Tag Archives: Super Lexi

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Cozy, Holiday Cooking Class with no Hoopla!

IMG_7492Our world has gotten so loud. Kid-friendly has come to mean chaotic, with each kid event louder, bigger, more stimulating than the last. Most kids don’t thrive under these conditions, and for introverted kids or those with sensory processing disorders and/or autism, these environments are incredibly painful and lead to meltdowns.

We are alienating these kids.

This is a primary theme in my chapter book Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas, as second-grader Lexi struggles to cut through the “hoopla” at her school during the holidays, and years to find her own peace. Reviewers have called it a “different” kind of a Christmas story, but I’m not convinced it’s that different from the experiences of many of our kids. The kids who are most likely to suffer from sensory overload are also the least likely to verbalize it. Experts estimate that 33-50% of our kids meet this description (source: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.)

My goal as a children’s author is to work toward a world that honors all kids and their unique, beautiful wiring. For these reasons, I teamed up with Amanda from The Good Food Factory to provide a cozy, quiet holiday cooking class. We turned down the volume and the lights to enjoy some respite and cozy holiday food. Amanda has amazing talent in offering a truly inclusive classroom, providing more stimulation for those who need it, without disrupting those who need quiet.

We read from Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas, we cooked latkes (Lexi’s favorite holiday food from her class party) and we sipped Lexi’s all-time favorite holiday drink, hot cocoa with marshmallows.

It was a cozy, delicious event. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with wonderful, compassionate Amanda. If you’re in the San Diego area, I highly recommend her kids’ cooking classes. And if you’re not, you can check out her kids’ TV cooking show and cook her healthy, kid-friendly food with your kids at home!

 

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Michigan School Visit Tour: Celebrating Your Superpowers to Make the World a Better Place

IMG_6958I had such a great time last week in Michigan on a school visit tour. Though never stated in the text, my Super Lexi chapter books are set in Michigan, where I spent my own childhood. I have such a deep love for the people and the state itself, I include it in the backdrop of most of my fiction. It was so comforting to be back.

The focus of my elementary school visits is to celebrate neurodiversity by empowering kids to use their diverse gifts for the greater good. In my assemblies, I work to illustrate how all people have value, and how we are unique for a reason.

Then, we get into the fun part: we brainstorm ways to discover our gifts by following what we love, and we hammer out easy ways we can apply those passions for the greater good. Last week, I challenged the kids to organize their thoughts on a bookmark that I provided, and to take action that day.

Bookmark

The kids had the most amazing suggestions, including:

  • Start a book club
  • Sell homemade baked goods for a charity
  • Cook food and donate it to a homeless shelter
  • Invite a new student over to play video games
  • Donate old video games to a younger child or a child in need
  • Play soccer with a younger child
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog

I love seeing them light up when they discuss the magic that is already in them.

If you’re interested in an author visit, please email me at emma@emmalesko.com!

HuffPo

My Work Is Featured in the Huffington Post!

HuffPo

I am so excited to be featured in the Huffington Post! I poured my heart into this interview, in the hopes of spreading the message I want all kids to hear: “You are unique for a reason. If society is not valuing your authentic self, that’s society’s dysfunction, not yours. Find your voice, find your power, and fulfill your purpose.”

Click here to read the full interview!

FrenchToast

Super Lexi’s Top Secret Egg Nog French Toast Recipe

FrenchToastThis is an actual thing that happened: I got to eat eggnog French toast at a TV table and watch cartoons once. You can read all about it in Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas. The thing about eggnog French toast is that it’s actually delicious. I wrote an official Top Secret recipe for you so you can eat it, too.

