Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My! by Author Heather L. Beal Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Another beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written story of nature and safety come to life in author Heather L. Beal’s children’s book, Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My! Here’s the synopsis:

Lily and Niko Rabbit are at childcare when the weather changes and a thunderstorm strikes. One of the children’s parents is a meteorologist and he talks with the children about thunderstorms. They learn about severe weather events like thunderstorms and what conditions these events can bring, like lightning, hail, and winds. They also learn what to do to stay safe.

This is another fun illustrated adventure from author Heather L. Beal. The story focuses on thunderstorms, and how dangerous they can be. It allows kids to learn about common weather in our world that can affect our daily lives, and how to be safe when confronted with this weather. Children will love the colorful art and humorous writing that will allow them to connect with the story, while parents will love the way the story allows them to bond with their child and helps teach their child valuable lessons going forward in life. It’s everything you want in a children’s novel and more, combining fantastic creativity, passionate characters that teach the children about this topic, and an important life lesson on safety and not taking unnecessary risks. Overall I loved this story, as it brings another fantastic chapter to the books from this incredible author that fuses education and creativity beautifully. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copies of Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My!

 

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Lions-Leopards-Storms-Oh-Thunderstorm-ebook/dp/B07D6VK1ZH/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527224122&sr=1-5&keywords=Heather+L+Beal

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Interview with Author Heather Beal

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Writing children’s books wasn’t something I thought I would end up doing, but I find now that now that many of my previous life experiences really have helped prepare me to do just that. I retired from a 23-year military career a few years ago where I was very busy with operational planning and targeting. I have pursued and obtained multiple degrees, the latest in emergency management and I run a nonprofit, BLOCKS that helps prepare childcare for disaster.

 

Did you know that children spend an average of 33-35 hours a week in some sort of childcare arrangement? That’s a lot of time away from home. So, the odds of me being lucky enough to be there if something bad happened were pretty low. That thought doesn’t help me sleep at night. So, I started to ask, what could I do to fix that and increase the odds they came home safe?

 

I started looking around at what resources were available and realized there weren’t many available. There were a lot of books about the science behind natural disasters, but nothing written by authors trained in emergency management or designed to help teach kids what do to in the actual disaster itself.

 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

One stormy night I had to try and talk with my daughter (4 at the time) about how we might have to go into the basement later that evening because a tornado watch could turn into a warning. Well, needless to say, I did a really bad job ‘preparing’ her, and instead scared her. I knew that if I could introduce the topics before something happened, it would help her feel like she was more in control and maybe make it less scary. At the time we were watching a lot Daniel Tiger episodes at home, so the idea of combining song and story sort of naturally evolved. That was how I came up the idea of publishing children’s books that teaches preschool kids (through early elementary school) what to do if disaster strikes.  

 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope that parents and caregivers see the value in teaching their children what to do rather than pretending it won’t happen. We teach our kids about crossing the street, stranger danger, etc. Our children get training on fire drills in daycare or in school, so why not teach them about other disasters? If they know what to do, they can help themselves and others.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My daughter is now in Kindergarten and my son is almost three. We read a lot of books at home and they learn a lot from those books as well as what they see and hear. If children learn these lessons now, the lessons become part of their culture. These lessons can become part of their ‘norm’ and can help them throughout their life. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that genre, right?

 

5) If you could sit down with any author in your genre, who would it be, what would you ask them and why?

My early research into this field found Julia Cook. She wrote The Ant Hill Disaster, which deals with finding the strength to return somewhere after something bad has happened. I would ask her how she got her message out. Her books help children deal with emotions and target specific behaviors. Writing the book is the easy part, but finding and building the audience that cares about your message and wants to help endorse it, is the hard part.

 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Believe it or not, LinkedIn has been the best readership builder I have had to date. I have been building relationships with childcare providers and emergency managers for years with my nonprofit, and I have found the emergency manager community especially excited to see these books out there.

 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write the books and get them out there. It’s true that the book itself has little value unless people know about it, but don’t let fear of getting the word out prevent you from getting the book out. Look for creative ways to engage people and let them know of what you offer. It’s slow, and its going to be for a while, but you have to look at it like it’s a marathon, not a sprint, or you will get discouraged. When I get discouraged, I remind myself that while we often measure success by the number of books sold, in my case at least, if just one child remembers what to do when a tornado or an earthquake happens, and they are safer because of it, then I am a success. If just one child loves your story and learns something, you too will be a success.

 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

There are so many issues left to cover. Many disasters are geographically limited. For example, earthquakes are more likely in certain areas, as are volcanoes, but we owe our kids a chance to be prepared no matter what. I am leaning towards hurricane preparedness and flash floods for the next couple of books, but I am going to ask my readers for their thoughts and their priorities – so that may change.

 

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Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal

Author Heather L. Beal has another hit children’s book in the book, Tummy Rumble Quake, a fun and education story that focuses on the danger and cause of earthquakes. Here’s the synopsis:

Lily and Niko Rabbit’s childcare class learns about the Great ShakeOut™ and about earthquakes. They learn what causes earthquakes and how an earthquake feels like shaking and sounds like a really loud tummy rumble. They practice the three safety steps of drop, cover, and hold on. At the end of the day they know how to be safe during an earthquake.

Reading this book is a great way for parents, childcare providers, and caregivers, to talk to toddlers and preschool children about earthquake safety in a non-frightening way. Children can easily relate with these characters and their story gives children the tools and information they need to help stay safe and be prepared should an earthquake happen.

What another fantastic children’s book from the author. Filled with beautiful artwork once more, the story does a great job of educating children on what causes earthquakes and how to stay safe in the event one occurs. It allows children to open their minds up and educate themselves on the way nature works and how our planet functions on a basic level. The comparisons made in the book will be sure to delight parents and children alike, and the writing is beautifully crafted to highlight the best of this genre.

Overall this was another great read in the children’s book genre. Filled with incredible imagery and a great cast of characters children will be able to relate to, parents will not want to miss this opportunity to educate their children in such a creative and fun way on earthquakes. It will keep them better prepared and will also delight them with the fantastic images. If you haven’t yet, but sure to pick up your copies of Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal today!

Rating: 10/10

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Elephant Wind by Heather L. Beal

Author Heather L. Beal delights parents and children alike with her education and fun read, Elephant Wind. Here’s the synopsis:

Lily and Niko Rabbit’s childcare class is at the elementary school science fair when a tornado warning happens. They learn how a tornado looks like an elephant trunk and sounds like a train. They also learn where they can go to be safe. When they find out the tornado damaged a neighbor’s house, they come together to help in their own charming way.

Reading this book is a great way for parents, childcare providers, and caregivers, to talk to toddlers and preschool children about tornados in a non-scary way. Children can easily relate with these characters and their story gives children the tools and information they need to help stay safe should a tornado happen.

The beautiful artwork combined with the educational look at the dangers of tornadoes blend perfectly in this quick read. Parents will love the fun way the book teaches children about the natural disaster, utilizing an elephant to showcase what a tornado does. I also enjoyed seeing the students banding together to help those in need, giving children a lesson not only in how to handle a dangerous situation, but in helping their fellow man. The writing was fantastic, illustrating both literally and figuratively the life lessons children need in order to be prepared, and educating them for the future.

Overall this was a great children’s book! A quick paced yet well developed story filled with educational moments parents and children alike will love, this is a must read for any parent out there for their children, and it’s clear that the author has a firm command of this genre. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Elephant Wind by Heather L. Beal today!

Rating: 10/10

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