Archive for the ‘Fox and Crow Are Not Friends’ Category

The 12 Days of Christmas (Bookstore Style)

December 9, 2013 @ 9:03 am | Filed under: Author stuff, Books, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends

Look for a cameo from two (not) best friends!

(Direct link to YouTube if the video doesn’t display on your screen.)

News that Made My Day

August 31, 2013 @ 7:29 pm | Filed under: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, Links, Special Needs Children

My friend Holly, parent of a legally blind child and president of Parents of Blind Children-NJ, alerted me to this very cool piece of news today: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends was the August selection for the Free Braille Books program sponsored by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults.

In 1997 the AAF started this program to provide blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series. The books are for the children to keep and collect for as long as they want them. The titles published every month are the same titles that are available in bookstores and public libraries everywhere. In the past ten years over one hundred seventy titles from popular children’s reading series were distributed to thousands of blind children.

You may remember Holly and her son Hank from my GeekMom piece on their fight for Hank to receive Braille instruction in school.

What I found at Wondercon

April 3, 2013 @ 5:15 pm | Filed under: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends

It’s been quiet on the blog this week because Scott and I snuck away to Anaheim for Wondercon on Saturday, and then my parents and niece were visiting from Colorado. Good times were had by all, as usual.

Because we were only at the con for a day, I didn’t hit a slew of panels as is my usual con practice, and I spent far less time combing the hall for intriguing new finds than I usually do. But I did spy one item that made my heart go pitty-pat.

The work of artist David DePasquale caught my eye from several booths away—a gorgeous Peter and the Wolf print prominently displayed behind his table—and I drifted over for a closer look. I loved his work, loved it, began poring over the many prints he was offering for sale, deciding that if the price was reasonable, I’d bring one home for our walls. Possibly the aforementioned Peter and the Wolf, or one of several other delightful pieces that caught my eye.

And then—well, you’ll understand my gasp of delight. I didn’t just find a print, I found my print.

foxcrowblue“Fox and Crow” by David DePasquale

He was amused by my excited reaction. I showed him the cover of my book. Lovely conversation. This is why I go to cons.

Can’t wait to hang this print on my wall.

 

Morning Quick Links

November 1, 2012 @ 6:30 am | Filed under: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, Kindle, Links, Thicklebit

Lois Lowry’s The Willoughbys is $1.99 on Kindle today.

New Thicklebit!

And a very nice review of Fox and Crow Are Not Friends at Jean Little Library:

…a fun new easy reader with a great text and illustrations. I hope these two will collaborate on more stories. I strongly recommend purchasing the library bound edition, as this is one that will be read again and again!

Monday Morning Links

October 15, 2012 @ 9:27 am | Filed under: Books, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, Links, The Prairie Thief


Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to Little Nemo in Slumberland—one of their best Doodles ever, a tribute to Winsor McKay. Don’t miss it! And be sure to click the tabs. GeekMom has a nice post up with some background.

New Thicklebit! Me love that boy.

I worked alllllll weekend on the book recommendations master list, but I still have a long way to go. Happy with its progress, though!

Last day to nominate books and book apps for the CYBILs! The Book Apps team would especially appreciate your help—lots of great apps still waiting to be nominated.

Semicolon reviews The Prairie Thief: “a delightful little tale.”

I also like the fact that this story for young readers doesn’t shy away from those wonderful, challenging vocabulary words that my young readers at any rate relished and gloried in. Ms. Wiley uses words like “obfuscating” and “predilection” and “amenities” and “laconically” just as handily and appropriately as she does the shorter, also vivid words like “pate” and “mite” and “frock”, all of which might enrich a child’s vocabulary as well as delight her mind.

(Amy at Hope Is the Word liked that part too.)

Fox and Crow Are Not Friends is reviewed in this month’s School Library Journal:

Children eager to move beyond easy readers and older students requiring simple text in a chapter-book format will find this title a good choice. As in many familiar folktale themes, Fox and Crow are trying to outwit each other….“That will teach you not to steal my cheese,” says Mama Bear, whose presence in the earlier chapters will be noted by astute observers of Braun’s lively, colorful cartoon-style illustrations. With its crisp writing and short sentences, this is a solid addition.

It also gets a mention in this SLJ piece: “Fresh and Fun Books for Emergent Readers“:

Melissa Wiley retells and expands upon an Aesop’s fable in Fox and Crow Are NOT Friends (Random House, 2012; Gr 1-3). Three entertaining chapters describe how these two enemies repeatedly—and humorously—try to outwit one another to earn bragging rights along with a tasty piece of cheese. Sebastien Braun clearly depicts the animals’ antics with lighthearted artwork in sherbet hues. The straightforward text, amusing illustrations, and hilarious rivalry will encourage developing readers to persevere.

More reviews here.

Recent Reviews

October 2, 2012 @ 6:15 pm | Filed under: Author stuff, Books, Early Readers, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, The Prairie Thief

 Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books review of The Prairie Thief:

“Frontier fiction and folkloric fantasy are an unusual combination, but they actually blend remarkably well here, and Wiley does a fine job of staying true to the pioneer inflections of Louisa’s story while effectively integrating the magical brownie…The effective mashup of popular genres will make this a hit with a variety of readers, so try handing it to Little House fans and folktale-lovers alike.”

School Library Journal,Fresh and Fun | Books for Emergent Readers“:

Melissa Wiley retells and expands upon an Aesop’s fable in Fox and Crow Are NOT Friends (Random House, 2012; Gr 1-3). Three entertaining chapters describe how these two enemies repeatedly—and humorously—try to outwit one another to earn bragging rights along with a tasty piece of cheese. Sebastien Braun clearly depicts the animals’ antics with lighthearted artwork in sherbet hues. The straightforward text, amusing illustrations, and hilarious rivalry will encourage developing readers to persevere. Expand the reading experience by sharing other fables, and having your students come up with “what happens next…” scenarios.

(Bunch of other fun-looking books in that post I’m eager to check out.)

Review and Interview Roundup

September 13, 2012 @ 4:25 pm | Filed under: Author stuff, Books, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, The Prairie Thief

School Library Journal on The Prairie Thief:

“Wiley has created a charming, inventive tale that reads like a delightful mash-up of Little House on the Prairie and Tony DiTerlizzi’s ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ (S & S). Short chapters and the air of mystery and suspense keep the pages turning, and readers will be taken with Louisa, who is sweet and mild-mannered, yet has the strength to fight for what is right. The writing is breezy and lyrical…[a] top-notch story.”

More reviews:

The Prairie Thief at Kirkus
The Prairie Thief at Jen Robinson’s Book Page
Fox and Crow Are Not Friends at Kirkus

Interviews:

Brave Writer podcast with Julie Bogart
Author Spotlight at Writing on the Sidewalk
Authors Are ROCKSTARS! podcast
Author letter at Ready-to-Read

Launch Day!

August 27, 2012 @ 5:19 pm | Filed under: Author stuff, Books, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, Inch and Roly, The Prairie Thief

Today is a big day for me: pub day for two new books. That doesn’t happen often—books launching on the same date, and it’s been a whirlwind for me this month with Fox and Crow Are Not Friends launching a couple of weeks ago. Usually things are more spread out, but one book got moved up, and one got moved back, and boom! Three, three, three books in one month. I’m a bit dizzy.

And you’ll have to bear with me, because instead of doing my authorly duty to share links and talk up one book, I must do it for three. They’re all my babies. They’re heading out into the great world and I feel much the same as I did in June when I put my seventeen-year-old on a plane to spend the summer at an internship in Austin. I suppose the difference is that one never says about one’s book, “Oh, they just grow up so fast!” Takes a looooong time to raise these story-children.

Especially The Prairie Thief.

This novel, very dear to my heart, started taking shape in my head years ago, when I had an idea about a girl whose mother—it was going to be her mother at the time—being accused of theft, and it was up to the girl to clear her mother’s name, with the help of a magical creature. By the end of the very first sentence, it turned out the accused was her father instead.

“The Smirches took Louisa in when her Pa went to jail, but they weren’t happy about it.”

In the space of that one swift sentence, the whole story shifted. I knew, then, that it was going to take place on my beloved prairie landscape, in a time period that has always captivated me. My working title for the story was Not the Whole Truth, both because of a major plot point and because it hints at the tall-tale quality of the story. It’s set in a fictionalized version of a real historical time and place, but it isn’t straight-up historical fiction; it’s more akin to a folk or fairy tale. Well, if you’ve read my Martha and Charlotte books, you know how much I love spinning a fairy tale.

The main character is a girl, and the cover shows girls, so I’ve been asked whether it will appeal to boy readers as well. My answer: I certainly hope so! There are some very important male characters (including a couple of rowdy young boys), and adventure and bugs and wolves. If your boys read it, let me know what they think. Your girls, too, for that matter!

It’s a Junior Library Guild selection, the Bravewriter Arrow selection for October, and it got a nice review at Kirkus. If you’d like to hear me gabbing out it with the wonderful hosts of the Authors Are Rockstars podcast, it’s the first thing they asked me about. The novel features really quite breathtaking illustrations by the amazing Erwin Madrid (I mean, that cover, could you die?) and I am incredibly excited to see it in print. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

And now for Inch and Roly.

Inch and Roly Make a Wish is the first book in my early reader series about an inchworm, a roly poly, and their buggy friends. It’s a Level 1 Ready-to-Read, which means it’s aimed at the very beginningest of readers. (Whereas Fox and Crow Are Not Friends is a Step Into Reading Level 3.)

If Huck is any indication, Inch and Roly works as a read-aloud for younger children as well. 😉

Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding PlaceThe illustrations are by another fabulously talented artist: Ag Jatkowska. I swooned every time a new sketch came to my screen.

Here’s my author letter to readers at the Ready-to-Read home page.

A sequel, Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place, will be published in January, 2013.

Here’s a roundup of recent reviews and interviews.

So that’s the scoop on the new books! Got any questions for me?

Now Comes the Fun Part

February 20, 2012 @ 4:03 pm | Filed under: Author stuff, Books, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, Inch and Roly, The Prairie Thief

As I’ve mentioned, I have three new books coming out this August. Whee!

Middle-grade novel. Margaret K. McElderry Books. Art by Erwin Madrid. He has posted the full wraparound cover on his blog. Gorgeous, isn’t it? What he does with light just blows me away.

A Step into Reading Level 3. Random House. Illustrations by Sebastien Braun. I am crazy about his depiction of my characters—so much humor and personality in their expressions and body language.

A Simon Spotlight Ready-to-Read Level 1. Simon & Schuster. Illustrations by Ag Jatkowska. When Rilla, who had been hearing my Inch and Roly stories for months, saw Ag’s cover sketch she squealed. “Mommy! They’re DORABLE.” 🙂

Yes, we are a little bit excited. 🙂