Category: Fun

Christmas Gifts List

Here’s our Recommended Christmas Gifts for your favorite kid, librarian, writer, or book lover on your list.

  1. GIFTS FOR KIDS: Get the App That Encourages Kids to Read Great Books

    EPIC! is an amazing book app for kids and one my grandkids actually read. How do I know?
    EPIC! emails me a weekly report on what they’ve read that week.

    It’s the exact books that you want kids to be reading. How do I know?
    All Mims House books are on this app.

    It’s the right price! How do I know?
    Because it’s only $5 month. But don’t take my word for it. EPIC! offers a free trial month!

    Take advantage of it now!
    Gifts Subscription on Epic!
    Give the Gift of Reading
    FOR TEACHER OR LIBRARIAN: EPIC! offers a free educational version of the app. Check it out now.
    When you sign up for the app, be sure to search for and READ Mims House books!

  2. GIFTS FOR GIRLS: Baby, Toddler and Young Girls T-Shirts – I’M ROWDY!

    T-Shirts to accompany ROWDY: THE PIRATE WHO COULD NOT SLEEP. Perfect bedtime book for fathers and daughters. Watch videos of fathers reading to their daughters here. T-shirts available in baby and children’s sizes; different colors available. Only available until December 31.

    I'm Rowdy - Baby T-shirt in White to accompany the ROWDY book. | MIms

    Kid's T-Shirt to Accompany the ROWDY book. |

    Gift the Gift of Empowerment
    I'm Rowdy - Baby T-Shirt in Pink to accompany the ROWDY book. Great gifts for kids.|

    Give the shirt and the book!
    Rowdy: The Pirate Who Could Not Sleep. Gifts for kids.|

  3. GIFTS FOR FANS OF CANDLES: Faraday Explains Your Favorite Candle

    Who’s Candle Crazy in Your House? There’s bound to be an aunt, grandmother or teenage kids. They love those candles, but sadly, they don’t understand them. The perfect gift for the candle-lover is Burn: Michael Faradays Candle, along with a special candle. To accompany BURN: MICHAEL FARADAYS CANDLE, buy this cinnamon-cider Aromatique candle. |
    I live in Arkansas, the home of the Aromatique candles. My favorite scent for the holiday season is Cinnamon Cider. I use it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know. They make other scents for Christmas, but this one just says holidays.

    To accompany our science book, BURN: MICHAEL FARADAY’S CANDLE, we suggest the Cinnamon Cider Pillar candle. You can’t do Faraday’s candle experiment with candles in a jar; it’s got to be the old-fashioned candles that go into a candlestick holder, or a pillar candle like this.
    Gift the Gift of Light and Enlightenment
    Burn: Michael Faraday's Candle book cover |

  4. GIFTS FOR KIDS WHO GET TABLETS: Let Reading Rule on Tablets

    Will someone you know give a tablet to a child? All that screen time competes with reading! But you can fight it by paying fora year of the EPIC! app. Also, load up your favorite ereader app with some great books. Whether you choose the iBook app, the Kobo app, or the Kindle app, you’ll find Mims House books waiting to be loaded up. Get the kids started on the path to reading on their tablets.

    A great place to start is a simple series of book. The short chapter series, The Aliens, Inc. is a funny, family-oriented look at how aliens make a living on Earth. Kell Smith, with the help of his BFF, Bree, make cakes for birthday parties and help plan the parties. When Bree wants an alien-themed party, Kell is stumped. How can this lovable alien family pull a great alien party without exposing who they are?

    Give the Gift of Reading!
    The Aliens, Inc. Box Set by Darcy Pattison |

  5. GIFTS FOR WRITERS: Scrivener

    When they first start writing, most people choose to use a word-processor, such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. A more professional software, though, is Scrivener because it allows you to focus on the organization of your writing. For nonfiction, it’s amazing to see the chapters divided out. Research is a breeze because you can pull in websites and not have to go looking for obscure sites later. I’ve written about its uses several times.

    Give the gift of Writing!
    Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Education Licence)

  6. Give the gift of writing

    For those writers in your family, we have several books.
    This workbook is a gem! It helps you write the book of your dreams. Info on writing ABCs, rhyming picture books and much more. |

    30 Days to a Stronger Novel |

    Start Your Novel the right way with 6 easy steps. |

    The popular workbook for Darcy Pattison's Novel Revision Retreat is Novel Metarmorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise. Hurrah! It's now available as an ebook. |

Book related gifts for kids, librarians, and that picky aunt. |

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend these gifts because they are fun and interesting, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you they are perfect for your Christmas list.

November at Mims House

November has been a fun month so far. Our company’s office is in the historic Quapaw District of Little Rock, AR. The houses here are named after the family who lived in there in 1890. The Mims family lived here, which means our house is the Mims House — which gave us the name for our publishing house.

Cornbread Festival Booth 2015 - Mims House
The Cornbread Festival was in our backyard, just a few blocks from our office.

The Cornbread Festival takes place each fall just a few blocks from our office in the SOMA (South on Main – Arts District) area of Little Rock. We decided to attend this year and support the neighborhood.

Darcy Pattison at the 2015 Cornbread Festival. | Mims House
Darcy Pattison at the 2015 Cornbread Festival. | Mims House

One of the great things about our office is that it came with beautiful landscaping. Pictured here are the sasanqua camellia bushes that bloom each November. They are a beautiful addition to the fall landscape here.

Sasanqua Camellia bushes at Mims House, a typical November sight. |
Sasanqua Camellia bushes at Mims House, a typical November sight. |

Teach Kids to Write: A Pinterest Preview Book | Back to School Books

You see a children’s picture book online that you think you’ll like. But it’s hard to justify spending money until you examine it closer. Mims House has just made that easier than ever with a Pinterest Preview book. We’ve put an ENTIRE book on a Pinterest board for you to preview.

Follow Darcy Pattison – Children’s Book Author’s board I WANT A DOG on Pinterest.
If you can’t see the preview of the board, click here.

I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay

The Read and Write Series: Dogs, cats, and writing--it's a natural combination in this series of fun books.For over twenty years, I’ve taught professional development classes on the topic of teaching kids to write. I constantly look for children’s books that teach writing in fun and exciting ways, that I believe will actually be useful. Fun, exciting and useful? It’s a hard combination!

Finally, I decided to write the book I’d been looking for. And it’s turned into a series, THE READ AND WRITE SERIES.

The biggest problem kids have in writing opinion essays is basing their opinions on solid facts or reasons. In I WANT A DOG and I WANT A CAT, cousins Dennis and Mellie discuss what kind of dog or cat to get. They use nine criteria to evaluate different breeds of dogs or cats. For dogs, they look at:

  • size
  • energy level
  • need for exercise
  • need for play
  • affectionate or not
  • gets along with other pets
  • easy to train or not
  • guard dog or not
  • grooming needs

For cats, they discuss:

  • activity level
  • playful or not
  • need attention or not
  • need for affection
  • Noisy or not
  • hard or easy to handle
  • intelligence
  • independence level
  • grooming needs
  • gets along with other pets

To these criteria, a classroom teacher or parent might add even more criteria: family tradition of breeds, cost, allergy concerns, adaptability to local weather, male or female, availability in your area, and specific needs such as a cat to show or a dog trained as a duck hunter.

Dog and cat experts praise these books:
“. . .remarkable children’s book. . .” Fred Kampo, President of the Labrador Retriever Club
“. . .absolutely delightful. . .” Joan Miller, Cat Fancier’s Association
“. . .as informative a cat book as any text out there. . .” Alexis Mitchell, Maine Coon Cat Breeders of CFA
“I would highly recommend this book to young writers.” Julie Keyer, CFA Breed Council Secretary, Oriental Cats

But you don’t have to take their word for it.

Preview the entire book, I WANT A DOG, on Pinterest.

Buy I WANT A DOG ebook on the Mims House website.

Or, order at your Favorite Online Bookstore


I WANT A DOG: A Pinterest preview of a children's picture book. Read the whole book on Pinterest | Mims House Books

Kid Friendly Academy Awards: Feast and Big Hero 6

Watching the Academy Awards, I was especially thrilled with the winners of the animated categories, because these are two perfect films for kids.

Disney’s FEAST won the animated short category with a touching story of a dog and his master. It’s a story centered around food–the Feast–but it’s more about connections.

If you can’t see this video, click here.

Disney won again in the full-length animated movie category with Big Hero 6. I took my grandkids to see this one and it’s a winner from their point of view.

If you can’t see this video, click here.

And for fun, illustrator Corey Rosen Schwartz, the Picture Book Ninja, has done a fun post awarding the 2014 Picture Book Oscars. These include the Best Female Character, Best Male Character, Best Female Supporting Character and so on.

Schwartz gave the award for Best Animated Trailer to Goodnight Already!

If you can’t see this video, click here.

The Best Live Action Trailer goes to Sam and Dave dig a Hole.

If you can’t see this video, click here.

To see who won the Best Picture Book Award, click over and see Schwartz’s pick.
What picture book would you have chosen as the Best of the Year?

Posted in Fun