May 02, 2018

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book: Blog Tour Guest Post by author Alice Kuipers

This month sees the release of Alice Kuipers' newest children's book

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
 Written by Alice Kuipers
Illustrated by Diana Toledano
Chronicle Books
120 pp.
Ages 6-9
May 2018


CanLit for LittleCanadians 
is pleased to be participating in the Blog Tour for the book's release

Today's guest post blog is from
author Alice Kuipers 
who shares with readers
about a free online course
she has created for children to get them writing.

Welcome Alice Kuipers!
Thank you for having me here today! I love all your book suggestions and you always give me great ideas for books to share with my kids.

In my new book, Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, my main character loves to write. This got me thinking about making a course for young writers, one that they could do with their parents or on their own online. I filled the course with PDFs and downloadable movies, and hopefully lots of inspiration for up-and-coming writers to get their words on the page. Here’s a peek at one of the steps on Character, that I thought I could share with you today.

Your CHARACTERS are the people in your stories and poems. Here’s Polly Diamond!

Other characters in the book are her mom, her dad, and her sister Anna, who Polly turns into a BANANA!

As a super-star writer, you’re going to need to get to know your characters really well. And I’m going to show you how to do that!

I loved making the course—turns out I could talk and think about writing books all day long. I have a black piece of fabric from Fabricland here in my house which I hung up behind me (very high tech at this end!), so that the video content would be easy to watch, and tried to make the course as energetic and fun as possible. I thought of as many writing prompts as I could. Getting my four children to help out, I tested some of the ideas on them (mainly on the older two, who are eight and six, although my five year old surprised me with his storytelling!), and then, I sent everything over to Children’s Book Insider. I’ve been working with them for a number of years, and I’m the teacher for two of their courses: Chapter Book Blueprint, and Middle Grade and YA Blueprint. They put everything together and the FREE course for Super Star Writers is ready to go.

Sometimes, it’s easy to underestimate how brilliant kids are at telling stories—we have an innate ability, I think, to connect to stories, and I know from my work in classrooms and from hanging out with my own children that when I give just a few tips and hints, kids just love to make stories come alive (kind of how Polly makes stories ACTUALLY come alive in her magic book!)

Hopefully you and your children (or your class) enjoy the course—please let me know what I need to change or add to make it even more fun for the young writers in your life. And for those of you who enjoyed getting to know your characters, here are the first ten questions from the character worksheet for you to enjoy with the kids in your life.

You can try this with one character or with ALL of the characters in your stories!
Draw a picture of your character—like the picture of Polly Diamond!

Imagine you can sit down with your character and ask him or her questions.
Write the answers YOUR CHARACTER would say. For example, if I was interviewing Polly Diamond, I'd ask: “What is your name?” And she would answer, “My name is Polly Diamond.”
Question 1: What is your name?
Question 2: How old are you?
Question 3: What is your favorite thing to do?
Question 4: What do you do when you first wake up?
Question 5: What do you love to eat?
Question 6: Do you go to school? If yes, what grade are you in?
Question 7: Do you have any brothers or sisters? Can you describe them if you do?
Question 8: Tell me about your best friend.
Question 9: Do you have a secret?
Question 10: Have you ever been in trouble?

Here’s the link to the rest of the course:

Thank you so much for letting me share my ideas about writing with you.

Alice Kuipers

Many thanks 

to Alice Kuipers for introducing young readers
and their teachers and families
 to her new online writing course for children


to her publicist Susan Busse for arranging for this stop on the blog tour.

CanLit for LittleCanadians is always pleased to host Alice Kuipers 
whose books continue to inspire young Canadian readers 
and now get them writing too!


Be sure to check out the other stops on Alice Kuipers' blog tour for Polly Diamond and the Magic Book:

May 3: Book Time
May 7: Yoyomama
May 11: Savvy Mom

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