Trivia Day is Here!

Below are the five (5) trivia questions about Biliary Atresia and Liver Transplantation. The winner of the trivia contest will receive a free autographed hardcover of Angel Donor as well as a PDF version.

To participate, answer the trivia questions below correctly and in the correct order in a single comment to the blog. The first person to do so will be our winner! Good Luck!

Trivia Questions:

  1. What isΒ the name of the disease of the bile ducts in infants where the bile ducts become inflamed or blocked, causing restricted bile flow and damage to the liver?
  2. Name two symptoms of the disease referenced above.
  3. How many children under the age of 18 are on the national transplant waiting list?
  4. How can you register to be an organ donor?
  5. The main character in Angel Donor was born with the disease referenced in question 1. How many babies are born each year with this same disease? For example: 1 out of every hundred births, etc.

Resources:

AMERICAN LIVER FOUNDATION

DONATE LIFE

Liver Disease

Preparing Angel Donor’s Second Edition

Eighteen years ago my second child was born. But she was a very unique baby. She was born with Biliary Atresia. It’s amazing how a term you don’t even know exists can change your life forever.

Biliary Atresia is a liver disease where the liver’s bile ducts are too narrow or closed completely. It doesn’t allow the liver to do its job. Many times, a liver transplant is needed to save the person’s life. That was Jackie’s case.

When we were preparing for her transplant, even though she was little, I was looking for a picture book to help her prepare for it. I knew it was a complicated subject, but I wanted something that would help with the conversation.

I found a few books here and there, but nothing that would walk a child through the main parts of the process. I also wanted the right balance of information without being too scary. That’s when I knew I needed to write one of my own.

When I explained what was going to happen to her, Jackie is the one who called her donor an “Angel Donor,” which is now the title of the book.

Unfortunately, once COVID hit, my publisher was hit hard and had to shut down. However, I know that to this day families struggle with this disease and with this situation. I knew Angel Donor should not disappear. Now,, I’m planning to publish a second edition independently. The awesome and super amazing illustrator, Samantha Bell, worked with me to ensure we could reuse the illustrations.

In order to make this a reality, I’m gauging interest, I’ve created a group on Facebook. There, I will be bouncing ideas off members, get feedback for the project I’m working on, and the members get to be a part of the process.

Book Review: Where Does Santa Go on Vacation

This is the perfect time to discover a new Christmas or holiday book, and I’m glad I discovered the picture book Where Does Santa Go on Vacation by author Kim Ann.

This 32-page book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Nejla Shojaie, which complements the magic and wonder a child has about this holiday. The story starts as a question: Where does Santa and Mrs. Claus go on vacation? The following pages are filled with fun and imaginative possibilities that can spark conversations with your little reader throughout the story.

Overall Rating: πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

Book Review: Nonnie and I

Sweet Book About Friendship and Change

This is an adorable story about a sweet young girl who loves her bff, Nonnie.

Not just isn’t just any friend, but a lovely giraffe. What I loved about the story is how the main character grows and has room for all kinds of friends in her heart. The illustrations were beautiful throughout the story.

Excellent story, especially if you are looking for one on friendship.

You can get it here.

To learn more about Savannah Hendrix, visit her website.

Rating: πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

If My Nose Could Talk Book Review

The picture book If My Nose Could Talk by Nicole Fillippone is a cute and fun story about a girl wondering what her nose would say if it could talk. The idea of a talking nose threw me off for a second, but I enjoyed the flow and the rhythm of the story. I think young readers would thoroughly enjoy this, especially since they do wonder about these things.

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Another thing I liked was the repitition. “What would I do? What would I say?” Not only is it fun to hear and read, but it is great for early learners. Repitition is a large part of language learning for that age. Definitely check it out on Amazon.

Overall, this was an adorable story that explores the imagination, which I think children will enjoy.

Book Review: Cami and Wyatt Have Too Much Screen Time

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.

Get it here

Book Signing and Reading

I will be at the Barnes and Noble, Neshaminy Mall on Monday March 30th for a reading and book signing. All four of my books will be available including A Star in the Night, Teresa’s Shadow, Angel Donor and Caitie the Caterpillar. This event is in conjunction with a B & N bookfair supporting Saint Cecilia School. So, once you finish at my table, check out all the fun activities SCS has planned including: a Make and Take, a Scavenger Hunt, a selfie with the SCS Mascot (I’m DEFINITELY getting in on this one!) and more! If you are in the area that night, stop by and see me! Questions? Join the discussion on my Event Page.

Picture Book Picks

I like to reflect on my past and current “reads”. For this post I’m thinking about my 5 favorite picture books. As I was making my list, I realized that I have much more than 5 favorites. So I’m changing the focus to Picture Book Picks instead so that it can be a regular feature.

Today I’ll start with some classics. Here we go. My top 5 Picture Book Picks this post are:

1. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. Illustrated by Michael Smollen . I love the humour and reader interaction with this book. If you have reluctant readers, definitley start with this one.

The Monster at the End of this Book (Sesame Street) (Big Little Golden Book)

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boon by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert. This is a great book for reinforcing the alphabet with out saying “This is Letter A”. It also has a great rhythm that will engage readers.

3. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. Illustrated by Felicia Bond. This is a fun book that brings imagination to life. I love who the whole story connects from beginning to end. This is also a fun way to explore consequences . “If I do this, then that will happen.”

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Book

4. Corduroy by Don Freeman. This was an adorable story that I read to my children repeatedly. It was fun to follow Corduroy around as he learns about his world and his quest to be brought to a home.

Corduroy (ebook)

5. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This was fun to read as we follow Harold around while his purple crayon creates a world around him.

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Meet Author Aaron McGinley

Please join me in welcoming author Aaron McGinley, the author of the beloved book Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the “Actuallys”.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Children inspire you. I’ve always done professional writing, and my silly side always came out in my work with kids and at a summer camp. But I knew when I had my kid and she inspired a dream, I had to model for them to follow through.

How inspirational! How long have you been writing professionally?

This is my first book!

What does your writing schedule look like?

Have you ever tried to write a book with a crying baby in one hand and a keyboard in the other, at 9 at night? I have!

Yes. It is quite the struggle. What are your favorite books to read? Any that might not be well known?

I love a good thriller. Also, as a therapist, I devour psychology articles!

What have you found to be the most difficult thing about writing?

In my case, it was realizing that the traditional publishing route has very regimented ideas about what makes a book sell. For instance, my book targets highly intelligent children, and realizing that parents know they can manage a higher word count, but that publishers don’t was disheartening. I don’t regret going the independent route though, because now my book is landing into the hands of parents, kids, teachers, and therapists that appreciate it!

What have you found to be the most rewarding?

Almost daily, I hear from parents that are using the book as a tool to help their bright children to connect with others.

That is truly rewarding. What advice to you have for aspiring authors?

Just do it.

What publications do you have out now?

Aiden McGee Gets a Case of The Actuallys. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SK9226S

Do you have an upcoming release? If so, tell us about it.

I might have a few tricks up my sleeve! Follow me on amazon!

What writing projects are you working on?

The one that will soon be released and another one of the three series

Where can we follow you and purchase your books?

You can purchase my books here.

Thank you for joining us Aaron! Check him out on Facebook!

Book Review: Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the “Actuallys”

Aiden McGee Gets the Case of the “Actuallys
by Aaron McGinley

This was an adorable book about Aiden who can’t seem to help himself in correcting other people. He becomes aware of this habit one Monday during a school trip. His mom, who is also a doctor, diagnoses Aiden with a “Case of the Actuallys”. During this discussion, Mom suggests Aiden asks himself if something is necessary, kind, or true before saying something.

I loved this part of the story because as a Technology Teacher, I often discuss the THINKmethod that children use before posting online. Ask yourself if it is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind. I can see myself reading a story like this to my students next year as we review digital citizenship.

You can get your copy of Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the “Actuallys” here.

Next week don’t miss the amazing interview I will post with author AAron McGinley. If you want to see the inteview before it goes live on my blog, join my newsletter (You also get free coloring pages and a free lesson plan.)