Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dixon Ticonderoga Responds to Marker Recycling Campaign Led by Land Wilson

By Corinne Ball, Deputy Campaign Director at Change.org



This month, the students of Sun Valley Elementary School’s “Kids Who Care” program made an unexpected change in the world when a major art supply company responded to a petition the kids launched on Change.org.


Led by Land Wilson, author of Sofia’s Dream, the students learned about plastic pollution and crafted a campaign asking one of their favorite companies to do something great for the environment. In a video message, the Kids Who Care asked Crayola to “make its mark” and become a leader in plastic marker recycling by creating a way for consumers and schools to recycle the company’s iconic plastic markers.


More than 80,000 people across the country signed their petition  including celebrities like Robin Williams. 

Their efforts also caught the attention of Timothy Gomez, the CEO of Dixon Ticonderoga, whose company went on to announce a major, groundbreaking recycling program. The new initiative creates a way to recycle the company’s line of Prang Art Markers, and allows schools to join a program to mail markers — free of charge  back to Dixon Ticonderoga for recycling. 

In a company press release, Gomez said, “this shows that even one classroom can change the way a global company does business.” Under his leadership, Dixon Ticonderoga announced a new global initiative to recycle the millions of Prang Art Markers the company produces every year. 


The “Kids Who Care” is a project of Sun Valley School’s “Green Team.” Children from kindergarten to fifth grade come together once a week during the school year to learn about environmental issues and take action. 


“We didn’t expect to get this much attention,” said Wilson. “It’s taken us all by surprise. But after learning how many plastic products end up in landfills, incinerators, and our oceans, these students decided to take action and ask this major international company to help. I am so proud of what these students have done.” 


Every day, kids are using Change.org to change the world. Using Change.org, the world’s fastest growing social change platform, anyone can do what these amazing students have done.


Now, because of the “Kids Who Care,” millions of markers can now be recycled every year. Watch a video message from the students to Crayola and sign their petition to support their campaign.




Image Credit: prangpower.com

Dixon Ticonderoga Responds to Marker Recycling Campaign Led by Land Wilson

By Corinne Ball, Deputy Campaign Director at Change.org



This month, the students of Sun Valley Elementary School’s “Kids Who Care” program made an unexpected change in the world when a major art supply company responded to a petition the kids launched on Change.org.


Led by Land Wilson, author of Sofia’s Dream, the students learned about plastic pollution and crafted a campaign asking one of their favorite companies to do something great for the environment. In a video message, the Kids Who Care asked Crayola to “make its mark” and become a leader in plastic marker recycling by creating a way for consumers and schools to recycle the company’s iconic plastic markers.


More than 80,000 people across the country signed their petition  including celebrities like Robin Williams. 

Their efforts also caught the attention of Timothy Gomez, the CEO of Dixon Ticonderoga, whose company went on to announce a major, groundbreaking recycling program. The new initiative creates a way to recycle the company’s line of Prang Art Markers, and allows schools to join a program to mail markers — free of charge  back to Dixon Ticonderoga for recycling. 

In a company press release, Gomez said, “this shows that even one classroom can change the way a global company does business.” Under his leadership, Dixon Ticonderoga announced a new global initiative to recycle the millions of Prang Art Markers the company produces every year. 


The “Kids Who Care” is a project of Sun Valley School’s “Green Team.” Children from kindergarten to fifth grade come together once a week during the school year to learn about environmental issues and take action. 


“We didn’t expect to get this much attention,” said Wilson. “It’s taken us all by surprise. But after learning how many plastic products end up in landfills, incinerators, and our oceans, these students decided to take action and ask this major international company to help. I am so proud of what these students have done.” 


Every day, kids are using Change.org to change the world. Using Change.org, the world’s fastest growing social change platform, anyone can do what these amazing students have done.


Now, because of the “Kids Who Care,” millions of markers can now be recycled every year. Watch a video message from the students to Crayola and sign their petition to support their campaign.




Image Credit: prangpower.com

The Magic in the Hero’s Journey

By Dani Greer
Magic! Don’t we all want and need some in our lives? Some spark of power that gives us a bit of edge and more control over our tenuous lives? It’s small wonder that my hero in life is Merlin the Magician – an imaginary character in literature! Not just any Merlin, mind you, but specifically the character from Mary Stewart’s version of the Arthurian legend, a timeless tale with archetypes that never cease to resonate. As in most classics, it is the telling of this particular hero’s journey that speaks to me in a strong and distinct way.
What exactly is the hero’s journey? American scholar, Joseph Campbell, describes it as a pattern of narrative that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. Here are the steps the hero takes in his personal development as explained on the Writers Journey website:
  1. THE ORDINARY WORLD.  The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, a situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.
  2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE.  Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change. 
  3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL.  The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
  4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR.  The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.
  5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values. 
  6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
  7. APPROACH.  The hero and newly found allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
  8. THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
  9. THE REWARD.  The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.
  10. THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.
  11. THE RESURRECTION.  At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.
  12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR.  The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.
Now think about your own personal heroes, whether from real-life or the media. Have they taken some of the steps in this journey? Have they completed the journey? Can you recognize the process that makes you think of them as your heroes?
What about you? Yes, you are on a hero’s journey, too! Is there one step in your own experience that particularly hits home? Is there a step where you are stuck? What would it take to move beyond it?
Even as writers consciously create characters like Merlin and King Arthur in classic literature, so, too, can you journal about your life and gain insight into your process and your journey, whether you consider yourself a hero or not. To someone you probably are!
Using the list above, where are you in your hero’s journey? Please leave us a comment!
Photo credit: Google Images

Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones

Review by Cameron Crane

Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones

By Sanjay Nambiar

Reading level: Ages 5 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Umiya Publishing (August 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0983824320

ISBN-13: 978-0983824329

There’s nothing better than that beautiful harmony that occurs when you read the right book at the right time. It was around 2 o’clock when I picked up Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones by Sanjay Nambiar, and it turned out to be just what I needed.

