"Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book." - Stéphane Mallarmé
Some favorite picture books in our house right now are new sibling books. Maybe that’s why one of my manuscripts is revising in that direction...or maybe, it’s because I’m 15 weeks pregnant. Our toddler will be dealing with the new sibling adjustment a couple months shy of her third birthday. If this baby comes a week late like our daughter, we will have two holiday babies – Christmas and Halloween. Maybe I should be writing holiday-themed picture books.
Interestingly, the titles below all ended up on my library hold shelf at the same time. I was actually unaware of their shared theme and completely surprised by my favorite!
The Bossier Baby (2016) by Marla Frazee, one of my favorite illustrators. With parallels to The Boss Baby and updates to reflect the times, fans of the Boss Baby will love this sequel. Can’t wait until my daughter is a little older and we can see The Boss Baby movie.
Maple (2014) by Lori Nichols
I loved the comparison between the girl’s growth and that of the tree. And what beautiful language – my favorite line started, “When she was still a whisper…” This is the first book of a series. Looking forward to checking out additional titles.
Ninja Baby (2015) by David Zeltser and Diane Goode
A strong opening, playful irony in the images, and sparse text at 235 words made this a great read. I loved the unique approach to showcasing sibling differences.
Rodeo Red (2015) by Maripat Perkins and Molly Idle
At over 700 words, it came as a surprise to me that this was my favorite – my daughter’s too! Great language, voice, and dialect makes this a fun read aloud. I didn’t mind reading it over and over so I could perfect my western accent. I really appreciated that it didn’t force a sibling bond for the ending. Did you see who illustrated this fantastic book? And how fun (and fitting) is the author's name!
Here's another fun writing challenge, this time from Vivian Kirkfield at Picture Books Help Kids Soar! I've included the challenge guidelines and my entry below. Head over to Vivian's blog to read more.
The challenge: "Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count of the story is 50 or less."
by Amanda Sincavage
No milk! Apple juice, peez.
No! I throw cup.
No, inside Mama.
No wash hands!
No, I spray. I dry.
No Mama! I read.
No, I throw toy.
No! Not up.
Yes Mama…hug and apple juice peez!
Clearly, my toddler inspired this one! And yes, she does throw toys, look me right in the eye, and ask oh-so-sweetly, "Mama happy?"
A NAME SO SWEET
by Amanda Sincavage
It’s Valentine’s Day, but I’m not in the mood to make cards.
It all started when mom called me Sugar Plum.
Then, Daddy called me his little peach.
Now I’m Grandma’s sweet puddin and Grandpa’s little pear.
Do they want to eat me?
I sneak into my sister’s room and look in her big mirror to be sure I’m still a kid.
Yep! Two arms, two legs, a body, and head.
Why don’t they call me by my name?
It’s a good name, a strong name. I’m named after…
“Hey, you slippery little noodle! Get out of my room!” my sister screams.
I slam into my brother outside the door. “Watch where you’re going, Cheeseball!”
“I’M NOT FOOD!” I yell. “Am I?”
My mom hands me a box of candy hearts and calls me, “Sassafras!”
The first two hearts from the box say, “Yummy” and “Sugar Pie.”
I eat them anyway. Their sweetness makes me feel better.
Hey, maybe that’s why my family calls me sugary names!
I am pretty sweet, and there are worst things I could be called – like Noodle, Cheeseball, and Sassafras (whatever that is).
I’m ready to make my Valentines and know just what to write:
Happy Valentine’s Day.
I love you berry much!
Love, Maple (syrup)
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