Parmesan pig

Author, Ben Barrowman, and his family

Hello everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I have an exciting new book series to share with all of you. Here to explain about the first book in the series, Parmesan Pig, is the author, Ben Barrowman. Take it away, Ben….

The story of Parmesan Pig goes back 6 years. My daughter Jane, who is now an 8-year-old 2nd grader, had a stuffed animal she nicknamed Parmesan Pig back when she was a toddler. In the summer of 2018, our whole family (wife Lauren, son Connor, daughter Jane) were playing on a vacation beach and nicknamed a crab Coconut Crab. And from there, it was on! We came up with about ~30 more food-animal combinations that day. It was so fun that I decided I would put these characters in a story. I wrote through the nights for 3 straight days. But, at the time, that’s all it was, a cute little story for my family.

Two years later, in 2020, my job had an event where we were supposed to share something we made. For some reason, I decided to just reveal this story to my company. The feedback blew me away. Colleagues were adamant that I turn this into a real book. They gave me such a positive response, that I wrote another book, and another, and another. In total I have 5 stories of Parmesan Pig and her friends, in what is now The Parmesan Pig Book Series.

My goal in this children’s book series isn’t just to tell fun rhyming stories, but also to deliver big messages to children that I have always felt were so important to learn at a young age.  There are messages of hope and friendship, but also messages to help children who are having a “tough” time for some reason or another. Mental Health and Wellbeing is such a focus in my life. One thing I am open about sharing is my sobriety, now 15 years. I have type-1 diabetes, but I have always said – I have decided to remove alcohol from my life for BOTH physical and mental wellness.

Professionally, I work as an Associate with The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Service Members, Veterans, and their Families’ (SMVF) Technical Assistance Center at Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA). I work with Veteran organizations across the country, behavior health specialists, and suicide prevention coordinators, to address the behavioral health needs of military and Veteran families. This profession deals with themes of wellness, mental and behavioral health, and peer support – all of which are core elements throughout The Parmesan Pig Book Series.

Available on Amazon

I decided that the first of the 5 books in the series, this one titled Parmesan Pig, should be the “Happy” themed book. It is about the many unique ways that happiness can be missing and in turn, happiness can be obtained. In this book you will find implicit themes of happiness, friendship, loyalty, depression, grief, health, compassion, and self-confidence.

Parmesan Pig contains three main characters that are all missing “Happy.” Spaghetti Spider is insatiable, Marshmallow Mouse shows signs of depression, and Taco Turtle is grieving. While each unique character/theme is conveyed to a young reader in appropriate tone and manner, readers are also seeing that a good friend is so important in life. Parmesan Pig is there with helpful support, perspective, and advice.

And then there’s the characters near the end of the book who are “Happy” despite their obstacles. Celery Swan lacks “talent,” Watermelon Whale feels “stress,” Sir Pepper Leopard is not blessed with health, and Pineapple Parrot is still learning more and more. Yet…they are all Happy! I connect very much with Sir Pepper Leopard and wrote a blog about that character within the website www.ParmesanPig.com. That website contains a lot more information on these stories and buy links.

Here are some:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Parmesan-Pig-Ben-Barrowman/dp/1685156827/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1654527760&sr=1-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parmesan-pig-ben-barrowman/1141514884?ean=9781685156824

Parmesan Pig also has a presence on Instagram – www.instagram.com/parmesan_pig

Thank you for sharing this awesome series with us, Ben! I love when well-written books also address mental health issues. As most of you know, I have a degree in Mental Health and I work with teens as a High School Guidance Counselor in my day job.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and will check out Ben’s books.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

Stay safe, everyone

Healing from heaven: the same medicine that gets you healed, keeps you healed

Hi everyone!

And welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog where we feature both children’s books as well as Christian books that share positive messages to inspire and equip us to live the way God intended us to live.

Today, I have an author that I met in person recently here to share with you her book on Healing. I know you’re going to love it!

