Just Imagine & Play! On the SiteSticker & press-out activity book by Walter Foster Jr. Creative Team -Review by LAWonder10!
Just Imagine & Play! On the SiteSticker & press-out activity book by Walter Foster Jr. Creative Team, Illustrated by: Mattia Cerato
Format: Paperback / softback, 48 Pages | ISBN: 9781633222458
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr. | Series: Just Imagine & Play!
Just Imagine & Play! On the Site is an activity book set on a bustling construction site! Kids will love the facts, games and fold-out construction site scene.
Rev the engine on your Earth movers and bulldozers, because it's construction season! Just Imagine & Play! On the Site is your chance to be in charge of your own construction site. With this awesome activity book, you'll get to be the foreman running the show. Unfold the book to reveal your very own stand-up play scene.
You'll get to customize your construction site with reusable stickers and punch-out, stand-up characters. From there, what you build on your construction site is up to you! Use dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers to move dirt and build houses and skyscrapers.
This kit comes with a 48-page activity book with cool facts about construction tools and vehicles, puzzles, and games, not to mention the awesome punch-out characters, reusable stickers, and a fold-out construction site scene.
The authorThe Walter Foster Jr. Creative Team develops fun and imaginative books and kits for children of all ages. Encouraging learning and exploring, Walter Foster Jr. titles cover a wide range of subjects, including art, transportation, history, craft, gardening, and more.
Mattia Cerato has illustrated many books, including Sticker, Punch-out & Play!: Construction;Sticker, Punch-out & Play!: Dinosaurs;and Just Imagine & Play: On the Site. He resides in Turin, Italy.
MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
My family and I LOVE Walter Foster, Kr. Team books! They are well-made, attractively illustrated, clever books!
On the Site Activity Sticker book is just another example of the simple, clever creation of this group.
the book is oversized and the images are large so small hands can easily follow the directions and remove and replace the stickers as instructed.
The child will learn the various construction tools and machines used "On the Site", along with a fold-out site map.
Along with stickers, there a various games and activities the child can participate in.
I offer a Five Stars rating.
*This was gifted with no suggestion whatsoever for offering a positive review. This is my honest review.
My Review: (LAWonder10)
This is a very colorful and well illustrated book for pre-school to Kindergarten age.
It has simply stated messages, identifying various Latter-Day Saint prophets from the Book of Mormon.
This is a wonderful book for quiet time and will assist in keeping one's toddlers occupied without taking away from the Sabbath on Sundays.
The only real problem I had with it is the title. It centers on prophets beginning with Lehi but has little to do with him and what he sees..
I offer a Four Stars rating.
*This was gifted me with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review
November 26, 2018 - Rockin' Book Reviews (https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/)
November 27, 2018 - Singing Librarian (https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/youth)
November 28, 2018 - My Book A Day (http://mybookaday.com/),
Bookworm Lisa (http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/)
November 29, 2018 - Life's Journey to Perfection (http://www.lifesjourneytoperfection.net)
November 30, 2018 - Making Life a Bliss Complete (http://www.ablisscomplete.com)
Sandra Meaders studied English and minored in creative writing and history at Southern Virginia
University and earned her master's degree in literature from the University of Akron. Currently,
she is raising two children, managing a blog, and editing on the side. Lehi, Lehi,
What Do You See? is her debut children's book.
Amazon | Goodreads |
Presented by Cedar Fort Publishing
A Rainbow in her Pocket by Amanda Jayne Hardcover, First, 32 pages
Published October 15th 2018 by Waldorf Publishing
ISBN: 1642048305 (ISBN13: 9781642048308)
Have you ever seen a sheep standing tiptoe on the ears of a very tall giraffe while a crowd looks on and cheers?
And have you seen an owl helping them to tug
a rainbow from the sky, like a multi-colored rug?
