Blog Archives

Changemakers Of The Future

Tara Anderson
Tara Anderson Author Interview

You Belong Too follows a young girl as she navigates being the new kid in school. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the set up to this story was to teach children the importance of including others and accepting one another despite differences.

The art in this engaging picture book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with Carrisa Harris?

The art collaboration process with my illustrator, Carissa Harris, was phenomenal. She is extremely talented. We worked well together as a team and she was very open to and patient with all of my suggestions, changes or additions I wanted.

What made you decide to write a children’s book on empathy and kindness?

I decided to write a children’s book on empathy and kindness because I believe these qualities will empower todays children to become impactful leaders and changemakers of the future. As well, there is always room for more kindness in our world.

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

The next book I am working on is about two boys and their adventures sailing the North Channel, but it is still in progress while I enjoy sharing this one.

Author Links: Instagram | Website | GoodReads

To everyone else at Meadowbrook Public School, it’s just an ordinary Monday.
But to Annie, it’s so much more.
Today is her first day at a brand-new school. She can feel the butterflies fluttering in her tummy.
Even though Annie’s Mom reminds her that she can do hard things, she wonders if it’s really true.
As she sits alone at recess, she begins to lose hope.
Maybe I can’t do hard things.
…. Or can she?
Join Annie as she overcomes her fears and takes a brave step towards kindness and friendship that leaves a positive effect on her entire class.

The Choices We Make Aren’t Mistakes

Diana Smith
Diana Smith Author Interview

My Awareness Book follows a boy and girl as they encounter strong emotions and learn how to work through what they are feeling. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The set up for My Awareness Book is: I had already written My Grateful Book and My Welcome Book talking about the importance of gratitude and self esteem and to start with this was going to be My Choices Book, but then My Awareness Book seemed more appropriate as it talks about how it is ok to have feelings and talk about them. Big or small. The choices we make aren’t mistakes they are all learning experiences.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with the illustrator Sarah Jane Marchant?

Sarah had illustrated my first two books so it was just a given she would illustrate the third. I just give her the story and she creates these amazing pictures. I don’t have to change anything usually it is exactly what I was thinking as well. We work very well together.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The important themes in this book for me was to tell children, we do have some strong emotions growing up and it’s ok to talk about them. That the choices we make are ok for us individually. We are all different but can still all get along.

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

The next book in this series I think will be My Brave Book with what is happening in the world, vaccinations etc., masks and social distancing. Just letting kids know its ok to be scared but moving through the fear and doing it anyway will make you feel like a hero!

Author Links: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Childhood can be tough. Navigating feelings and figuring out your place in the world can be even tougher.
With simple rhyming prose, My Awareness Book follows the journey of a little boy and a girl, steering through their struggles toward a positive mindset and learning the skills for mental resilience.
My Awareness Book teaches your child how to have a growth mindset, build mental resilience and identify and regulate their emotions, all important skills for a young mind to master. Beautifully illustrated with simple rhyming prose, this book is the perfect story to help a child feel supported and understood as they grow and learn. An easy read, My Awareness Book invites broader and deeper discussions with your child, enabling them to continue to move confidently towards adulthood, with empathetic direction and positive guidance.
This delightful book is part of the Feel Good series.
About the author
Diana Smith is the author of My Grateful Book, My Welcome Book and My Awareness Book (the celebrated children’s Feel Good series). Her other early childhood books include Bruiser’s G’day at the Park, Bruiser’s G’day at the Beach, Bruiser’s G’day Camping and The Adventures of Clive.

Tales of the Monkey King

Monkey is capable of some marvelous things. He wishes to be a master in virtually every area, Small but mighty. His thirst for knowledge is unmatched, and his abilities outshine everyone around him. When he transforms into the famed Monkey King, it is just the beginning of his fantastic journey. Monkey is, however, quite a character. He never fails to be the center of any and every bit of chaos. Monkey is filled with intensity and determination from his temper to his strength. There is no one else like him.

Tales of the Monkey King, by Teresa Chin Jones, is a retelling of classic Chinese tales of the famous Monkey King. Jones delivers a fabulous series of chapters tracing the making of the Monkey King through his outrageous adventures to the fascinating end of his journey. Along the way, readers will meet captivating characters and find themselves in awe of the fantastic and, sometimes, harrowing situations in which Monkey and his cohort find themselves.

I was taken with the colorful characters and the vibrant language throughout the book. Though there are beautiful illustrations placed sporadically throughout the chapters, readers will have no trouble visualizing the characters and exquisite settings. Jones does a fantastic job of building Monkey and his comrades into strong mental images for her readers. In addition, the more challenging text structure and choice of verbiage will push young readers. I can see Tales of the Monkey King as a beautiful read-aloud addition to any classroom.

As a teacher, I appreciate the added summaries at the beginning of each chapter. Teachers and students alike will find these little bonuses helpful when picking up reading where they left off. As I usually spend a little time reviewing previous chapters before reading, I can see these summaries making that much more manageable and bringing my students and me quickly up to date. In addition, young readers will find the summaries an easy way to review on their own.

I truly enjoyed reading Monkey King’s escapades and seeing Jones’s work as a real asset to upper elementary and middle school classrooms. Folklore is an essential part of literature education, and I highly recommend Tales of the Monkey King to any fan of classic folk tales and legends. Monkey is sure to bring a smile to readers’ faces.

Pages: 277 | ASIN : B091721V92

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C# Via the Happy Path

T. Cloudhorn makes programming seem easy for everyone. The author starts the book by introducing the reader to tech words, programming phrases, and new terms, and he goes further to explain how they function. Readers will love this book because it is not just for busy undergraduates but also for any beginner that wants to learn more about the C# language.

While going through the book, readers will learn about the coding concepts that are needed to build a foundation for successful programming in C#. The author explains even the most complex terminologies in a manner that those that are just starting out with programming can comprehend.

Included in this educational book are appealing and clear illustrations to help the reader understand object-oriented programming concepts. With simple language and concise explanations you will not feel lost while reading this book. T. Cloudhorn explains everything that needs to be explained in either text or visual methods.

In one section of this enlightening book, the author explains the difference between compilers, interpreters, and hybrid language systems. Other topics of importance that are included are learning about classes, generics, inheritance, interfaces, delegates, and events and why you would need to use them. If you are struggling to differentiate those mentioned above, this book is for you.

C# Via the Happy Path: Conversational style book for the busy (undergrad) student will help aspiring programmers learn about different programming concepts. This is a great educational resource for anyone just starting their programming journey, or for programmers who have been out of the programming space for some time and need a refresher, to better understand object-oriented programming.

Pages: 261 | ASIN : B09MN8V248

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Cooking

Who knew cooking would be so much fun, even for those that do not love cooking? In The Gentleman’s Guide to Cooking, Randy Motilall shares exciting and interesting ways of cooking. The author uses a variety of recipes to show his culinary skills. Have trouble making your favorite chicken curry? Bacon-wrapped shrimp? Peruvian Lomo Saltado? Or even Brazilian Cheese Bread? Randy Motilall has got you covered. The author guides readers through creating a satisfying meal and teaches readers the importance of experimenting with different cuisines of the world.

Randy Motilall not only teaches the reader how to make delicious foods, but he also shares tips on table etiquette. Many people are not aware of how to properly set the table for an elegant meal. Setting the table is the first thing your guests see and the backdrop to showcase the prepared meal. The author guides you on where and how to place the dinner plate, soup or salad bowl, wine glasses, various forks, knives, table napkin, salt shaker, among other things. In addition, there is an illustration of how to place different cutlery and how to use them. Finally, the author has categorized the various meals so readers will have distinct recipes for appetizers, drinks, bread, salads, soups, sides, entrees, desserts, what to have the following day, and extras. Every meal the author writes about is accompanied by pictures, encouraging you to try them out. The text combined with the beautiful images of the recipes made reading this book a wonderful experience.

After reading this book, cooking does not appear tedious at all. The foods shared in the book can take as little as 20 minutes for some. You can make a meal for one or a group, and it will still be delicious. With The Gentleman’s Guide to Cooking, you will feel like you have stepped into kitchens in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and many other parts of the world. The recipes are excellent, and the author shares personal stories and insights with the reader as he talks about the foods.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Cooking is filled with engaging language and humor. With this book, Randy Motilall may have targeted a specific demographic, but it can be recommended for anyone who enjoys spending their time in the kitchen preparing meals. In addition, readers who enjoy cooking, want to learn about cooking, and just love all things food will find the information and stories in this book and the recipes refreshing.

Pages: 176 | ASIN : B08XYV163C

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Different Essays: (They’re Certainly Different)

What will intrigue readers from the start of Charles Pinwill’s book is the title; it is fascinating and straightforward. Different Essays: (They’re Certainly Different) may have a simple title, but the stories in the book are more than captivating. Charles Pinwill is an exciting author. He is engaging, and his way of thinking is appealing. The author also displays a charismatic and charming side throughout the book. Moving from one chapter to the next gets interesting with every new story as the author knows how to entertain his readers.

Apart from the exciting, refreshing, and entertaining texts, readers will find a lot of quotable material in Charles Pinwill’s enthralling book. One notable quote is, ‘We all appear to be trained to vote for one set of politicians because we fear the others more.’ With the current state of politics, there is a lot of truth in this statement. The chapter on ‘Slavery, Work, and Service: The Three Ages of Man’ is especially illuminating. There are solid points raised in the text and one cannot help but think of the status quo.

This book is eye-opening and enlightening. Charles Pinwill is an excellent author and one is able to easily follow his thoughts. His style is objective and skilled at ensuring that the reader remains engrossed in the main topic even when he introduces a new subject. Readers will find his writing is encouraging as well. The author uses historical references when starting to discuss a specific matter. He also uses data from proven statistics to support his arguments. Every essay or chapter is expressly written, with the author focusing on critical topics and giving great points. The writing is generally exceptional. By the end of this revealing novel, readers will have learned about capitalism, free markets, world politics, the art of policymaking, democracy, world unity and many other crucial subjects. The author has done extensive research and compiled the essays, which despite being different, are linked thoughtfully. As a reader, you will become enlightened on how the Global North operates. Furthermore, you will discover the countries’ role in shaping the world.

Different Essays: (They’re Certainly Different) is a must-read for those interested in historical and political pieces. This thought-provoking book will appeal to lovers of history and readers who want to change their communities through literature.

Pages: 544 | ASIN : B093KCZD4W

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Lights Of The World

Author Interview
Tim and Cindy Morrison Author Interview

The Greatest Light is a picture book that engages children with examples of kindness that they can embody. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Our inspiration was the Bible verse that is quoted at the end of our book. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” Our desire is to inspire children to live their daily lives as lights of the world, and to show them that small gestures of kindness can mean a lot to the recipient of that kindness.

The art in the book was beautiful. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Steve Worthington?

Steve is a very talented, hardworking artist and he’s a great communicator too. He listened, created, listened again and revised until we were happy with the finished product. His art makes the story. We couldn’t be more pleased.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The theme we want to convey is the love a grandparent has for his grandchildren and the desire he has for his grandchildren to live lives that show kindness and love, bringing glory and honor to Our Father in heaven.

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

We are currently working on The Greatest Servant. Steve is working on it now. We’d like to publish it next fall, as its setting is Christmastime.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Go on an adventure with Poppy and his grandchildren as they discover the greatest light in the world.

Joy, Love of Life and Enthusiasm

Author Interview
Odessa Stevens Author Interview

In My Home We Believe raises awareness and promotes respect, compassion, and empathy in a world of differing beliefs. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I have worked with children and families for a couple of decades in various capacities, more recently as a child therapist. In early summer 2020, I was in a therapy session with a 6-year-old girl who was sharing her experience of participating in her first march for human rights. She invited me to join her in shouting the statements she had learned. Mid-statement she stopped and said, “No Odessa!!! You have to say them from your soul!!!” Unbeknownst to her, I was having a hard time saying them not because I didn’t believe in the statements; but I was overwhelmed by her pure joy, love of life and enthusiasm to help others. It was also at that moment I realized the children of today’s generation have such unique challenges; but with their resilience and desire to help, they are going to make this world a better place. As a lover of children’s books, it inspired me to write “In My Home We Believe.”

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Andrea Moore?

Thank you! Andrea Moore is a friend and former colleague where we worked together as child therapists. I approached her with rough sketches done by another friend, Natalie Nash. After discussing the vision and mission for the book, Andrea agreed to illustrate it. I am so grateful for her artistic skill and talent that brought the message of the book to life! The illustrations are colorful and represent a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, abilities and cultures.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The themes represented in this book focus on relevant topics that children are hearing about everyday; including Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Water is Life, Love is Love and Kindness is Everything. This book is a resource to help explain the meaning behind each statement in a way that children can understand and feel empowered. Andrea and I dedicated this book to children around the world and are donating 10% of the proceeds from every book sold to various charities that support equality, climate change, education and to end poverty and hunger.

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

Currently, we are working on translating In My Home We Believe into Spanish!!! We are hoping it will be ready for release next month, February 2022.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Instagram

In My Home We Believe addresses important issues that children are learning about every day:

What does Black Lives Matter mean?
Why are women treated differently?
Why do so many kids and their families have to leave their homes?
How does science help?
Why is water so important?
What is love?
How can I be kind to others?

This book raises awareness and promotes respect, compassion, and empathy in a world of differing beliefs. With heartfelt illustrations and a beautiful message, this book invites children to feel empowered in making the world a better place through greater knowledge, acceptance and kindness.

Part of the proceeds from this book will be donated to various charities that support equality, climate change, education and to end poverty and hunger.
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