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A Special Sweater 

Eddy is creative and enthusiastic about knitting. After making a pot holder decides he will knit a sweater. He starts by looking at designs in a magazine, then he draws up a plan. Unfortunately, he hits roadblocks towards his goal. His family thinks this project is too much for him and that he can’t get the right yarn and needles to make a project this large. Rather than giving up, Eddy finds ways around these problems and never gives up on his vision. Even when it takes him months to complete the project, he keeps going and finding solutions to every problem he encounters. In the end, Eddy is proud of his hard work and dedication; nothing anyone says will diminish his happiness.

A Special Sweater by children’s author Tuula Pere is a heartwarming children’s book about dedication and determination. Eddy learns to knit, and even when everyone around tells him making a sweater is too much work or trouble, he refuses to give up. Instead, he makes the best of the supplies he is given, even if they are not what he needs or wants for his vision. The ability to adapt to his situation and the make the best is a valuable lesson that children can learn from.

I love how Eddy keeps going, takes every obstacle, and finds a way around it. So many books have things work out easily. This one really showcases how important a good attitude is to turning something into a magical experience. When things don’t work out how he wants he adjusts his vision and perspective to see the project through.

A Special Sweater is an inspirational picture book that will show children that they can achieve their dreams even when there are obstacles in the way. They will learn that having a good attitude is key to finding a way through challenges in life. This is an excellent book for families and classrooms to have.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09K6M3CHL

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The Fox’s Palace

Francis the Fox is living in the city near the sea. He wants his family to be proud of him, and he sends them photos and letters saying how wonderful he is doing. The problem is, it is all a lie, so he doesn’t want his family to come to visit him. Francis, however, comes up with a plan to make all his lies the truth and build his dream of Fox’s Palace. He makes some poor choices and tricks people into trying and making his dream a reality, but in the end, he discovers it doesn’t pay to lie and cheat people.

Children’s author Tuula Pere has written yet another fantastic and meaningful children’s book. This story teaches kids about the value of being honest and how being untruthful will only cause more considerable trouble in the end. Francis learns this by ending up in jail. While the message is important, it is told gently so that kindergarten children and young elementary students can comprehend it.

I loved the artwork done by Andrea Alemanno, the seaside was beautiful, and the characters really came to life. The colorful images will draw in children and the detailed work will keep them engaged throughout the story. Despite Francis being a sneaky fox, he does not come across as scary or evil. This helps to show that even when people make bad choices, they are not bad people. Mayor William Wolf allows Francis to see what he did was wrong and forgives him while ensuring that the fox knows he can not treat people so poorly.

Tuula Pere has taken some challenging topics and presented them so that children can follow along and understand actions have consequences. This beautiful children’s book would make a great addition to a classroom or library with an important message on how people should treat one another and the value of honesty.

Pages: 44 | ISBN : 9523572865

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I Believe In The Power Of Words

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Fox’s City is the delightful tale of one fox’s plan to outwit a city and have his way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The adventures of Francis the Fox reflect social and political setups in many countries as well as in international contexts – unfortunately. Stories start to live in my head when I read or hear something absurd, annoying, or unreasonable in the news or public discussion.

My background as a Ph.D. in Law is sometimes reflected in my fox stories, where the appropriateness and legality are constantly tested, and the boundaries are sometimes crossed. Social justice and the rights of individuals are valuable to me, and I want to speak for them. As my tool to influence, I have chosen the one I feel most comfortable with, the use of words.

I believe in the power of words. I want to write about social and political problems in a way that works for children. I think children’s books can prepare them to meet certain realities they encounter in the world – at least as they grow up.

When reading “The Fox’s City” with adult eyes, we find some severe themes between the lines. It talks about the pursuit of power by any means, societal manipulation, and limitations on freedom of speech. Telling about the activities and wrongdoings of this power-hungry fox makes children think about justice and the effects and consequences of different actions. Nothing wrong with opening one’s eyes already at an early age!

All of your books are so artful and creative. What is your writing process like?

Thank you! Hearing this makes an author happy! As I write books, I try to give my best. I genuinely value children as a target group. I try to reach a level that is more than pure entertainment – though I understand it’s needed, too. I have been fortunate to find skilled and ambitious illustrators for my books. They add their spices to the stories and interpret them in a visually exciting way. I find this co-operation very stimulating.

In my stories, I want to combine child-like and free imagination and creativity with the knowledge and experience of life I have gathered. There is so much to remember and share!

Sometimes it feels like having an endless story library or warehouse in my head. I can adventure there alone and taste the content, or I can pick something out and write a story for others if I feel like that. I can honestly say that writing is like breathing for me—an equally important and equally natural way to live.

I write when I am happy, excited, sad, or irritable — whenever there is a lively movement in my mind and thoughts need to be expressed in words to others. But I also write when there is peace of mind and a calm feeling prevails. Emotional states affect what kind of things I want to write about and how I do it.

Often the stories are almost ready-made packages in my head. I can take them out whenever I need to. The stimulus can come from inside or outside of me. When writing starts, it’s a go! I enjoy the flow of the story, and I can’t stop in the middle. The time for a more detailed examination and corrections will come later. Before that, the intense feeling must calm down.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?

As a continuation of the previous answer, I could say that the most challenging stages in my work are placed on both sides of the actual writing stage.

Before the story gets on paper, the biggest dilemma is the overwhelming amount of ideas. I’m so excited about so many writing possibilities all the time that it’s hard to choose which one to tackle first. I would like to accomplice so much simultaneously that it exceeds the strength of one person. I have to limit and control my enthusiasm!

The congestion of ideas I described above is a positive dilemma that I actually enjoy. More problematic is the phase after creative writing, where you have to delve into grinding, editing, and proofreading the text. It would be wonderful if I could leave that later stage more in the hands of others, and I could just grab another inspiring story and write a new book about it.

Will readers be able to see Francis the Fox in any of your future books?

I have already published two books about this fox villain, “The Fox’s City” and “The Fox’s Palace,” and the following three books are in the process already.

Francis the Fox has become such a “friend” to me that I must continue with him! I completed the Finnish version of the third book in the series yesterday, and the next two are waiting for my “summer vacation.” The following subjects are also captured from the society and politics around, and the storylines are ready in my head for writing out.

Writing about society and politics in a child-appropriate way will be much fun again! I believe a suitable amount of satire also works in children’s books! Especially if the protagonist is a villain like my Francis the Fox. I have to admit, writing about villains and various bad guys is sometimes fun. I can bring up contradictions and create moral tests for the readers. But goodness and honesty always win at the end of my stories.

Interestingly, some of my readers have wished Francis the Fox “tougher penalties” in the end. In real life, it might have happened. But a fairy tale is a fairy tale, and Francis continues his journey into new attempts and mistakes. Just wait for the following three books to come! Very current subjects!

I think children need clever books about society, too. After all, we have to try to understand this strange world starting from our childhood.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Francis the Fox has great plans for the future. Leaving his den behind, he marches to the city in his shiny boots to meet the mayor, William the Wolf.
When the old wolf mayor goes on a fishing trip on a deserted island, Francis talks him into letting Francis serve as substitute mayor. But Francis’s greed for power and actions quickly make city residents uneasy. There’s something suspicious going on in the library attic, and the city’s carrier pigeons have disappeared mysteriously.
Will Francis ruin the upcoming soccer match with a rival team? And will it be a friendly match as always before?

Wandering In A Darkening Forest

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Tree House Night is a beautiful picture book with an inspirational message about friendship and supporting those you care for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a child, I was eager to climb trees and build huts. “The Tree House Night” has undoubtedly been inspired by my own experiences sitting on the branches of trees by the house or further afield in the forests of Eastern Finland.

Admittedly, wandering in a darkening forest or climbing higher and higher in a tree sometimes felt too exciting – but survival boosted self-confidence. It was physically challenging, but the most important thing was the close connection with nature.

Most of my childhood adventures I did alone. It seemed most natural because I could make all the decisions when hiking alone. I wouldn’t be my current self without these adventures in nature. The hideaways in the middle of the forest, or high up in a tree, made me realize that I am enough and able to survive alone.

Now, as an adult, I realize what risks my childhood outings involved. Fortunately, nothing happened, and I could also gather authentic experiences for my children’s books! My books don’t recommend just one model for the families, but somewhat alternative ideas, because each family is different.

The individuals are of a great variety when it comes to skills, needs, and interests. Some children need a lot of encouragement. Some need to be protected from their wildest ideas! It’s not easy being a wise parent to support your child in the best possible way.

Childhood adventures have made me the person I am. The same curious child looks at me from the mirror, still ready to try something new and challenging!

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s in this story?

Friendships are essential for children. Experimenting together and sharing ideas and plans with peers is inspiring. Friends can also get support and security from each other as they try their limits.

For this book, I wanted to choose two children of different natures who also have much in common. The other one has more courage and optimism in her adventurous plans. She gets even her more cautious friend to participate in building her dream, a tree house.

It also brings the friends in the book to the limit where their perceptions of appropriate and permissible differ. Due to disagreement, only the braver child stays in the tree house for the night. She stubbornly wants to prove that she is independent and capable of surviving the night alone.

The children in the book are different but still need each other. Despite their controversy, they work together as a team. The friend keeping guard from her bedroom window adds a sense of security for the other child staying outside in the tree house. Testing their friendship in a conflict teaches the two an important lesson and reveals something essential about being a true friend.

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

The child must be able to make friends with different children. If they have been practicing cooperation since childhood, it helps them for a lifetime. In the end, real-life communities have a place for very different individuals. At least they should have. I like to emphasize how much various personalities, opinions, and skills enrich our lives.

I don’t think only similar kids play best with each other. The differences can also complement each other.

The enthusiastic and brave ones draw the more precautious ones into exciting activities. But a more careful and considerate person can prevent worse damage from occurring when a friend has too much momentum.

It is helpful for strong-willed and creative children to learn to accept that not everyone is enthusiastic about the same things. We have to respect the limits set by another person. For the stronger, louder, and faster persons, it is easy to – accidentally or on purpose – step on the toes of others and block their opinions.

Those who feel somehow superior should realize their individual weaknesses and the fact that they need the help of others, too. There is no weakness or shame in needing other people.

“The Tree House Night” belongs to the I DID IT series. A central theme in all these books is children’s enthusiasm and desire to implement their ideas even when others are not encouraging them. Sometimes children act on the gray zone of what is allowed and forbidden and test their limits. – Why not try to climb a little higher this time! The view might be fantastic.

What can readers expect in book three of the I DID IT series?

In the first book of the series, a child secretly grew her own sunflowers – from seedlings to heights. She even helped them survive the storm at night. The heroic act of this second book is building a treehouse and spending the night up there, against even the opinion of the closest friend.

The next book, “A Special Sweater,” talks about the protagonist who shows creativity and determination in knitting a woolen sweater. He’s not bothered too much, though his mother gives nothing but yarn leftovers. No one thinks he’s getting anything done, as this is his first large knitting – but he struggles to the end. Even the somewhat weird-looking result makes others suspect whether it’s suitable for school. Of course, it is!

So, my readers can expect some fun surprises again in the company of their active peers. And their parents get something to think about in their role as encouragers and supporters.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Emma and Oliver are good friends. A nice big backyard connects their homes. They love to play all kinds of games together among the bushes and trees.
It will be fun for the friends to build a tree house from some old boards and ropes. But how safe is it to sleep there at night—especially without permission to do so?

It Also Requires Great Honesty

Tuula Pere Author Interview

Axel Washes the Rug follows a little boy that tries to hide his mistake and fix things himself, only to make things worse. What was the inspiration for your story?

This book about little Axel is part of a series where he invents this and that, mostly with her friend Ava. I like to write about initiatives where children’s willingness to experiment sometimes exceeds their skills and ability to handle different situations. It’s good to see that one can survive difficulties and understand that help is often needed and available.

This book focuses on Axel’s visit to Grandma and the problems caused by blueberries. Sounds harmless, but difficulties tend to pile up – especially if you start covering up mistakes. This series is for parents, too, because children learn to be independent and adventurous within reasonable limits with wise guidance.

Every adult is sure to remember similar events from their childhood. I’d like to share a memory from my early years. This case of mine also involves danger. I was five years old when my sister was baptized, and we had relatives visiting. Everyone enjoyed the coffee and cakes inside the house. But I slipped into a liter with wood to be sawn. I was very interested in trying a sharp tool, but it was more complicated than I thought. The result was a wound on my wrist. Luckily it was just on the surface but very sore! I didn’t dare tell anyone about the incident. I was ashamed, as I had taken a risk in secret and harmed myself.

Now, I wish I had talked to adults instead of keeping quiet. That alternative should always be open – even when the children feel they have been disobedient.

