Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Free Children's Book and Poster Give-A-Way!

In order to win a free Sunny's Adventures mystery book and autographed poster, click on the link at the very bottom of this post and participate in a fun contest sponsored by Gina Turner (A Wrestling Addicted Mommy's Blog). All you have to do is answer one trivia question pertaining to the Sunny's Adventures web-site ( and that's it!

Sunny's Adventures has been getting some wonderful feedback from parents, children, teachers, and book reviewers alike. So look out for Sunny's Adventures #2 in this series really soon - Sunny and her friends will continue their adventures once again!
Here is what one of many Amazon reviewers had to say:

"A Wonderful Book for Children, July 14, 2008
By Heather:
(Greensboro, PA USA) - My daughter who is eight, absolutely loved Sunny's Adventures. Her favorite story was the one about the missing doll. She is always losing her dolls and stuffed animals so she could relate to the way the characters in the story were feeling. Leketha Marie Johnson did an excellent job writing a book that will keep children entertained from start to finish. My daughter has read the book twice already. She is hoping there will be more Sunny's Adventures books real soon."
For a free newsletter with 10 sure fire things you can start doing today to get your children to become natural book lovers and readers, log onto and sign up in one quick step - just input your email address for a quick delivery to your inbox. There's also a free coloring contest with wonderful prizes and free bookmarks being given away just for kids participation. Happy reading!

Click here and enter to win a free Sunny's Adventures book today!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Children's Book - Sunny's Adventures Just Released!

Sunny's Adventures - Fun Mysteries Solved is finally here! This is a great children's book that was written by Leketha Marie Johnson and illustrated with delightful pictures by Shawn McCann. This story is sure to engage your child's critical thinking skills as they help solve mysteries right along with the main character Sunny. They'll help figure out who stole the missing pie, who took the class turtle, locate a disappearing puppy, find a lost doll, and uncover the findings of a diamond ring! Buy your copy today at! Also, make sure your child enters the Sunny's Adventures coloring contest for some great prizes. And for parents, make sure you sign up for your free newsletter with a lot of important information for kids!

Excerpts from the book:

Chapter 1: "It's going to be a good day today," Sunny said as she sat at the kitchen counter helping her grandmother make her delicious double-layer lemon cake. It was Sunny's favorite dessert in the whole wide world. Her grandmother put just enough lemon juice and powdered sugar in it to make the moist treat melt right in your mouth.
Chapter 2: "Okay students, let's all settle down and sit in your seats as I have some very important information to discuss with you," their teacher Mrs. Peabody instructed. Everyone found their seats and immediately got quiet so they could hear what their teacher had to say.
"It appears we have a problem, class. Our pet turtle Wilma has disappeared from our classroom."
Chapter 3: Sunny had so much fun helping her mom to make their apple streusel blueberry pie. The blueberries were the secret ingredients Grandma had added in this year. They had already taste-tested it at home and it was an absolutely a winner as far as Sunny was concerned.
Chapter 4: All of the students scurried around trying to quickly get their personal toys left on the bench so they could hurry up and get in line. As everyone formed two lines, one for boys and one for girls, a student named Tara shrilled loudly, "Oh no, my doll is missing! Where is she?"
Chapter 5: Sunny said carefully, "Mom, I have to do some school research regarding the history of diamonds. Can I look at your wedding ring for a minute please? It will help me with my paper." That was pretty clever, Sunny happily thought to herself. She'll never suspect a thing.
Buy your copy of Sunny's Adventures today at!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Fun, Spring Time Activities, & Easter Celebration

St. Patrick's Day is Monday of this week and I found a great web-site that caters specifically to children and fun holidays such as this one. Log onto and let your children enjoy the St. Patrick's day themed crafts and games. They can make Leprechaun hats, and get some fun recipe ideas for the whole family. It gives the history of this Irish celebrated holiday and much more. Of course, I can't move on without taking the opportunity to highlight a book special for the occasion.

Check out Hooray for St. Patrick's Day by Joan Holub and Paul Meisel which is a lift the flap interactive fun read.

Fun Spring Time Activities For Kids

This is the best week of fun for kids as it not only marks the St. Patrick's Day holiday but it marks the first day of Spring on March 20th. I love this season so much with all of the bright colored flowers and wonderful weather, that I had to include it as part of the Sunny's Adventures mystery story (to be released at the end of the month). The main character Sunny loves Spring and helping her mom to plant beautiful flowers in their garden bed. She even uncovers a mystery in that very garden! Again, log onto the same site as above but a different link at for some fun Spring time activities for the little ones. There's too many activities to list here but they will have fun as they can play everything online.

Older children already know how to play outside and appreciate the wonders of Spring. However, to share the beauty with smaller children, pick up the new board book Ready For Spring by Marthe Jocelyn which highlights colors and textures of clothes worn during a particular season.

Easter Season is Here

What a busy week it is! Easter is this week too which follows on the heals of Good Friday. Again, this web-site is awesome for children as it covers every holiday there is. Once again, check out for fun Easter activities, games, and puzzles on and off-line. This time I'd like to recommend a DVD because my daughter is such a big fan of VeggieTales - An Easter Carol by Dan Anderson and others. These are Christian videos of wonderful little live vegetables that always teach a wholesome message in every show. I love them and kids adore them too!

Sunny's Adventure's, a children's mystery book is coming at the end of the month - stay tuned!

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Home School Rights in Jeopardy, 9 & 7 Year Old Book Authors, Free Printables, & Books About Blind Children

Per the LA Times ( on February 28th, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that parents must have a teaching credential to home school. Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger has since called for the reversal of this ruling which has many parents fearful of what this sort of decision will mean for their rights to teach their children. I do not home school but I do believe that parents rights should be protected in being able to do so if they chose to go this route. Hopefully, whatever happens moving forward is favorable for both students and parents as education is the primary concern here. For parents that do home school, or if you're interested in more information about it, check out one site at

9 & 7 Year Old Book Authors of My Grandma's Backyard

Do your children have dreams that they would like to fulfill when they grow up such as being a writer, artist, humanitarian, etc? Well, it's never too early to start working towards those goals. Just ask Miles and William Rabun who are brothers and the authors of My Grandma's Backyard ( The two young brothers are only 9 and 7 years old and wrote this book inspired by their real life experiences in their grandmother's backyard. They've won some awards for their work and have been instrumental in inspiring many other young children to start reading and writing for sheer enjoyment. Truly inspirational!

Free Printables For Kids

FREE! This is the word that always works for me. If you're looking for some fun, free, and educational games and activities that your children can download, check out Your kids can choose a theme they want to work on such as Easter, a birthday, Christmas, preschool fun, Mother's Day, and so much more. It has puzzles, crafts, and games that your little one's will enjoy.

Books About Visually Impaired (Blind) Children

Sunny's Adventure's, a children's mystery book will be released in the next month. And one of the things I know I want to do is have Sunny's Adventures available in braille format for blind children. I believe that whether a child is blind or hearing impaired, they should have every opportunity to be able to access children's books too. For books geared towards the experiences of blind children, you can check out: as there are some really great stories available that even children who can see would enjoy as well.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

NBA Star Ricky Pierce Publishes a New Children's Book, & Children's Health Improved With Breakfast

Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure by NBA Star Ricky Pierce

Retired NBA basketball star Ricky Pierce just came out with a new children's book called Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure ( This book has an important message of acceptance, encourages a love for reading, and promotes sports and health awareness. It's not just a book, but offers a whole program which you can check out at the above site - very inspirational for little ones.

