Compelling Reasons Why This Book Should Be In Your School Library

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!

Weathered Barn Wood, A Rusty Railroad Tie, and A Familiar Book

Is it possible to be reminded of something like home, when you are already there, knelt beside your table that once was a door from an old place on the prairie?

I am Not a Morning Person, but I’ve come to appreciate this time alone with my thoughts coming alive with every sip of coffee. In my solitude, I sit on my knees at my beloved barn wood coffee table and think. Today, it’s the coffee table itself that consumes my thoughts. Mine is comprised of hickory perhaps, but aged barn wood, nevertheless, that used to be an old door complete with a keyhole that long ago lost its metal and key. But the keyhole will never be lost; it will be there until the end of time. For the record, the missing key isn’t hiding in the depths of that hole. I know, because I looked. Only time lives in that hole.

The substantial wood door tabletop is perched upon heavy, cast iron legs that have stubbed more than a few errant toes through the years…if only I had a dollar for every swear word that table conjured. The table is solid and immovable by me without four hands; I sadly only possess two, which makes positioning the table from errant toes especially difficult. But the table, otherwise, is positioned precisely where it’s supposed to be.

The door was once properly fitted by a young farmer on his cabin from a long ago place and time on a prairie, or so I imagine. A picture of Charles Ingalls comes to mind, and I know in my heart, that old door really belonged to someone like him. But, that old toe stubber of a table is mine for a time, or until one hundred years from now when someone else calls my table, which used to be an old door on the prairie, theirs.

My paperweight is a rusty railroad tie given to me by a dear friend from a past birthday. Someone drove that stake into some railroad where trains and people traversed, long ago.

Likely it was from a place in which I’ve never visited. Or maybe I’ve been there after all; I do like that storyline better. If only I knew where the nearest crossing was from which or from where it was extracted, I might dare to go there and drive that stake into its old place again. The aged has a way of losing its place in time, like that old rusty railroad tie, and that is sad to me. But, alas, I could never part with my paperweight, after all it was a special gift from a dear friend for my birthday; it has meaning and it’s mine. But, I hope whomever calls it theirs next imagines its old place at a railroad crossing where people once traversed, and they do not imagine merely me, a woman who called that rusty railroad tie, her paperweight. I hope they imagine my rusty railroad tie properly sitting in its place on top of an old door that once belonged on someone’s prairie cabin from long ago.

Railroad shot by Tonia Allen Gould, Indiana

The familiar scent of coffee seeps from my favorite mug, another gift, but this time from a former client, molded by hand, and fired in a kiln in the South Bay on a Saturday, some twenty-five years ago. He could have given that mug to anyone, but he gave it to me. I’ve never kept anything quite so silly, and fragile, for quite so long. I break things. I don’t mean to, but I’m a klutz and I’m not designed to keep things like this for long. But, this silly, fragile mug has managed to survive me. And, that my friends, is why it has that grateful look look on its face.

I wonder if someone will ever want to make my favorite mug their own one day, long after I’m gone, if in the end it manages to survive me? Will my children one day read this and fight over my silly, fragile mug? And will the winner of that lottery get angry, or maybe even cry, when one of their guests accidentally knocks it onto the floor where it finally shatters into a thousand shards of ceramic? Will they say, tearfully, “That was my mother’s favorite silly, fragile mug! It’s all I had left of her!” And, will they remember it was given to me by one of my clients who molded its face by hand and fired it in a kiln on a Saturday somewhere in the South Bay? Will they remember it could’ve been given to anyone else but me? Or, will that mug wind up eventually shattered, anyway, in a bin at a garage sale was lost on everyone but me?

On that old table, that once was a door from an old house on the prairie, is also a classic book revisited, Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve promised myself I would finally reread. But rereading it may make me finally move it from its place on that old door that is now a table.

Suddenly, people I’ve come to know other than Jane Austen, break the silence from the room adjacent to me, along with the sound of a door (that is actually a door and not a table) opening, a toilet flushing, and water cascading from an outdoor fountain nearby. It all reminds me of home.

But I am home. Those people, breaking the silence and my reverie, are my family, just the same as is the old barn wood table, that once was a door, the rusty railroad tie that lost its place, the smell of coffee wafting from my eventual shattered mug, and the treasured novel that remains unread, still, and yet again.

Is it possible to be reminded of something like home, when you are already there, knelt beside your table that once was a door from an old place on the prairie?

Kids, Please Help Me Color Corte Magore

Coloring Corte Magore
Please have your kids color this page. I’d love it if you shared their art with me on my wall at

Where on Earth is Corte Magore anyway?

Release date Poster
Where on Earth is Corte Magore? One author wants to make a fictional island a real place, to show children that it is okay to dream.

Until now, you wouldn’t have been able to find Corte Magore on any map. Now that Samuel T. Moore has discovered this beautiful place, we had to have a map created just so kids could find it. In the coming months, be on the lookout for more news and information on Corte Magore, and how this fictional place may actually become very real one day…because the author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, wants to teach children that its okay to dream.

Can your kids find Corte Magore on the map? Look closely and they might actually find Sam’s hut.

An interactive and animated children’s picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Coming Soon!)

Check out my new teaser video for Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore.