Super Parents Celebrity Edition: Justin Timberlake and Lynn Harless

To celebrate the upcoming release of My Super Single Dad, we have decided to commence regular blogs about famous celebrities raised by modern families! This week, we look at Justin Timberlake and his Mum, Lynn Harless

jt Justin grew up near Memphis, Tennessee with mum Lynn and step-dad Paul Harless. Justin describes himself as a ‘terror’ growing up with big musical ambitions. Hard work found Justin in the Mickey Mouse Club and later in boy band *NSYNC.  He was just 14 when he joined the band and a musical career would mean no regular high school-just tutors. Lynn refused to let him give up his education though. “You’re going to finish high school if we have to go handcuffed together,” she says she told him.

Despite his mum and did divorcing when he was young, Justin still had a great relationship with his dad. When Justin was struggling emotionally after touring his first solo album ‘Justified’ back in 2003,  his dad Randall told him: ‘You’re a workaholic. And take it from me, I’m almost 50, do the things that you can do while you are in your 20s. Enjoy your life. Enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for ” Justin didn’t grasp it right away, “… because the thing that I cared about most was work — music — and I had done it for 10 years. Longer than that if you count [‘The Mickey Mouse Club’] when I was a kid. So the first month I was like, ‘I’ll try that out,’ ’cause my dad is pretty wise.”

Justin is definitely a mumma’s boy though!  She is one of his managers, and he says he tells her everything and she is his best friend. “My mother has been there so much for me, and has helped me level things out when things got crazy,” he said.

Justin even has a tattoo on his back showing an angel holding a banner with his mother’s initials.

Justin’s story illustrates that children of single parents are just as capable of achieving their dreams as children whose parents are still together. Additionally, it also exemplifies how a child can have a meaningful relationship with both parents after a divorce. All a child needs to prosper is love!

(Credit to ABC News and MTV online for quotes)

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Bronny’s Books go global!

Bronny is delighted to announce that her My Family series of Children’s Books will be featured in a number of book fairs around the globe as we excitedly add book #4  ‘My Super Single Dad’ to the series! Check out our lovable families at the following fairs:

London Book Fair, London, UK
8 – 10 April 2014

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The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place  in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world. The London Book Fair brings  direct access to customers, content and emerging markets.

Beijing International Book Fair, Beijing, China
27 – 31 August 2014

The Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF), now held over twenty five times since its inception in 1986, continues to uphold its principle of “introducing excellent books from around the world into China and leading Chinese books to the world”. Over the past twenty years, the BIBF has been an event of the utmost importance to publishers, and has received major support and participation from domestic and overseas book and publishing industries,  turning it into a major international publishing event incorporating copyright trade, book trade, cultural events, displays, consultation services and professional networking.

Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany
8 – 12 October 2014

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The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest and longest running trade fair for books, based on the number of publishing companies represented, as well as the number of visitors. 

Representatives from book publishing and multimedia companies from all over the world come to the Frankfurt Book Fair in order to negotiate international publishing rights  and licensing fees. For five days more than 7,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries and more than 286,000 visitors take part. The Frankfurt Book Fair is considered to be the most important book fair in the world for international deals and trading.

We can’t wait to present our books at these great Fairs and look forward to sharing our future success with you!

My Super Single Dad will be out soon! It REALLY is nearly ready, it’s only a year late but better late than never!

 

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Bronny to speak at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Melbourne Event!

Hey guys! We are so excited to announce that Bronny is set to speak at an upcoming Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (or ”SCBWI’) event in Melbourne. Bronny and her ‘My Single Family’ children’s book series have been a triumph for families of various non-traditional backgrounds. As a self-publisher, Bronny feels privileged to give advise to fellow writers about forging their own path, just as many of her characters do!

SCBWI is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. They provide awards, scholarships, grants and also provide advice for new writers about publishing their own books!  SCBWI has chapters all over the world and in Australia they hold a Major Conference and Illustrator Showcase in Sydney every two years as well as frequent Master C
lasses.

Bronny will speak at their Melbourne event later in 2014.

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Bronny’s Bookshelf: Fourth Pick

Welcome to the Fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.

Horton Hears a Who! – Dr. Seuss

Horton Hears a Who! is a story about an elephant named Horton who overhears the echo of voices on a little red clover. Upon closer inspection he discovers that there is a whole town of Who’s, human-like creatures small almost to the point of being invisible, and who live on this particular clover. Horton then makes it his mission to protect the clover and its inhabitants, particularly from the threat of other animals in the jungle who mock him and disbelieve in the existence of the Who’s before stealing the clover and trying to hide it.

At the end of the book, after a great deal of anguish and persistence, Horton manages to save the red clover as well as the Who’s which live upon it. The core message of the book is repeated like a mantra throughout it: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” This is a theme which teaches children the importance of treating and respecting others equally despite their size or appearance.

What is most distinctive about Horton Hears a Who! is, like most Dr. Seuss books, both the imagination of the world created and the style of the language. From the rhyming couplets of the words to the kooky cartoon animals, Horton Hears a Who! is sure to leave you and your child entertained.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – By Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a story which follows a little caterpillar from its life as an egg, its brief life as a caterpillar devouring whatever food it can find, its even briefer life in a cocoon and right through to its emergence as a beautiful butterfly at the end.

Since its publication in 1969 The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 30 million copies, becoming a staple for children’s early reading all around the world. The story is accentuated with little pop up flaps on some pages which can be pulled aside to reveal holes in the fruit which the caterpillar has eaten on different days of the week, and these particular illustrations of food serve as very lush and appetizing pictures and include cakes, ice creams, cheeses, sausages, cupcakes, a slice of watermelon and a lollipop – each with little holes. This creates the sense that the caterpillar has eaten through your own book. On the whole it’s a particularly short though thoroughly enjoyable read.

Mr. Happy – by Roger Hargreaves

Mr. Happy is just one of over 40 books in the Mr. Men series which began in the 1970’s. The story of Mr. Happy takes place in Happyland – where the sun shines hotter and the trees are a hundred feet tall. Everything from all the flowers and all the animals and even the worms smile in this land. It is in a small cottage by a lake in this serene paradise that Mr. Happy lives.

One day during one of his walks Mr. Happy explores an underground house and finds a man. This man is very similar to Mr. Happy, he is small and round and yellow, but unlike Mr. Happy, this man is miserable, in fact his name is Mr. Miserable.

After escorting his new friend out of his tree home and up into Happyland, Mr. Miserable finds himself unable to fend off the simmering happiness that burns in the cores of all who dwell in Happyland, and his frown quickly turns into a smile. This segues into the final message of the story which addresses the reader, it states: if you ever feel as miserable as Mr. Miserable, all you need to do is turn your mouth up at the corners and smile.

These books are available at:

Horton Hears a Who!: http://www.bookdepository.com/Horton-Hears-Who%21-Dr-Seuss/9780394800783

Hungry Caterpillar: http://www.bookdepository.com/Very-Hungry-Caterpillar-Eric-Carle/9780241003008

Mr. Happy: http://www.bookdepository.com/Mr-Happy-Roger-Hargreaves/9781405235518

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Bronny’s Bookshelf: Third Pick

Welcome to the Third edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.

May We Sleep Here Tonight – Written by Tan Koide & illustrated by Yasuko Koide

May We Sleep Here Tonight

May We Sleep Here Tonight is a story that begins with three mice who are hiking in the woods and get lost in the developing fog around nightfall. They soon come upon a cabin, and after wondering if it would be okay to seek shelter there, they step inside to find it uninhabited and settle in. Soon after, while the three mice are tucked into bed, two rabbits who had similarly gotten lost in the fog drop in to join them. Furthermore, this little group is soon added to by the presence of three lost raccoons who knock on the cabin door. The story hits its peak when a big scary monster descends from the fog and enters into the cabin, frightening all of the animals who are cozy in bed, but it happily turns out to be Mr. Bear, the friendly bear who lives in the cabin and often hosts lost animals before feeding them hearty stew. Unlike a lot of other children’s books which are illustrated in water colour, this one is drawn in pencil which some great use of shading and soft colouring. This book was quite scary as the bear entered, however, the happy ending ultimately teaches our children about perception and how our minds can play tricks on us.

