Julie Andrews

Simeon’s Gift — Perfect Picture Book Friday

  Since I interviewed one of the authors of this book, Emma Walton Hamilton, here on my blog on Wednesday, it seemed appropriate to share Simeon’s Gift today. In the interview, Emma mentioned that one of the books she and her mother have collaborated on had its origin in a story they wrote together when Emma was just five years old. That book was Simeon’s Gift.   Title: Simeon’s Gift Authors: Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton Illustrator: Gennady Spirin Publisher: New York: Harper Collins, 2003.

Emma Walton Hamilton — Wednesday Worthy INTERVIEW

EMMA WALTON HAMILTON is a best-selling children’s book author, editor, educator and arts and literacy advocate. She has co-authored over twenty children’s books with her mother, Julie Andrews, six of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list, including The Very Fairy Princess series (#1 NY Times Bestseller), Julie Andrews’ Collection Of Poems, Songs And Lullabies (illustrated by James McMullan); the Dumpy The Dump Truck series; Simeon’s Gift; The Great American Mousical and THANKS TO YOU – Wisdom From Mother And Child (#1 New York Times Bestseller). Emma’s own book for parents and caregivers, Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on Amazon.com in the literacy category and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, silver medals from the Living Now and IPPY Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention from ForeWord Magazine’s Best Book of the Year. Emma is a faculty member for Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature Program, where she teaches children’s literature courses and serves as Director of the annual Southampton Children’s Literature Conference. She is also Executive Director of their Young American Writers Project (YAWP), an inter-disciplinary writing program for middle and high school students on Long Island. As the creator and host of the “Children’s Book Hub” membership site, Emma provides resources, information and support for children’s book authors and illustrators world-wide. She is also the creator of “Just Write for Kids!“, an online course in writing picture books.  (Biographical information and photos are from Emma’s website, used with permission. To read the full biography, and to see more of what Emma does, please visit her website. But do come back for the interview!)   Beth: I first got to know Emma through the books she has co-authored with her mother, then through her blog which was a forerunner of her current blog. I participated in the posts and comments on her current blog that helped firm up the content of her Just Write for Kids! course, then took the course itself from September to November of 2010. Emma’s encouragement and enthusiasm about my writing, and her sensitivity and support through the final weeks of my mother’s life, which coincided with my participation in the course, cemented my admiration for and appreciation of Emma. I was a charter member of her Children’s Book Hub, I continue to work with her as my freelance editor on many of my writing projects, Emma and I co-administer the Children’s Book Hub Facebook Group, and I look forward to meeting her in person in July, at the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference mentioned in the bio. I am thrilled that she agreed to do this interview with me. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have! Click the magic words!

Imagination — Springboard into New Worlds

Something that has been lost, I think, in this era of online dictionaries, is the browsing, glancing, serendipitous discovery of a word that takes a person off on a flight of imagination, that sends one into another world, a world of the imagination, of “what if,” of “suppose it was this way.” If an online dictionary had been available to the author of the book I’m highlighting today, she would likely have gone straight to the word she was actually looking for, and wouldn’t have stumbled upon the word that led to the writing of this book — and that would have been a loss to the world of the imagination and to the world of children’s books. Envision yourself picking up your dictionary some evening to look up a word. You turn to the W section, and begin scanning the list of words. Your attention is caught by something quite unusual. You mull it over in your mind. You read the definition, which is more of a non-definition. If you have a vivid imagination, one that’s willing to see things in new and intriguing ways, perhaps you say to yourself, “I wonder…” and those simple words reveal to you an entrancing new land filled with unusual characters and strange beings. That is just what happened when author Julie Andrews Edwards stumbled upon the word whangdoodle.

Very Fairy Princess GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

Cue the Trumpet Fanfare! Random.org, that bastion of impartiality, has generated the numbers 57 and 23 as the winners of my Very Fairy Princess giveaway. Congratulations, 57 and 23! Oh — you want to know who 57 and 23 are? Oh, all right. PENNY KLOSTERMANN is the winner of First Prize, and will be receiving a copy of The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton as well as the Fairy Princess Wand made by Patricia Jensen. NANCY STEWART is the winner of Second Prize, and will receive a copy of The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl. Congratulations to the winners! (Please click on their names to visit their websites.) And as always with a giveaway, I wish I had a prize for everyone! I’ve appreciated all your comments this week so very much (as I always do.) I’ve just waved my own Fairy Princess Wand over the computer, and hope that helps you find your own inner SPARKLE and share it with others today.

X is for … X-fade (and it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!)

How does one fade an X, you ask? X-fade is theatre shorthand for crossfade, a lighting direction to gradually bring up a new lighting scheme to replace the one in use in the scene currently, thus “fading” across from one sort of light to another. Today, we’re crossfading. We’re shifting the spotlight from the previous Very Fairy Princess books to the one that has just been released, The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl. I am delighted to be adding this hot-off-the-presses book to the Perfect Picture Book lineup. And in case you missed my previous links to Emma Walton Hamilton’s blog post about the Very Fairy Princess being about more than glitter and pink, you may read it here. And now for a look at this brand new book!

W is for … Wand

As In the Spotlight week continues, we turn our attention to the outward accoutrements of a Fairy Princess. (Fairy Princesses are very particular about their royal attire.) It is, of course, essential for a Fairy Princess to have a crown, wings and … a WAND! I have a Fairy Princess wand. So has Geraldine. It helps us remember to let our SPARKLE out. Mine was made by a talented woman in Minnesota, Patricia Jensen. You could have one of Patricia’s wands, too, since Patricia created the wand that I’m giving away as part of the Fairy Princess Grand Prize this week. I’m delighted to be interviewing Patricia on my blog today, so that you can get to know a bit about this very creative woman.

V is for … Very Fairy Princess: Spotlight Worthy!

Yes, my Wednesday Worthy for In the Spotlight Week is none other than Geraldine, the Very Fairy Princess herself! (She assures me that fairy princesses are very comfortable in the spotlight.) Through the generosity of Emma Walton Hamilton and her co-author, as well as their publisher, Little, Brown & Co., Geraldine has graciously agreed to a brief interview. Thank you, all! (Thanks especially to Emma — you’re a gem who sparkles brightly every day!) If you missed my link to Emma’s excellent post about there being more to princesses than meets the eye, check it out — “Embracing My Inner Princess.” Also, take a look at the incredible list of real-life princesses and all the good they do in the world at The Very Fairy Princess website. But do come back here for the interview with Geraldine!

U is for … Underscore

I don’t mean taking a ruler and drawing a line under your words to emphasize them. That’s a different sort of underscore altogether. The underscore I’m talking about is a film term — the music that runs through a movie, enhancing and emphasizing the action and emotions of the film. Sometimes, one is hardly aware of the underscore. Sometimes one is more aware than one should be, if the music is too loud, or does not suit the action. Scoring a film is not an easy thing to do. One of the most masterful examples of underscore in my experience is the score for the film Victor/Victoria (and indeed, Henry Mancini won an Oscar for this score). Listen to that music. I’m not talking about the songs sung by the performers, I’m talking about the underscore. One example — the “Cat and Mouse” music that so aptly reflects the action as King Marchand and his bodyguard sneak in to Toddy and Victoria’s hotel room, then try to make their way out again without being discovered. Watch the movie again. Listen to the underscore. You’ll hear what I mean. There are underscores in writing, too.

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