2020 NSW Premier’s Booklist

I’m honored to learn that Arabella and the Magic Pencil has been included in the 2020 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Booklist. The NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge is an Australian program that aims to “encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students and enable them to experience quality literature”. The accompanying booklists give children a wide range of quality books to choose from as they attempt to read 20-30 books, depending on age, between March – August 2020.

For more information about the challenge or to see the official booklists by age group, visit the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge website.

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop

I have a copy of The Foot Book by Dr. Suess that my mother read to me when I was four years old. Now I’m reading it to my own four year old. And, hopefully, he’ll read it to his child someday. That’s the magic of children’s books — they hold memories and feelings inside their covers for decades.

So I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate in the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop. My giveaway includes three children’s books about adventures, a topic that fascinated me throughout my childhood.

Obookne signed, paperback copy of Barney and Barry The Hitchhikers (chapter book) by Sharon Powers. In this clever book aimed a kids aged 7-10, two bickering barnacles, Barney and Barry, attach onto an unsuspecting sea turtle named Fletcher. The adventure takes the trio on a journey through the sea with a cast of memorable characters as Fletcher learns hope to cope with two uninvited hitchhikers.

WallyBoardBookCoverFINALOne signed, paperback copy of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin (picture book) by Stephanie M. Ward (me!).  The rhyming tale of a penguin who doesn’t like the cold and leaves his home in Antarctica in search of warm weather. But when he arrives in the Galapagos Islands he discovers an amazing world filled with tap-dancing crabs, diving birds with bright blue feet and racing 100-year-old tortoises.

ThreeOne signed, hardcover copy of Three Little Shrimp (picture book) by J. Steven Spires. The charming tale of three shrimp who get separated from their troupe (yes, that’s what a group of shrimp are called) and narrowly avoid danger at every turn.


And it’s all packed up in a “Say Yes to New Adventures” Canvas Tote Bag with some fun extras including postcards and a bookmark!

Wally Giveaway


CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter! (U.S. residents only this time.) Ends May 9th at midnight.

Thanks to Wishful Endings for hosting this giveaway. Pop over and visit their great blog and then hop to the 20+ bloggers participating with their own Children’s Week giveaways.

Thanks for visiting and GOOD LUCK!

Warm Wishes,

1. Wishful Endings (INT)

* 8. Writer with Wanderlust (US) * You are here 🙂

An Indie Author’s Open Letter of Thanks

Thanks Graphic

Flickr photo by woodleywonderworks

On the anniversary of the release of my first children’s book, I look back and see many reasons to give thanks…

Thank you to everyone who knows me and bought my book despite the fact that you had no idea that I write and/or don’t have kids in the age group the book targets. Your unconditional support and encouragement have meant so much to me.

Thank you to those that don’t know me but took a chance and read my book for reasons I’ll likely never know. I hope my little story met or possibly even exceeded your expectations and perhaps put another mark in the “indie authors aren’t half bad” column.

Thank you bloggers across the continents who agreed to review a debut book by an unknown author. Thank you for spending your time to read it, find something interesting in it and then share your thoughts with the world.

Thanks to the self-publishing industry for creating an environment that allows my ideas in the form of a book to end up in the hands of children around the globe. Just a few short years ago, this concept didn’t exist and I continually wonder about all of the words that have been written without a path to readers hands.

Thank you followers who constantly share comments and take the time to click on various buttons on my website to show me that you are there and listening to the occasionally interesting things that I have to say.

Thank you fellow authors for sharing your thoughts, trials and tweets. I have never worked in an industry where competitors are supportive and encouraging of each other. I wish you the best with your own writing and publishing ventures.

Thanks to the wonderfully talented children’s picture book writers that have created innumerable childhood memories for so many families. You are a constant source of inspiration.

Thank you to those closest to me who have listened endlessly to variations of stories, lines, words, comma placement, etc. and somehow been able to find something nice to say about it all. You have allowed me to pursue a dream and I promise you…the best is yet to come.

With warmest gratitude,
Stephanie M. Ward
Children’s Book Author

Review: Rachel’s Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow

Rachel's Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors BookRachel’s Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book by Giselle Shardlow

My toddler and I love this book, in fact, it’s hard to tally which of us has asked to read it more often.

A few of my favorite things (about this book):

– Creative illustrations: There is a brilliant texture and complexity to the illustrations in the book. Newspaper print peaks out behind wallpaper and clouds. And the rich colors and patterns create a wonderful sense of calm throughout the story.

– An active read: My 3 1/2 year old asks for the yoga mat so we can do all the poses while we read the story. He loves to try his own version of the poses too and invents his own names for the new positions.

– Helpful details: Included in extra pages are a full list of the yoga poses used in the story and a Parent-Teacher Guide with tips on how to help a child enjoy yoga safely.

Rachel’s Day in the Garden is a new favorite in our household and I’m sure it will be in any household with young yogi.

Note: I received a free PDF copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.