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January Featured Title: The Midwife’s Visit

January’s featured title is The Midwife’s Visit by Kelly B. Jenkins!

In this educational read, young readers learn about prenatal visits, midwifery, and pregnancy. Kelly hopes her new book will normalize midwifery for children and make them feel more comfortable with the birth process. 

We spoke with her about her book’s black and white illustrations, how midwifery has changed over the last few years, and more!



As a licensed certified professional midwife, what made you want to write a children’s book about midwifery?  

When I became a midwife, part of what I loved was the organic teaching that occurred during prenatal visits. Because the visits occur in my client’s homes, children are naturally involved and very much welcomed. By talking with children about their mother’s care and the growing baby, it gives the opportunity to teach that pregnancy and birth are normal and nothing to be afraid of.


What are the biggest misconceptions about midwifery? What would you like people to know about the profession?

I believe the biggest misconception is that pregnancy is a type of illness and needs to be treated as if everyone is high risk and needs “medical” care. However, for low-risk women, pregnancy is a normal, natural event in which a woman’s body was designed to give birth and will do so quite well. Because of the typical “Medical Model mindset,” one of the disadvantages is that children are kept away from being involved. Consequently, children (may) grow up with a sense of fear and secrecy regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Involving children in care gives the opportunity for a shared experience with their parent(s) and invited knowledge in the “adult” world in which they crave and thus normalize the process.


The illustrations in your book are all in black and white. What was the reason behind this stylistic choice?  

I specifically chose to do black and white pictures for a few reasons. First,  I wanted a book that showed “real life” using exceptional artwork.  Children crave real and they crave beauty. Cartoon-like pictures may hold their attention for a moment, but black and white doesn’t distract. It’s amazing to watch children pause at each page to take in the details. I also wanted to create a timeless book that gave a nod to children’s books of yesteryear— books that have longevity and we return to over and over again.


How has midwifery changed as a field over the years? Where is it headed?

Over time, thoughts and beliefs regarding pregnancy and childbirth have and continue to change. As society continues to seek and educate themselves on this process and more well-trained providers become available, women are realizing that they deserve better care— care that fits their specific needs and care that encompasses the family. Most of all, the knowledge that they have viable choices as to where and with whom they have their babies.

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January Book Releases

Happy New Year to all of our readers and authors! We have just the right children’s books to start off 2022 and grow your child’s reading list.

Find a full list of our titles releasing this month below. 


Baking Up a Storm



By Jessica Parham

Grandma Janet’s cupcakes are the best cupcakes in town. I couldn’t figure out why until Mom and I baked them the other day. We were literally BAKING UP A STORM. Don’t believe me? Just look inside this book and see! But tie your shoes extra tight and bring your umbrella—you’ll need it.




Dragons of Wonder: The Big Change


By Reena Stevens

Everything changes once Queen Majesta fires the arrow.

Icy Lakita is a normal Ice Dragon who has lived happily in her home country, Navitee, for fourteen normal

years. Then, everything changes when she receives a letter inviting her to a special school: Dragons of Wonder.

The school is wonderful at first. Icy’s best friend was invited to the school, she gets a new room, and the food is incredible. But suddenly, things begin to change. Icy meets an evil professor, discovers a mysterious staircase only she can see, and a strange ghost cloud attacks her school. More and more odd things keep happening, and no one knows who—or what—it is.

While Icy makes new friends and adjusts to life at her school, she must figure out who is creating the chaos all around her. But will she succeed? Or will she be the victim of the next attack?




Gabby’s Gift



By Jennifer Cua

Gabby is a young girl who is delightfully unique. She is the youngest member of her family, and her personality is such a treat. Although she is different, she has her own special way of inspiring others each and every day. She aspires to bring people together and teach tolerance, too. Gabby is most definitely a young girl who should be celebrated—along with the very special YOU!




Honey’s Lost Shoe



By Shar’Bral Jones

Honey loves going outside—it’s her favorite thing to do. Honey is so excited to go, but where is her shoe?

Go on an adventure with Honey and see what she discovers while looking all around her home. Be sure to hurry so Honey can make it outside before the sun goes down!




Louisiana Dreams




By Rebecka Bihm Lester

Louisiana Dreams is a melodic children’s story highlighting the magic and whimsy of Cajun and Creole culture, a lifestyle so precious that it must not only be remembered and revered, but shared with others. The taste of crawfish, the smell of cypress trees, and the warmth of a bonfire are brought to life in this poetic tale, told simultaneously in English and Louisiana French for all to enjoy.




Millie’s Great Dane Adventures



By Kathy Priest-Smith

My name is Millie, and I’m a couch-potato dog. I just love sitting on the couch! I’m a big dog with a big heart. I may be spoiled, but I’m very loyal to my owners, Kathy and Greg. The first book in the Adventures Dogs series, this is the story of how I came to live with them. Come follow me on my adventures!




Miss Kite Can’t Do Right



By Taryn Lewis

Miss Kite loves to travel and explore, but she has a terrible habit of only hearing what she wants to hear. Join her on a journey through her neighborhood, where Miss Kite learns about her bad habit from the animals she meets along the way. Maybe, with a little help from her new friends and a little effort on her part, Miss Kite can break her bad habit. Will Miss Kite learn to listen?




My Coat is Too Big



By Matthew E. Bass

My Coat Is Too Big! is a simple, rhyming children’s book sponsored, in part, by the Virginia Diversity Foundation. It addresses the nuances of friendship through the lens of diversity in terms children can understand. From offering spare clothing to sharing snacks and keeping secrets, artist Danny Mitchell brings author Matt Bass’ text to life with warm, soft, friendly scenes that illustrate the point that no matter the circumstances, we always help friends when we have the chance!




Pandemicuties



By Madison Rene Knapp, Dr. Edmond Sarraf, and Zinzi LeMond

Pandemicuties is the story of a Prickly Little Cactus and a Bristly Little Sea Cucumber who learn some easy tips to stay healthy during global health issues like a pandemic! Although this story is born of the COVID-19 era, it is a colorful guide for healthy practices and nutrition that are beneficial to families at every stage.




Randi the Chicka-Dog



By Saffron Cannon

Randi is a pet chick who acts more like the family’s dog Rosie than like a chicken. She does everything with her family: fishing, playing, and laughing alongside them. But when her family decides to go boating one day, Randi may be in over her head!

Based on a real event, follow this adventure of Randi the Chicka-Dog and see how one family comes together to support their chick friend.




The Midwife’s Visit



By Kelly B. Jenkins

The midwife is coming!

It’s a day we all anticipate: Mama’s midwife comes to the house for a visit. She checks on baby, and we get to help! Come join us!




The Pear Tree



By Beth Dupree and Arline McKeen

Rosa and Miguel love living in the big city, where everything they could ever need is just one block away. There is one thing missing, however: nature! The brother and sister duo dream of big green spaces where they can run and play . . . until one night, while eating dessert, they come up with a big idea!

Read along to find out how Rosa and Miguel use their simple dessert to turn a nearby vacant lot into a beautiful playground for their whole neighborhood, complete with a ripe pear tree with fruit for everyone to eat.




The Surfing Lesson



By Bhajneet Singh

An empowering story of a Sikh American family that just wants to have fun and surf—and the lesson they learn along the way.




The Tree of Life



By Jami Moss

Join in the celebration of the holiday season with the Christmas tree lights, ribbon, ornaments, and the star as they come together as one. Each item needs the tree’s wisdom and truth to take its place on the tree and fulfill its purpose, just like we need God’s guidance to find our place in this world.

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December Featured Title: Tails From Down Under

December’s Featured Title is Tails From Down Under by Tara Lala!

In this magical early-chapter book, Paradise Royale discovers an entrance to a world full of mermaids and mermen. But how does she unlock the entrance as a human? Will she be able to solve the many mysteries in this magical underwater city called Aquaria? Or will the monster living in the depths of Aquaria capture her first? 

We interviewed Tara about balancing between being a busy teenager and an author, what advice she’d give to young authors, and more!



You wrote your first book at 14 years old and are about to publish your second children’s book at 18. What made you want to become an author? 

