Krista Rolfzen Soukup joins the #Essentia Health-Central Board of Directors

**shared with permission from Essentia Health press release

Essentia Health Welcomes Soukup to the Board of Directors

 Krista Soukup

Essentia Health is pleased to announce the recent addition of Krista Rolfzen Soukup to the Board of Directors leading Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd and surrounding clinics.

“We value our board members throughout Essentia Health”, says Adam Rees, President Essentia Health-Central. “To achieve our mission ‘of making a healthy difference in people’s lives’ we seek out community leaders to guide the decisions we make.”

Krista Rolfzen Soukup is the owner of Blue Cottage Agency providing representation and promotional services for writers, books and the literary arts as a whole. Soukup and her four children live in North Brainerd where her children attend Brainerd High School and St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Southwest with degrees in Business Administration and Marketing and is an active member of The Crossing Arts Alliance, Northside Neighborhood Association and Boy Scout Troop 45.

Soukup explains, “Membership on the Essentia Health-Central Board allows me to serve the health community which has served my family. I believe in strong community partnerships and have watched Essentia play an important part in our region’s quality of living. I look forward to being involved in the continued provision of services and community involvement to meet the many health care needs of our community.”

“When recruiting new board members, we look for candidates that complement our existing members strengths to help us live up to our mission to make a healthy difference in people’s lives in the Brainerd Lakes area” explains Chuck Albrecht, Essentia Health-Central Board chair.  “Krista has keen insights into working mothers with school age children and the Brainerd neighborhood.”

If you are interested in learning more about Essentia Health’s mission, vision, and values, please visit EssentiaHealth.org.

 

 

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A Multicultural Book to Help Kids Get Creative on Getting what they Want (legally!)

 **Click any of the book images to purchase a copy on Amazon. Some of these links are affiliate links. The Mom Squad was not compensated for this review.

It’s time! The celebration month for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17)  has begun.

2017-poster-final

In its fourth year, MCBD was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Their continuing mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.

Current Sponsors: For the MCBD 2017 event, the MCBD team welcomes some amazing Sponsors in place. Platinum Sponsors include, Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers,Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books.

The MCBD Team would also like to also give a shout-out to their impressive CoHostswho not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View their CoHosts HERE.

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with them on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

Love this book by Renee Prewitt. Renee is not only an excellent author, she is a huge advocate of children’s reading and her book Taj Cleans the Garage is a great story about using problem-solving and creativity to achieve a goal. Enjoy!

taj2

Quote from the author, Renee Prewitt:

“This is the first in a series of books I’m writing to help close the 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3,” Prewitt says. In addition, she also plans to talk to parent groups about the study and new findings in closing the achievement gap. “Reading to our children is so important,” she says, “but we should also engage them in conversation!” Prewitt hopes that Taj will also encourage more young boys to read.

Taj Cleans The Garage

Taj-Cleans-the-Garage

Taj is a creative little boy who loves trains. One thing he loves more than trains is buying more trains! Taj’s favorite rail car is $4 and he only has $2. Using creative thinking, he brainstorms on ideas to earn more money for his beloved trains.

taj

Lucky for him, his neighbor Mr. Ryan needs help cleaning his garage. Mr Ryan gives young Taj instructions to find his favorite flashlight in the many boxes that litter the garage.

Once Taj locates the flashlight, he is thrilled, but also realizes the flashlight is the key to a grand adventure complete with flying horses, talking elephants and a mysterious boy named Jackson. Taj soon is propelled into a magical land where he learns a very valuable lesson about putting the needs of other before his own desires, and treating people (and talking animals!) the same as he would like to be treated.

taj1

Taj Cleans the Garage has breathtaking illustrations (both my kids commented on the vibrant images) thanks to the talents of illustrator Michaela Nienaber.

taj illustrator

Title:Taj Cleans the GarageAuthor:  Renee Prewitt | Illustrator: Michaela Nienaber | Publication Date:  August 2013  | Publisher: The Prewitt Group LLC | Pages: 28  | Recommended Ages: 3+ |

Be sure and visit Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, to view our HUGE Linky Party that will include all multicultural book review and to get details of their uber-fun Twitter Party (they will be giving away a multicultural children’s book bundle every six minutes!).

**Click any of the book images to purchase a copy on Amazon. Some of these links are affiliate links. The Mom Squad was not compensated for this review.

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 Review-Nonni and I by Savannah Hendricks

 Click any of the book images to purchase a copy on Amazon. Some of these links are affiliate links. The Mom Squad was not compensated for this review.

It’s time! The celebration month for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17)  has begun.

2017-poster-final

In its fourth year, MCBD was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Their continuing mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.

Current Sponsors: For the MCBD 2017 event, the MCBD team welcomes some amazing Sponsors in place. Platinum Sponsors include, Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books.

The MCBD Team would also like to also give a shout-out to their impressive CoHostswho not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View their CoHosts HERE.

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with them on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

 My Multicultural Book Pick, Nonni and I by Savannah Hendricks

I think my family has taken a shine to giraffes and their majestic beauty since we met Puzzles the Giraffe at our own local zoo a few years ago.

Safari North Zoo

He’s such a handsome fellow 🙂

Recently an author named Savannah Hendricks reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in sharing her delightful book, Nonnie and I. Of course I said, YES and it is one of my book picks for MCBD2017! So here are some fun Giraffe Fun Fact Q & A and a look at the book.

A young girl is afraid that her first day of school will mean leaving her best friend behind. Nonnie (a giraffe) may not seem like a typical best friend, but to one little girl in Africa, she’s absolutely perfect. This picture book is a great addition to any back to school collection to ease worries and anxiety for young children starting school.-amazon

Xist Publishing, 2014

Nonnie and I uses kid-friendly language to tell a heart-warming story of friendship. The first day of school can be a scary event for a child and this story showcases the effect a new day of school may have on the bond shared between a girl and her giraffe. Its lighthearted spirit and gentle approach convey an important message, emphasizing the fact that kids can have more than one friend and that the bond of friendship does not have to be broken by change. A great read, especially for kids entering school, or moving and facing time away from a loved one and/or having a difficult time dealing with change.

As many already know, in 2005 I set out to write a story about a girl and her best friend, a giraffe. I wanted to capture the plains of Botswana and a special friendship bond. I spent time researching giraffes to make sure that the words I presented were true. Ten years later it became the beautiful picture book that is NONNIE AND I.“-Savannah

Savannnah hendricksSavannah Hendricks writes stories that focus on positive messages which leave readers looking forward to her next story. Her first picture book, Nonnie and I (Xist Publishing), is about a young girl who is afraid that her first day of school will mean leaving her best friend behind. Nonnie (a giraffe) may not seem like a typical best friend, but to one little girl in Botswana, she’s absolutely perfect. Nonnie and I is a great addition to any back to school collection to ease worries and anxiety for young children starting school. In addition, the illustrations by Lisa M. Griffin showcase the beauty of the landscape in Africa.

Nonnie and I is available through:

Amazon

Reading Rainbow App

Epic App

Her stories have been included in numerous magazines such as Highlights High Five, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Front Vision (红松鼠), Stories for Children Magazine, and Kid’s Imagination Train.
She has worked as a nanny, and with special needs preschoolers. Savannah has been a social worker for the last 5 years. She holds degrees in early childhood education and criminal justice/criminology. She has been a member of the SCBWI since 2006.

Connect with Savannah on Instagram, Twitter Facebook and her Blog.

 

Activity- How about a Little GIRAFFE Q & A?

How long do you think a giraffe sleeps for?

Giraffes sleep about 5-30 minutes in a 24 hour period.

How often does a giraffe drink water?

Giraffes only drink water about every 2-3 days. They acquire a lot of their water in the 75 pounds of food they eat a day.

Do giraffes sleep standing up or laying down?

Giraffes most often sleep standing up, but sometimes they will sleep laying down, resting their heads on their bottoms, while another giraffe keeps watch for safety.

Do all giraffes have the same spots?DSC_6867

A Giraffe’s spots are like human fingerprints, they are all unique. The two main factors of different spots have to do with where they live and what they eat.

Do giraffes make noise?

A giraffe makes snorting, grunting, hissing and moo sounds.

Why is a giraffe’s tongue a blue-black color?

The dark color protects the giraffe’s tongue from becoming sunburned.

 

 

Click any of the book images to purchase a copy on Amazon. Some of these links are affiliate links. The Mom Squad was not compensated for this review.

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 Review- The Prayer Mitten

 It’s time! The celebration month for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17)  has begun.

2017-poster-final

In its fourth year, MCBD was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Their continuing mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.

Current Sponsors: For the MCBD 2017 event, the MCBD team welcomes some amazing Sponsors in place. Platinum Sponsors include, Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books.

The MCBD Team would also like to also give a shout-out to their impressive CoHostswho not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View their CoHosts HERE.

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with them on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

 My Multicultural Book Pick, The Prayer Mitten

Soooooo many beautiful books have come across my desk in honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. One of those books, the kind of book that makes you stop and touch the pages reverently like a precious keepsake, is The Prayer Mitten by Daryl OConnell.
The Prayer Mitten
From Ecuador to America, children love the interactive book The Prayer Mitten.  The characters, Carleigh and her pup Mickey cross all boarders and the mitten is a symbol of hope, inspiration and positive meaning no matter who you are.
“This book is for every culture. It has been created to help children everywhere find not only themselves but build a relationship of hope and faith. Now more than ever, children of all races and ethnicities need encouragement and messages of strength. Most of all the book brings an interactive, inspirational message to children and adults who share in the process of reading with teaching a positive action.” Daryl
The characters Carleigh and Mickey are minorities in a different sense. They represent all children who are innocent, they are role models, ones who need to be encouraged while incorporating an inspiring positive message and experience.  We feel our book is one of the most multicultural and diverse books on the market. We do not see just one color, we see EVERY color and we intend to deliver our message with inspiration and acceptance.
My Take Away: Yes, I love this book! There is a very sweet complimentary Prayer Mitten included with this book too so you and your Little can create your own tradition.
A Note from Author Daryl: The Mitten is soft, it’s shiny and it glows. I can’t wait for each pair of little hands to slide in their mitten and experience first prayers or first conversations with God. Not only do the Mittens shine in the light but so does the idea of children saying their first prayers.
Daryl Lynn O'Connell with Prayer Mitten
Darly also has a brand new book coming out entitled Everybody “Every Body.” She co-authored this book with her daughter Carleigh who was the target of negative graffiti about her figure. Her response to the graffiti went viral all over the world. The book addresses positive body image and acceptance of how others are made. I REALLY want to read this one next. I think this will be an incredibly important books for my 10 year-old daughter, Sara, to read.
**some of these links are affiliate links

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