Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Who Loves You by Jennifer Dewing


"Who loves You" can be personalized to your children's names and you can include everyone that loves your child. I was very lucky to recieve this book personalized to my daughters. They loved it. Each page had a beautiful calm picture and a sweet ryhme that told them how each one of our family members loved them better than different beautiful things in nature.

 Genesis' (4) favorite part of the book is when the book tells her how much her puppy loves her. It goes like this "Who loves Jadyn and Genesis? Shadow loves Jadyn and Genesis! How much? So much!" When we reach this page I am not allowed to say anything as she "reads" it. 

We have read this several times since we received it (multiple times a day).  Jadyn (9) was amazed that her name was in the book and all of her family members. She wanted to know how they knew everyone's name.

This book  is a perfect gift for the children in your life. It will make them feel special and loved. Its a perfect book bedtime book to send the children to dreamland. They can read it when you are not around and be reminded of all of the people who love them. Isn't that what we want as parents? For our children to always know how much we love them?

This book can be found on I See Me where you can take a virtual tour. All of the books on I See Me can be personalized with your child's name.

Visit the author's website  www.jenniferdewing.com and her facebook page at: Jennifer Dewing-Childrens Author

To win a free copy of this book go to Wild About Reading and enter the giveaway.




*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interview with Jennifer Dewing Author of Who Loves Me Personalized Book




Tell us about yourself:
I reside in the land of 10,000 Lakes with my husband Jeff and children, J.J., Lauren and Jack. Everyday life with three kids has filled me abundantly with love and inspiration (and a tad bit of sleep deprivation!).

My original career was in Children’s Toys after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1995. I have worked in Product Development and Marketing for kid’s brands ranging from Matchbox cars, Madeline dolls and Fisher-Price toys.  I loved the Toy Industry, but always had an avid interest in Children’s books. I pursued my dream to become a Children’s author and began taking writing classes at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2005. 

I have always loved going on adventures, whether it be working on a Dinosaur Dig, climbing the Great Wall of China or sky diving (yes, I have tried all three!). I think books allow children to step into any adventure at any time. Their imaginations take flight. They learn. They grow. They blossom. It’s a beautiful thing.

Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you:
1. I went on a Dinosaur Dig in Montana the summer I graduated from college.
2. I've gone skydiving.
3. I climbed the Great Wall of China!

What inspired you to write the books?
I have been involved in a Bible Study the past several years and I was inspired to write "God Loves You!" after studying the Gospel of John and the Book of Isaiah. It's important for kids to realize that they are God's special and unique creations! The book is appropriate for Christian and Jewish readers.



What are your favorite children's  authors/books?
-Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat... my Grandpa Jack read that to me all the time when I was little. Now I read it to my 2-year-old son Jack! It is his favorite book.
-Chris Van Dusen "If I Built a Car"
-Melanie Watt "Scaredy Squirrel"
-Judy Blume "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing"
-E.B. White "Charlotte's Web"
-Maia Haag "My Very Own Name"
-I also have a special love for "Cedric and the Dragon" since it was illustrated by my good friend from 7th Grade, Nina Victor Crittenden
-Gertrude Chandler Warner "The Boxcar Children"- I am currently reading this book with my son J.J. and daughter Lauren... I remember that I loved reading this as a child.
-Louisa May Alcott "Little Women"- I have three sisters and the four of us girls always loved this book growing up. I recently read a historical fiction  book for my book club called "The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott". I suggest this book for anyone who loved reading "Little Women" as a girl.

What advice would you give other young aspiring writers? 
This is not a craft of immediate gratification! Success comes with a lot of work, study, critique and patience. Don't get discouraged by rejections (there are likely to be many). Keep at it and follow your heart!


What are you working on now?
I have several more personalized books coming out with I See Me!, Inc. The next one launches this Christmas already! Mati Rose McDonough is currently illustrating the book. There are also four more titles coming out in 2012... all are currently in process of being illustrated by various artists. I LOVE seeing the illustrations as they are completed and watching the books come to life.          


Additionally, I have about ten manuscripts in various stages of development. I have been studying at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and working on these manuscripts with my mentor, author Lisa Bullard. I recently got a very promising letter from an editor saying that one of my manuscripts was "clever" and "under consideration"... I jumped for joy and am hoping the story comes to fruition!


 What do you hope your books will impart to children? 
The common theme among all the I See Me! books I've written is that they are meant to make children feel special and important. The "Who Loves Me?" book tells children just how much they are loved by all of their family members. The "God Loves You!" book tells children that they are God's special and unique creations. And, the newly released "Super, Incredible Big Brother" and "Super, Incredible Big Sister" books are meant to make big sisters and big brothers feel important and loved when a new baby is born. I also have a "Christmas Bear for Me" and "Hanukkah Bear for Me" books available for the holidays, fyi.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
The question is... what didn't I want to be? A newscaster, astronaut, doctor, business executive, waitress, lounge singer, photographer... you name it and I wanted to "be it" at one point in my life!

What obstacles have you experienced  in your writing journey? 
So far, I have over 50 rejection letters and emails! I have learned that it is not a trade that comes with immediate success.

Where can people buy your books? Do you have a web page or fan page? 
People can buy my books online at www.iseeme.com. They are also available at several retailers such as Pottery Barn Kids, Neiman Marcus, Signals Catalog, etc. I have six titles out currently, all of which come personalized with the child's name on the cover and inside pages. I have loved working with I See Me! on these titles and I feel very honored that they have won multiple Mom's Choice and Creative Child awards! 

The "Who Loves Me?" book that will be won in the giveaway can be personalized for one child, a set of Twins or for a pair of siblings. You can take a virtual tour of the book at: Who Loves Me Virtual Tour 
 My website www.jenniferdewing.com is in development and will launch by September 1st. I recently put up a facebook page at: Jennifer Dewing-Childrens Author I hope people stop by and "like" the page!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Hatastrophe


Hatastrophe is another lovely true story by Jennifer Houghton. Pip and her family are going on vacation. Pip and her sister are very excited. They get some new traveling clothes but one of the items is a hat for each. Pip does not like hats! You will go on her adventure with her and her dreaded hat.

This cute story is targeted to younger children. They will love the simple language and beautiful pictures.

It is available by mail order within Australia from: http://www.houghtoncreations.com/

For overseas buyers from the publisher: http://www.fortysouth.com/au/drupal/node/179

To win a free copy please go to Wild About Reading and enter the giveaway.

*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Caterpillars in the Kitchen

This is a very sweet and engaging true story about a young girl named Pip (Jennifer Houghton) who loves bugs. She especially likes the Emperor Gum Moth caterpillar. She makes a mistake and then has to scramble to fix it.
This is a story younger children will love and want to read again. My four year old especially loved the end where she learned about the life cycle of the Emperor Gum Moth. My children also picked up on some words that were different than what they were used to hearing and it gave me the opportunity to talk to them about Australia.
"Caterpillars in the Kitchen" is beautifully and authentically illustrated.  Your child will love studying each picture.

It is available by mail order within Australia from: http://www.houghtoncreations.com/

For overseas buyers from the publisher: http://www.fortysouth.com/au/drupal/node/179

To win a free copy please go to Wild About Reading and enter the giveaway.


*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Jennifer Houghton Author of Caterpillars in the Kitchen and Hatastrophe

Tell me a bit about you.
I am a mother and grandmother. I have 3 sons & 6 grandchildren. I live alone, with my cat & dog, since my partner died in 2003. 
I’m a bit of a collector. I like stuff. My grandkids say "Nanny has everything. " I’m a bit out of the ordinary. I love snakes and have a snake handling
certificate. I am terrified of spiders. I like to challenge myself. I’m different & I like it that way. I have a ‘day job’. I’ve worked as an Administrative Assistant for 11.5 years.

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Eclectic, passionate, fun, mischievous, caring

Tell me about your books. How did you come up with the ideas?
My books are based on true stories. The character, Pip, is me as a child. "Caterpillars in the Kitchen" (CitK) was published in 2008. I had lots of orders for Christmas and the books arrived on 24th December so I spent Christmas Eve personally delivering books. CitK is in it’s second printing. "Hatastrophe" was published in 2010 and was launched by our City Mayor.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My Mum. She died when I was 12yo and I would give anything to see
her again and show her my books.

What were your favorite children's books growing up?
Winnie the Pooh. I was given a set of four books and I read them over
& over. I can still quote many of the rhymes.
My sister had a lot of Enid Blyton books.  "Coles Funny Picture
Books"  I used to read those too.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love spending time with my kids, grandkids, friends & pets.
I like to be creative. My other main hobby is photography. I also make
jewellery. I love travelling, kayaking, swimming and snorkelling.

Why did you want to be a children's book author?
I always loved to write and wanted to write a book. I didn’t know what kind of book until one day I was showing some of my journal writing to a friend and she read the piece I’d written about the caterpillars and she suggested it would make a great children’s book. The idea grew from there and the first publisher to see the manuscript published it. The feedback I got from CitK inspired me to keep writing children’s
books.

