Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Kid’s-eye View of Friendship

By Audrey Sillett Lintner
It’s amazing just how many big thoughts can be boiled down to a simple idea.  Take this month’s wrap-up topic of friendship.  Ask an adult what friendship is, and you’ll probably get a rather detailed and (possibly) dull answer.  Maybe a laugh and an embarrassing story.  Ask one of the younger set, and you’ll discover that friendship is as straightforward as a smile.

How can you tell if someone is a friend?

Mu’aadh (8 years old): If you ask them, they say so.

Alex C. (7 years old): They are nice to you and you have fun with them.

Brianna (9 years old): They play with you.

Katie (5 1/2 years old): If they’re very friendly.

What does it mean to have a best friend?

Max (7 years old): Something really important.

Alex S. (7 years old): She copies me sometimes.

Isaac (7 years old)They are your closest friend. If you had a list of friends, your best friend would be at the top.

Maryam (6 years old): It means that you’re nice to people if you’re a best friend, because if you’re mean to them they won’t want to be your friend.

Do your friends have to be just like you, or can they be different from you and from each other?

MaryamThey can be different from each other – it’s nice to have it different because otherwise no one would know who was who.

Katie: They can be different. They talk different, and Ava has black hair and I have light brown.

Mu’aadhThey can be different. It’s nice for them to be different because then they aren’t like you so you can have someone who likes you who isn’t LIKE you.

Do you sometimes get mad at your friends? 

Isaac: No! I never get mad at my friends. Well, sometimes I get mad.

Alex C.: Yes, because they boss me around.

Brianna: Yeah. Sometimes they don’t want to play the game that I’m playing, but I don’t stay mad a long time.

Katie:  Not really. Sometimes. They kicked me accidentally, but I got over it pretty fast.
Alex S.: Sometimes. My friend said that I said a bad word, but I really didn’t. That made me mad.

MaryamSometimes I get mad at them if they beat up on me or if they get me in trouble.

Where are places that you might meet new friends?

IsaacAll over the whole United States! Let’s see, Iowa, Missouri, hmm. Swimming lessons…on my baseball team…church.

Mu’aadhAt the masjid, and at the library, and even at the Walmart. You can make friends anywhere.

Brianna: In fourth grade, because I’m going into fourth grade.

MaryamAt the park, at the library – I did already meet a friend there, and I bet you could at the zoo too, because there’s a lot of people at the zoo.

Katie: McDonald’s, my favorite place in the entire world.

Is it better to have lots of “okay” friends, or just a few really good friends?

MaxI think it is good to have lots of really good friends.

Alex S. I’d rather have a lot of good friends.

IsaacI already have a whole lot of friends, so I will go with the second one. The second one, to have a few good friends.


Alex C.I like to have a few really good friends, but I have a lot of okay friends too.


Mu’aadh

A few really good friends, because then you don’t have so many people that when you get something to eat and share you don’t have to get so much of it so they all get to have some.

Photo credits: Google Images

Looking for a great children’s book about friendship? We recommend Snutt the Ift by Helen Ward. You can still use coupon code LPPFriend12 at checkout for the remainder of June. Click here to purchase a copy.


A Kid’s-eye View of Friendship

By Audrey Sillett Lintner
It’s amazing just how many big thoughts can be boiled down to a simple idea.  Take this month’s wrap-up topic of friendship.  Ask an adult what friendship is, and you’ll probably get a rather detailed and (possibly) dull answer.  Maybe a laugh and an embarrassing story.  Ask one of the younger set, and you’ll discover that friendship is as straightforward as a smile.

How can you tell if someone is a friend?

Mu’aadh (8 years old): If you ask them, they say so.

Alex C. (7 years old): They are nice to you and you have fun with them.

Brianna (9 years old): They play with you.

Katie (5 1/2 years old): If they’re very friendly.

What does it mean to have a best friend?

Max (7 years old): Something really important.

Alex S. (7 years old): She copies me sometimes.

Isaac (7 years old)They are your closest friend. If you had a list of friends, your best friend would be at the top.

Maryam (6 years old): It means that you’re nice to people if you’re a best friend, because if you’re mean to them they won’t want to be your friend.

Do your friends have to be just like you, or can they be different from you and from each other?

MaryamThey can be different from each other – it’s nice to have it different because otherwise no one would know who was who.

Katie: They can be different. They talk different, and Ava has black hair and I have light brown.

Mu’aadhThey can be different. It’s nice for them to be different because then they aren’t like you so you can have someone who likes you who isn’t LIKE you.

Do you sometimes get mad at your friends? 

Isaac: No! I never get mad at my friends. Well, sometimes I get mad.

Alex C.: Yes, because they boss me around.

Brianna: Yeah. Sometimes they don’t want to play the game that I’m playing, but I don’t stay mad a long time.

Katie:  Not really. Sometimes. They kicked me accidentally, but I got over it pretty fast.
Alex S.: Sometimes. My friend said that I said a bad word, but I really didn’t. That made me mad.

MaryamSometimes I get mad at them if they beat up on me or if they get me in trouble.

Where are places that you might meet new friends?

IsaacAll over the whole United States! Let’s see, Iowa, Missouri, hmm. Swimming lessons…on my baseball team…church.

Mu’aadhAt the masjid, and at the library, and even at the Walmart. You can make friends anywhere.

Brianna: In fourth grade, because I’m going into fourth grade.

MaryamAt the park, at the library – I did already meet a friend there, and I bet you could at the zoo too, because there’s a lot of people at the zoo.

Katie: McDonald’s, my favorite place in the entire world.

Is it better to have lots of “okay” friends, or just a few really good friends?

MaxI think it is good to have lots of really good friends.

Alex S. I’d rather have a lot of good friends.

IsaacI already have a whole lot of friends, so I will go with the second one. The second one, to have a few good friends.


Alex C.I like to have a few really good friends, but I have a lot of okay friends too.


Mu’aadh

A few really good friends, because then you don’t have so many people that when you get something to eat and share you don’t have to get so much of it so they all get to have some.

Photo credits: Google Images

Looking for a great children’s book about friendship? We recommend Snutt the Ift by Helen Ward. You can still use coupon code LPPFriend12 at checkout for the remainder of June. Click here to purchase a copy.


Internet Safety in the World of Digital Kid Friendships

By Pragmatic Mom

I will freely admit that I am new to these issues of Internet safety, too, since my oldest is only 12 years old. I am naturally a paranoid person so when my kid asked for Gmail accounts and cell phones, I knew I had to figure out my policies and fast. My dad friend, Joel, gave me the most logical advice having gone through this with his own girls who are older than mine. He also worked for Virgin Mobile in marketing so he had access to cool technology and insight into what the future may bring.

His attitude was this: “You need to teach your kids about being safe on the Internet, specifically when to come to Daddy for help. But don’t avoid technology because 1) it will isolate your kids from their peers, and 2) technology is the future and I want my kids to be comfortable in this world.”

If you think about things like “Stranger Danger”, the same rules apply. It’s not realistic that you can shield your children from strangers, so to keep them safe they need to recognize danger and know what to do when they feel unsafe. Our school district has a Stranger Danger program in place that trains kids from Kindergarten onward annually on what to do in different scenarios. My kids get these principles reinforced through karate to the point that PickyKidPix is rather blasé about the pinky finger pull off move and the knee to groin move. “It’s obvious,” she says. “You grab their pinky finger back and try to break it. Then you kick to the groin. Assuming you can’t run away first.”

We haven’t had any child abductions in our town (knock on wood!), but there are attempts each year that fail because kids in our town are well-trained. No going into cars even with adults you know unless your mom or dad told you before hand. No leaving with strangers that claim your mom or dad sent them due to a family emergency.

The Internet — Facebook, Gmail, Boxx, video chat, Skype, and all the new iterations that seem to come out daily — is no different from the outside world. Except, perhaps regarding anonymity, lying about identity (adults pretending to be kids and vice versa), and the threats that come from being able to communicate with a false identity like bullying or worse. Ugh!

I think the biggest threat is Facebook. The set up is complicated and an adult, let alone a child, may inadvertently reveal too much information. I would start with reading A Parent’s Guide to Facebook which lays out Social Media safety in a step by step way. I squirreled away as I am a digital hoarder of information when I ran across this a few years ago knowing that I’ll need this. 

THE PRIVACY SETTINGS AREREALLY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND. SET THIS UP ANDTHEN EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILD WHY YOU DID IT THIS WAY ANDWHAT THE DANGER IS TO THEM.

After you do this, there should also be a frank discussion on what you will and will not allow your kids to do online. A verbal contract. Mine is this: you can talk to your friends online whether that is Skype, texting, emailing, and those apps that emulate a chatroom like Boxx. By friends, I mean it must be a person you have met FACE-TO-FACE, that LIVES IN OUR TOWN, that YOU DO PLAY DATES  with. If you don’t know the person this way, I MUST KNOW. Breaking this rule means losing your cell phone and other Internet privileges for a very long time.

