Tuesday, February 2, 2016

REVIEWSDAY TUESDAY: It's Groundhog Day, with an Extra Special Twist!

(c) Kayla Michele 2016
Today is Groundhog's Day, but for us, it's not just ANY Groundhog's Day. Today is unique because it is ALSO "Take Your Child to Work Day!" So instead of just bringing a review, we are going to do a little review/reading list/writing tip mash-up.

Working with my daughter today gives the day a special twist and also adds an extra element of fun.

This especially relates to writing about Groundhogs and/or any other topic, because to get your book published, you must have an extra special twist to make it stand out from the books  that have come before. If it's a fun topic, you need to make it even more FUN!  The topic can be approached differently with a change in location, a change in time period, a change in character, a chance in circumstances, etc.

For example, in  PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS, written by Susanna Hill and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebberler, the male job of playing Punxsutawney Phil is eventually passed down to a girl, who is actually better qualified for the job.

In GROUNDHOG WEATHER SCHOOL, written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Kristin Sorra, a rabbit realizes that one groundhog cannot accurately predict the weather for a large area. As a result, the resident groundhog recruits trainees. This leads to lots of fun facts and even some science.

In APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS, written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, Susanna shakes things up by having her groundhog character Phyllis predict the weather, not on Groundhog's Day, but April Fool's Day!

If writing about Groundhogs like we are, here are some more fun titles to check out:


Our post today accents the importance of the need for authors and aspiring writers to use Mentor Texts. Check out Carrie Charley Brown's website for more info (www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo)  Read everything published on your topic, new and old, to make sure that YOUR manuscript stands out from the rest and offers a unique view of a previously covered topic. And enjoy the early Spring!

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten (Scholastic, 2011) and a forthcoming related title. She is currently knee-deep in dinosaur research and couldn't be happier. You can learn more about Lynne Marie and Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten by visiting www.literallylynnemarie.com.

Kayla Michele is the unpublished author/illustrator of the Squirrel stories which she has written since she was two, and has several 4 inch binders filled with them! Notably, she won the Earth Day Poster Contest for Mills Pond Elementary School at the age of 5, published a Book Mark for the Smithtown Library in June, 2011 and was a finalist in the Broward County Everglades Art Contest in 2015.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Lynne! Groundhog reading is fun! You've mentioned some great titles!

  2. Thanks so much for the mention, Lynne! Phyllis says you made her feel famous! :) I think she and Hedgehog should meet up one day :) They're practically cousins!

  3. Awww thank you for visiting My Word Playground, Carrie Charley Brown and Susanna Leonard Hill and being part of my Groundhog's Day fun!