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Author Archives: Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

About Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

I'm a Portland cliche. I love books and hang out at coffee shops because I want to be a writer. I've worked at libraries, different companies within Borders, at an online book buying/selling company, and, currently, at a wonderfully quirky children's bookstore! I also volunteer with different non-profits that promote literacy. I will entertain people with my stories. I will be a successful published writer of children's books. I will promote literacy, especially in children's lives. The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer- My Journey in Children's Literature. My Journey to Becoming a Writer. http://TheChroniclesOfAChildrensBookWriter.wordpress.com/ Library Hopping in PDX- Exploring Libraries. Embracing our book nerdiness. http://libraryhopping.wordpress.com/ A Semi-Blogged Life- I started this blog when I first moved to Portland and have recently been updating it again this year with the monthly challenges I've been doing. http://a-semi-blogged-life.blogspot.com/

#NFPB2019- May 22, 2019

nfpb2019

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans IdentitiesA Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by J.R. Zuckerberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This would be a great book to have as a reference guide because this is jampacked with information.

I am Unstoppable (Ordinary People Change the World)I am Unstoppable by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Ordinary People Change the World series are now in board book format giving the youngest of readers an early introductions to amazing humans. I appreciate the focus is more about their qualities rather than giving their biographies which is a bit too much for babies.

I Am Kind: A Little Book about Abraham LincolnI Am Kind: A Little Book about Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Ordinary People Change the World series are now in board book format giving the youngest of readers an early introductions to amazing humans. I appreciate the focus is more about their qualities rather than giving their biographies which is a bit too much for babies.

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in CameroonI Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon by Miranda Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful inspiring story about a boy who followed his passion and ended up helping (and continues to help) others.

Nerdy Babies: OceanNerdy Babies: Ocean by Emmy Kastner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun new board book series that teaches kids different subjects.

Nerdy Babies: SpaceNerdy Babies: Space by Emmy Kastner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun new board book series that teaches kids different subjects.

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

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My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 20, 2019

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

I finished recapping my epic Coast to Coast Vacation!

Recent Posts:
My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 2
The Ultimate Library Adventure of Marley and Pearl: Exploring NYPL
My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 3: Rochester
My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 3
#NFPB2019- May 15, 2019

My friend and I are doing a fun #ReadingChallenge for #Pride month. We’re trying to read as many #LGBTQ2SA+ books from the different categories we came up. And, we incorporated #BINGO into it so we win if we get 7 in a row- or a #RAINBOW. (We added some fun non-reading options, too.) Our first assignment was to create our own game boards- designed any way we want and randomly generated with the center square a rainbow free space. Join us if you’re interested and tag #ReadingTheRainbowBINGO!

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Under My HijabUnder My Hijab by Hena Khan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A girl looks at different female members of her family and the various ways they wear their hijabs giving her the confidence to be herself.

Hair LoveHair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vashti Harrison’s illustrations shine in this sweet story about a father and daughter getting ready for a special day.

Daniel's Good DayDaniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daniel is on a quest to figure out what a good day is and gets different answers from the people he meets.

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!, #6)Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! by Dan Santat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hilarious and meta about an elephant and pig reading about a similar duo pretending to be them.

Llama Destroys the WorldLlama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this after hearing a mother and daughter giggling over the silly story about a llama who loves cake and dancing who inadvertently creates a black hole.

Abner & Ian Get Right-Side UpAbner & Ian Get Right-Side Up by Dave Eggers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dave Eggers comes up with a story that’s a cross between Press Here and the Elephant and Piggie books.

If I Was the SunshineIf I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Super sweet that can work as a good call and response.

Tomorrow Most LikelyTomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A boy wonders what tomorrow will bring full of surprising scenarios.

HelloHello by Fiona Woodcock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A day in the life of two siblings told through words with double-l’s.

Chugga Chugga Choo ChooChugga Chugga Choo Choo by Emma Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Emma Garcia comes up with a series of fun read-alouds full of onomatopoeia, bright illustrations, and sometimes a satisfying conclusion.

Mr. Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game (Mr. Lemoncello's Library, #4)Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game by Chris Grabenstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s always exciting when there’s a new book in this series. Because, “Hell-o? It’s a Lemon-cell-o!”

The Red Maze (5 Worlds Book, #3)The Red Maze by Mark Siegel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The action continues in this fantasy series great for fans of Amulet. The stakes are higher for the three friends as they continue to be hunted down to prevent them from lighting more of the beacons.

CampCamp by Kayla Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love recommending this new series. This installment tackles the issue of friends potentially outgrowing one another but in a fun summer camp setting.

Nemesis (Miss Marple #12)Nemesis by Agatha Christie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This took forever for me to read. And the only thing that got me going was that I thought this was the final Miss Marple novel. (Unfortunately, I’m mistaken!) The mystery took forever to start and the plot was predictable.

PersuasionPersuasion by Jane Austen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I liked this, I did think it was a bit slow going. And after binge-reading Jane Austen’s novels, it did seem to be a bit predictable. But I would say Anne is one of her better characters.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

 

#NFPB2019- May 15, 2019

nfpb2019

David Bowie (Little People, BIG DREAMS)David Bowie by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Little People, Big Dreams is a biographical series imported from Spain.

“In this new series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.”

These are simple biographies to introduce young readers to these people.

The books include a timeline and photos.

While the original titles were all women, the newer ones are including men as well.

It was interesting to get to read about someone who’s clearly super popular but who I don’t really know.

Mahatma Gandhi (Little People, BIG DREAMS)Mahatma Gandhi by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Little People, Big Dreams is a biographical series imported from Spain.

“In this new series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.”

These are simple biographies to introduce young readers to these people.

The books include a timeline and photos.

While the original titles were all women, the newer ones are including men as well.

As much as I’ve enjoyed these biography, oversimplifying a great life sometimes doesn’t work.

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

 

My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 3: Rochester

It was a pleasant train ride from the heart of New York City to Rochester, places all new to me. (You can read about that part of my trip here and the San Francisco part here.)

After getting settled in at my friends’ house, we decided to check out Equal Grounds, a coffee house that’s LGBTQ owned and operated. It was definitely a welcoming place and we sat there catching up and drinking chai. After all the walking around we did, this was a nice change.

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The next day, during my morning walk, I stopped by Edward E. Boynton House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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I also stumbled upon a labyrinth, a kind that I’d never seen before. Instead of engraved on the ground, a path was made on the grass paved with rocks and stones.

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After joining up with my friend again, we walked Charlotte’s Pier. It was cool to see the expanse of Lake Ontario and knowing Canada was so near.

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Book related activities will be shared on a different post so stay tuned for that. But I was pleasantly surprised by how many cool things there was to see in Rochester. I honestly didn’t realize how rich of a history it had.

We stopped by Mount Hope Cemetery where we stopped by the graves of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.

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We admired all the colorful art outside Bachelor Forum, the oldest gay owned and operated bar in Rochester. We thought this was where the Out Alliance was but clearly not. I’m glad we stopped by though.

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We eventually found our way to the Out Alliance. I love visiting places like this when I travel. There was such a great vibe and the space was being used.

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After a quick round of giant Jenga at a nearby joint, we headed to the library where my friend works, along the Erie Canal. I crossed the Fairport Lift Bridge because I love bridges so when there’s a bridge, I’m going to most likely walk it. It had a pretty cool design.

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For most of my vacation, the weather has been has been incredibly pleasant. The following day- and my last day of vacation- was a different matter. Rain arrived but it didn’t stop us from exploring some more bookstores and libraries.

From Castro to Stonewall, visiting gay-friendly places and seeing all the exhibits for the Stonewall Riot’s 50th anniversary, I have to say I was pleased how gay- in the best sense of the word- my trip was. I even ended up buying a rainbow flag at Equal Grounds!

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There were some places I didn’t get to but that just meant I’d have to go back to Rochester again!

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. I was grateful to do so many things and spend some time with family and friends. This was a trip to remember for sure!

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 13, 2019

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

I’m getting back on the groove of things after a wonderful vacation. I’m trying to catch up on blogging about it.

Recent Posts:
April Update
My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 1: West Coast
My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 1
My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 2: East Coast

William's DollWilliam’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delightful find this classic landmark book was. A boy wants to play with dolls and that causes lots of problems for him. He gets taunted. He is persuaded to play with other toys more appropriate for boys and he does but he still wants a doll. Will someone understand him?

I read this after buying it to donate to my Book Drive to get diverse books to kids of low-income households: https://thechroniclesofachildrensbook…

bookdrive

I didn’t really get a chance to read much during my vacation but I decided to pick up these Larry Gets Lost books and share some older ones I’ve read in the series.

Larry Gets Lost in New York CityLarry Gets Lost in New York City by Michael Mullin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been super fun to see Larry has gotten lost in the places I’ve visited. With my recent trip to New York, naturally I had to pick this up!

Larry Gets Lost in San FranciscoLarry Gets Lost in San Francisco by Michael Mullin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Larry Gets Lost series is a cute way to sort of remember one’s vacation in a specific city. I like how it’s a guide book and that they have actually storylines.

Larry Gets Lost in SeattleLarry Gets Lost in Seattle by John Skewes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Larry the dog had gotten lost in Portland and so I wanted to check this one out. I had been to Seattle once so I think that helped me enjoy the story.

Larry Gets Lost in PortlandLarry Gets Lost in Portland by Michael Mullin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With the fun and colorful illustrations, kids will enjoy seeing familiar famous landmarks they’ve visited- or will visit. There’s also an actual story which is good.

Portland ABC: A Larry Gets Lost BookPortland ABC: A Larry Gets Lost Book by John Skewes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fun and colorful addition to the Larry Gets Lost series finds the dog and its owner back in Portland. Letters are hidden in some of the illustrations.

Larry Loves Portland!: A Larry Gets Lost BookLarry Loves Portland!: A Larry Gets Lost Book by John Skewes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A cute board book in the Larry Gets Lost series featuring Portland!

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

 

My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 2: East Coast

My Coast to Coast Vacation was very spur of the moment and probably one of the most spontaneous thing I ever did. It’s truly something that I will always look back on with a smile on my face.

