Happy Book Birthday: THE SYLVIE SERIES Plus Giveaway

Put your hands together, my friends…and get ready to sing a rousing Happy Book Birthday for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR books by author Ali Bovis that are launching today! It’s a fabulous series for kids ages 7-11.

We all know how important it is to encourage kids to cherish the planet…and we also know how important it is for books to showcase diverse heroes. Plus we’re all fans of #amightygirl books, right? Well, hold on to your hats, because Continue reading

Marty Mokler Banks: Will Write for Cookies

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WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

MARTY MOKLER BANKS

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My initial connection with the writing community back in 2010 was with today’s featured author. As one of the Colorado Springs SCBWI leaders, Marty welcomed me warmly and made me feel at home. More than that, she made me feel I had a right to call myself a writer.

Marty Mokler Banks is a children’s author and freelance travel writer. She has published five books and writes a blog on children’s chapter books,

I’m so happy to have her here to share her thoughts with us.

Welcome, Marty!

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

 

Marty:

I went to Catholic schools where the Arts weren’t promoted too heavily. “Art class” was an hour on Fridays when the math teacher let us use colored markers to make graphs, all with straight lines from our rulers! My dad loved to read Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey books, but I don’t remember anyone else in the house reading. They do now, but since I have five older brothers, my mom was probably too tired and my brothers were busy getting in trouble. I remember I owned and loved a copy of Clifford the Big Red Dog. I had a set of Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library, with four tiny books in a box. That was special and I read each one a zillion times. Even then I recognized the excellent illustrations. And in about fourth grade I discovered the transporting qualities of a good book through the middle grade novel The Raft. Continue reading

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea Blog Book Tour

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It’s cool when someone you know publishes a book.

It’s even cooler when that someone is an eleven-year old boy!

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Erik Weibel, the genius behind This Kid Reviews Books, has written a fun, sci-fi adventure book.

When I heard he was putting together a blog book tour, I rushed to nab a place in the line-up.

Erik has impressed all of us in this amazing kid lit community with his dedication, enthusiasm and down-right great writing! He is part of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge and also participates in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and also takes part (VERY SUCCESSFULLY) in the writing contests she hosts.

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The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – Book I: A Bad Idea

Written by Erik Weibel

Based on characters created by Dave Costella

Synopsis from Erik:
For years the evil villain Wintergreen had tried to destroy Continue reading

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena: A Chapter Book Home Run!

As a child, I loved books in all shapes and sizes. 

I remember the summer between third and fourth grade, I would go to the library and take out piles of books…and sit reading in the back yard…all day long!  Black Beauty, Little Women, Nancy Drew…as soon as I turned the last page, I would start another book.

About two years ago, there was a controversy about “chapter” books…are they replacing picture books for young children and when should parents encourage their kids to read them.  I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what they were talking about…were “chapter” books some new electronic age phenomenon? 

Luckily, I met children’s author Marty Mokler Banks at a local SCBWI meeting last weekend.

 And now I know all about chapter books because she wrote one.

And it was just published.

And she graciously gave me a copy so that I could review it.

And I LOVED it.

And I remembered those wonderful classic stories I had read years ago…the forerunners of today’s “chapter” books.

And here’s something awesome for all of you…other than my wonderful review, that is.

The author is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of The Adventures of Tempest & Serena for the entire weekend (Friday, August 24 to Sunday, August 26). Just click on the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tempest-Serena-ebook/dp/B008SV7UZG/ref=la_B004OB10M8_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1345468668&sr=1-1

I know you won’t want to miss reading it…and then you can click over to where the paperback copy is for sale on Amazon…believe me, this book is a GREAT gift for any young boy or girl…the holidays are coming sooner than you think and it’s all about encouraging children to READ!

And after you read this review, I know you will want to pick up several for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or any kid age 7 and up.

 

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena

Written by Marty Mokler Banks (she also did the inside illustrations!)

Themes:

Sisters, courage, valuing one’s own strengths and qualities, friendship, bullying/teasing, magic, adventure, travel.

Synopsis:  

From the Amazon site: “Wild, brave Tempest wants summer to last forever. Her calm, timid sister, Serena, can’t wait for the start of the new school year. On the first day, Tempest decides to skip fourth grade, seek adventure by using magic to sprout wings, and fly away to exotic places. As she waves good-bye, Serena promises to save her sister’s seat on the bus. Will Tempest make it home? Can Serena keep her promise? As each sister battles bullies, disasters, and loneliness, they discover they’re more alike than they know.”

Why do I like this book

I don’t only like this book…I love this book!  It kept me turning the pages and wanting to find out what would happen next…I couldn’t put it down once I started it.

A number of timely topics such as girl empowerment and bullying and teasing are addressed.  In addition, the story takes us to distant lands and enables the reader to see how the various characters face their fears and conquer them.  Children need great roles models and they will find them in Tempest and Serena and some of their friends.

Author Banks has certainly stepped up to the plate with her debut chapter book…with The Adventures of Tempest & Serena, she has hit a homerun, right out of the park and into the hearts of her readers!

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tempest-Serena-ebook/dp/B008SV7UZG/ref=la_B004OB10M8_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1345468668&sr=1-1.

If you’d like to know more about children’s author, Marty Mokler Banks, you can visit her website at http://martymoklerbanks.com/index.html.

And if I may impose on your patience another minute, I need to mention three quick items of importance:

1.      Please don’t forget we are accepting nominations for your favorite school or classroom to win a copy of Show Me How!  All you have to do is leave a comment on one of my posts…telling which school should get a copy.  At the end of September, we will select a dozen winners using Random.org.

2.      On Wednesday, I watched the LIVE Google+ broadcast of The Happy Mommy Handbook with Susan Case and Katie Norris.  It was lots of fun…and I joined the after-hangout chat when the program was over.  I don’t know if any of you have done Google+ Hangouts…it was kind of like Skype…real-time face-to-face interaction.  All three of us agreed that we’d like to do a program together…perhaps addressing the subject of bullying.  I’ll let everyone know when that will happen.

3.      Regarding bullying…I will be interviewed on the 9News morning show on Monday, August 27th at 8:20am (Mountain Time).  If you click on their link, I think it will be able to see it…unless, of course, you are in Denver and get that channel and can watch on your TV.  We will be talking about the Subtle Signs of Bullying and what steps parents can take.  This is an important topic, especially with school just starting.  Let’s stop bullying in its tracks!  I’ll be doing an article about it next week.