Posts tagged ‘optimism’

#NeedlesTheForgottenChristmasTree virtual blog tour and giveaway

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW AND RICHARD WAGNER

ABOUT THE BOOK

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree

Written by Richard Wagner

Illustrated by Sydni Kruger

Ages 3+ | 38 Pages

Publisher: Mascot Kids | ISBN-13: 9781645437086

Publisher’s Synopsis: The world is not always a perfect place. Needles, a scraggly little tree, must endure criticism, laughter, and setbacks to realize his goal of becoming a beautiful Christmas tree.

This is a story of dreams, desires, hope, determination, and never giving up. It also offers the observation that what others think is beautiful may not really matter. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder and paired with the spirit of Christmas, maybe we can make the world just a little more perfect!

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author’s Website

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Wagner grew up in Southern California. When he was fourteen years old, a business friend of his father’s had a small Christmas tree delivered as a thank-you. Their family already had a large tree decorated in the house. Not being able to find anyone who needed a tree, that small Christmas tree stood outside by itself for the remainder of the Christmas holiday. Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree is a tribute to that little tree and what might have been, but more importantly, to all the beauty, goodness, and hope that Christmas brings to us all. Mr. Wagner continues to reside in Southern California with his wife and two children.

For more information, visit https://needlesthechristmastree.com.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

JUST PERFECT

Needles: The Forgotten Tree

Written by Richard Wagner

Illustrated by Sydni Kruger

What a perfect picture book to celebrate the meaning of the season! Needles is a short, scruffy evergreen tree growing on a Christmas tree farm. The adjoining trees make fun of him, but Needles firmly believes he will achieve his goal to become a beautiful Christmas tree in someone’s home.

The trees are cut down and brought to market but as day after day passes, Needle’s friends are chosen, while no one seems interested in him. When the owner of the lot, decides to gift Needles to a friend, Needles is elated. Now he will have a home! Will he achieve his dream to become a beautiful Christmas tree?

The story contains many twists and turns. Children (and the adults who read this story to them) remember that the promises of faith and hope are at the heart of the Christmas season. Even more important that sharing and caring for others is the true spirit of Christmas.

A perfect holiday choice for a bedtime story or read-aloud with elementary school children.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree, autographed by Richard Wagner.

One (1) winner receives:

– An autographed copy of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

https://gleam.io/u7VnN/needle-the-forgotten-christmas-tree-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, December 5, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Tuesday, December 6, 2022Me Two BooksA book activity to pair with Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Wednesday, December 7, 2022Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Thursday, December 8, 2022Confessions of a Book AddictA book giveaway of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Friday, December 9, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Monday, December 12, 2022Book Zone ReviewsAuthor Interview with Richard Wagner
Tuesday, December 13, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA guest article by Richard Wagner
Wednesday, December 14, 2022Heart to HeartAuthor Interview with Richard Wagner
Thursday, December 15, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Friday, December 16, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Monday, December 19, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Tuesday, December 20, 2022The Review WireA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Wednesday, December 21, 2022Chatty Patty’s PlaceA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Thursday, December 22, 2022Crafty Moms ShareA book review of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree

THE ART OF SELF-COMPASSION

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF

It might surprise you to hear that one of the best ways to cultivate a hopeful, optimistic outlook is to practice some radical self-compassion.

Frequently people confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence or even selfishness. But being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, if not more so.

Self-Compassion Makes You More Optimistic

Being kind to yourself means you can stop that vicious cycle of self-blame and recrimination. It prevents you from ruminating on past mistakes and builds your resilience and confidence so you can pick yourself up and get back on track.

When you are kind and encouraging to yourself, your anxiety levels drop, your mood lifts, and you become more optimistic and hopeful about the future.

Cultivate Mindfulness

Perhaps the best way to start your self-compassion practice is to adopt a more mindful attitude to life. Mindfulness focuses on the acceptance of who you are, where you are right now. With all your faults and all your glory. Accept that whatever you’re experiencing and feeling in the present moment is okay.