 

 

Stuff You Need

  • 8 pieces of bread (Udi’s if you’re not a fan of wheat)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup thick egg nog (So Delicious Coconut Nog if dairy gives you the feeling of barf)
  • ¼ cup flour (something like Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour if you think wheat is blech)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Greasy stuff like butter, coconut oil or shortening for the griddle
  • MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT: Powdered sugar for snow

Top Secret Important Directions

  1. Dump eggs, egg nog, flour and vanilla into a blender. Make sure you put the lid on or else you’ll have a big, fat mess. Don’t ask me how I know that.
  2. Cover your ears. Have a grown-up press a button on your blender since your hands are busy. That thing is blaring loud.
  3. Now you have goop in your blender. Pour that goop into a bowl that’s big enough to fit bread.
  4. Ask your grown-up put a griddle on medium high heat. That way, you don’t have to get terrified of the burner. Get to work on step 5 while your grown-up puts the greasy stuff on a griddle.
  5. Dip bread in the goop. Your fingers will feel gross. Tell yourself that’s part of the fun.
  6. Have your grown-up cook that goopy bread on the griddle while you wipe your fingers off.
  7. MOST IMPORTANT STEP: When the French toast is all cooked, sprinkle powdered sugar snow on top. Make it beautiful. That makes it more delicious.
  8. Gobble up that delicious food.
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SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS Now Available!

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Woo Hoo! My chapter book SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS is now available! Click here to look inside!

About the Book

Lexi is not a fan of Christmas hoopla. It’s loud like an explosion, and it makes her insides hard like an ice cube. Too bad a big, fat holiday party at school is breathing down her neck. Now, to get out of it, Lexi has to get on the naughty list. Only one problem: Breaking rules gives her the feeling of barf.

Click here to buy

Click here to read chapter 1

GoodreadsQ&A

Author Q&A on Goodreads!

GoodreadsQ&A

I will be answering questions regarding my chapter book SUPER LEXI and the upcoming sequel, SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS (Nov 4, 2014), on Goodreads for the next week!

Please submit your questions or those of your kids here!

 

Some of the Q & A’s so far:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

As a little kid, I never got into “kid-friendly” activities. Overnight camping trips, field trips, school performances, carnivals, class parties, you name it, they overwhelmed me. I did not like them. But in the 80s, kids’ perspectives were not validated as well as they are today, so I frequently faced grown-ups who told me all kids liked that stuff. No one really believed me.

I decided to write SUPER LEXI about a second-grade girl who hates musical performances & staring eyeballs because I think kids need to be told there’s more than one way to experience the world. There is power in the written word. I thought if a grown-up wrote a book that says it’s OK to see the world this way, then it would be official for whatever kid needs to hear that.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

As a kids’ author, the best thing about being a writer is by and large the audience. I love children and I have so much hope and belief in them. The very nature of evolution promises that they are capable of doing greater things than I am. I simply love being a doorway that they can walk through on their own journeys to greatness.

Will there be anymore books in this series after the Christmas book? (Cade, age 8)

It’s so nice to hear from you, Cade!

I do have a few more ideas for SUPER LEXI books and hope to complete them, but there are no official releases scheduled after the Christmas book comes out in November. When I do have release dates on future books, I’ll announce them on my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/EmmaLeskoAuthor

Thank you for your question!

More questions

Sneak Peek: SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS

ChristmasIllustrationI’m really trying to let you get through Pumpkin Spice Latte season before filling your feeds with SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS news. It’s just so hard because Adam Winsor: Illustrator, Animator, Etc. Etc. has done such wonderful illustrations!

I’m particularly fond of this one, which perfectly captures everything I was going for.

SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS is coming soon!

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Super Lexi Featured in Kirkus Reviews Magazine!

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I’m excited to announce that my chapter book Super Lexi was selected to be featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine! Less than 1 out of 10 indie books books receive this honor.

Check out the full review here!

If you’ve not read Super Lexi, you can get a sneak peek at the first chapter here!

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Kirkus Gives Chapter Book Super Lexi a Rave Review!

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Big victory for chapter book Super Lexi today – Kirkus gives it a rave review! Highlights below:

“An excellent chapter book that’s perfect for middle-grade fans of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody series and other books featuring spirited female narrators.”

“Lexi has a remarkable narrative voice, and Lesko captures her anxieties and phobias beautifully.”

“She’s a fascinating protagonist…”

“A grade school girl battles her fear of “staring eyeballs” in this fantastic series starter by debut author Lesko.”

Read the full review here!

Some local Little Free Libraries - Super Lexi's inside!

National Library Appreciation Week

ShippedLibraryBooksHappy National Library Appreciation Week! As a lover of libraries and all things books, I am proud to support this wonderful week. I was happy to see my Facebook community jump at the chance to get free copies of my chapter book Super Lexi for their local libraries. I sent out 15 signed copies to libraries on three different continents this week!

