“You are all different and all perfect, just as you are. Lately, you have become more than that. Now, you reach beyond yourselves, using your differences to help your friends. That is the magic of belonging.”
A tiny blue butterfly is chased out of a yellow garden because she does not blend in.
She flees to the nearby forest glen, where she encounters a colorful band of woodland creatures-all of them expelled from the garden for the same reason-being different. The glen provides safety, friendship, and acceptance. However, it’s the garden that holds the blue butterfly’s true destiny.
A Queen, a mystical potion, and the fate of their natural world hang in the balance. The blue butterfly, and what makes her different, holds the key.
The Garden and the Glen is about the magic that finds us when we’re brave enough to be our unique selves.
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When there’s a new baby in your home, it’s easy for a child to feel jealous or forgotten because the baby will need lots of attention and care. But having the right people there for you can change everything. You can learn to be thankful for all the things in your life instead of focusing on the bad things.
Honeycake: Counting All My Blessings, by Medea Kalantar is a touching story about a little girl named Nala that has to deal with all the attention being placed on her newborn brother. She begins to wonder why her brother is getting gifts and why he’s, seemingly, more important than her. Lucky for her, Nala has a wonderful family member to talk her through it and teach her to count her blessings. She learns all about the Green-Eyed Monster and its negative effects on her. She learns to be thankful for everything in her life and to accept this new change as the blessing that it is.
The way the author is able to send a message to young readers about the importance of being thankful is amazing. She is able to write in a way that would capture any child’s attention. I enjoyed the cute and emotive drawings that do a great job of showing how Nala is feeling. This makes it easy for any reader to relate to Nala. Not only do children get an eye-catching story but they learn an important life lesson.
Honeycake: Counting All My Blessings is definitely one of the most educational books for a child to read. It teaches thing not often taught in school. Young readers will learn about gratitude and thankfulness towards things in their lives.
Pages: 37 | ASIN: B08FPK3Q53
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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.
Gold Award Winners
A Little Bit Extraordinary by Esther Robinson
A Saint and a Sinner by Stephen H. Donnelly and Diane O’Bryan
Silver Award Winners
Mountain Heat by Natrelle Long
Pandora’s Gardener by David C Mason
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A little bit Extraordinary follows Juliette as she explains Down’s syndrome and promotes acceptance and diversity. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Children are the future of our society and I feel it’s important to teach them the importance of being kind, considerate and understanding. This way of being is simple and achievable and can make a huge positive impact on people’s lives. My older brother, Martin, has an ultra-rare genetic syndrome called WAGR. Growing up, I was saddened by people bullying him, making assumptions about his capabilities and by him being made to attend a different school to me. Our family connected with other families whose children had various disabilities, including Down’s syndrome. I was such a shy, reserved child and I was taken aback by the open display of affection from the children I met with Down’s syndrome; they seemed free to be who they wanted to be. I saw they had individual personalities with different traits and abilities, but other people who did not mix with people with disabilities did not necessarily understand this. Down’s syndrome affects many more people than WAGR, so focusing my book on Down’s syndrome enabled me to reach more people as they would be able to identify with the character and themes of the book more easily. I also felt that many people did not know the cause of Down’s syndrome and that this book would explain it in a simplistic way, helping to reduce prejudice and judgment, thereby encouraging understanding, acceptance and integration in education and the community.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about Down’s syndrome?
People may assume people with a disability such as Down’s syndrome are unable to contribute to society, that they don’t have any skills or talents to share with the community and ostracise them. People may assume they are stupid or don’t understand what people are saying, and think they don’t feel hurt when someone is unkind to them or bullies them. This was why it was important to introduce the theme of empathy into my book.
I loved the art in this book. What was the art collaboration like with illustrator Grainne Knox?
Gráinne was enamoured with my book idea, really believing in it having an important purpose, so I knew she would put her heart and soul into it. Gráinne paid great attention to the words I had written, so she came up with picture ideas for the stanzas that really reflected the meaning of the words. If there were no words in the book, I feel the pictures would convey the story. Gráinne was a pleasure to work with – very accommodating – and came up with great ideas. I gave her ideas on what I thought Juliette should look like and with some small changes I feel we got her appearance just right. When it came to an idea for a picture to go with the stanza on how Juliette does things differently, Gráinne put out a request on social media for ideas and a mum of a child who has a disability suggested the child lining items up in rows, while a nurse who works with children with disabilities suggested the use of Makaton, so Gráinne combined those two ideas into one picture.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
The understanding that kindness, compassion, empathy and love enable people to live in harmony with one another and put this into practice in their daily lives.
