One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart

One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart is a small book with a big message: everyone, even kids, can help make our world a greener place.

Bella and Britt are sad when blobs of smeary oil stain their beach. They want to help with clean up efforts, but the ranger explains it’s a big job that the adults have to handle. When their friend the old pelican becomes covered in oil, the girls’ quick thinking and action helps save his life. Maybe there are ways for kids to help.

In this beautifully told story of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, author Nancy Stewart brings young readers up close to the disaster and encourages them to make a difference. How often as a child were you told to let the adults handle it? I bet our kids are just as frustrated now when they hear it as we were back then; especially considering children nowadays are more socially conscious. There are ways that all of us can make a difference, and in One Pelican at a Time, we see that desire and compassion lead to quick thinking and action on the part of two young girls who wish to save their animal friend.

Artist Samantha Bell provided the stunning artwork for this one. I’ve seen Bell’s artwork on numerous occasions. I love her use of color and the emotions she manages to capture with her drawings.

Also included are are helpful links so kids can learn more and tips on how they can help by being a bit greener each day.

One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart should be in classrooms and homes everywhere!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
ISBN-10: 1616331399
ISBN-13: 978-1616331399
SRP: $11.95



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The author paid me a fee to promote her book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation of any kind. 

Earth Day Guest Post and Giveaway: One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart

Today, I welcome bestselling author Nancy Stewart. Her children’s picture book, One Pelican at a Time, is an Amazon bestseller, and has spent time on their Hot New Releases list and their Most Wished For list in kid’s books. This is the first US children’s book to address the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20,2010. “The book features Bella and Britt and their heroic efforts to save their friend, the old crooked beak pelican, whom they’ve known all their lives. ”

Earth Day: A Billion Acts of Green
by Nancy Stewart

I’m old enough to remember when Earth Day was a joke. It was. As teachers, many of us said, “Oh, yeah. Earth Day. I’d better do something, I guess.” Not anymore. Earth Day has a global platform and big teeth. And it should. Caring for our planet is no laughing matter. It is a deadly serious concern.

Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet. It has come a long way from then with one hundred forty countries around the globe participating this year. And counting. Earth Day, very much like Earth Hour, has taken on a life of its own.

So what in the world can we do to help? The smallest thing adds up to a billion acts of green! I’ve pledge to not use plastic bags, to using cold water in the washing machine and to using earth friendly cleaning products. We’ve changed all light bulbs to save electricity, and they are turned off when leaving a room. I remind students when doing a book signing that turning off a light helps save a polar bear!

But it’s more than these things, isn’t it? Helping save our planet is really a state of mind. It’s being in the flow of good ecology every day, even every minute. And soon, it’s a way of life. Living this state of mind will help save all our lives and the lives of those to come, our children and our grandchildren. What better ongoing gift can we give to anyone than a sustainable, green and whole planet? Oh, and it’s not, of course, just April 22. It’s every day, every minute for the rest of our lives.

After having been an elementary school teacher, a management consultant with New Options, Inc. in New York City and a university professor of education, Nancy Stewart now writes children’s books full time. She, her husband and three sons, lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

Nancy travels extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is the US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.

Nancy is the author of One Pelican at a Time and two other Bella books: Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer, soon to be published by Guardian Angel Publishers. Nancy will be a presenter at the Illinois Reading Council Conference on March 17, 2011.

She and her family live in St. Louis and Clearwater Beach, Florida.

You can visit Nancy online at http://www.nancystewartbooks.com/ or her blog at http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com/.

Ready for your chance to win a copy of One Pelican at a Time?

 

The author is giving away a paperback copy of One Pelican at a Time to one lucky reader. Here are the details on how you can enter and win:

1) Leave a comment with your email address (so we can contact you if you win). You are not eligible if you don’t leave an email address.

2) BONUS ENTRY: Become my friend on Facebook (+1).  

3) BONUS ENTRY:  Follow me on Twitter (+1).

4) BONUS ENTRY: Become Nancy’s friend on Facebook (+1).

5) BONUS ENTRY: Follow Nancy on Twitter (+1).

6)  Each entry must have its own comment in order to be counted.

7) Giveaway is limited to people 18 years and older who reside in the United States or Canada.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, May 8, 2011. Winner will be selected from all eligible entries by Random.org. Prize will be shipped directly from the author to the winner. The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged goods.



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Interview with Nancy Stewart, Author of One Pelican at a Time

Joining us today is Nancy Stewart, author of One Pelican at a Time:  A Story of the Gulf Spill. This is a children’s book geared toward ages seven to twelve.

 

Thank you for joining us today, Nancy. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in St. Louis but, as my husband’s been a university president, have been lucky to have lived several places including London for eight years.  I’ve also been fortunate to have traveled the globe, which makes real fodder for the writing game.  I’ve also taught elementary school, have been a university professor of education and was a consultant to Cambridge University while living in London. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Actually, it was only about five years ago, although I’ve done scholarly writing for years.  Not the same thing!   

