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 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~*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *