Archive for the ‘childrens’ books’ Category

Children’s Book Illustrations

September 23, 2009

Illustration from “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me”
akuas-folish-wish1

Things we need to bear in mind when buying illustrated childrens books.Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME <a href="http://www.lulu. Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME http://www.lulu.com/content/5427635

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Two Free E-Books on Writing a Book

August 2, 2009

    1. Have you ever felt that you have valuable experience or ideas that could become the basis for a book? Perhaps you have no idea how to set about writing a book. Here are TWO FREE EBOOKS to help you get started.
      The Easy Way to Write presents "Becoming a Successful Writer" by Rob Parnell
      Rob Parnell is owner and founder of the Easy Way to Write, an Internet copany established in 2002 dedicated to providing excellent writing resources to writers of any proficiency from beginner to seasoned pro. The Easy Way to Write provides books and corses designed to help authors with anything from self-motivation and practical writing solutions to selling their work.
      http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com/support-files/writingsuccess.pdf
      "Writing for Fun and Profit" by Brian Scott
      He writes; "I've kept this book extreely simple for several very simple purposes:
      1) To show you how easy ti is to write your own book.
      2) To show you that it it really is a step-by-step process that you can follow over and over again.

      I want one very simple thing from you.

      I want you to forget everything you've learnt or heard or felt or thin is the truth. Not forever, just while you read through this book. I want you to read this with an open ind and a blank slate.
      http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com/support-files/bookwritingforfunandprofit.pdf

      Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me

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  • Children and Reading- a Site you May Find Interesting

    July 30, 2009

    This article originally appeared in:http://thebookchook.blogspot.com/

    I just discovered a wonderful web site where kids can practise reading, and follow directions to create all sorts of toys. At the same time, they recycle junk and learn about science. Is that a win/win or what!

    The site is Arvind Gupta’s Toys from Trash. It has hundreds of projects. Once you click on the thumbnail that takes your fancy, its page comes up with a series of diagrams and instructions to follow. The directions are clear and pitched at about primary school level.

    I tried out several experiments. Some were simpler than others in that the equipment needed was more likely to be lying around the house, but all that I tried had been expertly described with step-by-step instructions. More complicated projects had a “Do it details” link to a pdf. Young scientists will find so much to do here. So will young mathematicians, engineers, musicians, and artists (see Beautiful Butterfly and others in Paper Fun section).

    While you’re there, check out the amazing pdfs available (Books/English). They have different reading levels, so you need to browse to find suitable material for your own little learner, but I loved The Paper Aeroplane Book, The Rubber Band Book, AHA! Activities – a huge pdf of practical science lessons – and String Games, because they fascinate me still. So much to read, so much to do!

    For younger kids, Thumbprints is cute. It starts with a lovely poem about using our thumb to make prints, then follows up with some wonderful animal thumb print ideas to spark some artwork. More Thumbprints adds objects. Leaf Zoo shows how to add details to leaves to make some great creatures.

    There is also a gallery of films, showing the making some of the toys, and other documentaries. Most are not in English or subtitled, but fascinating just the same.

    This site would make a wonderful resource for one of those No TV evenings, or for teachers and parents looking for hands-on science activities. Arvind Gupta is so generous with what he’s made available online. I thank him on behalf of children everywhere.Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe
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    Shush! Writer at Work

    July 8, 2009

    I’ve finally decided on a plan of action for fitting writing my next book into the rest of my life. Mornings are good for me. If I wake up early enough I get to enjoy the down chorus. Then breakfast, exercise and bathing come nexr. I’m full of energy until late afternoon when things rapidly go downhill.

    The best plan seems to be for me to try and do my writing first thing after breakfast. This is not set in stone as sometimes something else will have to take priority. I’ve no intention of stressing myself out by trying to maintain a rigid regime.

    The characters and the plot of this book for 12 year olds are growing and taking shape. Although I enjoy writing I am nevertheless disquieted by this book which will of necessity portray violence.

    The thought passed through my mind in an idle moment that children’s stories give authors an opportunity to invent words. I thought of “smish” a word combining the idea of “smear” and “smash” and “schroon” for screaming and groaning at the same time.
    If you have any words that you would like to bring into existence do please let me post them. Thank you.

    Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe

    The Frustrations of a Would Be Writer

    July 3, 2009

    Today the temperature was more than 30 degrees Celsius. I know for many of you this probably represents springtime conditions. But for me it is just too, too hot. Nevertheless I have actually achieved quite a lot. This has necessitated numerous lie down on the sofa with the air conditioning on. I’m trying to do my bit for the environment and I felt bad about turning it on. I have also dutifully increased my intake of water.

    The reason why the day has not been entirely satisfactory for me lies with the choices I had to make earlier in the day. I am a great believer in prioritizing tasks so clearly making a loving input into my neglected website Dance to Health was the first thing on the list.

    In my heart though I longed to begin work on my second book. I wanted to start designing the plan of the town where the story is set. This plan kept coming into my mind and needed to be firmly banished. One of the signs of the passage of time where I am concerned is that I am no longer so good at multitasking. I need to fully concentrate on one thing at a time so I do not like switching from one projet to another.

    When I wrote Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told MeI had the exceptionally good fortune of being able to concentrate solely on that project. Now like most people I have to find a specific time to write. Getting up an hour or so earlier is not appealing but may be the way forward as going to bed later is out of the question. I’m going to have to find a solution. I have ideas for the book which I am dying to put to paper but the problem is one of organization.

    But that’s life and these things are sent to try us. When I’ve found a solution I’ll let you know!

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    A Free Children’s Story

    June 29, 2009

    ‘s ME READING TO KIDS

    Click here to print this page

    Special Online Story

    written & narrated by Sharri McGarry

    “I saw a rat last night in the garden,” Mum said. “A big brown rat!”

    Dad looked up from fastening his briefcase. “Did you?”

    “We’ll have to get rid of it.” Mum said pointedly.

    “Well,” Dad clucked, as he picked up the briefcase and walked from the room. “If you see it again, we’ll get the poison out. Now, I’ve got to go. See you later!”

    “Is a rat…DANGEROUS?” said little Jimmy in a wobbly voice.

    His brother, Ben, turned to him. “Oh YES!” he said fiercely. “Rats have got long, sharp front teeth and if they catch you, they will BITE you!”

    “Nonsense, Ben!” said Mum sharply. “Rats will run away from you!”

    Ben shook his head at little Jimmy and screwed up his face into a vicious expression. He smoothed his face as Mum turned from the sink. She set down two glasses and two chocolate biscuits on the table.

    “Here’s your elevenses, boys,” she said as she hurried out. “I just have to say goodbye to Dad.”

    Ben grabbed his biscuit. “Watch this!” he said, and stuffed the whole biscuit into his mouth.

    “Coo!” said little Jimmy admiringly. He reached for his own biscuit.

    “LOOK OUT!” screamed Ben. “There’s the RAT!”

    Little Jimmy shrieked and leapt on to a chair.
    Ben grinned wickedly, picked up little Jimmy’s biscuit ….
    And calmly popped it into his mouth.
    “Got you!” he said.

    The swimming pool was hot and steamy. Ben grabbed his goggles and headed for the slide.

    “I want to go on the slide!” little Jimmy yelled.

    “Are you sure, dear?” Mum asked. “You’ve never BEEN before!”

    “I WANT to go on the slide,” little Jimmy insisted. “with Ben!”

    “Ben!” Mum called him. “Please take little Jimmy up the slide.”

    “Aw Mum!” Ben moaned. “Do I HAVE to?”

    “Yes!” Mum insisted. “Be a good brother and take your little brother up the slide.”

    Little Jimmy followed happily as Ben slouched off towards the steps.

    “Is the slide FUN, Ben?” asked little Jimmy, nervously climbing the steps.

    Ben stopped and considered him. “Fun?” he asked slowly. “Fun? No! Not fun! Did you know that this is a RAT slide?”

    Little Jimmy looked around nervously. “A …..RAT….slide?” he echoed.

    “A RAT slide,” said Ben firmly. “You have to slide down ….the rat’s tail!” Ben continued. “Round and round and down and down his long black tail….until…. PLOP! You fall straight into his…..STOMACH! Into his stomach filled with bubbling, gurgling ACID! PLOP! Glug..glug..glug….”

    Little Jimmy’s eyes filled with horrow. “D..d..down his t..tail?” he quavered.

    “Down his long black tail!” Ben insisted.

    “And into his…gulp…stomach?” little Jimmy wavered.

    “PLOP! Into his nasty, acid-filled stomach” said Ben firmly.

    “O..o…o..h!” little Jimmy shuddered. “I.. want…MUMMY!” and he set off back down the steps at top speed.

    Ben chuckled and continued up the steps…by himself.

    “That was very naughty of you Ben,” Mum scolded. “Scaring your little brother like that!”

    She opened the front door wearily. “He was so nervous, I had to take him up the slide myself, just to show him that it was quite safe.”

    “It was FUN!” little Jimmy beamed happily.

    “He loved it so much that I had to go up and down twenty times with him.” Mum sighed. “I am exhausted!”

    Ben grinned unrepentantly.

    “I am hungry!” he announced.

    “Yes – so are we all!” Mum agreed. “You can have a biscuit while I put dinner on.”

    She put two chocolate biscuits on the table and went out to the freezer.

    “Aaagh!” screamed little Jimmy, pointing behind Ben. “It’s a RAT!”

    Ben caught a movement out of the corner of his eye. Something sleek and black passed behind him. He spun around in horror, ready to shriek in terror. And there was the cat. The cat stared back at him, raising its fur in alarm.

    Ben groaned. “Aw Jimmy! You BABY!” He turned towards his brother. “It’s not a rat! Its only the…”

    He stopped and stared in amazement as his little brother calmly stuffed the last biscuit into his overfull mouth.
    “GOT YOU!” said little Jimmy.
    Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe

    ______________________________

    Author Uses a Little Magic to Reach Children With Literacy

    June 27, 2009

    author charles campbell

    Charles Campbell

    June 25, 2009

    BY ERIKA A. MCCARDEN

    CONTRIBUTING WRITER

    Author Charles Campbell says his life mission is to help children in urban communities to realize and value their self-worth. He accomplishes his mission through reading literature and creative writing.
    Poss. ghanaian grandmother
    “Children today are acting out because they can’t read and write,” said Campbell, author of the children’s fantasy trilogy, “The Magic Coin.” “They have a talent for song and dance, but that’s something that goes back to slavery when we were denied to read and write.”

    The longtime teacher introduced “The Magic Coin” series after failing to reach a group of students in creative writing at a Savannah, Ga., elementary school where he taught.

    “I was teaching fourth- and fifth-grade students. The kids weren’t getting it. They could barely write a sentence, and didn’t know how to write a basic five-paragraph essay,” Campbell said. “They got so frustrated; I threw away my lesson plan.

    “To get their attention I told this fake story about a boy who found a gold coin in his pants and how it magically turned into fire. What I noticed was how their eyes widened. They wanted to know what happened next. They enjoyed the storytelling.”

    That was nine years ago. Campbell has since launched Black Butterfly Inc. to enrich the lives and self-esteem of urban communities through literature.

    He also turned the impromptu story he told in class that day into the self-published “The Magic Coin” trilogy, which has managed to help more than 200 youths with creative writing and literary analysis. Under Campbell’s leadership, Black Butterfly operates with a staff of four: two illustrators, a creative consultant, and an educator and Spanish translator.

    “We’ve rarely seen African Americans or Hispanics as the central protagonist in a fantasy novel. And if you don’t see yourself in a book, it’s not as exciting,” Campbell said. “I decided to use fantasy as an educational tool to teach the basic tools of creative writing and encourage children in urban communities to step out of their comfort zones.”

    The first novel in “The Magic Coin” trilogy is being used as a reading component in Los Angeles-area schools and Savannah. It is featured as the primary reading tool in Campbell’s Reading, Writing and Conflict Resolution Power Workshops. Campbell conducts his workshops at local schools to help students with creative writing and literature training, tutoring and mentoring in self-esteem enhancement. The second and third books of the trilogy are expected to be released in 2010.