Laurence’s Water Wings – Written by Leone Peguero & illustrated by David Pearson

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Laurence’s Water Wings is a story about children and their individuality. It begins with Laurence waking up and realizing that he is on school holidays. As his two brothers, sister and parents begin to pack their things to go on a family holiday, Laurence puts on a pair of water wings despite being politely told that they are going to the bush and he will therefore not be requiring them. Throughout their entire trip, despite suggestions from his brothers and sister to remove the water wings, he keeps them on. When they arrive home his parents surprise him with the swimming pool they had constructed while on holiday, and still wearing his water wings, Laurence is the first one in the pool. I like this book not just because of the soft water colour illustrations in which colours smoothly bleed into each other, but because it teaches our children that it’s okay to be different. If Laurence wants to wear water wings, let him wear water wings.

Paddington Bear: In the Garden – By Michael Bond & illustrated by Michael Bond

Paddington Bear in the Garden
Paddington’s Garden in one of the many stories in the Paddington Bear series. This particular story was published in 2002, but various Paddington Bear stories date as far back as the early 1950’s, and the longevity of this character is testament to the strength of stories such as this. Paddington’s Garden is set in an affluent residence in London, and after Mrs. Brown, the mother of the house, spies Mr. Brown working very hard to maintain their large garden, she suggests that he delegate sections of the garden to their two children and Paddington. After feeling a little tired and overwhelmed with the initial gardening, Paddington uses his allowance to purchase some gardening supplies. However, on his way home he leaves his jar of marmalade at a construction site and after returning he finds that in its place rests a large pile of concrete. After, convincing the site manage to dig up the concrete and recover his jar, they find it was not there but rather on a wooden platform that had been elevated. Unhappy that his now dried concrete is wasted, Paddington saves the day by buying the dried pieces of concrete off him and using them in his garden display.

What I love about this book in particular is that there is lots of text that guides the story, and it doesn’t just rely on the images to look nice and engage your child. This particular edition of Paddington Bear teaches children about being creative in order to solve problems, and is a story best suited to children who have mastered basic reading and are ready to move onto more in depth stories.

Stay tuned for the fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

May We Sleep Here Tonight – http://www.bookdepository.com/May-We-Sleep-Here-Tonight-Tan-Koide/9780689832888

Paddington’s Garden – http://www.bookdepository.com/Paddington-Bear-Garden-Michael-Bond/9780060296964?b=-3&t=-20#Fulldescription-20

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Bronny’s Bookshelf: Second Pick

Welcome to the Second edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak

Earning itself classic status, Where the Wild Things Are is a beautiful book which continues to find a place in children’s bookshelves around the world. Since first being published in 1963, it has sold over 19 million copies – wow. The story follows young Max dressed in his white wolf suit, who is sent to his room without supper. Later that night a forest begins to grow in his room, and soon after he takes a ride in a small boat to the land where the wild things live. The wild things are a group of large, hairy though smiling creatures who crown Max their king before joining him in a celebratory rumpus of dancing, jumping and tree climbing. When fatigue overcomes the wild things, Max orders them to bed before leaving again on his boat and returning to his own bedroom where supper awaits him. The artistry of the illustrations and the depiction of the wild things is one that will leave a lasting, almost archetypal impression on yours and your child’s imagination.

