Thursday, March 9, 2017

ReFoReMo Day 10: Wendi Silvano Wonders...

I request so many picture books from the library that they made me my own “reserved” shelf. So, what do some of my recent favorites make me wonder?
MEET THE DULLARDS by Sara Pennypacker

I wonder: Could I write deadpan humor as good as this?








MOO! by David LaRochelle

I wonder: Could I write a story with just one word? (Don’t miss the back-flap matter!)







WHAT IN THE WORLD? by Nancy Raines Day

I wonder: Could I write something with such simplicity of 
language and rhythm?









SPARKY by Jenny Offill


I wonder: Could I create a character, like Sparky, who just is who he is.




I wonder: Could I make such great use of POV, understatement and interplay between text and art?


Wendi is giving away either a signed copy of any of her three Turkey books (TURKEY TROUBLE< TURKEY CLAUS or TURKEY TRICK OR TREAT) or a PB critique. To be eligible, be sure to comment on this post and strive to read mentor texts daily.

My own personal reserved shelf at the library.

WENDI SILVANO (www.wendisilvano.com) is a former teacher, and the award-winning author of 21 picture books and early readers, numerous magazine stories and an assortment of educational materials. Her books TURKEY TROUBLE and JUST ONE MORE won the Children’s Choice Award, and TURKEY CLAUS was voted one of the 10 best picture books of 2012 by YABC. 










170 comments:

  1. I wonder: Could I ever be even half as talented and inspirational as the amazing Wendi Silvano?

    These mentor text suggestions are super, so thanks for sharing the insights so delightfully!

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  2. Love it! A few years ago after reading TURKEY TROUBLE, I asked myself if I could write a Thanksgiving book. Fast forward to last year when I finally did just that (now fingers crossed that an editor acquires it). Thanks for your own great books which have served some of us as mentor texts, as well as this post!

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  3. Love the mentor text examples. Thanks. Your own books have served me as mentor texts, too.

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  4. Your own personal reserve shelf...I aspire to even half a shelf! Thanks for the post :-)

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  5. Fantastic questions! A lovely response to a good read is to find the best in it and ponder how you would create that compelling element yourself. Thanks Wendi!

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  6. I'm looking forward to reading these texts. Thank you for letting us wonder with you.

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  7. Wendi, you certainly provide a variety of picture books for researching different genre, POV and language aspects! I must check them out.

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  8. I also have my own personal shelf! Most of these have already found their way there, but I am looking forward to reading the one that has not.

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  9. Ooh - oozing with talent! Heading to the library today and checking out the ones I haven't read. Thank you!

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  10. I often wonder the same things..."hmm...could I?"

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  11. Some new ones for me to check out! Thanks!

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  12. I have one of these, too, and the librarians insist my checkouts are the reason for their increase in funding. Thanks for helping us wonder.

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  13. My granddaughter and I read MOO yesterday three times over after the first read, Lola, 6 years-old, was reading it to me. We talked about how to read the illst. as well and they showed her how to say the word MOO to go with each illst. She loved the book and "Borrowed" it to take home and read it to her younger sisters. Thank you for your selections.

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  14. Great examples and I love that you have your own reserve shelf at the library. I think I'm getting to that point, too!

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  15. Great mentor texts, Wendi. Thank you!

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  16. Thanks for reminding us to wonder if...with every new read.

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  17. Wendi, loved your suggestions and the reasons why you suggested them. Can't wait to read these paying close attention to these mentor texts.

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  18. I walked into my local library, and the lady behind the desk said, "Hello Mrs.Schanke. We have a lot of books for you." I was surprised she connected my name and face. Because of my requests for ReFoReMo, they had placed my pile of books in another location on site. I just loved reading these books and laughed out loud. Thank you!

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  19. Love this post, Wendi. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  20. Hi Wendi, thanks for this fantastic list! The Dullards sounds hilarious. Off to the library!

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  21. Thank you, Wendi. These are great mentor texts.

    Ree

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  22. I wonder: How can she convey so much advice in so few words? Thanks for this post!

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  23. I have read most of these (Yay!) but not The Dullards...that looks funny!Thank You, Wendi:>

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  24. Great set of mentor tests to make us all wonder how can we do that w/our own writing! TY, gobble, gobble.

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  25. I don't have but two of these at present, but I hope to find the others. Short,succint post, but oh so IMPORTANT. You have given us a tall order to be able to duplicate the methods in these clever and inviting picture books.

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  26. SPARKY is one of my favorites too.

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  27. Fabulous! I have been dying to read The Dullards for so long! Thanks for reminding me, Wendi! Love knowing your faves.

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  28. I love the idea of asking myself the "I wonder" question about certain books. I'm especially intrigued by the "one word" PB concept and will look forward to reading MOO!

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  29. Love this list of mentor texts. Thanks, Wendy!

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  30. I look at some of the picture books and I wonder why I didn't think of that....hehehe....

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  31. Love this invitation to wonder.
    The step after wonder
    is try.
    Thanks, Wendi!

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  32. Wendi, I love the reserved shelf. My library has given me my own tub ;) Love it! Thank you for your mentor text suggestions.

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  33. Great list of mentor texts. Thank you for inspiring us to wonder.

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  34. Thanks for the great list. I am a big fan of If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!

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  35. Meet the Dullards is so amazing. I want to try to write something like that one day. My librarians know me well, but I don't have my own shelf yet! Hope to see you again at a future SCBWI conference. Enjoyed your presentation last year in NJ. - Rita

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  36. Lots to think about! It's fun to try the challenge of writing different styles of stories.

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  37. Thanks for sharing the great mentor texts and tips from them!

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  38. These books make you wonder, and then show you how it's done. Great titles!

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  39. Great mentor texts to explore. I love wondering if maybe "I could" when inspired by wonderful writing!

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  40. Wondering leads to inspiration. Thanks for your list of mentor texts

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  41. Thank you for the post, Wendi! It will be using the "I wonder" question in my study of picture books, for sure. What a genius way to spark thought and creativity!

    I love how you have your own library shelf. I don't have a shelf (yet ;-) ) but I collected two nice baskets yesterday! Best of luck with all your projects, and thank you for all you do for children!

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  42. LOVING this 'WONDER' post! SO many things I wonder as I read mentor texts- can I do that? Can I do this? Mentor texts can be very inspiring, and such amazing models for our WIPs.
    I also wanted to add - did anyone else just crack up at the spread whe the Dullards Family watches paint dry?! I had to share it with my boyfriend, who also cracked up. "I WONDER"....can I make adults laugh like that through my picture book?

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  43. Thanks for sharing your picks, Wendi!

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  44. GREAT post - it's nice to see how a published author looks to other texts to step outside the box.

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  45. I am a little jealous of your shelf. Thank you for the wonders.

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  46. Thank you for the wonderful mentor texts and the questions behind them, Wendi! The two of these I've read are great. I look forward to reading the rest!

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  47. Wonderful post on wondering and giving us so many questions to use. Thank you.

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  48. Thanks for sharing these wonderfully written PBs, Wendi!

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  49. Oh, I think they are going to have to do that for me too! I reached my limit of 75 books this month and the librarian was like "You have 75 books checked out?" It's not too many! Thank you for the specific things to look for in each book. Happy reading!

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  50. I love this post. Such good questions to think about when writing and reading picture books! I've read a couple of these already, and I can't wait to read the rest of them. Thank you.

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  51. It is easy to write a lot of words but to select the few perfect ones is a talent and a skill. Thanks for the suggestions. Love Moo!

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  52. I'm thinking this gives new meaning to the website, All The Wonders. I love your book selections!

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  53. Great ideas to ponder and a nice approach for thinking about any PB - to grab the feature that makes an impact.

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  54. Great mentor texts, and your offer of a critique is so generous. Thank you for posting!

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  55. Meet the Dullard's looks great. I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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  56. Now after reading a picture book I will be asking myself, "I wonder if I can. . . " Thanks for the inspiration!

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  57. Your post has gelled, in my mind, the importance of continually reading mentor texts. I had my husband get a library card so I can put more books on hold past our library's limit of 15.

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  58. Thank you for sharing these "wonder"ful mentor texts. I love SPARKY!

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  59. Excellent questions to ponder and wonder. Thank you, Wendi.

    ~Suzy Leopold

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  60. Thanks for your time and more great mentor texts! Great questions to help us in our writing.

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  61. Such a variety in mentor texts today! Your post reminded me that I used to ask my young students to sit and wonder before they began to write. I must practice more what I preached! Thanks for your picks!

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  62. Thank you, Wendi, for sharing some questions and examples to explore for mentor texts.

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  63. I wonder if I'll ever get to the heart of the matter as well as you do. Thanks!

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  64. 1) Sparky gets me every time. 2) The one word manuscript seems like a fun challenge!

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  65. Thanks, Wendi! Loved your picks and the reason why behind them.

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  66. Great questions! Thanks for the post.

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  67. Thanks for sharing your recent favorites and the questions they inspired, Wendi! I've once again reached my holds limit (25) at the library.

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  68. Thanks, Wendi, for the great mentor texts suggestions; they are making me wonder about my WIP.

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  69. Thanks, Wendi. Great list of books! I wondered the same questions :)

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  70. my library requests take up a whole shelf, but not officially dedicated to me...

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  71. Library love! I work at my local library. Staff there know all our regular patrons and grab their holds before they even come up to the desk. Bet they do that for you too!

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  72. Thank you for suggesting these mentor texts!

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  73. Thanks for encouraging us to wonder . . . and to use mentor texts as we explore our imaginations.

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  74. Love these mentor text suggestions, thank you

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  75. Great way to approach mentor texts--wondering. Thanks for this. Just picked up Dullards from the reserve shelf today. (they haven't given me my own shelf yet though...) Thank you for the post!

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  76. THE DULLARDS is hilarious! Thanks for the mentor texts!

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  77. Great post, Wendi! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on mentor texts and wondering.

    I’m looking forward to reading Sparky and What in the World.

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  78. Looking forward to reading the titles above that I haven't yet read, and wishing you continued successes, Wendi!

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  79. wendy,
    i loved meet the Dullards. What a nice play on the importance of being interesting. I reached my maximum # of takeouts form the Scottsdale library. my husband fortunately was only checking out one book so he checked some out too. Sparky is a helpful mentor text as I work on an unusual pet MS as well.

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  80. I wonder how authors come up with such unique ideas. Great choice of books, Wendi.

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  81. Yes! good list of books today :3 also, that's pretty awesome to have your own reserved book shelf at the library 😂

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  82. Great picks for mentor texts. I love the idea that you have your own reserved shelf at the library, Wendi. Wish I could depend on the library more. My kids sob real tears when I take back their favorites, so we end up with a house full.

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  83. I wonder if I could ever write a story in rhyme. I wonder if I could ever start with rhythm when writing a story. I wonder if I could write a story completely in dialogue. I wonder if I could write a solid 2nd pov story.....Thank you for inspiring me to wonder more broadly!

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  84. I love, love, LOVE "Sparky!" Thanks for these other mentor text recommendations as well!

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  85. These books look great! How sad I've only heard of one of them. Will be adding to my list.

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  86. Now I'm wondering if I know the difference between deadpan and understatement...Love Turkey Trouble! Thanks.

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  88. Great post, Wendi. Other books can really make as think about what we a capable of.

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  89. Wendy, I love your phrasing as you contemplate your mentor texts: "I wonder: Could I write..." I don't have my own reserve shelf at the library yet (something to aspire to!) but when I come in, sometimes my wonderful librarians will roll out a cart full of new picture books that aren't ready for the shelves yet, and I get to pour over them for a few hours. Heaven!

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  90. Thanks for your ideas, Wendi. You have provided some real inspiration with your post.

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  91. I wonder...will I ever have enough time to read all of these wonderful books? Thanks for raising such great questions, Wendi, and bringing these stories to our attention!

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  92. More wonderful books to read. I've been inspired sooo much with the reading selection so far. I've started THREE new picture books! This is great!

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  93. I've now read some of the ones you mentioned and loved your questions geared to each one. Thank you for your inspiring post. It will help me to focus more on my own writing.

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  94. Enjoyed your post. I'm writing down all the mentor texts and find myself asking similar questions. These texts make me want to push harder and dig deeper.

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  95. Great suggestions, Wendi, thank you! I especially love IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING AN ALLIGATOR TO SCHOOL, DON'T! Elise lives about an hour from me and is part of our SCBWI Dakotas group. She's wonderful:)

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  96. Your questions about each text throw down the gauntlet for all of us. What profound mentor text challenges! Thanks for upping our craft set.

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  97. Thanks for the great suggestions. I especially loved "Moo!" We have a longtime love of the almost-single-word book "Hug" by Jez Alborough in this house.

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  98. This is a great questions to ask ourselves. Could i write/create ... Thanks for a great post. (Mary McClellan)

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  99. I love that you have your own shelf at the library! After ReFoReMo, my branch may give me one as well. Wendi, I love all the books on this list! Thank you for this post!

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  100. WENDI: I LOVE how you formed your blog post in questions each of the books you listed made you think concerning your own writing. A BEAUTIFUL way to demonstrate how picture book research is SO IMPORTANT, necessary, and FUN!!! THANK YOU!

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  101. This is such a lovely way to view mentor texts, “I wonder: Could I?”

    Thank you for your insight, and for the great list of books!

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  102. Thanks for a great post, Wendi. I haven't had a chance to read Meet the Dullards yet, but the title and cover illustration are irresistible! I can't wait to read it!

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  103. I love that you have your own library reserve shelf. Fantastic! Thanks for your recommendations.

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  104. Thank you Wendi I do the same thing when I read a great PB I wonder if I can write such a great story and how!!

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  105. thanks for the mentor text ideas- I love If You Want to Bring an Alligator and look forward to reading the others!

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  106. Hi Wendi!

    We love your books in our house, so I was delighted to see your name on the calendar for ReFoReMo! I really enjoyed the mentor texts you selected, and I found "Sparky" just before I saw it on your list. I was tickled by it as well, so I'd venture to say it's my favorite here today. Based on your reflections, I'm going to choose one thing to wonder about, with each new mentor text I read. Thanks for the idea to be ever mindful of what makes each picture book special. The "wondering" questions you ask can also be seen as challenges- challenges to push our writing to places it's never gone, or even to just write, if it's been a while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our group!

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  107. Thank you for the recommendations and for the reminder to wonder. I'm looking forward to incorporating more wonder in my life!

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  108. Wendi: Thanks for the great collection of books and thought provoking questions to think about our own writing with each one! Ready to read and ponder!

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  109. Looking forward to reading these mentor texts and asking myself these questions! Thank you for this post!

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  110. Thanks for those book suggestions, Wendi, and how to think about them! I check out tons of PBS too but don't have my own shelf (yet!).

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  111. Thanks for your great mentor text selections--I especially enjoyed What in the World and liked If You Ever... more upon this reading. Thanks, too, for encouraging us to ask questions as we read and to think about how the mentor texts can encourage us to try new things in our writing.

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  112. Thanks for giving us such great things to wonder about!

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  113. I love the choices....looking forward to thinking about new ways to write...Thanks Wendi!

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  114. Makes me wonder, too. Thanks so much! I have my own shelf at MY library. Lucky us!

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  115. Wondering is so important. I wonder often just to keep my juices flowing. :)

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  116. Hmm.... I wonder how long before my library realizes I need my own shelf? Thanks for sharing your list and your wonders with us. Now you've got me wondering about what I can add into my stories. Also, I'm rethinking that paint color I picked out. It seems a little too Dullard.

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  117. Thank you for sharing! I have my own cart for holds at the library now....

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  118. Thank you for selecting these thought-provoking mentor texts!
    Susan

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  119. Always good to wonder, and using a self-directed question when thinking about mentor texts is a great idea!

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  120. Great mentor texts and great question to ask myself - thanks.

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  121. Superb -- a great way to look at a 1 feature of a successful PB and challenge ourselves as writers at the same time. Thank you Wendi!

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  122. Thank you Wendi for reminding us to wonder if.. Great list!

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  123. thanks for sharing. I wonder if I could?

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  124. great books and good things to wonder.

    And WOW! I had always thought that books like MOOO! could only be done but writer/illustrators. But Mooo! has both an author and illustrator. Hmmm...that gives me something to think about. Perhaps it can be done by "writers only" like me. It would be interesting to learn how he submitted the story and how many illustrator notes he used.

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    1. David LaRochelle initially intended to do the art, too. But after trying and trying and not getting quite what he wanted, he saw Mike's cow on a poster (I think for the MN State Fair) and knew THAT was the cow. They are both Minnesota guys and immensely talented. I THINK (but could be wrong) that David already had a publisher for the book at that point and then suggested bringing Mike in as the illustrator. It's awfully hard to do that kind of book as just the author--makes me wish I had any artistic talent at all:>)

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  125. MEET THE DULLARS is so funny and, when I read it, I can never believe it's by Sara Pennypacker, author of the Clementine series. So different!!! I'm also a big fan of your turkey books! We see Lee Harper at a lot of our EPA SCBWI events. I hope to meet you at an event as well!

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  126. Such fun books! As I've read Moo (over and over as requested by my 2-year-old!) I keep thinking it would be a great warm up in an acting or improv setting! How much can you convey with one sound??? Thanks for this great list!

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  127. Wendi, thank you for this. The only one I couldn't get at library was What in the World. Will keep looking. The others were such fun. Read these to my 7 year olds and we laughed a lot.

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  128. Can't wait to read all these picture books. Is that weird for an adult to say? :)

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  129. You know, Wendy... now we're all wondering if we could write a lovable goofy character like Turkey!

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  130. Great thought ~ to wonder if . . . ~ makes me want to try! Love this list of books!!

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  132. Just cleared my shelf at the local library (and already getting it filled again). Now, to sit down with the 60-some-book pile and wonder, what did they do so wonderfully that I could strive for as well. Great mentor text approach, thanks.

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  133. This mirrors a lot how I tend to use mentor texts, Wendy. I read something that blows me away and think, Wow, could *I* do this? And if so, how? Thanks for your post!

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  134. Sadly, my library only allows us to place a hold on 5 books at a time. I really enjoyed reading your suggested books (most of them--I haven't found them all yet).

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  135. These books killed me! I absolutely love Alligator - it's been a favorite of mine since I stumbled across it about six months ago, and I still laughed out loud when I read it tonight. I'd like to start taking Wendi's guidance to heart and think "I wonder if I could do this" when I read books like this, rather than "I could never come up with something this good..." Liz TIpping

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  136. Oh, my! That was so much fun.

    (And, again, unique illustration styles that all work fabulously.)

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  137. I love your "wonders" and that you have your own shelf at the library. Something to aspire to :)

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  138. Wendi...I absolutely adore your questions! Thank you for sharing them and these fabulous books with us!

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  139. Looking forward to reading your suggestions.

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  141. Writing humor is a tough thing to pull off! Thank you for a great list of mentor texts.

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  142. Thanks for your suggestions! I was surprised that my daughter's favorite was Moo! Who would have thought an entire story with one word would be so interesting?

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  143. Wonderful questions for a wonderful selection of books. Great way to approach reading and writing. Thank you!

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  144. I love your selection of books and your questions are insightful and encouraging. Thank you!

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  145. So. Hard. To. Pick. Favorites! Thanks for sharing some from your shelf with us! There are a few in your picks I've never read before. Adding to the list....

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  146. My library is very up to date with new books and marks them with a pink tape on the upper spine. It really helps. I love this list. Thanks so much.

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  147. I think all writers are full of wonder, sometimes we simply forget to engage in it! Thanks for the focus :) I'm off to wonder!

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  148. Good questions to ponder while reading these texts Wendi!

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  149. Thank you for sharing books to help with common questions.

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  150. Some new ways to think about writing. Thanks!

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  151. Thank you for this post, and encouraging us to ask "I wonder..." as we study these mentor books!

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  152. I love your list of mentor texts and I'm a big fan of all your work. Thanks for challenging us to wonder as we create our own stories.

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  153. Great opening questions, Wendi. Thanks

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  154. I'm enjoying borrowing books from the library. The librarians automatically check the shelf under "D" when they see me walk in, I've been keeping them so busy. Thank you for these great book suggestions, Wendi. I currently have one of your books on hold to pick up this week.

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  155. Thank you for reminding us to take time to wonder when we read. I love that you have your own "reserved" shelf at the library!

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  156. Thank you for reminding us to take time to wonder when we read. I love that you have your own "reserved" shelf at the library!

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  157. Thank you for reminding us to take time to wonder when we read. I love that you have your own "reserved" shelf at the library!

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  158. Your own reserved shelf is high achievement! (and an example of why librarians are such awesome people)

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  159. Oooh, can't wait to see your books, Wendi! And thanks for the mentor texts!

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  160. Thanks for the recommendations on texts... some of them are new ... looking forward to growing my own request shelf!

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  161. Thank you for these recommendations. I'm looking forward to reading them.

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  162. I wonder: Could I ever stop learning from studying mentor texts? Thanks for the recommendations.

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  163. I like your I wonder posts. Thanks for sharing.

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