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Parents, out of Ideas, Get Help from Bugs, Bananas and Bare Feet

Three new activity books help families beat boredom with hands-on fun

MIDVALE, UT, August 21, 2010 ( What do bananas, bugs, and bare feet have in common? --deliverance for parents of bored children. Three new interactive titles from author Karl Beckstrand offer families relief from "I'm bored" disease.

"Bad Bananas didn't start as a cookbook," says Beckstrand of his sixth picture book. "But my editor thought if we added recipes it would be the perfect family activity book." The wacky Bad Bananas - A Story Cookbook dramatizes the short (shelf) life of a renegade bunch--offering tasty recipes kids can use, even when a banana starts to go "bad."

Besides banana muffins, cookies, smoothies and pancakes, the comic images of illustrator Jeff Faerber guarantee hands-on fun for families. While the characters (with sticker tattoos, pierced peels, and wild hair) take the fruit bowl for late night spins or start turf wars with rival bunches, this cautionary cookbook's message is positive: "Even a bad banana can turn out good."

She Doesn't Want the Worms - Ella no quiere a los gusanos isn't your typical textbook--but that's the idea. "If you're going to teach something you'd better have people's attention first," says Beckstrand of his second bilingual picture book, about a girl who responds to unusual gifts (that happen to be alive).

The vivid, sometimes striking images of creepy crawlies by illustrator David Hollenbach only increase the curiosity.

She Doesn't Want the Worms' whimsical story and images stand on their own merits; but kids and adults will likely go back and try the words in another language. Worms comes with a pronunciation guide and text in both English and Spanish. Beckstrand's first bilingual book, Crumbs on the Stairs - Migas en las escaleras, has been purchased by schools and libraries across the country. "They're pretty interactive," he says; "and that's what you want in a book."

Agnes's Feet is also the second in an illustrated series--this one on young immigrants. Taken from Agnes Caldwell Southworth's personal account, Beckstrand's newest offering follows nine-year-old Agnes, who leaves part of her family behind in Europe in 1856 to sail for a better life in America. Once in New York, she heads west to the end of the train line in Iowa, then continues 1,200 miles--on foot.

Agnes's shoes wear out crossing the Continental Divide. She enters the Rockies in blizzard conditions, starving and barefoot. "You don't make up a story like this," says Beckstrand, "--and I could never have dreamed up the ending."

Agnes's Feet comes with questions to help readers write their own history--or at least learn their ancestry. Stunningly illustrated by artist Sean Sullivan, the story is sure to capture the minds of children and former children.

Perhaps most interesting is Beckstrand's pre-sales tack. "We have the traditional relationships with library distributors and book retailers," says Beckstrand, "plus e book and Print On Demand options." But Beckstrand is also allowing fans to pre-order on a unique site for funding creative projects. Beckstrand's six books are among the rewards offered for funding pledges. "Pre-ordered books help offset our printing costs," says Beckstrand, who also offers publishing consultation as a reward.

Ask for Beckstrand's books at your favorite bookstore, or pre-order at

Published by Premio Publishing, October 2010, Written by Karl Beckstrand, Illustrated by Jeff Faerber, David Hollenbach, and Sean Sullivan, ISBN: 978-0-9776065-1-1, 978-0-9776065-2-8, 978-0-9776065-3-5, full-color activity books, 24-32 pages, 8" x 10" and 10.25"x9.25", ages 4 & up, Available through Ingram,,, Follett. For pre-orders contact Premio Publishing: 801-953-3793 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              801-953-3793      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              801-953-3793      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Premio Publishing began in 2004. Our picture books are about fun and learning--at any age. Whimsical stories and vivid illustrations engage the reader to maximize comprehension. Our bilingual books (with pronunciation guide and text in both English and Spanish), activity books (including a cookbook for kids), and historical non-fiction books hold reader attention and make them repeat readers. Discounts available for volume orders, charities, and curriculum orders. Free online books at


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