All-things-Harry and Summer Sheep Flock to Kepler’s

August already? Whoosh! That’s what happens when you speDmama2nd your summer at CAMP!Img_2120 That’s me, "Drama Mama," with some of my amazing staff (left photo), and (right) getting an ice cream sundae on my head last summer. (Haven’t downloaded this year’s photos yet!) This summer we told all our theater students at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp NOT TO TELL US what happens to Harry. And–dare I admit this Muggle scandal?–I still haven’t had time to stop by my favorite indie to buy the book. (GASP! I can hear your curses now: RIDICULOSO !!!!)

As an author, I can’t even begin to imagine how Ms. Rowling must feel to have her books and characters take on such active lives of their own. Did I say Lives? Heck–more like complete universe! It’s mind boggling. No one has asked to make a theme park of Little Bo Peep Can’t Get To Sleep yet–not that I aspire to that kind of fan base…(And this is not reverse-jealousy-psychology talking. The woman deserves a theme park. Totally.). Nor have my teenage daughter and her friends made their own Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox t-shirts to wear at the midnight showing of the latest Goldie Locks film… I’m o.k. withKeplers_pic1 that. 

Days before Harry-Time (Hey, if it’s a universe, it no doubt has its own time zone) I was at Kepler’s in Menlo Park CA for a great Storytime (Thank you Angela and Kepler’s staff for holding off Hogwartsing the store until after everyone had made their sheep craft and left with signed Bo Peeps and Goldies. YOU ROCK! )Keplers_2_3, and I realized Storytime is my universe. Seriously. I count my blessings for every opportunity to enjoy a fleeting rock-star status with 7-year-olds but still lead a normal life doing school visits without the Daily Mirror following my bad-hair days (of which I assure you I have plenty) and wondering if I’ll ever have another best-seller. (Come on, guys–leave the woman alone! So what if she never writes a grocery list again after all-things-Harry. That’s like asking the Queen if she’ll ever build another castle.)

As for me, it’s time to do something about the piles of camp laundry extending out of the laundry room and down the hall.  (Perhaps there’s a spell to get it all done at once?) And then it’s back to PBIC and to the book store for Harry.

Sunday Storytime July 8th at Kepler’s and Finding Writing Time This Summer!

Reading_rainbow_2 Happy Summer! Please mark your calendars and join the fun at Kepler’s Book Store (see keplers.com) in Menlo Park, CA on Sunday July 8th at 11:30 for Storytime. I would LOVE to share my books with a storeful of young book lovers (and big ones). Check out the cool Kepler’s flyer at Download 8_SundayStorytime_ErinDealey.pdf and come on down!

This photo is of yours truly giving the keynote at the Reading Rainbow Young Writers’ and Illustrators’ Awards Night at Fairytale Town. (Goldie and Bo Peep’s home away from home.) What fun it is to listen to young authors read their own stories aloud! Many are budding artists too. Way to go you guys, and thanks PBS. I’m thrilled to be a part of this fabulous program that encourages kids to read and WRITE.

Speaking of which, my goal this summer is to squeeze in some writing time. I know–sounds simple. But the minute school gets out and our summer schedules kick in around here, writing time seems to fly out the window. (Well, not counting writing stuff for my theater students at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp, but that’s another story. Or PLAY actually…) So this morning I thought about those essays teachers love to assign at the beginning of the school year (I admit I’m guilty of this one myself.): WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION.  Which lead to the following proclamation. Let it be known that three months from now I want to be able to say:

  • I finished (We’re talking stick-a-fork-in-it DONE. Finished. Send it in already!) my tweener/mg.
  • Those PBs found good homes, thanks to my wonderful agent.
  • My critique pals have read my early chapter book ms. and I’ve revised and polished.
  • I found time between summer camp (Yes, I still get to go to summer camp!), the invasion of giant zucchini and (ugh) tomato worms, reunions, vacations, visitors, and a revolving door of teenagers to WRITE.    

Which means I’d better PBIC…now!

Goldie Locks, Connie Goldsmith, and Germs

What do germs have to do with writing? I meet with three of my writing pals, Connie Goldsmith, Patricia Newman (www.patriciamnewman.com) , and Linda Joy Singleton (www.ljsingleton.com ), every other week and we are all so proud of the great press Connie’s latest non-fiction books have been getting that I have to share. Connie_3Check this out:

The National Science Teachers (NSTA) Children’s Book Council chose Connie’s book, Influenza, the Next Pandemic? (Lerner 2007) as an Outstanding Trade Book. "A seamless blend of history and science!" Believe, me , it’s true! I am not a scientist (I blew up the lab in my high school Chemistry class…), and fear of needles kept me from pursuing any medical profession so I need stuff like influenza and pandemics explained to me in user-friendly terms, with an entertaining voice to keep my eyes from slamming shut, and Connie does just that.

NSTA Children’s Book Council: "The author…describe(s) the impact of the flu on generations before us, the impact of another possible pandemic, and how to prevent and care for patients with the flu. Vignettes interConnie_4spersed throughout the book make this important book real for readers."

Next out will be another book that has gotten our group to wash hands more frequently, SUPERBUGS STRIKE BACK, When AntiConnie_5_3biotics Fail  (Lerner 2007). These titles followed INVISIBLE INVADERS, Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Lerner 2006) which the School Library Journal called: "…clear, clever headed and brisk, intelligent writing that never patronizes." Way to go, Connie! For more info on all three titles, go to www.lernerbooks.com .

And speaking of germs, my lesson plans for Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox prompted Goldie_cover_largean e-mail from a wonderful Kindergarten Mom who helps in her daughter’s classroom. Missy shared this cool Germ experiment she used after she read the Kinders my book:

I cut potatoes into slices. I gave each table several slices. In one group they touched them all over and we put them in a baggie. Another group washed their hands first and then handled them before placing them in a baggie. The third group touched them all over but then spread hand santizer all over their potato slices before putting them in a baggie. The last table didn’t touch their potatoes at all. They used a set of tongs to put the slices in a baggie. I labeled each baggie with how the potatoes were treated. We decided to wait one week and check on the potato slices and see how they look. We made predictions ahead of time and will compare those with how the potatoes really did. FUN!!!

Suddenly I feel like washing my hands…and then it’s time to PBIC… and Write!

Bo Peep at Stanford

Stanford_egg_hunt_1 I met up with author pals Lynn Hazen (center) and  Kim Zarins (with the bunny ears) at the Provost’s Egg Hunt last Saturday aStanford_egg_hunt_7t Stanford.  Big thanks to another author pal, Nancy Etchemendy (R) and her husband John, who hosted the event for all the darling little bunnies of the Grad students. Etchemendy_cover

Nancy’s middle grade novel, The Power of Un , (Cricket Books 2000) is one of my all time favorite reads. Who wouldn’t want an "Unner" that could undo any event in your life?

Stanford_egg_hunt_8

The lawn of the The Buck-Meyer house was covered with eggs and the kids had a blast.

Here are some photos of my new friends "in their Easter bonnets," making sheep, and listening to stories.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Stanford_egg_hunt_11            Stanford_egg_hunt_9_2                    Stanford_egg_hunt_2                       Stanford_egg_hunt_10                                  I hope everyone had time to hang out with their own special bunnies last weekend.

And now…it’s time to PBIC and WRITE!

Caldecott, Newberry, and Curious George

Reading_rainbow_workshop_3Happy Spring Break from Erin Dealey and Curious George! Curious George was on hand to help me last weekend at the Reading Rainbow Young Writers’ and Illustrators’ workshop I taught for our local PBS station KVIE. (You get to meet a lot of celebrities in this business!)

Hi to all the kids from Del Paso, Rocklin, Sacramento, Antelope, and even Los Angeles, who came by to write and illustrate their books and submit them to the annual Young Writers and Illustrators contest. *It’s not to late if you haven’t submitted your book, by the way. The deadline is April 6th for KVIE PBS kids, grades K-3. To check for the contest in your area, go to pbskids.org. There just may be an award in your future.

Speaking of awards (and I’m not, actually) what’s all this about Caldecott and Newberry? I celebrated my BIRTHDAY recently and when I checked other author birthdays, it turns out my birth date falls between a Caldecott (Randolph Caldecott: 3/22/1846) and a Newberry (Claire Newberry: 4/10/1903.) Ha! Gotcha! You really didn’t think I’d spelled the Newbery Award–as in John Newbery–incorrectly did you?

Of course I’m thrilled that my birth-month starts off with Dr. Seuss’ birthday (3/2/1904)–especially because schools love to kick off their reading programs with Author Visits around this time and I love school visits! : ) Rocklin_unified_2_2 

Hi to all the fabulous students and staff I’ve met since January at Ruhkala, Breen, Bannon Creek, O.W. Erlewine, Antelope Creek, Benjamin Bubb (Thanks for the cool Bubb sweatshirt!), Twin Oaks, Cobblestone, Stocklmeir, Woodland Montessori, Valley View, Rocklin Elementary, Rocklin Academy, Rock Creek (This is me and some of my Rock Creek pals. Thank you Mrs. Mathias.), Oakley, Charles Brown, and Chicago Park Elementary, as well as my Scholastic Book Fair friends at Birch Lane in Davis.

And Happy Birthday to some of my favorite writers: Sid Fleischman (March 16th), Lois Lowry (March 20th), Robert Frost (March 26th), and Beverly Cleary (April 12th.) Boy, am I in good company or what? 

In celebration of all things Spring, I’ll be reading LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP at Stanford University on Saturday April 7th at the Provost’s Egg Hunt from 10:30 – 11:00, and signing books afterwards. This event is for grad students and their little bunnies. I’m looking forward to seeing my SCBWI pals Kim Zarins who will read her Playful Bunny from 11:00 – 11:30 and Lynn Hazen who will share Buzz Bumble to the Rescue! from 11:30 – 12:00 noon.

Meanwhile, it’s time to PBIC and WRITE NOW.