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Dread in the Dark

It is incredibly difficult to go from being an only child to having a new baby sister. With a new sibling, sometimes the older one has to move into a new room; this can be an exciting and scary time, especially when there is a dark monster hiding under the bed. In Dread in the Dark by Tuula Pere, Elliot finds himself in his brand-new room, which he absolutely adores playing in while it’s daytime, but when night falls, and it’s time to head to bed, the growls coming from under his bed causes the allure of a new room to be frightened right out of him.

The author takes us on an emotional journey of going through the jealousy of having to share the limelight with a new baby in the family to growing older and having a new bedroom further away from the safety of your parents’ room. With the baby needing lots of attention and care, Elliot worries that now being so far from his parent’s room, his pleas for help at night will go ignored. When his dad comes in to put an end to the mystery of this dark monster under Elliot’s bed, Elliot expresses his fears and concerns, and his dad solves the puzzle leaving Elliot feeling heard and cared for.

It is critical for children to know their worries and fears are heeded and understood, and even more imperative when a new baby is taking away any extra attention the child would have had before the baby. I love how the author was able to display the significance of that fact by using a very relatable situation of being a small child afraid of a new room with new sensory things happening.

Dread in the Dark is a wonderful picture book that helps children identify their feelings and shows them that their feelings are valid. It also teaches children how to work through the emotions they have in a productive and safe way that will help them build social skills and self-confidence.

Pages: 34 | ISBN : 9523254464

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Kindness Has the Power to Change Lives

Tania Woznicki Author Interview

Marty and Lenny follows a friendly monkey who decides to befriend the school bully in hopes of helping him change. When you set out to write this book, was it your intention to write a story filled with kindness and morality?

Yes, it was definitely my intention. My aim was to create an entertaining children’s book designed to teach and inspire children to be kind to others, even when at first it may seem difficult.

I was inspired by research on the positive effects of oxytocin (the love hormone) on the mind and body. Showing and receiving kindness are ways we can boost oxytocin levels. Every act of kindness counts and repeated acts of kindness, have the power to change lives and make the world a better place.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art creation process like?

For the artwork in Marty and Lenny, I contracted Stefanie, an amazing, talented illustrator through Tellwell Publishing. I had a clear vision of the style of artwork I wanted based on the many picture books I had enjoyed reading in the past. I asked for bright, colourful and dynamic illustrations which effectively portrayed the emotions experienced by the characters in the story. I then created a storyboard and detailed descriptions for each illustration. Based on these descriptions, the illustrator created draft sketches for each illustration and then submitted them to me for review and feedback. Adjustments were made based on feedback and then colour was added to complete the illustrations. When I saw the finished products, I was thrilled and excited to see the story coming to life!

What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?

The power of kindness and the importance of good manners, were two of the main educational aspects I wanted to include in this book. My desire was to teach children that sometimes, the people who find it challenging to show kindness, can be the ones who need it the most. Everyone longs to belong and feel valued.

In addition to this, the story is a narrative poem designed for young readers. I chose this form of storytelling because poetry motivates children to read and builds early literacy skills. It helps children learn about rhyme, rhythm and sound. I was also intentional about the vocabulary I included in the story to help young children build their vocabulary.

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

I am in the process of writing some draft manuscripts, which all have a special message for young readers. However, there is no current set release date for these yet. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Marty and Lenny is an encouraging story about the power of kindness.

Marty is a sweet, helpful monkey with lovely manners. Lenny is the complete opposite! He is a mean and selfish lion with bad manners and disgusting habits. After a memorable encounter with Lenny, Marty decides that things need to change. Join Marty as he makes a brave choice that changes EVERYTHING!

The ‘Tail’ of a Trio

Three dogs have had a very different life up until this point. One dog, Addie, has a loving home with an owner she adores. She became her human’s assistant and works in their therapy practice with her. Addie is a therapy dog. Next is Rue. Rue had a loving home to start, but then one day, her humans disappeared, leaving her behind. She was rescued and brought to a new home, but she was always worried about being replaced and left again. The third dog, Bee, grew up in the pound; she never knew love, only stress and anxiety, and loud noises scared her. This well-written children’s book tells the story of how the three meet and become friends.

