Aah! Blown Away · Crafts and Projects

Free Shadow Puppet Printable for Aah! Blown Away, Crash! Now Available!

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure is about to take flight into the world!

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! Cover

In the meantime, I am working on a teacher’s guide and some fun extras to go along with Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

The story itself is told in alphabetical order and has only one to three words per page. So, the entire story has less than forty words.

Even though the story doesn’t have many words, I feel the character’s personality shines through the illustrations and his actions.

Here is his biography found in the back of the book:

Finch's bio from Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

Finch is a comical character who gets Blown away by the wind and Crashes on a Deserted island. As he struggles with trying to figure out how to get off the island, he keeps getting scared of…his shadow.

So, it only made sense to have shadow puppets as one of the fun extras to go along with Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

My daughter and I created these printables, which you may now download for free. The shadow puppets include a tree, a cloud, and Finch.

I printed my own set out on cardstock, which is definitely more stable (and durable) than regular computer paper.

Once they were printed, I cut them out. Little ones might be able to cut out the cloud, but Finch and the leaves on the tree are more challenging.

Then, I taped straws I had on to the backs of each of them. Craft sticks should work, too.

Finally, my daughters and I had a photoshoot with them. We went into a dark room and shined a flashlight at the puppets to create shadows on the wall.

My daughters positioned the cloud so that it looked like the deserted island.

These shadow puppets can also be used to act out the story as it is being read. They would also go great with a study on shadows!

Well, that’s it for today. What fun extra should I create next?

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Aah! Blown Away

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! Received a Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars Review

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure is in the process of being published. Last week, my daughter and I received the first proof.

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure Proof

It was exciting to see my 12-year-old daughter’s illustrations in print, but we decided to make a couple of minor updates. We made the changes and ordered a new proof.

We are still waiting for the updated proof to arrive, but we have gotten even more exciting news. Aah! Blown Away, Crash! has received a Readers’ Favorite Five Stars Review.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite said the following about Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure:

Brigitte Brulz’s picture book story, Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure is an alphabet book with a difference. Using more than just nouns, words that suggest action and expression, the author has created a short flash fiction story about a little red bird and its adventures, or misadventures as the title suggests. Each page highlights a new letter of the alphabet, capitalized and the first word that appears on the page. The language is simple, each page holding no more than three words, but most pages only having one word. Colorful illustrations accompany each page and help develop the plot, sometimes in a humorous way. A young reader will learn a lot of new words, non-noun words, in this delightful little romp through the English alphabet.

She further states:

Very cleverly done and beautifully illustrated. Lots of fun in this gem of an alphabet book.

I really hope other readers agree with this review and enjoy Aah! Blown Away, Crash! My daughter was happy about what the review said about the illustrations, and she went to work right away to update the cover.

We are getting closer and closer to the release of Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure.

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May you have a wonderful day!

Aah! Blown Away · Journals

Sneak Peek of Aah! Blown Away, Crash! AND a New Baby Journal

Look what arrived this past Friday. Not one, but two proofs!

Just in case you don’t know, a proof is a version of a book (or journal) that can be previewed before publication. The proofs I received state “Not for Resale” on the covers, but the interiors are all the exact same as what the published versions will be as long as they are approved.

My 12-year-old daughter did all of the illustrations for Aah! Blown Away, Crash!, and I enjoyed seeing her reaction as she looked through the proof and saw all of her own illustrations in print.

We scrutinized each of the pages to determine if any changes needed to be made. In the end, we decided to update a total of eleven of the pages.

The colors we see on the computer screen appear a little different in print. For example, the blue my daughter chose for the water appears as a vibrant blue on our computer screen. In print, though, it appears much darker.

We were concerned the blue would be too dark to read the text on the page. So, we decided to adjust the color, which meant my daughter had to adjust the color of the water on multiple pages.

She also had to update the back of the cover with the new color.

We found a few other details that also needed to be fixed. For example, on one of the pages, part of the text was “stuck behind a cloud”.

It amazed me how fast my daughter was able to fix each of the pages on her computer program. Once all of the changes had been made, I reuploaded all of the files and ordered a new proof.

The updated proof should arrive within the next couple of weeks. We had chosen to create a softcover version first, but we will also be creating a hardcover version of Aah! Blown Away, Crash! once we ensure the interior files for the softcover version are accurate.

