Action Jackson – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I found Action Jackson while wandering through the library the other day, looking for mentor texts for a picture book biography about artists that I'm writing. Although the longer text (1,885 words) reveals that it's an older title (2002), I wanted to feature it here because I LOVE it! The opening: "In the afternoon, Jackson … Continue reading Action Jackson – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Only the Best for You, Mom! – Valentiny Contest

And now it's time for Susanna Hill's Valentiny contest! The rules this year: write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels guilty! My entry is 210 words.   Only the Best for You, Mom! By Jilanne Hoffmann   Mom, why are you giving me the stink eye? One … Continue reading Only the Best for You, Mom! – Valentiny Contest

I Am Farmer – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  Some kids are drawn to build, some to dance, some to sing or write or draw or do math or reach for the stars....so many paths and possibilities. And then we come to a child in Cameroon. Tantoh, a young boy in Cameroon, is drawn to the earth. He is fascinated by how plants … Continue reading I Am Farmer – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Giraffe Problems – Perfect Picture Book Friday

No pressure. Nothing like being  ★ An Amazon Most Anticipated Children's Book of Fall 2018  or ★ A Publisher's Weekly Most Anticipated Children's Book of 2018. Yes, Jory John is a picture book rock star, but the pressure is real at the top. And I don't envy his having to pull a rabbit out of … Continue reading Giraffe Problems – Perfect Picture Book Friday

What Do They Do With All That Poo? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Ever drive by the zoo and ask yourself the burning question: For all the scatological humor enthusiasts you know, this book should be at the top of your reading/buying list. Told in rhyme and accompanied by vibrant illustrations and fabulous factoids, we arrive at the zoo banquet table where everyone is chewing....Page turn, please. And … Continue reading What Do They Do With All That Poo? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Two Problems for Sophia – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Sooo, you've got that new pet you always wanted! But it comes with its own set of pet problems. Perhaps it has accidents on the floor or steals your slippers and turns them into shapeless clumps of fluff.  But if you're Sophia, well, she has bigger problems. Because she's got a larger-than-life pet. She has … Continue reading Two Problems for Sophia – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Image credit: 123RF_Wrangel

The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

Thirteen-year-old Zoey and her mom and three younger siblings live with a man named Lenny. He owns a nice trailer. He's bought her mom a new set of teeth. And he's bent on undermining any self-confidence that Zoey's mother ever had. From the first few pages, the reader is pulled into Zoey's world, an impoverished … Continue reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

The White Witch vs. Jacob Marley’s Ghost – Debatables

I'm sure you have an opinion. What is the most ominous wintry scene in children's literature? CricketMuse argues that Edmund's encounter with the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia takes the prize,  —while I argue that Jacob Marley's visitation of Scrooge has put the fear of miserliness into children for over 170 years. What … Continue reading The White Witch vs. Jacob Marley’s Ghost – Debatables

Ick! Fran’s Tick!

What comes to mind when you read this title? If you're a child, well, it's obvious, right? Ew!     But if you're a poet like Michael Odom, it's secret code, a play on words, for ekphrastic. Odom explains that ekphrastic is "a very big, very cool word that will impress a teacher and probably … Continue reading Ick! Fran’s Tick!

She Made a Monster – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Frankenstein was not a "must read" for those of us becoming engineers in the early 1980s. I'd heard of the monster, but had no idea of the story behind it. Now, it appears to be required reading for those capable of creating any sort of biological or technological monster, intentional or otherwise. Many consider this … Continue reading She Made a Monster – Perfect Picture Book Friday