Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe and more...


Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe

I've been pretty busy with writing and editing and such, and haven't had a chance to participate in Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday in a while. SO VERY glad I'm making time to do it today - as this book has been sitting on my desk for at least a week or two, waiting for the chance to be featured. And the time has FINALLY come!

Title: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe
Author: Barbara Odanaka
Illustrator: Lee White
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster
Age Range: 4-8
Theme/Topics:Animals, mayhem, restaurants, humor, rhyme
First Page:"It was a quiet morning at the Critter Cafe. The cook was dozing in his cheese souffle. The waiter was whistling sleepy tunes when through the door walked three raccoons."
Synopsis: Swish, zoom, swish. Clickety-clack! When a bus full of critters breaks down, a sleepy roadside café suddenly wakes up! Raccoons, elephants, zebras, and rams are only a few of the many animals demanding grub, and it is all that a cook and a waiter can do to keep up. But when Skateboard Cow swerves her way through the crowd, more than a few feathers are guaranteed to be ruffled! Rhythmic text and energetic illustrations combine for a romp of pure fun and entertainment.

Resources: I found a couple free printables for this book here. Here is another cute idea for making word burgers. Having the kids play restaurant would also work.

Why I LOVE it: The voice is fabulous, the pace is fast and TOTALLY fun, and the story absolutely delightful and silly and relateable (to kids - yeah, that's it). And the end surprised me delightfully. The art AND words are a super combination. Just plain fun !

Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog - and Susanna's ever-growing list of wonderful picture books.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
     


A Fantastic, Fun Project (with Friends!)

This post is party of Patty Wysong's
A to Z meme. This week's letter is "F"

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
I don't know about you, but I LOVE Christmas. As a Jew who came to Christ in her early 30s, there is such rich meaning to this time of year for me that I never realized as a child (or even a young adult).

So, when my extremely dear friend (who shares my brain) Patty Wysong mentioned a Christmas short story anthology she wanted to put together, I  was on top of it. (Sort of) I found a few of my Christmas flash fiction articles I'd written and sent them off to her right away (actually, I got distracted and didn't send them until a couple days AFTER the deadline - but that's because SHE had the brain :P). And despite my tardiness, my three little stories will be in this wonderful anthology which will be available VERY soon!

We are still working on a cover and release date, but we have a TITLE - which is super exciting to me!

So, if you to sit down with some Christmas stories that will make you laugh, cry, cheer, and worship (and who knows what else!) be sure to keep your eyes open for:

Christmas Treasures: A Collection of Christmas Short Stories

We have more than a dozen different authors in this book (many of which are VERY dear friends), and the stories are in a variety of genres, so there is sure to be something for everyone.So, you want to know who ELSE will be in this anthology? Well, feast your eyes on THIS list (and click the links to see their blogs/webpages)!

Donna Scofield
Joanne Sher (yeah - that's me :D)
April Strauch

I promise to let you all know when we have a cover, a release date, AND when it can be purchased! I'm pretty stoked :)
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
 
     

Discipline, Drive, and Determination: a Halloweensie Contest Entry

This post is party of Patty Wysong's
A to Z meme. This week's letter is "D"
A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

This tiny story/entry has been a lot of work in coming. You see, I have known about this contest for months (at least I remembered folks mentioning it quite a while ago.) I have know the specifics for over three weeks. But I was truly wondering if it was actually going to come together.

Over that time, I started probably half a dozen different stories that fit the parameters (about Halloween, for children, 100 words or less, using the words pumpkin, broomstick, and creak) - and they all either petered out or seemed ENTIRELY too difficult to pare down to that miniscule amount required for the contest.

But, finally, with much discipline, drive, and determination (and with the help of my lovely daughter with the editing/trimming down to size), I present to you (my fellow A to Zers, blog readers, AND other contest entrants), my humble entry in Susanna Leonard Hill's 4th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!

Dumb Jack-'O-Lanterns
By Joanne Sher

“Jack-o'-lanterns are dumb,” Sarah said, elbow-deep in pumpkin guts. “And gross.”

“Nah. They're cool!” Her brother B.J. bounced, making the chair creak. “Can this one be a witch?”

Sarah shrugged.

“Don't you LIKE Halloween?”

“Not really.”

“You don't like candy? Decorations? Trick-or-treating?”

“Trick-or-treating's for little kids.” Sarah frowned.

“Some older kids go.”
Photo source

“My friends aren't.”

“Go with me.”

“With you? Seriously?”

B.J. beamed. “Say Mom made you.”

“Maybe.”

“C'mon.”

“Okay!” Sarah rose, pumpkin guts flying.

B.J. gasped, then giggled. “I'll be a pumpkin this year. Got my costume.”

Sarah grabbed a broomstick. “And I'll be a witch.”

** 
Not the best thing I've ever written - but not bad, I'd say. Check out a bunch of other short Halloween stories (which I'm sure are MUCH more clever than mine!) at Susanna's blog - and enter your own if you want - the deadline isn't until just before midnight on Halloween!

OOOR - if the letter "D" is more up your alley, join the blog hop below! :)
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
 
     


Perfect Picture Book Friday: 1 plus 1 equals 5 and Other Unlikely Additions

(Seriously, is there a SINGLE ONE of you who could see this title and NOT pick it up??)

I'm joining with the delightful Susanna Leonard Hill today, sharing a fun picture book I encountered for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Thanks, Susanna, for giving us a place to share our favorite picture books! (Check out her ever-expanding list of perfect picture books here - and check out what she, and several others, are adding to the list here at her blog)

Title: 1+1=5 and Other Unlikely Additions
Author: David LaRochelle
Illustrator: Brenda Sexton
Publisher: Sterling, 2010
Age Range: 5 and up
Theme/Topics: Numbers, Counting, Humor

Beginning: "(first page) 1+1=3?" "(page turn) 1 unicorn + 1 goat = 3 horns!"

Synopsis: How much is 1+1? Think the answer is 2? Not always, as this playful approach to addition proves! David LaRochelle takes children on a joyful mathematical journey that will engage their minds and teach them to think about numbers in a creative, outside-the-box way. Brenda Sexton's wild and wacky illustrations add layers of witty fun to LaRochelle's clever game.

Resources: Check out the teaching guide at David LaRochelle's website (in both black and white AND color), and a few other activities he recommends. Most counting activities (especially those with sets of things) would also be great.

Why I LOVE it: It's extremely clever, for one. The illustrations are super-colorful, and make each page turn a mystery/investigation for kids (even my 10-year-old daughter enjoyed trying to figure out how the equation could work out - I did too, but I don't count, right? LOL). And it's funny, makes kids think, and encourages imagination. How can you beat that?

Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog.


My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
     

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Open This Little Book

I'm joining with the delightful Susanna Leonard Hill today, sharing a fun picture book I encountered this week for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Thanks, Susanna, for giving us a place to share our favorite picture books! (Check out her ever-expanding list of perfect picture books here - and check out what she, and several others, are adding to the list here at her blog)

Title: Open This Little Book
Author: Jesse Klausmeier
Illustrator: Suzy Lee
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2013 fiction
Age Range: 3-8
Theme/Topics: Colors, Book Making, Friendship

Beginning: "Open this Little Red Book, and read abut a Ladybug, who opens a..."

Synopsis: What will you find when you open this little book? A fun story? Sweet characters? Enticing pictures? Yes! But much more. Open this book and you will find...another book...and another...and another. Debut author Jesse Klausmeier and master book creator Suzy Lee have combined their creative visions to craft a seemingly simple book about colors for the very youngest readers, an imaginative exploration of the art of book making for more sophisticated aficionados, and a charming story of friendship and the power of books for all.

Resources: Check out the teacher's guide for this book from Chronicle's website. Other ideas could include having the kids create their own book (out of construction paper) - and of course, talking about the different colors. Lots of room for imagination here.

Why I LOVE it: The design blew me away - ESPECIALLY when I learned it was written by a debut author (who I THOUGHT they didn't like to take risks on :D). I think kids will find that aspect fascinating as well (there are seven "books," each a bit smaller than the other, inside the main book proper.). Plus the story is super sweet with a touch of humor.

Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
     


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