2017 Best in Rhyme Award Top 20

Source: 2017 Best in Rhyme Award Top 20

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Book Review and Giveaway – WRITING IT RIGHT!

Source: Book Review and Giveaway – WRITING IT RIGHT!

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Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHOW ME A STORY – WRITING YOUR OWN PICTURE BOOK Plus Giveaway

Source: Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHOW ME A STORY – WRITING YOUR OWN PICTURE BOOK Plus Giveaway

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New Release! DANGEROUS JANE (+ giveaways)

An amazing woman ahead of her time. Who knew she was on the FBI’s list of “Most Dangerous Woman in America” in the 1920s? She was wanted for serving as president of the Woman’s Peace Party. Source: New Release! DANGEROUS JANE (+ giveaways)

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Book Giveaway – Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy by Alayne Kay Christian

Source: Book Giveaway – Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy by Alayne Kay Christian

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What Makes a Book a Good “Read Aloud”

I Capture the Rowhouse

I have this idea, which is perhaps just my own, that some books should be reserved for kids to read themselves, some books are better read aloud and some books are good both ways.  I don’t know if I can totally express what the difference is.  Certainly it’s a subjective sort of thing.  However, I’m going to try to offer some guidelines.

A good read aloud book:

  • Tells a simple story in rich language. Kids in early elementary school are ready to head Charlotte’s Web, but the vast majority aren’t read to read it yet because the language is too complex.  Some books, like The Jamie and Angus Stories, which I keep recommending as a good first read aloud for younger children, will even be boring by the time kids are able to read them independently.
  • Is enjoyable for the reader too. There’s nothing worse than having to…

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The Road That Trucks Built by Susanna Leonard Hill, Illustrated by Erica Sirotich

Every 4-7 year old will delight in this picture book written by the one and only, Susanna Leonard Hill. Every little one will enjoy learning about the many trucks needed to build a new road. The story line is engaging, complete with short, rhyming sentences that will have kids asking to read the story again and again. The illustrations by Erica Sirotich are bright and colorful. There is much to like about this picture book; from the rotating cover, to the endpapers, to the eyes depicted on each piece of equipment to the guide that follows the story identifying the parts of a bulldozer, grader, paint maker, scraper, roller, and paver. A special book for boys and girls. I know my great-nephew, Zebadiah, and his parents will have fun with this book.

Be sure and check out Susana Leonard Hill on her Word Press site at Making Picture Book Magic.

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Alayne Kay Christian

Today, I am sharing a presentation that I made showing how a picture book is made. It shows what the picture book looks like when first printed on an offset printer, it shows how signatures are made. It shows fold and gather, cutting, and stitching. It shows how the cover is attached. And more.

I plan to one day make a video so that the folding process will be easier to see. But I need to enlist the hubs as a photographer. He is sometimes harder to corral than a herd of cats 😉 So, for now, I hope you enjoy this video. Click here if you need a larger view of the video.

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It’s Never Too Late: 10 Writers & Artists That Were Late Bloomers

It’s Never, Ever Too Late.

Leigh Hecking

leighhecking.com header

In a world where it’s all about the next, young innovative person to come along, it’s easy to feel like we have passed our expiration date as writers or artists.  But does creativity have an expiration date?  Is there such a thing as “too late” when it comes to creating?

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The Fuzzy Line Between Fiction and Nonfiction

educating alice

I really appreciate Julie Danielson’s Kirkus blog post, “The Stories In Between” as she considers a topic near and dear to me — the blurry line between certain works of fiction and nonfiction.  Two picture books she considers are Greg Pizzoli’s nonfiction Tricky Vic and Deborah Hopkinson’s Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig. These are both works of history, something of particular interest to me. Julie refers to the following comment I made on a 2014  blog post of Betsy Bird‘s about invented dialog in picture book biographies:

… As you know I tried for years to write the story of Sarah Margru Kinson as nonfiction and finally was convinced to fictionalize it. The result is being called historical fiction, but it hardly is a novel in the conventional sense. I think it is a lot closer to some of the titles…

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