In an effort to avoid a leathery hide, Winona slathered on the sunscreen!
Come on over here to see what the other SkADaMoers are up to.
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In an effort to avoid a leathery hide, Winona slathered on the sunscreen!
Come on over here to see what the other SkADaMoers are up to.
Whoops, missed a day! I guess I’m was just a little low “energy”. So don’t get all up on your “High Horse” about it!
Get it? High horse… I was late… and you’re…
It’s funny, trust me.
Cornball jokes aside, why not cruise on by here and check my fellow SkADaMoers!
Just wanted to mention that I seem to be keeping up with PiBoIdMo, a picturebook idea a day so far! Nothing earth-shattering yet, but some fun ideas to riff off of and those daily post on Tara’s blog, “Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) are so inspiring and fun to read!
Also, I tried to slip in a reason to post to Illustration Friday this week, where the word of the week is “energy.”
oIn an effort to assuage the annoyance of my cat Iggy towards all the doggies I’ve been drawing lately, I present to you:
So, when you get a chance, swing by here and check out my fellow SkADaMoers (yes it’s a word. I know because I just made it up.)
What’s with all the dogs lately? At least that’s what my cat Iggy seems to be saying, as she stomps across my keyboard. So I added a feline counterpart, for fear of retribution.
So hey, stop on by here and check out what the other SkADaMoers are up to
“Dog Eat Dog”
… and the puns and idioms just keep coming!
Trot on over here to see what the other SkADaMo participants are up to today!
“Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail”
Ah idioms. Ya gotta love ‘em!
So, hey, take a skip over here and check out the other SkADaMo participants and what they’re up to.
“Piggy Bank Tellers”
Swing by and take a gander at some of the other SkADaMo 2013 participants here.
“DOG AND PONY SHOW”
When all other ideas fail me I can always depend on my trusty animal idioms!
It’s really been fun and the SkADaMo list continues to grow. There are some really kick-butt sketches going on! Check out the list of participants (at least the ones who sent me their links) here.
Little known fact: Raccoons are very light on their little feets. In fact, some are classically trained.
So, wow, lots of folks have joined the sketch challenge this year. Welcome aboard all ye SkADaMoers! Check out the growing list of participants here and root them on!
Ever wonder what Santa was like as a child? Award-winning author/illustrator Jon Agee brings us the funny, playful answer in this Christmas picture book destined to become a classic.
Little Santa loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. So, when they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. Lucky for him, a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa, to look for help, and along the way, he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves, who are more than eager to join in the rescue!
With the sly humor of Jon Klassen and the read-aloud pleasure of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this tale of Santa’s beginnings is perfect for every kid’s holiday library.
“Santa’s origins are explained in [this] quirky exploration of how Santa, the elves and the flying reindeer found their callings . . . A cheerful, original Christmas tale.”—Kirkus (starred review)
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Dial (October 17, 2013)
Gato de los Muertos
Happy Dia De Los Muertos!
Actually, not sure that’s an appropriate salutation, but I do know that I love the art and culture of this Latino holiday! So in honor of the day and of all our dearly departed I thought I’d do a quick skeleton sketch… skeltch if you will.
So for more sketchy goodness, why not check out my fellow SkADaMoers here. Oh, and if I’ve left anyone out or I have the wrong link or what not, give me a shout!
Looks like we have a fair amount of masochists joining us this year. I’ve posted links to all the participants (who have left links in the comments here). If I’ve missed anyone or your link is not working or any other proof of my heinous lack of organizational skills, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it.
So let’s kick those moldering pumpkins out of the way, roll up our sleeves and get cracking!
For SkADaMo info please go here.
SkADaMo 2013 PARTICIPANTS
So, November is almost here! That means all the cool challenges are fixin’ to start soon. There’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), of which I am a participant of again this year.)
There are probably a bunch more, but suffice it to say, November is a busy month for some.
For the past two years, I thought, just to heap even more onto my plate, I’d make November a “sketch a day month” or SkADaMo (SkADaMo 2012, SkADaMo 2011) , for myself. Just trying to get back to the early days of my blog when I feverishly posted just about every single day. When my synapses seemed to be firing on all cylinders and ideas where presenting themselves to me faster than I could sketch or write them down.
