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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: kathy stemke, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Trouble on Earth Day Book Tour Review


Earth Day is approaching and Kathy Stemke is touring her book Trouble on Earth Day. Along with great guest blogging stops, Kathy is offering informative and fun recycling crafts for children on her own site. She’s showing them that helping the earth can be fun!  So, please stop by her site at: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com




 What is the Meaning and Symbolism of the earth Day Flag?
According to legend, it was created as a combination of the letters e and o, from the words environment and organism. This flag was also based on the Stars and Stripes of the US Flag. Green was substituted in place of blue and red. The colors represent "pure air and green land" and environmental action.

Trouble on Earth Day
is available at a discounted price at: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com. It's also available through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.

Throughout the book tour visitors will be asked to send their best EARTH photo to dancekam1@yahoo.com to be displayed on the last day of the tour. A winner will

12 Comments on Trouble on Earth Day Book Tour Review, last added: 4/13/2012
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2. Interview with Kathy Stemke, author of Trouble on Earth Day

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, Kathy Stemke has published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and websites. She is a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and a former editor for The National Writing for Children Center. As a retired teacher, Kathy has several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. Stemke is also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U, a writing services company that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, and resumes. http://www.dkvwriting4u.com

Award winning author, Kathy Stemke’s first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. Her next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011. Both of these books have been awarded the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Visit her book blog at http://shshshletthebabysleep.blogspot.com

Mrs.Stemke offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM, on her blog, http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

Interview:


What was your favorite book as a child?

I have fond memories of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. The brilliant illustrations popped off the pages and made my imagination soar. My favorite poem, which I recited to anyone who would listen, was “My Shadow.” It opened up the fascinating world of science as I pondered where shadows came from and how they change throughout the day. Poems like “The Swing” still bring back memories of flying high into the air for hours at the park with friends. I was recently thrilled when asked to teach these very poems to a kindergarten student I was tutoring.


What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

The best writing advice that I received or that I could give is to become part of a good critique group. In fact, joining multiple critique groups is even better. You not only learn from the critiques but also from reading the writings of other professionals. You become part of the evolution of a story from first draft to almost finished book. As a writer you’re too close to the work to be totally objective. You need other points of view.

Having said that, however, remember to weigh their advice carefully. Be true to your vision while adjusting the content.

What are you working on now?

My WIP is a historical fiction based on my mother’s life in WWII England titled, Winnie’s War. The research has been fascinating. I now have a better understanding of the experiences, hopes and fears that helped to shape her personality.


Can you tell us about your children’s books?

Since my background is in physical education and primary education my books and activities are fun to experience, educational and foster movement.

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep takes kids on an adventure with Zachary and his new baby sister as he uses his super powers to keep her asleep. The rhymes in the story and the activities in the supplement feature the consonant blends sh, th, ch, br, and gr.

Trouble on Earth Day is a charming story of friendship and cooperation. Shelby wins an Earth Day poster contest and learns to rethink, reuse and recycle Earth’s precious resources. When she meets a homeless bluebird, she uses her new knowledge to rescue him and bring singing back to the forest. The twenty-three pages of activities include comprehension and discussion questions, action songs and games, worksheets, recycling crafts, and the history of Earth Day. Both books were recently awarded the Children’s Literary Seal of Approval.


Wh

2 Comments on Interview with Kathy Stemke, author of Trouble on Earth Day, last added: 3/31/2012
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3. Kathy Stemke Joins the Team at DKV Writing 4 U

Since I have some really fantastic news, I'm adding an extra post to this week's line-up:

It's exciting, and the team at DKV is thrilled to have Kathy on board. Here's the press release issued:

DKV Writing 4 U
http://dkvwriting4u.com


MEDIA RELEASE

Contact: Karen Cioffi
Email: karenrcfv@yahoo.com

For Immediate Release

Author, Editor, and Freelance Writer Kathy Stemke Joins the Team at DKV Writing 4 U

DKV Writing 4 U is privileged to welcome Kathy Stemke to the team at:
http://dkvwriting4u.com

As a super special way of welcoming Kathy Stemke on board as an editor and freelance writer at DKV Writing 4 U, we are having a SUPER SPECIAL July 1st through July 15th, 2010. Stop by our site for the details to this special and to learn more about Kathy Stemke.

