Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’m posting on deadline — my life story.

The Halloweensie Contest is the brain child of Author Susanna Leonard Hill. Thanks Jilanne for encouraging me to participate.

Halloween lights in the dark


Candy, Candy, Candy

By Stacy S. Jensen

Candy wore the same thing every day.

White. Orange. Yellow.

Another Candy also wore the same thing every day.

Red. White.

They were bored and craved change.

“Let’s do it,” Candy Corn said on Halloween.

She dressed like a monster with a pink bow.

Candy Cane became a tree with a star topper.

The girls loved their costumes. They rang doorbells and filled their bags until ….

a shadow startled them.

“LOL. It’s me,” Candy Heart said. “I wanted to join the fun. XOXO.”

“Change is good,” Candy Corn said.

The girls skipped to their next adventure.

Word Count is 97. 


Read more about the rules and more entries here.

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people ?  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou ?  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined ? )


I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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12 thoughts on “Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

  1. Love it! Love it! Love it! Or should I say Love each Candy! A great idea that came to you under pressure, right? I’m so glad you wrote this story!!! Isn’t it amazing what you can do when there’s a deadline?

  2. Such fun, Stacy! Love the idea of the different holiday candies dressing up! So creative! I’m glad Jilanne talked you into entering at the last minute 🙂 Thanks so much for being part of the Halloweensie high jinx and shenanigans!

PPBF: A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:


Title: A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

Author: Michelle Robinson

Illustrator: David Roberts

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2016

Suitable for ages: 3-6

Theme/Topic:  Bears, Survival Tips, Humor

Opening Spread: Going for a walk in BEAR Country? You’d better make sure you know your bears.

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon)

Do you dream of seeing some real, live bears? Then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!

In this perfect read-aloud, sure to delight kids and parents alike, a young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country . . . But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be dangerous, and our protagonist–accompanied by a trusty teddy bear–might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being (gulp!) eaten.

Resources: The National Park Service has tons of information available on bears. Stuffed bears could also be used to act out scenes from the book.

Why I Like This Book: This books is funny from the first page! While the child is ready for an outdoor adventure, the narrator keeps warning the child about bears. As a person, who always hopes to avoid bears, I laughed out loud while reading this book. Michelle Robinson’s pacing is excellent and the second the narrator says “Don’t worry. Chances are you won’t even SEE a bear.” You KNOW when you turn the pages things will get more interesting. This book has been one of my favorites from 2016.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.

I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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One thought on “PPBF: A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

  1. Love this book, Stacy! How come when I see a book like this, I wonder why I didn’t think of it…what a great series this would make…the beginner’s guide to whatever. 😉 Thanks for a great review!

PPBF: Secret Agent Man Goes Shopping for Shoes

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:


Title: Secret Agent Man Goes Shopping for Shoes

Author: Tim Wynne-Jones

Illustrator: Brian Won

Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2016

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Theme/Topic:  Action, Adventure, Humor, Imagination, How to Tie Your Shoes

Opening Spread: S.A.M. is digging for the Lost City of Raisins … He is tracking down the treacherous green spitting bug, balancing on high places, and stealing home.

Brief Synopsis: (from Candlewick)

Secret Agent Man (S.A.M.) needs new shoes. His mom — er, sidekick, “K” (short for Kay) — takes him shopping. But the operation will be dangerous: to start with, Shoe Store Man looks shifty. “Frisk him,” says S.A.M. With the help of a Team of Expert Spies and keen observation skills, will Sam find that his brand-new tiger-striped shoes convey a new superpower . . . and that he can now tie his own shoelaces? Imaginative play is the mission in this witty picture book with retro illustrations that cleverly merge S.A.M.’s escapades with the ordinary world. Roar!

A charismatic young boy turns an everyday outing into a thrilling, top-secret adventure in this energetic, offbeat picture book.

Resources: Here’s a whole website on Top Spy Secrets. We may need to go around and rename parts of our house based on the spread I mention below.

Why I Like This Book: The first spread sets up agent Secret Agent Man or S.A.M.’s imagination as he plays and the second spread immediately lets us know the reality of his world. It’s a fun story from the first page to the last. My favorite spread is near the end as S.A.M. tries to find K (his mom). He looks int he Secret Chamber of Silence, the Holding Cell of Despair, Torture Chamber, Rocket Silo, and the Darkest Valley of Doom. Most parents will laugh at this. I was going to be secretive about what each item represents, but Illustrator Brian Won has this spread on his website. Take a look. I hope it makes you smile like I did. I discovered this one while searching the library’s online collection for shoe tying books.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.

