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March 2016

    connecticut, family fun, passport to CT libraries

    Passport to Connecticut Libraries: Week 1

    Tomorrow is the day!  The start to the 2nd annual Passport to Connecticut Libraries program.  I recently told you about my plans to participate in this program for the second time, but now I’m bringing the kids with me.  Yes, we’re hitting the road and going “mobile” to explore some of the great libraries our state has to offer.  You can read my previous post here to learn more about the program.

    Passport to CT LibrariesWeek 1

    Here are the libraries we plan to visit during the first week of the program:

    • Cromwell Belden Public Library (Cromwell)
    • Portland Public Library (Portland)
    • Cora J. Belden Public Library (Rocky Hill)
    • Russell Library (Middletown)
    • Wethersfield Public Library (Wethersfield)
    • East Hartford Public Library (East Hartford)
    • Lucy Robbins Welles Library (Newington)
    • Levi E. Coe Public Library (Middlefield)
    • Welles-Turner Memorial Library (Glastonbury)
    • New Britian Public Library (New Britian) – New addition!

    After exploring each library and getting our “passports” stamped, we also plan to visit a few nearby kid-friendly places within close proximity to each library.  Our plan is to work on this project during the weekends and on some weeknights after I finish working.  I’m looking forward to hitting the library trail once again this time with my two little ones (and maybe some friends) in tow!

    Here are a few of the places we plan to visit during week 1:

    • Riverfront Park Playground (Glastonbury, CT) – This new playground is simply beautiful…we love it!
    • Romp & Roll (Wethersfield, CT) – An extremely fun place for kids to roll around and get exhausted!
    • Pierson Park Playground (Cromwell, CT) – My kids love going to this playground and it’s so close to the library!
    • Kid City Children’s Museum (Middletown, CT) – We frequent this place at least once a month.  It’s located directly across the street from the library – so convenient!
    • Cherry Berry (Middletown, CT) – Because who doesn’t love fresh frozen yogurt!  Located around the corner from the library within walking distance if it’s a nice day outside.
    • Lyman Orchards (Middlefield, CT) – We adore Lyman Orchards for both their food and activities for children!
    • Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) – One of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America!  We plan to walk on the dinosaur trail which is free and open to the public.
    • Peckham Park (Middlefield, CT) – Peckham Park has a nice variety of equipment and activities for kids of all ages.
    • New Britian Youth Museum (New Britian, CT) – Located directly across from the library in the same parking lot!

    Hope to see you on the library trail!

    Want us to visit and feature your kid-friendly place of business on our travels throughout the state?  Please e-mail me at: hereweeread{at}gmail.com.

    Your turn: If you live in Connecticut, will you also be joining in the fun and participating in this program?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    adult books, currently reading

    What I’m Reading (in April 2016)

    I can’t believe the last time I shared the books I’m reading was in January!  The months of February and March flew by…wow!  I assure you I was reading books, I just didn’t post them…my bad!  Sometimes I get so caught up in all of the amazing children’s books that I tend to forget to update you on the books for us adults.  By the way, if you’re a woman I highly recommend reading the book, Woman Code by Alisa Vitti.  I read that book in February and found it to be very informative and useful.  Essential reading for women of all ages.

    Below are the books I’m planning to read in the month of April.  Feel free to join me if you’d like!

    Recently, NPR featured a fantastic article on their website about how adults can encourage kids to be original thinkers.  Did you see it on my Facebook page?  You can read the full article here.  I love NPR!  Anyway, I found the article to be fascinating and I immediately added the book Originals to my list of books to read.

    Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
    originalshownonconformistsmovetheworld

    Synopsis
    Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.

    The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks
    thelifeboatclique

    I tend to read a lot of personal development books, but I like reading fiction books too.  Reading fiction books allow me to escape the daily grind of my own life, especially if it’s a really interesting or funny book.  I’ve heard this book is funny and since I love to laugh, I’m going to check it out even though it’s a YA (Young Adult) novel.

    Synopsis
    Mean Girls meets Life of Pi in this darkly humorous, compulsively readable teen novel that’s perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Andrew Smith. A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Parks’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.

    Your turn:  What are your reading plans for the month of April?  I’d love to hear what you’re reading!  Also, do you enjoy hearing about the books I’m reading or do you prefer to read about children’s books?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books, read aloud

    Leo Can Swim by Anna McQuinn: A Book Review

    Leo Can Swim by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson
    Recommended Age Range: 0 – 3
    24 Pages
    leocanswim
    Synopsis
    Leo, Lola’s little brother from Leo Loves Baby Time, is back in a new adventure at the pool.

    Leo and Daddy go to swim class where they kick, bounce, and dive like little fish. Joining other babies and their caretakers as they get ready for the pool, sing songs, and kick and splash in the water.

    Reflection
    I literally could not wait to share this book with my kids during story time!  It’s extremely well done and super cute!  Once I finally read it with the kids they wanted to read it over and over again – no kidding!

    We first met Leo in his older sister Lola’s book Lola Reads to Leo, part of the Lola at the Library series.  Now little Leo is back in his own spin-off series and he’s making a big splash in this adorable new picture book for babies and toddlers.

    leocanswimannamcquinn

    What I love most about this book is the fact that Leo’s father accompanies him to swim class instead of his mother.  You often hear of many Black fathers being absent from their children’s lives, so it was refreshing to see Leo and his father bonding – so precious.  I also love how well this book showcases diversity.  There are babies and caregivers of all different skin tones and hair types/colors featured throughout.

    This book was very familiar to the kids as we’ve taken a swim class before as a family.  We followed the same sequence of events from getting ready in the changing room to kicking and splashing in the pool.  So fun!

    Other reasons why we adore this book:

    • The illustrations are so bright and cheerful.
    • The text uses fun phrases that appeal to little ones like: “splish and sploosh”, “swish and swoosh”, “sloshy soap”, and “sloppy lotion”. (My kids like sloppy lotion the most.)
    • The pages are sturdy and the book is the perfect size for my kids to hold and turn the pages on their own.
    • It builds a foundation for water safety for babies and toddlers.

    Overall, I think this book would be a wonderful addition to any baby or toddler’s home library.  Pick this one up for your water-loving little readers!

    Available in bookstores nationwide May 10, 2016.  Pre-order your copy today by clicking here!

    About the Author
    Anna McQuinn is the author of more than twenty-five books for children including If You’re Happy and You Know It! (Barefoot) and more!  She lives in Slough, England.

    About the Illustrator
    Ruth Hearson has illustrated several chlidren’s books including Leo Loves Baby Time and Cinnamon’s Fairy Sleepover.  Ruth lives in York, England.

    Be sure to check out the wonderful other books in this series too!

    annamcquinnbooks

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers?  What’s your favorite Anna McQuinn book?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    children's books, family fun, holiday books

    5 Last-Minute Ways We’re Celebrating Easter

    I love this time of year.  For me, Easter is a time of celebration, joy and hope.  There’s much realization for me about the power of the cross and God’s presence in this season of my life.  Easter is my yearly reminder of God’s transcendent love, and a reminder of our responsibility to “pay it forward”.

    This year I really wanted to be intentional with Easter and come up with some fun activities to engage my kids. However, I was traveling for work for a few days, so I didn’t have time to plan out activities and fun things to do like I did last year during Holy Week.  And now with Easter being just three days away, I have no time to worry about elaborate crafts or fancy Pinterest activities.  Can you relate?

    I just want to use the next few days to introduce the Easter story and plant seeds for important conversations about God’s sacrifice. I want to keep it as simple, purposeful and straight forward as possible for my kids’ short attention spans.

    In addition to reading some great books, here are the other activities we have lined up for the next few days leading up to Easter.

