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Welcome to The Might-E Heroes Club, the official blog of author Jordan J. Scavone. Here I'll post updates, event recaps, interviews, and more!
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March is Reading Month! - #5 - The Kissing Hand

Posted on March 5, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn

If this is the first you're ever hearing about The Kissing Hand then you need to get and read this book as soon as you are able. This is one of the books that I personally believe should be in every child's personal library, should be in every classroom, and should be accessible to all people with children. The book follows Chester Raccoon and how he doesn't want to go to school (something almost every kid experiences) and his mother's response is to teach him about "The Kissing Hand" a simple concept much like "The Space Saver" from Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader we talked about earlier this month, where the mother raccoon kisses Chester on the hand and he is able to keep her kiss with him if he needs it for courage and confidence. The artwork in this book is also simply gorgeous and has one of those covers that you instantly know the book from your past, or are drawn to it. This book is not only a classic story, but one that really helps kids come to grips with any anxiety they are feeling, and is one of the books that in concept, helped to inspire my own book Might-E.

As a teacher of toddlers and infants, I see so many kids feeling anxious during drop-off time even after being in school for the majority of their lives. One of my favorite things about this book is how parents are able to use it to help their kids. I had a dad in my classroom who, for the better part of six months would reenact "The Kissing Hand" by placing a kiss into his daughter's hand. She would close her hand tight and keep it with her, every so often she would look to her hand and either kiss her own hand or just hold her hand close to her body. It truly helped her adapt to being in school and by the end of her time in my class, she didn't need the ritual anymore.

 

Check out this book as soon as you get the chance!


 

March is Reading Month! - #4 - The Family Book

Posted on March 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Family Book
By Todd Parr

If you aren't reading Todd Parr's books you need to change that right away, his books are amazing, and The Family Book is probably my favorite of his books. The book is simple yet complex in the writing and images. Todd covers so many different types of families from big and small, to same-sex, adoption, colors, and more. But it isn't even that that makes this book great, Todd talks about families like to hug, families celebrate special days together, some are quiet or noisy, and more. Todd is able to speak to kids in a way that makes sense, is easy to understand, and is able to speak to everyone in his own unique way. This is a great book for parents, teachers, etc. that are trying to give their kids an easy way to understand that not all families are the same, and everyone's family is different, but also the same in their own ways. Read as many of Todd's books as you can.

Check out this book as soon as you get the chance!

https://www.toddparr.com/" target="_blank">Todd Parr



March is Reading Month! - #3 - Alma and How She Got Her Name

Posted on March 3, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Alma and How She Got Her Name
By Juana Martinez-Neal

This book is gorgeous, I love the images, the story, and the message it sends. Starting off this book was a Caldecott Honor in 2019 and while Hello Lighthouse the 2019 winner of the Caldecott is a gorgeous book, I was surprised that Juana Martinez-Neal didn't take home the main award, but having it be an honor was at the very least the right call. The very simple yet complex images are what directly drew me into this book, and as a book, I wanted to add to not only my personal collection but my classroom collection.

The book starts right away introducing us to Alma, well, *takes a deep breath* Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, a very long name. The book follows Alma asking her father (I love books with daughters or sons with their dads) why her name is so long and how her name came to be. Her father does through each part of her name and explains the history of her name and what it means to not only her father but their family. The book is gorgeous, very interesting, and really makes you wonder about your name and other people's names. At the very end, Juana even explains the origin of her name and invites you to ask about your name and learn about the history of your name if it has one.

With a little boy on the way (June!!) my wife and I have been talking a lot about names and trying to figure out not only names we like, but names that mean something, and flow well as a first, middle, and last. I want to have a story to tell my son in the future why his name is what it is. His name isn't going to family-based like Alma's but his first and middle name means something to my wife and I and we settled on Felix. The name meaning behind Felix is "lucky" and that is how we truly feel about Felix. It took us four years to make him, and we feared he would never show up, but he is on his way. Anyway! Kind of went on a little tangent there, but that is what this book did for me personally with my little one on the way. Pick up this book and talk to your kids about their name, or find out more about your name if you don't know it.

