The results are in!!!

Well, y'all had a 25% chance of winning Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening which are extraordinary odds in giveaways... yippee!

Here was my methodology:

And then I called an almost year old lass in to come choose a toy. (Don't worry, she had no prior favorites from this batch.  These are actually part of a big bin of "random bits and game pieces" that I collect throughout the house and keep for various projects and games and crafts, etc.  They are in effect, MY toys once they get into that bin!)

Here is what transpired. She jostled the whole stool and then went in at at an angle for her selection:

Kansas Mom, it's all yours! Please e-mail me with your address!  knowloveserve  at  gmail

Pace, Poetry and Passing on the Blessing

I've been thinking a lot about cadence and pacing in storytelling lately.  So many good things about that I want to discuss but I'm saving my thoughts for an article in the next issue of Soul Gardening.  So, you'll have to wait for publication to hear all about it.

In the meantime, I received a little affiliate bonus again and I want to give away a beautiful book to someone: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. The book is illustrated by the fantastic Susan Jeffers... who breathes life into the delightful Robert Frost poem.

I chose this book for a couple reasons:

1- It's the thick of winter right now... let's enjoy the wonderful titles celebrating that...

2- This book is a perfect example of the importance in savoring the words on a page and letting them hang suspended in the air for a bit before turning the page.

3- I love books that are able to serve in making poetry very easy and accessible to children.  Using picture books is a great way to acclimate young ones to the study of, but more importantly, the enjoyment of poetry.

So there's that.  I'll pick a winner this Friday in some random but unscientific way.  To enter, just comment please with whatever it is you'd like to say... :-)

****** CONTEST CLOSED *******

The most basic of living books

2014 passed by my attention without me noticing this very fun, very engaging new book: Some Bugs.   There is a very happy area between "stories" and "educational content" that has to be very artfully done in the picture book world, especially when the audience is Pre-K.  It's one of my favorite little niches to explore because I find it very challenging to do well.  Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi nails it.  It's a very, very simple primer for the pre-school set that is just fun to sit and delight over with a child.  Not only does it keep the text in very simple rhymes, it doesn't make the mistake that many "edu-stories" make in overloading the child with text and information. This "early living book" technique is perfectly executed here, just like it is in my favorite beginner bird book by Kevin Henkes: Birds. The goal is simply to meet bugs, giggle at the pictures and be inspired to do some hunting in your own front yard.  Education to light a fire, not fill a bucket. Mixed media illustrations by Brendan Wenzel are a positive delight, refreshingly original and quirky.

Simple pleasures like these kinds of books really remind to stop and take an important five minutes in my day to engage with my little ones in a beautiful way... it's the little things in life.


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