I had just come back from lunch, and was feeling extremely stressed from a series of conference calls I had attended earlier in the day, when I discovered Still There? waiting for me. In only a few words and pages, Still There? was able to change my perspective and turn my day around. It’s amazing how much power one children’s book can hold.

The Story: Two boys are playing in the park, enjoying the sunshine. Suddenly, their day is interrupted when they hear a scream. They discover a little girl, distressed to have lost her favorite earring, and immediately put their fun and games on hold to find it for her. When they finally do, the boys also find that the little girl is less than grateful, and are left to ponder their unresolved feelings about the situation.

The Rhythm: Still There? is written in short, delightful sentences, constructed to mirror the way a child would absorb the situation at hand. Without saying too much, Nambiar is able to effectively bring the story to life and convey the varying emotions of the two boys.

The Artwork: Colorful, modern illustrations engage the reader, without detracting from the focus of the story, which is, of course, its powerful message. Children are sure to enjoy the distinctive styles and personalities of the three characters.

The Message: Based on an old Zen fable, Still There? is a story about expectation and living in the moment. After the girl is rude, the two boys have two very different reactions. The first boy, who found the earring, continues happily playing. All he wanted was to find the missing jewelry, and his mission was accomplished. He helped simply because he wanted to, regardless of the little girl’s reaction. His friend, however, is filled with anger and frustration. How could the girl be so rude? Didn’t she see that they were trying to help? When the first boy notices that his friend is still stuck in the situation, he reminds him that it is still a beautiful day, and there is no need to hold on to negative energy.

Conclusion: Like many of our own titles, Still There? is an invitation to engage in meaningful conversation with your children. After reading it, you will find yourself letting go of any lingering emotion you may have from the day. Buy Still There? online, at your local bookstore, or rent it from your local library to share with the little pickles in your life.

Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones

Review by Cameron Crane

Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones

By Sanjay Nambiar

Reading level: Ages 5 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Umiya Publishing (August 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0983824320

ISBN-13: 978-0983824329

There’s nothing better than that beautiful harmony that occurs when you read the right book at the right time. It was around 2 o’clock when I picked up Still There?: A Little Zen for Little Ones by Sanjay Nambiar, and it turned out to be just what I needed.

I had just come back from lunch, and was feeling extremely stressed from a series of conference calls I had attended earlier in the day, when I discovered Still There? waiting for me. In only a few words and pages, Still There? was able to change my perspective and turn my day around. It’s amazing how much power one children’s book can hold.

The Story: Two boys are playing in the park, enjoying the sunshine. Suddenly, their day is interrupted when they hear a scream. They discover a little girl, distressed to have lost her favorite earring, and immediately put their fun and games on hold to find it for her. When they finally do, the boys also find that the little girl is less than grateful, and are left to ponder their unresolved feelings about the situation.

The Rhythm: Still There? is written in short, delightful sentences, constructed to mirror the way a child would absorb the situation at hand. Without saying too much, Nambiar is able to effectively bring the story to life and convey the varying emotions of the two boys.

The Artwork: Colorful, modern illustrations engage the reader, without detracting from the focus of the story, which is, of course, its powerful message. Children are sure to enjoy the distinctive styles and personalities of the three characters.

The Message: Based on an old Zen fable, Still There? is a story about expectation and living in the moment. After the girl is rude, the two boys have two very different reactions. The first boy, who found the earring, continues happily playing. All he wanted was to find the missing jewelry, and his mission was accomplished. He helped simply because he wanted to, regardless of the little girl’s reaction. His friend, however, is filled with anger and frustration. How could the girl be so rude? Didn’t she see that they were trying to help? When the first boy notices that his friend is still stuck in the situation, he reminds him that it is still a beautiful day, and there is no need to hold on to negative energy.

Conclusion: Like many of our own titles, Still There? is an invitation to engage in meaningful conversation with your children. After reading it, you will find yourself letting go of any lingering emotion you may have from the day. Buy Still There? online, at your local bookstore, or rent it from your local library to share with the little pickles in your life.

A Strong and Silent Peace

by Audrey Lintner

The silent treatment is a well-known relationship tactic that allows the injured party to get their point across without uttering a single word. A form of in-your-face avoidance, the silent treatment allows time to pass and steam to vent, paving the way for reconciliation between family members.
Suppose the silent treatment could accomplish even more?
In the case of a brave and ultimately powerful group of Liberian women, the silent treatment fostered much more than a make-up session between husband and wife. Their silence eventually grew into an earth-shattering roar that ended years of civil war and elected Africa’s first female president to office.
Imagine a country ruled by fear. Children as young as nine are pressed into service as soldiers. Women of all ages go in daily fear of rape and other atrocities. Families starve for want of rice. Faced with a life of such horrors, what can a solitary person do?
She can, and did, dream.
Leymah Gbowee dreamed of a call to action, a gathering of the women in her church in order to pray for peace. The Christian Women’s Peace Initiative was born from this dream. Inspired by the goal of peace, the Liberian Muslim Women’s Organization was also formed. These groups overcame their faith-based differences and joined forces, creating the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.
Visits to citizens interred in displacement camps spurred the women to strengthen their silent campaign. Dressed in white, they staged peaceful protests in highly visible locations. A banner announced their intentions: “The women of Liberia want peace now.”
It did not happen overnight, and the women of Liberia continued their strong and silent vigil in spite of overwhelming odds. Their president ignored them. Their countrymen threatened them. Their mothers feared for them.
Thoughts of their children sustained them.
When the Liberian president at last agreed to meet with them, the women marched en masse to his mansion. More women joined them, and Gbowee read a statement that finally convinced the president to attend the upcoming peace talks.
It took eight weeks before an agreement could be reached. Eight weeks of protests and danger, culminating in the democratic election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that one person can find a way to change the world.
Where words are strong, images can be stronger. Directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney, the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell, one of a five-part series on PBS, offers imagery that overrides the horrors of war and gives a voice to the soul.

 
When paired with strength, silence speaks volumes.

A Strong and Silent Peace

by Audrey Lintner

The silent treatment is a well-known relationship tactic that allows the injured party to get their point across without uttering a single word. A form of in-your-face avoidance, the silent treatment allows time to pass and steam to vent, paving the way for reconciliation between family members.
Suppose the silent treatment could accomplish even more?
In the case of a brave and ultimately powerful group of Liberian women, the silent treatment fostered much more than a make-up session between husband and wife. Their silence eventually grew into an earth-shattering roar that ended years of civil war and elected Africa’s first female president to office.
Imagine a country ruled by fear. Children as young as nine are pressed into service as soldiers. Women of all ages go in daily fear of rape and other atrocities. Families starve for want of rice. Faced with a life of such horrors, what can a solitary person do?
She can, and did, dream.
Leymah Gbowee dreamed of a call to action, a gathering of the women in her church in order to pray for peace. The Christian Women’s Peace Initiative was born from this dream. Inspired by the goal of peace, the Liberian Muslim Women’s Organization was also formed. These groups overcame their faith-based differences and joined forces, creating the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.
Visits to citizens interred in displacement camps spurred the women to strengthen their silent campaign. Dressed in white, they staged peaceful protests in highly visible locations. A banner announced their intentions: “The women of Liberia want peace now.”
It did not happen overnight, and the women of Liberia continued their strong and silent vigil in spite of overwhelming odds. Their president ignored them. Their countrymen threatened them. Their mothers feared for them.
Thoughts of their children sustained them.
When the Liberian president at last agreed to meet with them, the women marched en masse to his mansion. More women joined them, and Gbowee read a statement that finally convinced the president to attend the upcoming peace talks.
It took eight weeks before an agreement could be reached. Eight weeks of protests and danger, culminating in the democratic election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that one person can find a way to change the world.
Where words are strong, images can be stronger. Directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney, the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell, one of a five-part series on PBS, offers imagery that overrides the horrors of war and gives a voice to the soul.

 
When paired with strength, silence speaks volumes.

My Grandparents, My Heroes

By Cameron Crane


I know two superheroes. It’s not every girl who can say that. I’ve known them for my entire life…but it wasn’t until five years ago that I realized it. That’s because they spent the majority of my life undercover, cleverly disguised as my grandma and grandpa.

When my plane arrived in the San Diego airport in the Summer of 2007, I could feel the nerves beginning to creep up and down my body. I knew I shouldn’t feel them, in fact, I felt guilty for having them. Who gets nervous to spend time with their own grandparents? But this wasn’t going to be a regular visit. This was going to be two weeks fourteen days of undivided interaction. Yes, I loved my grandparents, but I had never spent more than a weekend with them. What exactly could they talk to a 19-year-old about in the 168 solid hours we’d have awake together?

As always, my grandparents greeted me enthusiastically and let me know that while I was with them I should make myself at home. What they didn’t admit to me until years later was that they, too, were nervous. Two weeks was the longest they had ever hosted a guest. They were afraid that I would be bored and restless in their routine. In reality, it turned out to be quite opposite.

My trip was full of excitement. My grandpa showed me historical landmarks and took me to the aquarium. My grandma and I took a trip to Beverly Hills, where we found a jewelry store off Rodeo Drive that let us model million-dollar diamond masterpieces. We went to the beach, went shopping, and tried new restaurants. But to my surprise, what I looked forward to most each day was “Martini Time” at 6 o’clock, when we would gather in living room over a martini (or in my case a Root Beer) and just talk.

During that hour each day, my grandparents came alive to me. I learned about my grandpa’s childhood in America and my grandma’s childhood in Germany, both during World War II. I learned about their trials and tribulations with love, and about how they met at a piano bar when they had both given up on it altogether. I learned that before they fixed it up, the house we were sitting in belonged to a family who had eight rowdy children, and that the restoration process was so much work that they had almost walked away from it. It didn’t take me long to realize that they were two of the most interesting people I had ever met. They were brave, exciting, smart, honest, and glamorous. They were superheroes.

They still are. I have made many trips down to San Diego since that summer, and every time I look forward to the conversations I will share with them. Every time I leave with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude to have such amazing people in my life. Their honesty and their willingness to share their experiences with me have truly shaped who I am, who I will be as a mother, and who I will be as a grandparent. They are two of my biggest supporters, two of my biggest teachers, and they will always be two of my biggest heroes.

My Grandparents, My Heroes

By Cameron Crane


I know two superheroes. It’s not every girl who can say that. I’ve known them for my entire life…but it wasn’t until five years ago that I realized it. That’s because they spent the majority of my life undercover, cleverly disguised as my grandma and grandpa.

When my plane arrived in the San Diego airport in the Summer of 2007, I could feel the nerves beginning to creep up and down my body. I knew I shouldn’t feel them, in fact, I felt guilty for having them. Who gets nervous to spend time with their own grandparents? But this wasn’t going to be a regular visit. This was going to be two weeks fourteen days of undivided interaction. Yes, I loved my grandparents, but I had never spent more than a weekend with them. What exactly could they talk to a 19-year-old about in the 168 solid hours we’d have awake together?

As always, my grandparents greeted me enthusiastically and let me know that while I was with them I should make myself at home. What they didn’t admit to me until years later was that they, too, were nervous. Two weeks was the longest they had ever hosted a guest. They were afraid that I would be bored and restless in their routine. In reality, it turned out to be quite opposite.

My trip was full of excitement. My grandpa showed me historical landmarks and took me to the aquarium. My grandma and I took a trip to Beverly Hills, where we found a jewelry store off Rodeo Drive that let us model million-dollar diamond masterpieces. We went to the beach, went shopping, and tried new restaurants. But to my surprise, what I looked forward to most each day was “Martini Time” at 6 o’clock, when we would gather in living room over a martini (or in my case a Root Beer) and just talk.

During that hour each day, my grandparents came alive to me. I learned about my grandpa’s childhood in America and my grandma’s childhood in Germany, both during World War II. I learned about their trials and tribulations with love, and about how they met at a piano bar when they had both given up on it altogether. I learned that before they fixed it up, the house we were sitting in belonged to a family who had eight rowdy children, and that the restoration process was so much work that they had almost walked away from it. It didn’t take me long to realize that they were two of the most interesting people I had ever met. They were brave, exciting, smart, honest, and glamorous. They were superheroes.

They still are. I have made many trips down to San Diego since that summer, and every time I look forward to the conversations I will share with them. Every time I leave with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude to have such amazing people in my life. Their honesty and their willingness to share their experiences with me have truly shaped who I am, who I will be as a mother, and who I will be as a grandparent. They are two of my biggest supporters, two of my biggest teachers, and they will always be two of my biggest heroes.

Good-bye Seng Vy

For several years, Rana DiOrio and her little pickles have sponsored Seng Vy, a child through Cambodian Children’s Fund. For six years, Cambodian Children’s Fund has provided life-changing education, nourishment, and healing to vulnerable children from some of Cambodia’s most destitute communities. You can read more about Seng Vy here.

But as things happen, recently Rana received this email:
I’d like to (say) thanks for being a good support to our sponsorship program and to sponsor Lim Seng Vy so far. It is sad to let you know about the update on Seng Vy and that recently, her mother has decided take Seng Vy and her siblings back from CCF. We now are still working on this case with her mother but see that the chance of having Seng Vy back would be very small. If in the case that Seng Vy won’t be back to CCF, is it ok with you if we suggest another child, Sieng Ly?
To which Rana replied:

My family is honored to support Sieng Ly. Thank you for the opportunity.


Gratefully,
Rana

And so this particular journey, with all its changes, continues; we take the bad with the good, and the sad moments with the happiness life can also bring. We all wish little Seng Vy the best future, and look forward to sharing stories about Sieng Ly as we get them. Until then, consider supporting the Cambodian Children’s Fund with your donations. Please click here to make a donation or sponsor a child and thank you for being generous.

This was Samnang’s last day of work; he now studies full-time at CCF.

Have you and your family ever sponsored a needy child through a worthy organization? Please leave us a comment about the experience.


Good-bye Seng Vy

For several years, Rana DiOrio and her little pickles have sponsored Seng Vy, a child through Cambodian Children’s Fund. For six years, Cambodian Children’s Fund has provided life-changing education, nourishment, and healing to vulnerable children from some of Cambodia’s most destitute communities. You can read more about Seng Vy here.

But as things happen, recently Rana received this email:
I’d like to (say) thanks for being a good support to our sponsorship program and to sponsor Lim Seng Vy so far. It is sad to let you know about the update on Seng Vy and that recently, her mother has decided take Seng Vy and her siblings back from CCF. We now are still working on this case with her mother but see that the chance of having Seng Vy back would be very small. If in the case that Seng Vy won’t be back to CCF, is it ok with you if we suggest another child, Sieng Ly?
To which Rana replied:

My family is honored to support Sieng Ly. Thank you for the opportunity.


Gratefully,
Rana

And so this particular journey, with all its changes, continues; we take the bad with the good, and the sad moments with the happiness life can also bring. We all wish little Seng Vy the best future, and look forward to sharing stories about Sieng Ly as we get them. Until then, consider supporting the Cambodian Children’s Fund with your donations. Please click here to make a donation or sponsor a child and thank you for being generous.

This was Samnang’s last day of work; he now studies full-time at CCF.

Have you and your family ever sponsored a needy child through a worthy organization? Please leave us a comment about the experience.


