Guest Post :: Patti Wheeler of Travels with Gannon & Wyatt


  Where We Find Our Inspiration By Patti Wheeler, coauthor of Travels with Gannon & Wyatt This past year I have had the pleasure of speaking to thousands of elementary school children about my middle-grade adventure book series. Meeting with parents and teachers along the way, one of the first questions I’m always asked is what inspired me to write these books. The answer is similar, I think, to what a lot of writers would say if asked the same question: my life. I grew up in a small town in North Florida that most people have never heard of. My father was a truck driver. He drove routes all over the southeastern United States. Sometimes I got to ride along. I remember the first time I saw the Smokey Mountains. Those high, misty mountains seemed like a different world to me, and yet it was only a car ride away. It was those early trips that opened my mind to the … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Michelle Anaya Talks Storybook Apps

Created with Nokia Camera

    Becoming a published author had always been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I wrote in journals, jotted ideas on post its, scribbled and doodled in sketch books but my partial stories and ideas never went beyond that. My blog was the first in many steps taken to becoming a more disciplined writer. About two years ago I decided to stop treating my writing as a hobby and there was no turning back.   First I did lots of research, bought books on writing and joined the online writing group CBI clubhouse. Learning best practices and getting valuable insight from published authors and industry experts was extremely helpful for laying the groundwork before get ting started. The only negative surprise was learning that my prospects of getting published were similar to those of winning the lottery. I forged ahead anyway with the writing and … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Garrett Hedman of Cutie Bear


  Nighttime Stories… with an iPad?                             By Garrett Hedman         Every night, Ryan, a six-year-old wild child, stands at the top of the stairs in his pajamas with a devious smile.  He’s occasionally topless; occasionally bottomless; sometimes his clothes are mismatched, but he always waits patiently at the top of the stairs.  Ryan’s preparing for one of the greatest series of events a six-year-old could dream of, a piggyback down the stairs to his room, one-on-one time with mom, and a nighttime story.   It’s our sacred ritual, a bedtime story.  Yet, now that there are tablet books, will our glowing screens of interactivity destroy the traditions of the past or innovate for the future?     A good bedtime story should include the following:   1)     A comfortable reading … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: One Appy Mama Reviews Wondershare MobileGo


  Wondershare MobileGO for the iOS is WONDERFUL For the past week I have been using a companion application for my iPhone 5 that goes beyond what iTunes has to offer. When you first launch Wondershare MobileGo for iOS  you will plug your iDevice up to your USB cable (just as if you're using iTunes). It will detect your iPhone/iPad/iPod and then you have a ton of options at your fingertips. From backing up photos to even texts (sms - yes I said backing up your TEXTS!!!) importing/exporting songs (this is my favorite fave fave)!!! Along with your playlists, contacts (import/export - outlook/windows mail along with the usual). This makes iTunes so much more - more than just managing your purchases of apps and iCloud items. Wondershare MobileGo for iOS is the perfect companion to iTunes and worth the investment if you use your iPhone/iPad/iPod the way I do (or … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Back-to-School Means Letting Go by Natasha Wing


Back-to-School Means Letting Go Oh, my. It’s back-to-school time. Time to watch your “little baby” become a big kid and head off to school, and your teenagers head off to college. These are hard times to let go, but necessary times for growth and independence. But not yet, you cry! Three of my school-themed Night Before books are about letting go and may help you and your child deal with being separated.     In The Night Before Preschool, a boy has the jitters and realizes that he forgot his teddy bear at home. When naptime comes and he doesn’t have his snuggle friend, another preschooler loans him her bunny. The little boy had a hard time letting go. He wanted his teddy, a symbol of still needing his “security blanket” and a connection to home. Bu the little girl who offers up her bunny is ready to let go and help a fellow preschooler who’s not quite there … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Cyndie Sebourn Talks About the September Silence


    Back to School!  I keep hearing jokes about the sounds of September – for moms that is.  Those sounds will include laying out the clothes your children want to wear the next day, packing lunch boxes or giving lunch money, waiting for the bus or car pool pickups, and then…silence.  HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE!  Don’t moms just love this?   I never had that silence.  As an educator for twenty-five years, my Septembers consisted of laying out my sons’ clothes and mine, packing their lunches and mine, and driving us all to school.  No HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE.  In fact, I can add in the ringing of bells, the learning of new students’ names, assigning seats, and most of all always being aware that I must first have their respect and then show them my love: the keys to a successful teacher.   For the mothers who have the September Silence, I have some … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Mandy Fricke Provides Tips to Encourage Reading


The Importance of Reading and Writing During Summer Break   Have you heard of the “summer slide”? This phrase refers to the phenomenon that the average student loses the equivalent of up to one month of instruction during the summer months. Disadvantaged students might lose even more. Research on summer reading habits demonstrates that regular reading during the hot months has a significant impact on later academic success ( In order to make sure that your child’s only summer slide is a water slide, follow these tips on summer reading.     Visit Your Local Library: If you've got little ones, make library visits part of your regular summer rotations. You’ll definitely appreciate the air conditioning when the temperature soars. Many libraries have summer reading programs. If the library is inconvenient, … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Naturopathic Physician and Author Heather Manley


  I  love what I am doing and creating. I am a naturopathic physician and the author of the kids’ book and curriculum series, Human Body Detectives (HBD). HBD educates kids in an enticing and engaging way on how their bodies work and what foods best fuel it. The series was slow in the making but once I made a connection between kids, the health of kids and the void of this human body and nutrition education in the classroom, everything began to fall into place. I was literally flipping pancakes one Sunday morning when I thought about writing a series based on the talks I was giving to elementary aged kids. The talks involved stethoscopes, some labs and engaging information on how the digestive system works and why we need to feed it well. They LOVED it. I did a little research at our local library and on line in hopes to find more information to enhance what I was … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Speech Language Pathologist, Leanne Pool


May is Better Speech and Hearing Month: Did you know that May is “Better Speech and Hearing Month”? To celebrate this month, I want to share about a specific area of language development, answering who, what, where, and when questions or as speech therapists usually call them “wh questions”. Answering wh questions is an essential language skill that children should learn. Deficits in answering and asking wh questions have a serious impact on a child’s communication skills, performance in class, and the development of reading comprehension. Between 3 and 4 years, a child should start understanding and using questions about objects, people, and basic events. Between 4 and 5 years, a child should be able to pay attention to a short story and answer simple questions about them.   Here are a few tips that might be helpful if your child or student is having difficulties answering … [Read more...]

One Appy Mama Reviews Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases


  Product Review:  Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases:   Recently I had the opportunity to look at some new cases coming out for the Samsung Galaxy S4 from and wanted to share them with my Android friends.   Right now my favorite case for the new Samsung Galaxy S4 is the white Flip Cover from MobileFun. I really like the flip option as it offers protection to the back and the front without adding any bulk to this super slim phone. It's also durable enough for me to toss it into my purse/bag or even stuff in my pocket on those rare occasions. It's made from a flexible rubber bumper that just clips onto the Samsung Galaxy  S4 and then it folds over much like a folio - nice, neat, compact and keeps your Samsung Galaxy S4 scratch-free and protected. The Flip Cover from MobileFun comes in several color variations $34.99): You can check out the Flip … [Read more...]