Appearances, book events, Christmas

Mark Your Calendars: NOVEMBER AUTHOR EVENTS with LAURA SASSI (Plus an Interview)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. I have several events at book stores, churches and a library planned for November with more on the way. If you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking now for winter and spring. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the November line up, plus the link to my recent interview over at Frog on a Blog.

Book Your Holidays: Chester Authors Day

November 5, 2022 10am – 3pm
Chester Library
250 West Main Street
Chester, NJ

Lexington VA Book Book Signing with Laura Sassi

November 10, 2022, 3 – 5 pm
Downtown Books
13 W Nelson
Lexington VA

Holiday Book Signing with Laura Sassi

November 19, 2022, 11 – 3 pm
Jesus Book & Gift Store
675 US 1 South
Woodbridge, NJ

New Providence Presbyterian Church Live Nativity (with story time!)

November 25, 2022, late afternoon, specific times to follow
New Providence Presbyterian Church
1307 Springfield Avenue
New Providence NJ

’Tis the Season for Books! Book Signing with Laura Sassi

November 27, 2022, 1 – 3 pm
Periwinkles Fine Gifts
19 North Union Avenue
Cranford, NJ

“Joyful Noise” with guest author Laura Sassi

November 28, 2022 4:30 (Sign up at libertycorner.org/author-reading)
Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church
45 Church Street
Liberty Corner, NJ

And last, but not least, the link to my interview over at Frog on a Blog.

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Appearances, Author Visit, book events

Fall 2022 AUTHOR EVENTS with Laura Sassi (Plus Unboxing my New Book with my Pooch!)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. I have several events at book stores and a library planned for fall 2022 with more on the way. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking now for fall and winter. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the fall line up, plus your first peek at my first peek of my newest book HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD with an unboxing video presented by Sophie, my literary cockapoo, and cute assistant.

First the line up:

Then the cute canine unboxing video:

Author Visit, board books, book events, Christmas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD: Schedule a FREE Author Visit!

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD: A COUNTING NATIVITY BOOK (Paraclete Press) releases October 4, 2022. 

Here’s the description: Count to TEN with Mary and Joseph as they await the birth of Baby Jesus in this sweet rhyming board book for littlest ones. Illustrated by Gabi Murphy with plenty to notice and count on each spread, it’s a charming introduction for littlest ones to the real gift of Christmas – Jesus!

And here’s the book trailer:

Now, in celebration of the book’s release, I have a special offer.

From now through December 24th, 2022, I am offering free 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD author visits to the first TEN groups who reach out to me via my contact tab and book a visit. This special visit is ideal for preschools, church ministries, homeschool coops etc. and can be in–person (within 20 minute radius by car) or VIRTUAL.

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

For each FREE 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD visit I will:

Introduce myself and the story with the help of my mouse puppet.

Engage the children in an interactive reading which includes having them count along and notice fun details on each spread.

Review the message of the story asking “Whose birthday do we celebrate at Christmas?” and close by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. 

REQUEST:  

The visit is free, but I respectfully request that you purchase a copy the book for your class/church library and that you offer families the opportunity to purchase copies as well. I do not sell my own books, but they are available through the major online vendors as well as your favorite local indie book stores. The publisher also has a great deal on bulk purchases with significant discounts starting orders of 10 or more. To help spread word to families, I can provide an order form for schools/groups to collect and order as a group from the vendor of your choosing. Be sure keep a list of first names for book inscriptions and, as a thank you, I will provide a signed and personalized book plate for each book purchased!

I look forward to spreading Christmas joy in this special way.  

P.S. If you decide to pre-order a copy today, you can head over here to redeem the free activity kit the publisher created to go with the book. It’s chock full of printables and even includes Happy Birthday, Christmas Child party plan!

book events, Picture Books, school visits, Story Time

TWELVE TIPS for READING ALOUD to 3 – 7 YEAR OLDS at BOOK EVENTS

Reading to the young is fun, but can be challenging if you are new to it.  With that in mind, here are twelve tips for capturing and keeping the attention and interest of preschool – K-2 audiences at picture book read-aloud events. (Perfect for authors or anyone reading aloud to this age range.)

BEFORE THE STORY:

  1. Have the children gather around you – close up.
  2. Begin with a focusing activity, such as a song or clapping response game (or a fun book-themed gameshow style quiz as I do with LITTLE EWE).
  3. Briefly tell a little bit about who you are, your inspiration for story etc. in a playful, kid-friendly way.  (Optional:  Bring a long a couple of props to help with this.  I bring puppets and, perhaps a hat or other book-themed apparel, such as my most recent bunny hat that I wore whilst reading BUNNY FINDS EASTER!)

DURING THE STORY:

4. Be animated and excited. Read with expression.

5.  Make eye contact. Remember, you aren’t just reading, you are interacting with your readers.

6.  Before turning each page, be sure to hold the book up and pan it around the room slowly so everyone has a chance to enjoy the illustration.

7. Involve the children in the storytelling. (By using body motions and sounds, for example.)

8. Pause occasionally to point out something from the illustrations that they might not notice, but which adds to the story.

9. As you read, occasionally ask questions like “What do you think will happen next?  Would you want to be…?”  (But don’t do #8 and #9 so much that you break the flow of the story.)

AFTER THE STORY:

10. Share a fun post-reading activity such as a simple craft or song.

11. Depending on age and attentiveness of group, have a brief Q&A session.

12. Thank the children for being such a great audience and thank their parents or guardians for bringing them to the event.  Remember also to thank the event host.

Appearances, book events

MAY 2022 Author Events with LAURA SASSI

YOU’RE INVITED! I have several book store events planned for May 2022. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking now for summer and fall. I have a few spots left for spring as well. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the May line up!

book events, Picture Books, podcast

Time for the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop Round up!

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have five fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the Bedminster, NJ area, I invite you to join me at Pluckemin Presbyterian’s annual Eggstravaganza taking place this Sunday, April 10th from 11:15 – 1 pm. Here are the details. No registration required. There will be copies of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on hand for purchase. Cash or check only.

Next, here are two interviews you might enjoy. The first is over at Read,Discuss, DO! where I chat with Mindy Baker about the inspiration behind the book, the board book format, book-themed activities and more. The second is a feature article that appeared this week in my town’s TapInto news outlet. This the one to read to get the inside scoop on what the journey to publication in the picture book world has been like (at least for me).

Fourth, I am the guest author today over at StoryJumpers, a bi-weekly Christian podcast that features a children’s book read by the author and an interview with the author. The podcast airs today, April 8th, 2022 over at The Bridge Podcast Network, part of The Bridge, a community supported, non-commercial Christian radio station serving Delaware, South Jersey, parts of Maryland and beyond. Here’s the link to the BUNNY FINDS EASTER episode.

Finally, just in case you missed it, I thought you’d like to see the Easter bonnet I created, with the help of my daughter, to wear to all my visits. It’s getting a lot of smiles because I look so silly, er I mean, beautiful wearing it! It’s just like Bunny’s from the book. What do you think? (This is from one of my zoom visits this Easter season.)

board books, book events

BUNNY FINDS EASTER Friday Roundup

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the metropolitan NY/NJ area, I invite you to stop in at Perwinkles Gift Shop in Cranford, NJ, tomorrow March 26th from 1 – 3. Owner, Elaine, will have a broad selection of my books on hand, including BUNNY FINDS EASTER! Let’s help her sell them all. Details in image.

Second, be sure to check out Sally Matheny’s review of BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Her reviews are always so thoughtful. Here’s the link . While you are there, I hope you will enjoy exploring her many other reviews as well.

Third, I was honored to be featured in writer (and former English teacher) Joyce McCullough’s Spring 2022 Newsletter with an in-depth interview. Thank you, Joyce. Here’s the link.

Finally, earlier this week I had the pleasure of getting to chat with Christian children’s author, Christie Thomas about books and other fun things including, BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link for that:

Appearances, book events

SPRING 2022 Book Store Events with Laura Sassi

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. In celebration of the release of BUNNY FINDS EASTER (and my other titles as well), I have several book store events planned for Spring 2022. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. More are in the works, as well, so stay tuned for those. (And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking for those now as well. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the line up!

Author Visit, book events, Picture Books

SPECIAL VISIT: Little Ewe Travels to Lexington, Virginia

Last week Miss A and I (and Little Ewe and Little Owl too!) made a special trip to Lexington, Virginia, a quaint historic town nestled in the lovely Shenandoah Valley. The week was refreshing and wonderful and extra special because it was our first in-person visit with my dad since before Covid.

 How wonderful it was to be together again and we made the most of it. Our visit included daily early morning walks (for me) downtown to the Lexington Coffee Shop, a special do-together sewing project for my daughter and my dad’s wonderful Dianne, delicious meals, ice cream, and even a trip to Animal Safari Park in nearby Natural Bridge.  And, of course, chatting and catching up throughout it all. And hugs. There were lots of hugs.

But the highlight for Little Ewe (and Little Owl too!) was a special LITTLE EWE (Beaming Books, 2021) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) book signing at the Sugar Maple Trading Company on Main Street. Owner Cindy Hughes and her husband Jeff and their daughters were delightful hosts.

During the signing, we had a steady stream of customers who were eager to purchase signed books, including several who were in town from Indiana for a wedding. One of those was a young teacher, who just completed her first year teaching second grade at a rural Indiana school. (And I might do a virtual author visit with her class next year. I hope so!)

Others were parents and grandparents interested in books for their little ones. One was a fellow author who I had met back in November 2019 when I gave a talk at Kendal in Lexington. It was lovely to see her again as well. 

Best of all, my dad, was there beside me, chatting and being his charming self.  He also very kindly acted as chauffeur so that several residents in his retirement community who no longer drive, could come down for the signing.  I felt so blessed!  

Then on Sunday, I was invited to read LITTLE EWE for the children’s portion of the service at Lexington Presbyterian Church.  What a special way to spend our last day in Lexington.

After church, I connected with this lovely woman who at the signing had told me that she was going to give LITTLE EWE as a gift along with a sweater with little lambs on it that she was knitting for one of her grandchildren. I said I would love to see it, so we arranged a time to do just that!  It was a joyful moment for both of us, I think, and a wonderful reminder of one of my favorite things about being a picture book author— connecting with others! 

I look forward to returning in the fall. Thank you, Lexington, for making Miss A and me feel so welcome! And, thank you, Dad, for being not only a great dad, but also the best “southern book rep” an author could hope for!

To close, here’s a fun Instagram Reel we made to promote the event beforehand. Such fun!

Appearances, book events, Interview

PICTURE BOOK MASTER CLASS: Interview with Laura Sassi

I’m so excited to be teaching the Master Class on Picture Writing for the Write2Ignite Conference for Christian Writers of Children’s and Young Adult Literature this coming April 24, 2021. Taught virtually – so writers from near and far can attend – it’s going be a day full of learning and fun – all while stretching our story-telling skills. And today, as way of introduction, they’re interviewing me on their blog! I hope you’ll pop on over to check it out. Registration details are included at the end of the post… and there’s a giveaway! Here’s the link: