FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Natasha Wing

 

kids laughing

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)

 

Using Joke Books to Lighten the Mood and Teach at the Same Time

by Natasha Wing

 

Like sneaking grated vegetables into a recipe, joke books are a great way to get your kids to read without it feeling like reading. There’s no chapter to finish. No stressful plot or conflict. But skills are still being learned. Kids learn about humor and what’s funny and how to play with language. They learn how to read aloud and get comfortable in front of an “audience.” They learn how to memorize. All while building their vocabulary.

Here’s an example of the fun you can have with a joke.

Why do Europeans walk funny?

They convert feet to meters.

This is silly on several levels. First, picturing people walking funny IS funny!

Then having their feet change into something else like meters is silly. Adults may think of meters as a measurement, but younger kids might imagine a real object like parking meters.

From here, you can now turn this into a learning experience. Find out the conversion rate of feet to meters. Then go around your house and measure things in feet and see if your child can convert to meters. See, you snuck in a little math, too!

If you want to extend this further, you can have your child draw a caricature of a person walking with meters instead of feet. Look up what caricatures are and study the different exaggerated styles, then draw. Now you’ve snuck in an art class!

Here’s a way to expand language. When writing jokes you don’t want to give away the answer in the question, just hint at it. For example, there’s a joke in Saltwater Sillies: 300+ Jokes for Buoys & Gulls about seals. If I had written, “What branch of the military did the seal enlist in?” it would have been too simple to guess. (Navy Seal) Rather than using the word “seal” in the question, I used another word for seal which is pinniped. Pinniped means fin or flipper-footed and refers to the marine mammals that have front and rear flippers. This group includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. Finding this out allowed me to substitute pinneped for sea lion and walrus jokes, too. Your child will now know another word for seal, sea lion and walrus!

Here are some fun ways to use joke books while sheltering in place.

  1. Make sure your household and the grandparents’ household each has the same joke book. Then during Facetime or Zoom chats you can take turns telling each other jokes. It’s a fun way to connect and make each other laugh. Plus it gives your child an opportunity to ask their grandparent what a word means.
  2. Challenge your child to come up with a new joke.

Give him or her a list of words that sound alike such as:

See

Sea

Si

C

Then see if they can come up with a joke using one or more of those words. Have them share it out loud with someone to test it out.

  1. Have your child write a joke on a postcard and mail it to a friend or teacher that your child misses. Ask the friend to mail one back.
  2. Play a game of make up the answer.

Write down three joke questions. Then ask your kids to supply their own answer. Have everyone vote on the funniest answer.

  1. Play act out knock-knock jokes. Two people can participate in this: one says knock-knock and the other asks the question, Who’s there? The children can dress up by wearing hats, or can act by pretending to be a character and change their voices. If you want to add music to this stand-up comedy act, have another child with a drum, harmonica or a kazoo make a funny noise with their instrument after each joke answer. Record it and send it to a friend or family member.

While you’re at home teaching, use joke books to lighten the mood, and feel good about developing your child’s sense of humor and vocabulary.

 

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Natasha book

 

Where do king crabs live? In sandcastles! Hundreds of ocean-themed jokes for kids ages 5-10. Knock-knocks, tongue twisters, one-liners, and puns will keep them laughing all the way to the beach. Also includes fun facts, and kooky caricatures for kids to color in. Packable size to take on trips. Crack your friends and family up with a gift of humor!

Available on Amazon (https://amzn.to/2XsuFez) and other online retailers.

 

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Natasha picture

 

Natasha Wing is the author of a funny children’s book using bakery puns called Bagel In Love. She has also published three joke books: Lettuce Laugh: 600 Corny Jokes About Food; Buzz Off!: 600 Jokes About Things with Wings; and Saltwater Sillies: 300+ Jokes for Buoys and Gulls. More of her books can be found at natashawing.com. Friend her author page: facebook.com/natashawingbooks.

 

 

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Lori Degman

 

connected

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)

 

Staying Connected in a Disconnected World

by Lori Degman

 

Thanks, Donna, for asking me to write something for your Feel Good Fridays series!  It’s such a great idea! I’ve definitely had my share of sad and lonely times over the past month.  Not being able to see my mom, kids and grandkids has been really hard, but we Facetime and Skype often to keep in touch.  I also do Zoom meetings and Hangouts with different groups of friends and that has helped!

One thing that’s been discouraging for me is that my newest book, Travel Guide For Monsters, comes out April 15th and I’m not able to share it with kids.  I had five bookstore events and six school visits planned to help celebrate the book and of course they were all canceled.  It has made the release of this book feel so much different from the others – there’s just not the same energy and excitement about it.

I was encouraged when I saw some authors had made videos of themselves reading their books.  I loved the idea because I really wanted to connect with kids, but I was nervous about doing it.  I knew they wouldn’t be perfect – and they’re not!  But that’s ok, because kids need to see adults making mistakes too!  Now I have Youtube videos for each of my six books and I hope people are enjoying them.

Another thing I’m doing is virtual visits with students.  For one school, they weren’t able to do anything “live” so they sent me questions from the students and I recorded and shared my answers with them.  I’m also scheduled to do readings and Q&As with classes on Instagram Live and Zoom.  I love interacting with kids so, if any teachers reading this would like me to join your zoom classroom sometime, let me know.  You can email me at Lori@Loridegman.com.

Thanks again, Donna!

 

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Lori book

 

Taking your monster on a road trip this summer? Or letting your favorite beast tag along on a family beach vacation? Wherever you and your monster are traveling, Travel Guide for Monsters is full of essential tips to help you both enjoy the sights from coast to coast–and avoid monster-related mishaps.

Available on Amazon and other online retailers.

 

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Lori Picture

 

Lori Degman is the author of the award-winning books: 1 Zany Zoo, Cock-a-Doodle Oops, and Just Read, as well as Norbert’s Big Dream, Like a Girl, and Travel Guide For Monsters.  She was a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Lori lives in Vernon Hills, Illinois, where she spends her days writing, visiting schools and playing with her grandkids (once this quarantine is over).  You can find her online at http://www.Loridegman.com.

 

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Donna Boock

 

birthday

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)

 

Quarantine Birthday Party Ideas – Ways to Celebrate Virtually

By Donna Boock

 

 

About a month ago, I went out like everybody else and stocked up on supplies to get us through a few weeks in quarantine. Canned soup – check. Frozen pizza – check. Extra chocolate – check and double check. We were ready, we thought.  However, I never imagined we would still be quarantining more than a month later. And it certainly didn’t occur to me that we might be celebrating birthdays in quarantine.

But both of my kids were born in April, and as it came onto the horizon, and no end to social distancing was in sight, it became clear we’d be home alone celebrating. It was time to get ‘virtually’ creative.

 

Flat Matt

 

My son Matt’s birthday was first on the calendar. I wanted to find a way to make this birthday spent in isolation feel somehow less isolated. I came up with the Flatt Matt project. If you’re familiar with Flat Stanley, this idea springboards from that. I found a picture of Matt, blew it up and removed the background using Canva.com, then printed and cut out copies (If the people you are sending to have printers, you could just text or email as well). Then I wrote a letter to friends and family who I thought would have fun with the idea and asked them to make a short video using the Flatt Matt action figure as I called it, and either tell a favorite memory, or what they can’t wait to do with him when this is over or simply sing Happy Birthday. I asked them to please text it to him on his birthday. I was in awe of all of the creativity people put into it, and he loved getting all those fun videos as they trickled in throughout the day. It was like an all-day video celebration!

Riley, my daughter, was up next. Having been recently thrust into online school, I knew all of her friends would have Zoom downloaded so we planned a Zoom meeting birthday celebration. I masked up, grabbed my hand sanitizer and dashed in & out of the grocery store to buy individual cupcakes to drop off to her local friends and family (doorstep delivery only, with a text to let them know their cupcakes were outside). Before we lit the candles and sang, we asked everybody to share one favorite story or memory of Riley. She loved that her friends got to share in her special day, and I loved the stories they shared. You can even download certain apps that allow you to interact and play games through Zoom!

Some other ideas on my brainstorming list were:

  • Camping out in the backyard (Pitch a tent indoors if it’s too cold where you live)
  • Video game “party” using a system that allows kids to interact virtually & schedule a time with parents so kids all can game together
  • Zoom, Skype or Houseparty call (with cupcakes or pizza delivery optional)
  • Create an Escape Room at home (search on Pinterest) or reserve a virtual one with friends here https://lokeysescaperooms.com/

So, if you or someone you love has a birthday coming up, and you are looking for ways to make it special even if you can’t be together, I hope these ideas inspire you and allow the distance to melt away.

 

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Donna books

 

The whole class is going on a field trip to the zoo!

But too bad for classroom rivals Kinzie and Ben. Neither of them can go thanks to getting—and sharing—pink eye. To make it even worse, Ben’s mom can’t take off from work, which means Ben has to come to Kinzie’s house for the day. And there’s no time to make a Kinvention to stop that.

Kinzie and Ben decide if they can’t go on the field trip, maybe they can create their own backyard zoo instead. What could possibly go wrong with that great idea?

Available on Amazon and other online retailers.

 

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View More: https://bobbirattaiphotography.pass.us/donna-headshots

I am a children’s book author originally from the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania. There I lived on a lovely lake where there were no fish, bears or snakes. (wink, wink)

I now live in Venice, Florida which is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World and is named for the abundance of sharks’ teeth found on the shores.  But that doesn’t scare me at all. Why should it? The sharks here obviously don’t have any teeth! As an extra boost of luck, there are no alligators or snakes here either.  (wink, wink)

In case you can’t tell, I write funny fiction. That means I make up a lot of things and people laugh at me – often.

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Someone Throw Me A Lifesaver

 

lifesaver

 

You would think a gal who was raised in and around the swamps of southern Louisiana would know how to swim like a snapping turtle, but that was one life skill I never quite learned how to master.

When I was seventeen, I traveled to San Diego to spend some time with my older brother. He was in the Navy and stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.  I thought I would have the time of my life, romping on the beach and cultivating a tan.

I was wrong.

My first day at the beach, my brother and one of his Navy buddies decided it would be funny to grab me, drag me out to water over my head and dump me in the Pacific Ocean to see if I could get back to shore. What they didn’t bargain on was my getting disoriented and nearly DROWNING before they realized what was going on and had to drag me back to dry land.

That is one memory I’ve carried with me for almost forty years, coloring my fear of water I can’t see through and preventing me from enjoying the local pool each summer.

A worldwide pandemic can turn everyone’s world upside down. It can instill fear in some; frustration in others.  As writers, we sometimes allow all the daily tasks and writerly deadlines weighing down our plates to try to drown us to the point of immobility.  We can’t seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel and allow our fears to drown us in a sea of overwhelming uncertainty and lack of confidence in our ability to achieve our daily goals.

Here are some of the things I have done to help keep my head above water during these challenging times…

 

  1. Find a way to write daily whenever possible. In the past, when my computers have gone haywire, my boss generously allowed me to use the school’s computer to write my weekly blog posts so I wouldn’t get behind.  My local library also allows access to their computers in two hour blocks for quick tasks I can do there. It also gives me a chance to check out the books and do research for book four in my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series!
  2. Set priorities. If there are submission opportunities with deadlines, I made sure I found a way to meet those deadlines in time.  Some of my other writing projects will have to wait until next month.
  3. I’m taking this “down time” to work on either researching book four in my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series or revising/cleaning up old manuscripts that I have hard copies on hand. I can always transfer the info to my files and databases later, but for now, I’m staying productive.
  4. Use my smartphone for keeping in touch with my social sites so my friends and other connections won’t begin to think I really have drowned.
  5. Take this time to make sure I’m getting extra rest and ready to hit the ground running next month when hopefully, things return to something closer to normal. I’ve been going to bed well before my usual midnight lights out, and have actually found time to do some leisure reading this weekend that I NEVER get the chance to do anymore!

Some of these ideas might work for you, and maybe you will come up with some ideas of your own to prevent you from drowning under the stress of dealing with quarantines during this pandemic.

If you come up with something that really works for you, please share in the comments below. You never know when you might be saving another writer needing a helping hand!

 

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sale

 

***SALE***SALE***SALE***SALE***

 

From May 1st through May 15th, book one of my historical fiction series for 8-12 year olds, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, ebook edition is on sale for only 99 CENTS! If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go here and grab it… https://www.amazon.com/Historys-Mysteries-Dreams-Donna-Martin/dp/173232784X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ship+of+dreams+donna+l+martin&qid=1588549888&sr=8-1

 

HM HGG ebook cover jpeg 3-16-20

READER’S FAVORITE 5 STAR REVIEW 

 

SoD Reader's Favorite 5 star seal (web)

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best-selling, award-winning 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 is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Who’s Crazy Now?

corona map

 

I grew up in a family with three other siblings.  Every winter there would be one or more of us who picked up some kinda bug along the way. If it was a minor illness, my mother would isolate the offending child and nurse them back to health while keeping the other kids away from them as much as possible.

But, if it was something like the measles or chickenpox or even the mumps, my mother would throw us all in the same room in the hopes we would ALL share the illness. ALL getting sick at the same time, and ALL recover at the same time so our house wouldn’t be in quarantine forever as one person passed the nastiness on to another and then another and…well, you get the idea.

Back then, I thought my mother was crazy to throw us all together. Back then I wanted to do the whole social distancing thing from day one but my mother ruled our house with an iron fist and if she said go sit in that stew of germs, then into the stew you went.

In TODAY’S world, crazy is at a whole new level. NOW, if one kid starts to get sick, no one in their right mind would ever think of throwing all the kids into the mix with the hope EVERYBODY gets the virus. The term social distancing has a whole new meaning in this Corona filled world we now live in.

When I was a kid, being sick meant no school, hanging out with your siblings, and hugs from your mom til you felt better.

Now, when you’re sick, it means maybe online schooling, isolated in your home, and Skyping with loved ones.

Who’s living the crazy life now?

 

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover

 

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Hunting Gris-Gris

Eleven-year-old Emma misses her father who’s serving in Europe during World War II. He left behind a treasure box with six secret compartments to be opened during her birthday week. He also told her to watch out for the gris-gris while he was gone. Looking out for swamp creatures and dealing with wartime rationing was hard enough, but now there’s a British refugee coming to stay at the house! How will Emma enjoy her birthday and keep her decision to hunt for the gris-gris a secret with a stranger hanging around?

NOW AVAILABLE IN EBOOK, PAPERBACK & HARDBACK ON AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, BOOKS A MILLION, AND OTHER FINE RETAILERS!

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book three, Hunting Gris-Gris, is now available in ebook, paperbook & hardback everywhere!

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: Jarm Del Boccio

flower

 

(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 

BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART

For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)

Can Anything Good Come From the Corona Virus Crisis?

by Jarm Del Boccio

 

Can anything good come from a crisis? Particularly, the Covid-19 Pandemic? I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, as I watch life as we once knew it fade into the distance, and a new normal come to the forefront. People grumble and panic. They blame and turn inward.

 

THERE IS A GLIMMER OF HOPE ON THE HORIZON

 

While some reveal a negative attitude in response to what is swirling around them, (let’s not mention the TP frenzy), others are doing something positive during this crisis. And I believe for many, it comes from deep inside with a heart of faith in God and His providence. Or, maybe for some, motivation to help the less fortunate.

Whichever it is, I am thankful. And I stand back with awe and gratitude. For a person of my age, I’m supposedly meant to hunker down at home. Well, I’m trying my best. But there are times. . .

 

chicagoChicago — the scene of a dystopian novel

 

Like the middle of March, when I took a trip to my happy place: Downtown Chicago. I played investigative reporter (like Nellie Bly, my latest research project), to see if things were truly closing down.

It was pretty much deserted. Even the pigeons were practicing social-distancing. So, how can the closing of stores, restaurants, schools, libraries and coffee shops (except for take out), be a good thing?

 

THE WAY I SEE IT — THE COVID CRISIS BRINGS GOOD

 

People are more in touch than ever. Can you see it happening? Have you taken part?

  • Families are more physically (how ironic) in touch with one another. Yes, it may drive some crazy to be in such close quarters, but on the whole, it’s positive. Wouldn’t surprise me if families continue playing board games, watching TV, going for walks, and reading books together.
  • Parents are appreciating what teachers have done for their children, now they themselves are home educating. Could it be that next fall, some kids beg to continue?
  • Experts are being generous by offering free seminars and classes. Authors make read-aloud and creative writing videos, offering them free, along with skype meetings, to school children sequestered at home.
  • Churches are hugging their congregations via social media, technology and prayer. Coming to the aid of those less fortunate inside and outside the church. Finding new ways to connect.
  • People are actually phoning their friends and family across the globe, and talking longer than ever before.
  • Creativity oozing from social media — Choir members performing from the safety of their own homes. Clever ways to connect with the elderly in locked-down nursing homes. Surprise birthday parties organized on Zoom. Crazy gifs to make a heavy heart light. Helpful links to get us through the crisis, and inspirational memes to encourage our spirits.
  • Customers are learning to think of others instead of themselves when it comes to stocking up on groceries and – well – you know.
  • People are reaching out to God, looking for some spiritual guidance and encouragement. And thinking about their final destination in light of the rampant virus.
  • And the list goes on. . .

 

SPEAKING OF CREATIVE SOLUTIONS – HERE ARE SOME CRISIS BUSTERS!

 

I love to connect people with resources that can be helpful, especially in times like these. I hope something below will resonate with you!

Run out of ideas for your house-bound students? LEARNING RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS AT HOME

You may not have thought of these: WAYS CHURCHES CAN HELP IN A CRISIS

Going stir-crazy? Time for a break: 25 THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR FAMILY WHILE STUCK AT HOME

Have you always wanted to be artsy, but never had the time to take a class? Well, now there is no  excuse!  FREE WATERCOLOR CLASSES BY TRACY LIZOTTES

Sometimes you just need a fresh perspective – A WISE WAY TO LOOK AT EVENTS THROUGH THE LENS OF HISTORY

And here’s a video I was inspired to create after watching a few author buddies share their own:      A MIDDLE-GRADE CREATIVE WRITING ACTIVITY: FRACTURED FAIRY TALES – JARM DEL BOCCIO

For those of you who are architecture and history buffs: 6 BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN MUSEUMS TO VISIT FREE ONLINE 

I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS – WHAT GOOD HAVE YOU NOTICED COMING FROM THE COVID-19 CRISIS? Please let me know in the comments below. And if you have a link with helpful tips to get us through, post those as well!

(This post was first published on Jarm’s inspirational blog last month)

 

Jarm book

 

Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?

Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission—far beyond what she could imagine.

This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope seems lost.

The Heart Changer Trailer: https://youtu.be/qM8Hl8Ah0HE

Teacher’s Guide for The Heart Changer: http://ambassador-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/TeachersGuide.pdf

 

Jarm

 

Jarm (‘J’ pronounced as a ‘Y’) Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way. Focusing on lives of characters from the past, Jarm is devoted to breathing new life into the pages of history.

Jarm has a background in elementary and high school Art education, and served four years as school librarian. She spent two years in Papua New Guinea, teaching three missionary children in an isolated bush village without modern conveniences.

Jarm Del Boccio is content with the journey God has placed her on, and lives with her husband, adult daughter and son (when he lands at home), in a tree-lined suburb of Chicago. Her debut middle-grade historical fiction, The Heart Changer released with Ambassador International April 26th. You can connect with her at: https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/  or her author’s Facebook or Instagram accounts.

I’d love to Skype or visit with your class! : https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/school-visitsspeaking.html

Kids at home bored? Here’s a Fractured Fairy Tale writing activity for middle school: https://youtu.be/VK_IJKC9Hn4

 

 

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Easter Traditions

easter

 

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, but it didn’t feel like it. No early morning church services. No Easter egg hunts. No large family get together around a food laden table. Strange how COVID-19 shadows just about everything we do these days.

Back when I was growing up, Easter was one of the few times a year when I could look forward to some extra treats and especially store bought candy.

Being so poor usually meant the only sweets we would see is things like Mother’s greasy donuts or sometimes cookies but even then I wasn’t a huge fan of  her orange peel ones. But at the first sign of spring I would start counting down to the Easter Bunny’s arrival.

If my father was home from working on an oil rig as a short order cook, he would threaten to take his old shotgun and shoot the Easter rabbit but every year that sneaky bunny managed to make his delivery and still escape with his tail intact.

There were no magic pills back then to turn water into colorful dyes so Mother would boil at least six dozen eggs…a dozen for each of the four kids and the rest for deviled eggs, pickled eggs, and egg salad sandwiches. Once we got the okay, everyone would gather around a mound of hard boiled eggs on the dining room table where we would create a rainbow of colored eggs using as many crayons as were available. 

Easter morning we would wake up and race to see what was in our baskets. The one prize I waited to receive every year was a hollow Binks Bunny. Things like jelly beans and marshmallow eggs were nice to see, but that chocolate rabbit nestled in the middle of all the candy like a king on his throne was my sign that all was right with my world.

In this COVID-19 crazy world we live in right now, maybe celebrating our holidays are the best way to be reminded not everything in our lives have changed…like finding a chocolate bunny in your Easter basket…

 

bunny

 

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HM Hunting Gris-Gris Epub cover

 

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Hunting Gris-Gris

Eleven-year-old Emma misses her father who’s serving in Europe during World War II. He left behind a treasure box with six secret compartments to be opened during her birthday week. He also told her to watch out for the gris-gris while he was gone. Looking out for swamp creatures and dealing with wartime rationing was hard enough, but now there’s a British refugee coming to stay at the house! How will Emma enjoy her birthday and keep her decision to hunt for the gris-gris a secret with a stranger hanging around?

NOW AVAILABLE IN EBOOK, PAPERBACK & HARDBACK ON AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, BOOKS A MILLION, AND OTHER FINE RETAILERS!

 

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donna

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book three, Hunting Gris-Gris, is now available in ebook, paperbook & hardback everywhere!