February 27, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #78 - Oakley's Keys (PB) AND The Prize For The In Just Spring Contest!

If this post actually goes up in time it will be pretty much of a miracle.  I have reached new heights of doltdom!  Which I will tell you about... just don't let me forget to tell you the awesome fantastic In Just Spring Contest Prize News afterwards!

My husband's car needs brake work, so since it's on warranty we had to take it to the dealership.  After work.  "I'll drive from the train station," says he, "and you meet me and follow."

Fine.  Except I got behind The. Slowest. Car.  On. Earth! coming down our mountain to the train station, so he got ahead.  "I'll pull over after the covered bridge," says he, "and you'll catch up."

Fine.  Except I went through the covered bridge, looked on both sides of the road, no husband.  But there's a little parking area there, so I pulled over and called him, thinking maybe somehow he was behind me.

"No!" says he.  "I'm up ahead on the hill.  Past the light."  Well. that's not exactly right after the covered bridge but...

Fine.  I take my foot off the brake.  Princess Blue Kitty rolls forward willingly.  I look to the left. and right to pull out and suddenly, out of nowhere, GRINDCRUNCHGROWLGROANSCREECH!  WHAT THE ???  Princess Blue Kitty can move neither forward nor backward.  Her engine groans.  Her poor little body shudders.  "OMG!  I've wrecked my car!" I shriek and shut off the engine, disengaging the blue tooth and effectively hanging up on my husband.

Yeah.  So what happened?  There was a GIANT rock, which had rolled from somewhere nearby where it was meant to be decorative, down into the little gully between the parking area and the road.  Too low to see (also it blended in with the gravel in the darkness) and too low even to hit with my bumper, it was positioned in just such a way that my front passenger side tire somehow rolled up on it like a ramp then slid off, leaving poor Princess Blue Kitty stranded in the air, her front right side completely off the ground.  Impaled, as it were, on a rock!  Oh the agony!  And the indignity!  And can I just remind us all that it was in a place where no rock that size should have been!

A rumbly diesel engine dually, a hydraulic jack, a lot of chain and a hook, some cardboard to crawl under the car on, several blocks of wood, a flashlight, a tire iron, a very nice guy form New Zealand, and a genius named Loren later, we managed to coax Blue Kitty down off her rock.

Needless to say, we didn't get home until very late.  But luckily the princess does not seem to have sustained any mortal damage.  Although I believe there is a danger of internal injury, so I will probably take her to her dealership later just in case.  If it stops sleeting.

Anyway.  To make a short story even longer, PHEW!  What an evening.  Which leads me to the fact that it was some ridiculous hour and I hadn't started writing this post.  Or loading today's lesson for my course into the email template.  Hence the miracle!

Chocolate anyone?  I think we seriously need it after that harrowing adventure!  Here.  I'll put some fruit on it so you breakfast purists can feel okay about it :)


Now, would you stop telling me ridiculous stories about your inability to drive so we can get down to Would You Read It?! :)

Today's pitch comes to us from Yvonne.  Yvonee says, "I have a background in early childhood and the visual arts and am a mother of boys, from baby to teen, and one in between.  I write picture books mainly but I also write short stories and non fiction articles for older children. So far I am only active on twitter
https://twitter.com/YvonneCMes
I am trying to work up the courage to post something on my Tumblr blog, maybe this will be the push I  need.
http://yvon-novy.tumblr.com/
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Oakley's Keys
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)
The Pitch:  Intruder Alert!
Oakley hides away with his parent's car keys. He'll do anything to get the attention away from his drooling baby brother Dan. But wherever Oakley hides, Dan finds him, from loop-the-looping around a star to playing tag with tigers. And when creepy creatures crawl out of a pirate treasure chest, it is up to Oakley to use his brotherly love to save Dan, drool not included.
So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Yvonne improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in April so we could really use some new pitches!  It's your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Yvonne is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to making sure Princess Blue Kitty hasn't sustained any lasting injury.  I am not looking forward to how many times over the rest of my life I'm going to hear, "Remember the time you got your car stuck on that rock?" :)

Have a great day, everyone!

OH!  See?  I told you not to let me forget!

I have fantastic news.  Seriously.  Fantastic!

Remember that contest I told you about on Monday?  The In Just Spring Writing Contest?  Remember how I said I was still working on the prize but was hoping for something knock-your-socks-off amazing?

Well hang onto your socks!!!

The winner of the In Just Spring Contest will receive the opportunity to send a picture book manuscript to none other than Laura Galvin, Editor at Kidsbooks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That's right, my friends!  You'll have the chance to put a manuscript you wrote on an actual real live editor's desk at an actual publishing house and be guaranteed that she will read it and offer constructive feedback!  And who knows... she might love it...! :)

Personally, I really cannot think of a more awesome prize.  I hope you agree.  But on the off chance that the winner is someone who doesn't write picture books, or who for some reason doesn't want this chance, I will think of a fun back up (probably a writing craft book and/or an Amazon gift card) to give them, and the chance to be read by Laura will go to the highest placed writer who wants it.

How's that for a great way to start your Wednesday?! :)  So put on those thinking caps.  Warm up those pencils.  It's time to write an amazing Spring Story so you can submit a manuscript to Laura Galvin!  (And many many thanks to Laura for so generously agreeing to do this! :))

Now, for real, have a great day :)


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February 25, 2013

Monday Short & Sweet AND The In Just Spring Contest Announcement!

Happy Monday of the last week of February, everyone!

I admit it.  With March only days away, I've got spring on the brain... even though it's currently snowing :)  I know it's a little nuts because around here we don't really get anything like spring 'til about the third week of April, but March is so hopeful, teasing you into thinking that spring is just around the corner, that I can't seem to help myself :)

And in the spirit of turning the house upside down with spring cleaning... or something... I'm going to do everything backwards today.  I'm going to announce the contest first and put the Short & Sweet second.  I know.  The mind reels at this crazy rule-bending rearranging of the norm.  I'm such a rebel :)

First, as inspiration for both the contest and today's Short & Sweet, I will share one of my favorite poems.

in Just-
by: e.e. cummings (1894-1962)
N Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
 
whistles far and wee
 
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring
 
when the world is puddle-wonderful
 
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
 
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
 
it's
spring
and
the
 
goat-footed
 
balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee


"in just" was originally published in The Dial Volume LXVIII, Number 5 (May 1920). New York: The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.



Isn't that wonderful?  I love the idea of "eddieandbill... running from marbles and piracies", "bettyandisabel...dancing from hopscotch and jump-rope" and who can resist words like "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful"?

So now that you're in the mood...

 Announcing The In Just Spring Contest!



The Contest:  Write a children's story, in poetry or prosemaximum 350 words (see how nice I'm being giving you two long word counts in a row for contests?! :))


The story must be about something that really says "SPRING" to you - something that really makes you feel that spring is here!  It can be nature oriented - the robins or geese returning, eggs hatching, flowers blooming, baby animals being born, bears waking up, sunshine or rain, etc.  It can be holiday oriented - St. Patrick's Day, Easter, April Fools' Day etc.  It can be school oriented - the spring pageant, spring vacation, the spring talent show.  It can be activity oriented - picnics, bike riding, baseball - anything at all that makes you think spring.

The only other requirement is that the last line must be "[Character Name] knew Spring was really here!" or "[Character Name] knew Spring was here at last!"  (You can also write in first person if you want - e.g. I knew Spring was really here.... and present tense is fine too.)  I've given the rhymers amongst you a choice... but if you can't make either option work with your rhyme scheme you have permission to tweak it slightly as long as the essential meaning stays the same.

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Friday March 15 at 12:01 AM EST and Monday March 18 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official In Just Spring Contest post which will go up on my blog on Friday March 15 (no PPBF that day!) and remain up through Tuesday March 19 (no new post on Monday March 18).  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my March 15th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

The Judge:  My lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to five (or possibly a couple more :)) finalists which will be posted here on Wednesday March 20 (no WYRI that day) for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed at midnight March 23 and the winner will be announced on Monday March 25.

The Prizes!:  I'm still working on the prize(s).  I'm hoping to have something knock-your-socks-off great to offer... but we'll see.  Stay tuned :)
badge created by the talented Loni Edwards
Now, after all that excitement, for our Short & Sweet today, let's close our eyes and roll back the years until we're 5 (or 3 or 7 or 9 - anything under 10 :)).

Now let's remember that feeling, that first inkling, that Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter has arrived.  What are the tiny details, the little moments, you think of?  The things that are representative of that season to you?

Now, let's turn those tiny details and little moments into lines - things kids can do - in the style of "eddieandbill come running from marbles and piracies".  You can share just one for the season of your choosing, or you can share for 2, 3, or all of the seasons if you really want to stretch those writing muscles!  (Or if you're in a spring-obsessed mood, you can post 4 or 12 or 20 all about spring :))

Here are my examples:

Spring:  annieandjane come soaring, hair streaming, higher and higher into the greengold air
Summer: maddieandmike run laughing from the white-foamed waves that tickle their bare feet
Autumn: harryandgrant come creeping under skeleton trees toward the warm jack-o-lantern light
Winter: johnnyandjade come stomping in snowy boots and wooly mittens for a carrot nose and a licorice smile

This exercise may actually help you get started on your contest story idea!  Who knows?! :)

Have a great day, everyone, writing, reading, parenting, teaching, and otherwise! :)


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February 22, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Betty Bunny Didn't Do It AND An Almost Contest Announcement!

Hurray!  It's Perfect Picture Book Friday!  And I have a hot-off-the-presses super-fantastic book to share with you today!

Are you ready? :)

Betty Bunny Didn't Do It
Written By: Michael Kaplan
Illustrated By: Stephane Jorisch
Dial Books For Young Readers, February 2013, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-7 (publisher says 3-5, but the text is long enough and the story entertaining enough for up to 7 in my opinion)

Themes/Topics: lying/telling truth

Opening: "Betty Bunny was a handful.  She knew this because one day she was jumping up and down in her brother Bill's room yelling, "Play with me!  Play with me!  Play with me!" and Bill said, "Man, you're a handful."  She knew that she was his favorite sister, so being a handful must be very, very good."

Brief Synopsis:  Betty Bunny has done something bad, and she doesn't want to get in trouble.  So she lies.  But lying turns out to be a tricky thing.  Is lying worse than the thing you did that you're lying about?  And if lying is wrong, then how come it's okay not to tell the truth sometimes?  It's hard being 4!

Links To Resources: Talk about why lying is a bad idea.  Share the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Talk about the difference between a story and a lie.  Children's Activities About Lying (The Lying King, Lying Masks, The Button Game, The Honesty Train), Why Kids Lie (for parents and teachers)

Why I Like This Book:  Well to start with, it's BETTY BUNNY!  Isn't that enough? :)  But this book addresses a very common and important childhood dilemma - lying/telling truth.  Betty Bunny is so believably child-like in her behavior.  When she does something wrong, to avoid getting in trouble, she tells her family the Tooth Fairy did it.  Her mother knows she is lying and expresses her disappointment.  When Betty's brother Bill does something wrong and admits it, Betty sees how much her mother approves, so she starts telling everything she can think of that she EVER did wrong, along with a whole bunch of made-up stuff - from one extreme to the other :) - until her mother makes her understand that she wasn't proud of Bill for doing something wrong, but for 'fessing up.  Then when Betty tries to show her father how good she is at telling the truth (by telling him he smells bad when he comes home from the gym :)) he explains that sometimes you don't need to tell the truth if it's going to hurt someone's feelings!  So confusing for poor Betty!  And as always, she has her own interpretation and ends the book with her own unique conclusions! :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then, my friends, it seems like it's been a little while since we had a writing contest :)  And what better way to fight off winter doldrums than with some contest shenanigans?  Plus this will be a new one - we've never done a contest in March before!  I'm still finalizing details (read trying to decide what to do :)), but the official announcement will go up Monday, and the contest will take place in about the third week of March... if anyone thinks they'd like to do it.  What's the consensus?  Are you up for some fun and games?  Or are you all too busy?  Or does it depend on how tempting the prize is?  Please let me know in the comments!!!  Also, let me know if there's a particular kind of contest you'd really like to try and/or if there's something you really want for a prize!  And we'll take it from there :)

So that's about it for this week, peeps.  PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below so we can come see what you love this week!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!  By the next PPBF it will be March!  And that means Spring will be here... eventually :)

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February 20, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #77 - Herman's Super-Powered Heiney (PB)

Well, it's Wednesday.  I don't know how we got here so fast this week, but we did.  Which is not good, because I am still on Monday's work! (Er, possibly LAST Monday's...!)