Here’s what Debra says about her book…

Struggling to do life when we’re sick or in pain is miserable. With all of the technology and modern advances in medicine, why is disease still on the rise? Yet there was never a health condition in the Bible that did not have an answer. Multiplied thousands came to Jesus, and He healed them all, proving that healing is not the lottery; it is for everyone.

Healing from Heaven is an eye-opening journey of real-life stories, told in the style of modern-day parables, to teach readers that God’s Word, which is His medicine, will not only get them healed but keep them healed.

Debra was raised in a denomination that did not believe in healing. She was told sickness and accidents were God’s way of teaching people a lesson and getting their attention. When the life of her first child was in jeopardy as she went into premature labor, she saw the miracle-working power of God to heal. God intervened, stopping the contractions and giving her a healthy son. This miracle was the catalyst that opened the door to experience many others in her body.

It is God’s will to heal. God never uses sickness to get anyone’s attention or teach them a lesson. Living in divine health is part of the covenant for believers. Debra experienced this first-hand and it is her desire for you to receive your Healing From Heaven too.

Wow! Doesn’t that sound wonderful?! I can’t wait to read her book and learn how to live into this Truth.

Thank you, Debra, for sharing with us this awesome book today.

Thank you, readers, for hanging out with us today. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself as well.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

God Bless and Stay Safe!

Wally Raccoon goes to campu

Chrys Wimer, Author of Wally Raccoon Goes to Camp

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog where I feature mostly children’s book (but some Christian adult-oriented books also) that spread positive messages to inspire us all.

Today, I have a wonderful book that I know you’re going to love and want to purchase for that special child in your life.

Today, author Chrys Wimer, is here to tell us a little about her book…

Wally and friends were excited to go to California Critter Camp.

The boys looked forward to fishing while Aspen and Ivy wanted to spend their time crafting.

The enthusiasm built as critters began the camp chant.

But Wally’s excitement plummeted when he learned his partner was none other than Bruce Badger.

What dreadful things will happen to Wally during camp, and what great lesson will he learn?

Thank you, Chrys, for sharing your book with us today. It looks adorable and something most every child will be able to relate to and if not themselves, they will learn important life lessons.

Thank you to my loyal blog readers and followers to showing up today. I hope you’ll stop by Amazon and pick up a copy to read to your child tonight.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

God bless and Stay Safe!

SOMEWHERE, RIGHT NOW

Somewhere, Right Now available on Amazon

Hello everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog!

Today, I have a book that has a perfect message for today’s children to share with you all!

Kerry Docherty’s debut picture book, SOMEWHERE, RIGHT NOW was by Flamingo Books on March 22nd.

This timely and meditative book, filled with vibrant illustrations by New York Times best-selling illustrator Suzie Mason, is the perfect reminder for children and families to prioritize their wellness in the present moment. With the ongoing pandemic and so much else happening in the world, kids’ mental health is so important as they pick up on stressors from the news and the anxieties of the adults around them. Amidst difficult times, SOMEWHERE, RIGHT NOW reminds us that imagination can serve as the underpinning of resilience.

When Alma is experiencing the lows of unexpected disappointment, her mom offers her the wise advice that she just might feel better if she closes her eyes and pictures something beautiful that’s happening in nature. Maybe it’s a baby whale being born, or perhaps it’s the sun coming out on a cloudy day; right now our resilient world is making something incredible happen.

Inspired by the current pandemic, this book is a relevant but timeless reminder that even when we are having a bad day, just imagining that somewhere, right now, something beautiful is happening can bring a feeling of calm.

What a beautiful message! Thank you, Kerry for writing this book for today’s children. I know it will quickly become a family favorite. And the beautiful illustrations by Suzie Mason add to the joyful experience of reading this book over and over. Thank you, Suzie, for partnering with Kerry to bring this book to life.

