Party Like An Animal!

Why are we partying like animals??? We are half way through the 12 x 12 Challenge hosted by the awesome Julie Hedlund. Our challenge is to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months. To learn more about the challenge, click HERE. Congratulations everyone for making it half way…but don’t party half way…party full out!

You know, as we celebrate the halfway mark, we have to know that we aren’t the only ones excited about 12 x 12! Think of all the picture book characters! I found out they were celebrating, too. They realize with this number of stories being written that they will have many more adventures. So, I asked a few of them to join me on my blog as we celebrate. Several animals from Old MacDonald’s Farm jumped at the chance. Since they were so eager to help out, I decided to use their theme song as I say thank you to all of you who are a part of 12 x 12. You have all meant so much to me over the last 6 months. There is such support and inspiration that it just oozes all over the Internet. Of course, I especially want to thank our main character, Julie Hedlund. So without further adieu or moo (ha) here is my tribute!

Julie Hedlund Had a Plan

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And for that plan we had to join
12 x 12 in 12!
With a join-join here
And a join-join there
Here a join, there a join
Everywhere a  join-join
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And in that plan are special guests
12 x 12 in 12!
With a guest-guest here
And a guest-guest there
Here a guest, there a guest
Everywhere a  guest-guest
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And in that plan are lots of posts
12 x 12 in 12!
With a post-post here
And a post-post there
Here a post, there a post
Everywhere a  post-post
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And in that plan are Facebook “likes”
12 x 12 in 12!
With a like-like here
And a like-like there
Here a like, there a like
Everywhere a  like-like
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And in that plan are gobs of blogs
12 x 12 in 12!
With a blog-blog here
And a blog-blog there
Here a blog, there a blog
Everywhere a  blog-blog
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!
And finally, there will be books
12 x 12 in 12!
With a book-book here
And a book-book there
Here a book, there a book
Everywhere a  book-book
Julie Hedlund had a plan—
12 x 12 in 12!

As of tonight, June 27, 2012, I have five completed drafts. I plan to have another completed by the 30th of June to bring my total to six. One of the manuscripts is out on submission. That is amazing to me. Even more amazing is the overwhelming number of “writer” friends I have made during 12 x 12 in 12. I am very grateful for this challenge! Thanks, Julie!

Butterfly

Catherine Johnson does a Monday Metaphor series on her blog found HERE. I participate whenever possible. Catherine posts a picture or pictures for inspiration. She always blogs her own ideas for the picture which never fail to bring a smile to my face. She is a fun and upbeat blogger. Catherine’s love for writing poetry is evident.

This week, Catherine posted a beautiful picture which inspired me to write a poem of my own. I hope you enjoy Butterfly.

Butterfly

Out from a cocoon of night
Filtered colors catch the light.
Vision springs
Spreading wings.
Beauty lifting off in flight.

Perfect Picture Book Friday- George Hogglesberry: Grade School Alien

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday and I am very excited about the book I have chosen. It is so cute and so fun. You all just have to read it! Just the main character’s name alone will have you hooked! George Hogglesberry :=)

George Hogglesberry: Grade School Alien

Written by Sarah Wilson

Illustrated by Chad Cameron

Ages 5-8

Tricycle Press 2004

Themes: Fitting In, School, Differences, Humor

Synopsis: (from School Library Journal) George Hogglesberry, a new second grader who has just come from the planet Frollop II, gets directions and everything else all mixed up. Things in his new school and home are so different from his former life that he worries about not being accepted, although the class rallies to help him. He has to be reminded not to walk on the ceiling, and when he floats upside down he loses his shoes. Worst of all, no one ever knows where he is going to turn up, not even George. Finally, his teacher helps him with a part in the school play and he charms everyone. Youngsters entering a new school and lacking self-confidence might find George’s bizarre situation humorous and reassuring.

Opening: “Before George Hogglesberry went into his new class, he put a nose on his face. Everyone else had a nose. George wanted one too. “It’s scary being new, ” he told his parents. “I hope they like me.”

Resources: The book includes a “Pin the Nose on George” game. I did not find other resources, so here are a few activities that I think would go well with this book.

  • Writing: What do you think George’s school was like at his old home, Frollop II?
  • Writing and Drawing: Without meaning to, George turned himself into a tomato, an overhead light, and the clock in the principal’s office. It seems George would turn into lots of things without meaning to. If you could turn into anything in your classroom—what would it be, and why? After writing about this, draw a picture of you as the object you chose.
  • Writing: If George showed up at your school, what is the first question you would ask him?
  • Writing: On the title page, there is a picture of the Hogglesberry’s spacecraft with four cardboard boxes on top. Make a list of items you think they brought with them from Frollop II. By the way, since we don’t know much about Frollop II, you can make up your own words—but be ready to explain what they mean.
  • Discussion: All of us are different and that’s what makes us interesting and special. Name something interesting/special about yourself.
  • Drawing: Draw, design and name your own planet complete with a spacecraft or spaceship or both.

Why I Like This Book: This is such a unique, creative book about feeling different and fitting in. I think some kids do feel like they are from a different planet, but just like George, they eventually find a way to shine. I love the the quirkiness. The Hogglesberry’s house has shoes planted along the driveway. The shrubs are trimmed in a shape reminiscent of a spacecraft. Mrs. Hogglesberry serves green beans with marshmallows stuck on the end as she says, “Drink up!” Not only is it delightful in it’s own alien way, but I believe this book is great for opening up a discussion about accepting each other’s differences. The humor will ease the tension associated with this type of discussion.

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list.


Perfect Picture Book Friday-Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big

Written and Illustrated by Berkeley Breathed

Ages 4-8

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 2000

Themes: Truthfulness, Consequences, Siblings

Synopsis: Fannie Fudwupper’s big brother, Edwurd, spends his time cooking up big fibs full of phooey and letting them rip. But one day, Edwurd tells such a whopping lie that the army, the air force, and the dogcatcher are called to reverse the damage.


Opening:
From a long line of liars, there’s none higher upper…
Than my fibbing big brother, The Edward Fudwupper.
There he is now.
I know just what he’s doing:
He’s thinking of who could be next for some fooling.
Edwurd’s been cooking up fibs full of phooey;
He’ll serve them up SWEET, all gooey with hooey.
Last week he fibbed big and told Mabel Dill,
“I read you’ve been voted the queen of Brazil!
They want you to come!
Bikinis! BRING TEN!”
I think Mable went; no one’s seen her since then. 

Resources: Honesty Lesson,

Web of Lies: Wind a large ball of yarn. Have the kids sit in a circle. Hold the end of the ball of yarn and begin telling a story. Stop in the middle of a sentence and roll the ball of yarn across the circle to another child. Let them finish your sentence and start another. Then they hold on to the yarn and roll the ball across the circle to another child. Each child adds a sentence or two to the story, and holds on to the yarn when they get the ball. You’ll make a spider web on the floor and an original story at the same time. After the activity, discuss the difference between weaving a story and telling a lie.

Why I Like This Book: The cover caught my eye at the library several months ago. Since then, I have checked it out two more times and enjoyed it each reading. Of course, I love the rhyme. The meter and rhythm flow easily and make the story a very fun read aloud. The book is hilarious because Edwurd tells such ridiculous whoppers that it will have kids and adults laughing. I like that his little sister stands up for him even though he doesn’t even notice her. Since this is a story about telling lies, I like it that there are consequences for being untruthful. The illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. Berkeley Breathed is a cartoonist and his talent is evident in this book. The expressions are priceless and deliver on their half of the picture book.