Olivia: Hello Imani. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Imani: I am a nine-year-old girl who loves to dance, sing, do art, play the violin, and play with my friends. I also love fairy tales, myths, and animation. So far, I love to write! I also love my new book!
Olivia: What inspired you to write a book?
Imani: My baby brother inspired me to begin to write and still does! One day, I was sitting on my porch and I saw my brother watching a show about planets. And that is who inspires me and why.
Olivia: How did you come up with the title?
Imani: At the moment, I was thinking of something fun. Like a party. That's how I came up with "Disco balls of the Universe".
Olivia: What inspired you to write this book?
Imani: My teacher, my brother, and my mother. When I was in third grade, I had an assignment where I had to write a poem for each season. Then, one summer day, I was sitting on my porch and my mom told me to write a poem for her. Then, when I was thinking about what to write, I saw my brother watching a show about planets. That's when it all started.
Olivia: Are any of your characters based on real people?
Imani: The main character is me!
And Venus was based on Venus, the tennis player. It was just funny that the planet named Venus and the actual tennis player Venus had similar speed lol!
Olivia: Where do you write?
Imani: In the summer, I love to sit outside and write, read, or play with my brother. When it's cold, I like to sit in the family room because that is where everyone gets together. I like to sit outside because I get a good view.
Olivia: What is your favorite book?
Imani: Well, I don't have 1 specific favorite book, but I do love mysteries, science, and funny books.
Olivia: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself, your book, or your family?
Imani: I love my family a lot. I also love my book and so does my brother. I am also the owner of Magitots and I am currently learning how to run it. Magitots is an online store that features children's fashion and educational toys and books such as Disco balls of the Universe.
Olivia: Will you have a party to celebrate?
Imani: Yes, Saturday March 3rd 2-4pm at The Harvesters located at 54 Granby St. Bloomfield, CT 06002. Here is the event link.
Olivia: I am so proud of you, Imani. You are going to be a very successful author. You can be anything you want to be. Just keep working hard at school and building your career as an author and entrepreneur. Thanks for accepting this interview. Lauren Simone Pubs wishes you the best of luck!
Imani: Thanks Olivia.
As you know here at Lauren Simone Pubs, we blog about children's books written by talented youth or indie authors. Today, one of our very own advisory board members published her first book. We wanted to share the good news with you. I purchased a copy on Amazon. Here is my review below and a little bit about the author.
Faith Clarke in her book, Parenting like a ninja: An Autism mom’s guide to professional productivity, uses a fun, casual, and conversational tone to help the reader learn methods to see clearly and strategize ways to live in harmony while parenting a child with autism. While she understands not every child diagnosed with autism is the same, she argues that the principles for living a harmonious, productive, and fully integrated life apply. She is authentic and relatable in sharing her personal experiences with her son. In addition, she gives the reader time to digest the content and reflect on their own experiences as a mom of a child diagnosed with autism in each chapter (a section called Your Turn). Although this book was written specifically for moms of children with autism, I believe this book could be and should be read by all working mothers. If you have ever completed undergrad, pursued graduate school, and aimed towards a successful career, and something life altering changes those plans such as the birth of a special needs child, having to care for a sick or elderly parent, a spouse’s loss of income, or whatever the challenge you may be facing, this book puts life into perspective. The good news is you can still achieve professional goals with these strategies she puts in place and achieve work-life balance. Success is continually redefined as our mindsets are changed and our vision becomes clearer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. – Dr. Melissa-Sue John, author, social psychologist, and professor.
Faith Clarke is formally trained in Computer Science, Adult Education and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Performace Psychology where she focuses on stress management and well being. In addition, she homeschools her three children, one of whom was diagnosed with autism. She is the author of Parenting like a ninja: An autistic moms guide to professional productivity and the CEO and founder of Melody of Autism, which is a program to support families caring for loved ones with autism by connecting them with trained care specialists with nuanced insights into their family's needs. Designed and implemented a comprehensive curriculum for autism care specialist training and autism sensitivity training that reflects cutting edge perspectives on autism and approaches to building deep connections and facilitating learning and development in people with autism.
Melissa: Hello Elijah and Sabrina. I would like to introduce you to the Lauren Simone Publishing House readers. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Elijah: Hi! I am 4 years old and I love dinosaurs. I love going on adventures using my imagination. Sometimes my sister Madison is with me on my adventures.
Melissa: Where were you born? Where have you lived? And where do you call home?
Elijah: I was born in Florida, lived in Al Ain, UAE, and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Homestead, Florida is my home.
Melissa: What or who inspired you to start writing?
Elijah: Mom and Dad read stories every night. One night mom told me to create my story and from there I just started to create more and more stories.
Melissa: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Elijah: When my mom showed me the first sample of what my book would look like. I got excited and told all my friends at school.
Melissa: How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
Elijah: All, we didn’t change much. The illustrator drew our pictures from real pictures my mom took of me in action.
Melissa to Elijah’s mom: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Sabrina: We have read all the reviews so far. It is very exciting to read how people feel towards our book. The positive reviews gives me the strength to continue to document Elijah and Madison as they go off on their adventures. I have yet to read a negative review and I hope we do not receive one.
Melissa: I am so glad to hear that! Please tell us about your current release.
Elijah: It’s about my favorite animal, I have a collection of dinosaurs that I enjoy playing with. Rex and I tend to go on adventures even though he is invisible.
Melissa: Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Elijah: Yes, the entire book is based on real people. My mom and sister is mentioned in the book.
Melissa: Is this book a part of a series? If so, what is the next book going to be about?
Elijah: I collaborated with my sister Madison on this series. The next book that will be released is about my sister Madison and how she evolved in her painting.
Melissa: If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Elijah: My book. My mom reads it every night before bed.
Melissa to Sabrina: If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
Sabrina: J K Rowling - her story was quite inspirational. She went threw several disappointments before getting her big break, her accomplishment allows me to have the dream that Elijah will excel with his adventures through children’s book. Terry McMillan - how Stella got her grove back is my favorite. She demonstrated that age is just a number, it’s love that overcome any obstacle in life.
Melissa: Thank you Sabrina and Elijah for taking the time to share your book. We wish you both much success and can't wait to see the other books in the Madison and Elijah series.
Hi Lauren Simone Pubs Readers,
I would like to introduce you to Childrens author, Wanda Luthma!
She has her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest.
Wanda, please tell us your story of how you began writing.
Wanda: Do you have a picky eater in your family? Are mealtimes a battle?
I can completely relate. My daughter was super picky as a child and when she was about to be school-aged, I wanted to figure out something she could take for lunch. She liked peanut butter, she liked jelly, and she liked bread so I thought, naively, that she would like a PB&J sandwich. Oh my goodness, did we have a standoff? Sound familiar?
My newest picture book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo, was inspired not only by my child's pickiness but my own. I know that's not a very "grown up" kind of thing to admit but alas I am picky. Most of it is due to texture issues but some of it is actually due to taste. Now, don't get me wrong, I was a much pickier eater when I was a child. So, I've outgrown a lot of it. And if you have a picky eater, I believe they're going to grow out it as well.
When I was in Elementary School, I didn't eat the school lunches so my Mom packed me exactly what I wanted every single day and that was a cold hot dog. Not the healthiest food, but I was happy. Somewhere around Middle School, I started eating school lunches. I know she was relieved.
I can honestly say that vegetables are just not my thing. I found out as an adult that I actually prefer my vegetables raw. Part of that is definitely texture, I don't like mushy vegetables but the other more surprising thing is taste. I find vegetables in the raw are much tastier than after they have been cooked. I have even been told they are better for you. So, who's picky now? Am I right? LOL
The other types of food that I really don't like are citrus fruits. They have those strings in them. I choke on them. Still to this day! And I don't like orange juice with pulp in it. Other fruits are all good though. What about you—do you have any foods you don’t like?
One time I heard a story about a set of twins that were separated at birth. One Mom said their child was a difficult eater because they wouldn't eat anything unless she put ketchup on it. The other Mom said her child was the easiest child to feed because she would eat anything as long as she put ketchup on it. Maybe it's all in perspective.
I just want to challenge you today as you think about your child's picky eating--what battle do you want to pick?
And just maybe Franky the Finicky Flamingo might help encourage your picky eater to try new foods. You can check it out today at myBook.to/Franky
To download a free exclusive children’s ebook by Wanda Luthman’s visit her website at www.wandaluthmanwordpress.com and sign up for her newsletter (it’ll be in a pop-up box)
Follow Wanda Luthman at
Other children’s books by Wanda Luthman (available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/wandaluthman)
The Lilac Princess
A Turtle's Magical Adventure
Little Birdie Grows Up (won 2017 Readers' Favorite Silver Medal)
Gloria and the Unicorn
If you love adventure and are looking for a detailed oriented book to read in the new year, I have a suggestion for you. Kevin D. Grant, author of Nelish Daring Quest, writes about Nelish, a peacock who defies tradition and is courageous and survives the odds. You will find yourself enthralled by the village of Malihayah, and Nelish and his friends working together to defeat their enemies. The characters and the communities are well developed and Nelish inspires the reader to be adventurous, brave, and committed to a cause. I recommend this book for 4th grade and up due to its density, length, and vocabulary. I think this book can be enjoyed by children and young adults.
What is it like living in a family of 6? Bigger families than that have existed, of course. However, can you imagine sharing one bathroom with your three or even four sisters? Ask Patrice, Donna, Shannon, Charity, and Faith Smith. If you don't know them well, you can learn alot about them through the characters they write about (Diamond, Sheila, Crystal and Felicity) found in The Struggle: 4 Girls and 1 Bathroom. This book has 13 chapters, 161 pages and was written and illustrated by the girls, preface by their Mom who encourages them to self-publish and edited by their Dad.
