A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt-Guests Laura Sassi & Daughter

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today I’m thrilled to welcome . . .

Laura Sassi and her 10 year old daughter, little miss A!

This is what Laura had to say about their collaboration:

“Every day after school this week, my daughter has been fashioning mermaid paper dolls as well as a growing collection of mermaid outfits hanging on hangers using her colored pencils, stiff art paper and scissors.  She has then been playing mermaid boutique. With the dolls and her play as my inspiration, I now present —-“

Words pic

And no wonder Laura was inspired! Look at this art!

mermaid drawing

Art by little miss A

I think Ebb and Flo are the luckiest mermaids ever! They will have the whole, entire ocean swimming over to shop at their boutique!

Thanks, Laura and little miss A for sharing your poem and art! I know you made quite a splash with our readers!

Laura's picMeet Laura: Laura’s poems, stories, articles and crafts have appeared in many publications including Highlights for Children, Cricket,Ladybug, Spider, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., FamilyFun, and Pack-O-Fun.  Her first picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK, published by Zonderkidz, a HarperCollins Company, and illustrated by Jane Chapman, set sail this past August.  Her second book is scheduled to release this coming October. Stay tuned for details….
In addition to writing, Laura loves doing creative projects with her kids (like knitting and building with Legos) and is delighted that her daughter enjoys drawing and using her imagination just as much as her mama does. Click HERE to see a second poem/picture mother/daughter collaboration.  Laura writes from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her awesome husband, two adorable kids, and a black cockapoo named Sophie. You can also find her on her blogFacebook, and Twitter.

Be sure to check out Laura’s first picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK. I absolutely adore this book!Goodnight Ark cover


poetry friday button Heidi Mordhorst of My Juicy Little Universe is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Thanks Heidi 🙂

A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt-Episode 10

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Valentines Day Valentines Day Valentines Day Valentines Day Valentines Day Valentines Day

♥            ↓            ♥

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love

♥            ↓            ♥

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

♥            ↓            ♥

It’s easy for me to end up at Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate no matter where I start. Especially near Valentines Day. Evidently, I’m not the only one.

Welcome to Episode 10 in our series where I, the great Aunt, team up with Landon, the great nephew, to bring you, our great readers, a-picture-with-a-poem sort of thing. Usually, I write a poem and Landon illustrates my poem but I asked Landon to take over the series for today’s episode. Yep. Today’s episode is all about Landon—featuring his poem and his illustration. All of our great readers know of Landon’s illustration skills, but on this day the day before the day of love I wanted to give you a glimpse of another one of Landon’s skills that I love—writing poetry.

Funny, I simply told Landon it would be nice to have something kind of Valentine-ish. So that gave Landon a general starting point. But where did he end up? Remember what I said above???

“It’s easy for me to end up at Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate no matter where I start.”

and

“Evidently I’m not the only one.” 

Well, here’s evidence that I’m not the only one!

Presenting The Poem and The Picture

I see a heart

Poem and Art by Landon

What do you want to bet that there was some Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate devouring involved in leaving of those crumbs???

Thank you Landon for covering the poem and the picture today. And thanks to all of you great readers for coming by. The series will continue with Landon and I posting the 2nd Friday of each month. In between our episodes we have an amazing lineup of guests who will be here on the blog collaborating with a grandson or a son or a daughter or a sibling or a friend or … the list goes on and on! So see you soon. In the meantime, have a Happy Valentines Day and have some chocolate 🙂

I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

BOOK LOVE – A Blog Hop

I was tagged by Carrie Finison to help spread a little book love. The thought of Carrie’s Book Love Blog Hop makes me hoppy 🙂 How did Carrie come up with the idea? Read Carrie’s words to learn more:booklovebadge

A recent email by a writer friend reminded me that, even though I read and enjoy many, many books, I don’t always show those books (and their authors) the attention they deserve. If I’ve enjoyed a book a lot, I might tell a friend or two. I might even review a book here on my blog. But I don’t review books in other key places – like on Amazon and Goodreads.

That’s too bad because positive reviews on social media, especially on Amazon, can influence other readers and book buyers. The number of reviews a book gets can directly impact the book’s ranking in search engine results, which in turn can influence sales.

It’s a tough world out there for books and their authors. They need our support now more than ever. So this month, I thought I’d play Cupid for a while and spread some BOOK LOVE around by setting aside a few minutes to give more public support to some of the books I’ve enjoyed recently – and tagging some reader friends to do the same!