This is the story of Mala the rhino who cant help feeling blue after her friend moves away. Her friends, an owl, a sheep and a not-so-humble giraffe get together with sun and create a crazumptious plan to show Mala that blue is as beautiful as all the other colors. This colorful story of friendship and love will delight children while encouraging them to embrace their emotions in a healthy way.
Buy Rainbow In Her Pocket by Amanda Jayne
This is a creative book for "little ones" to enjoy. It is colorful, simple and a has a good message.
The author's illustrations are done very well and are eye-catching..
The story rhymes part of the time. The ,message is good except the "flow " of the tale is "choppy". It lacks rhythm.
Still, I feel it will keep the child's interest and can be used in teaching a few topics.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted to me with no requirement of a positive review. This is my honest review.
Praise Rainbow In Her Pocket by Amanda Jayne
“A delightful story with so much heart. A gorgeous book for all ages!” – Tej Steiner, author of ‘Waking Up With Everyone Around us’. USA”
“Truly glorious! This book shares the wisdom that all feelings are not only of value, but make us who we are, in all our splendor – if we are only able to see. Amanda Jayne, in her tale, beseeches us to see.” – Natalie Prior, Child and Adolescent Therapist, UK.
“I would love to share this wonderful story with my kindergarten students and can use it to teach across our curriculum.” – Caprice Allen, Kindergarten Teacher, USA
“At last, a beautiful children’s story with depth. Amanda Jayne has cleverly managed to weave the importance of friendship, understanding and acceptance of the self and each other in a heartwarming rhyme. We loved it!” – Diane Bundy, Businesswoman and Mum, UK
About Amanda JayneAmanda Jayne is a teacher, heart circle coach and a holistic health practitioner who is finally getting around to writing those books she has always wanted to write. As a child, Amanda found safety, comfort and a gateway to imagination in the books she read, and the desire to create this for others is what led her to begin writing books for children.
In an effort to help young readers see the magical pictures and colors she imagines, she decided to have a go at illustrating them herself.
In the past, Amanda Jayne worked in the mental health field and in 2009, after gaining her masters in Spiritual Psychology, she became passionate about the importance of emotional and self-cultivation in the midst of a world filled with overwhelming mental stimulation. Amanda has a love of travel, exploring other cultures, trees, art and eating dark chocolate.
‘A Rainbow In Her Pocket’ is Amanda Jayne’s first children’s book. She is also the author of a travel adventure book, ‘Close Encounters Of the Traveling Kind’. .After living in Bolivia, Japan and the USA, she now lives in a quiet corner of Kent in the UK.
Giveaway Rainbow In Her Pocket by Amanda Jayne Tour!
This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book. Print is available to the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 30, 2018 at midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
Spotlight Tour + Giveaway for ALYCAT AND THE FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY by Alysson Foti Bourque! [Ends 11/2/18]
Book Title: Alycat and the Friendship Friday by Alysson Foti Bourque, Illustrated by: Chiara Civati
Category: Children's Fiction, 32 pages |Genre: Picture Book, Friendship
Publisher: Mascot Books | Release date: Oct 23, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 1 to 27, 2018 | Content Rating: G
It’s finally Friday, and Alycat is excited to go on a field trip with her friends. But when she doesn’t have anyone to sit with on the bus, Alycat feels left out. Can she use her creativity and imagination to help everyone feel included?
Alycat and the Friendship Friday will teach readers that making new friends isn’t as scary as you might think.
Buy the Book: Mascot Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | Add to Goodreads
Alycat and the Friendship Friday, is all about friendship and acceptance. What are your tips on being a good friend?
Comments by Alysson Foti Bourque
It’s important to be a good friend and to teach our youth the same. It is a conscious effort that takes two. To be a good friend you must:
Meet the Author:
Alysson Foti Bourque earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center. After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. She enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. Currently, she resides in Sunset, Louisiana with her husband and two children.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram
Prizes: Win a set of 3 books in the Alycat Children's series (open to USA only / 1 winner)
(ends Nov 3, 2018)
The Adventures of Rosy Posy Papillon: Friendship (Part of the Value Series Book 1)by Diana Rangaves,Tatiana Minina (Illustrator)
Rosy Posy, an adorable Papillon, learns how to makes friends, share, and ask for help. Rosy Posy demonstrates what friendship is and how important it is to be a friend. Join Rosy Posy on a great friend adventure.
NOTE: 100% of author’s royalties benefit Papillon Haven Rescue who are individuals living across the United States who have been drawn together as volunteers for the sole purpose of preserving and protecting pure breed and non-pure breed Papillons in need.
This is a fun new Children's book series on instilling correct values in children at an early age. The adorably portrayed Rosy Posy is certain to "wiggle" it's way into the hearts of children. Rosy Posy invites all animals she encounters to be her friend, regardless of size or environment.
The illustration of the animals are cute, done in water color style by illustrator Tatiana Minina. The animals faces portray many emotions. The on "tail" scene is dimmed out until it is hard to visualize what the scene is about. The animals and colors should still keep the children's attention.
Each new encounter is accompanied by the same rhyming song. The story would be more effective if a playlist or composition of the tune was actually implemented along with this tale. The frequent repetition instill the lyrics in a child's mind.
This could be the beginning of a popular, new trend. If one visits the website, there is even a Fan Club little ones can join.
I offer a Four Stars rating for this book.
This was gifted with the understanding it will not affect this review. This is my honest review.
For chances for three individuals to receive your own copy, enter the Giveaway on the Spotlight interview on my site.
Book Title: We Meet with Manners by Cheryl Esposito
Category: Children's Fiction, 24 pages Genre: Friendship, Social Skills, Manners, Growing Up & Facts of Life
Publisher: Mindstir Media | Release date: May 31, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 3 to 28, 2018
We Meet with Manners is all about being polite and respectful to people throughout the day. From people you know to strangers passing by, simple kind gestures not only lift the spirits of others but for ourselves too. The pictures demonstrate sign language to assist with the early communication and development.
About the Author:
Cheryl Esposito has come from a corporate background and has since become a full time Mom with three children under 4 and an amazing husband. I have always enjoyed writing but my children are the one’s who inspired me to write about our everyday routines and family fundamentals. My husband provides me the support to believe in myself and never lose faith in who I am. I believe, if there is something you have always thought about doing, you should always follow through. Having children has given me one more reason to follow through. Sharing everything that is good in life is a reward by itself. I am blessed to be able to do just that. So please enjoy these books and I hope it can help your life with children be just a little bit easier.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram
Win a print copy of We Meet with Manners by Cheryl Esposito (open to USA & Canada - 1 winner)
(ends Oct 6, 2018)
Night Night, Sleepytown By Amy Parker
Published by Thomas Nelson
The sun is sinking low, and Sleepytown is ready to say, “Night night!” Join bestselling author Amy Parker and award-winning illustrator Virginia Allyn in the latest Night Night adventure through Sleepytown, the charming little village where residents are drifting off to dreamland, just like your little one is sure to do.
Sleep may come slowly for many toddlers, and Night Night, Sleepytown is just the cozy story to help your little one nod off for the evening. Even the most stubborn bedtime resisters will love this delightful board book full of fun and silly characters who are getting ready for sleepy time in Sleepytown.
Amy Parker and Virginia Allyn, the same award-winning pair behind the bestselling books Night Night, Farm and Night Night, Train, team up again for this brand-new story that is equally appealing for little boys and little girls. Complete your collection with Night Night, Sleepytown today!
Night Night, Sleepytown is a very well-made,sturdy, cardboard story book with a soft, foam -filled top cover and is very "washable". It is perfect for "wee ones".
This attractive and colorful book, illustrated by Virginia Allyn, is a wonderful book to aid little ones in falling asleep. Even if it isn't "sleepytime", it is a fun tale!
This story simply describes many professionals and their important part in each of our lives.
It is written somewhat like prose but the "flow" is somewhat interrupted.
The cute little forest creatures, depicting the main characters, are all adorable!
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
This was gifted me with no suggestion of a positive review. This is my honest review.
Amy Parker has written more than twenty books for children, teens, and adults, including the best-selling A Night Night Prayer , Thank You, God, for Mommy, and Thank You, God, for Daddy. She has also collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son. Most importantly, she is a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan.
I am truly impressed by this amazing Children's book author! His books are impressively clever and wonderfully illustrated! It was a delight meeting him and "chatting" with him!
David Miles makes books for a living. He also reads books, writes books, sells books, shelves books, thinks about books, drives to books, sleeps to books, cooks from books, but he doesn't eat books (which is fortunate). After serving as a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Business Management. David currently lives in California where he enjoys trips to Yosemite and the central coast. Book is his second children's book.
Author's Amazon page | Goodreads |
Below are just a few of the great, educational books by David Miles! Click on his Amazon page for more choices. Also, there are some on his Familius account not listed on Amazon!
For your chances to WIN your own David W. Miles Children's book, enter with the Rafflecopter below!
Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World Board book – April 1, 2018
by Heidi Poelman, Kyle Kershner (Illustrator)\
From the intrepid efforts of Susan B. Anthony to the quiet courage of Rosa Parks, Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World is a young child's first introduction to the brave people who fought to make the world a better place. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of eight champions of freedom: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. A quote from each individual is included on each spread along with colorful, delightful artwork.
REVIEW by SABRINA
This is a nice, good quality children's book. I really like the focus on influential people in history and I enjoyed the artwork. It didn't really have any life to the description, nothing that made it really fun or inviting. Because of this, I give it a Three and a Half Stars rating.
What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale
Category: Children's Fiction, 34 pages | Content Rating: G
Genre: Children's Books, Values & Virtues, Christian Books
Publisher: Mindstir Media | Release date: September 14, 2016
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
We tell our kids that God is everywhere. Pray and maybe He will answer. But if God is everywhere and has created all things, then He must be talking to us all the time. This is my short story to help my Grandchildren understand they can talk with God all day, everyday, everywhere.
Meet the Author:
Bernie was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and now resides in Joppa, a small community just a bit north up the I-95 corridor. He has spent his entire professional career in Education and Financial Services. More importantly he is a Husband, Father, and Grandfather to a beautiful family.
Connect with the author:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram
Win an ebook copy of What Does God Sound Like? (open to USA & Canada - 2 winners)
(ends July 28, 2018)
STACIE IS NOT ONLY A TALENTED AUTHOR OF CHILDRE4N'S BOOKS BUT SHE SUCCESSFULLY RUNS HER OWN BEACHBOUNDBOOKS TOUR COMPANY! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Green Project (Illustrator)
Charlie is excited to spend the day at the park, but when he realizes it's raining he thinks the whole day is ruined. Will Charlie discover that each day is a gift?
My name is Stacie Theis and I am a book reviewer, author interviewer, and blogger. I have also written three children's books: The Blue Daisy, Make a Wish, and Charlie's Rainy Day. I'm a mom of four wonderful humans (3 adults & 1 teen) and live with my husband in San Diego. I've never met a trail I didn't want to hike and am grateful for each new day!
Amazon: | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Pinterest |Instagram |
For chances to WIN your own copy of Charlie's Rainy Day, fill out the Rafflecopter below!
Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway for THE BOY WHO DREAMT OF FIRE TRUCKS by Alvita Mack! [Ends 6/30/18]
Book Title: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks by Alvita Mack
Category: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 26 pages
Publisher: Mindstir Media | Release date: September 26, 2016
Genre: Children's Books, Cars, Trains & Things That Go, Cars &; Trucks
Tour dates: May 28 to June 22, 2018
Content Rating: G
This story is about a little boy who is fascinated by fire trucks. Throughout his early life, he has dreams about the adventures at the station and the exciting life of a firefighter. The little boy holds his dreams close until one day they become a reality.
