My Buddy Knows… Letters is an educational picture book that teaches children about the alphabet in a fun and playful way. What inspired you to write this book?
I was helping my high school aged daughter study for a chemistry test and we were using flash cards. Afterwards, I was marveling at how often we use flash cards to test our memory.
That got me thinking, “Why don’t we use flash cards for teaching early concepts?” My Buddy Knows series was born.
Fun fact: each of the “Buddies” in the books are named after my children.
I loved the art in this book. What was the art process like in putting this book together?
Surprisingly, all of the art in the books were acquired from a site that offers royalty-free images, approved for commercial use, free of charge.
It was a case study, of sorts, for my YouTube channel for authors, Keith Wheeler Books. I wanted to prove that you didn’t have to spend a lot of money to produce a book, if you focused on quality content and provided your reader with an amazing experience.
How does this book help young children with their alphabet comprehension?
The simple answer is that it makes learning fun. It’s like a game. Plus, as you turn the page, Josh(the “buddy” in the book) pops up in different places.
I can’t tell you how many parents tell me that their child loves to see where he’s going to pop up next.
This is volume one in the My Buddy Knows series. What are the other books in the series and what is the goal for the series overall?
There are currently 4 volumes in the My Buddy Knows series. They are:
My Buddy Knows Letters
My Buddy Knows Numbers
My Buddy Knows Colors & Shapes
My Buddy Knows Baby Animals
I’m also in the process of creating a spin-off series: My Buddy Knows Languages. I’m in the process of creating the first 5 books in the series:
My Buddy Knows Spanish
My Buddy Knows French
My Buddy Knows German
My Buddy Knows Italian
My Buddy Knows Japanese
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A New Alphabet for Humanity is an inspiring children’s picture book that introduces kids to new ideas and concepts by using encouraging and uplifting words. The book goes through each letter in the alphabet, gives the letter along with an accompanying explanation, a beautiful image to reinforce the message, and a short description of the words meaning. All of these words come together to encourage children to think globally, socially, and positively.
Leesa McGregor introduces young readers to new words, some may be beyond their reading level, but not beyond their comprehension. This wonderful children’s book will inspire kids to think about new ideas, and give them a vocabulary for ideas they may already have and just don’t know how to express. The short but impactful descriptions of the word’s meaning are helpful, not just for children, but also for the adults that may be reading this book with their children. The illustrations by Daniela Sosa are bright, colorful, and focused on action which helps to keep kids engaged. The cute smiling faces of diverse children scattered throughout this book were to numerous to count. I think this is a better way to teach children about the alphabet. Instead of Apple, Cat, and Dog. Leesa McGregor uses empowering words like Abundance, Bravery, and Compassion. These are words that children have to think about more deeply, and because of that, the words and letters will stick much easier.
I have never read a book that embraced humanity with such positivity before. It’s refreshing seeing it accomplished so magnificently for young readers. This is a book for children, parents, teachers, and anyone looking for a new, empowering, alphabet.
Pages: 34 | ASIN: B089ZGG6NM
Tags: A New Alphabet for Humanity, alphabet, author, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, education, elementary, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, learning, literature, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, writer, writing
The Day that A Ran Away is an adorably witty story about the letters of the alphabet deciding not to show up. Do you write your stories with children in mind first, or parents and teachers?
I always write my stories to be enjoyed by children first. Even though the book has a primary purpose of teaching the alphabet to children, I wanted it to be fun – something they would enjoy reading.
This is a very cute idea, how did this idea develop and change as you were developing the story?
I really began the story with the idea of making a simple concept picture book into something more of an adventure. Thankfully the first few lines of the book came together quite quickly which made the presentation of the alphabet a bit more straightforward. Essentially, Jet is caught by his teacher without his homework – something that students are prone to do at some point of their school life. However Jet’s excuse is quite imaginative as he talks about each letter’s frustrating escape.
It may sound strange, but with the trajectory of the story in place, the story actually flowed quite well. In the end there weren’t any major changes required. I know – bit of a boring story!
The art, as always, is very good. What was the art direction you wanted in this book?
I think my biggest priority was having all the scenes linked together as Jet walks to school. So each page connects with the last and foreshadows the one to come. In addition, I wanted each character to be made up of a color that begins with its respective letter (ever heard of Xanadu Gray), and for there to be a number of objects in the illustration that begins with the same letter for children to find.
Overall, I described each scene to Lenny and she turned them into something spectacular. She even added a few of her own Easter eggs which was fantastic! I’m very lucky to have an illustrator that not only understands my thinking, but knows my entire approach.
I loved how each letter has its own look and feel. Was this something that you brainstormed with Lenny Wen or did you already have ideas for each letter?
I agree, the letters came out looking great! No, all credit belongs to Lenny for the look and personalities of each letter. The only direction I had in this respect was the color of each letter and the basic anthropomorphic requirement. Lenny came back with the idea of giving each letter a connection to something children could identify (i.e. ‘A’ being an astronaut), as well as an emotion (‘arrogant’).
Master Jet has forgotten to complete his homework… or has he? Jet’s teacher is surprised to find that instead of the alphabet, his page is completely blank. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!
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The Day that A Ran Away is an adorably witty story about the letters of the alphabet just deciding not to report for duty one day. Master Jet is trying to write the alphabet and he just can’t do it with all the letters on holiday. Each letter has either decided not to show up or has had something that prevented it from showing up. Understandably, it’s hard to write the alphabet without even one of the letters. Master Jet may think he is fooling his teacher, but Mrs. May is way too smart to fall for his creative tricks.
My kids are much older now, but they would have loved this book when they were little. The writing is catchy and flows well for reading aloud. The rhymes are cute. The colors are bright and eye-catching. This was especially always a hit with my own children. The illustrations are beautiful. It is very visually pleasing. It is also funny. It made me laugh a couple of times. I actually think it would be fun to read aloud. Any parent who has had to read the same book one hundred times can tell you how important it is to have a story that flows well verbally.
My favorite part of the book is the beautiful illustrations. They are by Lenny Wen. As with most children’s books, the illustrations are a huge part of whether the book is a hit or not. Since most kids are being read to at this stage, the illustrations have to really appeal to them. A nice touch was adding a few “hidden” images within each letter’s page—having the kids match the letter with the object. My kids would have loved trying to find these little gems. Overall, the artwork is beautifully done.
Together B.C.R. Fegan and Lenny Wen have created a catchy, appealing story for little kids and their parents. I really enjoyed it. I believe kids and parents everywhere would enjoy it as well.
Pages: 33 | ASIN: B07DMN4VVP
Tags: alibris, alphabet, art, artwork, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, bcr fegan, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, children, creative, ebook, education, elementary, fun, funny, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kids, kindle, kobo, learning, lenny wen, literature, nook, novel, parent, picture book, publishing, read, reader, reading, rhyme, school, shelfari, smashwords, spelling, story, teacher, The Day That A Ran Away, writer, writer community, writing