Happy Book Birthday: PURA’S CUENTOS Plus Giveaway

Aren’t we so lucky? Beautiful important books just keep on coming! And today I’m thrilled to sing a grateful Happy Book Birthday to Annette Bay Pimentel’s latest picture book: PURA’S CUENTOS: How Pura Belpre Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories. I’ve always been such a fan of libraries and librarians…so books about them are going to definitely find a place on my shelves. And we are lucky for another reason…one person who leaves a comment and shares this post will win a copy of this amazing book!!

Written by Annette Bay Pimentel – Illustrated by Magaly Morales – Published by Abrams Books
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Will Write for Cookies: Annie Silvestro

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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ANNIE SILVESTRO

Today I’m thrilled to help you to get to know a little bit more about another 2017 debut picture book author.

Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. Her picture books include BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Doubleday Books for Young Readers), MICE SKATING, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling, Fall 2017), and THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (HarperCollins, Fall 2018). Annie lives by the beach in NJ with her husband and two boys who like to read, and a cat who does not.

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So, without further ado, let’s welcome Annie!

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

 ANNIE:

There are so many!  For a start, I loved William Steig, Richard Scarry, James Marshall, the BABAR books by Jean de Brunhoff, AMELIA BEDELIA by Peggy Parish, MADELINE by Ludwig Bemelmans. Growing older I was crazy about Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, and L.M. Montgomery.

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

ANNIE:

Don’t rush! Everything in publishing takes time and patience. Wait to submit your work until you have several stories (at least) under your belt and have spent a good amount of time reading and writing and practicing and researching.      

 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?

ANNIE:

I mostly use the computer on the desk in my office to write. Most ideas, though, start as written “drafts” in a notebook or on a scrap of paper. As nice as it is to have a notebook in my purse and next to my bed, more often than not I end up writing on an old receipt I find in the car or whatever is closest at hand at the odd moment when inspiration strikes.

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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?

ANNIE:

I like to write in the morning but a lot of times I end up writing late at night when my kids are finally asleep. I don’t have any set schedule, but since I work part time I try to use my days off as writing days as best I can. It’s easy to get sucked in by laundry, grocery shopping, etc., but I try hard to protect that time..

ME: Why do you write for children?

ANNIE:

My father is an amazing storyteller. When I was growing up, he would invent the most wonderful bedtime stories. My favorite was called The Marshmallow Pillow. He inspired me to become a storyteller myself.

Also, the books I read as a child still mean so much to me. Books are incredibly powerful and provide children with their earliest connections to and understandings of the world. What a gift to have the potential to make that type of meaningful connection! Or to make a child smile, laugh, or feel understood or comforted in some way. Not to mention the profound opportunity to encourage kindness and empathy. 

ME: Annie, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear.

ANNIE:

For aspiring writers:

Being a member of the SCBWI has been invaluable to me. I have been involved with my local NJ chapter for many years and have learned so much and made so many wonderful friends and connections. It is an incredible organization!

ME: I agree 100%. The SCBWI is an organization that stands ready to assist writers and illustrators in so many ways.…joining in the fun is the best way to learn and grow. Annie…this was so much fun…we all appreciate what you shared.

Visit Annie online at: http://www.anniesilvestro.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @anniesilvestro

And now for one of my favorite parts of Will Write for Cookies…the cookies!

Annie is sharing an unbelievable treasure with us…a recipe, actually written by her grandmother!

recipe

The photo is of my grandmother’s recipe for Anisette Biscuits (biscotti) along with my latest batch. They were my favorite treat as a child and I love baking them for my children. They never turn out exactly the same as my grandmother’s biscotti did, but I will keep trying! The smell of them in the oven brings back the very best of memories.

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Oh my gosh…I am going to gain lots of pounds this year with all of these incredible recipes!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Next week, we’ll be reviewing another 2017 picture book, THE GREEN UMBRELLA. And we are going to have a SPECIAL blog post on Monday…the COVER REVEAL for..well…that would be telling!

 Yup…2017 is a wonderful year for picture books! And I thank all of you for joining me on this journey.

Your preschooler needs a bucket list

Several years ago, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starred in a movie called “The Bucket List” which told the tale of two older gentlemen who decided that before they died, there were a number of things they wanted to do.   Many people, as they get older, begin to think about the things they never got around to doing, but wish they had.  In fact, that’s one of the reasons I was thrilled when I visited my son in Chicago and he told me he had arranged for us to go skydiving.  I had an awesome experience and I was able to cross one more item off my bucket list. http://bit.ly/b8By2X If you click on this link, you’ll be able to share that exciting ride with me!

There are many things that young children need to experience as well.  I think there are some basic things that every preschooler should have the opportunity to do, although your family may want to add to the list or subtract from it, based on your individual situation.

So, here is my bucket list for a preschooler:

  • Hear the words, I LOVE YOU, every day!
  • Be shown by parents and other adults that he/she is loved and valued!
  • Be encouraged to master tasks and skills.
  • Be allowed to express his/her feelings, whether positive or negative.
  • Go to a zoo.
  • Jump in puddles after a rainstorm.
  • Play in the mud and get dirty.
  • Use art supplies (paints, crayons, clay, etc.) to express creativity.
  • Get a library card (as soon as your local library allows…go to the library on a regular basis.
  • Feel safe at home and in school, daycare or anywhere.
  • Be read a story (or two or more) on a daily basis.

As Alecia Devantier says in 101 THINGS EVERY KID SHOULD DO GROWING UP, “Childhood is a magical time of newfound joys and enriching experience.  The gifts our children are given today will last a lifetime.”

What’s on your child’s bucket list?