Sandra Beckwith – Will Write for Cookies

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

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INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

SANDRA BECKWITH

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Let’s time travel back about four years…my self-published parenting book was due to come out in September of 2010…I had no blog, no website, thought tweeting was the sound a bird made, had never been on Facebook and didn’t know the first thing about how to market or promote my book or myself. YIKES!

Then I found out about Sandra Beckwith and her Build Book Buzz online class. I signed up and learned more in those 6 weeks than I could ever have thought was possible. But more importantly, I discovered that some people are just angels in disguise. Sandy was kind and patient and knowledgeable and delivered on her promises…always. The class was filled with personal interaction and hands-on assignments. And I know I will always have a friend who supports and encourages me.

Sandy’s written quite a few books and she knows the business from publishing to press release, from using social media to creating a media kit.

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Welcome, Sandy! I really appreciate your being here. I’m so happy you agreed to participate. You bring a very important perspective to the Will Write for Cookies interview.

Me: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

SANDY:

My first favorite author was Carolyn Keene because she wrote the Nancy Drew series. My friends and I used to swap books on the school bus or in class so we all had access to as many of those wonderful mysteries as possible. Not long after that, I fell in love with Louisa May Alcott’s books. After I read Little Women, I wanted to write her a letter telling her how much I enjoyed that book. I was so sad when my mother told me that she died almost a hundred years ago!

Me: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing?

SANDY:

It took me a while to discover that a good editor can both improve your writing and teach you how to do it better the next time. I still pay attention to edits now, a long time after I became a professional writer. Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Rainbow World – National Diversity Awareness Month

Today is Friday. TGIF for people who work during the week. And PPBF for those who love picture books. And National Diversity Awareness Month for EVERYONE!

The special book I’m featuring today is one that belongs on every diversity children’s book list. Through my parenting blog, I connected with the talented lady who wrote the song that the book is based on, Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou. She travels all over the world, sharing beautiful music with children. Daria graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the importance of music in the lives of children.

daria and shekere

Hello Daria! Thank you so much for stopping by. I know music is such an important part of your life.

Do you play an instrument?

 

Yes! I’ve been playing guitar and dulcimer since I was a little girl. When I was young I was part of the Bucks County Folk Music Society and the older folks there were really kind to young learners. That was where I learned a lot about folk music from lots of different cultures and began playing the dulcimer.


When did you realize that music was the path you wanted to follow?

I was a young child in the 60’s and loved protest music because it gave a voice to many issues I felt strongly about, such as working for peace and caring for the Earth. I discovered that writing a song was a way to be heard, to speak out and yet it was a positive, non-confrontational way to change hearts and minds. That was when I knew I wanted to make music as my life’s path!
Why do you use music with kids?

 

Although music in most modern cultures is mainly about entertainment, it is so much more in other cultures. I love using music as a way to listen, a way to teach and a way to encourage kids to understand the power of cooperation. When children are playing together – for instance on a pow-wow drum- they can hear and even feel how something special happens when everyone works together toward a goal! It’s a great life lesson!
How can parents and teachers encourage a love of music in children?

That’s simple! First of all they can relax and enjoy music with them. Share what they know and love with their kids. They can sing simple songs to them and if they feel shy about that, they can still tap or clap along as their child sings a song they love. They can share music from their culture of origin. Plus they can visit a library and discover new cd’s with their child or ask their librarian about “kid-friendly” concerts or music programs that are available in their community.


Is music a universal language?

 

Yes! Music IS a universal language. People may disagree over politics, geography and other important concerns but once we begin singing, dancing, cooking, eating or celebrating together, then the differences disappear. Music can touch hearts where mere words cannot – and that is a beautiful thing!

If you have never visited Daria’s website, please do go there…it is one of the BEST multicultural sites around…you will be in for a treat: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php.

AND GUESS WHAT? WHEN YOU GET THERE YOU CAN ENTER A RAFFLECOPTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THIS PRECIOUS BOOK!

beautiful world

BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW WORLD

Book created by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet

Original lyrics by Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou

Publisher: Two Poppies (an imprint of Multicultural Kids, Inc. 2014)

Ages: 0-100

Themes: Diversity, children

 

Opening Lines:

“Today I woke up to see…a beautiful rainbow world.

Won’t you dream along with me…a beautiful rainbow world.”

Synopsis:

This is a photographic journey around the globe that shows us the beauty of children everywhere.
Why I like this book:

  • Simple read-aloud or sing along text
  • Incredible collection of photographs of children around the world

 

How a parent can use this book: Read the rest of this entry

International Day of the Girl Child: Empower Girls. End Violence.

My oldest blogging buddy, Elizabeth, over at Mirth and Motivation, has written a post recognizing a very special day: International Day of the Girl Child.

As parents, we know how important it is to uplift our daughters and help them recognize their own power, strengths and talents.

As writers, we try to infuse our girl characters with strength, humor, intelligence and assertiveness.

 

I know you will enjoy Elizabeth’s post. She has one of the finest multicultural sites in the world.

 

International Day of the Girl Child: Empower Girls. End Violence..

#PPBF: G.G. Rock Climbs

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday.

I am doing a review of a chapter book for ages 6-10. I know that many parents are moving towards chapter books as their children begin reading on their own. And, although I believe that picture books are wonderful for elementary grades even when kids are reading themselves (for so many reasons), I also know that great chapter books continue the engagement of young readers with the world of books. My favorites were Little Women, Black Beauty and ALL of the Nancy Drew series. And, if G.G. Rock Climbs by Marty Mokler Banks had been around then, I know I would not have been able to put it down.

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G.G. ROCK CLIMBS

Written by Marty Mokler Banks

Photo Illustrations by Alisa Mokler Harper

Publisher: Switch Monkey Press (2014)

Ages: 6-10 (But I was totally engaged!)

Themes:

Friendship, self-esteem/self-confidence, overcoming challenges, rock climbing

Opening Lines:

“Does your mom let you have cake? With thick creamy frosting. And little flowers on top?

Well. My mom does not!

Oh, all right. Maybe on special occasions. But it seems like never. Mom says sugar is Not Good for a Healthy Body.

Boring!

So when I first opened Stinky Sarah’s birthday party invitation, I immediately thought: CAKE! I get CAKE!”

 

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Eight-year-old G.G. climbs all over stuff—from the couch in her apartment to the boulders at the park. So when she’s invited to Stinky Sarah’s birthday party at Rock Star climbing gym, G.G.’s up the wall in no time. G.G. likes it so much, she and her friend, Isaac, take a rock climbing class. When they head outside, things are suddenly more difficult. Can G.G. brave those steep rock faces up Zoo Canyon?

Why I like this book:

  • Well-written, exciting page-turner that will keep kids engaged from the first page to the last
  • Love the photo-illustrations – placed at just the right points in the story – really connects you to the story and the characters
  • Great message about friendship, facing and overcoming fears, the importance of challenging ourselves

How a parent can use this book:

  • Read it with your child – great opportunity to talk about things your child would like to do but maybe is afraid to try
  • Talk about how Isaac and G.G. supported and encouraged each other

 

The book is available on Amazon.

If you’d like to connect with Marty Banks (she the co-coordinator of southern Colorado SCBWI) or learn more about her other books, please visit her website: http://www.martymoklerbanks.com/

Or her blog where she reviews all things chapter book: Chapter Book Chat

Related Activity:

Why not visit a local gym or play center that has a rock climbing wall for kids?

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Photo courtesy: http://www.ssww.com

For AMAZING crafts and activities using rocks, stones and pebbles, please visit: http://www.kidactivities.net/post/ideas-with-stones-and-rocks-for-kids.aspx

If you are looking for more wonderful book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

And, because today is my grandson’s sixth birthday, here’s a yummy birthday cake – please help yourselves to a BIG slice!

5th bday

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