Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

 Like nearly everyone else who blogs, I'm mentioning giving thanks in today's blog post, but with a slight difference.  I'd like to share something I posted several years ago in September about some incidents I experienced. I hope reading that post will inspire others as remembering what happened still inspires me.

Here's the link:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Count One, Two, Three With Me

This picture book by Connie Arnold is a cute way to teach young kids how to count. Children will enjoy seeing everything from animals to things in their daily lives in the examples of things to count.

The illustrations by Ginger Nielson capture the feeling of the words perfectly.

This book is a good one for preschoolers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spotless Cow

I'm participating in a blog tour for a book called Mary Elizabet the Spotless Cow.

Here's the information about the book:

About the book:
The story of "Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow" takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.
While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.
This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.
Once upon a time........there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!
But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! "Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!"
It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!
’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’
Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.
(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)
Watch the trailer:
Purchasing information: From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit for more information.
Rafflecopter code for those participating in $25 Amazon gift card giveaway from November 4 – December 10, 2013:
About the author:
Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.
Sal's sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.
Visit Sal Barbera’s website at

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Groups, etc.

Here are some links to sites I've seen lately about special needs:

Anyone who cares for or about kids with special needs is invited to the Facebook group, Special Kid Carers.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Baaack!

I hadn't posted anything on this blog for a long time, but have decided to start blogging here again. Anyone who knows me knows I care about people with Special Needs and I even started a Facebook group for folks who care for or about children who have those. The name of the group is Special Kid Carers.

I may not post here regularly, but hope I can get whatever I do write here to show up on my social networking sites. If that works you'll be hearing from me soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Different Dream Parenting

Having raised foster kids with special needs and worked with many others in schools, I know quite a bit about the subject of parenting them. Without doubt Different Dream Parenting; A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs by Jolene Philo is the most helpful book on the topic I've ever seen. It's loaded with practical advice and resources for every stage of the lives of special kids from birth to adulthood and even includes a section about coping with death of a special child. The author tells of her own experience and quotes many other parents who have children with special needs.
The book has a strong Christian message, but even readers who are not religious will find the vast collection of helpful information worth the purchase price.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Acceptance Plus

There has always been a problem with people accepting others who have special needs. For years many of them were shut away in institutions or kept at home. But here's a story that shows how one person with Down's Syndrome was more than accepted. I hope you find it inspiring.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blind Sided

When I started reading the book Thad Nodine sent me for review I didn't think I would like it because the first chapters contained too much erotic description for my taste. But I was soon swept into the plot, which became more and more exciting as the story unfolded and the characters must deal with a natural disaster. (No spoiler here -- you'll have to read it to find out more.)
Perhaps you wonder why I'm reviewing Touch And Go on this blog about special needs. It's because the main character is blind - not just legally, but totally, and the book lets readers understand what blindness is like. The author has several people in his family who are blind, so he knows what he's writing about.
Everything in the novel is told from hthat character's point of 'view' and is totally believable. I felt like I was actually experiencing things as he described them.
But the book is more about relationships and trust than blindness, and that condition is only part of what makes Kevin seem real.
Some readers would be offended by the language characters use, but if that sort of thing doesn't bother you, this book would be a good choice to read.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Helper

Here's a link to a blog post about someone with special needs who helps others.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autism Help?

Last night I met someone at a writers' group who told me his autistic son has improved amazingly since he has been on a special diet. Apparently people with autism digest foods, especially dairy and gluten, differently that other people do. Here's a link that man gave me to a website with information about many studies about that:

Saturday, August 27, 2011


A friend recently loaned me a book, Unlocked, by Karen Kingsbury, about a kid with autism because she knew I cared about the condition, having raised an autistic foster son. I greatly enjoyed reading it.
In my opinion, the book is most appropriate for Young Adults since the main characters are teenagers. Since it's a Christian one there's nothing offensive in it. But anyone dealing with autism will probably want to read it.
Unfortunately only a few few autistic kids are at the same place on the Autism Spectrum as Holden, the character who is helped greatly by music. But the primary focus is on the main character, Ella, who is one of the popular kids but decides to stand up for Holden in spite of what other kids think. I wish all teenagers would read it since they tend to make many bad choices because of valuing popularity.
The book is well written - I couldn't put it down - and I think it will make a difference in the world by helping "normal" people understand those who are different from themselves.

The Other Blog

I didn't post anything here this morning, but I did post something on my recently re-activated other blog about Special Needs. If you'd like to see it the URL is

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's Almost Time

Hurry! There are only about six weeks to go!

Hurry about what? No, this isn't some special offer to get you to spend money. It's a reminder that the year is almost coming to an end and lots of us haven't fulfilled the New Year's Resolutions we made back in January.

To tell the truth, I can't even remember what resolutions I made, if there were any.

Lots of people - maybe even most people - don't actually accomplish what they vowed to do at the beginning of a year, but, at least for some of us, it might not be too late. We have a little more than six weeks to go before the end of 2013 and the beginning of the next new year. That means some resolutions can still be completed.

What about you?

Did you resolve to do something in 2013?

If so, what was it?

Did you keep your resolution?

If not, do you think you still might be able to do so before the end of the year?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear

Did you ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong? Well, it probably can't compare with the problems Mama Bear experiences in this book.

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear is filled with one disaster after another. And Little Bear keeps trying to help but his efforts don't work until the end of the book when he does something that makes his mother realize the love she shares with her cub is more important than all the bad things.

The colorful and amusing illustrations by K.C. Snider capture the feeling of each scene perfectly.

I think lots of children will want to hear this book read to them over and over again.

The author, Mayra Calvani has done a good job telling a story that will help kids focus on what is really important in life. And maybe parents who read the book to their children will be helped even more.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Little Shepherd

Although Thanksgiving isn't here yet, stores are already full of Christmas things and many people (like me) have already begun Christmas shopping.

The book, Little Shepherd, by Cheryl Malandrinos would make a good gift for kids. It's a retelling of the Christmas story from the point of view of a young boy.
I especially like the illustrations by Eugene Ruble, who also illustrated my Christmas book, Secret Service Saint.

Here's more information about Little Shepherd:
Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior's birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?
Off in the distance, a wolf howled. Obed moved closer to his flock, scanning the hills for any sign of a pack that might race in and steal his sheep. His family depended upon the sheep for food and their wool for clothing. No sheep would be lost under his watch.

He shivered inside his cloak. While the days were getting warmer, the nights still chilled him. He walked over to the large fire blazing inside the pit. He rubbed his hands together and held them up to the fire to warm them.

Above him, the sky twinkled with millions of stars. Obed couldn’t remember a night so clear.

Suddenly, a bright light filled the sky.

Obed trembled. “Father, what is happening?”

It's available at"

Guardian Angel Publishing

About the author:
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl online at and the Little Shepherd book blog at

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blogging About Blogs

Many years ago when I started this blog I also started another one about Special Needs because that's something I've always cared about. However almost nobody looked at that page or followed it, so I gave it up.

But I've decided to start blogging there again even though I may not post things every week. I'll try to link it to my Facebook pages so posts will show up there and many of my Facebook friends do care about the subject.

Since I'm a techno-idiot it may take me a few days to get the other blog going again and connected to Facebook, but it should be working soon and I hope to post something there on Monday. If anyone wants to see the things I posted in the past the URL is

Of course I'll still be blogging here twice a week about words, books, and kids.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I've always been interested in languages. Maybe that's partly because when I was five years old my family moved from the East Coast to California and I was surprised by the difference in dialects.

As a kid I intended to learn all the languages in the world but, for some strange reason, that didn't happen. However I did take Latin and German in High School and French in college because English is related to those three languages.

I've forgotten most of the Latin, but using English words of Latin derivation has helped me communicate with people who speak Spanish.

A family from Germany with little kids moved in next door to us the week I began studying German. I actually used that language, so I remember it better than the other ones I took in school.

My French professor was from Quebec. At that time people in Canada were trying to get French accepted as an official language, so that's probably why she told us over and over again that French was the best language in the world and much better than English. I knew no language was better than  others, so I pretty much flushed French out of my brain after passing the tests in her class.

As an adult I learned American Sign Language and became fluent in that one because I've actually used it to communicate with Deaf people for many years.

And I've even learned some dog language from a deaf dalmatian we once had. I wrote about that dog in a story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can't Believe My Dog Did That.

I still wish I could learn every language in the world, but don't have the time or energy to study even one more. Oh, well, I guess I know enough to get by.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

More About Captain Courage

About a year ago I blogged about a book called Captain Courage and the Fear Squishing Shoes. Today I want to tell you about a new book by the same author, Stacey A. Marshall. This book, a sequell to the first one, is called Captain Courage and the World's Most Shocking Secret.

What is that secret? Well, it won't spoil the book if I tell you. Captain Courage, who is a school principal in his other identity, gets stage fright!

What?? How can a superhero have a problem like that?

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out and to learn what can be done about it.

Like the previous book, this one will be helpful to kids who need to learn how to deal with fear. And even brave kids will enjoy reading it.

Perhaps some of them will wonder what would happen if their own school principal turned out to be a superhero. (Speaking as a teacher, I suspect some principals actually are.)

Michelle Morse did a good job with the colorful illustrations, too.