The ‘Tail’ of a Trio is written by Katherine Scott, a licensed therapist. She uses the dogs in this story to explain how therapy dogs help people and some situations in that they can be of service. Told from the dogs’ perspective, this heartwarming book can help children suffering from anxiety to see their feelings are normal and valid. I love that Scott explains different therapy terms and practices in the story. This is a friendly and gentle way to introduce the concept to children, especially kids who are unsure about therapy or feel something is wrong with them attending therapy.

The story is conversational and moves comfortably, giving readers time to talk about concepts and situations. I feel this book would help children that have anxiety understand that they are not alone and it is ok. In addition, the three dogs make the story approachable and less scary than if it were humans doing the same thing.

The ‘Tail’ of a Trio is an extraordinary tale of friendship, compassion, and understanding. Children will learn much from this short story and enjoy its artwork. Each dog has their own unique personality, and children will be able to find one to identify with. This is a beautiful book for therapists to have and recommend to help normalize therapy.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B0B8334M45

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Marty and Lenny

Marty is a well-behaved and polite monkey; he has excellent manners. One of Marty’s traits is he tries to be a good friend to all around him. That also includes Lenny the Lion. Lenny is rude, crude, and has a terrible attitude. He has no manners and does not care who he upsets as long as he gets his way. One day at lunch, he let off a fart that was loud and stinky, and Marty knew something had to change. So that night, Marty came up with a plan. He was going to be nice to Lenny. Marty was going to see if being friends with Lenny would help him be a better Lion that people actually liked and wanted to be around. Would his plan work?

Marty and Lenny by Tania Woznicki is a heartwarming picture book about friendship. The school bully really just wants to be noticed, and when Marty approaches him with kindness, he is thrown off and takes him up on his offer to play. Marty teaches Lenny how to have good manners and be a good friend, not by lecturing or telling him everything he does wrong, but instead by showing him how a good person and friend acts.

The artwork in this children’s book is fantastic, there are layers of details, and everything is so vibrant. The characters come to life and will draw children in as they read the story and see Lenny learning how to have good manners.

Marty and Lenny is a delightful way to introduce good manners to children and teach them how to be a good friend to others. Children and adults will find this book well-written and inspirational. This would be an excellent book for preschool and kindergarten classrooms to help kids understand how to make new friends.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B09VD63H9V

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Bubbles

Anibabs is a little girl who, when she turns four, discovers she has a unique and amazing talent. She can blow bubbles! Now, these are not your ordinary soap bubbles or bubble gum bubbles; no Anibabs can blow bubbles in all shapes, colors, and sizes. What was even more impressive is that she didn’t just blow bubbles with her mouth. Instead, they came out of her nose and ears and even her bum! So what fun will Anibabs have now that she has discovered her special talent?

Bubbles, written by Sarah Vizzard and illustrated by Lynsey Hilton, is an entertaining picture book with children and adults laughing page after page. While enjoying the fun story and beautiful color illustrations, children will be able to learn shapes, colors, animals, fruits, and different vehicles as Anibabs makes bubbles in all kinds of shapes. The animal bubbles were my favorite. Children will love looking at these pictures.

The author points out to readers that everyone has extraordinary and unique talents. This message is essential for children to hear and see. Presented in a silly and fun rhyming manner, this children’s book will be delightful to read out loud in a classroom or as a bedtime story.

Seeing all the different ways that Anibabs can blow bubbles is unexpected and defiantly not something I have seen before in a children’s book. I love the originality that Sarah Vizzard has displayed with this story, and I know kids will love it too. Lynsey Hilton’s illustrations bring the tale to life; each page has so much to see and enjoy. This is a beautiful picture book for preschoolers to young elementary grade kids to enjoy reading.

Bubbles is a whimsical picture book that children, teachers, and families can all enjoy reading. Each page gives readers a chance to learn new shapes, animals, colors, or numbers and an all-around superb educational book.

