Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' 50th Anniversary Pop-Up Book Giveaway


Start a new holiday family reading tradition with a delightful pop-up retelling of this beloved Christmas special. Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® is now a stunning pop-up book that is sure to wow Rudolph fans of all ages.

All of the classic characters join Rudolph for his North Pole adventure: Hermey the elf/aspiring dentist, Yukon Cornelius, and the doe-eyed Clarice. The impressive large-scale pop-ups re-create classic scenes using actual movie stills. Fly along with Rudolph, join in the reindeer games, flee from the Abominable Snow Monster, visit the Island of Misfit Toys, and save Christmas one foggy night. Gather the kiddos, grab a snuggly blanket and be touched by the timeless story of acceptance and discover the true meaning of the holiday spirit.

When I was a kid, Christmas never felt like Christmas until the holiday special aired on TV. It is still like that today. We also loved singing the song every holiday season, and reading the story. Even young readers can get into this story, and pop-ups are perennial favorites.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Special Edition Pop-Up Book can be purchased here.

Taking Time for Mommy is giving away 2 copies! Open to US residents only. Fill out the form below to enter.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Win a three-month subscription to Netflix!

VeggieTales In the House Logo

This review and giveaway comes from my friend at Taking Time for Mommy:

I discovered VeggieTales in my early twenties. I didn't have any children then but I loved the show. When my now ten year old was born she loved the show too. We have all of the DVDs! When we heard that VeggieTales was back as a Netflix original series we couldn't wait to watch it. One of my friends posted on facebook that we saw it on Netflix but was scared to watch the remake but after watching it I assured her it was as awesome as it was before.

It features all-new and exciting adventures for your favorite VeggieTales characters, while remaining true to the values-driven storytelling that has long made VeggieTales a beloved part of childhood. In each 22-minute episode of VeggieTales in the House, two separate 11-minute stories impart important life lessons, designed to please both young viewers and longtime fans of the VeggieTales brand. Every episode also includes brand-new songs and, of course, the famous closing phrase that has been at the heart of VeggieTales from the beginning: “God made you special, and He loves you very much.”

The first episode starts off with Larry wanting a puppy and even though he could get a puppy for free it shows how much responsibility and money is involved. A FANTASTIC lesson for kids and some parents too. It remained true to the VeggieTales I love with catchy songs and it is short enough for your little ones with short attention spans.

We love these shows! You can watch too if you have Netflix. Don't have it? Well we are giving away a 3 month subscription open to Taking Time for Mommy fans (US/ CAN) Ends 12/29

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Monday, December 8, 2014

'That's Nothing!' by Clint Morey


Three friends learn a lesson about friendship.


Clint Morey is a best selling author of novels, short stories and screenplays but one of his favorite modes of storytelling is the picture book.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

'Why Do We Call It Christmas?' DVD Giveaway


whydowecallit Christmas
Cutting down trees? Hanging stockings? Santa Claus? What do any of these have to do with Jesus' birthday? More than you'd think! ?Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer along with intrepid newsman Buck Denver and all his friends on an amazing journey into the world's most popular holiday! Sure, you know the Christmas story. But do you know the story of Christmas? Don't miss the whimsical, educational, Christmical party to end all Christmas parties as Buck Denver Asks … Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Contains the following topics:
-Where do we get the word Christmas?
-When was Jesus born?
-What do Christmas trees have to do with Jesus?
-Who is St. Nicholas?
-What is Hanukkah?
-Who is Emmanuel?
-Luke 2 Story

Official Website: Click here!

Check out the Review on Taking Time for Mommy!


Follow What's in the Bible!


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” Must be 18+ US resident

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

'A Month of Bedtime Stories' by Neil Roy McFarlane


A cow that eats bananas and lives in the trees! Bees that pilot submarines through uncharted puddles! An elevator that descends to the centre of the Earth! Cowardly dinosaurs! Alien Dogs! Vertiginous squirrels! Time-traveling slugs! Disco-dancing horses!

They’re all here in this collection of weird and wonderful bedtime stories, a month’s worth of fantastic tales to guarantee any child thirty-one dream-filled nights.

Read an excerpt:
From “The Submarine Full of Bees” 
You went up to the hole and you put in your hand, feeling around for the honey. 
“I say!” said a voice. “You there. The human child with the funny nose. What are you up to?” 
You looked up and there, hovering right in front of your funny nose, was the Queen Bee, complete with a crown and sceptre. 
“Are you trying to steal my honey, what?” she asked in a posh voice. 
“Oh no, not at all,” you spluttered, quickly taking your hand out of the hole. 
“I’m the Queen, don’t cha know, so please address me as ‘Your Highness’.” 
“Sorry, Your Highness. I wasn’t trying to steal your honey at all.” 
“So, what were you doing with your hand up my hive hole?” asked the Queen suspiciously. 
“Oh. That … I was, erm, I was just, erm …” But you didn’t know what to say. 
“Never mind,” said the Queen. “I’ve got a job for you, don’t cha know. Can you steer a submarine?”

Read rave reviews!
"Written with a great love of vocabulary, with a musical style [...] this book is not a month of bedtime stories, but a lifetime of them." - Carole P. Roman, Kirkus Best of 2012 Award-winning Author 
"Neil Roy McFarlane likely has as fine a sense of humor as anyone writing today… Looney, wacky, imaginative and borderline crazy tales that McFarlane pens with absolute abandon." - Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Amazon Top 100 Reviewer / Vine Voice 
"I keep trying to get Mama to read more than one at night time - there are enough for a whole month but I don't want to take that long to read them all!" - Raif (Age 5) San Francisco Book Review
Buy links

About the author:

Neil Roy McFarlane lives and works in Devon, UK. He knew he wanted to be a writer at the age of eight and after being many other things in the intervening years (an EFL teacher, a care assistant, an assistant editor, a film subtitler, a garbage collector, a postman…) he has now returned to his original dream. He writes in a variety of genres, including radio drama, screenplays, children's and adult fiction. He recently returned to university as a mature student to gain an MA in English.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Win the 'Let's Learn Colors' DVD from Nickelodeon


This DVD giveaway is sponsored by Taking Time For Mommy. Andi's Kids Books is not responsible for any problems nor delivery of prizes.

LetslearncolorsCalling all colors! From painting and drawing to mixing colors, kids will discover the art of color identification with these six Nick Jr. play dates! They'll jump into coloring books with Dora and the Wonder Pets, they'll learn color mixing with the Bubble Guppies and Blue, and they'll search for colorful shape pieces with Team Umizoomi!

This DVD contains six Color Themed episodes (really five full episodes) from different shows on Nick Jr. Amazon doesn't always do a good job on their DVD episode listings so here are the episodes that are included on this DVD:

1. Bubble Guppies - The Crayon Prix! (full episode)
2. Dora the Explorer - Quack! Quack! (full episode)
3. Team Umizoomi - Kite Festival (full episode)
4. Blue's Clues - Colors Everywhere! (full episode)
5. The Wonder Pets! - Save the Moose in the Caboose! (11 minute episode)
6. The Wonder Pets! - Save the Flamingo! (11 minute episode)

Enter to win a copy for you little one! Must be 18+ with a US shipping address. Fill out the form to enter.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FREE 11/3-11/7 'Griff's Goats' by Jenny Griffin


Come on a delightful journey to Griff's farm, and discover the trials and tribulations Griff endures while caring for her energetic flock of delinquent goats. Written in rhyming verse with pop-up text for easy reading and more interactivity -- simply double-tap the text in the pictures for extended popup text to gain an insight from the goat’s perspective -- this fun romp on the farm will entertain readers of all ages; the vivid full-color illustrations will appeal to young readers too.

Author Bio:

Jenny Griffin lives in a rural coastal village with her menagerie of rescued animals, which over the years have included: dogs, cats, horses, goats, pot-belly pigs, parrots, rabbits and even some rats. She has a diploma in Nature Conservation, a BSc Honors degree in Zoology (Marine Biology) and a Certificate in Freelance Journalism, and has worked as a field biologist, environmental educator and freelance writer. Jenny has also run her own pet shop and dog grooming service, and to fund the rescued animals in her care, she operated a mobile petting zoo offering hands-on educational visits to schools for an interactive experience with farm and domestic animals, and an educational entertainment alternative for children's parties and events. Jenny is now a full-time freelance writer and environmental communication consultant; but her passion lies in writing engaging children's books that focus on environmental education and animal welfare issues.

Find her on Facebook:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

'Mary-Ellen O'Keefe's Word-Speaking Diet' by Tom Neely


"Mary-Ellen O'Keefe's Word-Speaking Diet" is the story of a normally talkative little girls struggle to overcome her shyness at school. At home she is chatty, but at school, she goes on an unusual "Word-Speaking Diet"! 

This 36-page Rhyming Picture book will delight parents and children alike!

Take a peek inside:

Buy links

The story is based on my own daughter's preschool experience. I wrote the story when she was 5 and it helped her come out of her shell, let the world hear her voice, and finally end her "Word-Speaking Diet"!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

'My God Is Awesome!' by Kyla and Monique McKenzie


Kyla McKenzie, age 5, is the coauthor along with her mother, Monique McKenzie, of the newly released children's picture book, My God is Awesome! The great work illustrates the wondrous creations of God through the eyes of five-year-old Kyla. Through breathtaking watercolor hand-paintings by world-renowned illustrator Dr. Jan Spivey Gilchrist and emotive text authored by the mother-daughter team, children and adults are reminded that God’s awesomeness should be appreciated and respected in life’s most simple pleasures.

This work is important because:
  • The book was showcased at the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas, NV this past June.
  • Kyla is one of the youngest published authors on record.
  • The book is inspirational for children and adults.
  • We were intentional in selecting children of all nationalities and backgrounds as models.
  • The artwork by Hall-of-Famer Jan Spivey Gilchrist is awesome!

About Kyla McKenzie - Author

Kyla McKenzie, a five-year-old first time author, is on a mission to spread the word about the awesomeness of God. Toward this end, the pre-kindergartener convinced her mom that authoring a children’s picture book would be the best way to reach this goal. Despite her youth, Kyla was actively involved in every aspect of the creation and production of this wonderful work. Expect more books from this spirited writer.

About Monique McKenzie - Author

Monique McKenzie is an award-winning journalist, who has written and contributed to numerous nonfiction works, including a long list of articles for Black Enterprise, Essence, Heart & Soul, School Library Journal, The Network Journal, Uptown Professional and a host of other publications. Though most known for her health book, It’s a Sistah Thing: A Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Fibroids for Black Women, being a supportive mom to her three beautiful children is her greatest joy. Kyla’s brothers Tyler (age 10) and Myles (age 8) are their little sister’s biggest supporters. Thus, My God is Awesome! is Monique’s most rewarding project yet!

Visit their website:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

'Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis' by Shirin Zarqa-Lederman


Zavis DaMavis is a happy young boy and a proud resident of a whimsical town called Tweeville. He’s off to school one morning when his mom—a very wise woman—gives him an important reminder. But what does it mean to treat others the way you’d like to be treated?

While Zavis ponders his mother’s advice as he walks to school, he’s distracted by an elderly man who needs a hand getting across the street. When he’s done helping, he finds that he’s forgotten what she said. Zavis must remember his mother’s words if he’s ever going to understand what they mean. But how can he think when he’s so busy being kind to his friends?

 Buy links

Author Bio:

Shirin Zarqa-Lederman is a wife and mother of five children. Shirin lives in New Jersey with her family, where she was born and raised. She is a Board Certified Professional Counselor and is licensed in NJ. Her 17-year counseling career has focused solely on children and adolescents and their families.

Most recently Shirin’s practice has transformed into “mobile” therapy, where she counsels in a clients’ home rather than the traditional counselor office. This allows her to experience a child in his/her element-a much more natural setting. Her attention has been children and adolescents who have difficulty socializing with their peers, developing and maintaining focus on daily tasks, managing behavior within a school setting, as well as a familial setting.

