October 5, 2015
September 30, 2015
Title: Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything
Author: Darla Woodley
Illustrator: Evan Munday
Back Cover Blurb: Sometimes it is hard to find exactly the right words to show that you are sharing your encouragement and support. This uplifting story demonstrates that a simple pair of red socks can give someone special a boost when they are feeling down or out of their comfort zone.
In Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything, we follow a boy through the trials and milestones of his life. We’re there on his first day of school. We’re there when he heads off on his first camping trip away from home. We’re there as he learns to ride his bike. Every page features a new marker on the road of life. Soon we see him learning to drive a car, and then we see him prepare for his first job interview, graduate from college, get married, and have a family of his own. Each step of the way, his mother is there, supporting him, encouraging him, and calming his fears. She does so with her words, her smiles, and her comforting touch, but also with her red socks-cozy, bright red socks, which bring the boy, turned man, the most comfort of all.
Sometimes we can’t find the right words. Sometimes smiles and hugs aren’t enough. But what if a family tradition, like wearing red socks, was just what was needed to make a person say, “I feel strong. I am ready. I can do anything.”? This book, with engaging black and white illustrations and just a pop of red, would make a great gift for all ages and may spark an idea for a tradition in your family. The main message here is how simple it is just to show someone you care. And really, don’t we all need to know, from time to time, that someone cares?
Note: For every copy of Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything purchased, an additional copy of the book will be printed and donated to a school, local charity and/or organization that may benefit from the message of how red socks go with absolutely anything. (The author’s site: http://www.redsockswithanything.com)
September 29, 2015
Hoppy Book Birthday to Quack and Daisy by Aileen Stewart!
- Title: Quack and Daisy
- Author: Aileen Stewart
- Illustrator: Ryan Joseph Balbuena
- Publisher: Tate Publishing
- Release Date: September 29, 2015
- Format: Paperback
- Summary: Quack the duckling and Daisy the kitten meet for the first time in the meadow and instantly become the best of friends. Can two such unlikely friends stay friends even when everyone else tells them it’s impossible? Will Daisy’s failure to swim and Quack’s inability to catch a mouse cause them to give up on each other? Or will their friendship survive? Find out in this fun new adventure.
- More Information: Amazon, Author’s site
September 28, 2015
September 25, 2015
Title: Picture Of Grace
Author: Josh Armstrong
Illustrator: Taylor Bills
Picture Of Grace is an extremely well-written and moving story about love and loss. It’s a story about a young girl’s relationship with her grandfather. Grace visited her Grandpa Walt every weekend. Her favorite room was the art room, where Grandpa Walt did all his painting. She would sit in his lap while he painted and they would talk. Grace told him she wanted to be just like him when she grew up. Grandpa Walt said, “That’s very kind of you, but I can think of nothing better than you simply being yourself.” To Grace, time spent with her grandfather was perfect. Then one day, Grandpa Walt passes away, and Grace, bursting with grief, can’t bear to see her grandfather’s last painting unfinished, so she takes it upon herself to complete it. Will the painting be ruined, or will it be perfect?
The fantastic illustrations capture the mood of the story and the emotions of the characters quite nicely, being colorful in some spreads and more subdued in others. I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one, child or adult. And even if you are not currently dealing with loss, the story is a touching reminder to cherish the people in our lives today and to treasure the memories of those we have lost. It makes me wish I had spent more time with my grandmothers years ago.
September 23, 2015
This past Saturday, I celebrated the release of my debut picture book The Peddler’s Bed with a launch party, or what I like to call a “book birthday party”, at my local library. I am extremely pleased to announce that the party was a huge success!
Many more people than I expected came out to celebrate with me (it’s a good thing I had tons of food)! Lots of family, friends, library patrons, and kids attended the party. And the biggest surprise was that my mom, who lives over an hour away in a nursing home, was able to come too, thanks to my brother-in-law who picked her up that day!
To top it off, we sold every copy of the book! I was able to hand over a good-sized check to Barnes & Noble, and the library got a nice donation, as 21% of each sale went straight to them (thank you, B & N!).
I think everyone had a good time, and I got lots of praise for throwing such a great party. But I could not have done it without help. I owe tremendous thanks to several people: My husband Chris, my sister Linda, my brother-in-law Tim, library volunteer Pat Kolceski and her husband Joe, my library coworkers Emily Wormuth and Pat Macie and Carol Youngs, an old high school friend Suzanne Knox, my father-in-law Al for bringing the flowers, and the library staff who were working that day.
Much thanks also to everyone who came to celebrate with me, everyone who purchased a copy of the book, and everyone who either promoted, spread the word or sent best wishes my way. I am humbled by and grateful for your support. :) Enjoy this sampling of photos from the party. (Please do not copy or distribute any of the photos depicting people in this blog post, except pictures of me.)
Please do not copy or distribute any of the photos depicting people in this blog post, except pictures of me. Thank you!
September 21, 2015
September 16, 2015
Whether your kids are just starting school or are going back to school, don’t forget to put picture books at the top of your school supply list.
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine Book Blog Tour + STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Trade Picture Books by Laurie Wallmark
September 15, 2015
I’m pleased to be a stop on author Laurie Wallmark’s blog tour to help spread the word about her debut children’s picture book biography Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. Laurie is here to talk a bit about how to use picture books to introduce STEM content to young readers. Sounds like an interesting topic, and perfect for teachers and parents now that the kids have just begun another year of school. Before we hear from Laurie, let’s find out more about her intriguing new book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, which by the way, earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews!
ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, October 2015) is a picture-book biography of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. This book, by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu, tells the story of a remarkable woman and her work. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as a “splendidly inspiring introduction to an unjustly overlooked woman.”
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Trade Picture Books
by Laurie Wallmark
A picture book is the perfect medium to introduce STEM content to younger readers. A STEM-related book, either fiction or nonfiction, can do so much more than simply explain concepts and facts. Books of this type can increase a child’s interest in STEM by making the topics interesting and, more importantly, fun. In addition, STEM-related picture books can help children with their schoolwork. Students can use these books for school reports and to fulfill common core requirements.
The inclusion of STEM concepts and facts in a picture book can add to the story. A character might use math skills to calculate the probability of a project’s success. If the number turns out to be low, this will add more tension in the story. By using the scientific method, a character might more easily solve a mystery. A laboratory setting could provide a unique environment for the action of a story.
But including STEM in a picture book is of little to no use if the child (or the adult reader!) can’t understand the concepts and facts being presented. Luckily, because of the very nature of picture books, there are many opportunities to explain complex and/or unfamiliar material in a way accessible to children. Explanations can be included within the text by using techniques such as: synonyms, analogies, step-by-step instructions, and word choice. Illustration and book design can showcase STEM content with diagrams, lift-the-flap, and other methods. This material can even be found somewhere else entirely, like within the back matter or on an included CD or DVD.
Kids’ books about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are anything but boring these days. Whether fiction or nonfiction, trade picture books need to be able to grab a child’s interest. The challenge with STEM-related picture books is to not let the technical information overshadow the story. Concepts and facts are useless if a child does not want to read the book. The joy of STEM in picture books is its ability to entertain children, yet still expand their knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Laurie Wallmark writes exclusively for children. She can’t imagine having to restrict herself to only one type of book, so she writes picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry, and nonfiction. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing or studying, Laurie teaches computer science at a local community college, both on campus and in prison. The picture book biography, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, October 2015), is Laurie’s first book.
To connect with Laurie Wallmark:
Check out the other stops on the tour:
September 12, 2015 – Interview
www.flowering-minds.com Flowering Minds (Darshana Khiani)
September 15, 2015 – Guest post (STEM and Trade Picture Books)
http://frogonablog.net/ Frog on a Blog (Lauri Fortino)
September 22, 2015 – Interview
http://c-c-hall.com/ Writing and Fishing (Cathy Hall)
September 28, 2015 – Guest Post (About Writing Ada)
http://mybrainonbooks.blogspot.com/ My Brain on Books (Joanne Fritz)
October 2, 2015 – Interview
https://stilladreamer.wordpress.com/ Still a Dreamer (Jeanne Balsam)
October 6, 2015 – Guest Post (Writing About Strong Women)
https://robinnewmanbooks.wordpress.com/ Robin Newman Books
October 9, 2015 – Guest Post (Five Detours on the Road to Publication)
http://www.yvonneventresca.com/blog.html Yvonne Ventresca’s Blog
October 13, 2015 – Guest Post (Writing Firsts)
https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/ Writing and Illustrating (Kathy Temean)
October 15, 2015 – Guest Post (Acrostic Poem)
http://geekmom.com/ Geek Mom
October 18, 2015 – Interview
http://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/ The Children’s Book Review
October 20, 2015 – Guest Post (Using Ada in the Classroom)
https://rlkurstedt.wordpress.com/ Kaleidoscope (Roseanne Kurstedt)
October 26, 2015 – Interview
https://darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com/ Gold From the Dust (Darlene Beck Jacobson)
November 6, 2015 – Guest Post (Five Favorite STEM Women in History)
http://www.viviankirkfield.com Picture Books Help Kids Soar (Vivian Kirkfield)
November 6, 2015 – Interview
http://info.vcfa.edu/vcfa-launch-pad/ VCFA Launch Pad