How are you all doing? Ben and I just wanted to check on you and send lots of positive energy and vibes to you all around the world! New Zealand is moving away from lockdown soon to level 2 and we are very grateful to the government and to the people who made huge sacrifices staying at home, but we are aware that the reality is very different in other countries. If COVID 19 has taught me anything, it's the importance of human connection. We've been trying to keep in touch with families and friends around the world through video calls. Aren't they great?! While our experiences of lockdown may differ, the feeling that we are all in this together helps.
Thank you so much for all the emails received with ideas for kids activities during lockdown!! Great to see that so many of you are keeping active! I will be sharing them below. :)
As you know, Ben was born in Brazil and recently he was honoured to be part of a very special issue by Toitoi Magazine that showcased stories, poems and art about the vibrant culture of Latin America. The Toitoi Special Issue has been delivered free to every school and public library in New Zealand along with the Asia Pacific issue. Check out below a video of Ben reading his story.
Be kind to one another. Stay safe. Look after yourself and each other.
Talk again soon.
Here is Ben reading his short story - Brazil - published in the special issue of ToiToi - Latin America. You can check other amazing stories by young authors and illustrators on their website.
And here is the story if you would like to keep for your child:
I look out at the sea and breathe in the salty spray. The waves crash down on the kids as they play in the water. They emerge laughing. I see people sunbathing on the sand, relaxing with their eyes closed. This is Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - a masterpiece. It’s beautiful.
The seawater is the colour of jade and warm like a bath. There are amazing views all around. For me, the best part is the delicious Brazilian food that is dished up in the restaurants opposite the beach.
While its beaches are an undeniably incredible part of Rio, the place I love to go most is Sugarloaf Mountain - one of Mother Earth's magical creations. To reach the very top of Sugarloaf, you ride on cable cars that dangle high above the city. The views are magnificent. At the top, you have monkeys for company! These small agile creatures jump from tree to tree and sometimes come within arm’s reach. They are just the cutest things ever.
Another remarkable aspect of Rio is the statue of Christ the Redeemer that stands tall and mighty over the city. I attended a school directly below this grand statue. All you needed to do was gaze up and there it was with open arms, a symbol of peace.
There's one special thing that makes me want to go back to Rio again and again - my family. It doesn’t matter if we live in different countries, we will always be there for each other. We make the most of every visit, whether it’s marching down the streets at carnival time, having a big family barbecue during the hot summer days or watching soccer with my cousins. Family is one of the most important things in life. My family is in Brazil and I’m proud to say that.
Ben has published four books so far. Ben's books not only make a great gift, but can also show a child that dreams can come true with continued dedication and hard work. Ben writes with an original and authentic voice that other young people can connect to and be inspired by.
Thank you to everyone who shared with us some ideas for activities during lockdown. Here they are:
Headspace Meditation Site
West End Show Performances
Auckland Zoo Kids Activities Online
NZ Writers Read their books
Virtual Online Tour - The Louvre
Virtual Online Tours - Google Arts & Culture
Virtual Online Tour - Ancient Rome
Free Online Karaoke
PE with Joe
BOOK LAUNCH!!New Zealand author Helen Vivienne Fletcher has launched her new book - Reactive - a novella with short, punchy chapters - perfect if your
concentration span has been affected by the stress lately.
Helen lives in Wellington and has written various children's books and YA fiction. You can get to know more her and her books in her website: https://www.helenvfletcher.com/
Love dystopian books? This promotion still has a few days running!!
Click on the image to see collection
And for the adults!! If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited in Amazon, check out the books below. A great selection ranging from thrillers, romance, crime and Young Adults fiction. Ben's book - The World of Greek Mythology - is also available from KU.
Check out the full collection on image below.
Ben's latest book - 2020 - is available from a selection of online retailers for ONLY $2.99
Choose your preferred retailer here and get yours: https://books2read.com/u/4XZdv7
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A GIFT FOR YOU!!!
Your FREE Weirdo
We value your support and Ben would like to gift you his very first book! You can now choose your favourite e-book format. PDF, E-PUB or MOBI.
Weirdo is a great read for children aged 7 and older.
If you like his book, feel free to recommend it to your family and friends!!
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Spies Publishing fosters storytelling, creativity and pride.
Check our introductory video below for our new service
- MY FIRST BOOK - and contact us if you would like to create a book with your children's stories.
Thanks for reading and following our journey,