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Character Interview with Mrs Kishikishi from Kishikishi The Bad Monster

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I’m happy to welcome Mrs Kishikishi from Kishikishi The Bad Monster written by Helvi Itenge Wheeler to Inside The Books.

Kish_smSynopsis: Kishikishi The Bad Monster is a traditional tale from Namibia. This is a wonderful imaginative book for children which has a repeating phrases and rhythmic text. Kishikishi was a big bad monster who came to a new land to eat everyone. One boy was brave enough to escape Kishikishi. Read this book and find out what happened.

Paperback available on Amazon for $9.50
Ebook available on Amazon for $2.99



Thanks for stopping by Inside The Books today. To get started can you tell me your name and where you live? Mrs Kishikishi. I live in Tsandi, Uukwaluudhi, Namibia.

Who do you live there with?
I live with my Husband Mr. Kishikishi and our two children.

I know Tsandi must be a great place to grow up. Can you tell us about your favorite things to do there?
Play with my kids, and teach children good lessons in life!

Great! I bet you also have a favorite food. What is it?
I eat vegetables and fruits like Eembe, and eendunga found in Ovamboland northern part of Namibia.

Kishikishi_blogImageSmNow the journey you went on in (Kishikishi The Bad Monster) sounds interesting. Can you tell us about it?
I like running around scaring kids, but really I’m not that bad. Many parents in the northern part of Namibia have used me in their bed time stories to scare their children to stay away from strangers and tech them important lessons in their life. There are many more stories about me; I can say I’m popular, and fun!

What was your favorite part of your adventure?
Singing, I love singing and I noticed that many children enjoy singing too. You will find that in most of the stories about Kishikishi, there are songs!

Did you learn any lessons on this journey?
It’s important to stay away from strangers, and you don’t need to muscles to save your community.

Are you planning on going on any more adventures?
There are hundreds of stories about me and some with my family coming your way soon! Yambeka Children Media will publish more of these stories.

Well it was nice meeting you. Before you go is there anything you would like to share?
Storytelling greatly increases knowledge in children. The children will learn about good and bad, various places, practices in life, through stories. In summary, stories also allow children to know about their own cultural, and others.

Great! Well that was Mrs Kishikishi from Kishikishi The Bad Monster. To buy Kishikishi The Bad Monster click here.

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Inside The Book of Ellen's Broom w/ Kelly Starling Lyons by JMcManus

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well in this New Year!

Welcome to Inside The Books. This is JMcManus with another post for you. Today’s post is part of Kelly Starling Lyons blog tour for the release of her new book Ellen’s Broom, a wonderful book about a young girl’s experience of freedom.

Ellen always knew that the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife.

As part of the blog tour Kelly Starling Lyons will be giving away a grand prize to anyone who leaves a comment on any of the tour stops. So please read the interview and review below and leave a comment for your chance to win a decorated wedding broom courtesy of Stuart’s Creations ( and a poster of the Ellen’s Broom cover. The winner will be drawn on January 16.


1. As a writer myself, I’m always interested in the creation of characters. Can you tell us about Ellen and how she became the character of your book?

While researching family history, I saw a Virginia cohabitation register that listed formerly enslaved couples, the dates of their marriages and the names and ages of their children. Though their marriages – sometimes celebrated by jumping a broom – weren’t legal during slavery, they were finally in 1866 protected by law. Freedmen’s Bureau officers registered the couples and even issued some marriage certificates. Ellen was the result of my imagining what it would be like for a girl whose parents finally have their marriage made legal.

It took an editor’s encouragement to see my research had potential for a story. Once I started working on it, I envisioned Ellen and her family and tried to imagine how they would feel to go from slavery to freedom. I could see her mama wanting to make sure the story of what they survived was not forgotten. The broom was a symbol that Ellen came to see as a special part of their history. It’s something she vowed to pass on.

2. During a time of change, from slavery to freedom, one constant in Ellen’s life was the broom her parents jumped during slavery. Can you tell us why it is so important for children of today to understand the history of brooms in marriage during that time period?

Today, it’s not unusual to attend an African-American wedding where the couple jumps the broom. But many children have no idea why they’re doing it. Ellen’s Broom helps give them a sense of the history. It shares what the broom ritual meant to enslaved families who could be torn apart at any time. Through the story, they see that even as Ellen’s family celebrated new freedoms – like finally having marriages of former slaves legalized — it was important to remember that past. I hope it helps children understand why jumping the broom is done by some couples in memory of that history now.

3. I was delighted to receive a small broom with my copy of Ellen’s Broom. Is that something that will ship out with every copy?

There’s a fun craft kids can do to make their own miniature broom out of a pencil. Directions are in the Ellen’s Broom craft and discussion guide created by author/educator Debbie Gonzales. Here’s the link: EllensBroomDiscussionActivityGuide.pdf.

4. Can you share with us an unknown fact about the book? Like something that appeared in the first draft that was edited out by the final draft.

One fact few people know is that I chose the name Ellen for the main character in honor of my maternal grandfather’s mother, Ellen Hairston Starling.  It was through researching her side of the family that I stumbled across the cohabitation register that inspired this story. I also learned that Ellen is a family name. Her grandmother, who likely was once enslaved, was named Ellen too.

Something that was edited out of the story were the names of the songs Ellen, her family and the rest of the congregation sang in the church. I mentioned Follow the Drinking Gourd, Wade in the Water and Go Down, Moses. Those songs gave enslaved people hope and in some cases instructions for escape. Once free, the songs were a testament to what they survived and a reminder to cherish their freedom. You can still hear those spirituals in some churches today.

5. As an author, what inspires you to write?

I’m inspired to write children’s books by the memory of being a child who rarely saw herself and her history reflected in stories for young people. I write to help create a different reality for kids today. I write to give back.

I still remember the story that inspired me to write for kids, Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. It was the first time I saw an African-American girl featured on the cover of a picture book. Right then, I decided to add my voice.

6. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I’m so grateful for the chance to share this story. I wrote Ellen’s Broom as a celebration of family, love and freedom. I was amazed by how illustrator Daniel Minter reflected those themes in his art. People can learn more about Ellen’s Broom and find printables for kids at my site, If you want a peek inside the book, you can watch the trailer for Ellen’s Broomhere. Thanks again for all of your support.


Thank you Kelly for a wonderful interview and some insight in the making of Ellen’s Broom.

Ellen’s Broom is a delightful book about how a broom that was once used during the time of slavery for marriage becomes a tradition. Readers will journey with Ellen as she carries the broom her parents once jumped over during slavery to bind the family, to a courthouse where her parents will be officially married.

Kelly has a wonderful and delightful way of creating characters that connects with young readers. And that connection takes you on a journey through a moment in time. It’s like the characters hold your hand as they tell you about history…what a way to learn.

And let me just say, from someone who is big on illustrations, Daniel Minter did a wonderful job with his block print illustrations. When my eight-year-old daughter saw this book lying on my table she asked if she could have a poster.

Ellen’s Broom is a great book about family traditions and I can’t wait to read more books from Kelly Starling Lyons.

MyMcBooks Interview & Review w/Author Donalisa Helsley

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Donalisa lives inTulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, David, her daughters, Jadyn and Genesis and their miniature schnauzer, Shadow. She is Wild About Reading. Donalisa has written many stories since she was a child. She is a social worker and has worked with children for over 12 years. Donalisa is finishing her Masters in Social Work so that she can be a therapist for children and adolescents.

Interview with Donalisa Helsley, author of The Day No One Played Together.

I want to thank you for being my guest here on MyMcBooks Blog

What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was “Tell No One” by Harlan Coben. I’ve already read it before but didn’t realize it until I got it home from the library. I read it again anyway because I could not remember the ending!  Also, I usually read more than one book at a time! I’ll have one on the night stand, one in the office, one in the car and some on the ipad, and my iphone. That way I always have a book wherever I go!

What were your earliest memories of writing?
I remember typing on an old typewriter at the kitchen table at nine years old. I completed my first book when I was 11. It was about 250 typed pages and it was a Christian version of “Sweet Valley High” I gave it to a friend to read and never got it back! It still frustrates me to this day!

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
I believe it was something that came natural. I was encouraged to read and loved to. I would think of stories I wished I could read and would write them instead.

What was your favorite children’s book?
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf was my very favorite as a child. I also loved George and Martha and Amelia Bedelia books.  I  read all of the Chronicles of Narnia and the Laura Ingall’s Wilder books over and over. Growing up I was so thirsty for books I read any book that I could find in the house (even the hidden ones). So I read a lot of non fiction and A LOT of  historical romance novels (shhh don’t tell my mom!) Another of my all time  favorites is Oh, The Places You Will Go! by Dr Seuss. Which I didn’t read until I was in high school.

Are you working on a new book?
Yes, I have quite a few already written. I am currently finishing up two. One is about a big bad bully and the other is a silly mixed up fairytale. I don’t know when I will be sending any of them out to be published. “I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies” will be out in January.

