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.

I Can Do That

Scarlett is a little girl, and her mom wants to play a game all day long. The game is mommy and daddy will give her different challenges all day, and she has to see if she can do them all by herself. Challenges like making her bed, cleaning her room, helping with shopping, and even playing at the park and drawing a picture make for a full day of fun. Scarlett spends the day thinking she is playing a game but is really learning and growing as she completes each of her challenges.

I Can Do That: A Little Girls’s Day of Big Challenges is written for preschoolers and kindergarten level children; this book introduces taking responsibility in a fun and creative way. Scarlett has a mantra she repeats with each task given, “I can do that!” This phrase is often heard from small children and allows them to feel empowered and able to accomplish things. Finding age-appropriate jobs and helping them succeed is a delicate balance, and this picture book demonstrates a creative way to engage children. Learning while playing is a crucial developmental skill, and Scarlett jumps right into this activity despite the fear that she may not be able to do everything. Her mom, however, offers encouragement and tells her all she needs to do is try and ask for help if she can’t do it.

Author and illustrator Kairen Alaina is immensely talented and does a fantastic job composing this children’s story and providing whimsical artwork to follow along. Reading this playful story aloud will entertain children and adults with a positive and energetic narrative.

I Can Do That: A Little Girls’s Day of Big Challenges is a remarkable picture book that will delight children and adults. Parents and teachers will love having this charismatic book on hand to help teach children about responsibility and building self-confidence.

Pages: 31 | ASIN : B09KNWFK5T

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Garrett Bear Learning From Failure

Garrett Bear lives in Character Jungle and has set a goal to win this year’s rock climbing championship. The day of the competition comes, and Garrett does not succeed. He is disappointed and voes to never compete in rock climbing again. The following year the competition was announced, and Garrett told his parents he would not join in. Papa Bear asks Garrett why he does not want to compete, and they have a long talk about failure. Papa Bear explains that failure is not the end of the road, merely a stepping stone, and teaches Garrett how to process and move forward after failing to reach a goal that he sets.

This picture book written by K. Tang is a beautiful way to introduce the idea of failure to children gently and positively. First, K. Tang explains the different emotions of failure, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. She then presents readers with five steps to dealing with a failure and moving towards success. The five steps that the author outlines are simple and easy for children to understand and remember.

In addition to presenting the five steps for building success after failure, the author includes a guide for parents, caregivers, and educators on how to help children that are afraid of failure. This section has six steps adults can use to help children navigate this confusing and challenging time. The outcome of these steps is to learn failing is okay and how to improve in the future.

Garrett Bear Learning From Failure is a profoundly thoughtful picture book that brings to life the concept of failure in a manner that children will understand and process. The captivating artwork by Michelle C. allows children to feel engaged with the story and relate to Garrett. This children’s book is a must-have for school, classroom, and home libraries for helping children develop their emotional toolbox.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 1737032627

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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.

Happy Tails Camper Stories: Lucy Learns to Share

Lucy is nervous about her first day at Happy Tails Dog Camp. Once she gets there, she sees so many different dogs in all sizes. There was a big play yard with a shed off to the side. Lucy sniffed and made friends with the other dogs. After a while the humans brought out a big box of toys to play with. Lucy wanted the orange ball, but Baxter took it first. All Lucy could think about was that orange ball. So, the next day at camp when the toys were brought out she dashed for the orange ball and ran off and hid so no one could take the ball from her. Lucy learned that playing alone is no fun.

Happy Tails Camper Stories: Lucy Learns to Share by Sharlene Novak and illustrated by Sarah Gledhill is a heartwarming story about learning to share. Learning to share is hard, whether you are a kid or a dog. This playful picture book shows that keeping toys to yourself can end up not being as much fun as one would hope. Instead, it is better to share what you have and that way everyone can have fun together.

The colorful illustrations come to life in this imaginative story. Seeing the way the dogs make friends is relatable to small children that are naturally drawn to cute cuddly animals. The idea of sharing is a hard concept to visualize for little kids, so seeing Lucy get the toy she wanted and be disappointed is a great message that children can relate to.

Happy Tails Camper Stories: Lucy Learns to Share would make an excellent read aloud book for children. The pictures are engaging and the story is beautifully written to relate the message of sharing. Children will love the charismatic dogs in this picture book and parents and teachers will love the meaningful message and simple writing style.

