Monday, January 26, 2015

Writing Time is Precious

"Guard your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Available from Etsy

Monday, January 19, 2015

Literacy and Life

"The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive."
-Malcolm X*

Bookplate by Kazimierc Babkiewicz,
Courtesy Frederikshavn Art Museum

*The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rise From Your Ashes

"It's best to have failure happen early in life. It wakes up the phoenix bird in you . . ."

Commissioned Kingfisher bookplate
by Kathryn Elisabeth Lovejoy

Friday, January 9, 2015

PPBF: The Sea Chest

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Sea Chest, by Toni Buzzeo and Mary Grandpre
The Sea Chest
Written by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by Mary GrandPre
Dial Books, 2002
Fiction, grades K-3
word count 1070

Siblings, Adoption, Legends

"City lights flicker in the dusk like winking fireflies.
I hold my Auntie Maita's papery hand. Together we stare at the shiny photo in her lap, touched so often with hope, the edges curl."

A lonely girl, daughter of lighthouse keepers, wishes for companionship. Her wish washes ashore the morning after a fateful storm when the family discovers a baby tucked inside a sea chest. The sisters grow up to share the delights of the island and the joys of sisterhood. The story is based on a Maine legend, but the author skillfully weaves together a second storyline about the descendants of the orphaned baby and a new adoption about to take place.

What I Love:
I love how the author flashes back to the legendary scene, and how she has drawn on her own sibling experience to speak to children awaiting a new baby. She knows precisely the loneliness of the island girl. She understands, too, the anticipation and anxiety felt by a family expecting a child through adoption. Mary Grandpre captures the wind and waves and nostalgia so needed for this book with her sweeping colors. Her somewhat exaggerated style is toned down here to give The Sea Chest a ring of truth.

The manuscript for The Sea Chest won the Barbara Karlin Grant in 2000.


Courtesy Coastal Living
1.You may want to read this touching interview with Toni Bizzeo by Cynthia Leitich Smith.
2. For more information, read the Kirkus review of The Sea Chest.
3. You can find more about the 19th century Legend on which this story is based, at PBS.
4. Visit Hendricks Head Light where the story takes place.
5. Try your hand at a gingerbread lighthouse like this one from Coastal Living.
6. If you enjoyed this book, here are a few more Perfect Picture Books you might enjoy.

Reviewed by Jarm
Reviewed by GatheringBooks
Reviewed by Erik

Reviewed by Diane
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for January 9, 2015, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping this year is full of warm hugs, bright dreams, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Write and Don't Give Up

"Write and keep writing. Lots of people want to be an author; many people talk about it. The serious ones write and don't give up."

bookplate art by Gladys Munoz

*via Goodreads

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Make this your Most Important Christmas


Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

He is not in the manger. 
He is not on the cross. 
He is not in the tomb.
He is coming soon for His own.

Is He your personal Savior?

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.