Perfect Picture Book Friday: THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS Plus Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

In four more days, I’ll be hopping on a plane and winging my way to Sydney, Australia. But please don’t fret! Even though I may not be HERE…I will be hopping around the blogsphere, visiting with Kirsti Call on Writers’ Rumpus, sharing lists of female inventors with Mia Wenjen on Pragmatic Mom, answering questions for Maria Marshall on Picture Book Buzz, chatting with Darlene Beck-Jacobsen on Gold from Dust: Bringing Stories to Life, and more. Plus there will be several Perfect Picture Book posts right here as I continue to celebrate the fabulous 2019 debuts…like today’s wonderful book!

And as a special treat, I’ll be sharing the cover of author Lindsay Leslie’s SECOND debut picture book of 2019…PLUS, she’s offering a double giveaway.

spineless cover

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS

Written by Lindsay Leslie

Illustrated by Alice Brereton

Published by Page Street Kids (February 19, 2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Sensory Perception, Humor, Problem Solving

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.

Does it hear spooky wails from a ghost story?
Can it see a mysterious something peeking around a corner?
Is that the dizzy feeling of zero gravity it senses?
Might that be the stinky smell of animals in nature it detects?
Could it be tasting the saltiness of a story on the high seas?

The reader and book navigate the book’s contents together, becoming friends as the book becomes braver with every page turn. This multilayered book incorporates the five senses, multiple literary genres, and various book parts, with the relationship between book and reader bringing everything together.”

Why I love this book:

  • I love books that are interactive and encourage participation between reader/listener and the story.
  • This book has heart and humor…great combination for any picture book.
  • The illustrations are lots of fun and will engage children to keep turning the pages.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

dream-catcher-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk

Make a DREAMCATCHER to grab your dreams, both good and bad. For detailed instructions: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/children/dont-be-afraid-god-is-with-us/

And check out author Leslie’s second debut picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER that launches in May.

nova_cover-lowres

Here’s a little bit about the author of these brilliant books!

Bio: A diary keeper, a journal writer, a journalism major, a public relations executive—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. When she became a mom and began to tell her kids bedtime stories, Lindsay connected the dots to children’s literature. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books. Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, her debut picture book (Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019). Her second picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER (Page Street Kids), will launch on May 21, 2019. Her third picture book, DUSK RAIDERS WANTED (Page Street Kids), will launch in spring of 2020. Lindsay lives with her husband, two young boys, and two fur-beasts in Austin.

Links: www.lindsayleslie.com

Twitter: @lleslie

Instagram: @lindsaylesliewrites

Dear friends, one of the things I’m always encouraging people to do is to write reviews for the books that you love. Lindsay kindly supplied the links for Goodreads, so if you get to read either or both of her books, I hope you will hop over and post your review. This is the best gift you can give an author…other than buying their book, of course.

Goodreads:

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046021-this-book-is-spineless?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/This-Book-Spineless-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531156153&sr=8-1&keywords=this+book+is+spineless

NOVA THE STAR EATER:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150332-nova-the-star-eater?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/Nova-Star-Eater-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535051997&sr=8-1&keywords=nova+the+star+eater

Lindsay and I are actually members of one of the debut picture book author groups and I’ve gotten to know her a bit. She is mega-smart about writing and lots of other things, so, I asked her to share an author tip with us.

Lindsay says:

When I was in the throes of querying, I took advantage of every opportunity available to me. Not only did I have a targeted list of agents I was interested in working with, but also I participated in all of the Twitter #hashtag events, such as #PitMad and #PBPitch, as well as the online contests, including #PBParty, among others. I even submitted to a Writer’s Digest competition (and I placed fourth for children’s literature). What I felt was important was feedback. I wanted to see if my concepts caught eyeballs. Did my pitches make people pause? Am I getting a reaction? For the pitches that got no love, I knew I had work to do and needed go back to either rework the manuscript or figure out why my pitch wasn’t connecting. For the pitches that received a “heart,” I knew I was on the right track. This was all part of my market research. Of course, this process came after running my manuscripts by several critique partners. So, if you are feeling fearful or timid about putting yourself out there with these types of contest and opportunities, know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way and that there are so many upsides to participating! For me, it was a book deal with Page Street Kids.

How cool is that! And, if you’re in the market to win a copy of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and an F&G (unbound copy) of NOVA THE STAR EATER, please don’t forget to leave a comment. I’d love if you would share what, if anything, made you feel spineless as a child.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE and a peek at the #50PreciousWords Contest

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. I’m not sure anyone has ever done what I am about to do.

Am I committing a faux pas, a blooper, a blunder, a breach of good etiquette by reviewing my own book?

I hope not. But since no one mentioned they were doing a PPBF for Pippa AND the book just launched on Tuesday AND I wanted to give everyone a sneak peek at the upcoming #50PreciousWords Contest which goes live next month, I thought, why not?

cover on amazon Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: RICE FROM HEAVEN

I’ve been waiting a long time to review this book for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

How long, you ask? Well, I will tell you. I’ve been waiting ever since I read one of the first drafts from my critique buddy, Tina Cho. Because honestly, even from the first drafts, I knew this was going to be a real live book one day!

RicefromHeaven cover

RICE FROM HEAVEN

Written by Tina Cho

Illustrated by Keum Jin Song

Published by Little Bee Books

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Compassion, courage, South and North Korea

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea.

We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.
Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea.

Rice From Heaven _Page_06

We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.

Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border.

Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields.

Rice From Heaven _Page_16

With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that are based on true events…bringing history alive for young readers is so very important.
  • The text is lyrical and helps us connect to the main character.
  • The illustrations engage the reader/listener from the first page to the last.
  • This book is a perfect launchpad for any school or home discussion about helping others, compassion, and the world situation.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

All Kinds of Rice Crafts

RiceRoundUp-001-400x546Photo courtesy: https://funfamilycrafts.com/rice-activities-crafts-for-kids

75 crafts using rice! For more detailed instructions, please go here:

 https://funfamilycrafts.com/rice-activities-crafts-for-kids

Thank you for stopping by – I hope you will be back tomorrow for our chat with author Tina Cho…she is sharing some of her writing journey, a couple of author tips (like revision is a key ingredient to author success), and a treat recipe that includes…you guessed it…something rice-like.

And if you want to read the second installment of the peek inside my life, head on over to the blog of Sarah Hetu-Radney, Writer. She’s offering a giveaway of one of her own pb critiques!

Please have a safe and happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

An Interview with SIENNA, THE COWGIRL FAIRY Plus Giveaway

Well, bless my boots! We are back again with another special interview!

This time, we’ve got Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy in the house…or should I say barn!

My thanks to author Alayne Kay Christian for lassoing the main character in her brand-new chapter book, SIENNA, THE COWGIRL FAIRY: TRYING TO MAKE IT RAIN (Clear Fork, 2017), and convincing her to set a spell and answer some questions. And, when the interview is over,  you can mix up a mess of yummy chocolate bark wth the recipe Alayne shared.

sienna cover (1)

ME: Howdy, Sienna! Many thanks for riding over. We are a curious sort of folk, so we’re going to shoot some questions at you.

  1. What is your favorite Cowboy saying?

SIENNA: Pa wins the belt buckle for wise ol’ cowboy sayings. I reckon they each strike me when the time is right for it to make sense. One that makes sense to me a lot of the time is “It’s better to ride and fall than never to ride at all.” One that he is always pounding into my noggin is “Always ride toward what is right, even if it means riding alone.”  I think I like ridin’ towards what’s right . . . most of the time.

 

  1. What’s the one thing you can’t leave the house without?

SIENNA: One thing? That just ain’t fair to ask. I feel naked without my hat, so I reckon I’d say my hat. My ma always says a proper fairy never leaves home without her fairy dust. And I say a proper cowgirl never leaves home without her lasso. If a cowgirl fairy has her lasso and dust, she can do just about anything.

 

  1. If you gave yourself a nickname, what would it be?

SIENNA: My pa calls me Sunshine and I like that just fine. If I had to pick another, it might be Spunky Sal.

 

  1. How would you describe yourself in three words?

SIENNA: Ma says I’m precocious. That means I’m smart, talented and talk good, too. She also says I’m stubborn. She and Pa taught me to know my own mind, so I don’t know why she acts like my stubborn ways is a bad thing. Puttin’ Ma aside, the three words I would choose are determined, outspoken, and delicate on the inside. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR

Today we have a fabulous Perfect Picture Book Friday review.

But first…some winners! Last week I promised to give away a copy of Jessica Lawson’s middle grade mystery Nooks and Crannies.

cranberries-cover

AND THE WINNER IS…

Sherry Howard

Congratulations, Sherry…I will contact you for your mailing address.

We also had a giveaway last month for a copy of Emma Bland Smith’s Journey: The Most Famous Wolf in the West.

journey-emma-bland-smith

AND THE WINNER IS…

Mona Pease

Congratulations, Mona…I’ll get it in the mail ASAP. No guarantees, but considering I’m in NH and you are in Maine, you might even get it in time for Christmas!

There will also be info coming soon on the voting for Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest…I will share that as soon as I get it. Did you get to read any of the entries? They are FABULOUS!

The Perfect Picture Book Friday spotlight is on one of my favorite books of 2016. And tomorrow, the award-winning author/illustrator, Duncan Tonatiuh, will be our Will Write for Cookies guest.

p-and-w

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanos

Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Publisher: Abrams (2016)

Ages: 6-9 (this is the recommendation on Amazon…but I think the book is appropriate for younger AND older kids)

Themes:

Courage, loyalty, accepting others for who they are

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico’s cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side. So two volcanoes were formed: Iztaccíhuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatépetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.

Opening Lines:

“Once upon a time, there lived a kind and beautiful princess named Izta.”

Why I like this book:

  • First of all, I not only like this book, I LOVE it. The illustrations, done in Duncan’s familiar style, are AMAZING! The text is deceptively simple…on each page, with short succinct sentences, Duncan weaves a compelling story. AND he provides us with an authentic voice, giving us the names of various objects in the Nahuatl language, which is the language the main characters would have spoken.
  • I’m a great fan of folktales…this would be a perfect first folktale for young children…courage and loyalty are two traits we want to encourage kids to develop.
  • I remember studying about those two volcanos when I was a student…how fabulous to discover there was a legend…and thanks to Duncan’s wonderful glossary in the back, now I know how to pronounce the names.
  • This book won the Pura Belpre Award which was established in 1996. It is presented to a Latino/Latina (or as Duncan would say, Latinx) writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. I love books that help multicultural children see themselves…and just as importantly, help all children learn about different peoples and cultures.

 RELATED ACTIVITIES for Parents and Teachers

  1. Find other folktale picture books and read them with your children.
  2. Pick an animal, object, or place and make up a folktale about how it came to be.
  3. Make a volcano…for quick and easy instructions go here: http://www.preschoolinspirations.com/2014/05/28/easy-baking-soda-and-vinegar-volcano-eruption-for-kids/

super-easy-volcano-eruption-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: http://www.preschoolinspirations.com

 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 miss tomorrow’s post when we will welcome our Will Write for Cookies guest:

DUNCAN TONATIUH

Make sure you stop by and leave a comment – you’ll be entered into the giveaway of a copy of The Princess and the Warrior. Do you have a favorite folktale from your childhood? I’d love to hear about it.

Stay safe and warm, dear friends. I’m wishing the happiest  and healthiest of holiday seasons to all of you!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Wheels of Change

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.

For the last month, I’ve been immersed in a different genre of books. I’m taking Jodell Sadler’s Innovative Pacing for MG/YA class. Stacks of middle grade classics sprout from every table, chair and shelf in my house. A Wrinkle in Time. The Borrowers. Little Women. And some of the newer titles as well. The One and Only Ivan. Brown Girl Dreaming. The Braid. We Are Liars. So I hope you will all bear with me as I diverge a bit from the picture book path and give you a review of a brand new historical fiction middle grade book that I just finished reading.

wheels of change

Wheels of Change

Written by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Publisher: Creston Books (2014)

Ages: 8-13

Themes:

Racial intolerance, being true to yourself

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Racial intolerance, social change, and sweeping progress make Continue reading

The Fourth Lesson of Nanny McPhee: BE BRAVE!

A grandfather teaches his granddaughter to use...

Image via Wikipedia

The dictionary defines bravery as:

“Courage in the face of danger, difficulty or pain…a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger, difficulty or pain without showing fear.”

We often think that brave people are without fear…but this is not what bravery is all about.  In fact, in interviews with soldiers who have won medals for bravery, they often admit to having been afraid during their action of courage.

And perhaps that is the true meaning of bravery…when we proceed and follow through danger, pain or difficulties, even though WE ARE AFRAID.  There are brave people all around us, dealing with all sorts of problems, but continuing on.

 Nanny McPhee’s fourth lesson to the children is to BE BRAVE.

Why, you may ask, do young children need to be brave.  Aren’t we there to protect them and watch out for them…and most of the time all they do is play, right? 🙂

Honestly, I think sometimes young children are the bravest of us all…so many new situations and experiences, so much to learn in order to navigate their way through those early years. 

In addition, many young children have fears about a number of things which they need to acknowledge and overcome.  Some of the most common are:

  • Fear of the dark
  • Fear of new experiences and new situations
  • Fear of illness and death
  • Fear of monsters (the monster may not be real, but your child’s fear is)

Children need to be brave about other things as well.  Picture this: You are five years old and your entire family is crazy about sports….Mom and Dad play on an adult volleyball team and all your older and younger brothers and sisters love football, baseball and hockey.  You, however, love music and want to learn to play the violin or the piano.

It takes a lot of courage for a young child to follow his own muse if it differs from that of his family or peers!

There are many children’s picture books that address this issue.  One of my favorite stories is OLIVER BUTTON IS A SISSY by Tomie de Paola.  In the story, Oliver Button wants to be a dancer and even though Oliver’s father would rather have him playing football with the other boys, he lets Oliver attend dance classes.  Oliver stays true to his goal, even though his classmates tease him.  When there is a talent show, everyone is impressed with Oliver’s great dancing, and his father and classmates are very proud of him.

In my my new parenting book, you will find a simple eco-friendly craft project and an easy child-friendly healthful cooking activity to help you extend the learning experience after you read OLIVER BUTTON with your child.

On that note, I want to let everyone know about an EXCITING PRE-VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL on my website

It’s called SHARE THE LOVE

and it will go from 12:01am SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5th TO MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7th AT 11:59pm.

If you buy one copy of SHOW ME HOW! at the regular cover price of $44.95, you will get a second copy for FREE! 

If you have been thinking about getting a copy for yourself, but were hesitating at the $35.00 website sale price, NOW IS THE TIME TO GRAB YOUR COPY AND HAVE A COPY TO GIVE TO:

  • YOUR BFF OR ANYONE ELSE YOU LOVE WHO DESERVES IT AND NEEDS IT.
  • YOUR CHILD’S DAYCARE PROVIDER OR PRESCHOOL TEACHER.
  • A FRIEND OR RELATIVE WHO IS HAVING A BABY SOON.
  • A GRANDPARENT WHO TAKES CARE OF YOUR PRESCHOOLER AND WOULD APPRECIATE THIS SHORTCUT TO STORY RECOMMENDATIONS AND EDUCATIONAL FUN-FILLED ACTIVITIES THAT BUILD SELF-ESTEEM.

At the BOGO price, you are paying $22.50 for a BRAND-NEW FRESH-OUT-OF-THE-BOX SIGNED-BY-THE-AUTHOR COPY (some sellers on Amazon and Alibris are charging over $40 for a USED copy).

I’m posting the sale now so you will be able to order it in time for Valentine’s Day.  The SHARE THE LOVE BOGO EVENT will only be available, ON MY WEBSITE, by clicking on the PayPal button.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Nanny McPhee lessons…stop by tomorrow for the last lesson: HAVE FAITH!