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Updated: May 15, 2020



Social Distancing.


Economic Uncertainty.

Worry for our loved ones.

It's all enough to cause some major stress and anxiety.

But I choose hope.

I'm not trying to tell you that your fears are invalid or that you should be happy-go-lucky through all of this. But I do hope that you can find hope in all of this.

I find that motivation makes a big difference in my life. What is the driving force behind my choices? Why do I do what I do? In the last couple of weeks, I've learned that if our actions in the midst of this pandemic are motivated by hope instead of fear, we will find happiness and healing amidst the difficulties.

And I'm not talking about the passive-can't-do-anything-so-I-sure-hope-things-work-themselves-out kind of hope. I'm talking about an active, expectant kind of hope... the kind of hope that we know that things are going to be okay if we do what's being asked of us. If we come together to make the difference.

I self-isolate and social distance not for fear of contracting the virus, but because I hope that doing so will flatten the curve, stop the spread, and save even just one life.

I skipped our spring break trip because I hope that we can make a difference and stop spreading this thing beyond borders. And I hope for one epic trip when all of this is done.

I suddenly home school because I hope that our teachers will be protected and healthy. I hope that my little ones will feel some sense of normalcy and even increased love through all this. I hope that they will be able to see friends again soon.

I keep writing even though my drafts are crummy and my focus is shot because I hope to create something of beauty, something that will make me laugh, and something that will take me out of the stress of it all. Plus, we need good stories now more than ever.

I taught my almost-5-year-old about the importance of flattening the curve because I hope she will understand why we have to postpone her birthday party. When I told her that bad news, she gave me a big hug and said "It's okay, Mommy. We have to do our part to not spread the sickness." And yes, I cried. If that's not the perfect example of hope, I don't know what is.

I call my grandparents instead of visit them because I hope that they won't come anywhere near this virus. I hope that a month or so of distance will bless us with years more of memories.

Mostly, I hope that every single one of us will do the hard things now. That we will stay home, stay healthy, and create a miracle.

I hope. I do everything I can do be the difference. And I wait.

Now, all that being said... there are moments that I'm sure we'll all go crazy. For example, we were in the midst of a big remodel with all of this started... so right now, our living room, family room, and kitchen are torn apart and on hold for the forseable future... so our liveable space is super limited. But we get outside in the backyard for hours every day and we mostly make it work. Until we don't. Ha! In times like that, we all need something to look forward to. That's why I'm thrilled to offer one more moment of HOPE to my lovely picture book writing community.

The Coronavirus Critique Giveaway came together incredibly fast based on wonderfully generous individuals! I am beyond thrilled to tell you that we have 37 critique donations to give away this week!

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 23rd, the list of donors will be revealed. I hope you will all take the time to follow them and thank them for their generosity!

Thursday, the 26th through Saturday the 28th, the giveaway will go live on twitter.

Winners will be announced here and on Twitter on Monday the 30th.

I hope that this gives us all something wonderful and exciting to look forward to. Help me spread the word, and let me know...

How are you choosing hope during this time of uncertainty?

Meet Kailei Pew

Kailei believes in books. She believes in imaginative play. She believes in having fun, getting messy, and being silly with her kids. Thus For Little Readers was born.​ Kailei also writes picture books and is currently seeking representation. She loves creating books that bring children and parents together. Kailei hopes that her own books will one day be featured in her blog. ​Prior to staying home with her children and writing picture books, Kailei worked as a reading teacher and middle school mentor. She was a 2019 Write Mentor Mentee and a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill's 2019 Holiday Writing Contest.

Hello friends. I know, I know. It has been MONTHS since I've given you a fun activity to go along with one of my favorite picture books. I could go on and on with excuses... about how I've been busy with family, life, and my own writing dreams, but I'll spare you the details and just say... I'm sorry. And I am excited about jumping back into this blog space and sharing some fun activities. Plus, now more than ever, we need fun things to do with our kiddos at home.

I'm actually loving this opportunity to slow down and spend more time together as a family. I do look forward to the day that life is back to normal with hope, but until then I feel a great responsibility to do my part to stop the spread of Covid-19. Stay home, stay healthy, and wash your hands people.

Today, I'll be gushing over the wonderful book by Tara Lazar, Your First Day of Circus School, illustrated by Melissa Crowton. This book is so much fun. I live for puns, and Circus School does not disappoint on that front. I love the interactions between the text and art. One would not be complete without the other. I love the second person voice and the silly circus antics. And of course, my littles love it which at the end of the day is what matters most of all.

After reading Circus School this week, we set up a little at-home circus. We popped some popcorn and took turns as the circus performers. You wouldn't believe how much time we spent walking across a piece of painter's tape "tightrope" with our balloon weights. Of course, we had to include some daring feats and stellar tricks across the death-defying tight rope.

(Don't mind our construction zone... we are in the middle of a remodel... and with everything shut down, we'll be an extra month of disaster zone).

Tara Lazar is among the awesome authors who are creating read-along videos to help pass the time in quarantine/social distancing/home school. Make sure to follow her on instagram to catch her videos.

Updated: May 15, 2020

Thanks so much for stopping by to read my story! I had a lot of fun participating in Susanna Leonard Hill's Holiday Writing Contest. I ended up writing two stories. You can read my first entry here. I hope you're all having a very happy holiday and enjoying time with those you love!

A Christmas Treat for Mama

By Kailei Pew

249 Words

Melody grinned as she rushed home. She had planned the perfect Christmas treat for weeks. And today, Grandma helped her make a mountain of fudge for Mama.

“Wow!” Someone said from behind. “Is that a mountain of fudge?!”

Melody turned to see her new neighbor, Jason.

“Yes!” Melody boasted. “All for my Mama!”

“Oh,” Jason said, looking at his toes. “Sure wish I could make a treat like that for my Mama.”

“Go tell your Daddy.” Mindy suggested. “I’m sure you can make a fine treat for your Mama.”

“Yeah…” mumbled Jason. “Maybe…”

Melody continued on her way. But she slowed as she approached her house…

Maybe it was the way that Jason’s coat hung much too big around his small frame.

Or the way his sad eyes had never quite met hers.

Or perhaps something in her heart just told her…

...Jason couldn’t make a treat like this for his Mama.

She hurried back and clumsily pushed the fudge into Jason’s hands.

“I think your Mama would like this even more than mine,” she said hastily.

“Oh boy! Thank you!” He whooped. “Mama! Mama!” He called as he ran inside.

Melody raced back to her house, hot tears burning in her eyes.

She burst through the door and fell into her Mama’s arms. The entire story tumbled from her lips.

“And now,” she sobbed, “I don’t have a Christmas treat for you!”

“Oh baby girl,” Mama said, “Don’t you see? You’ve given me the greatest treat of all!”

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