Page 1

October 2018

The Literary Resource for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents

Julie Chen Inspires Kids to Dream Big in New Picture Book

James Patterson

Let’s Get Our Kids Reading

Kate DiCamillo

Discusses her MuchAnticipated Fall Releases

Cale Atkinson

Spins a Spooktacular Tale for Little Readers

Rachel Renee Russell

Tales from a Not-So-Boring Career

Rory Feek

Takes the Literary Stage with First Children’s Book

Kevin Cordi

Encourages Students to Write Outside the Box

Bob Goff

Launches a Loveable Book for Kids

Linda Harkey

Pens a Tail-Wagging Chapter Book Series

Q&A with

with John Herzog

Teaching Toolbox

A Lion’s Share of Animal Books

Conrad’s Classroom

Upside Down on Wobbly Ground


PROMOTE YOUR BOOK IN OUR NEXT ISSUE! Would you like to promote your book, product, or business? Contact Cristy Bertini at Cristy@StoryMonsters.com or call 413-687-0733 to reserve your space! Discounts available.

MEET THE STAFF PUBLISHER

Linda F. Radke Linda@StoryMonsters.com

Editor-in-Chief

Cristy Bertini Cristy@StoryMonsters.com

WRITERS

Bring Story Monsters Ink into Your Classroom! Visit our website at StoryMonsters.com to download free classroom question sheets to aid in learning comprehension and encourage your students to discuss what they’ve read in each issue!

Melissa Fales, Nick Spake, Olivia Amiri, Julianne Black, Larissa Juliano

Special Contributor James Patterson

DESIGN Jeff Yesh

Science & Nature Editor Conrad J. Storad

PROOFREADER Deb Greenberg

Web Management Patti Crane

Advertising

Linda F. Radke Info@StoryMonsters.com

StoryMonsters.com Order Story Monsters Ink online at storymonsters.com/subscribe/ or through subscription services for schools, libraries, and businesses. “Like” us on Facebook! Facebook.com/StoryMonsters Follow us on Twitter! @StoryMonsters Follow us on Instagram! instagram.com/storymonsters

Cristy Bertini Cristy@StoryMonsters.com

Book Reviewers Darleen Wohlfeil, Diana Perry, Jessica Reino, Tynea Lewis, Sherry Hoffman, Diana Fisher, Dawn Menge, Denise Bloomfield

Cover and interior photos of Julie Chen courtesy of Art Streiber/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Story Monsters Ink magazine and www.StoryMonsters.com are trademarks of Story Monsters, LLC. Copyright ©2018 Story Monsters LLC, ISSN 2374-4413, All rights reserved. Contents may not be published in whole or in part without the express written consent of the bylined author and publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual writers and are not necessarily those of Story Monsters Ink or its advertisers. Story Monsters Ink is published by Story Monsters LLC Postal mail may be sent to Story Monsters Ink 4696 W. Tyson St., Chandler, AZ 85226 Phone: 480-940-8182

2

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Issues of Story Monsters Ink are recorded by the Arizona Talking Book Library!

Honor Roll Gold Award Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards. Named among the “great magazines for kids and teens” by School Library Journal. 2016 Irwin Award winner for “Best Publisher of a Literary Magazine” and “Best Editorial Director.”


October 2018

In this issue Features 4 Julie Chen

Inspires Kids to Dream Big in New Picture Book

18 Rory Feek

Takes the Literary Stage with First Children’s Book

22 Cale Atkinson

Spins a Spooktacular Tale for Little Readers

26 Kevin Cordi

Encourages Students to Write Outside the Box

32 Bob Goff

Launches a Loveable Book for Kids

10 Rachel Renee Russell Tales from a Not-So-Boring Career

14 Kate DiCamillo

Discusses her MuchAnticipated Fall Releases

36 Linda Harkey

Pens a Tail-Wagging Chapter Book Series

58 Q&A

Monthly Columns 30 Liv on Life

Make Homework Meaningful and Fun!

40 My Favorite Teacher 42 Fall Reading List 46 Monsters at the Movies

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

48 James Patterson Let’s Get Our Kids Reading

New columnist!

50 CONRAD’S CLASSROOM

Upside Down on Wobbly Ground

52 Book Reviews 62 TEACHING TOOLBOX

A Lion’s Share of Animal Books

with John Herzog

Tell us what you think of this issue! Email your comments to cristy@storymonsters.com.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

3


Feature Cover Story

Julie Chen

Inspires Kids to Dream Big in New Picture Book by Melissa Fales

After two years in the works, Emmy Award-winning TV personality Julie Chen, host of The Talk and Big Brother, is releasing her first children’s book. When I Grow Up (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books) is inspired by Chen’s lofty aspirations for her son, Charlie, and pays homage to the bright, shining potential of every child and the glowing pride every new mother feels for her baby. “You really think that your child is going to grow up to be the President of the United States,” says Chen. “I’m Chinese. It’s never too early for a Chinese mom to think about her child’s career.”

4

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Cover Story


Feature Cover Story

According to Chen, her own mother’s prodding fueled her ambition to become a TV news broadcaster. “In 1983 when I was 13 years old, you never saw anyone Asian on TV unless you were watching a bad Kung Fu movie,” she says. One night, Chen’s father turned on the local news, WABC Channel 7 in Queens, New York, and immediately began screaming at the top of his lungs. Alarmed, Chen’s whole family raced into the living room only to find that the ruckus was over the fact that there was an Asian person on TV. Chen remembers that pivotal moment vividly. “There she was … a female Asian broadcaster named Kaity Tong,” recalls Chen. “It wasn’t a Kung Fu movie, it was the news. And she even looked equal to her male counterpart. It was groundbreaking.”

Immediately, Chen’s mother took action. Recognizing that her daughter was naturally inquisitive and enjoyed the limelight, she thought the job would be a perfect fit. “She looked at me and said, ‘If she can do it, you can do it,’” says Chen. “She planted that seed in my mind way back then and it had a profound effect on the rest of my life. She was my mother. She knew me best, although up until that point she had thought I would grow up to be a lawyer because I always argued.” From then on, Chen pursued her career goals with laser focus. “I never strayed from that path,” she says. “I knew I wanted to be in journalism and that was it.” Six years later, Chen found herself working as an intern at CBS Network News in New York City. “Ten years later,

“Ultimately, this book is about my journey of learning to be the best mother I can be. All mothers help to shape the type of adult their child will become and I want to help my son find happiness, just as my mother did for me.”

6

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Cover Story

mountain climber or even a mayor. It ends with the mother snuggling with her son, reassuring him and promising to continue dreaming about tomorrow with him. “As a mom, you want to talk with your children about the future and you want to help them find their way in life,” says Chen. “However, you also want them to know that at the end of the day, no matter what, you’ve got their back.”

in 1999, I was the news anchor on that channel, on that exact broadcast,” she says. Recognizing that she owes her success to that initial push from her mother, Chen wondered how she could do the same thing for her own child and help him find his ideal profession. “Ultimately, this book is about my journey of learning to be the best mother I can be,” she says. “All mothers help to shape the type of adult their child will become and I want to help my son find happiness, just as my mother did for me.”

When I Grow Up may be a delightful children’s book, but it’s also a testament to how Chen has grown as a mother and how she’s been able to temper her expectations for her son with the realization of what is truly important. “I’m not as much of a tiger mom as I thought I’d be,” she says. “Of course I still want him to be successful, but I’m starting to realize that being successful is really just a bonus. As long as he’s happy, I’m ok with it if he’s not curing cancer or receiving a Kennedy Center Honor or performing at Carnegie Hall. I just want him to be happy.” For more information about Julie Chen and When I Grow Up, visit whenigrowupthebook.com.

Chen admits that she might have overdone it in the past from time to time, encouraging her son to pursue even the slightest inclination towards something that could turn him into a superstar some day. “When he had a little bit of an interest in soccer, I thought he could be the next Pelé or Beckham,” she says. “Basically, anything he gravitated towards I imagined him at the pinnacle of wherever that could take him.” While writing When I Grow Up, which is illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Diane Goode, Chen kept two goals first and foremost in her mind. “First, this book had to be something that would keep the kids entertained, and secondly, it had to be something that moms reading the book to their children would be able to get something out of,” she says. The story follows a little boy and his mother who is helping him get ready for bed. Their bedtime routine is peppered with discussions about him holding various occupations someday. Maybe he’ll be a baker or a teacher. He could be a StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

7


8

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


“Vibrant illustrations and an engaging main character help young readers explore themes of resilience, courage, and perseverance…” – FOREWORD REVIEWS

An appealing tale for an expanding family. Lizzy is cute and relatable . …this one breaks the mold. –KIRKUS REVIEWS

NEW: Animated Video Books and Augmented Reality Games facebook/itsjustsobooks LizzysWorld.net notablekidspublishing.com orders@midpointtrade.com

Available in Hardcover or E-Book through Independent & Major Retail Booksellers.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

9


Feature Story

OCTOBER 1, 2018

RACHEL RENEE RUSSELL TALES FROM A NOT-SO-BORING CAREER by Melissa Fales Thanks to author Rachel Renee Russell, it’s now officially cool to be a dork. Books in her Dork Diaries series have been translated into 36 languages and appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list for over 250 weeks (and counting). Her latest book, Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday (Simon & Schuster/ Aladdin), will be released in October and promises readers more of the awkward moments and social anxiety they’ve come to expect from the series’ heroine, the utterly dorky Nikki Maxwell.

10

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Story

“I want my readers to be proud of who they are,” says Russell. “The biggest message in all of the Dork Diaries books is to believe in yourself, to not be intimidated by other kids, and to realize that being a little bit different is a good thing.” Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday opens with Nikki planning an intimate backyard picnic to celebrate her birthday with her closest friends. “Everything is fine until she involves her two best friends, Chloe and Zoey, in the planning,” says Russell. “Let’s just say they have a different vision.” The casual affair Nikki has planned somehow becomes an extravagant country club bash with 100 guests. “Things go off the

rails when Nikki asks her mother for the money for this humongous party,” says Russell. “The party is first canceled, then it’s back on again, then it’s off, and then on and then everything’s up in the air. I won’t tell you how it ends, but it is an engaging story and there’s even a bit of a caper.” Russell got her start writing books in elementary school when she would create them to give as birthday and Christmas presents. She grew up, became an attorney, and didn’t think much about writing books until her daughters left home for college. “I missed them,” she says. “I was bored. I thought well, maybe I’ll pursue my old hobby of trying to write.” For Russell, there was no question of what she would be writing about. “It’s kind of a cliché to say write what you know or write about what you’re passionate about, but that’s what I did,” she says. “I knew about being a mother to two daughters and so that’s what I wrote about. I based my first book, Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, on my daughters’ experiences in middle school.” From the start, Russell’s daughters, Erin and Nikki (the Dork Diaries heroine’s namesake) helped her with the writing and illustrations. Russell used their experiences of being picked on in middle school and high school, along with her personal recollections of her own trying teenage years as material for the books. “I would say that 80 percent of StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

11


Feature Story

what we write actually happened to one of the three of us,” Russell says. “Of course, we take the event that happened and make it more dramatic and more traumatic for the books.” Eventually, the teasing got so bad, Russell transferred her daughters to a smaller school where each eventually found her niche and thrived. “I realize

“I want my readers to be proud of who they are. The biggest message in all of the Dork Diaries books is to believe in yourself, to not be intimidated by other kids, and to realize that being a little bit different is a good thing.” that everybody can’t transfer their kids to another school,” Russell says, “so part of what’s happening in Dork Diaries is I’m trying to teach coping mechanisms and provide some ideas on how to deal with the situation.” Russell says she wants her books to offer a positive message to any young readers who may be having a hard time fitting in at school. “I try to include a lot of ideas about how Nikki and her friends deal with mean girls, like MacKenzie, and how to handle cliques,” she says. Russell believes the global popularity of Dork Diaries is due to the fact that so many young people can relate to Nikki. “Maybe they’re called a dork, or some other names,” says Russell. “Maybe their jeans aren’t by the right designer. Maybe they’re not with the ‘in’ crowd. But I think they see how Nikki can be calm and collected and confident and doesn’t let that all of that stuff bother her. When they read the stories and see how Nikki comes out on top, it makes them feel better about their own situation. It gives them hope.” After having her daughters on board since the first 12