    “I learned that most kids, no matter what school they attend, do not like writing. Many teachers use writing as a disciplinary tool and it becomes associated with something negative, and a psychological issue,” Campbell said. “Like some teachers might have a student write sentences ‘x’ amount of times just for chewing gum. In short, children associate writing to being punished. Writing should be something fun and enjoyable.”

    The schools that order Campbell’s books for their creative writing curriculum are provided with his literary power workshops free of charge, and they are arranged daily, weekly or bi-weekly, based upon the school’s need and structure. Campbell said it usually takes about a year to get through “The Magic Coin” and its lecture series because the workshop is woven into a school day or after school program.

    “His books are phenomenal and the kids and parents love them,” Jacqueline Sanderlin, principal of GeorgeWashington Carver Elementary School in Compton, said in an e-mail, adding the school purchases the books for their fourth- and fifth-grade students.

    She said the students’ reading scores have doubled and their writing has greatly improved.

    “This has been an effective intervention for our scholars who are reading about a young, black hero,” she said. “His discussions have a lot of engagement, excitement and interaction. I find that the students exemplify the behavior of the characters in their daily lives.”

    Campbell’s literary power workshops include sentence construction; fundamentals of essay writing; spelling punctuation; literary analysis; penmanship; fantasy writing exercises; writing competitions; listening and public speaking skills; and a special exercise that he refers to as peacekeeping, which essentially is conflict resolution.

    “My passion is with helping kids to increase literacy levels in reading, writing and self-esteem,” Campbell said. “I hope kids who see an out through soaring on the b-ball court or in a hip-hop video, might soar through a love for reading and writing. The mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

    For more information about Campbell’s Reading, Writing and Conflict Resolution Power Workshops, call (323) 216-4772.

    Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me
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    Review of “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me” by Dzagbe Cudjoe

    June 11, 2009

    A review of Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe
    Posted by: PEAdmin on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 – 11:28 AM Print article Printer-friendly page Email to a friend Send this story to someone
    Reviews of Books
    Reviewed by Teresa Aguilar

    Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me
    by Dzagbe Cudjoe
    Strategic Book Publishing
    Paperback: 52 pages, October 8, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-1934925874

    Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe is overall a well written collection of stories. The Author shows imagination and creativity , a natural story-teller. This is intended to be a children’s book, but I found that it was a little too detailed for a younger child to read without getting distracted. I would recommend this book for children age 9 and up.

    A very nice dedication to the author’s father included, and the book design was excellent. The picture included in the first story may be too scary for some younger children but all the others pictures would catch a child’s interest. I would have liked to have read more about the author to get a sense of her connection with Ghanaian culture. I hope in her next book she includes a photo and a little background information on herself. These stories are from the mind of the Author, but reading them you would think they were really stories passed down through generations.

    The first story in this book is “The Wicked Curse of Nibobobo” about a young man Fetu who wanted to marry Niniana a girl in his village but his father forbade him. The trouble that results from a curse made in revenge by Nibobobo, the mother of Niniana, affects the whole village. Fetu, Niniana, and a third character Ade then volunteer to take on the task of going to Great-Spirit-Who-Created-All-That-Is-On-This-Earth to remove the curse affecting the village. The three must pass all the trials given to them on their journey to prove themselves worthy of the great spirits help.

    The next story “Akua’s Foolish Wish” went into too much detail on the making of clay pots and a child may lose interest in the story before they get to the actual story line of Akua. Once it goes into the story of Akua and her wish that the commemorative figure she has made of a great chief can speak then the story moves along well. The story is humorous and children will enjoy the rest of the tale.

    “The Fingers of Fire story” is, by far, my favorite story in the whole book. A tale of Falisimu and his growing up in his Uncle Bendu’s home. The story describes how he came into his uncle’s care and met Laliya a girl close to Falisimu’s age. It goes into detail of what the lives of the children and adults were like in Northern Ghana which was interesting. It is an imaginative and spiritual story of two children creating an invention with the help of voices of fire and earth and finding out it’s use for the good of all.

    The final story “Journey To The Chest Of Gold” was rather odd and out of place compared with the other stories in this book. I didn’t get the point of time traveling school trips and being invisible. Time travel can be interesting as a story in itself but compared with the other stories it did not fit with the tales a grandmother would tell about myths and legends of Ghanaian culture. The talking gold weights made no sense whatsoever to me either. A child might enjoy the inanimate objects talking to one another but overall the tale was just strange. But the last three photos at the end of this story including actual gold weights was a surprising bonus.

    About the reviewer: Teresa Aguilar is a stay-at-home mom who lives near Lake Fork in Emory, Texas. Married for over 17 years with three children, the whole family shares a interest in books of all genres. She aspires to own a book shop of her own one day. Her time is spent raising her children and her miniature dachshunds and one orange tabby cat. She also tries to grow trees in clay, and finally having some success, maybe to have some shade in the future to read under. She would also like to say thank you to her cousin Jeanneta who read “The Hobbit” to her when she was a small child and started her love affair with books.
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    Children have Educational and Creative Fun using their Favorite Book as the Basis of a Board Game

    June 10, 2009

    “Journey to Gameland: How to make a Board Game from Your Favorite Children’s Book” by Ben Buchanan, Carol J. Adams, Susan Allison and Doug Buchanan” (Paperback) encourages both education and fun. Reading becomes the basis for creating a board game.

    I gave this book to two girls aged ten and eight in South Africa and they just loved it! The following two reviewers are of the same opinion.

    :5.0 out of 5 stars For kids, by a kid — this is a great activity book, August 24, 2003
    By Diane C. Howard (Burlington, Iowa, United States) –

    Written by a kid (with adult help) and illustrated by the kid’s brother, JTG is a remarkable way to encourage creativity and get kids to do something besides watch TV or play on the computer.
    This isn’t an adult book, so some of the advice (how to make money, pawns, etc) might make grown-ups cringe and cry out that it is too crude or unfinished. So what? We’re talking make-believe.
    Buchanan goes step by step, offering advice and warning where difficulties might come in. His technique is simple and obvious, and any child can modify his advice to suit (soccer, favorite movie, family things). He even includes a super book list!
    I bought this book at a local bookstore and even though I have no kids and have nobody to play board games with I think this is easily a five-star book. You can even use it as a birthday party event (directions included).
    This is a marvelous edition to a family, school or church library. You won’t be sorry.

    5.0 out of 5 stars From the Board Games Editor at BellaOnline.com, January 31, 2006
    By Megan Romer (Ithaca, NY) –
    This book teaches your child how to make a board game based on their favorite book, and it’s interactive, like a workbook.

    The premise of the book is fun. Instead of being a standard workbook, it’s written in a style that mimics an actual journey, with “Postcards” that your child will fill in and “Guideposts”, which are for the parent or teacher to read.

    While a child reading and discovering this book will probably be gently tricked into thinking that they’re doing nothing but having fun, as a parent or teacher, you’ll realize how much they’re getting out of the activity! They’re thinking critically about their chosen book, finding ways to adapt it into a game using math and logic, and being artistic! What more can you ask?

    This book is a great resource for kids who can’t get enough of their favorite book, for parents who are trying to teach their child how to think critically about literature, and for teachers to help provide inspiration.

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    The Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week by Nicolette Jones

    June 9, 2009

    Pongwiffyt Back on Track by Kaye Umansky Bloomsbury £5.99 ages 7-10

    This is the seventh tale of a smelly witch, who first appeared 21 years ago, and it is funny. Funniest, perhaps, to read aloud. In the opening chapter, the noisome witch lounges about eating toffees while her long-suffering, heavily accented familiar (and the most likeable character) Hugo the Hamster (from ‘Amsterdam) raises the idea of getting fit. From there, it is a riot of silly voices, good bad puns, daft situations and comic caricatures. Pongwiffy persuades the witches, familiars, skeletons, trolls, zombies, banshees and other supernatural types of Witchway Wood to enter an )’Lumpicks (sports day) in the reluctant king’s gardens. Added to the brew are a goblin who becomes a nanny, a preening TV star, fungus sponge, skunk stew and a lot of sweets. Everything comes together with clever timing, even if it looks like a collapsing rugby scrum, and we all learn that exercise in moderation is a “good sing”, as Hugo would say. So is this book

    Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe
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