Happy 2nd Birthday Paris!

Can you believe it!?! It’s been two years since our first book KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Paris, France landed!

Happy Birthday KeeKee Paris 2

To celebrate, we’re giving away a signed copy of the book by Shannon & Casey, AND Casey will do commissioned sketch of their choice for the winner!

Enter on KeeKee’s Facebook page (see the Giveaway tab).

Thank you for being our Friend! >^..^<

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Athens, Greece INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist!

We’re so honored KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Athens, Greece has been selected as a Picture Book finalist in Foreword Reviews‘ prestigious 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards!

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Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. There were over 1500 other entrants this year.

In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“After 17 years, our awards program has become synonymous with quality because our editors set such a high bar on the finalist round, which makes it especially tough for the judges who select the winners,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “In every genre, our judges will find an interesting, high-quality selection of books culled from this year’s entries.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco on Friday, June 26.

Travel Tips from the Experts: Samantha Brown & Rick Steves

This year’s Travel & Adventure Show brought together the best in travel experts including two of our favorites, Samantha Brown and Rick Steves.

Attending the show in Washington, DC, Author Shannon listened in to both of their talks and here’s some of the tips she picked up…

Samantha Brown

We love Samantha for her approachable style and friendly personality. Meeting her in person was a treat … she’s the same person you see on tv.

Samantha Brown

When we lived in Europe, we downloaded many of her shows on iTunes before visiting places like Athens, Venice, Zurich, Salzburg and more.

Samantha shared her ‘go to’ resources for travel…Frommers and Rick Steves. And she loves using travel agents to take care of the details.

Current apps she’s using in her travels…

  • Flight Aware
  • Pocket Earth: offline maps and travel guides
  • Google Translate: It works offline and get this…it now has a Word Lens, just point your camera to a sign or text, like a menu, and it translates the text without data connection!!
  • Rick Steves: He’s got tons of Audio Tours you can download on his website and a full Audio Europe Series on iTunes.

Rick Steves

Rick Steves’ presentation was on his very useful Europe Through the Back Door.

One of the best things about Rick Steve as a travel resource is that he and his team update their tours, guidebooks, info every year. They are constantly doing the hit and miss work so you don’t have to. Then they share the hits!

Rick Steves at the Travel Show

Among the great facts and stories Rick shared, here were some of his useful tips…

  • Get your hands on the travel info in the way you like to travel. It can be Rick or any resource.
  • Travel as if you’re a local or temporary European. That’s what his resources and tours provide. It’s not high end, fluffy stuff. It’s real get the authentic experience stuff.
  • Always go to the Tourist Information Office and ask what’s going on today / tonight.
  • He always gets a local guide for 4 hrs in a.m and at night to get a real flavor of the city. Check his resources or ask the local Tourist Information Office.
  • Art should be fun. Know enough to get excited about it. He’s got some great new guides on art.
  • Always be sure to do something the locals do.
  • Find a restaurant with a hand-written menu. You know everything is fresh and the menu was created that day.
  • Have a picnic. Go to the local shops and pick  up the specialties for a lunch or dinner picnic.
  • Know the word for bed and breakfast in the language where you are. You can find great, local, inexpensive places to stay.
  • And don’t wait in line for entrance / tickets. Always do your research in advance and get tickets to the key sights.

Be sure to check out his website. As Samantha said above, there are great videos and audio tours on his website for free. And he offers what look to be amazing guided tours if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Happy Travels as we head into the fabulous Spring and Summer travel season!

It’s World Read Aloud Day!

Today we celebrated two great literacy events that happen in early March, Read Across America, AND World Read Aloud Day.

World Read Aloud Day

Every year on the first Wednesday of March, World Read Aloud Day calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. It’s about showing the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. Learn more from LitWorld.

Author Shannon shared KeeKee’s Big Adventures at Sleepy Hollow Elementary to celebrate.

Make sure you read aloud today to a child and every day! >^..^<

KeeKee on World Read Aloud Day & Read Across America Week

 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is Dr. Seuss’s 111th Birthday. And as it is every year on his birthday, it’s Read Across America Day!

We couldn’t agree more with the quote below.

KeeKee_DrSeussBday

And here are 5 more Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss we found online…

  1. Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You!
  2. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
  3. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
  4. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
  5. Today I shall behave, as if this the day I will be remembered.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! >^..^<