For today's #OperationStoryTime, I'm reading “Wackiest White House Pets,” by Gibbs Davis and illustrated by David A. Johnson. It's a very cute picture book that details various pets that were housed in the White House. There was Thomas Jefferson and his grizzly bears, John Quincy Adams and his alligator who lived in the White House's East room and James Buchanan who was given a herd of elephants as a gift!
But today I'm reading about our first president, George Washington who was an expert horseman and had some favorite horses as pets. Listen to what he would do with his horses!
What did you think of this story? Do you love history? What US President would you like to learn more about? Please comment below.Continue reading
During this rough time in our lives, many authors are reading their books or other books online. We are recording these for parents to access and use in their daytime “homeschooling” of their kids. I decided to do the same. My interest has always been history and I've collected a number of history related books for the younger audience.
Today, I'm reading “Sky High: George Ferris's Big Wheel” written by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Gene Barretta. This beginning reader tells the story of George Ferris and his fascination with wheels. He grew up to be an engineer and ended up designing and building the biggest “wheel” there was!
Let me know what you think of this story by commenting below. Enjoy!Continue reading
I've started working again with my wonderful editor, Susan Krawitz on my 2nd children's book, “Victoria and Dash Find True Love.” Susan is a great editor and gave my Buzzy book the flow and consistency it needed. She mentioned to me that she wrote a children's book, “Viva Rose,” about a jewish girl from El Paso, Texas. I thought, “My god daughter would love this book!” So I sent it and the following is her review of the book.
This book is wonderful, small summary, NO SPOILERS: Roses brother Abe, left El Paso saying he was moving to live in Brooklyn, but one day Rose discovers the truth on the daily news paper that is titled the “South Western Scorage” and guess who is on the picture in the photo no other than Abe!!!! Of course Rose is very annoyed about this lie he told his family. She is determined to find him!! This book is a great read and I would recommend it 100% this is by far one of the best books I have ever read!! Love this book ???? !!!! – Windle, 12 years old
Do you have a great children's book you've recently read and would like to review? Contact me for more information.Continue reading
I decided to take a walk with the dogs this morning. I've got a lot to think about with the Buzzy launch happening on Friday. It was a crisp December morning in Los Angeles and my dog, Georgia wasn't being very cooperative in the photo. So, here's Ricky and I with our limited fall foliage.
Back to the book. The Amazon Kindle version is available now and the print version will be available on Amazon on Friday. The print version is also available for book stores and libraries to purchase through Ingram Spark, a print on demand service that most traditional publishers use for their print material.
And now onto the HARD part, marketing! My next step is to get reviews written by qualified children's book reviewers. If you know someone, please pass on my information to them. But I'm ordering about 100 copies of the book so give to reviewers and donate to schools and libraries around my home.
Watch for my next update soon!Continue reading
My first book, “Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President’s House,” will come out in October on Amazon in ebook and printed form. This early chapter reader is about Buzzy, Thomas Jefferson’s dog, moving into the White House with newly elected President Jefferson. But Buzzy loves living at Monticello and doesn’t want to move. What will she do?
To continue my research on Thomas Jefferson, I took a trip to Monticello.
My docent led tour started at the Northeast portico, which then and today serves as the front door. Directly above the door is the “Great Clock.” The clock has a dual face, one on the outside of the door and another on the inside of the door. It also tracks the days of the week and was wound every Sunday. Mr. Jefferson designed this clock to serve the residents of the house and the workers in the field.
Still standing under the portico, I looked above me and saw the “Compass Rose”, a compass connected to the weather vane on the roof. Mr. Jefferson and his family could determine the wind direction without stepping outside! This was altogether different because they didn’t have cell phones to tell them the weather!
We were not allowed to take photos inside the house but I’d like to tell you about a couple of things that stood out for me. In the dining room, Jefferson had installed a revolving serving door, which connected to the stairs leading to the kitchen. The servants could place plated dishes on the shelves and turn the door into the dining room where Jefferson or another servant could grab the plates to serve. When no servants were present inside the dining room, Jefferson had complete privacy when entertaining if needed.
Jefferson had designed his bed in the same manner as he noticed in France, when he was ambassador for 7 years. The bed was placed sideways in an alcove, which gave the room more space. It seems logical now, but in those days, no one was doing that except the French!
Jefferson wrote many letters and in 1804, acquired a device called a “Polygraph” that could duplicate his letters while he wrote them. Invented by John Isaac Hawkins, the polygraph used the principles of the pantograph, a draftsman's tool for reducing and enlarging drawings. The writer's hand moves one pen whose action is duplicated by the second one, producing a copy strikingly like the original. Because of this device, we have copies of over 11,000 letters that Jefferson wrote!
Jefferson was known for many things, but not many people know that he loved his vegetable garden. It still stands today, with many plants that grew when he was alive. In the Monticello Café, I ate sautéed kale, from kale grown in his garden. He grew many kinds of lettuce, peas, beans and strawberries. He also planted sesame seeds, which he used to make his own salad dressing!
We toured the kitchen, stables and wine storeroom as well. While in France, Jefferson collected many kitchen utensils, which he brought back with him to Monticello. In 1809 and kitchen remodel was completed which included a bake oven, fireplace and stew stove. Jefferson is described as America’s “first distinguished viticulturist.” He believed the United States could “make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.” His wine cellar was built directly beneath the dining room with bottle-sized dumbwaiters that rose into the cellar’s ceiling and into both sides of the mantelpiece in the dining room.
My visit to Monticello taught me a lot about our 3rd President and founding father. As I walked around the grass, flowers and gardens, I could envision my main character, Buzzy, running around, chasing a stick, lounging under a cherry tree and playing in the snow.
I hope you’ll love my new book and share it with friends and family. And if you’re ever near Richmond, Virginia, stop and visit Buzzy and Thomas’ home, Monticello.Continue reading
On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the youngest man and first ever Roman Catholic to become elected President of the United States. While in the White House, President Kennedy's daughter, Caroline received a pet horse named Macaroni from the Vice-President, Lyndon B. Johnson.
As mentioned on the Presidential Pet Museum website, “The brown and white pony had a stylish and impressive wardrobe. For example, King Hassan II of Morocco presented a Moroccan saddle as a gift for Caroline during his state visit in March 1963.” The website also mentions, “Macaroni was usually stabled in Virginia, at the Kennedys’ country home, but was frequently brought in on a horse trailer and freely roamed the White House grounds. Tourists would often spot Caroline and her friends taking turns going for rides. If there was snow on the ground, a sleigh might be attached to Macaroni.”
Oh what “historical tails” Macaroni could tell!
Did you have a favorite pet growing up?
Today is Benjamin Franklin's birthday. This founding father was a scientist as well and invented bifocals, an instrument called a “glass harmonica,” the Franklin stove and a lightening rod. Watch this video to learn more about this very accomplished man:
He also had a pet squirrel!
Will this be our next Historial Tail? Watch and see!Continue reading