The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit

Here’s my Perfect Picture Book Friday choice:

The Black Rabbit
Written and Illustrated by Philippa Leathers
Candlewick Press, 2013
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Themes: shadows, fear

Opening Lines: RABBIT WOK UP ONE MORNING and stepped out of his burrow into the bright sunlight. It was a beautiful day.  (Yep, those caps are in the book.)
Synopsis: Rabbit discovers a black rabbit behind him. He tries to run away , but he can’t seem to get rid of the black rabbit. In the dark woods, he escapes the black rabbit and discovers another danger.

Link to Resources: Go outside and look at how your shadow follows you. Try to outrun it. See how your shadow disappears at different times of the day and in different places. You can also draw a chalk outline of your shadow, but you must stand still! Lesson plans on shadows.

Why I Like The Book: Philippa Leathers takes a fun approach to shadows. Enzo laughed at the images of the rabbit trying to outrun the black rabbit. There’s a funny chase scene. Simple and cute.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI conference was wonderful. I met some online writer friends in person and met some industry professionals.

RMC-SCBWI events always provide an opportunity to spend time with Julie Rowan-Zoch, who had the three board books she illustrated for sale in the conference bookstore. Enzo gives her books a thumbs up!

Salina Yoon’s workshops were my favorite. I needed to hear the tips about story, process, and the business side of writing picture books. I love novelty and concept books, so it was wonderful to learn about her creation and marketing process for these books. Bonus: She read us Tap to Play!, which releases in October.
Avi was the keynote speaker. While he said he didn’t intend to be inspirational, he was. He shared many thoughts and a few jokes about writing. What’s the difference between a writer and a 14-inch pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four! Ouch, right?

A few of the presenters at this conference spoke about the limited market for rhyming and ABC books. A couple of people mentioned rhyming manuscripts cannot sell outside the U.S. due to translation issues, as well as market preferences in the U.K. They are also tricky to translate. ABC books were also mentioned as being limited to a U.S. market.

Post-conference I am working on revisions. I received helpful feedback in an editor’s critique and in a picture book intensive with the same editor and 14 (I think) other writers, who shared their thoughts after a quick reading of stories. Fresh eyes are always priceless.
Hope your writing is going well this week.

Find more PPBF at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

Reader University: Follow

Reader University: Follow

This is the fifth post in a series of 12 ways to help authors (and your writing) by reading.
Reader University FollowWith so much focus on author platform, you’ll find most of your favorite writers on social media. Here are three ways to follow an author:

  • blogs
  • social media
  • in person

It’s fun to study how published authors use their blog or social media presence.
Are they reaching out to readers, other writers, or book buyers? Do they use a specific social media site like Twitter or Facebook, or do they have a Pinterest board that draws you in for hours?
Some authors share unique details about their books and their characters on their blogs. Some will tweet lines from their books. A Pinterest board may be created to share the inspiration for a book’s setting or a character’s backstory.
Kid lit authors often will share educational materials — how to use their book in a classroom or home setting.
Other writers will share writing tips — how to break through writer’s block, how to deal with bad reviews, or how the rejection never ends.
Some authors are absent from social media, but that’s rare. This is where the in person idea comes into play. Why not attend a book signing or a conference where your favorite author is presenting? This is a good way to learn about the writer’s process and work. Most of these events have a question and answer session, why not support them and a question in person.
Years ago when readers wanted to contact an author, they mailed letters to the author’s publisher. With social media, contact can be instant. It’s a good way to show your support and learn a little more about the books and writing you enjoy. 
Reading: I continue to read the Lines of Defense Poems by Stephen Dunn. I had to take a fiction break after the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.
Reader University
If you missed any of the Reader University posts,