Thursday, April 28, 2022
Monday, April 25, 2022
When I was 8 years old, I met James Howe at the local library. He wrote some of my favorite books, HOWLIDAY INN and BUNNICULA. Our local newspaper covered the event and snapped my photo, describing me as “an author of sorts.” I still have the books that he graciously signed, and I am still a super fan of librarians and authors everywhere.
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Thursday, April 14, 2022
"It’s a challenge to write an informational book in rhyme without the word choices seeming forced, but this one succeeds. With text that flows naturally; it begs to be read aloud. The rhyming phrases are accompanied by companion facts that appear as scraps of paper taped onto the pages. While there are many other insect books, this one employs a distinct concept. The work of each of the bugs being considered is compared to different jobs humans may have. Many of the connections are especially inventive and surprising. Bailey writes “rain or shine, sleet or snow, it’s one big bug world on the go!” In this way, she shows that they are like postal workers who do their work in all kinds of weather. She compares fireflies to park rangers, as both send out protective warnings. Excellent for vocabulary building, a lot of strong words, such as chomp, chew, croon, dance, trek and trap, stand out in contrasting colors. Eldridge has constructed scenes using real environmental materials like sticks, leaves, and dirt, employing a variety of craft materials to sculpt the bugs and the two inquisitive characters. Back matter includes additional fun facts. VERDICT A worthwhile purchase for collection seeking to expand their insect resources or informational books in rhyme."
Sunday, April 3, 2022
"Rhyming couplets meet larger-than-life creatures … How could a bug lover not appreciate two dung beetles who seem to be conversing across their ball of poop? Beyond its three-dimensional flora and fauna, the art includes two wide-eyed, observant girls, both brown-skinned. ... Lively affirmation for budding entomologists."
Friday, March 25, 2022
The first time I heard the term "high concept picture book” was at a SCBWI conference in 2010. I had no clue what it meant and - full disclosure - I did not find out the answer until, well, let's just say reeeaaally recently.
Here is a fabulous article I wish had been available way back in 2010!
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Thursday, January 6, 2022
Whenever I write a new PB I always also draft a little blurb to go along with the story. I do this even when my manuscripts are very, very rough because it helps me focus on my main idea. I am easily distracted and will often - SQUIRREL! Oh yea, and just like the main story, my blurb gets edited over and over again.
Since drafting blurbs (and pitches and synopsis) is one of my favorite author "hacks" for creating a strong MS, I was thrilled to come across the following blog post by author Stef Gemmill. She brilliantly explains the difference between these itty bitty - but oh so important - word piles.