How to Explain Your Writing Journey to Friends and Family

30

It has come to my attention that those closest to me do not understand my writing journey. They wonder why I spend so much time with my nose in books (you have to read what you write!) and my eyes glued to my computer screen. They wonder why I don’t write a different genre. They wonder what webinars and podcasts are. They wonder what SCBWI, 12×12, Storystorm, ReFoReMo etc. etc. etc. are. But most of all they probably wonder why I don’t have a bazillion published books.

Chill it's only Chaos

Image credit: Frog Spot Blog

The publishing world is confusing! So I thought I’d write a little something to help my friends and family understand the process to becoming a published picture book author. And who knows? Maybe this post will help my kid lit pals, too.

Here’s my writing journey in a nutshell:

My love for picture books was rekindled after my son was born 9 years ago.

Okay, rewind.

Remind friends and family about your writing spark.

I have wanted to be a writer my entire life. I wanted to write novels when I was a little girl. I wanted to be a sports writer in junior high school. In high school I wanted to be an investigative journalist. In college I wanted to freelance for feminist magazines. But my passion never burned so bright as it did when I started writing for children. 

Roald Dahl quote

Image credit: Bloglovin.com

Be honest.

When I first started writing picture book manuscripts I submitted to publishing houses that still accepted unsolicited work. I received one form rejection letter. I didn’t know what I was doing. 

Share books that excited you.

I read more and more picture books and started researching self-publishing. I self-published a picture book in 2012. Will I ever self-publish again? No. Do I regret my decision to self-publish? No. I know plenty of self-published writers who are successful. It just wasn’t for me. But it sent me on an informative path. I Joined SCBWI. I started a website and a blog. I became social media savvy. I connected with authors and illustrators. I gained book signing and school visit experience etc. 

Let your friends and family know what new things you are trying.

Then I joined Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 picture book writing challenge. I found an incredible critique group. I watched webinars and took online picture book writing classes. I participated in Twitter pitch parties. Suddenly I wasn’t getting NO responses and form rejection letters. Progress!

Share your small success stories.

Fast forward to this year. I entered a contest for a picture book writing mentorship (Writing With the Stars) and was selected out of hundreds of talented picture book writers. I entered Michelle Hauck and Sharon Chriscoe’s PB Party contest and was selected out of hundreds of talented kid lit writers. 

Don’t overthink. Stay true to yourself. 

My friends and family probably question my sanity. After all these years of hard work, rejection, and tears (my husband sends me flowers), why do I keep at it?

Flowers from Ian

Share your rejections and the goodies you use to cope. 

BTW, it seems like most picture book writers have an obsession with chocolate, cake, and cookies. I’m more of a salt and vinegar chips like of gal. 

Remind them why you write.

On a more serious note, my goal is not to see my name on a book cover. My goal is to write stories that inspire kids or help them relate or offer a different perspective or make them laugh (when I write something that can make my son giggle as much as he does when he reads STINKY CHEESE MAN, I know I’ve made it.)

In the end it is simple. I have to write. It’s in my heart.

Happiness is following your heart quote 

Be clear about your dreams and goals.

My dream is to be a picture book author. My goal is to sign with a literary agent. So how does this process work?

  • Read thousands of picture books (I read 1,005 last year).
  • Get an idea for a picture book (They come out of nowhere!).
  • Write a rough draft.
  • Revise draft a bazillion times.
  • Send draft to critique group.
  • Revise draft a bazillion more times.
  • Send draft to critique group again. If the group gives me the green light, I send the manuscript to my fantastic mentor, Laura Gehl.
  • Revise manuscript.
  • Send manuscript back to Laura.
  • Revise manuscript again.
  • If Laura gives me the green light I’m ready to submit.
  • Research agents.
  • Write a query letter.
  • Submit to agents.
  • Wait. A. Long. Time.

Your life is your story quote

Writing for children is not easy.

People tell me all the time how easy it must be to write picture books. Here’s the thing: most fiction picture books are 500 words or less so every single word has to matter. Every single word must have purpose and add to story. 

Many argue that writing for children is actually more difficult.

Some Writer!