I have loved writing stories ever since I was a little girl. I remember making extensive lists of my favorite words and including those words into stories I wrote in elementary school. Because my sister and I share the same room, I would create new stories on the spot every evening to help her fall asleep since she was afraid of the dark. 

I didn’t actually realize my passion for creative writing until fifth grade. We had a journal called the Raven, and in those journals we could develop any kinds of stories we wanted. My friend and I wrote a story about three characters: two twin princesses and an evil sorcerer. Though I don’t remember the plot, these three characters stuck with me until high school.

When deciding to transfer my ideas onto the page after realizing how much my sister enjoyed listening to my stories, I chose to use these three characters as the main characters of my first novel, Twincesses. Since then, I have been cultivating different pieces of writing inside and outside of school.   



Tails From Down Under is about a girl who discovers an underwater city filled with mermaids, mermen, and even monsters. How did you come up with this fictional and magical world? 

Tails from Down Under is inspired by some of my favorite travel destinations. The majority of the book takes place in Italy, one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. No matter where I am in the world, you will always find me on the balcony of my hotel room writing a new storyline. Ambiences from around the world have inspired my writing, and Tails from Down Under is specifically inspired by the Amalfi Coast and the Blue Grotto in Italy. Through my writing, I hope to share my experiences of different sceneries and cultures with those who aren’t able to experience them.

The actual underwater city itself was inspired by the Disney and Barbie movies I would repeatedly watch when I was young. I hope to excite young readers with my mystical settings, just as I had loved to engage in mermaid movies.



What’s it like balancing between being a busy teenager and an author? When do you find the time to write, and what’s your writing process like?

Balancing schoolwork as well as being an author has been a challenge, but I have loved every step of the publishing process; writing is an outlet for me. I focus on writing and plot-editing my books over the summer, and spend the school year working on layout and grammatical edits.

When writing, I completely zone into the world I am constructing. I play fantasy music in the background to teleport me to the fairytale wonderlands I create. Writing has always been a way to escape from the intensity of school and into a dream world that I can craft in whichever way I want. 




What advice would you give to young writers who are hoping to become authors?

I want aspiring young writers to know that there is no correct way to write a book. Whatever inspires you or makes you excited is what you should convey onto the page, whether it is simple or complex. Writing has no rules and restrictions; you are free to choose whatever theme you wish and bring it to life. 

I know sharing your writing with the world can be frightening, but you will always find a reader that will connect with your storyline and characters. Overall, you should not have any worries while writing and let yourself go; creating literature really has a magic of its own!   




What does the future hold for Tara Lala? Any more books on the horizon?

I am excited to continue writing books for children and eventually for adults, too! This past summer, I wrote my third book. During this confining time period of COVID, I found an escape by writing about more of the different places I have traveled to and the locations I wish to visit. The main characters will take a journey to these destinations and uncover the mysteries within each country they visit. Ultimately, I share my love for magic and diversity through my young adult novels, and hope my readers can connect with my characters and creations! 

Follow Tara’s on Instagram @taralalaofficial to learn more!

 

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December Book Releases

It’s beginning to look a lot like….holiday shopping season! From early chapter books about magical underwater cities to cookbooks that include delectable recipes for home cooks, our December releases are perfect gifts for all the book lovers in your life. Jump into the holiday spirit by checking out our list of new books!

Children’s Books


A Fairy on My Sleeve



By Mari Sherkin

If you look closely through the green, there are wonders to be seen!
Join author, poet, and actress Mari Sherkin as she glimpses a magical world where things are as real as they seem.




Can You?: A Food Allergy Story



By Emily Duty

When Maya first meets a new boy at a party, she thinks his habits are a little strange—especially when it comes to eating. After the new boy explains that he has food allergies, Maya starts asking questions, and she learns they have more in common than she thought.




Dash and Nikki and The Jellybean Game



By Anthony C. Delauney

Welcome, kids of all ages, to The Jellybean Game! Dash and his sister, Nikki, are so glad that you came. Discover what awaits—there are surprises in store: candy, competition, and a little something more! Join in the excitement as they challenge one another, and learn a life lesson that’s unlike any other.




Football Freddie & Fumble the Dog: Gameday in Tampa Bay



By Marine Schneider

There’s only one thing that Freddie loves as much as football: sightseeing! Every time she and her trusty companion, Fumble the Dog, visit a new city, they set out to learn all about the location and its history before cheering on the home team!

It’s gameday in Tampa Bay! Football Freddie and Fumble are on their way to RJ Stadium to cheer for the Buccaneers. But first, they’ll explore beaches, meet some manatees, and visit other historic locations to learn everything they can about this coastal city in the Sunshine State. Come along and cheer with Freddie and Fumble for Tampa!




Gingerbread Cone: Under Construction



By Melissa Tumpane

The Gingerbread Cone is being chased by a fleet of hungry trucks! Will he make it to safety, or will he be their snack?




Go Be The Light!



By Robin Bennett

Lester is a little firefly who suddenly loses his tail’s special glow. Even though his glow is gone, he learns how to gain it back by spreading kindness and looking for the good in each day. Go Be the Light! is the perfect book to help children—and adults as well—learn the importance of sharing their light with the world. After the story, it includes a journal that prompts readers to reflect on their blessings and make plans for spreading kindness.




Good Brother No



By Pastor Dave Oravec

If God came to you with a scary request, would you be like Brother No? Would you answer with a “yes?” Good Brother No retells the Genesis flood narrative in invigorating and relatable rhyme that all young readers can enjoy. Pastor Dave Oravec’s rendition of the Noah story is honest and hopeful. It’s a wonderful reminder of God’s love and what happens when people trust in God’s promises.




Goodness Gracious Golly Gee: I Forgot My Christmas Tree!



By Carol & Cori Burcham

Goodness Gracious Golly Gee, I forgot my Christmas tree! Goodness Gracious Golly Gee, what will Santa think of me?

With Christmas right around the corner, a stay-at-home dad scrambles at the last minute to get everything ready for the holidays. Like many parents who experience holiday-related anxiety, the father is overwhelmed by the many expectations that come with Christmas. From putting up the tree, decorating the house, and baking Christmas cookies, the father worries he won’t be able to get it all done in time for Santa’s arrival.

Will his family, not to mention jolly old St. Nick, be disappointed if there’s no Christmas tree? In this whimsical rhyming Christmas tale, the pressures to buy the perfect present and maintain holiday traditions take a backseat as the father is reminded of the true spirit of Christmas (with a little help from a mysterious, magical Christmas figure who comes to save the day)!




Happy in Hope



By Kristina Gipe

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What is Hope?

It is through God’s word that we learn more about hope. We learn how to trust in Him through each step in our journey through life. We can be happy in hope.




Howdy’s Adventures in Aggieland



By Annabeth Reeb

This is the story of Howdy, a friendly golden retriever who lives on a farm outside of College Station, Texas. When Howdy’s family goes missing one afternoon, he sets off on an adventure that takes him all over Aggieland. Filled with familiar College Station scenes and faces, Howdy’s Adventures in Aggieland is the perfect book for little Aggies.




Listen and You Can Hear the Call: The Journey of Kansas State University’s Bluemont Bell



By Debbie Mercer

Answer the call of Kansas State University’s Bluemont Bell! Journey through the bell’s 160-year history with illustrations by Kansas State teacher education students and discover what makes the Bluemont Bell a K-State icon, from a lightning strike to the theft of the bell’s clappers. 




Little Lu Finds Courage



By Denise Dagash

A tiny, skittish chihuahua, Little Lu spends most of her life terrified of just about everything. But when a thief breaks into her house one fateful evening, Little Lu faces a scary decision: she can either find the courage to defend her family or stay terrified. Read along to discover what this tiny little chihuahua will do!




My Favorite Day of the Year



By Jessica DeGorter

Imagine yourself walking into a sweet little bakery in a quaint little town. Bells chime as you enter, the delicious smells surround you, and you’re greeted by so many desserts that it’s impossible to pick just one.

Behind the front counter a little bit of magic is helping to create the dozens of beautiful, joyful sugar cookies that rest in the gleaming display cases. You will find smiling cookie cutters and their friend the baker hard at work. People come from all over just to try this bakery’s beloved sugar cookies, and now you will too. Which will your favorite be?




Popper and Friends



By IL Ritchie

Popper is a sweet little woodpecker who is trying to find a new home. Now that he is grown, it’s time for him to leave the nest and find a home of his own. The first book in the Popper and Friends series, follow along as Popper explores different options and gets helpful advice from his friends.




Raising Betty



By Sarah Zagaja

Betty is a golden retriever who is training to be a guide dog. Follow her family’s heartwarming and whimsical adventures as they attempt to raise a successful and confident puppy. With the help of her friend Old Tess, Betty learns the ins and outs of the training process. Does Betty have what it takes to become a hero and change someone’s life?




Super Girl Azalee



By Shameeka Spann

Azalee is a second-grade girl raised by a single mom, with help from her grandmother and aunt. She struggles with low self-esteem because she feels like she does not look or dress like her peers. Azalee focuses so much on what she does not have that she forgets that she is special. She has great family members and friends who try to help her understand her worth.

In this book, Azalee is nervous about the first day of school because she is afraid kids will pick on her for not looking like them. Azalee also faces a bigger challenge: bullying. With the help of her friends and family, she stands up to her bullies and finally understands her worth. This book focuses on the bond between family and friends, and how these bonds can positively affect us in life. This book also encourages children to develop self-love at any age.




Tails From Down Under



By Tara Lala

When Paradise Royale goes on a vacation with her cruel adoptive family to Italy, she discovers an entrance to a world full of mermaids and mermen. But how does she unlock the entrance as a human? Will she be able to solve the many mysteries in this magical underwater city called Aquaria? Or will the monster living in the depths of Aquaria capture her first?




The Bubble’s Day at LSU



By Rachel Chustz

Do you ever wonder where bubbles go once you have blown them into the air? Most of the bubbles pop, but what about the bubbles that slip away? Where do they go?

Well, the little bubble in this story floated right over to Louisiana State University. She rolled through the campus, where she got to see Mike the Tiger, an LSU football game, and a performance by the Golden Band from Tigerland. The little bubble even got to dance with the Golden Girls! Join her as she spends the day at LSU and becomes a true Tiger fan!




The Hero of Hawk’s Nest Beach: A Sea Turtle Rescue



By Barbara Gervais Ciancimino

“Finn, who was good at finding things on the ocean floor, jumped into the water to look for the bucket. He looked in seaweed beds and behind rocks, but he couldn’t see it anywhere. Then, just as he was about to give up, he noticed something in the distance. Swimming closer, he saw a fishing net wrapped around a piling…and there, caught in the net, was a very frightened sea turtle. Finn knew he had to work fast, but would he be able to free the turtle in time?”

Finn, who considers himself to be a “regular everyday” dog and his best friend, Little Mutt, spend every summer together on Hawk’s Nest Beach, fetching driftwood and playing with the children. The last thing Finn expects is a life-and-death adventure beneath the waves. After unexpectedly coming across a trapped sea turtle, Finn does what heroes do: he selflessly jumps into action to save the turtle’s life. Finn discovers that being ordinary doesn’t mean you’re unable to do extraordinary things. Many regular everyday” heroes give of themselves to help others and save lives, no matter how “ordinary” they may think they are.




The Rescue of Philip the Houseplant



By Casi Babinchak

When a happy little houseplant is left behind in a dorm room at Penn State University, his rescue and the adventures that follow capture the hearts of many during a time when hope is needed the most.




The Truth Fairy



By Tori Praver

Lily is an ordinary little girl, but she has one bad habit that gets her into trouble: she often tells fibs. One day, Lily learns about The Truth Fairy and starts to think twice about telling the truth.




There’s a Hummingbird in My Garden



By Donna Brainard

Marcus is a boy living in Brooklyn, New York, who loves to ride his bike and his skateboard in the park. He loves moving FAST, but everyone is always telling him to slow down. One day, in a rare moment of standing still, a hummingbird whizzes past his head! Marcus is intrigued and begins to observe this wonder of nature. In time, the hummingbird teaches him a valuable lesson: some things are worth slowing down for.



Cookbooks


Fine Dining Made Easy: Galley Gourmet with Chef Lisa Mead



By Chef Lisa Mead

Lisa Mead, international TV host of Galley Gourmet With Chef Lisa for the last seven years, has perfected the ability to cook quickly and efficiently within very limited spaces, particularly about luxury yachts and for private estates. Her goal is to satiate hungry people waiting to be wowed—something that will resonate with home cooks around the world. The recipes in her debut book are all favourites of her tropical yachting guests, with each dish easily translatable to home cooking. Have fun preparing and cooking what she terms “global cuisine,” enhanced by the bountiful flavours of the Caribbean, her home base when not in Australia.




Nonfiction


Experiencing the Lowcountry



By Pamela Craft

Dive into the Lowcountry with these gorgeous pictures and insights into South Carolina living.




Verdaderamente Poderoso



By Dr. Rosa Romero

Permite que la ponderosa palabra de Dios transforme tu vida, cambiando tu rutina cotidiana atraves de tus pensamientos y tu manera de hablar. Para poder vivir segun la verdad y sabiduria, hay que aprender a razonar uno mismo. Con un mensaje importante y sencillo este libro te ayudara ha encontrar tu proposito en la vida, te identificaras con el de principio a fin, esta basado en testimonios reales que tocaran lo mas profundo de tu alma.

Reconoceras que eres el unico dueno de tu destino y que tienes el poder de reescribir tu historia, que cada crisis, cada reto son para profundizarnos en una intimidad con el creador. Busca dentro de ti hasta encontrar a Dios, el esta en el interior de todas las personas, todo mundo tiene por lo menos un atributo positivo, el cual es visible a todos aquellos con una mente y corazon abiertos.

Rosa Romero una gran mujer de Dios, multifacetica con un doctorado en letras humanas, madre, empresaria, instructora de comestilogia, master coach certificada, Pastor y Profeta que obedeciendo la volunta de Dios junto a su esposo el Pastor Fredy Gonzalez, iniciaron en el 2015 la Iglesia Cristiana Unity Life El Reyno de Dios para las Naciones en el area de Manassas y son ellos mismos quienes continuan al frente de la misma como Ministros Principales.






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November Book Releases

Are you or your child in a reading slump? Do you need a riveting page-turner, educational read, or perhaps a spiritual guide to get back into it?

From children’s books about adoption to memoirs about pursuing a meaningful life, we have just the books to get you and your child into reading again. Check out our November releases below!

Children’s Books


An Ode to My Period



By
Swana Thomas

Periods are no fun, and we all know it! Join Sonia as she experiences her first period and writes a letter to defeat and overcome her cycle of menstruation. Follow along as Sonia provides tips and tricks to help during your encounter with menstruation, too!




Around the World in Devi Days



By Alisha Sarkar

Ready to explore? Join Devi, a young Indian girl, on an adventure around the world!




Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees



By A.A. Cristi

Bruce the Spruce has Christmas all wrong.

Thanks to his fancy decorations and adoring admirers, this artificial spruce tree doesn’t just wear a star at Christmas, he is the star. But when his longtime family gets a new tree, Bruce is sent on a whirlwind adventure through New York City. From a party in Brooklyn, to a run-in with rats, to a high-speed garbage truck ride down 5th Avenue, Bruce the Spruce takes an unforgettable holiday journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas trees.




If Puppies Had Pockets



By Lyn Willy

If puppies had pockets. . .what would they do? This cute board book is the perfect bedtime read for you and your little one.




Malik’s Magic African Alphabet Hat



By Malik and Oni Adunni

Malik travels to Africa from countries A to Z.
Travel to locations with him, and you, too, will see:
a lion’s mountain, animals not in a zoo,
a haunted house, a ghost town, and a mask festival, too.
He travels by a hat that is in his possession.
At the end you’ll find out
how he learns a great travel lesson.




Montana’s Memory Day: a nature-themed foster/adoption story



By Sue Lawrence

Montana is a thinker and a rememberer, and tomorrow is his Memory Day.

He used to be a foster kid, but now he lives with New Mom, who adopted him.
There’s a differentness about this mom—she’s like a steady stream that gurgles.
But Montana is still adjusting to his place in this family and life on a farm in the middle of winter.





