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

DonuttheDragon.Kyle.PNG

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.

You Can Teach What You Know

Every time I walk the dog, I want to learn something from my iPhone. I go to Udemy, and listen to courses, I go to youtube and listen to social media experts, I go to iTunes and listen to podcasts. Suddenly that chilling moment that I used to get sitting in my car listening to NPR public radio, where some person is telling the story of their life - this moment starting happening on my dog walks around the neighborhood. "Are you crying?", My Dog would ask. "Who me? No, um, of course not, why would I be crying while walking the dog around the neighborhood? I just got something in my eye, and I was chopping up onions for the tacos we didn't make tonight." "Be Honest", my Dog would say with this silent puppy stare. "Oh, ok dammit! You got me. I confess, I just listened to a podcast about a woman who succeeded against all odds, including an extremely challenging childhood". 

And so it would go. Goosebumps from iPhone media. media cry.com. Oh, damn, GoDaddy says it's already taken. cry.media, Ok there we go.

The point is that I am being moved emotionally by people offering content about stuff that they know. We are living in a sharesy waresy World. We share, and we share and we share.

mediashare.com damn, that’s taken. share.media that’s available for $1,000. Wow.

sharemedia.com is on GoDaddy for $78,000. Jesus.

Anyway, we are a sharing economy now. Everyone is sharing stuff they know, because it has value to other people. It moves people. It educates people, it helps people. So I’m writing this blog post to let you know that you can share what you know, and you should share what you know, and you can make money, and feel good, and gain confidence, and help other people. It’s a win-win.

When I started researching how to create a podcast, I learned the most from John Lee Dumas and Kate at www.EOFIRE.com, where the first thing John did was send me 15 free videos on, “How To Create A Podacast”. Then I wrote to him and asked him where I could watch a video on how to monetize a podcast, and he wrote, “Check out my course on Udemy.” Huh? What’s udemy.com? Then I discovered Udemy. 

Udemy is an e-learning site where people from all walks of life teach what they know. From Knitting, to Motorcycles, to Health & Fitness to programming languages like the new IOS language SWIFT, and…courses on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Photoshop, Stocks, Investing, Sales Marketing, Journalism, Cooking, Meditation, C, C++, Python, Java, Photography, French, Spanish, and much, much more. It’s basically people teaching what they know.

Then I realized I could teach.

Then I started scripting my first course, called “Enterprise Sales”, (I have a long career of designing technology solutions for large businesses).

Then I started learning a ton, because I was preparing to teach.

Please check out Udemy, and browse some courses, there are a ton of free previews there. Then, think about what you know, and what you are good at. Even if it doesn’t seem like a course, or a topic or a subject. Like knowing a lot about tennis shoes, or a lot about eBay, or a lot about Spinal Surgery. Or cooking a chicken.

You can teach what you know. And you can share what you know.
And you can make money from teaching and sharing. And why not? If you offer knowledge, and people want to pay for that knowledge, that’s a pretty good synergy. :-)

In my next Blog Post, I’ll talk more about how you create a udemy course and how you make money from it, and why it’s so different from posting an educational and informative video on youtube.

Funky Dreamer Storytime's Launch

Hi Everyone,

I’ve launched Funky Dreamer Storytime, an original series of Podcasts for Kids on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Sticher.

I wrote the stories, recorded the voices, and layered in some of my original music soundtracks, and I’m getting very good reviews.

The statistics shows 2,000 downloads from all over the World! China, Japan, Europe, Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, India, Poland, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, Argentina, South Africa, and more…so cool!

And now, I am converting each podcast into a Kids Picture Book, coming soon to Amazon.

I’ve decided to provide a FREE Kids Picture Book to the first 100 people to show my appreciation for your support.

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE A FREE COPY OF, “DONUT THE DRAGON” for your kids, niece, nephew, or neighbor. 🙂

Thank you so much!

-Greg