Okay, I’m a little behind schedule with my giveaway but here we go! This is great for picture book lovers, teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents. You can win Picture the Sky, by Barbara Reid and a signed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker! The winner will also receive a pdf copy of my story stretchers for 10 great picture books. See my previous post, Ten Picture Books Every Preschool Teacher Must Have! for a list of the books.
Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker
The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over 19 years of age. If you are outside of Canada and the US, you can still enter to win my story stretchers just in time for Back to School.
How to enter:
Comment on this blog post; What book do you remember loving as a child (It could be a novel or a picture book)
Here’s my weekly writing update; keeping myself honest about the progress I’m making with writing for children.
This week I watched a free webinar by children’s book author, Arree Chung. It was so good in that he reminded me that the only way to become a published author is to do the work. So I got down to work. I revised a couple of manuscripts and for the first time ever, I requested a critique in the facebook group Kidlit 411, Manuscript Swap. Wow! what a community! I couldn’t believe the quick response I got from people willing to read and give feedback. It is amazing. And with that feedback, I can learn and grow as a writer. If you are a children’s writer and you’re on facebook, I highly recommend joining the groups Kid Lit 411 and Kid Lit 411 Manuscript Swap! They are super helpful in developing your craft.
Visit me on my Facebook Page; likes are always appreciated. Plus I’m doing a giveaway you might be interested in 😉 Have a wonderful week!
Today is #10pbfor10 day! This is the day to pick 10 picture books you cannot live without. Here are mine!
Water Can Be…
Water Can Be…
Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker
And…I have some exciting news! In my upcoming giveaway, I’m giving story stretcher ideas for all of these beauties! I hope you’ll enter! Giveaway starts here August 14th. You can enter via Facebook too!
Welcome to Friday’s Kid Lit Love! Today I’m super happy to be interviewing Nancy Churnin and reviewing her picture book, CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT, published in 2018 by Albert Whitman and Company. Nancy is the author of several more books listed below.
I was pleased and excited to receive CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT for a few reasons. First off, I’ve never written a picture book biography but it is something I’ve been thinking about trying so reading lots and lots of picture book biographies is a goal for me right now. Nancy’s book really impressed me in how it can take on the feeling of a fictional story in the way it is written. Her particular style makes a great mentor text for me. Yay!
And then there’s the fact that no matter how old I get, I just love getting mail. Any kind will do (except bills of course). Letters, packages, etc. If it is addressed to me, I always open it with anticipation.
Finally, I grew up with a Dad who had a passion for golf. Along with this passion, he was raised with a set of beliefs that are challenged by this story. Though I have great love and respect for my father, some of his beliefs needed to be challenged, and I’ve always known that so I’m really happy this book exists. I’m well aware that there are more people who were raised in the same manner as my father and share those strongly held, yet misguided beliefs. So for me, the story is very relatable.
From the opening lines of the story, I was hooked. I wanted to turn the page. Would Charlie get caught? Nancy’s writing brings Charlie’s story to life. Children will root for Charlie as he pursues his dream to play golf. From his beginnings secretly playing late at night, to his days serving as a caddy, to playing on the PGA tour in front of a cheering crowd, the story takes us through Charlie’s golfing career, inspiring us through the challenges he faced. It also celebrates his accomplishment in terms of being the first step towards allowing black people the freedom to play on the PGA tour which had been impossible before Charlie Sifford. I highly recommend this story . It would serve as a great discussion starter in any classroom. What if your most loved passtime had to be hidden from others?
Words and stories are the invisible threads that connect us all together in one large human spirit. It is the most incredible joy to learn that something I’ve written has inspired someone to smile, to hope, to believe that he or she can make a positive difference in the world.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Write what you love! What will make your book stand out is the passion you put into it. If you write what you love, you will find yourself telling the story the way only you can tell it. That authenticity of you speaking from the heart will go to the heart of your readers. Also, persevere and have patience. It’s not for us to know how long or winding the journey will be. But if you keep going, you will get there.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am inspired by people who who have dreams that can’t be deterred, by people who are kind, by people who persevere until they’ve made the world a better place. Those are the people I like to write about, the people that I hope will inspire kids to dream big and help others, too.
Why do you write for children?
Kids are open to inspiration. I hope my books touch all ages and it has meant so much to me when I’ve been told by adults that they’ve been moved by my stories, too. But kids have more time to think and are more open to asking questions that go beyond to survival to how they can make the world a better place. That’s why I think books about inspiring people can have more of an impact on children than on any other group. Also I just love spending time with kids — they tell you exactly what they think, with no filters, which is always fun and refreshing!
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
With CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT, I hope readers will take home the message that you can achieve your dreams if you don’t give up and that by achieving your dreams, you can open the door for others to achieve theirs, too.
Author’s bio: Nancy Churnin is the theater critic for The Dallas Morning News and author of THE WILLIAM HOY STORY, HOW A DEAF BASEBALL PLAYER CHANGED THE GAME (Albert Whitman), on the 2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids list, the 2017 Texas Library Association’s 2X2 and Topaz lists, the 2018 Illinois School Library Media Association’s Monarch Award Master List and Connecticut’s 2018 Charter Oak Children’s Book Awards list. MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN (Creston Books) is the 2018 winner of the South Asia Book Award, a finalist for the 2018 Children and Teen’s Choice Book Awards, a 2017 Junior Library Guild selection, a 2018 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, on the 2018 ILA-CBC Children’s Choices list and a Silver Eureka Award-winner. CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT: HOW CHARLIE SIFFORD BROKE THE COLOR BARRIER IN GOLF was featured at the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis May 19, 2018. Coming out in 2018: IRVING BERLIN, THE IMMIGRANT BOY WHO MADE AMERICA SING in May and THE QUEEN AND THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE in October. In Spring 2019: MARTIN & ANNE. A native New Yorker, Nancy is a graduate of Harvard University, with a master’s from Columbia University School of Journalism.
Hello to my wonderful readers! There may be only two of you, but you are appreciated all the same. It’s all about quality, not quantity, right?
Anyway, I’m checking in with you for my weekly writing update. This helps keep me going with my writing. I’ve got plenty of time this summer for writing, but the sunshine is a distraction so I need to stay focused to get things done.
This week I felt very fortunate to get some awesome feedback from my critique group. They really dug into my story and were super helpful with their comments. I’ve done some revisions now based on their thoughts and I’m feeling really happy with the story. It is getting closer to being an actual picture book one day! This one is fiction, but it is a book that is needed in the world with a main character who has sensory processing issues. Yes, all people can be heroes and that includes people with SPD!
Next, I’ve begun delving into non-fiction picture book biography writing. This is completely new territory for me. I had an idea for an individual who has never had a picture book done about him and I’ve begun my research. I’ve got a ton of notes and quotes! Now to wrestle it all into a compelling story that is geared for 5-9 year olds. Hmmm… That may take some doing.
How is your summer going? Are you getting things done? Enjoying the sunshine? Getting some rest and relaxation? Let me know in the comments!
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.
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.
Greetings and welcome to my blog! I wanted to let you all know I’m in the planning stages for my next blog/facebook giveaway. It has been too long since the last one 🙂
I’m working on the prizes right now and what they ought to be. You can expect a picture book or two in the package, that’s for sure. But what else? Hmm… an Amazon gift card might be a pretty good prize.
Do you have ideas for prizes? Ha! Silly question. I’m sorry, I am unable to give you a trip for two to Paris. C’est impossible! I’ll think on it some more…
Hey, here’s a thought…any teachers of preschool/kindergarten looking for some amazing activity ideas based on some amazing picture books? How about a set of story stretchers to go with my amazing picture book giveaways. Now that would be awesome for back to school!