Friday, March 15, 2019

ReFoReMo Day 11: Author Janie Reinart Delivers the Unexpected

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By Janie Reinart

Creativity is seeing 

what everyone else has seen,

 and thinking what no one else has thought. 

~Albert Einstein


These authors create stories that capture our imaginations with the unexpected. Not just 

stories-stories no one else has thought.




Finn's Feather by Rachel Noble

Not just a feather--a feather from an angel.



P is for Pterodactyl  by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter

Not just an alphabet book--the worst alphabet book ever.



The Rough Patch by Brian Lies

Not just a garden--a garden of weeds.






Hey-Ho to Mars we'll go! by Susan Lendroth

Not just a nursery rhyme--a modern day nursery rhyme.




Bugs Don't Hug by Heather L. Montgomery

Not just a bug book--a bug book that shows bugs are like us.



 Janie Reinart has worn many hats--educator, author, theater major, professional puppeteer, interactive musical storyteller, and a poet's beret in an inner city school helping children find their voice. She lives in Ohio with her husband. She's always up for a game, a song, or dress-up. Just ask her fifteen grandchildren.








133 comments:

  1. Thanks Jane, for helping us see deeper and think deeper about our stories - to seek to capture the unexpected.

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  2. So many of of our family's favorites included on this list. Thank you for even more inspiration.

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  3. Thanks, Janie, for showing us how to look at things a bit differently than we might have. Love the mentor texts you've chosen for us to read.

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  4. Janie, thank you for the timely reminder that we need to think like kids to write for kids.

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  5. These books hold such lovely surprises. Thanks, Janie!

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  6. Great book choices! Interesting to realize they all began with a simple idea, but then took it to the next level in a grand way.

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  7. Hey, Janie, I love that Einstein quote! The mentor texts you chose do indeed give readers the unexpected in the so-called "ordinary."

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  8. I like the way these books find a point of connection with the reader and then expand on it in an interesting way.

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  9. The "Worst Alphabet Book" is hysterical! And a very different tone / theme than "Rough Patch" & "Finn's Feather." Grouping them in the same category as "unexpected" is a great twist.

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  10. Thanks for these picks and the post.

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  11. Some of my favorites are on this list. Definitely unique twists on familiar themes. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  12. I love books like these! I just put Finn's Feather on hold at the library this morning. I can put more on hold once I pick up some of my other holds. Always juggling books :) Great post...thank you!

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  14. Great list and a wonderful reminder to look for stories by considering life through a different lens. Thank you!

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  15. Congratulations Janie, I can't wait to read this.

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  16. Love your list of familiar themes with a different take. Thanks for the post, Janie.

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  17. Thanks for sharing these very creative mentor texts, Janie.

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  18. I love that quotation at the beginning - creativity really is about looking at everyday things and adding a twist to view them differently.

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  19. I love The Rough Patch and can't wait to read Finn's Feather! Thanks for a great list -

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  20. I love your comments about each one! Piques my interest. How neat to see my CPs book, Bugs Don't Hug!

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    1. Tina, I love Bugs Don't Hug! I own a copy for my personal library.

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  21. I love the Rough Patch and Finn's Feather. I'm still waiting for the Worst Alphabet book ever-it might just thoroughly confuse my Kinder readers though by the looks of it :)Thank you for your post!

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  22. Thank you for sharing these unexpected picture books with us. I've enjoyed experiencing them all.

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  23. Excellent mentor texts that show ways to look "differently." Thanks, Janie!

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  24. Thank you so much! These are great examples!

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  25. Great examples - and fun books! That's what we all want to write. Thanks, Janie!

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  26. Thank you for the reminder that altering your perspective is key! Great suggestions!

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  27. Great post, Janie! The Einstein quote is one of my favorites! Thank you for reminding us to look at things the way a kid might. I loved the Rough Patch and Finn's Feather and can’t wait to read the others, especially P is for Pterodactyl

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  28. These are wonderful books and great examples, thank you!

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  29. These were great! I needed the reminder, thank you.

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  30. What a wonderful assortment, sweet and tender to silly and unusual. Thanks!

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  31. The books that "think outside the box" are usually the ones that inspire me the most! Thanks, Janie!

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  32. The books that make you "think outside the box" are always so fun to read. Best, Jodie

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  33. Janie, the quote about creativity by Albert Einstein was a perfect way to start your post. Thank you for challenging me and the other writers to write stories that capture the reader’s imagination through the unexpected. The mentor texts you selected are great examples of how to do this. Congratulations on your success in becoming a picture book writer, too. Your journey inspires me to persevere.

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    1. The joy is in the journey. Write on! Keep playing with words.

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  34. Thanks for the titles, Janie! Especially for the book I'll be sending to our miracle grandson, Finn.

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  35. A great selection of imagination and creativity!

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  36. Thanks for your excellent post! I especially liked Hey-Ho To Mars We'll Go!-

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  37. I appreciated the Einstein quote to inspire us. The list of mentor texts is a great reminder for us to use our creativity, see things through a different lens, and give our writing wonderful twists. Finn's Feather touched my heart so much. Thanks for sharing! Congrats on your success!

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  38. These were not only FUN books to read, but they made you think about the topics in a new way. I loved them all. Thanks for putting them on the reading list.

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  39. I love the Einstein quote to post in my office for inspiration. These titles look so interesting. I'm going to check some out at my library. Thanks.

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  40. Great quote! I love it! Thanks for these suggestions! They've inspired me!

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  41. Thanks for this great group of books! I recently read Rough Patch and boo-hooed all the way through it. It is truly a book that "thinks what no one else has thought!"

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  42. I so love the unexpected and creative. Thanks for the suggestions :)

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  43. I love the Einstein quote. Thanks for the inspirational mentor text recommendations.

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  44. Yes, that Einstein quote is so true. Some people call this "lateral thinking." And I'm trying to figure out how to train my brain to think more laterally. Still working on it. Thanks for these suggestions. I've read several now and continue to be surprised at the directions they take. Thank you!

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    1. I love when the surprises knock your socks off!

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    2. Yes! And leaves you wondering and then studying how the author pulled it off

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  45. Love idea of thinking about what our own work brings to the table that is new and different. "Not just a XYZ, but a..."

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  46. Thank you, Janie, for these wonderful examples of books with the unexpected elements. I love PBs that surprise, have a twist or plot I didn't expect.

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  47. Thanks for the recommendations for unexpected books!

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  48. Great mentor texts today. I especially loved "Finn's Feather". What a beautiful way to deal with death for a young child.

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  49. love the quote and try to live it every day. Finn's Feather a great read makes you think, hope and feel like Finn. Bugs Don't Hug, interesting.

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  50. Love the quote! And finding unique stories. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  51. Janie, You've opened our minds to dig deeper and find the gems of unexpected surprises and the twists in nature. Thank you for reminding us to see beyond the obvious! May your year ahead be filled with serendipity!

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  52. Thanks for these, Janie. I especially love Finn's Feather!

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  53. Such wonderful books you've chosen as mentor texts. Thanks Janie

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  54. I love these choices! Thank you for encouraging us to see things in a way we haven't before. So inspiring!

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  55. Thank you for this new group of interesting mentor texts.

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  56. The number of creative PB is really amazing. Thanks, Janie.

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  57. The selection was really informative and inspiring. The depth was interesting to note.

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  58. Thanks for these great examples. Looking forward to reading the ones I'm still waiting on from my library.

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  59. Thanks for sharing, Janie! Love these books!

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  60. Thanks for this great list, Janie. Can't wait to read them and be surprised :)

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  61. great suggestions for mentor texts. Thanks, Janie.

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  62. Thanks for these recommendations, Janie!

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  63. Janie, I am sure you know just how moving THE ROUGH PATCH was for me. What an amazing way the tone and emotion of this book was captured- the dark art after the pup passes, when he wants to cut down everything and let nothing in his garden live. The emotion and the mood is so real. he is at loss and suffering and my heart, too broke. But the color and the tone that eases happiness back in towards the end makes this truly a work of art. Loved it. Thanks for sharing today!

