Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Spelling Site!


The Parents' Choice Foundation, the nation's leading experts on quality children's media and toys, recently selected the website as a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award.

Claire Green, president of Parents’ Choice says: “The Parents’ Choice Awards panel members noted as a fun way to practice for the weekly spelling tests. This practical and results-oriented site is cleanly designed and user-friendly.” equips students to become better spellers by letting them practice spelling with their own personalized lists, rather than just random spelling words. The site allows the user to do a variety of things with their spelling words such as see them in flashcard format, hear them spoken by a real human voice, play games with the words, and even take practice-spelling tests.

John Edelson, founder of, says this of the site's unique, personalized approach: "As a parent, I want the computer to be more than a game machine. Because spelling and vocabulary tests are a weekly reality for today’s elementary school students, they need educational tools that are applicable to their education. So I set out to create a site that fits into today’s educational model and which is truly useful to today’s teachers and students." has:

- Over 38,000 spelling words and eight spelling games!
- A REAL person who says each vocabulary word and sentence
- Thousands of free spelling lists. Or save your own spelling word list!
- Eight spelling and vocabulary games to play with your lists.

After taking the online spelling test, students can print out a report, retake the entire test, or get tested only on spelling words that they got wrong on the first time spelling test.

TeachMe spells and displays the word in ways that stimulate memory for visual and verbal learners.

Printable Games include WordSearch, UnScramble, WhichWord? and MissingLetter.

Printable Handwriting Worksheets for combined spelling and handwriting practice can be created from any saved list (this feature only works if the list is saved). Choices include three sizes of lines, capitals or small letters, script or cursive, and with directional arrows on or off. Very cool, huh?

Teachers: try their new Spelling City Parents’ Letter, available in PDF form for you to print out and send home with your students spelling word lists.

Let me know how you like this site. My next post will be about a vocabulary site!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas to all my bloggers. Here's a poem I wrote about Christmas as a child growing up in Long Island, NY.

I remember, I remember,
the Christmas days of old,
when tiny lights and tinsel hung
on greenery untold.

The night before I tossed and turned,
and sleep was not my friend.
Awake, I counted stars and stars,
and seconds to the end.

I tiptoed down the stairs at dawn,
so careful not to wake,
the house of kindly souls that give,
and often dreams did make.

My mother, she arranged the gifts
as if an artist would.
Each one had her mark of love,
like no other could.

Then noise I'd make, to wake the others,
and pretend I didn't dare.
And slowly one by one they'd wake,
with a zombie's stare.

Some coffee and my hopeful eyes
would rouse them to attention.
I offered each a gift I'd made,
with love as my intention.

Bows and paper would start to fly,
with excitement in the air.
The special gift I'd open next,
the one that was so rare.

Oh yes, it's here, the nursing cart,
for which I'd prayed so long.
With cap of white and cross displayed,
I'd heal the sick with song.

All sparkling clean and newly dressed,
it's off to church we'd flee.
To the Christ child's house we'd go,
to worship God with glee.

At evenings end, when day was done,
on my pillow I would rest,
and think about the gifts I'd come to love,
knowing God's gift, was the best.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Zooprise Party Fiesta Zoopresa by Rebekha and Joy Delgado


Learn about this exciting new author/illustrator, Joy Delgado.

Kathy: Joy, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live?

Joy: At the moment I live in Puerto Rico with my husband.

Kathy: What do you mean by ‘at the moment’?

Joy: Well, we live on a 41’ sailboat, so, for the time being we are in Puerto Rico.

Kathy: How exciting! That’s sure a different way to live. How long have you lived on a boat?

Joy: Lets see, we’ve lived aboard for 5 ½ years now.

Kathy: Where did you start out and where all have you sailed to?

Joy: We started in St. Pete, FL, moved aboard and sailed her to Key West, FL. We were there for three years while my husband was on Active Duty with the Coast Guard. He went back to reserve status and in October of 2006 we set sail for Puerto Rico. Along the way we spent 5 months in the Bahamas, time in the Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic. Seven months in all.

Joy: Yes. We are talking about going to the Virgins (both US and British) for the early part of 2009. then, who knows.

Kathy: Now, you’re the publisher and illustrator of Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa right? How do you plan to manage your business while you’re on the road, or should I say at sea?

Joy: Yes, I’m the illustrator/publisher and my husband is the translator. Well, I’m looking into getting lined up with distributors both in Puerto Rico and the US. We are going to ‘test drive’ the idea in the Virgin Islands. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to Puerto Rico and try something else. My plan is to be able to do the bulk of my work on the computer and have printers and distributors lined up to take care of the rest. I am new at this, so there will be some trial and error involved.

Kathy: Interesting. Now I know this book has a special story behind it. Let’s start with what prompted you to create this book?

Joy: I have two grand daughters in Puerto Rico. When it came time to buy presents for the ‘girls’, we decided to buy them bilingual books. We speak both languages and feel it’s very important in this day and age to speak at least two languages. So we started looking around. What we discovered was that bilingual books are hard to find and when you do find them, they are usually about a particular culture.

I asked my daughter Rebekha to help out by writing a few stories. I told her I’d teach myself to draw and her dad could translate them into Spanish. She thought this was great, so she sat down and in something like two days I had three stories from her.

Kathy: Now you have an activity book and a teacher’s guide that go along with this book. What prompted you to add these?

Joy: As we worked on the book, people would ask me what made me draw this okapi thing to look like I did. When I had to explain to several people that an okapi is a real animal from Africa, I realized I needed to do something different. So we started with pictures and some interesting facts at the end of the story. It soon became clear to us that this wasn’t just a book. This was a book that would help teach a second language as well as inform people about animals that aren’t very common. That’s when I decided to developed the Activity Book and the Teacher’s Guide, to take the book beyond reading.

Kathy: Tell us a bit about Rebekha. What kind of work does she do?

Joy: Rebekha is a zookeeper, or as she prefers, and animal keeper at a zoological park/resort in Central Florida.

Kathy: You know, that’s one of those jobs that when children go to the zoo that they are fascinated with. Is it as great as it seems?

Joy: For the most part, from what she tells us, yes, it’s really a dream come true for her. There are certain aspects of the job however that aren’t very pleasant, like cleaning the stalls out. She’s been there long enough that I don’t think she has to do that much anymore.

Kathy: When did she start to write?

Joy: I think it was in about second or third grade. She went to an elementary school that was very pro writing. Each year the students wrote short stories. Then the parents’ group took them, printed them out, gave them back to the student to illustrate it and bound them.

Kathy: What a great school project. So, has she had anything else published?

Joy: Yes she did. Some of her poetry was published as part of a National Poetry contest.

Kathy: What’s next? Another zoo story or something else?

Joy: Several projects are in the works. Rebekha’s second story about a chameleon and a lemur will follow the same format as Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa. Then we have a textbook-workbook project about animals in their natural habitats. Some of the local schools have asked for this, and I think it’s something many schools would be interested in. Of course there are about 20 more stories we’ve both written that I hope someday will see publication.

Kathy: Well, thank you Joy for such an interesting interview. I wish you and your family the best of luck.

Joy: Thank you for having me here today. It was fun.

Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa

Written by
Rebekha and Joy Delgado

Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
A division of J.O.Y. Publishing
PO Box 503
Salinas, Puerto Rico 00751
Picture book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-1-6
$11.95 US
Activity Book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-2-3
$4.95 US
Teacher’s guide ISBN: 978-0-9755454-3-0
$8.95 US

Available at:

Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Offers free shipping and autographed copies

E-mail publisher

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This informative article was written by Dorit Sasson.

More primary school teachers are using read-alouds to teach reading.
Read-alouds also provide a springboard for oral instruction.

Elementary teachers, especially those teaching young ELLs (English
Language Learners), are hungry for learning how to teach reading.
Teachers can use read alouds to teach letter-sound correspondences,
words, sentences, and eventually, other stories.

Oral Instruction and Read-Alouds

Oral instruction enhances the process of early literacy by providing
direct explicit instruction on reading, thinking and learning
strategies, word and meaning recognition, and early reading skills.
While every teacher's approach to oral work differs, the principles
for strengthening an at-risk performance in the early stages of a
read-aloud remain the same.

Identifying the Type of Read-Alouds

Teachers begin by identifying the type of read-aloud (expository or
narrative) and how much oral work will be done prior to the read-
aloud. As the teacher reads the story, s/he encourages students to
predict. Non-verbal clues such as gestures, and verbal clues such as
pictures, help facilitate the process of reading the story aloud.
Discussing vocabulary is an important linking stage between hearing
words and seeing them in their contexts before students have the
necessary reading skills to acquire vocabulary independently.

Teaching Vocabulary

Using the popular read-aloud Bear Snores On, [Karma Wilson, 2003] the
teacher presents new vocabulary by showing the cover. and asks "Who
is 'snoring'?"

While reading the story, teacher refers to the word snoring using
guiding questions: "Where is the bear snoring?" "Who comes into the
cave when bear is snoring?"

Building Emerging Literacy Skills

The look-read-say method (otherwise known as the whole word approach)
helps ELLs learn early decoding and early reading according to word
patterns which were previously introduced in the read-aloud. It is up
to the teacher to choose 4-6 target vocabulary that can be explicitly
taught from sound and meaning.

Stage 1: the teacher presents the word in a sentence strip.
Stage 2: The teacher says: "The word X sounds like Y."
Stage 3: ELLs hear the pattern.
Stage 4: Students say the word and spell out the word.
Predicting the contents of a read-aloud is an important pre-reading
technique. It should follow the vocabulary presentation stage. ELLs
with limited oral vocabulary can supply a few words. Later, they can
confirm their predictions in terms of plot, characters, and story
sequence. Modeling predictions provide discussions from which student
predictions play a crucial role.

Read-alouds represent an appropriate oral language program suitable
for the language learning development of early literacy and second
language learners. The read-aloud is not completely an oral
experience. Teachers should connect the oral experiences with early
reading components of early literacy

To receive your FREE EBook "Taking Control of the Classroom," please
visit the New Teacher Resource Center at
www.newteacherresou and sign up to be on the mailing
list. When you do, you'll also receive a FREE bimonthly Ezine
containing new, information and other teaching tips.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoopresa by Rebekha and Joy Delgado

Zooprise Christmas Card

If you like Birthday parties or zoo animals, you'll enjoy this new book entitled, Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoopresa. I am very happy to introduce authors Joy and Rebekha Delgado to my bloggers. They have written this wonderful bilingual (English and Spanish) picture book that every classroom would love to own. This is a charming story about exotic animals at the zoo planning a suprise party for Mori, the Okapi.

To compliment the book, Joy has created an activity book and a teacher's guide. The activity book is full of coloring pages, dot to dots, mazes, crossword puzzles, counting activities and even alphabet order exercises. The teachers guide has both pre and post reading discussion questions, arts and crafts ideas, games, and interesting facts about some exotic zoo animals.

Once you become a fan of this new book you can visit the Zooprise Party blog to find the latest zoo news, recipes, games and activities at : Get to know Zebee, the Laughing Zebra mascot. He is the blog's spokes-zebra. He will:

* keep you in the know about the happenings at the 'V Zoo'
* gather news about zoos from around the world and share the best with you
* present book reviews of some really great children books

This blog is a great resource for teachers and parents. It even has a recipe section.

Here is a Zooprise recipe for Birthday Carrot Cake

* 1 cup mayonaise
* 1 package yellow cake mix
* 4 eggs
* 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 2 cups finely grated carrots
Pick from the following to make your carrot cake special. Add one, two or all four!
* 1 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
* 2/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
* 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (leave out the water if you use this)
1. Beat mayonaise, cake mix, eggs, cinnamon and 1/4 cup water in a bowl.
2. Stir in carrots. Add any of the extra ingredients listed above at this time.
3. Pour mixture into greased 13"x9" pan.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until center of cake sprngs back or knife comes out clean from center of cake.
5. Cool and then frost the top.

Follow this link for an interactive Zooprise Party puzzle:

Thanks for visiting with us and learning about this exciting new resource for the classroom. Come back later this week to meet the authors and learn more.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008


IDEAS for using Environmental Print in your Classroom

· In morning routines, read around the room. Ask each child to find something they can read. Turn it into a game e.g. "I'm thinking of a letter that....."

· Find letters, sounds, blends, sight words, strings of letters, chunks of words, words inside words, logos, brand names, font types, colours, numbers, similes, homophones, diagraphs, explanations or answers to questions from posters and other displays in the room.

· As you teach a new strategy, create a symbol or sign that can be used later on in an independent activity e.g. cutting out (picture of scissors), retrieval chart (a picture of a grid), cloze activity (picture of a half finished sentence) etc. Put the taught strategies above the blackboard so students know where to look for them (adding an explanation under each symbol can also remind students what each of these strategies means).

· Make the displays interactive so students can use the information at their desks or in other ways that helps her/him complete the task at hand e.g. sight words or context-specific vocabulary from the unit being taught displayed on cards or collected in containers that can be used at the students' desks. These could also be used in word sorts or other independent activities.

· Weather stations to record the daily weather activities.

· Large Graphs of information - weather, tides, favorite foods, colors, sports played, tasks completed.

· Labeled boxes or work stations allow students to find and put away equipment.

· Create explanations of what the display is about and add these to the display (with the students).

· Contracts of activities can be displayed in work stations.

· Daily displays of interesting facts, tongue twisters, brain-teasers can make the classroom fun and interactive.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008



Most people can understand how physical activity can impact not only their child’s physical development but also his social/emotional development. But intellectual development? What could movement possibly have to do with learning? After all, schools – where most of the child’s learning is supposed to take place – are our prime promoters of inactivity. (“Sit still.” “Stop squirming.” “Don’t run.” “Stay in your seat.”) If movement were critical to learning, wouldn’t the schools be employing it?

Certainly, you’d think so. Those of us who’ve understood the connection between moving and learning for a very long time have been waiting just as long for the educational “revolution.” And yet, not only is movement in the classroom a rarity, but also physical education and recess are being eliminated as though they were completely irrelevant to children’s growth and development. Perhaps the revolution will only finally arrive when you, as a parent, become aware of movement’s role in cognitive development and learning and begin to insist the schools do what’s right for children and not merely what the policy makers think they should be doing.

As Einstein so succinctly pointed out, “Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.” Piaget, the noted child development specialist studied by future teachers, labeled this learning sensorimotor and determined it was the child’s earliest form of learning. Since then, brain research has proven them both right.

But the most recent brain research has done much more than that. It’s now understood that, because a child’s earliest learning is based on motor development, so too is much of the knowledge that follows. The cerebellum, the part of the brain previously associated with motor control only, is now known to be, as Eric Jensen, author of numerous books on brain-based learning, puts it, a “virtual switchboard of cognitive activity.” Study after study has demonstrated a connection between the cerebellum and such cognitive functions as memory, spatial orientation, attention, language, and decision making, among others.

Thanks to advances in brain research, we now know that most of the brain is activated during physical activity – much more so than when doing seatwork. In fact, according to Jensen, sitting for more than 10 minutes at a stretch “reduces our awareness of physical and emotional sensations and increases fatigue.” He tells us this results in reduced concentration and, most likely, discipline problems.

Movement, on the other hand, increases blood vessels that allow for the delivery of oxygen, water, and glucose (“brain food”) to the brain. And this can’t help but optimize the brain’s performance!

All of this, of course, contradicts the longstanding and much-loved belief that children learn best when they’re sitting still and listening and working quietly at their desks. It also helps us understand why

· one Canadian study showed academic scores went up when a third of the school day was devoted to physical education.

· a Canadian study demonstrated children participating in five hours of vigorous physical activity a week had stronger academic performance in math, English, natural sciences, and French than did children with only two hours of physical activity per week.

· a study of third-grade children participating in dance activities improved their reading skills by 13 percent over six months, while their peers, who were sedentary, showed a decrease of two percent.

· in France, children who spent eight hours a week in physical education demonstrated better academic performance, greater independence, and more maturity than students with only 40 minutes of PE a week.

· children who participate in daily physical education have been shown to perform better academically and to have a better attitude toward school.

· a study conducted by neurophysiologist Carla Hannaford determined that children who spent an extra hour a day exercising did better on exams than students who didn’t exercise.

· recent research demonstrates a direct link between fitness and intelligence, particularly in children under 16 and in the elderly.

It is a huge mistake to think the mind and body are separate entities. The truth is that the domains of child development – physical, social, emotional, and cognitive – simply do not mature separately from one another. There’s an overlap and interrelatedness among them. And children do not differentiate among thinking, feeling, and moving. Thus, when a child learns something related to one domain, it impacts the others.