She utilizes experiential therapies, which is a process whereby-as she puts it- “if you can experience it you can feel it, and if you can feel it you can choose whether or not to recreate it.” When asked about her inspiration for this book, she stated, “This book series is my attempt to ‘recreate’ the practice of that infamous ‘golden rule.’"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

'Bobby the Bobolink Helps to Rescue His Proud Friend' by Charissa Tinsley

Book blurb: 

Children's books : "Bobby the Bobolink Helps To Rescue His Proud Friend",( Illustrated Picture Book for ages 3-10.) Teaches children the power of kindness and friendship. (Great for Beginner readers) (Bedtime story) The first book in the “Shared Values Collection.”

Read an excerpt:
The day of the pageant was filled with excitement. Ducks waddled about in panicked exhilaration about the possibility of winning the crown of admiration from everyone else. At the time of the contest, Bobby Bobolink was joined by a few of his dinner guests from the night before to have a tea party. He and these guests scrutinized the pageant from a faraway peak as they sipped their tea and ate their dainty little cookies. Before the pageant began, the bobolinks and ducks intermingled and socialized as friends. However, all the pompous group of ducks wanted to do was jealously to belittle the contestants.

Author Bio: 

Marketing expert and travel consultant, Charissa Tinsley, has always been an avid reader. Deciding to embark on a new journey, writing seemed to be the perfect start. “Bobby the Bobolink Helps To Rescue His Proud Friend” is the first book in the “Shared Values Collection.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

'Sana, Sana' por Indi Avila


Words are magic. With them you can communicate, create closeness, express affection, anger, sadness ...even heal. By reading to our children, we introduce them to the magic and power of words.

In "Sana, Sana", Indi Avila recalls the old formula used in every corner of the Spanish-speaking world to cure children's boo-boos. There are endless variations of the rhyme, but only the true, traditional one can provide a cure.

With endearing illustrations by Kristine March, parents will evoke their own childhood memories while creating new memories with their children.

Visit the website:

About the author:

Indi Avila grew up in a Spanish speaking home in Miami, FL. Her Cuban family wished fervently that she be brought up knowing the language and traditions of their homeland. She graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a BA in French. She then earned a Masters in Education at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Harvard. Since 1998 Indi has taught languages to children and adults. She lives in Southern California with her daughter, whose boo-boos she has made all better by using the traditional "sana, sana colita de rana" rhyme. Indi's enthusiasm, creativity and love for languages inspire her to share language and culture through teaching and storytelling.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

'Made By Raffi' by Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain


Inspired by true-life incident, my children's book Made By Raffi is newly released this summer. It's the story of a little boy who doesn't care for sports but likes to knit and sew -- at first he is teased for his hobby, but in the end he becomes a hero to his class. The book is being published in five languages and distributed in eight countries so far by UK publishers Frances Lincoln under their diversity imprint, Janetta Otter-Barry Books. Award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain is the illustrator.

I wrote the book to support young boys and girls who are perceived as "different" because of their appearance or hobbies. It is a funny colorful book with a serious message and will interest those who care about promoting diversity and embracing our differences, as well as all children seeking to fit in.

Buy links

About the author:

Craig Pomranz is an internationally known singer/song-stylist, actor... and now author! Made By Raffi is his first children’s book with illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain. Craig received New York’s MAC Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2012, and songwriters Amanda McBroom (composer of “The Rose,” Bette Midler’s Golden Globe award winning song) and Michele Brourman (The Land Before Time) have written a song, specifically for the book called "Different." Originally from St. Louis, Craig lives in New York City and travels the world performing in nightclubs and theatres. His popular CDs “More Than A Seasonal Thing” and “My Heart Don’t Skip A Beat” can be heard on radio stations around the world and are available on iTunes and his website


Twitter: @MadeByRaffi

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FREE 8/14-8/16 'Deeter the Dog Who Didn't Listen' by Bobby Hutchinson


A Fun Story for Kids, A Great Children's Bedtime Story And Perfect For Young Readers.

What can you do with a dog who doesn't listen? Deeter's family are at their wit's end. He doesn't mean to get into mischief, but he does--big time!! He's a funny, sweet, smart dog--so why doesn't he pay attention?

Read Deeter with your kid's and grandkids. Laugh out loud at his antics. Enjoy the colorful illustrations.


Deeter, The Dog Who Didn’t Listen is Bobby’s first (but not last) kid’s book. 

It was written with the input of her grandkids who’s beloved dog, Deeter, had recently died. 

Bobby and her grandkids live in a little coal-mining town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. They all love walking, telling stories, and trying to train their two pet rabbits to use a litter box.
Bobby is a writer of romance and memoir. Her books are available on Amazon, Kobo, I Tunes, etc. 

Her latest romance is Patient Care.

She loves to hear from readers, and she’s ecstatic when they leave reviews.

Contact her at

Come and visit. Stay awhile!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review of 'Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots' by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro

Book description:

Circles can be fat or thin / There can be lot--or one / And round things can be big or small / And learning can be fun.

This innovative new picture book encourages children, through poetry and photographs, to explore the idea of what is round--from the spots on a ladybug's back to a ring on a finger or a wheel on a bike. Using words such as "dot," "spot," "loop," "hoop," and "ring," it shows that round things aren't all alike, but can be anything!

A perfect companion to Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe, the simple text and vibrant design of Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots encourage children to look for and identify similarly shaped objects in their own environments.


**My thoughts**

The rhyming prose is catchy and will make children want to listen. I love the real photographs that are used, to help children better connect the concept of round items to the world around them. They connect objects that are different, which can help with later analytical thinking, such as rings on a hand versus on a cat, or wheels on a car versus lights on a stoplight. What makes me crazy is the title is misdirecting. When you look at the title, you are expecting to read a book about ladybugs, not looking at shapes that are round. That doesn't mean that kids aren't going to still understand the concepts being taught within the title. It can still be a cute addition to a children's library.

Available in paperback 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 2, 2014

'Abigail Learns to Swim' by Lynda Raymond

Abigail Learns to Swim
Written by Lynda Raymond
Illustrated by Elly Color


Abigail is afraid to swim! She imagines monsters waiting for her in the pool. Even her best friend, Elmer, can’t convince her to go swimming. Find out how Abigail overcomes her fear in Abigail Learns to Swim. A cozy read and the perfect chance to talk to your child about trying new things and overcoming fear! FREE Bonus Video-Book Included!


Abigail shaded her eyes and wiped five drips of sweat from her forehead.

“It’s hot enough to fry bacon on the sidewalk,” said her friend Elmer.

Abigail plopped down beside him in the shade of a huge oak tree. In the sizzling air, the leaves on the tree drooped like wilted balloons.

“Let’s go swimming!” said Elmer. “Come on! I have a pool in my backyard.”

Worry wiggled its way through Abigail’s tummy. “Go without me,” she said.

“But everything is more fun when you bring a friend,” said Elmer.

Abigail stood and brushed away the dirt sticking to her sweaty legs. “Then you’ll have to bring a different friend. I’m not going.”

She marched off toward her house. Elmer ran after her. “But Abigail, give me two good reasons why you won’t go swimming.”

Abigail was too embarrassed to admit she was afraid of the water. So she stuck her nose high in the air. “I don’t even have to give one good reason,” she said. “It’s my private beeswax.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Lynda Raymond is a multi-published author and an educator who adores young children, reading, and learning. She loves spending time writing and enjoying her grandchildren. She also loves to travel and explore other cultures.

Children are Lynda's passion. Her goal is to entertain and build the love of reading in your children while sharing valuable life lessons.


Purchase Abigail Learns to Swim:

Visit Lynda at

Write her at:

Visit her on Facebook:

Free Report: Value of Reading to Children:

Friday, May 30, 2014

'That's Nothing!' by Clint Morey Kindle Countdown Sale!


Three friends learn that always trying to top each other's stories isn't the best way to build a friendship.


Clint Morey is a bestselling novelist but he was a teacher for twenty-five years and loves telling stories to children.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

'Amazing Dolphin Pictures' by Cuddles


In this book you'll discover an exciting adventure as you browse through the 100 awesome photos of dolphins. After a brief informational introduction you will be in awe with these crisp and clear images. Although most of the mammals in the pictures are bottlenose dolphins, there are a few cool photos of wild orcas. This is the book that provides the high quality and high quantity of dolphin photos. Whether swimming underwater in groups or just one leaping out of the water, be prepared to be amazed!

AMAZING DOLPHIN PICTURES is available in both paperback and ebook formats. A Kindle version may be fun to browse on occasion, but as always, a paperback copy is recommended for young children to have in their own libraries. This allows them to get lost in the pages on a regular basis! It has hundreds of photos of dolphins!

Visit the Cuddles website for more pictures, to sign up for a newsletter, and to check out other books by this creator!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meet Jimmy Vee, author of 'Little Jimmy Says, "Same Is Lame!"'

What was the inspiration behind this book?
The inspiration for this book is the message itself. I came up with the “Same Is Lame” concept several years ago and have been teaching it to business owners and entrepreneurs. I would teach the concept as it relates to their advertising, marketing, image, approach and business culture. If you look up lame in the dictionary it means, “pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness.” It’s a pretty striking definition. The phrase and concept of Same Is Lame has been very sticky and people really seem to resonate with it. So much so, that we trademarked the phrase. When I thought about writing a kids book, I figured Same Is lame would be the perfect message to introduce to kids to help them get pointed in the right direction early. It has applied to me and I have used it nearly all my life, well before I discovered the words to sum up my philosophy.
What message are you trying to send? Why is this so important for children?
The outermost layer of the message is self-acceptance. Simply, being comfortable with who you are and understanding that it’s OK to be different. At a deeper level, I’m trying to get people to realize the power that lies in fully embracing the traits that make them different and giving them the confidence to leverage them, capitalize on them and exploit them.

SIDE NOTE: I love the word “exploit.” Most people think of it as a negative word but it’s really not. The definition is quite wonderful and very fitting in this case.
:to use (someone or something) in a way that helps you unfairly

:to make productive use of

:to get value or use from (something)
Why is humor so important when dealing with children?
I believe humor is important when dealing with any one and every one. I also believe that humor is very hard. It takes innate talent or hard work to be truly funny and to master the use of humor. Humor works to break down walls, it brings people together and relieves tension in a group. Humor can be extremely effective at getting people’s attention. Grabbing and holding people’s attention is the first (and most critical) step in the communication and learning processes.

For me personally, I love to make people laugh. I love to hear people laugh and I love to watch people laugh. Especially kids because they laugh so freely, without restrictions or reservation.
What can parents, educators, and other caregivers do to empower children?
Encouraging kids to read is the number one thing. I believe that leaders are readers. Also, allowing children to make small decisions and deal with the ramifications of their choices can help empower children. This accountability builds confidence and self-esteem and prepares kids to make bigger decisions later in life. It also teaches personal responsibility.
How closely did you work with the illustrator?
Mike and I worked very closely. I actually wanted to find an illustrator I could work collaboratively with. Not because I’m a control freak. In fact, when it comes to artists, I’m the exact opposite. I like working with experienced and talented artists of all types. I love to bounce ideas, give a general direction and allow them to do what they do. I love watching them bring to life my ideas by adding their creative spark and life. Mike and I did that on this project. I gave my initial direction and then let him go. When he was ready, he showed me pencil sketches page by page and I tried to only give minor tweaks when necessary. Occasionally, Mike would make a suggestion to completely change my art concept. I really liked that. I love when an artist puts himself/herself so deeply into the work that they don’t just do what’s asked. A collaboration is tug-of-war on all sides of the creative box. Each artist pushing the other to move beyond their walls and what they have done in the past.
This is your first published children's book. Do you have more in the works?
My original plan was just to do this project. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book and thought Same Is Lame would be a good project with lots of opportunity to do good and make a positive impact on people. Writing the book was on my list of goals for 2013 and one day I just woke up with the first few lines of the book. By the end of the day I had a rough draft. Now, I’m not sure. I think I’ve been bitten. I have lots of ideas and it’s just really fun.
On what other projects are you currently working?
Tons. I am a partner in an advertising agency. It’s one of the top three agencies in Central Florida. We have over 40 employees so I’m always working on some new and creative projects. I also do a lot of writing. Sometimes advertising copywriting, sometimes content writing and sometimes I’m working on book projects.
Please tell us about your other publications.
I have co-authored a marketing book titled Gravitational Marketing: The Science Of Attracting Customers published by John Wiley & Sons in 2008. We’ve also self-published several niche-industry trade books and I’m the co-author on a business parable book which will hopefully be released through a major publisher by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

