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I've done some more reading over the week.  My favorite thus far is The One and Only Ivan (winner of the 2013 Newberry Award).

Ivan is amazing to say the least! I was taken in by the first few pages.  How did Katherine Applegate come through with such vivid thoughts to portray the mind of a gorilla? The story is fictional, of course, but is based on a true story.  There is a real gorilla named Ivan (living at Zoo Atlanta).  Ivan really did live for twenty-seven years alone in a cage. And there really was a public outcry from children that gave Ivan the opportunity to live more contentedly at Zoo Atlanta.  The majority of the rest of the story is imaginative fiction but an absolutely spellbinding tale.   The recommended ages for this book are 8-12  but I think there are lots of 6-7 year olds who would love the tale being read aloud to them and plenty of animal loving kids and adults older than twelve who would thoroughly enjoy the tale.  I certainly did!

In picture books, my favorite was everything I read by Margaret Wise Brown (Big Red Barn was adorable and my son leaned in intently to see that baby mouse and count the chicken eggs!) and A Pet For Petunia by Paul Schmid.  I could really imagine a real child going through the same experience and I wonder to myself...what fantastically funny incident led Paul to write this book?! It left me eager to read his other books as well. I believe there is one featuring a porcupine...

I've also finished Unglued (great timing, by the way, as I was truly challenged at every corner this past Monday or so it seemed..and I kept muttering this mantra in my head, "I will not become unglued... I DO have a choice... coming unglued will not change anything... I Do have a choice.... help me here God.. don't let me come undone."  It worked.  At least for that day.  And that's a BIG step in the right direction.  That book will go on the READ AGAIN pile!

So since it is still the month of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) my mind constantly races for ideas.... whether it be a title or a concept of a picture book I may write one day... and sometimes messing with titles is fun.  So what do you think?  Maybe someone should write The One and Only Ivan: Unglued in the Big Red Barn with Petunia.  I think it would make a smashing hit!  🙂  But I have other tales to tell so I'll leave that one to someone else and get back to working on my own....

Have an amazing day and, if  you have time, pick up a cute picture book to read and put a smile on your face  🙂

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When I said goodnight to the moon last night, I had 73 views of yesterday's post!  I was completely amazed and excited.  I guess it confirmed I should write more on that topic and I will!  I promise.  As I wrote before, there are many things I am passionate about and food and what we put into our bodies is definitely one of them.  I'm sure I'll touch on that subject quite often. But perhaps a lighter topic today...Books! After all, I blog here because I want to be a writer.  And what is a writer without books?!

Goodnight Moon is one of my youngest son's favorite books!  We started reading that book when he was about 9 months old.  I believe it was a Christmas present from his Grandpa!

We read that book nightly for a very long time - probably at least two years! We usually saved it for the last of 3-4 bedtime books so that he knew it was the last and a sign of it being time for prayers and sleep! He still loves the book and he is 3 1/2 now.  We play games with it.  I'll read one part "Goodnight comb, goodnight brush," and he completes the rhyme... (If you don't know it, you simply must read the book! ) Other times, when I'm not feeling to tired, I play around a bit and read the wrong line: Goodnight Hippo jumping over the moon.  Oh how he laughs!  And of course, after reading it however many times, quickly corrects me and tells me what it should be.  I think he had it memorized before I did! 🙂

Margaret Wise Brown has always been a favorite of mine. She was a talented author who knew the mind of a child.  I just read that she is best known for Goodnight Moon (no surprise there), Big Red Barn (have not even heard of that one...will need to check that out at the library next time!) and Runaway Bunny (again, no surprise but was never a favorite of mine). When I was little I loved Mister Dog; The Dog Who Belonged to Himself, The Golden Egg Book and Home For A Bunny.  I never even heard of Goodnight Moon until I had my second child!  But I know it quite well now!

Margaret Wise Brown died when she was only 42.  It's amazing how many great books she had written by that time.  And here I am , past that, and haven't one in print (yet?).  She had 4 other pen names.  That is new to me.  I will have to do some further research into that interesting tidbit.  I'm not sure if they were all children's books or if she actually wrote other genres as well.  I think it's fascinating when authors write under various pen names.

I have often wondered if I ever did publish, whether I would use my actual name or use a pen name.  I don't know if many authors use pen names these days.  I remember when I was young actually making up names to use!  April Snow was one I liked a lot. Something about the extreme opposites... although it did snow here once in April on my daughter's birthday!  She was not appreciative of that!

Well, if I am ever to make that decision, I will have to actually finish writing or revising a manuscript worthy of publication and get it out there!  So no time like the present to get working on that!  So Goodnight Moon, hello days of writing!

DID YOU KNOW??

Four year old children who were read one alphabet book per day significantly
improved in their awareness of phonemes - tiny letter sounds that make up words.  Read to your child today! 🙂