Eating Breakfast Helps Promote Creativity in Children

Per Medical News Today (, children should eat breakfast each morning before going off to school as it increases their creativity and concentration in class. I believe this to be true as I survive on coffee early in the morning but soon mid day, my body tells me it requires more fuel than just caffeine. Because of this, more schools are starting to serve breakfast to help fuel kid's energy and brain function. Over all awareness of good health and eating is good to start employing at any age. Check out Carol Goodrow's site at as she has some very cool children's books and journal's that kid's can log their personal eating and exercise habits in.
Sunny's Adventures by Leketha Marie Johnson coming soon - stay tuned!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Children's Podcast Night Time Story, Personalized Kid's Book, & a Must Read For Black History Month

I've previously written about the fact that children obviously can fall in love with story books in several different ways. Author Mark Linder has created a free audio podcast of the first chapter of his debut book which centers around a character by the name of A Man in the Can at Improving literacy has to start by introducing books as a natural entertainment and listening to audio versions as well as reading the print versions is one way to achieve this. I liked the bed time story and think kids will enjoy it as well.

A Wonderful Personalized Children's Story Book

I found the most adorable web-site for kids at This site personalizes a storybook for your child called The First Adventures of Incredible You. I've seen books similiar to this before, however what stands out about this one is that it's not just personalized with your child's name. The story also includes the names of their friends, family, hobbies, pets, and more. It's for age groups 0 - 8 and makes for a great gift for any child. It gives you a free 3 page preview and tour to show you how the book will look.

One Million Men & Me by Kelly Starling Lyons - A Must Read for Black History Month
Black History month is coming to an end this week, but it's never too late to celebrate. So in honor of black history month, I'd like to highlight a wonderful children's book called One Million Men & Me by author Kelly Starling Lyons ( I bought this book for my 1st grader for Christmas last year and she thought this book was a real delight. It tells a true story about the One Million Man March from a little girl's perspective and it has vibrant, rich illustrations which go along with the story. A true must read!

Update: Sunny's Adventures, a Children's Mystery Book by Leketha Marie Johnson is coming soon - stay tuned!

The story of Sunny's Adventures will allow your child to help the main character, junior detective Sunny to solve lot's of fun mysteries. Who took the missing pie? What happened to the class turtle? Your little one's will have a great time as they help crack five fun filled cases wide open!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Children's Web-site, Barack Obama Writing a Children's Book, Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Visit (International Children's Library) if you would like to check out one of the largest online sources for children's literature. Per, this free nonprofit site was created in order to fight illiteracy and also to help promote tolerance of other cultures. I can't say enough about this cute sight that easily let's your children choose the language they want to read in (there's 16 language picks in total). Kids can choose the stories based on their age groups and it's super easy to navigate through.

Barack Obama Writing a Children's Book
Barack Obama really is a man of many talents. Per, the presidential candidate has a contract with Random House for two more books and one of them is for children. He wrote a book in 2006 titled The Audacity of Hope which is currently #11 on USA Today's Bestselling list. I can imagine that the children's book would be inspiring on all levels since this is the type of man he portrays himself to be. Can't wait to read it!

Black History Month Celebration - Corretta Scott King Book Awards
The winners of the Corretta Scott King book awards were released early this year for 2008 - view them at: This award system was created in 1970 in honor of Coretta Scott King and it highlights the best books written and illustrated by African American talents. It's Black History month so what a great time to share some of these wonderful books with all children.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Children's Books by Dr. Seuss, New Kid's Web-site, and Jigsaw Puzzle Fun

If you love old fashioned children's books that have been around forever, then you'll love the Dr. Seuss web-site at for your kids. Even though the Green Eggs and Ham book along with many others have been around from one generation to the next, this is still one of the most popular visited sites today. Kids can play games related to the famous books and there's cool music to listen to as well. If you're looking for a fun way to get little readers excited about books, this is one way to go.

Healthy Kids
Also, are you looking for ways to help encourage your children to eat healthy and be happy about it? The Prime Minister of New Zealand just released a new web-site that does just that. Kids do not need a computer for all of the games which range from growing their own vegatable garden to learning cool dance moves and more. The idea is to increase kid's awareness about being healthy to help combat childhood obesity which is an important concern for all kids. The web-site is
Jigsaw Puzzle Fun
I know on a lazy or rainy weekend day, I love putting puzzles together with my daughter. It doesn't matter what type of puzzle it is as long as it has bright colors and creates a nice picture once pieced together. If you share this same puzzle passion, check out This site literally has hundreds and hundreds of different puzzles and crafts available at your fingertips. Have fun!

