Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Review: The ABCs of Living Green by Teresa A. McKeown

Title: THE ABCS OF LIVING GREEN
Author: Theresa A McKeown
Publisher: The ABCs of Everything, LLC
Pages: 56
Genre: Picture/poetry book for children and tweens

BOOK BLURB:

“The ABCs of Living Green” completes the ABC trilogy of picture books focused on raising happy, healthy, conscious children in body, mind and spirit. Written from the voice of Mother Earth, every letter of the alphabet and corresponding word gives readers a multitude of fun ways to be mindful not only of the planet we all share, but of the people with whom we share it. A book that focuses on the beauty and fulfillment of stepping up and doing our part in taking care of the environment and each other, “The ABCs of Living Green” is truly a book for the enlightened child of the 21st century.

For More Information

Check it out at Amazon!

 

Book Review:

One of the most important things that we as parents must do is teach our children how to save our planet. One way to show our children how to take care of our Mother Earth is by showing. Another way is reading The ABCs of Living Green to them. The illustrations, the colorful poetic way she tells the story, everything just comes together to get the message to the child without being condescending or appearing like we're preaching to them. 

This book takes you through the alphabet from 'Awaken' to 'Zen' (one of my favorite words by the way). What I loved about this book is that it not only teaches kids words they may never have heard of and how to help take care of our planet, but it can also be used as an escape for an adult - a feel good escape. While I'm reading it for review, I found myself taken to another level - a Zen level (there's that wonderful word again).

I would gladly recommend this book and give it 5 rainbows (wish I could give it a higher ranking but 5 is top dog!).




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review: Rosie and Friends: One-Of-A-Kindness by Helen Hipp @rosiethepinkhippo

Title: ROSIE AND FRIENDS: ONE-OF-A-KINDNESS
Author: Helen Hipp
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari, LLC
Pages: 40
Genre: Children

BOOK BLURB:

Embark on a new safari with Hornsby the rhino as he comes face-to-face with losing his sense of belonging. No longer accepted by his herd, Hornsby searches for companionship. With the help of his new buddies, Hornsby learns that his life is one of a kind, and that spreading his kindness is a good way to make new friends!

For More Information

Check it out at Amazon!

 

Book Review:

Cute, cute book! This book is all about taking something different about yourself and turning it into an asset. We all remember being bullied as kids right? Sometimes the child doesn't know how to react to someone teasing them about something about themselves that might be a bit different from everyone else. This is about turning something negative into positive and kids need to hear this message. It's not only entertaining, but teaches a great life lesson.

I absolutely loved this cute children's book and give it 5 rainbows.




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Interview with Children's Book Author Helen Hipp @rosiethepinkhippo


Approaching life with excitement and energy, Helen works hard to help people achieve exuberance! Born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1959, Helen is the middle child of five. Her father, whose work demanded strong problem-solving skills and mother whose interest in art, provided Helen with endless opportunities to look at things from different perspectives.

Today, Helen continues to take advantage of an imaginative mindset that creates opportunities out of obstacles. A concept she fostered in her children, one of whom has special needs. As Helen explored career opportunities, she connected her personal experiences (parenting a child with special needs) with her beliefs, professional skills, and aspirations.

Helen received her M.A. in counseling and began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on helping individuals with special needs reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Inspiration and fun, is Helen’s motivation and her life’s fuel.

Helen explains her enthusiasm as, “each day is an opportunity, waiting to be shaped and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.”

Helen has authored articles for Family Works and Washington Family Magazine and written multiple self-help articles published by ezine.com where she is viewed as an expert in her field. 

In addition to her work, Helen has written two children’s books creating a very effective way to motivate kids of all ages to meet their challenges with self-acceptance, confidence and understanding.
Her debut children’s book, A Different Kind of Safari, released in 2013 addresses the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Once again, the engaging safari family led by Rosie the Pink Hippo inspire, and help you see your life differently in her new book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different. With a cast characters experiencing real-life issues, her books provide children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns.

Rosie and Friends Helping Children to Understand That Their Uniqueness Is Not a Weakness.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Embark on a new safari with Hornsby the rhino as he comes face-to-face with losing his sense of
belonging. No longer accepted by his herd, Hornsby searches for companionship. With the help of his new buddies, Hornsby learns that his life is one of a kind, and that spreading his kindness is a good way to make new friends!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Thanks for this interview, Helen. I’ve always wanted to write children’s books. When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

It really was not a personal decision to write but a was a string of events that led to my writing of children’s books. My debut book A Different Kind of Safari released in 2013 was really just a story that I needed to tell, about my family’s own experience while on safari in Africa. I didn’t really intend to become a children’s book author. I knew, though, that the real-life lessons learned by my son, were both significant and relatable to other children with special needs and their parents. Publishing it was something I really did in the hopes of reaching out to and helping others.

The popularity of A Different Kind of Safari, recognized as one of the top ten autism books by Special Needs Book Review in 2015, feedback and reviews enthusiastic from readers, and a growing fan base endeared to the main character, Rosie the Hippo made the writing of the Rosie Adventure Series a natural progression.

The first book in that series, Rosie and Friends Positively Different released in 2016. And now with the 2017 release of Rosie and Friends One-Of-A-Kindness my career as an author of children’s books is well underway.
 
What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Rosie and Friends One-Of-A-Kindness?

The main character TLC (known as the tender loving crocodile) was inspired by my father who was a wise man. The lesson of kindness he left me to pass on in this story is that kindness is a key. A key that when found and used correctly will help anyone see the value of being kind to oneself and to others.

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?  Are you around kids?  Are you a kid at heart?

I guess you can say I am a child at heart, and yes, I am lucky enough to have young children around reminding me of life’s simple pleasures.

Nothing like children to keep your heart young!

What was your favorite book as a child?

Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” is a book full of inspiring colorful monsters which I liked but I also liked “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey and “Angels on Horseback” written by Norman Thelwell. Simple yet compelling relationships brought the muted characters to life for me because they were relatable and believe it or not, I continue to enjoy all of these books immensely.

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

Do what you love and love what you do? My words may sound hokey, but I truly believe the life of a story comes from a passion, not the ink of a pen.

What are your goals for the future? More children’s books?

For now, yes there are more books to write, but as far what the future holds, your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Interview with Children's Book Author Cheryl Malandrinos @ccmalandrinos


Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving, and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ and her children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


About the Book:

Title: AMOS FACES HIS BULLY
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children's picture book

BOOK BLURB:
Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David's battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God's protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Thanks for this interview, Cheryl.  I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.  When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

I didn’t. It happened by accident. In 2006, I began a full-length novel set in Biblical times for NaNoWriMo. It was the story of a shepherd boy named Obed who met the Holy family on the night of Christ’s birth. The story was set during the years of Jesus’ ministry. After the Resurrection, Obed seeks out the disciples to discover if Jesus is the Savior he met when he was just a boy.

The story wouldn’t come together (I still want to give it another shot). When I discussed the novel with my pastor, he asked if it was a children’s book. At that moment the gears began to turn in my head about how to make it a story for children.

Little Shepherd was released by Guardian Angel Publishing in 2010. Since then, I’ve continued to write stories for children. With the release of Amos Faces His Bully there are four books to my credit.

What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Amos Faces His Bully?

Like Little Shepherd, this story places fictional characters in a Biblical setting. My first inspiration was to continue with the format of my first book—make it a series of unrelated, yet similar, stories. There are others planned.

My primary reason for writing Amos Faces His Bully, however, is very personal. I was bullied as a child; teased from the day I entered elementary until the day I graduated high school. We had a different approach to it back then—kids will be kids and let them handle it themselves. Yet, with all the awareness of bullying and the anti-bullying programs that exist in our cities and towns, bullying still exists. As I’ve worked hard to prevent my own child from being bullied, I wanted her to know God could provide her—and other victims of bullying—with peace and strength.

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?  Are you around kids?  Are you a kid at heart?

As a mom and Sunday school teacher, I am around kids a lot. Though my girls are now teenagers, I still remember them in their younger years. It also helps that I am a great big kid myself. The important thing to do is spend time with children and really listen to them.

From a business perspective, I perform a lot of market research. I read children’s books. I browse the children’s fiction section of our local library. I research new releases and what agents who represent children’s literature are looking for.

What was your favorite book as a child?

The Little Engine That Could—though I knew it as The Pony Engine. I can still see the cover of that book in my mind. I read it over and again when I was a kid. I’m sure my persistence as an author goes back to that engrained “I THINK I can!” message.

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

Don’t shy away from the business end of writing. Perform market research: read books in your market; get to know your children’s librarian; visit publisher and agent websites to learn what they publish and what they are looking for. Write your story, then edit, edit, edit. Make your story the best it can be before submitting it to a publisher or agent. You won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

What are your goals for the future?  More children’s books?

I set new goals each year and review them quarterly. Since I successfully won STORYSTORM again this year—30 new story ideas during the 31 days of January—more stories are definitely in the works. I completed a new picture book thanks to last year’s STORYSTORM that I want to pitch to agents. Thanks to my writing group, I am 18 chapters into my middle-grade historical novel, Amelia’s Mission. I also have several other children’s stories in various stages. I would eventually like to dust off and polish that women’s fiction book I completed and, one day, would really like to give my original Obed idea a fair shot.


Interview with Children's Book Author Danica-Lea Larcombe @danicalea


Danica-Lea Larcombe has a B.Sc (Environmental Health), a Grad.Dip in Education and has taken courses in Journalism, Travel Writing, and Photography. She is currently undertaking a thesis in Biodiversity and Human Health, and lives with her Japanese Spitz Bella.
                                                                                       

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

George, Fiona and Marni find a tin of bubbles, not just any ordinary bubbles but planets. The planets shrink the children and take them to faraway lands. The children have many exciting adventures and try not to let their secret be discovered.  They learn about different cultures, currencies and languages, and are inspired at school.

In Series Two, George, Marni and Fiona continue their adventures around the world in the planet bubbles. They narrowly escape being killed by some monks in Turkey, find a little companion in Paris and visit royalty in Monaco.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Thanks for this interview, Danica-Lea.  I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.  When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

I have always had an active imagination but it was not until I was on holiday on my own in Broome, Western Australia that I tried writing for children.  I had left an old life overseas and I was excited about starting a brand new chapter.  Sitting at a cafĂ© overlooking the beach one day I suddenly got inspired to write.

What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Snickety Dickety Doo?

I had invented planet characters years before (again while on holiday), drawn them and not done anything with them.  I decided to turn them into transportable bubbles and combine them with my travel experiences in over 20 countries. I also decided to incorporate links to my family and experiences growing up as a child in New Zealand.

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?  Are you around kids?  Are you a kid at heart?

I am a trained early childhood teacher and have always loved being around children, plus I think I am big kid sometimes too!

What was your favorite book as a child?

Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

To make children’s books a fun learning experience.

What are your goals for the future?  More children’s books? 

I have two series of Snickety Dickety Doo, and I plan to continue the series with more adventures when I have finished my PhD thesis next year.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Interview with Children's Book Author Teresa A. McKeown @abcskids


Theresa McKeown spent over two decades in the entertainment arena before embracing her true passion of writing children’s books. After producing hundreds of hours of television for a host of cable and network outlets, Theresa is now on the path of what she considers her highest calling.
Theresa and her sisters have created “The ABC’s of Everything, LLC”, a family endeavor solely focused on publishing several series of children’s books, digital content, and educational curriculums.  All will be written and produced with an awareness of the true possibilities that children of the 21st century can realize.  

 As an author, Theresa is dedicated to estimating rather than underestimating the wisdom of children. Her philosophy is that kids are fully adept at understanding nuance and meaning and it’s not necessary to talk down to them.  She is dedicated to creating a new paradigm in the children's book world by introducing work that fully embraces the insightfulness, perception and unlimited intellectual potential of today’s youth.

Her books are meant to plant the seeds of education and awareness early in a child’s development, knowing full well that children will ultimately blossom into the best versions of who they are meant to be.

In her role as producer, Theresa traveled worldwide, filming from locations as diverse as the White House, NORAD, the Pentagon, FBI headquarters, maximum-security prisons and from the top of the World Trade Center.  Along the way she "tail-hooked" onto an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, yachted through South America with jet setters and chased bad guys with the LAPD in a helicopter.  She survived both OJ Simpson trials, shot live from heart of the LA Riots and drove through a wall of flames during the Laguna fires.  Yet, with a background like this, building a community to celebrate children promises to be the most exciting adventure of all.

As George Elliot once said, “It’s never too late to become who you might have been”.

…Words this author has taken to heart.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book:

"The ABCs of Living Green” completes the ABC trilogy of picture books focused on raising happy, healthy, conscious children in body, mind and spirit. Written from the voice of Mother Earth, every
letter of the alphabet and corresponding word gives readers a multitude of fun ways to be mindful not only of the planet we all share, but of the people with whom we share it. A book that focuses on the beauty and fulfillment of stepping up and doing our part in taking care of the environment and each other, "The ABCs of Living Green" is truly a book for the enlightened child of the 21st century.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Thanks for this interview, Theresa.  I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.  When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

About 25 years ago my mom gave me some original writings from my father, who passed away when I was very young.  He had begun a couple of children’s stories, with the idea that each would be a series. All were entirely in rhyme and were just adorable, but unfinished.  I realized that I had been writing poetry for years, mostly for friends and family, and realized that our writing style was almost identical.  It got me thinking, “Maybe I can finish what my father began”.  And so I gave it a try and before I knew it, I was writing stories for kids.  And now, I feel him by my side every time I write a children’s book.  It’s wonderful way to keep his spirit alive in my life and I just love it.

