Check it twice! 6 great books for kids this holiday season!

Author Rhonda Paglia ~aka Grammy Pags ~ shares 6 favorite books by Indie Authors – perfect for the holidays, or anytime gift giving.

Happy holiday season everyone!  With the coming of Christmas giving, I’m excited to feature several of my favorite independent children’s authors and their wonderful books.  I really think kids would LOVE to find any of these special books under their Christmas tree this year.

For kids ages 3 – 8:

Introducing Sherman the Shopping Cart by author / teacher Rosie Russell.

Rosie poster

My review:   Not only is Sherman the Shopping Cart a cute story, but it’s a wonderful “search and find” activity book. Sherman narrates the story and directs the readers through the various sections of the grocery store. Besides looking for specific grocery items, kids will get a kick out of Sherman when he shares what it’s like to be shopping cart. His favorite place to go is the bakery aisle looking for birthday treats. One of my favorite parts was when Sherman explains how difficult some days can be, especially when dog food is on sale. “Oh my aching basket!” he says.  Children, parents, and teachers will love reading Sherman’s story and searching together; beginning readers will increase their sight vocabulary; and teachers will love the variety of activities that can be add to lessons on community, health, nutrition, and even math.  I also loved the extended enrichment activities at the back of the book including a grocery store scavenger hunt.  I highly recommend this book.  I think parents or grandparents should take their kids on a grocery store field trip with Sherman. What fun!

To purchase Sherman the Shopping Cart, or for more information on Rosie and her other books, please follow these links:

Rosie Russell’s Book Store

Sherman the Shopping Cart – from Amazon

Introducing Emma the Eager Emu by Australian author / teacher Sandra Bennett.

Sandra poster


My review:  Emma the Eager Emu is a beautifully written story of a determined Australian emu. Emma wants to learn to fly, just like her friends; however, she doesn’t realize that emus don’t fly. Emma tries and tries and tries. She knows she can fly! Emma’s bird friends are great. They step up, encourage her to keep trying, and come up with a variety of clever solutions to help solve her flying problem. Through persistence, Emma discovers that her differences are special, and that she has her own set of unique strengths and talents. This story provides lots of wonderful lessons and talking points about friendship, differences, talents, problem solving, and unique abilities. It’s a win-win, heart-warming story that kids will want to read again and again.  Beautifully illustrated by Dianna Budd, readers will feel the heat of the Australian desert and get to know more of the beautiful Australian wildlife through her rich, colorful illustrations. I loved the extra pages at the back of the book and enjoyed learning more about the native birds of Australia.

To purchase Emma the Eager Emu, or for more information on Sandra and her other books, please follow these links:

Author Sandra Bennett – Website

Emma the Eager Emu – from Amazon

Introducing Brooding School Blues by author / teacher Willy Robbins.

Willy poster

My review: Little Melba doesn’t want to go to school! She wants to stay home. However, with loving support from her family and a little role playing activity with her big brother, Melba starts to feel much better, and more confident, about her first day of school. This is a darling book with charming illustrations – kids will relate! As an extra bonus, author / educator, Willy Robbins has skillfully presented lots of discussion topics and opportunities within the story for parents who may be dealing with their child’s first day of school jitters. Just delightful!

To purchase Brooding School Blues, or for more information on Willy and her other books, please follow these links:

Brooding School Blues – on Amazon

Author Willy Robbins on Facebook

Books for older kids:

Introducing Sweet T and the Turtle Team by author / teacher Cat Michaels.

Cat poster

My review:  Tara (also known as Sweet T) and her family are visiting Aunt Mae on Gull Island. Lots of beach excitement, adventures, and challenges await her and her new island friends. The kids have mysteries to solve and a sea turtle nest to watch over and protect.  I love how author Cat Michaels has created a perfect beachy, island setting with colorful descriptions of the flavors, smells, and sounds of the South. Readers will feel the ocean breezes as they are sitting on Aunt Mae’s front porch munching on nutty boiled peanuts and eating warm biscuits slathered with fresh homemade peach jam. Yum! Woven among the chapters, kids will learn a lot about baby sea turtles, their nesting habits, and what volunteers, like T and her Turtle Team friends, are doing to help protect this species. There are several sections in the back of the book with actual pictures of baby sea turtles, “brain ticklers” for extended learning, and much more.

