A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

G is for Glitz, Glitter, and Giraffes

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 8, 2016

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074


A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “G is for Glitz, Glitter, and Giraffes” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

G is for Glitz, Glitter, and Giraffes

Sometimes, I hear the expression “glitz and glitter.”  When I researched the expression, I found “glitz and glamour.”  Whichever is your preference, I suppose.  Are you a glitz and glitter/glamour person or not?  This reminds me of the old television program “Green Acres.”  If you’ve watched it before or never have, I hope you enjoy the theme song here:


G is for Glitz–


I found it interesting that the definition of “glitz” included “glitter.”

G is for Glitter–

When I worked as a school counselor in elementary schools, I sometimes dabbed a little Fairy Magic on students who needed a smile.  It worked.

Fairy Dust that shone like glitter. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Fairy Dust that shone like glitter. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

See Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem about a jar of glitter for when you’re feeling down. She created a few run-on words you’ll like too.


G is for Giraffes–

Visit Picture Book Builders Blog and register to win a copy of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach


Here’s a trailer for the book:


What “G” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Careers, Character Traits, creative play, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Celebrating World Origami Days with Deanna Klingel. Bookmark Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 20, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  Picture

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Created by Deanna K. Klingel, author.

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Created by Deanna K. Klingel, author.

“Celebrating World Origami Days With Deanna Klingel.  Bookmark giveaway.” by Linda Martin Andersen

Meet Deanna Klingel, author of these books and more under contract.  Recently, I commented on Deanna Klingel’s Facebook page.  Here’s a photo of a lovely Origami bookmark she sent me as a gift.  Would you like to have a chance to win one too?But first let’s see what the creator of this lovely bookmark and numerous books is up to.

Picture Avery's Crossroad PicturePicturePicture  Picture   Picture  PicturePicture

World Origami Week is Oct. 24–Nov. 11, 2015.  To celebrate, I invited Deanna Klingel to appear as a special guest author here at “A Writer’s Playground.” Thank you for accepting my invitation Deanna.

Years ago, I met Deanna at a writers’ conference and shortly after that, she published her first book. I didn’t have anything to do with that achievement, but I am certainly proud of her.

Deanna, please answer these questions for children and adults who would like to know more about you and your writing:

1.How long have you been writing? What age do you write for? I’ve really been writing all my life, but writing for publication only since my children grew up. I concentrate mostly on middle grade-YA, but I also have picture books for Pre K, and novels for high school.

2.What topics have you have written about for children? Please list each book and its main topic. Why did you choose these topics? Who publishes your books? How did you find these publishers? I have several different publishers because I write in many different genres. Some publishers don’t do picture books, others don’t publish non-fiction, some don’t want YA. One must really define and refine before finding the right publisher. Finding them is a combination of research, timing and luck.

The first book published was Just for the Moment, The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. This is a non-fiction collection of moments when my two therapy dogs made a difference in other people’s lives with their work as therapy dogs. I didn’t write it for children, but school librarians tell me the kids love it. I wrote it to educate about the therapy dog mission and to share my dogs. I self-published this book with Dog Ear Publishing in Indianapolis, because my dogs were elderly goldens. I wanted the book published while they were still alive. It was their book. Traditional publishing is a lengthy process. My dogs didn’t have that much time.

The next two, Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad are middle grade historical fiction, both are Stars & Flags National Book Award winners. Set in Virginia in 1861-1865, it’s the story of Avery Junior Bennett and his hound dog Gunner. My character, Avery, nudged me into this story which was published by BJU Press/Journey Forth. I’d about given up when their acquisitions editor talked with me at a conference and asked if she might see the manuscript.

Bread Upon the Water is nonfiction YA, the true story of a boy from South Vietnam who escapes as a boat person in order to follow his calling to the priesthood. Father Tien is a friend whose amazing story is an inspiration and needs to be read. It’s published by Rafka Press in Phoenix, which specializes in Catholic themes, a perfect home for this book.

