Hidden Talents

3 Word Challenge: Pink, Dance, Gymnastics
Challenge words selected by Jude (JUDE! I hope you see this - your email was returned!)

I'm not going to lie - this one was tough for me (which you'll see in my imperfect meter). BUT! I really, really wanted to incorporate some fun YouTube videos I found for Jude, who is a 2nd grade teacher! So...here goes (accompanying video links below)!



Though everybody listens
when alligator croons,
bring along a tuba
to really hear his tunes.

And if you’ve never seen
an armadillo dance,
without a doubt it’s time
to give those guys a chance!

I bet you never knew
that SLOTHS adore gymnastics
just like jungle monkeys
they really are fantastic!

When it comes to magic,  
octopus is tough to beat,
but when it comes to balance,
pink flamingo has the feet.

Everyone has talent –
sloth to alligator…
as long as you are you,
there’s really nothing greater.

The world is mystifying,
its beauty unexpected,
but that surprising splendor
keeps us all connected.

About 3 Word Challenges
I encourage every reader to submit three words to me which I will then craft into a poem, short story or story snippet. Please keep the words clean - this is a site about books and writing for kids, after all! Please also keep in mind that since the goal with these pieces is to connect the words in fresh and creative ways (quickly), I won't always meet your expectations completely. With only three words to go on, we might have a very different vision. I hope that you like what I write, but if you don't, feel free to contact me, or give it another go with three different words!

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Super Fun New Read-Alouds

Although every picture book is meant to be read aloud, some books beg to be read aloud - or at least their tiny human counterparts beg to read them aloud, again and again and again. But with these books, you won't mind (well...one of them you might. But that's not because it isn't fun, it's just...tricky!)

Ross Burach

This one made me laugh out loud in the middle of the bookstore. A snort laugh, too. Maybe that's not a selling point for some people, but for me that is a BIG thumbs up. When Giraffe is repeatedly mistaken for a chair by all the jungle animals, he realizes he needs to speak up. But just when he is ready to stand up for himself, a lion decides Giraffe is a chair. How can Giraffe speak up for himself to a LION? 

Emily Jenkins (Author) and Chris Appelhans (Illustrator)

When a greyhound and a groundhog become friends, they become a crazy whirling dervish of a tongue-twister: "A groundhog, a greyhound, a grey little round hound. A greyhound, a groundhog, a found little roundhog." This one is guaranteed to get the littles chuckling...just remember to laugh yourself as you read it!

Tim McCanna (Author) and Richard Smythe (Illustrator)

I'm a fan of both Tim McCanna (BITTY BOT) and Richard Smythe (THE MESSY BOOK), so a McCanna-Smythe combo, of course, grabbed my attention. It did not disappoint. This is the story of a fox seeking shelter from a storm told only through onomatopoeia and (beautiful) illustration: "Drip drop / plip plop / pitter patter / pat." While it will probably be requested to be read multiple times by younger picture book readers because of the fun sounds and rhythm, older kiddos will still take delight with the words that they'll likely memorize to make themselves sound like a storm.

Just look at those book covers! How can they not make you happy?!

Don't forget to nominate your favorite teacher to give them a chance to win a set of Kelly Barnhill's THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON (perfect for 9-14 year olds) or a picture book pack featuring three picture books for kiddos ages 3-8! (THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED)

Happy reading!

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International Book Giving Day (with an AMAZING giveaway!)

February 14 isn't just Valentine's Day... it's International Book Giving Day!

And since there are few things that I love more than books, teachers and giving things away, I'm going to celebrate by giving away books to teachers! But I need YOUR help! 

I need you to NOMINATE a teacher below (yes, it can be yourself, but it could also be a teacher you love) who you think would love to win either:

THREE (3) COPIES of the absolutely BEAUTIFUL 2017 Newbery Medal Winner, 
A PICTURE BOOK PRIZE PACK with a copy of each of: 
THE COOKIE FIASCO by Dan Santat, and 
ONE WORD FROM SOPHIA by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail

I will choose one winner for each of the prizes!

I will contact the nominator to obtain contact information for the nominee once winners are selected.
You can earn additional chances to win if you are a subscriber. If you are already a subscriber, great! Thank you! Just select the option in the Rafflecopter box after you make your nomination. 
If not, go ahead and sign up for an extra entry! 


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The Well Read Guess (guessing ends Feb. 13)

It's game time! New to the game? Don't know the quote? Keep scrolling down for rules and entry info. Ready to play? HERE WE GO! 

Quote #1: 
LOVE IS by Diane Adams and Claire Keane

"It's peaceful sleeping, no more peeping, tucked in tightly, head to toes."
Quote #2: 
MOSTLY MONSTERLY by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon

"...she liked to pick flowers. And pet kittens. And bake. For a monster, Bernadette was just a little too sweet."

New to the Well Read Guess? Start here: 
Each week I post quotes from 2 picture books - a new(er) picture book (from late 2016 to present) and an older/classic picture book.

Be the first to identify a quote (by the following Monday at noon, central time), and earn an entry into the WEEKLY monthly giveaway! Identify both the book and the author for a quote, and you'll get two entries. Identify both for both quotes, get four entries.

What could you win? A copy of the featured new picture book (quote #1's answer)!

Don't know the quote? 
No problem (but don't forget to check Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook for clues)...try one of these other ways to get entered each week!
  • Be the first to identify the book and/or author
  • Share the Well Read Guess post on Facebook or Twitter (be sure to tag me or I won't know!)
  • Sign up to follow me via email (on the sidebar or at the bottom of this post). Subscribers are automatically entered into EVERY contest!
  • Leave me a comment below with the name of your favorite NEW picture book (published on or after September 1, 2016).
AND, from now through March 3, 2017, the Well Read Guess will feature WEEKLY giveaways!

(Well Read Guesses end Monday, February 13 at noon, Central Time, or until all the quotes are identified, whichever happens first)
Rules Governing Sweepstakes

Congratulations to last week's winner: Brittney Boling! 

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