Friday, October 4, 2013

My new website

www.stacysjensen.com
Thanks for following me here on Blogger.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a new website. Please visit me at www.stacysjensen.com.

Today, I have my Perfect Picture Book Friday post up.

I won't be posting here anymore. There are options for RSS feed and email subscription at the new site, so you can keep up with my posts.

Again, I appreciate you following me here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Two redirects, oh my!

A funny thing happened when I mentioned I would be silent for just a little while longer  here ...

My monthly post on the Pikes Peak Writers blog Writing from the Peak is scheduled to appear today.

Working on my Puzzle, er, Manuscript is up today. I wrote about revisions and those tricky puzzle pieces — or words as we call them in the writing business.
This was tricky to make. Of course, now I know how to make a picture into a puzzle.
Black was not my best color choice, but you'll understand if you read the blog.
Major accomplishments (so far) this week: 
  • I revised a pitch to submit to Susanna Leonard Hill's Would You Read It series. I've read and commented on pitches, but never submitted one. My motivation arrived in a FB group discussion. I said, "Oh I should REALLY do that." I wrote on my calendar to submit a pitch this week. My tentative date for Simon Wants to be a Helper is in December. Don't worry, I'll remind you all when my Wednesday arrives. 
  • A soft opening for my website! I've joked that building a website is like writing a story  — we could revise it forever. So, if you have a second, stop by www.stacysjensen.com. There are several ways to follow the site from RSS feed to email. I chose mailchimp for my primary blog delivery system. So, we'll see if I figured that out or not. 
So, I'm doing a big no no this week asking you to go two places — Writing from the Peak and stacysjensen.com . It feels funny not to type the blogspot at the end of my online address. While Blogger has treated me well, I'm excited to have a WordPress site with my own domain.

My next post here will be the famous "I've moved" and redirect you to the new website. I hope to see you at the new place. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Winner of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Last Friday, I posted a review of the Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe by Jenny Lee Sulpizio.


There were comments. Names were tossed into a sandwich bag. Some people have hats. I have sandwich bags.

The winner is ...

SUE WANG

Thank you all for commenting.

If you buy a copy of the book, you can email a copy of the receipt to Jenny for a chance to win this ebook bundle.

Hope you have a happy Friday.

I hope to spend more time this week reading Perfect Picture Book Friday selections over at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. Fridays filled with picture book recommendations and fun activities are always a treat.

I plan to rejoin the fun in October at my new website. The last weekend of the month I get to attend the Rocky Mountain Area SCBWI conference in Denver. Can't wait to soak up inspiration and information!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe


Jenny Lee Sulpizio

I've shared Jenny Lee Sulpizio's picture books here in the past — Something About a Boy and Mommy Whispers.





Today, I wanted to share her latest nonfiction book: Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time  (Leafwood Publishers, 2013).

I don't want to say it's a manual for moms, but it certainly is a fountain of ideas! If you want to be Wonder Woman, Jenny doesn't give you a roadmap to that superhero title. Instead, with each chapter she offers specific tips on how to organize, simplify, and survive some of the challenges of motherhood.

Jenny's sense of humor, faith, and commitment to mothers shines through on each page. The book is written in a conversational tone.

Jenny's tips aren't written in stone for mothers, but she certainly gives a good foundation with her lists and charts to begin our own motherhood journey or to break free of some of our Wonder Woman Wannabe issues.

A passage I loved early in the book:

But who told me I needed to be perfect? And who said that my best wasn’t going to be good enough? It certainly wasn’t God. Nope, that person was me. I was a new mom struggling to become “super” . . . and I was losing the battle, big time. 

An idea I really liked:
Cuckoo Prevention Kits — One for kiddie crises combative and one for sanity-saving mommy must-haves. I laughed out loud about the tip to have a chocolate stash in the car and in summer months try a Tootsie Roll. Perfect.

Many of the chapters have lists of tips on how to deal with everything from cleaning out and stocking up the minivan to how to take a time out when you are frazzled and frustrated. Many items on Jenny's list is workable into my schedule. Now, if I will only implement some of her cleaning tips. Her ideas definitely gave me food for thought in my own motherhood adventure.

Jenny's writing style feels like a conversation I would have with my mom friends at church. I related to most of the topics in the book. I don't drink coffee, so the chapter on caffeine didn't do much for me. I know I'm weird. For those, who do drink coffee, you'll like that chapter.

The book is a fast read. I feel like it could also be digested in chunks too. You could read a few chapters, see how the tips fit into your life, and then read a few more.

I received an advance digital copy of the book for my honest review. Since, I enjoyed reading the book, I'd like to have a giveaway. Leave a comment and I'll do a random drawing. I'll keep the comments open until Sept. 19 at noon (MST). I'll post the winner on Sept. 20 (and contact the winner to arrange delivery).

In the spirit of saving a mom's sanity:  Consider sharing something you do to save your sanity that could help another mom.

I'll start. My son loves a pair of hand-me-down slippers. I don't argue with him about wearing them in public. Not fighting over his shoe choice saves me a little sanity and time.


Author Bio: Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society and Moms Together, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit www.jennyleesulpizio.com.


Also, if you sign up for the newsletter at Jenny's website, you will receive blog and newsletter updates. When I signed up, I received a free PDF with Sanity-Saving Mommy Must-Haves including her 30-minutes-per-day weekly cleaning schedule. This list gives you a glimpse at some of the tips in the book.

As toddler tornado says before bedtime, "One more book."

Oh, wait, I was trying to say, "One more thing." If you buy a copy of the book online, you can email a copy of the receipt to Jenny for a chance to win this ebook bundle. 



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Hop Interview: My scary answers



Susanna Leonard Hill tagged me after she completed a "blog hop interview." 

Who started all of this tagging? — Robyn Campbell, of course. Who wants to miss the fun when Robyn and Susanna are involved? NO ONE!

I copied the questions from Susanna's post. She said I can answer four (or as many as I like from the questions). I'm supposed to tag three other writers, who in turn answer their four questions.

Here are the questions: 


  1. What are you working on right now?
  2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
  3. What experiences have influenced you?
  4. Why do you write what you do?
  5. How does your writing process work?
  6. What is the hardest part about writing?
  7. What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet?
  8. Who are the authors you most admire?
  9. What scares you?


My answers: 

1. What are you working on right now? — Revisions for submissions and a new WordPress website.

6. What is the hardest part about writing? — Time. I have several projects in the "write, revise, repeat" phase. Deadlines for critique groups and submission have kept me on task. Well, I've pushed up against a few deadlines, but they still motivate me to reach a goal. 

7. What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet? — I always answer "short story" to this question, but haven't sat down to write one yet. It seems to be the best vehicle for a few ideas I have, but other projects take priority before jumping into this area.

9. What scares you? — An immediate concern is whether my husband is accurate that I allegedly over watered my neighbor's plants, while she was away. Long term? Would I have what it takes to survive a continual onslaught of zombies? I mean, could I do it like some of those movie characters for days and years. 

Check out Robyn Campbell's answers here

Check out Susanna Leonard Hill's answers here

Hmm. I'm supposed to tag three people. Since I'm a writer and my math is shaky sometimes, I'm tagging Teresa Robeson — this is her blog! Anyone else?

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer. Like many of you, I've been busy — writing, studying, building a website, spending time with family, etc. 

You'd think I have been fighting off zombies due to my absence from the blogging world, but I have not. That's not one of my super hero powers (as evidence of my No. 9 answer)! 


Friday, June 28, 2013

PPW: A success post is good news for everyone

I'm seeing all types of GREAT news from fellow writers this week. People are signing with agents and accepting writing positions.

So, it's good timing that my monthly post at Writing from the Peak appears today, after a week filled with awesome news.

You can read what I wrote "A success post is good news for everyone" at the Pikes Peak Writers blog.

Do you have good news this week?

I joined an in-person critique group this week. I'm excited about the  feedback. Plus, I submitted two picture book manuscripts and an essay.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My PPW blog: Help an Author Out — Leave a Review, Please!


I was over at Writing From the Peak last week. I wrote about my declaration to write more book reviews this year. I have three books on my Kindle right now that need my attention.

Why am I late in posting this here?

Hmm. I was in Iowa last week on a family visit. In my rush to leave town, I forgot to schedule my post. Then, I was in the black hole of technology. You know where your cell phone provider is not King and you want to spend time with family (because that's why you are there in the first place).

Oh (and whispering) I had a birthday too and so did Enzo.

Fun times.

If you have a moment, take a look.

I hope my friends in the U.S. are having a great Memorial Day Weekend.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My post on adding "submit" to the process

Hello.

I'm really still alive.

I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference last week and had a blast. Such fun talking with writers, pitching my memoir In a Blink,  and speaking with agents, editors, and authors.

