Hello 2013…Turning The Next Page

viviankirkfield,show me how,2013,new year

Happy New Year, Everyone! We say goodbye to 2012…and hello to 2013.

A new year gives us all the opportunity to:

  • Start afresh
  • Create a plan
  • Say sorry
  • Keep a promise
  • Make a vow
  • Get in shape
  • Change direction
  • Share love
  • Connect with nature
  • Eat healthy
  • Take a breath
  • Reach out
  • Stand up
  • Step in
  • Work smart
  • Practice time-management
  • Smile more
  • Move forward

I’m excited to be taking part in several writing challenges for 2013:

Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 (to write 12 picture book drafts in 2013)

Alayne Kay Christian’s Sub Six (to submit 6 picture books in 2013)

Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday (to review a picture book every Friday)

Nancy Hatch 1st ever SLTW Writing Contest

Highlights Fiction Short Story Contest (thank you, Hannah, for the heads-up about this)

I’ll also be doing Emma Walton Hamilton’s Just Write for Kids online picture book writing course that I won as part of Julie’s 12×12 Prize Extravaganza.

And I’ve just found another challenge that will add some balance to this picture book writing/submitting frenzy…No/Low Spend and De-cluttering January Challenge  sponsored by Carla at My 1/2 Daily Dozen

I’ve been wanting some encouragement and support for these tasks…not sure which will be more difficult…budgeting or throwing away stuff we don’t need! I actually think it will be the de-cluttering. But I know that a less cluttered workspace can mean less stress and more efficient use of time…no more hunting for hours for that slip of paper with the important story ideas. If these are areas where you need help, check out Carla’s link above.

So, this is my plan:

  • Stick to our budget by trimming spending to only necessary items.
  • Reevaluate at the end of the month to see if more cutting is necessary.
  • I already cook/bake almost everything myself…I treat myself to take-out Indian once a month.
  • Go through the house…one drawer, cabinet, closet at a time…perhaps there is money to be made (which will help the budget) by selling stuff we no longer need/want/use.

199

I’ve connected with the most amazing people…writers, photographers, artists, teachers, librarians, moms, dads and kids…I thank all of you for visiting my blog and commenting on my posts.

We donated 20 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to libraries in 8 states and 3 provinces in Canada.

We also donated 12 copies of Show Me How to schools in the US and Canada.

new year,vivian kirkfield,2013,show me how

A portion of the proceeds from my book sales went to several children’s organizations:

  • JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
  • Bess the Book Bus (a mobile literacy outreach)
  • STAR (Sit and Read Together…a literacy program funded by CPCD in Colorado Springs)
  • Books of Wonder (for renovation of this NYC indie children’s bookstore)
  • Kids Are Heroes (recognize children all over the world who reach out to help their community)
  • Reach Out and Read (nationwide program that connects books and kids via pediatricians)

As most of you know, there are big changes in my life…I am retired as of January 1st.

What does that mean?

As my son so aptly wrote, “We wish you all the best as you turn the page to the next chapter in your book of life.”

I could not have said it better!

So on this first day of the New Year 2013, I wish all of you the best as you turn the page to the next chapter in your book of life!

Sunday Post: Concept…Are We Teaching Our Children to Gossip?

are we teaching our children to gossip,positive parental participation,show me how build your child's self-esteem

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is CONCEPT, which the dictionary defines as “a guiding general principle that determines how a person behaves.

 

What concepts…or guiding principles…are we teaching our children?

Is gossip one of them?

I watched an old Andy Griffith Show last night called, “Opie’s Newspaper”.

Young Opie has trouble getting customers for the little newspaper he and his friend have published and his dad advises him to use the daily city paper as a model and write stories that will be of interest to the general public.

Looking through the city paper, Opie realizes that the stories that are of interest to the adults in his town are the ones filled with scandalous gossip…so, in his little newspaper, Opie reports all the tidbits from conversations he has overheard.  Fortunately, his dad reads what he has written before many of the town’s residents get a copy and they destroy the newspapers before anyone’s feeling are hurt.

His dad asks him why he wrote such stuff.   Opie replies, “When I put in the nice stories, nobody wanted to buy it.”

That episode was filmed over fifty years ago…but times certainly haven’t changed.  If anything, they have gotten worse.  Many people LOVE to hear juicy tidbits about famous people.  It seems that hearing horrible things about ANYONE seems to be a national pastime around the world.  That’s why all of those court shows and expose shows like Jerry Springer and Morey Povich are so popular!

As parents, we have to remember what the pencil maker said to the pencil before he put it in the box, “Everything you do will always leave a mark.”   Our children are like a piece of blank paper…and the concepts or principles we teach will have a lasting impact on them and will determine how they behave.

As Opie’s Aunt Bea said, “If we want the boys to behave better, we’d better set them a better example.”

What example are you setting when it comes to gossip?

 

show me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation

Are you done with your holiday shopping?  Do you want to make a positive impact on your young child?

Please remember that Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a super cool book and makes a PERFECT GIFT:

  • For parent, teacher, grandparent or daycare provider of children ages 2-8!
  • Provides 100 classic picture book story suggestions!
  • Gives a summary, age-appropriate craft and simple recipe for each title!
  • A great resource for fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities!
  • No fuss or muss…everything is quick and easy!
  • Buy the book today and help several children’s organizations!
  • We donate a portion of the proceeds to Reach Out and Read, JDRF, KidsAreHeroes, Books for Africa and BesstheBookBus.
  • 45% off the list price!  Check the prices on Amazon, Alibris and ABE Books…everyone (except the publisher, MoneyPenny Press) is charging MORE for USED copies!
  • There is a special PayPal button for Canadian residents!

“A wonderful resource for people who care for their children.” – Norman Bridwell, creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series

“What a lovely book! Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide.” – Katherine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series

I wish Show Me How had existed when my children were young.” – Suzanne Williams, author of the Princess Power series and over 20 other books

Show Me How is an must-have resource for parents and teachers.” – Marilee Gruber, kindergarten teacher and grandmother

“Fun and practical for anyone fostering self-esteem in children.” = Joan Fleischer, co-founder of Creative Arts Therapy Center, New York City

“Invaluable tool for children to become life-long readers and lovers of books.” – Dr. Jodi Harap, clinical psychologist, Chicago, IL

Don’t wait…buy your copy today to make sure you get it in time for the holidays!

Show Me How is also available from the publisher (MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.) on Amazon and Amazon Kindle, for U.S., Canadian and international customers.

time after time, positive parental participation

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

  1. The concept of gargoyles | Artifacts and fictions
    December 8th, 2012 → 1:26 PM

[…] http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/sunday-post-concept/ […]

  1. SUNDAY POST : Concept « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
    December 8th, 2012 → 10:30 PM

[…] more at jakesprinter’s SUNDAY POST : Concept […]

  1. Sunday Post – Concept « Inspiration Import
    December 9th, 2012 → 12:53 AM

[…] SUNDAY POST : Concept (jakesprinters.wordpress.com) […]

  1. Space Travel | Canoe Communications
    December 9th, 2012 → 5:52 AM

[…] space is the ultimate concept and adventure travel.  I’m combining two photo challenges, Sunday Post: Concept and Travel theme: Circles, with photos of real equipment and models of it used in the planning and […]

PPBF: Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse…Be Thankful for Who You Are

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni

Publisher: Pantheon Books (1969)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Believing in yourself, friendship

Opening lines:

“Help!  Help!  A mouse!”  There was a scream.  Then a crash.  Cups, saucers, and spoons were flying in all directions.  Alexander ran for his hole as fast as his little legs would carry him.”

Synopsis:

Alexander, a real mouse, is jealous of the toy wind-up mouse who lives in the warm house and is loved by the children.  He courageously asks the powerful lizard wizard if there is some way he can become a wind-up mouse.  When he finds the wind-up mouse has been thrown away, he decides to use his magic wish to turn the wind-up mouse into a real mouse so that the two can live together and be friends.

Why do I like this book:

This book is a Caldecott Honor Award winner!  Mr. Lionni’s simple yet bold illustrations capture the pathos of the story.  And the message is so powerful…children (and adults) often think that ‘the grass is greener’ and that they would be happier being someone else.  Our happiness comes from within ourselves…being someone else cannot make us happier.   When Alexander realizes that he is the fortunate one, he also realizes that life would be sweeter if he had a friend to share it with him.  This is a perfect story for the Thanksgiving season…and I will be sharing it this coming Sunday in my new Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids series on YouTube.

Related Activities:

PAPER MOSAIC FLOWER FROM THE LIZARD WIZARD’S GARDEN

Photo courtesy of http://www.education.com/activity/article/Paper_Mosaics/

You will need: One piece of dark construction paper, several small pieces of colored construction paper cut into small squares, glue stick and a pair of scissors.

  1. Talk to your child about the illustrations in the book…many of them look like cut-paper collage and mosaic…in fact, if you have old wallpaper sample book or old magazines, you can use those instead of the small pieces of colored construction paper.
  2. Help your child plan out the flower (or whatever your child decides to create on the page)…you can help draw the picture with marker to define each section…or your child might decide to just fill the page with the small cut paper in his own design.
  3. Use a dab of glue to stick each piece onto the paper.
  4. When dry, hang in a place of honor.

Lesson guide for teachers: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/alexander-and-wind-mouse-discussion-guide

Dramatization of the story for students: http://www.csuchico.edu/~cguenter/FourArts/DR/DRalex.html

Because November is such a special month and there is so much going on, I want to reshare some links to wonderful events going on in the kidlit/picture book community because I never know when someone new visits my blog who might not know about them.

  1. Picture Book Month: Visit the website of Dianne de Las Casas to join in the month-long celebration of PICTURE BOOKS!  Every day, a different picture book champion (author, illustrator, etc.) is guest posting…you won’t want to miss these….they will inspire you and help you remember just why you love to read and write picture books.
  2.    Picture Books and Crafts for Kids: Please pass the word about this new YouTube series for parents and teachers and kids…every Sunday, I’ll be choosing a picture book to read aloud…and then I’ll do a simple related craft project.  Two weeks ago, I spotlighted Yes We Can by Sam McBratney and last Sunday I read The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter and we created a geometric-shape train picture.  This coming Sunday, I will be reading Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse and we will be making the flower mosaic.  Each segment highlight a parenting problem such as setting up good bedtime routines or a children’s challenge like learning to be a good friend and believing in oneself.
  3. PiBoIdMo:  Picture Book Idea Month is the brain-child of children’s author,Tara Lazar.  If you signed up, you are already immersed in the world of picture books…trying to come up with 30 fresh ideas for picture book manuscripts during this month.  But, even if you have not joined the challenge, please run over there…don’t walk… to read an AMAZING guest post EVERY DAY this month…these posts will instruct and educate you…as well as motivate you to write the picture book that every child will want to read over and over again.
  4. Please don’t forget about Reach Out and Read…we need to GAB (Give a Book) before they can ROAR (Reach Out and Read).  If everyone who loves to read donates enough to buy just one book, the New York City Bellevue Hospital program (one of the largest in the country) will be able to replace the books that were lost in Hurricane Sandy.
  5. 12×12 in 2012: November is already half-way gone…and I’ve finished my November picture book draft for Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge to write a picture book draft each month…hurray!
  6. I also wanted to share an article from the University of New Hampshire’s Penman Review…three tips for writers before their book is published.

 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

I know the media is starting its holiday campaign to turn our young children into super-consumers…but young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At under $20, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   If you order from my website in the month of December, there will be a special bonus gift included with each book (more about that next week)…the price is a little more than on Amazon…but I’m also offering FREE SHIPPING…so it evens out the cost.  Take your pick…whichever site you want to use…just make sure you grab a copy for those special people in your life who would benefit from having this award-winning resource!

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.