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!

Coming Soon To a Technology Device Near You


Jacob, age 6, with his Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore App on the iPad
Jacob, age 6, with his Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore App on the iPad

Bi-line article written for Today’s Parent USA by Tonia Allen Gould

This fast-paced media environment we are experiencing today is continuously changing and has everyone confused. Parents too, are having a hard time catching-up on evolving trends. Like everyone else, they are trying to figure it all out, while their children seem to adapt and grasp onto technology without even a glimmer of thought. Look around you—in airport terminals, at outdoor cafes, and at the nearest Starbucks, it’s not uncommon to see a child, sometimes as young as two years old, sitting quietly and comfortably, glaring through the glossy screen of an iPad. One thing is for certain; these children are engaged and consumed by the technology they are accessing from the palm of their hands.

Today, there are an abundance of apps that can be accessed through general purpose tablets like the iPad. With only a touch of a finger, and a few moments of time, you can browse through books, games and educational apps for children from the iTunes App Store, for example, on your device. With so many options in front of you, it’s important to understand the landscape of where book media is today and where it is going, especially in the education and entertainment arenas. Picture books, for instance, on technology devices have turned into interactive, engaging “experiences,” complete with digital animation, narration and music. While we all hope that conventional books in the library will never really be replaced, it’s true that in just a few short years, book apps and eBooks have already changed the publishing world and redefined how books come to market. In fact, some book apps are starting to look something more like a Disney/Pixar movie than an actual picture book, and the book market will only get better from here.

Also, it’s important to understand that there are significant costs that go into the production of a single book app and this is why the good ones can’t be purchased for the price of a song. Still at $1.99-$7.99 or higher, the cost of a book app may be a much better value when compared to printed and bound books stocked at brick and mortar retailers like Barnes and Noble, where you can expect to pay at least twice the price of a book app or eBook. It’s these very same electronic books that can be found at other retailers, like Amazon, that are partially responsible for those big retailer’s declining sales.

It’s true that just a few short years ago; kids were snuggling up next to their parents to have a book read to them when their parents could take the time to sit down with them. Today’s kids are getting their books on demand and being read to by professional narrators, when mom’s lap isn’t available, and they are doing this right from the comfort of their own electronic devices. For parents, the reality is you don’t need to draw a line in the sand, and purchase your child’s books one way or the other. What’s most important is that your child is reading. Books of any kind are a good way for kids to start thinking and speaking early, but I for one, am looking forward to the positive influence technology can bring to those young minds.

Tonia Allen Gould is the producer and author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, an electronically published book app, available in the App Store on iTunes, and is also available by audio on CD Baby and through other media outlets. Published by Skies America, Gould creatively directed and hand-picked the celebrity talent to make this eBook/app an engaging experience for children ages four to eight-years-old. The app was illustrated by Marc Ceccarelli, a SpongeBob SquarePants storyboard director. It was narrated by two-time Marconi Award nominee, and radio personality, Mr. Steve McCoy. The original musical score was produced by country artist, Robby Armstrong.

Manchester University Radio Announcer Introduces Tonia Allen Gould as the “Future Mrs. Dr. Seuss”?


WBKE 89.5 "The Buzz" radio announcer, Michael Paynter, refers to Tonia Allen Gould as the "Future Mrs. Dr. Seuss"
WBKE 89.5 “The Buzz” radio announcer, Michael Paynter, refers to Tonia Allen Gould as the “Future Mrs. Dr. Seuss”
I really enjoyed my radio interview yesterday live with Michael Paynter from WBKE/The Beehive from Manchester University. Michael and I talked about what inspires children to read, how books can offer a positive form of escape from the world we live in, and also teach children that it’s okay to dream. During our talk, we touched on how animated and narrated eBooks or apps with music are changing the landscape of the children’s picture book market by bringing stories to life in a way that conventional books can’t. I have to admit that I had a good chuckle when Michael referred to me as the “Future Mrs. Dr. Seuss.” What a lovely compliment, and wouldn’t creating that kind of revered literary works be something that most authors only dare to dream about? I’ll keep dreaming, but thank you, Michael!

Here’s the taped feed from my interview with Michael Paynter, 89.5 “The Buzz”.

And, would the real Mrs. Dr. Seuss, please stand up.

Speaking of which, here's more on the real, Mrs. Dr. Seuss.  It's kind of a sad story.  http://objectwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-on-mrs-dr-seuss.html
Speaking of which, here’s more on the real, Mrs. Dr. Seuss. It’s kind of a sad story. http://objectwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-on-mrs-dr-seuss.html