Archive for February 2010
Using dummies, are they for everyone? The obvious answer is no …but their value should be based on the need of the writer. They can be helpful in certain cases.
When I first started writing, I never used one. I thought they were just for illustrators and I was not one…so why waste my time. I know…how naïve can someone be. Then, there came a time when I couldn’t figure out if my picture book manuscript was too sparse to be a 32 page picture book. Was my text strong enough to support 13-14 illustrations?
So, I decided to take the chance on using a dummy. That way I could actually see how the text could be seen in my picture book…realizing of course that in truth that is the editor’s call. I took 8 sheets of 8 ½ by 11 paper and fold it in half. I took the Institute of Children’s Literature course so I had the picture book dummy form that they suggested. I laid out the text and left spots for the illustrations.
The end result was that my manuscript’s text had enough scenes changes to support the number of suggested illustrations. That fact made me feel a lot better about my chance at getting it published.
Can the weather that you have in your story effect the mood of your character? You betcha. A setting such as a cold, chilly, windy night where lightening is streaking across the sky and there is ear-popping thunder roaring overhead denotes a totally different atmosphere than a calm night. It seems to lend itself to the character being scared.
Gentle lapping water against the cliff rocks, with cloudless starry sky, and a bright moon overhead convey the feeling of a peaceful and calm situation. It help your readers to think something is good is about to happen.
My advice to the writer is to consider your setting careful and match it to your story’s description. Make sure the setting matches your story.
Am I alone? Apparently not. I’m copying this to post on the wall above my desk, so I can refer to it.
For the rest of the article and a whole lot more, be sure to go to
Q: Lay, lie, laid—when do you use each?
A: Don’t forget about “lain,” my friend! All these verbs have two things in common: They begin with the letter “L” and confuse the bejeezus out of many people.
Let’s give this a shot. Lay and lie are both present-tense verbs, but they don’t mean quite the same thing. Lay means to put or set something down, so if the subject is acting on an object, it’s “lay.” For example, I lay down the book. You, the subject, set down the book, the object.
Lie, on the other hand, is defined as, “to be, to stay or to assume rest in a horizontal position,” so the subject is the one doing the lying—I lie down to sleep or When I pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, Writer’s Digest, I lie down to take in all its great information. In both these cases, you, the subject, are setting yourself down. Are you with me so far?
Description: This simple counting book contains spirited rhyming text and cheerful illustrations that capture the unexpected pleasures that a little wet weather can bring. Full color.
Disclaimer: The reviewer has no connection and/or personal knowledge of the author and/or illustrator of the book. Book selections are random.
This review is intended for parents or other significant person in a child’s life who may be looking for suitable books for their children to read or have read to them.
This month I am reviewing is RAINDROP, PLOP! Written by Wendy Cheyette Lewison. Illustrated by Pam Paparone. Published by Viking Books in 2004.
From the bright red raincoat and umbrella to the the green boots with eyes and a mouth that grace the front cover to the boots on the back cover this simple book is sweet. In this simple book the young girl and her dog count things as they go through a rainy day.
Wendy Cheyette Lewison’s 143 word book has easy bouncy rhymes that makes the reader want to continue reading the story and includes counting concepts. Its slightly larger than most books size lends itself to a younger age reader smaller hands.
It starts with:
dark, dark sky.
clouds go by.
Pam Paparone’s illustration are simplistically child-like with lots ot bright colors. The little girl’s outfit is in the primary colors of red, yellow, and green while the sky is various shades of blues and greens. There are a variety of animals drawn through the pages that could provide other animals to look for and count . For example, there’s a squirrel in a tree, and a duck in a pond, etc.
As most parents know attention spans vary from child to child. This could be used to help hold even the youngest child’s attention.
At one point, the child character and her dog splash in puddles…just like a live child would do.
Then once the characters make it the house, the text counts backwards from the number ten.
in a nice warm tub.
My thoughts on this book are that the little ones will love it. It is a book that parents or other caregivers can adapt to their own individual child’s abilities to concentrate.
Words to avoid and cut
Was, Were, Is, Be, Been, Had, Have, Very, Just, That,
Really, All, Almost, Now, Somehow, Even, Felt,
Something, Thing, It, There, Seemed, And, As
Of, Like, Realized (Avoid overuse), Started (Avoid overuse)
Began (Avoid overuse), He/She (Avoid starting a lot of sentences with these)
Today, Rebecca Janni contacted me regarding the interview with her that I had scheduled to do today to post tomorrow.
She requested a couple more days to clear up some other things before doing the interview. First, Rebbeca’s dad is having health issues. Second, she and her family are taking a trip to China to bring their newest addition , a two year old deaf son, home.
I’ll post more as I know more.
National Blanket Day is is tomorrow and I was blessed to be a part of the celebration. Last Friday, my eight year old nephew’s third grade class at Echo Hill Elementary invited me to be a volunteer as they made 22 blankets for Project Linus. I couldn’t help feel the excitement as I moved around the gym making sure that the kids knew how to cut and tie the blankets.
Project Linus is a great way to help others less fortunate than one’s self.
Taken from their National website:
Project Linus is comprised of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter all work together to help us achieve our mission statement, which states:
First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
It made my heart swell with pride as I looked around the gym floor as four children per blanket cut fringe on fleece blankets and tied them off.
Don’t go emailing Cake Wrecks—that’s how this cake is supposed to look. Scholastic received this photo from a David Shannon fan, Carol B. of Richmond, Va., who made this cake for her son Gilby’s second birthday. Carol took inspiration from the picture book No, David! (1998), about a mischievous boy. David will be back in bookstores later this year, up to his old tricks in a holiday story, It’s Christmas, David! (Scholastic/Blue Sky).