While getting my own children’s book reviewed in 2008, I became fascinated by the the entire children’s book publishing and reviewing process. Soon I was participating in author visits at schools, where teachers and librarians often asked me for other book recommendations. That inspired me to want to discover more of the children’s book world, and before long I was writing reviews for a popular book review site. Now after reviewing hundreds of books and interviewing many fascinating authors and illustrators, I have created Smart Books for Smart Kids to focus more on the types of books and educational materials that appeal to the exceptionally curious and interested child.
The children’s books I am most drawn to review are non-fiction, because they are so fascinating, educational and surprisingly sophisticated these days. Parents and teachers can get as much of an education out of them as their kids do. I also enjoy clever picture books with important messages that are also educational. I am so often intrigued by what I read that it has become a habit to take stacks of children’s books with me wherever I go, in case I get a few minutes to read them. Why waste time while waiting to get a tooth drilled or while standing in line at the post office?
I only write reviews for books and other materials I can wholeheartedly recommend. I don’t see any point in reviewing mediocre books or posting negative reviews, as there are so many terrific books just waiting to be discovered.
I started my writing career as a corporate writer and journalist for the banking industry and luxury cruise lines. Since that time, I have written for many different publications such as The New York Times as an About.com Topic Writer, Wandering Educators, Education.com, as a health writer for a pharmaceutical company, for advertising agencies, and much more. I’ve even blogged for a mountain climber with chronic health problems who reached the summit of Everest.
In 2008 I wrote, illustrated and recorded on CD, The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. Since that time, I have visited dozens of elementary and middle schools, camps, after-care programs and charities with my reading, writing and geography programs. I show up dressed in a millipede costume, and I speak in character voices. My goal is to meet as many struggling readers in my community as possible and do my part to show them the magic of reading. I visit thousands of children every year and always tell them about the latest great books I’ve reviewed.
I live in South Florida where the sun is always shining. When I’m not reading or writing, you can often find me on the courthouse steps where I run every morning (over 1 million steps a year), gardening, cooking or walking my giant standard poodle, Darwin. My husband and I also love to visit the Florida Everglades, hike on remote paths and take photos of the incredible wildlife.
Me and my best friend, Darwin
Here I am (right) running the Rocky Steps in Philly while visiting my daughter at UPenn