Tag Archives: children’s picture book

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 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/.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Toni William

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For those looking for a fun read to end their summer nights, here is a great international award-winning author I’d like to introduce you to. Toni William lives in Scotland with his family. He writes from inspiration taken from drawing with his son. Mr. William has created stories and images that emerged from collaboration with his son, putting together imaginative tales. “The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is one of these delightful tales that bring to life vivid characters through rhyming text and playful images. I had the chance to talk with Toni William about his writing routine and process, future projects, and what writing means to him.

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

Toni Williams: I don’t have a writing routine as such. I tend to find I work best with a clear mind. So a lot of my writing and ideas come to me when I’m driving.

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

Toni Williams: I plan to write another three books in this series. Two are already being written currently, one is a story about the importance of sharing, and the other is a fun Christmas story.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Toni Williams: Writing is an escape from reality, you create your own world for others to live in.

Frog Who Lost His Croak cover“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is a charming adventure about a little frog that woke up with a shock. He had lost his croak. Join him on the journey to find his croak, and all the ups and downs that he encounters. This story is full of beautiful illustrations and engaging rhyming text. It is sure to be a favorite for your child and a repeat read-aloud at bedtime.

“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on the author Toni William, please visit his website at: https://toni-william.wixsite.com/portal.

 

 

 

 

Book Recommendation for “Stop Doing That”: A Picture Book About Having Tourette Syndrome As A Child

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Stop Doing That CoverWith the summer breezing past us, it’s nice to find a great book to keep the education going for your child. I found a wonderful book to teach your child or to supply your next year’s classroom with an understanding story of a child with Tourette syndrome. Written by an author with Tourette’s, it’s a story that will help any reader understand what it is like to have Tourette’s. “Stop Doing That!” is a story that belongs in any school library or classroom.

First, a little about the author. Chris Mason grew up with Tourette’s syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and anxiety disorder. He later was diagnosed with depression and akathisia a few years ago. He has published five books, including his autobiography, an anthology of thirty short stories, and non-fiction book about coaching youth soccer which will be published soon.

The book “Stop Doing That!” is the journey of a boy named John. Teachers, his parents, and friends get upset with him from his constant blinking, coughing and twitching at inappropriate times. His mother finally takes him to the doctor, and he is diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. His family and John learn strategies for minimizing his tics and encouragement to share his story with his fellow classmates.

It all makes John determined to not be stopped from doing the things he likes to do and deterred from the person he wants to be. It’s a book of finding strength and getting support to face struggles that are experienced.

I think “Stop Doing That!” is a great way to include diversity in your home, school or classroom. It’s a way to continue learning during the summer months, and a way to extend learning in the classroom, and would make a great read-aloud for the beginning of the school year.

“Stop Doing That!” is available at Amazon.com.

A Great Picture Book About Differences Becoming Superpowers: Lucky, The Left-Pawed Puppy

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luckycvrHere is a must for your read-aloud library. It’s a heart-felt story that was written by left-handed author, Billie Kelpin, to encourage children living in a right-handed world. Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy is a picture book that looks at being different as an asset in life. Teachers and parents can use this book to teach a lesson in how to embrace our differences and challenges, not as obstacles, but as superpowers.

Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy lives under the “H” of the Hollywood sign with his owner, Mrs. Poppyset, and his two puppy brothers. But Lucky has a problem. He often does things the opposite direction of others. While his brothers lead with their right paws, he leads with his left.

06Things change when William T. Stagent, the Hollywood agent, books them for a Bow-Wow-Chow-Now commercial. But Lucky has trouble following Hector the Director’s cues. Lucky turns left while his brothers turn right. Leslie, a famous dog trainer, is called in to look over Lucky and discovers he is left-pawed. Just as she is showing what to do be done, an earthquake hits the studio. Lucky saves the day, and it is all thanks to his left-pawed ability of naturally turning left.

11Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy is a read-aloud for children ages 4-8. With adorable illustrations by artist Julie Parker, we are drawn into Lucky’s self-discovery journey and into the world of Hollywood with puppies center stage. As a follow-up, matching games, online flashcards, and narration of the story can be found at the website: www.leftpawedpuppy.com. Parents and teachers will love this as an addition to their library. It is a great book for teaching understanding of differences that all children can appreciate.

Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy is on sale at Amazon.com and through the website, www.leftpawedpuppy.com.

Link here for an interview with the author, Billie Kelpin.

 

 

Interview with Storytime YouTube Channel Host: Mr. Whiskers

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storytime I have discovered a darling YouTube channel that features a puppet cat narrator named Mr. Whiskers. He takes you into the world of children’s books, narrating picture books while turning the pages with his paw. It’s a great way to get a child interested in reading and expose them to MORE BOOKS! Plus, authors may submit their books to be read out loud on the channel. In the interview below, Mr. Whiskers answers questions about reading as a young kitten, how authors can apply to have their books read, and what you will find when you tune into the YouTube Storytime Channel.

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

Mr. Whiskers: I would have to say my fondest memory would be snuggling up under the covers and have my grandmother cat read me my favorite stories.

  • Why did you start the Storytime YouTube Channel?

Mr. Whiskers: I wanted to recapture that feeling I had as a kitten when being read to. I felt that with my sense of creativity and flair for animation and video editing, I could create a format that would be fun and entertaining for children.

Children who tune into our chow will be able to enjoy stories read by myself, the lovable stuffed-animal host, Mr. Whiskers. I read the new weekly stories. So, there’s always a new story to enjoy.

  • How could an author submit their picture book to be read on the channel?

Mr. Whiskers: Authors looking to have their children’s story featured on our channel may submit their story to us for consideration. We can be contacted at http://storytimewithmrwhiskers.com for more information.

Storytime LogoThe Storytime YouTube Channel is a free weekly program that is a great way to get your child into the spirit of reading. Children can listen to the book being read, follow along with the pages of the picture book on screen, and can help with read alouds in the classroom. Each turn of Mr. Whisker’s paw brings alive the read aloud experience for any child.

You can find the Storytime Channel at YouTube HERE! 

For more information about the channel or how to submit your book, please visit the website here: https://www.storytimewithmrwhiskers.com/.

 

 

A Thanksgiving Surprise: Interview with Carey Azzara

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Carey Azzara is the author of the picture book, Ready Or Not, Here I come!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of Holiday gift ideas. I was able to interview a wonderful author, Carey Azzara, and find out about his new book, Ready Or Not, Here We Come! It’s a beautiful picture book that will make a great gift for your little someone. Mr. Azzara has had ups and downs in life, with the loss of his little sister when he was sixteen, two graduate degrees, and a career in public health. It’s these twists and turns that have lead to many of his stories. I had a chance to sit down and find out about Carey Azzara’s childhood memories, favorite authors growing up, and what future plans he has for us.

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

Carey Azzara: Who remembers that far back? LOL One of our neighbors liked to read with me. We read stories about pirates and swashbucklers – I loved it and the extra attention he gave me. Thanks Mr. Mullvahill! I remember his large hands, strong but kind, he was a union man. His love of reading helped me change from a kid who hated to read to one who enjoyed it. 

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

Carey Azzara: My favorite author has always been Mark Twain. He taught me the meaning of a “good lie” and the value of friendship. His brilliant dialogue inspired me.

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

Carey Azzara: Most of the time I write in the mornings after a good strong cup of coffee, my wife brews the best coffee. And again in the evening after dinner and before I walk the dog one last time for the night. But I also have bursts of inspiration, you know, when the muse seems to flow through me –that’s fun. 

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

Carey Azzara: I am writing a series of books for kids in 4th – 8th grade titled, Heidi’s Hounds. I decided that after writing a short children’s book in honor of my first grandchild titled Ready or Not, Here We Come!, writing for kids would be a worthwhile endeavor. I like to write stories about people and animals and the next project will be another series of stories about Halley [a character in on of my novelettes] and her adventures in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico—Halley has a gift that makes her extraordinary. 

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Carey Azzara: The joy of sharing my stories with readers and touching the lives of people I might not otherwise ever encounter.

ready-or-notCarey Azzara’s book, Ready or Not, Here We Come!, is a journey of little Leona and her dogs. While her parents are out, Leona decides to try to stay busy by playing hide and seek. But now the dogs must find her. But what could happen next? Find out in Ready Or Not, Here I Come!, a great gift for the Holidays.

Ready or Not, Here We Come! is available at Amazon .com. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.  https://amzn.to/2Q6uRgq.

For more information on Carey Azzara, please visit his website at: www.careyazzara.com.

A Belated Trick or Treat: Interview with David Lee Ross

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I hope you have enjoyed your Halloween Trick or Treats, and are ready for a last minute treat. I had the chance to talk to David Lee Ross, the author of the book, Clayton’s Mackintosh. It’s a magical fantasy adventure available on Amazon. I talked to Mr. Ross about his favorite authors, subjects he’d like to take on, and his writing process.

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

David Lee Ross: My favorite author by rights is Shaun Hutson. Although I am a children’s writer, I have always been a great fan of horror, funnily enough.

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

David Lee Ross: Well, I have written other genres, but what works for me with my children’s books is picking images and writing them. I find it easier to extend upon an already baked idea.

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

David Lee Ross: Well, I have already written what I want in a few genres including horror, a cocktail book, and a cookery book, but my favorite is children’s books and Clayton’s Mackintosh is one of my favourites. It reminds me of the stories I used to tell my children, nephews and nieces when they were small, which one of the reasons I started to write children’s books.

Clayton's MackintoshClayton’s Mackintosh is a magical adventure in which Clayton challenges demons with nothing but his trusty Mac. With the help of football and basketball stars, Clayton must win at several sports challenges against the evil demon to save the day. It is available on Amazon.

For more information on David Lee Ross, visit his Amazon Author Page.

 

 

 

 

 

After Back to School Blog Tour Interview: Belle Green

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Belle Green is the author of the picture book, I Am Good In My Heart.

I have another special After Back to School Blog Tour Interview. I’d like to introduce you to Belle Green. She is a lifelong writer that specializes in inspirational fiction and children’s books. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son. I had a chance to find out about her wish to help inspire children, her book I Am Good In My Heart, childhood reading memories, and what writing means to her.

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

Belle Green: Before I could read I would memorize books word for word and then “read” them to my mom or myself. But that wasn’t enough for me. I started to write by scribbling lines on a piece of paper. Then, I’d run to my mom to ask her if it said anything. I guess writing has always been in my heart, even before I knew my letters!

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

Belle Green: My son, Will, is four years old. So, most of my inspiration is coming from him. There are two more projects currently in the works for this series to follow I Am Good In My Heart. They are I Am A Good Friend: Helping Kids Understand Friendship and I am Bigger: Helping Kids Understand Growing Up. I love writing books that help preschoolers understand the world, but we need to have fun too! So I am also working on two entertaining stories about robots. My son is obsessed with robots!

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Belle Green: Writing is the act of pouring your heart out onto paper in an endless attempt to translate feelings into words.

goodatheartcvrHer book, I Am Good In My Heart, is designed for children at the preschool age to help them feel self-confidence while knowing that making mistakes is okay. It helps them realize that choices can be made better the next time. They are always good at heart and can improve with each new life lesson they accomplish.

I Am Good In My Heart is available at Amazon.com. It is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on Belle Green, visit her website at: https://authorbellegreen.com/.

Post Back to School Blog Tour: Interview with G. Lee

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G. Lee is the author of the picture book, Anxious Annie: First Day of School.

I have a Post Back to School Blog Tour treat. I have an author interview with the fabulous G. Lee, author of the book Anxious Annie: First Day of School. I managed to sit down and talk to her about her favorite books and authors, writing routine, and future projects. Enjoy one more author to kick off the school year.

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

G. Lee: The absolute magic of a book to transport us into the lives of other people and sometimes other worlds.

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

G. Lee: I loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. They made the seemingly impossible possible and goodness always prevailed.

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

G. Lee: I am more of a night owl. So, I tend to do all my writing in the evening at least four times a week.

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

G. Lee: I am doing another children’s book and it will be ready for purchase soon. It is about making friends.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

G. Lee: The ability to create and inspire.

anxiousanniecvrLee’s featured book is Anxious Annie: First Day of School. Join Anxious Annie as she overcomes her anxiety to fast her fears about her first day, and grows in strength and understanding how school can be fun while building her confidence to face the world.

Thank you for stopping by this week. Teachers, Students and Parents, have a fabulous Back to School!

-Tiffany Turner