Tag Archives: children’s books

Guest Post with Lee Ann Mancini Author of God’s Easter Miracles

Many children eagerly anticipate waking up on Easter morning to see a basket full of colorful Easter eggs, shiny wrapped candy, chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jellybeans, and perhaps even a toy. As a young child, I remember excitedly waking up to find a basket like this waiting for me every Easter morning. Although I knew Jesus had something to do with this holiday, I did not fully understand the significance of His death and resurrection.

Some parents do not teach their children about the Easter Bunny; others celebrate the Easter holiday alongside the long-standing tradition of the Easter Bunny. How can we find a balance between the two and ensure our children appreciate the true meaning of Easter? We should explain the importance of Easter to them as believers in Jesus. Tell them Easter is a celebration of Jesus and not the bunny in the basket. Children have a great capacity to learn new things at an early age. Take comfort in knowing that their ability to learn is far greater than any limitations we as parents face in our ability to explain complex concepts.

We can help our children understand the real meaning of Easter without forcing them to give up their fun childhood fantasies. After all, we don’t give up our Christmas trees at Christmas. With that in mind, here are some fun activities for the Easter season that can help you explain Jesus’ death and resurrection to your young children:

  • Teach your children the jellybean prayer.
  • Bake resurrection cookies.
  • Make resurrection rolls.
  • Dye resurrection eggs.
  • Have an Easter egg hunt. Leave a few plastic eggs empty as an opportunity to remind your children about the empty tomb.
  • Put chocolate crosses in your children’s Easter basket. Many candy manufacturers sell religious themed Easter candy.
  • A very fun activity is Egglo’s Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt, which helps children “see the light of Jesus.” It includes a storybook and DVD.

My newest book release, “God’s Easter Miracles,” is a unique Easter story that will help your children learn the true meaning of Easter while teaching them to have love and compassion for others!

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ABOUT LEE ANN MANCINI:

Lee Ann Mancini’s desire is for children to begin to know and love Jesus from an early age. This passion led her to seek out books for her own children that portrayed an active relationship with Jesus in a relatable way. She knew communicating God’s truth through captivating words and compelling illustrations is a crucial part of establishing that foundation.

An adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, Mancini holds a master’s degree in Christian studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as well as Knox Theological Seminary. She holds a board position with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and the Alexandrian Forum and maintains memberships with organizations such as the Christian Small Publishers Association and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Mancini is an active member in her local community, visiting schools to share the Adventures of the Sea Kids series with children, as well as speaking to women’s groups about the redemptive power of the Gospel represented through the types of brides of the church. Learn more about Mancini and the Adventures of the Sea Kids at glmpublishing.net.

 

 

Helen Hipp Author Interview

Helen Hipp Author PhotoA few questions for author Helen Hipp:

Q: Your children’s adventure books are based on some unusual true-life experiences, please explain and give a brief description of your books.

A: While on Safari in Africa during 2001, my family witnessed something few get to see – a pink hippo. Separated from the pod and barely tolerated due to her differences, my son Ray, who has been diagnosed with autism, felt an instant affinity to the hippo and he named her Rosie.

Rosie – the Pink Hippo knows a lot about being different, and her adventures offer up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities.

Q: What vision do you have for your books and where do you want it to take you? 

A: My adventure books have already taken me on a journey’s that has given me the opportunity to meet a large number of wonderful people, all of which I refer to as my “Safari Family”. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than bringing more of Rosie’s adventures and their powerful message onto the stage and into schools to create an atmosphere of enjoyment, understanding, acceptance and awareness.

Q: What appeals to you most about children’s books?

A: I find the presence of innocence, imagination and creativity that is woven into many of the children’s books very captivating. I guess you can say I am a child at heart.

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ABOUT HELEN HIPP

Helen Hipp has had her own kind of safari through the land of a large family. She was always exploring new ways to define herself. There are many ways to navigate the waters of life says Helen. “You may ride in a canoe, sailboat, motorboat, or you may find yourself on the back of a pink hippo!”

