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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meaningful Holiday Gifts

If you are looking for gifts that are truly meaningful, that nurture a child's interest in good stories and reading, and that also give back in a major way, consider Story Pie Press' books for children. 

Samson's Tale tells the story of love and loyalty between a boy and his dog, with 30% of the proceeds going to Flashes of Hope!

The Day I Met The Nuts helps children realize that any challenge can be overcome, and that family and friends are there to help.  And  45% of the proceeds support Johns Hopkins Children's Center in their efforts to find a cure for food allergies.

So consider gifts that truly matter, books that care about the future of children!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Exploring the healing power of pets, Kathleen Spale's Interview with the Chicago Parent

Our wonderful Kathleen Spale was written up in the Chicago Parent for her integral part in Samson's Tale!  Please stop by to read this article, which highlights the reasons she decided to illustrate this special book.  Also, consider purchasing a copy for your library at home, or local library.  Remember, 30 percent of the proceeds goes to Flashes of Hope.  Both Samson's Tale and Flashes strive to give children with life threatening illnesses hope in the future!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Picture Book Idea Month, November 2011!

For all you children's book writers out there, or even those who secretly dream of writing for children, this month is a good month.  It's PiBoIdMo, otherwise known as Picture book Idea Month.  I absolutely love this idea and encourage you to participate (even next year...if you're too late to participate this year), as we never have enough good stories for children. 

Tara Lazar, the founder of PiBoIdMo, has asked me to be one of the guest bloggers for the month.  Every day, there's a new guest sharing what they know and love about writing for children.  Guests include editors, agents, and authors, among others.  So stop on by the site, read what all the guest bloggers have to say about writing for children and the magic of dreaming up picture book ideas.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten Stories Up Interviews Carla Mooney

To find out the story behind Samson's Tale, visit the Ten Stories Up blog for an interview with Carla Mooney.  Though the story is fiction, Carla had a great deal of real life inspiration that got her writing this important and touching book.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Light The Night Walk on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at Heinz Field

Carla Mooney will be reading Samson's Tale in the kids area at LIGHT THE NIGHT at  6 pm this evening!  Light the Night is at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA, and honors the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Light The Night is a two mile walk where participants carry red illuminated balloons and cancer survivors carry white illuminated balloons. All proceeds go toward finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin's disease, while improving the lives of patients and their families.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author Carla Mooney Talks About Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Most people know what this stands for:

But what about this one?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Many people don’t even realize that childhood cancer has its own “month” and a gold ribbon symbol. Yet many of us have been impacted by childhood cancer, either in our own families or in people we know. Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the United States, and even through survival rates are improving, about ¼ of children diagnosed with cancer will die within five years.

My own experience with childhood cancer began when my son Daniel was diagnosed with leukemia at 19 months of age. We quickly learned that he was one of the “lucky” ones – he had a type of leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL) which has a higher survival rate. Yet I will never forget a conversation with one of his doctors, where she told us that he had a 75 percent chance of surviving for 5 years. For me, that 25 percent loomed too big and menacing over our Daniel. With great understanding, the doctor acknowledged our fears and said quite simply, “But for each family, it’s either 100 percent or nothing.” How true. Statistics mean nothing when a child has cancer. Either that child beats it or they don’t. And that is why raising awareness and research for childhood cancer is so important. So that every family can have their 100 percent.

Our journey through cancer has been tough and heartbreaking at times. We have gotten to know many children and families who did not win their battle. Yet we’ve also gotten to see the strength, kindness, and generosity of family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. And through this experience, I was able to write Samson’s Tale. I hope that this book can be one piece of my “paying it forward” and helping someone else who may be going through similar experiences.

If you didn’t know, 30 percent of the proceeds of sales of Samson’s Tale go to Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit that changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research. Consider buying a copy for your home school library. If you want, you might even ask your school or community librarians to contact Follett Library Resources to purchase Samson's Tale for their shelves.

Did You Know?

• Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer, and 1 in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.

• On the average 12,500 children and teens will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year in this country.

• Currently there are between 30-40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.

• Research funds are scarce, because most money goes to adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.

• Over the past two decades, only ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use.

~Carla Mooney

(Visit Carla on the web at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Young Illustrators Inspired by Samson's Tale

Kathleen Spale recently visited an elementary school where students participated in illustrating their favorite pets, which was inspired by a reading of our famous Samson's Tale.  Here is a sampling of their wonderful drawings, each one unique and special.  I must say, I think there may be some future illustrators in this group.  These students have certainly inspired me!

Happy creating,

Monday, September 12, 2011

The 57th Street Children's Book Fair with Kathleen Spale!

Kathleen Spale, illustrator of Samson's Tale, will be at The 57th Street Children's Book Fair on September 18, 2011.  So if you are in the area, stop by to see her this Sunday from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm at the SCBWI booth.

The 57th Street Children's Book Fair  began 25 years ago as a back-to-school celebration.  The Fair hosts dozens of local booksellers and community organizations.  Thousands are expected to attend the fair, which includes a huge selection of books, reading-related activities, live entertainment, and refreshments!



Friday, September 2, 2011

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with Samson's Tale

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I think back to the cancer survival stories that touched my life.  I knew a few amazing children who were dealt the hardship of battling cancer.  I was always amazed at their courage and determination.  It was an odd mix of fear, worry, curiosity and admiration I had for these friends.  How could you be healthy one day, and then suddenly sick with cancer the next?  And how could you be sick and go to school at the same time, or miss weeks of school and then bounce back strong and hopeful?  How could one have a head full of beautiful hair and then become bald?  As children, it's hard to understand the hows and whys of childhood cancer.  As an adult, it is even more difficult to comprehend why this has to happen to children in the first place.  But resilience is a beautiful thing...and it's amazing to hear stories of how strong these children can be.

Way back when, I remember a smart, happy boy who lived up the street from me.  I had such a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that he had cancer, one because he was just a kid like me, and two because he was so positive and was almost easy to forget he was sick.  There were times he would be "out of sight" for weeks because of treatments, then the cancer would go into remission and he would be on the bus again, happy to return to school, talking and dreaming about things that were important to him, like sports.  He was brave and mature beyond his years.  The last I remember, he was cancer free.  I can still see that smile on his face.      

Sadly, thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer each year.  It is an astonishing and heart-aching amount.  Carla Mooney, the author of Samson's Tale, is a mother who understands what it's like to have a child who has battled cancer.  Her very own son inspired her to write this amazing story.  We invite you to check out Samson's Tale in support of children with cancer.  And in case you didn't know, 30% of the proceeds from book sales go to Flashes of Hope, a wonderful organization that changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography, all while raising money for pediatric cancer research.  You might even consider buying a copy of Samson's Tale for your home library or for the library at your child's school.  If you want, you might even ask your school or community librarians to contact Follett Library Resources to purchase Samson's Tale for their shelves.

To those brave children fighting the good are my heroes!

Editor, Story Pie Press

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spotlight on Follett Library Resources

We are happy to announce our books are now available through Follett Library Resources.  Follett Library Resources is the largest supplier of books, eBooks, and audiovisual materials to PreK-12 schools.  If you happen to be a teacher or librarian, you may already know about Follett.  If you don't know much about Follett, I'm here to share a bit about their history.

The Follet story began in 1873 at the home of C.M. Barnes in Wheaton, Illinois.  It was there that he started a small bookstore (I wonder if he dreamed of how big his business would grow?).  Barnes soon moved the store to Chicago, where he sold books to students and other stores.  As the business grew, employees were hired, including C. W. Follett who started as a stock clerk (and I wonder if Follett dared to  imagine that he would one day take over the business and own it?).  Eventually, Barnes passed away and his son moved to New York to launch another company with a gentleman named Noble (that's another story).  Follett purchased "the Barnes family’s ownership interest" and eventually owned the entire company (yes, big things do happen to stock clerks).

In the 1920's and 30's, Follett turned the business into a family affair by bringing on his sons to help out.  By 1940, Garth Follett founded the Follett Library Book Company (which later became Follett Library Resources). FLBC was created to specialize in K-12 schools.  In 1994, Follett Library Book Company became Follett Library Resources to reflect their ever-growing expansion of products and services.  The products Follett Library Resources offer are PreK-12 books, audiovisual materials, and electronic ordering with TITLEWAVE Internet.  Check them out and consider stocking your shelves with Story Pie Press' special books for kids!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Another great review for Samson's Tale

Lindsay Carmichael of Ten Stories Up has given Samson's Tale a glowing review.  Carmichael is a bookseller and writer from Halifax.  Her blog mostly consists of book reviews and author interviews.

Here is a snippet: "How can an author explain leukemia and the effects of chemotherapy without lecturing or bogging down in details?  How can an author be honest, while still leaving room for hope?  Mooney's solution is to tell the story through the eyes of the patient's pet, and it works brilliantly."

To read the entire review, visit Ten Stories Up!

Happy reading!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Printers Row and Kathleen Spale

Illustrator Kathleen Spale will be at Printers Row Lit Fest today at booth DD from 2pm until 4pm!  Stop by to meet her if you plan on attending the event.  She will be there signing copies of Samson's Tale!  Read about the event by clicking on the link below. 

Read on !

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Check it out...a fabulous review of Samson's Tale by Children's Books Examiner, Lori Calabrese! Click on the title of the review below to read.

"Big words like leukemia and chemotherapy can't compare to the biggest word of all."

Happy reading,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carla Mooney and Samson's Tale

Carla Mooney was at The Penguin Bookshop this past weekend to celebrate the launch of her first children's picture book, Samson's Tale.  Carla is the author of over 20 children's books, but this is her first picture book!  At the launch, there was a reading of Samson's Tale by Carla, delicious cake, and a book signing...all in conjunction with Sewickley Unleashed (for animal lovers of all walks).  If you couldn't make the signing, but are still eager to purchase this amazing book (and support a great cause, Flashes of Hope, in the process), click on the book cover above! 

Here are some pictures of the lovely launch at the Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, PA .

Happy reading...and eat cake!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Book Launch for Samson's Tale

At our first book launch for Samson's Tale, Kathleen Spale shared snippets of her life as an illustrator and talked about her experience illustrating this special book.  Also in attendance were Amber Leberman, our fabulous book designer, models from the book, including the dog who inspired the look of Samson.  Family, friends, and fans came by to purchase signed copies and enjoy the celebration.    Let the pictures tell the story of our first launch.  Enjoy and check out the cake!