A Raven’s Tale Chapter Book

A Raven's Tale chapter book cover by Jane Finch picturing a black raven and small chickadee bird standing on the grass with a partial tree in the background against a blue/pink sky


Hi everyone,

Jane Finch is back with a chapter book that sounds just delightful!

Read on to learn more about this book…

A Raven’s Tale by Jane Finch

Book description: The tranquil life of the animals living at The Common comes under threat as the ravens try to stage a takeover after a carefully planned attack. They try to blame humans for their actions. The ravens offer protection to the animals in return for slavery. Some of the animals discover the truth and the Plan is hatched to escape and build a new life for them all, the animals of the forest working together to overcome the bullying of the ravens. But will they be successful or will the ravens get their way?

Publisher’s Note: Presented as an entertaining children’s story, this book forms a gentle introduction to the plight of refugees fleeing injustice the world over and presents an opportunity for discussion and understanding of this difficult subject.


A Raven’s Tale is a chapter book suitable for young readers age 8 – 12years.



The Raven is part of the Crow family and are known to be highly intelligent. Some years ago I used to take my son to watch the birds, and we made up stories together about what might be happening as we watched squabbles, bullying, preening, and pecking, and listened to their screeches and cawing. This was when the idea for A Raven’s Tale began to form. There is so much more to the animal life around us and I love to bring these stories to life in the hope that young readers will understand and appreciate the natural world around them.


Book link: getbook.at/RavenTale

Author website: finchlark.webs.com

Thank you, Jane, for sharing this lovely book with an important message for both children and grown ups!!


Chickens Laugh Out Loud Children’s Book Series

Jane Finch, children's author, sitting in front of a window with a red flower in the background

Hi everyone,

I’d like to introduce you to Jane Finch, a children’s author, of the wonderful series of books called Chickens Laugh Out Loud.

Here’s Jane to tell you her story of how her books came to life…

A few years ago I decided I would like to keep chickens. However, instead of buying pedigree chickens I decided I would like to rescue some from a battery farm. I had seen pictures of them kept in small cages, never seeing the light of day, never feeling the sun on their backs, and never feeling the grass beneath their feet. So I took myself off to a local egg factory where they kept in excess of one thousand chickens in hot and steamy broiler houses. As it happened they were just about to send a load off to slaughter, and so I ended up going home with not just two or three, as I had planned, but with twenty-five!  Most of the hens could not walk, were almost bald, and were not used to being in the dark, because lights are kept on 24 hours a day to increase egg production.

I converted a shed into a coop, and filled a greenhouse with straw bales, and the way those chickens reacted to freedom took my breath away. I was amazed at the characters of those hens, their funny antics, the twinkle in their eyes, and the way they followed me around the garden like a dog. I loved them from the start, and never expected to have such strong emotions for what, after all, were only chickens.

Being a writer, I decided to write about their escapades, later turning the stories into rhyme as I thought children would love to hear about these crazy chickens. Earlier this year I cam across Jack Foster on Facebook and was immediately drawn to the incredible characters that he had created. I sent him the rhymes and he responded that he would love to illustrate the poems, and so the Chickens Laugh Out Loud series was born.  The first was The Chicken Farm, followed by The Apple Tree, and later Rainy Morning. I was so excited that Jack was able to bring my crazy chicken characters to life. There are three more books in the series in the making, due for release early next year.

Chickens Laugh Out Loud book one The Chicken Farm written by Jane Finch and illustrated by Jack Foster, yellow background with 5 smiling chickens with green eyes in front

We recently received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite for The Chicken Farm:

Reviewed By Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

The Chicken Farm: Book 1 in the Chickens Laugh Out Loud Series will definitely make your young child laugh. The illustrations are very well done and the story is easy for a child to follow, understand and enjoy. The rhyming adds interest for the child reader and allows them to eagerly try to find the matching rhyming word that might be used, a learning experience to see how many words they can come up with. My five-year-old granddaughter and I used my Kindle to read The Chicken Farm over and over; each time laughing, learning and spending quality time together sharing. Jane Finch is a gifted writer with a special talent for entertaining a child. Jack Foster is a talented artist in making the illustrations fun, recognizable and appealing to a child.

I believe this is a delightful book for any young child. I think the perfect age range is probably from age three to around five years old. It is exactly right for either a boy or a girl; both will find something that amuses and interests them. Each of the pages in The Chicken Farm is delightful. As a grandmother I really enjoyed sharing the experience and as far as my granddaughter was concerned it was a really “cool” book. We are both anxiously awaiting future books in the series and are sure we will be sharing more fun times with the series. I highly recommend The Chicken Farm: Book 1 in the Chickens Laugh Out Loud Series.

 Chickens Laugh Out Loud book two The Apple Tree written by Jane Finch and illustrated by Jack Foster two chickens sitting on an apple tree with blue background behind

Chickens Laugh Out Loud book three Rainy Morning written by Jane Finch and illustrated by Jack Foster, rainy gray background with a chicken holding an umbrella and another chicken with a yellow raincoat and rain boots on

The tag line for the series is – Never again will a chicken be ‘just a chicken’. I hope these books will help children to understand more about chickens, their amazing characters, and how they are so much more than just an animal that produces eggs.


The amazon links for the first three books in the series are:





Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/ChickensLOL


Website is: http://finchlark.webs.com


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jane.finch.14


Jack’s facebook page is:  https://www.facebook.com/jacktoon

Thank you, Jane, for sharing your super cute chicken books with us! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store to tell us about this zany chickens.

Brain Surgery Update

Hi everyone,

I’m sorry to not have my normal post about children’s books.

My life took a left turn two weeks ago when my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.

His surgery was last Monday.

The surgery went well. The surgeon had told us he wasn’t going to be able to get it all of it but to our amazement, he was able to get 95% of it. I had been told through a cancer resource that anything over 80% was good. So, we were thrilled!

The next day, he did his physical therapy which was to walk with help a few steps.

All seemed to be progressing well.

But then he had a very bad pain at the back of his head and he vomited. A cat scan revealed a small slow brain bleed.

This meant a bit of a regression. He had to lay flat and his blood pressure started spiking and falling.

They have worked all week to get it leveled out and then to be level on pills and not via IV medication.

He has been very sleepy which, in my uneducated opinion, makes sense but it just means his progress is slow.

When he’s awake, he’s alert but he sleeps a lot.

I have been staying at a hotel nearby so I can have some time to unplug and rest.

We have been blessed with friends and family supporting us. I cannot say thank you enough to each of them.

We also have a large community praying for us. Let me say, we feel those prayers because I would not normally be this calm and my husband is improving.

Our faith is strong and we believe God will heal my husband. We believe in the power of prayer and in miracles. We know God will use this for good.

I would like to invite each of you to pray with us as we go through this journey.

Thank you!

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning

6 children dressed up in various halloween costumes holding a sign that says Halloween

Hi everyone,

It’s the beginning of Holiday Season, as I like to call it, and here to kick it off is our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen…

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist.

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning

Those “teachable moments” can happen any time, any place, on any occasion. As we move into the holiday season, one such event is Halloween. Aside from your personal, school, or neighborhood activities, Halloween can be a prime learning opportunity.

Here are six ways to turn Halloween into an enjoyable learning experience to share with your child.

  1. Vocabulary: There are many words related to Halloween which can be categorized as nouns or verbs. Words can be alphabetized. They can be used to create word pictures or to find rhyming words. They can be sorted by number of syllables. Some words to consider: black cat, boo, broom, candy, costume, Fall, Jack-o-lantern, October, pumpkin, scary, treat, trick, and witch.
  2. Big Word into Little Words: Using only the letters in the word Halloween, make as many small words as you can in five minutes. You can offer points for the total number of words, with a bonus for words of five letters or more. Some of these words include: he, hen, hall, all, an, law, lean, low, eon, no, own, we, and when.
  3. Real vs. Make Believe: Encourage critical thinking about fact and fiction. Discuss fairy tales and characters in children’s books. Decide which parts of a story are about real things and which parts are pretend. This can also be an opportunity to discuss social issues about truth, misinformation, lies, and deception.
  4. Creative Imagination: Talk about costumes and who they represent. Discuss how people dress in different countries and those who wear uniforms. Talk about the difference between styles of dress and costumes. Use a story character and make up an adventure story. Discuss the purpose of clothing to offer protection from the elements, safety, and identification with others in a group or organization.
  5. Cultural beliefs. Research the history of the celebration of Halloween. There are significant religious, cultural, and agricultural roots in the celebration of Halloween. This can open discussions about differing beliefs, understanding, and tolerance.
  6. Food Celebrations. There are certain foods we enjoy during specific holidays. You can find simple, no-cook recipes for children to make and enjoy together. Discussions can include favorite holiday foods. You can talk about the ingredients used in pumpkin pie, apple pie, and mincemeat pie; which items are the same and which are different. Candies can be counted, sorted by texture or color, or by flavor. Other foods might include maple syrup, apples, cinnamon, and cider. This can also lead to a discussing of sharing food and candy with others in the community.

Halloween can be used to open doors to leaning, not just for those cute little Trick or Treaters!

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist and author in Melbourne, FL.  She has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties; Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends; oh and she’s raised 6 children!

Thank you, Dr. Allen, and be safe out there everyone and have fun!!

Metal Mouth Lightning Can Strike Twice Now Available for Pre-Order

Jaimie Engle wearing a white shirt and blue jeans sitting against a wall leaning her head against her hand
Jaimie Engle, Author

Hi everyone,

I know I have hosted Jaimie Engle before but just in case you don’t know her (you must be living under a rock), she is a very well-respected and known author in Brevard County, FL. She writes MG/YA books that are cutting-edge and have wonderful messages.

Today, I’d like to share with you her newest book…Metal Mouth, Lightning Can Strike Twice.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Mahlorie hates her braces. And who cares what she looks like anyway? Her parents sure do. Dad, a travelling magician, and Mom, a famous erotica author, constantly harp on the importance of appearance. Her best friend Shai is the epitome of pop-culture, crushing on every boy with a cute smile. But when Mal has a near-death experience and can suddenly hear a boy’s voice in her head, life takes a turn for the weird. He can hear her too. How did her braces become transmitters? And who is this boy she just might be falling in love with? Her readers who enjoy “The Fault from our Stars” and “Everything, Everything.”

This magical coming-of-age tale of mystery and self-discovery, and love and friendship, makes the impossible become all too real…

Metal Mouth Lightning Can Strike Twice by Jaimie Engle book cover depicting a girl with braces holding a skateboard and lightning all around her

You can get your own signed copy here or pre-order it on Amazon here

For more of Jaimie’s books, click here

Lieve Snellings and Her Beautiful Nature Photography Inspired Picture Books

Lieve Snellings, children's author, wearing glasses and a white turtle neck and dark jacket

My name is Lieve Snellings. I live in Leuven, Belgium. But for the past 11 years, I live about 5 months out of the year in Québec. Once I arrived in Canada, I spent hours, days, weeks to observe and photograph the amazing American wildlife I discovered there.


Then, I searched for every bit of information I could find. Watching all these little (and a bit bigger) creatures that visit our backyard and in parks is so relaxing, food for imagination and fun.

Apparently, I have a lot of patience for this nature observation (in Belgium I was/am always busy). I am a professional photographer but did mostly documental journalistic work. In Quebec, a new passion, nature photography, was born.

Inspired by my wildlife images and my godchild’s two little daughters, I started dreaming of writing a picture book. And this is another special story. I think that most (if not almost all) writers start their books with ideas, fantasies which they turn into words and afterward look for illustrations. For me, it was the opposite.

I wanted to make a sort of picture book with Eufrazie, the little American Red Squirrel, and my godchild’s daughters as main characters. I had a vague storyline in mind and wanted to start with my pictures. So I opened my photo library and choose images I could use.

A collection of Lieve Snellings nature photography featuring a woodchuck, a squirrel, several birds and her two god-daughters along with her book cover, Margot Gets An Unexpected Visit

But at that moment snow was melting and Margot the groundhog woke up out of her hibernation. For me that is always an exciting happening, I try to observe her then as much as I can.



Suddenly she looked me in the eye and she told me ‘NO, your book will not be about Eufrazie. It is about me, Margot the groundhog, you have to tell my story.’

I don’t know how she did this, but the result was that I started to select my woodchuck photos.

And so my books were born, page by page, image by image, and with the photos came the story.

Margot is the main character in both of my books. Little Eufrazie, her cousins the black and grey squirrels Germaine and Philomene and Fiston the little chipmunk got a small supporting role.

I have two books, two stories that take the traditional picture book experience and transform it by replacing illustrations with my own nature photography. The books are written in my mother tongue Dutch and translated into English and French.

Margot Gets An Unexpected Visit by award-winning children's author Lieve Snellings

Margot Gets an Unexpected Visit
A children’s tale where high-quality nature photography meets up with friendship, diversity, fun, education and ice hockey

As all groundhogs, Margot doesn’t like to have others around her. Certainly not humans. But is this also the case when she meets up with two little girls? You’ll find out in this book.
You will also enjoy the unique and touching photo-images of nature in Quebec, and an unpredictable anecdote on the special haircut for ice hockey fans.
age: 5 – 8 year
Asin: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E0FL2HK
Amazon smartly: http://smarturl.it/e7uowx
Universal book link: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2oJNG
ISBN: 978-1532877650

Groundhog Secrets book cover by Lieve Snellings with Readers' Favorite Book Award Seal

Groundhog Secrets – Everything You Always wanted to Know about Woodchucks
Discover the secret world of the groundhog through the eyes of Margot the woodchuck while gaining a close-up view of wildlife in whimsical photo illustrations.

Do you want to know more about the woodchuck? Then this book packed with information about groundhogs (who are also called woodchucks), is for you! Margot the woodchuck reveals all her secrets. She describes how groundhogs are born, what they look like and who is in their family. She talks about how they fill their tummies in summer and autumn, to store fat for the long winter months. Even medical doctors and scientists study the groundhog hibernation. Find out why in this fascinating illustrated book.

Lieve Snellings, award-winning children's author, wearing her Readers' Favorite medal and holding the award-winning book, Groundhog Secrets

This book won a Reader’s Favorite Book Award 2018.

Age: 8 – 11 year
Asin: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071Z35TDB
Amazon smartly: http://smarturl.it/0psllg
Universal book link: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2oJNG
ISBN: 978-1546813033

Abstract Flamingos – Featured Art Prints

I am sorry that I don’t have a Franky Fun Fact Today, but please enjoy these awesome abstract flamingo pictures brought to you by The Wall Gallery Blog!


While helping Mom and Dad introduce our granddaughter to animals at the Los Angeles Zoo last fall, the Flamingos caught my attention. I have always loved the look of Flamingos and their coloring. Looking at some of the images I took from a photo shoot, I visualized them in a unique abstract colorful form. I started by drawing the Flamingos in various stages of walking and feeding. I then filled the forms with a variety of vibrant colors. I took those creations and ran them through a digital painting process that creates strong “impasto style” brush stokes. The attached art prints are the resulting images.

Stooped Over Abstract Flamingo

One Step At A Time Abstract Flamingo

Feeding Flamingo In Abstract


Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $50.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

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The Enlightenment Adventures by Christopher Locke

Christopher Locke, children's book author, wearing glasses a blue shirt, a tie, and pants with a belt

Hi everyone!

I’d like to introduce you to an author with a wonderful message for both children and adults.

Please welcome Christopher Locke…

We all have things we’re passionate about. My two greatest passions in life are writing and advocating for animals, so I spent years brainstorming different ideas for stories to best combine these two elements. In 2013, I finally came up with my young adult novel series, The Enlightenment Adventures, which takes readers on a captivating journey that educates them about important animal issues.

