Kid Lit Author and Advocate

Why are Picture Books in Prison? 2.7 Million Reasons…

prison

The number of kids with incarcerated parents has increased nearly 80% in the last 20 years, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 2.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated, and parents of another 10 million children have been incarcerated at some point.  The experience can be profoundly difficult for children, increasing their risk of living in poverty and housing instability, as well as causing emotional trauma, pain, and social stigma. http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/reading-inside

But, through programs like the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Storybook Project, some of that stress melts away when kids and parents are able to share a special book together. Through an audio-tape reading program wherein imprisoned parents/grandparents read books to their children/grandchildren on tape, family bonds are strengthened and literacy skills improve as parents encourage their children to read with them and in their absence. Read this touching NY Times article to learn about the impact of these programs, from an incarcerated mom’s viewpoint. http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/behind-bars-finding-meaning-in-a-book-read-aloud/?emc=eta1/

How can you help?  Donate a book. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

Throughout the month of March, My literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On, hosts a special initiative called “MARCHing Books to Kids”.

We encourage book lovers to donate a favorite children’s book, and we invite authors and children’s authors to donate signed copies of their books to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

The Storybook Project serves children birth-17 years. They welcome donations of board books, picture books, early readers, graphic novels, chapter books, novels, non-fiction, etc. The sky is the limit!

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new or very gently used children’s book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project. Authors are invited to sign their books. Please include a note stating that your book is part of the MARCHing Books to Kids initiative. Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl (MARCHing Books to Kids)

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO. Share it on your blog and on social media. I share your posts on my social media, so feel free to include photos, book links, etc. Please include our badge and these hashtags ‪#‎PBPiO‬, and #‎MARCHingBookstoKids

PBPiO badge

#3 Pass it on. When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO giving chain. Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

If distance prohibits your ability to mail books to the Storybook Project, please consider donating books to children in need in your own community. Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe. So far, we have people “Passing it On” in the US, the UK, Australia, Soloman Islands, Israel, and Greece!

Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families!

 

burn books

Build It, and They Will Come…and Other Self-Publishing Myths

The traditional road to publishing can be long and winding. Do it yourself, and you’d better have a good pair of shoes.

tatoo

I often share stories of my self-publishing journey; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

old clown

The ugly moments came mostly from my own misconceptions about the process.

Myth #1 Build It and They Will Come…

Once you publish your book, it will fly off the shelves!

fly

One of the biggest misconceptions I had when starting out was that if I could just get my book published, the hard work would be over. Little did I know it had just begun!

I wanted to try something different in this post. I am hoping you will join me to build an unofficial list of self-publishing myths or things you’ve learned along the way that may be helpful to others. Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

Happily Ever After Starts With One Book…

MARCHing Books to Kids is underway! Throughout the month of March, I am reaching out to all of the book lovers, reviewers, bloggers, and authors who’d like to help get quality books into the hands of deserving kids. Happily ever after starts with one book and one child…

Featured Image -- 1290

Last year, I started the literacy initiative, “MARCHing Books to Kids” to raise awareness and collect books for children of incarcerated parents. I was delighted to have authors and lit lovers from all over the world support this cause. In fact, we received books from generous people in 11 different states and 4 countries! I hope this year will be just as great! The feedback from the participating families was incredible. They were especially touched that authors signed books for their children. That was a new experience for most of the families.

According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. DO NOT own books.  That is just plain wrong.  But, we can help fix it.

girl wagon

I believe that every child’s Bill of Rights should be indelibly inked with the right to have picture books read to him/her and to own their very own books.  Many of us take for granted the sacred ritual of cracking open a picture book, and cuddling together while the words and pictures collectively take us away.  You can probably recall having been read to by your parents or caregivers.  You likely hold a special picture book, from your childhood, close to your heart.  And, until now, you’ve probably not given much thought to how profound that experience can be.

Imagine, never having that.

