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April Update

I just got back from my one week vacation and it seems like a whole year has passed having done so much!

The big event in April was of course my Bookish Vacation at Sylvia Beach Hotel! You can read about it here.

sb26 Aside from visiting libraries and bookstores, I also managed to finish a very rough draft of a manuscript on a fairy tale!

And, I started my Birthday Book Drive.

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I got to see Jacqueline Woodson speak. I wish I got to meet her in person but maybe another time! You can listen to an interview she did before her talk here and her inspiring presentation here.

I also went to a panel for Melissa Hart’s Better With Books at Powell’s. She was joined by authors Carmen Bernier-Grand and Brian Tashima and Amy Wang, Arts & Books Editor for The Oregonian, led the discussion. Better with Books is a great resource to find current books dealing with big topics like racism, bullying, and homophobia.

I went to 2 library hops- read about them here and here. I even crossed off one Carnegie library on my challenge– the Woodburn Public Library!

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From my 19 for 2019 list, I checked off 3 items:
-Filed taxes
-Host a Book Drive
-Go to San Francisco (This was part of my Coast to Coast Vacation which I hope to blog about so keep an eye out for those posts!)

I was able to reach 131 hours of volunteering which I’m extremely proud of including helping out for an Earth Day clean up and a Friends of the Library Book Sale.

I’ve done 754 out of 1000 boxes for the Soul Box Project. I’m hoping to complete this goal by the end of June.

I’m up to 220 books read for 2019.

Reading Challenges Update:
-Agatha Christie titles- 17 out of 26
-Nonfiction Picture Books- 38 out of 104
-Middle Grade & Early Chapter- 21 out of 104

From my Must Read in 2019 list, I read
-Lights! Camera! Puzzles! by Parnell Hall
-Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty, David Roberts

I went to check out a new therapist and hopefully this one will stick!

All in all, April was a great month. And May has been wonderful so far!

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#NFPB2019- May 1, 2019

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Moon! Earth's Best FriendMoon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earth’s best friend- Moon!-tells her story in this fun picture book about what things she’s experienced in her long life so far and how she gets along with Earth.

Vibrant artwork and additional information in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud.

You Are Home: An Ode to the National ParksYou Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks by Evan Turk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stunning illustrations pairs with a love letter to national parks with some information about each location featured- as well as the animals inhabiting them.

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the WayIt Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maclear and Morstad pair up again to tell the story of Gyo Fujikawa who broke grounds when she depicted babies of diverse backgrounds in her picture books.

View all my reviews

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 Reading Week #IMWAYR- April 29, 2019

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

I went to a wonderful panel last week for Melissa Hart’s Better With Books at Powell’s. She was joined by authors Carmen Bernier-Grand and Brian Tashima and Amy Wang, Arts & Books Editor for The Oregonian, led the discussion. Better with Books is a great resource to find current books dealing with big topics like racism, bullying, and homophobia.

I also volunteered for the Friends of the Multnomah County Library Spring Book Sale. It was nice to see so many friendly and familiar faces!

I’ve been happy to be blogging regularly again but I’ll be off next week on vacation! I’m looking forward to it. And, don’t miss the write up of my most recent vacation.

Recent Posts:
#NFPB2019- April 24, 2019
My Bookish Vacation
14th Ever Library Hop: My Bookish Vacation Edition
15th Ever Library Hop: New Old Libraries Edition

Pride ColorsPride Colors by Robin Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Feel good and celebratory board book about diverse families.

Home Is a WindowHome Is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is home especially when you have to leave it all behind and start somewhere new?

The Tallest Tree HouseThe Tallest Tree House by Elly MacKay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two fairy friends compete to build the best treehouse. With different personalities and different approaches, they must learn to work together when an unexpected storm comes.

Wild BerriesWild Berries by Julie Flett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cree and English picture book about a boy and his grandma berry picking. I love Julie Flett’s illustrations.

My Mama Is a MechanicMy Mama Is a Mechanic by Doug Cenko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute book about all a boy’s mom is through his eyes.

Dear Boy,Dear Boy, by Jason Rosenthal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful celebration of boyhood, companion to Dear Girl,.

The ScarecrowThe Scarecrow by Beth Ferry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sweet story about a misunderstood scarecrow who ends up taking care and befriending an injured crow.

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 Bookish Vacation

Recently, I went to Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon.

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I’d been wanting to stay at this book lover’s dream destination ever since I discovered they had literary-themed rooms! A few years ago, a friend took me to check out some of the rooms as a birthday gift!

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Here I was nerding out in the Agatha Christie room!

Six years later- and after a generous gift by a fellow writer to follow my creative pursuits-, I decided to treat myself to stay at the Dr. Seuss room.

I wanted to share the awesomeness of the Sylvia Beach Hotel with these pictures but not wanting to spoil it for anyone who wants to go there themselves!

The Hotel:

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The Dr. Seuss Room:

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The Rooms:

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I was like a kid in a candy store the whole time I was there. I wanted to make sure I captured everything! But I’m glad I was able to get some writing done as well since I wanted this to be a writer’s retreat as well. I was able to complete a very, very, very, very rough first draft of a fairy tale I’d been working on!

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Someone gave me a Dr. Seuss notebook when they heard which room I was staying in!

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I even took a picture with the hotel cat!

One of the highlights was my first dinner there at their Tables of Content restaurant where guests sat together to enjoy a four-course meal. There was an icebreaker option of playing “Two Truths and a Lie” but it turned out we didn’t need it. The seven of us sharing a table all seemed to be kindred spirits.

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Tables of Content

One of the guest turned out to be a big fan of The Children’s Book Bank and her friend (unbeknownst to her) was friends with the founder of The Clackamas Bookshelf, two literary nonprofits I’ve volunteered with. Such a small world!

I was so full after dinner but after we shut down the dining room area guests were invited to head upstairs to the library for some hot spiced wine.

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Other things I wanted to do during my vacation was visit some bookstores and libraries (which I’ll post on my other blog) but I was also able to enjoy the beauty of nature along the coast!

Nye Beach: This beach was practically Sylvia Beach Hotel’s front yard! My first morning there I walked all the way to the jetty and then crossed the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

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Waldport: On my way to visit a library, I was able to explore a little of Waldport and walked the Alsea Bay Bridge. The Historic Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center was also cool to check out and learn more about it.

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Yachats: On my way to another library, I was quite taken in by the rolling waves and its crashing on the rocks. I enjoyed just walking around and seeing where the trails lead.

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Newport: Walking around Newport, I explored the Historic Bayfront district which had nice murals. And, I saw sea lions!

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I also happened upon Mombetsu Sister City Park.

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Sheridan: On my way home, I made a detour to check out a library and ended up walking another bridge. The tiny Sheridan Bridge crosses the South Yamhill River.

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On my last day at Sylvia Beach Hotel, I took a long walk from Nye Beach to Agate Beach, even walking barefoot on the way back.

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sunset

Getting to stay at Sylvia Beach Hotel and take in all the literary wonderfulness it had to offer, meeting kindred bookish people, exploring the Oregon coast, visiting libraries and bookstores, reading, writing, and just taking in some time to relax and enjoy nature, this trip was truly a highlight of my life and better than I could have imagined!

 

#NFPB2019- April 24, 2019

nfpb2019

Science Comics: Wild Weather: Storms, Meteorology, and ClimateScience Comics: Wild Weather: Storms, Meteorology, and Climate by M.K. Reed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great addition to the Science Comics series focusing on weather and climate. Funny, informative, and very timely.

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 Reading Week #IMWAYR- April 22, 2019

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

I just went on one of my most favorite vacations ever. It was very bookish so expect a post or two about that!

I also had my 36th birthday and am holding a book drive. You can get more info by clicking on the image below.

bookdrive

Recent Posts:
#NFPB2019- April 17, 2019– I don’t know if all of you are familiar with the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Alyson Beecher of Kid Lit Frenzy but we share great great nonfiction picture books every Wednesday. Here are two reviews of recent nfpb’s:

The UndefeatedThe Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Kwame Alexander’s powerful inspiring poem is paired with Kadir Nelson’s always stunning artwork. Includes fantastic backmatter.

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the MoonA Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great picture book focusing on Katherine Johnson’s incredible contribution in space exploration!

Global Baby BedtimesGlobal Baby Bedtimes by Global Fund for Children
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Photographs of babies from all over the world with a sweet message. Great introduction to diversity. My only problem was they repeated countries in each book. I wouldn’t think it’d be necessary!

Big Foot and Little Foot (Big Foot and Little Foot #1)Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun new series about Hugo, a sasquatch, who ends up befriending a human boy. Will their difference be too much? Looking forward to read the rest of the books in the series.

Mighty Meg and the Magical RingMighty Meg and the Magical Ring by Sammy Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun new early chapter book series about a girl who receives a female warrior viking ring as a birthday present from her aunt. All of a sudden weird things are happening around her. And now she has powers!

Ada Twist and the Perilous PantsAda Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Questioneers are back in this silly adventure as Ada and her friends try to rescue Rosie’s uncle from his perilous pants. Science and teamwork with help from an unlikely ally saves the day!

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti CollectionHeart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection by Nick Seluk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick cute read that will have readers nodding in agreement from time to time but it’s probably best to read it a little at a time.

Lights! Camera! Puzzles!: A Puzzle Lady MysteryLights! Camera! Puzzles!: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While not the strongest installment in the series, it had its enjoyable parts.

Passenger to FrankfurtPassenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

WTF? When I started this, I told myself to have an open mind and go along for the ride. But then things got even more preposterous and I struggled to finish. This has got to be Agatha Christie’s worst novel.

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- April 17, 2019

nfpb2019

The UndefeatedThe Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Kwame Alexander’s powerful inspiring poem is paired with Kadir Nelson’s always stunning artwork. Includes fantastic backmatter.

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the MoonA Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great picture book focusing on Katherine Johnson’s incredible contribution in space exploration!

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! — — — — — — —