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About Darcy Pattison
Children’s book author and indie publisher Darcy Pattison writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children.
Her works have received starred PW, Kirkus, and BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts, and a 2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature.
Pattison grew up in the mountains of New Mexico where she helped her brothers catch spiders and insects for their collection, tried to corral horny toads, side-stepped rattlesnakes, and climbed the Continental Divide. She loves to write about wildlife, science fiction, and the kittens of KittyTube.
In 1999, she created the Novel Revision Retreat, which she now teaches across the nation. For more, see http://www.darcypattison.com/speaking/ Books about how-to write include:
START YOUR NOVEL: Six Winning Steps Toward a Compelling Opening Line, Scene and Chapter
NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: Uncommon Ways to Revise
THE BOOK TRAILER MANUAL
HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK
30 DAYS TO A STRONGER NOVEL
CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR:
Translated into ten languages, her books have been recognized for excellence by starred reviews, Book of the Year awards, state award lists and more. She is the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children's literature. Titles include:
Moment in Science series
ECLIPSE: How the 1919 Solar Eclipse Proved Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
POLLEN: Darwin's 130-Year Prediction **Fall 2019 Junior Library Guild selection**
CLANG: Ernst Chladni's Sound Experiments **2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
BURN: Michael Faraday's Candle
EROSION: How Hugh Bennett Saved America's Soil and Stopped the Dust Bowl **2021 NCSS Notable Social Studies Book**
Another Extraordinary Animal series
ROSIE THE RIBETER: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
NEFERTITI, THE SPIDERNAUT: The Jumping Spider Who Learned to Hunt in Space **2017 NSTA Oustanding Science Trade Book**
ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub **2015 NSTA
Outstanding Science Trade Book**
WISDOM THE ALBATROSS: SURVIVING THE JAPANESE TSUNAMI **Starred PW Review**
THE NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER: A Fake News Story **Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild selection**, 2018 NCTE Notable Children's Book in Language Arts
DESERT BATHS **2013 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book**
KENTUCKY BASKETBALL (America's Winningest Teams)
A LITTLE BIT OF DINOSAUR, co-written with Elleen Hutcheson, Starred Kirkus Review
THE KITTYTUBERS SERIES
WHEN KITTENS GO VIRAL
THE KITTEN STARS
THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD SERIES
ENVOYS (short story prequel)
THE HEARTLAND TALES (novels)
Contemporary Family Novels
LONGING FOR NORMAL (novel)
SAUCY AND BUBBA (novel)
THE READ AND WRITE SERIES
I WANT A DOG: My Argument Essay, illustrated by Ewa O'Neill
I WANT A CAT: My Argument Essay, illustrated by Ewa O'Neill
MY CRAZY DOG: My Narrative Essay, illustrated by Ewa O'Neill
MY DIRTY DOG: My Informative Essay, illustrated by Ewa O'Neill
Other Picture Books
ROWDY: THE PIRATE WHO COULD NOT SLEEP, illustrated by Ewa O'Neill
THE JOURNEY OF OLIVER K. WOODMAN **Starred Kirkus, BCCB Reviews**
SEARCHING FOR OLIVER K. WOODMAN
19 GIRLS AND ME
THE RIVER DRAGON
THE SCARY SLOPES
11 WAYS TO RUIN A PHOTOGRAPH
WONKY: A ROBOTICS CLUB TALE, illustrated by Nathaniel Gold
I CAN MAKE WISE CHOICES
THE ALIENS INC. SERIES CHAPTER BOOKS, pictures by Rich Davis
ALIENS, INC. SERIES: Book 1 - KELL, THE ALIEN
ALIENS, INC. SERIES: Book 2 - KELL AND THE HORSE APPLE PARADE,
ALIENS, INC. SERIES: Book 3 - KELL AND THE GIANTS
ALIENC, INC. SERIES: Book 4 - KELL AND THE DETECTIVES
MY STE(a)M NOTEBOOK: 150 YEARS OF PRIMARY SOURCES FROM AMERICAN SCIENTISTS
For more see darcypattison.com/about
For more on Darcy Pattison's books, see mimshousebooks.com
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Titles By Darcy Pattison
"...Pattison's characters delight..." Kirkus Review of Book 1
Angel Persian, a kitten born into a famous KittyTube family, faces her biggest acting challenge yet. The clock is ticking! By the month’s end, only ten kittens will be offered acting contracts.
Stardom! Will she be chosen?
Angel must visit the different kennels, work with each director, and rack up views on KittyTube.
Will she find a kennel to call home? The five kennels are so different! Some aim for slow and steady growth, but some love fast and flashy. One kennel is known for its encouragement while another is competitive. Which would suit her better: a laid-back or a work-hard attitude? Angel’s decision now will affect the rest of her life.
In this final chapter book of The KittyTubers trilogy, Angel Persian searches for a home where she can use her talents. Read this heartwarming story about Angel Persian’s search for her future.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PICTURE BOOK BASICS
Picture Book Structure: Why 32 Pages?
Does EPUB Change the 32-page Illustrated Picture Book?
Dual Audience for Children’s Picture Books
Picture Book Settings: Exotic v. Familiar
Children’s Picture Book Characters: Folk Tale or Modern Story
PICTURE BOOK GENRES
How to Write a Children’s ABC Book
How to Write a Read Aloud Friendly Book
How to Write a Rhyming Picture Book, Part 1
How to Write a Rhyming Picture Book, Part 2
Rhyming Picture Book Bibliography
How to Write a Poetry Collection Picture Book
How to Write a Picture Book Mystery
How to Write a Humorous Picture Book
How to Write a Children’s Picture Book Biography
How to Write a Creative Non-Fiction Picture Book
WRITE A PICTURE BOOK
Good Writing: The Basics
Plotting a Picture Book
Plan Your First Draft
17 Picture Book Topics to Avoid
10 Suggested Directions for Titles
Did You Write a Picture Book or Magazine Article?
Let’s Make a Dummy or a Mock-up of Your Picture Book
From Shakespeare: 2 Ways to Look at Picture Book Structure
Revising Your Picture Book Text
5 Ways to Make the Reader Turn the Page
Phonics for Picture Book Writers
Create a Compelling Voice for a Picture Book
Page 32: The Last Page of a Picture Book
SUBMIT YOUR PICTURE BOOK
The Self-Publishing Question
The Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Submitting a Picture Book
The Illustrator Doesn’t Tell YOU What to Do
Titles and Subtitles Sell Your Work
How Do I Find an Editor’s Name for Submission?
APPENDIX: BONUS WORKSHEETS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Children’s book author and writing teacher Darcy Pattison has received recognition for her work with starred reviews, the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature Honor award, and one title is reprinted in a Houghton Mifflin textbook. Twice her books have been named National Science Teacher’s Association Outstanding Science Trade Books of the year.
Picture book titles include:
• Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub (Mims House), 2015 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
• Wisdom, the Midway Albatross: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and Other Disasters for Over 60 Years (Mims House), a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly
• Desert Baths (Arbordale), an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book 2013
• Prairie Storms (Arbordale)
• I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay (Mims House)
• I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay (Mims House)
• My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay (Mims House)
• The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt), which received an Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature Honor Book award, starred reviews in BCCB and Kirkus, and has been published in a Houghton Mifflin textbook
• Searching for Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt)
• 19 Girls and Me (Philomel)
• 11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph (Mims House), winner of “The Help” Children’s Story Contest.
Join our newsletter at mimshouse.
"...Pattison's characters delight..." Kirkus Review of Book 1
Kittywood is all abuzz trying to guess which of the 27 kittens will be cut. Angel and Jazz hope to make the final twenty, but to do that, they need views. That means, more pressure on every video. They need stronger ideas and better acting.
To make it even harder, Director Stanley gives them all a new challenge. Ex-Marine Captain Piper Crouch will teach the kittens acrobatics.
Angel is shocked! From a height of ten feet, they expect her to do a double flip and land safely. Landing isn’t the problem for cats, of course. It’s the double-flip. It becomes Angel’s new passion.
In this continuing chapter book series of The KittyTubers, the kittens grow and mature, developing their acting skills. Join the kittens as they work—and hope—for stardom!
Could there be alien sleeper cells on Earth?
A test-tube baby, Jake Rose is half human and half alien; he has both lungs and gills. He's comfortable breathing air—or water.
He’s been raised on the “other blue planet,” Rison. However, in a horrifying science-gone-wrong scenario, Rison will soon implode.Jake evacuates to Earth to live with his human father’s parents on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. His mother, Dayexi Quad-de is Rison’s ambassador to Earth. She’s tasked with finding Risonians a new home in Earth's oceans in a peaceful manner.
Jake accidentally discovers that Earth’s elite ELLIS forces are trying to sabotage Mt. Rainier.They plan to force Mt. Rainier to erupt…and then blame it on the Risonian aliens.
Working to thwart them, Jake suddenly realizes his mother—the ambassador—is missing. Kidnapped!
Sleepers is the first novel in the action-packed science fiction The Blue Planets World series. This classic children's novel of finding your place in society combines with thrilling science fiction that delivers a punch. Perfect for readers in fourth to eighth grade.
Who holds the world record triple jump record – for bullfrogs?
Rosie, the Ribeter.
She set the record in May 1986 at 21 feet 5 ¾ inches.
Her record has stood for over 30 years.
This is her story.
It all started with Mark Twain and his famous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” After it was published, the Calaveras County fair started the Jumping Frog Jubilee™, which has run since 1928.
Over the years, the frogs have jumped farther.
Why? Scientists say it’s because of the frog jockeys,
the men and women who catch and jump the frogs.
Read this extraordinary story of a man and a frog.
ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY ANIMAL collection – Award Winning Collection!
- Wisdom, the Midway Alabtross: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and Other Disasters for Over 60 Years, Starred Publisher’s Weekly review
- Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub, 2015 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
- Nefertiti, the Spidernaut: The Jumping Spider Who Learned to Hunt in Space, 2017 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
History of the Jumping Frog Jubilee™
Mark Twain’s first successful short story was “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” published in 1865. The humorous story was based on a story he heard in Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he’d spent time as a miner. Calaveras County, California drew on this legend & added the Jumping Frog Jubilee™ to its 1928 county fair.
Quiet on the set! Come behind the scenes of your favorite cat videos in this funny adventure for chapter book and intermediate readers.
Kirkus Reviews: "...Pattison's characters delight..."
On a glittering night of destiny, a cat star is born.
The Majestic Kennels, home to the famous cats of KittyTube, welcomes a new kitten, Angel Persian. Angel is eager to follow in the footsteps of her famous mother and father and become a Kittytube sensation.
You'll be there when
- Angel aces her first screen test
- She opens her eyes - what will she see?
- She shivers--and charms--her way through her first snow storm.
Will Angel become
- a water cat, paddling around bathtubs or splashing in sinks of water,
- a piano cat, walking the black & white keys,
- a ghost cat, jumping out to frighten kids,
- or something new?
Will this tiny kitten find her courage--and her audience on KittyTube? Will she have what it takes to win?
What will it take for this tiny kitten to become a star?
Which cats are the best at purring? PURR-sians!
Read Angel's story today!
Starting the Journey
Why Editors Focus on Page 1
STEP ONE: Clarify Your Idea
STEP TWO: Review Your Skills
STEP Three: Plan the Opening Chapter
STEP FOUR: Plan the Opening Line
STEP FIVE: Now, Write!
STEP SIX: Revise
Writing teacher and author, Darcy Pattison, is the author of NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: Uncommon Ways to Revise and How to Write a Children’s Picture Book. She brings extensive experience in teaching writing to this exciting new book and helps you get started with the creative writing process.
NaNoWriMo? You need this book in October to help you plan what to write in November!
School Library Journal says, "VERDICT: This fun chapter book series is out of this world."
A LOVE OF READING STARTS HERE. . .
Publisher's Weekly says, "amusing" and "engaging and accessible.
For Kell, the Friends of Police Parade is a big deal, his first Earthling parade!
With Bree's help, he must figure out how to
- deal with City Hall,
- figure out fund-raising,
- and find super heroes and super heroines to march in the parade.
To make things worse, Principal Lynx believes someone in third grade in an alien,
and she has a new Alien Catcher App on her smart phone.
When a friend gets sick, Kell must visit the hospital.But he has to make sure that no one tries to listen to his heart--because he doesn't have one.
Survival on planet Earth just got harder for the Smiths, those friendly aliens from Bix.
Are Super Heroes and Super Heroines Really Aliens?
Well, Superman came from the planet Krypton.
Read Book 2 of The Aliens, Inc. series to find out what other super heroes and super heroines show up at the Friends of the Police Parade.
Hint: You've never heard of these super-heroes and heroines before - but you'll love them!
When Dennis has to write a narrative essay, he naturally turns to his dog for something to write about. Recently, Mom asked Dennis to put a leash on Clark Kent so they could take the dog to the veterinarian for shots. Clark gave them all a merry chase! There’s lots of action to love here—and great verbs for Dennis’s narrative essay.
THE READ AND WRITE SERIES
I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay, Book 1
I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay, Book 2
My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay, Book 3
My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay, Book 4 (Spring, 2016)
This is the third installment in The Read and Write Series. Children's book author and writing teacher, Darcy Pattison, entertains kids while also teaching them how-to-write.