I think a little Something Chocolate is in order, don't you?  Clearly some of us (ahem... the person in charge around here) need a swift kick to get us in gear, and what better kicker than chocolate?  (That is a rhetorical question!  The ONLY answer is of course... chocolate!)  Let me check my supplies...  Mmmm!  This looks tasty!
I feel more energetic and motivated already! :)

Now that we are all fortified with cake, I shall announce the winner of the January Pitch Pick.  I know you have all been waiting anxiously to hear who it is, since we had such a nail biting vote what with the tie and all.  It was a tough, tough choice, and all the pitches were terrific, but the winner for January is WENDY with her MG pitch for Civil.  Congratulations, Wendy, your pitch has already flown through cyberspace and awaits the attention of editor Erin Molta.  And congratulations and thank you to ALL our pitchers who bravely put forth their work so that we can all learn.

Today's pitch comes to us from Wendy G - not to be confused with Wendy L who won the January Pitch Pick!  Once a microbiologist, then an attorney, Wendy found her way to writing for children. A lover of jokes (good and bad), she roots for underdogs. You can connect with Wendy:

Website/blog: http://www.wendygreenley.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/wendy.greenley.3

Twitter: @WendyGreenley


Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Herman's Super-Powered Heiney Or Why Fireflies Should Never Drink Soda

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)

The Pitch: One night, all the insects at a campground sip from a discarded cup of soda—all the insects except for the two fireflies, Herman and his sister, Tara. In HERMAN’S SUPER-POWERED HEINEY OR WHY FIREFLIES SHOULD NEVER DRINK SODA, a feisty, rule breaking firefly learns firsthand why he shouldn’t drink soda. It's Curious George mixed with A Bug's Life. A wacky picture book with a sibling friendship hook.
So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?
If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Wendy improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in March so we could really use some new pitches!  It's your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Wendy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to another slice of cake, getting caught up on my work (hahahahahahahaha!!!!! - you know, it's good for you to laugh!), and to seeing if any new pitches come in because we are going to run out soon!

Have a great day, everyone!

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February 18, 2013

Oh Susanna - How Do You Know What Books Are Already Published In The Picture Book Market?

Happy Monday, Everyone!

First off, before we do anything, I'd like to give a virtual high five to Julie Foster Hedlund whose debut storybook app A Troop Is  Group Of Monkeys is now officially published!  Woo-hoo!
Released yesterday from Little Bahalia Publishing, this delightful app is both an entertaining story and an education in collective nouns for animal groups.  Beautiful illustrations bursting with color (created by Pamela Baron) complement the engaging text, along with plenty of fun interactive add-ons... wait until you see the skunk :) ... and the story is sung to a catchy tune by Tim McCanna.  You can view the trailer HERE and purchase it on iTunes HERE.  Congratulations, Julie!!! :)

I will wait while you all skip on over to iTunes App Store and purchase your copy :)

Alrighty then, onward to our topic of conversation for today, which is an Oh Susanna question.

Cheryl asks, "Oh, Susanna, could you please give some pointers on how to research what's already out there in the picture book market?"

Well, Cheryl, I'll be happy to give it the old college try :), although I am the first to admit that I don't feel like an authority on the subject, so I hope lots of our devoted readers will chime in with their knowledge.

The short answer is, a lot of things have already been done, so no matter what you write, you'll have to put a new spin on it - your own spin :)

But there are places you can look.

For the low, low price of only $400 (EEK!) you can purchase the 2012 Subject Guide To Children's Books In Print - hardcover and 3154 pages chock full of information that is mostly up-to-date for about 10 minutes :)  But unless you're independently wealthy and have a really sturdy desk to hold up a book that size you're probably better off just going to the local public library and using theirs :)

The Subject Guide to Books In Print is available at most larger libraries in the reference section.  The Subject Guide To Children's Books In Print and Children's Books In Print may also be available.

From Greyhouse Publishing's Website:

Children's Books In Print: "Children’s Books In Print®, now in its 43nd edition, is the go-to source for locating children’s and young adult titles in the US.
  • Volume 1, the Title Index, provides immediate access to over 250,000 children’s books from over 18,000 US publishers
  • Entries include title, author, translator, illustrator, photographer, edition, LCC number, series information, pages, binding, grade range, year of publication, price, ISBN, publisher and imprint
  • Volume 2, the Author & Illustrator Index, features more than 223,000 contributors, including photographers
  • Publisher Name Index and Wholesaler & Distributor Name Index, with complete contact information for all listed publishers, distributors and wholesalers"

