IMG_0811Welcome to Jean Matthew Hall’s home on the web.

By clicking on the Menu tabs above I hope you’ll find bushels of useful information.

Whether you are a fellow writer, a fellow parent or grandparent, or a fellow teacher there’s something here for you. Please let me know if you would like to see other information here. Take a tour, please.

My blog will keep you updated about

  • My Bountiful Blessings picture book series published by Little Lamb Books.
  • Writing friends (old and new) and writing conferences
  • School and Homeschool visits
  • Publication news
  • Stuff for writers

The Blessings of Fall (the first book) is scheduled for release in September, 2019.littlelamb_final_logo1-e1437675387523 I’m scheduling school visits and book signings at this time. If you would like for me to share with your school or store (near Louisville, KY or Charlotte, NC) please email me. Just click on the CONTACT tab above.

I relish your input so, please, leave comments on my blog posts or email me.

Rich blessings to you all!

Kid’s activities

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has created SCBWI CONNECTS for kids, parents, teachers, and caregivers. E-books, games, activities, coloring pages, puzzles, audiobooks, art lessons, and more. All FREE for you! Enjoy.

Over 300 remote learning resources for students, parents and educators
by authors and illustrators.
Take me to the directory.

Parenting God’s Way

“…it’s important for parents to be parents and to take time for training their children. Mutual respect should be enforced at all times.”

“…provide an environment of mutual respect, kindness, and balanced discipline when it is needed.

You see, behavior is learned.”

(From page 169, Parenting Your Powerful Child, Dr. Kevin Leman)

“Psychologists sometimes categorize parents as being AUTHORATIIVE, AUTHORITARIAN, INDULGENT, or NEGLECTFUL. AUTHORITARIAN PARENTS tend toward the ‘Because I said so!’ response to any questioning of their authority. They’re not necessarily consistent, and they don’t teach their children good behavior by example; they just dictate. INDULGENT PARENTS want their kids to have as much of what they want as possible, so they may not set very firm rules and may be viewed as overly permissive. NEGLECTFUL PARENTS take permissiveness one step further; they just don’t pay attention. AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS are consistent, fair, predictable and firm… Kids of AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS, who tend to reason and negotiate with their TEENS, tend to be the most well adjusted of all. It seems that AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS can accept the fact that their rules may be questioned and even broken but know how to respond in ways that don’t lead to their TEENAGERS becoming defiant or hostile as they grow into adulthood.” (All caps mine)

(From page 80, Your Defiant Teen-10 Steps to Resolve Conflict and Rebuild Your Relationship, Russell A. Barkley, PhD and Arthur L. Robin, PhD)

In Isaiah 1 God calls the people of Israel His CHILDREN. In verse 18 God says to them, “Come, let us reason together” (KJV). In the HCSB He says, “Come let us discuss this”. In the NIV God says, “Come, let us settle this.”

If God is willing to discuss, to reason with, His children, then we parents should be willing to do that also WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REASON.

(From me and the Bible)

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

“So, you’re the adult here; act like one. Be the parent you need to be. If you don’t understand that basic principle, then life will not go well for you as a parent or for your child, either now or in the future.

When you’re an AUTHORITATIVE PARENT, (caps mine) you realize your role is to be in proper authority over your children….

First John 5:19 says we’re children of God. And though God is the supreme authority he’s not an AUTHORITARIAN (caps mine) who gives out edicts and tells us what we have to do. He gives free choice (which gets us in trouble sometimes). But God also isn’t a PERMISSIVE PARENT (caps mine) who says, “Oh that’s okay. Anything goes.”

(From page 176-177, Parenting Your Powerful Child, Dr. Kevin Leman)

“When your [young] child has done something wrong you need to communicate that fact with the Voice of Authority:”

“Positive reinforcement is an essential part of discipline. You try to steer your child in the direction of the behavior you would like by praise and encouragement, and steer her away from the behavior you don’t like.

The Voice of Authority is low, firm and controlled. The Voice of Approval is the opposite. Many parents instinctively talk to their babies in a high voice. That’s the same tone you should use for praise. A high-pitched, even excitable, tone communicates your pleasure. You can clap, whoop or cheer as well.”

[added by me for clarification]

(From pages 68-69, Supernanny, Jo Frost)

Authoritative Character, or values, are caught, not taught. (Old adage)

My Writing Area

You might remember my rather old and clunky writing area from last year. My desk was a makeshift and I had boxes stacked around me.


My wonderful family surprised me last Christmas with an elegant new desk. While I was out of town they rearranged my space with an additional bookshelf. (I can always use one more!).

It’s a truly pleasant environment for working now.

It’s uncluttered.

It’s making me more creative, I believe.

Thanks to my AMAZING family! XOXOXOXOXOX

Praying for Writers & Authors

prayhandsIf you don’t see your name on the list below please forgive me; I’ve accidentally left your name off, or we’ve never met. Please DO add your name in the comments below, leave it on my Face Book Page or email it to me at jean@jeanmatthewhall.com.

I’d love to add you to this list.


I Prayed Especially For You

I prayed especially for you today

Not just one of those “lay me down to sleep” prayers

But a heart-felt, yearning prayer.

My heart stretched up toward heaven.

It strained to touch the Throne of Grace,

To see a wisp of God’s answer in your life.


I prayed especially for you today

Not a quick “Lord, bless them” kind of prayer

But a hope-filled, pleading prayer.

My heart cried for your future

Then softly laid it at the Feet of Grace

To trust God’s heaped up answer in your life.  AMEN.

Donna Earnhardt
Tameka Brown
Rene Aube   
Michael Mooney
Cherrilynn Bisbano
Johnnie Alexander
Kelly Duncan
Blondie Crabtree
Bill Watkins
Edie Melson
Robin Luftig
Bob Hostetler
Jean Wise
Annette Griffin
Nancy Ruegg
Terry Whalin
Meaghan Burnett   
Twila Belk
Mary Gaskins
Hallee Bridgeman
Betty Owens
Connie Camden
Nicki Bishop
Hannah Conway
Kristy Horine
Carlton Hughes
Gregg Bridgeman
Dee Oliver
Pam Harlow
Joyce Cordell
Constance Darnell
Lisa Greer
Carol Baldwin
Jan Prahl
Jan Parys
Debbie DeCiantis
Crystal Bowman
Jill Roman Lord
Linda Gilden
Deanna Klingel
Lea Ann Johnson
Crystal Caudill
Ralene Burke
Lydia Walker
Shelley Roark
Jean Petersen
Jason Joyner
Janice D. Green
Crystal Bowman
Samantha Bell
Nancy I. Sanders
Laura Sassi
Glyness Nellist
Donna Earnhardt
Amberly Kristen Clowe
Amy Leskowski
Rachel Pellegrino
Lindsay Schlegel

Melissa Henderson & Joyce McCullough

Monthly Writing Goals

I work well setting overarching goals. I don’t do well with micro goals. If you work the same way you may want to download this chart I created.

Here is a PDF version to print and fill in.

And here is an RTF version that you can download, and then modify for your needs.

I hope this is helpful. Blessings!

Tasks Novel/MG   Magazine Articles Marketing Social Media PBs Blogs

Love – Risky Business

My sweet friend, Donna Earnhardt, has written a thought-provoking post on her blog Word Wrangler – Word Nerd in Training. She’s a great picture book author (Being Frank), Co RA of SCBWI Carolinas, and a dear friend.

Click on the link to read her beautiful and soul-piercing words, please.

“Risky Business: the Currency of Love”

NF 2019 Picture Books

In 2020 I’ve read a few dozen “lists” of the best picture books of 2019. Instead of making my own list I decided to give you a peek into some of these 2019 picture books so you can decide for yourself. Whether you are looking for books that parents, children or teachers can enjoy look no further! Today I share my reactions to a few 2019 nonfiction picture books. Great information for teachers.

In March and April I’ll share more fiction books.

In January I posted about a few 2019 picture books here if you’d like to read those. Thanks!

The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown was written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Sarah Jacoby. It was published by Balzar & Bray (of Harper Collins.) I like it. However, in my opinion, this is an illustrated book, not a true picture book. It has 40 pages of text and is for reading aloud to third graders and up, I think. It contains interesting details about Margaret Wise Brown’s life and definitely reiterates that the most important thing about her was that she wrote books.

Planting Stories-the Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré was written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar. Harper (of Harper Collins) published it. I LOVE the illustrations in the picture book—so colorful and detailed. And I like the book. It is about a little-known woman who immigrated to America from Puerto Rico and her amazing influence.

Magic Ramen-the Story of Momofuku Ando is a nonfiction picture book written by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz. It was published by Little Bee Books. I like it. The text tells us why and how and when a little-know inventor developed the world-famous convenience food we call instant ramen. It was interesting. The illustrations are cute and clever. I also like that the story emphasizes Momofuku Ando’s persistence and determination. It also reminds me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Smile-How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry) was written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Ed Young. Candlewick Press published it. I like this picture book filled with interesting information about Charlie Chaplin. Details that older kids (third grade and up) will find interesting, too. The art is a bold portrayal of life in the early 1900s. It also throws us back into the look of silent films. But it contains more than information. It looks inside Charlie Chaplin and draws out the reasons behind his art and then tells us of his influence on entertainment and film that echoes into the present.

Imagination-A. D. Smith

The following link takes you to an inciteful blog post about imagination and play.

S. D. Smith is the author of The Green Ember Series, a bestselling middle-grade adventure saga. The Green Ember has reached hundreds of thousands of readers and spent time as the number one bestselling audiobook in the world on Audible. Smith’s stories are captivating readers across the globe who are hungry for “new stories with an old soul.” Enthusiastic families can’t get enough of these tales.

Vintage adventure. Moral imagination. Classic virtue. Finally, stories we all love. Just one more chapter, please!

Multicultural Children’s Books Day Jan 31

These book feature children of color and they are on the “lists” of the best picture books of 2019. Here is a peek into some of thesebeautiful 2019 picture books. Whether you are looking for books that parents, children or teachers can enjoy look no further! These are all delightful.

Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max is an adorable story about a little girl who wants to grow up to be an astronaut. And the end of the book holds a sweet surprise. I really liked this story of family and love.

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry & Jessica Curry is an homage to Michelle Obama and her positive impact on a little girl of color named Parker. Parker sees a portrait of the former First Lady and is awestruck. The portrait inspires feelings of being a powerful and strong person for Parker. The illustrations are adorable. I like the book.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyongo is the story of a little girl “born the color of midnight” searching for her own identity. I won’t give away the story of how she learns to love the skin she is in, but I think this award-winning picture book can help many little girls learn to be happy the way God made them. The illustrations are gorgeous.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry is a picture book about family and love. The illustrations are cute. And the story is endearing about a daddy’s attempts to make a little girl feel special about her wild and frizzy hair. You’ll love it!

Honeysmoke is another award-winning picture book about a child’s search for her own identity. A little girl named Simone notices that her parents and friends are all of different colors for which they have a name. But Simone’s skin color is different from all of the others. She searches for a name for her color and ends up feeling special about who she is. I like this one, too!

Picture Books & the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library’s most checked-out books since its beginning in 1895. Is it surprising that several are picture books?

Click here.

Did you know that the New York Public Library has 92 branches?

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