Showing posts from August, 2014

Wednesday Raves: Kailee Finds Magic in Words, a delightful new picture book by Allyn Stotz

With all the new books coming out for kids, it's hard to choose which one to buy so let me make it easier for you. Louisiana author, Allyn Stotz, new picture book, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words, is the one your little ones will love. Kailee is a little girl who would rather play than read. She thinks reading is "boring", which is something every grand parent and parent faces with their kids at some point. But Kailee's mother insists, and that's when the magic begins. Drawn to the colorful illustrations, Kailee runs her fingers over them and is transported to a magical world where she meets new friends and discovers new wonders.
This is a great book to introduce young kids to the magic they can only find in words. I fell in love with Allyn's first book which featured Kailee titled The Pea in the Peanut Butter. In that picture book Kailee refuses to eat green foods. It was delightful, and it received a thumbs up from my grand daughter who laughed each time she r…

Book Release and Blog Hop: The Wait is Almost over for My PB, Oliver's Hunger Dragon

My first picture book, Oliver's Hunger Dragon, is scheduled for release this week. Thank you to all who both helped fund and support this book through Fundly. For those of you who do not know about this book, it is a story about a boy named Oliver. Oliver discovers he has a hunger dragon that rumbles and grumbles and mkes him too tired to play. Poor Oliver thinks he is the only one with a hunger dragon in his belly, but is he?
If you follow this blog, you know how hunger ravages one in five kids in America. That number makes me angry. Kids deserve food, shelter, and love. But, when I went to find books for kids and about hungry kids, the selection was dismal. That is when Oliver's Hunger Dragon began its journey from an idea, to the text, to revision, to more revision, to submission to both agents and publishers, to numerous rejections, to a decision to self-publish, to Fundly, to friends and supporters, to a final revision, to Halo Publishing, to the amazing illustrator, Amy…

Wednesday's Rant: Drunk Drivers Kill Kids

No one wants to talk about kids dying, but the case in Texas being touted as a revenge killing reminds us that drunk drivers not only drive drunk, but they kill kids.In 2011, according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), 226 kids died because of a drunk driver. A little over half of them were the passengers of a drunk driver. While that number seems small when compared to the 10,000 who die of gunshots each year or the 2,000 who die of cancer, I can't help but think how these deaths are senseless and preventable. 
In the case I mentioned in Texas, the father of two boys, 11 and 12 years of age, is accused of shooting the drunk driver who ran down his kids moments after the crash. While I do not know the specifics, I can't help but feel the pain that father went through when he saw his boys dying in the street. How senseless and how preventable. 
That night the driver who killed these boys chose to drink. Now, there is nothing wrong with having a drink or two. That is a p…

The Dirty Business of Child Trafficking: Child Soldiers

When you think of children, do pictures of playgrounds, soccer practice, a child's smile, or a Happy Meal come to mind? Or, do you think of guns, soldiers, killing, and death?  Guns, soldiers, killing, and death, you ask. Yes. That is what is being demanded from approximately 300,000 children under the age of 18 years who are forced or coerced into becoming child soldiers. According to UNICEF, there are 30 conflicts in the world right now where child soldiers are used as armed "combatants, messengers, porters and cooks, and for forced sexual services." The Continent of Africa has the most child soldiers with Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda on the list. Children are both forced and recruited by governmental armies, militias, and anti-government rebels.
Recruited? Yes. While it is true that children are routinely kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, some are not. War is a terrible thing, and children in the…

The Dirty Business of Child Trafficking Series: Another Form of Slavery

In my opinion, Americans for the most part, have a different view of slavery than the rest of the world. We can be a slave to our job, to our family, or to the government. But we don't tend to think of slavery as an institution anymore. Why? Simply put, our everyday lives are not affected by it, and when we are not affected by something, it is not a priority. But since child trafficking is slavery, maybe those of us who don't see it as a priority need to open our eyes and put a stop to it. I admit, until recently child trafficking was not a priority of mine either. Oh, the threat was always there. My mother drilled the thought of someone stealing us away if we strayed too far from home into our heads at a very young age. It terrified her. Not because she had  been a victim, but because she could put herself in that situation. Her father, who was unable to care for his family during the Depression, gave his children to an orphanage. Because of that experience, she could ration…

Wednesday's Rave: Zoo on the Moon

I am excited to share this week's rave with you. It is a picture book by Robin Martin-Duttman titled ZOO ON THE MOON.

I have been hearing nattering about this book for several months, but could never remember to order it. Then came a contest, and I won it! And, while I am thrilled that I finally won something, I am discouraged that I didn't order it when it first came out.
This delightful book, a Purple Dragonfly Award Honorable Mention, is built on an outlandish idea of a zoo on the moon. Told in rhyme through the perspective of a Meerkat, it introduces young readers to the wonder of weightlessness and space through dancing giraffes, gliding penguins, and flying elephants. Never has science been so much fun! 
The author's playful use of words captures the readers attention, and the colorful and playful illustrations will make them giggle with pure joy. If you have a little one at home, pick up this book. Nothing makes someone's heart happier than a child's laugh,…

New Book Release: Who Am I? How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, by Megan Cyrulewski

Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, by Megan Cyrulewski is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks. It has been estimated that 1.3 million women suffer post-partum depression and anxiety every year. Megan's PPD led her to stays in the psych ward, divorce, emotional abuse, domestic violence, and finally to law school. This book not only chronicles her journey through PPD, but it tells how how she managed to graduate from law school while caring for her beautiful little girl.
Author Bio Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old. After attending Grand Valley State University, Megan eventually settled into a career in the non-profit sector for eight years. She decided to change careers and went back to school to get her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While in school, she documented her divorce, child custody battle and postpartum depression struggles in her memoir. Me…