Also, will be coming soon - stay tuned for more information!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy For No Reason - A Must Read & Barefoot Children's Books Highlighted

I haven't blogged in the last 10 days because I just returned from a business trip in Florida. I'm not much of a flyer although it's required that I do so at least twice a year. In order to keep my focus on calming thoughts, I often pick up the newest nonfiction book located in the bookstore at the airport. For this trip, I decided to buy Happy For No Reason by Marci Shimoff & Carol Kline ( I found the title of the book to be totally intriguing and was more than curious to find out what the 7 steps were that were going to be highlighted for truly being happy from the inside out. I finished the book during two connecting flights to Florida and two connecting flights back home. I recommend this read for anyone who has ever wondered what it takes to be truly happy and satisfied with life. It has marvelous stories of what the author calls "The Happy 100" people that she located and interviewed for this book. It covers amazing stories of people who have been successful at aligning their internal and spiritual selves with true happiness no matter what life's circumstances brings their way.

My first thought after reading the book was how we could as parents implement the 7 principals in not only our own lives but in our children's lives as well. If children are to learn that true happiness does not rely on such things as how many toys they have, or how popular they are, or what they look like, then it seems they should learn this as early as possible in life. This book is for adults but in order to teach our kids about high esteem, true internal happiness, and acceptance of self and others, then we have to start with ourselves in order to instill those values in children. Pick up this book if you get a chance as it's a true must read in a society in which we get so bombarded with busy lives that we forget to nurture our inner selves for true peace and wisdom. Another recommended book which covers the topic specific to parenting is Smart Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Can-Do Kids by Dr. Brad Smart & Kate Smart Mursau.

Barefoot Books - Celebrating Art and Story

Barefoot Books ( is a great web-site that provides all sorts of various children's books based on diversity in many important areas. Take a moment to check it out as their dedication to providing books based on independence, culture, and spirit is really amazing. According to, many celebrity parents such as Debra Messing and Paul McCartney have already jumped on board with them in an effort to support what they stand for. Some of the categories that you can shop by are listed below:

Gift Ideas
Age Range
Award-Winning Products
Beautiful Anthologies
Best of Barefoot
Books About the Planet
Early Learning
Literacy 2008
Picture/Story Books
Spanish Language

Quick Exciting Update:
Sunny's Adventures, a Children's Mystery Book by Leketha Marie Johnson will be released in early March 2008 (in just a few weeks) so stay tuned for more details and information!
Also, will be launched shortly as well and kids will soon be able to download free coloring pages, enter a contest with great prizes, and much, much more!

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Free Children's Classic Books & Presidential Book Pick

I'm always on the search for anything free with added value and would have to definitely fall into this category. is dedicated to famous books written at the end of the 2oth century. It has classics that I haven't read in a long time like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There's lots of short novels, poems, non-fiction, and other features. The short stories and poems can be easily printed out if you don't want to read it on the computer which may be more practical. I can't quite explain it but looking through these books which have been around forever brings back such warm memories of being a kid myself. I'm reading the Cinderella story to my little one tonight even though she's seen it on TV a hundred times. She likes the animated TV version but loves the movie version with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Click here and let your child check out Brandy and Whitney Houston singing Impossible from the Cinderella movie:

Book Suggestion Which Introduces the Presidential Election Process to Kids:

With the presidential campaign going on right now, it may be a good time to explain to kids exactly what's going on and why it's so important. Below is a book pick about being president:

Max for President by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Price $11.96 new or starting at $1.98 used at
Description: Max thinks that he would like to be class president. So does Kelly. But there can only be one president! Who will the class elect? Full of laughs and suspense, Max for President is a lively story of good sportsmanship—and a great way for kids to learn a little about elections, too!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Five Good Book Picks for Black History Month

The Times-Picayune ( listed five books today that would be great picks for kids in honor of Black History month. The books specifically focus on the Black experience historically and are recommended as permanent books to add to everyone's shelves. I'll list them briefly below but you can check out the Times-Picayune newspaper online to get even further detail by journalist Susan Larson. It's a good time to introduce all children to historical books such as these. The stories are compelling and I'm always looking for books like this which I can introduce to my own child but in a gentle manner that she would understand.

When my daughter read the story of Mary McLeod Bethune, she was fully engaged in the book but the illustrations really captivated her as well and helped her to fully understand the relevance of what she was reading. The story was explained to her on her 1st grade level and it's the one she always wants to pick for her monthly book reports. Unfortunately, I had to explain to her that she can't pick the same book all of the time.


1.The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton - This story comes in book and audio which is narrated by the author and James Earl Jones.

2.Following The Drinking Gourd by Jeannette Winter - noted as a good introductory book for kids covering historical events.

3.The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud - quick fact: the freedom quilt was one of many creative tools used by people determined to live free.

4.Night Running: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog by Elisa Carbone - Beautiful illustrations by E.B. Lewis who has won a Coretta Scott King award for his work.

5.D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet by Nancy l. Sanders - African American history alphabetized in historical order from past to present events.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Free Books and Multicultural Children's Book Site

Getting anything for free is always a treat so I wanted to highlight some freebies on the internet for little readers and adults as well. Log onto and you can download children's books and adult picks too. All of the books are provided courtesy of various authors and the only thing that they ask you to do is spread the word. This is a way for them to let everyone know about their books which sounds like a really good deal to me. You can download the books now and have kids read them at their own leisure time.

Multicultural Children's Books
Thankfully we live in such a diverse society with a lot of rich culture around us everywhere we go. Because of this, it's important to make sure our children have access to all sorts of books which encourage acceptance of all people. A great site which does just this is by carrying all sorts of books about all kinds of people of various races. The subject matters are pretty diverse too as they cover the topic of adoption, character building, bullying, and there's games, DVD's, and puzzles too. With all of the world's distractions (TV, video's, etc), it's important that books offer several different fun elements and real kid issues in order to create excitement over reading.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Children's Audio Books and Online Library Fun

Right now, I spend a lot of time reading many books about the publishing industry as I prepare to release my debut children's book Sunny's Adventures in March of this year. I notice that the information I'm learning about comes in any format you need. I can read an actual book, listen to an audio CD, dial in to a teleseminar, study online or take classroom courses. These array of options must be available because it's a known fact that we all learn and digest information differently. I'm more of a reader myself because I like to mark up books I'm studying with bright colored highlighters. Well, you have to figure that children are no different from adults in that they can be mentally stimulated in all sorts of ways as well. Of course nothing should take the place of academic learning in the classroom, reading actual books, or going to the library. However, there are some supplemental learning tools out there that shouldn't be passed up either for them because they can be put in the "fun" category. Here are just a few ideas:

1. AUDIO BOOKS are a great way to help children to enjoy reading. Just imagine being on a car trip with restless kids in the back seat. You can pop in an audio book on CD and create a much better traveling experience for them as they listen to a book being narrated with sounds to enhance the story. You can even play the CD at home when their settling down for the night, or while they look at the book, beginning readers can listen along with the audio version. You're also helping them to develop their listening and comprehension skills as well. Try and view some of the various audio picks there. Another pick is You can download them instantly or copy them to a CD. Click under the "juvenille" section for kids and there's hundreds of adult picks as well.

2. ONLINE LIBRARY access is a great learning choice for kids too. There are hundreds and hundreds of these sorts of sites on the web. I found and what I like about this site is you can just click on the grade level of your child (K - 5th grade). Kids can listen to audio books or read for themselves and there's fun learning games as well. Another good site is as it has much more detail and actually provides many links for all kinds of kids sites. Kids can even ask experts questions about any topic and receive the answer to their question. It can be about health, science, arts - just a wealth of subjects to choose from.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

African American Heritage Bookstore Has Closed and Fun Free Children's Magazine Highlighted

Unfortunately another black bookstore has closed down by the name of African American Heritgage Bookstore located in West Palm Beach ( It's owner James Drayton, former city commissioner is unable to sustain the losses that the store has been experiencing in this challenging economy. As I previously mentioned, another black book store named Karibu is also shutting it's doors to all of their locations as well. Heritage bookstore has been in business since 1991 so many people are sad to see the end for this store. I think it's too bad too since it was noted in the article that African American books are at an all time high in popularity (Tavis Smiley just got his own publishing company Smiley Books up and running). Sorry to see you go Heritage....

