Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Pelican at a Time Virtual Book Tour Schedule

On Tour with Pelican, Bella, Britt and Me! 

Monday, April 4
Interviewed at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Tuesday, April 5
Interviewed at Paperback Writer
Wednesday, April 6
Interviewed at Strands of Thought
Book reviewed at Hott Books                                                
Thursday, April 7
Guest blogging at The Book Faery Reviews
Book reviewed at BookSnatchers
Friday, April 8
Book reviewed at 4 the Love of Books
Monday, April 11
Book spotlight at The Plot
Tuesday, April 12
Character interview at The Plot
Wednesday, April 13
Book reviewed at Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Thursday, April 14
Interviewed at Blogcritics
Friday, April 15
Guest blogging at Review from Here
Monday, April 18
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Tuesday, April 19
Book reviewed at Melange of Cultures’s Blog
Wednesday, April 20
Book reviewed at Turning the Clock Back
Thursday, April 21books
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Friday, April 22
Guest blogging and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Monday, April 25
Book reviewed at Thoughts in Progress
Tuesday, April 26
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!
Wednesday, April 27
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Thursday, April 28
Book spotlighted at Books, Products and More!
Monday, May 2
Book reviewed at Bri Clark: “The Belle of Boise”
Tuesday, May 3
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Wednesday, May 4
Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, May 5
Interviewed at Write What Inspires You
Friday, May 6
Book reviewed at Write What Inspires You
Monday, May 9
Book reviewed at One Day At A Time
Book reviewed and interviewed at SFC Blog: Families Matter
Tuesday, May 10
Trailer spotlighted at If Books Could Talk
Wednesday, May 11
Interviewed at Janet Ann Collins On Words
Thursday, May 12
Book reviewed at Stories a la Mode
Friday, May 13
Character interviewed at J. Aday Kennedy: A Writing Playground
Monday, May 16
Book reviewed at J. Aday Kennedy: a Writing Playground
Tuesday, May 17
Book reviewed at The Adventures of My Family of 8
Wednesday, May 18
Interviewed at Examiner
Thursday, May 19
Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Friday, May 20
Book spotlighted at The Writer’s Life
Monday, May 23
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
Tuesday, May 24
Interviewed at Broowaha
Wednesday, May 25
Interviewed at Divine Caroline
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Blogging About Blogging

It's difficult to determine what topics interest our blog followers and what will make people want to read them. For instance, people cannot seem to get enough of the Gulf oil spill.  Yet, I feel as if I'm overloading everyone with the topic.  On the other hand, when I move to another subject, readership falls off a bit.  What's a blogger to do? 

An interest in the oil spill is particularly high in the rest of the world, judging from the stats coming in from other countries.  When I blog about the spill, I hear from many people in countries such as  Russia, the UK, Germany, Hungary and the Philippines, just to mention a few.

Another topic of high interest is anything about marine animals, most notably Winter, the tailless dolphin who now wears a prosthetic tail and lives at the Clearwater Beach Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida.   Of course, she's a great interest of mine, too! 

Certainly both of these topics are germane to my series of Bella and Britt books relating the girls' adventures while living at the beach.  But there should be something more as well. There should be a common human bond between blogger and reader.  There should be that spark of, "Aha, we're on the same page."  Or, "I don't agree, but I understand where she's coming from with this."
If we are able to reach a modicum of understanding with each other, we've both accomplished something pretty special.  Of that, I am convinced.

So, Dear Reader, please send me your serious suggestions for a worthwhile blog within the parameters of children's books, conservation and other worthy and timely topics.  I'll even mention your name if you'd like, no matter where in the world you are.  

Blogging with a view to making our planet a better place is a tall order, indeed, but such a worthy one.  To that end, I'll keep in mind readers' interests and concerns.  Oh, and I'll try to have a little fun with it, too.                               

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour--March 26, 2010--Let's Help Beyond the Hour!

From 8:30 to 9:30 PM tonight local time, March 26, 2011, much of our planet will collectively go dark to display support of protecting our home, the earth.  We are asked to darken our homes for that hour and only leave on a few lights (if you are home) for safety reasons.

This year more that 4,000 cities in 131 countries and territories have signed up to participate in this important event, which is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.  Even the Las Vegas Strip will go dark for the hour!  The Earth Hour organization has a new platform with a new web address to go with it.  It is:

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when only two thousand business went dark as a symbolic gesture against global warming.  Tonight, much of our globe will darken in a gesture of respectful solidarity for our planet.
Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of sustainability issues. But there’s more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It’s about all of us working together to create a better future for our planet.  As their slogan says:

This Earth Hour, Go Beyond the Hour
Earth Hour 2011 Official Video from WWF on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine

Title: The Golden Pathway
Written by: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Ages: 8-12
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-61633-081-1; 1616330813
Soft cover: ISBN: 978-1-61633-088-0; 1616330880
eBook: ISBN: 978-1-61633-082-8; 1616330821
Published: August 2010

Abused by a callous father, David, a sensitive boy, knows by his kind and compassionate nature, the difference between right and wrong.   When he observes his father’s cruel and constant punishment of Jenkins, a sixteen year old slave, David knows he must save him.  But, how? 

Follow David as he tends to Jenkins’ wounds from Pa’s relentless beatings.   And be there as David gathers information as to how a slave can make his way to freedom, a dangerous undertaking for the brave and caring boy. 

Award winning children’s author, Donna McDine, has produced a powerful story of good and evil, a must read for every child.  She defines, in a beautifully written and poignant way, one man’s inhumanity and the redeeming qualities of his son.

The author also provides the reader with a strong bibliography and an interesting Author’s Note section, giving insight into the various terms used during the Underground Railroad years.

The well known Oregon artist, K.C. Snider, has done heroic work with her illustrations.  They are not only realistic, but timeless. They provide a compelling backdrop to the author’s commanding prose.  She gives one a tender glimpse into a world gone mad, where one boy stands alone and makes a difference.

Please take a look at Donna McDine’s web sites and learn more about this talented author:

K.C. Snider’s beautiful artwork may be viewed at:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Giant Called Jane

This weekend at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, I met a giant.  She was frightening only in her gravitas and great gift as a poet and writer.  Her books are three hundred strong and cover the gamut of genres from poetry to children's books to her new graphic novel.

Yes, the giant can only be Jane Yolen, and it was my honor and privilege to meet and have the opportunity to talk at some length with her.  She spoke of poetry, her home and her husband who  died five years ago.

One would never know this tiny person, this literary giant who has helped stitch together pieces of the American fabric like a consummate quilter, could be so funny, warm and caring.  But she is.

I know we've all read of Ms. Yolen's mega-accomplishments, among which are the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards and two Christopher Awards, to name but a very few.  And I know we have been touched by her significant works such as The Devil's Arithmetic and Owl Moon.  And, of course, so many many more.  But when she was asked which book was her favorite, she answered, "The one I'm working on now.  The others are in the past.  This one is in the present."

I have a suspicion this is how giants succeed.  Never looking back at past laurels.  Always forging on, setting goals and accomplishing them.  And never forgetting who they are and what their purpose is in life.

Yes, Jane is first among equals as far as giants go.  For me, meeting her was monumental.  Oh, and I look forward to her next three hundred books.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Pelican at a Time now No. 2 on Amazon's Hot New Releases in Children's Books!

One Pelican at a Time has just been ranked Number 2 in sales on Amazon's Hot New Releases in Children's Books.

I want to thank Amazon and everyone who has supported Britt, Bella, Pelican and me through our journey to help make the world a better place for new generations of kids!

And to let you know that the girls will be back soon to try and save a nest of sea turtles and to spearhead an effort to rid their favorite beach of trash in Sea Turtle Summer and Bella and Britt Save the Beach.


One Pelican at a Time is now available through,, and  It will soon be available in museum shops, aquaria and other book venues within the US.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Power Point Presentation Now Available On My Web Site for Illinois Reading Council Conference

Trailer for "One Pelican at a Time"

I am presenting a talk to the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, IL on March 17, 2011.  I've made Power Point slides to augment the presentation which is titled, Literacy Through Green Colored Glasses-Picture Book Activities to Help Kids Save Their Planet.  There are some great activities for children to do, all the while empowering them to care for and nurture their planet and have fun at the same time!

I'm making the slides available here and on my web site:

It is my hope they may be useful to teachers, librarians or anyone else who would like to show them in pursuit of a greener and healthier earth.

