Monthly Archives: July 2010

Creating Music for Little Pickle Press

By Jasmine Saldate, Singer/Songwriter
July 28, 2010

Having the opportunity to create children’s music has been a wonderful and new experience for me. Global, Green, and Present, which are all very different, gave me an opportunity to express myself in a way I have always had the desire to. Rana DiOrio and the team at Little Pickle Press gave me complete artistic freedom for this project. As well, I was introduced to Producer, John Alevizakis, who’s energy and artistic vision meshed perfectly with mine, making the experience one of ease and filled with real creativity.

My most recent sessions with John Alevizakis, took place at his recording studio in Redway, California, where we recorded original compositions for Green and Present. The location provided the perfect setting for both songs, eating from the land, using passive solar energy to illuminate spaces, recycling and separating out what trash could be burned and used for heat.

The morning I recorded Present, I was able to hike to the top of the hill where there was a great big opening with trees as far as the eye could see. This video I shot on my phone gives you a sense of the natural beauty of the place. I took a moment and listened to my voice echo in the trees as I warmed up to sing. I walked back down and returned to the studio where I meditated and became at peace (or present) in the space where I would be recording. I found my center, and most of the recording that day took place on the floor where I was kneeling or sitting with my legs crossed. I have thoroughly enjoyed this creative process and am excited to continue my work with Little Pickle Press.

In case you are interested in our finished products, the song we created for Global, was just released and is available for download via http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/LittlePicklePressMusic.

The original compositions for Green and Present will be available soon, so please stay tuned for announcements of their arrival!

Ruminations on Press Checking and Little Pickle Press

By Keith Anthony, CEO of K-2 Print Media, LPP’s Print Broker
July 27, 2010

I consider myself artistically challenged in an industry teeming with talented designers and artists. I can’t design your brochure or illustrate your book, but I do have an eye for color and a healthy background in print production. Where I add a lot of value is press checking, which also happens to be something I enjoy doing. What Does It Mean To Be Present? rolled off the press last week, and I was there to make sure everything went smoothly and as planned. Taking What Does It Mean To Be Present? from a series of images on the computer and transforming them to ink on paper is something I actually get excited about. I will spare you the laborious details, as describing this process would be better left for bedtime reading. I will, however, share these two images from my long hours at the printer with Present.

I handle many printing projects, but Little Pickle Press’ books are exceptional “feel-good” projects. What Does It Mean To Be Present? is no exception. It is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated. From their carefully-selected team members, to their environmental commitment of 100% post-consumer recycled papers, to their charitable giving, Little Pickle Press stands apart from the average run-of-the-mill publishers. In my opinion, LPP’s most significant contribution is the gift of knowledge and awareness to both children and parents about ourselves and the global community we all share. It is a privilege to work with Little Pickle Press and an honor to be part of this global classroom!

NOTE FROM LPP:
Thank you for your kind words, Keith. We value your contribution to our team. For our readers, Keith is ready to add value to your next print project and is reachable via www.k2-pm.com.

Ruminations on Press Checking and Little Pickle Press

By Keith Anthony, CEO of K-2 Print Media, LPP’s Print Broker
July 27, 2010

I consider myself artistically challenged in an industry teeming with talented designers and artists. I can’t design your brochure or illustrate your book, but I do have an eye for color and a healthy background in print production. Where I add a lot of value is press checking, which also happens to be something I enjoy doing. What Does It Mean To Be Present? rolled off the press last week, and I was there to make sure everything went smoothly and as planned. Taking What Does It Mean To Be Present? from a series of images on the computer and transforming them to ink on paper is something I actually get excited about. I will spare you the laborious details, as describing this process would be better left for bedtime reading. I will, however, share these two images from my long hours at the printer with Present.

I handle many printing projects, but Little Pickle Press’ books are exceptional “feel-good” projects. What Does It Mean To Be Present? is no exception. It is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated. From their carefully-selected team members, to their environmental commitment of 100% post-consumer recycled papers, to their charitable giving, Little Pickle Press stands apart from the average run-of-the-mill publishers. In my opinion, LPP’s most significant contribution is the gift of knowledge and awareness to both children and parents about ourselves and the global community we all share. It is a privilege to work with Little Pickle Press and an honor to be part of this global classroom!

NOTE FROM LPP:
Thank you for your kind words, Keith. We value your contribution to our team. For our readers, Keith is ready to add value to your next print project and is reachable via www.k2-pm.com.

Blog Tour Kick-off For What Does It Mean To Be Present?

By Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press
July 25, 2010

What in the world is a blog book tour?

For those of us who are digital immigrants (vs. digital natives) and who may still maintain a paper calendar, even though we have a PDA and a computer, I wanted to explain a marketing phenomenon that is gaining momentum—a blog book tour. A blog book tour, or virtual book tour, is when an author goes from blog to blog (rather than from store to store as they would on a traditional book tour) to promote a new book. Depending on the author and the blog, coverage may consist of any of the following: book review, Q&A (either posted or live), or book giveaway. Blog tours, like traditional bookstore tours, feature a designated number of “stops,” and can roll out over the course of a week or a month. If you are curious to learn more about blog book tours, by all means follow the Yoda of the topic on Twitter @blogbooktours and take a look at http://quickest.blogbooktourguide.ever.com/ or http://yodiwan.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/whats-a-book-blog-tour/.

What are the advantages to a blog book tour vs. a traditional book tour?

Both the author and the audience get to learn new things from the comfort of their homes in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner. The “tour” lives on forever, so the information is accessible at a later time for other purposes, and it affords the author and the audience the opportunity to plug into communities that matter to them. A win-win for the author and you, the audience.

What is What Does It Mean To Be Present? about?

The book is a refreshing, vibrant picture book that engages all of the senses to demonstrate the myriad of ways a child can seize the moment. The story sparks meaningful discussions about the important gift of appreciation, giving children and adults alike the opportunity to live more fully and richly.

Where are the blog “stops?”

The first week of the blog tour we will be hosted graciously by the following blogs:

• Monday, July 26th – The Smart Mama

• Tuesday, July 27th – The Blood-Red Pencil

• Wednesday, July 28th – Be Well Together and EcoMom

• Thursday, July 29th – The Hippy Mom

• Friday, July 30th – Country Fried Mama

• Monday, August 2nd – Starlight 365

• Tuesday, August 3rd – Walking Nature Home

• Wednesday, August 4th – One Significant Moment at a Time

• Thursday, August 5th – It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages

• Friday, August 6th – Book Journey

There are more stops to come in Week 2, so please stay current at http://littlepicklepress.blogspot.com/p/our-blog-tour.html. Special thanks to our blog hosts and to Dani Greer, our masterful chaperone for this tour. If you have interest in participating, please contact her at http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com/.

Very importantly, what’s in it for you?

Here’s why we encourage you to pay attention to our tour:

• You get to learn a lot more about this terrific book, its award-winning publisher and author, and its fabulously-talented illustrator;
• You will be exposed to new blog communities that may pique your interest and/or become terrific resources for you;
• You will have access to special promotions along the way, so you will be in a position to save on some back-to-school, birthday, or holiday shopping; and
• You will have the opportunity to participate in the Grand Prize Giveway.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway?

We are asking you to please sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter and to tell us what you think the next book in our What Does It Mean To Be . . . ?™ Series ought to be. The winner will get all three books in the series, all four of our TerraSkin® posters, and a Dabba Walla backpack!
Please click here to enter to win!

Thank you for your interest in our blog book tour and for your valuable feedback about what we ought to write about next.

Blog Tour Kick-off For What Does It Mean To Be Present?

By Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press
July 25, 2010

What in the world is a blog book tour?

For those of us who are digital immigrants (vs. digital natives) and who may still maintain a paper calendar, even though we have a PDA and a computer, I wanted to explain a marketing phenomenon that is gaining momentum—a blog book tour. A blog book tour, or virtual book tour, is when an author goes from blog to blog (rather than from store to store as they would on a traditional book tour) to promote a new book. Depending on the author and the blog, coverage may consist of any of the following: book review, Q&A (either posted or live), or book giveaway. Blog tours, like traditional bookstore tours, feature a designated number of “stops,” and can roll out over the course of a week or a month. If you are curious to learn more about blog book tours, by all means follow the Yoda of the topic on Twitter @blogbooktours and take a look at http://quickest.blogbooktourguide.ever.com/ or http://yodiwan.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/whats-a-book-blog-tour/.

