Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fart Fairy-Book Review

The Fart Fairy

By: Bobbie Hinman

Illustrations by: Mark Wayne Adams

Published by: Best Fairy Books, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9786791-4-9

Ages: 4 to 8

5 stars

Reviewed by: Stories for Children Magazine editor-in-chief, VS Grenier

Talk about an original idea for a book or series of books for that matter. Finding a children’s picture book that is different from all the others can be hard sometimes. Bobbie Hinman has found her niche with her premise, “Who better to blame it on than a fairy.”

Bobbie Hinman has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is the author and co-author of seven successful cookbooks. With her experience as an elementary teacher, along with the joys of reading to her ten grandchildren, Bobbie has turned her attention to the world of children’s literature and boy are we happy.

The fart fairy is the fourth book in her Best Fairy Book series. This little mischievous fairy is whom children can blame for the embarrassing sounds and odors of everyday life. As children and parents read this fun picture book with very vivid and wonderfully done illustrations, they will learn where this little boy fairy likes to hide. The story is easy enough to read for beginning readers. Written in simple verse, parents won’t mind being asked to, “Read it again . . . please,” from those big eyed little ones. Humorous and fun, even boys will enjoy this fairy book.

This book includes an audio CD of the story, narrated by the author, and its own original fairy song. You can find the words to sing along at the end of the book.

Bobbie Hinman’s fairy books have been awarded:

Mom’s Choice Gold Medal Award

Indie Excellence Gold Medal Award

Independent Publisher Book Award

Indie Nest List Children’s Pick

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award

Monday, August 30, 2010

Interview with fairy author, Bobbie Hinman

Bobbie Hinman grew up in Baltimore and has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author and co-author of seven successful cookbooks. Several years ago, Bobbie decided to re-invent her literary career. With her experience as an elementary teacher, along with the joys of reading to her ten grandchildren, Bobbie has turned her attention to the world of children’s literature.

Bobbie’s books have received numerous awards. She is currently in demand as a presenter at schools, libraries and book festivals.

VS: Bobbie, I want to thank you for being our guest here today. Now, you started writing back in the 80’s when your children were teenagers. Can you share with us how the writing industry has changed over the years?

Bobbie: In the 80’s, when I started writing, the only way to have a book published was to be accepted by one of the major publishing companies. Today there are many small, independent publishers to work with, so the chances of having a book published are much greater. There are also expanding possibilities for authors to enter into the world of self-publishing and produce their own books. One of the other major changes in the writing industry is in the area of promotion. It’s hard to believe that in the 80’s there was no internet. Today we can advertise our book to the entire world with just the click of a button.

VS: You are so right Bobbie. The internet has really helped open doors for authors and marketing their work. Now, I have a teenage son who just started fencing. I find it hard sometimes to fit everything into my day between running him to class, my personal writing, my writing jobs, and now doing a blog talk radio show. What did you do to help bring balance in your writing and family life?

Bobbie: It wasn’t always easy to juggle the needs of my family with my desire to write. I waited until they were teenagers before I started to take my writing seriously. When they were younger, I had to carefully schedule my writing time and then be flexible enough to realize that the needs of younger kids can’t always adhere to a schedule. I’ve always told them how lucky they were that I started by writing cookbooks. Most of my work took place in the kitchen, so I never got away with the excuse that I was too busy to cook.

VS: LOL. I’m sure my kids would love me to write cookbooks vs. children’s books. I’m very grateful my hubby cooks most of the time. Now Bobbie, you mentioned that you wrote seven cookbooks and your kids were your very serious, very critical recipe testers. Did you find including your kids in your writing helped them understand what you did as a writer?

Bobbie: From the beginning, I included my kids in the process. They became my first line of recipe testers and even earned a salary (albeit small) for their work. I actually had them prepare many of the recipes themselves so I could be sure of the ease of preparation. They were also a big help with the typing (Remember, no computers). Not only did this help them understand what I did as a writer; it made them appreciate how hard one has to work to reach a goal.

VS: I’m not sure I would trust my five year old with typing up my manuscript, but I know she loves helping me with my craft submissions. I do find when I do these types of submissions my kids are more understanding about my work. I think it is wonderful you did the same thing Bobbie with the cookbooks. With that in mind, would you consider yourself to be a born writer?

Bobbie: I was a born “wanna-be” writer. As a child, I was always writing stories and poems. I loved Dr. Seuss and perhaps it was his influence that inspired me to write my stories in rhyme. In college, I took a number of children’s literature courses. I always knew I would eventually be a writer.

VS: Wow, that is so great you had an idea what you wanted to be. You even went from writing cookbooks to writing children’s books. I’m sure those courses have paid off. Now would you say your ten grandchildren are the source of your inspiration for these books?

Bobbie: Oh yes, definitely! In fact, the idea for my first children’s book came to me while I was combing my granddaughter’s hair. I was trying to get through the knots and tangles, and the result was a lot of whining and tears on her part. So, I created a story to keep her from crying. Alas, The Knot Fairy was born.

VS: That is amazing. I would never have thought of a book just from combing my daughter’s long hair. I was wondering Bobbie if you could please share with us a little about each of your books. You had mentioned the premise of all your children’s books is, “Who better to blame it on than a fairy?” What a unique idea. I always tried to blame my invisible friend. Maybe I should have tired blaming a fairy. 

Bobbie: The Knot Fairy is a mischievous little fairy dressed in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. She visits children while they sleep and is responsible for the knots and tangles in their hair when they awaken.
The Sock Fairy is a playful little boy fairy responsible for lost socks, mismatched socks and the occasional hole in the toe. (And you thought the dryer was the culprit!)
The Belly Button Fairy is a grandmotherly fairy who flies through the sky in her rocking chair. She visits babies in the hospital and gives each one a belly button, making sure it is exactly in the middle.
The Fart Fairy is a playful little boy fairy who travels with his pet skunk. He is responsible for the often-embarrassing sounds and odors that are a part of everyday life.

The premise of all of my books is, "Who better to blame it on than a fairy?"

VS: Bobbie, all your books sounds so fun and imaginative. I know they are my list to buy. Now all your books come with a CD as well. Can you share with us the idea behind the cd’s that accompany your books? I know your grandchildren are the accompanying chorus. What is it like working so closing with family on your projects?

Bobbie: I believe that children benefit from multi-sensory learning experiences. My CDs feature the story narrations, with a bell that rings when it is time to turn the page. (I am the narrator.) When early readers are able to follow along with the CD, they are very quickly able to read the books on their own. There is also a funny fairy song on each CD, sung by professional vocalists, with my grandchildren as the chorus.

Making the kids an integral part of the process has further solidified my bond with the kids. They are such an integral part of the process. As we were leaving the sound studio after recording the first CD, my 6-year old granddaughter looked up at me and asked, “Mommom, am I famous now?”

VS: Children are so cute. I hope you told her, “Yes.” Now Bobbie, your books have received 19 awards. What type of book promotions do you feel work best for you? Any special strategies you would like to share?

Bobbie: In order to spread the word about my books, I do many different types of promotions. I do presentations at schools, libraries and bookstores. I have also been a featured presenter at a number of large book festivals in different parts of the country. I have an interactive website and also take advantage of the amazing new world of Social Networking. My favorite venues are the ones that allow me to be in direct contact with people. I love the interaction, especially with the kids.

VS: That’s wonderful. I know a lot of authors don’t like to be the center of attention. I believe you have found the right platform/marketing strategy for you and your books. What do you enjoy most about writing?

Bobbie: The smiles on the little faces when children read my books.

VS: I agree. There is nothing like a child’s smile to make your world just a little bit better. They just have a way of lighting up everything around them. What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?

Bobbie: It’s always hard for me to know when to stop. I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my writing. I revise and revise and revise. Usually it’s my husband who finally steps in and says, “Enough already!”

VS: I use to be the same way. I finally learned to just throw it all up on my computer screen and then to let it sit before doing any revisions. Now your newest book, The Fart Fairy was just released; can you share a little about this new book for children?

Bobbie: Most children are fascinated with bodily functions. It’s often an embarrassment to mothers; however, kids are proud of the noises they can produce. Kids love the fact that the books about farts and poops seem to give them permission to use the forbidden words for at least a few minutes. Also, parents of reluctant readers have actually found that children are encouraged to read when they encounter books of gross-out humor. I would love to take all of the credit for this book; however, it was totally my husband’s idea.

