Help Me Decide!

I’m super excited that my next book is nearing publication! I want your input. What do you think would make the best back cover for my early chapter book, The Lullaby Monsters?

This night time adventure features Kelsey and Thomas who meet a bunch of monsters. When monsters steal Thomas’ most prized possession, Kelsey and Thomas must face their fears in an effort to get it back. Through the story, they learn about fear and friendship in this fun adventure under the stars with an unexpected, funny twist at the end that will make children want to pick up the book and start again.

Here are the back cover options…

1. Kelsey and Thomas
2. The Monsters
3. Kelsey and Thomas Biking

So… which one do you think is best? Let me know!

I appreciate your input and can’t wait to reveal the front cover when it is ready. I look forward to your comments.

Happy Monday!

Welcome to Monday!  This is your opportunity to learn a little more about the writer behind the blog.

As you may already have learned, I am an introvert.  I get worn out from being around large groups of people.  This is why I love teaching preschool and piano.  My preschool is small, so we have 15 children at a time.  There are no other preschool classrooms on the same site so I only need to get to know the families and children who are directly in my class. And with piano, I get to teach one student at a time.  This works very well for my introverted self.  The summers off are truly a time to rest and recharge and I really enjoy my alone time now that my children are both graduated from high school.  Still,  I’m sure I’ll miss them terribly when they eventually move out.

IMG_4801

I’m working on relaxing and am hopeful that by the end of August, I’ll be fully rested and recharged and ready to go back to work.  I’m feeling very grateful that I’ve been able to enjoy a couple of months off each year.  It really helps me to appreciate and enjoy my preschoolers, piano students, and their families when I go back every fall.

What makes you feel grateful?

Books by Cynthia

Kid Lit Love: Finn Finds a Friend by Jenna Grodzicki and Alexis St. John

Welcome to Friday’s Kid Lit Love!  Today I’m reviewing FINN FINDS A FRIEND by Jenna Grodzicki and Alexis St. John, published by Clear Fork Publishing.

36361687

My Review:

In a blend of fiction and non-fiction, Jenna Grodzicki tells the story of Finn, the playful lemon shark. Finn tries to play with other creatures (lemon sharks, sea turtles, and even people) but has a few challenges finding a play mate. At first it seems no one wants to play with a lemon shark.  In the end, his sharp shark teeth save the day for a friendly dolphin caught in some seaweed, leading to a new friendship and new play opportunities.  Children are introduced to various creatures that swim in the ocean and Finn is a likeable character whose actions move the story forwards to a satisfying conclusion. The story provides an opportunity for children to learn more about lemon sharks that they are not considered dangerous to people (or dolphins).

The illustrations by Alexis St. John show the wonderful undersea world. This would be a great book for teachers and parents to add to their library.

Introducing….author Jenna Grodzicki!  Welcome, Jenna!

Unknown

 

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

There are so many things I love about being a writer. I love the excitement of a new idea. There is so much possibility with each tiny spark. I love visiting schools and sharing my books with children. I was an elementary teacher for 15 years, so I really enjoy spending time with young readers. And I love being a part of this amazing kidlit community. The friends I’ve made have been invaluable in helping me grow as both a writer and a person. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

My children are a constant source of inspiration. But my ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere. I’ve come up with ideas while at the beach, walking my dog, listening to a conversation, and in the shower, to name a few. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night on many occasions with a new story just bursting to get on paper. I carry a small notebook in my purse, so if inspiration strikes, I can quickly jot it down.

Which books are on your reading list?

There are so many books on my TBR list, and everyday it gets longer and longer. I just started readingThe Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta. I had to wait until my daughter was done with it! I really enjoy YA, and I can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas.  For picture books, I’m looking forward to Jess Keating’s Cute as an Axolotl, Melissa Stoller’s Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, and Josh Funk’s Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude. And of course, my son and I are dying to read Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas.

Those sound like great books.  Thanks for joining us today, Jenna!

Jenna’s website

Cynthia’s book

 

Happy Monday!

Here’s a chance to learn a little about the writer behind the blog.  Thanks for stopping by to read 🙂

So my story for this week continues on the walking theme.  As I mentioned, I like to go for walks.  And living in Victoria, B.C. is great for that because year round, the weather is fairly mild so walking outdoors in winter might be a little cold, yes, but it is rare we have a day that would stop me from going outdoors. Here’s a photo from my weekend walk.

img_7799

I love all the hanging baskets in Victoria at this time of year.  I also really like the historical charm of this building.  It makes our little town feel unique.  What could be better after a walk on a hot day than a cold beer or glass of blush wine?

I really like walking in the snow too, when we get snow.  But that’s usually only a few times a year.  Here’s a photo from a rare walk in the snow I took last winter… you might have to squint to see the snowflakes!

IMG_6849

Most of the time, we need to be prepared for wet weather.  That doesn’t bother me either.  If I get wet, I just dry off later and enjoy a cup of tea or hot chocolate. No umbrella needed!

Do you like to go for walks? What is your neighborhood like?  Please share in the comments 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

 

<p style=” margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/BfeysYclGgb/&#8221; style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_blank”>A rare walk in the snow today #canyouseetheflakes #westcoastwinter</a></p> <p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”>A post shared by <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/mackey_cynthia/&#8221; style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;” target=”_blank”> Cynthia Mackey SCBWI Member</a> (@mackey_cynthia) on <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2018-02-22T01:49:39+00:00″>Feb 21, 2018 at 5:49pm PST</time></p></div></blockquote> //www.instagram.com/embed.js“>instagram photo

And here’s one of the places I can walk to from my house… I do like a glass of wine every once in a while, how about you?

 

Kid Lit Love: More Blueberries by Susan Musgrave with illustrations by Esperanca Melo

Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!

Since I have a huge appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month (weekly during July and August) of a book I love.  All the picture books I review in 2018 from this point forward will be the books of 12×12 members or feature books from Canadian publishers, authors and illustrators.  MORE BLUEBERRIES is published by Orca Books.

img_7768

If I had to use just one word to describe the book MORE BLUEBERRIES it would be…. fun!

Blueberry cheeks, blueberry chin.

Blueberry teeth, blueberry grin.

The story is less 93 carefully chosen words.  I was attracted to the book because I love blueberries myself and because of the joyful faces on the book cover.  The rhyme and meter is spot on and the illustrations are colourful and appealing.  I like the smaller book size too for little hands.  This book would work really well for introducing children to story time because of the length of story, the rhyme, the bright and interesting illustrations, the animals and the daily routines of meal time, bath time, and bed time.  I am happy to add this book to my library!

What are you reading this summer?

Discover children’s books by Cynthia Mackey

 

Happy Monday!

Hello and Welcome to Monday!

This is your opportunity to get to know the writer behind the blog.  Mondays are not my favourite day (how about you?) and sharing information about myself is not my favourite thing to do so they seem to sort of go together.  I’m told readers like to know something about the person behind the blog, so…

One thing about me you may not know is I like to go for walks.  So here is a little surprise I discovered on a recent walk in my neighbourhood. You might want to know the area is sort of an odd mix of farms and suburbs. You might call it semi-rural.

We discovered this farm stand on the trail right in the middle of a large treed park.  You can buy cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and eggs.  It is all done on the honour system.  Take your food and leave your money in the box.  I love it that our community is the type that can actually do this successfully.

img_7777

So next time I walk, I better bring some twoonies and I might as well pick up some fresh locally grown broccoli!  Why not?

What does your neighbourhood walk look like?  I’d love to know.

Have a great day!

Discover books by Cynthia Mackey

Sale: Katie Shaeffer

IMG_3898

Hello Readers!

Just want to let you know, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is now $5.00 off on amazon.ca That’s 35 percent off the retail price!  Being Canadian is a really good thing.

And by the way, Canada just celebrated its birthday…151 years young!

Kid Lit Love: Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day by Tara J. Hannon

Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!

Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I love.  All the picture books I review in 2018 from this point forward will be the books of 12×12 members! So here is my featured picture book for March: Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day by Tara J. Hannon.  It is also important to note that Tara self-published this book, which is a journey all its own.  Congratulations, Tara!  I’d also like to note that Tara is one of my critique partners and I really value her input and writing expertise.

My preschool class and I thoroughly enjoyed Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day.  In this simple story, Rabbit and Lion go through their day together with each page featuring opposites such as bottom/top, near/far, open/closed.  The illustrations are adorable with changing scenes of Lion and Rabbit indoors and out.  They are friendly and playful characters that are very relatable for children.  This is a simple story but an important one to add to your collection as there are few children’s picture books on the market that feature opposites in such a fun and relatable way.  The end of the book has an opportunity to help rabbit remember some of the opposites he learned.  My class loved trying to come up with the opposites when the story was done and were pleased with their own success in remembering the words.

img_6987

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Tara a few questions.  Here’s my interview with Tara.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

For me, the best part of writing is creating and exploring worlds that only exist in my mind’s eye. There is nothing quite like sitting in a quiet room and letting my mind create something from an empty canvas. And very rarely there is a moment when something within those vast creations ‘clicks’ and an idea is born. That is the best.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Do the work. Research. Read. Study. Connect. Like any art, writing for children requires practice and knowledge. Sign up for the webinars, buy the books, find a critique group. Go whole hog and let yourself dive into it. You will never look back. Honestly, it took me a while to realize this. Once I did, my work improved tremendously.

Where does your inspiration come from?

The five year old that lives inside of my head. (haha) But really, she is still in there somewhere and I am always trying to see things the way she would.

Why do you write for children?

There are so many reasons. But if I had to pick one, I’d say its because they see things we adults can’t. Their imaginations are enviable and it is an honor to contribute to that magic… And I want them to think I’m cool.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Friends don’t steal pancakes. Oh, and that everyone is different. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Befriend it. 😉

Want to find out more about Tara’s book? Check out the Amazon reviews here.