A Story with Heart

Posted May 31, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , ,

umbrella

Author/illustrator Amy June Bates and her seventh-grade daughter, Juniper, came up with an idea for an inspiring picture book about an umbrella. The BIG Umbrella is spare in text, but the words and illustrations will fill your heart with warmth. The smiling umbrella welcomes all who need shelter from the rain. As the crowd grows under the umbrella so does the size of the umbrella. With each page turn, the delightful illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil on watercolor paper, will make you smile. The final spread shows the umbrella and a diverse group of people interacting with one another. Without being preachy, Amy June Bates and her daughter have created a story about acceptance that will touch your heart.

 Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all like The Big Umbrella?

 

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Remembering Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted May 24, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

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Memorial-Day-Quotes- served

“Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, it’s honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’ a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.” ~Pete Hegseth

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“These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats and terror.” ~Michael N. Castle

some gave

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There
also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” ~ Eric Burdon

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On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. Take time to remember and honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country to protect our freedom.

 

Mary Had a Little…What?

Posted May 17, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

mary lamb

We all know Mary had a little lamb, but did you know that Mary Had a Little lab? That’s right! It seems she loves science and spends all of her time in her lab. Then one day she realizes she’s lonely and doesn’t have any friends. Being a very innovative scientist, Mary decides to create her own friend. She makes a Sheepinator machine. She adds a mixture to some sheep wool and…voilà! Out comes a very useful pet sheep. As the nursery rhyme goes, he followed her to school one day. Mary’s classmates are so impressed with her pet they want one, too. At Mary’s lab, she presses the duplicate button. It gets stuck, and suddenly, chaos ensues. Sheep, sheep everywhere! Her classmates pitch in and help fix the jam, round up the sheep, and give them to farmers. In the meantime, Mary comes up with a new idea. What is it? You’ll have to read this book to find out how Mary, her pet sheep, and her new friends work together for a successful ending to this hilarious story. Sue Fliess‘ rhyming test flows effortlessly, and readers will laugh at the entertaining illustrations by Petros Bouloubasis. This book has it all – girl power, science, innovative thinking, cooperation, and friendship. What more could you ask for?

Thought for Thursday

Posted May 10, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Writing

Tags: ,

Oscar+Wilde+Quote+on+Writing

John Deere, That’s Who!

Posted May 3, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Book Biographies

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It’s spring! Farmers are out plowing their fields, getting them ready to plant crops. Corn and soybean fields surrounded the town where I grew up. If you saw a green tractor, you knew immediately it was a John Deere tractor. John Deere didn’t invent the tractor, but he was instrumental in changing the design of the plow which helped make it easier for farmers to cultivate their land.

deere

If you want to know more about John Deere, the book, John Deere, That’s Who! written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Tim Zeltner is a perfect choice. John Deere was a blacksmith originally from Vermont. In 1836, he took his tools and headed west for a new start. He found a job as a blacksmith in Illinois where he fixed all kinds of things, including plows. The “thick, rich soil” stuck to the farmers’ plows and made their jobs very difficult. Their complaints made John think about creating a plow where the soil wouldn’t stick. John worked hard and after many tries, he finally fashioned a shiny steel plow that would cut through the soil and make plowing easier and faster. That was the beginning of John Deere’s company. Tim Zeltner’s beautiful illustrations and landscapes reminiscent of Grandma Moses art complement Tracy Nelson Maurer’s delightful story about John Deere’s venture into making plows.

 

National Poetry Month and Jane Yolen

Posted April 26, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: National Poetry Month

Tags: ,

National Poetry Month has been lucky for me. At the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference this past weekend, I won a Limited Edition poem from Jane Yolen.

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Jane Yolen is an extraordinarily talented, award-winning author of books, poetry, and so much more. She is an icon in the children’s literature community.

As a children’s book writer, I will cherish this poem not only because it was created by Jane Yolen but for how the poem speaks to the writer in me.

Earth Day and Poetry

Posted April 19, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Earth Day, National Poetry Month

Tags: , , , ,

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd, and this is National Poetry Month. I thought it would be fun to celebrate books that combine poetic text and environmental themes. Take a look.

woods

A Walk Through the Woods written by Louise Greig and illustrated by Helen Musselwhite, Sterling Children’s Books, 2018

earth

Earth Verse  Haiku from the Ground Up written by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by William Grill, Candlewick Press, 2018

tomatoes

When Green Becomes Tomatoes written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad, Roaring Brook Press, 2016

snnow

Best in Snow written by April Pulley Sayre and photographs by April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane Books, 2016.

underground

Thunder Underground written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse, Wordsong, 2017

planted

We Planted a Tree written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake, Dragonfly Books, 2016

water

Water Is Water written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Brook Press, 2015

This year’s Earth Day campaign is End Plastic Pollution. Here’s a book you won’t want to miss.

plastic

One Plastic Bag written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press, 2015

 

 


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