Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Pizza Bowl:

The cupboard was bare.
The pantry was sparse.
The jellybean holder was empty and dark.
The freezer was lonely.
The icebox was grim. 
The cookie jar's crumbs were asleep on our chins. 
With nothing to eat and nothing to do, we looked at each other with neither a clue. 
A was for awkward 
 B was for bored
  C was for car-ride with mom to the 
  Store. 
But mom said "no no, 
Go outside & play."
Remember we only get one meal a day. 
You're father is working for pennies 
Right now.  
Just enough to buy bread and some pickle loaf chow. 

But we hated pickleloaf chow all the time. 
We wanted something that would perk up our minds. 
Some food somewhat sweet and some not so bland. 
So we set out to spy and explore all the land. 
We walked down the sidewalk and over the hill and turned several corners until we were thrilled,
to find a great land right before us indeed. 
A land that my sister and I'd never seen. 
 It looked like a jungle, but smelled like a rose, a forested treasure just right down our road.
The neighbor their watching said
"Don't you go in."
But we were so hungry and we'd never been,
To such a fine place, it had to have food.
It had to have raspberry vines or the wrappers of charleston chews. 
Smell them we would,
and sniff their great smell.
Lick off their leftover, sugary gel.  
Or maybe some doughnuts were waiting in there.
Or boxes of raisins our family could share. 
We'd never know unless we went in,
So that's what we did, both me and my twin. 


Inside the woods the most beautiful green, came down from some trees
That were minty supreme!
We'd never seen mint trees,
But that's what they were, 
With bark made of chocolate and 
Roots made of fur. 
But those were not roots!
On looking closer, we saw some great tails sticking out from the fur. 
These tails were attached to some bodies for sure, 
Some bodies that were halfway asleep in the earth.  
Off down the trail, we heard a loud bell.
A bell that was ringing so loud you could tell, 
That bell sound was calling these tails hooked to fur. 
For right at that moment they rose from the earth and showed their white faces with eyes so alert!
They looked like raccoons, but they were bigger, 
than any raccoon that we'd ever heard!
They smiled at us, and shot down the trail.  
They ran towards the sound of the echoing Bell. 
There had to be food,
Wherever they went.  
So we got on our way,
and we tracked their footprints. 


The footprints of those furry coons led us in,
To a towering cave where we heard a small wren.
These are the words that she told us that day,
These words that she told us made us want to stay:
"Everything living in our forest home, 
Is Teeming with life,
Right down to the bone. 
And when you go into this cave you must know.
That you Can forget all your perilous woes.  
For this peaceful kingdom is one to Behold!


At that very moment a light flashed like knives. 
The light came from 300 bright, glowing eyes. 
Their leader looked at us without much surprise. 
His racoonish face was whiter than lies.  
"My friends you have entered the cave of Gracoon, for this is our kingdom and these are our spoons.
We're using them now to fill up a large bowl. 
A bowl so important we thought you should know, just how it works and how it became,
The bowl that you now see before you with fame."

"A long time ago when our forefathers sought, to find a nice home for their Gracoonish lot. 
They found this fine home with the forest and cave. 
But there was no food,
So they had to slave, to find some smart way to feed all their young. 
They searched through The cave
They dug and they dug 
And this is the treasure that they came upun.  
From deep in a well
In the darkest of depths
A metal did flow from 
A hole in a crest 
The metal was liquid till it hit the ground. 
And then it would harden and turn rather round. 

The shape of a bowl,
Without hands was wrought. 
A rock from the ceiling
Of that very spot,
Fell into the bowl and 
Guess what appeared?
A thin slice of Pizza Supreme,
Oh my dears'!
Another rock fell and
Right in its place, 
Some pizza showed up
In this bowl with a trace,
Of garlic and peppers,
Of green olives too,
With mushrooms aplenty,
With salsberry Splue. 
A small hint of clover,
And tomato chunks, 
Were piled up so high that we ate 
With a hunch,
That this was the grandest of bowls ever made. 
Feed us it would till the end of our days. 
Or so we had thought,
And so we had hoped. 

But someone slid in,
On the end of a rope.  
And spied on the trophy that fed all our throats. 
The next nite they came, and before we could wake. 
Those shadowy shadows removed our keepsake. 
The very next morning I gathered my troops. 
We pointed our tails and we put on our boots. 
And one tiny boy by the name of Grakon, revealed he had seen those someones that we sought. 
He said he could lead us for he knew the smell,
The scent of the the Pizzular bowl oh so well. 
He would use his black nose to sniff out our foes.  
For our eyes could not ever spot such shadows. 
Those shadowy souls did not need our bowl.
Everyone knows that shadows can't eat. 
For they have no mouth, and they have no teeth. 

He led us on down into a vast hall,
His nose through the darkness detected a wall,
A wall made of charcoal and licorice dots, of feathers from crows and oily socks... The work of the shadows we knew right away, for everything here was as black as a grave. 
We hollowed the wall with our thingamajoof, a blade used for hollowing walls that hide Spooks. 
On the other side of that wall just what did we see? 
Three thousand shadowy souls fast asleep. 
And right in the middle of their fortress grand, a pillar stood tall in the shape of a hand.  
On top of the hand sat a blue marble bowl, 
The one with the power to make pizzas whole!

But how could we get back our treasure supreme?
Who had the courage from our little team?
The boy named Grakon stepped up and he said
"I know how to do it, without fear or dread" 
I'll strap that Thingamajoof onto my head. I'll tunnel beneath this here shadowy bed. Without detection, I'll chip thru their floor, take back what is ours and walk out their back door."
And that's what he did on that shadowy day. 
The courage of youngsters was put on display. 
He silently tunneled beneath their domain. Right up through the pillar and up through the hand, he stood for one second and did a fun dance. 
He tucked the fair pizza bowl under his arm, came back through the ground, and we
ran with alarm. 
We ran to keep our special bowl safe from harm. 
And all the way back we thought to
Ourselves, "Grakon is a model
Of courage and stealth, he's saved the most fabulous piece of our wealth.  And by doing so he's preserved all our health, for now we'll eat pizza so much we will belch."

The Pizza Bowl that they fearlessly stole,
Is ours now, it's ours once again!
But we are not selfish
And we are not mean,
We see how you two 
 are so awfully lean!
You haven't had much 
food to fill You for days!
And we want to help you
Get rid of those ways. 
So please take this Pizza Bowl 
now As our gift. 
It gives for forever.
Your bellies will lift!
Invite all your neighbors and family and friends,
And feast on the gifts from this Bowl's Splendor Splends!
The splendorful Pizza Bowl's gifts never end!

And that's what we did, my sister and I. 
We made our way home in the twink of an eye. 
We entered our house and we sang a loud song. 
So loud that the whole town would soon sing along:
Pizza for lunch, pizza for dinner,
Pizza each cold snowy day in the winter. 
Pizza with love.  Pizza with life. 
Pizza for snacks in the middle of nights!
The next time you find that you haven't much food. 
Come to our house, we'd love to include. 
The next time you hear from your belly a growl, 
Remember the pizza bowl feeds at all hours!
The next time you see that your cabinets aren't full, 
Please try some pizza that comes from a bowl. 
The next time you hear someone say 
"Don't go in there"
Remember what good comes to those who take dares!






Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Broken Cart. Book 5 in The Artt of Early Learning Series...Written by D.A. Batrowny, Illustrated by M. Hernandez



















As Smart Artt grows up, his adventures become more and more exciting and unique. And help impress upon both child and parent readers, that childhood can and should be a time of new excitement that is also a fun learning process. Who can deny the sheer joy of attending a circus for the first time?  As usual, Artt not only attends, but becomes an active participant in his first circus experience. As he engages with a variety of animals, he uses his wit to fix problems that would challenge a child who's parents had not worked with him to develop his outlook and abilities. Smart Art never sets out on adventures for the sheer purpose of mischief, but mainly to be helpful. And by doing so, sets a splendid example for children who will read about him and view him as their friend. Not to be overlooked in this book series is the fantastic work of the illustrator, Diana M. Hern├índez, who brings each new experience in Smart Artt's life alive in such a poignant and precise way.

