Perfect Picture Book Friday: I HAVE A BALLOON

Happy Friday dear friends! Lots of people love Friday because it signals the end of the week and for many, a couple of days off from work. But for me, it signals a chance to read and review another awesome picture book.  And tomorrow we’ll be treated to an insightful Q&A with  debut picture book author Ariel Bernstein.

But first, we have a copy of HELLO, MY NAME IS TIGER to give away.

And the winner is….

Elizabeth Curry

Congratulations, Elizabeth…I will contact you.

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I HAVE A BALLOON

Written by Ariel Bernstein

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

Ages 4-8

Themes: Being happy with what you have

Opening Lines: “I have a balloon.”

Synopsis: 

From Amazon:

“Owl has a red balloon. Monkey does not. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock!

Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey?”

Why I like this book:

  • Fun text!
  • Fun illustrations!
  • A message we can all relate to, parents as well as kids! And a great opportunity to talk about wanting what we have, not having what we want.

Related Activities

BALLOON BOWL

Balloon-Bowl-6Photo  courtesy:https://diyprojects.com/homemade-balloon-bowl/

You will need: 1 balloon (inflated), colored paper, scissors, glue.

For detailed instructions: https://diyprojects.com/homemade-balloon-bowl/

Just like the characters in I HAVE A BALLOON, kids often want what others have. This book is a perfect launchpad for a discussion about being happy with what you have. Perhaps this balloon bowl can serve as a blessing bowl for your child. Help your child fill out slips of paper with things he/she is grateful for and place them in the bowl.

By the way, dear friends, thanks to debut picture book author Ariel Bernstein, we have a giveaway of a copy of I HAVE A BALLOON. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered. And remember…the greatest gift you can give an author, other than buying their book and reading it to a child, is to write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Don’t forget to be back tomorrow when Ariel stops by to chat and to share a super recipe for a fabulous chocolate chip cookie recipe…this one is made with OATMEAL!

Be safe this last weekend of summer…and please join me in praying for all who are impacted by Hurricane Harvey…those who have lost everything…those who have left safe havens to help others…so many kidliters I know live RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! Keeping you all close to my heart! Author Kate Messner has organized a KIDLITCARES auction to benefit the Red Cross Relief effort for Hurricane Harvey…please visit and bid: KidLitCares auction for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

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Lori Richmond: Will Write for Cookies plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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LORI RICHMOND

 Lori Richmond is a corporate creative director turned picture book maker. She is the author-illustrator of PAX AND BLUE (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books) and BUNNY’S STAYCATION (Scholastic), which debuts in 2018. Lori is also the illustrator of A HOP IS UP (Bloomsbury) and two more picture books coming in 2018. As a former contributing editor and spokesperson for leading pregnancy and parenting brand, The Bump, Lori has appeared as an expert on TODAY, Good Morning America, CNN, and more. She lives and creates with her family in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more about Lori at www.LoriDraws.com

 I met up with Lori here and there around kid-lit-land…but really got to know her when we both joined up with the 2017 debut picture book author group, Picture the Books

And even though my debut picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah, has been pushed to next year, they are still letting me hang out with them.

 Which is a really good thing, because I like them all so much!

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Just a reminder that Lori has graciously agreed to do a giveaway of a copy of PAX AND BLUE. I reviewed it yesterday. Make sure you leave a comment below. And if you haven’t already joined my email list, please click on the sidebar logo. I promise not to send you any junk…just good stuff.

 And now, let’s welcome our guest, author/illustrator Lori Richmond!

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

 LORI:

I have early memories of staring for hours at the work of Steven Kellogg — especially his book TALLYHO, PINKERTON! I was so amazed by all the detail in his line work. I also loved Shel Silverstein’s books, which I would always read while visiting my aunt’s house. As I got older, I was really into the Nancy Drew mysteries and, of course, Sweet Valley High!

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

LORI:

I’m new to writing, so I feel like I haven’t earned enough stripes yet to confidently answer this question. Writing is hard! You have to give it time. Your first drafts will be truly awful, and you have to push through it to get to the good stuff. Find people that you trust to give you feedback, and don’t take anything personally.

reading to kids

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?

LORI:

I’m still looking for the best spot! I’ve done all of the above, with mixed results.

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?

LORI:

This is another one I am still figuring out. I am in a shared studio space called Friends Work Here that has a ton of beautiful natural light. I think my best creative time tends to be in the morning, so I try to plan my day so that drawing and writing is done in the first half of the day, and I save other tasks for later on. But I do have the Evernote app on both my laptop and my phone, so whenever an idea strikes I can quickly jot it down and save it.

workspace

ME: Why do you write for children?

LORI:

Young readers are introduced to different kinds of writing and art for the first time through picture books, and reading picture books can start a lifelong love of literature and art for a child. How incredibly special to be a part of that. I feel extremely fortunate to be creating books, and I hope that my work inspires even just one child.

reading with kids 2

ME: Lori, 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.

LORI:

For aspiring writers doing this as a second, third, or even fourth career, it is never too late! I started writing and illustrating picture books when I was 20+ years into my career as a corporate Creative Director. With kids and life and everything else, you really have to make an effort to put in the time — and it’s not always easy. Just do what you can, and be consistent in your practice. It will pay off!

To educators and librarians, thank you for all that you do. You are heroes!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, LORI! I AGREE WITH YOU 100% about educators and librarians being heroes! And also about it never being too late…look at me!!!! I didn’t really get serious about writing picture books until 5 years ago.

You can visit Lori at www.LoriDraws.com

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

Lori says,

As for the cookie — I am NOT a cook so I can’t provide a recipe. 🙂  But my favorites are homemade Rice Krispie Treats and Girl Scout Thin Mints (in the refrigerator.)

I thought about what recipe we could give you all, dear readers. And guess what? I found a Rice Krispie Treat recipe on the Kellogg’s website that is PERFECT for next month!

HIDDEN SURPRISES RICE KRISPIE TREAT EASTER EGGS

kicfileasset-100904_rk_hiddensurpriseeastereggtreats_3

https://www.ricekrispies.com/en_US/recipes/hidden-surprise-easter-egg-treats-recipe.htmlHidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats™

Give these Easter egg-shaped goodies a shake to hear the tasty surprise inside – M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies!

Prep Time: 20 min

Total Time: 40 min

Servings: 12

NUTRITION INFO

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoonsbutter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40)JET-PUFFED Marshmallows
  • OR
  • 4 cupsJET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
  • 6 cupsKellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 1/2 cupM&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
  • Canned frosting or decorating gel (optional)
  • 12Plastic snap-apart 3 x 2-in Easter eggs

Directions

  1. Clean, then coat inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Set aside.2. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add JET-PUFFED Marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

    3. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

    4. Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into each plastic egg half. Use fingers to make hollow center in each half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper. Cool slightly.

    5. Place about 6 M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies in one half of each egg. Gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick. Cool completely.

    6. Decorate with frosting and additional M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies (if desired). Best if served the same day.

    MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:Follow step 1 above. In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 3 through 6 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

    Notes:
    For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

    1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.

    Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.

    Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.

WOW! Aren’t these perfect?

Let’s all give Lori a big round of applause! As a writer, I also love getting the inside peek into the perspective of someone who also illustrates!

And please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of PAX AND BLUE.

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Have a beautiful weekend…and Happy April Fool’s Day, dear friends.