I am thrilled to count myself among the ranks of children’s picture book writers. I believe, whole-heartedly, in the power of picture books. Of course, there are thousands of reasons to love picture books, but I’ve compiled my top ten.
My Top Ten Reasons Picture Books ROCK:
- Picture books provide an ideal setting to connect with your child. Reading picture books provides a time for parent and child to just be, together. There is no better way to connect, at the end of a hectic day, than to get lost in a picture book together. This ritual is one that you can continue well into their teen years (yes, really, I promise). Trust me, these shared moments are what kids look back on. That child becomes a parent who reads to his/her child, and so on, and so on…
- Picture books are funny. Where else can you laugh, out loud, about a pigeon begging to drive a bus or a “crack-up” over a dog, who despite his farting habit, becomes a hero?
- Picture books are serious. Some of the heaviest social and personal issues seem more approachable when told through a picture book. This can be a fantastic opportunity to explore situations, fears, and events that children might otherwise be reluctant to explore.
- Picture books are art. You don’t have to be an art expert to enjoy the limitless artistic styles waiting to be explored within a picture book.
- Picture books are ideal for reluctant readers. The illustrations in picture books help children understand the story better by providing visual clues of what is happening in the story and what might happen next. While a chapter book, filled with lines of text, might be intimidating-a picture book welcomes us to step inside-no special skills required. And wordless picture books provide an excellent opportunity to explore a story, without reading a single word. Wordless picture books can also be a great tool when working with English language learners.
- Picture books teach. I challenge you to find a non-fiction topic NOT explored in picture books. From world cultures and traditions, to life-cycles, or politics, picture books have it all. Teachers often use non-fiction picture books to supplement a specific topic or concept.
- Picture books are accessible. There is a reason librarians place picture books in bins on the floor and on low shelves. Picture books can take it, they are meant to be handled.
- Picture books make kids better readers. When we read picture books with our children, we are laying a strong foundation for their emergent literacy skills. The simple text helps them become skilled at sounding out words. They learn about the context and structure of stories, and recognize the relationship between cause and effect. All of these skills are crucial to becoming fluent readers.
- Picture books are NOT just for young children. As children get older, reading becomes a solitary adventure. We often push them (too fast, too soon) into chapter books and novels. But your child should not be denied this sacred time with you just because he/she is “growing up”. No one, nope, no one is EVER too old for picture books.
- Picture books are empowering. Children depend on adults for so much. We tell them what to eat, how to dress, what to say, and when to play. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for children to feel empowered. Going to the library, and allowing your child to choose his/her own picture books, is a great opportunity for him/her to feel independent. Very young children are able to memorize their favorite picture book stories. I don’t believe there is any better feeling of accomplishment than when a child can “read” a picture book to his/her parent. Can he/she truly read the words? No, but “reading” what he/she has memorized means he/she is internalizing the structure of a story. He/she knows it has a beginning, a middle and an end. He/she knows how to hold the book, and to turn the pages at the appropriate time. And this tiny person is reading, to you, all by him/herself! How cool is that?!
I hope my top ten list encourages you to crack open a picture book, with your child or loved one, and enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment and share what you love most about picture books. I am interested to know how picture books impact you and your family.
This is no ordinary review…these adorable girls love Aggie so much, they plan to dress up as her for Great Britain’s World Book Day (UK & Ireland). They dressed up as Dust Fairies last year, complete with home-sewn Dust Bunnies (pictured below)! If you like to read inspirational blogs, Sylva’s is not to be missed.
Library Journal is arguably one of the most respected catalogs relied upon for book selections by public libraries. Historically, they’ve only listed books by big-name publishers, but in 2015 that all changed when Library Journal and Biblioboard partnered to form the SELF-e program for self-published and small press authors…
To read the rest of this informative post, click on the link or photo of the Author, Melinda Clayton, below:
Hoping this year’s book drive is as fabulous as last year!
Wow! That’s all I can say about the wonderful authors who donated books to MARCHing Books to Kids of incarcerated parents book drive. I dropped off another huge collection today, and I was able to spend time in the VNS library. It was great to see all of the books on the shelves, but the best part was seeing all of your books. I was able to “Drop Everything And Read” a few days late, and I read many of your awesome books for the first time! You authors are as talented as you are generous. It was a pleasure to read the books you’ve created. The VNS staff members are very appreciative of the outpouring of donations from authors in 12 US states, and 3 additional countries. I’ll have the final book count very soon, but I can tell you the sentiment outweighs that total by loads and…
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I was diligently writing my next book scrolling my Facebook feed, when I discovered today is National Hug Day. So, I thought I’d send a virtual one your way.
This is Artie, the main character from my first children’s book, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale. As you can see, Artie loves his Dust Bunny.
In honor of National Hug Day, I thought it would be fun to host a mini giveaway. To enter, post a bunny-related photo of you or a loved one. I am not the most tech-savvy gal, so I have no idea if you are able to include a photo in a reply to this post. If you can, do it! If not, send one my way via my Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #DustBunnyHugs).
PLEASE post only G-rated photos. The winner receives a print copy of my book (US residents). A winner outside of the US receives the Kindle version.
Thank you, and Happy Hugging!
Here are a few of my own bunny shots:
(Yes, unbeknownst to me, my son elected to have his face painted as a zombie at our annual Easter dinner/egg hunt-proud mom moment to be sure).
You walk in and hand it to them. Well, not quite that easy, but close. I’m exhausted from jumping up and down over here – Shizzle, Inc is now available at Readings St Kilda (that’s in Melbourne, Australia). How’s this for starting 2016 with a bang:
I always wanted to get my book into a brick-and-mortar bookstore, but did not have a plan on how I was going to get this feat accomplished. My general feeling after reading online articles was that it’s very hard for self-published authors to do so. Perhaps it is, if you expect the bookstore buyers to order books from CreateSpace, but NOT if you are willing to be a supplier yourself, and to sell on consignment (this means you don’t get paid until the book is sold, and the store reserves the right to return the stock to you without payment, if it does not sell).
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It’s that time again.
Please share your book(s) &/or blog links now through January 5th!
For those that are new to this post: Once a month I invite fellow authors &/or bloggers to share their novels and blogs. I invite everyone to post links to their personal websites, other social accounts, or advertise a link to BUY (if applicable). Use this space to BRAG about your blog or what you have published! Be proud of your hard-work & not embarrassed to self-promote!
If you have a book for sale (or upcoming)- I will add your book to my list of “authors to read” by the genre – See example here: Authors to Read!
For those who have posted before: Feel free to advertise again. Or- if you have a different book you would like me to add to the list (or different link to buy)- please include it.
Title. Genre. Release date (if…
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A must-read for anyone who writes!
Well, I figure I have one more day to drunkenly torch my platform. Sad thing is I don’t drink. I am apparently this stupid when sober 😛 . Actually I am writing this as a follow up for my rant from the day before yesterday, because knowledge is power.
Writers need this. Your friends and families need this. Readers need this. The more people get how this industry works, the more everyone can start working together for everyone’s benefit.
In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World, I go into a LOT more detail and I highly recommend you get a copy if you don’t have one. I spend the first chapters of the book explaining how the various forms of publishing work so you can make an educated decision.
All types of publishing have corresponding…
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This end-of-year roundup introduces all of the picture books I didn’t get a chance to share over the past year. They were all published this year and are available at my library; perhaps they’re available at yours as well. As you scroll through this long list, my hope is that you will find a few gems that you have not yet read. I’ll see you in the new year with the next post featuring the latest picture books At The Library.Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and successful New Year! 🙂
A boy awakes with the dawn and expresses gratitude for this unique day.
Six little ninjas from Dojo Daycare are going on a field trip to the farm.
An illustrated, interactive story with a narrator who invites the reader to meet a vast array of pet monsters, such as the Yucky Mucky twins, and choose one to take…
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Thank you to all who have purchased one of my books and taken the time to write a review. All profits from my books go to help dogs like these. Current count for 2015 is 123 dogs rescued from kills shelters. It’s definitely going to be a very happy new year for a lot of families. I’m so grateful for anyone who’s helped with this effort in any way.
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Debbie was such an awesome presence in the kid lit community. She touched the lives of many, and she will be missed.
I didn’t know Debbie Alvarez all that well. I had been following her blog, The Styling Librarian, for the past few years, and I knew she’d been on the forefront of the kidlit librarian blogosphere. I was a fan of Debbie’s ‘Whatever Wednesday’ posts and the fact that until this fall, all of her posts appeared a day early (due to the fact that she was living and teaching in China). I’d always get to her #IMWAYR posts on Sunday nights.
When I found out that Debbie passed away on Monday after a three year battle with cancer, I was both saddened and shocked. I had no idea she wasn’t well. Her blog was one of the best out there and her enthusiasm for books was unmatched.
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A must-read for kid lit authors! It’s hilarious, and TRUE!
An Open Letter to Celebrity Children’s Book Writers
By Paul Czajak
My wife did something shocking that rocked the foundation of our marriage. A betrayal so heinous I asked myself, “Et tu Tracey?” What was this Judas-kiss you ask?
She bought a picture book written by a celebrity.
Before the betrayal: Author and wife at an early signing
I know in the grand scheme of things, or in any scheme of things for that matter, this is small potatoes. But you have to understand, I am a children’s picture book author and the celebrity picture book is the bane of my existence. To give you a sports analogy, it would be like a husband being a Red Sox season ticket holder sitting next to his wife in the stands and she is wearing a Yankees jersey.
Wars have started for less.
You see, as a children’s picture book author I…
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The story went like this.
One day, Thomas Edison was sent home from school with a note to his mother. With tears in her eyes, his mother read the note out loud:
‘Your son is a genius. The School is too small for him and we don’t have enough good teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.’
Many years later when his mother died and Edison had become one of the greatest inventors of the century, he found a note among his mother’s papers. It was the note from the school which said:
‘Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school anymore.’
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: ‘Thomas Alva Edison was…
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THE BEZERT BY MARIA KNIER
1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
The Bezert is a unique, imaginative and poetic parable about the value of trust. The main character, Bezert, has never left the safety and comfort of his island home. But when a box magically appears below his window, it proves too tempting not to take a look. By entering the box, the Bezert begins a journey of self-discovery in a dreamlike world of unknowns and mysterious inhabitants. Ultimately expanding the view of himself, his world and learning the value of trusting himself.
2) What inspired you to write this book?
I was working as a freelance editorial illustrator when I created this book many years ago. At the time I also had just begun studying Ayurveda, a timeless healing philosophy and sister science to Yoga. This book was inspired by a combination of other…
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There are so many people that are amazing, giving, and wonderful in the children’s picture book writing and illustrating world. I loved how Debbie Ridpath Ohi created and shared some incredible resources for planning out writing plans.
This was so incredibly generous…
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!
Thank you again to “Eat the Book” for the Whatever Wednesday meme: http://mretome.wordpress.com David Etkin’s words: “Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. A cool quote or poster, a picture, student work, a video—you know, Whatever. Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.”
If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates…
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Writing a book is a lot of work (understatement of the century). But, self-publishing that sucker makes writing it look like a walk in the park. I was recently trying to explain the process to a good friend of mine. She and her husband are renovating an old Victorian home. As we were swapping “sweat-equity” stories, it dawned on me…the two endeavors are not that dissimilar. The only difference, I told her, is that self-publishing for the first time, is like building your own house, but with no experience, no blueprints, and no tools. Here are my top-ten reasons that self-publishing a book is like building a house.
- It always takes longer than you planned
- It always costs more than you planned
- It’s really exciting at first, then it begins to consume your entire life
- Agonizing over the simplest detail seems normal
- You wake up, at least once a night…
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Reflecting on the trip…
I don’t know why the Row your Boat song popped into my head. Truth be told, I don’t know why any of the random thoughts pop in or out of that squishy blob. But, pop in it did, and the next thing you know I’m off on another one of my metaphorical musings about how the lyrics reflect my self-publishing journey. I have been rowing the “S.S. Self-Publisher” nonstop. She and I have not necessarily gone “gently down the stream”, but we’ve had one heck of an adventure. Just when I think I can’t dig that oar in one more time, I close my eyes and envision the “dream”. Life is but a dream, and we each chart our own course. My dream is to publish a beautiful children’s book, and I’m looking forward to my “merrily, merrily, merrily”.
I am so excited to interview the oh-so-talented artist and clever kid literature writer Karen as my featured December spotlight. I first became acquainted with Karen via Twitter social media kid lit groups and am happy to say she is as welcoming as she is creative and professional.
Her sweet children’s picture book “Hello Teeny Pheeny” captures not only the imagination but is detailed with beautiful artistry to engage young readers into the delightful and charming story. Karen’s passion for inviting readers, writers, and illustrators into her captivating world promoting children’s literature is clearly evident in her smart blogs and insightful, resourceful and supportive website.
Karen makes a point of not only welcoming kid lit talents but also extending genuine enthusiasm and knowledgeable experience throughout her work with fellow children’s literature colleagues. Three cheers for such a brilliant creative and let’s take a peek into her…
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JUST A DUCK? BY CARIN BRAMSEN
1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
Duck has decided to be a cat, and tries to show his good friend, Cat, that he’s just like her. He strives gamely to climb a tree, but when his best efforts fail him, his confidence begins to ebb. In an attempt to cheer him, Cat accidentally lands in deep water, where they both learn just how lucky they are that Duck is a duck. This book is a sequel to Hey, Duck!, told in rhyming dialogue.
2) What inspired you to write this book?
A mental image of Duck trying to slink like his friend, Cat, was the first spark for Just a Duck. I already had a strong sense of Duck’s character from my previous book, Hey, Duck!. He is wildly enthusiastic, inclined to silliness, but with some instinctive wisdom…
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The 7th annual Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) came to a close yesterday and I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in the challenge.
I’d also like to thank Tara Lazar, the PiBoIdMo founder and organizer. For those who don’t know, Tara spends countless hours each summer and fall lining up guest posts, contacting agents for prizes, organizing a Cafe Press store (where she donates all proceeds to Reading Is Fundamental – RIF), moderating registration, managing the PiBoIdMo Facebook Group, sorting out and awarding prizes, and probably a dozen more things I don’t even know about.
She does this all for us. PiBoIdMo is completely free. For everyone.
And while all of this work does give Tara’s books some exposure, that exposure doesn’t count for much unless we, the PiBoIdMo participants, take action.
So this holiday season, I encourage everyone to purchase at least one (or…
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Yesterday I posted my final picture book post for all of the signposts in the amazing book Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. It has truly been awesome finding picture books to go along with the strategies that can be used for many grade levels and through so many lenses. I thought it would be nice to gather all 6 posts here for easy reference and also to highlight a few rockstar picture books that can be used for more than one signposts, that way if you have a limited budget for book buying (don’t we all), you can start with these few and still cover a lot.
Here are the links to the original posts, make sure you check out the comments as even more picture book ideas were shared there.
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by Joe McGee
Inspiration…that’s what we’re here to discuss, isn’t it?
To bandy around, to kick back and forth like a dented Campbell’s soup can on a weed-choked school blacktop. You know, the kind of blacktop where a hundred little sneakers will soon be racing around, attached to skinny ankles, attached to band-aide slathered kneecaps, attached to Star Wars t-shirt wearing torsos, attached to toothless grins on eager faces.
You there…yes, you. The adult standing over by the bleachers. Can you—there, that’s better. No shirts tucked in. Can we smear some dirt on your knees? Maybe leave a little cheese doodle smear on your cheek? Let’s put a few candy wrappers, a rock, and a marble or two in your pocket. Good, now we can talk. I mean, after all, we’re talking about writing for kids, right?
How can we write for kids if our adult selves get in the…
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The Legend of the Dust Bunnies
a fairy’s tale
Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie
Both By Michelle R. Eastman
And Illustrated by Kevin Richter
Fairies enter your house at night, and yes, it’s true, they spread dust, spider webs, and crumbs EVERYWHERE. That is, all but one very sad and lonely fairy named Artie. Artie collects thread, lint, and hair. What does he do with it? Artie makes a dust bunny to keep him company. When all of the other fairies see it, they each want one too, so Artie sets about making dust bunnies for everyone. And, now you know!
Michelle Eastman’s The Legend of the Dust Bunnies: a fairy’s tale is a delightful story about where dust bunnies come from. Every child is sure to love this wonderfully illustrated book with colorful characters and lilting text.
Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie is the second book in the…
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What a great response to Who’s That Indie Author! Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. It has been great to “meet” these interesting authors. What’s the number one challenge for indie authors? Marketing and promotion. Here’s the place to get started. If you are an indie author and want to get your name out there, see the instructions at the bottom of this post. Join the Who’s That Indie Author community!
Here’s a recap for September and October. Be sure to click on the author’s name to view the indie author profile.
Genre: Children’s Picture Books
Books: The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale & Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie
Favorite Book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Biggest Challenge: Marketing and promotion
Contact Information: Be sure to check out Michelle’s website at Michelle Eastman Books. You can…
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Wow! What an awesome array of kid lit!
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Enjoying books week by week… I decided to spread out what I’m reading recently over a few weeks… so this isn’t everything but I’ve enjoyed them all!
Special posts shared this past week: (There were quite a few!)
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, Illustrations by Katie Kath
Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Troy Cummings – special author interview feature as well!
Celebrating other wonderful books I’ve enjoyed recently:
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A picture book review…times two!
You know how much I love children’s books! Picture books with a rhyme and a cadence are my personal favorites. And since I read to five different preschool classes every week, I’m always looking for great new books.
I just received two such books and can hardly wait to read them to the kiddos. Blossom the Book Butterfly heartily endorses both books!
The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a fairy tale was the first book I received this week. The pictures are charming and delightful. But the story is what truly makes this book great. Did you ever wonder where the Dust Bunnies come from? Well, read this wonderful story and you will soon see. The cadence of this book makes it quite easy to read aloud. And the illustrations make it a complete picture book. I highly recommend this one for all your young ones. Five out of five stars
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