Hello, Sunflower!

Hello, Sunflower!
Picked from my Illinois Prairie Garden


By Suzy Leopold

I begin as a seed— gray with stripes.

Planted in the garden. On a warm spring day.

My seed cracks. I sprout beneath the soil.

A root digs deep. A shoot breaks through. 

A seedling sprouts. I reach high into the sky.

Spring rains. Strong winds.

I stand tall and strong. 

Storm clouds part. Rays of sun return. 

My woody stem shows specks of green and purple.

Sunshine rays. Summer days.

Tight buds. Open slowly.

Petals appear. Blossoms unfurl.

Heart shaped leaves of chartreuse.

I am a sunflower making a debut.

Hello, world! I am a sunflower!

My smiling face follows the sun.

I stand tall and strong.

Pollinators gather.

Bees buzz. Butterflies hover. 

Harvesting pollen. Drinking my sweet nectar. 

Shorter days. A faint Summer sun. 

Blooms drop petals. Autumn is here!

My smiling face takes a bow.

Weight of many sunflower seeds cause my droopy head.

Left in the garden, I share my seeds.

Birds peck. Dropped seeds. Squirrels feast.

Forgotten seeds on the ground will germinate.

Cold winter days. A veil of snow.

I snuggle in the garden bed.

Waiting for the cycle to begin once again in Spring.

And welcome a smiling sunflower.

Hello, sunflower!

Thank you Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Sanchez for the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Fall Frenzy Writing Contest.

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Book Giveaway: WAY PAST WORRIED by Hallee Adelman

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Hands-on Nonfiction Research with Annette Whipple, Author

Annette Whipple, Author, is featured on the GROG Blog this week.


I understand Annette thinks facts are fun. I agree. Annette writes informational books for children that include pieces of information as fun facts.

To learn more about Annette, her writing journey, and research tips for nonfiction stories, join me on the GROG Blog.

Read all about it on the GROG Blog.


There’s a giveaway for not one, but two hand painted acrylic, mixed media 4 X 4 creations.


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Rethinking Social Media Time for Creatives

This week on the GROG Blog I share thoughts about writers and social media.

So many feel it is absolutely important for writers to be visual on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What are your thoughts?

You can read all about the pros and cons on the GROG Blog.


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Let’s Look at Satisfying Endings

Writers who study the craft of writing children’s literature understand the importance of satisfying endings for picture books.
A good ending should satisfy the reader with delight and include an Aww!, Aah!, or Ha! 

Click on this link to read more about satisfying ending on the GROG Blog.

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Kidlit Community Answers The Call For Content

via Kidlit Community Answers The Call For Content

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Spring Fling Writing Contest



by Suzy Leopold

Winter white is melting, revealing shades of green.

Raindrops fall. Puddles deepen.

A season emerges with a new debut,             

Welcoming a new beginning on the prairie.

Seedlings peek through the soil, seeking warmth from the sun.

Buds burst. Leaves unfurl.

Flowers paint the garden with rainbow colors,

Blossoming across the wide open prairie.

Insects soar through the air, searching for nectar.

Bees buzz. Butterflies swirl.

Pollinators seek fragrant nectar with shimmery colors,

Emerging life is alive on the prairie.

Migrating birds return across a gray blue sky.

Robins flitter. Worms squirm.

Feathered friends chirp songs with cheer,

Building nests to lay some eggs.

Wake up! Wake up!

It’s springtime on the prairie.

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Avoid the “Spring Slide”

Due to a world-wide outbreak of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the virus as a pandemic.

During this time when school is not in session, I’m sharing some resources for kids and parents. These links support reading, writing, creating, learning, and growing.

Every day I discover many generous folks offering opportunties for children to stay engaged and avoid the “Spring Slide”.

This post will be updated as need be with additional links.

Children’s Book Council

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Young Writer’s Blueprint

Read, Wonder, and Learn

Draw with Ralph Masiello

Daily Live Read Alouds with Peter Hamilton

Creativity! Writing! Weird Tara Stuff!

Oliver Jeffers


The Kitchen Table Classroom

Color, Cut, & Create with Merrill Rainey

Write With Jess Keating

Kid Lit Authors Organize Virtual Book festival for May

Arree’s Free Creativity Camp

Melissa Stewart, Nonfiction Author Videos

Virtual Museum Tours

National Geographic Facts about COVID-19 Create a free account.

Josh Funk Saturday Story Time and Josh Funk Books

This Reading Mama

IXL Inspiration and Learning

SCBWI Michigan

Support for Individuals with Autism

Publishers Weekly

Barefoot Books

Lee & Low virtual author visits

50 Brain Breaks

Reading Tips for Parents

Love to Read

Created by my Cousin Gaylene aka Mrs. Patchwork

Continue to do what’s best for you, your family, and loved ones. Follow the recommended guidelines from the CDC, and requirements from your local community and state.


— A poem by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath–

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one aother’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love —

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

Poem goes viral

Lynn Ungar, Poetry and Other Readings

Sharing a link for writers to the GROG Blog.

State united. Stay connected. Choose happy.


Created by Suzy Leopold


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Today is #PBParty hosted by Michelle Hauck and Mindy Alyse Weiss.

If you’re a picture book writer, an illustrator, or both, check out the excellent opportunity.

It’s In The Details: Picture Books




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Book Giveaway – TYPEWRITER by Yevgenia Nayberg

9705602B-9463-4268-AA33-17BD1E0C88E6via Book Giveaway – TYPEWRITER by Yevgenia Nayberg

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