Cracks in the Ice is YA fiction, a novel of a girl with a dream of Olympic gold in figure skating. This book was a Selah Award finalist. I wrote it after reading a YA “best seller” that glorified alcoholism as fun, cool and not dangerous, and never calling it by name. I wanted to tell young people the truth. Write Integrity in Georgia agreed and they published it.

Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithuanian Love Story, is biography about two people with a fascinating life, now in their 80s. The title refers to being caught between a Russian invasion and a German betrayal, and the love of country. It’s important history that’s being repeated today in Ukraine. Shari Parker Publishing, Texas, who I’d met at a conference, published it.

Amanda and the Lazy Garden Fairy, for primary readers, is a humorous picture book that deals with responsibility, written for the developing sense of humor. I wrote it for fun. This one is published by Progressive Phoenix Rising Press in Texas. I heard the CEO speak at a conference and took a chance. I was so happy with their product, I next submitted The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, which they’ve also published.

Jim Limber is historical fiction. Actually, the first third of the book is nonfiction, biography based on the personal writings of Varina Davis. The middle third is historical fiction, the final third is Choose-Your-Own-Ending. It’s for YA readers. It’s a lot of fun, and adults are liking it, too. When I first heard the story of Jim Limber from a reenactor who embodies Varina Davis, I was fascinated. I started researching and discovered how much there was to this story. I headed for the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA, where I did the actual research.

The Little Beth Series is a Pre K-first grade picture book series of backyard nature. The intent is to get the kids outdoors and looking. The first is Beth’s Birds, and the second, soon to be released, is Beth’s Backyard Friends. This series was originally published by Peak City in Apex, NC, but recently they closed their business. Progressive Rising Phoenix rescued Little Beth and are publishing the entire series.

Later this year Walker Hound of Park Avenue, a chapter book about an incident in our animal shelter, will join the family at Progressive Rising Phoenix.

3.  What is your upcoming book Blue-eyed Doll about? When will it be available for purchase? Blue-Eyed Doll is releasing probably after the first of the year, from 4RV Publishing in Edmonton, Oklahoma. I don’t have a date yet, but the launch party is May 5. This is YA/ historical fiction about an actual event here in the United States in 1927. Nearly 13,000 dolls, collected by boys and girls across the country were shipped with passports and visas to the children in Japan as a world peace initiative. My story is about a little girl who wants to participate in this class project and send a friendship doll. She has to circumvent her bigoted father. The story tells how that project affected her world vision for the rest of her life. Her doll, Isabella, has her own story that catches up to Ruth Mary in the end. The story spans 1927-1947.

4.  I recently received an Origami bookmark that you made by hand. It is beautiful and I love mine. Why are you making these special bookmarks? I’m glad you liked it. I made 200 to promote the book Blue-Eyed Doll. (There’s a little blurb on the back, in case you missed that.) After the Friendship Dolls arrived, Japan reciprocated by sending beautifully crafted dolls to the U.S. known as the Ambassador Dolls. My little bookmarks represent the Ambassador Dolls.

5.  What are some places you plan to visit to tell about your doll book? Will you visit Japan? How do you decide where you will visit? I’m not going to Japan, but I do have some exciting places scheduled. I have a Power Point Presentation and costumes ready to go. There are several Ambassador Dolls in museums in the U.S. I contacted them all as soon as the book was under contract. Several of them are interested in having the program and putting their doll on display. The launch on May 5 is at a doll museum in my own state of North Carolina, in Spencer. Then I’m going to South Dakota and Montana, Maine, and other states that haven’t yet settled on a date. My program is for museum audiences as well as libraries and schools. It’s going to be great fun.

6.  Do you travel alone to school visits and other places where you are invited to speak? I usually do travel alone. I love to drive. I’ve gone to Texas, and Mississippi, as well as all the southeast. Occasionally my husband goes if it seems interesting, such as the 150th at Appomattox, or if it’s within a day to a family member. He’s going out west with me, we’re making that a vacation. I had a friend who used to enjoy going to the Civil War reenactments with me, but she’s moved to Oregon. I hope I can get out there.

7.  What is the largest audience you have ever spoken to? The smallest? Probably the largest was a middle school in Albemarle, North Carolina. The entire school was in the gym at the same time! The smallest was probably a precious little museum in Exmore on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I think there were about seven or eight. Some museums have auditoriums, so those are usually pretty big groups. Appomattox should have been huge, but the weather and logistics were a disaster, so it turned out small.

8.  Do you find your own illustrators for your books or does the editor do that? My picture books are illustrated by Steve Daniels, a professional, who happens to be a friend as well, and he’s known to PRPP. Walker Hound’s illustrators came through PRPP.

9.  Who are Lily and Jessie? What makes them special? Do they ever attend school visits or other programs? Lily and Jessie were my two golden therapy dogs about whom Just for the Moment was written. They both had long and happy lives, I miss them still. You can read about all their beautiful visits and what makes them special in their book.

10. Promoting your books Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad takes you to reenactments and other historical sites. What is an experience you’ll never forget from one of these trips? I’ve had fun selling my books at reenactments. I’ve been to little towns I would never have known about and met the most wonderful, interesting Americans. I’ve a treasure chest of memories. I record them in my mini blog, Selling Books on Mondays and Thursdays. I share what I learn about travel, writing and marketing while on the road selling my books, like a little travelogue. One of my favorites is the story of the Bucket Truck Man, a true American, in Iuca, MS. Another time in KY, a little girl was so excited about her Halloween costume she jumped up and down telling me about it. She was going as Claire, the Civil War hospital nurse in my Avery and Gunner books. That really touched me.

11. What would you like to share that you haven’t been asked? Please do! My favorite blog is yours Linda. It reminds me of all the fun I had raising my kids, learning with them, helping school projects, and leading Scout troops and events. I relive the fun, creative parts of my life when I read your blog. Thanks so much for inviting me in.

Deanna, what a pleasure to have you visit and share more about yourself.  I also appreciate your compliment about my blog.  Thanks also for agreeing to donate one of your lovely bookmarks to celebrate the 2016 release of Blue-eyed Doll.  

Readers, to learn more about Deanna K. Klingel, please visit her here:  http://www.booksbydeanna.com/books.html

(Purchasing information is available here)

Writers, Deanna posts about selling books here on Mondays and Thursdays.  Good marketing tips and tips on school visits and other presentations.  See here:  http://www.booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books.html

If you’d like your name entered in a drawing for a handmade Origami bookmark, please comment below.  A random winner will be selected on October 31, 2015 at 7 p.m. EST.

Readers, I look forward to your comments.  Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Careers, crafts, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

It’s May! A Writer’s Playground is Celebrating 3 Years

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 10, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“It’s May!  A Writer’s Playground is Celebrating 3 Years” by Linda Martin Andersen

Just for fun, I’m hosting a virtual blog birthday party for the remainder of May 2015.   If you are a writer (13+years) and you’d like to attend, please do.

No RSVPs necessary.  Instead…

  1.  In the comment section below, please describe your selected virtual mode of transportation and tell how it relates to your writing.  For example:  My name is Linda Martin Andersen and my current picture book manuscript includes some wild animals (stuffed); therefore, I will arrive at  the party on elephant’s back. 
  2. If you have published books, please provide a link to your website or book list in the comment section.  Other guests can visit your sites and select topics for socializing with you.
  3. Check back here throughout the month of May and comment with others who are attending the party.  For example:  I am guessing that Laura Purdie Salas might arrive at the party on a floating leaf.  Why?  Because one of her picture books is called, A Leaf Can.  If she chooses some other mode of transportation, I could chat with her about that. No need to feel like a wallflower at this party.  Too much to talk about.

Earlier this month, I interviewed Laura Purdie Salas.  See here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/an-interview-with-laura-purdie-salas-short-and-sweet-giveaway-too/

 I hope you’ll visit, if you missed it earlier.  The book giveaway is still available!  Check out the sample listing of Laura Purdie Salas’ book titles below.  I purchased one of them.  Which one? 

     4.  Choose one book title from this list.  Name your choice in the comment section here or on the earlier interview with Laura Purdie Salas.  Good luck. 