I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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One thought on “PPBF: Secret Agent Man Goes Shopping for Shoes

  1. What a hoot! I really love the use of imagination in this book. Have a great grandson who’d like this! Thanks for such a great share. Since you have Enzo, I always like to see what you share so I can find books for grandsons.

Halloweensie Contest 2016

Halloween Tracks

Happy Halloweensie! It’s that time of year again when children’s writers gather ’round the cauldron to craft a story in 100 words or less. Author Susanna Hill is the gracious founder of the contest. She and her assistants deserve tons of treats for reading all the contest entries.

This year, each 100-word or less entry must contain the words spider, ghost and moon. Variations of the words are allowed. Stories should be kid-friendly and contain no illustration notes. Here are the rules, if you want to participate. You have until the strike of 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Here’s my 2016 entry:

Halloween Tracks 

By Stacy S. Jensen

Oliver saw the tracks every Halloween.

They were colorful with a sweet aroma and looked like scat. Oliver never ate it, but other owls did.

“Who?” he wondered made them. He flew over the streets in the moonlight searching



And, in circles for the critter.

He saw bunnies, coyotes, and spiders and almost gave up.

Until, he heard …




Oliver followed the noises to a little ghost.

“Your tracks!” Oliver screeched.

“My candy,” Ghost cried.

Oliver helped Ghost collect his spilled loot.

“Here’s a treat!” Ghost tossed a candy to Oliver. “Happy Halloween!”


Word tells me I’m at 98 words!

There will be plenty of entries at Susanna’s blog. I am always impressed by the very talented work created in this contest and also how similar our thought process can be. I’ve been a happy Halloweensie participant since 2011 — 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

I hope you all have a spooky, fun-filled Halloween!


P.S. I’ve been re-working my website in recent weeks between other projects. It’s not “done,” but decided Halloweensie is more important than “done.”

I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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22 thoughts on “Halloweensie Contest 2016

PPBF: Douglas, You Need Glasses!

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:


Title: Douglas, You Need Glasses!

Author and Illustrator: Ged Adamson

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016

Suitable for ages: 3-7

Theme/Topic:  Glasses, Being Unaware, Humor

Opening Spread: Nancy and Douglas were chasing squirrels.

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon) Meet Douglas, a dog with a big problem: he needs eyeglasses but doesn’t know it, and his bad eyesight tends to land him in some pretty hairy situations.

Readers will laugh along with the new picture book character Douglas as he chases a leaf that he mistakes for a squirrel, walks through wet cement because he can’t see the warning sign, and annoys the neighbor’s dog by mistakenly eating out of his bowl. And when Douglas’s owner Nancy finally takes him to what is clearly an eyeglass store and Douglas asks, “Why are you taking me to a shoe store?” everyone will be giggling.

After an eye exam confirms that Douglas needs glasses, and Nancy helps him find the perfect pair, readers will rejoice with Douglas as he sees all the amazing things he’s been missing!

Both kids and parents will laugh out loud—and may even recognize themselves!—while reading this utterly irresistible, hilarious picture book.

Resources: Articles on children wearing glasses. Encouraging your child to wear glasses.

Why I Like This Book: Douglas was a random find at the library. We spend much of May and June reading picture books about children with glasses after Enzo began wearing his own. It’s fun to laugh along as Douglas makes his discovery of how glasses can make a difference.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.

I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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8 thoughts on “PPBF: Douglas, You Need Glasses!

  1. Gosh, if the dog will put up with needing glasses, kids can’t complain too loudly. When my daughter was in second grade, three of her friends needed glasses. Instead of being glad she didn’t need them, my daughter began complaining of blurry vision, hoping to score a pair of glasses, too. Fortunately for my wallet, the eye doctor sensed she was having glasses envy and worked hard to prove my daughter had perfect vision. This book sounds like a funny and fun approach to needing glasses.

  2. Don’t you just love it when you stumble onto a book at the library! This sounds hilarious! I’ve got to find it. My son would get a kick out of it, too. Thanks!