In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week, I was able to be part of a project at the Boulder Public Library’s MakerSpace. If you follow this blog, you saw a post recently featuring some of the incredibly creative artwork that has been made there.
On Monday, a group of 20 volunteers from around the city of Boulder were able to create a laser cut Field Book. Most of the others spend their time volunteering in the parks, open space, or trails and their designs reflected those interests. I am a tutor at the library and a writer, so my design honors my love of books and my debut, ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, which is now available at the library! If you are a patron of your local library, you can request that it be at your library too and I will be forever grateful.
There are so many ways and reasons why it’s important to support local businesses. Independent book stores are my favorite places to visit no matter where I travel.
It’s been a while since I shopped for toys, but for the month of April I’ll be spending a lot of time at a Denver toy store, or should I say four wonderful stores? Timbuk Toys has four locations and I am the April Author-of-the-Month at all of them. This is a great example of a local store supporting a local author; something that takes ‘Shop Local’ to another level.
It’s fun to spend time in such a happy place as I’ve been able to share ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON with people shopping for birthday gifts, a few teachers, a dad looking for a gift for his daughter, and of course children. Sharing my book with children makes my teacher 💜 so happy! I was even surprised by a friend who came after seeing my event posted on Facebook.
I’ll be visiting all four stores during the month so if you’re in the Denver area, check out TimbukToys and buy a signed copy or two of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON!
I’ve always believed in putting positive energy into the world. I cheer on my friends when something wonderful happens; their joy is my joy. I try to be encouraging when they are facing challenges. Sometimes just letting someone vent or have as much time as they need to talk about what’s bothering them, is a gift.
This is also my habit on social media and with people I don’t know. You never know when your smile, your kindness, your acknowledgment of someone will make a difference.
Last week, after a successful day of two school visits that included seeing children who used to be my students and their families, I was driving in Chicago to meet a friend for dinner. I saw a man spreading out newspaper on the wet street so he could kneel and change a flat tire. I had an empty box that had been full of books that morning. I stopped and offered the box to the man and the woman whose tire he was changing. They were grateful and I was happy to be able to help.
I mentioned that I would appreciate it if they would recycle the box when they were done because it had my name and the title of my book on it. They asked to see the book and each of them bought a copy! When I stopped, selling books wasn’t even on my mind. I just felt like I could spread a little joy after a wonderful day.
photos of the wonderful families who I used to teach who came to see me.
I spent a fantastic Saturday morning at The Book Stall in Winnetka, a wonderful independent book store with 75 years in the community. Author events and book clubs fill their calendar.
It was a dream-come-true feeling, reading ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON and answering questions from the crowd which included babes in arms, engaged children sitting on the floor, longtime friends in the area, and a lovely elderly woman from the neighborhood who attended with her caretaker. While signing books, I was able to have some wonderful moments with the attendees. The perfectly dressed older woman asked if I’d come home with her and read again later.
This week, we received accolades from two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) professionals for the book ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON.
“This short children’s book imparts many pearls of wisdom about the qualities of a scientist, while telling an engaging story about a girl’s caring relationship with her younger brother. Using her ingenuity, imagination, and ordinary household materials, Aliana creates a special experience for Gustavo’s 5th birthday. Aliana Reaches for the Moon encourages all children – and especially girls – to read, explore, experiment, and to take notice of the natural world. There’s even an important message for parents – doing science can be messy!” ~ Grace Wolf-Chase, PhD; Astronomer, Adler Planetarium
If you’re not familiar with Adler Planetarium, in Chicago, IL you should make plans to visit and you can check it out here: Adlerplanetarium.org
“Curiosity and imagination, paired with research and experimental play, help Aliana bring her unique idea to life. Aliana Reaches for the Moon will inspire readers to use science, imagination, and experimental play to create their own innovations.” ~Linda Schwab, Flight Director, Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana
The Challenger Center is an educational organization that offers amazing opportunities for learning about Space Science Education at over 40 centers around the world, primarily located in the US.
More can be learned here: https://www.challenger.org
Preorder here: EifrigPublishing.com
Michelle Obama has a beautifully written memoir and is on a multi city (21 cities on her calendar to date) tour promoting the book. But more importantly, bringing her message to so many of us who miss the dignity of the 8 years her husband was the president of the United States.
I was lucky enough to be in the audience for her Denver stop. She spent part of the day in Denver visiting a children’s hospital which aligns closely with her mission as a mother and First Lady. Her personal campaign fighting childhood obesity changed school lunch programs across the nation. She raised two daughters in the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny in an admirable way with amazing results. Both Sasha and Malia are impressive young women.
She spoke about her childhood, getting into Princeton, meeting Barack, and about how hard marriage and children are in a candid way that had Reese Witherspoon laughing beside her on stage and the crowd at the Pepsi Center laughing and cheering. For me personally, as a girl from the same neighborhood in Chicago, I was mesmerized.
Waking up to the beauty of sunrise over the mountains is something I appreciate every day. I’m currently reading and loving KATERINA’S WISH by Jeannie Mobley, which has cover art that reminds me of my sunrises.
This is exactly the kind of book that made me love reading. It’s the story of an immigrant girl who has big dreams for her family and works hard to make them happen.
The writing is beautiful and each character is lovingly created in a way to make them memorable and a hero of their own story. Mobley weaves in little stories and folk tales in a way that is charming and important to both character development and plot.