Compelling Reasons Why This Book Should Be in Your School Library


Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Cover

Put Me In, Coach!

Children’s rhyming picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the adventurous story of Sam, a tenacious land and sea fiddler crab who finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. He wants to stay there and live there forever, but he’ll have to overcome obstacles to accomplish his dream. This book teaches children about courage and tenacity – to stand up to bullying and to fight for what they believe in, while also teaching them the importance of dreaming. Sam’s story is told in one big epic poem. This book is geared towards children ages 4-7, although all young children seem to enjoy it. Here’s why: 

The book is written in rhyme. Rhyming verse aids in early-development learning and recall. The British Council writes about teaching children English:

“…playing with the short texts of rhymes, children explore the mechanics of the English language. They find out how language works and become familiar with the relationship between the 44 sounds of English and the 26 alphabet letters – information which helps them when they begin reading to decode the sounds that make up words. The value of this type of language-play with rhymes in early learning is both underestimated and undervalued.”

The book utilizes many different poetic devices – typically difficult to teach children –such as alliteration, point-of-view, stanza, meter, repetition, assonance, personification, and my personal favorite, onomatopoeia. Poetic devices are used to take the reader to a different time or place and helps with imagery. Education Portal says:

“Poetry can follow a strict structure, or none at all, but many different types of poems use poetic devices. Poetic devices are tools that a poet can use to create rhythm, enhance a poem’s meaning, or intensify a mood or feeling. These devices help piece the poem together, much like a hammer and nails join planks of wood together.” 

Books Written in Prose May Be a Dying Art. Authors like Seuss and Silverstein paved the way for poetry in children’s literature, yet it’s hard to find new children’s books today written in prose. Carol Hurst intimates why it’s best to not let this great art die in the following excerpt taken from Hurst’s article on the website:

“…along came Shel Silverstein. He wrote poems about picking your nose and selling your baby sister and adults (some of them) winced and kids guffawed and kids’ poetry was changed forever. Now we’ve got the gamut of emotions and subjects in kid’s poetry. Poetry, of course, be it for child or adult (and the distinction is not always clear) is very much a matter of perception. Poems speak to the individual, even more than stories do, and some are not speaking to you — at least not right now. The rules of poetry selection are the same as for the selection of any kind of literary material that you’re going to use with your kids. It must speak to you as the living breathing adult you are before you can help it speak to kids. If it’s supposed to be funny, it should make you laugh or at least smile. If it’s supposed to be sad, it should choke you up a bit. If it’s a description of a thing or a feeling, it should help you see it or feel it in a new way. So, which of all the books of poetry will you choose for your classroom? Every one you can afford.”

Erin Koehler writes, “The more picture books I read, I start to notice the ones that catch my interest the most, and the ones I end up re-reading several times in a row, are the ones that feel the most poetic. By that I mean that even though the language may appear to be “simple” the language is actually rich in complex diction, syntax, and imagery–not to mention attention to rhythm, sounds, and pacing. Sound familiar? Like a poem maybe?”

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore is published in more formats than the average book. In addition to hardcover, softcover, an audio version, and a soon published Spanish translation (being published for the Finding Corte Magore project) did you know this literary gem is also available in a picture book app available exclusively for the iPad? The iPad version, for all you tech-based schools, boasts interactivity, professional narration, full animation and an original musical score produced by Nashville singer and songwriter, Robby Armstrong. (Hint: Sam is a “fiddler” crab.)

Finally, have you ever heard of SpongeBob SquarePants? Of course you have! Kids love sea creatures! What we all admire most about the television series are the unique characters, setting and bold use of color. When one of my good friends told me her brother, a Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants would be interested in working on the book, I knew I had found the right art director. “Mr. Lawrence” -who incidentally is also the voice of Plankton, then brought in his colleague, another SpongeBob storyboard director, Marc Ceccarelli, to produce the original character art and many of the final illustrations.

So, as promised, these are succinct, definitive reasons why this book should be in a school or public library, despite my newbie authorness and utter lack of literary famelessness (I’m a writer, I get to make-up words.)

As always, thanks for the ear!

Tonia Allen Gould, Author

Click here to Order Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore on Amazon.

