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March 12, 2014

Anne Maro Slanina: The Adventures of Annie Mouse

My writing stems from both my personal life and my life as an educator.  I am a reading specialist and have taught remedial reading for many years. I also specialize in social-emotional growth in young children.  As someone who prepares people to become early childhood teachers, I have been passionate about teaching about “Bibliotherapy,” using books for social-emotional growth and healing.  My professional career and my writing career are very closely intertwined.

I also have a very vivid memory of being a young child who was very confused by some of the strange things adults said- and apparently didn’t mean.  For instance, when my mother learned that one of my infant cousins had died, she announced, “Your aunt lost the baby.”  My three-year-old self quickly jumped up and said, “Let’s go find her!” I could not understand why no one else agreed with me.  “What was wrong with these people?” I thought.  I threw a tantrum because I could not make anyone understand that we should not be sitting around helplessly. In addition, I thought, if they were going to act like this, I had better never get lost because no one would ever search for ME!

As a mom of two sons, I witnessed this same confusion on my own sons’ faces countless times. One incident was so traumatic that it became the inspiration behind Baby Brother Goes to the Hospital, my second book in the series.  Each of the first four books in the series features an incident where Annie misinterprets an event that happens in her world. Thus, each is intended to be read with an adult so that children can express their own misunderstandings and communication can be enhanced. It is surprising how often parents discover that their angry, hostile child is behaving that way because of one of these misunderstandings. That is my purpose behind the first four books in the series.

Annie Mouse Route 66 Vacation
After my son moved to Arizona, I decided to make a road trip out to see him and his family. This was my first encounter with Route 66. As I traveled, I realized what a wonderful bonding experience a road trip could be for a family and began writing a chapter book- what eventually became my sixth book, Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation.  The underlying message of this book can be summarized as, “Put all your worries and cares behind you, hop in the car, communicate and bond with each other, while learning about our wonderful country!”

Buy Annie Mouse's Route 66 Family Vacation at Amazon

Each time that I traveled the Route, I learned many new things and have tried to incorporate many of them into the companion Route 66 Annie Mouse books.  In the first-published book, Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Adventure: A Photo Journal, Annie shares her trip through actual photographs.  In the just-released chapter book, Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation, the complete story of Annie’s adventure, from Illinois to California, is told. Both books could be used as travel guides while taking an actual Route 66 trip; the reader could follow along finding the various family-friendly Route 66 landmarks across the country.  Families could also share the stories together, taking a “virtual” trip while parents and/or grandparents reminisce about their own nostalgic anecdotes.  However, in each book, Annie continues to be confused by adults’ language and things she sees and experiences in her surroundings.  She, like all young children, needs consistent guidance from the adults who love her.

While I began writing about a “cross country” trip, in the process of my own travels, I actually fell in love with Route 66.  I hadn’t wanted to complete the books until I experienced everything Route 66 had to offer.  However, I STILL have not experienced everything Route 66 has to offer, in spite of the fact that I have taken the cross country trip numerous times! The Route is constantly evolving and there is always something new to see and more wonderful people to meet.   “Annie Mouse” will be having adventures for years to come! I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

The launch party for Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation e-book will be March 15th from 1-3, Eastern time. Please join me for the party.

Amazon international page for Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation:

About the Author:

Anne Maro Slanina, Ph.D. is the author of The Adventures of Annie  Mouse children’s series.  She is a professor of early childhood education at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and previously taught in K-12 classrooms for many years.  You can learn more about Anne on her website:
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Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 


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