Friday, April 30, 2010

April Carnival of Children's Literature & Writing news

Once a month, a blogger volunteers gather links from other bloggers in the Kidlithosphere. Links to their best/ most interesting post/ or simply a fun thing they wrote about during this month. It's called the Carnival of Children's Literature and as of today, the April Carnival is UP at the Forwords blog . Go. Click on the link here and enjoy the variety you find there.

In other news, the revision of my (short) novel is inching along.
For this first run through I'll simply respond to the 5 critiques it received last month. Then I'll have to run through it again, adding some of the background information they requested -- trying NOT to let those places become Info-Dumps that stop the action -- but trying to work the information gently in here and there.

One shocker was the information Emily Jenkins gave me -- my novel was too short. Her examples of other young novels were eye-opening:
Junie B. Jones is 5,500 words.
Ivy and Bean is 7,000.
Clementine is 10,000.
In March, my 'novel' was only 4000 words long.
At present, only half-revised, it is now 5000 words long -- so, I'm getting there.
Onward! Back to the revision.

take 10-year old to sleepover Birthday party.
Go shop at the Pennsylvania Deutch Market.
THEN, back to the revision.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Writing Week -- Tuesday

I've been on vacation and busy, busy. (with time out to be sick, then busy busy again.)
It's another one of those 'vacation weeks' where I move from my day job to my writing job.

So far I've managed to collate all the comments I got on my dog story that I took to the Novel Writing Workshop last month. It's amazing that so many different eyes caught the very same things. It's also amazing that the very same parts of the story that some people loved -- others hated and wanted removed.
I'll have to decide what advice to follow.

Almost everyone had suggestions for expanding the story -- which is good because it has to grow from 4000 words to 6000 or 8000.

Wednesday = revision time.
(Plus a bit of housework = spring cleaning)
Thursday, repeat.
Friday, repeat.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Funnies

This is too good not to share.
I was doing my evening reading of agent's blogs when I discovered that Agent Kristin of Pub Rants had a fun link on her blog. Click on over to Hyperbole and a Half and enjoy Alot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get a free Critique of your writing

Today is EARTH DAY
Today is also the celebration of the first Blogiversary of! This blog is run by a group six children's book authors who also teach writing. Once you get to their site, you'll recognize that they are some of your favorite authors.
* April Halprin Wayland
* Carmela Martino
* Esther Hershenhorn
* Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford
* JoAnn Early Macken
* Mary Ann Rodman

As a thank-you gift to their readers, they're offering a special "choose your own critique" giveaway.

Readers can enter to win a critique of one of the following:
a picture book manuscript,
nonfiction piece,
novel opening (about 10 pages or your first chapter,
short story,
or poetry.

For details, click on Teaching Authors.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nonfiction Monday -- poetry -- Bee-bim Bop!

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park. Illustrated by Ho Baek Lee. NY: Clarion Books, 2005. Still available in paperback. Hardback is OP.

I know that you all know that Linda Sue Park is an award-winning author of novels, but how many of you know that she's a poet, too? Nearly everything she writes mentions food. However,this book is all about her favorite dish -- Bee-bim Bop.

"Hurry, Mama, hurry
Gotta chop chop chop!
Hungry -- very hungry
for some BEE-BIM BOP!

Bee-bim is the name of a popular Korean food
and Bop means RICE.
Bee-bim also means "Mix/ mix."
So the whole name of the dish means "lets mix/ mix other foods (chopped cooked meat, sprouts, stir-fried veggies, scrambled egg patties) with rice and EAT!"

"Time for Bee-bim Bop!"

Instructions are in the back for parents and children to create this meal.

Another poetry book by Linda Sue Park is Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems), also published by Clarion.

More Nonfiction Monday messages can be found at the blog, Wrapped in Foil.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

iPad + Children's Books

When I gave my lecture at the end of my Picture Book semester at Vermont College of Fine Arts, I concluded my talk about the history of Picture Book Biographies by saying that the new MP3 players dedicated to one book (Playaways) were good -- but would even better would be if they could show the pictures of the picture book biography along with the story.

Now -- here comes the iPad which will do just that -- in a larger, readable format.

We now have actual electronic lap books that parents can share with their children, sitting side-by-side, just like the traditional picture books. For more about this development, I direct you to this article in Publisher's Weekly.
(I don't know how long these links to articles in magazines are active, but this is what I read today.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nonfiction Monday -- Nature's Paintbox

Nature's Paintbox, a Seasonal Gallery of Art and Verse by Patricia Thomas. Illustrated by Craig Orback. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2007.

