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Six Things About Jackson the Mole (and his mole friends) You Might Want to Know July 17, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in Flashlight Press.
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Jackson pg 16-17Jackson picks out his clothes in No More Noisy Nights, written by Holly Niner, illustrated by Guy Wolek. Flashlight Press, 2017

#1  In No More Noisy Nights, Jackson lives underground. Moles make their tunnel systems in grasslands, cities, gardens, and sand dunes. These critters can make a home anywhere that has soil, and are found on every continent except Antarctica and South America.

#2 Moles are fossorial, or “diggers.” Their large paws have six fingers that are adapted for digging large networks of underground tunnels where they sleep and eat. This is how they avoid predators like owls, buzzards, cats, and dogs, who might want to eat them.

#3 In the book, Jackson wears glasses. Real moles don’t wear glasses, but they cannot see very well. Instead, they have a bare area on their noses with many little pimples to detect the movement and scent of animals around them. This helps them find food in dark tunnels, and stay safe.

#4 Jackson moves into his new home at the beginning of the story. When moles are about one month old, they leave their parents to make a home of their own. This may seem

very young, but moles usually live up to four years. This means our Jackson is a young adult.

relaxing mole

#5 Jackson moves in alone because moles are solitary creatures. Jackson is a friendly mole who gets along with his “noisy new friends,” but real moles are territorial, and almost never live together.

#6 In the story, Jackson eats cereal and toast, but in real life, moles eat earthworms and a variety of nuts. Yum!

 

Don’t forget to sneak a preview of No More Noisy Nights — now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at your local bookstore!

Librarians Line Up for Author Holly Niner at the ALA Conference July 9, 2017

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I loved my elementary school librarian and her wonderful quiet space filled with books waiting to be explored. She always knew just what to recommend and, when she saw that my appetite for books exceeded my weekly check-out limit, she suggested that a friend and I pick our books together and trade halfway through the week. For me, librarians know where to find all the answers and all the good books, so it was an honor to be invited to sign copies of my new book, The Day I Ran Away, and my upcoming No More Noisy Nights at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, where so many lovers of books and knowledge gather in one place.

Although I’d seen the list of exhibitors online, I was awestruck by the number of booths, their size and scope, and the variety of publishers and industry-related products represented. As my husband and I wandered the halls prior to my signing, I pointed out publishers with whom I’d had contact over the years (too many rejection letters to count!) and looked for books I’d seen reviewed. I noticed some LONG lines of excited attendees waiting for an author’s signature, and then other authors with no line at all. I grew a bit apprehensive, as my signing time got closer. Would people want copies of my books?

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We found the booth and were met by the wonderful staff of Independent Publishers Group (IPG), who distribute for Flashlight Press and hundreds of other independent publishers. The author who was signing before me did have a line, and in fact, ran overtime into my slot to give away as many books as possible. When the IPG staff member announced that they’d run out of her books, I piped up and suggested that folks wait, because I’d be giving away books in a few minutes too. Librarians love books, especially free ones! They asked what my books were, so we handed out two samples which they looked at and passed down the line to share.

By the time I began signing, I had my own line of excited librarians who were thrilled that they didn’t have to choose between The Day I Ran Away and No More Noisy Nights, but could have one of each. Although I had less than a minute with each librarian, it was exciting to speak with people from all over the US and Canada. With the ALA conference in Chicago this year, many attendees were from the Midwest, but folks also came from California, Texas, Utah, New York, North Carolina, Maine, Florida, Arkansas, and more that I cannot recall. There were public and private school librarians, university librarians, and public librarians. Many were gifting their free books to family or friends, and others were donating to their schools. I loved hearing their enthusiasm not only for my books, but for their work in sharing books with children.

Before I knew it, my time was up, and IPG cut me off! Several people then asked my husband if I could sign for them, so we moved to the corner of the booth and gave away a few more of the remaining books. In all, we gave away about 160 books!

One last highlight: the IPG booth was located near the Library of Congress booth, and it was heartening to see Carla Hayden, the new director, being treated like a rock star with interviews and people clamoring for a moment of her time! When my first picture book was released in 2004, my son was excited to point out that a copy would be forever kept in the Library of Congress. An amazing thing to think about!

0624171524_hdr-e1499257815209It was such an uplifting day! Thank you to IPG for hosting me at your booth, to Lauren at IPG for talking up No More Noisy Nights at the Morning Book Buzz, to Flashlight Press for creating great books, and to all the librarians who stood in line making me feel like a queen for an hour! Librarians know that reading is essential to understanding ourselves, our world, and our place in it. When we learn how to “find friends” in books, we are never alone. It is my hope that these wonderful librarians will create lifelong readers, and lifelong readers will help make this world a better place.

Blog post by Holly Niner, author of The Day I Ran Away and No More Noisy Nights.

Maddi’s Fridge to Come Alive on Stage! June 5, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in Food, Maddi's Fridge, Play.
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Blog Post by Lois Brandt, author of Maddi’s Fridge

Wow!

I have Google and Twitter alerts set to tell me when webpages or internet users are discussing Maddi’s Fridge. Sometimes I get great surprises, like when the Seattle School District teachers were striking and, to pass the time, read Maddi’s Fridge out loud on the picket line. I ended up visiting some of those teachers at Queen Anne Elementary, an inspiring Seattle school.

I also got an alert when a dad complained on twitter that his daughter asked him to read Maddi’s Fridge every night and it was “so depressing.” I tweeted to the dad that Maddi’s Fridge was like that. Parents get all teary-eyed and kids get empowered.

Last week an alert notified me that Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona, was going to put on a production of Maddi’s Fridge during their 2017 – 2018 season. Look at the company Maddi’s Fridge is keeping!

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH: September 17th – October 15th, 2017
TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY: October 21st – November 12th, 2017
GO, DOG. GO! NATIONAL TOUR: November 25th – December 23rd, 2017
A CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH KATIE MCFADZEN: 
December 2nd – December 24th, 2017
THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS: January 21st, 2017 – March 11th, 2018
MADDI’S FRIDGE: March 31st, 2018 – April 8th, 2018
FLORA AND ULYSSES: April 22nd, 2018 – May 20th, 2018

When I checked in with Flashlight Press, they told me that they had just finalized the rights agreement.

Double wow! I am so grateful to Childsplay for discovering Maddi’s Fridge and turning it into a play. Years ago when I opened my best friend, Liz’s, refrigerator I felt that the entire world had failed me. What kind of world do we live in where my best friend and her little brother didn’t have enough to eat? But now, the people at Childsplay have found the story that my eleven-year-old self wanted to SHOUT OUT TO THE WORLD. Here, in one of the richest countries in the world, our friends and our neighbors are struggling to feed their children.

A big THANK YOU to everyone at Childsplay. I am so excited that you are sharing the story of Maddi’s Fridge.

Authors of the Future with Holly Niner May 21, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in author appearance, Author Signings, Book Launchings, Book News, Individuality, Read Alouds, The Day I Ran Away.
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Authors of the Future
Blog Post by Holly Niner, author of The Day I Ran Away

The release of The Day I Ran Away has given me some wonderful opportunities to connect with students.  While I’m not sure it’s deserved, the students are usually a bit wide-eyed that they are meeting an author.  In turn, I am inspired by their questions and their belief that they too CAN be an author!  While I often receive a thank you after the visit, I don’t get to see the student’s stories.  Until this year, when a unique opportunity was presented to me.

Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes and mother of 2nd and 4th grade students at Woodland Elementary in Perrysburg OH, was putting together a pilot Young Author program for the school and asked if I would be one of three (two authors and an illustrator) to speak to the 4th and 5th grade excel classes.  In May I would return to hear the student’s stories and do an author signing at her store.

So in February one author spoke about getting ideas, I presented on picture book construction and creating a “page turner” and an illustrator talked with the classes.  The students began writing…

Meanwhile, a second grade teacher was interested in having an author visit via Skype.  When I “appeared” on the big screen in the student’s classroom their faces were priceless.  They quickly positioned themselves on the floor so we could all “see” each other.  In spite of a few frozen screen moments, it was a success with students asking great questions.  The teacher summed it up:

Thank you for meeting with us Holly.  The boys and girls were so excited to Skype!  With all of the technology available to us, that is one thing they do not do.  It was a lot of fun and your conversation with them was perfect!  They heard things from a REAL AUTHOR that their boring, old teacher has said.  🙂

Then on May 6 I returned to Perrysburg where a wonderful day of celebration was planned for the young authors.  Throughout the day 30 of the 40 students read their book to family and friends and then signed copies for their families and a party for all followed in the evening.  It was a wonderful example of partnership between an independent bookstore and its community.

It was a treat to speak with these young authors and their families and to hear them read their stories. I was impressed by unique story lines, wonderful illustrations and soaring imaginations.  While the future is uncertain in many ways, rest assured there will be wonderful stories to transport you, created by the next generation!

Mom’s Choice Awards Interviews Holly Niner April 21, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in author appearance, Book Launchings, Interviews, Moms, Reviews, The Day I Ran Away.
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cover shrunk
Blog Post taken from Mom’s Choice Awards
Originally Published April 20, 2017

Today we’re sharing the second post in our new interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.

We were fortunate enough to speak with Holly L. Niner, author of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning children’ book, The Day I Ran Way. We loved hearing her perspective on writing, reading, and parenting. The full interview is published below.

MCA: The Day I Ran Away is about a little girl who throws a tantrum, gets banished to her room, and runs away. Why write a children’s book about this? What was your inspiration?

Holly L. Niner, author of The Day I Ran Away

The idea for The Day I Ran Away came from an America’s Funniest Home Video I saw on TV in the early 2000s. A little boy was outside his house with his back pack asking, “how can I run away when I’m not allowed to cross the street?” For me, that captured a dilemma of childhood. You want to be grown up, but you can’t. It captured a feeling that’s not just relegated to children; haven’t we all wished we could run away at some point? But maybe what we really need­­—as both children and adults—is just a “timeout” from our real or perceived troubles.Holly Niner: Story ideas come from many places. A little snippet of something seems to stick in the “what if” side of my brain and sometimes turns into a story.  I try to write those snippets down as they come to me or else the day-to-day of life may push it out of my brain forever. (more…)

When A Dragon Moves In – the Graphic Novel? March 22, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in Author Notes, Dragon, Illustrator Appearances, Imagination, Individuality, Play.
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Originally Published on March 21
Taken from Jodi Moore’s Blog

Today I received a truly splendiferous email. It seems a fifth grade teacher challenged her students to take a favorite story and turn it into a graphic novel.

And guess what?

*drum roll*

One of her students chose When A Dragon Moves In…and her mom not only shared it with me, but gave me permission to share it with all of YOU!

*Tigger dances*

Words can’t describe what an honor and a thrill this is. And so without further ado, it’s my privilege to share the work of this brilliant young artist:

(SPOILER – check out the alternate ending!!!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sarah. Like Howard McWilliam (the illustrator for When A Dragon Moves In and When A Dragon Moves In Again), you’ve brought my characters, my vision – my dream – to life! You’re an inspiration to all of us, and we can’t wait to enjoy more of your talents!

Super School Visit March 4, 2017

Posted by flashlightblog in Author Notes, Author Signings, Book Launchings, Dragon.
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Jodi Moore_School visit

“Had the most splendiferous visit with the bright eyes & minds at Fairview Elementary in Bloomfield, NJ yesterday, sharing When a Dragon Moves In and When a Dragon Moves In Again. Warm squishy hugs & love to all the students, teachers, and of course, the library goddess, Nancy Clark!” -Jodi Moore, Author

What wacky holiday is it today? It’s National Flashlight Day and the Winter Solstice! December 21, 2013

Posted by flashlightblog in Flashlight Press.
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Illustration from 'Victricia Malicia', written by Carrie Clickard, illustrated by Mark Meyers

Illustration from ‘Victricia Malicia’, written by Carrie Clickard, illustrated by Mark Meyers

Get under your covers and read a book by flashlight on this longest night of the year. Choose one of Flashlight Press’s great books.

What wacky holiday is it today? It’s Mitten Tree Day! December 6, 2013

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Written by Simon Van Booy Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

Written by Simon Van Booy
Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

Can you keep track of your mittens? Pobble certainly can’t, but at least this lost mitten gives the forest animals something to talk about! Find Pobble’s lost mitten in Pobble’s Way here.

In the excitement, something fell from Pobble’s pocket and landed on the snowy leaves.

What wacky holiday is it today? It’s Duct Tape Day! December 5, 2013

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Written by Jason LeFebvre Illustrated by Zac Retz

Written by Jason LeFebvre
Illustrated by Zac Retz

Get sticky with Matty as he has an adventure in Too Much Glue. Click here for a sneak peek of the book.

Glue raindrops, not puddles!

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