What’s On Your Picture Book Plate? by Beth Ferry

My Picture Book Plate
by Beth Ferry

Did you know that the food pyramid has been replaced by something called My Plate?
It shows what a plate should contain for a nutritious, filling meal.       640px-USDA_MyPlate_green

This got me thinking about what my Picture Book Plate would look like. What fills my plate and pleases my palate?
What is necessary to make a picture book nourishing and fulfilling to me?
This is basically what it would look like:

my PB plate

You will see my plate is filled with the things that satisfy my particular picture book palate.
I like puns.
And pets.
I love rhyme, especially internal.
I love unexpected endings and unlikely friendships.
Funny and warm, sweet and silly – these are the types of books I like.

Most of these themes, styles, and devices are common in picture books, but the specific books that I would pile upon my plate might be very different than someone else’s.
Here is a small sample of some of the books that inspire me:        my PB plate2
Learning what I like in other picture books helps me become a better PB writer.
It might help you too.

So identify the ingredients that please you.
Then seek out the books that use them successfully.
Devour them!
Taste the words.
Savor the ideas.
Feast on the funny.
Partake in some puns.
Sample different styles.
Every palate is unique.
Every plate is different.
What fills yours?

BETH FERRY is the author of the soon-to-be-release picture book STICK & STONE illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.   Visit her on Twitter @bethferry   stick and stoneCheck out the webpage and trailer for the book:



Wheels of Change: Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2015


I am so excited I can’t sit still!  I just received news that my MG historical Wheels of Change has been chosen as a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015 by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC).                                    ??????????

If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link:

‘Wheels of Change’ was selected for the 215 Notable Social Studies list! http://bit.ly/1wAZSE2 @CBCBook #Notable

Writers: 12 Things to Do in 2015 – Part 2

Writing and Illustrating

tracey CampbellJANUARY ILLUSTRATION FOR K. TEAMEN - LET IT SNOW -  - JAN. 20, 2015Seemed like this illustration painted by Tracy Campbell was perfect for the blizzard that is bearing down on the North East. Let’s hope it provides as much fun for us as it does for these playful bunnies. Tracy was featured on Illustrator Saturday in May 2013. https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/illustrator-saturday-tracy-campbell/

1. Start a website or Blog. I am not saying this because I develop websites or have a degree in marketing, but every year it is getting more important to get your name out there. Waiting until you sign a book contract before building an audience puts you behind the eight ball and behind everyone else who is coming out with a book who has one. I know all of us want to just write, but with publishers doing less and less marketing for beginning writers, it is something you need to seriously consider.

Remember: Your next contract depends on the success of your…

View original post 987 more words

Here it is!!! “Under a Fairy Moon” Sequel –WINTERGARDEN

Congratulations on the sequel to this great fantasy. I can’t wait to read it!

Enchanted: Words and Worlds of T. M. Wallace


Here it is!!! Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the Fairy Moon sequel is ready … . Now to start writing book three!

Official “Book Blurb”:

Fifteen-year old Addy Marten must travel to the center of the Garden’s magical labyrinth in order to reach her friend Connor and free him from the witch-queen. Both Connor and Addy must learn to use their own magical abilities to fight the growing evil in the human and fairy realms.

WINTERGARDEN is the sequel to the Award-Winning Fantasy novel:
UNDER A FAIRY MOON, (Gelett Burgess Awards, 2012, Canadian Christian Writing Awards 2012.)

View original post

Writing Contest for Children.

Looking for a fun way to encourage your kids to write? Andrea Bergstein of Scribblitt, Rachel Jonas Gilman of Yoobi, and Rachael Voorhees of The Molina Foundation have an idea for you. Read on.

Encouraging Kids to Write for a Good Cause

PRESS RELEASE Yoobi and Scribblitt Team Up to Encourage Young Kids to Write For A Good Cause Charlotte, Vermont and Long Beach, California, January 12, 2015
Yoobi is a school supply brand that uses engaging designs and vibrant colors to spark creativity and make learning fun, while also solving a very big problem. For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi contributes a Yoobi item to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S.
http://www.Scribblitt.com   is a platform where kids can use unique writing and illustration tools to help them write and professionally publish their own store quality, hardcover books. For every book published on Scribblitt, a new children’s book is donated to a child in need through The Molina Foundation. “Teaming up with Yoobi has allowed us to share our passion to get kids writing and to give back each time the purchase of one of our products is made,” says Andrea Bergstein, founder of Scribblitt.com.
“It’s an honor to partner with companies, like Scribblitt and Yoobi, who are invested in making our communities a better place,” says Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett, founder and CEO of The Molina Foundation. “As a family doctor, I often encourage parents to share stories with children to help brain development and build literacy skills. It’s even more exciting when our children can share stories of altruism and generosity with their parents and families.”
To participate in this Scribblitt / Yoobi writing contest, simply register for a free account at   scribblitt.com.    Create your own unique story about Yoobi the Toucan ‘giving back’ and submit it online for a chance to win Yoobi school supplies and Scribblitt “Make Your Own Books” for YOU AND YOUR CLASSROOM! The contest closes February 20, 2015.
Scribblitt and Yoobi will also be donating Yoobi school supplies and Scribblitt “Make Your Own Books” to a classroom in need through the Molina Foundation.
As an extension of the partnership, teachers can tie together lessons in writing, book development and editing with an important message about philanthropy. To enable educators to leverage the Scribblitt.com platform in their classrooms,

visit:   http://www.scribblitt.com/teacherprojects  or write to:  contact@scribblitt.com.

Free Fall Friday – Kudos

Writing and Illustrating

beth Ferry

I think this picture of Beth Ferry tells all. Well, almost all: It comes out on April 7th. You can pre-order it on Amazon. Congratulations on the new book.


Announcing The Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award Winner and Honoree!

Writer/Illustrator Sanna Stanley


This year’s winner is Sanna Stanley, writer and illustrator of books including Monkey for Sale


and Monkey Sunday.

jane yolenmonkeysunday

Sanna draws inspiration for her work from the time she spent as a child traveling to remote villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

She wins a $3,000 grant to both honor her contribution and help raise awareness about her current works-in-progress. You can learn more about Sanna at her website here.

Congratulations, Sanna!

chalk linejanemitchell1Cheers as well to Jane Mitchell, who won an Honor Grant. Jane is the co-founder of the SCBWI Ireland Chapter and its previous regional advisor. She is the author of When Stars Stop Spinning…

View original post 30 more words

The Wonder of Snowflakes.

Shiela Fuller is back with a fascinating post about the man who discovered the uniqueness of snowflakes: Wilson Bentley.

Snow is a form of precipitation that occurs when the air temperature is at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Water vapor in the air freezes into ice crystals. A speck of dust or particulate from the atmosphere will act as a nucleus to which ice crystals will form around. As it falls to the ground it will continue to pick up more crystals and build into a snowflake. They take on many shapes and sizes.  

Although it is possible, it’s highly unlikely that any two snowflakes are alike.

Next time it snows, take a sheet of black construction paper outside. Hold the paper in front of you and allow the flakes to fall on it. Take a close look at the flakes. What do you notice? Are the flakes similar? Do they look different? Are they hard to tell apart?

In 1885, Wilson Alwyn Bentley was the first to photograph snowflakes. The technique he used over 100 years ago is similar to the method used to photograph snowflakes today.

 Examples of the first photographs that Bentley photographed: 

Image from the Wilson Bentley Wikipedia page

Image from the Wilson Bentley Wikipedia page

Beginning when he was a teenager, Bentley captured the image of over 5000 unique patterns of snowflakes using a camera and a microscope. There was much trial and error in the process but he became known as “Snowflake Bentley” in his hometown of Jericho, Vermont.

Go to this website for easy instructions on how to make paper snowflakes: http://highhopes.com/snowflakes.html

Print out this sheet of Wilson Bentley’s snowflakes to follow as patterns for making your own paper snowflakes:


To learn more about Wilson Bentley, check out the book SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY by Jacqueline Briggs Martin from your local library.


Shiela Fuller has been a Cornell University Project Feeder Watch participant for many years and an avid birder since 1988. Currently, she enjoys writing picture books, yoga, chicken raising, wildlife photography, and is the legacy keeper for her family.