What are the advantages to a blog book tour vs. a traditional book tour?

Both the author and the audience get to learn new things from the comfort of their homes in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner. The “tour” lives on forever, so the information is accessible at a later time for other purposes, and it affords the author and the audience the opportunity to plug into communities that matter to them. A win-win for the author and you, the audience.

What is What Does It Mean To Be Present? about?

The book is a refreshing, vibrant picture book that engages all of the senses to demonstrate the myriad of ways a child can seize the moment. The story sparks meaningful discussions about the important gift of appreciation, giving children and adults alike the opportunity to live more fully and richly.

Where are the blog “stops?”

The first week of the blog tour we will be hosted graciously by the following blogs:

• Monday, July 26th – The Smart Mama

• Tuesday, July 27th – The Blood-Red Pencil

• Wednesday, July 28th – Be Well Together and EcoMom

• Thursday, July 29th – The Hippy Mom

• Friday, July 30th – Country Fried Mama

• Monday, August 2nd – Starlight 365

• Tuesday, August 3rd – Walking Nature Home

• Wednesday, August 4th – One Significant Moment at a Time

• Thursday, August 5th – It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages

• Friday, August 6th – Book Journey

There are more stops to come in Week 2, so please stay current at http://littlepicklepress.blogspot.com/p/our-blog-tour.html. Special thanks to our blog hosts and to Dani Greer, our masterful chaperone for this tour. If you have interest in participating, please contact her at http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com/.

Very importantly, what’s in it for you?

Here’s why we encourage you to pay attention to our tour:

• You get to learn a lot more about this terrific book, its award-winning publisher and author, and its fabulously-talented illustrator;
• You will be exposed to new blog communities that may pique your interest and/or become terrific resources for you;
• You will have access to special promotions along the way, so you will be in a position to save on some back-to-school, birthday, or holiday shopping; and
• You will have the opportunity to participate in the Grand Prize Giveway.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway?

We are asking you to please sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter and to tell us what you think the next book in our What Does It Mean To Be . . . ?™ Series ought to be. The winner will get all three books in the series, all four of our TerraSkin® posters, and a Dabba Walla backpack!
Please click here to enter to win!

Thank you for your interest in our blog book tour and for your valuable feedback about what we ought to write about next.

Singing Songs and Storytelling: Enhancing Literacy

By Margo Grant Roberts, Early Childhood Educator/Literacy Specialist with Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press

July 22, 2010


Research has revealed the high correlation of parental involvement in student schooling and student academic achievement. Specifically, one way to help boost literacy levels and encourage stronger home-school connections is to begin to view literacy not only as a set of isolated skills, but through a socio-cultural framework. According to David Bloome, et. al. in Discourse Analysis and the Study of Classroom Language and Literacy Events, “Rather than viewing literacy as a set of cognitive-linguistic skills acquired by an individual, we view literacy as a set of social and cultural practices enacted by a group.” It is important for educators to look outside of their classrooms and schools and take notice of the non-traditional forms of literacy learning and literacy events that take place in the home and community. Educators can invite parents to become a part of their child’s literacy team by including those home activities in the classroom, as well as support parents in making those literacy activities as effective as possible outside of the classroom. By recognizing and validating the types of literacy activities that occur in the homes and communities of so many of our “struggling” readers on a daily basis, such as storytelling, singing songs, reciting or creating rhymes, playing word games, taking trips to the grocery store, discussing sports scores, and keeping family journals, educators can help to strengthen the home-school literacy connection. Teachers can also invite parents into the classroom, not only as aids or tutors, but also to share their evocative history and life experiences through storytelling with the children. This is a valuable model for students challenged by reading and writing. In building these rich connections, teachers will not only validate their children’s home cultures, but also invite parents to become partners in their child’s education.

Another meaningful way educators can strengthen the home-school connection to promote literacy is to provide students with classroom library and read aloud choices that reflect their home environments and cultural backgrounds. “The research also suggests that students perform better when they read or use material that is in the language they know better. Culturally meaningful or familiar reading material also appears to facilitate comprehension . . .,” August and Shanahan observe. All students need opportunities to see themselves in the stories they read and hear.

Little Pickle Press strives to promote literacy. To that end, we invite teachers and parents to give us feedback about what will help to promote the home-school connection, what materials we can develop to promote literacy activities, and what topics will be the most engaging and meaningful for our children.

Singing Songs and Storytelling: Enhancing Literacy

By Margo Grant Roberts, Early Childhood Educator/Literacy Specialist with Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press

July 22, 2010


Research has revealed the high correlation of parental involvement in student schooling and student academic achievement. Specifically, one way to help boost literacy levels and encourage stronger home-school connections is to begin to view literacy not only as a set of isolated skills, but through a socio-cultural framework. According to David Bloome, et. al. in Discourse Analysis and the Study of Classroom Language and Literacy Events, “Rather than viewing literacy as a set of cognitive-linguistic skills acquired by an individual, we view literacy as a set of social and cultural practices enacted by a group.” It is important for educators to look outside of their classrooms and schools and take notice of the non-traditional forms of literacy learning and literacy events that take place in the home and community. Educators can invite parents to become a part of their child’s literacy team by including those home activities in the classroom, as well as support parents in making those literacy activities as effective as possible outside of the classroom. By recognizing and validating the types of literacy activities that occur in the homes and communities of so many of our “struggling” readers on a daily basis, such as storytelling, singing songs, reciting or creating rhymes, playing word games, taking trips to the grocery store, discussing sports scores, and keeping family journals, educators can help to strengthen the home-school literacy connection. Teachers can also invite parents into the classroom, not only as aids or tutors, but also to share their evocative history and life experiences through storytelling with the children. This is a valuable model for students challenged by reading and writing. In building these rich connections, teachers will not only validate their children’s home cultures, but also invite parents to become partners in their child’s education.

Another meaningful way educators can strengthen the home-school connection to promote literacy is to provide students with classroom library and read aloud choices that reflect their home environments and cultural backgrounds. “The research also suggests that students perform better when they read or use material that is in the language they know better. Culturally meaningful or familiar reading material also appears to facilitate comprehension . . .,” August and Shanahan observe. All students need opportunities to see themselves in the stories they read and hear.

Little Pickle Press strives to promote literacy. To that end, we invite teachers and parents to give us feedback about what will help to promote the home-school connection, what materials we can develop to promote literacy activities, and what topics will be the most engaging and meaningful for our children.

Impressions of Babes & Babies

By Taylor Harkins, Marketing Intern, Little Pickle Press, and Rising Senior at SCU
July 21, 2010

This past Sunday, I represented Little Pickle Press at Appel & Frank’s Babes & Babies event at the JCC of San Francisco (www.appelandfrank.com).

The event was a blast! I don’t think I have ever seen so many adorable little kids in one place before. I had an amazing time representing Little Pickle Press and discussing the important messages in their first two books, What Does It Mean To Be Global? and What Does It Mean To Be Green?. I was surprised by how many people purchased the Spanish version of What Does It Mean To Be Global? One sweet grandmother almost bought the French version by accident but luckily we caught the error before she went home with a book she could not read! A few moms also asked if the book was available in Italian or German. These moms said they were trying to teach their children three languages. In sharp contrast, I am excited when I can conjugate a single verb in Spanish! Their children are very lucky to be exposed to so many languages.

There was a wide variety of products available for purchase at the event, including organic baby shirts, stylish hospital gowns, dainty hair bows, and much more. I befriended the family manning the booth behind ours. Valerie Rice and her husband own Piper Tate, an organic skincare company. I enjoyed talking to her about their products, and talking to her husband about life as a chef.

I am so grateful that the event was a success and that I was able to be a part of it!

Impressions of Babes & Babies

By Taylor Harkins, Marketing Intern, Little Pickle Press, and Rising Senior at SCU
July 21, 2010

This past Sunday, I represented Little Pickle Press at Appel & Frank’s Babes & Babies event at the JCC of San Francisco (www.appelandfrank.com).

