#Interview By Lou with Siena about her book Why We Walk, Illustrated By Shannon Wilvers @rararesources #Siena #ShannonWilvers #ChildrensBook #SummerRead #Summer #Walking #Nature #SienasStories #WhyWeWalk #PictureBook #GreatOutdoors #Outside

Interview with Siena
About her new children’s book – Why We Walk

It was a pleasure to interview Siena – the author of Why We Walk, a Canadian who writes stories for young children that are relatable and entertaining for children the world over. This one is suitable for 1-6 year olds. You will find out why it was written, her passion for people walking and the environment, how she puts her books together and how the writer/illustrator working relationship came about. Finally you will find a little about how Siena felt when her first book got published and how she had to convince her family.
First, find out about the blurb and then onto the 5 questions in the interview.

Blurb

Why we walk_coverWhen we walk we see things that we would have missed if we drove. Things like birds, cats, & squirrels. When we walk we have fun spending time together. We talk and learn how walking can help to care for our planet. Join Siena and her dad as they walk to school and discover every little step counts.

This is the second book in the Siena’s Stories series. The first book, The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine.

Now onto the interview…

  1. You have a clear passion for walking and inspiring young children to get outside to walk, what inspired you to write the book – Why We Walk? Also, what is your favourite types of places to walk?

This book was my first idea for a book. It just came to me when my daughter asked me that simple question while we walked to school. I like to walk and really enjoy birdwatching. I walk almost daily for exercise and enjoy trying to find my favourite bird, the cardinal.

  1. What inspired you to care about the environment?

I grew up on a small island off the coast of British Columbia and learned about sustainability at an early age. I also saw the destruction of the land by the mine my parents worked in and the clear cutting of the old growth forest by a nearby logging settlement. It seemed like every year the clear cuts got closer and closer to my island and they were ruining the amazing view I had of the surrounding forest and ocean from my window. I will always remember waking up early to eat breakfast and watching all the stars in full view without the big city lights.

I also have fond memories of the many times Green Peace ships would visit our settlement and share their stories.

  1. Do you find that by writing children’s books about walking and how this helps the environment then rubs off on adults. I had a primary school teacher who had a passion for the environment in the 90’s and a lot permanently rubbed off on me and positively impacted my thinking. Do you think books like yours has a real impact for the longer term how children think as they grow into adults?

I have faith that children today are much more aware of how their parents polluted the planet and will take measures to combat climate change. My book will be a small reminder.  I also believe technology will help them along the way. I used to work in the power electronics industry and have first hand experience with solar, wind and micro hydro installations. They are becoming more affordable everyday. I tell my daughter that even small simple changes like LED lighting will make a huge difference over time.

  1. You have an illustrator – Shannon Wilvers. How did this working relationship come about and can you give a little insight into the process of you both working together to create a finished story?

I had come up with the idea for my book a few years ago but I cannot draw. I do collect original comic book art and have a side job selling movie memorabilia at comic conventions. At the various shows I met a local comic artist (Geof Isherwood) who also teaches art at a local technical school. I discussed the book with Geof and he introduced me Shannon who was his student at the time.

I use Microsoft Powerpoint to write the books. I create a slide and put in the text. Next, I insert a personal picture or a picture from the internet as reference for Shannon. When I am done, I send the file to Shannon. She creates a storyboard and we fine tune the art and text.

  1. Your first book – The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine. How did that make you feel and how did you celebrate?

I was over the moon. I had a hard time convincing my family and friends that I was serious about writing these books. Newsweek helped bring them over to my side.

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#BookReview By Lou of Otter’s Coat: Real Reason Turtle Raced Rabbit By Cordellya Smith #OttersCoat @cordellyasmithauthor @RandomTTours #ChildrensBook

Otter’s Coat: Real Reason Turtle Raced Rabbit
Cherolachian Tortoise and Hare

By Cordellya Smith


Illustrated By Blueberry Illustrations

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for Otter’s Coat. It is a sweet, fun and engaging story, suitable for 5-7 year olds. Thanks to Random T Tours for organising the tour and a copy of the book. Discover more about the book in the blurb and review below, as well as the author.

