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Dance-It-Out!

Once Upon a Dance
Once Upon a Dance Author Interview

Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute tells a creative story that gets kids dancing and exercising. How did the idea for this book come about?

As a dance teacher, I know the value of movement and expression. My daughter and I teamed up to try to keep cooped-up kids moving and active at home. The Dance-It-Out! collection—Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute is one of 10 books—are mostly expanded versions of stories I told in my dance classes. These were always the kids’ favorite part of the class, and I wanted to share the experience with a broader audience. This story is a collaboration with one of the instructors at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Marjorie Thompson, who was separately creating a story ballet, and we thought we’d team up.

What were some driving ideals behind the books development?

The story was created to be danced on stage, so it was an easy transition to create a children’s book with movement from the ideas. We infused even more movement into the Dance-It-Out version by adding the zombie ballet class and having the cats in dance-like poses. It’s full of movement themes and offers many opportunities for creating steps and shapes.

What is the collaboration process like between the authors to bring this book to live?

Marjorie, the original author, had a story draft. We whittled and edited that version together to create a book for her slightly older audience, then I infused that story with simpler movements and actions to make it accessible for younger kids.

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

We hope to have 2 more Dance-It-Outs out this year including one about a spirited squirrel superhero. Some of the previous series favorites include Joey Finds His Jump! and Princess Naomi Helps a Unicorn. We’re also working on audio books for the series and have 3 up on Amazon.

The Freya/Fynn sequel is in motion, and we have the same illustrator booked to start working on it in the new year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | CreativeMovementStories.com | OnceUponADance.com | Instagram | Twitter

Boisterous bats, zany zombies, and giddy ghosts await readers in this tale of sibling friendship, silly creatures, and magical music.

In the Dance-It-Out series, created by an award-winning dance teacherchildren act and move alongside the characters, and Ballerina Konora joins each page with movement suggestions. In this story, Fynn, Freya, cats, bats, ghosts, and zombies assemble for a captivating story of music, magic, and meyhem.

Movement, dance, and concepts include:
• Kicks
• Marches
• Jumps
• Rolls
• Bends
• First/Fifth position
• Shoulder lifts
• Lunges
• Tiptoes/Relevé
• Breath/Sighs
• Balancing on one foot
• Rocking/swaying
• Hand shapes such as fists/flat/pointer/curved fingers
• Sharp and smooth
• Emotions such as joy, shock, curiosity, and love
• Improv dance

Each Dance-It-Out story is an interactive kids’ storytelling adventure to ignite children’s movement, joy, and imagination. Ballerina Konora joins each page with optional movement and dance ideas and photographs.

The books can be used as a supplement for dance or theater studio classes or camps. Fynn, Freya, and the Fantastic Flute would be pair well with themes such as Halloween, cats, island-living, zombies, ghosts, music, camping, or magic.

The Dance-It-Out movement journeys are ideal for dance, pre-ballet, creative movement, preschool, daycare, early learning, physical education, homeschool, kindergarten, or first-grade activities. The full collection features male/female/nongendered and diverse characters. Books make a great gift for girls or boys interested in dance, ballet, gymnastics, or yoga, or reluctant readers who enjoy getting up and being active.

With kind characters, subtle life lessons, and a positive role model in Ballerina Konora, teachers love the kid-approved, ready-made, easy additions to curriculum and lesson planning. Children at home adore the stories that “young readers will return to again and again” (—Reedsy) offering “an innovative use of dance and storytelling” (—Kirkus Reviews).

Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute

Freya, Fynn, and the Fantastic Flute : A Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Story for Young Movers (Dance-It-Out! Creative Movement Stories for Young Movers) by [Once Upon a Dance, Marjorie Thompson, Emilia Rumińska]

Freya, Fynn, And The Fantastic Flute by Once Upon a Dance is a cute children’s story with a unique interactive twist. In the story, we follow Freya and Flynn as they visit their eccentric Aunt Gail. Their aunt’s home is rumored to be haunted because you can often hear music and movement coming from the attic throughout the night. But is it true? Find out and get moving in Freya, Flynn, And The Fantastic Flute!

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be ADORABLE! The mixture of dance/movement along with beautiful storytelling through writing and illustration adds something new to the children’s literature market. The author introduces a clever way to get kids moving and exercising and is a great way to have parents interact with their children. I enjoyed the story so much that I was sad when it ended and felt as though it ended abruptly. I wanted to know more about the creatures in the attic. The structure of the book leads me to believe there will be a sequel to this story, which I hope there is because this was a blast.

Freya, Fynn, And The Fantastic Flute is a fun children’s adventure book that will get kids moving through an ingenious combination of dance and storytelling. Parents and educators with young children needing to burn excess energy will find this book very handy.

Pages: 40 | ASIN: B09K5XC9DD

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Recovering Is Never Easy

GREG SIOFER
Greg Siofer Author Interview

Getting Out tells your true story of learning to walk again and provides inspiration as well as exercises to help others get out of their wheelchair. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When my incident happened, I looked for answers especially physiotherapy, I was very frustrated that there is no book on this subject on how to recover. I documented everything so that people in a similar situation looking for help and answers can follow my guide on recovery. I do not wish for anyone to go through what I have gone through, and spend unnecessary time and money on things that do not work. I wanted to record my story and my exercises which can guide a person and point them in the right direction. Recovering is never easy but if I had this book it would definitely shorten my recovery.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest moment for you to write about?

I would say the hardest moment would be looking at my reflection for the very first time and seeing a different image that was in my mind. It was a very emotional experience to write about what I was feeling at that moment. There were numerous breaks that I needed to take before completion because it was such an emotional roller coaster.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Most importantly I wanted to share the exercises which I have learned on my journey. It was something I wanted to share with people that want to be pointed in the right direction. My book will give you some ideas that can be tried, It will in my opinion show you the fundamentals that are in the exercises on your road to recovery.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

Losing something is exceedingly difficult to accept, however, in sharing my story I hope it gives the personal motivation to recover the things that have been taken away. There is light in a tunnel you just have to find it, my story I hope gives the person that light.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

How to Deal with Balance Issues: A Heart-Warming, True Story of Persistence & Determination to Stand Up and Walk Plus an Exercise Workbook Inside
 
Keeping things bottled up and suffering in silence when you are dealing with balance issues is not an option. You may be painfully grieving that you have lost the ability to walk, but do not do it quietly. This book will prove to you that you are not powerless if you do not lose the ability to hope!
 
Do you often feel uncertain how to move on with your life now that your mobility is restricted?
 
Are you struggling with conflicting emotions and a slew of difficulties on your journey to getting back on your feet?
 
Has your emotional state suffered so bad that you don’t believe any more than you have the capacity to overcome the current challenge?
 
Getting Out is an exceptional book that offers unlimited support – both from a physical and emotional aspect. It’s an inspiring true story following the author’s ups and downs as he’s trying to regain control over his legs after a brain cyst operation.
 
He felt his share of pain and helplessness, but he managed to get his life back on track. Now, he wants to share his knowledge with you. This workbook of exercises with corresponding descriptive images is his way of helping those who need a good and reliable reference.
 
Truly a great story of overcoming life’s obstacles, Getting Out is a heart-warming book that literally anyone must read! With great storytelling skills, the author will remind you to appreciate the small things in life.
 
The writings in this book won’t try to convince you that you can avoid sorrow or distress – but the author’s practical tips and encouraging words are guaranteed to show you all the ways you can smooth the rough waters.
 
Getting Out can help you better adapt to this life-changing event and bounce back from hardship. Dealing with balance issues is a lot of hard work, but this story is proof that you can do it, too.

Getting Out

Getting Out: My Story Plus The Exercises And Experience I Learned That Can Help You Get Out From The Wheelchair by [GREG SIOFER]

Getting Out: My Story Plus the Exercise and Experiences That I Learned That Can Help You Get Out from The Wheelchair by Greg Siofer gives you precisely what it promises on the cover page. The story starts with Greg’s life just as the symptoms begin to appear, follows him through the multiple surgeries, the side effects and finally concludes with the monumental 26 step walk, in  June of 2020. The story is about resilience, hardships, the life experiences gained by living with a life-changing disease and actual exercises at the end of the book that helped Siofer throughout his journey towards recovery.

The unique selling point of this book is the author himself. “How can you write an article about relearning to walk if you have never relearned to walk?” Nothing in this book is based on research done in lab conditions by people who don’t know what it feels like to be in a wheelchair. Everything mentioned in the book is something that Siofer has personally gone through, tried, and tested.

Secondly, it prepares people to deal with the frustration that is frequent in any journey towards recovery. Not all procedures work for everyone, no matter how hard you work. This is the message that Siofer conveys at several points in his journey. He tries out several methods and devices; some of them work, some don’t. But he manages to hold a goal in his mind, to make a snowman with his daughter and uses that to fuel his efforts towards recovery, regardless of the hardships.

The book mentions the presence of his wife, his daughter Isabella, his friends, parents, and his extended family, who helped and supported him in different ways in his journey. But the book focuses on their role in his life without going deep into how this affected them. I would have appreciated seeing this section expanded.

Getting Out provides readers with a unique combination of experiences and guidance for those who have been left unable to walk due to some life-changing incident. It will also prove to be a useful quick read for those who need to support someone in their life. This is an illuminating, thoughtful and inspiring book that is relevant for those who want to prepare themselves for the future ahead post such a life-changing event or those who have someone recovering in their life.

Pages: 253 | ASIN: B08N3JTM8M

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The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed

The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed: How to Manage Food, Booze, Stress, Sex, Sleep, and Exercise on Campus by [Jill Henry, Dave Henry]

The Greatest College Health Guide by authors Jill and Dave Henry is a resourceful health guide that will help readers maintain their physical and mental health during their college years. When students enter college life it becomes easy to lose yourself in your studies, and the parties, and forget about your health. With a crazy study schedule, long nights, early morning, fraternities, parties, and a poor lifestyle how can you make health a priority? This book breaks through all those barriers by providing simple but effective information and tips to help you stay happy and healthy. This guide to health will provide readers with healthy habits that will help them in college, and as adults.

Authors Jill and Dave Henry wrote this book to build health-awareness that students lose after awhile. A lot of the bad habits that are mentioned in this book are some that I myself have grown accustomed to during my time in college. These tips are helpful because they can eliminate a lot of stress that you have or will experience in college. The tone of this book is casual but is still perfect for someone to easily understand and take seriously.

I dove deep into the chapter about stress because I didn’t nurture my mental health until later on in my life. If I read a book like this during my time in school, I’m sure I would’ve saved myself from numerous panic attacks. Using healthy mental health practices is extremely important no matter what stage you are in your life. This chapter featured candid personal stories as well as handy stress management tips. These tips are useful because they’re simple and effective, perfect for the on-the-go student.

This health guide also touches on the effect that relationships have on a student’s mental health. From friendships to sexual relationships, this chapter explains why evaluating relationships are important. A lot of relationships that we’ve treasured in the past become meaningless in the future because we can only see people for who they are when we are no longer in a relationship with them. The authors write about relationships in a way that feels insightful yet conversational.

The Greatest College Health Guide delivers sagely advice with a bit of humor and lots of facts. This is a very handy guide that will ensure you live a happier and healthier life. Download it on your Kindle, keep it handy, and reference it often.

Pages: 264 | ASIN: B08BZWBRBR

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Information That Will Actually Help

Author Interview
Ian Breaker Author Interview

Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat provides guidance and actionable advice readers can use to lose weight, live healthy, and keep the weight off. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The health, fitness and dieting world is a mess. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that’s dominated by false promises and quackery wrapped around slick marketing, prose, and/or desirable figures and looks in order to tempt the desperate to part with their money.
Sadly, it works really well at lining people’s coffers, but I’ve grown so tired and annoyed at it all and I just felt utterly compelled to give people information that will actually help and that will last.

I appreciated all the great realistic advice you provided in the book. What are the first steps someone can take on their weight loss journey?

Stop looking for magic.

Realise that there is no quick fix that lasts long term, so commit to change and the long haul.

Nurture your tenacity.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about weight loss?

I think the biggest misconception is that you can implement something temporarily in order to achieve your desired condition indefinitely. You can’t. You must change. And you must change in a way that’s agreeable to you so it stays permanent.

This is book two in your Body & Soul Series. What can readers expect in book three?

Exercise is what’s planned for book three. Beat Your Weight briefly touches on some of the reasons as to why exercise is good for us, but it doesn’t cover how. Book three will fill that gap with both the theory and practice.

Author Website: LifeGroup.life

Lately it seems that the dieting world has been split into camps, with each camp often restricting a certain food group from their diet believing that the particular group is the cause of their fat problems. Whether this be the Ketogenic diet, the Plant-based diet, the Paleo diet, the Zone diet, the Alkaline diet, or any of what seems like a hundred other diets, each restricts something due to some argument against some food group. The practical result of this entire food group restriction is a calorie deficit, and any diet that allows us to enter a calorie deficit will result in fat loss.


There are so many weight loss books, diets, and plans now that disguise this fact, inventing new ways to wrap this basic fact up in a disguise in order to sell us something that looks shiny and new. But very little is new. It’s simply food group restriction (which results in a calorie restriction), and this commonality between diets of restricting food groups works for losing fat, but there’s a problem. And that problem is that the restricted food group can often be something that we like. So, sometime later, either after we achieve our chosen weight or when we’ve got tired of the restriction, we start eating the food group again. This, inevitably, results in us relapsing on our goals, gaining back fat and becoming overweight and obese again because we never actually learned how to fix the problem in the first place. We then often enter the yo-yo dieting phase where we go from one diet to the next in the hope that this one be the golden chalice and have the keys to the kingdom. Sadly, many of us end up stuck, confused, even resigned, only just managing the will to jump on the next hype train that tells us that losing fat can be easy.


Losing fat is never going to be easy though, nor is it going to be permanent if we keep jumping from one diet to the next due to not fully getting on-board with it. We don’t want to be doing stuff like this. We want to find a method that aligns with us, because finding a method that we like and can therefore stick to for good is how our fat problems remain fixed for good.

Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat

Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat: How To Lose Our Weight with Weight Loss Mastery (Body & Soul Series, Book 2) by [Ian Breaker]

Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat provides readers with dozens of useful tips for eating healthy and keeping fit. While writing, the author considered different kinds of eaters, diets, and food groups. What I liked about author Ian Breaker’s guide is that he offers solutions for everyone. While listing the downsides of certain food groups, Ian Breaker gives alternatives for people to use. Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat is one of the best dieting and health books I’ve read so far this year. Ian Breaker understands the struggle people have with both weight gain and weight loss, and so he gently breaks down what should be done for each group.

How do you properly lose fat? Can you lose fat and not your weight? Is excess intake of water good? How does your body respond to certain proteins? Ian Breaker has answers to this and many other questions. The author extensively writes about dieting, the methods people choose, and why it is important to learn your body before choosing a particular dieting method. I like how Ian Breaker is raw and factual when talking about certain food trends. He does not sugar coat things and only lists helpful facts. Is it possible to lose weight without dieting? It is, and the author writes in detail why this is one of the best methods to use.

Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat is a book that you want to keep throughout your fitness journey. Readers should keep this book even after achieving their desired body weight. This is because reading the authors refreshing words often will push one to stay fit and not relapse. This book has helped improve my relationship with food and even helped change my bad eating habits. The author will not only boost your confidence but also help you improve your interactions with others. There is a lot of positivity in the book which makes this an inspiration and motivational book as well as a health and dieting book.

One of the major lessons I learned in this book is that anything is possible if you are focused. You can have that hot body you dream of and still enjoy your favorite foods. All you need to do is be disciplined, eat right, and exercise. Ian Breaker is also sensitive when touching on delicate topics. At the end of the book, the reader feels satisfied with the information provided. I recommend Beat Your Weight Beat Your Fat to anyone conscious about their body, or anyone that just wants to eat healthy. This is an enlightening book that both encourages you and transforms you in more ways than one.

Pages: 142 | ASIN: B088D4P41S

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Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet

Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet by Tommy Balaam is an imaginative and educational children’s adventure story of a spaceship captain and his dog Winston. When Winston is hungry and they find that there’s no food in their fridge, Captain Fantastic gets an idea. They travel to a Chocolate Planet full of sweets and treats for them to devour. They roam around, eating nearly everything in sight. When they return to their ship they’re so stuffed that they can’t fit through the door and don’t feel well. How will they ever get home?

Tommy Balaam’s has fun story full of vivid imagery, and it’s use of onomatopoeia and rhymes just makes the book much more engaging an interesting. The art in the book reminds me of a comic book style, with bright colors, clear pictures with some depth to them along with floating text boxes. The detailed artwork is visually appealing and will easily capture any child’s attention. This book does a fantastic job of delivering a message on health, eating, and exercise. It is certainly one of the more creative ways that I’ve seen to educate children on these topics. 

I am giving Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet, by Tommy Balaam 5 out of 5 stars. Filled with incredible artwork, a sweet story, and fantastic characters, this a perfect gift for young readers. 

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08PJPWJ18

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