Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE BOY AND THE GORILLA Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! Fall is definitely upon us here in New England – mornings are crisp and cold – days are sunny and warm. The days are getting shorter – and I’m definitely not a fan of that…but the good thing is that longer nights mean more time for reading great picture books…like this one by Jackie Azúa Kramer. The book launches October 20…and it’s already snagged THREE starred reviews. And if you leave a comment and share the post on social media, you might be the lucky winner of a brand-new copy!

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Perfect Picture Book Friday: IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP is on a Book Blog Tour Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

I’m really happy because today we are part of author Jackie Azur Kramer’s book blog tour! If you’d like to check out the other stops: https://www.jackieazuakramer.com/iwfa-blog-tour

Before we get to today’s wonderful book, I have THREE important announcements.

  1. We have a copy of TERRIFIC TONGUES by Maria Gianferrari to give away. And the winner is…

DEE KNABB!

Congratulations, Dee. I’ll connect you and Maria so she and her publisher can get a copy of her fabulous book to you

2. #50PreciousWordsforKids is coming SOON! I’ll be inviting children in grades K-6 to write a story in 50 words or less. You all know how much fun that is! Last year we had a wonderful response – 15 states and 4 foreign countries participated! So, please spread the word to teachers, parents, homeschools. This is an activity that perfectly aligns with National Book Week…and there will be SEVEN AUTHOR SKYPE visits as prizes. I do need more volunteers for those…please contact me if you’d like to offer one or if you have any questions: viviankirkfield@gmail.com. And if you want more details, take a peek at Darlene Jacobson’s blogpost: https://darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/vivian-kirkfield-presents50-precious-words-for-kids-contest

3. I’ve got a gift pack of several picture book advance copies that I’d love to share…one of them is today’s wonderful story…please leave a comment on today’s post and you might be the lucky winner!

If You Want to FAll Asleep Cover

IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP

Written by Jackie Azua Kramer

Illustrated by Lisa Brandenburg

Published by Clavis (2018)

Ages: 4-6

Themes: Bedtime routines, sleep problems

Synopsis: From Amazon:

It’s bedtime, but Little Mouse isn’t sleepy. He has tried reading, and snacking, and snuggling, but nothing is helping him fall asleep. Maybe Mama Mouse can help? If you want to fall asleep, what do you do? A wish and a hug and it’s finally time to dream.
A lyrical bedtime story for sleepy little mice ages 4 and up.

Why I like this book:

  • Most kids have trouble winding down…I love this rollicking adventure that is sure to help them do that. And if it doesn’t, it is sure to entertain them while they are up!
  • The illustrations are bold, vibrant, and filled with humor.
  • We always need fresh new bedtime stories.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Paper Plate Mouse

paper-plate-mouse-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com

Most of you know how much I love crafts made with paper plates. And here is a new one, a perfect extension activity after reading IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP.

For detailed instructions: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/m-plate-mouse.htm

For more picture book reviews, why not hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Thank you for stopping by, dear friends! Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the book giveaway. And please share the upcoming #50PreciousWordsforKids info as well.

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Happy Weekend to All!

 

Jackie Azua Kramer: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

headshot

JACKIE AZÚA KRAMER

Jackie and I connected in a couple of kid lit Facebook groups. I absolutely love her picture book, THE GREEN UMBRELLA, which we spotlighted during her book blog tour. I’m thrilled to announce that THE GREEN UMBRELLA was just chosen as a Bank St College Best Books.

 green umbrella cover

Her story melds so perfectly with the reuse/recycle/repurpose theme of  Earth Day http://www.earthday.org/I knew we would want to welcome her to Will Write for Cookies today.

And because I think it’s fun for you to know a little bit about our guests, I grabbed a paragraph from her website about page:

Many lives ago I was an actor, singer & school counselor. Now I’m an author, and wile away my time writing children’s picture books. What ties these all together are my dreams and imagination. Most of the time you’ll find me reading, watching old movies, globe trekking and whenever possible sharing laughter & food with my family.

