I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Florida, School is starting today!
I know, it feels early to me too!
So, to help you get this year off to a good start, here’s our favorite School Psychologist with some tips for parents on how you can support your child at home.
Dr. Valerie Allen
Practice at Home to Prepare for School
There are four basic areas of
development for the young child which can be fostered at home. These skills
lead to success at school and set the pace for a positive educational
experiences. Here are some home activities parents can support and encourage.
Intellectual: Kids who read succeed. Take your youngster to
the public library for his or her own library card. Allow your child to check
out books from the library and spend time together reading them to each other.
Play board games, cards, crossword puzzles, word searches which are challenging
and appropriate for your child’s age. Help your youngster to explore, question,
and discover new things.
Social: Children need to engage in positive relationships
with their peers as well as with adults. Encourage new friendships at school,
in the neighborhood, and youth groups. Hobbies, team activities, and community
organizations can offer new skills and nurture responsibility. Demonstrate a
positive attitude toward rules and authority figures to develop respect and
Emotional: Children need to feel loved and accepted
without demanding perfection. Openly show affection. Listen to your youngster
and help him or her explore alternatives to find solutions to problems. Praise
their efforts even if it doesn’t lead to success the first time.
Physical: A child’s height and weight should be
commensurate with his or her age. A good mantra for healthy children is “Eat
less, move more.” Routines for adequate sleep, eating healthy foods, and
personal hygiene support physical conditioning and offers preventative care.
The best strategy to prevent disease and illness is hand washing!
Children will thrive in all areas
of development when parents are actively involved in these simple day-to-day
actions with and for their youngsters.
I want to let Jon,the author, of this cute picture book tell you about what happened to 8…
This book began several years ago when I was pushing my three-year-old nephew Isaac on a swing as he giggled and counted, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9…”
“Wait!” I said. “What happened to 8?”
The giggling turned to full-blown laughter as we started counting again, each time skipping a different number and following the ‘mistake’ with an incredulous, “Wait!” And with the invention of this bit, an idea was born. I researched the concept and saw that, although there are a lot of counting books out there, I couldn’t find one that centered on skipping numbers as a means of engaging readers in learning.
I proceeded to write the book, coming up with a rhyming exclamation for each number. Isaac’s favorite was “fiddlesticks” – that’s even what he called the book for a while. My personal favorite was “man alive!”, a bizarre expression that’s not used much anymore. The most difficult number to figure out was nine. Lots of things rhyme with “nine,” but nothing seemed to work. My sense of humor initially led me to “swine!”; that didn’t go over well with anyone to whom I showed the book. My parents suggested “shine”, which felt nice, but didn’t make enough sense if you really thought about it (Sorry, Mom and Dad!) I finally brought the dilemma to my ingenious wife Talia, who instantly suggested “whine!” I love collaborating with loved ones.
Once all of the text was complete, I had a new problem: I needed an illustrator. Luckily, my brilliant friend Joe is also a brilliant artist – I asked him to illustrate the book, and to my eternal relief, he agreed. It was Joe who came up with the story of the hapless detective trying to locate each of the eight missing numbers. It was Joe who was able to translate the humor and playfulness of the game Isaac and I created into a visual format. It was Joe who brought the idea to life.
I was thrilled to discover Amazon’s CreateSpace platform; having the book available all around the world is an incredible feeling. It’s been a joy hearing from friends and strangers whose children are enjoying the experience. Multiple people have sent me a photo or video of their child’s gleeful reactions as they read the book out loud. I was also happy to finally answer Isaac (now eight years old), with a resounding “Yes!” when he asked if the book was published yet. Needless to say, it’s dedicated to him.
So that’s the origin story of “Wait! What Happened to 8??” I want to thank Wanda for the opportunity to invite you to join the number-finding adventure! — Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/waitwhathappenedto8
Thank you, Jon, for sharing your very creative, fun, counting book with us today. I hope you all will check out this book for your child or grandchild or niece/nephew and/or leave a comment and let Jon know what you think about his book. As always, shares are appreciated!!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. We sure did. Even though our lives have been turned upside down lately and we couldn’t do much for Christmas other than keep it simple, it was a very blessed time. And I pray everyone has a very blessed new year!
Now, on to sharing another awesome book find I have come across, I’ll let the author introduce it to you, take it away Chrys…
I’m excited to introduce my first children’s book called “Wally’s Misadventure”.
