THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Grandma, I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep by Richard Ceasor

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week my new friend, children’s book author, Richard Ceasor, is sharing the WHY he wrote his newly released book, “Grandma, I don’t want to go to sleep” . Take it away, Richard…

Grandma, I don’t want to go to sleep by Richard Ceasor

My first foray into self publishing and “professional” writing began in the second grade.   A friend and I wrote superhero comic strips utilizing parodies of actual Marvel superheroes as characters.  We would churn out issue after issue of The Defensible Tin Can Man of Park Industries or Raredevil who was a pitchfork carrying rare devil that fought for good.  We always left our heroes in dire straits or right at the beginning of discovering some new secret.  

Our second grade classmates constantly cajoled us to produce the next issue and paid for the privilege at a whopping three cent an issue- a sheet of paper folded to provide us with the requisite sixteen panels when you counted front and back.  I loved creating those stories with my friend and the conversations at lunch time discussing our “comics”.  Who knew that almost fifty years later I would be doing something very similar. 

While attending Oberlin College,  Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was required reading in my sophomore French class.  The Little Prince was assigned to us because it’s simple vocabulary allowed us with our limited facility with the French language, to be able to read the story.  In our class discussions,  I was fascinated with the layered aspects of the story.  It could be read as a straightforward children’s story or, as we discussed,  a philosophical journey about the nature of life itself.  I vowed that one day, I would write a story like that. 

I began to look at children’s books like the Pooh stories, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and various tales from Dr Seuss and realized that there were many gems for adults hidden in these tales for children.  Over the years I recognized the same things in cartoons like Puff the Magic Dragon, Disney’s Peter Pan and many others.  For decades my pen was silent.  And then, one night in 2020, I was awakened a little after three am from my sleep with a burning desire to write and wrote Grandma, I don’t want to go to sleep in it’s entirety in less than an hour. I was delighted with what my muse had produced! A layered philosophical story with no words above a first grade level and a tribute to grandmothers everywhere.   I knew that I had to find an illustrator! 

I sing in The Soul Stick Q, a do wop acapella quintet that has sang with The Platters, Archie Bell & the Dells and many others. We often had rehearsals at each other’s houses. During rehearsals, I had often marveled at the paintings of the wife of Daniel Muraida, one of the members of our group.  Thelma Muraida is a well-known artist in Texas and when I approached her with the idea of illustrating my book, she read my verses and agreed to collaborate with me.  I had hit the jackpot!  When she began to show me sketches and then illustrations, tears came to my eyes.  It was as if she had went into my head and drew the pictures just as they appeared.   She also had experience with children’s books and agreed to illustrate and format the book.  She was a virtual one stop shop!  One year later, the work was complete.

Now the question was “Do I self publish or do I look for a publisher?”   After almost one hundred hours of research, I decided that self publishing was the best choice for me.   I liked having complete artistic control and felt that my decade of corporate outside sales experience would help me to navigate the difficult marketing aspects of the business. 

In December 2021,  I created the new publishing company Ceasor Press Publishing and in January 2022, published my first children’s book Grandma, I don’t want to go to sleep A Forever Love Tale -a layered  tale written in the tradition of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.that could serve as both the ultimate bedtime story for very small children, or a philosophical journey for a more mature reader.   Grandma, I don’t want to go to sleep is a story that was decades in the making.

Here is the book’s blurb:

“This book is a tribute to grandmothers who have to be mothers twice as they raise their grandchildren. This book follows a child’s fantastical voyage under the sea in an imaginative attempt to avoid bedtime. A book of laughter, longing and loss. Told within the confines of a nontraditional family, children being raised by their grandparents can finally see themselves in print.”

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From Martial Arts master inducted in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, to a singer who has sang on the stage with The Platters, to a corporate outside sales representative who left corporate America to go teach inner-city children in Washington DC. Richard Ceasor brings a wealth of experience to his writing.

Richard comes from a family of storytellers.  He grew up as the offspring of two noted gospel singers in Cleveland, Ohio.  Despite a happy childhood, his life as a child was often interspersed with the grim aspects of inner city violence.   As a small child, Richard’s mother read traditional bedtime stories or told him family bedtime stories passed down over many generations.  Although they filled him with an absolute terror of the Big Bad Wolf (and boy did it take awhile for him to recover from that), they also offered him an escape from inner city life. Richard maintains his family’s reverence for a well-turned tale. He hopes his departed mother and uncles look down at his work and that they’re smiling. Richard  has taught children for almost two decades in inner city and Title I Schools.  He has also worked as a District Wide Behavior Specialist and a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program Principal and has spent many hours with both troubled and non troubled young people.