To purchase Sweet T and the Turtle Team, or for more information on Cat Michaels and her other books, please follow these links:

Sweet T and the Turtle Team – Cat Michael’s Bookstore

Cat Michaels on Facebook

Introducing Little Katie Goes to the Moon by author Carmela Dutra.

Carmy poster

My review:  As an adult, I enjoyed reading Little Katie Goes to the Moon, and I think kids will love it.  I especially liked how Ms. Dutra included scientific and space related vocabulary words and definitions.  Parents and teachers will appreciate these STEM learning components.  Kids interested in space science and space exploration will enjoy Katie’s adventure with her astro-dog, Smudge!  Little Katie Goes to the Moon was a recipient of a 2017 Silver Literary Classics Book Award.

To purchase Little Katie Goes to the Moon, or for more information on Carmela Dutra and her other books, please follow these links:

Carmela Dutra Books

Author Carmela Dutra on Facebook

Introducing Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors by author / teacher Rhonda Paglia (aka ~ Grammy Pags).

Rhonda poster

Review by Michelle Stanley of Readers’ Favorite:  Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors is an educational book by Rhonda Paglia, aka “Grammy Pags.” I love the adorable photos of the dogs in Duke “n” Matt, Rescue Road Warriors. These were contributed by Matt, along with the content. Rhonda Paglia wrote this book in such a clever format that kids won’t notice it’s designed to teach them about dogs and the important jobs they can have. Duke has his “Do’s and Don’ts” rules on dog care, and there is a fun trivia quiz based on the story. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, check the partial listing of animal shelters included in the book. You can also make a tax deductible contribution to the website. Part of the book sales benefit Rescue Road Warriors. Children will enjoy this story.

To purchase Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors, or for more information on Rhonda Paglia and her other books, please follow these links:

Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors – from Amazon

Rhonda Paglia – “Grammy Pags Stories for Kids” Website

Grammy Pags Stories for Kids – on Facebook

Christmas ad - with tree & Duke

Thanks for stopping by and supporting indie authors!




December: Guest #1 ~ Laura Lee Scott ~ Christmas Stories for Kids ~

Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays and Merry early Christmasme-w-christmas-hat!!

I LOVE Christmas and I especially love holiday stories for kids! As you probably know, I’m an “Indie Author,” which means I’m especially fond of, and supportive of, my fellow “Indie Authors!” For this holiday and Christmas season, I’m interviewing several of my fellow authors who are sharing their delightful Christmas stories for kids.   Enjoy!!  

Guest #1: 

Laura Lee ScottThis week, I’d like to introduce you to children’s author, Laura Lee Scott.  Laura is the award winning author of: The Santa Switch, a delightful, modern North Pole Christmas story with a “positive, gender-empowering message” for kids and families.  I love this!    The Santa Switch is the recipient of two Mom’s Choice Awards, a Cascade Writing Award, and a Beverly Hills Book Award.  It is beautifully lllustrated by Cheryl Crouthamel, who also illustrated the second book in this series titled, A Trip for Mrs. Claus.

thesantaswitchcover-with-3-awardslowresGrammy Pags:  Laura, what was your inspiration for writing The Santa Switch?  Could you give us the back story?

Laura:  My kids provided the initial inspiration for the series. My youngest son, Ben, couldn’t wait for Santa to arrive, and we started talking about Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ben asked me what her (Mrs. Claus’s) first name was.  I realized then, that I didn’t even know if she had one. That seemed a little unfair to me and my kids, since Mrs. Claus just HAD to be working hard alongside her husband. We talked about how, if she’s like most women, she’s probably the one doing most of the work!  I was proud of my boys because they also thought she should receive more love. Without their input, I doubt this series would have happened.

Grammy Pags:  So tell us a little more about this very special Christmas book.

Laura:  First of all, this book is intended for ALL ages, from the very young to the young at heart.  It’s a “family” book in every sense of the word.  In The Santa Switch, Mrs. Jessica Claus finally sheds her wallflower image to become the fabulous tour-de-force she’s always had the potential to be. This modern version of Mrs. C. believes in equality, compassion, and continued education. She loves her good-natured, big-hearted husband, and they share the same philanthropic vision – but she’s definitely his equal partner.  She’s the “doer” to his “dreamer!” Jessica Claus is CEO (Chief Elf Optimizer) of the world’s most successful, top-secret toy production facility.  She also loves to don hea-trip-for-mrs-twitter-coverr favorite slippers and bake her way into the New Year . . .  spreading peppermint-flavored joy to anyone willing to believe in a little Christmas magic.

The positive, gender-empowering messages, lovable spins on legendary characters, and colorfully detailed illustrations found in The Santa Switch and its newly-released sequel, A Trip for Mrs. Claus, are sure to warm hearts and tickle funny bones of the young AND the young-at-heart, making this fresh, award-winning series the perfect literary adventure for everyone who loves Christmas!

Grammy Pags:  This is so interesting and fun, Laura.  Where can readers purchase your books?


Grammy Pags:  Thanks so much, Laura!  I love dear, sweet, traditional, cuddly Santa Claus in your darling story, The Santa Switch, but it’s Mrs. Jessica Claus who is the rock star!! She’s an empowered, modern woman and a, don’t-take-her-for-granted role model for girls and women!  I LOVE her!!  I think kids and families will enjoy “Jessica Claus” and your rhyming tale too!!  You’ve tucked lots of fun in the colorful illustrations and some sweet surprises in the story like “Lichen corn pies,”  the “Gratitude Supper,” and so much more.  Check it out, readers!  The Santa Switch – it’s an updated, totally fun story for the Christmas / holiday season by author Laura Lee Scott!  Thanks for stopping by, Laura and friends!!

Merry Christmas, Woozler w Mom's Choice seal.pngAND – here’s a little holiday fun from Grammy Pags Stories for KidsThe Woozler’s Christmas (Book #3 in the Meeda and Me series.)

Synopsis: Sofie and Meeda are excited! Christmas is coming and it’s time to get ready! The girls are having fun when Sofie starts to think about the Woozler. That old, grouchy Woozler lives in a hole under the apple tree in their backyard. It’s cold outside, the snow is falling, and Sofie’s worried. Will the Woozler be okay? Will he ever become friends with Sofie and Meeda? Well, Sofie and Meeda have a plan to brighten the Woozler’s Christmas!  For kids 3 – 8, beginning reader, includes extended learning activities in the back of the book.


Merry Christmas, Woozier has received a “Mom’s Choice Award” for Excellence.  Available from Amazon for Kindle & Paperback:
Rhonda Paglia ~ “grammy-reading-doonsey-to-o-ro-so-12-26-2013Grammy Pags”is a retired elementary teacher from Pennsylvania.  She and her husband have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little pup named Bella.  To date, Grammy Pags has penned 13 stories for kids.  She has received awards for several of her stories:  a “Moms Choice Silver Award,” a 2015 “Gittle List Top 10 Children’s Picture Book Award,” a 2015 “Inkspokes Select Book Award,” and a 2016 “Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner, Honorable Mention.”   Ms. Paglia is a member of SCBWI, PennWriters, and WestPA Authors.
Visit Grammy Pags Stories at:   Grammy Pags Stories Website
Facebook: Grammy Pags Stories on Facebook
Amazon:  Rhonda Paglia’s Amazon Author Page
Twitter:  @grammypags1



November is Picture Book Month

I LOVE picture books for kids! November is National Picture Book Month, so this month, I’m proud to introduce you to a few of my “Indie Author” friends and their adorable picture books! Enjoy!


