LITTLE TREASURES: Little books that uplift and inspire

Keep reading to find out more about the sensitive and thoughtful author of these Little Treasures, and to find out how you could win one of four Little Treasure Book Packs.

The talent behind these Little Treasures:

When I began My Little Bookcase, my goal was to help inspire parents and their children to love books and enjoy reading. A big part of achieving that goal is to find books to share with families that inspire.

I rarely have to look past New Frontier Publishing to find those special books, and when Peter Carnavas and New Frontier work together, the result is absolute dynamite.

Peter, also a teacher based in Queensland,  is the author and illustrator of five books published by New Frontier. His stories are unique; they are raw, emotive, heartfelt and rich in meaning.  They always set my heart on fire and sometimes I can barely manage to read them through my tears.

Peter has found the words that I wish I could write; the words that gently reassure and inspire young children. I sense that he writes especially for sensitive, reflective children. For children who over-think, worry and see sadness everywhere they look. Children very much like myself really and, as it seems, are much like Peter too.

In this interview with Peter, he describes himself as quiet and shy. He admits that the characters are reflective of his personality and he hopes that they are also reflective of other quiet children.

He describes his characters as “quietly independent, problem solvers who go about their business, don’t bother anybody and manage to reach their goal in the end.”

Peter’s books are the perfect tool to help these children find words for their feelings, they help to comfort and reassure them, they empower them and offer them some coping strategies.

His illustration style is simply adorable. He uses ink drawings and water colours to portray gentle but emotional characters. He rarely draws mouths on his characters, yet his use of colour, posture and direction effectively expose so much emotion and vulnerability.

Peter is a thoughtful author who genuinely cares for the children he writes for. As a parent I’m incredibly thankful for authors like this. Parenting is difficult a lot of the time, especially when our children are experiencing tough times. It’s comforting to know that there a books like Peter’s that we can read to our children during these times.

THE LITTLE TREASURES BOOKS

So special are Peter’s books that New Frontier Publishing has recently released four of them as Little Treasures. These Little Treasures are mini versions of the original picture books, making them perfect little gifts to send in the mail to inspire or uplift the ones you love. The books can be purchased from your local bookstore or directly through New Frontier Publishing.

  • You can purchase each book individually and, at $9.95 each, they are great for stocking fillers or as K.K (Secret Santa) presents this Christmas. Each book comes with its own envelope for postage.
  • They can also be purchased as a set of 4 for $29.95 which includes four envelopes. The set would also make a great resource for the classroom. You can purchase the Little Treasures Book Pack directly from New Frontier Publishing.

Find out more about each of the books below:

Buy this Little Treasure for $9.95

Also available as a picture book for $24.95

This story is about family, relationships and coping with changes.

Christopher’s dad has faded from his life. We’re not sure whether this is because of death or separation, but keeping this part of the story uncertain means that more children may be able to relate their own life to the story.

The story is presented in a gentle manner, showing how the mother and son are both coping differently with their loss.

Christopher’s mother fills a box with all of the unimportant things her husband left behind, and takes it to a pre-loved shop.

One by one, Christopher secretly returns each item back to their home.

“I was trying to remember,” said Christopher

“And I was trying to forget,” She sighed.

Christopher’s mother eventually realises that what is small to her is important to her son.

There is a very subtle message in this book, that children are just as affected by death and separation as spouses, and that each family member copes differently with the changes that may take place within a family.

  • This is a special book to send to a child who has recently lost someone special. It doesn’t have to be a father; it might be a grandparent, friend or pet.


Buy this Little Treasure for $9.95

Also available as a picture book for $24.95

This is a story of friendship and being happy with yourself, and one that sends an empowering message to our children.

This story starts with Jessica lying awake at night worrying about her first day of school. She’s mostly worried about making friends.

Each day she takes a box to school and fills it with items that she thinks may help her to make a friend:  A teddy bear, some home-made cupcakes and even her pet dog.

Instead of making friends, she encounters children who ignore her, laugh at her, and who are ungrateful. Her mum encourages her to keep trying. Her dad spends time with her.

It is when she puts herself into the box, instigating a game of hide and seek, that she makes a friend,

Grandpa leaned in close and said, “You must have had something very special in your box today”

Jessica smiled and said, “I did.”

  • This is a great book to send to a child who is starting school next year


Buy this Little Treasure for $9.95

Also available as a picture book for $24.95

This is a story of friendship.

Sarah has a heavy heart. As the reader we’re not sure what has or is making Sarah’s heart heavy but we do know that it’s not going away.

The heart doesn’t necessarily represent something distinct like death, illness or divorce (although it most certainly could). For me, it represents the heart of sensitive children all over the world; the children who worry about others; the children who are easily hurt and upset; the children who over-think.

Life can be hard for these little sensitive souls, and the key to living more lightly is to find a friend who will carry that burden with you; someone who will listen, explain and console.

The boy watched as Sarah took his heart and tied it to her own.

Jessica eventually finds a friend, one with a light heart that keeps getting carried away.  I’m sure she will be just as needed a friend in return.

  • This book will reassure and empower even the most worrisome little soul.


Buy this Little Treasure for $9.95

Also available as a picture book for $24.95

This is a story about caring for our environment.

Last Tree in the City is a simple but emotive story about a boy’s love for the last tree left in his city.

“Then something wonderful happened”

Edward’s passion and appreciation for trees becomes infectious and it brings the city back to life. It becomes the power needed to bring colour to a city full of concrete.

We’ve previously written a review of Last Tree in the City. You can read it here.

  • This book will inspire little green thumbs and environmentalists-in-training.


WIN


We have four sets of the Little Treasures Book Packs to giveaway, courtesy of New Frontier Publishing.

I’ve been given the opportunity to interview Peter Carnavas, and I thought that you might like to help me.

For your chance to win one of the Little Treasures Book Packs, simply write a question below that you’d like to ask Peter.

Leave your question before 31 October 2011 then I’ll collate the interview questions  for Peter Carnavas.

Be sure to visit again in November when the interview and winners are published.

Terms and conditions:

1. Each reader may enter only once.

2. Entrants must live in Australia  to be eligible for this give-away.

3. All entries must be received by  8pm (EDT) Monday 31 October 2011 to be eligible

4. The winners will be selected using www.random.org

5. The winners are asked to send a reply email with their delivery address. The books will be sent directly from the publisher.

LITTLE TREASURES: Little books that uplift and inspire

31

  1. Peter, do you begin writing some stories then discard them? If so, what makes you decide to do that and is it based on a gut feeling or lack of feeling for that particular story?

  2. Peter where do you get your inspiration from? also, because you are writing books for children, is it hard to choose the right word to express yourself?

  3. Do you plan to write more books helping children through the difficult parts of life? and if so what topics are you tackling?

  4. Did you always want to write children’s stories? Or was that just an ‘easier’ market?

  5. What is the hardest thing about writing children’s books?

  6. These look really interesting. I’m curious to see in more detail how he handles such sensitive topics! And what others might come.

    My question:
    What is the motivation for the topics of your book?

  7. Peter, I often wonder if these “harder” topics should be tackled with kids who are not currently experiencing any hardships, who are fairly happy and carefree and have things going well in their lives. Do you think it is important for all kids to understand the issues in your books, or are they aimed more at kids who are experiencing troubles?

  8. These books sound wonderful, Jackie! Looking forward to following your blog.

  9. Do you think of the message you want to convey first and work the story around that or vice versa?

  10. Is there a particular book of yours that you are most proud of?

  11. What were some of your favourite books as a child?

  12. Do you have any training or life experience that has driven you to write about the “tough stuff” for children’s sake? (Full props to you – great work)!

  13. Peter how long does it take to complete a story, from first putting pen to paper to final draft?

  14. DD said: On October 20, 2011

    When are you at your most creative? Mornings, nights, relaxing in your PJ’s or after a vigorous work out?

  15. What do you enjoy more: Teaching OR locking yourself away and letting your creative juices flow, writing children’s books???

  16. Are you generally an artistic person, creating and making things in all aspects of your life, or is writing your only outlet?

  17. Peter, who would you say was the most influential person in your life? and since you are a naturally quiet person, how could i encourage my child ( who always stands back and is really shy) to show their personality in front of people a little more?

  18. Is there a reason you rarely draw mouths on your characters? I love your illustrations.

  19. Hi Peter, I would like to know when your first book was published, also have you had any knock backs, and if so did thi deter you from writing at any stage.

  20. How did you get into this? I might consider a career in writing kids books!

  21. Do you anticipate these books to be read by one special person to a child to maintain consistency in such circumstances, or do you encourage a number of different readers to read the story to the same child so as to invoke varied discussions?

  22. Peter, Please describe your workspace

  23. Do you write from your own experience or do you have researchers who dig up material for you?

  24. Di said: On October 22, 2011

    Do you write your books the old-fashioned way using pen and paper or type all your ideas out and compose the story on a computer?

  25. What advice to do you have for people’s wanting to get into the field of published work. i am interested in writing children’s books but have no idea where to begin.

    the books look adorable and i love that they are separated into categories… self worth is a must.

  26. Peter
    I haven’t read any of your books yet and will add them to my library list. Sorry if this sounds like a silly question.
    Following on from this question – “He admits that the characters are reflective of his personality and he hopes that they are also reflective of other quiet children.”
    Have you ever tried to write from an extroverted point of view or about a gregarious child? Does it feel completely unnatural?

  27. Oh I thought of another question.
    How did you find out about New Frontier?
    Cold call, knew someone, liked other books etc?
    They have an interesting submission process.
    I’d like to hear more about them

  28. What is the theme and topic of your next chidren’s book? I can’t wait for another one to read and enjoy!

  29. I know it must be hard to get topic ideas up and working but how do you know when to actually finish off a book?

  30. As a preservice teacher, I love the idea of introducing these books into the classroom. I’d really love to do something like this

    Peter, in the classroom, would you introduce these on an as-needed basis or create a sort of life-skills program in the classroom?

  31. Thanks everyone for being a part of this interview. Together, we’ve collated some fantastic questions for Peter.
    I’ve randomly drawn four winners who will each receive a Little Treasures book pack. Visit http://www.mylittlebookcase.com.au again on Nov 8 to read our interview and find out if you’re one of the lucky readers.
    :)

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LITTLE TREASURES: Little books that uplift and inspire

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