About darlenebeckjacobson

I am a freelance writer and the author of WHEELS OF CHANGE (2014) and WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (2020). I've also worked in the field of education for over thirty years.

One Small Thing You Can Do For Mother Earth.

As we transition from summer into fall, many of us plant bulbs, flowers, and tidy up our gardens. How about adding a tree seedling as well?

Trees are the “lungs” of the planet. If we want to breathe cleaner air, reduce global warming, and decrease our carbon footprint, the easiest and one of the most planet-friendly things you can do is PLANT TREES. If you are in an area where there is no space for trees, consider supporting organizations that plant trees around the globe.

Check out the search engine ECOSIA: 80% of their advertising revenue goes to tree planting all over the world.  They’ve already planted more than 100 Million trees worldwide.

https://www.ecosia.org

You can also visit: http://www.TreeSisters.org 

This organization is a major INTERNATIONAL tree planting charity that has already planted more than 19 million trees in tropical areas of the world.

Image result for Treescapes. Size: 151 x 160. Source: www.pinterest.com

Here’s an interesting statistic regarding Global Warming:

If worldwide we plant 3 billion trees in areas such as open fields, backyards, schoolyards, empty lots, etc, not touching agricultural areas used for food production, we would END Global Warming.

Three Billion might seem like a lot, but that’s less than one tree per person. Every tree counts and helps make our air cleaner and our environment healthier.

gum tree

Is there a place in your yard, neighborhood, community that could be home to a tree?

trees

Please share this post.

Book Giveaway: Quacks Like a Duck by Stephanie Campisi – Familius – Sept 22 2022

Writing and Illustrating

Stephanie Campisi has written a new picture book, Quacks Like a Duck, illustrated by Maria Lebedeva and being published by Familius Press on September 27th. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Shephanie and Maria.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure…

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International Day of Peace: What You Can Do.

Tomorrow, September 21, 2022 is the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE. If there is one things our planet needs more of, it is peace. Setting aside a day to recognize, reflect, and honor the idea and concept of PEACE may seem futile in our violent and contentious world. But I believe that focusing on peace and recognizing ways to live a more peaceful life can have a ripple effect.

This year’s theme is Anti-racism. To learn more about how to incorporate this theme into lessons and how to foster PEACEFUL solutions to conflicts, check out the official website:

https://www.boldsky.com/insync/pulse/international-day-of-peace-2022-date-theme-history-and-significance-141283.html?story=4

peace 2

How can we observe International Day of Peace? (ideas and suggestions are taken from the National Day Calendar website: https://nationaltoday.com/international-day-of-peace/

 

peace

  1. Observe the global “Minute of Silence”

In 1984, the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Pathways to Peace inaugurated the Minute of Silence. At noon in each time zone, this observance of silence creates a “Peace Wave” around the world. Individuals, organizations, communities, and nations are invited to participate in this shared and practical act of peace-building.

  1. Host a global peace feast

Bring people together with a ‘global’ potluck, encouraging your friends and neighbors to share a unique dish from various countries or cultures. Breaking bread together is one of the oldest yet most effective ways to bring peace into your life. Interfaith and intercultural discussions can make the evening even richer.

  1. Foster peace through education

Let peace begin at home with you and your family. Teach your children key concepts that promote peace such as conflict-resolution, peaceful dialogue, consensus-building, and the choice of non-violence.

5 Factors That Promote A Culture Of Peace

  1. ​Seek to understand

Around the world, we are more alike than different; seek common ground, understand and value the differences you find in the people you meet and cultures you experience different from your own.

  1. ​Promote economic and social stability

Eliminating poverty, food insecurity, and social injustice leads to a stronger culture of peace because it removes common causes of unrest and violence.

  1. ​Respect all human rights

​At the core of peaceful relations is the belief that all humans are valuable – no one group being better than another; see how you can contribute to this understanding in your sphere of influence.

  1. ​Advocate for equality

Support the advancement of women in society through political and economic initiatives; actively oppose violence against women and girls in your community and promote the elimination of discrimination in the workplace.

  1. Choose democratic principles

​Encourage the democratic participation of all peoples in your community so that every voice is heard in civic decision-making and corruption in political leadership and operations is eliminated.

 DID YOU KNOW?   The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901 “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

In the words of JOHN LENNON, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.   PEACE

 

Which Woman Brings Home a Copy of Women Who Changed the World by Rachelle Burk?