Check out this book as soon as you get the chance!

https://juanamartinezneal.com/" target="_blank">Juana Martinez-Neal

 

 

March is Reading Month! - #2 - Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader

Posted on March 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader
Words by Christianne Jones
Pictures by Cale Atkinson

 

 

 

We recently picked up this book in my classroom to read with the toddlers and infants I am teaching as a way to explore the concept of personal space. We have a few kids who are very in your face kind of kids, always want to be on teacher laps, clinging to other kids, sitting on other kids, etc. I was very pleased to find out that this book actually did a great job of helping the kids in my classroom really grasp the concept of personal space.

 

The story follows Harrison, a very fancy little hippo in a bowtie, a character design that I absolutely love by the way. Harrison is a fun-loving energetic kid who has no concept of personal space, always getting in his friends' faces, too close to teachers, librarians, and more. Harrison's dad decides to teach his son about "The Space Saver" an arm movement where you make a T shape and if you aren't touching anyone or anything then you and everyone around you have enough space. Does "The Space Saver" work for Harrison? You'll have to check out the book to find out! I will say that several of my kids have actually started to utilize the technique, and it has given some success to them. It is pretty cool to see a little two-year-old adopt something from a book in her everyday life.

Check out this book as soon as you get the chance!


March is Reading Month! - #1 - The Pout-Pout Fish

Posted on March 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen
Illustrated by Dan Hanna

 

For my first post, I wanted to do a book that I truly love by an author that I am proud to call my friend. Not only do I love this book, but I adore Deb, we have done events together, I ask her for advice, she is a Michigan author like me so seeing her success is truly a huge inspiration for me. Fun fact, I also have this book memorized because I read it so much with the kids in my classroom. That being said, let's get into the book!

 

The Pout-Pout Fish follows Mr. Fish who because of his pouty face is always gloomy, frowny, mopey, and sulky. His friends attempt to give him words of advice in order to improve his mood, but he knows how his face looks and he knows what that must mean for his personality. The rhyme scheme used in this book makes it easy for families to read, and for kids to enjoy. Kids start to remember the book and the number of kids I've read the book out loud say with me "Blub, bluuub, bluuuuub" is the moment you really know how great this book is. Hanna's illustrations in this book are also great. They fit this book (and series) so well that I couldn't imagine seeing Mr. Fish in any other way but with his big grimace frown on the cover. I'm not going to give away the ending, because you should totally check out the book if you haven't, you can find it literally anywhere, even Scholastic book faires! Give this book a read with your kids, students, or more and watch them fall in love with it.

 

Check out this book as soon as you get the chance!

 

https://deborahdiesen.com/" target="_blank">Deborah's Website
https://us.macmillan.com/author/danhanna/" target="_blank">Dan's Website

 


March is Reading Month!

Posted on February 27, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)
March is Reading Month!

Hello MightE Heroes! I am finally, finally, making an effort to reboot this blog and do something interesting that will engage and make things interesting for you to read. So I am challenging myself to dive into March in a strong way. March is National Reading Month, and my goal is to review and feature at least one picture book every single day on this blog! I am going to do my best to balance this list with newer books, older books, classics and the like. I will try and be as broad, diverse, and include as many interesting books as possible. I hope you take the time to check them out, hopefully, you'll find a new book, or rediscover a book you have forgotten about!

-Jordan

Kristin Lenz - Author - The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (1)

This next interview is super exciting for me. I got to talk with Kristin Bartley Lenz about her book The Art of Holding on and Letting Go which if you have not had the chance to check out you really need to. I've listened to the audio book, and read the actual book, and both options are wonderful, I recommend doing either! Check out this interview and check out Kristin's book!


1. Give us a quick snapshot of you!

Writer, social worker, mom. Michigan to Georgia to California and back to Michigan.


2. When was the first moment you realized that you wanted to write, or do you have stories told to you about writing as a child?

My 3rd grade teacher made my entire class enter a poetry competition. I grumbled and struggled to write that one poem, but finally had some inspiration gazing out at the woods behind my house. My poem, If I Could Fly, won the contest. I got to read it in front of our entire school and attend a regional Young Authors Conference. I've been writing ever since, but it took 30 years for me to win another writing contest!


3. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go has 52 reviews on Amazon, and 50 of them are 5-Star and the other two are 4-Star, how does it feel to know that many people love your book?

This is one of the very rewarding parts of being an author. I know readers have lots of choices and we all have different reading preferences, so I'm honored when someone gives my book a try. And when they enjoy the story, when they relate to the story, when the story I've written is a bridge to their own life story - I love this human connection.


4. Do you have any upcoming events where people can come meet you?

I had weekly events for the first year after my book came out in September 2016, but I don't have that many scheduled now. I'll be at the Kerrytown Book Fest in Ann Arbor, MI on September 9th, and at the NCTE/ALAN conference in Houston in November. I love to meet with teens at schools, book clubs, and writing groups, so feel free to reach out!


5. Was describing the mountain climbing scenes difficult? When I read it the first time, it wasn't confusing at all to me, but it was something that I've never done, researched, even watched people do. That level of detail to make it understandable to those on the outside of mountain climbing must have been hard.

Yes! I worked really hard to make the climbing scenes relatable for climbers and non-climbers. I am a climber, so I really enjoyed translating that to the page, but it required a lot of experimenting and revising. It was necessary to explain some of the terminology and equipment, but I also tried to focus on the "feeling" of climbing - the physical and emotional, as well as the connection with nature.


6. This next question is one of two I am going to ask everyone who appears on the blog. Who is your favorite superhero?

The Flash!


7. If you could describe yourself in only a couple words what would it be? Example, I’ve been referred to as “Properly Unproper” and “A Self-Deprecating Narcissist”

A self-depreciating narcissist? My background in psychology makes me want to analyze that a bit! I'll borrow from Whitman and say, "Quiet, but I contain multitudes." I've heard "you're so quiet" my entire life from friends, family, and strangers, but it's only been in recent years that I've begun to accept and embrace this as a positive quality. I am quiet. I love to observe and listen and "talk" inside my head and through my writing. It's how I find my voice, and how I better understand the world around me and my place within it. For many years, my writing was rejected as "too quiet." (Big surprise!) I'm learning how to add richness and amplify the emotional resonance in my stories. Esteemed editor, Emma Dryden describes this as the resonant roar of quiet books: scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-resonant-roar-of-quiet-books-by.html. And of course there is the wonderful book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She's my superhero!



The Mud Princess and my appendectomy

Posted on July 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Life Update!

Hello everyone! I am sorry that there have not been any blog posts since the first! I was planning to do a huge post about going to Motor City Comic Con, then a huge post about my new book The Mud Princess coming out on Amazon....but then...I had an appendectomy. Went in to the ER with sharp stomach pain and within several hours I was out cold and having surgery. Though, now that Mud Princess is out, and I am completely healed (aside from an awesome new scar) it is time to get back to starting to blog. I plan to have more interviews, more regular updates, and write-ups from events (I have on coming up in July!) Check out The Mud Princess now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Mud-Princess-Jordan-J-Scavone/dp/1983022535" target="_blank">https://www.amazon.com/Mud-Princess-Jordan-J-Scavone/dp/1983022535 and get the brand new book now!



- Jordan

Paul Bauer AKA Small Sounds

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (2)

I am excited to introduce my brand-new blog, The Might-E Heroes Club! I am so excited to announce that my first interviewee on the blog is my friend Paul Bauer, aka Small Sounds! I had the pleasure of meeting Paul in 2015 at the first event I ever took Might-E to table. Paul was only a few spaces down from me, and I was entranced by his music, and the way that the kids just gravitated to him! When I was tossing around if I wanted to do this blog, I knew that I had to get Paul on here, and the sooner the better, so, I want to thank to Paul for being my blog guinea pig! Enjoy the interview below and be sure to listen to his awesome stuff!


1. Give us a quick snapshot of you!

My name is Paul Bauer and as Small Sounds I write, record and perform music for kid's, but the whole family can enjoy it too! I also have a Pre-K music curriculum that is focused on hands-on music immersion, movement and enjoyment.

I am based in Kalamazoo, MI.


2. What made you want to be a Children’s musician?

It happened by accident when I was a preschool teacher many moons ago. In an effort to maintain my sanity I decided to try something new and bring my djembe to class. I gave the drum a persona and a name-- "Djembe," not super clever I know. I played for them the classics, 5 Green and Speckled Frogs, 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, etc and made up some other silly songs on the spot. They were dancing, acting out the parts and best of all every one of them was engaged.

I went home for the night and really didn't give it a second thought. The next day the kids excitedly asked, "Where's Djembe?!" "Can we play music again?!" Etc. I knew I found something. "Djembe" became a regular guest during class and on breaks or during free time I would quietly record snippets of ideas and melodies that popped into my head on my phone. Being around the kids offered an unending pool of creativity to pull from.

Years later I met the super-awesome Neil Firstenleit AKA Mr. Singer AKA Electric Neil who does kids music in Chicago. (Anyone reading this should check out his music!) He had been doing kid's music a while and really got the proverbial ball rolling for me when he helped me record and produce my first song "Hey, Alligator!" He was really encouraging and positive and it pushed me to complete my first full album. Eventually I stopped teaching preschool to focus more time on Small Sounds. I also really like writing kid's music because it offers a lot of freedom musically. On the same album I can go from rock to bluegrass to electronic talking about alligators, robots or opossums.


3. What is your personal favorite song you’ve created?

I like to think I haven't written my favorite song yet. But "Hey, Alligator!" is my current favorite. It has sentimental value for me, it's the first kids song I wrote and recorded and marks the beginning of what I feel is an important chapter of my life. I also think it tells a fun albeit slightly dark story and has a chorus that encourages audience participation.


4. Tell me about your upcoming album and upcoming events!

I am in the process of recording my second Small Sounds album entitled "Ear Worms!" Release date is TBA but will come out later this year. Also, I feel I've pushed my luck with people who have been listening to "Good Morning, Sun!" for a couple years now. Although it's nice to know it's still in their rotation and kids are still asking for it! This summer I will be focusing a lot of energy and attention on completing the album.


5. Biggest inspiration in children’s music and/or non-children’s music?

As far as kids music inspiration goes my friend Neil Firstenleit who I mentioned before and Caspar Babypants. But my Pre-K music students offer endless inspiration for song topics. Also, I was really obsessed with jingles as a kid which might be why I like to write two-minute songs.

Also, my drum instructor growing up, Jeff Moehle, was and still is a huge inspiration to me. Beyond being an amazing musician and instructor, he taught me professional etiquette and to be someone people want to regularly work with. I still seek his advice to this day.


6. This next question is one of two I am going to ask everyone who appears on the blog. Who is your favorite superhero?

As a self-proclaimed comic book nerd I really can't name just one!

DC - Batman and the lesser-known Animal-Man who's not an average superhero. He has a wife and kids and uses his powers to not only save people but also make a living as a movie stunt man.

Marvel - Wolverine and Spider-Man.

Real life - Mom and dad, of course.


7. If you could describe yourself in only a couple words what would it be? Example, I’ve been referred to as “Properly Unproper” and “A Self-Deprecating Narcissist”


Fundamentally Optimistic



 

Links to Music:

https://open.spotify.com/album/3FXGgQH4JTjdBfzLuwhfBR

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/smallsoundsmusic

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/good-morning-sun/1076117849


Social:

Facebook: facebook.com/smallsoundskalamazoo

Instagram: @smallsoundskidsmusic

Web: www.smallsounds.co




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