Featured Author — Dorien Brouwers
We spotlight a new author or illustrator every month.
Dorien Brouwers, an award-winning author and illustrator, is dedicated to helping fellow writers achieve their writing goals. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she later moved to the UK, obtaining a first-degree BA Hons in Graphic Design from the University of Lincoln. Dorien then relocated to London, where she worked with a diverse range of clients, including the Prado Museum (Spain), Tate Modern (UK), and Pearson FT Publishing.
Dorien started writing and illustrating meaningful, message-filled picture books as gifts to her son. Those heartfelt presents set her on a path from graphic design to a life dedicated to creating thought-provoking content for children. As she started her new career, Dorien found writing and illustrating the perfect outlets for expressing her thoughts and creativity to the world. She holds the belief that books are an excellent way to expand one's horizons and foster personal growth.
In fact, Dorien believes books offer the quickest path to evolve one's mind. A good book can profoundly impact your perspective and how you interact with the world around you. As a writer, Dorien brings her unique vision and passion to her work, providing valuable insights to her readers. As an illustrator, she predominantly draws with watercolor and ink, which results in a distinct and textured style rich in detail.
Dorien made her picture book debut with The Remarkable Pigeon, which was inspired by her visit to the London Zoo. This thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated book celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and encourages readers to appreciate what they have. Dorien's second book, Sail, garnered recognition in the form of the prestigious AOI World Illustration Award and was a finalist in the Bologna Children's Book Fair illustrators exhibition.
As much as Dorien enjoys creating and helping her readers think and learn about themselves and about life, she also has a passion for helping fellow authors and illustrators. Collaborating with children's book creator Diletta Donati and Diletta's company Inky Larks, they host retreats focusing on creating picture books. Their workshops help you explore and grow your creative voice and skills while guiding you through making an attention-grabbing dummy book, from layout to planning, pacing, and composition.
During your time with Dorien, she also shares her personal experiences working for publishers of different sizes in different countries and advises on how to get your foot in the industry. Her retreats are valuable experiences for anyone curious and looking for support and inspiration to put their thoughts and ideas onto paper and see them come to life in print.
When she's not working on her next project, Dorien loves to illustrate, exercise on her yoga mat, play her big pedal harp, and go for runs through the English countryside.
When out at sea, the possibilities are endless. We can experience both trials and triumphs while discovering things we never knew existed. Even the darkest depths of the water can lead to the most beautiful discoveries. With its enchanting artwork and wise guidance, Sail invites us to embark on a journey of self-discovery, where we can find the courage, grit, and resilience necessary to overcome any obstacle that comes our way.
This award-winning book perfectly showcases Dorien's stunning and captivating illustrating style. It beautifully conveys the idea that every challenge we face in life can be an opportunity for personal growth. Suitable for all ages, Sail touches on universal themes and concludes with thought-provoking questions that parents and children can discuss together, encouraging readers to reflect on their own life journeys.
Click below to learn more about Dorien Brouwer, Sail, and her collection of award-winning books.
Picturebook making retreat in the heart of Rome. NEXT RETREAT April 12th – 17th 2024: https://www.dorienillustrator.com/retreat
Print Shop: https://www.dorienillustrator.com/shop
Thanks for learning more about our Feature of the Month — Dorien Brouwer and Sail.
Visit next month as we spotlight a new author/illustrator.
Dr. Tuula Pere, an avid music and sports enthusiast and keen baker, was born in 1958 and spent her formative years in a small village in Eastern Finland. She later moved to Helsinki in the late 1970s to study at the University of Helsinki Faculty of Law. Her doctoral dissertation, published in 2015, examines the limits of freedom of speech in the Finnish mass media during the cultural and social shifts of the 1960s and 1970s. Before her doctoral research, Dr. Pere had a successful career spanning over two decades as a lawyer and held various expert and corporate executive positions.
After her long, professional career and being blessed to be a mother of three, Dr. Pere started to realize another dream of hers—writing. That dream resulted in the formation of Wickwick, her publishing company specializing in children's picture books, chapter books, short stories, and poems. Since 2010, Dr. Pere has written and published over sixty children's and poetry books. Her works reflect warm and accepting perspectives on life, providing a peaceful backdrop for people of all ages to enjoy.
With a global audience, Dr. Pere's Finnish works have been translated into various languages: English, Swedish, Ukrainian, Russian, Estonian, French, Italian, Hindi, Spanish, and more. Some of the illustrations for her books of poetry were created in collaboration with Espoo School of Art, while her book of aphorisms was illustrated in cooperation with Kirkkonummi School of Art.
Dr. Pere's multi-award-winning book, Saved from the Flames, is part of her "Survival Stories" series. During significant events, adults tend to overlook the experiences of children. We often prioritize adult and practical matters for daily survival. However, it is crucial not to neglect and underestimate the importance of a child's perspective, especially during tragic situations. This book provides a glimpse into children's eyes and their emotions during those difficult times.
"The world is full of individual minor events or even disasters affecting the wider community, where people are trying to cope on various levels. It's helpful to write about individuals' difficulties and challenges and ponder how to tackle them. As the interaction between people in such situations is vital, it's essential to point out possibilities for helping and cooperation. My particular focus as a mother and author is on children's experiences. How do they best survive and understand what is going on around them? And that's not at all easy in this big and busy world...
But then I return to this main thing: listening to the child and giving comfort and support in every possible way. I have chosen to write stories for the little ones, especially those in challenging situations. It's all about the mental shelter and encouragement that children's literature at its best can provide." https://literarytitan.com/2023/01/10/the-survival-series
The story of Saved from the Flames revolves around Little Sunita and her family, who are trying to rebuild their lives after a devastating fire. The fire destroyed their home, including Sunita's school books and toys. To make matters worse, their beloved puppy, Taro, went missing after the tragedy.
Sunita's parents are too busy working on building their new home, and they do not have time to listen to her worries. However, Sunita's teacher notices her distress and takes the student to meet her doctor friend. With the help of her teacher and the doctor, the young girl learns that wounds can be physical and emotional, but they can heal with time and care.
Dr. Pere believes for children, losing their home and all their cherished belongings can be even more challenging and devastating than we think. A child's thoughts are focused on slightly different things than those that trouble adults. For example, youths hardly think about the monetary value of their losses. For them, their favorite toys and belongings are priceless treasures that can never be replaced.
Dr. Pere desires her readers to understand that children's injuries are not always visible and can be deep-seated, taking a long time to heal. Adults who support them should be attentive to unspoken words and be patient. It may take longer than we expect to restore a child's sense of security.
Also, Dr. Pere reminds us that every family and every individual is unique, and that's why the solutions to difficult situations are also unique. Besides family members, you can rely on relatives and friends who have the ability and desire to help. Professional assistance may also need to be considered. To resolve their issues, children must find a support network around them and be assured that they are never left alone with their problems.
“This might sound naive, but I have always believed that kind words are powerful. To me a good book is something that gives the reader– small or big – a warm hug and encourages overcoming difficult times. It builds bridges between people and emphasizes existing similarities instead of differences.”
Click below to learn more about Tuula Pere, Saved from the Flames, and her collection of books.
Saved from the Flames Trailer: https://vimeo.com/390278792
Wanda Carter Roush is the founder of National Give a Bunch of Balloons Month, an initiative featured on the National Day Calendar. This heartwarming campaign aims to spread joy and positivity to children affected by life-altering illnesses. Wanda's youngest daughter was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, an extreme and lifelong form of epilepsy, which prompted her to take action and do something special for other children who are fighting severe illnesses or diseases. As a result, she founded a month-long celebration dedicated to these brave children suffering from incurable health conditions.
During hospitalization, people often miss out on important celebrations, but presenting them with a bouquet of balloons can undoubtedly bring joy to their day. Recognizing the significance of this kind gesture, the entire month of June, thanks to Wanda, is designated to sending arrangements of balloons to children, spreading happiness and cheer by bringing smiles to their faces.
As a former Sunday school teacher and children's church director, Wanda understands the power of the written word and has used stories to communicate with children for decades. While caring for her youngest daughter, she birthed Angel on Assignment and soon after, Ella's Pearl Publishing to improve the lives and spirits of children. As an author and self-publisher, she aspires to inspire, educate, and make a positive impact through her writing. Wanda's books have garnered various accolades and has been featured on popular shows like Storytime With Fergie & Friends hosted by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson and 700 Club's Interactive.
Wanda sincerely hopes that the books created by Ella's Pearl will introduce little hearts to the love of God and the Angels He sends to protect them.
"May you encounter Angels today and all year through."
Besides being accomplished in her profession, Wanda is also a proud mother of five children and enjoys the special title of "Mimi" to six grandchildren.
You Got This: A Tale of Courage AWARDS
★ Readers' Favorite - Book Award Winner
★ Readers' Favorite - Illustration Award
★ Readers' Favorite - Five Stars
★ Mom's Choice Awards - Honoring Excellence
★ Best Indie Book Award - Best Illustration Winner
★ TopShelf - Fiction 1st Place
★ Literary Titan - 5 Star Book Award
★ Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner
★ Little Peeps CIBA Early Readers Finalist
★ Independent Press Award - Distinguished Favorite
In Wanda's multi-award winning book, You Got This: A Tale of Courage, a young girl has an angel friend accompanying her on many exciting adventures. However, the challenges seemed impossible at times, and the girl became uneasy and unsure of her abilities to face her fears.
This beautifully illustrated book teaches valuable life lessons you and your child will cherish. It emphasizes that doubts are natural and that it's okay to have them. Inspire the young ones in your life to believe in themselves, conquer the dragon of fear, and put on the armor of bravery.
Click below to learn more about Wanda Carter Roush and You Got This: A Tale of Courage.
YouTube: You Got This Read by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on Storytime With Fergie & Friends and Angel on Assignment 700 Club's Interactive feature
Suchi Sairam's 35+ year journey in the Indian classical arts as a student, teacher, dancer, choreographer and performer, alongside her long career in corporate and small businesses, formulated this award-winning author's unique worldview. She is an Indian-Texan-Minnesotan-American with her feet firmly planted in multiple cultures and identities. She is St. Paul, Minnesota, USA based Multicultural Artpreneur, Artist and accidental author.
