Kid Lit Dish

Kim's Magical Journey Into the World of Children's Picture Books

From the (Brains) of Babes…

(Or one babe in particular.)

The following comes from a very special third-grader I know.  He LOVES to write stories.  This one is a “pourquoi” story– basically a fable intended to give a reason why something is the way it is.  I think it’s pretty cute, so I just had to share. (Keep in mind he still has a lot of learning to do, grammatically-speaking… such as keeping punctuation WITHIN the quotes!)

Why Cats Have Fur

A long time ago cats had no fur. Dog and Raccoon made fun of Cat. Then Cat got sad and asked for another life with fur. He gave up one of nine lives.

All the other animals were jealous of this. “Why does Cat get 9 lives?!”, exclaimed Dog. “I don’t know.” But Cat didn’t get fur. Then Cat saw some dog fur and took it. Then Cat made it how Cat wanted. Cat told Cat’s friends how to make it. They made a den and they were happy.

But not for Dog. Dog growled so loud he woke everyone in town! The cats were happy to not be made fun of.

The End

THIS cat has NO fur!

THIS cat has NO fur!

Can you TELL which household pet this kid prefers? Pretty obvious, I guess. Well, he’s allergic to dogs, so that’s partly why.

It’s funny that he wrote this because I have a WIP entitled How Bull Lost His Feathers— not that bulls ever HAD feathers. (Well…  maybe they did?)

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Where Does a Month Go?

Yes, I’ve been terribly remiss with this blog lately.  But I have good reason(s):

1. I am editing my first book– a work of short stories– to be published by a small American publisher in June.

2. I am writing the second half of my picture book that started out as a rhyming book about a dinosaur dance… and after getting great character feedback from legend Mary Kole, it evolved into a rhyming book with a completely different story (and character)… AND,after receiving great feedback from my published picture book author friends Linda Lodding and Lori Degman, it has evolved into what it is BECOMING today– that is, a pure prose picture book that has been darned hard to write!

But it is *almost* there.

3. I have been taking a wonderful course entitled Making Picture Book Magic, created by none other than picture book phenom Susanna Leonard Hill, author of the top-selling Punxsutawney Phyllis, Can’t Sleep Without Sheep, and at least 10 other fantastic picture books.  Susanna is also the founder of Perfect Picture Books, which I used to be good about participating in every Friday!

4. I started another picture book that was inspired by one of Susanna’s lessons.  This one seems to be writing itself and the process is going blazing-ly fast.

5. In my pursuit of taking on more editorial roles (not in kid lit– I’m not worthy yet– but in adult fiction), I have been taking numerous (and lengthy) tests with publishers near and far.  (For those of you who don’t know, the job of editing is not foreign to me.  As a marketer and copywriter for numerous years, I’ve edited everything from a single paragraph ad to a 64-page magalog.   The latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style perches primly on a prime position on my desk! (Sorry… couldn’t resist the alliteration.)

6. I just wrapped up chairing my son’s school Bingo Night, which (thankfully) happened this past Friday night.

7. I’m volunteering for my regional chapter of SCBWI– I’m producing its Published and Listed (PAL) kites for table displays, along with a partner presentation. (And if you don’t know what SCBWI kites are, don’t worry about it.)

8. I am now chairing my son’s school spring and fall Scholastic Book Fairs.  SO excited about that, but they’re a lot of work!

9. I also will be chairing 4th grade book club next year, and am in training THIS year.

10. I volunteer once a month at my son’s school library, and my goal has been, for the past few months, to check out and read 25 picture books each week. I also try and read one middle grade or one young adult novel each week.  (Future aspirations… don’t ask.)

11. Oh, and here’s a little thing… I have been helping my husband with our family business and will be taking on a much bigger role in the months to come as he sets his sights on starting a new business.  Yes, there is that.

However, I will take on anything and everything having to do with reading and if I can actually make a little living– and give back– with books as my guide, I will be one happy camper (or, uh, reader/writer, as it were) for the rest of my life.

I HAVE to finish this picture book by February 22nd, though. It is due that day to go to a freelance editor who used to be an editor with one of the “big houses” for 10 years.  I am thrilled to have her give my little manuscript a read.  That’s the same weekend of our regional SCBWI conference (where my “kites” and presentation are due!).  That’s also the same weekend my husband and I are hosting a little soiree.  I’ve got a lot to do over the next (less than) two weeks!

Oh, and did I mention… this blog will be changing… evolving… very, very soon.  When it does, it won’t be just about me anymore.  Oh no… it will be a joint venture in what I hope will turn into a great resource for kid lit folks everywhere as a result.

“Kid Lit Dish”… Think about it. 😉


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