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I taught Children’s and Young Adult Literature to university students for years.  I loved picture books, all kinds.  It was a natural segue, I think, to try writing them myself. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I think it’s different.  I compare it to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  One has a formula of three attempts and failures before finding success.  This must be accomplished within one thousand words, even less words today.  Less has become much more fashionable in recent years.  And then there are the words—not too hard, not too easy, but just right.  Hmmm, reminds me of another picture book.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Actually, what I’ve just described in my last answer!  I really like the fiddliness  (is that a word?) of it.  I like the challenge and the balance of it.  I love playing with words.  The Thesaurus has become my constant companion, as in morning coffee, my computer, my cat and the Thesaurus.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

The book, One Pelican at a Time, is the story of two girls, Bella and Britt, who love living by the beach.  During an oil spill, however, they realize their old friend, the crooked beak pelican, is in grave danger. The girls, after having been told by adults that kids can do nothing to help, take matters into their own hands and try to save him from the oily gulf. 

What inspired you to write it?

My husband and I bought a condo on the water in Clearwater Beach, Florida, three years ago.  Although I didn’t know it would, that decision had a profound effect on me.  I watched the marine life on our daily walks and quickly grew to love it all, particularly the brown pelicans.  Who knew the spill would happen, and I would, hopefully, have the opportunity to help in a small way with their redemption?

Where can readers purchase a copy?

At this point, it can be found at:  www.guardianangelpublishing.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.indiebound.com

Autographed copies can be purchased at:  www.nancystewartbooks.com and http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Web site:  www.nancystewartbooks.com

Blog site:  http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com

What is up next for you?

The two other Bella and Britt books in the series, Sea Turtle Summer and Britt and Bella Save the Beach, will be released in 2011.  And I’ve begun working on the biography of a young girl who overcomes tremendous challenges because of a profound handicap. That’s a good challenge for me.

Do you have anything else to add?

I’ll just give a piece of advice that was so good for me as I began writing children’s books.  Persevere.  It’s the only way to do it.  As a very good author friend said to me when I began this adventure, “The only way to do it, is to do it.  There’s no shortcut.”  And he was absolutely right!

Thank you for spending time with us today, Nancy. We wish you much success.



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A Swiss Christmas by GAP Children’s Author Nancy Stewart

It was Christmas week, and we were in Switzerland. My family and I, along with good friends and a frozen turkey, traveled there for the holidays. We were living in London at the time, so we crossed the English Channel on a car ferry and were on our way to the Swiss countryside.

Our three sons were not so sure about the plan. “Were they getting as many gifts? What kind of Christmas dinner would we have? What about a tree?” I was having many of the same thoughts but kept them to myself.

As we drove higher into the mountains to reach the chalet lent by a friend, small delicate snowflakes danced around our two cars. Shadows deepened, and lights began to glow in houses nestled here and there in the valleys below us. Magical. A very good sign.

With darkness settling around the mountains, we arrived at our chalet. Maybe this adventure would be fine. These words became my mantra.

The next morning, we four parents and five sons explored the tiny village. And there, propped in front of a tiny store, was our Christmas tree! It was short, a little crooked, a bit spare of needles and one of the last ones left. It was beautiful to us.

The nine of us trudged along with our treasured tree and promptly set about decorating it. We popped popcorn and made white garlands with the help of needle and thread. We did the same with cranberries and wound scarlet sashes round the boughs. The boys found pine cones of different sizes and shapes in a sheltered stand of pines near our chalet. These they tucked between branches of our now festive offering to Christmas, and an aroma of pine drifted through the room. James, the youngest boy, fashioned a star out of paper and placed it on top of the tree.

That evening, Christmas Eve, the nine of us again walked to the village. Our feet made satisfying crunching sounds through the crusty snow. The village church was our destination. Candles shone in all the windows, casting shimmering shadows on the icy whiteness. It seemed the whole town had turned out for the midnight service. We were greeted with smiles and greetings of “Willkommen.” We were welcomed by everyone.

Christmas carols, all in German, but so familiar to us in every other way, filled the small church with happiness and joy. The pastor’s message, all in German, made us feel the meaning of Christmas, as if we understood every word.

Next morning, as the boys opened their allotted two gifts apiece, no one complained. Michele and I baked our now thawed turkey and completed all the usual trimmings, minus a pumpkin pie. No one complained. When it was time for all to help clean up from our meal, no one complained. Again, magical.

As I reflect on that Swiss Christmas of more than a decade ago, what made it so extraordinary? Was it Switzerland itself? Was it being with family and wonderful friends? Was it fulfilled expectations?

Yes, of course, it was all of that. And, yet, it was more. It was that intangible thing called hope. It was recognition that we are more than ourselves alone. It was the knowledge that we need one another and are here to help each other and to be selfless when called upon to be so. It was the magic of Christmas that just happened to be in a country called Switzerland.

After having been an elementary school teacher, a management consultant with New Options, Inc. in New York City and a university professor of education, Nancy Stewart now writes children’s books full time. She, her husband and three sons, lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

Nancy travels extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is the US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.

Nancy is the author of One Pelican at a Time and two other Bella books: Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer, soon to be published by Guardian Angel Publishers. Nancy will be a presenter at the Illinois Reading Council Conference on March 17, 2011.

She and her family live in St. Louis and Clearwater Beach, Florida.

You can visit Nancy online at http://www.nancystewartbooks.com/.



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