I’ve Got You is a fun space adventure that explores fear and helping friends overcome it. Why was this an important theme for this book?
For me, it was super important to get this book out during Covid-19 as I wanted to help any children feeling lonely and to make sure they never felt alone! It times of trouble we must stay together and look after those in need the most.
This is book one in your Captain Fantastic series. What can readers expect in book two?
The next book is ‘Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet’ and will be ready for Christmas 2020:
“Good grief,” cried the captain “we’re space monster stew!
Or perhaps it’s an ogre, a witch or some new
Strange kind of monster, a space ghoul or mummy.”
“Captain,” said Winston, “I think it’s my tummy!”
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Frankie the Ferret is a children’s picture book that teaches kids about the joy of having a ferret as a pet. What inspired you to write a story about Frankie?
Frankie the Ferret was our beloved pet for nine years and as my children were more active outside of our home, Frankie and I developed a special bond. This book outlines what it was like in a day of a ferret. Since most children have dogs or cats, I felt it would be nice to show everyone what a pet ferret is really like. My grandchildren did not get the chance to meet Frankie, they asked many questions about him so I wrote this book, dedicated it to my grandchildren so that they would see what Frankie was really like.
There are so many funny scenes in this book. My favorite was the scene of Frankie stealing the socks. What was your favorite scene from the book?
Frankie stealing socks is my favorite scene too, it was so cute to see him dragging the socks out of the laundry basket and running backwards dragging the socks with him. He loved to hide them under the couch, he always had quite the collection. We always knew where to find our socks if they were missing! Eventually, we bought him a few pairs of socks that he could call his own.
This book is dedicated to the memory of Frankie the ferret. Do you think ferrets are a good pet for children to have?
Ferrets are a great pet for children but not the younger ones. They are very smart, lovable and very funny but like all pets, they are a big responsibility and a lot of work to take care of. They are little escape artists so their time out of their cage should be inside a ferret enclosure with their toys, water, food and kitty litter pan to keep them safe.
Do you have other books planned featuring Frankie?
At this time, there is no sequel book about Frankie in the works.
The Magical Mistake is an adorable children’s book about a farmer who participates in his towns Annual Harvest Tasting only to find a magical cursed berry, supposedly ridded from the land, in his harvest cart. Before he’s able to remove the berry from the cart the Mayor has already begun tasting it. With the towns Mayor cursed by a magical berry farmer John must rush to find a cure.
Kaavya Shah provides young readers with a delightful story that helps build their vocabulary by introducing new words, in an easy to understand context. The glossary provided at the end of the book helps provide everything readers will need to get a full understanding of new vocabulary words and how to use them. With only two characters in this story, there is still quite a fantastical world created here. The supposedly cursed berry is not what it turns out to be, leaving readers with a bit of a mystery, but this opens the story to a continuation in a series that could explore further what this berry is. I would have liked to have seen farmer John come up with a solution to the curse, or at least provide a little backstory to the berry. As it is, it seems that the problem at the heart of the story seems to just resolve it self. Every page of the book is brightly colored and accompanied by cute vector art that suited the story well. The Magical Mistake is an entertaining story that will also build young readers vocabularies.
Pages: 28 | ASIN: B08BW511YD
What I Tell Myself About Talent is a fun children’s book that places exploration and self actualization center stage. What are you good at? What’s your talent? How can you ever know until you try. This book helps kids make the connection between their current talents and their future jobs, whether it’s an innate talent or something they have to work at. Rather than telling children to be one thing or another, What I Tell Myself About Talent let’s readers know that it’s okay to not know, and exploring the possibilities is part of the fun.
Michael Brown has once again created a book on a topic that I have rarely, if ever, read about in a children’s book. Talent, and how to find it in everyday places with a little exploration, is accomplished in this book with simple rhymes and vibrant illustrations of diverse children doing different activities. This picture book will encourage readers to get out into the world and try things out. It will open their eyes to the idea that they can continue to do the things they like even into adulthood. From doctors to construction workers Michael Brown makes it clear that going out and finding what your good at is part of the fun. The ending of the book has Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which is a great opportunity for further discussion beyond the book. What I Tell Myself About Talent is a great way to start a conversation about finding talent in everyday activities.
Pages: 30 | ASIN: B08CBQR6XJ
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