Tag Archives: Books

Author Reads “Sea Horse, run!” on YouTube

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“Sea Horse, run!” is now the featured video on my YouTube Channel. Watch and listen as I read the story.

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An Overview of My Reading at the Blair Library

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So many of my best ideas come from research that at every school I visit, I introduce myself by by describing the library where my research begins: the Blair Library (a.k.a. the Fayetteville Public Library) in my hometown, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Fayetteville Public Library was the recipient of Library Journal's 2005 Library of the Year Award. Photo by me!

Today I read “Sea Horse, run!” at 10:30 am in the Walker Community Room at my favorite library. A wonderful audience filled with children, parents, and educators heard my dramatic reading (yes, I sang Coral’s part!), then I launched into how I created my new, award-winning picture book. I’ve written a few blog articles about some of the topics I discussed such as…

Rewriting the end of “Sea Horse, run!”. (Spoiler Alert!!!) This post includes the video I showed during my presentation. You’ll see step by step how I research and draw characters for the book.

The Power of Three. The number “3” defines story structure and is an important number in children’s stories.

 

 

One thing I forgot to discuss during my presentation is why Coral sings in the story. Read Coral as Greek Chorus to find out.

I brought markers, boxes of crayons, and copies of activities for the kids. Several children came up the stage and colored the pictures while I read the book.

Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!         Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!     Dot-to-Dot Activity

You can check out a copy of “Sea Horse, run!” at the Blair Library (a.k.a. the Fayetteville Public Library), or purchase a hardcover in Fayetteville at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street, French Quarters Antiques on Block Street, or Barnes & Noble across from the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

Fayetteville's Blair Library.

Blair Library became the first building in Arkansas to register with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program. The library received its LEED silver certification from the USGBC in December 2006. Read more or visit  Fayetteville’s Blair Library online at: www.faylib.org.

Want to learn more about me (Tammy Carter Bronson)? Visit my personal blog or read a recent post that sums up 2011 so far: “Summer 2011 in Review.”

The Power of Three in Children’s Books

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Three is a special number in literature, especially in children’s stories. For example…

The Three Bears, Three Blind Mice, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Musketeers, and don’t forget to make three wishes! The list goes on and on, so I thought, “Why not use the number three in my next picture book?”

In “Sea Horse, run!” I use the number three, three times:

1) Sea Horse turns three colors: red, yellow, and blue. I chose these colors because they are primary colors, but I also associate each color with Sea Horse’s emotions. Red is a symbol of courage and sacrifice. Sea Horse is willing to sacrifice himself to save his best friend, Coral, so red is Sea Horse’s predominate color in the book. Sea Horse is yellow when he is feeling surprised or scared. When Sea Horse is parted from Coral, he turns blue because he is sad to be away from from his friend.

2) Three predators give Sea Horse advice: the Shark, Eel, and Octopus. Moving from the not-so-clever Shark to the very intelligent Octopus, each animal is terrified by the thought of a much larger predator, the sea dragon. They all tell Sea Horse to “run” or swim away.

          

3) In the end, three sea dragons are on the reef. The ribboned sea dragon (Ribbon) was there all along. The leafy sea dragon (Leafy) arrives to visit Ribbon, and on the last page the weedy sea dragon (Weedy) is seen in the distance.

     

Weedy Sea Dragon

In the end Coral sings, “Three little dragons! Three little dragons!” That sounds like a great title for my next book.

Three Little Dragons, a sequel to “Sea Horse, run!”.

Aquarium Gift Shops Love “Sea Horse, run!”