Thank you to all my faithful and loyal blog followers. I encourage you to check out this book and purchase a copy for the beloved child or children in your life.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

Stay safe, everyone


Angry Me

Book will be available everywhere your favorite books are sold May 3, 2022!

Hello and welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog!

Today, I’m bringing you a book about emotions and a big one at that…anger!

It’s so difficult to deal with our children’s anger, but so very important for us as parents, grandparents, teachers to teach children how to identify and handle their emotions, especially this one.

Sandra V. Feder, author of Angry Me, handles this subject beautifully.

Here’s some more information about her, her book, and an insightful Q&A

Sandra V. Feder, author, drawn by her illustrator, Rahele Jomepour Bell

Angry Me

Critically acclaimed writer, Sandra V. Feder, and award-winning illustrator, Rahele Jomepour Bell, create an artful starting point for conversations about strong feelings

On the first page of Sandra V. Feder‘s latest book, Angry Me, a young girl faces herself in the mirror. She says, “I get angry.” 

What follows are resonant vignettes of our young girl being faced with hurtful, frustrating and overwhelming situations that feel especially intense to someone who has so little experience with them. The book is an excellent starting point for conversations about anger — important to have at any age.

Feder’s compassionate and gentle prose pairs intimately with vivid illustrations by Rahele Jomepour Bell, holding a powerful space for young readers to accept, reflect and take a breath when this emotion overtakes them. 

Angry Me is a quiet antidote for children (of all ages). 

Q & A with Sandra V. Feder

What inspired you to write Angry Me?

While each of my own three daughters taught me something about anger, one definitely had easier access to her anger than the others. When she was 4 and misbehaved, I sent her to her room and told her to think about what she had done.  She put her little hands on her hips and said, “You think about it, Mommy!” I wanted to giggle and give her a high five — way to stick up for yourself little person — but I also knew I had to be clear about the rules in our home.

After more battles, a wise friend told me something that was one of the inspirations for this book. She said: The thing that can be hardest for you as a parent may be one of your child’s greatest strengths. So true! My child, who did not go quietly and contritely to her room, was a challenge. But her anger has served her well — she sticks up for herself and can’t turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world. I love that about her.

How are you hoping this book will empower kids?

Young children often feel that adults and older siblings rule the world and no one understands how they feel. It can be really frustrating! They lack authority in the family or classroom and may lack the words to express complex emotions. While anger might burst out at a certain moment, there often are underlying feelings like frustration, fatigue, hurt feelings, and even sadness. 

For example, in the book the child is frustrated at not being able to finish a puzzle, has hurt feelings because her friends have left her out, and experiences anger at the death of a grandparent. While anger is a normal part of the grieving process, we may not help children develop the vocabulary they need to express it. 

What did you learn about helping your kids process their anger?

I tried to get them to use their words. Despite the current cultural climate where angry outbursts lead to more clicks, I think most of us want our children to know how to deal with their angry feelings now and as they grow. 

However, words don’t always work. This is especially true for children because of the inherent power imbalance in their worlds and the fact that they don’t have the vocabulary adults or older children possess. So, in the book, I show examples of words working and not working for this angry little girl. And I also show how when words do work — her own words as well as the comforting words of others — she begins to feel better. 

Why was it important for you to be involved in your children’s schools and to help found a school?

It has always been important to me to help young people have a voice and to find what forms of expression work well for each individual, whatever stage of life they’re at. That’s one reason I was involved for many years in my children’s schools and helped found a new high school that emphasizes creative problem-solving skills. We all need multiple tools for self-expression.

Was it important that this character be a girl?

Yes, that was very important to me. I’m happy that we’re in a time when gender distinctions are less important, but certainly when I was growing up — and my daughters as well — anger was an emotion more tolerated in boys and men than girls and women. 

If a little boy lashed out on the playground — no one thought anything about it. Boys being boys. But if a girl did that, she was told her reaction is too much — that it’s not OK to be angry. I think we’re still, as a society, grappling with gender differences when it comes to expressions of anger, and I think feminine anger is still less tolerated.

