NITA’S FIRST SIGNS is a 2018 INDIES Silver winner!

Nita’s First Signs has been named a winner in the 21st annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Foreword Reviews, a book review journal focusing on independently published books, announced the winners of its INDIES Book of the Year Awards earlier this month. The INDIES recognize the best books published in 2018 from small, indie, and university presses, as well as self-published authors. You can view all of the winners here.

“Being surrounded by the year’s best books from independent writers and publishers is a humbling and invigorating experience that we take seriously at every step of the judging process,” says Managing Editor Michelle Anne Schingler. “As the INDIES progress, our editors, and our librarian and bookseller judges, have the honor and the privilege of discovering and rediscovering independent titles that give us hope about the future of publishing and that, at their best, make us consider the world around us anew.”

Nita’s First Signs, written by Kathy MacMillan, illustrated by Sara Brezzi, published by Familius Press is the 2018 Silver Winner in the category Picture Books, Early Reader.

Over 2,000 entries were submitted in 56 categories, with Foreword’s editors choosing approximately 10 finalists per genre. Those finalists were then mailed to individual librarians and booksellers charged with picking the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners.

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Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc. is the publisher of the only review journal completely devoted to independent publishing: Foreword Reviews, a Folio: award-winning bimonthly print review journal. Foreword exclusively covers university and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and their authors. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, with staff based worldwide.

June Storytimes and Events

Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 10 AM-1 PM: Cecil County Public Library Children’s Book Festival

Location: North East Community Park, North East, MD 21901

Authors and fun family activities! I’ll be signing She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World, Nita’s First Signs, Sword and Verse, and Dagger and Coin! Check out the complete festival lineup here!

 


Once Upon a Sign at Fairfax County Public Libraries

Come away to a land of kings and dragons, queens and castles, and learn signs through stories and songs of magic. Bring the whole family (and your fairy godmother too) for American Sign Language fun! Free programs for all ages. Click here for more information about each location.

  • Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 AM at the Martha Washington Library,
    6614 Fort Hunt Rd Alexandria VA 22307
  • Tuesday, June 18 at 2:30 PM at Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Dr., Reston, VA 20190
  • Wednesday, June 19 at 10:30 AM: Thomas Jefferson Library, 7415 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042
  • Wednesday, June 19 at 2:30 PM: Kingstowne Library, 6500 Landsdowne Centre Dr., Alexandria, VA 22315

I’ll be appearing at more Fairfax County Public Library locations in July! See the full schedule here.

 


Saturday, June 22 at 10 AM: Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs at the Eldersburg Library

Location: Eldersburg Library, 6400 West Hemlock Drive Eldersburg, MD 21784

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Children 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. All are welcome! Free program; no registration required.

 


Sunday, June 23 at 11:30 AM: Signing at the American Library Association Annual Conference (Washington, D.C.)

My co-author Christine Kirker will be signing More Storytime Magic at the ALA Bookstore. Christine will also be signing her newest solo ALA Editions title, 25 Projects for Global Explorers.


NITA’S DAY available for pre-order!

Nita and her family are back in an all-new adventure that teaches 10 basic American Sign Language signs for babies and their grownups to use throughout the day: wake up, change, clothes, eat, potty, go, play, bath, book, and bed. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. No signing book collection is complete without Nita!

Nita’s Day: More Signs for Babies and Parents

by Kathy MacMillan; illustrated by Sara Brezzi. Familius Press, 2020

Pre-order now:

Learn more about the Little Hands Signing series here!

Nita's First Signs final cover

Take the Read Local Challenge!

I’m thrilled to be participating in the 2018/2019 Read Local Challenge, sponsored by the MD/DE/WV Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators! The Read Local Challenge features traditionally-published authors and illustrators from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

We invite all schools, libraries, homeschool groups, scout troops … groups of any size to join us! Take the challenge to read as many of these books from local authors/illustrators as you can, for a chance to win fabulous prizes, such as signed books and free Skype visits with one of our Read Local authors or illustrators. Then visit our websites to find our already-scheduled book signings and events, or to schedule a visit to your school or library.

Nita’s First Signs is featured in the Picture Book Challenge, and Dagger and Coin is featured in the Young Adult Challenge.

All are welcome to take the Picture Book Challenge, the Middle Grade Challenge, the Young Adult Challenge, or all three!  Click here to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events Featuring NITA’S FIRST SIGNS

Get your signed copy of Nita’s First Signs at these upcoming events! I’ll also be offering a family bundle featuring Nita’s First Signs and Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, along with a nifty rubber ducky signing I-LOVE-YOU, for only $28.00!

