Jenny Kane & Jennifer Ash

Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: picture book

London Hat Hunting Mission Blog Tour: Interview with Winnie Mak Tselikas

Today I’m welcoming Winnie Mak Tselikas to my site to chat a little about her brand new children’s book, London Hat Hunting Mission, as part of her fabulous blog tour.

Let’s get started…

What inspired you to write your book?

I am Chinese from Hong Kong and my husband is half French half Greek, we have a 3-yr old son. Having grown up in a traditional Chinese family and now having my own multicultural family gave me food for thought on my own cultural root, role as a mum, and the world I want my son to be in. I believe the world can become a better place when people can better appreciate themselves as they are and at the same time respect the differences in others. So when I found that I couldn’t find a nice black rag doll for my son easily, it inspired me to create multicultural doll characters so that children from different part of the world can be represented in toys and books.

When I first moved to London, the diversity of people I got to meet here amazed me. The idea of this story in London comes naturally when I want to write a storybook that explores cultural diversity.

Do you model any of your characters after people you know? If so, do these people see themselves in your characters?

I chose the name of one character after my Indian friend. I develop the characters base on an existing personality model, so each character has his/her own personality. For example, Lea is logical and analytical while Parth likes hands on experience.

Have you always loved hats??

I don’t love hats in particular but I find it an illustrative way to introduce cultural diversity to children on picture books. I also like to imagine everyone having a unique invisible hat that controls how we think. While each of us has a different hat, I can’t really expect other people think like I do.

What excites you the most about your book?

It excites me each time when I hear from parents or teachers that they think positively of my book. I am also happy to receive plenty of interest from schools when I approach them on an upcoming book tour around London, so the opportunities to tell the story in front of a big group of children excite me too!

Any more books on the horizon?

My plan is to make the Adventure in One Dear World a series for the dolls and Mr Globe to travel around the world! I will probably set the scene of my next book in Paris. Later on, I would like to incorporate more cultural elements such as language, food, festivals in the future books/products I develop so children can have an all round experience through the stories.

Blurb :

Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

 The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.

Buy Link: https://onedearworld.com/products/childrensbook-london-hat-hunting-mission 

Amazon UK –https://amzn.to/2HbY6e6

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Links:

Homepage: https://www.onedearworld.com

Bio:

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/onedearworld

www.twitter.com/onedearworld

www.instagram.com/onedearworld

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(This is a Rachel’s Ransom Resources Blog Tour)

Don’t forget to catch every leg of the blog tour!

Happy reading,

Jenny x

 

The Moon Lantern: Beautiful children’s picture book

My lovely friend and fellow author, Loreley Amiti, is with me today- and she has a very special offer for UK readers…

Hello everyone, and thanks for having me, Jenny! How is this usually busy season treating you all?

You are very welcome. The Christmas is chaos as usual hun – but good chaos!

It’s surely a very different December for me compared to two years ago when we moved to into a quirky house from the 1950’s. My daughter, who was only two years old at the time, was fascinated with the “secret cupboard” in her nursery. It didn’t matter how often my husband tried to explain to her that this small door in the wall was only for pipes or storage. She was convinced that there was a whole world inside the cupboard and it would lead somewhere beyond the darkness.

Just after we had moved in, my daughter got very poorly and ended up in hospital. It was a dark, windy night with a full moon, when we were lying in her hospital bed, looked out of the window and I told her the story of a little girl who moved house and discovered a secret cupboard in the wall. Inside there was a glittery tunnel that led to her old bedroom, where everything was safe and warm. It was the first draft of my children’s book “The Moon Lantern” – long before I even thought about publishing it one day.

The story has changed a little since. The little girl in the book moves house on the first night of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. I felt the story needed more light and Chanukah is very festive in our house. In addition, every illustration is being photobombed by a hilariously grumpy cat, which isn’t impressed with anything at all.

This story has certainly brought a bit more magic into our house and I hope it will do the same for my youngest readers. As a special festive gift to you, I’m giving away signed copies for only £7, including postage (UK only, 2nd class). Only until the 10th December (or until I run out of stock).

Whatever you’re celebrating or if you’re simply enjoying the many festive lights, I hope you have a truly magical season!

Loreley Amiti xx

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If you would like one of these beautiful books signed, and discounted, (and you live in the UK) then please leave a comment below with your email address. 

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What a fantastic offer. I’ve read this lovely book- it’s beautiful.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

OUT NOW!! Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure

Yippee!!! Ryan and I have written our second children’s book

OUT NOW!!

 

Ben’s stomach won’t stop rumbling in the middle of the night. As he lies in bed, Ben begins to plan how he can secretly sneak a biscuit from the biscuit tin.

But Ben is only seven, and rather short, and the biscuit tin is hidden at the very back of the highest shelf of the tallest cupboard in the kitchen. Working out how to reach the tin is going to take a lot of imagination…string, tape, springs, and maybe even some stilts…

 Title Page

 

Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure was inspired during my time baby sitting (well, child sitting really), for my best friend’s two boys, Ben and Daniel.  The lengths they’d go to in their attempts to persuade me that they really were allowed extra biscuits before bed could have won an Oscar!

As with There’s a Cow in the Flat, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure has been illustrated by the brilliant Ryan Doherty. I just love how he has brought my characters alive.

page8- Ben and DanMany thanks to Ryan, and to Hush Puppy Books for helping turn Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure into a ‘reality.’

You can order your copy of Ben’s Biscuit Tin direct from Hush Puppy Books, or via Amazon at-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ben-s-Biscuit-Tin-Adventures/dp/1610982142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438324164&sr=1-1&keywords=Ben%27s+Biscuit+Tin+Adventure

http://www.amazon.com/Ben-s-Biscuit-Tin-Adventures/dp/1610982142/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438324466&sr=8-1&keywords=Ben%27s+Biscuit+Tin+Adventure

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Happy bedtime story reading,

Jenny xx

COMING SOON: Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure

Fanfare please!!

fanfare

I am delighted to be able to announce that my second children’s picture book, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure is on its way!

At this very moment the printer is zipping it through its machine, so it will be available for pre-order really soon!!

Title Page

Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure was inspired during my time baby sitting (well, child sitting really), for my best friend’s two boys.  The lengths they’d go to in their attempts to persuade me that they really were allowed extra biscuits before bed could have won an Oscar!

I originally wrote this story as a gift for the real Ben’s birthday. It was printed on plain paper with brightly coloured words, and plenty of spaces so he could add his own pictures. I never dreamt Ben’s story would be published one day.

As with There’s a Cow in the Flat, Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure has been illustrated by the brilliant Ryan Doherty. I just love how he has brought my characters alive.

Many thanks to Ryan, and to Hush Puppy Books for helping turn Ben’s Biscuit Tin Adventure into a ‘reality.’

As soon as I have a pre-order link I will let you all know!

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Who’s Gonna Tell The Kids?

Who’s gonna tell the kids?

By Richard Wagner, M.Div., Ph.D.

“People’s deepest fears about death and dying often spring straight from a traumatic childhood incident or misshapen belief about the end of life that was passed on to them when they were kids.”

I often talk about how postponing any thoughtful consideration of our death till it’s too late, can have disastrous consequences for us in terms of preparing for the inevitable.  I addressed how our death-denying culture provides precious few opportunities for us to deal healthily with our mortality before it comes crashing in on us.

richard

Why is dealing with death so hard for us?  Early childhood messages about death sure don’t help.  Think phantoms, skeletons, things that go bump in the night, and specter of hell and damnation.  From a young age, most of us have had it drilled into our heads that we shouldn’t ask questions or even talk about death because it’s either inappropriate, it’ll bring bad luck, or worse, hasten death.

How many times, as a child, did a relative, family friend, or even a beloved family pet simply disappear, never to be heard from or spoken of again?  Or perhaps you were told that the absent loved one is now in heaven or asleep with the angels, the “D” word being avoided like Aunt Agnes’s infamous tuna surprise?  Or maybe, when you were a kid, you were told that someone you knew had died, but that you wouldn’t be able to go to the funeral because that was no place for kids.  And how much of the confusion, bewilderment, and unresolved grief from your childhood are you still carrying around with you today?  Is it any wonder that, when faced with the prospect of our own death, we often feel like we’ve been ordered to belt out our swan song without ever having an opportunity to learn the tune.

art of death

In the first chapter of my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying, I ask my readers to confront head-on the un-golden silence that surrounds the end of life.  I invite them to consider the early messages they got about death and dying.  I ask; how old were you when you first heard about or witnessed these things?  What were the messages you picked up about death and dying from the movies or television?  People often report that their deepest fears about death spring straight from a traumatic childhood incident or misshapen belief about the end of life that was passed on to them when they were kids.  And, not surprisingly, most people report that they continue to carry these fears with them as adults.

