“Dog Band” has been reviewed by CM: Canadian Review of Materials, and is Highly Recommended (4 stars out of 5)!
“Dog Band” has been reviewed by CM: Canadian Review of Materials, and is Highly Recommended (4 stars out of 5)!
About CM: CM: Canadian Review of Materials is published weekly from September through June and is an all-volunteer online publication that features reviews of books and other materials that are authored, illustrated, and/or published by Canadians and that are produced for/of interest to children and adolescents. CM's reviewers are teachers, teacher-librarians, public librarians, and university professors who have an interest and expertise in materials for juveniles. CM's contents are of great interest to those who are seeking evaluative comments to assist them in making personal or institutional purchases of Canadian books or other materials for juveniles.
Excerpt of the review: “...Dog Band is dense with information about animal names, with pronunciations included, and genres of music, with a description of each type of music and the instruments usually associated with that genre. The text is rich with musical vocabulary, such as, “lick on his guitar”, “ditty on a saxophone”, “key with a trill”, and “bluesy riff on the harmonica.”
Children will enjoy reading Dog Band or having it read to them. The illustrations and the text will encourage many questions from the reader as the topics are dealt with briefly and each topic could be explored much further. This book could be used to introduce music concepts and also for unit of study about animals, including pets.”
Check out the full review and reviewer here: https://www.cmreviews.ca/node/2407
To begin with, please tell me a bit about yourself—your background in writing for children and in other genres and/or other fields.
I am from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota in the United States- born and raised. My husband Will and I live outside of Minneapolis with our 2 kids Cami and Wyatt. I am a teacher and have taught everything from kindergarten-8th grade. I self published my first children's book in 2018. Since then, I have started my own publishing company, Hop Off the Press LLC, and have self published 7 more books in my series Cami Kangaroo and Wyatt Too. I am currently working on a new series called Young Change Makers!
What inspired the premise of your overall Young Change Makers series of books? How did this idea come about? And if you’re able to go into a bit more detail about what each of the books is about, that would be great!
It's been on my heart to do something where I would showcase kids doing amazing things in a series for a while now. Last winter, I had the idea to reach out to actual kids and feature them in a new book. I believe these stories will inspire and bring hope to others. I originally was only going to write one book, but I kept finding kids to feature so it's turned into 7 books, each featuring 12 kids. The kids help animals, people and the environment in different ways.
Where did you find these amazing kids to showcase?
I searched specific Instagram hashtags and created a graphic that said I was looking and posted it on social media.
Why do you feel it’s particularly important right now to feature these children making change?
The world can be a stressful, negative place. With everything that's been going on with COVID and other things on the news, people can get pretty depressed and sad. When I read about these kids I'm featuring, I am filled with hope and joy. I hope they inspire others like they have for me! They give me hope for the future.
Do you hope this inspires other children to strive and dream?
Yes! And not only children. I think they inspire adults too- it's never too late to follow your dreams.
What was the most challenging part of writing/creating this particular story?
All of the moving parts of a nonfiction book! There's me: the author, researcher and publisher. Then there's my illustrator, my formatter, my cover designer, my interior designer, the parents/families, my editors, my printer, my beta readers, my FB group, my launch team, my PR team and MORE! It's crazy!
“Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana” has won 2nd Place (tie) Best Illustrations
& Honourable Mention Picture Books 5 & Younger in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards!
Sami Orlando being her Facebook handle, BTW.
And just what is a Child Life Specialist? You're about to find out!
Sami is a 24-year-old living in Florida and studying to be a child life specialist. She loves theme parks, musical theatre, and spreading her joy of books to everyone she meets.
And that movie adaptation of Judy Blume's "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" - here's the IMDb link!
Please tell me a bit about yourself—your background in writing for children and in other genres.
I am an award-winning, best-selling author of fourteen children's books and three popular book series. I focus on writing fun, imaginative, colorful stories. For many years I was a freelance writer and wrote feel-good articles about children and families, but for the last three years I have been focused on my journey as a children's book author.
What inspired you to write children's books?
I am a mom of two teenagers, one of which has special needs. My son was a 25 week preemie and weighed 1 pound 11 ounces. He spent 143 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, NICU, and I would spend my days reading to him there. This instilled a love of picture books that he still has today.
What inspired you to write the counting book, Ten Little Sandpipers? How did this story come to be? And what about Ninja School Rules? They both come out August 2021, yes?
I wrote Ten Little Sandpipers after sitting on the beach one morning while my daughter was surfing. I watched the adorable little birds running back and forth toward and away from the waves and I thought that was a cute idea for a counting book. I started writing it right then and there. I wrote Ninja School Rules around my own family's experience with martial arts. My daughter is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and I have seen how important the lessons of respect, focus, confidence, and kindness are. I wanted to write a book about these important aspects of martial arts with a strong focus on friendship. These two books will be launched in late summer of this year.
How did you come up with your characters for these two books?
My illustrator, Nejla Shojaie, designed the look of the sandpipers, after seeing photos of real sandpipers here in Huntington Beach, California. The characters in Ninja School Rules are all based off real kids! The ninjas were chosen in a couple of ways, First, I had a social media contest where anyone could enter for a chance to have their favorite child featured in the book. That is how we chose the five ninjas on the cover. Second, as part of my Kickstarter campaign, there was a reward where you could pledge my campaign and feature a ninja of your choice. That's how the Ultimate Ninjas were chosen.
What illustrated scene from each book is your favourite, and why? How did you come to work with Nejla Shojaie?
My favorite scene from Ten Little Sandpipers is the sunset scene where the sandpipers are winding down their day. It is my favorite because it is based off the beautiful sunsets we have here in California. One of my favorite scenes in Ninja School Rules is the first page of the story when the new students enter the room and they are both excited and scared. It's how they look in real life the first time they come to try a class. Nejla Shojaie and I have been working together since my first book, Ruby the Rainbow Witch: A Picture-Perfect Rainbow Day. We connected on a website called Freelancer. I posted that I was looking for someone to illustrate a children's book and she was one of many that responded. I put out a challenge to my top 10 choices asking for a sketch of a 6-year-old happy little girl in a twirl dress. When I opened her email, I knew she was the perfect illustrator for me. She gets me and she does such an amazing job.
Keep reading! The interview continues...
Bright and fun, Macaulay’s latest features an unlikely group of adorable friends trying to form their own music band. Alfie, a small Maltipoo, is good at playing guitar and singing. He dreams about having his own music band. Tunny, Ollie, and Raxl, Alfie’s best friends, leap up the idea, and Dog Band, the new musical band in the town, comes into existence. But there is one problem: the group has no idea what kind of music to play. They ask everyone—from dogs to frogs, but everybody has their own idea about the type of music the band should play. What will the band decide? Macaulay cleverly incorporates music-related words in the narrative, skillfully teaching young children about a vast array of musical instruments, kinds of music popular across the globe, and names of different dog and cat breeds. Wei Lu’s exuberant, delightful illustrations romp across the pages, detailing story elements through apt emotions. This fun tale, with its significant message about making one’s own choices will encourage readers to try their hands at various musical instruments while making them laugh. With its fun storyline and a wealth of visual treats, the book should make it to every young music lover’s bookshelf. -- 5 stars from BookView Review
GET YOUR COPY DIRECTLY FROM THE WEBSITE!
Here's a taste...
Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked to Regan W.H. Macaulay, about her writing and her recently released children’s picture book, Dog Band, a fun and vibrant story that delivers significant message about making one’s own choices, (read the review here).
What inspired the premise of your book? And how do you come up with names for your characters?
The four dogs/main characters of Dog Band are all based on real dogs that have been in my life at one time or another. Ditto goes for the two cats who are also eventual members of Dog Band at the end of the book. I have had a lot of pets in my life, not only because I love animals so much, but because I’ve worked with so many in several different capacities—as a vet assistant at the Cat Doctor in Toronto, working at Pet Cuisine and Accessories, also in Toronto, as an Animal Care Specialist and Wrangler on the set of Once Upon a Hamster (Season III), and now I am a Certified Canine and Feline Massage Therapist (and Reiki Practitioner)—my mobile business is called Kuri K9 Massage.
Alfie, lead guitar, lead singer, and overall leader of Dog Band is based on a most adorable and incorrigible Maltipoo (Maltese Poodle cross), who very obviously had a big impact on my life before I was even a dog mom myself. He wasn’t my dog, but he was my friend and made a BIG and lasting impression.
Raxl, singer and “swing” player (of any instrument she likes) is based on my own pupster, the super and most wonderful Chihuahua dogger of my life! She is also kind of a mascot for Kuri K9 Massage ...
For the rest CLICK HERE!
BK21A - Be Kind to One Another day...and month! Featuring 25 authors and books with themes of Kindess and Acceptance...PART 7
Celebrating Day #24 of Be Kind To One Another Days!
Find out what happens in Nicky and the Mysterious Bag written by Kateryna Reshetova.
A fictional, entertaining story about a boy named Nicky and his mysterious bag. This book talks about helping others in difficult times, even though a person may look different than others. Find out what the mystery in the bag is!
(Available in English and Russian)
Celebrating yet another double-dose of KINDNESS for our month-long "Be Kind To One Another Days" celebrations.
I'm excited to introduce DRAKE by Children's Author, Lee Porter. Drake (the dragon) and this wonderful tale will leave readers wanting more! With incredible, vibrant images, children will be drawn in from the moment they see this book!
Drake doesn't fit in with the rest of kids that live in the forest. He is too big and clumsy and his friends no longer want to play with him. What will happen when a fire breaks out in the forest and Drake is the only one who can help? Will Drake do the right thing and help his friends?
Teachers, parents and caregivers will be sure to find this a must-have for their children's book collection.
BK21A - Be Kind to One Another day...and month! Featuring 25 authors and books with themes of Kindess and Acceptance...PART 6
It's Day #20 of Be Kind To One Another Days!
Today we celebrate this wonderful book by Singer/Songwriter and Children's Author, Carmelita Clark.
Her book KIND WORDS is the perfect addition to our event.
Originally written as a song, Carmelita has turned her inspiration song into a children's book! With over 30 years of teaching experience, she knows how to draw children in with her music and creativity.
You can find out more about her work here: www.joynthespiritpublishing.org.
Celebrating another double-dose of Kindness on Day #21 of Be Kind To One Another Days!
The Smiley Girl, written by Children's Author Ornella Ngabire, is an adorable story about a little girl who creates a kindness calendar to share with others! A wonderful tool for teachers and parents to use with their own children and students.
-with Confidently Chloe
Celebrating Day #22 of BK21A Days with a little FUN!
Oodles and oodles of noodley noodles by Children's Author Cindy Ninni Grant is a fun-filled book about a little girl who just LOVES her noodles.............but will she end up sharing them?
Let's find out!
Find out more here: https://www.ninniauthor.com/shop/one-hardcover-copy
Enjoy more great books during the month of May here: Wee Bees Learning Centre
-with Confidently Chloe
Day #23: Woo-hoo! It's my turn today (times 2) in this month of Kindness! First, we have Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana!
And my next entry for this month of Kindness, Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast!