Tuesday, April 20, 2021

ReFoReMo Mini-Monthly Writing Challenge: Let Me Count the Ways

By Janie Reinart




One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go! You guessed it! Your challenge this month is to write a counting story.  You can add magic to your counting book like Dawn Young in Counting Elephants. Kate Read's story, One Fox is a counting book thriller. Be sure to check out the ultimate list of counting books on Anna Geiger's blog. Anna Geiger, M.Ed. is CEO of the Measured Mom blog. Check out her  post The Ultimate List of Counting Books.



I recently read the picture book, I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbit to my two grandsons aged six and three. When I was finished, both boys yelled, "Read it again!"  The boys laughed out loud in several places in the story.


By Will Mabbitt


"This is a book about worms. (I can only draw worms.)
   Here's worm ONE.
   Here's worm TWO.
   Here they are both together.
   It's hard to know which is which.
   I'll. give the second worm glasses.
   That's better. Now you can tell them apart."


By Vivian Kirkfield

Wildlife greets the day and finds shelter, safety, and fun on the river in this lyrical, ecologically oriented counting book. Vivian  Kirkfield created back matter that introduces each species, conservation efforts, causes for animals to become endangered, and what people can do to protect wild habitats.


"Water wakes. 
  Dawn breaks.
  in a chorus of birdsong.
  One willow flycatcher whistles
   as the night slips silently away."


By Anthony D. Fredericks

Tall Tall Tree: A Nature Book for Kids About Forest Habitats is a rhyming counting book with STEAM activities. Back matter contains information about redwood trees and the animals that live there. 

"Creeping, hopping, zipping
throughout the redwood's green
are many different creatures
who are very seldom seen.


They live among the branches
high in this tall tall tree.
Insects, birds, and mammals.
Let's count them--one, two three."


Have fun creating your counting story. Mention your favorite counting books in the comments.
Ready. Set. Go!



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Perfectly Paired Picture Books - Introduction


 By Keila V. Dawson


As writers, we’re told to read widely. The mission of ReFoReMo is to study mentor texts to improve a writer’s craft. The ReFoReMo blog and the annual challenge in March provide followers with lots of recommended titles to study. In his new blog feature, Perfectly Paired Picture Books, readers will find books representative of the diverse audience who read the books we write. Books will be matched based on similar story elements with those without diverse content and or where that content isn't the focus of the story which remains the overwhelming majority of books published today.

Ready to explore? Let's go!





What is diversity?

Just so we are all on the same page (pun intended!) we’ll use We Need Diverse Books' criteria of diversity. And Ohio State University’s Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s concept of Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors as a framework to think about the impact of diverse books on young readers.

All books with diverse content need to be evaluated so his article, Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children's Books, gives an in-depth look at ways to do that. After reading the titles in these pairs, use the questions below to think about them.  

1.     Is a book you read diverse? If yes, what story elements make it so? 

·        Setting

·        Main character

·        gender identity

·        sexual orientation

·        skin color

·        racial identity

·        ethnic/cultural identity

·        religious affiliation

·        neurodiversity

·        socioeconomic inequity or inequality

·        Story problem

·        Topic

·        Language

2.   How is this book a mirror for readers represented in it?

3.   How is this book a window or sliding glass door for readers who are and are not represented?

4.  How does the point of view add to the storytelling?

5.   What makes the structure of this book a good fit for this story?

6.   How do the illustrations and visual storytelling add to the text?

7.   Consider the author’s perspective—what are examples of ways the author and or illustrator show how they see the setting, character, problem, or topic? 

8.  Do you know the relationship of the author to the characters, topic, and or theme of the book? How does that affect the storytelling?


       Because it’s spring, I think of farming, and farming makes me think of community gardening. April is also national poetry month. Keeping that in mind, below are perfectly paired picture books recommended for you to read as mentor texts.

