Just a quick post to announce that the Ladybug Who Lost Her Spots book is Free today, Oct. 5th, at amazon Go get it and enjoy! A real fun read with a child: http://jcy.me/ladybug
The following article was printed in the August/September/October 2016 Issue of the Wild Ones Journal by Barbara Benish:
“Becky the Butterfly Girl” will make you wish your child or grandchild was just like Becky — inquisitive and appreciative of nature and its many wonders.
And it might just be enough to get that special child in your life interested in caring for nature, and particularly for monarch butterflies.
Written by Janet Young, a member of the Greater DuPage, Illinois, chapter of Wild Ones, the story is about a real-life girl who happens to be Young’s friend, 6-year-old Becky Lecroy.
Becky’s parents, Joe and Sue, also belong to the Greater DuPage Wild Ones chapter. “Becky comes with her mother and father to all the Wild Ones meetings, and we’ve gotten to know her and she’s gotten to know us,” Young says.
“They’ve had yard showings and visits, and Becky is always there, full of enthusiasm as she tells us things about the garden or the butterflies.”
In the book, Becky gives readers a tour of her yard, telling visitors all about her parent’s special flowers and plants that make it a safe and welcoming place for birds, bugs and butterflies. Becky’s enthusiasm is captivating and you find yourself eagerly turning each page to see just what makes her yard so special.
You’ll learn about their pond, which is home to goldfish and provides drinking water for the animals that visit. She shows you birdhouses and bee houses, and a nest with eggs in a nearby bush.
But her favorite part of the garden is the milkweed area, where monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. Once they hatch, the young caterpillars depend on the plant’s leaves for food.
Becky and her family carefully move the young caterpillars into a screened “nursery,” where she helps to take care of the caterpillars as they grow, eventually releasing them after they become butterflies.
The book explains in simple terms why lawns, while they might be neat and green, and chemicals and cement, aren’t the best for birds and bugs, and why birds and bugs depend on native plants and flowers to survive and thrive.
It also explains how to care for monarchs through – out their metamorphosis to butterflies.
Young, who is also author of Danny books for children, says she decided to write this story because children need to know more about nature.
“Kids today are so tied to computer games; this book allows them to learn … about the benefits of growing native plants and why using chemicals on plants can be harmful to birds, bugs and butterflies.”
The book is illustrated by Vladimir Cebu of the Philippines, who also illustrates Young’s Danny books. “I sent him many pictures so he would make Becky look like Becky,” Young says, noting she and Becky are pleased with the end result.
Amazon readers are also giving the book many positive reviews:
“This is a fun story for children to read; it took me back to the days when I was a kid chasing butterflies… Sometimes in our busy lives we tend to forget how things are created around us and it’s always a good reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty around us.”
“I really like the way the book was organized – as if I were taking a tour of the garden, and that the tour guide in the story is a child. I also appreciated the discussion of the importance of taking care of the world and the creatures in it.”
“I love reading about all the wonderful things you can find right in your own backyard. I feel inspired to start raising monarchs myself after reading the book.”
Published by Pine Lane Publishing, “Becky the Butterfly Girl” sells as a paperback or an e-book reader on Amazon at http://jcy.me/butterfly
August/September/October 2016 | Wild Ones Journal | www.wildones.org
Kids will love the story of monster – and how he becomes a ‘super-hero’ when two bigger kids try to bully Danny!
This is a great story to start the school year – but be sure to get all of the other Danny’s Monster books as well for lots of imagination, fun and silly adventures of this colorful little monster!
Check them out on my Author page –
Be the first to buy and review “Danny’s Monster and the Sand People” and I will send you a signed copy of the print book as soon as I get them! Send me an email with your reviewer name to
Take a boy and his colorful monster, add a girl with a boat and her dolly – to the beach and you have the makings for a fun-filled adventure.
Stir in a sand castle in need of repair, a ba-zillion sand people – sand people??!! – some crabs and seagulls, and you have the recipe for a fun story that the kids will love . . . and that’s any kid, young or old, who has ever spent a delightful hour or two with a shovel and a bucket and a beach full of sand. Heaven!
This delightful little story is sure to please the child in everyone. “Snizzle warts and Jammy toes – Unless you trys it, you won’t knows!” says the monster.
One of my very favorite things – with my kids and grand kids, when they were toddlers to about age 6 -was going for a walk. It can be around the block, in a park or just out in the backyard garden.
Take along a little note pad and maybe a collection container – then make it an adventure, not just a ‘walk’. Throw some ideas out to the child, then listen/encourage/play.
What do I mean by that? Well, tell the child to listen to all the sounds they hear and then to tell you about them. “Shhh. Let’s be very quiet and listen to the sounds. What do you hear? What do you think is making that sound? Can you tell me what it looks like? big or little? bird or bug or ?”
Or try “Let’s see how many animals and bugs we can see on this adventure” and when the child sees something then ask “what is that bee doing?” or “where do you think that bird is going?” or “where does that squirrel live?”
You get the idea! Listen closely to their answers. Don’t be at all critical -just go with what they tell you and ask questions that encourage more ideas and imagination.
A walk/adventure like this was the foundation of a story – about a ladybug. Walking with my 4 year old granddaughter, looking for animals and bugs, she found a little red bug on a flower leaf.
We looked at it and I asked her what it was. She said it was a ladybug. “But don’t ladybugs have spots on them? I asked.
Little Meg cocked her head, put a finger to her chin, and said to me, very seriously “Yes, but this one lost them.”
“Oh,” I said. “How would a ladybug lose her spots?”
“I don’t know!” replied Megan with a big grin. “She just did. And now they’re all gone.”
“Well,” I continued the dialog, “What is she going to do with no spots?”
“I don’t know,” said Megan. “She’s very sad.”
“Oh dear,” I said. “Shall we put her in our little jar and help her look for her spots?”
Megan thought that was a wonderful idea and, carefully, we put the leaf with the ladybug into out little jar. It was ‘game on’ for the two of us!
We saw bees on some flowers. “Do you have the ladybug’s spots?” Megan asked them as they busily flew from flower to flower.
“What did the bees say?” I asked Meg.
“They just said buzzzzz! No spots!” she answered.
We saw a big cobweb with a spider hanging from a mailbox. Megan went right over to it and said “Did you take the ladybug’s spots? euuuu – you are a scary spider.” -and she ran back to me.
“No spots!” Meg said. “Let’s go.”
So on we went … and we saw birds, a big toad, a (plastic bunny who was no help at all!) lots of bugs – and, of course, every new creature we came to got asked if it had the ladybug spots.
We arrived back home with the ladybug but no spots. “Now what shall we do?” I asked. “Can we paint some spots on her?”
That made Megan laugh. “That wouldn’t work on a Bug – silly gramma!”
“Hey,” I asked. “Would it work if a Fairy did it? Maybe we can find a fairy garden.”
That idea hit home with Meg so our next mission was to find someone who had a fairy garden. It turned out that there was a house with a sweet little fairy garden not too far away – so off we went.
When we arrived, there were no fairies at home, so we left the little ladybug, still on her leaf, right on the tiny table in front of the fairy house.
“You tell the fairies to paint you some new spots,” Megan instructed the ladybug before we left her there. “Then you can fly away home and be happy.”
That night we told Megan’s mom and daddy about our adventure walk – and later we sat down and wrote a story about it.
And now, with some new little twists and turns, the story of “Lily The Ladybug Who Had No Spots” lives forever in the pages of the book!
Share some stories with us that you have made up with your kids or grand children! If you have such a story – and would like to see it turn into a little children’s book – send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps we can make it happen – and dedicate it to your child!
Here’s the link to our Ladybug story. Enjoy!
PS: We still love to walk – but the stories are very different now! (16 years later)
This adorable little ladybug named Lily just flew into the growing stack of Danny Books looking for her spots! She wants us to help her find them. Now, how can we resist doing a favor for such a cute little bug? Now you need to help us too and share this with lots of children!
Lily has no spots! No one seems to know what happened to her spots but the other ladybugs tease her all of the time, and she is sad.
But Lily is an action-taker and off she goes on a great adventure into the garden all by herself, determined to find her missing spots!
There are many creatures in the garden – creepy spiders, hungry toads, busy, buzzy bees – oh Lily is sure to meet some characters!
And, at last, she finds the very special surprise that will help her solve her problem . . but how? and who?
This is a fun little adventure – just right for that read-aloud bedtime story! Your kids will love it!
The milkweed patch is growing fast and the butterfly weed has burst into bright orange blooms. The monarch butterflies will soon be arriving – and we will be ready!
Each year I collect monarch eggs, carefully remove them to a protected area where I care for the leaves and then the caterpillars – and then the chrysalis – until, finally, the brand new monarch butterfly breaks into the world!
It is a rewarding hobby. In 2015 we released over 100 monarchs.
Other families in this area raise butterflies too. One of those families are the Lecroys. They have turned their ‘regular’ urban yard into a sanctuary for bees, birds and butterflies.
My new book, Becky the Butterfly Girl, takes readers for a tour of their yard, led by 6 year old Becky. It is entertaining and educational too! Children love to learn about animal and bugs.
The ‘Becky Book’ is available on Amazon Kindle Books and also in a paperback version. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading and sharing!
Becky laughs and giggles as she bounces around the yard – leading us here and there and telling us all about the butterflies!
It’s an adventure into what urban yards can be and a learning experience about the life cycle of the monarch butterflies – and how we can help them survive for the future.
The tour is complete with colorful illustrations – and cookies! ..? cookies? Well, get the book and you’ll see what I mean! 😉
Click the link to get the book:
It’s the last day of school and kids are bringing things to ‘show and tell’ . . . can you guess what Danny wants to bring?
And, Oh dear! If monster goes to school – will he be a good little monster, or, well, a you know, a monster!?
Get the book to find out the answers – and join the fun. Snizzle warts and hog tails – new adventures are in store!
http://jcy.me/dfh1 Don’t miss this new story!
Danny was helping his mommy pull weeds in the garden. It was spring cleanup time and the weeds were growing fast. The weather was warm and sunny – a wonderful day to be outside!
Monster was outside too, watching Danny and wondering what sort of fun he could have if he just jumped into the weed bucket – kerplunk! – gibble-dee, jobble-dee – funk.
But then monster heard a little noise. Peep. Peep, peep . . . coming from somewhere in the bushes along the fence. “Sniffle-snurk, sniffle-chat,” he asked Danny. “Did you hear that?”
“Hear what, monster?” Danny replied. “I’m busy right now. I didn’t hear anything.” And Danny kept right on pulling weeds and tossing them into the bucket.
So monster flipped a couple of somersaults and wandered off to where he thought he heard the noise. Then he stopped and stood very quiet, listening.
He heard birds chirping. He heard a car drive by on the street. He heard an airplane up in the sky. He heard Danny huff and puff as he pulled the weeds. And then – he heard it again, peep, peep, peep, coming out from the bushes.
“Snick-a-picka-din-din,” he said to the bushes. “Whatever it is – I’m coming in!” and he stepped into the bushes, parting the branches as best he could.
Sniff, sniff, sob, peep, peep! – Monster looked down and on the ground under the bush he saw a little bitty baby bird. It was looking up into the bushes but it didn’t have many feathers and was too tiny to fly. It hopped up and down as it wobbled around on the ground. “Peep, peep, I want my mama!” it cried.
“Oh goodness, oh dear! Who is you and why’s you here?” the monster asked in surprise… He’d never seen a baby bird before – and this little guy was really sad.
The startled little bird looked at the funny creature that had burst into the bushes and wasn’t quite sure if he should laugh – or hop away – fast!
“Oh please,” he sobbed. “Don’t hurt me! I’m just a baby bird. When my momma flew away to get us some food. . . I, well I sort of peeked out of the nest and then I sort of fell over the edge – but – but – but,” and the little bird started to cry harder than before! “I didn’t mean to fall and now I don’t know how to get back to the nest. I’m hungry. I want my mama. Peep, sniff, peep!”
Monster looked at the sad looking little bird. Then, in an instant, he knew just what to do. “Little fuzzle-wunky-flipity-wings, quit your snifflin’ – here’s the things. I won’t harm ya, so take a rest. We just haf’ta find your nest.”
The little bird’s eyes grew big and round. He let out a happy little ‘cheep’ with excitement. “Oh, let’s find my nest. You can do it, I’m sure you can!”
Monster reached down through the bushes and gently picked up the little bird. Little bird looked at monster and at the horns sticking out of his head. “Are those things worms,” asked the baby. “Can I eat one?”
“Hickle-tee-fickle-tee! Cheez and corns! Those aren’t worms – they’re my horns!” said monster with a giggle. “I ain’t baby food for you, little guy.”
Just then there was a loud squawk and a big bird flew right into the bushes – and right at monster! The bird flapped her wings frantically and gave a peck with her beak right on top of monster’s head before she landed on the branch beside him.
“You’ve got my baby, you monster!” she hollered. “You stole him from the nest. Bad-bad-bad!! What sort of a terrible bad monster are you to steal my little baby?!” and she swooped out and gave monster another sharp peck right on his nose!
“Ouchy – ka-pouchy!” cried monster! “This must be your mama and she sure is grouchy!” and a stream of purple and red color shot out from his horns.
Baby bird hopped up and down in monster’s hand. “No, mama, no!” he shook his little head and cried to the big bird. “This is my friend and he is going to help me get back to the nest! I falled off all by myself – he didn’t do it!”
Mama bird, who happened to be a robin, cocked her head from side to side trying to understand what her baby had just said. Then she puffed up her red breast a little bit, flipped her tail, took a big breath of air, looked right at monster – and said “Oh dear. I’m so sorry I called you a monster and pecked at you. I’ve been so worried about my little one here that I guess I just lost my head.”
“But, I yam a monster. . .” began little monster, which made mama bird flap her wings in fright. “Well, I wanna be scary – but scary I’m not. I like to do good things. I like that a lot!” and he sent out some pretty yellow and green polka dots just to make mama feel better.
“Now, let’s get to work, and I’ll do my best,” he said to mama, “to get your baby back home, if you’ll show me your nest.”
Mama bird looked up. With her beak she pointed up above the bushes to a tree branch overhead. “It’s up there,” she said with a sigh. “It’s really quite high.”
“Jeezle bubs!” exclaimed monster, looking up at the nest and then down at the little bird in his hand. “Whizzy nuts and jelly janny. . . we need help from my boy, Danny.”
Monster assured mama robin that her baby would be safe and sound with him as he backed out of the bushes – and almost bumped right into Danny!
“There you are – I’ve been looking for you!” declared Danny. “What are you doing in the bushes – and what is that in your hand? Oh monster, you didn’t take a baby bird out of its’ nest did you?!”
“Pie farts and cherry tarts!” answered monster. “This little guy needs you and me to help him gets where he needs to be. I may be a monster but I’m da best. I don’t take little birdies out of their nest!”
Little bird was peeping again, and hopping up and down in fright. He’d never been close to a human before and he wanted his mama again. “Woozie whoops, little dinky clown,” monster said gently to the baby bird. “It’s all okay – you just calm down.”
So Danny went off to get his daddy. Then daddy went to the garage and got a tall ladder to put up against the tree. And all the while mama robin was singing “They’re helping my baby. They’re helping me. They’re putting baby back up in the tree. Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp-eee!”
Daddy carefully took the little bird and climbed up the ladder to the nest. There were two other little birds cheeping and peeping in surprise and fright as they saw daddy approach with their brother.
Mama bird was right there too. She calmed her babies down and sang to them. “They’re helping us, they’re helping us. Settle down and don’t make a fuss. Chirp-chirp-chirp.”
Daddy gently placed the tiny bird into the nest. “You stay in there now until you’re big enough to fly. It’s a long way down to the ground,” daddy warned.
“I know, peep, peep. I know! I’ll stay here. I won’t go!” sang little bird happily as he snuggled in next to the other babies.
Mama bird was right close by, singing and chirping to her children. Happy to have her little one back in the nest.
As Daddy, Danny and monster were heading back to the house, up flew daddy robin with a big fat, juicy worm in his beak. “This is for the funny little guy who saved my baby,” sang the robin. “A tasty morsel to say thank you!”
Danny and Daddy were laughing to see the look on monsters face. “Fizzle warts and snarly pigs feet! Your fine gift is mighty sweet . . . but I thinks you’se better give it to your babies to eat! Your baby was fine. I liked him a lot. But fat juicy worms – well, I just think not. Thank you, thank you anyways.”
Robin flew off to babies and nest. The guys and monster went inside to rest.
Figgle-giggle- icky- worms. The end.