    5 Last-Minute Ways We're Celebrating Easter

    1. We’re Going on a Nature Walk
    Weather permitting, we’ll be going on a Good Friday nature walk at a nearby park.  This is a simple activity and it won’t cost you a thing (except a few cents to print out the free printables).  The Unlikely Homeschool has put together these wonderful cards to help guide conversation during your walk as a family or group.  The cards walk children through a scriptural account of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, His crucifixion, and His resurrection, all while they spend time outside appreciating God’s creation.  {free printable}

    2. We’re Reading the Bible
    This is one of my favorite Bibles that the children own.  The kids love it too!  Over the next few days we’ll be reading select passages and stories from this Bible related to the resurrection.

    This incredibly clear and easy to understand Storybook Bible uses the rich, full-color illustrations of African-American artist Victor Hogan. The easy to read text is adapted from the International Children’s Bible, the Children of Color Storybook shows African-American and other children of color that they are an important part of God’s Word and His plan for the world. These 61 well-known stories of biblical characters and events helps children build self-esteem and serve as foundation for building Christian character and moral values. Both you and the child will love this book and it’s clarity.

    3. We’re Cooking
    There are so many wonderful Easter-themed recipes available to help teach kids the true meaning of Easter and the resurrection.  Below are a few that I like.  What are some of your favorites to try?

    Resurrection Rolls | Resurrection Cookies | Empty Tomb Rolls Easter Tomb Biscuits Empty Tomb Cake

    4. We’re Coloring
    Coloring certainly won’t help your kids understand the true meaning of Easter, but it’s something fun and doesn’t require much effort.  Plus, coloring is a great way to enhance those fine motor skills!  Here are the coloring sheets we’ll be using. {free printables}

    5. We’re Planting Magic Jelly Beans
    This is a really cute Easter tradition I started with the kids last year…planting magic jelly beans on Easter Eve!  Simply plant some jelly beans into your own homemade wheat grass or use the grass outside in your yard.  Do this with the kids.  Then, early in the morning before the kids wake up (or right after they fall asleep at night) “plant” some lollipops in place of the jelly beans.  The kids will be so excited when they wake up and see their magic jelly beans have turned into a mini garden of lollipops.  So fun! {free magic jelly beans packet printable}

    I hope these simple ideas help you and your kids celebrate Easter this weekend while having some fun.  Happy Easter!

    Your turn: How will you celebrate the deeper meaning of Easter with your little ones this year?  How does your family celebrate Easter?  Do you have any fun crafts, games, recipes or activities you do?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    connecticut, family fun

    Get Thee to the Library: Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program

    Next month the kids and I will be hitting the road and participating in the 2nd annual Passport to Connecticut Libraries program!

    Based on the Wine Trail Passport Program in CT, Passport to Connecticut Libraries is a statewide program running throughout the month of April 2016 in celebration of National Library Week. This year, 124 of the 160 public libraries in the state are participating in the program.  The purpose of this program is “to build awareness of the value of a library card, as well as to encourage residents to explore the amazing diversity of resources available at public libraries,” according to the Connecticut Library Association.

    If you live in Connecticut and wish to participate, “get thee to your local library” on April 1st to pick up your Passport.  A staff member will stamp it and give you a token gift to get you started. Then, take your Passport along as you visit other participating libraries. At each visit, you must show your library card, and then the library will stamp your passport and give you another small gift.

    Passport-to-CT-Libraries

    If you visit at least five (5) participating libraries and return your passport to a participating library by May 6, 2016 then you will be entered into one state-wide drawing for a chance to win a $150 Visa gift card for adults (18 and up) and a $100 Visa gift card for children (under 18). This is a state-wide contest where four winners will be selected: one adult and one child from a random drawing from all who visited at least five libraries, and one adult and one child from a random drawing from all who visited the most libraries.  The drawing will be held on June 1st and the winners will be informed by telephone and mailed their prize.

    Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Ok, I know it doesn’t sound fun to everyone, but if you’re a fellow bibliophile and library lover like me, it should be right up your alley.

    I participated in this program on my own back in 2014 when it was first introduced.  At that time, my kids were ages 1 & 2 so to take them along with me to each library I visited would have been too much of a hassle.  Now that they are both a year older and more independent, they’ll be joining me on this adventure!  In addition to visiting different libraries, we also plan to check out some other local book stores and family-friendly/kid-friendly places within the vicinity of the library.

    I’ve already started reaching out to a few different kid-friendly places that I want to check out while in each town.  While we don’t plan to visit all 124 libraries, we certainly plan to check out as many as we can and explore some other fun places we’ve never been to before.

    Each week in April, I’ll be writing about the various libraries we visit and letting you know where else we go afterwards so stay tuned!

    I think this project will be a great way to showcase some of Connecticut’s amazing libraries and incorporate some family fun at the same time.  I also hope to give ideas to parents and caregivers who are looking for other kid-friendly places in the area to bring kids after visiting the library.

    For more details and a full list of participating libraries, visit the Passport to Connecticut Libraries Facebook Page.

    If you’d like me and the kids to visit your kid-friendly business while exploring the Connecticut library trail, please e-mail me at: hereweeread{at}gmail.com.

    Your turn:  What kid-friendly places should we visit in your Connecticut town while on the CT library trail?  Does your state also have a program like this?  Feel free to share in the comments or contact me directly.

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    children's books, holiday books

    18+ Easter Books Toddlers & Preschoolers Will Love

    I have fond memories of Easter growing up as a kid.  To me, it’s always been such a wonderful time of year.  Nice spring weather.  Dressing up in our Easter finest.  Going to church.  Easter egg hunts galore.  Sunday dinner with family and friends.  And I can’t forget the chocolate or best of all…the books!

    If you’re looking for some non-candy Easter gifts for kids books are always a great idea!  These 18+ titles are perfect additions to your little readers’ Easter baskets or your home Easter collection.  Enjoy!

    A Very Happy Easter by Tim Thornborough

    Parents and children will love this fresh retelling of the Easter Story, which helps children understand both the story and the emotions of Holy Week.

    The Easter story is filled with sadness, surprise and joy. As the events of Easter unfold, Children are encouraged to understand the emotions of those who knew Jesus and to join in by making facial expressions. They will also learn why Jesus’ death and resurrection mean we can be friends with God forever.

    Sunday is for God by Michael McGowan

    “Weekdays are for school and Saturday’s for having fun. But Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Sunday is for God.”

    A boy longs to play in the river on this hot summer day, but instead he has to sit quietly in a pew. His collar itches and his tie’s too tight—why does the Lord care whether people get dressed up for church, anyway? But as hymns and prayers fill the room, he begins to appreciate the simple beauty of a day set aside for family and prayer. At the end of the service, he explains a prayer to his little sister by whispering, “The Lord will take care of us no matter what. Like Momma and Daddy”—a deeply comforting message for young readers.

    When I Pray For You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Do you pray over your children and family? If so, this is a definite must add to your collection. It’s SO beautifully written and is the perfect alternative for the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go…for praying families.

    It’s filled with all the hopes and dreams I have for my children as I raise them to be responsible adults. This is the type of book you’ll want to curl up and read with your kids at bedtime, when they’ve had a bad day or whenever you want to reaffirm your unconditional love for them. It’s a treasure, for sure! Perfect for Easter, birthday, baby shower, Christening or graduation gift giving.

    Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner

    Although this book isn’t specifically about Easter Sunday, I wanted to include it.

    It’s almost little June’s big day to sing her first solo in the youth church choir and she couldn’t be more excited! But when it’s time to practice at choir rehearsal, June gets a little stage fright. As a result, her voice starts to tremble when she sings.  She overhears her friends making fun of her which hurts her feelings and makes her even more nervous and scared. With the help of her supportive family and community members, June gains back her confidence. But will she be ready to sing her big solo on Sunday morning in front of the whole congregation?

    We’re Going on an Egg Hunt by Laura Hughes
    weregoingonanegghunt
    Join the Easter Bunnies as they set off on an exciting lift-the-flap Easter egg hunt. With ten eggs to find and count, it’s great fun. But watch out for the obstacles along the way – lambs, chicks, bees and ducks – and there’s even a wolfish surprise, so do take care. Based on the traditional ‘We’re Going on a Lion Hunt’ rhyme, this will be a huge hit with all fans of the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

    If I Were a Rabbit by Jellycat


    Ever wonder what it’s like to be a rabbit?  Little readers will enjoy this adorable touch and feel board book all about rabbits!

    Dance Bunny Dance by Jellycat
    dancebunnydance
    Calling all little dancers!  This cute book will make little ones want to get up and shake their cotton tails…so fun!

    The Itsy Bitsy Bunny by Jeffrey Burton
    theitsybitsybunny
    A fun and playful holiday twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes this favorite nursery rhyme perfect for Easter!

    The itsy bitsy bunny was hopping up the trail
    Down fell the baskets past his tiny tail
    Out came his friends to help him on his way.
    For the itsy bitsy bunny was planning Easter day.

    This Itsy Bitsy Bunny must hop at top speed so he can get all of his eggs hidden in time for the big holiday!  Little ones will love this fresh springtime spin on a classic nursery rhyme.

    Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson
    toomanycarrots
    We read this book several times and loved it!

    Rabbit loves carrots. Maybe a little too much. In fact, his carrots are crowding him out of his cozy burrow. When his friends offer to help thats just asking for trouble. TOO much trouble! This charming and lovingly illustrated picture book shows how friendships get us over the rough spots in life, even if the going gets a little bumpy!

    Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl
    peepandegg
    This book is another favorite that we’ve read this year!

    Egg is not hatching.  No way. No how.  It is too scary out there.  Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek.
    But Egg is not cracking… Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the not out of I’m not.

    Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
    patthebunny
    This touch and feel book is a classic and great for tactile learning!  My kids adore this one!

    Miz Fannie Mae’s Fine Easter Hat by Melissa Milich
    mizfanniemaesfineeasterhat
    How cute is this book cover?

    When her husband and daughter buy her a beautiful new Easter hat, which is decorated with lace, flowers, fruit, and four tiny eggs, Miz Fannie Mae proudly wears the hat to church, and everyone thinks a miracle has taken place when the eggs hatch.

    The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward
    thecountrybunny
    The beloved tale of a mother rabbit who dreams of becoming an Easter Bunny that has won the hearts of readers for generations, is now available as a beautiful gift edition. The gift set includes a book and golden shoes charm—perfect for anyone who hopes to be wise, kind, and brave!

    God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren
    godgaveuseaster
    As Little Cub celebrates Easter with Papa, Mama, and her brother and sister, she begins to ask her papa questions about this very special day of the year.  Papa lovingly explains God’s plans for his children, while taking Little Cub on a memorable walk through her stunning Arctic world, and he shares how Easter came about in clear, simple terms that even the littlest cubs can understand.

    Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Set the Table by Vanessa Newton
    auntiemabel
    This book isn’t necessarily about Easter, but it’s so fitting for families who may be gathering together for Easter dinner.  Absolutely hilarious and fun!

    Auntie Mabel and her family and friends have gathered for their big Sunday dinner and can’t wait to dig into a delicious, mouthwatering meal. Before they can begin, Auntie Mabel starts—and doesn’t stop!—blessing everyone and everything she surveys: the yams and Brussels sprouts, the table and chairs—even the president of the United States!

    That’s Not My Bunny by Fiona Watt
    thatsnotmybunny
    Who doesn’t love these Usborne touchy-feely books?  Aren’t they great for little readers?

    Lots of baby bunnies! A touchy-feely board book with simple, repetitive text, tactile patches and bold illustrations suitable for babies and toddlers. A little white mouse appears on every page, for children to spot.

    Emma’s Easter by Lisa Bullard
    emma
    Emma’s family is celebrating Easter! Emma and her little brother hunt for Easter eggs and candy. They go to church. Then relatives come over for a big meal. Find out the different ways people celebrate this special day!

    The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown
    thegoldeneggbook
    The illustrations in this book are so beautiful!

    Once there was a little bunny. He was all alone. One day he found an egg. He could hear something moving inside the egg. What was it?

    So begins the Golden Easter classic about a bunny—and a little duck that is about to hatch!

    Dear Pope Francis by Pope Francis
    dearpopefrancis
    This book isn’t about Easter either, but since I adore Pope Francis and this book I’m including it.

    If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?

    Children have questions and struggles just like adults, but rarely are they given the chance to voice their concerns and ask the big questions resting deep in their hearts. In Dear Pope Francis, Pope Francis gives them that chance and celebrates their spiritual depth by directly answering questions from children around the world. Some are fun. Some are serious. And some will quietly break your heart. But all of them are from children who deserve to know and feel God’s unconditional love.

    Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco
    rechenkaseggs
    This book is visually stunning with gorgeous illustrations!

    Old Babushka, known throughout all of Moskva for her beautifully painted eggs, is preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival when she takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka, and they live happily together until one day when Rechenka accidentally overturns a basket, breaking all of Babushka’s lovingly crafted eggs.

    But the next morning Babushka has a surprise awaiting her in the basket. She cries: “A miracle!” It is one of many in this charmingly told tale of friendship and caring.

    10 Easter Egg Hunters: A Holiday Counting Book by Janet Schulman
    10easteregghunters
    The adorable kids from the New York Times besteller 10 Trick-or-Treaters are back and they’re counting their way to Easter! Can you help them find all of the eggs the Easter Bunny has hidden in time for the Easter Parade?

    The Easter Egg Artists by Adrienne Adams
    theeastereggartists
    The Abbotts, established Easter egg artists, let their son develop a style of his own when he shows interest in painting.

    When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Told in rhyming and playful text with beautiful illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.

    The World is Awake: A Celebration of Everyday Blessings by Linsey Davis

    The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God.

    Your turn: What are your favorite Easter themed books for kids?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    18EasterBooksforKids

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    children's books, cover reveal

    Rice & Rocks Book Cover Reveal!

    I am thrilled to be a part of this book cover reveal for Sandra L. Richards’ picture book Rice & Rocks!  Read a synopsis of the book plus find out a little more about the author and illustrator and learn how you can connect with them on social media.  Don’t forget to pre-order the book at the discounted price before it’s released.  Enjoy!

    Rice & Rocks
    by Sandra L. Richards, illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

    riceandrocks
    Recommended for: Children ages 5-8
    Release date: August 16th, 2016
    ISBN: 978-1-940014-73-9 | eISBN: 978-1-940014-74-6
    Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
    E-book: $9.99 | Pre-order Price: $12.99 | Hardcover: $17.99
    Art Direction by award winning creative designer Stephanie Bart-Horvath

    For every five books purchased, one copy will be donated to a children’s literacy organization.

    Book Summary
    Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.  Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.

    riceandrockspreorder

    Pre-order link: http://sandralrichards.com/rice-rocks-preorder/

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29478035-rice-rocks

    About the Author
    sandrarichards
    Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rock, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. Sandra, an American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

    Sandra is also Executive Director and Head of Diverse and Multicultural Marketing, Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Richards served as the Development Officer, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

    Connect with Sandra L. Richards!

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Newsletter sign-up

    About the Illustrator

    megansullivan
    Megan Kayleigh Sullivan graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a degree in Illustration. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist, and aspires towards a career in the film and animation industry as a concept artist, character designer, or visual development artist (or d., all of the above). She enjoys traveling, writing, telling stories, and hula-hooping. Visit her at her website.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book when it’s released?  Can you relate to the concept of “rice & rocks” and feeling embarrassed by a traditional dish your family seldom eats?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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