I have a bunch of kids book ideas in my journal. I’m not sure which one I want to work on next. I like that this book has a message and a purpose but I kinda want to write a book that’s just fun. No real purpose but to make kids and parents laugh when they read it. To just enjoy the ride. Super silly and outrageously over the top. That’s my personality and I’d like to write a book like that.
We love ventriloquists! Please tell us about that! Do you have any videos?
I have loved puppets my whole life. When I was in elementary school two events changed my world. I grew up in a small town in Florida called Beverly Hills. No, not the one with the famous zip code. We didn’t get a lot of big events at the school but one year we had a ventriloquist come to the school and another year we had a magician. Both of those shows lit a fire inside of me that still burns today. I never did anything serious with either ventriloquism or magic when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I was in college that I got serious and it was another random chance of fate that pulled me in. I was in college full time and I had a job at a retail eyeglass chain.

One day I was walking through the mall and saw a guy selling marionette puppets out of a kiosk. Completely by coincidence, I had been doing research on marionette puppets and was building them in my apartment. I struck up a conversation with the shopkeeper and told him about my love for puppets and the marionettes I had been making. He encouraged me to bring them down and let him take a look. So, a day or so later, I brought down my string-puppet creations. He liked my puppets and asked if I would like to put them on in his kiosk and sell them on consignment. I instantly agreed. So with my puppet hanging in all its glory, I kept coming back to check in and over time I made friends with the man at the kiosk.

A couple weeks had past, I kept coming by and even starting working at the kiosk as a puppet demonstrator. They sold those wrap around puppets that has a stick on the hand. I would perform the puppet as people walked by and get them to stop. I would put the puppet around their body and show them how to manipulate it. It was lots of fun. One day while working the kiosk, some kids came around and my new friend pulled out a small ventriloquist puppet and starting performing for the kids. I was blown away. I loved it and my fire for talking without moving my lips was reignited.

I ask him if he could teach me how to do ventriloquism. He told me it wasn’t that difficult and suggested I get a book and learn from it. This was before Amazon, so I went to the Barnes And Noble store and they didn’t have any books on the shelve about ventriloquism but they did have ONE in the system they could order. I order the book and devoured it when it came in.

I practiced ventriloquism for a month straight every time I got in my car. I would sing songs on the radio without moving my lips. Soon I had it down. Then I bought my own puppet and starting to make a little show. It was at this point that I figured I needed to add a little something else to the show and sought to add a little magic… literally.

I decided to look for other ventriloquists in the area and discovered that there used to be an active ventriloquist club in Central Florida. It was not defunct but I found an old list of the members and started to call them. I restarted the club and met a bunch of new friends.

One of the people I met was a guy named Mike Palma who was not only a ventriloquist but also a magician. His father had even owned a magic shop at one time. Through Mike, I got back into magic and then added that to my show. Mike and I are still very close friends.

