Sunday Post: Favorite Spot – Wherever Loved Ones Are!

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is FAVORITE SPOT.

Horseback riding in the western hills above Steamboat Springs, CO.

 

FAVORITE SPOT: WITH MY HUSBAND!

Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Great cast into the Big Thompson River in RMNP.

A perfect autumn day in New England.

FAVORITE SPOT:  WITH MY GRANDCHILDREN!

 

Reading with kids at Tollhouse Preschool in New Hampshire.

FAVORITE SPOT: SCHOOL VISITS!

 

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

FAVORITE SPOT: IN THE KITCHEN!

 

FAVORITE SPOT I HAVEN’T BEEN TO YET: ITALY

I’d love to have the opportunity to travel…I’ve driven across the country twice and next spring I may have the unbelievable opportunity to speak at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore.

However, sipping wine and feasting on homemade bread and cheese al fresco under the Tuscan sun is a dream of mine. 

A writer friend of mine has organized an amazing retreat for women writers in Florence, Italy.  It will take place from April 7-13, 2013. I cannot attend (this time), but you might like to go. Julie has an overview of the retreat on her website, plus specific information about the ProgramFacultyAccommodation and Rates. If you do register, please let Julie know I sent you!

Speaking about Julie…today is the last day of September…time to check in with the 12×12 in 2012 Challenge.  In January, children’s author Julie Hedlund issued a challenge: write one picture book draft every month in 2012.  Over 400 writers answered that challenge!

 

 The challenge has definitely inspired me to write a picture book draft each month…and I’ve enjoyed connecting with dozens of members of this amazing kidlit community.  My September draft is done…I’m hoping that in the next few months, I will prepare several manuscripts for submission!

 

This is the last day for nominations to give a dozen free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school, or your own school if you are a teacher, in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like that school or classroom to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!  On Friday, we will use Random.org to choose 12 lucky schools. 

You can purchase a copy of this award-winning resource on Amazon (only $19.95) and on Amazon Kindle (only $9.95).  This award-winning book is a great gift for parents, grandparents, teachers, daycare providers and every young child (ages 2-8) that you know!  Get started on your holiday shopping…no batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination and a parent’s positive participation!  Check out this wonderful review from a kid’s point of view.

 

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

PPBF: Swimmy…Group Dynamics with an Awesome Upstander

 

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children.

Before we begin the picture book review, here are some IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.      The Show-Me-How School Initiative is still looking for A FEW GOOD SCHOOLS.   We only have a couple of days left for you to leave a comment on this post, telling which school or other child-care facility you would like to nominate to receive a free copy of Show Me How!  In the first week of October, we will pick 12 lucky schools via Random.org

2.      Show Me How! has received another lovely review…this time from Beth Stilborn, fellow 12x12er, and PPBF participant.  If you’d like to see what Beth had to say about it, please click this link.  If you’ve never been to her blog, By Word of Beth, hurry over…you’ll be glad you did…her posts are funny, informative and not-to-be-missed!

3.      Earlier this year I connected with a children’s author in Singapore, Emily Lim.  It was just before their big Asian Festival of Children’s Content, where kidlit publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, educators and all who are involved in helping kids become loves of books and reading meet for conferences, workshops and fun.  As Emily and I chatted via email, she mentioned that she wished I could be part of the conference.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened my email yesterday morning and saw an invitation from her (she is on the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference Committee) to speak at the conference!  What a great honor…I don’t know if I will be able to attend…but I hope we can work it out.

Is it Perfect Picture Book Friday yet?

You’ve all been so patient…so to reward you, you will be getting TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

October is National Bully Prevention Month!  I’ll be highlighting some amazing books and other resources for the next four weeks.

 I’ll share my picture book choice in a minute, but first I’m thrilled to tell you about a new anti-bullying app: AWESOME UPSTANDER.  Here’s the link: http://www.awesomeupstander.com

 

Did you know that 13 MILLION kids…over one-third of all school-age children, are bullied every year?

Awesome Upstander, developed by HealthTeacher:

  • Empowers children to take action
  • Reinforces positive respectful behaviors
  • Teaches children to intervene by getting help from adults
  • Emphasizes group dynamics
  • Shows kids how to gather a group together to counteract the bully’s plan
  • Encourages kids to help when they see bullying

I encourage anyone who is involved with kids to visit the website at http://www.awesomeupstander.com.  There are free downloadable info sheets for parents and teachers that address positive action plans for kids and adults.  You can follow Awesome Upstander on Twitter or on Facebook.  You can also purchase the download for iTunes or Android.

