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I have a confession.
I'm skittish about school visits.
I've always been on the shy side and school visits require authors to be outgoing and entertaining.

While I think there should be a lot of give and take within a visit, the author needs be a performer in some way. No one wants to listen to a boring book presentation. This means authors have to do everything they can to make their school visits fun, informative, infused with energy and engaging. I try to include all those ingredients in my school visits. That calls for hours of preparation. Be it creating a power point, hand-outs, props, or designing activities that will take the students experience beyond our time together. And those hours preparing take away from precious writing time and energy.

Still, I'll continue to do school visits. My teaching background ends up being extremely helpful. And I honestly enjoy visiting schools once I'm in the moment. I love talking with kids and answering their questions. There's really nothing more fulfilling than connecting with kids who connect with you and your books.

But here's a second confession.
I LOVE virtual visits!
A school presentation can usually be adapted into a short Skype visit.
I can meet with students from across the country and the world, sharing my books with those I'd otherwise never have a chance to meet.
I can arrange the visits at my own convenience.
I can keep them to about 20 minutes because I don't charge for them.
I can do as many or as few as I choose.
I don't have to add in travel time, or lug around my materials because I do the visits from the comfort of my own home.

I've signed up to do multiple Skype visits on February 1, 2018 for World Read Aloud Day. If you're a published author this might be something you'd like to do too. Even if you're skittish about visits :-).

Visit to learn more and sign up. Read More 
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TRAINS DON'T SLEEP: The Story Behind The Story

I'm always curious about where writers get their ideas. I've found the seeds of stories
in newspapers, songs on the radio and eavesdropped conversations. But sometimes, the kernel of
a story is found in things we experienced as children.

My father was the most fun, creative, talented adult I ever knew. Though this was lost on me
as a teenager, it was like winning the lottery in childhood. He had an endless sense of
adventure and play. His imagination was unstoppable. But he was a very busy dentist,
often working long, late hours. That made every second with him precious.

One of the things he did was share his love for electric trains with us. He built a ply-wood
platform, filled it with a metal track and collected Lionel trains. My brothers, sister and I circled
the track at night before bed watching him run the trains. There were often glitches. Sometimes
sparks. I remember spending a lot of the time watching Dad trouble shoot. But we were
together, feasting off of our father's enthusiasm.

My own children's love for trains began years later with Donald Crew's classic picture book
FREIGHT TRAIN. Its vivid, fluid pictures and simple, succinct text are perfect to read at
bedtime, again and again and again. But as a young, harried mother of four children, my train
memories lay buried, far beyond my reach.

They had slipped farther away by the time my first grandchild was born. But his love of trains
was contagious. Together, we collected a small army of Thomas and Friends wooden miniatures.
I was drawn in by their distinctive faces and personalities. My grandson knew these characters.
He spoke to them as if they were alive. He took them into the bathtub. He slept with one curled
in his perfect, little fist.

By the time my grandson was three, we lost my father to a terrible illness. A piece of me
disappeared with him and for almost a year I couldn't write. Not. One. Word. You see, it was my
father who believed I was a writer much before I did.

And then one day, I sat down and started to write a poem about trains. The trains my
grandson adored. I wrote from my grandson's point of view. I projected his voice speaking and
commanding his trains. This poem eventually grew into the picture book, TRAINS DON'T
SLEEP, publishing May 2, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This book is a love letter to
my grandson, now eight and a half. It's a kiss blown to my beloved father, whose belief in me --
much like a locomotive--will always pull me forward. But it's also an encouraging nod to my
younger-self, content in the best hours of the day with her siblings and the father they were
certain was the greatest wonder the world had to offer.

Which bring me right back to the beginning. Stories can come from many places. Often the
seeds spring from something long forgotten. There are so many moments we experience that are
universal. The key is to dig down deep and mine those memories that speak most clearly to
you. It could be a memory you cherish, or one that may have been difficult, but left you stronger.
Shake them up and add creativity, imagination and personality. With those prime
ingredients and a bit of heart, it's likely you'll have the seeds to write something that will
resonate with many others chugging along too.  Read More 
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A poem can be

A symphony

That sings until you care.

A wish

A dream

A tambourine

Demanding that you dare.

A meal

A wheel

That makes you feel and stirs a need to know.

A Sight,

A light,

That shines through night

And leaves a golden glow.

Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all rights

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Whispering wind, whisper to me

Open my eyes

For it could have been me,

Counted and numbered and stripped of dignity

To think, that it could have been me.

Children were lost, before they could dream,

Visions were shattered by yesterday's screams.

Battered and beaten and strewn about as waste,

Disposed of in schedule haste.

Ages of dusk

Ages ago

Over the pits, the breeze gently blows,

Six million stars sent up in s m o k e,

Six million souls yet



Stories I hear

Pictures I see

All blend together in Death's imagery

I will remember their whispering plea,

I know …it could happen to me.

Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum/all rights reserved  Read More 
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A Parent's Promise

The moon hangs high in boundless sky,
Its light a friendly sight,
Its faithful glow will always show,
It soldiers every night.

With dreams so near and hopes sincere,
Your cares will lift away--
To unicorns with painted horns,
Who guard as children play.

So lay your head upon your bed.
Relax your legs and arms.
Breathe in
Breathe out,
Without a doubt
You're sheltered from all harm.

(c)2017 Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all rights reserved Read More 
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THE LITTLE LIST OF KID LIT. BLOGS, Perfect Picture  Read More 
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Sun's shift seems slight,

winking at Earth,

warming the wind,

bathing the ground

all around--

calling on green to

enter the scene.

©Andria W. Rosenbaum
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Picture books are meant to be read out loud. They're made to be read to children.

But how many times have you pressed SEND then noticed a glaring problem

with your prose on your next read? Here's a tip to put into practice before your next

submission. STOP. Pull out your smart phone and record yourself reading your

manuscript. (Yes, there's an App for that!) Then play it back and LISTEN:

Does the structure stumble?
Are your descriptions fresh and fun?
Do your characters pop off the page, or fall down flat?
Does the plot move forward, or meander?
Does your dialogue trip the tongue, or flow naturally?
Do your words …sing?

Listening allows you to take a step back and be objective about your word choices.

A recording lets you to hear what's working and what's not. And who doesn't

love listening to someone else read?  Read More 
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Summer left us


Packed her bags...her green...her light.

Fall moved in

With brown and breeze,

Claimed--with crispness

Grass and trees.

Andria W. Rosenbaum/all rights reserved

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I will be a bee,

busy with buzzing,

focused on finding

the sweet treat of nectar, waiting within

every bloom.

Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all rights reserved
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