Featured Customer of the Month: The Cathedral Shop

By Cameron Crane
The Cathedral Shop
2121 Harrison Street
Oakland, CA 94612
From its birth, Little Pickle Press has been striving to create content that appeals to broad and diverse audiences. It is part of our mission to publish children’s books and media that surpass boundaries to get down to a core message that is universal, and that can be appreciated and understood no matter who or where you are. As a result, we have been fortunate to discover that our books have found their way in to some pretty wonderful and unique stores, from beloved indie bookstores, to colossal museums and planetariums, and even in to one-of-a-kind specialty stores like our customer of the month: The Cathedral Shop.
The Cathedral Shop is located on the Plaza level of the Cathedral of Christ the Light Center in Oakland, CA. The Cathedral has attracted visitors from all over, and serves as a spiritual home to many members of the Oakland community. Take one look at the architecture of the building and its “transcendent beauty”, and it’s easy to see why. The building was designed by Craig W. Hartman, the same man who designed portions of the San Francisco International Airport. Using steel shapes filled with glass, the style of the Cathedral is reminiscent of architects like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and is built to stand for centuries. Its beauty is something to be admired and explored, and if you are in the area, we highly recommend taking a tour of the building.
If you do not have time for the tour, you can still admire the charm of the Cathedral by strolling through the plaza and garden, having lunch at the City Lights Café, or our personal favorite, browsing through the wonderful selection at The Cathedral Shop. With a wide array of books, art, rosaries, greeting cards, gifts and Fair Trade items, The Cathedral Shop is a wonderful place to end your visit. Be sure to take advantage of the Summer Sunshine Sale while it lasts, with 75% off the original prices on selected items.

Thank you, The Cathedral Shop, for your continued support of Little Pickle Press!

Images and selected information from: c-sgroup.com; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Christ_the_Light

Featured Customer of the Month: The Cathedral Shop

By Cameron Crane
The Cathedral Shop
2121 Harrison Street
Oakland, CA 94612
From its birth, Little Pickle Press has been striving to create content that appeals to broad and diverse audiences. It is part of our mission to publish children’s books and media that surpass boundaries to get down to a core message that is universal, and that can be appreciated and understood no matter who or where you are. As a result, we have been fortunate to discover that our books have found their way in to some pretty wonderful and unique stores, from beloved indie bookstores, to colossal museums and planetariums, and even in to one-of-a-kind specialty stores like our customer of the month: The Cathedral Shop.
The Cathedral Shop is located on the Plaza level of the Cathedral of Christ the Light Center in Oakland, CA. The Cathedral has attracted visitors from all over, and serves as a spiritual home to many members of the Oakland community. Take one look at the architecture of the building and its “transcendent beauty”, and it’s easy to see why. The building was designed by Craig W. Hartman, the same man who designed portions of the San Francisco International Airport. Using steel shapes filled with glass, the style of the Cathedral is reminiscent of architects like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and is built to stand for centuries. Its beauty is something to be admired and explored, and if you are in the area, we highly recommend taking a tour of the building.
If you do not have time for the tour, you can still admire the charm of the Cathedral by strolling through the plaza and garden, having lunch at the City Lights Café, or our personal favorite, browsing through the wonderful selection at The Cathedral Shop. With a wide array of books, art, rosaries, greeting cards, gifts and Fair Trade items, The Cathedral Shop is a wonderful place to end your visit. Be sure to take advantage of the Summer Sunshine Sale while it lasts, with 75% off the original prices on selected items.

Thank you, The Cathedral Shop, for your continued support of Little Pickle Press!

Images and selected information from: c-sgroup.com; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Christ_the_Light

Book Review—One by Kathryn Otoshi

By Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press

Copyright ®2008 text and illustrations by Kathryn Otoshi

Reading level: Ages 4 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: KO Kids Books (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0972394648
ISBN-13: 978-0972394642
Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
This month we are exploring The Power of One as a theme on our blog. As we were refining the editorial calendar, I was reminded of Kathryn Otoshi’s third book, One, and we decided that we needed to review it for you.
The Story: The colors had become used to Red’s bullying, and none of them was doing anything about it. Then, One arrived and stood up to Red. One demonstrated that everyone counts, including Red.
The Rhythm: This is a terrific story to read aloud. First with colors and then numbers, the author achieves many objectives­­––develops character, uses metaphors, sets the pace, and builds suspense. 
The Artwork: Otoshi’s use of white space makes her characters and other design elements pop off the pages. The use of color typeface and different size fonts is also very clever and helps to convey the message to young readers.
The Message: At its foundation, this is a book about standing up to bullies. I am drawn to the book, however, for its powerful message that it only takes one person to catalyze positive change.
The Conclusion: Please support your local bookseller and buy this multiple award-winning book from them, or find it on Amazon, or borrow a copy from your library, but by all means read it to the little pickles (colors, or numbers) in your life. This book also makes an especially good gift for children or teachers.
The Footnote: I have owned this book since its original publication. When I went to search for it in our home library for the purpose of writing this review, I could not find it (Murphy’s Law). After my children and I tossed the house and still could not find it, I tried to download it as an iBook on our iPad. I discovered that it is not offered as an iBook, a Nook Book, or a title available on the Kindle. I wonder why Kathryn Otoshi, who created a publishing company for her works, is not also publishing her titles on the major eBook platforms for children.

