Picture
This stubborn cow realizes the value of persistence when she finally changes her tune and tries something new, then accomplishes what she sets her heart on. Kids can be like this -- stubborn in their insistence not to try anything new.

As a young child our family would stop at a particular ice cream establishment and everybody would order their particular favorite flavor. I did not choose to have any. I don't know why I was not interested in trying ice cream, but it took every family member to coax me into just venturing into tasting vanilla. Well, who doesn't like ice cream, whatever the flavor? My mind was changed in an instant. Vanilla is still my preferred flavor. So it goes with kids and cows.

                                                                      Purchase on Amazon
Reviews:
"This is a cute story that has an original take on the Hey Diddle Diddle nursery rhyme, where the cow jumps over the moon. The cow in this case is content to stand around, chewing and chewing because as she thinks it's what she's supposed to do. Several animals stop by to encourage her to try something new, but she refuses.

Finally, a very persuasive chicken stops by to invite the cow to jump over the moon with her and she won't take no for an answer. Will the cow take a chance and try something new? You'll have to read the book to find out." -- Susan Barton

"Though our daughter is now grown, many of our most delightful times were around reading delightful children's books like this one by Sally Huss. Her illustrations are adorable and her story the first believable explanation of how the cow jumped over the moon!" -- John Chisum

"I enjoyed your sweet teaching story book about trying something new. And you also had beautiful big illustrations as well as the print. Great especially for young kids but not just for kids even adults need to do the same." -- Angela

"Cute story about a cow who is afraid of doing anything new or different. "I'm tired, I'm bored," said the cow, "I chew and chew, I stay in this pasture. That's all I do." As several animals come by, each invites her to try a new activity, but she refuses. Finally a chicken comes by as nighttime approaches. She invites the cow to jump over the moon. Will she finally have the confidence to try? Find out if the cow jumps over the moon." -- Barbara Mojica

"This book encourages kids to try and try and never give up! Try something new, even if you think you can't." -- Creative Joy

 
 
Picture
This amusing tale came out of the blue. Many times it is just fun to play with words and rhymes. At one point I did a whole series of stories about sounds -- the "sh" sound, the "uck" sound, the "ar" sound, even the "ome" and the "ame" sounds. 

This particular "at" sound story touches on a pet piece of mine -- hearing people end a sentence with "AT." I wonder what kids are being taught in school? This was a "no, no" in my youth. However, there are a lot of lazy acceptances of poor grammar heard everywhere. The rules are gone. When does "I" precede "you" when speaking of us? The "me" generation seems to include grammar.

I still think it's important to know what is correct, even if our teachers do not know better. "At" at the end of a sentence may not grind on your ears, but it does on mine... so I wrote this funny, silly, little ditty. And, it has a good message to boot!


                                                  Purchase on Amazon

Reviews:

"What a cute way to learn grammar! I loved it! Perfect for my young nieces and nephews. Drives me crazy when people use "at" at the end of a sentence. My adult children tease me with this to this day. I will read this book to them (and my husband)! Thank you, Sally Huss!" -- Robyne Moore

"This is another charming story by Sally Huss that teaches as it entertains. My niece and I had fun reading it together because she was able to participate by sounding out all the "at" words. She loves rhymes, and this clever story was not only full of them it also taught an important grammar rule. That is hard to do, as grammar is not usually not the most exciting subject for young students! But grammar is much easier to teach when the subject is an adorable and self assured 'Cat with a Bat!'" -- Mary Bosch

"I wish we had a cat around our house to inspire our kids to practice — at whatever they are trying to master. This cat is determined and on track. Fortunately some kind-hearted folks in the story correct him on his grammar that he immediately begins to put into practice.

This is a fun-filled story with absolutely charming illustrations that run along with the story. Have a ball with this one — a baseball!" -- Jill McDonald

"This is a charming book with a tongue-twisting verse that’s sure to tickle any child’s funny bone. Our family read it several times and had a good laugh over the pride that cat displayed. But, of course, when the cat proved that his stick-to-itiveness got results, who could argue with the cat. The subject a good talking point for all of us. We’ll read this book often." -- Mary Knight

"My husband has been trying to get our kids more involved and excited about baseball but at 3 and 5, they don't quite have the focus. Sally's book brought them right in with her fun illustrations and delightful prose. It's a great intro for little kids everywhere!" – Maryanne

 
 
Picture
As I was walking along the street one day, I began singing, "I've got a fish in my pocket and a turtle in my shoe." Like many of my children's books, I didn't know where this one was going. I kept humming along and making up other pockets in one's clothing where a small animal could hide. 

It seemed a happy image and an opportunity to stimulate a child's imagination. I still didn't know where the story was going until I wrote it down. As the rhyme revealed itself, it offered an image to extend the idea of pockets further -- "Is it possible that I'm in someone else's pocket -- a pocket bigger than anything I can see? If I am, I am a lucky as anyone can be." That idea made me feel so good, perhaps it would make a child feel good too.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I do walk around in a type of pocket, one that belongs to a great being of light and love that encompasses us all.

                                                  Purchase on Amazon
                                      Also available in a multicultural version.

Review:

"This fun and colorful rhyming story has our whole family in love with the theme of this book about a happy little girl who totes around her funky animal friends. We absolutely love the whimsical rhymes throughout the book, and the profound thought at the end. This is a magical book that gets little ones to think about the bigger life of which they are a part." – Amazon Customer

 
 
Picture
This beautiful quilt was created by my daughter-in-law Ceil, in the wonder of her own art studio in Colorado Springs. I just love it. I love it, not only because it's beautiful, but because it attaches me to dear Ceil. Her heart designed it. Her hands held it and put it together.  This will be a family heirloom once I am no longer using it. 


Things that are handmade are more precious now than ever. A handwritten note, a homemade casserole, a few real brushstrokes on a piece of paper carry with it the one who has created it. May we all value these treasures.

 
 
Every day holds the potential for happiness; so does every night! I was dreaming about dreaming, the kind of dreaming that happens before you fall asleep. I was wondering how useful it would be for children if they knew that they could send themselves into the night in a lovely way, letting their spirits take flight by riding on a magic carpet of light. All kinds of lands can be visited; all kinds of information can be gleaned by directing one's dreams. So, that is the book I wrote called GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT.                          
 
 
June 19, 2016 -- Father's Day
After a healthy meal of salmon, salad, and a few amusing side dishes from Whole Foods, my dear husband Marv took a nap with our grandpuppy Myla.

Myla's is the star of my latest children's book -- WILL MYLA BE MINE? It is a sweet story that explains to a child that there is more to having a puppy than just play. Avoiding the work involved was not going to fly with the mother in this story. Good for her. She makes her son stick to his promises. Of course, like all children's books, it comes right in the end.

I used photos of the real Myla, interwoven with illustrations, to create the pictures for each page. It was a challenge and not just the illustrating. Trying to get Myla to hold still for a moment in order to snap a shot was the real challenge. But, because she is so adorable, she was forgiven for her wiggling and lack of focus, which of course made many of my photos out of focus. 

She's already grown about a foot since the original photos were taken and by the size of her paws she won't stop growing for quite awhile.

I believe she has an artistic bent because her favorite toys seem to be the brushes in a basket of my old paint brushes. Perfect for teething, not necessarily for painting though.
 
 
Happy Musing for the Day: Goodness matters for goodness sake!

As I woke up this morning with the remnants of a mildly disturbing dream lingering in my head, I thought that it would be nice to have a perfect bedtime story to read to myself every night before dropping off to sleep. It would set things right for the mind. Naturally, a prayer or two are helpful as is the practice of counting one's blessings. But, I thought that a magical bedtime story would be wonderful, one that went deep into oneself and planted the perfect thoughts.

Then I wrote it. 

Here it is:

There is a wonderful plan of which you are a part. It is to bring goodness into the world, into your country, into your town, into your home, into your life. You, like all people, are the container of this goodness. You have the ability to spread goodness wherever you go and wherever you are.

The plan includes you, but is not about you. It is about goodness, and the more you realize this, the better you feel. The better you feel the more goodness you spread. When you think of yourself, think of goodness. When you think of your work, think of goodness. When you think of the people around you, think of goodness. When you think of the circumstances in your life, think of goodness.

This is why you are here - to be good, think good, do good, and feel good.

What could be better than that? 
 
 
Happy Musing for the Day: If worrying did some good, everything would be worth worrying about.

Worrying has become a popular pastime lately. With the economy the way it is, the job market the way it is, the housing market and the stock market the way they are worrying has become epidemic in our society. As unpleasant as it is, it is not easily gotten rid of or let go of. But it must. And to do so requires some information.

The first is to understand what it is. Worry is the fearful concern for something or someone or of something that might happen. It has to do with the future. It is the continual mental action of fear. And like all fear, it is based on the lack of something - usually knowledge. Worrying grinds away on a subject, turning it over and over again, trying to make some sense of it or even trying to make an outcome come out in a preferred way.

The second thing to understand is that it is useless. It is not only useless, it is detrimental; it is pours negative energy on the subject and the one worrying. So it is not helpful in any sense. Once you understand this, then the next step is to figure out how to get rid of it. 

This touches on one's core beliefs. If you are a person who believes, and better still, knows that you are standing in the essence of God at all times, you can easily pass the buck and hand off your concerns by putting them in God's hands. Then relax and wait for answers and time to resolve your concerns.

If your beliefs do not include a Higher Power presence, but you are aware of the newly popular Law of Attraction that is eternally operating, you may wish to consider worrying in this light. As you can imagine and even look back over your own life, you will see that worrying gets you more of what you worry about. Focusing on the negative hardly ever leads to positive results.

Or, you may simply wish to use common sense and realize that worrying interferes with your ability to think clearly and solve problems effectively. If your mind is being used for one activity, it can't be used for another. So practically speaking, worrying proves to be useless here again.

When you add all this up it is easy to see the benefit of letting go of this activity. Yes, it is a habit whose time has come to be put to rest.

The most extreme case of worrying I know is my mother-in-law. She worries at the drop of a hat. The rest of the family dances around her in conversation trying not to hit a subject she can get her worry tangs into. God forbid if someone should have a cold! We deal with it, but don't worry about it.

Worrying is somewhat like the most extreme case of motherhood. It is like a mother who runs around protecting for every possible danger her child could get into. She is constantly out in front of the child's movements, trying to assess potential dangers and thwart them ahead of time. It is as tiring to be such a mother as it is to be a worrier. 

If worrying did some good, everything would be worth worrying about. But it's not, so don't!

Yep, give it up, this bad habit, if you have it. Trust yourself, the light you stand in and the law that brings you your own. Then let your brightness lighten the way for others to give up their worrisome concerns.

Remember the words of the great MAD magazine cartoon character Alfred E. Neuman, "What -- me worry?" Let "Never!" be your answer.


 
 
My friend Ann brought her friend Libby over to my little studio for a visit. She told this amazing story.

Over 30 years ago Libby wandered into my gallery in La Jolla with her boyfriend. She said she was enchanted with the art, the verses, and the feeling the gallery contained. She wanted something, but as a young person just our of college, she could not afford a piece of art. So, her boyfriend bought her a large, lovely, colorful scarf. The scarves we had were really sarongs that matched up with a whole line of decorative purses. 

Several years later she was stricken with Hodgkin lymphoma. Before she started her battle for survival with hospitalization and various dibilitating treatments, a close friend of hers told her to take something with her that she treasured. She took the scarf.

Through the several years of struggle, with treatments and hospital stays she kept that scarf close to her at all times. She said, "For some reason, it gave me comfort and strength." She said that she would wrap it around herself and when the pain was great she would twist it and squeeze it. It was her security blanket. She loved it.

She survived that cancer and went on to live a full life. She had not seen any of my art in many years, as all of our galleries and now closed, until she walked into Ann's house where Ann had a lovely hearts painting by me hanging on the wall of her den. She broke down in tears remembering how that art in the form of a scarf had been her trusted companion through her years of struggle on her road back to health.

When she told me the story, of course, I broke down in tears too. Such a touching story.

This visit coincided with my reading a passage from Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov: "The heart steadfastly maintains the fence [that keeps us safe] and it fills the holes so that we can resist any blows, for love works in a special way by reinforcing our cells and making them able to resist illness and adversity." I truly loved creating that design and Libby, in turn, truly loved it as a scarf.

 
 
Today I received a letter from a 6-year-old boy named Dexter. I rarely hear from the children who read my books, so I was especially thrilled to hear from him. Here is what he wrote:

"Dear Sally,

My name is Dexter. I am 6 years old, thank you for the message (his mother had requested a way for him to contact me.) I love your books because they are so amazing and they make me smile and I'm reading them right now. My favorite book is A MERMAID TEA PARTY. Have a good day." -- Dexter

This reminded me of long ago when my husband and I were doing outdoor art shows. I was somewhere in the park when a father and son came into our booth. The father told his son that he could have any painting he wanted. The son picked a piece called A MERMAID TEA PARTY! It was all in pink and purple with two mermaids sharing a cup of tea under the sea. Well, the father told my husband that they were going for a walk and they would talk about it. When they returned the father said, "We'll take the mermaid painting! Wish I could have overheard their conversation.

So, I'm glad Dexter likes this particular book because it has to do with kindness, kindness that is shared and spread. It also references a very high spiritual truth -- that we should be aware of what we are offering others. We must never offer emptiness. In this case, the mermaids are passing cups of tea and plates of sweets that are enhanced by loving kindness, as each mermaid passes the goodies along to others. It is a lovely idea and as Dexter found, a lovely book.

Here's Dexter!