As a huge fan of Dr. Seuss and her natural gift of art, at age 12, Andrea L’Artiste developed the desire to write and illustrate children’s book. It wouldn’t be until much later in life that she puts her creativity into books. She recently founded and started the publishing company MyTinyPages.Booksforkids, where she is also an author and illustrator.
Andrea wrote and illustrated her first book and released it in 2011. Yay! I know my ABC’s, 123’s, and colors too! This book would be the first in the educational series for small children. In 2012 she went on to create and release her second book, entitled Yay! I know my MATH! Currently Andrea is preparing to release her third book, Yay! I know my STATES and CAPITALS of U.S.A, September 16, 2013.
First, I want to congratulate you on your company and your books. I love the fun nature of your Facebook fan page and think that you have a really good personality to create concept books that will teach children their basics.
Can you tell us about your publishing company, My Tiny Pages?
MyTinyPages.Booksforkids is a Publishing Company, where I am also an Author and Illustrator. I started it in 2011, while writing my first book. Interestingly, there is now a little more to MyTinyPages.Booksforkids. I have created characters from my Brand/Logo. They are 5 cute little books, which makes up the (p-a-g-e-s) And their names are Patrick, Adam, Gina, Erica, and Sam. And we are currently paving a road for these little guys. 🙂
When did you know that you were going to start a publishing company?
The way “MyTinyPages” came about was really on a whim. I always knew that I wanted to write and Illustrate for Children, but I had no idea that I would start my own Brand/Publishing Company until during the creation of my first book. After reading and learning how the “Publishing” process works, I opted out, and decided to do it myself. I have a degree in Business, so I knew that It was something I could make happen myself. I never presented my book to a publishing Company.
I think Yah! I know my… is a fun title for a concept book series. How did you come up with it?
How I came up with the concept of Yay!? lol Well, it is a term used frequently by children, and now adults. lol! I wanted to capture the essence of “Child-like & Fun, inside of this series. And the “I know my”? We hear kids saying that all the time “I know my abc’s, I know how to ride a bike, I know how to write my name. Kids always wants to “know how” to do something. So that is how I came up with that part. 🙂
Since all of your books are part of a series, do you have one character that runs throughout all of your books?
There are no particular characters in the first series. Just really bright and colorful objects and things that kids like. But, The Adventures of MyTinyPages book series (P)atrick, (A)dam, (G)ina, (E)rica, and (S)am will begin in 2014.
I have always loved concept books. I brought a lot of them when my kids where learning their basics. I think for me it was because of the bright colors and characters as well as the joy of seeing them point out things on the pages. I loved to see them learn. An although I don’t see myself creating a concept book I have a real appreciation for them. What is the inspiration behind your books?
Well, before I started my first book. I thought to myself. I have to do something different. I can’t do what everyone else is doing. I want to be remembered. I want my books to leave an impression. A good one. lol. I wanted to bring something different to the Children’s book world…A new look. This is where color and 3D appearance comes in. Colors are a big deal for MyTinyPages. Being an artist, I’ve always loved bright colors. And it is what holds the attention of small children.
I’ve just recently started to get into digital illustrations. (Thanks to Wacom and their great tablets.) I find that I love creating images. Especially since I see so many in my head. My illustrations sometimes help me in developing a story while at other times they are created to tell a story already written. How do the illustrations for you book develop? Do you see them in your head or do you create them based off the words written for your book?
My ideas come to me throughout the day. (driving, eating, shower, daydreaming lol wherever) They come as clear images, and I just create them.
I know for me writing came come quick and easy or long and slow. Tell us about your writing process?
My writing process, it was pretty simple for the first book. It is basically an Alphabets, Colors, and Numbers book. Describing the objects. The Math book, however, required more of a writing process, as it is a rhyming book. I’ve always liked writing poetry therefor it wasnt so hard coming up with things that rhyme. 🙂
I noticed that your book Yah! I know my Math! is in both a pink and green cover. Are they the same book or do they offer different information?
Yay! I know my MATH! comes in Pink and Green,because I wanted to do something a little extra for the parents. People like to feel as If they have an option. Don’t you agree? lol Pink for the girls, Green for the boys. But hey let me tell you, the printing cost is a lot more! So no more color options in future books. lol And yes, it is the same book.
I see that you have a lot of images of kids with your books on you fan page. That has to be a great feeling. Can you tell us about your most rewarding experience?
Oh seeing kids read my books is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced. Because I know that I am helping some little one learn to read.
Chuck E. Cheese has to be one of the most popular destination for all kids. Can you tell us about your partnership with them?
Chuck E. Cheese is a place all kids love to go. I was looking for a place to read my book to kids, and I came up with the idea of Chuck E. Cheese. Instant access to parents. Where I can personally speak with them. But some kids can still be a little distracted by everything else going on at the Cheese’s. 🙂 We will see how this works out.
What book do you plan on publishing after Yay! I know my STATES?
Adventures of MyTinyPages beginning in 2014.
Do you have anything that you would like to share with your readers?
Do I have anything I would like to share with my readers? Yes, We don’t count the number of books we sell, Instead we count the number of children we’ve reached. MyTinyPages and I, love and appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts. 🙂
Thank you Andrea L’Artiste. We wish you much success!
I’m happy to welcome Mrs Kishikishi from Kishikishi The Bad Monster written by Helvi Itenge Wheeler to Inside The Books.
Synopsis: 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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As part of the Ellen’s Broom blog tour author 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 of Ellen’s Broom and leave a comment for your chance to win a decorated wedding broom courtesy of Stuart’s Creations (www.stuartscreations.com) and a poster of the Ellen’s Broomcover. The winner will be drawn on January 16.
Ellen always knew 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 anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife.
When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa’s names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again.
Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter’s rich and eye-catching block print illustrations.
Available at: Amazon
Thomasina sent me a paperback edition of Mama, When Will I Be Popular for a free giveaway. To enter this giveaway click here and fill out the entry form before the end of the day Friday, October 28, 2011. In order to be eligible to win, you may enter the giveaway only once. Once a winner has been chosen I will post the winner’s name on twitter as well as send the winner an email for shipping information. This giveaway is for the US only.
For more information about Thomasina F. Johnson, Mama, When Will I Be Popular, you can visit her website. To read JMcManus interview with Thomasina F. Johnson click here. To find out when new interviews, reviews and books are posted please follow us on Twitter.com.
A mother and daughter talk, that provides insight into how today’s struggles will teach her daughter to triumph in her future endeavors. It’s the concept of, what people mean for evil now will eventually work out for the good in you! Don’t give up!
(Article first published as Interview: Kelly Starling Lyons, Author of One Million Men and Me on Blogcritics.)
Welcome to Inside The Books Interview with Kelly Starling Lyons author of One Million Men and Me.
Kelly Starling Lyons, a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA, started writing as a child. Inspired by her mother to express herself through the arts, she watched as her mother acted in local theaters and write plays for their church. She wrote her first poem in second grade. It was about the beauty of the color black.
As she got older her love of writing got more serious as she knew it would be apart of who she was. She began writing plays and poems and even started buying Writer’s Digest on her visits to the bookstore.
One Million Men and Me, a great book for children 5-10, is her first picture book but her second children’s book. Her first being NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal.
To start the interview let’s find out about Nia, the main character.
My main character Nia was inspired by a little girl I saw at the March walking past the Reflecting Pool with her father. Her eyes were big and twinkling. To me, she looked like a princess in a sea of kings. When I left the March, I wondered what the day was like for that little girl. What moments would she would always remember? Those wonderings led to what I featured in One Million Men and Me. Nia’s day, like the one I imagined the little girl had, was filled with the sights, feelings and sounds of the March.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when you wrote:
Like a quilt of moving pieces, we walked together, singing songs that made my heart dance.
We stood tall and proud as mighty oaks, the men, Daddy and me.
They came to make changes, came to make themselves and their communities better.
And I was their Princess, there to see the dream of this day come true.
I squeezed Daddy’s hand as the view stretched before us – million Black men, one million Black Kings.
Happiness glowed in Daddy’s eyes. Tears shone too.
Through Nia’s eyes we can see the beauty and strength of that day. Can you tell us how important it was for you to show that through her eyes?
Thanks so much! When the Million Man March happened, we heard a lot about what it meant to the men who were there. But I wanted show that it had a powerful impact on kids too. When I wrote the story, I imagined what a little girl would notice.
Maybe the fluffy clouds sailing above her would have looked like cotton candy. Maybe the tall men standing all around would have looked like mighty oak trees. Maybe she heard the sound of African drums and wanted to dance. By showing the March through Nia’s eyes, I hoped to give children a view of what the day was like and pass on the story to a new generation.
We have all made wishes and on that day Nia made a wish, and I know it’s not told in the book but can you give us a little hint on what Nia wished for that day?
The peace and beauty of the March was so incredible. I think Nia wished that every day people could get along like men did on that day. I didn’t share her wish, because I wanted children to put a little of themselves in the story. It’s a chance for them to guess what Nia wished and what they would have wished had they been there.
By the end of the book, when Nia boards the bus with her daddy, we can feel that she knew history was being made. If Nia could talk to us right now, what do you think she would tell the children of the day was the best part about that history-making day?
She would say that the best part was witnessing history with her father. Nia looks in her daddy’s face for clues about what the day means. When she sees his eyes shine with tears and watches him nod and smile at every man he meets, she gets a sense of how much the March means to him. Being there with him makes her feel special. She’s part of something important.
When I go into schools, I ask kids to tell me about memorable days they’ve spent with fathers or father-figures. They may not know about the March before reading the book, but they may know what it feels like to go someplace special with someone they love.
Wow! I think that’s great. Those special days are very powerful for children as well as for adults.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about One Million Men And Me?
One of my favorite memories of sharing One Million Men and Me was being part of the Multicultural Children’s Book Festival at the Kennedy Center. I got a chance to share the book in the city where the story was born. I met men who took their children to the March. I met women who brought their sons. They told me I got the story right. That meant everything to me.
Also, I’d like to share that I have coloring pages, word scrambles and other fun printables that go along with the book. Kids and parents can find them here.
This is a must have book for children. Where can it be purchased?
Are you working on any other books?
Yes, I’m always working on something. I have two picture books with G.P. Putnam’s Sons that debut next year. Ellen’s Broom, illustrated by Daniel Minter, comes out January 5, 2012. It’s set during Reconstruction and celebrates African-American history and family relationships. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
Tea Cakes for Tosh, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, debuts that fall. It was inspired by my relationship with my grandma.
Where can people find more information about you and your books?
The best place to learn more about me is my website:www.kellystarlinglyons.com. Also, if people want to get updates about my writing and recommendations of good multicultural children’s book to check out, please join my FaceBook author page:www.facebook.com/kellystarlinglyons.
Well thank you Kelly for taking out the time to talk with me about your book One Million Men and Me. I wish you much success and look forward to reading your upcoming books.
Thanks so much for your support.