1000 Picture Books in 2016~February

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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!

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  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

 

 

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1000 Picture Books in 2016~January

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If you are an aspiring picture book writer chances are you are familiar with 12 x 12, PiBoIdMo, Revimo, and ReFoReMo. Reading, writing, and revising challenges help motivate kid lit writers. We hear time and again how important it is read A LOT of books in the genre you write.

I recently watched the January 12 x 12 webinar with Julie Hedlund and Tara Lazar. Tara offered great advice on improving craft: read 500-1000 picture books. Then I discovered the Read 1000 Picture Books in 2016 reading challenge. Coincidence? I think not! I joined the Facebook group and the Goodreads group. The groups share reading lists so you will never run out of books to read. I encourage you to join the challenge! Here’s my January reading list with Goodreads links to get you started. Happy reading and writing!

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  1. Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light
  2. Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
  3. Nellie Belle by Mem Fox
  4. Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Brown
  5. Zora’s Zucchini by Katherine Pryor
  6. Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
  7. Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
  8. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems
  9. Leopold by Ruth Westheimer
  10. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
  11. Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love by James Dean
  12. Wish by Emma Dodd
  13. The Red Hat by David Teague
  14. Sheep Go to Sleep by Nancy E. Shaw
  15. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
  16. Cat Nap by Toni Yuli
  17. What Does it Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio
  18. Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram
  19. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
  20. Michael Recycle and Bootleg Peg by Ellie Bethel
  21. Liplap’s Wish by Jonathan London
  22. I Don’t Want a Posh Dog by Emma Dodd
  23. Skunkdog by Emily Jenkins
  24. Shoe Dog by Megan McDonald
  25. A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
  26. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
  27. Ninja! by Arree Chung
  28. Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  29. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman
  30. No Yeti Yet by Mary Ann Fraser
  31. So Many Days by Alison McGhee
  32. Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds
  33. Sleep Tight Anna Banana! by Dominique Roques
  34. Where’s the Baboon? by Michael Escoffier
  35. Igor Spot Champion by Guido Van Genechten
  36. By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman
  37. Chooky-Doodle-Doo by Jan Whiten
  38. This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary
  39. Snowy Bear by Tony Mitton
  40. Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
  41. Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin
  42. Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion by Dominique Roques
  43. Claire and the Unicorn Happy Ever After by B.G. Hennessy
  44. Grandma’s Gloves by Cecil Castellucci
  45. Grandma’s Purple Flowers by Adjoa J. Burrowes
  46. Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
  47. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
  48. Anna’s Corn by Barbara Santucci
  49. I Remember Miss Perry by Pat Brisson
  50. Never Ask a Bear by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud

 

Reading, Writing, and Revising Challenges

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I participated in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) for the first time last year. I met so many motivated writers and learned about more, and more, and more challenges. I am excited to participate in the Dive Into Diversity reading challenge, 12×12 writing challenge, and ReviMo revising challenge.

What is Dive Into Diversity?

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The Dive Into Diversity reading challenge is hosted by Rather Be Reading and Reading Wishes.

Dive Into Diversity officially kicks off on January 1, 2015 and will run through December 31. Each month Reading Wishes and Rather Be Reading (RBR) will publish a diverse post  with a Linky. Simply add a review or post you wrote about diverse books to the Linky, and that’s it!

What does diverse mean exactly?

We loved this explanation from the We Need Diverse Books Tumblr: “We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.”

The good stuff.

There are no numbers of books associated with this challenge. Nope. (Though we do hope you challenge yourself to reading at least one diverse book a month.) There is an incentive for those of you who participate each month and also use our hashtag #DiversityDive to spread the word. You know what this means… giveaways and more.

A little help from our friends.

Don’t know where to start and want some suggestions to get you started? No fear, we are here to help! Be sure to check out The Diversity Book Club (they are awesome), Dahlia Adler’s Quiltbag Compredium, and Rebecca’s Diversity Bookshelf on Goodreads.


What is 12×12?

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12 x 12 is a year-long writing challenge where members aim to write 12 complete picture book drafts, one per month, for each 12 months of the year. A draft means a story with a beginning, middle, and end – NOT a submission-ready piece. Founded by picture book author Julie Hedlund, 12 x 12 is going into its fourth year in 2015.

All 12 x 12 members get access to an amazing community of 750+ picture book writers at all levels from absolute beginner to multi-published. 12 x 12 offers motivation, support, and accountability to help you write more (LOTS more!) than you would on your own.

Each month we feature a guest post from a talented, multi-published picture book author. These authors generously give away fabulous prizes to help you with your craft.

You’ll get access to members-only 12 x 12 Facebook group, which serves as a support network, a question and answer pool, and a place to share resources. PLUS, 12 x 12 includes a robust online Membership Forum where members can receive feedback on their work and find critique partners. And that’s only the beginning.

*Click here to learn about the 2015 12×12 team of authors and agents!

General membership registration begins on January 14, 2015.

*Click here to sign up for 2015 registration information


What is ReviMo?

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2nd Annual ReviMo – Revise More Picture Books Challenge

*January 11th-17th, 2015*

Got picture book drafts piled up collecting dust? Have critiques for your story, but haven’t done a SINGLE thing to improve it? Need a jumpstart to revise? ReviMo is for you!

Each ReviMo, you will be encouraged to REVISE those picture book manuscripts. There will be blogs, graphics (and perhaps vlogs) encouraging you to take out that poopy first (second, third, fifteenth) draft and breathe new life into it. I hope you will join us!

How do you ReviMo, you ask?

Register for ReviMo:
You must (to be eligible for prizes):

1. Register by commenting below (once only please!). Registration closes 10 pm CST 1/11/15.

2. Keep track of how many days you REVISE a picture book manuscript (you are on the honor system) January 11-17th. Those of you who revise 4+ days will be eligible to win fabulous prizes!! There will be a blog post with Rafflecopter on 18th, you can enter to win. There will be daily posts to motivate and inspire you, you can subscribe to my blog to receive the posts by email!

3What counts as REVISING? Making significant and thoughtful changes to a Picture Book Manuscript. If you go through and change a few words that doesn’t count! I want you to stand your manuscripts on their heads, twirl it around and get that outstanding story out!

4. Comment on the daily posts, thank our guests and let us know how your revisions are going!

And for fun:
1. Join ReviMo Facebook Group, click here.
2. Add a twibbon to your Twitter avatar, click here for bug, ReviMo pig coming soon!
3. Check out the previous ReviMo interviews and posts!
4. Add the Official ReviMo Button (link to http:megmillerwrites.blogspot.com) to your blog.

*Click here to sign up

Reading Teaches Children About the World

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Mama's Purse Bookmark

Reading teaches children about the world. Reading encourages children to use their imaginations. Reading leads to meaningful conversations with children.

Reading is awesome.

November is Picture Book Month so I’ve been reading a ton of picture books with my children. November is also Picture Book Idea Month so I’ve been working hard to come up with some spectacular picture book ideas. I also discovered the We Need Diverse Books campaign, which I feel is extremely important.

Our family always reads a lot of books, but this month I have made an extra effort to discuss the books with my children. I have also tried to include a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction books because we definitely read more fiction than nonfiction. We have had some pretty inspiring and fascinating conversations after story time.

These are some of the children’s books my family has read this month:

A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead by Nancy Luenn * illustrated by Robert Chapman

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Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen * illustrated by Kadir Nelson   

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Bridget’s Beret by Tom Lichtenheld

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Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson * illustrated by R.G. Roth

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Courage by Bernard Waber

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Dinosaur Farm by Frann Preston-Gannon

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Food Trucks! by Mark Todd

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Frederick by Leo Lionni

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Frida by Jonah Winter * illustrated by Ana Juan

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Goyangi Means Cat by Christine McDonnell * illustrated by Steve Johnson

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Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine * illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid

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I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont * illustrated by David Catrow

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Just the Two of Us by Will Smith * illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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King & King   by Linda De Haan * illustrated by Stern Nijland

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Little Cloud by Eric Carle

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My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

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My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits * illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

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Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson

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Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

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The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

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The Boy Without a Name by Idries Shah * illustrated by Mona Caron

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The Heart and the Bottle  by Oliver Jeffers

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The Hula Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin * illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

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The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

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The Lion and the Mouse by Jenny Broom * illustrated by Nahta Noj

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The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson * illustrated by E. B. Lewis

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The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy * illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

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The Recess Queen by Alexis O’neill * illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

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Thomas and the Shooting Star by W. Awdry * illustrated by Tommy Stubbs

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Thumb Love by Elise Primavera

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Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells

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Use your mighty imagination!

Mama's Purse Poster

  • What children’s books have you read this month?

 

  • Do you read fiction and nonfiction children’s books?

 

  • Which diverse titles do you recommend?

 

  • What techniques do you use to encourage children to discuss books?

 

Painted trees. Scarves. Hot tea.

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My grandmother recently passed away. I wrote this farewell letter a few days before she passed. I read it at her service.

Dear Grandma Jeanne,

I’m walking on a path beneath a tree tunnel of yellow, orange, and red. It’s your favorite season and your story is nearing the end. Tears slide under my sunglasses and skip off my chin. You loved fall the most. Painted trees. Scarves. Hot tea.

I don’t get much time by myself these days, but this is my third walk today. I had to stop and sit on this bench by this golden tree under this blue sky and write . . .

Thank you for teaching me it’s okay to be silly. Thank you for showing me the beauty of books. Thank you for inspiring me to write. Thank you for your life-long example of compassion and joy for life.

I will always remember our trip to Victoria, BC. I will always treasure our bedtime stories. I will always cherish the memories we made each summer in Montana.

This fall I will drink hot tea. This fall I will write and write and write. This fall I will dance under falling leaves. This fall I will act as silly as can be with your two great-grandchildren.

This fall, and every fall for the rest of my days, I will celebrate you—your light, your love, your life.

Love always,

Amanda Jean

 

Being silly with Grandma Jeanne and Aunt Georgie.

Being silly with Grandma Jeanne and Aunt Georgie.

One of my favorite books that Grandma Jeanne and I read together.

One of my favorite books that Grandma Jeanne and I read together.

The service truly was a celebration of her life. When it was over, we went outside and released balloons into the big blue Montana sky. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

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One of my grandma’s life-long goals was to be a published writer. She accomplished this goal. Grandma Jeanne wrote two books, and was working on her third when she passed. I developed my love for writing because of her passion for the written word. I will keep my promise to drink hot tea and write, write, write.

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November is the perfect month for me to start blogging and journaling again. November is Picture Book Month and Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). This will be my first year participating in PiBoIdMo. I look forward to challenging myself to come up with 30 picture book ideas in 3o days.

I am going to let go and have fun with my writing. I will think of Grandma Jeanne—her silliness, her compassion, her joy. I already have many ideas inspired by her brewing inside of me. Sometimes I think we create the most beautiful word strings when we experience intense emotions such as grief. I will transform my grief into something special. I will celebrate her and honor her each and every time I write.

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Local Children’s Authors–Reading and Book Signing

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I had so much fun reading story hour at Hyde Park Books on December 7th! I will be back to read, my own book this time, with four other local authors this Saturday.

I am also giving away an 18×24 Imagination poster! The illustration is one of my favorite illustrations in Mama’s Purse 🙂

Mama's Purse Poster

Please bring the kiddos!

3-5pm Saturday – Enjoy 5 different local children/YA authors read from their books. Don’t be late, we’re starting with the picture books first! Hot Cocoa/coffee and friends!

Featuring: Joel Lund, Jane Freund, Nancy Buffington, AJ Irving, and a new comer to the bunch Jessica Lund with sneak peak into her YA fantasy novel coming out very soon!

Come visit, listen, and do some Christmas shopping at Hyde Park Books on 13th St in Boise. This Saturday, December 14, 3-5 pm. Several children’s book authors, readings and refreshments!

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

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“Bookstores hold a place in the hearts and times of our community. They are places to discover an author, a story, a life. Nothing affords the conversation and interaction among books and book lovers that a bookstore does. In the future, whether you download your story or pluck a volume off a shelf, a bookstore will be able to accommodate. But in order for bookstores to flourish and thrive, we must expose future generations to the unique pleasures they offer. On December 7th, 2013, take a child in your life to a bookstore. Watch his face light up as you give him free access, not just to a new book, but to tomorrow.” —Jenny Milchman, Founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

I am excited to participate in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day this Saturday at Hyde Park Books. I am reading my very first story hour at a bookstore! And I get to decide what to read! What are your favorite children’s books? I’d like to have a nice variety to read to the kiddos 🙂

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I think Hyde Park Books is doing something pretty cool for this special occasion: A children’s/YA book exchange. In honor of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, Saturday Dec 7th they will be hosting a book exchange all day. So, bring a book, and you can select another used children’s/young adult book for free! That’s right, free!

So, come exchange those old stories for some new ones!

Pierce Park Elementary Author Visit

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I did my first author visit at an elementary school today. To be honest, I was pretty nervous. I always get anxious when I speak in front of a group of people. But really, what could be so terrifying about addressing a class of kindergarteners? I’ve done countless book signings, so this should be a piece of cake, right? For one thing, I know this age group can catch you off guard with outrageous questions and comments. I know this first hand because my son is five years old and he was actually in the class that I spoke to today.

I was immediately put at ease when I sat down in the kiddo-sized chair and looked at my son, Mason. He was bursting with pride. I looked around the room at the other children and I couldn’t help but notice their expressions of wonder. As I explained what it was like to be a children’s author, I could tell these kids thought I was pretty special. When I started reading my book, 22 pairs of eyes popped wide with excitement and curiosity. As I turned each page, they smiled and laughed, oohed and aahed.

Then came the part I had been dreading: the question period.
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They asked me a few questions like:

“How long have you been an author?” and “How long did it take you to write your book?”

But mostly, they wanted to share things with me:

“I love horses. Have you ever been to the horse races?”
“I made my own book with my mom.”
“I really like your book.”
“My name is London. I’m Mason’s best friend.”
“Mrs. Irving, you should write a book about cats!”
“My dad works at a tire store.”
“I want to be an author.”

After this very interesting conversation, the kids colored Mama’s Purse coloring sheets and I gave them each a bookmark. I am so proud of their artwork!

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Now that I have one author visit under my belt, I can’t wait to do more! I left the school feeling completely content and inspired about future opportunities to get kiddos excited about books.

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Read today and every day to come because reading is so much fun!

Best wishes,

AJ