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The One Eyed Pug

The One Eyed Pug

It’s important to share messages of acceptance with children, but it can be difficult if you don’t take into consideration their level of understanding. What a child can understand is vastly different than an adult. The One Eyed Pug by Deborah Hunt is a cute little story about a pug puppy that has a slightly difficult life waiting for her. She has to go through the anxiety of being separated from her birth parents and then living with a stranger. While she does her best to adapt to her new life, change is right around the corner as her ‘mother’ ends up being unable to care for her and gives her to another family. Our little pug now has to deal with the uncertainty of a new home with new people without understanding why she was given up in the first place. Things seem to start going better for our pug until the introduction of a new friend and the terrible accident that follows close behind.

Using animals as a way to deliver important messages and teach important lessons to children is something that is not easily done, but delivered well in this story. Children seem to be able to listen carefully and understand difficult lessons when taught through an animal that can speak. Hunt uses the story of the pug to show children that change is not always bad. She also teaches them that while bad things may happen, there are good outcomes as well. Our pug has only lived for a short time yet she’s met with various changes and has to face the anxiety of the unknown each time. This story can also teach children compassion. Compassion for those who are different than us and compassion for those who are struggling.

There are several drawings throughout the book which can give the readers a nice interruption to the waves of text. It is important to keep children engaged as well as entertained. The drawings give more information on what the characters look like which helps the readers connect more to the story. The language in the story is very easy for new readers to understand. While this isn’t a first step book, it is definitely suitable for a child who has experience reading books with little pictures. The language might be too young for older readers, even though the message it sends is positive.

Deborah Hunt takes us on a trip to learn compassion and acceptance with The One Eyed Pug. This tale allows children to connect their own feelings of anxiety and uncertainty with things like change to the life of the protagonist, the little pug. It also allows children to see that dogs and other pets have feelings as well, even if we can’t always understand what they’re trying to tell us. Even when our little pug goes through a life changing situation, she comes out strong because she has the support of those who love her around her. This is an important thing for children to understand as well: we are all stronger thanks to the people who support us. This would be a great book for any avid young reader.

Pages: 80 | ISBN: 1945175788

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Literary Titan Book Awards August 2017

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

Pink Slips by [Aldrich, Beth]The Slave Boy (The Orfeo Saga Book 6) by [Eiland Jr., Murray Lee]Two Polluted Black-Heart Romances (The Water Kingdom Book 2) by [Breaux, Kevin James]Dead Men Walking (Nate & Clare Book 2) by [Griffeth, Kwen]

Becoming Samantha Colt (Larkin and Colt Book 4) by [Cressman, Ken]Fleeing the Shadows (Dangerous Loyalties Book 2) by [Still, Phyllis A.]Black and White by [Burgess Jr., Ben]Detours in Time by [Schloesser Canepa, Pamela]

STAINER: A novel of the 'Me Decade'. by [Woulff, Iolanthe]Miss Sally: and the Sinners That God Ignores by [Stout, Robert Joe]The Enigma Broker (The Enigma Series Book 8) by [Breakfield, Charles, Burkey, Roxanne]H.A.L.F.: The Makers by [Wright, Natalie]

The Imposter's Trail (The Sean Kruger Series Book 3) by [Fields, J.C.]Vengeance Is Mine: Resurrections (Sam and Laura's Story Book 3) by [Griffeth, Kwen D]Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2) by [Spry, Greg]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Book Award

The Voynich Gambit: The Sequel to Guarding Shakespeare (Norman Blalock Mysteries Book 2) by [Peterson, Quintin]A Pardon For Tommy by [Enyi, Patricia Nmukoso]Wheeler by [Zalesky, Sara Butler]Gravity Games: A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller (Nate The Nose Book 1) by [Matsui, John]

The Secrets of All Secrets by [Wells, Douglas]Black Box by [Hansen, Casey J.]Mountain Green Corporate Blue by [Saunders, LJ]FRACTURED: My Journey Back from Death and the Lessons I've Learned Along the Way by [Antonucci, Elizabeth]

A Guardian Falls (Chronicles of the Coranydas Book 2) by [Tran, R.]The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins by [Hamilton, Susan]War Eternal: Book I: Angels' Whispers by [Cain, J.F.]Essence of Neverland by [Jinsei, Juna]

Stygian by [Michael, Sean]End of Knighthood Part II: The King's Move (Reverence Book 3) by [Landeros, Joshua]

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

Henry and the Hidden Treasure

Henry and the Hidden Treasure

B.C.R. Fegan’s Henry and the Hidden Treasure is the story of one little boy’s quest to keep his “treasure” a secret from one person in particular. Henry’s tale of overwhelming desire to keep his treasure box from his sister’s clutches leads the reader on a journey into a child’s imagination and its endless possibilities. The threat posed by his baby sister is the driving force behind a long string of scenarios designed to trick, intimidate, and trap his sister as he shields his beloved treasure from her greedy hands. Henry, for all his planning, learns a valuable lesson about jumping to conclusions in the process.

Henry and the Hidden Treasure is a delight in both text and illustrations. As a third grader teacher and parent and one who has read more than my share of picture books to Kindergarten through 5th grade students, I can say Fegan has written a real gem. Children of all ages love a surprise ending, and the author has more than provided such a conclusion with a fantastic build-up and an added bonus on the last page. Teachers appreciate the opportunity to have students predict endings, and Fegan and Wen’s last page of text allows us to do just that with the simple yet powerful lone illustration of Lucy stealthily peeking at Henry.

The author/illustrator team of Fegan and Wen has created a story for both families and classrooms. The older brother versus baby sister dynamic is addressed via detailed, colorful illustrations which demonstrate the intensity of a child’s imagination. Each subsequent illustration adds a sense of drama children find appealing. My personal favorite of all the illustrations, as a mother, is the one depicting the reality of Henry’s room.

Teachers looking to create text sets for their students will find Henry and the Hidden Treasure a delightful addition to sets alongside books like Charlie McButton Lost Power where sibling rivalry is the theme. With the open-ended conclusion given by Fegan and Wen, I certainly hope there is a sequel to the saga of Henry and Lucy.

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B0719JXRRT

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What Came of the Tough Times

Bryan Falchuk Author Interview

Bryan Falchuk Author Interview

Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day is written using your experience with turning your life around; losing weight and eating healthier. What was the thing that motivated you to write a book and help other people?

I have seen the Do a Day philosophy work so well, not just for myself, but for all the people I’ve been coaching and mentoring over the years. No matter how many hours I spend coaching, I still can help enough people, so I wrote the book to share the approach with as many people as possible. Based on the feedback, it’s working. Not a day has gone by since the book came out where I don’t get some kind of outreach from someone who the book has impacted.

What I like most about this book was that there were stories from your own life in it which helped me relate. Where there some experiences you felt were harder to write about then others?

Yes, definitely. It was hard to go back in time to some of the more painful moments in my life, like when my wife was in the throws of her illness and it wasn’t clear she would survive, or some of the pain I experienced as a child that shaped a lot of who I am today. But there’s so much growth from those moments that I have benefitted from, so I focused my mind of what came of the tough times rather than dwelling in the toughness of those times. That is, I used Do a Day in looking back. Instead of being trapped by past pain, I looked at what I can achieve today.

Personally, it was also very hard to talk about parenting. That chapter is the shortest in the book, and the one I wish I could do more with. I think it was hard to write because being a parent is so profound and powerful, but also because this isn’t my son’s book and he didn’t choose to be in it, so I wanted to balance respecting his privacy with getting the message across. I shared only one story in that chapter, and I think it’s enough to illustrate the point I’m trying to make, but the chapter is clearly different from others in the book.

I felt that the book did a great job giving sensible advice about everyday life. What is one thing you hope readers take away from Do a Day?

The one thing I want them to take away is the power the approach offers to overcome and achieve. Being free of the past and simultaneously not living in fear or anticipation of the future is incredibly empowering for you to do the best you can today. Each day of doing your best adds up to a life that is full of achievement instead of sadness and regret.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My plan for my second book is to move to the next step in Do a Day. The first book was some of my stories.

For the second book, I want to share the stories of my readers and people I work with.

I have only experienced so much, but the stories people come to me with are so varied and profound, I think reading about this and seeing how Do a Day helps in even the most extreme situations would be incredibly impactful for those looking for a connection to their experience that they couldn’t find in the first book.

Beyond that, there are some specific situations that warrant a full book on them alone. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can see a series of deeper dives into these tougher life situations with more specific guidance on how to put Do a Day into action to overcome and achieve.

The good news is, life is ever changing, challenges keep evolving and are always specific to each individual experiencing them, so there is so much to share with Do a Day. You can expect much more from me and Do a Day over the years to come. I’m so excited to help even more people change their lives.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | New Bodi Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | New Bodi Instagram | Website

Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day by [Falchuk, Bryan]Bryan Falchuk overcame adversity, lost nearly 100 pounds, ran a marathon, dramatically changed his diet and created an approach to help others live a better life, every day. That way is Do a Day.

