Book Review #1: Mommy, Mama, and Me

Book Review #1: Mommy, Mama, and Me

Book Review #1

Mommy, Mama, and Me

Mommy, Mama, and Me

Hello! Hola! Hallo! Kon’nichiwa! Bonjour!

To kick off the inaugural book review category, I’ll be reading and reviewing picture book “Mommy, Mama, and Me”.

Author: Lesléa Newman | Illustrated by Carol Thompson

Mommy, Mama, and Me was first published in 2009 by Tricycle Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Let’s get down to the review!


Mommy, Mama, and Me is among the growing list of books focused on promoting diversity in children’s lives. Let me say this book was launched during the best time possible in the United States. During that time, the United States was already a year-and-a-half into Barack Obama’s presidency – an era where LGBT+ rights and positive communities began flourishing.

Carol Thompson, the illustrator on this book, truly captured the essence of being no different than any other loving family. And as I read through this charming little rhyming book, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle nods by Newman and Thompson regarding most key topics anti-LGBT groups focus on most.

This book decisively delivers a clear message of diversity, acceptance, tolerance, and love without what some consider “preachy” or “over the top” nuances of the aforementioned.

Mommy, Mama, and Me is the perfect book for teaching young children diversity, acceptance, and tolerance.

“We’re all the same” is the best lesson from this beautifully illustrated children’s book.

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Lesléa Newman Books

Lesléa (pronounced “Lez-LEE-uh”) Newman was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up there and on Long Island, graduating from Jericho High School in 1973 (where she was voted Class Wit!). Right after graduation, she became a published author for the first time; several of her poems were published in Seventeen Magazine.

Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me are the first board books ever published for kids who live in two-mom and two-dad families. Both books depict a fun-filled day in the life of a happy, loving family.

I wrote these books because I think it is important for kids from all types of families to see themselves portrayed in books. It validates their experience, and teaches alll of us that there are many different types of families and the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other. – Lesléa Newman

Carol Thompson Books

Carol Thompson has illustrated more than forty-five books for children, and is the recipient of the Mother Goose Award for Children’s Book Illustration. She lives in Ashby de la Zouch, England.

Mothering Magazine once described Carol Thompson’s illustrations on this groundbreaking book as:

…flowing lines and warm palette of Carol Thompson’s mixed media illustrations work in concert with Lesléa Newman’s rhythmic text. 

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Weekly Roundup #4

Weekly Roundup #4

Weekly Roundup #4

Weekly Roundup – February 18th, 2020

Welcome to the fourth edition (two weeks late, family emergencies and the like) of “weekly roundup”; a new weekly blog post discussing the latest updates from my own writing adventures, the world of literature, Twitter, and more.

As the weekly roundup segment grows, so too will the type of discussions had here.

Before we start, go ahead and register for my bi-weekly newsletter to get all the latest and greatest updates.

Self-Publishing Journey with Amazon

Quick Note: Over The Creek is on Amazon. Woohoo!

Self-publishing with Amazon has been….an interesting journey, to say the least. First, the excitement following the official publication on Amazon. Second, a few friends and family purchase and receive the book. Third, checking the reports section of the Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard.

Still checking.

More checking.

Where are the accurate numbers?

Waiting GIF

Long story short: there is no clear answer from anyone at Amazon why the reports are not showing accurate and updated data/earnings from books sold.

Needless to say, this has become infuriating because many other authors are experiencing the same issue.

I wasn’t expecting my first ever children’s book to sell hundreds or even thousands of copies. Hell, wasn’t even expecting more than a couple dozen in the first few months. I’m grateful for the amount of sales I’ve received so far – it’s truly validating. Not to mention Over The Creek is currently a 5-star reviewed book.

Do I find somewhere else to self-publish? There are alternatives to Amazon like Ingram Spark and other services. However, Amazon is currently the most “notable” retailer and option.

The downside?

If I’m selling a color-printed book at roughly $15 a copy, that’s only $5 in royalty earnings.

Talk about a steep cut.

Take the good with the bad, right?

Finding My Way Into Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is a giant bookstore franchise with stores all over the United States and beyond. Being published is just one part of my dream as a writer – books being sold at Barnes & Noble is the other part of that dream.

Happy to report that a Barnes & Noble store here in Surprise, Arizona happily agreed to order a few “test run” copies.

Over The Creek will officially be sold in a B&N store later this week.

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That very same day, I announced the wonderful news on several Surprise Facebook groups.

The response was more overwhelming than anticipated. News of the book release garnered 200+ “Likes.” What’s more is several dozen people have stated they want to purchase a copy for either themselves or for their family members when it arrives. Furthermore, I will be setting up an “Author/Signing” event at the same store.

This has given my writing a new life, if I’m honest. The response has made me feel validated as a writer.

Look out for more on Twitter news of the author/signing event and more.

Find Me On Twitter

Come find me on twitter! 

On Twitter, not only do I work to promote my book, but share other writers’ works as well. Using the hashtag “#WritingCommunity”, I like to connect with other writers, asking various questions, keeping things lively and engaging. Just last week alone, I earned 800+ followers.

If you want me to showcase your work on this blog, subscribe to my newsletter above or leave a comment below.


That’s it for Weekly Roundup #4.

Check back every Monday or Tuesday for a new roundup post and more.

Want to get early access on blog and author exclusives? Sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter today!


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Studying Children’s Books

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Fiiinnnaaalllyyy published a picture book, Over The Creek, on Amazon!

We have all heard the phrase: if you want to be a better writer, read. Well, read, a LOT! Dan Gutman is an author I have been reading and studying, respectively, a LOT lately. In fact, we’re only halfway through January and I have done more reading these last two weeks than I have the entirety of 2019.

Dan Gutman is more well known for his “My Weirder-est School” book series. So far, I have read books 1 (Miss Child Has Gone Wild) and 2 (Miss Porter is Out of Order).

Dan Gutman My Weird Classroom Club - Jacob Writes On

Dan Gutman’s Biography:

Dan Gutman may be weird, but he is also beloved by kids, parents, and teachers across the country. His books include the My Weird School series (more than 10 million copies sold), the Baseball Card Adventures (more than 1.5 million copies sold) and the New York Times bestselling The Genius Files. We also publish his spoofy picture book, CASEY BACK AT BAT, and one of Dan’s favorites, JOHNNY HANGTIME. Dan lives in New York City (a very weird place), with his weird wife, Nina, and their two weird children, Sam and Emma.

My Weirder-est School Series

This comical book series, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers and illustrated by Jim Paillot, starts with Miss Child Has Gone Wild (My Weird School).

Book #1 alone has more than four million copies sold!

Synopsis of Miss Child Has Gone Wild:

The third grade has won a weird contest, so they get to go on a field trip to the zoo. That’s how they meet Miss Child, the weirdest zookeeper in the history of the world. She thinks animals are smarter than people! She thinks elephants can paint pictures! She keeps snakes in her pockets for fun! Guess who’s going to wind up in a cage with a lion?

Book #2, part of the “My Weirder-est School” series, Miss Porter is Out of Order, has sold more than 23 million copies!

Synopsis of Miss Porter is Out of Order:

A.J. and the gang are getting a substitute, but Miss Porter isn’t a normal teacher. She’s a computer! A personal digital assistance, to be precise. Miss Porter knows weird jokes and can get pizza delivered by drone. But what happens when Miss Porter turns out to be the opposite of fun? Will anyone be able to shut her down before she takes over Ella Mentry?

Mr. Gutmans’ books have given me plenty of inspiration for future children’s book projectsAnd as I continue to read his book series, the more I’ll be inspired for my own projects.

His writing style is something of a masterpiece in itself; relatable characters, fun use of rhyming devices, and so much more.

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