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The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 29, 2012

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois he spent years wanting to write his books, but always put it off. Finally he told himself if you do not start now, you will never start. Bolivar finally sat down and started to write and draw. He found himself in excitement and pleasure, only wondering why he did not start sooner.

Bolivar wanted to develop a character that would be lovable and easy to remember. Like most humorous characters he would need a partner, Someone to help compliment the humor. Bolivar did not want to make long stories. He wanted interesting short stories with plenty of illustrations. He focused on writing and illustrating children’s books. He has as much fun drawing the illustrations as writing the stories.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 28, 2012

The Berenstain Bears lose a friend and so does the world of children’s literature.

Jan Berenstain (July 26, 1923 – February 24, 2012) co-created over 300 of the beloved “Berenstain Bears” books with her husband Stan Berenstain (September 29, 1923 – November 26, 2005), shedding light on social graces and creating life-long readers and Bear Country devotees.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 28, 2012

Barney Saltzberg

Barney Saltzberg is an über-talented children’s book author/illustrator/singer/songwriter. He has published around thirty books, recorded four CD’s of music for children, and has even written some songs for the PBS show Arthur. Once a year he teaches a class at UCLA on writing and illustrating picture books. When he is not traveling around the country speaking about writing and illustrating and playing music, you can find him at home in Los Angeles with his wife, two children (when they are home from college), three dogs and a pond full of fish.

By Kate Klimo, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 27, 2012

Kate Klimo talks about character development for “Centauriad: Daughters of the Centaurs” (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012), the first book in her new series.

What’s in a Centaur’s Pocket?

How does a centaur dress? How does a centaur go to the bathroom? What do a centaur’s home furnishings look like? What do centaurs eat? And what is it like to inhabit a body that is half-horse? These are just some of the scads of questions for which I had to know the answers before I could even sit down to write Daughter of the Centaurs. The inimitable Martin Scorsese says that you have to know what is in your characters’ pockets before you can put them on the screen. Well, I had to figure out whether centaurs even had pockets before I could fill them and then put them on the page. Where to even start?

Author Showcase

The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 27, 2012

A Middle Grade Time Travel Adventure

For Readers 10-12 and Their Significant Adults

Twelve-year-old Henrietta Sharp is smart, funny and likes to read the dictionary. But all she really wants is to be normal, a normal size that is, like her fashion-minded best friend Taffeta Bloom. That’s life before a magic lunch box (LB) mysteriously appears and tells Henri that she is a Traveler, someone who can summon portals and travel the universe.

Before you can say brand new super-power, Henri, her brainy boy-cousin P.J., Taffeta, and LB, are off on an adventure. They must find the medallion of power that will awaken the Guide who will train Henri in the ways of a Traveler. Unfortunately, this particular Guide is the most unlikely individual ever to assume responsibility for under age children and Henri’s training is strictly on the job.

Author Showcase

The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 25, 2012

About the book: For ages 3-9…what do you do when your cat is so disgusting and stinky that you can’t stand to be within 15 feet of him? If you are like Icky’s owner, Candy, you find a way to make it work for you! But as Candy soon finds out, sometimes our best ideas can also be our worst!

About the author: Maranda Russell was born in Muncie, Indiana, but now resides near Dayton, Ohio. She is a children’s author and book reviewer, a foster parent and an enthusiastic lover of cereal and ice cream. She currently writes stories for children based on the experience she has gained over the years as a teacher, foster parent and former child. Of course, the “former” part is questionable since this author still enjoys indulging her “inner child” on a regular basis.

The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 24, 2012

I was 6 years old when I got my first piggy bank. It was round, pink, and adorable. From time to time, I would drop loose change into the slot, but mostly just to hear the coins hit the bottom of her porcelain belly. I didn’t save any money – it was usually spent on candy – or more likely than not – Garbage Pail Kids (it was the 80’s).

My second attempt at saving money was much more structured. My mother helped me open a savings account at our local bank. I was excited to have a place for my birthday and holiday money, and I would dutifully make note of my deposits in my bank book. My 12-year-old mind was officially blown when my mother explained to me my account would earn interest. The bank was going to give me free money?! I made up my mind to let the account grow and mature, but my plans were cut short when my brother persuaded me loan him my savings. He was successful, and let’s just say, he still owes me 80 bucks – with interest.

Author Showcase

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 23, 2012

Crystal Godfrey LaPoint

Crystal Godfrey LaPoint is an accomplished composer and artist. For over three decades she has suffered from the dark legacy of depression. A survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, Crystal is now a tireless advocate for survivors of relationship violence and for destigmatizing mental illness. She currently resides in Fitchburg, Massachusetts with her husband.

TCBR: I’m of the understanding that you are an accomplished composer and artist. Can you share a little on your background and how you became a children’s book writer?