BookS on MondaY: Daria Song’s newest coloring book THE NIGHT VOYAGE on imagination, fantasy, magic, and why wordless books are beneficial

By Leslie Lindsay 9780399579042

We’re back with another amazing round of children’s literature for the next few weeks. I’m in love with children’s picture books and there’s a reason: they’re nostalgic to those days when I’d wait (not so patiently) for my dad to arrive home from work so he could read to me from my Disney mail-order books the floor of my large closet, arm draped over my tiny shoulders, and ‘do’ his voices, making them higher or lower, goofy, or serious, always with a glint in his eye. It was the beginning of a love affair with the written word.

THE NIGHT VOYAGE is highly evocative of PETER PAN meets ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets THE NUTCRACKER (VELVETEEN RABBIT, MARY POPPINS, really I could go on) propelling readers far from the floor of their walk-in closet and into a sort of Narnia…it’s at once delightful, whimsical, and highly detailed.
Daria Song is the author-illustrator and creative mind behind The Time Garden and The Time Chamber comes the third in the series. Technically, THE NIGHT VOYAGE is an adult-style coloring book, but this lovely colorable story is relevant for all, children included. In fact, my artistic 11-year old daughter is in awe and cannot wait to get her hands on this book.
THE NIGHT VOYAGE (Random House, August 2016) is an evocatively illustrated story of a little girl who is swept away on the eve of her birthday by her toy train conductor on a magical journey to distribute gifts around the globe, from London to Paris to Granada. Following the trend of the previous books, Daria Song enchants readers with beautifully intricate art that her fans have come to love, featuring a world of paper cranes, penny-farthing bicycles, trolleys, cityscapes, and hot air balloon-filled skies.
But  you don’t necessarily have to read (or color!) the books in order, I fell right into the magic of this story. Devotees of Daria Song will say this is a continuation of other adventures in the serious, but if you’re just into unique art, magical stories of adventure and whimsy, you won’t need anymore too get launch your mind.
Be Sure to Take a Peek at this flip-through video.
Keep in mind that there are very few words to this story. The first few pages have some text, but then it’s up to you, dear reader, to pull from the depths of your imagination to fill in the blanks. It’s a dream, almost like falling down Alice’s rabbit’s hole.
Here are some discussion points to keep in mind if you read/color THE NIGHT VOYAGE:
  • Why wordless books have meaning.
  • How one person can interpret a series of events differently that someone else.
  • How one’s story vision might be different than someone else’s.
  • Make up your own continuation to THE NIGHT VOYAGE.
  • Draw your own companion art and share with others.
  • Compose a song (or look for one in your collection) that connects to the art within the book. What kind of song did you select?
  • Is the book evocative of a dream? Can you share a dream you had recently that relates?
  • Makes a darling gift for a young/middle grade girl

2116821About the Author: Daria Song is an artist living and working in Seoul, Korea, and has drawn inspiration from time spent in foreign cities as a child. The Night Voyage is the perfect way for coloring enthusiasts to add their own artistic flair to some of the most striking world wonders.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay at:


[Special thanks to B. Leahy at Ten Speed Press/Random House. Images retrieved from Random House website on 10.2.16. With the exception of portion in quotations, all written material and review is my own.]



BooKs on MondaY: Leslie Lindsay talks about CAS, her daughter’s first words, advice to parents, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay 

Happy First Day of Summer!! Yep, it’s offical, today at 3:34pm. 

I was recently approached by a communication disorders graduate student at Southern Connecticut State University who was working on an assignment in download (12)examining clinical approaches designed for various communication disorders…and she choose CAS and me to connect with. It was an honor to answer her questions and to shed a little light on this communication disorder that has so become a part of our life.

Thought you could benefit from it a bit, too. Here goes…

E.S.: When did you discover your daughter has CAS? What were some of the characteristics of CAS that you noticed your daughter possessed?

Leslie Lindsay: When we gazed at our newborn baby girl, everything about her was perfect. The flawless creamy complexion, the tuft of red hair, and the denim blue eyes. Every other parent would tell you the same about their child; that they are stunningly perfect. And they are. We all want perfection. And most of the time, we get just that. But none of us are completely perfect. When Kate didn’t say her first word “on time,” we were a little concerned. When mothers from my child birth class (who still met up regularly), boasted that their child said, “elephant,” or called the dog by name, I cringed a little inside. Kate wasn’t even saying “mama.” But there was a brightness in her eyes, a curiosity. I knew she had ideas, I knew things were connecting in her world, she just couldn’t get them out. 

