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Mark your calendars for #BNStorytime! September 24, 2019

Posted by flashlightblog in Barnes & Noble, Book Feature, Book Launchings, Book News, Flashlight Press, Grandparents, Monsters, Read Alouds, Storytime, Teachers, Upcoming Books.
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Visit your local Barnes and Noble this Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 11 am for their Storytime and Activities event featuring How I Met My Monster!

Click here to find a B&N store near you!

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Happy #NationalMonsterDay! August 14, 2019

Posted by flashlightblog in Book Launchings, Book News, Flashlight Press, Holidays, Imagination, Monsters, Parents, Pinterest, Read Alouds, Upcoming Books.
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Celebrate by welcoming the newest member of our Monster family: “Are You My Monster?” – a board book companion for babies and toddlers!

Help Ethan compare his drawing to an assortment of amusing monsters. Do the colors match? Are their tails long or short? Are their nails pointy or round? Are their teeth big or small? Children will be thrilled when Ethan finds the perfect match – which turns out to be his beloved stuffed monster toy – just in time for bed.

“Little ones will enjoy the parade of silly creatures…while also learning colors and matching.The sweet ending shows that even those with sharp teeth and scratchy claws can be cuddly,turning the monster-under-the-bed trope on its head.” – School Library Journal

An author’s thoughts from the ALA Midwinter Conference February 14, 2019

Posted by flashlightblog in author appearance, Author Notes, Author Signings, Barnes & Noble, Book News, Flashlight Press, Imagination, Interviews, Monsters, Parents, Reviews, Upcoming Books.
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Guest blogger: Amanda Noll, author of I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! and two more upcoming monster books!

In January, I had the unique opportunity to participate as an author at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, Washington, The number of vendors and professionals was staggering, and the whole experience was tremendous. I was hosted by IPG (Independent Publishers Group), the awesome, hardworking team who distribute my books and the entire Flashlight Press line to bookstores.

Librarians began lining up even before it was time for me to start autographing the free copies, and that line didn’t end until we ran out of books, all 100 of them! I’ve never had people queue up to meet me; I almost felt famous! I credit IPG for creating the buzz: they promoted my signing front and center at the Friday night opening session, and that’s when the excitement started to build. Cynthia and the rest of the IPG team kept the line moving and made sure books were ready for the enthusiastic librarians awaiting them.

It was thrilling to be at an event where peers and professionals knew and loved my books, and were excited to meet me. I connected with many local librarians, and had a chance to greet and speak with librarians from as far as Brazil and Asia, and from all around the world.

The librarians shared countless stories of reading my books to their young library patrons or students, and to their own children at bedtime. They told me they were absolutely thrilled to see the upcoming board book Are You My Monster (July 2019) as well as the upcoming picture book prequel, How I Met My Monster (October 2019). Flashlight Press prepared gorgeous sell sheets, which the librarians eagerly snatched up.

Signing my books at an ALA conference was a defining moment in my journey as an author. I’m grateful that this milestone can now be checked off my bucket list.

Amanda’s monster books are available through IPG, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and your local bookseller.

My Long Journey to Becoming a Published Children’s Book Author June 25, 2018

Posted by flashlightblog in Author Notes, Book News, Flashlight Press, Imagination, Individuality, Interviews, Self-Esteem, Too Much Glue, Values.
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Written by Jason Lefebvre for Kids’ BookBuzz

TMG hi res

My first attempt at writing a picture book came in 1998.

I thought the story was amazing. It wasn’t.

Fortunately, I was twenty-two years old, I had just completed my Bachelor’s degree in English, and I knew everything. I spent the next year of my life making all the wrong moves, trying to get my story published. I submitted on my own to large houses that only accept agented materials, wrote stories that I labeled as picture books, but were five thousand words long, and put together ridiculous query letters daring publishing houses to pass on what was sure to be the next great work in children’s literature.

Almost immediately, I had a need for actual employment. I began working in a preschool surrounded by picture books that were actually good and got a part-time job as a Children’s Librarian to make ends meet. Slowly, I began to realize something awful. My stories weren’t good, and my way of getting them published was even worse. The twenty-two-year-old who knew everything had become a twenty-three-year-old who knew nothing. It was the perfect starting point.

