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Archive for the ‘Picture Book Month’ Category

This mug can be yours!!

Want to proclaim your participation in 12 x 12 while donating to a worthy cause?  Or perhaps you just want to contribute to a worthy cause and get some cool gear.  Either way, the 12 x 12 in 2012 Cafe Press store officially opened its “doors” today.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of sales in the 12 x 12 store will be donated to First Book, a nonprofit which has distributed more than 85 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.

From the First Book website:

  • First Book increases children’s interest in reading. Two separate studies found that “high interest in reading” triples among children who received new books from First Book.
  • First Book empowers teachers. 99.2 percent of programs that receive books from First Book are able to increase their literacy efforts and offer new curriculum activities, including parent engagement programs.
  • First Book improves literacy in the home. With First Book’s resources, families are able to create home libraries for the first time. More than 70 percent of children who received books through First Book reported increased reading at home.
  • First Book engages a growing number of programs. More than 25,000 programs are registered with First Book and hundreds more join each week.
  • First Book is mission-driven and highly efficient. 95 cents of every dollar donated to First Book supports our efforts to provide new books to children in need.
Head on over to the store and get the goods!

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Smile, You’re on Katie Davis!*

That’s the way I feel today as I have the extreme honor of being Katie Davis’ first Brain Burps About Books podcast guest of 2012.  I am so excited I’ll be throwing the link around all over the place – in this post, on Facebook, on Twitter, email.  Want to make sure everyone in the world who wants to hear it gets a chance. 🙂

Before I write another word, here’s the link to the podcast.  http://traffic.libsyn.com/brainburps/78_JulieHedlund.mp3.  You can listen to it on your computer just by clicking the link, or you can do the same by clicking the link from your smart phone or tablet and listen to it from there. Or you can listen from the link on Katie’s blog here: http://katiedavis.com/78/

On this podcast, in a fitting tribute to the new year (because Mayans or no Mayans, we’re going to do our best work!), Katie and I talk about anti-resolutions (based on this post) and the need to set goals from a positive place rather than beating ourselves up over (perceived) failures from the previous year. What struck me during our discussion was how we all face doubt and disappointment, regardless of how far along we are in our careers.  It’s easy to look at a successful, multi-published author and think, “Oh s/he’s made it.”  However, that author may very well be plagued by the same doubts and frustrations.  So Katie and I discuss how to overcome that, and how being an active part of the writing community helps.

We also discuss the 12 x 12 in 2012 picture book writing challenge and other opportunities for writers to get a head start in the new year.  I had so much fun recording this podcast with Katie, and I hope you enjoy listening to it just as much!  It’s a great “feel-good” way to hit the ground running in 2012, if I do say so myself.

If you have never listened to a Brain Burps About Books podcast, you can start with the one with ME in it!  Then, get thyself over to Katie’s website and download and listen to the rest.  I’ve been a subscriber for a year now, and I’ve learned so much.  Every show is great. It’s like having portable conference sessions that you can listen to at your convenience.  And they’re FREE!  Or you can do as I did and buy the app from the iTunes store for $1.99 and have all the episodes in one place.  People, it’s a bargain.  Katie is an exceptionally talented, multi-published author/illustrator, a whizz-bang marketing guru and a pioneer in using all forms of media in the children’s book arena.  She recently published an e-book entitled, How to Promote Your Children’s Book. Best of all, she has her bio written in both haiku and limerick form (among others).  Sounds like a lady you can learn a lot from, no?

What can you learn from these podcasts, you ask? Well, Brain Burps About Books is all about children’s literature and has held the #1 in the iTunes store in Children’s Publishing since it began almost two years ago.  It has been downloaded in 40% of the world’s countries. If it has to do with the children’s book business – whether it’s craft, creating a platform, developing eBooks and apps, or supporting a small business as a writer, it’s fair game. Interview subjects include authors, illustrators, librarians, editors, app creators… anyone in the field covering anything under the umbrella of children’s books. Regular features include a “Take 5 Marketing Tips” by Dianne de Las Casas and picture book and middle grade reviews by contributors Betsy Bird of SLJ’s Fuse #8 Production, “Mommy” blogger Julie Falatko, Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes, and YA reviews by Bookalicious Pam.

I happen to know that in this episode, you get a double-dose of Julie, as 12 x 12 challenger Julie Falatko provides a review at the end of the show.  That’s 2 Julies for the price of one! An offer you simply can’t refuse.

Thanks again to Katie for making the start of 2012 especially awesome by inviting me to come on the show.  In conclusion, I’ll leave you with this trailer of Katie’s book, Little Chicken’s Big Day.  Warning: it is off the cuteness meter!

*My weekly Wednesday Artist’s Way Check-in will be posted tomorrow.

Questions or comments about the podcast? Leave them here!

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A little more than a year ago, The New York Times wrote an article making the erroneous claim that picture books were “dead.”  I’m not even going to link the article because I don’t want to give it credence.  Many authors, illustrators, agents, editors and others in the kidlit industry responded swiftly and decisively, myself included, to say, “It ain’t so!”

That’s why I was thrilled to see some of the best authors in the business pronounce November 2011 as the first annual international Picture Book Month.  I love what the founders say about the inspiration for Picture Book Month: “We are doing this because in this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of print books, picture books (the print kind) need love. And the world needs picture books. There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book.”  And that is so true.  Picture books that create a perfect marriage between the words and the illustrations are nothing short of magic.  To support the effort, I’ve become an Ambassador of PB Month per the badge on my blog’s sidebar.  You can too.  Just go to the website and you’ll find many ways to celebrate and spread the word.

Picture Book Month coincides so well with Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) which is now officially underway – woo hoo!  I’m glad to stir the cauldron of ideas swirling around in my head in order to scoop some out.  Don’t forget that after PiBoIdMo, I’ll make an official announcement of the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge to take one PB idea per month and write a complete draft.  Sign-up will begin in December.

In the spirit of the month, I’ll mention three picture books that my kids have been enjoying in the lead-up to Halloween: ROOM ON THE BROOM, by Julia Donaldson, ALIENS LOVE UNDERPANTS, by Claire Freedman, and THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT, by Margarent McNamara.

Which picture books have you enjoyed reading lately?  If you haven’t read any recently, what is one of your favorites?

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