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Always Something New: Little Dramas About Learning

In verse and graphic illustrations we present how children feel about many challenges they face when they are confronting new situations.

Photo of Vicki Cobb
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Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

There is no book out there that deals with how children have to confront all sorts of new learning experiences. Also the verse format is very appealing to children.. They love the sound of words. I am a well established author of nonfiction, mostly science books. This book is a real departure for me. My son, Theo Cobb, and I have been working on it off and on for years. It is outside-the -box from what I'm known for and we have that creative prescience that tells us this will work.

Share your suggested book title

Always Something New! Little Dramas About Learning.

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Prologue The Cartwheel (a girl) It seems no matter where I turn/ There’s always something new to learn/ I try, I try, I really do/. But then I flop! /Oh, icky poo~ Mom says, “ If at first you don’t succeed, “try, try again.”/ But cartwheels are im-pos-sible./ If not now, then when? Act I Eating with Others Don’t Be RUDE: Use a Tissue: A napkin’s meant to blot your lips/ And protect your clothes./ It’s also used to mop up drips/ But not to blow your nose./ Mastering the Knife A knife is a cutter/ And spreader of butter/ It’s so hard to master I can’t eat any faster./ But peas fly off/ When I cough. No Slurping To use a spoon properly Without a splash or fuss,/ Gently dip it, Politely sip it/And don’t pick up asparagus. Soup to Mouth Of course, a fork /Can’t be a scoop/For soup./ It’s good for stabbing peas. To me, it’s clear A fork’s a spear To fish for A, B, Cs. Chinese-American Dining Chopsticks are not for sticking or chopping. The trick is to keep them from crossing or dropping. Act II Now, About Clothing Not a Knot When my laces flip and flop/ Chances are I’ll trip and drop To tie a bow/Is just not fun, But, if you’ll excuse the pun, /It’s worth it for The longer run Shhhhhh Velcro closes with a quiet press When I dress. But opens with a noisy rrrrrrip When I strip. The sound is something I’m enjoying, When a voice says, “Stop! “That’s soooo annoying.” Enduring the Headlock When Mom puts on This hateful shirt, My ears fold down. My face gets red. Was it designed/ To make me hurt? With a hole to narrow For my head? Three-Dimensional Math My jacket starts out Upside down. Over my head I flip it. Grown-ups stare with a puzzled frown As I proudly smile And zip it. III Life’s Struggles Patience Don’t get itchy./ Don’t be twitchy, /While you wait. /“Oh how I hate/ To cultivate/ This trait” The book is 520 words but it has been laid out in 32 pages. The art and the verse are integr

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

I have written a number of award-winning science books for this age. My Science Play series : I See Myself, I Get Wet, I Fall Down and I Face the Wind (Sibert Honor book) have been tested and found age appropriate. This book is a departure from my trademark books and I would love for it to see the light of day. It has been a labor of love for me and my artist son, Theo Cobb. It comports with all the references you've given us. However, that's not how I create. That process is something of a mystery to me but I have two children, 5 grandchildren and have done professional development for a daycare center and all the evidence shows that my work resonates with kids. I'm adding a video about my Science Play series at a day care center. One other thing .Note that some of the words might seem above the vocabulary level of young children but that's how they learn. This book is for pre-literate children and the art conveys a lot of information about each activity.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have been to Philadelphia a number of times and have presented programs at the Philadelphia Library and the Franklin Museum.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Yes, the population of the children in the book are very diverse. Years ago, I was offered a job writing for Sesame Street which I turned down because I had young children at home. I have not forgotten how it feels when something happens and you just know you have to learn yet another lesson. It is an unending proposition for a lifetime but no one knows it better than a two-year-old. That's who we're speaking to with wisdom, wit and humor.

Location: Country

White Plains, NY USA

Location: State or Department

Westchester County, New York

Location: City

Greenburgh, but our P.O. is White Plains. Theo lives in Racine Wisconsin.

Website URL (optional question) My son, Theo, designed my website. If you scroll down you'll see his website and his portfolio as an artist.

Tell us more about you / your team

This is a caricature of me that my son, Theo,created for my last birthday party. It will be gracing the covers of my next series of books: Vicki Cobb's STEM Play to be published by Racehorse (Skyhorse) in September of 2019 aimed 3-5 year-olds.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

The publication of Vicki Cobb's, Science Experiments You Can Eat, (an updated, revised edition was released in 2016 by HarperCollins) established her as an innovator in hands-on science. Take a look on her website to get a sense of her playful and accessible approach to science in her 90+ books for grades K-8 that cover physics, chemistry and biology, biographies, geography, and the human body. She is also pioneering a science video project for kids:

Do you have an agent?

  • Yes

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Roxie Munro sent the email to me.

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists
  • I am/we are are a registered NGO or Non-Profit Organization
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Attachments (2)

Toddler Characters_ASN .pdf

We have developed ten children, 5 boys and 5 girls of diverse ethnicities to participate in each verse, which is a double page graphic spread. We have laid out the book in three acts: Prologue, Act 1 Eating with Others, Act II, Now About Clothing, Act III Life's Struggles and Finale

ASN_Finishing Style_17x11.pdf

This is a double page spread of the first poem in the book. We have a cast of diverse children. We believe that the poetry and the graphics will strongly connect with pre-schoolers. I also think in some ways we are ahead of our time. The graphic style, Theo's best metier, has been unappreciated by traditional publishers.


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Photo of Shondra M. Quarles

Science is fun!

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