The next few years were spent taking the business of writing and publishing seriously. There were groups to join and books to read. I joined SCBWI or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It was an amazing resource putting me in touch with people and organizations that understood from experience what it took to get something published. I read any picture book that I came across and borrowed from the limitless imaginations of the kids in my class and the ones that came through the library. If you want to write picture books, find a job working with children. It’s basically cheating.

While writing picture books was starting to make a little sense, the submission process was still frustrating. At a time when most houses still only accepted submissions via snail mail, a writer could wait six months to a year for a form letter response that basically said “thanks, but no thanks.”  I had begun to receive a few personalized rejections. In the world of submissions, a “no” that is personalized is viewed as a positive, so I kept at it. (more…)

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!

Goodreads Reviews of The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister January 29, 2013

Posted by flashlightblog in Book News.
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Written by Linda LoddingIllustrated by Suzanne Beaky

Written by Linda Lodding
Illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

Jan 25, 2013

Jason Lewis rated it 3 of 5 stars false

Shelves: books-i-won
The illustrations were done well with much detail. The story shows a fun way to follow a person through a busy schedule. The author takes the reader through a funny approach to solving the problem at the end.

Nicky rated it 4 of 5 stars false

Shelves: first-read
I had the pleasure of being a first read winner of this book and enjoyed it very much. My son saw it more as a silly story, but this is a good lesson for parents to remember to provide a good balance of work and play for their kids.

Jan 22, 2013

Kelsie Vanwyck rated it 4 of 5 stars false

I was captivated by the illustrations throughout the book. The bright colors and vivid scenes really draw the reader into Ernestine’s crazy life! I loved this book and cannot wait to share it with my preschool class!!

Jan 07, 2013

Rose rated it 4 of 5 stars false

I won this book from the goodreads giveaways. It was a delight to read. My daughter just loved it. This has become one of her favorite books. She carries it everywhere.

Obscure Children’s Books By Celebrated Authors of Adult Fiction January 13, 2013

Posted by flashlightblog in Book News, Winter.
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Written by Simon Van BooyIllustrated by Wendy Edelson

Written by Simon Van Booy
Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

Simon Van Booy – a contemporary, award-winning author of adult literature (The Secret Lives of People in Love, Everything Beautiful Began After) – is also the author of the children’s picture book, Pobble’s Way.

Here are some other little-known children’s books by beloved authors of adult literature.

I Need My Monster Book Parade! October 30, 2012

Posted by flashlightblog in Book News, Imagination, Individuality, Monsters, Teachers.
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Check out this video of Mrs. Bright’s second grade class in Alpharetta, GA. The students chose I Need My Monster (written by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam) for their Book Parade!

The costumes are amazing! Way to go!

Beware! Pirates-in-Training at the Rose Marie Bryon Center! October 11, 2012

Posted by flashlightblog in Author Signings, Book News, Pirates.
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Carrie Clickard, author of Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer, visited the Rose Marie Byron Center, an after-school program in Daytona, FL, on October 8, 2012.

The little buccaneers made pirate crafts designed by Carrie (available on www.victriciamalicia.com), including pirate hats and paper parrots. The students also indulged in some homemade pirate edibles.

Check out the pictures below!

Co-Reading Survey: Parents and Kids Opt for Print Books September 23, 2012

Posted by flashlightblog in Book News.
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From Shelf-Awareness.com:

Print books are preferred over e-books by parents as well as children when they read together, according to a new study from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop that found 89.9% of iPad owners read “mostly print books and some e-books” with their children, 7.5% read both formats equally with their children, and 2.7% read “mostly or exclusively” e-books.

Almost 75% of the responding parents said they prefer co-reading print books, with more than 50% of their children agreeing. Fewer than 10% of parents or children prefer co-reading e-books exclusively.

The center noted “these preliminary findings suggest that many parents likely perceive children’s print books and e-books differently, particularly in terms the experience and expectations of co-reading. Moreover, in practice, e-books may be playing a different role in homes than print books are. Print books appear to serve as iPad owners’ preferred co-reading medium even in homes where e-books are available. E-books, on the other hand, may play supporting roles for developing kids’ literacy skills particularly when a parent can’t be around to read to them or when families are outside of the home.”

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