Please join us to discuss everything literary (especially kid literary): good books, the writing life, the people and businesses who create books, controversies in book world, what's good to snack on while reading and writing, and anything else bookish. We welcome your thoughts.

Monday, January 31, 2011


It’s Valentine’s Day this month and with it comes thoughts of all the things I love: my family and friends, homemade Valentine cards from my grandchildren (take note Tiger Mom) and bacon. Yes, bacon! When I take a package of bacon out of the refrigerator it feels limp and fatty to the touch. As it goes into a hot pan I hear it sizzle. The smell of bacon cooking fills the kitchen with a delicious aroma. I watch as the fat melts away and the strips of bacon turn golden brown and crispy.  And the taste of bacon can’t be beat, especially alongside a pile of scrambled eggs or in a BLT sandwich. So how is bacon important to our writing? It reminds us to use lots of sensory details! In her book, WRITING FOR CHILDREN & TEENAGERS, Lee Wyndham says, “All that we know about our world, whatever our age, has been learned through our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell-and the “sixth sense”- our reaction to what the other five have told us.” And she adds, “Use words which will create images in the minds of readers for whom your writing is intended.” In the beautiful Caldecott winning book, Owl Moon, by Jan Yolen, she writes: “Somewhere behind us a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song.”  She also writes, “My mouth felt furry, for the scarf over it was wet and warm.” Here are two Valentine’s Day gifts I hope will delight your senses.

A BLT Sandwich
Ingredients: 2 slices of bread, four strips of uncooked bacon, a flat pan, some chopped lettuce, a couple slices of tomato and mayonnaise (or other creamy dressing.)

Here’s what you do: Fry the bacon in the pan until browned and crispy. Drain the bacon on a paper towel. Spread mayo on one slice of bread. Layer on the bacon, lettuce and tomato. Top with the second slice of bread. Makes one sandwich.

Coffee Filter Flower Bouquet
1 basket style drip coffee filter
A clean spray bottle filled with water
Washable markers
Green pipe cleaner

Use markers to scribble a design onto the filter. Lightly spray the filter with water so the colors run together. Allow the filter to dry. Fold up the edges of the filter. Pinch the center together and wrap with a pipe cleaner. Tie a ribbon around a bunch of flowers for a bouquet.

1 comment:

  1. I too love the sensory details, Judy, as well as the smell of bacon. Try adding a fried egg onto your recipe and make it a BELT sandwich. Another small detail that makes a huge difference.