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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: kidlit, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. A fine blend of non-sense engineering and cats. #sketch #pencil...

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2. Good News When You Least Expect It...


Life is a constant roller coaster and I'm blown away by two exciting offers this week...


The first offer through the Greenwich Academy via Izabela O'Brien, parent volunteer chairing the Greenwich Academy book fair on April 12, 2015. They have asked me to appear as their guest author.

The second offer...


I reached out to the Collingswood Book Festival after participating as an exhibitor October 11, 2014 as to their application process to be an invited/featured author for their 13th book festival to be held October 3, 2015. After receiving the details, I eagerly filled out the application and low and behold I heard from the Author Selection Committee and I am now a confirmed featured author.

Please know I'm not bragging, I'm just sharing how networking and assisting others on their road to publication and beyond is essential in getting your name out there! I implore you to do the same, you never know what doors will open.

Here's to your inspiration!

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

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014 Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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3. Billy and Monster Get Featured on BookBub

Great news!Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs

My book – Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs – has just been accepted by Bookbub and will be featured on March 21st.

Why is this great news I hear you say? Well it is great news as Bookbub has more than a million subscribers and will email everyone on their list interested in Children’s books. BookBub email their subscribers daily and offer to them eBooks at a discount. I have to admit that I have discovered and downloaded many eBooks recommended by BookBub. You can actually sign up here.

One of my books – I Love Baby Animals – got featured on Bookbub about a year ago and became a Top 10 best-selling book on the Amazon store in the Children’s category. What’s even more exciting this time, is that the book will be available to readers on Apple, Kobo, Scribd, Barnes and Noble plus Foundry.

If you can’t wait for March 21st, then grab a copy of Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs at the link below

Biily and Monster on Amazon

Billy and Monster on Apple

Billy and Monster on Barnes and Noble

Billy and Monster on Nook

Billy and Monster on Kobo

Billy and Monster on Scribd

Billy and Monster on Foundry

 

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4. Happy New Year of the... Sheep? Ram? Goat?

















I vote for goat!

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5. Interview with Kidlit Author – C.L. Murphy

Its back! Author Interview Thursday is back for the first part of the year and I’d like you to get ready for some inspiring authors who will not only provide the necessary fuel to turbo-charge your writing career to another level but will also offer tips, personal stories and current industry trends.CL Murphy - Childrens book Author Today in the hotseat, we have a lady who I met on Twitter. She absolutely and truly gets Twitter and to observe her interaction with fans and fellow authors on that social media platform is truly remarkable. She’s forever drawing attention to other authors books but guess what? The spotlight is firmly on her today. I’ve learned so much from her from afar and I’m glad I get the chance to ask the questions I’ve always wanted to ask her. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming C.L. Murphy.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written.

Whilst some may call me an author, I consider myself more of an illustrator. The first time I received recognition for something I created was in the third grade when I won a school wide poster contest. I lost my focus from art after my Mom died when I was 12. She was a talented artist and some of the happier times that I recall from early childhood, were of her creativity.  It wasn’t until my last year of high school that I was encouraged again by the teachers who told me that art was what I needed to be doing. I went on to college with a concentration in design. My creative spirit has led me down many paths, but none as rewarding as creating children’s picture books. One of those paths led me to paint a mural or two (or twenty). Colourful jungle critters “keep the beat” in this mural that I painted on a children’s music classroom wall.

 

What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by C.L. Murphy?CL Scribbles 1

I hope readers will fall in love with the lovable wolf pup character that I’ve created. He’s a kind lil’ fellow that loves all creatures and wouldn’t think of harming any of them. Uniquely, he considers himself a herbivore. He and his kooky, right-hand(wing) raven, Roxy, will take children on adventures in the great outdoors, introducing them to animals, all while trying to be true to his kind and curious nature.

 

You write and illustrate your books. Can you tell us your process in terms of what comes first and pertinent advice for other children’s book authors looking to illustrate their stories?

Because I am such a visual person, I always have the story envisioned in my mind prior to beginning. I start by sketching the story on paper and then creating the new characters digitally. The characters seem to speak to me during this part of the process as they come to life in my mind. I cannot give any advice to others because that would make me appear if I were some kind of expert. If anything, I’d say; find your style and keep crafting it.

 

Cathy, you’re the absolute master when it comes to Twitter. Can you give us a few tips on connecting with fans and authors on Twitter and how its been beneficial to you as an author?

Master? I’m just another twit on twitter. Haha! I do have fun, though, and enjoy the social platform. I find the 140 character limit a perfect format to connect with people.  I have benefited from Twitter by meeting and forming friendships with delightful people from all over the world. Many authors, teachers, readers, parents and creative folk are out there in Twitterland ready and willing to connect and share. They all brighten my day. I love following fellow KidLit tweeps but also appreciate those that enjoy life. I am interested in many things and what people have to say. Be kind and curious, just like Lobo’s character, and other tweeps will engage.

 

What were some of your favourite books as a child?Sunny the Sand Angel

Favorites? I can find merit with any book and I dislike playing favorites. It’s like asking me which of my sons is my favorite child. I love them dearly for different reasons. I owned a decent sized collection of books as a child and I would play librarian with the assortment. I categorized my books (which is surprising because I’m not what you’d call orderly) and taped check out slips in every single one. My library “stamp” was the family Christmas greeting that was used to stamp our signature on our yearly greeting cards. Oh, how I’d love to to find one of the books with the imprint of Merry Christmas from Bill, Bette, Carol & Cathy Lou, stamped in it. Those ALL would be my favorites!

 

You’re a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Would you advise other children’s book authors and illustrators to join and how has it helped you? 

I’m a member of a fairly new branch of an Oregon chapter. We don’t assemble as much as I’d like, but when we do, I always leave the meeting enthused about what I’ve learned and anxious to use the knowledge. The society is a wonderful wealth of information and I would highly recommend any author or illustrator to join their local chapter. I feel it is almost mandatory to join if you want to stay involved with the industry.

 

How do you reward yourself once your book is published?Lovable Lobo North Pole

Once a book is available to readers, the work is far from over, so there’s no time to celebrate. A successful launch includes promotions and honest reviews in hopes that others take note. You hope that children and their parents will like, or better yet, LOVE, what you’ve poured your heart and soul into. The BEST reward is when something you’ve created is appreciated!

 

What is your favourite Hollywood Animal film and why?

There you go asking me to play favorites again, David. As a child, the movie Bambi, made quite an impact on me. I’d listen to the story on a record player over and over again. I had a pet rabbit that I named Thumper based on one of the movie’s characters. I enjoy animated movies and ones that capture your imagination. I’ll always be a kid at heart with a soft spot for the furry and the feathered.

 

What three things should a first time visitor to Oregon do?

Oregon has so much to offer! There’s outdoor activities galore, available year round, in every corner of the state! A visit to Crater Lake National Park is a must. If you’re a fan of live theatre, then world renowned, Oregon Shakespeare Festival can’t be missed. We’re famous for our microbreweries and wine regions, if you partake. Don’t get me started on the local cuisine!  How does some warm MARIONBERRY cobbler à la mode or a chocolate HAZELNUT torte or a PEAR upside-down gingerbread cake with caramel drizzle sound? Oops. I think my sweet tooth is showing.