With a mindset that centered on creating opportunities out of obstacles, Helen explored career opportunities, by connecting her personal experiences (parenting a child with special needs) with her beliefs, professional skills, and aspirations.

Helen received her M.A. in counseling and began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families.

Helen has authored articles for Family Works and Washington Family Magazine and written multiple self-help articles published by ezine.com where she is viewed as an expert in her field. She has been a contributor as a special needs consultant to FOX44 News in Burlington, Vermont.

In addition to her work, Helen has written two children’s books creating a very effective way to motivate kids of all ages to meet their challenges with self-acceptance, confidence and understanding.

Her debut children’s book, A Different Kind of Safari, released in 2013 addresses the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Once again, the engaging safari family, led by Rosie the Pink Hippo inspires, and help you see your life differently in her new book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different. With a cast characters experiencing real-life issues such as anxiety, fear, physical differences and poor self-esteem, Helen Hipp’s adventure books provide children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns.

Readers can connect with Helen Hipp on her website and on Twitter.

Rosie and Friends Positively Different by Helen Hipp Book Tour Banner

Calling All Book Bloggers

CALLING ALL BOOK BLOGGERS!

Signups are open for Rebecca Hubbard’s upcoming book tour for “The Gift” and we’d LOVE to have you sign up to host a stop on the tour.

eBook Review Gal Author Interview with Rebecca Hubbard, Author The Gift

“The Gift” is a wonderful children’s book about friendship, trust, patience and love. It truly is an encouraging and uplifting story for youngsters and we’re hoping to spread the word to as many readers as possible.

As a signup incentive, the author has generously offered to give a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky tour host. All participating hosts will be automatically entered into a drawing to receive the gift card at the end of the tour. Won’t your please consider signing up to be part of this tour? We hope you’ll say yes!

*If you’re an author with a blog and would like to host this tour we’d love to have you 🙂

Please sign up for the tour here:

Author Interview with Rebecca J. Hubbard Author of The Gift

eBook Review Gal read and reviewed The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard and we LOVED the book so much we knew we had to have a chat with the author!

eBook Review Gal Author Interview with Rebecca Hubbard, Author The Gift

Hi Rebecca! Thanks for joining us on the eBook Review Gal Blog. Can you please tell readers a little about your book The Gift?

“The Gift” is a story about a young girl, Pip, who receives a horse for her birthday and her desire to have a best friend. She believes that the horse she names Buck should be her best friend because he was given to her. She learns that in order to have a friend she has to develop a friendship. She struggles with how to do this and misinterprets Buck’s behavior. From her father she learns how to understand Buck’s perspective and how to develop a friendship with him. The story is told from the perspective of Pip and the perspective of Buck. From Buck, we learn how he interprets Pip’s behavior and how he feels about the things she does to try to make friends with him. We also learn about the things that bring him joy and what causes him to feel afraid. It is a story about understanding one another, patience and developing a true friendship.

What motivated you to write The Gift?

The seed of the idea came from an interaction that I witnessed between a girl who desperately wanted to be friends with a horse and the horse completely ignored her existence. Something about that interaction and the heartbreak the girl felt played over and over in my mind. My business partner at the time kept asking me to write a story about a kid and a horse but I felt I didn’t write those types of stories so I tried to ignore her request. She, however, would not allow me to ignore it. She asked me frequently when I would write the story, keeping the idea of a story about a child and a horse in the forefront of my mind. So when my muse struck, the interaction between the girl and the horse became my template for The Gift.

 I love the idea of splitting the book into two separate POVs – first from Pip’s POV and then from Buck’s. What made you decide to write the book this way?

This is going to sound silly but I never considered telling the story any other way. I feel that in order to fully understand the story you must hear from both characters. If you only hear Pip’s side of the story, then Buck appears ornery, belligerent and maybe even snobbish. When you hear Buck’s side of the story, you have compassion for him and understand his behavior and may feel that Pip is selfish and ungrateful. Having both points of view makes you appreciate the dynamic that occurs between the two of them. In addition, telling the story from two points of view gave me the flexibility to help children understand that things are not always the way we think they are, and that there are many reasons for the behaviors of others. It also opened up the ability to help children with learning perspective taking and understanding from another’s point of view, allowing for increased sensitivity and compassion.

