I hope you all had a relaxing summer. Maybe you got everything done you wanted to do this summer, or maybe you took a break from creating. There is no one-size-fits-all for writing and illustration. If you got things done, that's fantastic and if you took a break, know that's ok too. I hope this coming fall will be a wonderful time for you and you can take part in some wonderful writing and illustration events!
Would you like to win one of these MEGA prizes in the Children’s Book Academy’s 2021 Picture Book Palooza Mega-Raffle! Click here to find out more, win prizes, and share with your friends: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2021paloozaraffle.html
Or keep on reading.
The Academy has also extended their fabulous 40% discounts for the Palooza until Monday August 30th. Check out these testimonials from last year:
Absolutely amazing: immersion in an incredibly fine conference, for such an affordable price! Palooza spans fiction and nonfiction, stories from life and concept books, diverse voices, current trends. The presentations from authors, illustrators, editors, and agents are top-notch. These folks know their stuff and generously contribute to "the wind beneath our wings." Plus, the Palooza provides plentiful resources. Rest assured, even if you don't win one of the many giveaways, you'll have a great takeaway, whether you are a newbie like me, or well on your way. The Palooza's ratio of quality and quantity to cost is remarkable - you'll fill your cup to overflowing, while funding scholarships! Get in on it! ~ Debra Collins
The Picture Book Palooza offers everything you need to get started in the world of writing books for children! Authors, editors, agents, and other industry professionals offer their very best advice, strategies, and tools to help you with your kidlit writing and illustrating career. Don't miss this opportunity! ~ Moni Hadley Richie (published author)
Last year’s Palooza was my gateway to writing for children, giving me a glimpse into a world of creativity, support, and encouragement. The wonderful group of professionals from the kidlit community from the Palooza inspired me to enroll in the Craft & Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books course, and gave me lots of ideas for picture books that became initial drafts in the subsequent course. Can’t wait for this year’s Palooza! ~ Emrah Guler (now agented and beginning his kidlit career)
Join the Picture Book Palooza here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2021.html
Meanwhile, back to the raffle. As the saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it! Here are the prizes. Please share with your friends.
Win amazing prizes by signing up, and earn more raffle entries by sharing!
Enter the raffle on our website to win or use the form below!
Please add the link https://bit.ly/PBPalooza2021 to all your posts and use the #21palooza hashtag. Sadly, posts without these 2 things will not be counted towards your total.
You can also tag @ChildrensBookAc on Twitter, @ChildrensBookAcademy on Instagram, and @ChildrensBookAcademy on Facebook for more entries!
EIGHTEEN AWESOME PRIZES
(3 Winners) ONE HOUR CRITIQUE WITH MIRA
(5 Winners) CHOICE OF AWESOME BOOK BUNDLES
(2 seats in) THE CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF ILLUSTRATING (& WRITING) CHILDREN’S BOOKS
(3 Winners) CHOICE OF SELF-PACED MASTER CLASS
(5 Winners) PITCH AND BIO CRITIQUES WITH MIRA
More info about these prizes below the Rafflecopter!
3 Winners of 1-hour Critiques with Dr. Mira (Priceless)*
You need a bit of love and magic in your life. During each one-hour critique of your work in progress, Mira will help strengthen your work and get you set on your kid lit career path whether you’re working on a manuscript, a portfolio, or a book dummy. Mira, the “Picture Book Fairy Godmother”, will lovingly guide you and help you make an action plan for the future.
This is one of the best things you can do for your career! Mira’s students have published over 670 books!
(5 WINNERS) ENTER TO WIN YOUR CHOICE OF ANY 3 OF THESE BOOKS BY PALOOZA PRESENTERS WITH AN AWESOME BOOK BUNDLE
Each week we will announce the winner of a winner's choice of 3 books from our fabulous panelists. Did I mention how great their books are? Must write a book review for them as part of winning the prize!
