Behind the Scenes: “Mining Your Mentor Texts” by Lindsey McDivitt

Mining is a perfect metaphor to talk about using mentor texts because mentor texts can offer gems of all sorts for a writer. Thanks to Lindsey McDivitt for drilling down into how she used mentor texts as aids for writing as she tackled a bio on Nelson Mandela.  AND thank you, Lindsey for offering a … More Behind the Scenes: “Mining Your Mentor Texts” by Lindsey McDivitt

Mining for Heart: “Breaking the Rules” by Carrie Finison

There are lots of rules about writing for children and breaking them usually results in rejections. But…like in most aspects of life, if you do it right, that story might just turn out for the better. Thank you, Carrie Finison, for sharing your process in DON’T HUG DOUG! And thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY! … More Mining for Heart: “Breaking the Rules” by Carrie Finison

Behind the Scenes: “Where and When?” by Susan Kusel

Today we get a peek into the process of taking a classic story and changing it up with a different time and place. Thank you, Susan Kusel, for sharing your meticulous research process for THE PASSOVER GUEST!  AND thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment after the post for a chance to win … More Behind the Scenes: “Where and When?” by Susan Kusel

Behind the Scenes: “Prompts Can Spark Stories” by Rosie Pova

Have you ever wondered if an idea sparked by a prompt can result in a publishable story? Well, here’s your answer! Thank you, Rosie Pova, for sharing the process of shaping SUNDAY RAIN from the spark of a prompt.  Rosie is offering a swag giveaway x 3! Just leave a comment below for a chance … More Behind the Scenes: “Prompts Can Spark Stories” by Rosie Pova

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

I’m not into basketball, and I’ve never heard of Elgin Baylor, but after seeing this book on so many “BEST of 2020” lists, I took a look. Jen Bryant – stellar! Frank Morrison – amazing! Welcome to a new year and my first Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendation ABOVE THE RIM, winner of the 2021 … More Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

Behind the Scenes: “Finding Focus” by Keila Dawson

After 2020 and all the challenges faced, I’m sure you’re all itching to hit the road to get out and explore. That wasn’t always as simple for everyone as it is today.  Keila Dawson’s new book, OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK, opens our eyes to a time when African Americans … More Behind the Scenes: “Finding Focus” by Keila Dawson

Behind the Scenes: “Creating a Compilation” by Vivian Kirkfield

Welcome back, Vivian Kirkfield! If anyone knows about going HERE to THERE, it’s Vivian who is always on the MOVE herself! Wondering how one picture book can become nine?  This has been a time of anthologies and compilations, and here’s Vivian’s take on hers. Vivian is offering the final giveaway of 2020 for this blog … More Behind the Scenes: “Creating a Compilation” by Vivian Kirkfield

The Day Saida Arrived

Here’s a really special book I’m recommending for Perfect Picture Book Friday about connecting across cultures, respect, empathy, and so much more. This book, a finalist for the Jane Addams award, should not be missed! The winner of the giveaway for Cow Boy is Not a Cowboy by Gregory Barrington is Cathy Ballou Mealey! Congratulations! … More The Day Saida Arrived

Behind the Scenes: “The Advice that Created a Story” by Gregory Barrington

Authors get advice from all sorts of people – their family, critique partners, agents, and editors. Sometimes it takes a while to nail down exactly what’s needed, and the path to publication can be long. Here, Gregory Barrington shares how he stayed the course and put the advice he received to good use, turning his idea into … More Behind the Scenes: “The Advice that Created a Story” by Gregory Barrington

Mining for Heart: “Heart of a Building” by Barry Wittenstein

As a former ESL teacher, immigrant stories are near and dear to my heart. OSCAR’S AMERICAN DREAM by Barry Wittenstein caught me eye, and, as I turned each page, I was amazed at how Barry embedded heart and so much more in a story about a building. As you’ll see in this post, the heart that … More Mining for Heart: “Heart of a Building” by Barry Wittenstein