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.


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:

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


May Book Giveaway Winners…

It gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of this month’s kidlit book giveaways.

The winner of a signed copy of SHADOW GRAVE  by Marina Cohen goes to Jennifer Mary Grollmund

shadow grave picA copy of LET’S PLAY AN INSTRUMENT by Rachelle Burk goes to Ellen Ramsey.

20220511_111027CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!

Please email me with your address so I can let the author’s know. Thanks to all who entered this month’s giveaways. Remember, one of the best ways to show an author how much you love a book is to leave a review on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

Book Review and Giveaway: LET’S PLAY AN INSTRUMENT: A Music Book For Kids by Rachelle Burk (Illustrated by Junissa Bianda)

I was recently approached by a publisher to provide an endorsement for a new non-fiction book for young children written by author Rachelle Burk. What a pleasure it was to read and review LET’S PLAY AN INSTRUMENT.


Here’s my review:

A simple, lyrical, and kid-friendly introduction to the wonder and variety of musical instruments. Burk and Bianda take young readers on a colorful and engaging trip through the world of musical instruments and the ways they are played. It’s a perfect introduction that is sure to get kids excited about making their own music. Recommended for ages 3-5.

I am giving away a copy of this charming book to one lucky reader chosen at random. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. If you share on social media, you will have an extra chance to win.

The Reviews Are In: How Many Book Reviews Did I Post in 2021?

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and looks forward to a new year with new hopes, fresh possibilities, and maybe a book contract? If the contract seems a bit too far away, there is still hope that whatever books we have out in the world will find new audiences.

With that in mind, I am sharing my third New Year Book Review Post letting you know the books I wrote reviews for on Amazon and Goodreads in 2021. The best way to spread the word about great books and unknown authors is to WRITE A REVIEWIt only takes a few minutes to write a couple sentences telling the reading world what you like about a book. As a children’s book author, I can tell you how much it means to see some kind words about a book and sharing it on your solcial media.

Here are the books I enjoyed and posted reviews for in 2021:

  1. A HORN IS BORN (PB) by Bill Borders
  2. CODE BREAKER, SPY CATCHER (PB) by Laurie Wallmark
  4. FROM HERE TO THERE (PB) by Vivian Kirkfield
  5. RISSY NO KISSIES (PB) by Katey Howes
  6. LITTLE EWE (PB) by Laura Sassi
  7. DON’T CALL ME FUZZYBUTT (PB) by Robin Newman
  8. STEPSISTER (YA) by Jennifer Donnelly
  9. STARFISH (MG) by Lisa Fipps
  10. BOARDWALK BABIES (PB) by Marissa Moss
  11. WE BELIEVE IN YOU (PB) by Beth Ferry
  12. THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (MG) Holly Goldberg Sloan
  13. SLOTH AND SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE (PB) by Cathy Ballou Mealy
  14. STOMP, WIGGLE, CLAP, and TAP (PB) by Rachelle Burk
  15. ORANGE FOR THE SUNSETS (MG) by Tina Athaide
  16. WISHES (PB)  by Moun Thai Van
  17. ISABEL AND HER COLORS GO TO SCHOOL (PB) by Alexandra Alessandro
  19. PIXIE PUSHES ON (MG) by Tamara Bundy
  20. WOOF: THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS (PB) by Annette Whipple
  21. BEACH TOYS vs SCHOOL SUPPLIES (PB) by Mike Ciccotello
  22. DINO PAJAMA PARTY (PB) by Laurie Wallmark
  23. SCURRY: THE TRUTH ABOUT SPIDERS (PB) by Annette Whipple
  24. A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS (PB) by Christine Van Zandt
  26. A QUEEN TO THE RESCUE (PB) by Nancy Churnin
  27. DEAR MR. DICKENS (PB) by Nancy Churnin
  28. SWEET BLISS/GOOD CATCH (an adult series about Harper Landing) by Jennifer Bardsley
  29. 101 PRANKS AND PRACTICAL JOKES (MG) by Theresa Julian
  30. A HOME AGAIN (PB) by Colleen Kosinski

Were there some books you enjoyed in 2021? I’ll bet there will be some more amazing stories in 2022. Why not make a resolution to post reviews for some of your favorites. I guarantee you will make an author’s day!

