Archive for the ‘Children’s Book Writers’ Category

Hi!  I’m Laura Miller (AKA Grandma Miller)

I am so blessed that you stopped by today.

I’m a children’s author and illustrator, and I would love to keep in touch.

In my writing/illustrating groups we are advised to do some self-promotion.   I thought I would also offer you some coloring pages for your children, grandchildren, summer camp, Vacation Bible School….or just for relaxation for yourself.   So if you’d like to subscribe to my blog, you’ll have opportunity to download some coloring pages.

Subscribe Via E-mail To Get Free Updates  

And a Free Mini Coloring Book 

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If you enjoy the coloring pages it would bless me if  you took a moment to share this post with your friends on social media.

Blessings on your day and your creativity,

Laura (Grandmamiller)


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Doing some catch up here – we’ve been so busy getting ready for our church’s carnival and participation in the Memorial Day Parade.  The parade was an honor to be involved in and the carnival was a wonderful event.  We had about 300 people attend and between 30 and 40 people from our church helping.  Seniors, adults, teens, tweens and even kids – giving a hand to set up, clean up, serve and be a part.

I’ve didn’t post my doodles from Alison Hertz’  Doodle Day May so on with the exhibit….

#25 was square.  Right away my grandma popped into my head.  She made quilts for all her grandkids, square by square.  She taught me how and I made a quilt for my daughter that took about 8 years!

Grandma's Quilt

Grandma’s Quilt

#24 was flame.  This was done in photoshop in about 40 minutes.  I couldn’t get the feel of the fire right away.  But now I’ve learned a new technique.  I’ve been working on some biblical art, so this was what popped in my head to try.

Pillar of Fire


#23 was veggies – which I couldn’t get into until I put my tongue in cheek


Well, thanks so much for stopping by.   Blessings on your creativity.

Laura (Grandmamiller)


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This was probably the most doodle fun so far – because I imagined the future…..

Window of the future

Window of the future

I looked at myself through the window sometime in the future.   Realistically,  my hair might be gray by this time….but no one will ever know thanks to my Aunt L’Oreal.

And I wish this moment for all of you too!

(Oh- just a side note:  I left yesterday’s doodle of my grandson’s hands taped to the wall.  It fell down – and all that now remains is part of the right arm and wrist….the bunny ate it (Click there and you’ll see why I should know better–scroll all the way to the bottom).  Glad I took a picture.)

This is all part of  Alison Hertz‘ (author of FLAP!) challenge to Doodle every Day in May.  Alison has created a FACEBOOK GROUP called DOODLE DAY MAY so join the challenge and the group.  It’s for ALL ages and ALL abilities.  You can even still join in the fun.

And….Don’t forget to stop by Susanna Hill’s blog to vote on your favorite jingle promoting her e-book.  Lots of prizes for the winners.  You can check it out here.  Voting  ends Thursday, May 16th at noon EST.

Thanks for stopping by and blessings on your creativity!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Itty-bitty Bounce

Itty-bitty Bounce

Regular PPBF readers will note a short addition to today’s post.  I’m also participating with  Alison Hertz‘ (author of FLAP!) challenge to Doodle every Day in May.  Alison has created a FACEBOOK GROUP called DOODLE DAY MAY so join the challenge and the group.  It’s for ALL ages and ALL abilities.You can even still join in the fun.

Here is today’s doodle from me (you can scroll backwards to see my other doodles.)

Now on to a delightful pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

Title: Big Chickens Fly the Coop  Big Chickens Fly the Coop

Author:   Leslie Helakoski

Illustrator:   Henry Cole

Publisher: Penguin Books 2008

Genre: Hilarious Fiction

Audience Age: 2-8

Themes/Topics: Bravery, Chickens

Opening Sentences: Four big chickens sat on their nests and sighed.  It’s nice and safe at home in the coop said one chicken.  Yes, said the others.  We should always stay home.  We could always stay home.  We would always stay home except…we’ve always wanted to see the farmhouse.

Synopsis: This is a sequel to the cowardly Big Chickens.   Once again the fearsome feathered friends step out of their comfort zone to explore the farmyard.

Why I like it:  I have to admit that this was not a favorite when I read thru the first time by myself…but when I read it to my grandchildren  I couldn’t control my giggles and chortles and guffaws!  Right away they got the silliness of the caper and were delighted by the goofy getups the chickens wore (skirts, aprons, and even boots).   It has become a repeat request from my 3 yr old granddaughter.  She asks for ‘the big scared chickens.’   You can almost hear the squawking and flapping just by looking at the lively, bright and humorous illustrations.  The expressions are comical in their wide eyed, wide mouthed panic as they explore the farm and encounter dogs, dirty tractors, and stampeding horses.   And don’t miss what these laughable ladies use for nesting boxes.  It is a fun barnyard adventure.

Activities/Resources:  The author, Leslie Helakoski, has lots of suggested activities on her website, from songs, fingerplays, popup cards and even lesson plans for older students on modifiers and figurative language.

Availability: Major booksellers  

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Enjoy the read and don’t forget to take time to doodle!!

Blessings, Laura (Grandmamiller)

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My friend, Alison Hertz (author of FLAP!) doodles every day for inspiration and for fun.  She has created a new doodle challenge along with her daughter.  Alison says, “This morning, my 5 year old – who LOVES to draw in her sketchbook and paints every day – told me that she would like to do a “Doodle a Day”, too, so together we came up with a NEW CHALLENGE for artists, writers, parents, teachers, children, friends, friends of friends and anybody else who is ready to let their creativity shine.”


Let the REAL you out of the bag!!

Now notice there is NOT a requirement for age, ability, or professional experience.  Just doodle away and share.  When we draw we engage BOTH sides of our brain. Children become QUIET when they doodle.  And adults RELAX.  So pick up a pen or pencil or crayon or marker.  If you don’t draw people, draw trees, or make name doodles.  For instance, if you have a new character you’re trying to imagine – doodle their name, fill in the letters with what you think their character might like…polka dots, stripes, checker board, or stars….(here’s my personal name doodle).

Name Doodles 004



Alison gives us the guidelines:  “DOODLE DAY MAY:  From May 1 to May 31, create 1 or more Doodles everyday. These can take up to 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even an hour from start to finish but if you are spending more than an hour on a doodle, you are trying too hard. Don’t overthink it. . . For those of you who tell everyone that you are “not an artist” or “can’t draw”, I say BUNK! It is a doodle! It can be a squiggle, a tree, a flower, a rainbow, a person, a pet, a pancake or anything else you can think of. No one is grading you. No one is judging you.”

Alison has created a FACEBOOK GROUP called DOODLE DAY MAY so join the challenge and the group.
Thanks, Alison, for inviting us to be a part of the fun.
Blessings on your day and your creativity!!
Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Over my lifetime I’ve had 8 dogs.   Big dogs (and one little beagle).  3 German shepherds, an Irish setter, and 3 Labradors.    These dogs have been friends when I was in trouble (not last week – when I was a kid), companions on lonely nights, playmates, escorts, consolers to my sadness and celebrants in happiness.  4 of those dogs were rescues…truthfully, they rescued me.   So in their memory and celebration this post is dedicated to them….because, I LOVE DOGS.

Title:  Dogs


Author & Illustrator:   Emily Gravett

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2009

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age: 2-6

Themes/Topics: Dogs

Opening Sentences:  I love dogs.  I love big dogs and small dogs.  I love tough dogs and soft dogs.  Dogs that bark and dogs that don’t.

Synopsis:  (From Amazon) Gorgeous canines of every shape, size and color are bounding through this irresistible book. Can you choose one dog to love best of all? With playful pencil and watercolor illustrations to delight children and adults alike, everyone will long to bark along with the Chihuahua and tickle the Dalmatian’s tummy. This is a wonderfully satisfying book with a twist in the tail.

Why I like it:  This is a delightful romp through dogdom.  From shabby to bald, stripy to spotty, huge to hairy. The fun surprise is who is actually telling the story – which I’m not going to spoil….but it makes it that much more amusing.   The illustrations are funny and as my 4 year old grand said, “Crazy” referring to the dog that was barking a lot.  My favorite illustration is the Great Dane with the teacup chihuahua.   This is also a good book for reluctant and/or early readers.  The words are few and the pictures descriptive so they pick up on them quickly.    My dog, by the way, gave it 4 paws up.  My beagle grand dog only gave it 1 paw up because of the ending, he felt snubbed…..nope-still not going to tell you.

Activities/Resources:    Some dog songs, puppet crafts, dog math and coloring pages here.    And here is a printable matching game from Emily Gravett herself.

Availability:  Major book sellers

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Enjoy the read,

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Spring is certainly somewhere out there, I’m seeing bunnies and lambs and yellow chicks in stores everywhere….especially the soft, squishy, yummy packages of Peeps…..Ahhh…..     Er, uh, anyway,  I chose a fun picture book about sheep and one little lamb in particular who does not follow the flock.

Title:   WoolburWoolbur

Author:   Leslie Helakoski

Illustrator:   Lee Harper

Publisher: Harper Collins 2008

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age: 3-8

Themes/Topics: Independence, Sheep, Creativity

Opening Sentences: “Woolbur had a little trouble with the herd today,” said Maa.  ‘What happened?” asked Paa.  “I don’t want to stand still with the sheep,” said Woolbur, “I ran with the dogs instead.”

Synopsis: Woolbur is a young lamb who is not just one of the flock.  He is his own shepherd, finding unconventional ways to do traditional things in a fun way. This worries his parents, Maa and Paa.     It’s all a happy ending when Woolbur’s creativity catches on.

Why I like it:  The story is fun and the artwork is delightful and captures the free thinking  spirit of Woolbur.  While I feel it is important to teach traditions and conventional ways, it is just as important to encourage ingenuity and creativity.   Woolbur, in his enthusiasm, does just that.  Rather than stand still with the flock, he wants to run with the sheep dogs.  Or instead of being sheared, he wants to keep his warm, fuzzy wool.  “But your wool is so long!”  said Maa.  “I know, ” said Woolbur, “isn’t it great?”  And in my favorite picture – instead of carding the wool separately he cards  himself into an enormous fluff ball.  He also dyes himself blue to his mother’s horror.  An then there’s the illustration of him after he weaves his own wool while it’s still on him (think Marie Antoinette hairstyle).  Every time he tries something new his parents response is, “but [spinning] is not supposed to be fun!”  To which Woolbur responds, “I know!  Isn’t it great?”   Although Maa and Paa worry about Woolbur’s nonconformity and pull their wool each night, Grandpaa (who looks to be old and wise while he does yoga) assures them they should not worry.

Maa and Paa finally tell Woolbur he MUST do what the flock does, whether it’s spinning, or dyeing, or carding or, shearing.  This keeps Woolbur awake all night until he comes up with another creative solution.

Activities/Resources:  Lee Harper, the artist for this book has some delightful coloring pages from Woolbur and even Woolbur masks.

Art is always a wonderful way to try new things.  Doodling can always generate new ideas.  Try this lesson plan

Also retelling a familiar fairy tale promotes creative thinking.  For instance in  “The 3 Little Pigs” what if the wolf was a nice guy?   Or what if the pigs got jobs to build new houses?  Ask your child ways one of the character(s) could  change something with a different reaction.  In Cinderella, what if the step-sisters were nice.  Would they get to move into the castle?  What if Curious George wasn’t so curious?  What is another way he might have met the man in the yellow hat?

Availability: Major bookstores.  (If you go to Amazon, you can see some of the book pages and art work.)

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Think Spring and enjoy the book!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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