Hip Hop Hooray – An Author/Illustrator Blog Hop

Are you ready for some fun?

It’s time to be hoppin’ happy!

It‘s time for THE CHILDREN’S AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR BLOG HOP!

I was tagged by Emily Lim, one of Singapore’s most popular and prolific picture book authors. We connected over a year ago through blogging – I linked one of my posts to one of her posts – she came to visit, left a comment – and the rest is history. What is so super cool is that this past May, I got to meet Emily in person when I went to Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, a week long celebration of exceptional children content creators – with two days of SCBWI conferences and dozens of presentations by authors and illustrators from around the globe.

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Her first book took the reader along on Emily’s journey as she coped with Continue reading

How to Help Kids Deal With Anxiety: The Worry Glasses

Many people suffer from anxiety…adults as well as children.  But the question is: how to help kids deal with anxietyThe Show Me How program uses picture books to help young children deal with the challenges they face so today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’ve chosen a story that addresses that problem.

The Worry Glasses: Overcoming Anxiety

Written by Donalisa Helsley

Illustrated by Kalpart

Publisher: Mirror Publishing (2012)

Ages: 3-9

Themes:

Overcoming anxiety, worrying, family support, empowering children, believing in yourself.

Opening lines:

“My name is Marjorie, but everyone calls me MJ.  I love having fun, but I used to miss out on doing fun things because I was so worried.”

Synopsis:

MJ doesn’t swim with her family when they went on vacation because she was worried about sharks.  She didn’t ride a horse at camp because she was worried she would fall off.  And she didn’t go to a friend’s party because she was worried no one would play with her.

MJ’s mother realizes there is a problem and takes her daughter to their pediatrician…who recommends they see a counselor.  The counselor is able to help MJ find ways to relax and view her fears in a more realistic way.

Why do I like this book:

This is a PERFECT book for young children who are beset with worries and anxiety (as many are).  I wish this book had been available to me when I was a little girl.  Ms Helsley provides the actual anxiety-relieving exercises that a counselor would give to a child who had this problem.  In addition, there are parenting tips at the back of the book that will be helpful, not only to a parent for their child…but also to anyone who suffers from anxiety.

If you’d like to learn more about this award-winning author and the other books she has written, please visit her at http://www.wildaboutreading.net/

 

Related Activities:

WORRY-LESS GLASSES

Your child will have so much fun, making these ‘worry-less’ glasses.  Put them on…and help your child examine carefully the things that are worrying him or her.  Sometimes talking about a problem and sharing it will lessen its power.

You will need: Pipe cleaners, piece of cardboard, markers, pair of scissors.

  1. Bend one pipe cleaner into a circle and twist the ends together.
  2. Do the same thing with another pipe cleaner.
  3. Twist two pipe cleaners together to form the nose piece…and attach an end to each of the circles.
  4. Attach one pipe cleaner to the outside edge of each of the circles. (these are the temple pieces that go over the ear)
  5. Fit the glasses on your child’s face and bend down each temple piece so the glasses stay on your child’s face.
  6. If you like, you can cut out cardboard circles to fit in the glasses and draw eyes on them.  Then cut out a circle in the middle of each so that the child can see out of them and fit them into the pipe cleaner glasses.  Personally, I like it better without this…less muss, less fuss…and less chance of the child getting frustrated by the cardboard circles falling out.

This craft (and illustration)…and MANY other types of glasses-making projects can be found at a fantastic website: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/howtomakesunglassescraftsideaskids.html

Today is the last day of November…what a jam-packed month this has been.  If you haven’t visited any of the websites below…and you love picture books (writing them or reading them)…click on any of the links and visit.

  1. Picture Book Month: Visit the website of Dianne de Las Casas to join in the month-long celebration of PICTURE BOOKS!  Every day, a different picture book champion (author, illustrator, etc.) is guest posting…you won’t want to miss these….they will inspire you and help you remember just why you love to read and write picture books.
  2. 2.   Picture Books and Crafts for Kids: Please pass the word about this new YouTube series for parents and teachers and kids…every Sunday, I’ll be choosing a picture book to read aloud…and then I’ll do a simple related craft project.  Two weeks ago, I spotlighted Yes We Can by Sam McBratney and last Sunday I read The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter and we created a geometric-shape train picture.  This coming Sunday I will be reading The Worry Glasses.   And of course, we will be making the “Worry-less Glasses”.  Each segment highlights a parenting problem such as setting up good bedtime routines or a children’s challenge like learning to be a good friend and believing in oneself.
  3. PiBoIdMo:  Picture Book Idea Month is the brain-child of children’s author,Tara Lazar.  If you signed up, you are already immersed in the world of picture books…trying to come up with 30 fresh ideas for picture book manuscripts during this month.  But, even if you have not joined the challenge, please run over there…don’t walk… to read an AMAZING guest post EVERY DAY this month…these posts will instruct and educate you…as well as motivate you to write the picture book that every child will want to read over and over again.
  4. Please don’t forget about Reach Out and Read…we need to GAB (Give a Book) before they can ROAR (Reach Out and Read).  If everyone who loves to read donates enough to buy just one book, the New York City Bellevue Hospital program (one of the largest in the country) will be able to replace the books that were lost in Hurricane Sandy.
  5. Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 in 2012 Challenge to write a picture book draft each month has only ONE MORE MONTH TO GO.  I did complete my November draft…hurray!!!  And I am already looking forward to her 2013 Challenge.  If you didn’t join in this time, please think about doing it next year..click on the link and sign up…the challenge really keeps you on track…the support and encouragement is amazing…and, did I mention…there are PRIZES!!!!
  6. I have yet another important cause I am supporting…it is the STAR Program (Sit Together and Read) from the local Colorado Springs Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD)…they interact with families in many important ways…this program provides picture books to families in need…homes where the children would not have any books if not for this interaction.  On December 10th I will be going to their office to deliver what I hope will be a VERY BIG PILE of picture books.  Click on their facebook link above if you are interested in getting involved.

 

 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  MoneyPenny Press (our publishing company) is offering the book for $19.95 on Amazon, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   If you order from my website in the month of December, there will be THREE HOLIDAY GIFTS with each book…the price is a little more than on Amazon…but with the three gifts (FREE SHIPPING, A HAND-CRAFTED FABRIC BOOKMARK FOR THE PARENT, A SHINY NEW PENCIL FOR THE CHILD)…it evens out the cost.

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.

Sibling Rivalry and Prayers for Those Impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire

Two Sisters

Two Sisters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mommeeeeee….Rachel pushed me!”   “Mommeeeee…Brandon took that toy and I had it first!” 

If you grew up with brothers and/or sisters, the above scenarios probably sound familiar.

If you have more than one child now, you have probably heard similar complaints in your own home.

Sibling rivalry seems to be inevitable, but is it ALL bad?

And what, if anything, can parents do to ease the tension and reduce the conflicts between their kids?

Last year, the University of Cambridge did a study that showed that siblings can have a positive effect on a child’s early development of social understanding (the awareness of others thoughts and feelings) even when there is some discord such as arguing or teasing.  The communication between siblings helps them learn to express their feelings and emotions.  It is important for parents with only children to make sure they are providing their child with many opportunities for conversation about thoughts and feelings.

Sustained or continuous sibling rivalry, however, can result in behavioral problems and relationship building issues later in life.

With summer here and kids at home, here are some simple steps parents can take to create a more peaceful and positive atmosphere:

  • Plan family activities that are fun for everyone.
  • Make sure each child has his or her own space.
  • Encourage cooperation, not competition…when picking up toys; have the children race the clock, not each other.
  • Teach conflict resolution.
  • Don’t play favorites or compare siblings.
  • Make sure your kids are not hungry or tired or bored.
  • Plan family time such as eating meals together.
  • Teach positive ways to get attention from each other and from parents.
  • Set aside along time with each child.
  • Don’t take sides.
  • Teach kids to compromise and respect one another.
  • Encourage children to express their feeling and find words for them.
  • Be a good role model.

