Writing from the Heart - Blog Articles

The Small Walt Trucks

A Trio of Trucks

  One of the best moments as a children’s book author is seeing the illustrations created by an artist who has taken your words and made them into something much bigger. When that happened for my story Small Walt, I was surprised and delighted to see Walt and his world come to life on the

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Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves

You Write Books with … Messages?

Yes. Yes I do. Sure, I know there’s a whole school of thought that says “sharing a message” in a children’s book is something to avoid. That children will learn more, feel more, by reading books—stories—that evoke an emotional response and increase empathy through strong characterization and vivid language. Yes. Yes that’s true. But.… Sometimes children,

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Too Much Whining While Waiting

Too Much Whining While Waiting? Tips to Foster Patience in Children

Do you know Veruca Salt? She’s the spoiled, impatient young girl from Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was made into the classic Willy Wonka movie. Veruca is terribly demanding: “Hey, Mummy! . . . I’ve decided I want a squirrel. Get me one of those squirrels!” In the movie, she

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Washing hands

This Is the Way We Wash Our Hands …

Jimmy Fallon’s new song is helping Americans tune in to the importance of fighting viruses: “Wash your hands, wash your hands, do not touch your face.” He strums his guitar, crooning that if we follow these guidelines, “Then the world would be a better place.” He wrote the song for his young daughters and shared

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Peep Leap

Skinny Dip with Elizabeth Verdick

Q. What keeps you up at night? A. Reading much, much too late! Q. What is your proudest career moment? A. In 2005 I won the Henry Bergh Award, which honors books that recognize the need to treat animals with kindness and caring (for my book Tails Are Not for Pulling). I got to stand

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Why Your Baby Needs Books

Reading Together: Why Your Baby Needs Books

When you read to your baby, you’re not just bonding, you’re promoting language and social skills. It’s never too early to start a positive lifetime habit. “In the first few weeks with my newborn at home, whatever I was reading, I would read aloud to my baby—novels, magazine articles, even emails. As she got older,

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Germs Are Not for Sharing

Invite Guests—Not Germs—to Your Home During the Holidays

Hurray, it’s the holiday season! Uh-oh, it’s also cold and flu season. Parties, travel, and gatherings are all part of holiday fun, but time spent with others during cold and flu season means that you and your children are more likely to get sick. What are you supposed to do—hide out and avoid the crowds?

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Elizabeth & Marieka

Free Spirit Storytellers on Their Best Behavior

By Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen, author and illustrator of the Best Behavior® series Storytelling is at the heart of being human—and it starts at birth. We share stories as we talk to our babies, sing to them, and read to them. They grow rich in stories, and once children are verbal, they are eager

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