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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

DanceBookCover

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, www.ResourcesForChildrensWriters.com (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 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1648768385It can also be ordered wherever books are sold.
I love to hear from both readers and writers, and can be reached via my website www.RachelleBurk.com, and email: rachelleburk@gmail.com

Author Annette Whipple Has Two New Books and Here’s a Chance To Win a Copy Of One.

Today it is my pleasure to feature author and fellow member of the KidLit Author’s Club, Annette Whipple who has two new non-fiction books that recently debuted.  THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (Rockridge Press) and THE LAURA INGALLS WILDER COMPANION ( Chicago Review Press). Here’s Annette to talk about them:

  1. Tell a bit about your “work-for-hire” the Wright Brothers and how it came about.

My first five books were all work-for-hire (WFH) projects for the educational market (for schools and libraries). WFH means a publisher’s editorial team comes up with ideas. Then they hire writers to write them. Writers typically introduce themselves to the publisher, and if they’re a good fit AND the time is right, they get an assignment. The Story of the Wright Brothers was a bit different because I had not heard of the publisher (Callisto Media/Rockridge Press) prior to them contacting me. My editor really helped me to develop the story to be one children (and even teachers) would appreciate. The Story of the Wright Brothers will also be found in bookstores instead of just schools and libraries which excites me even more.

Wright Brothers (3)

For curious writers, I have a whole blog post about the educational market/WFH. I even teach a class about it to help other writers get started. I call WFH the publishing world’s best kept secret.  This is the post. https://www.annettewhipple.com/2019/01/writing-for-educational-market.html

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder is the beloved author of The Little House series. Were you a fan as a girl? What is it about the series and author that prompted you to write the bio?

I was a fan of the Little House books as a girl, but I never had my own copies until I was preparing for my first baby. Then I bought the set! I appreciate the stories even more as an adult.

LIW Companion Cover 2

It was my children and a guide to the Chronicles of Narnia who inspired the idea for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide. Whenever we listened to Little House audio books or I read them aloud, my kids were full of questions. I knew young (and old) fans of the Little House books would enjoy learning more about American pioneers and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I also loved the idea of developing lots of activities for each of the Little House books. I included 75 activities in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion. I’ve been hearing lots of great feedback about the “Fact or Fiction?” sidebars within the book, too!

3. What draws you to historical non-fiction?

I was never a strong history student, but I love diving deep into my research. As I say when I visit schools, “Facts are fun!” I love exploring science and history especially when I can get hands-on.

4. Was there anything that surprised you about Laura as you did your research? Please share some of your research process.

Long before I officially researched for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion, I learned more about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder as a fan. For that reason, I don’t think much surprised me. The more I learned about Wilder, the more I appreciated her as a person and as a writer.

I think my biggest surprise was learning that something that had been reported as fact for many, many years was questionable. All of the books I had access to while researching stated Almanzo Wilder’s birthdate as 1857. (Now the book Prairie Fires has explored the discrepancies.) Even his headstone said 1857. So where was the question? It was with three consecutive census records. They indicated Almanzo Wilder was born in 1859. I thought this was interesting and included the evidence as well as my conclusion in the book (and this blog post):  https://www.wildercompanion.com/2019/11/when-was-almanzo-wilder-born.html]

5. Why should kids care and learn about the lives of historical figures? What makes LIW still popular?

I think it’s important to learn about people who are different than us. I think historical figures and historical stories can teach us a lot about the past. We can learn history and learn from their successes and mistakes, too!

I think Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House books are still popular today because the family is relatable—though far from perfect. Laura Ingalls Wilder shared about a time in history that many lived through but few experienced. I think her writing talent shows through because the stories still resonate with readers today.

6. Any final thoughts?

Facts are fun, right? Well, the fact that Laura Ingalls Wilder and Wilbur Wright were both born in 1867 interested me! They were both American pioneers—but of two very different kinds. Wilbur and his brother Orville designed and flew the first airplane. Laura Ingalls Wilder lived on the American frontier as a girl. Their childhoods were so different! Wilbur Wright’s home was full of books. Laura Ingalls’s home had few books, but they were treasured. Both families valued education and learning—and it showed in how Wilbur and Laura grew up.

But sometimes facts make us sad or angry. The Ingalls family lived in “Indian Territory” in Wilder’s book Little House on the Prairie. When I researched more about American history and the Native American Osage Nation, many emotions flooded me as I learned more about the fate of that nation and all Native Americans. Though I knew Native Americans had been forced to reservations, I did not understand the depth of it nor the later ramifications of the reservations and the many broken treaties. I included some tough stuff in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion because Wilder herself wrote about those complicated times. I wanted to help readers better understand the history and consider both sides.

Today we have many tools to help us learn more about people who are different from us and even become friends. Books are just a beginning!

Both of these books help readers connect with history, but in September I have a completely different book coming out. It’s Whooo Knew? The Truth about Owls! It’s full of beautiful photographs and information about magnificent owls. It’s available for pre-order from your local bookstore or online.

OWL cover Lo Res

I celebrate curiosity and inspire a sense of wonder in readers while exciting them about science and history. I’ve written eight books—and The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press), Whooo Knew? The Truth about Owls (Reycraft Books), and The Story of the Wright Brothers (Rockridge Press) are new in 2020! I love chocolate chip cookies and bake them a bit too often for my husband and three children. I also love to read and enjoy the great outdoors of Pennsylvania where I live. I love to visit schools (even virtually) and help writers of all kinds find the joy in writing. You can get to know me more at www.AnnetteWhipple.com or www.WilderCompanion.com.

Annette at Almanzo

Annette at Almanzo

Here’s my (Darlene’s) endorsement for THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS:

“An entertaining, informative, and engaging story of the pioneers of aviation. A perfect blend of history and science. Question sidebars, a quiz, and a glossary make this an excellent classroom resource for elementary level students.”

****** If you’d like a chance to win a copy of THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, leave a comment below sharing some of your favorite recent non-fiction picture books. One winner will be drawn at random from those entered and announced later this month.******