Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I've heard and seen several discussions about whether or not regifting is okay and I can give a definite answer; it depends.
To some people (like me) gifts are one of the primary ways they express love to other people, so not keeping something they give you is like rejecting their love. If they ever found out that had happened, they would be extremely hurt. Exchanging a gift for something else if it didn't fit or duplicated something else is probably okay, but that would depend on the giver's personality and relationship with the receiver.
Even people who use gifts to express love sometimes give things to others as a matter of politeness or social necessity. A gift from a co-worker or casual acquaintance could certainly be passed on to someone else without causing a problem.
And if it's obvious that the giver wouldn't care if something is passed on to somebody else, then it's okay to do that.
But many gifts should be treasured even if they aren't what the receiver would have chosen because they show the importance of the relationship with the person who gave them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taking a Break

I'm not planning to blog this week because I'll be busy celebrating the holiday. I hope you have a wonderful, Merry Christmas. (Even people who don't celebrate that holiday, are allowed to be happy on December 25th and I hope you will be.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frederico, the Mouse Violinist

My internet friend, Mayra Calvani, sent me a pdf of her newest book, Frederico, the Mouse Violinist, and I love it!
Frederico is a mouse who watches the famous Stradivari make the finest violins in the world and longs to play one himself. Although a mouse is far too small to play a violin, Frederico keeps trying and one day.... well, I won't give away the ending.
The illustrator, K.C. Snyder, combines cute mouse and realistic violin pictures to convey both the fictional story and factual information perfectly.
This book contains just enough about violins and how they work to be both informative and entertaining for kids. It would make a great gift for children from four to eight years old, especially if they're interested in music.
The book is available at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/frederico.htm

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This may be a bit controversial but I highly recommend the methods suggested in the free, downloadable books at www.bullies2buddies.com for handling problems with bullies. Although no method works 100 percent of the time, I've seen this one work on several occasions. It applies to both kids and adults (all bullying isn't physical) and I hope anyone who is a victim or knows kids who are will consider trying it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

Yes, I know people say Christmas cards will soon be replaced by e-cards. Yes, I admit I sometimes send e-cards to people myself. Yes, addressing a lot of envelopes does take some time. And, yes, buying the cards and paying for postage can cost quite a bit.
I don't believe Christmas cards will become extinct, at least not in the near future.
There's something about opening the envelopes and holding greetings from close friends and family, especially people we haven't seen in a while, that means more than clicking on an electronic message. And displaying Christmas cards helps decorate homes for the holidays in a way that reminds us of people we love and the history we have with them.
So I may send e-cards to internet friends, people whose snail-mail addresses I don't have, and some acquaintances, but I'll be sure to send at least a few traditional cards to people who share my memories and are close to my heart.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Once and Future King

I hadn't read The Once and Future King in many years, but recently got it off my shelf and have been enjoying it again. I was surprised to see that the original copyright date was 1939 (Now that I'm an author I check things like that) because I probably got this edition around 1960. Since the book is fantasy, when it was written probably doesn't make much difference.
T.H. White did an excellent job of capturing the feeling of England during the time of King Arthur and, with a little willing suspension of disbelief, the book could be considered historical fiction. It makes me feel like I'm actually meeting the characters, real and fictional, and watching the exciting events in their everyday lives.
The book has quite a bit of romance and some violence, so it's not appropriate for younger readers but lots of kids old enough to read over 600 pages will enjoy it.
It's easy to see why this version of the classical Knights of the Round Table stories has become a classic itself.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How Can I Tell Kids The Truth About Santa?

When I was three years old my mother took me Christmas shopping in New York City and at each of the big department stores I waited in line and told Santa Claus what I wanted him to bring me for Christmas.
As we hurried up the busy sidewalk between stores I asked my mother how Santa could get from one store to another so quickly. She explained, "Those are just Santa's representatives. Santa Claus is really the Spirit of Christmas."
I wasn't sure what that meant but was satisfied with the answer.
As an adult of course I understand that Christmas is about far more than gifts and carols. While there are many books for children about the Nativity story, there aren't many that can help children understand what the religious aspect of Christmas has to do with Santa Claus.
My picture book, Secret Service Saint, helps kids understand the truth about Santa Claus and discover the joy of secret giving. In this time of economic problems I hope it will help children realize that there is more to Christmas than getting presents.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Be There Bedtime Stories

As a grandmother who lives over a hundred miles from her kids I'm excited to hear about Be There Bedtime Stories, a new way to read to your children or grandchildren when you aren't physically with them. This will also be a great way for people in the military service or who must travel a lot to be an active part of their children's lives. And it will probably be a comfort to children in hospitals, too.
I'm please that some of my own books will be available in this format, although they aren't there yet.
If you're interested in learning more, here's the link:

Signs of Trouble

A review of my newest book, Signs of Trouble, appeared on Children's and Teens Book Connections today. Here's the link: