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

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

Mia Moves Out – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Time for a most huggable picture book! "When Mia moved in, Mom and Dad had a room ready for her. 'All yours,' they said.'" "Mia liked it, but it needed something.  'Perfect,' said Mia. 'And all mine.'" There you have it. This is a book that features an adopted child without the word "adoption" being … Continue reading Mia Moves Out – Perfect Picture Book Friday

S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) – Halloweensie Contest

Hello everyone! Time for my entry to Susanna Hill's annual Halloweensie Contest. Rules: 100 words or fewer, must contain some form of the following three words: cauldron, shiver, howl. I consider my entry a motivational picture book in 86 words, LOL.   S.O.S. (Save Our Souls)   Scarecrows flip-flop through the meadow. Goblins plunk a … Continue reading S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) – Halloweensie Contest

Kidquake – Dream Big!

Litquake San Francisco, an annual literary festival comprising 850+ authors and hundreds of events in the span of 10 days, can be exhausting and daunting, but it can also be exhilarating and inspirational.  I'm a co-producer of Kidquake, an event that draws 1,000 elementary school kids, their teachers, and chaperones to four assemblies and 10 … Continue reading Kidquake – Dream Big!

Super Saurus and the Egg – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Looking for a funny twist on the "new baby in the house" picture book? Look no further. Deborah Underwood has it covered with a mash-up of space aliens and dinosaurs in comic book technicolor: Arnold, aka Super Saurus, is busy happily battling Zottlebots— when his parents interrupt to show him their egg. Arnold's nonchalant response? … Continue reading Super Saurus and the Egg – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

It appears that novels in verse are now the rage (at least for me), and it's a good rage (as opposed to the other rage I've been feeling lately.) I just finished the dazzling debut YA novel: by Elizabeth Acevedo, longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. In another life, Ms. … Continue reading The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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