My name is Mrs. D. and I am an author of children's books. Currently, I’m juggling many projects including several new books. I love to write. I love this beautiful language. I write because I have something to share. I write because maybe someday, someone in this world may need my experience. I write for one simple reason. I love how it makes me feel: free.
1 new country + 1 new home + 1 new language = one sad, lonely little girl.
This solitary little child watches the other children play, but from the safety of the trees that hide her from their sight. She would love to join them, but, since she can’t understand them, she stays in her sanctuary with her wishes and dreams.
What a surprise, then, when the trees speak to her–in her own language! The magnolia, the weeping cherry, and the plum tree comfort her and welcome her into their leafy homes. Their constant presence, their interest in her day, and their encouragement when she has successes make her more and more sure of herself. Old Wind, who spends a lot of time among the trees, becomes her friend as well, finding her when she is lost and keeping her from harm.
But what happens when she goes away to summer camp? How will she get along without her garden friends? Old Wind has the freedom to go and check up on her, and is able to report back to the trees that she is happy–with new friends.
Does this disappoint the trees? Not at all–they welcome the little girl and her new-found friends. She is finally sure enough of herself that she can live in both worlds
Until, once again, she has to pull up her own young roots and move again. The trees and Old Wind assure her that they will always be friends, since Old Wind can follow her wherever she goes.
What a darling book! I can just see some little girl, eyes sparkling with delight, as someone reads this book to her. The descriptions are enthralling (“Shaking glowing sparkles to the earth, the moon painted a soundless night in a silver shade with his invisible brushes”), and the story is just so sweet. The little girl is so real; I can imagine Ms. D’Agostino writing this with her own daughter in mind.
The character I most admired, though, was the little girl’s mother. She lives the story of the talking trees with her daughter, instead of telling her that they live only in her young imagination. I guess the mom must have taken the author’s advice at the front of the book:
“Be a child for a moment…Dive into their imaginary world where you can hide in the shadows of blossoming trees…Do not lose this precious time together…”
Author of paranormal suspense/horror novel "Be Not Afraid", currently prepping prequel ("UnHoly Trinity") and sequel ("Resurgence: The Rise of Judas") for publishing. The first is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells--hardback, softcover, and e-book.
Reading Books to your baby can be a great way to bond and to lay the building blocks for their intellectual development and language skills. In addition, reading to your baby can lead to a love of reading that can last a lifetime and show that reading is a skill worth learning. So get started today and give your child this fantastic gift by following some of these great tips.
When your baby is a newborn (0 to 6 months), the sound of your voice soothes and comforts them so sharing stories or singing lullabies is a great way to bond with your child. Whether you are feeding, changing or bathing your baby, take advantage of the time you have with them to sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" or "Hush, Little Baby".
Babies that are in the 6 month to 1 year range benefit greatly from you reading to them on a daily basis. They learn how much you like reading and enjoy your warm lap and rhythmic sound of your voice. Before you begin reading, make sure that they can see the book clearly. Involve them in the story by making sounds and faces, substituting their name for one of the characters and having them participate by pointing to pictures along with you. Many of the board books and other books offer interactive reading experience for the child to keep them interested. Baby Einstein has fabulous board books that are durable and hold up well to baby chewing so let your baby play with the books even when you aren't reading to them. Finally, don't get discouraged if you can only hold baby's attention for a few minutes. That often happens at this age.
By the time the child is a toddler, they often have good reading habits if you started a ritual with them early. If not, no time like the present to get your child interested in books. Reading a book to your child at bedtime (or another designated time during the day) helps establish a routine and they can look forward to that time of day. Books are a great way to introduce colors, shapes, letters and so forth in a fun way. Also, children at this age like to pick their own books for reading time so let them take control over selecting the book and turning the pages. They will often choose the same book over and over again which can be tiring for you, but they will begin to remember words and recognize what will happen next which is a great memory building exercise. Just remember that if the child is antsy or doesn't want to read, don't force them. Just try again later when they are well-rested and in a good mood. The last thing you want to create is a negative reading experience for your child.
Preschoolers and up. As your child gets older and their reading skills improve, take turns reading books to each other. Ask your child open-ended questions to encourage them to think about what they are reading and let their imagination go to work. This age range is a great time to introduce books that have themes and lessons like being a good friend or not talking to strangers. If your child and/or your family are going through a difficult situation like the death of a family member or serious illness like cancer, books can help them understand and get through the difficult time. Continue having a set reading routine with them and watch your children bloom into fantastic readers.