Also, if you're looking for some fun and free entertainment for your kids on the web, check out which is an online ezine magazine for kids between 3 - 12 years of age. It's a cool site that has fun stories, puzzles, crafts, book reviews, and more - your child will have a lot of fun on this site. The online magazine was voted one of the top ten ezines in fiction, poetry, and art and it's really easy to navigate through.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Black History Month - Exciting Kids Activities

It's February 1st and this marks the first day of Black History month. Quick history fact: The idea behind Black History month began with a Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian who created the Association for African American Life and History. In 1926, Dr. Woodson and the association created Negro week which eventually grew into Black History month in the 1970's.

There are so many fun ways to help children learn about all of the things Black people have done historically and now to contribute to our society. There's so much to grasp and understand for them, that you want to keep it exciting while you help them to connect with this part of our history. I was never a history buff in school (English was my favorite subject), but when I reached college and started actually learning about Black ancestors and their contributions in our world beyond slavery, I couldn't get enough of this information. Here are some great ways to get all kids involved and excited about Black History month and it's meaning:

1. Find out what's being offered in your community this month. You can do this simply by logging online and googling your city and state. I googled "events for Black History month" for my local city and state and all sorts of information came up from the city parade to various book fairs being held.

2. Log onto and pull up some amazing information from various sites about Black history. This is good information for both parents and teachers alike to use with kids.

3. Check out as your kids can create some fun crafts at home with very easy to use materials. One craft requires a brown toilet paper roll which everyone can find at home. They'll think it's really cool!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Karibu Book Store's Last Day Open

As you've probably already heard, the Black book store Karibu has said it's final farewell this week ( at one of it's locations. Many loyal customers came out to the store located in Maryland to say their goodbye's and take advantage of buying their books one last time. It's a sad thing for many people as Karibu was such a successful African American bookstore that it had grown into a chain in various areas, and has been in business for 15 years. Now due to some financial set backs, the owner has been faced with having to close the once successful bookstore completely. I was not fortunate enough to be located near a Karibu store but feel a personal sadness because of the literature that it brought to others and created great exposure and distribution for. I know niche stores like this can obviously fill a big pinch with major book sellers being so popular. So in honor of smaller book stores, I am personally making a commitment to visit them more often. All children's bookstores would fall into the "niche" category as well so I vow to visit them as well vs. always going to the major chains (or ordering online) as they usually offer great programs and reading schedules for children. For a complete list of African American bookstore locations in all the different states, log onto for this information.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicago public schools use Shenanigans Series, which features two African-American kids in relatable plotlines

The Chicago Tribune ( has an interesting and great story about a mother named Jil Ross who was inspired to create children's books aimed at African American children after noticing that she could not find a lot of them in bookstores. What's so inspiring is that after seeing a need, she set out to publish her own book series called The Shenanigans. It's been doing well enough to be featured in 10 Chicago public schools and is also being offered by several online sellers like Amazon, Borders, etc.
Jill states that the marketing has been the hardest part as she has sold 800 of her newest books at a profit of $6.25 each. She's now working on her 6Th book with her main mission being to help children become excited about reading. I think it's a wonderful thing and I wanted to highlight her in order to help promote her efforts.
Reading, publishing, and children are all subjects near and dear to my heart so I applaud all efforts to anyone who makes it a mission to add value to children's literacy. To learn about other African American authors of children's books, there's several places you can look up. Try and you can find some of the latest releases there which highlight many authors and their books. Also, log onto as they are currently highlighting some of the top picks for Black History month which is really exciting.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Paying Students To Study

I read in the Boston Globe ( that two Georgia middle schools have started a pilot in which they will pay a select group of 40 students money to study. It's called a "Learn and Earn" initiative and it's hopes are that the money ($8.00 an hour), will help motivate students to learn, study, go to class regularly, and make better grades. This is in it's infancy stage and will be viewed for the actual results in approximately 15 weeks after the pilot is complete. If successful, it's possible that this can catch on with other public schools as well in a pioneering effort to get students to do better in school.

This made me start thinking about what parents could actually do in the very beginning of children's lives to enhance their school performance from the first day of preschool. It seems extreme to plan so far in advance but we live in a competitive society in which our kids can't afford to wait until later on in their lives to develop good study habits. I came up with three things which are easy enough and are virtually free in costs and should start very early in life.

1. Encourage children to read books by buying fun kid's books for them as soon as their born (can also obtain for free at the library). Age appropriate of course, and they will get the message early on that reading is fun, inspiring, a way of life.

2. Reward and compliment them when they excel in school or are working hard in a subject matter that may be difficult for them. Rewards can come in any manner such as a trip to the local park, a hug, a treat, etc. It does not have to be a monetary reward at all if your budget does not permit, all kids will just appreciate the recognition.

3. Do a regular check in with their school work. Find out if they need your help, a tutor, or extra after school studying in any subject they might find challenging. Don't assume that just because they haven't brought it up, that they aren't experiencing challenges.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just Us Books

Aside from Mill City Press, one of my favorite publishers is Just Us Books. They offer a great selection of African American children's books ranging from picture books to teen subject matters. Their pioneering efforts to help publish more African American authors demonstrates that there is definitely a vibrant market for this sort of literature.

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I'm currently working on a website that includes content from my book Sunny's Adventures. My site will include free coloring book pages for kids which parents can download and print out. There will also be a coloring contest in which all children will receive free book marks just for entering. The winner will receive some great prizes with a personal message from me.

I will also be linking to items mentioned in the story including a great lemon cake recipe and fun brain tickler questions. Teachers will find information for including this story in their classroom discussions as well as guides for parents.

I'm extremely excited to show off my website and I hope you enjoy it along with the book Sunny's Adventures!

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Why I wrote Sunny's Adventures...

I want every child to know that they can be anything that they want to be in this world. This is one of the driving forces for my creation of Sunny’s Adventures, to show my own daughter that all things are possible – you can do and be more than just one thing. The only limitation in life is thinking that they “can’t” do something or believing someone who tells them they “can’t” do something. Life’s circumstances do not dictate who they are or who they will become and this is a message they need to hear over and over again. This will enable them to achieve every possible dream that they can ever imagine.

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Excerpt's From Sunny's Adventures

...from my book.

#1“It’s going to be a good day today,” Sunny said as she sat at the kitchen counter helping her grandmother make her delicious double-layer lemon cake. It was Sunny’s favorite dessert in the whole wide world. Her grandmother put just enough lemon juice and powdered sugar in it to make the moist treat melt right in your mouth.

#2“Okay students, let’s all settle down and sit in your seats as I have some very important information to discuss with you,” their teacher Mrs. Peabody instructed. Everyone found their seats and immediately got quiet so they could hear what their teacher had to say.
“It appears we have a problem, class. Our pet turtle Wilma has disappeared from our classroom.”
How can that happen? Who would take Wilma, everyone wondered aloud.

#3Sunny had so much fun helping her mom to make their apple streusel blueberry pie. The blueberries were the secret ingredients Grandma had added in this year. They had already taste-tested it at home and it was absolutely a winner as far as Sunny was concerned. Once they had finished preparing their pie, they put it into their assigned oven and let it bake. They then began to clear their work area and wash up since Sunny had some flour in her ponytails and some on her face too.

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Welcome to my new blog! Allow me to introduce myself; I am a children's book author of the soon to be released book called Sunny's Adventures, a children's book. It's about a young girl named Sunny that helps to solve several fun mysteries. She embraces each experience with an eager excitement each and every time something arises. Sunny is sure to be an inspiration to all young children as she helps others to solve their problems.

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