The game identifies the participants to a bullying problem…the bully, the target and the bystanders.  The key to the game (and perhaps an important key to putting an end to bullying in real life) is to turn the bystanders into ‘Awesome Upstanders”…people who get actively involved to help the target or victim and stop the bullying.

This concept of group dynamics brings me to…FINALLY…my Perfect Picture Book Friday pick.

 

SWIMMY

Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni

Publisher: DragonFly Books (1973)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Bullying, helping others, overcoming fears, self-esteem, creative thinking, cooperation

Synopsis:  

From the Amazon website: “Deep in the sea there lives a happy school of little fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.”

Why do I like this book

Let me count the reasons:

1.      Written by one of my favorite author/illustratos, Leo Lioni

2.      Winner of a Caldecott Honor Award

3.      Amazing illustrations of the underwater world

4.      Teaches the power of positive group dynamics

5.      Encourages creative thinking and problem solving

Related Activities:

Watercolor Wash Picture

Photo from artsmarts4kids.blogspot.com

You will need: 1 piece of construction paper, crayons or markers, blue food coloring and a brush.

1.      After reading the story, let your child draw a picture depicting his favorite underwater scene.

2.      Mix a drop or two of blue food coloring (you can use non-toxic blue watercolor paint) with some water.

3.      Your child can brush the watercolor wash over the entire picture…when it dries, it will have an underwater look to it.

4.      Hang it up in a place of honor in the house!

You can also make a fish mobile…with a bunch of little red fish and one little black fish.

More simple under-the-ocean activities from : http://artsmarts4kids.blogspot.com/2008/10/draw-your-own-underwater-scene.html

Great arts and crafts activities from eHow here: http://www.ehow.com/list_6729112_underwater-art-activities.html

Some parent/teacher materials on Scholastic here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/swimmy

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.

Related posts;

http://beunltd.com/2012/09/28/boys-being-boys/

18 months on: The New Parent is the ultimate Transformer (Part 3)

18 months on: The New Parent is the ultimate Transformer (Part 3).

Emily Lim is a children’s author and first-time mom.  We connected earlier this year through the blogsphere…and have found we are on the same page about many things.

Her post today was so amazing, I felt compelled to ‘press’ it and offer it to my readers.

I agreed with all of the six ways she found her life had changed because of motherhood…but I especially loved the four points she considers before she takes on any new work.  As a WAHM, she puts her job as ‘mum’ first…not an easy thing to do.

I also wanted to share that I received an email from Emily this morning, inviting me to be a speaker at the 2013 Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference (part of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content)…needless to say, I am deeply honored and hope we can work things out so that I will get to meet Emily in person next May in Singapore and share my passion for helping every young child become a lover of books and reading.

3 Must-Have Health Screenings for Women

I just received an email from a blogging friend over at Diva Cafe.  She went for a routine colonoscopy…and they discovered precancerous polyps.   

I went for my first routine colonoscopy when I turned 50…and a couple of years ago I had my second…they usually tell you to have one at age 50…and, if everything looks good, another ten years later.  I will tell you that the prep stuff I had to drink the night before the first time was yucky!  The prep stuff a couple of years ago was much better.  The actual procedure was a piece of cake…they give you something so you think you are sleeping and then you don’t remember anything…perfect!

How about the rest of you?  An annual routine check-up with a family doctor should be on every woman’s calendar.  Also, a mammogram (first at age 35 or so for a baseline reading and then, if all is ok, check with your doc as to when and how often you should have the next ones.  In addition, a Pap smear and, as I just mentioned, a colonoscopy at age 50.

  • Are these exams fun?  NO!  But not having them could impact your life very seriously!
  • Find doctors you are comfortable with…ask friends who they go to and, if your insurance allows, schedule appointments with them.
  • If you don’t have the money for them, check with community organizations…for many people these exams are free or at a very low cost.
  • Try to schedule the annual routine exam first (maybe around your B-day or the first of the year so you will remember to do it).  Your family doc may have to write referrals or lab orders for the other tests, depending on your health insurance.

Moms often get so caught up with caring for their children and their home; they tend to put themselves last.