Then it comes down to trust. Eavesdropping is also good and can’t be avoided, say, when you are all in the car driving about. Younger siblings are also a great source of fairly reliable information and are easy to bribe. Not having a computer in their bedroom also makes it easy to be omnipresent. But seriously, we do talk about this issue, I would say on a quarterly basis or whenever I get a hair up my a… um, nose.

I would also monitor changes in personality which, for a tween, particularly a girl tween is frequent and widely variant anyway.  Cranky-hating-your-parents behavior is par for the course. I would really get concerned if your tween becomes isolated and seems cut off from friends. If there is excessive screen time, I would also suss it out. Working on your music or soccer blog is fine for Music Lovers, like my oldest. But excessive screen time without an explanation is worth investigating.

So my advice is three pronged:

1) Understand social media yourself in order to know how it works and where the dangers lie. Be sure to read A Parent’s Guide to Facebook for setting up your child’s account. Don’t worry, this knowledge transfers to most other social media so it’s time well spent.

2) Have clear rules that you and your child discuss and agree to. Make it easy for your child to come to you with problems by focusing on solutions to real  issues that arise and not hypothetical situations.

3) Stay alert and pay attention to clues that your child throws off on a daily basis. Mood swings, isolation from friends, and excessive time online are all things to carefully monitor. 
How about you? What is your advice? We are all in this new world together and it helps to band together!
Pragmatic Mom is trying to figure out Facebook herself and luckily none of her kids are on it yet. They are, however, texting like champion thumb wrestlers, using apps that turn their iPod touches into closed chat rooms, texting, emailing, and Skyping like social media mavens. Her youngest is the most proficient with the iPhone too which scares her tremendously. She lives in a very small house along with her dog and husband so there is very little privacy. Having just 1 full bathroom will do that to you! She hopes to see you on Social Media but will freak out once her kids start tweeting her. She blogs excessively on children’s books and young adult literature and finds that when she blogs on education or parenting that kidlit sneaks in. It’s just like that for her.

Internet Safety in the World of Digital Kid Friendships

By Pragmatic Mom

I will freely admit that I am new to these issues of Internet safety, too, since my oldest is only 12 years old. I am naturally a paranoid person so when my kid asked for Gmail accounts and cell phones, I knew I had to figure out my policies and fast. My dad friend, Joel, gave me the most logical advice having gone through this with his own girls who are older than mine. He also worked for Virgin Mobile in marketing so he had access to cool technology and insight into what the future may bring.

His attitude was this: “You need to teach your kids about being safe on the Internet, specifically when to come to Daddy for help. But don’t avoid technology because 1) it will isolate your kids from their peers, and 2) technology is the future and I want my kids to be comfortable in this world.”

If you think about things like “Stranger Danger”, the same rules apply. It’s not realistic that you can shield your children from strangers, so to keep them safe they need to recognize danger and know what to do when they feel unsafe. Our school district has a Stranger Danger program in place that trains kids from Kindergarten onward annually on what to do in different scenarios. My kids get these principles reinforced through karate to the point that PickyKidPix is rather blasé about the pinky finger pull off move and the knee to groin move. “It’s obvious,” she says. “You grab their pinky finger back and try to break it. Then you kick to the groin. Assuming you can’t run away first.”

We haven’t had any child abductions in our town (knock on wood!), but there are attempts each year that fail because kids in our town are well-trained. No going into cars even with adults you know unless your mom or dad told you before hand. No leaving with strangers that claim your mom or dad sent them due to a family emergency.

The Internet — Facebook, Gmail, Boxx, video chat, Skype, and all the new iterations that seem to come out daily — is no different from the outside world. Except, perhaps regarding anonymity, lying about identity (adults pretending to be kids and vice versa), and the threats that come from being able to communicate with a false identity like bullying or worse. Ugh!

I think the biggest threat is Facebook. The set up is complicated and an adult, let alone a child, may inadvertently reveal too much information. I would start with reading A Parent’s Guide to Facebook which lays out Social Media safety in a step by step way. I squirreled away as I am a digital hoarder of information when I ran across this a few years ago knowing that I’ll need this. 

THE PRIVACY SETTINGS AREREALLY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND. SET THIS UP ANDTHEN EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILD WHY YOU DID IT THIS WAY ANDWHAT THE DANGER IS TO THEM.

After you do this, there should also be a frank discussion on what you will and will not allow your kids to do online. A verbal contract. Mine is this: you can talk to your friends online whether that is Skype, texting, emailing, and those apps that emulate a chatroom like Boxx. By friends, I mean it must be a person you have met FACE-TO-FACE, that LIVES IN OUR TOWN, that YOU DO PLAY DATES  with. If you don’t know the person this way, I MUST KNOW. Breaking this rule means losing your cell phone and other Internet privileges for a very long time.

Then it comes down to trust. Eavesdropping is also good and can’t be avoided, say, when you are all in the car driving about. Younger siblings are also a great source of fairly reliable information and are easy to bribe. Not having a computer in their bedroom also makes it easy to be omnipresent. But seriously, we do talk about this issue, I would say on a quarterly basis or whenever I get a hair up my a… um, nose.

I would also monitor changes in personality which, for a tween, particularly a girl tween is frequent and widely variant anyway.  Cranky-hating-your-parents behavior is par for the course. I would really get concerned if your tween becomes isolated and seems cut off from friends. If there is excessive screen time, I would also suss it out. Working on your music or soccer blog is fine for Music Lovers, like my oldest. But excessive screen time without an explanation is worth investigating.

So my advice is three pronged:

1) Understand social media yourself in order to know how it works and where the dangers lie. Be sure to read A Parent’s Guide to Facebook for setting up your child’s account. Don’t worry, this knowledge transfers to most other social media so it’s time well spent.

2) Have clear rules that you and your child discuss and agree to. Make it easy for your child to come to you with problems by focusing on solutions to real  issues that arise and not hypothetical situations.

3) Stay alert and pay attention to clues that your child throws off on a daily basis. Mood swings, isolation from friends, and excessive time online are all things to carefully monitor. 

How about you? What is your advice? We are all in this new world together and it helps to band together!
Pragmatic Mom is trying to figure out Facebook herself and luckily none of her kids are on it yet. They are, however, texting like champion thumb wrestlers, using apps that turn their iPod touches into closed chat rooms, texting, emailing, and Skyping like social media mavens. Her youngest is the most proficient with the iPhone too which scares her tremendously. She lives in a very small house along with her dog and husband so there is very little privacy. Having just 1 full bathroom will do that to you! She hopes to see you on Social Media but will freak out once her kids start tweeting her. She blogs excessively on children’s books and young adult literature and finds that when she blogs on education or parenting that kidlit sneaks in. It’s just like that for her.

Who Is Sofia?

By Land Wilson, Author of Sofia’s Dream

What would keep someone friends for an entire lifetime? What makes a friendship survive the events and life changes that often end friendships? I am someone with a lifelong friend. Over the years, people have asked, “How have you and Sandro stayed friends since age two?” I never had a clear answer until I started a memoir.
In a nutshell, Sandro Rossini and I have been excited by the same things. Plato said, “Friends have all things in common.” As toddlers, our interests matched beautifully. We liked building blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and anything Fisher Price as long as it had those little plastic people with round heads, colorful bodies, and smiley faces. As kids, we loved Hot Wheels, Water Rockets, Big Wheels and GI JOEs with Kung-Fu Grip. In middle school, dirt bikes, roller-skating, and disco became our “everything”, along with feathered hair and bell bottoms. 
snail-world.com
We also developed a keen desire to be young entrepreneurs. We saw real estate in our futures, so we prepared ourselves by investing in comic books and coins. We even launched our own escargot business out of my backyard clubhouse. Sadly, our hopes for riches selling them to local restaurants were thwarted by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa – an intestinal bacteria that spreads rapidly when populations are too dense.
Our interests came and went, but one that never went was girls. The lengths we would go to woo the girls of our affections make for two decades worth of funny stories. Fast-forward through our teens and twenties and our greatest thing in common would become the journey of starting our own families.
So who is Sofia? Thanks to the foresight of Little Pickle Press, a branding agency was engaged to fine-tune the title of my manuscript. Sofia’s Dreamwas chosen. I was pleased because “dream” is a powerful word and “Sofia” means wisdom in Greek. Being a top choice in baby names and universally recognized was a bonus. Ironically, Sandro’s daughter (now my daughter’s best friend) is also Sofia. 
Over the last seven years, I have done a lot of childcare for Sofia Rossini especially when her mother was suffering from a lengthy bout of morning sickness during her 2nd pregnancy. I am proud to say that there are two little Sofias in my life and both feel like family.
Having a lifelong friend has been a blessing, but not always rosy. Sandro and I have had our share of squabbles, but we have always come back to our friendship and our common interests. I don’t think having a lot in common is needed to have a lifelong friend, but it gives more reasons for spending time together. 
Who was it that said, “Those who play together stay together?”
Readers, if you have a lifelong friend, tell us about them in the comments. How long have you known them? What keeps your friendship together?
We also have a special promotion this month offering 25% off your entire purchase if you buy a Little Pickle Press book for a friend. Click here to see our entire selection of award-winning titles including Sofia’s Dream. Then use coupon code LPPFriend12 at checkout.

Who Is Sofia?

By Land Wilson, Author of Sofia’s Dream

What would keep someone friends for an entire lifetime? What makes a friendship survive the events and life changes that often end friendships? I am someone with a lifelong friend. Over the years, people have asked, “How have you and Sandro stayed friends since age two?” I never had a clear answer until I started a memoir.
In a nutshell, Sandro Rossini and I have been excited by the same things. Plato said, “Friends have all things in common.” As toddlers, our interests matched beautifully. We liked building blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and anything Fisher Price as long as it had those little plastic people with round heads, colorful bodies, and smiley faces. As kids, we loved Hot Wheels, Water Rockets, Big Wheels and GI JOEs with Kung-Fu Grip. In middle school, dirt bikes, roller-skating, and disco became our “everything”, along with feathered hair and bell bottoms. 
snail-world.com
We also developed a keen desire to be young entrepreneurs. We saw real estate in our futures, so we prepared ourselves by investing in comic books and coins. We even launched our own escargot business out of my backyard clubhouse. Sadly, our hopes for riches selling them to local restaurants were thwarted by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa – an intestinal bacteria that spreads rapidly when populations are too dense.
Our interests came and went, but one that never went was girls. The lengths we would go to woo the girls of our affections make for two decades worth of funny stories. Fast-forward through our teens and twenties and our greatest thing in common would become the journey of starting our own families.
So who is Sofia? Thanks to the foresight of Little Pickle Press, a branding agency was engaged to fine-tune the title of my manuscript. Sofia’s Dreamwas chosen. I was pleased because “dream” is a powerful word and “Sofia” means wisdom in Greek. Being a top choice in baby names and universally recognized was a bonus. Ironically, Sandro’s daughter (now my daughter’s best friend) is also Sofia. 
Over the last seven years, I have done a lot of childcare for Sofia Rossini especially when her mother was suffering from a lengthy bout of morning sickness during her 2nd pregnancy. I am proud to say that there are two little Sofias in my life and both feel like family.
Having a lifelong friend has been a blessing, but not always rosy. Sandro and I have had our share of squabbles, but we have always come back to our friendship and our common interests. I don’t think having a lot in common is needed to have a lifelong friend, but it gives more reasons for spending time together. 
Who was it that said, “Those who play together stay together?”
Readers, if you have a lifelong friend, tell us about them in the comments. How long have you known them? What keeps your friendship together?
We also have a special promotion this month offering 25% off your entire purchase if you buy a Little Pickle Press book for a friend. Click here to see our entire selection of award-winning titles including Sofia’s Dream. Then use coupon code LPPFriend12 at checkout.

Ift and When You Find a Friend

In this ever-expanding digital age, full of “likes” and “follows” and “shares”, the idea of friendship has evolved into something very different.  Or has it?  In Snutt the Ift, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery that spans the universe and fits inside the heart.
Explorer and dreamer, Snutt, travels far and wide, seeking out the wonders of the universe and cataloging his discoveries.  When the beauty of a distant world fills him with loneliness, what is a lonely Ift to do but look up?  And what magic is waiting when that look is returned?
This simple, delightful story is paired with illustrations as imaginative as the characters within the pages.  Readers of all ages will enjoy finding familiar objects such as pencils and notebooks laid alongside fanciful butterflings and flewimols, and the phrase “blossoming friendship” will take on a whole new meaning.
The layout of the book is very inviting, beckoning readers (and listeners) with its relaxed pace and natural rhythm.  The pauses in each sentence create a gentle sense of anticipation, and will give parents and children alike a little extra time to enjoy the artwork on each page.
I shared this story with my four-year-old son, a connoisseur of discovery and exploration.  He gleefully pointed out hidden details in the artwork, and was especially delighted with Snutt’s notebook.  “He’s makin’ words!”  Of course, the proof of the pudding came with his bedtime request. “I wanna read dat book again, please.”
My son is not the only one who feels this way.  Snutt the Ift was recently chosen as a Gold Medal Winner, Children’s Picture Books category, in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  This is a third honor for Snutt, which won a silver Nautilus Book Award in 2011, and a gold Mom’s Choice Award in 2012. 
With more than twenty books to her name, author and illustrator, Helen Ward, uses her inborn love of drawing and an art school background to bring stories to life.  Miss Ward has said that she feels “strongly that books can help children make educated choices about things that affect their lives.”  To this end, she has created a number of works that offer subtle lessons about friendship, imagination, and the balance of nature.
   
The message in this book is clear without being over the top.  Small children will be able to relate to the loneliness of the explorer, while older readers will be charmed by the subtle gesture of friendship made by Snutt’s best discovery. 
As a story, Snutt the Ift is a sweet tale of adventure on an emotional level.  As a message, it is a gentle reminder that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.
  
Audrey Lintner is a homeschooling mother of one, and the owner of what some have called “too many books”.  Her weekly column, The Procraftinator, can be found online at www.kofo.com.  She currently lives somewhere over the rainbow with her husband and son. 

To order a copy of Snutt the Ift, please visit the Little Pickle Press website. Buy one of our award-winning titles as a gift for a friend or family member, and receive 25% off your entire order! This month, show your appreciation by gifting our award-winning books. Just use code LPPFriend12 at checkout.

Ift and When You Find a Friend

In this ever-expanding digital age, full of “likes” and “follows” and “shares”, the idea of friendship has evolved into something very different.  Or has it?  In Snutt the Ift, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery that spans the universe and fits inside the heart.
Explorer and dreamer, Snutt, travels far and wide, seeking out the wonders of the universe and cataloging his discoveries.  When the beauty of a distant world fills him with loneliness, what is a lonely Ift to do but look up?  And what magic is waiting when that look is returned?
This simple, delightful story is paired with illustrations as imaginative as the characters within the pages.  Readers of all ages will enjoy finding familiar objects such as pencils and notebooks laid alongside fanciful butterflings and flewimols, and the phrase “blossoming friendship” will take on a whole new meaning.
The layout of the book is very inviting, beckoning readers (and listeners) with its relaxed pace and natural rhythm.  The pauses in each sentence create a gentle sense of anticipation, and will give parents and children alike a little extra time to enjoy the artwork on each page.
I shared this story with my four-year-old son, a connoisseur of discovery and exploration.  He gleefully pointed out hidden details in the artwork, and was especially delighted with Snutt’s notebook.  “He’s makin’ words!”  Of course, the proof of the pudding came with his bedtime request. “I wanna read dat book again, please.”
My son is not the only one who feels this way.  Snutt the Ift was recently chosen as a Gold Medal Winner, Children’s Picture Books category, in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  This is a third honor for Snutt, which won a silver Nautilus Book Award in 2011, and a gold Mom’s Choice Award in 2012. 
With more than twenty books to her name, author and illustrator, Helen Ward, uses her inborn love of drawing and an art school background to bring stories to life.  Miss Ward has said that she feels “strongly that books can help children make educated choices about things that affect their lives.”  To this end, she has created a number of works that offer subtle lessons about friendship, imagination, and the balance of nature.
   
The message in this book is clear without being over the top.  Small children will be able to relate to the loneliness of the explorer, while older readers will be charmed by the subtle gesture of friendship made by Snutt’s best discovery. 
As a story, Snutt the Ift is a sweet tale of adventure on an emotional level.  As a message, it is a gentle reminder that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.
  
Audrey Lintner is a homeschooling mother of one, and the owner of what some have called “too many books”.  Her weekly column, The Procraftinator, can be found online at www.kofo.com.  She currently lives somewhere over the rainbow with her husband and son. 

To order a copy of Snutt the Ift, please visit the Little Pickle Press website. Buy one of our award-winning titles as a gift for a friend or family member, and receive 25% off your entire order! This month, show your appreciation by gifting our award-winning books. Just use code LPPFriend12 at checkout.

Great Books for Summer Reading!

By Wendy L. Howk and Keli Richmond


Summer reading isn’t so much about what your children are reading, but that your children are reading!

Encourage children to read – whatever they want to read!  Reading should be fun! Any kind of reading activity builds literacy and language skills.  If children find reading exciting, communication skills will develop naturally through spontaneous conversations.  Children love to share information with you about their favorite reads!  Let the sharing lead to trips to the library or book store for more books and knowledge.
Don’t forget to check out e-books and audio books that are easily available for FREE from school and public libraries.  These options make great travelling companions!  Read with your eyes and ears!

Discover some new favorites this summer!  Below, you will find the latest children’s books available in libraries and book stores near you.  The options are eclectic and represent familiar and new characters.  Let summer be a time of reading whatever strikes your child’s fancy, revisit old favorites, and discover some new friends along the way!


