Blog

Stick Horse, etc.

By Janet Ann Collins | October 1, 2020

For some reason I’ve been thinking about a stick horse I had as a kid. I made it from a broomstick with an old sock stuck on one end. The sock was stuffed and eyes, ears, etc. were partly drawn on and partly made of pieces of fabric glued on. I named the horse Melodiette Pepperminta Blue Harebella Horse and pretended to ride it around outside with my friends, who had their own stick horses. I also made some dolls by sewing them from fabric, and made doll houses out of boxes for the small furniture and plastic people. And, of course, I drew and cut out lots of paper dolls and their wardrobes. The kids in my neighborhood could go out to play without any grown-ups around and we all used sticks as swords or guns, and used our imaginations all the time. In some ways the world is much better and safer (?) for children today, but it’s a shame kids don’t have the freedom we did. I hope they still make things and use their imaginations.

Sad News

By Janet Ann Collins | September 27, 2020

Guardian Angel Publishing, the house that published my books, is definitely going out of business.I’m sad, but understand that it’s necessary.I still have a few copies that I might be able to sell at conferences and school visits in the future, but those things won’t happen again for a long time.This is just one more of the unpleasant things we must all deal with in these troubled times.

Slime & All

By Janet Ann Collins | September 18, 2020

It may seem strange, but I think these times of racial unrest are a good opportunity for kids to read my book, Slime & All. The book is about a giant, talking worm who needs a friend and a boy who helps him and makes more friends himself as a result. Although the book doesn’t mention race at all, it’s about accepting others who are different. And the main human character in the book is African American like the illustrator, Alexander Morris, himself. The book is suggested for kids from four to eight years old and would be useful for kids who are being home schooled. It’s available on Amazon, through the publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing, and bookstores can order it through the distributor.

Slime & All

By Janet Ann Collins | September 12, 2020

In this time of racial unrest it might be a good idea for kids to read my book, Slime & All. The book is about a giant, talking worm who wants a friend and the boy who helps him and makes more friends himself as a result. This book will help kids learn to accept others who are different from themselves. It’s for young readers who will probably enjoy the illustrations by Alexander Morris. It’s available on Amazon, local bookstores can get it through their distributor, or it can be ordered directly from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Good and Bad People

By Janet Ann Collins | September 5, 2020

There are a LOT more good people than bad ones in the world. The bad ones get the publicity because they’re unusual. Think how boring the news would be if it only told us about people going about their everyday lives and being pleasant to everyone. Back before Covid-19 it was the bad guys who wore masks. Now all the law-abiding citizens wear them and it’s the ones who refuse to follow the rules who refuse to wear them. And, strangely, unless they’re also wearing a hat and dark glasses, I can easily recognize anyone I know who is wearing a mask. I wonder how the bandits in the wild west kept from being recognized when they robbed people. Dark glasses hadn’t been invented back then.

Signs of Trouble

By Janet Ann Collins | September 2, 2020

Since kids are starting school, mostly in unusual ways, this seems like a good time to let people know about my book, Signs of Trouble. It’s about kids who get separated from their Special Ed class on a field trip and use what they’ve learned about safety rules and recognizing signs to get reunited.All young kids, not only those with Special Needs, need to know those things.At the end of the book are activities and discussion questions to help kids learn them.The book is available on Amazon and local bookstores can order it.

Synthetics

By Janet Ann Collins | August 29, 2020

A few days ago I mentioned my experience as a child with newly invented plastic. Today plastics and other synthetics have taken over the world, at least in developed countries. Just imagine what would happen if they were all to suddenly disappear. People would be walking around naked, or with transparent clothes.Car seats and other vehicle parts would fall apart.Mattresses and other upholstery would collapse.Fires would start because some wires had no insulation. Just listing the things in my own home made of synthetics would make this a VERY long post, and I can’t imagine how many other things in the world would disappear or collapse. In our world we’ve become dependent on synthetics.

Plastic

By Janet Ann Collins | August 26, 2020

It was a bright red-orange toy canoe about ten inches long for me to play with in the bathtub. The canoe was made of a new substance called plastic that had been developed during World War II, which had recently ended. Whenever my parents had company over, Daddy had me bring out the canoe to show the guests. They all found it fascinating, and I was so proud to have a toy that grown-ups admired. But the canoe didn’t last long. One evening I accidentally banged it against the side of the bathtub and it shattered. Of course I had no idea back then that plastics would take over the world.

Our Time

By Janet Ann Collins | August 21, 2020

There have been times in history when major epidemics happened, like the Spanish Influenza, Polio and Smallpox.There have been racial riots before.There have been nasty politics and major economic problems in the past.There have been fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.Thousands of people have lost jobs, and businesses have become bankrupt in previous times.But there has never been a time in history until now when all those things happened at once!What else could possibly go wrong? A volcanic eruption, major earthquake, atomic war, or an invasion by creatures from outer space?But I still believe there are more good people than bad ones in the world, and lots of the good ones are pitching in to help others.When all (or most) of these bad things are over I think we’ll all realize that there are MANY more good people and positive events than bad ones in the world. The bad ones get the publicity because they’re unusual.If the news covered all the nice things people do for each other, those who have and do good jobs, all the beautiful things in our world, etc., etc., etc., daily newspapers would have to be as thick as encyclopedias and news programs would fill the entire day.In spite of all the bad stuff, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Masks

By Janet Ann Collins | August 15, 2020

Back in the day of cowboy stories the villains covered the lower part of their faces with kerchiefs and nobody could recognize them. But when I see people I know with kerchiefs covering half their faces I easily recognize them. And the modern masks covering noses and mouths are even less likely to hide people’s identities. It used to be the bad guys who wore masks. Now it’s the law-abiding citizens who wear them and the bad guys, willing to spread the corona virus to others if they have it and don’t know it, who don’t.