Picture books are a wonderful tool to use as well.  If you are looking for a great picture book that addresses this problem, there are several to choose from:

Queen of the World by Thomas Yezerski

I Love You Purplest by Barbara Joosees

Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes

And one of my favorites:

The Day No One Played Together by Donalisa Helsley.

The Day No One Played Together: A Lesson About Compromise, is a beautifully illustrated (by the talented Sarah Harkey) story of two sisters who want to play together.  However, each wants the other to play HER game.  When the sisters come to a stalemate, their mom steps in with a suggestion: COMPROMISE.  The girls begin to brainstorm many ideas of how they can incorporate what each wants to do so that they can play together.  They happily solve their problem and the book ends with the sisters spending the rest of the day playing with each other.  Parents…read this story with your children…help them apply the concept of compromise next time there is an argument…and enjoy the peace and harmony.

On the last page of the book, Ms. Helsley provides a simple definition of some of the words in the story that young children might be hearing for the first time.  I love this feature of the book…we should always encourage children to understand what they are reading or hearing…this helps build their vocabulary…one of the most important components of literacy. 

You can find out more about this great children’s author by visiting her website: www.wildaboutreading.net  She has a new book out, I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies.

To contact her: wildaboutreading@ymail.com

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N.com, Goodreads and the author’s website.  

Take advantage of the more laid back pace of summer and provide your children with fun-filled moments they will remember forever.  Spend time reading with them and doing other activities.  If you are looking for great book suggestions and quick and easy activities, please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

Life has been turned upside down, here in Colorado Springs.  The past week has brought devastation and terror to many residents as the Waldo Canyon Fire raged…fueled by record heat and an exceptionally dry winter and spring.  Over 300 homes were destroyed on Tuesday night…consumed by the hungry flames before our eyes as we watched television coverage in shock and horror.  The fires are still burning…and the impact will be felt for years to come.  Please join me in praying for the brave firefighters and others who are still battling the fire…and for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise Gets a 5-Star Review

 

“Mommieeeeee……..Crystal won’t play with me!!!!!!”

If you have young children, I’m sure you have heard something like this before.

We are always working on interpersonal relationships, even as adults…and children need to learn how to get along with others, whether siblings or friends. 

Do you wonder if your children will ever get along and do you pray for an answer?

Children’s book author, Donalisa Helsley, has obviously been listening! 

Her newest book, The Day No One Played Together: A Lesson About Compromise, is a beautifully illustrated (by the talented Sarah Harkey) story of two sisters who want to play together.  However, each wants the other to play HER game.  When the sisters come to a stalemate, their mom steps in with a suggestion: COMPROMISE.  The girls begin to brainstorm many ideas of how they can incorporate what each wants to do so that they can play together.  They happily solve their problem and the book ends with the sisters spending the rest of the day playing with each other.  Parents: grab a copy of this book…read it with your children…help them apply the concept of compromise next time there is an argument…and enjoy the peace and harmony.

 

On the last page of the book, Ms. Helsley provides a simple definition of some of the words in the story that young children might be hearing for the first time.  I love this feature of the book…we should always encourage children to understand what they are reading or hearing…this helps build their vocabulary…one of the most important components of literacy. 

You can find out more about this great children’s author by visiting her website: www.wildaboutreading.net

You can like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildaboutreading

You can contact her: wildaboutreading@ymail.com

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N.com, Goodreads and the author’s website.  I definitely recommend The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise as a MUST-HAVE for every young child’s bookshelf and the library in every preschool and kindergarten classroom.

I’m grateful to Ms. Helsley for sending me a copy of her book.  It was my pleasure to read it and my honor to review it.  I plan to use the book in my Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian programs in local schools and libraries during the next few months.  I know the children will love hearing about Jadyn and Genesis and will be able to relate what happened to the two sisters in the story to their own struggles with getting along with their playmates.  For 100 other picture book recommendations and activities to go along with them, check out the BIG holiday online special of Show Me How!