June is here, and it’s good to talk to you again. Thank you for being a reader of my monthly newsletter!

It’s no secret I love children. I want the children I interact with to be better for the experience of meeting me. I taught preschool for six years and have volunteered with children for as long as I can remember. I am a storyteller to the preschool children at my local church, which means I lead the big group time with worship songs as well as communicating the Bible story in a way that is meaningful to preschool aged children. It’s been such a fun and rewarding experience to spend time with these children every weekend. 

When I go to a playground with my children, I am often approached by other children and talked to. If I am at a restaurant or store, I always interact with the young children I see by smiling or playing peek-a-boo. I feel comfortable and connected with young children. They see the world in much the way I see it: full of promise, wonder, and adventure.

Here’s my secret flaw though: I have a really tough time connecting and interacting with other adults. I try, with limited success. It takes me a really long time to build friendships and connection with most adults. I’ll tell you how I am able to interact with adults though: when I am in charge of something. I have always been gifted in leading and organizing groups. I feel better able to talk to people when I have something purposeful to say.

Do you find yourself better able to connect with some age groups than with others? How do you adapt and grow in this area?

Children are born with all the wonder they will need. Our job is not to take it away.

Ainsley Arment

Project Updates:

I have been working on sending out my dummy to agents. I have not received many responses but am trying to stay optimistic.

I have also been working of new portfolio pieces for my website and perhaps for prints.

Here are some rough sketches and color ideas for my piece of some young pirates running into trouble.

Books I’m Reading and Recommending:

Picture Book:

Hippos are Huge!
by Jonathan London
illustrated by Matthew Trueman

My kids loved it! I love hippos; they were the most surprising animals I saw when on safari in Africa. This book helped open my eyes to even more of their amazingness.

The deadliest animal in Africa isn’t the lion or the crocodile — it’s the hippopotamus! Hippos have razor-sharp tusks, weigh as much as fifty men, and can run twenty-five miles per hour. Follow these hefty hulks as they glide underwater, play tug-of-war, swat balls of dung at one another, and nuzzle their young in the mud. Just don’t get too close — they could chomp you in two!

Chapter Book:

Mercy Watson to the Rescue
by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

This is such a fun series. Our family has just discovered Mercy and all her friends, and so far we have read two of the Mercy Watson chapter books (like this one) and we are on our second middle grade novel (with the same characters). 

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watson’s bed. BOOM! CRACK! As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash to alert the fire department, her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind like a sudden craving for their neighbor’s sugar cookies.

Middle Grade:

Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science
by Louie Giglio
Illustrated by Nicola Anderson

We’ve been reading this as our family devotion for the last 100 days, and it’s been fun. I love science and faith, and I like how this book incorporates both together for kids.

Indescribable displays the majesty of creation with scientific findings, photography, and original illustrations. Children who are fascinated with the world around them, nature, and the earth will deepen their faith as they explore God’s Word. These 100 devotions encourage awe and appreciation for God’s creativity.
Stalks of Gold

Young Adult:

Stalks of Gold
by Celeste Baxendell

A retelling of Rapunzel/Rumplestiltskin. It was an interesting plot, but the characters didn’t really grab me.

Magic isn’t a solution; it’s a trap. If Aurelia comes across magic, she’s supposed to run in the other direction. Life is no longer so simple. If the tower door opens, and she doesn’t have any gold, her life will be forfeit. No one is going to help her, not even her closest friend. No one, except for the mysterious stranger who appeared on her doorstep and in her tower room. If she takes the deal, she might live, but what will she sacrifice in order to do it? Sandor’s worlds collided when Aurelia was brought before King Eadric. Is he truly so desperate to get out of debt, he’s willing to believe such nonsense as a girl who can spin straw into gold? She’s Sandor’s closest friend. If Aurelia were a witch, he would know it. It’s impossible, or so he thought. Nothing makes sense anymore, but Sandor’s determined to figure it out and save Aurelia from the king. The more he learns, the more he wonders, is the king the real threat, or is there something more dangerous lurking in the shadows?

Until next time,

Charlotte J. Glaze