Mindfulness and self-compassion help you to overcome denial and hesitation in your reality. It allows space for hope to come in.

Accept that Hard Times Are Part of the Deal

Self-compassion accepts that all human lives are a mixture of hard times and good times. Often the bad things that happen are out of your control. All you can do is decide how you’re going to react. Will you be overwhelmed, or will you be angry? Or will you roll with punches, learn from your experiences, and get back on the horse?

In times of fear or illness or natural disasters or any other of life’s stressors, self-compassion allows you to take guilt or blame out of the equation and deal with whatever you’re faced with.

Treat Yourself As You Would A Friend

Take a moment to look at how you’re reacting. What is your self-talk saying to you? Are you reassuring yourself that things will work out okay, or are you beating yourself up for something you did or didn’t do? Would you talk to your best friend like that? How would they feel?

Be as gentle in your self-talk as you would to a loved one who is in crisis. Be loving and kind, and reassuring. Extend the hand of hope to your own heart, and help yourself on the first steps back towards better times.

If you want to create a better world for yourself and others, you need to become an active participant in studying the past to avoid repeating the mistakes others have previously made. Remember, the day you were born you became a character in history. Study the past, avoid its mistakes, learn its lessons, and create a better future for everyone.

“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

I Can Do This

Preston’s Positive Thoughts: I Am a Problem Solver Series

Written by Jenelle French

Illustrated by Karina Yasinova

Poor Preston is having an awful day. He is not particularly good at soccer, he gets anxious in math class, and he cannot seem to get the knack of using his brother’s hoverboard. That night Preston reflects about the terrible day and wonders what it would be like if he decided to change his mindset to think he would succeed. Maybe his thoughts would influence his actions and the results?

The next day, he tries out this new outlook. Preston convinced himself he would do well on a test, try his best in art class, and apply himself to learning how to play computer games. Could bad days become best days by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones?

This book is beautifully illustrated with well-executed multicultural illustrations and easy to read text. Parents and teachers of shy, introverted children or those who have trouble thinking before they act will find it a useful tool. Recommended for children in grades one through five.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

SHORT AND SWEET

The One That Got Away and other short stories

Written by Margaret Lynette Sharp

Three short and charming stories set in Australia. In the first containing the book’s title, Amanda writes to her sister Sonya from overseas about the love of her life, Thomas, a fisherman who has literally just “got away.” This story is poignant, yet contains humor and an optimistic bent. In the second story, a grandmother struggles with a change of fortunes and the realization that she will have to sell the piano that has given her granddaughter such pleasure. Grandma’s daughter, Angela seems cold and indifferent to her dilemma. The last story brings Caroline back to the beach where she met her true love twenty five years ago. She meets Barry, a young artist, and strikes up a conversation. He reminds her of the man she left behind long ago. A surprise ending brings the story full circle.

The author does a good job of developing her characters and creating the mood for each of these short stories. They are a quick and delightful read. Recommended for anyone age ten and older who enjoys clean well-written short stories.

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Baby Chomper’s Bath Time Blog Tour and Giveaway

DOWN AND DIRTY!

Baby Chomper’s BATH TIME

Written by Jeff Minich

Illustrated by Renam Garcia

I am delighted to read and review another charming book in the nuggies book series. Chomper is an adorable pup, who has a penchant for getting dirty just like his young readers. After all when you spend your days playing in garbage cans, rolling in the mud, and chasing skunks, a price will have to be paid. That price is being a candidate for a good scrubbing in the bathtub. Chomper does all he can to resist his fate, but his owner tracks him down.

Once in the tub, Chomper discovers a world of imagination. He can imagine adventures like swimming with the fishes, surfing, and sailing across the seas in a pirate ship. Chomper discovers feeling fresh as a daisy after a bath might not be so bad after all.