Robbie Robin



By Theresa Perna

Robbie Robin is the true story of three children who find a baby bird fallen from its nest and their journey to save its life. As the children learn how to nurture and protect the young bird, they must also learn how to say goodbye as Robbie grows and leaves the home the children have made for him. Both an emotional tale and a chronicle of scientific discovery, Robbie Robin reminds us that happiness and grief are shared, universal experiences that bind us all together, and that the connections formed in adolescence are sometimes the ones we remember the most.




Rules of the Playground



By Gina & Glenn Noonan

Meet Charlie, an above-average adventurer. As a playground expert, he wants all kids to know the most important ways to have fun on the playground. Luckily for us, Charlie narrates these rules in A-B-C order! Join Charlie as he takes us through these playground rules from A to Z.




The Adventures of a Military Brat: My Military Life



By Johanna and Daniel Gomez

Join a brave boy as he takes readers on a journey that is familiar to military children located around the world.

Follow him as he reunites with his cousin, anticipates an upcoming move, adjusts to his father’s recent return, and shows pride demonstrating military traditions.

About The Adventures of a Military Brat series: Each book highlights unique challenges of growing up in a military family. Join our characters as they turn these challenges into opportunities and build resilience through positive messages.




The Baby Duck Summer



By Suzanne M. Malpass

Imagine an eight-year-old girl who has to babysit every day during the summer! Why? Well, because she fell in love with a tiny baby duck at the county fair and wanted it for her own!




The Sleepy Seal



By Eric Bowman

A playful daughter. A loving mother. A heartwarming story for your child’s bedtime routine.




This Is Clare



By Lindy Nelson

Come follow a lady and her hound.
New adventures with new friends will abound.
Learn some English and verse with Lindy and Clare.
We’re in China; we hope to see you there!




Nonfiction Books


Prepare Yourself to Be Lucky: Spirited Lessons to Cultivate Business Success



By Ed McDonnell

As Ed McDonnell grew up in poverty in South Boston, his Irish immigrant parents’ greatest hope for him was a career as a grocer. But McDonnell wanted more. After joining the army and using the GI Bill to pay for college, McDonnell landed a job at Raytheon. During a short post in London, he discovered a passion for international business.

McDonnell had learned a crucial lesson while working his way up: by preparing himself to be lucky, he would be ready to embrace any opportunity that came along. He put that principle into action when his offer to give the president of General Foods a ride home during a snowstorm eventually led to a life-changing opportunity to run one of General Foods’ largest international holdings in São Paulo, Brazil.

In 1981, McDonnell was hired by Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman Sr. to build Seagram’s international operations. After leading a dramatic turnaround of Seagram’s global business, McDonnell became president and CEO of Seagram’s $5 billion Spirits and Wine Group.

In Prepare Yourself to Be Lucky, McDonnell shares ten lessons from his fifty-five-year career in international business. He also offers insights on the rise and fall of Seagram, which experienced one of the most disastrous collapses in corporate history after Bronfman passed the company’s leadership to his son.




Sex, Drugs, Etc., Etc., Sex, Drugs, Etc., Etc., Etc.: Unforgettable Lessons that will Change the Lives of Teenagers and Twenty-Somethings



By Rob Shindler J.D.

This is not a HOW TO book, it’s a how NOT TO book.

My dad up in heaven had a favorite saying: “Alittle bit of knowledge is dangerous.” Truth be told, sometimes a little knowledge is all we really need. As a lawyer for thirty-plus years, I’ve seen young people from different neighborhoods and different upbringings repeatedly make the same wrong choices and take the same wrong turns, literally devastating their futures. If someone had just given them a little bit of knowledge, they could’ve avoided ever seeing the inside of a lawyer’s office. I wrote this manual to provide a map to navigate teenagers and twenty-somethings through unexpectedly dangerous waters and guide them around the occasional iceberg. I am arming them with just a little knowledge to help make important and crucial choices, which can hopefully change the course of their lives. It takes a village, but in the famous words of Bob Marley, “Every little thing is going to be all right.”




Spirituality 104: Lessons of Love from The School of Life



By Ivan Figueroa-Otero, M.D.

If you could see all the knowledge obtained from the lessons of your school of life reflected in the magical mirror of your mind,

WOULD IT HELP? WOULD YOU WELCOME IT?

In Spirituality 104, Iván Figueroa-Otero, MD, offers us a selection of the wisest quotes from his School of Life trilogy, with loving messages about different aspects of our existence. If we practice them, they could help us find the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being we all aspire to. Each quote is explained and has exercises to integrate the message into our daily living. If you read the previous books, this will help you refine the concepts and practice their teachings. If you have not read them, here is a practical and concrete guide to receive the most important messages for your progress.




The Little Things: A Memoir of Paralysis, Motivation, and Pursuing a Meaningful Life



By Jack Trottier

What happens to a promising athlete when their life turns upside down and they land in a wheelchair? Who are you when your body no longer seems like your own? Jack Trottier’s The Little Things: A Memoir of Paralysis, Motivation, and Pursuing a Meaningful Life takes us on a journey from the catastrophic accident that shattered his C6 vertebrae through the physical, mental, and emotional challenges that followed as he fought to redefine his life on his own terms. Jack shares the motivation that sustained him and the lessons he learned along the way with writing that is honest, beautiful, and even humorous. The Little Things encourages us to look beyond the chair and see the person sitting there. Just like you, they have a story to tell.




Why We Are What We Eat: The Role of Diet and Symbiotic Microorganisms in Mental and Physical Health



By Inna Kruman, Ph.D.

The idea of a strong link between food and human identity is age-old. However, exactly how food affects the human body and mind remained unclear until recently, when researchers determined that our environment can turn gene expression off and on, thereby influencing the way we, as organisms, function. This discovery caused a breakthrough in our understanding of how our diet affects our wellbeing, as food is one of the most critical environmental factors.

In Why We Are What We Eat, Inna Kruman, PhD takes a close look at these recent research advances and explores the interplay between the digestive, immune, and nervous systems. In doing so, she focuses on the role of symbiotic microorganisms in these relationships, detailing the central role diet takes in shaping this symbiotic microbial community—making those tiny microbes the key to our physical and mental health. Join Dr. Kruman on a journey to discover why we are what we eat.



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October’s Featured Title: The Story of the Curious Elf

October’s Featured Title is The Story of the Curious Elf by Joan C. Yingling!

On a special night before Christmas, a small boy meets a lost, lonely elf who lets his curious nature get the best of him. Stranded and alone in an unfamiliar place, the elf doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to find his way back home! Will he ever be able to get back to his family and friends in Santa’s workshop?

We spoke with Lydia Cohn, who published this new children’s book on behalf of her mother Joan, about what makes this book special, what it’s like going through the publishing process in honor of someone else, and more.


Can you tell us a bit about the author? What was she like as a person and a writer

My mom was a spirited woman who enjoyed nothing more than getting together with family and friends. She taught herself how to cook, bake, sew, knit, and crochet among other things. She was an avid reader and loved doing the crossword puzzles in the Sunday paper. She was a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and never missed a game on TV. 

With such a busy life raising seven children and working full time as a hairdresser, it’s hard to know how mom found time to write the many poems she wrote while we were growing up. Her poems often told a story, and when our daughter suggested they would each make great children’s books, I jumped at the idea because I had always wanted to have her stories published for others to enjoy.



What is the backstory behind this book? What makes it special? 

Christmas was one of mom’s favorite holidays. She made sure our Christmases were full of imagination and fun traditions.  The Story of the Curious Elf was born from one of our family’s holiday traditions. Every year the local Thanksgiving parade ended with Santa Claus appearing and waving to the crowd. My mom told us that was when Santa’s magical elves would hop off the float and go visit the houses to check on the boys and girls to report back to him on who was naughty and who was nice. She would often remind us that “the elves are watching” in order to keep us behaving well. 

The elves would mysteriously appear on Thanksgiving night. It was always so exciting to spot the first one. When we weren’t looking, they would change locations and we’d squeal with delight in shouting “it moved!” My mom was clever, as we never caught her in the act of moving them. 



What is it like going through the publishing process in honor of someone else, specifically your mother?


Going through the publishing process was a very emotional experience for me. These were my mom’s stories. I wish I had asked her more about what inspired her. Mostly, I wonder how she ever found the time to write. And, why did she write? Did she ever intend to try and publish her work or was it just a hobby for her? These are answers I’ll never have.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a book even after the words are written. With every decision, I made sure I was doing what I thought my mom would’ve wanted. Mascot Books made the process a whole lot easier because they tell you where to start and what comes next. I was so grateful to have them coaching me along. They helped me select my illustrator, Ana Sabastian, who somehow was able to extract from my imagination exactly how I pictured the characters and story unfolding. Then there’s deciding on which parts of the story you want to have illustrated. That was hard because this particular story ran like a movie in my imagination. There were so many images and I had to decide which ones to use and which words would appear on each page. And then there’s cover design and back cover design, etc.  

When you open the box of your books for the first time and see all your work in living tangible color, you just can’t believe the rush of excitement, joy, and relief you feel. It’s the culmination of all your hard work as well as the embarkment on a whole new adventure because now you have this wonderful story, in a book form, to can share in such a delightful way. I think my mom would have been very pleased with how both books have turned out. 



What makes this book different from other children’s Christmas books? 

What makes The Story of the Curious Elf unique is the literal soft feel of the cover and the tone of colors used in the illustrations that lend itself to cuddling up to read a bedtime story. It has such soft blue tones rather than your typical red and green colors of Christmas. It’s exciting when you first meet the little lost elf. You really want to help the elf find his way back home. Any child can easily imagine themselves in the story. 

I also love how there’s a very subtle message to mind what your parents tell you for they know best. 

In the very back of the book, I included four short poems my mom titled “Verses for Young Children,” an added bonus. The first one is a riddle that kids can easily solve. 



What do you think would be Joan’s biggest dreams or accomplishments for this book? What would she hope for readers to walk away with?

Honestly, my mom would just be so thrilled to know her stories were being enjoyed by little kids everywhere. She would love it if reading her bedtime story on every Christmas Eve became a tradition for all families with little kids. And she would love for kids to carry on the tradition to read it to their kids. Of course, it would be such an honor if this book also received literary awards like her first book, The Story of the Can’t That Could.  

She would love for readers to walk away with a sense of wonder and imagination. I think she would also be so thrilled if her stories inspired young children, and adults, to write their own creative stories.

Just a little something I’d like to share…

When I began reading my mom’s stories to young children in schools, a reading specialist shared with me that my mom’s writing was so helpful for kids learning to read. The words rhyme so it helps children sound them out and guess which ones might make sense. And, there are just enough compounded words like “something,” challenging words like “through,” and words like “laugh” that you can only learn by sight. I don’t think my mom intended this but, how cool is that? 

To learn more, please visit www.joanyingling.com

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October Book Releases

Pumpkins, apple cider, hayrides, and new books! These are just a few of the necessities to start off the new season. Come join us by checking out our October releases, and Happy Fall!


Children’s Books


A Tale of Two Princesses



By
Rianna Matter

Princesses Jade and Jane came to their kingdom in very different ways. Their stories are unique, but they’re beautiful in their own ways, and both end in the same place—with a Queen and King who love them.




Cloud Monsters




By Francine Piriano-Davila

Jack is expecting to spend the day celebrating his little brother Charlie’s birthday, but the universe has something very different in store. During the party, his family’s world is turned upside down by some uninvited guests—cloud monsters. After watching family and friends be abducted by these strange creatures, Jack embarks on a journey to save his family, while trying to understand the motives of the seemingly villainous group.

Will they make it to safety in time? Or are they in more danger if they flee? Follow along with Jack, Charlie, and their parents as they struggle to understand the cloud monsters and accept their new reality.




Cool Kids



By Arlene Freeman

Like most kids, Michael and his friends are so excited for their first day at a new school. They have a lot of questions about what to expect, but most of all, they wonder if they’ll get to join the football team. That would be the perfect way to start the year!

However, Michael soon finds out that it’s not as easy as he thinks. The team is filled with bullies, and to join, he has to become one of them. In order to be cool enough to get a spot on the football team, Michael has to start changing his behavior—for the worse! Suddenly, terrible things start happening to him. Finally, he begins to wonder: Was it all worth it?




Goodnight Star, Whoever You Are



By Jodi Meltzer

One fateful night, a child notices a magnificent star that looks like it’s following him during a car ride home from the beach. When he asks his mom about it, she gives him a textbook explanation at first, and then makes him think twice. Heartfelt and reassuring, Goodnight Star, Whoever You Are helps kids cope with grief, loss, and longing in an enchanting way, sparking meaningful conversations about the everlasting power of love. With an imaginative point of view, kids will discover that the connection they share with the person or pet who died transcends the space between them. Children can reflect on their unbreakable bond with an “I Remember” page at the end of this delightfully illustrated picture book, providing comfort during trying times.




Humbugs and Ladybugs



By Julian Klazkin

Gerry and Dana have a farm with lots of animals who simply do not get along. They fight, chase each other, and sometimes look at one another as their next meal. They’re just a bunch of humbugs! Luckily for Gerry and Dana, a kindly ladybug shows up one day to help them with their problem.

How? Through exercise, of course . . . ladybug style!

What does that mean?

Gerry and Dana have no idea, but they’re about to find out what a little magical fun and creativity can do. A funny story with a quirky heroine, Humbugs and Ladybugs reinforces the concepts of kindness, respect, and gratitude in young readers. And yes, there are even a few chicken jokes along the way!




It’s Time to Say Good Night



By Dr. S. Amna Husain, MD

The day is coming to a close, and bedtime is drawing near. Animals come together as their parents cuddle them dear. The sky darkens, and the stars glow bright. They shine down upon the world to tell us, “It’s time to say good night!”




Maxwell



By Jeremy C. Gredone

Maxwell is a unique children’s book that celebrates the power of imagination and dreams. It’s a story about transcendence, and the extraordinary blossoming out of the ordinary. It is about the timeless and ever-expanding bond between parent and child, and the priceless lessons of love they hold for each other. While Maxwell is primarily created for children, parents will be delighted at the extras designed with them in mind. Truly something for all ages to enjoy!

  1. 40-page children’s book with vibrant and layered illustrations that will encourage many a reading to discover all the hidden magic within.

  1. Children will become part of this interactive story themselves as they are invited to take part in the “imaginative process,” creating new roles and adventures for “The Amazing Maxwell!”

  1. Includes a separately bound 28-page “True Story of Maxwell + Time Capsule” attached in back pocket of the book–Read the true story of Maxwell (a wild spider) as the author experienced it AND take part in your very own “Time Capsule” between you and your children–the making of a keepsake that can be handed down for generations!



My Cat Is Blue



By Sarah Sommer

When someone you love is feeling down in the dumps, you try everything to help. But sometimes, you don’t have the cure, and those blues can even become contagious. It just might be the unexpected that allows you both to shed your blues and move toward a bright and colorful future.




The Famous Phoebe of Long Island: Phoebe’s Adventures at Sailors Haven



By Jean Derespina

When Phoebe was a young pup, she was adopted from a shelter by Jeana and Frank. She had no idea how exciting life with her forever family would be. Phoebe’s new parents planned to take her with them on all their boat trips.

Come along as Phoebe tells the story of her first boat trip to Sailors Haven on Fire Island. When they took off into the Great South Bay, Phoebe was a bit frightened, but she soon realized what a delightful adventure she and her new parents would have as they explored the wondrous national park from the forest to the beach, making many friends along the way.




The Legend of the Mask: A Sloan the Sloth Story



By Aaron Fox

The legend of Ninja Sloth began with The Secret Life of Sloan the Sloth. Now, that story continues with a new beginning. Where did Sloan’s mask come from, and what was its purpose? Find out in . . . The Legend of the Mask!

Read other books in the Sloan the Sloth series:

The Secret Life of Sloan the Sloth




The Story of Me from the Inside Out



By Christine Heimbach

Did you know your blood tells a story? Read along to learn about blood work and the unique, important messages our blood tells about us. Instead of being afraid, look at your blood work as an exciting time to learn more about your body and what is going on inside of you!




The Story of the Curious Elf



By Joan C. Yingling

One Christmas Eve, a little boy encounters a lost elf who let his curiosity get the best of him. Stuck far away from home, the elf doesn’t know if he’ll ever see Santa again!

Will he ever find his way back to the North Pole?




Tripod Kitty and the Recipe for Kindness



By Clarice Nassif Ransom

Orie is a handsome and athletic kitty who overcomes cancer and the loss of a limb during summer break. He is afraid to go back to school because he is now different. Through a wise teacher, Orie and his friends learn that the recipe for kindness can be as simple as baking chocolate chip cookies.




Cookbooks 


A Taste of Living in Charleston: Lowcountry Dishes Anyone Can Cook



By Bobby Shealy

A Taste of Living in Charleston is the ultimate guide to Southern cuisine. The recipes Bobby includes are an accumulation of more than forty years of cooking. Some are from family and friends, some are originals, and other are repurposed classics with Bobby’s own twists.

A staunch believer that, “If I can cook it, so can you!” Bobby’s delicious and soulful recipes, along with his insights into setting an elegant atmosphere without breaking the bank, are your ticket to perfect lowcountry cuisine.




Bake Away: A Collection of Recipes Capturing the Spirit of Creativity, Experience, and Expression



By Sahana Vij

Bake Away is a celebration of baking’s impact on our creativity, self-expression, and personal experiences. It’s a reflection of what’s important in our lives.

From the delicate Portland Berry Cream Pie to the towering Atlanta Crêpe Cake, Sahana Vij brings you on her journey of inspiration, sharing the simple steps to create an array of delightful desserts, each crafted from personal connections and beautiful memories. Each recipe is accompanied by exquisite food photography and portraits of stunning locations.

Explore an elegant fruit garden in Temescal Valley as you make a luscious Citrus Poppy Seed Bread. Learn a little about Maui as you prepare a decadent Coconut Chocolate Tart. Share a subtly spiced Chai-Infused Cake, inspired by visits to a prominent tearoom in Seattle, with those you love. Bake Away is more than a cookbook: it is a beautifully written book grounded in family, relationships, and giving.



Nonfiction 


Inspiration from Legendary Zim



By Cathy Papplardo

What qualities does it take to become a legend? Photographs from Don Zimmer’s career as a professional baseball player, coach, and manager highlight his positive personal qualities. He left a legacy of success, mentorship, and love of the game!




It Can Be You: Humanizing Homelessness



By Jordana Guimaraes

It Can Be You encourages the world to become more compassionate and understand the reasons behind homelessness, rather than judge. This book tells the challenging and complex stories of forty-five fashion influencers from all over the world and how they’ve overcome those obstacles to be where they are today.

Author Jordana Guimaraes’s compassion for the homeless, combined with her experience in the fashion industry, inspired her to tell these stories to decrease the stigma surrounding homelessness. Life’s circumstances have the power to uplift us or, just as easily, sink us. It Can Be You takes a transparent look into the lives of fashion influencers and homeless individuals who, when placed side by side, turn out to have many common struggles.




Search for Signers: Visiting the Graves of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence



By Jennifer Epstein Rudnick

What started out as a quirky hobby soon became an obsession. During a road trip with friends to Boston, in a cemetery with three Declaration signers’ graves, a project was born—traveling to and photographing the graves of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. It seemed an easy task. As photos were taken and names checked off the list, questions arose. Is this where the signer was first buried? Was he moved from an original burial spot? Why did that move happen? Is the actual grave location known? Along the quest, it turns out that a number of Declaration signers—prominent men in their colonies—are not interred in their original burial locations. Follow the adventure with some unusual stories, and discover how many graves were found and how many signers are not really buried where their marker sits.



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The Perfect Back-to-School Books to Kick off Learning

It’s that busy time of the year again—the time when your child swings their backpack over their shoulder and runs out the door to make the bus, when students greet new teachers and wave to their friends after a long summer apart.

With the many disruptions of the past year, many parents may have been worried about their children falling behind in their reading level. In the classroom, teachers are still taking full advantage of isolated activities like solo reading time. So, as schools reopen, it seems there’s no better way for children to head back to the classroom than with a new book in their hands.


Not sure what to read? We’ve put together some essential books for teachers to incorporate into the curriculum that can help students stay on track and make learning fun!

Some of these books are directly related to the school environment, while others address important themes and lessons, such as overcoming shyness, confronting bullies, pollution and climate change, finding hope in the pandemic, facing the common fear of shots, adjusting to new surroundings, and more.

See for yourself below:


The Secret of Sondra Byer’s Second Grade Class



By Susan Schwartz

Everyone knows the legend of Ms. Sondra Byer, the enigmatic teacher who returns to Cory Hall every five years to teach one group of second grade students, and then disappears again, leaving magic and mystery in her wake. When the longed-for letter arrives on crisp, white school stationary announcing their placement in Ms. Byer’s class, her students think they know what lies ahead, but none of them could have anticipated the enchantment that awaited…

The Secret of Sondra Byer’s Second Grade Class follows the adventures of a group of  second grade students as they discover parts of the world, and parts of themselves, they never could have imagined. 



Bottle and Stick



By Jennifer Stephens

Starting school can sometimes be scary. Especially after Pencil, Eraser, and Scissors warn Bottle and Stick about being squeezed, twisted, dried up, and wasted!

Will these two ordinary school supplies approach their first day of school with fear, or will Bottle and Stick decide to be brave and stick together? After all, anything is possible when you have a friend by your side!



Sparky’s Electrifying Tale




By Janelle London and Matthew Metz

Tina and Rory would like to go green,
but it’s hard when their family car burns gasoline.
Their new hamster Sparky’s a little bizarre.
Just wait ’til you see what he does with the car!

What can two children and a hamster do about climate change and air pollution? Tina and Rory follow gasoline’s trail from the age of the dinosaurs to the family car and beyond, their journey illuminated by the vivid imagination of their new pet hamster, Sparky. Just when Rory has had it with gasoline, Sparky magically finds a solution.



Smile and Say Hi




By Mary Jo Hazard

Michael Joe Bob is remarkably shy.
When he meets someone new, he won’t smile and say hi.
Mike runs and he hides, petrified through and through,
unable to do what he knows he must do.

Then, one night in Mike’s room, some fierce dragons fly
and whisk him away through the starry night sky
to adventures so daring. Mike searches inside
and seizes the courage to smile and say hi!



Not So Bad After All




By Daniel Amaguana

Daniel views school in his own little way,
But kids make fun of him all the long day.

He may be strong and won’t stand for guff,
But when push comes to shove, can he really stay tough?




Giving Hope: A Child’s Journey Through a Pandemic



By Toni Wengerd

Life was busy, exciting, normal – until, with one phone call, everything changed. Everything was cancelled and shut down until further notice. While navigating the stay-at-home order during the pandemic, many different emotions were felt. This story is told through a child’s journal entries that demonstrate many of these emotions. What begins with worry and frustration evolves, with this story showing how one child learned ways to give hope even when things seemed hopeless.



The Ruth Adventures: Best Friends Forever




By Nancy Youngdahl

Now that a new year of school is beginning, Ruth is about to experience a new adventure!

Instead of being homeschooled, Ruth will attend second grade in town at the elementary school. Ruth is nervous about her first day, but is assured by her parents that she will meet lots of students her age. Sure enough, Ruth meets a very thoughtful girl named Sue who quickly becomes her best friend. After a play day with Ruth, Sue learns about life on a farm and how fun it can be, even though it is so different from living in the city. When their day together ends, they are already planning their next adventure—together!




Jurni



By Nikos Cox

In this deeply emotional story, we learn that lessons about life and death can be taught by the unlikeliest of teachers. In Jurni, one young girl with a passion for all things math, science, and outer space shines a light on how we can all deal with grief and loss. 

