Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Babe To Teens, Past
A YOuth Column
By Beverly Rowe

Exciting new books and Illumination Arts

Hi Kids! I know you love good books, and that's what this page is all about. I have gathered some great book recommendations for you to start off the year 2006, along with contests, some of my favorite web sites for you to check out, and an interview with John M. Thompson, who is the president of Children's book publisher: Illumination Arts.


A Crack in the Line
by Michael Lawrence

 Chapter Excerpt

An exciting story of alternate realities. Alaric and Naia seem to be living each others lives.  A novel to stretch your imagination and give you chills.

Almost Lost: The True Story of an Anonymous Teenager's Life on the Streets
by Beatrice Sparks

Chapter Excerpt

Who in his right mind wants to talk to a shrink? I don't want to talk about anything. I don't want to feel anything, taste anything ... or anything. The lyrics "just dying to die" run around in my brain day and night...

Um, Like...Om: A Girl Goddess's Guide toYoga
by Evan Cooper

The perfect primer for yoga enthusiasts, Um, Like...OM goes above and beyond teaching the technique of yoga: it reveals how yoga can help teenage girls face any challenge that comes their way,  the ultimate guide to yoga—and life—for teens

The Books: Um, Like...Om by Evan Cooper.

If you are 7 to 12 years old... here are new books especially for you:

Fancy Nancy
by Jane O'Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illustrator)

Do you appreciate the finer things in life, like feather boas and ice cream parfaits? Is your family helpless without your fashion tips? Well, you are not alone! Meet Fancy Nancy, a little girl with a style all her own.

4B Goes Wild (Hardcover)
by Jamie Gilson
illustrated by Ms. Linda S. Edwar

Chapter Excerpt

Mr. Star broke the news gently. "Well, 4B," he said, "it appears we're going to do it." It was the talk of last year's fourth, especially the part about the catfish between the principal's sheets. It is the good-behavior reward for this year's fourth grade. It is Outdoor Education: three days at Camp Trotter in Wisconsin.  Exciting adventure filled with the sights, sounds, tastes, and even smells familiar to campers everywhere.

And For The Little Kids:

I have been in love with children's books published by Illumination Arts for several years. They continue to produce wonderful books that, in their own words, "inspire the mind, touch the heart and uplift the spirit." John Thompson, the president of Illumination Arts answered my questions about the company's philosophy...


Bev: How long has Illumination Arts been in the business of publishing children's books?

John: We published our first children's book, All I See Is Part of Me, in December 1989. We had been publishing adult titles until then, but this book shifted our focus into doing children's books exclusively. The beginning and ending of this book are as follows:

"I am part of all I see and all I see is part of me....And I can see in all of me that there can be no end." If we all could understand and embrace this simple message, what a world we would have.


Bev: About how many children's books do you publish per year? Do you foresee an increase in this?

John: We have been publishing 3-4 books per year for the past five years, but will publish only 2 in 2006.


Bev: Do you publish any as e-books? Do you plan to do any interactive online books?

John: We haven't published any e-books or interactive online books.


Bev: Are you open to new writers and artists?

John: We review all submissions from artists and authors. Presently we receive about 2,500 submissions per year from authors.


Bev: Tell me about your company's philosophy on the books you publish.

John: We publish only books that are inspiring and uplifting. They may also be spiritual, but from a non-denominational standpoint -- focusing on the values common to all religions (love, peace, truth, right-action, compassion, non-violence). Books must first be very entertaining and appealing to the kids or the messages will never get through.


Bev: I know that Illumination Arts donates portions of the income from children's books to certain charities. Tell me about that and the charities that the money goes to.

John: We have become aligned with Children's World Village, a company that plans to become the spiritual Disney of the future. Their foundation is dedicated to helping children throughout the world.


Bev: Most of the Illumination Arts books that I have reviewed are of the "read-aloud" variety for younger be shared at bedtime. Tell us about your Accelerated Reading program.

John: The accelerated reading program is a national program that identifies important children's books and creates quizzes that children can take after reading the book.

Illumination Arts - Accelerated Reader

Bev: What can we expect from Illumination Arts in the future?

John: Illumination Arts will continue to offer the finest inspirational children's books in the world. Our spring 2006 title, Mrs.. Murphy's Marvelous Mansion, is a great addition to our line. The story involves a house that looks tiny from the outside but is amazingly expansive inside. The artwork is completely outrageous and will have great appeal to children of all ages.


Bev: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share with us?

John: Our children are the world's hope for a peaceful future. We should provide them with the most inspiring, uplifting materials possible, so that the negative input from sources like TV and video games can be offset.

Welcome to Illumination Arts Publishing

Award winners?  You bet!  Check this out...

Awards won by Illumination Arts Children's Books

Great kid friendly web sites you should check out: (click on any of them to go to the website)

Children's Storybooks Online - Stories for Kids of All Ages

Kids' Corner - Featuring the Stories of Beatrix Potter (and more!)

Children's Storybooks Online - Award Winning Links

Kidzworld - Kid & Teen Site | Teen Chat | Free Online Games | Free Kids Contests | Free Quizzes | Fun Games | Teen Dating Advic

Am I A Color Too?
By Heidi Cole & Nancy Vogl
Illustrated by Gerald Purnell
Illumination Arts-- October 2005
ISBN: 0-9740190-5-4 - Hardcover
Children/Fiction [Ages 4-8]
Buy a Copy

Review by Beverly Rowe,

In this thoughtful look at the concept of racial differences and skin color, the mother/daughter team, Heidi Cole and Nancy Vogl, teach children to look beyond the surface. The inspiration for this poem came when Heidi's son, Tyler, was three. Hearing people referred to as certain colors, he asked his grandma the stimulating question, "Am I a color?"

Tyler is a young interracial boy who wonders why people are labeled by colors. Through his eyes we explore the common labels of Black and White, and wonder why we separate people into colors when we all see, smile, sing, and dance in all colors of the rainbow.

Tyler reminds us to treasure every person, regardless of outward appearances.

Am I A Color Too? is richly illustrated by the very talented Gerald Purnell in vibrant colors. He catches the wonderful features and expressions of people of all races is this inspiring look at our differences and similarities.

This would be a wonderful classroom tool for pre-school and older and a great conversation starter for family reading time. It's a universal message that touches readers of all ages.


Your Father Forever
Travis Griffith

Illustrated by Raquel Abreu
Illumination Arts-- October 2005
ISBN: 0-9740193-3-8 - Hardcover
Children/Fiction [Ages 3-9]
Buy a Copy

Review by Beverly Rowe,

Here is a powerful poem by a gentle, tender and loving father who has no problem with expressing his deepest sentiments to his small children. I absolutely love this wonderful, sentimental book! It should be required reading for all new fathers. From the baby's first steps to sharing the marvels of the universe and all that lies beyond, he promises to nurture, guide and protect them forever.

Raquel Abreu has illustrated this inspirational book perfectly with lovely sentimental paintings of a father with his children in various settings. The colorful, realistic illustrations capture the essence of the enduring love that is felt between this young father and his children.

This book would be a wonderful gift for any new father, and hopefully, he will be the one to read it to his children at bedtime. It's a book to inspire loving relationships for both parents and children. Illumination Arts has definitely published another winner, and I sincerely hope that we'll see more of the talented Travis Griffith.

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Exciting new books and Illumination Arts

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