Archive for the ‘writers’ Category

Poodle and Doodle by Donna J. Shepherd

April 29, 2010
Poodle and Doodle is out! Reviewers have reviewed. It’s a very short picture book, so it takes very little time to read, but I know it takes a while to formulate a well-worded review. Jack Foster did the sweetest illustrations. The reason it’s so simple is that it’s also being released as an app for iKids Play, so I’ll not only be a book and blog star, but a star on iTunes!
Each page has 4 lines of text with a very simple illustration. It also has hidden bones in some of the illustrations. Bones – yummy!
Visit Poodle and Doodle’s blog – Oodles of Fun

What readers are saying…

“This charming children’s story in delightful rhyme will amuse every reader as it shows there IS room for more than one dog.”Nancy Carty Lepri, author of Tiny Angel

Poodle and Doodle is adorable! Donna Shepherd’s books are perfect for kids (and moms!) of all ages!” – Jill Hart, co-author of So You Want to Be a Work-At-Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business,CWAHM.com

“Can a poodle with a diva attitude and a Labradoodle without a pedigree really get along? Poodle and Doodle by Donna Shepherd is a perfectly blended tale mixed with just the right touch of humor. The poodle’s discovery that she does not always have to be “top dog” and that being a friend is important, make this book not only a delightful read, but also teaches children valuable life lessons.

This lovely book, adorned with charming illustrations by Jack Foster, is “pawsitively wonderful” and is sure to be enjoyed by both young and old alike.” – Dayna Hilton, (Firefighter Dayna) author of Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog (saddle stitched)

“With its delightful language and charming illustrations, Poodle and Doodle is a picture book that can be read and enjoyed again and again. The story of how Angel, the “perfect” poodle, adjusts to the intrusion of Scruffy, the Labradoodle, will make both children and adults laugh. Donna Shepherd’s clever rhymes bring Angel’s personality to life, and Jack Foster’s artwork adds to the humor. Hidden bones in many of the illustrations keep things fun for multiple readings. The story entertains while teaching good lessons about friendship and change. Great for both home and school libraries!”Diana R. Jenkins, author of Stepping Stones: The Comic Collection (Diana’s blog: DJ’s Thoughts)

“In this heartwarming story from a dog’s point of view, children learn it may be hard to accept a newcomer who’s different—but opposites can become best friends. A delightful read-aloud for any kid who loves dogs.” Liz Ball, author/illustrator of Friends Hidden Treasures: Hidden Picture Puzzles

Poodle and Doodle by Donna J Shepherd is an adorable picture book about a tiny poodle who is upset when her humans bring home a gigantic labradoodle named Scruffy. At first the dainty little dog is upset by the new dog’s clumsiness and lack of manners, but eventually she realizes living with Scruffy has advantages.

The book is told in rhyme that’s comfortable and not artificially forced, unlike some rhyming picture books I’ve seen. The colorful illustrations by Jack Foster are perfect portrayals of the cute and amusing story. Poodle and Doodle would appeal to most young kids but it would be especially appropriate for those who love dogs and children coping with sibling rivalry.” Janet Ann Collins, author of Secret Service Saint

“When Scruffy- part Poodle, part Labrador Retriever joins the family, he is snubbed by the family’s dog, a full breed Poodle. Everything Scruffy does is “rude and rough” from eating his food, to eating a sandwich off the kitchen counter. But, the pretty little Poodle soon discovers that having Scruffy around can come in handy, AND that he is actually a good friend. Well written rhyme and colorful illustrations show the dichotomy between these two silly dogs and encourage children to never judge a book a by its cover!” – Jennifer Reed, children’s author
 
“Donna Shepherd knows that being different from one another can be oodles of fun! Poodle and Doodle’s antics will leave you begging for more, and I love the illustrations, too!”Stephanie Reed, author of The Light Across the River
 
Poodle and Doodle will charm most any little guy or girl, with the antics of pets sharing space. Donna’s rocking rhymes tell a believable story with plenty of ‘cute’. The art is especially appealing with simple, bright lines. What a sweet example of how changes in families call for an attitude adjustment. That slightly jealous poodle shows us how she came around to understanding the new Doodle arrival, and accepting what he had to offer! The story is a wonderful character lesson, in doggy disguise.” – April Boyer, author and editor of Seeds in Season Writing Resources 
 

“Here’s a book that both you and the kids will enjoy. Poodle and Doodle by Donna Shepherd tells the story of a prissy poodle that is all upset when her owner brings home a mangy mutt to join the family. Wasn’t she dog enough? Especially when Leah has brought home Scruffy, a large, clumsy and sloppy Labradoodle.
 
Kids will love following along on this rhyming adventure, made complete with funny and charming illustrations created by Jack Foster. Parents will enjoy the easy way they can teach their young children about acceptance and friendship. And while the characters in this one are dogs, parents could easily relate this story to siblings and the many wonderful quirks brothers and sisters put up with out of love.
 
Poodle and Doodle will snuggle their way into your child’s heart, just like they did with each other. This is a book that won’t stay on the shelf long because your children will want to read it over and again, just like in our house.”- Cheryl Malandrinos, The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
 
Poodle and Doodle is a fun, cute story that will delight children of all ages, especially those who love dogs. The artwork, done in the computer in bright, happy colors, complements the book perfectly. It has an important underlying message: nobody’s perfect and one must always look at the positive side of people–or dogs! My 12-year old daughter also read it and loved it, and although she’s old now for this type of book, she said: “If I were 5 I would ask you to read it to me every night.” Coming from a child, I think that says a lot.” Mayra CalvaniMayra’s Secret Bookcase
 
“The balance of friendship can be a difficult one to understand. At times one may feel they are overshadowed by a friend and become frustrated. Poodle and Doodle by Donna J. Shepherd explores an unexpected friendship in this delightful rhyming story of two distinctly different dogs.

What comes forth through the eyes of one fancy poodle pup, Angel, is her own insecurities of having another dog around. When Scruffy, a cross between Poodle and Labrador is brought home by their owner, Leah, havoc ensues wherever Scruffy goes. His less than stellar manners appall Angel until the “ah-ha” moment that Scruffy is not so bad and is actually fun to have around.
 
Shepherd wonderfully brings to life real life issues all humans contend with in finding their place with friends. Most of all, we are all individuals whether canine or human and should appreciate the positives in all we meet.
 
Illustrator, Jack Foster brings the canine characters to life with their young owner, Leah, making it an adventure to read over and over again.” – Donna M. McDine, Children’s Author – http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com/; National Writing for Children Center
 
“Poodle and Doodle is a fun read-a-loud that celebrates the gift found in differences. Loved it!” – Caroline Pignat, author of Greener Grass, WINNER of the Governor General’s Award 2009.    

 

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference Report

April 11, 2007

Me, Andy Meisenheimer, Mary DeMuth, Jeanne Damoff

This time last week, I zipped through the air, high above the clouds winging my way home from Mount Hermon – my first Christian writing conference. I’ve attended two SCBWI conferences and the Erma Bombeck Conference, but the Mount Hermon conference has them all beat for atmosphere. Nestled among the tall redwoods with lush greenery, the setting envelops you, welcoming you, making you feel at home. Squeals of delight rang out the first day as those who had attended in the past met up with old friends.

I finally met many of my online friends face to face and what a joy it was! My roommate turned out to be Karen, a woman I’d corresponded with already, and we had an immediate rapport. Our cabin reminded me of the time I went to cheerleading camp – small but clean. No TV. No radio. And gasp! No wireless connection for my laptop. What would I do?

I’m sure those in charge set it up that way so we writers would get out of the cabin. Otherwise, I have a feeling we’d hunker down in the room reading or updating our blogs.

Because of my flight schedule, I went a day early. That night we feasted on a bountiful buffet. All week the conference center brought out trays laden with fantastic food. Karen and I attended a workshop on ‘pitching.’ Since I’d had only about two hours sleep the night before, I could barely keep my eyes open. I would later regret it that I couldn’t pay more attention. As it turns out, editors and agents like to hear you pitch your project. At that moment, all I could think of was how soon I could pitch my body into bed.

The next morning, refreshed and ready, I threw myself into the craziness of Mount Hermon. I met Mary DeMuth and Jeanne Damoff. We hugged like old friends. Mary is lovely, and Jeanne is a graceful wisp of a woman. Both made sure I ate at their tables – which was nice since they were both much in demand.

About this time, I started to notice the writers with a panicky look in their eyes, jaws set with determination, with plans to meet the right editors and agents. One woman actually stepped right in front of me to talk to an agent. I get downright nauseous at the thought of having to be so competitive.

That’s why it surprised even me when I made an appointment with an editor. Unless you’ve sent work ahead to be critiqued or considered, once you get there, Mount Hermon has no formal schedule for writers to meet the editors and agents. To make an appointment, all you have to do is ask. I heard two or three other people making appointments, and on a whim, made one myself. Almost immediately, I regretted my act of spontaneity. I didn’t have a complete proposal, and I’ve already admitted, slept through the workshop on pitching.

After tossing and turning all night and praying to God to let me know if canceling would be in His will, I concluded that if said editor crossed my path before my appointment, I would cancel. That morning, I slipped into the gift shop to buy a postcard for my husband (which made it to my house the same day I got home.) and in stepped the editor. What are the chances? I had my sign. Right? Wrong. I walked up and said, “I had an appointment…I mean, I have an appointment, and well…” Before I could say another word, the editor said, “No. You need to be there.” Something told me he’d had run-ins with many nervous authors before me.

For my major morning track, I chose to attend one taught by Cindy Kenney. As a children’s book author, it thrilled me to meet Cindy, a Veggie Tales author. Like a good groupie, I had my picture taken with her. And I took a fun, frantic workshop taught by Christine Tangvald, another children’s book author. I met with Jim Stafford, the editor for the Upper Room. He related how people in one village in Africa shared one copy, passing it around until everyone could read it. After taking his workshop, I feel better informed as to what he looks for in a devotional. What a blessing to minister to people all over the world!

So, what insights did I come away with? I found all of the agents and editors with whom I interacted to be more than willing to chat, exchange information, and make the writers feel at ease. We ate lunch and dinner with at least one member of the faculty at each table. Most of them made sure to talk with each person at the table, not letting the more aggressive writers dominate the conversation. Quite a feat.

All the previous interaction with friends on the internet affords an instant connection when we meet face to face, but as Christians, we have an even deeper ‘koinonia.’ That ‘same Spirit’ the Apostle Paul talks about (2 Corinthians 4:12-14) lives in us. I like to think it’s a glimpse of the fun we’ll have in heaven, when we meet all the people we’ve read about in the Bible. Perhaps some of the people to whom we’ve ministered with our writing will catch up with us on the streets of gold, too. While book sales, marketing plans, and proposals are all important to us now, in the end, the impact we’ve had in sharing Jesus Christ will be all that’s left.

I thank Cecil Murphey for giving me the impetus to fly cross-country to Mount Hermon. Randy Ingermanson wisely advises, “Think contacts, not contracts, when you go to a conference.” My plan included learning the ropes, networking, and getting to know what the agents and editors desire from authors. I ended the conference with a re-energized desire to write, and yes, even though I babbled through my ‘pitch,’ I came away with some encouragement. According to Chip MacGregor, I need to be a “writer with a good idea determined to put in the time required and express that idea in a coherent and entertaining manner.” More than ever I realize, I have much to learn and a lot of hard work ahead. I love it!