Saturday, September 19, 2020

Check Out *WHO* Is a Round One Fiction Picture Book Judge for the Cybils Awards 2020

So excited to be on an AMAZING team of Bloggers and Judges! 

AND so happy to have you all along on my reading journey!

Don't forget to follow me on Goodreads HERE

ASK ME about my BOOK CHATS :) 

Three Reasons to Read: FRY BREAD by Kevin Noble Maillard, Art by Juana Martinez-Neal

Fry Bread - A Native American Family Story

AUTHOR: Kevin Noble Maillard

ILLUSTRATOR: Juana Martinez-Neal

PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press, 10/2019


Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.


1. Its lovely free verse is filled with images and emotions that are clear and effective. 

2. The art is beautiful and diverse and kid-friendly. 

3. Fry Bread is a wonderful metaphor for a heritage that allows the reader to grow in their understanding of what it means, starting small, with food and building with each example until it becomes all of us! 

Purchase Fry Bread HERE.

NOTE: FRY BREAD was a favorite at one of my Weekly "Tinker and Talk" Book Chats. Feel free to join us! Open until 12/31/2020 and then, available only to Rate Your Story Memberships. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

REVISION TIPS: Serving Up Another Morsel

      In case you missed it -- 

MORE "bite-sized" tips from ME for Revision Week HERE

over at Lauren Kerstein's Blog. 

And don't forget to sign up for Quick and Affordable Manuscript feedback!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Celebrating reVISION Week with my Cyber Home Girls Joana, Katie, Lauren, Michal, and Shannon

WELCOME to our 2nd annual #ReVISIONweek! Joana, Katie, Lauren, Michal, Shannon, and I are thrilled to be able to bring this back again, despite this year's challenges. 

We've worked hard to create bite-sized tips to help you through the trying times with your writing. 

CLICK HERE for My Revision Week Tip for 9/11 

Be sure follow Lauren Kerstein's blog to get my next tip, as well as the rest of the tips!

And, don't forget...

     so you don't miss any upcoming RATE YOUR STORY NEWS sign up at HERE 

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Story Behind the Story of MOOTILDA by Kirsti Call

Buy Mootilda HERE:

When Mootilda wakes up on the wrong side of the barn and experiences one cow-tastrophe after another, she has to figure out how to turn her bad moooood around. 

As soon as Corey Rosen Schwartz and I brainstormed Mootilda into existence, we knew we had to write about her. We wanted to write something social emotional (since I’m a therapist) and funny (since we both love to laugh) so we filled the story with wordplay and a repeating refrain: “I’m in a bad moooood!” 

Our first version of the story involved a coyote and Mootilda saving the day by scaring him away with her bad mood. We thought the story was perfect in every way and asked our agent to send it out immediately. She sent it to three editors and when Courtney Fahy at Little Bee told us she wanted a tiny tweak, we were thrilled. But her tweak involved taking the coyote out! WHAT?!?! NOOOOOOOO! We absolutely could not take him out! But we talked to our families and critique partners and somehow mooogically figured out a way to make the story work without the coyote. And Mootilda’s Bad Mood is vastly better because of it. 

I’m over the moooooon excited to see Mootilda out in the world on September 1st. And in case you’re curious, I’m almost always in a good mooooooood! 

BIO: Kirsti Call is co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She reads, reviews, revises and critiques every day as a 12x12 elf, a blogger for Writer's Rumpus, and a member of critique groups. She's judged the CYBILS award for fiction picture books since 2015. Kirsti's picture book, MOOTILDA'S BAD MOOD (Little Bee) debuts fall 2020. COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) release in 2021. Kirsti is represented by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency.

To find out more about Kirsti and her
moo-velous upcoming books, visit: 
@kirsticall (instagram) 
 Kirstine Erekson Call (facebook) 
@kirsticall (Twitter)

Want to Share YOUR Story Behind the Story?
We'd love to hear from you.
[Traditionally published, SCBWI PAL books only, please.]
Contact Lynne Marie at

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

THREE REASONS TO READ: Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham


Illustrator: John Holyfield                            

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2019

Jacket Flap:
Frank has always loved elephants, from their hosepipe trunks and flip-flap ears to their tree-stump feet 
and swish-swish tails. But he's never seen one in real life. More than anything, Frank wants to pet an 
elephant. He thinks he just might get his chance when Miss Fancy, a circus elephant, retires to 
Birmingham's Avondale Park. 

But disappointment sets in quickly when Frank relizes he won't be allowed to pet her, after all. The year
is 1913 and Avondale Park is segregated. The NO COLORED ALLOWED sign looms large and means
Frank's dream will stay a dream...unless he can find a way to change things. 

Based on the true history of Miss Fancy who lived in Birmingham, Alabama's Avondale Park until 1934, 
Meet Miss Fancy is an endearing and heartrending story set in the era when Jim crow reigned supreme, 
largely unchecked but for the dreams and will of those who thought they could make a difference. 


1.    An important book that is an absolute sweet, inspiring, engaging read with a delightful main character!
       It's so easy to identify with Frank. 
2.    Such beautifully drawn, yet animated art. 
3.   It's based on history and weaves in interesting truths, truths we should learn, and histories that should
      never happen again.