Don't Touch That Dart- Book 4 of The Artt of Early Learning Series...Written by D.A. Batrowny, Illustrated by Diana M. Hernandez




















This story of our beloved Smart Artt explores some of the greatest fears and grandest adventures of Parents and Children. In this case, the fear of what may happen when we leave our youngster in someone's care, even if it is a close relative.  And the adventure of exploring and getting into things that all children of vibrancy enjoy, which can often lead to scary results. Fortunately in this case, Smart Art's antics, brought about by his usual intelligent and curious nature, end happily. Even if it does end with his Aunt clutching to the ceiling fan for dear life! Find out what happens in between and enjoy this author's increasing use of humor, as you share in another adventure with her developmental genius, Smart Art.

The Artt of Early Learning Series- The Lemon Tart, (Book 3) Written by D.A. Batrowny, Illustrated by Diana M. Hernandez



















Having read and reviewed the previous two books in this series, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to continue sharing thoughts on these truly special works. Once again, this book is presented in a fashion that is just as much helpful to a parent as it is a child. The introductory comments as well as the concluding words include information that will help parents of young children develop good qualities in their child from the beginning, and to recognize milestones in the development, or the lack of reaching these milestones so they can know how to proceed with the work they must do.  In this story, Smart Artt not only shows intellect, but also thoughtfulness in helping the other children in his Nursery to feel better during a crying episode. He uses what's available to him, what he has at hand to work with... in this case a delicious lemony desert, and friendly black dog named Onyx, to get the job done. Smart Art once again proves to be a leader and helper among his peers, and teaches a lesson of ingenuity at the same time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Stumps of Flattop Hill..Written by Kenneth Kit Lamug & What YOU can do About Bullying by Max & Zoey...Written by Ari Magnusson







The Stumps of Flattop Hill..by Kenneth Kit Lamug:

I have always enjoyed stories where humans get transformed into something or someone else. Trolls changed into stone in The Hobbit, an elf princess changed into a tree in The Elfstones of Shannara, a doctor changed into a terrible and formidable green beast-man in the Incredible Hulk. There is something supremely frightening and terrific about this concept. The above examples are not given to compare the triumph of a story under a review to them, but to show how using this idea of a person changing so drastically can be used with much success. This is the case here, where the kids exploring Flattop Hill dare Florence to enter it's harrowing palace of doom. Proving more courageous than her taunts, she does just that. Encountering beasts and spooks of unique variety along the way, she winds her way to the top of the house where the resulting encounter with an otherworldly entity transforms her in a wonderful? Or horrible? Way. That is the beauty I found within these pages, as they seem to leave it to the reader to decide whether Florence's final outcome was good or not. Was it a relief for her to be transformed or a prison sentence for daring to travel to the heights of the forbidden mansion?  The picture illustration style found here recalls echoes of Poe's greatest daydreams and nightmares.







What YOU can do about Bullying by Max and Zoe..Written by Ari Magnusson

If you have the privilege to traverse the instructional and eye-opening world of Bullying being exposed here, you will be  most likely 100 times more informed on the subject than  anyone you know. And you can have that privilege, because the link for purchasing this incomparable teaching tool on this subject is just a click away in the right-hand column. As someone who had endured a good deal of mistreatment at the hands of several classmates, I was very intrigued by the approach that Ari took to the action of bullying, which like many actions, begins with an idea and an emotion on the part of the one bullying. This is just a fraction of what I learned here.  Did you realize that there are different types of bullying, reasons why it is carried out, numerous motives involved, and a number of ways it can be prevented and successfully dealt with? The book does an outstanding job of not criminalizing the bully, but trying to give the reader an open insight into what he is feeling without excusing his or her behavior. The book is written in a comic style format, which will appeal to early grade children, and is presented in such a systematic way that it can almost be entitled "The Dictionary of Bullying." The impressive thing about the writer's undertaking of this subject was that it was not something he entered into on his own whim.  But being an expert on the subject, he was approached by a group of individuals who were concerned about the public's understanding of the subject, confident that he was the right one to take on the task of explaining the subject of bullying from the most hidden details of it's nature. At the end of the book is extra information for adults and parents confronted with the bullying of those in their care, and how they can use this book in the best possible way to help them.  This is the most comprehensive guide you will find written on this matter, and if it's not that, it is certainly the most interesting and enjoyable for children and adults.

Entering the Fascinating World of Handmade Books...Yuba Sutter & Sleepykakes


Hello again! I wanted to introduce everyone to my new adventure! Handmade Books! I have written and illustrated two new books entitled Yuba Sutter & Sleepykakes respectively. Samples of both are pictured above and can be purchased at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RRHowroarsKidsBooks

Both are made to order though I do have several copies in stock. These books were constructed using cardstock paper, papersack and cardstock envelopes for the protective sleeves. Also I used construction paper, watercolor pencils, and hemp thread to bind. The artwork style is something I haven't seen used hardly at all, and that is something I don't know what to call other than "pictoral bordering." I would describe this as a doodling illustration that surrounds the text of the story, often in a circular or oval fashion.  I would love feed back from other writers on what I am trying to do, or anyone who has any suggestions. More handmade books to come, so keep checking in for updates, and I would love if all of you would follow me on Instagram which is tag @rrhowroar  Or https://www.instagram.com/rrhowroar/   Where I will be posting even more about my own writings than on this blog. Thank you everyone for visiting my blog and for your patience with me as I try to raise three kids, operate a business, write kid's books, and operate this blog!

 
 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Piggy Sense! Save it for a Rainy Day...By Reed Abbitt Moore



This is an outstanding rhyming, teaching, presentation on the importance of managing money properly for children. The book does an excellent job of striking a balance between over reliance on money and the need to be wise with whatever meager funds a youngster might attain. There is a difference between being obsessed with money and using it as a powerful tool for good in your life. And this is something that children must be taught. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants help in teaching their child this lesson. Shown here is the profound reality that even a small amount can grow into a big one, and this does involve hard work. It doesn't just happen by accident. Money is usually managed better when derived from the profits of personal hard work. And what was not forgotten is that when everyone was looking for funds to pay their debts and obligations, the young boy featured here was in a position to help others in need because he had managed his assets wisely. Aside from the main story there are other useful tools in financial training, including motivating quotes to help your young one and you use Piggy Sense! If you like the sound of this book, you can support this author at the link to the right. And please don't forget to leave a review of your own on his Amazon page! More reviews are gold for new and independent authors!

An excerpt from a new book I am writing- Yuba Sutter



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Pirate Train...Written by Nicole Fisk, with Jack Fisk....Illustrated by Chad Vivas



This is at the top of the list of books that I've personally enjoyed reading and reviewing. I read it three times and forgot that I was reading it to provide a review in the process.
This rhyming story from its highly educated author is a showcase in originality and precision. If you don't love pirates, you will still love this book. And if, like myself, you are fascinated by pirates and their lore, you will love this even more. Displaying an exceptional knowledge of pirate lingo, Nicole weaves together a sequence of rhyme patterns that are never forced or clumsy. This story, without giving it away, teaches in a fun way how a family can adapt and change courses in life if things aren't working out as planned. And it does this in such an imaginative way that you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who's come up with the notion and main idea presented here. Enjoy this today by following the Amazon link to the right, and be sure to leave a review. Chances are it will you'll give it an A+ like I did.

Our Traveling Adventure to the Magical Forest- Written by Roger & Becky Berger. Illustrated by Antara Majumder
















Come with Tatiana and Chelsea on an adventure you won't soon forget. Singing and following clues from a special instruction of riddles that leads them to the Magical Forest. This is a marvelously interactive book with engaging illustrations that portray children involved in the most fun wild goose chase of all time. Readers of this book are even rewarded with a free audio book version. This presentation is also educational in it's information of different aspects of the earth and it's forces. Singing, nature education, and adventure! What else can you ask for when reading too or with your child?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jacob and Sam. A Friendship Story. Written by Kristi O'Callahan. Illustrated by James Corless



This is a beautiful story for anyone who would like to learn more about interaction with
Autistic children. Told from the standpoint of Jacob, the new kid at his school, and a caring one at that. Not deterred by the challenge of being the new kid, Jacob immediately takes an interest in Sam, who doesn't return the interest. Jacob then finds a way to engage Sam with the help of his teacher that truly provides a great lesson of how to involve special-needs children and help them feel a part of the group. As the story points out, using our imagination is one of the best ways to do this. The bright and colorful illustrations wonderfully compliment the story being told and the atmosphere surrounding the two main characters. This book is highly recommended for any parent, friend, or relative of someone with autism or special needs. And I look forward to many more publications on this subject from this author, who herself is a professional in this field.

Monday, January 25, 2016

#BabyLove: My Social Life. By Corine Dehghanpisheh



This book is a perfect reflection of the times we are living in with their all embracing focus on technology.  What does a baby care about technology? His or her first home was one of darkness, and now they are exposed to all the bright, unexpected lights of phones, tablets, or computer screens. The lights may draw them at first, but as this great statement of a book notes, a baby mainly wants natural attention and affection from their parents. Does a baby, who cannot read yet, care anything about how many likes his or her photo received on Instagram?  Of course not! They just want your undivided love!  While technology is fun and helpful and surely has its place, the fine message contained here can help parents and children to be balanced in their use of it.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Twigond... Written by R.R. Howroar..inspired by the art of Jessica Olip Booth

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Twigond-
Deep in the shadows of Gerfenschwartz Spire,
There lies a chasm of mud and of fire
A cave so serene..so sleepy and still,
That all of its travelers think they are ill,
When they fall asleep so quickish and fast
And when they are woken, they are not the same.
There selves are quite different, except for their brains.
For they can still think, with thoughts like before,
But now they have bodies that look like a floor.
Now they are quite part of the floor of this cave,
The one they walked into when feeling so brave.
 
But Twigond had other plans for these folks..
He gives them a honey they breathe in like smoke.
When they fall asleep from his honey-like smoke,
And he puts them into his machine with it's ropes,
All of it's springs and it's sprockets and spokes.
At the bottoms a monster who will only tell jokes,
So that these sorry folks will feel better before,
They come out of this device that turns folks into floors.
 
Its mixes your DNA with the dirt of the cave.
And spits you right out where you always will lay,
Another poor capture of Twigond the Bear,
Who makes every sad someone who enters with dare,
Into a part of the floor of his Lair!
 
 
 
 
The above splendid painting is by Jessica Olip Booth,
And you can view her artwork at jolipbooth.com or on Pinterest
Please let me know if you would like your art featured on this blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Annalise's Up and Down Day...by Denise L. Jenne. Illustrated by Julie Iannone





















The daily events in a happy child's life are like precious jewels that can be taken out and viewed as they grow older. This we are reminded of when reading the story under discussion. An interesting take on the words "up" and "down* that also gives us a glimpse of the activities that Annalise enjoys during a particular summer day. Instead of playing video games or watching television all day, Annalise enjoys a large variety of unique and educational things, such as bug watching, playing guitar, and gardening. This is a wonderful suggestion for parents who wish for their children to not be glued to technology or electronic media only. Annalise could be any young girl, in any neighborhood during summer, but the quality of the illustrations make her an individual person being referred to, as suggested by the author's introductory comments. Join Annalise as she experiences being "up" and "down" and everything in between!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Making Mindful Magic: mindful activities for children. Written & Illustrated by Lea McKnoulty

















When we are very young our sense of time is much slower. Going to Kindergarten, Learning to drive, moving out on our own, all seem like milestones somewhere deep in the eternal future.  As we age, and especially as we experience taking care of a child or perhaps a parent, our awareness of the passage of time is increased rapidly. Time does not physically move any faster, but our familiarity with it somehow causes it to feel that way, according to my limited understanding and experience on the matter. These truths caused me to read about the subject of mindfulness found above eagerly, wondering if it would somehow present a "cure" to the speed of time issue.
This practice of mindfulness being encouraged here by Lea McKnoulty, a mother of three and early childhood professional, is indeed an aid to not only slowing down time, but of making the time we have at present more meaningful and enjoyable. Within this book are several activities that can help both child and adult to learn to soak in the present tense, without interference from the future. And the subject of learning to not be in a hurry and to embrace the unique gifts of nature and quietude are approached with exquisite development. The end of the section with verse and illustrated ideas holds thoughts on how parents can help their children to develop these practices even further, to their mutual benefit. The calm and peaceful  quality of the illustrations sets the tone for an earthy book and cooperates beautifully with the tone of the subject of mindfulness.
As Jack Kerouac put it "Let the mind beware... the circumstances of life are pretty glorious."