National Family Fun Day: A WONDERFUL DAY by Michael Samulak Plus GIVEAWAY

Did you know that almost every day is a national holiday of sorts?

It’s true! Yesterday was Mutt Day. And tomorrow is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day…and also National Beer Day…I guess you can take your pick, depending on what you love the most.

But the entire month of August is NATIONAL FAMILY FUN MONTH. Which is perfect for residents of the Northeast, where I live. The temps rise and the sun shines and it is wonderful to get out and do things, especially if you have young children. Today I’m sharing a lovely book from a dear writer friend of mine that is all about spending time with family and having fun. He was kind enough to send me two books…one for me and one for…a giveaway! Please leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!



Written by Michael Samulak

Illustrated by Louise Pulvera

Published by: Pen It (2019)

Ages: 3-7

Themes: Zoo animals, family togetherness, diversity

Synopsis: A child wakes and discovers that today the family is taking a trip to the zoo. Page by page, we travel alongside, seeing all the animals and also, all of the other zoo visitors. And when the day ends, the last page turn provides a sweet closure, as the tired child is tucked into bed.

What I love about this book:

  • It’s an easy reader – so an older child would be able to read it to a younger sibling.
  • Colorful illustrations harken back to a kinder gentler time
  • Diverse families populate the story


20-paper-bag-animal-crafts-8-1Photo courtesy:


I’m a big fan of paper bags as a craft supply to keep on hand when you have little ones. They are inexpensive, safe, and oh so versatile.

For detailed instructions:

Here’s a mini bio about Michael:

Mr. Samulak obtained his bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Michigan State University (’96) and finished his master’s in Reading Curriculum and Instruction at Cleveland State University (’12). He’s been working as a full-time youth minister and educator for almost 20 years.

Michael uses his formal education, experiences, world travels and life’s adventures to write award-winning children’s picture books.
The author currently resides in the city of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and five children.

Michael is also the author of two other books: A IS FOR AFRICA, illustrated by Sswaga Sendiba. Plus there is a companion coloring book that contains the same text, but the illustrations aren’t colored in, so children can use their own imaginations to create fantastical creatures.

To find out more about Michael and his books:

Thank you for stopping by, my friends. The selection process for the #PBChat Mentorship organized by Justin Colon has ended…but the mentorship itself is just beginning. I received over 100 amazing applications and manuscripts…writers poured their hearts onto the pages…and for the past two weeks, I have been struggling, not only to read them all (100 manuscripts is a lot of manuscripts!), but also to choose the ONE person I thought could benefit most from my help. Oh my, if only I was able to clone myself!

In the end, just under the wire, I did choose…Helen Ishmurzin. I am so excited to work with her over the next three months. And she speaks five languages….so I know that I will be learning a lot from her.

I also have been making plans for my trip to Colorado in August. And guess what? The day I am in Denver, I will be doing a book event at 10:30am on August 23rd at Second Star to the Right, an awesome bookstore on S.Pearl Street. Huge thanks go to our very own Laura Roettiger, author of the fabulous ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, who was a major player in arranging this…I owe you big time, Laura!!! I’m hoping that lots of Colorado friends will be able to come…what better place for kidlit folk to meet than at a children’s bookstore, right? And maybe after the event, we can walk up S.Pearl Street and find a little cafe to sit and chat before I have to head off to meet up with my family and fly back home.

photo of store

And before I let you go, last night on Facebook I announced the winner of Laura Roettiger’s wonderful book. Congratulations, Ellen Leventhal…you will be receiving a copy of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, thanks to dear Laura.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend – stay safe and stay cool! Oh, and don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of Michael’s book!

52 thoughts on “National Family Fun Day: A WONDERFUL DAY by Michael Samulak Plus GIVEAWAY

    • I was so proud of everyone who gathered the courage and the effort to fill out that application and send their work and I honored that you applied to me, Rose! It was painfully difficult to choose…I got over 100 applications and manuscripts. I enjoyed your story about Carlton…and I do intend to email each person and give a bit of feedback for each manuscript…it will take me a while…but I will do it. 😉


    • Thank you Rose!
      Yes!! Since the book is an early reader, it is indeed meant to be shared with others while your emerging reader is practicing her decoding, phonics, and text-to-self reflection strategies with another loved one in the family.

      An early ready that is engaging as well as educational!

      Thanks for the support.
      Michael, author
      On Twitter @MichaelSamulak


  1. This post is chock-full of goodness! What a wonderful way to start the last month of summer! And the perfect day to share A Wonderful Day! I especially liked your comment about the illustrations, Vivian, because I completely agree. When I look at that cover, I want to be IN the picture. Congratulations, Michael and Louise. Vivian, have a great time in Denver!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea that this is an easy reader. The only thing more fun than reading to a little one yourself is when you peek around a corner and see a 2 year old sitting next to her older cousin who’s reading to her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Yes! And Yes!
      As an educator I can so relate to this joy. My brother send me a picture not too long ago of his 3yr old son in bed, flashlight in hand, and “sneaking” some late night reading — of his “Uncle Mike’s” book. It took my breath away!
      All the best to you and yours!
      Thank You for the support!
      Michael, author
      On Twitter @MichaelSamulak


  3. Thank you for introducing us to this book. It sounds inviting.
    Also, thank you Vivian for offering to be a PBChat mentor and congratulations to Helen!
    Enjoy CO!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for introducing me to another author, Vivian. And I’ll be thinking of you at Second Star to the Right since it’s my 49th wedding anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s always fun going to the zoo! Congrats! Thanks for sharing about this book. Fun in the sun! Congrats to the mentees as well. 🙂 Due to personal circumstances, I was unable to meet the app deadline this year. But there is always next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Zoo trips were our favorites when the kids were little. This sounds like a great book to read as well as give to older siblings when they have a new baby in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How exciting you’ll be on the move again. That’s amazing how many applicants you had. I don’t know how you did it. This book sounds very kid-friendly and a great read to compliment a trip to the zoo. I always enjoy following along on your adventures. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Vivian,

    I love reading your newsletters! On this one my favorite feature was the related crafts with paper bag puppets. Did you get permission to use their photo, or go ahead and use it since you gave them credit? I’m curious, and would love to get your advice.

    All the best from sunny Wapakoneta, Rinda Beach

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great question, Rinda. We are supposed to reach out and ask the blog owner if we snag a photo from their blog, even if we give photo credit. I have asked several…they’ve all said yes…but once in a while, I do use one that I didn’t have time to get permissions. But my advice would be to reach out and ask. 🙂


  9. Michael–this looks like such a heartwarming book! I love that it is gender-neutral so any kid can imagine themselves into the story. What a great alternative to actual zoo days too. My 3-yr-old adores the zoo, but we do not go often because it is hard wrangling two toddlers by myself. I can see zoo-loving kiddos like mine building up the anticipation of another zoo trip and maybe even planning out which animals to see at their next outing. Vivian–thank you so much for all you do. You are amazing to reach out to all of your applicants. I can’t imagine the level of exhaustion you are going to have at the end of this #PBchat season, but what a difference you are making in the kidlit community! It was an honor just to participate and get so much encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mary for your kind and insightful words!

      Indeed the main character is referred to only by the term of endearment, “Love” along with the many families and even colors as well being an inclusion as possible!!

      Having rainy day alternatives are great aren’t they!! As a father to five. my wife and I are always on the look for all kinds of healthy ways and means to keep up with the little ones.

      Thank you for the support and all the best in all you do!
      Michael, author
      On Twitter @MichaelSamulak


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