Quote for the WINTER

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
~Albert Camus

Thursday, March 5, 2015

PB 14:14 in 2015 ~ PRIZE DAY!!! (and THE LIST - coming soon...)

The Valentine Vision:
Read, Study, and Share
14 Picture Books in 14 Days

~ Every February 14th ~


The day you've all been waiting for is finally here! Picture book prize packs to be awarded for all your hard work. FIVE WINNERS. Can I get a drum roll, please......

Week 1 

Prize 1: Picture e-book by Romelle Guittap ... winner is ... Lindsay Bonilla!
Prize 2: Picture book CRITIQUE by Amy Dixon ... winner is ... Vivian Kirkfield!

Week 2:

Prize 1: Picture book CRITIQUE by Kristen Fulton ... winner is ... Joyce Tucker!
Prize 2: Picture book manuscript SUBMISSION invitation to Laura Whitaker (normally agented-only submissions) ... winner is ... Manju Howard!

Grand Prize

  • An awesome PB 14:14 wall calendar
  • A PB manuscript critique by my agent, Jodell Sadler
  • The book, How to Promote Your Children's Book, by Katie Davis
  • Free tuition to Kristen Fulton's Nonfiction Archaeology class
  • ......and the winner is...... Linda Hofke!

    CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!!! Also, the winner of the non-participant COMMENTER PRIZE to win this book donated by Damon Dean (also a participant) is ... Charlotte Dixon!

    But, really? We're ALL winners! Because TOGETHER, we have created an awesome LIST of over 100 books, with 172 examples of how to use one of the top 10 story elements in our own manuscripts. Examples are awesome and you guys ROCK!

    I wanted to hurry up and get the winners announced, but the very next post on my blog will be THE LIST. Come back often and enjoy the fruits of our labors. For now, you can revisit last year's LIST.

    Thank you all so very much for participating! Last year, we had 11 participants. This year, we had 18 total. Nice! Maybe next year, we'll break 30?

    Oh, by the way, the elements in order for how much we gave examples for each one (I was right, by the way!):

    1. THEME - 25
    2. WORD PLAY - 22
    3. CHARACTER - 20
    4. PATTERNS - 18
    5. RHYME, CONFLICT, AND DIALOGUE - 16 
    6. PLOT - 14
    7. BEGINNINGS/ENDINGS - 13
    8. PACING - 12
    See you soon and keep on keepin' on...

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    DAY 14: How Big is a Million? (Patterns)

    The Valentine Vision:
    Read, Study, and Share
    14 picture books in 14 days
    The final countdown... Here's your sign (for Blogger blogs): <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=C1202879-AFC0-41EB-A337-00EE9BD1DC6F" ></script>

    ...and for Wordpress blogs: http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-14.html


    Welcome to DAY 14. Today's lesson is on...

    How Big is a Million?
    by Anna Milbourne
    Title: How Big is a Million?
    Author: Anna Milbourne
    Illustrator: Serena Riglietti
    Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd.
    Year: 2007
    Word Count: 565
    Top 10 Element: Patterns

    Summary:
    Little Pipkin wonders how big things are. He goes on an adventure to find one million of something. 
    We have the pattern of questions and answers. We have the pattern of threes. And we have the pattern of counting. As well as repetition.

    1. How wide is the sea?
    2. How high is the sky?
    3. Is the moon made of cheese?
    But the thing he wanted to know most of all was...how big is a million?
    He counts his fish at breakfast...TEN.
    "Ten's a big number of fish for breakfast," he said."But if ten's this big, how big is a million?"
    To which, his mother replies, "A million's much, much more than ten." So off Pipkin goes.
    He finds 100 penguins, and asks them,
    "If a hundred's this big, how big is a million?" And they say, "A million's much, much bigger than a hundred."
    They ask if he would like to stay and huddle to get toasty-warm, but he continues on his search.
    Then he runs into a seal cub and they see a thousand snowflakes. He stays to play for a bit, but then continues on his search.



    He goes back home disappointed that "he hadn't found a million of anything at all."

    A pattern of 3 at the end again, because it really repeats the structure of the whole book:
    • TEN yummy fish, 
    • a HUNDRED warm penguins, 
    • a THOUSAND pretty snowflakes, and a brand new friend,
    Then Mama says, "Here's your million, my little Pip. You can make a wish on every single one." And there's a little sign in the lower right hand corner of the page that says, "This way to see Pipkin's million" and you see... him and his mama looking at this...