Hairy Maclary’s Caterwaul Caper: Written & Illustrated by Lynley Dodd

Coming out of New Zealand, the Hairy Maclary children’s book series is definitely one you don’t want to miss reading to your child. The series follows the adventures of Hairy Maclary, a little black Affenpinscher, who gets himself into all kinds of mischief with the other pet dogs and cats in the neighborhood. What really stands out about this series of books is the variety of other animal characters, each with their own distinct names and personalities, including: Scarface Claw the cat, Bottomley Potts the Dalmatian, Muffin McLay an old English sheepdog and of course Schnitzel von Krumm the sausage dog. What also stands out is the style of the language. The story is narrated poetically and employs rhyming and alliteration, lending it a very musical flow. In this story the neighborhood dogs gather around a tree in which Scarface Claw is stuck:

“Puffing and panting, impatient to see, together they came to the foot of the tree. They sniffed and they snuffled, they bustled around, and they saw what was making the terrible sound.”

Hairy Maclary stars as the protagonist in twelve books in the series, while a further nine have been written about the other neighborhood animals.

Press Here: Herve Tullet

Press Here is a fantastically unique and interactive book for you to enjoy with your child. The book is almost solely composed of dots of different patterns and colours, with a brief amount of text at the bottom of each page.  The text gives you instructions such as, “press the button and turn the page,” and, “rub the dot on the left gently.” After such instructions, the dot your child rubbed will have turned red on the following page. Likewise, after being told to tilt the book to the left or right, on the next page all the dots will have ‘rolled over’ onto that side of the page your child tilted them to. What I love about this book is that you and your child are the characters, and you are helping move the story forward. Along the way you learn about colours, direction and movement, and it really feels more like an engaging activity for your child as opposed to being passively read a book. Furthermore this book offers a new way of telling a story and learning through book reading, making the learning process exciting and enjoyable.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Where the Wild Things Are – http://www.bookdepository.com/Where-Wild-Things-Are-Maurice-Sendak/9780099408390

Hairy Maclary – http://www.bookdepository.com/Hairy-Maclarys-Caterwaul-Caper-Lynley-Dodd/9780140508734

Press Here – http://www.bookdepository.com/Press-Here-Herve-Tullet/9780811879545

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Bronny’s Bookshelf: First Pick

Welcome to the first edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Felix and Alexander: Written & Illustrated by Terry Denton

Felix & Alexander is a fantastic and cute children’s book from Australia. It follows two characters which give the books its title. Alexander is a young boy who lives in the city with his talking and walking stuffed toy dog named Felix. The story begins with Alexander leaving for his regular afternoon walk, but once he fails to return by nightfall, loyal little Felix goes out looking for him with a torchlight. One of the features of this story that really stands out is the two or three panes of illustration when Felix is wandering around in the dark, and the houses of the urban streetscape are personified as grim, scary faces with eyes and mouths. A happy ending ensues when the two are re-united, and find their way home by following the stuffing that leaked out of a tear in Felix’s stitching.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Written & Illustrated by Judith Kerr

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a classic English children’s book about a tiger who drops in on a mother and her daughter Sophie as they are about to drink tea. The tiger is harmless and no-body seems concerned by its tiger-ness as it knocks on the door and asks if it can join them for tea as it is quite hungry. The friendly tiger then proceeds to clean out the family’s supply of fresh baked goods, tea from the pot, the dinner cooking on the stove as well as food in the cupboards and water in the bath tub. At the end the mother and daughter buy more food at the shops including some tiger food in case their orange friend decides to drop in again…

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch: Written & Illustrated by Ronda and David Armitage

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch is a great and different children’s story, particularly because it doesn’t feature any children. The characters include Mr. Grinling – the lighthouse keeper – his wife Mrs. Grinling and a flock of a hungry seagulls. Each day Mrs. Grinling fills a basket with her husband’s lunch and sets it on a cable from a window by their house on the coast, and sends it over the water to Mr. Grinling in the lighthouse. However, the scrumptious meal is soon raided by the flock of hungry seagulls en route! Some unique traits of this book that make it particularly special are the water colour artwork which creates a very warm blend of colour and compliments the oceanic scenery, as well as the speech bubbles of the hungry seagulls which are very humorous.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Felix & Alexander – http://www.amazon.com/Felix-Alexander-Terry-Denton/dp/0395486610/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379382099&sr=8-1&keywords=felix+and+alexander