“Wally’s Misadventure” is about a young raccoon who had been longing to explore the forest. Wally knows he is supposed to take a friend with him, but when none of his friends can go he decides to go alone. During his adventure Wally encounters trouble along the way! In the end, Wally realizes rules are meant to protect him.
The story of
Wally Wilson Raccoon Jr. began with the thought that raccoons are mischievous
and tend to get into trouble. The beaver
came about because I like the beavers in C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and
the Wardrobe” (which is one of my favorite books). I wanted a bird in the story and as I thought
about a name the first name that came to mind was Ivy. Ivy was named after my maternal grandmother
who lived to be 105 years old and loved church music. I chose the wren because that was the last
name of one of my pastors and his wife had a great soprano voice.
inspiration was the part about Wally getting attacked by the bird which actually
happened to my cat, Zipper. Zipper was a
big gray and black tabby who was a gentle soul.
He didn’t like to hunt or eat anything but his dry cat food. His food was always on a picnic table out on
the back porch so the dog wouldn’t eat it.
For a while there was a Scrub Jay that would dive bomb Zipper while he
was eating. Zipper finally got fed up
with the bird and Zipper killed it!
As a teacher for many years and now a substitute teacher, I have spent many hours around children. I have seen how children don’t use their imagination very much. It is disheartening to try to get a child to use their imagination and come up with so little. My hope is that children will not only enjoy “Wally’s Misadventure”, but learn from Wally’s mistakes and develop their imaginations.
When I am
not teaching or writing I enjoy photography, traveling, baking, reading, and
crafting. I sing in the choir and
Worship Team at my church as well as help with the Ladies ministry.
Age range: 8 – 12 years (but adults have enjoyed it, too).
Magical Mary arrives in Berryfield with two missions. The first is to bring Christmas back to the town, and the second is to help Esme, a Foundling and a child who does not speak, to achieve her destiny and save Christmas for the town. Mary has to enlist the help of the mysterious Jane and convince her of the role she needs to play to ensure Mary’s missions are fulfilled. The town Mayor has nothing but bad memories of Christmas and has kept the Christmas spirit from the town for so long, the people of Berryfield have forgotten what Christmas is all about. Can Mary and Imi the elf convince Jane to change the mind of the mean-minded Mayor, help the struggling family, and bring Christmas back to the town?
FIVE STAR Review:
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Grange Solicitors has never decorated its office for Christmas – no tree, no lights, no trimmings. In fact, the entire town of Berryfield has banned Christmas. You see, the mayor of Berryfield is a non-believer, a miserable old Scrooge who doesn’t believe in celebrating anything, let alone Christmas. So when Jane, who works at Grange Solicitors, and Mary, the cleaning lady, team up to decorate the offices, the mayor notices too much happiness and sets about making everyone’s life miserable. How? He bans pets of any kind from family homes. The town’s inhabitants are unhappy and very angry, but not as much as Jane, who sets about making things right for not only the town, but also the miserable old mayor. You see, Jane is on a special mission, and Mary, who is a Finder, helps her. Their ultimate goal is to save Christmas and there’s little time left to do so.
Jane Finch’s young people’s story, Twelve Days to Save Christmas, is a wonderful fable, a charming story for young readers about Christmas and the power of love and faith. She takes on the classic theme of a Scrooge-type character and expounds on the true meaning of the season. Each character has its place in the story, its place in life itself, and they all blossom with the unveiling of the magic of Christmas. This is more than a tale of Christmas miracles; it’s a story with the power to change and make things right in the world, starting with making Christmas right.
From the author: With over twenty books now published, many of them children’s books, I had never quite written my dream, a Christmas story that would encompass a little magic, lots of animals, and look for the true meaning of Christmas. The idea stayed with me over several years, until finally I had to put pen to paper and write down my ideas. Twelve Days to Save Christmas evolved from that. We need to bring the magic back to Christmas, and I hope this story does that.
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.
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.
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.
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:
I’m super excited about this win as there were hundreds of other worthy books that Franky was judged against!!!!
Here’s a wonderful write up by the incredibly talented illustrator of Franky the Finicky Flamingo, Mara Reitsma.
And you know there’s always a team in creating a book, there’s the behind-the-scenes magical guru, Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing House, who helped me every step of the way with decisions that had to be made and all the formatting stuff that I could never dream of understanding.