Pages: 35 | ASIN : B0B2VTP3BG

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The Scary Snakes

Shelly is terrified of snakes, so much so she is unable to enjoy outings with her family for fear there is a snake everywhere. When out on a picnic with her family, she is afraid to even walk on the ground, and her dad has to carry her all over. She is worried that when she gets bigger and her dad can no longer carry her that she will not be able to go out with her family on these adventures. When she gets home, she calls her Grandma to tell her how upset she is, but Grandma has a plan to help her. The next day Grandma shows up with her yarn and knitting needles and together work out a plan to get past her fear of snakes.

The Scary Snakes by Tuula Pere and illustrated by Catty Flores is a creative picture book about one girl overcoming her fear of snakes. With her help of her, Grandma Shelly knits all sizes and colors of snakes to put all over her house. Seeing the harmless, fun snakes all over helps her overcome her fear.

What I love about this story is that no one makes fun of Shelly’s fear; it is taken seriously, and instead of making her feel bad, her family does things to help her overcome them. In addition, there is a strong bond between Shelly and her Grandma; it is heartwarming to see them connect over making snakes.

I loved how Catty Flores gave the characters so much energy. You can feel the excitement as Shelly gets over her fears and has fun with her Grandmother. The illustrations are colorful and have great details bringing the knitted snakes to life.

The Scary Snakes is a beautiful children’s book about overcoming fears and building confidence. This is an excellent story for kindergarten and young elementary students to learn how being afraid of things is normal.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 9523572989

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Do You See Me when We Travel

Traveling with small children is a challenge at times. They often don’t understand why things take so long, they get bored easily, and do not like having their routine changed. Do You See Me when We Travel by Tuula Pere is a whimsical look at traveling from a child’s perspective. It helps children with things like long car rides, strange food, new places, and sleeping in a strange bed.

As a parent, I recognize many of the questions and comments the small child makes in this picture book. This is an amazing book to read to a preschooler or kindergarten child before taking a long trip to someplace new. It will help them understand that things may look and feel different, but that is ok. The child in the story was able to find things that were more like they are used to and learn to enjoy being someplace new.

Majigsuren Enkhbat illustrations are colorful and fun to look at. Seeing the child and only the legs of the adults really puts the perspective on a level for small children to relate to. The use of different color text in for the adults vs the child was also a brilliant choice. The text is written like a conversation between the adults and the child so having the different colors makes it so young readers can easily identify the parts that are from a kid’s perspective.

Do You See Me when We Travel is a heartwarming picture book that children and adults can appreciate and enjoy? This book is perfect to take when traveling to help keep kids entertained on the way anticipating all the fun they can have on their adventure.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09JMFWKRM

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Do You See Me at Home

Do You See Me at Home written by Tuula Pere is a picture book that feels like you are looking into the mind of a child. This story is written from the perspective of a child’s thoughts and their parent’s responses to their feelings. All the interactions are everyday occurrences that parents and children can identify happening in their own lives at one point or another. Things like excitement and wanting to share their day, being scared by something they see on the TV or computer, things too loud, or having to stop playing in the middle of an adventure are experiences children have all the time.

My first thought when reading this realistic children’s book was, I have been here with my own children. I could identify with almost every situation the child and parents were experiencing. This would have been a wonderful book to have had to read to my own children when they were in preschool and young elementary kids. I can see how this expressive picture book would allow children to see their feelings are valid and normal.

The illustrations done by Majigsuren Enkhbat are vivid and bold. There are strong colors that work well together, helping to portray the child’s mood from page to page. When the child is scared by something on TV there is a mostly black page with an angry red fire. When the parents are comforting the child it is bright white with a sky blue and yellow that is soothing.

Do You See Me at Home is a beautifully written picture book that teaches children that their feelings and emotions are normal and ok to have. It is ok for big situations to be difficult for small children and parents and family are there to help them through. This is an ideal children’s book for preschoolers and kindergarten-age kids.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09JMDTFRC

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