Can I Touch Your Hair?, Charles Waters, Dragonella, Elizabeth Varadan, Grandma's Tiny House, Irene Latham, JaNay Brown-Wood, Priscilla Burris, Writing

Special Edition — Picture books

Thought for the Day:
 “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and
the thought has found words.” 
~Robert Frost~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Showing vs. Telling is always something to watch for in your writing. Janice Hardy has another great post HERE on that topic with links to more great posts. It will take a bit of time to get through all of it, but it’s well worth it. 
I love words. Most of we writers do. Sometimes our love of words can create problematic purple prose. HERE is a post by K. M. Weiland that can help you with that. 

I have have attended three writer’s conferences this year. I really, really want to find a writer’s retreat to attend sometime this fall/winter. The article HERE takes a look at the pros and cons of retreats, conferences, and workshops. Maybe it will help you decide on what works for you. 

I don’t talk about picture books on my blog very often, but I read massive numbers of them, and I have written several picture book manuscripts that still need polish and homes. I think the picture book is an incredible art form, a form that is extremely difficult to create, to do well, and to bring to market. I am always in awe of people who manage to do it. I have some friends who have made that leap recently, and I want to tell you about their wonderful works. I’m a little tardy on one, right on time with one, and early on the last, but with holiday shopping coming up, these are all good to keep in mind.


Grandma’s Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood is an absolutely enchanting rhyming picture book about about the wondrous things that happen when a large, extended family gathers for some time together. As in most families, there is usually one house that is the natural gathering place. In the case of this family, it is Grandma’s tiny little house, and this is a very large family. Everyone shows up with food to make this family feast just right, but soon the house is bulging at the seams. It takes one bright little grandchild to come up with a solution. While all this is going on, young listeners will be learning counting lessons without ever being aware teaching is going on. They will only be aware of a fun story and charming illustrations by Priscilla Burris.


Elizabeth Varadan has just had her first picture book published. Dragonella is a bright and funny story about a little dragon who is attending a new school. Of course she is hoping to fit in with the ogres, trolls, and others, but Dragonella is the only one who breathes fire, and she is young and still not quite in control of those pesky flames. Needless this to say, it’s hard to make friends when you have flames shooting out of your mouth when you laugh. She is feeling pretty left out when a special treat for the class is about to be lost, and the only one who can save the day turns out to be Dragonella. Brian Belanger’s cute illustrations just add to the fun of this sweet book about friendship.









You will have to wait until January to get your hands on the third picture book I will talk about, but it will be worth the wait. Can I Touch Your Hair? by Irene Latham and Charles Waters is a book of the most amazing poems that shine a light on the different experience children have in school when race affects them.  Irene Latham is white and Charles Waters is black. Each is firmly in touch with her and his inner child and both are incredible poets. The poems of classroom and playground experiences are rich, profound, and exquisite. Not one page, not one line, not one word disappoints in this amazing book. Illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selena Alko complement these terrific poems of friendship, race, and the uncertainty of being a child.

I don’t have a giveaway for this post. There are certain books I just can’t give away! But I hope you will choose some of these as gifts for others and gifts for yourselves. Every one of these is a real keeper and, if you are a picture book writer, you can learn a great deal about the craft by having these in your life.

It’s not too late to leave a comment on Sunday’s post to enter the giveaway for Ashes to Asheville. Click HERE to do so. 

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