Raven Tree Press Book Blow Out

Hey, check this out. Raven Tree Press, the publisher of my “Park” book is having a book blow-out sale. You can get their hard covers for only $6.95. Wow, that’s even less than what I can get them for. Here is the link to their site if you want to take advantage of this great deal. It applies to all their hard covers I believe. These make great presents. ūüėČ http://www.deltapublishing.com/proddetail.cfm?cat=8&toc=95&stoc=0&pronum=5234

We are on the Tejas Star Book Award List

I just found out that the Bilingual version of “The Park Our Town Built” made it onto the 2012-2013¬† Tejas Star Reading List. You can see the full list here:


Exciting news.

Happy Reading.


Chandler Christian School, Baby the Llama and Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Today, I¬†visited Chandler Christian School to participate in their annual “Have A Heart for Books Storybook Station.” I was one of their “celebrity readers” spending a little while with the students and sharing with them my love for books. It is always so exciting to read to kids and talk to them about books and what it takes to create them. What a wonderful school and staff to bring such a great event to the students each year! I especially would like to thank first grade teacher, Rachel DeHaan, for organizing and inviting me to the event.

The highlight of the day for me, other than sharing with the kids,¬†must have been Baby the llama. What a¬†little sweetie. I fell in love with her and am now convinced that what our 3/4 acres is missing, is a¬†llama.¬†Oh, that’s right, Sheriff¬†Joe Arpaio was also there as a celebrity reader. I didn’t get the chance to say hi to him but it was nice to see him being there for the kids.¬†

Happy creating to you all,

Every child in America should have access to an effective school library program

I received the following from my ARA Advocacy Chairperson, Michelle Parker-Rock. If you are so inclined to advocate for school libraries the following information may be of interest to you. I encourage you to sign the petition and forward the information on so that the needed number of signatures can be reached.

Thank you.


Dear Colleagues,

Carl Harvey, 2011-2012 AASL president, has initiated a White House petition on school libraries, which specifically petitions the Obama administration to “ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program.” 25,000 signatures are required in order for this petition to be viewed by White House staff, no later than February 4, 2012.¬†

Please take a few seconds to sign this petition, spread the word to your member groups, ask your colleagues and library supporters in your circles to sign on, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and other channels!

The url is: http://wh.gov/Wgd .

A few things of note:

* We’ve heard that the petition software is temperamental. If you cannot sign in on your first attempt, please log out and log back in. Or, try a different web browser, or as a last resort, try a different computer.

* This petition should not be confused with a petition begun in 2011.

* White House petitions must be authored by individuals, not any association. Therefore, Carl has introduced this petition as an individual, not as a representative of AASL or ALA.

Thank you,

Marci Merola

Marci Merola, Director

Office for Library Advocacy

American Library Association

50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL, 60611

The Park Our Town Built is now available on the NOOK

The Publisher of my last picture book,¬†Raven Tree Press, just announced that¬†a selection of their titles are now available on NOOK devices and apps via NOOK Kids‚ĄĘ.¬†My book “The Park¬†Our Town Built” is one of these and is available¬†for NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, and NOOK Kids‚ĄĘ for iPad.

Here is a link to the NOOK version of my book:


On the Short List for the 2012 Green Earth Book Award

GreenEarth Book Award Logo

2012 Green Earth Book Award SHORT LIST

I am so excited to announce that my picture book “The Park Our Town Built,” published by Raven Tree Press, is on the ‚Äúshort list‚ÄĚ for the 2012¬†Green Earth Book Award. Books are still under review, and winners will be announced in late January 2012.

The Green Earth Book Award was created to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment. This is an annual award for books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility that we have to protect it.

I will post more info about this as it becomes available.

Happy Drawing

The Park Our Town Built / El parque que nuestro pueblo construy√≥ Wins Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award!


Raven Tree Press (McHenry, IL) is proud to announce that the book The Park Our Town Built / El parque nuestro pueblo construy√≥ has won the prestigious Moonbeam Bronze Medal in the “Multicultural Picture Book” category.
Presented by the Jenkins Group and Independent Publisher Online, the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Each year’s entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages.¬† As our society has gotten more complex and growing up has become more complicated, children’s book authors and publishers have risen to the occasion, creating books that not only celebrate the joys of childhood, but also help kids and families deal with its challenges. The Moonbeam Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians, parents and children.

The Park Our Town Built, released May 2011, is available in an English-only edition and an embedded text bilingual English/Spanish edition in which the story is presented mostly in English with keywords in Spanish sprinkled within its context.