The confusion, pain, and shock of tragedy affects us all, no matter how old we are. After losing her mother, Jurni’s dad urges her to look up at the starlit night sky, and explains that her mother will always be up in the stars. From that moment on, Jurni is set on a course to reach the stars she sees from below. Her mission: becoming an astronaut to be close to her mother again. The only hurdle in Jurni’s way is winning a local NASA science competition that could pave the way for her biggest dream. 

Join Jurni as she embarks on a quest that will give her a deeper knowledge of her own ability to survive the pain of personal loss.





My First Boy Teacher



By Jacob Piontkowski

After finishing an exciting year in Mrs. Taylor’s class, Charlie was enjoying her summer vacation. Or at least she was until the new school year started to arrive. What was the next year going to bring, or should we say, who?




The Little Ouch



By Katherine Picarde

When it comes to getting her flu shot, Penelope is NOT amused. It makes her SCARED and NERVOUS and QUEASY and SICK and SWEATY! Will she be able to overcome her fear of The Little Ouch?



Lucas Takes His Food Allergies to Daycare



By Megan Herr

Join Lucas as he discovers that food allergies don’t have to stop anybody from having fun! Even more, his story reminds us that our differences are what ultimately bring us all together! 



Melanin Brown Discovers America



By Candice Davis

Melanin Brown is a very wise thirteen-year-old seventh grader who witnesses a new student being bullied because of his beliefs. This situation makes her feel very uncomfortable, and she knows that the actions of those students are wrong. With the guidance of her parents and her experiences with teachers and friends, paired with her own desire to treat people the way she wants to be treated, Melanin learns how to deal with and address various social constructs while coming into her own voice.

Melanin is the type of everyday heroine we all wish we had when we were young. Knowledgeable beyond her years, caring, and innocent, Melanin is a leader whose empathy (and even sarcasm, at times!) transcends boundaries and limitations. Meet your new favorite role model as you join Melanin along this journey of self-discovery—you might just learn a lot about yourself, too!




Amoya’s Accent



By Dahlia Richards

Moving to a new country can be hard, and Amoya is finding that out firsthand! Not only is the cold in Chicago chilling her to the bone, but her new classmates are also making fun of the way she talks. Amoya stands up for herself, but will that be enough to fix the situation? Amoya’s Accent takes a look at why people sound different from each other and explores the power of a sharing circle.


 

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September Book Releases

It’s back to school time, and our September release day! Have your child head back to the classroom with a children’s book on brilliant scientists or a young adult novel about moving away from home. And for yourself, check out some of our adult titles on coaching leadership and the music industry!


Children’s Books


Ava and Abel Learn They Are Able



By Jami Colgrave Harland

Ava and Abel search for their special talents on their way home from school. Along the way, they meet children who already know their special abilities—some of which Ava and Abel may not have expected. Join Ava and Abel as they learn that what makes us different makes us special. What’s your special talent?

This book is meant to be a tool for beginning the conversation with children that, regardless of our differences, everyone can still have a great and special talent.




Ava’s Arch: Cooking Capers and Creations



By Ava Ventrella

Join Ava in the kitchen to make family cooking fun! She is assisted by her companions, Luca Bear and Sergeant Captain Burt. Social cues and some tasks are not easy for Luca Bear, and he relies on Ava to help navigate sticky situations. With her lead and his trusted friend, Burt, Luca Bear finds confidence and reassurance in helping out his sister in the kitchen. Family favorites, lots of tasting, and a few messy situations make for enjoyable and lighthearted cooking adventures.

Ava Ventrella created the Ava’s Arch initiative for kids like her who have a sibling with special needs. She is passionate about helping to improve mental health services that support siblings and further enrich family connections. Kids working together with a common understanding can sometimes be more powerful than talking to adults or family members. Everybody needs a voice, some help, and a safe place to land. Ava’s Arch helps communities and contributes to a wide range of organizations that improve mental well-being for kids.




Bear’s Braid



By Joelle Bearstail

Bear and his friend Ben feel like they are living two lives: one, where native traditions—like long hair—are a crucial part of their identities, and the other, where indigenous expressions are mocked and treated with ignorance. When the boys encounter bullying because of the braids they wear, these two worlds collide.

Seeking guidance from his beloved grandma, Bear confides his doubts and questions himself and his heritage. Bear’s grandma knows about the strength it takes to overcome hardships, and with her help, Bear and Ben develop a plan to strengthen their connection to their roots while also bridging the gap between their schoolmates and their families.

Seamlessly blending discussions of modern indigeneity and universal experiences of bullying and resilience, Bear’s Braid is an essential and of-the-moment book that belongs on every bookshelf, and fits in easily with the classics of social justice children’s literature.




Better than Best be Respectful



By
Jim Waite

Respect is something that we all should show
to all we meet, wherever we go—
to the elderly, vets, and others, too—
for showing respect will reflect back on you.
So, respect your parents and what you’re asked to do;
respect places and things, both old and new.
A respectful person is something important to be.
Respect one another, and their respect you’ll see.




Bravo Anjali!



By
Sailaja Joshi

For Anjali, playing the tabla is something that comes naturally. She loves the feel of the drum beneath her fingers and getting lost in the music. But when a boy in her class gives her a hard time for being better than him, she messes up on purpose.

When her teacher announces a contest where the winner will get to perform with him at his next concert, Anjali is distraught. Winning the contest would be a dream for Anjali. But it seems like the better she gets, the meaner some of the kids are. In this follow up to Always Anjali, Anjali realizes that she should never let anyone make her feel bad for being good at something.

An important story for all children to remember to ‘never dim their light.’




Buster and the Brain Bully



By
Christina Pellegrino

My name is Buster, and I’ve got a Brain Bully.
It affects my mood, and I don’t understand it fully—
like during a storm, when I get so very scared,
or—during a test—when I feel unprepared.

Read along with me as I discover how to cope,
by helping others realize that there is hope.
We all have bad days, but together we face our fears.
Brain Bullies, be gone! You’re not welcome here.




Curious Minds & Great Voyages in Science



By
Sameet Sreenivasan

These are the tales of a brilliant bunch
who endeavored to describe:
chimp societies, the pull of gravity,
x-rays, the moon, and the mind.

They show us that the discoverer’s path
is seldom easy or clear,
but nature spills her secrets
when you gently persevere.

So for all you inquisitive minds at work
with a scientific inclination,
the spunky heroes tucked within
offer loads of inspiration!




Five Mile Charlie: A Special Pony for Carly



By Kimberly Adams

Wishes don’t always come true the way we expect them to—but they can be brought to life in a very different way!

Carly lives on Five Mile Farm in Oklahoma. She has many pets, but has always dreamed of having a pony. The magical bees in the valley know about Carly’s wish. Will Queen Bee Nora and her best friend, Journey, find a pony for Carly?




Grief Came to Visit Today



By Sydney Ford

A mysterious guest shows up after the loss of a family member. This guest calls himself Grief, and he brings a lot of unexpected emotions with him. Read along to see how each emotion brings something new, and how becoming more familiar with Grief can help one heal.




Hurts Like a Jewish Mother: A Cautionary Aleph-Bet



By Ruby Rosen and Rosie Rubin

“I laughed aloud at Rosen and Rubin’s hilarious take on maintaining traditions in a modern world. Ultimately, a joyous and uplifting celebration with beautiful illustrations to behold—Mazel Tov!”

— Rose HaShana, author of Jewish Jews and the Jews who Love Them

“A perfect gift to celebrate every Jewish milestone. No Jewish home should be without one!”

— Chava Negila, author of Jewish Humor for Humorous Jews

“I saw myself on every page!” — Hannah Kah, winner of the 2019 National Latke Award




I Am Loved: The Gift



By Hope Murphy

Could you give up the one thing you’ve always wanted? Matthew has read the Bible story of Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection, but he’s about to discover the true meaning of Christmas for himself. Join Matthew as he experiences God’s love and faithfulness firsthand through simple interactions and friendships with others. By viewing compassion and sacrifice through the eyes of a child, Christmas will never be the same again.




Like Me: Leaders



By Quinn Woodard

It’s career day again, and Zoey has always been told she’s a leader in the classroom, but she’s unsure of what type of leader she can be when she grows up. As Zoey says, “It’s difficult to see what I can be when no one looks like me.” With the help of a friend, Zoey learns about all the leaders who are right here in her community! She also learns about a few pioneers who came before her. Like Me: Leaders, the second book in the Like Me series, lets children know that they’re often surrounded by leaders who make daily impacts in their lives!



Not Like Other Bears



By Shelby Huff

What difference can one bear make? Not Like Other Bears follows one real-life grizzly bear named “399” throughout her life. Because the main highway that connects Grand Teton with Yellowstone cuts through her home range, 399 possesses a tolerance for crowds that other grizzlies do not have. This makes sightings unusually reliable for the park’s annual five million visitors—so much so, that she is the most photographed bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Due to her location and longevity, 399 has been a household name in Wyoming for more than two decades. At least twenty-two bears are descended from her, including the four cubs she birthed in 2020 at the mature age of twenty-four.

Not Like Other Bears allows children to gain insight into 399’s incredible tale, providing a rare glimpse into the extraordinary world and significant impact of one grizzly bear and her cubs through a heartwarming journey that will delight and captivate readers of all ages.




The Living Christmas Tree



By
Kristin Sponaugle

During the day, the Miller family’s Christmas tree stands tall in their living room, sparkling with lights and ornaments. Little does the family know that their Christmas tree is anything but ordinary. Each evening, the magic of Christmas brings their tree to life—much to the delight of Hannah and William Miller. Follow along as Hannah and William experience the magic of Christmas in a whole new way.




The Tree House Detectives and the Missing Crown of Thorns



By Kristy Andrews

The Tree House Detectives are on a mission to save the Easter play! Join Kristina, Kaity, and Lizel as they search for clues to find out what happened to the crown of thorns. Experience the mystery along with them as they question possible suspects. Would someone really steal something from the church? Will they find the crown in time for the Easter play? Come with them on their adventure as they try to solve their very first case: The Tree House Detectives and the Missing Crown of Thorns.




Where is Winston?



By Dr. Olivia J. Hodges

Winston is a lovable little boy who is popular and is often invited to visit with friends, attend birthday parties, and play games in his diverse neighborhood. That is, until one day, when one of his best friends bullies him and makes Winston cry. Who will Winston turn to during this time? Can Winston and his friend-turned-bully repair their friendship?

 


Nonfiction


Deserve’s Got Nothing to Do with It: Five Elements That Will Help You Survive Your Emotional Journey to Success



By Charlie Midnight

Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It takes you on a journey from Charlie Midnight’s no-nonsense childhood in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, with a mother his friends called Bella the Barracuda, through his successful music career, working with and for celebrated artists including James Brown, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker, Cher, Billy Joel, Hilary Duff, Jamey Johnson, Idina Menzel, and Christina Aguilera. Charlie writes about being in the studio with James Brown recording the song “Living in America,” and thinking, If only the guys in the old neighborhood could see me now, I would finally be cool. He shares his wonder at how Joni Mitchell serendipitously covered his song, “How Do You Stop” (a duet with Seal), and how after an unsuccessful album on Columbia Records, his career was salvaged and kick-started by the brilliant artist and record producer, Dan Hartman. Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It follows Charlie’s circuitous odyssey filled with dead ends, reboots, and perseverance, and shares the Collaboration, Relationships, Ambition, Passion, and Persistence (CRAPP) that helped him survive until he found himself at the door of success.




Lead Like a Pro: Effective Leadership Styles for Athletic Coaches



By Dr. Matthew Raidbard

Athletic coaches are asked to wear more and more hats with each passing season, and in many cases, they are not receiving the support or training necessary to help them succeed in their ever-expanding roles. Drawing on over a decade spent as a college basketball coach and original research conducted on what leadership styles and behaviors help athletic coaches be successful, Lead Like a Pro provides coaches with the resources to transform their leadership practice and reach their full potential.

Whether you are a volunteer coaching your child’s team, a part-time high school coach who’s also a teacher, or a full-time college or professional coach, this book will teach you new ways to enhance your leadership style and become a better coach for your athletes and team. All coaches should be constantly working on improving their leadership abilities, but not all coaches have the time or opportunity to attend leadership conferences, training sessions, or classes. Lead Like a Pro provides insight into different leadership techniques, and teaches coaches how to evaluate their current practices so they can develop a strong leadership style that fits their personal values and beliefs.




Young Adult Fiction


State of Grace



By Sydney Walters

Growing up in Centralia wasn’t easy for Grace, who was just four years old at the time of the coal mine eruption that nearly destroyed her hometown and took her father with it. Her days were clouded with ash and despair until her mother, Rita, fell for the warm and heroic Bill. Together, Bill and Rita had a child of their own, a boy named Sam, who quickly became the light in Grace’s eyes. The pair grew up together in a world of uncertainty, until fate decided it had other plans: Sam slipped into one of the many sinkholes in the crumbled town, which led to the still-burning hellfire below him.

As tragedy envelops her family and her sanity again, Grace fights to make it out into the real world outside of Centralia. But where will she go, and what will she do? With a college scholarship, the help of her new friends, and the opportunities of academia, Grace struggles forward, trying to find a balance between letting go of the past and honoring where she came from.

 

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5 Ideas to Sell Your Books Fast

You’re ready to sell all your books in our warehouse as fast as possible, but you’re in a marketing rut. It happens to all of us, especially when it’s been a few years since the book’s release. But don’t fret because we laid out five marketing strategies to get you back on track! 

Read more below on relaunching your book, getting your audience excited, and selling the last of your copies in no time.


A Sale!

What better way to grab someone’s attention than a sale? Through your Mascot marketing contact, you can set up a promotional discount on your Mascot listing for whatever percentage and time frame you’d like (we usually recommend anywhere between 10 and 25%)! This can be something you activate for a particular holiday or for a reason related to your book (ex. if your book is about rescue dogs, you can start a sale for National Rescue Dog Day). It could be something as simple as starting a sale for the start of fall. Either way, everyone loves a good sale. Build some excitement on your social media platforms and in your community, and get consumers ready to type in the promo code when the sale has begun! 


Amazon Ad Campaign

Purchase an ad that we’ll run for you! The Amazon-sponsored product advertising campaign is an effective digital marketing tool to generate Amazon sales and drive traffic to your listing. A Mascot marketing person would list keywords on the backend of Amazon that relates to your book’s content and themes. We try to think of the phrases that consumers are typing into the search bar. For example, if your book teaches children to accept everyone’s differences, we’ll add keywords and phrases like “children’s books promoting acceptance” or “picture books with diversity.” Once it’s activated, the ad will bid with other ads to appear on a consumer’s screen!



Media Spotlight

Try re-launching your book in the news, even if it’s been a few years! Tying your book in with hot topics in the media can be a successful game plan to getting your book out there again. Compile a list of local media outlets, or outlets that fit your book’s audience, and reach out to them with a persuasive pitch. One of our authors has been a big hit in the news. In the last year, as much of the national conversation has been swirling around children getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Mascot Author Kat Picarde has appeared on major outlets telling parents how her book The Little Ouch can help children overcome the fear of shots.

If you can find anything in your book that can connect to current events, go for it! It can be as easy as telling outlets how your book is perfect for back-to-school. 



Pitch, again!

Pitch your book again to schools, organizations, reviewers, and bookstores. Sometimes it’s about emailing the right person at the right time, and completing another round of pitching can increase your odds of a response. Like with media outlets, find a way to make your book relevant again. Why is it especially important for children or your target audience? Why is it a must-read today? Why should a bookstore shelf it? Give it another shot, and see what happens. Approach these locations directly if needed!



Wear Your Book

Don’t just sell your book; BE your book! Think about ordering t-shirts, hats, canvas bags, pins, stickers, or any kind of gear that you can wear when you’re out and about. We can even design bookmarks and postcards for you to always have on hand. People WILL stop and ask questions! This is a fun word-of-mouth marketing technique to meet new people, talk about your book, and get some sales.


And although we’ve hit five ideas already, there’s one more thing you should always make sure to do: keep up with your social media channels. Stay on the minds of your readers by posting consistently and engaging with your followers. 

If you have any tips or questions for us, ask and tell us on social media by tagging @Mascotbooks on:

Facebook   

LinkedIn   

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