Making ConnectionsKids take the lead with two books that connect intergenerational experiences, nature, life lessons, and their home state. Lucky to Live in Louisiana Kate B. Jerome, Arcadia Publishing As summer winds down and school starts up again, thoughts turn to, what did I do over my summer vacation? “Lucky to Live in Louisiana” is a book that gets kids thinking about their life experiences, especially those over the summer. The book has a strong focus on Louisiana, which kids will relate to and be excited to expound upon. This book is a cross between a read-aloud storybook and a write-in memory book, part of Arcadia publishing’s Read Together/Do Together series, which aims to inspire magic moments between kids and adults. “Lucky to Live in Louisiana” is the perfect tool to jump-start meaningful conversations between generations. Read-aloud rhymes set up interesting topics and write-in prompts invite children to record their own views and experiences to create a personal Pelican State keepsake. The real gift lies in the interactive nature of the book as it offers the opportunity for adults to share their own stories and wisdom about friendship, community, team spirit, and other topics that help develop a child's social and emotional skills. Customized Louisiana content, from favorite local cuisine to interesting attractions, provides an even more personalized experience. The book has colorful and quirky illustrations that will keep kids engaged, along with fun facts about Louisiana, write-in spaces to record a child’s personal memories, and even a special end-of-book bonus — how to make a kid’s time capsule. It’s an excellent book for children, especially ages 5-9. The Wise Animal Handbook – Louisiana Kate B. Jerome, Arcadia Publishing The Wise Animal Handbook – Louisiana is another book in Arcadia’s Read Together/Do Together series, also by children’s author Kate Jerome. Like “Lucky to Live in Louisiana” the “Wise Animal Handbook” is best read together with a parent or grandparent to share thoughts and ideas, and to capitalize on the power of laughter that fosters intergenerational connections. It offers laugh-out-loud animal kingdom advice for kids of every age. Engaging animal photos entertain and charming read-aloud rhymes help jump-start conversations about practical life solutions. All kids love animals, and the book invites kids to project human emotions onto them, then write them down by the animal’s photo. The engaging color photos of animals in humorous situations and read-aloud rhymes open the door for meaningful conversations about everything from honesty, perseverance, and play. When asked her favorite, the author admits, “I personally love the tattle-tale penguin shot because it’s so rich in conveying the meaning behind the important ‘Avoid the tattle in the tale’ text. I also laugh out loud at the brown bear photo with the text that says, ‘Excuse yourself when manners slip,’ because if my own kids had read this book at a young age, I know they would have had a hilarious debate about how the offending action could be coming from either end of the bear.” The Read Together/Do Together experience continues with local interest pull-out coloring pages that provide an extra educational boost. They also feature fun facts about unique Pelican State animals like the crawfish and brown pelican. Both of these titles provide a rare opportunity for parents and grandparents to share their own practical wisdom with their kids in a relaxed and fun setting. About the Author Kate B. Jerome is a seasoned publishing executive and award-winning author who has written more than 100 children’s books, including the New York Times bestselling biography series Who was Amelia Earhart. She recently completed a fellowship at Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute and is an expert in (and passionate proponent of) intergenerational communication. Scott Campbell is publisher and founder of River Road Press, a local boutique publisher of local and regional authors.