Make ’em Laugh

A little over a year and a half ago, I appeared on stage at a book fair to read to a group of children. After sharing “The Monster That Ate My Socks”, which they loved, I was told that I still had time to do another reading, so I pulled out “I Don’t Want to Go to School”. The kids always enjoy that book, not only because it’s a universally kid-friendly topic, but because they get to participate in reading it. I always ask them to help me read the title line and, each time they do so, they get louder and louder until everyone is screaming by the end of the reading.

It’s super fun, but it also makes me think about one of the worst aspects of reading to children: the feeling of it being one-sided. When I read sock monster it’s to the child. They are to be quiet and, hopefully, entertained. “School” is a bit more interactive as they have been assigned a part, but I could just as easily ask them to be quiet and do the whole things myself. What about a book, though, where the kids are required to interact?

That idea led to “The Giggle Game” which is, just as the name implies, a game. The goal is to make all of the animal sounds in the book without laughing. The more children that participate, the harder it is not to laugh, so the book is wonderful in groups. From my experience in reading it, the adults are always the ones who laugh first, meaning that we always “lose” the game, but the kids don’t realize that seeing them have fun is a win to us!

Beyond a game, the book is also an opportunity to release energy. I call it a “wind-me-down” book, as in you read it to get all that stored up energy out before settling down for something like bedtime. The animal sounds go from loudest, a lion, to quietest, a mouse, and, depending on how you use the final pages, the “let it all out” spread, you could also use the book as a warm-up.

With such a simple concept, I knew the book needed something special for the artwork. So instead of digital drawing or pencil sketches, I went with paper craft. All of the illustrations in the book were made using construction paper, a Xacto knife, and a glue stick. It was time-consuming, thus the year to make it, and I even had to redo half of the images, but the end result has a fantastic texture and I couldn’t be more proud of how it looks.

I absolutely adore this book and put my heart and soul into it and you can tell when you see it for yourself. So without further ado, I’m pleased to announce that “The Giggle Game” is now available in Kindle eBook and Hardcover print. The book was designed for print since it’s great for groups, so get that version if you can. I even priced it lower than my other hardcovers just to get it into kid’s hands. The Kindle version is a carbon copy of the book but is best for small families.

One more thing, from now until the end of the month, I’m donating $2 for every review posted on Amazon for the book to OAR (Organization for Autism Research.) While the book is meant for everyone, many of you know that Autism is near to my heart and I thought this would be a great way to celebrate the new release, encourage people to leave a review, and help out a good cause.

So what do you think? Ready to make your children laugh?

Click here to get your copy.

Till next time,
All the best,
AJ

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