Happy Book Birthday, Katie Shaeffer!

Katie Shaeffer is too young to use the stove. Katie is also an avid collector. She has just one wish. One dream. One desire.  Katie wants to make golden brown, fluffy as a cloud, perfectly round PANCAKES all by herself.

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Enjoy this charming story and find out how Katie and her friend Baxter find a way to make Katie’s wish come true.

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is written by Cynthia Mackey and illustrated by Paula Nasmith.

Available April 24th on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com!

Relax and Read

I am pleased to announce that my first big book order arrived this week!  I now have a copy at the preschool; here’s a small fry enjoying Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker at the end of the day.  It feels just amazing to see a child enjoying my book 🙂

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Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker will be released April 24, 2017.  Order from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

This charming story was written to instil confidence in emerging readers. Children will enjoy Katie’s pancake adventure and cheer for golden fluffy pancakes!

Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker by Cynthia Mackey

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker

by Cynthia Mackey

Giveaway ends May 02, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Joining the 12 by 12 Picture Book Challenge

In January I did something that makes me feel nervous and excited at the same time.  I joined the 12 by 12 picture book challenge. And now I will immerse myself in writing all year long.

Although I’m very new to the world of writing, I believe in myself as a capable creator of children’s literature and I want to be part of that world.  For this challenge, I must write 12 picture books drafts in 2017.  One draft each month.  Revising a draft also counts.  I may need a little stronger tea in my mug this year to help me out with this 🙂

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Joining the 12 by 12 community gives the opportunity to get feedback from other writers in an online format.  This is so valuable as writing is all about getting feedback and doing revisions.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head and hope to get them all down on paper into a solid draft form.

The challenge is open to new picture book writers and more seasoned writers as well.  There are lots of SCBWI members (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).  So far I find it to be a very welcoming and supportive online community.

Now it is March and I am right on track with my writing.  The 12 by 12 challenge continues!

Collections

Katie Shaeffer would just love this tray of miscellaneous items!  

It always amazes me how a simple collection of items can be so inspiring for a child.  My group of preschoolers can do amazing things with the most random objects.img_3206

“Katie assembled and constructed; she glued and she taped; she stacked and she hammered, until finally her creation was done.” -from Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker

Here are some real examples of creations made by young children with miscellaneous items:

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I believe young children are capable and can do amazing things if given the opportunity! That belief together with the inspiring creations I see children make daily helped inspire the story Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker!

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

Join Katie and her friend Baxter in this fun story as they use a passion for collecting and building to find a way to realize Katie‛s pancake dream! This upbeat energetic tale with great potential for reading aloud will appeal to adults and young children alike. The book includes a predictable rhyme that will have children chiming in as the story unfolds. Children will celebrate with Katie and Baxter as their pancake dream becomes reality! Recipe included. Author: Cynthia Mackey Illustrator: Paula Nasmith

Contact me if you are interested in receiving an advance review copy of the story! I hope to have these available soon.

authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Proof Copy

 

Yay! Yippee! Hooray!!!

Yesterday I received the proof copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker!  It sure feels like a long journey to get to this point. I am excited and nervous for the book release.

Though it is possible to self publish without ordering the proof copy (I am first publishing through Ingram Spark), I would not advise anyone to skip this step.  There are several two page spread images in this book and the only way to see how it will come out is to have the physical copy.  We worked really hard to ensure that no important parts of the image would be obscured by the seam of the book and still, there are changes that will need to happen to ensure that the images are placed correctly on the page.  So as much as I want to put this book out there right now, mistakes must be fixed. And by the way, I found a punctuation error that I totally missed on the first three revisions… how does that happen! And so the time for final renewal  and revision is now.

It amazes me how we can go over it so many times and still find errors.  I am hopeful that with some final passes, the next proof copy can be approved and the book can be available for international distribution!  Woohoo!!

Pancake day is Tuesday February 28th this year so I hope this book will be out by then!

UPDATE The proof copy arrived the day before pancake day and is now approved so the expected release date will be April 2017.


Story Synopsis:

Katie is too young to use the stove so she dreams of making her very own pancakes. Join Katie and her friend Baxter in this fun story as they use a passion for collecting and building to find a way to realize Katie’s pancake dream!

This upbeat energetic tale with great potential for reading aloud will appeal to adults and young children alike. The book includes a predictable rhyme that will have children chiming in as the story unfolds. Children will celebrate with Katie and Baxter as their pancake dream becomes reality!

Glitter Bottles

“Katie loved building things, she loved collecting things but most of all she loved pancakes.”

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker

Here’s an idea for those empty water bottles you may be collecting!

You will need:

clear plastic bottles

hot water

lily white corn syrup (if you use the darker corn syrup, you won’t really see the glitter inside)

food colouring

glitter shapes or tiny beads

(do not use fine glitter)

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Fill the bottles with 2/3 hot water and 1/3 lily white corn syrup. I measured and whisked this in a large measuring cup with a pouring spout and added a little food colouring before pouring the mixture into the bottles. Then I added some glittery shapes and tiny beads. Finally I glued the lids on tightly. It is a little bit like making your own snow globe. You can turn it or shake the bottle and watch the shapes and beads swirl around. Very peaceful.

If you place them in the sunlight and allow light to shine through, you will see a little extra sparkle.  Try it out!

Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker will be my first self-published picture book.  My goal is to have it released this December, 2016. Coming soon to an online book store near you!

Thanks for reading!

-Cynthia

 

A Book Designed to Inspire

One of the many thoughts in my mind as I was writing Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker involved inspiration.  I love the way that picture books can inspire children’s play and I wanted to create a picture book that would inspire children to construct their own unique creations out of free reusable items that are readily available at home.

“Katie Shaeffer loved building things, she loved collecting things and most of all she loved pancakes.”img_2822

The story was written in part for myself as a preschool teacher, as I wanted a great picture book that could be a jumping off point for activities like this one.  I like to provide children with assorted sizes of cardboard boxes.  They use tape and scissors to construct a creation of their own choosing.

The learning opportunities here are so plentiful.  Children learn to use scissors and tape effectively.  This takes huge amounts of skill and focus for three and four year olds but they can do it.  Children develop confidence in their abilities as their fine motor skills improve.  Because the project is of a child’s own choosing, the child is highly motivated to complete the task and will spend more time working towards their goal.

I love this because it only requires scissors, tape and boxes.  Sometimes children like to paint their creations as well.  Some children have constructed creations and then taken them home to play with over and over again.  Just imagine how it would feel to be three or four years old and create your own toy!

I hope that Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker will inspire you and your children to construct unique creations from a panoply of recycled items just as Katie did in the story.

Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker will be available soon.  Check back here at my author website for updates!