After my trip to San Francisco, I was headed to the East Coast for the first time ever for my friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

I got to New York Friday evening and took a taxi from LaGuardia Airport to Brooklyn. I met my friends at Books of Magic where we took the obligatory picture along their wall! Even though I didn’t really stay long enough to browse, I can see why it’s so popular. They even had an author reading going on.

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And then we took the subway to Manhattan where we did a bit of sightseeing.

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It was so cool to walk around New York at night. With all the bright lights, it didn’t feel so late. And the crowds in Times Square were huge! We even passed by a line of people already waiting and camping out to get in to see Saturday Night Live. Of course, I wanted to go to the Theater District just to see some famous marquees. Maybe on my next trip there, I’ll get to watch a show!

One of the things I wanted to see in this trip was The Stonewall Inn. What an electric place! It was really too dark to see anything, though.

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I didn’t go inside the bar- maybe next time!- but a couple of people suggested we check out Jekyll & Hyde Club in Greenwich Village where we were for the literary theme and for its hidden bathrooms!

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The next morning, I decided to wake up early to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. I love walking bridges- and maybe one day it’ll be a challenge of mine to walk all the famous bridges. It was beautiful even with the morning fog, especially seeing the Manhattan Bridge across the way. And the fact that there was hardly any other people was great.

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Naturally, I went back to The Stonewall Inn to see it better. Across from it was the Stonewall National Monument and Christopher Park. I wanted to get a feel of the place to better understand what happened 50 years ago in a riot that sparked a revolution.

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After that was the main event. My friend and fellow library hopper had been wanting to visit the New York Public Library– as have I- so it was super special that we got to experience it together!

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After lunch and a stop at Grand Central Terminal and the Strand Book Store, we parted ways until later that night…

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… and off we went to Rochester by train the following morning!

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I’ll have more pics of the New York Public Library and my bookish adventures in Manhattan and Brooklyn on my other blog.

And, I’ll continue my Coast to Coast Vacation wrap up with what I did in Rochester in a few days!

I had an idea going in that I wouldn’t like New York- that it would too big, too much, too noisy, too rough- but I had a great time. I talked to very nice people and can’t wait for another chance to go back!

 

My Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 1: West Coast

My Coast to Coast Vacation was very spur of the moment and probably one of the most spontaneous thing I ever did. It’s truly something that I will always look back on with a smile on my face.

Admittedly, it didn’t start off well when one of my flights from Portland to San Francisco got cancelled and I was delayed getting there by a few hours changing up my plans. But once I got there, it was relatively smooth sailing and I got to stay with one of the nicest and loving person I know- my aunt!

I crammed a lot on the first day I was able to explore San Francisco. One of the things I wanted to do during my vacation was to explore both The Castro and The Stonewall Inn. And, so, in San Francisco, I went to The Castro. Having come out only a few years ago, I always wanted to come here without feeling ashamed of who I was. And from my first sighting of a rainbow flag, I felt welcome.

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I walked past the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy. And, fortunately, it wouldn’t be the last Harvey Milk memorial I would see!

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Walking around, I noticed bronze plaques on the ground depicting LGBTQ figures throughout history. Being the completist I am, I made sure to see all 28 (and growing!) of The Rainbow Honor Walk. Hopefully, you can stroll through and read about these amazing people!

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I wanted to check out the GLBT Historical Society Museum and it was a nice surprise to learn First Wednesdays meant free admission. Definitely the most moving was getting to hear a snippet of Harvey Milk’s last words part of their permanent exhibition, Queer Past Becomes Present. You can listen to the audio here.

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I enjoyed the atmosphere and the suggestive names of the businesses there. Some other sights I saw in The Castro…

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My favorite place was Harvey Milk’s former camera shop which now housed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Store. I just loved the fact that they preserved the space so I made a donation. The employee working there was quite nice as well.

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While I’ll have another post on my other blog about the bookstores and libraries I visited during my Coast to Coast vacation, I’d like to say I finally got to go to the Filipino bookstore- Arkipelago Books– after what seemed like forever. This tiny store got rather busy and there seemed to be lots of literary things going on.

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It was right next to the Bayanihan Community Center. And, another thing I wanted to do while I was in San Francisco was to explore its Filipino history including the street where I grew up on for some of the stories I want to write.

I checked out the hearts in Union Square…

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… and the Cable Car Museum

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… on my way to Chinatown.

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I also stopped by the Grace Cathedral where I wanted to walk its two labyrinths. I lit a candle and prayed for a better world. I even stumbled upon a library there!

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I closed out the day by walking to the Financial District and North Beach.

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After all that walking, I was seriously considering staying in the next day and resting but I went off to see a Carnegie library in South San Francisco and a children’s bookstore in Berkeley. I hadn’t been to Berkeley before so it was nice to go there.

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After that, I spent most of my time looking at art. First was a Filipino mural.

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And the other was in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. There was so many cool things to look at! I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was happy to see they had a library there as well.The Public Knowledge Library is a pop-up branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

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After that, I spent some time with my grandma and cousin. And I was off to New York for the first time!