It’s a Weekend for the DOGS…

…at the 25th Annual Dog Days celebration, benefitting the Nashville Humane Association!  It’s all happening THIS Saturday, September 20, 10am-4pm, at Centennial Park.  Otis will be right in the middle of the action in the Kid Zone (and there will be lots to do there… Otis will watch you bungee jump!).  He will be ready to receive all the petting you can share, and we’ll gather ’round for storytime in between all the exciting doggie events on the schedule.  We’ll have our books for sale, as well as special edition bookmarks (see below), and we’ll be proudly donating to the NHA.  Join us, in honor of your favorite canine companion!

And bring Fido!  You two can start the day off with some exercise as proud participants in the fabulous Mutt Strutt. And Fido is a sure candidate for the cutest dog contests, or perhaps the best trick contest, or maybe best pet costume is up your alley… and you definitely need to plan to have your puppy’s portrait made for a keepsake.  Join the Paws Parade at Noon, and have your fill of food truck delights while you enjoy live music and shop all the doggie-necessity vendors who will be there.  After you admire the amazing K-9 unit demonstrations, it may very well be time to head over to the adoption area and add the perfect family member to your arms.

If you love dogs, then Centennial Park is the place for you to be this Saturday.  Otis gives two ears up to the NHA!

 

 

OGTS DogDays 2014 bookmark

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Original OGTS bookmark with online tags

“I’m Going to Write My Own Story!”

Otis recently had the opportunity to visit with over 150 children over a two-day visit to Judson Baptist Weekday Ministries in Nashville, and he loved every ear-scratching he received.  These whippersnappers were ages 4 and 5, so we read from the younger line of Otis books: Hello World and the Spring volume of Ella and the Little Red Wagon.

Turns out, everybody there had a story to tell!  That’s the beauty of Otis and his books… he brings out the creativity in everyone.

At the end of the visit on the second day, a darling little girl with curly blond hair and flickers of starlight in her eyes whispered to me, “I’m going to write my own story when I get home!”

Ah how my heart smiled.  Yes you do, sweet child.  Write your story, and make it amazing.  Otis is cheering you on.

Judson

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THANK YOU FOR A GREAT COUPLE OF DAYS, Judson Baptist Weekday Ministries!  Otis felt right at home in the midst of your loving program, and we would love to return… perhaps in the “dog days” of summer.  Bless you all!

 

Stamp of Approval

For this author, the next best thing to sharing Otis with young readers, is a teacher’s stamp of approval.  The dual purpose intention of this book is to tell a great story, and, perhaps most importantly, to throw wide open the doors of thought in young children (see previous post, Synopsis: The Sixth Sense of Imagination).  Otis fosters critical thinking, builds impressive vocabulary and invites imaginations to soar with no limits.  When teachers get excited about this book, when they invite me into their schools for readings, when they send me personal notes or share Otis with their students and families, it makes the writer in me grin.  It makes the dreamer in me keep asking, “What if…?”

That is why I was so excited to receive this screen shot of a Facebook photograph, originally taken and uploaded by Mrs. Clohessy, a reading teacher, with thanks to one of her students, who had given her a signed copy of Otis Goes to School.

FBphoto from reading teacher.croppedCool.  Mrs. Clohessy says Otis is “cool!”  I call that a surefire stamp of approval, and I’m excited to meet this wonderful teacher in person, and share Otis Goes to School with her classes at Pearre Creek Elementary, later this spring.

Teachers, my hat is off to all of you.  Thank you for what you do.  You are amazing with your gifts of time and heart, and your ability to tailor your lessons to the vastly different ways that children learn.  You put up with parents from all walks of life, with expectations as varied as the 96 brilliant colors in Crayola’s “Big Box of Crayons.”  You are tireless in reaching every child, and your dedication does not go unnoticed.  I see it daily in the excitement that my own little ones can hardly hold back when they conquer a classroom challenge or discover the worth in their efforts that you inspired.  Your passion is delightful, and unstoppable, and carries forth in the ways you shape the horizons of our children’s ambition.  You.Are.Exceptional.

Mrs. Clohessy, thank you for your stamp of approval, and thank you for what you do.

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