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Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!

It's official-- Name That Dog! is finally released for sale by Penguin's Dial Books for Young Readers,and is available in bookstores and on line!

Happy Spring!

Happy Poetry Month!

Happy Reading!

I'll be looking at poetry books for children, poetry blogs and websites, and posting more this month.
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Aspiring Picture Book Authors

On Saturday I spoke to an amazing group of close to 50 aspiring picture book authors. All of us are authors, some published and some not yet published. All of us are aspiring, some of us hoping to be published for the first time, and some of us hoping for that next book. Read More 
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Caldecott Awards 2010

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The Cladecott Medal winner for 2010 is "The Lion & the Mouse," illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers).

2010 Honor Books include "All the World," illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, published by Beach Lane Books. And "Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors," illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

What wouldn't an author give to have their book chosen as a Caldecott Award Book!

But how can an author, who is not an illustrator as well, make a difference?

What if our words could inspire the most fantastic pictures in the mind of the illustrator! So much so, that their hands and fingers would magically translate those wonderful pictures to paper, which become pages in a book. And in the end, the eyes of a child could see into the heart of our story.

For an author, isn't that what's it's all about? Words, inspiring pictures, inspiring a child?

May our words and pictures work together to inspire the hearts and minds of children. I do so appreciate the illustrators who translate my words into pictures to that end. Read More 
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Grandkids and Picture Books Waiting to be Written

I'm writing this from St. Peters (near St. Louis), as I'm waiting for our newest grandson to arrive. My husband is fending for himself while I get to spend time with our kids and the grandchildren that we don't get to see often enough.

What fun hanging out with 2 and 3 year-olds! What imaginations they have already! They enjoy the most simple things, and notice the smallest details. The things that picture books are made of.

I'm working on my new year's resolutions. I've joined jacketflap, a community of people who have an interest in children's books in some way (visit me at http://www.jacketflap.com/parcher), and posted on my facebook page. I brought books to read, but will read some children's books here first. It's at least a start on those goals for 2010.

I still have a hard time remembering to write '2010' but it's off to a good start! Read More 
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Thanksgiving Blessings

There are lots of things that I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving. My family, friends, good health. I can't wait for tomorrow, to be with family, and for the turkey and the pumpkin pie!

When it comes to writing and giving thanks, I think of. Read More 
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Focus on the Picture Book in Indiana

An inspiring conference for children's writers and illustrators was presented by Indiana SCBWI this past Saturday at the offices of Children's Better Health Institute (CBHI) in Indianapolis. CBHI was a wonderful host--special thanks Read More 
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Wonderful Words

Aren't vacations wonderful?! My husband and I took a week off and went to the Smokey Mountains in TN. How beautiful, and vast.

Like writing for children...
So many ideas, so little time to put them into words.

But not just any words. The right words. Words that jump off the page, words that stretch the imagination, words that take you someplace you've never been before. They're simple, and lyrical and fun. They make you laugh or cry, but always, they make you feel. Together they tell a story, change characters, and can change the world one reader at a time.

The vacation is over, but  Read More 
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Writing a Picture Book--not as easy as it looks!

Last week I had the opportunity to meet April Pulley Sayre when she gave a talk about writing and her picture books in South Bend. I love the simplicity of her picture books, and the way that she presents facts in such an interesting & fun way. She makes it seem so easy, but  Read More 
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The Value of Music in Writing for Children

I write poetry and stories for children. I do not write music. Our son, Dan, and our daughter, Sarah, write and perform their own songs. Our son Kevin writes music. Maybe someday I'll give it a try. Of course it would be songs for children. My husband played drums and had a band in high school. All of our children play instruments, and some were in choir and musicals. I've learned how to line dance and to think rhythm.

There's a lot to be said for music if you write for young children. Rhythm, pacing, and a musical quality are important in picture books. . Read More 
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