Persimmon Takes on Humanity by Christopher Locke, book cover


The first book, Persimmon Takes On Humanity, follows Persimmon, a clever and compassionate raccoon, who teams up with her loyal forest friends to rescue any creature they see suffering at the hands of humans. What the team doesn’t know is just how rampant this violence really is, and soon their exciting rescue missions turn shockingly dangerous and deadly. The enthralling adventure tracks the courageous critters as they risk their own lives in various precarious situations—on a factory farm, on a fur farm, and in the circus—and challenges readers to examine their own relationship with animals and question what being humane really means.

In the second book, Vincent and The Dissidents, while Persimmon and The Vincent and the Dissidents by Christopher Locke, book coverEnlighteners continue their daring efforts to rescue all animals who are suffering, little do they know that Vincent—the cunning mink who helped the team liberate a fur farm in Book One—has been assembling an army. Vincent and The Dissidents are conducting their own rescue missions, but their violent tactics against humans are quickly leading to catastrophic consequences.

Meanwhile, just as Persimmon and The Enlighteners are mounting their most ambitious rescue so far, a tragic incident alters Persimmon’s life forever and jeopardizes the fate of The Enlighteners.


Writing and publishing these books has been a dream come true. I’ve had numerous people write me or tell me in person that the books inspired them to go vegan or that they were already vegan when they read them and the books reinvigorated their activism. That’s the most wonderful response I could receive—to know that these stories are having a real impact to awaken people’s compassion. All of the animal characters in the books represent real animals in the world who are being mistreated by humans. I can’t imagine a better gift than knowing that the books are helping the real Persimmons and Vincents out there.

I am currently working on the third and final book of the series. I’ve grown so close to these characters that it’s sad to be writing their final adventure, but the series has also taken me years to write, so I can’t wait to finish Persimmon’s exciting tale and then move onto the next project!

You can find Christopher’s books at these links below

The Enlightenment Adventures

Persimmon Takes On Humanity

Vincent and The Dissidents

You can connect with Christopher at these links below

Facebook author page

Twitter author page

Thank you, Christopher, for sharing your books with us today.

And thank you, everyone, for stopping in and reading this blog post.

If you liked what you read, please like, comment, and share!!

Who’s In Charge?

Man in suit and tie with finger pointing at you


Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist. ~

Certified Case Manager

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of the month when we get to hear from our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen!!!

Do you have this issue with your child–sometimes wondering who’s actually in charge?

Read on….

Who’s In Charge?

Parents often describe their child as being out of control. Soon this can become an overall description of their youngsters behavior. It is wise to observe your youngster and identify the specific areas where he or she seems to have difficulty. Self control has three different aspects to consider, impulses, emotions, and movement.

Impulse Control deals with the ability to think before acting. Impulse control on this level provides kids an opportunity to consider alternatives and the possible consequences of their actions. Behaviors exhibited by a child who lacks impulse control include:

 Interrupting others

 Talking too much

 Rushing through tasks

 Beginning homework too close to bedtime

 Inconsistently follows rules

Emotional Control deals with the ability to manage feelings. Emotional control means thinking about goals, creating a realistic plan of action and following through with appropriate behavior. Children who lack emotional control demonstrate these characteristics:

 Easily frustrated

 Give up quickly

 Unable to tolerate correction/criticism

 Difficultly calming self

 Problems completing tasks

 Needs immediate gratification

 Loses temper over minor things

Movement Control deals with bodily movements. Movement control encourages children to regulate their physical actions and reactions in an appropriate manner. Youngsters who lack movement control show:

 Overactive, restless, fidgety behaviors

 Difficulty sitting quietly

 Problems waiting in line or for their turn

 Impulsivity which can be destructive, injurious, or careless

Children need to learn how to regulate themselves in all three areas of control, impulse, emotional, and movement in order to behave appropriately in social situations and gain the respect of others.

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She presents seminars for parents and professionals in the field of child development and has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends. Oh yes, she has also raised six children!