My guest post on Writing from the Peak is up for the month. It was up Monday, but that's also the day I got up at 3:30 a.m. to take an agent and editor to the airport. Volunteering at a conference is a great reminder that agents and editors are real people. We chatted a bit about the conference, but the bulk of the conversation I recall at that witching hour was about food, special diets, and grocery store options. Yep, writing is a business, but we're all just regular folks.

My post on Writing from the Peak: Add "Submit" to Your Writing Process is about submitting. I'm a Write. Revise. Repeat. kinda gal. This year, I'm stretching beyond that by adding Submit. I'm still feeling out this aspect of writing. Rejections now appear in my inbox, but it's part of the learning process.

Post-conference remains busy. While I received a request for the memoir, I also received feedback on an area to improve and a book recommendation for non-fiction books.  So, I'm taking the time to do those things before a single page is printed and mailed.

On the picture book front, I'm revising four manuscripts to have ready for Big Sur in the Rockies. I need two and a query letter, but want to have extras ready. Plus, I need to be prepared to work during my weekend away from family.

Did I mention finals week too? I love a busy life.

How's your writing going: are you submitting this month?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Taking a little break


I hope you all have a very blessed Easter.

March turned into a tough month for me — not in a bad way, but a busy one. April will be similar as I prepare for two writing events.

I'm finalizing my pitch for my memoir In a Blink for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. This will be my third year in attendance and the first time I've pitched. The last time I actively pitched this manuscript was 2009. Be calm and pitch on!

After volunteer duties at the conference (including a 4:45 a.m. transport to the airport), I have final projects due as the semester wraps up at school.

Throughout the month, I'll be working on my picture book manuscripts and query letters for the Big Sur in the Rockies. I'm excited about this opportunity and a little nervous about trying to get my stories in the best shape prior to Big Sur.

To help in the process, I took Susanna Leonard Hill's Making Picture Book Magic course in March.

My level of interaction with my class and Susanna, didn't show my true enthusiasm for the class. I know there are tons of classes out there, but I really, really liked this format — especially during a busy month.

Monday through Friday I received an email with the day's lesson and instructions for the assignment. Susanna wasn't kidding about the time involved with each lesson. It's manageable in 30 minutes or less each day.

I know there are tons of classes out there, but wanted to mention I found Susanna's class to be extremely helpful and informative. The class offers opportunity for a lot of interaction among participants and with Susanna. When I was able to do this, I found it very useful.

That's a long way of saying, I'm going to take a break from here while I hunker down for a month of revisions, reading the books several friends recently published, and a few other projects including blog visits.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Writing from the Peak: Shower Talk

by ssj


I'm over at Writing from the Peak today talking about how to save your ideas from going down the drain. 

Good ideas often arrive in the shower. How do you save those ideas from going down the drain? I share a few tips in "Shower Talk: Ways to Save Your Ideas From Going Down the Drain."

Friday, March 15, 2013

PPBF: Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Here's my choice for Perfect Picture Book:
Rhyming Dust Bunnies
Written and Illustrated by Jan Thomas
Beach Lane Books, 2009

Suitable for: Ages

Theme/Topic: Rhyming, Listening to your friends

Opening: Hello! We are Ed, Ned, Ted ... and Bob.
We rhyme all the time!

Brief Synopsis: As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob is trying to warn them of approaching danger. — from the Library of Congress Summary

Link to resources: Here's a Rhyme Time lesson plan for kindergarten students. You may even want to find some dust bunnies at your house and "clean them up." This book at 126 words would be easy to act out. Perhaps you could get some cleaning done while you do it! Jan Thomas has Things to Do, including a page on the Rhyming Dust Bunnies.

Why I like this book: The combination of simple illustrations and text make this perfect for my kiddo. It's a well loved library book as the pages are falling out. I'll have to point that out when I return it! It has a simple rhyme with Bob being the odd man out, but with something very important to share. His friends keep ignoring him until the end when they turn to him for help.

For more Perfect Picture Book Fridays books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.



Monday, March 11, 2013

For Jedi Renn


This is for my Young Jedi Friend Renn:

ssj

 You can read about Renn at The Brain of a Jedi ... and his journey through Epilepsy. He's in the hospital this week for more tests. Medical tests are no fun!

Many bloggers are joining together to send good wishes, prayers, the power of the Star Wars (a favorite of this little Jedi) to Renn and his family.

