Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

I'm taking time off to celebrate this wonderful holiday season with family and friends.




I'm wishing you the best success yet in all your reading and writing endeavors.

See you in 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Book Aunt.

My selection is Winter lights : a season in poems & quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines.




Hines gives voice and vision to the many celebrations of winter in this collection that includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year along with various winter scenes.  The quilts are brilliantly colored, beautifully detailed and in many instances intricately constructed.  The book concludes with notes about the construction of the quilts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Geo Librarian.

My selection is "Barbarians!" written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Robert Byrd.


Kroll begins his book with a pair of questions -- "Are you rude, crude and uncivilized?  Could you be -- a barbarian?"  He offers both the history of the word and an up-close look at four groups commonly referred to as barbarians: the Goths, the Huns, the Vikings, and the Mongols.  He acknowledges their war-like tendencies, but goes on to describe their history, culture, and beliefs.  Each chapter is enriched by sidebars offering facts on various topics.  Best of all, Kroll provides readers with a clear understanding of the ways in which these barbarians changed and enhanced their world through their many encounters with the civilizations of the time and left behind a legacy that has continued to the present day. 

Byrd's richly colored illustrations are intricate in their detail and powerfully depict the life of these barbarian societies from the battle-field through day-to-day life.  Maps, timelines and a bibliography complete the book.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Read, Write, Howl.



Florian continues his winning ways with lively fun in this collection of poems about mammals ranging from the Aardvark to Zebra.  He makes playful use of both the names and appearances of his selected menagerie as in this short verse --
"Aardvarks aare odd.
Aardvars aare staark.
Aardvarks look better
By faar in the daark."

The art work, painted on brown paper bags, varies from verse to verse, but each is as inventive and clever as the words they accompany.  Some animals are rendered in broad strokes as with the tennis shoe wearing rhebok on the cover.  At other times, Florian uses detailed renderings to great advantage challenging readers to make an accurate count of the zebras from among their many stripes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writer's Wednesday

Today I'm sharing. 

There's a wonderful article posted at Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing by Tina Moss titled "Write Like a Reader."

Well worth your attention.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Gathering Books.

My selection is "Kubla Khan: the emperor of everything" by Kathleen Krull with illustrations by Robert Byrd.


Krull makes it clear that accurate information and primary sources are few, but despite that lack she creates an interesting look at Genghis Khan's grandson from his youth to his legendary rule as the first Emperor of China's Yuan Dynasty through his later years.  Precise details and dates might make this a less than great choice for report writing.  However Krull's rich portrait would certainly give older readers a clear feel for the man, his world, and the culture he influenced in countless ways.

Byrd's Chinese inspired art reflect the wealth and scope of Kubla Khan's life with glowing color and intricate detail.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Carol's Corner.

My selection is "Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face and Other Poems: some of the best of Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Brandon Dorman.


Here is a collection of over one hundred poems, including fifteen new works created for this book, by the first U.S. Children's Poet Laureate.  Tongue-twisters and clever word-play abound in these thoughtful and silly verses.  Tigers eat spaghetti, at least that's what they say.  Elephants, cows, monkeys, cats, and dogs share pages with the Clocktopus, a Sleek Bananaconda and the Detested Radishark.

Dorman's vibrant illustrations provide another layer of whimsy and charm and meld perfectly with the lively language.

The book includes fifteen activities, games, and puzzles, performances by the author and an index of first lines.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone



Monday, November 21, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Books Together.

My selection is "A Wizard from the Start: the incredible boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison" written by Don Brown.

It may surprise readers to discover that Thomas Edison was not a good student. In fact, his mother home schooled Thomas because his teacher told her he was "addled."  Edison wasn't addled -- he was a dreamer.  Daydreaming got him in trouble at school, but Edison's imagination, fueled by the fact that he became a voracious reader, led him to a life of invention. When he wasn't selling newspapers to train riders to help with the family finances, young Edison was experimenting with chemicals in the family cellar.  A life of hard work and curiosity eventually led to 1039 patents and the electric light bulb.  "A Wizard from the Start" is written for primary students and offers a lovely introduction to the life of this extraordinary man.

Brown concludes his book with an author's note and bibliography.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Tabitha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.


My selection is "Pumpkin Butterfly: poems from the other side of nature" written by Heidi Mordhorst and illustrated by Jenny Reynish.


Mordhorst has composed more than twenty poems in a variety of forms to celebrate a year of nature beginning with the Fall.  Her imagery stretches reader perceptions with references to squirels as high-wire acrobats and likening the dazzling yellow of sunflowers to jazz.  The child's voice moves from energetic to wistful as Mordhorst invites readers to look more carefully at the natural world with their eyes and their imaginations.  Poems for active children -- shooting cherry pits, playing with autumn's leaves, and creating snow angels contrast with more sophisticated themes and language as when she references butterflies as "the ghosts of pumpkins."


Reynish's illustrations provide added visual impact, elevate the language with powerful imagery and frame verses with thoughtful detail.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Playing By the Book.

My selection is "When Marian sang : the true recital of Marian Anderson the voice of a century" by Pam Munoz Ryan with illustrations by Brian Selznick.




Ryan and Selznick once again join forces. this time in the story of the extraordinary contralto, Marian Anderson.  This collaboration beautifully recounts some of the most notable moments in her life and in the history of the civil rights struggle.  Despite a plea from First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, Anderson was denied the opportunity to sing in Washington's Constitution Hall.  She sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instead to an audience of thousands.  She was the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.  She sang at the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Selznick makes full use of the musical theme in the design and presentation as he highlights the experiences of this American legend.

An extensive section, "Encore" written in two sections -- words from the author and words from the illustrator -- elaborates on details from Anderson's life and includes personal remarks from Ryan and Selznick.  A Timeline and Discography conclude the book.

For your enjoyment -- a short film about the life and music of Marian Anderson.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Teaching Authors.

The season from Thanksgiving to Christmas always inspires me with a nostalgic longing for a simpler time.  So in keeping with that sentiment, my selection consists of two editions of "Over the River and Through the Wood: a Thanksgiving Poem" written by Lydia Maria Child.

One edition, published by North South books in 1998, features richly colored woodblock illustrations by Christopher Manson.  This book also includes the words and music to the well-known song.



The other edition was published in 2011 by Candlewick Press and is illustrated by Matt Tavares.  Tavares' watercolor paintings are full of movement and feature wonderful small details that are well worth a second and third look.




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writer's Wednesday



It's Writer's Wednesday and in keeping with Picture Book Month I'd like to refer my readers to a pair of articles on the length of contemporary picture books. How has the trend in recent years to reduce the word count to 500 words or less influenced picture book popularity or the lack thereof?



Both articles are thought provoking and well worth your time and consideration.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Chalotte's Library.

My selection is "Do I Need It? or Do I Want It?: making budget choices" by Jennifer Larson.

Money management for the young set is the topic and Larson has provided a straight forward discussion in simple language to help children with the distinction between needing and wanting.  The format is visually appealing and the content invites discussion by parents, teachers, and students as a means of developing smart money strategies early.

This book is part of a series on economics that includes What Can You Do with Money? earning, spending, saving - What is Money Anyway? why dollars and coins have value - Where Do We Keep Money?: how banks work - Who's Buying? Who's Selling?: understanding consumers and producers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Laurasalas: Writing the World for Kids.

My selection is "Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors" poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrations by Beckie Prange.


Sidman and Prange, who collaborated on the Caldecott Honor Book "Song of the Waterboatman and Other Pond Poems" have produced another marvelous blending of a variety of poetic forms with science.  Ubiquitous celebrates some of nature's most intriguing and frequently overlooked survivors.  Bacteria, mollusks, lichen and sharks are just a few of the lifeforms celebrated for their longevity.  Each poem is paired with a thoughtful scientific discussion.  The subjects of Sidman's verses are arranged in the order in which they appeared in the evolutionary timeline which is an added bonus to give readers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the amazing world we share. 

Prange's artwork skillfully ties verse and science together with beautiful water-colored block prints.  A timeline on the endpapers provides a visual representation of geologic time and the appearance of various lifeforms.  The line is 46 meters long with each centimeter equaling 1 million years.

