Tag Archives: imagination

It’s Getting Close

3 Mar

ImageImageImage

I had this great New Year’s resolution that I was going to be better about blogging more in 2014 and now it is March, and I have only gotten one blog done. Ugg!  I am pretty sure I need 8 days in a week. 🙂

I am really excited to finally share some sketches from my new book coming out this summer (fingers crossed).  I already talked about it a bit in a blog I wrote several months ago. This is a brand new series about a little girl named Prinna Marie.  The first book is called Prinna Marie Goes Dancing.

This new series is definitely the byproduct of all things girly!  This is the only reason that I decided to collaborate with a new illustrator this time around.  (My husband was actually relieved.) Once you see Theresa Higby’s lovely work you will not be surprised why I couldn’t wait for her to start on this project with me.  I don’t want to share too many spoilers, but I want to share just enough for you to get a taste of how beautiful the artwork is going to be.

Prinna Marie is just like any other little girl that likes to make new friends and play pretend.  After she meets a new friend, Sophie Grace, at the park they are soon off to the Fairy’s Ball.  What little girl wouldn’t want to do that?

Like me, being in a wheelchair never stops Prinna Marie from any kind of adventure.  I guess you could say that this makes her different, but then again maybe not.  That is my goal in this series. I want to not only show disabled children that they aren’t as different from other children as they might sometimes think, but also to show able-bodied children that disabled children are just like them in all the things that really matter.  They like to make friends, play games, and go on adventures just like anyone else.

Hello, my name is Prinna Marie

won’t you come and dance with me?”

They both smiled, for they knew right away

that they would be great friends that day.

I can’t wait to share Prinna Marie Goes Dancing with you very soon!

So Much Happening

3 Jul

Little Mar

I’ve been so bad about keeping up with my blogging, but for good reason. We have been very busy with several new projects so I have many exciting things to tell everyone about.

 The first big news is that in just two days, July 4th, not only are we celebrating the United States’ birthday but this is also the launching date for our new book Diabetes and Healthy Eating co/authored with Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks.

 We are working so hard to spread the word so that we can reach as many children as possible with this incredibly important lesson about diabetes.  This book not only helps children with diabetes to understand their condition and how eating healthy benefits them, but it also helps children all over the world understand how important eating healthy is for the prevention of diabetes as well. Be sure to check out the book’s new website @ http://diabetesandhealthyeating.com to learn more details!

 Dave has also started again on our next Mommy, Tell Me a Story book.  In order to get the book on diabetes done on time we had to delay getting Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish completed.  We are still very excited about getting this done. Dave’s art work is looking wonderful as usual.  I should have some fun drawings to share very soon!  Details about this book are in previous blog posts.

 I also have even more news to share.  I have started another book series!  After starting the Mommy, Tell Me a Story series just over a year ago I have had many people ask me if any of my stories would deal with my own disability or related disabilities with children in wheelchairs.  Well to be honest, I really hadn’t thought about it until it was brought to my attention and this got my imagination rolling.

 This is how Prinna Marie Goes Dancing came about. Prinna is just like many little girls. She likes to play dress-up, play with her dolls, have tea parties and, yes, go dancing at far-away balls, in far-away lands where fairies dance in magic castles. I want children to see that just because Prinna is in a wheelchair doesn’t really make her any different than what any other little girl may be like. She will do things differently, but that doesn’t stop her imagination or her dreams.

 I have also been given the privilege of taking on a new illustrator for this project.  To be honest, I love my husband’s work as an illustrator, but this book needed a woman’s touch.  Explaining to Dave what a proper “Fairy Ball” should look like would be fair to difficult. Bless his heart, he would have tried, but the art work in Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish is already pushing the limits of his feminine side.  Trust me when I say that he is relieved to not have to take on this task.

 My dear friend Theresa Higby is a lovely artist and I am so excited to show the world her amazing talent. It really is rather funny watching us talk over the sketches that she has done.  The two of us start acting like we are five again.  With all the… “Oh, yes, that dress is perfect”…or “That is so cute”…and “I love the bunnies!” 

 All my other books have shown the side of me that grew up with a brother, played sports and now have four boys.  This book gives you a peek into the other side that loves lace, pink, cute animals and dressing-up on occasion.

 Theresa and I should be ready to publish Prinna Marie Goes Dancing by the first of the year 2014.  We just can’t wait to share all these incredible projects with your precious little ones!

 

           Mommy, Tell Me a Story book series…imagination inspired through color and rhyme

What is different about our books?

5 Feb

Mommy Tell Me a Story... book coversYou can visit any library and go to the Children’s Section and find thousands of books on the shelves for your children to read.  With this in mind, when a new book series like ours comes along, we really should address why they are different from many of the books out on the market right now.

Any parent, or adult for that matter, can relate to how quickly children can get bored.  Equally true, most children will look to someone or something else to help in this department. When my brother was bored, his first target was usually me, the younger sister, and visa-versa for that matter.  Making up stories was always one of the many pastimes that would help us whittle away hours in the car or standing in long lines somewhere.  This tradition has continued through my son.  After being asked countless times to tell my son a story it seemed only fitting to stick with the theme, “Mommy, tell me a story.”  The beauty of a story is that it can be about anyone or anything.  It can be silly or serious, or true or made-up.  There is no limit to where you can go or what can happen in a story. It’s only limit is your imagination.  The other great thing about a story is that all children love stories.  This truth spans culture, race, social class or gender.  All children love stories.  I love this about children!

