Character Interview with Glenn from A Christmas Kindness

I caught up with Glenn from A Christmas Kindness in the mall parking lot and asked him a few questions.

How did you meet Robert?

I met Robert in line as we waited to talk with Santa. He bent over to tie his shoe, and when he stood up, he saw me.

What did he say to you?

He asked me my name. Then he asked me what I wanted for Christmas.

Did you tell him?

Yes, but he didn’t really understand why I planned to ask Santa for that special present.

How come?

Well, Robert had a long list of toys he wanted to ask Santa to bring him. He was surprised I wanted something else.

Did you talk more about what you wanted?

I explained about my mom and my brother. I think he understood after that. Not sure, though, because Santa called Robert over and we didn’t talk again.

What do you think Robert asked Santa for?

Don’t know, but he seemed really happy after he hopped off Santa’s lap.

Do you think you and Robert will find the gifts you asked Santa for under the Christmas tree tomorrow?

I hope so!


If you enjoyed our short character interview, I hope you’ll check out my book, A Christmas Kindness. The publisher released a second edition in 2020. The second edition includes discussion questions, activities, crafts, and more! Here is more about the book:

Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
Pages: 52
Genre: First Chapter Reader


Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?


It is not often that a simple children’s book can nearly bring me to tears, but this one succeeded. There is nothing better than reading a story at Christmastime that reminds you that there are still good people and good kids in the world. This is one heartwarming Christmas story that you and your kids can read and enjoy. It will remind you of the true meaning of Christmas, and I believe that the author’s purpose is accomplished.

– Ruth, Amazon Reviewer

Robert can’t wait to see Santa. He’s got a pile of stuff he wants to ask for. Then he meets Glenn in line, and Robert himself gets to play Santa. I was touched by the main character’s transformation after he came in contact with someone in real need. The glow he walks away with can’t be bought, and he’ll never find it under the Christmas tree, but it’s the heart of the season that he’s found. Nicely illustrated, enjoyable story for readers of all ages. 

– Jude, Amazon Reviewer

For More Information


“Oh, when will we get there?” whispered Robert from the backseat of his mother’s car. He fiddled with the pull on his coat. The wipers brushed aside the snow falling on the windshield.

As they arrived, lines of cars streamed in and out of the mall parking lot. Robert peered over his mother’s shoulder and saw her white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. She huffed as she scanned the parking lot for an empty space. He wiggled around, but his seat belt kept him secure.

Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.

Robert’s shoulders drooped when he saw how many kids waited to see Santa. There were babies, some crying and struggling to get out of their mother’s arms. Little kids, many younger than eight-year-old Robert, clung to their father’s pants or jumped up and down as they waited their turn.

“This is going to take forever!”

About the Author

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A member of SCBWI, she is blogger and book reviewer. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at

Connect with Cheryl on Twitter and Facebook.

Guest Blogger: Penny Estelle, Author of Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare

Billy Coopers Awesome Nightmare 333x500

Billy Cooper’s seventh grade class has been given a last minute, weekend assignment. They must draw a piece of paper out of a box and prepare an oral book report on the person or event they select. Billy draws the name, William Tell, whoever that is. He has a full weekend planned, but figures he’ll do a ten minute search and then be able to skate right through the assignment, having plenty of time for his busy weekend.

His outlook changes when he finds himself in the fourteenth century, standing in front of William Tell’s house. Billy’s modern day style and lingo has William Tell thinking the lad is a bit unbalanced, but asks if he would like to go along with him and his son to the town of Altdorf. It is here Billy learns just who William Tell is and why he is a legend.


Billy jumped up, took two steps backward and fell hard on his back from about four feet up, knocking the wind out of him. He was seeing blue sky and rolling green hills. An old, two-wheeled wagon was what he had fallen out of.

The old man hurried over. “You alright, lad?”

Billy jumped to his feet before the old man could help him up. “Who…who….who are you? Where am I?” Billy stuttered, panic shooting through his body.
“Easy lad,” the old man said. “I was to bring you here.”

“Bring me where? Who said to bring me? Who? This is crazy! I’m not supposed to be here!” Billy’s voice got louder.

The man pulled out a satchel of coins, smiling. “Your mother paid me well to bring you to your aunt in Uri.”

“Uri?” Billy asked. “Dude, there’s no Uri in Arizona, I don’t think, and my aunt lives in Cottonwood.”

“Jonathan is my name, lad, not Dude.” The old man reached for Billy’s head. “Maybe when you fell you became…addled in your thinking.”

“I did not become…whatever. You’ve kidnapped me! I want to go home!”

A Chat with Billy Cooper from Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare

Hi everybody.  Uhm, my name is Billy Cooper and I am in the seventh grade.  I am supposed to come here today to talk about some of the stuff that happens in old lady Wickware, oops, I mean Miss Wickware’s history class.  But I’ve got to tell you talking about this makes me just a little nervous.  See, nobody actually talks about it out loud, but we all know weird things happen in her class.

Well let me just tell you my story.  On Friday, everybody in last hour class was supposed to come up and draw a name of some historical person out of a box. Anyway an oral report was due on Monday. Come on!  I had plans for that weekend – lots of cool plans.  I didn’t have time to do a report on some dude named William Tell. But here’s the thing –  after I had drawn out my piece of paper, Miss Wickware put her hand on my shoulder and I saw flash of sizzling electricity shoot from her eyes right into mine. My whole body felt like it was buzzing!  I’m not kidding, AND nobody else saw it happen.  You’ve got to admit, that is strange – right?

Anyway, I figured sometime during the weekend I would get on the computer, google this Tell guy, and find out what he did that was famous.  I would skate by on this assignment.

WRONG!  The next day, I find myself outside some house in the fourteenth century.  Not only that, the house belonged to William Tell.  Let me tell you I found out why this guy is famous. This dude was dead on with a bow and arrow.

To be honest with you, I’m not sure if he would have even made history if I hadn’t been there to help things along!

Buy links for Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare


Barnes & Noble

AmazonPenny - 002


Penny Estelle was a school secretary for twenty-one years.  She retired and moved to her fifty-four acre ranch in NW Arizona, where she lives off the grid.  Solar and wind is her only source of electricity.  What an adjustment for a city girl! 

Penny started writing for children right before retiring.  She claims after working so long with children of all ages, she has plenty of material to work with. 

Penny has three MG/tween stories out and her debut book for adults was recently released.  She also has a non-fiction story out about her life with solar! 

Penny and her her books can be found in the following links:

@pennystales – twitter – Goodreads

Summer League by Melissa Williams

Iggy the Iguana and his friends are back in Summer League by Melissa Williams.

Having survived the fourth grade, Iggy and friends are happy that summer is finally here. For many of them it means playing baseball on the All-Star team.  For Iggy, that means facing a very difficult situation that could change his entire future in sports. Oh, and things have changed a bit with Liz just to make the summer a bit more challenging. There’s this mysterious guy on the team too.  And Iggy’s younger sister Molly is having her own troubles with growing up. Good thing their parents are around to talk to.

In this sequel to Iggy the Iguana, we discover life flowing along at a rapid pace for Iggy, Kit Kat, Snap Shell, Liz, Molly and many of the other characters we met in the first book. As impressed as I was with Iggy the Iguana, I like Summer League ten times more. Williams does an excellent job in developing these characters, tossing things up for them, as it often is at this age for children.

Iggy has a secret that he’s trying desperately to hide. The mysterious Marc Mouse is on Iggy’s baseball team and there is just something odd about this shy little mouse and his many hats. It doesn’t help that Marc wins the position of shortstop that Kit Kat wanted. It’s good to see this mystery about Marc solved by the end, as Williams uses it to teach a valuable lesson. I also liked to see that Molly isn’t forgotten while Iggy is going through his own troubles.

I especially enjoyed what Williams decided to do with Liz and Iggy in this one. I don’t want to give anything away, but I felt the changes and challenges these characters went through in Summer League worked well coming off the first book, and that readers will enjoy watching more of Iggy and Liz together.

I’m excited about this series and can’t wait until the next Iggy book comes out.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: LongTale Publishing Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0981805426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981805429
  • SRP:  $9.99

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    Iggy the Iguana Pays TC&TBC a Visit

    Today The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection has a special visitor–Iggy the Iguana from the Iggy the Iguana series of books by Melissa Williams.

    We reviewed the first book in this series yesterday. You can check out that review here. We figured we would sit down with Iggy and get his point of view on a couple of things.

    Hi Iggy, it’s great to have you with us today. It sure seems like you have a lot going on, so we’re happy to get a chance to sit down and talk with you. 

    I’m happy to be here!  I love interviews!

    Looks like you’re starting off the year in a new school.  What’s that been like? Have you made some new friends?

    I have started a new school, and I have to say the experience has been a pleasant surprise.  I was so nervous to change schools because I moved from a private “All-Lizard” school to a public “All-Animal” school.  It’s a complete eye opening experience to be around the different animals … but it didn’t take long to make friends at all! 

    What about your new teacher?  Is she nice or is she a meanie?

    Mrs. Buff?  She is really nice and caring.  If you talk too much in class, she will still make you sit out at recess, but she never yells or gets angry.  It takes her a while to get around the classroom. My friend Snap thinks she has arthritis in her feet.  I just think that is the way older terrier dogs walk.

    What’s up with Kit Kat? He seems, I don’t know, a bit crazy at times?

    Kit Kat is in his own world that’s for sure!  He can be a trouble maker at times, but he has always been cool to hang out with.  Wait, actually, I had to go to the principal’s office because of Kit Kat once.  Sometimes you have to be careful when it comes to who you hang out with.

    Is it fun being best friends with a turtle?  I mean, it doesn’t sound like you and Snap would have a lot in common.

    Snap is the coolest friend in the world.  He is like a brother to me now!  We both love baseball and the beach, but you’re right we have a lot of differences too.  Our differences have actually made us become better friends.  We teach each other a lot about life and our backgrounds.  Snap’s an only child and his mom died a few years ago.  I have a little sister and both of my parents are still married.  Being around Snap has shown me that even if you go through difficult times, you can become a stronger animal because of it.

    How about that younger sister of yours? She has some interesting outfits.

    Ha!  Molly … so you noticed.  Yes, she basically won’t wear anything but pink and every outfit has to be some sort of a costume.  Tutus, fairy wings, princess crowns, and cheerleading skirts are the usual.  Oh, and Molly’s biggest nightmare is a pair of pants.

    From browsing through the pages of the book it sure seems like faith plays an important part in your life.  Is that true?  Does anybody tease you about it?

    It is a big part of my life.  My parents have always taught me to believe in something greater than myself.  My mom has always told me that God always has a plan and that is something I believe from the bottom of my heart.  I haven’t gotten teased for my faith, but if I ever do, it won’t matter.  I would actually be really disappointed in the animal that ever dared to make fun.

    Can we talk about Liz for a minute?  She sure seems nice.  Do you like her?

    Ummm … Well, yeah, you could say that.  It took awhile, but she finally accepted my Valentine! Liz is another best friend to me … and I kinda had a secret crush on her all year.  She was the first animal I met at Memorial Elementary.  She was so nice to me and showed me to my classroom on our first day of 4th grade.

    Hey Iggy, it seems like our time is up, man. It sure goes by quick when you’ve got a great friend to chat with. Where can our readers find you if they want to catch up with you again?

    I have a website!!  My first book just came out in audio book too.  My books are also on Amazon and Barnes and

    Take care, Iggy.  I hope you come back and visit us again real soon.

    Thanks!  I had so much fun too!

    Iggy the Iguana

    Iggy the Iguana is the first book in the Iggy Chapter Book Series for ages 7 to 11. The story focuses on the major themes of acceptance, friendship, and diversity while Iggy starts a brand new school. The transition from a private “all-lizard” school to a public “all-animal” school is eye opening, as Iggy soon accepts that just because other animals are different doesn’t mean they can’t be your friends. By the end of Iggy’s 4th grade year, he realizes that changing schools was the best move he could have ever made!

    Summer League (Sequel)

    Summer League is the second book in the Iggy the Iguana Chapter Book Series for ages 7 to 11. After an exciting school year, Iggy and his friends kick off their summer vacation with some fun in the sun and … baseball! While playing on his All-Star little league team, Iggy faces a very difficult situation that could change his future in sports forever. Iggy learns many valuable lessons during the summer, most importantly, it is not wise to keep secrets from adults and we can’t judge others on the outside.

    Melissa M. Williams is an advocate for literacy and creativity in children. Her children’s chapter books were inspired by real life experiences with childhood pets she owned while growing up in Houston, Texas. While finishing her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling, Melissa started substitute teaching for elementary schools in order to understand the daily life of her young audience. The students helped her create relatable and realistic stories while including lessons, values and acceptance within the story-line. In addition to writing, Melissa spends most of the school year speaking to students about her own journey as an author and the process of creative writing, while encouraging each student to think outside the box, follow their inner passion, and write their own stories.

    Win the Iggy the Iguana Give Away!

     Including the Newly Released Items in Iggy Collection, Snap Shell the Turtle (Plush Doll), Iggy Collector’s Baseball Cards, and The Read3Zero T-Shirt … supporting the fight against illiteracy 30 minutes at a time. Be our most active visitor during the tour for a chance to win this Iggy Collection — the tour schedule is posted at to make it easy for you to visit and comment. To learn more about Iggy and Melissa Williams – visit

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