In Melissa Sweet’s beautiful book, Some Writer!, she includes this quote from E.B. White:

Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth…”

I am a member of 12×12, which means that I have the opportunity to submit to one of two agents every month. (These agents read 12×12 submissions before the slush pile). I research the agents and submit to the one I think is the best fit for my work. 

It’s a LONG process.

What happens next? It depends. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  1. No response from agent.
  2. Form rejection letter.
  3. Champagne rejection letter with feedback.
  4. Revision request.
  5. Agent either rejects revision or asks to see more manuscripts.
  6. Agent loves manuscript and asks to see more work.
  7. Agent turns you down after you send more work. (“You’re close, but not quite there.”) OR
  8. Agents schedules a phone call to discuss your work, goals, career etc.
  9. Agent offers representation.

Great! You have an agent! Now what?

Celebrate with friends and family!

Side note: There are very few publishing houses that accept unagented material. Why? Because editors are busy people who only want to read work that is recommended by people they trust. Agents have relationships with editors. Agents know what editors are looking for.

Is your work over after you get an agent? No. More revising! When your agent says your manuscript is a go, s/he puts a submission package together and sends it to editors.

You wait a long time. AGAIN.

The editor says nay OR requests a revision OR says yea! Most publishing houses have an acquisitions process, which means the editor presents the manuscript to a GROUP of folks who work at the publishing house. Group says nay OR yea!

The publishing house makes an offer.

Celebrate with friends and family!

Side note: bonus of having an agent? The agent negotiates the contract on your behalf. 18 months-2 years later . . . your book is released!

Celebrate some MORE!

What next? Promote your published book with school visits, book signings etc. AND . . .

Work on selling your second book.

Work for cause quote

Image credit: Paperblog.com

Never stop learning and writing! Miranda Paul recently made this comment during a webinar:

“When you stop learning your career is over.”

 

Dream big. Never give up.  

The one thing that you have quote

 

 

 

 

2017 Children’s Choice Book Awards

1

2017 Children's Choice Book Awards

It’s that time of year again! Be sure to encourage your kiddos to vote for their favorite books in 2017 Children’s Choice Book Awards.

Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, the awards provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about new books being written for them.

How were these finalists chosen? Each year, over 36,000 children from different regions of the U.S. read, discuss, and choose their favorite new books, with supervision from the International Literacy Association. The most popular books in each age group become the Children’s Choice Book Award finalists.

Voting is open March 3 to May 7, 2017. Winners will be announced on May 31st at a special ceremony featuring the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang and publicized nationally!
 IMG_1717
In the K-2 category my kiddos voted for Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching.
This adorable picture book captivates readers with vibrant illustrations and humor. Peep and Egg are the perfect duo to show children that “sometimes you just need a little bit of help to break out of your shell.”

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan

Peep and Egg I'm Not Hatching

From Goodreads:

Egg is not hatching.

No way. No how.

It is too scary out there.

Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek.
But Egg is not cracking…

Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the not out of I’m not.

Grade 3-4 category:

This debut by Andrea Zuill entertains readers with fantastic illustrations and snappy text. A hilarious representation about what dogs think!

Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill

Wolf Camp

From Goodreads:

Meet Homer, a dog who heads to camp to live like a wolf! Here’s the perfect book for the legions of kids out there who love dogs and funny books.

Homer is a dog . . . but he also secretly fancies himself part wolf. So when an invitation to attend WOLF CAMP (“Where every dog can live as a wolf for a week”) falls out of his kibble bag one morning, he’s determined to go. After his people finally agree, Homer boards the bus bound for Wolf Camp, along with fellow campers Trixie and Rex. They’re greeted on the other end by wolf counselors Fang and Grrr (“they seem nice”), and what follows is an array of wolf activities, including learning to howl, mark, and hunt. Of course, Homer’s a little homesick at times, and the food isn’t very good, but that just makes heading home all the sweeter.

Perfect for all those kids anticipating camp themselves, Zuill’s debut introduces a charmer of a dog and puts him in some laugh-out-loud scenarios.

Grade 5-6 category: 

My son was bummed that The Wild Robot was not an option. He read this book four times in three weeks! He often read it to his little sister before bed. One night I overheard her say, “Pause the story! I have to pee!”

IMG_1699

My children didn’t read any of the books in the grade 5-6 category, but I did! If I could vote, I’d vote for Booked by Kwame Alexander. I am always blown away by exceptional books written in verse because it is extremely difficult to pull off. Booked is a perfect example of how to do it right. 

Booked

From Goodreads:

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!

 I would LOVE to hear which titles your kiddos picked!
IMG_1698
Happy reading!

1000 Picture Books in 2016~December

10

December 2016 blog post.jpg

I just learned that my husband and sister thought I was reading 1000 picture books per month this year. Wow! If that were the case there would be zero time for anything else! But…I did meet my goal for the 1000 Picture Books in 2016 Reading Challenge.

Kid lit reading stats for 2016:

Picture books: 1005

Middle Grade: 7

Young Adult: 1

I’m looking forward to reading more MG and YA in 2017. I’d appreciate recommendations!

Visit my January-November posts for Goodreads links to the picture books I read in 2016.

Top 17 picks for December!

1. The Water Princess by Susan Verde

the-water-princess

2. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas

the-uncorker-of-ocean-bottles

3. Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina

mango-abuela-and-me

4. Henry & Leo by Pamela Zagarenski

henry-and-leo

5. The Journey by Fancesca Sanna

the-journey

6. A Well-Mannered Young Wolf by Jean Leroy

a-well-mannered-young-wolf

7. Alice & Lucy Will Work for Bunk Beds by Jaime Temairik

alice-and-lucy-will-work-for-bunk-beds

8. More-igami by Dori Kleber

more-igami

9. Ninja Baby by David Zeltser

ninja-baby

10. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood

interstellar-cinderella

11. The Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee

the-bossier-baby

12. Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle

drum-dream-girl

13. Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff

mesmerized

14. A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

a-hungry-lion

15. Ida, Always by Caron Levis

ida-always

16. Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

du-iz-tak

17. Poor Little Guy by Elanna Allen

poor-little-guy

1000 Picture Books in 2016~November

2

november-2016-blog-post

November is Picture Book Month, and we definitely celebrated at our house! My kiddos fell in love with Not Your Typical Dragon and Nerdy Birdy. We will be adding these two hilarious books to our home library. The Tree Lady is a must-read nonfiction picture book. I also highly recommend A Hat for Mrs. Goldman for its wonderful message, and Shy for its gorgeous art.

Visit my January-October posts for Goodreads links to the picture books I’ve read in 2016.

Top 18 picks for November!

1. The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

the-monsters-monster

2. The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito

the-sound-of-silence

3. Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio

dragon-was-terrible

4. Goodnight Already! by Jory John

goodnight-already

5. Shy by Deborah Freedman

shy

6. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards

a-hat-for-mrs-goldman

7. The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins

the-tree-lady

8. Pirasaurs! by Josh Funk

pirasaurs

9. Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith

abe-lincolns-dream

10. Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead

samson-in-the-snow

11. A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary

a-family-is-a-family-is-a-family

12. Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el

not-your-typical-dragon

13. Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds

nerdy-birdy

14. Flight School by Lita Judge

flight-school

15. Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

mr-squirrel-and-the-moon

16. The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

the-little-gardener

17. Just Like Daddy by Ovi Nedelcu

just-like-daddy

18. Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins

rodeo-red

 

 

 

1000 Picture Books in 2016~September

10

pink-is-for-blobfish-banner

I read 155 picture books in September. This month I decided to focus on titles from the last three years. I discovered several of these books during a 12 x 12 webinar with children’s librarian and All the Wonders podcast creator, Matthew Winner.

Visit my January-August posts for Goodreads links to the picture books I’ve read in 2016.

Top 26 picks for September!

1. A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara

a-poem-in-your-pocket

2. Blizzard by John Rocco

blizard

3. Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis

best-frints

4. Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill

wolf-camp

5. Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein

before-after

6. Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park

yaks-yak

7. Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann

armstrong-a-mouse-on-the-moon

8. Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

hooray-for-hat

9. Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead

special-delivery

10. My Grandfather’s Coat by Jim Aylesworth

my-grandfathers-coat

11. Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

flora-and-the-peacocks

12. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

they-all-saw-a-cat

13. Roger is Reading a Book by Koen van Biesen

roger-is-reading-a-book

14. Adventures With Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

adventures-with-barefoot-critters

15. Where Bear? by Sophy Henn

where-bear

16. The Sleepy Songbird by Suzanne Barton

the-sleepy-songbird

17. Rock-a-Bye Romp by Linda Ashman

rock-a-bye-romp

18. The Forgetful Knight by Michelle Robinson

the-forgetful-knight

19. McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger

mctoad-mows-tiny-island

20. Ursa’s Light by Deborah Marcero

ursas-light

21. Peanut Butter & Brains by Joe McGee

peanut-butter-and-brains

22. Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating

pink-is-for-blobfish

23. Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian

worm-loves-worm

24. Pond by Jim LaMarche

pond

25. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

schools-first-day-of-school

26. Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

freedom-over-me

1000 Picture Books in 2016~July

12

July stack

I am posting this a few days early because I’m going camping with friends and family in Cascade, Idaho. Here’s a photo of my friend Scott from our last lake adventure :).

Scott flyboarding rev

Flyboarding!

This month I discovered a nice mixture of sweet, inspiring, and hilarious picture books. Visit my January-June posts for Goodreads links to the picture books I’ve read in 2016.

1. Frankie Liked to Sing by John Seven

Frankie Liked to Sing

2. The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin

The William Hoy Story

3. Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin

Robo Sauce

4. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Interrupting Chicken

5. Mustache! by Mac Barnett

Mustache

6. The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Book With No Pictures

7. Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Extraordinary Jane

8. The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

The Girl and the Bicycle

9. I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein

I'm My Own Dog

10. Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber

The Flight of the Honey Bee

11. This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers

This Bridge Will Not be Gray

12. The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko

The Case for Loving

13. Mr. Wuffles! by Davis Wiesner

Mr Wuffles

14. Migrant by Maxine Trottier

Migrant

15. A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid

A Pet for Petunia

16. The Only Child by Guojing

The Only Child

17. Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt

Warning Do Not Open This Book

18. The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman

The Matchbox Diary

 

 

 

1000 Picture Books in 2016~June

13

book stack

I have read 400 picture books so far this year. I discovered some gems in June that I am excited to share with you. Happy reading!

Visit my January-May posts for Goodreads links to the picture books I’ve read in 2016.

1. No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

No Monkeys, No Chocolate

2. Hana Hashimoto Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki

Hana Hashimoto

3. Max the Brave by Ed Vere

Max the Brave

4. Little Tree by Loren Long

Little Tree

5. Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate

Ivan the remarkable

6. Lenny and Lucy by Philip C. Stead

Lenny and Lucy

7. Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder

Swan the life and dance

8. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart

The Gardener

9. Quackers by Liz Wong

Quackers

10. If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

If you plant a seed

11. Luis Paints the World by Terry Farish

Luis Paints the World

12. Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira

Ribbit

13. The Bear Report by Thyra Heder

The Bear Report

14. Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee

Tell Me a Tattoo Story

15. My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza

My Lucky Day

16. A Rock Can Be . . . by Layra Purdie Salas

A Rock Can Be

17. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red A Crayon's Story

 

 

 

1000 Picture Books in 2016~March

14

ReFoReMo winner 2016 badge

Reading for Research Month is such a fantastic motivator. The insightful blog posts and mentor text recommendations were outstanding this year. Follow the new site to become a member of the ReFoReMo family!

ReFoReMo helped me revise several WIPs this month. One of the recommended mentor texts gave me an idea for my March 12 x 12 draft. I have always read a lot of picture books, but this reading challenge has helped me hone my craft. I am studying these picture books (with tools I learned in ReFoReMo) and applying what I learned to my own writing.

Be sure to join the One Thousand Picture Books Facebook group as well as the Goodreads group.

Here’s my March reading list with Goodreads links:

20160331_152036.jpg

  1. Even Monsters Say Good Night by Doreen Mulryan Marts
  2. The Woods by Paul Hoppe
  3. Deer Dancer by Mary Lyn Ray
  4. Stanley the Mailman by William Bee
  5. The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker
  6. Strega Nona’s Gift by Tomie dePaola
  7. Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
  8. Do Princesses Scrape Their Knees? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
  9. A Night at the Zoo by Kathy Caple
  10. Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne C. Jones
  11. I Don’t Want to Be a Pea! by Ann Bonwill
  12. Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
  13. Baking Day at Grandma’s by Anika Denise
  14. Quest by Aaron Becker
  15. No Two Alike by Keith Baker
  16. The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by Douglas Florian
  17. Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt
  18. The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
  19. Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander
  20. Over the River and Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure by Linda Ashman
  21. Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge
  22. Telephone by Mac Barnett
  23. Seaver the Weaver by Paul Czajak
  24. In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van
  25. Thank you and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell
  26. Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt
  27. Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead
  28. Sir Cumference and the Roundabout Battle by Cindy Neuschwander
  29. Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie on the Road by Joel Stewart
  30. Dino-Wrestling by Lisa Wheeler
  31. The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens
  32. Little Bea and the Snowy Day by Daniel Roode
  33. The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
  34. No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini
  35. Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
  36. Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
  37. The Biggest Kiss by J.M. Walsh
  38. Orlando on a Thursday by Emma Magenta
  39. I Can’t Do Anything! by Thierry Robberecht
  40. A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer
  41. Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier
  42. Your Alien by Tammi Sauer
  43. Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Moe Willems
  44. Art & Max by David Weisner
  45. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
  46. Billy’s Booger by William Joyce
  47. The Boys by Jeff Newman
  48. Good Night, Truck by Sally Odgers
  49. Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! by Mo Willems
  50. I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau
  51. Going Places by Peter H. Reynolds
  52. Love, Mouserella by David Ezra Stein
  53. The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier
  54. This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
  55. Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming
  56. While You Were Napping by Jenny Offill
  57. Pretty Penny Makes Ends Meet by Devon Kinch
  58. Mutt Dog! by Stephen Michael King
  59. Some Days Are Lonely by Young-Ah Kim
  60. Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich
  61. Giddy-Up Buckaroos! by Shanda Trent
  62. The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
  63. Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
  64. Lucy and Lila by Alison Fletcher
  65. What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers
  66. The House That Zack Built by Alison Murray
  67. Hide and Sheep by Andrea Beaty
  68. Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint by Femida Handy and Carole Carpenter
  69. Run for Your Life!: Predators and Prey on the African Savanna by Lola M. Schaefer
  70. Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly DiPucchio
  71. My Teacher is a Monster! by Peter Brown
  72. Batman’s Dark Secret by Kelley Puckett
  73. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
  74. Ten Creepy Monsters by Carey Armstrong-Ellis
  75. Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly Dean
  76. Digger and Tom! by Sebastien Braun
  77. Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Buehner
  78. Pumpkin Time! by Erzsi Deak
  79. Snow Day for Mouse by Judy Cox
  80. The Stupids Step Out by Harry Allard
  81. Don’t Call Me Pruneface! by Janet Reed Ahearn
  82. The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton
  83. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: A Winter Wonderland of Color by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
  84. Smarty Marty’s Got Game by Amy Gutierrez
  85. Slow Down for Manatees by Jim Arnosky
  86. No Moon, No Milk! by Chris Babcock
  87. Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett
  88. Who Done it? by Olivier Tallec
  89. Pepper & Poe by Frann Preston-Gannon
  90. Little One by Jo Weaver
  91. Little Why by Jonny Lamber
  92. The Night Gardener by Terry Fan
  93. The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski
  94. Sparky! by Jenny Offill
  95. What if…? by Anthony Browne
  96. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
  97. Lawn to Lawn by Dan Yaccarino
  98. When You Were Born by Emma Dodd
  99. It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree
  100. Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
  101. Light Up the Night by Jean Reidy
  102. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
  103. Chester’s Masterpiece by Melanie Watt
  104. Chester by Melanie Watt
  105. You’re Finally Here! by Melanie Watt
  106. Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson
  107. Ten Kisses for Sophie! by Rosemary Wells
  108. Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen
  109. The Typewriter by Bill Thomson
  110. My New Mom & Me by Renata Galindo
  111. Gretchen Over the Beach by R.W. Alley
  112. Little Butterfly by Laura Logan
  113. Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by Kimberly Dean
  114. Chester’s Back! by Melanie Watt

1000 Picture Books in 2016~February

20

Reading for Research month ( ReFoReMo) starts March 1st. What a wonderful opportunity to keep on track with the 1000 picture books in 2016 reading challenge! Hop over to Carrie’s blog to learn more about ReFoReMo.

