Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fourth Annual Valentiny Contest!

Hooray! February is well on its way and that means it's time for Susanna Leonard Hill's Fourth Annual Valentiny Contest. The object is to write a Valentine Story for children that is 214 words or less and has a character that feels guilty.

That's a brief amount of words in which to tell a story that has a beginning, a middle, and and end; but I persisted. So thank you Susanna for hosting this event and here's my story.

valentiny writing contest 2019!





One Valentine Short (206 words)

Tabby pranced into the room tightly clutching a bag. A bag containing one valentine for each classmate.

She slipped a card into each box until she came to Janna’s. Her fingers searched the bag but came up empty. She glanced inside to be sure. 

Butterflies danced in her stomach, and she gnawed her bottom lip as she wondered what to do.

She thought about telling Janna the simple truth, but the thought made her cringe.

She thought about saying it dropped from a hole in the bag, but she knew she couldn’t lie.

She thought about hiding in the coat closet, but she hated tiny dark spaces.

Suddenly, inspiration struck.

She raced to the closet to retrieve the sucker she’d been saving for lunch. Then she grabbed some construction paper and art supplies.

Snippets of paper floated to the floor and glitter clung to every surface including her hair. But in the end, Tabby held a stunning valentine in her hand.

“That’s beautiful,” someone whispered behind her shoulder.

Tabby whirled around and handed the paper creation to Janna. “It’s for you!”

A look of joy brightened Janna’s plain pale face.

And at that moment, Tabby knew she wanted to spend recess getting to know Janna better.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Black History Month

It's Black History month! I normally read and promote people of every color all year long, but when I looked through my stack of books for review, two of them had beautiful brown girls on the cover; so it seemed appropriate to share those particular books.

The first was a board book titled In the Snow which fits both Black History month and the season since we are still in the throws of winter. It is the story of a small girl who spends the day outside enjoying the snow and snow activities with her dog. One sentence per page allows the reader and their little to take ample time discovering the details of the illustrations which are delightful.


The second was a book titled It's Great to Keep Calm. As I checked this book out, one of the librarians I am friends with told me she had recently read the book and that Keep Calm was her new mantra. In this story, Carly and her classmates are making sock puppets, and everyone takes a direction page except for her. When her sock puppet doesn't turn out as planned, she gets upset and loses her temper. But a good friend gives her advice about how to calm down and helps her make a new and proper sock puppet. This book would be a great parent and teacher resource for helping very young children deal with situations that don't turn out as expected and angry or anxious feelings.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Survival

Well, we survived the blizzard and the polar vortex that followed. We burnt a lot of wood in the process, but we were toasty warm. Thankfully we now seem to be on our way to warmer temperatures. I just hope they arrive gradually so not to cause flooding.

All this indoor time has left plenty of room for reading. Emily has been reading the second book in a  dystopian series, The Girl Who Dared To Stand, which she is loving as much as the Maze Runner Series. Now for anyone who knows Emily, this is a lot of book love. All her friends who have never read Maze Runner, intimately know the characters thanks to her. And the best part, there are seven books in the series, so she will be happy for a while!



The big surprise, however, came last week when my husband, Bobby, asked me to get the old classic, Papillon, from he library. In the fifteen years we've been married, he's read the Bible, newspapers, magazines, and online articles, but he's never asked me to get him a book. I know he read books before we married, I've just never seen him read one since.


And last but not least, I read a beginning reader titled A Cub in the Tub and a beginning chapter book titled Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster. Don't you just love those funny, punny cat and dog names?

A Cub in the Tub is just what it sounds like, a sight word rhyming book like the kind I bought Emily when she was learning to read. So not only will your 3 to 5 year old enjoy seeing bear go from being dirty to clean, they will also be gaining those critical building blocks that will launch them into reading on their own.


And once they've started reading and want to move onto that I am so grown up chapter book reading phase, Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster will be a perfect place to start. I mean come on, who doesn't love dog and cat stories with happy endings and subtle messages about friendship! And the really fun thing is that there are multiple Houndsley and Catina books from which to choose.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.