Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful for Picture Books

Each Thanksgiving I'm reminded of all the wonderful things to be thankful for (family, friends, health, community) and this season is no different, but I want to add to my list this year and say I'm thankful for picture books and the joy they brought to me as a child, the joy they've brought to me as a parent/educator and the joys they've brought my children. I'm also thankful for all the writers and illustrators who work tirelessly to craft the best stories for children. Who battle self-doubt and at times sheer frustration to find the right words to tell the best story. Bravo!

To honor the joy I have for the picture book, I want to highlight two posts today. The first one is by my author/illustrator friend and critique partner Don Tate. Click HERE to read the post at PictureBookMonth and the story he uses to illustrate the importance of picture books.

Secondly, I want to highlight a joint writing post with my agent Erzsi Deàk of Hen & Ink Literary Studio as we discussed new and old picture book favorites, many which included bear characters hence the title of the post "A Bearful of Stories." Click HERE to read the post and leave a comment at Hen & Inkblots letting us know your favorite picture book and/or character. Bear vs. Mouse. Penguin vs. Chicken. It'll be fun to tally the results and see which books come out on top!

Blessings of the season to you and your family. Happy reading!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Part II - Picture Book Posts for Hen and Ink Literary

Good morning!

Click HERE for Part II of my recap from the 17th Texas Book Festival on picture book advice at Hen & inkblots. This post Language Serves the Story highlights advice from authors Liz Garton Scanlon and Candace Fleming.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know what resonates? Do you have any revision tricks up your sleeve? How many times do you revise to make art?

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Picture Book Posts for Hen & Ink Literary Studio

It's a crisp morning and the sun is shining and it's Picture Book Month! Cluck! Cluck!

In celebration of that and to pass along information I gleamed from attending the 17th Texas Book Festival in Austin this past October, I have done two posts for my agent Erzsi Deak and the agency Hen & Ink Literary Studio. Part I - How Children See the World ran yesterday and if you missed it you can click HERE to read it. Thanks, Erzsi! It was a dream reporting for Hen & inkblots and clucking about picture book panels!

Check out Hen & inkblots on Friday, November 16, 2012 for Part II - Language Serves the Story. If you missed this year's festival or couldn't attend all the incredible panels of authors/illustrators, I hope these two posts give you a flavor of the literary extravaganza Texas hosts.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Celebrate Picture Book Month

I'm celebrating Picture Book Month!! Are you?

There's a lovely post at Picture Book Month by Alma Flor Ada in where she talks about why picture books are important for children. The bond it creates between adult and child and that picture books can be enjoyed by the very young as well as the older more sophisticated child reader. Each day of the month a different picture book champion weighs in on why they think picture books are important.

The Bear in the Book (Farrar Straus Giroux, Oct. 2012) written by Kate Banks (also an agency sister with Hen & Ink Literary) and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben is a beautiful representation of storytelling between parent and child, where a little boy listens to a story being read by his mother and metaphorically speaking he's so caught up in the story that he enters the world of the bear. He identifies with the words and pictures he sees playing out over the pages. Excerpt below:

Snowflakes began to fall across the pages of the book.
The snow sat snugly in the boughs of the trees.
The boy could almost feel it.
"Snow is cold," he said. He nestled closely against his mother.
"I like snow," he said.

Winter settled like a big hush," read the boy's mother.
"And the big black bear slept."
"Shh," said the boy.

It's picture book storytelling at it's best! And the vivid artwork by Hallensleben is extraordinary like watching a painting come to life. It's a tribute to fostering a love of reading in children at least that's the conclusion I'm drawing, and I say Bravo!

I showed you one of my new favorite picture books now it's your turn. Celebrate picture book month with me by leaving a comment below listing one of your favorite picture books.

Happy Picture Book Month! Happy reading!