Friday, December 28, 2012

Rhymes With Wiggle, Volume 2

Jake Dog Stories is happy to announce our newest children's book, Rhymes With Wiggle, Volume 2.

This book includes 12 original poems and each has a corresponding illustration. We specialize in Silly Poems and all of these poems are targeted to your funny bone.

If you follow our blog you may be thinking, "Wait a minute, these are already on their blog!" Not so fast, you bright yet somewhat aggressive reader. Three of the poems included in this book are new. They have never been published on our blog. One of the new poems is about a pet pig, one is about jumping in puddles, and the other new poem is about all of the emotions kids feel.

Also, many of the illustrations for poems that have been on our blog have been updated.  When we publish a poem on our blog, we usually jot out a quick illustration. When we publish we replace many of those quick sketches with a more detailed illustration.

This is the first book we have published where the entire book is ereader formatted. You can change the size of the text. The longer poems may carry over to two pages, but the page breaks will remain constant. With each book we get a little more comfortable with our CSS coding skills and we think this is our best looking book yet, but of course you are the judge that matters. Let us know what you think.

So, here is the cover. It is also the illustration for "The Jumper" a poem about a child who strikes fear in the hearts of puddles. Go ahead, click on it to see the book on Amazon!

We hope you enjoy our latest book.  Leave us a comment, or even better, a review on Amazon if you have extra time burning in your pocket watch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Hope It Snows - A Silly Poem

It's raining now, but I want snow.
I want to sled. I want to skate.
 I want snowballs I can throw.

Rain is boring and can only flow.
I like a fluffy precipitate.
I like to look out and watch it grow.

Some complain, some bellow,
"No snow! I'll be late!"
"No snow! I'll need a tow!"

But I love to watch it swirl and blow.
I hope it starts. I can't wait.
I hope it lasts. We need some snow.

Copyright CM Dixon Dec 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wiggly, Giggly, Story Time - A Silly Poem

It's time to snuggle up and rest awhile,
To have silly dreams with a drowsy smile.

Sit on my lap and we'll read some books.
The ones that cause you goofy looks.

Sleep takes longer when you are wiggling,
But I always have time to hear you giggling.

Copyright CM Dixon Dec., 2012

Read to your kids! If you like this poem please take a look at our first Silly Poem book, available on Amazon. Click here to see it.  Thanks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Picture Book Memories

What takes you back in time? Is there a smell that reminds you of your childhood home? A food that melts away the years? A song that you hear and suddenly your mind goes back to high school or college?

Each of us have a handful of special things that drive those happy memories. One of the things that takes us back more than anything is;

"What did Santa leave for Baby? Let's go in and see."

That is the first page of Baby's Christmas, a classic children's picture book. This book was a favorite at our house when our kids were babies. If you are a parent, or spend time with little ones, you have those certain books that almost always quiet them down. If they are tired and cranky, those are the books you read as you rock, helping them quiet themselves.

This is one of those books. Our kids loved it so much we ended up memorizing the words. We could both read this with our eyes closed, turning the pages as we recited it. There is something about the rhyme, the choice of words, the pictures, and the excitement of Christmas that works together to soothe.

So, every once in awhile something will remind us of this book. If we see a little one around Christmas time that isn't happy, "What did Santa leave for Baby? Let's go in and see," pops into our heads. 

These memories are what make us fans of picture books. When we decided to start writing and illustrating, Baby's Christmas, was one of the books that inspired us.  We aren't in the same league as Esther and Eloise Wilkin, the author and illustrator of Baby's Christmas, but we hope to one day write a book like this. One that a parent memorizes because it becomes a favorite. One that soothes when a little one is having a bad day.

Our latest picture book is, Cars and Trucks Around My Town.  We are on a blog hop that begins Dec. 7 (see details below). As part of this blog hop we will be giving away a Kindle ecopy of our book.  Just leave a comment including your email address and we will draw one lucky winner. There is also a Grand Prize, and your entry here enters you for that prize as well. Good luck, and don't forget to visit the other authors listed below taking part in the blog hop!

Click on the picture below to purchase our new book!

Grand Prize Giveaway!

As part of the Kid's Books Holiday Blog Hop we are giving away a $30 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog along with your email address and you will be in the running to win. You can enter on all of the blogs – that will give you multiple chances to win!
The Giveaway starts 12/7/12 and ends 12/10/12 at midnight. I will notify the winner on 12/11/12 after noon. Good luck!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Cookies - A Silly Poem

Today is special because we're making,
Christmas cookies! Lets get baking.

Mixing the dough takes about an hour,
Creaming the butter, sifting the flour.

Smell the vanilla, add eggs after beating.
It won't be long and soon we'll be eating.

While the dough is chilling and the oven heats.
We cover the table with our cookie sheets.

Now the fun part can really begin,
As we cut out the shapes again and again.

I like the snowman, the star, and the sleigh.
You seem content to make Santa all day.

Don't forget the reindeer, bells, and trees.
No more Santas! Try a new shape please.

Sprinkling and sugaring makes them shine.
Leave some plain, I like frosting on mine.

Done at last. The perfect holiday treat.
So pretty to look at, but better to eat.

Copyright CM Dixon Dec. 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Express - A Train Story for Christmas

Merry Christmas! We love Christmas. We love everything about it. It truly is that time of year where everyone is allowed to have fun and take a break. One of our favorite parts of Christmas is all of the fun picture books about the birth of Jesus, Santa, and all of the other Christmas traditions. We still have the picture books we read to our kids years ago, and there is quite a large stack specific to Christmas. We will be sharing some of those in a future blog post.

Since we love Christmas so much we thought we would write a Christmas picture book. If you read our blog regularly you know that we self publish our own picture books.  (This is the shameless promotion portion of the blog post ;) We published a Halloween book titled, I Want To Be A Monster, earlier this year (see link on right) and had a lot of fun doing that. Then we started writing our Christmas picture book.

We ran out of time. We really should have started this in July, but of course we didn't. We love books about trains, cars, trucks, etc. (see book links to right, promise that is the absolute last promotion of our books :) so we decided to write a Christmas train book. We wrote it while riding on a train. OK, so it was a commuter train, but still a train, and we think that led to some authenticity.

So, now we had written the book, but didn't have time to finish it for publication. What to do? The reasonable thing to do would be wait until next year to publish. That's no fun. There are kids out there right now that love train books! So, we decided to release the book on our blog with what might have been the opening illustration.

This is a counting book so get some blocks or some other small things ready before reading to help your little one count along. Maybe we will finish this for next year, but until then think of it as a little Christmas present from Jake Dog to you.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Christmas Train is almost here!
With express deliveries from a jolly engineer.

He smiles and calls out the gifts he'll deliver,
While Ho Ho-ing out loud to ward off a shiver.

"10 Doll Houses with tables and chairs,"
"9 Soft and cuddly Teddy Bears,"
"8 Dump Trucks ready to haul,"
"7 Bags of Blocks to stack up tall,"
"6 Picture Books to read before bed,"
"5 Fast Bicycles striped with red,"
"4  Bouncy Balls to play with outside,"
"3 Red Wagons to pull friends for a ride,"
"2 Boxes of Crayons to color and draw,"
"And 1 Toy Boat to sail after the thaw."

The engineer slows slightly at the station in town,
To let the magic of Christmas spread all around.

Then he pushes the throttle to complete his long haul,
Blasts the whistle and shouts, "Merry Christmas to all!"

Copywrite CM Dixon Nov. 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cars And Trucks Around My Town - Picture Book

Jake Dog Stories is happy to announce our newest picture book, Cars And Trucks Around My Town.

Kids seem to love reading about different kinds of vehicles and this book is full of all types. This is a rhyming board style book perfect to read aloud to little ones.  Read along as garbage trucks collect trash, police cars go on patrol, a city bus drives along their route, and many other vehicles take part in the daily activities around their town.  Each page has a bright picture of a different vehicle with accompanying text.

We hope you will share this with your children, and with parents looking for a good read aloud book for their little ones.

Click here to purchase or borrow on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fizzy Fun - A Silly Poem

I want to go outside and play,
But I'm in trouble and have to stay,
Inside my room and think about,
All the things I am missing out,
On as my friends are having fun,
But I can't go out until dad is done,
Teaching me how wrong it is,
To shake his soda to see it fizz.
Copywrite CM Dixon Nov 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Still Sleepy - A Silly Poem

I am so sleepy, and still so tired.
I didn't sleep well, as I desired.
My brothers snore throughout the night,
And sound like two bears in a fight.
Mother sleepwalks down the halls.
She bumps and bangs into the walls.
My dad becomes hungry when he dozes.
Then the fridge door opens and closes.
Our dog is skittish and prone to bark,
At all of these noises in the dark.
Each morning they're set to charge ahead,
And I just want to go to bed.
Copywrite CM Dixon Nov. 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Don't Like...

I don't like syrup, it's too sweet.
I don't like shoes, they hurt my feet.
I don't like standing, I take a seat.
I don't like clutter, I keep things neat.
I don't like it cold, I turn up the heat.
I don't like loud voices, I am discreet.
But I do like you, you're a rare treat.

Copywrite CM Dixon Oct. 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All Aboard! FREE Train Ride (Virtual)

Counting Train Cars

It has been almost a year since one of us said, "Hey let's write a children's book".  We talked about it for years and for some reason we decided to go ahead and do it last year.  We didn't know what we would do with it when it was done, but we sat down and started.

Our first book, The New Life of Easter, was fun to write.  We enjoyed writing and illustrating that most important of stories.  We did everything on the iPad and finished it after much back and forth on how to make it just right.  Then we had a book. We talked about sending it to publishers and got on line to see how to start that process.  Then we started seeing all of these posts about self publishing. It sounded like fun. Ha! If fun is formatting a book 50 times because the words won't stay with the picture once it's uploaded to Amazon, then yes, it was fun.

So we were published.  So exciting! We read you should have a twitter account so we started one.  We didn't know what to do since we had no followers so we started following people.  I still remember our first Twitter follower.  It was @MorganNyberg. Nice guy. Writes end of the world literature. We were like, "Why did this guy follow us? We write picture books." Then others followed and it became apparent that quantity is the idea behind Twitter. 

Then we found out you could give your books away for free on Amazon. We set that up and people actually downloaded it.  We were scared to death that everyone who downloaded it would give us a one star review.  No one reviewed it. We agreed that giving over 100 books away was great. We never thought we would sale any and that was ok with us. It was fun and some people got our book for free. We imagined them sitting down and sharing the Easter Story with their little ones, and that was a good feeling.

Then, one day, oh my gosh, we sold a book!  Then another. Then another. Wow! Then someone wrote a review! Wow! We were addicted to the chase.  We didn't sale a lot of Easter books, but we sold enough to make us want to publish another one.

ENTER, Counting Train Cars, our second book. 

This book is a 1 to 10 counter.  It has been our most popular book to date with thousands given away and not quite thousands sold :)  However, we have sold many more than we ever expected.

More importantly though, people tell us that their kids like the colors, the rhymes, and counting. Yay! That is why we do it, right?

So, on Thursday 10\18 and Friday 10\19 you can get our most popular book for FREE.  Please download a copy and share it with a little one, and let parents know that they can get it for free for the next couple of days.

All Aboard! 

Let's count the cars as they go past.
One train engine going fast!
Two tank cars full of glue.
Three cow cars. Moo. Moo. Moo.

Download to read the rest!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shoes - A Silly Poem

I have new shoes that hurt my feet.
They squeak when I walk down the street.

The laces are short and too hard to tie.
The soles are slippery and I often slide by,

The spot where I wished the walking to stop,
So I've learned to make a quick reverse hop.

Which makes me look silly because when I land,
My feet spread apart and I need a hand,

To keep from sliding and doing the splits.
These new shoes are giving me fits .

I should throw them away and get a new pair,
But these shoes are so cool, I wouldn't dare.
Copyrite CM Dixon Oct 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Ghostly Guest - A Silly Poem

A ghost flew in my house today,
And politely asked if he could stay.

"I don't know you're kind of creepy."
"I'll be worried when I get sleepy,"

"That you will haunt me in my dreams,"
"And I'll have nightmares filled with screams."

He shuddered, sighed, and said, "How dreary."
"You think ghosts are mean and eerie."

"I bet you watch those scary movies."
"Hollywood can make some doozies."

"You don't think those tales are true?"
"You don't think ghosts still say boo?"

"I am nice and shouldn't be feared,"
"You've hurt my feelings," he disappeared.
Copyrite CM Dixon Oct 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carmel Apple - A Silly Poem

Fresh picked apples are a healthy snack,
But sometimes they seem to lack,

That little something to make them sweet,
And turn them into a special treat.

So I dipped mine in caramel, after adding a stick.
That's the apple I wish I could U-Pick.

I guess I could roll it in nuts while it's cooling.
Mmmm. It looks so good that I'm drooling.

I should add chocolate because I'm not too far,
From making a made at home candy bar.

Drizzled all over both dark and white.
I'm getting close. This is almost just right.

Sprinkles! They'll add some nice color.
Wow, this is huge it seemed much smaller,

Before I added all of the candy coating.
If I eat all of this it's probably worth noting,

That I will surely become nauseous.
So I must remain cautious.

If I start I won't stop 'til it's done,
And this is way too much food for just one.

There's only one answer. I'll host a brunch,
And serve it in slices with a healthy lunch.
Copywrite CM Dixon Sept. 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Halloween! Free Book

October is almost here. Fall is my favorite time of year. (Unintended rhyme) Something about the cooler air, and the anticipation of the holiday season, I guess.

Our kids are grown so now our big Halloween event is handing out candy to the Trick or Treaters. We love the costumes and how the kids are all different. Some are fired up and beg for an extra piece of candy. Some are so shy they can barely hold out their bag to get the candy. We even enjoy the big kids who show up without a costume, but want to squeeze in one more year of being a kid.

We wrote I Want To Be a Monster because we love Halloween. Sat Sept 29 it is FREE. Make sure to get your copy. Tell your friends!

We would be very thankful if you could leave a review on Amazon.

Click here to get the book!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bake Sale - A Silly Poem

We're having a bake sale tomorrow at lunch.
I need to make something and I need a bunch.

We need to raise money to buy new books,
And our librarian is now calling all cooks.

I could make brownies, fudgey and chewy,
With caramel on top to make them all gooey.

Chocolate chip cookies are a popular treat,
Fresh from the oven all crispy and sweet.

Cup cakes frosted and filled with fresh jam,
From a special recipe I got from my gram.

Or Pretzels dipped in chocolate, so easy and quick.
The candy tastes great around that salty stick.

I better get started if I'm going to get done.
I guess I'll make everything, cooking is fun!

The librarians will be happy when I drop off my snacks.
They can buy enough books to fill all our backpacks.

Copyrite Sept 2012, CM Dixon

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Want To Be a Monster

Jake Dog Stories is happy to anounce our latest picture book entitled, I Want To Be a Monster.

A little girl knows exactly what she wants to be for Halloween, but her mom wishes she would be something sweet and cute. Maybe a princess or a kitten, but this little one won't be swayed.  She is intent on being a monster.

Will she get her wish? Probably.

We used a  mixed media approach on this picture book. We started with construction paper cutouts, then added detail in Procreate. Photoscape was used to apply the "book" look.  Then a simple CSS code to load it onto Amazon.  If you read our blog you may have seen our three part series on how we published past books. We have been studying and we finally figured out how to write simple code to load the picture book.  It seems to give a more professional look to us, but would love some feedback from other authors.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Hope everyone gets enough candy to last into the Spring.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monster Meeting - A Silly Poem

   It's Halloween day and the monsters all meet,
To agree on a plan for tonight's trick-or-treat.

Bigfoot wants to start early and stay out all night!
A Vampire replies, "Later, the sun is too bright."

The Witch doesn't care, "I just want to fly, fast and witchy!"
"SCRATCH!" says Frankenstein who's stitches are itchy.

The Werewolf takes off running, chasing a cat.
The Headless Horseman is busy trying on a new hat.

The Mummy wants to speak, but his mouth is too dry.
Finally Bigfoot sits down and he starts to cry.

"I want candy! I want a whole pillow case full!"
But the only one listening is The Ghostly Ghoul.

"Come along Bigfoot, I'll float along with you."
"We'll go down this street and I can say Boo!"

"To all of the little ones out trick-or-treating,"
"And you will get candy for a year's worth of eating."