Next week, right after or even during Thanksgiving Day marks the official start of Holiday Madness. I will try to maintain my own sanity, partly by participating in a festive event in my hometown – Lexington Local First’s “A Day of Fun for Kids and Their Parents.”
Part of Small Business Saturday, it will feature arts and crafts activities for kids and readings by 4 local children’s book authors (you can guess who one of them is).
Here’s the flyer:
A Day of Fun for Kids and Their Parents
Lexington area book authors will be reading stories throughout the day
It’s been a while since I posted a photo of my lovely little grandson reading Pat the Bunny, so I’m patting my own back in recognition of my restraint.
Update: he is upright…and on the move…but as you can see in this 1 year old portrait with his parents, he still takes the time to slow down and enjoy a book.
My son, Charlie, Caleb, and my daughter-in-law, Amberly
I am excited and delighted to reveal the cover of my newest picture book, PAULIE’S PASSOVER PREDICAMENT, due out from Kar-Ben Publishing in early 2018. The illustrator, Barbara Vagnozzi, has created adorable pictures of my characters.
See for yourself!
Two more picture books I read recently and LOVED!
The first is Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth.
This non-fiction book is written so cleverly and illustrated so entertainingly that readers (including moi) will hardly realize they’re learning a whole lot about animal skeletons. No small feat! (I don’t mean no small feet – there are a few of those.)
One Cool Friend is deservedly a Caldecott Honor Book, as well as a NY Times bestseller.
It’s a hilarious and brilliant fiction picture book by the prolific Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small. On a visit to the aquarium with his preoccupied dad, the “proper” Elliot brings home a penguin, with wild results, culminating in one of the most surprising and satisfying twist endings in the world of picture books.
Last week I attended the book launch of a fun, original picture book by the prolific Josh Funk. It’s called IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. Because, well, it’s not.
Written by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
The narrator tries to tell the traditional story, but Jack objects to and changes each plot development. Clever and funny dialogue will make children and adults giggle. (Trust me…I was in the audience.) My favorite touch was the gentleness of the giant. He has no intention of eating his surprise beanstalk-climbing visitor; he’s a vegan!
Instead of talking about moi for a change, I’ll mention a couple of picture books I read recently and liked so much that I reviewed them on Goodreads. The first is a wonderfully interesting biography–Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang– and here’s my review:
Compelling true story of a childhood fascination with sharks that evolved into a groundbreaking career. Dr. Clark’s research led to deeper understanding of these often misunderstood animals. Heather Lang does a wonderful job conveying information about sharks–their surprising diversity and habits, importance to the food chain–and dispels myths about them. The reader learns about sharks and Dr. Clark’s passion to their study–all conveyed in an entertaining, accessible style.
The second title–You Know What?, by Carol Gordon Ekster– is a charming fiction book for younger readers, about Oliver, who would rather ask his mother endless questions than go to sleep. Here’s my review:
This book made me smile throughout. The child’s questions and the mother’s reactions are very believable, and the cumulative effect is funny. Charming text and illustrations make a great bedtime read.
When I Googled the title of my next book, due out in time for Passover 2018, I discovered, much to my glee (see drawing below depicting my reaction), that Paulie’s Passover Predicament is already listed on bookselling sites such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Paulies-Passover-Predicament-Jane-Sutton/dp/1512420972/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
I was reading What’s Up with This Chicken? to a group of attentive children. The book has lots of egg puns: egg-stremely annoying, egg-cited, egg-cellent, for some egg-samples. When I got to the line, “‘This is getting eggs-asperatiing,'” thought Sylvia,” one little boy piped up, to my delight, “And egg-sausting!”
I hadn’t thought of that one!
As predicted in the previous post, I visited Newton Community Farm twice during the last 2 weeks, reading my picture books with animal characters and running games and crafts with groups of campers. The first week was great fun…
Reading What’s Up with This Chicken? to campers on a chilly supposed-to-be July day
When we acted out the story, no one had more fun than I did!
On week 2, the weather was warmer, but that wasn’t the only thing that was different…
We had a surprise visitor join our group!
One of the chickens had escaped from her pen to listen to the chicken story!
At times she acted coy, but I could tell she was interested in the plot.
I asked the campers if they named the farm chickens. “Yes,” they said.
“What’s this one’s name?” I asked.
“That’s Alfred,” one of the campers informed me.
The camp director whispered to me, “They’re all females.”
It was a super fun visit, plus I went home with fresh farm-grown lettuce and tomatoes and an idea for a new story!
I’m pleased to be invited back to Newton Community Farm to share two books featuring farm animals. The next two Tuesday afternoons I’ll be reading, chatting, and doing activities with campers going into first through fifth grade. Just look at how pretty this farm is, and you’ll see why I’m looking forward to going back…
(Plus, there are animals! Stay tuned for the next post.)