NEILA O’NEILL. Please send me your address information so I can forward it to Patricia.
Thanks to all who commented and participated in the give-away.
WHAT 3 WORDS BEST DESCRIBE GRACE HOPPER?
HOW WAS SHE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TERM “COMPUTER BUG”?
The term “bug” to represent a problem in machinery pre-dated Grace by quite a bit. Thomas Edison coined the term in the 1870s to refer to a problem in a telegraph system he was designing. Grace was the first one to use it in reference to computers, though. Her team found an actual bug, a moth, stuck in a computer relay. This “computer bug” caused a program to malfunction.
HOW DID GRACE SERVE HER COUNTRY?
Grace was proud to serve her country in the United States Navy. From the beginning, her service always involved work with computers. She retired at age 79 as a Rear Admiral. Her feelings about the Navy are summed up with the following quotation: “I’ve received many honors and I’m grateful for them; but I’ve already received the highest award I’ll ever receive, and that has been the privilege and honor of serving very proudly in the United States Navy.”
GRACE SEEMED TO HAVE A FEW SAYING’S OR BELIEFS ON HOW TO GET THROUGH LIFE. WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
I love the self-confidence she exhibited at age nine when she wrote, “The world will be a better place / When all agree with me.” Don’t we all feel that way now and then?
Click here to join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling, May 2017)
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston, 2015)
Baseball season is here! As fans know, there is a LOT more to the game than mere sport. Each team has its own traditions and each ballpark its own atmosphere. Here are some of the wackiest:
Sausage Racers: At Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI, costumed cased meats take to the field during the sixth inning for a foot race. check it out at: http://www.brewers.com
Disappearing Lighthouse: When the Seadogs hit a home run at Hadcock Field in Portland, ME, attention turns to center field. A foghorn plays and a 16 foot retractable lighthouse emerges from behind the fence with a shower of roman candles. http://www.seadogs.com
Giant Wheel: Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, Iowa. To get the best view for watching the Quad Cities River Bandits, ride the 120 ft. Ferris wheel that overlooks left field. Plus, the ride’s LED lined spokes provide a laser-like show for those sitting in the grandstand. http://www.riverbandits.com
Here are some other unique ballparks to check out:
To get the kids in the mood for a day at the ballpark, try reading some great baseball themed books chosen by kids:
What’s your favorite ballpark tradition?
Today’s post comes from Author/Illustrator Patricia Keeler who just released her debut picture book LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL. I had the pleasure of reading this delightful book. Here is my review:
“LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL by Author/Illustrator Patricia Keeler is a delightful PB about a busy girl named Lizzie who loves her flip flops and her inflatable companion Lou Seal. Lizzie also loves exploring the beach and sets out with Lou Seal for a day of sand, surf and fun. Until…Lizzie loses her flip flops and something strange happens to Lou Seal. Can Lizzie fix things so they can both go back to the beach?
A perfect beach book for ages 3-6. Makes you want to put on your flip flops and head to the surf with a “swimmy friend” of your own”.
How did LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL come about?
In the original story, Lizzie walked barefoot on the hot sand at the beach. “Ooch, ouch, ouch!” Lizzie spotted some older kids wearing flip-flops. She had that Aha moment. “I need flip-flops!”
Lizzie tried out her new flip-flops
on the living room rug shroop shroop shroop
on the kitchen tiles slap smack slap smack
on the wooden stairs clap clap clap clap
even in the bathtub splish splash splosh splush
I love onomatopoeia, just like Lizzie loved all her flip-flop sounds. Kids, young kids especially, love to hear the sounds things make read aloud.
In an earlier version, an older Lizzie wanted to wear her flip-flops to school . . . to ride her bike . . . to the ballet performance. At every turn, she was told, “not in those you don’t.” “Urghh!” flip stomp flip stomp flip stomp “So where can I wear them?” Fortunately for Lizzie it rained the next day, and she rushed to the enticing mud puddles outside.
At last,” she said, “my flip-flops are just right for here.”
FLIP SPLISH, FLOP SPLASH, FLIP SPLISH, SLOP SPLASH
Until . . . SHHLUK!
“Oh, no! I’m stuck.”
She pulled on her foot. SHLOOP! It pulled free. But, uh oh, the flip-flop stayed in the mud. Lizzie reached down to get it. “Yuck!”
I worked on this version the second half of 2013. I made sketches and work-shopped the story with my writer and illustrator groups. I shared it with agents and editors at the Fall NJSCBWI conference. I received wonderful encouragement and constructive criticism.
Back to the drawing board, this time with a working title FLIP FLOP STOMP. Then came more rewrites, more sounds, more sketches, more work shopping with my groups. And again I received good comments for my FLIP FLOP STOMP dummy at the spring 2014 NJSCBWI conference.
Home again, I revised my manuscript. I started the story at the beach, in a small retro trailer. I scrapped Lizzie’s parents and gave her a pal, a blow-up seal, named Lou Seal. I began to illustrate the dummy. As I sketched, Lizzie got younger and Lou Seal got bigger. A lot bigger!
So what was Lou Seal doing while Lizzie was fussing with her flip-flops? Going along with Lizzie, of course, as she made her way out of the trailer and out to the beach. It occurred to me that Lou Seal could be having his own difficulties. Ones Lizzie doesn’t see, but the reader does! Even the youngest readers/viewers like catching onto the story before the main character does.
With this new dummy, I pursued Liza Fleissig from Liza Royce Agency for my agent, and Julie Matysik from Sky Pony Press for my editor—and won both! By Spring 2015, I had a two-book contract with Sky Pony Press—and a May 2016 deadline to complete LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL. “YAY!”
What was your path to illustrating Lizzie and Lou Seal?
Here are some sketches from the early FLIP FLOP STOMP dummy.
My favorite part of my color work on LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL was my discovery and experimentation of the encaustic wax process. I used it to show Lou Seal as plastic, and for the ocean waves. Here’s a You Tube video of me creating the waves in LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL.
What comes first for you, illustrations or story?
In the case of LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL, the character came first. I’ve always loved feisty, “I want to do it my way!” little girls. This key aspect of the feminine personality has often gotten little play in picture books. Visually, I had in mind several solid, tough, little girls I knew.
The illustrations, the sounds, and the story came up together. Sometimes, I’d write something, and then in drawing that scene, I’d see that I could cut or change my words significantly. Sometimes, after tossing and turning in my sleep, I’d awake with a totally new scene in mind. I’d sketch it up, and then all I’d need to complement the art would be one bold, dramatic sound. “Whoa!”
My general rule-of-thumb, once I’ve sketched up the story for the first time, is to reduce my text as much as possible. Young listeners delight in figuring out what’s happening in the story as much from the illustrations as from the words being read to them.
What does your favorite pair of flip-flops look like?
What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently finishing up a second book for Sky Pony Press. It’s entitled SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK. I can’t begin to express how much I love this book and the joy I’ve had in creating it. SCOOP should be out in Spring 2018. The inside scoop on this story is that besides the retro ice cream truck, the other main character is a spunky little girl. She may well be younger and more demonstrative than Lizzie!
Patricia is thrilled to set a book and necklace aside for one lucky winner. To enter the give-away, comment below for one entry. Tweet and/or share on FB for a second entry and reblog this post for a third entry. The winner will be announced on this blog on WEDNESDAY, 5-17-17.
Would you like to see more rainbows? You must be in the right place at the right time.
It’s not just a matter of luck when we look into the sky on a rainy day and spot a glorious arc. The sun has to be shining behind you and rain or mist or spray must be in front of you. That’s when you are in the perfect spot to enjoy one.