My children's picture book. One Pelican at a Time, is now available through:,, and

One Pelican at a Time is the first US children's book to address the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20,2010.  The book features Bella and Britt and their heroic efforts to save their friend, the old crooked beak pelican, whom they've known all their lives. 

An author's page gives facts about the spill as well as some green tips on how to save energy and make us less dependent on fossil fuel.  Britt and Bella lead us all by example. 

Britt, Bella, Pelican and I will be on tour virtually all over the blogosphere in April and May, with Pump Up Your Book.  Please watch for dates! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clip-clop, Tippity-Tap French Vocabulary on the Farm by Kim Chatel

I find myself very glad indeed that Kim Chatel's grandmaman, Yvette Brunet, is alive and well at age 94.  Why, one might ask, not knowing Yvette?  The answer is found in the dedication to her in this beautiful, lively and straight from the heart book, Clip-Clop, Tippity-Tap, French Vocabulary on the Farm, by her granddaughter, Kim Chatel.  The book, for children ages five through nine, is a feast for the eyes and the heart. 

Everyone on Farm La Pomme was working.  Everyone, that is, except for the tiny horse, Mini-Moi.  What could he do?  After all, he was only six hands tall!  Wandering the farm, he meets many animals, each of which is more lovely and colorful than the last, if that is possible.  And, of course, he sees Farmer Yvette!  In the end, Mini-Moi is a happy horse.  But, why?

Clip-Clop, Tippity-Tap is a dream of a book, from the descriptive words, many of which are in French and are placed in an unobtrusive manner on the page, to the primary colored, sumptuous artwork by Kathleen Bullock.  Included is a glossary of terms at the book's end. 

Kim was inspired to write the book because, as she says, "Growing up in Montreal, Quebec, I struggled my whole life to learn French."  No one will have to struggle with Clip-Clop, Tippity-Tap.  This is a winner of a book from cover to cover and one that any child would love to own.

Title: Clip-Clop, Tippity-Tap: French Vocabulary on the Farm
Author: Kim Chatel (
Illustrator: Kathleen Bullock (
Suggested Reading Age: 5-9
Release Date: (January 27, 2011)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Reprise

Many thought and hoped the oil spill of April, 2010 was past us, was history. Alas, it is not.

My publisher, Lynda Burch of Guardian Angel Publishing, emailed me from Santa Rosa Island, Pensacola Beach, Florida, where she and her husband spend some time each winter.  With her permission, the following is what Lynda saw and photographed very recently:

 Santa Rosa Island, Pensacola Beach, Florida
                        February, 2011

"It is definitely not over, and BP says they are pulling out- 1/2 the claims have been denied and what about what is still going to happen?

I can't let my guests or my grandchildren in those floating contaminants. Skin is the most absorbent organ a human body has. I didn't see any warning signs, anyone testing the water, anyone interested in cleaning it up.

The little silvery fish (2-3 inches, part of the food chain) were washed up on the shore dead. The gulls and pelicans were out there in it. The dolphins were also out about another 1000 yards.

Lots of people on the beach didn't even know what the black and brown slimy stuff floating on edge of the surf was. I did email the local TV station but probably should have called them instead. It was very disturbing for such a beautiful day."

Because it's out of the news, there seems to be no immediacy about the spill anymore.  If this travesty is not addressed continuously and with utmost vigor and vigilance, it will still be an unmitigated disaster.  From my research on the gulf devastation, I think a quote from Sir Winston Churchill during World War II is in order:  "Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

It is Lynda's and my great hope that this kind of accident never occurs    again.  We adults, along with our children and grandchildren, need to     "take a stand on the sand" and see that it does not.  And if it does, God forbid, this time strong oversight should occur within the US government and any parties that caused it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Pelican at a Time Now Available Through Guardian Angel Publishing

A Story of the Gulf Spill


Guardian Angel Publishing
Academic Wings 

Author: Nancy Stewart

Artist: Samantha Bell
Print Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61633-138-2; 1616331380
Print Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61633-139-9; 1616331399
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-140-5; 1616331402

Bella and Britt love living by the beach.  When they find oil washing to shore from a gulf spill, they want to help but are told there is nothing for kids to do.  But when their old friend, the pelican, becomes covered with oil, they help save his life by their quick thinking and action.

One Pelican at a Time will soon be available through:,, http://indiebound/ and museum shops and aquaria.