 Welcome, Jackie! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us.

 ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

 JACKIE:

It may sound cliché, but Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss and Arnold Lobel. They were my generations Mo Willems or Mac Barnett. I wore my copies thin of In the Night Kitchen, Horton Hears a Who and Frog and Toad are Friends. At the time, reading in school was very dry and uninventive. It was a welcome relief to discover these books at the library and simply laugh out load or see yourself in these stories. I remember crying when I read Frog and Toad because I knew as a child what it meant to feel lonely sometimes. 

ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

JACKIE:

Apart from the ‘ins and outs’ of the publishing industry, not much. I felt then, as I do now, that wonder is the secret sauce. Wonder allows you to stay curious, open and present, and from that can come great stories. There is one thing—I would have read more picture books.

ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?

JACKIE:

All the above. I love my writing space at home, but sometimes there are too many shiny distractions. When the weather is warm, I love to sit on my deck under a canopy of trees. I also love the back corner of my library that faces an old church.

ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?

JACKIE:

I’m writing ALL the time. Just not on paper or my computer. Much of the time, I write in what I call my ‘writerly mind’. In that space–I imagine, dream, think and wonder. Bit by bit, the idea for a story begins to form along with a possible structure. The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press, TBD) at 300 words lingered in my thoughts for almost two years.

ME: Why do you write for children?

JACKIE:

Honestly, I write for children because I feel I have something I want to share with them. My hope is that my stories are conduits to feelings—joy, curiosity, sadness, laughter, surprise. Nothing is worse than knowing a child read my book and at the end there wasn’t an ‘AHA’ moment.

ME: Yes, you are so right, Jackie…those are crucial elements to strive to have in our stories. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

JACKIE:

Join Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators—that’s a must. Have something where you can jot down inspirations, thoughts, ideas. Don’t edit or limit your ideas at this incubation stage. Quirky, nuggets or impossible, silly, bizarre and wrong ideas, collect them like a jar of penny’s. One day you’ll cash in BIG!

Thank you so very much, Jackie, for sharing your insights. I know everyone is walking away with a renewed (YES, renewed…pun intended) excitement for why we are all writing for children.

To find out more about Jackie and her books:

www.Jackieazuakramer.com

Twitter @jackiekramer422

Facebook: Jackie Azúa Kramer

The Green Umbrella on Amazon

Oh, wait a minute…don’t walk away yet. First check out the treat recipe. And then make sure you leave a comment to be entered in Jackie’s giveaway. And because it is Earth Day, please join the fun and post or tweet a photo of you doing your Earth Day thing…recycling/repurposing/reusing…make sure you tag me and Jackie so we can see it.

And because we are doing things a bit differently in honor of Earth Day, Jackie has a savory dish for us to try. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe she shared my hubby’s FAVORITE brunch.

JACKIE: I have a simple breakfast dish that we love in our family, Egg in a Basket. And eggs and spring also go well together.

treat.

Recipe for Egg in a Basket:

Cut a medium slice of your favorite round bread. I like a good sour dough. Take out most of the center of the bread. Place in a hot pan with butter and crack two eggs in the center. Flip once and cook eggs to your preference. I love the eggs over easy which compliments the crispy bread. Tip: In the last 30 seconds, add a slice of cooked bacon on top. Bacon makes everything special.

Vivian’s note: This is my husband’s favorite brunch…we call it Egg in a Nest and we add a slice of cheese…American, Swiss, or provolone…let it melt on top…mmmm…mmmm…good!

At this very moment, I am at the NESCBWI with so many of my kid lit friends…maybe even you! Next week, I hope you’ll stop by again for an NESCBWI recap, a Book Review and Giveaway from Rosie Pova in honor of Mother’s Day (doing it early so the prize will get to the winner by Mother’s Day), a Perfect Picture Book Friday with Tara Lazar and a Will Write for Cookies with Anna Forrester. And don’t forget to leave a comment and share a recycle/reuse/repurpose photo on social media.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!