PPBF and PiBoIdMo

What’s with all those letters in the headline?

Well, Thanksgiving is only one month  away. I looked out on my front lawn this morning and I do believe these turkeys have gotten the word…they are on the run.

turkeys 2

Finding turkeys in the front yard is one thing…finding a whale in your swimming pool is way more unusual…author/illustrator Joyce Wan was definitely thinking outside the box when she came up with her latest book. So the first bunch of letters in the headline are for Perfect Picture Book Friday. You’ll have to read to the end of this post to discover what the other letters are for.

the whale in my swimming pool

The Whale in My Swimming Pool

Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (2015)

Ages: 2-6

Themes: problem solving, creative thinking, whales

Opening Lines:

“Race you to the pool! Whoa…a whale?”


From Amazon
“One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There’s a big whale in the water and it’s not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What’s a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale’s spout.”

Why I like this book:

  • Simple sparse text is perfect for young listeners and new readers
  • Bold bright illustrations grab a child’s attention
  • Encourages problem solving and thinking outside the box


here-is-a-whale-paper-plate-craft-project-i-made-21374396Photo courtesy: http://tangrila.blogspot.com

You will need: A paper plate, construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors, glue, (optional: googly eye)

  1. If you want a blue or gray whale, you can paint or color In the paper plate. For a simpler project, leave the plate uncolored and make a white whale.
  2. Cut construction paper tail and fin.
  3. Glue on tail and fin.
  4. Add features with marker or crayon.
  5. For more detailed instructions and more wonderful crafts for kids, please visit: http://tangrila.blogspot.com/2012/04/whale-paper-plate-craft.html

Find out about where whales really live: http://www.whalefacts.org/whale-facts-for-kids/

And more information and activities here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/


As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, Thanksgiving is just a month away…which means that the month of November is just around the corner.

And if you love picture books, you will love PiBoIdMo!

A month-long challenge: Picture Book Idea Month

piboidmo banner


I want to share a bit about Picture Book Idea Month or PiBoIdMo. I discovered the amazing Tara Lazar and her fabulous picture book idea challenge back in 2011…I was just starting to dip my toes into the world of writing for children. I lurked in the shadows that November, reading the guest posts and leaving a couple of comments. When 2012 rolled around, I wasted no time. I signed up, got a new notebook, and actively participated by reading and commenting and jotting down my story ideas.

piboidmo notebooks

And every year since then, I’ve looked forward to November because I know that PiBoIdMo is coming. To be honest, this challenge played a big role in sparking my enthusiasm for writing picture books. So don’t hesitate! It’s free! It’s fun! It’s fabulous! Whether you are a newbie, just thinking about writing for children, or a multi-published author or illustrator, this is the one challenge you don’t want to miss.

What you need to do:

  • Sign up on her blog.
  • Read and comment on each of the inspirational posts written by authors, illustrators, and other lovers of picture books
  • Keep a journal or notebook, jotting down at least ONE story idea for each day of the month

What you get in return:

  • A notebook FULL of great story ideas that will keep you writing
  • 30+ inspirational posts from people who are passionate about picture books
  • A community of generous caring supportive people who are happy to share their knowledge and expertise
  • Oh…and did I mention the prizes? Oh yeah! Books and critiques and all kinds of good stuff!

Registration opens REAL SOON! So hurry over to Tara’s website: http://www.taralazar.com

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!

Monday Writing Magic – PiBoIdMo Success!

I’m happy to say I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).

I now have more than 30 ideas for new picture books – some good, some bad and some downright ugly!

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700The challenge: write 30 picture book ideas in 30 days

The inspiration: read 30+ posts by authors, illustrators and others who are successful in the field of kid lit.

Some days it was hard to make the time to read the post and comment…but I didn’t miss a day.

My family thought it was hysterical every time I jumped up from the dinner table and ran willy-nilly to grab my PiBoIdMo notebook and jot down a phrase or catchy book title.

True story: We moved to New Hampshire at the end of September. I’ve been reading AND telling my 5-year old grandson LOTS of stories. This morning, Jeremy could not find Continue reading