Monday, February 24, 2014

The Value of Picture Books

If you've ever wondered what all the fuss is about in terms of the value of or need for picture books, you should read this article, The Value of a Picture Book: 5 Life-Lessons Your Child Gets From Stories. Pam Allyn, Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, "a global organization advocating for children's rights as readers, writers and learners," wrote an excellent article that was published in Psychology Today.

The article was posted on January 13, 2010, making the article dated in terms of today's fast-paced media offerings but the info in the story is timeless.

Here's another article on the same topic. This one is titled, How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child's Development. Lori Calabrese lists 10 ways picture books work in shaping a child's development. Two of them are: The repetition in a picture book "help children learn skill like phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension and fluency"; and the illustrations in the books "help children understand what they are reading and allow young readers to analyze the story." This article also dates back to 2010, but the information is still relevant in today's world.

If you're interested in the topic of children's picture books, both of these articles are well worth reading.

Monday, February 17, 2014

No, I Haven't Completely Abandoned My Blog!!

To all of you who might have thought I had completely abandoned my blog, you can rest assured that such is not the case. I'm going to use an old excuse, but it's a true one: I've been busy. In addition to trying to keep up with normal (whatever normal is) household events, I've also been busy with writing endeavors. I just haven't posted anything on my blog lately. Here's what I have been doing:

* A few days ago I entered the Sweetheart of a Deal Picture Book Contest sponsored by AKA Literary Agency. They were taking a total of 51 entries. Ten winners get a half-hour phone consult with Terrie Wolf about their entries. Wish me luck.

* I also sent in the first page (23 lines) of a picture book for a chance to have it critiqued by Katie Temean. She will select only one winner, so wish me luck there, as well.

12 x 12 Forum Banner* As mentioned in a previous post from early in 2013, I was a member of Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 group. I got a lot out of my membership and decided to sign up again for this year, 2014. As a member, I am entitled to submit stories to select group of agents during the year. I'm getting ready to make by February submission.

* I'm also a member of WOW. The site's founder, Kristen Fulton, hosted a month-long event in 2013, where the objective was to come up with a new non-fiction story idea every day for an entire month. That event was very popular, so a Mini WOW was held February 14-16, 2014. I participated in that, too.

* And,Meg Miller Children's Book Author as mentioned in a previous post from 2013, I participated in Meg Miller's ReviMo, which stands for Revive Month. I worked on several manuscripts during that time and I think I improved each one of them. The event was also so popular, a shortened version, called Mini ReviMo, took place February 15-16, 2014. Again, I worked on some manuscripts that needed a bit of tweaking.

* And, I write lots and lots and lots of book reviews. I might have been remiss about posting reviews on this blog, but I have been busy writing them. You can read my reviews by going to these sites: CCBR, BookReporter, KidsReads and TeenReads.

So, you see, I have not been slacking off on my writing; I've just been a bit lazy keeping up with my blog. I will try to do a better job of posting on my blog in the future.