago, when our daughter was about 6 years-old. She had come home from school and her father, who was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, asked her how her day had gone. Carrie began telling him what she had done in school. After a minute or so, she stopped. “Daddy” she complained. “Listen to me!” “I am listening to you” replied her father. “No, Daddy!” our pig-tailed poppet responded as she pulled the newspaper away from him. “You have to look me in the eye when I talk to you!”

Five Tips for Great Parent-Child Interaction

1.     Give your child your focused attention

2.     Maintain a positive up-beat attitude

3.     Choose an activity that is age-appropriate for your child

4.     Communication is a two-way street…TALK AND LISTEN

5.     Have FUN!

If you need a book that will give you and your young children many positive, age-appropriate quick and easy activities, please buy a copy of my award-winning parent-teacher resource, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

And, if you didn’t see the video of Ray Bethell, grand world-champion multiple kite-flyer, you MUST watch this: http://youtu.be/E69flRylQRo  His performance is a perfect example of FOCUSED ATTENTION.

You will be entertained for five minutes…and inspired for the rest of your life!

time after time, positive parental participation

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

  1. http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/sunday-post-focused-attention/
  2. http://wp.me/p2d9xu-ly
  3. http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/focused-attention/
  4. http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-focus-on-little-yellow-plane/
  5. http://playamart.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/the-rain-stopped-get-outside-now/
  6. http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-focused-attention/
  7. https://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-theme-focused-attention/

PPPF: Arianna and the Strawberry Tea…Celebrating Uniqueness

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Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

Did you know that December is READ-A-NEW-BOOK MONTH?

The holiday season is upon us…I know that many bloggers will be reviewing holiday-themed books.  Here’s one that celebrates, not Christmas, but a child’s unique qualities.

Show Me How Build Your Child's Self-Esteem,Vivian Kirkfield

Arianna and the Strawberry Tea

Written by Maria Faulconer

Illustrated by Katy Arnsteen

Publisher: Ideals Children’s Books (Hambleton Hill Publishing) 1998

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Believing in oneself, confidence, rule-bending

Synopsis:

One snowy evening, Arianne and her parents arrive at a posh hotel.  While her parents are dealing with the taxi and the luggage, little Arianna walks into the hotel and charms the housekeeping staff, the doorman, the manager of the hotel dining room and all of the restaurant patrons.  When her parents discover her in the dining room and inform her that this hotel does not allow children, all of Arianna’s new friends refuse to let them leave and Arianna and her parents are given the Presidential Suite.

 

Why do I like this book:

As I read this story, I was reminded of the Fancy Nancy series.  The illustrations and story are charming…and Arianna charms everyone she meets.  This is a wonderful book for children who need an infusion of confidence…and, at the back of the book, are some recipes for the items Arianna ordered, an infusion of Strawberry Tea and delicious-looking Chocolate Tarts.

Related Activities:

MAKE SOME CHOCOLATE TARTS

Chocolate_Tarts

Photo courtesy: http://www.devonportchocolates.co.nz

The recipe in the picture book calls for heavy cream and is, perhaps, a little complicated for very young children and busy parents.  Here’s a much easier way to do it so that your child can help and it will take only a few minutes.

You will need: One package instant chocolate pudding, milk, small ready-made tart shells, can of whipped cream and a bowl.  If you want to make this treat a little healthier, you can use organic pudding mix and whipped cream.

  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to package instructions.
  2. Spoon chocolate pudding into each tart shell.
  3. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
  4. You can decorate the whipped cream with candy sprinkles or other mini-candies for a more festive look.
  5. Keep in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  6. These make lovely gifts for neighbors or teachers.

Why not have a tea party for your child and a few of his or her friends?

Sunday Post: Surroundings…Hurricane Sandy…You Have to Gab Before You Can Roar

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is SURROUNDINGS.

Photo courtesy of http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/21-pictures-of-children-in-the-wake-of-hurricane-s

Hurricane Sandy affected millions of people…many of them young children.

For some, their surroundings will be changed forever.

Newspaper headlines tell the sad tale.

No date set to reopen hospitals that evacuated during Hurricane Sandy – NY Daily News

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11751677/1/hurricane-sandy-in-pictures.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/28/nyregion/hurricane-sandy.html

One of the programs hit hardest was the Reach Out and Read program that operates at Bellevue Hospital.  Reach Out and Read is a nationwide literacy program that encourages doctors and pediatricians to interact with their young patients while they examine them.  Books are given to the kids…and parents are encouraged to read them with their children.

http://learningmatters.tv/blog/about-us/about-us-staff/watch-reach-out-and-read/10505/

According to John Merrow, special PBS NewsHour correspondent, “The Reach Out and Read program can be found in 5,000 medical centers across the country. It touches almost four million mostly low-income children, at a cost of $10 per child, per year. Bellevue’s program is one of the largest.”

But Bellevue Hospital was heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy and thousands of picture books were destroyed.

Watching the news reports, I began to think about what I could do to help.  After all, this is Picture Book Month where people who are passionate about picture books are celebrating their importance.

So I contacted Claudia Aristy, director of the Bellevue Hospital Reach Out and Read program, and offered to send her two copies of Show Me How…she was excited and told me she interested in using it as part of the program with her counselors and families.

I also sent a small check and promised to earmark my book profits in the month of December to help buy new picture books for their program.

If you are moved by the plight of Bellevue’s Reach Out and Read program and want to help, you can visit their website and donate…even just enough to buy ONE book…if everyone did that, they would quickly fill their bookshelves again.

http://www.reachoutandread.org/

WE HAVE TO GAB (GIVE A BOOK)

BEFORE THEY CAN ROAR

(REACH OUT AND READ)

If you are an author or illustrator and would like to donate a copy of one of your books, I’m sure they would really appreciate that…when I spoke to Claudia, she advised me to send my books to her address as the clinic was still closed.  If I receive any book donations, I will pack them up and ship them out directly to her.  Perhaps we can get some publishers interested in joining this campaign!

Because these are the surroundings we want young children to have!

And, since this is Picture Book Month…here is some more Picture Book News!

The second episode of my new Google+/YouTube series: Show Me How: Picture Books and Crafts for Kids has been uploaded.  Believing in oneself is a challenge.  I read “The Little Red Caboose” and make a Geometric Shape Train picture.  I hope you will watch the video…and pass it along to anyone who has young children.

http://youtu.be/BFccffrlej4

Each week I hope to show parents how easy it is to participate with their kids…it takes only a few minutes to read the story…and a few minutes to do the craft activity…but the rewards are SO BIG.  Most of the stories and crafts I will use come from my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

There’s a new review of Show Me How on Barbara’s GradeOnederful blog: http://www.gradeonederful.com/2012/11/thank-yous-shout-out-give-away-and-tic.html

I’ll also be joining author and educator Susan Case in a Thanksgiving Week Google+ Hangout today, Monday, November 11 at 3pm EST, for our segment called “Acts of Random Kindness”.  I will be reading “Norman the Doorman”, the story about a very special mouse whose life was devoted to being kind to others.  Susan has a wonderful craft activity to share that will encourage children to embrace kindness and reaching out to help others.

And then on Tuesday, there will be more picture book reading and crafting when I share “The Day No One Played Together” by Donalisa Helsley and make a Story Book of Friends…as part of the Google+ Thanksgiving special: #turkeytalk

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/