Sigh. Those were good days.
This exercise may not have gotten me back to that place completely, but it did get the ole synapses firing again. And I figure between attempting a picture book idea a day and a sketch/blog post a day, I’ll at least have a notebook/sketchbook/blog filled with chicken scratches of some sort or another again this year.
Better than blank pages and outdated blog posts, I say.
I even made a badge for myself the past couple of years and one again this year.
I may be the only participant, but by golly I have a badge!
If anyone wants to join in, they are more than welcome to grab this badge, off to the side here and start sketching.
“What are the rules?” You may ask.
1. THERE ARE NO RULES! NO SIGN UP! NO REGISTRATION! NO GIVEAWAYS OR GUEST POSTERS! No regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of sketching, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!
SkADaMoers are scoff-laws and Mavricks! (Really, I’m just not that organized.) The only code we live by this month is SKETCH! SKETCH! SKETCH! Sketch everyday from November 1 to November 30,or at least try to.
You may not sketch every single day, but by golly you will have tried and you’ll have more sketches in your sketchbook at the end of November than you might have otherwise.
So, there’s that!
2. If you send me a link to your blog, (or wherever you are posting your SkADaMo sketches) I will keep a running list of all the participants and their links on my blog. This way we can all keep in touch and root each other on. If there are any broken links, bad links, I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.
3. Smile, this is fun!
Sketch on my fellow SkADaMoers, (should there be any!)
Although born in New York City, Sal was a restless baby. After only a week he moved to New Jersey and stayed there right up until he got married. Then he and his wife Sheri, his artistic and business partner, moved cross country to Arizona.
Sal grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood in North Bergen with his four older sisters and a dog named Lady. He fondly remembers the neighborhood as “playing stick ball in the street with friends and sledding down the hill right onto route 9 – when everything was closed due to snow.”
Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day.” To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories. As the creative director for Hartman-Barbera LLC, Sal paints, sculpts, draws, animates and writes.
When he’s not working, Sal enjoys cooking, watching TV, going to movies and playing golf. Sal is a member of the SCBWI, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
His website is:
Thank you for joining us today, Sal. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I loved growing up in New Jersey. There was New York City on the other side of the tunnel, or the beach just a short drive away. I was at the jersey shore a lot, but that was a while back when everybody had regular names. No Snookies or Situations to speak of.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I started writing stories with illustrations about our little dog Max over 15 years ago. He is the inspiration for the character Sweetles, which is one of the names we called him. He is also the muse for the series of books I’m writing now; A Sweetles Dream ®.
My wife and I wondered what he dreamt about when he was running and whooping in his dreams. So I took the liberty of using my imagination to imagine his. And that’s the premise for the book series: a little dog that sees a personal or social situation during the day and dreams up the solution at night while he’s sleeping.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
I’ve always done lots of wacky drawings with captions. It was easy to make the transition to books and fun to put my drawings with the stories. Although I never actually decided to write children’s books, my stories seem to be the perfect length and style for picture books.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
Not really. Writing for a young audience is fun. Especially if you inject some humor for adults throughout the tale. It makes it fun for the adults to read the stories along with the kids.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
The questions you don’t see coming. Kids are hilarious and come up with some very funny remarks. I’ve learned a lot about why I write answering their questions. Another favorite part of writing is when I hear or see a positive response to one of my books. That’s very rewarding.
I was recently at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival and two little girls and their Mom picked up my book. The older daughter read it from cover to cover. As she was reading, her smile got bigger and bigger. At the end, she asked her Mom if she could have the book. It actually made my eyes misty. It’s great when a complete stranger wants to own my books.
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow is about a “spotless”cow that arrives at a new farm hoping to find friendship. Instead, because she’s different from all of the other cows, they don’t want anything to do with her. She must find a way to overcome their “Spot discrimination.” The story is about how she accomplishes this in her clever, diplomatic and funny way.
What inspired you to write it?
My mother-in-law is one of my best friends. Awhile back she was going through a rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She needed cheering up. So I decided to write a funny story to lift her spirits and make her laugh. That story became the tale of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
What is up next for you?
I’ve written and illustrated the second book in the A Sweetles Dream® series. It’s called: Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog. I’m also working on a web series for kids with the Sweetles™ character along with his fairy tale friends. It’s a mixed media web series that will be educational and wacky too. The tagline is: “Have fun learn and play, that’s a Sweetles Day!” Think: Sesame Street meets Monty Python and that will give you an idea of what’s coming. Check the Sweetles.com website for updates, or go to SweetlesTV on youtube.
Do you have anything else to add?
If you’re not afraid to use your imagination, you’ll be surprised at the wonderful things you can come up with. And try to laugh every day. It’s good for your health.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Sal. We wish you much success.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
All my best,
So, you know, I love bunnies (and who doesn’t,) and zombies are the coolest. So, why not a zombie bunny? Well, took a peek on the Googles for zombie bunny and guess what? It’s a thing!
Who knew? Not me. I should have.
Anywho, undaunted I proceeded to add my zombunnie to the mix.
An adorable story of acceptance and friendship awaits young readers in Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore “Sal” Barbera.
Mary Elizabeth arrives at the farm one day, but the other cows pay her no mind. They don’t want anything to do with a spotless cow. So she comes up with the ingenious idea of making spots out of mud. It’s enough to break the tension and convince the cows to talk and play with her. But what will happen when the spots come off?
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow is a charming story of how one cow gained a new bunch of friends. None of the other cows on the farm want anything to do with Mary Elizabeth because she doesn’t have spots. Suddenly, she has spots and everyone wants to include her. Mary Elizabeth knows, however, that the other cows need to like her for her and not just because she looks like everyone else. This is a fabulous lesson to teach kids. Barbera offers up this message in a lighthearted, fun way. It’s not preachy. It’s not sappy. What I also thought was cute is that the cows played human games and used a certain office product. It’s clever and unexpected. I wasn’t fond of the overabundance of exclamation points in the text, but it didn’t distract from the wonderful story.
Like the story, the illustrations are whimsical and fun. This is a cute book your child will want to read time and again.
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Sweetles Press; 1st edition (July 7, 2012)
During the month of October, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.
I received a free PDF version of this book from the author. I have been paid to promote this book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Interview at Blogcritics
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn
Book review at Alicia Finn Noack
Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking
Book spotlight at Between the Covers
Book spotlight at The Book Rack
Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Guest post at Paperback Writer
Book spotlight at Review from Here
Interview at Straight from the Author’s Mouth
Book spotlight at Broken Teepee
Book spotlight at Beyond the Books
Book review at Lynn’s Corner
Book trailer reveal at If Books Could Talk
Guest post at The Story Behind the Book
Interview at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Book review at My Devotional Thoughts
Book spotlight at Deco My Heart
Book spotlight at A Year of Jubilee Book Reviews
Book review at 4 the Love of Books
Guest post at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase
Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Book review at Thoughts in Progress
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Book review at Blooming with Books
Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner
Book review at Classic Children’s Books
Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books
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Everyone has the relationship they look back on and wonder what the hell they were thinking dating and/or staying with this person for so long. This memoir perfectly captures the feelings that come years after that relationship has ended. You knew the relationship was doomed but you went along with it anyway, and now you [...]Add a Comment
Typically I read the first chapter of a book, but with this short story collection, I am reading the first story in the book and discussing it.
BLURB: Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time. Follow Little Nani in her funny adventures and meet her extraordinary friends. Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends! You can also draw your own characters! Little Nani is willing to become a good witch. Will she manage to do it? Who knows? Read the stories and discover what happens next!
COVER: Since the top illustration comes from the first story, I’m guessing these postage stamp or postcard type bordered illustrations contain drawings from different stories in the collection. I love the color scheme and the darker contrasting colors of the borders.
FIRST CHAPTER: The Funny Adventures of Little Nani is about a girl with a magic wand whose spells often go awry. In this opening story, “Little Nani and Some Unexpected Events,” Little Nani tries out the wand she got from a correspondence course and tries to make her friends, Big Billy and Skinny Nikki, grow up faster. That’s definitely not what happens.
This looks like it will be a cute book. I can only judge it based upon the first story I read, but all the characters have unique personalities and lovers of magic and fantasy will enjoy the horse who loves to read. Little Nani appears to be an independent-minded girl who leaps before she looks, which tends to create a bit of chaos for her and her friends. By including pauses in the story called “Drawing Time!” the author makes this an interactive adventure for young readers, who are asked to draw certain scenes from the book. I haven’t seen this before in a book, but I like it.
