Kid Lit Author and Advocate

Tag Archives: indie authors

I would like to reach out to kid lit authors and book bloggers to get quality books into the hands of deserving kids.

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Throughout the month of March, I am collecting new children’s books to benefit children of incarcerated parents. Authors, I hope you will consider donating signed copies of your books. Book bloggers, please help us by sharing this information with your readers.

I am a children’s author, teacher, and mom who is passionate about children’s literacy and the power of children’s books. When I learned nearly 2/3 of children, living in poverty, DO NOT own books, I was moved to act. I founded the literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On, to raise awareness for literacy issues and get books to kids in need.

Three years ago, the Picture Book Pass it On initiative grew to include a month-long book drive called MARCHing Books to Kids.

Throughout the month of March, MARCHing Books to Kids collects books (ages birth-17 years) for the VNS of Iowa Storybook Project.

VNS of Iowa volunteers travel to The Iowa Correctional Institution, in Mitchellville, once a month. With the aid of volunteers, mothers select one book per child to read via a digital voice recorder.  The audio CD and book are mailed to the child to keep. The mission is to strengthen the bond between parent and child, during incarceration, while promoting reading and literacy.

Since 2015, MARCHing Books to Kids has collected more than 1,500 books.                               Over the years, the drive has received signed donations from notable children’s authors such as    Robert Munsch (Love You Forever) and Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty series). Last year, more than 30 children’s authors donated signed copies of their books. Owning a book, let alone a book signed by the author, is a joy most of these children have never experienced.

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I believe that every child’s Bill of Rights should be indelibly inked with the right to have books read to him/her and to own their very own books.  Many of us take for granted the sacred ritual of cracking open a book and cuddling together while the words and pictures collectively take us away.  You can probably recall having been read to by your parents or caregivers.  You likely hold a special book, from your childhood, close to your heart.  And, until now, you’ve probably not given much thought to how profound that experience can be…

Imagine, never having that.

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.  Authors are invited to sign their books.

When packing your book/s, please include a note stating that your book is part of the MARCHing Books to Kids initiative. Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page .  Share it on your blog and on social media.  Please include our badge and tags #PBPiO and #MARCHingBookstoKids

#3 Pass it on.  When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #MARCHingBookstoKids giving chain.  Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

I appreciate your help spreading the word. Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families in need.



Educators Cathy Mere & Mandy Robek created the annual event #pb10for10. Join the celebration and share 10 of your all-time favorite picture books today, August 10th, with the hashtag #pb10for10 (see the official rules here).

As an indie author, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of picture books from the talented pool of authors who work hard to produce high-quality, independently-published children’s books.

Author/illustrator, Mark Collins is one of the first people I met on the kid lit scene. His books are colorful and funny with just the right amount of gross-out humor kids adore. My son thinks Grandma Stinks is hilarious!


Barbara Ann Mojica is another talented kid lit author who creates entertaining and educational children’s books. Barbara has written a series of Little Miss HISTORY books, highlighting America’s historical sites.


Author Nicholas Rossis is making great books and treating readers to this one for free on his blog.


Cat Michaels is one of my favorite people in the indie kid lit world. She is a wealth of knowledge, and her generosity inspires me to pay it forward and back in our online community.


Karen Emma Hall is an indie from across the pond in the UK. In addition to writing books for kids, she supports fellow authors via @KidLiterature and her blog


Author Cheryl Woodward is making a difference with her children’s book about Dyslexia.


My friend, and fellow Iowa gal, Laura Jensen-Kimball is making a splash with her new picture book.


Another Iowa author, Dr. Stephanie Cox, is helping ease kids’ anxiety with her book.


I recently met Australian author, A.S. Chung, and reviewed her new book.

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Rounding out my top 10 is a beautiful picture book by Brian G Chambers, Söndra N Rymer.


Lastly, I will toot my own horn. I am blessed to count myself among the many talented indie and traditional children’s book authors.


Join the celebration and share 10 of your all-time favorite picture books today, August 10th, with the hashtag #pb10for10.

Don’t be shy, leave a reply. Please feel free to add your favorites to my list in the comments below.

Happy Reading!


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