I believe that’s criminal.  I also believe that there is a better way to handle this delicate matter with young people than avoiding it, sidestepping it, or perpetuating a misconception.  I believe we can break the vicious cycle of our culture’s death phobia by refusing to contaminate another generation with it.  It would take a concerted effort, of course, and it would mean that we would have to resolve ourselves of our own fears first, but I believe it’s doable.

A good place to begin this effort is with the stories we read to and tell our children.  Stories, both written and recited, become the basis of our children’s understanding of the world.  Stories contribute to their language development as well as their critical thinking, and coping skills. Death and grief are particularly thorny subjects to communicate to children, not because our children are incapable of grasping the message, but because we, the adult storytellers, are often unprepared for, or uncomfortable with, the topics ourselves.

To address this problem, I developed a workshop titled:  Exploring Death and Grief Through the Medium of the Children’s Story.  In this workshop I help adults choose age specific messaging and images for their storytelling.  I help them mold the basic concepts about death and bereavement into the arc of their story.  And finally, I offer the workshop attendees tips on writing and illustrating their own story with the kids in their life.

Longfellow cover

By way of example, I share with my audience my latest children’s story, Longfellow And The Deep Hidden Woods.  (http://www.hushpuppybooks.com/our-books/longfellow-and-the-deep-hidden-woods/)  This is the story of Longfellow, the bravest and noblest wiener dog in the world.  As my story begins, Longfellow is a puppy learning how to be a good friend to his human companions; old Henry and Henry’s nurse Miss O’weeza Tuffy.  By the end of the story, Longfellow has grown old himself, but he is still ready for one final adventure.  What happens in between throws a tender light on the difficult truths of loss and longing as well as on our greatest hopes.  Curiously enough, all the adults who have read my story say they think it’s actually a book for adults.  Maybe so!  I can be really subversive like that.

Writing and illustrating a children’s story with your kids and grandkids can be an amazing bonding experience for both the adult and the child, but this is especially true when the topics are death and bereavement.  It’s a project that will open the door to a life-long appreciation for and the affirmation of life, especially it’s final season.  The discussion that will be part of your story-writing project will also help you reshape the coming generation’s perceptions about the end of life.  It may also help you rethink the early message you received about death and dying when you were a kid.

My workshop ends with one proviso.  I caution the adults in my workshop not to wait until there’s a pressing need for the story writing or telling.  I encourage them to start now, before grandpa or the beloved family pet is dead.  I suggest that they get a jump on this project right away.  Because, if they do, it won’t appear to their kids like they are trying to play catch up when death comes calling.  I mean think about it; we don’t hold off teaching young people arithmetic till they get their first job making change at the grocery or the fast food counter, right?

Try to imagine how writing a story about death and grief with your kids or grandkids will change the trajectory of their life in terms of their understanding of this fundamental fact of life.  Imagine if someone asks your kids or grand kids, twenty or forty years from now, what their earliest memories about death and dying are.  Surely they will think back fondly on the time they spent with you as you helped them understand the marvelous cycle of life.

Will this one exercise inoculate your kids or grand kids from all the culturally induced fears, apprehensions and superstitions that abound in our death-phobic society?  Probably not!  But as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Many many thanks to you Richard for visiting today.

I have had the privilege of reading Longfellow already- it’s a great book, with some simply gorgeous illustrations.

If you’d like to buy Longefellow and the Deep Hidden Woods, it is available from many retailers including…

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Longfellow-Hidden-Woods-Richard-Wagner-ebook/dp/B00HAPZR92/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393953970&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=longfellow+and+the+deep+dark+woods

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/Longfellow-Hidden-Woods-Richard-Wagner-ebook/dp/B00HAPZR92/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393954050&sr=1-1&keywords=longfellow+and+the+deep+hidden+woods

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Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

 

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