Kids’ Paper Craft Classes Galore

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September if a full month for my kids’ paper Craft Classes including making books about summer fun and a flag book. I’ve been teaching these classes for a couple of years at various locations along the Central California Coast. I started holding these classes as a way of marketing my picture books and collecting a mailing list, but they have turned out to be fun and a way of interacting with kids and their parents.  I now do several classes a month, usually an hour long.

 

bookmarks

Book Markes are also an option for younger children.

 

Sometimes I have only a couple of kids and sometimes a class of 20. I prefer smaller sessions with four or five children as these give me more time to help individuals. Because some cutting, coloring, drawing and folding is involved, children under six need the help of an adult. Normally I also ask the parents if they would like to make a book as well. I bring all the supplies necessary for the project and cut the paper, etc. before the sessions.

I started holding these classes as a way of marketing my picture books and collecting a mailing list, but they have turned out to be fun and a way of interacting with kids and their parents.  I now do several classes a month, usually an hour long. Sometimes I have only a couple of kids and sometimes a class of 20. I prefer smaller sessions with four or five children as these give me more time to help individuals. Because some cutting, coloring, drawing and folding is involved, children under six need the help of an adult. Normally I also ask the parents if they would like to make the project as well. I bring all the supplies necessary for the project and cut the paper, etc. before the sessions.

Usually, these classes are an hour long. Sometimes I have only a couple of kids and sometimes a class of 20. I prefer smaller sessions with four or five children as these give me more time to help individuals. Because some cutting, coloring, drawing and folding is involved, children under six need the help of an adult. Normally I also ask the parents if they would like to make a book as well.

I bring all the supplies necessary for the project and cut the paper, etc. before the sessions.   I try to provide a variety of colored papers, punched out shapes, pens, stencils, and other supplies to excite their imagination and creativity. The internet is full of projects especially Pinterest but because I am a handmade book artist, I have done many of these forms before.

You might try this marketing technique and see if it works for you.

E Books Now Available for Children’s Books

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All my Oak Tree Press Books are now available for Nook, Kindle and Apple Products (with Kindle App). Go to my web page for ordering ebooks WWW.berylreichenberg.com.

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Picture book for Kids under eight. Charlie likes to clown around making the other fish in his tank jealous. They devise a plan to keep him from hogging all the attention but their plan backfires.  

Click on the appropriate link or order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Oak Tree Press and enjoy.

Earth Day Book and More

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Earth Day is coming on April 24 and I have a couple of events schedules.

For the 20th, I’ll be showing children how to make a Garden Book at the Atascadero Library from 3:30 to 4:30, I’ll also be reading my story “Backyard Birds” and we’ll talk about what the kids have in their own gardens, plants and creatures. Because I’ll be doing this session for the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens and the Atascadero Library’s Know Your Community day, I’ll also be talking about the Botanical Gardens and passing out their brochures as well as my own brochures. The public is welcome.

garden book

 

On April 24th, I will be attending the Earth Day Celebration at the Botanical Garden’s booth showing children how to do same the Garden Book. I will highlighting my two children’s books about butterflies published by Oak Tree Press, When Caterpillars Dream and Butterfly Girls. We’ll talk about the importance of butterflies in that they help pollinate plants. We’ll also discuss the necessity of preserving the micro-environments that Monarch Butterflies use to winter over on the Central California Coast and preserving milkweed plan that Monarch caterpillars eat.

The organizers anticipate a big crowd and lots of children. For those on in San Luis Obispo, California the celebration will be held at a county park near the Botanical Gardens on Highway one just north of town across from Cuesta Community College.

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Sending Your Books to Other Countries

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What do you do when you want to send your books to a third-world country halfway around the world?

During my December trip to Southern India, I visited a local village school near Mysore. Usually on overseas trips, I bring copies of my children’s picture books to give away, but this time I left them home not knowing we would be visiting a local school.

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Children at the Rural Indian School

 

The school’s one-room library was basic. There were few books, many of which were picture books even though the school taught children up to age 14. The principal explained that pupils learning to read English found picture books helpful regardless of their age. When I offered to send them some of my picture books, the staff was delighted and gave me the school’s address.

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Books in School Library

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School children and school yard in India

How best to send my books to the school? From previous experiences sending packages abroad, I knew that some foreign mail services were unreliable. Looking at the school’s address again, I was puzzled by what all the words meant. Which word was the name of the school, the principal, etc.? What was the string of numbers at the end, the school’s phone number, the principal’s number or maybe a zip code?

Using regular mail also would be expensive. In addition to the postage, the books had already been purchased at wholesale prices. I decided to investigate other options.

I checked out Amazon, a source for all of my books, both published by Oak Tree Press and self-published and discovered they had an Indian outlet. Amazon India did indeed carry some but not all of my books. They listed a wide variety of prices. Some books retailed $30, while others were under $10. Their price did not seem to correspond to the prices in the U.S. An added benefit by using Amazon India was there was free shipping. This option would cost less than my original estimate of sending wholesale priced books via regular mail.

Using Amazon might also guarantee delivery. If the address were wrong, I’d be alerted. The last thing I wanted was to have my package of books forgotten in some post office warehouse somewhere in India or returned to me as undeliverable. I took the added precaution of emailing my Indian tour guide that the books were ordered, so she could alert the school.

On December 30, I ordered seven books, some published by Oak Tree Press and some self-published. I crossed my fingers that I had the right address. There were two different Indian companies handling the books for Amazon. Each having their own inventory so I was dealing with two separate orders and companies. It was hard to tell how long the order might take to arrive. I wasn’t sure if the books would be shipped from the U.S. to the distribution companies in India or whether a PDF file would be sent to an Indian printing house.

On January 18, I received an email from Amazon India that the books were on their way to the school from New Delhi. I had a tracking number with a possible delivery date, January 30. Every couple of days I checked the tracking number to see how the delivery was progressing. Even after January 30, I still received the same delivery estimate with assurances that the packages still were on their way.

I envisioned the delivery van winding its way across the unpaved roads of India’s interior searching for a tiny school in some obscure village. As long as there was no word from Amazon India that they couldn’t find the address, I felt confident.

Then came the message, “Oops. It’s not going to be delivered by January 30 but on February 20.“   To my relief on February 20, I received a message that the package had been delivered on the first of February.

The moral: Don’t always believe messages coming from the tracking service. They can be incorrect. Do have faith in Amazon. They deliver!

Dancing with Leaves

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Dancing with Leaves

Mary likes to dance but when she tries to dance with the Fall leaves in her yard, she is mysteriously carried away by the wind. Her trip takes her far into the forest where she lands on a tall tree top. Climbing down and then finding her way home seems impossible, until she meets two forest creatures who help her.

My new picture book will appeal to kids up to the age of eight. It includes a brief description of why Autumn leaves turn color and a space for children to draw their own pictures or write their own adventure.

This story is available from my website: http://www.berylreichenberg.com, from several bookstores, museums and toy stories on the Central California Coast and from Amazon. com.

Children’s Picture Book Giveraway

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I’m giving away a copy of my children’s picture book, Clowning Around, on Goodreads. You have until August 30 to participate so contact them at the following link: http//www.goodreads.com/giveaway/151323.

Clowning Around is about Charlie clownfish who likes to amuse the children who come to the aquarium especially to see him do tricks. When the other fish in the tank become jealous, they devise a plan to him Charlie from view, but their plan backfires. This book is for kids under 8.

Cover picture of my new Picture book, Clowning Around.

Cover picture of my new Picture book, Clowning Around.

INFORMAL LIBRARIES

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A fad here in the States is informal libraries, a row of a few books outside businesses,  homes, etc that encourage a passerby to take a book and leave another. They may appear and disappear  quickly or be more permanent. Some are quite elaborate structures and others mere boxes or stacks of books placed out each day. I thought this practice was unique to the US, but found in my travels in France, this is not the case.

In Toulouse, one such library was constructed in a well-traveled, public square and looked more like a sculpture until I got closer. Here was a sign encouraging the exchange of books with a few displayed behind glass doors that easily opened for access.

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In a small nearby town, children’s books were stacked outside a shop at ground level for easy access by little ones.  While outside another shop they were placed upright on a shelf.  At both places a sign encouraged readers to take or leave a book.

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Have you seen informal libraries in other countries? What has been your experience with them?