In her memoir A CIRCLE OF QUIET, Madeleine L’Engle writes, “Those of us who write are responsible for the effect of our books… Like it or not, we either add to the darkness… or we light a candle to see by.” As a writer for children, I take those words to heart and I hope my my newest board book, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD, will do just that.
Inspired by a favorite Christmas verse from Luke 2:19 that describes Mary’s soul-filling wonder as she pondered the events surrounding the birth of Baby Jesus, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD offers littlest readers and their caregivers a chance to slow down and point and count and marvel on each and every page as they celebrate the birth of the Light of the World.
Here I am sharing that inspiration on my porch this summer:
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.
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.
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!
Happy Christmas in July! I wasn’t familiar with this summery nod to Christmas as a child, but I think it’s a delightful excuse to premiere the book trailer for my new Christmas board book!
Here’s the scoop from Paraclete Press:
Join Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, sheep, and various stable critters as they celebrate the birthday of a very special baby in this rhyming counting book for little readers and their families.
Written by bestselling author Laura Sassi and illustrated by Gabi Murphy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD! celebrates the warmth, wonder and excitement of the night Jesus was born. Written in gentle rhyme with bright illustrations and lots of things for little ones to notice and count, it’s sure to be a Christmas favorite.
Thank you, KidLit TV for hosting the reveal. Now, top up that cup of coffee and head on over for the trailer premiere. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link. Enjoy!
Interested in pre-ordering copies for Christmas? Here are details from the publisher about a really terrific PRE-ORDER SPECIAL they are running. (I’ll be sharing more on this tomorrow.)
Looking for some easy, last minute ideas to add a little extra something to your Fourth of July celebrations? Here’s are five of my picks, perfect for families with little ones. They make me wish either that my kids were younger or that they were older and I had grandkids! LOL. Enjoy!
1. Sing a patriotic song. Choose your favorite, or enjoy this new favorite of mine: America to Me by YouTube sensation, Jack Hartmann.
5. Fold the American flag the patriotic way. Did you know there’s a proper way to handle our flag? My husband taught me and he taught our kids and ever since, putting up and taking down our flag has been a special family tradition. Here’s a quick tutorial, with two kids named Jack and Sam to get you up to speed. Your kids will LOVE helping.
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.)
Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, be sure to check out my blog interview with children’s author and host, Mindy Baker, as we chat about the magical role illustrations play in board books – with a focus on a favorite spread from BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link: https://mindybakerbooks.com/a-chat-with-laura-sassi-about-her-new-book/
Third, in case you missed it yesterday at 12:12 eastern, here is the replay of my Instagram LIVE interview with host Valerie Ellis, creator of Our Everyday Parables, a blog dedicated to encouraging and empowering parents to use everyday moments and kids’ books to teach, connect, listen, and inspire. We had some technical difficulties at the beginning, but they resolved and she explains in the link how you can skip over those bits.
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to enter the 25 book giveaway for BUNNY FINDS EASTER which Zonderkidz is hosting over on Goodreads. (And while you are there, please add the book to your to-read list and/or review it, if you you willing.) Thank you! Here’s the giveaway link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter
HAPPY MONDAY! In celebration of BUNNY FINDS EASTER’s release, Zonderkidz has created several colorful memes which capture the essence of the story. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll see them pop up here and there. Here’s the first. Isn’t it darling?
Happy Friday, friends. I have two fun items to share today in this little BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop round up.
First, yesterday I picked up the framed piece (pictured above) from The Artist Framer, a gem of a local frame shop in my neck of the woods. Stefanie has framed spreads from each of my six children’s books and those framed illustrations now hang in my foyer. This one is a little different however. It was Stefanie’s idea to include both the cover and an interior spread from my new board book! So sweet. What do you think?
Second, the BUNNY FINDS EASTER “Bunny Hop”, as I am calling it, continues this week with a stop at author Darlene Beck Jacobson’s blog where I am answering her question: “How did you come to tell the story in such a simple and wonderful way?” (Thank you, Darlene!) She’s also running a giveaway for one free copy of the book so hop on over. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link:
And be sure to download out the free printable activity kit that goes with book- perfect for extending the book fun with coloring pages, a maze and more!
Many churches and children’s ministry teams are planning for Easter celebrations and community outreach events, so today I thought I’d share a fun way to use BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, 2022) with your church or in your community by having a Book Walk!
This fun intergenerational activity has the feel of an Easter Egg Hunt – and can even include jelly beans and other goodies – but the “hunt” is walking along a trail (outside or inside) to discover progressive spreads of the story BUNNY FINDS EASTER mounted on boards culminating in a craft or activity table at the end of the walk.
Find all the details below in this free downloadable instruction sheet.
Happy Easter! And if you do end up doing a BUNNY FINDS EASTER Book Walk be sure to tag me. I’d love to see it in action!
In exactly four weeks from tomorrow, my newest Zonderkidz title, BUNNY FINDS EASTER, will release. And a few days ago, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t yet have a story telling companion to help me at school visits and other events. This is a problem because I have special helpers for all my books. Most have been puppets that I purchased and embellished so they had a specific bookish flair. But then, a few years ago in a tremendous act of kindness, a lovely woman named Stacy Currie, who was the church children’s ministry director at one of the churches I visited with LOVE IS KIND, surprised me by handcrafting a Little Owl puppet that looks exactly like Little Owl.
Her puppet has been a big hit at visits and it has inspired me to try for the first time to hand-craft the puppet for this newest book, BUNNY FINDS EASTER.
And now, without further fuss, let me introduce you to BUNNY, inspired both by illustrator Ela Jarzabek’s delightful depiction of the little rabbit and by Stacy Currie’s puppet-making technique using felt and glue, and in my case, pencil rather than crayons. I also added a ribbon – repurposed from a festive holiday package.
After the glue dried, Bunny and I enjoyed chatting for a bit and my daughter took the lovely picture featured above. Bunny and I are both very excited at the prospect of doing oodles of school visits between release day (February 1) and Easter! Interested in a visit? Reach out to me using the contact tab above and we’ll set something up.
Also, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with details for you can arrange for a FREE mini-visit from us!