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It’s Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week! Is that as much of a mouthful for you to say as it is for me?

Surreal is probably the best word to describe how I feel about being the author of a children’s book. Weird. Strange. Dreamlike.

Now, I love Allie and her story that helps parents initiate conversations with little ones about an upcoming move. Honestly, I love children’s books in general. When my three were little, we frequented local libraries and often walked out with arms full of books.

I could still walk into a library and lose myself sitting on the floor in the picture book section.

But to see my name on the shelves alongside Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak? Yeah, that’s where it ventures into the land of dreams.

Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week

We looked! Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked! And we saw him! The Cat in the Hat!

~Dr. Seuss

In case you’ve never heard of Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week, it is designed to promote literacy in an engaging and interactive way. Doesn’t that sound like a committee of highly educated people worked hours on it?

I don’t mean to disparage their efforts, but I need nothing more than adorable illustrations to engage with a children’s picture book. Perhaps it’s not so easy for you.

the idea of little Allie sat in a folder on my computer for years.

Allie comes to life

The idea of little Allie sat in a folder on my computer for years. And years. Occasionally I did research. Every once in a while I thought about other characters in the story. But truthfully, I had nothing more on the story than her Daddy got orders and she had to move.

And then . . . my friend Joanie got involved.

Joanie Bruce joins the team

Now, Joanie would argue with that last statement, I’m sure. To be completely honest, I approached her with the tidbits I had and asked her if she’d consider doing the illustrations. But she said yes . . . and then, she drew her first sketch.

And I fell in love.

The day I opened that email is the day I knew Allie would be a book. It’s the day I could no longer let my sweet giraffe sit in a folder ignored. She had to come out to play with the kids of the world.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.

~Shel Silverstein

Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week is about engaging with children’s books. What are my recommendations for this week?

Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week is about engaging with children’s books.
  • Buy a new kid’s book for yourself (yes, I have a few on my shelves) or for one of your favorite little ones. You could also stock up at a used book store and leave them at your doctor’s or dentist’s office.
  • Stop by the library and borrow a kid’s book. Or twenty. If you don’t have a young one to read to, stop by a hospital waiting room. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but imagine how relieved a stressed mom will be to have her active little one occupied for a couple of minutes.
  • Leave a review for your favorite children’s book or search the Internet for your favorite children’s author or illustrator to send a quick note. Nothing encourages us creative types more than knowing someone likes what we did.
  • Share your favorite kid’s books on social media and in book clubs, through email and conversations. Why do most people buy books? Because a friend told them it was good.

Read More

If you haven’t seen my children’s book yet, you can bless me today just by taking a look!

A New Home for Allie

A New Home for Allie

Allie loves her home in Kenya. But her dad works for the Animal Jungle Patrol, and he just got orders to move their family to Somalia. She has many questions, and the journey will be long. Will the new place be like what she knows? Will she find friends in her new home? And will she ever see her best friend again?

What awaits her in A New Home for Allie?

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