Today my guest artist is children’s book author Mary Rensberry, whose new book The Best of Me from a-z is now available from Amazon. It is about reinforcing and validating the innate traits and virtues of and for children (as well as most adults for that matter).
As a children’s book author myself, I am struck by the phenomenal illustrations that accompany each virtue and trait from a-z. Illustrator Sara Murtas did a wonderful job in capturing your visions of affirming the higher qualities we all strive for in our lives.
How did you connect with illustrator Sara Murtas for the collaboration of The Best of Me from a-z?
First of all, thank you Richard Rensberry and QuickTurtle Books for having me as your guest artist. You’ve had some amazing artists thus far!
You ask about my connections with Sara Murtas, the illustrator of The Best of Me from a-z and how we connected. We connected via the world’s largest Freelance Services Marketplace known as Fiverr ( fiverr.com). It was there I looked through many portfolios from various artists for the kind of art I was envisioning. It was there I found Sara’s outstanding work. The rest is history! I sent her a request for the type of illustrations I was needing and we agreed on a price and built our collaboration from there. All in all, Sara is a top-notch professional, has a good work ethic, and has great communication skills. It was a joy to work with Sara in every respect.
What was your primary motivation behind writing and publishing The Best of Me from a-z?
My primary motivation behind writing and publishing the book, The Best of Me from a-z dovetails with my purpose in life. My purpose is to find beauty within and around us, sharing that beauty and letting those be the points that draw us all together. A person can actually make the needed changes in life by enhancing and drawing on those qualities he/she already has. My secondary purpose in writing the book is that each child is precious and they need to give themselves positive messages throughout the day. Certainly something to strive for. Once good habits become second nature, then success follows quite easily. Appreciating the gift they truly are, creating the kind of life they want in the future, and being successful are some of the outcomes of daily practice. There is a familiar saying that goes like this…whatever you practice, you become good at it. It’s not different with the book. It’s kinda like having your own little manual to start and end each day.
How can this book help parents and children meet the challenges of modern life and education?
This book can help not only parents and children, but can be used in the classroom as well as by teachers. It would be my greatest hope that something this small, but packed with beautiful illustrations and positive messages would be found in libraries and classrooms all over the world. (So yes, a translation into a Spanish version coming out soon.) 🙂
With living in today’s world of challenges and obstacles, modern life and education need help along the way from family, friends, church and community. The Best of Me from a-z can help facilitate positive help for all concerned.
This book’s subtitle is Traits and Virtues for Kids. There are 26 positive messages for the alphabetical traits or virtues that can be helpful for any child needing to reinforce who they truly are. In the back of the book, in the Note to the Reader, a Virtues Game is suggested for an additional expansion of the book’s ideas for fun and enjoyment.
As a teacher, what tips would you like to leave with us regarding subjecting our children to the current government funded and regulated education extant in this country?
I was a teacher in many kinds of school settings from public to private, church school to charter. I even consider myself a teacher in certain respects today. I’m still out there addressing the needs of children through the books we published at QuickTurtle Books LLC. They are wholesome, entertaining, and filled with rhythm and rhyme.
As you know, there are many teachers that have the heart and know-how to teach children in the public school setting although their hands are tied by the bureaucratic system that’s been set up for decades. As you also know, we as a society are faced with many challenges today that threaten the values that we want instilled in our children. There’s controversy over what should be taught. Thus there’s been many changes to educating our children, but one thing is needed; to allow children to demonstrate what their interests are and to draw on those abilities and skills. Children need to be physically mobile in the classroom environment whether inside the room or outside. They need to be taught HOW TO STUDY so that they can accomplish what their purpose in life is without ‘adults’ or ‘professionals’ screwing them up. Pardon the verbiage. With this very important structure set up, then children will be less likely to be labeled, diagnosed and given psychiatric drugs. Give children the tools and let them be supervised in their learning program is what I advocate. I believe our new Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, is on the right track, http://bit.ly/2DDeLVi
Is there anything else you would like to impart regarding your new children’s book The Best of Me from a-z?
Thus far, the book has been well received by close friends, family and acquaintances. Many people have commented this is ‘just what is needed’, ‘what a great little book it is’ and what a good job of ‘bringing diversity into the book’.
Mary Rensberry holds an Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Covington Theological Seminary, a Christian counseling degree, and a Masters of Education degree in Instructional Technology.
She has many years of teaching experience in every kind of school setting from public to private to charter school. Mary’s taught in the Regular classroom in the elementary grades, incorporated special education into her classroom and has seen the devastating results of the labeling and drugging of children with pharmaceutical drugs such as Xanax, Adderall, and the like. She has witnessed the foster care youth and the elderly
desperately wanting off of these un-scientifically proven drugs but caught in the ‘system’ with little or no voice or representation. Due to these experiences, Mary has a passion for writing and believes that society and our communities at large shouldn’t tolerate this
abuse, but seek out healthy alternatives that actually help. Mary is an author, illustrator, teacher, and facilitator.
Mary’s current book, The Best of Me from A-Z, Traits and Virtues for Kids, came out in Jan 2018 and is being well received. It is about 26 positive traits and virtues with 26 simple one-line positive messages that will help kids be successful and feel good about themselves. The illustrator, Sara Murtas from Italy, has a style all her own; her colorful, highly active drawings, much like anime, help inspire kids to be active, thoughtful and mannerly people.
Her previous books include I AM SPIRIT, The ABCs of an Ideal Spirit, Christmas Christmas Everyday, Fowl Art, Listen, Wake Looks and It’s Black and White, Navigating the ADHD Controversy, co-authored with her husband, Richard.
The things Mary likes to do are going for bike rides in the country, planting a garden & canning veggies and fruits in the summer, dabbling in the arts with watercolors and visiting her family in Texas and California. She is the proud parent of six ISA Brown chickens, one black kitty and grandparent to three grandchildren, too.
You can follow Mary Rensberry at: maryrensberry.wordpress.com
Buy and Read The Best of Me from a-z! Traits and Virtues for Kids
This is a 66 page glossy 6×9 paperback book for young girls and boys that encourages positive traits and virtues such as being able, beautiful, creative, self-determined. There are 26 traits or virtues along with 26 simple messages that states they are that, each day, bringing success and accomplishment to their lives. The illustrations are done by Sara Murtas from Italy which are colorful, vibrant, and depicting characters that are action-filled. This is the second book in the Everyday Series Collection, the first one being Christmas Christmas Everyday.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®