Kid literature blog page full of resources for writers, authors and creative kins.
Blogs on how to make your children fall in love with reading. Plus advice and blog ramblings of children's author illustrator Karen Emma Hall.
Out there in the world wanders a curious and elusive creature, a magical being sought after by children and adults alike, a creature who is hunted, sought, copied, but never caught.
As a child, who begs for bedtime stories and always asks if she can read to herself (or in her head or silent reading) before lights out. She reads at least two grades ahead of her age level, and always chooses young adult books over comic books or picture books.
Also as a child who never watches TV. She finishes at least a book a week, often more, and has read (and loved) ALL the classics. She is reading the Harry Potter series again for the third time! While having just finishing the Divergent trilogy. She has passages from Shakespeare and Austen, committed to memory and can pull them out like plucking sweet cherries. She carries a back-pack of books wherever she goes, and has to have re-enforced bags that are not cheap, let me tell you! .. to hold the full weight of the heavy hard backs.
She reads wherever she goes, it is her life , it is her life force.
What a wonderful and terrifying creature this reader is!
What an honorable quest to undertake, and if you think for one minute this reader does not and cannot exist I am here to tell you she does! It is not a myth. Even if you think you know someone who fits this description, I promise you they will fall short in some way. Perhaps they sneak in a night of TV, or just don’t feel like reading some nights. This child somehow actually knew the alphabet all along! We though she learned quickly and was a genius, but no, it was already there, it had just sort of come to her when she picked up her very first books to read. .....Has bookcases of classical books alongside fairy tales of old....
..... She does however like to read the lego catalogue.......
She is oblivious to anyone and everything, she is in her world, the last I heard it was a rather magical world, with her nose in her book. On all of the family photos she is on a sofa with a book while the rest of the family are getting doritos everywhere under the cushions and on the cat, while making a happy fool of themselves doing as many selfie photos as they can. (She can still be seen in the photo, but her head is still in the book.)
She is perfectly happy, and we are perfectly envious. She keeps going back for more books the way Matilda does in the film, and we can only but follow the child's example. The good example being to always read what makes you happy.
Yes, if you were wondering... this child does exist, she does! and she is very dear to me :)
''If books are the tools that help readers travel through time and visit magical lands, then a bookcase is a toy box, and the library is the manuel of instructions''. @Quote by Karen Emma Hall ~PeachyEmma
Reach for the Moon on the top of books Quote by Peachy Emma (Karen Emma Hall)
At Kid Literature Authors, the team there are motivated in helping children get the best out of reading and their books! We give advice, promotions for your own book free, and so much to share on children's reading, books, and how to make the most of your child's imagination.
What’s the most important trait you’d like to develop in your child? If you’re like most parents, intelligence is probably at the top of your list. We all want bright, smart children, which is why we spend so much time choosing the right schools and making sure teachers are exceeding expectations. But remember: as a parent, you have the power to boost your children's learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.
It is not hard, with the abundance of beautifully illustrated children's books available, children can not help but be attracted to them and then the magic starts! The ingredient being their imagination!
We all know reading to our kids is a good thing—but are you familiar with the specific advantages your toddler or preschool-age child can receive by being exposed to the merits of reading? Below are some benefits that highlight the importance of reading to your child between the ages of two and five.
1. A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he’ll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together.
2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. After all, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he be expected to grasp the math, science, and social concepts he’ll be presented with when he begins elementary school?
3. Basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read, they copy and this is very important. “Pretend reading”—when a toddler pages through a book with squeals and jabbers of delight—is a very important pre-literacy activity. As a preschooler, your child will likely begin sounding out words on his own. So crucially it is all down to the parent or carer how quickly and often you read to them that they then start to pick this up.
4. The basics of how to read a book. Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
5. Better communication skills. When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
6. Mastery of language. Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.
7. More logical thinking skills. Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in his own world, he’ll become more excited about the stories you share.
8. Acclamation to new experiences. As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows her that her anxiety is normal.
9. Enhanced concentration and discipline. Toddlers may initially squirm and become distracted during story time, but eventually they’ll learn to stay put for the duration of the book. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when she enters school.
10. The knowledge that reading is fun! Early reading for toddlers helps them view books as an indulgence, not a chore. Kids who are exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games, television, and other forms of entertainment as they grow older.
Books have the power to benefit toddlers and preschoolers in a myriad of ways. As a parent, reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him with a foundation for academic excellence.
KLA Kid Literature Authors Page.
