Category Archives: Picture Book 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 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 Javelin Jaaziel

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Need a perk up for your child’s reading? Here is a spunky book to make the whole family laugh. Javelin Jaaziel is the author behind a fantastic character, Slog the Winged Frog. Javelin got the idea from a hypothetical question that a zany and inspiring Science teacher would often ask. A terrific story to get the imagination sailing, Slog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise begins the series with this loving and endearing character. I had a chance to talk to Javelin Jaaziel about the love of writing, memories of reading as a child, and what projects are in store for us. 

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

Javelin Jaaziel: When I discovered the little girls next door were fake reading. They read a line in a picture book “black and white ducks”, when really it read “white and black ducks”, but they had memorized it incorrectly. 

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

Javelin Jaaziel: More about Slog and his continued attempts to fly, and another story that’s still under wraps. Also something about ocean thermal energy conversion and it’s many potentials, including its ability to end the devastating effects of droughts and hurricanes.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Javelin Jaaziel: A creative outlet, and a way to express ideas.

Slog the Winged FrogSlog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise is the introduction to the lovable frog character of Slog. He lives in a normal swamp with normal friends. But Slog is no ordinary frog. He has wings. Yet, he doesn’t know how to fly. In his search for the answer, he meets Hooty the Owl and Squiggly Squirrel. Does he find the courage to fly? Find out in this delightful story that combines humor and acceptance into a new spin on the Dumbo theme.

 

Slog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

 

 

 

Interview with Belle Brown

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In these hard times during the corona virus, it’s nice to read to your little one(s) about hugs. Here is a great picture book that tells of a cuddly porcupine that has to overcome the obstacle of his quills. Belle Brown is the author of the fabulous book, Porcupine Hugs. She wanted to bring the power of learning through storytelling with her writing. Each of her books develop children’s cognitive abilities, help parents bond with their child, and nurture a love for reading. I had a chance to talk to Belle Brown about her childhood reading memories, writing process, and future projects.

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

Belle Brown: When I was a child, my grandmother, a retired teacher, would bring us hand-me-down books from my older cousins when she would visit us every summer. I remember getting excited just knowing that I will have new books to read. I had no favourite books, back then, but I would re-read all the books that she brought home for us. I distinctly remember reading Green Eggs and Ham, though, when I was six.

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

Belle Brown: My favourite author is Dr. Seuss, and so I love to make silly rhymes and rhyming stories.

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

Belle Brown: I would like to write more about learning books which introduces important concepts to toddlers and preschoolers. I would also like to add more to my learning series, Patrick the Piglet’s Learning Adventures Series.

porcupinehugscvrPorcupine Hugs is a picture book written in rhyming verse and illustrated to bring your child into the world of Perry the Porcupine. This persistent porcupine loves to give hugs. But he’s got one problem. His quills. What is a porcupine to do? Inspiring in the way he solves this problem, Perry will warm your heart as much as teach about positivity and positive thoughts for everyone. Filled with high frequency sight words, this picture book will uplift your child’s day as well as help them learn the building blocks for reading.

Porcupine Hugs 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 Loretta Sponsler

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Spring is just around the corner, and the great outdoors will be calling people out for travel, camping and adventuring in an RV. I have found the perfect picture book to introduce your child to the camping experience and get them ready for their next family adventure. Loretta Sponsler is a mother of three boys. She enjoys RV camping with her family. When she looked for a book about RV camping for her kids, she couldn’t find one. So, she wrote “The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse”. It is a modern twist on the old Aesop’s Fable. I had a chance to talk to Loretta about her memories of reading as a kid and why she enjoys writing for children.

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

Loretta Sponsler: My favorite books as a child were the collections by Shel Silverstein. I loved his wacky take on things, the rhythm of his words, and his illustrations. Such talent! I was hooked as a child.

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

Loretta Sponsler: I love to write about camping, where my family connects with nature and with one another. We explore and learn in the great outdoors. We roast marshmallows over a campfire and tell stories and sing songs. Camping (and nature in general) offers endless subject areas for books. My hope is that I create books that both children and adults will love.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Loretta Sponsler:
As a mom to three busy boys, a routine is sometimes hard to find. However, I try to commit to sitting at my desk and just writing for a chunk of time at least four days a week. I aim for three-hour blocks of uninterrupted time. There are always millions of distractions and side projects that draw my time, so that focused-writing time is valuable.

Sponsler eBook Cover“The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse” is a contemporary take on the old Aesop’s fable, The Country Mouse and City Mouse. While Thomas Tent-Mouse loves to camp in his tent where he feels connected to nature, his cousin Harvey RV-Mouse loves to camp in his RV where he feels safe. Together, they go on adventures and share their love of the outdoors while respecting the differences that make them unique.

The Tent Mouse and The RV Mouse is available at: Amazon.com.

For more information, visit Loretta Sponsler’s website at: https://kidscampingbooks.com/.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Kya Johnson

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Kya Johnson is the author of the picture book, O is for Oshun.

I love finding multicultural and diverse books for my readers. I think I’ve found a great book and an inspirational author for your home and classroom. Kya Johnson founded RainbowMe to help show kids images of themselves to help shape their imaginations and growth. This positive reflection creates a sense of reinforcement to be whoever they wish to be.

Kya Johnson has written a multicultural fairytale and folklore collection of characters from around the world. O is for Oshun is the first augmented reality children’s book to have diverse folklore and fairytale characters of color from around the world. I had the chance to talk with Kya Johnson about what influenced her as a child, what her writing routine is, and what she has planned for the future.

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

Kya Johnson: My favorite memory from reading as a child was when I was able to read bedtime stories to my younger sister.

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

Kya Johnson: My favorite author as a child was Don Freeman because Corduroy was the first book I remember reading that had a character in it that looked like me.

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

Kya Johnson: I am a first time author, and so I didn’t really develop a “writing routine”. I knew that I wanted a book of folklore characters and I knew I wanted to make sure they were from all around the world and reflected cultures and people not normally seen in that genre.

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

Kya Johnson: This book introduces several folklore, fairytale, and mythological characters from around the world, but barely scratches the surface of these stories. I would love to continue introducing these characters. Also to incorporate the technology of augmented reality really brings the characters to life in a fun and engaging way.

 
5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Kya Johnson: Writing to me is the ability to introduce new worlds and experiences to young readers.

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O is for Oshun is the first AR children’s book to feature diverse fairytale and folklore characters from around the world. A rhyming alphabet introduces readers to goddesses, kings, and fairies from countries such as Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Nigeria to name a few. A phone application is available to turn the book into an augmented reality reading experience, bringing the characters alive as they read their section. O is for Oshun is a new kind of read aloud experience that can be enjoyed at home or used in the classroom.

Link to video of the AR experience for O is for Oshun on YouTube.

O is for Oshun is available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

For more information on Kya Johnson, please visit her website at: http://www.rainbowmekids.com/.

For more information on the book O is for Oshun:

http://rainbowmekids.com/o-is-for-oshun/

 

 

 

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