My books are designed to help children tap into their own abilities to make their own stories.  Because of this, all my books share some common threads.  Every book begins with a little boy that’s bored… children can relate to that. Depending on what the boy is looking at will determine what the story is about.  In the first book Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Car the little boy is riding in a car and looking out the window looking at the other cars.  This inspires him to ask his mommy to tell him a story about a car.  The second book Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Plane, the little boy is in an
airport waiting for his plane to arrive and looking at the other planes.  The third book Mommy, Tell Me a Story about What Daddy Does, the little boy is looking out the window waiting for daddy to come home from work. I want to encourage young minds to understand that they too can come up with their own stories by just observing the world around them.  The fourth book that will be out this year:  Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish.  The little boy is sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and looking at
their fish tank.  I have made each story very different because I want to reinforce to children that your imagination isn’t limited to one topic, idea, or character.

All of my books also have a lesson to learn.  Not that pure entertainment doesn’t have its place, but as a mother and teacher, I never want to waste a teachable moment.  Children are much quicker to remember something when it is in story form.  I also added the element of rhyme to make the stories easier to read and remember.  I purposely use inanimate objects or animals in my stories because I don’t want the focus to be on the gender or nationality of the character but on the attributes of the character
and what lesson it is they need to learn.  In the first book Rusty the car has to learn some lessons about competition and what it means to win.  In the second book Hugh the plane finds a new purpose in life when he stops feeling sorry for himself and helps others instead.  The third book delves into the world of recycling and helps children see why it is important, and what they can do to help keep our world beautiful.  The fourth book, coming soon, is about a fish named Pearl that learns to see her value despite being different and turns the tables on a bullying problem.  It is so important for children to see that a lesson can be found in any situation in our lives.  You just have to look for it.

We also have worked very hard to bring characters to life that will inspire children’s own artistic creations.  My husband works countless hours to create colorful and loveable characters and scenery free-hand in colored pencil.  We are always amazed at how many children recognize that it is colored pencil. Many of their first comments are, “I have colored pencils!”  This immediately makes the idea of drawing attainable.  They
have colored pencils so they can learn to draw pictures just like Mr. Dave did.   We even plan on making coloring books to go with the series in the future so they can practice their own art skills anytime, with their pencils.

Stories through books should be about helping children see their own potential and realizing that it isn’t out of their reach.  They can think of stories too, they can learn lessons in any situation, and they can be creative in artistic expression.  Yes, I wrote these stories and my husband drew the pictures, but we designed the series for little ones all over the world to help them express their own imagination and talents and see where they can take them.  Our desire is that Mommy, Tell Me a Story book series will
just be a vessel to inspire little ones through imagination, lessons, and beautiful artistic expression.

Mommy, Tell Me a Story book series… imagination inspired through color and rhyme.

The Barbie Bed

11 Oct

Growing up I was very convinced that my parents had to be poor because I never had a lot of toys.  I look back now and I am so thankful that I didn’t have all the toys that the neighborhood kids had because my brother and I were forced to develop our imaginations and creativity instead.  A perfect example of this is the story of the “Barbie Bed”.

I started babysitting when I was 12.  One of my first jobs was for a family a couple blocks away that had two little girls that where 7 & 9.  One day I caught them fighting over a plastic Barbie Bed.  After realizing that they were not going to solve this problem without some intervention I actually starting laughing.  They looked up in surprise at my response.  My reply was, “Why would you want to fight over that bed?  I’ll show you how to make a REAL Barbie bed.” I then proceeded to make a list of all the things I would need for this
project.

1.  Small baby blanket
2.  Facial tissue
3.  Handkerchief (you can use a tissue for this as well if you don’t have one)
4.  Scotch tape
5.  Wash cloth
6.  Cotton  balls
7.  Small shoe box (must fit Barbie, but you can make the bed without the shoe box too.

Off they went with giggles of delight to find the needed supplies.  Soon they were sitting in front of me with there eyes wide open with anticipation, and their treasures spread out on the floor.  Step one was to fold the baby blanket to fit into the shoe box.  Now this is our mattress.  Step two,  take the handkerchief and tuck it around the new mattress for a sheet.  Next we needed a blanket for our bed so we took the washcloth and put it over our
sheet.  Finally we took the facial tissue and wrap it around several cotton balls and taped it closed for a nice fluffy pillow.  DONE!  In no time at all we had made a very cool Barbie bed.

I will never forget the looks on their faces.  It never occurred to them to MAKE a bed instead.  Now the race was on to find more material to make a second bed because the old plastic bed was no longer desired.  In fact I don’t believe that they ever used the plastic bed again.  The next time I babysat them I showed them how to make a giant Barbie staircase from the floor to their bed out of books and cloth napkins.  Oh the joy of imagination!!