The next blog shows you all how we became the kid lit authors...
The Musketeer from the Kid Literature Authors (KLA) come together from today the 15th day of April in the year of our lord 2014 to bring you a magic treasure trove of children's lit!
Lit as in literature. From bonny picture books, to captivating and enchanting stories that children will want to read again and again.
It was going to be the 4 Musketeers, then it grew to ten of us. Then some dropped out on the way. We have 5 main admin now and a lot of content contributors, who support by sharing and retweeting, as we do for them.
So as we start out on a new path together, to help and lift the spirits of each other and give you their combined knowledge in children's stories, books, literature, and illustrations for starters! and ... well that is not all we are also promoting your children's books and sites FREE! (More details to contact the kid lit team at above web page on fb) Yes we are a very creative bunch, and also have our own books out for you to check out, with some amazing stories, characters and pictures.
So follow them on twitter! The pied piper said follow.. tweet tweet.
We met on twitter from across the globe (It sounds very romantic) but it is true! We bonded on twitter in our aim to get our books onto the e-readers of children and parents who will read them to their children. We want people to find us.
At present our customers are looking for us blindly in the dark, those children who do not possess a debit card to purchase our pocket money priced books, and sometimes free books, (you still need a debit card to get the freebies) we know you are out there somewhere, but haven't the foggiest which way to look, or what exactly to look for (or google) So unless some biggy publisher or media person comes along and plonks us smack bang in the middle of the highway of whsmith/ 'book of the week' shelf then we will just have to continue on our quest, as hard as it may be of the lone indie publisher.
If that has not put you off then you must be doing the author/publishing thing because you enjoy it! I can give a lovely word or 2 of advice here, I will just squeeze it in here > ... if you do not enjoy writing and promoting your book then unfortunately it isn't even the slush pile for you. Even on days when only the slush pile will do. No, you will no doubt give it up as a bad job, as you have to at least enjoy writing and say to yourself anything else is a bonus.
I set myself a goal a few years back, and my goal was to have my book complete, the idea, a good introduction, a middle plot and ending all intact, good illustrations, good front cover, and if I was lucky to have it in hard copy! I am very happy to let you know I have achieved this to date so have also accomplished my initial goal. But as we know it is never good enough... now it would be nice if it could get to a few more children's bookshelves though.
As Authors we decided many heads are better than one, so the more times more people will hear about us, the more times it gets out in the right places, and the more children will get to read our books!
After all that is what we want. It is our aim.
To get our lovely stories, illustrations, and idea's into the children;s hands we want reading them.
We want to sprinkle the magic about a bit. We want our magic to enchant the little ones, and their parents, grandparents, teachers, and carer's.
We can all remember the time when we first got hooked into a book as a child. Where the magic began.
We may still have that book, or still remember the warm feeling it gave us and the memories it evoked when recalling it back to mind. It is like the first album we bought, never to be forgot. We also must remember the books we loved but can't for the life of us remember what the title was, or who the author was. We just liked the story, and still search for it from time to time through google/good reads.
So this blog is especially for the indie authors out there, doing their bit to get it out there.
It is dedicated to the lovely Musketeer children's lit Authors who I have already named. They have their own little home, all together, like the big brother house where you can all go and peep in on them. You can even visit them, and talk to them! they will even let you put your own book up on to show it off, as they know whatever hand they help, will help them. Here it is here > click like to show your support, even better click like and leave a message. https://www.facebook.com/KidLiterature
Maybe you have them on your twitter, if not add them today, they love retweeting and replying back. After all they are all for one, and one for all.
Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.
Today will be focused on a general introduction to mental health and a little about eating disorders. This topic will be ongoing every week, and will soon include people's stories, how they suffered, how they perceive difficult situations and also how they have overcome certain difficulties in order o gain some of their life back. As everyone suffers in different ways this article and future articles about mental health will not represent everyone. If you wish to add your story or your own experience please contact me.
If you’re in good mental health, you can cope with what life throws at you easier, you can manage to throw the negativities off quicker with a simple shrug. Sometimes it takes a big heave, but you don't dwell on it once your mind is thinking and involving yourself in another project in that day. So you cope ok.
You play a full part in your family life, the workplace, socially and among friends, and you want to!
Your mental health is another way to say your ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as having good physical health.
We like to show to the world we are fine, we are coping, and if anyone asks us 'are you well? ' or 'how are you?' we offer them an 'I'm good' or 'fine' even when we are not. We all do it.
So why is it we prefer to ignore it, shun it, pretend it isn't there like the proverbial elephant in the room?
Because if we ignore it, somehow we try to tell ourselves it will go away and cease to exist. Unfortunately it will not go away, sometimes it gets worse until it is dealt with and acknowledged.
Mental health affects us all at some point in our life or another and there will be no way to ignore it.
You cannot ignore it as mental health is as apparent as your physical health. It is your business, and everyone's business.
We are all made the same way, with similar thoguhts and feelings, and depending on your personality, some people with a more sensitive personality get more periods of feeling stressed, or low, or frightened. Some people with a sensitive personality are also creative and this can be turned into a positive outlet. We can be creative in art, reading, writing, outdoor life, imagination, and so many life skills, and this can be acted upon in low times. For people who suffer mild to moderate mental health, starting or keeping an ongoing activity will help them relax and take their focus into a more positive light. Most of the time low feelings pass. But sometimes they take a long time to pass and can develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.
Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time. Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.
There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to do so. You will often find that people you talk to have experienced similar things, and this can be very helpful in overcoming a problem instead of letting it grow.
Why do young adults develop eating disorders?
Eating disorders, anorexia, and bulimia are complicated, and serious. They're caused by a combination
of complex factors. They can be genetic, biochemical,psychological,cultural and enviromental.
Researchers can identify certain factors that make individuals susceptible to an eating disorder but not the specifics.
Eating disorders are rarely about food and also rarely about wanting to be thin. Individuals who suffer actually use food and unhealthy behaviour like dieting, going without food, bingeing and purging to cope with overwhelming emotions and unpleasant situations. In the short term these behaviours can relief the stress. However, in the long term these anxieties increase, and create other complications, and many very serious. An eating disorder is an illness, people do not choose to have an eating disorder. It is very rare to tell if a person has one just by looking at them or even living with them. They can be any weight, under weight, average, or over weight. It is very hard to spot and diagnose, as many keep it hidden from everyone.
Genetics has a significant contribution and may predispose individuals to eating disorders. Researchers have found that eating disorders tend to run in families. Also, there seem to be higher rates of eating disorders in identical twins than in fraternal twins or other siblings. In addition, specific chromosomes have been linked to both bulimia and anorexia.
Individuals with eating disorders may have abnormal levels of certain chemicals that regulate such processes as appetite, mood, sleep and stress. For instance, both people with bulimia and anorexia have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Some research also suggests that individuals with anorexia have too much serotonin, which keeps them in a constant state of stress.
Various psychological factors can contribute to eating disorders. In fact, eating disorders are common in individuals who struggle with clinical depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other factors include:
• Low self-esteem
• Feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
• Trouble coping with emotions or expressing your emotions
Dieting, body dissatisfaction and wanting to be thin are all factors that increase the risk for an eating disorder. Unfortunately, our society encourages all three. You can’t walk by a cash register without seeing a magazine that encourages rapid weight loss, calorie counting or feeling guilty after a meal. Here are some aspects of our culture that contribute to eating disorders:
• An over-emphasis on appearance, at the expense of more meaningful attributes
• Societal beauty standards that promote an unrealistically thin body shape
• Associating thinness with positive qualities like attractiveness, health, success and love
• Media’s focus on dieting and striving for a slim and toned silhouette
• Messages that perpetuate a fear of fat and food; viewing fat as undesirable or foods as “good,” “bad” or “sinful”
Your environment can also play a major role in developing an eating disorder. These factors include:
• Family or other relationship problems
• Difficult or turbulent childhood
• History of physical or sexual abuse
• Activities that encourage thinness or focus on weight, such as gymnastics, dancing, running, wrestling and modeling
• Peer pressure
• Being bullied because of weight or appearance in general
Why Do You Continue to Eat When You're Full?
The premise that hunger makes food look more appealing is a widely held belief.
Prior research studies have suggested that the hunger hormone ghrelin, which your body produces when it's hungry, might act in your brain to trigger this behavior.
New studies suggest that ghrelin might also work in your brain to make you keep eating "pleasurable" foods when you're already full.
Scientists previously have linked increased levels of ghrelin to intensifying the rewarding or pleasurable feelings that can be obtained from cocaine or alcohol.
Researchers observed how long mice would continue to poke their noses into a hole in order to receive a pellet of high-fat food. Animals that didn't receive ghrelin gave up much sooner than the ones that did receive ghrelin.
Humans and mice share the same type of brain-cell connections and hormones, as well as similar architectures in the "pleasure centers" of the brain.
Isn't this really the million-dollar question? Why do people continue to eat, even after their stomachs are full or even stuffed? If there was a simple answer, I’d gladly share it with you, but the reality is that people overeat for a variety of reasons -- and many of them are rather complex.
As this new study suggests, one of the forces driving you to eat a second helping or an extra dessert even though you’re full is the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin (pronounced GRELL-in) is produced mainly by your stomach, although it is also made in other organs, such as your intestines and your kidneys.
Ghrelin has been dubbed the “hunger hormone” because in previous studies people given the hormone became so ravenous, they ate markedly more than their usual food intake. Ghrelin, it appears, may also act on your brain’s “pleasure centers,” driving you to reach for another slice of cheesecake simply because you remember how good the first one tasted and made you feel (at least in that moment).
What Influences Your Body’s Level of the Hunger Hormone?
Your body’s level of ghrelin can be influenced by many factors, including your lifestyle habits. For instance, chronic lack of sleep increases ghrelin, making you feel hungry when you don’t really need to eat. This is likely one reason why a lack of sleep can make you gain weight.
Insulin may also play a role in regulating ghrelin levels. In one study, ghrelin levels were monitored in eight non-diabetic adults as they were given a two-hour infusion of insulin. Shortly after the infusion began, levels of ghrelin began to drop. When the insulin infusion was stopped, levels of the hunger hormone began to rise and rapidly returned to normal.
Since insulin is already known to increase levels of leptin -- the "obesity hormone" that tells your brain to curb your appetite after eating -- the findings suggest that insulin plays an important role in controlling what you eat.
In other words, let’s say you eat a sugary dessert. Your production of insulin increases so that the sugar in your blood can be taken to cells and used for energy. Eating this sugar also increases production of leptin, which regulates your appetite and fat storage, and decreases production of ghrelin, which helps regulate your food intake. The idea is that when you eat, your body knows it should feel less hungry.
But there is another major key here that is often overlooked, and that is when you eat certain foods, namely those that contain fructose, this important cycle does not occur.
Is Fructose Driving You to Overeat?
Fructose, a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can damage human metabolism and is likely fueling the obesity crisis. This is because your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose, and fructose is now being consumed in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.
If anyone tries to tell you “sugar is sugar,” they are way behind the times. It is increasingly becoming clear that just by eating fructose, including high-fructose corn syrup, you may be drastically increasing your tendency to overeat.
You see, glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose, however, has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
This is why fructose may contribute to weight gain, increased belly fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome -- not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that are related to these conditions.
Are There Other Factors That Come Into the Mix?
Yes, ghrelin, leptin and insulin responses in your body may be major players in your ability to regulate your food intake, but they are not the only ones.
Stress, anger, sadness and just about any other negative emotion can also lead you to seek food as a coping mechanism and ultimately overeat. And subconscious cues you pick up from portion sizes, food visibility (such as passing by a candy dish on a desk) and food proximity (standing near the food table at a party) can alsoinfluence how much you eat.
Gary Taubes, who wrote the landmark article What if it's All Been a Big Fat Lie?, also recently offered a very interesting alternative explanation for why people overeat. He suggests that people overeat because their fat tissue is accumulating excess fat. And why does fat tissue do this?
Because dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate, which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue. At the same time, this diet raises insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released.
Practical Tips to Keep Your Eating Under Control
The solution to normalizing your ghrelin, leptin and insulin levels is fairly straightforward, and this is to eat a diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes -- in short the dietary program detailed in my nutrition plan, which emphasizes healthy fats, lean meats and fresh vegetables, and restricts sugar and grains.
If you want to take your health to the next level, I highly recommend finding out your nutritional type as well, and then eating a diet according to your unique biochemistry.
This, combined with a regular exercise program and a tool to handle emotional eating, will be your key to controlling your motivation to eat.
Mental health is an ongoing battle. It can be made easier. It can also creep back up on us at anytime, sometimes we feel it is our closest friend and our closest enemy. We might not all get rid of our problems and feeling of negativity just like that, but we can do things to ease the mind. Make the day a bit nicer to live. So talk to someone, change doctors if you have to. Read about it on the internet, read about others with problems and how they have dealt with them. Do not ignore it and think you are the only sufferer. The majority of people suffer in their lifetime, so you are not alone. Far from alone.