Buy the Book: azon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Add to Goodreads
GUEST POST: Why The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks is special and unique to me
I actually wrote this book by the seat of my pants. It was a normal day, my son drew a picture of a fire truck, and I sat with him to write a story to go along with it. After writing two sentences I realized they rhymed with one another, so I challenged myself to continue to write. Before I knew it, I wrote a whole story. Of course, a couple of words needed to be changed around, but the story was written in a matter of minutes. I think the words came to me so fluidly because they weren’t forced; I had a creative spurt that evolved from watching my son play with fire trucks.
I also wanted my book to be inspiring with a central message that would capture the hearts and minds of young children. I have read dozens of books based on firemen, fire trucks, and fire stations, but I haven’t read a book quite like this. A lot of the books were informational which is great, but I wanted to write a book that would motivate my son and children everywhere to work really hard and dream beyond their wildest imagination. I thought it would be really cool to project the possibility of dreams becoming a reality. Another factor that makes this book unique is that it's based on the dreams of a real little boy.
About the Author:
Alvita is a lover of writing, a teacher, and most importantly, a mom. Writing has always provided a creative outlet for which she finds sensible solutions. Having a son with developmental delays was very challenging for her. However, she used books and original stories to help him overcome the obstacles he faced at an early age. Alvita believes that the imagination is truly a key that unlocks the doors to an endless journey.
Connect with the author:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram
Enter the Giveaway!
Prize: Win a copy of The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks plus a $5 Amazon.com gift card (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers - 1 winner)
(ends June 30, 2018)
Title: Catalina and the King's Wall
Author: Patricia Costello
Illustrated by: Diane Cojocaru
Genre: Children's Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32
Publisher: Eifrig Publishing "| Publication Date: May 5, 2018
One day Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall and fears her family will never be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands a wall that will outlast even a Twinkie. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion!
Available on Amazon & Eifrig Publishing
Take a peek inside the book...
MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
This is a silly but cute story of a girl who cooks for the King and loves her family. When the king came up with an idea which would separate her from her family, Catalina had to come up with some ideas of her own.
The illustrations, done by Diane Cojocaru, were very bright and colorful and done very well.. The "busy" images and colors will capture the attention of toddlers and early elementary.
This will surely delight "little ones" during "story hours" or Summer Reading Programs for ages 3 to 7 years old.
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with noe request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Patty Costello lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, a crazy awesome toddler, a dog named Pippa, and a dog named Spencer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of St Thomas and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She currently works in higher education. Catalina and the King’s Wall is her first book. At all hours of the day (and night) she can be found standing at her desk, helping her university run smoothly and working on her next story.
Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
Blog Tour Giveaway!Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice
Giveaway ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2018
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Patty Costello and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
Dragons Are Real by Valerie Budayr
What if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG? What if I told you that Dragons are indeed REAL and that they are different than you've ever imagined?Did you know that Dragons are the master of disguises? Did you know that they love sugar and sweets (at unacceptable levels) and will do anything for treats? Award winning author Valarie Budayr brings us this fairly true story based on her childhood friendship with a REAL live Dragon.
This is a very cute children's story about the "truth" and "falsehoods" about Dragons!
Very beautifully illustrated by Michael Welply, the pages will certainly captivate the younf listener/early reader.
I recommend this for Summer Reading Programs for children ages four to eight years.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
CEO and publisher at Audrey Press, and creative director of the popular blog and website Jump into a Book, and co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day; these are the many hats of Valarie Budayr .
Valarie is also the award-winning, best-selling author of Mom’s Choice Award Winner A Year in the Secret Garden and Kirkus Top Pick Dragons Are Real.
As a publisher, Audrey Press has offered readers amazing and innovative titles like the YA thriller, Ascension by Hannah Rials, the wildly popular Donna Ashton book, The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook and most recently HOW TO COACH GIRLS by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley.
Alison Foley, Boston College's Women's Head Soccer Coach, and Mia Wenjen, parenting blogger at PragmaticMom to help coaches, both parent volunteer, and professional coaches crack the code of how to keep girls in sports. HOW TO COACH GIRLS focuses on the key elements to keep girls coming back next season covering topics like Coaching Your Own Daughter to Pitfalls of Choosing Captains to Developing Team Chemistry. This is a hands-on manual to help coaches keep girls in sports!
Valarie's mission is to create Beautiful Books that inspire children, families, and communities to experience and create a world together while having fun. She is passionate about making children’s books come alive via original and unique book extension activities so kids of all ages can experience the stories in new and exciting ways.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads |
Book Title: Ralphie, Always Loved by Andrea Yerramilli
Illustrated by: Samantha Van Riet
Category: Children's Fiction, 32 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: About Something Good, LLC
Release date: October 28, 2017
Tour dates: April 9 to May 4, 2018
Content Rating: G
This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.
Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.
He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.
He loves pretty much everything and everyone.
And they love him back.
And that's how it is all through his life.
Read the book and fall in love with him too.
Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie's human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralphie, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love's power to uplift and transform.
Follow the tour by visiting Andrea Yerramilli's page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indiebound
Add to Goodreads
Signs of Being Always Loved by Andrea Yerramilli
When I wrote the children’s picture book Ralphie, Always Loved, the story of my dog Ralphie, instead of beginning from the point when I met him for the first time, I chose to begin where I imagined how Ralphie got to be my Ralphie. He was a black dog, with white paws, a streak of white on his nose, a white-tipped tail, and a perfectly drawn white heart on his belly. I believed that the only way he could have come by those markings was if he was up in heaven, painting clouds just before he was born. And I imagined that when his earthly life was over, he would go back to exactly where he left off.
After Ralphie passed on, I imagined that he was painting clouds and found myself looking up at the clouds for signs from him. And I’ve found them: heart-shaped clouds. Sometime it’s the cloud itself, and sometimes it’s in the sky between the clouds that makes a distinctive heart.
Ralphie’s first birthday after he had passed was extremely difficult for me. I was missing him terribly and remembered the wonderful celebration we’d had for his sixteenth birthday a year before. I could not stop the tears. Something made me step out onto my deck and look up at the sky . . . and there it was, two clouds that, together, were shaped like a broken heart. The clouds seemed to be a message from Ralphie, who recognized that on this day—his first birthday apart from me in sixteen years—my heart was breaking. I think he wanted to let me know that he was okay and that I would be too.
Of course, it could all be in my imagination, but it doesn’t matter. These signs help me and remind me that I’m always loved, just as I’ll always love Ralphie. I truly believe that those we deeply love never really leave us. They stay on in our memories and are Always Loved. And I often see hearts in the clouds to remind me of that fact.
Meet the Author:
Andrea has always been an avid reader and that jumpstarted her imagination at a very early age. In fact she escaped to the Land of Make Believe more often than her mother liked.
She is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids both with and without fur. Andrea says that it helps to have one foot planted firmly in reality while the other is foot loose and fancy-free in Imagination Land. She enjoys the best of both worlds.
In 2013, Andrea and her husband started About Something Good (ASG) as a vehicle to curate, inspire and share goodness in the world. In a world where negative images flood the media, and words like “hate” get tossed around so easily, Andrea felt she needed a space that encouraged and focused on the words like “love” and the beauty that is life.
Andrea is committed to finding the good in everything and believes: that a sense of belonging to someone's heart is what makes us feel complete, that kindness goes a long way, and that keeping your mind and heart open can help when things happen that you don't understand.
Andrea lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Win a print copy of Ralphie, Always Loved and a $15 Amazon Gift Card (open to USA only / 2 winners total)
(ends May 12, 2018)