PRAISE for I WANT A DOG, FROM DOG EXPERTS
“Darcy Pattison does a remarkable job on several fronts with her wonderful new book I Want A Dog: My Opinion Essay. She introduces the value of the written text at an early age to children. This cannot be emphasized enough in our early classrooms. With this comes an important lesson regarding the responsibility of owning and caring for a dog. As President of the Labrador Retriever Club representing the breed with the largest number of dogs I know how imperative responsible dog ownership is and Darcy does a wonderful job instilling this at an early age. This is a remarkable children’s book that has a lesson.”
–Fred Kampo, President of the Labrador Retriever Club
PRAISE for I WANT A DOG, FROM SCIENCE EDUCATOR
“I find these books to be the perfect resource when teaching persuasive writing and opinion essay. Students are immediately interested in the engaging story, much more so than when introduced to this style of writing using an English text. The prompts included make for an excellent teacher resource and can be used an extension to the text, adding depth to the learning. “ Peggy Carlisle, NBCT, Director, NSTA Preschool/Elementary Division, President-Elect Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees, NSTA.
PRAISE for I WANT A CAT, FROM CAT EXPERTS
“This is an absolutely delightful book intended for children, but actually one that is informative for adults as well, it reinforces the importance of considering various factors when selecting a cat as a pet. The two cousins are exchanging thoughts about their lifestyles and priorities. They each have a vision of their ‘ideal cat.’ Though every cat is an individual, the book expresses the value of predictable personality traits and other characteristics of various pedigreed cat breeds. It is a charming story of the two children each going through the process of finding a cat who best fits their own preferences. The playful illustrations compliment the humorous and educational quality of the book.”
Joan Miller, Cahir, CFA Outreach and Education, Cat Fancier’s Association
Perfect for remote learning, digital learning, or home learning. Printables available on our website.
Most spiders spin a web and passively wait for prey to come to them. Jumping spiders, by contrast, actively hunt by jumping to catch their food. What if a jumping spider was sent to the International Space Station? When it jumped, it would simply float. No one knew if the spider could hunt in a weightless environment.
This nonfiction picture book for elementary kids chronicles the amazing voyage of Nefertiti, the Spidernaut to the International Space Station and back. She’s a Phiddipus johnsonii, or Johnson jumping spider, native to western United States. Her colorful anatomy—red, black and teal—made for stunning photography and video. In 2012, Nefertitti clocked a record-breaking 100 days in space, during which time she circled Earth about 1584 times, traveling about 41,580,000 miles.
Astronaut Sunita Williams, Captain U.S. Navy said, “It was a suspense story for me as it happened. I didn’t know if she would survive when I unpacked her for the first time, or when I packed her up and sent her back home to Earth.”
This is an astonishing story of change: through the dark and cold, in spite of being weightless and isolated, this incredible spider adapted and learned to hunt. Against all odds, she survived to return to Earth, where she had to re-adapt to Earth’s gravity. Nefertiti’s story of survival brings hope that we, too, can adapt to a changing world.
Join Nefertiti in this inspiring journey into space.
What an accomplishment! Now what?
Now, you need a innovative, in-depth guide to revision.
Before revision: Nice Story
After revision: Richer, deeper-the novel of your dreams.
Novice or Seasoned: For aspiring novelists, mid-list novelists who want to break out, novelists who want to self-publish-successfully, writers who have completed NaNoWriMo but don't know what to do next, and writing critique groups looking for a way to help each other to the next level.
Revising has never been easier
• Systematically inventory and diagnose your manuscript
• Visually manipulate your manuscript to identify problems
• Transform dull characters into fascinating, memorable people
• Strengthen the narrative and emotional arcs
• Sharpen dialogue
• Morph dull settings into backdrops that set the mood
• Enliven narrated events by selecting the right details
• Use language with confidence
• Add depth with narrative patterning In-depth professional development
• Plan your novel's metamorphosis
A stronger, richer, deeper story, a story that makes readers weep and cry and turn the next page.Novel Metamorphosis, unlike most books on revision, turns theory into radical new tools which are practical, tangible, concrete.
• Cut straight to the heart of your manuscript's problem
• Develop your writing and editing skills
• Understand the critical underlying structure of your story
• Learn theory as you work
• Spark in-depth discussions in your critique group
Other Writing Techniques books from Darcy Pattison
How to Write a Children’s Picture Book
Start Your Novel: Six Winning Steps Toward a Compelling Opening Line, Scene and Chapter
Villains: How to Develop and Write Evil, Wicked, Awful Villains and Antagonists to Add Depth to Your Novel
30 Days to a Stronger Novel