Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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MARCH-ing Books to Kids

March is just around the corner!

Paint with Words

I believe books are one of the most special gifts we can give children. According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. DO NOT own books. The literacy initiative Picture Book Pass it On is working hard to get books into the hands of less fortunate children.

I was super excited when I discovered Picture Book Pass it On. I singed five copies of my picture book, Mama’s Purse, and headed down to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance to donate them. Then I wrote a blog post and completed the three PBPiO calls to action. What an incredible feeling to help children in my community!

I love reading. I love picture books. I love helping kids. When I learned about MARCH-ing Books to Kids, I said, “Count me in!”

Picture Book Pass it On is encouraging folks to participate in MARCH-ing…

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Going Pro—Earning Rhino Skin & Learning Which Opinions Matter

Humor and information.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 1.15.18 PM

I heard somewhere that, statistically speaking, 10% of people will simply not like us, no matter what we do or how much we try. Whenever we decide to do something remarkable or even just different, this is when we’re most likely to encounter push-back.

Also, if we enjoy any measure of success or achievement, expect to be knifed. This is reality. We cannot control others, only ourselves and how we respond and what we choose to internalize. As writers, we’ll experience this with friends, family and even strangers.

Ah, strangers…

If I met someone and told them I was an HR manager, most people likely wouldn’t reply, “No I meant, what is your real job?”

I wouldn’t have to give a resume of all my accomplishments and proof I made money as an HR manager or even a roster of how many people I had in my charge. Yet, no one seems…

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To Utter Things Hidden: Striking a Chord without a Sermon – Guest Post by Olivia Hofer

Good insights.

The Author's Chair

To Utter Things Hidden: Striking a Chord without a Sermon

I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.

Most of Oliva Hoferus have probably read books and watched films that left us cringing—for the author or filmmaker, however well-intentioned, heaped a sermon’s worth of contrived Christianese dialogue onto a story that swayed beneath the weight of the preaching.

Many Christian writers are faced with a dilemma: They recognize the importance of writing as a ministry, and they want to write in a way that effectively delivers a message of truth without turning off the secular readers who need to hear it most.

How do we communicate biblical themes without preachiness?

Ultimately, it boils down to one of the basic tenets of fiction-writing: Show, don’t tell.

Portraying what you preach

If a story does not convey Christian values without an explicit statement…

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Hollins University Establishes Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Exciting news for writers of picture books!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

mwb

Hollins University is paying tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors by establishing a literary award in her name.

Presented annually beginning in 2016, the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature will recognize the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. Winners will be given a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancée at the time of her death. Each recipient will also receive an engraved bronze medal as well as an invitation to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate program in children’s literature.

Hollins will request prize nominations from children’s book publishers. Then, a three-judge panel, consisting of established picture book authors, will review the nominations and choose a winner.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Award…

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Top Ten Things Learned from Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander (by author Laura Gehl)

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Laura Gehl

kwameUnless you live in a cave (a real cave…hiding from the cold under your covers doesn’t count), you know that Kwame Alexander won the Newbery Medal on February 2nd for his book THE CROSSOVER.

On February 19th, I was lucky enough to hear Kwame speak informally in a Question & Answer session at the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.

Listening to Kwame was so inspiring that I began furiously scribbling notes, with the idea that I could share the experience with other children’s writers.

Ten things I learned (all over again!) from Kwame Alexander:

1. Kwame can’t write at home because his six-year-old daughter tries to make him dress up like a princess. So he writes at Panera instead.

My Takeaway: We all have distractions in our lives.

2. Kwame also likes to write at Panera because he can steal from those around him…a snippet of conversation…

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Posts I loved this week

Taylor Grace

An incredible week on posts, I was actually tempted to break this post into two parts because there were so many amazing posts out there. A huge thank you to everyone who’s written this inspirational, moving posts. They got me through a very snowy and tough week!

Suzie81 Speaks has a beautiful idea. She promotes a new blog on Mondays under the post Blog of the Day. Check out this wonderful idea here and meet a new blogger!

Hilarious and yet insightful, this post by The Story Reading Ape made me laugh. I absolutely loved it!

With her usual hilarious humour, Winter Bayne wrote this fantastic post on the Fifty Shades books. I loved it because it was not only insightful and incredibly honest but also so well written. Winter is an amazing, very talented author (check out the book covers she creates) don’t miss this awesome post!

A fantastic post on…

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The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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