I CAN imagine a child, growing up, never knowing the power of a picture book.  I WAS that child.  I DO want to lead the charge to ink “Picture Book” on every child’s Bill of Rights.  I’m a mom, teacher, and children’s author who believes, passionately, that we should never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book.

fist book

I celebrate the power of the picture book through my Picture Book Pass it On (#PBPiO) project where I share literacy information and resources and encourage people to donate books to kids in need.

Throughout the month of March I invite you to participate in a special initiative called “MARCHing Books to Kids”.  Book lovers can donate a favorite children’s book, and we invite children’s authors to donate signed copies of their books to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

The Storybook Project recruits, screens and trains volunteers to work with incarcerated parents and/or grandparents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, Iowa and the Newton Correctional Release Center (CNRC) in Newton, Iowa. Once per month, volunteers work with the mother, grandmother or father. The parent/grandparent and volunteer choose a book from the Storybook library that is appropriate for the child. The parent or grandparent reads the book while the volunteer records the reading onto a digital voice recorder. The book and CD are mailed to the child.

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new picture book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.  Authors are invited to sign their books. We accept books for kids birth-17 years of age, so the sky is the limit!

Books may be mailed or sent via Amazon to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl (MARCHing Books to Kids)

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO .  I share posts on my social media, so please include photos, book links, etc.

Share it on your blog and on social media.  Please include our badge (see below) and #PBPiO, and #MARCHingBookstoKids.

#3 Pass it on.  When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO  giving chain.  Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

If distance prohibits your ability to mail books to the Storybook Project.  Please consider donating books to children in need in your own community.  Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe.

Please feel free to contact me at www.michelleeastmanbooks.com

I appreciate your help spreading the word! Please share on your blogs and social media. Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families!

PBPiO badge

Top Ten Reasons Picture Books Rock…

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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:

  1. 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…
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

kid read

My Author Pity Party…

Traveling the indie publishing road can be a daunting and lonely journey. For the novice, there are plenty of opportunities to take a wrong turn, stumble, or lose sight of your destination. The entire experience practically begs you to throw yourself an occasional Pity Party, or two, or three.

Birthday boy having a tantrum

I have hosted some killer woe-is-me celebrations. Instead of a hangover, these blow outs always leave me in a funk. My last, and most impressive, fete was a month-long celebration after the rush of my book launch abruptly came to a halt. I won’t liken it to post-par tum depression (not out loud anyway), but it was pretty miserable.

Sad Pink stick figure sitting on a white chair

Everything leading up to the launch of my book was exhilarating. I had the launch party to plan, books to order, swag to buy. The launch party was a huge success. I sold hundreds of books that month and scheduled a handful of author visits. I received scads of 5-star reviews, and my book was featured on a few blogs. People were buzzing about my book, and I was on cloud nine. Then…crickets. Nothing happened. I went from living and breathing my book to staring at a pile of them. Cue the Pity-Party music and back-up dancers.

Revival

Gloom and Doom became my BFF’s. I beat myself up for not selling more books. I couldn’t think of anything to write. And, to make matters worse, I had spent a lot of money on self-publishing a book I was sure would never again see the light of day.

185050413

Since I couldn’t write, I read. I went to the library. I started reading picture books again. I found solace in the kid lit community. I read blog posts and articles, tweets, and memes.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

One of the articles I stumbled upon helped me kick those heifers, Gloom and Doom, to the curb.Tah-tah ladies.

sci fi

The author’s message helped me alter how I perceive my success and allow myself to appreciate the little moments as much as the big ones. That paradigm shift removed a huge roadblock in my writing career-a roadblock constructed by me.

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

My Pity-Parties are now (mostly) Pinch-Me Parties.

pinch

Instead of complaining that only 5 people showed up at my Barnes and Noble author event, I pinch myself. I look around and think, “OMG! My book is on the shelf at Barnes and Noble!” Rather than beating myself up that my online sales are not in the thousands, I take pride knowing a book I wrote is in the hands of hundreds of people around the world.

