Little Ewe, The Story of One Lost Sheep

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s children’s books blog!

I apologize for taking an unplanned hiatus from my blog.

I got very busy doing my Live at 5pm talks on Facebook every Sunday from January 11th until Easter. It was a Countdown to Easter series as I celebrated publishing in a new genre, Christian Fiction, and my newest book in that genre called The Cloak. It’s about the soldier who won Jesus’ cloak at the foot of the cross. It’s not a children’s book specifically, although I believe older children would enjoy it too.

Anyway, I’m back with a very special children’s picture book called Little Ewe, The Story of One Lost Sheep.

I won the book in a contest and was sent the hardcover in the mail which I just received.

I was impressed with the quality of the book…beautiful colors and wonderful quality glossy pages.

But, what made me fall in love with this book is multi-faceted. It has the cutest little sheep on the cover who just wants to explore and have fun, but eventually that gets her lost.

The story is told in expertly rhyming prose and includes numbers so the children can enjoy counting the items on each page.

But, most importantly, it tells the beloved Bible story of how our Savior, Jesus, will leave the 99 and come to find us.

That is a wonderful lesson to teach our children!

It’s available on Amazon at

www.amazon.com/dp/150646470X/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_glt_fabc_1WJX1TPCSGP3A28JH6C5

I highly recommend this book!

Thank you for joining me today!

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

Stay safe

Tails of Blueberry Street series (Return to Blueberry Street; Book 2 in the series)

Author, Debbie Burton

Hi everyone!

Today, I have a returning featured author, Debbie Burton, here to share about the second book in her series, Tails of Blueberry Street.

Meet Debbie Burton, author of the Tails of Blueberry Streetbook series.

Thank you, Wanda, for the opportunity to once again connect with your audience. My second children’s book, Return to Blueberry Street was released by Elk Lake Publishing in August of 2020. The story follows Buddy the beagle as he leads his canine companions on a mission to track down the porch pirate who is stealing their treats. A mystery for children ages six to nine, Return to Blueberry Street teaches the values of teamwork, fairness, and the importance of protecting wild animals. Told from Buddy’s point of view, the action begins with a camping trip where he meets a wild monkey named Freddy on a hike through the woods.

I was inspired to write this book during a visit to Silver Springs State Park in Florida. At a trailhead I saw a sign about the presence of wild monkeys in the area. These animals descended from of a group of rhesus monkeys brought to Florida from Asia for the purpose of entertaining tourists. The owner of the property put them on an island in the middle of the Silver River for boaters to see. He didn’t know monkeys can swim. They swam off the island and have lived in the surrounding woods ever since.

Return to Blueberry Street is book two of the Tails of Blueberry Street series. The first book, Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street, introduces the character of Buddy and shareshis struggle to recover from a serious injury which paralyzed his hind legs. Both books feature Buddy’s rival, a Doberman named Blitz, who is twice Buddy’s size. Blitz bullies Buddy for his disability and makes Buddy doubt himself. Their relationship teaches children to empathize with people who are different.Both books are perfect for classroom read-a-louds and include questions for discussion.

I am a retired elementary teacher turned author. For the majority of my life I’ve worked with children, but never thought I would write for them. My husband encouraged to me to write a children’s book in 2015. Since I love writing poetry, we both envisioned a rhyming picture book. After meeting with editors and agents at conferences, I discovered publishers were more interested in early reader chapter books. At first, I thought writing a chapter book would be impossible. What could I write about? Then I thought about our pet beagle, Buddy, who really did experience most of the events I describe in the first book.

Three years later I met Deb Haggerty, Editor in Chief of Elk Lake, at a Florida Christian Writers Conference. She loved my idea and offered me a contract. I am represented by Michelle Lazurek of WordWise Media Services. I plan to continue the Tails of Blueberry Street series, and I am currently writing book three. As an author I want to develop relatable characters whoengage children and encourage empathy for others. Both of my books are available in paperback and eBook.

Links:

Amazon: Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street   amzn.to/3hTqRtA

​   Return to Blueberry Street  amzn.to/2QgUIAI 

Barnes and Noble: Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street  bit.ly/2RVrUP6

                             Return to Blueberry Street   bit.ly/34KzZOi 

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Website: https://debbieburton.blog/          

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/buddyfanclub

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/debbie_j_burton

Elk Lake Publishing Inc. https://www.elklakepublishinginc.com/debbie-burton/

Email: debbieburton@ymail.com

Thank you, Debbie, for sharing another awesome book in your series! I love the positive messages! We look forward many more in this series!

And thank you, blogging community, for stopping by my blog today!

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

Stay safe, everyone!

Practice at Home to Prepare for School

2 young children huddled over a desk. One is writing and the other is looking on.

Hi everyone,

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 cooperation.