The Tiger Who Came to Tea – http://www.bookdepository.com/Tiger-Who-Came-Tea-Judith-Kerr/9780007215997

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch – http://www.bookdepository.com/Lighthouse-Keeper-Stories%3A-Lighthouse-Keepers-Lunch-Lighhouse-Keepers-Picnic-Ronda-Armitage/9781407105789

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Bronny and Muntsa go to Melbourne Writer’s Festival

August brings with it an exciting and fun opportunity for Melbourne readers, writers
and book lovers, especially Bronny and Muntsa who celebrate the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. The festival showcases a variety of authors and industry figures from an array
of different creative endeavors and backgrounds.

Here at Bronny and Muntsa we are very excited to see that the festival is hosting
a number of events which are themed around Children’s books. One such event is hosted by Jane Godwin, a writer of several successful children’s stories along with illustrative collaborator Anna Walker. Together they will share some of their stories and as well as explore different and creative ways to create them. This event will be held on Saturday the 24th of August at 11:00AM.

Another fun event will feature one of the most established names in Australian
children’s fiction: Morris Gleitzman. Along with fellow children’s author
Deborah Ellis, Glietzman will be discussing, among other things, where they
draw the line in conveying to children what the world can be like. This event
will be held on Sunday the 25th of August at 10:00AM.

Children’s stories mark most children’s first taste of fiction and begin to
open up their imaginations in all kinds of new and fantastic ways. It builds
the foundations upon which our children begin to build understandings of storytelling. It is for that reason that we here at Bronny and Muntsa are so thrilled to see that the MWF is featuring events themed
around children’s stories.

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Same-Sex Marriage in France

When we heard about the approval of the bill to legalise gay marriage in France in February, we were delighted! And now that the bill has been officially legalized as of the 17th of May, all of us behind the My Super Family books could not be happier!

It’s truly fantastic to see countries progressing on this matter (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay) which is very close to the heart of the My Super Family books (My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads, and My Super Groovy Gran – and coming soon; My Super Single Dad!) as we are all about promoting love, safety and security in families – no matter what their make up is.

The recent legalization in France, following that of New Zealand’s earlier in the year, has meant that there are now 15 countries that legally recognize same-sex relationships! Fifteen!! Whilst there are about 196 countries in the world, 15 is a fantastic start, and we here at My Super Family have got all our fingers and toes crossed for this to be the start of something wonderful.

However, despite this fantastic news, we have been greatly saddened to read about the recent protest that occurred in Paris on Sunday – their Mother’s Day. We find it a real shame that so many people are unwilling to let two people who love each other marry each other, especially as there have been some violent clashes with the police. We firmly believe that being the same gender shouldn’t matter, whether the couple are willing to commit to each other is what matters. Love is universal; every language and culture has a word for it and knows what it means.

It is clear, however, that the majority of France support the new bill, especially as in Southern France the 66th Cannes Film Festival just gave it’s top honour, the Palm D’Or to the film “Blue is the Warmest Colour: The Life of Adele”, which focuses on a beautiful lesbian romance.

We at My Super Family strongly hope that the forward thinkers in France will continue to recognize same-sex relationships in this and many other ways, and we send out our very best wishes to the couple taking part in the first official same-sex marriage occurring in Montpellier this Wednesday! Perhaps it will be the start of their very own Super Family!

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Change It For Charity – Support This Awesome Project

Recently I discovered this awesome website where you can support people’s projects! I found this really cool one that is supporting Pete who is giving up sex for a year! You might like to check out the video and support the project.

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