Wednesday Writing Update

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  I’m giving weekly writing updates to keep myself motivated.  Writing consistently can be a challenge when there are so many distractions.  This is my way of keeping myself on track so please humour me here.

So this week I’m feeling incredibly grateful for my online critique group, who have given me some amazing feedback to help move my story forwards.  I’d left this one aside for several months while working on other projects but I’m still very passionate about the story.  It is a fiction picture book that features an autistic main character whose sensory challenges make it very difficult for him to enjoy something as simple as going to the beach with his family.  It is a super challenging story to write because if you know much about autism, you know it presents itself quite differently in each individual.

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Yes, it is getting dark and I’m still working.

Anyway, thanks to Tara Perkowski, Tasha Hilderman, Sue Macartney, Akilah Pikou and Emma Wood, I have a new direction and inspiration for this story.  I’ve written a couple of new scenes to develop the story and main character further.  Revising this story hasn’t been easy but I know it is getting closer to where I want it to be.

How do you keep yourself motivated to get things done?

 “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” -Creighton Abrams

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is written by Cynthia Mackey

Kid Lit Love: Spork by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault

Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!

Since I have a great appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month (weekly over the summer months) 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 have a Canadian connection.  I hope to help you discover some great new picture books. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

I was excited to read SPORK for a couple of reasons.

1. It is published by KIDS CAN PRESS

2. The title intrigued me right away since I’ve noticed that whenever a child brings a spork to school, he/she is usually very proud of it, recognizing it as unique and different somehow.

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Spork gets ignored when it comes time to set the table.  He is not a spoon or a fork but something in between.  After trying to change himself to become more valued, he finds that he does have a place on the table after all.  There are so many mixed race families with parents from two different nationalities; this book helps children understand the feelings that may come from not fitting in.  In the end, Spork discovers he has a very important purpose, just like all the utensils in the kitchen.  He may be in the minority, but he is still important.

I loved the message and the metaphors.  I love the image with the spork staring into the toaster to view his reflection.  His cheeks are a little red showing the shame and embarrassment that can come along with being different.  I’m not sure if children will like the black and white illustrations but I certainly did.  I loved the page full of utensils of no matching kind.  Children will be drawn to this as they seem to love tools of any kind.  I can see the kid appeal with this book and plan to read it to my class when school gets back in the fall.

What picture books are you reading this summer?

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Discover children’s books by Cynthia Mackey

 

Kid Lit Love: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

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 loved.  So January’s book is right here: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi.

There is something about walking through the woods that goes along with stories.  Like tea and crumpets, cookies and milk or peanut butter and jam.  Anyway, this gentle story has a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning.  The book can be enjoyed for its delightful surprises and re-read for its kid appeal.  Who wouldn’t want to attend a tea party in the woods?

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Kikko, a likeable main character, wants to deliver a pie to her grandmother’s house.  It’s a simple idea, but when her father leaves in advance, all she has to go on are some footprints in the snow and a figure in the distance. The story has a dreamlike quality with an appreciation of bravery and independence.  The black and white illustrations with splashes of colour are delightful and different.  Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, it is full of fun, friendship, encouragement and whimsy.  A sure hit with little people and their significant adults! I’m happy to add this one to my library.

Appreciate what you’re reading here?  I’d be happy to have your twitter follows and facebook likes. Thanks and have a great day!

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Kid Lit Love: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

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 loved.  So January’s book is right here: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi.

There is something about walking through the woods that goes along with stories.  Like tea and crumpets, cookies and milk or peanut butter and jam.  Anyway, this gentle story has a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning.  The book can be enjoyed for its delightful surprises and re-read for its kid appeal.  Who wouldn’t want to attend a tea party in the woods?

img_6486

 

Kikko, a likeable main character, wants to deliver a pie to her grandmother’s house.  It’s a simple idea, but when her father leaves in advance, all she has to go on are some footprints in the snow and a figure in the distance. The story has a dreamlike quality with an appreciation of bravery and independence.  The black and white illustrations with splashes of colour are delightful and different.  Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, it is full of fun, friendship, encouragement and whimsy.  A sure hit with little people and their significant adults! I’m happy to add this one to my library.

Appreciate what you’re reading here?  I’d be happy to have your twitter follows and facebook likes. Thanks and have a great day!

Remember_-7

 

 

 

Raise a Reader Tip #3

Welcome to my Raise a Reader series where I share tips on encouraging early literacy.  Check back for a new tip each week!

Tip #3: Let your child see you reading.

