Perfect Picture Book Friday: HELLO, LITTLE ONE: A Monarch Butterfly Story Plus CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! I’m fluttering about, just like the character of today’s awesome book…excited to share this brand-new story with you! And tomorrow, you are in store for another treat when debut author Zeena Pliska stops by. (And guess what? She is generously offering a pb manuscript critique as a giveaway  prize…woo hoo!) We’ve already met the talented illustrator, one of my fellow Stormies, Fiona Halliday. She chatted with us earlier this year when her author/illustrator debut, Numenia and the Hurricane, launched.

hello little one Continue reading

#50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is OPEN!!

 

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Today is the day, dear friends! Ready! Set! Go! The #50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is now OPEN!

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For those of you who have not participated before, let me give you a bit of back story. March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. For the last two years, I’ve hosted a little contest based on Bennet Cerf’s challenge to Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words. And the classic Green Eggs and Ham was born. It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.

In 2016, I thought it would be fun to try to write a story for kids with ONLY 50 words. With a beginning, a middle, and an end. I wondered if I could do it. And then I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! And last year, there were 253 entries. And I hope we have a great turnout again this year because I am passionate about helping others follow their dream of writing for children.

In 2012 I had a dream. I wanted to write picture books. And I wanted to be traditionally published. And one of the most important things I did was to participate in writing challenges like Susanna Hill’s contests. Why was that important? Because it got me writing. It got me revising. It got me submitting. Hmmm….writing/revising/submitting. I believe that if we do those three things enough times, our writing improves and agents and editors get a chance to see our work. And as much as I am thrilled with my own success, nothing makes me happier than to hear about the success of others in our kidlit community.

So, please sharpen your pencils. Fire up your computers. And share your #50PreciousWords with us. Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets PLUS Critique Giveaway

Hurray for June…school will be out soon for many children, but that doesn’t mean they stop reading—at least I hope not. My plan is to continue with Perfect Picture Book Friday throughout the summer…I’ve already got every weekend scheduled with some of 2017’s best picture book releases.

Today’s book is special for a couple of reasons. It originally launched in 2009, but there was such a demand for it, it’s been reissued, bigger and better than ever before (after all…it’s about Texas Bluebonnets, right?). I’m thrilled about this because the author, Ellen Leventhal, is one of my dearest critique buddies and she’ll be stopping by to chat with us tomorrow. She’s also agreed to do a giveaway of…A PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE! Yes! I know how much everyone loves getting feedback from a published author. And having been on the receiving end of MANY wonderful critiques from Ellen, I can promise you that the lucky winner is in for a TREAT!

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DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS

Written by: Ellen Leventhal and Ellen Rothberg

Illustrated by: Joel Cook

Publisher: Spork (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Responsibility, decision-making, getting along with others

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

“Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets is the story of Sue Ellen, a cow with a mind of her own, who loves the taste of bluebonnets. When she gives into temptation and eats every yummy bluebonnet, she must figure out a way to get them back. After several humorous attempts to make things right, Sue Ellen learns the importance of responsibility and decision making.”

Why I like this book:

  • The text is filled with heart and humor. This is a truly funny book.
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Great illustrations.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A PAPER PLATE COW

Paper-Plate-Cow-5Photo courtesy: http://www.housingaforest.com/paper-plate-cow/

You will need: Paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers or crayons, googly eyes (optional…you can also use construction paper).

  1. Cut pink circle for muzzle of cow. Glue in place onto plate.
  2. Cut splotches of black construction paper. Glue into place.
  3. If you have googly eyes, glue those on. If not, just use construction paper and glue in place.
  4. Use marker or crayons to add feature details.

For detailed instructions and more crafts: click here 

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of a critique from Ellen! And come back tomorrow when she shares her journey…and something sweet…on Will Write for Cookies.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend!