Halloweensie-HG (Haunted and Ghostly) TV-Ex-Scream Makeover: Ghost Edition

It’s Halloweensie time!!!! If you haven’t participated in Hallooweensie, you don’t know what you’re missing. You can participate by posting a story or you can participate by reading the stories that are posted, Easy, huh?

Susanna Leonard Hill is the brain behind Halloweensie. And, don’t worry . . . her brain is not from some random jar like Frankenstein’s brain. Her brain is organized. Her brain thinks up easy rules. And her brain thinks up teeny, tiny 100-word stories for examples. Her brain encourages your brain to come up with your own story.

All you have to do is follow these simple rules I copied from Susanna’s website:

Write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words pumpkinbroomstick, and creak.   Your story can be poetry or prose, scary, funny or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 80 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. creak, creaky, creaks, creaking, creaked.  No illustration notes please!

There are prizes, too! All the details are HERE on Susanna’s website. I will post her link again after my story so that you can head on over and read all the other fun Halloweensie stories.

My entry comes in at 98 words.

HG (Haunted and Ghostly) TV
Ex-Scream Makeover: Ghost Edition

Harvest moon, inky night.
Haunted house, shivering fright.

Owls perched on broomstick limbs
hooting dreary, daunting hymns.

Broken windows, shambled shutters
framing ghostly flits and flutters.

Groaning porch, creaking rocker.
Vvvv-elcome mat, tarnished knocker.

Moaning greeter at the door,
“Enter. View our ghost decor.”

Darkened bedrooms, shrouded beds.
Tombstone pillows, piled for heads.

Dingy closets, chains and clothes.
Empty shoes in mildewed rows.

Dripping faucet, rusty sink.
Grimy mirror, phantom wink.

Wilting, weedy flower bed.
Rotting pumpkins, weathered shed.

Morning light, nearly here.
Soon the moon will disappear.

Floating host, wailing “O-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-O-o-o-o!”
A spooky way to bid adieu.

Head on over to Susanna’s place. It’s only haunted during Halloweensie season and it’s not all that scary. Just click HERE.





GHOST IN THE HOUSE-Perfect Picture Book Friday

Use your most ghostly voice to read the following . . .










Welcome to Perfect Picture Boo Friday! Actually it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday :-), but I’m trying to set a mood here!

Don’t be scared, but I have a spooky pick for today. And my pick should be in your house. Because it is …….

ghost in the house

Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Illustrated by Adam Record
Themes: Counting, Rhyme, Language Fun, Holiday
Ages: 3-7

Synopsis: When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears…a groan! Turns out it’s only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter…a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn — and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you’ll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!
Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that’s more playful than scary.

Opening: There’s a ghost in the house,
In the creepy haunted house,
On this dark, spooky night, all alone.
And he goes slip-slide
With a swoop and a glide
Until suddenly he hears . . .

Resources: I don’t think it will give anything away to tell you about the characters that appear in the story-a ghost, a mummy, a monster, a skeleton, a witch, and a child. I have crafts to go along with each. HERE is the cutest Ghostly Ghoul Wreath made with tissues and a few other items. The wreath is adorable, but you could also make individual ghosts. And click HERE to have a look at these paper towel mummies. HERE are footprint monsters that are too adorable to miss! HERE are Q-tip skeletons. And HERE are handprint witches. Parents could help young children make these at home. The child/children could hold up the characters as they appear in the story and pretend that they are the child in the story. The same thing could be done in the classroom, or the teacher could divide the class into five groups (ghosts, mummies, monsters, skeletons, witches), and each group would make and represent a character in the story.

Why I Like This Book: I love the month of October. Crisp mornings, colorful foliage, cups of pumpkin spice coffee, and of course . . .
Halloween picture books! This is a spooktacular (sorry, couldn’t resist) Halloween picture book! And it’s rhyming! Those of you who drop by often know that I LOVE rhyming picture books and this one is so much fun! The language! Oh the language! I just love, “he goes slip-slide with a swoop and a glide”! Oh.my.ghostness! Isn’t that too cute? Can’t you just see the ghost ghosting along? And the too-cute-to-be-scary illustrations are especially appealing. I rarely think of hugging a ghost or a mummy or a monster or a skeleton or a witch, but I’m telling you, if these little characters were haunting my house, I’d insist on a group hug 🙂 So float on down to the bookstore or to your library and haunt the salesperson or librarian until they bring you GHOST IN THE HOUSE!

Susanna Leonard Hill is the host of Perfect Picture Book Friday. Check out today’s links on her blog. She has compiled a categorized list of the books that have been reviewed on other Fridays. It’s an incredible resource for parents and teachers. For me as a writer, it has been a way to build my library list each week. To access the list, click HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-One Big Pair of Underwear

Can you believe we’re going to talk about underwear today? Especially bears in underwear? Especially two bears in one big pair of underwear? Well, it’s not my fault. It’s Laura Gehl’s fault for writing a book that I just had to share on this Perfect Picture Book Friday.

one big pair of underwwear

One Big Pair of Underwear
Written by Laura Gehl
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Themes: Counting, Sharing, Rhyme, Language Fun
Ages: 3-8

Synopsis: (from Booklist) The word underwear is enough to make kids erupt in giggles. But when two bears contemplate sharing one pair of underwear, youngsters will be rolling in the aisles. Add rhymes, tongue twisters, and alliteration into the mix, and you’ll find spirited entertainment in this picture-book introduction to basic concepts. A joy to read aloud with its well-paced rhythms…Placed on crisp white backgrounds, the digitally colored pencil illustrations are full of charm and humor. With a unique method of introducing subtraction, this wholly engaging title will be requested over and over again.

Opening: ONE big pair of underwear.
TWO brown bears who hate to share.
ONE bear wears the underwear.
ONE bear cries, “This isn’t fair!”

Resources: On her website, Laura has guides for using One Big Pair of Underwear for Language Arts and Math. Click HERE to view her guides.

  • Why I Like This Book: Those of you who read my Perfect Picture Book posts know that I love silly, humorous books. So the fact that this is over-the-top silly is my number one reason for liking this book. But, last night I was rereading it to see if I could pick a few other reasons why I like this book (even though over-the-top silly is good enough for me 🙂 ). I read it out loud, of course, because that is way a picture book should be read. And even though I have read this book many times and I know what’s coming, I couldn’t stop giggling. So here we are back at the over-the-top silly reason, and that’s what I’m going with! That’s why I like this book! And without spoiling anything, I’ll mention a few things that made me giggle besides the underwear.
  • the tongue-twisty Seuss-ish rhyme
  • the yaks
  • the goats
  • “SIX cooks pull books out of nooks.” (divine)
  • the SIX divinely illustrated cooks (no, I’m not telling what the cooks look like)
  • the whining cow
  • the parade

So put on your underwear (and a few other items of clothing) and get to a bookstore or the library! Pronto!

Susanna Leonard Hill is the host of Perfect Picture Book Friday. Check out today’s links on her blog. She has compiled a categorized list of the books that have been reviewed on other Fridays. It’s an incredible resource for parents and teachers. For me as a writer, it has been a way to build my library list each week. To access the list, click HERE.


Poetry Friday-A GREAT Nephew & A GREAT Aunt-Episode 2

Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Welcome back to A GREAT Nephew & A GREAT Aunt where I team up with my GREAT nephew, Landon, and we bring our GREAT readers a-picture-with-a-poem sort of thing. Today is Episode 2. If you missed Episode 1: An Adventuresome Moose, please click HERE to view it.

Before presenting our poem and picture for Episode 2, I wanted to highlight Landon’s amazing banner that he created just for the A GREAT Nephew & A GREAT Aunt series. I love his creative vision of our title for many reasons, but this bit of a backstory is a reason that made me laugh out loud. One thing you should know about Landon is that he is highly allergic to fire ants and understandably has a strong dislike for ants in general. So when they tried to take over our series with their drills and dozers, and cranes and coffee, and hammers and hard hats, Landon promptly took the upper foot and squashed their bold move. Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here!

Now moving on to  . . .

Episode 2-Robot Repair

The Poem

Robot text

The Picture

Robot Repair
Art by Landon

Thanks to Landon, the robot repair was successful! Notice the tools in his drawing. I just love the way he adds details that up the fun of the poem-story!

Thanks to all of you who joined us for Episode 2 of A GREAT Nephew & A GREAT Aunt. See you back for Episode 3 in two weeks 🙂

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting Poetry Friday at The Poem Farm today.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Tuck-In Time

Perfect Picture Book Friday is back! Very exciting. A big part of the excitement is being able to introduce books that I have read and that I don’t want anyone to miss. So today I want to tell you about an adorable book for naptime/bedtime.

Tuck In Time

Written by Carole Gerber
Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014
Ages:1 to 3
Themes: Naptime, Bedtime, Language Fun

When I tuck you in,
what do I see?
Two little eyes shining at me.
I see two little ears
that I want you to tweak
and a round little nose.
Can you push it? Beep! Beep!

Brief Synopsis: (from School Library Journal) A stuffed bunny cavorting on the endpapers as well as a puppy, bunny in its mouth, standing guard by a bed in the following scene, usher children into this delightful bedtime ritual.

Resources: Reading the book encourages parent/child interaction as different body parts are introduced in the bedtime ritual. And HERE are some fun bedtime games.

Why I Like This Book: There can never be enough bedtime books and this one is sure to be a favorite. The rhythmic rhyme uses simple language that will have the toddler chiming in with the parent. Didn’t you want to chime in when you read the opening?? The illustrations are a perfect fit. Cozy and delightful! I especially loved the puppy and the bunny being a part of the bedtime ritual. There is no doubt that this is a Perfect Picture Book!

Susanna Leonard Hill, most magnificent host of Perfect Picture Book Friday, has compiled a categorized list of the books that have been reviewed. It’s an incredible resource for parents and teachers. For me as a writer, it has been a way to build my library list each week. To access the list, click HERE.


Perfect Picture Book Friday 100-There Was A Wee Lassie Who Swallowed A Midgie

Can you believe that today is the 100th Perfect Picture Book Week??

Is that exciting or what? 100 weeks of picture books! And not just any picture books, but ones that reviewers felt were perfect enough to share. Not only are there comprehensive reviews, but each review contains activities to go along with the book. And Susanna Leonard Hill, most magnificent host of Perfect Picture Book Friday, has compiled a categorized list of the books that have been reviewed. It’s an incredible resource for parents and teachers. For me as a writer, it has been a way to build my library list each week. My library list keeps me reading piles of picture books which is necessary for any writer who wants to improve their craft. To access the list, click HERE.

For 100th Perfect Picture Book Week, I am excited to be sharing Rebecca Colby’s debut picture book. Rebecca and I are in the same critique group. It was exciting to see this story from start-to-shelves 🙂


There Was A Wee Lassie Who Swallowed A Midgie

Written by Rebecca Colby

Illustrated by Kate McLelland

Floris Books 2014

Ages 4-8

Themes: Humor, Cumulative, Language Fun

Synopsis: In this Scottish twist on a much-loved rhyme, the wee lassie swallows a succession of Scotland’s favorite creatures to catch that pesky midgie—including a puffin, a Scottie dog, a seal, and even Nessie! After all that, the wee lassie can’t still be hungry. Can she?

There was a wee lassie who swallowed a midgie.
I don’t know why she swallowed the midgie, so teeny and squidgy!
There was a wee lassie who swallowed a trout;
it flip-flopped and swim-swam and bubbled about.
She swallowed the trout to catch the midgie;
I don’t know why she swallowed the midgie,
so teeny and squidgy!

The trailer is really cute and features bagpipes as the background music. Perfect!

Resources: Rebecca created an amazing comprehensive teacher’s guide. You can find it HERE.

Why I Love This Book: I love the rhythm, rhyming, and repetition in a good cumulative tale. There are a lot of cumulative tales out there. Like all other books, some are just ho-hum, but others find a permanent spot in my heart and on my bookshelf. Wee Lassie did just that. In her rewrite of a classic cumulative tale, Rebecca found ways to make it fresh, new, and fun. Choosing a Scottish theme was brilliant. She carries out the theme seamlessly and enhances her rhyme with creative language and words. Kids will giggle at all the creatures the hungry lass swallows. Kate McLelland’s illustrations are bright and appealing. I adore her depiction of the wee lassie. She caught that “hungry” personality perfectly!
So if you’re like me, you’re probably not hungry enough to swallow a midgie, but you’re always hungry for a good picture book! Grab a copy of Rebecca’s fun tale! I promise it will satisfy!