Blog Archives

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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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”.

Teaching Professionals

Teaching Professionals: The Art of the Teaching Professional and How to Teach Professionals the Caissep Technique by [Nigel Wilson PhD]

Dr. Nigel Wilson is a lawyer and teaching professional and shares his vast experience with readers in this illuminating teachers resource. In Teaching Professionals Dr. Nigel Wilson shares the CAISSEP Technique of teaching, a methodology he came up with to enable educators to teach better. Teaching Professionals reads like a manual, with specific examples on how to be a professional in the education sector, business sector and any other field that requires one to share the knowledge they have with others.

Reading this book was a delight as the author writes smoothly, giving great examples and explaining in detail. The author shares the skills teaching professionals should have and shows how to apply them. Teaching Professionals is a great book not just for adult educators but also for teaching professionals that work in kindergartens, high schools, and institutions of higher learning.

By the end of the reading, readers get to learn different concepts of education and virtues like patience, wisdom, understanding and more than a dozen distinct teaching techniques. I also enjoyed reading about key principles of effective adult learning and elements of experiential learning. The author differentiates the various elements of learning, making it easy for the reader to digest the content.

Dr. Wilson’s advice is practical and is coupled with real scenarios that expound on his topics. I especially enjoyed it when the author explained the importance of educators in society. One could tell how passionate he is about this profession and why teachers of all levels should be recognized more by governments.

Teaching Professionals is an easy but informative read. The author does not use complex jargon and his points are easy to comprehend. What I enjoyed most about reading this book is how the author introduces new topics. Dr. Wilson is a brilliant writer and his way of blending topics and related subjects encourages one to read more.

This enlightening book is filled with pragmatic techniques that have been proven to work. Teaching Professionals provides readers with actionable information they can put to use immediately to enhance their teaching abilities.

Pages: 96 | ASIN: ‎ B094VCQ84C

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Conspiracy U

Conspiracy U: A Case Study by [Scott A. Shay]

Ever listened to some of the beliefs and theories uttered by renowned scholars and wondered how they could possibly say that out loud? Ever wondered how they can believe in these things despite possessing the capacity to research and disprove them?

Conspiracy U takes readers on a deep dive into the realm of conspiracy theories. The author uses his alma mater as a case study for this thought-provoking book. He discusses how these beliefs become so deeply embedded in people’s minds that they even start to champion for them. His aim with this book is to attempt to repair the cracks caused by anti-Zionist conspiracy theories that are peddled by trusted academicians.

The author’s concern for what these conspiracy theories can do to society is seen through his passionate writing. His words are a wake-up call to anyone who may be tempted to believe anti-Zionist conspiracy theories because of the authority those speaking about them have.

Author Scott Shay starts off with a definition and outline of conspiracy theories. His intention is to help readers understand the difference between healthy discussions about different possibilities and beliefs and intentionally aggressive misinformation.

This enlightening book is a voice of reason. It is a beacon of light in the murky waters these beliefs have led us into. It is a call to action for everyone to do their due diligence before taking sides in the conversation. It is a push to bridge the divide between those who dare to challenge the anti-Zionist theories. It is a plea to attempt to right the winds of institutional, national, and global politics.

Conspiracy U is a book that discusses social issues with far reaching impacts but it still feels very personal. The author is discussing this subject from a place of concern and a need to change things. This book is well researched and meticulously written. Illuminating and compelling, this is a must read book on a critical topic that is explored intelligently and passionately.

Pages: 198 | ASIN: B09DTLMXML

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Empower Any Parent And Educator

Sheena L. Smith Author Interview

All Kids Can Thrive is a holistic educational resource for the education of children with special needs. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I felt that it was important to write this book at this time because many parents and educators are struggling for answers and ways to cope through these very challenging times both personally and professionally. Everyone strives to make a difference and it can be frustrating when it seems that you can’t reach a child or simply do not know what to do to help empower a student or even your own child. That is why I’ve searched the world for programs, courses, and mentors to enable me to help others. The biggest yet most surprising discovery is that relationships and safety are two keys to motivating active learning. 

‘All Kids Can Thrive’ is for all educators whether the students have special needs or not. Each child is unique and should be valued exactly as they are. ‘All Kids Can Thrive’ is a resource filled with many tips, tools and strategies to empower any parent and educator to be successful with implementation and use of  problem-solving tools.

What is a common misconception you feel most people have about special needs classrooms?

One misconception is that children with special needs should be in their own segregated classroom. That is not inclusion! For true inclusion to exist, students should be part of mainstream classes with meaningful programming adjusted to their abilities and skill levels. Studies show there are many benefits for all with inclusion.  Sadly, despite proof of its benefits, inclusion still has a long way to go with regards to educational settings.

People tend to forget that students with special needs have a right to belong and a right to be treated and honoured as valuable citizens of our communities. This should include the right to be included in regular classrooms with proper support and training for the educators.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

Throughout this book it was essential that I stressed the importance of treating the whole child-mind, body and spiritually. Each child has their own unique gifts, talents and strengths and it is important to assess and build upon those abilities. Honoring a child’s culture and heritage is important to develop a better understanding of thoughts, beliefs, and actions. When the whole child is considered, they can grow, develop, and reach their highest potential physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I would love for the reader to see how important they are for the success of the child and that the reader discovers that no matter what the problem is – there is always an answer. Relationships are an important key, and any child can thrive if they have at least one responsible, caring adult in their corner rooting for them that is willing to protect, value and love them.  Love matters most!

Author Links: Website | Facebook | GoodReads | Twitter

Empowering Solutions for Educators of Children with Special Needs
Many teachers, educational assistants, counsellors, trauma coaches, and school administrators are searching for ways to empower students struggling with behaviour management problems, lack of self-awareness, and limited control of their emotions. Unsolved lagging skills may result in angry outbursts, frustration, and low self-esteem in students.
By applying the tools found in All Kids Can Thrive educators will be inspired and feel grateful knowing that you made a difference by enriching your students’ lives simply by allowing them to be themselves—and by being the best version of yourself.
Author Sheena Smith has been a special education assistant for over 20 years and has raised four children, including two children with special needs—one has Spina bifida and the other has Down syndrome. She knows the challenges children face daily both at home and within the educational system.
A strong advocate for meeting her children’s needs in the school environment and within the community, she has travelled and studied extensively seeking inclusive ways to help children with restricted physical mobility and intellectual disabilities to learn and thrive.
This book is the result. All Kids Can Thrive is filled with valuable information for anyone that works with children or has children with or without disabilities. Educators and parents will discover a wide variety of approaches, tools, and strategies to wholly empower each child to strive for balance within their own mind, body, and spirit.
Some of the takeaways for educators include:
The essential pieces of the puzzle for raising consciousness within your classroom, school, and community environment by teaching the whole child
How to prevent burnout and overwhelm despite current circumstances—turn chaos to calm!
How the body and brain (mind) are intricately linked on all levels physically and psychologically including emotions, decision-making processes, and wellness
Understand why daily, regular movement is not only essential but critically important
What the brain does under stress and how students can easily build new neural pathways
What potential exists through the science of neuroplasticity
How your intuition is one of your best assets when working with children
Evidence-based interventions that embrace the whole child to lower stress, build resilience, empower students to develop self-regulation skills
The basics of the Polyvagal theory and how understanding it can benefit your students
The secrets to building strong, positive relationships and connections
Proven methods to assist your students in becoming more “life ready” when they graduate
All Kids Can Thrive will help you understand your key role in the future of education not just as a teacher but as a coach to guide, motivate and inspire students to achieve their own level of greatness through their skills, natural gifts, and talents. It includes numerous resource links, websites, and freebies for you to pursue further learning.
Use the Look Inside feature to begin reading now and discover how All Kids Can Thrive with the right tools and …Love Matters Most!. Available in eBook and paperback.

Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo

Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo, by Andrew Dunne is a children’s story of a dragon’s adventures that causes his poo to change colors. Every event causes his poo to turn into each color of the rainbow. Then, when he meets with his friend Daisy Doe at a show, he finds that his poo has turned a special color!

Dunne’s use of rhymes and colorful hand drawn illustrations all throughout the book brings this cute little story to life. This book reminds me of another children’s book Everyone Poops by ‘Tarō Gomi’, but with a much more fun and adventurous tone. The author rhymes each line with the color being used, which easily captures the readers attention and makes it more exciting to read. The hand drawn art is unique, but I would have liked to see more bright and vivid colors. Overall, the storyline provides a fun way to open up the subject of going to the bathroom with children that are potty-training or having issues using the toilet, while also learning the colors of the rainbow.

Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo is an adorable story that kept a smile on my face throughout the entire book. The fun rhymes and storyline is captivating and will keep young readers attention. Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo is a fun book for young children that will provide plenty of fun and educational material for parent and teachers.

Pages: 24 | ISBN: 0995393303

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Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Forgive Us Our Trespasses by [Diane Gensler]

Diane Gensler couldn’t be more out of her element. She is Jewish and teaching in a Catholic school. The two worlds colliding around her are just the beginning of her experience educating the students of the parochial Baltimore school. Gensler finds herself facing anti-Semitism in addition to what can already be a challenging career path. While she has looked forward to being a teacher in her own classroom, she can only begin to guess what this particular position has in store for her. What Gensler finds out in her first days at the Catholic school is that even creating a welcoming atmosphere and being an eager teacher might not be enough to battle the preconceived notions of others.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses, by Diane Gensler, is the story of the author’s time spent teaching in a Catholic school in Baltimore. As a Jewish woman, she experienced biases and treatment to which her coworkers were immune. Her first year as a teacher should have been filled with joy and rewarding firsts, but she was subjected to prejudices–some veiled, others not so much.

As a teacher, I found so many truths in Gensler’s story. There is a seemingly endless number of things you are not told when you enter your first year, and she reveals them all plus more. I felt every one of her frustrations over losing instructional time to extra and unexpected duties. Nothing prepares you for all of the additional tasks, and Gensler explicitly lays out each and every one of them with all of the brutal honesty of a teacher eager to educate but overwhelmed by the magnitude of her job.

Gensler handles herself with a finesse not always known to first-year teachers. From dealing with attending Catholic church services to coping with parents who seem out to prove her incompetent, she persists and does so with much success. I was amazed at how well she dealt with coworkers who snubbed her without reason and the coldness of her principal. It takes a strong person to do this job and handle that kind of treatment.

I am giving Forgive Us Our Trespasses, by Diane Gensler, 5 out of 5 stars. If it were possible to give it more stars, I would do so enthusiastically. Gensler has put into writing what every teacher feels and given voice to some of the most challenging aspects of our jobs. Her words are not only relatable; they are filled with all the raw emotion of a woman experiencing the sting of prejudice while facing some of the most important work that can be done.

Pages: 188 | ASIN: B08BNPNP3J

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My Buddy Knows

Keith Wheeler
Keith Wheeler Author Interview

My Buddy Knows… Letters is an educational picture book that teaches children about the alphabet in a fun and playful way. What inspired you to write this book?

I was helping my high school aged daughter study for a chemistry test and we were using flash cards. Afterwards, I was marveling at how often we use flash cards to test our memory.

That got me thinking, “Why don’t we use flash cards for teaching early concepts?” My Buddy Knows series was born.

Fun fact: each of the “Buddies” in the books are named after my children.

I loved the art in this book. What was the art process like in putting this book together?

Surprisingly, all of the art in the books were acquired from a site that offers royalty-free images, approved for commercial use, free of charge.

It was a case study, of sorts, for my YouTube channel for authors, Keith Wheeler Books. I wanted to prove that you didn’t have to spend a lot of money to produce a book, if you focused on quality content and provided your reader with an amazing experience.

How does this book help young children with their alphabet comprehension?

The simple answer is that it makes learning fun. It’s like a game. Plus, as you turn the page, Josh(the “buddy” in the book) pops up in different places.

I can’t tell you how many parents tell me that their child loves to see where he’s going to pop up next.

This is volume one in the My Buddy Knows series. What are the other books in the series and what is the goal for the series overall?

There are currently 4 volumes in the My Buddy Knows series. They are:
My Buddy Knows Letters
My Buddy Knows Numbers
My Buddy Knows Colors & Shapes
My Buddy Knows Baby Animals

I’m also in the process of creating a spin-off series: My Buddy Knows Languages. I’m in the process of creating the first 5 books in the series:

My Buddy Knows Spanish
My Buddy Knows French
My Buddy Knows German
My Buddy Knows Italian
My Buddy Knows Japanese

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Say GOODBYE to boring old “A is for Apple” alphabet books and say HELLO to the exciting, playful world of My Buddy Knows Letters!

Learning the alphabet? My Buddy can help. Big, bright illustrations catch the eyes of youngsters, delighting them and grabbing their attention. The unique flash card approach helps them to learn their alphabet while building their confidence, turning learning into a fun game.

Your preschooler will look forward to learning their letters with this fun and unique book.

My Buddy Knows the answers… Do you?
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