It was our pediatrician who suggested there might be something more at play. We shrugged our shoulders in her sterile exam room, the one with a string of babies lined up, their naked bottoms various colors of ivory, cocoa, and peach. We decided not to pursue any action for her speech concerns at 1-year, figuring she would ‘catch-up,’ as so many children did. She was a late-bloomer, that’s all. The next few months progressed with mommy-and-me outings, play dates, baby swimming lessons, chunky book reading, and everything else of early toddlerhood. Still, no words. Until the first ‘hi’ emerged, along with a giant smile–hers and mine. And then nothing. For a long time. In fact, even ‘hi,’ became less often used. I ached to hear ‘mama,’ but finally, the second word, ‘ball’ appeared when Kate was about 21 months old. It was a challenging word for her, but she was enamored with balls. And Papa, who got her to say it. 

Kate knew the rhythm of language. We had been reading to her from the day she came home from the hospital. We talked as we did things around the house. “Mommy’s going to change your diaper now…time to eat…oooh, what color do you see?” She knew where things were in the house. I could tell her we were going to ‘go bye-bye’ and she’d race to the back door, sometimes grabbing her shoes beforehand. And she’s make approximations, too. She’d point at the correct object, or gesture when she needed something. Still, she wasn’t able to get the words out; it was like she was perpetually tongue-tied. 

At 30 months, she was finally diagnosed with CAS. I say “finally,” like we waited an eternity, when in reality, she was still young; she would be okay. It felt like a final relief just knowing what was tripping her up. 

E.S.: Were you familiar with CAS before your daughter was diagnosed?

DSCF2628Leslie Lindsay: Not at all. I had worked with kids in my job as a child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. Before that, I was well-versed in child development, psychology, and being around kids as a babysitter all through high school and college. Never once had I heard anyone talk about childhood apraxia of speech. In one of my clinical rotations in nursing school, I learned of dyspraxia, uncoordinated movements of the body and mouth. I knew some stroke patients needed rehabilitation following a CVA. I knew of speech and language loss from a TBI and I knew of Broca’s aphasia. Still, I had not heard of childhood apraxia of speech.  

E.S.: Which resources were most helpful for you when you first began researching CAS? Which resources do you call upon most now?

Leslie Lindsay: At the time, I was told to *not* go home and Google apraxia, “It will just scare you.” Well, as you can imagine, that scared me just the same! The diagnosing SLP must have seen my eyes grow as wide as saucers because she amended her statement, “Of course, you want to know what’s going on and I don’t blame you; I’d recommend a website called”

I honestly don’t think I even bothered looking them up right away; I needed to sit with the information that my daughter was “quite delayed in her speech and language patterns,” requiring “highly intensive therapy” for her to match her peers. Eventually I did venture over to Apraxia-KIDS and contrary to what I was advised, I freaked out a little there, anyway. There were questions posted to a listserv about future development, reading delays, school concerns, etc. that pretty much blew me away. There were parents who still struggled with their 8,9,10 year old children. Mine was just 2.6 years old! Don’t get me wrong: there’s definitely some value in Apraxia-KIDS; there’s something to be said about the community mentality–“we’re all in this together.”

Since then, there have been other groups that have sprouted up: CHERUB, Speech Train, and countless Facebook Groups that weren’t exactly there when we were first embarking on the CAS journey. 

ASHA also has a good deal of information on CAS and that’s probably where I’d turn now, though Kate’s apraxia has progressed so much that we don’t feel we need the resources so much any longer. 

E.S.: As a parent of a child with CAS, what has surprised you about current research addressing CAS? What direction would you like future research to take?

Leslie Lindsay: Everything! In some ways, I was surprised to learn that CAS is a neuromotor speech disorder and that sometimes, kids with CAS have more neurological concerns; a package deal, if you will. They may have AD/HD in addition to CAS, or perhaps Down’s syndrome or autism. Or even all of the above. In our case, we are dealing with both CAS and AD/HD, which makes for a highly active, inventive, and determined young lady!87c76-410_1target_group_kids_apparel_photography_los_angeles_mike_henry

E.S.: How has the nature of your daughter’s communication changed with intervention?

Leslie Lindsay: Greatly! Well-meaning others ensured us that Kate would eventually “grow out” of her apraxia. Still others claimed she didn’t need to talk because she had such attentive (coddling?) parents. Even still, we heard that we weren’t doing all we could for her–or that was how it was perceived–that we needed to read more to her, dance with her (that movement helped speech), talk with her more. We were doing all of those things, and still, nothing in the way of communication. I guess my point here is, if you suspect a problem, listen to your gut. Only a qualified SLP can make the diagnosis. Only they can provide therapy. Listen to them. Go to therapy. Go as much as your insurance or pocketbook,and time will allow. Kids with apraxia do not simply “grow out of it.”

E.S.: Which interventions have been most effective for your child?

Leslie Lindsay: Many will swear by PROMPT and that might very well work for them. Our therapist used a variety of approaches, including PROMPT, Cued Language, Sign Language (ASL), and movement. I firmly believe it was the movement (occupational therapy/OT) piece that unlocked Kate’s voice. Plus, we worked tirelessly with her at home, working speech practice into our daily routine so it felt natural and accessible. 

E.S. What are some coping strategies she has adopted when communication becomes difficult?

Leslie Lindsay: Kate is full of ideas and she wants to express them! When she was younger, it was the “writing center” in preschool where she would draw, craft, create, and everything in between. As she got a little older, she became more active in her play instead of the docile ‘tea party’ style of play so typical of little girls and was a bit more ‘rough and tumble,’ perhaps more in line with how little boys play.  Around the same time, she would gesture or bring me something she wanted to do. I still chuckle at the memory of her bringing me a swimming suit in the dead of winter and wanting to go to the pool. I let her wear the suit around the house that day, and she gleefully pretended to swim on the family room floor. 

E.S.: What are some suggestions you’d like to make for parents of children with CAS? What would like future SLPs to know about treating children with CAS?

Leslie Lindsay: Parents--know that as serious as apraxia seems, it will improve. It takes years of therapy and a multitude of patience on your part and your child’s but you will all get there. Also, know that you are an important advocate for your child. Since she can’t speak for herself, you have to, but do so in a supportive, encouraging manner. You’re an integral part of the team, a partner with your child’s SLP. 

SLPs–we want what’s best for our child. We want to help in all ways possible. We want to know what you like about our child, what her potential is, how you see her progressing. We want to know her treatment goals and how she is meeting them. Finally, we want to know if we are doing the right things. 

For more information about Leslie, her work with apraxia, or to follow on social media, please see: 

  • Leslie’s main website where she hosts bestselling and debut authors, and occasionally shares her own fiction
  • Follow her on Facebook where she posts about Apraxia/Child Psychology/Parenting/Literacy 
  • Twitter: @LeslieLindsay1
  • For more information, or to purchase SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012), click here

Leslie Author PicLeslie Lindsay is the author of Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (2012), Woodbine House, an award finalist for both Reader’s Choice and ForeWord Review, and 2nd place winner of the Walter Williams Award for Excellence in Non-fiction. A former R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie has worked extensively with children and has a background in psychiatry. She has participated in several fiction workshops, most recently at The University of Wisconsin—Madison.  In addition, she contributes to two critique groups, and works closely with a critique partner. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two young daughters, and a basset puppy.

BooKs on MondaY: SOMETIMES is opening boundaries in children’s literature

By Leslie Lindsay 

When I was younger, my parents emphasized learning a second language, preferably Spanish. It was a close cousin to Italian, my paramour and so Spanish it was. I’m no where near fluent, but I can see the appeal it had to my parents. I’ve used my limited Spanish skills in various jobs I’ve held from R.N. to writer, and sometimes in the highly Hispanic community in which I live. download (3)

Written by Texas elementary teacher Hugo Ibarra and expert ELL educator John Seidlitz, SOMETIMES is written from first-hand experiences from their students and parents as well as Ibarra’s own story of immigration.

Andreas and Clara are living in Mexico with their mother. Their father has been absent from the family for some time now, sending money to the Qwik Mart each week…until one day the money stops. Eventually, Andreas and Clara’s tia (aunt) arrives from Texas with a promise to take them home with her, but leaving their mother behind. Immigrating from Mexico to a strange U.S. town brings new sights to their young eyes, from boarder patrol to a new school, Andreas and Clara can’t fathom a life away from their mother. With help and encouragement from a beloved teacher, their young lives improve and a welcome surprise comes at the end.

Told in simple, easy-to-read text with colorful images, SOMETIMES is a most touching story on immigration, an authentic experience being made a reality by more and more people.

Best suited for kids ages 4-8 and their caregiver, SOMETIMES is a heart-warming tale of what some families have to do to survive, as well as the amazing sacrifices and influences of an amazing teacher.

