May Woo-HOO’s!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Yikes, my apologies for once again being late posting our regional monthly good news. My oldest son graduated from high school yesterday, sniff, where have the years gone, sniff, so this month has been crazy busy for us! So let me get right into our . . .


First up, congratulations and a mighty woo-HOO to Pam Smallcomb for winning a 2012 MSUM Read Aloud Book Award, (which over 20,000 regional children help choose, for her picture book,) EARTH TO CLUNK!


A picture book of a boy assigned an unwanted pen pal from outer space and a girl who is so busy with her extra-curricular schedule that she has no time to play are the winners of this year’s eighth annual Read Aloud Book Awards.

 Nineteen regional teachers and librarians, along with 110 MSUM students, read aloud 313 picture books to about 20,400 children. The winners and honor books for younger and older children are determined after the Read Aloud Committee examines feedback from readers, which includes the responses of children to each of the books. Each book in the competition is read aloud numerous times.

The winner of the preschool to eight-year-old category:

Earth to Clunk,” written by Pam Smallcomb, illustrated by Joe Berger, and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, received the 2012 Wanda Gág Book Award for the best read aloud picture book for younger children. The award is named in honor of Wanda Gág, a children’s book author, illustrator, and artist who grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota. She’s best known for “Millions of Cats” (published in 1928), considered the first American picture book.

In the winning book, “Earth to Clunk,” the narrator has an unwanted pen pal—Clunk, from the planet Quazar. In an attempt to punish Clunk for having a pen pal from Earth, the young boy sends him all of the awful things he can think of: dirty socks, old lasagna, a scary picture, and his big sister. However, Clunk has been sending him stuff too: a Zoid, three Forps, and a surprisingly tasty glob. Will the two be able to find friendship? Berger’s pen, pencil, and ink illustrations, digitally colored, illuminate the dead-pan humor of Smallcomb’s amusing, imaginative story.

Students, ages six to nine, loved this “out of this world” book, some saying that it was their favorite read aloud. They enjoyed the mystery behind Clunk and were fascinated by the Zoid, especially the page where the Zoid burps! Teachers used the book to make connections to pen pals and concrete poetry, as the text is often purposefully shaped in “stair” formations.

Once again, congratulations, Pam, and illustrator Joe Berger! What an incredible honor!

Congratulations and a mighty woo-HOO also to Marilyn Shank who recently found out that her novel CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS has been selected to represent West Virginia at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC (Sept. 22-23)! She is very honored to have her novel represent the state she loves!

Awesome job, Marilyn, congrats!! 🙂

And finally, major, major congrats and mighty woo-HOO’s to every single May Mid-Grade Madness participant! It was an awesome experience and I loved getting to know some of our members better on our regional Facebook page as we cheered each other on. I’m happy to report that everyone had accomplished a ton with their mid-grades and the following folks have earned the title of Rock Star by writing past the 18,000 word mark . . . in only 72 hours!

–  Veronica Bartles

–  Erin Hagar

– Hasna Ana Otaru

–  and Lona Queen!

Congratulations, everyone, and next year, I want to DOUBLE our participation!! 🙂


Also, in case you missed yesterday’s fabulous post about Book Shopping for Dads provided by our fabulous Delaware Critique Group members, be sure to give it a read!

And if you have any good news–big or small–that you’d like to share, please forward it to us at laura.bowers at We’d love to hear from you!

Happy writing and illustrating, everyone! 🙂


About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She clearly likes run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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One Response to May Woo-HOO’s!

  1. Congratulations Pam, Marilyn, and middle-grade rock stars!!

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