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Creative Kid Thursday! Guest Book Reviewer Josie!

28 Aug

Today on Creative Kid Thursday, I have a special guest for you, my little sister Josie! Josie reviewed a book that has to do with frogs being endangered. Jo really cares about this issue. She even made a frog pond at our house this year to help the frogs near us (see her blog post about it HERE).

vanishfrogThe vanishing frogs of Cascade Creek

(Ruthie’s wildlife Book 1) by Emma J. Homes

44 pages – ages 8+
Published by Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd on June 25, 2014


Description from Amazon:

The beautiful waterfall frogs of Cascade Creek have suddenly disappeared and Ruthie’s parents have been asked to help solve the mystery. So now it’s all aboard the big green bus, pet wombat and all, for a wildlife adventure in the rainforests of northern Australia.

Join ten-year-old Ruthie as she and her wildlife scientist parents, Tom and Kate, track down why the frogs have vanished from their home. Together with Ruthie’s younger brother Liam and sister Bel, and with a little help from the mischievous wombat, Womble, they are soon discovering clues to the puzzle.

What Josie thought: I liked that this was about saving frogs and it was kind of a mystery. I liked reading about how Ruthie and her family live. They travel around in their bus and go from place to place to help animals (and frogs :) ). Ruthie and her brother and sister even do to school at their bus, not a regular school. I like that the story describes the science lab trailer where her parents do experiments to find out what’s wrong with the frogs. I never heard of a waterfall frog before. It is a real frog. I looked it up and learned more about them. I liked reading the book. I like that Ruthie is my age (ten :) ). The book is a good chapter book and I thought the story was exciting! I would read the other stories in this series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

Thanks Josie!

You can find out more about Ms. Holmes and her other books by visiting her website HERE.

Creative Kid Thursday! Meet the Dynamic Duo Creators of “The Write Chat”!

21 Aug

Happy Creative Kid Thursday!

I had a great first day of Middle School yesterday. It’s going to be a great year! :D

Today I have a great Creative Kid Thursday for you! I am here to tell you about the launch of a new vlog called “The Write Chat” that is run by two Creative Kids! One of the Creative Kids I am sure you’ll recognize (WOO HOO I Finally make it on Creative Kids!) ;)




That’s right, Felicia the Fantastic author of “The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets” (see my review HERE) and mastermind of the Stanley and Katrina blog (click HERE) and I are co-hosting a monthly vlog where we interview authors about their books, writing process and any other silly topic that comes to mind.

Our first guests will be coming up in September – I could tell you more about it here but why don’t you click on over to The Write Chat and you can see for yourself! Over there you can sign up to follow and get notified when we put up our monthly vlog. :D

Don’t forget to click over to The Write Chat and subscribe to our monthly interviews! You can also check out our introductory video of Felicia and me explaining what The Write Chat is about! CLICK HERE TO  GO THERE!!!!

Creative Kid Thursday! Tarleton’s Spy by David Slaughter

31 Jul

Welcome to Creative Kid Thursday!

I have a great book for you, loyal readers! A historical fiction novel that was written by David Slaughter, who was 14 when he started writing it.

Here is a bit about David Slaughter from his author page on Tate Books’ website:

“David Slaughter, a young author from Westerville, Ohio, began writing Tarleton’s Spy when he was fourteen. He enjoys the flexibility of his home school and is furthering his avid interest in the details of America’s history and language with a degree from Patrick Henry College.” To learn more, visit his author’s page HERE.

tarlatonTarleton’s Spy

By David Slaughter

120 pages – ages 9+

Published by Tate Publishing on June 10, 2014

16-year-old Jimmy was both excited and scared. He was leaving Britain to serve as an errand runner/message boy in the Americans’ rebellion. He would be serving under the British General Banastre Tarleton. The Americans were rebelling for reasons that he didn’t understand. Making friends with an American boy who was captured, Jimmy soon learns everything he needs to know. It only confuses him about which side to fight for. What can the lad do? It also doesn’t help that he has heard a mysterious murder plot being whispered among some of the men. Jimmy decides to investigate the murder plot while also deciding where his loyalty lays.