What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, The ABCs of Being Green”? 

Watching the news for the past few years and seeing more and more disharmony not only among people in our country, but throughout the world, I just felt compelled to put some positive messaging out there.  It felt like a call to action.  It really became clear to me that the planet could use a blast of loving and connective words more than ever before.  So, I just tuned into my heart and the heart of humanity and the words began to flow. 

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?

When I’m around children, I find access to the part of me that can see the world in the most beautiful and innocent way.  I pick up on their wonder and curiosity and true excitement about the beginning of a new day when kids are near.  So I look at life through their eyes and find that I just want to write words that will inspire and educate them in some small way.  And since I always write in rhyme, I think it makes the reading and learning of new words easier.  Plus it adds a fun element to the experience.  Almost like a song.  I try to keep things playful but still meaningful, so their reading experience is fulfilling on more than one level. 

Are you around kids?

I’m around kids all the time now that I’m out doing events with schools and at festivals.  And my nieces and nephews have children, so I’m not just an aunt, but also a great-aunt.  I’m still wrapping my head around that one. 

Are you a kid at heart?

I am absolutely a kid at heart!  I’m still in awe of the wonders of life and always curious to learn new things.  I assume the best in people and have somehow managed to keep a sense of blamelessness about the world.  Not to mention, I love Disneyland, fun games, and play-dates.  J

What was your favorite book as a child?

“The Cat in the Hat”.  Hands down.  Dr. Seuss is my idol.  I’d like to think that there’s a similarity in our writing style and I hope to some day publish as many books as he has. 

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

I would advise writers to fearlessly write from the heart.  Don’t worry about how many other children’s books are out there.  Don’t worry about how you’ll be perceived.  Don’t even worry about how long it takes to sell your books.  Just tune into the spirit of the child that still lives within you and let the words flow from there.  You may be surprised at how easily you’ll be inspired to create stories that will uplift and educate the next stewards of the world. 

What are your goals for the future? 

Ultimately, my goal is to create a community - through books and other creative content - that is dedicated to serving the children of the 21st century.  This is a generation unlike any before – they are intelligent, evolved and enlightened and need messaging that is on their level.  I want to respect them by creating content that speaks to the child of today, not the child of days gone by.  These kids can heal our planet and I want to do my part to help them expand their hearts and minds in any way I can.

More children’s books?

More children’s books are on the horizon, for sure.  I have a vision of an entire shelf of a bookcase filled with them.  After all, maybe it’s time for a female version of Dr. Seuss to come into the world.  I know that sounds lofty, but if I’m not willing to dream big, how can I inspire kids to do the same?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review: Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay by Patrick & Shani Muhammad

Title: Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay
Author: Patrick & Shani Muhammad
Publisher: 5 Star Publishing
Pages: 40  
Genre:  Children's Picture Book

The first book in a series, “Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay”, details the journey of an entrepreneur, through the eyes of a child. The book uses vivid illustrations and lively words, to explain the road little Patrick took into the world of entrepreneurship.  It demonstrates the benefits of tapping into your passion early in life.  “Patrick” tapped into his passion of baking to help solve a money problem.  This book also shows the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.  You witness a 9-year old take the power and control of his future into his own hands. You also see what happens when “Patrick” finds help in a friend, to help grow his business. Above all, this book motivates both young and young at heart and serves as a reminder that we all have the ability to turn our playdays into paydays.

For More Information

Sold exclusively at the authors’ website!

 

Book Review:

I absolutely loved this cute children's book and the reason is that as a parent, you know that life lessons taught young encourages the child to grow into a productive and self-sufficient adult. When I was young, I really didn't have any mentors to speak of but my situation (dirt poor) did instill a longing in me to find ways to make money. In Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay, Patrick takes his love for making pies into quite a lucrative little business for a child. Back in the day when I was a little tyke, I was the same way - selling Kool-Aid, putting on shows and charging a nickel. So, I know where Patrick is coming from. He has his kid needs and finds a way to take care of them. I don't think I've ever come across a children's picture book that teaches children to be self-sufficient and come up with ideas on how to make money. Children nowadays need this. They need to grow up into self-sufficient human beings (I can't stress this enough) and this book fulfills that. It's about time a book comes out for kids that shows them that it's not all about video games and having things handed to them on a silver platter. Very very impressed with this.

I loved this book and give it 5 rainbows.