Like so many people, Bryan has faced challenges in life, like obesity, depression, work stress, the responsibilities of parenthood, the potential of losing his wife to illness, and more. And he struggled, like anyone else. Through that struggle, Bryan learned the secret to not just overcoming any individual challenge, but creating a life of achievement, happiness and harmony. In Do a Day, you will learn how to make each day contribute to your goals so you can live the life you want to live – a better life.

Do a Day will free you of the burden and judgment of yesterday‘s choices, while relieving you of the pressure of what tomorrow may bring. By teaching you how to identify your true motivation and how to use that to focus on what you have to do today, Do a Day will help you change your life.

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All Are My Children

Ernesto Lozada Uzuriaga Author Interview

Ernesto Lozada Uzuriaga Author Interview

What I really liked about The Contemporary Christian Colouring Book is that each image evokes the idea of a stained-glass window one might see inside a church. How did you decide which images made it into the book?

It was a very eclectic criteria. I was looking for balance, rhythm too, it has to flow from one page to the other. There was some logic in the arrangement but also it was very intuitive.

Why did you think it was important to create this book for contemporary Christians?

Christians need to re-think and re-imagine their faith in an evolving and fast changing culture. The purpose of these images is to challenge us to ask questions and reflect ‘what does it mean?’

My favorite image was Jesus and the 99%. Do you have a favorite image in the collection?

I couldn’t say…all are my children

I like colouring because it’s relaxing. Why do you think adult colouring books are so popular today?

Because it give you a pause. Life is so hectic that we need as never before pauses in our life.

Author Links: Website

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Beyond The Grumpiness

B.C.R. Fegan Author Interview

B.C.R. Fegan Author Interview

The Grumpface is a charming children’s book about a grumpy old man in a forest and Dan who needs to find a flower for his love. What was the inspiration for this charming kid’s book?

What inspired me to write The Grumpface was seeing that particular grumpy face a child pulls when things aren’t going their way. I have witnessed it on so many occasions, and each time I find it hilarious. What makes it so funny is that quite often parents will naturally try and make the young child smile or laugh. Sometimes this is all it takes to break the curse, yet often this only serves to make them more determined to remain grumpy. The Grumpface himself is the character that embodies this determination to remain grumpy and resist anything positive or amusing. In this sense, he goes beyond the grumpiness of a child and becomes the identity of the pessimist or those caught up in negativity.

Dan on the other hand is the natural antithesis to the Grumpface’s outlook on life. He is optimistic and hopeful even when things aren’t working out for him. His quest for love actually provides the setting for negativity and positivity to meet head on.

I felt that this book was good at teaching morals of persistence, compassion, and friendship. What themes did you try to use when creating this book?

First and foremost I wanted to create an enjoyable tale that excited the imagination. Rather than beginning with a theme, I started with the desire to inspire the imagination. I remember as a child reading some books that were enjoyable, and others that held such intrigue, that they challenged your perception about life. This is really where I tried to begin. I wanted to forge a tale that was memorable, inspiring and filled with adventure. What better way to do this, than to write a new kind of fairy tale.

The morals that were subsequently woven into the story though were intentionally light and simple. It has unfortunately become common for children’s books these days to be so distracted by the message, the tale itself seems to be an afterthought. As you have already mentioned, there are a number of morals such as persistence, compassion and friendship that come up in The Grumpface. Yet for the most part these morals simply arise naturally through the considered development and interaction of characters. As mentioned previously, perhaps the most overarching theme in the book is simply the power of positivity over negativity.

The art in this book is lovely. What was the art direction like and what decisions went into choosing the right images?

The art direction for The Grumpface was a little unique and certainly experimental. Every other children’s book has been briefed with an overarching ambience and emotion that I’m hoping to convey. Each page of text is then detailed down to the perspective of the scene, the emotional response of the characters and any unique aspects to the setting. I am still open to any deviation from the brief if the illustrator is compelled to try something different, but the brief provides a place to begin.

For The Grumpface, I wanted the illustrator to try something different. Instead of providing strict direction, I wanted Daniela to simply draw the scene that the text conjured in her mind. As a fairy tale, it was important to that the text carried enough depth and richness, so that even without pictures, it would still capture the mind. Daniela was very open to this and would send a short summery of her thoughts for each page (which would be approved or slightly amended) before providing a draft. At this point there might be some minor adjustments. When all the drafts had been complete, there was a final check to ensure that everything flowed smoothly before the final drafts were created.

This particular process meant that the illustrations took considerable time to complete and get right, but in the end it worked out well. The book has received numerous comments on the artwork and the impact they have on the tale itself. I think Daniela did a great job!

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book will be available on the 3rd of August 2017 (so not long now). The title is Henry and the Hidden Treasure, and it is about a child who attempts to defend his pocket money from his little sister. Henry is convinced that Lucy is a secret ninja spy who has been sent to steal his treasure and he therefore constructs some elaborate defences to try and stop her.

The book highlights some important themes such as listening to parents, being nice to your siblings and carefully considers what constitutes real treasure within the family context. Henry and the Hidden Treasure also introduces children to ordinal numbers in a subtle and imaginative way.

Like The Grumpface, my first priority with this coming title was constructing an exciting and imaginative tale that children will find themselves thinking about long after it has been put down. It is my hope that the many tales to come will continue to provide that magic and inspiration for children young and old.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | TableBlade

The Grumpface by [Fegan, B.C.R.]

Dan is a young inventor in love. He ventures into a forest looking for a rose but instead finds the mysterious Grumpface who threatens to hold him captive unless he passes some difficult challenges. What follows is a humorous adventure that neither Dan nor the Grumpface could have anticipated.

The Grumpface is a tale in the spirit of any grand adventure. It is about a clumsy young inventor’s quest for love, and the challenges he must face to find it. But it is also a tale of bravery, absurdity and happiness, and the power of these qualities over negativity and sheer grumpiness.

Every parent will be acquainted with their own little ‘grumpface’ now and then. This story stands as a small piece of hope – that no matter how ingrained the grump, there will always remain in every one of us a smile or a laugh just waiting to come out.

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Literary Titan Book Awards July 2017

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

Breaking Magic (The Legacy of Androva Book 5) by [Vick, Alex C]Swallow by [Fischer, Heidi]H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath by [Wright, Natalie]Across The Realm: Life Always Finds A Way (Across The Realm Series Book 1) by [Mitton, Isobel]

Across the Realm Book 2: When two tribes go to war (The Across the Realm Series) by [Mitton, Isobel]A World of Wonder by [Ford, Brent A., Hazlehurst, Lucy McCullough]The Rashade' (Chronicles of the Coranydas Book 1) by [Tran, R.]For Their Sins by [Tran, R.]

The Grumpface by [Fegan, B.C.R.]The Assassin's Trail (The Sean Kruger Series Book 2) by [Fields, J.C.]Apollo's Raven by [Tanner, Linnea]J.O.E.: Just an Ordinary Earthling by [Szynalski, Edward, Petro, Allen]

A Higher Calling: Laura's Tale (Sam and Laura's Story Book 2) by [Griffeth, Kwen]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Book Award

Protector of Thristas: A Lisen of Solsta Novel by [St. Martin, D. Hart]Girl Unseen (Beyond The Grave, #3) by [Daniels, Athena]Testimony of a Villain: A Raw, Dark, True Crime Thriller by [Harrell, Aaron G.]Black Inked Pearl: A Girl's Quest by [Finnegan, Ruth]

The Seasons of a Giant by [Hartley, Pamela]Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale by [McCormack, Charles]Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day by [Falchuk, Bryan]

Zombie Mage by [Drake, Jonathan J.]Charlotte's Soul by [Estes, Danny C]GROND: THE RAVEN HIGH: (GROND Series Book 1) by [HAMAGANOV, YURI]

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

A Pardon For Tommy

A Pardon For Tommy

Who would have thought that a story about a turkey would bring a reader to tears? Within the pages of A Pardon for Tommy by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi readers will find just that. Chelsea Malibu is the protagonist of our story. We begin with her waking from a nightmare in her college dormitory. Chelsea is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and still suffers from its aftermath. She is a young woman now, but she cannot let go of the horror she faced at the tender age of twelve. The story walks us through what Chelsea experienced during the hurricane, how it affected her and what happened to her family. Throughout her ordeal Chelsea had one pillar of support: the never questioning Tommy the turkey. Tommy was a prize her father had won and expected to eat on Thanksgiving with his family. However, life has a funny way of throwing you off track.