A Glossary and Author's Note complete the book.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writer's Wednesday

What's your favorite picture book? I'll bet you can name a few.


Rarely does a week go by when I'm not reading one of my favorites to a class in library. Even my sixth grade students are delighted by a good picture book. That said, you can imagine my dismay when word began to circulate that picture books were obsolete.


That opinion received national attention one year ago when The New York Times published an article -- Picture Books No Longer A Staple for Children.



Picture Book Writers didn't agree and now they are having their say.

I refer you to two articles.

The first is the October 31st post at Write4Kids titled November Being Touted as Picture Book Month. Here you will find background and information about the a new website written by noted picture book advocates.

Then support picture books by visiting Picture Book Month which opened on November 1, 2011. You will have an opportunity to read some thought provoking and inspiring essays by some of the most recognized names in children's picture books.
 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Jean Little Library.

My selection is "Teammates" written by Peter Golenbock and illustrated by Paul Bacon.




Golenbock, a well-known sports writer, provides young readers with a thoughtful account of Jackie Robinson's selection as the first Negro League player to join a major league team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. He skillfully tells the story of Branch Rickey's hiring of Robinson , the challenges Robinson faced from both a hostile public and fellow players and the actions of Pee wee Reese in support of his teammate.

Robinson was a target for verbal abuse, physical attacks and death threats, but Reese refused to participate in the harassment and is remembered for the moment when he offered a supporting arm to Robinson in an action that silenced fans, players and critics and is commemorated by a statue in Brooklyn's Coney Island Keyspan Park.

Bacon's illustrations are combined with photographs to provide readers with an authentic sense of the life and times of this baseball legend.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Random Noodling

My selection is "Holiday Stew: A Kids Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems" by Jenny Whitehead.



Here is  light-hearted poetry to keep you going all through the year.  The collection is divided into seasons, beginning with the spring and acknowledges not only the generally expected holidays, but touches on some others as well: daylight savings, grandparents' day, and teacher appreciation day to name a few.  There are plenty of poems related to the seasons as well and they vary from simple two-line verses to more substantial work, but all of them share a sense of fun. 

The whimsical gouache and ink drawings reflect the child-like point of view that informs the poet's voice throughout.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Apples With Many Seeds.

My selection is "All Star!: Honus Wagner and the most famous baseball card ever" written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jim Burke.



Yolen begins her tribute to this baseball legend,  who was one of the first five players inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, by sharing the story of how his baseball card sold for nearly three million dollars.  Wagner was a child from an immigrant family with a sixth-grade education.  He worked in a coal mine but went on to become a hero of baseball playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yolen skillfully intersperses anecdotes culled from Wagner's experiences with the personal values that sustained him.  Wagner, a nonsmoker, had his baseball card recalled in 1909 when he learned it was being included in cigarette promotions because he didn't want to set a bad example for children.  Yolen sets his story against a realistic picture America during Wagner's life (1874-1955).

Burke's illustrations are reminiscent of those early years and are filled with carefully rendered detail that makes each picture worthy of a second look.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup.

My selection is "Hallowilloween : nefarious silliness" from Calef Brown.




Brown is once again at his best with nonsense and fun as he explores the season of scary delight with  Poltergeysers, Oompachupa Loompacabra and Vumpires. 

In "Lone Star Witches" the witches of Texas/are practicing hexes/in comical conical ten-gallon hats...

You get the idea.  If you're a Calef Brown fan then you know what to expect and won't be disappointed.  If you aren't a fan yet; it's time to get acquainted.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Simply Science.



My selection is "Helen Keller: her life in pictures" written by George Sullivan.

Anyone who is familiar with Helen Keller knows she lost her hearing before she was two years old and eventually learned to communicate at the age of seven as a result of her lessons with Anne Sullivan, her teacher.  It is a remarkable story that has appeared on stage and screen.  But Helen Keller's life was far more than the story of how she overcame her disabilities.

