Saturday, December 31, 2016



Picture book idea month has morphed in to Storystorm. I can't wait to see what the new year and the month of January bring. Thanks Tara Lazar!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Eww- Why Kids Love Nature!!

 A small spice bush caterpillar. As it grows, it turns wonderful greens and yellows. It will eventually become a beautiful black spice bush swallowtail butterfly.
One of the children flipped a leaf to see why it looked to lacy. There was a host of oak sawfly larvae.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Doing market research is so much fun at this time of many Christmas books and so little time. A mom at the library had a great idea. She was planning to wrap each picture book separately. Her children will open one each day and they'll read them together as a count down to Christmas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

There's a Story Here

My grandmother "tatting" on her front porch...what is she working so hard on? And where is it now?

Writer's Block

Some times it just takes looking at things from another viewpoint.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

No Child Left Inside

I got to wander through a wildflower meadow today while helping with a children's program on plants. We smelled skunk cabbage, ate blackberries right off the bush and saw loads of butterflies.
We also made leaf rubbings, looked at algae and fern spores through a microscope and hiked to the woods.
 Wild Bergamot (aka bee balm)

 Queen Anne's Lace

 Milkweed for Monarchs

Purple Coneflower

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Another month immersed in rhyme comes to an end...
I read so many charming, fun books and read helpful
insights from so many talented people!
RhyPiBoMo 2016 - graduate badge

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

 So excited for this weekend! (And loving the artwork by Julia Anne Young)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act,
but a habit.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work
will die without putting a word on paper.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, 
but when there is nothing more to take away.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016


I spent the day at Magic Wings, a butterfly conservatory. A little taste of springtime...until it snowed on the way home!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dream Big, then do the work!

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; 
it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
Colin Powell

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

You can find magic wherever you look.
Sit back and relax, 
all you need is a book.
~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Great First Lines Part 2

Here are some more wonderful first lines from children's literature. Read, appreciate, digest and learn...

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!' so he was sent to bed without eating anything."

 "One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. He was very hungry."

 "Everybody knows the story of the Three Little Pigs. Or at least they think they do. But I'll let you in on a little secret. Nobody knows the real story, because nobody has ever heard my side of the story. I'm the Wolf."

 "Doctor de Soto was especially popular with the big animals."

 "Jack had dinner early. Jack needed burping. So Nora had to wait."

 So is there a pat formula for the perfect first line? Not at all, these are all so different, and marvelous!

1- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
2- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
3-The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
4- Dr. DeSoto by William Steig
5- Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Imagination inspiration- a deserted mining town

This town near the continental divide was a booming mining town over a century ago. What would the life of a 6 year old be like? A ten year old? What would it have been like for the last few people here after the mine closed?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A book is a garden carried in a pocket.
~Chinese Proverb

Yet another challenge!

Call it market research or just plain fun, I've joined a group through 12x12 whose goal is to read 1,000 picture books in 2016. I am logging the books on my bookshelf on Goodreads
 I can sort them on to shelves of favorites, non-fiction, cumulative/circular and more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Great First Lines in KidLit

Just for fun, can you name the children's classic that starts with each of these first lines?
And what do they all have in common?

1- "Where's Papa going with that axe?"

2- "The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it."

 3- "All children, except one, grow up."

 4- "This is George. He lived in Africa."

 5- "Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong."

They take you in to the story immediately, no setting a scene or "once upon a time"! Do they all leave you wanting more?

In case you didn't know the answer-
1-Charlotte's Web by E.B.White
2-Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
3-Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie
4- Curious George by H.A.Rey
5- The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

12 x 12

 Well I've decided to do 12 x12 again this year. There were great webinars and access to a wonderfully supportive writer community.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Neil Gaiman on librarians

“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

 “Librarians are the coolest people out there doing the hardest job out there on the frontlines. And every time I get to encounter or work with librarians, I'm always impressed by their sheer awesomeness.”
Neil Gaiman

 “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”
Neil Gaiman


Nature can inspire great ideas. What might be hiding just beyond your view in these aspen in northern Colorado?

I Can't Wait!!