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Check out my friend, Cynthia Reeg's blog celebrating Blog Hop!

While you're there, look around her site for some great posts for children's authors and for young readers.
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Reading—Then and Now

My husband is on a mission! It’s called ‘de-cluttering.’ Lately he’s been pulling out boxes of old photos from the shelves with a plan to divide them up and give them to the kids. That’s about seven shelves, and it doesn’t even count the dvd’s since photos went digital!

So far we have six small piles of photos to give away. Mostly we look through the boxes and ‘remember when.’

‘Back then’ kids liked hide and seek, sand boxes, and bikes. They liked playing games of all kinds and reading stories. Kids still like the same things, but what’s different in today’s world is the many ways that kids can do those things.

They still count to ten out loud when they play hide and seek. They still dig and build roads in sand boxes, and they still ride bikes. But when it comes to games and stories, it’s a brand new world.

Today some games can be played on a board at the table, and some can be played outdoors. They can also be played on a video screen, hand-held or desk-top, or with many different game systems. Electronic games have their place, but just as ‘back then,’ kids still enjoy the interaction of having someone who will sit down and play a game with them.

When my kids were young, books-on-tape was something new. I remember them listening to a tape of BEDTIME FOR FRANCES. They would listen to the part that says “U is for underwear, down in the dryer,” giggle, and re-wind the tape and play that part over and over. The thing is that they had the book in front of them and turned the page when the ‘beep’ sounded. They were reading along with the tape. Just as today kids can read along on an e-reader. I think that our kids still enjoyed the stories best when we all sat close together on the sofa and read them out loud.

Today books can be listened to on cds and on all kinds of e-book readers. Have you ever watched a baby swipe his hand across a book page, waiting for it to change the picture? Some of these babies know more about electronics than I do! E-books can be interactive, read-only or with someone reading it as you go along. It can show the spelling of a word in the story, make a dog bark when you click on it, and more.

Electronic books or the board and paper kind—it’s all reading. The difference is the format. What electronic games and books doesn't change is the personal interaction, bonding, and closeness of playing together or reading together. No matter what the format, we can still read books together out loud, sitting close together on the sofa.

Hoping that this summer all kids have someone to play games and read books with them, no matter what the format. Happy summertime!  Read More 
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Twitter Link to Books Dads Love


Just saw this link to a u-tube video where the dads at Scholastic talk about what books they like to read to their kids.
Scholastic Dads Talk Books.
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Picture Book Dads


This week-end is Father’s Day, a great time to share some picture books about dads or books with dads in them. Here are some that I especially enjoyed.

SAY DADDY! by Michael Shoulders, illustrated by Teri Weidner, Sleeping Bear Press 2008.
This book begins with the day that Baby Bear was born. Mother and Daddy, brother, Aunt Grace, Uncle Roy, and Grandma all welcome Baby Bear into the world, and read books to him. Each one hopes their name will be the first word that Baby Bear says. His first word is a surprise to everyone, but Daddy doesn’t give up on teaching Baby to say his name. A very sweet book about babies, family and the power of books in a young child’s life.

BERTIE: JUST LIKE DADDY by Marcus Pfister, NorthSouth Publishing 2009.
Bertie wants to do everything just like Daddy. “When you’re older,” Daddy tells him. This is a fun book with Bertie and Daddy interacting in each scene. Even though Bertie can’t do the things that Daddy does, there is always a good alternative. And in the end Bertie has the right answer when Daddy is the one who wants to be just like Bertie. I picked up another ‘Bertie’ book featuring him and his dad, and found it to be just as much fun.

DADDY ALL DAY LONG by Francesca Rusackas, illustrated by Priscilla Burris, HarperCollins Publishers 2004.
In this book Owen and his Dad keep trying to one-up each other in how many ways they love each other. This counting book shows every-day ways that kids and dads show their love—“…more than six monster tickles!...more than seven scoops of ooey-gooey chocolate caramel ice cream!” and so on.

PIGGY AND DAD GO FISHING by David Martin, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Candlewick Press 2005.
Piggy is excited about his very first fishing trip with Dad, but there are things about fishing that Piggy is not fond of. In the end of the book Piggy invents his own way of fishing. It’s a compromise between Dad’s way and Piggy’s way, and shows fun times with father and son.

A LION AT BEDTIME by Debi Gliori, Barron’s Educational Series 1994.
Dad doesn’t show a huge presence in this book, but Ben knows he can count on him when he needs him. When Ben sees a lion in his bedroom at night, his father “bumped about in the dark, banging doors and saying, ‘Listen lion. Back to the jungle. Scat, big cat!’” In the end, Ben solves the problem on his own.

HUNTING THE DADDYOSAURUS by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Benrei Huang, Albert Whitman & Company 2002.
The rhyming text in this book is such fun, and is easy to read. Brother and Sister dinosaurs follow clues to find ‘the marvelous Daddyosaurus,’ chanting along the way “Hunka-cha, hunka-cha, rooba.”

DADDIES DO IT DIFFERENT by Alan Lawrence Sitomer, illustrated by Abby Carter, Disney-Hyperion Books 2012.
In this book, Daddy doesn’t do anything like Mommy does. At breakfast he makes forts out of waffles and when bathtime is over, Daddy is just as wet as his daughter. But in the end, she knows that Mommy and Daddy both love her exactly the same. A fun book that gives a different spin on everyday things, depending on who is doing them.

GRANDDAD’S FISHING BUDDY by Mary Quigley, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch, Dial Books for Young Readers 2007.
I just couldn’t leave out the Granddads out! In this book when Sara stays with Grandma and Granddad, she discovers Granddad up and about “…while the sky was still blue-black and the stars shone like night-lights.” She tags along when he goes out to meet his fishing buddy. The beautiful language makes you feel that you are in that quiet early morning with Sara and Granddad, out on the lake, waiting for his fishing buddy to show up. Sarah learns about fishing, what quiet means, and about spending time with Granddad, ‘the best catch of all.’

This is only a small taste of all the picture books out there that feature dads. When I looked on our local library branch website, I found 128 titles with the word ‘daddy’ in the title!

Wishing all the dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day! May you be blessed with time to spend with your children, eat well, and have time to relax at the end of the day.  Read More 
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Meet Margo Dill, Children's Author

Author, editor, book reviewer, writing instructor, blogger—all of these are among the many hats that children’s author, Margo Dill, wears. Her middle grade novel, FINDING MY PLACE, published by White Mane Kids, is an American Civil War adventure about One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg. It’s a piece of history told in such a way that makes learning about the Civil War exciting and interesting for kids.

I met Margo long ago when I was a new SCBWI member in Indiana and she was a member in Illinois. We reconnected again last year here in Missouri where we both now live.

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful program for SCBWI members at the Kirkwood Public Library where Margo talked to us about “Show vs Tell, and Overwriting,” then wrapped up the afternoon sharing her insight about “Social Media and Marketing.” We left with lots to think about and do.

Among the many points that she made regarding Show vs Tell are:
--use strong verbs
--don’t use too many adjectives and adverbs
--use sensory details, action and characterization to help ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’

In regards to Social Media and Marketing, the #1 question to ask yourself is:
What are your goals for your career?
She went over the different ways for writers to network, both in person and online, and gave the benefits of each. She said that every writer should have a blog and a website, even if you’re not published yet.

Margo also recommended Stephen King’s book, ON WRITING, which offers good advice and is interspersed with humor. And check out books that are Mark Twain Award winners for examples of good writing.

Margo has two picture books which will be released at a future date from Guardian Angel Publishing and High Hill Press. Some places to find out more about Margo Dill are:

Margo's Author Website
Margo's Blog
Women-On-Writing
Editor 911
Finding My Place

FINDING MY PLACE by Margo Dill: ISBN-10: 1572494085, ISBN-13: 978-1572494084  Read More 
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