PPBF: Peter Panda Has a Meltdown – Six Quick Ways to Deal with Temper Tantrums

Today is Friday. But before I share our Perfect Picture Book Friday review, I wanted to tell you about Susanna Hill’s 5th Annual Holiday Contest. Today is the day she reveals   the winners of this much celebrated, highly thought of, exceedingly popular event. If you’d like find out who all the winners are, go here. As of 10:30am, she hadn’t posted yet.

holiday contest

Thank you so much to everyone who visited and read and commented and voted for my story, The Christmas Seed. I’m thrilled and honored that it won 2nd place!

The talented and ever-so-funny Artie Bennett will be here tomorrow as our Will Write for Cookies guest. So I’m sharing one of his many books that I reviewed earlier last year.

 Artie Bennett writes funny books that kids love. If you are looking for GREAT read aloud stories that kids will want to hear over and over again, I highly recommend all of them. Here’s one of my favorites.

 peterpanda_cvr

PETER PANDA MELTS DOWN!

Written by Artie Bennett Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest and ReviMo Info

Entering contests is a great exercise in creative writing. It hones your writing skills, brings you into fellowship with other writers and helps you gain courage to put your work out there. For the past three years, I’ve been participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contests – today begins;

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!
 crashing sleigh


The Contest:  Write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster (a la Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer :)).  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words.

For more information about rules, judging, voting and prizes, please go here.
I thought about what I should write. My trash can is filled with discarded ideas. I hope you will enjoy the story I decided to go with.
SANTA’S NEWEST ELF (157 WORDS)

A letter came for me today.

 Dear Jack O’Lantern, don’t delay.

 Please come to Santa right away

And help make balls and bikes and clay.

A strong wind blows – I rock, I roll.

I barely miss a huge mole hole.

No hole will stop me from my goal

Of elfing at the cold North Pole.

 I cross the street – the light is red.

A tire almost hits my head.

I fear the car will squash me dead.

It pushes me along instead.

And in a muffin shop nearby,

The baker gives a battle cry.

She wants to put me in a pie.

I quickly tumble past – “Bye-bye!”

I see the lights of Santa’s shop.

I slip and slide and belly flop.

I’m turning like a spinning top.

What if I never ever stop?

I hear a jolly Ho-Ho-Ho.

It’s Santa standing in the snow.

He says, ‘The workshop’s down below.”

Elf Jack O’Lantern, come, let’s go!

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas story – I’ll be linking up on Susanna’s website and you can go and read ALL of the amazing entries here. For the Halloweensie Contest, there were 79 stories!

A couple of important items to mention:

1. The Authors for the Philippines auction is over – they raised over 55,000 British pounds (not sure how many US dollars that is…but it is a lot!). I’ve just packed up a copy of my book that I donated – it is going to a mother of two in Staffordshire, England.

2. Please don’t forget the Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop Holiday Extravaganza that is still happening here and on 48 other blogs around the blogsphere. There are so many books and gift cards being given away.

KLGH-Holiday-Button

3. I guest posted on the PreK and K Sharing Blog – one of the most incredible blog resources I have ever seen…please go and check them out.

4. Pull out those old manuscripts and dust them off – Meg Miller is hosting a challenge for the New Year – REVIMO will encourage you to REVISE – REVISE – REVISE. There will be prizes, inspiration and information.

5. And, one more reminder about the limited time only Holiday Sale of my book on Amazon – only $10!

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

The 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest

There’s been lots of traveling in the last few months…new grand-baby…Singapore…family visits.

4th of Jul Secret Mystery Writing Contest

I’ve missed my regular blogging and social media connections – but I’ve had so much fun!

To get back on track, I’m going to try a new blog schedule:

Monday will be geared towards picture book writing – sharing helpful articles and links for other writers as well as contests, submissions and highlights from my works in progress.

To kick this off, I’m thrilled to post my entry to children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill’s 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest. Contests are a great way to exercise your writing craft and connect with other writers…and Susanna’s contests are super cool. Please click on the link to get the details and find out what GREAT prizes she is offering. There is still time to enter!!!!

The Fourth Of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest!

We were asked to write a children’s story with any July 4th setting, 400 words or less, in which there is a mystery is solved or a secret is revealed. Here is my 199-word story…I hope you like it!

THE MONSTER FAIR or Why Christmas Is Celebrated in July on Gollywhomper Square Continue reading

Connecticut School Tragedy…Helping Young Children Cope With Trauma

1993...The Year of the Graduations (Junior High, High School and College)

1993…The Year of the Graduations (Junior High, High School and College)

We raised our three children in a small Connecticut town less than thirty minutes from yesterday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  When I heard about it, my first thought was to call my kids (who are now 30-somethings with families of their own) and gather them close.

For twenty-five years we lived happily and…for the most part…peacefully.  Our children went from elementary schools to middle schools to high schools and finally to college.  We held onto their bike handles as they learned to ride a two-wheeler and we held onto our hearts as they learned to drive a car.  They kept us up at night when they were babies…and we stayed up late when they got older, waiting for them to come home from a date or event.  We shared their joys and sorrows…helped them with their homework and tried to guide them along the difficult path of growing up.

They didn’t always agree with our rules…and we didn’t always agree with their behavior.  But I would do it all over again in the blink of an eye.

There are twenty sets of parents in Sandy Hook tonight who have been robbed of this.  There are twenty sets of parents in Sandy Hook tonight who will never help their children ride two-wheelers, or watch them perform in school plays or walk them down the aisle when they get married.

My heart goes out to everyone involved…the residents of Sandy Hook/Newtown, the school staff, the family and friends of the shooter and those directly impacted…parents, friends and families of the children and adults who were murdered.

I know that every parent who heard about this is praying for the families.   If you have young children, you may be wondering how to handle this situation.  Those directly impacted will be receiving professional counseling…but what should you do if your family was not part of this horrific event?

  • If your children have heard about the tragedy, encourage them to talk about it. 
  • Be honest with them…but age-appropriately…if your children see you are upset, tell them you are sad about what happened because these are real people, not video game or movie characters.
  • Reassure them that this was a bad thing that happened, but that you will keep them safe and that there will always be someone to take care of them.
  • Tell them you are happy that they are fine and that you love them.
  • Young children may not verbalize what they are feeling, so watch your child’s behavior. 
  • If you see a sudden change in your child’s behavior, consult your pediatrician. 
  • With all the news on the media, even children who have not been directly involved may experience trauma and need counseling.
  • Speak calmly about the situation and try to carry on with planned events and regular routines.

The holiday season should continue…because keeping to routines is one of the best ways to reassure children that all is well.  So I will  continue with my post as planned.

There is a holiday writing contest over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

dashing through the snow

The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story beginning with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh.”  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version “[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind].”  For example, “Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart” or “Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe” or “Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon…”  You get the idea, I’m sure 🙂  But “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” is completely acceptable too – whatever works for you 🙂  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words (because I have to read them all in the week before Christmas! :))

I love Susanna’s contests…they encourage me to think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to writing children’s stories.

Because I’ve been so busy, I had left the writing of the story until the last-minute.  With the tragedy in the news, I was tempted to write a somber tribute…but decided instead to submit something light and silly…something that might bring a smile to the faces of the children who were in the school, but survived.  Based on the nursery rhymes that all children know and love, I give you, “Mother Goose, Apple Juice, Chocolate Mousse and More!”

Mother Goose, Apple Juice, Chocolate Mousse and More

by Vivian Kirkfield (228 words)

Hiking through the snow

In brand-new Christmas boots.

Tripping as we go

On gnarly old tree roots.

Humpty-Dumpty rolls,

Then Jack and Jill fall down.

Muffet drops her bowls

As we pass through the town.

 

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

 

We can’t find the sheep

Bo Peep has lost them all.

Wee Willie wants to sleep

He leans against the wall.

We’ll have lots to eat

Jack Horner brought his pie

Hot Cross Buns are sweet

And Jack Sprat made stir-fry.

 

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

 

Everyone is dressed

In special party clothes

Peter Piper’s vest

Has pickle juice and bows.

Mother Hubbard’s kids

Each wears a new chemise.

Bobby Shaftoe skids

On silver buckled knees

 

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

 

Here we are at last

Sweet music fills the air

Horn gives out a blast

Boy Blue blows with great flair.

Mary and her lambs

Hip-hop the whole night long.

Lucy Locket jams

With King Cole’s fiddlers’ song.

 

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

 

I hope you all enjoy this silly little children’s holiday rhyming story.  In the next few days, many others will be linking up on Susanna’s contest page.  Go and check them out…you won’t be disappointed!

And please come back on Sunday…I have a wonderful guest poster, author and amazing personality speaker, Sheila Glazov…you definitely won’t want to miss it!!!