Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ReFoReMo Reviews- Maria Gianferrari, plus Giveaway!

Maria Gianferrari is really on a roll. Since July 2015, she has released four picture books, with today marking the release of her fourth. She's expecting multiple book babies from Little Bee, Boyds Mills Press, and Roaring Brook Press in 2018 and beyond. In the picture book world, that's a ton of success in a very small amount of time! 

Can I get a standing ovation, please?

Maria is doing something very right, which makes her a great mentor to study. I recommend that you take some time to look back on the perspectives that Maria has shared with us during her journey. Explore the themes running through Officer Katz and Houndini and Penny & Jelly: The Sleepover, discover the research that went into Coyote Moon, and get inside her ReFoReMo 2016 thoughts about crossing genres.  Dissect her books to research how great craft is applied.

In celebration of her newest book and appreciation of her service to us, 
it's my honor to review Hello Goodbye Dog:  

As seen through the eyes of Moose, a dog who can't bear to be separated from his girl Zara, hellos are the best of all. Especially when Zara's hello is a loving pat on the head and story time. But when goodbye is a closing door, a lonely backyard, and no scratch-time with Zara, Moose has a tough time being home without her. He knows his special place is with Zara and he always finds a way to break free and return to her side. Zara shares his sentiment and puts a plan in motion that might keep them together all through the school day. Maria Gianferrari relays an endearing story of the unconditional love that dogs offer humans and an author's note about the importance of therapy dogs. Patrice Barton's illustrations compliment this special bond with soft colors and strokes that relay acceptance and understanding from all who witness the special bond between Moose and Zara. 

As you look at Maria's entire collection, it's pretty evident that she loves dogs. Just as dogs make great companions, they also make amazing characters. Maria has explored the anthropomorphic side with a magician dog (Houndini), a pet/best friend (Jelly), a wild dog (Coyote), and a therapy dog/pet (Moose). And she has more on the way; dogs, hawks, bobcats and more, some fiction and some nonfiction. When it comes to animals, there's not just one road to explore. Which road will you explore with your writing?

What are your favorite animal characters and what roles do they play?

Roaring Brook Press is sponsoring a giveaway of Hello Goodbye Dog for U.S. residents!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

More about Maria...
Maria Gianferrari is the author of the Penny & Jelly books, Officer Katz and Houdini, Coyote Moon, an ALA Notable Book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and most recently, Hello Goodbye Dog. For Maria, hello is sunshine after a snowstorm, the scent of cinnamon, and happy greetings from her beloved mutt, Becca. Maria lives in northern Virginia with her dog, Becca, her scientist husband and her artist daughter. She has additional titles forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press, Boyds Mills Press, GP Putnam’s Sons and Little Bee. To learn more about Maria, visit her website: mariagianferrari.com, on Facebook and Instagram.


*Monday, July 24th:                           Pragmatic Mom + THREE book giveaway!
*Two for Tuesday, July 25th:          Librarian’s Quest
                                                                     Reading for Research + giveaway

*Wednesday, July 26th:                   Homemade City
*Thursday, July 27th:                        Kid Lit Frenzy
*Friday, July 28th:                              Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook
*Monday, July 31st:                            Picture Books Help Kids Soar
*Tuesday, August 1st:                        Bildebok
*Wednesday, August 2nd:                 The Loud Library Lady
*Thursday, August 3rd:                     DEBtastic Reads!
*Friday, August 4th:                           Mamabelly’s Lunches with Love
*Monday, August 7th:                        Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

EXTRA: August 25th:                         Kidlit411—Interview with Patrice Barton

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Digging for Gold Challenge

By Janie Reinart

Nikki Grimes has done it again. Her new book, One Last Word, finds inspiration from poets of the Harlem Renaissance.  

The form Nikki Grimes used to create her latest book is called the Golden Shovel. To start, you need a line from a story, poem, or words in a song. The words are so striking, that you have to reread, sing, or write them down.  

  • Take a "striking" line
  • This line becomes the end words in your new story idea or poem
  • Write the words in the right margin in order. These words become your ending words.
  • Give credit to the poet, author, lyricist who originally wrote the line

I read the story, My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison. The line that made me tear up was

My new idea using the golden shovel.

Crystal Butterfly

The glasswing flutters and
her stained glass beauty camouflages her.
No need for clothes
when you are
mystery to birds, so little.
One with the light, you are clearly snuggish.

Your challenge is to find a striking line. Use your golden shovel.  Please share your new creations in the commentsHappy digging.