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A Heartfelt Conversation With The Moon

Natcole Staskiewicz Author Interview

Lacie’s Moon follows a little girl who embarks on a fantastic adventure where she learns about love and grief. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Amyia Staskiewicz?

Amyia is my daughter and that made working on this project extra special. She had been drawing since she was six years old, and I was happy she said yes when I approached her to do the project with me. It was during a difficult time and we had loss many loved ones. She created the character, and everything took off from there. I was amazed that without reading the full story and with little instructions she was still able to capture its essence.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

When Lacie rides through the stars having a heartfelt conversation with the moon. It was both fun and therapeutic because I was grieving alongside her.

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

I am currently working on a couple of book projects. One of them is the next book in the “Little People Big Emotions” series which focus on children processing their feelings. It will feature Lacie adjusting to having a new sibling. It has just started the illustrating phase and I anticipate it will be available by early 2023. The second book is a story about kindness, and I am working to make it available by December 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Rated #1 New Release
Awarded Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival


Understanding grief is never easy.

Lacie’s Moon follows a happy little girl who can’t imagine life being anything else until she learns that two members of her family have died. She loved them with all her heart. And they loved her to the moon and back. Now they’re gone forever…
Not sure what to do, Lacie shouts out to the moon. To her surprise, she wakes to the moon coming to her aid.
Can the moon help?
Natcole Staskiewicz has thoughtfully crafted a beautiful story to help your child cope with loss. Each page is accompanied with wonderful illustrations by her daughter, Amyia Staskiewicz, that helps bring the story to life.
This book is wonderful for elementary grade children and older, who can then discuss it with their parents and family. This is also for adults who need a gentle reminder that the ones we love stay with us…through their never-ending love.

Pearl’s Life

Pearl’s Life is the second book following Welcome Home, Pearl, which tells the story of Jacob, the older brother of Pearl, who experiences big changes in life after her arrival. As Jacob prepares to start school, he wants to include Pearl in his new experience. He asks his family to bring Pearl when they drop him off at school. As a child with disabilities, Jacob’s parents are initially unsure if Pearl can handle such an event or if bringing her to school to see her big brother make an entrance would be too much for her.

This children’s book provides a great opportunity to discuss the challenges of welcoming a new baby into the home and how a child with disabilities can handle some of the same experiences and activities differently. Jacob asks many helpful questions, as he sincerely wants his baby sister to play a pivotal role in his life, but doesn’t always understand how her abilities and special needs may impact how she interacts with him. As his family listens to Jacob’s concerns, they provide the best and easiest explanations and solutions while discussing how Pearl will be a part of every new milestone in his life.

The author does an exceptional job of tackling difficult questions and the emotional, real-life situations that accompany a family, especially when learning how to love and care for a child with disabilities. The story illustrates how important it is to not let the opinion of other people determine how to live your life or the compassion you have for others, including your family. Just because Pearl has a disability doesn’t mean she can’t come with Jacob to his first day of school. The boy sees this as an opportunity to show off his sister and normalize her condition by opening answering questions and inviting people to meet Pearl.

I really enjoyed author Tuula Pere’s carefully and beautifully written story and the illustrations by Catty Flores. I found each scene brought a sweet and heroic nature to Jacob. He’s a curious but compassionate child who makes a great role model for children. He shows readers how to discuss friends and family members with disabilities. I recommend Pearl’s Life for its excellent message to accept others and start a meaningful and heartfelt discussion about family and friends and their disabilities in a way that educates and increases compassion.

Pages: 16 | ASIN: B07NKF91BL

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T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo

Tuck is stuck in the house on a rainy. With nothing to do little Tuck starts to get bored. He’d love to go to the zoo, but can’t go outside until the rain stops. Luckily his stuffed T-Rex comes to life and shows Tuck how to use his imagination to go on a fun adventure at the zoo without ever leaving his room. Together they embark on an educational trip to the zoo where they laugh and learn about different animals.

