Friday, February 26, 2010

Starred review in Kirkus!

See what Kirkus has to say in the starred review of my most recent book out just this Spring!

Review Date: FEBRUARY 15, 2010

Publisher:Boyds Mills

Pages: 32

Price (hardback): $$17.95

Publication Date: 2/20/2010 0:00:00

ISBN: 978-1-59078-712-0

ISBN (hardback): 978-1-59078-712-0

Category: CHILDREN'S

A star is assigned to books of

unusual merit, determined by the editors of Kirkus Reviews.

While Greg and his dad enjoy a beach day, Dad sets two rules: "Don't go in

the water / and don't leave Sandy," a lion Greg has drawn in the sand. As

the little boy continues drawing the lion's tail, he discovers myriad items

along the shore. Williams's rhythmic, onomatopoeic Swish-swoosh of the

waves and the clear, descriptive text transport readers into Greg's

experiences, which range from spotting a "gooey purple jellyfish" to

watching a "tiny ghost crab / scurry sideways into his dark, round hole."

Cooper's mastery with pastels results in a grainy, sun-washed effect that

conjures a hot seaside day. Most stunning are the endearing, intimate

close-ups of Greg immersed in artistic play. Children will relate to his

adventure, which pivots on the moment he realizes he has lost sight of his

dad. But a winning combination of good memory and self-reliance lead to a

most satisfactory ending. Scoop up this tale for its strength as a unique

beach story and for its warm portrayal of an African-American son and

father enjoying the outdoors. (Picture book. 3-6)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Look what one school can do for Haiti

I visited O'Hara Elementary school this week as a visiting author.  In conjunction with my visit and my books about Haiti, Tap-Tap, Circles of Hope and Painted Dreams they had a fund raiser for Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti.  This is where my husband worked and we lived for three years.  I one school can do this think what we can all do together.  Several other schools and organizations have contacted me about visiting as part of their fundraising efforts.  what great spirit!  Here I am being presented a check for over $3600 that O,Hara school raised in just one day!  Such a simple idea.  Such a great effort!

Hats for Hope for Haiti

On February 2, children’s author, Karen Lynne

Williams, will visit our school. Ms. Williams and

her husband, Dr. Steve Williams, have spent

several years in Haiti living and working at the

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles.

In light of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti

and in honor of her visit,

Wear a hat and bring a donation

on January 22, 2010.

Bring a donation of any amount to show your

support for the relief work of the

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.

For more information or to donate directly, visit:

For donations by check, make payable to:

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti

Hats for Haiti: Students raise cash to help recovery

Oscar Izenson wore an oversize sombrero to O'Hara Elementary School on Friday as a way to raise awareness for Haiti relief efforts.

Classmate Chloe Yofan donned pink and black Minnie Mouse ears and Jack Yousem strutted around with a brown stuffed turkey leg on his head.

"We need to get the people in Haiti some money for houses and things that they need," Oscar, 8, said.

"I heard a lot of people were hurt," Jack said. "Some people who have brothers and parents and stuff got separated. We need to help them."

The fundraiser "Hats for Hope for Haiti" was quite simple but most successful.

By donating any dollar amount, students could wear a hat during class. The event raked in $3,623, said kindergarten teacher Beth Ivins, who coordinated it with librarian Karen Fornari.

The money will benefit the Hospital Albert Schweitzer, or HAS, in Deschapelles, about 40 miles outside the capitol of Port-au-Prince.

The hospital is in urgent need of medical supplies to treat the inundation of people injured and subsequently suffering from infections after last week's earthquake.

"Medical supplies that would normally last a month were consumed in the first day after the earthquake," according to the hospital Web site.

"While supplies have made their way to Haiti through the unprecedented international aid effort, frustratingly, the

supplies are not currently reaching HAS."

The Haitian medical team, comprised of more than 500 personnel, is supported by surgeonsand staff arriving from around the world.

Locally, Pittsburghers are doing their part to help as well. Volunteers from Garfield-based Global Links are working feverishly to replenish supplies at HAS. The group recovers unused medical supplies, equipment and furniture from the U.S. health care system for distribution to hospitals and clinics that serve the poorest areas of the globe.

In collaboration with UPMC, Global Links currently is deploying items most needed, which include sutures, crutches, antibiotics, bandages and X-ray film.

About $50,000 worth of antibiotics and other medications donated by UPMC were prepared for shipment last week.

"With Global Links fielding donations and coordinating the collection and shipping of materials, we are able to act quickly and efficiently, eliminate duplication of effort, and ensure that the items collected meet the specific needs of doctors working on the frontlines of this horrific disaster," said Global Links Executive Director Kathleen Hower.

O'Hara Elementary staff hopes to hand over the money raised on Hat Day during an assembly on Feb. 2 when local children's author Karen Williams will speak with students. Williams spent several years in Haiti working at HAS.

"When we realized what a connection we had with Karen Williams coming, we wanted to do something to help," Ivins said.

Though her students are young, many grasp that the hats were more than just a way to have fun during school.

"We talked about how there was an earthquake and many of them brought in a donation without even wearing a hat," Ivins said. "Everyone was very generous."