black lives matter, children's books, children's writing, early chapter books, eifrig publishing, flattening the curve, hand washing song, homebound, hope, hygene, hygene, Jen Ball, Mark Isherwood, masks, pandemic, Penny Smith Eifrig, quarantine, Racisim, Racism, re-mote learning, re-mote teaching, remote-learning

“Zowie! What an uber-iffic idea!”

Cleopatra W. Darby, illustrated by Jennifer Ball, is at work at another big idea

The title is exactly what Cleo and I thought when, in an effort to reach out to kids dealing with our changed and changing times Eifrig Publishing Company owner, Penny Smith Eifrig, inspired by one of her authors, Mark Isherwood, reached out to her authors about creating free ebook stories that would speak to the conditions and issues that children are presently dealing with. I and Cleopatra W. DArby, who’s in two books published by Eifrig publishing and who is illustrated by Jennifer Ball, were excited to answered the call.

Cleopatra W. Darby is into being “green”. She’s the queen of recycling, reusing and renewing. She has big ideas which many times involve inventions. In her Re-Act-Shack she takes thing-a-ma-jigs, whoosey-what-sis, doodads and what-cha-ma-call-its and turns them into kooky resourceful inventions.

In the free ebook Cleo’s Big Ideas: Flattening the Curve, Cleo finds herself having a hard time coming up with big ideas once the Corona virus hits. She has small ideas like making a mini-mask for her pet tortoise Winston and medium size ideas like converting her haul-and-go to deliver groceries for a homebound neighbor. But it’s not until her friends, Ji Won, Sara, and Albert get involved that she sees a way to pull together small ideas and with everyone’s help make a big difference.

This ebook is meant to be an avenue through which kids can see their feelings, fears, concerns validated. Its my hope that this story will open up discussions between children and their parents that will assist children in coping with, and understanding the difficult issues that currently surround them.

For your free copy please visit

Stay safe, stay well,


hygene, pandemic, quarantine

School’s Out!

Whoo hoo! Yippee! Hooray! Summer’s just ahead which usually means sunshine, beaches, barbecues.

Is anyone else feeling like it doesn’t have the same draw this year? I don’t know about you but, although my state is opening up, I’m not feeling the desire to go to a beach or restaurant half capacity, with social distancing in place, etc. Uh-uh, no thanks, I’ll take a pass.

I’d rather not worry about beach facilities that might not be cleaned properly or wait staff who might not have had time to wipe down salt and pepper shakers or that maybe didn’t clean off a table top surface completely. Not to mention what could happen in the kitchen with the cook and bussing staff. Too many possibilities for oversights and mistakes. And then there’s the people who don’t follow the mandated guidelines. You know they’re out there. Uh-uh, no thanks. I’m going to try to enjoy summer closer to home.

Although I have to say with one college student home for the summer and one HS graduate home there’s already been days when claustrophobia is just about hovering in the air. You can just walk in a room and get the sense you’d better make like a tree and leaf. I’m afraid its going to be a long hot summer.

I hope it turns out better than I expect.