Immigrating to the United States from India with her parents as a baby, Suchi during her formative years in the 1970s and '80s resided in Texas, college years in Massachusetts, and adult years in Texas and Minnesota. But with deep familial and cultural roots in her homeland, she holds on to her Indian heritage and traditions.
Multi-passionate and chronically curious, Suchi earned her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her love of science and engineering can only be matched by her passion for the arts, specifically dance and music.
That passion resulted in her founding Kala Vandanam in 2002. Over the past 20+ years, her dance studio and company has dedicated itself to sharing the beauty and depth of Bharatanatyam, India's oldest and most widely performed classical dance tradition, and its allied arts through education, outreach, performance and presentation. Kala Vandanam retains the key qualities of the Kalakshetra style, while contributing to its evolution as a "living" performance art and its wider acceptance and appreciation with modern audiences.
Suchi has received several grants and awards to support her teaching and creative work and is honored to be Teaching Artist for the Cowles Center for Performing Arts (Minneapolis, MN). Her passion is to integrate the arts, multiculturalism, leadership and entrepreneurship to develop great people and spread good in the world around us.
Suchi dedicates her first book, the multiple award-winning Dancing Deepa, to all her Kala Vandanam students and all the young, aspiring dancers who want to share their love for the performing arts with the world. Neither a dream nor a bucket list item, becoming a children's book author was not a life goal. But because of a conversation with one of her adult dance students, lamenting the lack of child-friendly books about Indian art forms, this accidental author and self-publisher was born.
It is vital, according to Suchi, for kids to witness representations of themselves in literature and their surroundings. She accomplishes this in Dancing Deepa, written to motivate her dance pupils and encourage youngsters to showcase their interests. Suchi's ultimate desire is for us to present our full selves in every moment of our lives.
Dancing Deepa follows a young girl who loves to dance but is afraid her school peers will not accept her unique cultural dance. Bear Creek Elementary School is preparing to host a talent show. Deepa looks forward to enjoying a variety of performers at the upcoming event, including singers, musicians, actors, martial artists, ballerinas and even a unicyclist. The dancer loves Bharatanatyam, a traditional dance from her family's country, and dreams of performing it for her school. This Indian dance style incorporates expressive facial movements, synchronized steps, intricate costumes and ankle bells for added musicality.
Unfortunately, Deepa is hesitant to audition due to concerns about being laughed at and criticized by her schoolmates. She decides to watch the performances as a member of the audience and resigns herself to not expressing her artistic abilities.
On the day of the show, the performers do exceptionally well, but Deepa feels sad and conflicted about not showcasing her own skills. After a heartfelt conversation with her perceptive teacher, she gets another chance to share her beloved dance. But will she have the courage to perform for her class?
Click below to learn more about Suchi Sairam and Dancing Deepa.
YouTube (Trailer): https://youtu.be/MG-cKCRdDE8
Cynthia Carla, an award-winning author, didn't always envision a life writing inspirational and uplifting books for children. Her path initially took her through business school and a career in finance. It wasn't until Cynthia faced a drastic health challenge that her life was redirected, and she found her love for writing. The daily process was therapeutic. She journaled throughout the health scare, which evolved into an online blog, but that was just the beginning.
The challenging time gave the future author insight, allowing Cynthia's uniqueness to shine. Her mind opened to other facets of life, and a myriad of verses and stanzas soon poured into her consciousness. Cynthia wrote these lines down over a six-month period and, in the end, realized her words were the makings of a rhyming children's book!
Cynthia continued to work on the book, arranging and rearranging it until she felt it was complete. She then would have filed it away in her desk drawer if it weren't for the encouragement of her husband to share it with the world. Taking his supportive advice, Cynthia did just that, and today she is a first-time indie author of her multiple award-winning children's book, The Who That I Am.
Cynthia is currently working on her next children's book set for Spring 2024. When not writing, you can often find her beach-side gazing into the clouds as they float by and admiring the beautiful wildlife that surrounds her.
The Who That I Am is a light and colorfully illustrated children's rhyming book encouraging us to be ourselves fully and truly. In this thought-provoking book, children follow a young elephant who shares the "who" that they are by sharing their feelings, experiences, and dreams. Our young elephant friend openly allows the love within to shine through each moment. This is who they are; no box can fit all of them!
By the end of the book, the young elephant discovers that although everyone is beautifully unique, one's feelings, dreams, and experiences can be similar to those of others. A 'oneness' connects us to each other in life. This realization helps our young elephant friend find comfort, knowing that we all share similarities and accomplish amazing things when we feel confident to be the "who" we are inside, without judgment or fear!
"Shine bright, shine through, with love."
Cynthia's wish is that these pages become a fun and educational tool where we can discuss the meaning behind the words with each other. For example, what does it mean to feel "round" or "flat"? What emotions do you relate with these words? When would one feel these emotions, and how can we support each other? These simple questions are for more than just young children. Sometimes even adults can benefit. What a wonderful world we can share when we live with love and communication!
★ NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite in the category of Children's Inspirational (2022)
★ Moonbeam Children's Book Award Bronze medal in the category of Mind-Body-Spirit/Self-Esteem (2022)
★ The Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize Short-List, First Horizon Award Finalist, and Honorable Mention in the Children's category (2023)
Click below to learn more about Cynthia Carla and The Who That I Am.
Robert Bullock, award-winning author and illustrator, formerly designed interactive educational exhibits, notably at New York City's American Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum at Yale, and Pennsylvania's State Museum. These institutions house renowned habitat dioramas, inspiring this nature and history enthusiast's award-winning series—Wilderness Habitat Discovery Journals. Bullock later taught ESL to university students and youth at Liaocheng University, Shandong, China, where he was informally called Mr. Robert. Presently, Bullock continues to research, write, illustrate, and develop other interactive educational projects for young readers and learners to develop language skills and promote outdoor awareness.
It's summer and an opportune time for exploration. Have you ever wondered how explorers felt when discovering an unfamiliar far-off land? The feelings of mystery, uncertainty, and wonder? This is the book you!
"Land 'ho!" Mr. Robert's Madagascar: A Tale of a Lost World is a story of exploring an unknown land—Madagascar—discovered on August 10, 1500, by Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias and his crew when blown off course. Being the first Europeans to set foot on this undiscovered island, it was a lost world to them. Through Captain Dias's purported missing ship logbook, young readers can follow him on his initial encounter with this mysterious island confronting never before seen fauna and flora species. We journey to investigate the southeastern Madagascar beach and lowland rainforest habitats to detect some of the exotic plants and animals endemic to that ecosystem.
To promote comprehension, ClueQ questions are scattered throughout this award-winning book. Mr. Robert's Madagascar is illustrated with 50 color illustrations and B&W ink drawings. Scientific facts about each species are found on curatorial-like sticky note graphics. The images, notes, and story contain clues that help readers answer questions about the ecosystem's unusual and curious wildlife. The book's back pages contain ClueQ clues and answers, vocabulary, and historical content. Even moms and dads will learn new things as they read with their young children! Madagascar is the fourth book of Bullock's Wilderness Habitat Discovery Journal series describing unique wildlife habitats by blending history, physical and natural science, and reading comprehension into a compelling and informative story.
★ WINNER—NYC Big Book Award, Children/Nature 2022
★ FINALIST—National Indie Excellence Award, Nature 2022
***** FIVE STAR REVIEWS *****
"A truly enlightening journey of discovery...kids will want to peruse over and over again."
INDIES TODAY, Dave Allen
"Reading this book with your children will help to open up the endless possibilities the earth holds for exploration and learning...Bullock has created a memorable work."
READERS' FAVORITE, Phillip Van Heusen
"I don't think there's a single page that isn't gorgeously illustrated, the typography serving a role in this as well. From beautiful drawings of animals and plants to a format that informs as well as challenges."
REEDSY DISCOVERY, Nisha Ward
Click below to learn more about Robert Bullock, Mr. Robert's Madagascar: A Tale of a Lost World, and his series of books detailing wildlife habitats around the world.
A Wilderness Habitat Discovery Journals series: https://mrrobertspubs.wixsite.com/website/habitat-journals
Diana Aleksandrova was born and raised in the historical capital of Bulgaria, a charming old town with a picturesque view of houses perched on a hill sitting above a river. After graduating from college, she moved across the Atlantic to pursue the American dream. Little did she know that her dream did not reside in a particular country or even a continent but was all along within her.
Diana's love for books started in a somewhat unconventional way. Like many kids, she struggled with reading, so loving books and a career as a children's book author was not a life she could've dreamed of. As a slow reader, Diana was embarrassed to read aloud and dreaded when her turn came in class. So instead of diving face-first into a book, she preferred playing outside with her friends. But a life-altering event changed everything.
Two weeks before starting second grade, Diana fell ill. When her parents took her to the hospital, she was admitted for the flu. But as luck should have it, an older and more experienced doctor examined her that same night and determined it wasn't influenza. Instead, Diana was now diagnosed with viral meningitis. Without timely and proper treatment, her life could have been at risk!
After two weeks in the hospital and healthy enough to recover at home, the doctors discharged Diana with strict instructions: no sports for a year, limited TV time, and limited reading. So what happens when you tell a child not to do something? That something is exactly what they want to do. This youngster's form of rebellion was reading. As much as she feared it before when "She had to do it," now Diana began enjoying it — a lot. Enjoying it so much, she decided to pursue a life of writing. And readers around the world are lucky and grateful she did.
"I find joy in creating stories that make kids and grown-ups alike open their minds to the impossible, marvel, or laugh. Books are our tickets to adventure. They let us explore fascinating places and join charming heroes, crooked villains, and magical creatures through unforgettable journeys. My job is to create the itinerary."
In Diana's award-winning book, I Will Be There: The Journey of Fatherhood, one father vows to always be there for his son when he is born! Follow along the father-son journey starting at birth, through the childhood years, and even after leaving the nest and creating one's own family.
I Will Be There is a lyrical celebration of the various sides of fatherhood - making a commitment, giving gentle guidance, and showing unconditional love and support through good and bad days. A perfect gift for every dad, grandfather, uncle, big brother, or fatherly figure in your life!
Click below to learn more about Diana Aleksandrova, I Will Be There: The Journey of Fatherhood, and her collection of award-winning books.
Book Collection: https://www.dedonibooks.com/books
Award-winning author Craig M. Porter Rollins grew up in Morgantown, KY, living out a childhood fantasy of being Tom Sawyer. From fishing and hunting to running wild shoeless through the hills of southwest Kentucky — he had no shortage of adventure! Craig's sense of wonder and thrill blends into his life personally and professionally. In his downtime from writing and speaking engagements, you can often find him exploring back roads on his Harley or working hard on various entrepreneurial endeavors.
After a demanding career as a successful CEO, Craig has happily retired to Hawaii. Here he finds solace in turning his experiences into books and engaging audiences with inspiring talks about personal growth and the importance of education. With his passion for schooling and development, Craig eagerly and enthusiastically supports educational programs through scholarships — fueling learning for future generations.
"Everything worth doing well takes education, training and lots of practice. The stories I write have that in mind. Education gained from a good source is invaluable, if used for the betterment of yourself and those around you."
Pablo was a young, imaginative boy with an undeniable talent for art. His mother saw his potential and brought him to meet a local painter who became Pablo's teacher — guiding him on the path of becoming something great. From humble beginnings in their small village, Pablo followed this mentor as they ventured off into new lands full of awe-inspiring sights that created memories he would draw upon throughout his journey toward true greatness.
Traveling to Mazatlán, Craig found inspiration and discovered an incredible truth — anything is possible when you dare to reach out and learn from others. This true tale serves as a powerful reminder that kids can do whatever they set their minds on achieving if they're brave and determined.
★ NYC Big Book Awards-Winner
★ Paris Book Festival-Winner
★ National Independent Excellence Awards-Finalist
★ New England Book Festival-Honorable Mention
Click below to learn more about Craig M. Porter Rollins, Pablo: The Plate Painter of Mazatlán and his future endeavors.
Formerly a middle school writing and literature teacher and hospital and hospice chaplain, Kitty O'Meara is currently a spiritual director and has been a lifelong writer and artist. She has been called "the poet laureate of the pandemic" based on her wildly popular, widely circulated, and hopeful poem about the Covid-19 pandemic. That poem became the best-selling picture book and O'Meara's first print book, And the People Stayed Home. She followed that with The Rare, Tiny Flower and the forthcoming Oliver and the Night Giants (Tra Publishing).
Besides her passion for wordsmithing, O'Meara continues to feed her other loves: family, friends, photography, gardening, walking, and, above all, loving the earth and her incredible harboring and nurturing of everything beautiful. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, their five rescue dogs, two cats, multiple gardens, and many books.
The Rare, Tiny Flower
This timely and timeless tale by Kitty O'Meara offers wisdom relevant to difficult current situations and provides hope for resolution and growth. The Rare, Tiny Flower is a beautifully produced picture book that explores themes of difference, divisiveness, tolerance, unity, and the agency of children through a thoughtful parable told in rhyming verse and accompanied by deeply felt illustrations.
This rhyming poem features a mysterious flower in the midst of a forest that appears as a different color to each viewer, which leads to escalating strife as everyone insists that their vision is "right." World leaders and even botanists are unable to agree on the nature of the flower, and declare war as a way to resolve the conflict. It takes the vision and bravery of a young girl to point out that the flower is, in fact, quite multi-dimensional. Remarkably, she has the ability to be heard by the squabbling masses, who then see beyond their fighting and begin to rebuild bridges of communication and commit to connecting with one another and respecting varying points of view.
O'Meara's thoughtful poem includes people realizing and voicing this important lesson:
"Maybe there are
other colors to see;
what's lovely to you
could be lovely to me."
★ Winner, NYC Big Book Awards, Children's Inspirational
★ Shortlist, World Illustration Awards 2023
★ Publisher's Weekly, Art from Cover to Cover: Spotlight on Tra Publishing and Soapbox: When Poetry Goes Viral
★ New York Times, Teaching Young Children About War Without Frightening Them
Click below to learn more about Kitty O'Meara, The Rare, Tiny Flower and her collection of books.
Monica Stoltzfus, the award-winning author of The Ripple, is passionate about establishing a more imaginative and inclusive world through the power of children's literature. As an active member of the SCBWI, the 12 X 12 Writing Community and the DC Write To Publish Group, she supports the creation of quality books so that children everywhere have access to the books they need and deserve.
As a former Kindergarten teacher in Maryland's Public Schools for 10 years and a mother of four curious, book-loving girls, reading books and writing stories have been a significant part of Monica's life. Her debut picture book, entitled The Ripple, teaches young people the power of a smile. Smiles are contagious, and one small act can spread with incredible effects. So never underestimate the power of a smile. This book about spreading kindness received First place in the National Indie Excellence Awards for "Best Inspirational Children's Book."
In The Ripple, a young boy named Pat lives in the big city. He begins each day with a huge smile. Pat greets his fuddy-duddy doorman with this same big smile. And nothing happens, or so Pat thinks. Readers take a journey following a sequence of events, unknown to the main character, unfolding just how far that simple act of a smile went. And vice versa- what may not happen when Pat decides to stay in bed all day. The Ripple is inspired by the beloved It's a Wonderful Life and aims to prove to one and all how important each person and a simple act of kindness can be.
Monica currently lives in Northern Virginia with her four fearless daughters and compassionate husband. Her newest book—Just Compose Yourself: Finding Hope in Spilled Coffee—and her blog under the same name share her joys in the messy life of a mom. Monica's works comprise of motherhood mayhem and faith-filled stories. When not writing, she's getting her hands messy in her next DIY project.
Click below to learn more about Monica Stoltzfus, Just Compose Yourself and The Ripple.
Fabian Ferguson, a first-generation Panamanian American, grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) district of Brooklyn, New York. The neighborhood, filled with ornate 19th-century townhouses, has been a center of African-American culture since the early 20th century, home to cultural icons Jackie Robinson, Chris Rock, Mike Tyson, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and many more. Growing up in Bed-Stuy, Ferguson was self-aware of race and its role in society. The neighborhood was one of those places where young Black children were often made aware of their race and the disadvantages it brought.
As a child, Ferguson only cared a little for reading traditional storybooks, but he loved the ability to create his own stories with him as the lead character. However, he found it difficult to relate to those characters because none of them were children of color.
Ferguson's favorite book was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He clearly remembers reading the book and trying to apply it to his life. As Ferguson read every page, he would make mental edits to make it more relatable. He was not drawn to the book itself but to what it represented. Alexander was a young boy like himself, but Ferguson had nothing in common with him and his life aside from having shares of bad days. Alexander had various options of cereal to complain about. Ferguson only had one—the "no frills" store brand. Alexander had complained about the lunch his mother packed. Ferguson only had the free school lunch to eat. Alexander complained about the white sneakers he had to settle for, whereas Ferguson celebrated every pair his mother ever purchased for him. Even the knockoff ones. The young Ferguson may not have realized it fully then, but he was looking to see characters representing him and his community.
When Ferguson became a dad, he was passionate about creating an experience for his son different from his own. The future author discovered that he had a chance to positively impact his son's life by writing stories with Black lead characters. Ferguson wanted his imagination to wander when he looked at storybooks. He wanted him to imagine himself flying an airplane with clouds as friends or swimming with dolphins off a tropical island. Ferguson knew if his son could believe he had no limits for his dreams, he would have a better life.
With that passion and goal in mind, Ferguson established F. Ferguson Books, a children's book publishing company devoted to uplifting Black authors and Black lead characters. The awarding-winning author's goals are for his readers to experience the joy of sharing his storybooks with their little loved ones and to create a new generation of children filled with endless aspirations, imagination, and self-belief.
Now residing with his wife and children in Atlanta, GA, you can still find Ferguson photographing the occasional wedding while being inspired by his children for his next storybook with more Black lead characters.
In Jackie Wins Them All, your kids will learn whether they win or lose, they are still amazing. A remarkable coming-of-age children's picture book for instilling a positive attitude and implanting the value of sportsmanship. Young children will gain a significant source of inspiration and motivation.
Jackie Wins Them All tells the story of a gifted sixth grader, Jackie J. Spade, who has a knack for winning everything—science fairs, spelling bees, swimming, skating, and just about anything you can imagine! But Jackie is about to take on her biggest challenge, the big city track meet! Will she win the trophy, or will she win something even better?
In Jackie Does It All, young Jackie is on pace to earn more patches than anyone else in her troop, but she is about to discover exactly why we can't always do it all. This heartwarming story is about a young girl learning a very human lesson about choosing priorities. In his wonderfully melodic book, Ferguson allows us to discover with our children that sometimes it's ok to say no in the most lovable of ways.
In the Mirror will teach kids the values of resilience, self-acceptance, and positivity. So if you are looking for a book to help grow strong, confident little boys and girls, this is it. Follow two siblings who embrace what makes them unique and their appreciation for the little things that make them stand out. From their sweaty, wrinkly brows and curious little eyes all the way to their strong little chins, these two little kids see the goodness in everything!
Meet Lauren Stockly! This heal-through-play advocate and California Association for Play Therapy board member started her career by earning her master's in social work (MSW) from UCLA and then becoming a certified Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (ECMHS). As a child and adolescent mental health therapist, Lauren specializes in treating trauma and supporting emotional growth for children and families. Her approach integrates play therapy and mindfulness with insight-oriented and evidence-based techniques.
"For children, the importance of play cannot be understated. Play is fundamental to learning, cognitive growth, and social development. It's the primary way kids process their surroundings and communicate their feelings. ... They may not be able to describe exactly what they are going through, but play is a natural language for children and one of the best ways to make themselves heard.
Mindfulness is a technique for centering one's focus on the present moment and passively observing the thoughts and feelings that arise. ... Mindfulness cultivates peace in the here and now and teaches acceptance without judgment. A regular mindfulness practice for the whole family can go a long way. For kids especially, the ability to observe feelings from a neutral perspective makes it easier to investigate them without getting overwhelmed."
One looking to learn more about this treatment method must visit Lauren's popular blog, Creative Play Therapist. She shares interventions and resources to help child and adolescent therapists better help their patients. During the pandemic, she offered additional assistance by launching a tele-play therapy Facebook group that supports over 11,000 Play Therapists. The group creates a space for professionals to share their knowledge, experience, and creativity.
