Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Brett O. Parson, Holly Parson Nielsen, and Cindy L. Shirley

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s featured *Holiday-edition*  finds:

The Twelve Hats of Christmas By Brett O. Parson and Holly Parson Nielsen

Published by Parson Publishing: Self- Published

*~Welcome to the land of Christmas~ with hat elves, and shop elves, and presents galore~ and candy canes, and cookies, and cocoa, and more!~*

Be ready to be charmed with this bound-to-be holiday classic. Through the clever, catchy rhymes, reminiscent of *Twas’ the Night before Christmas,*  discover the secrets of the North Pole on Christmas Eve~ through the eyes of one very special elf~ a hat elf named Thaddeus Willard Elf, to be exact *but we’ll call him T.W. for short.* In the North Pole, Christmas Eve falls on a very magical night, Santa’s Birthday of course! And what better way to celebrate than with a *Big Winter Ball.* But what would be the perfect gift to give Santa, the ultimate gift-giver of them all?? Join T.W. for a sneak peak at the North Pole, as he weaves his way through the snowy hills, through Candy Cane Lane, the North Pole Bakery, and Elf Village, towards Santa’s Ball, bearing his gifts of 11 of his most precious hats ~ he is a hat elf after all~. Along the way, T.W. comes across friends, who could use one of his special hats to help bring some holiday cheer of their own. You’ll see that on his journey to Santa, T.W. will learn the most important part of Christmas to believe, *~That it’s really much better to give than receive~*

This book is bound to put you and your little ones in the holiday spirit! The festive storyline rolls off your tongue with its fun, flowing rhymes mentioning all things Christmas~ from reindeers to snowman, to gingerbread to polar bears ~ to elves to Jolly St. Nick himself! Plus, the red and green color schemed illustrations are rich with holiday detail~ your little ones will love pouring over the pages, pointing out all of the Christmas cheer! Be prepared for some Christmas cookie cravings upon entering the Elf Bakery~ shelves of holiday cookies and cakes will have your tummies rumbling and taste buds tingling for some holiday treats. I recommend baking up a batch of holiday sweets for a reading snack. Prepare an evening to snuggle up with your little ones, with your mugs of cocoa and plates of cookies, with the Christmas lights sparkling overhead and the fireplace glowing, and be ready to dive into the world of Christmas with T.W. and his 12 special hats!

A bit more about the Author and Illustrator: Brett O. Parson and Holly Parson Nielsen

Author Brett O. Parson lives in Idaho with his wife and four children. When he is not running his own marketing and design firm, you can find him enjoying time with his family at Disneyland. Brett remembers being read to as a child by his mother, and can recall dreaming that one day, he and his sister, Holly, would create a book together. With his love of storytelling and her award-winning illustrations, his dream came true with *The Twelve Hats of Christmas.* Illustrator Holly Parson Nielsen, has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil! Holly has a bachelor’s degree in fine art, and lives in Idaho with her husband and three children. They enjoy celebrating the snowy, white, and magical Christmases. To see more of her art visit www.artbyholly.com.  To learn more, follow them on Instagram: @parsonpublishing and @12hatsofchristmas. And visit their site: www.12hatsofchristmas.com.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float by Cindy L. Shirley

Published by Let’s Pretend Publishing LLC: located in Woodstock, Georgia, this organization primarily operates in the Miscellaneous Publishing business / industry within the Printing, Publishing and Allied Industries sector.

Unwrap your candy canes and prepare for this red and white wintery tale of the magic of kindness, giving, and friendship! Welcome to Tinsel, a tiny farm town where a young girl named Doodle lives with her grandma Mimi, and her inventive, handy-man grandpa Paw Paw. Join Doodle on her winter adventures, riding the red tractor through the snow, swinging on tire swings through the crisp, cool winter air, and playing with Paw Paw’s toy scrap inventions. One day, while searching through the woods for the perfect Christmas tree, Doodle and her friends come across an abandoned, old rusty trailer,  with a tag on its back naming it *Magic.* With the help of Paw Paw, her friends, town, and family, Doodle transforms the rusty trailer into a glowing, candy-cane, holiday float~ just in time to showcase for the holiday parade! This Christmas tale has the perfect message for the holiday season, reminding us all to search for and find the beauty and potential in every person and everything!

Join Doodle and her gang of friends as they model the importance of teamwork, the beauty of creativity, and the value of family and friends this holiday season! With full-page spreads of bold colored illustrations, every turn of the page brings a bust of color and festive cheer! Plus, the farm adventures don’t just end after Christmas~ be sure to check out author Cindy L. Shirley’s additional titles: *Diesel the Body Guard*- the 2017 Readers Favorite International Book Competition Silver Medal Award Winner, and *The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick* another Reader’s Favorite.

A bit more about the Author: Cindy L. Shirley:

Author Cindy L. Shirley  lives in Woodstock, GA, and writes all of her stories based on her family and personal experiences. She is a mom, grandma, wife, and sharer of silly stories! *Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float* is based off the annual Christmas Parade of Lights that takes place  in her own home town. To learn more, follow her on Instagram:  @cindy.letspretend.126. and on Facebook @letspretendpublishing.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of a heart-warming, inspiring tale   here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Here We Are ~ Notes for Living on Planet Earth + You Are Never Alone Paper Doll Chain Craft

Introducing the beautiful, heart warming newly released children’s book by Oliver Jeffers in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” by Oliver Jeffers

Book Synopsis and Review

*~Welcome, little ones, to a home called Earth~* Here is everything you need to know, to start your journey with us here on this planet~*

And thus begins this breath-taking glimpse into the secrets of our universe~ from the deep depths of our seas, to the vast range of terrains, to the celestial heavens and bodies in the sky, prepare to discover the wonders of our world with your little ones. This guide to life on Earth simplifies the complexity of life here on this planet, providing insights on everything from humanity and the creatures that live here, to the way time warps~ moving slowly and peacefully, or rushing and passing us by- gone before we know it. However, though the world may seem infinite, and grander than our wildest dreams, never forget, *You are never alone here on Earth* (There are 7+ billion people ~ and despite our differences, we are all in this together)

With the holidays approaching, I highly recommend this book for all parents with little ones, especially new parents or expecting parents-to-be~* Oliver Jeffers actually created this book for his own baby son, creating for him a set of notes welcoming him to Earth and sharing with him his hopes and wishes. The witty text and gorgeous illustrations captivate the cosmic wonders of Earth and the universe, and introduce little ones to all of the elements of our planet, while celebrating the vast diversity of those who call this planet home. Overall, this is a perfect story to welcome your precious little ones to the world. Plus there, are so many opportunities for conversation and learning in this book, it’s incredible!

Vocabulary List

  • Globe (p. 1) Earth
  • Iceberg (p. 8) big block of frozen water in the ocean
  • Constellation (p. 10 ) patterns of stars in the sky, that you can connect to make different shapes and figures
  • Atmosphere (p. 10) the gases and air surrounding Earth
  • Patient (p. 16) wait calmly and don’t worry

Themes/Main ideas

  • You are Never Alone: You can always find someone to help you~ after all there are 7,327,450,667+ people on Earth
  • We are All People: People come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors, but we are all people, and we are all in this together

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

You Are Never Alone Paper Doll Chain Craft

The Earth is complex with its land and sea and skies. And you can’t forget the diverse life forms that inhabit our planet~ Thinking of it all can be quite overwhelming! In the grand scheme of the world, we are one tiny person. But one tiny person can make a difference, and a lot of tiny people together can make a family, and lots of families together become friends, and all the friends coming together become communities, and so on~ until your one tiny person becomes part of an infinite system of support and connection. After all, *here we are*~ here we all are, on planet Earth, and we are all in this together. We’ve only got one Earth, so share it, take care of it, and love all that’s on it. Overall, enjoy an afternoon with your little one, discovering the secrets of the world and creating your own unique paper doll chain of love and support~*

Materials

  • 2 sheets of 5×10″ paper
  • Colorful Paper Scraps
  • Markers
  • Glue/Tape
  • Scissors
  • *Optional additional decor: glitter, puff balls, beads, puffy paint, ribbon, etc.

Directions 

  • Trace a paper doll outline onto one sheet of white paper, fitting 3 dolls onto one sheet. Layer the two white pieces of paper so you can cut both at the same time. *Optional to use more than 2 sheets for a longer doll chain
  • Cut out the paper dolls and glue the two different sets of dolls together to create a chain of 6 dolls

  • Next~ Time to Decorate! Go wild with any decor materials you have! Below is the guide for how I decorated mine, but make yours as unique as you want~*
  • Cut out colorful paper trapezoid skirts, long rectangles for pants, and short rectangle shirts for the dolls, eyeing the measurements to fit over the legs and body.

  • Cut out poofy, curly, straight, long, short, etc. hair for the dolls, cutting out a hollow edge to fit over their head. Cut out triangles for hats.
  • Use the markers to draw faces, or to color the dolls all different shades!
  • Glue on any additional decor!

Enjoy Your *You Are Never Alone* Paper Doll Chain!

  • Read the story again with your reading buddy paper doll craft, taking your time exploring the illustrations and small details.
  • Hang your paper doll chain in a central family location, to remind each other of the support and love in your home and community.
  • Share your paper doll chain with a loved one, explaining what it symbolizes *You are never alone here on Earth, and we are all in this together*

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *You are Never Alone Paper Doll Chain*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this beautiful, heart-warming book! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *You are Never Alone Paper Doll Chains* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Authors Romey Petite and Laurel Holden, Linda Lokhee, and Christine Nishiyama

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s featured fantasy~*fungi* finds:

Spiderella by Romey Petite and Laurel Holden

Published by Romey Petite and Laurel Holden: Self-Published

~ A young girl trapped to sew day and night~ with some special eight-legged friends, whom may cause a fright. A prince to be married who’s dull and drab, just may be Eleanor’s ticket to freedom  with her compass, quilt, and map. ~ A clever twist on this classic Cinderella fairytale, *Spiderella* enchants young readers by weaving a web of magic, friendship, and courage. Locked away in the attic, Eleanor designs and sews gorgeous, lavish dresses for her demanding boss, Minerva. Trapped, Eleanor is determined to use her traveling father’s secret gifts, and the help of her eight-legged friends, to escape to freedom and start on an adventure of her own. Along the way, she runs into some royal friends who may have more in common with her than she thinks. Be prepared for a new *spin* on a fairytale classic.

This 200 page illustrated tale is perfect for an extended read aloud~ each day you can read the next part to your little one~ they will adore a week full of this magical adventure! The text is evenly distributed throughout the pages, and accompanied by lively watercolor illustrations that capture the eye and are sure to hold children’s attention as you read through the story. The soft, watercolor pastels create a fantasy world of wonder~easily sweeping you away into a land of elaborate balls and grand castles. Plus, Spiderella features a strong, independent female lead~ the perfect modern-day princess role model for your little ones!

A bit more about the Author and Illustrator: Romey Petite and Laurel Holden

Author Romey Petite enjoys traveling along the east coast, writing in coffeeshops and sitting near picture windows. Illustrator Laurel Holden enjoys writing secret notes in code and reading books upside down and backwards. Petite and Holden met in 2011 while studying in Vermont. Both lovers of whimsy and fairytales, they collaborated to create *Spiderella: The Girl Who Spoke with Spiders.* The original draft was actually published as Holden’s Senior Thesis. The pages of this book were posted, one at a time, at spiderellastory.com until the artwork was completed. To learn more, follow them on Instagram @thespiderella.

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The Sock Monster by Linda Lokhee

Published by Cilento Publishing: mentors authors through the self-publishing process to produce professional quality print and ebooks

~The mysterious case of the *missing socks,* once they go into the laundry machine… they never come out~ Where they go, nobody knows, *until now.*  Meet Ike, the sock monster, who loves to creep at night, taking just one sock, not the other, since *a pair is no fun!* ~Socks of all sorts of patterns, and all sorts of textures, sizes and styles and colors galore~* But socks aren’t friends, and Ike is lonely. That is, until one day he is caught sock-in-hand, by none other than the sock-owner himself, little Tim! Can a friendship be forged between a sock monster and young boy? With a little bit of kindness and a sprinkle of faith, even sock monsters don’t need to steal socks when they have a best friend.

This rhyming read aloud introduces a brand new character, *The Sock Monster,” who is sure to win over the imaginations and hearts of little ones. The full-page illustrations make the scenes pop with bursts of colors, and the facial expressions portray different emotions with clarity. This tale portrays the main ideas of loneliness and the power of friendship, in a new way bound to engage the little ones. Plus, for those scared of monsters, this story brings to life the *friendly* monsters full of light-hearted mischief and willing to play!

A bit more about the Author: Linda Lokhee

Every since she was a little girl, Linda Lokhee dreamed of becoming a published author~ And now she is!! Congratulations!!! Linda is currently a primary school teacher in Australia. She loves working with children, and especially enjoys their laughter and creativity. She looks forward to sharing her book with all of the children of the world. To learn more, visit her site, lindalokhee.com and follow her on Instagram: @lindalokheeauthor.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

We Are Fungi by Christine Nishiyama

Published by Might Could Studios: Self-publishing company founded by Nishiyama that focuses on creating books about life and science

Fungus~ that black, green, squishy icky stuff on the base of the tree ~or those rows of looming red-ish, polka-dot mushrooms growing in the woods. Well, we’ve seen them, and we’ve felt them, and we’ve even *eaten* some of them, but~ What are fungi?? Well, let’s hear from some fungi themselves. In *We Are Fungi,* the fungi in the woods narrate a tale of their lives, their names and their actions, their preferences and their characteristics. ~Everything you wanted to know about fungi, told in a beautifully illustrated, life-science themed children’s book~ From slithering and sliding, from delighting to displeasing, these fungi have a ton to unload and share with you and your little one.

This is the perfect book to plan for another Fall/Winter nature walk with your child. Search for the mushrooms and fungus crawling over the roots of the trees. Stop to appreciate the fall leaves, and the nature and life that surround us daily. The vibrant, warm colored illustrations will have your feet itching and nose twitching to be out in the world, exploring on foot and breathing in the crisp, cool autumn air. In *We Are Fungi,* Author and Illustrator Nishiyama stikes the perfect balance between teaching and introducing life-science concepts, while keeping the engagement levels and interests of young children focused and purposeful. I’ve never been more enchanted by fungi, than when delving into this sweet little masterpiece. Definitely a book to share with science teachers and lovers~ I can absolutely see myself reading and using this book with my own 2nd grade classroom.

A bit more about the Author: Christine Nishiyama

Christine Nishiyama is an author and illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia. She has written and illustrated picture books, graphic novels, and comic stories. She has also authored essays, and has taught art courses to help others share their own stories through art and creation. Her stories often skew towards more nonfiction themes, yet, she often presents both fiction and nonfiction side by side. To learn more about Nishiyama, visit her site at  mightcouldstudios.com, and follow her on Instagram: @might_could.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of aThanksgiving Feast tale   here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library Collection: Dragons Love Tacos + Fire Breathing Salsa Dragon Activity

Introducing the Fiery Friday Feast Feature of the week in MaiStoryBook Library’s Collection:

“Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

Book Synopsis and Review

~Welcome to the *hottest* dinner party of the year, with some of the *hungriest* guests of honor you’ll ever meet~ Having some dragons over for dinner? Not sure what to feed them?? No fear, this little guy is here~ to tell you ALL about how to throw the *hit* dragon party of the century: a TACO party~ because after all, as everyone knows, Dragons LOVE tacos ! Big tacos, little tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, *maybe nixay on the veggie tacos* they’ll devour them all! You’ll be the talk of the town- just one rule, of course, NO SPICY SALSA…or else…well…can you imagine what might happen if fire-breathing dragons have *spicy* salsa…?? Well, thank goodness you buried all of the salsa in the backyard, right? Didn’t you?? …oh wait… what does that mild salsa with little green specks say in fine print at the very teeny tiny bottom of the jar…Your dinner party is about to be *blazing* through the night!

A fabulously, fun, foodie read, this book is sure to win over any child with its uproarious text and captivating illustrations. This book is great for practicing prediction and making inferences with your child~ there are tons of clues throughout the pictures and text regarding what will happen at this *hottest* taco party of the year~ so really prompt your little ones to predict what’s going to happen!  This unforgettable tale weaves an ode to new friends, good conversation, and the comfort of a close friend’s laughter. Plus, be prepared to get your taste buds tingling for some tacos, and your tummy rumbling for some crispy snacks! Added bonus, after reading this book, you’ll know exactly what NOT to do if a dragon comes to your house for dinner!

Vocabulary List

  • Sizzling (p. 3) very hot
  • Speck (p. 7) tiny spot
  • Mild (p. 8) not too much flavor
  • Charades (p. 12) a game where you act things out with no sound, people guess what you are acting
  • Samaritans (p. 27) a helpful person

Themes/Main ideas

  • Friendship: The best part about being together is good conversation and hearing good friends’ laughter
  • Making Predictions: Great book for making inferences and predictions about what will happen in the story. Prompt your child to see if they can predict what will happen at the taco party!

Vimeo Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Dragons Love Tacos” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

 Fire-Breathing Salsa Dragon Activity

Good friends and favorite foods, sounds of laughter and full belly feelings~I am  most definitely looking forward to a much-needed, week-long break of family, fun, and food! And I wouldn’t at all mind scheduling in a *taco* dinner party ~ I’ve heard *taco bars* are currently one of *hottest* new food selections. Seems like dragons have the right idea~after all, apparently they are some of the *biggest* party-thrower-goers around- costume parties, pool parties, accordion parties~But any kind of party with delicious food and lively conversation is the best party to throw/go to. And of course, little ones can have foodie parties as well- what little kid wouldn’t go *bananas* over a sandwich bar with peanut butter, various jellies, marshmallows, chocolate chips, bananas, banana chips,  strawberries, honey, fluffernutter, Nutella, apples, etc., etc., galore! Finish it off with a cookie decorating/ice cream sundae bar and your house just became the coolest spot in town!  Just, of course, beware any hot pepper chili flakes, or dashes of tobacco~ you wouldn’t want a fire-breathing salsa dragon fiasco on your hands! But say, you and your little one were super curious to know… what would happen in a * fire-breathing salsa dragon* fiasco? Well check out this *Dragons Love Tacos* twist on the classic volcano eruption experiment for an afternoon of erupting, fiery fun!

Materials

  • Small jar
  • Small cup
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • 1 sheet of red construction paper
  • 1 sheet of white construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape/glue
  • Black and green marker
  • Tray

Directions for Dragon

  • Cut the red paper to fit and wrap around the jar. Tape/glue it wrapped around the jar.
  • For the eyes, cut two long oval shapes from the red paper. Fold them in half so they can remain propped up on one side.
  • Cut out two white circles for the eyes and color in the black pupils with the marker.

  • Glue the eyes to the propped-up side  of the ovals facing outward. Glue them onto the middle of the red-paper jar near with the eyeballs facing up towards the jar opening.
  • For the nose, cut out a two-hump ridge. Fold it to prop up like the eyes. Glue/tape it near the top of the jar, facing toward the opening of the jar.

Directions for the Fire Breathing Salsa Experiment

  • In the dragon jar
    • Add 1/3 cup of water
    • 4 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons of dish soap (more soap of you want more foam)
    • *No mixing necessary

  • In the separate small *salsa* cup
    • Add 5 tablespoons of vinegar
    • 3 drops of yellow food coloring

  • Make a Hot Salsa Label for the vinegar/food dye cup
    • Cut out a small square of white paper to fit on your *salsa* cup
    • Write *Hot Salsa* and add *specks* of green jalapeño pepper
    • Tape it onto the salsa container

  • BEFORE *feeding* the dragon the salsa, place dragon jar on the tray to avoid foam mess
  • Pour *salsa* vinegar cup into dragon jar…

And watch what happens when you Feed a Dragon Hot Salsa!!

Enjoy Your Fire-Breathing Salsa Dragon!

  • Connect the fire-breathing explosion to what happened in the story during the taco party fiasco
  • Watch and discuss the reaction of these common household-substances
  • Children will delight in the bubbling, foamy, eruption!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own Fire-Breathing Salsa Dragons, and I hope you and your little ones have a delicious, delightful, family-friends-and food-filled Holiday week of celebration and *relaxation!* Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Fire-Breathing Salsa Dragons* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Authors Ramone L. Outlaw and Tina Powell

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s featured *foodie fun* books:

Germaine Cabbagehead: Flamin’ Hots by Ramone L. Outlaw

Published by CreateSpace: Amazon independent publishing platform offering tools and services that help authors complete their books

Ever had *or still have* that one snack bag of deliciousness that you could just never put away? ~Just a handful~ becomes *half the bag gone* …turning into     -just one more handful…- ending with *hand hits the end of the bag* – Hey, who ate them all??? Anyone who’s ever tried a Flamin’ HOT cheetoh can relate. Germaine Cabbagehead sure can. He eats Flamin’ Hots for breakfast AND lunch, AND he would eat them for dinner if his dad didn’t make him eat vegetables… But even that’s not enough Flamin’ Hots for Germaine~ Children will laugh out loud with incredulity as Germaine brushes his teeth AND showers with Flamin’ Hots *p.s. do not attempt this at home~snack food in the shower is bound to be messier than clean* However, when Germaine is caught being dishonest to his father and loses the privilege of his Flamin’ Hots, can he find a way to win back his father’s trust ~ and his favorite food?  Germaine Cabbagehead reminds little ones of the importance of honesty and the value of apologies, through story bound to evoke a chuckle and giggles.

Author Ramone L. Outlaw not only writes at the perfect pitch for kids, but also illustrates with an eye-grabbing style, with colorful and bright spreads on each page. Dramatic, over-the-top facial expressions on all of the characters – Germaine, his Dad, even the cat – add to the comedic relief of a story that touches on the more serious subject of consequences and telling the truth. Little ones currently with a snack/foodie obsession will relate to Germaine and his love for Flamin Hots’. Set aside an afternoon to indulge in a bowl of your own and your child’s favorite snack, and dive into the world of Germaine Cabbagehead.

