Celebrate the Little Things in Life

If you have visited the Sylvan Dell calendar of special days online, you know when cephalopod awareness day is, or even squirrel appreciation day. Many days on this calendar celebrate the animals in our stories, but this week we are celebrating ways to help others in our community.

While on Monday we celebrated the national holiday of Veteran’s Day, today is a lesser known day to celebrate kindness. World Kindness Day is November 13th, although we should be kind to others every day. Today we can do something special for our friends, family or even strangers to teach children about kindness. Here are a few suggested activities to celebrate World Kindness Day!

–          Write a letter telling someone how special they are to you

–          Give a small gift to an unsuspecting friend

–          Help someone in need by carrying groceries, holding open the door or crossing the street

–          Volunteer for a community program

If you subscribe to Fun eReader or have Sylvan Dell books here are a few suggested titles to read for World Kindness Day:  Tudley Didn’t Know, How the Moon Regained Her Shape, or any of the Animal Helpers series.

Your Environment Needs Help!

 On November 15th we celebrate recycling with America Recycles Day! While many children know that it is good to recycle, or which bin to put the “special trash” into. They may not know exactly why recycling is important. Friday is a great day to show kids why the environment needs that trash to go in a different bin, and there are events across the country to celebrate this day. Check out the America Recycles event listings to find ways to celebrate near you http://americarecyclesday.org/join-an-event. For a different take on recycling read Nature Recycles: How About You? to find out how animals recycle in their habitat.


Celebrating kindness and care for the environment is a great introduction to the true reason we gather as a family later this month and give thanks.

Find more great holidays to celebrate on the calendar of special days http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/SpecialDays.htm.


You Like Us, You Really Like Us!

October has been full of awards for Sylvan Dell Publishing! Three of our spring 2013 titles and one from fall 2012 have been honored with different literary awards for being exemplary children’s books.

BalloonTrees_128Balloon Trees has won a 2013 gold President’s Book Award by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA)! This award is given to publishers for books that show “publishing excellence in creativity and design, content and production.” Publishers from all across the nation enter for the President’s Book Awards every year, and we are honored that Balloon Trees was chosen! Balloon Trees, by Danna Smith, is a rhyming story that shows the process of balloons and their journey from rubber trees all the way to factories. Readers can actually see this process through the illustrations by Laurie Allen Klein.


FerdinandFox_128Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer has won bronze 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award! These awards are given to chosen books nationwide by the Jenkins Group and Independent Publisher that “inspire children to read, learn, and dream.” The Moonbeam awards encourage the celebration of books that promote life-ling literacy for children in North America. This book tells the story of Ferdinand the fox and all of his exciting new experiences during his first few months of life. Readers can watch as Ferdinand grows from a young “kit” into an adult fox in this photographic journal by Mary Holland.

NatureRecycles_128Nature Recycles, How About You? was chosen as a 2013 Literary Classics Award winning book! Literary Classic Book Awards & Review seeks to recognize literature that “foster creative thinking” in readers, encourage better cognitive skills, and a “greater understanding of people and the world around us.” Books from all over the U.S. are judged by this review and Sylvan Dell is privileged to be honored with Nature Recycles, How About You? This book by Michelle Lord shows children how animals all over the world use recycled materials for their habitats. With illustrations by Cathy Morrison, readers can learn how to be less wasteful as well as the importance of recycling on our planet.

WarmWinter_128A Warm Winter Tale has been chosen as a recipient of the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award! This award is given to books that the Gelett Burgess Center feel are exceptionally creative, educational, and family-friendly. The Gelett Burgess Award is intended to promote the celebration of books that enhance children’s learning all over the United States. This book by Carrie A. Pearson shows readers how different animals from all over the world adapt to cold environments during the winter months. With illustrations by Christina Wald, readers are able to see how different animals handle cold weather, just like humans!

Sylvan Dell is proud to work with such amazing talent, congratulations to all of our winning authors and illustrators! To learn more about each of these award-winning books check out www.sylvandellpublishing.com

Cinco de Mayo!


photo by D. B. King

On May 5th, around the United States and Mexico, colorful decorations will hang, mariachi bands will play, and people will party in the street to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This holiday celebrates Mexican culture – the music, the traditions, the food, but why, exactly, are we celebrating on this day? Some people think that Cinco de Mayo marks the day when Mexico became independent from Spain, or when the Mexican Civil War ended. Nope! Actually, Cinco de Mayo celebrates a battle in a war that Mexico lost!  

Mexico had a tough start as a country, enduring war after war, first against America in 1846, then against themselves in the Mexican Civil War. When all this was over, the country had spent so much on war that there was very little money for regular people to spend in their lives; in other words, the economy was hurt. As countries sometimes do, Mexico borrowed money from other nations in order to help itself. And, as friends sometimes do when you borrow a toy or book from them, those countries got tired of waiting for Mexico to give their property back and came over to collect. No, their moms didn’t drive them over in the van or anything like that; fleets of warships representing England, Spain and France crossed the Atlantic Ocean, entered the Mexican coastline and demanded that Mexico pay them back.

Mexico didn’t have the money to pay them though! What’s a young country to do?! All they had were vouchers to give to the representatives from these countries, papers that double-super-promised to someday pay them back. This satisfied England and Spain and they went home, but to France, this meant war! Sacre bleu!

Under the command of Napoleon III, France invaded Mexico with the intention to totally control it. They marched from the coastline to Mexico City, and on the way passed the small Mexican state of Puebla. The Mexican soldiers at Puebla were vastly outnumbered, but in this fight on May 5, 1862, called La Batalla de Puebla, Mexico somehow overcame the odds and defeated the French forces! Now that’s reason to celebrate!

France eventually managed to occupy Mexico, but they were delayed a whole year by this surprising Mexican victory. The shocking, underdog victory at Puebla has come to symbolize the Mexican spirit of resilience and tenacity. Therefore, on its anniversary every year, Mexico and places with many people of Mexican descent play Cumbia music, wave the Mexican flag, eat tamales, hit pinatas, and generally celebrate all things Mexico!

Of course, at Sylvan Dell we celebrate Mexican people and culture every day! Each and every one of our dozens of titles are available in Spanish, such as Los árboles de globos and La naturaleza recicla—¿Lo haces tú? and El detective deductive!


Lucky Seven

They’re here! Seven new titles from Sylvan Dell have finally hit shelves around the country. Over the next few weeks on the blog each book will be featured in depth with activities, author interviews and even giveaways.

AH-Sanctuaries_128  BalloonTrees_128  DeductiveDetective_128  FerdinandFox_128  NatureRecycles_128  OnTheMove_128  SharkBaby_128

We want to hear from you! Send us questions about the spring 2013 titles pictured above and we will answer them on our blog.