Archive | September, 2013

The Monster Princess

28 Sep



I found this wonderful twist on a princess story at the bookstore yesterday and had to buy it for myself and my little princesses at home.

It’s written by D.J. MacHale, author of books for young adults.  He is most well-known for his Pendragon series.  MacHale is also a writer, director, and producers of several shows including Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?  The Monster Princess is his first children’s picture book.  Alexandra Boiger brings this story to life with her enchanting illustrations.

                                               Deep in a cave

there’s a story,

it seems,

of a sweet little monster

with very big dreams.

She wished she was pretty.

She wished she could dance.

She wished to be special…

and this was

her chance.

(from the inside front flap)

Lala is a gnome who lives under a tree near a castle where three little princess live.  One day she takes a chance and meets the three princesses.  She is invited to a fancy ball just to be teased and embarrassed by the princesses.  But when the princesses run into big trouble, it’s Lala who comes to their rescue.  The princesses learn to appreciate Lala for who she really is, but more importantly Lala learns a valuable lesson about being yourself.

I really love this book.  And I think you will too.   Enjoy!

Updated News:  I gave this book to my wild-haired grand daughter who loves all things princess and monster.  We read it together.  She was fascinated with the story and illustrations.  She was sad when the princesses were mean to the monster and happy when the monster rescued the princesses.  She assured me that she loves ‘grickle nuts’ too.  But I think she was a little young for the moral of the story to be happy with who you are.  She really wanted the monster to become a princess!  Oh well for now, she is only three years old after all.


Gladys at the Cincinnati Zoo

26 Sep

1377263_10151877094755479_1638701262_nThis is a new photo of Gladys playing at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1379407_10151877094870479_1114669144_n Here she is again, playing with her big sister, Mara.

Gladys and the good people at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden who rescued her and found a home for her here in Cincinnati were the inspiration for a story I’m working on. It’s a story of adoption, finding a home, and acceptance.

New Beginnings

25 Sep

Rod Stewart said it, “It’s late September and I really should be back in school.”

It is late September, but I retired last year, so I guess I really shouldn’t be back in school.  So what’s keeping me busy?  Writing!   I’ve got the passion and I’ve got the time, seems like the perfect combination.  But have I got the talent?  That is yet to be proven.

This summer I joined three writing groups here in Cincinnati.  I wrote furiously, shared with critique groups, edited, revised, sent a few manuscripts out into the cold, cruel world, and  gotten some very polite rejection letters.

That’s ok… I’ve also gotten some very good advice and encouragement.

One piece of advice was to start a blog…. check.

So, I’m thinking I should blog about writing, right?  My idea is to make my blog a mini-forum about what I am reading and writing.  I need to research children’s books that are currently being published anyway, so I might as well blog about them as well.  The research should help me get a better handle on the publishing trends, but it might also help you find some really great books that you might want to read for yourself, your children, your grandchildren, or your students.  The other half of my devious plan, is to build up some hype on my own writing as well (evil grin).  I could give you a quick synopsis of what I’m working on, get some feedback from you, and become rich and famous!   I mean enrich the lives of children, right?

Are you with me?


Following a Dream

24 Sep

New Beginnings

From a tiny acorn, a mighty oak is grown.

I myself sprouted just over a half century ago, give or take a few years… okay give a few.  During that time I have entertained many different dreams.  Many have come true.. I have a wonderful husband, three amazing children, and two perfect grandchildren.  I have also been fortunate enough to have a career I loved and the luxury of an early retirement.  I admit, I have been very blessed.

So now phase two of my life… writing for children.  Crafting stories that are cherished by generations, now that’s a dream!  Role models:  A.A.Milne, Roald Dahl, Theodor Geisel, Kevin Henkes, Arnold Lobel, Beatrix Potter, the Brothers Grimm, Aesop, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jan Brett,    L Frank Baum, E.B. White,  Lewis Carroll, Shel Silverstein, and so many more.   Dream big or go home, right?   So I’m going to dream big.

Juliana Lee, Sprout

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