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  64. Janie,
    You’ve said lots in few words. I also loved Rough Patch and will order the other titles from the library today.

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  65. I love how you introduced each book with, "Not just a ..." Clever post! Thank you.

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  66. Great quote, Janie! The Rough Patch is a perfect example.

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  67. Great examples! It's always fun to find something unexpected in a story, and soooo hard to write it!

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  68. Love that Einstein quote and how you applied it to these books. Drafting "Not just a..." statements for our own manuscripts could help us determine how to tweak them so they stand out in the crowd and might also help as we draft pitches. Thumbs up, Janie! Thanks!

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  69. Thank you, Janie! Surprises are fun!

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  70. Thank you, Janie, for sharing these mentor texts written by writers who thought the thought that often eludes us.

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  71. Thank for these great titles with surprises!

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  72. These are great titles, and I love the surprises in each one.

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  73. Maybe it would be helpful to apply this phrase to each of our PBs the way Jaimie did: not just a X but a YX. I’m going to try it.

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  74. Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your insight here for all of us. Finn's Feather was a delight! I am looking at these mentor texts help me "spark joy" in my own work.

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  75. Great insights. The elements of re-invention and surprise win!!

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  76. I have yet to read Finn's Feather. It sounds sweet. It also sounds like something my son would have said. Thanks for sharing a list of mentor texts with us.

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  77. Thanks for all these suggestions! I think that P is for Pteradactyl is hilarious and is totally one of those "why didn't I think of that?!" kind of books. Some of the best concepts are like that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder to always be on the lookout for ideas that are right there in front of us!

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  78. Wonderful list. Finn's Feather certainly caught me by surprise!

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  79. I love these selections- two are on hold at the library for me right now!

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  80. Albert Einstein certainly had a unique mind and a way of doing things. This thought provoking quote is so true.

    Thank you for an excellent list of thought provoking titles, Janie,

    Suzy Leopold

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  81. I always strive to deliver the unexpected in my stories.
    Thank you for this post!

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  82. Thank you for the suggestions.

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  84. Especially enjoyed these and am thinking that we need the unexpected in picture books more and more for the children and adults who read them both. Thank you!

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  85. I hope to check these books out soon.

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  86. Especially liked the bug book.

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  87. That's a lovely selection Janie. I am amazed again and again by the creativity of writers of alphabet books. How many times can you look at the same root material and come up with something new? P is for Pterodactyl is another fine example. Thanks for sharing.

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  88. Thanks Jane for the mentor texts and making us see stories in a different way :-).

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  89. Great fuel for the imagination. Thank you!

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  90. I absolutely love the quote by Albert Einstein!

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  91. Janie, These are wonderful. Thank you. My list keeps growing.

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  92. That's the challenge isn't it? "Thinking what no one else has thought."

    Darcee Freier

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  93. A doc has been created entitled BEYOND THE ORDINARY - UNEXPECTED TWISTS: mentor texts. As always, feel free to add to the list here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/reforemo/beyond-the-ordinary-unexpected-twists-mentor-texts/2363151837262490/

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  94. Oooohhhh….I haven't read The Rough Patch yet.

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  95. Great examples of the unexpected. I kept saying, "I wish I thought of that!"

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  96. Great mentor texts, Janie. I love your challenge to see things and then see them differently. Thank you.

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  97. Thank you, Janie for sharing these wonderful examples of the unexpected. I love the Einstein quote too.

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  98. I love these examples of the unexpected. I'll be looking for ways to "do the unexpected" in my own stories.

    Also, RE: ReFoReMo generally, I don't know if I've said this before, but viewing the same book through different lenses is very instructive!

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  99. Thank you for sharing these titles!

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  100. Going for the unexpected is always a goal worth setting. Thanks for the great examples!

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  101. Love the unique twists in these mentor texts!

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  102. P IS FOR PTERODACTYL is definitely one of those books that’s surprising for the fact that in coming across it one can’t help but say “How did nobody think to do this before?” Such a witty and winning concept, with playful art to pore over to boot. It’s no wonder that copies of it are going like hot cakes.

    I’ve previously read and commented on both THE ROUGH PATCH and FINN’S FEATHER this month, but how interesting to hold those two books side-by-side, right? Together they act like a timeline of grief, ROUGH PATCH showing the ways that this process manifests itself immediately following the loss of a loved one, while FINN’S FEATHER seems to take place a good while after ROUGH PATCH’s “everything is going to be alright” conclusion and shows a protagonist who finds hope and inspiring signs of that loved one’s presence in their day-to-day life. Combining these two PBs is like the ultimate “it gets better” message.

    HEY-HO, TO MARS WE’LL GO and BUGS DON’T HUG were new discoveries for me. I loved how they melded two attention-grabbing concepts (Kids in space! Bugs as parents!) and then used those concepts as a platform to deliver fascinating information about the world as it is now (the familial relationships of the insect kingdom) and as it could be (future navigation of Mars). Truly surprising and indicative of just how diverse and unpredictable kidlit can be. Never stop experimenting and exploring.

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  103. Thank you for these insightful choices under the unifying theme of their creative hook as something new. I love this push to try to allow yourself to come at things from new perspectives.

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  104. I had a blast recommending P is for Pterodactyl to parents at Paleofest. It was a amazing how many kids knew long multi-syllabic dinosaurs names. The Pachycephalosaurus being one of the most popular dinosaurs in Illinois even with a Juvenile T-Rex in the building. So, it seemed like a great opportunity to introduce kids to words with weird letter combinations. Such a great way to pull them in to learning about language and strange words. (Dinosaurs and humor).

    The Rough Patch is one of those books that sticks with you. I read it and Stay: A Girl, A Dog, and a Bucket List this past year. Both have helped me as I make my way through the world with an aging dog who has now passed away. I can say that I made sure to fulfill my dog's bucket list. Right now, I find it hard to spend time doing the things that I love, but I know the time will come when I can move forward again.

    Funny how picture books aren't just for kids.

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  105. Great inspiration here. I loved Finn's Feather.

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  106. I'm so sad that my libraries only have The Rough Patch! I will keep looking for the others. I love The Rough Patch. I picked it up to read because of the cover. And then the story! Ahhh. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  107. Finn's Feather and The Rough Patch, two books about grieving that I need to read to revise one of my manuscripts. Thanks.

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  108. I love the Einstein quote and am on the lookout for the unexpected.
    I love your book choices!

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  109. I love this prompt! I'm going to try, "not just a...." and see what I can come up with. Thanks!

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  110. Thanks for books to look for!

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  111. I really enjoyed this post. Usually I come to the table with a story idea, and then try to see how I can bring something fresh to it. I’ve never really thought about how I could just look at things all around me during the day with fresh eyes (sans a specific idea). I think this would be a great idea prompt!

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  112. I am a few days behind, but when I saw your name, Janie, I knew I had to send a message! What a great post and quote! It is in the expected that we authors try and find that lice of the unexpected, the imaginative twist that makes our stories so memorable!

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  113. I love this post so much!!! <3

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  114. I haven't read a lot of these books so thank you for these creative suggestions! Rough Patch has been on my list - so that is where I will start! Finn's Feather seems really sweet.

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  115. Being able to see a new twist on something already out there-love it!

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  116. I love that simplistic approach: "Not just a . . . - but a "

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  117. I loved the Worst alphabet book ever and how it makes fun of the English language. I had no idea what The Rough Patch was about but have wanted to read it. I was shocked to find out he lost his best friend. I think kids could really relate to this book and the feels that Evan has after his pooch passes away. Great choices!

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  118. This is a good thing to ask ourselves about our stories. Thanks for your list!

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  119. Thanks for curating this list. I'm still waiting on a few of the titles but Finn's Feather and The Rough Patch are giving me lots to think about.

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  120. THE ROUGH PATCH is so special! And P IS FOR PTERODACTYL is one of those ideas we all wish we had, haha!

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