Tag Archives: reading

Author-of-the-Month (follow up to Shop Local)

I truly enjoyed the month of April as Author-of-the-Month at all four Timbuk Toys stores in Denver. It was lovely meeting people and sharing Aliana Reaches for the Moon. Toy stores are such a happy place.

I received a warm welcome each time I visited a store from both the employees and shoppers. I enjoyed interesting conversations about books, children, science, encouraging curiosity in children, and the importance of boys reading about strong, intelligent girls. In other words, a book with a female main character is NOT a ‘girl book.’ We have to empower our daughters and also teach our sons that girls are their equals. As a reading specialist, this is an important subject on which I have done considerable research and therefore have some strong opinions regarding how literature impacts the way gender roles are portrayed.

Was it Successful? There are many ways to measure success.

  • Was it fun? Yes!
  • Was the book well received? Yes!
  • Did the employees like my book? Yes, one store set up the display above and sent me this picture. It’s humbling, to say the least.
  • Did we sell a lot of copies? Yes! In fact, I broke the previous record of Author-of-the-month sales by over 60% so for those of us who like quantitive information YES!

Shop Local

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!

 

Why I love Social Media

More from my visit to Chicago

I was a teacher and reading specialist in Chicago for ten years. My final year was full of wonderful memories of children I will never forget.
I had the good fortune to work with two first graders that made every day rewarding. They were both the little sisters of former students so the families are also special. When I went to visit last August, I discovered that one of the two girls who I named ALIANA for was no longer at my former school. 😢 The phone number I had for her mom wasn’t valid any more. My excitement to share my book with her was dashed.
I noticed a parent from my school was following my Facebook author page, but the profile picture didn’t look familiar. I’m active on Twitter and Facebook but rarely used Instagram until my illustrator started an account for the book. Aliana Reaches for the Moon
Suddenly, I had the same parent mentioned above following and liking my Instagram posts, but I still didn’t know who it was.
Then one night, I saw a picture that made me cry happy tears and filled my heart to overflowing! It was the girls I thought I lost. A picture of them celebrating a birthday had me jumping up and down! I woke Charlie who’s always ready to join in the fun.
The following day, I messaged with Maria (the girls’ mom) and told her my plans to visit. We met in the afternoon before school pickup time to get the girls from school together. More happy tears, this time from my little friend who is now a fourth grader. Then, her sister spotted us and more excitement, more hugs, and a very happy reunion.
I love a happy ending, don’t you?

The Book Stall Storytime

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.

Tunes and Tales

I’m very excited with all the wonderful avenues I’ve been allowed to share and celebrate my new book! On Wednesday, I spent the day in Fort Collins, Colorado recording Tunes and Tales with show host Kristen Olsen and Jonathan Bennett!

Link to livestream KRFCfm 88.9

(you can live-stream the show on Sunday, 3/3/19 6PM MST! )

ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON 🌙

Second Star to the Right 🌟

Independent Bookstores are the best way to celebrate a book launch!

Yesterday I was the featured author at a wonderful new location of a beloved Denver bookstore, Second Star to the Right.

If that name sounds familiar but you have never been to Denver, Colorado, it’s probably because of the song from Peter Pan. These opening words from the book sum up how I feel about the past week launching Aliana Reaches for the Moon.

“The second star to the right shines in the night for you. To tell you that the dreams you plan Really can come true”

I’m over the moon to have such wonderful friends help me celebrate the launch of my new book!

Second Star to the Right 🌟🌟🌟song

Successes: Looking back at 2018 & Looking forward to 2019

This is a departure from my normal blogging. I’m participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas so today is when we celebrate successes and I’m sharing mine here.

  • My first picture book is under contract and being released 2/19/2019 to coincide with the full moon!

Aliana Reaches for the Moon

  • I have participated in 12×12 which is an online group of committed picture book writers at all stages of the journey. I learned a lot from webinars and other members and I participated actively offering critique and feedback.
  • I wrote 8 new manuscripts and did considerable revision on all 8 plus a few old ones.
  • I worked hard on pitching and getting ready to query.
  • I read at least 5 picture books every week as part of my study of craft.
  • I read 65 books this year not including picture books. This is an increase from last year’s 50 books.
  • Related to above, I joined a newly formed book group in January that read challenging books and actually spends each monthly meeting discussing the book!
  • I blogged almost every day; offering a combination of photography, poetry, and short information pieces.
  • I’ve received 2 endorsements from STEM experts for my book and reviews are starting to come in and they all look promising.
  • I’m working on planning 2019 events to promote my book because my main goal is sharing it with children.
  • I got Charlie in April, and if you follow this blog you’ve seen quite a bit of him. He’s wonderful in so many ways and has helped me achieve a few personal goals related to making friends, spending more time outdoors, and more hiking.

Why I’m feeling over the moon 🌙 💜 🌝

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