October 17, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Ninja Red Riding Hood

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I was certain this book had been reviewed already for PPBF, but when I went to find the link (so I could add it to the prize mention on the Halloweensie Contest) I couldn't find it anywhere!  Is it possible that since it came out in July while we were on hiatus it never got reviewed?  Or did I just not see it?  Who knows?!  But it's too good to miss, so enjoy!  (And if someone already did it, you'd better give me the link! :))

Title: Ninja Red Riding Hood
Written By: Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrated By: Dan Santat
G.P. Putnam's Sons, July 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: fractured fairy tale, humor, girl power, language fun (rhyme)

Opening: "Once upon a Ninja-filled time,
a wolf couldn't catch any prey.
He kept getting licked
by the dinner he picked
and was growing more ticked by the day."

Brief Synopsis: The big bad wolf, having taken a licking from the three nina pigs, decides to attend martial arts school and then see if he can snack on Little Red Riding Hood.  But Red turns out to be way more than he bargained for!



Links To Resources: Teacher Guide/Activity Pages; compare this version of RED with the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Writing, and any other versions you like (this page lists quite a few!) - how are the stories alike? How are they different?

Why I Like This Book: For starters, I love fractured fairy tales, and this is such a clever one!  The rhythm of the rhyme is terrific, and just begs to be read aloud.  The story, complemented perfectly by the illustrations, is tons of fun.  I love that Red has a few tricks up her sleeve and is well able to take care of herself - a great message for girls.  Gran has a few surprises too.  And the poor old wolf... you just have to feel a little sorry for him :)

Hopefully, here's the trailer (although my internet is currently being extremely uncooperative and refusing to show any videos, so we'll just have to see if this works or not!)



For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  I hope you're all thinking about and/or writing your Halloweensie stories!  Personally, I am still in the thinking about stage :)


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October 15, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #149 - Your Friend, Conrad (PB) PLUS A Halloweensie Prize Update!

Darlings!

I was going to be so succinct and just get right to Would You Read It today, and you were going to be so proud of me for my extreme brevity... I had it all planned out...

BUT!

I have to squeeze in a teensy Halloweensie Contest update!!!

Remember how I told you that the prizes kept rolling in?

Here's what our goody bag of prizes looks like now! (words in color are links for more info)

Julie Hedlund's fantastic new course How To Make Money As An Author, interesting, educational and suitable for writers at any stage of their career

 - a 2015 membership to Children's Book Insider, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes

 - a picture book manuscript critique from the renowned Alayne Christian (prose only, 800 words or less)
Alayne Kay Christian is an award winning author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio. To read more about Alayne, her critique service, and her books visit her websites and blog.

- a picture book manuscript critique (rhyme or prose) from Penny Parker Klostermann who, after extensive experience critiquing for writing partners, members of various kid lit groups, and clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is opening her own critique service!!!
Penny Parker Klostermann writes picture books and poetry. Her debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, is coming from Random House Children’s, August 2015. Penny is represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Click HERE to learn more about her critique service. 

 - a picture book manuscript critique by Tracey M. Cox!  Tracey offers a full critique on a fiction PB, 800 words or less, which will include overall impression and line-by-line on a prose only pb ms.  She will also include thoughts and marketing ideas that she thinks about and if she can think of references, she'll add them also.  Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000 and is an author of 6 picture books.  She is an active member in the children's literature community and explores how to self-market on little to no budget.
Website: www.traceymcox.com
Blog: www.traceymcox.wordpress.com


 - an e-pub or PDF copy (winner's choice) of Linda Ashman's Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books

 - a personalized signed copy of I WANNA GO HOME by Karen Kaufman Orloff, the latest in the brilliant PB series that began with I WANNA IGUANA.

 - a personalized signed copy of I AM COW HEAR ME MOO by Jill Esbaum (reviewed for Perfect Picture Books HERE and HERE - yep, it's so popular it got reviewed for PPBF twice :))

 - a personalized signed copy of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD by Corey Rosen Schwartz, the riveting follow-up to THE THREE NINJA PIGS.

 - a PDF copy of Ryan Sias's A Spooky-Doodle E-Book"doodle pages, drawing lessons and writing prompts inspire kids to invent their own stories, characters and artwork."

And I'd like to clarify (because I got asked) that people who donate prizes are still eligible to enter the contest!  Just, if they win, I won't give them their own prize :)

And that is 10 prizes now, all very generously donated!  So I'm hoping we'll get at least 10 entries :)

Okay!  Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.  (Brevity is overrated anyway... :))

Since I know you're all revved up at the prospect of all those amazing prizes, and are going to run right off to your favorite writing corner and get to work on your entries as soon as you've commented for today's WYRI pitcher, let me fortify you with a little Something Chocolate! :)

Since Halloween is coming, it's important that we embrace the occasion in our chocolate snacks.  Today (don't be scared!) we have Spooky Boo Brownies!!!

Find the recipe HERE if you want to give these scary delights a try! :)

Oooh!  So spooky! . . . and chocolatey and delicious :)

Now then, today's pitch comes to us from Debbie who says, "I have been writing all my life but have been more serious about it in the last 5 years, joining groups like SCBWI and Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12, taking courses like MPBM (Making Picture Book Magic), and attending conferences. Susanna’s knowledge, generosity, and encouragement make this group essential to my writing life. Thank you, Susanna! And thank you all in advance for your feedback."

(Debbie's website will be up soon, and when it is, I'll let you know where to find her! :))

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Your Friend, Conrad
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Conrad receives an invitation to visit his best friend Fiona. She tells him he’ll need to bring a sword, a bow and arrow, and … exactly ten marshmallows?! Conrad bravely sets out not knowing that the path will lead him into a leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to the edge of a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks in the deep. Will this unlikely hero have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Debbie improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are one or two openings left for this year, since there will be a hiatus for the Holiday Contest and the holidays themselves, so polish up your pitch and grab one of the last couple spots for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta before 2015!

Debbie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I think I said this last week (and I'll probably say it next week :)) but I am looking forward to the Halloweensie Contest!  I seriously can't wait to read what y'all come up with, and I also can't wait to give away all these lovely and amazing prizes!  Let's have a round of applause for our very generous donors! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


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October 10, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - You're Here!

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I love getting to read piles of picture books and pick out the best of the best to share here, but every now and again I get the extra-special pleasure of being able to share a book written or illustrated by someone I know and admire and am lucky to count as a friend.  Be assured - no matter who writes or illustrates the book, it only makes it onto Perfect Picture Book Friday if I really genuinely think it's perfect.  So today I have the joy of introducing you to a book by a very talented illustrator.  (She is also a talented writer, and I have no doubt we'll be seeing books where she is both the author and illustrator before long!)  Those of you who hang out in the kidlit circles probably already know her well.  Congratulations, Julie, on your first book-baby - it's here! oh, it's here! oh, it's finally here! :)

I hope you will all enjoy this sweet little picture book for newborns :)


Title: You're Here!
Written By: Karla Oceanak
Illustrated By: Julie Rowan-Zoch
Bailiwick Press, October 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: Newborn - 2

Themes/Topics: first year milestones, family, new baby, love

Opening: "You're here! Oh, you're here! Oh, you're finally here!
Hip, hip, hooray! We've been waiting, my dear!
For your fingers - so perfect.  Your nibbly toes.
Your wide-window eyes and your neat, nubbin nose."

Brief Synopsis: A new baby is welcomed with much anticipation of all the wonders and milestones the first year will hold.

Links To Resources: Just read this lovely story with infants to begin the tradition of reading together; read with older children and talk about their first year - all the things they did and when, and how wonderful it was, maybe share their baby journal if you kept one, or look at photographs of them as infants; read with new siblings to help them understand what they can expect from their new little brother or sister.

Why I Like This Book: The story is simple and sweet, and expresses beautifully the wonder and love and happiness of a new baby.  It would make a perfect gift for any family with a newborn.  If you are a parent, it will make you a little teary, thinking about when you first met your babies :)  But the reason I love this book the most is the art.  Julie Rowan-Zoch's sweet drawings are simply perfect for this story.  The family, depicted as elephants, are just darling.  The baby's rosy cheeks, delightful expressions and infant antics are picture perfect.  Julie's art adds an extra layer of warmth and emotion to this little treasure of a book :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can't wait to see what you've chosen this week!  And I will not be surprised if someone else has chosen this book! :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! :)


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October 8, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #148 - Me Hungry (PB)

Well, things are pretty quiet up here on Blueberry Hill.

The hummingbirds have left for Mexico. (Smart cookies.)

The hornets have left because something (not me!) bashed in their (really ugly) house.

(Truthfully, I feel sorry for them.  They worked so hard on that (evil-looking!) house.  I don't know where they went, but they're gone.  At least I think they are... I haven't actually gotten close enough to tell for sure.  I'm not THAT much of a glutton for punishment :)  But I digress...)

