Colonel Trash Truck by Kathleen Crawley

colonel-coverEncourage your kids to become part of Colonel Trash Truck’s Clean and Green Team with this new rhyming book by Kathleen Crawley that teaches kids in a fun way about the importance of recycling.

Colonel Trash Truck travels the streets with his Clean and Green Team to help win the war on garbage.  From leaves to litter, from doo to scum, Colonel Trash wants to keep the world beautiful.  But he needs your help, so save the trees, recycle and reuse whenever possible.

Every parent, grandparent, care giver, Preschool or Kindergarten teacher who wants to encourage young children to “Go Green” will want to pick up a copy of Colonel Trash Truck by Kathleen Crawley.  In this charming and fun rhyming book, Crawley helps youngsters realize they can do their part and it doesn’t have to be hard at all.  Using children’s fascination with large trucks, the author has created a lovable character in Colonel Trash Truck–a lovable character with a mission. 

The adorable and vibrant illustrations provided by Manuel Conde will catch the eyes of young readers and make them want to know more about this big, smart-looking truck.  My favorite character is the litter bug, who you’ll also find gracing the back cover.

While some books for kids  about recycling can be too strong in their message, Crawley weaves her message in a subtle manner with a lyrical prose that will definitely make a big impression on them.

I highly recommend this book and can’t wait until the next ones in this series come out!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Big Tent Books
  • ISBN-10: 1601310331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601310330
  • SRP:  $14.95
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    Interview with Melissa Burmester, Author of the Young Adult Fantasy Novel Ginger High


    Joining us today is the talented author behind the young adult fantasy novel, Ginger High. We’ll talk to Melissa Burmester about her debut release, the challenges of being a young novelist and what her future plans are.

    Welcome Melissa.  We’re excited to have you here.  Why don’t you start by telling our readers a bit about yourself?  When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

    I don’t remember but I have always been writing short stories. It just comes out, sometimes I don’t even know that I am writing.

    Now at 14, you’ve already published your first novel.  How do you feel about that?  Is it all exciting or are there parts about being published so young that are scary too?

    I feel… normal about it. I feel the same like before I published it. When I get a bad review I get sad but a couple of minutes later I would just shrug it off. The scariest part is if I have to do a live interview either on the phone on television. I am really shy and I don’t talk much unless I feel really comfortable around someone.

    Tell us about Ginger High?Ginger_High

    Ginger High is about a school that is for students with powers. Some of them can control air, fire, and some come heal. There is also an alternate universe called Animist where the people with powers resign. In this book, a group of students and their friends have to solve a murder that has been happening for years.

    Where did you find the inspiration for this story?

    Mew Mew Power. This anime show was my inspiration for the alternate world. Also I watched Angel and I loved it.

    How long did it take you to bring this book from the first draft to the final published product?

    It took about two years for everything. For the first draft I worked with it for a year then another year for the second draft and the editing.

    Tell us about your main characters. Why will readers relate to them? What will they like about them?

    Some readers might find some of the characters relationships like their own. There are a lot of friend problems between some of the characters. Also, some will not give up a relationship even if the other person wants them to.

    Where can readers purchase a copy of Ginger High?

    You can go to

    Do you have a website or blog?

     My website is J

    What is up next for you?  Any plans to release another book in the future?

    I am working on the rewrite of Ginger High 2 right now. After that I might rewrite two other books that I wrote last year. J

    Thanks for spending time with us Melissa.  I hope you’ll come back and visit us again soon.  Good luck with your book!



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    Tips for Writing for the Young Adult Genre by Marcus Dino


    Perhaps more of a prequel than a sequel to Marcus Dino’s electrifying Hollywood novel, Fifi Anything Goes in the Doubles Os (Iuniverse 2003, Airleaf 2005) Diary of a Mad Gen Yer focuses on the hilarious adventures of 21st century actress/heroine Fifi Larouche; her silly poems, her silly stories, her silly blogs, during her days working as a waitress while pursuing her dreams of Hollywood fame.

    Gen Yer also introduces colorful new characters such as Alocki, the alien from the planet Zatoris and “the smartest person Fifi ever met”, Flifi, Fifi’s’ “fairy alter ego” from the “Alternate Earth” who gives people advice but has a little stinger on her tail and stings people who do wrong and throws pixie dust on people who do right, and Dick, an evolutionary scientist who enjoys arguing religion with Fifi and is a “proud atheist”.

    Of course many of the major characters in Fifi such as Biff, Fifi’s bohemian actor/software engineer boyfriend and Charles, Fifi’s domineering college professor father who thinks Fifi is wasting her time in “ala land” and needs to come back to her hometown of Des Moines Iowa to work as a banker, are back in Gen Yer.

    While Fifi tended at times to focus on Fifi’s serious side, Gen Yer almost exclusively focuses on Fifi’s comical adventures, and her “silly thoughts” and will keep readers laughing from beginning to end.

    Tips for Writing for the Young Adult Genre by Marcus Dino 

    Perhaps because of my secondary school teaching background, perhaps because I live in La La land, perhaps because I have grown up on so many movies and television shows throughout the years emphasizing young adult life, for example all these teenage horror flicks we have had the last 50 years starting from I was a Teenage Werewolf to The Final Destination, my focus in creative writing has been the young adult genre.  Here are some tips that I have used in the two young adult books I have written, Fifi and Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, that I wish to share with you.

    Make your characters as interesting as possible.  You can write another novel about a teenage vampire or werewolf even though 20 other authors have written about the same subject as you have.  Perhaps your teenage vampire gets accepted into Harvard where he majors in biochemistry.  To help pay his tuition he lands a part time job where he works as a lab assistant.  Of course the hospital also has a place where he has access to “his nourishment” and he doesn’t have to chase “warm bodies”.  A decade later he becomes one of the youngest Nobel Prize winners because of his research which led to the development of ‘artificial blood.’ 

    Of course take your characters from real life examples, say your best friend back in high school who was a little bit on the stuck up side, your real life ups and downs as a twenty something, that unforgettable prom night, your college-age son describing  his “frat party”, remember Animal House

    Develop a riveting, not necessarily complex, plot in order to capture a reader’s attention.  Your story needs to capture a reader’s attention at the very beginning with your introduction.  Also, good dialogue between characters gets the reader interested in the story as much as a riveting plot.   For instance what line is going to capture a reader’s attention more?  “So Fifi are you going to the party tonight over at Dirk Van Allen’s parents place?” or “Omigosh Fif, you cannot, cannot miss the big party at Dirk Van Allen’s folks place tonight.  It is the rad thing to do and I mean every cool kid in school is gonna be there.  I mean Fif you don’t want to be like one of the geeks and stay home and watch TV tonight do you?” 

    In my opinion don’t overly stress current popular culture with young people today.  We’re talking nanoseconds when we discuss the life span today of any big fad among young people.  This year’s big name singer or pop group or actor may be passé next year. 

    I enjoy writing young adult books because it is such a fun and rewarding experience.  There is no limit to one’s imagination when creating a colorful story and interesting characters when you are writing fiction dealing with young adults. 

    Marcus Dino has had an interesting professional career, first as an Aerospace engineer, next as a passionate math teacher teaching in urban Los Angeles which he currently still does, and finally, as a part time literary fiction author.  It is Mr Dino’s being a die hard movie buff that led him to writing Diary of a Mad Gen Yer in addition to his first novel, Fifi, Anything goes in the Double Os, first published in 2003.  Mr Dino is a graduate of Chapman University and he also has Masters Degrees in both Education and Electrical Engineering.  Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Fifi can be found at and  Mr Dino’s personal website which includes numerous blogs, short stories, and poems involving his central character Fifi Larouche, which helped inspire him to write his anthology, Diary, can be found at

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