Winner of Marsha Diane Arnold’s Baby Animals Take a Bath!!!

Marsha Diane Arnold joined me on my blog on September 1st to collaborate with her four-year-old granddaughter Gráinne. It was a delightful collaboration featuring poetry and art! If you missed their collaboration, you can see it HERE.

Not only did readers get to enjoy the collaboration but they also had a chance to win a signed copy of Marsha’s newest board book, Baby Animals Take a Bath. All they had to do was leave a comment on the blog post by midnight September 8th to be in the drawing.

And we have a WINNER!

The signed copy of 

Baby Animals Take a Bath 

goes to

 

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes!!!

 

Congratulations, Michelle!

Thanks, Marsha!

 

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny

poetry friday buttonThanks to Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme 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.

Since Landon and I started this series in the fall of 2014, today’s post begins our third year of collaborations! Hope you enjoy!

Penny’s Poem

Landon’s Art

Art by Landon

 I absolutely love how Landon’s school bus is a crayon box! Along with being a talented artist, he’s super creative!

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: Marsha Diane Arnold and her Granddaughter, Gráinne + a Giveaway

poetry friday buttonThanks to Kat 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 Marsha has generously offered a signed copy of her newest board book, Baby Animals Take a Bath, with delightful illustrations by Phyllis Tildes. Many are giving this book with a hooded towel and bath toy for baby showers.

About the Story: From a polar bear rolling in the snow to a zebra in the dust, animals in various settings enjoy their special kind of bath, ending with a human baby having fun in a bubble bath. Little ones will discover some new animals and understand that all animals, including humans, have important things in common.
**Those who enter must have a US address. All you have to do is leave a comment below by September 8th at midnight CST. A winner will be randomly selected.


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

Marsha Diane Arnold and her Granddaughter, Gráinne

From Marsha: My granddaughter Gráinne recently turned four. Her favorite things to draw are faces, the sun, and trees. She has always been enchanted by the wind. So, I wrote a simple poem about the wind and dancing with leaves for our collaboration.

Marsha’s Poem

Being an independent soul, Gráinne’s mind took her first to fiery eyes and burning marshmallows before she settled down to the wind dance. Here is her progression:

Gráinne’s Process

Art by Gráinne

Art by Gráinne

Gráinne’s Final Art

Art by Gráinne

Proud Artist

After Gráinne made a few drawings of herself dancing with the leaves, she declared she wanted to go outside to talk to a tree. She stood in front of our big oak for a few moments having a conversation, then danced with the oak. I love that our collaboration of poem and drawing also took her outside for some real dancing and to commune with nature. Thank you, Gráinne, for sharing your creativity and your enthusiasm.

The Collaborators

Many thanks to Marsha and Gráinne for sharing their talents with us today.


Meet Marsha: Marsha Diane Arnold is a multi-award winning picture book author whose books have sold over 1 million copies. The media has called her, “a born storyteller.” Recent books are Waiting for Snow and Junior Library Guild selection Lost. Found.. Three new picture books are scheduled for 2018.

Marsha shares her love of books and writing by visiting schools around the world and through her online course, Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books, http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html. Like her granddaughter, she enjoys climbing and talking with trees. You may find more about Marsha’s books and school visits at www.marshadianearnold.com or visit her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MarshaDianeArnoldAuthor/

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

poetry friday buttonThanks to Jone at Check it Out 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! We’re back for more collaborations on my series, A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. Just In case you haven’t visited the series before, let me tell you a little about  it. 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.

I’m super excited that our first episode this fall (it’s almost fall 🙂 ) will feature return guests. Today it’s my pleasure to share another creative collaboration from . . .

Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

I love the story behind this collaboration.

From Ken: As far as the collaboration process, Catherine shared her work in progress with me and I looked at the tiny mermaid and thought how brave she must be to venture into the depths of the ocean. About this same time, I was considering changing schools but did not yet have the courage to apply. I had heard about an amazing staff and school that was really making a difference. They are known as the “Trailblazers” and eventually I was hired and I’m smitten with the school and staff that I have met thus far. Vista Peak is a unique school that serves students who may have difficulty in a typical school setting. With the poem, I wanted to capture in as few words as possible what I perceived as an important goal of the Vista staff and that being to produce thoughtful, calm, unfazable, courageous, trailblazing students.

