We'll start with the Perfect Picture Book, so as to keep that at the top and easy to find. But the agenda will include November's Straight From The Editor and SUCH an awesome surprise that I will only blame you a little if you have to scroll down quickly and take a sneak peek! Just scroll back up again so you don't miss anything :)
Written and Illustrated By: Robert Barry
Doubleday Books For Young Readers, October 2000 (originally Random House 1963)
Suitable For: ages 4 and up
Theme/Topics: Christmas, sharing, optimism, "waste not, want not".
Opening and brief synopsis: "Mr. Wiilowby's Christmas tree came by special delivery. Full and fresh and glistening green - the biggest tree he had ever seen." But to his dismay the tree is too tall! He calls upon his butler to chop off the top, and so begins the tale of a Christmas tree that brings joy to homes of all kinds. Over and over the top of the tree is trimmed, becoming a tree for smaller and smaller homes. Instead of serving only one family, Mr Willowby's tree becomes a tree for seven. Children will be delighted when they see where the last, smallest piece of the tree ends up!
Links To Resources: Mr. Willowby Activities, Stacking Trees, Preschool Discussion Topics, Gift Tag Activity.
Why I Like This Book: Catchy rhyme, a charming story and a theme of generosity and making the best of whatever comes along all combine to make this a delightful holiday tale. From Mr. Willowby right down to the last recipient, each character uses just what he or she needs and the rest goes on to someone else. Nobody says it isn't big enough. Rather, they all feel overly blessed. The art is warm and engaging, with each little home and family cozier than the last.
If you haven't read Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, get thee to a library right quick :)
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Next, it's time for Straight From The Editor! You will recall Dee's pitch:
Working Title: Hating Ric
Age/Genre: YA Verse
Pitch: On the day of his brother, Jason's funeral, 17 year-old Ric's anger explodes, and he races Jason's car through the streets, crashing and badly injuring jogger, Kate. Ric is sent to a juvenile justice centre, where survivor guilt and grief set him on a reckless destruction course. Help comes through his music and from an unexpected source in Kate who is struggling to put her own life back together.
And here are Erin's comments:
This needs to be short and sweet. Your long sentences are somewhat confusing and an editor would have to read it twice to figure out what you are saying. Basically, Ric is angry after his brother’s death. Did he cause it, was he with him? Is that why you’re implying survivor’s guilt? Be more to the point. You want the reader to be intrigued, not guessing. And don’t be afraid to use cliché’s. Sometimes they can get the point across quickly and in fewer words. Can you say Kate is battling her own demons? Something like that. I think an editor will be intrigued if it’s more direct and to the point.
I find Erin's comments very interesting and helpful, and I hope you all do, too!
And now... duhn duhn duhn... the moment you've all been waiting for... duhn duhn duhn.... THE SURPRISE!!!
This is really for all of you, so I hope you like it! Think of it as my little holiday gift to you :)
Presenting, the Perfect Picture Book Badge! LOOK!
|Badge designed by Loni Edwards
So now I must tell you about the extraordinarily talented artist who created this badge. I know this will come as a shock to you - especially those of you who have had the opportunity to witness my unrivaled drawing skills (tee hee) but I did NOT draw this. I know. Nearly impossible to believe :)
This gorgeous badge was designed for all of us by the incomparable Loni Edwards.
Loni, please be so kind as to tell us a little about yourself!
Loni: I am a digital artist, although I have been known to dabble in watercolor, acrylics and pen & ink. The core of my art is digital though. It is created by using Photoshop techniques and a Wacom tablet. I sketch out my idea, then scan it into Photoshop where I ink and color. Influences are Charles Schulz, Jim Davis, Walt Disney Studios, and many artists that I have come into contact with mostly through social networking.
|Loni's picture for Project Smile
illustration copyright Loni Edwards
I have also participated in a number of artistic challenges, including PiBoIdMo 3 years in a row.
Thanks so much, Loni, both for sharing all that and for creating this beautiful badge that we will all be able to proudly display on our blogs!
For those of you who are as impressed as I am with Loni's art - who might be looking for someone with artistic talent to help you with any number of projects - Loni is available for book cover design, children's book illustration, spot illustrations, character design, greeting cards, and private commissions. I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit her website and blog and see what she has to offer! You can also "Like" Loni on Face Book and follow her on twitter @LoniEdwards. Here are a couple other samples of her art, one in the holiday spirit, and one to show that she does draw people too :)
PHEW! You're going to be needing another bowl of Wheaties after all that! Sorry it was so long, but everything just piled up onto today! I hope you like the badge and enjoyed meeting Loni!
|illustrations copyright Loni Edwards
|illustrations copyright Loni Edwards
So now, go have a great weekend everyone, and remember, the Holiday Contest opens bright and early Monday morning! (Please scroll down that link to see the rules.) I can't wait to read all of your stories!!!
(And don't forget, if you posted a Perfect Picture Book, please put your link in the list below!)