Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

 image

Interstellar Cinderella

Authors: Deborah Underwood

Illustrator : Meg Hunt

Publisher: Chronicle Books

*Review by Angie Karcher

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Interstellar Cinderella is an asteroid of a rhyming picture book! It’s a futuristic take on our beloved Cinderella story…plus an atmosphere of rocket ships, gravity and galactic terminology.

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Did you know that interstellar Cinderella has her own tool box? Yes, she is a mechanic who repairs spaceships. But when she’s not mechanic-ing, she’s sweeping space-ial cinders and doing space chores.

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This futuristic interpretation is genius, as author Deborah Underwood and Illustrator Meg Hunt take us on a journey of an orphaned girl, dreaming of a brighter future. With brilliant meter and rhyming perfection, accompanied by lovely illustrations, this book is a must read!

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Interstellar Cinderella is just like any young girl, dreaming of love, romance and carburetors. She is gifted in the occupation of fixing things…especially broken spaceships.

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Once the Prince’s ship breaks down, it’s Cinderella to the rescue. He is memorized by her techy-side and able to fly away once she repairs his ship…if only he saw her face. That darn spacesuit helmet prevented a match made in heaven.

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Thankfully, she dropped her socket wrench. The prince searches the galaxy for the lady mega-mechanic who repaired his spaceship and warmed his heart.

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You must read this star-worthy book to see how this all ends,

but my vote is on true love.

This fractured fairy tale is a breath of fresh air as our protagonist is quite the feminist, career minded, yet willing to work for just the right…prince.

Grab this book before it floats off the shelves of every town

in every world of every galaxy!

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I urge you to find

INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA

to read to your little space robots!

 Stacks Image 59

About Deborah:

I grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. When I was little, I wanted to be an astronomer. (The bear in the photo is named Ursa Major, like the constellation.) Then I wanted to be a singer. Then I wanted to be a writer. Today my jobs are writing and singing. I guess two out of three’s not bad!

My dad was a math professor, and my mom taught English. My sister got all the math brains, but some of my mom’s word sense rubbed off on me, thank goodness.

I finally decided to write for kids. At first my stories were pretty awful, but I kept trying. They got better in time–but writing sure is a lot of work! Luckily, I have a bunch of great writing friends that help me. We read each other’s manuscripts and make suggestions. And whenever I say I’m going to get a job pasting labels on pianos because writing is too hard, they talk me out of it.

Deborah’s Website:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 image

 

Interstellar Cinderella

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

image

Everybody Sleeps (but not Fred)

Author/illustrator: Josh Schneider

Publisher: Clarion Books Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015

*Review by Suzy Leopold

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Many children have a nighttime routine that includes a bubble bath, dressing in favorite pajamas and brushing teeth before being tucked into bed. So, does Fred.

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From West to East and everyplace in-between everyone and everything must sleep when it is time for bed. In the jungle, the toucans, sloths are cockatoos are snoozing, snoring and dreaming.

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Fred is not snoozing, snoring and dreaming. Fred has more important things to do than sleep. He is busy consulting his lengthy list of things to-do. Fred’s list includes: jumping, hunting, shouting and more.

image         image

Will reading bedtime stories to Fred help him to close his eyes and get some ZZZzzzs? Kids will delight in the “Warning! Close book softly or Fred will wake up . . . ” Shhh! Don’t make a peep.

image

*

*

 

About Josh:

Josh Schneider is the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning creator of Tales for Very Picky Eaters, as well as The Meanest Birthday Girl. His first book for Clarion, You’ll Be Sorry, was named “Book That Provides Best Ammunition to Parents Weary of Warning Their Kids About Socking Their Siblings” by Publishers Weekly magazine. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Website

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 image

This wonderful review was written by Suzy Leopold,

a Best in Rhyme Committee member.

Thank you Suzy!

 image

 

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

Author: Josh Funk

Illustrator : Brendan Kearney

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books

*Review by Darlene Ivy

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Haven’t you always wanted to peek inside the refrigerator and witness the world that wakes when the door closes? Well, now you can! Join author Josh Funk and illustrator Brendon Kearney in the slightly-less-than-chivalrous wonderland of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast.

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“Deep in the fridge and behind the green peas

way past the tofu and left of the cheese,

Up in a corner, and back by a roast,

sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast.”

 

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            These leftover friends were as happy as two best friends can be until they heard the most distressing news – just a single drop of maple syrup was left. Just one drop!

            Without so much as a curtsy or a by your leave, the race was on! Who would savor the sweet taste of victory?

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            What an obstacle course! What a competition! What fast-paced storytelling with perfect meter and rhyme!

 image

            The rivals ran through the Broccoli Forest. They slogged up Potato Mash Mountain and slid down again. One rappelled down a rope of linguini. The other skied past the spinach and artichoke dip. They escaped the terror of the giant, bean avalanche. First, Lady Pancake was ahead. Then, Sir French Toast was in the lead.

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            Until finally –

“Battered and soggy, exhausted and crumbling,

too tired to push, they were limping and stumbling.

There stood the bottle of syrup at last.”

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            Who savored that last drop? You might be surprised. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

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            Then, to learn the real-life back story behind the book, check out an interview with Josh Funk at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/josh-funk_b_8185874.html

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 *

I urge you to find

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

to read to your little breakfast eaters!

*

(

*

About Josh:

Josh Funk grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts alongside his wife, children, and assorted pets & monsters.

*

Josh’s Website

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 image

This wonderful review was written by Darlene Ivy,

a Best in Rhyme Committee member.

Thank you Darlene!

 image

 

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

 *

 image

STICK AND STONE

Author: Beth Ferry

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review by Patricia Toht

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As a picture book writer, perhaps you’ve heard the advice to “leave room for the illustrator.” For a stellar example of how to do this, look no further than STICK AND STONE.

 

The main characters in the story are a stick and a stone. I repeat, a stick. A stone. Not exactly stock characters for a picture book. But in 152 words, author Beth Ferry Words manages to simply and compactly convey a tale of friendship and loyalty between these two characters. Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld expands the words with pictures heavy with the emotions of sadness, anger, worry, and happiness.

 

The opening begins:

Stick. Stone.

Lonely. Alone.

 

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The problem is clearly established through the words – Stick and Stone both need a friend. But study the illustrations to see how the pictures enhance the emotion. In the first spread, Stick and Stone are physically separated by white space on the page. Their names are at opposite ends of the spread, physically apart.

 

In the next illustration, not only are Stick and Stone in different locales at different hours, but they also are staring into the vastness of nature, which magnifies their isolation and smallness. Brilliant teamwork!

 

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Beth Ferry has carefully chosen her words. Despite the tiny word count, she has sprinkled in poetic techniques. A simple example is when Stick ends up in a puddle:

I love the alliteration of “Stick stuck” (as well as the upside-down “help!” in the illustration).

 

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My favorite bit of cleverness is when Stone is being bullied by Pinecone and Stick comes to the rescue:

 

“Vanish!” says Stick.

 

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The author did not choose “bug off” or “get lost,” or other options that might fit with the meter. “Vanish” is a magician’s word and sets the reader up for the sentence that follows.

 

His word does the trick.

 

Does the author mean this phrase as an idiom? Or has magic happened to make Pinecone go away? It’s up to the reader.

 

The end also delivers a satisfying twist, but I will let you discover that for yourself.

 

Pick up STICK AND STONE.

Read. Study. Enjoy!

image 

I urge you to find

Stick and Stone

to read to your little sticks and stones!

 

Fun Facts About Beth:

Lives just within reach of the beach in New Jersey

Mom to three not-so-small, but oh-so-great kids.

Represented by Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties, Inc.

Loves finding turtles in her backyard.