Do you have a favorite part of this book?

As a writer for children, I wanted to make sure that this book ended on a hopeful note. So, my favorite part of this one is the final spread, when our angry protagonist is shown drawing angry scrawls on a paper and she talks about anger bursting out. “But then, it’s gone,” she says, “And then, I have room for a new feeling. One that feels much better.” And here, the illustrator has shown her happily dripping paint onto a paper — her face and body language full of joy again.

That’s really the message I wanted to convey — that anger is real and normal — but like other feelings it, too, passes and then we have room for a new feeling.

SANDRA V.  FEDER is the author of two picture books and three early chapter books. Angry Me is her sixth book. 

Bitter and Sweet, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, was a PJ Library selection and was chosen by the New York City Board of Education for inclusion in its Mosaic Diversity Program. The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, has been translated into multiple languages. Sandra is also the author of the early chapter books Daisy’s Perfect Word, Daisy’s Defining Day and Daisy’s Big Night, illustrated by Susan Mitchell. 

Sandra is a graduate of Stanford University and is an MFA candidate in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a black belt in Taekwondo, likes to paint, and has a sweet tooth — particularly for dark chocolate. Sandra lives with her husband in Northern California.

I think this book has incredible value for everyone with children. I hope you will pick one up for the child in your life! You can pre-order the ebook from Amazon here

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

Stay safe, everyone 

New Book Cover help requested

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog!

I have exciting news! I have a new book coming out in the biblical fiction genre.

It’s called The Veil.

I’m super excited about it and hope to have it out by Easter. But, I have run into a snag.

I’m struggling with the book cover.

I had a vision in mind and my book cover designer, the marvelous Mara Reitsma, is trying to help me bring it to life, but something about it, just isn’t working for me. But, I can’t put my finger on it.

I really need your help and hope you will be willing to tell me which cover you like the best or if you don’t like any of them and what you like or don’t like about them.

Your honesty is important and I will not be offended. I promise.

I need to know what resonates with you and what doesn’t.

The book is about the veil in the Jewis tabernacle that had separated the Holy Place from the Holiest of Holies which is where God resided. The High Priest was the only one who could go into the Holiest of Holies and if he wasn’t cleansed properly, he could die. It was serious business going behind the veil that separated these two places in the tabernacle.

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil ripped in two from top to bottom. This signified that we now have access to God directly. We are forgiven/cleansed from all unrighteousness and we can be in God’s presence. This is huge!

As with my first book that I published in biblical fiction, The Cloak, this book came to me after meditating on God’s Word and envisioning what it might have been like to be an eyewitness to this and what it must have been like to experience it firsthand.

I’m super excited and think it’s going to be a very powerful book.

Please help my by letting me know which one you vote for.

Keep in mind that this book cover is a mockup of a paperback cover which means you have the front cover, the spine, and the back cover. I’m mostly concerned about the front cover.

I’m so grateful to all of you who follow my blog!

Thank you for helping me out on this!

I will let you know what the finalized version is once we get it completed.

As always, comments, likes, shares are very much appreciated.

Stay safe

Theodore’s plate

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog! Today, I have a special book to share with you. I hope you enjoy the information about it as well as my personal review. Plus, I have a special announcement about this book at the end of today’s blog, so please read to the end.

Theodore’s Plate by Stephen Wade Nebgen is about a poor family that lives in a house in the forest. On Christmas Eve, a stranger knocks on the door. The father of the family goes to answer the door. He opens it to find a man who is battered by the snow and the cold. He brings the man into the house and sits him by the fire. What the father and the family do not know is that this is a special guest. And that a simple act of generosity will make this the most special Christmas of all!

“Theodore’s Plate” is a delightful – and timeless – read for the entire family. It’s sure to become a cherished holiday tradition with a heartwarming story that can be revisited each Christmas season – and any time of the year.

I had the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review which is an industry standard.

My review:

“I enjoyed Theodore’s Plate because it is a simple story with a great message! There’s a scripture in the Bible (Hebrews 13:2-4) that says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” That’s what this story reminds me of…the family kindly take in a stranger and feed him and give him lodging. No, the guest isn’t an angel, but he is someone very special. I think everyone who reads this story will feel the warmth of the simple family and be reminded that small acts of kindness can go very far. Often, we feel if we don’t have much, that there’s not much we can give, but we can always give our kindness. And how much more so in the world we live in. We could all use a little kindness about now. I highly recommend this book for parents, grandparents, and guardians to read with the children in their lives.”

Please visit www.theodoresjourney.media for additional information, news, videos, and updates. You can also find Theodore on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and You Tube. I’m super excited to be able to announce on my blog that Theodore’s Plate is now being made into an animated TV Christmas special (2022)!

Thank you for reading to the end of today’s blog! I told you, you would be excited to see the special announcement!

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

Stay safe

Rocky and tiger

Available on Amazon

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog!

Today, I’m bringing you a review of a book I read recently. It’s of the book, Rocky and Tiger. The author, David Dabling, reached out to me and asked if I would read it.

His book sounded cute so I agreed.

Here’s my honest review which is posted on Goodreads

“I enjoyed the story of Rocky and Tiger very much. It’s about twin girls who go to stay with their grandparents while their parents are away on a cruise. The Grandpa tells them stories from his childhood about his dog named Rocky and his cat named Tiger. It’s very clever how the author tells a story within a story. My excitement built just as the twins’ did in hearing the next part to their bedtime stories. The story ends on a positive note and children will enjoy the sweet story. Plus, there are subtle lessons of following rules, being thoughtful about one’s pets, and doing what’s best for your pet. I highly recommend this book for everyone who loves pets!”

I don’t always have time to do this, but this time I did. Thank you, David, for reaching out!

Blog readers who are authors–If you would like me to read and review your book, reach out to me via the “Contact” link. I’m always happy to help other authors either by showcasing their book here on my blog or reading and writing an honest review.

Of course, if I don’t feel I can give you a 4 or 5 star review, I will reach out to you and let you know why instead of posting a negative review. Some may not agree with this, but I prefer to provide feedback to an author in a less public way, so they can address the issue and re-publish their book, if they feel that’s what they should do.

Thank you for joining me here today!

As always likes, comments, and shares are very much appreciated!

Stay safe

Barb the bird of hope

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog!

Today, I have a book with a message that I think we all could use…one of HOPE!

Zowie Norris, the author, is here to tell us more about it…

In a laburnum tree in the Centre of Bretton Park, lives a unique bird called Barb. Her beauty and originality attract the attention of the other birds and park visitors, who see her as a symbol of hope, bringing them much comfort and happiness.

She is loved by many and in return is grateful for her life and her friends.

When things take a turn for the worst, Barb’s instinct is to fly away from her troubles …

Will things get better? Can hope be restored?

Zowie Norris is delighted to share her first published story. She graduated with an English and teaching  degree at Bretton Hall in 1998 and has until this point, shared her passion for creative writing with her two daughters, Phoebe and Jasmine and  for the past 17 years as a primary teacher,  6 years as a senior leader in schools in South Yorkshire, England. 

Her aim was always to publish her work for other children to enjoy too. Zowie had a happy childhood, a close family who encouraged her creativity and has many positive memories which she aims to replicate with her husband and daughters.

The loss of her beloved mother and the anxieties around the pandemic have highlighted the importance of family, gratitude and helping others to have hope too, inspiring her to write this story.

Thank you, Zowie, for sharing this book with us today…we all could use a little HOPE! I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved mother. Mums give us such a sense of security. Their loss is deeply felt. No one replaces our Mum.

Thank you, dear blog readers, for stopping by today. I hope you will pick up a copy to share with your favorite child or two or three!

As always, likes, comments, and shares are much appeciated!

Stay safe!