Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tackle Grammar This Summer with Emma and Wizard Jake!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from JKS Communications, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.


All ths month we'll be sharing some great new kids books that are perfect for preventing Summer brain drain, by making leanring FUN again! All feature great illustrations or photos, to really engage kids' interest. And all are perfect for those homeschooling too!

Today we're talking about a subject that makes most kids run for the hills- GRAMMAR!

emma book series

About the Series: 

At only 11 years old, Amber Wall envisioned a series of books designed to help teach young children strengthen their grammar skills. Now in high school, Amber has turned that vision into a reality with the help of her mother, Dana, in four new books: “Emma Has a Dilemma!,” “Emma Jane Goes on a Plane!,” “Emma’s All Gloom as She Cleans her Room!,” and “Emma Beams During a Wonderful Dream!”

Each book takes young Emma, who struggles with grammar, and Wizard Jake, a grammar whiz, on a new adventure. While cleaning rooms or flying on planes, the duo unlocks a grammar concept such as conjunctions, pronouns and similes that Wizard Jake magically simplifies, all in an effort to reinforce classroom learning for a 4- to 8-year old reading level.

Creative illustrations make the Emma series intriguing for reluctant readers and kids who find  grammar rules boring. Educators and parents can supplement coursework with Emma’s rhyming  stories, especially for children who need a little more practice. Wizard Jake helps Emma with pronouns and nouns in “Emma Has a Dilemma!” In “Emma Jane Goes on a Plane!,” he helps Emma face her fears about flying, explaining metaphors and similes along the way. “Emma’s All Gloom as She Cleans her Room!” teaches students the ins and outs of conjunctions. Emma gets a Dalmatian named Rover in “Emma Beams During a Wonderful Dream!,” and Wizard Jake explains comparative and superlative adjectives to describe Emma’s new friend.

This adorable and educational series is a staple for family bookshelves, as students return to their  friends Emma and Wizard Jake to help them through elementary grammar.

Interview with the Authors:

Emma and Wizard Jake are such fun and unique characters. What inspired you to write them?

My mother always told me I should write a children’s book. When we were working on Amber’s grammar when she was in 5th grade, the grammar lessons seemed so fun and would fit nicely in a lyrical rhyme for teaching younger kids like Amber’s brother, who was in 1st grade. Amber thought it would be great for Jake to learn grammar early to be a better writer.

We sat down and created “Emma Has A Dilemma!” My best friend Jane—of “Emma Janes Goes on a Plane!"—encouraged us to get an illustrator. I found a story book artist who worked on “Spiderman” to do the illustrations, and he understood how our characters should look from the words. It was amazing how it all came together.

The illustrations are a big part of the story and will appeal to reluctant readers. How did you decide on a style?

Phillip Orozco, our illustrator, is a genius. Since we were teaching, he decided that Jake should have a pencil with an A on it, a notebook paper cape and a wizard hat. We wanted them close in age.

What advice would you give to parents of children who are struggling with grammar?

Breaking grammar down into simple rules makes it easier for children to build their grammar knowledge and confidence.

The rhyming really moves the stories along in a fun way. What made you decide to write the books in rhymes?

My family writes poems for each other for every occasion. I wrote a poem for my wedding, and my parents wrote poems on cards for our birthdays. My mom is a PhD in English and my dad has an English degree, although he’s a Psychiatrist. He keeps a journal where he writes poems and allegories.

When I first met Amber’s dad, Anthony, he gave me a rhyming book of life lessons on our second date. I decided to write him a whole book of poems, which I gave him.

What were your favorite children’s books growing up and how did those influence the Emma series?

Hands down: Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. We loved them. “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “The Giving Tree,” “Where did I come From?,” just to name a few. There was an ABC book that we memorized and sang to Amber as we cradled her to sleep. It got her to sleep every night.

Will we see more of Emma and Wizard Jake in the future?

Yes, there’s an upcoming book, “Emma Feels Uncool in Summer School,” that teaches adjectives vs. adverbs.

The Books:

emma has a dilemna cover

Emma Has A Dilemma! - pronouns and nouns. This book is short, like all of the books, but packs in a lot of informaation. As you can see below, it's simple rhymes and cute illustrations, will really grab your kids attention!

emma has a dilemma sample


emma takes a plan

Emma Jane Goes On A Plane! - metaphors and similes. This book will be the one your kids will probably groan when they hear what it is about. Yet, the authors use concepts that kids can easily understand to make a hard subject simple and understandable!

emma takes a plane sample


emmas gloom she cleans ehr room cover


Emma's All Gloom As She Cleans Her Room! - conjunctions. Miss Grace has never had it easy when it comes to conjunctions. And yes, we've done lots of Schoolhouse Rock, LOL, but this book really helped her to understand them so much better! It was her favorite of all the 4 books!

emma cleans her room sample

All of the books feature these type of rules in small boxes, so kids can find them easily, and the text goes over the rules as well. 

emma beams during a wonderfuldream cover

Emma Beams During A Wonderful Dream! - comparative and superlative adjective. I think you might have heard Miss Grace's growns when she heard the subject matter on this one! But by the end, she was much better informed, and had achieved a grasp on the ideas finally! YEAH!

emma beams sample

Overall, this is a reall FUN and educational series, that is useful for girls AND boys, and would be great for families to use together. I can see where you could tie in some activities to each book, and really make learning grammar FUN. Miss Grace is already asking for more books, so they ere a definite hit with her! We highly recommend them!


About the Authors:

About the authors: Dana and Amber Wall created the Emma series, starting with “Emma Has a Dilemma!,” because of their love of teaching grammar. Dana writes screenplays and is currently Head of Production for Bully Pictures. Amber is a junior honors student at Marymount High School in Los Angeles where she also serves as assistant editor for her school newspaper “The Anchor.” They currently live in Manhattan Beach, California.

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