Author: Always with a Book

THE GRUMPY FRUMPY CROISSANT helps with kids anger management, plus a baking activity, how it might help with apraxia, more

By Leslie Lindsay  A sip of milk and ten deep breaths: anger management for kids to help calm angry minds and soften misunderstandings. ~Apraxia Monday|Always with a Book~ Spotlight: Children‘s Literature & Emotions Croissant isn’t happy and he’s taking it out on the rest of the breakfast plate! Toast, Scone, and Milk think he’s being mean, but Croissant feels they’re being mean to him! So take a sip of milk, ten deep breaths, and everyone and calm down and be more open.  THE GRUMPY FRUMPY CROISSANT by Mona K. and illustrated by Korey Scott, is a delightful and quirky children’s book with bold, colorful, hand-drawn illustrations easy for any child to grasp. Here, kids learn that simple communication is often the best way to solve problems.  The book even contains a delicious recipe that parents and caregivers can make with their kids, plus full-page coloring activities featuring characters from the book.  Why it might be helpful for kids with apraxia:  It’s frustrating for kids to have ideas they want to communicate, but can’t. They may …

Laura Lippman chats about her hallucinatory new novel, DREAM GIRL, about fear & isolation, how books formed her, backstory and creativity

By Leslie Lindsay Such a masterful, slow burn of a literary thriller. Highly unique, deliciously dark and complex. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Laura Lippman & Leslie Lindsay A distinctive voice in crime fiction, Laura Lippman has been named one of the “essential” crime writers of the last 100 years. She’s a New York Times bestseller and has won more than 20 prizes for her work and been shortlisted for 30 more. ABOUT DREAM GIRL: Gerry Anderson is a big-time author, his book, DREAM GIRL catapulted him onto the bestseller lists and he hasn’t come down since…his sense of self is up there, too. But now, he’s been injured in a freak accident, laid up in his Baltimore penthouse, which, in essence, is pretty ironic and hilarious. Gerry doesn’t exactly want to be in Baltimore, he says he’s happiest in NYC, where he had been living. He has relocated to care for his ailing mother, who had issues with delusional dementia. Here is where this synopsis and review gets a bit tricky: are we …

Mckenzie Cassidy talks about his debut coming-of-age, Here Lies a Father, a fabulous 1970s playlist featuring songs about dads, the hero’s journey, upstate NY as a character, the catharsis of writing about family secrets, more

By Leslie Lindsay A coming-of-age tale featuring a young man dealing with the death of his father, the secrets he attempted to hide, truth, reconstruction, and more WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Mckenzie Cassidy in Conversation Writer, professor, Floridian, and Dad, Mckenzie Cassidy delves into dark secrets and a sorted past to discover who–and what–shapes us in his debut coming-of-age, loosely based on a true story. About HERE LIES A FATHER: This an astute and poignant debut from McKenzie Cassidy (Akashic Books, Jan 2021), about fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, and the universal odyssey of family secrets, lies, and revelations. Ian Daly is fifteen when his wayward father dies; they are a bit estranged, he and his mother having recently returned to New York state after a stint in Florida. The parents are separated and leaning toward divorce. Ian has an older sister, Catherine, who is at college. HERE LIES A FATHER opens at the man’s funeral and backtracks through the somber, dysfunctional realms of his life, peeling back layers while juxtaposing …

Toe-tappin’ Hip-Hoppin’ Llama Glamarama is all about marching to the beat of your own drummer, celebrating differences, feeling left-out, PRIDE and more

By Leslie Lindsay  A bright and colorful rhyming story with a powerful message about celebrating differences, LLAMA GLAMARAMA is the perfect Pride picture book for everyone. ~Books on MondaY|Always with a Book~ Spotlight: Children‘s Literature Meet a dazzlin’ dancin’ llama who learns to march to the beat of his own drum by strutting his stuff with Pride (and a funky feather boa)! Larry the llama loves to move and groove! But will his friends all disapprove? Larry lives a slow and quiet life at the barn with all the other llamas, just the way they like it. But at night when everyone has gone to bed, Larry loves to dress up in bright costumes and DANCE! He has to hide this from the others, for fear that they won’t approve of his raucous ways. One day, he stumbles upon the Llama Glamarama, a carnival full of music, laughter, and yes – dancing! Will this vibrant celebration give Larry the pride he needs to bring his dance back home? Kirkus calls LLAMA GLAMARAMA (Scholastic/Orchard Books, June 1, 2021) …

Helen Cooper talks about fragmented conversations, hidden histories in families, peering in windows, &other dark truths in her debut, THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR–plus miniatures and driving!

By Leslie Lindsay How well do you really know your neighbors? How well do you know yourself? These are the overarching questions explored in this fiction debut by Helen Cooper. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Helen Cooper & Leslie Lindsay in conversation From the U.K., Helen Cooper’s background in teaching with an emphasis on Academic Writing. Her creative writing has been published in Mslexia and Writers’ Forum; she was shortlisted in the Bath Short Story Prize in 2014, and came third in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2018. The Downstairs Neighbor is her first novel. For more information, to connect with Helen Cooper, or to purchase a copy of THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR, please visit: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram ORDER LINKS: Support your local in-person bookstore or order through Bookshop.org This title may also be available through other online sellers.  YOU MIGHT LIKE: THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR reminded me a bit of Claire Mackintosh’s work meets Louise Candlish’s THOSE PEOPLE and OUR HOUSE. If you loved this interview, please consider sharing it on social media. Reviewing books and talking about them with …

Written by a nurse, illustrated by a 15-year old, and sung by a quartet of musicians, THE TEENSY WEENSY VIRUS is a fun, hands-on way to talk with children about the pandemic

By Leslie Lindsay  Embracing the latest science, The Teensy Weensy Virus pairs simple, kid-friendly explanations with bright, colorful illustrations. ~BOOKS ON MONDAY | ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Children‘s literature COVID-19 is a big deal—but with all that adults have to worry about, it’s easy to overlook the pandemic’s impact on children. This book provides a great way for parents and caregivers to introduce and reinforce the importance of safety measures to children, while giving kids the opportunity to ask questions and share their feelings. Written and designed by a pediatric nurse practitioner with expertise on the other end of the spectrum: palliative care, Sherri Rose is well-versed in health, medicine, and children. Plus, what I really love is how THE TEENSY WEENSY VIRUS offers additional resources for adults and an informative song. This helps lighten the mood as families engage with this serious topic. I love the bright, bold illustrations, the sing-song-y lilt of this story, plus the playful nature and child-adult bonding that’s sure to happen. For all of those reasons, THE TEENSY WEENSY VIRUS …

Elizabeth Brundage discusses her fabulously dark and mysterious new novel, THE VANISHING POINT, how she enjoys investigating conflict from several angles, stylistic choices, existential questions & more

By Leslie Lindsay A spare, unflinching, gorgeously rendered tale of intersections and cross-sections of our lives, the memories, jealousies, secrets, and more. I am swooning over THE VANISHING POINT (Little, Brown May 18 2021) by Elizabeth Brundage. It’s eerie, evocative, entangling and pulls at a knotted thread of mystery. Here it has all of the hallmarks for gorgeous prose: it’s emotionally resonant leaving the reader with residual feelings and thoughts while at the same time generating forward momentum, it’s stunning. Julian Ladd and Rye Adler are photography students–and roommates, briefly—during a time while attending an exclusive workshop, mentored by Brodsky, a photography great. It’s mostly men, but there’s a woman, too, Magda, a Polish immigrant who has spent most of her life in the U.S. Both men are fascinated and captivated by her, but no one can seem to ‘have’ her. Julian and Rye’s lives diverge; they take different paths. Julian becomes ensconced in the pharmaceutical industry and Rye pursues photography. In fact, he’s at the top of his game, snapping photographs of celebrities and the like. But now someone’s …

Apraxia Monday but on a Talking Tuesday: Leslie Lindsay, Author of Speaking of Apraxia, Narrates Audiobook

By Leslie Lindsay You guys! May has been a huge month for me. I am so grateful, honored, and humbled to have had the opportunity to record the audio version of Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A Timeline of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: When my first-born wasn’t speaking like other children her age, I worried. When her pediatrician said, “I think she might need an assessment from a speech-language pathologist (SLP), I gulped. Really?! Not my kid. Just shy of her third birthday, she was diagnosed with moderate-severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). What is CAS? Quick definition: a neurologically-based motor speech disorder in which kids know what they want to say, but have have difficulty organizing the movements needed for speech. It is not something kids outgrow, but requires frequent, intense speech language therapy, often for many years. I wanted a book. Few were available, with the exception of some graduate-level textbooks, a chapter here and there, a mention in parenting or child development book. I wanted a book …

Memoir Monday May Roundup with an emphasis on Motherhood & Mental Illness

By Leslie Lindsay May is all about growth. Spring is in full bloom; and it’s a time for recognition and celebration, but it can also be a loaded month. Over thirty years ago this month, my mother devolved into psychosis. We were estranged starting in my tweens, until her suicide over six years ago. How does that leave me to mother my own daughters? Would I fall victim to the same genetic legacy? Could I break the cycle of poor mother-daughter relationships? And how do I celebrate Mother’s Day with no mother? How did I celebrate my mother when she was alive and not capable of being much of one? “I am so grateful to have this conversation with you. It means a great deal respond to someone who has so carefully read my work and I’m thankful to have this opportunity to reflect in this way.” -Vince Granta, EVERYTHING’S FINE For the entire month of May, I’ve featured some really wise and thoughtful authors–they’ve courageously shared their relationships with their mothers, opened up about …

Nicole Bokat talks about her gorgeously written THE HAPPINESS THIEF, motherhood & careers, the happiness movement, thriving vs surviving, grief, being an empty-nester, how writing fiction is a privilege, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Edgy, smart, and propulsive blend of literary thriller meets family dysfunction. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Motherhood & Mental Illness A masterful tale of family dysfunction, enmeshment, interconnected twists, the infallible effect of memory and emotion, lies, and so much more in Nicole Bokat’s THE HAPPINESS THIEF (SWP, May 18 2021). Natalie Greene is a 41-year old recently divorced woman raising a 15-year old daughter. Even now, she still believes she caused the car crash that led to her mother’s death when she was thirteen. But did she? Haunted by this, her dissolving marriage (and the fact that her ex has so easily moved on), Natalie is trying to make ends meet while being a freelance food photographer when strange emails, the death of her stepfather, and a large FedEx package appears and then disappears, catapulting her back to those earlier days. But there’s more: a recent trip to the Cayman Islands where her stepsister, happiness guru, Isabel’s, conference was held, an eerie similarity to the car crash that happened to Natalie’s mother nearly 30 years prior. Could the two …