“What A Trip!” by Arthur Yorinks

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We used to have fish fights with my son. Every time I would make cod or tilapia for dinner, he would throw a fit and simulate choking. Not anymore. Not since we read about a certain Mel eating swordfish. Whether it was the intriguing name or meaty taste, I am not sure, but it did the trick! My son wanted to try it. It was love at first bite!

So who is Mel and why did he eat swordfish?

Mel was a typical boy from New Jersey, who happened to trip and fall… into another dimension. A pointy dimension. Cars, houses, dogs, people… everything was pointy there. Another trip and Mel was back to New Jersey. He tried to explain to his parents and friends about the pointy reality, but nobody believed him. He tried to go back, but nothing worked. Not even eating swordfish or tripping himself. His obsessive behavior worried his parents and he was sent to a special camp for klutzes, from which he was sent home for collecting arrowheads and making spears. Suddenly, as Mel was helping his dad at work, he vanished before his father’s eyes. The second trip to the pointy dimension was even more adventurous. And this time he didn’t have to explain anything to his parents. They knew better to believe him. 

And hopefully you will believe me that this hilarious story by Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski’s cartoonish illustrations, make it a great reading treat for the whole family. Before or after the swordfish dinner. Hmm… I might give the asparagus spears a try next time.

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Dinosaur Starts School by Pamela Duncan Edwards

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With the school year about to start or just started in most schools, a book about the thrill, or trauma, of the first day of school might be a good idea. How to explain to a little kindergartner what it is going to be like at the big-kid school? How to make the first day a positive experience for an anxious five or six-year old? How to prepare for the worst case scenario? Perhaps reading about how Dinosaur and his friend do it might help?

When Dinosaur sulks, roars, stamps his feet and finds numerous excuses why he shouldn’t go to school, his friend tells him about all the fun he can have and all the things he can learn at school. He tells him not to worry about messing up his painting because that might be a way to create something beautiful. And he tells him not to overthink the yucky lunch menu. There is always a salad for herbivores. Dinosaur learns he shouldn’t worry about being shy, because there will sure be other shy dinosaurs with whom he can build sand castles and play tag. After a pep talk like this, there is nothing left for Dinosaur than to smile his “big, toothy, Dinosaur smile”.

And that’s what you will get from your own Dinosaurs after reading this warm and reassuring story, so brightly illustrated by Deborah Allwright. May it be a great school year for everyone!

Children’s Book Academy

Hi there,

I know, it is high time to write a new post. We have read so many great books with the boys over the summer and I just can’t wait to tell you about them. The problem is, it’s been a very busy summer. Next to my usual summerly chaos, I decided to spice my days with some online writing course. As a result, I joined circa 100 other amazing and talented writers and illustrators at the Children’s Book Academy for the Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books.  The 5 week long course was co- taught by the talented and knowledgeable Dr. Mira Reisberg, the founder of CBA, and the sweet and inspiring Kelly Delaney, Assistant Editor at Random House. Not only was the learning intensive, but also so inspiring that I just can’t stop writing new and improving old stories! And it wasn’t long ago that I thought I was going through some writer’s block! Go figure! Keep fingers crossed for my recent queries. Thanks!

To sum up, I will be back with new posts- very very soon. And secondly, if you are a writer or illustrator, don’t wait any longer and sign up for one of the Mira’s courses @ childrensbookacademy.com  Enjoy!