Although the Corona virus prevents us from participating in clean-ups this year, learning how to preserve our planet is of utmost importance.

This Earth Day 2020, while you stay safely at home, please join these four children who discover The Mess That We Made.

“…an important addition to environmental awareness for the very young, striking a good balance between current reality and hope the future.”–Sallie Lowenstein Lion Stone Books

“…a brilliant way to help start a conversation about ocean pollution and encourage such needed change in the world.”–Christa McGrathEdwards Book Club

The Mess That We Made includes facts about ocean pollution, a map of ocean garbage patches, and kid-friendly calls-to-action.

Enjoy listening to author Michelle Lord read The Mess That We Made

Happy #NationalMonsterDay!

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

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.

There’s still a lot more winter to knit Pobble mittens

Thanks to these wonderful people in cyberspace who helped to spread the word about our wintry campaign for knitting mittens like the ones Pobble wears in Pobble’s Way (written by Simon Van Booy, illustrated by Wendy Edelson):

Bev Qualheim – who wrote the original mitten pattern, Michelle Edwards, KRJuchem, Yvonne Jefferson, Basya Karp, Mary Nida Smith, Barb Hatch, and Barbara Gruener.

Midwest Book Review on The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
Linda Ravin Lodding, author
Suzanne Beaky, illustrator
Flashlight Press/IPG
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9780979974694, http://www.ipgbook.com

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a paean to play, especially for kids. Well-meaning adults end up pressuring children to fulfill busy schedules of performance expectations without realizing that one of the most precious experiences only children will have is free time to play, experiment, imagine, and just be. Ernestine’s busy life should be fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons, and yoga. But something is missing, even though the Buckmeisters hire Nanny O’Dear to help keep Ernestine on schedule. Ernestine begins to look pale and tired. What Ernestine would really like to do is just spend some time playing ball outdoors with Hugo, her neighbor. Ernestine decides to schedule something new for herself. This alarms her parents, who are unable to find her at any of her exhausting, scheduled activities. Finally they find her on top of a big hill, just looking at clouds and inhaling, enjoying the view, with Nanny O’Dear. All adults gradually see the light, and though Ernestine continues to do some of her scheduled activities, sometimes she just plays! The vibrant, colorful illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8.

Original review can be found here.

Take Time to Watch the Clouds

Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, warmly reviewed The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister on her blog.

“Take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it for all it’s worth!” That’s what my mama likes to say. But how can you grab life and give it a nudge if you don’t have any strength?

Play is the best way to access your scruff-of-the-neck vision.

This October, author Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky will release a most delightful tale of Ernestine Buckmeister, the most overbooked child on the planet. Her well-meaning parents assign her to daily afternoon lessons ranging from yoga to yodelling to knitting to karate. She longingly watches her neighbor Hugo bounce around his yard while she dashes from one appointment to the next (with the help of her nanny, aptly named Nanny O’Dear). One day she strikes all her time commitments to watch the clouds and discovers a whole new world of creativity in the park.

Once again Nature plays a central role in capturing our amazing imaginations. When the parents learn Ernestine has gone missing from one of her lessons, they attempt to track her down at each of them. By the time they end up in the park, they are frazzled. It’s a beautiful moment of realization that life can be lived to the fullest by simply being who you are.

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a  great power of slow read for kids ages 4 to 8 and the parents who love them.

Tree of Giving Book Drive and Our Youngest Fan

SAAC Helps Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive for Grant Community School

by Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. — Members of the Willamette University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in the Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive this year by donating books. A total of 80 books were provided to Grant Community School in Salem, Ore., as a result of the book drive.

All of the books were delivered to students and teachers at Grant Community School by Tree of Giving organizer Melissa Treichel, Hatfield Library access services manager, and by SAAC representatives Sarah McSweeney (SAAC co-president, cross country/track and field) and Alfredo Zuniga (men’s soccer).

Others attending the event were Alice French, Hatfield Library technical services specialist, and Judy Gordon, assistant athletics director and SAAC advisor.

In addition to delivering the books, the group from Willamette also displayed the books on tables for the fourth graders to see when they entered the library. After the Grant students enjoyed the books for a while, McSweeney and Zuniga gathered the students together and read I Need My Monster to the group, with much interaction during and after the reading.

The students from Grant also asked a variety of questions including:
Is college hard?
Does Willamette have separate teams for girls and boys?
Which sports involved Sara and Alfredo?

In addition, the Grant students called out the names of their favorite sports. Soccer and dodgeball ranked high on their lists.

The most popular books, which were donated in both English and Spanish versions, were the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Grant Community School’s librarian expressed her gratitude for the much needed donations to their library. In addition to the books, donations of hats, gloves and scarves were collected and delivered to Grant. McSweeney and Zuniga displayed a large poster which was signed by SAAC representatives, who included special messages about the power and joy of reading. SAAC members are looking forward to being sponsors of the Tree of Giving Book Drive next year.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was created to provide insight into the student-athlete experience at Willamette. SAAC members provide input to help the Athletics Department and Willamette University develop rules, regulations and polices that affect student-athletes.

Original article here.

Click on the pic to read more about our young avid fan of I Need My Monster.

Our youngest fan

Breakfast in Bed?

To all the Moms out there: hope this ISN’T what you woke up to this morning.

Wishing you a relaxed, refreshing, and joy-filled Mother’s Day.

Emmy lets Mom sleep late so she can make herself breakfast! from I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way (Thad Krasnesky & David Parkins)

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