WAKE THE DEAD (ISBN 0802789226 – Walker & Company): This picture book follows the story of Henry, an extremely loud boy who is warned that if he isn’t careful, he’ll wake the dead with all his ruckus. Well….don’t you know it, he does! Henry then has to solve the problem and find a way to put the dead back to sleep. Filled with idioms and puns, this is sure to tickle any readers funny bone.
** Interesting fact: When I was young, my grandmother use to tell me “you’re loud enough to wake the dead!” which I thought was hilarious. It wasn’t until I found myself saying the same thing to MY kids that a lightbulb went off in my writer’s head. What would happen if this phrase were true? Hmmm….
DOT-TO-DOT STORIES (ISBN 0768203112 – Fearon Teacher Aids): Created for educators teaching grades K-3 with reproducible pages to use in the classroom. Divided by subject and age level, these activities teach young writers how to create a story using a familiar dot-to-dot picture. Besides numbers, there are grade/age appropriate words that the students connect in story building sentences. In the end, they have a story AND a picture.
** Interesting fact: I wrote a magazine article with this teaching concept and it appeared in the company’s corresponding publication. An editor with the company thought it would make a good book and asked if I would write it which, of course, I did! As an added bit of trivia, the sample stories inside the book were written by my two daughters (aged 7 and 5 at the time)
BUG BOOK SERIES with Heinemann Library : Nonfiction easy readers designed to encourage curious minds to read and learn about fascinating bugs. With pre-determined headers, readers are presented with a question and then the answer along with vivid and colorful photographs. Includes glossary, anatomical diagram, and listing of additional reading sources.
** Interesting fact: These books were work-for-hire projects. I was visiting the Bologna Book Fair in Italy and talked to some of Heinemann’s editors that were based in the UK. Their office in the USA was looking for writers so they took my resume’ and writing samples with them. I didn’t think much of it until I got an email from the US editor asking if I’d be interested in writing these. It was a great experience!
MY FIRST BOOK OF ANIMALS: (ISBN 0785383727 – Publications International Ltd.): This book answers many questions young readers have about the animal kingdom. With colorful photos and fascinating facts, it will interest kids who want to know more about creatures furry, scaly, slippery, fluffy, and slimy.
** Interesting fact: My editor with Heinemann books got a phone call one day from the editor at Publications International. The writer working on this book project had backed out and they needed a new writer who was willing to work on a tight schedule. Seeing that the Heinemann library editor had also worked at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, they thought she might have a recommendation. Luckily, she gave them my contact information. I had less than a month to write the entire book! My family ate a lot of take-out food that month–bless their hearts.
SASHA’S SENSES: (ISBN: 978-89-5720-087-2 – Tun Tun Publishing / Korea) This narrative nonfiction piece follows Sasha through her day and teaches readers about their five senses. Includes pull out pages for full scientific description of how each sense works and interactive stickers.
** Interesting fact: This is my first full book with TunTun Publishing in Korea. Their program is for young students to learn English in an interactive way and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I not only had to write for a non-English speaking reader but also be aware of cultural differences. For example, when it came to Sasha waking up in the morning for breakfast, I went with eggs and toast. My editor informed me that a more traditional breakfast is a warm soup. You learn something everyday!
SOPHIE AND GYURI’S FUN DAY (Unit 2): (ISBN : 978-89-5720-102-2 – TunTun Publishing in Korea) Designed as a review book, it shares four stories of Sophie and her pet dragon, Gyuri. Each story reinforces the lessons learned in four other books. Includes posters, stickers, and review questions. Stories include: EXPLORING GRAVITY, VISITING THE MUSEUM, BAKING COOKIES, and PLAYING GAMES.
** Interesting fact: This book was a challenge because I had to read four other books on specific topics and then come up with a similar story for Sophie and Gyuri to explore the same concepts.
SOPHIE AND GYURI’S FUN DAY (Unit 3): (ISBN: 978-89-5720-112-1 – TunTun Publishing in Korea) Another book that entails reviewing the concepts of four other ESL books. Stories for Sophie and Gyuri include: SOPHIE’S TRICK, BIRTHDAY GUESTS, BIGGER/SHORTER/LONGER, and ANIMAL DRESS-UP.
** Interesting fact: In the story ANIMAL DRESS-UP, each character dresses up as an animal. I wanted Gyuri to dress up as a dragonfly so that the readers would learn about word play. In the end, the Korean editors didn’t think their readers would get ‘the joke’ so it was changed.