 

Friday, December 7 from 6-8 PM: Book signing at Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt (Timonium, MD)

Come on in to purchase signed copies of NITA’S FIRST SIGNS, LITTLE HANDS AND BIG HANDS: CHILDREN AND ADULTS SIGNING TOGETHER, SWORD AND VERSE, and DAGGER AND COIN! Perfect for holiday gift giving! Make a sign language craft and learn to write your name in the language of the gods. Purchase a book and receive 20% off your Sweet Frog yogurt purchase!

 

Wednesday, December 12 from 5-8 PM: SCBWI MD/DE/WV Barnes and Noble Bookfair Kickoff Multi-Author Event (Ellicott City, MD)

Shop at Barnes & Noble, either in-store or online, between December 12 and December 19, and present them with our bookfair voucher or Bookfair ID number (12467247), and SCBWI MD/DE/WV will receive a portion of the sales.

Join us for our Book Fair Kickoff event at Barnes & Noble Ellicott City on December 12 from 5-8 p.m. Purchase signed books and play games like book bingo, pin the book on the shelf, crazy guessing games, and more with these Read Local authors:

  • Veronica Bartles, author (Twelve Steps, The Princess and the Frogs)
  • Rebecca Evans, author/illustrator (Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick Knack)
  • Laura Gehl, author (Delivery Bear, I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, My Pillow Keeps Moving, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Using the Potty)
  • Kathy MacMillan, author (Nita’s First Signs, Sword and Verse, Dagger and Coin)
  • Deborah Schaumberg, author (The Tombs)

Friday, January 18 at 10 AM: Little Hands Signing: Winter Signs at the Eldersburg Library (MD)  (for ages birth to 8)

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Children 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. All are welcome! Free program; no registration required.

Saturday, January 26 at 9:45 AM: Little Hands Signing: Playtime Signs at the Eldersburg Library (MD)  (for ages birth to 8)

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Children 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. All are welcome! Free program; no registration required.

Friday, February 22 at 10 AM: Little Hands Signing: Weather Signs at the Eldersburg Library (MD)  (for ages birth to 8)

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Children 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. All are welcome! Free program; no registration required.

Saturday, February 23 at 9:45 AM: Little Hands Signing: Our Signing Day at the Eldersburg Library (MD)  (for ages birth to 8)

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Children 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. All are welcome! Free program; no registration required.

 

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS and more now available in the DCI Online Bookstore!

If you have followed me for any length of time, you are probably aware of how proud I am to be affiliated with an amazing organization called Deaf Camps, Inc., a volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language. You may recall that my launch party for my debut novel, Sword and Verse, was a gala fundraiser that raised scholarship money for Deaf Camps, Inc. I have been volunteering with this organization since 2001, and have been on the board since 2003. I have volunteered at camp every year and served in various capacities on the board. Currently I am DCI’s treasurer and director of the Interpreter Internship Program.

So I am pleased to announce that from now on, autographed copies of all my books – along with some terrific bundle deals! – will be available in Deaf Camps, Inc.’s Online Bookstore, with all proceeds going directly to Deaf Camps, Inc.’s scholarship program. To have a book personalized, simply note name(s) in the comments section on the order form.

And remember, signed books make excellent holiday gifts! Order now!

DCI Bookstore

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS is back!

After several months of limited availability due to the quick sellout of the first print run, copies of Nita’s First Signs are again available!

Order now at

 

Upcoming Event

Saturday, November 10, 11AM-1PM: Read Local Kick-Off Party at Winchester Book Gallery (Winchester, VA)

 

Come help us kick off the Maryland/Virginia/Delaware/Washington D.C. Read Local Challenge! Join us for an all-ages storytime at 11 am, featuring American Sign Language stories and songs, followed by games and crafts featuring the 42 books in the Read Local Challenge and a book signing for both Nita’s First Signs and Dagger and Coin. You can win great prizes just by participating! Find out more about the Read Local Challenge here.

Check out the complete calendar of upcoming appearances for more information!

 

 

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Teacher/Librarian Guide for NITA’S FIRST SIGNS now available!

I’m so excited to share with you this printable guide to using Nita’s First Signs in the classroom or storytime! Check it out for tips and tricks for sharing signs during the story, and following up with other fun ASL activities.  Click here or on the picture below to download and print your own copy.

Check out the Nita’s First Signs homepage for a video demonstration of the signs in the story and even more links to ASL storytime and classroom activities to share!

Hands Up for Back to School!

If you’re looking for resources to share American Sign Language with your students or storytime attendees, check out the Little Hands Signing Storytime & Craft Ideas board on Pinterest! It’s where I pin my favorite ideas from around the internet for sharing ASL with kids, and gather links to my own videos showcasing signing rhymes and songs.  Check it out!