This was a great historical fiction novel written by a kid. David Slaughter was 14 when he started Tarleton’s Spy. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I also think it is a very hard genre to write in because the story has to be believable for the time/event it is set around. I think that David did a wonderful job of writing the facts into a great fiction story. From the title I thought that the story would be about Jimmy being a spy for/on Tarleton but really it is about the events leading up to Jimmy deciding to be a spy. I would have liked to read about Jimmy as a spy, maybe David can write a follow-up! Jimmy was a great character who you come to like. I understand why he feels so conflicted about who is right in the war. I think the story was good, and I would be happy to read other works by David Slaughter. The story is completely appropriate for younger kids. Young Mr. Slaughter uses great language, and doesn’t go into great detail in the fight scenes, but adds enough action and adventure to make the story exciting.

 Find Tarleton’s Spy on AMAZON HERE

Find it at Tate’s website HERE.

Creative Kid Thursday! My Review of Cave Planet by kid author Luke Meier!

17 May

Welcome to another edition of Creative Kid Thursday!



Yeah – yeah I know it’s Saturday, but can we pretend it’s Thursday?

I kind of forgot to post this Thursday because I’ve been busy…

‘Busy doing what’ you ask?


Well, maybe you didn’t, but I’m going to tell you any way. :P




If you are wondering, Accelerated Reader is a program some schools use. You read books, take tests, and get points. The goal set for me by the school this year was 50 points – I got 1524.9.   Books have 5, 10, or 20 questions per book (depending on how difficult the book is). I got 97.2% on my tests as an average score. I took 180 tests equal to 180 books this school year (and yes I read a lot more books than that, but they weren’t AR books – that’s one of the problems I have with the program). For example, The Man in the Iron Mask (Unabridged) by Alexandre Dumas (AWESOME book by the way – one of the best I read this year) was worth 34 points and had 20 questions and Tom Angleberger’s “Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book” was worth 4 points (TOTALLY STOOKY book) and had 10 questions. Tara Lazar’s “The Monstore” was worth 0.5 points and had 5 questions (another MUST READ book).
So now that I broke my old school record, I am going into retirement (just for AR – not reading ;) ). I don’t want to have to worry if a book is an AR one or not anymore.

Enough with this silliness! On to my review of a totally fantastically magniful stooky book by a kid author!!!!

caveplanCave Planet: The Portal – Book Two
by Luke Meier and Joe Meier
99 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on March 13, 2014

Summary- Leo and Bucky (his dog) made it back through the portal. Even though they are happy to be home they need to return to help their friends they left behind. But the portal won’t work and Leo needs to convince his dad that this crazy adventure is real and he needs his scientific expertise to help find a way to power the portals. The Buckies (a race of intelligent dogs) are being attacked by evil droids and they need the portals to operate so they can defeat the droids.

What I thought- Cave Planet takes off right where Book 1 of this series left off, but you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second. I interviewed Luke about his first novel “Into the Light: Book 1 in The Portal series – click HERE to go to the interview. Luke tells a great story! I love his idea about the Buckies, a race of intelligent dogs that his MC, Leo, can communicate with (everyone else just hears barks and growls). The plot to the book takes the reader from an alien world back to Earth and into outer space and Luke describes all the worlds wonderfully. I like that the  story has a couple of sub-plots to it, it makes it a more enjoyable read. Luke’s writing flows well and it keeps the reader turning the pages. The main plot of this story is tied up at the end, but Luke leaves the reader with a great cliffhanger and I for one can’t wait to read what happens next!

You can find Luke’s books on Amazon – HERE.

50% of the proceeds go to The Exodus Road, an Organization dedicated to fighting against child slavery and exploitation.


About the Author -
Luke Meier started his writing career in 2012 with his debut novel “Into the light” – Book One in the “Portal” series. With “Cave Planet” he continues the story of Leo and Bucky the heroes of “Into the Light”. Currently he is working on Book Three of the series. His writing is geared towards kids age 8-15. Luke is nine years old; he enjoys playing Lego, Minecraft and Football.

