Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Does It Mean To Be Present? -- Blog Book Tour

I’m thrilled to participate today in the Blog Book Tour for Little Pickle Press and their newly released children’s book What Does It Mean To Be Present?  This little treasure’s beautiful message, illustrated with whimsical brilliance, is capturing the fancy of children and parents alike.

(One Significant Moment followers are able to purchase What Does it Mean To Be Present at a discounted rate online.  Receive your coupon code below!)

Author Rana DiOrio's third book in the What Does it Mean... series is a refreshing, vibrant picture book aimed at children 4-8 years old, which engages all of the senses and explores answers to a deceptively simple question, “What does it mean to be present?”  Each colorful page reveals how to seize the moment and "be present," sharing ideas that will open important dialog between children and parents, and teachers and students.

In DiOrio's words, being present can mean “listening carefully when other people are speaking”; “focusing on what’s happening now instead of thinking about what’s next”; or “savoring each bite of your delicious food.” The book helps children judge what’s truly important in life.

The author's powerful messages resonate with adults, too.  As I read, I reflected on my own rushed, often hectic daily life.  It’s easy to forget to slow down,  to indulge the senses, and to listen to your heart sing.   Children learn to behave primarily through the example set by their care-givers.  This book is a wonderful tool for grown-ups who know there is no greater gift than teaching a child the importance of “closing your eyes and being still enough to hear your inner voice.”

DiOrio’s words come alive accompanied by the magic of Eliza Wheeler’s whimsical illustrations.  Through Wheeler's drawings, a story emerges of two children, a boy and a girl, as they move through their day.   Wheeler creates the book's wonderful sense of flow as the background scenery moves from setting to setting, with each turn of the page.    And children will be delighted to hunt on every page for the blue butterfly and the orange fruit, sometimes out in plain view, sometimes slightly hidden.   When Wheeler was asked about the butterfly in a recent interview, she said:

Whenever a butterfly is around people seem to stop to watch them. They are fragile, gentle creatures that don't usually live long, yet they bring such beauty while they are here. I included blue butterflies on each page because kids love to search within drawings and find repetition. Searching for the butterflies slows them down as they read the book, and helps them to be "present" and fully experience each page.

I love that!

I was completely enchanted by What Does It Mean to be Present? and I highly recommend it.  Be sure to seek out the other two titles in the series: What Does It Mean to be Green? and What Does It Mean to be Global?

An Offer Just For You

Rana DiOrio and the Little Pickle Press are offering One Significant Moment followers a great deal!  You can order online any two books in the series and a free poster of choice, all for just $29.95.  

Go HERE and type the coupon code MOMENT at check-out.

Grand Prize Give Away

You could win all three books in the What Does It Mean... series, plus four posters and a DabbaWalla backpack.  Click HERE for full details!

About the Author

Rana DiOrio was born in Providence, RI and grew up in a colorful Italian-American family. Her curiosity about the world began in kindergarten, while studying Western access to China and, obviously, panda bears! She has written her way through life – as a student, a lawyer, an investment banker, a private equity investor - and now as an author of children’s picture books and owner of Little Pickle Press.
Rana’s motivation for writing What Does It Mean To Be Present? was deciding that she had a Blackberry® addiction and hoping that the best cure would be to write about how best to live without it. Her interests include reading nonfiction, dreaming, effecting positive change, and, of course, practicing yoga. She lives in Belvedere, California with her husband and their three Little Pickles.

About the Illustrator

Eliza Wheeler, an award winning children's book illustrator, was born into a family of musicians, artists, and teachers, and was raised in the north woods of Wisconsin. As a toddler, she adored crayons, and drawing has been her favorite creative outlet ever since. Eliza received her BFA in Graphic Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stout; shortly thereafter, she abandoned the mouse and embraced pen on paper to pursue a career in illustration. She began studying illustration in earnest and fell in love all over again with the picture books of her childhood. Now, Eliza has found her true calling — illustrating for the children’s book market and creating illustrated gifts for her online gallery.

For the schedule of all the blogs on this Virtual Book tour, click HERE.  Don't miss tomorrow's tour stop at It's Not All Flowers and Sausages.

Thanks to Dani Greer at Blog Book Tours for inviting me to participate today.  And thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for thinking of me and passing my name to Dani!


Tessa Conte said...

That sounds like a really cool kid's book (my nephew is 5 - should be about right for him), I'll have to go check it out!

Justine Dell said...

My daughter is 12 and I think that would even be a good book for her. (And me)!


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Tesse and Justine~ My kids loved the book, and they're 12 and 10. And you're absolutely right, Justine. It inspired me to slow down and enjoy the moment -- and to pull out my yoga mat and take a class!

I'm ordering all three books and donating them to the Elementary School library in our town. I'm also thinking ahead to Christmas...!

Jen said...

This looks like such a special read!!! I'm definitely letting my family know about these cute little books :)

How inspiring for her to be the owner and writer of such adorable books, learning to live without the blackberry, very amazing things to address!!

Lola Sharp said...

Adorable! I don't have any young children in my life, but I will request our local library order it. I love the concept...and I love butterflies. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

What a great group of books. Thanks for share this with us.

Mara Mc Bain said...

This book sounds perfect for my 4 year old niece. Lord knows the little whirlwind needs to slow down and smell the flowers. LOL I love the idea of the butterfly on each page. Brilliant! This is going on her Christmas list! Thanks for sharing Nicki!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Jen~ Thanks for helping spread the word! These books are simply priceless :))

Lola~ I'm going to stop by the library and request they stock them, too. Great idea!

Clarissa~ Thanks for reading!!

Mara~ It's a perfect gift, and I'm putting it on my Christmas shopping lists, too!

Dani Greer said...

Wow, what a fantastic review, Nicole. There's so much to talk about in this series! I think you hit on everything - no wait. ;) The coupon includes a free poster of choice, and these are neat because they are printed on something called Terraskin, which isn't made of trees, but of calcium carbonate, a common mineral in rock. The strong environmental focus of the publisher also really appeals to me. They are just too cool! Happy day, everyone. I have to go tweet about this post now! BBL :D

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hi Dani! I'm looking forward to the poster when I order my books!

Thanks for bringing up the environmental philosophies of the author and publisher! As if the book’s message and artwork weren’t impressive enough, there’s the fact that the whole project was executed with a “green” conscious. Little Pickle Press prints and distributes their materials in an environmentally-friendly manner, using recycled paper, soy inks, and green packaging.

So many reasons to love these books!

Summer said...

This sounds like a wonderful book for children and you have presented it very well. Thank you for posting!

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like a great book for kids. And the illustrations look wonderful. Christmas is not that far away!

Straight From Hel

Jemi Fraser said...

Beautiful concept and a beautiful book! Love the repeating butterfly idea. :)

Little Pickle Press said...

Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough review, Nicole. Thanks also to Alex Cavanaugh for the introduction. I wish you both continued successes. Gratefully, Rana

Patricia Stoltey said...

I loved this review of Rana's book. It's on my shopping list for great-nephew Charlie's birthday. Maybe it will help the little guy slow down for a couple of minutes to look for butterflies.


Lenny said...

hi miss nicole! wow sounds like a really cool book. i like how it says you need to stop and look at stuff and let it get into your heart. i do that all the time and could find something real special in just the most smallest thing. mostly people get too busy to stop and look and listen.
...hugs from lenny

Jolene Perry said...

I love the illustrations!
That has to be so hard with children's books. Finding that perfect match between artists and writers. Thanks!

N. R. Williams said...

This must be a wonderful book series. I plan to get all three.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Jai Joshi said...

What a great post! I love that idea of being present and savouring each moment of life. Such an important lesson.


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Summer~ Thank you!

Helen~ I've got these books on my Christmas shopping list for several people already!

Jemi~ Finding the butterfly on each page was even fun for me -- kids will love it!

Rana~ Thanks so much for stopping in. Your books are beautiful! Looking forward to reading many more from you :D

Patricia~ Charlie is going to love this book!

Lenny~ I just knew you were a smell-the-roses- kind of guy!

Jolene~ I agree! But this time, Rana and Eliza combined artistic forces and magic happened!

Nancy~ I'm getting all three, too! They look fantastic.

Jai~ It is an important lesson, and one many kids don't learn because their parents don't know how to slow down, either :)

Monti said...

What a lovely review! Children do enjoy the hunt for hidden items. How cool to have the hidden butterflies! It gives me an idea for an art project for my elementary school classes in the fall. Wouldn't it be fun to have them create art with a butterfly (or maybe a crab in honor of our carnival) hidden in the picture. I'm going to recommend these books to our school librarian and to the children. I plan to send her a link to this post as well.


Theresa Milstein said...

It was nice of you to promote the book. Sounds like a clever idea for a picture book series.

Terry Stonecrop said...

We all need to slow down. Sounds like a book for all ages.

Nice review!

Belle said...

This sounds like a beautiful book. My son loves butterflies - I think he'd definitely like this one!

LTM said...

this sounds like an AMAZING book! My little girls are in a butterfly "club," and it sounds like the perfect book to read the next time we get together. Thanks for sharing~ :o)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad it was a win-win for everyone!

Eileen Schuh: said...

Visiting you for the first time. What a unique website design. Very attractive and fun.

Susan Fields said...

I love that about the butterflies on each page making the kids slow down and be "present" and fully experience each page. When my kids were younger, we all enjoyed searching for things in the illustrations in their picture books.

Talli Roland said...

Love the name of the publishing company. And what a great topic for a book - I think I should read it.

Thanks, Nicole.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow! So much great stuff in one post. Looks like a wonderful book for my little one. Thanks for the recommendation!

Amy Holder said...

This book sounds wonderful -- what an important message to pass on to children!