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Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Happy birthday to Samuel Langhorne Clemens or better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. Twain was born on this day in 1835 in Florida, Missouri.

Mark Twain was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. His novels include classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain also wrote The Prince and the Pauper and Life on the Mississippi.

Huckleberry Finn went on to be translated into over 75 languages. In 1935, Ernest Hemingway said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.'”

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”~ Mark Twain

To celebrate his birthday, spend time with some good friends and a good book.

Madeleine L’Engle

Happy birthday to Madeleine L’Engle born on this day in 1918 in New York.

Madeleine L’Engle was an American writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry including such great works as A Wrinkle in Time.

Did you know that publishers rejected A Wrinkle in Time at least 26 times for being “too different” and for “dealing with the problem of evil”? It’s hard imagine this unique book not being published! To celebrate her birthday, read of her great pieces of work.

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Happy birthday also to my better half today also celebrating this day! 😉

Thank You!

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁

Thank you for following this blog! I really appreciate it and super thankful for you all! I just wanted to send out a special post expressing my gratitude to you. ❤️

Mo Willems says it best in this great book about saying thank you –

Hope you all enjoy this holiday! 🦃🍽🍁🍾❤️

5 Gifts for National Park Fans

National parks visitor numbers continue to rise as more people discover our nation’s treasures.  As the season of gift-giving starts, national parks can provide some unique gifts for all the fans in your lives. With many options out there, it can be hard deciding on the perfect gift.

I have searched and rounded up these unique ideas for your friends and families who love the national parks suited for a variety of ages and at reasonable prices:  

1. Yahtzee: National Parks Edition game

It’s just like the original Yahtzee game, but has unique, colorful dice and a barrel-themed cup. A portion of the proceeds for this game benefit the National Parks Foundation.

2.  Uncommon Ground’s Redwood & Saguaro Crystal Growing Kit

Kids will love this science fun of crystals forming on paper in this cool kit.

3. Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel by Kathy Arnold Cherry

In this new children’s book, siblings Reese and Dean’s wild adventure at Erutuf National Park is sure to expand the reader’s imagination and, likely, a curiosity about animals and the world through a magical national park.

4. Swiftwick National Parks socks

Instead of giving boring black socks, add some splash to someone’s wardrobe with one of the 11 national parks.

5. Park Project’s National Parks Candles

Why not bring the scent of a certain national park to someone’s home? Give the unique scents of redwoods or lodgepole pines to a friend or family to enjoy.

Happy gift shopping for your national park fans!

5 Ways Kids Can Make a Difference with the Climate

The United Nations Climate Change Conference recently took place in Glasgow. According to the U.N., “The Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s. We are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement target to keep global temperature from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. That is considered the upper limit to avoid the worst fallout from climate change.”

These national headlines and statistics often make children feel helpless. Yet, children can make a difference today. My children’s novel provides an adventure that will help build children’s curiosity about animals and the world around them.

Here are 5 tips for helping children make a difference with climate change today:

  • Walk or bike to school. Find a classmate in the neighborhood to make it more fun.
  • Reuse returned homework and school paperwork as wrapping paper or letters for family. Grandparents, aunts, or uncles can see your old math homework wrapping up their gifts.
  • Avoid taking plastic bottled drinks and use the fountains or reusable containers.
  • Turn off the lights every time you leave the room. Turn it into a game or contest about family members keeping lights off.
  • Find rocks out in nature and decorate them as gifts for loved ones. Family loves homemade gifts especially for the holidays.

Children can take on these simple actions and feel a part of the community and that they’re making a difference. In the end, we all want to make a difference, even children.

I Love to Write Day

Happy I Love to Write Day!

This day was founded in 2002 by author John Riddle, a non-fiction and self-help writer, to encourage children writing in schools and even encourage adults to pick up a pen.

To celebrate today, you can write a loved one a letter, create a poem, write a short story, start a novel, finish a novel, or write anything. It doesn’t have to be long. Jot down a few words.

Happy I Love to Write Day!

World Kindness Day

Happy World Kindness Day!

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. The purpose of this day is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together.

To celebrate this day of kindness, I recommend this children’s picture book written and illustrated by my friend, Jesse Bennett. Her book, Lift, shares the sweet message of kindness, inclusion, and lifting our words and our actions throughout the beautiful pages.

This sweet and colorful book also shares a great meditation, affirmations, and journal questions at the end to help guide discussions with children. I love all her drawings and all the color used throughout this book!

It’s a great book to pick up to celebrate World Kindness Day!

Veterans Day

This Thursday, we celebrate and honor our military veterans as a federal holiday.

Many of our national parks have direct connections to the American military. In fact, we have dozens of national sites, battlefields, and parks that honor American veterans.

In honor of this day, the National Park Service invites all visitors to visit any National Park Service site for free on Veterans Day.

World War II Memorial in Washington DC

Take a moment to honor, thank, and remember our veterans on this day.

Happy Veterans Day! And thank you to all the brave veterans out there!

Shop Bookshop This Weekend

Support local and shop at Bookshop.org this weekend. Spend $60 or more on book purchases this weekend and earn a $10 digital gift card. With supply chain issues for books this season, get your books now and get a bonus $10! Offer ends Sunday night.

Click here to start shopping! And check out that new Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel too! 😉

Enjoy finding new books!