To learn more about Luke and his books, visit his website by clicking HERE.

Creative Kid Thursday! Meet Kid Author Rena Marthaler

24 Apr

 Today is time for another Creative Kid Thursday!

But before I get to the Creative Kid of today – I want to tell everyone to check out ANOTHER creative kid – my little sister Josie who entered a drawing in Susanna Leonard Hill’s –


The First Ever Pretty-Much-World-Famous Illustration Contest!!!
Click HERE to see Josie’s illustration and click HERE to go to Ms. Hill’s contest page and check out all the entries.
Now on to Creative Kid Thursday!

Meet kid author – Rena Marthaler! Woo!


Rena wrote a book during NaNoWriMo when she was just 9 years old! 

Here is the description of her book:

“Magic The Crest tells the tale of ten-year-old Rachel and her three best friends, who discover they have extraordinary powers to save their elementary school from a terrifying flying dragon. These strong girls use their powers to follow prophecies to rescue a lost child and to find a series of coveted jewels. They battle mythological monsters, shape-shifting animals, and forces of nature in their quest for the Crest.”

I read Magic the Crest and was impressed with the action in the story. Rena combine magic, friendship and some cool sci-fi themes her first middle-grade reader.


Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageMagic The Crest

by Rena Marthaler

138 pages – ages 8+

Published by Create Space on December 20, 2013


Rena agreed to do an interview with me too!

bloglogoYou sure get the reader into the action right away! Your characters are battling dragons by page four! How important do you think it is to hook your reader right away?

Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageI think it is very important to hook your reader! I tried to do that with the action and exciting chapter titles. The first chapter is called “I Have Powers and a Sword.” Another chapter is called, “Escape Except for One.” It’s an adventure story, so I wanted my readers to know that right away.

bloglogoYou thank NaNoWriMo in your acknowledgements and even make reference to it in your story (you have an eel saying “Na No Wri.” Do you think you would have written this book if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo? For those who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, could you tell us also about your experience with it?

Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageThe idea for my book came from a game I play with my friends at recess and I wanted to write the story before I found out about NaNoWriMo. But, NaNoWriMo motivates writers to finish the whole book so it can be published.

Writing with NaNoWriMo was exciting. I set my word count goal too high and I had to write a lot to finish by the end of the month. My mom let me skip some of my homework. But don’t take that as a reason to join NaNoWriMo. There are hundreds of other great reasons to be a writer in that contest.


bloglogoI think I’ll have to try our NaNoWriMo this year. Okay, so where did Lily and Ashley get the pizza and soda from when they were way up on Mt. Hood in the middle of nowhere?

Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageThe weird thing is, I really have no idea where Lily and Ashley get the pizza and soda. It’s the twist in that scene. A lot of odd things happen in my book!

bloglogoYou left the reader with quite a cliffhanger in “Magic The Crest.” Are you writing another book in the series?

Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageYes. A lot of my classmates are telling me that I should write another one. So I’m 99.99 percent sure I will.

bloglogoI sure hope you do write another! What do you like to do other than write?


Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageI like to visit new places. I have sat on a crocodile in Thailand, climbed the Eiffel Tower, and learned how to snorkel. But at home, I like normal stuff like reading, spelling, basketball, video games, playing with friends and my dogs, and making French toast and lemon bars. I like a lot more than that, too, but I don’t want to bore you.

bloglogoHmm… maybe you could mail me some of those lemon bars… If you could sit down with one author (living or dead) and have a conversation, who would it be and why?

Magic The Crest Book Cover ImageOh, my! Rick Riordan. His books have cliffhangers at every moment, the characters are loyal and persistent, and they don’t give in to their enemies. His characters are smart alecks but in an endearing way.


GREAT answer Rena! :) Thanks for doing this interview!

To learn more about Rena, visit  her Facebook page HERE and her website HERE.

Magic the Crest is available on AMAZON HERE.

Creative Kid Thursday! Meet Kid Author Sophie Quay-Clark!

17 Apr

Today’s Creative Kid I have to tell you about is a kid author who has self-published not one but two books! She wrote her first book at age 7!

Meet Sophie Quay-Clark!


bloglogoHi Sophie, please tell us a little bit about yourself.


photo(1)My name is Sophie and I am 9 years old. I live in Berkshire in England with my little brother, my mum, dad and my three cats!
I love playing Minecraft; I play on a server with my friends and also by myself. I belong to our local triathlon club and I train a few times a week and compete in junior triathlons. I also play the viola and I compete in local running races. I love cats and most cute animals. I enjoy basic computer programming like Scratch and Python. I’m trying to teach myself some Latin at the moment. I also love to write and I have now written two books. I started learning to read at 18 months of age; Mummy was a bit shocked. By 2.5yrs old I was reading easy chapter books like ‘Rainbow Magic Fairies’. I liked typing and wrote my first short sentence just before I was 2 years old, I then just carried on writing!



bloglogoI’ve read both of your books and was very interested in your stories! FireFall is a school for dragons where they learn how to do dragon things like fly and growl, but they also learn how to be dragon warriors. I thought this was a very unique idea! I assumed dragons already knew how to do these things. How did you get the idea for FireFall?

photo(1)I wrote the first Firefall when I was 7 years old, I had just read all the Harry Potter books, all the Last Dragon Chronicle books by Chris d’Lacey and every Warrior Cat book written at the time! I joined all the books together and came up with Firefall. I like reading lots of different types of books so I used some ideas from them.

bloglogoIt is true that the more you read, the better writer you become! I really like all the different kind of dragons you write about in your book (ice dragons, bloom dragons, rainbow dragons, air dragon, etc.) and all the different abilities they have. Which one is your favorite type of dragon?firefall

photo(1)I really like the Rainbow Dragons as their colours are the best. My favourite character is Flash as she is completely crazy and mad, she was a lot of fun to write about as she is really silly and kept doing daft things. I got the idea for the different types of dragons from one of my favourite game apps.

bloglogoFlash is a very fun character, I liked how she was constantly getting into trouble! The dragons seem to like Pumpermelons. What do they taste like?

photo(1)The taste of a pumpermelon is a mixture of melon, pumpkin and carrot. They are bright red, mixed with dark orange flecks. The inside is white and has a spongy texture. They are quite large, almost as big as a beach ball.

bloglogoSounds yummy! :) When do you take time to write? Do you have to think about a story before you write it or does it come out as you are writing?

photo(1)With the two Firefall books, I had to plan them in detail. I wanted to write the books during NaNoWriMo. I wrote the books mainly in bed or in the car coming home from school. I tend to plan a week before I start NaNoWriMo. The second Firefall book was 12,000 words and took just over 3 weeks of typing. I then had to re-read it and correct my mistakes…then I let Mummy read it. I write lots of other stories when I feel like it, mostly in the car on my iPod using Pages.


bloglogoThe ending of your second book “Return to Firefall” leave us with quite a cliffhanger when we find out the final battle between the FireFall dragons and the evil HornClaw dragons isn’t really the FINAL battle! Are you currently writing another book in the series? How many books are you planning to write in the series?

photo(1)Yes, I have to finish the story off so I will write the final Firefall book during NaNoWriMo this year. I have some ideas of how to plan the story already but I will plan properly just before NaNoWriMo starts. My friends are wanting to know what happens to all the dragons!

bloglogoI can’t wait to read what happens! What do you want to be when you grow up?

photo(1)At the moment I want to be lots of different things. I’d love to work for Minecraft because I have so many different ideas for the game. I love animals so working as a Vet would be good, but then I might be a writer so I could write about animals.

Thank you, Sophie, for answering my questions!

Check out Spohie’s books on Amazon UK HERE!

Creative Kid Thursday! Guest Book Review by Rena Marthaler!