In addition, to better help those in need, Lauren founded Bumble BLS, a company dedicated to advancing bilateral stimulation tools for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and emotional regulation in the home. Bumble BLS's collection consists of Buzzies (aka "tappers"), therapeutic accessories, a beautifully illustrated children's book, and its accompanying interventions workbook.
Be Mindful of Monsters and Mindful Monsters Therapeutic Workbook resulted in the collaboration between Lauren and her lifelong friend and celebrated artist, Ellen Surrey. Their goal was to design books to introduce children to mindfulness by helping them achieve emotional regulation by accepting and learning to process difficult and complex feelings.
Be Mindful of Monsters follows a gender-neutral nine-year-old named Ezzy, whose feelings of anger, sadness, and worry grow into monsters. This award-winning book explores the challenges and benefits of accepting those uncomfortable emotions. Mindful Monsters, brings the characters and lessons to life across more than 100 pages of interventions. Both books are welcome additions to any child, teacher, or therapist's library.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/creativeplaytherapy
*Spanish edition also available.
This award-winning author and game inventor is passionate about education and developing children's minds. Kevin Brougher's thirty-two years of teaching proved rewarding, challenging, and heartbreaking at times. Unfortunately, only so much a teacher can do when seeing over 150 students a day. Still, it was a place for inspiration, creative outlet, and humor.
Brougher was fortunate enough to start in the elementary grades, progress to middle school, then spend years at the high school level. Fortunate because it helped him gain valuable perspective on skill development.
Early in his career, Brougher became intrigued with finding ways to help kids think and learn in a fun way. "If learning was fun, students would want to do more!" So he was constantly looking out and dwelling on what could hook them just a bit more and make them think just a little bit longer.
Through the decades of uplifting and enlightening his students, a revelation occurred. Brougher noticed educational activities administered in school that were good and beneficial but were not replicated or done at home. And some fun activities at home needed more content or thinking skills to be used in the classroom. What was missing were activities, games, and books that families would enjoy enough to play and use at home yet provide quality educational benefits for teachers to utilize in the classroom.
With this newfound understanding, Brougher started Missing Piece Press, a publishing company dedicated to developing educational tools to be used and played in home and school settings. Besides books and games that got people thinking, Brougher also enjoyed writing verses. It probably stemmed not only from inspiration from his mom but from learning how to play guitar and write songs in college and later writing songs for the classroom.
Brougher is most fortunate and blessed to have two wonderful, beautiful, talented daughters. One, Lisa Santa Cruz, is a graphic artist who has illustrated several of his works, including Lookie Loo - A Baby's First Game, the book Reindolphins and one of Penny's holiday favorites, How the Candy Cane Got Its Stripes.
The candy cane, for many years, was white like winter snow. But, after years of plain white, Santa was ready for a change. Santa's art contest would determine the new design. Everyone in the North Pole village was eager to be the one chosen. Who will be the winner? Read How the Candy Cane Got Its Stripes to find out!
"Dear North Pole Village,
I love my candy canes, my friends.
I think you love them, too.
But, I think plain-white
has seen its days.
I'm needing something new!
So, get your colored pencils,
get your crayons - get your paint.
If you win this candy contest,
you will SURELY be a saint!"
"Creativity is very personal and one of the most valuable commodities that we have. It is part art and part science. Many times you feel like a vessel so lucky to receive these ideas, insights, concepts and that it is your responsibility to do something with them." — Kobi Yamada
This life philosophy inspires him both as CEO of Compendium, a company of amazing people doing amazing things, and as a best-selling author.
His Seattle-based company, Compendium, creates fresh, design-forward gift products that inspire and connects people. Their ever-growing line of books, journals, greeting cards, and children's products are sold in thousands of specialty retail stores worldwide.
In regard to being an author (in an interview with The Stories We Read), Kobi spoke about his love for storytelling and his transition from writing best-selling adult motivational books to creating books tailored to uplift children.
"I think even more than storytelling, my true love is inspiration. And of course, we communicate and inspire each other best through stories."
Kobi didn't specifically set out to write a children's book, but once he started writing it, he realized it would be a picture book. "I was writing the descriptions for the scenes as I was writing the dialogue for the book, so I knew it would need just the right illustrations to bring it into the world."
We are extremely lucky and happy Kobi did. His books have helped and inspired so many throughout the world. Kobi's list of award-winning books and New York Times bestsellers includes What Do You Do With an Idea?, What Do You Do With a Problem?, and What Do You Do With a Chance? to name a few. These books tackle the concepts of how fostering and caring for an idea can change the world, creative thinking provides us the opportunity to solve problems, and the importance of being open to new experiences.
In Trying, Kobi tackles the journey from exploring an interest to mastering a new skill. This growth process is filled with wonderful lessons but can also include speed bumps along the way. Think about a talent you've developed. Do you remember what it felt like when you first began? The excitement, the frustration, maybe even the self-doubt? This award-winning and best-selling book takes us on the path of embracing our passions, confronting failures, and discovering new parts of ourselves while teaching us perseverance, resilience, and courage.
Trying tells a story of a boy who tries to become a sculptor. He tries and tries, but his works are far from masterpieces. He thinks he isn’t good enough, so he’s afraid to keep trying. Eventually, his teacher, an older experienced sculptor shows the boy all his "failures" to help him understand failure is a part of learning and improvement. Ultimately, the boy continues to practice, continues to improve, and eventually evolves from student to teacher.
"The real message of the book is about giving your best effort, not giving up, and dealing with setbacks. We love the title because the word 'trying' has two meanings. The first meaning is: 'annoying, problematic, difficult. Straining one's patience and will to the limit.' The other meaning is: 'attempting to do or accomplish, striving, giving effort.' Both definitions are instructive and instrumental to our story.
Whenever we see someone remarkably talented, or something that is beautiful or masterfully done, what we are really seeing is countless hours of effort, perseverance, tenacity, and overcoming difficulties. And so creativity and artistry are not so much qualities as they are processes and skills, learned through repetition, hard work, and practice. They are cycles of trying, failing, and trying again.
Too many times we measure our own beginning to somebody else's mastery. When we do this, we not only discount all of the work and dedication it took for that person to master that skill, we also unfairly judge ourselves as inadequate or incompetent. This is just our internal critic talking, and it fuels and amplifies our insecurities. It convinces us that we can't measure up. In our attempt to avoid failure, we stop taking risks and trying new things, and this prevents us from discovering new facets of our courage and our strength. We wrote this book to highlight the power of a growth mindset. Because it isn't just about mastering something, it's about growing and striving and learning all the days of our lives."
Message received loud and clear!
Kobi lives happily with the love of his life and their two super fun kids in the land of flying salmon, where he sees unbelievable possibilities unfold every day while wondering if maybe life is even more beautiful than he imagined.
Kobi Yamada Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/livethegoodstuff
Compendium Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/compendiumliveinspired
Compendium Twitter: https://twitter.com/liveinspired
YouTube: (Trying — Book Reading): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlBknII1jB8
Compendium Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/compendiumliveinspired
In addition to being an award-winning author, Lindsey J. Frank, has been a teacher, districtwide climate and social emotional learning (SEL) coach, special educator, and interventionist. This wellness advocate is passionate about empowering educators to create heart-centered classrooms and lives through mindfulness-based social emotional learning (MBSEL).
Her passion and vision lead to the creation of The Butterfly Within, LLC, where she shares impactful wellness experiences through her books, coaching, and classes. Lindsey is also a children and adult certified trauma-informed yoga instructor, a mindfulness and meditation teacher, and the acting President of the Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM).
When the pandemic began, Lindsey was inspired to write her first children's book to support families and educators by sharing about the changes within our world, teaching strategies to move through change mindfully, and providing a sense of hope. However, as reader feedback poured in, she realized that Big Change, Better You, Beautiful World helped so many through numerous other life events, no matter how big or small. Lindsey's book has supported families through loss, world events beyond the pandemic, classroom support, children (and adults) experiencing different life changes, and so much more.
Big Change, Better You, Beautiful World is an interactive storybook filled with tools, strategies, and talking points to empower readers of all ages to embrace change, all while learning along the way from a wise change expert, the butterfly! Butterflies are a powerful symbol to support us through change and gives us hope. We go through butterfly cycles throughout our lives, moment-by-moment, during times of transition. This book shares mindfulness tools to reduce stress and anxiety during these times and validates that change can be challenging, yet it allows us the ability to grow.
"Who will you become?"
Special Book Acknowledgements:
"When you get called by your heart to write a book, follow that call because there is someone in the world who needs it. One book can change someone's life."
Many educators and families have mentioned how Lindsey's first book, Big Change, Better You, Beautiful World, has become an essential toolbox for teaching strategies to move through change mindfully. She continues to write and has published her second book, The Superpower of Your HEART, and companion Teacher's Guide to support readers to make superhero choices in our world mindfully.
Teacher Well-Being Coaching: https://www.thebutterflywithin.me/teacherwellbeing
School Well-Being Coaching: https://www.thebutterflywithin.me/school
Adult Yoga Classes:
Children's Yoga Classes: https://www.thebutterflywithin.me/childrensyoga
Tanya Diable, the author of Bow Tie Boone, is passionate about dogs and helping those in need. Besides being an award-winning author, she is the President and founder of Joey's P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), a nonprofit established in hopes of improving both the outcome for dogs with mobility issues in shelters and rescues across the country, as well as perceptions about their adoptability.
Tanya and her husband, Charlie, have adopted dogs (6) with many different special needs and see the joy when their furry friends overcome their obstacles to live their best lives. Her goal is to see that same transformation in the dogs they assist. Her charity has provided mobility devices to over 1200 dogs in need in Pittsburgh, across the country, and even internationally. Outside of Tanya's work with Joey's P.A.W., she can be seen volunteering with her therapy dog, Boone, in schools, children's hospitals as well as the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Bow Tie Boone, the National INDIE Excellence Awards Children's Non-Fiction Winner, tells the inspiring story of a lovable beagle who transitioned from an abused pup searching for a loving family to a therapy dog, helping bring joy to people and dogs alike. Boone survived heartbreaking cruelty as a puppy, resulting in the tragic loss of his hind legs.
Who would do such a thing?!?! Breaks my heart. But this sweet-natured dog's life changed when he was adopted by a family with a soft spot for special needs pets. Fitted with a wheelchair, Boone is a dog on a mission to spread his joy to others with his infectious smile. His heartwarming story of resilience teaches children that no challenge is too great.