Picture Books

Do you know a child with Another Brother or sister?  Davy, an only sheep, was happy being the center of attention.  Then, came little Petey… and eleven other little brothers! An amusing read by Matthew Cordell, this adorable book is recommended for preschool through 3rd grade.

BFFs (Best Friends Forever), Chopsticks, are separated by an accidental asparagus incident!  Author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, has created a whimsical book that includes many wonderful opportunities to learn about true friendships while learning some inferencing skills. Chopsticks is recommended for kindergarten through 2ndGrade.

Laugh out loud with E-mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld! When “E” ends up injured and in the hospital, her friend “O” comes to the rescue. Fun ensues! A must read for the ENTIRE family with hidden humor on every page.

If you love Mo Willems and his delightful Elephant & Piggy books, then you must try Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories by Jeff Mack. The comic-like illustrations accompanied by minimal words make this story perfect for the youngest reader.  Even though you know how each story will end, Jeff Mack has a fun way of slurping up each fly. This story will have readers begging to hear it again and again.




Filled with vibrant onomatopoeias, Listen to My Trumpet!, is a delightful new addition to the Elephant and Piggie easy reader series by Mo Willems.  Kindergarten through 2ndgrade will discover a heartwarming friendship built on honesty with lots of giggles thrown in between!


Meet Me at the Moon is a reassuring love story between a mother and child, reminiscent of Runaway Bunny.  The beautiful illustrations follow the love of a mother elephant and her child, while introducing children to the beauty of Africa.  (Pre-K-2nd Grade)



Elliot discovers One Cool Friend during an excursion to an aquarium with his father.  Author, Toni Buzzeo, and illustrator, David Small, have created a fanciful story chock-full of artwork that contains hidden clues leading to a surprise ending!  Recommended for preschool through 3rd grade.

Looking for a new way to teach your kindergarten through 2nd grade children or students about transportation?  Look no further!  Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!, a new adventure in the Fly Guy easy reader series, by Tedd Arnold, incorporates planes, trains and automobiles ~ just to name a few! 


Young children will delight in the fantastical representations of animals in Christoph Niemann’s That’s How! . This delightful book shows a child’s perception of how different machines work.  Your imagination will quickly start predicting the next machine and animals. The simple, predictable text will allow the youngest child to chime in enthusiastically.

Fans of Patricia Polacco, will quickly realize that The Art of Miss Chew is autobiographical.  Trisha knows that she wants to be an artist, and thanks to her beloved homeroom teacher, she is allowed to visit the special art class at the high school with Miss Chew.  This story embraces following your dream and standing up to the opposition when necessary.  If your child enjoys this one, you must visit your library for more books by Polacco, who relies greatly on her own life to create her stories.


Zero the Hero will appeal to those that love cartoons, comics, and math. Zero is often overlooked by the other numbers, but he believes in himself and soon proves that he is a hero!  Students of all ages will enjoy this book, and grades 3+ can delight in investigating the impact that zero has on different mathematical operations.  There is even a delightful confrontation with the Roman numerals.




Graphic Novels
The tables are turned!  This story isn’t about aliens invading Earth – it’s about an Earth boy invading outer space.  Well, actually not invading, he accidently gets on the wrong school bus and ends up at Cosmos Academy, where everything is not what it seems.  Boys of all ages will love this new graphic novel, Earthling!by Mark Fearing.  The full color graphics, creative and creepy looking aliens, and new sport called Zeroball will keep kids turning the pages.  For grades 3+.
What’s inside the box? Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is a graphic novel collection of seven short stories, told through a wide variety of illustrations and styles.  Some are bright and humorous, others are dark and spooky, each one a little bit mysterious.  Readers are sure to find at least one or two stories that appeal to them.  For grades 3+

Giant’s Bewareis a full-color graphic novel that will appeal to both boys and girls.  The heroine is a feisty girl determined to save her world from the giant, even though no one else seems concerned.  Accompanied by her little brother and best friend (who is convinced that facing a giant is her fast-track to becoming a princess), Claudette begins her daring quest. There is plenty to enjoy in this adventure for grades 2-6.
Solving mysteries and making cookies is the Lunch Lady’s forte!  Save the day and do some math problems along the way in Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes!  Jarrett Krosoczka, has created a fun, popular series that combines 007 suspense with school silliness.  Recommended for ages 7 to 10.


Evil penguins… or are they puffins?  No need to fear!  The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan is here!  This graphic novel series for kindergarten through 3rd grade by Maxwell Eaton is wacky, adventurous, and full of conspiracies!

The Shark King is a graphic novel representation of an ancient Hawaiian legend.  This book is geared for younger readers, grades 1-3, with simple text that is well supported with full-color graphics.  Perhaps this book will be a great jumping off point for further reading about other cultures and their legends.






Chapter Books

Get ready for a family adventure abroad! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang returns in the form of a 1966 VW camper van.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, the first volume of a planned trilogy by Frank Cottrell Boyce, contains mystery and suspense with a bit of world studies!  Recommended for 3rd grade through 6th grade.
Does every walk you take turn into an adventure of finding bugs, lizards, wildflowers, or special rocks? Then you and your child need to read Citizen Scientist by Loree Griffin Burns. Filled with glorious pictures, maps, and diagrams this book explores how everyday people – including children – can study their world around them and even participate in research projects. Although the ideas will appeal to all ages, this text is at an upper elementary level (3rd-6th grade).
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Braggand Kevin O’Malley is a hilarious yet gruesomely, fascinating glimpse into the stories behind the deaths of many familiar figures such as King Tut, Napoleon, and George Washington.  This is sure to appeal to the scientific minded and those who “love to be scared”.  I know this book won’t stay on the shelves in my library for long!

Summer is a special time for visits with grandparents and extended family. In Kindred Souls,Patricia MacLachlan writes about a special relationship between a boy and his grandfather. The story is written at a 2nd – 3rd grade level and sensitively deals with the difficult issue of grandparents aging and saying goodbye to them. This would be a wonderful story for families to read together as they talk about the importance of family.

Summer is time for America’s greatest pastime – baseball! This glimpse into history includes plenty of baseball, along with more serious issues of discrimination.  King of the Mound follows Nick as he comes home from being in the hospital for over a year with polio. Unlikely friendships with the girl next door and the famous Satchel Paige help Nick face his lingering disability. Will Nick ever pitch again? For grades 4+.

Do you have a big reader at your house?  Lauren Child has started a new series which will appeal to girls who love a good adventure.  Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes has all the excitement of a James Bond movie (think of it as Alex Ryder for girls), but geared for young female readers. Ruby is a brilliant 13-year-old recruited by the super-secret Spectrum Agency to help break a mysterious code, who finds herself in deeper than they ever intended. For grades 5+.
One hundred years later, we still remember.  Titanic: Voices from the Disaster is a poignant nonfiction record of the April 15, 1912 incident. Deborah Hopkinson has created a truly touching account of actual events and survivor stories. Recommended for grades 4+.

New additions to a few series that children seem to really love…

For the girls: 

Laurie Friedman has added book #17 to her Mallory series, with Oh Boy, Mallory.  Mallory is in 5th grade, and although all her friends seem to think having a boyfriend is so great, Mallory isn’t too sure.  This is a book about growing up, friendships, and yes – liking boys. Parents will find the message in this book is age-appropriate, with the focus on family, friendship, and honesty first. Girls will love how this story is written as Mallory’s diary!


Who needs a summer destination vacation when you can go on a Fairy Liesquest?  Magic, romance, trolls, goblins, mermaids, fairies and more!  E. D. Baker has beautifully crafted a captivating sequel to Fairy Wings. (6th – 9thgrade)

For the boys: 

The latest addition to the Dragonbreath series, Revenge of the Horned Bunnies, by Ursula Vernon, won’t disappoint readers looking for fun and adventure. Danny and his friends Wendell and Christiana are on their way to summer camp in the desert, with one drawback – Danny’s pesky little cousin Spencer is coming along too.  Camp Jackrabbit is your typical summer camp experience, with a few changes… The pace of this story is quick, with lots of illustrations and humor.




For both boys & girls: 

The Buddy Files is filling up library shelves quickly, with the latest, The Case of the School Ghost.  Buddy has joined his humans on a sleepover for 4th graders at school.  A mysterious package and rumors of a ghost, Agatha, haunting the school add to the excitement of this story.  The author does a great job of making this story fun and slightly scary, without becoming predictable.  The text is very approachable for high first graders through 5th grade.



Do you have a son or daughter who is a fan of NONSTOP action & adventure?  Then you will want to check out Roland Smith’s Storm Runners series. The latest has just arrived – Eruption.  This story picks up right where Surgeleft off (so if you are starting with this one, like I did, you will want to backtrack and read the others) and quickly accelerates into a rescue mission to Mexico where the circus performers are trapped on Lago de la Montaña.  Grades 3+


Brixton Brothers: It Happened on a Train is an engaging and humorous addition to the Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett.  Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton is a retired detective. He is determined to enjoy his middle school years when a case falls in his lap. Steve decides not to accept the case on any terms, until a girl becomes involved! The Brixton Brother series is recommended for 3rd grade through 5th grade students.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wendy L. Howk, M.A.T., M.L.S. is an elementary school librarian with 20 years of teaching experience in general and special education classrooms.  She has a Master of Library Science Degree, Master of Arts Degree in Teaching, a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, Special Education certification, and a Teaching License.

Currently Wendy is the elementary librarian at Canyon Ridge Elementary in San Antonio, Texas.  Her days are filled with teaching children age 3 through fifth grade about the love of reading; guiding students through the research process; and preparing 21st century learners to navigate the digital world.  Her evenings are filled with expanding her own digital knowledge, and reading, reading, reading so that she always has books to recommend to eager and reluctant readers.

Keli Richmond, M.S., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist specializing in early literacy development.  She has a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Audiology, a Minor Focus in Special Education and a Teaching License. 
Currently, she conducts in-service training for school-based personnel, presents accredited continuing education seminars nationwide for Northern Speech Services, and speaks at Speech-Language-Hearing Conventions, Educator Conferences and related events.

She is the author of Literacy Speaks!® ~ a comprehensive program driven by orthographic instruction (printed cues) that focuses on improving speech intelligibility, enhancing phonological awareness and expanding language skills while developing a strong literacy foundation.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Little Pickle Press books make for great summer reading, too! Find ways to stay green, safe, and present this summer, or learn about being global before traveling, with our award-winning What Does It Mean To Be…?® series. Don’t have time to travel this summer? Take a trip to the moon with Sofia’s Dream or to a magical world with Snutt the Ift. And don’t forget to continue to stretch your brains outside of the classroom this summer with Your Fantastic Elastic Brain!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for information about a very special, exclusive deal! 

Great Books for Summer Reading!

By Wendy L. Howk and Keli Richmond


Summer reading isn’t so much about what your children are reading, but that your children are reading!

Encourage children to read – whatever they want to read!  Reading should be fun! Any kind of reading activity builds literacy and language skills.  If children find reading exciting, communication skills will develop naturally through spontaneous conversations.  Children love to share information with you about their favorite reads!  Let the sharing lead to trips to the library or book store for more books and knowledge.
Don’t forget to check out e-books and audio books that are easily available for FREE from school and public libraries.  These options make great travelling companions!  Read with your eyes and ears!

Discover some new favorites this summer!  Below, you will find the latest children’s books available in libraries and book stores near you.  The options are eclectic and represent familiar and new characters.  Let summer be a time of reading whatever strikes your child’s fancy, revisit old favorites, and discover some new friends along the way!


Picture Books

Do you know a child with Another Brother or sister?  Davy, an only sheep, was happy being the center of attention.  Then, came little Petey… and eleven other little brothers! An amusing read by Matthew Cordell, this adorable book is recommended for preschool through 3rd grade.

BFFs (Best Friends Forever), Chopsticks, are separated by an accidental asparagus incident!  Author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, has created a whimsical book that includes many wonderful opportunities to learn about true friendships while learning some inferencing skills. Chopsticks is recommended for kindergarten through 2ndGrade.

Laugh out loud with E-mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld! When “E” ends up injured and in the hospital, her friend “O” comes to the rescue. Fun ensues! A must read for the ENTIRE family with hidden humor on every page.

If you love Mo Willems and his delightful Elephant & Piggy books, then you must try Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories by Jeff Mack. The comic-like illustrations accompanied by minimal words make this story perfect for the youngest reader.  Even though you know how each story will end, Jeff Mack has a fun way of slurping up each fly. This story will have readers begging to hear it again and again.




Filled with vibrant onomatopoeias, Listen to My Trumpet!, is a delightful new addition to the Elephant and Piggie easy reader series by Mo Willems.  Kindergarten through 2ndgrade will discover a heartwarming friendship built on honesty with lots of giggles thrown in between!


Meet Me at the Moon is a reassuring love story between a mother and child, reminiscent of Runaway Bunny.  The beautiful illustrations follow the love of a mother elephant and her child, while introducing children to the beauty of Africa.  (Pre-K-2nd Grade)



Elliot discovers One Cool Friend during an excursion to an aquarium with his father.  Author, Toni Buzzeo, and illustrator, David Small, have created a fanciful story chock-full of artwork that contains hidden clues leading to a surprise ending!  Recommended for preschool through 3rd grade.

Looking for a new way to teach your kindergarten through 2nd grade children or students about transportation?  Look no further!  Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!, a new adventure in the Fly Guy easy reader series, by Tedd Arnold, incorporates planes, trains and automobiles ~ just to name a few! 


Young children will delight in the fantastical representations of animals in Christoph Niemann’s That’s How! . This delightful book shows a child’s perception of how different machines work.  Your imagination will quickly start predicting the next machine and animals. The simple, predictable text will allow the youngest child to chime in enthusiastically.

Fans of Patricia Polacco, will quickly realize that The Art of Miss Chew is autobiographical.  Trisha knows that she wants to be an artist, and thanks to her beloved homeroom teacher, she is allowed to visit the special art class at the high school with Miss Chew.  This story embraces following your dream and standing up to the opposition when necessary.  If your child enjoys this one, you must visit your library for more books by Polacco, who relies greatly on her own life to create her stories.


Zero the Hero will appeal to those that love cartoons, comics, and math. Zero is often overlooked by the other numbers, but he believes in himself and soon proves that he is a hero!  Students of all ages will enjoy this book, and grades 3+ can delight in investigating the impact that zero has on different mathematical operations.  There is even a delightful confrontation with the Roman numerals.




Graphic Novels
The tables are turned!  This story isn’t about aliens invading Earth – it’s about an Earth boy invading outer space.  Well, actually not invading, he accidently gets on the wrong school bus and ends up at Cosmos Academy, where everything is not what it seems.  Boys of all ages will love this new graphic novel, Earthling!by Mark Fearing.  The full color graphics, creative and creepy looking aliens, and new sport called Zeroball will keep kids turning the pages.  For grades 3+.
What’s inside the box? Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is a graphic novel collection of seven short stories, told through a wide variety of illustrations and styles.  Some are bright and humorous, others are dark and spooky, each one a little bit mysterious.  Readers are sure to find at least one or two stories that appeal to them.  For grades 3+

Giant’s Bewareis a full-color graphic novel that will appeal to both boys and girls.  The heroine is a feisty girl determined to save her world from the giant, even though no one else seems concerned.  Accompanied by her little brother and best friend (who is convinced that facing a giant is her fast-track to becoming a princess), Claudette begins her daring quest. There is plenty to enjoy in this adventure for grades 2-6.
Solving mysteries and making cookies is the Lunch Lady’s forte!  Save the day and do some math problems along the way in Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes!  Jarrett Krosoczka, has created a fun, popular series that combines 007 suspense with school silliness.  Recommended for ages 7 to 10.


Evil penguins… or are they puffins?  No need to fear!  The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan is here!  This graphic novel series for kindergarten through 3rd grade by Maxwell Eaton is wacky, adventurous, and full of conspiracies!

The Shark King is a graphic novel representation of an ancient Hawaiian legend.  This book is geared for younger readers, grades 1-3, with simple text that is well supported with full-color graphics.  Perhaps this book will be a great jumping off point for further reading about other cultures and their legends.






Chapter Books

Get ready for a family adventure abroad! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang returns in the form of a 1966 VW camper van.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, the first volume of a planned trilogy by Frank Cottrell Boyce, contains mystery and suspense with a bit of world studies!  Recommended for 3rd grade through 6th grade.
Does every walk you take turn into an adventure of finding bugs, lizards, wildflowers, or special rocks? Then you and your child need to read Citizen Scientist by Loree Griffin Burns. Filled with glorious pictures, maps, and diagrams this book explores how everyday people – including children – can study their world around them and even participate in research projects. Although the ideas will appeal to all ages, this text is at an upper elementary level (3rd-6th grade).
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Braggand Kevin O’Malley is a hilarious yet gruesomely, fascinating glimpse into the stories behind the deaths of many familiar figures such as King Tut, Napoleon, and George Washington.  This is sure to appeal to the scientific minded and those who “love to be scared”.  I know this book won’t stay on the shelves in my library for long!

Summer is a special time for visits with grandparents and extended family. In Kindred Souls,Patricia MacLachlan writes about a special relationship between a boy and his grandfather. The story is written at a 2nd – 3rd grade level and sensitively deals with the difficult issue of grandparents aging and saying goodbye to them. This would be a wonderful story for families to read together as they talk about the importance of family.

Summer is time for America’s greatest pastime – baseball! This glimpse into history includes plenty of baseball, along with more serious issues of discrimination.  King of the Mound follows Nick as he comes home from being in the hospital for over a year with polio. Unlikely friendships with the girl next door and the famous Satchel Paige help Nick face his lingering disability. Will Nick ever pitch again? For grades 4+.