The text consists of simple sentences and the illustrations are simple, bold and creative. I love the image of Chomper’s owner giving him a bath dressed in a suit. Parents of reluctant toddlers and preschoolers who hate bath time will grab this book as an effective way to change young reader’s behavior. Recommended especially for children ages two through five. The short tale is perfect for bedtime story or nursery classroom read aloud

I received an advance review copy from the publisher and decided to voluntarily read and read with my honest opinions for no compensation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Baby Chomper’s Bath Time

Written by Jeff Minich

Publisher’s Synopsis: Baby Chomper’s Bath Time is a lovable tale about a little puppy who learns to have fun doing his least favorite thing— taking a bath! One day, baby Chomper escapes from home and gets muddy and stinky beyond belief. He rolls in the mud, takes a dive in the trash, and even gets sprayed by a very stinky skunk. After returning home, he finds that it’s his least favorite time of all: BATH TIME! With nowhere else to go, Chomper realizes that bath time can be one of the most fun times of all! He imagines himself diving into the deep blue sea, being the captain of his own ship, and surfing to a faraway shore. Baby Chomper’s Bath Time is a playful story that encourages children to see the bright side of every situation.

Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Nuggies Inc | November 7, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0999298404

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xpzBlx

Available on Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-chompers-bath-time-minich-jeff/1127135121

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Minich is the author of the Nuggies illustrated children’s book series. Created in collaboration with illustrator Renan Garcia, the series includes Daddy Forgot My Dinner (Vol. 1); All the Other Nuggies (Vol. 2); A Very Scary Pumpkin (Vol. 3); Oui Oui, Gigi! (Vol. 4); and If I Could Climb Trees (Vol. 5). You can learn more about the Nuggies book series by visiting: GetNuggies.com

 OFFICIAL LINKS

GIVEAWAY
 Enter to win an autographed copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, by Jeff Minich—plus a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A Dyson Supersonic hairdryer

  • A complete autographed set of the Nuggies series
    • A copy of If I Could Climb Trees: Nuggies: Vol. 5, signed by Jeff Minich
    • A copy of Oui Oui Gigi: Nuggies: Vol. 4, signed by Jeff Minich
    • A copy of  A Very Scary Pumpkin: Nuggies: Vol. 3, signed by Jeff Minich
    • A copy of  All the Other Nuggies: Nuggies: Vol. 2, signed by Jeff Minich
    • A copy of  Daddy Forgot My Dinner: Nuggies: Vol. 1, signed by Jeff Minich
    • A copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, signed by Jeff Minich

Value: $518+

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, signed by Jeff Minich

Value: $19.95

Giveaway begins September 26, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 26, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.

Prizes provided by Jeff Minich

 

TAKING ONE GIANT STEP FORWARD

MAYBE ONE STEP BACKWARD…. MY APOLOGIES!

My computer crashed and I have been down 2 1/1 days. So this post and everything else is late!

Bounce: Help Your Child Build Resilience and Thrive in School, Sports, and Life

Written by Dr. Kate Lund

The primary focus in this book is to teach parents, teachers, and community leaders how to foster resilience in the early stages in life so that children can develop their full potential. Children need to learn how to bounce back from misfortune and adversity in order to continue to move forward and ultimately achieve maximum potential. Young people must develop a tool box of coping skills to manage their frustrations and emotions. Lund presents seven pillars including navigating friendships and social pressures, sustaining focus and attention skills, developing courage, the motivation to succeed, and a spirit of confidence that will lead to optimism and continued forward momentum.

The author bases her book on her own personal experiences in overcoming challenges and studies of elementary school children as a psychologist for the past fifteen years. Lund includes a short autobiography and a list of resources for further study at the conclusion of her book. I would recommend this book to parents and teachers as well as anyone interested in developing the full potential of society’s future leaders.

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YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World

January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

mcbd,PIC

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view our booklists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share.
  • Visit our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on our website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors (you can find them HERE)
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website on January 27th to view and participate in our huge blogger link-up, multicultural book reviews, giveaways and more!

