Tag Archives: children’s book

Volcano in Az


So today is one of those days when it is just time for me to let the kids go a bit wild. We  read some books about volcanoes then we brought the volcano to AZ.  With the help of my baby girl decorating a soon to demolished area and my son looking at her like she was nuts (each generation is the same, I am sure I got that look a time or two myself from my brother).  The big boom was met with squeals and awe, and on this Friday I road the wave of supper mom. I got my directions from a Family Education. Get wild and enjoy your Wednesday.Image


  • Dirt or wet sand
  • Small shovel or spoon
  • Two teaspoons baking soda
  • White vinegar


  1. Build a mound of dirt ten inches high.
  2. ImageDig a deep hole in the middle of the mound with a small shovel.
  3. Put two teaspoons of baking soda in the hole.
  4. Then slowly pour in vinegar and watch your volcano erupt!

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://fun.familyeducation.com/childrens-science-activities/biochemistry/37238.html#ixzz2XL0qU6K2


Interview With Children’s, Y.A.’s, & Adults Author Rhonda Patton

ImageHappy Thursday everybody, you know I always do a weekly review of a children’s book I like, well I came upon Rhonda Patton on a book group’s page I belong to and decided to give her a try. I am glad I did, I liked her message she had for kids and I wanted to get to know more about her. So after contacting her and her graciously accepting an interview, I got down to trying to figure out what you all would want to know about her. So without further ado, Ladies and Gents: Rhonda Patton.

Rhonda Patton is the author of various books for readers of all ages. She writes for children, teens, and adults. Her titles include: Ted and Raymond Adventures 1-5 (ages 3-8), Ted and Raymond Learning Adventures 1 &2, Raymond goes to the Dentist, Ted and Raymond’s Sea Adventure, African Safari with Ted and Raymond, Ted and Raymond’s Christmas Tree, Harold Freddie and Milo, Searching for the Unknown (paranormal teen and up), and Spirits of ChesterVille General Store (paranormal teen and up) out this winter.  This interview was done over through Facebook.


First off thank you for doing this interview, I am so excited to share you with everybody. Please tell us about yourself?

A Shreveport residence, a mother, a wife, and a daughter. I have a wonderful husband who is the illustrator of the Ted and Raymond Series as well as my co-writer in Searching for the Unknown and Spirits of ChesterVille General Store. I started my love for writing at an early age of 13. I love to write even if it didn’t make sense. I started my writing in serious love poems and different things young crushes, boys, things of that matter. Then in 2000 I wrote my first Ted and Raymond book that turned into series years later, “The Croak 500”. I didn’t know that I would have a series until two years ago. My husband was laid off from his job and we needed extra money. As I researched for my husband to do voiceover work I came across some awesome people and then asked my husband about my book. With NO animation or characters my husband made the book come alive. Then I was inspired to do more and more stories. And well…. Here I am. Inspiring kids to be better!

You are a well-rounded author with a mix of adult and children books under your belt. Do you find it hard to switch between the two?

Yes I do.  The children’s books are for children ages 3-8 and my paranormal books are for teen to adult.  The audience is hard for both.  You want to have a good story for the child. You also want the story to be good for the adult.  I make it my story.  I am the audience, I have to like the story and know where it is going.

Since we are talking about your children’s books, let’s talk about your Ted and Raymond Adventure Series, I found it sweet as well as cute, but the big high five came after my children laughed while reading it. Can you give your readers hint as to what it’s about?

Ted and Raymond characters came from my first book “The Croak 500”. I call them my series books because I have 3 different stories in one book.  They are very short stories with great information that kids will relate to in life. The Croak 500 is about two frog friends who compete in a race, one wants to beat his friend, the other wants to just have fun. Neither win, but both try very hard.  I want this message to be for kids, you do not always have to be first to win.  Trying your hardest means you are already a winner.   In this book you can also find learning about patience and last fulfilling your dreams. 

Inspiration I find is very fluid and I take it from different parts in my life. Where does your inspiration come from?

A lot of my writing comes from my life, different things. I didn’t always win. I am fulfilling a dream.  We have a garden; in one of the series we have Ted and Raymond’s Garden. In this book it teaches Raymond not to give up on all of his hard work. In another series Ted has a kitchen fire. My husband and I had a kitchen fire in 2008; we want to teach the kids not to get distracted while cooking.  Do not leave the room while something is on the stove.

Are you’re a character or a plot writer? And why?

Character.  I love showing the kids how the character feels when Ted or Raymond experiences something sad, happy, or even tired. Expressing how the character feels in a children’s book lets the child experience where the emotion is supposed to be, and how they can express at the same time in their life.

As a writer myself I have favorite author’s I follow and who inspire me to write. Do you take inspiration from other authors? Who?

There is really no answer for a favorite.  I have many author friends who inspire me to do my work better as well.  So many writers are not out there to just help themselves, they have been in the same position I have been in.  They have a dream like me, to make it big.  To BE that writer everyone loves and wants to hear from. So to answer to whom, I would say all.  Doesn’t matter the Genre, we all are trying to be the best we can be.  I do not see a competition in any specific genre out there; we are all unique and have different gifts. Every book has a story, every page is different.

When I was reading your Ted and Raymond Adventure Series one of my favorite parts is when Ted tells Raymond “You have to take your time and enjoy things you love to do. “ I think this message can work for adults as well as children. What are your messages and how do you come by them?

I write from experience.  How can someone write about a dog if they haven’t ever had one? I love writing about my own personal experiences.  Kids see Ted and Raymond as the Character, I see myself. I love to write, it isn’t my job it is my experience.

When writing I usually have an idea of whom my audience will be and what age level. Who is your audience?

My audience is directed for children ages 3-8.  I also have many adults that tell me this can be messages for adults as well. It is a tough world, I just want the generation of kids to see a positive one.  A caring world without blood, super heroes, and make believe.

I enjoyed your book and plan to read more of yours to my children; do you have any books in the makings?

I have many books in mind all the time.  What can I do to make a better one?  What would kids relate to? I just published one Harold Freddie and Milo. Publication date? June 8 What are you goals for your future writing career? To inspire kids to be better, that is my goal.

Being a writer can be daunting lots of times. Do you have any advice for beginners?

I wasn’t established overnight. I didn’t have fame and fortune overnight.  So establish yourself through blogging, Facebook and MANY social Medias out there BEFORE your book comes out.  That way this is interesting to your customers.  Over three years of research and a few #1 free seller books, I believe the information I carry with me has helped.  If you have questions about anything, get into groups on Facebook or other social media with other writers who have more experience and know the tricks and secrets of writing, publishing, and social media tips.  I will tell you it is A LOT of work. A LOT of persevering, but if you enjoy writing, put your best foot forward.  Keep going.  If you do not have a #1 seller it isn’t you, get your audience to write reviews.  Tell your friends and family to share by word of mouth.  There is a lot of advice I can give.  I have had days that brought me down, but then I would ask myself what can I do better? 

How can my readers reach you?

Many social media forms




Author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhonda-Patton/249595248511397?ref=hl

Good reads page: http://www.goodreads.com/RhondaPatton

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhonda-Patton/e/B008QX4XO2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1367002532&sr=8-2

Google +: https://plus.google.com/108470054136550755283?hl=en#108470054136550755283/posts/p/pub

Word press: http://rhondapattonauthor.wordpress.com/

 Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhondapatton37/

Messages from Wang Ming


Merriam and Webster say a message is: “

1 :a communication in writing, in speech, or by signals
2 :a messenger’s mission
3: an underlying theme or idea.”  For myself I would agree but on the other hand I would hate to think that my work is so formulaic.  That would have to be one of the biggest insults to a creator out there. I like to think that my mind comes up with these funny characters that would put a smile on your face and then what I believe is important comes out as I write. From this you can see that I am not the well organized author, I am the author who has thousands of ideas running in their mind and decides to lasso one of those ideas and stick them on napkin  while I’m getting my caffeine fix. This is exactly what I am doing right now, lets hope this napkin will be legible so I can put this down in text.  I think there will be many napkins and a note to self  to bring  i pad to coffee shop next time.
OK, back to messages… hmm. The biggest message in Wang Ming The Greatest Panda of the Great Panda is coexistence with nature and between humans. Other messages are a the importance of believing in yourself, love, respect, and personal growth.
Coexistence with nature can be seen through the interaction Wang Ming has with the villager and the villagers showing respect to Wang Ming.  Nature is the main character throughout this whole book, it is the provider and challenger for both animals and village.  Children are wiser than we know, I have faith that they take from this book the importance of nature, and by doing that they learn a respect for it.   The Coexistence  between humans is represented by Wang Ming’s best friends being a leopard and crane. These animals are very different from each other but have found a common ground to live and thrive together.  Not only that but have learn to love and care for each other. Children read this and can relate to the open mindedness of these characters and can bring it into their own lives. While reading they are learning a acceptance of differences and respecting that.  This learning of respect is also shown through Wang Ming having a belief in himself and sticking to values he was taught while also challenging himself and those beliefs to grow into the greatest panda ever.  In the end those my most beloved message which is subtle in this book is love. Love for nature,love for each other, and a love for yourself.

Fans of Wang Ming

ImageI find fans of Wang Ming are usually children btw/ the ages of 2-10 but I have caught a few teenagers enjoy it also. At my readings I usually get parents who are excited about the environmental outlook and cultural input that has been put into the book. Children are in love with Wang Ming’s adventures and the colorful book.  All fans are usually animal lovers as well as panda lovers. At one reading  I had a mother open my book and say “I’ve been there.” It was a great experience to share our stories of the bamboo forest and I knew that she would tell her own story to her children while reading Wang Ming. I am a fan of Wang Ming myself because he represents many of my own beliefs and and admiral traits I have found in others. When building a character you draw from what you know and I hope that by doing this I created a character who pulls into himself  my own coexistence message, respect of culture & family, and a trust in yourself.  Fans of Wang Ming are ones who will appreciate this also while wanting a fun and colorful book to grow with.

The Teacher

The relationship of Wang Ming with the other characters is vast while also being very basic and organic.  He is the friend and guardian to all the other animals in the forest.  He is the one who challenges his friends’ mind sets while also guarding their basic values they hold dear to.  He is the savior of the villagers while also being a thief in their eyes.  In the end though, through the growth of Wang Ming do the other characters grow. He becomes the ultimate teacher.  Image