Archive for March 2017

What Is Your Burning Question?

March 30, 2017

I know exactly what your burning question is:  Why is today special?

Today we celebrate Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen’s birthday. He was a chemist and the creator of the Bunsen Burner. You probably remember the Bunsen Burner from high school chemistry. It’s a gas burner used in labs, and it has a metal tube and with an adjustable air valve at the bottom. You might also remember singeing your eyebrows or hair if you got too close to the flame. Ouch!

Since this is also the end of Women’s History Month, I have the burning desire to celebrate Bunsen Burner Day and share a few more biographies of women who set the world on fire and made a difference in the field of science.

women in science

Women in Science:  50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World written by Rachel Ignotofsky, Ten Speed Press

Magnificent minds

Magnificent Minds:  16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine written by Pendred E. Noyce, Tumblehome Learning, Inc.

hidden

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition written by Margot Lee Shetterly, HarperCollins

Marie

Who Was Marie Curie? written by Megan Stine and illustrated by Nancy Harrison and Ted Hammond, Grosset & Dunlap

ideas

Ada’s Ideas:  The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer written and illustrated by Fiona Robinson, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Picture books worth reading:

ada

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

rosie

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Hot stuff here!

 

 

 

Tips for Writing Humor

March 23, 2017

You have an idea for a great picture book. It’s a funny idea. It’s so funny that tears of laughter run down your cheeks. You know this is the manuscript that will put your writing over the top, and you’ll soon be bringing in the big bucks. Go for it. Get that manuscript down on paper and get it out to the masses.

But before you begin on your laugh-out-loud masterpiece, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind. There are elements in every humorous picture book that contribute to the humor.

Peter Pearson, the author of How to Eat an Airplane, knows humor. He suggests several ways it can be used in picture books. Humor happens when things don’t go together, when characters do unexpected things, when there is a unique premise, or when something totally unexpected happens. Humor also has to do with timing, pacing, and language.

With language, a variety of techniques can be incorporated into your writing to add humor. Think personification, alliteration, repetition, lively verbs, rhythm, rhyme, and onomatopoeia. Remember, too, that as a picture book, a child should be able to relate to it, and it should move along quickly with perfect page turns. And don’t forget to leave room for the illustrator to do his magic. Above all, your book needs to have some emotional level to which the reader can relate. It has to have heart!

There you go – tips for writing humor. They may sound simple, but simple is often deceiving. Get thee to a library and read all the humorous picture books you can find. In fact, read all types of picture books and then read some more.

Check out my last post for some examples of humor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books and Humor

March 16, 2017

Humor is my armor. I tend to use it when something frightens me, when I’m nervous, when something sad happens, or when I just feel silly. So it may not surprise you that when it comes to picture books, humor is my first choice. A book that makes me laugh fills my heart with joy.

I’m participating in the fabulous Reading for Research Month Challenge (ReFoReMo). Informative daily posts accompanied by a list of mentor texts are provided for participants to read, research, and learn more about writing. I’m loving the list of books provided. Since I’m addicted to humorous books, below are a few of my favorites. If you want to put a smile on your face, check out these books.

Clever Humor

sparky

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans, Schwartz & Wade Books

worm

Diary of a Worm written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss, HarperCollins

Laugh Out Loud Funny

yam

I Yam A Donkey!  written and illustrated by Cece Bell, Clarion Books

bruce

Mother Bruce written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, Disney-Hyperion

Simple Comic Humor

dust

Rhyming Dust Bunnies written and illustrated by Jan Thomas, Beach Lane Books

shh

Shh! We Have a Plan written and illustrated by Chris Haughton, Candlewick Press

bark

Bark, George written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, HarperCollins

Quirky

i want

I Want My Hat Back written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

this is

This is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

we found

We Found a Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

March into Women’s History Month

March 9, 2017

March is National Women’s History Month. The theme this year is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” No matter what career path women choose, they continue to make a huge difference in our world. Whether women are stay-at-home moms, in the workforce, fighting for women’s rights, or helping others less fortunate, they are a mighty force to reckon with. Women have the creativity, imagination, and ability to do anything they want.

Below are some picture book biographies that exhibit the strength and tenacity of women with a can-do spirit.

ann cole

Fancy Party Gowns:  The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe written by Deborah Blumenthal and illustrated by Laura Freeman

 

dorthea

Dorthea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Sarah Green

ada

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science:  The First Computer Programmer written by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Jessie Hartland

lovelace

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by April Chu

Lookup

Look Up!:  Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer  written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón

ruth

I Dissent:  Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Look for these picture book biographies coming out soon.

air

Lighter than Air:  Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot  written by Matthew Clark Smith and illustrated by Matt Tavares, March 14, 2017

grace

Grace Hopper:  Queen of Computer Code written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, May 16, 2017

warne

Kate Warne:  Pinkerton Detective  written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by April Chu, May 16, 2017

girl

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures:  The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin  written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley, August 29, 2017

 

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

March 2, 2017

cat

One book, two books.

Old books, new books.

 

Some are short and funny, too.

Some are long like a size twelve shoe.

 

Magic happens in a book.

Turn the page and take a look.

read

 

Books can fly you to the moon

Just by riding on a spoon.

 

Happy, sad, or full of flair

Books can take you anywhere.

So …

Grab a book and grab a friend.

Read a book until the end.

 

It’s Read Across America Day!

Do you know what Dr. Seuss would say?

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

hats-off

 


%d bloggers like this: