Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day! 'The Magic Poof' by Stephen Hodges

Welcome to Multicultural Children's Book Day, hosted by and Our selection is the picture book The Magic Poof by Stephen Hodges.


Seven year old Ange-Marie has always felt different. Who wouldn't when your best friend is literally attached to you? The Poof is a great ball of curly hair that sits directly on top of Ange-Marie's head. His magical and playful nature always seems to produce mischief and adventure. In book one of The Magic Poof series, Ange-Marie must decide what to wear for school picture day. But The Poof also wants to look good for picture day! How does Ange-Marie look her best and keep her enchanted and hairy friend a secret? In the end, both The Poof and Ange-Marie find that compromise is the key in any friendship.

**My thoughts**
This book is adorable! I have known many a child like Ange-Marie, who have that spunky little poof on top of their heads. Sometimes those poofs definitely have just as much personality as the best friend to which they are attached!

The timing of this book was also perfect for sharing with the little ones in my classroom, as we were also about to embark upon Picture Day. They got a kick out of the poof's antics and could relate to the crazy hair!

This book shows kids that they can be proud of who they are, no matter what they look like on the outside. You are your own best friend! Treat yourself like one!

About the author:

Stephen Hodges began his creative career in second grade by recording epic stories with his best friend. His love of storytelling and theater carried him through Arizona State University and into the film industry. One day, while working to help other industry creative types achieve their dreams, Stephen played with his wife's big poof of curly hair at the breakfast table before she'd had her tea. After enough time spent stretching her hair into shapes and giving it a funny voice, he came up with The Magic Poof. Upon vetting his idea with African-American and educational scholars, he set his own dream in motion. Stephen currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their star-in-the making Havanese dog, Buttercup. He is hard at work on the next Magic Poof book and animated series, as well as several other television projects.

Follow Stephen Hodges
Website \ Twitter \ Facebook

~~Order a signed copy for 25% off the cover price when you order directly from Stephen's website!~~

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature


Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. Find out more about Mia here and Valarie here.

Our main sponsors for this event is Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

Other links of interest:

Susan Fayad: Author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

'Insect & Bugs' by Liberty Dendron

About Insects & Bugs 

Alphabets And Other Amazing Types capture an amazing array of insects in their totally unique and captivating style. The alphabets were comprised of letters, these incredible insects are ingeniously engineered out of numerals. Each entry includes fascinating numeric facts about its subject: You will love the concept and look of the book. Bugs are comprised of numbers -- the design and playfulness of the book is its strength. It has huge visual appeal and fun and clever flaps to lift. The text is filled with humor and with fascinating information.

About the author:

Lafayette is….Liberty Dendron. He was born in Norfolk Virginia. Attended Nofolk State College, he graduated from Adelphi Business School. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Glendale University. He lives in Dendron Virginia.

Publisher info:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

'A Coconut in the Hudson' by Scott Hagen

An adventure on the river that leads to discovery and imagination as a family travels the Hudson River near New York City.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

'I'm going to BIG school: An interactive educational rhyme and activity book for preschoolers' by Nicole Eshun


I'm going to big school is an all in one phonics activity book. Perfect for a circle time or a bed time read with a young child. This uplifting book gives helpful tips to the reader on how to successfully engage and entertain young listeners.

Buy links:

Author bio

Nicole Eshun, born in 1986 grew up in London, England. She is a mother and the older sister of three sisters and two brothers, her mother is a teacher. She has a BA (Hons) Degree in Media Culture and Communication studies a Postgraduate Degree in Early Years Practice, (level 6 in childcare) and she has also studied Psychology and Film studies. Nicole has had a variety of jobs in childcare, and runs a babysitting agency; Interactive Babysitting Agency. She loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her words turned into books. Other favourite things include watching surreal movies, spending time with the family and developing mobile apps. Nicole enjoys writing books about events that children, parents and childcare workers, can relate to. Her books include the following:

I'm going to big school (US/UK)
Autism...I'm going to make a new friend (US/UK)
I'm not going to sleep! (US/UK)
I'm going to the dentist (US/UK)

Follow her on Twitter: @NicoleEshun

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

'Mushy Fishy Soupy' by Miley Smiley #FREE 1/8-1/12

This fun children's picture book is about a teaspoon named Hilda who became bored of tasting only tea. So, Hilda decided to taste all the food in the kitchen.