Titles which have been guessed are crossed off the list.   I am opening the contest to anyone interested, even if you’ve already guessed a title.  The first person to name the book, wins it.  Entry is due by May 31, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. (EST)   If no one has named the correct title by the deadline, I will conduct a random drawing for a winner.

Title #1:  Colors of Weather (Colors All Around)

Title #2:  A Leaf Can Be . . . 

Title #3:  Water Can Be . . .

Title #4:  A Rock Can Be…

Title #5:  BookSpeak!: Poems About Books

Title #6:  Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School

Title #7:  A Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems about Pets (Poetry)   

Title #8:  Whose Coat Is This?: A Look at How Workers Cover Up – Jackets, Smocks, and Robes (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)  

Title #9:  Whose Shoes Are These?: A Look at Workers’ Footwear – Slippers, Sneakers, and Boots (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)

Title #10:  Whose Gloves Are These?: A Look at Gloves Workers Wear – Leather, Cloth, and Rubber (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)    

Title #11:  Fairy Tale Garage Sale: Poems of After Ever After (30 Painless Classroom Poems) (Volume 3)     

Title #12:  C Is for Cake!: A Birthday Alphabet (Alphabet Fun) (A+ Books: Alphabet Fun)  

Title #13:  Always Got My Feet: Poems about Transportation (Poetry) 

Title #14:  Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather (Poetry)

Title #15:  Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems about the United States (Poetry)

Title #16:  Why-Ku:  Poems of Wonder About the World (30 painless Classroom Poems)

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Thanks for celebrating with me!  Remember to leave requested information in the comment section ( See numbered sections:  1-4). I hope you enjoy the party as much as I know I will!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Games, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Social Studies, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , | 19 Comments »

An Interview With Laura Purdie Salas–Short and Sweet. Giveaway too.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 2, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “An Interview With Laura Purdie Salas–Short and Sweet.  Giveaway too.” by Linda Martin Andersen

Every day in April, Laura Purdie Salas offered a tip for sharing poetry.  If you missed this collection, April posts are still available here:  http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/

Laura is a poet with over 100 published books.  I am excited that she agreed to an interview.  To see a sampling of Laura’s books, check here:


Short and Sweet Interview with…

Laura Purdie Salas, poet and author 

I asked Laura questions based on the book titles below.  Her responses appear in green. 

Welcome, Laura! I know you’re a poet and author.  I’d write an introduction in rhyme, if it were my strength.  Perhaps, I should at least open with some rhymes:  here, cheer, dear, fear, near…enough of that.  Take it away, Laura Purdie Salas!  We’re so happy to have you here.

Title #1:  Colors of Weather (Colors All Around)

Name an example of a color of weather.

Green sky when storms are brewing

Title #2:  A Leaf Can Be . . . 

a love note from a tree.

Title #3:  Water Can Be . . .

a shape-shifting wave.

Title #4:  A Rock Can Be…

a story-teller.

Title #5:  BookSpeak!: Poems About Books

Name an example of how a book speaks.

Mine say, “Forget the dishwasher…come finish me!”

Title #6:  Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School

Name one example of a “wild side of school.”

As a former 8th-grade teacher, I have too many examples swimming around my head!

Title #7:  A Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems about Pets (Poetry)  

What is an example of a “fuzzy-fast blur?”

A hamster on the loose!

Title #8:  Whose Coat Is This?: A Look at How Workers Cover Up – Jackets, Smocks, and Robes (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)  

Name a community worker and his cover up.

Firefighter’s turnout gear

Title #9:  Whose Shoes Are These?: A Look at Workers’ Footwear – Slippers, Sneakers, and Boots (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)

Name a community worker and his footwear.

Librarian’s comfy shoes!

Title #10:  Whose Gloves Are These?: A Look at Gloves Workers Wear – Leather, Cloth, and Rubber (Whose Is It?: Community Workers)    

Name a community worker and the type gloves he wears.

Raptor rescuer’s leather gauntlets

Title #11:  Fairy Tale Garage Sale: Poems of After Ever After (30 Painless Classroom Poems) (Volume 3)  

Name a fairy tale character and something she might sell at a garage sale.   