Do you want to play Cupid with me? Here’s how the hop works:

BOOK LOVE Blog Hop Instructions

1. Pick some books you love (any genre) that you think deserve more attention than they are getting. (As much as I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle does not need my help to sell more copies! I’ve tried to choose books I thought needed a little boost, or ones I love that no one else seems to have heard of.)

2. Post reviews for the books you chose on Amazon/social media. The reviews can be brief – even a short review on Amazon helps. Posting on Goodreads or Shelfari is great, too, or Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. The more places you can publicly proclaim your love, the better!

3. If you want, you can also post the reviews on your own blog, or link your blog back to your reviews on social media.

4. Feel free to display the BOOK LOVE badge on your blog – and if you want, link it back to this post so your visitors know what it’s all about.

5. Tag some friends to do the same! Tag friends through their blogs, or on Facebook.

That’s it! If you don’t want to wait to be tagged, you can jump right in and start reviewing and tagging yourself.

Please take notice of the adorable badge designed by Dana Carey. What talent! Dana is a writer and illustrator who is Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI France, and also one of the co-leaders of Sub It Club.

Here Well, I love a lot of books and I so I’m joining Carrie and spreading the love by posting reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

I chose books that I loved enough to include in posts on my blog for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. I would love for more people to read these three incredible books! So I’ve shared my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

123 vs abc123 Versus ABC written and illustrated by Mike Boldt-An amazingly humorous alphabet book! It kept me laughing.


Tuck In Time

Tuck-In Time written by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson-Adorable for naptime/bedtime.


What floats in a moatWhat Floats in a Moat? written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Matthew Cordell-Full of humor and fun word play.

I’m tagging Julie Rowan-Zoch who has introduced me to many books that have become favorites! The girl has excellent taste 🙂

A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt: Guests-David and Jeff Harrison

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

We’re back.

Just in case you haven’t visited our series before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests.

Today our guest collaborators are . . .
Father and Son
David and Jeff Harrison

You know that age-old question-Which came first—the chicken or the egg? A version of that applies to our series. Which came first—the poem or the picture? So far in our series the poem has come first and a poem-inspired drawing has followed. But today, it’s the opposite. Jeff sent David a photograph and a photograph-inspired poem followed. Let’s hear about this from David (paraphrased).

This beautiful photograph taken by our son Jeff Harrison. He was sitting alone on a dock on the Nehalem River along Oregon’s west coast. In his own words,

“I have a chair, a Volker with beer, and a bag of peanuts. A shaggy dog is staring at me intently, hoping he has better luck than the gulls at getting another peanut or two. There are seabirds chattering everywhere, fighting for scraps. It’s cool and grey, with a foggy mist around the mountains. My crab pot is tied off next to me. It sure reminds me of Crabbing in Pensacola off of the bridge. Why can even happy memories make you sad?”

I love this picture and was moved by Jeff’s description of the moment and how he was feeling. With his permission I wrote a poem to go with it.  Thanks, Son. I love you.

And since the photograph came first, that is where we will start today.

The Picture

On the dock on the bay pic

The Poem

text on background

Here are David and Jeff spending time together in Alaska.

Jeff, David, Alaska, 2008

Thank you for being our guests, David and Jeff. And thanks to our readers for following this series. You can learn more about David and Jeff below. See you next time!


David 2013 edited

Meet David: David L. Harrison has published eighty-nine books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for young readers and educational books for teachers. He is poet laureate of Drury University and David Harrison Elementary School is named for him. His work has been anthologized in more than 120 books, translated into twelve languages, sandblasted in a library sidewalk, painted on a bookmobile, and presented on television, radio, podcast, and video stream. Let’s Write This Week with David Harrison is a 20-episode video program that brings writing tips into elementary classrooms and offers graduate college credit for teachers. David has given keynote talks, college commencement addresses, and been featured at hundreds of conferences, workshops, literature festivals, and schools across America. He holds degrees from Drury and Emory universities. Two universities have presented him with honorary doctorates of letters. His poetry collection, Pirates, represented Missouri at the 2013 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C.
You can find David here:
David’s Website
David’s Blog
David’s Facebook

I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Liz Steinglass has the Poetry Friday Roundup today.

poetry friday button