Not that I’m a masochist, but I kind of like this whole pinching thing. It seems the more I do it, the more “pinch able” moments come my way. My books are on the shelves of several book stores and libraries (pinch). I’ve been interviewed by our local TV and newspaper (pinch, pinch). I was a guest on Matthew Winner’s “Let’s Get Busy Podcast” (turbo-pinch, he typically interviews NY Times Bestselling authors).  And I was one of KidLitTV’s Featured Members. The Horn Book Magazine reviewed a collection of indie books for the first time in the history of the magazine, and my book was included (bad pinch on that one-Roger Sutton is not a fairy fan). School children in the UK chose to dress up as Dust Fairies (complete with matching dust bunny dolls) for World Book Day (pinch). My book has been a #1 Kindle on Amazon (pinch). I started a successful literacy initiative, #PBPiO #MARCHingBookstoKids and we’ve collected more than 350 books for children of incarcerated parents (pinch).

But, the best “pinches” by far, are all of the incredibly kind, gifted, generous people I have met on this journey. Thanks for your inspiration, humor, and support.

I love hearing from you. Tell me your best pity or pinch party story!

Thank you written in hands

Review of ‘Absolutely Aggie’ by Michelle R Eastman

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.

Source: Review of ‘Absolutely Aggie’ by Michelle R Eastman

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If You Give a Mom a Blog…

We know what happens “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”…but what happens when you give a mom a blog?

If you give a mom a blog, she’s going to sit for hours, staring at a blinking cursor.

She’ll probably realize that she needs some help.

Then, she’ll venture out into cyberspace looking for advice.

When she looks for advice, she’ll notice that there are some really cool pins on Pinterest…

3 hours later, she’ll remember that she was supposed to be looking for advice on starting a blog.

When she remembers that she was supposed to be looking for advice, she’ll realize that 9:00 am has become 2:30 pm, and it’s time to pick up her son from school.

When she looks in the mirror, she might notice that she’s still in her PJ’s and hasn’t bathed…again.

Which means, she’ll need a quick change, a spray of perfume, and a Diet Pepsi for the road.

And chances are, as she passes by the computer, she’ll notice, from the corner of her eye, the blinking cursor.

When I began the journey to self-publish my own children’s picture book, I had no intention of starting a blog.  But, start one, I did.  My foray into blogging and social media has introduced me to a wonderful community of like-minded Indie authors. I am grateful for their advice and support, especially when the cursor is blinking, and we’re out of cookies.

How did your blogging journey begin? How’s it going?

Library Journal’s SELF-e Program for Self-Published eBooks…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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:

library-journals-self-e-program-for-self-published-ebooks/

Melinda Clayton

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All I Really Need to Know…I Learned Writing Kids’ Books

I posted this piece a few months ago…

Writing is a solitary vocation. I spend a lot of time alone, pondering and reflecting, constructing and connecting. Most recently I connected my life, as a writer, to a well-known poem by Robert Fulghum. http://www.robertfulghum.com/ In the poem, Fulghum reflects on his days in kindergarten and how those lessons prepared him for life.

kindergarten

As I read his words, I began to ponder how becoming an author has enriched my life. I may not have learned “All I really need to know”, but I am constructing my journey one keystroke and lesson at a time. Here’s what I know…

All I really need to know…I learned writing kids’ Books

Share everything-

Give back to your fellow writers. Share articles and resources. Share your failures; they matter too. Lift someone up; show him the way. Give your books away to kids in need. Give back to your community.

Play fair-

I have dues to pay, like everyone else. There are no short-cuts or secret formulas to getting your books published or noticed.

Don’t hit people-

over the head with book promotions. It’s a fine line we walk when we promote our books. When in doubt, less is ALWAYS more!

Put things back where you found them-

Being an organized writer leads to being a productive writer (took me a long time to accept this one). This rule also applies to cats sleeping on your lap while you write. If you must disturb them, return them to your lap immediately.

Clean up your own mess-

I am a better writer when I can see the top of my work space (fought this one for years). Cats sitting on your work space are exempt.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours-

Whenever you quote or reference someone else or his/her work, give him/her proper credit.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody-

For me, this pertains to my husband. He is often on the receiving end of my writer’s block crankiness and endures my need for isolation when the block gives way.

