Penny’s Two Cents Video Chat Winners!

Recently I posted about my new venture, Penny’s Two Cents. I announced that I’d give away two 30-minute video chats. Anyone who commented on that blog post or shared on social media was entered in the giveaway. If you did both, you were entered two times. I gathered all the entry names, numbered them, and then used a random number generator to choose the winners! And the winners are . . . . . . 

Linda Hofke!!


Colleen Murphy!!

Please contact me HERE and we’ll find a time to chat!
For anyone who missed that post and would like to know more, just click HERE and you can read all about it.

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and/or shared about Penny’s Two Cents!
Happy writing!

A New Venture: Penny’s Two Cents

Hi! I know I haven’t blogged in a long time but I wanted to let you know about a new service I’m offering for picture book writers. I call it Penny’s Two Cents and here’s an overview.

Do you have questions about writing for children and getting published? I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but I’m happy to share my Two Cents based on what I’ve learned and continue to learn on my journey as an author. My focus is fiction and nonfiction picture books.
I offer video chat sessions, small-group webinars, and packages. Packages include general/big picture feedback on a picture book manuscript. In my feedback I’ll note the strengths of your manuscript and the places I feel need work. This does not include in-line comments, but I’m very thorough with my general feedback.
We’ll chat via Zoom. (I’m open to other options such as Skype, Google Hangouts, phone.)
If you’d like to know more just click on over to my webpage that has all the details. You can find it right HERE.
To celebrate my new venture, I’m giving away two 30-minute video chats. To win one of the two, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post. And if you share on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #pennystwocents, you’ll get another entry for that. Please note that you shared in your comment. Tweet what you like or share by copying one of the prepared tweets below. Just copy and post to Twitter! Winners announced June 5th.
Penny sharing her Two Cents! For picture book writers: Win a 30-Minute Q & A Video Chat with author @pklostermann. #askanauthor #pennystwocents #giveaway
Hey picture book writers . . . win one of two 30-Minute Q & A Video Chats with author @pklostermann. Check out Penny’s Two Cents. #askanauthor #pennystwocents #giveaway
I never start a new venture without some experimentation. I experimented with Penny’s Two Cents by offering Manuscript Feedback + Video Chats as a prize for a writing contest hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill. I’ve loved chatting with the talented writer who chose the prize. I did a group chat with her critique group and it was delightful. Several were kind enough to give me some feedback. Have a look.
“I really appreciated that thoughtful and insightful manuscript feedback that Penny gave. Line edits can be great for troubleshooting a specific problem but her general feedback was helpful for honing my craft as a writer. Being able to talk with her afterward and get more details about her feedback gave me a new lens through which to view all my manuscripts – not just the one I had sent. Being able to follow up with questions made the feedback infinitely more valuable.” – Package: General Feedback on a Manuscript + Chats
“I really appreciated Penny being so open about her own experiences during our sessions. From the kidlit resources she used ten years ago to the ones she continues to find invaluable, I have so many new tools in my writing kit. Learning more about how she organizes her notes, drafts, and research was enlightening. Even if a specific strategy wasn’t the best fit for the way my brain works, it sparked new ideas and got me thinking outside of the box in ways I hadn’t before.” – Package: General Feedback on a Manuscript + Chats
“Penny is wonderful! I walked away from our talk feeling more aware and prepared for the author road ahead of me. Thank you again!”  -Small-Group Q & A
“The group chat was a really exciting opportunity for my online critique group. I try to keep up on webinars and author and editor blog posts but it was so exciting and helpful to be able to ask questions that were specific to our writing journeys. And to be able to ask questions that people don’t always answer in blog posts! Our conversation sparked new questions which sparked new conversations. We’ve had follow up conversations within our critique group and shared revisions based on what we learned in our conversation with Penny. Her two cents is priceless.” – Small-Group Q & A
“Penny’s video chat was like meeting up for coffee with an author. I loved being able to sit and listen to her, and I loved having the chance to ask her questions “face-to-face.” She was a delight!” – Small-Group Q & A
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy reading and writing!


Dragon Pajamas and More!

Yes! It’s a dream come true! Read the book and then snuggle under the covers in Old Dragon pajamas!

Purchase links below. Pajamas are sold separately or as a pajama/book set. For pajamas only, check out Rockin’ AB or Hately. BabyGap has the green pajamas and the other sites have the blue. Just so you know, I’ve heard that they run small since they’re a long john type pajama. 

Rockin’ AB
Saks Fifth Avenue

Also, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT has been released in a new format, making the story accessible on mobile phones. Moonlite Library now includes my book in a three story bundle of Dinos, Dragons & Pirates! 

I tried it out! It’s very easy. First, you have to download the Moonlite app. This small projector attaches to your cell phone and uses the flashlight to project the image. Not all story reels come with a projector so make sure you check that out on their website.

Are you signed up for my newsletter? I share this information and more in my latest issue. And there’s a GIVEAWAY! I’m giving away two copies of A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE. I’ll randomly pick two names from my newsletter subscriber list and send each a copy. I’ll draw names at the end of November and then contact the winners for a mailing address. If you’re not a subscriber, you can click HERE to sign up. Pass this along to your friends and if they subscribe to my newsletter, their names will be in the drawing, also.

To read the current issue, click HERE.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!


2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem-Day 23

Happy National Poetry Month!

I hope you’ve been enjoying poetry this month. It’s said that April showers bring May flowers! But maybe even better — April brings poetry to the forefront for thirty wonderful days, showering us with a bouquet of language!

This year I’m participating in the annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. Thanks to Irene Latham for being host and organizer. She began the progressive poem in 2012 as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month. The poem grows line-by-line as thirty poets contribute a line each day of the month.

This year, Matt Forrest Esenwine started us off with a “found” line from a song. Then he challenged us to “continue this method and use only FOUND lines!” He did say, “But of course, your line is YOUR line…”

Believe it or not…every single poet so far has found a FOUND line! So onward! I’m following suit!

I’d decided I would turn to kids’ movies for my song since this is a KidLitosphere poem. Catherine preceded me and found her line from Curious George which makes me seem a bit like a copycat! But since I made this decision days ago and had been browsing soundtracks, I’ll just say “Meow!” and get on with it!

Of course nothing I’d found when browsing did the poem justice after Catherine added her line. But I was so excited about her line that I didn’t mind more browsing. Catherine’s line, “There’s no stopping curiosity” is perfect for kids! From the beginning this poem has been about adventure and curiosity is the beginning of adventure.

I’m not one to analyze poetry. I’d rather just enjoy it. But to add a line, I had to do a little analyzing/thinking about the poem thus far. So we have a set up for adventure…an endless summer with a child looking out on a sunny day. Once the adventure starts, another child joins in. Then after a bit of action, it seems the two ponder and reflect. That would be a nice way to wind down to an ending. But there has to be more because April isn’t over.

Enter Catherine and curiosity that can’t be stopped. To me that signals a question or questions that a child might pose about adventure as we build to a satisfying ending.

Awesome! There are so many songs that ask interesting questions! What kind of question/s fit our poem? About the adventure? About future adventures? About life as an adventure? I think my line can fit any of those scenarios.

The line is from Rainbow Connection (The Muppet Movie). The fact that it’s performed by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) is a bonus in my mind. Take a listen if you like 🙂

Here’s the poem with my added line in italics.

2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles.
No time for school- just time to play,
we swim the laughin’ sea each and every day.

You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
it’s the chance of a lifetime,

make it last forever–ready? Set? Let’s Go!
Come, we’ll take a walk, the sun is shining down
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
Tomorrow’s here. It’s called today.

Gonna get me a piece o’ the sky.
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
and there’s a tiger in my veins Oh,
won’t you come with me waltzing the waves,
diving the deep?

It’s not easy to know
less than one minute old
we’re closer now than light years to go
To the land where the honey runs

…we can be anyone we want to be…
There’s no stopping curiosity.
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

Someone created a Spotify Playlist honoring our progressive poem. I hope they will add my song to the list. It can be found here.

Found Lines:

L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles’ / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ / Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’
L3 The Jamies, ‘Summertime, Summertime’
L4 The Doors ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’/ Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times, Bad Times’
L5 Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine “You had only to rise, lean from your window,”
L6 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning”
L7 Paul Simon, “Kodachrome,” “Dazzling Blue”
L8 Dan Fogelberg, “Run for the Roses”
L9 Spice Girls, “Wannabe”/ Will Smith, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
L10 The Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
L11 The Carpenters, “Top of the World”
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” from Mary Poppins Returns
L13 Carol King, “Hi-de-ho (That Old Sweet Roll)”
L14  Steve Miller, “Fly Like An Eagle”
L15   Don Felder, “Wild Life”
L16   Nowleen Leeroy, “Song of the Sea ” (lullaby)
L17   Sara Bareilles, “She Used to Be Mine” from WAITRESS
L18  Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t She Lovely”
L19 R.E.M, “Find the River”
L20 Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”
L21 Mint Juleps, “Groovin” by The Young Rascals
L22 Jack Johnson, “Upside Down”
L23 Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson), “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie

Here are our Poem Contributors:

Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
Kat @Kathryn Apel
Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites
Jone @DeoWriter
Linda @TeacherDance
Tara @Going to Walden
Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown
Mary Lee @A Year of Reading
Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem
11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters
12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @Dori Reads
14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering
15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink
17 Amy @The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
19 Heidi @my juicy little universe
20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @Reading to the Core
23 Penny @a penny and her jots
24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference
25 Jan @Bookseestudio
26 Linda @Write Time
27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro
28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass
29 Irene @Live Your Poem
30 Donna @Mainely Write

Passing the torch to Tabatha!


Frankenbunny by Jill Esbaum + a GIVEAWAY!!!

Today I’m excited to have Jill Esbaum on my blog. Jill has written a slew of amazing picture books and Frankenbunny is her latest release. It is a delightful book that I have read many, many times since it arrived in the mail.

Jill has agreed to have a conversation about Frankenbunny. But first, the synopsis:

“You know monsters aren’t real, right?”
Brave is easy in the sunshine. Brave is easy near Papa. But can Spencer the Bunny learn to be brave ALL the time—even when his big brothers try their best to scare him?
Spencer the Bunny’s big brothers ALWAYS frighten him with scary monster stories. And the most terrifying beast of all is Frankenbunny, with his crusty fangs, flashing red eyes, and ginormous paws. But when Spencer discovers that his brothers made the whole thing up, he hatches a plan to turn the tables on them and conquer his own fears . . . forever.
Any child who has ever worried about a monster in the closet or felt scared in the dark will love this humorous story about learning to be brave.

And this nice snippet from Kirkus Reviews:

“A good choice for younger sibs terrorized by older ones or for kids who need a reminder that monsters aren’t real.”

Now for the inside scoop from Jill 😀

Penny: I’m impressed at how expertly you captured the universal childhood fear of monsters. Even though as children, we’re told they aren’t real, and logically we don’t “think” they are real…all it takes is a sibling (or a kid in the neighborhood or a kid at school) to raise doubts. I have three sisters and I can tell you that there were plenty monster stories creeping around our house. So I can relate.

Jill: Oh, man. Me, too! My older brother was soooo good at making me rethink truths … like the fact that I KNEW there was nothing in our basement at night that wasn’t also there during the daylight hours. But ask me to go down there alone after dark? No way! Not after the time he sent me down there for something, then flipped off the light, slammed the stairtop door, and called a spooky, “Wooooooo…” to freak me out. Forever after, I was afraid something would grab me down there, even in the daytime. When I HAD to go to the basement, I’d get whatever I needed (quickly) and be halfway back up the steps, congratulating myself for surviving, when it would occur to me that somebody/something could still reach BETWEEN THE STEPS to grab one of my ankles. My feet could not carry me up fast enough! I went around with skinned shins more often than not.

Penny: Frankenbunny is a genius title. When I think of bunnies, I think “cute and cuddly,” which is the exact opposite of monsters.  Because of that, the thought of a monster bunny seems unconventional and funny. It’s a title that drew me in and made me want to read the book and find out more. So how/why did you decide that the big, bad, crusty-fanged, ginormous-pawed, red-eyed monster would be a bunny?

Jill: Thanks, Penny. I’ve wanted to write a “scary” story for a long time. But every time I tried to write one with human kiddos, it got TOO scary. Finally, I decided to try one with the most harmless creatures I could imagine – sweet little bunnies. That’s when the title came to me. A bunny-monster, I hoped, would be terrifying to bunnies, but not so scary to kids.

Penny: One of the hardest things about writing for children is making the story relatable. These lines are some of my favorite lines in the book!

“Brave is easy in the sunshine.”
“Brave is easy around Papa.”
“Brave is hard in the dark!”

They’re perfectly placed in the story and are seriously relatable. Also they bring so much “heart” to the story. I’m curious. Did these lines come to you in early drafts, or did you find your way to them as you revised?

Jill: Thanks, Penny. Those lines didn’t come to me until many, many revisions into the story, when I realized it needed a framework, and yes, more heart. Honestly, I worked on this one for a couple of years before I got to a manuscript that felt right. Older versions were submitted and rejected. Rejection: the great revision motivator.

Penny: Along the same lines … “heart” is the thing that brings readers back to a picture book for multiple readings. It’s the elusive element that every writer strives for. Do you have a way of assessing your manuscripts for the “heart” factor? Or any tips for those writers who struggle with bringing “heart” to their stories?

Jill: Yikes, good question! Heart is a tough story element. It isn’t something you can just stick it in somewhere. It needs to be infused throughout the story. The best way to find a story’s heart is to really put yourself into your main character’s head. You have to feel the emotions s/he’s experiencing. Get your protagonist’s false belief/fear/yearning in line, and heart will arise organically.

Penny: The illustrations in this book by Alice Brereton couldn’t be more perfect. They’re incredible and fit the tone of the text to a tee. Most of the time the editor at the publishing house picks the illustrator. Was that the case with Frankenbunny? Did you see early sketches or did you see the art later in the process? What was your reaction when you saw the art?

Jill: Yes, my editor picked Alice to illustrate this story. When I saw her early sketches I was overjoyed – and, of course, trying to picture them in color. I could do that, sort of, by looking at Alice’s work on her website. She has an uncanny ability to capture whimsy and darkness simultaneously. Exactly what FRANKENBUNNY needed.

Penny: Now that you’ve all heard about Frankenbunny I’ll be you are thinking what I’m thinking . . . Frankenbunny would make a great Christmas gift for a child!! And speaking of books for children, one thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been immersed in the world of children’s books is that many people aren’t familiar with newer titles. I have friends that are constantly asking me for picture book suggestions for their children or grandchildren. In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be fun for you to spread some cheer by recommending current books by other authors that could be wrapped up and put under the tree … along with Frankenbunny, of course 😀
I know there are a bunch of great ones, so how about giving us five recommendations?

Jill: My current favorite is Creepy Pair of Underwear. For other favorites, just read back through my posts on my group blog, Picture Book Builders. 

Penny: Wow! If you read through Jill’s blog posts over at Picture Book Builders you will find plenty of book recommendations.
Thanks for coming by and telling us more about Frankenbunny, Jill.

Jill: Thanks, Penny. I always love visiting with you!

GIVEAWAY! Lucky readers! You can win a copy of Frankenbunny. All you have to do to be in the drawing is leave a comment below by midnight December 21st. (CST)
Those who enter must have a US address.

You can learn more about Jill Esbaum and her wonderful books on her website.

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.

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

Vote: Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Little Pig? Fairy Godmother? Giant? And 5-Book #GIVEAWAY #fairytalecookoff #SCBWIBookStop

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


  • 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


  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


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


  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 came through in a BIG way with his entry! 

Giantly Delicious Cloud Cake


  • 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


  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

Vote: Fairy Tale Cook-Off! Little Pig? Fairy Godmother? Giant? And 5-Book #GIVEAWAY #fairytalecookoff #SCBWIBookStop

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!!!