Stanley book coverN Is for Now Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Stanley

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to receive a free signed copy of The Adventures of a Sparrow Named Stanley. If you don’t know what to comment, a suggestion is the title of your favorite book from childhood. The entry period extends from now through midnight (CDT) Saturday, April 23, 2016 and I will announce the winner on Sunday, April 24.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to launch a small publishing company named, in honor of my great aunt Hattie, Hidden Timber Books, and I was waiting for the right book to come along.

That book is this delightful children’s picture book written by Betty Sydow and illustrated by Carolou Lennon Nelsen. The paperback just became available on Amazon this week, and the hardcover will be listed early next month (ebooks to follow as well). Use the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon for a glimpse Stanley’s own Private Revolution and what he learns along the way.

I love everything about this book. The fable-like story of Stanley the sparrow begins when Stanley leaves his mother’s nest and is on his own in the world. He tries everything he can think of to be famous and get noticed, thinking this is how he can make friends. Finally, a wise gray owl gives him the advice he really needs. Stanley’s tale offers lessons in friendship, persistence, and being true to who we are. The read-aloud book will be enjoyed by ages 3-11 and the young at heart of all ages, and the independent reading level is grades 3-5. Easy-to-read typeset makes the book perfect for grandparents to read to grandchildren.

The first-time author and illustrator team are themselves inspiring. Betty stumbled upon a creative writing class after she retired from a 30-year nursing career, and she was hooked. The story of Stanley began as a fable and over a year’s time grew into a children’s book. She asked her artist friend Carolou if she would illustrate Stanley’s story. Carolou, who has a master’s degree in social work, was immediately drawn to the book’s message of the strength of individuality.

Stanley looking up


NThis post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. For more on my 2016 theme of Private Revolution, see A Is for Ambition. Click here to read all posts in the Private Revolution A to Z Challenge blog series.