Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review: Practical Proverbs for Everyday Living

Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: 978-1-61244-286-0
Genre of Book: Inspirational/Religious/Spiritual
Publication Date: October 2014

About the book:
This book gives the reader keys to unlock the mysteries of life in a simple, but yet profound way. The proverbs will assist you with avoiding unnecessary problems. The principles in this book will teach you how to go through your preordained trials with patience, joy and peace in order for you to come out victorious. These teachings of wisdom will provide insight and inspiration to safely guide you through the uncharted waters of your life. Be blessed.

Our Thoughts:
Elliott examines nine key areas of life, which can cause us a lot of grief: God and spirituality, home and family, love and relationships, wisdom and knowledge, leadership and politics, habits and virtues, kindness and gratitude, business and finance, and strength and endurance. The author designed the book to help a person realize their true potential and give them hope to achieve the goals they have set for their life. Those who are seeking God’s help or not will benefit from each section. It teaches you to make good choices for a happy, successful life.

Author Lawrence Elliott says, “You cannot avoid all of the negative situations that come into your life. They are there for a purpose, to help you grow, but you can avoid the unnecessary situations that bring pain, regret and despair by practicing the proverbs in this book.”

For example one proverb from the first chapter says: “A fool is one who becomes aware of God’s plan for his life but rejects the assignment.”

You can purchase “Practical Proverbs for Everyday Living,” at, Amazon, B&N and in most online bookstores. It sells for $13.95.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do You Exhibit Bullying Tendencies?

Many of us exhibit bullying behavior and attitudes from time to time without being aware of it. But how do you know if you're a bully.

A bully usually exhibits some or all of the following character and personality traits:
1. The person is angry and has a lot of unresolved negative feelings
2. The person dislikes him/herself
3. The person feels hopeless
4. The person enjoys putting other people down as a way of making him/herself feel better
5. The person thrives on condescending remarks and behaviours
6. The person is envious of another person's honest achievements to the point of trying to undermine them
7. The person enjoys hurting others

What can you do if you recognize any of these behaviors and tendencies in yourself?
1. Talk to a trusted friend about your behavior. Be as open and honest as possible with the individual. By telling someone about your behavior, you can usually examine it much more objectively.
2. Practice self-love. Take the time to do nice things for yourself. Being kind to yourself in this way could really help with developing positive self-esteem.
3. Honour your feelings, whether they are positive or negative. Take note of negative feelings and attitudes and try and determine where they stem from.
4. If you can't come to terms with negative feelings about yourself, seek counseling. Sometimes you'll feel better if you don't feel alone during this process.
5. Journal about your negative feelings. Journaling is a great tool to help you to come to grips with your feelings and emotions and what is behind those feelings.
6. Become aware of when you bully others. Dissect the situation as honestly as you can. If you're envious about others, decide what it is that makes you so unsure of yourself when you're around that particular person. Then work on your feelings of ineptitude.
7. Try not to harbour negative feelings towards anyone. Such behaviour is usually very unhealthy for you and it can develop negative self-esteem, leading to a low image.
Regardless of whether or how much bullying behaviour you exhibit, you could help yourself become less of a bully. All you need to develop is patience and some self-love.

Irene Roth is a freelance writer for kids and teens. She writes nonfictional articles in the areas of relationships and commitment. She also writes articles on writing.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

New Interactive Book & Family Tradition

TEETH FAIRIES is a new, interactive book and doll set celebrating a child’s tooth loss process.  
From the age of about 5 to 12, the average child loses twenty baby teeth. That’s a lot of visits from the Tooth Fairy! This process is an exciting and sometimes stressful time for both children and parents. The new book and doll set, TEETH FAIRIES: A BABY TEETH TRADITION (February 20, 2015), by Ingrid Bencosme, celebrates this tooth loss process and helps kids and parents alike. The book set comes out just in time to help build awareness for National Children’s Dental Health Month and National Tooth Fairy Day on Feb. 28th.

You can find more info at

The author, Ingrid Bencosme, is a former schoolteacher.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sweet Reads for Your Sweetheart

Guess How Much I Love You (Panorama Pop)
By Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
HC: 9780763649135 ∙ December 2009 ∙ $12.00 ∙ 32 pages ∙ Ages 0 months and up
One of the world’s best-loved picture books, with an elegant new cover, is the perfect way to share your affection with a loved one of any age.
Since its debut, the tale of two Nutbrown Hares who love each other to the moon and back has enchanted millions of readers around the world. What may be a little-kept secret, however, is that many of those readers aren’t so little! After all, who doesn’t like to be reminded that they’re loved, unconditionally and boundlessly? Now spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, adult children and grandchildren, siblings, friends, and anyone else who’d like to give this book to their grown-up loved ones have a special edition. Beautifully cloth bound in vibrant red, this GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU Sweetheart Edition is a must-have for anyone who loves someone more than they can measure.
Dinosaur Kisses
Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
Board Book: 9780763673895∙ December 2014 ∙ $6.99 ∙ 34 pages ∙ Ages 2-5
Young children will chuckle and cheer when Dinah finds just the right creature for her dinosaur kisses in this funny new book from David Ezra Stein, creator of the Caldecott Honor–winning Interrupting Chicken.
For newly hatched dinosaur Dinah, the world is an exciting place. There is so much to see and do. She tries this —STOMP! And she tries that — CHOMP! Then she sees a kiss and knows just what she wants to try next. Can she figure out how to give someone a kiss without whomping, chomping, or stomping them first?
« “Kids will plunge into the whomping and chomping with glee.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Love & Kisses
By Sarah Wilson, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Board book: 9780763610494 ∙ November 2001 ∙ $6.99 ∙ 24 pages ∙ Ages 0 months -3 years
This little love story proves that a kiss is not just a kiss.
This little love story by Sarah Wilson and Melissa Sweet proves that a kiss is not just a kiss. It is a bountiful fount of surprises, spreading love far and wide, and growing sweeter as it goes! What better message to give someone you love than one of such joy and happy affection?
Just Right for Two
By Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
HC: 9780763673444 ∙ September 2014 ∙ $15.99 ∙ 32 pages ∙ Ages 3-7
Dog has everything he needs in his big blue suitcase. Or does he?
Dog’s big blue suitcase is the perfect fit for all the little treasures he has collected. He is sure that he is happy with just himself and his suitcase. Until one night when Mouse comes along, and Dog discovers that his big blue suitcase is actually just right for two.
Written and illustrated by Emma Dodd
HC: 9780763671280 ∙ February 2015 ∙ $12.99 ∙ 24 pages ∙ Ages 2-5
What does a mother love most about her baby? Everything.
Parents love each and every thing about their child, as demonstrated by the charming mother and baby koala in Emma Dodd’s Everything. Featuring heartwarming illustrations embellished with foil, this cozy bedtime read is a handsome addition to any nursery bookshelf.
When You Were Born
Written and illustrated by Emma Dodd
HC: 9780763674052 ∙ February 2015 ∙ $12.99 ∙ 24 pages ∙ Ages 2-5
A loving celebration of all kinds of babies.
What does a new baby’s arrival mean to his or her parents? We find out as we travel around the world, meeting an adorable baby seal, baby elephant, and baby person!

Also, check out Leslie Patricelli’s Huggy Kissy site on Zazzle for Valentine’s Day themed products featuring everyone’s favorite one-haired baby!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Effective Parent Child Communication

Are you communicating effectively with your child? Do you know how to make him/her feel about him/herself?

Research suggests that the single most important thing that parents could do with their child is to effectively communicate with him/her.

Effective communication is based on an exchange of thoughts in a nonthreatening manner. Thus, if a parent communicates effectively with his/her child, (s)he must allow the child to disclose her feelings and emotions in a safe and secure way.

