I am so excited to introduce you to one of the freshest of the new children’s books, this from Miriam Hurdle. It’s her debut children’s novel (she has a poetry book out already) but after reading it, I’m sure it won’t be her last. I welcome Miriam to my blog and am honored to be part of her book release tour:
Tina Lost in a Crowd
by Miriam Hurdle
Hi Jacqui, it’s my pleasure to be on your lovely blog. Thank you so much for your kindness to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.
The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 4
Fine Tuning the Text for a Read-Aloud Book
When I revisited the Tina story, I wanted to do a picture book for easy readers of age five to nine. My research shows the word count for this grade-level range is 50-2,500 words. The final word count for this book is 2,000 words.
Tina Lost in a Crowd is a dialogue-based story. I used dialogue to show the plot, the relationship between all the characters, the actions, and emotions of the speakers.
Writers write picture books in a series of scenes, and each of which can be illustrated. Initially, I divided the content into sixteen scenes for the illustration, and the final story has twenty scenes. In this book, the text coordinates with the illustration. In fact, I wrote detailed descriptions to my illustrator so that even the gestures of the characters reflect the content. For instance, the character points at the sky in the illustration, and the text says: “Look at the stars…”. When reading the story, the readers can also refer to the details of the illustration.
The main character, Tina, finished third grade going to fourth grade. I remember my third-grade students with different reading levels. Among the third-grade students, there are easy to advance readers. Many of my students at this grade level still read picture books. According to grade level standards, they should have mastered the skills of “learning to read” and ready for “reading to learn” in the upper grades. Many third-grade students would find fun reading this book with perhaps a couple unfamiliar words such as Tchaikovsky and silhouette.
When I sent the manuscript to my editor, I let her know this book is for “reading to” and “reading with” children by the adults, as well as “reading by” the children independently. The flow of the text is good for a read-aloud book.
Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?
This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162309741
Miriam Hurdle’s Tina Lost in a Crowd (2021) is a delightful story! Third grader Tina is looking forward to her summer activities before entering fourth grade. She loves learning but also loves doing it outside the schoolhouse. She and her mom create a list of her top ten activities, one of which is a concert at California’s famed Hollywood Bowl with its outdoor venue. In the company of her parents and best friend, they start the evening with the traditional picnic to be followed by a symphonic concert. All goes well until Tina and her friend need to use the restroom and get lost in the gargantuan crowd of concert attendees. Thanks to wise advice Tina and her friend follow for just such a circumstance, the story has a happen ending.
This wonderful story touches on so many topics parents will appreciate–the end of a school year, planning summer activities, and most importantly, what to do when their young child gets lost in a crowd. The pictures are stunning. Colors are vibrant and context is deeply tied to the story which serves visual learners as well as textual. Here are examples:
I can easily envision parents, teachers, and homeschoolers reading this story aloud to their classes. I love everything about this book.
And don’t forget to read the authors note at the end to find a personal tie in between this story and the author.
About the Author
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Contact Miriam at –
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Jacqui Murray is the author of the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers as well as the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She has written over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.