Friday, April 27, 2018

Firekeeper's Son

Set in Korea, The Firekeeper's Son is a fictional story based in history.


Long before telephone communication and the internet, the Koreans used signal fires to warn the king of a pending attack. In case of attack, enemies were most likely to arrive by sea. Therefore, the firekeeper living closest to the sea would light a fire every night to signal he did not see enemy soldiers. There were a series of firekeepers between the sea and the palace, and it was each firekeeper's job to light a fire after ensuring the fire in his line of sight was burning. If ever a fire was not lit, it was a sign of trouble.

Firekeepers tended to come from the same family. In The Firekeeper's Son, one night the fire didn't burn as usual. When the son went to investigate, he found the fire should have been lit and made sure the job was completed proving himself to be a qualified firekeeper.

This tale of courage not only teaches children about a small part of Korean history, but inspires. When kids hear tales of children taking responsibility it empowers them to do the same. I recommend this picture book for kids K-4th grade.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Johnny's Jelly Bean Tacos - Book Release

My husband wrote a book and my daughters and I illustrated it! Johnny's Jelly Bean Tacos


I'm so excited to tell you about our second product from Highhill Educational Supplies, but first let me tell you about the author.


Jeff Norkoli is an informed citizen who has learned to gather information from a wide variety of news sources and thereby think for himself. Being aware of issues in the country is a passion of his, and living overseas in Europe for six years has given him a unique perspective. As a homeschooling father since 2007, he has learned to appreciate the value of a great story.

He holds degrees in both civil engineering and computer science. Throughout his career he has continuously been given tasks which include writing because his co-workers..... (didn’t want to do it)…. discovered his gift of word smithing. 

Long before becoming a homeschooling father, his own father shared with Jeff his talent for creativity with words often writing poems for birthdays and other special occasions. Jeff enjoyed listening to his father’s ballads and inherited his ability to naturally create them. His talent for writing coupled with his interest for educating children in an entertaining way inspired him to write this children’s book.



With sales down at his taco restaurant, Johnny Van Socken invents a new delicacy that becomes an instant success: jelly bean tacos! Unfortunately for Johnny, his success poses a threat to some of the local business owners. When the other business owners convince the local government to pass rules to control the sale of jelly bean tacos, Johnny stands up to protect his rights as a businessman, as well as the rights of his customers.

Johnny's Jelly Bean Tacos is written in verse and perfect for kids ages 4-10. The story introduces kids to the concept of government protectionism without ever mentioning the phrase. Like the card game Speed! which is truly a game, Johnny's Jelly Bean Tacos is truly an entertaining book. Although kids will come away with an understanding of protectionism, this is not a lesson in disguise. It is a great story!

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Giver

 What does a perfect world look like to you? Would you like to live in a place with no pain or fighting? Would you like to live in a place where each person works in their ideal job and where nobody suffers from hunger?

 The Giver by Lois Lowry tells a strange story of a utopian world. All the people are happy and just go about their lives questioning nothing. What they don't understand is what they have given up to live in this ideal world.... Free choice and so much more.... After all, their ideal world was created by their ancestors many generations ago.


This book is an excellent read for children 11 years old and up as reading it will invoke questions of personal beliefs and philosophy.
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