A Valen-tiny Writing Contest

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Susanna Hill is sponsoring a children’s story contest on her blog.  I love a good Valentine story, so I decided to participate.  Here is my entry, which, by the way, is only 214 words.  Part of the rules and part of the fun!  Although perhaps keeping the word count made me a little grumpy, which is another part of the rules.  One of the characters in the story must be grumpy.  Enjoy!

Really Red

Natalie had red hair. Really red, like raspberry jam. She could fold paper into all kinds of neat shapes. But she couldn’t get Alex, a boy in her class who whistled and had front teeth like a rabbit, to leave her alone. He pulled her hair. He called her names. “Hey Really Red!”

Then one day in February, their teacher announced that the class would be making paper cards for Valentine’s Day. “Don’t forget to make one for everyone,” said Miss Bloom.

At home that evening, Natalie slammed her backpack on the floor. Why did she have to make a valentine for icky Alex? She decided to fold a rabbit with two really big front teeth.

On Valentine’s Day, Alex handed her a valentine that said, “Really Red, you’re really sweet.” How could she give him the rabbit now? She hurried back to her desk, but he followed. “You didn’t give me a valentine.”

“I forgot.”

Alex began to whistle. “It’s ok.”

Natalie got an idea. She began to fold a piece of paper.

“It’s a little birdie,” said Alex, smiling.

“Whistling,” said Natalie, “just like you.”

“Thanks, Really Red! Hey, do you think you could teach me how to fold like that?”

“Sure, but only if you promise to call me Natalie.”

“Deal.”

 

 

© 2016 Angie Kidd all rights reserved

 

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#MMPoetry 2014: Join the Madness!

Welcome to “March Madness” poetry-style hosted by  Ed DeCaria of Think, Kid, Think!  This event brings poetry to kids in a creative way.

According to the website, MMPoetry is “A mini-version of The Hunger Games – poets duking it out, rising to victory or falling in defeat, until one bruised and battered poet emerges victorious! Ouch!”

I’m honored to be one of the 64 poets from around the world chosen to participate in this event.  I’ll be in good company.  Famed children’s authors Shutta Crum of Ann Arbor and Jane Yolen (known as the Hans Christian Andersen of America) will also participate.  Actually, I should say I’m a little bit intimidated 😉  Although the word I chose to describe my feelings going into this is “aflutter.”

I would say the highlight is that 126 new children’s poems will be completed in only 21 days.  Wow!  And now classrooms around the country will help in the voting process for a chance to win 50 new children’s poetry books for their classroom.  How cool is that?

Here’s how it works.  Two poets face off against each other, each given a word of varying difficulty to include in a newly created children’s poem.  Adding to the madness, each poet only gets 36 hours to create each new poem.

Want to join the madness?  Follow the event on twitter or go directly to the website and participate in the public vote.

Sneeze!

Acrylic

The theme for this year’s Tomie dePaola children’s illustration competition couldn’t be more fitting with the current weather we’re having in the Midwest.  We had to illustrate a poem titled “Sneeze” in full color for babies and toddlers.  As you can see, I got a wacky idea in my head (or should I say nose) for this one.  I chose bold, basic colors and a simple image for this age group.  Children can count the train cars and learn their colors while identifying the familiar train image.  Kids love trains!  It’s reminiscent of Donald Crews’s Freight Train, but with a twist 😉  Older siblings will appreciate the oddity of the situation.

Click here to check out other amazing entries.  Apparently, great minds think alike.  See if you can find another image with a similar concept as mine.

Stay warm!

Cabbagehead Knight

Cabbagehead Knight

Here is my entry for the annual Tomie dePaola Art Award.  We had to choose one of three classic books and create an illustration in black and white only.  I chose Little Women, which I had just finished reading a year prior.  I wanted my image to stand out, so I actually chose to illustrate a story within a story.  What would a knight look like with a cabbage for a head?  Would he feel it or not?  The idea of the brave knight with a cabbagehead is a juxtaposition in and of itself.  This piece represents innovation, transformation, and humility.

Then, to top it off, I drew the final picture using chopsticks and calligraphy ink.  Talk about pressure to get it right!  I had already done several studies of both knights and cabbages in pencil, but they seemed to lack something.  Or perhaps they were simply too careful.  With chopsticks and ink you have to let everything go.  You have to let the art move through you.  It is a way to laugh at yourself and the idea of perfection.  Just like this cabbagehead.  Enjoy!

Check out some of the other fantastic entries.

The forum allows artists to comment on each other’s work.  Here is what some talented entrants said about mine:

“so good.. reminds me of this book I just came across.”
http://childrensbookalmanac.com/wp-content/uploads/Mr-Gumpy-image.jpg

-Brian Won  http://www.brianwon.net/

“So fun! Love his expression, Angela..and chopsticks? Wow! : )”

-Shirley Ng-Benitez  http://www.shirleyngbenitez.com/