Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Willow Rose Learns Honesty Meredith Mast

Willow Rose Learns Honesty
Meredith Mast

Genre: Children’s Book

Publisher: Something or Other Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: October 25, 2018
ISBN: 978-1732451124
Number of pages: 32
Word Count: 450
Cover Artist: Brittany Fahres


Willow Rose Learns Honesty is the first in a series of unique new children's books created by Authors Meredith Mast and Marvia Karol. Ms. Mast, the founder of Storybook Ballet, needed a different kind of story for her young students to dance. She needed s stories that don't rely on fantasy princesses, but instead have relatable characters that would teach a set of virtues to empower children for life.

In this delightful introduction to the concept we meet Willow Rose - who is lonely in her new garden. The flowers and the insects don’t want to be friends with her, fearful of her thorns. Then one day she tells a lie to a grasshopper. When she realizes that not being honest hurts, Willow Rose must learn to tell the truth no matter what. In practicing the virtue of Honesty, Willow Rose makes a friend and this, in turn, brings happiness. 

Designed to be read aloud, danced to, or just enjoyed by children learning to read - the books in the Storybook Virtues series are an instant children's classic, one endorsed by parents, grandparents, teachers and children everywhere.

About the Author:

When Marvia Karol counts her blessings, the top of her list includes her husband, 3 amazing adult children, 3 wonderful in-law children, 10 grandchildren and a recently added new granddaughter married to her oldest grandson. She has lived all over the United States and spent 4 years in Bermuda. Throughout her 50+ years of marriage, she's written poetry, too many greeting cards to count, and unfinished novels, but has successfully published a humorous newspaper column. She is recently retired from real estate and is currently rehearsing a part for our local community theater. Being a closet writer for many years, she was excited when her daughter Meredith called to ask for her help with a series of children's books for Storybook Ballet. Armed with Meredith's inspiration, guidance and list of virtues-as-themes, Marvia created whimsical, but educational rose gardens, fluffy clouds and lush woodlands, to name a few. The final version of Willow Rose is the result of many long phone calls, embellishing and slicing and dicing until both authors knew Willow Rose would meet the high standards of Storybook Ballet. For Marvia, who currently resides in sunny Florida with her husband, Peter, and their Yorkie. Calli, seeing Willow Rose in print is a dream come true.

Where are you from?

I was born in Bermuda and spent most of my childhood in Miami, FL. I moved to Houston, Texas, at the age of 16 to dance with the Houston Ballet. I met my husband in Austin, Texas, and we moved to Wisconsin (where he was raised).

Tell us a little about yourself

 I danced with the Houston Ballet from age 17 to age 22. I then decided to pursue a college education and moved to Austin. I earned my Bachelor of Liberal Arts (Psychology)  from the University of Texas at Austin. There I met my husband, Jeff. We lived briefly in California and then moved to Wisconsin when we decided to marry. We have four boys (ages range from 12-18) and we live out in the country north of Madison, WI.

Tell us your latest news.

My latest news is that I published my first book, Willow Rose Learns Honesty, with SOOP in 2018. I have been spreading the news of my book by reading at elementary schools and dancing the story within my ballet school, Storybook Ballet.

When and why did you begin writing?

My mother and I decided to collaborate and create a series of children’s books that could, initially, be danced within my ballet school. Each story would not only lend itself to movement, but the story would incorporate a message or a virtue.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when Willow Rose was published!

What inspired you to write your first book?

At my ballet school, we read fairytales within our classes for 3-6 year olds. My mother and I decided to write our OWN stories- stories that incorporated a virtue such as honesty, patience, kindness, etc- but that also tied in imagination and movement. The stories would be colorful, concise, and have a clear message. We feel that with dancing, telling the story, and acting out the virtue- our students will gain a better understanding of the virtue.

What is the age range for the book?

We have written our books with children in mind (ages 2-7).

How did you come up with the title?

We came up with the title as our main character is a rose bush and we thought Willow Rose had a nice sound to it. The main message of the story is how Willow learns the importance of being honest- and we wanted that to be conveyed in the title.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

We hope that children will grasp the importance of telling the truth.

How much of the book is realistic?

It is a children’s fairytale…it is imaginative and creative!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No- it is not based on someone I know or an experience I had. We are just hoping to teach the children about being honest.

Do you see writing as a career?

My mother has always dabbled in writing and has always enjoyed the writing process. I have enjoyed writing here and there but did not initially envision it as a career.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Our interest in writing these books originated from my ballet classes and my hope of teaching our students not only about ballet but about virtues as well.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It was challenging to keep the writing simple and the word choice simple such that it would appeal to a young child.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

We have learned that writing a book is the easy part! The hard part is getting the book published and then marketing the book!

and be entered to win a free audiobook of 
Willow Rose Learns Honesty.

Two winners will be chosen.

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