"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!
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)
I have participated in Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie contest twice and her first-ever Valentiny contest, and this will be my first Holiday Writing Contest. The prompt: write a children's (ages 12 and under) holiday story of 300 words or less using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days of Christmas! Check out my entry below.
THE GIFT OF READING
A Picture Book Riddle by Amanda Sincavage
Twelve days before Christmas I hadn’t bought any gifts yet. My sister Margarita banged the drums in her room and I couldn’t think through the clatter.
I thought about sending her to a deserted island for Christmas.
Eleven days before Christmas my little brother Tommy needed help building his train track. I told him, “I think you can do it.” Mom said to help him anyway.
Can you wrap confidence?
Ten days before Christmas my brother Matt’s tadpole grew legs!
Maybe they need froggy shoes for leaping.
Nine days before Christmas we went to the zoo. My sister Molly mimicked the flamingos.
She already has pink tights and a tutu.
Eight days before Christmas my Aunt Pat sent me to the store for milk and…I forgot!?!?
She needs a delivery service.
Seven days before Christmas my friend Joe and I explored the depths of a magical pond.
We didn’t discover any gifts.
Six days before Christmas I took my grumpy Grandpa for a walk, and we saw four waddling goslings.
A pet for Grandpa?
Five days before Christmas Grandma knocked on the door with a fresh batch of cookies.
Mmmm…but she told me I had to share.
Four days before Christmas my cousins teased me when I said a silly phrase.
Maybe they won’t get anything.
Three days before Christmas the whole family pitched in to help mom make cookies.
Shhhh…they weren’t as good as Grandma’s.
Two days before Christmas my friend Joni and I dressed up in too-big hats and couldn't see.
No hats for her!
One day before Christmas Daddy hung a swing from the old apple tree, which reminded me of a story…and that’s when it came to me. I would share my love of reading!
What books did I gift from my library?
Reread the story (and original song) to identify which books the main character gifted to each friend and family member! Post your guesses in the comments, and I will share the answers later this week.
UPDATE 12/19/16: The contest is over and results are in! I am happy to have received an honorable mention for "Thinking-Outside-The-Box Creativity." Yippee! For those of you interested, I added the riddle answers in the comments below.
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