A great big hug and thank you and happy dances to my team members, Mara and Claire! I couldn’t do what I do without you!!
And there were other winners in the Reader’s Favorite Competition that I have either featured on my blog or have read and written a review…
There’s Alma Hammond with Super Rooster and Cat winning Silver in the Animals Category. Here’s my review re-posted from Amazon
“I love this sweet story about an unusual friendship between a cat and a rooster. They enjoy the beach together and meet sea creatures. The author does a great job explaining what may seem scary about these creatures is something that has a purpose. She explains in a fun way what each creature does that makes them special. Great messages for everyone and told in a fun way! Beautiful illustrations! 5 stars”
“Such a fun story! I actually read book three first but that took nothing away from enjoying this first book in the series. Sir Princess Petra is a kind-hearted soul who has big dreams for herself to be a royal knight against her parents wishes. She goes on her quest and makes friend of everyone she meets. Such a great story with a good lesson and plenty of humor thrown in!”
I also have read and reviewed it on Amazon, here’s the re-post
“I picked up this book thinking I would know most of it, although why I thought that I have no idea. It’s true I’m an author but there is much to know about grammar. And well, I wasn’t the best student of grammar. Don’t get me wrong, I was a great student, but grammar alluded me. Still does, apparently. And I have most probably used every comma wrong in my above sentences. LOL I think this is a great book for children and adults. I think it is best as a reference rather than a read-through because it is a lot of information to take in. I compliment the author for taking on such a difficult task and for making grammar more pleasant by using dragons and princesses as examples.”
I want to introduce you to a very special father, Lamont, that I met via a mutual friend who does a live show every Saturday at 9:30AM called Self Love Saturday and his daughter, Danielle Lynn (pictured above).
Lamont and Danielle Lynn wrote a book to entertain young readers and also to teach about the very serious topic of bullying although they do it in a great way!
I’m happy to introduce “The Girl in the Box-No Bullies on my Block”.
The story is based on my oldest daughter Danielle and some of her pre-teen experiences.
Everyone has felt awkward at some time in their life. It is based on some real life challenges she experienced at school.
Each school day she would come home with a different dilemma.
I noticed a huge difference regarding how girls dealt with bullying.
It has been an exciting learning experience putting her story on paper. We feel privileged to share with you, how Danielle dealt with her bully.
Bullying is a serious problem. Often the person being bullied doesn’t know where to go for help. We don’t all have siblings or a best friend.
If you are being bullied, you should tell someone immediately. Talk to your parents, friend, or teacher. There are many groups and organizations to help against bullying. It is not something to keep as a secret.
This is our first writing adventure. Often, writers write to persuade, convey, or convince the reader. I don’t. I prefer to engage thought; why, how, and reason. Let your imagination take you there.
We should seek a positive outcome when dealing with life situations.
It may make you laugh or cry, hopefully you will be entertained. I enjoyed reading to my children when they were younger, and I find it to be a great one-on-one time with your child. I also like to turn the radio off in the car and have a conversation. Those times we ‘tune out, turn off the cell or radio’ can be special moments to share.
I’m happy to say, Danielle has graduated from UNLV and is pursuing a career in Theatrical Engineering.
We are originally from Michigan. My family and I moved to Las Vegas about 15 years ago.
My wife and I have three children and two grandchildren. We spend most of our time running our medical business.
My priority has been my family, and I have a deep passion for developing our youth. I have been fortunate to reach many young men through coaching baseball and basketball.
I am now assisting in development of an anti-bullying program with the Clark County School District.
There is a great need for parents to not only tell their children about right and wrong, but to set a good example as role models.
You can find more information on Facebook at Anti-Bullying@nobulliesonmyblock
You can connect with Lamont here Lamont Witcher @LamontWitcher1
Thank you, Lamont, for writing such a wonderful book about a very serious topic.
I had the good fortune to win this book on the Self Love Saturday Show and I wrote a review of it…
“I won this book on a Facebook Live Show and found this book to tell a great story that is based on a child’s real life situation of being bullied. The girl that lives in the box is super cool and gives wonderful advice. Any child would love to have a friend like her! I know I would have. While the topic is serious, the book handles it in a way that is not heavy. I think everyone should read this book–whether you have been bullied or not because it shows how people feel when they are bullied as well as a great way to approach the situation.”