Busy Learning

     I’ve been busy! In the last couple of weeks, I attended a writer panel discussion, met with my critique group, and participated in both a dialogue writing workshop and a “writing tight” (i.e. avoiding wordiness) workshop. I also turned in the first half of my last writing assignment for the Institute of Children’s… Continue reading Busy Learning

“Martin Marten” – or How Humans and Nature are Not Two Separate Things

This week I finished reading two very different books: Martin Marten by Brian Doyle and The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake. They are both excellent in different ways, and I recommend both – to students of society, nature, and human nature. Next week I’ll share my thoughts on The Skin I’m In. Martin… Continue reading “Martin Marten” – or How Humans and Nature are Not Two Separate Things


I've had this website for over a year, however I have blogged virtually nothing (for many reasons).  I have shared articles and posts written by others that I felt would benefit other writers (especially those who are prepublished). Now I'm adding to the mix. Inspired by my friend Patsy Parker (www.whitefeatherfloating.com) I am endeavoring to… Continue reading Hello…

GUEST POST with DANNA SMITH: My Journey from Reading Little Golden Books to Writing Them

So interesting. I didn’t know Little Golden Books were still being produced!

Laura Sassi Tales

Springtime Babies Cover HRFinally, spring is in the air!  I hear the birds chirping at sunrise. There’s a robin family building a nest in my neighbor’s tree.  The cherry blossoms are about to burst. It’s perfect timing to welcome today’s guest blogger, picture book author Danna Smith, in celebration of the release of her new springtime book, SPRINGTIME BABIES, published by Little Golden Books. Today she’ll be sharing her journey from reading Little Golden Books as a child to now writing them! Thank you so much for stopping by, Danna.  Take it away!

Wonders of NatureMost Americans can remember growing up with Little Golden Books, those little gems that captured our hearts at the store while our parents shopped. Books like The Poky Little Puppy, Scuffy the Tugboat and my favorite, Wonders of Nature, caught our attention with their distinctive gold foil spines, colorful illustrations, and exciting adventures. The first 12 Little Golden Book titles hit…

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When is it Time for Rhyme?

On point as an overview and a starting place for writing in rhyme for children.


by Alli Brydon

pic for blog about verseApril is just around the corner, and it’s National Poetry Month! In honor of good ol’ verse, I wanted to talk about rhyme and meter in picture books.

Back when I was an acquisitions editor working in house at a publisher, I was particularly fond of meter and rhyme in kid’s books when it was done well. I’d be the editor my colleagues would go to with a sticky line of verse. But writers always hear that editors don’t want to see rhyming picture books these days. Editors say, stay away from it. I know that advice bristles a bit, especially for those of us who love to write it and those of us who love to read it aloud (*raises hand enthusiastically*).

This is because good verse in a picture book is a super tough thing to nail. End-rhymes need to feel fresh and exciting, sometimes…

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How to Sketch a Fetch-Worthy Picture Book Cover, by Troy Cummings (plus a giveaway)

It’s interesting to watch the progression from initial sketches to finished project.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Troy Cummings

Designing a picture book cover is like housetraining a puppy: it requires lots of patience, there are papers spread all over the house, and it’ll inevitably lead to fits of howling in the middle of the night.

But if you can sniff out the good ideas and clean up your happy accidents, you’ll hopefully wind up with something you’re proud to cuddle up with on the couch.

When I wrangle my picture book covers, I try to explore as many different ideas as possible. I start by sketching a few pages crazy loose brainstormy concepts, and then distill those into half a dozen thumbnail sketches.

I draw my thumbnail sketches at about 1.5″ tall. It forces me to work quickly, make big, bold shapes, and to _not_ get fussy with details. I think it’s best to work in b/w at this point; we can save the color…

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