Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

I absolutely loved Debra Shumaker’s book, FREAKY, FUNKY FISH, so when I learned of her new one, PECULIAR PRIMATES, I invited Debra back in hopes she might share something about it. Her topic in this post is valuable not only for authors, but educators, too! I get stalled way too easily and frequently on imperfect … More Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

As a teacher, I always loved classroom projects like this! Thank you, Laura Perdew for sharing this terrific activity for educators and your brand new Biome Explorers series! AND thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY of a complete set of the BIOME EXPLORERS series! Just leave a comment below for a chance to win! (And … More Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Though we often hear the phrase, “write what you know,” a good many of us are drawn to topics and ideas that we don’t know about, by a natural urge to know more. And kids are, too! I can totally identify with author Kristen Nordstrom’s experience. In this post, Kristen shares how she turned a … More Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

After a short lull in posts, we’re back digging into the “heart” of a story. I’m guessing most all of you are familiar with Mister Rogers and know that he made music a part of his show. Here Donna Cangelosi examines music as her focus in writing a bio on Fred Rogers.  GIVEAWAY! For a … More Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

Behind the Scenes: “Illustrating ‘A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth'” by Dow Phumiruk

If there ever was a dream team to share a Thai woman’s story with children, it’s Dow Phumiruk and Christina Soontornvat! Here we get to hear from Dow about the thought process of illustrating the story. GIVEAWAY! For a chance to win a copy of A LIFFE OF SERVICE, just leave a comment below! Behind … More Behind the Scenes: “Illustrating ‘A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth'” by Dow Phumiruk

Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple

In the classroom, I found that mentor sentences and mentor texts provided opportunities for student writers to amaze themselves and tackle many forms of writing with confidence. Now, as an author, I analyze mentor texts for my own learning. Thank you, Annette Whipple for this post for educators on using your nonfiction series in the … More Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple

Behind the Scenes: “How a Single Photo Can Bring a Book into Focus” by Elisa Boxer

I love discovering old photos when I research a subject! They’re such an essential and valuable part of learning about another time and place. But they can also be the inspiration for the dive into the past or a driving push through the writing process. Here, Elisa Boxer shares how one photo sustained her as she wrote. … More Behind the Scenes: “How a Single Photo Can Bring a Book into Focus” by Elisa Boxer

Behind the Scenes: “A Perfect Symphony, Mining for Gold in The Greatest Song of All” by Megan Hoyt

I can totally identify with the problem of finding so much goodness in a story that it becomes overwhelming! Megan Hoyt shares how she pulled multiple threads into one in THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL: HOW ISAAC STERN UNITED THE WORLD TO SAVE CARNEGIE HALL (releases 7/5/22). Megan is offering a GIVEAWAY of a picture … More Behind the Scenes: “A Perfect Symphony, Mining for Gold in The Greatest Song of All” by Megan Hoyt

Mining for Heart: “Finding a Fresh Angle on a Famous Figure” by Meeg Pincus

I remember being amazed by Helen Keller’s story as a child. Such a fascinating person! It’s no surprise we have multiple books on her for children…so do we need more? Absolutely! But not more of the same. Finding a fresh angle is part of the challenge when writing about such a major figure. Here Meeg … More Mining for Heart: “Finding a Fresh Angle on a Famous Figure” by Meeg Pincus

Mining for Heart: “Weaving in the Story’s Layers” by Elizabeth Brown

I met Elizabeth Brown at a nonfiction retreat in 2016, and, in a round table session with an editor, I saw the beginning of this story. I’m so thrilled it’s now as a picture book! Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your process of ensuring the balance of layers while also keeping your focus. And Elizabeth … More Mining for Heart: “Weaving in the Story’s Layers” by Elizabeth Brown