Monday, February 27, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

Beatrice Likes the Dark
by April Genevieve Tucholke
and illustrated by Khoa Le

Flap Copy Description:
Beatrice likes the dark.
She likes black clothes, graveyard picnics, and a sky full of stars.

Her sister, Roo, likes the light.
She likes bright clothes, picking strawberries, and hot, sunny days.

Can Beatrice help Roo like the dark, as she does?

Can Roo help Beatrice love the light?

Or are they simply too different to get along?

My Thoughts:
This lovely picture book not only deals with two sisters who are vastly different, but what they do to build a bridge between them. I love the imaginative way the author creates the girls' differences, while the whimsical illustrations by Khoa Le partner with the text perfectly. What a wonderful book to help children understand the complexities of any relationship. I highly recommend Beatrice Likes the Dark for children aged three and up!

Click here to learn about the author, April Genevieve Tucholke.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

A Snow Day is the Best!

I had to learn years ago that to be a writer you must write even when your muse doesn't visit you. However, I still love it when she shows up! If I had to identify my muse, I'd say her name is Mother Nature. And, of all the beauty she displays, seeing a snowy landscape is my very favorite. Snow means so much to me that nearly every story I've ever written includes a snowy setting. (Livvi Biddle's snow shows up in Book II.)

During the last two weeks we've had a lot of snowfall in the rural area where we live. Sitting at my desk and gazing out upon the snow-laden timbers transported me to a magical fantasy realm, at least in my own imagination! 

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Whimsical Word of the Week

Eunoia (n.)
beautiful thinking; a well mind.
Example: Anna's compassion and eunoia made her a great candidate for the nursing program.


Monday, February 20, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

Hot Dog
by Doug Salati

Flap Copy Description:
When you're too hot and everything is too much, sometimes, all you need is a stretch of sand and open sky to bring you back to yourself.

My Thoughts:
Three weeks ago, I did something I most always do at the end of January: I tune in to listen to the ALA Youth Media Awards. As soon as the Newbery and Caldecott Awards were announced I went online and quickly purchased a copy of each. (I've learned before that if I wait, I may have a long wait to obtain a copy of those special books!) I'm so glad I did! This year's Caldecott winner is Hot Dog, by Doug Salati. This book is definitely deserving of the award. (Click here to learn about the Caldecott Award that is given to the illustrator of a children's picture book.) The artwork by Mr. Salati is fresh, vibrant, and colorful. He perfectly captured the New York City summer streets, as well as the nearby seashore. The text includes the theme of how nature can revitalize anybody - even a hot dog! I highly recommend this beautiful picture book for children aged three and up!

Click here to read about Mr. Salati's reaction to receiving the Caldecott Award.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

Happy birthday, Livvi Biddle!
So, when you begin crafting a novel it's important to plan what time of year your story occurs. One reason for that is the setting. Since I love setting descriptions, I enjoy it when an author welcomes me into her novel by showing me her garden, castle, war-torn ghetto, or wherever her story takes place. The weather's important.

Since my middle grade fantasy involves a particular event on my main character's birthday, I felt it was important to choose an actual date. I chose February 17th many years ago. Additionally, I have Livvi traveling to Great Britain in the late spring, so I wanted a bit of time to introduce her normal life in my novel. Thus, today is her birthday. Happy birthday, Livvi!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Whimsical Word of the Week

Aesthete (n.)
a person who has or affects to have a special appreciation of art and beauty.
Example: The college professor considered himself an aesthete, and so spent his free time visiting art museums.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light
by Apryl Stott

Flap Copy Description:
Bear is sad. 
All the other animals think he's mean because he's so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother's advice:
"When life gets dark as winter's night, share some kindness, bring some light."
They decide to bake cookies to "share some kindness" and make lanterns to "bring some light." But when the cookies and lanterns don't work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they're at it, Coco and Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart.

My Thoughts:
This debut picture book by author/illustrator Apryl Stott is stunning! I especially enjoyed seeing each of the forest creatures brought to life: a badger, hedgehog, deer, and of course, a bear. The colors Ms. Stott employed in illustrating her book make it perfect for any winter holiday, including Valentine's Day! The enchanting artwork in Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light is only surpassed by the book's much-needed message. I highly recommend this picture book for children aged four and up!

Click here to learn about the author/illustrator, Apryl Stott.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

Two weeks ago, I met with the book formatter for my novel. It was exciting to have our very first meeting on the path toward publication! Since I've known Kriston (Tattered Page Ink) for over fifteen years we have a great working relationship. She's also a published author in her own right!

Visiting Kriston at her studio/office is a real treat. It's like walking into a magical world; she has beautiful books, fantasy art, and a huge workstation to bring all of her authors' fantasy novels to life. She had loads of options for me to choose from so we had a super productive meeting.

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; bit it is the journey that matters, in the end." Ursula Le Guin 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Whimsical Word of th Week

Conviviality - (n.)
the quality of being friendly and lively; friendliness.
Example: The out-of-town guests added to the conviviality of the birthday party.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

by Gary Paulsen

Flap Copy Description:
Set along a rugged coastline centuries ago, Northwind does for the sea what Hatchet - which has sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide - has done for the woods, as it relates the story of a young person's battle to stay alive against all odds. When a deadly plague reaches a small fish camp where he lives, an orphan named Leif is forced to take to the water in a cedar dugout canoe. He flees northward, following a wild, fjord-riven shore, thrown from one danger to the next, unsure of his destination. Yet the deeper into his journey he paddles, the closer Leif comes to his truest self as he connects to "the heartbeat of the ocean...the pulse of the sea." With hints of Nordic mythology and an irresistible narrative pull, Northwind is Gary Paulsen at his captivating, adventuresome best.

My Thoughts:
Like so many readers around the world, I was thoroughly lost in the wilderness when I read Gary Paulsen's Newbery Honor novel, Hatchett, so many years ago. When I learned that Mr. Paulsen had passed away (back in 2021), I was saddened, like so many of those in the world of children's literature. However, learning that another Paulsen novel had been released last year, it was quickly put on my "to-be-read" list. Northwind is like a partner to Hatchet. It's a powerful and poignant tale of survival, set in the north country of Scandinavia centuries ago. It's the perfect tribute to the award-winning author of numerous books for children. Well done, Gary Paulsen!

Click here to read the NPR obituary for Gary Paulsen.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

My Twelfth Blogiversary!
Who knew that after twelve years I'd still be blogging?! And while the world of blogging has changed drastically in that time, for me, it's still a platform where I enjoy posting my storyteller's journey - and so much more!

In honor of my blogging milestone, I've made a contribution to one of my favorite literary organizations: Reading is Fundamental.
Click the link to check them out; they do wonderful work for children.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Whimsical Word of the Week

Gelid - (adj.)
Example: The snow goose paddled across the gelid pond.