This is one of those WoW books, whose illustrations take the statements in the poem and fly with it.

Nature's Paintbox. I love, love, love books that move around the calendar year. This book of poetry compares seasons to various styles of art. (Remember -- poetry is in the nonfiction collection in the library.)

"Winter is done in pen and ink... black and white."
And it is -- lovely pen and ink drawings with only faint bits of colors inserted by photoshop. (Hey, I'm not that smart. I didn't figure that out myself. It's all explained at the back of the book.)

"And then...
Nature draws
in pastel chalk,..."
warm as sunshine colors... blurry, furry, ...fresh green-fuzzy, baby leaf, baby fern colors....
Even the words of this poem change from the crisp, clean winter words to warm, soft, bilowy springtime words.

And then... Nature paints SUMMER
in watercolors ....

But for my favorite season,
"Nature works
AUTUMN in oils..."

Lovely lucious words
lovely lucious artwork.

More Nonfiction Monday posts are located today at the blog, Shelf-Employed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jane Yolen week

This being Jane Yolen week (I just realized that most of my posts this week have been about her), for a sneak peak at her new book, Foiled, click right here to see it on Betsy Bird's Blog. (Fuse #8)

yes, it's a Graphic Novel -- and a sequel is on its way called, Curses, Foiled Again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

More from Jane Yolen

On Facebook, Jane shared a link to an interview on where she shared thoughts about revising picture books. She used as an example something she had scribbled down a while ago about a frog thinking about the changes that come in the fall.

In the article she shares her steps for a first revision.
But she didn't stop there.
After the article was published, the frog idea kept tickling her mind -- and today she posted that the idea wouldn't go away. It really would make a nice picture book. So, she has worked more with this beginning and her revisions have changed the story.

Sooooo --I'm going to examine closely the next frog or autumn book that comes out by her to see just how she changed and improved it with her many revisions. -wendieO

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nonfiction Monday -- Shape Me a Rhyme

This being National Poetry Month and the poetry books, for some strange reason, being classified as nonfiction (811 and 821 and....), I thought I'd see what poetry books caught my eye there.

First up -- Shape Me a Rhyme, nature's Forms in Poetry by Jane Yolen. Photographs by Jason Stemple. Honesdale, PA: WordSong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc., 2007.

This is one of a series of books that Jane Yolen did with her son, Jason for WordSong. In case you're wondering, Jason took the photographs first and then Jane wrote poems for each one. (and wrote them, and revised them, and threw them away, and wrote another one until they were just right.)

And they certainly are "just right" for early readers and for all readers.
From the circle of the sun:
"Round as a ball,
Round as the sun,
A circle goes round
To where it's begun...."

Turn the page to find Triangles -- Yikes! Triangle Alligator teeth.
Heart-shaped leaves, oval eggs, fan-shaped seashells (my favorite shell), and a crescent moon. All double page spreads with fantastic photographic illustrations.

Stemple and Yolen -- what a team.

Other wordsong books the pair did together include:
Color me a Rhyme
Count me a Rhyme
An Egret's Day
Fine Feathered Friends
The Least Things
Snow, Snow.

You can find more Nonfiction Monday posts at the Lerner blog.
Click on through and enjoy. -wendieO

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter candy?

Okay, I understand about the eggs.
New life, rebirth, signs of spring, etc.
What's the deal with the candy?

Candy that's only available in the springtime?

Dear grocery store/ candy store/ etc.
Are you concerned that we may have run out of food during the winter? (see the blog posts from February after the groundhog threw four feet of snow at us) Now you want to fatten us up with tempting candy?

It's working.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eggs, Oh My!

Since Easter is tomorrow, many families are busy today either decorating hard boiled eggs or attending community Easter Egg Hunts. (or Chocolate Kiss hunts. or candy tosses, or ....)

But why eggs?
I could give you the long explanation, but this article does it much better than I could. Check it out.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

NaPoMo is here

It's April and that means it's National Poetry Month. NaPoMo for short. A good many bloggers are either featuring poetry books or writing poems -- some of them ONE a DAY. (more power to them)

To see a list of who is participating in Kidlit NaPoMo, click on over to the blog, Finding Wonderland. Enjoy - wendieO