Review of The Best Place for Me and Interview with Amy Misakonis

The Best Place For Me Blog Tour

Abby and I are excited to be a part of the book tour for The Best Place for Me by Amy Misakonis. Here is a link to the entire tour: http://wp.me/p33Zak-8d

Publisher synopsis:

The Best Place for Me is a playful yet meaningful journey through some of the most exciing places on Earth. With fun rhymes and enchanting illustrations, parents and their little ones will embark on an adventure that will lead them to a place greater than anywhere else in the world. The Best Place for Me delivers a special message for parents to tell their children every night. “Right here with you is the best place for me, there’s no place, my sweet baby, that I’d rather be.”

 

Our review

From start to finish, The Best Place For Me is a great book for children and adults. It is clear to me that Amy wrote this book from the heart, and any parent or person who loves someone can relate to the story that is told through the wonderful verses and the vivid illustrations. Abby and I read the book together, and besides discussing the message we found in the story, we also discussed the many places that are mentioned. (We love when there are many conversations a book can inspire us to have!) Parents who travel especially may find The Best Place for Me to be helpful when discussing how they may have to leave, but how they will always return to their loved ones. If read at bedtime, the message is so comforting that your child is bound to have sweet dreams!

Abby, my 10-year-old review partner, had this to say: “I thought The Best Place For Me was an oustanding book. I loved on each page how at least one item had a smile on its face. I think the message meant that no matter where you go and see, the best place for you and me is home. I think that Amy Misakonis is a really good author, and Amy should keep making books. Out of five stars I give this book six stars!”

Book links
Goodreads | Amazon

Book trailer

Interview

As part of this book tour, Amy kindly gave some of her time to answer questions about herself and her book.

What inspired you to write The Best Place for Me?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but never envisioned writing picture books, until I had my son.  He was the inspiration for The Best Place For Me.  I was telling him about the wonderful places in the world, but that the most wonderful place of all, was right there with him as I was rocking him to sleep.  I want him to be proud of his mommy, so I decided to take the leap and turn the story into a picture book.

How long did it take you to write The Best Place for Me?

Writing the book actually didn’t take me very long.  Once I had the concept laid out in my mind, I sketched it out on paper, and put the words to it.  It probably took me only a day or two after I had the foundation laid.

How do you balance motherhood with writing and promoting your book?

Being a mom is first and foremost for me.  Not only do I need to balance being a mom and writing, but I also have a separate full time job as a Project Manager developing NASA instruments, and I am also a fitness coach.  My time at home when my son is awake is reserved just for him.  Once he goes to sleep, that’s when I spring into action on writing, promoting my book, exercising and being healthy.  I think sleep is what I sacrifice the most!

Did you travel to any or all the places in The Best Place for Me?

I’ve traveled to quite a few of the places in The Best Place For Me.  I’ve been to Paris, San Francisco, Hawaii, Ireland, New York City, and I worked on the space shuttle for quite a few years so that’s pretty close to going to space right??  The other places I’d love to visit someday and to take my little guy with me.

How did you get started as a writer?

I’d love to say that I’ve been writing all my life, but this adventure has just recently taken off for me.  On my list of 30 things to do before 30, I put “Write a book”.  I didn’t specify what kind, but always imagined it being a novel.  Sometimes life leads you down a different and better path, more suited for you and your skills.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is a very busy day.  I wake up around 6 to try to get ready for work before my son wakes up (it’s super hard to get ready with him underfoot and since I’m a single mommy, I have to be able to juggle keeping track of him, while showering, dressing, hair drying, makeup…).  I leave for my full time job around 7:30 and get home around 4:30.  I attempt to make a good dinner for my son and I, then we play, go for a run, or go to the park until bath time.  Then I give him a bath and put him to sleep.  Once he is asleep, I sit for 10 minutes to relax, then I head downstairs to exercise.  Once I finish that, I work on my books.  I usually finally get to sleep sometime after 11 and start the process all over again.

 What do you think the best and worst things about being a writer are?

The best thing is that you get to convey a message that is meaningful to you and hopefully impact someone else’s heart as well.  I would have to say the hardest thing, maybe not the “worst” thing, is trying to get the word out about your books.  As a self published author, you are the writer, the agent, the marketer, the salesperson, the ONE and only (unless you have an amazing friend in literary publicity like I do!).  The writing is usually the easy part, getting your books into the hands of mommies, daddies, and grandparents around the world is what is difficult.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Just do your best.  If writing a book is your dream, then don’t let anything stop you from doing it.  Just like anything else, to be successful, you need to put in a lot of time and effort, and just don’t give up.

Is writing easy for you?

Writing this kind of book is easy for me.  I’ve always been able to sting words together to rhyme to convey a story.  I’ve written quite a few wedding speeches this exact same way.  I like to think they prepared me for this!

Are you working on another book?

I’m working on a few actually.  The next will be published in early June, My Wish For You.  I’m working on two others, but they are still in the draft stage called Soar and I’ll Dance With You.

Would you like to tell readers three funny/interesting things about you?

I’m a space geek.  I always wanted to be astronaut and ended up developing a career with NASA across many different projects and programs.  I was blind as a bat so I probably never would have been able to actually be an astronaut which leads me to my second interesting thing:  I have contact lenses implanted permanently into my eyes.  It’s crazy the things they can do nowadays and now I see perfectly!  And for one last interesting tidbit, I also run marathons.  I’ve done the Disney marathon twice (once the regular marathon and once the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge where you run both a half and a full marathon the same weekend), Marine Corps Marathon, and the Dublin (Ireland) marathon.

About the Author

Amy Misakonis created The Best Place for Me, her first book, for parents to convey a special message to their little ones: Right here with you is the best place for me.

Amy lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with her one-year-old son. He has been the inspiration for her first two books. Each of Amy’s stories express, in words and playful images, all of the important things that parents want their babies to know–how much they are loved, and how very important they are.

Here is where you can connect with Amy:

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads   

Giveaway

Enter for the chance to win the gift basket below, which is more than a $100 value.

In the basket are:

  • A signed paperback copy of The Best Place for Me
  • A $25 Target gift card
  • “Framed” illustrations from the book (clipboard style frame)
  • A soft, orange blanket for snuggling
  • A little lion
  • Striped basket

Please use the below link to enter the The Best Place for Me giveaway:

 

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Review of Mrs. D’s The Trees Have Hearts

How many of us have felt left out at some point in our lives? I remember my mom wouldn’t buy me roller skates with rubber wheels (all my friends had those) because I already had a pair…that just happened to have metal wheels. I used to be so embarrassed because my skates made so much noise, and people teased me about them. At 8 years old, I thought that was the end of the world because I wasn’t like my friends. Now, imagine being a child who is teased or “left out” every day. This is what The Trees Have Hearts by Mrs. D addresses.

I found this book to be beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated. To me, Mrs. D’s story is a reminder that friends come in all shapes and sizes, which is a wonderful lesson for children to learn. It also teaches children that there is always a place for them to fit in this world. The love that the characters have for each other is so uplifting to read, especially in a day when we’re more apt to see some terrible ways in which people can treat each other than the good that people do. This book helps to teach or reinforce lessons of kindness and friendship, but as the reader, I didn’t feel like I was being preached to. I would recommend this book for children and adults alike.

I also would like to mention that English is not Mrs. D’s first language, but yet the book was written and edited better than many books I have read by people who have spoken English for their entire lives. I look forward to reading more of Mrs. D’s books.

Like other books, Abby read this one. Afterwards, Abby, her dad, and I discussed the moral of the book as well as how well it was written and where Mrs. D. is from (Abby’s dad’s family is Ukrainian). These are exactly what Abby wrote about the book:

The Trees Have Hearts is a very caring book. It teaches you about friends and how you should always be there for them. I thought the book was well written considering Mrs. D’s second language is English. The Trees Have Hearts had very good illustrations. Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5 star rating.”

Mrs. D’s blog is http://mrsdbooks.blogspot.com. You can connect with her on Twitter at MRSDBOOKS. Links to purchase The Trees Have Hearts include http://tinyurl.com/bwr3ew8 and http://tinyurl.com/cgvp68t.

 

 

 

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