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Dork Diaries book was published in 2010, Russell is pleased to make a special announcement. “Erin is no longer a member of Team Dork,” she says. “She just released her own book in May, How to Trick the Tooth Fairy.” It’s a dream come true for Russell. “I wanted to introduce my daughters to the publishing world through working with me,” she says. “If they enjoyed it, I hoped they would eventually launch their own projects. I couldn’t be more proud.” Russell, who also authors the series The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, says Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday is her 13th Dork Diaries book and she promises there will be a 14th. “I’m working on the third Max Crumbly book right now, but once I’ve finished, I’ll dive right into it,” she says, adding that in the next book, Nikki will have to make a huge, potentially life-changing decision. Will she spend her summer in Paris or on the road touring with her band? “Nikki has to choose between two exciting possibilities,” says Russell, who has some exciting possibilities of her own. She is currently in talks with a major studio about a Dork Diaries movie. According to Russell, bullies and mean girls do exist beyond the limits of middle and high school hallways. “Occasionally, they show up as adults,” says Russell. “As an adult, I’ve had co-workers who were bullies. I’ve had managers who were extremely negative. When they’re an adult, we tend to call them ‘toxic personalities.’ So whether you’re in third grade or high school or in the workplace, you’re going to run into these toxic personalities. Most people have had that challenge at some point in their life. If nothing else, Dork Diaries books are feel-good stories where, in the end, the winner isn’t the bully or the mean girl, but the kind girl.” For more information about Rachel Renee Russell and her books, visit dorkdiaries.com.


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

13


Feature Story

Kate DiCamillo

Discusses her Much-Anticipated Fall Releases by Melissa Fales

photo by Catherine Young

Kate DiCamillo has two new books out this fall and both of them embrace the recurring themes of friendship, forgiveness, and hope that seep so sublimely into all of her work, although she’s admittedly oblivious as to how they got there. The first time she visited a school as an author, the teacher introduced her, invited her to the front of the classroom, and then told the students they’d be discussing the themes in her book. 14

“I thought, Oh no! I wonder what they are, says DiCamillo. “I had no idea. Mercifully, this wonderful teacher asked the students to list all of the themes from my book on the blackboard. As soon as I got back to my car, I wrote them all down before I forgot.” DiCamillo grew up in Florida. She studied English at the University of Florida but didn’t start writing until inspiration struck nearly a decade later. By then, she had

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

moved to Minnesota and was working on the children’s book floor of a bleak book warehouse. Somehow, the combination of being emotionally unprepared for such a harsh winter, despondent over the fact that her landlord wouldn’t let her have a dog, and uninspired by her mundane job added up to a most unusual, though fortuitous communication. “Lying in bed one night before I fell asleep, I clearly heard a girl’s


Feature Story

voice with a Southern accent say, ‘I have a dog named Winn-Dixie,’” DiCamillo says. “And when I got up the next morning, the voice was still there, talking. I listened, and I wrote it down.” That’s how DiCamillo came to write her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie. DiCamillo went on to write many other books, including The Tale of Despereaux, The Magician’s Elephant, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Raymie Nightingale. Among her numerous awards, accolades, and accomplishments, including two Newbery Medals, DiCamillo was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014-2015 by representatives of the Library of Congress. Released in September, Good Rosie! (Candlewick) is DiCamillo’s first new book in two years. DiCamillo wrote the story and the illustrations were done by Harry Bliss. The two first connected years ago while working on an anthology with Marlo Thomas

called Thanks & Giving: All Year Long. “We both have a dog sensibility,” explains DiCamillo. “Ever since, we’ve said to each other, ‘Hey, let’s do a dog book together.’” After years of talking about it, the timing was finally right for the two to collaborate. “Writing Good Rosie! was nothing but fun from beginning to end,” says DiCamillo. And Louisiana’s Way Home (Candlewick) came about simply because Louisiana Elefante insisted on it. Readers were first introduced to the ethereal Louisiana as a contestant in the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest in Raymie Nightingale and she is one of DiCamillo’s most compelling characters to date. “Talk about characters that don’t go away,” says DiCamillo. “I don’t know what it is about her that’s so vivid and so real, but she certainly is.” DiCamillo says Louisiana was also adamant that the book be written

in first person. “I had no intention of writing about Louisiana, and I haven’t written anything in first person since the Mercy Watson books,” she says. “As an author, you give up so much control with first person that I didn’t think I could do it that way, but Louisiana wasn’t having it any other way.” Allowing Louisiana Elefante to take the reins in writing Louisiana’s Way Home is just one more example of something DiCamillo fully acknowledges; that she lacks an answer to the perennial question of how she develops her characters. “I know it makes me sound clueless,” DiCamillo says, “but the truth is I don’t know how I do it. I don’t know where they come from. I have no idea where Louisiana came from. When I wrote Raymie Nightingale I didn’t anticipate the other two girls even showing up. I sat down to tell Raymie’s story. When Louisiana fainted, I thought, Who the heck is this?” The first hint that Louisiana had more to say came when DiCamillo found a version of what would become the novel’s opening sentence written in her notebooks over and over again. It starts, “I am going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known....” DiCamillo says she was “badgered” by Louisiana to hear her story. Much like the wedding guest in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, DiCamillo says she felt she had no choice but to listen to Louisiana’s story and then to share it. Louisiana’s Way Home is a companion novel to Raymie Nightingale. “It stands on its own,”

16

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Story

photo by Kara Smith, St. Louis Country Library

wrote on the board 18 years ago keep on showing up.” Although Louisiana herself warns the reader that “a great deal of this story is extremely sad,” DiCamillo says there were times she laughed out loud as she wrote in Louisiana’s voice. “I never knew what was going to come out of her mouth,” she says.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen when I write. I don’t plot it out ahead of time. It’s all a surprise to me, but you know what? The themes those students wrote on the board 18 years ago keep on showing up.”

says DiCamillo. “You don’t have to read Raymie first.” It begins with Louisiana being woken up in the middle of the night by her Granny who says they must leave their Florida home and flee to Georgia. Louisiana must leave many of her favorite things behind, including her two best friends, Raymie and Beverly, and her cat, Archie. As the story continues, Louisiana learns to leave other things behind,

including beliefs about herself that she’s held for as long as she can remember. DiCamillo began writing Louisiana’s Way Home without a storyline in mind. “All I knew was that I had that opening sentence,” she says. “I have no idea what’s going to happen when I write. I don’t plot it out ahead of time. It’s all a surprise to me, but you know what? The themes those students

The publication of Louisiana’s Way Home seems to have silenced Louisiana’s voice, at least temporarily. “She’s quiet for now,” DiCamillo says. “We’ll see. I’ve learned to never say never about anything now. Writing this book about Louisiana wasn’t something I ever even remotely considered. Now I know that anything can happen.” For more information about Kate DiCamillo and her books, visit katedicamillo.com.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

17


Feature Story

Rory Feek Takes the Literary Stage with First Children’s Book by Melissa Fales

Whether through songs, blog posts, film or books, Rory Feek is the consummate storyteller. He is such a natural-born raconteur, he views the highs and lows of life itself as “story living,” and what a story he’s lived so far. Feek wrote No. 1 hits for some of today’s biggest country artists before he and his wife Joey formed the Grammy Award-winning musical duo Joey + Rory. Just months after their daughter, Indiana, was born with Down syndrome, Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer and began a very public health battle.

18

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Story

After Joey passed away in 2016, Feek wrote the New York Times bestseller, This Life I Live, about attempting to move on without her. Currently, Feek is focusing on being the best dad he can be to Indiana, who inspired him to write his first children’s story, The Cow Said Neigh! A Farm Story (Thomas Nelson). The Cow Said Neigh! is dedicated to Indiana. “I read lots of children’s books to her,” says Feek. “Every night before bed she picks out a book or two, or three … and we read together. It’s been 25 years since my older daughters were this age, so I’d forgotten how much I love these little stories and books. And Indiana loves them, too.” The book is set on a very mixed-up farm, where each animal longs to experience an aspect of a different animal’s life. A cow wonders what it would be like to run free like the horse and exclaims “Neigh!” while the horse can’t help but utter a “Quack!” while wishing to swim like a duck. “The book sort of wrote itself,” Feek says. “I started with the ‘what if’ idea of a cow that’s a bit jealous of the horse out in the field, and it unfolded from there. By the time it got to the farmer and he made his way to the barn, I wasn’t sure what he’d do or how to end the book. Finally, when the farmer said ‘Moo,’ it felt perfect to me.” The animals in the book are modeled after the ones Feek has on his farm, located about one hour south of Nashville. “We have three Hereford cows named Dolly, Patsy, and Loretta; two quarter horses named Moon and Ria; a dog named Ranger; and a new bobtail kitten named Junior,” he says. “We also have some chickens, and my sister Marcy next door has ducks in her pond.” Fans can expect more children’s books from Feek in the future. “I am rolling ideas around in my mind for more books all the time,” he says. “I love them and can’t help but think that it is a part of what I am meant to do. Ultimately, I’m a storyteller and this is a wonderful way to tell stories to little ones.” Indiana’s enthusiasm for books and her desire to learn to read continues to motivate him. “When I’m making dinner or working on something in the kitchen, I can always hear her in the living room, sitting in front of the mirror with a book in her hand ‘reading,’” he says. “Right now it’s a cross between real words and babbling sounds, with great emotion! Her speech is actually pretty amazing and I don’t think it will be long before she’ll be reading to me.” StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

19


Feature Story

“I mostly love that when I write and share a story, it’s set in stone. It can now last forever, for my children and theirs to one day read and remember and hopefully glean some bit of insight for their lives.” It’s essential to Feek that Indiana knows what her mother was like. “I tell her everything about her mama, but she only understands a little bit of it,” he says. “She knows her mama’s voice when it comes on the radio, and says ‘Mama’ the moment she comes on the screen in videos or photos. And she knows that when we go visit Mama, it’s at the wooden cross in the cemetery in the back field behind our farmhouse. I tell Indy stories all the time about Joey and we watch home video clips and try to make her Mama a part of our lives every day. I think in time, she’ll understand more and it will be tougher in some ways.” 20

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

The first time Feek met Joey Martin was at a songwriter’s night at the historic Bluebird Café in Nashville. “She was in the audience and I was one of four songwriters performing in-the-round that evening,” recalls Feek. “She has always said she knew in that moment that she and I were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Something, or everything, about the songs and stories I told resonated with her, and she felt a nudge from God. She knew, long before I knew. Neither of us had any idea though of the incredible love story, and music career, we’d get to be part of over the next 15 years.”


