Perfect Picture Book Friday : NEEMA’S REASON TO SMILE – Multicultural Children’s Book Day Selection

Hello my friends…Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today’s story is very special – it’s part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Bloggers from around the world have been reviewing selected books and posting them on their websites and shouting out about them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social medial channels. I’m thrilled that my own Sweet Dreams, Sarah was also chosen and will be reviewed by bloggers who want to share diverse books with kids. And I’m honored to have the pleasure of sharing NEEMA’S REASON TO SMILE with you!

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Phonemic Awareness – With Fun Games to Play

phonemic awareness I’m guest posting today over at Sarah Forrest’s Easy Read System Blog. Summer is a time when many families are traveling – why not build this important skill with fun games that help pass the time.

I hope you will hop over and read it:

Please stop by again on Friday for a super picture book review and activity.

Would You Take a Bullet For A Math Test?

Would You Take a Bullet For A Math Test?.

I shared a similar post last week from Elizabeth, a blogging friend over at Mirth and Motivation.

Then I read this post by Dawn, over at Tales from the Motherhood. 

I think back to when my kids were younger and often wished they didn’t HAVE to go to school.  And then I think back even further, and remember all the times I told my mom that I had a ‘stomach-ache’ because I didn’t want to go back to school in the afternoon after lunch.

And here is this young girl…who stands up to the Taliban and insists that she has the right to an education…and that so does every other female.   She knew that her life was in danger…but she spoke up anyway and continued to attend school.   We can pray that she recovers from the gunshot wounds to her head and neck…and we can pray that education for women will one day be a given in every part of the world.

Perhaps next time your child asks, “Do I HAVE to go to school?”…you might show him this article.

Reflections: Education & Emancipation Denied…

Reflections: Education & Emancipation Denied….

Many children take for granted the education they receive here.  But around the world, many would give anything to be able to go to school.

Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation provides soul-searching video clips that I had to share.  Being so involved in the care and education of young children, I was very moved by them…I think you will be as well.

Back-to-School Jitters…Get the Inside Scoop on How Teachers Feel!


Back-to-School Jitters are experienced by many children.

Even parents have them.

But did you know that many teachers also fall prey to Back-to-School Jitters?

If you’d like to find out what some teachers are thinking before the first day of school, please check out some of the teacher blogs that are part of the linky party organized by “A Turn To Learn”.

I joined in on the fun also!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to copy with linky picture AND put my own words in…tech savvy I am not…although A Turn to Learn did provide a great tutorial…I’m sure almost everyone else would have been able to do it.

So here are my answers to the categories:

I’m excited for…sharing my passion for picture books with eager kindergarteners.

I’m nervous about…finding the time to do school visits and write picture books and work for a living.

I’m loving…encouraging children to become lovers of books and reading.

I need to remember…to speak with each child individually during the storytelling and crafting time.

I’m looking forward to a new year of school visits…this year I plan to include my own picture book stories in the list I provide to the teachers.  Last year I had the privilege of reading The Balloon Man to a Montessori Early Childhood class…the children LOVED it…and I was thrilled to share the story of the balloon salesman whose encounter with a mouse almost ended his career.

Please check out the link to A Turn to Learn.  Her blog provides amazing content…she sounds like a super teacher…the kind we all wish our children could have.  I’ve also put a link to the Back-to-School Jitters linky party on my sidebar…you’ll get the inside scoop on lots of others teachers’ feelings, hopes and dreams if you click on there.

The Show Me How School Initiative is still looking for nominations.  If you’d like your favorite school or classroom library to receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, please leave a comment on this post.  At the end of September, we will choose a dozen winners using

I hope you’ll be back for my next post in the Back-to-School Series…Tips on Having the Healthiest School Year Ever!

Are You Ready To Say Goodbye?

 In some districts, the school bells are already ringing.  Stores are crowded with parents and children, shopping for the perfect backpack and outfit for the first day of class.  Teachers are busy setting up classrooms and studying the curriculum for the new school year.

In my next few posts, I’ll been sharing thoughts about how to transition a child from home to school and how to have the healthiest school year ever.

But children are not the only ones who may be anxious about the first day of school.  Many parents have concerns about their children attending school and the concerns can mushroom as the children get older.  Perhaps that is why homeschooling has become a popular option in recent years.  According to an article in USA Today (1/2009) based on a government survey, homeschooling increased 74% from 1999 to 2007.

What are some of the top fears and concerns parents may have about sending their children off to their first day of school?

  1. The child may be bullied or hurt by other children.
  2. The child may be made fun of because of his name, appearance, or style of speech or clothing.
  3. The teacher may not be structured enough or may be too structured or may not understand the child or may not be attentive enough to the child.
  4. There may be unsafe conditions at the school.
  5. The child may be in an accident traveling to or from school whether he walks, takes the bus or is driven by the parent or another adult.
  6. The child may hear things or be taught things that are not acceptable in the home.
  7. The child may be afraid or too shy to speak up for herself (to ask to use the bathroom or if she needs something).
  8. The child may not “fit” in.
  9. The child may reveal family secrets or personal information.
  10.  The parent may miss the child.

In my next post, I’ll give some simple steps parents can take to address many of these concerns which may alleviate some of the parental anxiety associated with sending kids off to school.


 If you know of a school or classroom that would benefit from having an award-winning resource of picture book recommendations and correlated activities that build self-esteem and develop stronger literacy skills, please leave a comment on any post in August or September. 


At the end of September, we will be donating a dozen copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to schools and classrooms across the country.

If you don’t want your favorite teacher to have to wait or you’d like to have a copy of your own (great for homeschooling families or parents who want quick and easy fun-filled educational activities), you can order a copy at a saving of over 50% off the cover price, right here: Amazon or My Website

It’s not too early to be thinking of great Christmas gifts for teachers, moms, expectant parents, daycare providers, babysitters, grandparents, nannies…virtually anyone who is involved in the care and education of young children.  Where can you get an eco-friendly gift that keeps on entertaining…no batteries required, powered by a child’s imagination?  Only $19.95…personally inscribed (just let us know what you would like it to say) and signed by the author.  Order now and avoid the last-minute Christmas rush!

Is It Too Early To Begin Planning For The New School Year?

Group of children in a primary school in ParisImage via Wikipedia

I know that summer has just begun.  Many of us are thinking of poolside parties and frozen pops and Fourth of July parades.

But if your child is starting school in August, or if there were problems adjusting to the classroom routine last year, it’s not too early to think about how you can insure a smooth transition from home to school.  This holds true for older children as well as for those of preschool age.

What can parents do during the summer to prepare for the new school year?

1.    Have an upbeat, matter-of-fact, positive attitude about school.

2.    If your child has not been there yet, arrange for a visit before school starts.

3.    Connect with parents of other children in the class and have play dates with your child’s classmates…children feel more at ease when they see friendly faces in the classroom.

4.    If you don’t have a routine in place for bedtime and getting-ready-for-the-day-in-the-morning time, put them in place now.  Make it a habit to discuss plans for the next day in the evening and lay out clothes and anything else needed the night before.  When school starts, your child will be used to getting things ready and you won’t have that last minute rush in the morning to find the missing shoe or backpack.  Regarding bedtime, please make sure you are allowing plenty of time for your child to get ready (brush teeth, wash, lay out clothes and necessary items, story-time, etc.) and still be getting to bed at a reasonable hour.  I know that it is tempting to let young children stay up later, especially in the summer, but when school starts, it will be a difficult habit to break…and young children need more than 10 hours of sleep at night.

5.    Make sure your child is eating a good breakfast in the morning…when school starts, this will be even more important.  And what is a good breakfast?  My younger son loved pizza for breakfast.  Some children might prefer eggs and toast, cereal with fruit and milk, French toast and bacon or pancakes with fruit toppings.  How about peanut butter and banana on whole wheat bread for a highly nutritious breakfast?

Do you have some super breakfast menus that your children love?  Please share!  We all need fresh ideas.

Many times, children who are fussy eaters become better eaters when you let them help out in the kitchen.  If you are looking for some easy child-friendly recipes, Show Me How! has one hundred of them and teams each cooking activity with a picture book suggestion and an easy eco-friendly arts and crafts project.  Head on over to my website to take advantage of the Jump Into Summer Special…50% off the cover price.  The book makes a great gift for any parent, grandparent, expectant parent, babysitter, nanny, daycare provider, preschool teacher…and there is an additional discount if you buy two copies…only $20 per copy!  You will be getting two copies for less than the cover price of one!  And, if you order by June 30th, we are including a bonus sheet of self-stick gold stars that can be used on goal charts and more! 

Studies show that the quality time you spend with your young children now has a positive impact on their school performance in later years.  This is a great opportunity to get a wonderful resource you can use on a daily basis, year after year.  Show Me Howis an award-winning book endorsed by parents, teachers and national organizations such as the JDRF.  To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  This is a book that makes it easy and fun to be in your children’s lives today!  It is the ONLY book you will need to buy to plan educational, self-esteem building activities for your preschoolers.  Don’t put it off until tomorrow!