I have been fortunate to meet several aspiring authors since publishing Sid the Sasquatch in 2016. This has been a real treasure for me! So I wanted to give a shout out to a few of them here. These young ladies have a remarkable talent for writing and I can't wait to see what the future brings for them! #TheFutureLooksBright #FutureAuthorsofAmerica #YoungWriters
Meet Eva: She is an avid reader and has a vast imagination!
Meet Bella: She has a talent for rhyme and quick creative writing!
Meet Sophie: She loves to write stories about talking animals!
Thank you all for sharing your stories with me and for expressing yourself through writing! You are going to go far!!
A note from the author:
I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at Rising Hill Elementary school yesterday and hosting a couple of writing workshops for their #KindnessWeek kickoff! There are so many talented kids attending Rising Hill! I was blown away. I even had the opportunity of listening to the 2nd grade class sing the "Rising Hill" song (which was AH-mazing)! A big thank you to fellow Author Hollie Westring, Principal Kate Place, and the PTA for inviting me to spend the morning with their kiddos! What a fun way to spend a rainy Monday morning! Here are a few pictures of Sid's new friends!
I want to also take a moment to send a special shout out to Liam - thanks for helping me turn the pages!
A note from Sid's author:
Last night, Greenwood Elementary PTA invited me back to the school for their "Read-in" to discuss my book and the writing process with their students. It was a delightful evening filled with fun conversations with children of various ages about costumes, animals, and even rainbow unicorn poop! lol The children were all such a joy to talk with, and so eager to express themselves and share their own creativity. One student (Sophie) brought in a story for me to review and edit... it was a sweet story about a dog, that highlights her creative talent. She is a remarkable writer and I have no doubt she will one day have a published book in her hands! She is now spearheading a campaign at the school to start a writing club, with several eager children wanting to join in (Madi, Meagan, the other Sophie who wants to be a unicorn, and others - I hope you get your writers club!). If you follow through with it, I'll come and visit again sometime to chat with you and read your stories. And remember, the best way to improve your writing is to READ lots of books! In the meantime, please feel free to email me your stories if you'd like to. I would love to read them anytime!
Thank you to the kind kids who offered their books for me to read with them last night (I'm sorry I didn't get everyone's names);
To the charming boy who loaned me "Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off!" to read - the book was super fun, I hope King Viking learns how to be kind in the end!
To Blaine (Blane?) who loaned me the Pirate ABC's book, "RRR," you have quite a talent for finding hidden letters!
To the sweet boy who wants to be an eagle and thinks I don't remember him! I still have not forgotten you and the 156 page novel you're reading! I hope you enjoy the read! I know you will soar to great heights!
Again, I would like to thank GWE for allowing me and Sid to be a part of your Read-a-Thon this year! You have a fantastic group of students there and it was an honor to spend time getting to know each of them.
Here are some of Sid's new friends... and two lucky winners of the Sid the Sasquatch bundle drawing (Evie and London)!
#GWEkindness #GWEreadswithsid #GWEselfieswithsid
A note from Sid's author:
I had the absolute pleasure of kicking off Greenwood Elementary's October Read-a-Thon last week with a presentation and reading for all of their 450+ wonderful students. Greenwood Elementary's motto this year is "Be kinder than necessary... it matters!" I love their focus on kindness. Sid's story is one about kindness; and because Ollie, the human boy in his story, chose kindness over fear Sid made a new friend.
GWE Staff has invited Sid to stay with them during the read-a-thon and they have a lot of fun things planned for the kiddos... a daily Sasquatch hunt, reading with Sid, selfies with Sid, etc. The kids are going to have a blast (and Sid is too) and I look forward to hearing all about it over the next couple of weeks!
Sid has already met so many wonderful kids, and even future authors! Here he is pictured with one of his new friends.
I look forward to chatting with this future author next week at the GWE Read-in! Thank you again, Greenwood Elementary, for inviting Sid and myself to join in your exciting Read-a-Thon this year! #GWEkindness #GWEreadswithsid #GWEselfieswithsid
As you likely know by now “Sid the Sasquatch” was the recipient of the Illustration Award in the Reader’s Favorite annual international book award contest in 2017. But how much do you know about Mark Wayne Adams, who judges this contest every year? Take a moment, if you would, to journey over to his website and read about the man who turned his 3rd grade dream into a lifelong career. There, you can also see other talented recipients of the Illustration Award as well. Thank you again to Mark Wayne Adams for recognizing Sid’s talented illustrator and honoring Sid the Sasquatch with this award.
Today it was announced that Sid the Sasquatch won the illustration Award in the Reader's Favorite annual international book award contest for 2017. This is quite an achievement and honor for Sid!
A HUGE thank you to the talented Joseph Cowman for his award winning contribution to this book!
In December, I sent President Obama a couple of Sid the Sasquatch books. I never shared his letter because there wasn't any reason to. I read it from time to time because it gives me #HOPE in what our country can be again and gives me hope knowing that there are people out there still fighting for the majority of us who do not share the same views as the current administration. I feel that now is the time to share his letter. Because perhaps it will give others hope too, when we so desperately need it. What is going on so publicly in the country right now is heartbreaking. When I was a child, I remember comments being made about interracial couples. I remember wondering why it mattered. It didn't. Love is love, it knows no colors. To tell someone not to love someone else for any reason is the complete opposite of how we should behave. No matter what anyone thinks, there is NO GOOD REASON why someone shouldn't love another. Let them love. One of my favorite phrases is "to each their own." I heard that when I was a child and I have repeated it many times in life. I believe in it. If there is no harm in a person's actions, then let them be. How can loving someone cause harm? It can't. So let them love.
But I digress… The world today is worse than I remember. I saw so much progress throughout my life, and now… we have stepped back. So help future generations move forward once again. Teach children to love. Teach them about other cultures and how to respect those that are different. Teach them to embrace the good qualities we all have. #SPREADLOVE
Sid the Sasquatch is a story about the acceptance of diversity. It is a fun story about a young sasquatch learning to see people for their heart and actions instead of their appearance. It is a tool to help introduce these topics in a fun and positive way. I hope that you will share Sid's story with your children. Share it with your own kids, your nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, neighbors. Share it and SPREAD LOVE.
Thank you former President Barack Obama, for giving me hope.
Four years ago my son was diagnosed as failure to thrive when he was only a few months old. After suffering through various testing in attempts to find a root cause with no answers, we were referred to the Ready, Set, Grow clinic at Children's Mercy. There, they informed us that in order to help our son we would have to insert a feeding tube and administer his formula through the tube going forward for an unknown amount of time. To make things worse, they informed me that I would be the one to have to insert that tube into my son's nose. The tube had to be set in place far enough down his throat that the food would get where it needed to go. This was my nightmare. This is how my son looked in the clinic prior to putting the tube in…
This is how he looked after…
The arm restraints were put on to keep him from pulling the tube out. We almost immediately took them off after leaving the clinic. Our concerns about his arm functionalities developing outweighed our fears of him pulling out the tube and us needing to insert it again. Although that was a big concern… the last thing I wanted to do was to insert the tube. It was obviously painful for him when we did so. I would take a baby sleepsack and swaddle him tightly, then hold his head as still as possible while pushing the tube into place as quickly and comfortably as I could. Then I would use special medical tape to paste the tube to his cheek and over his ear and onto his back. This was the routine. Even when he didn't pull the tube out, I had to change it out weekly and switch sides so that his cheek would heal from the rash created by the tape. I couldn't sleep well at night, and I kept him close in a bassinet for as long as I possibly could. It was not an easy time for us… but we persevered and the nightmare eventually ended.
This is my son today (Look at that happy boy! I'm a lucky Momma!!!)…
I am sharing this story with you, to explain to you why I need to donate to Children's Mercy. When I think back to that time in our lives, and I think of the stress and difficulty of it all… I can't help but feel blessed that all of that eventually ended. Then I think of the many parents out there who are coping with their child's cancer, diabetes, or other diagnosis (such as Congenital heart disease), and my heart breaks for them. If my scenario was as difficult as it was, then imagine how difficult their struggles are. I feel a bit helpless when I think about it. I can't help them. Not really. All I can do is offer support for those I know personally going through something like that… and give.
That brings me to my book and how Big Slick really inspired me to do what I could with what I have. In June 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the Big Slick Party & Auction. For those that aren't aware of what Big Slick is… it's a celebrity weekend charity event held every year in Kansas City to benefit Children's Mercy. The event is hosted by Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Eric Stonestreet, and Jason Sudeikis. Every year they invite a group of their celebrity friends to come out to KC and help raise money for Children's Mercy through various events like celebrity bowling and celebrity baseball. After the event I attended, I really admired those men for giving back to their community like they do.
So when I published my book last year, I said to myself that I wanted to help others with this achievement. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that when good things happen to you, you should do good with it and pay it forward. I knew I couldn't help everyone, but I wanted to help some… kids in particular. Children's Mercy was an obvious choice, for the help that they provided my son. I wanted to specifically help the kids and their families who are struggling through a cancer diagnosis. So I choose to donate to the Children's Mercy Cancer center. Shortly thereafter, I noticed my cousin was sharing a lot of information about Type 1 Diabetes on facebook. I didn't know much about it previously, I didn't even know there were two types. I also had NO idea it was as life threatening as it is. I honestly considered diabetes to be a manageable disease. Obviously, I was IGNORANT on all accounts. But, I thought that since my cousin was asking for donations to JDRF, that I would donate to them as well. What happened next was HEARTBREAKING. I became educated on the disease. I learned just how terrible this disease is, and how hard my cousin's life has been for the past 6 years. Her daughter Zoe was diagnosed at age 2. Her strength is an inspiration to me every day… and her daughter Zoe’s strength. Little Zoe is like a superhero in my book! So after learning about all of this, I became very passionate about wanting to cure diabetes… which unfortunately, I'm not a doctor or a chemist. So I wanted to educate others... to spread the word about this disease in the hopes that someone listening might be able to help in ways that I cannot.
That is when it became clear to me, that I needed to use this little book about a Sasquatch as a platform to spread awareness for diabetes and to help fund research as well as support the families and kids at Children's Mercy. And why I donate a percentage of sales for EVERY BOOK SOLD FOREVER to these two organizations.
If you'd like more information on these organizations, you can visit my Charities tab above and click on the logos for each. You will be directed to their websites.
September is full of exciting events for Sid! First up, Wendy Elliott will be signing books at the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka on Saturday September 9th (9am- 4pm). Come out and grab a picture with Sid on your way to see Curious George and Clifford! What a great opportunity to meet a fun group of characters!
The kids are sure to enjoy!
Then two weeks later on September 23rd, Wendy will be signing books and entertaining kids at the the KC KidsFest - the largest children's festival in the Kansas City area! Get your tickets early and save!
You don't want to miss this event!
It is an honor to have Sid the Sasquatch nominated for the 2017 Thorp Menn Literary Excellence Award. A sincere "thank you" to the panel of judges for including Sid in this year's ceremony.