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My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! #AmWriting

My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! #AmWriting

I was standing in line of a dive Brazilian buffet restaurant with my husband for lunch. The food is inexpensive and delicious and we joke that this would be like visiting our grandmothers, if they lived nearby and were Brazilian.

Panela De Barro Restaurant

There was a line at the meat counter where it’s sliced off the skewers for you. A contractor was in front of me. He was a big guy, but not immense. All of a sudden, the image of a sumo popped into my head. By the time, I sat down with my food, I had all kinds of rhymes about Sumo Joe. I quickly typed them into my phone and then sat down to eat.

Panela De Barro Restaurant

Nothing much happened for a few weeks. Then one day, I had to go into work for a meeting and needed to find someone about a project I was working on.

Aquent OfficeMy office is a “hoteling” system so no one has assigned desks. Instead, everyone gets with a storage locker and a file folder drawer to store their stuff (which encourages electronic files), and can sit any where they want all day in a series of “neighborhoods.” Thus, no one really has stuff on their desk; without an assigned desk, there’s very little family photos or pencil holders on the workspace.

So… imagine my surprise to run into this:

My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! Read more…

My Favorite Graphic Novels for Girls Ages 6 and Up

My Favorite Graphic Novels for Girls Ages 6 and Up

I thought I would review and update my 19 Graphic Novels for Feisty Girls post. After reading a few more years of graphic novels, I’ve gathered up my favorite graphic novels for girls, ages 6 and up. What are your favorite graphic novels for girls? Thanks for sharing! I’ll add them to this list!

Favorite Graphic Novels for Girls Ages 6 and Up

Dragons Beware series by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado

Claudette is not afraid of anything. Giants or dragons don’t faze her, in fact, she’s ready to take them on, especially the dragon that ate her father’s legs and his legendary sword. With her best friend Marie and her little brother Gaston at her side, she sets off on another hilarious adventure. [graphic novel, ages 6 and up]

Phoebe and Her Unicorn series by Dana Simpson

Anyone who has loved the comedic humor of Calvin and Hobbes but wished it skewed younger will delight in Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Phoebe is Calvin … a kid going through the trials of everyday life that includes girl bullies at school. Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is her unicorn with magical powers and the same dry observational wit of Hobbes. Together, Phoebe and Marigold traverse the perils of school, piano lessons without having practiced and awkward birthday parties. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]

Read more…

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

This DIY robot was fun to make and surprisingly easy to make. It went off without a hitch, except for cutting the toothbrush end off.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots


My husband came up with an ingenious way to use friction and heat  while bending it back and forth with pliers to cut it. My son trimmed the rough edge with scissors (not really necessary) and then we started the project.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: Turn a Toothbrush into a Robot!

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush RobotsRead more…

My Favorite #WomensHistoryMonth Books for Kids

My Favorite #WomensHistoryMonth Books for Kids

I’ve rounded up every book review that I could think of over the last seven years of blogging to try to compile my #WomensHistoryMonth book list below. What are your favorite books celebrating women’s achievements? Thanks for sharing!

My Favorite #WomensHistoryMonth Books for Kids

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

My daughter  and I love this gorgeously illustrated and designed book celebrating 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world. So many of these female scientists were overlooked and not given credit for their achievements because they were women. The women of color even more so. For example, Rosalind Franklin actually discovers the structure of DNA. “James Watson and Francis Crick snuck a peak at Rosalind’s work, without her permission, and used her findings to publish their own work without giving her credit.” [picture book biography, ages 8 and up]

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Katy Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

I love everything about this short biography picture book from the Andy Warhol inspired images to the selection of activists and trailblazers that are highlighted in this book. [picture book biography, ages 8 and up]

What’s the Big Deal about the First Ladies by Ruby Shamir, illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Learn about the achievements of the First Ladies. Did you know that Edith Wilson helped decode secret messages during WWI? Rosalind Carter encouraged world leaders to help suffering refugees, and Laura Bush helped millions of people in Africa get medicine for AIDS. With an engaging format, this picture book is full of interesting factoids about our amazing first ladies. [picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Changing Seasons #DiverseKidLit

Our theme for #DiverseKidLit in March is the Changing Seasons. Please consider sharing diverse books and resources that support love and families. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

Here are two cute spring books that I love.

Fly! by Xavier Deneux

I love interactive board books and this one is unique in that the reader can remove shapes that come out COMPLETELY and put them back into place on the facing page. It’s like a puzzle and a book in one package! The illustrations are adorable and the story is a spring story of baby birds hatching. Perfect for Easter baskets or celebrating spring! [interactive board book, ages 1 and up]

The Sheep Who Hatched An Egg by Gemma Merino

This story has an unexpected plot twist about Lola, a sheep with beautiful, silky wool. After spring shearing, her wool grows back messy and wild and she’s despondent. An egg lands on her head, but she doesn’t notice; her wool is so thick! The chick hatches and they become friends. Soon it’s time for the chick to leave the nest and for Lola for her annual shearing. Now, she doesn’t care if her wool. This is a fun story about friendship and vanity that works for all seasons, but is especially fun for spring. [picture book, ages 4 and up]


What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

Kid Lit Blog Hop Now MONTHLY!

Kid Lit Blog Hop: Celebrating Spring!

We’re celebrating spring at the Kid Lit Blog Hop as well as any other KidLit posts on children’s books! Please check out the posts and add your own. Here’s my contribution: Top 10 Spring Picture Books

HAPPY SPRING! We welcome you to the March 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. Apologies for missing last month’s blog hop, but life sometimes gets in the way. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children’s literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Read more…

The Mystery of Pi for Pi Day!

The Mystery of Pi for Pi Day!

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π. Joke from comedian John Evans from 50 Interesting Facts About Pi

PickyKidPix came home from school after Pi Day last year determined to memorize 100 digits of Pi. Her math teacher offered 1 point of extra credit for learning Pi. He rarely offers extra credit so she decided that she was going to learn 100 digits of Pi.

Learn Pi Free Read more…

Sci-Fi Junior High Chapter Book GIVEAWAY

Did you know that author James Patterson of Maximum Ride series now has a publishing imprint through Little, Brown called Jimmy Patterson Books. The books that he’s putting out have his name on the cover: James Patterson Presents. This is an interesting concept of brand extension for authors.

I’m giving away a James Patterson Presents book, Sci-Fi Junior High by John Martin and Scott Seegert that is a notebook novel like Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. This book is actually a hybrid — part doodles, part graphic novel pages, and part chapter book. This is a book to draw in reluctant boy readers with both humor and illustrations on every single page.

I’m giving away a prize package for Sci-Fi Junior High!

One winner receives:
Copy of Sci-Fi Junior High
Branded iron-on patch and pencil case
Plus rocket ship pens! Read more…

Marvelous Machines in Real Life and in Brian Selznick Books

Marvelous Machines in Real Life and in Brian Selznick Books

Did you know that Brian Selznick’s grandfather’s cousin is the storied Hollywood producer and screen writer David O. Selznick, best known for producing Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940)? I only bring that up because Brian Selznick’s books have that same old-timey film quality despite being books. It’s like Brian Selznick himself is out of time; in our timeline but really from the past.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

It’s Brian’s storyline as well as his illustrations that look like storyboards for a movie that give that same old Hollywood film glamour to his books. It should be noted that his books look deceptively long, but three fourth of the book is illustrations (without words). In a future world where books are a multimedia event, I would like to see his illustrations made into stop motion animated movie to accompany the text. That would bring his book down to a slim volume, enticing even the most reluctant of readers. Read more…