Do you have a big reader at your house?  Lauren Child has started a new series which will appeal to girls who love a good adventure.  Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes has all the excitement of a James Bond movie (think of it as Alex Ryder for girls), but geared for young female readers. Ruby is a brilliant 13-year-old recruited by the super-secret Spectrum Agency to help break a mysterious code, who finds herself in deeper than they ever intended. For grades 5+.
One hundred years later, we still remember.  Titanic: Voices from the Disaster is a poignant nonfiction record of the April 15, 1912 incident. Deborah Hopkinson has created a truly touching account of actual events and survivor stories. Recommended for grades 4+.

New additions to a few series that children seem to really love…

For the girls: 

Laurie Friedman has added book #17 to her Mallory series, with Oh Boy, Mallory.  Mallory is in 5th grade, and although all her friends seem to think having a boyfriend is so great, Mallory isn’t too sure.  This is a book about growing up, friendships, and yes – liking boys. Parents will find the message in this book is age-appropriate, with the focus on family, friendship, and honesty first. Girls will love how this story is written as Mallory’s diary!


Who needs a summer destination vacation when you can go on a Fairy Liesquest?  Magic, romance, trolls, goblins, mermaids, fairies and more!  E. D. Baker has beautifully crafted a captivating sequel to Fairy Wings. (6th – 9thgrade)

For the boys: 

The latest addition to the Dragonbreath series, Revenge of the Horned Bunnies, by Ursula Vernon, won’t disappoint readers looking for fun and adventure. Danny and his friends Wendell and Christiana are on their way to summer camp in the desert, with one drawback – Danny’s pesky little cousin Spencer is coming along too.  Camp Jackrabbit is your typical summer camp experience, with a few changes… The pace of this story is quick, with lots of illustrations and humor.




For both boys & girls: 

The Buddy Files is filling up library shelves quickly, with the latest, The Case of the School Ghost.  Buddy has joined his humans on a sleepover for 4th graders at school.  A mysterious package and rumors of a ghost, Agatha, haunting the school add to the excitement of this story.  The author does a great job of making this story fun and slightly scary, without becoming predictable.  The text is very approachable for high first graders through 5th grade.



Do you have a son or daughter who is a fan of NONSTOP action & adventure?  Then you will want to check out Roland Smith’s Storm Runners series. The latest has just arrived – Eruption.  This story picks up right where Surgeleft off (so if you are starting with this one, like I did, you will want to backtrack and read the others) and quickly accelerates into a rescue mission to Mexico where the circus performers are trapped on Lago de la Montaña.  Grades 3+


Brixton Brothers: It Happened on a Train is an engaging and humorous addition to the Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett.  Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton is a retired detective. He is determined to enjoy his middle school years when a case falls in his lap. Steve decides not to accept the case on any terms, until a girl becomes involved! The Brixton Brother series is recommended for 3rd grade through 5th grade students.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wendy L. Howk, M.A.T., M.L.S. is an elementary school librarian with 20 years of teaching experience in general and special education classrooms.  She has a Master of Library Science Degree, Master of Arts Degree in Teaching, a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, Special Education certification, and a Teaching License.

Currently Wendy is the elementary librarian at Canyon Ridge Elementary in San Antonio, Texas.  Her days are filled with teaching children age 3 through fifth grade about the love of reading; guiding students through the research process; and preparing 21st century learners to navigate the digital world.  Her evenings are filled with expanding her own digital knowledge, and reading, reading, reading so that she always has books to recommend to eager and reluctant readers.

Keli Richmond, M.S., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist specializing in early literacy development.  She has a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Audiology, a Minor Focus in Special Education and a Teaching License. 
Currently, she conducts in-service training for school-based personnel, presents accredited continuing education seminars nationwide for Northern Speech Services, and speaks at Speech-Language-Hearing Conventions, Educator Conferences and related events.

She is the author of Literacy Speaks!® ~ a comprehensive program driven by orthographic instruction (printed cues) that focuses on improving speech intelligibility, enhancing phonological awareness and expanding language skills while developing a strong literacy foundation.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Little Pickle Press books make for great summer reading, too! Find ways to stay green, safe, and present this summer, or learn about being global before traveling, with our award-winning What Does It Mean To Be…?® series. Don’t have time to travel this summer? Take a trip to the moon with Sofia’s Dream or to a magical world with Snutt the Ift. And don’t forget to continue to stretch your brains outside of the classroom this summer with Your Fantastic Elastic Brain!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for information about a very special, exclusive deal! 

Celebrating My Dad’s Life

By Rana DiOrio, Founder & CEO of Little Pickle Press
Today, my Dad is being discharged from a rehabilitation hospital and heading home for the first time in 9 weeks. I am full of gratitude that he is alive and progressing towards health and wellness.
In April, I enjoyed an especially wonderful Spring Break with my Dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my children in Kiawah, SC. 
When Dad returned home, he didn’t feel well. The next day, he couldn’t get out of bed. My step-mom called 9-1-1, and within minutes he was in the hospital.
The markers in his EKG revealed that he had suffered another heart attack. He was transferred to the hospital where his cardiologist has admitting privileges, and a team of top-notch doctors began to analyze his case. The conclusion they drew was that Dad needed a triple bypass and a valve replacement. The surgery was supposed to last six hours but ended up taking 13 ½ hours. He appeared to have weathered the worst of the storm when disaster hit. The stress of the heart surgery gave rise to an ulcer that perforated his bowel, which in turn caused him to be septic and on the verge of renal failure. I held his hand during his precipitous decline, and I signed the consent for his emergency GI surgery. The GI surgery was supposed to last three hours but ended up lasting eight hours.
My Dad’s close friend started a blog so that my Dad’s family and many friends could keep track of him. I helped to maintain the blog whenever I visited Dad. Sitting next to him in the ICU on May 13th, which was Mother’s Day, I wrote the following post:
 For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I sit here with Dad this afternoon, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am grateful for his improvements over the course of the weekend. I am grateful for the extraordinary team of medical professionals who have invested their talents in Dad. I am grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and for the sacrifices you have made to benefit Dad. I am grateful for all of the well wishes, emails, texts, cards, and calls we have received. I am grateful for the gestures of love and kindness you have shared, such as the prayer blanket that Anna Mae brought for Dad, which I am wearing today because it is cold in his room. I am grateful for all of the Mother’s Day wishes I have received today. I am grateful for the miracle of life and the will to live. Above all, today, I am grateful for the power of prayer and for all of you who have prayed for Dad’s recovery and continued strength. Your prayers are being answered.
With love and gratitude,

Rana 

Photo credit: http://citypictures.net”
This Father’s Day, I am enormously grateful for my Dad’s life. I have a new appreciation for how precious and fragile life is. I encourage you to celebrate the dads in your life. Be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. From all of us at Little Pickle Press to all of you, Happy Father’s Day!

Celebrating My Dad’s Life

By Rana DiOrio, Founder & CEO of Little Pickle Press
Today, my Dad is being discharged from a rehabilitation hospital and heading home for the first time in 9 weeks. I am full of gratitude that he is alive and progressing towards health and wellness.
In April, I enjoyed an especially wonderful Spring Break with my Dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my children in Kiawah, SC. 
When Dad returned home, he didn’t feel well. The next day, he couldn’t get out of bed. My step-mom called 9-1-1, and within minutes he was in the hospital.
The markers in his EKG revealed that he had suffered another heart attack. He was transferred to the hospital where his cardiologist has admitting privileges, and a team of top-notch doctors began to analyze his case. The conclusion they drew was that Dad needed a triple bypass and a valve replacement. The surgery was supposed to last six hours but ended up taking 13 ½ hours. He appeared to have weathered the worst of the storm when disaster hit. The stress of the heart surgery gave rise to an ulcer that perforated his bowel, which in turn caused him to be septic and on the verge of renal failure. I held his hand during his precipitous decline, and I signed the consent for his emergency GI surgery. The GI surgery was supposed to last three hours but ended up lasting eight hours.
My Dad’s close friend started a blog so that my Dad’s family and many friends could keep track of him. I helped to maintain the blog whenever I visited Dad. Sitting next to him in the ICU on May 13th, which was Mother’s Day, I wrote the following post:
 For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I sit here with Dad this afternoon, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am grateful for his improvements over the course of the weekend. I am grateful for the extraordinary team of medical professionals who have invested their talents in Dad. I am grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and for the sacrifices you have made to benefit Dad. I am grateful for all of the well wishes, emails, texts, cards, and calls we have received. I am grateful for the gestures of love and kindness you have shared, such as the prayer blanket that Anna Mae brought for Dad, which I am wearing today because it is cold in his room. I am grateful for all of the Mother’s Day wishes I have received today. I am grateful for the miracle of life and the will to live. Above all, today, I am grateful for the power of prayer and for all of you who have prayed for Dad’s recovery and continued strength. Your prayers are being answered.
With love and gratitude,

Rana 

Photo credit: http://citypictures.net”
This Father’s Day, I am enormously grateful for my Dad’s life. I have a new appreciation for how precious and fragile life is. I encourage you to celebrate the dads in your life. Be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. From all of us at Little Pickle Press to all of you, Happy Father’s Day!

Featured Customer of the Month: Chicago Botanic Garden

By Cameron Crane


Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022

Since opening for business, Little Pickle Press has been very fortunate for the opportunity to reach a variety of different markets. The educational, global, and environmental themes of our titles make them wonderful candidates for schools, libraries, planetariums, and even museums. Today we recognize Chicago Botanic Garden, a beautiful living plant museum, as our featured customer of the month.

Chicago Botanic Garden of Glencoe, Illinois, is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and is maintained by the Chicago Horticultural Society. With over 2.5 million plants and 24 display gardens, Chicago Botanic Gardens is one of the United States’ most-visited public gardens. 760,000 people visit the garden each year to admire its beauty, learn, and conduct scientific research. It is one of only ten public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums.




The Garden first opened to the public in 1972, and this year marks its 40th anniversary. In that time, it has achieved many milestones, including winning the Award for Garden Excellence in 2006. In 1990, the Garden introduced an academic institution, which now offers over 500 classes and the opportunity for degree accreditation.  It also offers educational programs for schools, and children ages 2-to-18.

But to truly recognize the Garden’s splendor, you need to see it! A stroll through one of their glorious gardens, or a visit to one of the fantastic exhibitions, is not something you are likely to forget.  Summer is an especially exciting time to visit the Garden, with something new to do every summer evening, from live music to dinner and dancing.



If you are in Glencoe, we highly recommend taking the time to visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Of course, be sure to also stop by The Garden Shop, where you will find a wonderful collection of souvenirs and several of our award-winning titles.
Thank you Chicago Botanic Gardens, for your support of Little Pickle Press, and Happy 40th Birthday! A big thanks to Event Network as well, for giving us the opportunity to connect with such an exciting place.


Image Credits:
cityprofile.com
bluepueblo.tumblr.com
flickr.com

Featured Customer of the Month: Chicago Botanic Garden

By Cameron Crane


Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022

Since opening for business, Little Pickle Press has been very fortunate for the opportunity to reach a variety of different markets. The educational, global, and environmental themes of our titles make them wonderful candidates for schools, libraries, planetariums, and even museums. Today we recognize Chicago Botanic Garden, a beautiful living plant museum, as our featured customer of the month.

Chicago Botanic Garden of Glencoe, Illinois, is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and is maintained by the Chicago Horticultural Society. With over 2.5 million plants and 24 display gardens, Chicago Botanic Gardens is one of the United States’ most-visited public gardens. 760,000 people visit the garden each year to admire its beauty, learn, and conduct scientific research. It is one of only ten public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums.




The Garden first opened to the public in 1972, and this year marks its 40th anniversary. In that time, it has achieved many milestones, including winning the Award for Garden Excellence in 2006. In 1990, the Garden introduced an academic institution, which now offers over 500 classes and the opportunity for degree accreditation.  It also offers educational programs for schools, and children ages 2-to-18.

But to truly recognize the Garden’s splendor, you need to see it! A stroll through one of their glorious gardens, or a visit to one of the fantastic exhibitions, is not something you are likely to forget.  Summer is an especially exciting time to visit the Garden, with something new to do every summer evening, from live music to dinner and dancing.



If you are in Glencoe, we highly recommend taking the time to visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Of course, be sure to also stop by The Garden Shop, where you will find a wonderful collection of souvenirs and several of our award-winning titles.
Thank you Chicago Botanic Gardens, for your support of Little Pickle Press, and Happy 40th Birthday! A big thanks to Event Network as well, for giving us the opportunity to connect with such an exciting place.


Image Credits:
cityprofile.com
bluepueblo.tumblr.com
flickr.com

My Friendship with Mary Sunshine –The Foundation for My YA Novel

By Rana DiOrio, Founder of Little Pickle Press
One of my special blessings in this lifetime is to have known and loved Mary Alice Trimble, who was among my closest friends from the day I met her during the Summer of 1988 until the day I lost her during the Spring of 2001.
Mary lit up a room with her laughter. She was ebullient, funny, loving, kind, and selfless. She was an attentive listener, a staunch advocate, a patient teacher, and a loyal supporter. She was small (5’ even) but mighty (a master swimmer and serial marathoner). She also had remarkable timing and possessed an uncanny ability to know exactly when you needed a phone call or a post card (our friendship largely pre-dated texts and emails). She also had the penchant to hop on a plane for a visit at precisely the right time. She became a member of my family of origin, and we included her in our Thanksgiving and Easter celebrations. She was everything anyone could ever wish for in a friend, and then some.

One extraordinary attribute of our friendship was that it deepened through written correspondence. Mary and I were prolific pen pals. I would write her long letters on the back of airline menus, and she would reply–sometimes by post card, her medium of choice, or other times via many ruled pages. We shared our fears, dreams, defeats, and triumphs.

Mary’s nickname was Mary Sunshine. She seemed to exude positive energy and light. I, however, knew another side to Mary–the side that felt insecure and inadequate and suffered from depression. She was a paradox and a mystery. The circumstances surrounding her tragic and untimely death have always haunted me, so much so that I plan to write a book about it. The book will be a coming of age story of a friendship between two young women aspiring to find their respective places in the world and chronicled through writings. After Mary passed away, her mother gave me all of the letters that I had written to her over the course of our friendship. I saved all of the letters that Mary had written to me, so I married them and have them all. The frame of the book will be our letters to one another. The story will also explore the dark underbelly of the deceptively perfect lives of two “good girls” who were the closest of friends. I look forward to creating space and time to write this young adult novel and to relive my extraordinary friendship with Mary Alice.

My Friendship with Mary Sunshine –The Foundation for My YA Novel

By Rana DiOrio, Founder of Little Pickle Press
One of my special blessings in this lifetime is to have known and loved Mary Alice Trimble, who was among my closest friends from the day I met her during the Summer of 1988 until the day I lost her during the Spring of 2001.
Mary lit up a room with her laughter. She was ebullient, funny, loving, kind, and selfless. She was an attentive listener, a staunch advocate, a patient teacher, and a loyal supporter. She was small (5’ even) but mighty (a master swimmer and serial marathoner). She also had remarkable timing and possessed an uncanny ability to know exactly when you needed a phone call or a post card (our friendship largely pre-dated texts and emails). She also had the penchant to hop on a plane for a visit at precisely the right time. She became a member of my family of origin, and we included her in our Thanksgiving and Easter celebrations. She was everything anyone could ever wish for in a friend, and then some.

One extraordinary attribute of our friendship was that it deepened through written correspondence. Mary and I were prolific pen pals. I would write her long letters on the back of airline menus, and she would reply–sometimes by post card, her medium of choice, or other times via many ruled pages. We shared our fears, dreams, defeats, and triumphs.

Mary’s nickname was Mary Sunshine. She seemed to exude positive energy and light. I, however, knew another side to Mary–the side that felt insecure and inadequate and suffered from depression. She was a paradox and a mystery. The circumstances surrounding her tragic and untimely death have always haunted me, so much so that I plan to write a book about it. The book will be a coming of age story of a friendship between two young women aspiring to find their respective places in the world and chronicled through writings. After Mary passed away, her mother gave me all of the letters that I had written to her over the course of our friendship. I saved all of the letters that Mary had written to me, so I married them and have them all. The frame of the book will be our letters to one another. The story will also explore the dark underbelly of the deceptively perfect lives of two “good girls” who were the closest of friends. I look forward to creating space and time to write this young adult novel and to relive my extraordinary friendship with Mary Alice.

What Does It Mean To Be Real?

By Dani Greer, LPP Special Projects Coordinator

Our theme at the Little Pickle Press blog this month is friendship, and we kicked off the month with an LPP Insider feature article by Dr. Jordan Shlain, who discusses with his young daughter what real friendship is about. That article got me to thinking about my associations here at Little Pickle Press and my writing, editing, and book promotion business which is mostly online.

I met the chief executive pickle, Rana DiOrio, on Facebook. She had read a post about book trailers as a promotion tool for authors, and wanted to hire me to organize a blog book tour for What Does It Mean To Be Present? in July of 2010. I didn’t reallywant to organize more blog book tours because, by that time, I just wanted to teach authors to arrange their own tours. I was also spending more time editing and writing. But one look at the Little Pickle Press web site and their mission statement had me hooked, so I agreed to arrange the online tour. At that point, I was only committed to one gig. A major aspect of online connections that suited me to the bone was a certain level of casualness and being able to detach without a lot of ramification. I didn’t have to say yes to a second blog book tour. Right?

But there were other interesting projects at Little Pickle Press so I stayed for a little longer than I originally imagined. Another fabulous book was published, Sofia’s Dream, for which I arranged a blog book tour, the company won awards for various titles, and the weekly telephone conferences with the team fed my brainstorming soul. I also deeply respected LPP’s financial commitment to publish in environmentally-conscious ways, and really wanted to help them succeed. I loved being part of the planning for this little company which was doing such innovative and progressive work in children’s publishing. In a way, I came full circle from my “old days” when I was submitting my own manuscripts to the big publishers and working as a gift rep for Random House imprints. I could bring a good deal of that experience to the LPP table. Before long, my editing interests put me in the role of reading direct submissions, and making recommendations for possible publication.
But still I was able to maintain a certain detachment, and keep matters mostly on an impersonal business level – until Rana DiOrio and I manned a booth in Denver during the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association conference last autumn.
We spent three days together and during that time, we worked and we laughed and we even cried a little. That’s when the game changed, and I knew it the following Tuesday on the weekly phone conference. I could feel it over the airwaves. I was not only more vested in the company and in Rana herself, but I was also more accepted and respected in return. The tone of the meeting had completely changed. That’s what real-life blood and guts friendship does.
Today, it’s much more difficult to think about casually leaving Little Pickle Press and moving on to other fascinating ventures. This creates challenges for an indie soul like me, always champing at the bit for a new project and another experience. But it also creates a certain solid footing, and the stability of staying the course stimulates a more powerful and committed output of my energy. Overall it feels right to stay connected and in more than just virtual ways.

I’m happy to recognize and give credit to the online opportunities available at social sites like Facebook – that’s really where my office is and where I first meet many kindred spirits – but for more meaningful work and relationships? Face-to-face is better than Facebook-to-Facebook. There’s no question about.
Chief Executive Pickle Rana DiOrio
What about you? Do you have real-life friendships that started online and blossomed into deeper friendships? Tell us about it in the comments.
Don’t forget our special friendship promotion for June: Send one of our award-winning titles as a gift to a friend or family member, and receive 25% off your entire order! This month, show your appreciation by gifting our award-winning books. Just use code LPPFriend12 at checkout. Click here to go to our online book store.

What Does It Mean To Be Real?

By Dani Greer, LPP Special Projects Coordinator

Our theme at the Little Pickle Press blog this month is friendship, and we kicked off the month with an LPP Insider feature article by Dr. Jordan Shlain, who discusses with his young daughter what real friendship is about. That article got me to thinking about my associations here at Little Pickle Press and my writing, editing, and book promotion business which is mostly online.

I met the chief executive pickle, Rana DiOrio, on Facebook. She had read a post about book trailers as a promotion tool for authors, and wanted to hire me to organize a blog book tour for What Does It Mean To Be Present? in July of 2010. I didn’t reallywant to organize more blog book tours because, by that time, I just wanted to teach authors to arrange their own tours. I was also spending more time editing and writing. But one look at the Little Pickle Press web site and their mission statement had me hooked, so I agreed to arrange the online tour. At that point, I was only committed to one gig. A major aspect of online connections that suited me to the bone was a certain level of casualness and being able to detach without a lot of ramification. I didn’t have to say yes to a second blog book tour. Right?

But there were other interesting projects at Little Pickle Press so I stayed for a little longer than I originally imagined. Another fabulous book was published, Sofia’s Dream, for which I arranged a blog book tour, the company won awards for various titles, and the weekly telephone conferences with the team fed my brainstorming soul. I also deeply respected LPP’s financial commitment to publish in environmentally-conscious ways, and really wanted to help them succeed. I loved being part of the planning for this little company which was doing such innovative and progressive work in children’s publishing. In a way, I came full circle from my “old days” when I was submitting my own manuscripts to the big publishers and working as a gift rep for Random House imprints. I could bring a good deal of that experience to the LPP table. Before long, my editing interests put me in the role of reading direct submissions, and making recommendations for possible publication.
But still I was able to maintain a certain detachment, and keep matters mostly on an impersonal business level – until Rana DiOrio and I manned a booth in Denver during the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association conference last autumn.
We spent three days together and during that time, we worked and we laughed and we even cried a little. That’s when the game changed, and I knew it the following Tuesday on the weekly phone conference. I could feel it over the airwaves. I was not only more vested in the company and in Rana herself, but I was also more accepted and respected in return. The tone of the meeting had completely changed. That’s what real-life blood and guts friendship does.
Today, it’s much more difficult to think about casually leaving Little Pickle Press and moving on to other fascinating ventures. This creates challenges for an indie soul like me, always champing at the bit for a new project and another experience. But it also creates a certain solid footing, and the stability of staying the course stimulates a more powerful and committed output of my energy. Overall it feels right to stay connected and in more than just virtual ways.

I’m happy to recognize and give credit to the online opportunities available at social sites like Facebook – that’s really where my office is and where I first meet many kindred spirits – but for more meaningful work and relationships? Face-to-face is better than Facebook-to-Facebook. There’s no question about.
Chief Executive Pickle Rana DiOrio
What about you? Do you have real-life friendships that started online and blossomed into deeper friendships? Tell us about it in the comments.
Don’t forget our special friendship promotion for June: Send one of our award-winning titles as a gift to a friend or family member, and receive 25% off your entire order! This month, show your appreciation by gifting our award-winning books. Just use code LPPFriend12 at checkout. Click here to go to our online book store.

Friendship

By Hugo Palmiera

When asked to write a blog about friendship, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Like many aspects of my life, I felt like my notion of friendship was slightly different than other people’s. For starters, I have gone a large portion of my early life with the understanding that friendship is something completely transient and temporary; this isn’t to say, of course, that I felt friendships couldn’t and shouldn’t be cherished, nurtured, and sought out. Its just that all of my life I have moved around — packing up and relocating for various reasons beyond the control of any child. I learned English in 1st grade and between 2nd and 8thgrade, I attended five different schools in five different cities. This directly translated to letting go of many friends, then preparing myself for a whole new set of people both inside and outside of school. My immediate thoughts upon leaving were that I would never see any of these people again; time proved my initial reactions to be correct.
Upon entering high school on the East Coast, my grasp on the dynamics of friendship began to change. After several years, I returned to California during the summer of my sophomore year. It was then that I reconnected with old friends, several of whom are still very much a part of my life and will continue to be; and all along after leaving California for the East Coast I never thought I would see them again! These friends have shown me that true friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s about being separated and nothing changes. I believe it is this rekindling of connections that allowed me to see beyond my past belief. Now, I have an even greater appreciation for friendships.
If I were asked to give advice on friendship to a child, I think I know exactly what I would say even if it might seem a little cliché—after all, just because something is cliché, doesn’t change the fact that it’s accurate:
Friends will come and go, that much you cannot change, but certainly make an effort to keep in mind those worth remembering in case your paths cross in the future. Write them, send them a postcard, Skype with them, even if it’s only once a month. Whatever you do, don’t lose them for good.

One of my biggest regrets revolves around the fact that I could have chosen to pursue and maintain friendships with people I knew I would eventually leave—sometimes all too soon—rather than simply accepting I would likely never see them again. There is so much connection I could have kept had I made an effort to stay in touch. But that is the past! I have the good fortune to be blessed with amazing friends and look forward to meeting new ones and maintaining the old ones.
Readers, share with us how you keep in touch with your friends far away. Telephone? Email? Facebook? Or other ways? Please leave us a comment!

Friendship

By Hugo Palmiera

When asked to write a blog about friendship, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Like many aspects of my life, I felt like my notion of friendship was slightly different than other people’s. For starters, I have gone a large portion of my early life with the understanding that friendship is something completely transient and temporary; this isn’t to say, of course, that I felt friendships couldn’t and shouldn’t be cherished, nurtured, and sought out. Its just that all of my life I have moved around — packing up and relocating for various reasons beyond the control of any child. I learned English in 1st grade and between 2nd and 8thgrade, I attended five different schools in five different cities. This directly translated to letting go of many friends, then preparing myself for a whole new set of people both inside and outside of school. My immediate thoughts upon leaving were that I would never see any of these people again; time proved my initial reactions to be correct.
Upon entering high school on the East Coast, my grasp on the dynamics of friendship began to change. After several years, I returned to California during the summer of my sophomore year. It was then that I reconnected with old friends, several of whom are still very much a part of my life and will continue to be; and all along after leaving California for the East Coast I never thought I would see them again! These friends have shown me that true friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s about being separated and nothing changes. I believe it is this rekindling of connections that allowed me to see beyond my past belief. Now, I have an even greater appreciation for friendships.
If I were asked to give advice on friendship to a child, I think I know exactly what I would say even if it might seem a little cliché—after all, just because something is cliché, doesn’t change the fact that it’s accurate:
Friends will come and go, that much you cannot change, but certainly make an effort to keep in mind those worth remembering in case your paths cross in the future. Write them, send them a postcard, Skype with them, even if it’s only once a month. Whatever you do, don’t lose them for good.

One of my biggest regrets revolves around the fact that I could have chosen to pursue and maintain friendships with people I knew I would eventually leave—sometimes all too soon—rather than simply accepting I would likely never see them again. There is so much connection I could have kept had I made an effort to stay in touch. But that is the past! I have the good fortune to be blessed with amazing friends and look forward to meeting new ones and maintaining the old ones.
Readers, share with us how you keep in touch with your friends far away. Telephone? Email? Facebook? Or other ways? Please leave us a comment!