Feature Story

In addition to This Life I Live, Feek has also written a book called Once Upon a Farm. “They are both collections of small vignettes about this beautiful, difficult, wonderful life that has unfolded here on the farm…” he says. “The first book, This Life I Live was my chronological story… from my early days in Kansas to the place I was at the time, which was just getting my footing back here in Tennessee after Joey passed away. My second book, Once Upon a Farm was more of a series of small stories that told a bigger one, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.” Fans also follow Feek on his very active blog, thislifeilive.com. He says he appreciates the permanence of a blog and having one more way to tell his stories and share them with the world in the hopes that someone who needs to hear his words will. “I mostly love that when I write and share a story, it’s set in stone,” he says. “It can now last forever, for my children and theirs to one day read and remember and hopefully glean some bit of insight for their lives. I also love that by sharing our lives honestly and thoughtfully with strangers all around the world, somehow it can help someone. People I’ve never met and never will find themselves encouraged by the words I wrote, and that’s a beautiful gift.” Despite the hardships he’s experienced, Feek has remained focused on his faith, the most important aspect of his life. “It is everything,” he says. “I am me, because He is Him. And because I believe that, though Joey and I have been making the best decisions possible through the years, God is the one telling the story and nothing is by accident. He is how I have such great hope in a time that could be filled with great sadness.” It’s not surprising that Feek would take particular comfort in music. In fact, he believes it’s helping his healing process. “In the early mornings, I often turn on music and let it take me away as I prepare for the day,” he says. “Most of the time, it’s songs that Joey loved or music that she and I recorded together, and it has a way of helping me to remember her, and move forward at the same time.” For more information about Rory Feek and his books, visit roryfeek.com.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

21


Feature Story

Cale Atkinson

Spins a Spooktacular Tale for Little Readers by Melissa Fales

Just in time for Halloween, author-illustrator Cale Atkinson delivers a kid-friendly ghost book, Sir Simon: Super Scarer (Tundra Books). The book introduces Sir Simon, a ghost who discovers that haunting a house is hard work. “I’ve wanted to tell a ghost story for a long time but I’ve never known how to frame it,” says Atkinson.

22

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Story


Feature Story

“The general stereotype of ghosts slamming doors and rattling chains has always sounded boring to me. It would be so disappointing to pass away and find out you’ve been reduced to making scary noises. I can see where that first time you get to scare a family might be kind of fun but it seems like it could get boring really fast.” Sir Simon: Super Scarer opens with Sir Simon finally making it to the big time. After years of haunting some second-rate locations, he’s assigned a house to haunt. “I figured a ghost would have to work up to a haunted house,” Atkinson explains. Sir Simon feels especially lucky when he learns that the house will be occupied by elderly people. “Every ghost knows old people are the easiest to haunt,” says Atkinson. “They sleep a lot and they don’t pay ghosts a lot of attention, so Sir Simon thinks he’ll be able to slack on his ghost chores.” Instead, Sir Simon struggles through his seemingly endless list of ghostly tasks, including flickering the lights, making the stairs creak and moving things around. Plus, one of the house’s new occupants is a particularly inquisitive and exhausting child named Chester. “Kids take the most work to haunt,” says Atkinson. “They’re often curious so they ask a lot of questions.” Without giving away too much of the story, friendship emerges as the main theme of Sir Simon: Super Scarer, making the book relevant 12 months out of the year, not just the scariest one.

Grown-ups will appreciate Atkinson’s subtle nods to horror movie classics such as The Shining and Friday the 13th. “There are a number of little hidden elements that anyone who might like those movies will notice,” Atkinson promises. “I never would have guessed I would be able to include them in a children’s picture book, but I did it subtly so as not to interfere with the story. I mean, I have to put something on the page in the background, so why not have some fun with it?” Atkinson says he grew up in a very creative family environment. “Ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil, me and my brother and my parents would make up stories and draw pictures to go along with them,” he recalls. By the time he was in elementary school, Atkinson was selling his homemade comic books to his friends. In middle school, Atkinson discovered he could mail his comic strips to magazines and newspapers all over the world. He sent them to every one he could think of. “I have a nice binder of rejection letters from publications like Better Homes and Gardens, National Enquirer, and the New York Times,” says Atkinson, who wasn’t phased by being rebuffed. “I was always pretty gung-ho. Luckily for my career, I never really had that fear of rejection that so many do.” So, Atkinson kept drawing. Entirely self-taught, when he decided to develop a portfolio of his work, he sought advice from children’s illustrators whose work he admired. “I found that so many artists have blogs,” he says. “I was really lucky in that I think I caught the cusp of where you could email artists at the top of their

24

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Feature Story

profession and get replies from them. It was before social media when all of these artists were sitting at their desks looking for a way to procrastinate.” Atkinson said he found the children’s book illustrator community extremely supportive. “I would ask them

“I’ve wanted to tell a ghost story for a long time but I’ve never known how to frame it. The general stereotype of ghosts slamming doors and rattling chains has always sounded boring to me. It would be so disappointing to pass away and find out you’ve been reduced to making scary noises.”

questions about how to get in the industry,” he says. “I would ask them to critique my work. Whether I received a long reply or a brief reply, all of it helped me.” His first book, To the Sea was released in 2015. Other books include Off & Away and Where Oliver Fits. Atkinson will be releasing his next book, Unicorns 101, in the fall of 2019. Atkinson continues to explore additional mediums for his art, including video games, comics, and animation. “I’m always trying new stuff,” he says. “I’ve never been one to want to stick with any one art form for too long. They’re all different ways of storytelling. I like to have a lot of different tools in my toolbox.” Atkinson says he still gets a thrill when he sees one of his books in a bookstore. “I love my picture books because they’re something I have full control over,” he says. “I look at the finished product, an idea that came from my head and just as I imagined it.” He says he often thinks about the people who select his books from the shelves. “I’m always grateful to anyone who picks up one of my books,” he says. “I hope people give my books a chance and I hope they like them.” For more information about Cale Atkinson and his books, visit cale.ca.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

25


Feature Story

Kevin Cordi

Encourages Students to Write Outside the Box by Melissa Fales The Young Adult TOP SECRET StoryBox Project has given middle school and high school students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to co-author stories with some of today’s most magnetic Young Adult authors. The brainchild of professional storyteller Dr. Kevin Cordi, the StoryBox Project has had a number of different incarnations, each designed to incite young people to write. “I think one of the reasons why students don’t find reading and writing exciting is because they don’t have an audience beyond their teachers,” Cordi says. “The whole reason I’m doing the StoryBox Project is to give these young people that audience and to revitalize and re-energize student excitement in reading and writing.” 26

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Cordi launched the StoryBox Project in 1995 when he was a high school teacher living in California. Invigorated after attending a large storytelling conference, he wanted to continue to share stories with fellow storytellers who lived in Brazil. While Cordi liked the idea of keeping the stories going back and forth, he couldn’t bear to send his treasured tales through the mail in a conventional manner. “I hate manila envelopes,” he says. “They’re so boring.” So he bought a $60 box that seemed befitting of such a treasure trove. With a little help from the members of Voices of Illusion, the youth storytelling troupe he led, Cordi painted a dragon on the box, loaded it with a number of the tales he and the troupe had collected, and shipped the package to Brazil.


Feature Story

Before the box even reached its destination, Cordi heard from a woman in Argentina who said she wanted the box when the folks in Brazil were done with it. Then, Cordi heard from a woman in New England who wanted to have a turn with the StoryBox once it left Argentina. And the requests haven’t stopped. Cordi has launched a StoryBox every other year since. The StoryBox has traveled around the globe, did some time at a prison, and landed at a one-room schoolhouse in Australia. Cordi says he was surprised at how quickly word of his project spread, but not by its popularity. “Storytelling is an innately human activity,” he says. “Sometimes we forget that storytelling is the original social media.” Each StoryBox is sent to the Story Ambassador who requested it, typically a teacher or a librarian, who plans activities around the box’s three-week stay at each destination. There are often themes for the box, such as justice or poetry, and it is typically met with elaborate opening celebrations and heartfelt send-offs. The stories inside the box are read and shared and added to. They range from the tallest tale to the most heartfelt true story and aren’t always in text. Sometimes, stories are shared in the form of drawings, newspaper clippings or even a digital music

“The whole reason I’m doing the StoryBox Project is to give these young people that audience and to revitalize and re-energize student excitement in reading and writing.”

file. When it’s time, the StoryBox is packed up, along with new additions from each leg of its journey, and sent off to its next destination, quite possibly halfa-world away, where the stories will be read and the process repeated. In order to create his latest effort, the Young Adult TOP SECRET StoryBox, Cordi spent last summer contacting over 100 YA authors, explaining his concept of co-writing a story with students and inviting them to participate. In the end, over 40 authors, including Mindy McGinnis, Margaret Peterson Haddix and acclaimed Abenaki children’s book author Joseph Bruchac agreed to send the beginnings of a story for young people to complete. “When we talk about the cadre of authors who wanted to be involved, I’m just amazed,” says Cordi. “We have people like Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, and Brendan Kiely, who wrote All American Boys with Jason Reynolds. It’s a nice mix of authors who are well-known and some who are soonto-be well-known.” StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

27


Students are allowed to finish the stories as they see fit. Most of the students will finish in four to five pages but some find the exercise so compelling, they do far more. “We had one student who got a paragraph from an author to work with and finished it by writing 53 pages in two weeks,” says Cordi, who’s delighted when students write for the sheer joy of it. “I taught high school for 14 years. It’s so disappointing when it seems as though we’re trying to standardize the creativity in us. This is the opposite of that.” Many of the students take the assignment very seriously and read as many books as they can by the author they’ll be co-authoring with in order to have a good grasp of his or her voice and literary style. Cordi says he hopes students will discover books they love through this process. “I’m sure they’ll read Piper Perish and ask their teacher or librarian, ‘Do you have any more books by Kayla Cagan?’” he says. “In a very real

sense, these writings stand as mentor text for these students to emulate good writing.” Cordi has never actively sought to have previous StoryBox works published, but he intends to do so with the Young Adult TOP SECRET writings. “The rich caliber of the authors, complemented by the talented work of these students makes it something that calls out for publication,” he says. “It’s not about writing a story and putting it in a box. What makes the StoryBox Project special is the fact that the stories are passed on and shared. We want to disseminate these stories as widely as we can.” For more information about the StoryBox Project, including how your community can get involved, visit tinyurl.com/y7aoao5r.

MINDFULNESS | SELF-AWARENESS | SELF-MANAGEMENT

New Children’s Book from

Author Christopher Gates In this cappvaang story, six-year-old Alyssa finds it hard to cope with her emooons. In her head, they appear like scary monsters, their strength overwhelming her. In these moments, Alyssa sets off on a journey to find the power to conquer those emooons and unwind. Through mindfulness, Alyssa embraces the power she has to control her thoughts and emooons, supporrng her social emooonal well-being to “Unwind. Up, Up, and Away! into a great day.

A kid-friendly resource for raising emotionally intelligent and confident kids! Available online or retail at

Ages 3-9 | Grades Kindergarten - 5 ISBN 9780988973947 (Paperback) Hardcover edition available exclusively at

www.christopher-gates.com/unwind

28

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Award-winning multicultural children’s books I See the Sun in . . . . . . China ISBN: 978-0981872056 English/Mandarin Chinese . . . Nepal ISBN: 978-1935874270 English/Nepalese (Devanagari) . . . Russia ISBN: 978-1935874089 English/Russian . . . Afghanistan ISBN: 978-0981872087 English/Dari (Afghan Farsi) . . . Myanmar/Burma ISBN: 978-1935874201 English/Burmese . . . Mexico ISBN: 978-1935874140 English/Spanish . . . Turkey ISBN: 978-1935874348 English/Turkish . . . the USA ISBN: 978-1935874362 English

Softcover / $12.95 For ages 5 and up. Available wherever books are sold.

www.satyahouse.com

BOOKS& AUTHORS& MUSIC& & ART& DANCE& & COMICS& & FUN& GAMES

CHILDREN’S ALLEY:

November 16 - 18

DOWNTOWN MIAMI

Children’s Alley is presented by

/miamibookfair

#MiamiBookFair2018

#MiamiREADS

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

29


Liv on Life

Make Homework Meaningful and Fun!