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Two Leafies

Pair of Leafy Sea Dragons at the Dallas World Aquarium. Picture by Tammy Carter Bronson (2010)

Updated 3/31/12:

So far, seven aquariums have ordered “SEA HORSE, RUN!”. Here is the list of aquarium gift shops with copies of the book:

Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Purchase Online

Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach, California

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Powell, Ohio

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
San Pedro, California

Dallas World Aquarium
Dallas, Texas
Book of the Month in the Winter 2011 Dallas World Aquarium Newsletter

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans, Louisiana

SeaWorld
San Diego, CA
San Antonio, TX
Orlando, FL

Press Release 22 August 2011

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Book Deal Signed With Mariposa Press: Bookaroos’ Books Now In France

22 August 2011, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Thanks to recent exposure of “Sea Horse, run!” at American trade shows, Bookaroos Publishing has signed a deal with Mariposa Press for distribution of Bookaroos’ books in France.

“Sea Horse, run!” was listed as the picture book winner in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog which was distributed at Book Expo America (“BEA”) in New York (May 24-26, 2011). “Sea Horse, run!” was also on display in a cooperative booth staffed by members of the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (“IBPA”) at BEA and the American Library Association in New Orleans (ALA 2011, June 23-28). The national exposure for Bookaoos’ new title paid off when “Sea Horse, run!” caught the attention of Mariposa Press, a distributor of English language titles to bookstores throughout France. The company’s President, Laurie Blum Guest, requested samples of every book published by Bookaroos.

Bookaroos Publishing has four children’s picture books in print: Tiny Snail, The Kaleidonotes & the Mixed-Up Orchestra, Polliwog, and the award-winning “Sea Horse, run!”. Tammy Carter Bronson, President of Bookaroos Publishing, says, “We feel our picture books have a timeless, universal quality, and we are thrilled that Mariposa Press has chosen to represent all of our books for distribution in France.”

"Sea Horse, run!" at Book Expo America 2011

All four books will be highlighted in the Mariposa Press Fall/Winter children’s catalogue which will be distributed to bookstores and to potential buyers at France’s children’s book fair, the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse (Nov 30-Dec 5, 2011 à Montreuil) and at the French Book-Expo in Paris, Salon du Livre, March 16-19, 2012.

Mariposa Press has been in existence since 1981. Prior to taking over Mariposa, company president Laurie Blum Guest worked in New York as both a book packager and editor with Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, and Henry Holt. She also created her own series of books with 63 titles, sold several million copies, and has been a regular guest on CNN television.

For additional information, or to schedule an interview with Tammy Carter Bronson, e-mail books@bookaroos.com, or visit the Bookaroos Publishing website at: http://www.bookaroos.com.

QS? Contact: Matthew Shane Bronson, Publicity Department
Bookaroos Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 8518, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone/Fax 479-443-0339 or 479-443-6789

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Ribbon

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My latest video demonstrates how I created my character, Ribbon, for “Sea Horse, run!”. It takes 6 minutes to view, but it’s worth it. You’ll see real ribboned sea dragons at the Minnesota Aquarium as well as the step-by-step process I use to draw, paint, cut out, and design a character for the book. As an added bonus, I’ll show you exactly where I hid Ribbon on every page in the story.

Ribbon is a ribboned sea dragon. Specimens are usually greenish-yellow like the sea grasses they hide in. Ribboned sea dragons are found in waters northwest of Australia. They can grow to be about one foot in length. Ribboned sea dragons are more tropical than their southern relatives, the leafy and weedy sea dragons.

     Weedy Sea Dragon     

Sea dragons are classified in the family Syngnathidae (pronounced sin-NATH-ih-dee). Every animal in this family is a fish. Syngnathdae is Greek for “fused jaws” because the mouths of fish in this family do not open or close. About 330 species of Syngnathidae have been classified. At least thirty-seven species are sea horses, three species are sea dragons, and the rest are pipehorses or pipefishes.

Press Release 21 July 2011

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PDF: Press Release 21 July 2011

ARKANSAS AUTHOR FEATURED AT DALLAS FESTIVAL

21 July 2011, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Arkansas author and illustrator Tammy Carter Bronson will speak on Thursday, July 28th at DallasKidsRead!, the Dallas Children’s Book Fair & Literary Festival. Mrs. Bronson will discuss how she created “Sea Horse, run!”, her new award-winning picture book.

DallasKidsRead! was started in 1995 by Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr., President and CEO of the African American Museum in Fair Park. Since then, the event has risen to new heights and has expanded to reach thousands of children in the Dallas community. The 2011 DallasKidsRead! event will be held at the J. Erik Jonsson Dallas Central Library. The event will feature workshops, a meet and greet with several award-winning authors and illustrators, as well as a book sale. DallasKidsRead! is presented by AT&T, in partnership with the creative-learning non-profit Big Thought and the Dallas Public Library. The purpose of the literary festival is to increase the literacy rate of children and to help foster a true love for reading.

Tammy Carter Bronson lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. For ten years Mrs. Bronson has travelled to Dallas speaking with elementary school children about the writing, illustrating and publishing process. Mrs. Bronson’s program encourages children to read as many books as possible in order to create their own stories. She is the author and illustrator of three previous picture books: Tiny Snail (2000), The Kaleidonotes & the Mixed-Up Orchestra (2001), and Polliwog (2004). The award-winning “Sea Horse, run!” (2011) is her fourth book.

Event: DallasKidsRead!
Location: J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 2nd floor / 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Time: 4 – 7:00 PM

QS? Contact: Matthew Shane Bronson, Publicity Department
Bookaroos Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 8518, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone/Fax 479-443-0339 or 479-443-6789, books@bookaroos.com, http://www.bookaroos.com

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Read a detailed description of the event on Tammy’s Main Blog.

Teacher’s Guide

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A TEACHER’S GUIDE FOR “SEA HORSE, RUN!”


To download or print the full size PDF,

click here-> Teacher’s Guide for “Sea Horse, run!”

Text & art  ©2011 by Tammy Carter Bronson

849 words total made up of 282 different words

118 sentences / 1072 syllables

77% of the words are 1 syllable

126 syllable average for every 100 words

FRY READABILITY AGE IS 7 YEARS

*          *          *          *          *

RECOMMEND “Sea Horse, run!” as an Accelerated Reader (AR) Book at:

http://www.renlearn.com/ar/customercare/titlesuggestions.asp

You will need the following information to fill out the form:

Book Title: Sea Horse, run!

Author’s First Name: Tammy Carter

Author’s Last Name: Bronson

Publisher: Bookaroos Publishing, Inc.

Select Level: Lower Grades (K-3)

Year Published: 2011

ISBN: 9780967816777

In the meantime, use these sample questions and create your own Accelerated Reader (AR) Test:

1)   Who is Sea Horse’s best friend?

(A) Shark     (B) Coral      (C) Eel      (D) Octopus

2)  Shark, Eel, and Octopus are afraid of …

(A) Whale    (B) Coral     (C) Dolphins     (D) Sea Dragon

3)  Coral cannot leave the reef. Who tries to save Coral from  the Sea Dragon?

(A) Eel    (B) Shark      (C) Sea Horse      (D) Octopus

4)  Sea Horse swims out to save Seaweed from the dragon, but Seaweed is really …

(A) a fish.   (B) a plant.  (C) the Eel.  (D) the Sea Dragon.

5) Which one is NOT a type of Sea Dragon…

(A)Coral     (B) Leafy     (C) Weedy     (D) Ribbon

6)  Which animal sings in the story?

(A) Sea Dragon   (B) Coral   (C) Sea Horse   (D) Octopus

7) Sea Horse turns three different colors. Which color below is NOT a color for Sea Horse in the story?

(A) red    (B) yellow    (C) green     (D) blue

ANSWERS: 1=B; 2=D; 3=C; 4=D; 5=A; 6=B; 7=C

Dot-to-Dot Activity           Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!          Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!

Dot-to-Dot Activity               Brain Coral Maze PDF             Sea Horse Diagram PDF

STORY SUMMARY: Rumors of an approaching sea dragon cause frightened sea creatures to flee the reef, but brave Sea Horse stays behind to defend his helpless friend, Coral.

THEMES:  The dominant themes are COURAGE and FRIENDSHIP. Sea Horse’s friendship with Coral enables him to overcome his fear and face the sea monster in the hope that he will save Coral. Sea Horse has a lot of courage to face the dragon alone, but his courage allows him to meet family members he didn’t even know he had: sea dragons!

CHARACTERS:

Sea Horse is the HERO or main character.

Sea Dragon is the TEACHER who mentors the hero. At first it seems that there is no teacher character; however, when the Sea Dragon arrives, he contributes the most to the hero’s understanding of his journey.

Coral is a ‘chorus’ of HELPER characters who assist the hero on his journey. Coral helps by telling Sea Horse to swim away, but he chooses to stay behind and protect his friends.

TROUBLEMAKERS are opposed to the hero’s goal or are an obstacle for the Hero to overcome. In this story Sea Horse assumes that Shark, Eel and Octopus are helpers, but they are really troublemakers because Shark, Eel, and Octopus spread rumors that frightened all the animals.

CHARACTER ROLE REVERSALS: Sea Dragon changes from troublemaker to teacher. Shark, Eel, and Octopus change from helpers to troublemakers. And in the end, Sea Horse changes from hero to teacher when he reassures Sea Dragon that he is safe from Shark, Eel, and Octopus.

Eyes

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Do coral polyps have eyes?

All polyps have tentacles, a mouth, throat, and stomach, but coral polyps do not have eyes. 

Soft Coral Polyps   Hard Coral Polyps

The eyes are the soul of my characters. I put a lot of time and thought into each pair of eyes; however, Coral is an important character in “SEA HORSE, RUN!”, and she does NOT have eyes. I knew that would make it more challenging for readers to connect with her character, but since my husband is legally blind, I decided her character would give me the opportunity to express that you don’t need eyes in order to ‘see’ and understand the world around you. One of the most profound moments in the story is when Coral sings, “I see, I see!” She knows the ‘seaweed’ is the sea dragon long before Sea Horse understands even though Sea Horse has eyes to see.

Sea Horse and Leafy

Pages 20-21 of "SEA HORSE, RUN!"

Click on a question or link below to learn more about corals:

What is a coral polyp?

How do polyps eat?

How are corals named?

Why are corals important to sea horses?

Do coral polyps have eyes?

“Sea Horse, run!” Wins First Award June 2011

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Click to view the PDF: Press Release 14 June 2011

ARKANSAS AUTHOR WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

14 June 2011, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Arkansas author and illustrator Tammy Carter Bronson won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award for her new children’s picture book, “Sea Horse, run!”.

Indie Book Award LogoThe Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. The award is open to all indie book authors and publishers including small to mid-size publishers, university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have a book written in English. Awards are given in sixty different categories, but according to Mrs. Bronson, “The children’s picture book category is very popular and competitive. At best I hoped to place as one of the three finalists. I never imagined I would win!”

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards were established in 2008 to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books of the year. Winners receive gold medals and are featured in national news media and events. Presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (www.ibppg.com), award winners also receive a cash prize and the opportunity to display gold award stickers on their book.

Tammy Carter Bronson lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is the author and illustrator of three previous picture books: Tiny Snail (2000), The Kaleidonotes & the Mixed-Up Orchestra (2001), and Polliwog (2004). The award-winning “Sea Horse, run!” is her fourth picture book.

Two book signings are scheduled in Fayetteville: one at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, July 9th at 3:00 PM and another at Nightbird Books, Saturday, August 6th at 1:30 PM.

QS? Contact: Matthew Shane Bronson, Publicity Department
Bookaroos Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 8518, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone/Fax 479-443-0339 or 479-443-6789, books@bookaroos.com, http://www.bookaroos.com

Category

Audience

Title

Pages

Price

Binding

ISBN

Publication Date

Publisher

Websites

Children’s Picture Book

Ages 3 to 8 years

Sea Horse, run!

32 pages with 21 illustrations

$17.00

Hardcover

978-0-9678167-7-7

June 1, 2011

Bookaroos Publishing, Inc.

http://www.bookaroos.com

http://www.seahorserun.com

http://www.tammybronson.com