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Children Have Math Anxiety

Lisa Konkol Author Interview

“Mrs. Wiggles and the Numbers” is a read-aloud rhyming picture book about counting, math, and inclusivity for children. What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always enjoyed math and spent over 30 years as a technical writer in STEM industries. Recently, I learned that over 50% of children have math anxiety, which often starts in the early years. I wanted all children to love numbers and math.

What are the biggest challenges children face in learning to count?

The concept of amounts is visual, but counting is pure memorization. That is why children need a lot of repetition. “Mrs. Wiggles and the Numbers” makes learning entertaining. The children will love the characters and rhyme, which makes memorization easier.

How do you see your book fitting into a parent’s or teacher’s lesson plan?

“Mrs. Wiggles and the Numbers” helps visualize the numbers, and the rhyme, colors, and cute characters make the concepts enjoyable. The topic of inclusion and accepting others who don’t always “fit in” is important.   

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

The next picture book in the series is about the addition sign. The addition sign “adds” a lot to the classroom. It will be ready by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram | LinkedIn

Mrs. Wiggles and the Numbers is a read aloud rhyming picture book about counting, math, and inclusivity for children.

In a schoolhouse far away, magic blew the fields of hay. Mrs. Wiggles stood alone. Long ago, her class had grown. Then one day, she heard a sound—numbers leaping to the ground.

A read-aloud picture book for children about inclusion and starting a fun relationship with numbers to avoid “math stress.”
At an early age, children have big imaginations and embrace new ideas. Mrs. Wiggles is the best way to introduce children to the world of numbers. Magic comes to Mrs. Wiggle’s one-room schoolhouse when the bulletin board of numbers comes alive. Children are delighted by the rhyming story, humor, and bright illustrations. Children will learn the following:Counting. The rhyming text helps with memorization and recognizing numbers.
Numbers are exciting. Each number has its own friendly personality.
A happy class is a diverse, kind, and inclusive group. The numbers are worth more when working together.
Every number has value, and students in a classroom are important. The other numbers help Zero realize his value.
Numbers solve problems.
This book will keep everyone amused with many subtleties for older children and adults. A book that you will enjoy reading to children as they learn to love numbers.


Jada and Lilly are playing outside when they find a little kitten. They want to take it home, but Jada’s mom tells them that they must first call the animal shelter to ensure the cat doesn’t already belong to someone. Jada’s mom says that they can adopt the kitten if no one claims it, but warns that owning a cat takes a lot of time and love. Jada does her best to learn everything she can about owning a kitten and hopes the day will come for her to adopt that happy little kitten.

This is a wonderful children’s book that will educate young readers and show them what it takes to be a pet owner. There is a lot of things to consider and this book does a great job of showing the various things that kids will need to think about before adopting a kitten. I enjoyed seeing how Jada was so determined to learn about caring for kittens. This will inspire young readers to do their own research and find out what it takes.

If you are a parent that wants to teach your child about adopting a pet then this picture book will be a great start as it will inspire lots of conversations about the subject. Beatific is a fun and educational book that will be a wonderful resource at animal shelters or for any parent or teacher that wants to educate their children.  

Pages: 26 | ASIN: B085G83G77

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Teddy Bears Need To Talk

Amber Bernardi-Kim Author Interview

Christmas Land follows a young girl who wakes up in a magical land filled with talking animals to go on an adventure to save the kingdom. What was the inspiration for your story?

It was very late one night. It was late November or early December. My daughter was in bed with us and wanted me to tell her story before bed, and it needed to feature her favorite stuffy “Pink Teddy” and our matching necklaces. I started my story, and in that instance, I knew I wanted real-life elements and magical beings. Moments before, we talked about how much we loved Christmas, the feeling you get, how everyone is friendly, and how everything feels possible around Christmas. I knew I wanted our story to take place where things felt possible. My daughter loves cupcakes and was instrumental in adding them throughout the story. For me, it’s all about the peppermint and what the smell can invoke around the holidays. (Davina) Don’t forget teddy bears need to talk!

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

Eleonora is amazing. The first time she read through the story and sent me her outline, she immediately visualized the characters as they had been in our minds. She is based in Italy, and I loved how she was always there to answer questions and didn’t mind when a six-year-old provided suggestions or improvements. She is a very accomplished illustrator.

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

When we read or watch a movie, when a problem arises, the immediate response is to fight, hit, and inflict damage. We wanted the character to solve problems without fighting a war. We wanted an intelligent, caring leader who solved problems but enjoyed life a long way and thought about others. I knew I wanted something where that was different.

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

We are working on Christmas Land 2 and hope it will be available by next September. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Adventure with Davina to Christmas Land, where love and a little magic conquer evil. One morning, Davina awakes, discovering that the stories her mom had told her for years are true. In a land where cupcakes and yumminess abound, Davina must find a way to save the residents of Christmas Land.

Enjoy a visit to Christmas Land any time of year, for it’s not a seasonal place, but one where you can find the Christmas feeling year round.

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree

Needles is a wispy little Christmas tree with high hopes for the holiday. He’s so eager to get to the Christmas tree lot to fulfill his dream of being a beautiful Christmas tree that brings joy to people. Unfortunately for Needles, no one wants a lean tree. Will Needles find the perfect family, one that will cherish him? Find out in Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree.

Author Richard Wagner has created a charming Christmas picture book that will inspire children to never give up hope. This is also a highly relatable story as well. I’m sure that many people have gone to the tree lot looking for a big beautiful tree, snickering or ignoring the small meager trees. This beautiful book sheds light on those lonely trees, and will certainly make you want to buy one for yourself.

The illustrations by Sydni Kruger are absolutely gorgeous. Each page is illustrated from edge to edge. Each piece looks like it could have been painted by Bob Ross. I was especially drawn to the scene where Emily finds Needles on the side of the road. The deep purples on this page really set the mood.

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree is an inspiring children’s book that is filled with vibrant illustrators that kids will be looking at long after the story is over. This is the perfect kid’s book for the holiday season, or for any parent or teacher who wants to educate young readers on the importance of perseverance.

Pages: 38 | ASIN: B0BNLWZP2T

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Pinkie the Baby Bird Goes to School

Pinkie the Baby Bird Goes to School by Rose Andria, and Grace Boda is a beautifully illustrated book about a young bird getting ready to start school for the first time. It’s an excellent book for young, school-aged kids and children preparing for kindergarten, which can be an exciting and sometimes stressful experience. The story begins with inquisitive Pinkie, who is curious about what school will be like when she begins her first day, which allows her to discuss her anticipation with family and friends.

Pinkie expands her social circle throughout the book as she begins school. She meets her teacher and discovers many students and friends in her tree or community. The more Pinkie learned, the more she enjoyed making friends, singing, and expanding her knowledge. I found the book easy to read and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic story for parents and teachers.

The book is written in a way that captures children’s attention, and it’s a great way to make learning fun and less stressful, as many kids may experience at a new school or on their first day. It’s also an excellent introduction for preschool-aged kids, with bright, pastel-painted pictures, which incorporate the importance of education and diversity, getting acquainted with close friends and neighbors, and making new connections.

Pinkie the Baby Bird Goes to School by Rose Andria, and Grace Boda is a brilliant story that captures kids’ attention with a great storyline and illustrations. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for its creativity and a well-written message about the importance of community, inclusivity, and education. It’s a fantastic read for parents with small children and elementary school teachers. I personally found this book held my kids’ attention, and it makes a great addition to your home library or at a school or daycare.

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B0BJVPRJ3D

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Dear Child of Mine

Dear Child of Mine shares an inspiring message with young readers and lets them know that they can be whatever they want to be in life. This is a love letter to all the children in the world, letting them know that anything is possible.

This inspiring children’s book shares a heartfelt message of love and empowerment to help children understand that there are many different professions, and they can choose any of them. And not just one either. This remarkable kids book shares an overwhelming message that will empower children and motivate them to think about what they want to be and shoot for the stars.

I enjoyed the exploration of different professions at the beginning of the book because I think this will inspire conversation with kids about different jobs that are out there, and what those jobs entail. After readers are shown a variety of different jobs, the story then asks what they will be, which offers another fantastic opportunity for parents and educators to stop and ask their child what their aspirations are.

The vibrant graphic art throughout the book is charming. There are several scenes throughout the book that also show a diverse cast of characters, ensuring that every reader will feel represented. Dear Child of Mine is a short but very encouraging picture book that shares a message of love and gets them thinking about what it is they want to be in life.

Pages: 31 | ASIN: B09T5RQYXC

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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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Faith’s Freckles: A Book to Build Self-Esteem

Faith is a young girl that has freckles, fifty-five to be exact; she has counted them all. Faith hates having freckles, no one else in her school has freckles like her, and she is constantly being teased by the other girls. They tell her that she has dirt on her face and laugh. One girl, McKenzie, however, thinks Faith’s freckles are beautiful. Through McKenzie’s kindness, Faith learns to accept that her freckles are part of who she is and learns to love that part of herself.

Faith’s Freckles by authors Shermaine Perry-Knights and Baylei Hinds-Perry is an empowering picture book for children that are self-conscious about their unique looks. In this story, Faith has freckles that no one else in her school seams to have, but the message applies to all physical differences that children are often picked on about. This story shows how much it hurts children when they are teased, emphasizing that comments about others’ looks are not funny or a game.

McKenzie stands out as an example of true friendship and how children can be friends with those they see struggling. She offers positive support and listens to what her friend says rather than brushing off her feelings or invalidating them. Teaching children how to be good friends to those that are hurting is a life skill they can carry with them.

This children’s book teaches the messages of self-love and self-acceptance. Aimed at young elementary students, this is a critical time in their lives to learn self-esteem. That makes this book ideal for classrooms and libraries. It would be a wonderful gift for a child with freckles who is afraid of being teased and made fun of. It is a heartwarming picture book that teaches children social and emotional awareness and acceptance for those that look different from themselves.

Pages: 15 | ASIN : B0B9FQP4LB

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