COVID19 WE CAN #WORKTOGETHER WHILE STAYING APART

FEELING OVERWHELMED AND ISOLATED?

DON’T KNOW HOW TO ORGANIZE FAMILY SCHEDULES WHILE WE ARE ALL WORKING FROM HOME?

Here are a few ideas to keep things running smoothly and making everyone in the family more productive.

Create a To-Do List the Night Before

Instead of waking up in the morning to make your to-do list, make your list the night before. This way you can go to bed relaxed and confident for the next day. You also wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you have planned for the day. You might also consider planning on Sunday night for the upcoming week. Then when you wake on Monday you have a plan in place.

Prioritize

Take a look at the tasks on your list. What tasks offer the largest return? What tasks offer the most value and achievement? For example, answering email or paying bills isn’t a task that offers a large return. However, making a sale or meeting with a client is a very productive task. Put your most profitable or results-oriented tasks first on your list.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The quality of your sleep is important to sustain your energy levels throughout your day. Good sleep means you’ll be fresh and energetic all day long. Creating a to-do list is a good way to help you get a good night’s sleep because you can put the day’s stresses to rest.

Also consider adding soothing nighttime rituals to your routine. For example, meditate, stretch or read before you go to bed. Keep a gratitude journal and write before you sleep. Go to bed and wake at the same time to help your body know what to expect.

Eat Healthy

The food you eat has a direct correlation to how energetic and productive you are. Junk food will make you sluggish. Healthy food will help you stay energized all day long. Feed your body well and it will respond by keeping you alert and energetic.

Get Organized      

If you spend half your time searching for files, names and numbers, you are wasting time. Make sure any items that you use on a regular basis are easy to grab from your desk chair or find in your computer. They should be easy to find and use.

Take Breaks

Productivity doesn’t mean working from sun-up to sundown. In fact, if you work without stopping, you’re likely to burn out. Instead, commit to taking a break every hour. Walk around or get some air to get the blood moving throughout your body.

Focus

Do you multi-task hoping it’ll make you more productive? Do you manage one task while your mind is already onto the next task? Both habits are unproductive. When you focus on what you’re doing, not only is the task more enjoyable, it also gets done faster and better.

Productivity is possible. With a little planning, attention, and self-care you can get more done in half the time. These tools are simple but effective. Try just one of these steps and watch your own personal productivity improve.

LEARNING THE 3 R’S #EARTH DAY

Earth Ninja

Written by Mary Nhin

Illustrated by Jelena Stupar

This book is part of a series that uses a series of Ninja characters to teach children about their world and how to become a valuable member of it.

Earth Ninja wants children to learn how to take responsibility for the earth. Lazy Ninja is careless about throwing away his trash, but one day he goes to the beach with friends. They notice a turtle struggling to get free from plastic trash. Earth Ninja explains how trash in the ocean endangers animals.

Earth Ninja teaches Lazy Ninja about the 3 R’s. We can reduce our carbon footprint, and fertilizer. By reusing paper and plastic, we conserve resources. Finally, we can recycle paper, plastics, and glass. Lazy Ninja is convinced to change his ways.

Nhin includes fasts to help children understand how necessary these steps are and that even one person can make a difference.

This series is highly recommended for preschool and elementary school students.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about friendship

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrations by ElenaTeplove

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabularies are a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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BABY STEPS

I Am Not a Baby

Written by Bob Smith

Illustrated by Victoria M.

This is a short, cute picture book written from the point of view of a toddler. Preschoolers and toddlers are constantly trying to demonstrate they can do things independently. In this tale, Mike sets out to prove he can do everything adults can do. While the pictures and story clearly demonstrate that is not the case, Mike gives his readers inspiration and confidence.

Recommended as a bedtime story or read-aloud book to encourage self-esteem for two to five-year-olds.

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#CAN YOU SELL BOOKS DURING A PANDEMIC ?#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Little Miss HISTORY holding some of her books,

Children’s book week is coming up the first week of May. This year I will be marketing online as schools are closed and the largest children’s book festival in my state has been canceled. No personal appearances in schools or book signings for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, here are a few ways authors can use their free time to help fellow authors.

I found this article on Book Marketing Buzz and would like to share it because its message is a positive one. There will be light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.

Many libraries, schools, and bookstores are closed. Amazon is behind in deliveries. Speaking appearances and book signings have been canceled. So how are books being sold in this environment?

Here are the answers each correct in some fashion:·        

Social media is helping to sell more books·         

Traditional and digital media is covering books·         

Authors are doing webinars and online courses to sell books·         

New online retailers are sprouting up·         

Not everything is closed everywhere – it just sounds like that·         

E-books are skyrocketing·         

Audiobook downloads are surging

There is reason to hope. Everyone is cooped up and is open to reading books. Many run to the safe confines of books, whether to escape reality or to use this time to learn what they had been meaning to finally get to.
So many books do well in this environment, including:

Children’s Books – kids need to learn and be entertained without school·         

Thrillers – always a good time for them·         

History – let’s learn from past disasters, depression, and pandemics – or read about better days of the past·         

Entertainment – love a good distraction·         

Personal Finance – time to balance a budget and grow your assets·         

Investing – gotta make back the money lost on Wall Street·         

Survivalist Techniques – we are all preppers now·         

Politics – the 2020 election is coming·         

Humor – we need a laugh·         

Sports – we can read about the past until the future games begin·         

Health –  this is our number one focus – how to stay healthy in mind and body·         

Religion – we need some spiritual nourishment, especially when the churches and temples are closed·         

Self-Help/Motivation – we all need uplifting stories now·         

Cooking – if you can’t hit a restaurant or even afford takeout, learn how to cook       

Travel — if you can go somewhere physically, time to go with your mind — and plan a future trip

Plus, let’s look forward, whether it is weeks, a month or a few months – stores will reopen, delivery times will improve, and the financial devastation will slow down and start to return to better times.
But for the moment, as the world is upside down and filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty – and financial insecurity fills millions of homes and thousands of others confront death and severe illness – the book world is combusting. Indie stores have laid-off workers and shuttered operations.

Some publishers are looking at bankruptcy or a merger. Book releases scheduled for April or May are getting pushed back. Even the nation’s leading book trade show, Book Expo America, had to reschedule its date but right now its home, the Javits Center in NYC, is being used as a makeshift hospital to battle a plague. It is ugly out there. Still, the belief is it is temporary and we just need to weather the storm for the moment.

A decade ago the industry was hit by many challenges – the Great Recession, the ebook revolution,  Amazon taking over the industry as Borders drop dead, technology allowing for the majority of published books to be self-published, and the Internet providing free competition for content providers.

But the American book industry rose from the dead and all of that transition and uncertainty. It is going through another tough time now, as many Americans are. Every day that passes means we get a day closer to recovery. The pandemic seems like it is a book that has no end, but the truth is, we know how it ends. And we know that the book world will get a new beginning and rise up. I can’t wait for the sequel!

So, I want to end this post with a positive message for my author friends. In the meantime, stay strong, stay safe, stay calm and REMAIN PRODUCTIVE!

#HAPPYEASTER Tea-time Travel Adventure

The Further Adventures of Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Teapot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson Morris

So delighted that the author is giving us a sequel. Book Two contains seven more magical adventures. Readers meet a one-eyed giant, a silver snake, a naughty goblin, the Easter bunny, an alien planet, some bubbles, and a castle of dreams. Children learn that we should be kind and understanding toward others even when others are angry with us. Mrs. Trimble teaches us that when we are naughty like the goblin, we need to undo the harm we have done to others. Then apologize, and make restitution for our mistakes. When Mrs. Trimble meets the Dream Maker, she learns how sweets can turn into healthy fruits. What child would not like to have a bubble adventure!

When the Easter bunny oversleeps one year, our heroes must rescue him.  In their last adventure, our friends land on the Teapot planet where everything is shaped like a teapot. Here they meet Earl Grey, who will restore the magic to their teapot. To return his kindness, Mrs. Trimble leaves him a special gift.

As in the first book, there are delightful pencil drawings. The book ends with coloring pages that feature all the characters in the book’s stories. I recommend the book for elementary and middle-grade readers and anyone who likes to let their imagination soar.

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ANXIETY CURE FOR KIDS

CALM DOWN

A Little SPOT of Anxiety: A Book about Calming Your Worries

Written and Illustrated by Diane Alber

This short book is a good introduction to the topic of anxiety for children. Readers learn that feelings of anxiety stem from being anxious, worried or scared. Alber presents a few common situations that may cause anxiety in children like separation from parents or meeting new people for the first time. She illustrates a simple technique of imagining grey spots on the fingers and a calming green spot in the center of the palm. By taking a deep breath and blowing the spots away, children can release their fears.

After reading a few of the reviews, I noticed some readers complained of layout issues, but I did not find issues when reading on my Kindle. I believe this book might be a useful tool for parents and social workers, but it needs to be read with the careful guidance of an adult.

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GOING GREEN

Pea Soup Disaster (A Gregory Green Adventure Book 1)

Written by Elaine Kaye

Gregory Green is excited to find a thermos of green pea soup in his thermos. Unlike most kids, he loves his mother’s homemade pea soup. After lunch on the playground, his friends begin making fun of him. Gregory has turned green! Gregory is feeling bad when an unexpected buddy comes to his rescue to end the bullying.

This book contains elements of fantasy, a family curse, a lesson about bullying, and strong family bonds. The layout is more like a chapter book but there are some multicultural illustrations. I read the book in kindle format which did contain a few formatting errors, but the clever storyline and message make the book a good choice for beginning readers, reluctant readers and a parent read-aloud for any age child.

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BEING ALONE IS NO FUN

The Selfish Bear

Written and Illustrated by Bassel Elkadi

A little bear is selfish and does not like to share. One day he comes across his friends on the swings. He reflects on how he has treated each of them recently and figures out they will now not want to share with him.
The bear decides to build his own swing. He gathers material and makes a large swing. Bear did not plan well. One of the ropes breaks. Can you guess what might happen? Will Bear realize why it is important to share and be kind to your friends?

This is a rather short book. The illustrations are appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. I was puzzled about the fact the Bear was not given a name to help personalize the character. Recommended especially for children ages three to six.

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A Child’s Best Friend

A Wet Nose Christmas

Written and Illustrated by A.R. Harwell

A boy and his father visit the pound a couple of days before Christmas. The little boy chooses a black puppy with a white spot on his chest and a red bow around his neck.

They bring the dog back to their farm where he eagerly plays in the snow. On Christmas morning, the puppy receives three gifts, for which he is so grateful. The boy promises to love, feed and train the puppy, and he is rewarded with all the love the puppy can give.

This book is written in rhymes that are easy to read. Children learn respect for animals, love, kindness and responsibility. Harwell captures the mood well in her illustrations. This is a winner for any child who loves animals. Caution, they may ask you for a wet nose puppy after reading this book.

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