Writing well involves community. A fabulous opportunity awaits you in just two-and-a-half weeks. The 2014 Minnesota Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will hold their annual conference.
The first perk of the conference will be the wisdom you’ll gain; the second, the relationships you’ll develop.
If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late. We can’t wait to see you there!
It’s another subzero morning in Minnesota (-16 degrees), and my pen is on strike. The ink won’t to come out–and I don’t blame it. I prefer to stay inside this time of year, too.
Knowing that writers in other states are struggling, too, might make me feel better.
Do Florida iPads ever shut down from too much sand?
Californians–is that pesky sunshine making that laptop too hot to hold on your sunburned legs?
Hawaiians–do you have circular indentations covering the backs of your notebooks, curse jars full of quarters, and trash bins full of dead pens from too much orchid pollen?
For those of you feeling a ting of guilt as you bask on the beach, here are some great good-will ideas for the needy. (I’m talking about us cranky Vitamin D deprived writers and illustrators from up north):
pencils with refillable lead
airline tickets to any southern destination
Okay, I’m warmer, now that I vented.
A gift idea for the KEMs (besides the aforementioned) is to join us February 15 for our Barbara Park tribute post about KEM GEM, MICK HARTE WAS HERE. We’re eager to know your opinion about the middle grade novel and we look forward to seeing you there.
A New York Times Bestseller
2008 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (Grades 3-6)
2008 William Allen White Children’s Book Award – KS (Grades 3-5)
2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Winner
2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award Winner
Winner of the 2007 Josette Frank Book Award (Bank Street College Book Committee)
Winner of the 2007 Sid Fleishman Award (SCBWI.org)
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2006
A 2006 Child Magazine Best Book of the Year
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
A 2006 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A 2006 National Parenting Publication Gold Award Winner
A Book Sense Winter 2006-2007 Children’s Top Ten Pick
A 2006 Nick Jr. Family Magazine’s Best Book of the Year
A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year 2006
WHY CLEMENTINE IS A KEM GEM
KRISTI’S TAKE Clementine always has “great ideas popping into her head.” She’s like a balloon, exalted up, and then POP, life deflates and she’s back to square one. Sara Pennypacker brilliantly invites the reader to share Clementine’s ups and downs, by showing the reader how the precocious Clementine thinks, through detailed action that is followed by the protagonist’s reflection.
If I had to draw a balloon to depict Clementine, it’d be orange. The balloon would have a happy face drawn with “sparkle glitter paint” on one side and a sad face on the opposite side, drawn in permanent Red marker. Around the entire drawing would be a window for the reader to look through.
I am in awe of Marla Frazee’s ability to capture Clementine’s energy. Her fine-lined sketches convey curiosity with a wrinkle in a shirt, swirl of a lock and lift of a brow. She makes the impossible look easy. ELISE’S TAKE
CLEMENTINE felt like catching up with an old friend. I, too, had an oh-so-perfect neighbor girl, an “easy” younger sibling, an artist mom, and a dad who dealt with pesky animals* and their splat.
Sara Pennypacker’s descriptions give readers a colorful, hilarious view of Clementine’s world, and her daily, eight-year-old antics and frustrations.
Marla Frazee’s pen and ink drawings offer a visual treat on nearly every page. Her clean, graphic line carries Clementine’s energy through the story and, as with all of Frazee’s work, looks like she just whipped it up over breakfast.
This gem, just published in 2008, has the classic charm of a book that has already stood the test of time.
*Ours were cattle, not pigeons.
Favorite line “Then we just sat there together watching the pigeons flock back to our building for the night. We listened to them cooing above us, sounding like a million old ladies with secrets.”
MARRAS’ TAKE Spectacularful!
Writer friend Melissa quoted Clementine at a recent meet-up: “Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal’s office, if that’s a rule.” Admiration spittle (mine) dribbled on my manuscript.
Sara Pennypacker created a believable, delightful protagonist in a universe where “Go for Wok?” leads to a sibling bonding ritual and magic marker heals hair disasters. Clementine’s thoughtful distractions amuse and disarm people of all ages–even her best friend’s older brother–a formidable feat for a third grader.
Marla Frazee’s wit and talent complements Sara’s. Her personality-packed illustrations lift Clementine to a whole new level of cute.
Favorite line “… I carried the kittens into the bathroom and looked around until I found them beautiful names. Flouride and Laxative went to live with people who answered the Free Kittens, Hurry! ad my dad put in the paper …”
Do you suffer from manuscript-aging-angst or this-work-is-too-silly-anxiety? In 1893, a young woman corresponded with the son of her governess, a boy named Noel. When she ran out of things to say, she made up a silly story with silly pictures of silly rabbits . Eight years later (one hundred and eleven years ago), her whimsical imaginings were published to become one of the most beloved picture books of all time. This success motivated her to write and illustrate at least 23 other animal tales and 10 more books. The letter-writer is Beatrix Potter. Her silly rabbits are Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter Rabbit.
It all started with a silly letter with silly pictures about silly rabbits.
Currently, two million Beatrix Potter books are sold every year worldwide. That’s four books every minute. People hunger for silly — and no manuscript is too old. Click the image above. Peter Rabbit fans, writers, and illustrators of all ages will enjoy this charming tribute to Beatrix Potter from CBS Sunday Morning.