Monday, November 30, 2009
Here is the answer to Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. "Roy would not have noticed the strange boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson, because Roy ordinarily didn't look out the window of the school bus." Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
Friday, November 27, 2009
For the new parents on my gift list I've selected two of my favorite stories.
For Mom - Five Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy. This is the story of a Mom in search of five minutes of alone time that she hopes to find in a relaxing bath and a warm cup of tea. It's not to be of course, because she's soon joined by her three active children who all want to help.
For Dad - Once Upon a time, the end" (asleep in 60 seconds) by Geoffrey Kloske. The title pretty much says it all. This will be a fun preview of what's in store for a first time Dad who will eventually be hearing that familiar bedtime plea - "Please Daddy tell me just one more story."
And now...Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. "Roy would not have noticed the strange boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson, because Roy ordinarily didn't look out the window of the school bus."
Can you name the title and author?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
On a personal note: Thanks to all of you...readers, writers, editors, teachers and librarians who share a love of children's books. Enjoy your holiday!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It's gift buying time again so I'm looking at books to send to my fellow readers and lovers of children's stories. If you are searching for some ideas let me suggest a trip to the CYBILS (Children's and Young Adults Bloggers' Literary Awards) website. Scroll down just a bit to find the 2009 nominations listed by genre.Here are the answers for Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. "When Mary Lennox was sent to Misslethwhaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen." The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
2. "It happened many years ago, before the traders and missionaries first came into the South Seas, while the Polynesians were still great in numbers and fierce of heart." Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Here is my contribution - a Cautionary Tale of sorts:
"Twas the Night of Thanksgiving"
'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned--the dark meat and white,
but I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
the thought of a snack became infatuation.
So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door
and gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees....
happy eating to all---pass the cranberries, please!
Here are Friday's Famous Firsts: Can you name the title and author of each first line?
1. "When Mary Lennox was sent to Misslethwhaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen."
2. "It happened many years ago, before the traders and missionaries first came into the South seas, while the Polynesians were still great in numbers and fierce of heart."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The focus is on developing and polishing those critical first chapters that must hook editors, agents, and of course, your readers. The first installment: Presentation, appeared on Friday, November 13th. Next up will be the topic of Openings which will take a look at ways to make the most of the first paragraph.
If you are looking for ways to improve your manuscript, and who isn't? Check it out!
Monday, November 16, 2009
- All the World Written by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee
- The Lion and the Mouse Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
- MOONSHOT: The Flight of Apollo 11 Written and Illustrated by Brian Floca
- The Odd Egg Written and Illustrated by Emily Gravett
- Only a Witch Can Fly Written by Alison McGhee, Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
- A Penguin Story Written and Illustrated by Antoinette Portis
- The Snow Day Written and Illustrated by Komako Sakai
- Tales From Outer Suburbia Written and Illustrated by Shaun Tan
- White Noise By David A. Carter
- YUMMY: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales Written and Illustrated by Lucy Cousins
1. "Once there was a boy named Nicki who wanted his new mittens made from wool as white as snow." The Mitten - A Ukrainian Folktale adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett
2. "In a warm and sultry forest far, far away, there once lived amother fruit bat and her new baby." Stellaluna - Written and illustrated by Janell Cannon
Friday, November 13, 2009
Here is a rhyming picture book that is a popular read-aloud in library. The children enjoy being able to predict words. I share this book early to introduce children to the way illustrations and text work together.
Thus begins the story of a hungry mouse who eats his way through crackers, jam, pickles and cheese leaving a messy surprise for the unsuspecting family. The vibrant illustrations were created using cut-paper collages.
Here are Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. Once there was a boy named Nicki who wanted his new mittens made from wool as white as snow.
2. In a warm and sultry forest far, far away, there once lived a mother fruit bat and her new baby.
Can you identify the title and author? Answers will be posted on Monday.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Your book is finished and polished to gem-like perfection. Now what? Yes, it's time to write that query letter.
Here are a couple of my earlier posts to help you get started:
- It's Writers Wednesday: the question is - How do I find an agent?
- "How do I get published?" That's the million dollar question!
Yesterday's post at Bookends, LLC - A Literary Agency discusses many of the reasons queries are rejected...a good thing to know if you want to avoid that experience as much as possible.You can continue your research in the process with some great articles found at Jill Corcoran Books in her November 5th post. Jill is an Associate Agent at the Herman Agency, where she represents MG and YA books. She is also a published author so she understands the query from both perspectives and has provided links to several of her query and agent related posts from the past. Each of those posts contain additional links to suggestions and comments by editors and agents so you will find a wealth of material to explore.
Monday, November 9, 2009
- Janell Cannon, author of Stellaluna.
- Sterling North, author of the Newbery Honor Book, Rascal.
- Armstrong Sperry, author of the Newbery Honor Book, Call it Courage.
- Lois Ehlert, you'll recognize her illustrations in Bill Martin's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
- Hilary Knight, who illustrated Kay Thompson's Eloise.
November is also Apple Month so here are two fun selections dealing with that tasty treat:
- Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson - A book about Grandma and the rest of the family making applesauce...how much fun can that be? You'll find a delightful surprise in the pages of this fun, read-aloud picture book that comes complete with a yummy recipe.
- One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert traces the life-cycle of an apple from the freshly-picked fruit through the discarded seed and back again to a full-grown tree. It's the circle of life paralleled in the life of the narrator.
Here are the answers to Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis.
2. When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news." Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Happy Birthday to The Miss Rumphius Effect - three years old this month. A wonderful source of information about children's literature and teaching.
Wild Rose Reader is hosting The Poetry Friday Roundup.
A favorite story told in rhyme for this season is Dav Pilkey's humorous take on the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas." In this updated story, turkeys and a bus-load of school children conspire to create a unique Thanksgiving. It wouldn't be November without this read-aloud in library. "Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving" by Dav Pilkey.
Acquaint yourself with editor Marilyn Brigham at Marshall Cavendish Children's Books by reading the interview by Terry Pierce at the blog that carries her name: Terry Pierce: Children's Author.
Here are Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
2. "When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news."
Can you identify the title and author for each of these first lines?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
"I've just finished my first picture book and have a talented artist friend who would like to draw the pictures, but I've heard that many publishing houses prefer to use their own illustrators. Why?"
- Every publishing house has artists with whom they have already developed a working relationship and consequently the editor will be familiar with the artist's style and work habits.
- A book by a first time author can benefit from having a well-known, perhaps even award-winning illustrator attached to the project because the illustrator's reputation is another selling point with reviewers, book distributors and stores.
- The art for a picture book is a big investment in money and time (many months are devoted to the sketching and painting) and the publishing house needs to be assured that the final result will meet their standards.
- Ultimately, the editor is looking to select an illustrator that has just the right vision for the book.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The simple fact is there's no short cut to becoming a good reader. Like any other skill, it takes practice -- the more you read, the better you'll read.
Here are five simple keys to reading success with your children.
- Provide reading materials (books and periodicals) that complement their interests.
- Discuss vocabulary and encourage the use of increasingly sophisticated words in everyday conversations.
- Create a basis for discussions about literature by reading the books your older children enjoy then engage them in conversation about their favorite characters or scenes.
- Tempt reluctant readers with books related to favorite sports, hobbies, or other interest such as movies.
- Model reading by sitting down for a few minutes each day to enjoy your favorite book. A books is perfect while waiting for appointments or picking up children at school. Read aloud some funny or interesting parts of your favorite book.
1. "In the great green room, there was a telephone and a red balloon." Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
2. "These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
Congratulations to Jennie Rothschild at Biblio File for correctly identifying both titles and authors.