Once I had a little show, I started performing in people’s garages for $50 bucks. I got better, the show got better and I started doing lots of birthday parties, events and all kinds of shows. I also started charging a lot more too. I still perform today. I have since taken Imporv comedy classes and have done standup comedy with my dummy at the Improv comedy club.
How does your family support you and your work?
I am married. My wife is very supportive. She is very funny and creative too. She is a cake designer and a stay-at-home mom. We have two kids Autumn (8) and Vincent (2). My daughter told me that all I do is make stuff up all day. Which I guess is fairly accurate. The kids love the book and we have a lot of fun. Lots of laughs in my house. Everyone is trying to be funny all the time.
Give us a nutshell look at your typical day.
My day is fairly structured. I get up at 6:30 AM and go to the gym. I get home clean up, eat breakfast and drive my daughter to school. School is 5 minutes from the house in the direction of my office (this is by design). I hate wasting time and waiting around. Although I have a short commute, I always listen to audio books on the drive. Even with a short drive I cut through a lot of books. I try to read over 40 books a year. At the office, I have a very specific schedule. We block all of our time, group like tasks for efficiency and work strictly by appointment. I try to leave the office around 4PM. When I get home, I usually spend time with the kids, work on writing or practicing my magic or ventriloquism routines. Around six, my wife feeds the kids and we make dinner and then we read with the kids and put them to bed. After the kids are down for the night, my wife and I will either read or I’ll work on the computer writing or doing some other project. We also like to watch the tennis. I have to have a project going on or I go crazy. Occasionally, my wife and I will watch a bit of TV. Mostly creative shows like FaceOff on SyFy. Right now, I really like Jim Henson’s CreatureShop Challenge. We don’t usually watch a lot of TV though.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I really am Five Feet Tall. I wanted to be a special effects designer for movies and make puppets and animatronics.
Thank you so much for your time!

All proceeds from the book go to the Same Is Lame Foundation for children

About the author:

Jimmy Vee is known around the world as the "Five Foot High Marketing Guy." He has been creative since any one in his family can remember.

Today he spends his days making things up and joking around (that's how his kids and clients describe it).

Jimmy got his creative start acting with action figures, building high tech gadgets out of trash, tooting made-up tunes on his trumpet and practicing the ancient arts of magic and ventriloquism.

In real life, Jimmy is the co-owner of an advertising agency and has co-authored numerous books on sales and marketing, including the bestseller Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers.

His agency has received numerous accolades and is recognized by INC. Magazine as one of fastest-growing private companies in America. His marketing campaigns have been heard all over the US and Canada and have been featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Jimmy has dedicating his life to helping people discover what makes them unique and showing them how to capitalize on it.

He is also children's entertainer and regarded by his peers as one of the leading professional ventriloquists and kid show entertainers performing today.

Jimmy lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Christy, and their two children, Autumn and Vincent and a horde of ventriloquist dummies.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Review of 'Bee Helpful' by J.W. Edwards III


Bee_Helpful_webFor Sunny Bee, being truly helpful means going anywhere and everywhere. When his beautiful sunflower friend Myah becomes very ill, Sunny travels to the “far side of the hills” seeking help. Faced with a series of challenges including a raging storm, large spiders, or even the intimidating Grandfather Oak, Sunny’s dedication never wavers! (ages 4 - 8)




Companion coloring book:

**My thoughts**
Bee Helpful is a sweet story about a bee who will do anything for his best friend the sunflower. She is getting dehydrated in the hot sun and really needs water. Along his journey, he meets several other animals, some of whom try to be helpful and others who admonish him for his actions. This is not unlike how people act about us and our friends in real life.

It has a strong lesson about friendship and about persevering to do what is right. The characters are adorable, sort of a throwback to classic ones, such as in the Uncle Wiggly series. I really liked the illustrations and am glad that this book is available in hard copy as well as Kindle. It is the kind of book that children will want to page through, as well as hearing read out loud. (The rhyming speech of the characters is fun to read out loud!)

About the author:

DSC_0107J.W. Edwards III was born in St. Louis, Missouri and spent the majority of his childhood there. Eventually he left St. Louis for engineering school and job opportunities. He has traveled across most the U.S. in search of a place to call home. He currently resides in northern California with his wife and three boys and works full-time as a software engineer while writing stories for his youngest son in his spare time.

J.W. Edwards is busy these days working on a variety of writing projects which includes the Sunny Bee Book Series. Book number three, Bee Helpful, was the first one to be published. Books 1, 2, and 4 will follow soon in 2014. Learn more about this series at

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