BARRY WITTENSTEIN: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

 

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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

Perfect Picture Book Friday: LET THE CHILDREN MARCH

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I missed last week, so we have some giveaways to award before we get to the special book featured today.

From author Nancy Churnin – a copy of CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT. And the winner is…

Julie LaCombe

From author/illustrator Jeanette Bradley – a copy of LOVE, MAMA. And the winner is…

Suzy Leopold

From author Kerri Kokias – a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE. And the winner is…

Kaye Baillie

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! 

I’m so excited about the coming year…so many fabulous picture books are debuting…and I hope to share many of them with you. 

let the children march

LET THE CHILDREN MARCH

Written by Monica Clark-Robinson

Illustrated by Frank Robinson

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers (2018)

Ages: 6-9

Themes: Civil Rights, segregation

Synopsis: 

From Amazon:

I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids. 
I couldn’t go to their schools.  
I couldn’t drink from their water fountains.  
There were so many things I couldn’t do. 
In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life,
while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time. 
Why I like this book:
  • I love stories that inspire children to become doers as well as dreamers.
  • I love books that bring history alive for young readers.
  • I love illustrations that capture our attention…and our hearts.
  • I love when the partnership of author and illustrator works as it does so beautifully in this book.
  • No doubt about it…this is a 5-STAR picture book…don’t miss it!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

handprint bigPhoto courtesy: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kidscraftsactivitiesblog

Martin Luther King Day may have passed, but it’s never to late to celebrate diversity. Kids will love tracing their hand prints. For a classroom, why not have kids trace as many hand prints as there are kids and decorate them. Then kids can trade, so each child has a wreath made from hand prints of the entire class.

For detailed instructions: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kidscraftsactivitiesblog/2012/01/how-to-make-a-colored-hands-wreath-for-martin-luther-king-day/

Thank you all for stopping by…I appreciate your time and your company! I’ve been less active on social media because I’ve been writing and revising…but I’ve been keeping up with STORYSTORM. Each day, another author shares how they get ideas for stories. My notebook is filling up and I’m so excited about that. I’m also excited because on January 25th, it will be my turn to share my thoughts with everyone. I hope you’ll all stop by Tara’s blog to say hello!

And for more perfect picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog where all lovers of picture books join her Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Happy Book Birthday: CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT Plus Giveaway

FIRST POST OF THE YEAR!!! 

So you know it is going to be special, right?

Last year I featured as many 2017 picture books as I could. This year I plan to do the same thing for the debut picure books of 2018. HOPEFULLY, my Sweet Dreams, Sarah will be one of them! But for today, I’ve got a really special book for you! From a dear friend and critique buddy of mine, Nancy Churnin, who has a knack for finding golden nuggets of history and turning them into fabulous nonfiction picture books that children and adults will want to read again and again.

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT

charlie takes his shot

CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf

Written by Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by John Joven

Published by Albert Whitman

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Determination, Civil Rights, golf

Synopsis:

From Amazon:  Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.

Why I like this book:

  • I love when authors can entertain, educate, and inspire by taking an impottant event in history and making it come alive for kids
  • The text and illustrations engage from the first page to the last
  • This is an important moment that built on what had come before and opened doors for those who came after

 

RELATED ACTIVITIES

tin-can-golf-header-1Photo courtesy: https://www.thecrafttrain.com

Tin Can Golf is fun for young kids and can be ramped up to make it more challenging for older kids. For detailed instructions: https://www.thecrafttrain.com/tin-can-indoor-golf-fun-from-recycled-junk/

Thanks to author Nancy Churnin, we have a giveaway of a copy of CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT.  Please leave a comment to be entered.  Remember, there is only one copy that can be won, but the book JUST launched TODAY…so you can hop over to your favorite bookstore and get a copy And don’t forget that leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads only takes a couple of minutes, but it will mean the world to the author of that book you loved reading with your child.

Please come back tomorrow for the BOOK BIRTHDAY of LOVE, MAMA by Jeanette Bradley! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO A YEAR FILLED WITH POSSIBILITIES!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Music and More

Today is Martin Luther King Day.Martin_Luther_King,_Jr_

The definition of courage is “the quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

Yes, courage is a word that definitely applies to Martin Luther King.

Tributes are taking place across this country and all over the world.

How can we help young children understand and appreciate Martin Luther King?

How do we encourage kids to dream and have the courage to pursue that dream?

I do it through my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking and in my school programs.

Daria, founder of Music to Inspire All the World’s Children, does it through music.

daria and shekere

I’m thrilled that she invited me to share the following post. Here’s Daria!

The “I Have A Dream:” Song Shares A MLK Day Message With Kids

MLK is one of my heroes.

Not only did he do the right thing.  But he did the right thing, under the toughest of circumstances and in the right way.  He overcame hatred with the transforming power of love.  He stared down ignorance with understanding.   And he fought not only for a portion of the population, but for well-being of the entire world, demonstrating his concept of the beloved community.  To me, that’s incredibly inspirational.

But how do you share these huge ideas and big concepts with little ears and young listeners?  As a musician, I felt moved to write a song and try to put some of these concepts into the lyrics.   I hoped the song would be a sing-able way to talk about MLK’s dream as well as a good place to start conversations about these big ideas and what they might mean to our classrooms, families and communities as we move into a new era.

MLK Mini-poster

All month, I have the “I Have a Dream” song (lyrics below) free on my website’s monthly song page along with lyric sheets, and sheet music since the song is frequently used for choruses and in schools.  I hope you’ll visit and enjoy the resources as you plan your activities or reflect on the idea of service and how you make a difference in your community and your world.

The direct link to the download is:
http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php.  For more information, visit

my site or contact me at daria@makemusicwithme.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

http://youtu.be/lBQ36WnekVM
I  HAVE A DREAM

Words and music by  Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

There’s a man I think you’ve heard of
His name is Martin Luther King
He wanted a world of peace and love
He said “I have a dream”

Chorus:
I have a dream
I have a dream
I’ve been to the mountaintop and I’ve seen…
I have a dream

He said: “I know that this is possible
I know that this can be
If each one can learn to live with love
Then we can all be free”

If you share this vision
You know it’s not a difficult thing
We can build a world of peace and love
And we can all be queens and “kings”

I’m very grateful to Daria for sharing this post with me and I hope you will visit Daria’s wonderful website: Making Multicultural Music Blog
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com

When you are there, you can also download the song and coloring pages and help your children celebrate the importance of pursuing one’s dream and doing the right thing.

Here’s a direct link to one of the coloring pages: http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/mlk.pdf

Since it is such a special day, I’d like to share another gift with you.

Here’s an easy-to-make dessert from Chapter Two (I’m Special: Helping Your Child Value His Own Strengths and Qualities) of my book that will have your children dreaming sweet dreams.

DREAMY FRUIT SALAD

Children love to help in the kitchen.  They acquire skills as they measure and mix ingredients and “read” the recipe.  One of the basic components of developing true self-esteem is mastering tasks and skills.  So why not invite your child to assist you when you make this delicious and nutritious dessert.

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

You will need: 1 large package vanilla instant pudding, 1½ cups milk, 1 diced apple, 1 peeled navel orange (sectioned), 2 bananas (sliced), ½ cup sliced strawberries, ½ cup blueberries and a large bowl.

  1. Mix instant pudding and milk in a large bowl.  Chill for 10 minutes.
  2. Add diced apple, orange sections, bananas, strawberries and blueberries and mix together gently.
  3. Makes 4 – 6 servings.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  4. Creative tip: use your imagination and substitute different fruits.

Many other bloggers have paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Here are a few links you might want to visit.

http://childrensbooksheal.com/2013/01/18/i-have-a-dream/

http://clarbojahn.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/perfect-picture-book-friday-climbing-lincolns-steps-the-african-american-story/

http://eof737.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/dr-martin-luther-king-a-legacy-of-courage-hope/

Today is special for another reason…it is Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama…I offer a prayer for him and for his advisors…that they may have a little of the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King…and may their decisions in the next four years have a positive impact on the people, the country and the world.