Research shows that movement is the young child’s preferred mode of learning – because they best understand concepts when they’re physically experienced. For example, children need to get high and low, small and large, wide and narrow shapes to truly understand these quantitative concepts. They need to act out simple computation problems (demonstrating the nursery rhyme “Three Little Monkeys” to discover three minus one equals two) to comprehend subtraction. They have to take on the straight and curving lines of the letters of the alphabet to fully grasp the way in which the letters should be printed.

Writing in Early Childhood Exchange, developmental and environmental psychologist Anita Rui Olds says:

Until children have experiences orienting their bodies in space by going up, on, under, beside, inside, and in front of things, it is possible they will have difficulty dealing with letter identification and the orientation of symbols on a page. The only difference between a small “b” and a small “d,” for example, both of which are composed of a line and a circle, depends upon orientation, i.e., which side of the circle is the line on?

Eric Jensen labels this kind of hands-on learning implicit – like learning to ride a bike. At the opposite end of the spectrum is explicit learning – like being told the capital of Peru. He asks, if you hadn’t ridden a bike in five years, would you still be able to do it? And if you hadn’t heard the capital of Peru for five years, would you still remember what it was? Extrinsic learning may be quicker than learning through exploration and discovery, but the latter has greater meaning for children and stays with them longer. There are plenty of reasons for this, but one of them just may be that intrinsic learning creates more neural networks in the brain. And it’s more fun!

Carla Hannaford, in Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head, states, “We have spent years and resources struggling to teach people to learn, and yet the standardized achievement test scores go down and illiteracy rises. Could it be that one of the key elements we’ve been missing is simply movement?”

* * *

Rae Pica is the author of A Running Start (New York: Marlowe & Company, 2006). Rae has been a children’s physical activity specialist for 26 years and is the author of 15 other books, including the textbook Experiences in Movement (3rd edition) and the award-winning Great Games for Young Children. Rae is known throughout North America for her active and informative keynote and workshop presentations and has served as a consultant for many groups, including the Sesame Street Research Department, the Centers for Disease Control, Gymboree, and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues. E-mail her at

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Great Rebus Story by Kathy Stemke


Rebus stories are great for emergent readers. The picture clues bring their frustration level down. This makes it more fun for them to read. Click on the left picture to enlarge and print. This is the story with the words and pictures together. Click on the right picture if you want the rebus without words. have fun!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008


****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************I'm very excited to announce that Action Alley Education is close to publishing, "Moving Through All Seven Days." This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.

The illustrations above are from the new book. Tony Glisson is the talented illustrator who cleverly depicts the fun we have moving through the days of the week.


Rae Pica has been a children’s physical activity specialist for 27 years. A former adjunct instructor with the University of New Hampshire, she is the author of 17 books, including the text Experiences in Movement, the award-winning Great Games for Young Children and Jump into Literacy, and A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child, written for the parents of children birth to eight. Rae is known for her lively and informative workshop and keynote presentations and has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, Gymboree, and state health departments throughout the country. Rae also served on the task force of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) that created national guidelines for early childhood physical activity. The following article gives 10 reasons why parents and teachers should incorporate movement into the learning process.

Check out her website at


Early childhood professionals know the many benefits of physical activity and play. They understand that young children are experiential learners, that they need to move, and they move to learn.
Today there is a clamor for more accountability and testing, although children have not changed. They still need to experience concepts using their whole bodies to understand the concepts completely, including literacy and language arts concepts.
Following are 10 reasons why you should use movement and active learning to promote emergent literacy.

1. Children learn best through active involvement. Prepositions, for example, are very much a part of physical experiences. As children move over, under, around, through, beside, and near objects (under the monkey bars, through the tunnel, over the balance beam), these words take on greater meaning and significance.

2. Spatial orientation is necessary for letter identification and the orientation of symbols on a page. The only difference between a small "d" and a small "b," for example, is the direction in which the curvy line faces at the bottom of the straight line. When children form the straight and curving lines of letters by using their bodies and body parts, rather than simply attempting to copy them from a chart on the wall, this experience enhances their sense of directionality and spatial orientation. When children move within a room or within a space from left-to-right or top-to-bottom, they become comfortable with these important directions.

3. Actively experiencing the rhythm of words and sentences helps children find the rhythm necessary for reading and writing. Whether children are clapping or tapping out the beat of a fingerplay or moving to the cadence of a poem, they hear and feel the rhythm of words.

4. When children demonstrate the meaning of words physically, their understanding of the words is immediate and long-lasting. For instance, when children depict such action words as stomp, pounce, stalk, or slither—or such descriptive words as smooth, strong, gentle, or enormous —the words have much more relevance than they would as part of a vocabulary or spelling list.

5. Adverbs and adjectives become much more than abstract concepts. When children perform a "slow walk" or "skip lightly," they learn the meaning in both their bodies and their minds.

6. Playing together provides opportunities for children to speak and listen to one another! When children invent games and rules for games, they are using and expanding their vocabularies and learning important lessons in communication. Talking about experiences, depicting them through actions, and then discussing the actions contribute to language development by requiring children to make essential connections among their cognitive, social/emotional, and physical domains. We know that when young children learn something in one domain, it has a positive impact on the others.

7. Stringing actions together to form sequences is similar to linking words to form sentences (and eventually paragraphs). In other words, whether children are making up their own dances or stories, they must choose components that flow naturally. Both require breathing room (a pause in the action, or a comma) and, finally, an ending (a full stop, or a period).

8. When children act out the words of a poem, the plot of a story, or the lyrics of a song, they must ponder the meanings of the words. And because those words are important to them--and such activities are fun--the poems, stories, and songs take on greater relevance. The children are also using multiple senses, which means more is learned and retained.

9. Movement activities provide opportunities to cross the body's midline. Doing so requires the left and right hemispheres of the brain to communicate across the corpus callosum. This integration of the brain's hemispheres is essential to the ability to read and write.

10. Confucius said it best: "What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I know." When young children experience emergent literacy concepts with their bodies, they are moving in leaps and bounds toward becoming capable listeners, speakers, readers, and writers!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Thanks for coming back to answer a few questions for my bloggers. Your books are so descriptive and exciting.

Kathy: Lillian,is it true that your first book was a non-fiction book? Tell us a little bit about background and how you became a children's book author.

Lillian:In 1992, I wrote a non-fiction book about handling teenage behavior, "Teenagers! A Bewildered Parent's Guide." The book was quite successful. My editor told me I told great stories and I should consider writing for a young adult or tween audience. I wrote another book, "Sacred Honor," that targeted the young adult market. That book too, a historical science fiction, was also quite successful. After that second book, I recognized that my strengths in writing focused on teenagers and tweens. Since then, I've concentrated my writing on targeting tweens and teenagers.

Kathy: What do you enjoy most about writing for children?

Lillian: Their sense of wonder, their ambivelance to the world and each other, and their wisdom. The clue is to listen to what they're saying, and not interpret their thoughts. I remember my own childhood still, and this makes it easier for me to relate to children as I write their stories.

Kathy: What is the most difficult part of writing for children?

Lillian: Keeping them focused on the written page. Children today are of the "instant gratification" stage and wants to be "entertained" all the time. An author must blend in humor, challenge, and a believable storyline to hold children's attention. Otherwise, the book goes unread.

Kathy: Tell us about the marketing process for authors. What do you do to market and sell your books?


*Word of mouth helps.

*Have a book-party in your home inviting friends, relatives, and the media.

*Tie your book to a current event, a happening politically, economically, and kid-wise. For example, The President Elect is the first African American in U.S. history to take office. The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure: Anna Mae and Malcolm Botts, the first African American sneaker-toed sleuths to solve the mystery of Jefferson Davis lost gold. Take advantage of what's happening around you.

*Read your book in a serial fashion, and post it on your website.

*Get on Internet and regular radio.

*Send out your books for reviews.

*Target your local library and schools. An author can't be shy when marketing and promoting their book. Authors are up against the competition. They must make themselves heard and seen.

Kathy: Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can listeners go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?

Lillian: Two websites are available for listeners:

The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure is already posted on

Additional bookstores should be carrying it within the next two weeks, or they can buy directly from Star Publish LLC at

Kathy: What are you working on now?

Lillian: I'm working on the second book of the series: The Anna May Mysters: King Solomon's Ark, The Black Hat Society, and After. All books for the young adult.

Kathy: What is your best tip for an aspiring children's author?

Lillian: Know your subject matter. Remember what it was like when you were a child, pre-teen or teenager. Human nature doesn't change, just the environment and the social culture.

Thanks again for coming and sharing your knowledge and expertise in the children's book market. We're looking forward to the next book in this exciting Anna Mae Mysteries series.

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