A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Patricia Toht and a Class of First Graders + Giveaway!

poetry friday buttonThanks to Jane at Raincity Librarian for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

**GIVEAWAY! Before you view today’s collaboration I wanted to let you know that Patricia has generously offered a signed copy of Pick a PIne Tree. Today’s collaboration is based on an excerpt from this beautiful book and I have a feeling you’re going to want get your hands on it! I already have my hands on a copy and I’m in love with it! Hug! Hug!
**All you have to do is leave a comment below by December 1st at midnight CST. A winner will be randomly selected. Those who enter must have a US address.

About the Story: Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.


Look What Reviewers Have to Say! (Notice the starred review from Kirkus 😀 )

“Pick this delightful story for a Christmas storytime, for library collections, or for family reading around the Christmas tree.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Holiday spirit crackles in Toht’s warm, step-by-step recounting of how humble stately pines transform into shimmering Christmas trees.”
Publishers Weekly

And now it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Patricia Toht and a First Grade Class

From Patricia: When Penny invited me to do a post for “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt,” I hoped to be able to nab some young relatives to collaborate with me. But our family is spread around the country, and we wouldn’t be gathering together until after the holidays.

Then came an invitation from the American Writers Museum in Chicago to host a story time featuring my new book, Pick a PIne Tree. How exciting! I asked Penny if students might work instead of relatives, and she agreed.

Ms. Jackson’s class from Ogden International School arrived in high spirits. Pick a PIne Tree tells the story of a family turning a pine tree into a Christmas tree, so we brainstormed about decorations. The kids had loads of ideas for ornaments, and I told them about my original text:

“My editor in England didn’t like one of the ornaments,” I said. “Which one do you think it was?”
The students made their guesses before I revealed the answer: the cookie boy.
“What?” they said. “Why?”
“She wanted me to use gingerbread man,” I said.
But gingerbread man had too many beats and ruined the rhyme, I explained. I sent a note back to the editor.
“The readers will see in the illustrations that cookie boy is a gingerbread man,” I insisted.
“No cookie boy,” the answer remained.
I was grumpy about it until it finally dawned on me what the crux of the problem was – Brits don’t use the word cookie; they say biscuit!
“How about biscuit boy?” I suggested.

I then read this passage from the finished book:

“What’s missing?” I asked.
“The cookie boy!” the kids called out.
In the end, I explained that I left out gingerbread man/cookie boy completely, and the book is really no worse for it!

Following story time, the students made their own Christmas trees. They used markers to decorate foam cutouts and tied on a gold ribbon for hanging. Little bags of jewels went home with them to apply later (so they wouldn’t fall off in transit).

The trees were super cute. And, in the end, it tickled me pink that nearly every student included a cookie boy on their tree!

The Students’ Artwork Inspired by Patricia’s Book

Many thanks for Patricia and the students for this heartwarming collaboration!


 

Meet Patricia: Patricia Toht once owned a children’s bookshop called Never Never Land before turning a love of books into a love of writing. She is the author of All Aboard the London Bus and Pick a Pine Tree, as well as numerous poems in children’s magazines. She lives with her family outside of Chicago and very soon will be setting out with them to find the perfect Christmas tree.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny

poetry friday buttonThanks to Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

One fun thing that Landon has done in almost all of his drawings is to include a hidden object. It’s the same object every time, so many of you know exactly what to look for. But that doesn’t always make it easy. If you don’t know what Landon’s “special” object is and can seem to find a hidden object at all, you can take a look HERE for hints.

And now for today’s collaboration.

Penny’s Poemtext on backgroundLandon’s Art

text on background landon's art

Art by Landon

I’m always delighted and surprised when I see the creative ways that Landon interprets the words in my poem. I love that he has little dino reading, while parent dino is sound asleep! By the way, little dino is reading a certain book that’s pretty close to my heart . . .  it’s about a dragon 😀 Once again, Landon adds something special!

Thanks so much for joining us today. I appreciate all of you who read this series. See you next week when I’ll have guest collaborators.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Susanna Leonard Hill and Her Granddaughter, Annabelle

poetry friday buttonThanks to Linda at TeacherDance for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Susanna Leonard Hill and Her Granddaughter, Annabelle

Here’s a bit from Susanna to tell us how the collaboration came about:

Me: Hey, Annabelle!  Want to draw a picture and I’ll write a poem to go with it?

Annabelle: Let’s play princess and wear our tiaras and have a tea party.  You can use that picture if you want to (points carelessly at the artistic subject of this post whilst dragging me off to her castle.)

(So obviously, Annabelle’s art was inspirational enough for Susanna to come up with the perfect poem. But what I’m wondering is if Susanna wrote the poem while in the castle, while wearing a tiara, while sipping tea?)

Annabelle’s Inspirational Art

And the Poem it Inspired

A photo of the collaborators enjoying some time together.

Many thanks to Annabelle and Susanna for sharing their bewitching talents with us today 😀


Meet Annabelle: Annabelle is 6 and in first grade. She is a talented artist, cheerleader, and assistant cauldron-stirrer, but her activity of choice is being a princess. She does not currently entertain visitors online.

Meet Susanna: Susanna Leonard Hill is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children including the newly released WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH (the Parents Magazine #1 Board Book for 2017), WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES and THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT. Her first book, which she wrote in 2nd Grade, was called The Girl And The Witch.  Coincidence??? Quite prescient given the subject of today’s collaboration with her granddaughter! Susanna has no actual experience flying (or surfing) a broomstick, but she can can cook up gunk in a cauldron with the best of them. Feel free to come visit her at www.susannahill.com or like her author page on FB https://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill She’s also on twitter and instagram if you prefer to hang out there.

 

 

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Carole Gerber and Her Granddaughter JoJo

poetry friday buttonThanks to Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Carole Gerber and Her Granddaughter JoJo

From Carole: My poem is a conversation between two flowers as they watch a butterfly bursting from its chrysalis. The last line is to be read simultaneously.

Carole’s Poem

Here is the butterfly created with JoJo’s two little feet.

JoJo’s Footprint ArtCarole provided a link to a YouTube video on how to make baby footprint art. Here is the video.

And here is a photo of the collaborators sharing a “Ha-Ha” moment.

Many thanks to Carole and JoJo for fluttering by to share their talents and footprints ( 😀 ) with us today!


Meet Carole: Carole Gerber is the author of nearly two dozen picture books, several chapter books, and about 100 work-for-hire elementary science and reading books for major publishers. This year’s new picture book is A Band of Babies, illustrated by Jane Dyer. Carole and her husband grew tired of driving from central Ohio to Charleston, SC to visit granddaughter Joanna (JoJo), so they recently bought a home located six miles from her and her parents. It’s hard to leave the Buckeye state (Carole is the author of The Twelve Days of Christmas in Ohio). But they are ecstatic about how close they will live to their darling grandbaby, daughter, and son-in-law! You can learn more about Carole’s books and school visits at www.carolegerber.com

Vote in the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook-Off Plus 5-Book Giveaway!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Exciting things are happening in the magical land of fairy tales!! Read on to find out about the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Find out how to cast your vote to help choose a winner. Find out out to get your name in a drawing for a chance to win one of five copies of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale.

Win one of five copies!

Notice you can get your name in the drawing more than once!!!

Since William (of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale) mistakenly turned fairy tale ingredients into delectable dishes and cooked up several new happily-ever-afters, the magical land of fairy tales has gone wild for cooking.

For weeks they binge-watched cooking shows and then decided to have a cooking competition of their own. They threw around some ideas and the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off was born.

They named Goldilocks as judge since she has a very picky palate. The competition became very heated when the Big Bad Wolf gobbled Little Red Riding Hood’s dish right out of her picnic basket before Goldilocks had a chance to sample it.

Also, the witch from Hansel and Gretel built a gingerbread house that might’ve won the competition hands down had she not been trying to lure the competing chefs into her room-sized oven. When Goldilocks told her that she was disqualified, she became boiling mad and stomped off shouting, “I’ve been burned!”

Despite the trouble, Goldilocks was able to narrow it down to the three final chefs. Now it’s up to you to read about their entries and vote for your favorite chef by commenting below.

