Best Witches

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No PPBF today – Susanna is busy narrowing down Halloweensie entries (reading them, I got the ‘itch’ to draw). But I’d like to invite you back tomorrow for the start of SteigFEST – a 14-day picture-book-salute to an author-illustrator I very much admire, William Stieg.  orange_24(1)-1

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‘Halloweensie’: Too Big for His Boots

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Fall in Colorado is almost too gorgeous this year! It may have reached 90* yesterday, which was too much, but it’s back down to the 70’s now. More importantly there has been less wind than usual, so the trees are still glowing. I made myself a leaf crown today, AND I wore it all over town!

Susanna Hill’s 4th Halloweensie Contest rules:  write a 100 word or less (mine weighs in at 88) Halloween story appropriate for children, using the words pumpkinbroomstick, and creak.

Too Big for His Boots

“I want a broomstick,” said the cat.

“And, just like yours, a wide brim hat.

I’ll take a pair of pointy boots,

A nighty owl that glares and hoots,

One pumpkin cut to grin that glows,

Two warts like those that itch your nose,

Three blackened crows with crooked beaks,

A chair that rocks with cricks and creaks,…”

That cat! He carried on, and on,

‘Til Witch stood up and freed a yawn.

She waved her wand then thrice she spat.

POOF!

“It’s not your birthday, silly cat!”

LeafCrown5To read more 2014 Halloweensie Contest entries click HERE

PPBF: Little Red

LittleRedCoverAuthor: Lynn Roberts
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Abrams, 2005
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: wolves, grandmothers, soft drinks
Opening: In a time not too long ago and in a land much like our own, there lived a young boy. His name was Thomas, but – for some reason – everyone called him Little Red.
Summary: (from my library catalog) In this version of the Grimm fairy tale, Thomas–who is called Little Red–discovers a wolf in disguise at his grandmother’s house and ingeniously uses ginger ale to save the day.

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I like this book because: of the mouth-watering illustrations, pure and simple. Just look! And EVERY page is gorgeous! And it’s a well told twist on a classic, set in post-revolutionary America. Need I say more?

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Resources/activities: because we all know the storyline, this is an excellent story to use to teach improvisation or writing of fractured fairy tales: perform Little Red ad lib, in groups of 3-5; make it a puppet show. Read their other collaborations: Cinderella, An Art Deco Love Story and Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale.

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Perfect Picture Book Friday has plenty of selections listed on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: Froodle

FroodleCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Neal Porter/roaring Brook Press, 2014
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: birds, birdsong, individuality
Opening: All year long, the dogs went ‘Woof’. The cats went ‘Meow’. And the birds in the neighborhood went ‘Caw’, ‘Coo’, ‘Chip’, ‘Peep’,…
Summary: (from my library catalog) In a normal neighborhood, on a typical day, the birds chirp, the dogs bark and the cats meow. When Little Brown Bird decides she doesn’t want to sing the same old song, out comes a new tune that shakes up the neighborhood and changes things forever in this funny, innovative book that kids will love to read outloud.

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I like this book because: I like birds. Just ask Debbie, or Teresa. And I really admire crows, like Whitney. And I even asked my library to purchase it before it was released! But they forgot to notify me when it came in. If I didn’t love ’em so much, well…! I love it’s beautiful graphic composition, and the spunky little sparrow/main character who entices her friends into creative disobedience! And my favorite new bird call? ‘Itsy boggen!’ Read it to see why!

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Resources/activities: this book would be great in the art room, because kids should learn how to use simple shape changes to differentiate between animals of the same class. AND the story promotes creativity – booyah!; I’d even go as far as college with this, for logo development! Find a list of Portis’ awesome books – HERE; watch this full PBS documentary online: A Murder of Crows.

Perfect Picture Book Friday has lots of selections listed on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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My Books Released! And a Tandem

My books released! Early! As a newbie I am learning (check Amazon for release dates!). Lucky for me I had friends to toast with that evening!

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Click on the image to link to this page on the Bailiwick Press site.

It’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada and Columbus Day in the U.S., so Catherine Johnson and I are using the holidays as prompts for a tandem post (words/doodles). BUT I don’t celebrate Columbus Day, though I do remember the day off from school fondly! Every year we’d pack the family and a few neighborhood kids into the station wagon and head north for leaf peeping, picnicking and cave crawling in Connecticut’s oldest state park: Putnam Memorial in Redding (see image below).

Click on the image for more info on Putnam Memorial State Park

It was the highlight of autumn, my favorite season.

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For more on the new books: Carrie Charley Brown invited me to be her Mystery Guest tomorrow on Carrie On…Together!, and that includes a GIVEAWAY – HERE

PPBF: Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau

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Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Abrams, 2014
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: hats, birthdays, hatmakers
Opening: In a three story house with a shop down below lived the world’s finest hatmaker, Madame Chapeau.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When a crow flies off with her birthday bonnet as she walks to dinner, Madame Chapeau chases the thief through the streets of Paris while admirers offer her replacement hats, but none seem quite right until someone offers a special gift.

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I like this book because: this has to be one of the perfectest perfect picks ever! The rhyme is so delicious, you have to read it again and again – aloud! The story is adorable, and the pictures – OH! I want to spend my next vacation IN this book!!! The illustrator includes an interesting note in the front, about his own influences and work as a milliner. The look of main character is based on the fashion editor, Isabella Blow. Get the book and read more for yourself!

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Resources/activities: make paper hats – instructions HERE; learn to knit -tutorial HERE; make a chocolate gateau, like the one below – click on the image for the recipe post.

Perfect Picture Book Friday has plenty of selections listed on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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