The Joy of Sharing Books on WORLD READ ALOUD DAY

World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) is an annual event where schools invite authors to read from their books and share the love of reading with students and teachers. On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, I had the pleasure of visiting two different classrooms to share my books with students across the country.

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Thank you staff and students from the fifth graders at Kenosha School in Wisconsin who wanted to know my favorite poems from WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY. wrad

Three classes joined in and asked me some wonderful questions about writing, how I chose the names for my characters, the setting, and why the book is in verse. Thank you Ms. Andre, Ms. Steele, and Ms. Langerman, and all your students for their interest and enthusiasm.

My second visit of the day was with the George A. Jackson Elementary School in Jerico, NY. District Media Specialist Danielle Melia and her 3RD, 4th, and 5th grade classes were excited to hear some of the poems from WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY. Some students asked questions about the book and how I got my idea for the story.

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THANK YOU to the media specialists, teachers, and students for inviting me into your classrooms and for your enthusiasm about my book. HAPPY WRAD!

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I Resolve to…Cut Back on…

…PLASTICS! Stories about the plastics floating in our oceans and waterways and the dangers this poses to marine life seem to fill headlines. One statistic stated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life.  That’s a pretty sobering statistic.

Many communities banned plastic straws and some even eliminated plastic bags as an option when shopping for groceries. At the start of a new year, when our minds are focused on “resolutions” and starting fresh, I am resolving to work on cutting back on the use of plastics in my life.

I already use cloth bags for groceries. I have stopped asking for straws at restaurants. I try to recycle as much plastic as I can. I also try to store food in containers that can be reused. I have a stainless steel bottle that I take to the gym and refill. I also use a pitcher with a filter in it for drinking water, so I don’t buy those plastic bottles. (FYI: bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline when you buy it in those portable bottles. Think of how much money you’d save each year if you went to a filter system.)

I know there is more…much more that I can do.  If healthy oceans and marine life are important to you and your families, maybe you’d like to know what YOU can do to cut back on plastic use.  

One company is making a difference. 4ocean cleans up ocean plastic from oceans around the world, collecting and recycling it into bracelets that support and help pay for the continued clean up effort. You can help by buying  a bracelet. Each bracelet purchased pays for the clean-up of one pound of ocean trash.  Visit: http://www.4ocean.com

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Visit:  http://www.myplasticfreelife.com   for 100 IDEAS and WAYS to get rid of plastic in your life.

May 2023 be a healthy year for all of us!

Be a Good Cookie Baker And Help Fight Cancer.

Baking cookies is a special part of our holiday tradition .  I know it’s the same for many families.  So, while you’re making those bite-sized treats for the holiday, how about making and extra batch for a good cause.  COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER bake sales have raised nearly 15 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.  They’ve also funded 100 research grants through grassroots events nationwide. http://www.cookiesforcancer.org

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Culinary Traditions Flavor Three Upcoming Festivities: by Marilyn Ostermiller

The week before New Year’s Day features three celebrations, punctuated by feasting, that embrace religious and cultural heritages.

Hanukkah, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, begins Dec.18 and ends December 25.

—  Christians celebrate Christmas Dec. 24 and 25.

Kwanza, a cultural unity celebration for African-Americans, follows on Dec. 26 through January 1 2023.

Hanukkah, an eight-day celebration, commemorates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels, known as the Maccabees, over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Modern celebrations of Hanukkah focus on family and friends, and include the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah, one candle for each night, according to reformjudaism.org

According to the legend of the Miracle of the Light, when the Maccabees entered the Temple, they found a single jar of oil, which was sufficient for only one day. The messenger who was sent to secure additional oil took eight days to complete his mission, and miraculously, the single jar of oil continued to burn until his return. The rabbis of the Talmud attributed the eight days of Hanukkah to the miracle of this single jar of oil.

Foods prepared in oil, such as potato pancakes. are traditionally served during Hanukkah.  Latkes, crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, are often served with applesauce and sour cream. Recipes and a helpful video is available from popular cooking and lifestyle blogger ToriAvey.com at https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/potato-latkes/

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Christians celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition that grew out of the practice of not eating meat on Christmas Eve. A typical menu includes clams casino, fried calamari, seafood salad, oysters shooters and pasta with clam sauce. according to www.thespruceeats.com/la-vigilia-napoletana-feast-of-seven-fishes-2019493

A newly published book,  Feast of the Seven Fishes: A Brooklyn-Italian’s Recipes Celebrating Food and Family, by Daniel Paterna, features recipes and memories handed down through three generations.        

African-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa from December 26 to January 1. Dr. Maulana Karenga, a black nationalist who became a college professor, introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home and counter the deadly Watts riots in Los Angeles the previous year. The seven principles of the custom include unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. On New Year’s Eve, participants celebrate with a banquet. Main dishes include African creole, Cajun catfish, jerk chicken, or Groundnut stew from West Africa, which features warm spices, sweet potatoes and peanuts. For a recipe, visit https://www.strongertogether.coop/recipes/african-groundnut-stew

Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time journalist who delights in cooking, baking and sharing recipes.     Marilyn Ostermiller

Book Giveaway: WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? by Alexandra Milton

Such a beautiful book…I had to share!

Writing and Illustrating

Alexandra Milton has written and illustrated a new picture book, WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? and published by Boxer Books and coming out on November 22nd. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US and UK.

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 Alexandra.

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…

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Need Good Books For Holiday Gifts? Check Out The KidLit Authors’ Club.

The authors of KidLit Authors’ Club have a variety of books for kids of all ages. Picture books, middle grade, YA, non-fiction and more. Check out the titles and award-winning authors. Give the gift of reading to a child and create a life-long learner.

https://kidlitauthorsclub.com/?fbclid=IwAR2kQFUqDuawWZwfPy-cDHLzcITD46QjVocYQOh2wHHnHMhvYIOclw6N8vg

Book Giveaway: STORY QUILTS: Appalachian Women Speak by Shannon Hitchcock

Writing and Illustrating

Shannon Hitchcock has a picture book, STORY QUILTS: Appalachian Women Speak, illustrated by Sophie Page and published by Reycraft. Shannon has 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 Shannon and Sophie.

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 you don’t miss seeing that you…

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Book Giveaway: A PARLIMENT of OWLS by Devin Scillian

A fantastic idea for a picture book. Read it with a “gaggle” of friends…

Writing and Illustrating

Devin Scillian has written a new picture book, A PARLIMENT of OWLS, illustrated by Sam Caldwell and published by Sleeping Bear Press. 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 Devin and Sam.

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 you don’t miss…

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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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