Here's our monthly showcase of the latest and greatest new selections in media for youth.
From books and games to educational toys and DVDs, there's never a dull moment for active and eager young minds.
For this month, we devote this space to a special showcase of two new children's books from local authors.
AuthorHouse, $19.99, Ages 5 and older
"Princess Elizabeth's Odd Shoeless Day" by Sally Campbell Grout with illustrations by John W. Campbell
Even though author Sally Campbell Grout says she's "lived in Indianapolis for many years," she also admits she's "still a Region girl at heart." A graduate of Griffith High School in 1981, she has just written a fun new children's book called "Princess Elizabeth's Odd Shoeless Day."
"The story was inspired by my daughter Elizabeth, and was a runner-up in a national contest sponsored by Woman's Day magazine and Scholastic Books," she said.
"I was thrilled when my nephew John, a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design said he would illustrate it."
The 28-page paperback, which published last October, tells the story of a village that finds after all shoes are banished from the kingdom, Princess Elizabeth learns a lesson while bare feet are fun, shoes are important for many reasons.
It is available at Amazon.com or at authorhouse.com or call (800) 839-8640.
Laredo Publishing, $16.95, Ages 5 and up
"But, Mama, How Come Grandpa Gets To?" by Carolie Warren with Illustrations by Fernando Molinari
This 32-page, beautifully illustrated large paperback has a title that serves as a story discussion point. "But, Mama, How Come Grandpa Gets To?" provides an important lesson about those living with Alzheimer’s or caring for loved ones with this disease. It focuses around the book's central character, a little boy named Bronson who consistently questions why grandpa gets to put his feet on the couch, doesn't have to pick up after himself, can crank the TV up really loud, forgets to flush the toilet and does what the child and others might view as "other annoying things."
Bronson's queries receive a litany of responses from his mom and other adults to remind just how much parents sacrificed, struggled and endured to make a better life for their family. This book not only helps explain Alzheimer's to children, but reminds adults today's older generation are well-deserving of respect and care despite ailments, including hazy moments of lapsed memory which leads to frustration.
The book, a two-year project published last August, is written by Carolie Warren, a public school teacher who advanced three years ago to become principal at Hobart Middle School.
"Alzheimer's came into my life only in recent years," Warren said.
"My mother-in-law was diagnosed about six years ago, and she passed away about two years ago."
At that same time, her father-in-law came to live with the Warren family and he began showing signs of Alzheimer's.
"His forgetfulness got progressively worse with time. My daughter-in-law’s mother also had early onset of Alzheimer's, so it’s something that has greatly affected my family."
"But, Mama, How Come Grandpa Gets To?" is available at: County Line Orchard in Hobart, Barnes and Noble in Valparaiso, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Laredopublishing.com, along with other online book and media outlets.
Warren is available to speak at group events and conferences by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org.