10 Apr


Welcome to Creative Kid Thursday where I like to feature the awesome things kids are doing and also host guest kid book reviewers. Today Rena Marthaler is going to review —


The House of Hades
By Rick Riordan
608 pages – ages 10+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 8, 2013

Reviewed by 4th grader Rena Marthaler, author of the adventure novel “Magic The Crest” (click HERE to go to Rena’s blog).

The first sentence is my favorite: “During the third attack, Hazel almost ate a boulder.”

This book is perfect for people who like Greek gods and goddesses, sword fighting, giants, titans, and more monsters. It is the fourth book in the series “Heroes of Olympus.” (I recommend reading the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and other three Heroes of Olympus first.) This book is really good.

In the book, Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque go on a quest following the Prophecy of Seven in a heavily armed warship called the Argo II.

But only five of of the seven are on the ship. In the earlier book, Percy and Annabeth fall into a very dangerous place called Tartarus, and the only way to get out is to through the “Doors of Death.”

Piper, Jason, Leo, Frank, Hazel, and their rescued friend Nico Di Angelo go through many adventures to reach the Doors of Death and rescue their friends.

Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth struggle through Tartarus, half dead, to reach the same destination.

Stay tuned for the fifth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, “Blood of Olympus,” coming out in Fall, 2014. I assure you it will be awesome!


Be sure to check back because I will be interviewing Rena about her book “Magic The Crest” on April 24th!

Remember on Tuesday, the Writing Process Blog Tour and I tagged Rena? Well, Rena has already responded! Click HERE to go THERE!

Creative Kid Thursday! A Short Story By Daniel Johnston

20 Mar

Happy First Day of SPRING!!! (he says as he scrapes the ice off the windshield of his mom’s car)

March Madness starts today – NO, not that basketball thingy – Susanna Leonard Hill’s Creative writing contest! Click HERE to check it out. The contest is to writ a fractured fairy tale. You still have time to enter! You can win FABULOUS PRIZES! I am posting my entry tomorrow. :)

I have an awesome creative kid to tell you about today. Sixteen year-old Daniel Johnston is a chess champ, book reviewer, blogger and writer! Check out his blog HERE. I interviewed Daniel a few years ago about being a chess champ (click HERE) and he just did a podcast with me about books and reading (click HERE). Daniel wrote a great short story that he wanted to share with everyone. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!


Photo Credit Wikimedia – Creative Commons License



The Teacher gets Taught a Lesson of Love

By Daniel Johnston


As the fifth-grade class heard the creaking from outside the door, they settled down and sat back in their chairs. It was the first day for the new substitute teacher, Mrs. Higgins. “I bet she won’t be as good as Revis,” a boy named Nick whispered.

“I hope Revis’s mother is okay,” Jared whispered back. Mr. Revis had been the old teacher of the class. He was a great teacher, and all the students loved him. On Friday he’d had to leave class early because his mother was in the hospital on the other side of the country. Over the weekend, the principal had told all the kids parents that Revis’s mother would be okay, but his mother couldn’t take care of herself and Revis had decided to live with her for now.

“I hope so too man. But now I’m worried about us. What’s Mrs. Higgins going to be like?” Nick said, with a worried look on his face. Jared shrugged his shoulders. Mrs. Higgins was the permanent substitute teacher for the rest of the year, which meant they’d have to suffer through her six hours a day for the next three months. So it’s no surprise the class held its breath as their new leader walked through the door.

Mrs. Higgins was a pretty woman in her mid-twenties with blonde hair and green eyes. Her face was in a smile of genuine happiness and excitement to be there. Although in the movies when the teacher walks in, the class says, “Hello Mr. or Mrs. ____” that’s not the way it happened with this group of fifth-graders; they were totally silent as Mrs. Higgins walked up to her desk, put her purse down, and greeted the class.

Mrs. Higgins face contorted into a pleasant surprise. “Well,” she said, putting her hands on her hips, “is everyone asleep today?” This got a few mixed laughs and relief from the class. This was obviously a teacher who was very comfortable with fifth-grade classrooms.

The rest of the day was like that. They didn’t do anything too strenuous, but they played some games to get to know each other better, heard about Mrs. Higgins treacherous travel traversing the Atlantic Ocean, and did a little of the three R’s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. At 10:30 Nick whisper now was, “This teacher is cool.” Everything ran smoothly. That is, until it was time to go to Recess.

Mr. Revis had allowed the students to have an hour of recess every day. But as they were about to go out for recess, Mrs. Higgins announced, “Alright class. We’ve got a lot of stuff to cover, so because we’re going to be playing games in the middle of the day for fifteen minutes, you’re going to have forty-five minutes of recess everyday. Is everyone okay with that?”

The students nodded. Most of them knew that next year they would be entering middle school and wouldn’t get any recess anyways, so there was no point in complaining about getting “only” forty-five minutes.

Most of them; expect for Samantha. Samantha was the queen of jump roping. She could jump rope with her eyes closed for an hour straight during recess, as she often did. The majority of the other girls also enjoyed jump roping, and so 2:15 to 3:15 in the afternoon was her time. It was her court. She had a tough family situation and was not willing to give up her glory. “Noooooooo!” She cried, hitting the ground. “I need to jump rope. Mrs. Higgins, I just need to, you can’t do this to me. No!” She wailed and cried and coughed and kicked her legs. The class looked to the teacher to see what she would do. Sure, she could teach. But how would she handle a misbehaving student?

Nick alone was fraught with worry for Samantha, especially when another boy, Randy, whispered to him, “Dude, that’s your girl.” Samantha and he were sort of dating, sort of not. Either way, he cared about her a lot.

Mrs. Higgins thought for a moment, and then said, “Why don’t you show everyone your jump roping tomorrow during games?” Mrs. Higgins didn’t understand that those times were the magical kingdom for a child who had nowhere else to go.

“I can’t bear to see her like this,” Nick sniffled. He ran over to Samantha and got down on his knees next to her before Mrs. Higgins had time to react. He brought Samantha into his arms, perhaps the only time she would let him fulfill that dream of his. “Don’t worry,” he whispered, “we’ll all watch you jump rope.”

Samantha understand what Nick meant and managed to smile wanly, “All you guys?”

“Yes,” Nick said assuringly, turning over to the rest of the boys, who nodded, “all of us.” Samantha got up with her head on Nick’s shoulders, a peaceful expression on her face. That recess, and all recesses for weeks to come, the boys watched Samantha, and even tried to jump rope themselves. Samantha’s experience changed. Instead of being the queen of the court, she was involved in a collaborative effort with people who cared about. And that’s something she had never experienced.

Why did the boys help this little girl instead of playing football as they were apt to do. That’s why Mrs. Higgins wondered, and eventually she asked the quiet, polite kid who she had quickly won over. Nick’s response was, “Football is fun. But not as fun as seeing someone happy.” The boys had agreed to watch Samantha for one day. That wouldn’t hurt. But when they saw the sparkle in her eyes, the love of life shining in her face, they just couldn’t stay away.

The good teacher Mrs. Higgins learned more from the boys love and kindness in her first week than she would teach them the whole rest of the year. Reading, writing, and arithmetic is one thing. Love is quite another.

Don’t forget to check out Daniel’s blog click HERE to go THERE!

Creative Pet Thursday! Meet Mitzi Jo!

6 Mar

Today is Creative Kid PET Thursday!

Time for some cuteness!

Mitzi Jo tutu (2)

and one more -

Mitzi JO butterfly princess (5)

I double dog dare you not to fall in love with my very special guest today. Mitzi Jo!

mitzi jo inm glasses

Mitzi Jo writes a column called “Paws for Thought” for the Upper Bucks Free Press, the same newspaper I write for. :)

mitzi jo reads paper4Her human helper, L.j. Burns (A.K.A. Momma Jean), and Mitzi Jo also blog  about her adventures at the doggy daycare Momma Jean runs (click HERE to go THERE).


