Friday, May 16, 2014

Children's Book Week

I can't believe this is Children's Book Week and I haven't posted about it.

They are celebrating their 95th year! I think that deserves a round of applause.

CBW Poster-small 

I guess why I haven't been posting about it is because I have been busy writing children's stories -  and learning all about rhyming picture books, watching a webinar, editing a rhyming PB that I wrote a number of years ago as a poem and editing other people's manuscripts - and reading picture books at the library to a group of people, attending my writer's meeting, and etc., etc.

Being a children's writer keeps you busy. But, I love it.

It seems fitting that this week I finally submitted one of my children's manuscripts to CreateSpace to get published. I didn't think this particular manuscript had a chance to get published by regular publishers, so I decided to self-publish it.

I have been writing a children's column for over four years for Two-Lane Livin' magazine. I gathered the columns together, added a few more recipes and poems and I now have a 150 page book called, Fun Through the Seasons!  Recipes, Crafts and Fun Facts for Kids. It is divided into months. It was a challenge, but I used their downloadable book cover template and downloadable template for the interior of the book and went to work.

I had times when I stayed up late at nights, times when I felt like pulling my hair out and times when I thought I wouldn't do it. But, I did it! And the PDF online looks really good. My son did the cover for me.

I am now waiting for the proofs to arrive in the mail for me to check for mistakes. I so hope the book looks okay. But, if it doesn't, I'll just have to work on it and re submit.

So - Happy Children's Book Week everybody! Celebrate by reading a children's book. We got a lot of laughs and applause when my friend Max and I read at the library this week. I read Roar of a Snore, Chicks Run Wild and Moose's Loose Tooth.

Let's celebrate middle grade books, too.

I love Because of Winn Dixie, A Year Down Yonder, Sarah, Plain and Tall, and many more! And, the two that I have written! Which reminds me, I need to get those out there. They aren't going to get published sitting on my computer desktop.

What are some of your favorite children's books?

Monday, May 5, 2014

MMGM - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by: Jacqueline Kelly
Henry Holt and Company 2009

First Sentences: By 1899, we had learned to tame the darkness but not the Texas heat. We arose in the dark, hours before sunrise, when there was barely a smudge of indigo along the eastern sky and the rest of the horizon was still pure pitch.

I love her choice of words, don't you?

They called her Callie Vee and she was eleven years old and the only girl out of seven children. A girl at the turn of the century was expected to learn to cook, clean, sew . . . and play the piano. But she thought that was a waste of time. She'd rather spend time with her grandfather, an avid naturalist, in his "laboratory." She struggles to break the mold.

The book tells of an unfortunate piano recital, a trip to the fair where she samples Coca Cola for the first time and takes third place in tatting (there were only three entries) and on the possibility of her and her grandfather discovering a new species of vetch.

On Christmas Eve she received a book from her parents, The Science of Housewifery. She opened the book and stared at the grim subjects in the Table of Contents. She did the hardest thing she'd ever done in her life. She reached down into the depths of her being and dredged up the beginnings of a watery smile and whispered, "Thank you."

Then the new year came, without the world coming to an end, as some thought it would. And something happened to give her hope and made her realize that anything was possible!

The book is a slightly slower read, but it very well written. I love the imagery she creates with her words. It is filled with everyday people and  happenings. I think you will love Callie and her grandfather and the setting!

 For more reviews of MG books, go to Shannon Messenger's site.

 Posted byJanet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.