Otis and Will Discover the Deep – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Barb Rosenstock is my nonfiction picture book author idol for several reasons: She always makes me care about the story/person/event. She uses a repetitive and lyrical line that pulses throughout the story. (In this case, she uses two.) She's a meticulous researcher. She includes fascinating back matter.  We meet the main characters as children. "Otis … Continue reading Otis and Will Discover the Deep – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Iver & Ellsworth – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Every once in awhile, a picture book comes along that falls into the deep well of classic reader response literature. A "quiet" book that reverberates for miles underground like the subtlest of seismic tremors. And it does this through the perfect marriage of evocative text and art. The story begins immediately, as the illustrator makes … Continue reading Iver & Ellsworth – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I organized our school's annual book swap this year, where families bring in bags of books they no longer want, the library committee sorts them, and then students, parents, and staff select books to supplement their summer reading. Any books remaining at the end of the swap get donated to a community thrift store. Kids … Continue reading Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference

See that lighthouse? That was me at the Rutgers One-on-One Conference last year, a juried one-day event that pairs writers/illustrators with editors, agents and published authors. Fellow #kidlit author, Jennifer Prevost, just posted my rundown and tips about the conference. If you're wondering what it was like, or if you're thinking about applying, take a … Continue reading Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference

The Town of Turtle – Perfect Picture Book Friday

First, a confession. This post is not solely about picture books. For, while I am smitten by I am truly smitten by all the works of this writer, Michelle Cuevas.  She tackles deep topics beautifully with a feather touch. On her website, she says that she mostly writes about people (and animals, shadows, space creatures...) … Continue reading The Town of Turtle – Perfect Picture Book Friday

There Was An Old Giant Who Swallowed A Clock – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Looking for a new read aloud? One that's absurd—sure to make kids laugh? Look no further. But what's truly special about this book is its design and illustrations. The cover gives the reader a hint. The giant's stomach is a die-cut hole, filled with goodies. And as we open the book and read the first … Continue reading There Was An Old Giant Who Swallowed A Clock – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I’d Really Like to Eat a Child – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I stumbled across this book in our school library. It was lying face up, and I couldn't resist such a terrifying title juxtaposed with an adorable little crocodile. Little Achilles, the crocodile, has grown tired of eating his morning bananas. And despite his mother's protestations, he turns up his long nose and says, "...I'd really … Continue reading I’d Really Like to Eat a Child – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Best Valentine’s Day Party Ever – Contest Entry

Contest Rules: A character must be hopeful 214 words max, title not included Appropriate for ages 12 and under No illustration notes See other stories at Susanna Hill's Valentiny post. Now, for my story in exactly 213 words.   The Best Valentine's Day Party Ever by Jilanne Hoffmann Sal’s a maker. Cal’s a baker. Val’s … Continue reading The Best Valentine’s Day Party Ever – Contest Entry

If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

If you were the moon, what would you do? Would you just lollygag up there in the sky, lazily rotating about your axis once every 27 days, never showing your dark side to your mama? "Helloooooo up there, moon! I'm sooooo tired. I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you."   "But I … Continue reading If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Moonday – Perfect Picture Book Friday

So tell me, has the moon ever followed you home? You felt it glowing through the back window of your car. Then you turned and saw it hanging low in the sky, suspended by things unseen. And no matter how fast you drove, you couldn't shake it. It threw your shadow across your path as … Continue reading Moonday – Perfect Picture Book Friday