Beth’s Favorite Things: lilacs, bulldogs, Halloween, reading and every shade of purple.Beth

*

Beth’s Website

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

This wonderful review was written by Patricia Toht, a Best in Rhyme Committee member. Thank you Patty!

About Patricia:

Patricia Toht is a children’s author and poet. Her poetry has appeared in children’s magazines and anthologies. Frances Lincoln Books will publish her debut picture book, ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS, in spring 2017. PICK A PINE TREE by Walker Books arrives autumn 2017.

 image

 

Stick and Stone

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

 Picture

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?

Authors: Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez

Illustrator : Keika Yamaguchi

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

*Review by Mandy Yates

*image 

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez is a fine example of a picture book that makes great use of tier II words. This would be a wonderful example even if this book were written in prose. However, Corey and Rebecca’s rhymes are never predictable, always clever, and go beyond the simple one-syllable rhymes.

(Example: work zone/megaphone, concern/stern, all imperfections/careful inspections, advice/precise, straighter/dictator, pounded/surrounded.)

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This book has it all!

-Flawed, yet likable character.

-Strong character want and problem.

-Clever, original rhyme.

-A never stumbling, perfect meter.

-(I hate using LOL, but the humor in this book is literally the laugh out loud kind.)

-Perfect pacing.

-Satisfying ending.

-And for a book that is geared toward a younger audience, the use of vocabulary will make your four year old smarter (as well as your ten year old.)

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Check out some of the stunning vocabulary used in this amazing picture book:

divvied

trotted

announced

caution

commands

crank

pace

concern

overseeing

stern

jotted

image

imperfections

careful

inspections

spouted

advice

precise

glare

tromping

mumbled

dictator

manned

image

clambered

complete

hefted

surrounded

hollered

muffled

hopeless

groaned

grumbled

huddled

plotting

What About Moose?

Well, it’s simply splendid, engaging,

and full of stunning vocabulary!

image

 *

I urge you to find

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?

to read to your little bossy ones!

*

About Corey:

Corey Rosen Schwartz is the author of THE THREE NINJA PIGS and several other rhyming picture books. She has no formal ninja training, but she sure can kick butt in Scrabble.  Corey lives with three knuckleheads in Warren, NJ. 

Corey’s Website

 

About Rebecca:

My first book, WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?, which I co-wrote with Corey Rosen Schwartz, is a rhyming picture book for kids 4-8, published in the summer of 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

I’d love to hear from you! If you like, you can connect with me through Facebook or Twitter via the links in the side bar or you can email me at rebgowriter @ gmail dot com.

Rebecca’s Website

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Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

This wonderful review was written by Mandy Yates, a Best in Rhyme Committee member. Thank you Mandy!

Mandy allowed us to share part of her previous blog post, Stunning Vocabulary in Picture Books is Important, from 8/11/2015.

You can see the full blog post here.

 Picture

What About Moose?

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

image

IT’S ONLY STANLEY

Author and Illustrator : Jon Agee

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

*Review by Lori Degman

image

Told with perfect meter and rhyme, It’s Only Stanley is a simple story of the Wimbledon family and their dog, Stanley.

 image

All throughout the night, disturbing sounds wake up different members of the family, until they’re finally all awake and in their parent’s bedroom.

image

With each disturbance, Walter Wimbledon (the father) replies,

“That’s very odd,” and heads off to investigate

the source of the sound.

image

And each time, he reports back, “It’s only Stanley,”

 image

howling at the moon;

fixing the oil tank;

making catfish stew . . .

 image

The book has one of those surprise endings that make you go back to the beginning and read it over again (I won’t tell you what it is, but I guarantee you’ll love it)!

 image

The last thing I’ll say about

It’s Only Stanley is – it’s only fabulous!!

&image

*

I urge you to find

IT’S ONLY STANLEY

to read to your little night owls!

*

About Jon:

I grew up in Nyack, New York, just up the street from the Hudson River. In our house, there was always an art project going on.

My early drawings were very animated: a lot of stuff zipping around, airplanes, racing cars, football players. No surprise my first published drawing was a pack of rats running along a highway (The Rat Race). I did that for the New York Times Op Ed page when I was still in high school.

I went to college at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. I studied painting, sculpture and filmmaking, but what I loved doing most—in my spare time—was drawing cartoons and comic strips.

That was all a long time ago. Since then I’ve written several other picture books, illustrated a few by other authors, and created a series of offbeat wordplay books, beginning with the book of palindromes, GO HANG A SALAMI! I’M A LASAGNA HOG!

I visit schools across the country and sometimes around the globe. I live with my wife, Audrey, in San Francisco.

Amazon

 Barnes and Noble

Jon’s Website

 image

 

This wonderful review was written by Lori Degman, a Best in Rhyme Committee member. Thank you Lori!

 image

It’s Only Stanley

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

image

PIRATE’S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME

Author: Marcie Wessels

Illustrator: Tim Bowers

Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers

*Review by Suzy Leopold

image

Yo, ho, ho! Me lad, heave ho! It’s time to go to bed.”

With this opening line, by Papa Pirate, a reader will become immediately hooked.

image

Bedtime for many kids can be a long drawn out nightly routine. First mate, Ned is not-so-sleepy and wants to play longer on the high-seas. He postpones his bedtime by requesting just ten more minutes to sail the Seven Seas before getting some shut eye.

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Since it is nearly half past eight, Papa Pirate reminds Ned that it is time to get a bit of rest and continues to coax Ned to his bunk. But first they must swab the deck, stow the gear, and lock the treasure chest.

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Ned continues to use stalling tactics to avoid his bunk. He can’t find his teddy bear, Captain Teddy, he shimmies up the mainmast, he’s thirsty and wants Papa Pirate to spin a yarn or two. Will Ned every close his eyes to catch 40 winks?

 image

The colorful illustrations are playful and whimsical and the endpapers of the book match Ned’s pajamas! The clever rhyme, use of action verbs and pirate dialect make for an excellent read aloud, especially at bedtime.

&

I urge you to find

PIRATE’S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME

to read to your little buccaneers!

*

 

About Marcie:

Marcie Wessels was born in Wisconsin and surprised her family by arriving two months earlier than expected and weighed only 2 pounds and 13 ounces!

Marcie loved to visit the library with her mother and to sit in the stacks and pick out books to take home.  Although she admired writers, she never thought she could grow up to be one.  Marcie decided to do the next best thing – she became a teacher because they get to read, write and talk about books.

She didn’t pursue her dream until after her children were born. Marcie lives in San Diego with her husband and their two children. PIRATE’S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, August 25, 2015) is Marcie’s first picture book.

Amazon

 Barnes and Noble

Marcie’s Website

 image

 

This wonderful review was written by Suzy Leopold, a Best in Rhyme Committee member. Thank you Suzy!

Suzy’s Website

 image

*

*

PIRATE’S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have

been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

RPB full logo for blog

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

 

image

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight

Author: Penny Parker Klostermann

Illustrator: Ben Mantle

Publisher: Random House

*Review by Gayle Krause

 

There was an old dragon who needed a lesson in table manners!

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I mean really, he swallowed everything in sight, and much to the delight of young readers, burped them all up again.

 image

This rollicking retelling of a well-known children’s song has perfect meter, action verbs, and a rhyme scheme that makes the story roll off the tongue. Children especially LOVE the refrain.

 image

As an adult, I’ve used this book as an introduction to cumulative tales in my 3rd grade writing class for Young Author’s Day at a local college and the children loved the lyrical language and easily understood the concept.

 image

Nominated as one of the ten best rhyming picture books of 2015, There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight may lumber away having eaten yet another item, the inaugural Best Rhyming Picture Book Award.

 image

About Penny:

Author Penny Parker Klostermann is a teacher, author and lover of picture books, especially rhyming ones. She’s a member of The Poets’ Garage, where she hones her rhyming skills.

For more information on Penny follow the link to Gayle’s interview with her in September.

 

I urge you to find There Was an Old Dragon

Who Swallowed a Knight

to read to your little dragons!

*

Penny Parker Klostermann

About Penny

She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. She has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too.

Penny is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She was named the 2012 Barbara Karlin Grant Runner-up. She is represented by Tricia Lawrence of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Penny grew up in Colorado and now lives in Abilene, Texas-the Storybook Capital of Texas!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Penny’s Website

 

This wonderful review was written by Gayle Krause, a Best in Rhyme Committee member. Thank you Gayle!

Gayle’s Website: The Storyteller’s Scroll

http://www.gayleckrause.com

*

*image

 

 

 

 

 

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight

Aside

Rhyme Award Best In Rhyme

The top 10 finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award have been announced! The committee and I are thrilled to share reviews of each of these

wonderful rhyming picture books!

Please support these authors and illustrators by

purchasing their books this holiday season!

*

The Top 10 RPB finalists for The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

The Announcement Video link

*

KidLit TV blk-white logo

*

These reviews are done by the Best in Rhyme Committee in no particular order. The winner and honor books will be named on December 4th in NYC in a live-streaming announcement from Julie Gribble’s KidLitTV Studio. We are so appreciative of Julie’s support of our event!

Thank you Julie!

 

*RPB full logo for blog

*

I present

the 2015 Best in Rhyme Award

top 10 book reviews!

Watch for more reviews all month!

*

*image

Sharing the Bread

By Author Pat Zietlow Miller

and Illustrator Jill McElmurray

*

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I felt it only proper to begin our Best in Rhyme Top 10 book reviews with Pat Zietlow Miller’s SHARING THE BREAD: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story.

This story reminds me of a song we sang in elementary school that brings back fond memories…”Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go…”

Every time I hear that song, it warms my heart, remembering visits to my own grandmother’s house during the holidays. Cousins. Pumpkin Pie. Potato peeling. Aprons. The silly looking turkey baster. Hot cider. Candles. The kid’s table. FOOD! Football. Nap.

*image

This is my favorite spread…you feel the chaotic excitement!

*

Now, when I think of Thanksgiving I will think of this special book! Pat has a way of writing heartwarming stories that bring a smile to your face while reading them. This Thanksgiving story about an early American family’s celebration is not that different from the way we celebrate today.

*

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Everyone helps prepare for dinner!

*

Minus the wood stove, most families carry on traditions each year with their loved ones. A hurried chaos in the kitchen leads to a quiet calm of prayers and eating. Children running underfoot are bibbed and settled into high chairs next to aunts, uncles and grandparents who relish their time spent together.

*image

This sweet dog hopes some turkey falls on the floor.

*

Pat’s rhythmic verses coupled with repetitive phrases make this wonderful rhyming picture book a joy to read aloud. The Illustrations by Jill McElmurray add another gorgeous layer of heart! The warmth and details of the illustrations will keep adults and children searching for all the happenings of the celebration.

*image

Even the pets like Thanksgiving dinner!

*

I urge you to find SHARING THE BREAD: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story

to read to your little Pilgrims this Thanksgiving!

*image

*About

About Pat:

Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine.

Now, she writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night.

Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. She doesn’t watch much TV, but she does love “Glee” and “Chopped.” Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Pat’s Website

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Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story

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Is Writing Rhyme a Fairy Tale?

RPB Reg Open Logo

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Did you hear about the Rhyming Picture Book Revolution Weekend

marching into New York City in December?

You don’t want to miss this conference on writing RPBs that will revolutionize the way you approach writing this beloved genre. Check out the website and register today as the conference is being hosted by Julie Gribble at the KidLit TV Studio, which is intimate and will hold a limited number of attendees who will meet and learn from some of the industries best authors, agents and editors of rhyme.

Our faculty includes:

Author Karma Wilson

Editor Justin Chanda

Author Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Editor Rebecca Davis

Author Lori Degman

Author Corey Rosen Schwartz

Agent Kendra Marcus

RPB Reg Open Logo

RPB Revolution Weekend Website

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Is Writing in Rhyme a Fairy Tale?

By Angie Karcher

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There is a mystique associated with writing rhyming picture books. This endeared genre is beloved by children and parents and lends itself to snuggle time. Teachers encourage rhyme because it is an essential element in language development. As a former kindergarten teacher and developmental therapist I am focused on sharing the message that kids need a firm foundation of rhyme early and often to help them become lifelong learners.

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Nursery Rhymes encourage verbal participation, memorization, and increase phonemic awareness and confidence. Without them in today’s curriculum kids need more rhyme.

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Historically, rhyme is celebrated through traditional storytelling. Folk song musicality helps the singer remember the words, rhythm gives the listener a memorable beat and rhyme ends each line with an unforgettable punch. People are drawn to writing rhyme because of the tradition but what they miss is the real craft involved.

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Many writers fall into traps when using rhyme as the focus of their manuscript.

  • Use simple, one syllable rhyming words

  • Leave the story and follow the rhyming words down a different path

  • Use forced rhyme – switch words around in an unnatural way to make a rhyming word fit

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These are some reasons rhyme is often viewed as the “Cinderella” of writing and is swept away with the cinders.

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Professional rhyming picture book writers know that when done well, rhyming manuscripts glitter like the Fairy Godmother’s wand! Truly magical!

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Picture book writing has a unique set of guidelines. Picture books are typically 32 pages long and the illustrations should tell half of the story. They are meant to be read aloud as the language should be lyrical and rhythmic. Writing picture books is challenging without rhyme but when rhyme is added to this process…it is tremendously difficult when done well.

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Here’ a story about a determined writer who continued to rhyme though discouraged at conferences, refused by agents and editors and was excluded from critique groups.

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Once upon a time there was a writer named…Rhymerella.

Her wicked step-mother forced her to the attic and banned her from attending the ball.

Rhymerella used this time to perfect her manuscript. She developed strong characters and built a story arc with page-turning tension. She selected a rhyme scheme, added internal rhyme, eliminated forced rhyme and used clever, multiple syllabic rhyming words. She then sprinkled in assonance, consonance, hyperbole, simile, metaphors, and repeating phrases that ensured a read-it-out-loud-ability. She left room for illustrations, added rhythm and a polished meter that paced her once pumpkin of a story into a cherished carriage.

Her fairy godmother agent appeared and submitted her work to kingdom presses far and wide.

Rhymerella wore a lovely dress and some impractical shoes to the ball where she fell in love with the prince, who just happened to be a publisher who accepted rhyme.

Her rhyming picture books were celebrated across the land

and she lived

*****************happily

****************************ever

**************************************after.

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If you dream of attending the ball then you must take rhyme seriously and realize that it is difficult when done well.

  • I spend three times as many hours on rhyming manuscripts than others.

  • I read it out loud to myself and others over and over.

  • I submit to critique groups until the lines roll off my tongue.

  • I attend SCBWI conference sessions on rhyme and take writing classes specific to picture books and rhyme.

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Remember, editors continue to receive a tragic number of “dungeon quality” rhyming manuscripts!

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If you are destined to rhyme, then study Rhymerella’s story. Find a fairy godmother agent, get fancied up and waltz into that ballroom and WOW your way into their hearts! If you are a prince of a writer, feel free to forgo the glass slippers.

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Your coach awaits!

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References

Rhymers are Readers: The Importance of Nursery Rhymes

http://www.kbyutv.org/kidsandfamily/readytolearn/file.axd?file=2011%2F3%2F2+Rhymers+are+Readers-Why+Important.pdf

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Phonemic Awareness vs. Phonological Awareness

http://www.k12reader.com/phonemic-awareness-vs-phonological-awareness/

Is Writing Rhyme a Fairy Tale?