The Gift is much more than a story about a girl and a horse. It’s a valuable lesson about friendship, trust and love, which will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Can you share some information about the book’s many therapeutic benefits?

“The Gift” has been used in many different ways. A parent told me that he uses the concepts in the book with his teenage daughter every day. He explained that it helped to have Buck discuss his fears and this allowed for him and his daughter to have a conversation about what would happen if Buck had not known to be afraid of snakes or wolves. His daughter replied that Pip would have to keep Buck in the barn to keep him safe. The father said that his daughter does not see the dangers around her and through this conversation she was able to understand how he tries to keep her safe. He also told me that he helps his daughter understand when she is being overbearing or interacting with too much energy. He says to his daughter, “You are Pippin’.” This helps his daughter know she needs to regulate herself and approach a situation or others with calmer energy. He noted that reading “The Gift” gave them numerous ways to discuss how her behavior impacts her relationships.

A teacher related that she used the story in her class to help her class understand perspective taking. She explained that until she found “The Gift” she did not have an effective manner to do this. Her class had a very in-depth conversation about how Pip’s thoughts about Buck’s behavior were very different than why Buck was making the decisions he was making. She said that this led to her class discussing other situations where it was important to listen or pay attention to someone else’s perspective and feelings.

Some of my therapist friends use this book to teach their clients about the impact of thoughts on behavior and feelings and how thoughts can become distorted. Other therapists use this book to help families understand the principles of Natural Lifemanship, a trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy model.

I like to use “The Gift” for helping adults understand the importance of being compassionate while helping a child through a difficult situation. I think one of the most powerful relationships in the book is the relationship between Pip and her father. Though the father is a minor character, he is the glue that holds the story together. He is also the glue in Pip’s life. Without him she would not be able to navigate developing a friendship with Buck. I felt it was important to represent an attuned relationship between a father and a daughter because often in the media, it is the mother who is the most attuned and compassionate.

Lastly, this book can help children learn about perseverance and the importance of working for what you truly want. Friendships are a beautiful part of life. They also present many joys and challenges. It is difficult to learn how to develop a healthy friendship, to value another for who they are and not who we want them to be, and how to learn to work through problems. As Pip learns, friends are not ready-made and seeing someone for who they truly are is an amazing gift.

It’s clear that The Gift has a great deal of wonderfully beneficial qualities! I’d love to see it become a favorite among readers. Marketing becomes the key to achieving this. What are some of your methods for self-promotion and book marketing?

Being shy I struggle with self-promotion. It would be much easier for me if all I had to do was write the books and somehow they sold themselves. But promotion is important to do so I use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I developed a blog, had a book trailer made, and talk about my book at events when asked. I also write guest blogs for Natural Lifemanship.

Do you think most authors understand the importance of marketing their own work?

No, I don’t think we do. I know I didn’t understand it. In August my book will have been out a year and I feel like over the last six months I have just begun to better understand the importance of marketing and how to do it. I think marketing is actually an art that develops with mentoring, time and experience. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort.

Working as a family therapist must be challenging at times. What kinds of things do you like to do to decompress?

I love to write; it’s a wonderful decompression technique. I love to ride my horse Cash and to spend time with him and my other horse Cloud. I like to take pictures and to paint. I love to listen to music and to garden. And I love to take long naps!

I’d love to see a series of Pip and Buck books. Is there any chance this will happen soon?  

When I wrote “The Gift” I did not intend for it to be a series. But after completing “The Gift” Pip and Buck continued to stay with me. I am working on the second book now, “Pip and Buck: Saddle Up!” I am considering adding to this book the point of view of the father. This book focuses on the importance of relationships over tasks and things.

Where can readers connect with you?

I am on Twitter. My Facebook page is Rebecca J Hubbard. . I love connecting with readers on my website and on my blog. I also write guest blog posts for Natural Lifemanship.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

The best advice I could give is to write often, write about things you are interested in, things that make you wonder, things that make you think, and things you dream of. Practice describing what you see, what you feel and what you think. Practice perspective taking, spend time observing people and things around you and allow yourself to just feel those things in the moment. Read as much as you can. Every moment in which you are truly present makes your life richer and in turn will make your writing richer too.

 

eBook Review Gal Author Interview with Rebecca Hubbard ABOUT REBECCA HUBBARD

Rebecca J. Hubbard is a master’s level Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience working with children and their families. She began writing short stories as a child for her own amusement and enjoyment. Rebecca discovered that she could facilitate the healing of her young clients by writing stories for them.

Currently, Rebecca works at Spirit Reins as a clinician and as the clinical supervisor where she practices Natural Lifemanship, ™ a Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy™ model.

Rebecca is a native Texan, who enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her two dogs, Idgie and Sully, and her two horses, Cash and Cloud. She also loves to read, paint and garden. Rebecca encourages readers to connect with her via her website and Amazon Author Page.

*Interview by Susan Barton, eBook Review Gal/My Book Tour

The Gift People's Book Prize

The Gift is currently a finalist in The People’s Book Prize Contest. You can submit your vote here. 

Review of My Mother’s Wings by Sally Huss

With so many children going through the difficult experience of being separated from a eBook Review Gal Book Review of My Mother's Wings by Sally Hussparent who is serving in the military, this book certainly is timely. Author Sally Huss has provided a wonderful way to discuss these challenges with children of any age.

“My Mother’s Wings” addresses the feelings that I’m sure many military families must contend with during deployment. The boy in this book feels sad when his mother must leave, of course, but his mother gives him a beautiful way to cope. She presents him with his very own wings in the form of a pin. He then goes on to help other children who are in the very same position as himself. What a wonderfully positive way to empower a child!

The illustrations in this book are simple, yet colorful, cute and eye-catching. They’re sure to capture the attention of even the youngest child.

I’d recommend this book to anyone dealing with a military family situation – or any type of parent/child separation for that matter. Highly recommended!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Review of All the Ways to Express My Love by Christina Johnson

I adore children’s books, especially books that have a positive and encouraging message eBook Review Gal Book Review of All the Ways to Express My Love by Christina Johnsonto share with the children in my life. That’s why, when I spotted a free promo for one of Christina Johnson’s books, I knew I had to grab it. I wasn’t sorry that I did!

All the Ways to Express My Love is a sweet book about expressing love to the most important people we know – our children. A colorful and eye-catching illustration is included on each page, along with an uplifting sentiment. The author portrays just about every mood children (and adults) can go through, yet our love remains constant. What a lovely and reassuring thing for children to know!

Christina Johnson has written many children’s books. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that, prior to taking advantage of this free promo, I hadn’t heard of her. Well, now that I have I’m certainly going to seek out all of her books. I’ve even signed up for her awesome newsletter.

Parents should know that Ms. Johnson includes some great additional info to find on her website at the conclusion of All the Ways to Express My Love – including a free book download and free printables. I just found another children’s book author to follow! Highly recommended!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

GRAB THIS BOOK WHILE YOU CAN, SINCE IT’S CURRENTLY FREE ON AMAZON!

Review of Shoo by Hana Goldberg

eBook Review Gal Book Review of Shoo by Hana GoldbergShoo is a sweet little homeless cat that has no place to go, no real food to eat and no one to love him. Maya is a cute little girl whose family moves and now she’s afraid she won’t make any new friends. Will these two meet and comfort each other?

This is an adorable and relatable children’s book for even the youngest child. The story touches on some feelings that many children experience – apprehension over making friends and bonding with pets.

I loved the colorful illustrations in this book. Shoo is a good story for parents and caregivers to read to preschoolers or for older children to read alone. Highly recommended!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton