Kickin’ It with Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

Kindle Kids' Book Creator LogoI never dreamed of writing a children’s book — didn’t think it was my style. Well, a little ducky changed that. Her name is Sevy, and she caused me a whole heap of trouble as a duckling. I’d posted her exploits on Facebook and everyone kept urging me to write a children’s book. Okay, I did. The print version had its headaches with formatting, bleed, and such, but it’s out there. The eBook, however: I could never get the formatting right for some reason, so I ignored it for a couple of years.

Enter the mighty Amazon and the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. This is a free download that you can pluck from the KDP login page. There’s also a short (video) on the KDP website that’s pretty helpful.

Once you have it downloaded, open it up, kick the tires and take it for a test drive. There’re two simple prompts at the bottom: Open an existing book, or, Create a new kids’ book. Continue reading

Digital Dementia: Prevent It by Reading with Your Kids

read with your kids for-reading-813666_960_720The jury is far from in on this but there is a growing body of evidence indicating that spending too much time with electronic devices in the formative years can, quite literally, interfere with brain development in some areas. The theory is controversial but from what I know of child development, there may be some truth in it. We will not know the final verdict until the current generation becomes adults. These articles from The New York Times, Psychology Today, and Science Daily, explain a bit about it.

The term “digital dementia” was coined by South Korean researchers when doctors reported seeing young patients with memory and cognitive problems, conditions more commonly linked to brain injuries. Others noted issues including aggression, moodiness, restlessness, strange cravings, emotional control and relationships. Continue reading

Self-Publishing Children’s Books

Mrs Kangaroo's New BabyIn honor of the International Children’s Book Day, I thought I would talk about publishing children’s books via CreateSpace. My particular experience started after my parents passed away and I was going through their files. My father was an artist and my mother was a teacher, actually almost direct opposites in temperament, so I was surprised and excited to find the layout of a children’s book written by my mother and illustrated by my father. It was very obvious the little project had never seen a publisher, so I determined to publish it for them.

Because the story was short and simple, appealing to younger children, I chose an 8”x10” paperback format for it — easier for small hands to hold, and the layout my parents had designed fit perfectly. Since the original work was done back in the 1950s, my parents had done a literal cut and paste — typing up the text on a typewriter, cutting the lines out with scissors and pasting or taping them onto the board mats where my dad had drawn the illustrations. Lucky for me, the glue and tape held on after all these years, so it was easy for me to see exactly how they envisioned the set-up of the book. Continue reading

Featured Book: Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm

Mr. Pish Goes to the FarmMr. Pish Goes to the Farm
by K.S. Brooks
KidLit, Children’s books, educational
Available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

The lovable Jack Russell Terrier is back, this time taking us on a personally guided tour to show us what goes on at a farm. From playing with a cute lamb to driving a big swathing machine, Mr. Pish explores it all in Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm. There is also a fun and educational app available for Apple products and it’s free in the Google Play store for Droid products!