Monday, February 10, 2014

Four Days Left Until PB 14:14 "Valentine" Sign-Ups Are Over

Only 3 days left until Valentine's Day, and that means only 3 days left until the PB 14:14 event begins with a special inspirational guest post dialogue between Tara Lazar and Deb Lund! We'll kick it off Friday morning 2.14.14 at 12:01 AM and cut off the sign-ups at 11:59 PM. So hurry up and don't delay, find your groove and sign up today!

Some may ask why I am doing this. Why stress yourself out over a cool new blog hop? Well, it's not stress. It's a fun new learning challenge, collaborative style. I wish I could study every new picture book that hit the shelves. But I don't live THAT close to a bookstore. The closest one is 45 minutes away. And my local library doesn't buy tons of new picture books each year either. I LOVE studying picture books after I've read them a time or two. I just wish I had more access to more of them. Hence, the challenge. PB 14:14 is here to meet all our needs and help us learn more from each other. Hope you'll be able to join us. You don't have to do all 14 days. Even 12 (or 6 out of 7 each week), will get you a chance to win the grand prize! A critique, 2 inspirational writing books, a Market Guide, AND a 30-minute phone consultation with Julie Hedlund. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity.

Each day, I will post a NEW linky list. You must link THAT DAY'S BLOG POST to the list each day. Like I said earlier, you can write up as many posts ahead of time as you want (I haven't even started yet), but be sure to date them correctly and only post live starting on the 14th, one each day.

Here's an example of how to set up your blog posts. Doesn't have to be EXACT, so long as you get down all the basics. This is a copy and paste from one of my previous STORY ELEMENTS posts. And of course, I'll have 14 brand new ones in the next couple of weeks. Also, I'm going to make a special page, just for us, well, okay for everybody else too who couldn't make it this year, to showcase all our hard work and efforts so that we can find all the books we featured by ELEMENT. That alone should be worth it, not to mention all the great prizes!

Title: Baloney (Henry P.)
Author: Jon Scieszka
Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Viking (Penguin Putnam)
Year: 2001
Words: 368

Without a character, even if it's the horrid inanimate object (rarely is it done well and no editor ever asks for it), there would simply be no story. Every story must begin with a character. The picture book, Patches: Lost and Found, has a teacher who teaches that every story must begin with the words, but the main character teaches her teacher that sometimes stories can begin with the pictures first and not the words. Perhaps a story could begin with a setting or a vague idea of plot, but before it ever becomes a story, you must add a character!

Characters must be:
  • likable
  • childlike
  • imperfect
  • believable
  • active
  • solves own problems

Today's example is Henry P. Baloney. He's likable because we feel for him for being late. He's childlike because he gives outlandish excuses. He's also imperfect because of the excuses. He's believable because of the excuses. He's active in his storytelling and active in what his story conveys. He also solves his own problem.

Henry P. isn't just a bunch of baloney, he's a cute little alien school boy. In order to avoid "Permanent Lifelong Detention" the teacher says he must provide "one very good and very believable excuse." 

Thus begins Henry's tale. In addition to character, this book could be an example of word play, too! At the end, there is a Star Wars-esque Afterword, then a DECODER with the meanings and origins of 20 "alien" words that all happen to be real words from the planet Earth.

The story is in the telling of the long excuse Henry gives, which tells quite a bit of his character, through his actions. The teacher finally says, "That is unbelievable. But today's assignment is to compose a tall tale. So why don't you sit down and get started writing." To which, Henry replies, "I'd love to, but ... I seem to have misplaced my zimulus." So the ending circles back around to the beginning, which is why he was late in the first place! 

See you on Friday, and ask all your friends to join us!


  1. Christie, Do you want us to explain each element on our posts, or should we just link back to your original blog post for the explanation?

  2. You don't have to give a definition of the element, but do list which one it is that the book features. Describe a little bit about HOW that book specifically teaches that element. Does that make sense? Hope it helps.

  3. That story is just way too cute! Now I have to try and find it at the library!

  4. Wow, I already knew you had a with-it blog, Christie, since I've hung out here before. Love your valuable posts. :)

  5. Love the challenge.
    I'm going to be hosting one this summer. Excited and nervous. Let me know how it goes!

    Good LUCK!!!!


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