WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY

I’m super excited to have Darlene Beck Jacobson, author of Wheels of Change and the NEW Wishes, Dares, & How to Stand Up to a Bully. Hoping everyone is healthy and safe.

I am so happy to be here today Rosanne. I am also thrilled to be talking a bit about my new book WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY.  It’s a middle grade novel written in verse that includes a fish who grants wishes.

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Eleven year old Jack misses his Dad who is MIA in Vietnam. It’s been months since he and his family had word of his whereabouts. The last thing Jack wants to do is spend summer with his grandparents. Mom believes it will be good for them all – Jack, his sister Katy, Mom, Gran and Pops – to be together while they wait for word about Dad. Keeping busy will keep them out of trouble and help them think of other things.

Jack expects the worst summer of his life. The first summer without. Without Dad, without friends, without his room and all the things that remind him of Dad. When Jack meets a girl named Jill – a girl with a brother who makes trouble for both of them – things they believe are turned upside down. Welcome to a summer of fishing, camping, bullies, and a fish who grants wishes. A fish that could be the answer to Jack’s problem. But when Jill makes wishes of her own, things don’t turn out the way they expected.  Every wish has a consequence.

Will the fish grant Jack’s biggest wish?  Will Jack be brave enough to ask? 

Bullying is sadly, a common occurrence in schools and communities.  I am hoping that the book and the issues it contains, will open up conversations about bullying and ways to stand up to bullies.

Here are three ways to stand up to bullying without using fists:

  1. Do things you enjoy with friends and be friendly to kids who are alone or look like they might need a buddy.
  2. Choose Kindness. When you see someone being picked on, imagine what it would feel like and do the right thing, not the easy thing. It feels easy to laugh and pretend it’s okay to make fun of someone, to agree with the bully. But when you flip it, and imagine yourself being picked on, the feeling is very different.
  3. Threat others the way you would like to be treated. How would you feel if someone laughed at your mistakes or said unkind things about you? Remember that feeling the next time you see someone being bullied.

Here is a poem from the story where Jack, Jill, and Katy encounter a bully named Brad.

BRAD

Pretty early for Halloween, you losers

is the greeting we get, a greeting

none of us return.

 

What’s with your brother? Brad asks Jill.

He got the plague or something? He

won’t even come out of the house? Acts like a

sissy, just like the rest of you.

 

Brad spits, a slimy

green glob that looks like a slug,

landing on my sneaker. A spit dare, a

what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it

spit. One that makes

Jill and Katy jump up, ready to fight

all for one

one for all,

hands on hips.

 

Pig Latin, go! I say

and Jill and I launch into a

tirade of speed-talking nonsense

accompanied by Katy’s

Song That Never Ends, all of it

aimed directly at Brad who,

unable to speak our languages of choice,

walks off into the sunset,

shaking his head.

 

I rub the top of my sneaker in the grass

until all the slimy spit disappears.

Who was that? asks Katy.

 

Another bully, Jill says.

A friend of Cody’s, I say, and it looks like

we — the three of us — made a bully stop

without the help of a wish.

You don’t have to approach or confront a bully. Make a lot of noise, yell, scream, sing at the top of your lungs – like Jack, Jill, and Katy do in the story.  People will notice and the bully will be caught, or will walk away.

Many thanks to Darlene for stopping by. Order copies of Wishes and Dares from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Darlene was at Yvonne Ventresca’s blog on March 18th. Next stop for Wishes and Dares is Robin Newman’s Books so head on over.

author pic 1Darlene Beck Jacobson is a former teacher and speech therapist who has loved writing since she was a girl.  She is also a lover of history and can often be found mining dusty closets and drawers in search of skeletons from her past. She enjoys adding these bits of her ancestry to stories such as her award-winning middle grade historical novel WHEELS OF CHANGE (Creston 2014) and WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (Creston 2020).

Darlene lives and writes her stories in New Jersey with her family and a house full of dust bunnies. She’s caught many fish, but has never asked one to grant her a wish. She’s a firm believer in wishes coming true, so she tries to be careful what she wishes for.

Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts, articles on nature, book reviews, and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators. Follow her on twitter: @DBeckJacobson or contact her through email: darlenejacobson13@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Oh, What a Night! The First Biennial Best Spanish Language Picture Book Awards in Spanish

It really was a great night. Thanks Robin for capturing it so well.

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Cynthia S. Weill

Director of The Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College of Education opening the program festivities. 

On March 10th, I had the privilege of attending the first biennial Best Spanish Language Picture Book Awards in Spanish given by The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education (CBC). The 2020 prizes were given to books that were published or translated in 2018 and 2019, and selected by the CBC’s Spanish Language Affiliate (SLA), Bank Street College faculty and alumni, professors from City University, and by librarians from the New York Public Library. The books were judged on “cultural authenticity, richness of language and illustration, appeal to children as well as other criteria.” (Source: Event Program)

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Shael Polakow-Suransky, President of Bank Street College of Education

Shael Polakow-Suransky, President of Bank Street College of Education, emphasized the importance of having high quality Spanish texts for children, noting that…

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An Evening of Celebration with a Kick at The Corner Bookstore

Thanks to my friend @RobinNewmanBooks. She not only attended but documented the NY book launch of KARATE KID.

Last night was the launch party for Rosanne Kurstedt’s latest book, The Karate Kid, illustrated by Mark Chambers (RP Kids). In a nutshell, it was KARATE-TAS-TIC!

“Solid color backgrounds keep readers focused on the book’s entertaining but accurate content, and the smoothly written text incorporates the mental component of the sport. . . . [A] solid introduction to karate.”Booklist

The Karate Kid (as you may have guessed) is an adorable kid goat who is a dedicated student of Karate (Karateka). And the book takes you on the kid’s journey as he learns his stances, kicks, punches, strikes, and blocks.

Here are a few photographic highlights from yesterday’s packed launch party:

If you were unable to attend last night’s festivities, you can catch Rosanne at the Easton Book Festival on October 26th. (I’ll be there too!) 

For more information about Rosanne, please click here

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Introducing Karate Kid

Karate Kid Cover

I am so excited to announce that KARATE KID will be released on September 3, 2019. I recently received the F&G (folded and gathered)— the colors are so vibrant and Karate Kid’s expressions are priceless. Mark Chambers has done such an amazing job illustrating the different Karate moves. Each time I read the book, I have a new favorite.

I’m so thankful to Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids, my agents Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris, and all my writing friends who are some of the smartest, kindest, and thoughtful people I know.

A goat kid loves to do karate! And he is sure to inspire young kids to try karate as well. Follow Karate Kid as he goes through the major stances and karate moves, teaching readers to channel focus and build strength through each pose. Karate Kid‘s simple, measured, and meditative text is complemented by playful yet instructive illustrations by Mark Chambers to teach youngsters how to get involved in karate–and to have fun while doing so, too.

#KarateConfidence

A Kaleidoscope Poem by Emily Romrell

MC910227046Emily followed me on Twitter and when I went to her website I found the beautiful poem below. I asked Emily if I could post the poem on my blog because—well the name of the blog is “Kaliedoscope” and she said yes. Once you read the poem, maybe hop over to Emily’s to browse. She has lots of interesting posts about all sorts of things—she is after all, Eclectic Emily.

KALEIDOSCOPE by Emily Romrell

I am broken.
Sharp pieces cut inside;
leftovers of what I thought I was.
But the world spins fast;
Rearranging my jumbled life into new perspectives.
And the Sun will rise in a few hours.
All I have to do is wait for the Light,
And the next pattern will shine through.
Repeating what once was,
But is now made new.

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Thank you Emily for allowing me to share your poem on this blog. You can follow Emily on Twitter @emilyromrell or at her blog Eclectic Emily

ADA in the Classroom: Guest Post from Laurie Wallmark

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I am so excited to have Laurie Wallmark here today to discuss her debut picture book and WOW is all I can say. Laurie’s narrative of Ada Byron’s life is full of imagery as well as information about a truly extraordinary woman. Ada had such focus and passion, two attributes anyone would surely benefit from. Thank you Laurie for sharing Ada’s life with us. There is much we can learn from her and you have so vividly brought her story to life. Oh and did I mention the illustrations? Just spectacular. April Chu has recreated the time Ada lived with intricate details and a softness that compliments and enhances the text. So without further gushing—after a brief description of the book, Laurie will discuss possibilities for using Ada in the classroom. Be sure to check out the Teacher’s Guide for even more ideas.

