Had a blast being a featured author at this year’s Savannah Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, November 14 in beautiful Forsyth Park. Reading and signing What in the World?, Way Down Below Deep, A is for Alliguitar, and On a Windy Night, I met lots of engaged and excited young readers. Watching fellow children’s authors Brian Lies (Bats at the Beach), Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn Dixie), Kevin Sherry (I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean) and others work their magic was illuminating as well. In the afternoon, I signed books next to Christopher Smith, an up-and-coming author, age 6.
I’m excited to announce these West Coast author visits.
Tuesday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m., Glendale (CA) Central Library, 222 E Harvard Street, Glendale, CA 91205
After reading, a rainbow craft is planned.
Wednesday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m., Pacific Park Branch Library, 501 S Pacific Ave, Glendale, CA 91204
Thursday, October 8 at 10:45 a.m., Casa Verdugo Library, 1151 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91202
Saturday, October 10 at 11:00 a.m., Mockingbird Books, 7220 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
At storytime, I’ll read both What in the World? and On a Windy Night, with a fun craft after.
And on the East Coast:
Saturday, October 24, 1-4 p.m., The Book Loft, 214 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
I’ll be signing What in the World?, Way Down Below Deep, A is for Alliguitar, and On a Windy Night.
Wednesday, October 28, 9:30 a.m., Brunswick Public Library, 208 Gloucester St, Brunswick, GA 31520
For storytime, I’ll be reading What in the World? On a Windy Night, followed by coloring pages.
Saturday, November 14, Savannah Children’s Book Festival, Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA
I’ll be a featured author at this awesome annual event sponsored by the Live Oak Public Libraries. Signing and presentation times to come!
Saturday, December 5, 9-4, Holiday Market at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 2801 Frederica Rd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
I’ll be signing all my titles. You can also win a book of your choice in the raffle!
Want to win a signed copy of What in the World? Numbers in Nature? Enter my giveaway on Goodreads before October 1
So happy that Kirkus Reviews–known for its pickiness–gave What in the World? Numbers in Nature a thumbs up! Here’s what the reviewer said:
This more-than-a-counting-book introduces things recognizable in numbered sets.
The compact, rhyming narrative rhetorically asks readers to think about numbers in the world, beginning and ending with eyes on the sky: “What in the world comes one by one? / A nose. A mouth. The moon. / The sun.” Young listeners who comprehend the world through the ways it can be measured will find this gripping and consoling….The counting goes up through 10, looking at birds, insects, sea creatures, and deer in the seaside forest. “Three” invites discussion about the parts of bees—their bodies comprise head, thorax, and abdomen, but they also have wings and antennae. The word—sets—that has been implied all along appears near the end: “And what comes in sets too big to count?” Here…a starry sky bears the faint outlines of each numbered thing that has come before….Textured, visually rich, and gracefully simple, this is a fine blend of informative poetry and illustration.
And School Library Journal had good things to say as well: Day’s simple rhyming text encourages children to count natural phenomena. From one moon and sun to stars in “sets too big to count,” her examples give viewers opportunities to hone their skills. The large format encourages group participation. For the most part, the items to be counted are easily identified. Five arms on five sea stars and eight undulating octopus limbs are exceptionally clear….Cyrus’s thoughtfully composed illustrations will reward repeated viewings, because featured objects recur in several places. For example, the three bees hovering in the lower corner of the spread featuring two bluebirds appear prominently when the page is turned. Sharp-eyed viewers will be rewarded by such discoveries, including the appearance of many plants and animals traced in the night sky among the stars. —Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library
I don’t think there’s anything more important than connecting the “new people” in the world with nature. After all, they are the future of this planet of ours! I’m always seeking new ways to do this, both through my books and in my life. So this is the first of a series of blog posts on this theme.
Many bemoan technology for taking away time that children could be spending outdoors. But sometimes it can help kids make those all-important connections.
For instance, one evening I was in charge of two girls, 2 and 4. We read It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree, a lovely picture book about a girl catching fireflies–and letting them go–with her father. Since we live where there are no fireflies, at least anymore, I wondered, How can I show them that fireflies are real creatures and what they look like when they flash?
Then I had a flash–and went to youtube. Searching on lightning bugs, I found a home video of a little girl catching fireflies in a jar while her dad filmed her on a summer evening. The girls were transported, mentally putting themselves in the midst of the action. And when Daddy came to claim them, they couldn’t wait to tell him all about fireflies.
Have you got a breakthrough moment when you’ve helped kids connect with nature to share? Please comment! I’d love to hear your stories.
Flamingo’s First Christmas inspired my fellow Southern Breeze SCBWI member Wendy Salter to make a gingerbread nativity scene featuring Flamingo. She entered it in a hotly contested cookie contest, and–lo and behold–took first place. Plus, she made lots of new friends for Flamingo. Way to go, Wendy!
She is working on a play based on Flamingo’s First Christmas to be performed at the middle school where she works in Metter, GA, next Christmas.
It’s official–Kurt Cyrus will be the illustrator of my picture book, What in the World? Sets in Nature, coming from Beach Lane Books in Fall 2015! He will use the same distinctive style he mastered in Tadpole Rex–a terrific read-aloud he wrote AND illustrated about a tadpole who finds his inner tyrannosaur. ROARRRR!
Come October 12, I’ll be presenting a workshop at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Southern Breeze chapter Writing for Kids conference in Birmingham, AL. In the workshop–“Avoiding Common Picture Book Pitfalls”–I’ll share my more than 10 years experience critiquing picture book manuscripts with beginning writers.
In connection with that, fellow Southern Breeze author Laurel Snyder (Bigger than a Breadbox and more) posted an interview with me on her blog here.