Madam: Milk Does Not Swing from a Tree


Note to My Most Stubborn Self

Madam Persnickety-Pants: You are in Europe. Henceforth into perpetuity, when ordering a latte while visiting here – you must come to understand there is only one kind of milk – it’s called MILK. It’s not 2%, fat free, almond, coconut or soy – just plain old, whole milk from the mature female of a brown-eyed bovine animal, not unlike what was served in Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome, and to you when you were an unassuming, snot-nosed kid after playing in the dirt of Northern Indiana. So, stop asking for something new in your froth, because the subsequent disappointed pout is not becoming to a lady of your stature. Madam, here in Italy, MILK most certainly does not swing from a tree!

P.S. Milk Does Not Swing from a Tree, is a very good title for a picture book.

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A Writer’s Dream from Venice, Italy


December 19th, 2014

I’m just waking up on Giudecca Island -Venice, Italy – to a volley of sights and sounds – a deliverance from the cathartic, but brooding ancient history of Rome, from where we just came. Here, I imagine, I’m in a living painting, and an artist, with his paintbrush and palette in hand – captures me and my robe-covered torso, thrust outside my unscreened window – just now at the Hilton Molino Stucky, from his own studio window across the Grand Canal.

Outside, I hear the reverberating serenade of tolling church bells, which I can pinpoint with my own eyes, to various steeples, speckled with pigeons and seagulls. Each tower stands guard of her parcel of Venezia, soaring high above, looming and majestic, and traipsing along the Canal.

Splashing waves steadily rise and fall onto the foamy, green and blue algae and barnacle-covered docks and seawalls, swept up by power boats which dot the landscape like steed on an aqua-colored, rolling field. Each ship is captained by proud, generational seamen, who glide their ships in various directions, transporting trusting townspeople and holiday tourists about their elusive city. And, it’s through this foggy haze, I know I am graced with an inspiring, omnipotent view – and it occurs to me, I must be here, in Charles Dickens’ Modern Venice, the one he imagined long ago in his “Italian Dream.”

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For you are a Mere Human, Mortal, and You Cannot Fly


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The birds of Hawaii, in their multitude of colors and forms, strut and alternate their strides with their heads held high. Bipeds that are confident. Secure. Fearless. Their flight plan involves plopping right down in your personal space, breathing your air and eyeing your food, waiting for you to leave so they can partake, but they patiently wait their turn by eating only the crumbs fallen at your feet. For days, I’ve been watching these birds and I can attest that they are completely undaunted by your presence here in their Hawaii. For you are a mere human, mortal–and, unlike them; you certainly cannot fly. The birds of Hawaii are showy, pluming and preening their feathers in front of you, as if they are courting you through Aloha Spirit. Californian birds, or the birds from my home state, are much more enigmatic, evasive, skittish and untouchable. California birds can sometimes be like some of the people who live there–capable of snatching your bag of Doritos right out of your hands, on a sunny day at the beach, if you’d let them.

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Don’t Expect Young Readers to Emote


Last night, I was at a 4th of July party, relaxing by the pool and enjoying small talk with another mom. This new acquaintance was intrigued by my just released book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, available in the App Store for iPad. The nice lady, a mother of eight-year-old triplets (God bless her!) had never seen animated children’s books on the iPad. One of her children, an avid reader, wandered by and she introduced me as a writer/author of a book, and asked me to show it to him. I, of course, was happy to oblige.

The boy listened and read along with the story, but he didn’t smile or laugh or emote in any way. Page after page, I became worried that the boy stood there only to be polite. Occasionally, he’d glance up at me to see why I was staring at him (awkward!) and then he’d turn back to the narrated story and read along. Really, I was dying inside for his reaction, absolutely any reaction from him would ease my growing level of concern.

When the book finally ended, he looked up at me and simply said, “Can I see more books you wrote?” And then he turned to his mom and asked if she could buy him my book.

Young readers who are engaged, don’t necessarily wear their emotions on their sleeves. As a parent myself, this is good to know in the types of selections I help my own young reader make. But also, this boy reminded me why I strove to become a published author in the first place. I didn’t write for the reaction to my stories, rather, I wrote so that my words would be enjoyed while learning lessons along the way. This young reader enjoyed my book in his own way, for that–I am now sure. Mission accomplished!

Have a child aged four to eight? Check out Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore in the App Store on iTunes. Click here.</a