Thursday, November 14, 2013

Picture Books to Read Aloud

I am going to be reading to preschoolers next week at the library.
I only have fifteen minutes.

How do you decide what to read with so many wonderful picture books to choose from.

Do you have any suggestions?

I think children would like fun illustrations to hold their attention, repetitiveness so they can predict what will happen next, funny words or sounds they can repeat or say along with the reader,  good rhyming - all kids (and adults) love rhyming.

At the moment, I am considering these books:

I have even considered reading something I have written. That would be a good way to get a child's reaction to my work. But if I did that, I would have to get some illustrations to go along with my manuscript. Hmmm, I would have to work fast and maybe put pictures on a display board - what do you think? Any ideas?

I love the sparkle in a child's eyes and their laughter. Have you ever read to children before? 

Posted byJanet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Picture Books in Honor of our Veterans

In honor of our veterans, I searched the internet and found these picture books:

The Wall
By Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Ronald Himler
HMH 1992

A boy travels to The Wall with his father to find his grandfather's name.
Read more about the author here.

I have many veterans in my family, including my husband and my father (now deceased). I have visited The Wall in Washington, DC and I visited The Traveling Wall when it came here to Ripley, it is a very moving experience.  Read about my experience here.

The Poppy Lady: Monia Belle Michael and her Tribute to Veterans
By Barbara Walsh
Illustrated by Layne Johnson
Calkins Creek 2012

When American soldiers entered WWI, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, almost single-handedly worked to establish the poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. Go here to read more about this book.

H is for Honor

H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet
By Devin Scillian
Illustrated by Victor Juhasz
Sleeping Bear Press 2006

Go here to read more about this book.

Posted byJanet Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Picture Book Lists

There are many lists on the internet of top picture books.
Here are a few you can check out:

Teachers Picks: Top 25 Picture Books.
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 1938-Present

The following is a great site - click on each title and it takes you to a page that talks about that  picture book:
Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results  

What are some of your favorite picture books?

 OwlMoon1 231x300 Top 100 Picture Books #30: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen            ClickClackMoo1 231x300 Top 100 Picture Books #39: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin  Olivia 300x287 Top 100 Picture Books #54: Olivia by Ian Falconer

  Happy Writing.

Posted by Janet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Writing Workspace

I do not have an office. I do not have a regular desk or a computer desk.

But I have 'my space.' Which is all I need to write.

Below is my old enamel top wooden desk:

This desk holds my laptop, my file folders for ideas, manuscripts, call outs and contests, tips for writing PBs and MGs, etc., my notepad, my books, etc. The pictures and mouse pad provide me with 'childlike' inspiration. There is a fold out poster stored beside of my desk for picture book brainstorming.

I just recently added this corkboard:

I will thumb tack my ideas on this during the month of November!
It currently has six new ideas posted on it!

I think this will work much better than keeping them in a folder or notebook. They will be in full  view at all times.  I will continue to keep my ideas there - whether they be ideas for PBs, columns or MGs even after PiBoIdMo is over.

What does your workspace look like? How many ideas have you came up with this month?

Go here to see links to other people's writing spaces.

Posted byJanet Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Picture Book Month - Illustrator's Process

What is your favorite part of a picture book - the story or the pictures?
I love them both. With picture books, you can't have one without the other.
Well, I guess you can.  There are wordless picture books. But, being an  author, I tend to like picture books with words. How about you?

Words and pictures share top billing in my opinion.

I recently found on You Tube videos made by author/illustrator, Will Hillenbrand.

I particularly liked his video on the process of illustrating the picture book, Down on the Farm. Click here to watch.

Click here for a partial reading of the finished book.

Want to see more of his You Tube videos. Click here for a listing.

I think it is helpful for us wanna be picture book writers to see the process of writing and illustrating the picture book.

Mr. Hillenbrand has a great website. You can go here to visit and look around.

Posted byJanet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Start of Picture Book Month and PiBoIDMo

This is the first day of PiBoIdMo and Picture Book Month!
Since yesterday was Halloween, I decided to post about the following Picture Book:

The Bumpy Little Pumpkin
by Margery Cuyler
Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Scholastic 2005

The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by Margery Cuyler

In a picture book the illustrations are as important as the words.
The illustrations in this book are superb!

First Lines:
Little Nell lived with BIG Mama,
BIG Sarah, and BIG LIzzie in a great,
BIG house in a great, BIG woods.

But, according to Nell, things do not have to be BIG to be loved.

With all the BIG pumpkins to pick from their garden, Nell picks a bumpy little pumpkin. With help from her friends, including Crow,Cardinal and Sparrow, it is made into a jack-o'-lantern!

I loved this picture book.

Click here for a video on YouTube of The Bumpy Little Pumpkin.

Posted by Janet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.