    This is actually the poster that came with the book, but the end papers are also covered with a million stars. My kids and I figured out that 1 million is a 10,000 sets of 100. OR 1,000 sets of 1,000. Wow.

    Do you think one day we'll have a million books featured in PB 14:14? Great job everyone! Come back tomorrow to find out who will become the prize winners. And I'll update the book LIST soon too!

    Anybody want to take a GUESS as to which element was featured the most this year? Last year, it was CHARACTER. I'm guessing, yes guessing (haven't tallied yet) that this year's will be either character or theme. What do you think?

    Here's the link to add your own DAY 14 blog posts...

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    DAY 13: The First Vision: The Prophet Joseph Smith's Own Account (Conflict)

    The Valentine Vision:
    Read, study, and Share
    14 picture books in 14 days
    The Linky code: <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=F49BCB65-D6C8-4128-BF84-BE950365B0DB" ></script>

    Wordpress link: http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-13-first-vision-prophet-joseph.html


    Welcome to DAY 13. Today's lesson is on CONFLICT.

    Title: The First Vision: The Prophet Joseph Smith's Own Account
    Illustrators: Cary Austin and Greg Newbold
    Publisher: Bookcraft
    Year: 2001
    Word Count: 1000+ est.
    Top 10 Element: Conflict

    Summary:
    This is the story of Joseph Smith, from Sharon, Vermont, born December 23, 1805 and how he prayed to God and received an answer to his prayer.
    This book is a nonfiction picture book published in the religious market for 5 years olds to 105 year-olds. is very dear to my heart. It is told from Joseph Smith's own account. Joseph faced a life of conflict. When he was young, he moved a lot, especially according to times back then. Not uncommon, but still a conflict for a young child.


    When he lived in Manchester, New York, the whole town "lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It became general in all the sects in that region of country."

    Indeed, the different religious sects in the area began to stir up conflict upon themselves.
    Great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people.
    The respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted. Yet it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words.
    This is Joseph's account some time after the events he later experienced. At the time, he was 14 years old. During this time, he distanced himself from all these parties. He was confused.
    It was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?
    One day he read James 1:5...
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    He reflected on that passage again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, he did. After a long time, he finally decided that he must either remain in darkness and confusion, or do as James directed and ask of God. So he went to the woods to do so. He suffers great internal conflict up to this point.



    As soon as he kneels to pray, another force of conflict ensues. The dark spirit tries to overcome him and doom him to destruction and make it where he could no longer speak aloud.
    At the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.


    Two Personages appeared to young Joseph.
    One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other -- This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
    To summarize the ending, he was answered that he should join none of the churches, for they were all wrong. His own family belonged to multiple sects, at least two, maybe more. Joseph surely worried what they might think. They knew he didn't want to make a quick decision, not knowing for sure, which one he should join. Thus the reason for his prayer, to determine which to join.

    Later in his life, he was persecuted, laughed at, questioned, tarred and feathered, beat and spit upon, cursed at, chased away, imprisoned, and more. He died a martyr in a jail house when a mob attacked. But he always held fast to what he knew to be true as an answer to his prayer that day. A testimony that what he read in the book of James was indeed true. If you ask God, in prayer, with sincerity, he will answer you.
    I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.


    Now there's some conflict for you! That was my "older" book for the PB 14:14 event. Tomorrow's book will be on a much lighter note. If you would like to read the full version of the account for which this book is based, you can read Joseph Smith -- History here.

    Here's the link to add your own DAY 13 blog posts...

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    DAY 12: Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman (Beginnings and Endings)

    The Valentine Vision:
    Read, Study, and Share
    14 picture books in 14 days
    The Linky code for Blogger blogs: <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=7DFB934F-8A67-40CC-AE83-CB42C43999BB" ></script>

    The code for Wordpress blogs: http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-12-looking-at-lincoln-by-maira.html


    Welcome to DAY 5. Today's lesson is on Beginnings and Endings

    Looking at Lincoln
    by Maira Kalman
    Title: Looking at Lincoln
    Author: Maira Kalman
    Illustrator: Maira Kalman
    Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
    Year: 2012
    Word Count: 1004
    Top 10 Element: Beginnings/Endings

    Summary:
    A young girl is curious about Abraham Lincoln and tries to find out more about the life of the nation's sixteenth president.
    You would think that this book would be feature the story element of character since Lincoln was indeed a great character. Or conflict. But I chose beginnings and endings. I'm sharing the opening 3 spreads and the final 3 spreads.

    Opening Spread:


    One day, while walking through the park on my way to breakfast I saw a very tall man. He reminded me of someone, but I could not think who.
    Notice the pink sidewalks.

    Spread 2:



    Spread 3:



    Just in case you can't read the "fine print" it says, "I could look at him forever."

    And now for the final 3 spreads:
    The news spread. People across the land wept with grief for their fallen leader. But a great man is never really gone.
    Next to last:


    Abraham Lincoln will live forever. and if you go to Washington, D.C. in the spring you can walk through the cherry blossoms and visit him.
    The final spread:


    And you can look into his beautiful eyes. Just look.
    Need I say more? Again with the PINK. Those cherry blossoms...

    Here's the link to add your own DAY 12 blog posts...

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    DAY 11: The Artist and the King by Julie Fortenberry (Theme)

    The Valentine Vision:
    Read, Study, and Share
    14 picture books in 14 days
    Today's Linky code for Blogger blogs: <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=A0A77B61-051E-4F62-96C0-B75B0F0DD41C" ></script>

    The code for Wordpress blogs.


    Welcome to DAY 11. Today's lesson is on THEME.

    The Artist and the King
    by Julie Fortenberry
    Title: The Artist and the King
    Author: Julie Fortenberry
    Illustrator: Julie Fortenberry
    Publisher: Alazar Press
    Year: 2014
    Word Count: 572 (if I counted correctly)
    Top 10 Element: Theme

    Summary:
    A young, spirited girl brings new life and joy to her kingdom while experimenting with an unfamiliar and new art form.

    When people hear "theme" they think of lots of things: thematic teaching units (a unit on math using vehicles, a language arts unit with farm animals, a science unit with a skeleton theme), birthday parties (pirates, princesses, legos, animals, Nerf, Pokemon, music, dancing, etc.), or maybe even "the theme of this year is..." (Let your light so shine, Do unto others as you want to be treated, The Blank Page, etc.).

    But in books, theme is SO MUCH MORE THAN THE TOPIC. The theme is more than what the book is about on the surface. Theme is what it's about on a deeper level. The takeaway lesson. The "So what?" of the story. Theme is not to be confused with writing the unpopular moralistic or didactic "teaching" story. You can write a GREAT book and still get the theme across if done well. This book is an example of that. It is by utilizing character, conflict, plot, dialogue, beginnings and endings, that theme is able to come through.

    While this book is also a good example of pacing and beginnings/endings, I believe it is THEME that made me purchase the book. It is such an endearing little book with a heartwarming theme told in a timeless way. When I read it aloud at the SCBWI bookstore, I instantly fell in love. Maybe because I heard the author speak. Maybe because it was the energy of SCBWI. Maybe because my sister is an artist. But, really it's because it spoke to me. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Nobody likes being rejected. Everyone needs love and acceptance. This book shares that exquisitely, and shows how forgiveness can bring people together and heal hurting hearts.

    Daphne, a young artist, was drawing a mean picture of the king when the wind grabbed a hold of her paper and slapped it in the king's face. He yelled out and punished her by taking away her red artist's beret and replacing it with a dunce cap made of the very art she had created. Being the artist she was, she tried to make it look better, "less duncey."
    Maybe if she wore it to one side. Or under her hair. She tried adding colorful decorations. And with a piece of fabric, the cap looked almost regal! With the right fabrics, it could match her different dresses. Soon she was getting compliments.
    And she started selling her own.





    But, of course the King noticed and wanted all the dunce wearers banished into the wilderness. He marched his army right into the town square.
    And straight to his own daughter!"My dear girl, step aside or be banished with the others."The Princess threw down a cap.
    And she "walked into the woods." I love that phrase "walked into the woods." Not only does it have great alliteration, but it is simple. Not stormed, trotted, ran, stomped. Simply walked. It shows how sad she was.

    Daphne saw the King all alone and his spear hovering dangerously over her beautiful cap. She ran to rescue it, but noticed the King was crying. She apologized for the mean picture she drew. Then he apologized for being mean, even his own daughter had said he was. Do you feel the powerful emotions rising up within you yet? Daphne picked up the cap and handed it to the king.
    "But your daughter loves you. Look!" said Daphne. ...For My Dear Father, with Love...Now the King was crying even harder.

    "We can still bring everyone home." And so they did.


    And the next day, even the villagers who had been exiled long ago were coming back home. And everyone shouted for Daphne, "Long live Daphne! Long live the artist!"

    Now, THAT, my friends, is a good example of THEME.

    Here's the link to add your own DAY 11 blog posts...