Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Announcing the WINNER of Trinka Hake Noble’s THANKSGIVING Book

Dear Readers,

Just a short post today to announce the winner before Thanksgiving. First, a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to view the post, and an extra special thanks to all of you who left a comment for Trinka. The comment contest winner for Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade is:

Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving go out to, Patricia Crisman! Thank you for including your email in the comment and thank you for your support of authors and good books.

Your book will soon be on its way!

Be sure to check out this classic Christmas tale that was featured last year for Christmas. You can view the original post here: "Christmas Stories from the Heart" with Author Trinka Hakes Noble

Originally published over twenty years ago, and out of print since 1998, Sleeping Bear Press is proud to bring this beloved Christmas tale to a whole new audience. Moving and nostalgic, and brought to life by glowing watercolor paintings, it reveals the joy of a very special present and the love that a father and daughter share.

Junior Literary Guild Selection
CBC Book of the Year
Featured in Cricket Magazine
Included in The Golden Books Treasury of Christmas

To learn more about Trinka and her many books, visit her website here: www.trinkahakesnoble.com

Our next guest is a picture book illustrator. To end out the year we have a mystery guest duo along with giveaways for the season. Happy Thanksgiving!  ~Clara

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thanksgiving with Author Trinka Hakes Noble + Giveaway

Dear Readers,

Our guest author, Trinka Hakes Noble, has written a very special story of gratitude and historical significance in an unusual Thanksgiving story set in 1918. Trinka’s text and David C. Gardner’s illustrations offer up a scrumptious feast for readers of all ages. You’ll want to own a copy of this poignant story for your family as a cherished read aloud during the Thanksgiving season.

Trinka is generously donating an autographed copy of, Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade. All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment below. The winner will be announced in one week.

And now, please welcome my friend, Award winning Author, Trinka Hakes Noble. . .

Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade – A Thanksgiving Story 
by Trinka Hakes Noble

Sometimes a story gets started with just one word, and for Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade that word was ragamuffin.

When I was growing up with my seven brothers and sisters, my mother endearingly called us little ragamuffins when we came inside from rambunctious play, with our hair a mess, our faces, hands and bare feet dirty and our clothes disheveled. I’ve always loved that word...ragamuffin.

So when I learned that there was something called the Ragamuffin Parade, which took place in New York City many years ago, I was captivated.  I learned that on Thanksgiving morning the children of New York City would dress up like beggars and hobos, smudge coal on their faces and parade down Broadway with their hand out asking, “Have ya’ anything for Thanksgiving?” People called them ragamuffins and would give them a penny. 

On busy street corners people would throw hands full of pennies in the air and the children would scramble for them. It was called a penny scramble and it could get rough. The immigrant children who lived in the tenements on the Lower East Side loved the Ragamuffin Parade because they could fill a pocket with much needed pennies. 

But as years went by, Halloween became more popular in America. Children dressed up in costumes, marched in Halloween parades, and went trick-or-treating for candy. The Ragamuffin Parade fell out of favor.

Many of those immigrant children who fondly remembered the Ragamuffin Parade grew up to be employed by Macy’s department store in Midtown Manhattan. Some historians believe that these employees asked Mr. Macy if he would sponsor a parade for the children of New York City on Thanksgiving morning. And so, in 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place.  

Iinterior Illustration
I just had to write a story using this information, and so I created a nine-year-old immigrant girl named Loretta Stanowski, whom everyone called Rettie, and placed her on New York’s Lower East Side, in a tenement apartment during World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic that swept across America. In those trying times, Rettie managed to keep her younger siblings from going to an orphanage and take care of her sick mother while her father was away at the war. The only thing that kept her going was the hope that the Ragamuffin Parade wouldn’t be cancelled due to the influenza pandemic. But, triumph she did! On Thanksgiving morning Rettie proudly marched in the Ragamuffin Parade and got enough pennies to buy something special for their Thanksgiving dinner. In this uplifting Tales of Young Americans story, this young immigrant girl not only found her strength but also found the true spirit and meaning of an American Thanksgiving. 

Other Tales of Young Americans books by Trinka are The Scarlet Stockings Spy - A Revolutionary War Tale and The Last Brother - A Civil War Tale.  

