Monday, December 30, 2013

A Belated Merry Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate our blessings. Despite this time of mourning, our family has much to be thankful for. I hope you and yours have had a wonderful Christmas season. We look forward to a bright new year.
"The Gift of Stories," Roosevelt library tree, the White House. Image by Marty Katz

Bear Ye One Another's Burdens

Thank-you to all those who have sent their condolences, who have held my hand, who have understood in the midst of our grief. May God bless you all richly.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ReviMo Reminder

'Just a reminder to sign up for ReviMo, January 12-18, 2014. It's a brand-new event, and a brilliant way to to make the most of your PiBoIdMo momentum. So get on board for Meg Miller's week of intense revision and jump-start your writing in the new year!

Sign-up from now until December 23, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

PPBF: Nora's Chicks

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Nora's Chicks
Written by Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
Candlewick, 2013, Fiction, ages 3-7, Lexile 490L

Lonliness, Immigration, Farming

"When Nora came to America from Russia, she came with her mother, her father, and her baby brother, Milo. She brought a bag of clothes, two dolls, and her blanket."

Nora's family emigrates to the American prairie from Russia. The landscape, the house, the life is much different, making Nora ache for her old home. Nora becomes nursemaid to a flock of chicks, helping her overcome her loneliness and transforming her new environment into her new home.

"Nora smiled for the first time. " interior art by Kathryn Brown, available at R. Michelson Galleries.

What I Love:
Tired of turkey yet? How about some chicken? I've actually been saving this gem for a while ('not sure why.) The water color illustrations are an obvious draw. The author? Well, yeah, if Pat MacLachlan writes directions on how to shampoo the carpet, I'm gonna be first in line to read them. It's a quiet book about self discovery and the triumph of one small girl, based on recollections of Pat's family history.

Courtesy DIYProjectNetwork

1. Make your own flock of chickens with these crafty hens cut from cereal boxes. They might be too advanced for little ones, but I really couldn't resist posting them here. So Cute!
2. Egg and pepper snacks. No, the irony is not lost on me. One blogger mom said you should be committed to a psych ward if you even considered making these. My kids think they are the coolest things on the planet and can't wait to make them. You decide.
3. We have our own chickens. Whether caring for adult hens, or starting from scratch (couldn't resist the pun) tending a flock has been a great experience for my family. My daughter's first grade teacher incubates eggs each year with her class. Here are a few resources if you want to give it a try.
Courtesy KiddieFoodies
4. Learn a little Russian. Here is a great link to the Cyrillic Alphabet for kids.
5. Study Russian immigrants or immigration in general through history or picture books!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday, December 6, 2013 from Susanna Leonard Hill.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Gift of Libraries

“When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.”
Jean Fritz

Ex Libris, E. J. Wheeler

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SkADaMo Week #5 Finale

Well, it's been fun, but Sketch A Day Month has ended. Here is the last batch of sketches. You can still check the other participants' sites. And of course, you can see all my SkADaMo pieces here.

Thanks again to Linda Silvestri for her organization of this event, her darling logo, and her idiomatic puns throughout November.

character sketches with rain gear

character expressions
I dare you!

portrait artist
an alien ate my sandwich