Not only will a First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off winner be named after the votes are tallied, but your vote will land your name in a drawing for one of five signed copies of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale. Voting will end at midnight CST on November 30th so be sure to comment before then or your coach will turn into a pumpkin and . . . oh wait . . . that’s another story. **But if you don’t vote by then you won’t be a part of choosing the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off winner. You know you want to be a part of this happily-ever-after!

Want your name in the pot two times? Then visit my page in the SCBWI BookStop and sign my guest book! Just click HERE to go my page. My guest book is right under my photo. While you’re there browse around. There are so many great books to view!

Want your name in the pot a third time? Share this on Twitter with one of the two prepared tweets below. I’ll be tracking hashtags. Just copy and post to Twitter! Easy Peasy!

Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Fairy Godmother vs Giant vs Little Pig! Plus 5-Book #GIVEAWAY! #SCBWIBookStop #fairytalecookoff http://wp.me/p22d5X-20T

Vote: Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Little Pig? Fairy Godmother? Giant? And 5-Book #GIVEAWAY #fairytalecookoff #SCBWIBookStop http://wp.me/p22d5X-20T

Now for the finalists of the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off!

Little Pig

Little Pig’s entry was inspired by his house which was blown away! 

Straw House Treats

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 oz white chocolate
  • 3 cups pretzel sticks, broken into pieces (as if the Big Bad Wolf has blown down the stick house)
  • 2 cups salted peanuts
  • 1½ cup Craisins

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place white chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and smooth. (You can also melt chocolate in a double boiler.)
  2. Stir pretzel sticks, peanuts, and Craisins into chocolate.
  3. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper.
  4. Cool and enjoy!

Fairy Godmother

Fairy Godmother has outdone herself and she didn’t even use a wand! 

Pumpkin Patch Pudding

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 packages Oreos
  • 1 package Green Sour Straws Candy
  • 1 package Pumpkin Candies

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the pudding by following directions on the box (whisk together pudding mix and 3 cups cold milk).
  2. Use a food processor to crush the Oreos until smooth.
  3. Layer the Oreos and chocolate pudding in a clear cup. Oreos, pudding, Oreos, pudding, and top with Oreos.
  4. Top with a Green Sour Straw candy cut in half (the pumpkin vine) and three pumpkin candies.
  5. Serve with a spoon!

Giant

Giant came through in a BIG way with his entry! 

Giantly Delicious Cloud Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 oz. angel food cake (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 ½ cups of Cook Whip
  • 6 snack size Kit Kat bars, chopped
  • Cocoa powder, optional
  • Chocolate syrup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut angel food cake in half horizontally
  2. Stir chopped Kit Kat pieces into Cook Whip
  3. Spread Cool Whip, Kit Kat mixture on bottom half of cake
  4. Lay top half of cake on top of mixture
  5. Dust with cocoa powder if desired
  6. Slice and serve with chocolate syrup drizzle

Now it’s your turn to vote and help pick the winner of the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off! Leave your comment below with your choice—

  • Little Pig
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Giant

*****Remember Three Ways to Get Your Name in the Drawing For One of Five Copies of
A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale.

  1. Leave your choice of winner below.
  2. Leave a comment in my SCBWI BookStop guest book found right below my photo. Find that by clicking HERE.
  3. Tweet one of the prepared tweets below! Easy peasy!

Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Fairy Godmother vs Giant vs Little Pig! Plus 5-Book #GIVEAWAY! #SCBWIBookStop #fairytalecookoff http://wp.me/p22d5X-20T

Vote: Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Little Pig? Fairy Godmother? Giant? And 5-Book #GIVEAWAY #fairytalecookoff #SCBWIBookStop http://wp.me/p22d5X-20T

I hope you’ll spread the news of the First-Ever Fairy Tale Cook Off far and wide! I think it should go viral, don’t you?

Thanks so much for coming by!!!

