Reading Tub Newsletter, Issue 15, Spring 2007

Welcome to the second edition of the Wash Rag for 2007. These past couple months have been quite a whirlwind … lots of great stuff to talk about, so let’s dive right in. I know we have a section about all the exciting things going on, but there are two things worth mentioning right away!

First, The Reading Tub® is honored to announce its partnership with Barefoot Books, and more specifically Lori Rohleder, stallholder for Lori is someone whose goals and values embody the Barefoot Books tradition, and she embraces the essence of the company: innovate, inspire, and imagine. Click here to learn more about Lori and the partnership with The Reading Tub®.

Next, The Reading Tub® was thrilled to be discovered by Just One More Book. Like us, Andrea and Mark created a Website powered by a passion for children’s literature. Through the website and thrice-weekly podcasts, you can learn about some great books and the authors, illustrators, and publishers who create them. In case you missed it, we are now including a link to a JOMB podcast in every Book Bag: one for the 4 to 8 age group, one for the 8 to 12 age group. Stay tuned … Terry just filed an interview with Just One More Book that you’ll be able to hear in the next month or so.

One of the great things about opening the Newsletter with interviews, is that we get the chance to put the authors (and their stories) front and center! This group of authors wears two hats: writers and publishers. They are each storytellers of the first order, but what makes their work truly interesting is their goal of making a difference for children. Their books offer families a chance to share stories that help kids with personal development (friendship, overcoming obstacles), or learn about science, history, and heroes.

Cheryl Block spent twelve years as a teacher, working with special needs children and teaching them science. When she saw how studying science opened other doors to learning, she was hooked. Now she creates multimedia products, combining a picture-book story with an educational CD. True Blue Friend, a story about a whale, focuses on sea mammals. The Rainbow Web, a story about spider, offers all kinds of interesting facts about arachnids. Here’s your chance to learn something new. Click here to meet Cheryl Block.

Lynda Bulla was looking for an outlet to “do more” once her kids were grown and on their own. As a Librarian’s Assistant she had a love of books and stories, and decided to write some of her own. Lynda is driven to write stories that families will want to share for generations. Her themes are timeless and emphasize the importance of teaching values to our children. Her first book The Old Clock on the Wall was inspired, in part, by her grand-daughter who was dealing with the frustrations of dyslexia. Meet Lynda Bulla and learn more about her books, each dedicated to one of her grandchildren: The Old Clock on the Wall; Katydid; Freedom Rings: an American Parable; and The Churkendoose.

Nancy M West weaves stories with the elements that both children and parents love: dogs, heroes, friendship, perseverance, life lessons, and true-life stories. Her company, Off Lead Publications, is a publishing house that specializes in stories about dogs. Nancy‘s most recent book, Kali Takes the Lead is an illustrated children’s book about humanitarian mine detection dogs. Her first book, Chips the War Dog has just been re-published by Off Lead Publications as Chips the Hometown Hero. Although she has written books for a wide range of audiences, her favorite genre is pre-teen and young adult, because they let her develop the stories more completely. Click here to meet Nancy M West.

Summer is just around the corner. Look for these interviews in the Summer 2007 Edition of the Wash Rag.

Jennifer Bouani, author of Tyler & His Solve-a-matic Machine. Jennifer’s book, part of the Future Business Leaders’ Series™ just won an iParenting Media Award: The 2007 Excellent Products Call in Children’s Books.

Andrea & Mark with Just One More Book. Stop by Just One More Book. Three times a week you can get a new podcast (or visit the website any time) to learn about great children’s books, meet authors, illustrators, publishers, and those of us passionate about reading with our kids.

NOTICE: Are you still sitting on the side afraid to dip your toe in the water? Jump in – thanks to GoogleAds and coast-to-coast media coverage, the Reading Tub® is getting LOTS more traffic and interest. Want readers to find you? Then you have to take the leap!

We have one opening left for Summer 2007. Let us know before June 1, 2007 and you can be in our upcoming Showcase. We also have one space left for fall. Remember, all donations for the Author Showcase are tax deductible. Click here to learn more.

There is lots to be excited about here in the Reading Tub®, not the least of which is coast-to-coast media coverage in April.

At the beginning of the month, KGO-TV (ABC-7, San Francisco) aired a feature on Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are!® The focus of the piece was the Teen STAR Book Review Team … some of you authors may even notice that the kids are working you’re your book! Here is the link for Salute to Cynthia Brian:

At the end of the month, CBS-19 and ABC-16, two stations that are part of the Charlottesville (VA) Newsplex, aired a feature about the Reading Tub® as part of their evening newscasts. Click here to listen to the Reading Tub’s® story. Be sure to click the red camera to see the broadcast. Here’s the link:

Terry Doherty is a judge for the Mom’s Choice Awards, sponsored by the Just for Mom Foundation. In March she received a BUNCH of books to read as part of her duties. The Just for Mom Foundation graciously donated the books to the Reading Tub® and we will be donating them to local literacy organizations, like we always do. But before we do that, we’ll be writing our reviews. Look for them in the next month or so. Terry only saw a portion of the materials donated … we don’t envy the Foundation. They have some great books to choose from.

NOTE: The Mom’s Choice Awards will not be announced until June 2007. The Emblems you see on the Reading Tub mean ONLY that the book is part of the contest. Read the “NOTE” to find out if it is a winner.

The spring crop of new books is equally exciting. We have been averaging about 10 books per week, with a fairly broad audience mix. Here are the ones that seem particularly intriguing (based on the blurbs or illustrations). Bookmark the title links and it will be easy to see when these profiles are finished.

America’s Real First Thanksgiving by Robin Gioia. Recommended ages: 9 to 12. This is a book that introduces a little-known piece of history, with art, photos and story. (Pineapple Press, 2007)

The Collin Chronicles, Book 1: Magic, Bones, and Catacombs by T.K. Garrison. Recommended ages: 10 to 13. Brothers Collin and Ramey Miller start their journey by searching for a mysterious gold mine. Along the way, they meet Peter Kringle’s most powerful and enchanted toy: Peter is the brother of the more famous Kristopher Kringle. (BookSurge Publishing, 2007)

Conor and the Crossworlds, Book 1: Breaking the Barrier by Kevin Gerard. Recommended ages: 9 to 12. Conor Jameson (a 10-year-old boy) and Purugama (a magical beast) begin a fantastic journey after Conor subconsciously calls forth the power of the crossworlds creators. (AuthorHouse, 2007)

Grandmother’s Stories; Wise Woman Tales form Many Cultures edited by Burleigh Muton. Recommended ages: 6 to 12. This is a multi-media product, with an illustrated book and two CDs. The book comprises stories (fables) where the wise woman character plays a pivotal role. (Barefoot Books, 1999)

Just Imagine by John M. Thompson and George M. Schultz. Recommended ages: 4 to 8. This picture book uses poetry and evocative illustrations to take kids on visual, imaginative journeys. (Illumination Arts, 2006)

There’s a Season for All by Sammy Shu. Recommended ages: 5 to 9. This is a story where four fairy sisters learn about love, friendship, cooperation, and respect. (Raynestorme Books, an imprint of Silver Rose Publishing, Inc., 2005)

The great thing about technology, is it lets us share information. I’d like to say “quickly and easily” but thanks to spammers, pfishers and other malcontents, it isn’t always easy. So I’ll say this:

We reply to every legitimate email we receive; and we do it within 48 hours of you hitting the “send” button. So if you asked us a question about literacy, if you wanted to know whether we’ll review your book, or if it was just a general question we DID send you an email. If you haven’t heard back from us in 48 hours, send us another email. Just be sure to let us know that it is your second attempt. That way, we can find an alternate way to reach you!