VS: I hope you gave him credit in your dedication. My hubby is also very helpful with new ideas or even story plots. Now that your book is due to come out, do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Bobbie: We do have a few other works in progress, including one about a small but might “Super Fairy” and a friendly monster who is blamed for missing items. We are also working on a coloring book, converting our books to eBooks, and translating our books into Spanish.

VS: Sounds like you have some great things coming our way. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Bobbie: I am so thankful for my supportive family and I hope my adventures in the literary world have taught them to work hard, keep their goal in sight and never give up.

VS: I’m sure it has Bobbie and thank you for taking the time to share with my readers and me about being a writing fairy. You’re a very talented and unique author. It has been a real pleasure.

For more information about Bobbie, and to view video trailers of her books, please visit: www.bestfairybooks.com

ISBN numbers for Bobbie Hinman’s books:

The Knot Fairy - 9780978679101
The Sock Fairy - 9780978679118
The Belly Button Fairy - 9780978679132
The Fart Fairy – 9780978679149

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Willow Falls Christmas Train

By: William Trombello
Published by: Technical Training Consultants, Inc 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9842998-0-5
Ages: 4 to 8
4 stars
Reviewed by: Stories for Children Magazine editor-in-chief, VS Grenier

The Willow Falls Christmas Train is inspired by a true story and who better to write it, but William Trombello. Trombello has experience with trains and is also a great writer. His story about engineer Obie and his fellow railroaders takes you on rescue mission to save the little town of Willow Falls on Christmas Eve. Kids of all ages will feel the Christmas Spirit as they see how average people can make a difference in a small town or even in the world. Engineer Obie and his team show how giving is more important than receiving and the creative way this railroad team solves the problem is one children will enjoy over and over again. The beautiful illustrations by John Schuller only add to the story as children learn average people can do extraordinary things.

Winner of the unpublished category at the follow festivals:
New York Book Festival
Hollywood Book Festival
New England Book Festival

Runner up in the children’s category:
London Book Festival

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Little Money Saver Tips

Whether you’re struggling to make ends met or just like making the most of what you have, there are lots of little things you can do to save yourself some money – and many of them will also save resources and protect the planet, too.

Using the following tips will add up to save money for you…

  • Turn off lights in empty rooms
  • Turn the TV and stereo off rather than leaving them on stand-by (that means turn them off at the appliance not just the remote control)
  • Have shorter showers to save water and heating costs – just think that if you cut two minutes off your daily shower you will have saved yourself 730 minutes (over 12 hours) a year!
  • Learn to mend your clothes – a loose thread or small hole shouldn’t mean having to buy a new jumper or pants
  • Get quotes for repairing shoes rather than buying new ones; if you buy good quality shoes, you may find repairs are cheaper than new shoes and you save yourself the hassle of wearing in new shoes!
  • Check prices in the supermarket – buying bigger packages is often cheaper per unit but not always, especially if a smaller size is on sale. And a big, cheap package is a waste if you won’t actually use up the bigger amount anyway
  • Cheaper cuts of meat can be tenderised by marinading them, especially with red wine and garlic, so you can still have flavour-filled, tender meals without eh big price tag!
  • Walk rather than drive whenever possible – save yourself petrol and other running costs, along with creating less pollution and decreasing the need for gym fees!
  • Forget driving in circles looking for a close parking spot – take one further away and save petrol and frustration
  • Keep food in the fridge covered – otherwise the moisture from food makes the air humid and the fridge has to work harder to keep things cool
  • Never use the dishwasher or washing machine without a full load
  • Close curtains as the sun goes down to keep the warmth in the house as the temperature drops outside in winter; in summer, keep the curtains shut during the hottest days to keep the heat out
  • Hang clothes on the clothesline and get rid of your clothes drier. Not only does it save you running costs but also clothes tend to last longer out of a drier. In addition, did you know that hanging in the sun is a natural anti-bacterial treatment?
  • Encourage everyone to wear warm clothes in stead of turning up the heater – any setting above 210 costs about 10% more for each degree you increase it
  • If it’s not very cold and you’re sitting watching TV or reading a book, cuddle under a blanket instead of turning the heater on at all

Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and is available to solve all your business-writing problems! From letters to policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions writes all business documents to your style and satisfaction.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Treat Your Kids to a Family Craft Night

By: Sandy Sandler

In today’s technological world, families are finding it more difficult to find ways of spending quality time together. A family craft night is a perfect, fun and inexpensive way to bond and get back to basics together. Plus you’ll be making things you can actually use!