If you read SOMETIMES, here are some discussion points to enhance your experience:

  •  Ask your child(ren) about teachers at their school. Is there a particular teacher they feel comfortable talking with about their worries and concerns. Emphasize that teachers play unique roles in the lives of their students: stable role model, leadership, mentor, and more.
  • Have a discussion with your child(ren) about what immigration means. With 2016 being an election year, your children may be hearing more and more about the concept. What is your stance? Consider sharing America’s history with your children/students. After all, America is a melting pot of various cultures. Did your family immigrate from Ireland? Italy? Germany? China? Somewhere else? Read about Ellis Island. Study your family history/family tree.
  • Talk about how teachers can help students with any transition, whether it’s a move across town or across the country, teachers are there to help and encourage.
  • Do you have neighbors from another country living near you? Perhaps you can attempt to understand their ethnic backgrounds. In our suburban Chicago suburb we live near families from Russia, India, China, and other countries. How might we break cultural barriers and become neighborly? What if they don’t speak English?

For more information on SOMETIMES, or to order, please see: 


download (2)John Seidlitz, founder and CEO of Seidlitz Education, works with teachers around the country implementing strategies that promote academic language development through innovative trainings and materials. Mr. Seidlitz is a former social studies and ESL teacher, and has served as a secondary ESL program coordinator and a state education specialist. In 2009 Mr. Seidlitz founded Seidlitz Education with the mission of Giving Kids the Gift of Academic Language.™

Hugo Ibarra immigrated to the United States when he was 25. After studying 91OOGEpWXEL._UX250_immigrant children for his thesis, he received a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas at Tyler and began his career as a Bilingual Education Teacher in Longview, Texas. Ibarra is currently the an elementary school principal in Bryan, Texas. Sometimesis his first children’s book



By Leslie Lindsay Casey's Bright Red Christmas

Calling all cookie lovers and tractor fans! That’s right–we’re bringing the farm to you this holiday season with this delightful storybook for children ages 4-8. CASEY’S BRIGHT RED CHRISTMAS.

Books for the youngest tractor fans

Real equipment and cartoon characters converge in new children’s series that makes
modern farming the hero. 

In a fabulous new series, we spend the holidays on Happy Skies Farm with Casey, Tillus and friends and their beloved farm. But there’s so much to do with regular farm chores, plus decorating, cocoa and carols, that the task seems almost impossible…and where’s Casey?

Readers will delight in the bright, colorful illustrations, as well as the classic message of slowing down to enjoy the festivities. Oh, and that cookie? Well, there’s a lovely frosted sugar cookie recipe at the back of the book…cause ya know, all of those farm chores sure works up an appetite!

Got a farm guru on your hands? How about a little person who loves tractors, combines, and cultivators? Maybe you live on a farm?! Check out the rest of the fabulous titles from Octane Press.

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Meet the Author & Illustrator:
Holly Dufek
has spent nearly 15 years writing and working with educational curriculum for publishers such as Holt McDougal, National Geographic Education and Riverside Publishing. Holly has worked to develop content to enrich the National Common Core Standards for elementary through high school classrooms. She holds a master’s degree in Education and lives in Kenosha, WI, with her husband,Matt, and their three children.

Paul E. Nunn is a full-range artist who has worked for Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. He lives in Racine, WI, with his wife, Amy, and their two children.

For more information: 

[With special thanks to PRbytheBook] 

BookS on MondaY: Veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang from Pawcurious Talks about Pet Hospice, Pop Science, and her new book, ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN

By Leslie Lindsay 

Growing up, I think Dr. Jessica and I could have been fast friends…if we pulled ourselves out of our shells long enough to actually talk. As a self-proclaimed shy nerdy girl, Jessica Vogelsang loved books and dogs and had very little interest in what was fashionable: Velcro tennis shoes and denim jean jackets bedazzled with puffy paint.vogelsang.AllDogsGotoKevin.hc (2)

ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN is a beautiful legacy to her gifts: storytelling, caring demeanor toward animals, and her practical approach to veterinary science. I laughed, I cried, I nodded my head knowingly as I read through each story, from Dr. V’s early “nerd days” to vet school, first clients, early motherhood, and beyond.

Yes, there are sad parts of the story, and that’s simply because dogs don’t have life spans near as long as humans, but there’s always, always something they can teach about our lives. In the end, it’s the dogs that make us better humans.

Dr. Vogelsang is the founder of the website, and her writing has been featured on Yahoo! and CNN, as in Ladies Home Journal, People, Outside magazine, and USA Today.

Today I am thrilled to have Dr. V. on the blog couch. Along with her golden retriever, of course.

Leslie Lindsay: Thanks so much for being with us today, Jessica!  I finished the book last night with a basset puppy on my chest. I’m working now so she can sleep (ha!), so we’re a bit on borrowed time. Tell me how you came to the idea of writing ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN, was it dogs and your experience as a vet, or was it Kevin who inspired you? A little of both?

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: I grew up on James Herriot, so writing a book was always something I had wanted to do. But in a circuitous way Kevin also played a role in it. He pushed me to start a blog in 2009, and although I wasn’t into that idea I did think writing a blog would be ok. He’s also the one who came up with the name pawcurious, which I thought was a terrible name. Glad I trusted him!

L.L.: I love at the end of ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN you talk about how Kevin was very much “like a dog in human’s clothing—full of love, brimming with life, and gone all too soon.” What words might you share with someone who is grieving the loss of a pet? 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: I think it’s important for them to know it’s ok. It’s so normal, and we are so abnormal as a society in the way we expect people to be ashamed of their grief. I would encourage them to talk about their pet and their grief, and if they aren’t surrounded by supportive people, to find some online.

L.L.: And now you are providing in-home hospice care for dog and cats. What a smart, touching way to use your gifts Can you tell me more about that, please? Patchwork Novel ZR 2014 007

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: I sort of fell into hospice when I was writing the book. When Kekoa needed to be euthanized, I called on a friend to come to the house. She asked me a little while later if I might be interested in working with her practice, and I thought I might be willing to give it a try although the idea weirded me out a little. Now that I’ve been doing it for several years I can’t imagine doing any other kind of work in the field!

“Veterinarian Vogelsang pays tribute to the dogs that have played important roles in her life and professional practice . . . She writes movingly . . . A feel-good, bittersweet memoir…”

—Kirkus Reviews

L.L.: My 8-year old has wanted to be a vet since she could say, “doggy doctor.” I know getting into vet school is not exactly easy. What advice might you give to those who want to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: Go into it with a full understanding of the emotional toll it may take on you. Students these days are graduating with an unprecedented amount of debt and an insecure job market. I don’t say that to discourage people from the field, but I would make sure they understand the financial implications.  There are so many ways to work with animals- you don’t have to limit yourself to a DVM!

L.L.: Can you talk a little about your journey to becoming a published author? How might it compare to vet school?

They are very different and yet very much the same for me, in terms of me doing it the wrong way. When you write a book, the traditional path is write the book, find an agent, find a publisher. I did it in the exact reverse order.

I was very fortunate to have an extremely hands on agent in Steve Troha, who helped me formulate my idea for the book. My editor Emily Griffin at Grand Central was such a supportive champion for the book. I have no idea how I would have gotten it done without them! It truly was a team effort. Sort of like vet school in that regard too- you are responsible for your own outcome, but the support of your colleagues is what keeps you afloat.

L.L.: I’ve been enamored with the low-slung, comically defined basset hound for years. Can you tell us any funny basset hound stories?031

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: You know, I really didn’t see too many of them where I lived and worked! They are not a hugely popular dog in San Diego. On the rare occasion we did get one in we would take bets on what it was in for: ears or skin issues. Usually it was both.

L.L.: What is obsessing you now and why?

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: Catching up on my reading! I took such a long break while I was writing the book. I am reacquainting myself with the works of Stephen King and having a grand time doing so. I really feel like reading a ton is the best way to get better at writing so I can excuse this effort as work-related.

I’m also obsessed with pop science and the influence of pseudoscience celebrities on the web. It’s a fascinating study of confirmation bias and how people choose what to believe and why. As someone who tries to be a science educator of sorts, at least in terms of animal health, it’s really important to understand why people just refuse to believe things you take for granted (like the importance of vaccines, for example.)

L.L.: What might I have forgotten to ask about that I should have?

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: What’s the next book! And the answer is I don’t know. I have two ideas in mind I need to mull on. Stay tuned.

L.L.: Thanks so much for such a fabulously fun and touching read. I’m recommending all vets-to-be, vets, and dog lovers read ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN!

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang: Thank you so much!

For more information, or to follow, please visit Pawcurious:

VogelsangALLDOGSGOTOKEVINJessica_creditPaulBarnettDr. Jessica Vogelsang is a veterinarian, mother, and big-time dog person. She worked in emergency and small animal medicine before settling into her current practice in San Diego providing in-home hospice care for dogs and cats. She is the founder of the website Visit Jessica at Her writing has been featured in or on Yahoo!, CNN,Ladies’ Home Journal, People Pets, Outside magazine, and USA Today.

[Cover image courtesy of Grand Central Publishing. Author photo credit: Paul Barnett]

BookS on MondaY: WITH BOOKS & BRICKS: How Booker T. Washington Built a School

By Leslie Lindsay

With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a SchoolFebruary may be the month of love and groundhogs, President’s and the Chinese New Year, but it is also Black History Month. Step back in time when black Americans were recently freed from slavery in this children’s biography picture book, WITH BOOKS & BRICKS by award-winning author Suzanne Slade (Albert Whitman & Company, November 2014) and illustrated with loose pencil and watercolor by Nicole Tadgell. You will be in for an education on hard work, perseverance, and the power to make a difference.

Booker T. Washington wanted to go to school. But he was a black slave in America and that meant he couldn’t. Day after brutal day of hauling water to the fields, corn to the mill, and rocks from the yard, he was given another task: to haul his master’s daughter’s school books to school. He peeked inside. He liked what he saw. He was intrigued by the strange lines on the blackboard that made up letters. And those letter made up words. He taught himself to read. He did all of this as a young slave.

When he was nine years old (in 1865), the Civil War had ended and he was free to go to school. Only back then, all the schools were for whites. Instead, he had to go to work in a coal mine to support his family. Instead of hauling rocks and corn and water, he was shoveling coal. But he dreamed of school. He overheard fellow workers talking about a school for blacks. But it was in Virgina–500 miles away!

Determined, he walked and begged rides. When he was sixteen, Booker finally was able to go to school. He loved learning and wanted to share his love with others. Folks in Alabama asked him to come teach their black students. And so he did.

Booker T. WashingtonBut there was no school building. He scoured the land looking for something suitable for teaching children…an old shack on a farm would have to do. The roof leaked. It was too small for the interested students. Still, they made do.

Booker wanted better. He and his students dug and dug the rich Alabama soil looking for sticky red clay until at last they found it. Thousands upon thousands of bricks were shaped by the hands of Booker and his students. Kilns were built. The broke down. Piles of bricks were ruined.

But they didn’t give up.

Eventually, a brick building was erected…and then a dining hall, a chapel, and dorm. With the help of students, tables, chairs, and beds from scraps were constructed. According to Booker, “My plan was not to teach [students] to work in the old way, but to show them how to make the forces of nature–air, water, steam, electricity, horse-power–assist them in their labor.” These hardworking students went on to become teachers, business leaders and more.

Now, if that isn’t a test of persistence and perseverance, then I don’t  know what is!

If you read the book:

  • Talk about the definition(s) of persistence and perseverance. I think of it as, “You try and try, even if you want to give up and cry.” Can you think of some personal examples of a time you (parent) persevered? How about a time your child(ren) did? [Sports, school, a hobby, project, scouts].
  • Do you think it would have been easier for Booker to just work in the coal mine day after day and forget about his dream to be a student and eventually a teacher? Why or why not?
  • How might education be different today if it weren’t for Booker T. Washington?
  • Booker believed his students needed to learn “new” trade skills to get ahead in life/education. What skills do you think are important in today’s culture. [For example, some school districts are no longer teacher cursive handwriting and replacing with more computer-based learning and typing. Do you agree?]
  • Study the illustrations in the book. Do you think Nicole Tadgell did a good job depicting Booker’s work ethics? Do you feel the illustrations make the book “come alive?”
  • What other black Americans have made a difference in our lives? Examples: Wilma Rudolph, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Barak Obama…others?

For more information:

Check out the author’s webpage

Peek into the illustrator’s portfolio

Jump into Booker’s history

[Image of Booker T. Washington retrieved from on 2.7.15. Cover image retrieved from on 2.7.15. No compensation has been given for this post]

Books on Monday: THE SPARKLE BOX

By Leslie Lindsay

What a darling book! First, the illustrations (Christine Kornacki) are beautifully rendered and the prose (Jill Hardie) is a delight for young and old. Secondly, the message is timeless and classic, creating a deeper meaning for families and children as they celebrate the holiday season. THE SPARKLE BOX is written in such that the child in the story can’t wait for the presesnts, the food, the parties, and did I mention the presents? Well, his mother has another plan: to give some of their time and clothing to a shelter. In the end, it’s about honoring what Jesus’ life has done for us–and what we have done to make our life and world a better place.Sparkle Box

Based on a true tradition the author started for her young family, each time a good deed is done, a slip of paper is placed in a “sparkle box;” it’s a small thing you’ve done for another person, from holding a door to providing handwarmers to a homeless person. It’s singing at the nursing home and baking cookies for a shelter, it’s sending a box of personal care items overseas, or donating to Toys For Tots. If you can think back over the course of the year as what you and your family have done, add those things, too.

When you open your other gifts Christmas morning, remember to open your “Sparkle Box” and give a gift to Jesus, too. [image source: retrieved on 12.02.14]

New Series: The ADDed Benefits of AD/HD

By Leslie Lindsay

Having a child with AD/HD can be exasperating. It can also be unbeliably amazing. Having a child with both apraxia and AD/HD can be a little overwhelming at times.

Welcome to a new series over here at Speaking of Apraxia.

I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time. It’s been four+ years that we’ve known, without a doubt that our oldest daughter Kate has AD/HD. We were in the throes of apraxia at the time and while that was  a perfectly acceptable topic to blog about, my hubby said, “Okay…so now we know [what’s going on with Kate], but no blogs about it, okay?”

Uh, sure. Being a momma who often copes through writing, this was like saying, “and by the way, honey no more football on television.”

But I agreed. At the time.

And now, four years later and several different AD/HD meds on-board, Kate’s diagnosis doesn’t seem to be such a stigma.

In fact, AD/HD is pretty common. It’s also the second common co-occuring disorder with apraxia. The first seems to be sensory processing issues tied with autism. You can think of it being on a spectrum on neurobehavioral concerns, a package deal so to speak. It doesn’t mean your child with CAS will definitely have AD/HD or sensory processing issues, autism, anxiety, or any other alphabet soup of concerns. It just means it’s a possibility.

The series isn’t all gloom and doom. It’s about celebrating our kids’ unique constellation of qualities: creativity, ingenuity, energy, and sparkling disposition. AD/HD can be a blessing (often in disguise), so it’s up to us parents to help those fantastic traits shine.

We’ll meet with a few experts in the world of childhood AD/HDDr. John Taylor who has written several publications on the topic, including a kids guide to dealing with AD/HD, Penny Williams–a veteran momma of a boy with AD/HD (among other things), and also the author of BOY WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS (she also has a longtime relationship with ADDitude magazine and another book coming out in November). We’ll hopefully meet Dr. Patricia Quinn who is in the throes of getting her next book out on the subject…and I should have one hot off the press to share with you.

In the meantime, let me know if you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see on this series. I love hearing from you!

[world AD/HD image retrieved from on 9.25.14]

The Teacher is Talking: THE SHOE GARDEN, a Review

By Leslie Lindsay 

 What happens when you pair two sisters who are just as passionate about their art form as their shoes?  Why, SHOE GARDEN, of course! Originally designed as a gift for their younger, shoe-loving sister the project took on a life of it’s own…and has become a colorfully illustrated book perfect for any shoe-lover, shoe store, art teacher…really, the possibilites are endless. Here they are in a recent interview…take it away, Joyce and Brenda! Love this teaser video for ‘When Shoes Can Fly.’ Be sure to check out this cute teaser video, too.

LL: Tell us about your book, Shoe Garden & Other Shoe Stories.

Brenda and Joyce: Shoe Garden & Other Shoe Stories is the first book in The Shoe Banter Collection. This children’s book contains four short stories, all about shoes and the places they can take us.

shoesLL:  What inspired you to write this book?

Brenda & Joyce: Originally, it was a present for our younger sister Ivy’s 50th birthday, as she loves shoes. Joyce came up with the idea, asked Brenda to write 50 stories and then she illustrated the stories.

LL: Did any special research go into your stories?  

Brenda & Joyce: Our “research” is about being aware of shoes in our life and other’s; a) why we choose certain shoes based on purpose, activities, b) notice how they make us feel. We’ve collected unique books about shoes: history, construction, and unique designs. Combining our curiosity about shoes with our observation of shoes and people is what inspired us to develop Shoe Banter.

LL: What led you to choose the theme of ‘shoes’ for your collection?

Brenda & Joyce: We chose shoes, as every shoe has a personality and it can help a person express their attitude in life. This includes their confidence, zaniness, athleticism, insecurities, creativity, happiness and even their age.

LL: What do you hope readers will walk away with?

Brenda & Joyce: We hope that it sparks their imagination and that they feel pure enjoyment from what we created. Additionally, we hope they can use the stories as a lens for how they look at themselves and their lives.

LL: How can we tap into the love of shoes with our kids?

Brenda & Joyce: Embracing shoes and all they represent is a wonderful way to teach children so many aspects of life. With a better understanding of how we all have soles that need to be protected.  If we think of our soles as a metaphor for our souls, maybe there would be less bullying, less pre-conceived judgment of character and potential.  [image source: on 12.10.13]

It’s easy to get comfortable in our own little worlds, but learning to connect with others is a vital component to our humanity. Learning how to relate to others helps us understand ourselves better.

We break it down into 3 subjects: Empathy, Life Decisions, and Life Cycles.  Below are lessons & discussions based on these subjects.

1) EMPATHY: Antidote: As the 12-year-old girl watched her mom put on her baby sister’s shoes, she said, “It’s easy to relate to a young child because I was once young, but it’s hard to relate to an older person because I have never been old”. She was thinking of her grandfather who walked very slowly to the grocery store. His shoes were big and clumpy.

Empathy is a valuable lesson for children to learn, yet, the most difficult to grasp.

2) LIFE DECISIONS: Antidote: Brenda was 8 year’s old when her dance instructor said she needed to start taking ballet classes with toe shoes.  Though she was very little for her age and toe shoes would make her taller, she felt that she was not meant to be a ballet dancer.  But, as a child you tend to “do what your told, or else”.   Taking her first class she lasted 5 minutes and started to walk out, but not until she turned to the teacher and exclaimed, “life is too short for this much pain”,and stormed out.  Brenda was worried she’d get in trouble, but it turned out her instructor respected how she felt and never pressured her to take ballet classes with toe shoes again.

Life decision’s for children can revolve around shoes and what they can or cannot do in them.

3) LIFE CYCLES: Our shoes take us from our very first steps as we steady ourselves for our life journey.  Each path requires a different type of shoe depending on what is required of us or what decisions we choose.  The path in shoes; Baby shoes, Party shoes, Sports shoes, School shoes, Boots, High Heels, and Orthopedic shoes.

LL: How can we encourage children to see shoes in a different perspective?

Brenda & Joyce:

  •  Create a collage from pictures in magazines.  Add a person who might wear each shoe; How does the shoe make them feel?
  •  Take an old shoe; glue, stitch with odd items –inventing a new shoe.  What type of person would wear your shoe design?  Write a story about it.
  • Give a picture of the same shoe to 2 different children.  Have them each write a story about the person who would wear it.    Show how different they view the same shoe.
  •  In the morning when you get dressed, the last thing you put on are your shoes.  How do you choose; color, patterns, heel size?  Will you be sitting all day, walking, or running?  Does your choice of shoes effect your feelings or confidence?
  •  Walk on different type of surfaces, blindfolded, with shoes and without shoes, and feel the difference. 

Can you share a bit about the creative process and how you both work together to create stories?

We definitely utilize technology all the time, for communication and developing our work. This includes Skype, conference calls, e-mail, and even Face Time on the iPad. Joyce dives right into her illustration work, often dreaming about ideas that she is compelled to manifest into a piece – in a sense of words – the images ‘come to her.’ For the illustrations, she uses mixed media – pen and ink, with watercolor and fluid acrylics. For my writing, on the other had, I am more of observant, and let my mind wander while creating the stories, with many possibilities of ‘what-if.’

LL: Where can we find the book?

The first book in The Shoe Banter collection, Shoe Garden and other Shoe Stories, is available on Amazon both in eBook and paperback format. Additional books in the collection will be released in the future.


LL: Oh, but wait!!  You can also find the book right here. That’s right…I am offering a FREE copy of SHOE BANTER by Joyce Fishman and Brenda Finne to one lucky reader. Here’s what you’ve got to do: (Pick one):  1) Share via email, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email me leslie_lindsay(at) so I know you shared. OR 2) Leave a comment on the blog.  Mention your favorite pair of shoes (current, or an old-school pair you may have had as a kid).  That’s it!* Good luck!

For more information, including a teacher guide please see:  10% of book profits benefit

The fine print:  Open to US residents only. Winner selected at random on Friday, December 13th at 5pm CST. Winner will be contacted via email, so be sure to check  your junk/spam folder for something from me. Respond promptly with your mailing address.  Book will me mailed media rate around December 16th.