Sullivan highlights Helen's accomplishments, which were extensive.  Following her graduation from Radcliffe college in 1900, Helen led a public life.  She wrote several books, appeared on the stage, starred in a film, lectured, and traveled extensively, visiting thirty-nine countries on six continents.  She served her country as a goodwill ambassador and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.   She raised millions of dollars to aid the blind.  She was an activist for a broad range of issues -- equality for the disabled, the right of workers to organize, and women's suffrage.

 Sullivan's choice of photographs give the reader a powerful sense of the scope and impact of Helen's life.  The book concludes with a chronology, bibliography, a list for further reading, other sources of information,  and an index.  The book also features a link to "Ask Keller" where readers can make inquiries about Helen Keller's life and receive a response in a monthly column by Keller Johnson Thompson, Helen's great-grandniece.  The column is found at Helen Keller Kids Museum Online.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Fomagrams.




My selection is "Cobwebs, chatters, and chills : a collection of scary poems" collected by Patricia M. Stockland and illustrated by Sara Rojo Perez.

Stockland has collected a variety of poetry forms woven together by a theme ideally suited to Halloween. Her selection is an eclectic mix of writers ranging from Carl Sandburg to Ogden Nash and provides plenty of opportunities to explore a range of poetic options that children would enjoy and teachers could use to encourage students to try writing poems on their own.

Perez's illustrations are weirdly entertaining and add to the fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Practically Paradise.



My selection is "I Could Do That!: Esther Morris gets women the vote" written by Linda Arms White with illustrations by Nancy Carpenter.

Esther Morris' "can do" attitude shaped her life.  At the age of six, she insisted she could learn to make tea like her mother -- and she did.  At nineteen she established her own millinery business.  And when she moved to Wyoming with her husband and sons, she saw no reason why she shouldn't vote.  She was instrumental in leading her state to be the first to give women the right to vote.  She went on to become the first women to hold a public office when she was sworn in as a judge to fill the vacancy created when her predecessor resigned in protest of women's suffrage.

White tells readers that there is very little documentation about the life of Esther Morris, but that only makes this story more remarkable.  White has done a splendid piece of work in providing her audience with a  heroine who is both admirable and believable.  If the line between nonfiction and historical fiction seems to blur at times, there is no doubt about the achievements of this remarkable woman's life.

Carpenter's illustrations are colorful and energetic, much like the character she portrays.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted today by Great Kid Books.

My selection is Tap Dancing on the Roof: sijo (poems) written by Linda Sue Park with pictures by Istvan Banyai.


Park, 2002 Newbery Medalist for her book A Single Shard, introduces readers to the Korean sijo. A sijo is similar to the more familiar haiku in that it has a well-defined structure, but this form of poetry is designed to surprise the reader with an ironic twist or joke as the last line.

If this sounds like fun, it is. Park explores a variety of subjects that are familiar and engaging for her young readers. Banyai's loosely drawn illustrations feel effortless and are a perfect, playful compliment to the text.

An Author's Note, Historical Background, Further Reading, and Tips for writing a sijo complete the book.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writer's Wednesday

I have a serious date with one of my manuscripts today.  I've given myself one week to complete a first draft.  You know how those deadlines go so we'll see . . .


In the meantime, I'd like to recommend a worthwhile post at Adventures in Children's Publishing -- Kiki Hamilton on Writing for the Love of the Story.  

If you are new to writing you will find encouragement and seasoned writers will enjoy this reminder of why we write.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by 100 Scope Notes.



My selection is "Fearless: the story of racing legend Louise Smith" by Barb Rosenstock with illustrations by Scott Dawson.

Women's roles were clearly defined in the 1940s and 1950s and Louise Smith met traditional expectations as a wife with a nursing career, but she wanted something more.  Speed!  She found what she was looking for in NASCAR.  She competed from 1949 - 1956, won 38 races, and became the first women elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Rosenstock leads readers through the life of this dynamic women who began her career as a novelty to attract fans and continued into her later years as a car owner for some of Nascar's best known drivers.

Dawson's paintings capture Smith's life with the nostalgic feel of a begone era and create a sense of power and movement that clearly convey the potent attraction of racing.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Versatile Blogger

I'm sending a heartfelt "Thank You" to Tammy Flanders from Apples with Many Seeds for recognizing me as a Versatile Blogger!