Want to connect?

Website: Ceasor Press Publishing (https://www.richardceasorauthorceasorpresspublishing.com/)

Instagram: www.instagram.com/aforeverlovetale

Twitter: www.twitter.com/aforeverloveta1

Email: Ceasorrichard@gmail.com

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Dinosaur Pirates! by Penny Dale

TITLE: Dinosaur Pirates! by Penny Dale

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Penny Dale

PUBLISHER: Nosy Crow, 2017

SYNOPSIS: “Our intrepid team of dinosaurs is back, but this time they are pirates in search of buried treasure! Having navigated their way to a desert island and dug up their booty, they are just sailing away when they are ambushed by a fearsome band of marauding baddy-pirates! Will our goody-pirates save their gold, their ship, and their honor, or will the baddies win out?”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : If I took a poll of one hundred kids and asked them what kind of book they wanted to read, I am sure a book about dinosaur pirates would top that list! Author, Penny Dale, not only creates vivid, colorful illustrations, her romping, rolling, pirates tale is told in a style I don’t often see. Each sentence begins with the ending word from the sentence before which takes the reader on a lyrical journey from discovering buried treasure to fighting robber raptors! A cute story and a great addition to any library!

RATING: ***** 5 Stars *****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kdp-haileys-hats-ebook-cover-jpeg.jpg

“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927



BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: It Fell From The Sky by The Fan Brothers

TITLE: It Fell From The Sky

AUTHOS/ILLUSTRATORS: The Fan Brothers

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2021

SYNOPSIS: “It fell from the sky on a Thursday.

None of the insects know where it came from, or what it is. Some say it’s an egg. Others, a gumdrop. But whatever it is, it fell near Spider’s house, so he’s convinced it belongs to him.

Spider builds a wonderous display so that insects from far and wide can come look at the marvel. Spider has their best interests at heart. So what if he has to charge a small fee? So what if the lines are long? So what if no one can even see the wonder anymore?

But what will Spider do after everyone stops showing up?”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : For me, the cover alone of IT FELL FROM THE SKY was enough to draw me in. I walked into my local library and it caught my eye from across the room. The Fan Brothers did an exceptional job of creating the insects’ world where this strange, shiny object seemingly fell from the sky to rock their world! I love the way this story gives multiple theories as to what this item is and why it showed up in their lives. Young readers are introduced to a variety of critters they might actually find in their own back yards, and get to meet Mr. Spider who may not have the best intentions, and who strives to corner the market on anyone wanting to get a closer look at the alien object. In the end, Spider deals with an unexpected tragedy and learns a better way of dealing with any future visitors from the sky. A great addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars *****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kdp-haileys-hats-ebook-cover-jpeg.jpg

“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: There’s A Spider In My Bathtub by April Eckert

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week my friend and children’s book author, April Eckert, is sharing the WHY she wrote her newly released book, THERE’S A SPIDER IN MY BATHTUB . Take it away, April…

THERE IS A SPIDER IN MY BATHTUB by April Eckert

The best memories of my childhood are intertwined with nature. I spent hours outside playing with my siblings or even on my own, simply loving the freedom that I had to run and jump and feel the breeze in my hair. I loved to scavenge for ingredients to add to my nature soup or mud pies. A little rain water, different shaped leaves from the trees in my yard, small pieces of bark that had fallen to the ground, and perhaps even some multi-colored flower petals would all add up to the best “food” a child of nature ever concocted. I made friends with the worms and the slugs, the fireflies, and the little roly polies. Toads and salamanders were kept for a short time in a bowl and always released so that they could continue on their way. Hours and hours of time flew by because I was having so much fun.

When I started school, I wasn’t used to being inside for so long. I yearned to be outdoors and couldn’t wait to play outside during recess. It took me a while to acclimate to the school climate, but I did. As time went on, I realized that I loved reading and writing stories. I could immerse myself in books and envision movies playing in my head while I read. 

Over the years I had many ideas for books to write, but nothing really “stuck.” I would have an idea and jot down some lines, but slowly the words would slip away along with my inspiration. Then one day, I saw a spider in my bathtub and the words just flew out of my head and onto the paper. I took a few days break and when I came back, even more words came until the story was finished! Luckily, I found a great group of indie authors that shared their experiences of publishing their stories. I soaked their advice up like a sponge. I also found my illustrator, Catherine Knorr in this group. Her talents extend far beyond her amazing drawings and we have become an incredible team focused on creating the best picture books for children.

Writing children’s books that center around the theme of nature is the perfect combination of my two greatest creative passions. Now I get to spend hours creating stories about endearing little characters while promoting time spent outside. 

My debut book, There’s a Spider in My Bathtub was written to help children (and some parents) learn to be less anxious around these misunderstood members of nature. A rhyming picture book with marvelous illustrations, this book will make even those who are most timid around spiders grow a little love for these cute crawlies. Follow along as little spider embarks on an amazing adventure after being rinsed down the drain…and right into your heart. 

Here’s the book blurb:

“Has there ever been a spider in your bathtub? What did you do? What do you think would happen to it if you rinsed it down the drain?

Come along with an adorable little spider as he travels to a land of dinosaurs, flies head first into a meteor shower, and accidentally falls into a battle with a dragon!”

***************

As a child who loved the outdoors, April Eckert could usually be found playing with cute crawlies and creating a nature-inspired culinary dish in her spare time. Although nature was her favorite place, the one part of it that she was never comfortable with, was spiders. 

As an adult, April has earned her Master’s degree in Education. She has been a teacher for more than 10 years and continues her love for nature. April is happiest playing outside amongst the trees, with her daughter.

Although spiders still aren’t her favorite of the cute crawlies, she has learned that her childhood fear was based on not understanding these eight-legged creatures. She hopes that her books help children find their love for all things nature and their parents to be able to reconnect to the carefree feeling that being outside used to bring.

Want to Connect?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hug-A-Bug-Tales-113644060392304

Email: hugabugtales@gmail.com 

Website: https://aprileckert.com 

**

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Lawrence In The Fall by Matthew Farina

TITLE: Lawrence In The Fall

AUTHOR: Matthew Farina

ILLUSTRATOR: Doug Salati

PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion, 2019

SYNOPSIS: “When Lawrence Fox’s teacher announces that students will be presenting their collections at show-and-tell, Lawrence realizes he doesn’t have anything to share.

Luckily, Papa knows just what to do to help! Together, they venture into the woods. Lawrence is scared at first, but as he grows comfortable in the forest, he starts to recognize its magic, and how beautiful and unique each tree and leaf is, allowing him to gather a splendid, one-of-a-kind collection of his own!”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : As a child, I collected many things like stamps, sea shells, and toy horses as I’m sure many other people did. I like the way Lawrence and his father turn to nature in search of something worthy for him to share with his classmates. Illustrator Doug Salati’s artwork is a lovely compliment to the storyline. Young readers will be encouraged to start a collection of their own! A nice addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars ****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kdp-haileys-hats-ebook-cover-jpeg.jpg

“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927



BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph


TITLE: The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His Grrrrr!

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Rob Biddulph

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins, 2015

SYNOPSIS: “From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR.

Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best.

But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : Mr. Biddulph has created a great story about a bear named Fred who is very confident in his ability to win his town’s annual bear contest. But maybe he’s just a bit TOO confident when he thinks one bear can do it all without the help of anyone else. Fred discovers no bear is an island when he loses his voice on the morning of the contest, and just when he needs it, his friends come to his rescue! THE GRIZZLY BEAR WHO LOST HIS GRRRRR! is a great reminder that someone who has friends is already a winner in life! A nice addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars ****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kdp-haileys-hats-ebook-cover-jpeg.jpg

“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Our NICU Journey by Sarah Immonen Ward

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week my new friend, children’s book author, Sarah Immonen Ward, is sharing the WHY she wrote her newly released book, “Our NICU Journey” . Take it away, Sarah…

Our NICU Journey by Sarah Immonen Ward

I never planned to be a writer or publish a book in my lifetime, yet here we are celebrating my debut children’s book, “Our NICU Journey”. I celebrate this achievement for many reasons.

Publishing our story was a way to cope with my birth trauma. It was also a way for me to mourn the loss of a typical full term pregnancy. Lastly, it was our way of giving back. We cannot begin to describe how thankful we are to each and every person that helped bring our babies home from the hospital.

My husband and I struggled to get pregnant right away and were thrilled to announce to our family and friends that we were due with twins. Our excitement quickly changed when we delivered them at a gestational age of 28 weeks. We watched as our children lived their third trimester in a hospital bed. Instead of being filled with grief and focusing on the bad news, we chose to celebrate their victories.

We wanted to stay productive and read to our children every day. Reading to babies promotes neurological development, reduces stress, and helps with coping. We collected so many great stories all while collecting beads from the Beads of Courage® program (https://beadsofcourage.org/).

After every procedure, test, and therapy we were given a bead and at the end of their treatment had a strand to represent a tangible form of their medical history. Our family was released 78 days later with their beads to remind our children of their courage and bravery in their fight to come home. To always remember their strength, I wrote a love letter about their journey and kept it in my nightstand drawer.

Fast forward two years and we found ourselves in the NICU with our full term son. I felt denied a normal birth experience and faced past feelings of fear, uncertainty, and disappointment. We once again relied on faith, read to our son every day, and were finally able to bring him home to grow and thrive.

After our experiences we just knew we had to give back to the community and help other families not feel alone. We used our love of reading children’s books, personal photos of our journeys and individuals on our care teams, and my love letter as inspiration to create this keepsake that we hope will be treasured for years to come.

We pray that our story will help others who feel isolated cope with their own journey and inspire the love of reading in their own families.

Here’s my book’s blurb:

“Our NICU Journey is an inspiring children’s book and keepsake that follows first time parents as they navigate the neonatal intensive care unit. This book provides individuals enduring the NICU a sense of hope and encouragement. It is the perfect gift for families with a loved one or multiples in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU graduates, and healthcare workers and supporters who are dedicated to this fragile community. The final pages include sections to document your own NICU journey and space for guests and healthcare teams’ signatures. Follow along as each page of the story highlights the strength, courage, and perseverance of a child’s fight to come home, visually represented through Beads of Courage®. Whatever your story, know that you are not alone.”

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Our-NICU-Journey-Keepsake-Miracles/dp/B09LGNPBPV

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Sarah Ward has a BS in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia and a degree in dental hygiene from the Medical College of Georgia. She is a mother of three NICU miracles and is passionate about giving back to the NICU community. With the help of their amazing medical teams featured in this book, the Ward children are home and thriving. Since her experiences in the hospital, Sarah has enjoyed connecting with fellow NICU families and healthcare workers in hopes to bring comfort and support.

Want to Connect?

Website: www.littlewardbooks.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sarah_immonen_ward_author

Facebook: www.facebooks.com/littlewardbooks

Goodreads: Sarah Immonen Ward

Bulk orders please contact littlewardbooks@gmail.com

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Dream Dog by Lou Berger

TITLE: Dream Dog

AUTHOR: Lou Berger

ILLUSTRATOR: David J Catrow

PUBLISHER: Schwartz & Wade, 2014

SYNOPSIS: “Written by a ten-time Emmy Award winner and former head writer for Sesame Street, here’s a story that will resonate with every dog-loving child out there. Harry wants wants wants a dog, and, instead of getting one, his parents try to placate him with a pet that’s decidedly less interesting—a lizard. So Harry takes matters into his own hands and places his X-35 Infra-Rocket Imagination Helmet on his head, and soon something—with paws! a tail! a wet nose!—pops into the world. Sure, nobody else can see the dog named Waffle, but that doesn’t matter to Harry. But what happens when a real dog comes into his life? Catrow’s signature loose drawings and Berger’s humorous text bring the bond between a boy and his dog exuberantly to life.”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : Whenever I think about writing BOOK NOOK REVIEWS, I don’t normally get ahead of myself. I will talk about the author and my impression of their story. Then I might talk about the lovely artwork and the illustrator involved in the project. But with THIS book, I definitely put the cart before the horse! I focused on the illustrator, David J Catrow. I have followed this NYT Best Selling Author/Illustrator since 1997 and LOVE his illustration style! The cover of DREAM DOG is especially engaging to me because I would spend many days as a child laying in clover to gaze at the drifting clouds high above me. Then I began to read the wonderful, heart-melting story by Lou Berger. Young readers will have fun exploring the possibilities of a most unique pet and even how to say goodbye to that pet when the time comes. This imaginative picture book would be a wonderful addition to any children’s library!

RATING: *****5 Stars *****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!





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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kdp-haileys-hats-ebook-cover-jpeg.jpg

“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: I’m Worried by Michael Ian Black

TITLE: I’m Worried

AUTHOR: Michael Ian Black

ILLUSTRATOR: Debbie Ridpath Ohi

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster, 2019

SYNOPSIS: “Potato is worried. About everything.