Rapunzel’s conditioner—after she cuts her hair short!

Title #12:  C Is for Cake!: A Birthday Alphabet (Alphabet Fun) (A+ Books: Alphabet Fun)  

Choose an alphabet letter and its birthday match.

B is for Blushing—when everyone is singing to me

Title #13:  Always Got My Feet: Poems about Transportation (Poetry) 

Name a way to use feet for transportation.

Walk along Lake Superior to transport my mind to a wilder place

Title #14:  Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather (Poetry)

What weather matches “seed sower, hat thrower?”

March wind!

Title #15:  Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems about the United States (Poetry)

What matches “tiny dreams, sprouting tall?”

A poem

Title #16:  Why-Ku:  Poems of Wonder About the World (30 painless Classroom Poems)

Name a “wonder about the world.”

(Inspired by a listener at a recent reading of A ROCK CAN BE…) I wonder if grouse and chickens ever eat too MANY pebbles, or if instinct tells them when to quit.

To celebrate “A Writer’s Playground’s” 3rd birthday, I’m giving away one of Laura Purdie Salas’ books to the first person who correctly guesses the title.   See the list above.   To personalize your gift, Laura Purdie Salas will provide a signed bookplate for the winner. Entry is due by May 31, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. (EST)  Please, only one entry per household.

Which book do you think I purchased to give away?   Please record your answer in the comment box below.  Include your email address also, if I do not have it.  It will be used for contest contact purposes.   Good luck!

Be on the lookout for a birthday celebration invitation coming soon!

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Children 13 years old or older are invited to  comment.  See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Homeschool Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

Librarians and Teachers, Read This–A Giveaway Resource About Anne Frank

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 21, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Librarians and Teachers, Read This–A Giveaway Resource About Anne Frank” by Linda Martin Andersen

This is a post you must see.  A giveaway for a teaching resource based on The Diary of Anne Frank.  Learn about Susan Moger’s book, Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank: An In-Depth Resource for Learning About the Holocaust Through the Writings of Anne Frank.  I’m sharing Carol Baldwin’s blog here so you won’t miss it.


It is my pleasure to share great resources with you.  Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Posted in History, Homeschool Activities, Social Studies, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Sometimes My Revisions Take So Long That if I Were Cinderella…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 15, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Sometimes My Revisions Take So Long That If I Were Cinderella…” by Linda Martin Andersen

Looking for help with revision skills?   Meg Miller can help.

Have you heard of ReviMo?  Every January, Meg Miller organizes a revision challenge for writers.  She follows up with more posts in February.


For more revision help, check out Jennifer Swanson’s Petite ReviMo February post below.   Want to be entered in a drawing for a free picture book critique? 


Here’s the comment I left at this blog about my revision skills: 

“Sometimes my revisions take so long, that if I were Cinderella, my gown would be too small to wear to the ball.”

How about you? 

What book character can you use in an analogy to describe your revision process?

What is an analogy? http://examples.yourdictionary.com/analogy-examples-for-kids.html


What is your favorite part of revision?

Please leave a comment.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

No, to Underwear as a Gift. Yes, to Books About Underwear. Giveaway.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 7, 2014

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“No, to Underwear as a Gift.  Yes, to Books About Underwear.  Giveaway.” by Linda Martin Andersen.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: 7

You may ask, “What does National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day have to do with underwear?”  Nothing, usually.  Unless you were a student at East Carolina University like I was and Dr. Farmer was your U.S. History professor.  On Pearl Harbor Day, Dr. Farmer told his personal story of the battle.  He concluded by saying that he should write a book about his adventures and call it A Day at Pearl Harbor or The Day I Was Caught Unaware in My Underwear.  I have never forgotten that–lots of history dates, but not that.  Thank you, Dr. Farmer for allowing your sense of humor to shine through even on the toughest of days.

Children’s writers know that kids gravitate toward books that mention gross stuff, underwear, and potty humor.  What kid, who can read, doesn’t know Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey?


In November of this year, I participated in PiBoIdMo on Tara Lazar’s blog.  I collected over 30 picture book ideas and I’m proudly displaying my badge.