 

 

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Sherri Jones Rivers, One Great Niece and Three Great Nephews

poetry friday buttonThanks to Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Sherri Jones Rivers, One Great Niece, and Three Great Nephews
Anna Claire (11 years old)
Twin brothers Andrew and Dylan (7 years old)
Price (8 years old)

From Sherri: I knew there were four of five great nieces and nephews I could ask. One great niece I asked was not happy with her drawing, and threw it away. So much for the temperamental artist! So, I moved on. The next great nephew I asked was on board. He told his mom he didn’t know what the cat in the poem looked like, but he thought gray was a good guess. He was on target—Sophie is a gray tabby. I knew I wanted to ask two artists, so I got in touch with one last mom. She said one of hers probably would want to, but it ended up that all three wanted to participate. It did my heart good, and all their drawings made me smile!

I just love it that Sherri set out to recruit an artist and ended up with four!!That just makes this post special times four. Also, Sherri took the same subject, her husband’s dog, and created a rhyming poem and a prose poem! How great is that?

FYI, Anna Claire, Dylan, and Andrew are siblings and Price is their cousin. Let’s get on with the fun!

Sherri’s 1st PoemPrice’s Art 

Art by Price

Dylan’s Art

Art by Dylan

Sherri’s 2nd Poem

Anna Claire’s Art 

Art by Anna Claire

 Andrew’s Art 

Art by Andrew

The Artists

Price

Dylan, Anna Claire, and Andrew

Many thanks to Sherri, Anna Claire, Price, Dylan, and Andrew for sharing their talents with us today!


Meet Sherri: Sherri’s poems, puzzles, and articles have appeared in many publications, including Ladybug, Pockets, Child Life, Jack and Jill, Flicker, and Highlights for Children. She has also written features and poems for adult magazines, both secular and religious, penned a newspaper bi-monthly column, had a humor essay in two anthologies, and spent several years writing and selling verse to greeting card companies. For a limerick contest at Saturday Evening Post, she was awarded first place and a whopping $100! She has won two Letters of Merit from SCBWI contests, which encourage her when the writing is not going well. She loves biographies of people overcoming obstacles, and has several biographies that fit that description in different stages of readiness. Although her children are adults now, some of her fondest memories are the days spent reading books to a child on her lap.

In addition to writing, Sherri loves to travel internationally, but back home the beach is her happy place. She and her husband reside in Augusta, GA with her two cats, Sophie and Sadie, and her husband’s dog Sandi—the subject of her two poems.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny and a Whole Slew of Greats!

poetry friday buttonThanks to Irene at LIve Your Poem for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today I have an especially GREAT treat! I’ve written a poem . . . as usual. And Landon has an illustration to go along with the poem . . . as usual. And that is GREAT!!! 😀

But I also asked all of my other GREAT nieces and GREAT nephews to add their GREAT art to this post! Isn’t that especially GREAT?

So GREAT nephew Landon has drawn the illustration for my poem and I have art from another FIFTEEN GREAT artists who’ve contributed GREAT jack-o’-lanterns of all types!

Let’s get started with all of this GREATNESS!

GREAT Aunt Penny’s Poem

GREAT Nephew Landon’s Art

Don’t forget to look fir Landon’s hidden object! Need a hint? Look HERE.

And now the GREAT Gallery of GREAT Jack-o’-lanterns —
with every kind of jack-o’-lantern you can imagine.

GREAT Neph-Pup Louie’s Art

The artist admiring or possibly eating his art.

GREAT Nephew Ethan’s Art

GREAT Nephew Charlie’s Art

GREAT Nephew Corbin’s Art

GREAT Niece Lorelai’s Art

GREAT Niece Penny’s Art

GREAT Niece Madison’s Art

GREAT Niece Jessica’s Art

GREAT Niece Taylor’s Art

GREAT Niece Hailey’s Art

GREAT Nephew Preston’s Art

GREAT Niece Kennedy’s Art

GREAT Niece Kallie’s Art

GREAT Niece Klaire’s Art

GREAT Nephew Liam’s Art

Wasn’t that GREAT????

Thanks to all of my GREATS for sharing their talents! And thanks to all of the GREAT readers who join me on Fridays for these especially GREAT collaborations featuring poetry and art. I hope you GREATLY enjoy today’s post!