It’s Susanna Hill’s 9th Halloweensie Writing Contest


Aaahhhrrroooooo!  Yippee and tee-hee-hee! It is Susanna Hill’s 9th Annual Halloweensie Contest and my Teensy-Weensy Witch is back for another adventure. Personalised signed copies of my LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA, illustrated by Suzie Mason (both Amicus Ink, 2019), are among the fabulous prizes on offer this year too. Check them out here… https://susannahill.com/2019/10/10/boo-announcing-the-9th-annual-halloweensie-writing-contest/

The challenge: Write a Halloween story suitable for children (under 12) in 100 words or less, making sure you use the words potion, cobweb and trick. Easy right!!

Since 2015, my Teensy-Weensy Witch has been causing havoc and mayhem in The Little Red Story Shed at Halloween, and she is back for another installment this year! So without further ado, here is…

Teensy-Weensy Witch and the Bug-Eyed Toad

(99 words)

The Teensy-Weensy Witch awoke one eerie Autumn night

and spied the witch’s circle in the Halloweensie light.

The entrance to the witch’s ball was through the fairy ring,

but bug-eyed toads stood on patrol for witches on the wing.

She picked up Sammy Spider from the cobweb by her hat,

a potion for slow-motion, her broomstick, and her cat.

She snuck towards the toad patrol and sprinkled slow-mo dust,

Sammy Spider dangled as they licked their lips with lust.

Launching quickly through the air, she whipped the prey away,

and disappeared inside the ring…her trick had saved the day!


Don’t forget to pop over to Susanna’s blog to read and comment on the other wonderful entries here https://susannahill.com/2019/10/28/the-9th-annual-halloweensie-writing-contest-aahhhrrrooooooooo/

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween!


Ten Clever Ninjas by Sarah Floyd – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Today I am celebrating the launch of my friend and agency team mate’s debut picture book Ten Clever Ninjas. And as today is Friday, what better way to celebrate than by joining in the fun at Perfect Picture Book Friday over on Susanna Hill’s blog! Ki-ya!

I first got to know Sarah Floyd (bio at the end of the post) when I joined Storm Literary Agency in 2016. Her warm welcome and friendly chats sealed our destiny–we were to become great friends and critique buddies!

So, without further delay I am delighted to introduce you to…


Title: Ten Clever Ninjas

Written By: Sarah Floyd

Illustrated By: Marcin Bruchnalski

Clear Fork Publishing, April 23, 2019, fiction

Suitable for Ages: 2 – 6

Themes/Topics: friendships, outdoor play.


One clever ninja planning things to do.

His brother flips beside him. 

Now there are two. 

Brief Synopsis: (Taken from the author’s website) A very clever ninja and his nine ninja buddies spar across the countryside, build a secret hideout and follow their inner Zen to discover a sweet cupcake surprise. Ki-ya! The upbeat rhythm and fun, lively illustrations will appeal to children ages 2-6.

Why I like this book: Everyone knows that I love writing in rhyme, but I also love reading great rhyme! Ten Clever Ninjas has wonderful rhythm, fun activities and a diverse group of friends having fun. This one to ten counting book takes place outdoors, which I particularly like, as children love playing outside.

Links To Resources:

  • how about making a ninja shape craft. You can learn how to do it here.
  • As I am sure there must be a few plastic eggs laying around after easter, how about making a Wobble Egg Ninja. Here is how to make them.
  • Or if you have a space in the garden…how about taking a tip from the Eden Project and build your own den.

Author Bio:


Sarah Floyd was born in Carmel Highlands, California, where she and her friends explored, climbed trees, and built forts in the woods that surrounded their homes—much like the characters in Ten Clever Ninjas. When she was in first grade her family moved to San Francisco, and then to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She always brought her favorite books, wherever she moved, and she always found new friends who loved to read. Now she writes books for children and teens—for her, it’s the best job in the world!

Sarah is also the author of Butterfly Girl and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Florida with her husband and teenage son, a green belt in Taekwondo. To learn more, please visit sarahfloydbooks.com.

Thanks for stopping by, and please make sure you visit all the other perfect picture books today at http://www.susannahill.com!


Daddy, Can You See the Moon? – Gayle C. Krause book tour

I am delighted to welcome debut author, Gayle Krause to the Little Red Shed today with her new picture book DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

daddy cover

I met Gayle in the Picture Book Buzz group, like me she loves rhyme, so I asked her a little bit about her writing journey and inspiration for the book.

Did you always know you wanted to write for children?

Though I always entertained children, from the younger kids in my neighborhood as a child, to being a Director of a Laboratory Pre-K in a teacher-training program as an adult, I didn’t set out with writing for children as a goal. It just became a natural segue when I left teaching.

Where did this this story idea come from?

As I mentioned above, I’m a former Early Childhood Educator. I taught Children’s Literature to prospective teachers as part of their training program for over thirty years and also directed a Laboratory Pre-K, affiliated with my teaching course. It was there, as I sat on the floor of the nursery school, reading countless picture books to the preschoolers, or acting out fairytales as creative dramatic presentations that I became uniquely attuned to the young child’s mind.

These precious little guys struggle to make sense of the world around them, especially the adult world of their parents. Emotional situations like divorce and deployment affect these children in a way that most adults cannot see. I incorporated these experiences in DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

What came first story or verse?

For me, when writing picture books, the story and rhyme are intertwined. I have the story in my head and it comes across the page in rhyme as I let it out.

What was the hardest part of creating the story?

The story came relatively easy. The hardest part was taking a serious subject such as family separation and developing it in a way that would not be too emotional for a child. I think adults grow more emotional over this story than the children because they know what the backstory implies.

What other projects are you working on?

Because I taught in secondary and post-secondary teacher prep programs, I’ve spent my entire first career working with young adults and preschoolers. Therefore I write at both ends of the spectrum. Rhyming picture books and YA historical fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary.

I’m currently revising a YA historical fiction piece I wrote a few years ago about a female pirate. And I just sent two new rhyming picture book manuscripts to my agent for submission.

Thank you so much for sharing a little about how your touching and important book came to life. It was lovely to have you here in the Little Red Shed. Wishing you every success with this books and your future books!

If you wish to learn a little more about Gayle and her books, check out her website, http://www.gayleckrause.com.

Version 2


As a Master Educationalist Gayle C. Krause’s years as a creative role model for young adults and pre-school children have led to her career as a children’s author. She is a member of SCBWI, The JAGRS Writing Group, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and a past member of the Historical Novel Society and The Poets’ Garage. She currently serves on the YA Advisory Council for Clear Fork Publishing, Stamford, Texas, and Angie Karcher’s National Rhyme Revolution Committee, choosing the best rhyming picture books from 2015-2018. She is the author of six children’s books and is currently working on book III of her new MG Fantasy/Adventure series. Book I is due out next year.


My Bologna Book Fair Diary 2019

On Tuesday afternoon when I arrived at the Fiere, I was greeted by the 2019 Bologna Ragazzi Award winners! Congratulations to all! The poster was so beautifully framed by the perfectly parked bicycles that I couldn’t resist taking a photo.

Bologna 19 photos

This Bologna Book Fair was going to be a special one. I was accompanied by my Storm Literary authors/illustrators/team mates Vivian Kirkfield and Fiona Halliday, and a champion of picture books, writer and wonderful reviewer, Maria Marshall http://www.mariacmarshall.com. We were looking for book babies– our own and those of writer friends!

We bumped into writer and illustrator, Eleanor Ann Peterson http://www.eleanorannpeterson.com, who joined us for an afternoon to chat with her online buddy, Vivian, and tell us about her new book JURASSIC RAT, publishing with Clear Fork later this year. Watch this space!

As the Bologna Book Fair is teeming with illustrators, I had my Doodle Diary at hand just in case. Last year a few lovely illustrators obliged me with a doodle for my sketch book and this year, I am happy to say, they did again.

The first was the lovely Luciana Navarro Powell http://www.lucianaillustration.com. As well as posing for a selfie, she kindly signed a postcard for a friend, whose book she is illustrating, and she doodled in my diary. She is the illustrator of A Tiny Brown Monkey on the Big Blue Earth by Tory Christie, publishing in August 2019 with Amicus Ink http://www.amicuspublishing.us!

Next, we had the pleasure of meeting Tanja Stephani, http://www.lartquirit.ch, and Devon Holzwarth, http://www.devonholzwarth.com. Both of these lovely ladies have books coming out very soon. Watch this space!

While at dinner, my SCBWI Swiss chapter illustrator friend, Simona Ceccarelli, doodled too! Simona has a book launching very soon – IF YOU HAD YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ON THE MOON, by Joyce Lapin, publishing with Sterling on April 23rd. Check out more of wonderful art on http://www.smceccarelli.com, and I can’t wait to review the book at the Little Red Story Shed very soon!

What is the best thing about the Bologna Book Fair? The books of course, but also the people and the beautiful city. I can’t wait to visit again next year!

Thanks for stopping by.


Book Babies #50 PreciousWords challenge 2019

Everyone knows how much I love Vivian’s #50PreciousWords contest. It’s fabulous!!


Here is a little background information for you all. March 2nd is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to young readers as Dr Seuss, who was challenged by his publisher to write a story using only 50 words. Not so easy! Once again Vivian(www.viviankirkfield.com) is hosting her own 50 precious words challenge!

The goal is to write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total unique word count for the story is 50 or less. For more information pop over to Vivian’s website https://viviankirkfield.com/2019/03/02/the-50preciouswords-writing-contest-is-open/

My entry this year is for mama’s and their little ones. READING is SHARING is LOVE!



by Julie Abery (41 words)

Book babies


on mama’s knee.


Book babies


the colours they see.


Book babies


a nursery rhyme.


Book babies


one page at a time.


Book babies


a corner to chew.


Book babies


a flap – peek-a-boo!


Book babies

laughing –

the world is so new.


Book babies


sweet moments with you.


Thanks for popping over to read, and don’t forget there are lots more over at https://viviankirkfield.com/2019/03/02/the-50preciouswords-writing-contest-is-open/



The Holiday Show – Susanna Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday Contest

Crackling crackers! It is time for Susanna Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday Contest…


The contest: Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about A Holiday Hero! You’re hero’s act of heroism can be on a grand scale or a small one – from saving Christmas to leaving a fresh-baked load of Challah bread for a homeless person to something like Gift of the Magi where two people give up the most important to them to be sure someone they love has a good holiday. Your hero can be obvious or unlikely. Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but it is not to exceed 250 words. Your entry can be posted on your own blog or over on Susanna’s between this very second and Saturday December 8 at 11.59 PM EST. https://susannahill.com/2018/12/06/ho-ho-ho-the-eighth-annual-holiday-contest-is-here/#comments

So without further ado, here is my entry…

The Holiday Show

The children were ready, the show was tonight.

The curtains went up to great gasps of delight.

The bobble-hat reindeers pranced up and down,

when on danced the fairies in tutus and gowns.

The littlest fairy with bells on her wings,

wiggled and jiggled like she was on springs.

A curly-shoed elf with a big voice decreed

“The littlest fairy is busting to wee!”

A teacher rushed over and led her stage right.

Her mum, in first row, hoped that she’d be alright.

The flutter of fairies all froze in a ring…

The littlest fairy was up next to sing!

Crackling crackers!

What are we to do?

The littlest fairy has

gone to the loo!

The fluttering fairies bumped into each other.

An ice-skating polar bear fell on his brother!

Crackling crackers!

Can this get much worse?

The polar bear’s being

propped up by the nurse!

The fairies stopped dancing! The reindeer quit prancing!

The polar bears stared, and the teachers did too,

Then up popped the elf in his curly-toed shoes.

He marched to the flutter of fairies and said

“I know the words, so can I sing instead?”

The music began and Elf’s singing was bright.

The littlest fairy ran on from stage right.

The audience cheered at their Christmas duet,

Tonight, was an evening they’d never forget!

Crackling crackers!

Well, what do you know?

The curly-shoed elf

saved our Holiday show.


Thanks for popping by, and don’t forget to hop over to Susanna’s to read all the other wonderful entries.

Happy Holidays!!



It’s Susanna Hill’s 8th Halloweensie Writing Contest!


Aaahhhrrroooooo!  Yippee and tee-hee-hee! It is Susanna Hill’s Annual Halloweensie Contest and my Teensy-Weensy Witch is back for another adventure!

The challenge: Write a Halloween story suitable for children (under 12) in 100 words or less, making sure you use the words shiver, cauldron and howl. Easy right!!

Since 2015, my Teensy-Weensy Witch has been causing havoc and mayhem in The Little Red Story Shed at Halloween, and she is back for another instalment this year! So without further ado, here is…

Potion Commotion

(100 words)

A candy munching monster helped the Teensy-Weensy Witch

to mix up a concoction when his nose began to twitch.

The sticky, steamy vapours started conjuring a sneeze,

that burst through doors and windows and howled upon the breeze.

The cauldron took a wobble and the gooey gloop took flight,

splashing trick-or-treaters who were lurking in the night.

The witch looked through her fingers, gave a shiver, then a wink.

She shouted “Happy Halloween, we’ve turned the night bright pink!”

She leaned into the kettleful to try a little lick,

“We’ve spun up cotton candy, now all we need’s a stick!”


Don’t forget to rush over to Susanna’s blog (susannahill.com) to read all the wonderful entries, and there is still time to enter, deadline is Wednesday 31st October at 11.59 PM EDT.

Thanks for stopping by.