Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Storystorm Day 26: “Non-Fiction Truths” by Rebecca E. Hirsch

by Rebecca E. Hirsch Congrats, Storystormers, you are almost done! Tara asked me talk to you about how to get nonfiction ideas. In fiction, anything is possible. But nonfiction shows the world as i…

Source: Storystorm Day 26: “Non-Fiction Truths” by Rebecca E. Hirsch

What are your interests? Mine your hobbies, passions, and experiences for picture book ideas – fiction and nonfiction!

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Storystorm Day 25: “Characters Who Won’t Stay in the Drawer” by Jill Esbaum

by Jill Esbaum Ever had a story idea pop into your head while reading someone else’s published book? I still remember, back in 2008, stumbling onto Mary Amato’s quirky CHICKEN OF THE FAMILY. I was …

Source: Storystorm Day 25: “Characters Who Won’t Stay in the Drawer” by Jill Esbaum

A tale of a tale which inspired a tale – and many years of revising and/or simmering in the file cabinet. Some stories take a long time to perc. There is hope!


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Storystorm Day 24: “Bake Your Darlings” by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi I’m assuming that you’re all deep into your brainstorming about story ideas at this point and already have a meaty list after all the inspiring posts you’ve …

Source: Storystorm Day 24: “Bake Your Darlings” by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Simmer those ideas on the back burner or place them in the oven to let them bake a bit. Don’t peek too early – they might just flop!


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Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

by Keith Allen As a kid, I loved building things out of cardboard, whether it was a spaceship for the very first mission to Saturn or a fortified castle to keep out the fire-breathing dragons. That…

Source: Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

This is much more sophisticated than the pop-up books I used to make for my son out of lawn mower catalogs and construction paper. Way to go!


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Storystorm Day 21: “Zen and the Art of Illustrator Maintenance” by S.britt

by S.britt When Tara initially asked me to be a guest writer for Storystorm, I was flattered. When she then suggested I write about how motorcycles influence my artwork (and vice versa), I was intr…

Source: Storystorm Day 21: “Zen and the Art of Illustrator Maintenance” by S.britt

Today my husband had to fire up the Honda Shadow. It was too cold, icy, and snowy to go for a ride, but he got to dream about future trips this spring when the weather is nice. Nothing like blowing out the cobwebs to allow great ideas to pop up!


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Storystorm Day 20: “Titlestorming” by Corey Rosen Schwartz

by Corey Rosen Schwartz Most of my picture book ideas have come from my own children. Unfortunately, they are getting older so I am a little short on material lately. I can no longer rely on them t…

Source: Storystorm Day 20: “Titlestorming” by Corey Rosen Schwartz

Great post! Finally, I see what type of writer I am!


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Storystorm Day 18: “Bake it Up, Shake it Up” by Veronica Bartles

by Veronica Bartles When Tara asked me to write a blog post for Storystorm about Inspiration, I knew this would be my Finest Achievement Ever. I’m so excited to share with you my brilliant, awe-ins…

Source: Storystorm Day 18: “Bake it Up, Shake it Up” by Veronica Bartles

Mentor texts? Fractured fairy tales? I want to do one of these! Love it!


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Storystorm Day 14: “Guard Your Ideas Like Gold” by Marcie Colleen

  by Marcie Colleen When Tara asked me to blog for Storystorm I knew right away that there were two points I wanted to make. Ideas can come from the most random and wackiest places. A good idea is in…

Source: Storystorm Day 14: “Guard Your Ideas Like Gold” by Marcie Colleen

Great ideas are like gold! Keep them safe!


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It Came in the Mail ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

It Came in the Mail

By Ben Clanton

(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016)

Who doesn’t love mail and wish for something exciting to show up in the mail box?

Liam does, that’s for sure. But, as he put it, after checking daily (and more), he got diddly-squat.

After an idea brainstorm, Liam decided he needed to write some mail in order to get some. So Liam wrote a letter to his mailbox and asked for something BIG.

The mailbox delivered.

And delivered. And delivered. Until finally, Liam had so much mail, he had a different problem to solve.

I love It Came in the Mail. Lots of wonderful illustrations filled in the blanks and added details for readers to enjoy. Liam and his buddy, Jamel, were fun characters. The common thread of a childhood wish (to get mail, just like a grown-up) was solved in a very inventive way!

Readers will love It Came in the Mail. Who knows? Maybe your child will even want to write a letter to the mailbox. Just be prepared for an answer.

KID KANDY:

Write a Letter

Materials: writing paper, pencil, crayons, envelope, stamp

1. Choose the person (friend, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, dad, mom, or the mailbox) for whom you want to write a letter.

2. Write a letter to that person.

3. Decorate the letter.

4. Fold the letter and place it in the envelope. Ask an adult to help you address the envelope and place the stamp in the correct place.

5. Mail the letter.

6. Wait.

7. Check the mailbox for an answer. Every day.

P.S. You can write more letters while you are waiting. Or draw pictures of what you think you will get in the mail. Or use your imagination to think of things you’d like to see come out of the mailbox.

Getting mail is so much fun! I’d love to hear what showed up in your mailbox!