Several months back, I purchased the picture book I Wish You Happiness by Michael Wong and illustrated by Ann Baratashvili through Michael Wong’s Kickstarter campaign. I was delighted to get it in the mail recently. Let me tell you, I am so glad I chose to support this book.
It. Is. Gorgeous. Everything about the book is beautiful from the lustrous illustrations to its message of tranquility, peace, and happiness. Page after page is filled with wishes of encouragement for various life experiences complemented by the sense of awe and wonder created by the illustrations. The team of author and illustrator in this book was a perfect match.
I also loved the supplemental pages at the end that highlights a few surprises in the illustrations. This was a great book that I highly recommend. Hopefully, you can grab it before Christmas this year. What an amazing way to begin 2021 – with messages of hope and encouragement.
Rhythm Rescue is a musically themed picture book. The author Vicky Weber did a great job integrating musical beats into the story so that the reader can join along.
In the story we follow Tala in the land of Music Metropolis as she makes her way through the city to visit her friend. Along the way she ran into a few problems- but we see that with the power of music, anything is possible!
This was a fun, engaging read which I’m sure children will enjoy clapping to the best as they help our hero Tala. While I would have loved to see more explanation of the musical notes used, I found it informative and an excellent way for children to “feel the beats”.
Over all, this was a fun way to to help child become familiar with musical beats. I definitely recommend it! You can get a copy at Amazon and it’s currently available for free in Kindle Unlimited! But, if you’re going to read it in the classroom, definitely get the paperback!
Last week I recieved the book “Cami and Wyatt Have Too Much Screen Time” by Stacy C. Bauer. I purchased it when Stacy ran her pre-order campaign on Kickstarter. It immediately caught my attention because of the topic. During the school year I teach Technology, so this is a topic I talk about ALL the time with my kiddos.
The story takes place when Cami and Wyatt were playing with their new devices. They were so excited and so enthralled with it that they passed up opportunities to do the things they normally love to do. They missed out on hanging out with friends, the ice cream truck, a fishing expedition with Dad, and Mom’s yummy cookies.
When the power goes out unexpectedly at dinner, Cami and Wyatt must find another way to spend their time. With games of Hide-and-Seek, flashlight stories and board games, they were able to take their minds off the dark room.
When Mom and Dad explain their worries to Cami and Wyatt about their excessive screentime, they all find a way to solve the problem without having to give up their devices indefinitely.
I really enjoyed the fact that this story shows there is a balance. It doesn’t indicate chosing one activity over the other but they discover ways to spend their time instead of staying on the devices all day.
This book is a nice, calm and fun way to break the topic of screentime to your kids without seeming too “preachy”about it. Definitely put this on your To Read List.
I want to thank all my family, friends and readers for all your support during my writing journey. You’ve been there while all four of my picture books have been traditionally published. There may be a fifth one on the way…time will tell.
If you’ve been following me, you know I also started a whole other writing project and wrote my first middle grade novel. As I transition from the writing phase to the publishing phase, I am tackling another first for me- I’m choosing to independently publish my novel.
There are many reasons for this such as gaining higher royalties and control over my content, but the biggest one so far is how much I enjoy being part of the whole process. I find it fascinating and I’m always learning something new.
As the book passes through its final edits, I will be preparing for the printing stage. In order to meet the costs, I will be running a pre-order campaign using the Kickstarter platform. I haven’t started it yet as I’m still planning all the fabulous rewards for you. For this to be successful I need all of your support and I want you to be the first to hear about when it goes live. Why? Because the first day will be a one day deal only for a super deal. Sign up here to get the updates (I also send freebies occasionally). Make sure you add me to your safe list. Just by joining my group ,you will be helping me while being the first to access updates and my freebies.(Psst a cover reveal is in the works!)
Once again I am so grateful for all of you. Signing up is the a sure fire way of showing your support and ensuring you have the latest information.
As an author and a teacher, these past few months have had me concerned about how all of these things are affecting our children. First, the isolation. Then the fear of illness. Then the missing out of milestones. Finally, the boredom.
Just when things started to look up, a scary wave of civil unrest broke out. Our children are hearing us, watching us and learning from us. As adults and leaders, we have to do better.
Whether or not things improve right away or further down the line, I think it is important we pay attention to the kids. They might not be obvious about it, but it does affect them and stress them out. So what can we do?
Here are some things I’ve come up with and ideas I’ve used before.
When they see the negativity and feel that the world is a hopeless, dangerous place, follow the advice Mister Rogers shared: “Look for the helpers.” There will always be helpers. Have them share with you what they discover.
Start a gratitude or Positivity journal. This trains our brains to look for the good and positve things in our lives. They could write down one, or two or however many items they want. It doesn’t need to be huge. Maybe it was a beautiful sunny day. Maybe they read a favorite book. Maybe they had their favorite dinner.
Encourage them to talk about what they’re feeling. Sometimes all they need is an ear.
Offer a variety of things to do – especially if they are still quaranteened. Is there a TV marathon they want to watch? Do they want to do a livingroom campout complete with favorite snacks? Is there a Monopoly tournament (or life, or Sorry, etc). Maybe they can help set up the new garden? The temptation might be for them to withdrawl into one thing – such as video games. Change it up a little bit. My teenager grumbled a bit with the garden help, but afterwards he told me he felt “accomplished.”
Give them something creative to do. Do they like art? Many illustrators offer art tips. The illustrator of Angel Donor, Samantha Bell has a great selection here.
Do something kind for someone. Does someone in the neighborhood need help with anything? Maybe they saw someone be mean or discriminate against their friend. Letting them know that being a friend to that person can go a long way.
As always, if you are worried about their mental health or physical health, get in touch with their doctor right away for the best individualized advice for them.
What are some ideas you have to help our children get through these times? Do you have any reading suggestions for children that would help ease their stress?
Stay in Touch for the latest updats and occasional freebies here.
This week I read two books by author Stacy Bauer titled Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff and Cami Kangaroo Has Too Many Sweets. Both books are beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Sinclair. They are friendly pictures that I think children would like and relate to.
Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuffis an adorable story about the importance of keeping Cami’s room tidy. Cami is not allowed to go to her cousin’s birthday party until her room is cleaned. When she goes to clean her room, she gets easily distracted. It is then that she remembers she still had her cousin’s toy she needed to find and return. While I would have liked to see Cami get her room clean without help, I understand the author pointing out how overwhelming it can be if we let our mess get out of control.
I enjoyed the story and my daughter said she can completely relate to having to clean your room before getting to do something fun!
In Cami Kangaroo Has Too Many Sweets , we see Cami who loves her sweet treats. Even though she is told not to eat so many sweets, she continues to search them out. When mom makes it harder for Cami to access the treats, Cami cleverly finds ways of getting them.
While I really enjoyed the story, I would have loved to see more natural consequences of eating too many sweets such as a tummy ache or a toothache. The story has a regular dentist appointment already set up, but maybe that could have occurred as a result of a toothache from eating too many sweets. Once again, I enjoyed the story. The characters and the illustrations were relatable.
This started innocently enough. I followed a link to someone’s blog which was a WordPress blog. I had a WP blog years ago, but never fully converted over to WP. I was hesitant because I was used to blogger. Now that I’m more familiar with WP, I like the “clean” look that most WP blogs have.
As I visited my friend’s blog I decided to revisit my old WP blog. I started to toy around with it and I have to admit that I like this much better. It will be a pain to “start over” again, but I believe it makes sense. I’ve grown as an author and it is important to keep growing. You can’t grow if you never try new things. So, here I go. I’m starting a new blogging adventure.
We are well into the swing of things for the summer! School is out, the days are longer, and if we’re lucky, we can sleep in a little longer. As the days of July dwindle away, we approach August. This is usually when summer boredom begins to kick in.
So what are some ways to pass the time?
Well, since I’m an author and a teacher, you know what my first suggestion is going to be: READ! Yes, read. And not just the required reading from school. But also have your child read what inspires them. Have them get recommendations from friends. What are they reading? What books did they like? If enough friends enjoy reading,they can even set up a KIDS ONLY book club. If there’s a book the group really enjoyed, encourage them to write a fan letter to the author. Who knows? They may get a response.
What can your child read about?
Biographies of favorite people
How To books
Favorite fictional series
Air and space
Middle grade books
History of electronic gaming
Anything your child is interested in.
My publisher has a huge list of books from many talented authors.
Check around your community for fun classes. Check local newspapers for suggestions. Ask around. Need to sharpen some basketball skills or acting techniques? Join a camp or program that focuses on your child’s interests. If there was a writing intensive program near me, I’d be there with pen and notebook in hand! TACKLE A GOAL Whether it is reading thirty books, cleaning their room, mastering a skill they’ve been working on, the flexibility of summer makes it easier to tackle some of those goals we let slide during the busy school year. What goals do you have in mind ? Start small and add on to your goals as you go.
Summer 2013 is coming to a close at a speed faster than lightning. Pretty soon new classes will form and friendships will be made. As the school year begins and routines take shape, it is important to spark and encourage the children’s interest. It may be challenging, as students may still be thinking about the beach. Or their thoughts may turn more toward Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. One way to spark some interest is to host an author visit. It brings the world of books alive for children and integrates language arts skills.
As much as an author visit sounds like a fairy tale come true, funding it can be as tricky as a Harry Potter spell. Here are some tips to help you:
Check with organizations such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) or the American Library Association (ALA) for grants that may be available. This is most helpful if you are hosting an out of town author where expenses can triple.
Hold classroom fundraisers to raise money for the visit: hold a bake sale, art sale, Movie Night, etc. —-Be creative.
See if a local business will help sponsor a visit
Auction off an autographed copy of one of the author’s books -contact me and I can help with any of my books-just ask!