<![CDATA[Janet Balletta - Blog]]>Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:56:35 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[MCBD2018 Twitter Party!]]>Sat, 20 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/mcbd2018-twitter-party
Celebration time come on! Here's a Twitter party you don't want to miss if you are passionate about multicultural children's literature. Join us for the Twitter Party on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 9 p.m. There will be games, prizes, and *free* children's books! You know you want some *free* books for your classroom and Media Center. Click on the link for more info on the Twitter Party hosted by MCBD 2018. #ReadYourWorld. You may even win free copies of my books.  

<![CDATA[La Princesa and the Pea Review | MCBD2018]]>Sun, 14 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/la-princesa-and-the-pea-review-mcbd2018
 I reviewed La Princesa and the Pea as part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCBD) on January 27, 2018. La Princesa and the Pea, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books, is a whimsical retelling of the classic tale with a Spanish flavor. The illustrator uses vibrant Peruvian art bringing the characters and story to life. The writer uses rhythm and rhyme to move the story forward while infusing Spanish vocabulary throughout the book. She also includes a glossary to build children’s Spanish vocabulary.

In this Latino version of the tale, the Prince has chosen his Princesa, but first, he must convince his Mama his bride is fit to be queen.
Let’s start with Mama’s illustration. If a picture tells 1000 words than Mama’s illustration captures the entire essence of the tale. Mama is simply a mother-in-law nightmare! Her facial expression marks her indifference toward La Princesa from the start. And if that’s not enough, she wears a mean cat in her hat that would make any princess run for the hills.    

The Prince is every Princesa's dream, he’s tall, dark, and handsome. La Princesa is a beautiful brown eyed girl. The problem is Mama won’t approve of any ordinary princess, she must pass the Royal Highness Test. When La Princesa arrives at the castle, Mama fetches a pea from her garden and places it under twenty mattresses. If La Princesa does not complain about the bed in the morning surely she’s not fit to be queen. 

The next morning, Mama asks, “how was your slumber?” Now, La Princesa must report if her bed was comfy enough for a good night’s sleep. To which the princess replies, “great if you like hard and lumpy.” Viola! La Princesa has passed the test, but not without a little help from her Prince charming. The story has a happy ending as La Princesa and the Prince have their royal wedding and twenty adorable children. 

I gave La Princesa and the Pea a well-deserved five-star rating and can’t wait to share it with my second-grade class for Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) next month. Our literary focus will be Mama & La Princesa's point of view. I will teach a mini-unit on Peru and let the children experiment with their own Peruvian art designs inspired by the gorgeous illustrations in the book. The children will love practicing the Spanish vocabulary words and we will end the mini-unit by tasting Peruvian desserts.  

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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.
Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies
SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
<![CDATA[My Three Kings' Day Gift Arrived!]]>Sat, 06 Jan 2018 13:58:33 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/my-three-kings-day-gift-arrived
Happy Three Kings' Day y Feliz Dia de los Reyes Magos to all that celebrate! I was thrilled to wake up this morning and find my gift. It's the front cover of my new children's book, Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans, to be released as soon it warms up in Florida. Thank you, Baby Jesus and The Three Kings for this precious gift! A special acknowledgement goes to my illustrators, Alyssa Figueroa & Alexander C. Appello for their beautiful artwork. Be sure to stay tuned for more info on the official book release on my blog at Janetballetta.com and FB page at tinyurl.com/leulasm.  God is Good!
Do you know what The Three Kings' gifts represent?

1). The Gold is for Christ's power.
2). The Frankincense is for His priesthood.
3). The Myrrh is for the Lord's burial.

~ Sweet Baby Jesus, we bless & adore you always! ~  

  ~ 20 + C + M + B + 18 ~
<![CDATA[My New Year's Goals]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:43:55 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/my-new-years-goals
I am starting 2018 with a few goals in mind. My first goal is participating in the Multicultural Children's Book Day on January 27, 2018. In case you haven't heard about this important initiative that works tirelessly to get more diverse books into kids' hands, click on link to visit their website. My second goal is publishing my third children's book, 'Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans' more on this to follow the closer I get to an official launch date. My third goal is taking better care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am not wonder woman, but I want to be the best wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, children's book author, and friend I can be while enjoying the process. What are some of your goals for the New Year? It doesn't matter whether your goals are big or small, the important thing is you keep striving to reach them! Oh, and I almost forgot. Remember to squeeze in time for a good cup of coffee or tea, take lots of deep breaths, and #ReadYourWorld!  
<![CDATA[Holidays Around the World]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:06:11 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/holidays-around-the-world
Holidays Around the World is a fun project for grades K-2. This activity gives children an idea of how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world. Start with a KWL chart to activate children's prior knowledge. Next, read several books on Christmas traditions around the world. Then, allow children to describe how Christmas is celebrated in three or four different countries including America. They can also compare and contrast the traditions. A great culminating activity is bringing in treats from different countries to celebrate the Holidays the Around the World Unit. Here are two excellent holiday books to include in the unit. Enjoy! 

<![CDATA[Fall Authors for Authors Book Fair]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/fall-authors-for-authors-book-fair
I will be attending the Fall Authors for Authors Book Fair with my children's bilingual legendary tales, Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the Eau Gallie Civic Center, 1551 Highland Avenue, Melbourne, Fl 32925. Join us for this free family event featuring local authors and artist. I am looking forward to seeing you. ​

<![CDATA[Happy Character Day/Halloween!]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/happy-character-dayhalloween
Character Day or Halloween is such fun for children and adults. As a child, I remember dressing up as a Monkey. Yup, out the door my sister and I went singing, "Hey, hey, we're the Monkeys!" Needless to say, we were not happy campers that year.  In school, Character Day, is quite a big deal. The children look forward to dressing up as their favorite book characters, classroom parties, and sweet treats! So for all those who will be celebrating Character Day or Halloween tomorrow have fun and be safe. This former Monkey will be parading around school in her Mermaid costume with her second grade clan.  Enjoy!      

<![CDATA[Ambassador of Good Will for Mi Libro Hispano]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:36:29 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/mi-libro-hispano-ambassador-of-good-will
It has been an honor to serve as an Ambassador of Good Will for Mi Libro Hispano during Hispanic Heritage Month.  Here are some highlights of the month. On September 9, 2017, my Spanish book, La Leyenda de Roberto Cofresi - Un héreo de Puerto Rico won 1st Place for Best Translation from English to Spanish in the International Latino Book Awards. On September 16, 2017, Hurricane Maria, pummels Puerto Rico causing the most devastating damage to the island in history.  On September 29, 2017, I participated in the San Juan Festival in Port St. Lucie, donating all my book sales to the Puerto Rico relief efforts organized by Florence Marie Torres, founder of P.A.T.R.I.A. M.I.A. ​(see picture below).  
Even though, Hispanic Heritage Month ends this month the need is so great, I have decided to continue donating my book sales to support the Disaster Relief efforts through Christmas. It´s my way of planting the seeds of generosity, loyalty, and cultural traditions for future generations. An enormous thank you goes to everyone who has helped me sow the seeds of good will. God bless you.        
<![CDATA[Buy My Children's Books and Help Puerto Rico Recover from Hurricane Maria]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:45 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/buy-my-childrens-books-to-help-puerto-rico-recover-from-hurricane-maria

Would you like to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria? Buy my children's books and support my campaign to donate 100% of the royalties to Puerto Rico's recovery efforts. The damage in Puerto Rico is catastrophic and they need all the help they can get. 

The Legend of the Roberto Cofresi - A Puerto Rican Hero is a two-hundred-year-old legend that tells the tale of how the young Roberto became the Robin Hood of Puerto Rico by helping the island during a time of need.

Never before have the themes of generosity, loyalty, and cultural traditions been more relevant. Read my books with your families and teach them a real-world lesson on how people come together to help communities in times of need. #helppuertoricorecoverfromhurricanemaria

Amazon buy link: 

<![CDATA[2017 International Latino Book Awards]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 20:16:30 GMThttp://janetballetta.com/blog/2017-international-latino-book-awards

On Saturday, September 9, 2017, the International Latino Book Awards took place in San Francisco and I am elated to share my children's book, La Leyenda de Roberto Cofresi - Un héreo de Puerto Rico won First Place in the category of Translation from English to Spanish. What a perfect way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month!

La Leyenda de la Sirena Colombiana also won an Honorable Mention in the category of Most Latino Focused Children's Picture Book. It´s an honor to receive these awards for the second time.  In 2015, The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid  won the Mariposa Award for the English version and this year La Leyenda de Roberto Cofresi - Un héreo de Puerto Rico won the award for the Spanish version. 

A big thank you goes to Kirk Whisler of the International Latino Book Awards for everything he does for the organization and allowing me to be part of it.  An extra special t
hank you goes to everyone who helped me make my "American Dream" come true. Most importantly, thank you, Lord, because all glory and honor are yours for my children's books and I am so grateful!