KEEP READING: If I were basing this review solely upon the uniquely crafted characters and the interactive aspect of it, I would say definitely. The thing that gives me pause is the dragged out dialogue. Big Billy appears riding a horse, which he tries to convince Little Nani to ride. She declines because she’s allergic to horses and can’t touch them. But as Big Billy points out, she’s stroking the horse’s head. It goes back and forth like this for a few seconds, before Skinny Nikki arrives. Skinny Nikki wants to ride, but Big Billy says no because he wants Little Nani to ride with him, to which Skinny Nikki replies, “But Little Nani won’t ride with you. She’s allergic to horses.” And then they start going on and on about how Little Nani wants to ride an ostrich, but she doesn’t have an ostrich, so she can’t ride one.
What I ended up doing is downloading another short story in the series for my Kindle (this book has all the stories in it, but they can also be purchased separately). It appears this dragged out conversation might be the way Little Nani interacts with others. In “Little Nani and The Flying Muffin” it is about how bored she is on a rainy day. She whines “I’m bored!” three times while Big Billy and Skinny Nikki get aggravated over her whining and Horse tries to convince her to listen to the story he’s reading to her.
Children probably won’t notice it. I just didn’t care for this style of conversation. I would probably still keep going. It’s one of those “don’t bite your nose off to spite your face” moments. If you like the characters and the story is funny, is it worth abandoning the book simply because one of the characters is a bit repetitive? No, you keep going and enjoy the rest.
Overall, this is a really cute story and I’m thinking it will be a hit with youngsters, especially those who enjoy humor.
File Size: 1577 KB
Print Length: 144 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
I downloaded a free sample of this book to my Kindle. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS
The donkey, the largest of them, approached the window and looked in.
“What do you see, Gray-Horse?” asked the rooster.
“What do I see?” answered the donkey. “A table set with good things to eat and drink, and robbers sitting there enjoying themselves.”
“That would be something for us,” said the rooster.
“Ee-ah, ee-ah, oh, if we were there!” said the donkey.
Then the animals discussed how they might drive the robbers away, and at last they came upon a plan. The donkey was to stand with his front feet on the window, the dog to jump on the donkey’s back, the cat to climb onto the dog, and finally the rooster would fly up and sit on the cat’s head. When they had done that, at a signal they began to make their music all together. The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat meowed and the rooster crowed. Then they crashed through the window into the room, shattering the panes.
A couple of weeks ago the Illustration Friday word of the week was “totem.” I’m telling you, time flies, because I’m just getting to it up now. Better late than never, I suppose!
May Contain Spoilers
"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."
"Hullo," I said to myself. "That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."
Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
I love Neil Gaiman’s writing, and I love that he’s so entertaining in so many different creative arenas. He creates for adults and children with equal skill, and don’t forget his celebrated writing for comics. He confidently stretches his creative muscle, and his audience is made the richer for his efforts.
Fortunately, The Milk celebrates one father’s quest to safely deliver a bottle of milk to his children so they can enjoy their breakfast cereal. His journey begins with an abduction by snot aliens, and includes time-traveling dinosaurs, sparkly ponies, pirates, and even wumpires. Who would have ever thought that a trip to the corner store for a little milk could be so perilous. The clever prose is enhanced by different fonts and illustrations to make a visually appealing read. The story is funny and fast-paced, with many death-defying situations for the father to find his way out of. All because he went to the corner store for that life changing bottle of milk.
I have an ARC, so Skottie Young’s artwork wasn’t final. What artwork there is, however, is quirky, visually charming, and fits the tone of the story to a T. This is a fun, fun read, and if you have younger kids at home, it’s a great book to read together.
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I was in town watching people and drawing in my sketchbook. I realized I needed spellcheck.
I was in town watching people and drawing in my sketchbook. I realized I needed spellcheck.
“We’ll eat like kings tonight, Blotch!” Orville shouted excitedly to his trusty pooch.
Illustration Friday theme this week is “underwater,” and although this may not be the most original solution for the prompt, I just had to get this image out of my system.