Author Susanna Leonard Hill has a link to multiple well wishes for Renn on her blog. Take a look.

Send a happy thought or prayer into the universe for Renn and his family. His mom is children's author Bethany Telles.

Hospitals are no fun, especially for little guys, moms, dads, and little brothers. So we're all sending out good vibes into the universe.

I hope this week will be helpful for Renn and his family as they search for more answers into his condition. Good luck. I know the Force is with you all.

Friday, March 8, 2013

PPBF: Enzo the Wonderfish

There's a reason this book caught my eye for Perfect Picture Book Fridays:

Enzo the Wonderfish
Written and Illustrated by Cathy Wilcox
Ticknor & Fields Books for Young Readers
Published 1994, Copyright 1993

Suitable for: Ages 5 and up

Theme/Topic: Fish, Animals, Pet Ownership, Responsibility

Opening: I had always wanted a pet. A pet, not quite as smart as me, That I could feed and care for and pat."

Brief Synopsis: A child who wants a pet is given a fish and vows to train him to do wonderful trick. (Have I ever mentioned how I love the Library of Congress summaries for books. This one is spot on.)

Link to Resources: Lessons on pet ownership from National Pet Week. Do what Hubby does and take your child to the pet store. There's no entrance fee like the zoo and you can see many animals up close and discuss the things needed to own the pet, food, and the costs of pet ownership.

Why I like this book: As I zipped through the library last Saturday Enzo free, the title caught my eye as I whizzed by a shelf. My son loves going to the pet store to look at the animals. Now he asks, "How do we get one?" when he sees an animal he likes. While I picked it up for the title, it's a fun read and a twist on pet ownership. The last few pages have a lot of tension as the fate of Enzo the Wonderfish was in question. It definitely surprised me.

Ouch, I read a bit of the Publishers Weekly review found on the Amazon link to the this book. I agree the beginning was a bit "long winded." Still it's a fun book, if you can find it at your library.

For more Perfect Picture Books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Friday, March 1, 2013

PPBF: Way Far Away on a Wild Safari

While not a hippo book, one does appear in this week's choice for Perfect Picture Book Fridays


Way Far Away on a Wild Safari
Written by Jan Peck
Illustrated by Valeria Petrone
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

Theme/Topic: Safari, Animals

Opening:
Way far away on a wild safari,
I'm hunting for a lion for my grandma and me.
I'm so brave,
can't scare me,
way far away on a wild safari.

Brief Synopsis: From the book's jacket:
"Grab your binoculars
and follow me.
Let's travel far away
on a wild safari.
There are lots of fun trails!
Many sights to see!
As we hike, hike, hike
on this wild safari."

Link to Resources: Here's the curriculum guide for the Way Out series of books from Jan Peck's website. The picture book We All Went on Safari has several pages about the animals of Tanzania, the Maasai people, and Swahili names. Here's a Safari in Kenya lesson plan from Homeschool Creations.

Why I like this book: We found this book as part of our hippo adventures. One appears in this book! This adventure takes the boy full circle from being in the wild and meeting the animals to saying goodbye and being with his grandma. The final illustration shares a surprise about this young explorer.

And, may I ask: Where did February go? Hello March.

For more Perfect Picture Books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A New Place to Write

Today, I'm over at Writing from the Peak, the Pikes Peak Writers Blog, talking about this cool new place I write.

Hubby gave me this perfect Christmas present.

I took this picture before I spilled water all over it during a plane ride with a toddler (I had to throw that explanation in there).

So, it's getting broken in this year with all types of life experiences as it's being filled with story ideas, notes and stories.

Friday, February 22, 2013

PPBF: Hidden Hippo

Here's another Hippo book for Perfect Picture Book Fridays
Hidden Hippo
Written by Joan Gannij
Illustrated by Clare Beaton
Barefoot Books, 2008

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

Theme/Topic: Animals, Hippos, Hide and Seek, Rhyme

Opening: "When I went exploring.
I wanted to see
A hippo or two.
Perhaps even three?"

Brief Synopsis: An explorer of the African plains searches for a hippo and finds all types of animals, but where, oh where, is the hippo. Each page offers — you guessed it — a hidden hippo.

Link to Resources:   You can draw a picture with a hidden hippo (or another animal) or perhaps creating a scene with fabric illustrations similar to those in the book. The book also contains its own resource including one page about hippos, two pages about endangered species, and four about the animals of the African Plains. Underwater Hippo Art Lesson. This site Deep Space Sparkle has tons of art lesson information!

Why I like this book: We had our own adventure in the living room as we searched for the hidden hippos in this book. To my untrained eye, the illustrations appear to be in felt. This is awesome on its own, but the copyright page mentions "the illustrations were prepared in antique fabrics and felt with buttons, beads and assorted brick-a-brac."

I really like Clare Beaton's website and the samples of her work. I'm always interested in collage work. Beaton says her work is all hand-stitched and she's always looking for more items to recycle and use in her work.

For more Perfect Picture Books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013

PPBF: Here Comes Doctor Hippo

Here's a new one for the Perfect Picture Book Fridays list.

Here Comes Doctor Hippo
Written by Jonathan London
Illustrated by Gilles Eduar
Boyds Mills Press, 2012

Suitable for: Ages 3-5

Theme/Topic: Imaginative Play, Animals

Opening: Little Hippo didn't like being little. In fact, he liked to dress up and pretend that he was big. So, one day he marched outside to play doctor.

Brief Synopsis: Little Hippo goes out to play doctor, but finds his animal patients can be a challenge. Mama Hippo helps Little Hippo finish out his day with a little mama medicine.

Link to Resources: Here's a lesson plan called At the Doctor. A role play exercise for seeing a doctor. Children can play doctor with their animals at home just like Little Hippo did.

Why I chose this book: I mentioned last week we are reading Hippo books. From the first page, my son enjoyed this book and asked for it again and again. While the author has written several books, a quick search didn't lead me to London's website. I did find this Kirkus Review of the book, which mentions a similar title called Doctor Ted by Andrea Beaty in 2008. After reading a bit more about the author and his Froggy series of books, I'll guess the "A Little Hippo Story" at the top of the cover means more books are no doubt expected in the future. 


For more Perfect Picture books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

PPBF: Eleanor the Hippo Learns to Tell The Truth

Here's a new one for the Perfect Picture Book Fridays list.


Written and Illustrated by Andy McGuire
Harvest House Publishers, 2011

Suitable for: Ages 3 to 8

Theme/Topic: Truth, Lies, Animals

Opening: Eleanor Hippo talked a lot, which is good sometimes ... But sometimes not.

Brief Synopsis: Eleanor fibs all day about the animals around her. After telling a false story about Leon the lion, she's forced to face the consequences of all her false tales. 

Link to resources: Teacher Planet has several lesson plans on honesty. This book opens up discussions about feelings when you are the victim of a fib or hear another child telling one.

Why I chose this book: My son likes a good hippopotamus tale, so we put all the children's book titles we could find at our library on hold. He squealed when we picked up a dozen books featuring hippos. The illustrations are realistic, but fun in this book. My favorite line: "She made up stuff that wasn't true. Of crazy things the locals do." February will likely be Hippo Month here, as it is Hippo Month in our home.

For more Perfect Picture books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. 

Spambots have become huge fans of PPBF. This week, I've received several dozen comments from "anonymous," so delighted to visit the blog and add a link for some odd product.

This Blogger post on Prevent unwanted comments and comment spam doesn't give me a new game plan on how to deal with them. Most of the comments are flagged and don't get published. The ones that do are deleted.

I'm not a fan of the word verification or comment moderation, so I'll just keep trucking along for now. Perhaps there's a picture book idea here:  "Goodnight Password," how an ordinary Password goes to heroic lengths to challenge the  Spambot bully threatening his friends.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 1, 2013

PPBF: Harry Hungry

Here's another book for Perfect Picture Book Friday.



Harry Hungry
Written and Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Harcourt, Inc., 2009

Suitable for: Ages 4 and up

Theme/Topic: Eating, Humor

Opening: "Hungry," Harry murmured. "Harry Hungry."
His tummy grumbled and rumbled.
"Hungry!" Harry yelled.
GrrrrrrrrGrrrrrGrrrr! (well this line stretches across a doubles spread)
"In a minute," Momma called.

Brief Synopsis: Diaper clad Harry is hungry. The food in the house doesn't satisfy him, so he ventures outside to satisfy his hunger.

Link to resources: Health eating lesson plans, 10 ways to get kids to eat healthy food The story is a great talking point for hyperbole with lines like — "Harry pulled open the refrigerator and ... ate everything inside."

Why I chose this book: I love that Harry eats his way through the house and throughout the community. As a parent of a growing toddler, I can relate to this scenario. It feels like he's eating everything — and I mean everything just like Harry!