It’s a game night where everyone WINS!!!!

Craft “phobic” parents will be amazed at how fun and easy a craft night can be! You will not only have fun, but you’ll foster creativity for yourselves as well as your children! This sense of working and creating together brings families closer together, and creates everlasting memories of time spent crafting!

There are so many proven benefits of crafts for children. Crafts give children, the ability to get artistic and work together in a “hands on” capacity. It teaches them to stick to a task and accomplish it, in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to create. If your child created it, then it is awesome! Plus, when the crafts are completed, children are rewarded with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Starting a family craft night is a great way to encourage children to use their imagination on a regular basis. The benefits will last a lifetime.

Steps for getting started with family craft night?

1) Set aside one night per week for your family to get together for an evening of fun and creativity. Or if this seems difficult, then start with a monthly family craft night. I promise that everyone with have so much fun that you’ll want to do it more often!

2) Keep basic supplies around like finger paints, construction paper, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. There is an endless array of possibilities for decorative crafts. Plus, don’t forget items like paper towel rolls, paper plates, recycle water bottles and turn them in to cute piggy banks! You can find many great ideas for family craft night at free web sites like www.c4k555.org.

3) Remember, the objective is to have fun! There is no right or wrong way to cut, color, design or craft! If you or your children create something, it is always wonderful!

Don’t forget that crafts make ideal gifts! Just think how easy it will be to find gifts to give to relatives and friends once you have a regular family craft night in your home. When you have a variety of beautiful and original gifts handy, it can make gift giving a breeze!

You can keep all of your family’s finished crafts in a special corner or closet in your home. When it is time to give a gift, allow your children to select one of their creations to give away. This will foster a tremendous sense of pride and achievement amongst your kids. Not to mention that the talents and resourcefulness of your children will no doubt impress your relatives and friends.

Once you institute your family craft night, you will find that your kids will quickly get into the spirit of things. Most likely, they will even start inserting their own ideas for projects. Don’t be surprised if they start pleading with you to take them to the craft store instead of the toy store!

For more creative ideas, visit www.C4K555.org to download free projects at Crafters 4 Kids.

About the Author:

Sandy Sandler is founder of non-profit Crafters 4 Kids and creator of the QVC best-seller, the Bowdabra. Her frugal craft projects and activity ideas are designed to transform the creatively challenged into creative pros. Sandy’s focus is on creative and easy projects that parents can do with their kids and that kids can even do on their own that are both frugal and green in nature. Crafters 4 Kids focuses on projects that can be done under 5 minutes and under $5. Visit www.C4K555.org. Contact Sandy at jaimevivre@mac.com

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interview with children's author Kat Michaels

Kat Michaels lives in Upstate New York with her children and husband and a Morkie named Max. Her passion for children only increased after the premature birth of her son Evan, who weighted two pounds seven ounces at birth. Evan has taught his mother that miracles exist for all of us as long as we are willing to see them. As an advocate for children's causes Kat will help raise money to benefit any organization involved with the welfare of children. Kat writes not only for the child on our lap but also for the child inside each of us and hopes to touch the hearts off all her readers.

VS: Kat, I have known you for a while from writing social sites. Actually, I think our paths crossed back when I was starting out. You have been an inspiration to me on my road to publication, so it is a real treat to have you here today on The Writing Mama. Now you are parent, but I don’t know how many children you have or what their ages are. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your family and what a typical writing day is like for you?

Kat: Hi Virginia, first of all it is I who has been honored to have met you. I'm sure I can speak for many authors when I say rejection is a given so when you find that you touched someone’s life in a positive way it truly builds your confidence and is such a blessing.

As a mom, there is no typical. I have a 10-year-old Evan. He was my preemie born at two pounds seven ounces. He has slight cerebral palsy and he was my inspiration to write for children. I also have a 28-year-old daughter Lisa and a 21-year-old daughter Alyssa and three beautiful grandchildren ages 10, 8 and 2. So I have plenty of little critics on hand to get advice from. I am also a foster parent and I do respite care for these kids when needed. I live with my husband, whom I adore, in Upstate New York, and we live a normal...abnormal life.

I've learned there are no typical days when you're a mom and to think things are going the way you planed when the day begins is only going to frustrate you. So, I rely on God to set the path before me and trust in him along each step. Coffee is a must.

VS: I had no idea you had such a big and busy family. I’m even more amazed. My children are spaced out somewhat like yours. I know it keeps me on my toes as just as you said, “I’ve learned there are no typical days when you’re a mom.” So now I’m wondering, with all that inspiration around you, have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Kat: I'm going to be 50 in November so remembering where I left my glasses is a block. Sometimes I know the end of a story before the beginning and I know where I want to go, but can't figure out how to get there. Then, I'll be driving or sitting in a waiting room and I'll have a light-bulb moment.

VS: One, you don’t look old enough to be turning 50. Second, I forget where I leave my glasses all the time. Once I even put the remote in the frig. I think just being a mom makes you a little brain dead at times. Now, you mostly write children’s picture books, but have you ever thought about writing in a different genre?

Kat: I sure have! The more adventures the better. I've done school visits and the older kids have asked when I was going to write a chapter book. So that's my next venture. I want to shed a positive light to kids.

VS: I think you would be great at anything you set your mind to. Do your children inspire your books? If so, can you share what part of the storyline, character, etc?

Kat: I spent two months in a Neo-natal intensive care unit with Evan. It was a day-by-day battle, and his world was filled with wires and beeping; instead of being at home in my arms. Everyday little annoyances were not important or worth the time spent. When I was told he had CP, I never wanted him to feel different because he wore a leg brace, or didn't run as fast as other little boys. I promised the Lord I would write for children. It was my way of thanking him for being there when I couldn't. That's when I wrote Willow's Bend.

VS: Kat, I have read your book, Willow’s Bend. It was one of the most inspiring, fun, and uplifting books I’ve read. My five-year-old daughter loves it. We read it about once a week. You also have another book, Gentle is the Night, I have not read. Can you share with us a bit about each of your books?

Kat: Willow's Bend is about a Grouchy little frog who doesn't want to take the time to play with anyone who is not just like him. At the end he realizes it's not who we are on the outside that makes us special, it's who we are within when he meets another frog who has stepped out and made friends with others.

Gentle is the Night is for younger children. It's a nighttime story done in rhyme that expresses a mother's love for her child and that the night is not scary but a time for dreams and contentment.

I also have a third unpublished book titled Cool Beans that I am working on.

VS: Gentle is the Night sounds alike a great book to read my girls before bed. I’ll have to buy it. Okay, so what do you enjoy most about writing?

Kat: I think the true enjoyment is not in the writing but seeing what the writing does for the readers.

I once had a mom call me because she was thrilled that her little girl potty trained to Willow's Bend. She had left it in the bathroom and told her daughter she would only read it to her if she went on the potty. My mission is complete.

I also enjoy the adventures it has brought me on, for example, I have been on the Rachel Ray show. I had written in because they asked what makes you like Rachel and I had told them we were both Italian and Irish both from Upstate NY, and both writers. They called me. One thing lead to another and they needed a family on the show and off I went.

I have been extremely blessed in meeting others like yourself Virginia, who have a love for writing and children and to be able to touch someone’s life makes it all worthwhile.

VS: Thank you, Kat. I also agree writing brings many adventures. What do you do to help inspire your children to read and possible write their own stories?

Kat: When I visit children, I tell them that I live in a huge castle. It is surrounded by a mote to keep away all the fans that are trying to stop me from writing. I tell them a helicopter dropped me off at the school today. By this time, they are laughing and I laugh with them, and express to them that no matter where they come from or who they live with . . . no one can take away their dreams and that we all have a story.

I also tell them I know two magic words that will turn them into writers and if they can remember these words . . . they'll always have a story. The words are, “What If?”

VS: LOL. I can’t say I’ve tired that with my younger audience. Sounds like your author visits are truly fun and exciting. When you are not writing, what types of things do you like doing?

Kat: Reading, especially books that keep me positive like Joyce Meyers. I love spending time with my son. I'm afraid to blink for fear he'll grow up. Enjoying life with my family. Time goes so quickly and busy just always seems to get in the way.

VS: I know what you mean. I still look at my son and think, “Where did the time go?” He’s a freshman in high school this year, but it seems like yesterday I was taking him to LegoLand. Even my girls are growing so fast. My youngest is almost six months and it seems like I just had her. My five year old is starting school and it seems time only speeds up once they start school or graduate from it.

Kat, do you have any other books in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Kat: I am currently working on a chapter book for older children. I want to take kids on an exciting journey without the involvement of witches or vampires. I am also in the process of finding a new publisher and an agent. But, I will not give up.

VS: I wish you much luck. I know finding and agent right now is tough. Kat, what tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?

Kat: First big tip is to copy write. You can go to Library of Congress.com and they have the forms on line. Know what options you are willing to take. I chose to self-publish to get my name out there and also to have control of the profits. Don't give up. Watch your children because sometimes their actions are the greatest inspirations. Let people know what you are doing because you never know who knows someone.

VS: Kat Michaels can be found on MySpace, Face Book or by email at KatMichaels731@yahoo.com.

I thank you, Kat for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being a writing mama.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Which Is the Right Kid's Step Stool for You?

Parents, are you having trouble finding a kids step stool that assures the safety of your child while using it? How will you find the right step stool for your kids? Here is where you should start. Ask yourself, “What do you want to accomplish with your kids step stool?”

There are plenty of kid’s step stools in stores near you, accessible and cheap, but not very safe to use.

Wooden Step Stools

Plenty of kid's step stools are wooden. Some are folding. This type is more favorable because it can be easily stored. Some folding step stools can even transform from a step stool to a chair. To fascinate kids more, there are wooden step stools painted with their favorite cartoon characters. Wooden step stools are light, somewhat sturdy and can help your child reach a fountain or a sink at home.

Plastic Step Stools

Now, if you want a step stool made of plastic, be sure to check its load rating…always. Sometimes we tend to be more economic, thus you choose the cheaper one. This could be the biggest mistake you ever make. If the step stool has no load rating, look for another one that has a load rating. Make it your standard. This could save you a trip to the hospital. A safe kid’s step stool should have a load rating not less than 300 pounds. Most step stools used in the commercial industry have a minimum load rating of 500 pounds. This rating is greater than the other step stools because you cannot limit the use of the step stool to your kids alone. You may find it useful when you want to reach the shelves above the refrigerator or to do any other chores in the house.

Before you take a step stool home, these are some questions; you should try to answer in order for you to find the exact kind of step stool that will meet your goals

Do you want your child to reach the sink to wash their hands or brush their teeth?

Do you want to help your child reach the water fountain?

Does your child need a step stool to board a vehicle?

Are both adults and children using this step stool?

Finding the right step stool for your kids and home is important. Keeping your family safe should always be top priority over economic gain.

David C. DuPont has been finding solutions to step stool problems and designing safe step stools for over 9 years. He has helped people and businesses solve their step stool problems by helping them find kitchen step stools, bus step stools wooden step stools, RV step stools, kids step stools, folding step stools, plastic step stools and step stools for senior citizens. To see his step stools or to contact him to find a stepstool for you, go to www.Shure-Step.com

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stanley and Tyke Reading Tips

Tyke and I came to live here at Stories for Children Publishing to share tips with you on how to become better readers, and have you help us spread the word about special events, such as . . . Artist Appreciation Day!

American Artist Appreciation—did you know studying the work of a famous painter, or the old masters of art, is both inspiring and a learning experience? When you look at a painting, drawing, or cartoon, you might wish you could do that. In truth, you can—with practice and motivation. Try something similar to what inspired you, study the way an artist works, take a class in the type of art you like to create. This will help to improve your own creativity and skills as an artist. After all, an artist created Tyke and me. Without the talents of Kevin Scott Collier and the dream of VS Grenier, we would not be here today!

Family Reading Tip:

This month’s tip is really to help build vocabulary. With school right around the corner, I am sure we all need some brushing up. Here is a fun way to pass the time waiting for the school bus, sitting at the doctor’s office, or waiting in line at the store.

Point out something you see (table, shoes, etc.) and say: “While I wait, I see a shoe.” Now have your friend, mom, dad, or sibling, repeat what you said, and add an adjective.

Example: “While I wait, I see a dirty, white shoe.”

Keep taking turns and see how many adjectives you can string together.


*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.