This recognition comes with three important responsibilities:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog. 
  • Share 7 things about you. 
  • Give this award to up to fifteen bloggers.  Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

Here are 7 things about me as a writer.

1. I began my career writing for regional and national periodicals.

2. My work as a Library Media Specialist surrounded me with children's literature and eventually caused me to switch a portion of my writing efforts to children's books.

3. My family pioneered their way West by covered wagon to Arizona and I grew up surrounded by Western culture which is why it is often reflected in my work.

4. I feel a personal and professional responsibility to share what I know about my craft with my fellow writers.  With that thought in mind, I've co-chaired Young Authors Conferences, provided in-service training/seminars for teachers, and taught writing workshops for children and adults.

5. I'm passionate about doing research.  I have shelves and shelves of books on a variety of topics related to the craft of writing, history, folklore, etc.  I favor primary sources for history whenever possible and some of my books are from the 1800s.

6. Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway have influenced me through their body of work, but also through their perspectives on the craft of writing.

7. One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain is: "To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.  To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself . . . Anybody can have ideas -- the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph. -- Letter to Emeline Beach, 10 Feb. 1868

I would like to recognize the following Versatile Bloggers -- listed below in no particular order:

Tales of the Rushmore Kid

The Miss Rumphius Effect

Teaching Authors

The Happy Accident

Adventures in Children's Publishing

School Visit Experts

The Librarian Writer

Jen Robinson's Book Page

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by True Tales and A Cherry On Top.

My selection is "Yellowstone Moran: painting the American West" by Lita Judge.


Frontier painters such as Frederick Remington, George Catlin and Charles M. Russell may be more familiar names, but Thomas Moran's trek into the Yellowstone wilderness as part of Dr. Ferdinand Hayden's expedition receives well-deserved attention in this visually stunning book. 

Judge does an excellent job of portraying the hardships endured and the determination with which Moran sketched and documented the amazing beauty and natural wonders of Yellowstone.

Judge's watercolors and the reproduction of Moran's painting, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, certainly explain how Moran's portrayals helped influence public opinion in favor of the creation of Yellowstone, America's first national park.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Picture Book of the Day.




My selection is "A Full Moon is Rising" by Marilyn Singer with illustrations by Julia Cairns.

Accomplished children's poetry Marilyn Singer takes readers on an around-the-world journey to explore the moon from multiple perspectives.  Her travels include New York skyscapes, coral reefs at spawning time, Hong Kong, Israel, Australia, the International Space Station, and the Sahara as she explores urban and rural, man-made and natural locales in search of lunar experiences to share.

Cairn's watercolors enliven the text in each double-page spread.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Tales from the Rushmore Kid.

Thinking about curriculum with today's selection -- "If Maps Could Talk: using symbols and keys" by Erika Shores.


It isn't the maps that talk here.  A bird by the name of Ace McCaw leads the readers through the text, photographs and drawings.  Young readers are introduced to basic map skills and are acquainted with terms such as compass rose, scale, and map keys as McCaw narrates a look into a variety of maps.  Simple examples and engaging activities round out the volume.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by The Poem Farm.

My selection is "Amazing Faces" poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins with illustrations by Chris Soentpiet.


Amazing Faces is an anthology of poetry by some of our most well-known and best-loved poets: Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Nikki Grimes, Lanston Huges, Jude Mandell, Pat Mora, Janet S. Wong and Jane Yolen are among the contributors whose poems reflect the diversity of America's children.  African America, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic and Native American will all be found in the pages, but the experiences and emotions expressed are universal to children of any background and provide a unifying theme. 

Soentpiet's glowing watercolors shine a light on the individual moments captured in each poem while at the same time adding another layer of expression, understanding, and continuity.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Tour concludes today with OutWest Marketing



To celebrate The Gingerbread Cowboy's Fifth Anniversary, I have a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing waiting for some lucky reader so giddy-up on over, leave a comment and your email contact information.

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Wrapped in Foil.

My selection is "You Are the First Kid on Mars" by Patrick O'Brien.


