Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing licenses books to iKids Play

PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 24, 2009 – “We are excited about our newest venture,” said GAP President and Publisher Lynda Burch. “Licensing our picture books with iKids Play™ will allow for worldwide English distribution by Apple iTunes Applications of our books on the newest technology to hit the market. As many of you know, APPLE has downloaded a billion applications in the first nine months of the iPhone market.”

The users can order print book copies directly from their phones. Children can interact with the stories and artwork and entertain themselves while waiting with parents in countless situations. These applications provide an alternative to gaming by introducing educational opportunities for children with books on the go for busy lifestyles.

“Keeping up with the rapidly changing book marketplace has been a rewarding experience and we look forward to many more GAP books for iPhones and iPods,” Burch continued.
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. launched in late 2004 featuring a unique series of musical eBook download books—Angelic Harmony. Their books expanded from picture books to storybooks, fiction and nonfiction, and chapter books for older beginning readers.

Guardian Angel publishes exceptional and educational books for children 0-12 years of age. They expanded with Academic Wings— with a wealth of teaching aids for teachers, Angel to Angel where kids write and illustrate for kids, Littlest Angels, Guardian Angel Animals and Pets, Guardian Angel Chapbooks for Tweens and Wings of Faith—faith-based stories, which are available as eBook downloads, CDs, print paperback, and video books for TV or mobiles.

More information on Guardian Angel Publishing can be found at

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About Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.:
Offering books that inspire, educate and teach family values by award winning authors and artists from around the globe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Newspapers for kids

I found this list while searching for newspapers for kids. My 11 year old has expressed an interest in subscribing to a newspaper, so I'm looking around, trying to decide which is the best.

  • The Chatterbox Times [ Kids/Teens ] - Reports only good news. Includes riddles and jokes, short stories, crossword puzzle, movie reviews and other fun stuff.
  • Creative Youth [ Teens/Mature Teens ] - News stories, articles, photographs, drawing, and other misc. as written by youth activists.
  • First News [ Kids/Teens ] - Award-winning UK national newspaper for children aged 7-14. Online edition includes book reviews, competitions and information about the editorial team.
  • The Hindu - Young World [ Kids/Teens/Mature Teens ] - National and international news and features for children and students from the national newspaper. India.
  • Indianapolis Star - Y-Press [ Kids/Teens ] - Children's news network also offers book, movie and music reviews plus Special Editions focusing on specific issues. USA.
  • LA Times - Kids' Reading Room [ Kids ] - News and stories about California-related history, culture and issues. Includes streaming audio of stories read by Los Angeles Times staff. USA.
  • National Post [ Teens/Mature Teens ] - A newspaper published in Toronto, Canada.
  • New York Times - Student Connections [ Kids/Teens/Mature Teens ] - News and features including news quizzes, Ask a Reporter, and a web explorer for kids. USA.
  • Newszone [ Kids/Teens ] - News for kids plus Ask a Journalist, Meet the Editor and A Day at the Newspaper sections. Presented by the Newspapers in Education (NiE) resource for the major Fairfax newspapers. New Zealand.
  • Popcorn News [ Teens/Mature Teens ] - Published by a group of eighth grade students. Find articles, videos and reports on celebrities, sports stars, movie ratings, news around the world, recipes, and letters to the editor.
  • Toronto Star [ Teens/Mature Teens ] - National newspaper with international and local news. Published in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Wall Street Journal - The Classroom Edition [ Teens/Mature Teens ] - Online copy of the current issue along with archives of related articles. Teen Center includes information on college admissions and finance, personal technology and financial tips. USA.
  • Washington Post: Kids Post [ Kids/Teens/Mature Teens ] - News, features, interviews, background stories, daily news summaries and weekly photo galleries. USA. Free registration may be required to read the articles.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day

Dia del Niño / Dia del Libro

Children's Day/Book Day

Saturday April 25
12:00pm - 2:00pm
East Harlem Cafe
1651 Lexington Ave (@ 104th St.)
El Barrio, NY 10029
Volunteers needed for this event to help with kids' activity table. Email

"'Dia del Niño/Dia de Libro' emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Its goals are to honor children, languages and cultures; to encourage reading and literacy; and to promote library collections and programs that reflect our plurality. This local party promotes reading and bilingualism to children of all backgrounds."

