Children’s Books About the Lives of Military Children by Florenza Lee

Florenza Denise Lee, author and motivational speaker, wearing a white a blue top off her shoulders, large earrings, and smiling looking up at the camera

 

Hi, everyone!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a special lady who writes children’s books that show what it’s like to be a child of a military parent.

Florenza Denise Lee, whose work has been compared to that of Wayne Dyer and Byron Katie, is a Radio Talk Show Host, Published Author, Transformation Speaker, Certified Life Coach, and Children’s Mindfulness Coach.

Florenza facilitates a purpose discovery workshop entitled, Material Matters which guides participants through a session that allows them to identify their purpose/passion and develop their own personal statement of affirmation. She also hosts a women’s weekly book club.

Although Florenza dabbled in poetry while in grade and middle school, she never considered herself a writer, until January 31, 2014, when she woke to write 12 books in just about an hour and a half.

Welcome Home Daddy Love Lexi part of the "Hi, I am..." Book Series written by Florenza Lee and illustrated by Maria Guevara and published by Words to Ponder Publishing Company, LLC

These twelve books are her “Hi, I Am…”

Series of books that highlight the joys,

pains, and pride of our

military families.

The first to be published is Welcome

Home Daddy Love, Lexi.

 

 

 

Words to Ponder Publishing Company, LLC logo with the words written around the edge of the circle and inside is a large spoon that looks like an infinity circle with books inside the spoon and the words "Feeding Your Mind, One Book At A Time," written on the handle of the spoon

 

It was on January 31, 2014, that she also started her

publishing company, Words to Ponder Publishing

Company, LLC and built her website: www.florenza.org.

 

 

Other books published by her are:

The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog, A Children’s Book on Mindfulness,

The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog book cover with a spotted dog that has a leaf on his nose and head and behind him is a fence, a large bush and some trees written by Florenza Lee and Illustrated by MIchelle Wynn

and

Barry Bear’s Very Best, Learning to Say No to Negative Influences 

Barry Bear's Very Best, Learning to Say No to Negative Influences by Florenza Denise Lee and Illustrated by MIchelle Wynn

(Spanish and English).

 

 

Currently being illustrated are: Two-Thirds is a Whole; Oh My, Goodness, Look at this Big Mess! A Book on Obedience Based on Matthew 21:28 – 32; Acornsville, Land of the Secret Seed Keepers, A Book Based on The Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25: 14 – 30; Micah and Malik’s Super, Awesome, Excellent, Adventure; When Life Gives Us Wind; and O’Kapi. Florenza plans to publish one book every six months. 

 

Florenza and her husband, US Army Command Sergent Major (Retired) Trefus have been married nearly 37 years and reside in Hampton Roads, Virginia; their two daughters reside in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a military family, they have moved nearly 25 times and now call Hampton, Virginia home.

 

To purchase her books visit her website:

 

https://www.florenza.org

 

eBooks are available on Amazon.com

 

Her Facebook pages are:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Florenza.Denise.Lee

 

https://www.facebook.com/Words.are.Ponderful/notifications/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Barry-Bears-Very-Best-1633892566850053/?ref=br_rs

 

https://www.facebook.com/My.Daddy.Came.Home/

 

https://www.facebook.com/The.Tail.of.Max.the.Mindless.Dog/

 

 

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Franky the Finicky Flamingo is Sporting a New Emblem on his Jacket

Mom's Choice Awards Honoring Excellence Emblem with a swish that looks like a parent holding a baby in its' arms shaped like a heart on a blue background

 

Hi everyone,

I have some great news to share!

Remember when I posted that Franky the Finicky Flamingo had been nominated for a Mom’s Choice Award?

Well, I told you I would let you know once I heard back and guess what? He won!!

Franky the Finicky Flamingo is now

the proud recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award!!!

Franky the Finicky Flamingo picture book cover by Wanda Luthman and illustrated by Mara Reitsma showing Top Shelf Nomination Award and Mom's Choice Award emblems
Available on Amazon, only $2.99!

I’m so thrilled to have received this news!