The blueberries have left because the bears ate them.

The deer are quietly turning that soft brown color that makes them one with the woods in winter.

And this morning, when I was out for my morning jaunt, a whole flock of birds (swallows? really I'm making that up - the only birds I'm sure of are chickadees, cardinals, and blue jays :) - but they COULD have been swallows because that sounds nice) ANYway, the whole flock rose from a tree and took off above my head in a rush of wings - so beautiful in the stillness!

So, with all that quietness, it's a good thing we're about to liven things up with the 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!

If you missed the announcement, go HERE and read all about it!

And the prizes are rolling in - there are going to be lots of good ones! - so pop those thinking caps on!

Now then!  Down to today's business!

First, I'm happy to announce that the winner of the September Pitch Pick is HOPE!!! with her pitch for Cleo And Pinkie!  Congratulations, Hope! Your pitch is on it's way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts.  And congratulations to ALL  our brave pitchers - you all did a fantastic job and it was terrible to have to pick only one of your wonderful pitches when all your stories sound great!

Phew!  Let's take a break after all that excitement and indulge in Something Chocolate!  (Like we need an excuse :))

Today's Something Chocolate is chocolate deliciousness AND a story prompt, because really, don't those raspberries look like little critters huddled under a toadstool sheltering from a chocolate rain?  Maybe even chocolate thunder?  (which sounds like it should be a whole 'nother dessert! :))  Or maybe they're hiding under a rock behind a chocolate waterfall!  Or maybe they want to splash in chocolate puddles and they're daring someone to go first!  Whatever, I think they have a story to tell :)


You can think about it while you lick the plate :)

Today's pitch comes to us from Gail who says, "Recently, I participated in the Making Picture Book Magic workshop and in the Telling Children Stories in Today’s Market intensive. I’m a member of SCWBI, and hold both a degree in Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma in Journalism from Cambrian College. You’re welcome to visit http://gailtalbot.com anytime to learn more."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Me Hungry
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Ted's delicious dreams are interrupted when a noise creeps from his closet. He peeks from under his blanket and discovers a teeny-tiny zombie! When Ted tries to feed his new famished friend, things don't go smoothly — meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! But, Ted's quick thinking help the pair through. Zombie's tummy is finally filled, and Ted becomes a chef, just like he always wanted.  "Me Hungry!" is a fast-paced, 500-word, boy-oriented picture book. A little “Master Chef” meets “Goosebumps,” the story features Ted, a boy who learns that facing his fears is the first step in making his dreams come true.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Gail improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in November so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Gail is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing to gather up prizes for y'all, and to how much fun we're going to have writing and reading entries for the Halloweensie Contest!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


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October 6, 2014

About That Exciting Announcement I Promised Last Week

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Last week I told you I had something exciting to tell you today and I do!

Are you ready?

dddddrrrrruuuuummmmmrrrrrooooollllllllll!!!!!

This week . . .

. . .

. . . Stop & Shop bath tissue is on sale for $.75 off!!!

I know!  It's not every day you get such incredible news!

So bring the van and load up, alrighty?  I knew you'd want to know!

Okey-dokey, then.

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you all have a Marvelous Monday :)

See you on Wednesday for Would You Read It.

Bye.

Buh-bye now.

Bye! :)

Oh, but wait.  I guess there was one more thing. . .

Apparently I'm becoming very nice in my old age, because here it is, only October 6, with a full 3 weeks to go, and I'm announcing. . .

DUHN DUHN DUHN. . . !


The 4th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
That's right!  It's about that time!


courtesy google images
The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words pumpkin, broomstick, and creak.   Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words (you can count candy corn as one word) and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie - because it's not very long and it's for little people :)  (And yes, I know 100 words is short but that's part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 80 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form - e.g. creak, creaky, creaks, creaking, creaked, pumpkiny, broomsticks, whathaveyou :)  No illustration notes please!

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Monday October 27th and Friday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my October 27th post.  There will be no Would You Read It that week, and no PPBF, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy.  If you don't have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of that post once it's up. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I'll post it for you!)

The Judging: in a grueling, marathon weekend, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee - you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we'll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 3rd.  The winner will be announced in a special Thursday post on November 6th.  If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turn out we did last year, all bets are off.  I may post as many as 10 finalists and I'll probably end up giving everyone a prize :)  But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

The Prizes:  yeah... I'm still working on the prizes :)  Feel free to chime in in the comments if there's something you'd particularly like to win! :)  But prizes will include:
 - Julie Hedlund's fantastic new course How To Make Money As An Author, interesting, educational and suitable for writers at any stage of their career,
 - a 2015 membership to Children's Book Insider, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes,
 - a picture book manuscript critique from the renowned Alayne Christian (prose only, 800 words or less),
Alayne Kay Christian is an award winning author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio. To read more about Alayne, her critique service, and her books visit her websites and blog.
 - an e-pub or PDF copy (winner's choice) of Linda Ashman's Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books.
 - a PDF copy of Ryan Sias's A Spooky-Doodle E-Book, "doodle pages, drawing lessons and writing prompts inspire kids to invent their own stories, characters and artwork." 

Plus whatever else I dream up in the meantime :)

I hope those fantabulous prizes fill you with enthusiasm for the contest!

So sharpen your pencils!

Get your butt in that chair!

See what amazing, knock-your-socks-off story you can dream up!

It's a chance to hone your writing skills, practice your craft, write to specifications and a deadline, win amazing prizes, AND get to read and enjoy the wonderful stories written by all your fellows :)

Many thanks to Julie, Jon and Laura, Alayne, Linda, and Ryan for their very generous prize offerings!

I literally cannot wait to read your stories!!! :)

Now, for real, have a Marvelous Monday everyone! :)


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October 3, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Little Boo

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Now that it's October, it's fair to start sharing Halloween picture books, right?

I'm glad you agree :)

Here's a pretty new one, just published this August.

Title: Little Boo
Written By: Stephen Wunderli
Illustrated By: Tim Zeltner
Henry Holt & Company, August 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: Holidays (Halloween), Emotion (patience/impatience), Nature (lifecycle of a seed), Common Childhood Experiences (wanting to be bigger/older)

Opening: "The wind blew, the leaves fell, and a tiny seed hid in the garden.
"Boo," the seed said to a leaf rolling by.
"You're not scary at all," the leaf said.

Brief Synopsis: A little pumpkin seed tries hard to be scary but he just can't seem to scare anyone - not the leaves or the grubs, not the snowflakes in winter or the bees in spring!  "Be patient," the wind tells him, "you'll be scary soon enough."  But it's awfully hard to wait!

Links To Resources: plant a seed and watch it grow - indoors in a container or outdoors in a garden; 40 Things For Kids To Do With Pumpkins; 9 Easy Pumpkin Recipes For Kids

Why I Like This Book:  It's just so cute!  Look at that little pumpkin seed face - how can you not love it?! :)  The story is simple but so relatable for kids who always seem to want to grow up faster than nature allows.  And within the sweet story we also get a nice little glimpse of the life cycle of a seed - so cleverly slipped in there!  To top it off, the art is absolutely gorgeous -  colorful and warm and so appealing!  This is a wonderful one to add to your Halloween book shelf :)



For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

And although I haven't been posting on Mondays, be sure to visit this coming Monday for an important announcement!

Have a great weekend, everybody!!! :)


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October 1, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #147 - Eat At Antonio's (PB) PLUS The September Pitch Pick!

Happy OCTOBER everyone!

Holy smoke!  How did we get to October already?  The days are just flying by! (some might say like a witch on a broomstick!)

And you know what October means, right?  Look for some exciting news on Monday!!! :)

Meanwhile, it's time for the September Pitch Pick!

Here are the wonderful September pitches for you to choose from, revised and improved thanks to your generous feedback!:

#1 Hope - Cleo And Pinkie (PB ages 4-8)
Whether it is marker stains on the carpet or mud trails in the hall, Cleo blames her mischievous, imaginary friend, Pinkie, for everything. “Pinkie did it!” Soon Mommy can’t take it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” But without Pinkie, the house is too quiet until Cleo makes another mess, this time, to everyone’s delight.

#2 Koren/Sue - Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel (PB ages 6-13)
A true beauty, Taffeta used to win all the rosettes in pony shows in England. But one day a man bought her, and she had to move away from her mother, to her new home in hot and dusty Spain. When her new owner fell ill, so did Taffeta.
Taffeta could barely stand from lack of food and water. Luckily, she was found by a couple from a local horse rescue center, and soon Taffeta found supermodel status again.
Share in the heartwarming true story of Taffeta’s rescue and rise to fame in this diary-style picture book illustrated with beautiful photographs.
Taffeta: Diary of a supermodel is the second in a series of children’s books in which the horses and other animals saved by Spain’s Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre share their real-life rescue stories. All funds raised from the sale of this book help the center care for its many rescued horses, ponies, and donkeys.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Center is based in Rojales, along Spain’s famed Costa Blanca coastline in the Valencia province. The center opens to the public every Sunday all year round. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.easyhorsecare.net or email center founders Rod and Sue Weeding on rescue@easyhorsecare.net.
Thank you for your support.
#3 Carol - Cwabby Wabby Woofen-snoof (PB ages 4-7)
Woofen-snoof was a happy snoof. Then one day she forgot to take her nap. She was cwabby. After causing a disaster in her house involving her brothers, Goofen and Zoofen, she decided she would never be cwabby again. And she wasn’t. That is, until the next time she forgot to take her nap. Uh-oh!

It's a tough choice as always, I know!, but please choose the one you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday October 5 at 5 PM EDT.  I will announce the winner on WYRI next week!

Golly!  After all that voting we need a snack!  Autumn is in the air, and that makes me think of cider donuts - the very best donuts on earth!  So I'm cheating on Something Chocolate a little today by offering you these:

YUM!

Along with this:

Also YUM!

Is there anything better than fresh cider donuts and hot chocolate?  I think not! :)

All right!  Ready for today's pitch?

It comes to us from Tonia who says, "I have been writing children's stories since I could make words with a pen. I locked myself in my room and wrote and wrote. I now write for kids in my spare time and sharing and engaging them in stories. I blog at www.storytellertellsall.com. Most of the time, it is about my daughter "Goldi" who has autism but I mix in other writings as well."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Eat At Antonio's
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 8+)
The Pitch: A  strange looking restaurant pops up in a small ho hum farm town offering fine cuisine. A real stir is created as these plain Jane folks can't swallow much more than meat and potatoes and common sense. The Grand Opening announces a real eating adventure. Once inside, Master Chef Antonio will transform the taste buds that will take them to exotic places with just one bite. 

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Tonia improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in November so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Tonia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to sharing exciting things on Monday!  I wonder what I'll be telling you?  Aren't you just itching to find out?  You're probably going to have a tough time sleeping or getting anything productive done for the next few days, what with all the waiting and wondering...  Sorry about that :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)


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September 26, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - You Are (Not) Small

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I spent easily half my week writing a picture book which is not working and which at this point I hate a little bit :)  Why is it that an idea which seems so good when it starts out in your head can turn out so badly when you get it on paper?  I still feel like there's a kernel of good story in there somewhere, but darned if I can find it right now :)

Ah, well, at least I have a lovely, fun picture book (not mine :)) to share with you today!

Title: You Are (Not) Small
Written By: Anna Kang
Illustrated By: Christopher Weyant
Two Lions, August 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-6

Themes/Topics: Differences, Perspective, Humor

Opening: "'You are small.'
'I am not small.  You are big.'
'I am not big.  See?'"

Brief Synopsis: Two creatures (whose fur, noses, and expressions suggest that they are indeed closely related) argue over who is small and who is big.  But it's really all in how you look at it :)


Links To Resources: Kids Activity Guide with printable growth chart; Classroom Guide for K-1st with Common Core Standards; start a discussion on the difficulty and/or desirability of establishing standards; read with Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal - how are these books alike? how are they different?

Why I Like This Book:  This book is short and simple, yet it manages to convey an important message with humor.  I dare you not to laugh at the end :)  In 91 words, it manages to get across the idea that we can be big and small at the same time, and in spite of our perceived differences we have much in common.  The art is appealing, and the characters' expressions speak volumes.  For anyone who has ever felt too little (or too big), this is the perfect story.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  Can't wait to see what other wonderful picture books will be on the list this week!

Have a wonderful first weekend of Autumn, everyone! :)


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September 24, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #146 - Cwabby Wabby Woofen-Snoof (PB)

So yesterday morning, when it was 38 degrees and barely light, and I was out doing my duty to dogs and fitness, (I would say "running", but even "jogging" would probably be considered a gross exaggeration of my pace :)), anyway, I was out slogging and I got stung 4 times by white-faced hornets.

I know!

There I was at 6:45 AM, minding my own business, passing their (very unattractive) home with its (evil-looking) entrance and giving it a wide and respectful berth as I have done every day since I discovered it at the end of July, when an angry buzzing issued forth and I barely had time to think "uh-oh!" before zing! zing! zing! zing!

To which I responded, "Ow!"

There was some sprinting involved at that point as I envisioned the whole nest coming after me like the bees did in Winnie-the-Pooh.

Also I was pulling my fleece off over my head whilst sprinting because one of those nasty little critters had gotten up my sleeve.

And also I was hollering to my Brown Dogs to "Look out!" and "Come here!" (whilst sprinting and de-fleecing) because I was afraid of them getting stung by that evil horde.

Too bad there's no video footage :)

But really, I consider 4 to be overkill.  One would have been quite sufficient to get the message across, and even that was unwarranted as I was not threatening them in any way.  And seriously, what business did they have even being awake at that hour and in that temperature?!

I tell you, I was miffed!

And then later in the day I found out that my new book, ALPHABEDTIME!, which was due out in Fall 2015 will not be out until Summer 2016.  And you all know that impatience is my middle name, so that was a teensy bit tough.  Please don't get me wrong!  I am exceedingly grateful to have a book coming out at all!  It's just hard to wait :)

Therefore, I believe I have earned today's Something Chocolate, and I gladly share it with all of you in case you have been miffed or had to bear any little disappointments lately, or even if you haven't and just want Something Chocolate :)


Feel better?

Me too :)

Today's pitch comes to us from Carol who says, "I have been writing for about 30 years and have 7 books to my name. I have sold many articles and stories to publications such as ​Highlights for Children, Girl's Life, the SCBWI Bulletin ​and ​The Writer Magazine."

You can find her on the web at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Cwabby Wabby Woofen-Snoof
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch: Woofen-snoof was a happy snoof. Every day she laughed and played with the other snoofs. All of the snoofs loved her cheerful outlook and enjoyed being around her. Everyone called her Happy, Wappy, Woofen-snoof. One day, Woofen had so much fun playing that she forgot to take her nap. Uh-oh!

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Carol improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in November so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Carol is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to all the season premieres this week: Big Bang - which I know already aired but I haven't gotten to watch it yet - Modern Family, Gray's Anatomy and Scandal.  Yep.  Now you know all my dirty little secrets :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! :)


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September 19, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Most Magnificent Thing PLUS The Goodnight Ark Giveaway Winner!

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Boy do I have the most magnificent book to share with you today!  It's one of those books that makes you revel in how perfect it is when you get to the end and want to read it again right away in case you missed anything and then again just to enjoy how much fun it is :)  I hope you all like it as much as I do!

Title: The Most Magnificent Thing
Written & Illustrated By: Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press, April 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: creativity, perseverance, perspective, emotion (frustration)

Opening: "This is a regular girl and her best friend in the whole wide world.  They do all kinds of things together.  They race.  They eat.  They explore.  They relax.  She makes things.  He unmakes things.  One day, the girl has a wonderful idea.  She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing!"


Brief Synopsis: A little girl sets out to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing with the help of her best friend and assistant, her dog.  Imagine their shock when the thing turns out not to be magnificent!  In fact, it's not even "good. It isn't even kind-of-sort-of okay. It is all wrong."  So she tosses it and starts again.  But it's not easy to turn her vision into reality.  Frustration leads to anger, and anger leads to defeat.  Luckily, her assistant suggests a walk which brings calm and clarity and a new perspective... and a most magnificent thing :)

Links To Resources: supply a variety of craft items and/or found objects and encourage kids to think up and create their own "magnificent things"; Goldie Blox Toys (which encourage girls to put down the dolls and pick up the tools and might give you some invention ideas)

Why I Like This Book:  I love that this story addresses what may be the most common of all childhood emotions: frustration!  The little girl has a great idea.  She can imagine it perfectly.  She knows exactly how it will look.  But she has a hard time translating what she sees in her mind's eye to the physical reality of her most magnificent thing.  Her escalation of emotion is real and believable (and kids will relate to it so well!)  And the message that sometimes a little distance and a little time to calm down can help improve your perspective is a wonderful one.  In the end, she makes something that is just perfect (but I won't tell you what it is :))  The art is cute and full of humor.  The depiction of emotion is spot on.  The story touches on imagination and creativity, making things from found objects, dealing with frustration and disappointment, keeping/finding your perspective, not giving up, the idea that it's okay to make mistakes, and the importance of having a good friend.  All around, a book kids will enjoy and parents will be glad to read multiple times.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, before we all trot off so see what everyone else picked this week, I'd like to take a moment to announce the winner of last week's giveaway.  Laura Sassi and her publisher, Zonderkidz, generously contributed a copy of GOODNIGHT, ARK and the lucky winner is . . .

Sandy Perlic!!!

Congratulations, Sandy!  Please email me so we can organize getting you your book!  And thanks to everyone who shared their bedtime routines - we all had so much fun reading about them!

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can't wait to see what's on the list for today :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! :)


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