The Press Room!

• LitFest Pasadena
• Danielle E. Miller Celebrates Her Blogiversary with Award-Winning Author Alva Sachs
• Author Turf - Interview with Award-Winning Author Alva Sachs
• Dear Master Dragon is Sure to Delight
• Meet Alva Sachs a Friday Night Books Interview
• Dear Master Dragon Review by Friday Night Books
• Dear Master Dragon Receives a 5 STAR Review from Readers' Favorite
• Dear Master Dragon Book Review & Giveaway
• Dear Master Dragon Wins 2013 Book of the Year by Creative Child Magazine!
• Alva Sachs-Award Winning Children's Author Presents Dear Master Dragon!
• Alva Sachs' Radio Interview with Neil Haley, Host of the Total Education Network
• KART Kids 2013 Award List for 2013 recognizes I'm 5 by Alva Sachs
• Alva contributes to John Kremer's 'Book Marketing Tip of the Week' Newsletter
• The Authors Show congratulates Alva for being selected as one of "The 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"
• Alva Sachs is a Finalist for The Authors Show's "50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading."
• "I'm 5 captures the imagination and minds of preschoolers,"
Rivka Kawano of Beautiful Books for Children
• Alva is a Proud Ambassador for Picture Book Month
• Readers Favorite Gives I'm 5 a 5 STAR Review
• RABAMD: Read a  Book, Make a Difference
• Expert Advice: Dog Days of Summer
• Beautiful Books for Children with Rivka Kawano
• Rivka Kawano Presents Beautiful Books for Children
• I'm 5 Review by Stacie Thesis
• On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Review by Stacie Thesis
• The Magic of Falling into a Book
• Stacie Theis from Beach Bound Books Interviews Alva
• Circus Fever Reviewed by Stacie Theis of Beach Bound Books
• Visiting Authors on the Streets of LA
• Lazy Readers' Book Club features I'm 5
• Apostrophe Books Newsletter Feb 7th, 2012
• Lowell Students Spend Evening Learning With Authors
• Conversations with Children's Book Author, Alva Sachs
• Alva Sachs - Children's Book Author - Visits Voorhis School
• I'm 5 is Awarded as a Finalist for the USA "Best Books 2011" Awards
• Sara Youngblood with Chicago Macaroni Kid Reviews I'm 5
• Creative Child Magazine Awards I'm 5 as a Preferred Choice Winner
• Literacy Night Brings Out Hundreds of Families
• Books & Cookies Event by Valeria Flores
• Barnes & Noble Fundraiser for Valley Women's Center
• Calabasas Patch Interviews Alva About I'm 5
• Alva Honored by NIEA Contest Recognizes Outstanding Independently Published Books
• Denise Bloomfield with Torrance Macaroni Kid Reviews Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
• Reading is FUNdamental of Southern California Welcomes Alva as Their Newest Board Member
• Never Too Late - Star Lee Magazine
• Reading is FUNdamental - Alva Sachs: Featured Author
• Children's Book Author Shares Stories in Skokie, Illinois
• The 2010 Seal of Excellence Award goes to ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!
• Congratulations to the 2010 National Indie Excellence Award Winners and Finalists!
• JPX Media Announces Winners and Finalists of the 2010 International Book Awards
• Circus Fever is 2010 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist
• Microphone & Headphones: On The Air with Alva Sachs
• Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California

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Press Room Pages:
LitFest Pasadena





Sharing literature with the Pasadena community for children
Great team of authors: Adam T. Newman, Dennis Yang, Carol Henault,, Executive Director of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California)

Danielle E. Miller Celebrates Her Blogiversary with Award-Winning Author Alva Sachs



Danielle E. Miller

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Today, I’m featuring a fellow Women’s National Book Association – Los Angeles Chapter member, Alva Sachs While I don’t read Children’s books at this time, I know that some of my followers do have children and might appreciate a little change of pace.  That’s why I decided to share Alva’s four children’s books during my Blogiversary Celebration.



Interview with Award-Winning Author Alva Sachs



About Brittney Breakey

I love reading children’s fiction, coffee dates with my husband, trips to the library, thrift store bargains, chips and salsa, music of all kinds, lazy summer days, competitive games of Pictionary, and celebrating a long day of writing with ice cream and peppermint tea. I’m a two-time graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and I’m currently working on a humorous mystery for middle graders. I launched Author Turf in January 2011, and it has been an absolute honor to work with so many inspiring authors, promote their work, and learn about their writing processes. I hope you enjoy each and every interview.

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Dear Master Dragon

Get to know Alva…

Alva Sachs is the founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. She is a former elementary school teacher with sixteen years of classroom experience and a Master’s Degree in Education. She writes stories to engage, excite, and empower young children at an early age for the shear joy of reading. She believes at the onset a child learns to read and then reads to learn.

She also serves as President on the Board of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California, to expand her efforts to support literacy by helping to build home libraries in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County areas for underserved children while fostering literacy through the efforts of Reading Is Fundamental. As Vice President of the Angels of the Alliance, in conjunction with, The Alliance for the Arts, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, she helps to raise funds for Title 1 schools to provide free live theatre experiences for children. For more info, visit her website.

Quirky Questions

What makes you want to throw up?
Prejudice and intolerance.

What makes you laugh until tears roll down your cheeks?
My daughter Julie and her funny outlook on life!

What compliment do you wish someone would give you?
You are doing just great!

What do you waste time doing?
Sorting through oodles of paper work.

Whose ideas totally conflict with yours?
People who have expectations and do not listen to others and put their own agendas first.

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of politicians?
People who are totally narcissist and don’t really care about the good of the people and put their own agenda in first place.

What do you do every day, without fail?
Feel blessed for my family and friends. Grateful for my life and opportunities ahead.

What is something you wish you did every day, without fail?
Exercise!!!

What’s the biggest inconvenience about where you live?
Cars, cars, and more cars….

If you were a professional wrestler, what would your name be?
Shorty.

If you could own a store, what sorts of things would you sell?
Books, books, and books!

What was your favorite meal when you were growing up?
Chicago is my home town of Vienna hot dogs, Lou Malnati’s pizza, Portillo’s Italian beefs, and White Castle hamburgers.

Who do you consider a literary genius?
So hard to answer this with the wonderful world of books out there and genius to one maybe not be genius to another. IF I had to say, it would be Mark Twain.

What obstacles have you had to deal with in your career?
Taking the fork in the road and going it alone trusting my instincts.

What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?
Facing the fact that unless you have connections or are a celebrity, you do not have much of a chance of being published with the main stream publishers no matter how good you are.

How did you pick your writing genre?
Children have always been the greatest part of my life as a classroom teacher and of mother of three. Seeing the world through their eyes puts a smile on my face. I guess that is what keeps the kid in me.

What life experiences have inspired your work?
Having a son, and two daughters and being a part of watching them play, create friendships, and learn to enjoy the simplest things, as well as seeing how they figure out life as they explore inspires me. Even to this day.

How do you know when a book is finished?
When I feel the smile across my face grow and my heart is full of pride that maybe I could touch the life of just one child.

What impact (good or bad) do you think the media has had on your work?
I think the media expects the story to tell everything and leave nothing to the imagination. Comments I have received from reviewers ask questions that should rely on the reader and the interpretation of each individuals experience with the story. Too many words can cloud the opportunity for conversation, socialization, and personal connections. Leaving space in a story can be the most important aspect.

Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?
I do not write stories for children that would offend anyone, but I do write where characters may have to learn to make choices that would be positive and in the end rewarding to them and the other characters in the story.

Do you do anything special to get your creative juices flowing?
I usually dream my stories for a long time and then I start to write. I begin to feel a part of the story.

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in the field of writing?
Be sure this is what you want, be real, do not think it will pay the bills, no you are NOT JK Rowling, and be sure your heart is full of enthusiasm for the genre you write, and you fulfill your commitment to what you are doing. Be willing to take the time.

How would you define creativity?
Free and easy like a mustang running wild in the fields.

Why were you drawn to a career in writing instead of to a job that might offer more stability and security?
My classroom full of children for 16 years surprised me each and every day. I never knew what would happen. I did a lot of writing and reading with my kids, plays, poetry, and plain old fun. They drew me to this career after I raised my own children. I just asked myself, “What do I want to do when I grow up?”

When did you know for certain that you wanted to pursue a career in writing? Have you ever questioned that decision?
I actually found my illustrator by accident as I sponsored her and another children’s author at an event and told her about my manuscript I had. She asked me to send it to her and Circus Fever was born! Never once questioned myself, or looked back.

What traits, if any, do you think that creative people have compared to people who are not creative? First of all, I feel that everyone is creative in some way. For me and my genre of picture books is seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Every time you look at something, it is for the very first time and the experience is fresh, exciting, and free.

Have you ever felt that your personal expectations have limited your creativity? If so, how have you dealt with this?
Having expectations only limits you, so I work hard at not going there.

Dear Master Dragon is Sure to Delight


Reading is Fundamental of Southern California

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Dear Master Dragon

Dear Master Dragon
By Alva Sachs / Illustrated by Patricia Krebs

Danny Dragon decides to write a letter to the Master Dragon for help. Why would Danny need help? Will The Master Dragon write him back, or will he have to solve his problems by himself?

Join Danny on his adventure as he discovers what it is like to be REAL dragon. Alva Sachs, award winning children’s author and RIFSoCal Board V.P., has produced another gem! Her newest children’s book, Dear Master Dragon, is sure to delight children of all ages. Fear of failure and humiliation from bullies has stifled poor Danny Dragon’s ability to learn to fly and breathe fire. Children will easily relate to his denial and excuses to avoid having others find out – until - Danny learns one of the most important lessons of childhood: be brave and keep working to overcome challenges. Patricia Kreb’s expressive illustrations charm us, this time with a twist. The interactive and creative book is printed in blackline as a coloring book, encouraging each child to colorize the pages, using the accompanying colored pencils, using their own imagination. The book’s final empty pages invite readers to continue the tale or make up another. Dear Master Dragon was recently awarded Book of the Year by Creative Child Magazine and earned a 5 star review from Reader’s Favorite.

Visit Alva’s website for downloadable activities to accompany Dear Master Dragon: http://www.alvasachs.com
Thank you, Alva, for again giving the world a great gift!

Meet Alva Sachs a Friday Night Books Interview

by Jeff Botch for Friday Night Books

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Alva Sachs was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is the founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. She graduated with her Masters degree in Education and has sixteen years of classroom teaching experience.

Alva writes stories to engage, excite and empower young children at an early age for the shear love of reading.

Currently, Alva lives in beautiful Calabasas, California with her husband Paul.

FNB: Do you remember the first children’s book you read that had a lasting impact on you?

ALVA: There were many children’s books I read growing up, but I do not think any had a lasting impact on me until I began teaching and really integrating stories with the children I taught. Thinking of Charlotte’s Web, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and of course, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were ones that really made me think about life and relationships and of course, anything by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Shel Silverstein!

FNB: How would you describe your writing style?

ALVA: My writing style appears to be in constant change. If that is possible….as depending on the flavor of the stories and the characters, I try to write with visualizations, relationships between characters, and integration of what is actually happening in the story between any dilemmas or challenges that the characters may face that ultimately build to a positive conclusion. I do try to write in a manner where imagination and creativity can take charge so the reader has control over how they perceive the story. It is fun to make it a “page turner,” so the audience is in anticipation into what is going to happen next.

FNB: Dear Master Dragon is a cute and fun book that can benefit children in overcoming everyday obstacles. How did you come up with the character, Danny Dragon?

ALVA: Actually, I do not know how I come up with any of my characters. My stories just happen, I dream most of them before even writing them down. If I were to really dig deep into my psyche I guess it would be from my children and all the children I taught over the years. Maybe a little of myself could be added to that recipe.

FNB: What are your thoughts on children developing themselves for the purpose of creating the life they desire?

ALVA: This is a really deep subject area, especially viewed as a parent, educator, and author. It is necessary for children to internally and externally have opportunities, experiences, and role models to help them create the life they deserve, or shall I say the life that allows them to like who they are, interact with others in a positive, caring, and respectful manner so they develop relationships with others to better themselves and those they share their life with. Allowing children to select from the palette of life, whether it be academics, the arts, or athletics help to round them in ways where they are prepared to become decision makers to make choices to enhance who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Hopefully, it is in a humanitarian way where learning is always an ongoing process as well as self evaluation.

FNB: What were some of the lessons you learned while growing up that helped you to become the successful children’s author that you are today?

ALVA: I truly appreciate your complement, thank you for that. However, success is a tough act to follow. My lessons in life growing up were not the most positive due to my childhood. But maybe unknowingly that helped me to have the sensitivity and understanding of people, their feelings, and what each of us go through in life as we journey through it not knowing what is around the corner. Growing up for me enabled me to be empathetic to others despite the fact my life was lacking in love and family, while my friends and school became my life supports.

FNB: At what point in your life did you know that you were meant to write books for kids?

ALVA: Being in the classroom opened a whole new world to me. Creating experiences for my students to express themselves whether it be in writing or the arts allowed me to do the same as the teacher. When they wrote, I wrote. I had the opportunity to learn how to incorporate writing into the classroom and in turn, mentored other teachers to do the same. I took a chance on writing myself, and shelved it after getting married and having my own children. One day, I met my illustrator by chance, I shared one of my manuscripts with her, and Circus Fever, my first book was born! After that, I guess you could say, I was hooked:)

FNB: What is your favorite thing about being a children’s author and having the opportunity to shape the minds of our youth?

ALVA: My favorite thing about being a children’s author is to see the smile on the faces of children when I have the opportunity to be with them to share my books whether it be at a school, library, book festival, or just sitting together. Listening to them and sharing the excitement they show is so cool. Having conversations with them, and they begin to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and off they go into their own worlds of creativity and imagination. This takes about a nano second for them!
FNB: Thank you Alva for the opportunity to learn more about you and I wish you continued success!

Dear Master Dragon Review by Friday Night Books

Reviewed by Jeff Botch for Friday Night Books

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Dear Master Dragon - Children’s Book Review

Dear Master Dragon by Alva Sachs is a creative and fun story that will help kids to overcome everyday obstacles that are associated with being a kid.

The story begins by Danny Dragon writing a letter to The Master Dragon to assist him with his problem of not being able to fly or breathe fire like the other dragons.

Danny’s inability to participate in the normal activities of his dragon friends causes him to alienate himself from them until he decides to change his attitude.

Sachs writes, “THE NEXT MORNING, DANNY THOUGHT, ‘TODAY will be different.’ HE QUICKLY ATE HIS BREAKFAST, GATHERED HIS SCHOOL STUFF, AND HUGGED HIS DAD AND MOM GOODBYE.”

My favorite part is when Danny uses the motivation from his new and positive attitude to practice in the areas that he needs improvement in.

The author writes, “AFTER SCHOOL, DANNY SPIED A HUGE ROCK. PERCHING HIMSELF ON THE ROCK, DANNY BENT HIS KNEES, TUCKED HIS WINGS TO HIS SIDES , CLOSED HIS EYES, AND PUSHED HIMSELF UP TOWARDS THE SKY.”

Danny Dragons decision to change his attitude ultimately gave him the power to start developing himself, take action and persist until he finally achieved his goal.

Kids will learn from Sachs’ book that anything is possible with a positive attitude and the proper work ethic. In addition, the book touches on the power of friendship and how it can benefit to allow others to help you with their knowledge and abilities.

One of the unique features of the book is that it’s written in comic book format and designed so that kids can color each page.

I feel that this book would be an asset to all children and it can be purchased directly through the authors website at www.alvasachs.com

Dear Master Dragon Receives a 5 STAR Review from Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

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Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite "Dear Master Dragon, I know you are very busy with lots of problems to solve for other dragons. But,could you PLEASE answer my letter?" Poor Danny Dragon, he has many problems and he just doesn’t know what to do. The only choice he knew was to write this letter to the Master Dragon to see if he could get some much needed help. But were Danny’s problems enough to get Master Dragon to contact this young dragon? Would Danny find out what it is like to be a real dragon? That’s why you need to read this book, because all of the answers are here in Dear Master Dragon by Alva Sachs.

Dear Master Dragon is a really cute little book for children about dragons. The book is formatted like a comic book, with lovely black and white drawings of Danny Dragon and his family that can be colored by the young reader. I love the adorable dragon figures throughout the book. The baby dragon pictures are so very sweet and cuddly, and the pictures of the dragon kids playing are charming. I’m really not a dragon fan, but I found myself falling in love with Danny and his dragon family. And a unique thing about this book is that the author added a few pages that are left blank so children can draw their own dragon pictures to color. I love this idea because it makes the book come alive and more personal to children. I highly recommend this precious book of dragons. And remember, you will find out if the Master Dragon contacts Danny when you read Dear Master Dragon.


Dear Master Dragon Book Review & Giveaway

Stacie Theis

Interviewer/Book Reviewer/Author

I'm a wife and mom to 4 remarkable kids, creator of beachboundbooks.com, a children's author/illustrator, volunteer art teacher...grateful for life.

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Book Synopsis

Danny Dragon decides to write a letter to The Master Dragon for help. Why would he need help? Will The Master Dragon write him back, or will he have to solve his problems by himself? Join Danny on his adventure as he discovers what it is like to be a REAL dragon!

Book Review

Dear Master Dragon is a comic coloring book story that entices children to use their imagination to create colorfully detailed images to accompany the story that unfolds on each page.

Danny Dragon needs help. He is unable to fly or make fire like all of the other dragons. He decides to write a letter to The Master Dragon for advice. Danny eagerly awaits The Master Dragon's reply, but in the meantime he does his best of avoid the other dragons and ends up missing out on a whole lot of fun. Can Danny overcome his challenges and learn to confide in others?

Dear Master Dragon is a charming tale that uses a innovative concept to involve readers in creating a story that is uniquely their own. The illustrations are outlined on each page, but are free from color, making it virtually a blank slate. While children are having fun designing their masterpieces they will also learn about Danny Dragon and the great things that can happen when we decide to face difficulties head on.

I highly recommend picking up Dear Master Dragon. Available at Amazon.com. Enter below for your chance to win an autographed copy.

You can find out more about Alva Sachs and her books by visiting alvasachs.com/books.html.


Dear Master Dragon Wins 2013 Book of the Year
by Creative Child Magazine!

Alva Sachs-award-winning children's author launches her fourth book with a unique comic book format along with a magnetic character, Danny Dragon. Alva writes stories that engage, excite, and encourage reading for children. This is a WINNER!

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Dear Master Dragon

Oct. 7, 2013 - CALABASAS, Calif. -- Creative Child Magazine's Awards Program is unique in that moms, music educators, and early education professionals review all products submitted. Any one person does not review products. Many people-the very people who purchase them, review them. "Working with Creative Child Magazine, is an intensive submission process," says Alva.

Each year, a two-day event is held in Henderson, Nevada where over a hundred guest reviewers are invited to attend their organized review event at their local convention center. Products are divided into categories and displayed at various review stations. Guest reviewers are asked to review each product at one station, then move to another station, and so on. This allows each product to be given multiple reviews.

Review forms are provided to aid them in evaluating each product. The review forms are to include written comments and a score value based on criteria that corresponds to the product's category.

Upon completion of the event, Creative Child Magazine staff assistants collect all review forms. All scores are tabulated and comments are reviewed.

Based on the scores and comments certain products are then determined to be a finalist for DVD, CD, Book, Game and Toy of the Year. Only one product per category can win a Toy of the Year award, as well as, CD, DVD, Book and Game of the Year. The remaining finalists receive a prestigious Preferred Choice award. The Seal of Excellence is another prestigious award that is given to those products that are not finalists but do exceed expectations based on the criteria for nurturing creativity and education in children.

All products submitted, including award winners, are officially announced on their website, http://www.creativechild.com. In addition, all products submitted are published in their big Holiday issue which is distributed in November.

"This has been an honor for myself as well as my illustrator, Patricia Krebs. Working together side by side for six years and we never tire at the excitement of creating something special each time we collaborate to inspire young readers," remarks Alva. "Many thanks to Creative Child Magazine and all of their judges who particpate to make this all possible. Onwards to the next manuscript and the dreams that dance inside my head for the next book!"

Read the full press release

Alva Sachs-Award Winning Children's Author

Presents Dear Master Dragon!

Following up from her past award-winning children's picture books, Alva and her illustrator Patricia Krebs, have created a rather unique book for children. Working together to inspire children to read and enhancing their experience is their goal.

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Dear Master Dragon

Sep. 25, 2013 - CALABASAS, Calif. -- Danny Dragon is a delightful and relatable character in Dear Master Dragon. We all have a "Danny" in us at one time or another. We all can "fly and breathe fire." It just may take a little more time-sometimes.

Danny Dragon decides to write a letter to The Master Dragon for help. Why would Danny need help? Will The Master Dragon write him back, or will he have to solve his problems by himself? Join Danny on his adventure as he discovers what it is like to be a REAL dragon!

Summing up the story is easy. It is HOW the story unfolds and the images of Danny that invite the reader in and connects you immediately to the story and its characters.

The concept of producing Dear Master Dragon is unique in that it is a paperback, full color front and back covers. It is a landscape 6" x 10" book that is printed in black and white! This allows the children to color their own story book, thus the concept of a comic coloring book story! At the back of the book, there are blank comic book templates for kids to create and draw their very own comic book story too!

"The production was exciting!"says Alva. As a classroom teacher, she was always including writing and drawing within her curriculum when ever the opportunity arose. "Providing children the chance to create and explore their own imaginations helps them to grow and engage in their reading and writing experiences."

Dear Master Dragon is a perfect size for little hands. It crosses over age levels from toddlers to elementary age students.

Unlock your imagination and open your heart to possibilities. Read together and be a Link to Literacy with Alva.

Alva Sachs' Radio Interview with Neil Haley, Host of the Total Education Network 

This is the only educational network that airs shows seven days a week. Their Total Education Network is heard in over 180 countries and has over 1 million listeners a week. It was a privilege to be interviewed by Neil and share my journey of writing with him and his listeners. Neil’s up beat approach to radio interviews, make it exciting and interactive. It was great fun! Check out his site and click on the link below to take a listen!
Listen to the Interview here.

KART Kids 2013 Award List for 2013 recognizes I'm 5 by Alva Sachs

KART (Kids Are Readers Too) Kids Book List Award
The Kids Are Readers Too (KART) Foundation is the private philanthropy division of PediNatural®. The KART Foundation believes that introducing many types of literacy at an early age will allow children to naturally master the developmental milestones that are essential to solid learning foundations. In addition to our own commitment of promoting and implementing children’s literacy programs and services, KART awards grant requests in various amounts to qualified organizations whose programs meet our guidelines and shared vision. The KART Foundation also distributes free new books to children through various outlets.

The KART Kids Book List is a free yearly competition assembled to introduce children’s books with
age appropriate content that we consider memorable and will enhance the gift of learning as a child grows. Titles for the list are picked by the a selection committee. The list is currently hosted by the KART Digital Broadcasting Network

http://www.kartfoundation.org/KART_Foundation/Welcome.html

Alva contributes to
John Kremer's 'Book Marketing Tip of the Week' Newsletter

John Kremer is an expert on book publishing and marketing. Besides being the owner of a publishing company (Open Horizons in Taos, New Mexico), he is the editor of the Book Marketing Tip of the Week newsletter and founder of the Institute on Book Publishing Innovations. His infographics are spot on for those in the industry. Visit his site! Infographic

The Authors Show congratulates Alva for being selected as one of "The 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"

Participants in this contest have written an essay based on a number of questions submitted to them, and fifty authors were selected from our pool of finalists through a public voting process.
The 50 authors with the most votes will be included in the 2012-2013 edition of "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading".
http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2012-VoteClose.html

Alva Sachs is a Finalist for The Authors Show's
"50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading."

Alva Sachs is among the finalists for recognition by The Authors Show's announcements of its 112 authors for their 2012-2013 edition of "50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading."

In this third year of the contest, 112 finalists were selected from the pool of guests who have been interviewed between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 on all our six shows under the umbrella of The Authors Show.
 
"It was a privilege to be interviewed by Don McCauley on The Author's Show," says Alva. "Little did I know it would lead to becoming a finalist for this honor.
 
Danielle Hampson, along with Don McCauley, has provided opportunities for authors of all genres to share their stories with people everywhere in a comfortable and supportive setting. Listeners get a real chance to feel as if they are sitting right next to the author sharing the experience of "getting to know you."
 
You can get more information at the following links: http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.html
http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2012-preVote.html

"I'm 5 captures the imagination and minds of preschoolers," Rivka Kawano of Beautiful Books for Children

Beatiful Books Screen capture
Beatiful booksBeautiful Books Books, books, books! There are so many to choose from. Children deserve only the best as they form their ideas about the world, beauty, and meaning. Here we attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that you and your toddler can have nothing but the best experience of story time together!
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This week my eldest son turned 5. Even one hour seems like a long time to him if he really wants something.
Alva Sachs' book "I'm 5" captures the anticipation of childhood perfectly - and provides parents with an opportunity to teach share with their children all about patience

Alva Sachs' book "I'm 5" captures the anticipation of childhood perfectly - and provides parents with an opportunity to teach share with their children all about patience

Im_5

There are so many things I love about all of Alva Sach's books: the beautiful illustrations, the high quality hard cover book, a story that children can really identify with and that also gives parents a chance to talk with their children and bond - and this one is no exception. Whether your child is looking forward to starting school like Julie or some other event, they will love this book too.

Book for Children Ages: 3 to 7 years old

Reading Tips:

  • Talk about how Julie might be feeling at different points of the book.
  • Relate the story to a time when your child might have been waiting for something for a long time.
Related Discussion Questions:
  • What did Julie learn about waiting for something? Do you think it was easy or hard?
  • Name some things that Julie did to help be patient while waiting for school to start. What things do you like to do when you are waiting?
  • Jenna found a way to help Julie wait. What kinds of things do you do to help other people in your family? Other than waiting, what things do your mom and dad or siblings need help with?
Activities for Kids:
  •  Make your own wall calendar for your child's wall. Using a piece of paper, draw out a grid with enough spaces for each day of the month. Together you can write in the name of the month, the days of the week, and the numbers of the days. This is a great skill building activity that helps with basic math, language, and communication skills. Then let your child decorate with whatever you have on hand (stickers, paper and glue, markers, etc.)
  • Think of as many outside games to play as you can. Which one do you like best?
  • Teach your child some good waiting games such as "I Spy," looking for all the letters of the alphabet, or finger plays and nursery rhymes. These are great to keep in mind to play with your child when you are waiting in line, at the doctor's office, etc.
Cultural Diversity: As usual, this children's book is full of diverse children and families playing and working together.

See guest blog post

Alva is a Proud Ambassador for Picture Book Month

List of Authors/Illustrators
http://picturebookmonth.com/

Readers Favorite Gives I'm 5 a 5 STAR Review

Reviewed by Karen P. for Readers Favorite
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"I'm 5" by Alva Sachs describes a little girl turning five. We are treated to a party with her friends and the excitement of the age milestone. But then, little Julie realizes that the act of turning five years old is not simultaneous with the first day of kindergarten. She must wait and she is very impatient to begin school. Every day, Julie arises only to be told it will not be the day she will go to school. And then, her older sister comes up with an idea which will help Julie in approaching the date that so excites her. Julie responds well to her sister's suggestion and, in the process, she is taught patience and planning. The illustrations in the book are delightful. The bright multicolor pictures are attention-getting and they enhance the readability for the child. The message about how age alone does not determine the right of passage in life's experiences is one which every child must learn. The author presents the dilemma to the child reader in an understandable and compassionate manner. Parents might do well to follow the suggestion of the older sister in the book as the project is a hands-on project that most pre-kindergarteners will love to take on. The process of maturation through the waiting process will be one which will delight parents of preschool children. Although the audience for the book is limited, the messages are will appeal to many preschool children who are impatient and unable to plan for special events in their lives.

RABAMD: Read a  Book, Make a Difference



RABMAD stands for Read a Book, Make a Difference.
RABMAD is the brainchild of author R.S. Guthrie. The concept is not new, however. Giving back. Returning success to the people.
Writers making a difference.
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Alva SachsAlva earned her Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois, and holds a Masters of Education degree from Northern Illinois University. Her previous teaching experience for more than sixteen years and a life-long passion for writing for kids is her motivation. Her days in the classroom were the real beginnings for becoming a children’s writer today.

Alva is the founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. As an award-winning children’s author, Alva continues to pursue her writing and passion for children and books. Alva’s stories engage, empower, and excite the young reader. Illustrations by Patricia Krebs, make the stories come to life! She believes everyone needs to be a “LINK TO LITERACY!”


Circus Fever

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!Jessica has a BIG imagination and an even BIGGER love for clowns! The circus is coming to her town, and she can’t wait to go. There are lots of surprises waiting for her and YOU! What happens to Jessica under the BIG TOP is an adventure she will never forget

Circus Fever, was a finalist for the 2009 Indie Excellence Award, the 2009 Best Books Award, received the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention, the 2009 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine, and the 2010 Eric Hoeffer Award for Excellence in small press publishing. As much as we all want to SLOW down and enjoy the time off school, and other scheduled activities, we do lose sight of some very important cognitive and developmental aspects of our children in this whirlwind society of today.


On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!Justin, Mario, and Marcus are best friends. Saturday is their favorite day! , But this Saturday is different. They are bored! Join this trio of friends and their surprise adventure they never expected to happen. It takes all three of them and their dads to make THIS Saturday the best ever!
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! has been recognized with the 2010 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine, selected finalist for the 2010 Indie Excellence Award, and the 2010 International Book Award.


I’m 5

Julie is turning “5” and celebrating with delicious cake, colorful balloons, best friends, and fun games. The party is over and Julie is ready for school, but schools is NOT ready for her! How could this happen? How can this be? Join Julie on her adventure as she waits for the BIG day to arrive. Hurry, you don’t want to miss the big yellow bus!

I’m 5, has received awards for recognition as the Indie Excellence Finalist Book Awards, Best Book Finalist Award-USA Book News, and Preferred Choice from Creative Child Magazine for 2011.


Alva’s Causes:

As a Board Member of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California, it has been a privilege for Alva to expand her efforts by helping to build home libraries in the greater Los Angeles area for underserved children while fostering literacy through the efforts of Reading Is Fundamental. Learn more about RIF at http://rifsocal.org

Reading her stories in person at schools, libraries, bookstores, a variety of venues, and public events has opened up a whole new “classroom” for Alva. Her dedication to the mission of sharing the fun for reading has brought her a wonderful gift in return: experiencing how the young audience and their families enjoy, participate, and become interested in the whole process of becoming life-long readers.


Author Links:
Web site: http://www.alvasachs.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alva.sachs
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alvasachs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlvaSachs
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alva+sachs
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/alva-sachs?keyword=alva+sachs&store=allproducts

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Expert Advice: Dog Days of Summer

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Beatiful booksBeautiful Books Books, books, books! There are so many to choose from. Children deserve only the best as they form their ideas about the world, beauty, and meaning. Here we attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that you and your toddler can have nothing but the best experience of story time together!
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This guest post is written by Alva Sachs. Not only is she an award-winning children's author, she is a former elementary school educator with sixteen years of classroom experience. Alva holds a MS Ed. and is a Board Member of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California.

Most people know that the " dog days of summer" seem to occur during the hottest days of the summer season. Webster defines " dog days" as...

1: the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
2: a period of stagnation or inactivity

But where does the term come from? Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer " dog days?"Alvas dogs
Long ago, when the night sky was not obscured by artificial lights and smog, people from around the world, drew images in the sky by " connecting the dots" of stars. The images drawn were in direct relationship upon the culture: The Chinese saw different images than the Native Americans, who saw different images than the Europeans. These star images are now called constellations. Constellations mapped out in the sky now came from our European ancestors.
In the summer, however, Sirius, the " dog star," rises and sets with the sun. In late July, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and our ancient ancestors believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before to 20 days after, " dog days" after the Dog Star.

Now that we have Webster's knowledge and astrological interpretation of the Dog Days of Summer, I will share my own interpretations: Schlepping, planning, eating, hopping in and out of the car, trying to beat the clock and get from one activity to the other on time with all of the kids. Then racing home for dinner, possibly seeing a movie together, bowling, or other fun family time to enjoy the summer time TOGETHER!  If we were lucky, a family vacation would slip in every now and then.

As much as we all want to SLOW down and enjoy the time off school, and other scheduled activities, we do lose sight of some very important cognitive and developmental aspects of our children in this whirlwind society of today.

As a classroom teacher, I so remember the month of " catch-up" time I had to do once school was in session again. All areas of learning were compromised by those Dog Days of Summer. Once the kids were recharged, we were ready to begin anew.

Summer fun often turns into summer loss educationally. Let's be proactive, keep summer fun going, AND keep summer loss at a minimum!

Reading throughout the summer can take on many forms. Be prepared to be inventive, creative, and have fun with it.

Cook Together: Read recipes on the box with your child, have them read to YOU and get out all the ingredients

Grocery List:  Have your child write your list as you take a peek through the refrigerator or pantry. This is good for listening, spelling, writing, and vocabulary

Sunday Morning Comics:  This can be great fun for the whole family. Reading the panels of the comics are short, simple, and fun.  Take turns picking out your favorite, appropriate comics and read aloud. Take turns being each of the characters in the comic. It is also fun to take the comic, cut it out, glue it on card stock, cut it into pieces, and numbers the back of them. Shuffle them and try to put them back in sequential order by reading the panels. Do this each week and in no time, you will have an activity box filled with smiles.

Vacation Time:  If you are planning a car trip together, have maps for everyone. Use a highlighter to mark off your roads, cities, places you are staying, landmarks, and of course, restaurants where you may want to stop to eat or take a bathroom break! If you were flying, it would be cool to have a map of the USA or country you are going to visiting and find the cities you will be flying over.

Journal:  I know this can be overused for " trendy" behavior but if done properly it can have wonderful benefits. It can be a combination of writing as well as drawing for the younger kids. Make your own journals ahead of time, there are many templates online or create one with your child. You could include:
Start out your journal:
Packing- What to Bring? Clothes, games, toys, books
Place, Date, Weather, What I Saw, Where We Ate and What I Ate, Clothes I wore for that day, souvenirs I bought.
Check out this site for samples for journals for kids at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/vacation_journals_for_kids.htm

See guest blog post

Beautiful Books for Children with Rivka Kawano

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Beatiful booksBeautiful Books Books, books, books! There are so many to choose from. Children deserve only the best as they form their ideas about the world, beauty, and meaning. Here we attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that you and your toddler can have nothing but the best experience of story time together!
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How many parents have heard the dreaded " I'm bored!" from their children at least once? It a world full of stuff, it can be easy to overlook what is right around us. Rather than scold or lecture, Justin's dad comes up with a plan that ends up making this day one of the best ever.

On_your_mark_get_set_go

There are so many things I love about " On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!" by Alva Sachs, that it is hard to know where to start. A book that shows kids and their dads together in a positive way is such a treat. A beautifully bound hardcover with stunning illustrations by Patricia Krebs, this book will last for a long time. Definitely one of those you get and keep around for the grandkids someday.

Values like responsibility, creativity, friendship, respect, and diversity are all woven skillfully throughout the story. Reading this book inspired me as a parent and the kids loved it too! This is one of their regulars they ask for now - and now that it can come down off the review shelf, I am sure we will read it even more.

Book for Children Ages: 4 years old and older

Family Reading Time: The themes of this book are great for older kids too. It makes a great story for older siblings to read to younger ones.

Reading Tips:

  • Practice critical thinking skills with your kids by trying to guess what Justin's dad is up to before you get to see the answer.
  • Try creating different voices for the different characters. It will make it more fun, and also help children begin to recognize the ebb and flow of the story.

Related Discussion Questions:

  • What are some of your favorite things to do on the weekend? With friends?
  • Justin and his friends had a lot of fun fixing up their skateboards, but what are some other good reasons to fix things rather than throw them away?
  • What can we learn about being a good friend from this story?
  • What are some of your favorite memories with your dad?

Activities for Kids:

  • Find something that is old or worn out around the house. What could you do to fix it up and make it useful again?
  • Go to the park and have races with friends, on a skateboard, bike, or just running. What kind of silly races can you think of (racing while you waddle like a duck, or racing while carrying a bucket of water for example).
  • Make sandwiches and let your kids do the work. While cutting with a sharp knife is not safe for kids, spreading on jam, peanut butter, hummus, or other spreads, or putting on pickle slices or raisins is safe and fun. It may be a little messy, but prepare ahead of time for the mess and know that your kids are learning critical practical living skills. Of course, just like in the book, everyone should help clean up afterwards too. See how creative you can get with your sandwiches. Try different inventive toppings, use cookie cutters to cut the bread into shapes, or draw smiley faces and pictures with the condiments. Lunch time can turn into a whole afternoon of fun and foodie crafting.
  • You can also find other activities such as a word search on the authors' website.

Cultural Diversity: One of the things I loved about this book was the diversity. Marcus, Mario, and Justin are all different ethnic background, heights, and weights, and they are all best friends too. A wonderful example of a multicultural book that encourages inclusion and friendship.

Rivka Kawano Presents Beautiful Books for Children

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Beatiful booksBeautiful Books Books, books, books! There are so many to choose from. Children deserve only the best as they form their ideas about the world, beauty, and meaning. Here we attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that you and your toddler can have nothing but the best experience of story time together!
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Inviting children to read along with you is a very special time. There are lots of ways that you can help your child enjoy this time with you.

Create Space for Reading
  • Have age appropriate books in a special basket or bin and look through them together. Let your child pick one out and them remove the rest from sight. You do not need many books to choose from to avoid overwhelming your child.
  • Providing a comfortable, cozy area, where distractions are minimal sets the stage for this time. Once it is established the expectations to read and be together begins to grow.
  • For the very young child it is okay if they just want to turn the pages, hold the book, and move on. If you are able to create a conversation on their level, use your voice as a tool to spark the dialogue. Ask very simple questions, point to things, colors, or objects.
  • Select interactive books with features such as windows that open, fabrics, and even specialized books for bath time in the very beginning.
Make Reading Fun
  • Be sure to preview books before you read it to your child. Be prepared with your own questions you may ask while reading. This helps you to become comfortable ahead of time. You may think why do I have to do this with a simple children's book? It is always a good idea for you to be prepared even as your child gets older to guide them in the reading process.
  • Make reading fun by starting at an early age. Sitting in your lap, lying on the floor, or cuddling on the couch can create that place of connection. Sometimes, only a few minutes can create a moment to build upon.
  • Get in touch with the rhythm of your voice. Use your voice for expression, rhythm, and movement. Words have motion. Once reading becomes a regular time in your schedule, children will begin to relate to the musicality of words.
  • Find books with large print and illustrations that are colorful and not too crowded on a page. Look for illustrations that can develop conversation and stimulate imagination.
  • Poetry, books with rhythm, and rhyme can be great fun. Let loose, clap hands, bounce, and be playful!
  • Leave the book out. Talk about the book later, maybe even days later to develop recall, communication, and building on the reading experience.

    beautiful books, blog post.
    See guest blog post

I'm 5 Review


Stacie Theis has a love for authors and books for children.
I am so proud to have connected with her.
Be sure to check out her site of Beach Bound Books and also our wonderful interview we did together.
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/index.html
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/alva-sachs.html
I'm 5 by Alva Sachs is an adorable story about a sweet little girl named Julie who's turning 5.

Julie can hardly wait for her 5th birthday. Then she will be old enough to go to school. Julie doesn't understand that it's summer vacation and she will have to wait a whole month before kindergarten begins. Each day she wakes and gets ready for school only to hear, " not today." Finally, Julie's sister gives her a calendar and shows her how to mark off the days. Now, Julie understands and can enjoy the rest of her summer. But, will she be ready when the big day arrives?

I'm 5 is charmingly illustrated by Patricia Krebs, who is a very skilled artist. Each of her images are a delight.

I'm 5 is a perfect story for children getting ready to start kindergarten, but can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

I recommended picking up a copy of I'm 5 by Alva Sachs.

Available at www.amazon.com.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! - Review


Stacie Theis has a love for authors and books for children.
I am so proud to have connected with her.
Be sure to check out her site of Beach Bound Books and also our wonderful interview we did together.
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/index.html
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/alva-sachs.html
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! by Alva Sachs is a delightfully entertaining story about three friends spending their favorite day of the week together, Saturday!

Justin, Mario, and Marcus are best friends and enjoy hanging out. Justin's dad suggests they head outdoors and ride their skateboards. All three boys shake their heads and declare their skateboards unfit to ride. Justin's dad has a plan which requires help from the other boys' dads and a lot of creativity. This just might be the best weekend ever.

Patricia Krebs' stunning illustrations enhance the story and show what a gifted illustrator she is.

On Your Mark, Get Set Go! teaches children about friendship, teamwork and just having fun. It's a book children will treasure.

Available at www.amazon.com.

The Magic of Falling into a Book

World Bookfest Author Alva Sachs, of Calabasas, reads one of her books to a room of captivated youngsters at the Camarillo Library at the 2nd Annual Children's World BookFest. The event is meant to promote literacy and encourage families to "read early, aloud, and often."

Photo by IRIS SMOOT
The Camarillo Acorn Newspaper

Stacie Theis from Beach Bound Books Interviews Alva


Stacie Theis has a love for authors and books for children.
I am so proud to have connected with her.
Be sure to check out her site of Beach Bound Books and also our wonderful interview we did together.
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/index.html
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/alva-sachs.html

Meet Alva Sachs, Author of Circus Fever, I'm 5 and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

What inspired you to become a children's author?
My inspiration to become a children's author came from all my years of teaching elementary school. I taught 4 & 5th grade for 13 years, and then was a substitute teacher for K-5 grades for 3 years. I also hold a Master's in Education. My students and I would write everyday when they came in the classroom. I was lucky to be part of an amazing writing project for my school district that has teachers become mentors for other teachers to help to infuse writing into the classroom and cross over curriculum in a interdisciplinary format. Writing is everywhere and in every subject matter. Writing all those years helped me to see and feel my passion I guess that was always there, but I did not know it.

How did you come up with the idea for you book, Circus Fever?
Circus Fever grew out of the writing project that I was a part of when I was teaching. Even though we were the teachers, we became the students. All of us had to write something that was worth publishing to achieve a level integrity, quality, and content. Circus Fever popped into my head and once I began writing, it took a life of its own. Once I " got into it," I wanted it to be fun, imaginative, and colorful with words and a character that was special and relatable.

How many books have you written?
My three titles are Circus Fever, I'm 5, and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! They are all award-winning picture books.

Do you have a favorite topic to write about?
There is really not a favorite topic that I have. I feel that reading and writing for young ages should be filled with imagination, creativity, excitement, adventure, wonder, and surprise. Topics for my stories lend themselves to situations, play, or experiences that children have growing up. Being able to relate to a topic is important to the reader. Creating stories for children that empower, engage, and excite them leads them to learn to love reading at and early age and for no reason-just for fun!

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a child I did not really have a favorite book. I do not know why. I guess once I began teaching I connected so much with stories for children as an adult. Some of my favorites are A Wrinkle in Time, Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ramona the Pest, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Fairy Tales, Greek Mythology, Shel Silverstein...hmmm I think I am on overload right now! A sure sign I miss my teaching days. What do you hope children will learn from your books? Well, actually the learning curve at the age I write for is not only on the child's side but on the adult or older reader's side as well. Reading to a child or reading along with them, I am hopeful that my stories help to develop communication, socialization, interaction, the art of questioning: What do you see? What's going to happen? Why? How did you know that? Why did it happen? Is that what you thought would happen? Visually looking and seeing the details provided by my incredibly talented illustrator, Patricia Krebs, makes the words come alive through her pictures and sparks the conversation that develops as one reads the story.

Are you working on any other books?
I am working on two other books. I have two completed manuscripts now. My next one has no people in it, so that has been fun and exciting. It is a children's book, and a totally different format from what I have done with the past three books. I am quite excited about it and hopefully going into production soon.The other manuscript is a fun Hanukkah story for children. Then there is the one that is still in my head that I dream about at night, but I have not started writing it yet! That is the problem, all these ideas keep interrupting my sleep! You can find out more about Alva Sachs and her books by visiting www.alvasachs.com

Circus Fever Reviewed by Stacie Theis of Beach Bound Books


Stacie Theis has a love for authors and books for children.
I am so proud to have connected with her.
Be sure to check out her site of Beach Bound Books and also our wonderful interview we did together.
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/index.html
http://www.beachboundbooks.com/alva-sachs.html

Circus Fever Review

Circus Fever by Alva Sachs is a lighthearted story about a little girl named Jessica, who loves the clowns at the circus. When Jessica finds out the circus is coming to town her heart leaps with excitement. She can barely contain herself as she explains to her mom that she has been " dreaming about this for a whole year" and she simply must go to the circus without her parents this year, after all she is nine! Jessica is too anxious to eat and hurries to her room to daydream about the circus and being a part of the magic.

Jessica is a very spirited nine-year-old and young readers won't be able to help, but get caught up in her excitement.

Patricia Krebs does an amazing job on the illustrations which add to this festive story.

Circus Fever was the recipient of the 2009 Creative Toy Awards and was a Best Books Award Finalist and Indie Excellence Finalist. Available at

www.amazon.com.

Visiting Authors on the Streets of LA

Lazy Readers' Book Club features I'm 5

Lazy Readers



Dr. Danny BrasselAn educator, speaker and author, Dr. Danny Brassell has devoted his life to improving the literacy aptitudes and attitudes of thousands. As teachers, parents or whatever state we find ourselves in, we often cannot find time to read for fun, and I think it is important that our children see us reading for pleasure. Therefore, each month I provide book recommendations that are quick and easy to read for personal pleasure. I try not to include any books over 250 pages, and I always include books written for a variety of ages (don't be shy about reading kids' books, though; they are my favorites because they generally have shorter chapters, bigger print and colorful pictures). Alva is delighted to receive an endorsement from Danny for latest release.
http://www.lazyreaders.com/

I’m 5 by Alva Sachs

Danny Says: Little ones who are eagerly anticipating
their first day of school will especially
enjoy this charming book – with terrific
illustrations by Patricia Krebs

Apostrophe Books Newsletter Feb 7th, 2012


Apostrophe Books


Hello Everyone!


In January, we had a number of super-fun events with the parents, students, and teachers of Lowell Elementary! We are honored and excited to work with such an enthusiastic group of book lovers!

January 20th, we helped host the annual Authors and Illustrators event at Lowell, where students had a chance to meet some of their favorite writers and illustrators, to ask questions and learn about the craft of making books. And the next day, the 21st, all of the authors and illustrators braved nasty weather to autograph their books and to meet fans of all ages at our store.

We have a wide selection of signed copies available for purchase in the store, all 10% off. Even if you missed this very special event, you can still get an autographed copy of books by Lisa Yee, Bonnie Bright, Matt Beeuwsaert, Alva Sachs, Julie Jaskol, Brian Lewis, and Robin Preiss Glasser!

On January 24th, 25th, and 26th, we participated in Merchant Mentor Days. Fourth graders from Lowell Elementary worked in our store, assisting customers and helping us with inventory and other chores around the shop. Our helpers were so enthusiastic and so sharp that we can't wait until they are old enough to come work in our store full time!
Happy Reading!

Valerie, Lisa, Kelsey, Michelle, Sara, and Patti
Apostrophe Books

Authors and Illustrators Visit Apostrophe: A big, big, big THANK YOU to our participating authors and illustrators! The cold, windy weather forced the event inside our small store, and everyone responded to the cramped, chilly. conditions with humor and grace!

Matt and Alva
Matt and Alva
Apostrophe Books
4712 East 2nd Street
Long Beach, California 90803
Contact us: 562.438.7950 or apostrophebooks@verizon.net
WWW.APOSTROPHEBOOKS.NET




Lowell Students Spend Evening Learning With Authors

By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer
Gazettes.com - Gazette Newspapers Long Beach California

Grunion Gazette

Writing takes imagination and creativity, and the children at Lowell Elementary School will be working on honing these talents Friday at the sixth annual Authors and Illustrators Night hosted at the school.
The evening, sponsored by the Lowell Elementary Parent Teacher Association, brings established children's authors to the school to provide the students with workshops and the opportunity to meet the writers of their favorite books.

" I think with all of the budget cuts, parents are looking for more creative ways to enrich their child's education - and this event does that," said co-chair Elizabeth Borsting. " We really have a great group of authors and illustrators this year."

These authors and illustrators include the likes of Robin Preiss Glasser, who is the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, Lisa Yee, who has penned three American Girl books and Alva Sachs, who has published three children's books, alongside her illustrator Patricia Krebs.

Sachs, who spent 16 years as an educator, said she is looking forward to her visit at Lowell, and hopes to promote interest in reading and writing at an early age.

" I try to encourage them to realize that with writing, anything can become a story or a poem," Sachs said. " We will work together, collaborate, and share ideas and thoughts. I try to work with literacy as much as I can."

After eating dinner, hosted by SuperMex, the children will be divided into six age groups, and then taught different techniques and activities with an author and illustrator at the workshops.

One of Sachs' books, " I'm 5," tells the story of Julie, who celebrated her birthday with a big party, but when she is ready to start kindergarten, she discovers that school is not ready for her.

" I'll be talking about learning how to wait for things, because Julie has to wait for school to start and she has this really fun birthday," Sachs added. " I would love to create a template for a workbook, and they do their writing and plan their perfect birthday party. They can create a guest list of who they want to invite, the best presents and what games they would play - things to make it special."

The free event is open to Lowell students who have already preregistered, and will be hosted from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Students and parents will be able to purchase the author's books at the event through Apostrophe Books, or visit the bookstore between noon and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday for author signings.

" I thought it would be nice to support a local business," Borsting said. " We can only accommodate 300 students and parents at the event itself, so half of school won't be able to attend, but they have an opportunity to meet the authors on Saturday as the general public."

Apostrophe Books is located at 4712 Second St. For more information, visit www.apostrophebooks.net.

Conversations with Children's Book Author, Alva Sachs

Story from www.slimybookworm.com

In Picture books for kids and the people who write them, I shared my experience at the orange county children's book festival and promised that I would be highlighting the notables. Alva Sachs happens to be one of those notables. She is a retired school teacher with decades of experience interacting with both young children and books for young children.

She was very warm in person and extremely generous with her knowledge of the children literature and the publishing industry. I was so delighted when she agreed to be interviewed.

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote every day with my students when I taught school. I guess once my own children got older I began thinking of all the fun I had in the classroom and began writing again.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

It can take as long as two years to write a book until you are really happy with the whole story.

3. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

My ideas for my books come from my experience with children and I try to write about fun, imaginative, and creative experiences.

4. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

My first book was written in 2008, I was 57 years old! How about that!!!

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy going to live theatre, music, dancing, reading, movies, and most of all spending time with my husband, and my three children.

6. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written three picture books, Circus Fever, I'm 5 and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! I love all three of them and could not pick because that is like asking which one of your children do you love best? My illustrator, Patricia Krebs, has worked magic with my words with her illustrations. That is why I love all of the books we have done together.

7. What is your perspective on the present and the future of publishing industry from the view of a published author?

As a published author, I am quite aware of the changes in the publishing industry and knew this would only be a matter of time given the world of technology. I feel we need to use the book world technology safely and intelligently, BUT I also feel holding a book in your hands with a child to read can not be replaced by any gadget.

8. What advice do you have for aspiring children's book authors?


My advice for aspiring authors is to follow your passion, persevere, and find a way to get your stories out there. There is a multitude of opportunities. Be clear of your mission and learn as much as you can as you follow your journey.

Alva, it was a pleasure meeting you. Thanks for insight and candid opinion.

Children's Book Author Visits Voorhis School

Aspiring student writers at Voorhis School enjoyed a visit from children's book author, Alva Sachs who shared the steps of how a book develops from a creative idea into its final published copy.

Sachs, the author of On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!, Circus Fever and I'm 5, read her stories to the primary students and led a writing session with the fourth and fifth graders. She explained about story boards, fun titles, colorful and interesting writing and the importance of writing a story with a hook to peak the readers' interest.

"Writing is a great way to express your creative ideas," said Sachs. "It is also fun and I encourage you all to challenge yourselves and continue writing." The fourth and fifth graders broke into groups and were busy creating the beginning of a story based on a title Sachs gave to each group. The students did a great job coming up with interesting and fun introductions to their stories.

"Our title is My Dog My Best Friend," said Andrew Alcantar, fourth grader. "We are writing our story about Spike the skating dog who does 360's on a skateboard." "I am good at drawing so I'll be the illustrator," said Leo Fajardo. "Jairo and Angel are good thinkers so they can think of ideas for our story and we will all work together to come up with the first paragraph," he added.

Sachs was impressed with the creative writing talents of the groups who shared their introductory paragraphs.

The author's visit was made possible by Voorhis' partnership with the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program, which provides free books to students each year.

Published on the Mountain View School District website.

I'm 5 is a Finalist for the USA "Best Books 2011" Awards

For Immediate Release
November 2011
Contact: JPX Media Group
Los Angeles, CA 90069
USA BOOK NEWS ANNOUNCES WINNERS AND FINALISTS OF
THE USA "BEST BOOKS 2011" AWARDS
Mainstream & Independent Titles Score Top Honors in the 8th Annual USA "Best Books" Awards. Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press, Random House, Penguin, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons and hundreds of Independent Houses contribute to this year's Outstanding Competition!

LOS ANGELES - USABookNews.com, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of THE USA "BEST BOOKS 2011" AWARDS on November 1, 2011. Over 500 winners and finalists were announced in over 140 categories covering print, e-books, and audio books. Awards were presented for titles published in 2010 and 2011.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of USA Book News, said this year's contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries, which were then narrowed down to over 500 winners and finalists. Sachs and Krebs have both been recognized as award-winning authors for each of their children's picture books, which include Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! The combination of writing and illustrations create imaginative, creative, and inspiring stories for children. "Being recognized by USA Book News as independent publisher and author is a highlight in my career," says Alva.

Keen says of the awards, now in their ninth year, "The 2011 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of the USA 'Best Books' Awards, this year's winners, and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the upcoming holiday retail season."

Winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press, Random House, Penguin, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons and hundreds of independent houses contributed to this year's outstanding competition. Keen adds, "Our success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise."

USABookNews.com is an online publication providing coverage for books from mainstream and independent publishers to the world online community. JPX Media Group, in Los Angeles, California, is the parent company of USABookNews.com.

A complete list of the winners and finalists of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards are available online at www.USABookNews.com.

Sara Youngblood with Chicago Macaroni Kid Reviews I'm 5

I'm 5
Macaroni Kid Chicago
Published on September 15, 2011

I LOVE to read and I love watching my son fall in love with books. He started preschool this week and I'm really enjoying watching him fall in love with school too. So I'm 5 by Alva Sachs was very timely for us.

An Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist, I'm 5 follows Julie who is very excited to start kindergarten. One problem--it's still summer! Julie had always heard that once she turned 5 she could go to school, so as soon as her birthday is over she grabs her backpack! But with one month of summer left, how can an impatient little girl make it?

This is a very sweet book with adorable illustrations by Patricia Krebs. I really liked that the book showed a child excited for school. It helped us build the excitement for preschool at our house! The impatience of a child as time slowly crawls by was well expressed and Julie's enthusiasm once the big day finally arrived was great!

Do you have a little one in your house who is ready for school even if school isn't quite ready for them? Or do you need help getting your kiddo excited about school? This book can help and the author, Alva Sachs, has kindly offered a book to one of my awesome Macaroni readers!

Creative Child Magazine Awards I'm 5 as a
Preferred Choice Winner!

Creative Child Magazine
Magazine
Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award
I'm 5 is recognized by Creative Child Magazine as PREFERRED CHOICE winner!

Creative Child Magazine has awarded I'm 5 as its 2011 Preferred Choice in the children's book category.

Author, Alva Sachs, and illustrator, Patricia Krebs, are delighted to have been recognized by Creative Child Magazine. Preferred Choice is a prestigious award that is given to those products that exceed expectations based on the criteria for nurturing creativity and education in children.

Creative Child Magazine is a bi-monthly publication that provides parents with the latest information on how to nurture their child's creativity and raise well-balanced children.

The Creative Child Magazine's Awards Program is unique in that a panel of over 100 moms, educators and other professionals choose the award winners. These moms, educators, and early education professionals review all submitted products, the very people who purchase these products.

I'm 5 is the third award-winning children's picture book by Sachs and Krebs. This follows their previous books, Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

"Writing picture books for children that fosters imagination, communication and socialization helps to create a recipe for the love of reading," says Alva, a former elementary school educator and owner of her small press publishing company, Three Wishes Publishing Company.

Creative Child Magazine officially announces all products submitted, including award winners on www.creativechild.com. All products submitted, are published in Creative Child Magazine's Big Holiday issue, distributed in early November.

For more information on Creative Child's, award program visit www.creativechild.com.

You can learn more about Alva Sachs by visiting www.alvasachs.com and Patricia Krebs at www.patriciakrebs.com.ar

Literacy Night Brings Out Hundreds of Families

Alva Sachs at Literacy Night, Zanesville Ohio
California author Alva Sachs reads her book "Circus Fever" to children Tuesday night at Philo High School.
Written by Holly Richards, Staff Writer at the Zanesville Times Recorder
PHILO -- Hundreds of families want their children to experience the power and the pleasure of reading.

Almost 800 people from 350 families with children in the Franklin Local School District were drawn to a big top for an evening of entertainment and education. The district conducted its first districtwide family literacy night Tuesday at Philo High School.

"Before this there were separate events in each building," said Linda Friel, district literacy specialist. "We've been doing that for years, but we wanted to do something new to bring everyone together."

"We wanted to bring the families of students together to promote a love of reading, especially within the family," said Mary Brown, fellow literacy specialist. "Our goal is to get books in the hands of children and let them know they can read for pleasure and for information."

Each year, the district hosts literacy efforts through Title I federal funding, monies set aside for parent involvement, and teacher donations of items and time.

Parents who attend upcoming parent-teacher conferences will be asked how the event affected their families as a way to follow-up with the literacy efforts.

Past events have included various fun-filled themes to get children more involved in the process. This year's circus theme featured a variety of activities that not only addressed reading, but all subjects including math, science, social studies, technology, physical education and the arts.

The main event was a visit from California author Alva Sachs, who was on hand to read and sign copies of her book "Circus Fever."

"I can't put into words what it's like to see so many people coming together for the community and children," she said.

"This is an experience I've never had," Sachs said.

"I taught for 16 years, and everything I've done since then has come full circle," she said. "I started writing four years ago and have published three award-winning books. It's a joy to write, but I never expected it to happen, it just did. I think it's important to remember the child in you and never let that go; life can be so much more rewarding."

Based on the district's 2010-11 Report Card from the Ohio Department of Education, achievement is about par with state averages, but the district is undeterred in its effort to improve scores and provide the best education for its students.

Brown said the district eagerly included Sachs in the event to leave a lasting impression on children.

"We want to show that readers are leaders and successful people," she said. "Her book shows the power of imagination and creativity."

Creativity was in the air as participants and attendants dressed up and got into the spirit of the event. While the school was full of students, many more participated as volunteers.

"My daughter, Kelsey, has been to every one of these," Pam Winters said. "She's in eighth grade and is volunteering now. She reads a lot. This is something that helps kids with reading and gets them involved in school, and I hope they keep doing this."

Books & Cookies Event Review
By Valeria Flores

Alva Sachs, local children's author of
Circus Fever, On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!, and her latest release, I'm 5,
(All three of those books hare received honors and awards for children's picture books) with Chudney Ross, owner of
Books & Cookies children's bookstore
As a future children's book author and illustrator, meeting someone that has gone through this process and completed it successfully 3 times is going to be a great experience. It's hard to stay driven sometimes when you have a blank canvas and a pencil in your hand but can't seem to start that first line. Seeing completed projects and all the events that she has participated in, and the millions of smiles that she has brought to families... especially children... is a great motivator. It also reminds me that every great story starts with ONE WORD and every great drawing starts with one line... and I can't be nervous or afraid to place those lines. All art-work is a work in progress and the first line won't determine my success.

SO... I hereby decree that the first lines placed on these pages are unimportant... unloading the pressure that is stacked on top of my drawing pencils and markers!

Event's like tomorrow's Local Story-Time take place the last Friday of every month. This gives the local authors a chance to connect with their readers and it give our kids the opportunity to meet those special people that write the books that they read everyday.

Barnes & Noble Fundraiser for Valley Women's Center

Children's authors Seth Fowler, left, and Alva Sachs with their books and store manager Erick Lina.
Children's authors Seth Fowler, left,
and Alva Sachs with their books and
store manager Erick Lina
Valley News Group Valley Entertainment Guide, August 4, 2011


A special book drive and reading was held at Barnes & Noble at the Calabasas Commons to benefit Valley Women's Center. Patrons have been buying books to donate to the center for the last month. Over 300 books were collected and were distributed to children last Saturday, when two local authors read their books to the children in the store. The book drive will continue through August - go in and buy a book for a worthy cause! Valley Women's Center is a west valley non-profit dedicated to helping women and children at risk for drugs, alcohol and other threats to family stability.
Alva Sachs




Award-winning children's author and west valley resident Alva Sachs reads to children of clients from Valley Women's Center. Sachs is the author of the newly published I'm Five. Her previous books include Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! A former teacher, she based her books on her own children and their experiences.

Calabasas Patch Interviews Alva About I'm 5

Calabasas Patch Local Author Releases New Children's Book
By Mira Reverente
Alva Sachs A former school teacher talks about her foray into book writing, self-publishing and how fate conspired to bring them all together.

The concepts of her books come to her in her dreams and during seemingly routine moments. Call it happenstance or kismet, but they have played a major part in the birth of her books and it always plays out that way.

"It's never forced or rushed," said Alva Sachs, a children's book author who just released I'm 5, her third children's book.

From teaching to writing
The Calabasas resident was an elementary school teacher for 16 years before making the shift to full-time motherhood and eventually to children's book writing.

"Even when I was teaching, I put such a huge emphasis on writing," said Sachs who has a bachelor's and a master's degree in elementary education.

Born and raised in Chicago, Sachs enjoys mentoring children and instilling a love for writing in them. A series of events to promote her new book aims to do just that.

This Saturday, Sachs will be reading I'm 5 to children at the Calabasas Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On July 30, she will be at the Barnes & Noble at the Calabasas Commons from noon to 2 p.m. for another fun afternoon of reading and other activities.

Tributes to children
Her three grown children have long been out of school, but she keeps them "alive" in her books. "My books are tributes to my children, but they're not necessarily about them," said Sachs.

Daughter Jessica is a character in Circus Fever, Sachs' first book about the power of imagination and the surprises that await children under the circus' big top. Released in 2008, Circus Fever received several awards including a 2009 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine and the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in small press publishing.

In her second book, Sachs' only son Justin is one of the main characters. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! is about three boys who like to hang out on Saturdays. Like the first one, On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! received nods from award-giving bodies such as the National Indie Excellence Awards and the International Book Awards when it came out in 2009.

Her latest book, I'm 5 is all about that magical age and the transition into the "big school." Once again, Julie, Sachs' other daughter, is the main character in this book.

"This idea just came to me while sitting in a conference," said Sachs. "This concept of a child turning five really just dropped out of nowhere."

Determination
Sachs decided to take the self-publishing route and put up her own publishing firm called Three Wishes Publishing Company.

"It's a highly competitive industry and most publishers will not even look at unsolicited manuscripts," she said, describing the situation facing first-time authors.

"I was also older, not notorious and definitely not a celebrity," she said, detailing why she does not fit the typical mold of authors who land instant book deals.

Extremely motivated, Sachs willingly navigated the unfamiliar waters of self-publishing. "I knew nothing aside from writing and getting books into the hands of children, but I was highly determined to learn all I could about publishing," she said.

The same level of determination has propelled Sachs to give back and continue putting books into the hands of children. She joined the board of Reading is Fundamental, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for underserved children in the L.A. area.

Serendipity
On her website, Sachs attributes a large portion of her life to serendipity or those unplanned events and discoveries followed by good fortune. It was serendipity that led her to become a teacher, meet her husband and cross paths with Patricia Krebs, the illustrator of her three books.

"We met at the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival, believe it or not," said Sachs, who has been collaborating with Krebs since their serendipitous meeting four years ago.

While her first three books were born out of serendipitous moments, Sachs remains mum about her next ones. "All I can say is there are no people in it and they're not coming out this year," she said, as she immerses herself again in her writing.

Alva Sachs Honored by National Indie Excellence Awards Contest Recognizes Outstanding Independently Published Books

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Three Wishes Publishing Company
26500 West Agoura Road
Suite 102-754
Calabasas, CA 91302
818.878.0902

Calabasas, CA - I'm 5 by Alva Sachs has been selected the FINALIST of the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in the category of children's picture book, fiction, hard cover category.

The Indie Excellence Awards are reserved for the "best of the best" in books published in various genres. The criteria for recognition are stringent and include overall excellence in presentation. This award celebrates the highest achievements in independent press and self-publishing, a sector of the industry that has grown exponentially in recent years.

Winners and finalists were announced on Sunday, May 15. For a complete list of the honorees visit: www.indieexcellence.com/indie-results-2011.htm.

Denise Bloomfield with Torrance Macaroni Kid
Reviews Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Macaroni Kid Torrance

By: Denise A. Bloomfield

Circus Fever
Do you remember what is was like to be excited about the Circus? Maybe you have a little one who looks forward to the Circus when it comes to town. Circus Fever by Alva Sachs is a delightful story about a little girl named Jessica who is excited about the Circus! She just can't wait and is so excited! Young children will LOVE this story! My son loved the imagination of the character Jessica. The illustrations by Patricia Krebs are colorful and amazing and makes the delightful story come to life. This story will quickly become a bedtime story (or anytime!) favorite. For more information, check out the Author's website! I love the section on the website for kids.

More info about the wonderful book:

CIRCUS FEVER is a FINALIST Children's Picture Book in the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards

Creative Child Magazine awards the 2009 Seal of Excellence to Circus Fever in their children's book category.

National Best Books Awards recognize Circus Fever as a 2009 FINALIST for children's picture books.

Eric Hoffer Award 2010 for excellence in small press publishing is awarded to Circus Fever.


On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
You take 3 boys that are best friends, their favorite day of the week, some fun & creativity and throw in their dads and what do you have? A delightful, fun story that young boys of all ages will just love! On your Mark, Get Set, Go! by the talented duo, Alva Sachs and Patricia Krebs is such a fun story that my son wants to read it almost every night at story time. He really likes that the boys favorite day of the week is Saturday. It is his favorite day too. Alva Sachs has such a way of telling a story that a young boy can really relate to it and Patricia Krebs illustrations make the characters come to life.

Check out more about this amazing Author at www.alvasachs.com. You can also learn more about the very talented Illustrator at www.patriciakrebs.com.ar.

Recognition Awards:

The 2010 National Indie Excellence Award, for children's picture books FINALIST is awarded to
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Creative Child Magazine awards its 2010 Seal of Excellence in their children's book category to
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

The 2010 FINALIST for children's picture books from International Books Awards goes to
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Reading is FUNdamental of Southern California
Welcomes Alva as Their Newest Board Member

RIFAlva is honored and proud to have recently been selected to join the Reading is FUNdamental of Southern California Board. (RIFSoCal) Earlier this year, she donated her books to their area headquarters so they could be distibuted as part of the home library building program. Building home libraries and children being able to have their very own books help to support the mission of what RIF stands for nationally and locally.

"Partnering with RIF SoCal gives me the opportunity to give back to others, help support my visions of literacy, and reach out to our children, our most precious legacy," says Alva.

"To promote literacy and motivate children to read by building at-home libraries for underserved children in Greater Los Angeles," is the embodiment of RIFSoCal.

Her books manifest the "fun" in "fundamental" and capture the enthusiasm and optimism of childhood.

You can learn more about RIFSoCal at www.rifsocal.org

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children's literacy nonprofit in the United States. RIF's vision, "is a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading. To motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8."

"RIF prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places, and ideas that books bring them." (Excerpts from www.rif.org)

Never Too Late

By Sharon House and Dawn Mena Starlee Magazine
Alva Sachs and Linda Sherwood

Retirement is a stage of life that can offer opportunities for new beginnings, a time when wisdom and knowledge can be used to pursue the dreams of a lifetime. Linda Sherwood and Alva Sachs are examples of how "retired" entrepreneurs can turn their skills, energy and passion into successful businesses as they enter a new phase of their lives.

Linda and Alva are retired teachers who each started their own companies by combining their experiences as educators with their passions as they entered their second stages of life, one as an author of children's books and one as a dealer of Western Americana.

THREE WISHES PUBLISHING
After teaching elementary school for 16 years, Alva decided to see if her dream of writing children's books could be achieved. "I was one of those teachers who was considered unorthodox," Alva said. "We would sit on the floor during class, use art to learn, things like that."

Her love of writing started while she was teaching. Alva started writing workshops to help her students and without realizing it was also honing her own skills. She wrote her first children's book, Circus Fever, 25 years ago but did not know quite what to do with it. After retiring, her thoughts turned again to her writing and to Circus Fever, a book about a young girl who looks forward to the circus coming to her town and imagines herself as one of the performing clowns.

Left and Center: Book Derby event at Borders in Glendale, Calif. Right: Barnes and Nobles Kid's Club Storytime event in Calabasas, Calif.
Left and Center: Book Derby event at Borders in Glendale, Calif. Pictured: Bob Boyle and James Burks
Right: Barnes & Nobles Kid's Club Storytime event in Calabasas, Calif.
"I'm not one to sit home; my brain doesn't turn off," she said. At 60, Alva went to an author's event and met an illustrator and a book editor who had their own publishing company, and the light bulb lit up. "I told them that I wanted to be them when I grew up," she laughed. "I remember sitting in the children's section at Barnes & Noble and saying to myself, 'My book will be there,'" she said. Determined to start her own publishing company, Alva immersed herself in research to learn about the business. "I didn't know what a DBA was or anything," she said. Comparing it to going back to college on her own, Alva combed the Internet for all the information she could get, as well as the library. "Don't forget about books when you decide to do research, there is nothing like having a book in your hand for learning," she said.

Alva founded Three Wishes Publishing Co. and one year later found herself in that same section of Barnes & Noble bookstore, almost in tears as she saw her book on the shelf, just as she had envisioned.

Although she does not yet accept submissions for publishing, she has produced a second children's book, On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!, and spends much of her time visiting schools and literary events to do readings and work with children. Aside from visiting schools and libraries around Southern California, she was recently invited to participate in the "Monsters and Miracles: A Journey Through Jewish Picture Books" event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. "You can never forget the child heart inside of you," Alva said. "Be serious, be committed and love what you do, but don't forget that."

Reading is FUNdamental
Featured Author: Alva Sachs

Alva SachsRIFSoCal would like to present Alva Sachs, award winning children's author, as our featured writer of the month. Alva donated her books, Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! to the Boggle for Books fundraiser on May 8, 2010. RIFSoCal subsequently purchased the beautifully written and illustrated books for distribution to RIFSoCal Kids.

From the moment, Alva walked into RIFSoCal's headquarters, we were immediately charmed. Her extensive knowledge and love of children's literature and illustration sparked a lengthy conversation. Alva's books and her style were a perfect fit for us as she is the embodiment of the RIFSoCal mission "To promote literacy and motivate children to read by building at-home libraries for underserved children in Greater Los Angeles." Her books manifest the "fun" in "fundamental" and capture the enthusiasm and optimism of childhood.

Both of Alva's books are written with a child's world in mind. In Circus Fever, she taps into a child's imagination and love of role playing. Circus Fever is a lovely, kid-friendly book. Patricia Krebs' illustrations are perfect, full of color, whimsy, and excitement. This author/illustrator team really captures the ambiance of the circus and a little girl's desire to be part of it.

The second book, On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! features a multicultural trio of friends who are bored and need some motivation other than creating and eating sandwiches. Justin's dad suggests they refurbish their less than perfect skateboards and go to the park for a race. Now, anyone who has ever known 9 year old boys will tell you that this is the penultimate Saturday afternoon. Work in the garage, fix things, have fun with their dads, and then go out for ice cream.

Both of these books are written to delight children and to stimulate their imaginations. Bravo, Alva! We look forward to your next books.

Alva's background includes a childhood in the Chicago area, a bachelor in science degree from the University of Illinois, followed by 16 years as an elementary school teacher and a Master's Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University.

If there is a word which Alva uses to describe her life, it is "serendipity" as explained in the following quote: "I hope that "serendipity" comes your way. It is that breath of fresh air that knocks you off your feet, catches you off guard, puts a smile on your face and lets you know, that you never really do know what IS around the corner!"

Children's Book Author Shares Stories in Skokie, Illinois

By MYRNA PETLICKI Contributor, Pioneer Press

On Your Mark Get Set Go!
Author Alva Sachs will read from her most recent children's book at the Westfield Old Orchard Barnes and Noble in Skokie.
Alva Sachs' three children may have left the nest but they're still on their mother's mind. The native Chicagoan and former teacher, who now lives in California, has written books dedicated to two of them, and is working on the third. Sachs will read from her most recent book,
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! at the Westfield Old Orchard Barnes and Noble in Skokie, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Sachs' latest book and her first, Circus Fever, have each won several small press publisher awards. Patricia Krebs illustrated both children's books.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! which has Sachs' son Justin as a main character, is about three best friends who need the help of their fathers to have their best Saturday ever.

"I don't know where the ideas come from -- they fall from the sky," said Sachs, who used to teach elementary school in Barrington. She loves doing book signings because she enjoys "just being with the kids -- talking with them, reading to them, asking them to share their thoughts and opinions." She also engages the children in activities. For details, call (847) 676-2230 or visit www.alvasachs.com.

The 2010 Seal of Excellence Award from
Creative Child Magazine, in the children's book category
goes to ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!

Creative Child Magazine Seal of ExcellenceAward-winning author, Alva Sachs, and illustrator, Patricia Krebs, are delighted to have been recognized by Creative Child Magazine for the second time. The
Seal of Excellence is a prestigious award that is given to those products that exceed expectations based on the criteria for nurturing creativity and education in children.

After three years of working together on children's picture books, Alva and Patricia strive to create stories and illustrations that spark the imagination and create a desire to read for fun and explore new ideas.

Creative Child Magazine is a bi-monthly publication that provides parents with the latest information on how to nurture their child's creativity and raise well-balanced children. The Creative Child Magazine's Awards Program is unique in that a panel of over 100 moms, educators and other professionals choose the award winners. These moms, educators, and early education professionals review all submitted products, the very people who purchase these products.

Congratulations to the 2010 National Indie Excellence Award Winners and Finalists!

NIEA 2010

"ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!" has placed as a FINALIST in the "Children's Picture Book" category.

2010 National Indie Excellence Award Judging Complete: The Biggest Challenge Yet!

The National Indie Excellence Awards contest shines a spotlight on books that demonstrate excellence. National Indie Excellence Award judges are professionals from all aspects of the independent book industry, from book cover and interior designers and professional copywriters to publishers, writers, editors and more. They select award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation. This year's contest had them more than challenged to make final selections, said sponsor Ellen Reid.

"Our judges agreed that never before have so many independent and self-published books demonstrated such a high level of excellence. In recognition of this happy development, we are going to be expanding our categories to allow for more winners in next year's contest. If our message of excellence is being heeded, then we're going to celebrate those who demonstrate it!" Reid commented. The NIEA emblem on a cover lets people know this is a book that meets the highest standards of independent publishing."

Indie Excellence Finalist The Indie Excellence® Awards are sponsored by Smarketing, LLC. President & CEO Ellen Reid has been a respected executive in the publishing industry for over twelve years. The Indie Excellence® Awards competition is judged by an independent panel of experts from all aspects of the publishing industry.

JPX Media Announces Winners and Finalists of the
2010 International Book Awards

Independent Titles Score Top Honors in the 1st Annual International Book Awards
International Book Awards Finalist
LOS ANGELES - JPX Media announced the winners and finalists of THE 2010 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA) on May 18, 2010. Over 300 winners and finalists were announced in over 140 categories covering print and audio books.

Awards were presented for titles published in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Award-winning children's author, ALVA SACHS is honored as ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO! receives FINALIST recognition in the children's hard cover picture book category. This is Alva's second children's picture book and it has proven to be a successful follow-up to her previous award-winning book, CIRCUS FEVER.

Jeff Keen, President and CEO of JPX Media, said this year's contest yielded a large number of entries, which were then narrowed down to over 300 winners and finalists. Keen says of the awards, "The 2010 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of IBA, this year's winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the summer season. Keen adds, "IBA's success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise." JPX Media is located in Los Angeles and is involved in numerous aspects of the entertainment and publishing industries. A complete list of the winners and finalists of The 2010 International Book Awards is available online at www.IBA2011.com.

Circus Fever is 2010 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist

2010 Eric Hoffer AwardAlva Sachs, award-winning children's author, and Three Wishes Publishing Company were honored with press distinction in the Small Press category for the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award year.

CIRCUS FEVER, their children's picture book took home the honors. This particular recognition is appreciated due to its dedication to the spirit of free thinkers, writers and the opportunity of independent small press companies who helped to enhance the industry in its unique way.

For Alva, the FINALIST honor for CIRCUS FEVER is special in that it continues to provide the direction for her writing while pursuing her own small press company and its impact to publish books that are fun to read while encouraging the love of reading at an early age dedicated to quality, content, and artistic standards.

The press honors are considered by the Eric Hoffer Project to be the next level beyond the singular grand prize. The Hoffer Award was founded at the start of the 21st century by award-winning author Christopher Klim (with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate) to honor free-thinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit.

After our rigorous first round of judging, less than 10% of the titles become category finalists. We consider this, a distinction of its own merit and, in 2008, began officially listing these titles on-line. Finalists are selected by category scoring. There are typically 1-6 books per category selected as a finalist. Finalists fall into approximately the upper 15% of all books that entered the contest.

Former migratory worker and longshoreman, Eric Hoffer burst on the scene in 1951 with his irreplaceable tome, The True Believer, and assured his place among the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. Nine books later, Hoffer remains a vital figure with his cogent insights to the nature of mass movements and the essence of humankind.

In 1943, Hoffer chose the longshoreman's life and settled in California. Eventually, he worked three days each week and spent one day as "research professor" at the University of California in Berkeley. In 1964, he was the subject of twelve half-hour programs on national television. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. To learn more about Eric Hoffer visit the Web site www.HofferAward.com

Microphone & Headphones: On The Air with Alva Sachs

On the Air with Alva Sachs Alva is all set for her first radio interview with Tim Carpenter of "experiencetalks" radio at KPFK 90.7 LA and streaming and archived at www.experiencetalks.org

Take a listen and catch the fun!

Download the Interview

Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California

RIFAlva Sachs, award winning, children's author teams up with RIF-SoCal by donating her books, Circus Fever and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

"Since 1972, robust growth has been a RIFSoCal priority. As our country moves forward to offer hope for our collective future, we are doing the same by offering underserved children of Greater Los Angeles hope for their future. With public schools stretched beyond their resouces, RIFSocal believes we must join together with the Los Angeles community to help inspire children's passion for reading - the greatest gift we can give them on their personal road to success."

Working together with Carol K. Henault, Executive Director and her staff was a rewarding experience for Alva. Knowing that children from underserved areas will be able to visit the RIF-SoCal "library" and select their very own brand new book for the very first time is something they will never forget.

Believing in the same mission as RIF, this is a perfect fit for Alva, children and promoting the fun in reading and its priceless reward for each child's future.

You can learn more about RIFSoCal at www.rifsocal.org or nationally at www.rif.org to find your region to participate as a donor or volunteer.

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