Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Writing from the Inside Out. . . WINNER! WINNER! WINNER!

Dear Friends,

How wonderful to see so many of you stop by to join the Book Birthday for Patricia Thomas and GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! THANK YOU!

We wish everyone could win a book, but we're thrilled Dawn Publications www.dawnpub.com  donated 3 copies to giveaway to readers. Thank you, Dawn Pub! THANK YOU, dear PAT, for your generosity!

And now announcing the FIRST WINNER!


               ***TRACEY KYLE***

(Please see end of post for additional winners and how to claim your book!)

You won't want to miss this book by Patricia Thomas! It's never been out-of-print since its original publication in 1971. Still a "HOT" seller. Check it out!

"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" 

by Patricia Thomas (Author), Wallace Tripp (Illustrator)

See all 11 formats and editions

All the animals are in a panic. The elephant's sneeze would blow the monkeys out of the trees, the feathers off the birds, the stripes off the zebra. Even the fish and the fly, the crocodile and the kangaroo, know what a catastrophe that sneeze would be. "Please don't sneeze!" they beg. . . .
The classic story of an enormous sneeze in the marking, told in sprightly nonsense verse, has been newly illustrated in full color to delight a new generation of fans.


                                                ****PAT BRISSON****



                                              ****JANET SMART****

Don't forget, you can still purchase a copy here: Dawn Publications: www.dawnpub.com On Sale Now at 25% Off! 

Green Bean Hardcover – March 1, 2016

See all 3 formats and editions
Winners, please e-mail me: claragillowclark(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and let me know for whom you'd like the book personalized. 

If you didn't win this time, you'll have many more opportunities! Next up on Writing from the Inside Out is a book birthday for EMPTY PLACES, a new MG historical novel by Kathy Wiechman! 

Happy Spring! See you soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Writing from the Inside Out. . . It's a Book Birthday and Giveaway!!!

Dear Readers,

Today is an extraordinary day, because it's a BOOK BIRTHDAY for our friend, Patricia Thomas and her new book, GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! Her publisher, Dawn Publications, www.dawnpub.com is generously donating 3 copies of the book for the birthday giveaway and Pat will autograph and personalize for the winners. Thank you, Dawn Pub and thank you, Pat! (Details for the giveaway at end of the post!)

I really love this book! It's a perfect read for spring fever. I've already purchased the book and a packet of seeds to start my own garden of GREEN BEANS!  

Author: Patricia Thomas
Illustrator: Trina L. Hunner

A freckled-faced young gardener opens a packet of seeds. And the magic begins! Crisp verses take the reader through the growing season—from a sprout peeking out, to a curlicue catching dew, to a vine twining on a line, until finally . . . GREEN BEANS! It’s time to harvest a full season of garden knowledge and experience. Along the way the young gardener discovers a nook to read a book in the shade of growing beans. Trina’s watercolors match the mood of a garden, and in the backmatter Patricia provides life cycle science and related vocabulary, instructions on growing your own green beans, and a variety of fun things for children to do. This book is sure to encourage young gardeners to put their toes in the soil and perhaps even read a book in a garden nook.
Educators: Download free activities based on this book!

Writing from the Inside Out. . . Author Patricia Thomas shares insights about her writing process, influences, and inspirations. . .

Two topics that will always catch and hold my attention are the beauty of poetry and the wonder of nature’s marvelous life cycle. At first glance, it would seem these subjects are at wide ranging ends of conversational topics, but actually they are uniquely related. Especially for me.

My strongest connection is uniquely personal. That connection is my father, who lovingly taught me, among many things, an appreciation for poetry along with an appreciation for nature. He was a teacher…and a farmer. It has always seemed to me that growing up on a farm, with the guidance of a farmer who was also a teacher was about as good as it could get. 

When I rode to school with Dad, he delighted in teaching me works of poets he loved: Longfellow, Emerson, Whittier, Burns, Riley, and so many more. I grew up with a love of words (especially words that rhyme) and appreciation for the majesty of language. 

Every day on the farm brought Dad more teaching opportunities, and he never let the chance pass to teach as we went…names of plants, flowers, trees…ways we depended on them…relationships of one to another…the amazing circle of life contained in a single seed. 

The more I thought about it, the more the connection between poetry and nature that had originally centered around my father expanded for me. I came to realize that not only is poetry the best medium for expressing and understanding feelings about the natural world and our place in it, it is also the best medium for encouraging a love of nature in new generations. 

Children who grow up with poetry…who listen to the music of the language and may be enchanted by the word pictures learn to observe their own world more closely. At first, it may be the rhyme of the words that intrigues them, because rhyme, after all, is fun. But later, gradually, they will listen for the rhythm and look for the fresh ideas and word images. When you come right down to it, poetry and nature simply go hand in hand.

In Green Bean! Green Bean! I played with the fun of rhyme:

                               Freckles and speckles/soon a root and a shoot
                               A root and a shoot/and a sprout peeking out…

In Firefly Mountain, I painted pictures with beautiful words to share the unforgettable firefly magic. You could only see the black mountain touching the black sky/and all of it/all of it/all of it Lit from top to bottom/with blinking, winking, twinkling fireflies….

I realize I’ve taken the long way around in explaining what inspired me to write my book about a single speckled bean…and why I chose to write it as a poem. Like Jack of fairytale fame, I knew that little bean had the power to become something spectacular. I also knew that as the seed progressed through its life cycle, one stage would lead to the next, building on the stage before it. So the poetic form I chose to tell the story was cumulative rhyme, which builds story elements one on the other. (Think The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Gingerbread Man, etc.)

Full disclosure here: to make Green Bean! Green Bean! more readable and avoid too much repetition, I opted for a sort of abbreviated cumulative style, repeating an element only once before proceeding to the next adventure in the plant’s life.
A bunch comes for lunch? No way they can stay!/ No way they can stay. Now a hoe to help grow.
Incidentally, this word repetition can also be a classroom aid, helping increase students’ phonological awareness, an important consideration in learning reading in early grades. In fact, lesson plans and teachers’ handouts to utilize language and other aspects of the story, including science and math are available free on the Dawn Publications website. Also, special sections in the back of the book offer a fresh variety of activities and additional information for kids as well as parents and teachers…ideas that also help to link language, literature, science, and the marvels of nature.

Education today often regards poetry and literature as frivolous, choosing, rather, to focus on science/technology/math. Not that there’s anything wrong with that STEM emphasis, but we need to remember that while it took science to get us to the moon, it is poetry that will help us understand why we went there.

Author Patricia Thomas
Patricia Thomas grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania where she learned the delight of summers spent barefoot and hands digging in garden dirt. From her teacher parents, she also learned the joy of books, reading, poetry, and rhyme. The gardening part paid off when profits from 4-H tomato projects helped finance tuition at Penn State University. She married her PSU sweetheart, became a copywriter/editor, raised a family, and discovered she was a children’s writer. Today, nearly 45 years later, her first book, Stand Back, Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” still sends kids around the world into gales of laughter. Her books, stories, and articles cover wide-ranging poetic and prose styles. She has presented workshops, writing courses, lectures, and teacher-education seminars.

                     Meet the illustrator: Trina Hunner

Illustrator Trina Hunner
Trina’s tried growing green beans there, but hasn’t had much success—beans just don’t grow well under the tall pines that surround their home. Trina has illustrated two other books for Dawn Publications: Molly’s Organic Farm, about life on the farm as experienced by a lovable orange cat, and On Kiki’s Reef, about a green sea turtle and the amazing creatures who share her coral reef. When not creating vibrant watercolor paintings, Trina enjoys biking to the elementary school where she teaches, skiing in the mountains near her home, and playing with her trio of lovable pets. To see more of Trina’s artwork you can visit her website at www.trinahunner.com

I can't wait to start my green bean garden! In the back of the book are instructions on just how to do that. If you can't wait for the winners to be announced next Tuesday, March 22, order a copy now from Dawn Publications: www.dawnpub.com On Sale Now at 25% Off!

If you're like me, you'll want several to put in Easter Baskets for your budding gardeners!

Thank you, dear friends, for stopping by to celebrate Patricia Thomas's BOOK BIRTHDAY for GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! Thank you, Patricia Thomas for sharing your wonderful knowledge about nature and poetry with all of us! 

Here's how to enter the drawing for a chance to win: All you have to do to enter is leave a comment about the post. Tweet and you'll get an extra chance. Join my blog and you'll get two more chances in the random.org drawing!