Monday, September 2, 2013



This month I want to showcase a young author/illustrator, Kristi Valiant, who lives in my hometown.  She is an extremely gifted young woman.  Not only being the mother of two beautiful young girls, the wife of a busy man, and the illustrator of several books…………..she is now the author/illustrator of “PENGUIN CHA-CHA.”  Every Early Childhood classroom needs this book on their book shelf. 

Many of us have habits and one of my biggest habits is buying books.  The mail lady says I keep her job important with my Amazon and ABE book orders.  Put your books in important spots in your curriculum and then add projects that reinforce the language shared with the children.   
 Some of Kristi's other book, s and they are all on my shelf can be viewed on Amazon.  The Goodbye Cancer Garden is a favorite and I purchase and give it to people who are diagnosed with cancer.  It is a beautiful story written by a mother who a the cancer diagnosis.  Kristi's illustrations make you want to reach out and touch each page.  They compliment the entire story and are in your memory forever.
Cora Cook's Pancit can be added to a multicultural curriculum and  to the list of things to do with the children in the kitchen.  Cook and Eat!

This precious smile is always inviting others to share her excitement about writing and illustrating her books.  She is the Indiana representative for SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and has revived the group to the top of the ladder of exciting organizations to belong too.....................check it out and join today.
Dianne De Las Casas is another author friend from Harvey, LA.  This girl has set the world of picture books on fire.  Check out her web site at and you will be thrilled to share all the story connections and author information.
Above is just a sample of one of her newest books "Little READ Hen" and it is filled with great language and language twists.  The circle at the bottom is her branding logo and when you see this logo you will see something exciting from Ms. Dianne.
The characters on the left are from the Little READ Hen book and can be used for puppets so children will retell this story.  Her books have a connection to State Standards and Core Curriculum.
Dianne has a beautiful daughter Ms. Eliana who is an author of children's cook books.  She is a beauty just like her sassy mama and has hit the circuit of chefs with a thunder.  Watch out world here she comes...........pot, pans, skillets, mixing bowls and great recipes!!!!
Picture book month was created by Dianne and is an international celebration of picture books.
She has a special shelf at my house and this shelf is filled with signed books by my author friends.  Get yourself a new book and go to the author's web sites and sign up for their blogs and learn the curriculum connections.
Something new on the horizon........................beginning February 2014 I will be offering
The background is up, the camera is on the 37" screen, my office needs cleaning and all props are being prepared for this event.  In Feb. I will be offering a WINTER WONDERLAND visit and then in April the connection will be a SPRING FLING.  All 30 minute visits will be seasonal.
Give me a call for more information and secure a date for a visit to your school, library or home.
Until next month have a great beginning of FALL and celebrate our FREEDOM.
Mary Jo Huff
Author, Storyteller, Song Writer, Puppeteer

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