One of my JOYS over the past couple of months has been learning to read EL AMOR ES BONDADOSO (Vida Zondervan) in Spanish so that I can read it at bilingual school and library visits (all of which have now been temporarily canceled). For the first step, my ADORABLE dad, who speaks Spanish fluently, sent me little video tutorials so I could listen and then read on my own with his voice in my head. Here is a sample of one of his sweet tutorials:
The practice schedule intensified when my publisher invited me to do a Facebook Live! Story Time on their Facebook Page. I said yes, of course, but I still had a lot of practicing to do, so Dad and I began a lovely evening pattern of connecting via FaceTime at 8:45 pm so he could listen to me read through the story and then give feedback. It was extra precious because – due to Covid-19 – we’ve both been having to shelter in place – he in Virginia and me in New Jersey.
The EL AMOR ES BONDADOSO Story Time aired on April 1st (no kidding!) and it’s now on Youtube as well. I thought perhaps you might enjoy reading along with your copy (or ordering one if you don’t yet have one) as I share this story about the many ways love can be extended to others. Here it is:
This week Miss A and I (and Little Owl) made a special trip to Lakeside Chautauqua, an historic Ohio community nestled along scenic Lake Erie which is dedicated to nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. The week was refreshing and wonderful with lots of cousin time. It included daily walks along the lake, swimming, shuffle board, and hunting for fairy gardens, delicious meals, ice cream (at least once a day) and evening entertainment at the Hoover Auditorium.
But the highlight for Little Owl (and for me too!) was a special LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz) reading at God Squad, Lakeside’s amazing kids’ ministry program for 4 – 9 year olds. Hosted by God Squad’s Chip Richter with a follow-up evening book signing hosted by Bev and Joan, the lovely booksellers at the Fine Print Book Store, the event was a big hit. I hope the pictures below capture the fun we had. Thanks to all for a great time!
And God Squad is live-streamed daily so if you want to see our visit, you can! Thank you for having us, Mr. Chip and the whole God Squad team. A special thanks also to the Fine Print Book Store for providing such a nice assortment of books.
I wanted to share a special link with you today to a church service I participated in earlier this month. I know it will be a blessing!
On March 3rd, I was invited by Central Presbyterian Church in Summit to read LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) for the children’s message at their Sunday evening contemporary Wave Service. I was asked because my dear friend, Pastor Noelle Kirchner, was preaching a special sermon where she shared her moving testimony of her grandmother’s miraculous healing from cancer and the beautiful role that played in Noelle’s faith journey.
As a prelude to her sermon, she asked me if I’d share LOVE IS KIND with the children, and by extension with all the adults, too, who were seated coffee house style on sofas and at cafe tables all around the room. She asked me because in addition to being a story about spreading love and kindness, LOVE IS KIND also celebrates the special bond between grandparent and child. Indeed, just as Noelle’s relationship with her grandmother shaped her faith journey, Little Owl’s special relationship with his grammy helped him to see his day through new eyes.
If you have time, or just want to be blessed by a good message, I hope you’ll grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy Noelle’s message. (You’ll get to hear me read LOVE IS KIND too!)
P.S. Noelle also has an amazing blog where she reflects on faith and family. Here’s the link if you want to check it out: http://www.noellekirchner.com
Yesterday I participated in my first Facebook LIVE Interview. Hosted by the delightful Maria Dismondy of Cardinal Rule Press, our 10 minute chat was part of their Winter Author Interview Series. Here’s their pitch for the series:
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a children’s author? Or maybe you are interested in hearing how award-winning authors got their start?
CEO of the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press, Maria Dismondy,is hosting an interview series this winter with children’s book authors. Find out the inside scoop on how their journey began and hear about a day in the life of an author! We hope aspiring writers, classrooms and other fans nationwide will enjoy this exciting series!
I LOVE the mission of this series and thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed. You can check out their list of upcoming interviews here. Maria also hosted a Fall series and those interviews can be the Cardinal Rule Press blog.
Saturday, February 2, 10:30 am. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Watchung Booksellers, Montclair.
Thursday, February 14, 6:30 pm It’s a special Valentine’s Day Pajama Story Time at the Kenilworth Public Library featuring LOVE IS KIND and a book-themed craft! Registration required – call or stop by the children’s desk.
Sunday, February 17, 2 pm. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Tottenville Evangelical Free Church, Staten Island, NY (Little Owl’s first Staten Island Appearance!)
Saturday, March 9, 10:00 am. Join me and DIVA DELORES at the Cranford Public Library for its 2nd annual Picture Book Palooza! Picture book authors and illustrators will be sharing books and crafts. This event, for children ages 4-8 and their families, will provide young readers with an opportunity to meet the creators of some truly amazing stories!
Saturday November 24, 2018 1 – 3 pm.I’ll be reading my books and chatting with customers as part of Small Business Saturday at The Town Book Store in Westfield, NJ.
Sunday December 2nd, 2018 2:00– 4:00.I’ll be reading LOVE IS KIND & signing all my books as part of Gingerbread Sunday at the Miller Cory House in Westfield, NJ.
Saturday December 8 2018 11- 1:00 pm. Join me for festive readings of all my books with puppets, then shop at the Cranford United Methodist Church’s Christmas Shoppe and Soup Festival. Note: The festival is open from 10 – 3pm.
Books available for purchase & signing at all events.
This week it was my pleasure to be interviewed by radio host Care Baldwin for her program, Wednesday’s Bookmark, a weekly show that celebrates books. The interview aired October 31st at 4:30 EST on Family Radio CHRI 99.1 fm, Canada’s largest Christian family radio station. Thank you, Care, for being such a great host! I had a wonderful time. Here’s the link for the interview. Please stop by. =)
I’m also delighted to announce that the winner of last week’s special giveaway, a brand new copy of Mindy Baker’s debut Christmas picture book, MOUSE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT, published by Zonderkidz, and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk is…
Congratulations! I will be in touch with you today so we can get the book to you.
Thanks again, Mindy, for an illuminating interview. I’d also like to thank Zonderkidz for providing the winning copy. Happy Friday, all!
HOOT! HOOT! PARTY TIME! Yesterday afternoon, we celebrated the release my newest picture book, LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, August 2018) at lovely book store gathering with lots of enthusiastic young readers and their families. The celebration included meeting Little Owl, hearing the story, making owl masks, taking pictures in the DIY-photo booth that Miss A. and I created, and, of course, signing books! Thank you to everyone who came and to Barnes and Noble in Springfield for hosting the event – my fourth at their lovely store. (And I was delighted to meet people who’d learned of the event because of my efforts to spread the word through social media and old-fashioned flyers – proof that invitations work!)
Here are a few pictures that capture both the prep work and the event itself. (I just wish I’d taken a picture of the kids making their masks which were so colorful and CUTE!) It’s a SLIDE show! (I just discovered this feature.) Enjoy!
Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos this summer? How about joining me for one of these summertime author events. Meet my storytelling companions – Diva Delores and Fernando – and enjoy a special craft. And if you are vacationing on the Jersey shore the week of August 11, be sure to stop in at the Comfort Zone in Ocean Grove where I’ll be chatting with customers and signing ALL FOUR of my books including my newest LOVE IS KIND which releases with Zonderkidz August 7, 2018. BONUS: I’ll also be introducing my newest puppet companion – Little Owl – at the Comfort Zone. Please stop in at one of these events. I’d love to meet you!