Mitzi Jo is one talented puppy! In her spare time, Mitzi Jo wrote (with Momma Jean’s help)  a book called “A Doggy Daycare Day.”



A Doggy Daycare Day

By L.j. Burns

Illustrated by Andrea Vitali

28 pages – ages 9+

Published by CreateSpace on April 14, 2012

A Doggy Daycare Day is a cute story written from the point of view of Mitzi Jo. Mitzi Jo is a leader in her own family as well as the Doggy Daycare group. She tells all the dogs about the rules when they come to the daycare and then helps her friends follow them. All the dogs at the daycare have different personalities and the reader gets to see what the day is like from their perspective. You get an idea of what happens in a dog’s mind, too. The reader follows Mitzi Jo and her doggy friends as they chase invading squirrels, help dogs calm down, share toys, and much more in this fully illustrated book!

I couldn’t wait to find out more about Mitzi Jo!  Mitzi Jo and Momma Jean let me ask them some interview questions.

bloglogoThank you both for letting me ask you some interview questions! Mitzi Jo, what’s it like running a doggy daycare, and of course, having Momma Jean help you?

mitzi jo inm glassesI love having a purpose in my life.  I am a very social dog and enjoy meeting all the new canines that come to play. Being the leader of our family pack of dogs means I have to explain the rules to all the visiting dogs.


bloglogo It sounds like you have a lot of responsibilities! It must be very interesting being part of a Doggy Daycare. What inspired you to write the book  “A Doggy Daycare Day”?

mitzi jo inm glassesWhile I was greeting a new playmate Momma Jean noticed how well our family of dogs accept new friends. She thought this is no different than human children learning to play together and accepting each other on a playground. She wanted me to share with the human children how much nicer it is to accept each other and use that positive peer pressure to learn to accept each other and our differences.    We have a total of 5 books written but only the first one is in print. In one of our books we have a blind dog and a crippled dog and the other dogs don’t make fun of them but instead help them through the yard.

bloglogo I think you are right! The message in your book, to accept each other, is a great one! Mitzi Jo, have you, or another dog in your immediate family, ever not gotten along with one of the dogs who came for a day? If so, what did you and/or Momma Jean do?

mitzi jo inm glassesMomma Jean usually starts with me to be the first greeting dog. She says if they don’t like me they won’t like the others. Well, we had a Boston Terrier show up one day and he walked in with his human and went to ATTACK me!! He sat there on the end of his leash staring at me. I wouldn’t even look at him so Momma Jean noticed he was a bully and told his human he couldn’t stay.  My human knows to watch my body language to understand what I am feeling.

bloglogo It is a good thing Momma Jean knows you so well! Momma Jean, when did you decide to start a doggy daycare? What is the most important thing you have learned in this business?

mommaThank you Erik for asking me a question too.  I had worked with packs of dogs as a studio animal trainer in Hollywood. The dogs were always glad when I came to work because I would get them out in the yard to play and run with each other.  They were always more content after a little playtime.  When I moved to PA in 2005 I wanted to spend more time with my dogs and offer other families with dogs the chance to let their dogs play too. Dogs can learn from other dogs just like children learn from each other

bloglogoMitzi Jo,  I read on your blog (click HERE to go to the blog) that Momma Jean is a professional animal trainer and you get to work in commercials! Is that hard to do? What’s the best thing you taught Momma Jean?

mitzi jo inm glassesGrabbing all the attention in the room is not difficult for me at all. I love it. I have trained my human to realize that if she wants me to do anything special and on her command then I need to have a dog cookie. Humans work better when they get a paycheck and so do dogs. I told her my dog cookie is my paycheck.    Thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind.

Thank you Mitzi Jo and Momma Jean!

You can Like Mitzi Jo’s Facebook page HERE.

Follow the Doggy Daycare blog HERE.

Find the book on Amazon HERE.

Okay, one more cute one -


Wait! One more -


Now one of the whole family:

Family dogs 2012


Creative Kid Thursday – Meet Illlustrator Taylor Galaska!

6 Feb

Hi there! How’s your day been? Mine has been doing pretty good. Y’know – reading, playing with LEGOs, and all that jazz. Oh yeah – and rejoicing. Why? Because we have Parent-Teacher Conferences today which means that we don’t have to go to school. Yup. NO SCHOOL AGAIN!!! WOO!!! (I could really get used to this…)

Today, do I have a treat for you! I have recently read “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” by Rhonda Paglia. Through Ms. Paglia, I have “met” Taylor Galaska, the illustrator of said book, which was written after the Sandy Hook School Shooting. I was impressed with Taylor’s art skills and also that he and Ms. Paglia turned their skills into a way of helping because all of the profits from the book go to the “Angels in Charge” Scholarship Fund that benefits students graduating from the Newtown School District who want to be elementary school teachers.

littlelambsThe Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission

by Rhonda Paglia and Taylor Galaska

42 pages – ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace on November 26, 2013

I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor as a Creative Kid, because he is 15 now, and was 14 when he illustrated the book.

Erik: Can you tell us about “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission”?

Taylor: “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” is a children’s book written by Rhonda Paglia (a retired teacher) who got the whole story and set-up from God. The vision came to her after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. While Rhonda was praying, she had a vision of God scooping up the children like lambs and taking them to Heaven with Him. The story is dedicated to the fallen teachers, staff, and students. The book is about 20 little lambs (representing the 20 students) who are asked by God to do a very important mission. The ‘Angels in Charge’ are 6 angels (representing the 6 teachers) who inform the lambs of the special mission. God takes the lambs to Heaven and tells them that the people on Earth have forgotten how to love one another. The lambs share the‘BE-attitudes’ that sent love to Earth and then they  run off to have a snack. The story is very relatable in the sense that children love to play and eat a snack after.

Erik: How did you get into illustrating?

Taylor: I have always loved drawing since I was little. And illustrating is just another form of drawing only my art is exposed to and enjoyed by more people. Both of my parents can draw as well.

Erik: You design and sell T-Shirts that donate the profits to an organization for the students and teachers of the Sandy Hook Elementary school. How did you get the idea to sell T-Shirts?

Taylor: I got the idea to design and sell T-shirts after the shooting. Two days after the massacre,  I designed the logo on the front and chose the words for the back. I wanted to create awareness against gun violence everywhere (specifically in schools).

Erik: Who is your favorite artist? How did s/he inspire you?

Taylor: I don’t have a favorite artist, but if I would have to pick an artist it would be Leonardo da Vinci. He inspired me because he did many works portraying religious scenes and figures and in “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” my illustrations are religious images.

Erik: Where did you learn to draw? When did you realize that you could draw very well?

Taylor: I have always like to draw. According to my parents, I began drawing at a very young age. By age 5, I had relatives asking me to draw things for them. I started taking art classes at various places in the community.

Erik: Are you planning on illustrating more books?

Taylor: Rhonda Paglia and I might team up again to write and illustrate a sequel to her newest book called “Doonsey’s Beach Adventure, the Great Rescue”.

Erik: What would you like to be when you grow up?

Taylor: When I get older, I am not exactly sure what I want to do. Being an illustrator, architect, something in the medical field or something with history are professions I am considering.

More About Taylor:

I am a 15 year old freshman at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, PA. I like to read, draw, and go to the movies with friends. I also collect antiques from everywhere in the United States. However, I specifically like to collect antiques from Sharon, PA where I live. I do a lot of volunteer work in my community. I volunteer at Sharon Regional Health System and am a part of many clubs at my school such as Action Club, Art Club, Environmental Science Club, and Spanish Club. I also participate in the Youngstown State University English Festival and the Pro-Life “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. and was awarded many awards including me meeting Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. to receive a letter congratulating me on my work with my T-shirt fundraiser. I am an altar server at St. Joseph’s Church in Sharon, PA where I received an award for outstanding commitment and work for the church and parish.

To learn more about Rhonda Paglia and all her books, please visit her Facebook page, click HERE, or her website, click HERE.

To learn more about “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission,” click HERE.


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