Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Kimberly Wyman and Matthew Martin

*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  *lovely* featured books:

Grow Love by Kimberly Wyman

Published by MiKaa Creative: Self-published. There is always a project going on!

This Valentine’s Day *Grow Love* by sharing your love with others and by ~giving it away~Because, as our arctic friends in this *lovely* story remind us, love is *Magical*~ when you give it away, it doesn’t deplete ~ instead, it multiples and grows stronger, spreading its wings and making its way back to you day after day.  Join these adorable winter critters in *Grow Love*, as they discover and share how love comes in all shapes and sizes~it is found across all languages and across all continents and seas ~ love embraces differences and similarities.  In this snowy wonderland, explore the limitless expanse of love as you frolic with the narwhals, romp with the reindeer, and prance playfully with the penguins. It’s the greatest *love affair.*

This book is sure to capture your hearts, with its cool wintery color landscape, and delightful depiction of arctic animals. Plus, the book is scattered with interactive pockets to help you *grow* your own love ~ from recipes for delicious shortbread cookies you could bake for a loved one, to a DIY list at the back of the book, of activities to plant the seeds of *love.* The book also includes an educational aspect, encouraging little ones to research arctic animals and explore the arctic tundra biome. A definite must-have for your own home library for any day of the year~ all days of the year are days for love!

A bit more about the Author: Kimberly Wyman

Kimberly Wyman is the founder of ADOPT MORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects global families through international adoption with their birth cultures. Kimberly is passionate about helping families raise healthy and happy global citizens. She loves her family, adoption, thoughtful designs, open spaces, creating almost anything, and homemade whipped cream. She is the author of  “You are my baby. I am your mommy,” and her new release “Grow LOVE.” As an indie author/illustrator of picture books, she aims to string words and pictures together for families built by love, not necessarily biology. To learn more, check out Kimberly on her website, www.kimberlywyman.com, and on Instagram: @xokimberlywyman.

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

*****

Keeping Sheep by Matthew Martin

Published by finicky studios: A multi-media publishing company founded by siblings Matthew Martin and Amy (Martin) Lawler

Settle down to enjoy this clever, colorful tale of unconditional love, as you join a sheep on his journey through the fields to discover the meaning of truly being loved. To love someone truly, means to love them even when they make mistakes. After all, we all make mistakes~ but from mistakes we grow wiser and more understanding. In this tale of *love,* even after doubting his friend the shepherd, the sheep finds that the shepherd would still do anything to protect him ~ for he loves him unconditionally, and that is the strongest love of all. Although this story does allude to Psalm 23 from the Bible, the text and illustrations themselves make no reference to religious aspects, making this a universal story of understanding, patience, acceptance, and love.

The rhyming, lilting cadence of the text, paired with the bold, colorful, and unique illustrations create a thrilling and attention-grabbing read aloud adventure. Your little one’s eyes will immediately be drawn to the bright art on the pages, and their ears will perk upon hearing the rhythm of the story and its bouncy rhyme scheme. Plus, this universal theme of unconditional love serves to reassure little ones that it’s okay to make mistakes ~ they are still deserving of love and will always be loved by you. Remind them that they are your little sheep, and you will always be their shepherd~ to love and protect them, and to help lead the way.

A bit more about the Author: Matthew Martin

Matthew is the co-founder and Creative Director of Finicky Studios. He founded the company with his younger sister Amy, who is the Print Designer. Writing and rhyming have always come naturally to Matthew, and once he learned how to draw and animate, his talents progressed into his passion for writing, illustrating, and creating.  Matthew also has a talent for Tetris, and plays Tetris as a creative break. Some of his idols: Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, Tim Burton, Shel Silverstein, just to name a few. To learn more bout Matthew check out his site: www. finickystudios.com, and find him on Instagram: @finickystudios.

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 one of my favorite interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Becky Earnest and Lindsay C. Barry

*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 of traveling, adventure, and exploration:

iGoStories: Mai’s Adventures in London by Becky Earnest, Illustrated by Isabella Koelman

Published by iGoStories: self-published personalized adventure stories printed by Pureprint Group~ sustainability leaders in print.

Prepare for one of the ultimate *interactive* book experiences ~ where *you* get to help create the book yourself! Take a close look at the title of this book ~ *Mai’s* London Adventure ~ and now close your eyes, and imagine your little one’s very own name right there on the cover ~ *Your Personalized* London Adventure! Ever wanted to be the star of a story? Well, with this innovative new personalized book experience, you can be! Before we delve into the captivating custom creation process ~ a quick travel guide on just what adventure you will be going on throughout this story. Prepare to travel from your very own hometown, to *London* where you’ll meet the lovely Cordelia who will treat you to the most exquisite afternoon tea. Then be whisked away to see the sights ~ and don’t forget the time portal that will transport you straight to Ancient Egypt on Cleoptra’s flying carpet… Hooked yet? On this storybook trip, based all on genuine history and London legend,  prepare to be swept away on a whimsical, rhyming, awe-inspiring adventure. With the gorgeous, full-spread illustrations, and the personalized details, you’ll have no trouble delving straight into the story and envisioning the adventures right in front of your eyes!

Now, a bit about the personalization process~ The book opens with a dedication page, featuring a personalized travel ticket with a message for the gift recipient. These books are meant to be a *gift of adventure,* and a sweet message is the perfect start to any expedition. Most personalized books simply insert your name into a generic story, but with this custom creation ~ details are weaved and interspersed throughout the book~ from my hometown being etched into the airport station as I take off on my flight (btw, you get to choose to travel by train or plane! Overseas travel to London for me! ), my zodiac sign is etched into the stars, and I even got to design my cute little characters outfit, hairstyle, skin tone, and eye color.  With a super easy site and process to navigate, this personalized book would make the perfect gift for inspiring a new young reader to fall in love with the world of reading, or for indulging the avid reader’s passion for envisioning themselves right in the midst of the book adventure!

A bit more about the Author: Becky Earnest

Becky Earnest is a self-published author of  fun, based-on-true-stories adventure books. Becky is an avid traveler and modifies and morphs her own adventures into something magical for munchkins. She is the author and source of stories for the iGoStories team. She is also a dog-lover and loves short holidays. Learn more about iGoStories and their creative processes at www.igostories.com,  and follow them on Instagram: @igostories.

Check here to order your own personalized book for your own home library!

*****

Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Barry, Illustrated by Jamin Hoyle

Published by Thumbkin Prints: an imprint of Possibilities Publishing Company focusing on books for readers 0-13years old. Possibilities Publishing Company is a small, independent publishing house seeking to discover new voices or familiar voices trying new things.

Gaze up at the nighttime sky to see an endless expanse of twinkling stars, swirls of light, and the glowing moon~ how can one not be curious about the skies and heavens above? Ever wish you could soar through outer space and witness the night sky and its celestial bodies in all their vibrant glory? Well~ now you and your little one can embark on an interstellar adventure~ hop on aboard the train to Constellation Station!  On your way, bathe in a meteor shower, hold your breath as you pass through the Dark Hole Tunnel, and sway to the rhythm of the pulsing starlight twinkling right outside your train car window. And once you arrive at Constellation Station, meet the beasts and beings that inhabit the night sky through their star patterns in the sky. After this *Journey to Constellation Station*, your head will be up *beyond* the clouds as you settle into a dreamland of wonders of the nighttime universe.

This delightful, rhythmic story of an interstellar train ride combines science education with literature and adventure in a way bound to inspire children to gaze at the stars and wonder about outer space. The bold, detailed images of the constellations highlight the magnificence of the stars, and show off their beauty. Plus, the simple, rhythmic flow of the text makes both the educational content and sense of adventure accessible to kids ~ plus the rhyming words make for a fun-for-your-tongue read aloud! Sure to spark questions and curiosity, this book is perfect for launching an investigation into the stars and outer space~ making it a must-have book for both home and classroom libraries.

A bit more about the Author: Lindsay C. Barry

Lindsay C. Barry grew up in Pennsylvania. She developed her love of reading and writing at a very young age. Lindsay lives with her husband and two boys, two cats, and two guppies. After working some time in advertising and at an executive search firm, Lindsay now considers herself a Mom-Trepreneur and an expert good night story reader. Her sons’ love of trains and outer space and her love of getting them to go to sleep inspired her first children’s book, Journey to Constellation Station. To learn more, check out her site: www.lbarrybooks.com, and follow her on Instagram: @lbarrybooks.

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 one of my favorite interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Aminata Jalloh, J. R. Becker, and Max Rambaldi

*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  books featuring the *bonds that connect us and bring us together*:

The Biggest Little Brother by Aminata Jalloh, Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Published by CreateSpace: a self-publishing company that offers easily accessible tools, quality printing, booksellers, eBook distribution, and marketing strategies so that you can generate more opportunities than you imagined.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes~ and especially for immigrant families, family structure often follows a non-traditional pattern.  Children growing up in first-generation homes experience a diverse array of family dynamics, as families are separated and reunited as they create new homes.  Here is a book for children, beautifully written and illustrated, to explore these complexities of immigration, family change, and sibling relationships. Often, siblings prepare for the arrival of a new baby ~ the role of big brother or sister riding along a tide of pride and responsibility. However, what is it like when a new *older* sibling arrives in the family? Switching from a big-sibling role to the middle-sibling may not be the easiest adjustment, at least, its definitely not for Sowa. Sowa is used to be the oldest child, helping his parents and taking care of his little sister, Naiya. But when his older brother, Hindo, arrives from Sierra Leone to live with them in Atlanta, Georgia, Sowa grapples with~ what does it mean to no longer be the *big brother?* Follow along this tale to discover how young Sowa navigates this family change~ and comes to accept and love his growing family.

From exploring sibling relationships to international families and immigration, *The Biggest Little Brother* elicits experiences that all young readers can relate to. This book is a great representation of diverse families, portraying people of color and highlighting the culture of a family from Sierra Leone. Plus, for immigrant families with ties to their homeland, and families that are waiting for loved ones to keep their family growing in their new home, this book acknowledges and shares their experiences, allowing young children to recognize themselves and see their own lives reflected in literature and stories. Also, the bright, colorful illustrations  bring to life the love and joy of family reunification and family growth ~ helping to create a captivating read!

A bit more about the Author: Aminata Jalloh

Aminata Jalloh is a first-generation Sierra Leonean–American. Born in Washington, DC, Aminata fell in love with storytelling and words as her parents and relatives would gather over the weekends and tell stories of “back home.” However, Aminata  would realize that her own family’s experiences were never highlighted in children’s books she encountered at school. When Aminata began teaching, she found that there continued to be a significant gap in children’s literature reflecting muli-culutral and diverse perspectives and experiences. This inspired her desire to write children’s stories that allowed more children to see their experiences reflected in literature. Learn more bout this author by checking out her website: www.readersinspired.com. Plus, follow her on Instagram @readersinspired.

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

*****

Annabelle & Aiden: Worlds Within Us by J. R. Becker, Illustrated by Max Rambaldi

Published by Imaginarium Press: publishing pro-science children’s book series  dedicated to inspiring a new generation of scientists, thinkers, and all-around adventurers

As a teacher-to-be-in-training, I’m always looking for ways to tie children’s books to classroom content. I’m lucky to be in an education studies department that advocates for reading children’s books in the classroom, and gives us copious lists of books to integrate into the maths and sciences. So~ when I happen a book that does all of that for me ~ it definitely lands a spot on *Mai* bookshelf. Just as MaiStoryBook is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of readers, *Annabelle and Aiden* is a children’s book series dedicated to inspiring a new generation of scientists, discovers, and explorers. These books masterfully unite science and philosophy with children’s prose and spectacular illustrations to weave tales of curiosity and wonder. In this book, join Annabelle and Aiden on their grandest adventure yet~ across the galaxies and back in time to discover the very beginning of our universe. *How did the universe form?* Prepare for a delve into big bangs and swirls of stardust~ you’re about to witness world’s creation!

Not only does the delightful rhyme of the text engage young readers, but the illustrious pictures spanning the whole spread of the page transport you right into Annabelle and Aiden’s universe. The mixed media illustrations are also riddled with facts and musing about the earth~ adding layers of educational elements to an already science-packed book. This series of books is able to take complex ideas and scientific terms, and break them down~ simplifying them for young minds to grasp and wonder about. No child is too young to be curious about the universe. Want to inspire your young scientists at home~ to stroke their curiosity and spark their big questions~ then welcome Annabelle and Aiden to your next read aloud story time. It’s definitely on my classroom reading list!

A bit more about the Author: J. R. Becker

J. R. Becker lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children, Annabelle and Aiden. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law.  When he’s not practicing entertainment law, J. R. enjoys playing drums, exploring the great outdoors, and reading and listening to all of the science and philosophy books and podcasts he possibly can. J. R. is constantly pondering the bigger questions and dreaming up ideas for future children stories. After publishing his first  novel The Spider & the Ant, Joseph was inspired to found the Annabelle & Aiden series to foster curiosity and scientific awareness in the next generation. To learn more, follow the series on Instagram: @annabelleandaiden , and check out their website: www.annabelleandaiden.com.

A bit more about the Illustrator: Max Rambaldi

You may recognize this illustrator’s name~ she also illustrated *I Didn’t Ask to Be Creative* , last week’s self-published feature. Max lives just outside Venice, Italy. She creates both physical and digital art, and dabbles in multiple styles of drawing and artwork. Max’s passions, other than art, include cats, Game of Thrones, and Linsey Stirling. Learn more about Max by checking out her site: www.maxrambaldi.com, and follow her on Instagram @maxrambaldi.

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 a *bilinugal* interactive  read aloud of one of my current inspiring read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Sigrid Rodli and Dontavious Pittman

*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 of courage and creativity:

Coral and the MONSTER by Sigrid Rodli

Published by blurb: Self-publishing and marketing platform. Helps  design, publish, promote, and sell professional-quality printed books and ebooks

Welcome to this adorable little fantasy forest~ where you picnic with foxes and have tea and cake with *monsters.* In this frolicking tale of friendship, meet Coral and her best friend Kitty the cat. They did *everything* together. Until one day, Kitty was missing~ and in her place were… Monster Footprints! Join Brave little Coral as she packs up her knapsack with all of the essentials~ sandwiches and sweets, of course~ and ventures into the forest to save her favorite friend. Beautifully drawn woodland creatures join Coral on her journey, warning her to stay away from the land beyond the blue pond… the dark stormy forest where the *monster* lives. But Coral will do anything and go anywhere to find her best friend~ wouldn’t you?? *Plus, who says monsters have to be scary??

 

This delightful story will charm readers with its simple, sweet storyline and colorful cast of characters. Artist Sigrid Rodli has a whimsical style~ creating illustrations full of patterns and swirls ~ drawing the reader into an enchanted forest. See the girl’s dress glisten with sparkles, and every bristle of the fox’s fur as it glides along side his new companion. Sigrid Rodli has weaved together a tale of friendship~ you can always count on true friends to be by your side. When your friends have your back, monsters are no longer scary and even the grimmest of meetings can end in an afternoon tea party.

 

A bit more about the Author: Sigrid Rodli

Sigrid Rodli is an artist and illustrator from Norway. She was commissioned to create this book for a little girl she knew. Due to popular interest in the book, she has now made it available  for purchase so that everyone may enjoy the sweet tale. She enjoys coloring, painting, sewing, and running. Check out more of her gorgeous artwork and learn more about her by following Sigrid on Instagram: @sigridrodli. 

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

*****

I Didn’t Ask to be Creative by Dontavious Pittman, Illustrated by Max Rambaldi

Published by Cardboard Clouds LLC: Self-published

When you have children~ it’s like you get to experience the whole world for the very first time all over again. Holidays become the most exciting days on the planet, and *birthdays* might as well be holidays. Festivities go overboard and you once again feel that rush of excited anticipation, to a whole new extent, as the countdown to that special day draws nearer. *Anything to see that smile on that face*~ Every new sound is the best thing they’ve ever heard, and every new sight is a miracle in their eyes. You can’t help but to see the world through their lens of awe and fascination. Children~ the best reminders of the wonders of life, and the best inspiration for letting down your guard and setting your imagination loose, wild, and free to dream up the grandest dreams of all they *and you* can be! In this beautiful story *I Didn’t Ask to be Creative* young Kyle is just that for his mom, her inspiration to explore her own creativity and love for art~ Kyle’s rampant creativity and love for the innovative and imaginative spark his mom’s dreams alive~ so that both of them, together, can embrace the world with all it has to offer, and share all they have to offer in return!

 

This heart-warming tale is sure to inspire creativity in all its readers, as well as spark the bond between parent and child, as both are reminded of the life they share and build together. In this family-centered story, witness the relationship between mother and son grow stronger with every turn of the page as the boundaries that divide child and adult are blurred. We are all dreamers and creators, and creativity feeds off creativity. Children can be just as much an inspiration to adults, as they are to them. Plus, the full-spread illustrations cover the pages in vibrant color, drawing you into Kyle’s own dream world and into this tale of love, imagination, and family.

A bit more about the Author: Dontavious Pittman

Dontavious Pittman AKA “Annoying Dreamer”, was born in Tampa, FL. He has always been passionate about creating things. His love for mathematics and problem solving skills lead to a path of design. Dontavious studied Architecture at both Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and Florida International University. Published in 2017, “I Didn’t Ask To Be Creative” is his first book. Dontavious plans for it to be the first of many stories depicting family relationships in society today. To learn more, check out his site: www.cardboardclouds.com, and follow his book on Instagram: @cardboardclouds.

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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Beatrice Gentry and Keith Bosco

*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 of *mystery-solving self-discovery*:

Flemming Go! by Beatrice Gentry

Published by Paragon Publishing: Publishing books that encourage learning and play

*Who am I?* It’s a question we all ask sometime in our lives~ we seek to find our own identity, and our place in the world. For Flamingo, born into a family of tortoises when his egg rolled into their nest, finding just who he is is challenging when all he’s ever known are the small green reptiles with shells on their back and scales on their limbs. Plus, the other jungle animals don’t seem to want to help, or even like him, when all they shout to him is, “Flemming, Go!” He must be a Flemming, and they want him to go…Or so he thinks. Could it be instead that the animals are all ecstatic to see a beautiful creature, a “Flamingo!”  Not knowing who he is or where he really comes from, our friend mistakes their raucous cheer for harshness, and continues to wander aimlessly, until out on the beach he sees someone tall and pink, looking just like him…

This charming read aloud plays on phonics to create a clever story twist. Children will giggle over the dramatic irony of Flamingo’s misunderstanding. However, young ones can also empathize with the idea of trying to fit in, being lost, and looking for your family. An accessible read aloud for young children to discuss finding one’s own identity and what that means, *Flemming Go!* will take little one’s on a journey through the jungle, to the vast, clear beaches where acceptance and belonging lie.

A bit more about the Author: Beatrice Gentry

Beatrice Gentry was born in Trier, Germany, where she grew up and discovered her passion for fine art. In 2001, Beatrice graduated from Fashion School in Stuttgart, Germany, and hosted a few art and photography exhibitions. In her early adult life, Beatrice worked for a fashion studio in Paris as a textile designer. Beatrice is a mother to two bilingual children, both of whom inspired her to create her first illustrated children’s book, “Piep,” the story of a half pig and half sheep that discusses diversity and tolerance. “Flemming Go!” is her second illustrated children’s book. To learn more, follow her on Facebook , and on Instagram @beatrice.gentry. 

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

*****

The Sloppy Okapi by Keith Bosco and Illustrated by Taylor Patterson

Published by Yellow Light Publishing: Self-published

*The bigger the mess, the more fun was had!* Or so went my excuse when the floor of my room was lost beneath a litter of toys and mountain of books. Blankets would droop and splay from a stack of chairs and boxes, shoved haphazardly into the corner of my room~ a fort from past adventures. Shoes were scattered and outfits lay strewn across the bed. Looking for that one favorite toy, or special pair of socks? My parents weren’t about to find them anytime soon~ can you relate??? Charlie the okapi *aka a forest-giraffe or zebra-giraffe* sure can! Charlie dreams of being a detective, but part of the job is wearing the proper attire, and if Charlie can’t find his badge, hat, or magnifying glass in his *sloppy* room, can he really be a detective?? If only his room were neater, he may be able to find his special gear…

But~ no fear! Because, as the wise toucan in the story points out, being *sloppy* is a choice, and you can choose to be neat. Being messy is not *who you are,* you have the power to change your behaviors. And if you have the choice and power to help make your dreams come true~ choose to take it! Join Charlie as he learns the importance of being neat, and the excitement of pursuing his dreams. Little one’s will learn that their faults or weaknesses don’t determine who they are~ rather, it’s their efforts to improve and be the best they can be that make a different. Plus, be prepared for the most gorgeous illustrations~ illustrator Taylor Patterson creates a dream-like , magical world with her use of soft, airy colors and bright, shining backgrounds. Swirls of lavenders, purples, and blues, with white light shining through from beyond create picturesque landscapes and backdrops. Be prepared to be swooped into this dreamy, magical world of Charlie, *The Sloppy Okapi.*

A bit more about the Author: Keith Bosco

Keith Bosco is an author, musician, songwriter, husband, and father of four, with a Human Services Background. Born and raised in Delaware, Keith grew up with a passion for songwriting and performing.  Before leaving his job to pursue his dream of publishing his own children’s illustrated book, Keith was the Assistant Director of a non-profit that helped individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain employment. Keith and his family packed up there home and have been traveling in an RV to promote his book “The Sloppy Okapi,” which is published through his own publishing company, Yellow Light Publishing.  T learn more, check out his website: www.thesloppyokapi.com , and follow him on Instagram @thesloppyokapi. 