Written by Diane Gonzales Bertrand (San Antonio, TX)
Illustrated by Tanja Bauerle (Gilbert, AZ) 

Hardcover English only Edition $16.95 ISBN 9781936299140

Hardcover Bilingual Edition $16.95 ISBN 9781936299126

The mayor wants a community park and safe playground for the children. She enlists a group of kids to join her in asking one of the citizens to donate some of his land. When he agrees, he joins all the families and friends who set out to build swings, benches, gardens, and a fountain. There is excitement and a sense of purpose to build the park for all to enjoy. The whole town comes together to create a beautiful park and celebrate with a grand picnic and beautiful fireworks when the job is done. 

The narrative text builds line by line and page by page, using repetition and imagery to create a charming story for young readers. Vocabulary recognition and matching pictures to the text help readers gain confidence in both comprehension skills and predicting a sequence of events. 

Click here for free activity sheets, media kit and reviews.
Raven Tree Press is an independent children’s picture book publisher specializing in bilingual books in English and Spanish. The publishing house is a division of Delta Systems Co., Inc. of McHenry, IL.
Each 32-page picture book features family-oriented storylines and beautiful illustrations. The hardcover books ($16.95) and paperback books ($7.95) are available at independent and chain bookstores, online booksellers and at the Publisher’s website www.raventreepress.com.

“The Park Our Town Built” is featured in the CBC Fall 2011 Seasonal Showcase

Great News!¬†¬†The Park Our Town Built¬†will be a featured book¬†in the Fall 2011 Seasonal Showcase of the Children’s Book Council. The ‚ÄúStarting From Scratch‚ÄĚ booklist will be featured on the CBC website¬† starting September 29th, so our “Park” book will be rotated onto the site within a couple weeks from that date. Check out the CBC site at http://www.cbcbooks.org/¬†.

ForeWord Review – “The Park Our Town Built”

Here is a great review of “The Park Our Town Built” that ran in the August issues of ForeWord Review.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

The US Census Bureau reports there are 17.3 million Spanish‚Äďspeaking residents in the United

States today‚ÄĒthus expanding the market for bilingual illustrated children‚Äôs offerings to 4,900

books in print today. The Park Our Town Built/El Parque Que Nuestro Pueblo Construyó, by

Diane Gonzales Bertrand, enters the genre with a twist.


The author‚Äôs unique format is akin to age‚Äďold songs, many relating to holidays, which zigzag

across cultural and religious boundaries, each verse building on the one before. The Twelve

Days of Christmas and the Passover song, Dayenu, are well‚Äďknown examples from Judeo

Christian songbooks. In The Park Our Town Built, each page’s vocabulary builds on the

preceding page in sync with the story development, using Spanish for significant concept words.

Generally, bilingual books are set up with a clear separation between the languages, with one on

the left and the other on the right. A second style displays one language throughout a story to

the end, with a second language version available when the reader flips the book over. Gonzales Bertrand’s convention of accumulation enhances the readability factor in this title.


In addition to the language lesson, the sweet story line encourages cooperation as the public

and private citizens of the town unite to build a public park. The narrative conveys some

important points to young readers. The female Alcaldesa (the mayor) character, sends the

message that jobs are not gender‚Äďspecific; a woman in a wheelchair enjoying the celebration of

the park opening shows a handicapped person fully participating in the festivities; a well‚Äďoff

resident donating the land for the park; another contributing the tools and the children and adults

working in unison for a common goal.


Tanja Bauerle’s colorful, spirited illustrations convey a strong sense of community, showcasing

adults, children, and animals in various hairstyles, manner of dress, and ethnicities dancing and

playing together. A town where prejudice of all kinds is outmoded, the pueblo in this story is

inspirational. Both text and illustrations are joyful and energetic, entertaining for children and

hopeful to an adult reading aloud.


A Vocabulary Page at the end of the story gives readers a concise an accurate translation

between English and Spanish terminology. The location of this resource at the back of the book

adds to the fun as the reader learns to place the words in context, a vital critical thinking skill.


Julie Eakin, Book Review Editor

ForeWord Reviews

Support James Owen’s “Drawing Out The Dragons” Project

If you ever have listened to one of James Owen’s presentations, you will understand when I say, he is magical. He has a way of connecting with his audience and lifting your spirits that you leave feeling like you can accomplish anything.¬†When you listen to him describe what he has gone through and what he has a accomplished you begin to feel that anything is possible. The thing that I love most about listening to him is that he always takes the high road which is not always the easiest path. He is truly a “Good Guy.”
He is an inspiration and that is why I ask that you support his latest project. Visit the link above and¬†view to his video. He talks about the project, what it is and what he is trying to accomplish. In addition to being an inspiration, he is also the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Let’s all support him in bringing this project to life.
Happy Drawing,