Here are a few ways that you could communicate effectively with your child:
1. Treat your child respectfully by not screaming or raising your voice to her or call her names. When you scream at your child, (s)he may think that you don't love them unconditionally. Screaming can also hamper open and honest communication with your child.
2. Try to understand your child by actively listening to him/her. Devote all of your attention to the discussion at hand. You may want to turn off the television or stop cooking and give your child your complete attention.
3. Be as empathic as possible when you are communicating with your child, even if you think that (s)he is making a wrong decision. Empathy shows your child that you really care about her and that you're really on their side.
4. Resist giving negative criticism and total disapproval all the time. Praise your child as much as possible. Negative criticism can give your child inferiority complex over time, making her hypercritical of herself. This can lead to many serious difficulties later on, such as the pressure to over achieve.
5. Negotiate as much as possible with your child. If your child doesn't want to do what you think is in her best interest, it is important that you allow her to have her way once in a while. However, don't give in to her all the time either. Try and strike a balance.
6. Be open to discussing how your child feels on a consistent basis by spending quality time with your child. You may want to spend a half an hour after dinner every evening talking to your child. Your child may have some strange views about different things. Try not to criticize all of her views but only some of the more important ones.
7. Try to open honest lines of communication with your child on a consistent basis by discussing options in a friendly and non-adversarial manner. You can do this by allowing your child think of different ways of behaving in certain situations.
8. Practice empathic and honest methods of communication as often as possible. Try not to have too many slips in communication since every time there is a slip, you will be sending your child the wrong message.
Effective communication can be difficult to bring about at first. However, with patience and hard work you can instill proper communication habits in your child. You'll be very glad that you did.

Irene S. Roth is a freelance writer for kids and teens. She also write academically in the areas of philosophy and philosophical psychology. She specializes in nonfictional articles for teens and parents.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Picture Book INSPIRES WONDER in Readers of All Ages

By Kaila Eunhye Seo
ISBN: 978-1-4413-1731-5
$15.99 * Ages 4-8 * March 2015

Kaila Eunhye Seo makes her picture book debut with Fred ($15.99; Ages 4-8; March 2015), an uplifting tale about the endless power of imagination. Seo's illustrations are skillfully rendered in pen and ink and cleverly show how Fred brings color to his black-and-white world in the form of friendly monsters.

Fred views the world with the unique open-mindedness of children, not caring if people think he's strange for seeing things others can't. However, as Fred grows older, his imaginary friends start to fade, leaving an emptiness in his heart that he can't shake. Fortunately, a chance encounter with a young girl reminds him that magic never really leaves us, as long as we believe.

In the age of technology, Fred shows young readers that their own imaginations are still the best form of entertainment, and recaptures the wonder of childhood for readers of all ages.

Fred will be available in stores nationwide as well as through online retail outlets.

Author and illustrator Kaila Eunhye Seo received her BFA in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has loved art since she was a child and is passionate about creating work that has a visual and emotional impact on her audience. She lives is Seoul, South Korea. This is Kaila's debut children's picture book.

Additional images from book can be found at:  Peter Pauper Press FRED

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is Childhood Stress Free?

1. Talk to your kids as often as possible. It may be a good idea to set a time each evening to have a heart-to-heart chat.

2. Listen attentively to your child's concerns. You may want to switch off your television and just listen to your child without distractions.

3. Love your kids unconditionally through your actions. Don't simply reward your kid if (s)he does something nice. You may want to reward your kids even when (s)he didn't do anything special.

4. Live in a loving and positive environment by being as encouraging and positive with your child as often as possible. Always be hopeful that your child will do the best that (s)he is capable of, even if you're a bit hesitant about it yourself.

5. Encourage your child to be the best that (s)he can be not be working them too hard but by accepting him/her. This type of attitude will encourage your child to excel without pressure.

6. Be hopeful as much as possible by encouraging your child to try many different things, even if (s)he doesn't think that (s)he will be good at it.

7. Simplify your child's life as much as possible by not over-committing your child in too many extra-curricular activities. Give your child some slack time that (s)he could rest and just hang out.

8. Don't compare your child to other siblings. Your child is unique and comparison can create stress and anxiety in your child.

As a parent, you should learn how to recognize stress in your child. By being perceptive and vigilant, you can save your child from many different stresses that can negatively plague his/her life. And that will keep your child healthier and happier.

Irene S. Roth is a freelance writer for kids and teens. She specializes in nonfictional articles in the areas of philosophy, psychology, and social psychology. She also writes in the area of medical ethics and has published two books, twelve articles and over a hundred academic book reviews.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interview with Author & Illustrator Christa Pierce

Christa is an author and illustrator from Portland, Oregon. She is a lover of tea and acrylic paint - but not together. Christa received her BA in Illustration with a creative writing minor from Seattle Pacific University in 2013. She is currently working on making her debut in children’s publishing, as well as preparing other illustration projects. Christa is particularly interested in visual storytelling, speaking to students about the relevancy of the arts, and empowering others to find expression/catharsis through image and narration.

FM: Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary. You can follow this up with any points you hope readers will take away with them)

CP: In my children’s book, Did You Know That I Love You?, a small blue bird is telling a rust-colored fox how much she loves him. She tells him with words, shows him with her actions, and concludes by reminding that that no matter what happens, she will always love him. I wrote it simple, sweet, and universal so that readers can project many different relationships from their lives into the story. I was also sure to keep the imagery clean and balanced, for a feeling of calm and to keep the focus on the relationship between the two characters. I wanted the book to be a sweet ode to love. I hope that whoever reads my book feels loved, and takes away a sense that they deserve to be cared for and treated with tenderness.

FM: Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process worked in getting published?

CP: I had a very unusual publication experience – it was a wonderful whirlwind!

The words of my children’s book, Did You Know That I Love You?, were first a journal entry in my art diary, and later I combined the words with drawings as a children’s book dummy for a college class final project. The children’s book dummy was so well received by my teachers and peers that I decided to start attending SCBWI meetings, and researching everything I could about how children’s publishing worked. I befriended an established author and illustrator, and spoke with her on the phone to ask her some of my questions about the process. I wanted to write her a thank you card, saw her agent’s email listed online, and asked him if I could please have her address. He ended up asking to see my book dummy, and loved it. Soon, he was representing me, and we had offers from more than five publishing houses, which is very unusual. We ended up getting to have an auction, and I spoke to each editor on the phone. I chose HarperCollins, the biggest children’s publisher in the nation, and signed a two-book deal with them shortly afterward. This whole process, from journal to signing the book contract, took less than a year. The time between getting an agent and choosing my publisher was just a couple of weeks. I felt like I was in a dream. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I remember the auction for my children’s book was during my senior finals, and I was so excited and nervous that I could hardly eat for days.

I loved working with HarperCollins on Did You Know That I Love You?, and am currently working with them on a second, unrelated children’s book. Working with an agent, and editor, and a designer feels good – since usually I work alone, it’s fun to have three of them to collaborate with. It feels safe and collaborative to work with them, because we’re all working together to make the best project we can with our various talents.

FM: How did you get the idea for this book?

CP: My mom inspired me to write the book. We had been having a difficult summer together, the tension had been building between us for the last couple of years, and we were finally going to counseling to work on mending our relationship. Counseling was good for us, but draining and difficult. I wrote this book one of those summer nights when I was upset and couldn’t sleep. I’m proud to say that during the editing process, we didn’t change any of the words from my original late-night writing session. My writing was from the heart, simple, and universal. I was writing it to my mom, and I was also writing it to myself – my younger self, who needed to be comforted. When I wrote it that night, I alternated visualizing myself as both characters. I wanted to be the bird, smaller because I’m the daughter, reaching out and comforting my mom, the fox. But I also wanted to be the fox, to be the one receiving that love and comfort. Really, I just wanted my mom and I to be ok, and writing this journal entry was my first attempt at grasping what our relationship could be like.

FM: What is a typical writing day like for you?

CP: I am a more confident painter and than a writer. I know I am a good writer, but I’m still learning to have confidence and pride in it, so I usually start my day by painting out my story ideas – since visual art is my most confident medium. Then, when I feel like I’m getting a better grasp of the story concept, I move to writing. Usually, when I start writing, I write a lot. I’m a naturally anxious person, so I do what I can to keep myself relaxed and creatively free. I usually burn incense and put on music. A clean space also helps me think.

My best writing happens when I’m relaxed and inspired. If I don’t start writing from a painting session, then I’m usually in bed trying to sleep, or taking a walk on the farm, or looking at art, or listening to a friend’s problem when I get inspiration to write. Then, I have to hurry to grab a pen before I forget what I’m thinking. A lot of things inspire me, usually examining emotions and relationships, so I try to always have a pen and journal on hand.

FM: What do you enjoy most about writing?

CP: I enjoy that hurried, frenzied feeling when I have a good idea or phrase, and I need to hurry and write it out before I forget it. It’s an anticipation feeling, like, ‘I wonder what kind of story this will be?’ or ‘I wonder what kind of truth I could touch on with this idea?’.

FM: What is the most difficult part of writing?

CP: I get stuck a lot in writing. Unlike with paintings, sometimes there is a halting stage after the initial exciting beginning, when I realize that the story isn’t resolving in a satisfying way, or just isn’t communicating what I intended. Children’s books are such an efficient, concise form of storytelling that sometimes it’s a struggle to say everything I want in such short hand.

FM: How has publishing a book changed your life?

CP: I think about this all the time. I signed this two-book deal with HarperCollins just before I finished college, so it was an immense relief to be able to graduate knowing that I had a job. Not only did I have a job, it was a job I never dreamed I could actually have, I could work on it whenever, and whenever as long as I made good work and met my deadlines. Publishing the book has brought me so much, pride, joy, and confidence. It has also changed my day-to-day life by allowing me the time and freedom to continue pursuing other book concepts and art shows. Each day I get to paint and write – my dream. That being said, having this kind of a creative job also puts me under a special kind of pressure – my success depends on me believing in myself, believing in my ideas, and making good projects that publishers want to pursue. It’s on me if I don’t manage my time well, or if I don’t put together good projects. My number one problem is keeping up my faith in my abilities – if I have a day with low confidence, that day I won’t make good work. If I let myself doubt my abilities for longer than a day or a week, it can be a real problem with my deadlines and self-imposed goals.

FM: Is your book is based on true events? If so, how has that affected those around you or why made you choose to use historical events?

CP: My book is not based on true events, but it was inspired by true events. This little book about love has meant so much to my mom and I as we work on and grow our relationship together.

FM: What are your plans now?

CP: Currently, I am working on a second, unrelated children’s book with HarperCollins. The next couple of years will involve me doing a lot editing and promotion, and after that, I’ll have to see where life takes me. I would love to have more of my book ideas published. I would also love to illustrate another author’s work. Since children’s book writing and illustrating gives me such fabulous freedom with my time right now, and because I don’t know what will happen next, I’m looking into ways that I can take healthy growth-risks and plant my roots here in the Hillsboro community. I would love to open a little art studio/lesson space where I could keep working on pursuing children’s books while also interacting with the community.

FM: What is your best tip for aspiring authors?

CP: This might sound cheeky, but WRITE. Or if you’re an illustrator, ILLUSTRATE. I so often hear from acquaintances that they want to write children’s books, but they haven’t written anything down yet. The first step is to just get the words out. Don’t judge yourself. Just get it written and then you have the hardest step over with, and can move on to editing it and making it better. Don’t try to do it all by yourself – edit it with peers, befriend published authors and ask questions, show it to everyone, go to Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators meetings and introduce yourself to strangers. If you keep editing, improving, and meeting new people, you never know what can happen.

FM: Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book and to order?

CP: My book is now available in bookstores everywhere! It can also be ordered on To learn more about the book, watch this is a fabulous video HarperCollins and I made:

I’m very proud of my Etsy store –

This is my website –


*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.