Wash your hands before you eat-

A good practice on those rare occasions when I pry myself from my WIP to eat.

Flush-

Sometimes I have to let go of an idea that is not working to create space for a new one.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you-

And they make for delicious refreshments at book signing events.

Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some-

Okay, I’m still working on that one.

Take a nap every afternoon-

My cats handle this one for me.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together-

I am blessed to go out into the kid lit world, holding hands with some of the best people I know. Winding our way through the streets of the publishing world; we stick together.

Be aware of wonder-

Without wonder, how would we create anything new?

Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup; The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup-they all die. So do we-

The wonderful thing is that, as writers, we can make these moments matter. And what we write can matter to someone in a profound way.

And remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned-the biggest word of all-LOOK-

My greatest joy, as a children’s author, is seeing my words reflected through another person’s eyes. In that book, for those few moments, we look at the world together.

dream

What has your writing journey taught you? I’d love to hear about it. Don’t be shy, leave a reply.

One Small Gesture Can Make a Huge Difference…

UPDATE-Children’s authors and lit lovers are giving BIG to help kids of incarcerated parents!

MARCHing Books to Kids launched just over a week ago, and children’s authors are already making a big impact.  Thanks to all of you who have donated books and told others about the initiative. 

The number of kids with incarcerated parents has increased nearly 80% in the last 20 years, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 2.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated, and parents of another 10 million children have been incarcerated at some point.  The experience can be profoundly difficult for children, increasing their risk of living in poverty and housing instability, as well as causing emotional trauma, pain, and social stigma. http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/reading-inside

But, through programs like the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Storybook Project, some of that stress melts away when kids are able to visit their parents and read a special book together.

The Storybook Project recruits, screens and trains volunteers to work with incarcerated parents and/or grandparents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, Iowa and the Newton Correctional Release Center (CNRC) in Newton, Iowa. Once per month, volunteers work with the mother, grandmother or father. The parent/grandparent and volunteer choose a book from the Storybook library that is appropriate for the child. The parent or grandparent reads the book while the volunteer records the reading onto a digital voice recorder. The book and CD are mailed to the child.

How can you help?  Donate a book.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO

The Storybook Project serves children Birth-17 years. They welcome donations of board books, picture books, early readers, graphic novels, chapter books, novels, non-fiction, etc. The sky is the limit!

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new picture book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project. Authors are invited to sign their books. Please include a note stating that your book is part of the Picture Book Pass it On/MARCHing Books to Kids initiative. Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO. Share it on your blog and on social media. Please include our badge and ‪#‎PBPiO‬, and ‪#‎MARCHingBookstoKids‬

#3 Pass it on. When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO giving chain. Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

If distance prohibits your ability to mail books to the Storybook Project, please consider donating books to children in need in your own community. Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe. So far, we have people “Passing it On” in the US, the UK, Australia, and Greece.

Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families!

 

burn books

PBPiO badge

Review: Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie by Michelle R. Eastman

Source: Review: Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie by Michelle R. Eastman

Attention Generous Children’s Authors-Thank you! UPDATE

Hoping this year’s book drive is as fabulous as last year!

Michelle Eastman Books

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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Why are Picture Books in Prison? 2.7 Million Reasons…

prison

The number of kids with incarcerated parents has increased nearly 80% in the last 20 years, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 2.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated, and parents of another 10 million children have been incarcerated at some point.  The experience can be profoundly difficult for children, increasing their risk of living in poverty and housing instability, as well as causing emotional trauma, pain, and social stigma. http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/reading-inside

But, through programs like the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Storybook Project, some of that stress melt away when kids and parents are able to share a special book together. Through an audio-tape reading program wherein imprisoned parents/grandparents read books to their children/grandchildren on tape, family bonds are strengthened and literacy skills improve as parents encourage their children to read with them and in their absence. Read this touching NY Times article to learn about the impact these programs have, from an incarcerated mom’s viewpoint. http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/behind-bars-finding-meaning-in-a-book-read-aloud/?emc=eta1/

How can you help?  Donate a book. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

Now, through the month of March, Picture Book Pass it On is launching a special initiative called “MARCHing Books to Kids”.