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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring V.F. Gallagher and Elsie Guerrero

*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 of *the unexpected, acceptance, and appreciation*:

The Teddy Bear 5: The Grumbly Rumbly Tummy by V.F. Gallagher

Published by Nielsen UK ISBN: Self-published

Ever wonder, what do your stuffies do when you aren’t there? While you are playing outside, or away at school~how are they spending the sunshine-y day? For any little one with a teddy bear best friend, or an inseparable stuffie bestie, the idea of what these beloved cuddle buddies are up to when no one is around is a major topic of imagination and consideration. *Reminiscent of the classic Toy Story~ where toys come to life as soon as you shut the door* “The Teddy Bear 5” introduces a new gang of 5 adventurous stuffed animal friends and the shenanigans they concoct while no one is around. Fall in love with Leo the Lion, Blue Rabbit, Smartie the pony, Doggy, and Marshall Bear, as you spend *a day in the life of a stuffie.* In this first adventure of a magical set of books, Doggy is hungry~ and it is up to him and his friends to find the perfect snack to satisfy his *grumbly, rumbly tummy.* ~ and quickly, before anyone comes home~

This imaginative adventure uses photograph illustrations of the actual stuffies exploring their surroundings and home environment. The use of realistic photos brings to life the  magical idea that your little one’s toys really do come to life when no one is around. *The proof is on the pages~* Children will see their toys in a whole new light, and will be delighted to imagine and brainstorm what their own toys are up to when they are away. With your child’s own stuffies, and a camera in hand, you can even work together to create your very own stuffed animal adventure! Overall, this touching tale of friendship opens up a whole new realm of imagination ~*

A bit more about the Author: V.F. Gallagher

Gallagher is a mother of one, located in Dubai. She created this book as a form of creative therapy to battle postnatal depression. The characters in the book are actually her son’s own teddy bears. Gallagher would make up stories for her son with his teddies, telling him what adventures they were up to while he was away. Her son loved this tories so much, she decided to make their adventures into a book that they could read and enjoy together. To learn more about what these cuddly characters are up to, follow *The Teddy Bear 5* on Instagram: @the_teddy_bear_5

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

*****

The Beauty in Me by Elsie Guerrero

Published by Yorkshire Publishing:  After reviewing your submission and platform and accepting your book, Yorkshire Publishing will offer one of the following publishing agreements: traditional publishing, co-publishing, author assisted self-publishing

Every child learns and experiences the world in different ways ~ some more differently than others. With the diverse range of learning and life experiences all children today face, it is important to raise awareness of learning disabilities and different life experiences ~ with the ultimate goal of inclusion. *The Beauty in Me* works to promote awareness of autism, a developmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate, maintain and from social relationships, and can lead to a range of self-stimulating, repetitive behaviors. By introducing a class of individual, young students, each with autism, this book serves to inform adults and children about the traits that children with autism may exhibit ~ while at the same time, emphasizing that having autism is not a  deficit~ each child has their own diverse range of strengths and behaviors.

*The Beauty in Me* is also a bilingual book, including both English and Spanish text, making its content even more accessible to a wider range of audiences. Each spread of pages introduces a new child, explaining both a behavior the child may exhibit representative of autism, and a trait or interest of the child that makes them more relatable to others. Overall, through this book, the author aims to portray a more positive perspective of autism.

~Plus: Check out this additional title by Elsie Guerrero *Dancing Luna* ~promoting awareness of dyslexia through the experiences of Luna, a young girl who uses her love for dance to help her learn to read

A bit more about the Author: Elsie Guerrero

Elsie Guerrero is an author, mentor, and advocate. Her goal is to educate the community about disability and immigration. Guerrero’s work experience working with children living with disabilities inspired her to share their stories by spreading awareness of the different types of disabilities, and by promoting inclusion for everyone. Through  her books, Guerrero aims to convey that every person should be treated equally and works to expose the challenges that immigrant children and children with disabilities may face.  To learn more, check out  her website:  www.elsieguerrero.com ,  and follow her on Instagram: @elsie_guerrero

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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Kimberly Heil, Christa M. Miller, and Roman & Michelle Ami-Cortez

We’re kicking off the new year by celebrating our *Independent/Self-published friends* with this very first post of 2018!

*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 *inspirational animal adventure* roundup of the new year:

Gifts of Spirit: Animals and Their Natural Gifts by Kimberly Heil

Published by CreateSpace: Amazon self-publishing company that provides tools, quality printing, booksellers, eBook distribution, and marketing strategies

Many cultures believe in spirit animals~ animals that embody and exemplify our own personal values and traits~ that guide us along our journey through life. This book brings to life the spirits of these animals, sharing with you their own special talents and gifts that these creatures manifest throughout their own lives. The perfect book to start off the new year~ this interactive storybook includes guiding questions on each page for each animal, encouraging you and your little one to reflect on your own personal values and *gifts of spirit* ~ whether they may be compassion and communication like the grand elephant, or patience and listening like the wise owl, or maybe even playfulness and grace like the lynx. This book promotes readers to engage in conversation about each other’s strengths, what you can do to further embody different values, and to learn more bout each other through meaningful discussion and quality time.

Furthermore, author and illustrator Kimberly Heil’s hand-painted illustrations of the animals increase the wonder and awe that encompass these wild beings in nature. While exploring the different natural gifts of animals, be prepared to be captivated by the splashes of color and strokes of texture that swirl together to evoke the spirit and strength of the animal within. Overall, use the spirit animals in this book to guide your little one on their own life journeys~ to be loyal and love unconditionally like the dog, to balance your life like the spider, and always reach for the stars like the giraffe.

A bit more about the Author and Illustrator: Kimberly Heil

Kimberly grew up viewing the world as a magical place. She is an observer, watching and listening to the beautiful world around her, and has the gift of understanding others’ feelings. She grew up with a love for art and creating. Kimberly Heil has a Masters of Art Therapy and graduated with an award-winning thesis. This book *Gifts of Spirit* won the *Purple Dragonfly Award*, awarded to excellent children’s books. Kimberly hopes to help other’s through their life journey through art, exploration, play, and healing. To learn more, visit her site: www.kimberlyheil.com, and follow Kimberly Heil in Instagram: @artistkimberlyheil.

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

*****

Raccoon Rescue by Christa M. Miller and Illustrated by Christian Barratt

Published by Aulexic: small publishing house specializing in books for children with language and literacy difficulties such as dyslexia and autism

The power of pictures  to guide and enhance the reading experience is not *and should not* be constricted to children’s books~ upper elementary chapter books *well any chapter book in general* benefit from the addition of illustrations~ especially to help young readers form pictures in their mind, and to support and encourage their comprehension. In *Raccoon Rescue,* the illustrations are spaced every 4-5 pages, enhancing this wildlife read that shares another important theme to bring into the *new year*~ *the importance of human and wildlife humane coexistence. A riveting read about a young family of raccoons and their encounters with a human family encroaching on their wildlife home~ this book introduces children to the dangers of human overpopulation, and the human encroachment into wildlife habitats that often lead to negative and harmful interactions. Through *Raccoon Rescue* children learn about the small steps they themselves can take towards wildlife conservation and peaceful coexistence.

*Teacher Alert* This upper-elementary illustrated children’s book is geared towards 2nd-3rd grade readers, and even includes discussion and comprehension questions listed under the corresponding grade-level Common Core ELA standards. Perfect for educators and a classroom guided reading, the book also provides additional extension activities at the end to promote further investigation and research into wildlife rescue and efforts in the child’s own community. *Plus* the book is published in *dyslexic friendly typeface* (aka sans-serif type face), a type of type face with simpler letter design and less line width variation that can make letter distinction clearer. Check out this educational, engrossing read that is sure to turn any student and child into a wildlife activist and conscious nature-lover!

A bit more about the Author: Christa M. Miller

Christa M. Miller lives in Greenville, SC. A writer for over 15+ years, she loves to blend genres, and has written a variety of genres ranging from crime fiction, to horror, to children’s fiction. When she isn’t writing, she serves as a volunteer at a local wildlife rescue center, explores rivers, swamps, and salt marshes with her two sons, and loves relaxing on her hammock with a good book and cold beverage in hand. You can learn more about this author at: christammiller.com  and follow her on Instagram: @christammiller.

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

*****

Don’t Be Blue Daisy Blue by Roman Cortez and Michelle Ami-Cortez

Published by BookBaby: A self-publishing company providing friendly customer service, knowledgeable publishing specialists, and quality book printing.

*Puppy Love* ~ some of the best kind of love there is! This new year, let’s make a resolution to continue to spend quality family time together, and to remember that each of us is special our own way. Our differences make us unique ~ and if we believe in ourselves, we’ll never *Be Blue.* Take it from Gogo and Daisy Blue, two Boston Terrier sisters with big hearts, who face adventure to take care of each other and bring each other happiness. When Daisy Blue realizes one day that she has no tail, Gogo sets off throughout the countryside to find her sister a new tail~ to turn her *blue mood* into a ray of sunshine and joy. In the end, what she finds and offers Daisy Blue is even better and more special than a tail ~

The bright and bold, solid-colored pages create a lively story, bursting with energy and color as readers follow Gogo on her quest for Daisy Blue’s tail. Along the way, Gogo meets a variety of countryside creatures, each with their own different physical traits that make them unique. The illustrations depict these colorful animals with dashes of color, capturing children’s attention and drawing in their eyes. Be prepared to fall in love with these two terrier sisters, as they learn that each other’s love and support is the most important of all! Plus, you can follow the real Gogo and Daisy Blue on Instagram to keep up with these sisters’ adventures @gogodaisyblue!

A bit more about the Author: Roman Cortez

Roman Cortez is a Los Angeles-based Creative Director. He is skilled in video directing, writing, producing, product design, photography and illustration. He has used his talents and expertise to work with Mattel, Disney, Loot Crate, Jakks Pacific, and Fandango. He is known for his easygoing and fun-loving personality.  Learn more at store.romancortez.com , and follow the Gogo and Daisy Blue on Instagram: @gogodaisyblue. 

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 winter wonderland tale   here.*

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Ganit and Adir Levy, Aurora Whittet, and Jacob A. Boehne

*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 *interactive* children’s book gift guide:

What Should Danny Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy

Published by Elon Books: Self-Published

MaiStoryBook is all about the *interactive* reading experience~ getting children involved and engaged in the reading by sparking conversation and stoking their imagination. With *What Should Danny Do?” be prepared for the *interactive* reading experience of the year~ where you *aka your little one* has the power to *choose* how the story ends! How is this possible?? Scattered throughout the story are questions asking. *What should Danny do?* each time the tale comes to a crossroads and a decision must be made.   Based upon your child’s answer, flip to the corresponding page number, and continue the story to see how the decision affected the ending. With *nine* different endings to explore, children will delight in making choices for Danny, and, *added bonus,* through the process, will ultimately discover the power their own choices have to shape their own days and lives.

In this interactive book, with the power to *choose,* children take an active role in the creative process, becoming pseudo-authors themselves, as they rewrite the story and its ending based on the decisions they make. They control the ebb and flow of the story. Plus, it’s an engaging way to teach cause and effect to little ones, as each choice they make results in a direct consequence for Danny. Discuss the alternate outcomes with your little ones, to emphasize the notion that actions have consequences. The perfect gift for this upcoming holiday season to inspire in children a love for reading~ Follow Danny, our mini storybook superhero in training, to learn about the most important super power of them all: *The Power to Choose!*

A bit more about the Authors: Ganit and Adir Levy

Ganit is a former teacher and Adir is an internet entrepreneur, aka astrophysicist junkie. He ties on a daily basis for various projects and clients. Ganit and Adir are parents to four amazing children. In their free time, they enjoy writing, painting, and date nights at Target. To learn more about their book, visit their site www.whatshoulddannydo.com, and follow them on Instagram: @whatshoulddannydo.

Use this coupon code for a discount off your book purchase: DANNYROCKS

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

*****

How to Turn Your Mom Into a Monster by Aurora Whittet

Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing:  Self-publishing company that helps authors identify with their audience, develop a strategy to reach them, and design a tailor-made roadmap of their publishing journey from beginning to end.

The perfect gift for your own *little monsters* at home, delve into this outrageously adorable tale to discover the secret of *How to Turn Your Mom Into a Monster.* Providing a humorous spin on all of the *monstrous* behaviors your little ones may display day to day, this book frames these naughty romps as the secret formula to making *mom’s monster come out and play!* For all of the parents whose own *own-inner monster* threatens to unleash every now and again, *think lunches smeared all over clothes and the table, picking fights with siblings for no apparent reason, more water out of the tub than in it* this tale is sure to charm and delight both you and your little ones. Kiddos will gasp at the *monstrous* actions and directions of these baby monsters ~ and will giggle gleefully as they, and you, realize that they can actually relate to the little monsters behaviors.

Plus, ever have incidents regarding *Time For Bed,*~ well, bedtime is little monsters time to shine! And , provided purely for your little one’s convenience, is a complete, *interactive* Reason Chart, with a fill-in-the- blank sentence frame with an extended word bank, used to craft the ultimate reason why your own little monster cannot go to sleep. “I can’t go to sleep because the ______ ______ my _________” Children will squeal with laughter crafting up outrageous excuses, *think~ the dinosaur chewed my hair, or *a personal favorite*, the unicorn pooped on my nightlight.* Sure to become a bedtime favorite, beware your own inner monster coming out to join the fun~ good thing Mama Monsters are the *cuddly* kind!

A bit more about the Author: Aurora Whittet

A national award-winning graphic designer in her day job, Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota. Today, she has completed her first Young Adult series; the Bloodmark Saga and made her debut as a children’s author with Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love. She is also a trained birth doula. To learn more, check out her website: www.aurorawhittet.com, follow her on Instagram: @aurorawhittet, and like her on Facebook.

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

*****

 Two Long Ears by Jacob A. Boehne

Published by Schiffer Publishing: A family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality, nonfiction books since 1974

A unique counting book for kids, while teaching children to count from one to ten, *Two Long Ears* also exposes little ones to the many ways people decorate their bodies. Promoting the acceptance of a tattoo and piercing culture that is rarely displayed for kids in other media forms, this counting board book is the perfect tool to start the conversation with young ones about accepting differences in appearances. A great resource for educators and parents to teach the value of diversity, the book is filled with illustrations that depict a wide variety of body art, from knuckle tattoos, to facial piercings. The artwork is inspired by traditional tattoo designs that children may be familiar with seeing, such as roses, and more not-so-traditional styles such as stars along the hairline and bright purple hair.

The bold, colorful, and bright illustrations will surely capture little ones’ attention. Plus, an interactive component is included at the back of the book with an unfolding, colorable wall poster. The poster is covered with the outlines of the ten figures from the book, and children are encouraged to add their own modifications and decorations to the characters. Through this simple and short storybook, children are guided to begin to realize that piercing and tattoos are not modifications meant to hide or change who you are~ but rather to celebrate who you are and what you have that’s already great!

A bit more about the Author: Jacob A. Boehne

Jacob A. Boehne is an artist and early childhood educator. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and two children. Heavily tattooed himself, Jacob aimed to create a book that portrayed people with body piercing sand tattoos in a good light. His goal is to have the book be used as a tool to begin talking to children about accepting differences and promoting diversity. To learn more, follow Jacob on Instagram @twolongearsbook. 

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 winter wonderland tale   here.*

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Olga D’Agostino, Ligia Carvalho, and Liz Somerville

*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 *sweet~treats*:

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat by Olga D’Agostino aka Mrs. D

Published by Dog Ear Publishing: offers a responsive team of editors, book designers, layout technicians and book marketers  to guide you through the  self-publishing process

*Kittens + Christmas?* Yes, please! Any child keen on cats will love this kitten Christmas tale. Nyda, who was once an adopted little kitten herself, is jolted from her comfy, calm lifestyle when her human family’s daughter brings home two kittens from the *big city.* The two little ones, are at first timid and cautious, wary of the looming Christmas tree and towers of presents. But soon,  the colorful ornaments and glowing Christmas lights lure the kittens out to explore and play. Nyda warily guards her belongings,  reluctant to share her home with two new kittens~ that is, until she hears their Christmas story, and how they came to be a part of their family~* This holiday season, Nyda learns to open her heart and home to new friends and family~* The best holidays are those surrounded by ones you love*

With longer amounts of text on each page, this book is perfect for early readers, or for an extended, multiple day read aloud ~ or you can cozy up for a slightly longer storytelling to fit in this Christmas story in one sitting. Themes of sharing, welcoming, and loving are interspersed amongst this sweet tale of kittens and one old cat during the winter holiday. The festive decorations and adorable animals will create warm-fuzzy feelings in your bellies and hearts. Plus, Mrs. D is an accomplished author with a large selection of children’s books to peruse. Take a look at some favorites below!

 

A bit more about the Author: Olga D’Agostino aka Mrs. D

Mrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), is an award-winning author from Ukraine. She grew up on a farm in a village nestled in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Surrounded by nature and the real world, without TV and toys, she learned to read at a very early age, and books then became a huge part of her life. As a child, she used to create her own imaginary world populated with characters from books she read. She finished business college in Lviv, Ukraine. To escape the harsh reality of life in the Soviet Union, she immigrated to the United States in 1992 with her two small daughters.  She is currently a member of SCBWI, speaks several languages fluently, and loves reading, writing, gardening, and traveling.To learn more, follow her on Instagram: @mrsdbooks  and on Facebook, and check out her website: www.mrsdbooks.net. Plus, check her out on Etsy , to purchase the adorable stuffed animal monster feature in the photos above, and to purchase your very own copy of the book!

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

*****

Max Loves Cupcakes by Ligia Carvalho

Published by Archway Publishing: self-publishing company that offers the highest-quality design, formatting, editorial, and marketing services provided by a team of specialists

*Have a sweet tooth? Calling all lovers of cupcakes!* Prepare for your taste buds to be tingling on this delicious, baking adventure! Join Max and his family as they bake up a batch of homemade cupcakes~ homemade frosting in all. This delightful baking book takes you through the steps of baking~ from finding all of the ingredients, to following a recipe, to learning about safety rules in the kitchen. Most importantly though, of course, join Max and his parents as they discover how to have fun in the kitchen! This interactive book includes opportunities for your child to find and point out different baking tools and ingredients throughout the story *like a delicious cupcake version of I Spy.* It’s the perfect prep for an afternoon of baking with your own little ones! Mmmm, I can smell the scents wafting from the ovens already!

 

This scrumptious story highlights the value of cooking as a way to bond with your little ones and create memories that will last a lifetime. Food is powerful for being able to bring people together~ baking and cooking together is one way to fortify that bond and make it even stronger. Plus, *added bonus*  there is a terrific CUPCAKE RECIPE at the back of the book~ perfect for transitioning from the story nook to the kitchen to whip on your own batch of sweet treats! Plus, don’t forget to follow the kitchen safety rules you learned in the story! Clean hands and watch out for that *hot* oven~* I’m about ready to whip up another bakers dozen myself~*

A bit more about the Author: Ligia Carvalho

Ligia Carvalho lives in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, with her three bars and husband. She is a Brazilian Canadian author, passionate about books, cooking, and traveling. *Max Loves Cupcakes* is her first book for children. To learn more, follow her on Instagram @ligia.carvalho.author.

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

*****

Rocco the Buffalo and the Lost Toothbrush by Liz Somerville

Published by Chuck House Publishing: Self-Published

Brushing teeth ~ little ones either *love it* or hate it. Well, after reading *Rocco the Buffalo and the Lost Toothbrush* they will definitely *love it.* This rhyming read aloud makes the perfect holiday gift for any reluctant *brushers* out there~ *or for a dentist 😉 * or~ for teaching young ones how to keep their teeth healthy and shiny. A fun read for helping establish the morning bathroom and teeth brushing routine, follow along as Rocco searches for his missing toothbrush, traipsing through his room of toys, and peeking in on his little brother. When he finally finds his missing toothbrush, a catchy rhyme takes you through the teeth brushing routine, from squeezing the toothpaste, to brushing the pearly whites, to rinsing with cool water. Perfect read for making an ordinary routine FUN!

With cute, colorful illustrations, and a cuddly main character, Rocco the Buffalo is sure to charm with his sincere intentions and sweet disposition. Not only do young ones learn about brushing teeth, through Rocco’s actions and experiences, they learn about taking responsibility, not blaming others, searching for and finding lost things, and~ if your little one’s have siblings ~ join Rocco as he learns how to be a wonderful *big brother.*

A bit more about the Author: Liz Somerville

Liz Somerville lives in West Virginia with her husband and 2 energetic boys. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy.  She loves mountains, the beach, books, and ice cream. Inspired by her oldest son, she wrote this book to teach little ones a daily-required skill in a way that was fun! To learn more, follow her on Instagram: @roccothebuffalo, and visit her site, lizsomervilleauthor.com

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 winter wonderland tale   here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

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~*