Ada cover 72dpiADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, October 2015) is a picture-book biography of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. This book, by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu, tells the story of a remarkable woman and her work. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as a “splendidly inspiring introduction to an unjustly overlooked woman.” [starred review]

Picture books are an ideal medium to engage children’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Whether fiction or nonfiction, picture books can be the inspiration for a wealth of activities and classroom discussions. Here’s just one example of how my picture book biography, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine can be used in the classroom.

Ada loved math and wanted, more than anything else, to be a professional mathematician. She became the world’s first computer programmer when she coded a complex mathematical algorithm. Reading about Ada’s life provides the perfect excuse for a teacher to show how fun STEM can be.

A math game that was popular during Ada’s time was “buzz.” In this game, the students count aloud from one to a hundred. For younger students, instead of saying the word “seven” when it appears in a number, have them shout “buzz” instead. This is a fun way for them to practice counting, not to mention listening.

“Buzz” is easily adapted for older students. For them, in addition to “buzzing” on the number “seven,” they also have to “buzz” on multiples of seven. Once the students master their sevens times tables, the teacher can switch to a different number. This game provides an enjoyable way for children to memorize their multiplication tables.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine has an associated curriculum guide created by Marcie Colleen. All activities were created in conjunction with relevant content standards in English language arts (ELA), math, science, social studies, art, and drama. The guide is Common Core aligned in both ELA and math for grades one to four. You can download a free copy here.

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Laurie Wallmark writes exclusively for children. She can’t imagine having to restrict herself to only one type of book, so she writes picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry, and nonfiction. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing or studying, Laurie teaches computer science at a local community college, both on campus and in prison. The picture book biography, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, October 2015), is Laurie’s first book.

Website:             http://www.lauriewallmark.com

Facebook:             https://www.facebook.com/lauriewallmarkauthor

Twitter:            https://twitter.com/lauriewallmark

Join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. All stops are listed at: http://lauriewallmark.com/blogtour.php

GOODNIGHT MANGER! Book Birthday Bash

Introducing……. drum roll…. please……

GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s BIRTHDAY BASH!!!!

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Goodnight, Manger, written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Jane Chapman, tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they try to lull Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable after his birth. It’s bedtime for Baby Jesus, but who knew a manger could be so loud? Mama, Papa, and all of the animals try to lull the baby to sleep, but between itchy hay, angels’ joyful hosanas, and three kings bearing noisy gifts, it’s just too loud. Until Mama finds a way for everyone to work together to shepherd Baby into peaceful dreams under the twinkling stars. With sweet, rhyming text in the style of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction SiteGoodnight, Manger offers a unique twist on the classic manger tale, deftly weaving together the comforting and familiar routines of bedtime with the special magic and wonder of the manger story.

I was thrilled when Laura asked me to document GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s birthday bash. That’s right, Sunday, October 11th was GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s coming out party. Many people and Rooster, that’s right—a rooster, gathered at our local Barnes & Noble to celebrate.

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There was a reading,

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and crafts,

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and signings.

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I couldn’t capture all of the magic, but I was able to get a snippet of the Rooster. Watch till the end (1:21) to hear a special Cock-a-doodle-do.

 

THANK YOU LAURA FOR A WONDERFUL AFTERNOON AND FOR CONTINUING TO WRITE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE BOOKS.

 

Laura SaLaura Sassissi, author of GOODNIGHT, ARK  (Zonderkidz, 2014) and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz,2015), has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She writes daily from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her husband, two children, and a
black Cockapoo named Sophie.  In addition to picture books, Laura writes poetry, stories, articles and crafts for kids. Her work has appeared in Highlights for ChildrenCricket, Ladybug, Spider, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.