Rainbows occur when sunlight and rain combine in a very specific way. When a beam of sunlight travels toward Earth, the light is white. But, if the light beam happens to hit raindrops at a certain angle on the way down, the different colors that make up the beam separate so that we can see them as a rainbow.
The angle for each color of a rainbow is different, because the colors slow down at different speeds when they enter the raindrop. The light exits the raindrop in one color, depending on the angle it came in, so we see only one color coming from each raindrop. Light at different angles coming through many raindrops form the rainbow that we see.
The spectrum of colors is always in the same order with red at the top, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. (ROY G BIV is an easy way to remember the order)
April, with its famous showers, is a good time to be on the alert for rainbows. But if Mother Nature doesn’t provide one when you are in the mood, you can create a miniature one for yourself with a garden hose. Meteorologist Joe Rao suggests you simply stand with your back to the sun and adjust the hose to a fine spray. Rainbows can also be seen against the spray of a waterfall.
There are even ways to use water, mirrors and windows to form rainbows in the house. For instructions, visit www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Rainbow
Rainbows are the subject of several children’s picture books including nonfiction books that explain the science behind the beauty and fictional story books.
— Ready-to-Read Level One Rainbow. Newbery Honor recipient and New York Times bestselling author Marion Dane Bauer teaches beginning readers about rainbows in this one. It is illustrated by John Wallace.
— A Rainbow of My Own, by Don Freeman. A small boy imagines what it would be like to have his own rainbow to play with.
Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time business journalist who now writes for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.
Connie T. Colón is a Children’s Author in the Apollo Beach, Florida area. On April 3, 2017, Connie will release Principal Kidd through Foundations Books, LLC, a traditional publishing company. School Rules! is Connie’s first children’s book and Book 1 in the Principal Kidd series for children ages 7-11.
Connie T. Colón is a graduate of Syracuse University and former advertising executive, Connie has a degree in art but now also paints with her words.
“When I read about Michael Sessions, who had become mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan at 18, while still in high school — I thought that concept would be fun for a kids story. (And yes, I used to be a fan of the show Doogie Howser MD!) This concept began as a proposal for a kids animated TV series, complete with a pilot episode written — but I was advised to start with a book series.”
Connie had the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with award winning author, Jerry Spinelli at the Highlights Workshop in Chautauqua. An active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Connie had served as a Committee Member for the NJ Chapter. She has sold over 60 articles and over 100 photos to publications including Highlights, Fun For Kidz, AppleSeeds, and Faces. Her ongoing feature “Dear Tommy” had run in Faces magazine for over seven years. Connie occasionally teaches magazine writing workshops at SCBWI events and loves to visit schools. She is working on several manuscripts for humorous chapter book series based on her television animation concepts.
SCHOOL RULES! (Book #1) A children’s book for ages 7-11
Eleven-year-old whiz, Oliver Kidd, had no trouble using his genius IQ to skip grades and zoom through the accelerated college program. But after landing a job as the world’s first kid principal back at his old elementary school, Oliver faces sabotage from the jealous vice principal, Mr. Dagger, along with challenges of a kid in charge of the teachers, parents, and students. Good thing his trusty sidekick and school mascot, Chelsea the chicken, is on his side. Principal Kidd scores points with the students with his new rules, until the town health inspector shows up and threatens to shut the doors on Eggshell Elementary. Join in on the giggles and mayhem as Oliver Kidd and his friends since kindergarten try to save Eggshell Elementary. (Just watch your step, you may encounter chicken poop!)
Here is the link for the book trailer :
On Saturday, April 1, 2017, I had the pleasure of sharing the afternoon with fellow KidLit Authors Club Authors, Charlotte Bennardo, Colleen Kosinski, Nancy Viau, and Laurie Wallmark at the Teacher Appreciation Event held at the Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ. We held a Truths and Lies Panel, challenging the audience to guess if statements about writing and publishing were true or false. We spent time afterwards signing books and visiting with students and teachers who stopped by.
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