 

Lovable, who is the main character in your popular series – The Adventures of Lovable Lobo – was inspired by a wolf you raised for 14 years. Can you tell us something we possibly don’t know about wolves?musicroom

I could perhaps tell you everything you’d ever want to know (or not) about wolves. Okay, that’s not true. I believe them to be magnificent, intelligent creatures with a very caring social structure. Interestingly, the wolf has inspired many legends and stories, their imagery is present in many cultures and even prehistoric man left evidence of their existence. Did you know that wolves are one of the few animals that communicate using a great range of facial expressions?

 

With Christmas just gone, can you tell us the most memorable gift you received growing up?

A very memorable gift was a copy of The Wizard of Oz book that I received from an aunt at Christmas. Memorable, because I found it creepy. That wicked witch gave me nightmares as did the house coming down and squishing her. And those flying monkeys! I appreciate that the newer story’s adaptions have lessened the creepiness, but back then, I hid the book from sight. I did want a pair of those ruby slippers, though.

 

What can we expect from C.L. Murphy in the next 12 months?Lobo Huddling

Lovable Lobo will go on another adventure. I have two stories in the works. They are fighting amongst themselves and the strongest shall prevail. I’m hoping to announce a BIG surprise, that no one will see coming, sometime in 2015 but it may not happen until 2016.

 

Where can readers and fans connect with you?

 

Website: http://lovablelobo.com

Blog: http://lovablelobo.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LovableLobo

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lovable-Lobo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6852948.C_L_Murphy

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/murphymess

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CLMurphyKidLit

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?Lobo Goes to the Galapagos

I waited until my sons went off to college to start the journey even though I had plenty of ideas. When they were young, they were always a source of inspiration. I’d take my notebook along and write and draw during our outings. For instance, they liked to fish. I did not. I took that opportunity to create in between baiting hooks. Ah, worm guts. Nature can be so inspiring! The point is; I could have started back then. Could have. Would have. Should have.

It is both an exciting and interesting time in the publishing world. Never has it been so easy to self-publish and that has created a glut of self-published books on the market, with absolutely NO filter. How do you stand out amongst the gazillions? You produce a quality product and develop a loyal fan base whether you’re traditionally published or not. It is not easy, as I’m sure you know all too well, David. It takes dedication and an inordinate amount of time. If you love what you do, you keep doing it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but learn from them when you do, try new things, make new connections, stay informed and see where it takes you, but NEVER give up. That’s my strategy and I’m sticking with it.

Thank you, David, for this opportunity to share.

 

The pleasure was all mine Cathy. I like how you ended by encouraging us never to give up. It sometimes seems like the time is never perfect to begin that dream. Sadly, things will never be perfect for us to begin that dream and the best time to start is usually now. Please connect with Cathy at the links she provided above and let her know you got to know her through my interview with her. She currently has two books about Lovable Lobo that you can get on Amazon and other Online Retailers. Kindly leave a question or comment below so Cathy and I know you stopped by.

11 Comments on Interview with Kidlit Author – C.L. Murphy, last added: 1/25/2015
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6. 'Brushing up' on a #story about a Kat, and a ghost cat. #sketch...

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7. New Art For A Tuesday


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8. Taking a look at my inner Snark. #character #sketch #watercolor...

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9. New hot headed #character #sketch for a story I’m working...

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10. Snow Festival Day 2: Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Snow by Uri Shulevitz has stood the test of time in our house. In winter it is never far from reach and is always the very first book to come off the shelf during the very first snow storm of the season.

snow

“It’s snowing, said boy with dog.

“It’s only a snowflake,” said grandfather with beard.

No one thinks one or two snowflakes will amount to anything. Not the man with the hat or the lady with the umbrella. Not even the television or the radio forecasters. But one boy and his dog have faith that the snow will amount to something spectacular, and when flakes start to swirl down on the city, they are also the only ones who know how to truly enjoy it. This playful depiction of a snowy day and the transformation of a city is perfectly captured in simple, poetic text and lively watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations.

The story is a perfect balance between words and illustrations. It isn’t cluttered with too many words. It allows both the reader and the read -to, to use their own imagination, and to wonder what is really happening or what is really going to happen. Each time we pick up this classic read, we can always spy something new which could be happening.

Something To Do: Homemade Snow Cream!

When one is hoping for a giant snowstorm and then one appears, the next thing one should be thinking is, SNOWCREAM. Did you know you can make ice cream out of snow?  If by chance today  you are in a place where it is snowing you can make yourself a little bowl of magic right now. For the rest of us, we will just have something to look forward to.

snow cream

  • 8 cups of snow
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

snow cream

Mix milk, vanilla, and sugar until dissolved. Add snow, stir until consistency is thick and creamy. Serve immediately. Might I suggest that it tastes great with chocolate chips or little goodies (small candy) too.

What kind of snow fun can you create?

DON’T FORGET! There’s only a few days left of the Audrey Press Holiday Book Sale! (ends 12/31/14)

Year in the Secret Garden

 

A Year in the Secret Garden (inspired by the classic children’s book Secret Garden) is on a wonderful sale until December 31st. Books always make an excellent gift for anyone in your life and it’s not too late to get your copy of A Year in the Secret Garden book for the special holiday price of $15.00 (ends December 31st) if you use the secret code word secret garden at checkout.

This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. There’s also a link to a free download website for all of the wonderful paper toys that Marilyn Scott-Waters has created. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. This book also includes month-by-month activities as well INCLUDING fun book-related fun for the colder months of the year!

Get your copy here.

**some of these links are affiliate links

The post Snow Festival Day 2: Snow by Uri Shulevitz appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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11. Happy, Merry, Peace All!






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12. Do You Know How to Enchant a Child? The Little Fir Tree Does.

 The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown is a heart grabber. The book has the most beautiful paintings which really remind me of my sweet boy “O”. Jim Lamarche, the illustrator, has contributed to the magic of this great story.

They put golden tinsel

 on his branches

And golden bells

And green icicles

And silver stars

And red and green and blue

And purple chains of shining Christmas balls.

All alone in an empty field grew a little fir tree. It dreamed of being part of a forest, or part of anything at all. Then one winter day, a man takes the little fir tree away and it finds itself at the center of a little boy’s very special celebration. This sweet little boy is special, he has a lame leg and he has never been to the forest and so his father brings the forest to him. This little tree gets planted in a wooden tub. “You have come to me from the wild green forest, and you are a part of my very own world.” said the little boy.

 

snow cream

 

Something To Do

You can bring the magic of a fir tree into your very own home. Though some of us may have big trees decorated in our houses, making a little fir tree to go into a child’s room is something truly special of their very own.

firtree 3

Supplies:

  • One small fir tree, fake or real. Both work.
  • A string of 35 lights. Color your choice.
  • small cinnamon sticks
  • Cranberries
  • Small pinecones
  • String
  • Large long needle
  • Thick Thread
  • A collection of small decorations
  • Small hooks
  • Tree topper

firtree 1

Instructions:

  1. Thread your needle. Knot it at one end.
  2. Put the needle through a cranberry and move it to the end. Then move the needled through a small pinecone and move it to the end. Add a cranberry and move it to the end, and then a cinnamon stick, moving it to the end. Continue in this pattern until you have a string long enough to wrap around your little tree.
  3. String the lights around the tree.
  4. Add your cinnamon garland.
  5. Place hooks on your decorations and hang them on the tree.
  6. Put on your tree topper.

Place your tree in your child’s room on a table top, or bookshelf. This is a beautiful way to bring light during the darkest time of the year into a child’s room. They will be thrilled and find it quite magical and spectacular. I have it from very good opinion that this one is a winner. Enjoy !!!

firtree 3

Special Note!

Many of you also may know that I am Co-founder of the wildly successful Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Our second celebration is coming January 27th, 2015 and so many amazing things are happening! We now have fourteen Sponsors for this event, 9 amazing Co-Hosts, a brand new Facebook page, a brand new Twitter page and we were featured in Publisher’s Weekly this week!
fb collage
We also rolled out our Diversity Book Lists & Resources for Teachers and Parents on the site and we’d like to remind everyone to watch for the event’s hashtag; #ReadYourWorld. Please retweet and share when you see it!

The post Do You Know How to Enchant a Child? The Little Fir Tree Does. appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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13. Free Kids Books to Download by David Chuka

It’s the season of Giving and I have two special gifts for you today.

You can download Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost and Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas to your kindle or kindle app today, tomorrow and Thursday.Sea Life Books

Just in case you’re wondering what in store for when you download a copy, feast your eyes on the short blurb below

Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost – this is a fun, illustrated picture book about a one-eyed, buck toothed and multi-tailed sea dragon called Kojo who lives in the Zakari River. While playing a game of hide and seek with his friend, Kofi – the sea turtle – he wanders towards the South side, a part of the River his Mum has told him never to venture to. Kojo is sick and tired of losing to Kofi and just this once, wants to win. Discover what happens when a powerful force pulls Kojo towards a dark hole. Young children will learn the importance of following instructions and the love of a community. I wrote this book many years ago while on a train journey. The intention was never to get it published. It was more an exercise in doing something creative on a journey where I had nothing to read. I only discovered it last year and I’m really proud of the reviews from fans, readers and bloggers about the book.

Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – this is the fifth and latest book in the Billy and Monster series. In this episode, Billy finds out what really makes Christmas special. Fans of this series will be delighted to know that I reveal the origins of Monster in this episode.Billy and Monster's Golden Christmas I think the springboard to writing this book was trying to address that awkward situation at Christmas time when you get a present you really don’t like or want. What do you do? You know, when I wrote that first book, I never knew I would write another, much less Number 5.

You don’t need a Kindle tablet to enjoy these books. If you have a tablet, PC or smartphone, then all you have to do is download the Kindle app, set up an account and begin enjoying a world of books including David Chuka’s funny, colourful and insightful tales.

Grab your copy at the links below

Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost – US

Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost – UK

Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – US

Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – UK

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14. How Do You Resolve Conflict with a Penguin? Flora Knows How

I just have to say that I absolutely adore Molly Idle, her art, and her lovely little girl Flora. I can not seem to get enough of Flora and now there is a new Flora book! Flora and the Penguin does not disappoint.

Flora The Penguin

The pragmatic mom herself and I were discussing who we think is up for the Caldecott and who is going to win. Flora and the Penguin is a book that would make my entire year if it won the Caldecott. This book is perfect for ages 3 to 5 but I  have to confess this grown woman adores it too.

Molly Idle has a way of telling a story that keeps her readers engaged. Did I mention she does this all with innovative illustrations ? There isn’t a word in the book.

This wordless wonder is innovative and brilliantly creative as it uses clever flaps that reveal Flora and her penguin friend becoming acquaintances, drifting apart and then coming back together as only friends can do.

In her last book Flora mastered the art of ballet. In Flora and the Penguin, we find her on ice skates, twirling, leaping, and gliding and her penguin friend is up to usual penguin antics by gliding on his flippers.

The ever perfect ice-skating duo mirror each other in an exuberant ice dance.

flora-penguin dance

The penguin delighted with his new skating partner, dives into under the ice to give her the gift of a small fish. Ever disgusted at the idea of a fish, Flora throws it back into the water and gives her new friend the cold shoulder.

flora flaps

Realizing she has offended her friend she takes off her skate to use as a fishing rod, to try and capture the fish back. This in itself leads to a new adventure and back to a very funny ice dance. All’s well that ends well.

Molly Idle has a great gift of story telling. The use of flaps I think is just brilliant and engages the child as well as the adult on many levels. Flora is still one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see what happens at Caldecott time and I really can’t wait until the next Flora book.

Molly Idle began her career as an artist working for DreamWorks Feature Animation, contributing to movies including The Prince of Egypt and El Dorado. From there she leapt into the world of children’s books. She lives in Tempe, Arizona. Grab your copy of Flora HERE.

Something To Do

Though snow and ice and such are winter themes, the truth of the matter is thanks to ice skating rinks, we can go ice skating anytime we want to. To celebrate Flora and the Penguin why not head out to your local ice skating rink for an afternoon of frivolous Flora fun !!!

Once you get your balance and can stand up on ice skates, here are some really fun games for you , your family and friends to play,….oh on the ice of course.

Ice Skating Games

ice skating games

Freeze skate

This game is played similar to the classic party game of freeze dance. Instead of dancing, however, kids will skate along to the music in whatever manner they wish, perhaps while performing some of their favorite skating moves. When the music stops, all skaters must freeze in place. The last player to freeze is out. Play continues until all but one player have been called out. The last player left on the ice is the winner.

Skate Chain

Have kids line up with their hands on each other’s waists, like when forming a conga line. Play some music and have the kids wind around the rink while linked together in the chain. Gradually increase the speed of the music and challenge the chain to speed up as the music does. Any kids who let go or break the chain are out of the game. Play continues until only two players are left. They are the winners.

Gliders

Have two kids stand behind the same starting line. On the start signal, these skaters may take three skating strides and then glide over the ice until they stop. The one who glides the farthest wins while the other player is out. Keep competing like this in pairs of two until everyone has had a turn. All of the winners will then compete against each other to see who can glide the farthest to win the game. To make it more challenging, you could also have the second round of skaters compete with one-foot-glides.

Ice Potato

This game is modeled after the traditional party activity of hot potato, but has been modified to play on the ice. Have your players skate freestyle around the rink. As they are skating, toss a foam ball to a random skater. That player must pass the ball off to the first player to cross his path. Kids will keep passing the ball from skater to skater until the music stops. Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops is out. Play continues in this manner until only one player is left. That skater is the winner.

Follow the Leader

This game is played very much like the well-known schoolyard game of Follow the Leader, except that it is played on the ice. To play, have skaters line up on the ice. Choose one to be the leader. That player will skate for a few feet, performing her best figure skating techniques as she does. All of the other players must follow her lead by repeating the same moves as they skate the same distance. Any player who fails to mimic the leader is out of the game. If all of the players are able to correctly follow the leader, then the leader is out and a new leader is chosen. Play continues until one player remains. That skater is the winner.

Ice Words

Write several words that have to do with ice, and ice-skating on small pieces of paper. Fold them and place them inside of an ice skate. All of the players gather on the sidelines. One player will choose a paper from the skate, look at the word (without saying it aloud) and then “spell it out” by skating. The other players must watch the motion of the skater’s feet to try and guess the word she is writing in the ice. The first player to guess correctly takes the next turn at writing a word with skates. A few suggestions for words to use include ice, skates, figure 8, rink, blade,, and a variety of common figure skating terms.

Need a last minute gift? Books always make a wonderful book for kids and A Year in the Secret Garden is a “must have” for any active family! This vibrant book is part of s huge holiday sale and is available for only $15.00 unti 12/31/14! Grab your copy of A Year in the Secret Garden  

ASAP!

A year in the secret garden

The post How Do You Resolve Conflict with a Penguin? Flora Knows How appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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15. Childrens Books by David Chuka in 2015

I’ve been staring into my crystal ball and trying to foresee what 2015 holds. I keep staring and staring but I can’t seem to see anything. A good clean job might do the job…ehm…nothing. I don’t think this is working.

Why????????????????

If you know me, then you know the above scenario and a crystal ball would be the last thing I’d be staring at. I think sometimes, we want people to predict our future and lay it on a plate for us. The sad reality is that (like the saying goes) if it’s to be, then it’s up to me. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking of what I want to achieve in the coming year, especially with regards to my role as a children’s book author. I would like to write four books next year. Below are the David Chuka titles hopefully coming to your book shelf sometime in 2015.

Kojo the Sea Dragon Meets a Stranger – After the overwhelming success of Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost, I just knew I had to write more stories with Kojo and his friends from the Zakari River.Sea Life Books Below is a review from a reader:

Such a vivid and colorful tale for such a simple, yet important lesson; listen to your parents. The illustrations are vibrant and imaginative as are the characters. Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost is a very fun read!

In this episode, Kojo and his friends plus everyone in the Zakari River is looking forward to the BOOM BOOM festival. It’s a time of fun, dancing, singing with lots of food. Everyone in the Zakari River gathers in the town center and there are performances by different groups. Kojo is looking forward to doing a special dance with his friends. The day finally arrives and Kojo is having so much fun with his friends and is enjoying the sights and sounds. Then something happens with some yummy cake and an evil eel that makes Kojo learn something new about his world and talking to strangers. This will most likely be the first book I publish in the coming year, so watch this space.

Non-Fiction Book on Writing and Publishing Children’s Books – I get asked a lot of questions by people looking to write and publish children’s books and I think it’s time I crystallise all my experience into a book that get that can help other aspiring and established children’s book authors. Some of the topics I’ll be touching in this book will include working with an illustrator, doing research, getting reviews, social media, marketing etc. I’m excited about the challenge of writing this book and currently putting ideas together.

Billy and Monster Meet the President – Like my most recent book – Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – I had finished writing this book in 2013 but due to challenges in finding the right illustrator, its release was delayed. I am quietly confident that I’ll be able to get this published in May and just in time for the Independence Day celebrations.

A Book about Thanksgiving – I’m not really sure what the story or characters will be but I do know that it’ll something based around Thanksgiving.David Chuka Banner I could either place Billy or Kojo in a situation where they learn something valuable about Thanksgiving. On the other hand, I could create new characters and tell the Thanksgiving story through them. Will provide more details later.

I’ll be visiting more schools in 2015 and looking to share my stories with more of my target audience. Thanks for all your support and do have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2015.

2 Comments on Childrens Books by David Chuka in 2015, last added: 12/16/2014
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16. Tiny Details




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17. KidLit Book Review: Maya and Filippo See Impossible Things in the Garden City


<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->
Title: Maya & Filippo See Impossible Things in the Garden City
Author: Alinka Rutkowska
Illustrator: Konrad Checinski
ISBN-13: 978-1500306359
ISBN-10: 1500306355

Maya and Filippo’s unique life living aboard a cruise ship provides them the opportunity to explore different places and cultures throughout the world. Their parents encourage their adventurous minds and capability of thinking outside the box. Maya and Filippo approach each day with a can do attitude. Their latest stop, Christchurch, New Zealand awaits them, but first will the other children’s negative comments of Maya and Filippo’s imaginations prevent them from exploring? Find out in the latest adventure of Maya and Filippo.

Author, Alinka Rutkowska expertly creates a world of exploration and imagination through the eyes of children. To round out the appeal the author has included a quiz and fun facts at the end. Visit Ms. Rutkowska at http://alinkarutkowska.com

The alluring illustrations by Konrad Checinski makes Maya and Filippo’s world come alive.

Purchase: Amazon Kindle

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

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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18. Interview with Children’s Book Author – Claudine Gueh Yanting

Wow! Its Author Interview Thursday and I have to say that the authors in the hotseat these last few weeks have really been inspiring.Claudine Gueh Yanting Well, guess what? I think we might be taking it to another level with today’s special guest. I got introduced to our special guest by Stephanie Ward who organised a brilliant giveaway for children’s book authors back in Summer. She has a successful blog which she’s ran for about four years. What really intrigued me about her blog is that most of her posts attract a steady stream of comments from her loyal blog readers. She’s written several books that have received worthy mentions and reviews in high places. She has such a big heart and I know you’ll love meeting this children’s book author from Singapore. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Claudine Gueh Yanting.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written. 

Thank you for this opportunity, David! It’s always good getting to know more authors and their books.

I’m a picture book and middle-grade fiction writer and an English tutor in Singapore. When I was 15, I wrote about my encounter with a spirit-medium. My teacher praised it and even read it out in class. That was a defining moment for me! 

 

What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Claudine Gueh Yanting?Brightness Sailors - Cover 

Quieter protagonists who don’t realize how strong they can be, and (hopefully) lyrical writing.

My picture books: My Clearest Me; Brightness Sailors, Bit by Bit

My middle-grade fiction: Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble

More about them here: http://www.carryusoffbooks.com

 

What role would you say social media plays in building an author’s platform and have you found it helpful in marketing your books? 

It’s all about exposure, reaching potential readers and keeping old ones up-to-date with your next book. Although social media isn’t the sole place an author can build her platform, it is possibly an indispensable one these days. 

For me, social media has been useful for gaining exposure while blogging has been effective in gaining loyal readership (for the blog, not my books). Once readers trust my reading taste and writing style, they might be willing to take a chance on my books. Sales can’t be guaranteed, but credibility can be built and what it leads to can be amazing. 

 

What tips would you offer other children’s authors with regard to working with an illustrator? 

Pick one whose style fits what you seek instead of approaching any illustrator and then requesting them to paint in the style you want. 

Be clear with the fee, the number of revisions you need from her, and the deadline up front. Everything is negotiable, but you must only begin the project when both sides are comfortable with the terms. 

Be fair and respectful. Most illustrators are just as dedicated to the project as we are.

 

What in your opinion makes a great children’s book?

One that tells its story honestly (i.e. doesn’t talk down to children or try too hard to impress) and has great illustrations.

 

What were some of your favourite books as a child?  Art from Claudine's Book

My sisters and I devoured Enid Blyton’s books then we’d act out some of the scenes and pretend to be good friends with the characters. That’s why we were pals with an almost-deaf man who wore a saucepan on his head. On other days, we were best friends with a naughty, obstinate girl and her friend who could whistle like a kettle. “The Faraway Tree” and “The Wishing Chair” series were our favorite. I also enjoyed boarding school stories tremendously.

  

What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why? 

Mark Helprin writes excellent dialogue. I was particularly stirred by his “Winter’s Tale” and “A Soldier of the Great War.” I can’t think of a film right now, but a TV series that I watch over and over again for its dialogue is “The West Wing.”

 

How do you reward yourself once your book is published? 

Cake. (Usually Black forest.)

 

Toy Story or Shrek? 

Toy Story. I’m a Studio Ghibli and Pixar fan.

  

Your blog’s been running for about four years and has a loyal fanbase. Any tips for us on how to build and grow a good blog? Facing Moon

I’m always surprised and extremely thankful that people actually read and follow my blog! Most of them are fellow writers and bloggers and we visit one another every week. As for tips on blogging, I’ve heard many and will just focus on these:

1) Blog on what you’re passionate about. (Wait, wait, don’t roll your eyes yet. I understand it sounds like “duh” but I do know of quite a few authors who blog on topics they think their readers want to learn about instead of what they themselves are excited about, so they end up sounding forced and quit blogging after a while.) Ask yourself: Is it books in particular? Which age category or genre? Is it about bridal hairstyles? Is it about relationships? You don’t have to limit yourself to just one category, but you do need a rough picket fence so readers would know if your posts fit their taste or not. 

2) Blog on what your readers want to know. Yep, this upsets whatever I’ve written in 1). But this suggestion might come in handy once you have a blog running for some time and you’ve built yourself to be a credible source on your topics. Ask your readers if they have any questions they’d like you to address. You’ll be their go-to expert.

3) Keep it short. 

4) Add pictures or quotes.  

5) Be consistent in posting. (This is something I still need to work on.)

  

What three things should a first time visitor to your home town do? Little Orchid Cover

1) Try our local breakfast: toast with thick butter and kaya (a coconut jam), two soft-boiled eggs and a cup of local coffee. 

2) Visit both hawker centers (our marketplaces and food centers) and independent cafes/restaurants.

3) Visit our libraries, especially those in the lush, neighborhood area.

 

What can we expect from Claudine Gueh Yanting in the next 12 months? 

Another middle-grade novel, short stories plus a few paintings. I have a budding interest in painting and hope to explore it more next year.

 

Where can readers and fans connect with you? 

Blog: http://www.carryusoffbooks.com/blog

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/CarryUsOff

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarryUsOffBooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carryusoffbooks/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107307586955978074011/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6937945.Claudine_Gueh_Yanting

If you enjoy picture books, middle-grade stories and picture-and-quote inspirations, do drop by my blog some time. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry? Waiting - Final

If writing makes you happy, keep going. Learn to market yourself and your writing, but don’t let sales, reviews, rankings and what-not affect you too much. Keep working hard. Let go of the rest.

 

Thanks for taking out time to be with us today Claudine. I like your encouragement for us never to allow sales or rankings  affect what to do. Also, while its a word most authors don’t like, the truth is we need to learn to market ourselves and our books better to reach that audience that will find great delight in our writings. You can connect with Claudine at one of the links she offered and do drop by her blog to read one of her insightful posts. We’ll be glad to read your comments or questions and remember to share this interview using the social buttons below. One of Claudine’s books will definitely be a great addition to a loved ones’ library, so grab a copy at the link below.

Claudine Gueh Yanting Books on Amazon

9 Comments on Interview with Children’s Book Author – Claudine Gueh Yanting, last added: 12/7/2014
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19. Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet Giveaway through Nov 30th

Holiday Giveaway Kindle Fire Kids Edition 2014 - button

About the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet

Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet

I was pretty excited to see this pretty cool new product available through Amazon. This is a HOT PRODUCT! The all-new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet also comes with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (which means kids get unlimited access to 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games—at no additional cost!). It includes a quad-core processor for great performance, a vivid HD display, front and rear-facing cameras, and Dolby Audio PLUS comes with a Kid-Proof Case, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee – if they break it, return it and Amazon replaces it for free. No questions asked! Um… can you say Christmas present?

 

Fabulous Sponsors (Bloggers)

Thank you to the following bloggers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Please consider visiting at least one or two and thanking them personally.

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Enter Here Canada

Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams

I am a Reader

Addicted Readers

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures
A Bit Bookish

Home on Deranged

Book, Reviews and Giveaways

Tales of a Bookworm

BeachBoundBooks

A Leisure Moment

 

Fabulous Sponsors (Authors and Publishers)

A big thank you to all of the participating authors and publishers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Below you will find their fabulous books

Please consider purchasing one, two or more books that interest you as a “Thank You” to these generous sponsors. Some books are free, others only 99 cents!

Santa's Birthday GiftLobo's Howliday by C.L. MurphyThe Christmas Owl by Angela MuseFrizzy the S.A.D. Elf by Dorothea JensenWhen Violet Was Blue by Deb TroehlerThe Magic WordPlay yayPeter and the Whimper Whineys -coverGimme JimmyMy Fingerpaint Masterpiece - coverABC Adoption and MeGood-bye Baby Max by Diane CantrellCaptain No Beard and the Aurora BorealisIsabella Babysits Baxter by Melissa Perry MorajaThe Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory BrayThe Time Travel Storm - coverPopcorn: No one makes a mess like a hungry childManner-Man by Sherrill CannonSophias Jungle AdventureSometimes Snow Falls in the SummerIf You Were Me and Lived in GreeceIf You Were Me and Lived in PeruA Different Kind of Safari Helen HippKarmack by J.C. WhyteThe Bravest SquirrelThe WeaverFuzzy ForensicsBefore Happily Ever AfterCamp Bug JuiceThe Mystic Princesses and the WhirlpoolA Whirlwind of DiscoveryFinding Fuzzy by Cat MichaelsSweet T and the North WindThe IfsSecret Dinosaur - Book 1Dewy and the Seeds of Doom by Maggie LyonsDemonic Incident in ChinatownFrankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor by Julie Anne GrassoThe Observations of the Obstreperous AnimalsGeorge Knows by Mindy MymudesA Place to Call Home by G.A. WhitmoreLegend of Ghost Dog IslandKT CS cover 2014WhipEye by Geoffrey SaignSticks n Stones and the Garden of Phea - SidebarPair of DocksDiego's DragonIlmarinenTime Square UFOSpartanicaThe SwiftThe Last Timekeepers and the Arch of AtlantisEscape from the Forbidden Planet julie grassoThePrincelingsoftheEast__FinalThe Secret Sisters Club - coverperf5.0625x7.8125.inddBingo Summer by Dawn MaloneDelores Fletcher - coverThe_Princess_Fables_Cover_for_Kindle - 50The Jewel of PeruThe Null DimensionRagesongGhost Leopard by Lars GuignardJohn Bloom and the Victory Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

Prize: One winner will receive either a new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet (US only) a $200 Amazon gift card (International) or $200 PayPal cash prize (International)

Contest closes: November 30, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

NOTE: When the winner is chosen, ALL of their entries will be verified. If ANY of the winner’s entries is invalid, they will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services


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20. Vote

























It still boggles my mind that in this country women only gained the right to vote less than 100 years ago. (August 18, 1920.) Guess what I'll be doing today?

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21. Interview with Children’s Book Author – Stephanie M. Ward

Its Author Interview Thursday and I’m really excited about the special guest we have on the hot seat today.Stephanie Ward I hooked up with today’s author on a book giveaway for kidlit authors during summer. She was the main organiser and it was a great success. It was a pleasure working with her and seeing how she connected several authors from across the globe. She has travelled to many countries across different continents. Although she’s originally from the U.S.A., she now lives in Sydney, Australia. She’s very generous and creative and I believe her passion for life does flow through in her books. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Stephanie M. Ward.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written.

First I just want to say that I’m really excited to be participating in Author Interview Thursday as I always look forward to reading these posts. I’m a bit overwhelmed at being on the other end of one of your interviews, but I’ll do my best to come up with creative answers to all of your interesting questions. And a big congratulations on your new Christmas book, Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas! I’m looking forward to reading it.

Now, a bit about me…

I’m a small town girl from Spokane, Washington who caught the travel bug at an early age and has been exploring the world ever since I was old enough to drive across the border to Canada.

In fourth grade, we were given an assignment to write a short story. Remember those pieces of grey-ish paper that had a big square where you’re supposed to draw a picture and then about four lines underneath? Well, I covered four of those, front and back and my teacher was quite impressed with my not-so-short story. It was about a pet dog that was taken by an alien and the adventures of the little boy who went to find him. It sure would be fun to read that story today!

 

What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Stephanie Ward?

They can expect to learn something, probably about a place that not many people write children’s books about, and have a lot of fun in the process.

 

Congratulations on the publication of your first kidlit book – Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin. Can you tell us about the research process that went into writing this book?Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin

Thanks! I figure it took 10 years from concept to publication of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin, so yes, there was quite a bit of research. First it was research for my trip to the Galapagos Islands where Wally travels. I was fascinated by the unique wildlife, much of which is endemic. As I was putting together the book, I wanted to share what I had discovered about different species that are endangered in the area. And after learning about how fragile the environment is in the Galapagos Islands, I decided to donate proceeds from the book to the Galapagos Conservancy (galapagos.org) to help protect the animals there. I’m happy to say the first donation was made earlier this year.

 

What role would you say social media plays in building an author’s platform and have you found it helpful in marketing your book?

In almost two decades in corporate marketing, I have never seen an industry whose competitors support each other as much as in the realm of publishing. I have met the most amazing authors, writers, bloggers and friends through social media as a writer. I think it plays a big part in linking to new sales channels, marketing opportunities and ideas as well as good old moral support.

 

What were some of your favourite books as a child? 

Not surprisingly, I loved reading about far away places. There was a series of books about foreign lands that I checked out over and over again at my elementary school library. I also remember reading a book about a little girl traveling alone on the bus to see her grandmother. I’m not sure if she went across town or across the country, but I was amazed by her courage and sense of adventure.

 

What tips would you offer other first time children’s authors with regard to working with an illustrator?Crab Sketch

I had a wonderful time working with a very talented illustrator from Ecuador – Vanessa Landin – for Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin. It was important to me that the illustrator was from the place where the story is based, as I wanted to give back to the community that inspired the story. Vanessa was a student at the time and I would encourage anyone looking for an artist to consider the young talent at art institutes around the world.

 

Toy Story or Shrek?

Shrek – I am truly inspired by the way Shrek seamlessly weaves adult and child humor into one story.

 

What three things should a first time visitor to Sydney, Australia do?

1) Hit the beach – if you visit on a hot day, that’s where everyone is! I love Manly and Balmain.

2) Go to the zoo – Yes, there are some cool Aussie animals there, but the setting of the Taronga Zoo is stunning. You will get some of your best photos from there, likely with a giraffe in them, but gorgeous shots of the harbor and Sydney skyline.

3) Take a ferry – So much of Sydney revolves around water that you should be on it at some point during your visit. Take a ride on one of the iconic yellow and green ferries and be sure to leave from Circular Quay where the Opera House and Botanical Gardens sit on one side and the Harbour Bridge on the other.

 

Can you tell us a few facts about penguins that fascinate you?

Wally was inspired by my visit to both Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands on a yearlong trip around the world.Visiting Antarctica and being amidst Emperor Penguins in the icy conditions made me wonder why they didn’t just pack up and go somewhere warmer. A couple of months later, I was in the Galapagos Islands and saw a colony of Galapagos Penguins hanging out on the beach, swimming in relatively warm water and there was the story: What if an Emperor Penguin learned that he could live on a warm, tropical island?

 

You’ve travelled to more than 50 countries. Can you tell us about a memorable incident on one of your travels?

I’m fascinated by the similarities in people’s lives around the world – we all eat, sleep, observe, listen, talk – we just do it in our own way, place and time. What I keep coming back to are moments – having a picnic under the Eiffel Tower with a warm baguette and chilled bottle of champagne, bone-chilling coldness at sunrise on board a Russian ice breaker travelling through pancake ice in Antarctica, or the hot, dry, sage-like smell of the air in Tanzania. Oh sure, there were incidents, like being mugged in Brazil and sitting in the tent of a nomadic family in Mongolia sharing a cup of fermented mare’s milk, but the small, seemingly insignificant moments are the ones that pop into my head most often.

 

What can we expect from Stephanie Ward in the next 12 months?Wally

I’m so glad you asked :) I’m thrilled to announce that the paperback version of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin was just released this week and is now available on Amazon. The paperback edition includes a brand new scene with a wonderful new character, a section of Fascinating Facts about the animals in the book and a map of the Galapagos Islands.

In addition, I’m starting work on an app for Wally which is a whole new learning curve but a very fun process. Plus, I’m writing the next adventure for Wally. There are many fascinating (and warm) places in the world that Wally wants to visit, so stay tuned!

 

Where can readers and fans connect with you?

Author Website & Blog –  http://www.stephaniemward.com

Facebook Fan Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/wallythewarmweatherpenguin

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stephmward

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7877690.Stephanie_M_Ward

YouTubeWally the Warm-Weather Penguin

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?

Write your story. If your story can’t be defined in a specific genre or written in the traditional format, don’t worry. There are many options for authors to get a book into readers’ hands. I have met some talented indie authors whose wonderful kid lit books are longer than the 1000 word maximum that agents will accept for review. And I recently read a fantastic novella that is the perfect length, but in traditional publishing may have been expanded or reduced to a short story or looked over completely due to the number of pages. It’s a whole new world in publishing today, so don’t worry that your idea doesn’t “fit”, just write your story!

 

Thanks for hanging out with us today Stephanie and ending on such a positive note. I love how you’ve allowed your various experiences to influence your writing and how that has in turn allowed children to experience new worlds that are alien to them. Please do connect with Stephanie at one of the links she gave. We’d love to hear your comments and questions, so leave a few lines below. Grab a copy of Stephanie’s book for a loved one at the link below and do share this interview on social media.

Get Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin on Amazon

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22. KidLit Book Review - Ashlynn's Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert

   

Ashlynn’s Dreams
Written by Julie C. Gilbert


Julie C. Gilbert has created and delivered a fantasy adventure like no other. From the onset the reader is immersed into Jillian Blairington’s world told from the perspective of those closest to her as well as Jillian’s inner most thoughts. Using the technique of diary/letter entries shared from each perspective person, the reader is carried through a journey of unexpected twists and turns. Jillian longs for the days of her predictable life after her kidnapping. What she learns about her existence and the plans Dr. Deyva has for her newfound capabilities shatters Jillian’s every waking thought and dream state. Will she figure out all the components to save herself, Danielle and her “new siblings” in time? Or will Jillian succumb to the treachery of Dr. Deyva and the so-called capability of shaping a person’s dreams?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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23. What tastes like home to you ?

When author Christine Ieronimo saw her adopted Ethiopian daughter drinking from a puddle of water in their driveway, it inspired her to look how water connects us to the places we live and ultimately call home.

A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water Across the World is a poignant and heartfelt story about Eva Alemitu and how water connects her to Emaye, the mother she left behind in Africa.

A Thirst for Home

This is a story about the bleakness of poverty. Having to walk miles every day to get water, Emaye didn’t have enough food to feed her daughter Eva. In an act of love, she gives Eva up for adoption, knowing that giving her up means saving Eva’s life.

Through tears, rain, and puddles, water is what keeps Eva connected to her mother. The exquisite illustrations by Eric Velasquez capture the dignity and the drastic reality of poverty facing millions of people every day on this planet.

thirst1

Eva faces balancing the security of her new American life with the longing for her biological mother back in Ethiopia.

This is one of these books that stays with you long after you read it. It creates a great opportunity to discuss poverty, the importance of food and water, sacrifice, and all of our connections to home.

Something To Do

Living in America we simply do not understand what not having water means. Everyday millions of people all over the world walk miles every day on empty stomachs just to seek out water they can drink and use to survive.

Here are some incredible and through provoking exercises that can be done to get a true view of the importance of water.

The Water Project: Help Solve the Water Crisis

Water Lesson Plans

Book Discussions

K-1

2nd & 3rd

4th & 5th

Let’s Learn About Ethiopia

Guide to Ethiopian Food

Kid World Citizen 

Behind the Story of A Thirst for Home

This is a beautiful film made by the author about adopting her daughter from Ethiopia and the inspiration for the book A Thirst for Home. A must see !!

 

Don’ miss the A Year in the Secret Garden Book Launch Blog Tour and your to enter to win our Amazon $100 Gift Card!!!! Go HERE for more details!

blogtour

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24. Interview with Children’s Book Author – Rhonda Paglia

It’s Author Interview Thursday and I’d like to thank you for stopping over today.Rhonda Paglia First of all, I’d like to wish all readers and fans of this blog based in the U.S., a very Happy Thanksgiving. I promise you’ll enjoy the spread laid out today. In the hot seat today is a wonderful lady who is fondly known as ‘Grammy Pags.’ I’ve been so inspired by her energy and passion for life in the lead up to today’s interview. She has so much to share with us today, so get into your most comfortable position and join me in welcoming Rhonda Paglia.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written.

Hi David, thank you for inviting me to be part of your Author Thursday Interview.  I’m honored, and congratulations on your new book, Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas that is coming out soon!  Congrats!!!  You are prolific!!

Okay, a few facts about me:

  • I’ve been married to my sweet husband, Tony, for 41 years.  We have three grown children, five adorable grandchildren, and little Yorkie-poo named Bella.  She’s my shadow.
  • I’m a retired elementary teacher, [I taught 26 years], and now I’m a Grammy babysitter, a flower planter, a musician, a tap dancer, and a self-published children’s author.
  • I have received a great deal of praise for the first book I released to the public: “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission.”
  • I must add that growing up, I had NO confidence in my writing! NONE! ZIPPO! My writing was so bad that in 7th grade, when our English teacher gave us a story writing assignment, my mother ended up red-lining and rewriting everything I had written.  I would have gotten an F on my story, but she earned an A.  I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t look at my teacher for the rest of the year.  It was awful!  I was living a lie every day I walked into his class.  Thankfully, I’ve come a long way in my writing confidence.

 

What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Rhonda Paglia? Rhonda Paglia Book Signing

I’m still in the process of learning and developing my “niche.”  I’m just writing for fun.  I have learned a lot in the last two years, and I’m getting and understanding the process more.  My hope is that readers will enjoy my stories and come away with a little glow in their hearts and a little tickle in their tummy.

I want kids to learn something and to stretch their imaginations and creativity.  For example, in my crazy little book, Doonsey’s Beach Adventure, the Great Rescue, kids will find a hero in Doonsey.  They will also learn about his new friends, the “Beach Buddies.”  Our family went on a vacation to the beach.  We “met” Doonsey there.  Then I started seeing faces in the sand that were made out of the shells and stones.  My granddaughter, Sofie, and I started making a bunch of faces and the “Beach Buddies” were born!  We used shells, stones, crab claws, and other items we found on the beach.  The “Buddies” ended up as characters in the first Doonsey book and they will reappear in Book 2.  Kids can learn to make their own Buddy characters with  things they find in nature, not just stones and shells.

 

What role would you say social media plays in building an author’s platform and have you found it helpful in marketing your books? 

I’m new to the “book business” too, but everything I’ve read, indicates that Social Media has a huge impact on getting your name “out there.”  So I tweet, toot, blog, Facebook, website, and get Linkedin, as often as possible, but always feel behind.  It’s a time issue for me, as I’m sure it is for most authors.

Is marketing on Social Media helpful?  Who knows?  I’ve sold books on line, but most of my sales success has been one-on-one, face-to-face, book signing events.  It’s fun too!

 

What in your opinion makes a great children’s book? 

This is a tough one, so my answer is simple.  A GREAT book has ALL the pieces: characters, plot, setting, illustrations.

 

What were some of your favourite books as a child?

The Little Golden Books series, Caps for Sale, Country Mouse and City Mouse, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, and all of the classic fairy tales.  I read the Wizard of Oz until the pages were falling out.  Our nearest library was miles away, but every once in a while, we were allowed to buy a comic books at the grocery story.  I loved the adventures of Little Lulu, Dot, and Casper the Friendly Ghost.  And then there is dear Dr. Seuss.  When his books became available, I loved them.  Later I branched out to the Nancy Drew mystery series and some biographies, but mostly, I loved the books that would send me away on adventures.

 

What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why?Rhonda Paglia Books

Dr. Seuss.  I love the freedom of his language usage.  I love the rhythm and cadence of his words.  I love his stories, characters, and how he moves the plot.  Such fun and imagination!  I will never be a Dr. Seuss, but with my musical background, I find myself using rhythm and rhyme when it’s appropriate.  In my yet to be released book, “Grammy’s Rockin’ Color Rap-a-licious Rap” – Grammy’s looks prim, proper, and sophisticated, but she’s really a closet rocker!

 

How do you reward yourself once your book is published? 

I’m still very new at all of this – and currently, I’m self-published.  However, the fact that my ideas and my works are in my hands, in a form, that I can share with others, is a huge reward.  Like, “Phew!  I did it!”  The “no confidence – non-writer – F’s on story-getter – me” is now writing and publishing stories.  I never thought that would happen – certainly not the 7th grader sitting in English class lying to my teacher about a paper my mother wrote for me!  #Iamwriting!  That’s a biggie reward!

I wrote “Doonsey’s Beach Adventure, the Great Rescue” and created a companion coloring activity book for my grandchildren.  It was a Christmas surprise last year.  My heart just beamed!  Not only did I write a story and publish it for them; I got to be around to read it to them and get their reactions.  Big time reward!

 

Toy Story or Shrek?

Toy Story.  I love the characters!!  I love seeing the toys come to life, organizing themselves, tackling problems. Great fun!   I grew up in the country.  We didn’t have any close neighbors.  My friends were at school, a distance away.  I would have LOVED for my toys to come to life, be my “real” friends, and have merry adventures with them.  So definitely, Toy Story!

 

What three things should a first time visitor to Pennsylvania do? Grammy reading Doonsey to O, Ro, & So 12-26-2013

  1.  Visit Amish Country.  Lancaster, in northeast, PA, and Volant and New Wilmington in northwest PA, where I live, near, would be a cultural experience.  It’s hard to believe that we have communities within our modern society that can exist and thrive without electricity and all the conveniences that the rest of us can’t live without!  If you visit the Amish area, many of the locals have little shops in or near their farms.  Visitors can purchase colorful handmade quilted items, homemade pastries and canned goods, plants, beautiful handmade furniture, and get your horse’s harness repaired at the same time!
  2. Pymatuning Lake.  I grew up there, so I’m a little prejudiced.  Pymatuning Lake is located in northwestern PA on the border of PA and Ohio.  It is located within Pymatuning State Park and is the largest man-made lake in Pennsylvania.  The lake is 18 miles long and has over 26 square miles of lake surface.  In 1931, when my dad was 9 years old, he and my grandfather attended the ground breaking ceremonies for the lake.   They saw the first shovel full of dirt removed that would later become Pymatuning Lake Reservoir.  If you are an outdoors person, you can swim, hike, camp, fish, go boating, picnic, and explore.  But make sure you don’t miss the Pymatuning Spill Way.  That’s where you get to feed the fish!  There are so many, the duck’s walk on their backs!!
  3.  Pittsburgh, PA. It’s a cultural hub for all the arts and it’s the home of our three major league sports teams, the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates.  The Strip District is in downtown Pittsburgh and is a great market place filled with lots of people, cooking street vendors, markets with fresh produce, restaurants, places to shop, and the home of the Mancini breads and the Primanti Brothers’ famous super stuffed sandwich with French fries.  Oh, and if you listen carefully, you’ll pick up some of the famous Pittsburghese language!  Fun!

With a background in teaching, can you give us a few tips on capturing a child’s attention and relaying a moral lesson?

Phew – that’s a big question!!  I may not answer your exact question, but here’s what came to mind as I reflected on it.

  • Make learning fun!  When kids are engaged, they will take more ownership for their own learning.
  • Help kids develop confidence!  I had very little confidence as a kid – all the way through adulthood.  I recognized this weakness in myself, so I made it a goal to try to help develop confidence in my own children and my students.  Kids have vivid imaginations.  I’ve found that if kids can tap into their own creativity and develop ideas – without judgment – they will develop more confidence.
  • Teach tolerance!  Everyone, kids and adults, all of us, have gifts and talents.  Our interests and abilities vary.  We are not the same.  I believe that we have all come here to share our gifts and talents, and to share our differences.  How boring we would be if we were all the same!!  Each one of us is an integral piece of a gigantic universal puzzle.

 

What do your grandchildren think of Grammy Pags the Author? Storytime with Grammy Pags

Our grandchildren are young – ages 7 to 1.5.  The younger ones don’t know what an author is.  However, our oldest grandson, Orion, totally gets it!  Orion was the inspiration for the story, “Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion.”   The story has changed from the original version I wrote in 2009.  It’s longer and beautifully illustrated by Ratna Kusuma Halim of Indonesia.  I had a book launch birthday party for “The Three Little Gnomes” book and Orion came to the event and signed books too!  He was a star for the day and loved it!!

 

What can we expect from Rhonda Paglia in the next 12 months? 

Writing, writing, writing!

 

Where can readers and fans connect with you?  Thank you for asking.  Here’s the contact info for GRAMMY PAGS STORIES

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?Leana's book signing 2

  1. Have fun!  Do what you love!
  2. Frustration is part of the game.  Figure out why you are doing what you do, then figure out your goals, the reach for them.  What happens if you don’t reach?  A big NOTHING!   But if you reach, anything can happen!
  3. The kid’s book market is crazy huge.  Try to find your niche.  I’m still searching for mine!
  4. Write what you like and HAVE FUN!  For me, that’s my goal!  Girls just want to have fun!!  Well, this Grammy just wants to have fun too . . .  and maybe give my readers a few smiles!!

Wow! Thanks for sharing with us today Rhonda. I love the fact that you’ve been honest and just loving the journey. I love your advice about writing what you like and having fun. Rhonda and I would love to hear any questions or comments you may have. I hope her zest for life has been an inspiration for you as it has for me. Remember to share this interview on social media using the social buttons and grab one of Rhonda’s books at the link below

Rhonda Paglia Books on Amazon

 

5 Comments on Interview with Children’s Book Author – Rhonda Paglia, last added: 11/28/2014
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25. The Christmas Owl Hardback Giveaway

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You can enter to win a signed hardback copy of The Christmas Owl December 4 – December 12. Two lucky winners will receive a copy of these beautiful keepsake books and the hardbacks are only available here. Visit a Rafflecopter giveaway to get your entries in.

Also, during 12/4 -12/6 our Christmas Owl kindle book will be discounted to $.99 on Amazon (reg $3.50).  Happy Holidays from 4EYESBOOKS!

 

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