What inspired you to write ‘The Day No One Played Together’ and how did you come up with each character?
I promised my oldest daughter that I would write a story about her when she was three. She is multiracial (black, white and chinese). She wanted to see someone that looked like her in books. So the characters are based on my two daughters, Jadyn (9) and Genesis (4). I am always trying to help them figure out how to work through conflicts on their own. I  helped them learn to compromise and they loved doing it so much that I thought that maybe other children would enjoy the lesson also.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
I hope that they learn that they can brainstorm creative solutions to their problems. My goal with the Jadyn and Genesis series is that children learn life and social skills in a fun way.

What do your kids think about your book?
My kids are estatic! They want to show everyone and they can’t wait for the other two books that I have written about them to be illustrated. They have told all of their friends that they can be in the books too.

Tell us about your website ‘Wild About Reading’
My website is a place you can go to learn more about me, my mission and also buy my books. It is a work in progress. I want to add links to places you can donate books for children who can’t afford them and also some tips for parents. My Wild About Reading facebook page is a page where I share tips, encouragement, book reviews, interviews of other authors, book give aways and trivia. Stop by and visit! The goal is to re-ignite a love of reading in parents and encourage it in children.

What is the most difficult part of writing?
The most difficult part is actually setting aside time to write. It seems every moment of everyday is filled with something to do. Once I have the time the words seem to flow right out.

What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?
I am a mother, a student, and a therapist. So most of my time is spent studying, taking care of my family and of course reading. Oh yeah, and Facebook!

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
C.S. Lewis, Dr. Seuss, James Patterson, Iris Johansen, Tami Hoag….I have so many. I love reading true stories of people who have survived. I would also love to dine with people like Corrie Ten Boom, Elie Wiesel, Langston Hughes….the list could go on and on.

What author inspires you the most and why?
I am not sure who inspires me the most. I am inspired by any author who puts their work out there for the world to see. What people don’t understand is that when we write we are sharing a piece of our heart and soul. Its scary. Anyone who is brave enough to share their work and let the world see a piece of them inspires me.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
Procrastination is the only rule I follow consistently. Sadly, in my writing I do not impose schedules or even goals upon myself. If it comes to me I jump up and scribble it on a scrap piece of paper or I type into my ipad or whatever is handy. Once I have graduated “I have a dream” (said in a Martin Luther King Jr. voice) that I will be able to devote a more consistent and structured time to write.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
One of my favorite quotes sums it up: “There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children that have not found the right book.” ~Frank Serafini  Let your child chose what they like. Take them to the library, the bookstore and let them wander around. If you notice they have an interest in dinosaurs or princesses find all the books about dinosaurs and princesses you can find.

I have also learned that just because I liked a book that doesn’t mean my daughters will like it. So I watch and see what they enjoy and then try to find other books like it.Readingshouldn’t be a chore. If all they want to read is comic books be happy they are reading. I do suggest checking out what they read so that you can be aware of what is going on. I try to read every YA book that comes out and is a fad because it helps me engage with my child and adolescent clients and also I figure one day my kids will be reading them.

What advice you would give to new writers?
1. Read, Read, Read. How can you be a writer if you don’t even read? 2. Find people that you trust to share your thoughts with. 3. Never stop believing in magic, the impossible and the unbelieveable. Some of the greatest books I have ever read were written by people who remembered what it was like to be a child and to dream. 4. If you are a children’s book writer I believe that there is a part of us that never grows up. Tap into that!

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks for reading this. It is very humbling to think that anyone would want to read about me! By the way when I grow up I would like to be a ninja. Random? That’s me!

Thank you for this interview.
Thank you for taking the time to interview me and review my book!



Kristi’s Book Nook Review of Sardodledom: A Spelling Bee Tale by Krishna Dalal

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Sardoodledom: A Spelling Bee Tale
Author: Krishna Dalal
Publisher: One Word Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9833245-0-8
buy on Amazon

Sardoodledom is a fun way for kids to start the school year. This wonderfully illustrated tale, not to be confused with tail, is a light and silly story about Chloe and her friends as they prepare and participate in their school spelling bee. Sardoodledom is Chole’s favorite word. It means overly dramatic, almost unbelievable, and that explanation is the appropriate definition for the events of the spelling bee.

Ryan loves words that rhyme and there are plenty of them here. Juan loves knock, knock jokes and finds ways to create them with every spelling bee word given by Mr. Harrison. Hannah loves words but dreads homophones. What is a homophone you ask? It’s a word that sounds exactly like another word but is spelled completely different. As the spelling begins a bee comes along and lands on Mr. Harrison’s nose. And that’s when the excitement begins.

Young readers will love the rhymes, jokes, oxymoron’s and palindromes that fill the pages. Teachers and parents will be excited to pick up this book to share with kids. Young readers will giggle with every turn of the page as they learn what an oxymoron and palindrome are and they will have even more fun learning the knock knock jokes.

Visti Kristi’s Book Nook

MyMcBooks Interview w/ LaNiyah Bailey

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Author Bio: LaNiyah Bailey is a 6‐year‐old author with a message for children like her – just because you are bigger than other kid, that doesn’t mean that people have the right to bully you.

In her debut book, Not Fat Because I Wanna Be, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight. Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.

LaNiyah is not only speaking to other children through her book, but has become an advocate for anti‐bullying organizations. With a message that words can hurt and that not all weight gain is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, LaNiyah hopes her book will enlighten and entertain her young readers.

Interview with LaNiyah author of Not Fat Because I wanna Be.

I want to thank you for being my guest here on MyMcBooks Blog.

What inspired you to write? I was inspired to write because I’ve been teased and bullied a lot. I decided that enough was enough; I wanted to use my voice to tell people what happened to me and how it made me feel. Hoping it could make it better for another kid that was getting bullied or teased because they were different.

Do you consider yourself a born writer? I would say yes, to that because I am only six and have written a book already.

Have you had any training to become a writer? No, I never had training. It just came about in my mind and because it something that happened to me it was a little easier.

What type of books do you mostly write? Truth-based; fiction

Can you share with us a little about your current book? It is a story about a fictional girl named Jessica, who had an underlying medical condition that caused her to gain weight. She was being teased and bullied all the time because she was different. Then one day she had the courage to stand up for herself.

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share? My mother and her team promote the book all over the internet. But, we have been going out a lot to places where children are and giving away the book for free, just to get the story out there. Then people come to the website and purchase the book.

What like most about writing? I like that I get to share my feelings and that I can possibly be helping other kids share their story.

Do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your other job(s)? I am in kindergarten so it’s not hard to write and go to school. I write when I get home.

Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them? Well, I am trying to come up with another story right now for my 2nd book. I am working with my mom on putting together a TV cooking show that we want to do with me and a celebrity.

Tell us about your writing space? We write all over our house. Paper and pens are everywhere. hahaha

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand? My mom wrote down my story with a pen and paper then she typed it up to do the editing.

What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write? Well, I imagined my story in my mind, along with the true things that happened and that’s how I created it.

Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards? I haven’t been in any contests or anything for my book.

What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone? You should use the courage from inside you and share it with others because you may be helping someone else with your story.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Yes, I plan on writing more books soon and I hope this book helps a lot of kids and inspires them to stand up for themselves and stops bullies from bullying others because of their differences.

I thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being an author. And I thank you, for having me today. I had a great time and I really appreciate you helping share my message and my book “Not fat because I wanna be”. Please visit my website at:

Author Website / Blog Address:

Facebook Fan Page


Product Description: Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey

In her debut book “Not FAT Because I Wanna Be” 6 year old, author/youth advocate, LaNiyah Bailey, details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight. Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.

My Review: It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as something that kids DO. Looking different do not give anyone the right to be picked on.  If you or someone you know is bothered by a bully, talk to someone you trust. This is a great book for parents to read to their children and for teachers to share with their students, to educate them about bullies and the signs of bullying.  Highly recommend this book.


Nalia and the Potion Maker

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Nalia and the Potion Maker
By: Queenbe Monyei

Paperback: 328 pages

ISBN-10: 1461094852
ISBN-13: 978-1461094852

Buy at: Amazon
Buy on:

About the Author

A Los Angeles native, Queenbe Monyei shuffled between England and the U.S. as a child. After graduating UCLA she taught English for a year in Turkey then earned her graduate degree in Education in England. She enjoys writing fantasy novels with a hint of romance.


In the once beautiful Aetheria, a spreading evil stems in the great Land of The North. It is a world that has been ravaged by vengeance and fury. But Nalia knows nothing of this world. She doesn’t even know that she bears one of its most coveted and sacred gifts, a gift that has killed many and forced others into hiding. But when an unusual visitor escapes from the other world to find her, he claims that her gift is vital in order to save his world. Her task won’t be easy: find the great potion maker whose memory has been stolen, if he’s even still alive. There, Nalia meets the strong yet gentle Lyris who can heal anything with his touch. Soon she discovers that his powers run deep as he slowly begins to mend the pieces of her heart, shattered by her own tragic family and a haunting secret; a secret stemming before she was even born. A heart wrenching tale of death, betrayal, and the dark side of unrequited love.