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-closetIN 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.”

In My Closet – click here to purchase on Amazon


kitten-snakeKITTEN & 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:

Click here to purchase “Kitten & Snake” on Amazon


Written and illustrated by Rosie Russell

beasley-friendsNote 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.

Click here to purchase “Beasley and Friends to the Rescue” from Amazon

frazzled-freyaFRAZZLED FREYA 

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.

Click here to purchase “Frazzled Freya” on Amazon

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.




o-adapted-4-23-2016Written 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?  cover-3-png

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

And on YouTube: Nibbles McGibbles Marching Song, from “The One-Bite Mystery”

Click here to purchase “Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion”

Click here to purchase “Three Little Gnomes and the One-Bite Mystery”

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!  


Love from, Rhonda Paglia
Grammy Pags Stories for Kids
Grammy Pags Stories for Kids on Amazon 

October: Halloween, Family Fun + a NEW Grammy Pags Story!

It’s Pirate Grammy with Doonsey & the Woozler

Hi Everyone – Happy Halloween!!

Here’s what’s in this blog:

  • Halloween Family Fun
  • Halloween Dinner Menu & more ideas – adding a few pics from our 2016 Spooky Halloween Dinner!!
  • Not-so-scary books for kids – a list by Dena McMurdie 
  • Grammy Pags’ newest story, The Woozler’s Halloween – currently available for Kindle

In our family, we get a kick out of dressing up for Halloween! Actually, we love to dress up – period!  We’ve always had a dress up box in our house – one for our kids when they were little, and now we have one for our grandchildren.  We make up little plays and stories, go for treasure hunts, and just pretend. It’s lots of fun!

Halloween has always been a “non-scary” time for our kids and grandkids.  We decorate pumpkins, we might go to our local corn maze, we always pass out treats – with NO tricks, and for many years, we had a good old “Spooky” Halloween dinner.

Our Halloween dinner menu might consist of the following:

Pirate Stew – chili or chicken noodle soup (this year it was Broccoli slaw!)

Fish Scales – potato / tortilla chips

Grammy and her Googly-Eyed Threeps!

Swamp Slime – chip dip / humus

Swamp Juice – fruity punch or cider

Skeleton Bone – cut up veggies

Googley Eyes – deviled eggs with black olives

And a TreasureChest Dessert – usually gooey donuts with lots of sprinkles!

This year we had  “Dracula’s Donuts!”

Our kids have the best time making up the names for our dinner delectibles!

Do you want more Halloween menu ideas? Here’s a link from Pintrest:  More Halloween menu ideas from Pintrest!

Do your kids love Halloween stories?  If so, here’s a special list of  NOT so SCARY list of Halloween books for Kids provided by Dena McMurdie.

Finally, one more question:  Do YOU have a WOOZLER in YOUR backyard?  We do!!  This year, the poor little woozler has a super big problem!  Halloween has never been so tense!

Check out:  The Woozler’s Halloween written and illustrated by Rhonda Paglia – a Grammy Pags Story for Kids.  Go get that rascally culprit, Woozler!!

the-woozlers-halloweenThe Woozler’s Halloween

is NEW from Grammy Pags Stories

ONLY available for Kindle – $2.99 

Here’s the link: The Woozler’s Halloween 

Available in paperback – 2017   

I have lots of “woozler” stories.  This Halloween story is a little out of sequence from the other “woozler” stories, but I thought that kids might enjoy it for this Halloween season fun!  If you and your kids like this story, please leave a review on Amazon! Thank you so much!!!

Other Woozler stories:


4e230-happy2bhalloween2bwoozlerLove ya!  Grammy Pags

Check out: Grammy Pags Stories for Kids on Amazon