Also, because I simply could not help myself, I took Super Lexi on a Little Free Library book tour. If you are not familiar with the Little Free Library “take a book, leave a book” program, I highly recommend you check it out, because it’s a very cool and neighborly way to promote literacy.

Some local Little Free Libraries - Super Lexi's inside!

Some local Little Free Libraries – Super Lexi’s inside!

Next up: Teacher Appreciation Week, beginning May 5! As a grateful kids’ author, I intend to give thanks 😉

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Vote for Lexi on A Mighty Girl!

My chapter book Super Lexi has been nominated to appear on A Mighty Girl, but she needs votes! A Mighty Girl is a wonderful site dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls. If you think Lexi is A Mighty Girl, please vote for her here!MightyGirlClick to Vote!

GoodReadsGiveaway

Super Lexi Giveaway on Goodreads!

Super Lexi is a warmly funny chapter book about a determined but nerve-wracked second grader.

Lexi’s got phobias about lots of things. Yogurt. Songs that get stuck in her head. Cashiers who think they’re good with kids. Her biggest phobia on Planet Earth, though, is eyeballs staring at her. That’s how come it’s too bad she has a solo in the school Parents’ Day performance. Good thing she has a plan. If she tornado-twirls at blur speed, she can disappear onstage!

Enter to win a copy of Super Lexi below!

Click to enter!

Click to enter!

Vonnegut

Big Week for Chapter Book Super Lexi!

Lots of activity with my chapter book Super Lexi this week!

The awesome tweets.

The awesome tweets.

First, investigative reporter from Wired magazine and esteemed supporter of the neurodiversity movement Steve Silberman tweeted kind words about Super Lexi. Needless to say, it made my day, because Steve Silberman is awesome.

Next, I began my long overdue journey on Goodreads! Who knew that was such a spectacular place? I can make friends who are only interested in talking about books? I can’t think of any thing more fun. Come find me. I”ll be thrilled to talk about nothing but books with you.

Click to find me!

Click to find me!

My Facebook page is happy!

My Facebook page is happy!

And finally, I am profoundly grateful that my Facebook page now has more than 2000 followers. The support has been overwhelming!

As many of you know by now, I have a phobia of eyeballs staring at me. Going public with Super Lexi was out of character for me, but I it did anyway in the hopes that I would figure out a way to survive it.

This is why I cling to an old quote my dear friend Kurt Vonnegut used to say (kidding, he was not my dear friend, though I’m certain my life would have been complete if he had been):

Vonnegut

Thanks to all of you, there’s hope for my wings yet!

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First School Visit!

SchoolVisitI got invited to do my first school visit! Like Lexi, I have a “phobia of eyeballs staring at me.” Should be interesting! 😉

In all seriousness, though, I really enjoy talking to kids about Lexi. Invariably, we end up talking about following dreams and identifying superpowers within ourselves. It all ends up being very inspiring and I simply LOVE to see kids light up when they map out their plans to make their own dreams come true.

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Super Lexi is Now Available!

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I am so happy to announce that my chapter book, Super Lexi is now available! Click here to buy it now!

I am so grateful to everyone who  has supported me along the way. I particularly appreciate those of you that have read my blog or followed me on Facebook/Twitter as Lexi has grown from an idea to a full-fledged character.

A special thanks to Adam Winsor, whose beautiful illustrations capture Lexi and her spirit better than I could have ever hoped for.  And thank you to Keith Snyder for presenting Lexi’s story exactly as I had envisioned it!

 

SuperPowerWinners

Congratulations to Corinne and Carley!

SuperPowerWinners

Congratulations to winners of the Super Lexi Superpower Contest, Corinne, age 9, and Carley, age 8!

Corinne’s superpower is making homemade gifts like friendship pins, duct tape wallets and friendship bracelets. Carley’s superpower is being kind to others. Both superpowers help make the world a better place!

You’ll each receive a signed copy of my new chapter book, Super Lexi. Thank you for using your superpowers, and for participating in the contest!

Carley, age 8

Carley, age 8.

Corinne, age 9

Corinne, age 9