FROM LAURA BARD:
I understand where you are all coming from --
FROM LAURA BARD:
Attn Christian Homeschoolers and Churches: With Love and Blessings from me and Beaming Books, here is a FREE Script to enable your little ones to perform THE STAR IN THE CHRISTMAS PLAY as a finger puppet show, a puppet show, or performance during this holiday season:
A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale
AUTHOR: Karen Rostoker Gruber
ILLUSTRATOR: Kristina Swarner
PUBLISHER: Albert Whitman, 2020
THERE WAS NO ROOM TO SIT, NO ROOM TO PACE, NO ROOM TO REST, NO EXTRA SPACE!
Farmer Earl has had enough -- his home is too crowded. So, he visits the wise woman in town for help. She tells him to bring all his ducks in the house. And then his horses. And all his goats too!
How will there be more room with all these animals?
But the part I love the most, apart from it being a Jewish folktale, is the truth that it speaks. Everything looks differently if we change the perspective. Knowing that is a great tool in coping in this life and one that's important to give to children.
As to the art -- it's fun and folksy, just like it should be.
So well done! I honestly think that this book has takeaway value for everyone, young and old, alike!
And for more fun, here's the backstory to A CROWDED FARMHOUSE FOLKTALE:
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For more Book Talk, join me at my weekly TINKER AND TALK BOOK CHATS, Sundays from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST. Please e-mail me at LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com for more information or to RSVP.
TITLE: 10 Turkeys in the Road
AUTHOR: Brenda Reeves Sturgis
ILLUSTRATOR: David Slonim
PUBLISHER: Marshall Cavendish/Amazon Two LionsI began my writing journey in 2004 when my daughter was in Kindergarten. I had attended an author visit at Baldwin Consolidated School and met author Lynn Plourde. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be a writer. Nobody told me how difficult it actually is, so I just threw myself into the process, writing, learning how to query, joining critique groups, and submitting. At that time, everything was submitted through postal mail, and I researched publishers in the Children's Writers and Illustrators Market Guide book.
After getting married, I started writing. While at home watching my baby girl, Emily, it felt natural to write about another baby, Jesus. I wrote a poem, “The Five Senses of Christmas.” The St. Louis-based magazine, Alive! for Young Teens, published it in 1985 and paid me $5. I couldn’t have been happier. Someone else (besides my parents) thought my work was worth publishing.
Eight years later another dream came true. My first picture book—you guessed it! A Christmas-themed book—An A*B*C Christmas, was published by Standard Publishing. My editor at Standard, Diane Stortz, suggested a topic for my next book, “God’s Big Umbrella.” I loved that image! Comparing an umbrella keeping off the rain was the perfect symbol to explain to a child (and to myself) how God’s protection worked. I tried, but it didn’t come together. Off and on over the years, I tried to develop the concept of God’s big umbrella covering us from the rainstorms of life, but it didn’t work. Not until 2016.
By then, my “baby” Emily had a family of her own, twin boys and a girl on the way. I process things by writing them down. I felt so much love for my grandchildren. Living hours away from them (with no plans to move closer) was cause for concern. I longed to feel calmer, and again, tried working on the idea Diane had suggested, God’s umbrella of protection. It gave me lots of comfort. But, as it turned out, it wasn’t the image of an umbrella that inspired me. As I listened to the rain beating on the roof as I sat warm and cozy inside the house, I knew how to begin my book.
Like a roof protects a house,
Or a crawl space for a mouse,
I am safe and worry-free.
God’s protection covers me.
The story built from there following a little boy as he discovers animal homes on a farm and in nature, comparing them to God’s protection. Of course, I had to include the umbrella! It’s starts raining and the boy’s mother comes out to protect him from the rain. I have to smile describing that line. My husband grew up on a farm, did chores in the rain, and told me, “My mother never brought out an umbrella!”
In 2017, I received a contract from Sparkhouse Family (now Beaming Books). My insightful editor, Naomi Krueger, suggested the narrative center around the boy making his way home. I loved her idea. So the roof was moved to the end. We start with “Like a barn protects a cow...” And because my husband was a hog farmer, I rhymed the first line with, “…Or a Quonset for a sow.”
I was so honored that Mandy Arioto, President and CEO, MOPS International endorsed my book: “A charming book filled with truth that every kid needs to hear. This is my top children’s book pick of the year.”
(Note: MOPS stands for "Mother's of Preschoolers." See www.mops.org.)
The book was released in 2019, but is especially timely now. Looking to God for strength, knowing that He protects us, heart and soul and spirit, still gives me comfort, especially at this difficult time due to COVID-19. My hope is that readers take away the feeling of safety, peace, and joy that is offered by God’s protective care.
For more about the book, see: https://www.beamingbooks.com/store/product/9781506448565/God-Protection-Covers-Me
Download a free activity packet here: http://www.amyhouts.com/activity-packet--gods-protection-covers-me.html
Special offer: Personalized autographed book plate. Contact me at amysase[at]gmail.com.
Amy Houts is an author of over 100 children’s picture books, cookbooks, and board games that feature early learning concepts, family themes of love and friendship, and holiday celebrations. Amy’s numerous short stories, articles, and poems have appeared in Ladybug Magazine, Highlights Hello, and Pockets Magazine. Her books include: The Giant Book of Bible Fingerplays for Preschoolers (Group Publishing); Think Like a Scientist (Pearson Learning Group); and Dora the Explorer Safety (Learning Horizons).
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyHouts/
Twitter author handle: @AmyHouts
Amazon author central page: https://www.amazon.com/AmyHouts/e/B001KCOOL8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/102029.Amy_Houts
Additional author/book website(s): www.houtsandhome.com
It was National Family Day on September 27, 2020, and if, like me, you were too busy working to celebrate, know this...
It's never too late to Celebrate FAMILY DAY!
Here are a few Covid-19 friendly ways to enjoy your day:
1. Play a card game together
2. Prepare a kid-friendly recipe together
Check Out Let's Eat! Mealtime Around the World for some inspiration AND
Make these recipes to share the world with your children:
3. Play a board game together
4. Play with blocks or Lincoln Logs or Legos together
5. Watch an animated movie together
7. Take a walk together
8. Draw a monster together, taking turns with each feature
9. Decorate a Fall or Halloween Tree together
10. Share a book together
Check Out Moldilocks and the Three Scares, a fractured fairy tale family story!
Sometimes, stories are hard, coming out in spurts and piecing together like an elaborate puzzle, requiring heaps of patience and determination. Sometimes, stories are easy. They pour out of you fully formed. Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda and releasing from Albert Whitman on October 1st, was one of the easy ones. When I sat down to write the first draft, I wrote it from beginning to end in one sitting. It was the first time that had happened to me and I didn’t know what to do with myself!
I realize now that the seeds for the story had been planted long before I sat down to write. They had been watered and nourished for several months. During January 2018, I participated in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm, and with Debbi Michiko Florence’s post, I remembered all those bits of my New Year’s Eve holidays with my family that I loved: the music and dancing, the food and sweets, the Año Viejo, our fun superstitions, like eating twelve grapes for good luck, having luggage ready for a well-traveled year ahead, cleaning the house to have a good start to the year. I just didn’t know what to do with these memories—yet.
Then, that New Year’s Eve, we were standing outside with friends and their shy little girl. She barely said a word and hid behind her parents. She reminded me so much of myself when I was little. When the fireworks started at midnight, though, she squealed and jumped and wouldn’t stop talking. I remember telling her, “You found your voice!” Just like that, the story for Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! burst into existence fully formed.
In many ways, Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! is an ode to everything I loved about celebrating New Year’s Eve with my family. But, it’s also a validation for shy kids everywhere. Ava’s mamá tells her, “There’s nothing wrong with being shy. When you’re ready, your voice will come out and play.” That’s the message I hope will resonate with readers.
So excited to be on an AMAZING team of Bloggers and Judges!
AND so happy to have you all along on my reading journey!
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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.
THREE REASONS TO READ:
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.
We've worked hard to create bite-sized tips to help you through the trying times with your writing.
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