"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

6/22/14

By Name

We aren't just a number - another person on God's list of minions - or an employee in his gynormous company. He knows us - each and every one of us - intimately.

 

I'm over at Jewels of Encouragement today, talking about this wonderful, incredible truth. Come see what I learned - and how I learned - about His knowing each of us By Name.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

6/13/14

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Dinosaur Tamer

This is the last Perfect Picture Book Friday before it takes a break for the summer (though I may still share wonderful finds I come across this summer). They are also celebrating their 100th PPBF (on the 101st post). So how could I NOT share one?

Title: The Dinosaur Tamer
Author: Carol Greathouse
Illustrator: John Shroades
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, 2009, Fiction
Age Range: 3-5 years
Theme/Topics: dinosaurs, cowboys, tall tales, geography

First Page: Back when the old, old West was still as green as a bristlecone pine and cowboys were as common as warts on a Stegasaurus, one cowboy stood out among all cowboys. He was as strong as an Iguanadon and as fast as a Utah Raptor, and his name was Rocky.
Now, Rocky weren't a big feller, but his size didn't matter.

Synopsis (from Amazon): With the strength of an Iguanodon and the speed of a Utah Raptor, lasso-tossing, Pleiosaurus-riding Rocky is legendary. There isn't a dinosaur in the land that would think of giving Rocky a lick of trouble. That is, until he meets T. Rex, the rip-roarin'est, snip-snortin'est, flame-breathin'est reptilian ever to stomp the earth. But Rocky is up to the challenge, and his efforts to tame T. Rex take the disagreeing duo on a Western adventure of epic proportion.

Resources: Here's some kid activities on cowboys and some on dinosaurs. I know there are TONS more out there. You could also read other tall tales to the kids (there are some VERY fun ones out there - and here is a link to some animated ones)

Why I Love This Book: What more perfect combination (especially for boys) is there than dinosaurs and cowboys? And the tall tale aspect of this (with great word pictures and exaggeration - and the cowboy dialect) make it a VERY fun read. Plus the kids will learn about dinosaurs, a bit about the Old West, AND tall tales. And add in a bit of U.S. geography for good measure, and you've got a winner in my book! The illustrations were great too. Just a fun book all around.

Susanna Leonard Hill is celebrating the 100th Perfect Picture Book Friday at her blog with a giveaway - so be sure to stop by there and enter - and check out the other perfect picture books in her HUGE collection.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

6/11/14

Can You Hear Him?

Hearing what others say can be a challenge - but not always for the same reasons. Sometimes what we are trying to hear is too soft. Other times, we're just not listening closely. 
 
We can have the same struggles hearing God's voice. I'm over at Internet Cafe Devotions today, talking about just that (as well as one of those duh moments that only people like me have - or share with the world ;) ). Hope you'll stop by and see what I have to say about being not loud enough, or not listening enough.

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

6/10/14

Pulling a Balak

I don't know about you, but more often than not, I know what God wants (or doesn't want) me to do. But it doesn't mean I will actually do it.
 
I'm over at Jewels of Encouragement today, talking about just that - and using an example from the Old Testament book of Numbers to show how silly it can be. Hope you'll stop by and rea what I have to say about His way, or mine.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

6/9/14

Joanne Exercises: Film at 11

Yeah - it's that rare. At least it WAS.

But for the sake of my daughter, I actually got my heart rate up a few weeks ago here in old Grand Rapids - as a running buddy for the nationwide program called Girls on the Run.
 The Barn Door
Stop by the Barn Door today and see how it went - and how things have changed for this out-of-shape lady. Run, Run, Run!

 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

6/6/14

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Roly Poly Pangolin

Thought I would participate in Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday again this week. Read this one a week or so ago, and it totally enchanted me (and taught me something too!). Check out more perfect picture books here - and this week's new ones on Susanna's blog. 

Title: Roly Poly Pangolin
Author/Illustrator: Anna Dewdney
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 2010, Fiction 
Age Range: 3-5 years
Theme/Topics: fears, endangered species, animals
First Page:
Roly Poly, very small,
doesn't like new things at all.

Synopsis: Meet Roly Poly Pangolin: a little pangolin who'd rather stick close to his mama instead of facing anything unfamiliar. Whether it's a line of ants, a friendly monkey, or a loud noise, Roly Poly runs the other way. Then he hears something that really scares him. So he does what all pangolins do when they're frightened: he rolls up into a tiny ball. But Roly Poly is surprised when he finally peeks out, because another ball is peeking back . . . it's a small pangolin just like him!

Resources: Here is some info from the author/illustrator on pangolins (an ADORABLE endangered animal), including links, pictures, and facts.

Why I love it: The story is absolutely POSITIVELY precious, with gentle, catchy rhymes and delightful meter. The message about fear is so important and sweetly shared. And this creature, that I had NEVER heard of before, is precious, and the illustrations capture it so sweetly. I have fallen in LOVE with Roly Poly. Such a cutie! Those facial expressions are extremely endearing.

Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog.
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

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