Anna Claybourne, Confessions from the Principal's Kid, Robin Mellom, Why Don't Fish Drown, Writing

Why Don’t Fish Drown — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love
what you are doing, you will be successful.”  
~ Albert Schweitzer ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
One of my pet peeves is the overuse of the word “that” I see in writing — by critique partners and even in published writing. Grammar Girl has a good post HERE on that very topic. 
I don’t know how I missed this site before now, but Rachelle Burk’s Resources for Children’s Writers has soooooo many great links HERE. It’s going to take me a while to explore it all. 
I can’t get enough good articles about revision. HERE is another one. 

And speaking of revision, I have a bunch to do. Last weekend (when I was absent here) I attended the SCBWI Nevada conference in Las Vegas. It was a really excellent conference with wonderful speakers including agents Beth Phelan, Jen Rofé, and Jill Corcoran. (Yes, I can submit to all of them!!) I met my mentor, Suzanne Morgan Williams. She is terrific and gave me great revision notes on my manuscript. I will be sending one quarter of my revised manuscript to her at the end of each month through May, and she will give me another set of revision notes. So amazing. I met a lot of wonderful people, learned a bunch, and had a great time (except for the smoke in the casino — ugh!). My exchange student, Amandine, flew in Saturday and did a lot of sightseeing while I finished the conference, then we went to the Grand Canyon. It really is grand. I’ve been there several times, but I never tire of it or cease to be amazed. We had a wonderful trip, but it sure was good to get home. 

Last time I was here, I offered a gently-read hardback of Confessions from the Principal’s Kid by Robin Mellom to one of you. This time the winner is Tudy. Congratulations, Tudy! I will be getting your book to you soon. For the rest of you, I have another really fun book to give away, so please keep reading.

This week I want to tell you about one of the most fun non-fiction books I’ve seen lately. The entire title is Why Don’t Fish Drown?: And other vital questions about the animal kingdom, and it’s by Anna Claybourne. I just love this one and, while reluctant to give it away, I think I need to share it with the world. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review. 

If there is one thing in the world universally loved by children, it’s animals. Children have tremendous curiosity about animals of all kinds. The title of this book is pretty misleading unless one reads the second part of the title: “And Other Vital Questions About the Animal Kingdom,” which doesn’t show on the spine at all and is in a small box on the front cover. When people figure out how much more there is to the book than what the short title indicates, they will be happy to have found it. The book is chock-full of little chunks of fun information about all kinds of creatures, from dinosaurs to vultures, from dung beetles to blue-footed boobies and so, so much more. The writing is crisp and informative but very fun at the same time. Every page has one or two chunks of information along with photographs or illustrations to go along with the information. Author Anna Claybourne has certainly stayed in touch with her inner child, and she knows what questions they might ask and how to answer with lots of fun information. Illustrations by Claire Goble fill in some answer spaces with drawings that complement the

Anna Claybourne


I have a gently-read hardback for of this for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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