Do you think children’s books should have a message or lesson, or is it ok just to write something fun?

I appreciate the diversity of children’s literature. There is a need for very different books because, after all, children and their families have their particular needs and situations.

In my opinion, children’s literature is like nature, which I love. It should have a place for all possible creatures – big and small, tame and wild. For every kind of flower, berry, and tree. And it can adapt to all types of weather and all seasons.

The authors should have the opportunity to express what is important and natural to them. If the author has something serious or educational to say, perhaps that is the scene to focus on. If some writers are funny storytellers and like to make jokes and play with words, their pens will surely bring joy to many. In this way, the stores and libraries are filled with the best possible books, and readers have a lot to choose from.

I often choose even very challenging topics for my books – subjects that others rather avoid. I trust that I have something special to give on that side through my own life experience. Of course, I also write in a lighter style sometimes – about parenting, for example. But even then, there are relevant things between the lines.

What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

I want to emphasize the responsibility of the author in writing a manuscript. It also requires great honesty.

Good writing starts with a genuine desire to give something to your readers. The author must have something unique to offer. It may be a meaningful topic, verbally skillful or fun text, or something to boost the readers’ thinking or encourage them.

In addition, the author must seriously aim to ensure that the message is delivered as professionally as possible. No sloppy solutions or stories just for commercial purposes are acceptable. Children are morally a valuable target group, and they deserve the best building blocks for their lives.

How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

To be honest, I am not such a well-known author that my works would be reviewed too often. I welcome all the feedback if sincere and profound enough. One always hopes that the critic has really read the book with an open mind and without prejudice.

Of course, I read each review very carefully. You must always be ready to develop your work. Not even a negative review hurts when I know I have given my best and try to get even better next time.

If you feel that you have been misunderstood or mistreated, it is always possible to kindly contact the reviewer. Few of us do so because that act would easily be interpreted as a mere sore mind and low self-esteem. Many years back, I got such a critic concerning my way of working as an independent publisher that I was annoyed. The writer of the critic had no understanding at all of how my small, independent publishing house worked and what was possible or not then. I felt offended but decided to prove my point by continuing my chosen path with good results!

Fortunately, the reviews I have got so far have been very encouraging.

One of the first book reviews that I still remember particularly well came from one respected literature professional. This critic said that my “Between the Walls” is a wise book. She had perfectly analyzed and understood my aims. I’ve been keeping this review in my mind as a driving force to write more.

I talked earlier about authors’ responsibility. The critics have a significant obligation, too, and they should never misuse their power. Professional and constructive evaluations are essential for the whole book business.

Just one last remark; the best evaluation of my books comes from the eyes of the children who are listening to my stories. I simply love the moments when I can witness the sparkle and interest there.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

By accident, Axel stains his grandmother’s rug with blueberries. During Granny’s afternoon nap, he tries to correct the mistake all by himself. The result is a surprise for both of them!

Honeycake: A Helping Hand – Book Trailer

Multi-Award Winning and Amazon best-selling Author Medea Kalantar Introduced readers to her new book series Honeycake. Inspired to write these books when she learned she would become a grandmother, Kalantar’s stories are based on her own family, whose members come from many ethnic backgrounds. This unique mix is a perfect recipe—just like the spices in a honey cake. That is why she calls her grandchildren her little Honeycakes.

In the sixth installment of the delightful Honeycake book series, Nala’s uncles, Victor and George, take her to a fundraiser where she meets Alexis, a girl with an artificial arm. Through her interactions, Nala learns that you are never too young to lend “a helping hand,” that it’s okay to be different, and that being different doesn’t stop you from doing great things in life.

All proceeds from each book sold in Honeycake: A Helping Hand will be going to The War Amps CHAMP Program as Medea Kalantar’s charity of choice.

The delightful Honeycake book series is endorsed by Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt.

With all the negativity in the world, Medea Kalantar’s series is a much-needed glimmer of hope and positivity. The Honeycake Book Series teaches valuable life lessons, giving children the tools to overcome obstacles in their everyday lives.

The Honeycake books teach children about diversity, acceptance, kindness, mindfulness, trust, and gratitude. This series will enlighten, empower, educate, and entertain children and their families for generations to come.

In Honeycake – A Helping Hand Nala learns that being different doesn’t stop you from doing great things. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and anywhere ebooks are sold.

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That Playful Little Ghost

Isabel Ricardo Author Interview

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants follows a ghost that is given a unique name and is teased for it, he learns to accept his different name with the help of a new friend. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration was really my children. I used to try to spook them by going into their room with a sheet covering me, waving my arms and yelling that I was The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Of course they would always burst out laughing. At a certain point, young children accompanying their older siblings to signings of my THE ADVENTURER’S series asked me to write something for them too, and so I indulged them. I reminisced in that game I used to play with my children and one summer I decided to write the story of that playful little Ghost who was marginalized by others due to his crazy name, and was deeply saddened by this. And it has been a great success!

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

After writing this book I searched for an illustrator whose work I admired a lot, Pedro Pires. In this case I sent him the book and left it to his creativity. I had no idea what would come out of his hands. When we hear about ghosts, we always have this common image in our minds, but the illustrator’s vision was very original and innovative, with a ghost with red hair so long that it even wrapped around the lamps. I was surprised by the final product, but I enjoyed the uniqueness. And it was a good choice indeed, because kids love him and they really like his different and strange look.

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

The main theme is the acceptance of difference and diversity. This book has a pedagogic component to it. I wanted to demonstrate to all children, through a fun way, that we are all different, but at the same time, all the same. We all have hearts and feelings that must be respected and we must not treat differently those who are different from us. This way, children learn to accept and respect difference with ease. During the course of this story, we also discover the value of friendship.

This is a Portuguese children’s literature bestseller, with successive editions, very dear to children of all ages, as well as Educators, Parents and Teachers.

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

I am currently writing my next historical novel, in Portuguese, which always takes longer as it requires very deep and comprehensive research. Later this year, Underline Publishing will release “The Enchanted Forest”, as well as “The Forgotten Treasure”, the second volume of The Port of the Grail trilogy, in succession of The Quest for the Lost Map. There will also be a new adventure: “The Adventurers in Underground River”.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a very entertaining book about a playful ghost, who tore his underpants, becoming forever called: The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Aimed at children from 3 to 10 years old, this story amuses and, at the same time, teaches kids that we are all different, but all the same. This title has the collaboration of Isabel Ricardo, a renowned Portuguese author of many successful children’s and youth collections, and the talented illustrator Pedro Pires. Let’s have fun together!

Flower Sketches

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Alphabet of Flowers is a fun children’s book that teaches young readers about different flowers. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?

I love flowers, especially wild ones. I began drawing using wax crayons with our toddler about a year ago. As a painting medium, crayons are readily available and not messy for quick sketching and painting. Sometimes, we draw together, or I do it alone as a relaxing activity during the short breaks between motherhood responsibilities. I shared the flower sketches on my Instagram stories. A Tanzanian author and literacy specialist advised me to write an alphabet book. So, I wrote this book with a Tanzanian child in mind. I was already working on a bilingual book project on a similar topic. It seemed fitting to branch off from that original project and complete the suggested small one first.

My favourite picture from the book is the Poppy. Do you have a favourite flower from this book?

I love all of them and intended to avoid the popular flowers appearing in the A-to-Z lists of flowers. However, letters such as the X were challenging as there is not much variety of commonly known flowers. As I was writing with a Tanzanian child in mind, I focused on what is possibly available in their tropical environments like the African violet, bougainvillea, or okra flowers. Nevertheless, the African violet would be close to my heart because it originates from the Usambaras where I grew up. Unfortunately, found only in East Africa, the African violet is in danger because of its habitat shrinking.

What do you find that children most love about flowers?

From the observation I made with my son, it’s the different colours and shapes. They are also available to touch and smell, which is great for their sensory development. Flowers can also be used as a painting colour. On touching, one has to be well informed to know which are poisonous in case of ingestion.

Do you have plans to write more educational books on flowers or other things in nature?

This book was a smaller version of another bilingual children’s project that I am working on.

Most of my children’s stories use nature as the story background. For example, the Lamellia series as fables also offer a lesson and curiosity on mycology.

Author Links: Facebook | GoodReads | Website | Instagram

Can you learn to read and identify flowers?

Auntie Glo invites you to have fun with this book. You can learn to read or enjoy looking at the pictures, and you can also learn to draw a flower yourself using wax crayons, just as she did.
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