Children's authors Lissette Norman and Annette Perez will be reading and signing books. There will be face painting and craft for kids. Don't miss your chance to have your kids meet these authors. Children love to meet real-life authors and asks for autographs.

About Lissette Norman: Lissette Norman is an award-winning poet with many published credits to her name. She lives in New York City. My Feet Are Laughing is her first children's book.

Book's blurb: Sadie likes living in her grandmother’s brownstone, where she has her own bedroom and a backyard to play in. She’s full of thoughts and has lots to say about her family and friends, her home, her hair, and her laughing feet that can’t keep still. And when she grows up she plans on being a poet.

This collection of sixteen exuberant poems in the voice of a young Dominican American girl and energetic, bright paintings celebrates Sadie’s family and the city around her.

About Annette Perez: Annette Perez was born in New York City to a family of Puerto Rican origin. Annette was diagnosed with hydrocephalus as an infant. Growing up with this disability was not easy. Her childhood was filled with constant challenges, including learning how to tie her shoelaces one-handed. However, she considers herself among the lucky ones since she can function and live a normal life. Annette graduated from Borough of Manhattan Community College (City University of New York) with an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education, and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish from York College. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education (obviously, her brain did not float away!) She lives in Queens, New York. This is her first book, lovingly dedicated to her parents.

Book's blurb: Annie, an eight-year-old girl, gathers the courage to ask her mother, "Why is one of my hands smaller than the other? Why do I fall so much?" What follows is a story of fears, will, self discovery, and finally, triumph. Annette Perez narrates her true story of growing up with hydrocephalus with humor, honesty, and compassion, and proves with this story that even the simplest act can change one's life forever.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Interview with Publisher Dawn Jeffers, Raven Tree Press

Raven Tree Press specializes in family oriented, high-quality, bilingual (English-Spanish) children's picture books with universal themes that can appeal to many cultures. Their books have garnered rave reviews and won awards. Here to talk about the press is publisher Dawn Jeffers. Jeffers is also an accomplished children's writer and author of the bilingual titles, Vegetable Dreams and Beautiful Moon.

Thanks for being here today, Dawn. Tell us, how did Raven Tree Press get started?
The publisher knew a group of talented writers and artists in the Midwest. That pool of regional talent helped launch the initial list. With the success of the books the talent pool spread through the US and now we proudly work with talent around the world.

Who is your primary audience? Our picture books are focused on children grades preschool ­ third grade. Because our book are co-released as bilingual books in English and Spanish the word count is traditionally low and the artwork must tell sub-stories for us.

What genres do you publish and for what age group? We are a juvenile fiction publisher exclusively. We have one series that blends fiction (postcards written by a child) with non-fictions (facts and photos about specific locations in the United States).

Is there a big market for bilingual books? Children's books in general is a huge market and highly competitive. We needed something to differentiate ourselves and there were no high quality bilingual books in the market. We focused on keeping production quality high, artwork beautiful and excellent translations. These books can then be used in schools for language learning in either language, in a bilingual home where the parent may speak one language and the child is learning a second in school, and by children and families that are curious about a second language. They can use a picture book in the learning as the illustrations help to cue the words in many cases. We end every book with a keyword vocabulary list to aid in learning. These books help make language learning fun.

Are your books available in Spanish-speaking countries outside the US? That has been a challenge for us. We have translators that blend those types of Spanish most often used in the United States and try to blend the translation to suit this blend. Spanish in Spain and sometimes the Spanish in Latin America do not match the translation in our books. We do offer our books for rights purchase so that the publishers in those countries can retranslate for their market and then reprint the books for their needs. That is true for not only Spanish speaking countries, but any company that may want a dual language presentation.

What do you look for in a picture book manuscript? We look for a story that is easily illustratable. We look for family oriented, universal storylines. We do not need culturally specific or multicultural stories as we believe a good story is a good story in any language. In the editing process we lower the word count and choose words that can be translated.

Do you accept unagented submissions? Yes, but we always ask an writer or agent to view our website before any submission. We want them to become familiar with our books and guidelines. It will save everyone time and resources.

Are you looking for English/Spanish translators at this time? We are not looking for translators.

Sometimes the tone of a book is lost in a translation. What do you look for in a translator? Tone is so important. In a children¹s book specifically we want the children to be educated and entertained. We need translators that have had experience translated creative writing and specifically juvenile fiction. Those that portray the voice of the characters in our books is critical to us. We also want that sensitivity to blend discussed earlier and that is tricky sometimes.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers? Please visit our website. We want writers, readers and translators to know who we are and what we produce. If you have children, share one of our books with them and see them light up seeing a second language in the book. It is so interesting that children love to experience the new language when adults are sometimes hesitant.

Thanks for the interview, Dawn!

Related links:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Interview with Christine Rose, author of Rowan of the Wood

Christine Rose is an author, artist, and filmmaker. She has produced two documentary films and has credits on The first film enjoyed a theatrical premiere in Paris and a considerable amount of international press. In addition, she has had articles appear in several magazines, including MovieMaker Magazine and IndieSlate Magazine discussing her career as an independent filmmaker. She's the author of the middle grade novel, Rowan of the Wood, a Finalist for the 2008 National Best Books Award in the Young Adult Fiction category.

Thanks for this interview, Christine. Who is your target audience?

When asked that question at events, my husband quips, "9-99"! We have a 12-year-old protagonist who's possessed by a 1400 year old wizard (aged about 40), so it's truly a crossover book. The content is appropriate for all ages, and the reading level starts around 9 years old. That said, we've had someone as young as 4 read it! That's one advanced reader! At the same time, many, many adults have enjoyed Rowan of the Wood as well! There is a wonderful tragic love story mixed with ancient Celtic lore all woven into a modern-day, magical adventure tale.

What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?

A little of both. I definitely write from actual experiences, especially feelings. It's how I work through some emotional things, especially hard things like betrayal and feelings of worthlessness, or existential thought. If I'm hurting or stressed, I find it helpful to work through it by giving it to my characters. It makes their experiences very real.

Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is?

Some of my best ideas come to me just as I'm about to fall asleep, which can be rather annoying! I then have to get up and write them down. I can't just keep a notebook by the bed because I would forget to look at it the next day. The notes have to by by the computer, because that's where I live most of the time. I think I get these ideas just as I'm about to fall asleep because I'm the most relaxed then. I often kid my husband that I don't know how to relax, which isn't far from the truth. I'm rather a workaholic, and I think it's learned behavior from being self-employed for so long. There are so many different hats you have to wear on any given day. Author is just one of them.

From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?

From concept to publication was 3 years. And it's going to be nearly as long for the sequel! But the writing part is taking much longer for the sequel, Witch on the Water, whereas the publishing part (finding a publisher, revising, etc) was longer for Rowan of the Wood. We've been working on the sequel already for 1.5 years. It should be published later this year, though. Hopefully we'll cut off another year in the process for the third book!

Do you write non-stop until you have a first draft, or do you edit as you move along?

I certainly write the first draft before doing any editing. The story flow moves better that way for us. After I complete the first draft, I hand it over to my husband/co-author who takes it, alters it, and introduces sub-plots for the second draft. I take it back over for the third, and so on. After the fourth or fifth draft, we sit down and read it cover to cover together, looking for continuity problems, etc. Then the fine editing begins! It's a long process to say the least.

They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?

Although I'm very sensitive as a person, I have an uncharacteristic thicker skin for as a professional. Sure, a negative review might sting a bit, but it passes quickly. So for for Rowan of the Wood, the positive reviews far outweigh the negative ones, so I keep that in mind. During the revision process, however, is where I see the biggest difference. I can take pretty rough criticism and suggestions before the book is published (or query letter is sent), because it's still a learning process. Every new critique is a new opportunity to learn and grow and improve my craft. Even negative reviews. I welcome any and all feedback, especially if it's constructive.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?

Believe it or not. Writing. My degrees are in English Literature (BA/MA), so I've written and read a lot. But I never truly got it until I wrote this novel. I used to sit in front of a blank screen, trying to figure out a way to begin my novel (or screenplay or short story), but I finally got it. You don't have to write the beginning first. You can write the beginning last! That's the beauty of the revision process! So when I don't know what to write... I just start writing anyway because it can always be revised later. The most important thing is to keep writing.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

My big writing moment of clarity came when I read Stephen King's On Writing. In this book, he describes a writing technique that I had not tried, and it worked well for me. He instructed to fully develop your characters first. Create them. Who they are. What they say. What they wear. What the like/dislike, etc. Create them into people first, and then put them in a situation. Your characters will take you through because you know them. You know how they will respond in that situation. That's the technique i use now, and it worked well for me. It took me from being a writer to being a published author.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Oh. You shouldn't have asked that! I'm ALL OVER the web!

My website - from Apr 6-17, we're running a contest to win $100 B&N gift card and more great prizes. Visit our blog for more information - New secret message every Wed. Download the decoder card here, watch videos, and more information about the book!

Twitter. I'm a Twitterholic! This Friday (4/10), I'm running at #tweet4loan marathon on Twitter. Our banker said she'd give us a loan for our summer Geekalicious Grand Book Tour if we could sell 300 books in a day. Please stop by and help us reach our goal!

You Tube - 2 new videos every week from the tour

BlogTV - Live every Monday at 1pm CST and from book signings!

BlogTalkRadio - Every Wed. at 5pm CST

GoodReads - We currently have a Q&A discussion group going on Goodreads! Join us!

There's more, but I'll stop there for now.

Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

Rowan of the Wood is the first book in a series of five. The sequel Witch on the Water is due out later this year. The third, late 2010, and the next two in 2011 and 2012.

As an author, what is your greatest reward?

Having a reader tell me how much they loved my book, especially the ones who tell me they were up until 4am finishing it because they couldn't put it down. :-D

Thanks, Christine, and good luck with your book!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Interview with Patti Ogden, author of Keoni's Big Question

Patti Ogden had a love for writing ever since a high school writing class unleashed the creativity within her. Even then, she had dreams of her work being published after she and a friend complied a journal of their best poetry and short stories, named it “Soul Grazing” and the two set out to find a publisher. Well, that never happened, but now as a grandmother of five, she has returned to her love of writing and produced a new Christian children’s fiction picture book with two more due out this year.

Patti Ogden’s multi-faceted career in business management began with a background in journalism. As an active Sunday school teacher, she enjoys interacting with children and inspiring them to work on their own personal walk with God. She and her husband of 35 years, Jeff, live on an 11 acre hobby farm in Northern Illinois.

Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Keoni’s Big Question is about a young boy who seeks answers about God's presence in everyday life. This is a gripping and touching tale of the friendship between a young boy and a kind old gentleman who is a family friend and a grandfather figure to Keoni. The setting is a fishing trip that suddenly turns dangerous, then miraculous and ends up leaving Keoni with more answers than he dreamed possible.

I was inspired to write this story after hearing a story told by William Branham about a little “lad” who was very curious and no one seemed to be able to answer his questions that he had about God. The book incorporates the link between the Creator and His creation, how we can see God in nature and it helps children learn how they can communicate with God on their own in times of trouble.

Tell us about your children’s books.

My children’s books are unique because they hold very high gospel standards, boldly approaching very serious and complicated Biblical subjects, yet all the while presented at a level the children can embrace and understand. This was a big challenge to take on! There are many Christian children’s books on the market today that use cartoons and silly characters that give them the wrong impression. If they are told that their favorite cartoon character is not real, how can they believe that Jesus is real?

My experiences as a mother, grandmother and a Sunday school teacher helped me write creatively enough to peak the children’s interest, add drama, a splash of excitement and before you know it the kids comprehend why it is important to possess virtues of Godly faith, love, character and courage through real human role models.

Some writers go on long walks, others keep a journal, write at a café, or listen to music. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

All of the above! Long walks surrounded by the beauty of nature and listening to relaxing instrumental music is the biggest thing that helps me. Many new and fresh ideas pop into my head during these meditational alone times.

What are you working on now?

We are doing the design and layout of my next book, Shamgar and the Ox Goad. This is a story of great courage and Godly faith that will appeal to boys. It is the little known story of Shamgar, who was only mentioned twice in the Bible, yet greatly used of God. This book we hope will be printed very soon.

The third book appeals to girls. Momma, Am I Pretty? is a story about a young girl who deals with her first experience of religious persecution and how the wisdom of her mother helps her through it. This book is now being illustrated by professional illustrator and designer, Robert Sauber.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?

Yes. Readers can visit us at

Where are your books available?

Ask for Keoni’s Big Question at your local bookstore

What’s your favorite children’s book of all time?

Guess How Much I Love You? I love that book. It’s a warm-feel fuzzy good-can read it a billion times and still love it book!!