Written in the second person, O'Brien's book quickly immerses young readers in their personal trip to Mars.  The four-month long trip covers every aspect of the voyage from leaving Earth to taking up residence in a Mars research colony.  The young traveler explores the red planet's incredible landscape and observes scientists at work before it's time to board a rocket for the return trip home. 

Digital photgraph-like art gives the reader a visually stunning sense of the journey and the environment.  Readers will find it hard to believe that they can't make the trip just yet, but they will have no trouble imagining that such an event could easily be in their future. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out

Due to technical difficulties The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Tour didn't post yesterday as planned, but it’s up now and will be for several days with Heidi M.Thomas.




I will select one name at random from people who comment on any blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west.  The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information.
So Giddy-up on over there and leave a comment.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Tour continues today with Heidi M.Thomas.



I will select one name at random from people who comment on her blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west. The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information.

So Giddy-up on over there and leave a comment.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Secrets and Sharing Soda.


My selection is "Birds on a Wire: a Renga 'round town" written by J. Patrick Lewis and Paul B. Janeczko with illustrations by Gary Lippincott.

A Renga is a Japanese form of verse for two or more poets in which each writer creates a verse inspired by and linked to the previous poem thus producing an ongoing narrative.  Lewis and Janeczko demonstrate this form with skill as they move from the real to the abstract, shift viewpoints, and lead readers on a contemplative and sometimes surprising ramble through a small town to explore nature, its people and the community. 

Lippincott's soft, nostalgic illustrations take their cue from the poetry.  Each spread references the previous artwork and hints at what is to come, providing a visual affirmation of the text.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Tour continues today at On Being a Writer, Velda Brotherton's blog




I will select one name at random from people who comment on any blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west. The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information.

So Giddy-up on over there and leave a comment. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out



The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out begins today with The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer created by the incomparable Tina Nichols Coury at Tales of the Rushmore Kid.


The tour continues on


 9/10 with Heidi M. Thomas

9/12 courtesy of  OutWest Marketing

To celebrate The Gingerbread Cowboy's Fifth Anniversary, I have something special for readers:

I will select one name at random from people who comment on this blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west. The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out

The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out begins Tuesday September 6th with the debut of the new Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer created by the incomparable Tina Nichols Coury and debuted at Tales of the Rushmore Kid http://www.tinanicholscouryblog.com/.



To celebrate The Gingerbread Cowboy's Fifth Anniversary, I have something special for readers:

I will select one name at random from people who comment on any blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west. The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information.

The tour will continue through September 12th so stay tuned for the next stop on the tour.

Nonfiction Monday



Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Playing By the Book.


My selection is "The 2001 World Trade Center attack" by Jacqueline Dembar Greene


Greene combines her narrative with photographs and quotes from people directly involved to create a factual look at the events surrounding the 9/11 tragedy.  Written at a third grade level with reluctant or struggling readers in mind, this book provides a straight forward approach that is accessible to young readers.  Twelve chapters consisting of double page spreads of photos and text cover topics from the first news of the attack to our nation's recovery with topic headings such as Racing to the Rescue, Trapped, The South Tower Falls, City of Heroes, Hijackers and America Recovers.


The book concludes with four brief profiles of individuals from that day, glossary, bibliography, additional reading and an online resource.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Poetry Friday



Poetry Friday is hosted today by The Miss Rumphius Effect.

My selection is "Animal Poems" by Valerie Worth with pictures by Steve Jenkins


This collection of twenty-three poems about a variety of animals was published following Worth's death in 1994 and is a fitting tribute to her remarkable talent for using ordinary words to create an extraordinary experience.  Worth's perceptive free verse observations invite her readers to see the familiar -- from snails to whales -- with new eyes.  At first glance, the book appears to target a young audience, and many of the poems suit a youthful demographic.  However, there are also works that require a more sophisticated vocabulary and world view that will appeal to teens and adults as well.

Each spread highlights an individual poem and features the inventive cut-paper artwork for which Steven Jenkins is famous.  Textured, multi-dimensional collages are a visual treat in harmony with Worth's word pictures.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writer's Wednesday


On Writing Through the Fear . . .

There is a worthwhile post today on overcoming your insecuritites -- visit Teaching Authors.


"Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential." Jessamyn West




The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer