'Leah Sees The World' Champions Kids’ Creativity, Encourages Artistic Expression

Carrying a positive and empowering message meant to inspire creativity in youngsters, author Greg Wachs’ Leah Sees The World recently was released on Amazon. The children’s book is the 12th title in Greg’s Funky Dreamer Storytime kid’s book library and features 21 original watercolor scenes by artist Anastasiia Trofymiuk, who embedded original oil on canvas paintings created by artist Leah Nadeau into each scene.


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 The story and art show children a new way to see the world and encourage artistic expression.

“Leah sees the world differently than other people. Where a person might see an unremarkable sunset, Leah sees purple, pink, red, yellow, and blue. Where another sees nasty traffic jams, Leah sees slowly moving, beautiful swirls of color. Where others see enormous skyscrapers, Leah sees giant multi-colored popsicles. So Leah started painting what she saw, and shows her best friend that art has no rules and can be fun for everyone,” said  author Greg Wachs. “This unique kid's book features a collaboration by two different artists who have never met. Anastasiia Trofymiuk creates original watercolor scenes, and then embeds original oil on canvas paintings by Leah Nadeau. The result is amazing! Leah Sees The World takes your child on a journey of discovery where they learn that art has no rules, and empowers them to create what they feel.”

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MORE ART FROM THE BOOK…

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CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO VISIT THE ‘LEAH SEES THE WORLD’ AMAZON PAGE

CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO VISIT THE ‘LEAH SEES THE WORLD’ AMAZON PAGE


Kid's Book Author Greg Wachs Teams Up With His 83-Year Old Step-Mom To Create 'Socktown'

Make sure to check out Socktown, just added to the Funky Dreamer Storytime library. In this fun and imaginative story, a pair of kids are determined to solve the mystery of where of all those socks that go missing from the laundry disappear to. After a night of sleuthing, they go on an adventure and discover Socktown, a magical place behind a waterfall where all the missing socks are dancing the night away at a great big sock party.

Funky Dreamer Storytime founder Greg Wachs teamed up with his step-mom Sharlene to write Socktown, with the bright and fanciful watercolor illustrations created by artist Tatiana Rusakova. To read our press release with all the details about Socktown, click the button.

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Funky Dreamer Storytime Helps 9-Year-Old Girl Realize Her Dream Of Becoming A Published Author With The Recent Release Of 'Raising My Baby Sister' On Amazon

In addition to being an author and musician who produces kid’s books and podcasts - and currently offers seven popular children’s books on Amazon (and here on FunkyDreamerStorytime.com) - Funky Dreamer Storytime founder Greg Wachs is dedicated to helping aspiring authors make their dream of publishing their own book into a reality. Most recently, Greg worked with 9-year-old Marrissa Martinez, a big sister who wrote an engaging story aimed at teaching other kids her age the best ways to help their parents bring up a new baby. Raising My Baby Sister is a colorful and engaging storybook written by Marrissa and illustrated by artist Ksenia Yanenko. It was just released on Amazon.com (and right here on our website) and this week news outlets have published articles promoting the new release.

Read all about Raising My Baby Sister in these news articles:

Just Released on Amazon: ‘Raising My Baby Sister Kid’s Book by 9-Year-Old Big Sister Marrissa Martinez

Just Released on Amazon: ‘Raising My Baby Sister" Children’s Book Written by 9-Year-Old Big Sister

Click here to read additional articles on Funky Dreamer Storytime books and projects.

In Raising My Baby Sister’s 11 short chapters, Marrissa touches on all facets of life with a new baby in the family, and offers loads of tips that can help older siblings learn how to share the joy of raising a baby and build a loving relationship their younger sister or brother. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Marrissa’s story once you share this engaging, educational and beautifully illustrated kid’s book with your children!

If you have a story for a kid’s book you’re dreaming of publishing, Greg offers affordable coaching and consulting services - aspiring authors are invited to take advantage of his years of experience writing books, creating podcasts for kids, finding great illustrators, formatting book for publication and - THIS IS THE BEST PART - placing your book for sale on Amazon.com.

If you have a story you’re dying to tell, let Greg’s Funky Dreamer Storytime help you take it from a bright idea right through illustrations, design, layout and publication prominently promoted on Amazon.com, the world’s largest online bookseller!

Click here to learn more about Greg’s coaching and publishing services, and make sure to check out all 10 titles now part of the expanded Funky Dreamer Storytime library! To find the full list of Funky Dreamer Storytime books on Amazon, click here. FREE podcasts filled with original music and word-for-word narration are available FREE on iTunes to accompany Donut The Dragon, Milkshake Mermaid, Anabelle & The Crumbs and Oscar’s Pasta. To listen to the podcasts free via iTunes, click here.

We wish everyone the very best of Holiday Seasons and look forward getting input from our readers ands helping writers succeed as published authors! :-)

New Book Release! “What Animal Am I?”

Greg Wachs has put out a new interactive picture book featuring riddles, trivia, and counting exercises that will ensure an engaging experience with young readers! What Animal Am I also showcases the illustrations of Israel based artist Yana Kossova. This book is targeted at readers 2-4, but the graphic and stylishness nature of the artwork will appeal to kids and adults alike. Animal loving kids will get a kick out of this book and will definitely leave this book feeling inspired to learn more about animals!

Here’s a sneak peek:

What animal could it be?? Take a guess, then check out What Animal Am I and find out the answer, along with Yana Kossova’s illustrations!

New Education & Publishing Services

EDUCATIONAL & PUBLISHING SERVICES

Greg Wachs offers COACHING to folks who need help publishing or selling their kid’s book, plus offers a complete IDEA service that takes your children’s book idea from your mind to the page, complete with a final published book for sale on Amazon. Click here for more information on Funky Dreamer Storytime’s Educational and Publishing Services.

Funky Dreamer Storytime Enters Latino Market With Two New Books In Spanish

Funky Dreamer Storytime has expanded its library to reach children who speak and read Spanish! “What Do Giraffes Eat” and “Donut The Dragon” are now available in Spanish, under the directly-translated titles “¿Qué Comen Las Jirafas? and ”Dona el Dragón.” You can buy these new storybooks online Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

We’ve promoted these two new titles with news releases, you can read more about this here:

https://www.pr.com/press-release/750023

and here:

https://www.prlog.org/12698139-funky-dreamer-storytime-enters-latino-childrens-book-market-with-two-new-spanish-editions.html

‘Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City’ is available now!

Aimed at pre-school and school-age children and written in clever rhyme, Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City is the story of a little yellow kitty and a superhero tomcat who battle a wicked witch and make a city-sized pizza. The witch turns up the heat and casts a spell to make cheese fall from the sky, but Cute Kitty and her boyfriend Danny win the day when they add tomato sauce, sausage, and mushrooms and invite all the cats in town to share a giant pizza.  Author Greg Wachs tapped Romanian illustrator Andrei Petrea to create the colorful, intricate geometric designs of the city, and bring life to the friendly animal characters and the dastardly snaggletooth witch.

Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City is available now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Look for a matching podcast coming soon!

‘What Do Giraffes Eat?’ – ‘ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas?’ in Spanish – available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

What Do Giraffes Eat? – ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas? in Spanish – are now available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

What Do Giraffes Eat? – available in Spanish under the directly translated title ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas? –  is an early reading and counting book for children ages 1 to 3 filled with illustrations of kids, parents, colorful animals and the foods they eat. Children are encouraged to sound out the words – giraffes, monkeys, rabbits, eagles, and more – count the animals and learn about the foods they eat, like leaves, bananas, carrots, and fish. This is Wachs’ first book for younger children and features illustrations by artists Rituparna and Pratyush Chatterjee, a talented husband-and-wife team from India who also illustrated Anabelle & The Crumbs.

‘Milkshake Mermaid’ Podcast Now Available On iTunes – With A Matching Kid’s Book Available On Amazon!

Listen FREE to the brand-new “Milkshake Mermaid” podcast on iTunes or right here at Funky Dreamer Storytime. The podcast narrates the “Milkshake Mermaid” storybook word-for-word, and the funky music soundtrack and original songs help bring the characters to life, including Kayla the Mermaid, her friends Dava the Dolphin and Wiki the Whale, and the scary Glug King. Like my other books – “Donut the Dragon” and “Anabelle & The Crumbs” – the story features a brave and resourceful main character who works to find solutions on her own, thus empowering kid readers, instilling confidence and out-of-the-box thinking.

Following along in the book while listening to the podcast is also a great way to help kids learn to read…the matching “Milkshake Mermaid” storybook is available now on Amazon.

Too Much iPad Time

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Welcome to March 2017! Today is the first day of a brand new month, and what better time to talk about a new topic for this Kids website.

Well, it's hard to actually figure out what is too much iPad time for kids, but I'd like to propose a balance. 

Like the picture, kids are, in essence, jumping out of an airplane. Young, innocent, looking for our direction, and guidance, yet the iPad is the entertainment of today. I got to watch TV, and my Daughter gets to watch the iPad. But there has to be a balance.

It's addictive. It's fun. I mean c'mon, it's basically amazing. 

Now I know there are families that do no iPad, no TV, no devices, and I respect that. Yet, I am speaking more to the families that actually embrace the iPad as part of the family scene, part of bedtime, part of chill time, and part of the life we now live in. We have three iPads in the house. Three iPhones, two laptops, two TV's, a parakeet, 7 fish, and a little puppy named, MAC. Hmmm.
A puppy named MAC. Wow.

So, it's a delicate dance. We now do iPad in the mornings on the weekends, but not weekdays until after school, after homework, after dinner. But it's there, it's always there, staring at my Daughter. "Pick me up, and let's play" it says like a wafer muppet. "It'll be fun! C'mon, come play with my wolves and horses and animated worlds". It's always calling, and kids are always listening to the call, but it's the parents that have to create the balance.

Progress marches on, and things get more digital, and full of applications, and everything is connected, and yet, WE DO NOT GROW AT THE SAME RATE AS THE TECHNOLOGY. We don't. We are human. We are flesh and blood, and nerves, and human emotions. We are not emoticons, we are not droids, or drones, we are still living, breathing humans. Each year, when a new Intel microchip comes out, we're still the same. We are much like our ancestors of the 1700's and 1800's, we don't evolve like machines and computers do. We don't.

So we need human balance.

                          We need Human cadence.

                                                   We need human down time.

Have you heard of device sickness? Yeah, it's a thing. Have you experienced
iPhone burn-out? That's when you look at your phone a lot, and it drains you, but you're not really sure what's happening, cause it's just an iPhone, and it doesn't seem like a big deal. But it is. It's dangerous to driving, it's dangerous to relationships, it's dangerous to communication. It's dangerous to your health.


Take a break. I dare you to go to the store without your iPhone.

Go on a walk without your iPhone.

                                   Lay down in your bed, or on the couch, or on your back on the floor on a yoga matt, and close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths, and which each breath, your goal is to feel your shoulders and body let go a little. And then with the next breath, as you exhale, let your shoulders drop, and feel your entire body relax just a little more. And, if any thought comes into your mind, just put it aside for ten minutes and think about your breathing, and let go more and more, with no thoughts except your breathing.

No open your eyes. That's a bit of balance.

For kids that don't really get into taking time out to meditate, reading books is good, or coloring, or playing with some toys and going into a creative, talk to yourself world.

iPads are not inherently bad people. In fact that aren't people at all, ("Yes I am!"). Who said that? "Over here, on the shelf, it's me Ilene iPad". 
Sorry.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. It's people that decide what iPads will, "Be" to our children. So don't blame the iPad, let the iPad do it's thing. and let kids enjoy all the incredibly fun and interesting stuff that's available today. 

But, then it's your job to instill the balance, set the rules, define the boundaries and stick to them. Your kid can play and learn and create with the iPad, and can also know the non-iPad world. Where things slow down, and things get quiet, and a kid can reflect, and breathe and listen to his or her own mind, and find their own voice of creativity and invention.

iPad fun.

            Self Awareness.

                            Down time.

                                        Inner peace.

Electronics.

No Electronics.

Invent.

Observe.

Participate.

Feel.

Listen.

Then, they may grow up, and twenty years from now, they may say, "Thank you Parents, for instilling balance. Thank you for the peace of mind, for the space to hear myself think, to experience technology and the future, but also, to feel the solace of the past.

WOW, Cool!

and then.

Shhhhhhhhh.......

                  Quiet.

                   
Live, learn, listen, grow.

Watch a show.

But, also....help them to know.

                      Help them to find balance.

                                      Help them to find themselves.

Respect4Artists

There's a new culture online where art is cheap. By using sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com, you can put out a bid for an artist to do something for $5. That is not ok. I've read a ton of comments from artists, trying to see how this could work, and I have heard the complaints and sadness.

Artists spend many hours, days, months, and years doing their craft, for some it's a lifetime. My Father Inlaw has been making weird sculptures since the 60's. www.richardvanburenart.com. and the thought of someone asking to pay $5 is not respectful to the artist. 

These sites offer the ability to bond with customers for $5, and then build a relationship which can lead to more business, or to upsell and add on items so that the transaction grows in value, but the comments I have read from artists describe an experience where the time and energy far out weighs the pay, and there is much concern within the dialogue that this approach devalues the art and the artist in general.

I'm guilty of participating, as I've hired artists in India and Russia to create drawings for my books, and I was careful to be respectful, to be very nice, and to try to agree on a price that worked for me and worked for them, which also included sharing the profits from book sales on Amazon. I think it's important to be respectful, and to honor the craft, and the craftsman. And, I don't think placing a bid, and getting 20 applicants, and picking one, and holding them to the assignment, without flexibility, and needing revisions and communication, I don't think that's living in reality. It just doesn't fit our culture or our economy. I have read comments from artists that are trying to take on 10 gigs at $5 to make $50 to pay their bills. That's not a good scenario.

Please don't fall into this trap, and place a bid for a graphic design of your cover for your book for $5, and then place demands on the artist, it doesn't make sense. But try to find the synergy, the win-win, the compromise that works for both you and the artist. And then give a little more, pay a bonus, be nice, be respectful, and honor that person and the talent they have developed. It's worth thousands and thousands of dollars. And perhaps you can't afford that, but they value is still there. And if you both decide on $200 for a project, please realize that you are not getting a $200 value for $200, but rather you are getting a $2,000 value or a $20,000 value for $200. 

Sometimes you just can't put a value on art, it's priceless. And it's not being created by a machine, or a bot, or a droid, or a factory. It's being made by a person, and that person may have honed their skill while surviving life through the creation of art, or surfed the challenges of love through art, or maybe not, maybe they didn't. Maybe they are just fine and good with Photoshop. But chances are, they survived something through art, and believe me, it wasn't a $5 life they survived, it was far bigger than that, and they can share their art with you, and help you to build your business, and your brand, but for a fair and reasonable price.