You just never know when you give your precious baby (i.e.–book) to others who are going to pass judgement on it whether they are actually going to like it or not.

Here’s a link to the Press Release.

So, one down and two more to go.

You see the other emblem on the cover? That’s the Top Shelf Indie Book Award Nominee emblem. Franky has been nominated for that one too. I believe I’ll hear in September. And, of course, I’ll let you know once I know.

And Franky has also been nominated for the International Traditional and Independent Author Award (the same one that Little Birdie won a silver medal in). I believe I’ll hear the decision on Franky also in September. I’ll let you all know about this one too.

So, stay tuned!

Of course, if he places, I’ll be celebrating and if not, well, maybe you can help me drown my sorrows. I jest, it’s wonderful just to be nominated and hey, he’s already won one award!

Thank you for all your support on this author journey that I began just a mere 4 years ago. I have learned so much, met some awesome people in the industry, and have had more serendipitous moments than ever before in my life. I think that means I’m right where I’m supposed to be!

Oh, and let me just tease you here that the sequel to Franky the Finicky Flamingo is going to be coming out in late Sept/early Oct. It’s called Franky the Thirsty Flamingo. You’re going to love it!! It takes a little different twist than my usual books. I’m just going to leave it right there and tell you more about it later.

The Olivia Lauren Series of Children’s Books

Melissa Sue John, author of the Olivia books

 

Hi everyone,

Today, I’d like to introduce you to someone that I believe is making a difference in the world. Her name is Melissa-Sue John and I’m going to let her tell you about herself and her books…

My name is Melissa-Sue John. My primary motivation for writing books is to increase the diversity of characters in children’s books.  I want all children to be able to see characters that look like them. Representation matters! It is not just about skin color or race, but also culture, nationality, religion, weight, health, (dis)ability, and lived experiences. I have two daughters, Alyssa Simone and Olivia Lauren. Much of their childhood the characters they saw either in books or television did not look like them. This plagued me for over a decade. As a family, we decided to be part of the solution and we created a book series that had many diverse characters with my younger daughter, Olivia Lauren as the star!

Olivia Lauren John, a 10 year old that the Olivia books are written about

 

Olivia Lauren John is a ten-year old who loves to entertain and loved the spotlight since she could walk. When Olivia was 7 years old she started to model, act, and dance. During auditions, she met many people from different occupations such as casting directors, film directors, producers, sound engineers, hair and makeup artists, wardrobe artists, agents, and photographers. She went to school and told her friends about these different occupations and told me to write a book to teach kids about different careers. This is how Occupations A to Z was created.

 

 

Once Olivia started becoming noticeable on television and being featured in commercials, music videos and television shows, many people asked us how we got into the entertainment industry. Instead of saying it hundred times, we created a resource and told them about our simple ten step Guide to becoming an actor.

We visited London for a few months. Olivia told her classmates all about driving to the airport, taking the plane and riding in London cabs and double decker buses. This time she wanted to author a book about different types of transportation. So, Olivia Travels was born.

Most of Olivia’s acting and modeling gigs were in NY. In both industries clothing was important. However, NYC was rich in cultural diversity. Once we were walking from the park after a photo shoot and we passed Orthodox Jews and Muslim women. And we saw a little boy staring at the women in their hijabs. He asked his mother, “What is that woman wearing on her head?” The mother hushed him and told him not to stare. It gave us the idea that it was silly that we lived in a country filled with cultural and religious diversity, but things as simple as clothing weren’t taught in school. It gave us the idea to write a book called A Guide to the Things We Wear.

I am a psychology professor and a researcher by training. In my research, we teach the engineering design cycle to preschoolers using literature. Engineers are always looking to solve problems. One problem we have had prior to cellphones and emails was how long it took to get messages to one another.

Alyssa Simone, the older sister of Olivia John whose books Olivia are written about

 

My older daughter, Alyssa Simone and I wrote Olivia Connects to teach kids how communication devices have changed over time and the different ways people communicate if they cannot see, hear, or walk. Alyssa Simone is a brilliant 16 year old who enjoys art, playing instruments, running track, and learning languages. She is very instrumental to success, but prefers to work behind the scenes. She is helps in simplifying the language to be more age appropriate and gives ideas for how their illustrations should capture the text.

 

Overall, it is our personal experiences and our desire to increase diversity that have created these books. Our books are ideal for 6 to 12 year old children. 

Books

Olivia Lauren's series of children's books

 Title of book:  Olivia Lauren’s Occupations A to Z: A Guide to Jobs and Careers

Author: Melissa-Sue John

Illustrators: Simonne-Anais and Zachary-Michael Clarke

ISBN:     978-0997952025

Publication Date: February 2017

Summary: Occupations A to Z is a youth illustrated children’s reference book about jobs and careers. Olivia Lauren and her multicultural friends go through the alphabet to learn about traditional and nontraditional careers in the arts, business, science, technology, engineering, and math. This book should be used as a child friendly guide book for parents to discuss career choices with their children.

 

Title of book:  Olivia Lauren’s Olivia Travels: A Guide to Modes of Transportation

Authors: Melissa-Sue John and Olivia Lauren

Illustrator: Niquey

ISBN:  978-0997952001

Publication Date: March 2017

Summary: Olivia Travels is a fun story about Olivia and her family that teaches young children about different ways that people travel. Olivia takes her readers on a journey through her own experiences with transportation. Children will increase their vocabulary, be exposed to rhyme and rhythm, and learn about homonyms.

 

Title of book:  Olivia Lauren’s Olivia Connects: A Guide to Modes of Communication          ISBN: 9780997952056

Publication Date: August 2017

Authors: Melissa-Sue John and Alyssa Simone

Illustrator: Lionel Emabat

Summary:  Olivia Connects teaches children about different ways people communicate. Olivia Lauren and her friends discuss communication styles and explore ancient and contemporary modes of communication. Children will increase their vocabulary, grow in curiosity about communication devices, and enhance their understanding about communication abilities (blindness, speech impaired, hearing impaired, wheelchair bound, cerebral palsy).

 

 

Title of book:  Olivia Lauren’s A Guide to Things We Wear

Authors: Olivia Lauren & Melissa-Sue John

Illustrators: Simonne-Anais & Zachary-Michael Clarke

ISBN:                978-0-9979520-1-8

Publication Date: September 2017

Category: Books- Children Books- Growing Up & Facts of Life- Friends, social skills, & school life multiculturalism

Books- Children Books-Art, Music & Photography- Performing Arts

Books – Health, Fitness & Dieting – Beauty, Grooming, & Style – Style & Clothing

Summary: Things We Wear is an introduction to the different things we wear. Olivia Lauren and her friends explore when, where, and why we wear the things we do. Children will increase their vocabulary and curiosity about fashion, tradition, culture, safety, and the significance of clothing.

Recommended Age: 6 to 12

Connect with Melissa-Sue John

Website : www.laurensimonepubs.com

 

Social Media links: Instagram @laurensimonepubs

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/LaurenSimonePubs

Where to Purchase

Amazon

Occupations A to Z

Guide to becoming an actor

Olivia travels

Things We Wear

My review of Things We Wear that I gave 5 stars!! ‘Things We Wear’ is a well-written, well-illustrated book that will help children and adults learn about other cultures and their type of dress as well as every day clothes such as pajamas and athletic wear. I especially like how the author explains what each person is wearing from the different cultures. This is what the world needs now as we need to learn more about each other and love and embrace each other in our differences. Again, as in another Olivia Lauren’s book, Elijah and His Invisible Friend,Elijah and His invisible friend (Madison and Elijah Book 1) there is a helpful glossary of terms used in the book. I think this book could be used by teachers as well as parents to help children learn more about other people.

Olivia Connects

Lauren Simone Publishing House: www.Laurensimonepubs.com/store

and

several independent bookstores near you!