What advice would you give other aspiring children's book
authors?
Go for it! If you are worried about how your story will be received, find
some children and read it to them. They are a tough but honest
audience. My grandchildren fight over who is going to be first to read
my next story.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an
interview? How would you answer that question?
That’s a tough one because I never imagined that anyone would want
to interview me.


Anything else you would like to share?
I also write short stories which I enter in competitions and have had an article I wrote published in a magazine. I am a hands on author. I do my own public relations and advertising and I sell my books and associated merchandise (caps, greeting cards etc) at local markets. No moment is more special than when a child says ‘you’re my
favourite author and I have ALL your books’ or the child who ran over and asked ‘can I touch you?’ and just held my hand. Money can’t buy that.


Where can people buy your books? Do you have a web page or
fan page?
My books are stocked in many bookshops in Tasmania, Australia and
are available by mail order within Australia from:
or for overseas buyers, direct from my publisher at:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: “Happythoughts are everywhere”

“Happythoughts are everywhere”  is another book by 2011 AusMumpreneur Awards Finalist Nicky Johnston.
 In this book we follow Bayden on his search for happy thoughts. He physically searches his home because he is not sure where to find them.  He does not find happythoughts anywhere but he does find several special things like family photos and a favorite toy.
During his search he realizes that he had not worried the entire time he was finding all the special things. He had been focused on positive and happy things. He learns that by changing his thoughts he can change the way he feels. Once again the book ends with tips on how your little worrier can find their own happy thoughts.
This book is a must have for parents, children, teachers and mental health professionals. In fact Happythoughts are everywhere and Go Away Mr. Worrythoughts should be bought as a set.  This book will help children learn that they control the power of Happythoughts!  They are superheroes that can change the way they feel by changing their thoughts.
You can buy this book from www.nickysart.com.au
Visit the author's Facebook   Facebook Fan Page
If you would like to win this book visit Wild About Reading and enter the giveaway!


*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: It Wasn't Me!


“It Wasn’t Me!” is a delightful story written by 12 year-old, Analisse and illustrated by another young girl, Lauren Filzenger. 

The story of Scotty the mouse is told in a charming rhyme. We learn that Scotty spends his time lying, cheating, stealing and being just plain “bad”. He commits a terrible offense and tries to get out of trouble by blaming someone else and saying it wasn’t him.

This story teaches children the importance of always telling the truth and "owning up" when you have done something wrong. Being truthful is an extremely important lesson for all kids. Children will love to read this story and see the adorable big-eared mice. Parents will love the lesson their children will learn.

I look forward to more books from this talented young author.


It Wasn’t Me! is available on Amazon.com,BarnesandNoble.com, and through my publisher’s (Outskirts Press) bookstore, as well as some other online book retailers. My author website is outskirtspress.com/analissereyesand more information is available there. I also have a  Facebook Fan Page 
where you can show your support!



Do you want to win a free copy of this book? Go to Wild About Reading.


*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interview with Analisse Reyes- Author of "It Wasn't Me!"




Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m fourteen years old and I live in California with my parents and four brothers. I love laughing, remembering, eating good food, and, of course, writing! I’m horrible at drawing, sustaining laughter, waiting for things, and sports involving balls. I like to people-watch and think of stories that explain what people do—it’s always interesting to me.

Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you?

·   Little things that aren’t perfect bother me.
·   I love Disney Pixar movies!                                     
·   I go from shy and quiet to crazy and loud in an instant.


What inspired you to write "
It Wasn’t Me!"
?

 
My children’s book actually started out as a school assignment—something I never thought would be published. The assignment was to create a children’s book, so I went all out (although my artistic skills didn’t show through, which is why I had a friend of mine do the illustrations when the book was published). With some encouragement from teachers and parents, I decided to go through with the project and actually publish "It Wasn’t Me!" the year after I had written it. The actual story came from an idea I knew all kids could relate to—not telling the truth after they’d done something wrong. I cannot stress enough how much encouragement I’ve received from teachers and parents, not just when it came to the book, but in everything. My second grade teacher made me promise to her that when I published a book someday, I would dedicate it to her. I never forgot how confident she was that I would, so today It Wasn’t Me! is dedicated to her.

What are your favorite children's authors/books?

I’ve been told my favorite book as a child was Jane Cowen-Fletcher’s Baby Angels, and my mom created a photo book based on the book with pictures of me to go along with the words. It was so cute that she sent it to the author, who was flattered. Another children’s author I love is Roald Dahl (I think I read The BFG 3 times in elementary school)!

What advice would you give other young aspiring writers?

Use your age to your advantage. Most people are interested to hear about young authors, so don’t think you can’t do the same things others can. If you like to write, keep writing. It’s said that young people are the leaders of tomorrow, but I like to think we’re the leaders of today. No matter what you write, you can always inspire other people, young and old, to pursue their dreams. There are lots of publishers who value young writers’ work, so if you really want to write, look for those.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I like this question! I’d have to say, I’ve always wanted to be asked what super power I would want. I think about it all the time and I can never decide between teleportation and control of time. People always say they’d want to fly, but why fly somewhere when you could snap and be there in an instant? And control of time… who wouldn’t want to freeze-frame in the middle of class, move people around for kicks, go home, take a nap, then come back and start up again like nothing happened? I think it’d be pretty cool. Especially if I could take friends with me while everyone else was frozen. If I had to choose between teleporting and time-freezing, I think I’d probably pick teleporting, since I can apparently somehow move from one place to another without my friends noticing—it must be my destiny.

How old were you when you began to write stories?

I’m pretty sure I started writing as soon as I knew how. I remember being four or five and asking my mom to type up a poem I had written about a frog. We still have most of the short stories I wrote on random sheets of paper, and it’s fun to look back at them and wonder where I got all my ideas.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

I hate to say it, but I don’t do much. I’ve started cheerleading, which I’m really excited about, but other than that, I don’t do much other than spend time with friends and family.
  
Do you have any other books you are working on? If so give us a sneak peek.

Right now, I’m not actually working on anything new, but I definitely hope to write more in the future. I’ve been thinking about writing for a more mature audience, so we’ll see what happens!

What do you hope children learn from your book?

In my book, the main character has a habit of lying and blaming others. Since I didn’t have to go far to reach my inner child, I knew this was a theme everyone would be able to relate to—everyone has said “It wasn’t me!” before, and I hope Scotty the Mouse teaches children that lying isn’t always the best way to go… When you tell the truth, what’s the worst that could happen?

Has being a teen author helped you or been an obstacle in your writing career?

In some ways, it has been helpful. I’ve received endless support from teachers and classmates, writers and parents, for which I am extremely grateful. However, it was hard at times to keep up with publishing and promoting my book while being a student as well. In the end, though, it really didn’t matter how much time I spent writing instead of doing math homework, because who needs math anyway??

Anything else you would like to share?

Can’t think of anything! Keep reading and writing!

Where can we buy your books? Do you have a web page or fan page?

 It Wasn’t Me! is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and through my publisher’s (Outskirts Press) bookstore, as well as some other online book retailers. My author website is outskirtspress.com/analissereyes and more information is available there. I also have a  Facebook Fan Page 
where you can show your support!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Books On The Way To My Bookshelf For Review

 Hatastrophe by Jennifer Houghton






 Caterpillars in the Kitchen by Jennifer Houghton




  I Love You More Than Rainbows by Susan E. Crites
It Wasn't Me by Analisse Reyes
Cedric and the Dragon by Elizabeth Raum Press Illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden (We are interviewing our first illustrator!)
Who Loves You Personalized Book by Jennifer Dewing


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Go Away Mr Worrythoughts


Go Away Mr Worrythoughts by 2011 AusMumpreneur Awards Finalist Nicky Johnston is a must have book for children who suffer from anxiety. We  meet Bayden who suffers from worry. His anxiety is so powerful it is like a monster that follows him everywhere and steals his joy.  He learns that he has super powers and can banish worry from his life by visualization.

This book is filled with useful tips that will help children and their parents banish worry from their lives. This book explains how to take control over those thoughts and how to tell them to “Go Away!” One of the most important parts of this book is that it explains that these thoughts will try to sneak their way back in but your child has the power to make them vanish. The book ends with 3 steps to send that anxiety monster away. They are laid out so that they are easy to follow.

Nicky’s passion for her message shines through the illustrations and each word she used. This book has a powerful message and will change lives! Every child that reads Go Away Mr Worrythoughts will close the book and feel empowered. Even my four year old was able to grasp the message.  I wish that I had access to this book years ago for some clients that were being crippled by anxiety. 



You can buy this book from www.nickysart.com.au
Visit the author's Facebook   Facebook Fan Page
If you would like to win this book visit Wild About Reading and enter the giveaway!




