Whether gifting for the holidays, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or “just because,” children’s literature is a timeless gift that can impact the recipient, families and society at-large in meaningful ways. This truth is exemplified with “A Little Spark ” children’s book authored by Chris Parsons—a truly unique title that was recently awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for best in family-friendly media. Fittingly so, as this distinctive interactive, read-along chapter book is centered around the noble theme of finding, and doing, good in the world.
A Little Spark is redefining children’s literature by driving its overarching message home by combining a compelling narrative and cast of identifiable characters with full color illustrations; a custom-scoredmusical soundtrack of original songs like this accessible through QR Codes while reading the book; an audiobook featuring delightful performances; fun on-and-offline activities; and invaluable life lessons that are highlighted throughout each chapter. It’s a heartening activity to enjoy with young children, grandchildren and students.
To complement the beautifully illustrated 160-page chapter book, Parsons collaborated with renowned music producer Bruce Faulconer to develop the full album with an original soundtrack and accompanying audiobook. “Lyrics range from playful to heartwarming and, in one instance, even a bit ominous,” noted Faulconer. “The music keeps the reader poised and, at times, thrillingly on the edge of their seat. We worked with an amazing group of performers and have created something truly special that’s resonating with kids and adults, alike.”
Enhancing the read-along story and the various audio components, A Little Spark also comes complete with a free companion online Resource Library available at BeThatSpark.com, which boasts over 50 book-related family activities like coloring pages, character puppets, word searches, mazes, dance videos, character drawing video tutorials and more. A “Parent’s Guide” is also available to help plan and optimize the overall experience.
“Parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators are indelibly seeking great content to engage with kids, and A Little Spark is written with purpose and intention toward that end,” said Parsons. “The storyline, and the various lessons embedded throughout, underscore that even the smallest creature can make the biggest difference. This takeaway message is especially important for young, impressionable children to hear because they so badly want to be seen and heard…in today’s culture more than ever.”
“Children’s literature is a powerful force that can shape and nurture the minds of kids,” continued Parsons. “In the case of A Little Spark, the combination of a great story, captivating illustrations and rich characters—in combination with mood-inducing music—can truly engage young minds in an impactful and immediate way. It’s one that not only entertains and inspires young audiences, but also helps them develop critical thinking skills and encourages a sense of adventure and the confidence to take that first step.”
As per the Mom’s Choice Award, “A Little Spark is an innovative, inspiring, and entertaining tale about unlikely comrades who join forces on a quest to defeat a threatening enemy. A little Spark reminds us that, to awaken our passion and spirit, we all need something in life to make the world be a warmer place, and to always look for ways to ‘Be That Spark.’”
Working in partnership with a teacher advisory group, the “Be That Spark” elementary education pilot program launched this October in multiple first grade classrooms. This one-of-a-kind scholastic program combines the book, music and all of the related material into a formal academic lesson plan designed to provide a fun, inspiring experience for educators and their students. The Be That Spark program includes a focus on helping students develop positive character traits based on the characters and lessons from the book. It aligns with U.S. standards by creating meaningful and challenging lessons for students intended to increase their reading, listening and comprehension skills.
“Our panel of judges really felt this book merited a place on our list of the best in family-friendly media products that parents and educators can feel confident in using,” said Dawn Matheson, CEO, Mom’s Choice Awards. Other accolades include A Little Spark earning its place as an Amazon new release best-seller in a number of categories, including #1 in Children’s Music Books.
“Jaguar Century: 100 Years of Automotive Excellence” by Giles Chapman
“Jaguar Century” is a lavishly illustrated large-format retrospective examining 100 years of Jaguar, one of the most acclaimed marques in automotive history. Established in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley, the Swallow Sidecar Company transformed into one of the auto industry’s most revered car brands, synonymous with performance and luxury. “Jaguar Century” chronicles this company and its remarkable vehicles, from the 1935 Jaguar SS sporting saloon to today’s F-Type sports cars, F-PACE SUV, and X-Type sedans—filled with images, history, and in-depth analyses of the incredible cars Jaguar has created year after year.
Automotive historian Giles Chapman showcases how company visionaries developed the brand in the trying economic times leading up to World War II before resetting Jaguar during England’s bleak postwar years. “Jaguar Century” will make a great addition to any holiday gift list, just in time for the marque’s 100 anniversary next year.
Publishing September 28, 2021 by Motorbooks ∙ Hardcover, 224 pages ∙ $75.00 US, $99.00 CAN ISBN: 9780760368664
“DAMANHUR Social Alchemy, Magical Temples and the Superindividual” by Jeff Merrifield
What is Damanhur? It is an alternative way of life. A societal model for the betterment of humanity, an experiment in human consciousness. A collective of people devoted to the sustainability of communal living; an ecovillage and spiritual community based in Northern Italy. Founded by Falco Tarassaco in the mid-70s, Damanhur has grown from humble beginnings to become a prime mover in spiritual-artistic standing and research and the ecological protection of the planet.
In Jeff Merrifield’s book, he writes with reverence about this community that has fascinated him for over two decades. His book is an introduction to the intricacies, philosophies and structures of the seemingly closed-off Damanhur, the guide to the lessons of this community.
DAMANHUR Social Alchemy, Magical Temples and the Superindividual by JEFF MERRIFIELD (10th August; Watkins/Penguin Random House; £18.99/$29.95; 9781786783707
“Move Like Water × Be Fluid” is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.
This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward.
Move Like Water x Be Fluid is available in PDF format on Blurb.
Signed copies of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available in ourshop.
“Bodega Cat” by Louie Chin
Already a recipient of starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, Louie Chin’s “Bodega Cat” has been selected by the Junior Library Guild as a Spring 2020 Gold Standard in the City Elementary category. Referred to as “the subscription box for the modern librarian,” the Junior Library Guild plays a pivotal role in stocking library inventories nationwide with the highest caliber of books for children. Of the thousands of applicants, only 3% receive this annual distinction and over 95% of JLG Gold Standard books go on to win other book awards. Congratulations to Louie Chin, and to editor Jordan Nielsen!
Born and raised in New York, Louie Chin is an illustrator who creates commercial and editorial content. He has always been an animal-lover, and there is one family pet in particular from which he drew inspiration for “Bodega Cat”: a spirited and feisty orange tabby cat named Simba. His favorite bodega order is coffee and an egg and sausage sandwich on a toasted roll. “Bodega Cat” is the first book that he both wrote and illustrated. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Animals & Cats / City & Town Life / People & Places, Hispanic & Latino Hardcover, 10.5 x 10.5 Inches, 32 Pages ISBN: 978-1-57687-932-0, $17.99 US/$23.99 CAN
“The Fragile Skin of the World” by Jean-Luc Nancy
The world is everything that passes between us – ourselves and everything that happens to us, everything that becomes of our contacts, our gazes, our movements; and through referrals from skin to skin, from the fleeting to the immemorial, you reach without even knowing it the entire actuality of the world: the act of its existence. This act is made up of works and disasters, splendors, horrors, and catastrophes. As long as it is ours, it is the act of an infinite emergence that is all the sense there is: a sense that incessantly goes from skin to skin and is itself never enveloped by anything.
The texts in this volume are all oriented by the concern for what is currently happening to us – we, late humanoids – when we arrive at an extremity of our history, whether this extremity should turn out to be a stage, a rupture, or quite simply a last breath.
Jean-Luc Nancy is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Université Marc Bloch in Strasbourg and teaches Political Philosophy and Media Aesthetics at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee.“The Fragile Skin of the World” will be published in November 2021.
“Passion for Practice with Musings From Music Masters” by Becky Chaffee
Becky’s new book for anyone playing an instrument, Passion For Practice With Musings From Music Masters, is an imaginative visual presentation expressing music practice concepts. Whether you take private lessons or you learned an instrument in grade school and need to take some lessons to get started again, this book will encourage you. The better you are, the more fun you’ll have. Regular practicing can be rough, but Ms. Chaffee’s book helps you to practice smarter, making it more of a fun challenge than rote practice.
Both an art book and a practice reference book, Passion For Practice With Musings From Music Masters contains personal practicing stories and suggestions from musicians around the world, including famous musicians, Grammy award-winning musicians, and principals of sections in major orchestras on all instruments. You might also enjoy her first book, Have Fun With Your Music to inspire young musicians to make practicing their own. Buy this book to inspire music practice or as a gift for a music teacher’s studio.
Becky Chaffee grew up in a musical household and raised two musical children. She has degrees in civil engineering from UC Berkeley and Cornell University. She enjoys playing flute for her music club. Through her music gifts company, Becky raises funds for music education and has distributed $1,000s to youth. Much of the artwork in her books is presented on note cards, prints and Tee shirts that sell in music stores and symphony gift shops such as the Brevard Music Center, Nashville and San Francisco Symphony Gift Shops, SW Strings, and so on.
TheFair Trade Handbook, Edited by Gavin Fridell, Zack Gross and Sean McHugh
Framed within the common goal of advancing trade justice and South-North solidarity, The Fair Trade Handbook presents a broad interpretation of fair trade and a wide-ranging dialogue between different viewpoints. Canadian researchers in particular have advanced a transformative vision of fair trade, rooted in the cooperative movement and arguing for a more central role for Southern farmers and workers. Contributors to this book look at the issues within global trade, and assess fair trade and how to make it more effective against the broader structures of the capitalist, colonialist, racist and patriarchal global economy. The debates and discussions are set within a critical development studies and critical political economy framework. However, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers, as it translates the key issues for a popular audience.
Dodge Viper by David Zatz
The story of Chrysler Corporation’s 1990s image-building V10-engined sportscar – now in eBook format! The Viper stunned Americans by showing that Dodge, known for tame cars and minivans, could make a brutal monster of a sports car. At Le Mans, Team Viper showed they could handle turns, too, winning its class at a fraction of the usual cost. This book covers the Viper from concept to rough rocket to world-class supercar.
This is not just a gushing tribute to the Dodge Viper, the author provides an objective view of the full story, using business, historical, and enthusiast perspectives. The book looks at the business case for each generation, the development stories and their outcomes, and describes some of the issues owners may have to watch out for, particularly in the early models.
True Teryn: The Last Lumenian Book 2 by S.G. Blaise
Princess Lilla finds herself tasked with recruiting the biggest and most dangerous army in the Seven Galaxies. However, the Teryn Emperor will not cooperate unless Lilla earns the blessing of the Guardian Goddess Laoise – no simple task! Is she willing to pay the price to bring her people a second chance at a new beginning?
Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and Emily Skrutskie, this compelling and adventurous tale is set in a rich sci-fi fantasy world. The True Teryn is a captivating coming-of-age story with a diverse cast of characters, a powerful female lead, and a beautiful overarching message: you don’t have to be perfect to be a hero.
“At the heart of The Last Lumenian series, is the story of how young women struggle with today’s critical challenges, including: mental health, personal freedom, self-esteem and managing relationships amidst overwhelming expectations,” says Blaise. “I love hearing from my readers, how inspired they are by Princess Lilla, taking brave action in their own lives.”
True Teryn, (The Last Lumenian, #2) will be available on Amazon and at other booksellers on Dec. 7, 2021.
The American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker, the brilliant Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss has been extremely well known ever since he started his books and films. The books and films are classics and bring joy and childhood memories.
Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and released his first book in 1937 called And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In total, he has written over 60 books and sold over 600 million copies throughout his career. In his early career, he attended Lincoln College at the University of Oxford for English literature, but left without receiving a degree and came back to the U.S. After moving back to the United States, Dr. Seuss began to send his work to different advertising agencies, magazines and publishers. In 1927, his first cartoon was published in The Saturday Evening Post. His career was long, successful, and brilliant.
In the latest news, Dr. Seuss will stop being published due to “hurtful and wrong racist images.” In his books and cartoons, there has been ‘insensitive’ imagery that is causing this news. Dr. Seuss’s enterprise assured consumers that the books which are no longer being published are a part of the plan to “ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.” The decision of this issue most definitely was not easy for the Dr. Seuss organization. Since this is such a serious and sensitive issue, it required for the organization to think it through, bring in experts, and spend long hours deciding on what is best way to maintain Dr. Seuss’ name and be sensitive to all of his readers.
Not all of his books will stop being published, but they still will all be carefully inspected. The confirmed books that will no longer be available for purchase are McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!,The Cat’s Quizzer, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and If I Ran the Zoo. The Cat In The Hat has also been under discussion concerning discontinuation, but will be fully examined before any decisions are made.
In The Cats Quizzer, the Japanese character has a bright yellow face and is standing on Mt. Fuji. If I Ran A Zoo shows examples of orientalism and white supremacy. Another issue with the Dr. Seuss books has been that a majority of the human characters are white, which makes it appear that Dr. Seuss focuses on white men and women.
A school in Virginia has already banned the copies of these Dr. Seuss books, and others are having similar discussions.
Even in death, Dr. Seuss receives backlash from his work along with many other brands such as Aunt Jemima pancake mix and Uncle Ben’s Eskimo Pies, which also had to change their branding due to racial issues. Brands from this point on need to pay close attention to their advertising to ensure that they’re being inclusive of all audiences.
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