The Subject Guide To Children's Books In Print: "A natural complement to Children’s Books In Print®, Subject Guide to Children’s Books In Print® is a valuable tool when expanding children’s literature collections and new curriculum areas.
  • Subject Index with over 347,000 titles classified under over 9,500 Library of Congress Subject Headings, from Actors and Actresses to Zoo Animals and everything in between
  • Entries include title, author, translator, illustrator, photographer, edition, LCC number, series information, pages, binding, grade range, year of publication, price, ISBN, publisher and imprint
  • Publisher Name Index and Wholesaler & Distributor Index, with complete contact information makes easy work for your acquisitions department"
So there is a lot of information there.

Another useful avenue of research is publishing house websites.  They all have sections that list their current titles and their backlists.  It is time-consuming, but worthwhile, and something you'll be doing anyway when the time comes to research houses for submission.

In terms of what publishers might be looking for, SCBWI has a section in their bulletin that addresses that, and other publications like the CBI Newsletter and the Children's Writer (issued by the Institute Of Children's Literature) frequently post subjects/topics/specific things that agents and editors have mentioned they would be interested in seeing in both book and magazine markets.  If editors are looking for something, it's a good bet there's nothing like it currently in print.

Another place you can look is Amazon.  I know.  They're taking over the world. :)  But they do have a huge data base of books.  You can search by a title you're thinking of using and see if other books with that title already exist.  You can search by subject matter within children's books and see what comes up that might be similar to your idea.  And then underneath the book you've chosen to look at there is usually a long list of similar books that people also viewed or purchased when they looked at that book, so you can often find related items easily.

You should always check the publication date.  A book that is similar to your story but is 20 years old and not a well-known classic may be ready for a fresh new version.

I think, in the end, you have to write the stories you want to write to the best of your ability.  Then research publishing houses that might be interested in the type of story you've written.  Go to the library or bookstore and read lots of picture books and take note of who publishes books similar to yours.  Then go on their websites and read through their current and backlist titles.  Do they already have your book, or something so similar that they'd be competing with their own list by purchasing yours?  Hopefully you can find a house that might fit your manuscript that hasn't already published a similar story.  If not, you may discover ways you can tweak your story to make it different from what's already out there.

I hope that's a little bit helpful.  Unfortunately there's no quick, easy method I know of for accomplishing this task.  But I'd love to hear from readers about how they go about this, whether they know any tricks of the trade, or know any better ways of doing this!  Please, readers, share your thoughts!!!

Thanks for a great question, Cheryl.

Have a fabulous Monday, everyone, especially those of you who have the day off :)


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February 15, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Meet The Dogs Of Bedlam Farm

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, everyone!

I hope you all had lovely a Valentine's Day!  If you didn't happen to see Renee's (abridged) puppet show version of Romeo & Juliet you are totally missing out and I have to recommend that you scoot over there and watch it.  We'll still be here when you get back :)

I have a great book to share today, and also please stay tuned afterwards for the winner of Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest and a fun announcement!


Meet The Dogs Of Bedlam Farm
Written & Photographed By: Jon Katz
Henry Holt & Company 2011, True Story

Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: jobs, individuality, kindness

Opening: "In the morning after mist has cleared from the path, four dogs go out together for their first walk of the day.  They circle and sniff the wet ground carefully, listening and seeing things that only dogs can sense.  The dogs are called Rose, Izzy, Frieda, and Lenore, and they all live on Bedlam Farm.   They stay together, circling, never running off.  They are a happy group; their tails wag when they see one another.  But it wasn't always this way."

Brief Synopsis: Four dogs are good friends.  Each one has a job.  Rose herds sheep.  Izzy visits sick people.  Frieda guards the farm.  But what is Lenore's job?

Links To Resources:  This book could prompt a wonderful discussion about what kids are interested in and what they are good at; about how different people (just like different dogs) are good at different things.  Talk about all the many jobs there are, (here's a link to a job index for kids in grade K-5) and ask kids what they'd like to be when they grow up.  Have them draw a picture of themselves doing the job of their dreams, or write a short story in which they get to do that job.  What kinds of jobs can they do now?  At home or in the classroom, make a job or chore chart and let each child have a task they enjoy and can do well.  Here's a site where kids can "try out" different jobs KidsWork!

Why I Like This Book: If you've spent any time at all around this blog, you know I love dogs - especially rescue dogs - so it's not a big leap to see why I like this book :)  Exquisite photographs of Jon Katz's dogs at home on their farm, doing what they do best, complement a lovely true story about how everyone has value.  Each dog's story is told - where they came from, how they ended up on the farm, what job they do.  Three of the dogs have traditional jobs.  Lenore does not.  Lenore does not herd sheep, or visit sick people, or guard the farm.  But she teaches Rose the serious worker how to play, she is Izzy's first friend when he comes to the farm from a sad, bad place, and she keeps Frieda company when she is lonely.  What do you think Lenore's job is? :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Okay everyone, have a great weekend!

What?

Oh!  You want to know who won Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest and what the fun announcement was?

Okay.  You've twisted my arm :)

I hope you all had as much fun with Phyllis's Photo Contest as I did!  There were so many amazing entries - all so fun and creative!  I would never have been able to choose, so thank goodness I'm in charge around here and can make you guys do the choosing :)

When all the votes were in, the clear winner was...

DDDDDRRRRRUUUUUMMMMM  RRRRROOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!

CATHY!!!

Cathy, I think it was Phyllis upside-down in the nut bowl that did it for you.  Were you hinting that Phyllis is a nut?  I think you may be right.  There's a lot of nuttiness around here :)

Congratulations, Cathy!  Please email me and we'll discuss your prize, because I know you already have a signed copy of PHYLLIS.

A second prize for Phyllis's Contest, consisting mostly of fame but I'm sure we can come up with something to go along with the fame, is being given at Phyllis's insistence, and that one goes to ROBYN!  Really, it requires dedication to come up with a video of a tiny paper action figure winning a horse race.  So Robyn, kudos to you too and we'll talk prizes privately!

And a huge thank you thank you and round of applause to everyone who took the time to color and cut and photograph and provide us all with such wonderful entertainment!  You are all the greatest!

The other fun announcement I mentioned (at least I think it's fun!) is about Not Yet, Rose which you have seen in English...

... and Dutch...

... but now it's available in GERMAN!

Is that fun or what?  I love having copies of my books that I can't pronounce! :)  I'm thinking of making a video of myself reading my books in foreign languages to entertain you all... or at least myself :)

Alrighty!  That's all the fun and games for today, folks!  PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific links to the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a blissful weekend, everyone! :)

COMMENTS
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February 13, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #76 - How Many Shoes Does A Princess Need? (PB)

Apparently, this is the week for voting.

Monday, I asked you to choose winners for the January Pitch Pick and Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest.  (P.S.  The vote for Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest is still open through tonight, so if you haven't voted, please do so HERE.  I will announce the winner on Friday after the Perfect Picture Book.)

Oh, and this just in!  Too late to be part of the contest (boo-hoo!) but just look!  Phyllis in a dress!  With Anne of Green Gables red braids :)

photo by Denise Bruce
...but I digress... :)

Back to the matter at hand, today, I have to ask you to vote again because we had a tie for the Pitch Pick winner!!!  Didn't that just happen not too long ago?  You guys are all getting so good at this that we're having a hard time picking winners :)  So instead of announcing the pitch pick winner, I have to ask you to choose between:

#1 Wendy - Civil - MG
Five seventh graders are thrust into a secret time-traveling society and are soon fighting for their lives in the bloody battlefields of Gettysburg. The sensitive jock, popular cheerleader, African transfer student, feared social outcast, and 9-year-old technical genius had better work fast: Their own world is becoming increasingly dystopian and their own school hallways increasingly dangerous.

and

#2 Linda - The Good For Plenty Bibs - PB - ages 4 and up
When Jake outgrows his birthday overalls, he calls them the "Good for nothing bibs," but Granny disagrees. With a stitch here and a stitch there, they travel through the rest of the kids. When the youngest, Annabella, also outgrows them, even Granny admits defeat: they’ve lost their midnight blue, their October sky blue, and even their milky morning blue. Now Annabella disagrees. With her brothers’ help, and a clever plan, their surprise leaves Granny speechless.




Please cast your vote by tomorrow, Thursday February 14, at 11:59 PM EST.

Now!  On to Would You Read It!!!

Although our Would You Read It snack is traditionally Something Chocolate, today's pitcher sent along her own festive snack!  Look how pretty!  And Valentine-y!  Please help yourselves :)

I could really get on board with this trend of pitchers sending along their own snacks!  Anyone who wants to in the future, please feel free!!!

