Another Topsy Tale Coming Soon!


Hey, everyone, I have good news! Guardian Angel Publishing has signed me to do another Topsy Tale. This time, Sully gets his day in the sun. Kevin Scott Collier has agreed to visit Topsy Turvy Land one more time to put his fantastical touch on Sully. This book follows Chizzy's and Dotty's books. Watch for more news on Sully's Topsy Tale soon!

Poodle and Doodle - Illustrations are done!

Jack Foster emailed to say the illustrations have been turned into the publisher. He put an announcement on his blog about the book along with another sneak peek. Check it out!

Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Margot Finke

My special guest on this last day of the Bounding for Books Blog Tour is Margot Finke who wrote Rattlesnake Jam, illustrated by award-winner Kevin Scott Collier.

About the book: "Rattlesnake Jam" is a rhyming romp for reluctant readers - especially boys! Pa hunts rattlers, and Gran cooks them up into her gooey green rattlesnake jam. Good for whatever ails you, Gran sells her concoction to folks near and far. However, Pa yearns for rattler over rice, or maybe rattlesnake pie: but can he persuade Gran to cook them for him?

REVIEW:Rattlesnake Jam is a hilariously funny children’s picture book about an old couple who share an irresistible affection for rattlesnakes. There’s only one problem: While Pa would rather have the rattlesnakes turned into fritters or pie, old Gran prefers them turned into jam… disgustingly green, sweetened, gooey rattlesnake jam! Collier's colorful, wacky illustrations complement Finke’s humorous rhyme perfectly. The book has 28 pages in all, and each story page has an illustration with a short text at the bottom—a two or four line rhyme. Whimsical and amusing, Rattlesnake Jam is one of those books young children will beg their parents to read to them again and again. --Mayra Calvani Midwest Book Review, June 2008

My Questions for Margot:

#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

Just as well you didn't ask my husband. He has total un-recall from below the age of 12. I grew up Down-under, an only child longing for a brother or a sister - it never happened! I had to imagine my siblings, and I loved Mum making up stories to tell me at bedtime.. I eventually "adopted" the boy next door, and we spent our pre-pubescent years playing up a giant mango tree in our back yard. We made up adventures like those of Taconi and Sally: two intrepid characters from a popular radio serial kids loved. I knew my own mind even then, and I guess you could say I was bossy.


#2. What inspired you to write Rattlesnake Jam?

I have always written - plays, stories etc. Rattlesnake Jam was written for reluctant readers and boys. My son hated reading and I searched for topics and plots that would grab his male fantasies and interest. I discovered that gross stuff like frogs, snakes, barf and bathroom jokes, went down well with the male ten and under set, so Rattlesnake Jam fit the YUCK factor to a tee. Gran, Pa, and their yucky green jam has hooked many boys into reading for fun.

#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

During a school visit one serious eight year old put up her hand and asked, "Mrs. Finke, my mom hates snakes. Can you wrap one of the books in brown paper, so I can take it home without her seeing it. I want to read it to my little brother. He loves wiggly things!"

View fun musical Book Trailer + "Puzzle Slides" of other book covers on her Blog: http://margotfinke.blogspot.com/

Margot's Website for Children's Books, Manuscript Critique Service, Writing Help + her "Musings" column : http://www.margotfinke.com/

At the end of each week Margot will give away 3 FREE AUDIO links. Each link has Margot reading one of her stories + illustrations. These will go to the 3 readers who add that week's most unique comments.

Watch the hilarious trailer:




Keep up with future Bounding for Books Blog Tours by clicking the logo:

















Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!




Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Shari Lyle-Soffe

Today I'm honored to host Shari Lyle-Soffe. She and I go way back and have seen each other on the road to publication many times. We also share Kevin Scott Collier as an illustrator for several of our books.

About the book: Noah's problem is solved when he takes a job at the pet store, or are the problems just beginning? When Noah is left in charge, all of the animals escape and Noah must find a way to get them back in their cages before the owner returns to the store. Suggested age for readers: 2-6.

To order Shari's books, download coloring pages, and more fun, visit the blog for Nothing Stop Noah. Click HERE!

I asked Shari a few questions:

#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

Painfully shy.

#2. What inspired you to write Nothing Stops Noah?

The visual aspect was appealing to me. I wanted the utter chaos in that pet shop. The theme came from my mother who nagged me with "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"


#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

Oh my, I can't remember. I saved some wonderful notes from kids but they are in storage temporarily.

I'm sure Shari has received tons of great feedback for her wonderful books. Here's a really fun trailer for Nothing Stops Noah.


Keep up with the blog tour by clicking the logo:

















Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!




Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Joy Delgado

This week we continue our tour of children's books by chatting with Joy Delgado, author of Zooprise Party - a fun book with the text in both English and Spanish.

#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

Thanks for having me here today Donna. As for what I was like as a five-year-old, let’s see, I was afraid of dogs, we had a beagle. Now that seems silly, but at five I was terrified! We also moved from New Jersey to Puerto Rico. I thought we were going on a grand adventure. My dad had told us we’d be moving to a different country every two years. (We stayed in Puerto Rico for almost nine years.) Before we moved dad had us practicing Spanish, learning to rrroll our rrrr’s. I guess that’s what gave me the travel bug because I’ve been traveling ever since.

As I grew up, around ten I think, I made the decision I’d never forget what it was like to be a kid and I haven’t. It helped my own children when they’d get into trouble because I could remember doing the same things. Sometimes it was hard not to laugh instead of discipline them.

#2. What inspired you to create “Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa”?

My husband’s daughter from a previous marriage has two girls. They live in Puerto Rico. When they were born, we decided we’d always give them books instead of toys for presents. At first we bought either English or Spanish books. When we decided to give them bilingual books, they were hard to find. When we did, they usually were about a particular culture.

I asked our daughter Rebekha to write stories for the girls that I would then illustrate and her father would translate to Spanish. Within a day she emailed me three stories, all about animals. (She was a college student studying anthropology to become a zookeeper.)

As the ‘project’ developed, it became clear that this wasn’t just a book. This was a book that would help teach a second language as well as inform people about animals that aren’t very common. With that in mind I developed the Activity Book and the Teacher’s Guide to take the book beyond reading.

#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

When I did my first school visit, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if the children would pay attention. Boy was I wrong. They were hooked from the start. Afterwards we had a question and answer time and that showed me they really were paying attention. Here’s a slide show from that day.

Trailer for the book!



Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa by Rebekha Delgado
Picture book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-1-6
Activity Book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-2-3
Teacher’s guide ISBN: 978-0-9755454-3-0

You can see how these books and website work together go to:
http://www.laughing-zebra-children-books.com/
You can also follow Joy’s two blogs:
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa where you’ll find Zebee the laughing zebra and the rest of the gang at the ‘V Zoo’.
Books Go Beyond Reading where you will learn how to take any book beyond reading.

Where can you pick up your copies?
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Offers free shipping, discounts and autographed copies
This Old Schoolhouse Store
Offers free shipping and discounts

Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Mayra Calvani

Today I'm honored to host multi-genre author, reviewer, dog lover, and animal advocate, Mayra Calvani. She hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She's a regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine and Suite101. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, playing the violin, interviewing other authors for her blogs and newsletters, and watching too many reruns of Gilmore Girls and I Dream of Jeannie. She’s the author of the picture book, The Magic Violin, also published by Guardian Angel Publishing and the Latino Books Examiner for Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/x-6309-Latino-Books-Examiner

My questions for Mayra:

Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

I was a shy, quiet child, but I had a wonderful imagination and was always playing with dolls, Barbies, and imaginary characters in a series of mystery and adventure situations. I didn't have trouble playing on my own because I would create imaginary characters and carry out conversations with them. Actually, now that I look back, it sounds pretty spooky! When I outgrew playing 'House' with my baby dolls, I loved playing I Dream of Jeannie, James Bond, and Tarzan (especially out in the garden in the rain). I didn't like reading back then. Storytelling was in my head. It wasn't until I was about 11, when I discovered Agatha Christie, that I became an avid reader. So I didn't have a favorite book as a child!

Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

I can't recall anything specific, but I do love their 'Ahhhh' and 'Ohhhh' when they listen to my stories. When they listen with rapt attention, that's pretty neat too.

About the Book:

In Crash!, Marcelo is thrilled when he gets a golden retriever puppy for his birthday, but now he faces one of the toughest jobs of his life, not only because owning a pet is a huge responsibility, but because he has to find the perfect name for it-and that's hard!

Crash has his own blog: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/crash.htm








UPDATE from Mayra: I just found out that Crash is already available for sale in Spanish! Here's a link to the news:











Keep up with the blog tour by clicking the logo:

















Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!




Bounding For Books Blog Tour - Jennifer Gladen

Another fun stop on the Bounding for Books Blog Tour, this time with Jennifer Gladen, author of A Star in the Night (Guardian Angel Publishing).

About the book:

David makes his way home one Christmas Eve night and sees this is no ordinary night. Accompanied by a shimmering star and some tough decisions, David encounters three experiences that will change his view of Christmas forever.

I posed my three questions to Jennifer:

#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

I loved to write and draw - even as young as five. I wrote silly poems to my teachers and illustrated them as well. I was better at writing than illustrating. I can't remember too much of when I was at that age, but one memory sticks out. I had very curly hair, which I didn't like very much. After a shower one night I stood in front of my mirror for the longest time trying to "brush out" my curls. I was convinced if I stood there long enough I could make them disappear.

#2. What inspired you to write your book.

A Star in the Night is a direct result of the kindness shown to me and my family during difficult times. We have three children, two of them chronically ill. Our community always was there to help us, whether is was for babysitting, food, gas money, you name it. The main character David is a result of the love and support of our community.

#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

The best feedback I've gotten so far was about my story published in Stories for Children last year titled Mrs. Martin's Marigolds. A wonderful librarian used the story in a lesson and asked the children what they learned. There were many clever responses and life lessons. I was in awe of how much children can get out of just one story.

Thank you SO much for allowing me to shine the light on A Star in the Night, Jennifer!

Links with Jennifer Gladen:
My Light Magazine http://mylightmagazine.com/
Jen’s Blog http://www.jgladen.blogspot.com/
My Light’s Blog http://mylightmagazine.stblogs.com/
Gap Blog http://guardianangelfamily.blogspot.com/
My Space http://www.myspace.com/jennifergladen
My Light on My Space http://www.myspace.com/mylightmagazine
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1113757295
Twitter http://twitter.com/JenGl
Author’s Den http://www.authorsden.com/jennifergladen



Keep up with the blog tour by clicking the logo:

















Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!



Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Kim Chatel


Today I'm delighted to host Kim Chatel, author of A Talent for Quiet (Guardian Angel Publishing) for the Bounding for Books Blog Tour.
About A Talent for Quiet:
Reanie is a shy girl. She has a new step dad whose shoulders seem to fill their small house. Afraid to disappoint him, she retreats to her room whenever Bill asks her to play. But when he invites her on a photo safari in the creek, Reanie can’t resist. As father and daughter splash through the water, they encounter many creatures. Bill teaches Reanie how to handle a camera, and her new step-dad doesn’t seem so strange anymore.
Illustrated with Kim Chatel’s photography, this is more than a story. It is a journey with Reanie as she finds her voice and her artistic talent. The back of the book includes 4 nonfiction pages about photography: a glossary of terms, tips on taking better pictures and historical tidbits about photography.

Here's my short interview with Kim:
#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?
I chose this picture because this is exactly as I remember myself: scruffy, a little wild and a complete tomboy. I’m about 9 or 10 in this picture at Girl Guide camp. I loved camping then, and still do. Soccer was my sport and the muddier the field the better. I had already joined my first camera club by this point and found magic in the darkroom, watching pictures appear in the developing tray.

I had many good friends as a child, but I also remember being perfectly happy alone. While other girls played Barbies (which I despised), I made library cards for all my books and played librarian! I was also big into arts and crafts. I once spilled a whole bowl of red tempera paint down one wall in my room. I frantically cleaned it up, thinking I was going to get into terrible trouble, but my mom just shook her head. What could she say? My room was such a disaster of papers, books and craft stuff anyway, the paint was hardly noticeable!

#2. What inspired you to write A Talent for Quiet?

Though photography has always been a hobby and I sold cameras for many years, it has never been something I wanted to do professionally. However, I loved being able to take this art and merge it with my passion for writing. For some time, I had thought about making a photo collage of wildlife pictures I had taken over the years. Before my daughter was born, we lived along the Yamaska River in Quebec. The shores of this little river teemed with life. I spent hours crouching in the water, trying to get shots of gophers, muskrats, herons, turtles and other critters. I remember it as some of the most relaxing times in my life.

The story in A Talent for Quiet is about a shy young girl named Reanie who is not certain about her new stepdad, Bill. Bill is wise enough to know that a bond can be forged while learning and creating. He takes her on a photo safari in a creek and teaches her how to use a camera. During this afternoon, Reanie learns two important things. First, being shy and quiet can actually be a worthwhile talent when you’re trying to capture wildlife on film. Second, she learns to trust and even like Bill.

Writers often find inspiration from life experiences. A Talent for Quiet is no exception. Many of the photos are ones I shot over 10 years ago along the Yamaska. And Reanie’s story reflects my own relationship with my stepsons.

#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

Nothing thrills me more than getting a letter from a student. Sometimes I get them by email. Sometimes after a school visit, I get whole packets of them as thank you. With the schools’ permission, I have posted some of these along with the delightful artwork on my site.
Here’s my favorite from Anya:
Dear Mrs. Chatel,

Thank you for coming to the school. I know that you are a very very very nice girl. It must be hard to make the rainbow sheep. I know what your talent is. It is making a rainbow sheep. I like how you made the colorful pictures. You must be a hard worker to make all those pictures.

From Anya
-------------
Dear Anya,
I think you’re right. Making critters out of wool seems to be my talent. It took me a long time to find it, but fiber art brings me a lot of pleasure. You’re also right about working hard. I work every day at my writing and my art, but I feel blessed that I can spend my time doing something I enjoy. Every one has talents. In my new picture book, A Talent for Quiet, Reanie learns that even being shy can be a talent. I hope you never stop looking for new talents hidden inside you and when you find one, it brings you as much pleasure as mine do.

Your friend,
Kim Chatel
You can read more student letters or send one yourself at http://www.kimchatel.com/C4B_Student_Letters/C4B_Student_Letters.html

Kim's books are available wherever books are sold. Click HERE to find your favorite place from which to order. Books can also be ordered directly from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Kim's next stop will be on Mayra Calvani's blog. Follow the Tour - Click on the Logo:

















Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!

Topsy Turvy Land