The pain that Chelsea experiences in this story is raw and real. Tommy isn’t just a pet turkey: he symbolizes her family. The family that was ripped apart by the hurricane during which her father went missing after trying to save her life. Chelsea is clearly traumatized by the events and the life she lives after relocating to live with her mother, brother and maternal grandmother isn’t as easy as it should have been. Aside from the emotional trauma, Chelsea is faced with discrimination and bullying. Her family is fractured, and no matter how much she prays it won’t become whole again.

While there are some mistakes in the grammar and the styling of the novel leaves a lot to be desired, the content of the tale more than makes up for it. Readers can feel the agony that Chelsea experiences in these pages. She is young and there is so much she doesn’t understand about what is happening to her. There are so many changes in short succession that it would make even an adult’s head spin. There is so much uncertainty in her life that it’s as if time stops for her. Because of this, Chelsea clings to Tommy, the turkey, for comfort. This turkey is the only thing that connects her to her missing father. The physical existence of the turkey allows her to have something she can touch to remember her father.

In the novel, it has been six years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Our protagonist has avoided returning to the city where her life was so gravely changed. With the impending death of her beloved turkey Chelsea boards a bus to return. It is here that we are privy to the events that took place in that city. A Pardon for Tommy by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi is a beautiful, sad, and harrowing tale of a survivors experience with one of the deadliest events in modern history. This is a perfect book for young adults or those who enjoy more realistic fiction tales. Will Chelsea’s family ever become whole again? Will she ever find out what happened to her father? And most importantly, will Chelsea’s nightmares ever disappear? Read for yourself to find out.

Pages: 150 | ASIN: B0725M51SV

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Always Inquisitive

Brent A. Ford Author Interview

Brent A. Ford Author Interview

A World of Wonder is designed to help parents and children build a sense of wonder about the world. I think it does this expertly. What was your inspiration for wanting to create such an engaging kids book?

My co-author and I are long-time educators currently working to bring high-quality, science curricula to primary schools across the country.  In primary grades, science instruction often takes a back seat to other subjects and it is our goal to change that by creating resources that integrate science with reading (in this case poetry), writing and mathematics. Young children are natural-born scientists – always inquisitive of the world around them – so we are working to create materials that parents and teachers can use to foster and promote that innate interest. We also want to help parents and teachers inspire children to appreciate, and care for, our world as well as to provide opportunities to engage children in thinking and talking about science.

The art in this book is spectacular. What decisions went into the art direction for this book?

That is an interesting question because we had to think about so many things at the same time! We wanted to include all different types of science; we wanted to include some of those classic poems that many of us grew up with as well as some new ones; and we wanted to include topics that allowed for interesting extension activities that kids would want to come back to over and over again. So we had to weave all of those elements together at same time. We couldn’t just pick the best pictures or just use classic children’s poetry; everything had to work toward the larger goal of building that sense of wonder about the world and be really engaging to kids.

The combined variety of photos and poems are ideal for promoting conversation between parents and children. What poem and photo is your favorite and why?

Thank you – that was certainly our goal! My favorite combination is probably the poem about the eagle – the king of the daytime sky – along with that magnificent image of the eagle fishing – talons extended – above a partially frozen lake. That image is inspiring all by itself, but then the extension activity includes a link to a webcam of an eagle’s nest high in the tree tops above a field, with a stream in the distance. The webcam is always on and you can go back to it often throughout the year to see just about anything – from eggs, to hatchlings, to juvenile eagles just beginning to fly, to Mom and Dad eagle keeping warm through the winter – it’s always fascinating to watch. (It can also a bit graphic at times, so parents need to be careful with very young children.)

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Our science teaching units all use children’s literature as a foundation for the unit and we are in the process of releasing those books now on Amazon and iBooks – both as eBooks and as paperbacks. Several of the books, like When I Grow Up, include spectacular photography similar to this book, while others are fun storybooks. My favorite storybook is When We Were Young, which is a sweet story about Dr. Dolittle’s Pushme-Pullyou and includes really beautiful watercolor illustrations by an illustrator from London.  That was a really fun project to work on!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A World of Wonder by [Ford, Brent A., Hazlehurst, Lucy McCullough]

A World of Wonder is a book designed to help children develop a wonder for, and an appreciation of, the world in which we all live. The book combines spectacular images with a variety of poetry and verse…from time-honored and classic to new and sometimes humorous.

This is not the type of book typically read in one session. We encourage readers to come and go as children ask questions about the world. Children can certainly experience the book on their own, but we also encourage parents and teachers to engage with children – ask questions to tease out their understanding of the world and provide guidance where and when it seems appropriate. We also encourage you to follow children’s leads to encourage their interests in our magnificent world.

The authors, both educators and researchers with many years of experience, ensure that each facet of the experience is scientifically and pedagogically appropriate for young children.

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Several Bear Encounters

Amy Lou Jenkins Author Interview

Amy Lou Jenkins Author Interview

Howie Tootalot in Yellowstone: The Legend in Lake Isa is a fun children’s book that talks about conservation and respecting the wilderness. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this children’s book?

I’ve written somewhat serious books and articles about nature and science previously, but when I’m with the family– we are often goofy. We visited Yellowstone and my son asked me about Lake Isa, which sits atop the continental divide and therefore drains in two different directions. I began crafting and telling the story during our visit there. Our son enjoyed the story and laughed at the character names.

We also had several bear encounters on the trip. I had lived in Alaska, so I was weary of Grizzly bears, but less careful with the black bears. Once I even got out of the car in Yellowstone to get a better look at a bear and cub in the woods. That was not a smart move.

So our story about Howie Tootalot deals with the intoxicating grandeur of wild places like Yellowstone and the care we must use in how we love and appreciate them. I finally suppressed my MFA-serious ego enough to have fun with the story in print. I did publish under the name Lou Jenkins, which I now use for all my children’s work.

This story takes place in Yellowstone National Park and portrays the natural beauty of the land. What draws you to Yellowstone and why do you think it’s perfect for a kids story?

Kids feel the connection to wilderness. I’d written about the connections possible in Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting under my name Amy Lou Jenkins. We all need to foster a connection to natural spaces, because there are so few opportunities to escape the pressures of consumerism. We and our children are bombarded with the notion that we need to buy something new. We are told that we need to consume because we and our possessions are somehow flawed. Instead of purchasing something to fix our problems, nature allows us to experience source. We are natural beings. We can have independent thought while not bombarded with proprietary messages. Studies say that the number one way to build a love for wild places is to take kids to wild places. That’s a strong promise and scientific finding: take kids to wild places and they will build a connection to something real and unadulterated. While a book is second best to visiting Yellowstone, it is another way to make and support that connection.

The art in this book I felt was very creative. What was the art direction like and how did you make the decision on what went into the pictures?

Thank you for noticing that the artwork was not standard. We wanted to support the connection to Yellowstone, so we had actual photographs of the National Park cartoonized. Children who are lucky enough to visit Yellowstone will recognize actual landmarks, animals and plants from the book. Since the main portion of the book took place before the park existed, some of our illustrations came from national archives in the public domain. Children who never visit Yellowstone, will still recognize landmarks in images that are iconic in our culture. Children can begin to build a connection to National treasures such as Old Faithful, Mammoth Springs, The Grand Prismatic Spring, and Lake Isa. We hope that connection is based in fun, awe, and the sense of original identity that is nurtured in wild places.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Thank you for asking. We have just finished the artwork for more paper puppet characters in the Tootalot series. As you know, we include links in the books that allow readers to download and assemble articulated paper puppets. Many children enjoy a hands on experience as a part of play. Children who are not drawn to books, might be able to access the fun and play of reading with a character from the book in their hand. Yet even voracious readers, might extend their own imagination from reading to other play time.

I’m also a Registered Nurse and have worked in community health. I used to tell my children a story about the “magic mark” based on my experience in school nursing. My daughter used to ask me to tell her this story over and over. Many children have differences, and this story is about a girl with a port-wine stain. We include a student in a wheel chair, and work to represent a wide-range of children in this tale with a magical element. At its core, is a cheer for all who learn how to love each other and accept differences. Look for this new book, the third in theTootalot series, by the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Howie Tootalot in Yellowstone: The Legend of Lake Isa (The Tootalots, #2)Why does the water of Isa Lake drain in two different directions? Follow Howie Tootalot to the wild land we now call Yellowstone as he and his new bear friend explore the wild geysers, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and more. Danger surrounds them, yet lessons from the wild and the wilderness itself will save them. Learn the Tootalot family legend. Children may download and assemble their own free puppets—just like the ones in the story. Great fun for reading and play at home or in the car. Howie Tootalot in Yellowstoneis the second in The Tootalots series. Award-winning parenting author, dons a pen name and introduces Howie Tootalot in this fun legend that offers giggles and some important ways to deal with respecting the danger and wildness of natural wonders such as Yellowstone National Park.

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