When Catherine and I each completed our part, I was very pleased with the results and feel the art and poem complement each other much like an illustration in a book and it also is our personal “hello” to my new school and sort of celebrates my next venture as a teacher. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Collaboration:
Poem by Ken Slesarik
Art by Catherine Slesarik

The Collaborators

Ken and Catherine collaborated in 2016 too. You can view that episode HERE. Also, Ken collaborated with a group of 1st graders in his after school poetry club. You can view that episode HERE.

Many thanks to Ken and Catherine for sharing their talents with us today.


Catherine2Meet Catherine: Catherine Slesarik is an award-winning artist and college student from Arizona. She enjoys sharing her talents with people of all ages. An avid reader and science buff, Catherine plans to incorporate science in her work as a children’s illustrator to inspire girls and women everywhere.


Ken SlesarikMeet Ken: Ken Slesarik is a special education teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in several world-wide anthologies and magazines. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike.

Winner of THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT!!!

We

have

a

WINNER!!!

And

that

winner

has

won

a

copy

of 

by

Susanna Leonard Hill!!!!

I do believe we actually have two winners because these two are always together!

Congratulations

to

Genevieve Petrillo and Cupcake! A-rooooo!

If you missed the post about about THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT, you can go right HERE and read my interview with Susanna. If you weren’t a winner just click on the book cover and you can buy your own copy 😀

GIVEAWAY!!! Two Copies of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale! Plus Book Signing and Pre-Order Information

Yes! A Goodreads giveaway. Easy to enter! I’ll send a signed copy to each of the two winners. US residents only. Simply click on the cover of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale and you will be taken straight to the giveaway. Good luck!

I hope you’re able to join me at my signing to celebrate the release of my new book, A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale (on-sale date 9-5-17). See synopsis and reviews below.

Book Signing with Penny Parker Klostermann
Tuesday September 5th • 4:00-6:00 pm
Texas Star Trading Co.•174 Cypress St.•Abilene, TX
**See convenient Pre-Order Details below

If you’d like a copy of my book please take advantage of the pre-order price of only $15.00 (Regular retail price is $17.99) by giving Texas Star Trading Co. a call at 325-672-9696. They’ll reserve a copy for you and it will be waiting for you when you arrive. You can even have it signed ahead of time if you choose. Just give them the personalization details when you call to pre-order. Copies will be available at the book signing for the special, pre-order price of $15.00

Even if you can’t make it to the signing you can take advantage of the pre-order price through Sept. 5, 2017. Go straight to their website by clicking HERE, add your personalization details per website instructions, and have your signed book shipped to you.

If you are going to pick your pre-ordered copy up from Texas Star Trading Co. instead of having it shipped, then you should call to pre-order and let them know your personalization details at that time.

Synopsis: From the creators of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight comes a fun fractured fairy tale about an aspiring chef who mistakenly turns story ingredients into delectable dishes. . . . Uh-oh!

In the magical land of fairy tales, William doesn’t quite fit in. He’d rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and he values gnocchi over knighthood. . . .

When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters (a pumpkin, apples, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White’s wicked stepmother doesn’t exactly want her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel.

The team that brought you There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight delivers a hilariously fractured, whipped, and souffléed fairy tale that is chock-full of delicious details and jokes to satisfy every appetite!

Praise for A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale:

KirkusKlostermann’s triple-twisted tale is a cute concoction that children familiar with the traditional stories will enjoy.

School Library Journal~ a fine recipe for a fractured fairy tale—blend familiar storybook characters with lots of dialogue, add a pinch of disharmony, and stir in a happy-ever-after ending.

Road Trip! Trucks on Tour With Susanna Leonard Hill + a Giveaway!

Road Trip! Yep! That’s right . . . a road trip with Susanna Leonard Hill and her new book, The Road That Trucks Built! On this road trip we will explore interesting tidbits about the construction of her book!

Pick your favorite from below!
Start your engine. Let’s go.

Speaking of Road Trip, Susanna’s book has been on a road trip of sorts. It’s been on a blog tour. Later in the post there’s a list of all the places it’s been. And guess what . . . A special prize will be raffled off among anyone who comments on every single blog tour stop, so don’t miss a single fascinating installment! I’ve left handy links below.

Now let’s start that road trip and hear from Susanna.

Me: Susanna, I just finished reading and rereading and rereading, etc. THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT. I’m completely in love with this book. The cumulative structure is just right for your story. The trucks are perfect — mighty, but adorable and friendly.

Text copyright © 2017 by Susanna Leonard Hill Illustration copyright © 2017 by Erica Sirotich Used by permission of Little Simon

Susanna: I know! Aren’t they cute? Er, I mean tough!

Me: And the cover is a toy! Genius! (A cardboard wheel is part of the cover and readers can turn it to make the trucks move in a circle!)

Susanna: I wish I could claim it was my genius… but it wasn’t really. It was the editor’s (although I may have nudged his genius with my genius because my original conception for the manuscript was a pop-up book or a book that had moving parts… 🙂 )Me: I predict this book will be movin’ on down the road into the homes of many young truck-loving readers!

Susanna: I sure hope so! It seems like it would make an excellent car seat companion 🙂

Me: One very special thing about picture books is the marriage of text and art. As I mentioned above, the trucks are perfect. Erica Sirotich did an amazing job of making your wonderful text come to life. It was delightful to spend time with each spread and take it all in. In doing this I quickly noticed that the art not only includes hard working trucks, but also includes hard working, hardhat wearing birds! They’re just as adorable as the trucks and I love the fact that little birds are helping big trucks build the road. They’re certainly not birdbrains and add much fun to the visual story.

I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the work these hardhat wearing birds are doing to the work that has to be done to bring a book to life.

We could call it . . . Book Construction: Not for Birdbrains!

Let’s start with the yellow bird that is carrying a rock. This reminded me of digging for an idea. On the same spread there is an orange bird surveying the road. We must have ideas for stories … but beyond that we must survey (carefully consider) the idea in terms of story. When did you realize your idea had enough “story” for a book?

Susanna: Hmm… let me just adjust my thinking cap hard hat… I think I knew it from the beginning. The idea was the story of trucks working together to build a road. It was more a question of execution – how to tell the story. I wanted to keep it fairly simple for young readers, but not “dumbed down” (if you’ll forgive the expression 🙂 ) I wanted to call all the trucks by their proper names and teach a little about the jobs they do, and I wanted to tell it in a way that was fun but also interesting and educational. The cumulative structure and engaging read-aloud rhythm of The House That Jack Built seemed like a nice model to build on.

Me: On another page, there is a pink bird observing the road building progress and a blue bird clearing debris.

Did this story progress easily or were there times when it was messy and you had to clear debris and clean things up as far as rhyme, meter, word count, or other details?

Text copyright © 2017 by Susanna Leonard Hill Illustration copyright © 2017 by Erica Sirotich Used by permission of Little Simon

Susanna: The actual story was pretty clear in my mind from the beginning. But yes, there was definitely mess! There is always mess. Really. I am never inviting any of you to my office lest you grow faint at the sight of my “filing” system:-) I’m not sure how easily your rhymes come to you, Penny, but for me there is always a great deal of experimentation. I went through MANY versions of the rhyme, because I wanted it to work smoothly without feeling forced and without adding unnecessary words or lines just to make the rhyme and meter work. So I tried a lot of different ways of saying what I wanted to say, switching the words and ideas around until I got a balance between story, rhyme and meter.

Me: One of my favorite bird characters is the green bird that wears a traffic cone as a hat and appears to be totally enjoying himself. I know that writing is extremely difficult and can be frustrating. But was there a part of this book journey that was especially enjoyable for you?

Susanna: Well, I have to admit… I like big trucks and I cannot lie 🙂 (Me: That cracks me up, Susanna!) As I’ve mentioned in other interviews, I did plan (at age 3) to drive a steam roller, and although I ended up taking a road less, umm, flattened? 🙂 , my love of trucks is long-standing. So it was enjoyable to write about trucks. I also really like telling a story of how something works, in this case, building a road. I liked learning about it myself, and I like the idea that kids could enjoy learning about it too, through the story. But probably the most enjoyable part was that I wrote this book for my son, so it was something I got to do for him and share with him even before it was published. (A long time before it was published, actually, since I wrote it when he was under 5 and now he’s 21! 🙂 ) Also, I don’t know about you, but when I think of trucks, I think of truckloads of good things… like chocolate… 🙂

Me: Later in the book two of the birds are riding on the Paint Marker truck. They seem very happy with the stripes being painted on the road. Maybe they think of it as “road art”. 🙂 Describe how you felt when you first saw Erica’s art for your book?

Susanna: I was thrilled! I think her art really suits the story. I love how colorful it is. I love how each truck has its own personality and facial expressions. I love all the little details, like the flower in the bulldozer’s smoke stack. And I LOVE the construction worker birds! The one with the cone on his head is probably my favorite too 🙂

Me: Her details are amazing. Let’s face it . . . the whole book is amazing and kids are going to treasure it!
I appreciate you sharing about the construction of this book. I can tell that both you and Erica put a lot of thought and hard work into making it so delightful. Hearing about your process is useful to writers and reader alike.

Susanna: Thank you so much for having me on your blog (again!), Penny! I so appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers, and I’m so grateful to you for helping spread the word of my new books. Plus, you gave me an idea! You know how, on the highway, you see those signs that say ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD? Well, I think I need one over my desk that says BOOK CONSTRUCTION AHEAD! 🙂

Me: That’s a wonderful idea! Perfect for a writer’s desk.


As promised, here is a look at where Susanna’s trucks have been and I’ve made it easy for you. Here are the links to every single stop. Just click, enjoy, comment, and move on down the road to the next one because remember . . . someone is going to win a special prize. Comment on each of these blog posts and you’ll be in the running. But do it today because I’m the last stop on the tour 🙂

Blog Tour Kickoff

Book Review/Arts and Crafts Activity   

Book Review and another Arts and Crafts Activity  

Activity Kit Reveal

Interview With Illustrator, Erica Sirotich – Giveaway

Q&A With Susanna – Giveaway

Guest Post by Susanna – Giveaway

Interview With Susanna

Recipe

Interview With Susanna 

Interview With Illustrator, Erica Sirotich

Giveaway Winner Announced

Book Review, Craft  – Giveaway

Publishing Life and a Recipe

Interview With Susanna With an Art Emphasis

I’m the last stop on the tour 😀

GIVEAWAY: Readers! Lucky you! Susanna is giving away one signed copy of The Road That Trucks Built! All you have to do is leave a comment below. Leave your comment no later than midnight (CDT) Sunday, August 20, 2017 so that I can draw a winner! ***You must be in the United States to win.

And don’t forget to share on social media.  The hashtag we are using to promote the book is #trucksontour.  Every time you share a post on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram using #trucksontour you will get an entry into a raffle where 3 winners will each get a $25 Merritt Bookstore and Toystore gift card.


Meet Susanna: Susanna is the award winning author of over a dozen books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice), No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner and an Itabashi Translation Award Finalist.)  Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one forthcoming in Chinese.  Her newest books, When Your Lion Needs A BathWhen Your Elephant Has The Sniffles, and The Road That Trucks Built will be published by Little Simon in July 2017.  When Your Llama Needs A Haircut (Little Simon) and Alphabedtime! (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books) are forthcoming in Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 respectively, with additional titles coming in 2018 and 2019.  She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

Places to Find Susanna: Website: http://www.susannahill.com/HOME.html
Blog: http://susannahill.blogspot.com
Face Book Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannaLHill
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SLHill1
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=26268678&locale=en_US&trk=tyah&trkInfo=tas%3ASUSAN%2Cidx%3A2-1-2
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102248907287284628149/posts/p/pub
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/susannaleonard/
Making Picture Book Magic (online picture book writing course): http://susannahill.com/for-writers/making-picture-book-magic/