#ASMSG #BookReview: Meet Children’s Author Kristy Jo Volchko: Read Across America 2016 Takes Flight!

Set your sights to the sky! The National Education Association is taking flight with Southwest Airlines for this year’s annual Read Across America reading program. Millions of students nationwide will pick up a book and set Seuss on the loose in honor of NEA’s 19th Read Across America Day reading celebration and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.

Once again co-sponsored by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Read Across America engages an estimated 45 million educators, parents, and students nationwide with school and community celebrations from coast to coast. These events are designed to pay homage to the beloved children’s book author and get young people excited about reading.

A six-city reading tour will kick-off Read Across America 2016.

“Every year on NEA’s Read Across America Day, the imaginations of children across the country are ignited when they open up a good book,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “While we take a fun and lighthearted approach to our Read Across America celebrations, we do so with a serious purpose in mind: to encourage a love of reading.”

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The Clubhouse Cabobble

The Clubhouse Cabobble, by Kristy Jo Volchko, is an excellent addition to the Cat In The Hat. One look at the attractive, attention-grabbing cover artwork (by Sean Winburn) is enough to know it is sure to be a favourite with children. What’s it all about?

“Summer has arrived at Cackleberry Creek, and your favorite wacky critters are tearing up the farm with another hilarious adventure! All Lulu and her gal pals want more than anything in the world is a clubhouse of their very own to decorate pink and to keep their arts and crafts dry from the rain. So when one doozy of a storm sweeps through Cackleberry, leaving behind a fallen mighty oak tree lying on its side, the gals can hardly believe their luck. The perfect clubhouse! But when they discover that the fellows have already decided it’s going be their new den, the battle for the clubhouse begins!

Neither side is about to give in, and the critters turn the farm upside down competing for their beloved prize. After a lot of silly shenanigans, a few sneaky tricks, and some rough waters, will they decide that their friendship is really the best prize of all?”

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Meet The Author: Kristy Jo Volchko

Kristy Jo Volchko

Children’s Author/ Writer /

Twitter: @KristyJoVolchko

Webpage: kristyjovolchko.com

Name Kristy Jo Volchko

Age 41

Where are you from?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.

I was born in Ohio and then lived with my grandmother on her small farm for a few years. Around the age of five I moved to Pittsburgh and have lived here ever since. I am married and have one son.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I am super excited about my newest release,  Operation Scrub-A-Dub-Skunk. It is the fourth installment of the Cackleberry Creek children’s series, and is available in both paperback & Kindle.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at a very early age. I wrote songs, jingles, rhymes, silly jokes, letters, anything. Around the age of eight I wrote a little story about becoming an accidental stowaway on a flying saucer to Mars. I remember that one specifically because I received a typewriter that year from ‘Santa’ and felt so inspired!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Always

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was in the sixth grade, and had just finished reading the last page of my favorite Judy Blume book, Blubber. I remember feeling a bit disappointed that such a cool story had come to an end, so I decided to sit down and type what may have happened afterward. I realized rather quickly that I was no Judy Blume! Haha. But that’s what inspired me.

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I always want for there to be a core message of kindness and compassion for oneself and for each other.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I would say all of it. For instance, in Frogs Can Fly, Lulu Frog needed to learn how to love herself for who she is. Many people struggle with self esteem.

Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk teaches about accepting each other’s differences and tolerance. We never want to be left out of things, or to discriminate because of race, gender, religion, a disability, or for any other difference we’re sure to have.

 

Fiona: What books have influenced your life most? A mentor?

Judy Blume books influenced me the most as a young girl…I read them over and over again. Stephen King and VC Andrews ruled my literary world throughout my teen years and into my twenties. As for my thirties…self help books reigned supreme!

My mentors ranged from caring grade school teachers, a guidance counselor, aunts, my dear friend Judith G. – and other authors that have written about their struggles or triumphs. Watching teaching documentaries or even shows like Oprah’s Life Class will sometimes put things into perspective, inspire and grow me some. Mentors are all around us, but I do believe books to be my biggest.

Read more of the interview with Fiona McVie here:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars

The Clubhouse Cabobble

 

Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker

Author of How To Coach A Debate Team

There are eight chapters:

Chapter 1: April Showers

Chapter 2: Club Tiger Lillies

Chapter 3: A Nitpicking Picnic

Chapter 4: Get The Taters Out Of Your Ear

Chapter 5: Berry Blasters, Mud Mashers

Chapter 6: Pond Pirates versus Rose Rebels

Chapter 7: And The Winner Is

Chapter 8: A Critter’s Castle

The alliterative titles, use of repetitive sounds, and colorful phrases will make this book remarkably easy to remember and talk about long after the reading is done. By the time the reading is done, the value of teamwork and friendship will have been learned through the eyes of characters such as Lulu, Brenda Bunny, Katy Kat and Sara Squirrel. And boys will enjoy such characters as Davy Frog, Bobby Bunny, Sammy Squirrel and Tommy Kat. This book would make an excellent choice for Reader’s Theater also, with its balanced character set and the eight chapters allowing for the whole class to get involved. In sum, this book would go well with any reading program, not only just for Read Across America Day. An enjoyable, engaging and memorable read for children. Highly recommended.

 

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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