Today's pitch comes to us from Sue who says, I've been committing environmental journalism for the past (number intelligible) years - Now it's time to hang up my press pass and follow my passion... writing stories for kids. I've got a handful of nonfiction articles in children's magazines, and write about science on my blog, Archimedes Notebook. I also review books at Sally's Bookshelf and for Ithaca Child (a parenting newspaper)
here are those links:
http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com/
 http://sallysbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: How Many Shoes Does A Princess Need?
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch:  My sister's closet is stuffed full of shoes.
Mine has so few it looks bare.
Mom says I don't need more than I have,
But what would a princess wear?
This kid carefully documents the sorts of footwear needed by princesses, from frog boots to glass slippers and comes up with the ideal number.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Sue improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in March, so we could really use some new pitches!  It's your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Sue is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to finally getting an answer as to who won the January Pitch Pick!  Please vote, and get all your friends and relations to vote too!  No more ties!!!  I am also looking forward to Valentine's Day, which traditionally involves a great deal of chocolate :)

Have a great day, everyone, and Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!!! :)


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February 11, 2013

You Make The Call! - Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest AND The January Pitch Pick!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Today is all about YOUR thoughts, YOUR opinions, and YOUR votes!

That's right.  We're going to have a voting extravaganza!

First, the January Pitch Pick for Would You Read It.

Our brave pitchers have all revised their pitches per your helpful comments.  Please read through them and then vote for the one you think deserves a read by editor Erin Molta!

#1 Wendy - Civil - MG
Five seventh graders are thrust into a secret time-traveling society and are soon fighting for their lives in the bloody battlefields of Gettysburg. The sensitive jock, popular cheerleader, African transfer student, feared social outcast, and 9-year-old technical genius had better work fast: Their own world is becoming increasingly dystopian and their own school hallways increasingly dangerous.

#2 Linda - The Good For Plenty Bibs - PB - ages 4 and up
When Jake outgrows his birthday overalls, he calls them the "Good for nothing bibs," but Granny disagrees. With a stitch here and a stitch there, they travel through the rest of the kids. When the youngest, Annabella, also outgrows them, even Granny admits defeat: they’ve lost their midnight blue, their October sky blue, and even their milky morning blue. Now Annabella disagrees. With her brothers’ help, and a clever plan, their surprise leaves Granny speechless.

#3 Catherine - Cheeku The Cheeky Chinese Chicken - PB - ages 4-8
A chicken hatches an eggsiting escape plan when she discovers it's more than scrambled eggs the chef is putting on the menu.  She karate-chops her way through the Chinese Temple and passed the cunning cats with help from flying feathers.

#4 Elaine - Slurp, Slurp, Slurp - PB - ages 4-8
When Becca receives a gecko for her birthday, mayhem ensues when the crickets that were bought to feed it, spill to the floor. Slurp Slurp Slurp is quirky and written in the cumulative picture book style- with some spirited twists to keep it fresh and fun for re-reading.

It's a tough choice, I know!  But please cast your vote by Tuesday February 12 at 7 PM EST so I can announce the winner on Wednesday's WYRI.

And now, it's time for another vote!  Who do you think should win Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest?  I have selected my favorite photo from each contestant, but if you click on their name, which is a link (except for Linda who doesn't have a blog) you can see additional photos where indicated.

#1 Linda

























#2 Josie



















#3 Erik

















#4 Catherine additional photos here























#5 Delores additional photos here














#6 Dana (whose image I can't copy and paste so you'll have to click the link - sorry!)

#7 Lauri additional photos here



















#8 Vivian



















#9 Julie
























#10 Cathy additional photos here























#11 Romelle additional photos here (and I had 3 favorites but only posted one! :))



















#12 Heather additional photos here



















#13 Alayne additional photos here























#14 Coleen

















#15 Teresa
























#16 Janet
















#17 Laura additional photos here


















#18 Robyn (definitely click the link to see her video! :))



















YIKES!  18 amazing entries!  Please vote for your favorite and tell everyone you know to come vote because with 18 we might never get a majority unless we get a lot of votes!!!  Please vote by Wednesday February 13 at 11:59 PM EST.


And now, after all that agonizing to make such tough decisions, go take a nice bubble bath :)
from Romelle's photo shoot :)

Have a great day, everyone! :)


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