We encourage book lovers to donate a favorite children’s book, and we invite authors and children’s authors to donate signed copies of their books to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

The Storybook Project serves children Birth-17 years. They welcome donations of board books, picture books, early readers, graphic novels, chapter books, novels, non-fiction, etc. The sky is the limit!

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new or very gently used children’s book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project. Authors are invited to sign their books. Please include a note stating that your book is part of the MARCHing Books to Kids initiative. Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO. Share it on your blog and on social media. Please include our badge and ‪#‎PBPiO‬, and #‎MARCHingBookstoKids

PBPiO badge

#3 Pass it on. When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO giving chain. Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

If distance prohibits your ability to mail books to the Storybook Project, please consider donating books to children in need in your own community. Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe. So far, we have people “Passing it On” in the US, the UK, Australia, and Greece!

Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families!

 

burn books

 

How To Become A Successful Blogger: Part 2 – How To Create A Pingback

National Hug Day? Hug a Dust Bunny, I Say…

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.

 

DustBunnies_pg16-17

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:

445DSC_5505Img_17541.jpg.

021117253767_4344717029769_390608544_n[2]

DSC_0026Eastman-GlenOaksEaster2013-03 (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).

The Bully Within-Me, Myself, and I-Mean…

I wrote this post over a year ago, but it seems as timely as ever…

punch

Authors, indie and otherwise, are some of the most resourceful, tenacious people I know. They are also among the most generous, and kind bunch of folks you’ll ever find. I am one of those people, so why am I so freakin’ mean?

To myself, that is.

cat mean

Brain research tells us that we have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and up to 80 percent of those thoughts are negative. Why are our brains such Debbie-Downers? Apparently, they are wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. It’s a self-protective characteristic. We are scanning for threats from when we used to be hunter and gatherers.

hunt brain

Okay, I get that. I understand that it is human nature to focus on the bad stuff. I also get that I can’t really help myself for wondering what Donald Trump is thinking with that hair.

hair

I also get that writers are self-critical beings. We spend a lot of time in our own heads and a lot of time alone. We are our work’s toughest critics.

writer ape

But, can a girl catch a break once in a while? Can I learn to be a little kinder to myself?

I can try…

nice

Donald Trump aside, I’ll leave you with this anecdote about a young woman who woke up one morning and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

“Hmmmm,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” She did, and she had a great day.

The next morning she woke up and saw that only two hairs remained on her head. “Well,” she said, “I’m going to part my hair today.” She did, and she had a really fun day.

The following morning she awoke to only one hair on her head. “Oh,” she said, “I think I’ll wear my hair in a pony-tail today.” She did, and her day was wonderful.

The next morning she awoke to find that she did not have single hair on her head. “Yea!” she said. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

bully

A big part of what keeps me sane on the days I’d like to pull my hair out is the company I keep. I am blessed to be a part of this online community of bloggers, authors, and other creative people. Your encouragement and support is ever-present and contagious. Thank you!

Calling all Kid Lit Authors and Book Bloggers-You Can Make a Difference to a Child in Need…

I would like to reach out to kid lit authors and book bloggers to get quality books into the hands of deserving kids.

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Throughout the month of March, I am collecting new children’s books to benefit children of incarcerated parents. Authors, I hope you will consider donating signed copies of your books. Book bloggers, please help us by sharing this information with your readers.

I am a children’s author, teacher, and mom who is passionate about children’s literacy and the power of children’s books. When I learned nearly 2/3 of children, living in poverty, DO NOT own books, I was moved to act. I founded the literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On, to raise awareness for literacy issues and get books to kids in need.

Three years ago, the Picture Book Pass it On initiative grew to include a month-long book drive called MARCHing Books to Kids.

Throughout the month of March, MARCHing Books to Kids collects books (ages birth-17 years) for the VNS of Iowa Storybook Project.

VNS of Iowa volunteers travel to The Iowa Correctional Institution, in Mitchellville, once a month. With the aid of volunteers, mothers select one book per child to read via a digital voice recorder.  The audio CD and book are mailed to the child to keep. The mission is to strengthen the bond between parent and child, during incarceration, while promoting reading and literacy.

Since 2015, MARCHing Books to Kids has collected more than 1,500 books.                               Over the years, the drive has received donations from notable children’s authors such as    Robert Munsch (Love You Forever) and Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty series). Last year, more than 30 children’s authors donated signed copies of their books. Owning a book, let alone a book signed by the author, is a joy most of these children have never experienced.

girl wagon

I believe that every child’s Bill of Rights should be indelibly inked with the right to have books read to him/her and to own their very own books.  Many of us take for granted the sacred ritual of cracking open a book and cuddling together while the words and pictures collectively take us away.  You can probably recall having been read to by your parents or caregivers.  You likely hold a special book, from your childhood, close to your heart.  And, until now, you’ve probably not given much thought to how profound that experience can be…Imagine, never having that.

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.  Authors are invited to sign their books.

When packing your book/s, please include a note stating that your book is part of the MARCHing Books to Kids initiative.  Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO .  Share it on your blog and on social media.  Please include our badge and tags #PBPiO and #MARCHingBookstoKids

#3 Pass it on.  When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO  giving chain.  Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

I appreciate your help spreading the word. Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families in need.

pbpio-and-marching-2017

Tweet me your books!

This is how you get your book onto a bookstore shelf

Ana Spoke, author

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:

Book on the shelf

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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Happy New Years: SHARE YOUR WORK HERE!

brittneysahin

thIJEK1T2E

HAPPY 2016!!

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.

Example:

Title. Genre.  Release date (if…

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The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers

A must-read for anyone who writes!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri

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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Picture Books At The Library: End-of-Year Roundup 2015

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)Log

PB at the Library RoundupThis 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! 🙂

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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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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

DEFINITELY GOING TO BE A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR 123 DOGS

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

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.

Bayard Bayard’s freedom photo

BELLA & BUBBA BFFs dumped and rescued together by NorCal Boxer Bella & Bubba BFFs dumped and rescued together. Happy siblings!

constantina Constantina’s freedom photo

CONSTANTINA & PUCI rescued together Constantina & sibling Puci rescued together with happy new mom

Gilbert Gilbert happy and safe in new home

Graciella freedom photo Graciella’s freedom photo

Graciella freedom photo #2 Graciella safe and sound in arms of new dad

Lara Lara’s been rescued and is now with new family

Millie Millie’s freedom photo

Nelson was rescued by Pass4paws Nelson was rescued by Pass4paws

Newt Newt with new mom

Oreo Oreo with new sibling and mom

Oso Oso is home sweet home

Princess Mama Princess mamma and her…

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A heart-warming story about Alzheimer’s disease and love

Source: A heart-warming story about Alzheimer’s disease and love

Thank you, Debbie Alvarez

Debbie was such an awesome presence in the kid lit community. She touched the lives of many, and she will be missed.

Josh Funk Books

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.

In reading Facebook posts written by her friends, a blog post tribute shared by Debbie Ohi, and articles in The Oregonian, I learned just how amazing Debbie…

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Calling All Readers!

Friday Freebie…Kind of

I am trying out the new Amazon Giveaway service. Andy Mulberry recently blogged about her experience, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Many authors have a love/hate relationship with Amazon, so I understand if you do not want to participate.

old clown

But, if you are willing to give it a go, Amazon tells me my giveaway is now live and I should, “Share this link to let the world know.” I am quite sure the world has bigger fish to fry…

fish

but here it is:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/7483c0f0946705bc

I appreciate any feedback you have about the entry process. If you’ve used this service, please feel free to share your experiences/opinions.

You are all winners in my book! Thank you!

Girl wearing 1st place medal with arms in the air

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Celebrity Picture Book

A must-read for kid lit authors! It’s hilarious, and TRUE!

