You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Halloween’ tag.

Wow, I was blown away by the creativity of the kids who entered my Halloween Skype monster contest! I asked them to draw the monster they’d like to purchase at The Monstore, and they came through with some very useful companions, just right for doing tricky things around the house. In fact, I’d like to borrow all of them!

It was tough to pick just five finalists, as I received nearly 200 entries! But here they are, in no particular order.

Please leave a comment voting for your favorite entry #. The monster with the most votes will win a Skype classroom visit with me on Halloween! 

.

MONSTER #1
REPRESENTING MS. ROSENBERG’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
MS. GO EYES by JULIA B.!

skypecontestjuliab

I like how Ms. Go Eyes can dance with Julia whenever she pleases, plus this monster can reach high to get the most coveted snacks in the cabinet. Of course, Ms. Go Eyes loves THE MONSTORE book, too! Congratulations, Julia!

.

MONSTER #2
REPRESENTING MS. MELLIN’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
TRASH MONSTER by SIERRA V.!

skypecontestsierrav

Well, Trash Monster can certainly find a welcomed place in my home. I like how neat and environmentally conscientious he is. And he’s so brightly colored, he’ll fit right in with my decor. Congratulations, Sierra!

.

MONSTER #3
REPRESENTING MS. MACCRI’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
BULLEYE by NATHAN H.!

skypecontestnathanh

Considering that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, I think everyone could use a friend like Bulleye right now. He’s so fierce-looking, he just has to stand there and bullies will steer clear. Congratulations, Nathan!

.

MONSTER #4
REPRESENTING MS. ABATE’S 1st GRADE CLASS
SPARKLES by KATIE F.!

skypecontestkatief

As Sparkles is already aware, we could all use a little more sparkle in our lives. Everything she touches glitters and shines. What a happy-making monster! Congratulations, Katie!

.

MONSTER #5
REPRESENTING MS. BROWN’S 1st GRADE CLASS
DAGA BY DOANH!
skypecontestdoanh

Ms. Brown’s class got very creative and used shapes to create their monsters. They even counted up all the shapes. I’m impressed! This monster’s needed in my house because my daughter does not like to eat meat. It merely touches her tongue and she spits it out.  What’s a mom to do? Maybe she will follow Daga’s example. Congratulations, Doanh! (And wow, what neat handwriting!)

.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Skype monster contest. It was so difficult to choose the finalists because all the creations were terrific. I’m sincerely blown away by the creativity expressed in this exercise!

Kindly comment below with your # monster choice by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th and I will announce the winner on the 28th!

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON HALLOWEEN!

winaskypevisit

In THE MONSTORE, Zack just wants to buy a monster to spook his pesky little sister, Gracie. (As you may know, things don’t work to plan.)

manfredkeepout

But when I do school visits, I’ve found that kids have all kinds of things they’d like a monster to do for them.

  • Shoot cupcakes from their feet.
  • Hide under their bed and scare away OTHER monsters.
  • Walk their pet pot-belly pig.
  • Eat clouds so it stops raining.
  • Reach the shelf where Mom keeps HER chocolate.

And even more outrageously clever tasks.

So here’s your child’s chance! What would THEIR monster do? What would it look like?

Print out this MONSTORE coloring page (courtesy of illustrator Wendy Martin) and then email me a pic of your child’s monsterly creation by October 17th. (My email button is in the top left column of this blog.)

I’ll pick 5 finalists and post them here, then you’ll have a week to vote for the winner.

Monstore-Draw-your-own-monster (1)

(Click on the image for larger version, mouse over for a + magnifying glass, click, then you can then print 8 1/2 x 11. Or, click here for a PDF: Monstore Draw Your Own Monster.)

The winner will earn their class a signed book and a SKYPE VISIT from me on HALLOWEEN(And if the child is homeschooled, I’ll Skype with them at home or anywhere they choose.)

The contest is open to kids through age 12. Whole classes can enter. If I had a lawyer, you might expect a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo to appear here. But I don’t. So there isn’t. (PHEW!)

Any questions? Ask away below.

Happy creating and I’ll hope to SEE YOU on HALLOWEEN!

by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Authors always say that we write what we know, and it is completely true—you cannot tell an authentic story if it doesn’t come from a place of truth. The trouble, though, is when you write picture books for kids, how do you define what it is that you know?

I write books about talking pigs and lonely ducks, and I can assure you I am neither a pig (verbose or otherwise) nor a duck nor any other kind of animal featured in any of my books. And yet I feel very strongly that I only write about the things that I know and that almost every one of my picture books draws heavily from my own life.

Take QUACKENSTEIN HATCHES A FAMILY, for example, my newest book published by Abrams. In this story, poor, lonely Quackenstein looks on in envy as all the other animals in the zoo settle in with their families. So he hatches a plan to solve his problem—upon spying a sign for “orphaned eggs,” Quackenstein decides to adopt an egg to start a family of his own.

The previously cantankerous duck becomes a devoted father-to-be, even cooing to his “ducky-poo” that he will never be neglected. But when the egg finally does hatch, it is more than the eggshell that cracks—Quackenstein takes one look at his hatchling and runs off in terror.

Without giving away the whole book, suffice it to say that the hatchling eventually catches up to his father and a few choice words serve to melt Quackenstein’s heart and open his eyes to the fact that families can be different or strange but always find a way to work. Despite his fears, Quackenstein learns to be the father he wanted to be—and that his son deserves.

I wrote this story when I was pregnant with my son, Sawyer, who is my third child. I’d already had two girls, Isabella and Brooklyn, and I was convinced that baby number three was going to be daughter number three. So when the doctor told me that I was having a boy, my first response was, “No, I’m not, and you can’t make me.”

Turns out, I really was going to have a boy and nothing was going to change that.

I will freely admit being terrified at the prospect of having a son. After all, I knew lots and lots about how to be a good mother to girls, but knew absolutely nothing about mothering a boy. (Since then, I’ve learned that boys and girls truly are as similar as, well, ducks and platypi—they might as well be two different species.)

I honestly didn’t sit down to write a book about a parent who was both excited and terrified about having a baby. But looking back, I realize I did exactly that.

Had I written QUACKENSTEIN five years earlier, I am convinced it would have been a different story, because there were different things important in my life then. If I’d never written the book and started fresh on it now, it would definitely be a different story (and probably far scarier!).

As much as authors write what they know, the real test of a good story is whether the author has not only found his or her own truth, but also illuminated some truth for the readers. So I’ll leave you with this hope: that you can find a little Quackenstein in your own heart.

Thanks for giving us a warm-up for PiBoIdMo, Sudipta!

Want a sneak peek of QUACKENSTEIN? Look no further–the trailer is here! With every view, a donation will be made to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums!

The earliest New Jersey snowfall in sixty years.

My pumpkin felt a little betrayed when I made gingerbread cookies instead of carving him. But he got his light on eventually.

Happy Halloween!

bonesoupSucculent eyeballs float among tender bat wings, seasoning Cambria Evans’ Bone Soup with gross Halloween humor no five year-old can resist.

The main character Finnigin has a reputation for being a greedy eater. So when the witch finds out he’s coming to town, she warns her beastly neighbors. Everyone stashes their groceries away, hiding toenail clippings, frogs legs, and other ghoulish gourmet ingredients. No one offers him a bite to eat, not even a nibble of wormy cheese.

So the hungry, resourceful Finnigin boils a cauldron in town square. Into the bubbling pot he drops one dry bone, claiming it will create a magical delicacy. Of course, the curious creatures can’t help but add to the brew, and soon everyone is feasting on slimy gruel thickened with dried mouse droppings. Yum!

bonesoup2

Evans’ pen-and-watercolor illustrations strike just the right balance between spooky and funny. The mummy wears a pretty pink bow and the werewolf looks more like a harmless hedgehog. The green and brown color palate makes every page feel like it’s glowing in the dark, adding to the fun Halloween spirit.

Stone Soup has been retold many times, but never with so much disgusting deliciousness.

7ate9

Like this site? Please buy one of my books! It supports me and my work!

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive kidlit news, writing tips, book reviews & giveaways via email. Wow, such incredible technology! Next up: delivery via drone.

Join 11,408 other followers

My Picture Books

COMING SOON:


illus by Melissa Crowton
Tundra/PRH Canada
June 4, 2019


illus by Ross MacDonald
Disney*Hyperion
October 15, 2019

THREE WAYS TO TRAP A LEPRECHAUN
illus by Vivienne To
HarperCollins
Spring 2020

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
August 2020

Blog Topics

Archives

Twitter Updates