~ Plus: Check out this other cool Germaine Cabbagehead adventure: *Germaine Cabbagehead Goes Fishing* ~ taking the fun to the lake on a wild fishing adventure ~

A bit more about the Author: Ramone L. Outlaw

Ramone L. Outlaw is a teacher’s aide with the Erie School District in Pennsylvania. As a writer and an artist, he has self-published 5 books in the Germaine Cabbagehead series. Outlaw is passionate about creating diversity in the children’s book genre. It takes him about four months to write and illustrate one book, and the illustrations are created with a mixture of digital drawing and hand drawn artwork. His goal is to inspire kids to pursue their passions and goals. To learn more, follow him on Instagram @ugotdatt and Facebook.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

Samantha’s Silly-icious Sandwiches by Tina Powell

Published by Big Fat Pen Publishing Inc.: Independent publishing company started by Tina Powell

School lunches are a *big* deal. I remember eagerly unzipping my lunchbox each day, tummy rumbling and taste buds tingling, excitedly scanning the contents for the dessert and snack bag. In this *silly-licious* story, Samantha, underwhelmed with her usual salmon, salami, or Swiss cheese sandwiches, decides to take over sandwich making duties, and create her own *silly-licious*  sandwiches for lunch! Through this book abundant with alliteration~ little ones are exposed to creativity in the kitchen, and encouraged to expand their food choices and make healthy-eating decisions. Little ones will gasp with glee over Samantha’s *silly* creations~ *stir-fried-shrimp-and-sushi-submarine sandwiches* ~ *sardine-and-shish-kabob-sandwhiches* ~ Would you ever eat a Silly-licious Sandwich?? I’ve heard they’re delicious! *Bonus: Highlight the repeated “s” words and sounds while reading the story and ask your little one if they can think of any “s” foods to add to Samantha’s sandwiches*

Encourage your child to create their own silly-licious sandwich! Create silly-licious sandwich recipes, thinking of all the different whacky foods you could combine between two pieces of classic sandwich bread. For an extra challenge, follow along with the alliteration theme of the story, and try to create a sandwich using foods starting with all of the same letter! This story is abundant with literary devices and opportunities for interactive engagement~ the perfect book to fill an afternoon with delicious foodie fun!

~Plus: Check out these additional titles by Tina Powell *Also Alliteration Abundant and perfect for teaching phonemic awareness and letter/sound recognition*

A bit more about the Author: Tina Powell

Tina Powell is a Canadian award-winning author. After years spent writing as a journalist, Tina Powell decided to delve into the genre of children’s literature. Her books encourage healthy eating, physical fitness, and aim to improve literacy skills and phonemic awareness. Her books have been used to support programs such as Children’s Aid Society, Kids Help Phone, Jay’s Care Foundation, and Raise-a-Reader. She is a member of Canadian Children’s Book Centre and CANSCAIP. To learn more about Tina Powell, visit her site www.tinapowell.com and follow her on Instagram @tinamariepow.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of one of my current inspiring read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library Collection: After The Fall~How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again + Hatching Bravery Craft

Introducing the inspiring tale of bravery featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again” by Dan Santat

Book Synopsis and Review

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Or could they…?? Humpty Dumpty is alive and back! But although his cracks may be sealed and he’s all put together again, something is still broken…on the inside. He is an egg who can no longer do what he loves ~ scale the walls in search of the highest ledge to watch the birds soar* Now, with a new fear of heights, Humpty Dumpty is grounded. From the streets he arches his neck to stare up at the birds through his binoculars. One day, a paper plane flies by~ and sparks an idea* When his new paper plane zooms over the wall, Humpty Dumpty is left with a choice~ either face his fears and climb the wall…or continue to miss out on all of the things he loves. Can Humpty Dumpty face his fears and *get back up again??*

A beautiful tale about bravery, this book is written by one of my favorite authors, Dan Santat. You may  recognize him as the author from a past featured storybook, *The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.* Just as like in the Beekle book, be prepared for another innovative tale filled with beautiful ilustrations to make your imaginations soar. I highly recommend this book for its inspiring message: to have the courage to face your fears~You’ll never know what new heights you can reach when you get back up again! Read this book to your little ones to encourage them to face their challenges  one step at a time~*

Vocabulary List

  • Folks (p. 2) people
  • Grand (p. 2)  very important
  • Managed (p. 3) successful in doing something
  • Admit (p. 22) say that something is true
  • Terrified (p. 22) very scared

Themes/Main ideas

  • Courage: Having the courage to face your fears can lead to new beginnings
  • Don’t give up: Even when you fall, if you can’t do something the first time, always get back up and try again. You never know what new heights you can achieve.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Hatching Bravery Reading Buddy Craft

In this month of giving thanks~ I am thankful for inspiring books such as this one, that give children the courage to stretch their wings and learn to fly! Humpty Dumpty was never my favorite nursery rhyme. An egg falling off the wall had no appeal to me~Plus, it had a pretty bad ending. But what Dan Santat has done with this tale brings flutter of hope and joy to my heart! I’ve definitely had my fair share of *great falls,* and finding the courage to *get back up again* required tremendous effort and bravery. You are put into an extremely vulnerable situation~ and your last memory is of failure. However, I was lucky enough to have support every step of the way, and it absolutely took one step at a time to make my way back up. I am thankful for the overwhelming love and faith in me that I received from my family and friends. I can proudly say that I have reached new heights since that major fall. This week’s craft serves as a symbolic reminder of the glory of starting again, and finding and opening your wings! Enjoy the afternoon with your little ones, giving them the wings to fly~*

Materials

  • 1 piece of black construction paper
  • 1 piece of orange construction paper
  • 1/2 sheet of yellow, light orange, red construction paper
  • 2 sheets of white paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue/tape

Directions for Humpty Dumpty Egg 

  • Trace an oval egg shape on the white paper- filling up the page.
  • Stack the two white papers and cut out the oval shape so that you have two egg shapes.

  • Trace the egg shape onto the black paper.
  • Cut out the bottom half of the egg shape. Glue it to the bottom of the egg for pants.
  • Cut out two long rectangle legs with a little shoe-shape at the bottom. Glue on to the bottom of the egg for legs.
  • Cut out a tie shape from the black paper. Glue it a little bit higher than half way up the egg shape.
  • Use the gray marker to draw the shirt collar, using the tie as your place-marker.

  • Next, cut out two skinny, white arms and glue to the sides of the egg for arms.
  • With the gray marker, draw two eyes, a little curve for the nose, and a smile. Use the black marker to make the pupils.

  • Next, draw a zig-zag, splitting Humpty Dumpty in half, and cut along the zig zag line so that you have two-halves.
  • Take the second egg oval and place glue around the *edge* of the bottom half. Only on the edge so that you can create a pocket in the middle.
  • Glue the bottom pants half of Humpty Dumpty onto the blank egg oval.
  • Then, place a dash of glue at only the top part of the blank egg oval. Glue the top half of Humpty Dumpty to the top of the egg so that the top half can lift up like a flap.
    • You should be able to lift up the top half of Humpty Dumpty and the bottom half should have a pocket.

Directions for Bird

  • Draw an oval on the orange paper. Draw a circle on top of the oval for the head. and a trapezoid at the bottom for its tail. Cut it out.
  • On the second orange paper, fold it in half and draw a wing shape. Cut it out so that you have two wing shapes.
  • Glue the wings to the bird body.

  • Draw two eyes and a beak.
  • Cut out feather shapes from the yellow and red paper. Glue onto the wings and tale.
    • *Optional: Cut out a smaller, light orange oval shape for the bird belly, and feathers for the top of the head. Glue them on.

  • Fold in the wings of the bird, and tuck it into the Humpty Dumpty Pocket.
  • You can now lift the top flap of Humpty Dumpty to reveal the bird within. Take out the bird and help it spread its wings and fly!

Enjoy Your Hatching Bravery Reading Buddy Craft!

  • Read the story again with your new reading buddy, hatching your Humpty Dumpty Craft at the end of the book when Humpty Dumpty transforms into a bird.
  • Share this craft of inspiration with family and friends to give them courage and encouragement to face their challenges.
  • Use it as a reminder to your little one to have the bravery to spread their wings and fly!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own Hatching Bravery Crafts, and I hope you and your little ones have the courage to face a new challenge this week! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Hatching Bravery Crafts* and your own adventures of bravery! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Nancy Gerloff, Mark Augustyn, Kitria Stewart, and G. Brian Benson

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s featured *action and adventure* books:

 The Adventures of Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys by Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn

Illustrated by Esteban Alvarado

Published by  Little Rider Enterprises: Publishing books to inspire the next generation of motorcycle riders and promote riding safety

Rev your motors and gear up for a lifetime of adventure with Mimi and Moto, two motorcycle monkeys, as they take you over the mountains, through the city, and across the deserts. Each flip of the page reveals a new, bold colored landscape featuring Mimi and Moto on different types of motorcycles ranging from  sports bikes to choppers to cruisers, and even a sidecar! Children, particularly those with a love for motorcycles, will delight over the various motorcycles depicted. Additionally, the text is simple, with a sentence per page, making it the ideal read aloud for younger children who will enjoy “reading” the book with you overtime as they invariably request to read it over and over again~

The perfect book for rider enthusiasts to share their passions with their little ones, this book introduces children to the world of motorcycle riding while also  reinforcing the importance of motorcycle safety and the proper protective gear and attire. Furthermore, the book highlights that both girls and boys can love motorcycles~anyone can become a rider! The colorful, crisp illustrations by Esteban Alvarado *pop* and capture your attention, and will no doubt further engage the child and draw them into the world of motorcycles.

A bit more about the Authors: Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn

Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn are motorcycle fanatics who wanted to share their love for riding with their infant daughter. Their little girl was already flipping though American Motorcyclist magazines, pointing out motorcycles with enthusiasm. However, upon searching for an age-appropriate, motorcycle-themed children’s book, none could be found! Their solution: create their very own motorcycle monkey franchise to build a fun and inspiring children’s motorcycle world! Thus they created Mimi and Momo, two adventurous, motorcycle monkeys to help riders share their passion for motorcycles with their children. To learn more, check out their site: mimiandmoto.com , and follow them on Instagram @mimiandmoto.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

Run Banana Run! by Kitria Stewart

Illustrated by Keith Gannon

Published by Read More! Run More!:  Independent publishing company started by author Kitria Stewart

*A state of grace and perfection = Healthy Mind and Healthy Body* With her book, “Run Banana Run!”,  author Kitria Stewart promotes both the importance of a healthy mind through the power of reading, and emphasizes the value and necessity of exercise for a Healthy Body~both of which are portrayed in a creative, colorful way. In this fabulous, fruit-filled story, follow Banana as he prepares for his running race. Learn about stretching, drinking enough water, and putting on sunblock~ all tasks that are  necessary to  prepare for a safe and healthy run. Children will enthusiastically cheer on Banana as he takes off from the starting line and makes his way through the course.  Despite setbacks, Banana continues to persevere and is determined to  succeed and finish the race. Can Banana overcome the challenges that arise during the race??

This book highlights the importance of *never-giving-up*, and portrays the value of having friends and family who support you and cheer you on! Children will also enjoy the colorful fruit creations, and will giggle over the fruity -animated faces created by illustrator Keith Gannon. The pages are filled with oranges, strawberries, raspberries, galore! So grab a bowl of fruit and a pair of sneakers, hydrate with some cool, crisp wager, and *On your mark…Get set…..Go Read “Run Banana Run”!*

A bit more about the Author: Kitria Stewart

Kitria Stewart was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She has a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her love for writing grew after being published through Borderzine, a digital publishing platform. As a former track athlete, she enjoys getting involved in the community to engage the young children through sports and reading. To learn more, follow her on Instagram: @kitriastewart

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

Steve the Alien by G. Brian Benson

Illustrated by Paul Hernandez

Published by G. Brian Benson: Self-Published author

*It’s a bird..no, it’s a plane… no, it’s a…UFO???!!* Such was young Zeke’s bewildered amazement when a silver UFO came  hurdling down towards planet Earth and landed right…above…him…From beyond the spaceship doors pops out none other than *Steve the Alien.* And thus begins Steve the Alien’s epic retelling of his journey through the galaxies and beyond, all while doing his best to answer Zeke’s perplexing questions. Ever wonder what space-aliens do up in the universe for some friendly competition? Find out all about Steve the Alien’s  reasons for coming to planet Earth, and what he really needs from Zeke, the human,  to complete his intergalactic game.

Written in friendly and flowing rhythmic verses, this fun, rhyming read aloud journey will show children the importance and value of sharing what they have with others, and accepting those who are different from them with no judgment. Additionally, the illustrator Paul Hernandez, through his artwork, brings to life the universe and the galaxies beyond. Steve the Alien practically leaps off the pages, and children are prompted to respond to the final question: What would you do if an Alien showed up next to you, and asked you for help on their intergalactic quest?

A bit more about the Author: G. Brian Benson

G. Brian Benson is an author and screenwriter. He has written two award-winning self-improvement books:  Brian’s List – 26 1/2 Easy To Use Ideas on How to Live A Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life! ~ the winner of a Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Self-Help category~ and Finding Your Voice ~ an award-winning Finalist in both the USA Book News and the Indie Excellence Book Awards~. Benson also has written the screenplay for two award-winning short films, including the Guitar Man and Searching for Happiness. He also has published works on shared blogs, and has dabbled in poetry. Steve the Alien has become an Amazon #1 Best-Seller. To learn more, check out his site: gbrianbenson.com, plus follow him on Instagram: @gbrianbenson.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of one of my current November *feast* favorites  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library Collection: I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie + Reading Visual Memory Guide, Old Lady Feeder

Introducing the First Friday of November feast themed book featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie” by Jackson & Schachner

Book Synopsis and Review

It’s Thanksgiving day and the food’s in the oven; the tables are set and tummies are rumbling. The doorbell rings~ who could it be? Open a door and you see an old lady. She brings Thanksgiving pie, just what you were missing, but before you can utter, Thank you, ~*Gulp* she swallows the pie whole! Whoops~ but the pie is so dry she needs some cider, and if she has cider she must have a roll, and if she swallows a roll she must have a squash, and squash calls for salad, and, of course, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without turkey. And no way the old lady could swallow a turkey…could she? But even if she could, at least there’s still the TEN layer cake *which is the best part of dinner anyways.” And after swallowing a feast, a ten layer cake is an impossible feat! …Or is it???

Thanksgiving food galore! This book is sure to have you craving that Thanksgiving feast~ you’ll be dreaming of swallowing a whole turkey yourself! With this story’s cumulative, repetitive progression of foods the old lady has swallowed, children are encouraged to read along with the story, rattling off the growing list of foods the old lady has eaten. With fun rhymes and rhythm, and pages of quirky illustrations, it’s the perfect book to kick off some pre-Thanksgiving festivities, and set the stage for one of the biggest meals of the year!

Vocabulary List

  • Cider (p .3) a drink made from apples
  • Moisten (p. 4) to make wet and softer
  • Squash (p. 7) a type of vegetable that is similar to a potato
  • Pallid (p. 10)  pale and ill
  • Murky (p. 15) dark and gloomy

Themes/Main ideas

  • Table Manners: You could take this story as an opportunity to talk about good table manners, and what the polite way to eat your food at the dinner table or at a guests house is
  • Practicing Memory and Rhyme: Encourage your little one to read along with the story, pausing to let them fill in the rhyming words, and to see if they can recall the sequence of events and foods *use the reading buddy visual guide to prompt- see craft below*

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Reading Visual Memory Guide + Old Lady Feeder

November is the month for family, friends, and FOOD, of course! Sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, savory stuffing, and roast *chicken* ~my family does juicy chicken- no humongous turkey for us~* My mouth waters with the thought of waking up to the aromas of food wafting through the bedroom doors, tickling my nose, and heightening my senses. My tummy rumbles, but I know mealtime is at the very least *given that there are no kitchen mishaps*  a few hours away. Perhaps to tide me over, I can read about this old lady who came to a house, and swallowed their WHOLE entire Thanksgiving feast! I think that *perhaps I might die* if that were to happen to our devious meal! Kick off the Thanksgiving festivities with this Thanksgiving feast storybook and featured craft! *Prepare for an afternoon of family, fun, and FOOD with this Thanksgiving food craft and clever reading buddy*

Materials

  • 1 brown paper bag
  • 1 piece each of green and white  8.5″ x 11″ construction paper
  • 3 pieces of red construction paper
  • 1 long piece of 18″ x 2″ sturdy white paper
  • 9 two-inch by two-inch paper squares
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • tape/velcro (velcro will last longer without risk of tear, but either works!)
  • Set of color markers

Directions For Visual Memory Aide

  • Divide 18″ x 2″ sturdy white paper into nine, 2″, squares with a pencil
  • On each square, from left to right, draw and color a picture of the foods from the story in the following order: pie, cider, roll, squash, salad, turkey, pot, cake, bread
    • Write the name of the food beneath the image *encourages word recognition*
  • On the individual 2″x 2″ squares, draw and color the same 9 foods: pie, cider, roll, squash, salad turkey, pot, cake, bread

  • Using velcro, or double sided tape, lightly attach the 2×2 square to its pair on the long strip of paper.
    • You should have 9 squares on the strip, each with a detachable mini square of food.

  • For the red case, cut 2  pieces of red paper into 11 x 5″ pieces. Lay the red pieces horizontal and place the strip of paper in between them. Overlap the red pieces to match up with the length of the strip. Gently fold over the red pieces so that they make a case for the strip. Tape the case together.
    • The strip should slide in and out of the red case easily.

Directions for the Old Lady Feeder

  • Take the white piece of paper and draw an outline of the old lady head and hair. Draw the face with 2 dots for eyes, a long, oval nose, and a big wide mouth *you will need to cut the mouth out so make it wide!* Cut out the head
  • Cut out a green oval and glue it on the side of her head for her hat

  • Cut out the mouth part of the Old Lady’s face.
  • Lay the Old Lady face on top of the top part of the paper bag. Trace the mouth outline onto the paper bag. Cut out the mouth from the paper bag.
  • Glue the old lady face to the paper bag, matching up the mouth holes so there is a hole where her mouth is.

  • Cut out a big red square from the last piece of red construction paper. Glue it below the face for her body.

  • Open up the paper bag, and it should stand up with the old lady face and mouth hole on top.

Enjoy Your Reading Guide Visual Memory Aide and Old Lady Feeder!

  • Use your visual memory aide and Old Lady Feeder to reread the story and feed the Old Lady as you read along with the different foods
  • Use the visual memory aide and Old Lady Feeder to retell the story without the book to a family member or friend
  • Feed the old Lady a whole bunch of different combos of food~ and Make Up Your Own story of the Old Lady and what she ate!
  • Prepare for your own Thanksgiving feast by telling what foods from your own Thanksgiving dinner the Old Lady would eat if she came to your house!

*~Overall, have some *Thanksgiving*  fun retelling this Thanksgiving feast tale with your own Reading Aides and Old Lady Feeders! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Old Lady Feeders and Visual Memory Aidess* and your own read aloud adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Kelly Polark, Bryson Reaume, & Matt Leatherwood

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s featured books that will *Rock* your world:

Rockabet by Kelly Polark

Illustrated by Kelli Ann Little

Published by Big Smile Press, LLC: Independent publishing company started by author Kelly Polark

Looking to introduce your little one to the world of music?  Have a *rock’n* time *rolling* through some A-Z rock n’ roll music history with “Rockabet.* Of course, you’d only want to raise your child on the *best* music out there~ and what better way to share with them the classic rock idols than with this charming alphabet book with a clever twist. Can you name a rock n’ roll star for every letter of the alphabet?? Well, by the end of this book~ your little one can! Perfect opportunity to pair reading with music! Read a page, play a song ~ delight their ears and broaden their horizons with *Rockabet* Take a sneak peak below!

Even adults will enjoy illustrator Kelli Ann Little’s colorful illustrations of the famous rock stars in little-kid form. Ever imagine what Elvis would look like eating an Elvis sandwich when he was a child? How about Ozzy-Ozbourne, barely a teenager, howling to the moon? Children, of course, will be thrilled with the cute character creations. Don’t be surprised to find them rocking out with some air guitar after a *Rockabet* read aloud.

A bit more about the Author: Kelly Polark

Kelly Polark is a primary teacher and author from the MidWest. She started the independent publishing company, Big Smile Press,  LLC, while taking time off work to raise her three children. She is the author of several books including “Rock N’ Roll Princesses Wear Black,” and her newest book, “Little Green Witch.” In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and singing along during rock concerts of course! To learn more, follow her on Instagram @kellypolark.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

A Simple Rock by Bryson Reaume

Illustrated by Eduardo Paj

Published by Bryson’s Books: A socially conscious children’s book and publishing company that pledges to give back 25% of its profits to organizations such as literacy,  poverty alleviation, leadership, and mentorship programs and organizations. Learn more!

A thoughtful tale about being true to yourself and appreciating yourself for being just the way you are ~ Who would’ve thought a simple little Rock could help share such an important message? For Rock, life was simple, living stationary by the water, watching his animal friends frolic around him. However, when a magical gnome appears at night, willing to grant his every desire, Rock leaps at the chance to change his life. But will it be for the better? Follow Rock as he learns that not even all the physical changes in the world could make you better or more special than who you were originally meant to be. A unique take on this classic theme, this book is sure to engage young readers as they try and guess what Rock will wish for next!

Illustrator Eduardo Paz creates a world of wonder for children as they dive into the jungle with Rock. They will laugh with glee over Rock’s metamorphosis from simple rock, to hybrid creature sporting a jumbled combination of animal features. A fun extension to the story~ collect rocks during your own Nature Rock, and spend an afternoon with the craft supplies, decorating your rocks to create the most colorful, creative combo of part rock, part animal, and part whacky design!

A bit more about the Author: Bryson Reaume

Author Bryson Reaume has had an incredibly full life, having dappled in a wide range of experiences and opportunities. Just to name a few, he has experience as a fast-food worker, laundromat attendant, hip-hop rapper, ditch digger, airplane pilot, construction worker, etc. etc. Not to mention, he’s a father, a son, a brother, a husband, and now of course, a children’s book author! With a delightful sense of humor, Bryson Reaume aims to  create fun books for kids that have positive messages throughout. To learn more, visit www.brysonbooks.com. Plus, follow him on Instagram @brysonsbooks.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

The Perfect Stone by Matt Leatherwood

Illustrated by Daryl Wills

Published by Leatherwood Publishing: Independent publishing company created by Author Matt Leatherwood

A children’s book with a precious life lesson *one that I must say I have been personally working on learning myself* ~~ learn to enjoy the journey ~~ If you are too focused on seeking perfection and the end result, you will miss the beauty of the pathway through life itself. A deep message for anyone to relate to, author Matt Leatherwood makes this life lesson accessible to young children through a captivating tale. The book is also a valuable read for adults, reminding all of us to appreciate and love what and who is in front of us. It’s the perfect book for teaching little ones the joys and pleasures of living in the moment!

Daryl Wills’ simple illustrations accompany this thoughtful tale. The black and white etchings add dimensions to the text, expanding on the theme of appreciation for life’s journey. Although there is an accompanying coloring book with similar drawings, I would recommend allowing children to color in the illustrations in this original copy. Thus, they become active creators and participants in this tale’s special message, giving them a sense of closer connection and understanding of the life lesson.

A bit more about the Author: Matt Leatherwood

Matt Leatherwood was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He earned his BS in business administration from the University or Nebraska before moving to Texas. He works as a trained EMT and was the former lieutenant for the Dallas Fire Department. Of course, he is now a children’s book author as well! To learn more, follow him on Instagram: @matthew_leatherwood_author.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

***

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of one of my current Fall favorites  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*