WRITERS' RUMPUS

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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Thursday Thoughts and Thanks…

Okay, so I have been blogging for about a year now. But, most days, I  feel as clueless as when I began-still bumbling my way around this curious space.

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I’ve tried a few times to develop a weekly theme or topic. So far, I have not hit on one that has stuck.

stuck

One thing that has remained constant is the positive, inspiring community of bloggers I’ve come to know. Your talent, generosity, and openness is incredible.

than

 

So, with that in mind, each Thursday, I’ll share a favorite thought-provoking quote, and a thank-you to someone in our online community. Here are my “Thursday Thoughts and Thanks” for this week:

Thought:

quote-flying

Thanks:

My thank-you goes out to blogger Send Sunshine who always seems to find time to do just that.

My Thursday Thoughts and Thanks would be even better if you joined in the fun. Please feel free to share a favorite quote and/or tell us about a blogger who you feel grateful to know. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

How do You Speak to Your Child?

Gulara Vincent, PhD

IMG_5564Last night, I read an inspiring story about Thomas Edison on Facebook. It made me cry, and I’m not entirely sure what this story touched in me.

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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Author and Illustrator Interview: Maria Knier

Pigeonhole Books

The BezertTHE 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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Styling Librarian #WhateverWednesday Generous People

The Styling Librarian

Today’s focus: Generous people  – It is fun to reflect on one thing each week that really catches my attention, entertains me, and is special enough I just have to share it with the world.

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.
http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2015/11/4/free-picture-book-thumbnail-templates-for-writers-and-illust.html
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, WhateverEnjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.”

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates…

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Top Ten Reasons Self-Publishing is Like Building a House

Michelle Eastman Books

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.

  1. It always takes longer than you planned
  2. It always costs more than you planned
  3. It’s really exciting at first, then it begins to consume your entire life
  4. Agonizing over the simplest detail seems normal
  5. You wake up, at least once a night…

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Row, Row, Row Your Book…

Reflecting on the trip…

Michelle Eastman Books

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”.

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Picture Book Submissions, or how not to rant about the insane state of affairs in the world

Source: Picture Book Submissions, or how not to rant about the insane state of affairs in the world

Artist and Author Spotlight: Karen Emma Hall

A place for Fantasy and Fairy Tale Creatives

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Celebrating a Book Birthday and Anniversary

To say the past year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement.

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I self-published my first children’s picture book around this time in 2014. Aside from my first year teaching, I have never worked so hard, or felt more inept. But, in both cases, I was determined to learn what I needed to know in order to be successful.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

I set out to learn the best way to publish my book, but I gained much more than that. I started this blog, fumbled my way around Twitter and a few other social sites, and met a lot of truly wonderful people along the way.

Success is a relative term. And, for me, it has been a dichotomy. I have enjoyed many successful moments. But, for whatever reason, I still beat myself up about my shortcomings (not sure if that is an indie author thing or just an all-around author thing).

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They say success breeds success, and despite my attempts to sabotage my own, I’ve managed to publish a second children’s book. I was blessed to work with the same illustrator on what we both feel is our best work to date.

I’ll host the book launch party for my second book tomorrow. And, I’ll also celebrate the one-year anniversary of the book that started me on this wild and winding path.

To mark the event, I am offering both books for $.99 on Kindle from December 4-11.

I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to all of my online friends and colleagues. Being part of this community has definitely been one of the best aspects of becoming an author.

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I wish each of you joy in the things you love to do. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to leave a reply about your joyful moments.

Here are some of the moments that have brought me joy:

 

 

 

Author & Illustrator Interview: Carin Bramsen

Pigeonhole Books

Just A Duck by Carin BramsenJUST 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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Thank you, Tara Lazar

Josh Funk Books

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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KidLit TV Picks Me?!