Learn more on Trinka’s website at www.trinkahakesnoble.com 

The series, Tales of Young Americans, is published by Sleeping Bear Press. Learn more at www.sleepingbearpress.com 

Reviews of Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade – A Thanksgiving Story

“Noble’s tale of parades and tenement life positively brim to over flowing with good cheer, culminating on Thanksgiving Day, 1918. Gardener’s full-color illustrations depict a bustling community where good spirits overcome bad happenings. All ends well in this parade filled with good spirits and optimism.” – Kirkus Review, July 2017

“Vivid art work and a descriptive narrative re-create a vibrant 1918 New York City populated by immigrants struggling to survive an influenza pandemic at the tail end of World War I.  VERDICT An excellent historical fiction picture book for the older reader interested in U.S. history or Thanksgiving celebrations, and this is a timely selection as this year marks the U.S.’s centennial commemoration of World War I.” – School Library Journal, September 2017

“It is slim pickings when it comes to Thanksgiving focused books. Those out there are more oft about turkeys, inaccurate pilgrim stories or pumpkins, but Trinka Hakes Noble has given us a real Thanksgiving story, with a focus on gratitude and connection to modern day traditions.” – Odds and Hens; Reach and Read, November 2017

 Trinka Hakes Noble is the award-winning author of over thirty picture books. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, (ALA Notable, PBS Reading Rainbow feature, Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice, IRA Children’s Choice, American Book Award, Scholastic Book Club Selection), illustrated by Seven Kellogg, just celebrated its 37th year in print. Three more Jimmy’s Boa books complete the series. Meanwhile Back At The Ranch (PBS Reading Rainbow feature, American Book Award, Arizona Young Readers Award, North Dakota Flicker-Tail Award) is celebrating its 30th year in print. Apple Tree Christmas, which she wrote and illustrated, (Cricket Magazine, The Golden Books Treasury of Christmas, Junior Literary Guild Selection) is presently in a Holiday Classic edition.    

Other titles include The Scarlet Stockings Spy, (ILA Teacher’s Choice, Chicago’s Crystal Book Award of Excellence, Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award), The Last Brother, (IPPY Award Bronze, PLA Carol Field Honor Book, Storytelling Magazine Honor Award, Scholastic Book Club Selection), and The Orange Shoes (ILA Teacher’s Choice, NAPPA Honors, Jefferson Cup Award Nominee, CBC Best Books).  

Her latest titles are The Legend of the Jersey Devil (2013), Lizzie and the Last Day of School (2015), The Legend of Sea Glass (2016), and Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade (Fall/2017).  

Ms. Noble graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in painting, and went on to study children’s book writing and illustration in New York City at Parson’s School of Design, the New School University , Caldecutt medalist Uri Schulivitz’s Greenwich Village Workshop, and most recently at New York University.

Ms. Noble is a board member of The New Jersey Center for the Book, The Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, The Author’s Guild and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.  In 2002, she was awarded Outstanding Woman in Arts and Letters from the state of New Jersey for her life-time work in children’s books along with letters of accommodation from The US House of Representatives, the US Senate and the US Congress.  She was also awarded Author of the Year, 2016/2017, by the New Jersey Association of School Librarians.  She lives in a circa 1780 house in historic Northern New Jersey.  Learn more at www.trinkahakesnoble.com 


Thank you, dear readers, for spending time with us here. I am truly grateful for your encouragement and support of authors and good books! I’ll be back in one week to announce the winner of Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade.   ~Clara

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Veteran’s Day, an early Celebration - Author Gayle C. Krause shares. . .

Dear Readers, 

Please welcome our good friend, Author Gayle C. Krause and join her in celebrating the people who served in the military. I think all of us have a family member, friend, or neighbor who has served our country. My own son is a proud Army Veteran and I am very proud of him and his service. If there someone you’d like to honor for their service, we would be honored to have you mention that person in the comments. 

Author Gayle C. Krause
Clara has asked me to do a blog post for Veteran’s Day and I happily agreed. Of course, I couldn’t help but include a connection to my newest novel, TWICE BETRAYED, a MG historical fiction set in Colonial Philadelphia. What does Colonial Philadelphia have to do with Veteran’s Day, you may ask. Simple…

The American Flag!

Our “Stars and Stripes” fly high on Veteran’s Day – in parades, in front of government buildings, in military cemeteries, and on citizen’s homes, much like the flag that flies in front of Betsy Ross’s house on Arch Street, in Philadelphia.

In the United States, Veterans Day celebrates the people who served our country in the military during times of war and peace. But serving our country did not originate with the conclusion of WWI, when Veteran’s Day was first celebrated. (November 11th, 1919). We could go back to The Revolutionary War to find people who served our country. And my main character, thirteen-year-old Perdy Rogers is one of them. In my story, it is she, not her employer, Betsy Ross, who created the first American flag.

Why can I do that? Didn’t we all learn that Betsy Ross made the first flag, the one with the thirteen stars in a circle? Well, yes we did. But unfortunately we now know that information has never been verified. 

Mini-History Lesson Excuse me, but once a teacher, always a teacher!

Actually, George Washington, George Ross (Betsy’s husband’s uncle) and Robert Morris asked anyone who was able to sew, to design a flag for the U.S. Continental Army. 

That included haberdashers (dealers in men’s clothing and sewing articles), tailors (clothes makers), mantuamakers (women’s dressmakers), seamstresses (women who sewed clothing or household items), and upholsterers. (people who designed and sewed furniture with coverings, stuffing, and springs, bed ticking and draperies)  

So anyone who sewed could have designed the flag we know today as having thirteen stars in a circle and the thirteen red and white stripes, which both represented our colonies. 
It wasn’t until 1870, almost 100 years after the Revolutionary War and 34 years after her death that Betsy Ross’ grandson, William J. Canby, presented a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, claiming it was she who made the first flag. But he had only old family stories and no real proof. Even Betsy Ross never claimed to have made the flag, only the five-pointed star.

My interpretation of our country’s first flag is intertwined in Perdy Roger’s story---

Accused of being a Loyalist spy, she hunkers down in the upholstery shop and makes a lap quilt for her little sister, who falls ill after Perdy sneaks her out of the house on a damp night to help friends carry out an elopement for an older girl. 

But the next day the girl, a milliner’s apprentice, is found drowned with coded spy letters in her bodice, gold coins sewn into her hems, and a hand-written journal implicating an unnamed sewing apprentice in Philadelphia as her accomplice. Suspicious eyes turn to Perdy. 

But Perdy is no spy!

Today, our flag still has thirteen red and white stripes that represent the original colonies, but the stars, which represent our states, now number fifty.

TWICE BETRAYED is available on Amazon both as an e-book, a hard cover, or a paperback. http://amzn.to/2A5KN7K

Below, children can make their own American flag in honor of Veteran’s Day, or replicate the first American flag. All you need for either is a photo of the flag and…

Paper Flag – 1 piece 24” x 36” red construction paper. 
        -1 piece 24” x 36” white construction paper cut into 13/4” strips
-1 piece 9” x 12” blue construction paper
-1 package of gold foil sticky stars
Put flag together based on photo of the Colonial Flag

Ribbon Flag – 1 piece 9” x 12” blue felt
-1 embroidered stick’em stars
- 13 36” strips of red and white, lace, ribbons, fabric
-1 spring-loaded curtain rod

Doing something to celebrate Veterans Day with children is a great way to honor those who have kept our country safe. And reading TWICE BETRAYED together, might be a way to spur an interest in our American history. 

Gayle C. Krause writes Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels. She’s an active member of SCBWI, KIDLIT INK, and a past member of 12 x 12, the Historical Novel Society and The Poets’ Garage. She serves on the Rhyming Revolution’s Best in Rhyme Committee, selecting the best national rhyming picture book for 2015-2017. She was assistant poetry editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy magazine for children. Her work has been nominated for the Boston Globe /Horn Book and The International Reading Association Award. A Master educator, she’s taught Children’s Literature at the secondary and post-secondary levels and offers critiques for children’s writers through First Peek Critique, found on her website: http://www.gayleckrause.com.
Twitter - @GeeCeeK

LitPick Book Review
By LitPick Student Book Reviews on May 13, 2017

Twice Betrayed is a wonderful, emotional, thrilling book full of romance, mystery, and excellent historical integrations.

Prudence Charlotte Rodgers, or Perdy, is a thirteen-year-old girl who is apprenticed to Miss Betty Ross at a sewing shop. Because of this annoying job, Perdy unfortunately almost never finds any time to hang out with her friends. So when Lizzie and Jane Ann come by asking if Perdy would like to help them with something, Perdy readily agrees to join in. However, when an innocent little escapade one night turns ugly the next day, Perdy’s life is turned upside down.
Now Perdy is being accused of aiding a British spy! She is isolated from her friends and is even called to court because of misleading evidence found in her bedroom. Betrayed by one friend, aided by another, and then betrayed again, will Perdy be found innocent or guilty? Can she restore her name?

Opinion:This story is brilliant as it easily relates to the reader’s emotional senses and the need for justice. As readers follow Perdy, the main character, through this mystery, they will find themselves being drawn into an effortless tale woven together by both myth and truth. While the readers are attempting to solve the mystery of who is the real traitor along with Perdy, they also learn about the very real threat that spies posed to the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. Twice Betrayed is a marvelous historical-fiction mystery book that any teenager will enjoy! Reviewed by a LitPick student book reviewer Age: 14

Thank you, dear readers, for joining us to honor our Veterans this week and all year round. 

I’ll be back soon to celebrate a Book Birthday and giving thanks with Trinka Hakes Noble!