But your health is paramount…if you get sick, who is going to take care of your family? 

So please, take care of yourselves!

What other important check-ups should moms have?  Please share!

Sunday Post: People: Who Are the Most Important People in Your Life?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is PEOPLE.

When I saw the theme, I immediately began thinking of the most important people in my life.  First, I thought of my husband.  We’ve been married over 45 years and still enjoy sitting on the couch, watching a good movie and walking down a country lane, hand in hand, talking about anything and everything under the sun.  Yes, I know, we are so very fortunate.

A WORD TO THE WISE:  Every relationship has its ups and downs and no one is perfect.  We all make mistakes…don’t be ashamed to say, “I’m sorry!”  Be consistent, be compassionate and think before you speak.

Then I thought about my children and grandchildren.  I love spending time with them…and count myself fortunate that they enjoy spending time with me as well.

WORD TO THE WISE:  Parenting young children is a difficult task…you need patience and energy and lots of love.  We all make mistakes…don’t be ashamed to say “I’m sorry!”  Be consistent, be compassionate and think before you speak.

Then I thought about my friends…some I’ve known for many years.  Jane and I met each other when we were only two years old…we played house and Superman and colored in coloring books and had picnics together in the park.  When we each got married, we continued that friendship and now, after sixty-three years, although we live thousands of miles apart, we are close in heart and soul.

WORD TO THE WISE: Friendship is a skill we need to teach our kids…how to care for and respect one another.  We all make mistakes…don’t be ashamed to say, “I’m sorry!”  Be consistent, be compassionate and think before you speak.

Then I thought about the friends I have made this past year in the blogging community…especially those who blog about writing and illustrating for children.  There are dozens of them…authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, moms…and they inspire and encourage me to pursue my dream of seeing my own children’s picture books on the bookshelves of libraries and homes around the world.

Does this dream sound familiar?  Would you like to pursue your writing in an unbelievable setting?  Have you always wanted to go to Italy, but hesitated because you didn’t want to go alone or with a group of travelers with whom you have nothing in common?  Here is your golden opportunity to spend a week in Italy, learning and writing with a fantastic group of like-minded women.

A writer friend of mine has organized an amazing retreat for women writers in Florence, Italy.  It will take place from April 7-13, 2013. I cannot attend, but you might like to go. Julie has an overview of the retreat on her website, plus specific information about the ProgramFacultyAccommodation and Rates. If you do register, please let Julie know I sent you!

 

We have ten more days for nominations to give a dozen free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school, or your own school if you are a teacher, in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like that school or classroom to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!  Please tweet this or spread the word across any of your social media networks.  At the beginning of October we will use Random.org to choose 12 lucky schools.

Author and educator Susan Case just did a fantastic review of Show Me How! on her Kindergarten Basics blog.  Click on the link if you’d like to see what she thinks about this award-winning resource that makes planning activities and spending quality time with your kids a SNAP!

Want to scoop up a copy of Show Me How! while you can still get FREE SHIPPING and a BONUS GIFT?  Please visit my book’s website.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Picture Perfect Book Friday: Frizzy the Fearful

 

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children.

I usually pick books that I have recommended in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  If you click on the link, you will visit the wonderful blog of Kimberley Moran’s First in Maine.  This former preschool teacher did a lovely review of my book yesterday. 

I know it’s hard to think about the gift-giving holidays of winter when we are just entering these scarlet and gold days of autumn…but Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanza will be here before we know it.  If you are needing a great gift for a teacher, parent or grandparent of young kids, a daycare provider or anyone who loves reading, crafting and cooking with children…or anyone who might be a little hesitant about doing activities with kids, please direct them to my website.  They can grab a copy of this award-winning resource that makes planning fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities a snap…and we are offering FREE SHIPPING and a small BONUS gift for the next 30 days!  THIS IS A GIFT THAT REQUIRES NO BATTERIES…IT’S POWERED BY A CHILD’S IMAGINATION AND A PARENT’S POSITIVE PARTICIPATION!

Young children are often beset with many different fears: fear of the dark and going to sleep, fear of monsters, fear of separation and getting lost, fear of new experiences and new places and fear of illness and death. 

Do you have a young child who is afraid of something? 

Is that fear keeping him or her from joining activities or socializing? 