I have followed New York Media Works Kid Lit TV since I began the journey to publish my first children’s book. Their site is a wealth of information, inspiration, and support for the kid lit community. Imagine my delight when I was “picked” to be this month’s  Featured Member. I was interviewed by kid lit champion

http://kidlit.tv/2015/11/featured-member-michelle-eastman-pbpio/

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Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

 

 

Great Picture Books to Use for Notice and Note – All Signposts

Pernille Ripp

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.

Contrast and Contradiction

Aha Moments

Words of the Wiser

 Tough Questions

Again…

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Calling All Readers!

PiBoIdMo Day 11: Joe McGee Lives in a Child’s World (plus a prize!)

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

joe mcgeeby 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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Dust Bunny Fairy Tales

BOOK CHAT

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

My Reviews

The Legend of the Dust Dunnies - a fairys taleFairies 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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Who’s That Indie Author Recap: Sep/Oct 2015

Book Club Mom

Who's That Indie Author pic

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.


Michelle Eastman

Michelle EastmanGenre:  Children’s Picture Books
BooksThe 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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Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Wow! What an awesome array of kid lit!

The Styling Librarian

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

The Boy Who Knew Everything by Victoria Forester – included a special author feature too!

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

absolutelyaggieDust Fairy Tales – Absolutely Aggie by Michelle R. Eastman, illustrated by Kevin Richter

Styling Librarian Book List: Multicultural Books

Little Red Gliding HoodLittle Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Troy Cummings – special author interview feature as well!

Celebrating other wonderful books I’ve enjoyed recently: 

Red by Jan De Kinder – Wonderful story that dealt with bullying and learning when and…

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Picture Books Extraordinaire

A picture book review…times two!

Poetry by Pamela

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!

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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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Sisterhood of the Traveling Picture Books…

I’m a mom, teacher, and children’s author who believes, passionately, that we should never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book.  According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. own no books. That statistic is common in other developed countries as well.

That’s just plain wrong. But, we can help fix it.

no books

Last November I launched the literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On (#PBPiO). I encouraged people to donate new or gently used books to needy kids, locally, and to challenge friends to do the same. It caught on in the US, and we also had people “Passing it On” in the UK and Australia.  Many children’s book authors participated by giving local kids in need copies of their books.

girl wagon

With a few exceptions, the PBPiO charge is being led by an all-female squad of super-heroes (a.k.a. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Picture Books).

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Frankly, I am thrilled to have anyone join me in getting picture books onto the laps of deserving kids. But, I’d like to welcome super-dads and picture book-loving dudes to join in the fun. Will you help celebrate the power of picture books and accept the PBPiO call to action?

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It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

#1 Pledge to donate a new or gently used picture book/s to a children’s charity in your area.

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO/. Share your pledge on your blog and on social media. Please include our badge and ‪#‎PBPiO‬

#3 Pass it on. When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO giving chain. Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

Please share your giving stories on this page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO/. We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe.

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Learn more about Picture Book Pass it On:

https://michelleeastmanbooks.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/a-childs-picture-book-bill-of-rights/

We now have our own badge.  Please feel free to copy and paste the badge.  Add it to your blog, post it in your tweets, or use it however you see fit to promote Picture Book Pass it On.

PBPiO badge

Just for Fun Friday with a Freebie…Show Me the BUNNY

I am celebrating the arrival of baby book number two, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie. So, I am offering a giveaway each week, leading up to the official launch party on December 4.

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Both of my books feature mischievous fairies who enjoy making messes in our homes while we sleep. Legend has it that each fairy has his/her very own dust bunny. The dust bunnies accompany the fairies during the long, and sometimes lonely, nights. The legend also says, the fairies are sometimes careless and leave a dust bunny or two behind.

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I advocate letting sleeping dust bunnies lie. If you agree, post a selfie or picture of the most active or interesting place YOUR dust bunnies hide.

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Yes, this is a poorly-veiled attempt to plug my book.

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But, I am donating $1 from each book sold to Operation Christmas Child. And, I am giving away a print copy of my book (or ebook for outside the US) to the winner of the “selfie-sweepstakes”.

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Head over to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michelleeastmanbooks to post your entry.

Show Me the BUNNY!

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