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.

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Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist, speaker, and author. She  has published two books for  children in grades 3 to 6 , ‘Summer School for Smarties‘ and ‘Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.‘ Oh yes, she has also raised six children! DrValerieAllen@cs.com

To Mom, With Love

Mom holding baby boy up in the air with sunset behind on beach

 

 

Today’s post is written by our favorite school psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen and is in honor of all mothers everywhere…

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist ~ Certified Case Manager

 

 

To Mom, With Love

A mother loves her child and the bond grows stronger with…

Heart burn and swollen ankles

Labor and delivery

Night time feedings and all day naps

 

Diapers, booties, burps, and tears

Smiles, giggles, sticky fingers

Vaccinations and chicken pox

 

First tooth and first steps

Those first little words

Me, me, me, mine and no, no, no

Mom with white hat on and white cotton top holding baby and mouth open cooing to baby while holding baby up and baby cooing back on beach

Scratches, scrapes, cuts and boo boos

Crayons, clay, magic markers

Art work on walls and skates in halls

 

First day of Kindergarten

Singing, dancing, all dressed up

T-ball, Scouts, and Field Day

 

Happy Birthday boys and girls

Tricycles and baby dolls

Pups and kittens and slimy frogs

Mom scrunching nose at young boy with wooden plank background with map lying on floor

Runny noses, untied shoes

Dinosaurs and Halloween

Ice cream sodas and science fair

 

Tooth aches, tummy aches, heart aches

Pals, best friends, and puppy love

Car keys, curfews and the birds and bees

Mom holding baby while looking out a window

Final exams, grad night, prom

First kiss, first car, first job, bills

New credit cards and big bank loan

“See you Mom, I’m on my own”

 

…and through it all, a mother loves her child.

 

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She 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!

 

6 Important Money Management Tips For Kids

pink piggy bank with coins laying around the bottom of it

 

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist ~Certified Case Manager

Money Management for Kids

 

Money management for children begins by establishing a connection between work and earning power. The next step is to help children understand the difference between “What I want” and “What I need”. To manage money effectively, children need to experience both immediate rewards and the ability to work toward long term goals. Once they make the connection that money is earned as a result of their hard work they will soon learn how to save and spend wisely.

Here are some ways that parents can help kids with their cash.

  1. Start Even preschool aged children understand a reward system that is based on performance. Children can earn praise, stickers, and treats by fulfilling expected behaviors, following rules, being cooperative, and taking care of their belongings.
  2. If/Then Contracts. Set an expectation and follow it with a consequence. For example: after you finish your food, you may have dessert; when you pick up your toys, then you may watch television. This leads easily into performance contracts with older children. After your room is cleaned, then you may go out. When you finish your chores, then you get paid.
  3. Connect Money and Work. No handouts! Do not tie money to rewards nor take it away as a punishment. Payment is based on task performance. Decide which household chores are required simply as being part the family routine. This might include making their bed, clearing their dishes from the table, and so on. Next create a list of extra household chores each week with a specific payment. Once the job is completed, payment should be made. Be careful not to withhold payment for misbehavior or other unrelated matters.
  4. Save and Spend. Have them save 10% of their earnings and allow them to spend the rest as they see fit. Start a savings account. Have children take their money to the bank or credit union. To encourage long range plans, have them save their pennies in large jug. On their birthday match whatever they have saved and put half in the bank and use the other half for a party.
  5. Needs and Wants. Establish the tasks that you will pay for and agree on a specific amount of money. Also discuss quality control. If they want something they cannot afford, they should be encouraged to take on another task or save toward their goal. If they want something beyond their means they should use their own money.
  6. Limit Restrictions.  Discuss and mutually establish any rules about how they may spend their money. For example, if you do not allow them to purchase certain food items, books, or CD’s establish this at the on set.   Otherwise, do not interfere with their spending. Be careful not to rescue them by providing funds for things they can buy for themselves. Do not get involved in pay back schemes, lOU’s, advances, or extending credit!

Helping your youngsters follow these tips will give them an early start on the road to financial planning security.

# # #

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 a children’s book, “Summer School for Smarties.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

The Authoritative Parent

 

Today, I bring you our favorite School Psychologist and Case Manager to discuss different parenting styles to help you be more aware of your own style and make a conscious choice how you want to parent. It’s never too late to change or reinforce what we’re already doing and always good to be aware of how our reactions shape our children.

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist ~ Certified Case Manager

New and Improved Parenting for the New Year

The New Year brings added attention to the fact that children are in a constant state of growth and development. One day your daughter is interested in dolls and tea parties and the next she is experimenting with make-up and high heals. What happened to that lovable little boy who played so nicely with the puppy? This is the same boy who now thinks you are his private taxi service. In a matter of weeks or months, children’s needs and behaviors change and so must our style of parenting. What worked at three may not work as well at 13.

The goal of parenting is to raise children who are independent of us. The job of a parent is to instill values and morals, so the child understands right from wrong and makes appropriate choices when on his own. When we are not there with reminders about being on time, keeping safe, and hand washing will our child be in a position to know what to do, how to do it, and motivated to do it well?

What can parents do to help raise positive children, who enjoy life and are pleasant to be with? Impossible you say! All is not lost. Research has identified four basic parenting styles: Authoritative, Authoritarian, Permissive and Uninvolved. One has proved to have a more successful outcome when raising children.

 

  1. The Authoritative Parent: provides a loving, supportive, home environment. These parents hold high expectations and standards for their children’s behavior. They enforce household rules consistently and explain why some behaviors are acceptable and others are not. Children are included in family decision making.

 

  1. The Authoritarian Parent: holds high expectations and standards for their children’s behavior, however, they convey less emotional warmth directly toward their children. They establish rules of behavior, but they may not take the child’s needs into account. They tend to expect immediate obedience, without question by the children. Parents make “family decisions” without input from the children.

 

  1. The Permissive Parent: may provide a loving, supportive, home environment, however,  hold few expectations or standards for their children’s behavior. They rarely discipline the child for inappropriate behavior and tend to make excuses for their child’s offenses. Children are allowed to make their own decisions about their life style without guidance or standards set by the parents.

 

  1. The Uninvolved Parent: provides little, if any, emotional support; even when they are home, they tend to be uninvolved with their children and family activities. They hold few expectations or standards for their children’s behavior. They have little interest in their children’s lives and seem overwhelmed or over involved in their own work or problems.

 

The Authoritative parenting proved to be the most effective style to develop positive social skills in children. Authoritative parents tend to raise children who are happy, self confident, independent, and respectful of others.

 

Resolve this new year to tell your child every day “I love you” with your words and by your actions. Take time to be involved in your child’s life at home, at school, and with friends. Your efforts will help create open communication, mutual respect, and a loving relationship with your child throughout the year ahead.

# # #

 

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

 

Happy Groundhog Day–Fun Facts for Kids

Groundhog close up of face
Picture provided free by Pixabay

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!!

Fun Fact: Did you know groundhogs are also known as woodchucks?

Do you remember this fun little ditty from childhood,

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

My brother taught me that. I’m sure we sung that so much that my Mom was tired of it and sent us outside to play. Hahaha!

I’d love to hear your favorite memories of Groundhog Day as a child or current memories you are making with your own children or grandchildren. Share them in the comments!

I have found some other fun facts that your kids will love–check out this link!

 

New Little Free Library in Soledad, California Charter #35502

Wanda Luthman's children's books pictured in a Little Free Library in Soledad, CA Charter #35502

Please welcome Kim B. all the way from California!

She reached out to me a few weeks ago and told me about her Little Free Library that she was starting and asked if I would donate books to it. I jumped at the opportunity to have my children’s books in her Little Free Library because I want to reach as many kids as possible to encourage good character and literacy and support this wonderful concept!

Kim, please tell us what inspired you to start your little library….

I came across a Little Free Library (LFL) for the 1st time while visiting another nearby city. I absolutely fell in love and knew I just had to have one! The thought of providing free books to people, kids especially, just warmed my heart!

I researched it online and about a year later, got one of my own. We live in between 2 elementary schools, so we get a lot of kids who walk by to and from school.

The main motto for LFL is “Take a book, leave a book” but more often than not kids don’t return the books. That is NOT a problem and we are completely fine with that, as we have built a stockpile & we receive donations from people in our community who also want to keep kids reading.

Promoting literacy is the whole reason we do this. Our LFL doesn’t just get younger visitors, we keep it stocked for anyone, from what we like to say, 1 to 100 years old!

Some people don’t have the transportation to our local library, or kids have parents who work late, whatever the reason; we are more than willing to help by providing books to everyone and will continue to do so for as long as we possibly can!

We are currently the only Little Free Library in town and we are hoping to put up another one (with the city’s permission of course!) at a local park, in the near future.

Thank you, Kim, for being with us today and starting this wonderful Little Free Library for the children in your community. You are someone who is making a difference in your part of the world!

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning

pumpkins painted with friendly faces

 

October is the month of celebrating Halloween–at least it feels like it what with all the scary commercials, the pumpkin lattes, and theme parks having their Scary Halloween Nights! But, nothing scary here today, just some awesome tips on how to use this fun holiday as a teaching time.

Please welcome 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 to those cute little Trick or Treaters!

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Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist, author, and speaker. She 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!

Thank you, Dr. Allen, for taking some time with us today and helping us learn how to take Halloween moments and turn them into teachable moments.