Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Spotlight for Children's Author Margot Finke

Our book spotlight today is on children's author Margot Finke and her exciting list of books for kids. She is an expert in writing for the reluctant reader. Her books have action from the very first page and interesting characters that kids grow to love. Margot offers us the first part of a  post today on how she came to be a writer for children. She will share tips on writing for children at Sunday June 12th.

Welcome Margot.

It all began years ago, when teachers, family and friends, praised the little stories I wrote. So I kept writing until I was eventually published. In between times I married, divorced, remarried, had three children (two girls and a boy – now grown.), and moved from my homeland Down-under to Oregon. In Oregon I got serious about writing for children. I had kids of my own, and worked as a teacher’s aide. I noticed how hard it was to get kids to read. Oh they loved me or the teacher reading to them, but pick up a book on their own and read for the sheer fun of it – NO WAY! Then and there, I determined to write books with a WOW factor - books that would HOOK these reluctant readers on reading.

Our son was a reluctant reader, one of our daughters had mild dyslexia, and my oldest girl still suffered residual effects from my divorce. So this gave me three topics to write about:

Dyslexia, reluctant readers, and how big changes can affect your kids. And each topic had to be wrapped up in a fun story that wasn’t preachy and HOOKED picky readers. Oh, and don’t forget that all important WOW factor I had promised to include. Yeah right. A real snap.

For my next books I had to think about boys and what would HOOK them on reading. And then there were the topics like “change” that are gender neutral. For boys, I threw out all the girly stuff that make them barf. I started with gross, and worked my way through action, cool dialogue, underarm humor (hear those boys guffaw), fast action scenes, and rad POV characters. I threw in some feral food, foreign locals, exotic bad guys, and one or two close calls with the grim reaper. Don’t panic – these things aren’t all in the one book! Give me some credit, mate.

So, what eventually came out of my fevered and imaginative brain are the following four books:

Rattlesnake Jam – a fun all BOY picture book.

Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – verses that help kids deal with BIG change.

Horatio Humble Beats the Big D (dyslexia) – fun rhymes that get Horatio help with reading.

Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble – a mid-grade adventure set in the Aussie outback

These are wonderful books full of fun, adventure, and plenty of action to keep young readers turning the page.

Follow Margot on her next tour stop for the rest of the guest post on writing for children. She will be  at

Book Reviews of Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D” and Ruthie and the Fat Hippo’s Behind
SFC Book Reviews by Kris Quinn Christopherson

Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D”                                                                 
By: Margot Finke
Illustrated by: Ellen Gurak
Published by: Guardian Angel Publishing   Date:   2010
ISBN: Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-101-6; 1616331011
           eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-102-3; 161633102X
Price: $10.95                            
Ages: 5-12 years
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: When Horatio has difficulty reading, his parents meet with the teacher to discover why. Horatio
hears the words Dyslexia and Special Ed. “No way! Kids will think I’m dumb.” But he does go
and with amazing results.

Overall thoughts: Such a fantastic book!  My daughter sees a speech therapist, which is different from dyslexia, but yet, I could relate to Horatio’s worries, and my daughter did too.  Not only was this story relatable to our situation, but it would be an excellent story for many readers.. children who have worries about swimming, arithmetic, asthma, or whatever. 


Ruthie and the Fat Hippo’s Behind                                                                 
By: Margot Finke
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Published by: Guardian Angel Publishing   Date:   2009
ISBN: Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-059-0
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-060-6
Price: $10.95                            
Ages: 5-12 years
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Synopsis: Moving far from friends and familiar places made Ruthie miserable and act bratty. She
sassed her parents and disobeyed all the rules. Their darling girl was gone, replaced by a kid with moods as big and ugly as a hippo’s fat behind! Then came the magic moment that brought back their darling girl.

Overall thoughts: This story will grab kids (and adults too!) immediately with lots of giggles at the title! I enjoyed how the book was an easy read with an important lesson – it was not preachy, but impressed the lesson in charming prose with colorful illustrations. I found the included teacher/parent guide to help children with a “big change” a carefully thought out and helpful tool. 


Write a comment on any participating blog during my June Book Tour,  
and win a FREE COPY of this fun time-travel story.
I wrote it specially for kids.

One copy per person.  Please leave your e-mail. 
( Safe sample:   mfinke<@> )
Margot Finke is also offering her FREE short story to anyone who buys a hard copy 
of her book Taconi and Claude from her website


  1. Wonderful post and reviews of Margot's books. Thanks for sharing and hosting this great author.

  2. Thanks Virginia. And I also want to thank Kris for the two reviews. Great reviews always make my day, mates. So today I am walking on air!!

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    Kids Books With a WOW Factor!

  3. Nice work Margot, Your books look like needed winners-
    Kit Grady

  4. Thanks so much Kit. Your comment is much appreciated.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    Books With a WOW Factor

  5. Thanks Kavitha. We are bumping into each other all over the place these days. E-mail me about that FREE book I promised everyone who commented.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    Books With a WOW Factor

  6. I love sharing books by talented authors like Margot. If you are a writer, consider having your work critiqued by Margot. Check out her website for details. She will help you polish your story and give you wonderful ideas about how to make your characters jump off the page and engage the reader.

  7. Thanks for the Critique plug, Terri. Terri is a terrific writer herself. However, what she says is correct. If you want your manuscript to be accepted for publication, it has to be tight, terrific and well polished. And I am happy to help you with that.

    Books with a WOW Factor
    Manuscript Critique Service

  8. Nice post and reviews of Margot's books thanks for share.

  9. This is such an informative story and very clearly written. Every single thought and idea is direct to the point. Perfectly laid out. cheers for taking your time sharing this to you readers.
    Polarised Sunglasses

  10. meat online, Littlestone care, and Aviator Sunglasses...

    Thank you so much for your comments and kind words. I had fun writing these picture books, and helping kids deal with problems was the icing on my cake.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    Books With a WOW Factor



*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.