Other Fun Details:

Our Sponsor Line-up Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author   FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Our CoHosts: We have NINE amazing Co-Host. You can view them here.

-MCCBD now has its own Paper.li! A Paper.li is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.

-Connect with us on our new Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

-Connect with us on our new Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!

If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children’s Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here’s a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC

If you would like more information, or have questions regarding Multicultural Children’s Book Day, please contact Valarie Budayr at Valarie@AudreyPress.com or Mia Wenjen at pragmaticmomblog@gmail.com

PLEASE READ THE REVIEW OF MY MULTICULTURAL SELECTION

The Unboy Boy

Written by Richa Jha

Illustrated by Gautam Benegal

UnboyBoy,pic

I am reviewing this book as a guest blogger for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. This forty page hard-cover picture book is interesting on many levels.

Gagan is a happy boy who loves nature and looks at the world with optimism. His brother, Pavan, is mean-spirited and self-centered. When Gagan plays with ants, Pavan calls him Mousey. Gagan’s classmates taunt him with the name Sissy the day he brings his stuffed toy Bingo to Show and Tell. So Gagan asks his mother if he is a boy; she assures him that she loves him dearly and that he is a soft and gentle boy. In his dreams Gagan imagines himself a superhero, but Pavan and his friends continue to try to make Gagan into their own boy image by chasing him with worms, destroying plants, and playing with water guns. Gagan ignores them as he reads and works on his stamp collection. Even his grandfather urges Gagan “to be a man” by playing with toy guns. Gagan feels sad, lonely and isolated.

Things come to a climax when the children at school attend summer camp. At night, Pavan and his friends begin to tell stories of ghosts, goblins, murderers and zombies. They warn Gagan that the trolls will rip his stuffed Bingo apart. When a cat named Scuttie disappears and other mysterious events occur, the children become frightened. Gagan disappears from the story….Will he survive? If he escapes the danger, will the children continue to bully him?

This story reminds me a lot of Charlotte Zolotow’s 1972 book, William’s Doll, which related the tale of a boy who wanted a doll for Christmas because he wanted to practice being a father one day. At the time it was controversial and received mixed reviews because it presented a male character who did not act in accordance with the stereotypical image of an American boy. On the other hand, it was acceptable for boys to play with G.I. Joe soldier dolls.

Illustrations in this book remind me a bit of Mo Willems. The cover gives a hint of scary creatures who are drawn in dark silhouettes. Mischievous children are portrayed with mean faces, while Gagan is happy and smiling. There are some rather scary images, even though they are displayed in a cartoon-like format. Parents of young children might think twice about making this a bedtime story for sensitive children. The lessons of being true to yourself and disregarding gender based stereotypes are valuable. Teachers and parents can use the book as a basis for discussion on many levels. I would recommend the book for children older than age six.

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SOMEONE LIKE ME

A Book of Poetry for Teenagers: Vol. 1

Written by RyAnn Adams Hall

BookofPoetryforteens,pic

This collection of poems of approximately one hundred pages hits on many of the issues so important to the teens of past and present generations. The author organizes her poetry collection by age rather than theme; the poems become more sophisticated and complex as the chapters and maturity levels progress through time.

Poems are listed by title only, the reader must peruse through to the end to find the theme. But the underlying themes match the trials and tribulations that coming of age brings upon all of us. Several of the poems relate sorrow at not having a mother present while growing up. At age twelve the author writes about her “best friend forever” Renee. There are poems expressing fear and frustration, relationships with boys, and feeling left out of things. Many poems express hope and optimism like “The Stars,” “My Shadow,” and “What You Do.” In the very last section of poetry written in the period from ages twenty-two through twenty-seven, the author finds her true love, David, and then becomes the mother of Kayleigh in whom she places her hopes and dreams.

I think many that teens will enjoy having these poems to read as they pass through the many moods, phases, ups and downs of adolescence. Nice book to have when you feel the need to take a moment or two to reflect on the joys and sorrows of growing up and life in general.

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