Pages: 28 | ASIN : B09N3WQTSZ

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My Awareness Book

My Awareness Book is a practical guide for children that teaches them how to manage the big emotions in their life. This educational picture book starts out with the lines “We all make our own choices in life, / Sometimes big, sometimes small. / Think positive and smile, / It’s your life and your call.” This sets the tone for this book and lets readers know life is about making choices and it is up to you to decide what the correct choice for you is. There are several examples such as making mistakes and owning up to them, learning to speak in a positive manner, and not being afraid to show emotions. These topics are hard to conceptualize for children and this thought-provoking book will help introduce them and provides an opportunity for further discussion.

Author Diana Smith uses simple but effective prose to share her meaningful message. The struggle to grow emotionally and learn to regulate one’s emotions is challenging, especially for young children. This book takes the lessons parents try to instill in their children and presents it in a way that is engaging and relatable. The extraordinary illustrations by Sarah Jane Marchant will fascinate young children with their cute characters and vibrant colors. Topics like thinking before you speak can be challenging to illustrate, but Marchant has accomplished this task. The combination of engaging prose and captivating illustrations make for an illuminating picture book to be read again and again.  

My Awareness Book is a terrific read for children, parents and teachers. This simple narrative model’s good behavior and morals in an approachable way that does not feel lecturing or condescending. The goal of this beautifully written book is to teach children how to have a growth mindset. Teaching children how to grow and understand their feelings is a huge undertaking, and this captivating children’s book is a first step in helping them learn.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B09MPWZFMG

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The Message Of Positivity

Maria Cedolini Thompson
Maria Cedolini Thompson Author Interview

Our 20/20 Journey Back to School talks about returning to school in a post COVID world, what was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for this setup to my story was the thoughts in my head about returning to school a few days before our return in February of 2021. I was fortunate enough to have my first-grade class loop up to second grade with me and so I knew the questions that they had been asking and had built a strong relationship with both my students and their parents. As a parent myself, I knew the importance of letting my community know that we are all in this together and that anything is possible (even though a pandemic). The message of positivity was necessary for all of us to cope with these challenges. The idea that we would conquer them as a team, was most important to me!

The artwork was very creative and engaging for young readers. What was the collaboration process like between you and the illustrator?

The collaboration with Daria Shamolina was amazing. She lives in the Ukraine and I have yet to meet her face to face or even on Facetime/Zoom. I trusted that she would produce incredible illustrations and she was truly able to make the story come to life. I found Daria on a Facebook Author page and saw her previous work and emailed her. I think it was meant to be because she had now illustrated my second book as well.

Returning to normalcy in a post COVID environment is challenging for adults and kids; you touched on the perspective of teachers and children in a relatable way. What was your thought process in writing this content in order to appeal to both the children and the adults reading with them?

In collaborating with teachers at my school and in Covid Facebook groups, I really got a good sense of what “all” teachers were going through. I learned so many things from the many groups I followed and was so thankful for the many resources that I had access to during this time. I really tried to put myself in the shoes of my students and think about how they might be feeling through this unprecedented time. I couldn’t be prouder of my group of students who were warriors through the Pandemic and who supported each other and myself alike!

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

My second book was just released at the end of November on both Amazon and Ingram Spark, it is called, “Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose”. It is about a legendary St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun. Each year during the month of March up until the family Irish holiday, Lucky comes to visit children at school and at home. But he isn’t just here for a visit! Lucky wants to create some March magic by hiding toys, leaving messages and surprises, and even making messes while the children aren’t looking. In the spirit of The Elf on the Shelf, Lucky brings much delight to the hearts of children during this wonderful holiday time.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram

“Our 20/20 Journey Back to School” is told from the children’s perspective and starts at the beginning of the Pandemic when students are home learning on Zoom. The children address both the challenges and positive aspects of their time spent at home. As the story continues, they tell of the changes to school upon their return. This story tugs on your heartstrings as the students return to school with joyful anticipation and describe the effects of the pandemic on their school experience. They explain how they are feeling and tell about the many unfamiliar changes in this new and different atmosphere. By the end of the book, they are able to express the importance of the class being together, whether on Zoom or in the classroom. This experience has opened their eyes (20/20 vision) and taught them the value of working together. While students and teachers have always been a team, 2020 truly taught us what teamwork was all about and the importance of our journey together and learning as a “class family”.
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