Because anything might happen.

When he tells his friends, he expects them to comfort him by saying that everything will be okay. Except they don’t. Because it might not be, and that’s okay too. Still, there’s one thing they can promise for sure: no matter what happens…they will always be by his side.”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : Books don’t have to be long or tedious to make a lasting impression on a child. Michael Ian Black’s “I Am” series is a shining example of how a well written story with whimsical artwork by award-winning illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi can engage a young reader’s imagination while helping to teach a much needed coping skill. Book three, I’M WORRIED, allows children to explore their emotions in a safe, encouraging environment. This is especially important in our current world environment. I’M WORRIED is a MUST addition to any children’s library!

RATING: *****5 Stars *****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!





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“Eight-year-old Hailey loved wearing hats! She had a special hat for almost every adventure of the week! But what happens when she runs out of hats? Who will she be then?

HAILEY’S HATS celebrates one child’s imagination, while challenging ALL children to take another look in the mirror to see the fabulous person looking back at them!

***Ebook on sale now for $2.99! Softcover also available! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QXV4NVC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1)***



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Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: I Am Enough by Sarah Hoskins

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week my friend and children’s book author, Sarah Hoskins, is sharing the WHY she wrote her newly released series, I AM ENOUGH. Take it away, Sarah…

I Am Enough by Sarah Hoskins

I don’t think of myself as an author, I’m very much a beginner. Writing children’s books was never really in my plans but something that really just fell into my lap.


One day I had noticed that my young niece was saying negative things about herself. “I’m fat” and “I’m ugly”. I was so shocked that she was saying those things about herself at such a young age. I’ve come to realize though that our internal dialogue starts earlier than we realize. Kids are very impressionable and with added pressures these days of YouTube and social media who wouldn’t feel less then.


The more I thought about it the more I felt just really sad. I wanted her to feel good about herself and to help her start to change the way she was talking about herself. So I started looking for a positive affirmation book for kids. I didn’t really find what I was looking for specifically for her age group 2-8 year-olds.

So I decided to write one myself. One of my first books I AM ENOUGH – Positive Affirmations for Girls.


Now if I told anyone that I was writing a children’s book they probably would have laughed in my face. It’s so different to anything that I have done before but I’m very resourceful and also creative which I’ve come to realize. The process of writing and creating the book has been very therapeutic and an enjoyable process for me.


When writing the affirmations for the book my focus was really on my niece. I thought about her age, her beautiful personality and what I thought would be important positive seeds to plant in her mind. I came up with many positive affirmations but decided to keep it to the 12. I wanted to keep it short and simple to remember. Affirmations are so powerful when repeated regularly.


I then had to find an illustrator. I knew that I wanted the book to have amazing pictures to help bring the affirmations to life especially considering the age group that I was writing the book for. The illustrations were important.


I was lucky enough to come across Mariia Luzina. An amazing Italian artist that I found on Up Work. She bought my vision to life better that I could have ever imagined. We worked so effortlessly together and managed to have the book ready to be published within a few weeks.


I had to decide how I would publish my book after all I had never done this before. After a little research I decided to self-publish my book through amazon KDP. I had already successfully been selling physical products on amazon so I was familiar with the company and decided that would be a good place to start, after all who knows how the book would turn out and if anyone would even be interested in buying it.


I was also lucky that Mariia had experience with publishing her own books on KDP so she helped in making sure I had the right files to upload. On 31st December 2021 my very first book was published.


https://www.amazon.com/Am-Enough-Positive-Affirmations-Girls/dp/B09PHF6VXJ/

After getting so much amazing feedback on my first book I decided to write I AM ENOUGH –
Positive Affirmations for Boys. This one written and inspired by my beautiful two year old son
Caleb.


https://www.amazon.com/Am-Enough-Positive-Affirmations-Boys/dp/B09MYSRTBG/


Sarah Hoskins is a mom who lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband Ross and beautiful son Caleb. Caleb being the inspiration for one of her first books “I am enough – Positive affirmations for boys”. Before she started writing children’s books her life’s work had always been about helping people stay fit and healthy both physically and mentally. Now she enjoys spending her time cooking, creating and having wild adventures with her son.


Connect
Email: sarah@littlefitmiss.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlefitmiss12wktransformations
Instagram: @sarahhoskins or @iamenoughbook