Our goal is to have the hardcover and softcover version of Aah! Blown Away, Crash!: An Alphabet Misadventure published in the beginning of June. Stay tuned for more details!

The other proof that arrived is a journal called Baby’s First Years: A Three Year Journal. I love the way the front cover turned out, which was designed by my daughter using an image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay.

It is a journal for new parents to record short daily passages for their baby’s first three years. Each page is divided into three journal entries, one for each year that occurs on that page’s indicated date.

Instead of copying and pasting the exact same pages throughout the entire journal, I decided to include different pictures for each of the months.

I tried to keep the pictures relevant to the time of the year and age of the child.

The back of the journal includes two pages to record special days and an additional two pages to record any extra notes.

I’m hoping this journal will help parents to not stress over filling an entire baby book with nitty-gritty details. Instead, parents can spend just a few minutes each day of the year to write a couple of sentences (or notes) documenting milestones, places visited, family activities, current events, or whatever else may be on their mind. If they miss a day, it’s okay to continue on whatever date it is, which I think is great for the sleep-deprived new parent.

I noticed there is hyphen missing on the spine, but it will be updated soon.

The journal is a total of 375 pages long and will be available as a 6” x 9” softcover version in the very near future!

I intend to give this journal as a gift to two expecting moms I know. (Hopefully it will be available before their new bundles of joy are here…I’m cutting it really close on time with one!)

What are your thoughts on the proofs?

Aah! Blown Away

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! Cover Reveal

Did you see the sneak peek of Aah! Blown Away, Crash!, my upcoming picture book? In case you missed it, Aah! Blown Away, Crash! is an alphabet misadventure about a Bird who Crashes on a Deserted island and the comical drama that ensues with only one to three words per page.

In the sneak peek, I shared one of the illustrations from the book. Crash!

A page from Aah! Blown Away, Crash!
Original Crash! Page from Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

Well, I’m excited to announce the cover illustration for Aah! Blown Away, Crash! has now been completed. Yay!

In case you haven’t seen it on the Books page, Home page, or Fun Extras Page, here it is:

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! Cover

My daughter has completed all of the main illustrations, which is really exciting. We still have a few things to do before Aah! Blown Away, Crash! can be published. I hope to create a teacher’s guide and some activity pages to go along with Aah! Blown Away, Crash! in the near future.

Stay tuned for more information about Aah! Blown Away, Crash!, an alphabet misadventure that should be available this year.

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Aah! Blown Away

Sneak Peek Illustration of Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

We are already almost two weeks in to 2020. It’s time for a sneak peek of one of my most recent projects – Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

Aah! Blown Away, Crash! actually started a few years ago after a meeting I had with my writer’s group about nontraditional children’s books. One of the book styles we discussed was alphabet books that tell a story in alphabetical order with only one to two words per page. Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run by Mike Twohy and D is for Duck by David Melling are two examples of books that follow this pattern.

My alphabetical story follows a Bird who Crashes on a Deserted island and the comical drama that ensues. I obviously don’t want to give all of the letters away just yet, so stay tuned for more information.

My daughters and I had a lot of fun creating a book dummy when I first came up with the story. My daughters thought it would be funny if the bird crashed in the sand head first, so that’s what they drew. Here is the page from the book dummy for the letter C – Crash!

Aah! Blown Away, Crash!- Crash

I have since decided to work with one of my daughters on illustrating the book, which we hope to publish some time this year. My daughter may be young (12 years old), but she has recently shown an interest in drawing and graphic design. Here are a couple of pictures she drew of a hummingbird and a feather last summer.

humminbird and feather drawing

I can barely draw a stick figure and don’t necessarily enjoy drawing, so I would not be a great illustrator.

We decided the illustrations for Aah! Blown Away, Crash! should look cartoonish, and we chose to not have them hand drawn. Instead, my daughter has been learning how to use a program called Affinity Designer, which we just purchased last month.

Here is what she came up with for “Crash!”

A page from Aah! Blown Away, Crash!

It’s been fun working with her on this project- watching her learn how to use the program, researching palm trees, birds, and beaches as references, etc. It’s definitely still a work-in-progress, but I’m excited to see it all done and put together!

Do you have any projects you hope to finish this year?