Monday idea: Photo prompt for PiBoIdMo

Monday idea: Photo prompt for PiBoIdMo

Here’s your final photo prompt for Picture Book Idea Month. I was thinking about my NaNoWriMo friends when I chose this one.

I hope the photos have been helpful. You’ll find another prompt on Facebook too.

On Wednesday, picture book and middle grades novel writer Robyn Campbell from Putting Pen to Paper will visit to talk how writing picture books is not for wimps!

Good luck turning all those picture book ideas into stories.

Perfect Picture Books: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado

Perfect Picture Books: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado

I’m joining in Susanna Leonard Hill’Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado
Written by Linda Ashman and Illustrated by Dawn Beacon, Sterling Children’s Books, 2011

Suitable for: Ages 5 and up

Theme/Topics: Holiday, educational

Opening: The book begins with a letter to Sophie about her upcoming visit to Colorado from her “favorite cousin” Zach.

Brief Synopsis: From the dust jacket —

“Ready to greet you are 12 skiers swooshing, 11 horses prancing, 10 covered wagons, 9 woven baskets … and much more from the Centennial State.
Zach is so excited about his cousin Sophie’s visit to Colorado that he gives her one of these VERY unusual gifts on each of the twelve days of Christmas, and Sophie writes lively letters home to tell her mom and dad all about her trip. Lucky readers are in for a wild Christmas countdown!”

Link to resources: In addition to the information provided about Colorado through Sophie’s letters to her parents, the book includes Colorado facts such as the state tree, bird and fossil as well as some famous Coloradans. Linda Ashman shares some thoughts about the book here.

This book is part of a series called Twelve Days of Christmas, State by State from Sterling Children’s Books.

Why I chose this book: This is actually the second time I’ve chosen this book. When Julie Hedlund interviewed Linda on her blog recently, I raised my hand saying “Pick me! I want this book.”

Why? I attended a picture book retreat Linda taught in July. She’s great at rhyme and storytelling. Plus, I’m not a Colorado native, so I knew I would learn something. Christmas arrived early at my house when I received this book.

For now, Enzo and I are skipping the letters Sophie writes. They are packed with a lot of information and intended for an older audience. At 18 months, my son is amused by the shorter parts. He follows the gifts through the twelfth day without a problem.

This book will make a fun gift year round to other families, who are new to Colorado. You might be able to find one in the series focusing on your state.

If you get a book, please let me know if your state has a state fossil. I’m excited to know Colorado’s fossil is the stegosaurus. This detail just makes me smile.

Thanksgiving contest: Off to Grandma's House

Thanksgiving contest: Off to Grandma's House

Here’s my entry into Susanna Leonard Hill‘s Thanksgiving Contest. Writers are linking their entries to this post. So, get a little Thanksgiving cheer by stopping by and reading the stories. 

Off to Grandma’s House

By Stacy S. Jensen

They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.
Henry popped his head from under his covers. “What?”
“We can’t make it to Grandma’s house,” Mom said again.
“ That’s what we do,” Henry cried.
“We can’t,” Mom said.
“I can,” Henry said jumping out of bed and looking out the window to see the streets empty and everything covered in snow.
Henry dressed in his long johns, sweatshirt and snowsuit.
He fixed a ham sandwich, potato chips and water.
“Where are you going?” Mom asked.
“To Grandma’s” Henry said.
“You can’t,” Mom said.
“I can,” Henry said pulling his backpack over his jacket.
In the garage, Henry put on his snowshoes.
Dad walked by and asked. “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to Grandma’s,” Henry said.
“You can’t,” Dad said.
“I can,” Henry said grabbing the rope to his sled.
Dad shook his head at Henry. “Wait a minute,” he said and returned in his own snowshoes.
“We’ll go together,” Dad said.
Father and son walked down the neighborhood through piles of snow. Henry slid down the hills.
It took a while, but Henry made it to Grandma’s house. She hadn’t fixed a meal as all the family stayed home due to the storm.
“I don’t have anything,” Grandma said.
“I do,” Henry said. “We’ll share.”
After lunch, Grandma made hot chocolate with a white frothy top for Henry.
“Now this is Thanksgiving,” Henry said slurping his drink.

A note:
I sought snow guidance from Hubby, who grew up in Iowa. He was quite the Debbie Downer on how to get Henry to Grandma’s house in a blizzard. Henry would be featured on a Dateline Special/news drama show had I used Hubby’s realistic advice. 
Earlier this month Jennifer Young from Castles in the Sky gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m grateful she thought about me. She has a wonderful blog. She wrote a great piece earlier this month on Why I Write
I know I’ve been a bit wacky with my posts this month as I’ve been focusing on picture books and participating in a few extra events. I promise to return to my regular three posts a week in December. 

Perfect Picture Books: Owl Babies

Perfect Picture Books: Owl Babies

Today, I’m joining in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book
Visit her site to see the other books recommended by other picture book writers and readers. It’s the first week and may change a bit. 
I’m participating for two reasons: I like the idea of finding more picture books to read and as a mom, I haven’t explored adding resources and activities to my son’s reading experience. My son loves board books. He eats them and gladly hands me ones to read to him.  
Owl Babies —Written by Martin Waddell and Illustrated by Patrick Benson

Candlewick Press, Text copyright 1992, First board book edition 1996

Suitable for: Age 1 and up

Themes/Topics: Separation


Once there were three baby owls:
Sarah and Percy and Bill. 

Brief synopsis: The baby owls think their way through their mom’s absence.  Or as the cover says:  “(The book) … offers the gentle promise needed by every young child that Mommy will always come home.”

Link to resources: 
Free Owl Babies lesson plans and lap book
An Owl Babies story pack
For more books with resources please visit Just Right Books!

Why I chose this book: My son has reached the separation stage. He gets anxious and cries sometimes when I leave. He received this book as a gift. He likes the actions of the owl siblings. I like their message that Mommy returns. For now, I think it soothes me more than him.

Monday idea: Photo prompt for PiBoIdMo

Monday idea: Photo prompt for PiBoIdMo

Here’s your Monday photo prompt for Picture Book Idea Month.
This guest photo prompt is courtesy of Karen S. Elliott – The Word Shark.

Karen also has a fun contest going on at her blog called The “Paint the Writer’s Wagon” Contest. She lives in Minot, North Dakota. She lost her home to the floods almost five months ago. She just recently moved into this FEMA box. There are prizes for the best entry, but you know I think helping Karen spruce up her new digs (even if it’s just on paper) is a great idea.

You’ll find another photo prompt on Facebook too.
On Wednesday, children’s book author and freelance writer Julie Hedlund from Write Up My Life will visit to talk about voice in picture books.

If you aren’t familiar with Julie’s website, take time to visit. She has a “How I got My Agent” Series with fun interviews and helpful information. She has a sidebar filled with links. And, every Sunday she posts a “Gratitude Sunday” post filled with little and big moments and end with a question:  What are you grateful for this week?

So, how are your picture book ideas flowing so far during the challenge? Or, how is NaNoWriMo treating you? I hope your Monday is filled with ideas.