Friday, June 17, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

My Annual Summertime Break

Each summer I take a much needed break from blogging. Like many writers, I use the warm summer months to write, relax, and rejuvenate my creative juices. Consequently, this is my last post here on Writ of Whimsy until early next fall. Photo: Public Domain

I'll still be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and occasionally Instagram, so you'll definitely see me popping up around the Web this summer.

I also have two local author events/book signings this summer. If you're interested in attending one, click here for more information.

If you'd like to view my most recent newsletter, click here.

Hope you have a sensational summer! I'll be back in September!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whimsical Word of the Week

Lamprophony (n.)
loudness and clarity of enunciation.
Example: The public speaker practiced his lamprophony incessantly.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bibliophile's Corner

The Brontes
Children of the Moors
by Mick Manning
and illustrated by
Brita Granstrom

Back Cover Description:
One day on the wild moors near his home, a boy meets a young woman in the long Victorian dress. Could she really be Charlotte Bronte? She certainly has amazing tales to tell of the famous sisters, Charlotte, Emily, Ann, and their brother, Branwell. Her stories reveal how the girls grew to be three of our greatest writers, inspired by the place they loved so well: the wild moorland village of Haworth in Yorkshire.

My Thoughts:
Well, I must say that I truly love this picture book that is written in a graphic novel style. It's the story of the famous Bronte sisters, and it includes exquisite artwork. I am partial to picture books that tell a full story (like they used to do in times past), so this book really touched my heart with its expanded text and beautiful artwork. The Brontes ~ Children of the Moors would be the perfect way to introduce a young reader to the talented sister trio and some of the iconic works they wrote. I highly recommend this lovely book to readers of all ages!

Click here to learn more about the author Mick Manning,
and his partner, illustrator Brita Granstrom.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

2016 Summer Reading List!

Each year my summer reading list for kids (& those young at heart) gets more difficult to create, due to so many fantastic middle grade novels being constantly written!  (Public Domain Photo)

Here is my 2016 Summer Reading List, posted in random order:
(Click on the highlighted title to read my book review of each novel.)

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate - by Jacqueline Kelly.

Blackthorn Key - by Kevin Sands.

Crenshaw - by Katherine Applegate.

The Odds of Getting Even - by Sheila Turnage

Echo - by Pam Munoz Ryan

The War that Saved My Life - by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Summerlost - by Ally Condie

The Marvels - by Brian Selznick

The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Raymie Nightingale - by Kate DiCamillo

This list includes a wide variety of novels by talented and accomplished authors. From fantasy to historical fiction - & everything in between - there is something here for every reader. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Whimsical Word of the Week

Bibble (v.)
to drink often; to eat and/or drink noisily.
Example: The nanny felt all the little boy wanted to do was bibble and sleep.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Bibliophile's Corner

Raymie Nightingale
by Kate DiCamillo

Flap Copy Description:
Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways. 

My Thoughts:
Ms. DiCamillo has launched yet another sparkling gem onto the sea of children's literature. (It's as though she's the Meryl Streep of kidlit books!) Raymie Nightingale will reach out and tug at your heartstrings, and if you're in need of inspiration, its complex characters will certainly come to your aid. The extraordinary cast of Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly live during the decade of the seventies and are carved from a bit of Southern Americana - they will long linger in your mind. I highly recommend Raymie Nightingale to readers aged eight to eighty!

Click here to learn about the award-winning author Kate DiCamillo.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Champions of Creativity

Richard Scarry

This iconic children's book author/illustrator was important in my young life, as well as the lives of my children. Tomorrow would have marked his 97th birthday, so Richard Scarry is a Champion today.

Richard Scarry was born in Boston, MA, on June 5, 1919 and was raised in a stable middle-class family - his father owned a small shop. After high school graduation he enrolled in a business college, but soon discovered it wasn't his cup of tea. He dropped out, and entered the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School where he excelled. However, with the onset of World War II he left school to join the US Army.

After the war he returned home and began doing artwork for several magazines, and even illustrated a few children's books by Margaret Wise, Kathryn Jackson, and Patricia Murphy - who he married in 1948. In the 1950's Golden Books began publishing his work, and that's when his career really took off. Images of two of his early books:

Written & Illustrated by Richard Scarry

Written by Jane Werner - Illustrated by Richard Scarry
The fact that I learned to read at a young age on Golden Books is a subject I've blogged about before here on Writ of Whimsy. However, at that time I was paying homage to my maternal grandmother for her role in my becoming a bookworm. Today, I am honoring one of the all-time heroes of children's books. Richard Scarry had a true love for words, which he used in a wonderful way in his stories. His illustrations are some of the most creative and beloved of all-time. His books became best-sellers with the release of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever in 1963. Mr. Scarry's books spawned dozens of toys, videos, and even a television show. During his career he had over
300 books published making over 100 million dollars worldwide.

A cherished copy of one of the Golden Books by Richard Scarry that I read to my three sons.
Few authors of children's books have been in touch with the heart of a child like Richard Scarry. When asked how old he was, he would always put up one hand and laugh, saying "five!"

Mr. Scarry died on April 30, 1994, in Gstaad, Switzerland, where he'd lived since 1972. He left an extraordinary legacy for children. Among his many accolades Richard Scarry was posthumously recognized with a Lifetime Award from The Society of Illustrators in 2012.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Whimsical Word of the Week

Stanchion (n.) -
an upright bar, post, or frame forming a support or barrier.
Example: The exhausted soldier leaned against a stanchion at the train station as he waited for his family.