Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lehman Publishing–Walnut Grove books

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I discover cute little books with teachable lessons.   Lehman Publishing have three books who have forest animals as their main characters.

bookcoverBook 1: Adventures at Walnut Grove: A Lesson About Teasing

Is a story about friends that learn to treat others as they would like to be treated. Sammy is teased because he is a squirrel who has eyes like a raccoon. Sammy knows that name-calling is not nice, but his friends have a valuable lesson to learn. The name-caller soon becomes the one being teased. bookcoverdouble

Book 2: I DOUBLE Dare You!

Silly and Sassy come to Walnut Grove to visit their cousin Sammy. Silly and Sassy are always getting into trouble. They play hide ‘n seek, have frog races, and play dare or double dare. How does this lead to jumping off a bridge?
Read I DOUBLE Dare you! To find out how everyone learns to take responsibility for his or her own actions. They will also discover that it’s not always wise to follow your friends.

bookcoverIcanBook 3: I Can Do It

Sammy enjoys visiting new places, so he decides to take his friends to an enchanted forest called Whispering Willows. Along the way and through Paradise Pond, Bucky realizes that with practice, and confidence, he can finally swim!  Join Sammy and his friends on a journey that will have them swimming for frogs, swinging through the forest, and building a tree house. Magical things happen in Whispering Willows…if you believe in yourself!

About the author

My name is Dana Lehman and I am the author of the Walnut Grove series of children’s books. All three books help encourage character development. I graduated with an Associates degree from Macomb Community College. I always enjoyed creative writing, and one of my dreams became reality in 2007 when my first book, Adventures at Walnut Grove: A Lesson about Teasing, was published. I currently reside in Allenton, Michigan with my husband and our two sons.  

Here are some answers to questions that I am asked quite often by adults and children.

Why did you decide to write children’s books?
When I was growing up my mom would always tell us stories using a squirrel as the main character. Every story always taught some type of life lesson. My mom continues telling the stories to her grandchildren and always has their undivided attention . One day, after watching my boys being mesmerized by my mom’s storytelling, I decided I was going to write them a story of my own.

Did your mom’s squirrel have eyes like a raccoon?
No, that was my idea. The number one reason children (or adults) get teased is for their appearance. I wanted Sammy to look different so that it gives parents and teachers the opportunity to discuss diversity with children.

Why did you write a book about teasing?
I sat down and wrote Adventures at Walnut Grove soon after a school shooting. With such horrific crimes to children implemented by children I decided to write a story about teasing. I believe that it is never too early to start teaching children to treat others as they would like to be treated. 

Have I ever been dared to do anything?
Of course, I think everyone has been dared, double-dared, or double-dog-dared to do things that they shouldn’t do. I wrote I DOUBLE Dare You! so kids realize that just because your friends do something doesn’t mean that you have to follow them! It’s important to try to make good decisions.

How did you come up with the names, Silly and Sassy?
I realized after I wrote Adventures at Walnut Grove that I didn’t have any female characters in the story. I was speaking with one of my friends, Vanessa, and told her that I wanted to add a female squirrel named Sassy to my next book. Vanessa said that she had a pet squirrel named Silly and suggested that I use Silly and Sassy. I thought it was a great idea! Silly and Sassy became Sammy’s cousins that always get into trouble!

Did you send your book to a publisher?
No. 

Why didn’t you send it to a publisher?
I originally wrote Adventures at Walnut Grove for my own children. I asked my mother-in-law, Judy, to do the illustrations and she accepted. I thought that it would be a nice gift for my kids for Christmas. I have a friend, Gayle Brohl, who does graphic design, and she offered to layout the book for me. After a lot of encouragement and the success of the story in my own family, I researched sending my story to a publisher in order to reach a wider audience. I read in numerous places that a publisher only wants your manuscript, and I wasn’t willing to give up the illustrations. I did some more research and decided to start Lehman Publishing.

Can you tell us about your illustrator?
Judy Lehman is my mother-in-law. She has been an artist for thirty-eight years. Judy is a retired schoolteacher. She currently resides in Hubbard Lake, Michigan with her husband George. I have had authors ask if she would be interested in doing illustrations for them, but she graciously declines. She is retired and enjoys a lot of other activities, such as golf and camping.

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
Other than reading and writing, I also love school visits and a program called ASK. I enjoy interacting with all the kids.

What did you do before you started writing for children?
I have been a stay at home mom since the birth of my first son. Now I work from home and still get to work around my boys’ schedules.

What is your new book about?
I CAN DO IT! is about self-esteem and how you can do anything if you believe in yourself. 

Why did you write about self-esteem?
It took me awhile to build up enough confidence in myself to publish my first book. I kept doubting myself. But with the encouragement of my family and friends I developed a more positive attitude. I am still amazed at how far I have come by taking a chance and believing in myself! Now I always encourage people to follow their dreams. As my mom said, don’t ever look back at your life and wonder what could have been. Take the opportunity that you are given and find out now.

A percentage of book sales go to help local charities.

Our Thoughts

We received the book just before Christmas and we read one of them right away.    The kids really enjoyed discovering Walnut Grove and its characters especially Sammy the Squirrel.  It didn’t take long for them to request the other stories and we enjoyed them as well while sitting in our living room.   

The stories are well thought and beautifully written.  The drawings found in the book illustrate the text and bring the story to life for the kids.    They were all trying to see the pictures while I was reading.   Each book has a teaching lesson that everyone can benefit.

Following the story, the author has thought to include a series of question to encourage the parents and children to discuss the book as well as the teaching lesson together.   I find this particularly interesting and I am encourage to see that it has been included.   In the end of each book, you will also find a “devotion” page which also complete the teaching lesson related to the book.   

We enjoyed the books and are looking forward for more titles in the future.  These books are definitively a wonderful addition on a family bookshelf.   Unfortunately, the books are not available in Canada at this moment.   I sure hope that this will change in 2011 so that my Canadian friends can discover them!

GREAT NEWS!books
Lehman Publishing has agreed to give me the same books for a giveaway.  One of my readers will receive a set of the three books for their personal library.

To participate, go to Lehman Publishing and tell me what you like about the series. This entry is mandatory.   Don’t forget to include your email address in the comment.

EXTRA ENTRIES

1) Subscribe to my feed on the left side of this blog and let me know about it.

2) Like Canadianladybug Reviews! on facebook and tell me about it.

3) Follow Canadianladybug Reviews! on twitter and like me you twitter name.

4) Follow Canadianladybug Reviews! with Google Friends on the left side of this blog and tell me about it.

5) Follow Canadianladybug Reviews! via networked blogs on the left side of this blog and tell me about it.

6) Tweet about this contest and give me the link about it.   (One entry per day!)

7) Blog about this contest and give me you link (3 entries) – Give me your link and enter three times in the comment section.

Don’t forget to include your email for each steps.   No email means I will have to pick someone else.    I need to be able to contact you if you win!   Random.org will be use to determine the winner.  You will have 24 hours to contact me and give me your mailing address so I can send it to my contact at Lehman Publishing which in turn will ship the set of books to you!

Open to US residents ONLY.

Deadline:  January 26, 2011.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Lehman Publishing for sending me the books for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way.  All opinions expressed here are only my own.

25 comments:

  1. I went to the site and I really like the beautiful pictures as well as the fact that they teach a character lesson!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I signed up to follow your blog via Google Friend Connect

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love books that encourage good character traits.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I follow you with Networked Blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love that the books have great morals, and that it is not always wise to follow your friends.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that these are hardcover and wonderfully illustrated.
    300sms at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow you on GFC
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  8. I follow you on Networked blogs.
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  9. I follow you on Twitter- mrsmandymusing
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    ReplyDelete
  10. I retweeted your tweet at mrsmandymusing about the contest (I am new to twitter not sure how to give you the link)
    300sms at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I discovered that the Walnut Grove Series is a
    2009 Mom’s Choice Silver Recipient!

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  12. I subscribed to your feed.

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  13. I Like Canadianladybug Reviews! on facebook and left a comment mentioning that I was entering this giveaway.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  14. As ossmcalc, I follow Canadianladybug Reviews! on twitter.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  15. I follow Canadianladybug Reviews! with Google Friends.

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. I follow Canadianladybug Reviews! via networked blogs.

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  17. I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/#!/ossmcalc/status/26815127420407808

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love the whimsical imaginative illustrations! And the fact they are 2009 Mom’s Choice Silver Recipient! Valuable lessons about developing social skills. ☺
    ladybugcda(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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