Book Review—One by Kathryn Otoshi

By Rana DiOrio, Founder, Little Pickle Press

Copyright ®2008 text and illustrations by Kathryn Otoshi

Reading level: Ages 4 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: KO Kids Books (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0972394648
ISBN-13: 978-0972394642
Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
This month we are exploring The Power of One as a theme on our blog. As we were refining the editorial calendar, I was reminded of Kathryn Otoshi’s third book, One, and we decided that we needed to review it for you.
The Story: The colors had become used to Red’s bullying, and none of them was doing anything about it. Then, One arrived and stood up to Red. One demonstrated that everyone counts, including Red.
The Rhythm: This is a terrific story to read aloud. First with colors and then numbers, the author achieves many objectives­­––develops character, uses metaphors, sets the pace, and builds suspense. 
The Artwork: Otoshi’s use of white space makes her characters and other design elements pop off the pages. The use of color typeface and different size fonts is also very clever and helps to convey the message to young readers.
The Message: At its foundation, this is a book about standing up to bullies. I am drawn to the book, however, for its powerful message that it only takes one person to catalyze positive change.
The Conclusion: Please support your local bookseller and buy this multiple award-winning book from them, or find it on Amazon, or borrow a copy from your library, but by all means read it to the little pickles (colors, or numbers) in your life. This book also makes an especially good gift for children or teachers.
The Footnote: I have owned this book since its original publication. When I went to search for it in our home library for the purpose of writing this review, I could not find it (Murphy’s Law). After my children and I tossed the house and still could not find it, I tried to download it as an iBook on our iPad. I discovered that it is not offered as an iBook, a Nook Book, or a title available on the Kindle. I wonder why Kathryn Otoshi, who created a publishing company for her works, is not also publishing her titles on the major eBook platforms for children.

Power of One: A Tribute

By Susan Wysocki
When asked to write this column about the Power of One, my immediate thought was to write about heroes of mine who would be recognizable to everyone. Rosa Parks comes to mind. Former Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, a personal friend and colleague of mine, is another. She stood up for adolescents’ sexual health, only to be fired by the President of the United States. I don’t know too many people who would stand by their convictions and risk being fired, let alone by the President.

But the more I thought about it, the more I recognized that the Power of One is about each and every one of us. What we do in our everyday lives affects so many others. Are ever really aware of how our actions ripple beyond us? I also thought about how every day people have affected my life, and not just in heroic ways.

My father, the son of Polish immigrants and the oldest of three younger brothers and a sister, never got the chance to complete high school. During the depression he had to work to keep the family afloat. He earned enough so that he could buy his own grocery store. He worked very hard. We had our own house. He sent me to college. I never wanted for anything.

He wasn’t, however, the nicest man to have has a father. He had a mean tempera scary, violent temper. He scared us all. My mom, who I got to love and appreciate so much more after his death at 88, always thought she could control his anger by doing what she thought he wanted. We were told to hide from him the new toys that she bought us. “Don’t rock the boat,” she would say. When I became a pretty teenager in the 1960’s, my father started noticing boys’ attentiveness toward me. His way of dealing with it was to tell me I looked like a tramp in my mini skirt. That’s not what a young woman wants to hear. He once belted me for coming home from a drive-in later than I said I would. For years, I could not reconcile or understand his behavior.  It hurt. With time, I have come to realize he did his best, as hard hearted as it was.  Most likely he was trying to protect me the only way he knew. He did love me.

His sister, my Aunt, on the other hand, was one of the most gentle, generous people I have ever known. Because she did not have children, she would take my brother and me to her place on a lake every summer weekend without my parents—who of course—had to work in the store.  She was fun and had unconditional love for us.  She was the only one who, when my father was in a snit, could quietly say his name and stop whatever angry thing he was into at the moment. My hero.

So where does this all come down to tribute and the Power of One?  Both my Dad and my Aunt had a powerful impact in my life. They were my personal Power of One. I could not give one of them tribute without the other. 

My father gave me an entrepreneurial spirit because he owned his own business. Plus, I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. I wanted to lead, and not have to rely on someone else. He also gave me an idea of what I did not want to be. I am more compassionate to others as a result of his actions toward me. I became a leader in women’s health to advocate for women. My Aunt gave me the experience of unconditional love, and taught me the importance of fun and the love of children who are not my own. My friends call me the child whisperer. 

We are all Powers of One. It is how we choose to exercise that power that determines whether we have earned tribute for our compassion, or for what others do not want to be. It’s your choice.

Image credit: thepurplepinecone.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

About Susan Wysocki

iWoman’s Health, which will be launched in the near future, will bring insight, information and interconnections between experts, clinicians, and women. As an invited expert to countless advisory board on women’s health issues, Susan Wysocki has worked with the world’s top experts in women’s health. She is also continuing as the Editor in Chief of Women’s Health Care: A practical journal for nurse practitioners. She carries over 25 years of experience in women’s health advocacy, networking, writing for publications, and speaking to audiences large and small. Susan also has done many TV media tours, radio tours, and has spent a significant amount of time working with the print media. She is now taking those skills to create an even bigger impact on the health and well being of women. As the former President and CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners (NPWH) for 25 years, Susan knows what it means to take a little-known organization with no staff, no budget, and her home phone number as the contact, to a nationally recognized organization with its own building on Capitol Hill.

Power of One: A Tribute

By Susan Wysocki
When asked to write this column about the Power of One, my immediate thought was to write about heroes of mine who would be recognizable to everyone. Rosa Parks comes to mind. Former Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, a personal friend and colleague of mine, is another. She stood up for adolescents’ sexual health, only to be fired by the President of the United States. I don’t know too many people who would stand by their convictions and risk being fired, let alone by the President.

But the more I thought about it, the more I recognized that the Power of One is about each and every one of us. What we do in our everyday lives affects so many others. Are ever really aware of how our actions ripple beyond us? I also thought about how every day people have affected my life, and not just in heroic ways.

My father, the son of Polish immigrants and the oldest of three younger brothers and a sister, never got the chance to complete high school. During the depression he had to work to keep the family afloat. He earned enough so that he could buy his own grocery store. He worked very hard. We had our own house. He sent me to college. I never wanted for anything.

He wasn’t, however, the nicest man to have has a father. He had a mean tempera scary, violent temper. He scared us all. My mom, who I got to love and appreciate so much more after his death at 88, always thought she could control his anger by doing what she thought he wanted. We were told to hide from him the new toys that she bought us. “Don’t rock the boat,” she would say. When I became a pretty teenager in the 1960’s, my father started noticing boys’ attentiveness toward me. His way of dealing with it was to tell me I looked like a tramp in my mini skirt. That’s not what a young woman wants to hear. He once belted me for coming home from a drive-in later than I said I would. For years, I could not reconcile or understand his behavior.  It hurt. With time, I have come to realize he did his best, as hard hearted as it was.  Most likely he was trying to protect me the only way he knew. He did love me.

His sister, my Aunt, on the other hand, was one of the most gentle, generous people I have ever known. Because she did not have children, she would take my brother and me to her place on a lake every summer weekend without my parents—who of course—had to work in the store.  She was fun and had unconditional love for us.  She was the only one who, when my father was in a snit, could quietly say his name and stop whatever angry thing he was into at the moment. My hero.

So where does this all come down to tribute and the Power of One?  Both my Dad and my Aunt had a powerful impact in my life. They were my personal Power of One. I could not give one of them tribute without the other. 

My father gave me an entrepreneurial spirit because he owned his own business. Plus, I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. I wanted to lead, and not have to rely on someone else. He also gave me an idea of what I did not want to be. I am more compassionate to others as a result of his actions toward me. I became a leader in women’s health to advocate for women. My Aunt gave me the experience of unconditional love, and taught me the importance of fun and the love of children who are not my own. My friends call me the child whisperer. 

We are all Powers of One. It is how we choose to exercise that power that determines whether we have earned tribute for our compassion, or for what others do not want to be. It’s your choice.

Image credit: thepurplepinecone.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

About Susan Wysocki

iWoman’s Health, which will be launched in the near future, will bring insight, information and interconnections between experts, clinicians, and women. As an invited expert to countless advisory board on women’s health issues, Susan Wysocki has worked with the world’s top experts in women’s health. She is also continuing as the Editor in Chief of Women’s Health Care: A practical journal for nurse practitioners. She carries over 25 years of experience in women’s health advocacy, networking, writing for publications, and speaking to audiences large and small. Susan also has done many TV media tours, radio tours, and has spent a significant amount of time working with the print media. She is now taking those skills to create an even bigger impact on the health and well being of women. As the former President and CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners (NPWH) for 25 years, Susan knows what it means to take a little-known organization with no staff, no budget, and her home phone number as the contact, to a nationally recognized organization with its own building on Capitol Hill.

Young Writers of the Month: YAP

By Dorothy Price, Director/Young Authors Program
It’s no mistake that changeis a verb.  It requires action.  Doing something.  Change,is a Young Authors Program goal.  The YAP is a monthly program that encourages children in grades 1-5 to express their voices through writing. We tackle most genres including: fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and poetry. The goal? To changethe way young people think about reading and writing, by making it fun, oneimagination at a time. 
When asked if my YAP students would like to contribute to this month’s Little Pickle Press blog, they jumped at the offer!  Publication, for those in the program who so desire, is also a goal.  With this post, that goal is complete. 
How can one person change the world through writing?  This is how:
Zoe Glover, Rising 3rd Grader, 8 years old

People can change the world by writing a book that teaches others something they don’t know and by inspiring people.

For example, I learned about space because scientists wrote books about black holes and supernovas. And now I know how black holes are made and how supernovas happen. I also read a book about eclipses and because of that book I know how one type of eclipse happens when the moon stops in front of the sun.

Finally, I read a good book that told me how strong the sun is. It is so strong that its gravity can pull all eight planets! I also learned that we can’t survive without our sun and moon because if there would only be a sun, it would be too bright and the days would be too long. If we only had a moon it would be too dark and we would have no heat or solar system.

After reading what scientists have written, I have learned so many cool things about space and I am inspired to be an astronaut so that I can explore space.

                                                  
Sanai Price, Rising 3rd Grader, 7 years old
I can change the world by writing a book about bullying, controlling yourself, and how people should act. People should not bully because if you do, you will make others feel bad and you will have to face some consequences. One thing that is for sure, you may not have any presents for Christmas! 
The first thing you should do if you have a bully is ignore him or her and go somewhere else.  The second thing is to tell the teacher.  If that doesn’t work, then you should tell your parents because they can handle it better than you can. 
A bully will not succeed because he or she will get caught, even when he or she thinks no one is looking because teachers are always on the lookout.  That is why you should treat people the way you want to be treated.  If everyone treated people the way they’re supposed to be treated, there would not be any more bullying.  Everyone will feel better inside and life will be a better place to live.  My book will be called How To Handle Bullying by Sanai Price.
Sometimes the power of one can spark a world of change. 

 To learn more about the Young Authors Program in Charlotte, North Carolina, click here.

Young Writers of the Month: YAP

By Dorothy Price, Director/Young Authors Program
It’s no mistake that changeis a verb.  It requires action.  Doing something.  Change,is a Young Authors Program goal.  The YAP is a monthly program that encourages children in grades 1-5 to express their voices through writing. We tackle most genres including: fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and poetry. The goal? To changethe way young people think about reading and writing, by making it fun, oneimagination at a time. 
When asked if my YAP students would like to contribute to this month’s Little Pickle Press blog, they jumped at the offer!  Publication, for those in the program who so desire, is also a goal.  With this post, that goal is complete. 
How can one person change the world through writing?  This is how:
Zoe Glover, Rising 3rd Grader, 8 years old

People can change the world by writing a book that teaches others something they don’t know and by inspiring people.

For example, I learned about space because scientists wrote books about black holes and supernovas. And now I know how black holes are made and how supernovas happen. I also read a book about eclipses and because of that book I know how one type of eclipse happens when the moon stops in front of the sun.

Finally, I read a good book that told me how strong the sun is. It is so strong that its gravity can pull all eight planets! I also learned that we can’t survive without our sun and moon because if there would only be a sun, it would be too bright and the days would be too long. If we only had a moon it would be too dark and we would have no heat or solar system.

After reading what scientists have written, I have learned so many cool things about space and I am inspired to be an astronaut so that I can explore space.

                                                  
Sanai Price, Rising 3rd Grader, 7 years old
I can change the world by writing a book about bullying, controlling yourself, and how people should act. People should not bully because if you do, you will make others feel bad and you will have to face some consequences. One thing that is for sure, you may not have any presents for Christmas! 
The first thing you should do if you have a bully is ignore him or her and go somewhere else.  The second thing is to tell the teacher.  If that doesn’t work, then you should tell your parents because they can handle it better than you can. 
A bully will not succeed because he or she will get caught, even when he or she thinks no one is looking because teachers are always on the lookout.  That is why you should treat people the way you want to be treated.  If everyone treated people the way they’re supposed to be treated, there would not be any more bullying.  Everyone will feel better inside and life will be a better place to live.  My book will be called How To Handle Bullying by Sanai Price.
Sometimes the power of one can spark a world of change. 

 To learn more about the Young Authors Program in Charlotte, North Carolina, click here.

My Hero, My Self

By Audrey Sillett Lintner
Psst. C’mere. I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t actually have a hero.
It’s true. While other kids were making pillowcase capes and construction paper firefighter helmets, I was scratching my head and wondering if I had some sort of Vitamin H deficiency.
Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of people that I admire. Ira Hayes and his service brethren, united forever in a single iconic image. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who distilled the feelings of an entire generation into perfectly crafted lyrics. Jonas Salk, developer of a vaccine that saved untold numbers of lives and livelihoods. I deeply admire all of them, and many others. But heroes?
I don’t know.
Maybe the current cult of celebrity hero-worship has me shying away from the term hero. Or maybe I just have a different definition than the media would put forth.
I know who I would liketo view as a hero.
Me.
One of the definitions of hero is “one who is regarded as a model or ideal”. Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to start your day? Seeing the personification of an ideal looking back at you from the mirror? Not in a needing-to-be-worshiped kind of way, but in a quiet and heart-centered way, knowing that you have given and will continue to give your best to every effort.
In spite of naysayers, like my friend who is fighting for prosthetic parity. In spite of physical, mental, or emotional difficulties, like the beautiful special needs children and adults that I meet. In spite of all odds, like my sister who not only finds her own footing, but pulls up others that fall.
Maybe I do have heroes after all.

photos courtesy of stock.xchng

My Hero, My Self

By Audrey Sillett Lintner
Psst. C’mere. I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t actually have a hero.
It’s true. While other kids were making pillowcase capes and construction paper firefighter helmets, I was scratching my head and wondering if I had some sort of Vitamin H deficiency.
Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of people that I admire. Ira Hayes and his service brethren, united forever in a single iconic image. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who distilled the feelings of an entire generation into perfectly crafted lyrics. Jonas Salk, developer of a vaccine that saved untold numbers of lives and livelihoods. I deeply admire all of them, and many others. But heroes?
I don’t know.
Maybe the current cult of celebrity hero-worship has me shying away from the term hero. Or maybe I just have a different definition than the media would put forth.
I know who I would liketo view as a hero.
Me.
One of the definitions of hero is “one who is regarded as a model or ideal”. Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to start your day? Seeing the personification of an ideal looking back at you from the mirror? Not in a needing-to-be-worshiped kind of way, but in a quiet and heart-centered way, knowing that you have given and will continue to give your best to every effort.
In spite of naysayers, like my friend who is fighting for prosthetic parity. In spite of physical, mental, or emotional difficulties, like the beautiful special needs children and adults that I meet. In spite of all odds, like my sister who not only finds her own footing, but pulls up others that fall.
Maybe I do have heroes after all.

photos courtesy of stock.xchng