Sitting down and talking to your child is a good step to take to try to help your child overcome that fear.  But sometimes it’s hard to start a conversation about difficult topics.  That’s why picture books are so valuable because they set the stage for a relaxed discussion about almost anything. 

For this situation,a wonderful choice would be Frizzy The Fearful by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.  This little tiger is afraid of EVERYTHING, but with the help of his friends and mother, he learns that he can cope with those fears.

 

Frizzy the Fearful

Written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Illustrated by John Wollner

Publisher: Holiday House (1983)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Acknowledging and overcoming fears, helping others, self-esteem, friendship

Synopsis:  

Poor little Frizzy Tiger!  He is afraid of almost everything…high places and low places, the dark, loud noises and pits in fruit.  He avoids going places with his friends and misses out on many fun-filled activities because he doesn’t want anyone to know how frightened he is.  When he climbs a tree to help a friend, even though he is terrified, Frizzy realizes that everyone has fears, and he begins to feel a little better about his own situation.

Why do I like this book

Children love to hear about others who have experiences and feelings similar to their own.  This is a wonderful book to share with any child, but especially one who has some fears…Frizzy Tiger has so many.  Young kids will be able to relate to the little tiger and will cheer him on, hopefully acknowledging and perhaps overcoming their own fears as they do so.  The illustrations keep pace with the text and will help a young listener identify with the many situations that frighten Frizzy.  During the story or afterwards, the adult reader will have a great opportunity to listen with respect to what the child has to say.  Perhaps sharing an experience from your own childhood will also help the child understand that everyone has fears.

Related Activities:

A BADGE OF COURAGE

Here’s a quick and easy craft project that any young child would love to make.  Perhaps your child has been to the dentist and was very brave in the chair…or maybe she finished her first week of nursery school and even though she was hesitant at first, she has made the adjustment and is enjoying her day there.  Pin this badge on to affirm his willingness to overcome his fears and his acceptance of life’s challenges.

 Education.com has instructions for a bravery badge: http://www.education.com/activity/article/bravery-badge/

You will need: Construction paper, aluminum foil, glue stick, ribbon, scissors, crayons or markers and one safety pin.

1.      Cut out 3 circles of different sizes.

2.      Glue the circles, one on top of the other.

3.      Glue the ribbon on the back.

4.      Write the child’s name on the smallest circle. 

5.      Cut out small stars from aluminum foil or draw stars or use gummed star

stickers.

Cooking with kids is another great way to extend the learning experience that starts with reading the book.

Here’s a simple fruit salad that is a nutritious snack or lunch.  We all know how important it is to encourage young children to eat healthy foods.  We need to make every meal count…especially snacks!

CHILD-FRIENDLY PIT-LESS FRUIT SALAD

 

You will need: 1 banana, a small bunch of seedless grapes, 1 pear, 1 navel orange and a few leaes of lettuce to use as the base.  You can substitute any fruits your child enjoys…just try to add one or two new ones that he can try.

1.      Wash all the fruit and lettuce and put the lettuce leaves in the bowls.

2.      Slice the apple and pear and arrange on the lettuce.

3.      Peel the orange, separate into sections and arrange on the plate.

4.      Peel the banana, slice and add to the arrangement.

5.      Cut each grape in half and add to the salad.

6.      Serves 2-3 as a main dish (add some grilled chicken strips or cheese cubes for protein).   Serves 4-6 as a side salad or snack (add a couple of whole grain crackers).

 

The Show-Me-How School Initiative is still looking for A FEW GOOD SCHOOLS.  Please leave a comment on this post, telling which school or other child-care facility you would like to nominate to receive a free copy of Show Me How!

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.

And please don’t forget to visit my website for a chance to get a copy of Show Me How!…FREE SHIPPING AND A FREE BONUS GIFT FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS!!!

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Sunday Post: Autumn…Five Tips for a Healthier School Year

 

 Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is AUTUMN.

Take a hayride down scarlet and gold tree-lined country roads!

 Pick the best pumpkin!

Have the healthiest school year ever by following these five simple steps:

  1. Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family.  This helps colds from spreading.
  1. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads.
  2. Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them.  Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep.  Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep?  For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
  3. Make every meal and snack count:  a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters.  For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
  4. Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you.

 

 

Open just two more weeks: We want to give away 12 free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like them to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!   Tweet this and spread the word across any of your social media networks.  At the beginning of October we will use Random.org to choose 12 lucky schools.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/