Friday, December 13, 2013

Storyteller's Journey

   Season's Greetings!

This year has been a big year for our family with the wedding of our son David, to Jessica Price, in October (we were thrilled to welcome Jessica into our crazy clan!); the launching of a part-time career as a comedian, by our middle son, Kevin; and the move of our youngest son, Brian, to New York City (NYU) in August. Earlier in the year there was my husband's first solo art show. I am so proud of all of them!

As for my own adventures, I found myself spending most of my time in my "creative cave" writing or reading, or else puttering outside in my garden. Being a bit of an introvert, those activities suited me just fine.

Since our sons will be visiting soon, I plan on taking a blog break to spend some time with them during the days leading up to Christmas. The week between Christmas and New Year's Day I hope to catch up on my word counts. I'll be back in January.

   Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Whimsical Word of the Week

Hoarfrost -
also called "white frost." A deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing.
Example: although the village had received no snow, its grounds appeared white due to the hoarfrost.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bibliophile's Corner

Flora & Ulysses
by Kate DiCamillo

Amazon Description:
Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry - and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.

My Thoughts:
Master storyteller Kate DiCamillo has written a delightful new middle grade novel that is definitely not an unanticipated occurrence. With creative and colorful characters, and a wild and whimsical plot, Flora & Ulysses is a middle grade novel reminiscent of Roald Dahl's Matilda. This semi-graphic book has already produced quite a buzz in the world of children's literature. Bravo, Kate DiCamillo, you've done it again. I would highly recommend Flora & Ulysses to readers from the ages of eight to twelve, and to aspiring storytellers of all ages.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Storyteller's Journey

The Scandinavian Santa - by Victoria Lindstrom
Tandem Creativity

Working in tandem with your spouse to create a children's book is both challenging and exhilarating. Since Michael and I completed our Christmas story The Scandinavian Santa, a while back, I have done some research on the holiday children's books that have been written and illustrated by married couples. Here are just three inspirational examples:

H.A. Rey and Margret Rey

Since some of you have followed my storyteller's journey for some time, I thought I would give you an update on The Scandinavian Santa. Michael and I are still attempting to get our labor of love traditionally published before we pursue other options. We are anxiously waiting to hear back from a publisher at this time. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whimsical Word of the Week

Epeolatry -

the worship of words.

Example: the writer's love of words had nearly reached the level of epeolatry.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bibliophile's Corner

The Year of Billy Miller
by Kevin Henkes
Amazon Description:
When Billy Miller has a mishap at the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head. As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad.

My Thoughts:
Last week I reviewed my first picture book on this blog; today I am reviewing my first chapter book, and what a wonderful read to feature. Kevin Henkes - a past winner of the Caldecott Medal and a Newbery Honor award - has written and illustrated the perfect book for every young elementary student to enjoy. Lots of humor and shenanigans, sibling rivalry and classmate competition, and the stress of an end-of-year poetry night, make The Year of Billy Miller a hit for readers from the ages of six to eight.

To learn more about the award-winning author Kevin Henkes, click here: