Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

You Make Me Sneeze!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

You Make Me Sneeze! (Astra Young Readers, 2024) by Sharon G. Flake and illustrated by Anna Raff is absolutely hilarious. And especially relatable to anyone with allergies. It’s also a companion book for You Are NOT a Cat.

Duck and Cat are best friends on a camping trip, but there’s a problem. Duck is allergic to Cat. He makes Duck’s beak itch and twitch, and “Achoo!”

With hilarious attempts to fix the problem, the book ends with a twist.

Read about the author here and check out Sharon’s other books here.

Look at a sampling of Anna’s illustrations here, read about her here, and see all her books here.

I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen — whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book — it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place.
Jeffrey Deaver

I’ve often said

Posted in Before You Begin, Business Side of Writing, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Deciding to Blog?

Often writers want to know whether they should blog or not. It IS a good way to add content to your website, but definitely is not a requirement. In my opinion it’s better not to do it at all than have poor content.

Here are some tips:

  • Commit.
    • Blogging won’t happen unless you make plans for it.
    • If you aren’t going to add to it, why do it?
  • How often to blog? You could plan on weekly, biweekly, or monthly blog posts. Come up with a plan and stick with it.
  • Consider a blog theme.
    • I love recommending books, and post them regularly.
    • I also share advice to writers. It started out with articles I wrote. Someone would ask me a question and I’d say, “I have an article on that” (often written for free for newsletters—sometimes written for pay for first rights). So, I started posting those articles for easy reference on my blog.
    • What are you excited to blog about?
  • Schedule times when you want posts to appear.
    • For example, I have a quote of the week, that I auto schedule to show up on Tuesdays.I often post for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (a group of authors use this and it’s run by Greg Pattridge).I sometimes post on Perfect Picture Book Friday (Susannah Leonard Hill’s blog).My writing related posts go live on other days.
    • When I had a paid blogging job, I had daily and weekly blog posts to do. I scheduled out topics for future weeks to make doing them easier.
  • Advertise your posts.
    • Share where you can, such as on social media, such as Twitter, and include hashtags where appropriate. If you quote someone or talk about their books, tag them if they’re active on that media.If you belong to SCBWI, you can share your blog posts on the Discussion Boards in “What Did You Blog About Today?”Find groups talking about the issues you blog about. Some allow links to blog posts. Some only allow them in comments. But I often find people asking questions in Facebooks posts, and I think, “I wrote on post on that,” so I’ll share a link. Bonus: I’ve made friends by doing this too.
    • Tell your writer friends about your blog and individual posts that you think will interest them.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. But now you’ll perhaps have a better idea of what is involved before you jump in.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Nancy Bess Had a Dress

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Nancy Bess Had a Dress (Gnome Road Publishing, March 2024) by Claire Annette Noland and llustrated by Angela C. Hawkins is a lovely picture book set in the 1930s and shows how a dress is reused for many projects.

Nancy Bess goes to town with her parents and chooses a flour sack because of the pattern. She makes a dress and when it’s too small she makes an apron. When it tears…

This is such a sweet story and the theme of recycling and reusing is great for today’s readers.

Read about the author, Claire, here and check out her other books here.

Angela is an author/illustrator. Read her bio here, check out her portfolio here and her other books here.