Category Archives: Children’s Books Recommendations

Interview with Eric DeSio

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Eric DeSio is the author of the children’s book, The Social Distance King.

As we head further into summer, families are starting to emerge and take safe holidays. To help you with your quest back into the world, I found a great book to help with some of the new normals that are going to be part of our every day lives for a while.

A new book by author Eric DeSio helps to teach social distancing. It is called The Social Distance King. With school starting in the fall, teachers will also be interested in new class structure introduction books as we all take on dealing with the continued pandemic. This book will help in the quest for educators to find books to introduce these new topics to children.

I had a chance to interview Eric DeSio. He shared his love for story telling, and the need to teach lessons in his books. The Social Distance King by Eric DeSio helps introduce the topic of social distancing to children. In the interview, he shares his childhood reading memories, his favorite authors, and what projects he has in story for us.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child? 

My favorite childhood reading memory would be reading Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.  I remember feeling totally immersed in the imaginary world of that book. The characters and scenery were real and alive for me.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you? 

As a child I would say Dr. Seuss. I enjoyed and continue to enjoy the rhyming and visual presentation. I’m not certain about how Dr. Seuss influenced my writing exactly, but I appreciate that he seems to have lose rules if any. I love the originality of his stories.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you. 

Often my writing starts with me singing about something. If I’m singing something, then I will usually write about it. And if I write about it, then I usually will start singing about it. I often write about stories or topics that intrigue me and that don’t “go away”. If the story and idea stay with me for a while, then I feel more naturally moved to write about it.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects? 

Wow. So many but at the same time, there are actually very few specific subjects that I feel I must write about in the future. Recently, for the most part, if I want to write about something, then I write about it. In general, I can say that I would like to write about challenging subjects or subjects that are not often written on. Also, I can see myself writing some non-fiction in the future.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Writing to me is expression, sharing and connection.

social-distance-king-frontThe Social Distance King is a book that introduces the sensitive top of kids and social distancing. It’s a kid-friendly way to introduce them to this new social norm, and to teach them about the reasons for its use to keep them safe.

For a limited time, a FREE copy of this book will be offered through the authors website at: http://ericauthor.com/social-distance-king/.

The Social Distance King is also available as a free Kindle Unlimited title. Printed hardcover copies are also available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Picture Book Review: “Mozzi Presents: Love and Other Values”

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“Mozzi Presents: Love and Other Values” is the first in a series of heart-warming picture books.

I always like to find the hidden gems that can brighten up anyone’s day. I think a book about a dog is a great way to do this, especially with the current pandemic. We are looking back to family values, nature and the best addition to any household, pets. The lessons we can learn from our pets starts when we are children. I think I’ve found a wonderful picture book that shows the values of pets, love and family in  “Mozzi Presents: Love and Other Values” by Merav Gamliel Boschan.

We meet a wonderful dog, Mozzi, and his family. From a puppy to growing up to full doghood, we read about all the different challenges of life and lessons learned by Mozzi the dog with help from his family. They also learn from him in turn. It’s a great read aloud during these hard times of lockdown and isolation. The one thing that always seems to help during these hard times seems to be sharing a book with the family. This will make a wonderful read-aloud at bedtime or shared as an activity.

“Mozzi Presents: Love and Other Values” is available at Amazon.com. It is the first book in a series of four, and is a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

Interview for L. A. Davis

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Summer reading will be starting soon. I’ve got a lot of fabulous books lined up to add to your child’s reading list. My first author in the series of recommendations is L. A. Davis. She has written a fabulous coloring book called “AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades”. The character is based on her granddaughter and is the first in a learning series. Children can learn primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, the colors of the rainbow, and shades with the help of their parents. It’s a great activity book for the summer days ahead. I had a chance to talk to author L. A. Davis about childhood reading memories and about writing.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?
L. A Davis: My second-grade teacher allowed each student to sit in front of the class and read a book from the “library” we had in the back of the classroom. I hate that I don’t remember the name of that book, but I do remember it was about snow and the child had on a red coat with a pointy hat. It might have even been a bunny suit, but it was red and the hood part was pointy. It stood out to me because I was born on an island and we don’t have snow. Another book I do remember is called “The Little House.” I got to read that one in front of the class also.

2) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
L. A Davis: Usually when I write, I pick a song and play that song to inspire me. I haven’t found a routine in writing the coloring books, but give me time :0).

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?
L. A Davis: Writing is so much fun!

aj cover-pagefront“AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades” is a fabulous child’s coloring book that teaches the basics of colors and the rainbow. Fill summer days and weekends with this fun activity, and apply new artistic skills to decorate your home. This is a great activity book for distance learning and for the summer months ahead.

“AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades” is available at: Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.

Interview with R. J. DiLupo

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Here is a picture book that will help any family deal with grief and the loss of a parent. The book, Papa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well, was written to help a family deal with their father dying from cancer. I got the chance to ask the author, R. J. DiLupo, about his child reading memories, his favorite author and what writing means to him.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

R. J. DiLupo: My favorite memory reading as a child would have to be Christmas with my grandmother. She would read “Night before Christmas” to all of her grandchildren. This was after a day of cookie baking and Christmas song singing. The whole experience was just very magical.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

R. J. DiLupo: My favorite author is David Sedaris. I was assigned one of his books in school. His stories encouraged me to be as honest and straightforward as I could be. His stories encouraged me to delve deep into my consciousness to find the precious moments in life, and to reflect on them honestly.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

R. J. DiLupo: Writing ensures our tales live on.

PapaBearcvrPapa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well is a picture book that teaches the theme of family and caring during times of crisis. At the head of it all is the patriarch, the father, the Papa Bear of the family. The pillars of faith, love and family help everyone rally around Papa Bear as he faces his biggest foe yet, cancer. Written to help readers deal with the upcoming grief of losing someone close to them, this touching story will help parents and children with the difficulty of loss.

Papa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

Interview with Yael Manor

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Yael Manor is the author of the picture book, Dana Deserves A Playground Too.

I am excited to bring you a new and exciting picture book that is inspiring and important in this time to include all people. Dana Deserves A Playground Too was written after the author found a story about how a disabled girl was unable to use her local playground. All she could do was place a doll in a swing and push it. The injustice of our local parks underserving our children with needs has inspired Yael Manor to write the book.

Yael Manor was a math teacher for thirty-five years, specializing in coaching people with ADHD. She is a mother and grandmother, and found the need within her to nourish her grandchildren and other children with humor, imagination and ingrain a sense of wonder in everyday situations. I was lucky to talk to Yael about her memories of reading as a child, how she gets her writing ideas, and what she has in store for future projects.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Yael Manor: As a child, I read a lot – every book I could put my hand on, I read. I swallowed books of all kinds.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Yael Manor: There wasn’t one specific writer I particularly liked, I just liked good books.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Yael Manor: The writing ideas come to me during my early morning physical activity and the writing itself is done when I have time for it.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Yael Manor: Usually, I choose to deal with subjects that have some educational message.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Yael Manor: It’s a mission!

DanaDeservesPlaygroundcovr Dana Deserves A Playground Too is based on a story of a father that had brought his daughter to the park. Due to her disability of being confined to a wheelchair, she couldn’t play on the playground, even though she wanted to so much. All she could do was take her doll, place her on a swing, and push it. Yael Manor wanted to show how children with special needs can’t do what “regular” children can do, and that some changes need to happen to give Dana a playground too.

Dana Deserves A Playground Too is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on Yael Manor, visit her author page at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EZQ2NXC.

Interview with Chris Lewis

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I’m starting this week out with a great support picture book for your little ones to understand the COVID19 situation, and help them become informed in a child friendly way. Chris Lewis wrote this book with fellow colleagues to help support parents explain to their younger children what is going on in the world. Haley and Comet Learn about COVID-19 is available as a FREE picture book and is available in Indonesian and Portuguese translations. I had a chance to talk to Chris Lewis about his writing routine, future projects, and what writing means to him.

1) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Chris Lewis:
After I have eaten with a cup of tea in the evening.

2) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Chris Lewis:
Business and technology subjects target and younger readers. Change Management and testing is on the cards.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?
Chris Lewis:
A privilege and a joy I am working every day to get better at.

Covid19PictureBkcoverHaley and Comet Learn about COVID-19 tells the story of two twins, Haley and Comet. They are confused about why they are not allowed to visit with friends, and their big brother isn’t allowed to go to school. Discover the journey the twins go on to find out how COVID 19 has affected their lives. This story is written for 5 years and up.

Haley and Comet Learn about COVID-19 is available at the following eBook store links:

English version: https://books2read.com/u/mVw5Y5
Indonesian version: https://books2read.com/u/bMpdg5
Portuguese version: https://books2read.com/u/mKDMqP

Interview with Brianna Reshae

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BriAnna Reshae is the author of “Beautiful Black Butterfly“.

Welcome to a New Year and decade on the Indie Children’s Authors Connection. I’ve been running this blog since I started self-publishing children’s books way back around 2008. So, I’m proud to say I’ve been running this meeting place for authors and readers for over 10 years now. I’m proud to continue this tradition of introducing you to fabulous Indie authors and their books with my first interview of 2020.

BriAnna Reshae is an author that has been following her passion for writing since she was a child and has written a book called Beautiful Black Butterfly. Her books deal with obstacles children face and how they can learn to face and over come them. I had a chance to talk to Brianna about her childhood reading memories, favorite authors, what influences her, and what writing means to her.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

BriAnna Reshae: Being inspired to use my imagination and dream big is my favorite memory as a child.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

BriAnna Reshae: My favorite author was Barbara Park who wrote Junie B. Jones, she influences me by being able to connect to children and still be able to entertain middle grade students as well.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

BriAnna Reshae: I don’t have a particular writing routine, I just write mostly when I’m inspired to do it.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

BriAnna Reshae: I write children’s books aimed towards obstacles that children face but I would like to write stories about obstacles that teenagers and young adults face as well.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

BriAnna Reshae: Creativity.


BlkButterflyCvr Beautiful Black Butterfly
is a book about overcoming bullies and excepting who you are. Jai’Da encounters kids that make fun of her. The bullies target her because of the dark color of her skin. But then a black butterfly comes into her life that inspires her to express her natural beauty within and overcome the hatred directed at her. This is a wonderful book to help children understand that differences are actually what make us unique and beautiful, and we can look towards these differences for our own self-confidence and inner beauty.

Beautiful Black Butterfly is available at Amazon.com.

For more information on BriAnna Reshae, visit her social media links here:

Instagram: booksbybree
Facebook: BriAnna Reshae Woodard (booksbybree)
Twitter: books_by_bree

 

 

Interview with Tom Murdoch

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Before all the scary, spooky stories start to take over your child’s brain, I’d like to introduce you to Tom Murdoch. He’s a fun, adventurous author that writes soothing bedtime stories. He has written “Where will you go, Ricky Jo?”, a sweet, adventure story about an outgoing Chihuahua that loves to explore. I got a chance to ask author Tom Murdoch about his childhood reading memories, writing and what he is thinking of accomplishing next.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Tom Murdoch: My dad read to me, sometimes scary stories! As a child, I read all the Hardy Boy books.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Tom Murdoch: I write all day as a copywriter, so for my book projects I try to squeeze it in as I can.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Tom Murdoch: I hope to continue a series about puppies.

RickyCover“Where Will You Go, Ricky Jo?” is a classic bedtime story certain to inspire imagination as well as sleepy time adventures. Featuring vibrant illustrations, journey with Ricky Jo, a loveable Chihuahua, chasing after fire engines, soaring high on airplanes, riding on horses and visiting a farm. His journey ends with bedtime where he starts his dream adventures. This charming picture book will make a great addition to any family’s home library.

 

“Where will you go, Ricky Jo?” is available at Amazon.com.

This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Carey Azzara

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Carey Azzara is the author of the children’s book, The Sick Puppy. 

I have an extra treat for you. A new book from the author, Carey Azzara is coming out in this week. Carey is one of those authors that just have to write and get his message out to the world. His upcoming book, The Sick Puppy, is due out for release on [release date inserted]. I had a chance to talk to Carey about his influences as an author, his writing routine, and what he would like to write about in the future.

Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?
Carey Azzara:
I’m a fan of Mark Twain (who isn’t right?). His stories flow with ease and they all make sense. He teaches as well as entertains (something I aspire to). We learn something of true value from his writing, like the concept of a good lie in the book Huck Finn.

Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Carey Azzara:
I am not overly disciplined in my routine. I typically do my best work in the morning and late in the evening. However, when an idea strikes, I try hard to get it down on paper no matter when the muse is being helpful.

What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Carey Azzara:
My next project is a series of books written for the YA audience. It features a fifteen-year-old girl living in New Mexico who is part Apache. Along with her Apache mentor, an elder in the local Native American community, she discovers she has extraordinary powers. The working title is Gila Wilderness Warrior.

the-sick-puppy-ebook coverThe Sick Puppy is the story of a seven-year-old girl that has enjoyed living in her home in Cumberland, Maine. But when her Dad receives special news, her life is turned upside down to adjust to a new home. Heidi learns to adjust to her new town by a friend that puts the meaning into rescue. A sweet, little puppy.

The Sick Puppy is available on Amazon.com in ebook edition or paperback. It is also available at the publisher’s website at Glass Spider Publishing.

For more information on Carey Azzara, please visit his website at:

https://careyazzara.com/.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Charlotte Safieh

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Cover 3With school starting in many states, it’s not too late to start building your school or home library for the new school year. Charlotte Safieh has written a picture book called “A Cry for the Ocean” to help create awareness and support to clean the plastic littering our oceans.

Charlotte lives in Toronto, Canada with her family. She has been in the teaching profession for many years and specializes in teaching creative writing. She is celebrating her first published book. Charlotte has also started her own imprint called Blue Jay Press to help support new authors with stories needing to be told.

I had a chance to ask Charlotte about her childhood reading memories, favorite authors and impact that writing has had and the influences she hopes to accomplish.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Charlotte Safieh: My favourite memory from reading as a child was reading Gerald Durrell and following his adventures collecting exotic animals from exciting far away countries. Something that would not be allowed anymore! I recently learned that he was very influential in changing how we manage zoos, so that instead of simply being a source of entertainment we are protecting endangered species and learning more about their natural environment and behaviour.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Charlotte Safieh: My favourite writer for children is Roald Dahl. He is very entertaining and irreverent with such a unique imagination. I also love Barbara Kingsolver, and I’m just reading her new book “Unsheltered” which is a remarkable story that can tell us so much about our current time and the challenges we face with our poor treatment of the natural environment.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Charlotte Safieh: I need to be accountable with my writing and love doing courses and being a part of a writing group. I love sharing ideas and talking over writing with fellow writers.

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Charlotte Safieh is the author of the new picture book “A Cry for the Ocean”.

  •  What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Charlotte Safieh: I would like to continue to write stories about the natural world to help children to understand how important it is to protect nature and wildlife. Maybe Sukara can go on to do more great things in the future!

  •  What is storyquest.com, and how did it influence you to become a writer?

Charlotte Safieh: Storyquest is a creative writing project that I have been running for several years. After I qualified as a teacher I began working in classrooms with students teaching them how to write stories and putting their stories together as published chapter books. This has been very enjoyable and rewarding, and I have seen hundreds of students write incredibly exciting, imaginative and powerful stories. I feel very lucky to have done this work, as I see how much they enjoy writing the stories, and I love creating a space to allow that to happen.

  •  What other environmental issues would you like to address in future books?

Charlotte Safieh: I would love to write more about protecting nature, and have been considering a story set in the rainforest, as we are losing our forests so rapidly. I would also like to write about the kids 4 climate movement, as I have been very excited to see that grow in the last year. I am a really big fan of Greta Thunberg and have been following her journey across the Atlantic on a yacht this week.

  •  Why did you start your own independent publishing company, Blue Jay Press?

Charlotte Safieh: I started Blue Jay Press because I love publishing books. It is a true passion, and although this is the first book I have authored I have published over 400 children authored chapter books. I hope to continue to grow Blue Jay Press with books by other authors as well as more of my books.

  •  What advice do you have for aspiring writers who are interested in self-publishing?

Charlotte Safieh: I would say go for it. The self-publishing industry has grown exponentially. Now it is very achievable for anyone who has a story they are passionate about to self-publish. I used Kickstarter very successfully to fund the first set of books and my wonderful illustrator Tamara Piper, who I found on Fiverr. Self publishing makes up a significant proportion of sales of books, especially ebooks.

  •  For our younger authors, what can they work on now to help them become better writers?

Charlotte Safieh: When I teach creative writing I work a lot on encouraging children to be confident in their writing, and to ignore the critical voice in their head that can stop them from enjoying writing. When they are getting ideas down I also tell then not to worry about spelling or grammar so they can let their imagination flow.

  •  What is writing to you in one sentence?

 Charlotte Safieh: Writing is sharing our inner worlds, our lives, ideas and connecting with each other.

“A Cry for the Ocean” is a picture book that brings forward the cause of helping clear our oceans of plastic pollution. Sukara meets a mermaid and learns about the plastic pollution in the ocean and finds a magical way to save it. It will bring awareness to the plight of our oceans and be a great addition to any school or home library. It will be a wonderful teaching tool for ocean and environmental units. Teaching resources accompany the book to help teachers and parents.

“A Cry for the Ocean” is available at Amazon.com.

For more information on Charlotte Safieh’s new book “A Cry for the Ocean” and free resources, lesson ideas, activities, and to order wholesale books, please visit her website at: https://www.bluejaypress.ca/.