 

Near A River Children’s Book

Near A River Book Cover by BJ Rae with two eagles flying over a still river with green mountains in the background and blue sky with white clouds above

Hi everyone,

Thank you for joining me today. I met Bobbie Jo on LinkedIn and read her beautiful blog post and asked her if I could share it here. She said yes! and so I’m sharing it in its’ entirety here. I hope it touches you like it did me and you purchase her book for your child.

***

It was a cold November day almost 20 years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I was driving to work and suddenly got the feeling I should try to reach my Grandma.

I pulled over and called her at the hospice house where she was staying.  She haltingly spoke, “Sweetheart, my time to go is very soon.  I will miss you so much!  Always know I

Bobbie Jo Rae pictured as a child with her Grandmother
I have a very important promise to keep!

am with you and I love you no matter where you go or what you do.  Promise me one thing. I  tried to share love, hope, faith, and encouragement with everyone I could.  Promise me you will continue to spread my message! And follow your dreams.  You will be a writer someday!”  She could tell I was crying when I replied, “You know I will!  I love you and will do anything for you!  You have been my world!  I will spread your message to the ends of earth if I can! Watch over me from heaven, OK?”  The call was short because my 94 year old Grandma was having trouble breathing and speaking at the same time.

She was put into a drug-induced coma by noon that day and she died a week later.  I have cried rivers of tears since she died.  She was my world!  She taught me how to love others and be loved back, how to be strong and survive.  Most importantly, she taught me to believe in myself, that I can make my dreams come true.

Well, I tried to spread her message with everyone I encountered everywhere.  I held doors open for people and smiled at them, I cooked food and delivered it to those who were down for whatever reason, and I volunteered at a nursing home.  But I felt I was not doing enough to spread her message to the ends of the earth.

Years later, I finally became the writer I have always dreamed of becoming!  I could not disappoint Grandma!  And I realized that I can spread her message much farther by writing and sharing my writing on social media.

Could you please help me spread her message?  Could you please share my posts and encourage others to do the same?

Grandma is watching over me from heaven right now, crying as I write this post.  I will not disappoint her.  When I get to heaven, I will hug her and tell her I did my best to keep my promise with help from many friends.

Spread a positive message every day of your life!

 

Let the encouraging words in these near a river posts help you

soar like an eagle above life’s storms.

Find joy in life again…

Two prayers for your life…

Deal with a dishonest person…

Hugging is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.  So is love!

If you enjoyed this post, remember that BJ writes children’s books.

Her encouraging children’s eagle

near a river common core reading book

is available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Buy BJ’s near a river encouraging eagle reading book

for a child you care about today!

Originally posted on her blog at https://www.nearariver.com/keeping-promise-near-river-bj-rae-eagle-encouraging-words/

(Bobbie Jo gave me permission to copy and paste her blog post here per her Message to me on LinkedIn Monday, July 2, 2018

  • “Yes, I would love you to share my post on your blog. You can just copy the post onto your blog… I love your blog… Thanks for your support!… Bj Rae”)

My Books are Going to a National Convention!!

Purple background with three separate pictures of several children's books displayed with a bear wearing an orange, white, and green hat and a red t-shirt that says Kids Who Read Succeed

I’m so excited!! Dr. Valerie Allen, whom you all know as our favorite school psychologist, (she has a regular post on this blog) was awarded a Tiny Grant by the Children’s Fund of School Psychology and she made these adorable red t-shirts that say, “Kids Who Read Succeed.”

The convention is the National Association of School Psychologist. The Children’s Fund of School Psychology is part of this larger organization. TheKids Who Read Succeed is my personal project which provides these Tee-shirts and books to the Florida Retired Teachers Association, Brevard Chapter. They distribute them to selected schools in Brevard County,” says Allen.

She is so generous and so kind that she featured not one but 4 of my books in this display that is going to a National Convention!!

Thank you, Dr. Allen, you rock!

And don’t we all agree that kids who read succeed? Let’s all read to one child today and make a difference in not only their life but make a better tomorrow for the world as well because when kids succeed so does everyone.

Pictures courtesy of Dr. Valerie Allen who was recently featured in Psychology Today and who has raised 6 children of her own and written several children’s books including Bad Hair, Good Hat and Summer School for Smarties.