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday selections, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

February 7, 2013 — Spambots seem to like this post, so I'm closing comments. - ssj

Friday, January 25, 2013

PPBF: Bugs Galore

Here's another book for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Bugs Galore
Written by Peter Stein
Illustrated by Bob Staake
Candlewick Press, 2012

Suitable for: Ages 4 and up

Theme/Topic: Bugs/Rhyme

Opening:
"Big bugs, small bugs,
creep bugs, crawl bugs,
slime-your-hand-bugs!"

Brief Synopsis: Bugs of all shapes, colors, and sizes -- including bed bugs, cute bugs, live bugs, and dead bugs – are presented in illustrations and rhyme. (That's from the summary on the copyright page. That description "presented in illustrations and rhyme" seems silly for a 2012 book, but is accurate.)

Link to Resources: One exercise would be to identify some of the bugs in the book. Peter Stein talks about their attributes, but doesn't name them like "What is a 'slime-your-hand bugs!'?" An art lesson plan on bugs.

Why I chose this book: I picked up this book at the library for its bright, quirky digital illustrations. I really liked the font used in this book – Zalderdash. I equally love the name. I kept reading for its delightful rhyme. There is also a Cars Galore book.

For more Perfect Picture Books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's Blog.

Friday, January 18, 2013

PPBF: Heave Ho!

Here's a fun one for Perfect Picture Book Friday

Heave Ho!
Written by Heinz Janisch
Illustrated by Carola Holland
NorthSouth Books, 2006
First published in Austria under the title Ho Ruck!

Suitable for: ages 2 and up

Theme/Topic: teamwork, counting


Opening:"This story is told in twelve sentences. (Start counting now!)"


Brief Synopsis: From the inside cover flap: "A thrilling story in just twelve sentences? Impossible you say? Think Again! Marvelously fresh text, cheeky illustrations, and a surprise ending are all served up in this wonderfully concise tale of a dog, a cat and three mice ..."


Link to Resources: This teamwork lesson plan is for older kids, but could be modified. For younger kids, building with blocks to create one building or object could strengthen team building skills. Here's a counting lesson. We count a lot in our house right now. Well, not in the correct order yet.


Why I chose this book: Technically, there are 14 sentences, but who's counting? The story is told in 12. The surprise ending is delightful.


With a toddler, I like short, rich stories. I tend to write short too (still working on the rich part). The illustrations blend beautifully with this story. As a writer, it inspires me to submit some of the shorter ones that rely so much on illustrations. This was a library find. Used versions of the book are available online.  The author's website is in German, but Google translated the site.

For more Perfect Picture Book Fridays books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Friday, January 11, 2013

PPBF: The Best Time of Day

I'm back.

I was off frolicking with Mickey Mouse, family, and helping a sick Hubby — he had the flu. What about you? I hope you don't get it. I really, really do.

Now, it's back to Perfect Picture Book Fridays business.
The Best Time of Day
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Bryan Langdo
Gulliver Books Harcourt, Inc., 2005

Suitable for: ages 4 and up

Theme/Topic: Time, Farm Life

Opening:
"The best time of day for the rooster is when
the sun rises high over barnyard and pen.
He wakes up the farmer, the animals too,
with his rowdy-dow "Cocka-doodle-dee-doo!"

Brief Synopsis: From the animals to the family, everyone on the farm has a favorite time of day.

Link to Resources: Ask your child what is his or her favorite time of the day. Parents could talk about their own or even share what they do after their kiddos go to bed — ice cream and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart anyone or sneaking off to write? Here's a lesson on telling time.

Why I chose this book: This story kept Enzo's attention as we followed a day on the farm from sun up to sun down. My favorite character in the book is Granny McCall.

I was surprised this book was available in a Kindle edition for a low price of $4.62. I purchased a copy and was disappointed. The pages don't appear correctly unless you have your Kindle in a horizontal position.

I'm not sure who uploaded/formatted the book, but the pages are small on screen. To compensate, the original pages appear in one double spread and then another double spread of the same page appears with the words typed in a larger font. This disrupts the flow of the book.

So, I don't recommend purchasing the ebook version of this one, which kills me to say, because I love ebooks. I returned this one for a refund, because on further inspection some of the efforts to "improve the text" were on the wrong pages. Just find this one from the library, because in print it is perfect.

For more Perfect Picture Book Fridays books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.