Otter's Coat Graphic 1

Blurb

When Rabbit hears the animals talking abut what a beautiful coat Otter has, he becomes jealous and tricks Otter totake it for himself.

Follow along as Turtle races Rabbit to the top of the Black Mountain to win back Otter’s coat and make sure it is returned.

Review

Instantly the book is recognisable as a take on Aesop’s famous fable – The Hare and the Tortoise, so it mixes something a bit new with a timeless classic and a lovely story is told once again that will be engaging for 5-7 year olds.

Throughout the story is a game of hide and seek, whereby children have to hunt out the chipmunk along the way to the end.

The book nicely takes children to a nut moon festival and then sneakily into the rabbit’s trick with the otter in its bright bold illustrated pages, in what unfolds into a fast-paced chapter book. It is great for those lessons on fables and their outcomes for schools or for reading for pleasure and is well-designed for its targeted age group, as well as being engaging, with themes that are familiar that create a fun story, which can also be used as discussion pieces, like you would with Aesop’s Fables, which this book could be easily paired up with. 

At the end, there is a note for parents that explains what a Cherolachian is, which is added interest and adds roots.

About The Author

Cordellya Author PicOriginally from the mountains of Kentucky, Cordellya Smith is a storyteller who loves to share stories that provide children with versions of beloved tales that reflect her Cherokee and Appalachian roots.  A first generation college graduate, Cordellya works to promote literacy and a lifetime love of reading.  

 

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#BookReview by Lou of Fireborn @flowler_aisling @HarperCollins @The_WriteReadsTours #UltimateBlogTour #Fantasy #Adventure #ChildrensBook #MiddleGrade 8-12years #ReadingForPleasure #PrimarySchoolReading

Fireborn
By Aisling Fowler

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Fireborn is an immersive and exciting adventure into a fantasy world for 8-12 year olds. Go on an adventure down to the blurb and the rest of my review to find out more. Thanks to The Write Reads Tours for inviting me and to this group and Harper Collins for gifting me a book.

Fireborn banner

Blurb

Set in the snowy northern forests of an imagined prehistoric world, Fireborn is the middle-grade debut of the decade. At turns exciting, funny and heart wrenchingly sad, it marks the introduction of an unstoppable new voice in children’s storytelling.

Twelve has spoken the Pledge and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it.

But when the Lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child . . .

Teaming up with Dog, the Stone Guardian of the Lodge, Twelve ends up on an epic adventure that will change her life, her name – and her entire world.

Review

Fireborn coverFireborn is an epic adventure for 8-12 year olds. It has twists and turns and great characterisation, but with a difference. The characters are known by numbers, it sort of works to bring about something different to fiction, but once into the story, it isn’t the names that matter quite so much as the world of Ember takes over as do the characters lives. I think children will get into it though because above the giving up of names is a world for adventurous middle-grade readers can step into. For a debut novel, this is an author children would want more of, after reading this one. It has humour and breathtaking excitement as well as some of the saddest storylines. All this in one book makes it totally full on and the deeper you read, the deeper children will want to go into Ember, a fantastical world that builds on the page in wide ranging, indepth descriptions. It means readers can be totally immersed in Ember whilst reading it.

There are heroes and villains. The heroes are characters who have given up their names. They are known as Five, Six, Seven and Twelve. The villains are an array of monsters. There is the lodge where the young trainee Hunters go to hone their skills. These trainees land themselves a mission which takes them on a trail to The Fozen Forest. There are clans, who the Hunters have to act as protectors of, but it isn’t an easy task.

Twelve is the most promising Hunter but has issues and is far from friendly or a team-player as a result of making more enemies. The others also have their own issues. The book, in a way, shows that even heroes are not perfect and are not infalliable. This, even in such an all encompassing fantasy tale, this brings a bit of realism to it as the characters all find out a bit more about themselves in many ways, sometimes positive, other times negative and in some ways, in being resilient in times of trouble. It brings added interest to the otherwise, adventureous book, with a bit of magic within it. There’s a lot for children to dip their toe in and to be entertained.

#BookReview by Lou – Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls – 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World By Elena Favilli #100ImmigrantWomen #ChildrensNonFiction

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls –
100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World
By Elena Favilli

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This is an interesting, informative book and the latest in this series, which is good for dipping in and out of for Middle Grade readers, no matter where you’re from or your ethinicity or background, there is something for everyone. 

Blurb

Goodnight StoriesThe latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series, featuring 100 immigrant women who have shaped, and will continue to shape, our world.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World is the third book in the New York Times bestselling series for children. Packed with 100 all-new bedtime stories about the lives of incredible female figures from the past and the present, this volume recognizes women who left their birth countries for a multitude of reasons: some for new opportunities, some out of necessity.

Readers will whip up a plate with Asma Khan, strategize global affairs alongside Madeleine Albright, venture into business with Rihanna, and many more. All of these unique, yet relatable stories are accompanied by gorgeous, full-page, full-color portraits, illustrated by female artists from all over the globe.

Goodnight Stories

Review

This series of books have been taking the UK by storm. Children have been lapping these non-fiction books up. This is the latest in this series. It takes a look at 100 immigrants across the world who have wide and varied occupations, such as chefs, psychoanalysts, sports people, fashion designer, artist, actress/songwriter, paralympian, journalists, politicians, writers, spies, scientists and many more… who have acheived greatness in some form or another. It’s a biographical book, that presents itself in some ways as a bedtime story would, with “Once Upon a Time” in its narrative, before presenting itself in the normal nonfiction way with its facts, which are not too dense, making this a good read for children and they can enjoy dipping in and out of at leisure.

It is well organised with the person’s name and date of birth and death, what they’ve achieved, sometimes how or what event in their lives inspired them to do something that no one had invented or to bring something new to a particular industry, a bit about what went on in their lives aside from this and where they immigrated to. Some names may be more familar than others, such as Anna Wintour – Editor of Vogue for example, being pretty well known around the world for fashion. It also introduces children to people who are immigrants, who they might not be aware are an immigrant to a particular country.

Perhaps less well-known to children may be Chinwe Esimai – Financial Executive, but she also has something important and positive to say too. Whether you’ve heard the names or not, this book is positive in their own experiences to pass onto younger generations. It is perhaps even better that there is a whole variety of people from across the world and occupations mentioned. They’re all high-flyers who, in their own unique ways, can be seen as positive role models. What it doesn’t show however, and this series doesn’t particularly, is how people don’t always make it to the top of their career or become famous for something, but can still be a role model and still do well in life. Going back to the positive, it does however, demonstrate that people do have opportunities no matter where you’re from or your ethinicity or background. you may well come up with an amazing original idea or be someone who either lots of people or a few people look up to and be an inspiration to someone, no matter who you are or what your background is.

For many children, this book will provide inspiration and show that they can aim for something positive in their lives and that not everything has to be seen as a barrier. It shines with postivity instead of being full of negativity. It’s a book that feels informative, enlightening book.

It will provide children with aspiration and inspiration and shows a positive light. It shows that change can sometimes happen and has been for centuries. The people in this book are from the present and past times, each one with a few short paragraphs with a quirky illustration of them and quote.

#BookReview by Lou – The Wild World Handbook – Habitats by Andrea Debbink #AndreaDebbink @quirkbooks #MiddleGrade #ChildrensNonFiction #ChildrensNature

The Wild World Handbook – Habitats
by Andrea Debbink

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great for Middlegrade with facts and STEAM activities. Thanks to Quirk Books for gifting me a copy to give an honest review on.
Follow down to the blurb and my full review of The Wild World Handbook…

The Wildhandbook

Blurb

Packed with real-life tales of adventure, breathtaking illustrations, and practical tips, this handbook is an inspiring guide for the next generation of climate activists, conservationists, and nature lovers.

 

The first book in a middle grade series for young environmental activists and nature lovers, The Wild World Handbook offers a roadmap for change and an invitation to explore the outdoors, alongside surprising facts and hands-on STEAM activities. Featuring nine habitats from around the globe, each section includes diverse biographies of outdoor adventurers, scientists, and artists who used their passion and skills to become bold allies for Earth’s natural diversity and resiliency.

Inside you will find:
   • Nine Amazing Habitats • Eighteen Inspiring Biographies • Nine Kid-Friendly DIY Activities
   • Nine Fun Field Trips • And much more!

Review

The Wild World Handbook is great for Middlegrade. It is comprehensive, without being overly complicated, but allows them to have an adventure and “meet” people, different aspects of nature and fits right into encouraging children to care for the environment and to learn about it. Children can explore:-

Mountains, Forests, Deserts, Polar Lands, Oceans, Freshwater. Cities, Rainforests, Grasslands

The WildhandbookThis book whisks children into introductions to each are of earth and takes them to  the past, present and a small bit into the future of planet earth. So, children are introduced to each of the areas mentioned above, via quick, sharp, easy to follow facts, bold and sharp.

There are interactive elements to map out their own expeditions, do some artwork, plant a tree, find the stars, make a desert biome and more…

“Meet” people from a mountaineer to a naturalist to animals to trees and other plants and more…

There are questions about what they have read, so their knowledge and understanding all tally’s up.

It also takes a nod to those (which is refreshing), who played their part in helping to do good, not just in the present, but in the past, something that isn’t talked about much these days. It’s positive as it refrains from making sweeping generalisations and shows the young, that people older than them (including their parents) did do good stuff to help the environment too. It talks about what children can do too. So, it balances understanding what is in each area with what people have done, in both destruction and to save the earth as it balances out the positives and brings pages of fun to it too.

It is better than some books out there as it does balance positivity between the negativity, lots of fun as well as the serious. 

This book could easily be used at home, as part of a school eco-group or a Girlguiding or Scouting group such as Brownies and Cubs. It has scope for a lot of activities and it shows this area of study can be positive and it can be fun.

 

#Bookreview by Lou of #ChildrensBook for 5-7 year olds What The World Needs Now: Bees by Cheryl Rosebush @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

What The World Needs Now: Bees
By Cheryl Rosebush
Illustrated by Zuzana Svobodova
Rated: 5 stars *****

First, I took part in the cover reveal. Now I have even more for you. I am starting off the blog to a review of this wonderful book for 5-7 year olds. It’s a sweet, well illustrated story mixed with facts in various ways that will both entertain and add to children’s knowledge.
Thanks to Freshly Press for supplying me with a copy of the book and to Love Books Group for inviting me to review.
Find out more in the blurb and review and discover more about this intrepid author below.

BeesTour

Blurb

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite  things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she  snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very  important little forest creatures.

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role  busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food  people and animals love to eat.

bees Cover_Final RGB

Review

Bees… We all know how important bees are to the environment and to the human and animal race. This bright and very cute book tells a story as to why in a way that children can follow… Children can follow the black bear – Melly, who is in Ontario, Canada. It is however quite a universal, environmental story.
It is fun and cute to explore with Melly through the forest to the berries she eats onto the flowers she plays in to the friends she meets. Throughout it also tells the story of the busy bees and how they help pollinate flowers and food and why that is important. Children can also learn in little segments, away from the main story, in neat fact boxes, about the bear too. There is minor trepidation when chemical pesticides are used, until natural sprays are used instead. It’s an absolutely great story that is pitched very well for 5-7 year olds. They get a cute story, plus facts along the way and at the back there is a great page about bees from around the world and other wildlife species that can be found in Ontario, Canada.

About the Author

What The World Needs Now -author picI was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m aging myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-paneled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me.

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again.

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist.

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

Website: https://www.cherylrosebush.com/