Get Puzzling with the kid! Although this official celebration is held every year on January 29th, puzzling is educational and fun anytime. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those puzzles, games and even challenges in life that we embrace every day but sometimes take for granted. Puzzles also offer us a great way to spend quality time interacting with family. Puzzles are an awesome way to make challenges and learning fun any day!~Bette A. Stevens
The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette A. Stevens
“I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make—with clues or riddles as to what they are. Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!” ~D.L. Finn, author
Love is What Life’s all about! by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator
It’s February—LOVE MONTH! That’s what I love to call it. With Valentine’s Day celebrated around the world on February 14th, it’s the ideal month to set aside some time to dwell on the meaning of love in our own lives.
Love of God and the magnificent world He’s created for us to enjoy, love of family, love of our neighbors (everyone outside of our families). Love is what we’ve been called to do—that’s right—love is a verb, an action word. Do we sometimes fall short? Sure, as humans we all miss the mark at times. But that doesn’t confine us to loving less; it inspires us to love more.
Reading with kids is one way we can demonstrate our love to the younger generation. In fact, older kids love to be read to as well. Reading together gives us a chance to bridge the generation gap and discuss real life issues, allowing time for adults to listen to what kids have to say on crucial issues that affect us all. No kids around to share the love with? No problem. Simply contact your local school or library and let them know you’re ready to share the love of reading with the kids. They’re sure to feel the love and I promise, you’ll feel it too!
Whether writing for children or adults, the theme of love somehow always seeps its way into heart of the story. In fact, when I really take time to reflect upon it, love is often what inspires the book, the story or the poem. Love really is what life’s all about. When we follow our passions and encourage those around us to follow theirs—that’s love. When our pages help to turn someone’s hurt or apathy into understanding—that’s love. When a verse we’ve penned discloses our Creator’s unconditional love for us—that’s love. Let’s do our best to share the love!
About the ‘Love’ in Bette’s Books
In AMAZING MATIDA (Children’s Picture Book/ages 4-11), a frustrated Monarch caterpillar who is ready to give up on her dreams is inspired to keep trying to find her wings. But she’s not alone, Matilda has friends to teach her about patience and persistence by encouraging her. Now, that’s what I call love.
In PURE TRASH(Short Story/Historical Fiction/Ages 10-Adult), two young brothers are off on a Saturday bicycling adventure when one gets injured. The eldest boy, Shawn Daniels, seeks help for his brother from a wealthy neighbor who grudgingly does her good deed leaves a lasting impression upon the children. Brotherly love and bigotry leave readers to decide on their own about what love really is and what love is not.
In DOG BONE SOUP(Coming-of-age Fiction/Novel set in 1950s & 60s New England/Ages 11-Adult), Shawn Daniels tells his own story—the trials and triumphs of growing up poor in an affluent rural New England town. Though many of the town’s people, young and old, see Shawn as a poor boy they disregard or try to humiliate, there are many who encourage and support him in both words and actions. Adventure abounds in this coming of age novel readers of all ages will long remember as they discover for themselves what love really is all about.
Inspired by and for the love of kids and the love of learning, I’ve written, illustrated and used The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! in my own classroom with students from 4th through 8th grade. The Zoo…is a great resource for integrating research and creative writing into a math and/or science curriculum. One of the project ideas included in the book is for the kids to create their own tangram animals to add to The Zoo… Then, to research their creature creations and write their own rhyming riddles.Readers and colleagues agree: “At home or in the classroom—it’s hands-on learning that’s creative and loaded with fun for everyone”—The Tangram Zoo.
Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).
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Looking for that perfect gift—for a special child in your life?
AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens This 5✰ award-winning children’s book (Ages 4-11) about a Monarch butterfly inspires kids to be all they can be. ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZONhttp://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0through December 26, 2016
When Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be just as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are when you follow Matilda’s adventure from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—they’re all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!
Readers and listeners (age 4–11) simply adore Matilda. Adults are sure to fall in love with this amazing Monarch butterfly too.
Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring AMAZING MATILDA. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the Monarch’s life cycle as caterpillar Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true.
AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens is also available in paperback ($9.49). If you order the paperback from Amazon, the Kindle version is always free via “Matchbook”
About the author
Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).
Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.
The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! was written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens (1st Edition published by Windswept House, Mt. Desert, ME in 1997) as an educational resource to use in her classroom. Kids, teachers and families are still raving about this book.
“Awesome and Creative!” ~ S.B.
“These were fun, so I wish there had been more pages.” ~ Ocean Breeze
“The animal shapes are fun and the riddles are great too.
Don’t worry the answers are in the book so you will
not get stuck trying to figure them out.” ~ David M. Howard, author
“A great tutoring resource. I would highly recommend
it as a teaching aid for parents or tutors.“ ~ Charles Bray, educator and author
Create their own creatures & riddles
to add to THE ZOO…
Get the kids out of that boredom slump with THE TANGRAM ZOO by Bette A. Stevens—a great resource for home or school. Puzzles, poetry, reading, research, writing & projects too! (ages 5–adult)
Looking for some Classroom or Family Fun with the kids or grandkids? Need some quality together time on a rainy or snowy day?
Solve 18 puzzles and riddles, make your own tangram puzzle pieces; then write your own riddles and add your creatures to THE ZOO!
Solutions and project ideas included.
Visit THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO! written and illustrated by Maine author/illustrator. Paperback only $6.99 for hours of creative learning and hands-on fun. Get your copy at YOUR AMAZON today!
I am a writer inspired by nature and human nature.
I love people, nature, art, music and literature.
I advocate for kids and families, childhood literacy and for the protection of monarch butterflies and their threatened habitat in my books, my poetry and on my blog. My blog supports Indie and traditional authors, features great books and poetry and provides tips for writers and readers as well. Be sure to check out the tabs at the top of my blog and leave a comment or two. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. I look forward to chatting with you. —Bette A. Stevens
Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).
Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming of age story.
“DOG BONE SOUP is not only a fabulous title for a novel, it’s also the staple diet of the young hero, Shawn Daniels . But it takes more than an impoverished family life, exacerbated by a drunken father, to keep our Shawn and his brothers and sisters down.”
“PURE TRASH is an emotional and soul-searching short story read. Compassion is a beautiful thing.”
Inspire the kids with AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning Monarch Butterfly picture book adventure! (ages 4-11)
CLICK, LOOK & LISTEN as author Pamela Beckford reads AMAZING MATILDA for United Way’s Childhood Literacy Progam:
Encourage the kids (elementary and middle-graders) with THE TANGRAM ZOO & Word Puzzles Too!—a great resource for home or school. Puzzles, poetry, reading, research, writing and projects too!
I would love to hear from you (comments below).
Find out more about author Bette A. Stevens and take a “Look inside” her books atYOUR AMAZON.
“Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of theIndietribe, a body dedicated to supporting self-published authors
Bette A. Stevens is a retired teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families; for childhood literacy; and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species.
Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO! was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA , Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012, won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List TOP 10 for Self-published Children’s Picture Books. Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH, a short story about a boy growing up in rural New England in a family whose poverty and alcoholism mark him as a target for bullying by young and old alike. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s debut novel, DOG BONE SOUP, A Boomer’s Journey.
The best way to thank an author is to let them know how much you enjoyed their book(s). Often it comes from an adult fan in an official review on a blog or posting on Amazon/Goodreads. Sometimes it comes from younger readers at a school/group visit and once in a while a young reader will send a personal note. Early this week I received a wonderful letter and picture from Lexi Stevens, a talented nine-year-old fan.
Here’s what Lexi had to say:
I’m Lexi Stevens. I hope to be an author, like you. Oh, and talking about writing, I love the books and I’ll send you a book.
Hi, you probably don’t know me. I’m Lexi Stevens. I hope to be an author, like you. Oh, and talking about writing, I love the books and I’ll send you a book from me. Also, I’m doing a state report on Maine! I had Alaska at firs, but nobody had Maine, so I switched. I’m sooo excited! Happy Easter!
P.S. Can you please reply!
Indeed I will, Lexi:
Your wonderful letter and pictures (your illustrations and portrait) made my day! I can see that you have a gift for writing and illustrating and I can hardly wait to read your books one day. Follow your dreams and they surely will come true. We must stay in touch. It’s awesome that you’re doing your state report on Maine. Keep me posted on the great things you are doing. I’ll be following you!
HAPPY WRITING & ALL OF THOSE OTHER AMAZING THINGS YOU DO,
Bette A. Stevens
Needless to say, there’s nothing that touches the heart of an author like hearing from her fans. I thank each one of you for reading/following my blog and for your wonderful comments. They mean a lot to me.
AMAZING MATILDA— February 1— #9 on The Gittle List: Top 10 Children’s Picture Books of 2013 Aviva Gittle Publishing (San Diego, CA): “On the surface, the story is about the birth and transformation of a Monarch butterfly. The underlying story is about the challenges children experience as they grow and learn. It can foster a discussion with your child about the power of perseverance. Heck, it’s also just fun to read!”
THE TANGRAM ZOO—Tangram puzzles and riddles for hands-on learning and fun for the whole family/classroom: “Awesome and Creative!”—S.B.
PURE TRASH, The Story—1950s short story adventure (bullying, poverty & prejudice) for the YA/Adult reader. “Truly moving short story.”Michael Carrier
THANKS so much for buying my book(s). If you’ve already got your kindle copies of AMAZING MATILDA and/or PURE TRASH, I would love to send you a Message & an Autographed Cover for your kindle library. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!Here’s the link that will take you to both of my kindle books on Authorgraph…
Find out more about author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books at http://www.Amazon.com/author/betteastevens AMAZING MATILDA: 2013 Purple Dragonfly Award-winning picture book (ages 6-10) PURE TRASH, The Story: 1950s short story adventure (YA/Adult) THE TANGRAM ZOO & WORD PUZZLES TOO! Children’s activity book (Ages 4-12)