parents reading to children
A smile is free. Most people love to smile. Even when you are having a difficult day or dealing with someone who is not as pleasant as they should be, sometimes a simple smile turns the situation around. The characters in my books, the Good Gus Series, smile frequently. I wanted children to see happy faces as much as possible. I hoped that as they read my books, that their faces would light up when they saw a happy face. I was doing my usual grocery shopping Saturday in a large discount store when a little boy walked up to me and smiled. At first I didn’t notice him as I was busy trying to find baking powder. Then I saw him and smiled back and said hello. His face was a ray of sunshine. Then his dad, who was about three feet away called him back to their trolley. The aisles are not extremely wide so at any moment the dad could easily grab him. I smiled at the dad who just nodded. It is very sad that there are so many pedophiles and generally bad people that a simple gesture of smiling and saying hello makes parents afraid. I understand as I have grown children and was always nervous around strangers. Nurse Joyce said I have an aura that children automatically know I am always happy to see them. When you have the opportunity to read one of my books, I hope that both you and your children will smile.
Cooking with children can be fun and somewhat messy. In the Good Gus series the twins, J.C. and Bronco help their Ma in the kitchen but don’t actually cook. They also pick vegetables from a garden they planted with their parents. They learn how to help their parents in their parents restaurant, Mary’s Cafe’. They were also taught how to set a table, clean up when people are finished eating, serve food, wash dishes and sweep the floor. When my children were young I loved cooking with them. At that time there were very few cookbooks for children. Many of the books were so simple that my children felt they were “babyish.” A term every parent is familiar with I am sure! A few of the cookbooks gave ideas of how to make foods that if you expanded the ingredients slightly, would be quite tasty. As a parent, you had to make it up as you went along. One of my favorite ways was to find recipes that were their favorite foods and then simply them so we could all cook together. Sometimes the food was fabulous and other times it was awful. Cooking with Kids, however, is far more rewarding than the actual cooking. Its all about the fun and family time together. If you don’t always have the free time to cook with your children, then take a few minutes and read one of my books to them or with them. You will surely enjoy it.
The first time I read “Pecos Meets Bad Bart” , introducing Sheriff Gus, was to a first grade class in Palm Springs, California. I was very excited but also very nervous. I hoped that the children would like the book and me. When I arrived at the school, I checked in with the office and then was brought to the bungalow in the rear of the school property. I wore my big white hat, cowgirl shirt, jeans and cowgirl boots. I wore a white hat and a blue shirt because that is what Sheriff Gus wears most of the time.As I walked along the pavement you could hear the click from the heels on my boots. Suddenly, children were peeking out widows and opening classroom doors to watch me and say hello. I knew almost immediately which classroom I was going to as the look-outs were waiting for me. I could hear them say, “She’s coming, she’s coming!” As soon as I arrived at the door, the teacher greeted me and two little girls started hugging me. Right then I knew this was going to be great. I stammered a few times while reading which is ridiculous as I wrote the book and had rehearsed before arriving at the school. The children loved the story and really made the entire experience absolutely wonderful. The children asked several questions about Sheriff Gus, the town of Pecos, if I had written any other books; was Bad Bart real, was Sheriff Gus real, was Pecos an actual town in Texas, did I live in Texas, did I always wear my cowgirl hat, and when could I return. Please check out “Pecos Meets Bad” and learn about the town and Sheriff Gus and the Good Gus Series.