With libraries and schools shut down across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, our access to books is a little more limited. Publishers, authors, illustrators, and other professionals across the nation–and throughout the world–are sharing stories in creative ways.
One of the ways I am working to share literature is by offering free versions for most of my books during March and April. Some of these titles will be available as free Kindle books during certain times (I’ll post the titles and dates they are available for free below).
For other titles, I am creating “visual audiobooks” and will post them on my blog, along with free printable resources to help students connect with the story and words they may be learning (or reinforcing). Access to these videos will be available through May 31st, 2020.
Many of my books contain enrichment sections at the end with questions and activities for students. In addition, I create activity packets to go along with most of my books. These activity packets can be found on each book’s page on my website.
Free books from March 30-31 (clicking on a title will take you to the Kindle page):
Some of my friends began compiling a list on Facebook of things to do while we “shelter in place” and practice social distancing. The collaborative list inspired me to create a Boredom Busters Bingo card. If you’d like to print this out, simply click on the picture above or on the title in this paragraph.
The ideas on the card are family- and child-friendly, but can also fit a variety of ages.
If you use the card and you get a Bingo, comment on this post within the next four weeks and you will win a pdf with printable bookmarks.
If you use the card and you get a Blackout, comment on this post within the next four weeks and you’ll win a 6″ X 8″ digital copy of my fine art illustration called Gary’s Dinner Surprise as well.
Here’s to being creative, and to finding meaningful ways to engage with one another–whether it’s in the virtual realm or in person.
Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.
“Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Dylan peeked around the corner and grinned. He wanted to sneak up on his daddy. He crouched down low and snuck down the hall. Tip, tip, tippy toe, and that is how Dylan snuck up on his daddy—always. Each time he tried to sneak up on his daddy, there would be something that made a sound. He remembered that his shoes were squeaky and he went back to the kitchen to remove them. He again snuck down the hall and at that moment dust tickled his nose and he sneezed. Alivia also wanted to sneak with him and they both snuck down the hall. Would they be able to surprise their daddy?
Tippy Toe Surprise by Bernice Seward is a delightful and charming story that captures the bonding between a parent and a child in a beautiful way. The illustrations are lively and adorable like the story. The author makes the story fun and interactive by giving music notes of the Tippy Toe Surprise Song and including Enrichment Questions, Sentence Tic-Tac-Toe, and Rhyme Boxes—making learning engaging and interesting. It is a perfect book that can be used for classroom activities because its enrichment activities will help students to learn to read through repetition. The bonding of Dylan and Alivia is tangible and there will be many readers who will find them relatable. Stories like this make it easy for parents and elders to help children understand how simple things can make life beautiful and connect them better with their parents and family.”
I’ve been playing around with digital collage this week. This illustration, called One Yellow Flower, is the result of my first attempt at digital mixed media collage.
I started painting my own papers to use in collage illustrations last summer. I’ve been scanning those papers, along with pieces of fabric from some of my favorite sweaters, a pair of jeans that were wearing out, and other materials and photographed elements.
I’ve been learning and having a lot of fun. With the learning curve and the time it takes to “cut out” the different pieces by erasing around the shapes I draw so I can isolate them and add them to my “canvas” piece by piece, it would be faster to use physical paper. But this way I simply hit “undo” if something doesn’t turn out right. AND I can keep an endless supply of my favorite painted papers 🙂
I may eventually prefer one method of created collage artwork more than the other (working with digital elements versus working with physical elements). But, in the meantime, I’m loving every part of the creative process–and the endless options that collage makes possible.
I recently filled our squirrel-resistant bird feeder to entice the local overwintering bird population to provide bird-watching opportunities.
I noticed the seed level was going down by a couple of inches a day–too fast for birds, unless huge flocks were constantly ordering take out.
When I let our dog out for a bathroom break one morning, I saw a squirrel hanging upside down on the cage that surrounded the birdfeeder. Either the cage isn’t very squirrel-resistant, or our squirrels are irresistible.
Anyway, the above video my teenaged son and I made captures what went through my mind afterward (although I don’t, indeed, hate squirrels).
No squirrels were harmed (emotionally, physically, or in any other way) during the creation of this video clip.