Happy Reading!

STOMP, WIGGLE, CLAP, AND TAP: A new PB by Rachelle Burk + A Give-away!

Today it is my pleasure to feature a new picture book for toddlers. STOMP, WIGGLE, CLAP, AND TAP  (Rockridge Press) by Rachelle Burk Illustrated by Alyssa De Asis, will have young children doing just as the title says.


Written in perfect read-aloud rhyme, with gentle prompts and lively illustrations that will encourage kids to move and make some noise. I asked Rachelle about this book and why she was drawn to writing it. For a chance to win a copy of this delightful book leave a comment at the end of this post and I will enter your name in the random drawing. If you share the post on social media, let me know and I will give you a second chance to win.

What inspired you to write a book for toddlers?

Stop, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap: My First Book of Dance was a work-for-hire project, meaning the educational publisher (Rockridge Press, imprint of Callisto Media) reached out and offered me the project. I had already completed two books for this publisher during 2020.  This latest one targets the youngest target audience I’ve ever written for, and I looked forward to the challenge. As a children’s entertainer (Tickles the Clown and Mother Goof Storyteller…yeah, really), I LOVE working with little kids. So I jumped at the opportunity. It sounded fun and I enjoy writing in rhyme. 

What was the most challenging part of the WFH project

Well, for one thing, I’m not a dancer, which probably makes me a total fraud. But my daughters, now adults, watched an insane amount of baby dance videos back during the VHS era, which tends to imprint itself on a mother’s brain. The outline for the manuscript had me isolating different body parts in a progressive format… a stanza focusing on hands and fingers, the next on arms, followed by feet and toes, then legs, and finally putting them all together. Because the audience is between the ages of one and two,  I had to reach way back in my memory to remember what children of that age can do developmentally. I tried to think of what intrigues toddlers and work those things into little movement poems–animals, for example. I thought that would add a fun aspect to the illustrations as well.
I found myself crawling, wiggling, twirling, and doing all kinds of weird movements around my family room as I worked to develop the movements and figure out how to describe them. I couldn’t help wondering what my neighbors would think if they happened to look in my window. 

The rhyme has such a lovely, musical quality that is perfect for getting kids to move. How did you arrive at this

The first thing I had to do was to forget everything I know about writing children’s stories in rhyme. Instead of unpredictable,  complex, and multi-syllable rhymes, I stuck with simple, predictable, and repetitious ones, with a rhythm that caregivers can easily chant and clap to. After all, my audience is children barely out of infancy. For inspiration, I read a lot of classic nursery rhymes and watched YouTube videos with simple movement songs for toddlers.  

Anything else you want to share?

The amazing illustrator, Alyssa De Asis did a brilliant job bringing the book to life and giving it a party atmosphere. I love how, once an animal character is introduced, it sticks around in the future illustrations, dancing along with the human characters. 

Thanks Rachelle. The book is delightful and I can’t wait to share it with the toddlers in my life!

For anyone interested in learning more about writing for work-for-hire publishers, you can find links on my comprehensive website, (scroll to category #14). You can find pretty much everything else you want to learn about writing, publishing, and marketing on that same site.
To purchase the book (hard copy or Kindle version) please visit can also be ordered wherever books are sold.
I love to hear from both readers and writers, and can be reached via my website, and email:

The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk + A Chance to Win a Signed Copy.

Today I am pleased and excited to feature a new book by Author Rachelle Burk on Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles. Here’s Rachelle:

The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk (illustrated by Steffi Waltham) is an illustrated chapter book about “The Greatest Gymnast of All Time.” Simone has won more world medals than any other gymnast in history. She went from a life of poverty and foster care to one of Olympic stardom. How did she do it? Her inspiring story demonstrates that through motivation, hard work, and believing in oneself, we can achieve more than we ever dreamed possible.

When Rockridge Press, an imprint of Callisto Media, contacted me early this year to ask if I might be interested in writing Simone’s story as part of their growing children’s biography series, I jumped (and twirled and flipped) at the chance. I was particularly excited about this project because the gymnast left me agape with her performance at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro. It was a joy learning about her extraordinary life during the research process. Simone is a perfect role model for young people in ways that extend far beyond her gymnastics star status. 

Although there are quite a few other children’s books about Simone Biles, this is the only chapter book biography for new readers (K-2). It is perfect for classroom use because it includes extras such as timelines and a family tree, thought questions that make Simone’s experiences relatable to the reader, “myth and fact” callouts, a fun who, what, when, where, why, how quiz to test aid in reading comprehension, and a glossary with definitions of new vocabulary words which are highlighted throughout the book.

The writing timeline was short, with a publication target date just 5 weeks after the 2020 Tokyo summer games. I finished most of the book by the end of March, but I would be writing the final chapter after the Olympics in August. The last chapter was to highlight Simone Biles’s anticipated winning performance and even more medals.

Who could have imagined that a global pandemic would cancel the Tokyo summer games! Simone made the difficult decision to put off her retirement and train for another year, now setting her sights on 2021. My publisher consequently had a big decision to make: Do we postpone the book release for another year? The ultimate decision was to write the final chapter to reflect the reality of the 2020 pandemic for Simone and the other athletes. The book was released on schedule September 29th. Fingers crossed that the rescheduled games will happen next summer!

It appears that Simone and her story have already inspired some young readers as shown in these photos taken by Rachelle:

The book is available at

Rachelle is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book. Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the random drawing. Share the post on FB, Twitter or other social media and get a second chance to win. The winner will be announced at a later date on this blog.

RACHELLE BURK writes fiction and nonfiction for children ages 3 to 13, including picture books Don’t Turn the Page!The Best Four Questions, and the award-winning biography Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist, and middle grade science-adventure novel The Walking Fish (National Science Teachers Association award). Her next book, Twenty Fearless Feminists: A Children’s Book Celebrating Bold Women (for ages 3-5) will be released in early 2021. Find out more about her books and school visits at  

Rachelle Burk Presents Oodles of Writing Resources for Teachers, Parents, and Kids.

New Jersey children’s author, Rachelle Burk, provides these RESOURCES FOR WRITERS for anyone who wants to write for children and see their work in print. You will find a wealth of resources to improve your writing, network with other children’s writers, and get your work published. And, it’s all gathered in one place.
There are categories for everything from Articles, Agents. Publishers, Magazines, Online Critique Groups, Forums, and much more.
Rachelle also has a comprehensive listing of resources for kids who write. So, rather than scroll through numerous websites, make Rachelle’s site your first stop for ALL THINGS to do with writing for kids.
Rachelle Burk writes fiction and nonfiction for children ages 3-13. Her works include picture books Don’t Turn the Page!, Tree House in a Storm, The Best Four Questions (a PJ Library selection), and the award-winning biography Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist. Her chapter book The Tooth Fairy Trap has been a One School/One Book choice, and her middle grade science adventure novel, The Walking Fish, is a National Science Teachers Association award winner. Rachelle a has written for numerous children’s magazines, including Scholastic Science World, Scholastic SuperScience, Scholastic Scope and Highlights. She is the founder of the writer’s resource site A retired social worker, Rachelle is also children’s entertainer (Tickles the Clown and Mother Goof Storyteller). When she’s not writing, Rachelle enjoys adventure travel, scuba diving, hiking, and caving. You can find out more about her books and school visits at