DKV Writing 4 U is a writing service that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, media releases, and much more.

With experienced and professional writers, we offer quality work at affordable prices. In addition, there is a FREE gift just for visiting. And, if you subscribe to our site, you will receive another FREE e-book about writing and/or marketing.

DKV Writing 4 U strives to help writers on their journey toward publication; businesses increase visibility and opportunities; and for those just starting out, we even help with blog and website creation.

Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer; co-moderator of a children’s critique group; a reviewer for multiple sites; as well as founder and manager of VBT Writers on the Move.

Learn about the DKV Writing Team at: http://www.dkvwriting4u.com/dkv-writing-team/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Be sure to stop by DKV Writing 4 U and check out the writing services SPECIAL.

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter-for-hire, Freelance writer, Reviewer

http://karencioffi.com
http://dkvwriting4u.com
http://nothingventurednothinggained.org

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4. Featuring Author/Educator - Kathy Stemke

Today I'm delighted to welcome author/educator, Kathy Stemke, to my blog.


Kathy: I’m soooo excited to be here, Kevin.

I'm so glad to hear it.  Any particular reasons for the excitement?

Kathy: Within the next couple of weeks my first printed picture book, “Trouble on Earth Day,” will be available for purchase. I’ve been waiting for over two years for this incredible event to happen.




What’s it about?
Kathy: It’s about friendship, helping others and helping the Earth.

Why will kids like it?

Kathy: They will fall in love with the adorable characters, enjoy learning about recycling, and get lost in the exciting story of two new friends.

What makes your book different than other picture books on the market today?

Kathy: As I said before it is a wonderful story and it has 22 pages of songs, discussion questions, worksheets, games, activities, and recycling projects to do at school or at home.

Can you give us an example of one of the songs?

Kathy: Sure, Kevin. Here’s one verse of Shelby’s Recycling Song.

Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb

Shelby squirrel saved and saved,
Saved and saved, saved and saved,
Shelby squirrel saved and saved,
She used her things again.

Can you give us an idea of the worksheets and activities you offer in the book?

Kathy: There are word searches and matching activities as well as recycling games and silly compound words. Here’s a darling coloring sheet that kids can get from my blog. While you’re there, you can also sign up for my free monthly newsletter, Movement and Rhythm. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com/


Congratulations on your new book and thanks for stopping by today.

Kathy: You’re welcome. It was fun. Happy spring!

Kathy Stemke’s websites:

Moving Through all Seven Days link:
http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#
http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html
http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/237923/Kathy_stemke_dancekam.html

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke

Follow me on Facebook:
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5. Famous Brother and Sister Pairs with Kathy Stemke

Today, I have the great pleasure of featuring my good friend, Kathy Stemke, on day 3 of her book tour for her newly released book Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep.

Showing the wonderful ways in which brothers and sisters have been paired together in entertaining children's books and other areas of literature and entertainment, Kathy has provided a brief synopsis of her book, along with examples of successful brother and sister pairings.

Famous Brother and Sister Pairs

By Kathy Stemke

In my new picture book, Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep, we find big brother Zachary a little jealous of his new baby sister.  Layla’s needs come first now. When given the job of keeping her asleep, he encounters all kinds of trouble. Zachary has a secret weapon! When he wears his thick black glasses, he has super powers! He rescues her from birds, bears, and all kinds of dangers. In the end, he makes a heartwarming discovery.  This action packed book with clever rhymes focuses on teaching consonant blends. The teacher supplement includes comprehension questions, songs, worksheets and activities.

The illustrator, Jack Foster, does a fantastic job depicting the action and humor of this heartwarming story. 

Zachary and Layla are sure to go down in history as a famous pair of siblings.  That got me thinking of other famous sibling pairs…….

Here are some that I've already got floating around in my head:

•    Hansel and Gretel team up to find a witch.
•    Raggedy Ann and Andy dress in primary colors.
•    Marsha and Greg Brady from the Brady Bunch put their heads together to solve family problems.
•    The Bobbsey Twins solve mysteries together.
•    Donny and Marie Osmond sing great duets.
•    Jack and Jill fetch water and fall together.
•    Michael and Janet Jackson sing and dance together and apart.
•    Dick and Jane see Spot together.
•    Apollo and Artemis rule in Greek mythology together.
•    And finally, Zachary and Layla learn what????

Can you suggest famous literary/historical/mythological/cinematic brother/sister pairs? 
Kathy Stemke has a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. She has Bachelor degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Hanging her hat in the North Georgia Mountains, she has been a teacher, tutor, and writer for many years.

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, Kathy has published hundreds of articles in directories, websites and magazines. She is a contributing editor for The National Writing for Children's Center http://writingforchildrencenter.com/ and a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing. As a retired teacher, Kathy has several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. Kathy is also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U ( http://www.dkvwriting4u.com).

Kathy’s first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. Her next picture book, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, was released in May of 2011. Her third picture book, T

26 Comments on Famous Brother and Sister Pairs with Kathy Stemke, last added: 6/16/2011
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6. Squirrels That Celebrate EARTH DAY!

It is my great pleasure to welcome fellow G.A.P. author,
and writing companion in arms,
KATHY STEMKE

Let's give the 4th day of her Book Tour
a rousing reception



 
TROUBLE ON EARTH DAY!

Her charming picture book, which doubles as an activity book, teaches kids how to rethink, reuse and recycle our Earth’s precious resources.  Shelby squirrel, the main character, after winning an Earth Day poster contest finds things around the house to re-purpose. When she meets a bluebird in distress on Earth Day, she comes to the rescue. With Earth Day drawing near, join me in celebrating our beautiful Earth with…..

"Trouble on Earth Day
8 Comments on Squirrels That Celebrate EARTH DAY!, last added: 3/29/2012
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7. The Importance of Multicultural Literature

by Kathy Stemke, Contributing Editor

multicultural

Multicultural literature that represents any cultural group through accurate portrayal and rich detail has become an important ingredient in education. Books with characters of similar backgrounds, familial situations, of a close age, similar ethnicity, or living in familiar geographical settings can be useful tools in guiding children to discover who they are and where they fit into their communities. These books offer motivation for more reading and inspiration to pursue goals because someone like them did the same thing. They also help children solve problems by seeing how others solve similar problems. Children must to be able to find books that focus on many ethnic identities and backgrounds to help develop the sense of self so important to growing up and to the appreciation of others and the world around them.

A great book to use in conjunction with a multicultural lesson is Shoes, Shoes, Shoes by Ann Morris. It features shoes from around the world. After you read this book, talk about individuality and diversity. The following shoe measurement activity celebrates diversity and requires measurement skills, art, body parts identification, and matching skills.

1. Each child traces both his shoes on construction paper, and cuts them out.

2. The children measure the length to the nearest inch, and writes it on the feet.

3. Trace your own shoes and add several others of various sizes.

4. Let the children measure the other feet and record the lengths.

5. The kids can take turns matching up the feet first with the measurement side showing.

6. Now flip the shoes over and see if they can still match up the feet in pairs.

7. The children can practice counting by twos.

8. Now each child can use their art skills to decorate their own set of feet.

9. You can make a great bulletin board of feet, each with the child’s picture next to their feet.

10. Laminate all the other feet. Tape them to the floor in pairs. Have the children jump from pair to pair counting by twos.

Multicultural books:

China Ancient Arts and Sciences by the Franklin Institute includes inventions like the compass, papermaking, printing, and gunpowder.

A Birthday Basket for Tia by Pat Mora. Colorful papercut illustrations accompany this story of Cecilia as she prepares a surprise gift for her great-aunt’s ninetieth birthday with the help and interference of her cat, Chica.

Friends From the Other Side -Amigos del Otro Lado by Gloria Anzaldua. This is a bilingual story of Prietita, a brave young Mexican American girl who befriends and helps Joaquin after he crosses the Rio Grande into Texas with his mother in search of a new life.

The Lotus Seed by S. Garland. Throughout her life, Grandmother has carried a special lotus seed. When her grandson buries the seed, a beautiful pink blossom appears in the garden — a reminder that this symbol of her homeland will bloom wherever it is planted.

Light the Lights written by Margaret Moorman. One of very few pictures books about interfaith holiday celebrations, this is the story of a little girl named Emma whose family happily celebrates both Hannukah and Christmas.

The Butter Man by A. Alalou and E. L. Alalou. During a famine Nora’s grandfather must travel over the mountain to find work so he can provide food for his family. While young Ali waits for his father’s return, he learns a lesson of patience, perseverance, and hope. Fold-art illustrations capture the Moroccan culture and landscape.

Halmoni’s Day by E. C. Bercaw. Jennifer’s grandmother, Halmoni, is visiting all the way from Korea. She’s arrived just in time for Grandparents’ Day at school but she doesn’t speak English. As this moving story shows, there are many ways to express love–ways that bridge differences in generations and cultures.

How My Parents Learned to Eat by I. R. Friedman. An American sailor courts a Japanese girl and each tries, in secret, to learn the other’s way of eating.

Colors of Japan by H. Littlefield. Each double-page spread features one color and includes the Japanese word for the color, along with the pronunciation. The brief text contains basic information about history, daily life, traditions, population, schools, and geography.

In a Circle Long Ago: A Treasury of Native Lore by Nancy Van Laan. This is an impressive collection of Native American tales, songs, and poetry from the Arctic North to the Florida Everglades.

To purchase any of these books, visit our Book Store.

******************

Kathy Stemke is a freelance writer, author, and educator. Sign up for FREE monthly newsletter here!

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8. Moving Through All Seven Days - A Review

Reviewed by Donna M. McDine

moving through all seven days

Title: Moving Through All Seven Days
Written by: Kathy Ann Stemke
Illustrated by: Tony Glisson
Ages: 3-7
Publisher: Action Alley Education
ISBN: To Be Released by Lulu.com
Published: 2009
E-book: 32 pages
Price: $5.00

Move and groove along with the whimsical characters of Moving Through All Seven Days as they slip, twirl, and glide you through the days of the week. An activities resource, to help reinforce the learning process of spelling the days of the week, is a welcome bonus to the book. Moving Through All Seven Days provides an ingenious way of getting the children up from behind their desks to experience learning through movement.

Children’s author, Kathy Ann Stemke brilliantly blends lyrical rhyme and the learning process with a fun and educational twist. Vibrant illustrations created by Tony Glisson help make Moving Through All Seven Days a must-have for preschool and kindergarten classrooms and no home library would be complete without it.

Learn more about Kathy at kathystemke.weebly.com and educationtipster.blogspot.com

_________________________

To learn more about Donna McDine’s writing career, visit her a site at www.donnamcdine.com. Sign her guestbook and receive her FREE e-Book ~ “Write What Inspires You! Author Interviews”

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9. Kathy Stemke, Children's Author and Educator

Yippee! The talented children's author, Kathy Stemke, will be my guest for the VBT - Writers on the Move October Tour.

You'll want to read about Kathy as two of her books have been picked up by publishers - and Kathy's just recently entered into the writing game!

And, her Newsletter, “MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM,” is listed in the "100 Best Blogs for Homeschooling Moms!

Stop by on Thursday, October 1st: we'll talk about Kathy's new book, Moving Through All Seven Days.

And, on Saturday, October 3rd, we'll feature Kathy's article about getting children's creative juices flowing.

Talk to you soon,
Karen

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10. Historical Fiction Brings the Past to Life

by Kathy Stemke

Civil War

Historical fiction gives shape to the past. It brings part of the past alive in the present.

Stephen Crane, the author of the American Civil War classic The Red Badge of Courage, was once asked why he had chosen to write his book as fiction rather than history. The reason, he said, was because he wanted to feel the situations of the War as a protagonist, not from the outside. And it was only by writing a novel that he could do this.

And this is what all historical fiction does. It makes us feel what otherwise would be dead and lost to us. It transports us into the past. And the very best historical fiction presents to us not only the past, but also the heart of the past.

The best historical novels have characters that pull you right inside their skin so you can see, hear, taste and smell another time and place through their senses.

These books work well when integrated into a social studies curriculum.
Historical novels and picture books pique the children’s curiosity.

Before reading aloud have the children list what they already know about the subject. Afterward, investigate whether what they heard is typical of the time period.

They emphasize everyday details. Picture books today provide visual and contextual clues to how people lived, what their speech was like, how they dressed, and so on.

Social studies texts are often devoted to coverage rather than depth. Too often, individuals — no matter how famous or important — are reduced to a few sentences. Children have difficulty converting these cryptic descriptions and snapshots into complex individuals who often had difficult choices to make, so myths and stereotypes flourish. Good historical fiction presents individuals, as they are, neither all good nor all bad.

Traditionally, historical issues have been presented to children as flat, one-dimensional, or single-sided. Historical fiction restores the landscape of history so children can discover that problems are age-old.
It’s important for students to share their perspectives, while respecting the opinions of others. Historical fiction introduces children to characters who have different points of view and offers examples of how people deal differently with problems.

PRIMARY
Casey Over There by Staton Rabin, 32 pages; $15
This is a touching story of two brothers whose lives were affected by World War I. Casey fought and his younger brother, Aubrey, waited and worried. Aubrey’s letter to Uncle Sam initiates a sensitive response from the president. The illustrations add intensity to the story.

In America by Marissa Moss (Dutton); 32 pages; $14.99
Walter’s grandfather tells the story of immigrating to America. Walter learns about his grandfather’s village in Lithuania and about courage through his grandfather’s experience.

PRIMARY/INTERMEDIATE
Seminole Diary: Remembrances of a Slave by Dolores Johnson (Macmillan); 32 pages; $14.95
Libbie, a slave, tells of the peaceful coexistence of African-American slaves and the Seminole Indians. In the Seminole villages, runaway slaves found a haven of mutual respect.

The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss by Sally Schofer Mathews (Clarion); 40 pages; $16.95
In text surrounded by Aztec codices, the story of this ancient civilization is recounted. Told from the Aztec perspective, this book connects the past with a modern-day discovery.

INTERMEDIATE
Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco (Philomel); 48 pages; $15.95
Two young Union boys from very different backgrounds are caught up in the travesties of war in Confederate territory. This is a poignant Civil War story passed down through generations, including the generation of the author.

The Lucky Baseball by Suzanne Lieurance; 160 pages
Harry Yakamoto grew up in Seven Cedars, California playing baseball, going to school, and working at his family’s restaurant. As a young Japanese American, he faced discrimination daily. But when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, his life would change forever. Forced to move to a relocation center in the desert of California, Harry and his family have to start a new life behind barbed wire and guarded watchtowers. Follow Harry Yakamoto in this World War II story as he learns to live through difficult conditions in a Japanese-American internment camp.

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11. Kathy Stemke: A Creative and Talented Author



Wow, it’s my pleasure to host, my friend and creative author, Kathy Stemke. Her story is amazing: the first book she submitted for publication was picked up. And, then the second one was picked up by the same publisher. What a way to start!

To keep things moving while waiting for her books to be published and available, Kathy wrote another book, Moving Through All Seven Days. But, that’s not all: Kathy’s FREE monthly newsletter, “MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM” is listed in the “100 Best Blogs for Homeschooling Moms!”

So, let’s learn a bit about this fast moving and talented author, Kathy Stemke:

Kathy Stemke has a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. She has a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Hanging her hat in the North Georgia Mountains, she has been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years.

As a freelance writer Kathy has published several articles. She is a contributing editor for The National Writing for Children's Center. Kathy’s first children’s e-book, “Moving Through All Seven Days,” is now available on Lulu. Kathy's second children's book, “Trouble on Earth Day,” is slated to come out in the fall of 2009!

Now for a bit about Moving Through All Seven Day:

This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The 14 pages of activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.

My review below gives a little more description of this impressive children’s book:

Title: Moving Through All Seven Days
Written by: Kathy Ann Stemke
Illustrated by: Tony Glisson
Ages: 3-7
Publisher: Action Alley Education
Reviewer: Karen Cioffi (May 22, 2009)

Moving Through All Seven Days is a wonderful way to teach young children the days of the week. The days move forward with playful activities, "Slipping, sliding, spin and play, Fun on Sunday, that's the way."

Reading and exercise – what a combination! With bold and colorful illustrations it is sure to hold any child’s attention.

As an added feature, Moving Through All Seven Days includes an activity and learning section with: in class activities, spelling the days of the week, rhyming words, coloring pages and more. This is sure to be a hit in any preschool or lower grade classroom.

Moving Through All Seven Days is also a great way to teach the days of the week to your own little ones before they start school. I’ll be reading it to my 3-year-old grandson!

Mine is just one of many great reviews of Moving Through All Seven Days. I highly recommend it.

You can find Moving Through All Seven Days on lulu by clicking on this link:
http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#

And, don’t forget to sign up for Kathy’s FREE monthly newsletter, “MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM” on her blog. You’ll find great teaching tips, movement activities, and children’s book reviews. Head on over to: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com to subscribe.

Check out this impressive review by Suzanne Lieurance of The Working Writer’s Coaching Club:

Both parents and teachers of small children will want to subscribe to Movement and Rhythm, a valuable new resource from educator and children's author, Kathy Stemke. This free newsletter is chock full of original articles, activities, and other offers to make education and teaching more fun and effective both inside and outside the classroom.

Wait, we’re not done yet:

COMING SOON-The release of Kathy Stemke's new picture book, Trouble on Earth Day, is coming very soon. This adorable squirrel uses what she has learned in school about recycling to help her new friend. This book, like all of Kathy's books, has several worksheets, crafts, and recycle ideas pages for it's readers to enjoy.

You can see an illustration from Trouble on Earth Day above.

To learn more about Kathy Stemke and her books, please visit her websites:

Moving Through all Seven Days
http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#

http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/237923/Kathy_stemke_dancekam.html

http://kathystemke.weebly.com

Whew! Kathy sure has a lot going on. Be sure to stop back here on Saturday, the 3rd, for more with Kathy: a creative writing article that you won’t want to miss.

Talk to you soon,
Karen

16 Comments on Kathy Stemke: A Creative and Talented Author, last added: 10/3/2009
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12. Back with Author: Kathy Stemke


Kathy's back and has a super useful article about teaching creative writing to children. It's a great article, so we'll get right to it.

Kathy's Creative Writing Article:

Reading books with your children not only opens up the whole world to them, but often kick-starts their creative writing juices. For instance, after reading "The Wizard of Oz," ask your children to write a story about a strange world. When teaching creative writing to children, I've found that using maps, props, cards, books they've read, or pictures help them oganize their thoughts and create characters and a plot for their writing. Here are a few activities that will help your child get started.

CREATE A MAP OF A NEW WORLD

Draw an island on a crinkled up paper bag. This will show that the map is old.
Now add some features. Give it some mountains or a volcano. Put in rivers, swamps, or lakes. (By the way, this is a great way to give your kids a geography lesson or map making lesson without them knowing!) It could have forests, beaches, caves, villages. How about an old, deserted pirate town? By the way, islands don't have to be tropical islands. There are also rocky islands, jungle islands, and since this is an imaginary story, how about rainbow islands, candy islands, islands made of toys, or any combination of elements you want.

Decide who lives on the island. Maybe it’s a clan of long-lost Vikings, rock people, whacky animals, or talking birds. Maybe there are two groups on each side of the island that don’t get along with each other. This might help you give the land a name.

Finally, start the story by bringing to the island a main character or two. What would happen when two kids get shipwrecked there, or a time-traveler shows up? They need to have a goal as well. It could be as simple as trying to get home, or finding an object that's needed to save the world.

Because you have a picture of your island it is easy to create a plot as your characters move from one part of the island to the other. Create a problem to overcome at each feature.

Try reading The Adventures of Grassie Green in the Colored Worlds by Steven Rox.

IMAGINE YOURSELF AS A TINY BUG EXPLORER

First give your character a reason to explore. Maybe you're looking for a lost treasure, a rare animal, or a cure for a terrible bug disease. As a tiny creature, everything looks different to you.

Use numbered popsicle sticks and string to map out your journey in the yard. Wind the string around each stick as you place it in the ground. Each stick represents a problem that you must overcome to continue your quest. Maybe you have to think of a way to get over a big rock, cross a puddle, get away from a hungry bird, ride on a dandelion seed, or in a toy car.

Finally, decide how you solve the final problem and find what you're looking for.
Try reading The Little Squeegy Bug by Bill Martin and Michael Sampson.

HOW DID THE TIGER GET IT'S STRIPES?

These types of stories are called folktales. They have historically explained things. Have your child draw a picture o make a clay figure of his favorite animal.

Make a list of the characteristics that make this animal unusual or different.
Write a story that explains how the animal got a particular trait. (How a tiger gets his stripes, how an elephant got large ears, why an eagle has a white head, or how a giraffe got a long neck.) For instance, start the story about elephants when they had tiny ears. Tell us the problems the elephant had. Tell how his ears grew to solve his problems.

Try reading Asian Children's Favorite Stories: A Treasury of Folktales from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia by David Conger, Patrick Yee, Marian Davies Toth, and Kay Loyons.

It's never too early to start training your child in creative writing. If your child is too young to write the story himself, have him tell you the story and you can write it down. Children love to illustrate their stories in a fancy notebook. There are even book making kits available at bookstores. Once you start exploring the endless number of props that are available to inspire writing, you will be amazed by your child's imagination and writing ability. Who knows? They may become a famous author someday.

Thanks, Kathy for a great article; I'm going to apply these tips to my grandson.

To learn more about Kathy Stemke and her books, please visit her websites:

Moving Through all Seven Days
http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#

http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/237923/Kathy_stemke_dancekam.html

http://kathystemke.weebly.com

Well, that about wraps it up for the October VBT - Writers on the Move tour. Thank you, Kathy, for being our guest. It's been a blast!

For you authors out there: Why not increase your visibility and readership with VBT - Writers on the Move. We're a group of authors who use cross-promotion as part of our marketing plan.

And, VBT - Writers on the Move's October Viewpoint will be hosted by Elysabeth Eldering on Sunday, the 11th.

Finally, don't forget VBT has a monthly Mystery Site Giveaway: a free book or a guest spot on the VBT - Writers on the Move's blogsite!

Thanks to all who stopped by!

Talk to you soon,
Karen

10 Comments on Back with Author: Kathy Stemke, last added: 10/4/2009
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13. Interview with author & educator Kathy Stemke


Author and educator Kathy Stemke writes fun, educational books for children. Her titles include Moving Through All Seven Days, Trouble on Earth Day, and Sh, Sh, Sh, Will the Baby Sleep? She's also the author of the Wonderful Water Explorers series. In addition, she's a regular contributor to Helium and Associated Content. For more information about her work and her books, visit her website.

Thanks for the interview, Kathy. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I write poetry for self-expression. I’m working on a book of poems about life from a dancer’s point of view. Here’s an example:

An Empty Stage

Coiled torso frozen on an empty stage,

a living sculpture trapped in place

with no gown of tulle to hide her age

only weeping knees below her waist.



Framed in light, her insides groan

with pent up passion poised for release,

she now waits long and alone

for rhythm to carry her to peace.


But I remember her unencumbered

prance, so light for one held down

by unfulfilled dreams remembered,

floating above her tattered gown.

Tell us about your children's books.

My first book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was an outgrowth of a blog post. This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.

I plan to write a series of picture books with environmental themes. Trouble on Earth Day is almost ready to be released. This is a fun and educational story about a Squirrel who helps a new friend while learning to recycle. This book is full of great recycling ideas, craft projects, and worksheet pages.

I recently completed the second book in this series titled, Wonderful Water Explorers. This book opens up conversation about water preservation with a story of a thirsty bluebird named Charlie, who has lost his ability to sing due to a lack of water. When he meets up with his squirrel friend, Shelby, they set out on an adventure to find fresh drinking water and to bring back singing to the forest.
Guardian Angel Publishers will publish my book titled Sh, Sh, Sh, Will the Baby Sleep? In this action packed story a boy named Zachary must keep his new baby sister asleep. In the process he finds out that he loves her very much. This book and the activities included in the back focus on teaching children about consonant blends. Teachers will love it.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my third book of the environmental series, which is about air pollution, as well as a picture book about dancing wood fairies.

I’ve also started my first YA fantasy novel. Although I’m still fleshing out my characters and plot, I’m very excited about this story.

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

Because my books have teacher activities in them, I belong to several teacher groups online. This is a great way to keep in touch with what teachers are looking for in t

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14. Travel Along This Week’s Blog Chain!

Your blog

This week we have something fun for everyone. It’s a blog chain, and you’re invited to visit all the links in this chain of fun and informative blogs from other children’s writers. Of course, you don’t HAVE to visit every link in the chain, but each link will have something special so you won’t want to miss a thing!

Here are the links in the chain, along with a short description of what you’ll find at each site:

Suzanne Lieurance
Children’s Author, Freelance Writer, the Working Writer’s Coach
http://www.suzannelieurance.com

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over a dozen published books for children. Find out what she’s up to every day by visiting her author site. You’ll find information about all her books, upcoming writer’s conferences and other events where you’ll find Suzanne, as well as tips for both aspiring and established children’s book authors. Suzanne hosts Book Bites for Kids, a talk show about children’s books, every weekday afternoon on blogtalkradio. Find out who her guests will be each day by reading her blog. Sign up for her mailing list at the site and receive a FREE ebook.

Grier Cooper
Children’s writer, photographer, Dancer
www.griercooper.com

At griercooper.com, you’ll find reviews, tips, and articles about dance and movement for children.

Terri Forehand
Children’s Writer, Nurse, Freelance Writer
terri-forehand.blogspot.com

Terri is a freelance writer drawing on her experience as a pediatric critical care nurse and former elementary school nurse and high school teacher. She writes health and nursing educational material but her passion is in creating fiction and nonfiction for children. She is currently working on a series of easy readers focusing on teaching first aid to elementary students.

Nancy I. Sanders
Bestselling and Award-winning children’s author of over 80 books
www.nancyisanders.wordpress.com

Nancy I. Sanders loves to write for children, and she loves to help other children’s writers on their path to success. Much of the material she posts on her blog is based on her ground-breaking book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career, Award-winning Finalist of the National Best Books 2009 Awards. Nancy writes a column for children’s writers for the Writer’s online magazine, the Institute of Children’s Literature e-News, and the Christian Communicator. She is on faculty at the National Writing for Children Center.

Mayra Calvani
Children’s Author, Reviewer
www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com

Mayra’s Secret Bookcase features book reviews, author and publishing professional interviews, and articles on writing.

Karen  Cioffi
Author, Freelance Writer, Reviewer
karenandrobyn.blogspot.com

Stop by this site where you’ll find frequently updated writing and marketing tips and resources, and reviews. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter and get a FREE ebook.

3 Comments on Travel Along This Week’s Blog Chain!, last added: 2/4/2010

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15. The Premio Dartos or Darts Prise


Vivian Zabel honored me with the Prémio Dardos - or Darts Prize. Thank you, Vivian.

The Prémio Dardos is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

From what I can gather, the origin of the Prémio Dardos began in Portugal or Brazil and this is the closest rendition of the original intent available:

1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

2) Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been selected for this award. So, I am passing the torch to:

Terri Forehand
Carma Dutra
Kathy Stemke
Lea Schizas
Joy Delgado
Suzanne Lieurance
Karina Fabian
Margot Finke
Simon Rose
Deboran Ramos
Dehanna Bailee
Dainne Sagan
Harry Gilleland
Nancy Famolari
Margaret Fieland

1 Comments on The Premio Dartos or Darts Prise, last added: 1/6/2009
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