Thanks to all who entered the recent giveaway for a copy of Rachelle Burk’s new book WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD. burk

I asked those who commented to name a woman who inspired or changed their life. Besides the fourteen extraordinary women highlighted in the book, here are a few more who were mentioned by those who entered:

Boudica – a warrior queen of the Iceni People who lived in what is now East Anglia, England. In 60-61 CE she led the Iceni in a revolt against Roman Rule.

MIchelle Obama – whose work with the environment and fighting hunger is ongoing.

Laura Ingalls Wilder – A girl who grew up during the pioneering days of American history and wrote about her experiences in the beloved Little House books.

Today I am happy to announce the winner of a copy of the book is DANIELLE HAMMELEF.

Congratulations Danielle! I hope the stories of these amazing women will continue to inspire you.

Save Seeds…Save Life…Spread Some Beauty

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the critical importance of SEEDS.  It’s not something we think much about, but our very lives depend on seeds.  Without them, we have no food.  And we all know how important food is.  If you hold seeds in your hand…you hold life.  Monsanto and other companies hold patents on seeds.  Think about this: THEY CAN CONTROL THE WORLD’S FOOD.  If we want to ensure biodiversity and ample food for future generations, we need to preserve seeds and all the abundant varieties of foods they represent.  How can we do it?

Saving seeds was common practice for our ancestors, to ensure that there would be food even during lean times.  As mechanization and hybridization took over farming in the 20th Century, the practice was lost….but thankfully, not forgotten.

SEED BANKS are popping up in an unusual place…your local library.  There are more than 600 seed libraries in North America.  These collections will provide a free packet of seeds, information on gardening and seed saving techniques.  SEED SAVERS is responsible for much of today’s seed library stock.  It has 25,000 varieties – many of them rare or exclusive – dating before WWII. These seeds belong in the public domain and cannot be patented. The goal is to get these seeds into as many people’s hands as possible.  Why not visit your local library and plant some seeds?

seeds

For more information on this important program visit: http://www.seedsavers.org

http://www.libraryseedbank.info

You can spread some beauty in your own backyard by making some wildflower SEED BOMBS. 

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Seed-Bomb

For more garden crafts visit:  http://www.redtedart.com/garden-crafts-challenge-get-crafty/

Guess Who’s Bringing THIS IS A SCHOOL to Their School?

school book and poster

The lucky winner of the signed copy of THIS IS A SCHOOL by John Schu (illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison) is…

Book Dragon AKA Heidi. I hope you will enjoy sharing this book with the students at your school. Please send me your address so I can mail the book off to you.

Thanks everyone for sharing the lovely things you appreciate about your own schools. THREE CHEERS for the wonderful and caring teachers, staff, and support personnel who make schools a great place for kids to be.

A safe and happy school year to all!

Author Rachelle Burk Presents: WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD + A Chance to Win a Copy.

I recently had the pleasure of reading a new non-fiction picture book by author Rachelle Burk that introduces fourteen amazing women who defied the norms of their culture and made positive differences in the world.

burk

Discover 14 powerful women with brief biographies for kids ages 3 to 5

Women have always accomplished big things, but history books don’t always teach you about them. This feminist book for little girls and boys is filled with the stories of strong women who used their unique gifts to make the world a better place.

  • Women from all walks of life—Explore the amazing lives and accomplishments of diverse women like Susan B. Anthony, Jane Goodall, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai.
  • Colorful illustrations—Bring each story to life with big, vivid pictures on every page.
  • Kid-friendly language—Learn about these important women with language that’s easy to understand for new readers.

Get inspired by the stories of extraordinary women from the past and present with this top choice in women’s history books for kids!

I recently interviewed Rachelle to ask her about this book:

WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD (Rockridge Press) is a great collection of remarkable women for very young readers. Tell Us how the book came about.

Beginning in early 2020 I was fortunate to be offered book projects by educational publisher Callisto Media (Rockridge Press). The first was an illustrated chapter book biography of gymnast Simone Biles, for their “The Story Of” bio series for grades K-two.  WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD was my fourth book with Callisto Media.

How did you decide which women to feature in this important story of women pioneers?

The publisher provided me with a list of the women to be included in the book. Most were featured in “The Story Of” biography series, which I used as resources.

The eclectic illustrations styles throughout the book reflect the many talented illustrators from the chapter books, which adds to the uniqueness of this book collection.

What do you hope young readers will take away from this volume?

What sets this book apart from other picture book biography collections of great women is that this one focuses in on what the individuals did to further women’s rights and other feminist causes. For instance, people know that Harriet Tubman helped many enslaved people escape. But after the Emancipation, she became active in the fight for women’s right to vote!

Women have always accomplished big things, This feminist book for little girls and boys is filled with the stories of strong women who used their unique gifts to make the world a better place. Explore the amazing lives and accomplishments of diverse women like Susan B. Anthony, Jane Goodall, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai. This book will give the reader images of women taking on challenges–from activism, to the arts, to physical sciences–at a level youngsters will find relatable.

Available from Amazon in Kindle and hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638781710?maas=maas_adg_C622824C30B4A9F2F80B1591BB129216_afap_abs&ref_=aa_maas&tag=maas

I have a hardcover copy of this wonderful book that I will give away to one winner chosen at random from all who leave a comment on this post. Share your favorite female role model from history and why you find this woman inspiring. If you share this post on social media, I will give you a second chance to win.

 

Rachelle is the author of picture books, chapter books, and a science adventure novel for children. She writes both fiction and nonfiction for ages 2-13. Her most recent Rockridge Press titles include the rhyming toddler book, Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap: My First Book of Dance, and Let’s Play An Instrument: A Music Book for Kids. For Rachelle’s other titles, or to learn about her school visits, visit her website at rachelleburk.com.

Back to School Giveaway: THIS IS A SCHOOL by John Schu Illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison

I am thrilled to celebrate a new school year with a special giveaway. I have a signed copy of THIS IS A SCHOOL by John Schu (AKA Mr. Schu) and illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison). The giveaway includes a poster dust jacket and an additional poster perfect for classroom display.

school book and poster

Here are some reviews for this wonderful book that celebrates all the things that make a school a special place.

Schu’s debut picture book salutes the school community and the positive role it plays in kids’ lives. . . Jamison’s watercolor, acrylic, and digital-collage illustrations employ a sunny palette, well suited to the text’s upbeat tone. . . . Schu emphasizes the school as a community, where growth, celebrations, transformations, and work all occur, providing a reassuring introduction to this near-universal experience.
—Booklist (starred review)

Librarian and book advocate Schu invites readers into a school community in which all voices are heard, each person learns, and everyone—and everything, including the plants in the school garden—grows. . . . This introduction to school communities shows children what happens inside a classroom via a vision of school at its best—one that leaves readers with a sense of belonging and inclusion.
—Publishers Weekly

To be in the running for a copy, leave a comment telling readers what you love about your school. I will draw one entry at random and announce the winner in September.

Who Gets to Welcome Cabby Potts into Their Home?

Today I am happy to announce the winner of the recent book giveaway.

Cabby Potts cover (no wrap)

A Signed ARC copy of CABBY POTTS, DUCHESS OF DIRT by Kathleen Wilford goes to:Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations Danielle!

Please send me you address so I can forward it to Kathleen. I know you will enjoy this delightful story. I hope you will consider posting a review on Amazon once you finish the book. It’s the best way to show authors how much you love their writing.

Thanks to all who entered.

Two MG Book Reviews Featuring Animal Narrators

I have recently had the pleasure of reading two enchanting and original middle grade novels featuring animal narrators. Here are my reviews for these delightful books:

duetDUET by Elise Broach is an enchanting musical mystery about a bird and a boy. Mirabelle – the goldfinch narrator of the story – loves to listen to Mr. Starek play the piano from her perch on a tree outside his window. But since Mr. Starek’s sister died, he stopped playing. Until one day a boy named Michael comes for lessons. Michael needs to prepare for a piano competition and Mr. Starek is the best tutor. When Michael begins to play Chopin compositions on a piano like the one Chopin used, the music is so beautiful, Mirabelle begins to sing along. Her singing inspires Michael as much as Michael’s playing inspires Mirabelle.

This is a beautiful story of discovery and connection through the language of music. Not only did I learn a lot about Chopin, I also learned to appreciate the music of birds and the joy they get from singing. Highly recommended.

CLARICE THE BRAVE by Lisa McMann     clarice bookcover

A heart-felt and harrowing adventure on the high-seas told from the POV of a mouse named Clarice. When a mutiny occurs on the ship – the only home Clarice has ever known – she gets separated from her brother Charles Sebastian and ends up on another boat with Special Lady – the cat who ate her sister. Desperate times force Clarice to do things she never imagined, including putting her trust in her sworn enemy.

A tender and emotional journey of love, friendship, and learning to trust yourself. Highly recommended.

Both of these books are lively and fast-paced and sure to capture the imagination of kids…especially animal – loving ones.