Susanna Hill’s 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest

One of the most important things a writer can do is…WRITE!

Perhaps you set aside a large chunk of time every day to write. Or maybe, because of family and other obligations, you snatch precious minutes whenever you can.

Jane Yolen advises writers to BIC…Butt in Chair.

And one way that encourages writers to do that is to enter contests and writing challenges. One of my dear friends and favorite picture book authors, Susanna Leonard Hill, is holding her 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest.

halloweensie-pumpkin

If you are interested in joining in the fun, there is still time to do so. And even if you aren’t able to participate, you’ll have so much fun reading all of the entries.

The rules are simple: Write a 100 word Halloween story for children using the words monster, candy-corn, and shadow. For more details, go to Susanna’s website by clicking the link above.

I decided to take a trip around the world via the internet to see how Halloween is celebrated in other countries. Interestingly enough, it began in Ireland and has spread, in various forms, to many parts of the world. In some places it is celebrated on different days and in others, it is a more religious holiday to honor the dead. But costumes and candy seems to be present in most of the celebrations.

Here is my entry. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Maybe I need to do a picture book about HALLOWEEN AROUND THE WORLD.

THE HALLOWEEN CONNECTION (100 words)

It’s time to search for Halloween

Around the globe and in-between.

Jack-o-lantern in the shadow

Glowing eyes and burning smile.

Trick or treat,” a monster shouts.

Halloween—American style

Chinese children say Teng Chieh.

Lanterns glow to light the way.

Special foods are offered up.

Spirits come on Halloween Day.

In Mexico, kids decorate

With posies bright and candy-corn

And shout “Queremos Halloween.”

They trick or treat from dusk till dawn.

Disguised, Greek children come to call.

“Do you know who I am?” they ask.

A guessing game begins until

The treats are served and they unmask.

Hurray for Halloween!

Haloween-worldwide-web-e1445546580957Photo courtesy: https://www.google.com/search?q=halloween+around+the+world&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjqk-qr3ZTXAhVHSyYKHR3MBJ8Q_AUIDCgD&biw=1094&bih=408#imgrc=ZK8axJblvt5XUM:

And hurray for Susanna Leonard Hill and her wonderful contests!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Morning with Grandpa

Hold onto your hats! Today’s post is chock full of good stuff!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…so you know we are going to have a super picture book to review. And, because this is the third Friday of the month, we will be featuring the debut picture book of tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies guest, Sylvia Liu! Woo-hoo!

But we need to make a few announcements first.

  1. The lovely Susanna Hill has announced her long-awaited Halloweensie Contest…I’ve participated in this writing challenge for many years…it’s a ton of fun…and ONLY 100 WORDS. Check out the rules and prizes (oh, but definitely, with Susanna, there are always prizes) right here.
  2. Last month we ran a giveaway for a copy of Joan Leotta’s Summer in a Bowl. Thank you to everyone who commented…I enjoyed hearing what your favorite salad ingredients are. And the winner is:

 

BARBARA ANN PASTER

Barbara, I’ll be contacting you ASAP so I can get the book out to you.

  1. Tomorrow we’ll be giving away a copy of A Morning with Grandpa…so please stop by.

And now, thank you for your patience…it’s time for our #PPBF review.

cover

A MORNING WITH GRANDPA

Written by Sylvia Liu

Illustrated by Christina Forshay

Publisher: Lee and Low Books (2016)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Family life, health and fitness, yoga

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!

Opening Lines:

“Mei Mei watched Grandpa dance slowly among the flowers in the garden.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books with multigenerational characters…and here we have a beautiful give and take relationship…each learning from the other.
  • Text is filled with wonderful language as the author explains how to do various tai chi and yoga moves…as a reader, I loved how the story sounded…as a writer, I appreciated how carefully the author chose each and every word.
  • The illustrations are absolutely perfect! We feel the character of Mei Mei…we see Mei Mei and her grandpa moving through the garden.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

  1. In the back matter, the author provides explanations of various tai chi moves and yoga poses.
  2. Book trailer on Mr. Schu’s blog: http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/2016/04/book-trailer-premiere-morning-with_17.html

 

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.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s special post!

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

SYLVIA LIU will be in the house!

PPBF – No! by Tracey Corderoy

Today is Friday! And that means it’s time for a picture book review.

If you live or work with young children, there is a word that you probably hear very often. That word is…NO.

no

NO!

Written by Tracey Corderoy

Illustrated by Tim Warnes

Publisher: Little Tiger Press (2013)

Ages: 2-7

Themes:

Stubborness, self-control, socialization

 

Opening Lines:

“Otto was adorable. Everybody said so. Then Otto learned a brand-new word.”

Synopsis:

From Booklist:

A new favorite word and a feeling of being in control lead a young rhino into several unsatisfying situations. Otto has expanded his vocabulary and learns to say “no” emphatically. He tries his new word out at home and at school. Though Otto lives in a loving household and attends a pleasant preschool, his parents and his teacher, a pink flamingo, are shocked by the toddler’s sudden negative attitude and stubbornness. Feeling powerful soon leads to Otto being excluded from many potentially enjoyable situations because he uses his new word indiscriminately. After a less than satisfying day at school, and with a hug and sympathy from his father, the youngster understands it is better to use that word sparingly.”

 

Why I like this book:

  • Simple read-aloud
  • Brightly colored illustrations with lots of action
  • EVERY child and parent will be able to relate to this story

 

How a parent can use this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Talk about how ‘no’ is an important that should be used at certain times – when should we say no – when should we say yes
  • Role-play with your child using the situations in the book – let your child think of other situations

 

Related Activity:

viviankirkfield.com

Make a Rhino Face Mask

You will need: Construction paper, paper plate, scissors, markers, glue.

  1. You can go to http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/rhinoscraftsideasactivitieskids.html and print out the template of the rhino mask.
  2. Or you can use a paper plate and cut out the eyes, nostrils, ears and horn from construction paper and glue them on the plate.
  3. If you want it to be a mask, you can cut out the center of the eyes.

If you are looking for more great picture book suggestions, hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog where you will find a bunch more hand-picked picture book reviews with activities for you and your child. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

I hope you will be back on MONDAY for a SPECIAL HALLOWEEN POST!

I’ll be sharing my entry for Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest (yes, there is still time for you to write a children’s story of 100 words or less) and I’ll also be posting a book review of Barbara Gruener’s What’s Under Your Cape, a marvelous resource for parents and teachers!

Monday Magic for Writers

perfect picture book friday: mr tiger goes wild

I promised to give you the link to the list of finalists for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

Originally, she had planned to have 3  or 6 finalists. There were so many participants – 79 – that she decided to pick more.

Click on this link and you’ll be able to read 12 fantastic Halloween stories and vote for the one you like the best.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED AND GOOD LUCK TO THE 12  FINALISTS!

Halloween Dance Party Countdown – The Halloweensie Contest

Get ready!

Get set!

Go!

It’s time to have lots of fun with Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest!

There is still plenty of time to enter – here are the rules from her website:

jeremy sitting with pumpkins 9_11“The 3rd Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!

 

The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spooky, black cat, and cackle.   Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words (you can count black cat as one word) and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂

Post your story on your blog between now and Thursday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Would You Read It or Perfect Picture Books this week, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy.  I hope everyone will visit everyone and you’ll all get your friends and relations to visit, read and enjoy too!  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below.  (If you have trouble, and alas, people sometimes do, just email your entry to susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it in the comments for you!)”

It’s so much fun to read all of the creative entries – and the prizes are SPECTACULAR!!! Click here to enter and/or read the other entries.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Don’t Be Afraid…Go Ahead…Write Picture Books!

Picture Books are…fun to read, a pleasure to look at, educational, wonderful to listen to.

Picture Books can: encourage a special bonding between parent and child, teach children about the world, help kids with the challenges they face.

I love to write and I love picture books…so I’ve taken the plunge and put myself out there several times in the past year, participating in a couple of writing contests.

If you’d like to read the EIGHT finalists’ entries (mine is among them 🙂 in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest, you can visit her blog and vote for the one you like best.  Maybe you will be inspired to enter the next contest!

If you need more encouragement, you can check out Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) where you will find amazing posts every day this month that will give you golden nuggets of inspiration to get you started and keep you going.

And if you just like to read them to kids, you can visit Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book resource page where she adds dozens of picture book reviews (with activities) every Friday or hop over to Dianne de Las Casas Picture Book Month website where every day this month she is featuring guest posts on the importance and joy of picture books, or check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, where you will find 100 classic picture book summaries with both a craft and a cooking activity for each…you can also follow my new weekly YouTube series, SHOW ME HOW: PICTURE BOOKS AND CRAFTS FOR KIDS.

By the way, Tuesday was Election Day in the U.S….I hope everyone voted…it is a precious right and we should cherish it!