Wordless Golf Book a ‘Hole in Fun’

Picture book cements vocabulary as kids tell the story

MIDVALE, Utah – Sometimes kids want to tell the story. Today they can — guided by author and media professor Karl Beckstrand’s concepts and art by Jordan C. Brun. Beckstrand’s 23rd book, “Gopher Golf: A Wordless Picture Book,” depicts the joy — and trials — a couple of gophers feel while golfing (with help from other critters).

“Children love to make up stories,” says Beckstrand of his third wordless book, which includes an animal finding activity and online secrets for children ages 2 – 6. The colorful sports book with silly characters definitely has a story progression, “but how it’s expressed in words is up to the ‘reader,’” he says.

“Asking kids to tell what’s happening in the pictures can bring a different story every time you read it,” says Beckstrand. His Stories Without Words series can serve as curriculum for non-readers or early writers because it helps cement vocabulary and sentence structure in young minds. The illustrations by themselves can prompt uncontrolled snorts of laughter.

Beckstrand, who won an International Book Award for his western novel “To Swallow the Earth,” has children’s books on careers, astronomy, immigration and five books on food. His other no-words books include playful “Polar Bear Bowler: A Story Without Words” and “Butterfly Blink: A Book Without Words,” which highlights insect habitat conservation.

Many of Beckstrand’s books have multicultural characters, and many are Spanish/bilingual mysteries with language pronunciation guides. Most have online extras and surprise endings. Beckstrand’s work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book and School Library Journal. All may be found at Amazon, BN.com, iBooks, Ingram, https://PremioBooks.com, Target.com and Walmart.com.

It Came from under the High Chair teaches prepositions in English and Spanish

Multicultural Mystery Book Teaches Prepositions in English and Spanish

My 22nd book, It Came from under the High Chair: A Mystery, almost never got published. I thought the concept of a monster made of spilled food might be too disgusting. Then I saw all those best-selling bathroom/gross humor books and figured the world was ready for my 20-year-old idea. Plus, it’s educational.

LANGUAGE LEARNING

I think kids don’t mind learning if they are being entertained. This children’s picture book teaches parts of speech—namely, prepositions. The bilingual version (out in June 2019) teaches them in Spanish and English with a pronunciation guide in both languages. The English version debuted last month at #1 in its category on Amazon.

MULTICULTURAL

This diverse story book, written in dyslexic-friendly font, includes a counting activity, mixed-race characters (a biracial family—Pacific Islander and Filipino), a wanna-be superhero, a Basset Hound, and a mysterious visitor—all vividly illustrated by Jeremy Higginbotham (for kids ages 4 – 7, plus dual language/ESL/ELL students of any age).

I’ve taught English as a second language as a volunteer for more than a decade; I’ve been a Spanish-English interpreter; and I’m learning German. It Came from under the High Chair is my seventh bilingual book and the fifth in my Mini-mysteries for Minors series (others in the series: Sounds in the House, Crumbs on the Stairs, She Doesn’t Want the Worms, and Why Juan Can’t Sleep: A Mystery?).

I try to include twists and characters of color in all my stories (hey, it’s a competitive genre!). It seems to have paid off. I’ve been fortunate to have my books reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Horn Book’s blog, ForeWord Reviews, and School Library Journal. During the past six months two of my kid’s books have spent weeks at number one in more than one Amazon category (one is currently a free book).

WHERE TO FIND

As before, I have wrung out eight iterations of this single monster book title: English, Spanish, and bilingual versions available in paperback and ebook formats—plus the bilingual and Spanish ones will also come in hard cover. These can be found via Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Brodart, EBSCO, Follett, Gardners, iBooks, Ingram, Library Direct, Walmart.com (perhaps Target.com too), and PremioBooks.com.

You can preview and comment on this book now (free) at https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/167766. See the book trailer video here. Your stars or comments in online venues really do make a difference in our sales. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited starting June 20. Most of my books are free this July on Smashwords.com. Sharing is encouraged!