Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: A Rainbow of Birds

Category: Academic Wings
Author: Janet Halfmann
Artist: Jack Foster
Print ISBN: 9781616334628; 1616334622
eBook ISBN: 9781616334635; 1616334630

Birds have their legends just like people do, and baby birds love to hear the stories. Papa Cardinal, whose job it is to pass down bird ways to his chicks, tells them the story of how birds gave the world the rainbow. It’s a tale of fun and squabbles and magic!

Our Thoughts: We have had the honor of reading janet Halfmann's work before and seeing the vivid illustrations of artist Jack Foster. However, to see these two amazing creatives working together is something all together. Foster not only helps bring the words of Halfmann to life, but also helps draw the reader deeper into the world around us and Halfmann shows us the wonders of our world and science.

Kids not only get to learn a fun bird legend shared by Papa Bird, but they also get to learn the different colors of the rainbow and types of birds. At the back of the book parents and educators will find a few more leaning opportunities.

This is a fun book to read on a raining day or just to pass the time.

About the Author:
Janet Halfmann ( is an award-winning children's author who strives to make her books come alive for young readers and listeners. Many of her picture books are about animals and nature. She also writes picture book biographies about little-known people of achievement.

Recent titles by Janet include A Rainbow of Birds; Eggs 1, 2,3: Who Will the Babies Be?; Home in the Cave; Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish; Good Night, Little Sea Otter; and Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story. Janet has written thirty-five fiction and nonfiction books for children.

Here are links to the book’s pages and the publisher's websites:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Family Matters Show: Host Irene S. Roth on Empowering Teens

Join Irene Roth and Virginia S Grenier every 3rd Friday of the month for the Families Matter Show here on BTR's Freatured World of Ink Network.

Each month the Families Matter Show will cover topics on the importance of family to empowering our children.

This month we are on at special day and time with the topic: The Importance of Empowering Teens

It is very important for parents to empower teens to be their best. Teens struggle quite a bit nowadays and they have many problems that we didn't have when we were adolescents. The culture demands certain things from adolescent girls and boys. But it is important for them to do mor than mimic what their peers and culture is saying and doing.  They need to become authentic individuals.  Here are a few ways that parents can empower teens:
  • Talk to your kids a lot about what their beliefs and values are as opposed to what the culture is dishing out to them;
  • Empowering our children to be the best that they can be by believing in them and helping them be more responsible;
  • Not beating them up when they make mistakes but to talk to them at length and try and correct them in the future;
  • Developing a relationship of unconditional love with our children and teens;
  • Developing honest and open interaction with our teens by having face to face chats on a consistent basis.
By taking these steps we could saving our children to become the best that they can be. And this will help them be authentic adults as well--individuals who know what they like and dislike and can follow their inner voice.

Learn more about us at World of Ink Network and our blog Families Matter!

Listen to the show at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Children’s Picture Book for Readers of All Ages

Illustrated children’s picture book for readers of all ages shows how love can transform the universe and connect everyone in it.
Jarvis Cover

Imagine experiencing love – pure, true love – through all your senses. Imagine being able to call upon that love even when you feel angry, lonely, or sad.

Hilda Jarvis’ inspiring new illustrated children’s picture book "What I Dreamed Last Night – A Story for Children of All Ages" conveys how this marvelous experience happens to a little girl named Luna Star who dreams she is part of the universe and finds herself beautifully and irrevocably altered.

In her dream, as Luna realizes she is connected with everyone and everything, she feels like a star. Floating, shining, glowing with joy and peace, she realizes the universe moves in perfect harmony as it turns round and round.

Fully connected to all that is, with pure love dancing in her heart, Luna awakens to the joyful realization that she holds within herself the ability to rekindle this feeling of transformative love at any time by reconnecting with the trees and plants, the flowers and stars, the moon and sun around her.

In so doing, she connects with – and passes on to others – all the love in her heart.
Jarvis comments, "Luna learns that love is all we are and all that we need. She learns that love is all about connection, about getting back in touch with who we truly are." She adds, "I actually had this dream. It was a phenomenal experience, total euphoria, pure love. I had to get out of bed to write it down because I didn't want to forget it."

Author: Hilda Jarvis resides in Ashtabula, Ohio, with her dog Tommy and her cat Snowball. She speaks both English and Spanish and enjoys reading books, taking pictures of flowers, and riding her bicycle. She does body and energy work and also enjoys yoga and meditation. She loves to sing and dance every chance she gets.
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What I Dreamed Last Night: 
A Story for Children of all Ages by Hilda Jarvis; Relaxing for Health, LLC
Category: Fiction, Body, Mind & Spirit, Family & Relationships
Soft Cover: 978-0989740203, $9.95; eBook: $3.99; Availability:,,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The addictive Allure of Multi-Tasking

Do you, as parents, multi-task a lot? If you do, you may be setting a bad example for your children and teens as they grow up.  Parents have to take steps to find times to just BE with each other and their kids and teens as a family. Otherwise, our kids may be tricked into believing that it is praiseworthy to always be going and doing multiple things simultaneously.

     Multi-tasking has become very addictive in our culture. People are in a constant state of motion and activity. No one has any patience any more to slow down and to really enjoy what they are doing. Instead, they are always preoccupied with other things and thoughts as they are doing more than one thing over and over again. This can be a very troubling trend for our teens and kids.

     If we keep rushing and multi-tasking, after a while we will be less able to really see, hear and comprehend what is relevant and permanent. This is why our days as a family and community have so many loose ends. We need to finally stop all of the rushing and multi-tasking and start concentrating more so that we could teach our children and teens through our behaviour to do the same.

     The waning of our powers of concentration is reaching critical forms. We are on the verge of losing our capacity for deep and sustained focus.  This is a time when, through our actions, we are saying that reflection and concentration doesn’t matter as much as multi-tasking. Surely, we don’t want to keep creating an unconscious new world of multi-taskers that even we, as parents, can’t recognize.

     The way out of this conundrum is to start slowing down and concentrating more ourselves so that we could set these habits in our children and teens. It is a time to show our kids and teens that being quick is not as important as intentional and reflective. It is a time to rejuvenate and reconstruct our need for concentration and focus and not reduce it to a whole series of actions that may lead to some unknown result. We need to focus on the present moment and what we are doing to make sure that our kids and teens are reflecting and concentrating a lot more than they are now.

     There are a few ways to make sure that we don’t cultivate lives of distraction. Here are a few ways to do just that.

·         Slow down and don’t rush—teach your kids to leave early for appointments so that they don’t have to run;
·         Discourage multi-tasking by not multi-tasking yourself;
·         Encourage unplugged times from all technologies for your kids when you can sit as a family and chat and play games;
·         Get out in nature—without your technological devices;
·         Take the time to BE—these should be times when you are not watching television, texting, or cruising the internet;
·         Instigate and create reading times in the family—even if it is half an hour after dinner or sometime in the evening;
·         Reward your kids and teens when they focus and concentrate—and try to get into the habit of focusing yourself (kids and teens usually emulate their parents and peers).

By taking these steps, you will be encouraging your children and teens not to multi-task and to be a lot less distracted. Hopefully over time, this will set better habits for them to act on.

     So, let’s take steps not to slip into a time of ignorance. Let’s take the time to concentrate and focus. Let’s slow down, and yes, let’s enjoy the moment. And don’t forget to check out that sunset or sunrise tomorrow, and make sure that your kids and teens can appreciate such marvels of nature too.

Irene S. Roth

Friday, April 11, 2014

Modern-day pirate whose winning ways at first cause chaos and then save the day

Irresistible adventure for ages three on up introduces a modern-day pirate whose winning ways at first cause chaos and then save the day; each book comes with its own wooden Melissa & Doug kazoo!
Levesque Cover FINAL-FINAL
Pirates are fascinating, no matter their age, and the new children’s book by Erika Levesque will captivate those who yearn to sail at sea, not to mention those who will enjoy the added treasure that comes with the book: their very own wooden kazoo.

"The Pirate and the Kazoo" tells the tale of a young pirate who, if truth be told, isn’t very good at his job. Not only has this law-abiding buckaneer never plundered any booty, he hasn’t fought in a single fight! He’s so inept, in fact, that his comrades decide to maroon him on an island with only his parrot, his cat, his compass, and his fishing net.

Levesque Kazoo
A bit woebegone, hoping to catch a fish, this less-than-swashbuckling pirate dips his net deep in the ocean. To his surprise, he catches a pelican wearing a kazoo! The little pirate can’t believe his good luck:
"Shiver me timbers!" he squealed in delight,Inspecting his first piece of loot.He had heard of kazoos in old pirate tales, butWould he be able to make this thing toot?

After a few tries, with the help of his trusty parrot, the young pirate learns how to play his small kazoo. Could it be he’s found his niche? Sure enough, as his lyrical notes waft out to sea, his old comrades are charmed and rethink their decision to leave him behind.

This delightful tale whimsically illustrated by Matthew Batchelder celebrates diversity in gender, race, and ability and encourages interaction and discovery, with something for young readers to explore on each page.

Levesque comments, "As an educator, I understand the importance of nurturing a variety of creative outlets for children. As well as encouraging a love of literature, I thought it important to provide a means for children to be exposed to music, in this case the kazoo. This story provides young readers with the opportunity to express themselves musically while learning how to play the kazoo simultaneously with the pirate."

AUTHOR: Erika Levesque leads a life chock-full of travel and adventure. Originally from Connecticut, Erika currently resides and teaches wily middle schoolers in Shanghai, China. When not out circumnavigating the globe, Erika lives with her husband and their mischievous cats Dot and Easy Squirt. "The Pirate and the Kazoo" is Erika’s first, but most definitely not her last, book for children.

ILLUSTRATOR: Matthew Batchelder is a software engineer and doodler from Plymoth, New Hampshire, who loves games, eating cucumbers, playing racquetball, and drawing things! In addition to "The Pirate and the Kazoo," Matthew’s illustrations can be seen on the covers of The Lux Campfire Chronicles series and The Last Mountains. Matthew has two great kids, Samantha and Madison, a lovely wife, Abigail, and a crazy cat named Cubbie.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Take to the galaxy with the Friendeshans and the Oily Spoilies!

New illustrated series for kids offers many lessons on spreading friendship and positive energy rather than meanness and negativity.
Magano Cover
In his new Friend Ship Friendesha series, author Joe Scott, co-author Andy Wolfendon, and illustrator R. Boone offer a bright new take on going positive, with palpable benefits for aliens, people, and planets too.

In Book 1 in the series, readers meet the Friendeshans, a lovable race of beings who spread friendship and their own special brand of positive energy known as pozzi-power throughout the galaxy.
Alas, it isn’t long before the Friendeshans encounter the Oily Spoilies, creatures that thrive on meanness and negativity and who delight in spreading their nastiness to every planet they can find. They squirt their invisible oil on people and beings to make them mad, bad, and sad.

What will happen when an Oily Spoily spy gets aboard the Friendeshan’s spaceship, the F. S. Friendesha? Read Book 1 to find out.

In Book 2 of the series, readers meet a young Earthling named Kiley who loves spending time with her Grandpa Gus. For some reason, lately, Grandpa seems more interested in the strange machine he’s built to send messages into outer space. One day, while Grandpa is napping, Kiley beams out her own message. To her surprise, it’s answered by the Friendeshans – the most pozzi-powered beings in the galaxy!

Kiley is delighted to learn the Friendeshans are on their way to Earth, because the nasty Oily Spoilies have already arrived. They’re making everyone grouchy and mean, even one of Kiley’s best friends!
Book 3 of this on-going series will be coming out in May, 2014.

As the series unfolds, the Friendeshans work their pozzi-power on planet Earth, unseen by most humans. Scott explains that the Friendeshans are like loyal, invisible friends children can carry with them in their imaginations. With the Friendeshans around, he notes, every child has a friend.

Scott comments, "I wrote the Friend Ship Friendesha series for my grandchildren, but it’s for any child who has ever been picked on.  I want all kids to be completely aware of what positive and negative energies can do. There’s a gold mine of positive energy hiding inside all of us."

He adds, "This series is all about keeping our planet clean and the environment green,  and keeping kids and parents positive. It has a strong anti-bullying message and offers many lessons on approaching each other by being kind."

For more information on the stories, look them up at  

Author: Joe Scott is a contractor and real estate developer who built a thriving enterprise from a truck and a toolbox. He has negotiated thousands of business deals involving corporate executives, homeowners, bankers, laborers, and union officials. In addition, he has hired, and been hired by, individuals from every walk of life. Through these dealings, Joe has learned that all people fall into three types – givers, takers, and those who both give and take. Knowing how to recognize and cope with all three types is the key to his success. In this children’s series, he hopes to instill in kids a good foundation for a happy and positive life. His first book, "The Joe Dial," released in 2011, is age appropriate for those who are 12 to 95 years old. It is also available at all major retailers and as a download.

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The Friend Ship Friendesha Series by Joe Scott with co-author Andy Wolfendon and illustrator R. Boone
Category: Illustrated Children’s Fiction
Book 1- Hard Cover: 978-0-9894974-0-4 $14.95
Book 2- Hard Cover, 978-0-9894974-1-1 $14.95
eBook: $9.95
Availability:  Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBook


*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive. SFC does not review any samples sent without a request for review to the Blog Editor, VS Grenier. SFC's staff members will not return unauthorized samples to the senders, but will donate them without review.