East Leonard Salad Pie

One special class in Grand Rapids read HUNDREDS of books in March for reading month, and I got to visit them. We talked about what we love, and how that gets to be part of the stories we write. I love the outdoors, imagination, books, and food. All of those elements can be found in SALAD PIE. 

Then we made East Leonard Salad Pie. Everyone wrote down what they would put in Salad Pie, and we put it into a big bowl, and mixed it up.

Here's the recipe for East Leonard Salad Pie, up close. Good thing it's a pretend pie!

Keep reading and writing, East Leonard!

 

Spring is in Full Swing

Spring is the perfect time of year to get outside and play. While I highly recommend making Salad Pie with all of those twigs and blossom petals blowing around, I also recommend reading several books about the outdoors. I wrote this post about going outside no matter what the weather, season, or time of day on Nerdy Book Club a few months ago, and it features some of my favourite picture books. Have a look!

TOP TEN PICTURE BOOKS THAT ENCOURAGE US TO GET OUTSIDE AND EXPLORE BY WENDY BOOYDEGRAAFF POSTED BY CBETHM ON NOVEMBER 12, 2016 IN AUTHOR POSTS, TOP TEN LISTS | 8 COMMENTS Reading seems like an indoor thing, or maybe an outdoor activity if there’s a hammock or a nice chaise lounge nearby. These picture books, though, encourage a whole lot more than that. They inspire kids and adults to get outside and interact with nature, the weather, the wide, wide world, no matter what season or time of day...

TOP TEN PICTURE BOOKS THAT ENCOURAGE US TO GET OUTSIDE AND EXPLORE BY WENDY BOOYDEGRAAFF

POSTED BY CBETHM ON NOVEMBER 12, 2016 IN AUTHOR POSTSTOP TEN LISTS | 8 COMMENTS

Reading seems like an indoor thing, or maybe an outdoor activity if there’s a hammock or a nice chaise lounge nearby. These picture books, though, encourage a whole lot more than that. They inspire kids and adults to get outside and interact with nature, the weather, the wide, wide world, no matter what season or time of day...

Hopkins School Visit

On March 16, I visited Hopkins Elementary to share presentations on how I became a writer, the writing process, and SALAD PIE with grades K through 5. Each grade level had a slightly different focus. Here is the third grade class:

The younger elementary grade levels learned about imagination and applied their imaginations to creating a pretend Hopkins Salad Pie.

We mixed up all of their contributions in this big salad bowl and came out with a lovely concoction. Here is the recipe for Hopkins Salad Pie:

Grades four and five discussed the writing process and we came up with the idea for some creative stories, complete with the beginnings of a plot so they could run back to class and write a first draft about. . . Eating Asparagus Ice Cream while in a museum at midnight? Brussel Sprout Brownies while contemplating turning into a unicorn? Tomato Donuts on the roof of the school? I'd love to see how some of these stories end up after revisions.

Thank you for inviting me, Hopkins Elementary, and may your imagination lead the way to many more exciting stories.

Read Across America

March 2 was Read Across America. I celebrated with two classrooms via Skype. Here I am reading and chatting with K- 2nd grade students at Avalon Elementary in St. Clair Shores, Michigan (near Detroit).

The students had some great questions at the end of the reading, such as "Will Herbert and Maggie stay friends?" and "Is Herbert always there to catch her?"

Thank you, Mrs. Decker for sending along the photos of the students and Skype session. Avalon Elementary has reading activities and challenges planned all March long, and Mrs. Decker is going to raffle off a copy of SALAD PIE for one Avalon reader at the culmination of the reading celebration.

I also read and answered questions with Mrs. Maldonado's 1st grade class in Lorena, Texas.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.27.38 AM.png

(I Skyped with Mrs. Maldonado's class last year, too) We read SALAD PIE, and I told them all about my favourite Dr. Seuss book, MARVIN K. MOONEY WILL YOU PLEASE GO NOW! They had some great questions that really made me think. I could tell they did some research on me before I talked with them. Thank you, Mrs. Madonado!

World Read Aloud Day 2017

On February 16, I participated in World Read Aloud Day. I skyped with students in Wisconsin, Georgia and New Jersey. What fun! After reading SALAD PIE (and singing along with me--one group in New Jersey had a great new tune. I wish I had recorded it!), students had a chance to ask me questions. They asked me all sorts of interesting things: if Maggie was just like me, why I loved MARVIN K. MOONEY (a favourite childhood book of mine), if I would write a book called Sandwich Stew, and what the weather was like here in Michigan. I had a blast!

Thank you to LitWorld for creating this event and to Kate Messner for giving authors a great way to connect with schools for this event.

Flashback to Book Beat signing in Oak Park, Michigan

On December 18, 2016, I was at Book Beat near Detroit for book signings with Deborah Aronson and Amy Goldman Koss. Good thing I arrived a little early because this bookstore was packed full of all kinds of goodies (mostly books).

The three of us sat at an antique table surrounded by books and art and artifacts.

And...a young reader, Bridget, from the blog Bridget and the Books, arrived to say hello.

Reader Review

Reader reviews are important because they highlight what the reader takes away from the book. And every reader sees something slightly different. Here's a recent review of SALAD PIE on Amazon:

Salads and Pies

My bio on the back flap of Salad Pie reads "Wendy BooydeGraaff grew up making mud pies on a fruit farm in Ontario, Canada. She now lives in Michigan with her family, where she whips up all kinds of salads and all kinds of pies. Visit her at wendybooydegraaff.com."

So, as proof for the skeptics, I am posting some things I whipped up:

Brussel Sprout Salad

Brussel Sprout Salad

 Peach and blackberry pie

 Peach and blackberry pie

Of course, these are edible creations, and they'll never live up to those imaginative concoctions kids make outside. Happy cooking, everyone!

Everyday Diversity Roundup

Everyday Diversity reviews and categorizes book choices for storytime, focusing on books with people of colour and Native Americans. I'm thrilled that SALAD PIE was included in the July Roundup.

From Everyday Diversity

Salad Pie written by Wendy BooydeGraaff illustrated by Bryan Langdo

An empty playground is the perfect setting for Maggie to make "Salad Pie" (a cleaner version of mud pie), but then Herbert shows up and--even worse--he wants to help. Maggie bossily rejects his attempts to help until she accidentally slips down the slide, dropping the salad into the air. Herbert saves the day by catching both her and the pie, and their friendship is solidified as they make plans to make "Sandwich Stew" tomorrow.

This one includes lots of places to add a little singing refrain, and isn't too wordy, making it a good storytime selection:
"Into the oven," said Maggie, and she closed the imaginary oven door with panache. Gently, ever so gently, Maggie danced her jig. Softly, ever so softly, she sang, "Salad Pie, oh Salad Pie! Soon you'll be ready, Salad Pie!

Themes/Topics: Friendship, Imagination, Playgrounds, Food

Books & Mortar

Grand Rapids, Michigan, has a new bookstore in town. Books & Mortar on 955 Cherry Street SE, has opened their doors! Their grand opening will be October 1, from 10 AM until 7 PM. I'll be there at 3 PM reading and signing Salad Pie.

Advice from young readers

One of the best parts of writing a book is being written to about that book. Back when school was in session, I video conferenced ISNA Elementary School in Mississauga, Ontario. This is what it looked like:

You can see the students in their desks, the teacher at the front of the class, and me, on the screen holding up SALAD PIE like a trophy. Thank you, Suhaan, for the picture.

You can see the students in their desks, the teacher at the front of the class, and me, on the screen holding up SALAD PIE like a trophy. Thank you, Suhaan, for the picture.

Some students illustrated their favourite part of the story. 

The slide scene made a big impression. Thank you, Tarek for your picture.

The slide scene made a big impression. Thank you, Tarek for your picture.

I also received a fair bit of advice about the book from several of the students.

Tariq, that's my favourite part too. I do think playing inside a house would be safer, so I'll take that into consideration for the next book.

Tariq, that's my favourite part too. I do think playing inside a house would be safer, so I'll take that into consideration for the next book.

Zoya, did you know I grew up on a farm? So I like that setting idea very much.

Zoya, did you know I grew up on a farm? So I like that setting idea very much.

Great advice about friendship, Ali. Even if your friends are annoying...who do you think was annoying, Maggie or Herbert? Hmm...I know the answer might be different, depending on your perspective. Of course, no one could be annoying if there were cake involved.

Great advice about friendship, Ali. Even if your friends are annoying...who do you think was annoying, Maggie or Herbert? Hmm...I know the answer might be different, depending on your perspective. Of course, no one could be annoying if there were cake involved.

Finally, I received a few new cover options.

Illustrated by Haadiyah

Illustrated by Haadiyah

Haaziq's Salad Pie

Haaziq's Salad Pie

Sabina's illustration of Maggie and Herbert together.

Sabina's illustration of Maggie and Herbert together.

Thank you all for your letters and pictures. They made my day! 

Goodreads Giveaway

Enter here to win a signed copy of SALAD PIE:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraaff

Salad Pie

by Wendy BooydeGraaff

Giveaway ends August 11, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Brighton Salad Pie

On Saturday and Sunday, the kids at Brighton's Barnes & Noble made Salad Pie. Here is their recipe:

carrots                                     2 Julias                           apple

flower                                       Marin                             ABC gum (already been chewed)

granola bar                              gift card                        grass

peas                                         pepper                           ABCDEF (I think the alphabet?)

balloon                                    ABS gum (not sure what this is, but it looks fun)

paperclips                               gumballs   

Yes, that is one interesting Salad Pie! Thank you, Brighton Barnes & Noble for hosting the Little Readers, Big Dreams event. Clockwise from below you see me with SALAD PIE, Mary Ann Riehle with THE LITTLE KIDS' TABLE, Lisa Wheeler with THE PET PROJECT: CUTE AND CUDDLY VICIOUS VERSES, and Jordan Scavone with MIGHT-E!

Chatham Salad Pie

On June 17, I was at Chatham Christian School in Ontario, Canada, reading and talking about SALAD PIE to a few different classrooms. First, I went to my sister's Grade 1 class:

My sister, Helen Hoekstra, and me.

My sister, Helen Hoekstra, and me.

  I read SALAD PIE,

And they mixed up a batch of Chatham Salad Pie.

Then we took class pictures, one nice...

  ...and one silly photo.

  ...and one silly photo.

Next, I headed over to Mrs. Hirnam's Learn & Play class:

 I read the story and talked about the book. Then they showed me something very special next door.

 I read the story and talked about the book. Then they showed me something very special next door.

 Little chicks!

 Little chicks!

Next was Miss Wiancko's Grade 2 class:

 They had lots of good questions and added many ingredients to Chatham Salad Pie. You can see the bowl of salad there in the front row, being mixed up.

 They had lots of good questions and added many ingredients to Chatham Salad Pie. You can see the bowl of salad there in the front row, being mixed up.

For the last class of the day, I visited Mrs. Van Eck's Grade 4 class. Long ago, Mrs. Van Eck was my teacher for Grade 5, except she was Miss Flikweert then, and she taught me in Fruitland, Ontario. I still remember reading Caddie Woodlawn in her class, and the gerbils we had as class pets, Pipsqueak and Rascal. They were always escaping which made for whole class searches.

We read and discussed the book, and also added to the huge recipe of Chatham Salad Pie.

After all those classes, you can imagine the huge recipe we made for Chatham Salad Pie. Just look at all of those magnificent ingredients!

 Good thing this is a pretend Salad Pie!

 Good thing this is a pretend Salad Pie!