The event was a blast! I don’t think I have ever seen so many adorable little kids in one place before. I had an amazing time representing Little Pickle Press and discussing the important messages in their first two books, What Does It Mean To Be Global? and What Does It Mean To Be Green?. I was surprised by how many people purchased the Spanish version of What Does It Mean To Be Global? One sweet grandmother almost bought the French version by accident but luckily we caught the error before she went home with a book she could not read! A few moms also asked if the book was available in Italian or German. These moms said they were trying to teach their children three languages. In sharp contrast, I am excited when I can conjugate a single verb in Spanish! Their children are very lucky to be exposed to so many languages.

There was a wide variety of products available for purchase at the event, including organic baby shirts, stylish hospital gowns, dainty hair bows, and much more. I befriended the family manning the booth behind ours. Valerie Rice and her husband own Piper Tate, an organic skincare company. I enjoyed talking to her about their products, and talking to her husband about life as a chef.

I am so grateful that the event was a success and that I was able to be a part of it!

Summer Reading Recommendations For Children & Parents

By Rana DiOrio, Founder with Margo Roberts, Early Childhood Educator/Literacy Specialist
July 5, 2010

Summer is a great time to read! I have fond memories of working through the summer reading lists that my mom prepared for my brother and me. She was a curriculum coordinator, so she was uniquely well suited to do this. I used to tear through my list as fast as I could, and my mom would have to create a whole new list. My brother, on the other hand, loathed reading any book that didn’t have pictures, and was a CliffsNotes® early-adopter, even as it pertained to his summer reading obligations to our mother.

Since I imagine that many of you do not have the benefit of a resident curriculum resource in your family, Margo Roberts, our Early Childhood Educator and Literacy Specialist, and I thought we would share with you some of our favorite books for you to read aloud to your young children, buy or borrow for your school-age children, and even some for you to read during your down time this summer.

We will be sharing future lists, so we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Books for parents to read to their children:

One by Kathryn Otoshi
Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Peace Book by Todd Parr
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
One World One Day by Barbara Kerley
What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio

Books for children to read to themselves:

Entering 1st Grade:

Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems
Henry and Mudge Series by Cynthia Rylant
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Entering 1st or 2nd Grade:

Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker
Ivy + Bean Series by Annie Barrows
Minnie and Moo Series by Denys Cazet
Gooney Bird Series by Lois Lowry
The Discontented Gopher by Frank L. Baum

Entering 2nd or 3rd Grade:

Tumtum and Nutmeg Series by Emily Bearn
Just Grace Series by Charise Mericle Harper
Judy Moody Series by Megan McDonald
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Books for parents to read to better understand and guide their children:

Girls Will Be Girls by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. and W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D.
NurtureShock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby

Summer Reading Recommendations For Children & Parents

By Rana DiOrio, Founder with Margo Roberts, Early Childhood Educator/Literacy Specialist
July 5, 2010

Summer is a great time to read! I have fond memories of working through the summer reading lists that my mom prepared for my brother and me. She was a curriculum coordinator, so she was uniquely well suited to do this. I used to tear through my list as fast as I could, and my mom would have to create a whole new list. My brother, on the other hand, loathed reading any book that didn’t have pictures, and was a CliffsNotes® early-adopter, even as it pertained to his summer reading obligations to our mother.

Since I imagine that many of you do not have the benefit of a resident curriculum resource in your family, Margo Roberts, our Early Childhood Educator and Literacy Specialist, and I thought we would share with you some of our favorite books for you to read aloud to your young children, buy or borrow for your school-age children, and even some for you to read during your down time this summer.

We will be sharing future lists, so we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Books for parents to read to their children:

One by Kathryn Otoshi
Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Peace Book by Todd Parr
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
One World One Day by Barbara Kerley
What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio

Books for children to read to themselves:

Entering 1st Grade:

Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems
Henry and Mudge Series by Cynthia Rylant
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Entering 1st or 2nd Grade:

Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker
Ivy + Bean Series by Annie Barrows
Minnie and Moo Series by Denys Cazet
Gooney Bird Series by Lois Lowry
The Discontented Gopher by Frank L. Baum

Entering 2nd or 3rd Grade:

Tumtum and Nutmeg Series by Emily Bearn
Just Grace Series by Charise Mericle Harper
Judy Moody Series by Megan McDonald
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Books for parents to read to better understand and guide their children:

Girls Will Be Girls by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. and W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D.
NurtureShock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby