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My parents divorced the summer of my third year in school. This did not come as a great disappointment. My father was a womanizer and a heavy drinker. The fights between my parents were frequent. We moved that summer into our “own” house. My mother was a hard worker and with my aunt to help her, our new life began.

In many ways, our life was much better. There were no more fights to fear and our little cottage, although not in a really desirable part of town, was better than the house we shared with our father. My brother and I were happy and accustomed to making the best of things. Our life sailed along with an occasional trauma as life goes with all of us.

The summer of my thirteenth year, out of the blue, my father called. Professing his undying love and remorse that he had not called since I was eight years old, he asked for the pleasure of my company for the approaching Saturday morning. Excitement pulsed through my young body. My father actually loved me. All of those years feeling that their problems were somehow caused by me were erased with that one call. He was probably drinking pretty heavily when he called but I didn’t know or care about that. MY FATHER LOVED ME. I decided right then that every Saturday would be spent with my Dad. We would make up for all of the lost days, weeks, months and years in the coming Saturdays. At school, all that I talked about was my upcoming special time. I cancelled my usual time with Kathy, my best friend. She would have to understand that although she had been my companion for years spending each Saturday morning with me, she had been dropped. Our typical Saturday at the local movie and then a banana split were over. Whatever my father had planned would be so much better.

The time passed slowly. My wardrobe was planned down to the ribbon in my hair. That day finally arrived. My mother tried to curb my over zealous attitude. “He probably won’t come.” She would stress that my father was undependable and basically a liar but I knew better. After all of the hurt that he had caused, he wouldn’t dare disappoint me.

An hour before his arrival, I was dressed in my prettiest dress and waited on the front steps with my mother who continued to warn me that I was about to be hurt. I listened to her patiently at first. Sure, she hated him because he had caused so much hurt but that was her problem. He loved me. I remember waiting in the hot sun as mother continued to try to prepare me for disaster. An hour late, he pulled up to the curb as my mom explained that we could go get ice cream later.

“I knew that he would come. You need to believe in him!” Yelling those comments, I ran to the opened door without a hug or kiss to my faithful mom. Dad closed the door and we were off for a few hours of much needed bonding. Little did it matter that he wanted to see a Western movie. Not my favorite for sure but next week, he would probably insist that I see what I liked. After the movie, he treated me to a banana split as he watched with great pride. We laughed and talked so much. The day was everything that I had ever dreamed.

The next week, I excitedly planned his arrival. Just like all of my friends, I had a father. The kids at school quickly tired of hearing about my special day. What was the big deal anyway? Didn’t everybody have a father?

The next Saturday found me dressed in another pretty dress with a new ribbon because dad liked the ribbon in my hair. Again I waited in the hot sun. Mother didn’t join me since she was amazed that he showed last week. I waited for three hours. He never came; not even a phone call with a lie. When my mother tried to get me to go with her for ice cream, I assured her that I was not disappointed. It had always been crystal clear that he was a liar. Now that I had given him a chance, I would never wait for him or make plans with him again.

Quickly, I changed from special clothes to those of play. Pulling the ribbon from my hair, I frowned at my reflection. How gullible could I possibly be? The rest of the afternoon was spent in my swing where I sorted out life’s problems. He never phoned again but I didn’t care. My Saturday’s were spent again with Kathy and life went on as before. Yet, in my heart, I always hoped that someday he may call again.

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Amelia Picklewiggle is a husband and wife writing team who also write as young adult/middle grade author PA Cadaver. She is the Ambassador for the state of Nevada for Board on Books for Young Readers, a guest Judge for PBS where she was the first author in the history of the KIDS GO contest to present awards. Amelia is a member of many organizations for children’s literacy programs, including RIF, Reading Rockets, AIA, Autism Society, American Library Association, SCBWI and many more....

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Dear Readers and Writers,

Once upon a time, not so long ago, loving parents and gentle souls with warm hearts were enchanted by happy, innocent children. They delighted in reading a beautiful book with them as their wide-eyed audience hung on every word and looked at each exciting color picture.This nurturing scene happens today where children grow surrounded by good parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and are cared for by devoted older brothers, sisters, and friends, participating in their unfolding.  Indeed, reading great literature to children could save our world.

The difficulties many families face in our times are due to manufactured, hurtful fears, fears we can remove through the power of the arts and the imagination, powerful guides that offer a new way of seeing the world. Most know that for this to happen a major and truly positive change is needed.

Change is a magical word. Tried and tested sailors know when a “change of course” will take their boat into safer waters. A change of course, however, is possible only by firmly taking hold of the wheel and giving time, attention, and energy to what lies ahead.

Children deserve our loving attention and must be given the best education we can gather from humanity’s rich legacy. For each generation to thrive, this treasure of wisdom must be renewed: that means we must introduce our children to the classics as well as to new literature so they can discover what they could never find in the dark television madness of insipid, frantic, and meaningless consumer brain-washing. Additionally, many children’s videos and games promote violence and destroy a child’s innocence.

Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a soul-nourishing tale of love, family unity, brotherhood, mysterious communication with nature, and the amazing flight of a great bird, projecting the fullness of a child’s imagination and opening the heart to bravery, ingenuity, exploration, generous self-sacrifice, and a future of infinite possibilities.

But there is much more in this delightful book. Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a tool for caring adults who know the change we seek in our decadent times is always contained, like a magical seed, in the innocence and pure joy every child brings into the world at birth. Good men and women never give up hope for a better world. They never say: “There is nothing I can do!” because they know that planting and nourishing a fertile seed has the potential to restore our earthly garden. All we need do is allow the seed of innocence to grow. With love and guidance, that is what Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure helps us do.

Every child comes in this world with a hunger for life and beauty. The reading of great literature helps satisfy this hunger. Reflecting back to our youth, we adults may fondly remember the joy of looking at the pictures in our first books, be they multi-colored flowers or the menagerie of earthly creatures like kittens, puppies, crickets, and birds. Wise discrimination in selecting enriching stories plays an important role in the development of a healthy, open mind and character. 

Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a celebration of nature’s power, kindled by family love and fantastic events. The path of the mythical blue albatross into endless space and infinite time beckons children to follow the bird’s flight with their own inner eyes into realms beyond the heavens. Uncle Rico, Francisco and Gabriel’s confidant, while imparting his knowledge of winds, clouds, and the sea, about rudders and sails, provides – rather than today’s ridicule and distain between adults and children – the example of generational sharing and respect. The protective character of the older brother, Francisco, toward his younger brother Gabriel illustrates – rather than today’s competition and bullying – the kind of loving relationship siblings need to cultivate as they grow into adults.

The Glossary of Nautical Terms offers an easy way for parents and teachers to teach children the power of a robust vocabulary.

Good literature is one of the best gifts to give others. Tales like The Little Prince, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio are still enjoyed by adults because these books perennially reinforce the universal truths that have inspired generations to not only develop and appreciate the arts, but to foster healthy attitudes toward the dignity of life, the importance of mental and spiritual liberty, and respect for one another.

By giving Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure to a child you love, you will be remembered as the generous giver whose gift will endure in many family bookshelves and libraries for a long, long time to come. 

Heart greetings, 

Viktoria Vidali

P.S. Your personal review of the book on will be a great gift to the author and illustrator. Kindle edition also available. Spanish/English edition coming soon. 

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What ‘ya gonna do?

In one of those “kids say the darnedest things moments” when they spill the family secrets, a neighbor’s son told me “my parents always say that if it happens outside my door, I don’t need to get involved”. I wanted to ask if his parents explained what kind of things he shouldn't be involved in – was it the argument overheard next door or the cry for help from a stranger? In the end, I decided not to question the youngster.
How much do we involve ourselves in the lives of others? And where do we draw the line?
What would you do if you knew a child was in trouble and possibly being abused by one of the adults she yearns to trust? There are some people who, by the nature of their jobs, are legally required to report all suspected child abuse such as teachers, doctors, police officers, and child care providers to name just a few. Any adult who lives with the child who has been abused is also legally required to report the situation although all too often these people are either involved in the abuse or complicity denying the existence.
What about the rest of us, what is our moral obligation to report when we've seen a child in distress with repeated and multiple bruises, or worse?
We need to learn to recognize the signs of abuse and not deny that it might be happening. Severe injuries, multiple bruises from obviously different occasions, fear at the idea of going home, a lack of medical care for illness or injury, detailed tales of sexual activity, consistently unkempt appearance, or frequent and constant hunger MAY be signs we should pay attention to. If a child comes to you with a blatant cry for help and story of an abusive situation, it shouldn’t be discounted without consideration. And as the parent of a child who once screamed for help standing at her bedroom window when she was angry for being sent to her room for a time-out, I am aware that sometimes things CAN be misunderstood.
If we must err though, we should err on the side of the child’s safety. Child protective agencies exist in every region and depending on the size of your municipality maybe even in your city. If you suspect the possibility of child abuse contacting them may very well be the first step in saving a child’s life. The staff at these offices are trained to determine if the information you provide is enough to warrant a more thorough investigation so they will ask you questions such as what you witnessed, if you've seen former evidence, and how well you know the people involved (to assess your vantage point). Your name will be kept out of it if they decide to investigate so you shouldn't worry about repercussions. Unless it can be proven that you maliciously reported a false case, you are immune to any consequences. Cases will be investigated and any actions taken will be done in the best interests of the child.
When I researched information for my novelBartlett’s Rule, I came across survivors of childhood abuse and one of the things repeatedly stated was why people who knew didn't do anything to help. Physical and emotional scars never go away. Children are vulnerable and often not able to speak up and explain what is happening to them – but if we suspect abuse, we should do something to help. It's the right thing.

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