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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 Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow

When a young hunting dog and a crow decide to be friends, the dog pack does not know what to think. They hunt birds, yet a crow wants to hang out and be friends with them. Willie, the crow, is undeterred by the gruff hunting dogs and enjoys playing with the puppy Patch. While playing, Willie flies over the pool, and Patch, not paying attention, falls in. Turns out Patch does not know how to swim. None of the dogs know how to swim. They run to find the Labrador Newt thinking he can swim, but he is terrified of the water. Finally, through some encouragement from family and friends, he jumps in to save Patch.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale, written by Linda Harkey, is a creative picture book about the friendship between two unlikely animals. The pack of dogs is concerned that a puppy hanging out with a crow is wrong, and they try to convince their senior dog Doc to put an end to the friendship. Doc, however, is a thinker; he looks at the situation and, rather than jump to conclusions, evaluates the benefits. He backs up his decision by pointing out that Willie the crow has worked with them to save Patch rather than just flying off and leaving her to drown. The message of inclusion and acceptance makes this children’s book a great addition to any book collection.

Illustrator Mike Minick has done an excellent job capturing the emotions of the dogs and Willie. Each page is vibrant and engaging. Even without the text, the story is clear from the marvelous drawings. Children will laugh as they learn a valuable lesson about friendship and family.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale is a captivating tale about friends, family, acceptance, working together, and believing in yourself. Parents and educators will love having this picture book to read to children in and out of the classroom.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B07LCKSXSW

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Animal Acres

Sammy Skunk lives on a farm, Animal Acres. One night he wakes up from his nap to a strange sound. Finding his dinner, he looks up and sees a strange animal, a raccoon. Sammy has never met a raccoon before and notices how they are different, but this does not deter him from making a new friend. After inviting the strange animal over to share his dinner, they end up spending the night together playing and exploring.

What do a skunk and a raccoon have in common? Both love to explore and play at night, and both have stripes. While their stripes go in different directions, they still manage to become friends and go on an adventure together on the farm. Animal Acres by Colby Becknell Hardison is a cute picture book that doubles as a children’s coloring book.

Sammy Skunk and Rocky Racoon quickly become friends over a shared meal. They share stories about their lives, Sammy from the farm and Rocky from life outside the farm. They realize that being different is not harmful and can lead to great adventures exploring their friend’s world.

This creative story is more than just a picture book; children can color the pages as they read along with the story, which makes it more memorable. Learning that just because they are different doesn’t mean they can not be friends is valuable lesson for young kids. This imaginative story will allow children to explore the idea of friendship and adventure. The drawings are not overly detailed, making them great for younger children to color that may not color fine details yet.

Animal Acres is an amazing coloring picture book and is perfect for children and adults that are young at heart. The fun drawings add to the story, and readers will have to add their own flair to their adventures as they color the pages.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B08NT884F3

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Secrets, Gifts, Family

Willie the crow wants to eat the pack’s dog chow. The problem is he promised to not eat it from the kennel, and the other bowls are in the house with the Food Giver. To get to the bowels he must enter through the dog door, and this turns out to be harder than expected. Willie nearly drowns and gets stuck in a plant. After being rescued by Patch twice he makes it inside. There he taps on the refrigerator door and the Food Givers arrives and give him a small packet of walnuts and he flies out the window before the pack gets in and sees him. Willie keeps his special treats a secret from the pack

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family written by Linda Harkey returns readers to the Lazy Dog Hacienda. Willie the crow is part of the family that lives here. Willie however has a secret, he gets special treats from the Food Giver and is afraid to tell the pack about them. Instead, he brings the empty wrappers to Zeke as gifts making up stories about where he found them. Eventually, the truth comes out thanks to a newspaper article that was done on Willie that the pack saw.  

This entertaining picture book talks about family, keeping secrets, and friendships. Young elementary-age children will love the colorful illustrations of Mike Minick and the expression all the dogs have. This light-hearted story has a great message about friendship and family that they will be able to relate to. The adventures of Willie trying to get into the house will have children and adults laughing and asking, can crows get glasses, because clearly, poor Willie needs them.

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family: (A Hickory Doc’s Tale) is an engaging read for classrooms, libraries, and parents to read to children. It will make a great early reader for children learning to read with the vibrant artwork to help tell the story.

Pages: 52 | ASIN: B07XLHR2SZ

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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.

Of Love and Pies

Of Love and Pies is an engaging picture book written and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. The narrator suggests that every time she says I love you a baker will bake three or five pies. It starts out with pies for breakfast lunch and dinner. Everyone loves having pie whenever they want. Soon there are more pies than anyone, even a giant the size of a mountain, can eat. There are pies all the way to the moon! Pies start making messes that can’t be cleaned, and unwanted guests of bugs and rats show up. This creates a problem of too many pies and the question, can you say I love you too much?

As the author and illustrator, Sheila McGraw has created an astonishing children’s book that provides a visual representation of love in a whimsical way that will grasp children’s attention. The awe-inspiring illustrations will delight young readers, as McGraw has made sure to include representation of multi-cultural families. Understanding I love you can be a challenging concept for toddlers and small children. What is love? This visual of pies make it a tangible idea.

Unlike many children’s books that can grow repetitive reading or overly simple illustrations, this children’s book will delight the parents and caregivers reading this enchanting story. As the story continues, people realize that there is such a thing as too many pies; and if you live where saying I Love you makes heaps of pies, you’ll need to cut back on saying I love you. The narrator must come up with a compromise that works for the town, has fewer pies, and still feels right to them. It validates the storyteller’s emotions and provides a solution for everyone.

Of Love and Pies is a magical picture book intended for toddlers and young children. However, the artwork and exciting story that has not been oversimplified will make it enjoyable for adults to read.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B092SXNGYY

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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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Imani’s Undersea Adventure

Imani is a young Black girl visiting the aquarium with her grandfather. At first, she is scared of the sharks she sees swimming by in the tanks. But then, her grandfather tells her about sharks, scuba diving, marine biologists, and marine archaeologists. These conversations lead to deeper discussions about Imani’s ancestry and family history.

Author T. M. Jackson has written a captivating children’s book that touches on many topics of importance. The story starts with a simple visit to the aquarium and learning about a scuba diver and their equipment. It then introduces readers to Black marine biologists Ms. Jasmin Grahm and Ms. Carlee Jackson and the first certified Black female scuba diver Ms. Shirley Marshall – Lee. Next, Imani’s grandfather explains the significance of their achievements in the world of marine science and for Black women. Readers will learn about Black history in an age-appropriate manner from her grandpa’s stories. For example, stories about how slaves were brought to America and how Black families could not swim in pools; thus, many never learned how to swim. These topics are often glossed over or omitted entirely for the early elementary age level. Ms. Jackson, however, has presented them in a manner that is educational and conversational. Readers will feel like they are walking through the aquarium with Imani and her grandfather.

Accompanying this thought-provoking children’s book is the richly detailed artwork of Darwin Marfil that captures the wonder of Imani and the thoughtful pondering of her grandfather as he teaches her about her past. Included at the end of the book is a list of resources that families and teachers can use to explore aquatic and marine sciences more in-depth.

Imani’s Undersea Adventure is a profoundly thoughtful children’s book that will captivate children. Teachers and parents will appreciate the accurate historical information presented eloquently and in an age-appropriate manner.

Pages: 36 | ASIN : B09JVSJN8W

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