Picture books are so much fun to read and share with kids. As an adult, I LOVE them!! I’m a HUGE fan of reading stories to kids, especially picture books!! As an “Indie Author,” AND a creator of picture books, I highly respect the talents and efforts of other picture book authors. This month I reached out to several of my “Indie Author” friends and asked them to share a favorite picture book, one that they have personally authored.
So here they are! I’m delighted to introduce you to my friends and fellow authors: Willy Robbins, Aviva Gittle, Rosie Russell, and Sandra Bennett.
IN MY CLOSET
Written by Willy Robbins
Illustrated by Ruth Hunter
Note from Grammy Pags: In My Closet, by Willy Robbins, is a charming picture book and a laugh out loud bedtime story that kids – and adults – will relate too! Ernie can’t sleep because, “Mommmm, there’s a troll in my closet!!” he cries – and away we go! The illustrations are great fun! Kids are going to LOVE this story!!
Synopsis: Ernie loves to play in his room, but when night falls, sleeping in his room is a different story. Sometimes, at bedtime, his imagination comes out to play. When Erine imagines there’s a troll in his closet, he decides to look for himself. Will he come face to face with his imagination? Or, will Ernie learn there is nothing scary about his closet?
Back story: Author Willy Robbins says, “This story came to me about a year before I wrote it. A friend of mine told me about a little person who thought there was a troll in his closet. He was really scared and couldn’t sleep.” Willy said, “I formulated this story to help this little one overcome their fears of monsters and trolls in their closets at bedtime.”
KITTEN & SNAKE
Written by Aviva Gittle
Illustrated by Tekla Huszar
Note from Grammy Pags: “Kitten & Snake” is a delightful tale of innocence and an unusual friendship. Although I think snakes are okay and very useful, I’m really not a huge fan. However, I love this charming snake and kitten story! Author Aviva Gittle gives parents AND teachers a great tool to talk to kids about friendship and the importance of compromise. Beautifully illustrated by Tekla Huszar.
Synopsis: Kitten wants to be friends with snake, but snake looks and sounds so tough. Discover how these two very different creatures find a way to play together. This is Aviva Gittle’s third book in the “Kitten and Friends” series.
Back story from Author Aviva Gittle: “Kitten & Snake” is my favorite of the seven “Kitten and Friends” stories. Some people don’t like snakes, so they hesitate to read the book. But this story is a sweet, and often humorous tale, of how two creatures, through patience and kindness, become unlikely friends. It’s also a lot of fun to read! I love doing Snake’s voice. I narrated the story – here’s the link: http://soundcloud.com/aviva-gittle/kitten-and-snake
BEASLEY AND FRIENDS TO THE RESCUE
Written and illustrated by Rosie Russell
Note from Grammy Pags: Author / Illustrator Rosie Russell has a soft, down home writing style. Kids will enjoy the calm, gentle Beasley who is joined by the super nervous Lola Duck. The two set off to figure out what “the racket” is in Farmer Bill’s barn. I think you will hear lots of ooo’s and ahh’s from the kids by the time you get to the end of this sweet tale.
Synopsis: Beasley loves living in the country! He spends his days chasing butterflies, digging for treasures, and playing hide and seek with his bunny friend. Just as he settles in for his afternoon nap, his friend, Lola Duck, comes squawking down the road. She says there’s a terrible racket doing on over at Farmer Bill’s barn! Beasley and Lola Duck gather their friends and off they go to solve the problem. What will they find when they get to Farmer Bill’s barn? Come along and follow their adventurous day. This tale will leave readers with laughs and giggles, and warm the hearts of the young and old.
Back story from Author / Illustrator Rosie Russell: I wrote “Beasley and Friends to the Rescue” because my first story, “Beasley’s Journey” was a hit! I liked the personality that I created for Beasley. He’s kind, helpful, and tries to look over the faults of others, even when it’s not easy. (A little something our world needs more of.) Lola Duck was a super fun character to create! There is always that one person that won’t see the world on a positive note and will always find fault somewhere. Beasley, so kind and patient, calms her down, and helps her see the bright side of each situation.
Written by Sandra Bennett
Illustrated by Dianna Budd
Note from Grammy Pags: I loved learning about the Australian Outback and it’s desert creatures, including the frill-necked lizard, Freya. Illustrator, Dianna Budd, gives the reader a sense of the intense desert heat from the color pallete she selected for this story.
Synopsis: Freya is a timid “frill-neck” lizard. She is so frazzled with fear that she doesn’ know whether to run and hide, or face her fears, join her friends, and have fun. The Australian Outback is a harsh, dry place, and not the ideal environment for a game or race. Freya is too frightened to go out and play with her friends, so she hides in the shadows and watches all day. Poor Frazzled Freya. Can she face what frightens her, or will she forever hide, and say no?
Back story from Author Sandra Bennett: “I originally wrote Freya as prose, but felt it was too long for a picture book. On re-editing, Freya’s voice changed and she became a rhyming picture book. I wanted to write another engaging Australian story that would not only showcase some of our different creatures (in Australia), but would also serve as a conversation starter, to help children with their emotions. Looking at the way lizards, like Freya, run away into the shade and hide when they see someone coming towards them, made Freya an obvious choice to help children face their fears. At the end of the book are a few fun facts about reptiles that represent each of the characters, including a Lace Goanna, Velvet Gecko, Northern Brown Snake, and a Spinifex Hopping Mouse. This story is suitable for ages 3 – 8 and also works well as a read aloud book for the classroom and at home.
One more note from Grammy Pags: Finally, I have to share a few picture books that I have personally authored. I’ve had so much fun working on these little two garden gnome adventures with the talented illustrator, Ratna Kusuma Halim of Indonesia.
THREE LITTLE GNOMES AND A BOY NAMED ORION
THREE LITTLE GNOMES AND THE ONE-BITE MYSTERY
Written by Rhonda Paglia
Illustrated by Ratna Kusuma Halim
In each of these read aloud or read alone gnomes books, the little folks have HUGE problems to solve.
Book #1: Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion: The gnomes find themselves in a “no-name” dilemma. What will they do? Who will help them?
In Book #2; Three Little Gnomes and the One-Bite Mystery: Some rascally culprit has ruined the crops for the three little gnomes’ “Droppin’ Time Stew!” They wait ALL year for this special stew! Is it ruined? Well, there’s a mystery to be solved!!
The YouTube trailer for: Three Little Gnomes and the One-Bite Mystery Trailer
I hope you enjoyed meeting some very talented authors and learning about their wonderful picture books!
Christmas will be here soon, so . . . Shop Local / Shop Indie!
Happy Children’s Picture Book Month!
KEEP READING TO YOUR KIDS!