Guest bloggers continued to share tips for picture book writers into December.  I’d like to spotlight Laura Gehl, the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  Read Laura’s blog post here:    http://taralazar.com/2014/12/05/post-piboidmo-day-5-laura-gehl/  For more about Laura Gehl, check out her website and FB Author page:

www.lauragehl.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl.



In the spirit of memories about underwear, I am giving away a copy of  One Big Pair of Underwear.  This picture book has received  great reviews.  To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment below and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  Contest ends on December 12, 2014 and the winning name will be announced shortly afterwards.

Please leave a comment and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  I can’t wait to hear your memories about underwear.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Calendar Events, Character Traits, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Lucky Winner Announced–Jennifer Larson’s Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 16, 2014

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Lucky Winner Announced–Jennifer Larson’s Giveaway” by Linda Martin Andersen

Today, I announce the winner of the book giveaway.  But first, I’d like to share a recent observation that included shoes.   Last week near lunch time, my husband and I were riding down a busy highway and stopped for a traffic light.  A truck that serves prepared food was parked at an auto parts store on the corner.  People were standing near the window of the food truck, which was opposite our view.  All we could see was the truck and shoes underneath.  It was a humorous sight and reminded me of Jennifer Larson’s book called Lost Soles.  When did you pay attention to shoes this past week?  Comment about it below.

Thanks to all who visited “Have You Ever Found a Lost Shoe?  Book Giveaway!” and left a comment.  Those names were placed in a drawing for a free copy of Lost Soles by Jennifer Larson.  The names on cards, plus a plastic lucky frog foot, were shaken and my husband drew the winning name.

And the winner is Susan Williams.  Congratulations Susan.  Let’s give her a shoe-tongue flapping, double-knot tieing “Writer’s Playground” round of applause.  Susan Williams, would you please email me and provide your mailing address?  I will forward the information to  Jennifer who will send you a copy of Lost Soles.  Enjoy!

Jennifer, thanks for being a guest blogger here and for providing a giveaway.  It was great to have you. 

Readers, the next time you see a single lost shoe, think of Jennifer Larson.  Support her book launch by visiting http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Soles-Jennifer-Larson/dp/1492294179/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416138105&sr=8-1&keywords=Lost+Soles+by+Jennifer+Larson

Book copies are available just in time for holiday giving.  To learn more about Jennifer Larson, please visit her website  at www.authorjenniferlarson.com.  She loves receiving photographs of lost soles from everywhere. And to keep up with her latest find, follow her blog at www.authorjenniferlarson.blogspot.com.

Any shoe sightings you’d like to share?  Any lone sole sightings?  Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Imagine That! An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 22, 2014

“Imagine That!An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger” posted by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Did you know that January 25, 2014 is National Seed Swap Day?   When I read this, I thought:  Swap/trade a Seed.  Plant a Seed.  What does the expression to “plant a seed” mean?  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/plant+a+seed defines “plant a seed” as “to do something that will develop more in the future.” 

I immediately thought of an author I know who encourages children to develop their imaginations.  I contacted Janis Silverman, author of  Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities and other book titles and she agreed to be a guest blogger here.  Learn more about Janis Silverman at these links:

Copyright Janis Silverman.  2014

Copyright Janis Silverman. 2014

Here is a link to her Amazon Books page http://www.amazon.com/Janis-L.-Silverman/e/B001K8HEEQ

Here is a link to her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/JanisLSilvermanAuthor

Welcome Janis Silverman!

Thank you for agreeing to share one free activity from Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities on this post.  Is everybody ready?  Janis is…

Think Green!

You may be ready for spring, but it is still January!

You can imagine spring with the following guided imagery story, “Evergreen Spring.”

You will relax and connect with nature, the beauty of spring and be more open to the world around you.

Read “Evergreen Spring” aloud, very slowly, or ask an adult to read it to you.


Evergreen Spring 

Close your eyes and think of spring.

Green is everywhere.

Trees and shrubs bud and leaves appear.

The grass is a blanket of green underfoot.

Vines hang on arbors, sprouting new glossy green leaves and flowers.

Winter is gone, replaced with new plant life of amazing beauty.

You are dazzled with the wonder of spring.

You feel energized and hopeful.

You look forward to months of gorgeous green

Followed by summer fun.

See your connection with nature and life.

You feel alive and excited about each new day.

(Pause; sit a few minutes and picture spring.)

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Remember the beauty and wonder of spring.

You, too, are part of each spring.

Remember all of the images of Evergreen Spring.

Return to these images any time you want

To imagine spring time.


Discussion Questions:

1. How is spring important to you?

2. Try writing an analogy to spring or another season. Ex. Spring: green: Winter: white

3. How does the very beginning of spring make you feel?

4. Would you ever return to Evergreen Spring in winter? Explain.

Optional Activity: Leaf Collage

Materials: You will need two pieces of art paper, real or paper leaves made from colored construction paper, two pieces of lined paper, markers, glue  and a pencil.

Select a green leaf. Either trace the leaf or draw one. Cut it out of paper or cloth. Draw and cut out several more leaves, or use a variety of fresh leaves from outdoors to create a leaf collage. Arrange the leaves and glue them to the colored paper.

Follow-up Writing Activity: Write about how spring makes you feel in your journal, or write three to six words about spring on the collage. Share your collage and ideas with a friend.

To Be Registered to Win a copy of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities, participate in the following activity: 

Living Plant Alliteration Activity: Think about the trees, shrubs and flowers that will soon bloom in your yard. Choose one of these plants. Write an alliteration sentence about this living plant. (Alliteration repeats the beginning sound of the plant).

Example: Red roses rise up the arbor.  or

Lily loves luscious light.   or

Maple makes miles of marvelous leaves.

 If you’d prefer, you may write a short poem about a living plant.

GIVEAWAY: Submit your alliteration sentence or short poem in the comment section of this blog.

If there are several submissions, Janis will draw a name for the winner on January 30, 2014. The winner of Imagine That! : Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis L. Silverman will be announced by February 1, 2014.  

You can find more of Janis Silverman’s books at her website   http://www.janislsilverman.com  and Amazon Books.  Here’s a title many parents, teachers, and counselors recommend:  

 Help Me Say Goodbye:  Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies.  

A final message from Janis:  I hope you enjoyed “Evergreen Spring” and the activities. Think Green! Spring will be here soon!

Janis L. Silverman, author

Thanks again, Janis.

As always, I thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please stop by again soon and bring a friend.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Mother Goose Characters Are On the Loose

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 23, 2013

“Mother Goose Characters Are On the Loose” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

“Mother Goose Day” is November 24. 

Pretend with me…Mother Goose characters are on the loose.   They may need some help.  Listen carefully to each description.  Can you identify who’s on the loose? 

1.  This little girl has lost her sheep. 

2.  This little boy watches sheep.

3.  This little girl ran away after getting cinders on her clothes.  *Hint:  her name rhymes with cinders.

4.  This character frightened mice under chairs when he visited the Queen.

5.  This boy kissed girls and made them cry and then he ran away. 

6.  This boy ran around town in his nightgown.

7.  This boy met a pieman and wanted to taste his wares.

8.  These characters ran away from the farmer’s wife who was carrying a carving knife. 

9.  This character slept in his breeches with one stocking off and one stocking on.

10.  A spider frightened this little girl.

Check your answers below which are arranged in reverse order to discourage peeking:

10.Little Miss Muffet   9.John from Diddle Diddle Dumpling   8.Three Bling Mice   7.Simple Simon   6.Wee Willie Winkie    5.Georgy Porgy    4.Pussy-Cat    3.Little Polly Flinders    2.Little Boy Blue    1.Little Bo Peep

Add a description of another Mother Goose character on the loose to the comment section below and be registered to win a copy of The All-Time Greatest Sing-Along Songs:  26 Songs Your Kids Will Love!  The drawing will be held December 1, 2013.  Please provide your email address with your entry. 

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Have you entered the “The Mother Goose drawing?”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Please note:   Children 14 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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