Read this fun and entertaining bedtime story now!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meet Mark Binder, creator of 'Cinderella Spinderella'

What was the inspiration behind this book?
I was performing stories one summer in Boston for the ReadBoston literacy program. There was a hugely diverse mix of kids of all ages and colors. That same summer I was in Newport, RI performing for Shake-A-Leg (now called SailToPrevail) at their camp for young people with severe disabilities. I wanted to create a story that clicked with both groups.
What message do you hope readers will take away from it?
The message of the book is to be powerful and comfortable in your own skin, to be your own person. I hope all the readers will find themselves in the pages – and have fun doing it!
How closely did you work with your illustrator in creating this book?
Incredibly closely. It was lovely. Steve Mardo was completely amazing. This was the first big illustration project that either of us worked on, so we fumbled around a lot. He made a huge number of sketches and transformed them into amazing illustrations. There are more than 300 illustrations (including the various Cinderellas and Princes) in the book, but I know that he made many many more.
You have technology in the book that allows the reader to change the ethnic identity of the character. What prompted you to include this?
When I perform the story, I never describe what Cinderella looked like. I want the listener to imagine. Is she black? White? Asian? Hispanic? From the Indian Subcontinent? Because I share my stories with so many different people, I wanted the reader to be able to see herself or himself in the book.

Making Cinderella Spinderella an ebook is a natural way to allow readers to choose – and make it affordable.
Will this ever be available in hard copy, with an option to purchase the reader's chosen character?
I hope so. We’re working on this now. The challenge is in making it affordable to buy and produce. Because we have five princes and five Cinderella’s, there are 25 variations.
Tell us about winning the Moonbeam Award for Best Multicultural eBook.
Awards are weird and strange. I’m glad we were picked, but I’m not totally comfortable calling it a “Multicultural” ebook. While the characters pictured in each season changes, her house doesn’t. Her language doesn’t. Her clothes don’t.

I mention this because I know that some people will go back and pick a new Cinderella and try to find what’s different. I don’t want them to be disappointed. The story shouldn’t change just because Cinderella looks different, should it?

As the Fairy Godmother says, “It doesn’t matter what you look like. What matters is who you are.”

I like to think that’s true – and if it's not, it’s a goal worth working toward.

Oh, and we just found out that we’ve won a QED (Quality, Excellence Design) award from Digital Book World, and are a finalist for a Digital Book Award!
You write stories for all ages. Please tell us about some of your written body.
Oh my!

I love to write and tell stories. I used to joke that I specialize in diversity. (Insert rimshot here.)

For young people many of my stories sound familiar – they’re variations on traditional stories or original stories that seem timeless.

For older kids, I invent tall tales and tell fabulous lies about my childhood. I don’t play down my writing to anyone, so the goal is that both adults and kids can read and enjoy my collection of “Autobiographical Lies” called “It Ate My Sister.”

I’ve also written a series of books that I call, “Life in Chelm” which are set in a village of fools. So far there are two story collections and a novel called, “The Brothers Schlemiel” in this series.
On what other projects are you currently working?
Right now, I’m working on a short novel for my daughter, who is in Middle School, and a novella for adults. I’m also collecting a sequel to “It Ate My Sister” called “Growing Up Short.”
What drives you as a writer?
I love to make up stories. An idea pops into my mind and I shape it. Then I keep writing until it’s done. That’s when the hard work begins – trying to connect the story with an audience of readers. Tell your friends!
When not storytelling, what can you be found doing?
When I’m not writing, I’m storytelling. When I’m not storytelling I’m writing.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I bake bread and pizza. I learned how to throw a pizza at the World Pizza Expo in Las Vegas when I was a writer for Pizza Today Magazine
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Cinderella Spinderella has been a real labor of love. I like to joke that we hand-picked every pixel, because it seemed that way. It’s not a game or an app, it’s an illustrated book – one with lots of words and lots of pictures, and it’s meant to be read and savored and shared. I hope that it will become your family’s first favorite illustrated ebook!
Thank you so much for your time!
You’re welcome. And thank you! It’s been a pleasure.

Cinderella Spinderella
by Mark Binder



Cinderella Spinderella is an illustrated ebook (and audio book) for families

More than the dress or the shoes, Cinderella Spinderella tells the story about a young woman powerfully asserting her identity.

"It doesn't matter what you look like… It's who you are that counts."
—The Fairy Godmother

Winner: Moonbeam Award for Best Multicultural eBook for Children!

The classic story of Cinderella has been modernized and urbanized in this beautifully illustrated edition, written with delightful humor and a surprising twist.

Cinderella Spinderella uses ebook technology to allow readers to choose how Cinderella looks. Is she Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or from the Indian subcontinent? …You can pick!

Check out some screenshots and images at the following links!

Buy links:

Kindle edition:

iBooks Edition:

Google Play:



Audio Book




Google Play Audio:

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mark Binder is an award-winning author and story performer and a parent. Over the past twenty years he has shared his Bed Time Story Book series with tens of thousands of readers and listeners around the world live, in print and in audio recordings. His most recent book is Cinderella Spinderella.

Detailed bio at:


Twitter: @barkminder


Mark will be awarding a signed eBook gift card (ePub, Mobi or MP3 audio book) to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a Grand Prize of not only the ebook giftcard signed by Mark, but a limited edition cover poster autographed by both the author and the illustrator will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!