"He has overcome so much and is just an amazing dog. I love that he shows people resilience, love. And no matter what life throws at you, there's a way to overcome."
Agreed. Yes, we can overcome anything. And yes, your courageous pooch is AMAZING. Don't just take our word for it. With 400+ contestants and a million votes by the animal-loving public, Boone, the 2021 Therapy Hero Dog of the Year, was also awarded the nation's top title - American Hero Dog - at the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog competition.
Click to watch their American Humane video to learn more about Tanya and Boone's heartwarming survival story, from an abused hound to a hardworking therapy dog who brings smiles to everyone he meets.
American Humane: https://youtu.be/8Mwy_66K6Dg
CBS Pittsburgh: https://youtu.be/nOolss0ydTY
100% of the proceeds from Bow Tie Boone will go to Joey's P.A.W., providing monetary funding for rescues, shelters, and individuals that have dogs in need of a prosthetic or wheelchair. Purchase to support!
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines. Her passion for parenting, culture and education spurs her literary works. Her book, Little Things Remembered, is a collection of stories on love, parenting and cultural identity. Maria Luisa's essays about her experience as a Cuban-American were also published in The Cuban American Family Album, a series by the Oxford Press describing the heroic stories of American immigrant groups. Furthermore, she is a contributing writer for the New York Times best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms Know Best.
Maria Luisa's passions also translate into her other profession as a certified parent educator and coach with The Academy of Parenting Education and Coaching (Redirecting Children's Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom). Her extensive background working with parents and children resulted in co-authoring Maggie's Visit to the Playroom, Play Time for Molly, Matt's in Trouble Again and Matt Otra Vez en Problemas. These children's books discuss topics of play therapy, filial therapy and school counseling.
Maelia knows firsthand how difficult dealing with anxiety and depression can be. During her freshman year at St. Edward's University, she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She spent the next two years learning to understand and cope with her diagnosis. In 2019, Maelia decided to step out of her comfort zone and embark on a journey she ended up loving. During her on-stage question at her first pageant, she decided to talk publicly about her struggle with depression and anxiety. Maelia's answer surprised her family and close friends, who were the only ones who knew. Speaking about her struggles was the first step towards accepting what she had experienced as a gift and making mental illness her life purpose. Maelia's passion for this issue led to her co-founding Mental Monarchs Inc., a nonprofit organization and blog dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge to end the stigma of mental illness.
With a successful pageant career, Maelia reigned as Miss Rio Grande Valley USA 2019, Miss Heart of Texas USA 2020 and was 3rd runner-up in Miss Texas USA 2021. In addition to being a pageant queen, Maelia has careers as a model and professional makeup artist.
You Can Do It, Chickadee uses vivid, person-centered, age-appropriate language to describe the physical and emotional challenges brought on by depression. This mental health illness/condition/disorder can be a daily challenge. ONE STEP, TWO STEPS, THREE STEPS, FOUR. Chickadee models resilience, patience and self-compassion for children who can relate to her thoughts and feelings. The book also includes helpful tips and resources for parents.
★ Mom's Choice Awards® Gold Award Recipient
★ 3x Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner
★ Silver Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner
★ 2x Story Monster Approved Award Winner
"You can do it, Chickadee!" And anyone dealing with depression, "YOU CAN DO IT TOO!"
Millions of children have diagnosed depression, and suicide is among the leading causes of death for teens and young adults. Recognizing symptoms and early diagnosis is vital for the success of a child with a mental illness. Contact your child's doctor if you are concerned with your child's mental health.
Parent Classes/Workshops: https://marialsalcines.com/parent-classes%2Fworkshops
Maria Luisa is a Parent Instructor Trainer with The Academy of Parenting Education and Coaching who can certify individuals interested in teaching the Redirecting Children's Behavior course. Contact her to learn more!
Discover the world of Junia Wonders! There are two things in this world that this author loves doing the most: writing and reading children's stories. From age four, Junia would doodle tirelessly and create stories about her drawings. That vivid childhood memory cemented her love of storytelling.
Junia's books aim to entertain, uplift, and inspire with beautifully illustrated images, charming rhymes, and meaningful messages. Her collection of publications has become Amazon bestsellers and won countless literary awards. Three of her picture books, namely, The Night the Monsters Came, Have You Ever Wondered What You Will Be?, and I Love You Through Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall garnered 47 literary awards altogether in 2021-22, including two prestigious Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, two Nautilus Book Awards, and an IPPY Award.
When Junia isn't writing a story or reading a book, you might catch her whispering to dragonflies, chasing rolling pumpkins, traveling the world with a giant wheel of cheese, or simply having a cup of tea and cake with a clever little rat, a lonely pony, a couple of riotous retired neighbors, and some kids, who, like her believe that magic is what happens when you truly believe in yourself.
Have You Ever Wondered What You Will Be? is a rhyming story of inspirational affirmations that chronicles all of the many wonderful potential futures that lie before us. This delightful book is a celebration of every child's dreams and boundless potential — something that's near and dear to Junia's heart. It is the kind of book that the author would have loved to read when she was a little girl dreaming of becoming a 'rhymer of rhymes' one day. This book aspires to motivate its young and young-at-heart readers to find their passion and discover their true calling, aim high and pursue their dreams, be brave in the face of adversity, and envision success while acknowledging mistakes, failures, and setbacks is part of the journey.
Through gorgeous painterly illustrations with a whimsical mix of art styles, combining surrealist, classic, and a creative interpretation of the art deco movement, the story's child characters look into mirrors to see what future befalls them. A poignant text introduces the many potential vocations, professions, and callings within their grasp when pursued with courage and determination. The story acknowledges that life isn't always perfect and that the path to success and happiness will have peaks and valleys, but what matters most is overcoming those obstacles and not fearing failure.
Readers will enjoy some of the book illustrations' architectural labyrinths, reminiscent of such classics as Dr. Seuss, as they are introduced to a myriad of professions — inventor, animal rescuer, software developer, architect, entrepreneur, fitness instructor, among other unique possibilities.
Have You Ever Wondered What You Will Be? is perfect for inspiration seekers, graduates young and old, someone turning the page to a new chapter in life, and those looking for a meaningful gift. A lasting message will stay with the reader long after the book is closed, reminding one that they are unique and special and can do anything — the future is wide open.
Book Videos: https://www.juniawonders.com/videos
During the pandemic, this mother-daughter team of Ballerina Konora and Teacher Terrel wanted to keep kids moving at home and provide bonding opportunities for each child and caregiver. That mission led to the creation of Once Upon a Dance, an award-winning collaboration that has brought the love of dance to kids worldwide.
Ballerina Konora is the ballet heroine and face of Once Upon a Dance. She climbed the ballet ladder and is thrilled to live her dreams as a professional ballerina. Konora is especially lucky to have found a company during the pandemic. Along the way, she danced iconic roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella for her home studio in Washington.
Teacher Terrel has taught dance for decades and was honored by her City Council for "embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children in our community" for her work with young dancers. She has breathed ballet from every angle and worked in early childhood education, for non-profits supporting kids, and as an English university teacher as a Peace Corps volunteer.
The duo's award-winning collaboration, Once Upon a Dance, has 24 books across three main series: Dance-It-Out! Creative Movement Stories (ages 4+), Dancing Shapes: Ballet and Body Awareness (ages 6+), and Ballet Inspiration, debuting with Dance Stance (ages 8+). All of the books feature Ballerina Konora as a movement guide who encourages kids to explore the techniques and fundamentals of dance.
★ Mom's Choice Gold Award
★ Royal Dragonfly First Place
★ PenCraft Award First Place
★ Firebird First Place
★ Pinnacle: Best Book Juvenile Fiction
★ Literary Titan 5-Star Award
★ Family Choice Award
★ Independent Press Award Winner
★ International Impact Book Award Winner
★ Outstanding Creator Awards Winner
Unicorns and Horses and Snakes, oh my! Check out this Dance-It-Out! fan favorite. Interactive movement wrapped up in a charming story of sibling angst, anger management, compassion, and triumph. Fed up with her annoying sister, Naomi storms out of the castle, only to discover a unicorn in need of help. With a sense of purpose, she quickly forgets her anger. Ballerina Konora joins each page to direct kids who want to get up and dance. The major themes of this 2021 Mom's Choice Gold Award and 2022 Family Choice Award Recipient include sibling friendship, emotion management, empathy, forgiveness, and helpfulness.
"Cheerful and heartwarming, this movement adventure will inspire creative expression through imagination." — Mary Lanni, Librarian/Reviewer
Free Audio accompaniment on SoundCloud.
The books of Dr. Seuss inspired many children, including Sarina Siebenaler, who struggled with reading in her early childhood years. The humor and rhymes featured in the books motivated the young Sarina to develop a creative game of wordplay. The future children's book author began writing words that rhyme and turned those words into poetry. Now it's Sarina who writes to inspire the next generation of young readers.
Books are a powerful tool! When Sarina's nonverbal son with Autism couldn’t communicate, consistent reading helped him in his journey. Reading was an integral part of his introduction to speech at the age of five. Having the ability to communicate, he had fewer behavioral outbreaks and fell in love with telling beautiful stories of his own.
When Sarina began writing children’s picture books, she wanted to encourage children to become readers with the motivation of silly books. Her first publication, Do Not Wish for a Pet Ostrich! was inspired by those same beloved Dr. Seuss books she read as a child. "Rhyming teaches children how the English language works. It helps them predict what they read, which is an important reading skill for emergent readers."
Book 2 of the series, Do Not Wish for a Birthday Unicorn!, is a silly rhyming tale that will bring the magic of imagination to the hearts of all unicorn fans and encourage early literacy one smile at a time! Have you ever wanted a UNICORN for your birthday? When Kat, a little girl full of wonder, wishes for a unicorn-themed birthday party — her mom says YES! Kat carefully selects the perfect unicorn, but when she arrives from the Uni Express, they discover she hasn’t bathed in 21 days! Kat and her party friends boost Starlight’s spirits by giving her the love, attention, and clean-up she deserves.
This book promotes early childhood philosophies: cognitive and intellectual empathy, expressing compassion, teaching teamwork, promoting kindness, building conflict-resolution skills and strategies, and much more! The LAUGH OUT LOUD surprise ending will bring a bad case of the giggles and will lead you to the character of book!