It could be a book or a magazine but make sure your child sees that you like reading. When your kids are playing on the floor, sit down with something to read.  If your child is old enough you can take the opportunity to explain about the difference between reading aloud and reading silently in your head.  This probably goes without saying but reading on your phone doesn’t count.  Role modelling is a most powerful teacher so if your children see that you like reading, they will get the idea that reading is a worthwhile pursuit.

 

 

Raise a Reader Series Tip #2

Welcome to my raise a reader series where I share tips on encouraging early literacy!  Check back weekly for my next tip.

Tip #2 Start your reading routine early in your child’s life.

The most important years to set your reading routine are the first six years of life.  You can start when your child is a baby snuggling in your lap.  Board books work great for babies.  Let your baby hold it and explore how the pages turn.  Talk about the pictures in the book.  Don’t feel you need to read every word.  Make it a cozy time that your baby enjoys.  A very short time is okay as long as you do it daily!

And if your baby is already a toddler or preschooler… that’s okay! Start now.  It is never too late.  If your child is in elementary school…start now!  There’s still time 🙂

Raise a Reader Series: Tip #1

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Welcome to my Raise a Reader series where I share tips on encouraging your young child to get into reading!  Stop by weekly for simple tips.

Tip #1 Make reading part of your routine.

It doesn’t matter when but make it part of your day.  Every day.  You could do this first thing in the morning.  My daughter used to love to get in bed with us every morning for a few minutes.  This was the perfect opportunity to read a book.  She was still a little sleepy and not quite ready to be on the go.

Bed time, bath time, right after breakfast or lunch….any time can be your regular reading time if you stick with the routine.  For awhile, just before dinner was book time for my four year old, who learned to work the CD player and could listen to a story on his own while I made dinner each day.

So, pick a time of day and stick with it.  Read every day.

Summer Reading Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on my author blog!  I’m participating in Rena Traxel’s summer reading challenge and having a ton of fun while reading and discovering new and different picture books.  Here are some photos from this week. Rena has challenged us to find new a different places to read with a different book each day.  By the end of the summer, I will have read 62 picture books!  Yay!  This is the perfect challenge to encourage me to research in becoming a skilled picture book writer.

July 1st:  I began with a bright red strawberry lemonade and enjoyed reading The Moccasin Goalie by William Roy Brownidge in celebration of Canada Day. After all what could be more Canadian than a story about a child who plays hockey on an outdoor ice rink while wearing moccasins? Read someplace in celebration.

July 2nd: Still celebrating from Canada Day, I moved my chair into a new spot and chose another Canadian picture book, When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs and Andrew Kiss.  This book tells the story of the camping experience while at the same time serves as a search and find book with opportunities to look for animals camouflaged in their natural habitat.  It has a very Canadian feeling. Read someplace new.

July 3rd: I found a swing! The Best Places to Read by Debbie Bertram, seemed a perfect choice for this reading spot.  Though I’m not sure a swing like this one is best for reading as it makes holding on and swinging a little tricky.  Still fun!  Read on a swing.

July 4th: This was a week of hiking for me so I decided to take books along to some of my hiking spots.  The first book was Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik which I took along to the Kinsol Trestle Bridge (built in 1920) where we hiked for the morning…14.8 km in my new hiking boots. No bears in sight on this hike. Whew! Read someplace old.

July 5th: We found a magical spot in East Sooke Park and my friend, Sara, asked me to read to her so I did: Spotted Owlets by Victoria Miles and Elizabeth Gatt was my book of choice.  Read someplace magical.

July 6th: We found the perfect log while hiking in the Mystic Beach area and stopped to read The Owl and the Pussycat with illustrations by Stefanie Jorisch.  This was just the right seaside location as the book begins “The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat”; I can picture them out for a ride… Read on a log.IMG_4873

July 7th: I sat on a park bench near my home to read this picture book about a very difficult topic: living in a residential school.  Though this is not a part of our history to be proud of, we certainly do not want to ignore the injustices done to children in these British Columbia schools.  Bravo for dealing with a difficult topic and making it appropriate for children.  The book is titled Shin-chi’s Canoe is by Nicola I. Campbell.  Read on a bench.IMG_4903
What will I be reading next week? Check back and find out!  And though it is too late to join Rena’s challenge, you can still read along with me all summer!  It’s easy, just pick a new book each day and try reading someplace new each day OR follow along with locations from Rena’s blog.

 

Blog Giveaway This Week!  You can win a free picture book, my own, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  Giveaway closes midnight tonight, Pacific time.  Visit my blog at http://www.cindyscreativecorner.wordpresss.com to enter.