(2 WINNERS) for a Seat in The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books Course *
This instant access course is the illustration class to end all illustration classes! It’s packed full of actionable information that you can apply directly to your career. You will learn everything you need to know to craft a dummy or create the illustration portfolio of your dreams!
(3 WINNERS) of A Free Self-Paced Masterclasses (Your Choice)*
These self-paced masterclasses are small but mighty. Target your area of interest with your choice of the Children’s Book Academy’s signature master classes! Three lucky winners will have their choice of fantastic learning opportunities.
(5 WINNERS) Pitch and Bio Critiques from Mira
See the true power of Mira’s magic with a pitch and bio critique from Mira. In this prize five lucky winners will get individual help polishing their pitches and bios until they sparkle!
So what is the Picture Book Palooza? It’s unlike anything out there in its warmth, unpretentiousness, effective organization, SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES, and bang for your buck!
Click here to find out more and share with your friends: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2021.html
And click here to enter to win prizes for THE PALOOZA MEGA RAFFLE!
“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually, they make the difference between winning and losing.” --Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
I always love a great Halloween book! Some of my favorites have always been the Hallow-wiener and Piggie Pie! But every season I'm always excited to see the new holiday books! Take a look.
Grimelda’s house may not be tidy, but it’s cozy, and that’s just the way she likes it. She also likes pickle pie. There’s only one problem—she can’t find the main ingredient in her messy house! Readers who enjoyed Norman Bridwell’s classic The Witch Next Door will love this funny, charming story about the everyday life of a witch.
With a repeating refrain and lively, rhyming text, Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch is perfect for reading aloud with a child at Halloween as well as all year round, or for an emerging reader to enjoy on their own. The vibrant illustrations by Crafty Chloeillustrator Heather Ross provide plenty of fun things for readers to discover on repeated reads.
A little girl finds her house overrun with fairy tale characters all looking for somewhere to hide from the witch in this fast-paced and funny picture book that brings all of your favorite tales to life!
Frankie loves fairy tales! And one morning she wakes up to find that all her favorite fairy tale characters have appeared in her house! From a princess to a king, a mermaid to a knight in armor—even a unicorn—and they’re all looking for a place to hide from the witch who’s coming fast! Can Frankie help them all? And once she’s hidden them, what will she do?
It happens every fall. The leaves from the tall trees that surround her house drift down until the teeny tiny woman’s teeny tiny house is buried completely. Inside it’s dark and a teeny tiny bit scary, but the resourceful woman has a plan and a few surprises up her teeny tiny sleeve.
Written to be shared through read-aloud or story-telling, the type face indicates where the teller should be whispering and when suddenly s/he should shout – surprising the listeners, even causing them to jump, which puts this book in the realm of jump-tales, so popular at spooky-story times like Halloween and around the campfire on summer evenings. Short enough for even young children to remember after reading or hearing the story a few times, the book encourages children themselves to tell the tale themselves, making a family tradition.
Birdie loves the fall. She can't wait to go apple picking with Mommy and her dog, Monster, wear big fuzzy sweaters, and play touch football with her friends. But Birdie can't stop thinking about Halloween! One year she was a robot, and another she was a mummy-princess. But this year, nothing is feeling quite right... until Birdie visits her local museum, and is INSPIRED by everything she finds.
Sujean Rim offers another winning story about being yourself that's rich with warm fall colors, beautiful collage, and unforgettable images of Birdie dressed as everyone from Albert Einstein to Sandra Day O'Connor to the first female President!
Readers will delight in this lively read-aloud story with a clever and surprising twist at the end—perfect for Halloween and year round!
Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book. On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan!
Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think.
Bestselling illustrator Bob Shea and poet Deanna Caswell are back, this time with a haiku book filled with frights that delight.
Here’s a spooky haiku just for you!
broom across the moon
pointed hat at the window
Can you guess who from this haiku?
A witch, a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o’-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl, and a scarecrow are all hiding in the pages of this clever Halloween-themed book. Deanna Caswell’s playful haiku cleverly hint at the creatures revealed after each turn of the page while Bob Shea’s bright illustrations capture the scary silliness.
"This is the skeleton who nailed down the floor,
That upset the werewolf who put in a door,
That stopped the spider who started to crawl,
That shocked the mummy who raised the wall,
Inside the house that monsters built."
This Is the House That Monsters Built uses the building verse characteristic of the original nursery rhyme "This Is the House That Jack Built." A vampire, a ghost, a zombie, a mummy, and more all contribute to the spooky fun in the house that monsters built.
Celebrate Halloween with this bright and adventurous picture book!
Fans of Room on the Broom will want to fly the night sky with these ten little witches in this fun and festive Halloween counting book! Whether zooming past rattling skeletons, buzzing by pie-stealing mummies, or soaring over a werewolf with bad breath, readers will be cheering for this exciting group of witches and their high-flying Halloween adventures! Plus, play a game of I Spy and find the cat and owl on every page!
The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn't scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!
The wind tells him to be patient―he'll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?
This simple story is more than a fun Halloween read―it is a heartwarming tale perfect for any child who can't wait to grow up.
Strange and spooky things are happening down on the farm, and Farmer Greg knows exactly who to call — Ghost-hunters! A specialist team of three little ghost-hunting pigs equipped with the latest gadgets seem to be the perfect guys for the job. There’s certainly something suspicious about the mysterious chicken coop up on the hill, but when the Phantom Finder 5000 fails to recognize any paranormal activity, the pigs realize that perhaps all is not quite as it seems.
Boo! Boo! Boo! It’s Halloween night and the ghosts are out of the shadows and ready to scare! One by one and then two by two, the ghosts float through the neighborhood having some fun. Seven by seven and eight by eight they cause a fright for everyone they meet! Count from one ghost to ten ghosts on this silly and spooky Halloween night!
To the tune of “The Ants Go Marching,” this is a fun read-aloud and sing-along book for kids and grownups alike. The perfect book to add to your Halloween collection, children will love identifying all the costumes in the ghost march. Be on the lookout for ghostly silhouettes and other spooky objects hidden in the amusing illustrations!The Ghosts Go Scaring doubles as a counting book and young readers will have fun pointing out the new ghosts as they appear on each page, counting along with them as they go scaring through the neighborhood!
Did I miss any new Halloween books? What are some of your favorites?
I am so excited about Georgia Heard's newest book! I've used this strategy of hers before and am so happy she created a book specifically about heart mapping.
Heart Maps: Helping Students Craft and Create Authentic Writing with Essays by Pam Allyn, Nancie Atwell and Penny Kittle
How do we get students to "ache with caring" about their writing instead of mechanically stringing words together? We spend a lot of time teaching the craft of writing but we also need to devote time to helping students write with purpose and meaning. For decades, Georgia Heard has guided students into more authentic writing experiences by using heart maps to explore what we all hold inside: feelings, passions, vulnerabilities, and wonderings. In Heart Maps, Georgia shares 20 unique, multi-genre heart maps to help your students write from the heart, such as the First Time Heart Map, Family Quilt Heart Map, and People I Admire Heart Map. You'll also find extensive support for using heart maps, including:
Filled with full-color student heart maps, examples of the resulting writing, along with online access to 20 different uniquely designed reproducible heart map templates, Heart Maps will be a practical tool for awakening new writing possibilities and engaging and motivating your students' writing throughout the year.
Check out more about Heart Maps on her website:
The Lunch Witch, written and illustrated by Deb Lucke is a graphic novel with the kind of gross-out, dark humor that older elementary and middle school students will be unable to resist. Grunhilda, the lunch witch herself, is from a long line of evil witches. These ancestors gave Grunhilda their famous recipes and bubbling cauldron, but despite their tried-and-true results, no one believes in magic anymore.
Grunhilda is fired from her job pretending to be a witch at the Salem Haunted Museum– how humiliating! – when she turns her boss into a piece of poop. He deserved it! Desperate, she is forced to search for new work before all her witchy animal friends starve in her home. When she finds the listing for a school lunch lady, she is finally excited about her prospects. Boiling disgusting concoctions in a giant pot to make children suffer? Perfect. She gets the job.
However, Grunhilda’s wicked scheme begins to go awry when she meets Madison, a girl with big glasses and lots of school troubles. Madison needs a lot of help, but Grunhilda’s ancestors will do more than turn over in their graves if she does something – gasp! – nice. Will Grunhilda turn her back on generations of wicked witch agreements and help Madison, or will she live up to her evil upbringing?
Illustrated in a style reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s art, only darker and dingier, the story seems to be set on top of greasy, food stained pages. Dark green undertones and thick lines, with sporadic pops of contrasting color, the artwork feels simultaneously creepy and hilarious. Skin-crawling details like maggots, pencil shavings, onion skins, bones and torn pages add to the grimy feeling of the story. Readers will find themselves squirming with delighted disgust as they turn the pages, unable to put the book down.
The Lunch Witch is a book that kids of all ages will read over and over again. They will love Grunhilda’s endearing character and her humorous battle between good and evil decisions. They will love Madison, the seemingly ordinary girl who has a punch packed up her sleeve. They will love the deliciously disgusting illustrations and humor running through the story. Finally, they will await copies of the recently-released sequel, The Lunch Witch #2: Knee Deep in Niceness, with great anticipation.
Mondays with Mira review of the fabulous Graphic Novel Skim
Skim, a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki is a startling glimpse into adolescence in today’s world. Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka Skim, is a biracial, queer, would-be Wiccan attending a private girls’ school. She drifts on the edges of the school social scene as she works to untangle her life, thoughts and emotions.
Though they impact her deeply, each event and its ensuing aftermath seem to float around the periphery of Skim’s existence. A clandestine kiss with a teacher, the suicide of a popular girl’s ex-boyfriend, the superficial positivity in the community’s response, a crumbling friendship, explorations into a Wiccan gathering, divorced parents and geeky dates seem to happen at a distance as each experience unfolds. We experience the world through Skim’s outsider, detached perspective. Yet, her heartbreak and confusion is always painfully clear.
When reading the words and examining the illustrations, readers get the sense that they are only scratching the surface. There are layers upon layers of meaning waiting to be discovered as Skim opens her life and heart on each page. Nothing is obvious, readers must dig deeply to discover meaning. It is the kind of book one wishes to read in a class, or with a group to truly uncover the subtexts and ideas at the heart of Skim’s story. Like life – and particularly adolescent life – it takes time and deep reflection to understand all the nuances of experience.
Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations are done in a Japanese-influenced style in monochromatic colors. The line work is detailed, at once fine and bold, with strong white space in between. They layout of each page changes with the story as the art seems to be untangling itself with Skim’s journey through adolescence. The muted, yet detailed artwork reflect the story of deep layers written in an aloof teenage voice. They perfectly complement the depressed, dazed and distant feeling of Skim’s narration.
Skim is written in an authentically teenage voice while avoiding caricature-like clichés. It’s sensitivity to the realities of coming of age – friendship, sexuality, suicide, race, peer pressure, popularity – are portrayed in painful, touching and sometimes humorous ways. Readers experiencing these teenage struggles to readers reflecting on their past experiences will read this book over and over again, finding deeper meaning with each pass.
Dr. Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book creative, a former kidlit university professor and a former literary agent. She is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy and has taught many now highly successful authors and illustrators. Sign up here http://bit.ly/CBA-Tribe-SignUp to receive awesome goodies and special offers starting with a Fab Free deeper than most plotting worksheet called the “Make It Great Plot Template.” Wahoo!!!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now trad. pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.