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Tickets For Rocky was written about Christine Tortorella’s twin sisters who worked hard to earn raffle tickets to win a pony.It was adapted from a true story. Having a dream is important, but working toward that dream is what builds character, whether children achieve those dreams or not!
Christine Tortorella’s niece, Kristin, visited a preschool in Apex, North Carolina and read to each of the preschool classes (2s, 3s, 4s and 5s!). The 5s class were the first class to hear Annie & Little One and was excited to share what made each of them different and special.
Then, the kids stood up to get the wiggles out while hearing The Bug Beat, a song from the CD Book Do Bugs Have Belly Buttons?
You should have seen the wonderful, creative dance they came up with, VERY BUG-LIKE! The 2s class (which was primarily 3-year-olds) heard Annie & Little One and listened to the Bug Beat twice (the 2nd time by request). They had a lot of questions and wanted to share their special toys, like Little One was special to Annie.
We asked what the kids remembered about the story. Jordan, from the 2s class, said, ”It’s so fun when Annie & Little One went to fly up so high, and she lost a shoe!” This video below shows a small clip of the 2s class dancing to the Bug Beat.
Kristin read to the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s classes in two days and the teachers expressed their gratitude for sharing the books with the classes. A 4s teacher said, “I love it. And the journal is the perfect pairing!”
The 2s teachers invited Kristin back to read any time.
I am Kristin Wilson, mother of two girls (a toddler and a preschooler), and a children’s book author working through the publishing process. I was not what you would call popular in school. In elementary and middle school I suffered from acne and a number of other unfortunate issues. And I was terribly self conscious.
So when I arrived at my oldest daughter’s preschool recently, and the teacher told me she was removed from dance class for hitting other children not once, not twice but three times, I was horrified. I realize she’s 3, and it is a phase. But she is at least two inches taller than all the other kids in her class and is not petite.
Coincidentally, I received a book in the mail the night before from a close friend. The book is called Carl – A True Story About Bullying by Marjorie Everson. I read it to both of my girls the very next morning. It was a little wordy for my little ones at first, but the illustrations and concept was not lost on my 3-year-old! I was so excited. She asked me why that boy was crying, and it was the perfect opportunity to talk to her about her actions in class the day before. I told her that picking on people, either by hitting or by saying bad things, was not nice. Because she is the biggest, I said, she needed to look out for other people and verbally defend other people when kids are being bullies!
She got it! I’m far from the perfect mother, so any opportunity to open the lines of communication through reading or activities is fantastic for me.
“What do you do if someone is being picked on?” I asked.
“I tell Miss Mel and Miss Tracey,” she said, solemnly (those are her teachers). I am not sure, but I think she realized then that she was the bully in class the day before.
I do recommend reading this book, from a mother’s perspective, to open the lines of communication about bullying. Even my 1-year-old said, “Oh no!” when she saw the pictures of poor little Carl crying. If my little ones can pick it up that quickly, imagine how the older kids would respond!
– Kristin Wilson
Author & Mom
Christine Tortorella is a children’s book author who has published several books with music and a dream journal. All of the proceeds from those book sales go back into the foundation’s literacy program. Dobugshavebellybuttons.com features Christine’s stories and other artists and musicians. Christine and her daughter, Brittany, are currently working to publish a new story about a pelican named Stubby who was injured by fishing line left in the water by fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico (near Merry Pier Bate Shop on Pass a grille). The story, Stubby & Rusty, was written by Brittany for a master’s level class project designed to teach children and their parents how these animals are affected by what humans do and how we can prevent these injuries!
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, located along the gulf coast in Florida, takes in injured animals like Stubby, treats them, cares for them and releases them when they can. When they can’t, they keep the birds at the facility. The Seabird Sanctuary rescues between 30-50 birds every day and feeds all of its animals about 450 lbs of herring every day!! However, due to the gulf oil spill and recent storms stirring up the water, fishing has become less productive, increasing the price of the fish. The Seabird Sanctuary is fundraising, with a goal of $100,000, what they expect it will cost to feed the birds in 2013 and keep the Seabird Sanctuary afloat.
For more information on the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, please visit seabirdsanctuary.com.
Stubby & Rusty is a story my daughter and I wrote about a Pelican that gets caught in a fishing line and hook that was simply left in the ocean! His poor little wing couldn’t get free, and his foot had to be partially amputated, and that’s why we call him Stubby! This is a real problem for Pelicans and much of the Gulf Coast wildlife, including dolphins and turtles. It’s important for you to know what you can do to help prevent this from happening to other Pelicans like Stubby.
When prevention efforts fail, places like Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary takes in these animals, treats them, cares for them and releases them when they can. When they can’t, they keep the birds at the facility. Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary rescues between 30-50 birds every day and feeds all of its animals about 450 lbs of herring every day!! That’s a lot of fish, and it’s getting more and more expensive to feed all of these birds. This and other animal rescue organizations rely on the help and donations of other animal lovers to take care of these birds. The Seabird Sanctuary is trying to raise $100,000 to feed their birds in 2013.
Christine Tortorella enjoyed the opportunity to work at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY with 12 young boys and their mentors, as they prepared to perform at the annual fundraiser in May.
The dinner gala hosted over 400 people and featured the boys art work, as they sang “Choose Your Stone,” written by Christine for the event. Children’s Village’s mission is to work in partnership with families to help societies most vulnerable youth. The boys and their mentors, under the guidance of teachers and volunteers, worked together for several months at their after-school program, on “good words” poetry and graffiti art, which was displayed on the big screen as they sang the song.
The Tortorella Family Foundation provided new sneakers and ties, which the boys wore at the event and were thrilled they got to keep as their own. The night was a success for the Children’s Village, as the Board of Directors, staff and guests watched these young people stand bravely and perform the song and poetry they helped create. Each guest was invited to take a ‘good word stone’ painted by the boys, from their table center piece, to remind them “we all choose” what we do to help others. For more information on this event and on the services provided to NYC area youth at risk, please visit www.ChildrensVillage.org.