In my opinion as a kid, I admit to not particularly liking homework. Now don’t get me wrong—there are kids who do like homework, but I am not one of them. My school doesn’t give tons of homework, maybe 45 minutes each evening. But there are some schools that give hours of homework. Homework projects should be interesting and fun. I would like homework much better if it were work that we couldn’t do at school. For example, in Social Studies we were learning about our ancestors and one piece of our homework was to interview a family member or relative and ask them about their life and history. This project you couldn’t do at school because your parents or relatives don’t go to school with you. Not only was this homework fun, but it also gave me a chance to connect with a relative and learn something new about their life. I also believe that kids should be able to have time to have dinner with their families, go to after-school lessons like music classes and sport activities, or even

30

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

by Olivia Amiri

have a little time to hang out with friends. These things are essential for a balanced life. If all I did every day was wake up, go to school, come home, and do my homework and then repeat that the next day and the next day, after awhile, I would not be nor feel happy. My work would lack efficiency and caring, and in time, this would cause me to be very unhappy. By the way, I think this happens to a lot of adults that don’t enjoy what they are doing, too. So, teachers, if you’re reading this, no offense, but please make the homework a little more fun and meaningful. Thank you!

Olivia Amiri 11-year-old Olivia Amiri is a little girl with big advice! Sharing insights and observations on the world around us, her message is clear: kids are still the best teachers to remind grown-ups of the simple joys in life. livonlife.com


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

31


Feature Story

Bob Goff

Launches a Loveable Book for Kids by Melissa Fales Bob Goff is a shining example of love in action. Whether he’s serving in his position as the Honorable Consul for the Republic of Uganda or appearing on stage at a speaking engagement, Goff approaches everything with great love. That’s the premise behind his 2012 New York Times bestselling book, Love Does, which sold nearly a million copies. Now, by popular demand, Goff has created a children’s version of this celebrated book, called Love Does for Kids. He wrote Love Does for Kids with the help of his daughter, 32

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Lindsey Goff Viducich. “This book is for kids big and small,” says Goff. “It’s about the new kingdom Jesus invites us to be a part of, a kingdom we can only enter if we are like kids. In the kingdom of heaven, we are all becoming a little more like children and a little more like love.” In 2003, after a successful career as a lawyer, Goff founded the non-profit organization now known as Love Does. Goff says he felt compelled to do


Feature Story

something after a trip to India opened his eyes to the appalling conditions people were living in, particularly children affected by the scourge of human trafficking. The organization’s work in India was only the beginning. Today, Love Does operates schools, safehouses, and hospitals in some of the most challenging places on the planet, including Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. “I wanted to start an organization that would give away money to help so many people who are living in such dire circumstances,” Goff says. “There’s still so much work to be done.” According to Goff, one of the reasons he wrote Love Does was to raise money to give away to help even more people. Goff, along with his publisher, Thomas Nelson, and others donated the proceeds from Love Does towards the creation of a school in Uganda. Today, well over 200 children are able to study safely there, including many children who had been living in refugee camps and even serving as child soldiers. When Love Does readers begged Goff for a similar book they could share with their children, he decided to team up with his daughter Lindsey, a second grade teacher, to make Love Does for Kids. “We thought we’d write a book for parents to share with their kids, but make it like a storybook bible,” says Goff. “Lindsey

Lindsey Goff Viducich

is terrific. She did all the work. She’s amazing. No wonder all the kids want to be in her class.” Love Does for Kids is comprised of true stories about Goff, Viducich, and their family and friends, along with animals, Disneyland, ice cream sandwiches and other themes that appeal to children. The stories are amusing in themselves but also contain suggestions for tangible things a child can do to make the world a better place, or thought-provoking questions that will leave readers pondering God’s presence in their lives. “We made them really short chapters,” says Goff. “They are short and about things kids want to read about. That’s the best way to get kids thinking about God, by connecting Him to the things that they’re interested in. Hopefully these short stories will bring a smile to their faces.” Most of the stories featured in Love Does for Kids delve into the Goff family’s personal history in order to share a deeper lesson. For example, children will learn about the power of friendship from a story about how Viducich and her siblings requested and received StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

33


Feature Story

Earlier this year, Goff released Everybody Always, in which he shared more stories from his colorful life and his desire to show love towards everyone he meets, even those who aren’t easy to like, much less love. “My faith guides everything I do,” he says. Jesus is the one who leads people. Our job here on Earth is to love people. And that means to love everybody, always.”

“We made them really short chapters. They are short and about things kids want to read about. That’s the best way to get kids thinking about God, by connecting Him to the things that they’re interested in. Hopefully these short stories will bring a smile to their faces.”

audiences with a number of world leaders shortly after 9/11. While talking to their children about the terrorist attacks on our nation, Goff and his wife, Maria, asked them, “If you could speak with a president or king right now, what would you say?” Taken with the idea of being able to communicate with the leader of a country, the children wrote letters to world leaders asking to meet with them and have a conversation about hope that could be videotaped and shared with children across the globe. They sent out over 300 letters. The responses trickled in, with most politely declining the request for an interview. But over 25 leaders agreed to the meeting and welcomed the Goff family into their respective countries. 34

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Goff says he believes his books have been popular because they help people to do the things they already know they should do. He modestly says the material in his books contains the same lessons that have been promoted since Jesus began his ministry. “People aren’t necessarily always looking for more information or to be educated,” Goff says. “When I go to church, I’m not looking to learn new words in Hebrew. I’m looking for encouragement. That’s what I hope that people young and old will find in my books: encouragement and love.” For more information about Bob Goff and his Love Does organization, visit lovedoes.org.


C E L E B R AT I N G 20 YEARS of EXCELLENCE in CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING

Celebrate World

Kindness Day! November 13, 2018

“Sattler’s fable provides a model for how a sharing and caring community will win against a selfish bully’s ugly influence … Truly, a tale for our times.” —Kirkus Reviews

sleepingbearpress.com 866-918-3956

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

35


Advertorial

Linda Harkey Pens a Tail-Wagging Chapter Book Series by Melissa Fales

36

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Advertorial

Linda Harkey wasn’t allowed to have a dog as a child, but she’s been making up for lost time ever since. Over the past 30 years, she and her husband, Mike, an avid bird hunter, have owned a bevy of hunting dogs. “I would say we’ve easily had over 30 dogs,” Harkey says. “Sometimes we would have five or six at a time.” With such close proximity to that many dogs, Harkey has amassed many happy memories of particularly beloved companions and plenty of material for her new series about dogs, beginning with her book, Hickory Doc’s Tales, The Pack: First Generation. The book is a collection of funny stories about hunting dogs designed to entertain elementary school students. Each of the nine chapters is a standalone story. All of the dogs featured in the book, four German Shorthair Pointers and one Labrador Retriever, are based on dogs Harkey and her husband once owned. While dogs are widely considered man’s best friend, Harkey says hunting dogs and their human hunting partners form a special bond. “For bird hunters in particular, at least in my husband’s case, it’s more about the relationship with the hunting dog than it is about the hunting itself,” she says. The book is narrated by the oldest, wisest dog in the pack, officially named Chicoree’s Hickory Doc, but known informally as Doc. “I decided the stories needed to be written through the eyes of the dogs,” Harkey says. It was easy for her to write the book from a dog’s perspective. “I speak dog,” she says. “After 30 years of being around hunting dogs seven days a week, 24 hours a day, I understand the language of dogs. They are unique and individual. You get to learn the personalities of each animal. You come to understand how they communicate.” In Hickory Doc’s Tales, readers learn about life at the Lazy Dog Hacienda kennel. There are plenty of adventures in the fields as the dogs have run-ins with porcupines and armadillos and even skunks. “Each story has a message,” says Harkey. “It’s nothing preachy, just simple life lessons for children to learn from and take with them as they grow.” Harkey’s canine tales are charming. “Every story is fiction, but they’re all taken from real life,” says Harkey. “There’s the story about when Zeke tried to

pull a calf by its neck in order to impress a female dog named Sly. And of course the kids love the story, Zeke and the Cabbage Patch Skunk.” One of Harkey’s favorite dogs in the book is Newt, the Lab. “He would stand by a tree and watch me as I would feed the horses,” she says. “All the other dogs would run around but Newt would just stand there and wait for me to come back. How many of us are lucky enough to have a friend who will always be there like Newt, no matter what?” Harkey has a knack for capturing the attention of young people. After teaching high school business skills, she spent 25 years as a museum docent at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and later at The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa. “You learn to give tours to large groups of children,” she says. “You learn to tell stories and you learn how to bring them in so they get interested. You learn how to make the material exciting so they want to see more.” As a docent at the museums, Harkey had the opportunity to write curricula for various children’s programs. She brings that skill to Hickory Doc’s Tales, which not only serves as a bridge for children between picture books and chapter books, but also lends itself well to various creative writing lessons StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

37


Advertorial

and activities. “This past summer, I took part in a summer reading program with my book,” says Harkey. “I read one chapter a week to the children and after the story we did creative activities that related to the book. I hope that someday my book finds its way into many classrooms. I think it’s a book teachers can use for many different class projects.” Harkey says the feedback from the summer reading program and from author visits to elementary schools has been extremely positive. “Children spend a lot of time with their iPhones and iPads, but I think it’s important for them to learn to read books you can hold and touch and feel,” she says. “I think this book has been so well-received because kids love animals, especially dogs. When they’re reading about

“These are stories I’ve had forever. I wanted to get them out there so that somebody will remember these wonderful animals. It’s not about my legacy, it’s about the dogs’ legacies.”

topics that they enjoy, like dogs and animals and nature, kids tend to want to read more.” While Hickory Doc’s Tales was written for children, Harkey says anyone who has an interest in animals, young or old, will enjoy it. “Animals are special,” she says. “They have a lot to tell us if we’re just willing to listen. I feel like the way things are going today, we need a kinder, gentler world and I think animals in general, and dogs in particular, can show us a better way.” Harkey is already hard at work on more books in the Hickory Doc’s Tales series. Next will be a picture book called The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow. She’s also started writing Hickory Doc’s Tales, The Pack: Next 38

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Generation, which introduces Deacon, a determined three-legged dog who was very special to Harkey despite the fact that he had a predilection for eating the bindings off of books, including her treasured art books and her husband’s hunting journals. In 2005, Harkey released her first book, The Budding Staff. “It’s a sweet book for mothers to read to their children,” she says. Thirteen years later, Harkey says she felt the time was right to write Hickory Doc’s Tales as a way to keep the memory of her beloved hunting dogs alive. “These are stories I’ve had forever,” she says. “I wanted to get them out there so that somebody will remember these wonderful animals. It’s not about my legacy, it’s about the dogs’ legacies.” For more information about Linda Harkey and Hickory Doc’s Tales, The Pack: First Generation, visit hickorydocstales.com.


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

39


My Favorite Teacher

Ms. Meister by Jocelyn Krauski

When I started at a new school as a first grader, I was far behind the other kids. I didn’t have the ability to read. For this reason, I couldn’t participate in the class activities. It’s a bit hard to follow along in a book when you can’t read what it says. Ms. Meister helped me with this, though. Every day, she and I would sit together in a little room and we would practice and practice and practice until I could say, read, and understand what each word meant. I wanted so badly to make her proud that I would go home and hide in my room and read. By the time school came around the next day, I hoped to be able to recite the book word for word. I wanted to make sure she knew that she was making a difference in my life. I was frustrated that I was far behind the other kids but also, I got out of class to go work with one of my favorite people at the school. I loved doing that. No matter how much I wanted to give up and just quit, she kept me going and I am so thankful for that. By the end of our time together, I was reading at a higher level than I needed to and soon enough, I was reading at such a high level that teachers really had to question if I understood what I was reading. I remember every day for a couple of years after we stopped working together, I would still go and talk to her if I saw her right away in the morning. It didn’t matter to me what we talked about, although it was usually which book I was currently reading or what she would be reading to the younger kids that day. I enjoyed talking to her and it made me feel better going into my day. I never really got the chance to tell her just how much I appreciated everything that she did for me and that has bugged me for a long time now. She made it so I could finally read books with my grandma, something that I had wanted to be able to do for such a long time. She made me love something that prior to I had hated because it made me so frustrated. Many teachers strive to help children, but Ms. Meister went the extra mile and changed my life forever. She has provided me with the necessary instrument to make it through my life and obtain success in what I do. Without her helping me 12 years ago, I could never have hoped to be going off to college and going into a highly educated field. What she taught me was like a wildfire that spread across every aspect of my life. She has helped so many kids just like me spark an interest in reading. Not only did she spark that interest in me, but she also ignited a need to learn as much as I could with my newfound ability to understand. Thank you, Ms. Meister.

Hey Kids! Visit StoryMonsters.com for instructions on how to submit your work! 40

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

41


Fall Reading List

READING

LIST

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy

Pete’s new at school and is already making trouble. Instead of standing by, his classmates get involved and teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”? A must-have for parents and educators of elementary schoolers. This book empowers kids to stand up for themselves and others while encouraging them to make a difference by taking action against bullying. ISBN-13: 9781933916729

Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah! by Margie Blumberg

New immigrant Bunny Romero is thrilled that her class will be visiting the White House. Now she’s sure that her dream will come true: to eat her favorite cookies—her Mexican nana’s hamantashen— in the mansion’s kitchen; then she’ll really feel at home in America. When Bunny discovers that the kitchen isn’t on the tour, she sneaks away to find it. A search for Bunny ensues, and the White House— home to the first female president—will never be the same!

Lester the Scared Little Leaf by Nina Gardner

Lester Leaf watches his friends, Shaky Sam, Bright Betty, and Golden Gary shout out with joy as they leap from the tree. But Lester is too afraid of falling. So how does he overcome his fears and take that leap of faith? Take this colorful journey with Lester in a story of puns that’ll make you chuckle, then make you feel that you too, can overcome.

Catalina and the King’s Wall by Patty Costello

When Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall, she fears her family won’t be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But the king demands an impenetrable wall. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion! Through beautiful illustrations and enjoyable prose, kids learn how to stand by convictions of inclusivity and kindness even when powerful people tell them not to.

42

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Fall Reading List

The One and Only Owen by Nicole Evans Haumesser

The One and Only Owen is a musical journey of self-awareness and love taken by Owen, a young earthworm. Owen feels sad due to his constant comparison of himself to other creatures around him in the garden. He wishes he were a bee, a ladybug, or anything but himself. But when Owen discovers his value, his self-esteem grows and it changes how he views the world around him. Highlights the importance of earthworms in garden ecosystems.

Quincy the Quail Saves a Life by Barbara Renner

This is a great book to read that can prompt a discussion about bullies. When Quincy the Quail takes his family to hunt for food in a new neighborhood, they encounter a bullying hummingbird. Quincy protects his chicks from the bully and ends up saving a life. Audio QR codes allow the reader to hear the quail calls and hummingbird sounds. Read interesting facts about the Gambel’s Quail and Rubythroated Hummingbirds. Available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and RennerWrites.com.

Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast by Regan W.H. Macaulay

Mixter Twizzle is an odd, red, round-shaped, mischievous creature. He lives in a hovel, beneath a rustic barn, underneath the chicken coop at Riverdale Farm. He’s a snoozing sneezer and a snoring barker—a peculiar sort that both annoys and pleases. At first, Mixter Twizzle is thrilled by his egg-gorging fests, delighting in his own wickedness, but he soon realizes he is lonely. He longs for companionship, but the hens will have nothing to do with him. Can this fiendish creature learn to make friends at the farm?

Bobby Birthday: A Story about Friendship by Larissa Juliano

Bobby Birthday loves going to birthday parties even when he’s not invited. He samples the food, peeks at presents, bounces on inflatable elephant trunks, all the while escaping his mom’s healthy cooking. Then one day, Bobby meets a boy named Teddy who only has grown-ups as guests. As Bobby talks to him, he realizes his party crashing can serve a much better purpose—encouraging friendship, no matter what our differences may be.

Bacon’s Big Smooching Adventure by Olivia Johnson

Bacon’s Big Smooching Adventure is a whimsical story about a smooching pig with a huge heart for his animal friends. He smooches all kinds of furry and not-so-furry animal friends to raise money for animals in need. Bacon knows that everyone is unique and special in their own way and that everyone needs to be loved. We hope you will enjoy Bacon’s Big Smooching Adventure.

I See the Sun series by Satya House

Explore the world! Life in different countries told from a child’s point of view. I See the Sun books are an award-winning series of bilingual picture books, each focused on one country and one day in the life of one child with a story told from the child’s perspective. Every book introduces the culture, family life, and language of one particular country in a way that is sensitive to each culture. Includes ageappropriate (5+) country facts and a glossary for extended learning. Books include I See the Sun in: USA, Turkey, Nepal, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Mexico, and Myanmar (Burma). www.satyahouse.com

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

43


Fall Reading List

Good Egg and Bad Apple by Henry Herz

Not all the foods in the refrigerator get along like peas in a pod. Bad Apple and Second Banana are at the root of the problem. The vegetables are steamed. Good Egg suggests his friends try different responses to the bullies, but his tactics don’t bear fruit, at first. Only by using his noodle does Good Egg save their bacon. Readers are served plenty of food for thought with hilarious gastronomical idioms and puns. Complete with education dessert about wordplay.

The Bossy Pirate

by John Steven Gurney

It’s mutiny on the high seas in this light-hearted lesson from author and illustrator John Steven Gurney. When Salty Jack pretends his bedroom is a pirate ship, his friends are ready to help but their daring adventure goes to the dogs when Captain Salty Jack barks out too many orders. Children will discover along with Captain Jack that an adventure can be even more thrilling when everyone is allowed to share their creative ideas, and even steer the ship.

The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest: A New Friend by Maggie van Galen

What happens when you change yourself to be better liked? How do you spot a true friend? And can monkey’s fly? These questions are all answered when Keeno meets a new friend! Keeno is a mischievous little monkey, and his best friend Ernest is a clever young elephant. One day, Keeno meets a fancy new friend who has him making all kinds of changes. Will his tried and true friendship with Ernest be tested? Follow the adventure as Keeno finds himself lost, scared, and soaking wet! Learn more about KeenoandErnest.com.

The Peculiar Possum: The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht

In The Peculiar Possum, the Nocturnal Brigade—Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark—encounter a strange animal hanging by its tail from a tree that should be avoided. After learning more about Penny the possum, they realize just how similar they all are. The story is told with plenty of humor while underscoring the importance of respecting differences in others. For free printable activities, including sight word games, coloring pages, animal mask crafts, and more visit GrowAndRead.com.

Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town

by Leslie Tall Manning, winner of the Sarton Literary Award

An out-of-control 16-year-old finds her life turned upside down when she and her family become the stars of a reality show. The time: 1861. The place: The North Carolina backcountry. For four months, cameras will follow Brooke’s every move as she relinquishes the comforts of modern day to live the grueling life of a pioneer. But can a young girl’s wishful heart surrender to a time and place she believes she can never call home? For readers 13+.

Click on the book cover to purchase any of the above titles. To advertise your book in our Reading list, contact Cristy Bertini at cristy@storymonsters.com for rate information.

44

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

45


Monsters at the Movies

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Reviewed by Nick Spake

GRADE: B After years of stereotyping, typecasting, and even whitewashing, western entertainment is finally starting to craft more complex roles for Asian performers. Not only has there been several acclaimed TV shows like Fresh Off the Boat and Andi Mack, but Crazy Rich Asians dominated the box office three weeks in a row. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is another romantic comedy that shines the spotlight on a strong Asian lead. What makes this adaptation of Sofia Alvarez’s young adult novel so encouraging is that the film doesn’t call attention to itself for being diverse. Actually, you could take out the fact that the protagonist is part Asian and it wouldn’t change the narrative in the slightest. There seems to be a mentality in Hollywood that if a lead is a person of color, that needs to be the focus of the movie. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, however, demonstrates that ethnicity doesn’t need to govern a character’s entire personality. Lana Condor delivers a lovable breakthrough performance as Lara Jean, a shy teenage girl struggling to navigate through life as she enters her junior year of high school and her older sister Margot (Janel Parrish) goes off to college. Margot is also leaving behind her ex-boyfriend Josh (Israel Broussard), who was originally Lara Jean’s best male 46

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

friend and longtime crush. Although Lara Jean never had the guts to reveal her true feelings to Josh, she unleashed all of her emotions in a love letter years ago. Lara Jean actually wrote letters to every boy she’s ever had a crush on, keeping them hidden away in a secret box. A can of worms is opened when the letters are accidentally mailed, sending Lara Jean into panic mode. In addition to Josh, a letter is also sent to the hunky Peter (Noah Centineo), who Lara Jean kissed in a game of spin-the-bottle during their early teens. In order to convince Josh that she no longer has feelings for him and salvage her relationship with Margot,


Monsters at the Movies

Lara Jean decides to enter a fake romance with Peter. Signing a contract, both make it clear upfront that they have no real feelings for each other whatsoever. Of course if you’ve seen Can’t Buy Me Love, Say Anything…, or any John Hughes movie, it should be evident that these two opposites are eventually going to attract. Needless to say, the plot here isn’t a game-changer. We all know where the characters are going to end up and at times you wish the screenplay took a few more chances with the premise. For example, five letters are sent in total, but we really only focus on two of the boys Lara an has loved. There could’ve been great comedic potential with the other three boys, but they’re given little screen time. Then again, what matters most in a movie like this is the chemistry between the leads and the relationship that inevitably blossoms is quite sweet. Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter isn’t the only one that’s effectively handled. She also demonstrates a believable rapport with her supportive father (John Corbett), her nosy younger

sister (Anna Cathcart), and Margot, who looks out for her family even when matters become strenuous. The film also works as a story about the high school experience. While not every moment comes off as realistic, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before does touch upon everyday issues like bullying, insecurity, and the negative side of social media. It gets these messages across without coming off as cheap or manipulative, though, with a relatable role model guiding the way. For any young girl approaching their teen years, the film will likely help prepare them for some of the challenges and changes on the horizon. At the same time, it serves up a plate of comfort food that families and friends can feast upon.

Nick Spake Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University, Nick Spake has been working as a film critic for ten years reviewing movies on his website: nickpicksflicks.com.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

47


James Patterson

Let’s Get Our Kids Reading by James Patterson photo by Stephanie Diani

As parents, it’s our responsibility to teach our kids a lot—how to ride a bike, catch a ball, brush our teeth. But do you know what the most important thing is? It might surprise you. It’s how to read. And keep reading. Reading is vital for kids. It helps build character. It prepares them for school and helps them when it comes to making choices. Reading lets kids learn about the different ways that other people think. It teaches them to empathize and understand other perspectives. It opens doors for kids and gives them more opportunities. 48

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

So why is reading a four-letter word to so many kids? And how do we get them to pick up more books? Kids say that the No. 1 reason they don’t read more is that they can’t find books they like. However, it’s not only that. It’s also because so much of the reading they’re forced to do is just tedious. Assignments from school can be boring or dry. And a lot of the time, commercial books are looked down upon by teachers and administrators. But these books are just as good as the classics. They’re the ones that our kids choose, the ones that get them motivated and excited about reading.


James Patterson

Several years ago, my agent told me that I was really good at getting people to keep turning the page. Which got me thinking. Why not use that skill to write stories for kids? So I wrote the Maximum Ride and Middle School series. I even established a children’s imprint at Little, Brown called Jimmy Patterson. Our mission there is to publish books that will turn kids into life-long readers. I wanted to give kids stories that they couldn’t put down. I wanted them to pick up books like the Percy Jackson series, A Wrinkle in Time, Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels, and Hunger Games and be floored by how much fun they had reading. I wanted to get them hooked on books. When my son, Jack, was eight, my wife and I made it our mission to get him reading. That summer we told him he didn’t have to mow the lawn, but he had to read every day. At first, he wasn’t thrilled. But we worked with him and found books we knew he would like. By the end of the summer, he’d read half a dozen books, and his reading skills had improved dramatically. He’d avoided the dreaded summer slide and come out ahead, all because we picked out books together that we knew he would love. Another good idea is to sign your child up for a summer reading program. Better yet, sign up for it yourself. A great way to get your kids motivated to read is by being a reading role model. Establish a “household reading hour” each night. Make it a habit for everyone, not just your kids. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have as a family that reads together.

Finding the right book for your kids can be tough, though. A great place to start your search is at your local library. They’ll have a variety of books for you to choose from, and the librarians will have some expert recommendations if you need help. Unfortunately, many libraries and school systems are underfunded and unable to stock a good selection of books. As part of my initiative to get kids reading, I partnered with Scholastic to help support classroom libraries across the country. Each teacher who is selected receives $500 for their classroom library. With this we’re able to give more kids access to good books. You can help, too. If you have books you no longer need lying around the house, consider donating them to a local classroom. The more books we can give our kids access to, the more likely they are to become readers. If we want kids to become life-long readers, reading has to be a joyful experience. Don’t limit their choices. Let them pick the books they want to read, especially during the summer. Vampire sagas, comics, manga, books about sports—these are all terrific. As long as a kid is reading and enjoying it, they’ll ask for another book. And then another after that. They’ll become better readers with each one they finish. There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books. If we can put the right book in their hands, the story will do the rest.

The world’s #1 bestselling author has teamed up with the world’s most famous genius to entertain, educate, and inspire a generation of kids with the first and only kids’ book series officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

49


Upside Down On

CONRAD’S CLASSROOM

Wobbly Ground by Conrad J. Storad

Being an author is fun. One of my favorite parts of the job is getting the chance to visit schools. I love talking with students of all ages about science and the world around us. Student curiosity is refreshing. Often, their questions can be challenging. Planet Earth and our solar system is always a fun topic. It usually doesn’t take long before a young scientist-to-be asks about the shape of our world. 50

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

The question is often something like, “If the earth is round, then why don’t people in Australia feel like they are upside down?” The answer is fairly simple. But the explanation takes work. From our point of view, Australians really are standing upside down. But from their point of view, we are the ones upside down. The explanation involves gravity. Earth is a sphere. With a ball or

a sphere, the center of gravity is always in the middle. Gravity is the force that pulls us toward the surface of our planet. It doesn’t matter where you are standing on a spherical object. Gravity is always pulling everyone and everything “in” or “down,” toward the middle of the planet. Right now, as I write these words on my computer in my office in Barberton, Ohio, my head is


Conrad’s Classroom

pointing toward the sky and outer space. The soles of my shoes point down toward the center of the earth. If I could drill through the center of the planet, I would come out close to Australia. I might pop out right into the shoe bottoms of a writer working in his office. But his head would be pointing up to the sky and outer space as well. Since gravity is always pulling us toward the center of earth, the ground is always “down” and the sky is always “up.” Make sense? Good, but there is a catch. Our planet is not a perfectly round sphere. Earth is actually squashed at both ends. And our planet is tilting. Earth is like a huge, spinning top. But it doesn’t stand and spin straight up and down. Earth leans a bit to one side. The lean is called “axial tilt.” Think about a straw pushed through the center of a ball of clay. The ball doesn’t tilt when the straw is straight up and down. But tilt the straw at an angle and the ball will tilt in the same direction. That same thing happens with our planet. The “straw” is Earth’s polar axis. Think of the axis as a tilted imaginary line that runs through our planet top to bottom, North Pole to South Pole. The earth spins, or rotates, on this titled axis. Our planet takes 24 hours to rotate one full spin. We call this period of time a day. But wait, there’s more. The tilted earth wobbles as it spins. Day arrives on the part of the planet turned toward the sun. Night falls on the part of planet turned away from the sun. At the same time,

our tilted planet is spinning and wobbling, it also is moving in a huge path around the sun. That path is called Earth’s “orbit.” Every planet in our solar system has its own orbit around the sun. It takes one year for the earth to complete a single orbit. The planet spins on its axis a bit more than 365 times during that time. And Earth’s orbit around the sun is not always circular. Sometimes it looks more like an egg-shaped pattern. The pattern changes slowly over 100,000 years. All of this has an effect on Earth’s weather patterns. The planet’s yearly trek around the sun is a reason for the seasons. The days get shorter and longer because of our planet’s tilt. Why? Because the amount of sunlight reaching any part of the Earth’s surface changes during the trip around the sun. Days get shorter on the parts that tilt away from the sun. They get longer when that part tilts back toward the sun. What does all of this movement look like? Imagine you are flying aboard the Space Shuttle high in outer space. When you look down from the side, the earth is moving from left to right. Now look down from above the North Pole. Earth will be spinning counterclockwise below you. Is your head spinning yet? All of the tilting and spinning and wobbling are actually very good for us and other living things. Earth never really gets too hot or too cold in any one spot. We are lucky to live on such a topsyturvy world.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE BOOKS • Earth is Tilting! by Conrad J. Storad • What is The Solar System? Astronomy Book for Kids by Baby Professor • National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine and David A. Aguilar

WEBSITES • YouTube – NASA – Introducing the Solar System and Beyond – for Kids https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=upCu4h0fsTo • Chain Reaction magazine– Issue 3 – Solar System http://chainreactionkids.org/ • YouTube – Solar System 101 – National Geographic https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=libKVRa01L8

Conrad J. Storad The award-winning author and editor of more than 50 science and nature books for children and young adults, Conrad J. Storad expertly draws young readers into his imaginative and entertaining “classroom” to help them better understand and appreciate the natural world.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

51


Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

Mrs. Mole, I’m Home!

by Jarvis (Candlewick Press) Reviewer: Sherry L. Hoffman

Jarvis crafts a humorous tale in Mrs. Mole, I’m Home! After losing his pair of glasses, Mr. Mole cannot seem to find his way home. Time after time, he is mistaken as he burrows his way into some interesting situations. Equipped with a map and brilliant colors, young readers will surely dig this story. Used as a teaching tool, this laugh-out-loud story would be a great read aloud to discuss responsibility, map skills, and problem-solving. (Ages 2-5)

A Typically Random Extraordinary Day

by Patrick Enders, Barbara Counsil (Snowbelt Press) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

Story time will surely take on laughter and a snort when this delightful, rhythmic story comes to an abrupt stop with a typically random silly thought. So often, we fail to keep our thoughts corralled to the end of a conversation, and we begin to jump ahead and anticipate what is to be said. Patrick Enders’ humor is light, fun, and very insightful. (Ages 3+)

We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands

by Rafael Lopez (Scholastic Press) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

A salute to the lives of all young people with rhythmic verse and repetitive emphasis on “we” and “our” encourages inclusive communities and the celebration of unity and diverse friendships all around the world. I bet you can’t read this book without singing! Its positive message and colorful illustrations are sure to delight. (Ages 3-5)

Sammy’s Spooktacular Halloween

by Mike Petrik (Two Lions) Reviewer: Julianne Black

Diehard Halloweenies unite! Sammy is ready for next Halloween—starting November 1st! A fun story about a little boy in love with preparing for his family’s annual haunted house. Little ghosts and ghouls will love watching Sammy getting ready for next Halloween; that is, if his family can handle a full year of tricks! (Ages 3-7)

What If Everybody Said That?

by Ellen Javernick, Colleen Madden (Two Lions) Reviewer: Julianne Black

This is a great one for bullying awareness and kind campaigns at school or difficult talks at home. Why? Because there are many situations where it makes a bigger impact to see the consequences of one’s actions or, in this case, words. In What if Everybody Said That, not only do we see the remarks that are hurtful as examples of what not to say, but they are paired with possible consequences about how they make others feel or what impact negative words have on our surroundings. Javernick and Madden let you experience what it looks like to be on the other side of unkind words and it makes an impact. Powerful but not preachy, it’s a wonderful pro-kindness tool. (Ages 3-7) 52

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Book Reviews

That Bear Can’t Babysit

by Ruth Quayle, Alison Friend (Nosy Crow) Reviewer: Sherry L. Hoffman

Ruth Quayle and Alison Friend create a delightful tale about a family of rabbits needing a babysitter for an evening. Bear answers the call to help Mr. and Mrs. Burrow and the rabbit family. The bunnies soon find out that Bear is not quite ready to take on the task of watching seven energetic bunnies. Test after test proves Bear’s inexperience, leaving the bunnies questioning his ability to babysit. However, eventually Bear captures their attention with his imaginative ship, much to the bunnies’delight. Children will enjoy the colorful illustrations and humorous situations which are found in this hoppy tale. (Ages 3-7)

The Prince and the Pee

by Greg Gormley, Chris Mould (Nosy Crow) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

You never know when those trying predicaments may just lead you to greatness. Prince Freddie is off to conquer a nasty dragon after a leisurely afternoon spent sipping lemonade. He isn’t far into his task before jostling upon his faithful steed makes him have to pee! Difficulties along the way make it impossible to relieve himself, until he thinks he will burst. This giggle-worthy tale will keep your little ones wiggling in their seats right to the end. It’s sure to be a pleaser. (Ages 3-7)

Big Brown Bear’s Cave

by Yuval Zommer (Templar) Reviewer: Larissa Juliano

This book made me smile from start to finish. What a beautifully clever and fun concept to share the story of a bear looking for fulfillment, discovering lots of ‘stuff’ that he likes, only to realize that his cave really feels like home when he is with his family and friends. The underlying theme of material goods versus meaningful relationships is powerful, but gently and subtly reflected in the book’s sweet story and stunning illustrations. The setting of Bear’s cave, human homes, and backdrop of the forest is exquisite. A story that will linger with readers long after it has been shared. (Ages 3-7)

The Treasure of Pirate Frank

by Mal Peet, Elspeth Graham, Jez Tuya (Nosy Crow) Reviewer: Larissa Juliano

Treasures, pirates, and adventures? The Treasure of Pirate Frank combines these fascinating, engaging, and high interest topics in a colorful, special and unique tale that children will find absolutely enchanting as they follow a curious boy on his quest for gold. Snowy mountains, monkey filled forests, bullfrog packed swamps, and islands filled with spice are no match for this boy and his determination to find Pirate Frank’s gold! Readers will giggle as they discover who Pirate Frank really is. A great mentor text for cumulative tales. (Ages 3-7)

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes

by Eva Chen, Derek Desierto (Feiwel and Friends) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil 

Trying to fit into someone else’s shoes can often be clunky and awkward. Instead of making us feel cooler, it can pinch our own bedazzling flow. Juno Valentine discovers there are some truly amazing shoes out there. But she also learns that she could take something special from each one and make her own perfect fit. Illustrations by Desierto are spunky and fun! This is a great seed planted in the field of individual style. (Ages 4-6)

No Frogs in School

by A. LaFaye, Églantine Ceulemans (Sterling Children’s Books) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This is sure to bring a silent smile to every parent who deals with a child who follows very closely to the strict meaning of words used while being instructed them. Bartholomew Botts loves his pets, and while doing his best to follow the teacher’s rules, he determines which pets are best to share. I found this story highly enjoyable as a mom and grandma. The illustrations by Ceulemans are truly fun and entertaining. (Ages 4-7)

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

53


Book Reviews

Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast

by Regan W.H. Macaulay, Wei Lu (Mirror World Publishing) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The eye-catching illustrations will capture and hold the audience, while its text tugs the heart and makes one think. A glimpse into careless, selfish behaviors can be clearly seen, while hope for recovery bursts onto the scene. Love may just be the soft little thing that can turn this mischievous imp from being so mean! This is a great story to build powerful foundations of kindness and empathy, while warding off selfish behavior. (Ages 4-7)

The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael

by Bonny Becker, Mark Fearing (Candlewick Press) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The illustrations in this spooky tale are sure to send delightful shivers up and down every word read. A clever twist unfolds, and is sure to leave its reader howling with laughter. Remember, things are not always as they appear. (Ages 4-8)

This is a Good Story

by Adam Lehrhaupt, Magali Le Huche (S&S/Paula Wiseman Books) Reviewer: Sherry L. Hoffman

There comes a time in an educator’s life when you find a treasure on the bookshelves that will be a definite game-changer in the classroom. This is destined to be that book. This tale teaches children the important parts of a fictional story while they are reading the storyline. What a novel idea! Teachers will appreciate this as a fun, educational read-aloud to introduce and teach literary terms like: hero, heroine, protagonist, antagonist, setting, conflict, plot, and climax. Together the author and illustrator brilliantly teach readers how to take a story from boring to extraordinary by adding depth to the details. A perfect addition to help young writers flourish and build upon their writing skills. (Ages 4-8)

The Very Last Castle

by Travis Jonker, Mark Pett (Abrams) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The pictures of this story captured me, so the words could work their magic. Bravery comes in packages both big and small. There is so much to digest in this simple story! I encourage you to get hold of it, devour it, and find the satisfaction in life it can avail. If we can look beyond opinions, rise above the fear of the different or unknown, what a treat we may find! (Ages 4-8)

Best Friends in the Universe

by Stephanie Watson, Le Uyen Pham (Orchard Books) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a delightfully realistic depiction of childhood friendship! Or maybe friendship in general. The illustrations are adorable and lively and bring forth the best of the text’s intentions. It’s a good learning tool in preparation for beginning friendships, and a perfect reminder of the joys of old ones. (Ages 4-8)

The Greatest Adventure

by Tony Piedra (Arthur A. Levine Books) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil 

Eliot won my heart from the first page! His eyes dance with wonder and excitement. Adventure and love fills his enormous heart. That is till the world disrupts its daily routine. The story carries the joy of imagination and childhood while capturing the heart of love and relationship. A grandparent and child seem to find magic in togetherness. Truly a heartwarming tale. (Ages 4-8)

The Peculiar Possum: The Nocturnals

by Tracey Hecht, Josie Yee (Fabled Films Press) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

Our three Nocturnal friends encounter strange sounds and smells in the valley. When an unfamiliar animal appears, Bismark is not pleased! He is put off by his new encounter with a possum. She’s different, and he tries to find fault in her. But together with his friends, they discover different isn’t bad, it’s just an opportunity to discover something or someone new! A great book on acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion. (Ages 5-7) 54

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


Book Reviews

Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

by Rachel Kolar, Roland Garrigue (Sleeping Bear Press) Reviewer: Julianne Black

Is it Halloween yet? Get the kids ready for trick-or-treating with the cleverly adapted fairy tales from Mother Ghost! Here you will find spirited remakes of favorite nursery rhymes told with a ghoulish twist like “What are Little Bats Made of?” Along with “Hey Diddle Diddle, Black Cat with a Fiddle,” they are so much fun to read and share! Illustrator Roland Garrigue knocks it out of the park with his creepy visual pairings that give the whole book a wickedly fun appeal. (Ages 5-7)

Mission Defrostable (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)

by Josh Funk, Brendan Kearney (Sterling Children’s Books) Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The brightly-colored cover will grab your attention. The illustrations by Kearney will hold it, and the unique characters are sure to bring a chuckle or two. It’s a fun take on problem-solving and teamwork, dusted with understanding and compassion. It’s easy to get caught in a trap of misperception, making poor judgements, and missing out on otherwise good things. A cute story that builds lasting foundations. (Ages 5-9)

Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton, Spike Gerrell (Walker Books US) Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 11

I don’t play a lot of soccer, but right when I looked at Soccer School, I knew it would be tons of fun. I noticed as I got deeper into the book that there were facts, questions, and quizzes about soccer to keep you on your toes. I learned about all the planning, effort, and hard work that goes into playing the game. I loved the funny illustrations and how the book talks about every aspect of soccer, including what meal everyone eats before a game. I had a blast reading this book and I am now interested in the culture of soccer. This is a great book to bring on a plane or road trip to quiz friends and family. (Ages 7-10)

Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine

by Sands Hetherington, Jessica Love (Adventures After Lights Out) Reviewer: Diana Perry

For young John Degraffenreidt, a sleepless night is no reason to fret when tossing and turning in bed brings a bright red crocodile named Crosley out from under his bed. The impostors must be stopped, and Night Buddies John and Crosley are just the guys to stop them! Racing blimp stakeouts high in the sky, impostor traps organized with the help of a friend, and a never-ending supply of pineapple cheesecake frozen yogurt make for one totally super sleepless night. I not only found this book to be completely fun and entertaining to read, but very relatable. Kids will just love this funny and adventurous story. I can’t imagine a better bedtime book! (Ages 8-10)

Breaking the Barriers: A Girl’s Dream to Play Little League with the Boys by Robbin Miller (Pen It! Publications, LLC) Reviewer: Diana Perry

During a summer family picnic in 1974, Robbin observes a little league game being played in a nearby baseball field. Seeing how much fun the game is, she wants to play too, but soon discovers that girls are not allowed to play little league baseball with boys. Refusing to give up her dream, Robbin learns about a famous court case ruled that same year, that girls were to be allowed to play. This is a fun-to-read story of a young girl’s pathway to breaking the all-boy barrier of her hometown and showing her community that girls could play the game just as well as the boys. I see both boys and girls rooting for her as the read this delightful story. (Ages 8-11)

Rosetown

by Cynthia Rylant (Beach Lane Books) Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 11

Rosetown is about a girl named Flora who is nine years old and already has a lot changing in her life. She has to deal with the loss of her dog, starting 4th grade, and ially a nine-year-old, but luckily Flora has two good friends—one old and one new, which really helps. With her friends she laughs, has fun, goes on adventures, and talks. I can really relate to Flora because she loves to read! (Ages 8-12)

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

55


Book Reviews

The Memory of Forgotten Things

by Kat Zhang (Aladdin) Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 11

The Memory of Forgotten Things is a heartwarming story about a kid named Sophia who lost her mom. Sophia continues to share fond detailed memories of her mom when she was 10 years old and other ages but we learn that these “event memories” never happened, because Sophia’s mom died when she was six years old. Everyone can relate to this story of losing someone, and the grief that it can cause. The good news is Sophia finds a someone that she can relate to and who also has memory events like her that never happened. I like how the book has fantasy/science elements to it as well. (Ages 8-12)

Dewey Fairchild: Teacher Problem Solver

by Lorri Horn (Amberjack Publishing) Reviewer: Diana Perry

In this follow-up to Dewey Fairchild: Parent Problem Solver, our genius problem solver, Dewey takes up the challenge of troublesome teachers. It turns out that tons of kids have problem teachers, so he’s soon up to his neck in cases. To make matters worse, the school is rationing toilet paper to one square per student and replacing the vending machines with a garden! This sparks a student protest and Dewey may have his hands full as he tries to come up with a solution that will please both sides. Kids will enjoy all the ways Dewey tries to become the Teacher Problem Solver that everyone needs. What a fun read! (Ages 8-12)

Dilby R. Dixon’s The Dilbonary

by Tony J. Perri (BookBaby) Reviewer: Diana Perry

Dilby R. Dixon is no ordinary 10-year-old boy. He is an outcast, the odd kid in school. To occupy his time, he uses his imagination to visit the most unbelievable places and have the most amazing adventures. From these dreams, he creates a secret journal of weird words that he calls the Dilbonary. No one knew about the Dilbonary until the school bully gets a hold of it and sets off a chain of events that will alter Dilby’s life forever. Kids who relate to Dilby will find comfort in this book knowing that they are not the only ones with these experiences. Young readers will have fun creating their own secret code words on the back pages and perhaps sharing with new friends. (Ages 8-12)

Secret Scouts and the Lost Leonardo

by Mr. & Mrs. Kind (Mokum Media) Reviewer: Diana Perry

When best friends Tom, Lisa, Sophie, and Jack stumble upon a mysterious sketch that has all the hallmarks of an Old Master, they decide to investigate. Soon they discover an original 15th century codex full of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches, writings, and calculations. Their discovery tests their friendship and their journey brings them closer to the great Leonardo da Vinci than anyone ever before. But their quest comes with risks—including death, or worse, being lost in time. Young readers will get both an adventure and a history lesson in this new fact-fiction series. (Ages 10-16)

To submit your book for review, email Cristy Bertini at cristy@storymonsters.com for submission guidelines.

56

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

57


Q&A

Q&A with

John Herzog by Julianne Black “Mom? Can you help me with this poster for school?” For many parents, this is the stuff of nightmares. Non-artistic parents playing the adult supervisor sitting at a table strewn with crayons, markers, and glue sticks stuffing down the terror with another big gulp of coffee. But what if your child is the artsy type and you … aren’t? How can you support and encourage when you can’t tell the difference between Magenta and Manganese Violet? This month I interviewed the incredible, versatile John Herzog, an author, illustrator, character designer, and teacher at Ringling College of Art & Design. I wanted to know how parents can help creative kids get from an A+ in finger painting to being selected for one of the most prestigious art schools in the country. If you find yourself sounding like a one-track mix tape of “That’s beautiful, honey!” you’ll want to read on. Q: Our story monsters come in all ages and with different interests, but I wanted to focus this month on the “artsy kids” as we dive into the school year. As an artist and teacher at Ringling College of Art & Design, you’ve seen both sides of the equation—the development of your own skills and how others help shape you, as well as now helping to shape others. In 20 years, your students will look back at your classes as they travel their own creative paths. What do you hope they will take away? A: Two key things. First, I hope they remember how much I pounded the fundamentals of design into their brains. It’s so easy to become complacent and lose your way when you decide to ignore or even throw out the fundamentals. I make it a point to consistently remind 58

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

my students that, in order to bend or even break the rules, you have to understand and master them first. Second, I hope my students remember my classes fondly. I work incredibly hard to create an environment of positivity in my classes. There’s a great line from the film Inception: “Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time.” I firmly believe that, and my courses strive to reflect that concept. Q: Do you have a mentor or an individual who helped you decide art was the right direction? What stuck and why? A: I don’t have a mentor, per se, but growing up I had a number of wonderful teachers encourage me to pursue a career in art. I also had a handful of artistic influences who really helped me. I’d say the artist who has had the biggest influence on me is Bill Peet. I discovered his books when I was a kid, and they’re still magical to me. It’s always amazed me that he was able to create picture books while working for Disney. And as I’ve gotten older and learned a little more about the man, my initial appreciation for his work has become more reverential than anything else. I mean, on top of all the books he’s done, the guy storyboarded all of 101 Dalmatians by himself! If that doesn’t command respect, I don’t know what does.


Q&A

Reading Peet’s illustrated autobiography as a kid really stuck with me because, when he had a falling out with Walt Disney over the direction of The Jungle Book, he left the studio. And soon after, he really plunged himself into creating some of the best picture books out there. That’s a solid reminder to me that, if you work at it, good things can emerge from the ashes. Never be afraid to walk away if it means that your artistic integrity stays intact. Q: Many role models in kids’ lives who are not themselves artistic have a hard time becoming a positive influence and tend to take a passive approach to their kids creativity. How can non-artsy parents and educators connect with creative kids with that same impact and influence? A: I think the passive approach you mentioned is driven by several factors. The overarching factor is one of unfamiliarity. People who don’t consider themselves artsy often don’t know how to interact with those who are. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, but I think that can be overcome by being positive and keeping an open mind. Another factor is the idea that there’s not a lot of money in the arts, that the term “starving artist” exists for a reason. While many artists are able to make a good living being creative, this phrase continues to permeate the culture, unfortunately. To my mind, the process of becoming a working artist is no different than that of becoming a working doctor or a working accountant. All vocations require incredible dedication and commitment to craft. If someone is serious about making a living as an artist, and they do everything possible to put themselves into a favorable position to accomplish that goal, they will. Will you be a millionaire? Probably not. But you’ll be able to pay the bills.

Finally, I think it’s important for non-artsy parents and educators to remember just how much art helps to positively shape our experience on this planet. Imagine a world with no art, where logic and function reign. No music. No fictional books or stories of any kind. No narrative films. No art museums. No dancing. Limited, functional architecture. Life would be incredibly boring. So, when trying to connect with artistic and creative students, I would encourage parents and educators to remember just how frightfully dull our experience here would be if there was no art. Q: Ringling College is a very prestigious art school and the students there have already started to develop the focus and drive necessary to compete and really put themselves out there. As you see students develop from newbie freshmen to seasoned seniors, what key mental processes do the most successful students absorb? For example, I imagine learning the ability to take criticism would be worth its weight in gold! Any others? A: Yes, being able to take criticism is incredibly important, and it’s something that gets somewhat easier with time and practice. Gosh, it’s so easy to just trash something and not give any reason as to why you dislike it. This is a mentality I see in a lot of freshmen, and it helps nothing. On the other hand, the successful students that I’ve observed are able to identify why they dislike something, and give suggestions on how to improve or fix the problem. Successful students are able to be both critical and constructive. And it’s important to not only identify the problems, but to also praise the aspects that are good and that you like. Again, that’s something that gets easier with practice and time.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

59


Q&A

Q: On the flip side of what students learn, what do they need to ‘un-learn’? While working to prepare for a professional life in art, are there bad habits/ negativity/self-esteem/motivation issues that are common around art students that you wish parents or teachers of young artists would recognize and work through at an earlier age?

that they turn in. It’s important to take some time to live life, to recharge, and then return to the work, renewed and inspired.

A: Going back to that “hating everything” mentality I mentioned previously, that’s a bad habit that I wish would go away. I don’t know that I’ll ever understand why that’s the “cool” thing to do. It’s okay to like things.

A: My high school had a magnet program for the arts, and my parents were an immense help when it came to applying and getting everything in order. I’d encourage parents to look for schools in their area that may have a magnet program or classes specifically designed to teach an aspect of the arts that interests your child. Libraries are also a great resource. They often have youth programs during the summer for young artists. If you have a kid who’s interested in making comics or graphic novels, NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program is fantastic. While it’s geared more toward novel writing, it’s really easy to adapt to comic books and graphic novels.

Along with that, I see a lot of students who look at their own work with such apologetic disdain. Yes, you need to have a realistic perspective when it comes to what you create, and everyone has room to improve. But I’m so tired of this profusely apologetic and malevolent attitude that a lot of students have when they show their work. Blind/stupid confidence tends to get you nowhere, of course, but I’ve found that humble confidence goes a long way. Be open to constructive critique. Be open to change and suggestions for improvement. But always stand by your work.

“Imagine a world with no art, where logic and function reign. No music. No fictional books or stories of any kind. No narrative films. No art museums. No dancing. Limited, functional architecture. Life would be incredibly boring.” Another observation: While I want my students to work harder than they ever have in their lives, it’s vital to strive for balance. I see a lot of students who are constantly scribbling in a sketchbook, and while that has a time and a place, doing it incessantly will quickly lead to burnout and a lack of inspiration. Brad Bird has a wonderful quote:

Q: As far as resources go for parents supporting young artists, are there any you would suggest that made a big impact on you?

At the end of the day, though, the best resource that young artists have is the love and support of their parents. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have parents who helped me and supported my decision to be an artist from day one. They’re a great example to me as I encourage and support my own children in their artistic pursuits. Q: What’s next for you? What can we expect on the horizon from the Wizard of Zog? A: I just finished a couple of illustrations for Highlights magazine—one for the December 2018 issue, and the other for the January 2019 issue. I love working with Highlights. The assignments I get to work on are challenging and fun, and the art director there (Patrick Greenish) is an amazing collaborator. I also have another big project coming up that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter (both @wizardofzog) for that announcement later this year. For more information about John Herzog and his work, visit wizardofzog.com.

“Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one.” I’ve found this applicable across the arts, not just for animation. I always encourage my students to work hard and strive for excellence. But if they’re feeling uninspired or drained, that’s often reflected in the work 60

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

Julianne DiBlasi Black has written and illustrated several books, including Sleep Sweet, the multi-award winning Augmented Reality picture book. www.krakensky.com.


Love in Action

These International Book Award winning children’s books were developed to help children grow in their understanding and passion for social justice and charitable works.

GREEN STREET PARK

DROP BY DROP

Green Street Park is the story of Philip, a young boy who loves his neighborhood but sees his local park needs improvement. With the help of role models and his teacher, Philip and his friends get to work caring for their environment.

In Drop by Drop, Mr. Mike, a worker with Catholic Relief Services, tells a class about a village in the country of Burkina Faso, Africa. Mr. Mike shares the story of a young girl named Sylvie, how her village needed water, and the way service projects around the world are helping villages like Sylvie’s.

PB | 978-0-8294-4099-7 | $7.95 BOOK AND REFLECTION GUIDE | 978-0-8294-4333-2 | $9.95

PB | 978-0-8294-4100-0 | $7.95 BOOK AND REFLECTION GUIDE | 978-0-8294-4335-6 | $9.95

To learn more and order your copies of Green Street Park and Drop by Drop visit www.loyolapress.com or call 800.621.1008. Shipping and handling are additional.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

61


Teaching Toolbox

Teaching Toolbox:

A Lion’s Share of Animal Books by Larissa Juliano

Children (but really all of us) love animal stories. Animals can elicit this sympathy and fondness within children that they may not even realize they have. The sweet helplessness and innocence of all types of animals … pets, farm, and zoo, are topics that kids are familiar with, can relate to, and also have a sense of control over—something I am realizing more and more as a mom is an incredibly powerful feeling for kids to experience. For me, animals make a lot of stories approachable and funny. Whether the animals have personification (a favorite literary term I love to teach even to my littlest readers) or they are in their 62

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

real habitat—animal adventures, escapades, and chronicles will always be favorites for all ages. I’ve mentioned I love Corduroy, right? Who doesn’t? And Goodnight Gorilla, and A Zoo for Mister Muster, and a million more that aren’t on the list, but these ones really seem to have some awesome similarities that are so fun to discuss with readers. Here are my favorite animal stories that I love to compare and contrast with my kiddos! I’ve put some themes and ideas (favorite topics to teach) that intertwine the pairings together.


Teaching Toolbox

Corduroy by Don Freeman and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Friendship, Acceptance, Being Overlooked) The Cats of Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy and Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah (True stories, Sacrifice, History, Overcoming Fear) Betty Bunny by Michael D. Kaplan and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (Strong Personalities, Growing up, Self-awareness, Sharing) A Zoo for Mister Muster by Arnold Lobel and A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead (Purpose of Zoos, Compassion, Friendship, Sacrifice) Little Whistle by Cynthia Rylant and Corduroy by Don Freeman (Imagination, Toys, Friendship, Adventures) Betty Bunny Wants Chocolate Cake by Michael D. Kaplan and Olivia by Ian Falconer (Growing up, Family life, Favorite Hobbies, Siblings)

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson and Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird (Dancing, Pursuing Dreams, Finding your Niche’, Hobbies, Family life, Compromise) Jubela by Cristina Kessler and The Jaguar and the Boy by Alan Rabinowitz (Wildlife Preservation, Family, Overcoming Challenges, Perseverance) Giggle, Giggle Quack by Doreen Cronin and Duck at the Door by Jackie Urbanovic (Ducks, Humor, Friendship, Compromising, Teamwork) Winnie: The True story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie the Pooh by Sally M. Walker and Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of a Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate (True stories, Overcoming Challenges, Animals vs. Humans, Compassion, Sacrifice) Officer Buckle and Gloria and Goodnight Gorilla – both by Peggy Rathmann (Family, Humor, Surprises, Author Style)

Giggle, Giggle Quack by Doreen Cronin and Duck at the Door by Jackie Urbanovic (Ducks, Humor, Friendship, Compromising, Teamwork)

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig and Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion (Family, Compassion, Acceptance, Loss, Needs Versus Wants)

Pete the Cat by James Dean and Eric Litwin and Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (Cats, Overcoming Challenges, Humor, Personality Types)

Larissa Juliano is an award-winning children’s book author, elementary school teacher, and reading specialist. Follow her on Twitter @larissasjuliano or visit larissajuliano.com.

StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

63


64

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com


StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

65


Kids Corner

WORD

SEARCH

Monster Mash! N

I

E

T

S

N

E

K

N A  R 

F

H S 

X

P

K

F

C

C

P

Z

F

R S 

T

A K  U 

N

A

N A 

E

U

R

L

I

I

N U  C  M 

S

E

S

O

M J 

O

E

O P  Z 

L

N

E

P

U

H

V

K

W E 

W G 

H O  S 

Y

K

O

C

T

M X 

L

W O  Y 

F

P

O

L

L

G

U

O T 

R M 

O O  P  S 

T

E

T M 

O B 

R

E

D Z  Y 

D S 

L

D E  D 

E

G J 

U L 

E

T

N N  I 

G

W I 

A R 

N

I

E

N

W T 

N

Y

H C 

V

I

C

A A  L 

W K 

F

H

I

U R 

H

Q

R

E

H Z 

I

S

Q K  Z 

S

O

L

L

N

G

R

E

L

X

H V  D 

V

K

K

B

B

T

F

V K 

B

X

P

C

O

G

J

G D  K  U 

A G  B  T 

F

N

C

N

O

G

T

S

Z

H T 

Z

K A 

K M  H  I 

A P  O 

I

S

X M 

E F 

   WITCH      HALLOWEEN    OCTOBER   SPOOKY   VAMPIRE   

66

Story Monsters Ink | October 2018 | StoryMonsters.com

GHOST HAUNTED  PUMPKIN  TREATS  WEREWOLF 

   GOBLIN      MUMMY      SKELETON      TRICKS      FRANKENSTEIN 


The Literary resource for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents!

SubScribe TODAY!

12 issues for $39. Over 50% off the cover price. Selected by ScHOOL LibrArY JOurNAL as one of the best magazines for kids and teens! MOM’S cHOice AWArDS Gold Award Recipient

StoryMonsters.com | 480-940-8182 StoryMonsters.com | October 2018 | Story Monsters Ink

67


m

ask

at

t .co un rner o o sc Di tersC r ax ato uc ter@B d E as yM Pla

®

An Award-Winning Valuable Resource For Parents, Educators & Young Children! Stories That Build Character to Impact Choices Building Character is Child’s Play®

What is a shy giraffe to do when a friend is being bullied? “Parents and educators both share responsibility to engender in children empathy and a sense of responsibility. Baxter’s Corner provides a unique series of children’s books that help adults teach these essential skills while telling children delightful stories. The Go Beyond section makes sharing these tales opportunities for lessons about the impact of choices we make. Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Independent School Administrator – Miami, Florida

Meet The Animals That Teach Kids About Making Good Choices Resilience

Cooperation

Respect

Determination

Respect

Compassion

Baxter’s Corner titles include: Ally Alone, What a Tree it Will Be!, Oakley in Knots, Sideways Fred, Ellema Sneezes and Gerome Sticks His Neck Out. Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and BaxtersCorner.com. www.BaxtersCorner.com PlayMaster@BaxtersCorner.com

2018 October.indd 1

8/5/18 12:20 PM

Story Monsters Ink October 2018  
New