   

 

Farming:

 

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey

 

Bess the Barn Stands Strong bElizabeth Gilbert Bedia, and illustrator Katie Hickey



Community Gardening

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root

Harlem Grown Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood  by Tony Hillery and illustrator Jessie Hartland 

     


     




Poetry Month

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and illustrator Dung Ho 

Dear Girl,: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal  and illustrator Holly Hatam 


Comparing books with common elements can help writers analyze an author's perspective and how they approached a topic in order to tell their story, their way. 

Let us know what books you'd add to each pair. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

ReFoReMo 2021 Prize Winners

We are so grateful for the eye-opening perspectives and education from our seventh-annual 2021 ReFoReMo challenge. You are all winners for dedicating yourselves to mentor text study and growing your craft through this challenge.


Book discussion takes mentor text study to another level and that is why we created the ReFoReMo Facebook group. We decided to give a bonus prize this year to the participant that reflected the most in our Facebook discussion group. This person posted lengthy reflections on every book throughout ReFoReMo, attempting to spark new discussions nearly every day. We see you and thank you…

 

Eva Fekete de Felder!

You win a 20-minute consultation with us!

(Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call)

 

We hope you will all stay engaged in our ReFoReMo Facebook group throughout the entire year with picture book discussion, helping others with mentor text recommendations, and sharing picture book resources. Reading for Research blog posts will be featured each Tuesday, including a mini challenge on the third Tuesday of each month.


 


Thank you, again, to our amazing ReFoReMo presenters and prize donors! If you have not already, please mark their books as “to-read” or “read” on Goodreads, give back by writing reviews, request their books at the library, and follow them on social media. You will find links to each of their websites here





And now…the winners of our Rafflecopter Drawing…

 

Kirsti Call’s COW SAYS MEOW:  Donna L. Martin


Quick Look Critique with Carrie Charley Brown:  Dea Brayden


Marcie Flinchum Atkins’ WAIT REST PAUSE:  Celeste A Turner


Miranda Paul’s BEYOND: DISCOVERIES FROM OUTER SPACE: Noelle McBride


Heidi E. Y. Stemple and Jane Yolen’s I AM THE STORM: Kimberly Wilson


15-30 Min Consultation with Susannah Richards: Michelle Kashinsky


Joyce Sweeney’s PLOTTING YOUR NOVEL WITH THE PLOT CLOCK: Patricia Nozell


Joana Pastro’s LILLYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS: Hilary Margitich


Sue Ganz-Schmitt’s THAT MONSTER ON THE BLOCK: Serena Gingold Allen


Sue Ganz-Schmitt’s NOW I’M A BIRD: Kay Tarapolsi


Sue Ganz-Schmitt’s PLANET KINDERGARTEN: Jennifer Hunt


Hayley Barrett’s: WHAT MISS MITCHELL SAW: Jennifer Cole Judd


30-Min Coaching Session with Carole Boston Weatherford: Jenny Buchet


Picture Book Critique with Erin Dionne: Sheri Rad


Picture Book Critique with Agent Kaitlyn Sanchez: Angie Quantrell


Traci Sorell’s CLASSIFIED: THE SECRET CAREER OF MARY GOLDA ROSS: Janet Sheets


45-Minute Zoom or Consultation with Lauren Kerstein: Vasilia Graboski


Swag Package from Lauren Kerstein: Maria Marshall


Todd Tarpley’s 3-book package: Heather Pierce Stigall


Corey Rosen Schwartz donates Kirsti Call’s Cow Says Meow: Susan Papierski Summers


Picture Book Critique from Cindy Schrauben: Lynne Marie


Picture Book Critique or Consultation with Kathy Halsey: Brenda Flower


Janie Reinart donates Lola Schaefer’s TEACHING THE CRAFT OF WRITING: Suzanne Poulter Harris


Picture Book Critique from Editor Jackie Kruzie: Natasha Garnett


Picture Book Critique or Virtual School Visit from Keila Dawson: Gretchen Huesmann


Congratulations again, to all ReFoReMo 2021 participants! We hope your picture book drafts and revisions will be productive in this new year. We encourage you to jump right in and revise together with the #ReVISIONweek Spring challenge tomorrow on Lauren Kerstein’s blog. The springtime focus is page spreads. Who’s ready to revise?