T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo is a cute children’s book that teaches kids how to use their imagination. If you know how to use it, you’ll never be bored. Author Katie Marie has written a delightful story that is filled with both funny and educational moments. Children will learn different interesting facts about animals that are mixed with funny sounds and fun movements. Children will love making the sounds that the different animals make in the book, like lions and monkeys, and the story also provides some funny physical activities that kids will love to try, like stomping like an elephant or waddling like a penguin. All of this comes together to make a book that is highly engaging.

Each page has a wonderful piece of sketch art by illustrator Jessie Johnson that really brings the scene to life. The soft color palette and the artwork makes this book inviting and perfect for parents to read to toddlers or for early readers to read on their own.

T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo is an imaginative and fun picture book that educates as well as it entertains. With an animated stuff T-Rex, a charming protagonist, and an imaginative story line, this is a perfect gift for any child.

Billy Be Kind: The Kind Little Mouse

A kind little mouse scampers around the house cleaning, taking out the trash and mopping the floors, all while young Anthony and Ryan watch T.V. When their mom get’s home she asks the young boys if they did their chores. They lied and said they did, but their deception bothers them and, with a little help from a kind little mouse, the boys confess. The boys learn that lying is not good, and that the truth comes with its own rewards.

Billy Be Kind is an educational children’s book that informs young readers while entertaining them with cute imagery. I enjoyed how focused this story was on the singular lesson, because young children can get lost in the nuance of more detailed stories. Author Kim Adams does a fantastic job of distilling the moral problem down into something young kids can understand, and then explaining why it’s bad in terms that anyone will be able to comprehend. This is all done through rhyme, which adds a lyrical aspect to this wonderful kid’s book.

Every page is magnificently illustrated. There are a lot of little details throughout the house that build a backstory for the family. Billy Be Kind always has bright shiny eyes and a smile which made him feel welcoming and charming. The children are also emotive, making it easy for young readers to pick up on their emotions while parents read the story to them.

Billy Be Kind: The Kind Little Mouse tells a relatable and educational story about the importance of honesty. Children will learn that lying is bad and they’ll also learn to admit to their mistakes and trust that their parents will treat them fairly once they come clean. This is a cute story for kindergarten and preschool aged children and will be a wonderful addition to any teachers lesson plans on honesty and trust.

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B0B6L3Q3WS

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Sharing Is the New Cool

Morgan is about to start his first day of kindergarten. As Morgan and his mom head out for school readers start to learn that there is something very cool about Morgan. He loves to share! Morgan encounters various situations throughout his day that show how kindness and sharing are two of the coolest qualities a kid can posses. Morgan is certainly worthy of the title printed on his backpack at the beginning of the story, ‘King of Cool’.

Beautifully illustrated pages, a cool little protagonist, and a heartfelt message all come together to create a fantastic children’s book that kindergarten and first grade readers will adore. The art throughout the book is bright and sharp and captures the emotion of each scene. There is plenty going on in the background of the scenes that will keep readers coming back looking for things they missed the first time. My favorite inconspicuous detail in the story was the ‘Crann’s Pizza’ shop.

There are a lot of emotional details in all the characters faces throughout this vivid picture book. This helps young children understand the emotion of each scene as their parents read the story to them. Parents looking for a book that promotes diversity will love Jacqueline Crann’s kids book as the entire kindergarten class is filled with diverse children. Kids will learn about a variety of things that are cool, like eating vegetables and reading books as well as sharing.

Author Jacqueline Crann has created a marvelous children’s book with a charismatic protagonist. Sharing Is the New Cool is a delightful picture book makes its point in the most charming way possible. Young readers will surely come back to this book again and again.

Pages: 29 | ASIN: B0B1C6BCT6

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Me In Animal Form

Melinda L Booth Author Interview

Tegan Finds Her Tribe follows an abandoned cat who joins a group of kindred spirits that help her live her best life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration was a combination of my finding and rescuing a small kitten who became part of our tribe, and my escape from a toxic work environment during The Great Resignation. In the book, Tegan is essentially me in animal form. I have found a new life, kindred spirits, and am starting to realize my dreams! One of those dreams was writing a children’s book. Becoming both a publisher and author is much more than I ever imagined! But here I am!

This was a charming book with beautiful illustrations. What was the artistic process like to bring this book to life?

Being that Tegan Finds Her Tribe was my first attempt at writing and illustrating a book, it was a challenge! But I pulled it together somehow. I guess determination was the key.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

I enjoyed visualizing Tegan’s antagonists in the forest at night, and how they made her feel. She used that, refusing to let fear of the unknown conquer her. She knew intrinsically that she would persevere… somehow. She trusted herself, and took a leap of faith.

Do you have more children’s books planned that feature Tegan?

I hope to do at least one more book about Tegan (and Willow), I just haven’t figured out what’s next for Tegan or for me. In the meantime, I have two other books in the works.

Author Links: Amazon | Facebook

What’s a cat to do when she’s abandoned alongside the road and left to fend for herself? The only way for her to survive is to find her tribe! Follow the Adventures of Tegan, a stray cat who falls into the midst of kindred spirits…., Her Tribe! This new sense of belonging encourages her to pursue her dreams, and live her best life, …. not just survive – but THRIVE!

The story teaches authenticity, acceptance, diversity, inclusion, overcoming obstacles, empathy, the importance of having a sense of community, kindness, compassion, and realizing your worth. The story of Tegan’s journey encourages your child to appreciate their own unique traits and accept the differences of others so that everyone can thrive. It feels good to be yourself!

For ages 6 – 10

Just Janey’s Way

Janey has been a little stubborn lately, always wanting things done her way. After spending some time out in the garden with the class, and bossing her friends around, she finds herself all alone because no one wants to work with her. Will Janey find a way to work with others?

Just Janey’s Way shows how children that are stubborn may seem like bullies, but they are really just afraid and having control makes them feel safe. Once this issue is out in the open this book does a fantastic job of showing kids how to handle the situation. Opening up and talking about things is a critical step for Janey, and helps her reconnect with her friends. I thought this was a great lesson to teach to young children, because a lot of times children bottle up their emotions, and this book shows them that it’s okay to let others know your worries.

There is a wonderfully diverse cast of characters in this book that carry over from book one. I was also happy to see that Ben’s Fidget ball makes another appearance as this establishes a character trait throughout the series and also shows readers that people deal with their emotions in different ways. I think that this is really what this book, and book one in the Janey Series, was about; handling emotions.

Yet another fantastic and educational entry in The Janey Series. This is a vibrant picture book that is sure to keep kids engaged while teaching them a valuable life lesson. I highly recommend this children’s book. It would be great for gifting and is an exceptional kids book to add to any young child’s library.

Pages: 30 | ISBN: 1922670553

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Janey Just in Case

Janey is worried about her first day of school. Unable to sleep, she gets up early to pack her bag with all the things she thinks she’ll need. She heads off to breakfast, but she is so nervous that she can’t even eat! So, she packs her bag with some snacks and some extras, just in case. Her dad thinks she may have overprepared for her first day at school. But it turns out, Janey has prepared herself to make new friends and help people in unexpected ways.

Author Mandy Woolf has created a wonderfully educational and encouraging children’s book that shows how one resourceful little girl overcomes her anxiety by preparing for any possibility. I really enjoyed the mantra throughout the story, “just in case”. This is a good mantra that parents can use when their own children don’t want to prepare for things. They have a pencil, so why would they need three? Just in case. This book sets a fantastic example for kids to understand how preparing for something doesn’t mean taking exactly what’s needed.

Every single page in this picture book is wonderfully illustrated. Each child is emotive and little children will be able to understand what each character is feeling because of the fantastic artwork by illustrator Elmira Georgieva. The colors are bright, and each drawing is very cute, ensuring this story will grab readers attention.

Janey Just in Case is an educational children’s book that will be perfect for parents to kids that are about to head off to their first day of school. This would also be a perfect picture book for teachers to educate their class on how to prepare for activities.

Pages: 32 | ISBN: 1922670235

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