Monday, November 25, 2013

Dirkus' Story Debut- Jingle Bells Anthology is Here!

Hello Good Readers.
Nope, not the Queenie here. It's me Dirkus! 
Oh boy, oh boy, have I gots some exciting news. Some awesome-wasom news!!

Our own castle scribe, Jackie Castle, has written up one of my fabuloso stories and it's been published in an anthology. What's an anthology, you ask? Well, that's when a whole BUNCHES of scribes- some people call them authors- get together and put all their stories together into a big book.

Mrs Castle, renown scribe here at the Castle Library, has two enchanting tales in this Christmas anthology called, Jingle Bells: Tales of the Holiday Spirit from Around the World. And oh boy, some stories come from writers who live in the USA, some are from Australia, and others from the UK. Yep, they really do come from all over.

Not only that, but I must say, Mrs. Castle has drawn up a splendid picture of me that goes along with my story. Oh, and I'm supposed to also tell you she also write a story about Jack Frost. But who cares? I'm the star! And I think my story comes first. So there!

Oh, and another thing, Wiz Lexiconi says I better mention that he is also in the story. Even though the story is about ME. Not him.  I'm also supposed to say that Wiz Lex says he taught Mrs. Castle everything she knows.


Here's the important part I'm supposed to tell everyone. You can get your own copy of my... er, I mean, the anthology which is full of other stories which I'm sure are just as great as mine is.

Wiz Lexiconi says I need to stop bragging or the Queen wont let me chase the knights around the courtyard anymore. So, okay, I'll only say that you need to get this book. Not just because of my Christmas story, (Which is great by the way) but because all of the stories are really good and are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Not only do you get stories but there's all kinds of drawings there, too. Mrs Castle says she will put the drawing she did of me here in this post. So if you want to, right click, save the picture and print it up to color after you've read my amazing, awesome-wasom story.

I'm gonna be sooooo famous. I told my big brother Rankus I'd be sure not to forget the little people like him. Ha... whatever.

Book Information:
Jingle Bells: Tales of Holiday Spirit From Around the World
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: (November 21, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1493739400

For a limited time, you can get the kindle version for .99 cents. 

Stories and drawings from:
Authored by Rebecca Fyfe, Emily Morgan, C S Frye, Ashley Howland, Theresa Nielsen, Kelly McDonald, Robert Fyfe, Jo Hart, Melanie E. Lancaster, Nicole Zoltack, Angelica Fyfe, Alayne Kay Christian, Deirdre Sheridan Englehart, Beth Avery, Cecilia Clark, Marissa Ames, Abbi Knight, Jackie Castle, Nancy Churnin, Kelly Vavala & Dani Duck 

Proceeds from this anthology and Teapot Tales go toward funding the Chapter Book Challenge coordinated by Becky Fyfe 

If you like these Christmas tales, you might also want to check out another anthology from this same group titled: Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales

Book Information:
Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales
Paperback: 102 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: (September 5, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1492145173
ISBN-13: 978-1492145172

Although I'm not in this book, it's still a full of fantastical tales the both children and adults will enjoy. Two of which our favorite Castle Scribe has written.
Why, the Queen often reads them to us during her story times. You can, too!

Oh, and if you want to see more of our castle scribe's stories, check out Jackie's Scribbles site or The White Road Chronicles for a sampling of Mrs. Castle's other books. 

And here's the best part that I promised you... a picture of ME. Get your own Dirkus's Dumb Christmas coloring page right here. Enjoy. And go get my... er the Christmas stories book!!!

Happy Holidays!
(With the Queens help. She won't stop shaking her head and rolling her eyes. I don't know why.)

right click and save, then print for coloring fun

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Little Stinker by Stephen Sanzo

Good Day Dear Readers,
The Queen here this beautiful fall day with a new story by Stephen Sanzo titled Little Stinker.  You'll love the bright, retro illustrations along with a very real-life problem of dealing with younger siblings. They can be a real drag, can't they? Find out how one big brother deals with his pesky sister in this easy to read picture book.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Author: Stephen Sanzo
Illustrator: Mark Mullaney

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Cranky Pants Publishing (November 1, 2013)
Reading level: 4 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 32 pages
Genre: Children's Picture book
ISBN: 978-0975962718

Book Theme:
Sibling rivalry, big brothers and little sisters, being lost, love of shoes, patience, love

Book Summary
Cranky Pants is back--but much to his chagrin, his joyfully rambunctious little sister is along for the ride. "The Little Stinker never gets in trouble . . . has mushy oatmeal hands, sticky grape jelly hair, a runny nose, and smelly feet." When she goes missing in a department store, her big brother realizes that life without her just wouldn't be the same. Can he save the day? Little Stinker welcomes back the lovable, albeit cranky, protagonist from Cranky Pants and celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Adults and children alike will delight in exploring the book's vibrant, retro-inspired illustrations featuring 1970s icons like Holly Hobbie, GI Joe, and LiteBrite. Little Stinker is sure to become a bedtime-or-anytime favorite.

Activity Adventures:

Crafty Ideas:

Go to the Classroom Freebie site to print this

Story Elements Puzzle!

 First, fill out the questions according to the book Little Stinker.
Color the pieces, then cut out. See if you can put the story back together.

 Writing Prompts:
If you have siblings, make a book about them.Include a drawing, a fact page about sibling, then make a page about things you like and things you don't like. On the front, draw a picture of you and your sibling.

Discussion Questions:
There will always be good and bad things about the people in our lives, including parents, family, friends, teachers. We learn to overlook the bad and focus on the good, just as brother did when his sister was lost. He began remembering why she was important in his life, and how important he was to her. Talk about ways you can overlook the irritating things and love a sibling anyway.

Authors Arena

Author: Stephen Sanzo

When he is not writing children's books, Stephen Sanzo spends his days as the Chief Operating Officer at Isovera, a software/web development firm in Waltham, MA. His first book, Cranky Pants was a finalist for the USA Book News award and received praise from the Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, and the Copley News Syndicate. Stephen currently lives in Arlington, MA with his wife and two girls. He has B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and is a member of the MBA program at Babson College.

Illustrator: Mark Mullaney
 Mark Mullaney is a talented freelance illustrator/animator who works with many kid-focused clients in the Boston area. This includes directing and lead animation functions for the Emmy-nominated (Boston) Drawing with Mark series.