ReFoReMo 2016

Visit my January post to learn more about the 1000 picture books in 2016 reading challenge. There is a Facebook group (search One Thousand Picture Books) and a Goodreads group for the challenge. Here’s my February reading list with Goodreads links. Happy reading and writing!

Screenshot_2016-02-27-17-07-05-1

  1. Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago
  2. One Family by George Shannon
  3. Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History by Don Brown
  4. Action Movie Kid by Daniel Hashimoto
  5. Wait by Antoinette Portis
  6. Whose Shoe? by Eve Bunting
  7. Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins
  8. What James Said by Liz Rosenberg
  9. One Snowy Rescue by Christina Butler
  10. Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin
  11. Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin
  12. Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
  13. Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins
  14. Be a Friend by Salina Yoon
  15. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann
  16. Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
  17. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  18. Lucy in the City by Julie Dillemuth
  19. Princess Nina by Marlise Achterberg
  20. Zen Socks by Jon J. Muth
  21. Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl
  22. Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
  23. The Boy Who Lost His Bumble by Trudi Esberger
  24. Everything by Emma Dodd
  25. Gilbert the Ghost by Guido Van Genechten
  26. Aqualicious by Victoria Kann
  27. 10 Easter Egg Hunters: A Holiday Counting Book by Janet Schulman
  28. Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul
  29. Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon
  30. Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon
  31. Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
  32. The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler
  33. Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen
  34. What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis
  35. Pretty Princess Pig by Jane Yolen
  36. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
  37. Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole by Lewis Carroll
  38. The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella
  39. Snappsy the Aligator by Julie Falatko
  40. Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
  41. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Miller Zietlow
  42. Little White Fish Has a Party by Guido Van Genechten
  43. Float by Daniel Miyares
  44. Fancy Nancy: Saturday Night Sleepover by Jane O’Connor
  45. How to Dress a Dragon by Lynne Thelma Godin
  46. You Can Do it, Bert! by Ole Konnecke
  47. One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
  48. Happy! by Pharrell Williams
  49. Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood
  50. Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh
  51. Nose to Toes, You Are Yummy! by Tim Harrington
  52. The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood
  53. You Make Me Happy by An Swerts
  54. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
  55. The Impossible Voyage of Kon-Tiki by Deborah Kogan Ray
  56. The Ladybug Race by Amy Nielander
  57. Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti
  58. The Weatherboy by Pimm van Hest
  59. Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
  60. The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle
  61. A Good Home for Max by Junzo Terada
  62. Hilda Must be Dancing by Karma Wilson
  63. Many Moons by James Thurber
  64. Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems
  65. Zero by Kathryn Otoshi
  66. Dear Yeti by James Kwan
  67. Love Monster and the Perfect Present by Rachel Bright
  68. Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett
  69. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
  70. The Noisy Clock Shop by Jean Horton Berg
  71. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
  72. Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
  73. Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin
  74. Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin
  75. Zoom! Zoom!: Sounds of Things That Go in the City by Robert Burleigh
  76. Slightly Invisible by Lauren Child
  77. The Peddler’s Bed by Lauri Fortino
  78. Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
  79. Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson
  80. Happy by Emma Dodd
  81. Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael B. Kaplan
  82. My Dog, Bob by Richard Torrey
  83. Swap! by Steve Light

 

 

MARCH-ing Books to Kids in 2016

6

I am excited to participate in the second annual MARCH-ing Books to Kids book drive. Picture Book Pass it On is encouraging folks to participate in MARCH-ing Books to Kids during the month of March. The founder of PBPiO, Michelle Eastman, has given kid lit lovers and authors a wonderful opportunity to help children in need through the  Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

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

My 3 Calls to Action:

#1 Pledge: I pledge to donate ten signed copies of my picture book, Mama’s Purse, to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

#2 Post: I will share my pledge on the Picture Book Pass it On #PBPiO Facebook page, my blog, and social media:

Facebook author page

Facebook blog page

Facebook book page

Twitter

Pinterest

#3 Pass it on: I challenge YOU to join the #PBPiO giving chain. Take the pledge and keep passing it on!

20150226_113147