A call for submissions July 2016

A Call For Manuscript Submissions, Especially YA Novels

By Rana DiOrio, Founder and Chief Executive Pickle of Little Pickle Press

July 27, 2016

This past June our Acquisitions Committee generated our forward production calendar through 2019. We identified some gaps that we would like to fill, and it would delight us to do so with stories written and illustrated by Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators members. Setting that as our intention, and in anticipation of SCBWI’s Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA, here is what we are seeking currently . . .

The common denominators. All of the manuscripts we select involve conveying meaningful messages to children or youth. They catalyze conversations between parents and children, teachers and students, about the topics that matter most to the generation of children we are shaping today. The manuscripts are well written, thought-provoking, progressive, fresh, distinctive and, if a picture book, lend themselves well to not only illustration but also to extrapolation into other mediums, such as interactive eBooks, book apps, and animated shorts, as well as related products, such as toys, games, notecards, etc.

The heart of the matter. At present, we are most interested in receiving young adult submissions. What subject matters are most interesting to us at this point? They include (in no particular order and not exclusively):

• Kindness—the power of it
• Dare To Be Different
• Choices: It’s Not All Black And White; Most of Life is Gray (Moral Compass)
• Political Awakening: the choices made by people in power effect us all
• Racism—the deleterious effects of it
• Refugees
• Adoption
• Complex Family Structures
• Anti-Princess Themes
• Creativity—the importance of it, fostering it, etc.
• Leadership and/or Entrepreneurship
• Divergent (vs. Convergent) Thinking
Systems Thinking
• Responsibility/Accountability/Moving Beyond Gen M Thinking
• Taking Care of Yourself and Your Community/Planting the Seeds of Being a Locavore
• Being The Change You Seek In The World

What we don’t want are books with hidden messages to grownups. We want books that convey true messages to children and youth. It is also worth mentioning that we do not shy away from controversial subjects, and we are open-minded about the genres and literary vehicles employed to convey the messages.

First things first. As you consider submitting your manuscript, please learn a little more about Little Pickle Press and our young adult imprint, Relish Media. We are about to re-brand our imprints—Little Pickle Stories for 0 to 10 year olds, Big Dill Stories for 11 to 14 year olds, and Relish Stories for 15+ year olds. Our submissions platform is powered by Authors.me and sets forth our submissions guidelines here. Consider liking Little Pickle Press and Relish Media on Facebook. Please also consider following @LPP_Media and @Relish_Media on Twitter.

Our selection process. Once we receive your submission, our First Reader designated for the target age range of your work reads it within four months and sends the Acquisitions Committee his or her preliminary thoughts. If the First Reader has a favorable opinion of the manuscript, then we have another member of the Acquisitions Committee read it. If the second member of the Acquisitions Committee likes it, then we have a Junior Reader (a reader in the intended age group) read it. If the Junior Reader likes the manuscript, then it gets presented during the next acquisition meeting. If at any point during our process, a team member thinks that the work does not fit for us, then we let you know. Our Acquisitions Committee will next meet to consider submissions on November 10, 2016.

Thanks for your interest. I kindly thank you for your interest in Little Pickle Press and Relish Media and for reading this post. If you choose to send us a submission, thank you also for considering us as your publisher. I know from experience all that you have gone through to get to this point, and I respect and honor you for it.

Elizabeth

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Elizabeth

Freedom is rarely, if ever, free. Even if you don’t have to earn it yourself, a great many of the opportunities that we hold dear have been secured for us by the actions of someone else. Case in point: Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Born in 1815, Elizabeth was a passionate and gifted speaker and writer, influencing and working with suffragists and abolitionists such as Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott. Elizabeth helped organize the first women’s rights convention in 1848, and spent most of the rest of her life campaigning, speaking, and writing on behalf of the rights of women.

Elizabeth championed equal rights in all things, from riding a bicycle to casting a ballot. She was also a powerful force behind the abolition of slavery, the liberalization of divorce law (which until that point was strongly in favor of men), and the resistance to religious-based denial of rights.

Here at Little Pickle Press, we cherish our champions, including Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

Elizabeth

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Staying Safe While Playing Pokémon GO

 

Pokémon Go logo

It’s the newest craze! But with everyone staring at their phones (rather than where they’re walking) there are some safety things to keep in mind.

Our friends at Kidpower have put together a bunch of important safety tips for caring adults to consider when young people (and we adults as well) play Pokémon GO.

From Recognizing the Possible Safety Problems (Including Crossing Physical Boundaries and Looking Like Trouble) to Cyber Safety and Awareness concerns, the idea of having a Pokémon GO Safety Plan is a smart one.

We highly recommend you check out the article here. Those skills and many more are covered in these three books by Irene van der Zande, the Founder of Kidpower:

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.

 

Margaret

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Margaret

You’ve no doubt seen, heard, or perhaps even used one of her quotes at some point in your life, but do you know who Margaret Mead was?

Born in 1901, Margaret earned a Ph.D. in 1929, not long after her elevation to assistant curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History. Her multiple trips to the South Pacific resulted in best-selling books and a profound shift in the overall approach to the study of human cultures.

Margaret demonstrated the differences in gender roles, and how those differences varied between societies. She argued that it was conditioning by those societies, rather than inherent characteristics, that determined gender roles and personalities.

Her open-minded approach not only yielded startling results, it also made anthropology itself a much more accessible topic and field of study for the general public. Here at Little Pickle Press, we believe in open-mindedness, accessibility, and learning, much like Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

Margaret

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Susan

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Susan

“Susan B Anthony? Oh, yeah. Wasn’t she on a quarter or something?” Her name rings a bell, but time will never take its toll on her legacy.

Born in 1820, the Quaker-raised Susan spent many years as a teacher before the siren call of activism convinced her to redirect her energies. She had a fine example in her close family, who hosted Frederick Douglass and other stalwart abolitionists in their home. After meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton at an anti-slavery conference, Susan devoted nearly all of her time to causes near and dear to her heart.

Though belittled as a “mere woman,” Susan championed anti-slavery efforts, women’s rights, and the temperance movement. She was once arrested and fined for casting a vote in the 1872 presidential election, but refused to let the incident be more than a stumbling block.

Though she died before her dreams could be realized, Susan never gave up fighting for her own beliefs and for the rights of others. Here at Little Pickle Press, those same values are shared by Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

Susan

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Anna

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Anna Quindlen

Copy girl, reporter, editor, author; Anna Quindlen has seen more sides of the print game than your average wordsmith. She also holds the distinction of being one of the first women to write a regular column for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

Born in 1952 in Philadelphia, Anna took a job as copy girl for the Times right out of high school. After her college graduation, she was hired away by The New York Post, working as a reporter for several years before returning to the Times.

She soon rose through the ranks, reaching deputy metropolitan editor in 1983, and writing columns until 1994. The following year, Anna left the newspaper game, choosing to focus on her desire to become a novelist. This dream quickly became a reality; she has since published several best-selling books. Her body of work includes fiction, self-help, and children’s books; three of her novels have been made into films.

Here at Little Pickle Press, we’re big advocates of following dreams, just like Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

Anna

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Outsmart The Summer Slide With Little Pickle!

Road sign that reads: Slide Area

In some countries, kids have school all year round. Here in the United States, the big summer vacations built into the school year that started for agricultural reasons are still around, and that time off has a documented side-effect: Many kids slide backwards in abilities during the summer months, and start the school year behind where they left off.

Many of us at Little Pickle Press are parents ourselves, and we’re all about figuring out ways to keep our kids – and yours – from experiencing the summer slide. Our word-guru Audrey shares,

“Around our house, the summer slide is a descent into discontent. Junior, now eight years old, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of four. He craves the structure and boundaries of a standard school day; at least once each week now, he stomps around grumbling, “I cannot have school until August!”

To provide that structure (and to help Junior retain what he’s already learned), a therapist comes to the house several times each week. Using the tools of Applied Behavior Analysis, they work on geography, English, Algebra, and piano theory, among other things.”

Like Audrey’s child, every young person can benefit from exploring what they’re passionate about, and fully engaging their minds and bodies. In particular, books and apps that encourage creativity and a growth mindset (where achievement and acknowledgement are effort-based) are great ways to help outsmart the summer slide.

For the month of July, we’re offering a special deal (both books for $25) on a bundle of our two award-winning Brain Books, Dr. JoAnn Deak’s picture book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, and Dr. Deak’s chapter book, The Owner’s Manual For Driving Your Adolescent Brain.

brainbundle

We’ve also dropped the price on our Brainiest app for Your Fantastic Elastic Brain (with hundreds of fun “brain workout” exercises!) and on our most creative writer’s journal app, Fireflies (with freehand drawing, bottomless pages, prompts, and plenty of helpful tips!)

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain App logo

Chasing Fireflies App logo

 

We hope these books and apps can help you turn the summer slide into a stairway to success!

Oprah

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Oprah

When her given name of Orpah proved too troublesome to pronounce, her family began calling the new baby “Oprah.” We’ll never know for sure, but that initial alteration seems to have inspired a lifetime of world-changing decisions.

From her legendary breakout in the film The Color Purple to the Oprah Winfrey Network to her book club and magazine, Oprah Winfrey is an astonishing media success story. Her name and face are instantly recognizable across the globe, but it is her philanthropic heart that is most often spoken of.

From humble and at times traumatic beginnings, Oprah rose above the assumptions of the day to exceed beyond anyone’s expectations. A woman of color, born in the mid-50s to unmarried parents, she seized her fate with both hands, seeking a degree in Speech Communications and Performing Arts and taking steps to gain and ultimately transform her own talk show.

The rest isn’t yet history, but it is historic. Oprah was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and has earned numerous awards, titles, and “firsts.” She has used her influence and wealth to fund charities, schools, and scholarships, and was instrumental in pushing Congress to create a nationwide database of convicted child abusers.

Big hearts make big decisions, and there is no doubt that Oprah Winfrey will continue to do exactly that. Here at Little Pickle Press, we’re excited to share the story of our own big-hearted heroine, Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Louisa

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Louisa

Running races, climbing trees, and writing melodramas for her friends; these were the pursuits preferred by Louisa May Alcott during her early years. Not content to be pigeonholed into society’s view of proper ladylike behavior, Louisa chose instead to follow her heart.

A writer early on, Louisa used her stories to give vent to a vivid imagination, creating exciting tales to entertain her sisters and their friends. By the age of fifteen, she knew that the world would hear of her, and vowed, “I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!”

Determined to help her poverty-stricken family, Louisa sought work. Society in the mid-1800s offered few opportunities for women seeking employment, limiting them to positions such as seamstress, governess, or servant. Louisa took whatever jobs that she could find, and wrote in every spare moment.

At the age of twenty-two, in 1854, Louisa published her first work. Flower Fables was followed by other pieces, and her thirty-fifth year saw the publication of Little Women.

The rest is history.

While her personal wealth is irrelevant, Louisa certainly achieved two of her goals. She was happy, writing enthralling tales and poetry, and she is still famous, having created immortal characters beloved the world over.

Here at Little Pickle Press, we love Louisa’s characters, and are always seeking more who will inspire and entertain. One such character is Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety On Trips

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder, Executive Director, and the author of our trio of Kidpower Safety Comics, shares skills all young people and families should consider for not just the summer, but for lifelong safety and confidence.

Safety on Trips

Travel is a time when we are dealing with many changes, and children need to know what to do if there is a problem. You can:

•Make a Safety Plan for how to get help everywhere your children go. What will each person do if you get separated? What if someone bothers you?

•Agree on the safety rules about different kinds of transportation. The rules on an airplane will be different than on a boat, which will be different at a rest stop on a long car trip. Talk about boundaries like where it is safe to go and where it is not safe to go without checking first.

These skills and many more are covered in Irene’s three books,

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.

With thanks to Irene for permission to excerpt her excellent Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families article.

Malala

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Malala

When you’re thirsty, you grab a glass of water and drink. But what if your thirst is for knowledge, and satisfying that thirst is now a crime? Rather than accept an unjust fate, Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai raised her hands and voice to reclaim what had been stolen, forever changing the way the world looks at what it means to be “just a girl.”

With the Taliban in control of her hometown in Pakistan, Malala and many others faced the loss of numerous basic human rights. They learned to fear. Outspoken since before she could even say the word, Malala took to cyberspace, blogging under an assumed name and speaking out against the Taliban. Her activism spread far and wide, earning her Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize and a reputation as a champion of education. She also became a target.

On the morning of October 9, 2012, a Taliban operative confronted Malala and shot her in the head.

The bullet damaged her facial nerves, but not her determination to continue speaking out on behalf of children everywhere. From the Nobel Prize website: “Currently residing in Birmingham, Malala is an active proponent of education as a fundamental social and economic right. Through the Malala Fund and with her own voice, Malala Yousafzai remains a staunch advocate for the power of education and for girls to become agents of change in their communities.”

Malala is a true hero to those of us at Little Pickle Press, and even to some of our characters! Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl,” also hopes to provide inspiration to young people everywhere.

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s The Wedding Planner’s Daughter series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety In The Community

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder, Executive Director, and the author of our trio of Kidpower Safety Comics, shares skills all young people and families should consider for not just the summer, but for lifelong safety and confidence.

Safety in The Community

Less time in school can mean more time in the community — visiting friends, going shopping, going to movies and shows, going to the library, and visiting parks. You can:

•Grant freedoms based on demonstrated skills. Before giving your children more independence, expect them to demonstrate the skills needed to manage it safely. For example, a child wanting to use public transit independently will need to demonstrate a willingness to get space between himself and a person making him feel uncomfortable; the ability to ask for help and persist, politely but firmly, until he gets help; and the willingness to get off the bus, take a different bus, or call for a ride if those are the safest choices.
•Make and practice Safety Plans. We want young people to have a picture in their minds of where safety is so that if they have a problem, they are moving toward safety, not just away from possible danger. It is normal for people to think of a familiar place or person as “safety.” However, in an emergency, we want our children to get help as quickly and as safely as they can. Role-play ways of getting help in emergencies where they cannot check first.
•Give permission to use self-defense skills appropriately. Any strong resistance will stop most assaults. However, young people often won’t protect themselves because they don’t want to get in trouble. Have a frank discussion about when it is okay to hurt somebody to stop that person from hurting you.

These skills and many more are covered in Irene’s three books,

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.

With thanks to Irene for permission to excerpt her excellent Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families article.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety In Summer Programs

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder, Executive Director, and the author of our trio of Kidpower Safety Comics, shares skills all young people and families should consider for not just the summer, but for lifelong safety and confidence.

Safety in Summer Programs

For many young people, summer break is a time to participate in fun activities with different people. These often offer new interests, new friends – and new challenges! You can:

Set up clear safety plans for pick-ups, drop-offs, and getting help. Review your clear – and, we recommend, VERY SHORT – list of people the child can go with at pick-up time without checking first. Role-play how they will follow your family’s rules about checking first. Make sure that they have or know where to find all important phone numbers.

Acknowledge differences. Meeting diverse new people can mean meeting people who are louder or quieter; who stand very close in conversation, or farther away than you are accustomed; who initiate play more subtly or in a ways that seem overbearing; or who use words and vocabulary differently than you do.Hearing that these kinds of differences are normal can ease anxiety and open the door to conversation about experiences and challenges. Discussions can lead to ideas for how to deal with those challenges. Mingled with all these new and normal ways of being might be someone whose behavior is truly causing a problem, and your talks might help uncover any potentially dangerous situation that needs adult attention.

Teach kids how to set boundaries and get help to stop unwanted touch. Most of the adults who work with kids in summer programs are wonderful! A very few have bad intentions and can do great harm. Teach kids how to set boundaries to stop unwanted teasing, touch or games and not to keep secrets about any “special” treatment – favors, gifts, time – or ANY kind of touch. Watch our new video: “Kidpower Advice to Prevent Sexual Abuse At Summer Camp & Recreation Activities” for simple steps parents can take and how to teach kids to set boundaries and get help at summer programs.

These skills and many more are covered in Irene’s three books,

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.

With thanks to Irene for permission to excerpt her excellent Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families article.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety At Home

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder, Executive Director, and the author of our trio of Kidpower Safety Comics, shares skills all young people and families should consider for not just the summer, but for lifelong safety and confidence.

Safety at Home

For some families, summer means spending more time together at home. This offers an excellent opportunity to build children’s boundary setting skills and review family safety rules about what is and is not okay to do when you are at home. Good awareness and the ability to express a clear boundary can stop most problems before they start. You can:

Model effective boundary setting. If the children in your life are doing something that crosses your boundaries – perhaps by climbing or jumping on you, throwing balls in the house, or using words that you find offensive – tell them clearly and respectfully, as soon as you can. Model maintaining a boundary in the face of resistance!

Use sibling bickering as a learning opportunity. When one child is feeling upset about another’s behavior, try coaching the child who is feeling bothered to express a clear respectful boundary. Coach the other child to listen. Deal with the crossing of appropriate personal boundaries with the same firm clarity you would apply to hitting, kicking, or spitting.

Set clear boundaries about physical aggression. If your children are getting physically aggressive when they are upset with each other, stop the behavior. Direct children toward more appropriate and effective ways of managing their conflicts.

Review safety rules for answering the door or phone. Revise rules based on your children’s development of skills and possible changes in your living situation. We recommend that young children check with the adult in charge first before they answer the phone or open the door, even when a parent is home.

Update safety rules about going. We recommend that young people do not change the plan about where they are going, whom they are going to be with, or when they will be home without checking with their parent or other adult in charge first. It is important for everyone to be clear about what the expectations are.

Review and practice emergency plans. What if there is an earthquake? What if someone gets hurt? What if there is a fire? Practice safety strategies.

 

These skills and many more are covered in Irene’s three books,

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.

 

With thanks to Irene for permission to excerpt her excellent Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families article.

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Epic Success in Kids’ E-Book Subscription

“We were one of the first to sign with Epic!,” says Rana DiOrio, founder and CEO of Little Pickle Press, “and one of the biggest reasons is their commitment to excellence in children’s publishing.” She also cites “the pedigree of the principals” as a factor in her decision, offering that Donahue and Markosian were respected digital industry figures with a well-capitalized business plan that was not likely to be a flash-in-the-pan venture. She was also pleased about the number of Little Pickle titles Epic! solicited. “They wanted everything on our list. Some platforms like TumbleBooks or Reading Rainbow pick and choose and tell you which titles they want.”

40436-1

 

To read the entire article, click here.

10 Lessons The Arts Teach

 

The evolution of one of Ken Min's illustrations for What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

Some of Ken Min’s process creating an illustration for
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

1.  The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2.  The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

3.  The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

4.  The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5.  The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

6.  The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

7.  The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms emply some means through which images become real.

8.  The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9.  The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

10.  The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.

Illustrator Ken Min's self-portrait from What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

Ken created this image of himself for
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?
See Ken’s blog post for more!

We love Elliot Eisner’s 10 Lessons that the Arts Teach, from his book The Arts and the Creation of the Mind (Chapter 4!) There’s a nice downloadable PDF of this from the National Art Education Association here.

Relish Media Releases the Breath To Breath Discussion Guide!

Breath To Breath Discussion Guide cover

Child trauma expert Dr. Donna Gaffney helps readers and teen book clubs explore the themes, events, and emotions of Craig Lew’s YA novel-in-verse Breath To Breath in this discussion guide that covers:

Words and Myths
Helping Others
Asking For Help
Angels
Trauma and Shame
Resilience and Forgiveness
Grief
Healing and Self-Care
Finding Sanctuary
Hope
How You Can Help Or Get Help

We hope it will spark conversations, open hearts, and, in the words of the real-life William, help “knock the front teeth out of abuse.”


Get the FREE Breath to Breath Discussion Guide


Celebrate #EarthDay With Great Deals On Our Greenest Titles

For the month of April  2016 only, get the paperback edition of Sofia’s Dream and A Bird On Water Street for only $5 each, and the hardcover edition of Sofia’s Dream and What Does It Mean To Be Green? for only $10 each!

Sofia's Dream pin, 12,31,13, final

Sofia’s Dream 

In this picture book for children ages 3-7, Little Sofia befriends the moon and sets off on a dreamy adventure to visit. The view from up high inspires Sofia to protect our Earth.

 

"A Bird on Water Street" cover, a light-blue bird silhouette against a grass-green sky

A Bird On Water Street

This middle grade novel has won over a dozen awards and honors. It tells the story of Jack, who is 13-years old and loves his town, but not the dangerous mine that keeps nature away. But how can he tell his dad, who wants Jack to be a miner, too?

 

What Does It Mean To Be Green? cover

What Does It Mean To Be Green?

Drawing on two sides of your paper instead of just one. Walking to the park instead of getting a ride. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth. In this picture book, a young boy and girl explore the myriad ways they can be Green over the course of a day. There’s so much we can all do to save our world!

Sap to store

Sap to Store:

The Journey of Maple Syrup

There are three of us in the house, and three different waffle styles. Junior likes his waffle cut into pieces, which he then picks up and dabs carefully (Corners only!) in a tiny puddle of syrup. I drizzle a bit of syrup into each “pocket” and dig in. Larry systematically drowns his waffle in the remaining syrup and wonders if we have any more.

No matter how you serve it, real maple syrup is a treat that takes breakfast to a whole new level. While you probably don’t want to know how most commercial table syrups are made, the sap-to-store timeline of maple syrup production is kind of amazing. Check out these fun facts, courtesy of Deseret News and Mental Floss:

  • It takes four maple trees, at least 40 years old, to yield enough sap over six weeks to produce one gallon of maple syrup. It takes 35 to 40 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of syrup.
  • Maple syrup and maple sugar are rich in potassium, calcium and iron, and are fat free.
  • Today, about 80 percent of the world’s supply comes from Canada.
  • In Korea, sap is usually preferred to syrup. The gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones,” is a Korean maple that’s been tapped by southern villagers since at least the ninth century. Locals consume its sap in huge quantities; drinking over 5 gallons in one sitting is a common practice.
  • Imitation maple syrup is mostly corn syrup, containing 2 to 3 percent of real maple syrup.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our sneak peek at what goes into your breakfast, and we hope you have the chance to enjoy a real, home-cooked meal with your loved ones very soon. After everyone is fed, may we suggest a bit of post-prandial reading? Today is the last day to get our APP-etizing iPad adventure, based on The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, for a mere ninety-nine cents.

How do you like YOUR waffles?

Sap to store

The Egg and I

In a teeny little corner of a tiny little unincorporated township, there lived a mismatched flock of the most indulged hens to ever cluck. These chickens had a peach tree in the middle of their enclosed yard, from which they picked pecked their own fruit. They were let out multiple times each day to chase bugs and eat grass. They were named and petted during their lives, and mourned and buried upon their deaths.

They also produced some of the best eggs to grace a breakfast table.

I grew up knowing that no, eggs did not simply appear in the grocery store, scrubbed shiny and lined up in neat cartons. They were laid by living, breathing chickens and frequently streaked with something unmentionable.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how an egg is made (or you just want to freak out your kids the next time they get picky about what’s for breakfast), the video at the end of this post is for you. After you watch and share, please visit our iTunes store to purchase and download our egg-ceptional app, based on The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, available for only ninety-nine cents through March 17th.

  • Eggshell production drains calcium from the hen’s body. The comb, wattles, legs, and ear lobes will fade as the calcium leaches out. Calcium must be replenished through either feed containing calcium, supplements such as oyster shell, or high amounts of calcium in the soil of birds with outdoor access.
  • Hens don’t usually lay eggs in the dark, so once a hen’s laying cycle reaches dusk time, she will usually not lay till the following morning.
  • The shell color is a breed characteristic. Most chicken breeds lay light-to-medium brown eggs. A few breeds lay white, dark brown, green, blue, or cream colored eggs.
  • Often a hen will sing “the egg song” before or after she lays an egg. Some will sing during the process of laying. It is a cheerful song that seems to be a proud announcement.
  • If you aren’t sure how old an egg is, you can submerge it in water. The freshest eggs will remain at the bottom of the container, while old eggs will float. Floaters should either be discarded or opened far from your nose.

Thanks to The American Cowboy Chronicles for the nifty trivia!

How do you like your eggs?