The book is written more like a journal. It has random thoughts and covers topics such as Egypt, healthy snacking, Juneteenth day, Disney World, holidays and birthday celebrations. Instead of reading like characters in a story, it reads as a conversation between you and the characters. However, the characters are also authors, as the introduction begins with if you havent read our first book, go ahead and do so. The girls are quite hilarious and with much practice and intrinsic motivation, I believe they will become great writers and illustrators. I wish them the best of luck for 2018!
Before 2017 ended, I wanted to review the books I received so as to start the new year fresh with all promises completed and wishes granted.
The first book I will be reviewing today is Danielle's Disastrous Days by Liza D. Osae-Kwapong. Liza is a youth author. She wrote self-published her first book in the 5th grade. Her younger sister, Jasmeen is also an author.
Childhood is no stranger to pain. As an elementary student you struggle to maintain grades, keep behavior aligned to the school's expectations, demands of extracurricular activities, and balancing home life (chores, siblings, parents, pets, etc.). Thirteen year old, Danielle has the sad experience of losing her father, Matthew Heart when she was only a few years old. Her younger sister, Beth barely remembers him. Her mom, Isabelle stuggled to maintain finances as a single mom, so they left New Jersey and moved to Columbus, Ohio for a better life. But like wasnt better for Danielle who had to face Martha, a mean, rich girl and missing her best friend, Nicole. However, with the help of Josh and some new friends, she finds a way to build a new, enriching life and overcome the obstacles in her way. Martha is running for student government and everyone is afraid to face her. But Danielle goes against her. Find out what happends in Danielle's Disastrous Days sold on Amazon in print and kindle formats. This book is an inspiring story to teach children persistence, honesty, and the power of friendship.
Three best friends
Author: Robbin Miller
Editor: Jennifer Niles
Publisher: Self-published, 2017
Robbin Miller has published her second picture book entitled, Three Best Friends. Meet Max Thomas, a wheel chair bound boy who is excited about the opening of a new playground and the opportunity to play with his able bodied, best friends, Sophia and Xavier. To his disappointment, the park is not accessible for wheel chairs and leaves him feeling humiliated and stigmatized. In a very child appropriate tone, the story introduces children to the topic of ability, diversity, and bullying. The moral of the story is that all children should be able to play together, however inclusive playgrounds are costly to build. The illustrations were brightly colored and had diverse main characters (White, Black; male, female; abled, disabled). I give this book 5 stars for its creativity, important social content, and representation. You can get your copy here.
While reading this book, things the reader may consider: Is handicapped or special, acceptable terms to use for a child in wheel chair? Why aren’t more parks made accessible to all children? How important do parents think it is for children to play with a variety of children? According to the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey (2014), 74% of parents who responded think it is important. Inclusive environments foster increased social interactions, meaningful friendships, appreciation and acceptance of individual differences, understanding of diversity, respect, empathy, and emotional growth.
Author, Ameshia G. Arthur, wrote a book entitled “Brown Boy Brown Boy, what can you be?” I read it and I enjoyed it very much. It is a brightly colored, 32 paged, children’s book written just for little boys of color. It has cute rhyme and rhythm. The main character, Matthew can aspire to be lots of different occupations such as actuary, orator, and inventor. The book is beautifully illustrated and really encourages brown boys to dream big and think about future careers in the sciences, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Although some of the careers may be unfamiliar to younger children, such as horticulturalist, the illustrations are really detailed to explain what things may be involved in such profession. For beginner readers, it is really fun to read, as it has the catchy tune of “Brown boy, brown boy, what will you be?” after each page. To get your copy, find it here.
So, why the topic of occupations? The type of education you receive or lack thereof directly affects your socioeconomic status. The estimated national 2012-13 graduation rate for Black males was 59%. In different regions of the United States, graduation rates between Black male and White male students are largely disparate according to Schott Foundation for Education. The lowest estimated graduation rate for Black males are Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nebraska, the District of Columbia and Nevada, each at 55% or less. Connecticut, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have some of the largest gaps between the Black male graduation rate and the White male graduation rates (over 20%). The majority of the states with the largest gaps are in the Midwest region of the country.
We should be excited about brown boys seeming themselves represented in a positive light and encouraged to aspire to finish school, graduate, and participate actively in their community.
Book Title: My Father
Author: Phoenix Jano
Illustrated by: Ruben C.F.
Format: Kindle books
Pages: 70 pages
Stars: 5 stars
Age recommended: 6-10
My Father is a beautiful short story about the relationship between and Avidan and Abigail (father and a daughter). After feeling disappointed that she broke a gift she received from her father, she runs away and gets herself in trouble. Her father finds her and comes to her aid. She later discovers her father loves her unconditionally and wasn’t angry. We give this book 5 stars. Though it is the story of two beautiful horses, children will be able to get the message of unconditional love between parent and child.