*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interview with Nicky Johnston- Author of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts & Happythoughts are Everywhere



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Nicky Johnston. I am a mum of four boys, a primary teacher and an artist. In my spare time, I am a 1st Dan Black Belt in Ishinryu Karate – with four boys I think this is a qualification really worth having!!


Why do you write?

I love stories, whether they are spoken, acted, illustrated or written - the value of passing on these stories helps create a sense of family community, passed on through generations. I love being able to contribute to this cycle!

What was your inspiration for writing Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts & Happythoughts are Everywhere?

Both of my books are based on my eldest son’s battle with anxiety. Young children who worry are often missed, overlooked or just told ‘not to worry’. If they learn tools and strategies to manage their worry thoughts, they will be equipped with these skills for life.  My books have not only helped my own son, but thousands of other children.


What advice do you have for others on writing for children?

Make your writing meaningful and simple. Writing simply is sometimes the hardest! I am also the illustrator of my books and I use literal and visual tools to tell my stories, simply but with great meaning.

What else do you love to do, other than write books?

I LOVE drawing and painting. The illustrations were so important to me as they too tell every bit of the story as the written words – my inspiration is the world around me….you will find drawing pads all over my house, where I sketch away anytime I am sitting still!
6.  What is your idea of a perfect day? 
The perfect day is one where time doesn’t matter, talking, reading, playing with my children! I count my blessings everyday!


What were some of your favorite books as a child?

I still have my childhood books that now my own children treasure (Old Hat, New Hat – Dr Seuss series). I also loved “The Wishing Chairs” series and “Folk of the Faraway Tree” series by Enid Blyton. When I read these books to my boys, I can still visualize the same images that I used to imagine as a child.
 


What is the best thing about writing books for children?


My books strike a chord with children who suffer from anxiety, and I love it when they honestly believe I have written the books about them. I think the best thing about writing my books are the letters and messages from parents who express their delight in discovering my books, sharing with me how the books have changed their lives by helping their little worriers take control of their worry thoughts.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?


I used to make books all the time when I was little. I wrote a story about a blended family (with step brothers, aunts and uncles) and I made it into a ‘lift the flap’ book. I only made one book and I still have it! When I visit schools and talk to children I show them my first book, the drafts of my new books, hoping to inspire them to keep on writing. I believe all children have a story to tell!
 

Describe yourself in five words.
Creative, Caring, Perfectionist, Sharing and always Learning!


What are you working on now?


My first book “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” has recently been adapted into a professional theatrical production which is touring primary schools in Australia.  I have been very busy working on all of this, but I also have another children’s book I have written, I just have to complete the illustrations! Saving the best part until last!


What do you love most about your new book?


Change your thoughts to change your feelings” is the concept of “Happythoughts are Everywhere…” and I just love how kids who read my book just ‘get it’! Taking control of your thoughts is such a powerful tool. I love it when children adapt my story into their own ‘happy thoughts’ story, it means they take ownership of their thoughts.

Anything else you want to share?

I just love reading, and I love that my children love reading too. My favorite quote that I truly live by is “Reach for the stars and you just might touch the moon”.  That is exactly what I have done!

Do you have a website and/or fan page? Where can we find your books to buy? 

My books are available from http://www.nickysart.com.au/, where I have a range of other helpful resources and links for parents of ‘little worriers’.  I also have a Facebook Fan Page where people can join in chats and catch up on all the latest news!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: The Lemonman: A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road


The Lemonman: A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road by Natasha Ferrill


The Lemonman: A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road is a magical children’s book written in rhyme. Natasha Ferrill’s use of rhyme flows so that each word enhances this delightful story.

The Lemonman: A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road tells a story about an adorable lemon named Lemonman and his other fruit and vegetable friends, Miss Strawberry and Mr.Celery.  The Lemonman sets out to have a fun picnic with his friends but his plans go awry when he meets some not so nice characters that lie and cheat.

This story teaches an ever important lesson of honesty, kindness and forgiveness. Not only will your children enjoy the story but they will learn  other lessons such as: time of the year, time of day, and weather. The illustrations are colorful, engaging and high quality. Your child will not want to look away. This is definitely a book your children will want you to read again and again and you won’t mind!


The Lemonman: A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road is the first of the Lemonman series. The second in the series is called A Party, Some Rain and Wiggle Worm Lane. It will be available in the winter of 2013. This story will feature Wormington the Third and all the other worms from the Worm Community.

Visit The Lemonman Website, or Amazon to order A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road. Also stop by Natasha Ferrill’s Facebook fan page Facebook Fan Page and say hi!.




Want to win a free copy? Go to Wild About Reading
*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review.