Uncategorized, Writing Books for Children: Middle Grade, Writing Books for Children: Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult

Hacking the Code: The Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D-Kid  by Gea Meijering and illustrated by Mads Johan Ogaard: A Review by Elizabeth Brown

Hacking the Code: The Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D-Kid by Gea Meijering and illustrated by Mads Johan Ogaard (iCare Press) is a fun middle grade novel that highlights the adventures of lovable Kees and his best friend as they navigate school, friendships, and the ups and downs of life as fifth graders. The author, Gea Meijering, is a writer, mother of a dyslexic son, and special education advocate. Mads Johan Ogaard is an illustrator, animator and special education teacher.

Meijering’s prose is fresh and it sparkles, and Ogaard’s illustrations add much to this spirited book. The creators bring the reader into Kees’ world and help all readers connect to this story. Additionally, Hacking the Code provides test questions at the end that readers can do, and there is a free lesson plan and activity guide available at www.icarepress.com.

Most importantly, young readers will understand what it is like to be dyslexic, as well enjoy Kees’ journey to finding himself as he struggles with reading and writing. Children with learning differences will discover that they can see themselves in Kees, as he learns and grows in self-acceptance. This is a must read that speaks to all with learning differences, and it will also be treasured by parents, teachers, and caregivers as well…a wonderful addition to any library collection, home or school.

Disclaimer: This book was #gifted to review for MCBD. Thank you to MCBD’s medallion and author sponsors. #ReadYourWorld


Mining for Heart: “Weaving in the Story’s Layers” by Elizabeth Brown

Beth Anderson, Children's Writer

I met Elizabeth Brown at a nonfiction retreat in 2016, and, in a round table session with an editor, I saw the beginning of this story. I’m so thrilled it’s now as a picture book! Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your process of ensuring the balance of layers while also keeping your focus.

And Elizabeth is offering a GIVEAWAY! Just leave a comment after the post for a chance to win a copy of LIKE A DIAMOND IN THE SKY!

Congrats to Sarah Meade, winner of THE WISH THAT GOT AWAY by Christine Evans!

Elizabeth Brown Author Medium Resolution Black and White HeadshotWeaving in the Story’s Layers in Like a Diamond in the Sky: Jane Taylor’s Beloved Poem of Wonder and the Stars

by Elizabeth Brown

When I first came up with the idea to write this story, I approached it as the story of how “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” became a song. Through my research, I discovered…

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A Tiny Spark and the Poet Who Made It Immortal

Imaginary Elevators

Like a Diamond in the Sky: Jane Taylor’s Beloved Poem of Wonder and the Stars – written by Elizabeth Brown, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2022

How much do you really know about “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?” How much do the children in your life know about it? A new picture book biography of British poet Jane Taylor (1783-1824) will answer questions which had never occurred to you.  Is this childhood poem a piece of folk art or the work of an individual?  Is it based in astronomy or fantasy? What social and political issues, including feminism, form part of its background?  The amount of information in the book is considerable, but what makes it amazing is the way in which Elizabeth Brown and Becca Stadtlander have integrated each component together in a beautifully woven web.  Like a Diamond in the Sky is a distinguished work of picture…

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