Introducing the CHARACTER of “Backhoe Joe”

Title: Backhoe Joe Author: Lori Alexander Illustrator: Craig Cameron Publisher: Harper Year: 2014 Word Count: 500 (estimate) Last November I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month challenge, and lucky me, I was the winner of a prize — a copy of Backhoe Joe by Lori Alexander! The book just arrived in the mail, and… Read more »

Have a Hoot with WORD PLAY in “Little Hoot”

Title:  Little Hoot Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal Illustrator:  Jen Corace Publisher: Chronicle Books Year:  2007 Word Count: 364 If you’re looking for a cute bedtime book with a twist, Little Hoot is perfect. This adorable story turns the tables on traditional bedtime books where children do anything and everything in their power to buy a… Read more »

“Are You Awake?” Creates DIALOGUE

Title: Are You Awake? Author/Illustrator: Sophie Blackall Publisher: Henry Holt Year: 2011 Word Count: 250  (estimate) I love dialogue. (Just ask my husband — he says I always want to have a conversation!) Seriously though, having a background and training in stage acting, I’ve read (and written!) my fair share of scripts, which of course,… Read more »

CONFLICT in “The Midnight Library”

Title: The Midnight Library Author/Illustrator: Kazuno Kohara Publisher: Roaring Book Press Year: 2014 Word Count: 405   The Midnight Library is an adorable story that teaches children about some of the great services provided by our public libraries. I have to give a shout-out to libraries here. They provide so many fantastic services to our… Read more »

The Dandelion’s Tale: A Creative Approach to a Universal THEME

Title: The Dandelion’s Tale Author: Kevin Sheehan Illustrator: Rob Dunlavey Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books Year: 2014 Word Count: 974   Wow! That’s all I can say about this breathtakingly beautiful book. I’ve read lots of children’s books in the last year, and this one really stood out to me for its timelessness. The Dandelion’s… Read more »