Tag Archives: children’s books

Update and Infographic: 28 boring words and what to use instead

It seems I’ve been absent too much lately from blogging. I’m still around, although not keeping up with everything. On Saturday last week – with hundreds of other writers from all over the world – I participated in an online Picture Book Summit which was amazing. Over 9 hours of amazing, in fact. It’s part of my education in learning about writing for children and I know I’m gradually learning some very good and helpful information.

Thanks to my local library I’ve been doing a lot more reading of picture books again – and other books, too, but mostly picture books. That’s part of the learning process, the really fun part. As a member of 12×12 the goal is to try to write a new story (rough draft) each month, and so far this year I have managed to do that. I’ve even drafted more than one a couple of months! Sometimes the story starts in my brain when I’m relaxed at bedtime and just lingers there long enough for me to scribble it down. One morning I wasn’t awake very long when I started hearing a story beginning, so I had to stay focused on it to capture the story before it went the way of my forgotten dreams. It’s fascinating to me how that happens.

Today I have some information to share with you that could be of help with your writing. It’s an infographic of 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead, and was created by writer and blogger Jack Milgram. (Thanks, Jack!)

To go to the infographic CLICK HERE , but please come back to leave a comment.

Are there any words that bug you or you think are overused or boring?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Quote by children’s author Anna Dewdney

It is going to be a very busy week as final things fit into place for the big wedding on Saturday, September 2. It hardly seems possible that our youngest daughter is being married! If I slacken off here the next couple of weeks, please excuse me.  

Today is Sunday and I want to leave you with some things to ponder.

Anna Dewdney was a children’s book author whose Llama Llama books delighted children and adults. Here is a quote by Anna.

She said, A good children’s book can be read by an adult to a child, and experienced genuinely by both. A good children’s book is like a performance. Reading with children makes an intimate, human connection that teaches that child what it means to be alive as one of many beings on the planet. When we read a book with children, then children — no matter how stressed, no matter how challenged — are drawn out of themselves to bond with other human beings, and to see and feel the experiences of others. It is this moment that makes us human. In this sense, reading makes us human.”

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Book! Books! Books! and a few more

The verdict is in. It’s true. I (might) have a problem. 

There was a fundraiser used books sale in town on March 31 and April 1. On March 31 my daughter and I, with several other book-lovin’ people, got there before the doors opened at 8:40 AM. It was a tight squeeze moving around in that hall, but oh boy! was it fun!  🙂

This is the load of books I came home with that day.

Next photos are the close-ups of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As shown in the above photo, I found a whole lot of Ken Follett books I didn’t have: The Man From St. Petersburg; A Dangerous Fortune; Jackdaws; Night Over Water; The Modigliani Scandal; Whiteout; Winter of the World; Hornet Flight; On Wings of Eagles; Eye of the Needle; Code to Zero. Now I want to find A Column of Fire to complete one of the series I have.

This assortment will be wonderful reading. I’m especially interested in Robin Hobb fantasy books right now. I read Assassin’s Apprentice, book 1 of her Farseer trilogy, & very much want to find preread copies of 2 & 3, Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest.

Shown in the above photo: Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot; The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot; Vets Might Fly by James Herriot; If Only They Could Talk by James Herriot; Drop Shot by Harlan Coben; and volumes 1, 2, 3 – Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons – of the four books of The Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb. Of course, I want to find a copy of volume 4, Blood of Dragons.

I was excited to find some Thornton W. Burgess books. When I was a child I had The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver and I don’t know how many times I read that book. I don’t know who my mum gave it to and I never had any others of the series. I’d love to have all of them.

Above: Lighthouse: a Story of Remembrance by Robert Munsch; The Tales of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo; Stellaluna by Jennell Cannon; The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; and The Adventures of: Reddy Fox, Old Man Coyote, Paddy the Beaver, Old Mr. Toad, Johnny Chuck – all by Thornton W. Burgess.

As I said, my daughter and I went to the sale, so she loaded one bag for me and I loaded a second one. When I got home I discovered I’d somehow missed when paying for them that I had two copies of one title, so today I HAD to go back to exchange one for another book. Right? You understand. It only makes sense. It was no problem for the ladies in charge of the sale so I proceeded to try to find a replacement. Here is what I came home with – only one of which is in exchange:

 

I picked out a mix of genres again. My reading taste varies a lot, as you can see. There’s so much to learn about writing, and what better way than to read?

 

In above photo: Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move – by Judith Viorst; Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully; Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind by Margaret Davidson; Going Solo by Roald Dhal; The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl; Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne; Heroes of the Holocaust by Allan Zullo & Mara Bovsun;  The Kite by W. O. Mitchell; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; ‘Tis: a memoir by Frank McCourt; The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd; Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss; Every Living Thing by James Herriot; The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks; Lost Soldiers by James Webb;  The Cat Who Came in From the Cold by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson; and 5 complete novels of murder and detection (in one volume) – Ten Little Indians; Peril at End House; The Murder at Hazelmoor; Easy to Kill; Evil Under the Sun – by Agatha Christie.

My grandson’s class at school is reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I heard about the movie, that it’s sad, but if my young man can read the book I will, too.

I’m still borrowing books from the library although the Reading for Research  challenge officially ended March 31. I’m in the groove now, you know, so I’ll keep it going. After my book sale shopping I went to the library to pick up books on hold for me and added them to the ones I already have at home. I have some at Dad’s, too. Here is my borrowed pile at home:

 

I have so much reading to do!

When I finish a book I write a short review on Goodreads, so it’s keeping me pretty busy.

 

 

 

Friday evening my husband and I went to a performance by a Newfoundland musical and comedy team called Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. Very funny and talented. After the show we checked out their items for sale and lo! and behold! Guess what I came home with? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These books were written by two members of the group. I’ll review them here at a later date.

I think that’s all I have to share with you for now. If you need me I’ll be the one reading, with Zamfir or some other equally lovely instrumental background music or nature sounds (birds, the ocean) playing … unless I’m in the mood for total silence. 🙂

Oh, and the problem I mentioned at the beginning? It’s twofold. (1) I seem to be running out of hiding places shelves for my books and (2) I don’t have enough reading time. You thought it was that I keep buying them, didn’t you? Nawww. That’s impossible. 🙂

I recently read a meme that goes: If loving books is a crime … I’m looking at life without parole.  I think it suits me. 🙂

When you read do you need it to be QUIET, or do you fall so completely into the story you hear nothing else anyway?

Love to you all. Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

2 Book Reviews: Granpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut; Granpa Guff, The Pasta Wars

Granpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut








Book: Granpa Guff, The Accidental Astronaut
Author: G. Guff
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
Date: May 6, 2013, 2nd edition
Genre: children's; humour
Pages: 86
Price: Kindle, under $5.00; paperback $20.00
My Rating: Amusing story children will enjoy

I’d received early copies of Granpa Guff’s two books shown here in exchange for my honest review. (My apologies to Granpa Guff for the late post.) I enjoyed reading the stories again to tell you about them.

What an interesting imagination the author has! In his desire to create stories that amuse and entertain young readers he also has managed to stir the imagination with his visuals and vivid storytelling. The illustrations are fun, too.

Granpa Guff, The Accidental Astronaut, has Granpa Guff innocently climbing on board a space ship. Too late he realizes it’s time for “blast off” and he has to stay there. What ensues is the craziest trip to Mars you can imagine. Mexican Barking Spiders are hidden on board, Granpa gets spacesick, and on it goes. This is a very entertaining story, and … who’s to know but that it might even be true? Just a little.

 

Book: Granpa Guff, and the Pasta Wars
Author:Grandpa Guff, Pasta Wars G. Guff
Publisher: Fort Guff Press
Date: October 7, 2013
Genre: children’s; humour
Pages: 67
Price: Kindle, under $5.00
My Rating: Amusing story children will enjoy

 

Oh My! What stories Granpa Guff can tell! He seems to know so much.

In this book Granpa relates some history to his grandchildren. He tells about Italians arriving in America and setting up restaurants. The competition between rivals was fierce and so began the Pasta Wars. The craziest things happen. Creepy things hidden in spaghetti to sabotage the competition, giant pizzas that just kept growing, and no one knew what was really inside them because they were made like pies with a top crust back then. Or, that’s Granpa’s story. Oh, and you’ll learn why large wooden pepper mills are handy to use, the origin of ‘raining cats and dogs’, and … come to think of it, Granpa’s book is quite … um … informative!  🙂

The illustrations are funny and very well done with flair. They add a beauty to the story.

Both stories are written from Granpa Guff’s old-timer voice as he relates these tales to his two grandchildren who, mostly, believe every word he says – with some argument worked in. Very entertaining.

You can find Grandpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut and Granpa Guff, Pasta Wars on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Inspiration at the children’s book fair

As I launch into the writing of this post I am still basking in the glow of a morning of meeting authors and buying books. This post will include more photos than I usually add so they will be sized down for your convenience. My apologies for the poor lighting. Please be sure to click on the links I’ve provided. Even if you aren’t local to these people and organizations there could be ideas you would like to emulate where you are located.

As to the above … yes, you heard read me right. I came home with more books, and these ones don’t have to be returned. Yay! In fact, I bought twelve books and a bookmark! Oh me. I DO need a new bookcase. (Ohh, HONeeeyyy!)  😉

It all began with an email from author Laura Best to let me know about a children’s book fair being held Saturday AM, April 23. Happily, I was able to get there before 9:00 when there weren’t many people crowding around yet.

children's book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I arrived I talked with two ladies in the lobby who were enthused about their lovely art display they had set up there. They rent out works of art to children for only $2 a month. Beautiful work. You can see what they’re all about HERE. It’s a fabulous idea, plus they have an art program  – workshops once a month with local artists who work with the children.

At one table I met a lady representing the Valley Community Learning Association. She was happy to tell me a lot about it and suggested that if I were interested I could become involved in the family literacy program, helping people learn to read, including refugees who have recently come here and are learning English. They need the help. I think I would need more patience – like my mother had. It’s something to consider, though. You can check it out here.

I was delighted to be able to spend some time talking with many of the authors, and they all are such nice people – talented, inspiring, friendly, real, honest, and lovers of what they do. I came away invigorated and excited to write again. 

Laura B & Jan CLeft: Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet (see interview and review) and Flying With a Broken Wing (review and interview)

Right: Jan Coates, author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (see interview  and review); Rainbows in the Dark (see review); and other books I purchased today that I will show you below.

 

 

Here are photos I should have shared with you long ago of Laura at her reading of Flying With a Broken Wing.      See, Laura? They are good pictures of you. 🙂Laura

IMG_0559

I got a chance to meet the lovely Starr Dobson whose first picture book I reviewed. Of course, I had to buy her second one, and she asked if I wanted a picture taken with her!  Okay.  🙂  Thank you, Starr.

Starr DobsonStarr Dobson & me

I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of every author I talked with, or at least whose book(s) I purchased. Not thinking, I guess.

Meghan Marentette & Carolyn Mallory

Here are two ladies with whom I had an enjoyable chat, and one invited me to a local writing group I didn’t know  existed! They meet once a week. Thanks, Carolyn, I am seriously considering it.

Left: Meghan Marentette

Right: Carolyn Mallory

 

 

Now, look at all the books I purchased today:

  • The Power of Harmony – by Jan Coates
  • Rocket Man – by Jan Coates
  • The King of Keji – by Jan Coates
  • Sky Pig – by Jan Coates
  • Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson
  • Fire Pie Trout – by Melanie Mosher
  • A Gift of Music: Emile Benoit & his Fiddle – by Alice Walsh
  • Fiddles and Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse – by Lila Hope-Simpson
  • Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice – by L. E. Carmichael
  • How Smudge Came – by Nan Gregory
  • Painted Skies – by Carolyn Mallory
  • The Stowaways – by Meghan Marentette

The Power of HarmonyRocket ManThe King of Keji

 

 

 

Sky Pig

 

 

 

Gertrude at the BeachFire Pie Trout

 

 

 

A Gift of MusicFiddles and Spoons

The Fiddles & Spoons cover is different from on the copy I bought today, but it’s the one on Amazon and other places so I used it.

Forensic Science - in pursuit of justiceHow Smudge CameI’d previously met Ron Lightburn, the illustrator of How Smudge Came, when his own book was released. (review)

Painted SkiesThe Stowaways

 

 

 

 

 

I was pleased to meet Lindsey Carmichael who is the Atlantic Representative for CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers). She is a sweet lady, and the many books she has written are quite amazing. She said she tried fiction but finds it harder to write than non-fiction. As you see above, I bought one of her books about a topic that fascinates me.

A fun bonus is I got to add to my bookmark and postcard collections.

bookmark from book fairpostcards from book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fair opened my awareness to more about writing – that being a writer is very OKAY, that I should try writing non-fiction because I haven’t done that yet and it might work for me, that there is a writers’ group close enough for me to visit – especially tempting since I’ve now met someone who participates in it, and there are such fabulous books out there!  oh, I already knew that, but I found so many new ones! And I now own a few more. 🙂  Gotta love that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip to the Children’s Book Fair. I certainly did.  🙂  Thanks for coming along.

What inspires your creativity and helps nudge you forward?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Another pile of books for ReFoReMo

The challenge has ended, sort of. ReFoReMo may be over in one way, but I have a lot of work to do yet. On our own we were to read through each book and then analyze it – study how each was written, observe the POV and universal theme, choose our favourite line, write a little about the story’s main character, and more. It’s been educational for me to find out what is popular now, the many different types and themes of picture books, and the variety of ways to present stories. I’ve learned what type of book I’m not interested in writing and what style I’d like to try. A few I didn’t enjoy reading, a couple brought tears to my eyes, a few were educational and I learned fascinating things I didn’t know before; some stories were funny, a couple were hilarious (to me), and many were sweet stories in a variety of ways. This has been a great experience. (Thanks Carrie Charley Brown!)

I got more books from the library on Saturday and I’ve also started returning books. That’s the sad part.

Here are some of the latest ones I borrowed, I have a few others to photograph,  and there are more on hold for me.

batch 5 -11 Have you read any of the above?  They are:

  • Gravity by Jason Chin
  • One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Birthday Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
  • Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead
  • How Hybrid Cars Work by Jennifer Swanson
  • Sparky! by Jenny Offill
  • A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Amy Dyckman
  • if you want to see a whale by Julia Fogliano
  • When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Locomotive by Brian Floca

I’ve read over eighty picture books through March because of Reading For Research Month, and I’m not done yet. That’s more books than I would normally read in a year! Some people have read many more than the 100 suggested, in only this month.

Now we’re learning from the special posts written for our further insight and inspiration. I’m so glad I did this, although now I’m behind in some other things I was doing – blogging and 12×12, to name only two. What I’ve gleaned through ReFoReMo should help in my writing though, so it’s all good.   🙂

On Sunday eleven of us shared Easter dinner at my dad’s, then I came home for my week off. I have a lot of reading, writing, revising to do and also publishing to finish! I am a writer and lovin’ it! 

When is the last time you read a picture book to a child or for your own enjoyment?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

           

A fourth pile of books for ReFoReMo!

For a week I haven’t posted the newest books I’ve received from the library for Reading for Research Month! The librarian has been faithfully bringing them in for me and the notifications have been popping up in my email. (I currently have 64 out on loan.) Even though today’s mail brought another notice, I am posting a photo of the nineteen books I haven’t shown you yet. The others can wait – I’ll show them to you later since I haven’t been able to get them today anyway.

batch 4 - 19They are:

  • Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow
  • This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary
  • Fox and Squirrel by Ruth Ohi
  • Cock-a-Doodle Oops! by Lori Degman
  • The Snatchabook by Helen Doherty
  • Max the Brave by Ed Vere
  • Home by Carson Ellis
  • Swan by Laurel Snyder
  • Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
  • No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
  • Won Ton: a Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes
  • One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
  • Be a Friend by Salina Yoon
  • I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helen Boudreau  [let me know if you keep from yawning when reading this one]
  • The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös by Deborah Heiligman
  • No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt  [hilarious!]

Aren’t they beautiful? 🙂  Some I enjoy more than others and for different reasons.  I’m impressed by every one … and for different reasons.

Have you read any of the above books?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