"The book was absolutely, positively fantastic. I loved it so much. It was probably the best book I ever read. And I've got a name for the wizard, Ozzwald!" -2nd Grade Student

The Big Idea-Get Inspired!

Thank You Ms. Kelly's Class for inviting me to share cookies and books with you!
Recently I got to visit with a class of second grade students. They were so excited to hear about the Great Story World Mix-Up books, how I wrote them with my daughters and how we turned some bad art into great illustration.  They made me this super cool Thank You card cut out like a puzzle, I just love it!  What a creative group of students.



Following the trail of the Headless Horseman

PET SITTERS WANTED!







Hello, To The Students At P.A.M.E.S.!





We sent our letter to the president and hope he answers back.

Ava's Fashion Designs and Internship


Lights, Camera, Action



















Thank You Woods Road ES for making us feel so at home at your school!


Thank You Linden School No. 5 for giving me such a big, warm welcome!

Port Jefferson ES Celebrates PARP with the Great Story World Mix-Up!





It's great to see how big ideas come to life.  This week we were treated to a sneak peek at Brad Pitt's new movie, The True Story, starring James Franco, (Oz the Great and Powerful), and Jonah Hill, (Moneyball).  The scene was shot right in the middle of our town and we were able to see how all the equipment was set up, how the director worked with the actors and how the actors treated their fans. It was really neat to have something like this happen right in our own back yard. You can see our photos and some from other fans below.


It’s great having BIG IDEAS that help make someone’s life better.

We had a big idea to go to Save-A-Pet to donate money we raised selling pictures of animals we drew with our friends.  We sold them in a local park to people walking their dogs who bought drawings and duct tape bags to hold dog treats.  We raised over $47!!!

The people at Save-A-Pet were really happy we came.  They are all volunteers who care about helping homeless animals find a forever home.  They said for five dollars a day we could help feed and care for a pet.  That means we helped nine pets with our donation!

They gave us a tour of the shelter and let us meet some of the pets that are waiting to be adopted.

Some of the animals were surrendered because their owners couldn't keep them any more. Others came from hording houses or puppy mills, which are both really bad places for dogs and cats to live.

When Save-A-Pet takes dogs from puppy mills they take up to 30 at a time. The volunteers hold them and pet them because they were never held or played with before. The volunteers want all the pets to be well socialized before they go to their new homes.

They also take dogs and cats from high kills shelters where the pets are killed if they aren't adopted.  That makes us really sad.

Save-A-Pet can only take in so many pets at a time.  They said the best thing that could happen to them would be if they were put out of business, then there would be no more homeless pets.

Some of our friends have donated money they received as birthday gifts, or ran lemonade stands to raise money for Save-A-Pet.  One of our teachers, Mrs. Martin, runs a tie-dye day to help out.  You can even be a Junior volunteer.

What we learned is that most BIG IDEAS start very small, generous, caring people make them grow.  You can visit Save-A-Pet by clicking here.





Getting a big idea is always fun but it is also fun to get inspired.  This year, as part of our spring break, we hopped on a train to NYC to meet Alli Simpson at Dylan's Candy Bar.  Afterward we headed off to the Met to look at real mummys, knight armor and gilded statues of Shiva.  Check out some of our photos below.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of our favorite places to visit.  The exhibits make you feel like you are stepping back in time.  This is a great place to get inspiration, especially for our GSWMU 
books.




Thank you everyone at Connetquot ES for sharing a super snowy day with me!







Getting a Big Idea is always a charge but it's even better when you can turn your ideas into reality.  My daughters and I had the idea last summer to turn an outdoor school courtyard into a butterfly garden and science nook.  The whole community pitched in to make this dream come true.  It took a lot of effort but last night a corporate sponsor gave us $1000 dollars, which we gave to the school to continue the project and make collaborative learning available for all the students using that space.

This is a picture of the courtyard
before the renovation.  Tree roots
had damaged the walkway and
had to be removed along with the trees.






The school poured a winding concrete walk
that would be perfect for the students
to access the garden and experiment
with optical illusions and other 'fun' science.





Donations for butterfly bushes were secured
by one of the teachers who works with
local nurseries.  The students will study
the butterfly life cycle in the spring using
this space.





Students created pinwheels to measure the
breeze in the area.






They also created wish rocks to express
their hopes for the future.









I am grateful to the school and our corporate
sponsor for giving my daughters and I the
opportunity to make our Big Dream come true.










Having a collaborative space that all
the children, not just a select few, can
utilize to express their talents is so important.









What Big Dreams are you working on?
To write us click here  or email laurahillbooks@gmail.com



Thank You Norwood ES for all the beautiful picture puzzles!

Thank You Ms. Kelly's Class for inviting me to share cookies and books with you!
Yesterday I got to visit with a class of second grade students. They were so excited to hear about the Great Story World Mix-Up books, how I wrote them with my daughters and how we turned some bad art into great illustration.  They made me this super cool Thank You card cut out like a puzzle, I just love it!  What a creative group of students.








“It looks like it will be a popular series and I LOVE the illustrations!” -Laura Williams, UK

“I love the concept, the characters and the writing. You and the girls did an amazing job.” –Laura Kelly, Educator

"Finally, something refreshing and new is out there!" -Helen Riesgraf, NY

"You got me with the blurb, I can't wait to read the story!"-Mary LaSita, Librarian