Say hello to Randii M. Smith and Kristerpher J. Smith as we celebrate Financial Literacy Month. This wife and husband duo have a passion for teaching and finance. Fed up with the lack of self-help books for kids, Randii decided to solve the problem by writing one. The end result is the creation of the series, Logan & Lucky's Life Lessons for Kids.
Randii and Kristerpher are best friends, wife and husband, and college sweethearts. They met and grew up together as they navigated life as teenagers, young adults, and now parents with two daughters.
Randii first fell in love with children's books, like many others, as a child. Since then, her interest has blossomed into enthusiasm. She loves where the story meets imagery, and the canvas can take hold of the mind of a young reader. As an elementary school teacher for years, Randii had committed herself to cultivate a love for reading with her students. Nowadays, she is a homeschooling parent obsessed with children's books.
Kristerpher works in the banking industry and assists private businesses with their financial operations. Civically, he spends time coaching students and families to be empowered by their finances.
Logan Breaks the Bank was birthed by the money lessons Randii and Kristerpher taught their daughters. Be money smart – save, share, and spend. In this second installment of the series, these youthful life coaches, Logan and Lucky, are helping young ones think about their finances. This book is for kiddos (and adults) of all ages; young readers 3-8 will especially love it.
Sarah Cullen and Carmen Ellis are the Australian authors of the Ocean Tales Children's Books series. Not only are Carmen and Sarah sisters, but these ladies are also the owners of Majestic Whale Encounters, a company that takes adventurers swimming with whales in breathtaking locales all over the globe. But when COVID-19 spread worldwide, their business was at a standstill as they relied heavily on international travel. Carmen and Sarah created their first children's book during this uncertain time, and it was so successful that they have now published three additional works with two new releases dates in 2022. Spike, Rory, and Lola have gone on to become Amazon best sellers and continue to spread joy and hope to all the ocean-loving kids and parents around the world.
Spike the Penguin wishes he wasn't different. Even though his parents tell him his bright red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple mohawk is beautiful, he still wants to hide his head under his flippers. Spike just wants to fit in. Determined to find a way to be like everyone else, the sad little guy sets out on an Antarctic adventure in Spike: The Penguin with Rainbow Hair!
Diving deep into the ocean to seek a solution, Spike tries out seashell hats, squid-ink dye jobs, and a seal hair salon. But when no one can make him look just right, he fears he'll never be happy… until his friends share something unexpected. Can this little penguin learn to appreciate his perfectly awesome plumage? Spike: The Penguin with Rainbow Hair is a heartwarming children's picture book written in playful rhyme that shares a great message about self-acceptance.
Website (Books): https://www.oceantaleschildrensbooks.com.au
Website: (Experiences of a Lifetime): www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au
Matthew Gollub is a multi-talented children's author and speaker. He has created 19 picture books which together have garnered dozens of national awards and distinctions. For years, Matthew published through commercial houses in New York before founding Tortuga Press in Santa Rosa, CA. He speaks English, Spanish and Japanese, languages which have helped him collaborate closely with different illustrators.
Matthew's most popular books include audio of his rhythmic narrations set to jazz. These popular musical stories include The Jazz Fly series and Gobble, Quack, Moon. (Slide shows, video and audio clips at www.matthewgollub.com). He has also published non-fiction literacy works, including his picture book for parents, Give the Gift! 10 Fulfilling Ways to Raise a Lifetime Reader. A dynamic drummer and bilingual (English / Spanish) presenter, Matthew has performed at over 1,000 elementary schools around the U.S. and abroad, inspiring students and families to read for fun. He lives with his family in northern California.
In Matthew's book, Jazz Fly 2, the drummer fly spoke TWO languages. In Jazz Fly 3, he performs in THREE! In this latest book with audio, the fly's band is hired to play on an international cruise ship: "Insects from all the Caribbean isles traded fancy words as they cruised for miles." Damselflies and roaches feast at the banquet and dance. And the fly keeps the insects entertained by making up jazzy chants in different languages like Spanish (¡Mucho gusto!), French (Enchante!) and the fly's native language, jazz scat (WA-ba ZEE!).
"Such a carefree cruise!" Gollub writes, "What could go wrong?" Note: when an author asks the reader, "What could go wrong?", something is about to happen, and it probably won't be good! In this case, Captain Cockroach leaves the helm to write poetry, and the luxury liner sails off course into a storm. How will the musicians take care of one another and all the insect passengers as the rolling waves cast them adrift? Following the award-winning Jazz Fly and Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga, this ocean adventure pairs dolphins with pirate crabs. And the audio introduces the sounds of be-bop jazz and catchy Caribbean music styles like reggae and cha-cha-chá. Hold on tight as you set out on le voyage! Matthew Gollub's spirited narration, accompanied by jazz all-stars, keeps grade school listeners boppin' on the edge of their seats. And the witty, colorful illustrations mark Karen Hanke's best work yet!
(P.S. Don't worry about reading those "fancy" words in the story. An attractive glossary defines the French and Spanish. And the words in these different languages appear in their own color.)
"As fun to read as it is to listen to on the accompanying CD or download." – Foreword Reviews
"A delightful multimedia showcase. Highly recommended." – Midwest Book Review
"A picture book that really has it all: motion, color, rhythm, education, imagination, and boundless energy." – Story Monsters Ink
"The inclusion of Spanish and French is seamless…A sure hit for jazz fans who like to dance along with their read-alouds." – Kirkus Reviews
Look below for more information about Matthew Gollub, the Jazz Fly series, and other works by the author.
Justine Green, Ed.D. is an educator, award-winning author, and disability advocate based in Boca Raton, Florida, where she serves as the Principal at Tamim Academy. Justine was born with Atresia and Microtia, congenital disabilities of the ear. Microtia is a condition where the outer ear does not develop properly and Atresia is the absence of the ear canal, leaving her deaf in her left ear. Knowing she was different from birth, and boasting three reconstructive surgeries under her belt, Justine learned to read lips and worked hard through school. She used her disability as motivation instead of an excuse, and ultimately found her life’s purpose through these challenges.
Dr. Green's passion for inspiring others moved her to write a story based on her own life, Completely Me, to teach readers to love themselves and others, and that everyone’s imperfections are what make them perfect. The story tells of a little girl who never noticed something different about herself until others pointed it out. When she decides to stand up for herself, she teaches the townspeople two important lessons — understanding and acceptance.
Look below for more information about Justine Green, Ed.D., Completely Me, and Book Two and Three in the Completely Me series (Completely Emme: A Cerebral Palsy Story and Completely Matt: An ADHD Story).
Claire-Voe and Kendra Ocampo have cried many tears together since falling in love in Boston and getting married in 2014 in New Jersey, just months after same-sex marriage became legal in the state. They're two moms to three mighty daughters, Xiomara, Violet, and Skylar who often cry (and that's okay!) about spilled milk, a wet diaper, or going to school. When they're not writing, you might find Kendra and Claire-Voe eating Spanish tapas, video gaming, or watching sappy rom-coms which often brings them to tears.
Most Children's Books Model A Traditional Family.
A study out of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of Education found that of 3,700 books surveyed, less than 1% were children's picture books containing LGBTQ+ content.
Mighty May Won't Cry Today offers something unique and relatable, a type of family that is rarely reflected in children's books: a story about two moms and their daughter May.
In this award-winning book, we're introduced to May, an imaginative and determined girl who tries not to shed a tear on her first day of school. May's first day is filled with many adventures and emotions as she is faced with unexpected, embarrassing and overwhelming moments. Young readers will relate to the experiences of May's day—riding the bus for the first time or forgetting her favorite drink at home.
As May is faced with challenges, young readers will delight in how she cleverly navigates the unexpected, resolves challenges in a positive way, and utilizes mindful techniques to work through her emotions. At last, May faces the ultimate challenge, and she cannot hold back the tears. But, with the help of her two moms, she finds out WHY it's OK to cry and that even adults cry both happy and sad tears!
Poetic rhymes, colorful designs and lovable characters elevate the story's positive message about embracing nontraditional families and being mindful when dealing with emotions like sadness, fear, embarrassment and frustration. This inclusive book is perfect for gay, lesbian and new parents with preschool kids, toddlers, or babies. It encourages future generations to embrace and celebrate the differences and emotions in all of us.
Joanna Bruyere Cabral had two primary goals when writing her first published story, Gio's Friendly Garden. First, she wanted to create connections. Second, she wanted to expose her children to personal responsibilities. As a mother of two wonderful little boys with very little free time, Joanna spent the late hours crafting a story that her youngest son, Giovanni, could relate to. "Oftentimes, children dislike reading because either they're not exposed to enough books and/or they don't feel a sense of connection to the text that they are reading," says Joanna. "And with this story, not only can my son Giovanni (a.k.a., Gio) relate to it by seeing his cute little face on each page, but it increases our home library, which he has open access to all day. And he really really loves it."
Joanna grew up in a small town in Northbridge, Massachusetts, where she excelled academically but says that most of her social awareness and respect came from her long career in athletics. "At a very young age, my parents enrolled me in things like t-ball and soccer. I grew up loving competition and working hard at being good at them. But in hindsight, the everlasting skills that I learned were not the physical ones, but the emotional and interpersonal values of having honest communications with my teammates, playing fair, being a respectful player, a humble winner, and a gracious loser. I am eager to share and am hopeful that my children will learn these same lessons down the road as they get older. And the truth is, good deeds may go unnoticed, but if you find the right friends in your life, they won't."
In Gio's Friendly Garden, join Gio and his companions as they venture from the cold and team up to help each other in unexpected and surprising ways. The story depicts the thoughtfulness of a little boy who naturally lends his warm garden to those in need and, in return, receives a surprise gift from those who considered his hospitality a gesture of grand kindness. Gio's Friendly Garden has won several awards including being recognized as a International Book Award Finalist, NIEA Finalist, and Readers' Favorite 5 Stars.
In 2006, Johnny DePalma founded Umbrelly Books Publishing where he continues to grow his personal vision of unique children's literature. To date, this award-winning author has released six books, created one popular, albeit bizarre holiday, and brought home first place from the Bay Area Olympiad of Arts. Recently, DePalma conceived and curated the Emergency Art Museum in his hometown of Campbell, CA.
Mr. DePalma's multi-award-winning book, 52: A Tale of Loneliness, was inspired by the incredible true story of the 52 Hz whale. Far beneath the beautiful sea, a unique whale sings a song that is all his own. But, there is just one small problem… no other whale can hear him sing! This lyrical tale of self-acceptance and individuality will delight readers of all ages. Told in short, poetic passages, this whale, simply known as 52, celebrates the joy he's found beneath the ocean waves. Yet, despite his hardship, 52 remains optimistic, introducing readers to the magic and beauty of his own invisible world.
Book Awards• National Indie Excellence Award WINNER — Best Picture Book: Ages 4-8• Independent Publishers Book Award WINNER — Children’s Picture Book: 7 & Under• Mom's Choice Awards® GOLD Award
Spark conversations of empathy, joy, and self-acceptance, in what critics are calling; "Poignant," "Original," "A beautiful tale for all ages." and "A joy to read!"
Bonus Alert: 52: A Tale of Loneliness also includes a downloadable companion audiobook, read by Emmy and Grammy award-winner Patton Oswalt!
For more information:
September's feature of the month is Michael Wong and his multi-award-winning children's picture book, I Wish You Happiness. This diverse and inclusive book offers loving and inspirational wishes to empower children to be the best they can be. Besides the lovely and encouraging messages, this timeless classic is beautifully illustrated with enchanting scenes and captivating images. I Wish You Happiness has sold over fifteen thousand copies worldwide and has won countless awards since its release in November 2020.
Discover why so many teachers, grandparents, parents, librarians, and children's book authors love and recommend I Wish You Happiness. It is available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and Spanish, German, Italian, French and bilingual editions.
Last but not least, the book is also available in 175 personalized editions! Yes, that's right. Personalized editions! Watch children's faces light up when they see their names on the cover and sprinkled throughout the pages. The most beautiful sound they can hear is their name. Your little ones are guaranteed to love and cherish this beautiful book.
Michael lives with his wife and two boys in Sydney, Australia. He is currently working with the talented illustrator, Zina Iugai, on part two of I Wish You Happiness due for release in 2022.
For more information:
Andrea Vaughan earned her master's degree in clinical social work from Boston University and spent the majority of her career working in higher education. She has also been teaching the public about the prevention of child sexual abuse for the past fifteen years. Andrea is a key member of the speaker’s bureau for S.E.S.A.M.E., a national organization dedicated to preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment of students by teachers and school staff.
As an author, Andrea's award-winning book, Invisible Target: Breaking the Cycle of Educator Sexual Abuse, details the account of one girl's experience of ultimate betrayal. She also hosts the podcast, Andrea Speaks Out, which shines a light on healing from and prevention of sexual abuse. Her hope is that with education and prevention, every child will live in a world safe from abuse.
Andrea's passion for helping children, background in social work, and sound healing joined forces to create her first children's book - Victoria and the Big, Brave Breath. In this award-winning book, we're introduced to Victoria who worries ... A LOT! She worries about trying new food, playing in the park, her hands sweating, her tummy hurting, and her knees shaking. But with the help from her favorite teddy bear, Baxter, Victoria learns that her BIG worries can get much, much smaller.
This beautifully illustrated book will teach young children the importance and benefits of mindful breathing. Teachers, parents, clinicians and other helpful grown-ups can practice this easy technique with their children to create calmer families, schools, and communities. Andrea's dream is for children everywhere to have calmer, more peaceful childhoods.
For more information: www.andreaspeaksout.com
Kretel Arzola grew up in a small town on the island of Cuba. As a child, she loved painting on scraps of canvas and found her inspiration everywhere. She also loved reading and spending time at the library, where her mother worked. Kretel wrote her first story at the age of six, and she never forgot the excitement of her newfound passion.
Kretel's children, like herself, love bedtime stories with sprinkles of magic and adventures. That is when she decided to write again. Kretel knows how vital literature is for a child's development and how big of a role our imagination plays in our creativity and how we view the world. She tells tales in English as well as her native language, Spanish. Her books feature magical dreamland visits, unique and unconditional friendships, and more.
Kretel's life experiences have shaped and molded her style and creativity. Her vision is to inspire and create positive change in the world through her books. Kretel truly believes every child is unique and is worth celebrating.
In Like My Dad!, little Abel explains why he believes his dad is secretly a SUPERHERO with incredible SUPERPOWERS. He's strong, intelligent, and courageous. Hmm. Maybe Abel's dad is a superhero. Read and decide for yourself.
After reading this book, kids can write letters and draw pictures on the last pages of the PAPERBACK edition and present it as a gift for dad. Younger children can print their hands and feet instead to show their LOVE.
For more information:
Alyssa Nicole is an elementary school teacher with a passion for the environment and marine life. She has always been a big fan of Disney movies and inspirational stories with powerful messages. Nicole was inspired to write the Protector of the Ocean to raise awareness of the effects of pollution on our environment and to inspire children (and adults!) to protect our world.
Protector of the Ocean follows an adventurous girl named Kai who loves to spend time by the ocean. As a young child, she meets a sweet turtle friend named Bella, and they play together in a beautiful, clean ocean. As Kai gets older, she witnesses the effects of pollution on the habitat of her friend and comes back to help protect and preserve the ocean for her and all the other creatures.
The story shares important messages about friendship, protecting the environment, helping others, and empowering children to follow their dreams and make a positive impact. The female lead character who pursues a STEM career is a great role model for girls. The book is perfect for preschool and elementary school children (ages 3-8), but the powerful messages of protecting our planet and making a difference will resonate with any age. With colorful and vibrant illustrations and endearing characters, this book is sure to be a children's favorite that they will want to read over and over again!
For more information: www.alyssanicolebooks.com
Lauren Grabois Fischer is the founder and author of The Be Books. The Be Books is a children's book publishing company that believes in empowering and educating our youth to be proud of who they are and to live a positive and peaceful life.
From a very young age, Lauren dreamed of becoming a children's book author. As soon as she was able to lift a pencil and a crayon, she began writing poetry, short stories and drawing illustrations to all of her work. Throughout her childhood, she continued to write, imagine and create. Lauren later graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She taught for nine wonderful years, six of them in Arizona and three in south Florida where she currently resides. After almost a decade of teaching, Lauren decided it was time to stay home. Being a mom and spending quality time with her two children was what mattered most.
With her husband's encouragement, Lauren transitioned and achieved her goal to becoming a children's book author. Lauren's work focuses on empowering young children to love who they are, to be kind to everyone that they meet, to respect all living creatures, to feel like they can make a positive change in this world, and to always be true to themselves. As an elementary educator, she knows how important reading is and how an inspiring book can make a huge difference. As a mom to two amazing kiddos, Lauren is always looking to create books that she would want her children to be reading. Every book that she writes has a positive message and an inspirational lesson to learn.
The fifth book in The Be Books series, The Light Within Me, is an inspirational book that empowers children to find the light within themselves and use that light to make a positive change in this world — something our world desperately needs right now. Through kindness and acceptance, we can make this world a more peaceful place.
"We cannot fully control our thoughts, but we can control what we choose to put our focus and energy on. Every person has the challenge of learning whether to focus on the positive or the negative. It is very easy to see the pain and hurt in the world, but it is also just as easy to focus on the love and beauty around us. When enough of us work on seeing the good and being the kindness and light in the world, we will see a dramatic shift in positivity in our news and in our daily lives. Teach your children. Empower your children. Inspire your children. They are our future. They are the ones that will make this world a better place." - Lauren Grabois Fischer
Writing has been part of Temístocles Díaz's life since his younger years growing up in Panama City, Panama. That passion shaped his professional career as an author, writer, and film producer and resulted in Inner Truth Books. This series of children's books help strengthen emotional intelligence through stories that teach self-empowerment, authenticity, empathy, and other important values. Temi believes everyone is unique in this world, so it is essential for kids and adults to preserve their authenticity to be able to achieve their full potential.
The first book in the series, An Inner Truth, demonstrates the power and influence of words. Words can cause children to doubt and feel insecure. But they can also build, encourage and empower, giving them the necessary tools that will allow them to overcome and face challenges in life with bravery, optimism and confidence. In this book, you will meet Rachel, a young girl whose feelings become influenced by a family member's personal fears. Rachel begins to feel insecure, thinking that nobody wants to be her friend. Her mother and her teacher work together to help Rachel see that her strength lies in the light that she carries within. This book shows kids that by being themselves, they will always belong!
Check the links below to learn more about Temi and the newest edition to the series - Who Would You Rather Be?.
For more information:
A schoolteacher and an avid children's book author, Alicia Ortego, has a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years working with children. Alicia is a mother of two and a firm believer in the power of educating children at home to cultivate their character and create awareness in them from an early age.
Alicia's books about empathy, kindness, and compassion are an embodiment of her vast experience as a teacher and mother, her love for kids, and an overpowering passion for instilling in them a reading culture.
In Kindness is My Superpower, little superhero Lucas will learn what kindness means and understand what it is like to be kind, sensitive, caring, and generous. This charming story with peaceful rhymes and colorful illustrations will explain to your child that it is okay to make a mistake and say I'm sorry. Lucas will teach your child good manners and positive behavior at home, at school, in the store, and on the playground.
Learn more about Alicia below and check out her second book in the series, Breathing is My Superpower, teaching children how to control their emotions, especially when they are feeling upset, angry, or anxious.
For more information:
Cynthia Levinson was in high school when Audrey Faye Hendricks marched to jail, and she knows she would not have been as brave as Audrey. But when Cynthia met Audrey forty-five years later, she knew she had to write a book about her for young readers. Cynthia spent more than three years interviewing marchers and researching the events.
The Youngest Marcher retells Audrey's story when she becomes the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963. This moving picture book proves you’re never too little to make a difference!
Nine-year-old Audrey intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!
Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident, bold and brave as can be, and hers is a remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Cynthia's book We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March tells this story for older readers. She has also written about social justice in Watch Out for Flying Kids: How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community. Her books have won numerous awards, including the Jane Addams Award, the NAACP Image Honor, and recognition from states and national teacher organizations. She and her husband divide their time between Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.
For more information: www.cynthialevinson.com
Delanda and her husband Terrence have one daughter, who loves to have a bedtime story read to her every night! After years of reading, the couple began searching for books with more diverse characters in topics focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). They found very few options in these categories and decided it was time to create their own story. The wife and husband duo are excited to create stories and experiences highlighting inclusive images all children and parents will love.
In More Than a Princess, you will meet Princess Kiana. Guided by her fairy godmother, Kiana receives a chance to explore life outside a castle. She explores a future career as an astronaut, a doctor, an engineer, and a designer - because who says she can't be more than just a princess?
More Than a Princess is a fairy tale, aiming to show girls worldwide all they can achieve, with vision and dedication, focused in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Through the lens of an African American / Black princess, this book offers the reader a rhyming kids’ book that showcases careers in a modern way.
Are you looking for STEM books for girls? More Than a Princess is the perfect educational gift for young children and early readers of all races. It is engaging, educational, and inspiring!
A native and resident of Boston, MA, Delanda holds an MBA from New York University and a Bachelors' from Northeastern University. She is an avid reader and world traveler.
For more information: sydneyandcoleman.com
As a children's picture book author, teacher, parent, and grandparent, Professor Stork believes picture books can help change the world for the better. They can help make the world a friendlier place by empowering children to make a difference. Leading the charge will be children ages five through eleven. During these formative years children are most excited to learn how they can, individually and with friends, make a difference. The tools we give them during these years last a lifetime, and when the time is right, and their interest rises to the surface, they will know how to make a positive difference in the world. Professor Stork's mission is to provide parents with picture books that deliver messages and entertainment they'll be proud to place in the hands of their children.
Penelope and Jack, Together Apart is a children’s book that takes place in the time of the pandemic during social distancing, mask wearing and all of the uncertainty that comes along with it. It is also a beautiful story about friendship and kindness that teaches children to see the good and positive in the different situations they may face in life. It is fun and empowering and reminds us we can still smile behind our masks. It also explores the power of family and how sticking by one another helps us achieve our dreams. With a little bit of love and ingenuity covid doesn’t stand a chance!
Reading Together Apart is the perfect way for parents and children to have a positive experience sharing their feelings about facing tough times, and seeing the inevitable light at the end of the tunnel. While social distancing on the 147th floor of his family’s 'above the clouds' apartment, Jack develops a close friendship with Penelope, who lives in the building across the street. Cleverly communicating across the empty space between their balconies, Jack and Penelope launch a friendship in the most unlikely of scenarios. With a little help from their families, human connection and kindness prevail. Together Apart reminds us that even in challenging times there is no stopping a child’s ingenuity and love. Parents will be reminded of the spark of optimism and joy we all felt as children. Now is the perfect time to share these feelings.
For more information: www.madstorkpublishing.com
Pragya Tomar is a passionate children's author and the founder of PenMagicBooks Publishing. She has a love of storytelling, imbuing her stories with a magical touch and fantastical adventures that quickly make them favorites of kids of all ages. She believes that stories are a wonderful way of inspiring kids and introducing them to reading at a young age, and she hopes that her books will touch their hearts and make their childhoods that little bit more special.
In Pragya's It's Not Easy Being a Lazy Bug, Bug loves doing nothing. He never gets dressed, or makes his own food, or even goes to school! But when his parents decide to stop doing everything for him, Bug soon discovers that being lazy isn't such a good idea after all… and that becoming independent is fun after all!
It is a hilarious and enjoyable tale that inspires kids to do things for themselves and not be lazy. Featuring vivid illustrations and an upbeat theme, Bug's delightful story is perfect for teaching young children about the downsides of being lazy and the rewarding satisfaction that comes from taking control and being independent.
When not writing, Pragya works in the Animation Industry as a Visual FX Artist. There she's brought her magic touch to critically-acclaimed feature films and shows including Disney's Bolt, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Star Wars, Transformers 3, Kungfu Panda, Nickelodeon's TV show WallyKazam and Shimmer and Shine.
Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Pragya came to the US to study film, and she now enjoys living in California.
For more information: www.penmagicbooks.com
Laurie Wright is a bestselling children’s author on a mission to empower people from around the world one book at a time. She empowers children through her books, that gently and with humor coach kids in self-regulation. She empowers writers by getting them to step up, take action and publish those books! In a weekly podcast 'The Writer’s Way' she shares stories of other everyday authors for inspiration.
“The most important thing I do is raise my three kids. They make me laugh, make me tired, and occasionally make me hide in the closet with Doritos. But they are still the most important thing I do.
The second most important thing I do is to help children around the world learn how to handle their emotions. I’m thrilled to share that my books have been, or are currently being, translated into 8 other languages and sold all over the world. EEK! It’s still hard for me to believe!
Thirdly, I help writers to create and grow strong book businesses. No matter what stage you’re in, I can help! I geek out about all things publishing, so you don’t have to. See the courses I offer HERE!
I do all of these things while trying to maintain harmony in my life and trying to pee alone!
The days fly by, and I try to capture the beautiful moments as they happen, as often as I can.”
For more information: www.lauriewrightauthor.com
https://youtu.be/FZOtXCJ4TjYRead by Walter Koenig (Chekov from Star Trek).
Julia Inserro is a mom of three littles, living abroad with her husband and a handful of cats. She is a writer, reader, photographer, and explorer. Her first book, Nonni's Moon, was awarded the Readers' Favorite 2018 GOLD medal winner for children's books (K-3).
Now Julia introduces us to Lindy Loom and her fantastical, imaginative adventures in A Unicorn Ate My Homework. Lindy sees stories everywhere, and she loves to share them with everyone!
Julia shares her inspiration for creating Lindy Loom.
"Kids these days are much savvier than when I was growing up. The imaginations they have seem limitless, especially when coming up with excuses, right? I mean, it was the poor dog who always got blamed for eating one's homework when I was a kid. But now, the sky's the limit. Maybe it was an alien, or a fire-breathing dragon, or yes, even the mystical unicorn.
For most kids, imagination has no bounds, but as we grow up, that fun, wild part of us seems to get buried. It gets lost under the worries of adulthood. Pushed aside for grocery lists, bank balances, car repairs, career goals, and parenting concerns. But once in a while, when we sit still and let our imagination rise to the surface again, we can be transported anywhere we want to go.
Encouraging our kids to use their imaginations will create better scientists, engineers, teachers, doctors, innovators, artists, parents and people.
Hope and dreams live in imagination. Let them soar."
For more information:
Author Misty Black enjoys picture books as much as her children do, if not more! Why? Because a good book can take you anywhere in the world! (No need to get out of bed!)
Misty has been winning awards for writing since fifth grade. She enjoys reading, playing board games, gardening, and spending time with her husband and 3 children. She is secretly a part-time tooth fairy--and so her inspiration for My Mom the Fairy was born.
When asked why she writes, she said, "Books should be fun and exciting. Children deserve to love reading, and I want to be a part of that."
Misty's newest book, My Mom the Fairy, Book 2 in the Fizzle Fun series, is full of fun and adventure. Join Sage, her unicorn Daisy, and her part-time fairy mom in their quest for more magical Fizzy Flakes. Will they be able to complete their journey and return home, or will the mischievous pixies stop them?
For more information:
From Me to We: Sharing Your Happy teaches children important life lessons. Together, we can achieve so much more. Together, we’re stronger. Together, we’ll succeed. Young children and their loved ones will revel in the encouraging rhymes and beautiful illustrations of this Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient.
Writing under a number of pen names, Eevi Jones is a multi-award winning & bestselling children’s book author, and the founder of Children’s Book University™, where she teaches loving moms, dads, grandparents, and teachers how to write & publish their own magical story.
Eevi has helped aspiring authors from all walks of life––from lawyers, neuroscientists, and filmmakers to parents and grandparents––at all stages of their writing careers. Her signature method draws from the writer’s own experiences and past circumstances to influence children’s lives in an incredible and positive way.
For more information:
Click here to purchase From Me to We: Sharing Our Happy on Amazon.
(Eevi dedicates 50% of all proceeds to Pencils Of Promise to help provide little ones with access to quality education, regardless of their gender, race, or social-economic backgrounds.)
Claire E. Hallinan, 5th-grade teacher and the author of My Breath Loves Me, comes out with her newest release Where My Breath Loves Me. Claire started working on this project because she cares about the well-being of children. She teaches mindfulness in the classroom, along with regular subjects in elementary school.
“Mindfulness is a tool for everyone in the world. With daily practices, we become curious to what is happening right in the moment. Clarity of the moment helps our mind to be calm, gentle, and compassionate. Best of all, recognizing each moment enhances our lives. With mindfulness, young children maximize learning experiences and that enriches their personal discovery.”
Claire is a writer, an entrepreneur, a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor, and a National Board Certified Teacher. Claire has many published works and her first children’s book, My Breath Loves Me, is an award-winning finalist in the Children’s Mind/Body/Spirit category of the 2019 International Book Awards.
For more information:
Henry Cole. I love his art! From adored elementary school science teacher to an author and illustrator with over 100 published works, Cole's artwork is simple yet stunning. Cole’s black-and-white artwork provides so much depth and detail that color is an afterthought. One of my favorites is Try a Little Kindness, a book about different animals helping each other in various humorous situations. From books that capture your attention with no words and only illustrations to colorful books that bring the joy of science and nature to children, Cole’s work has influenced millions globally.
For more information: www.henrycole.net
Jacquelyn Stagg's work has cultivated kindness in a generation of children and adults. We believe in her message that “kindness is the single most powerful thing that we can teach our children.”
A new mother and freelance graphic designer by trade, Jacquelyn Stagg set out to write a series of children's books on a topic near and dear to her heart. Kindness.
In the "Kindness Starts With You" series, your child will learn how easy it can be to spread kindness throughout their day. From taking turns on the swing to including everyone in the game - these storybooks show that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted!
Jacquelyn is someone I look up to in high esteem. Beside kindness, she is teaching her daughter and children everywhere to think outside the box, to take risks while finding ways to continue doing what you love.
“Here’s to accidentally becoming a Children’s Book Author!”
For more information:
CyAn Platas, an Argentinian illustrator/graphic designer and art teacher, loves creating children's books. She enjoys digital art but also loves pencils, watercolors, ink and oil painting.
"Anytime is the right time to draw: in the bus, in the park or while my little baby is sleeping at home."
You can see some of her art here:
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