It’s Birthday Party Season!!!!!!

Posted by: dorothy in Categories: Uncategorized.

Isn’t always Birthday Party Season??

As far as I know it has already started!

In honor of my 1st born, Jackie, (4/24/1990)

I am rolling out PiggyBack Book Birthday Parties

honoring your child at his/her party with being a published author?

We will work with your child and you to create a one of a kind unique party!

The sky is the limit!

Our Premiere Package is perfect gift for the child who

is creative

loves to draw

has a great imagination


(if s/he is a great writer that works too!)

We will work with you in the weeks prior to the big day to

write, illustrate, and publish an original book.

At the party -

We will roll out the RED CARPET,

Have her/his friends act out the story,

Make a DVD of the play,


Each guest will receive an autographed copy of the book!

We can match any theme

We can create a package to suit your child’s interests.

Packages start at $200

Please email us for more information.



Obama Meets the Gingerbread Man

Posted by: dorothy in Categories: Uncategorized.

This is the cover of the latest PiggyBack Book



At a one day camp in Oakland 8 friends got together to write and illustrate this book. It was an amazing process. I went into the camp thinking the kids would chose the jungle or space for the setting –not the White House! I was not prepared, especially in a one day setting. However, the results speak for themselves. To read this charming book, in it’s entirety you can go to Blurb.com. If you’d like to purchase one, please do. (Blurb by the way has a fairly simple software program to publish your own books)

Upon reading the book, you will see how much the kids are involved in the journey of writing the book. It really is like a journey. The 1st session is all about getting inspired and brainstorming, from there we start the decision making of what our plot will be, then illustrating, and writing of the final draft. We use all the technology I speak of in this blog to make it fun and interactive. This is not about putting pen to paper it is about the creative process and the result. It gets kids to love writing – so that they will chose to pursue it.

We’ve got a Spring Break Program in Long Beach. April 5-9 from 9-noon. See pages to the right for more info.

I will be appearing at Chick-fil-A in Irvine on the 30th for a “Family Write Nite” from 5-8pm.

Also starting up After School Book Programs on Tuesdays and Thursday starting mid April. See Pages to the right for more information.


This book was written the PiggyBack Way

"I wrote this book! It was fun!" - Try an Author in a Day Camp

Get Some Friends Together & Author a Book!

This month we are very excited to fully launch our PiggyBack Book Author Camps and Private PiggyBack Book Parties. (See details on specific pages)

Basically our camps and parties take all the HARD out of writing a book. You either sign up for one of our Author Camps at one of the  libraries/schools listed or you can contact us and we schedule a Private Party in your home.

10-16 children come  together at one our camps or 5-10 if it is at your home and we make a game out of writing a book/s.  Using technology such as flip cams, digital recorders, and templates the story comes together – we can’t give away all our secrets. Depending on interest, age, ability of children we sometimes break up into smaller teams to create the book. (Resulting in perhaps 2-3 books per camp) By the end of the camp/party, each child will have collaborated with his/her team to co-author and illustrate a book.

PiggyBack Books then compiles all the “rough data” story and illustrations – does final editing & revision work sends the book off to be published. Books are then delivered 2-3 weeks following the session.

If it sounds like fun, talk it up with your friends! We would love to have you become one of our authors!


twitter_logo_headerTweet A Book! Do you have a kid who loves to tell stories? Try Tweeting a book! Using TweetBookz! Learn how at http://piggybackbooks

This is perfect for the child who says I hate writing and doesn’t even like to draw or for a teen.

1. Decide what you will write about. If you are going to give this as a gift. You could tell a special story about the person you are givign the book to. Is it a story about a family trip or memory. Is it completely original? Or will you retell a classic in your own words. Like the 3 Bears or Rudolf?

2. You will need to set up 3 free accounts:

  • Twitter Account for this story or your child’s name – because the title of the book will be one of three choices My Tweet Book @twittername – or @ twittername My Tweets
  • TweetCall free to sign up. Has to match twitter account. Then tweet away your story. Tweet call transcribes it on to twitter. Once your story is done in 144 character  bits – up to 200 tweets you are ready to get it published on:
  • Tweet Bookz you will have 4 cover choices to choose from. The back cover is kind of an  about the author  page with information from your profile. So make sure you customize that.Once you are ready to publish you can go through and take tweets out that you don’t want.

As I am writing this I am seeing how great this would be to do on the way home from school each day – a journal of your child’s life. Or each day you could ask questions of your child about different topics and capture their answers. Or describing a pet., favorite place, special event.

The possiblitilies are endless

Tweet Away!


December is a time of celebration, of love, of light. Often our thoughts go to what gift giving. I believe especially this year when many of us have had to cut back on our  spending that it gives us an opportunity to truly give a gift from the heart. A gift that will inspire.

I am so happy to be a part of Aspire Magazine’s Mission to Inspire because it gives me the opportunity to touch the lives of 100,000 women. If you haven’t yet claimed your free subscription to their e-zine which is full of articles to inspire by today’s thought leaders and conscious business owners.

By subscribing yourself and sharing this with others, you can give from the heart a gift of inspiration. Not only will you get the free subscription you will have access to over 50 other free gifts from the Team Inspiration partners. Click here to be inspired!

As a team inspiration partner, I have received the gift of learning how to add plugins to my website, like sg-tweet and aweber integretion . By the way you can get a free trial to A-Weber for just $1. I also learned how to actually publish an e-book and be able to house it where people can read  and download it. That is at YouPublish . To get your copy of Writing the PiggyBack Way, please subscribe to my new  list (in the sidebar) and you will get the private link to the book. It is chockful of simple ideas to make writing FUN and EASY for any child. A gift that will inspire the writer in any child. A perfect gift for friends who are parents and teachers. Please share the link to my website so they can get their copy.

In closing,  a gift from the heart can be as simple as a hand-written note to a freind, a book of stapled together printer page with pictures drawn by your child. Take the time to look to your heart and give a gift that inspires.

Happy Holidays!

Next Week Look for a story prompt about Rudolf the PiggyBack Way!


Write a Thankful Book

November — really my favorite o all time holiday Thanksgiving! the only real American  holiday and mix that in with “The Secret” the universal laws of attraction — AND YOU CAN’T MISS A BIG WIN WITH YOUR KIDS!

So here it is I am giving it away

I am thankful for _________________ (as many pages as you wan illustrate with either photos or drawings)

And most of all I am thankful for _________________  ( reflect on this and have it be the most important item for the year.)

That’s the text — Here is the gift

Brainstorm with you child. Take the opportunity to reflect on the last year since last Thanksgiving.Look through the photos from the year. which ones really spoke the moment? Have that heart to heart conversation with your child.

What do you and your family have to be thankful for, what have you been blessed with?

This might make the perfect gift for someone in your family or community?Could you do a book for dad?, auntie, teacher, …..

Could you take this “Frame” and individualize it to give a unique gift to everyone?

The easiest way to do this is to go to this site to make your book That is my heritage makers site -which until I get my site up is the next best thing.

I thank everyone who views this site and applaud you for honoring what you have been blessed with.

I am grateful for all who see the vision of PiggyBack Books.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Happy October!

Can you believe the month is nearly over? That Halloween is less than 2 weeks away? I can’t!

How wonderful to be so busy that time just lies by – what a gift to be doing what I love.

Which brings me to the subject of this month’s article – How does your child feel about writing? How do you feel about writing? Is it something that seems hard and scary that you have to gifted to figure out? Is it mysterious?

That’s what PiggyBack Books is all about – making writing EASY not hard, FUN not boring, teaching you and your child all the TRICKS to make writing a TREAT.

When I was in the classroom I remember this time of year – the initial excitement of being back in school and with friends has worn off. The reality for the children: of ok – what will I learn this year – will I have what it takes? – can I do it?  for the parents: ok what does he/she have to learn this year to succeed, will he/she get it, etc… has all set in. For teachers the reality has also set in: Ok, I know them now it’s been 20+ days, time to start showing some results – no matter if they are really ready – let’s do a wriitng project to show the parents at Fall Conferences, the principal needs a baseline sample,what can I put in the hallway to show how great a teacher I am? blah, blah, blah! ( no offense please- I was right there – trying to have my display be the best – many times at the expense of my students readiness to produce)

Sad and true! You’ve heard of trickle down economics this is the trickle down of standards based education. It has to be hard not easy and boring not fun and anything but a treat. We’ve left the kids dreams, wants and needs behind in order to prove our educational system works — without regard for Piaget or Erikson, NCLB (No child left behind) has actually left ALL of our children behind! Couple that with the reality at least in California – with the loss in a majority of school districts of class size reduction – the impact is devastating!

One school district in one of the most affluent areas of South Orange County, the class size in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, went from 20 to 1 last year to 31 to 1 this year! Most of the teachers now teaching those grades in California, have not taught a class with over 30 students, in over 10 years if ever!. The standards of excellence(California State Standards – upon which all schools and students are measured) were put in place in California after class size reduction. Every year the bar was raised based on the ability of the teacher to impact that smaller group of students.

To give you a perspective, let me share with you my story of how education (at least in So. California) has changed in the last 25+ years. I entered my first classroom  as a teacher in the fall of 1982, I was shocked, there were no children’s books (free reading library for children to read), 2 teacher’s guides (and 8 subjects to  teach), no workbooks, no math manipulatives (you know those cubes you stick together, play money, clocks,. etc…) I apparently was expected to make it all myself, which I of course did. I spent hours at the teacher workshop (at that time provided by the district – it is no longer an option that has been cut) making materials or my classroom. When I started teaching I had a class of 30 (3/4 low SES) first grade students. – By the end of the year – 45 students  had walked through my doors due to a policy called “Overflow”. Yes you heard that right not only did I teach 30 students a year to read, write and do arithmetic, only 15 of those were there since September. You got it, I flipped “15 students” half my class. That practice thankfully stopped the following  year, I actually kept the same kids for the whole year.

What I learned that year on the edge, off the cuff, winging it, is that all children regardless of their SES or IQ are brilliant, have the genius in them and can succeed! That year those 1st grade children were only expected to learn to read 20 words(now the baseline is 100), write correctly only 5 of those words, count (not write) the numbers to 100, do addition and subtraction for numbers less than 6.

My students in that year [utilizing the principals I researched in professional journals(can't remember the names)] preformed a scripted play of the gingerbread man for the school, wrote their own 20 page book (piggyback style) , learned the ecosystem of a garden, made strawberry jam for a mother’s day gift and KNEW THEIR WERE SOMEONE WHO COULD AND DID LEARN.

My biggest regret is that I have not kept up with those kids, If you think you are one of those kids that put on that gingerbread man play and made strawberry jam for mothers day — please contact me.REALLY!

to all of those who were expecting to find out how to make writing a treat, because I did get a little off track, here it is.

A PiggyBack idea or October.

Take any familiar short story that your child knows well and change the setting to Halloween in a spooky forest or haunted house. Brainstorm all the characters that are related to Halloween, goblins, ghosts, kids in costumes, cats, etc… Choose one to be the main character then decide what your character will do based on the template of the story you are basing it on. A fun one to use is the 12 days of Christmas and change it to Halloween. I would love to hear from any of you that decide to give this a try.

I you are in the Orange County or Long Beach area, I am planning some Family Write Nites – where you can learn more about PiggyBack Book Programs. Check back later in the week. Send me an email i want to be added to my mailing list. dorothy@piggybackbooks.com

my website: http://www.piggybackbooks.com


A September to Remember!

Posted by: dorothy in Categories: Uncategorized.


First of all – this doing my website as a blog thing is not really working for me. I commit to updating at least once a month – until a wonderful friend – creates a temporary “real site – corporate site.

A September to remember – as a teacher, Septembers are always full of excitement and rebirth – this September I truly feel I am giving birth to PiggyBack Books in a
way that will make a huge difference for children and educators in the world.

This September marks my 3rd September since stepping away from my traditional teaching career. What I have discovered this past year, that at heart I am and always have been a teacher – all about making sure every child can say – I am special – I matter.

That said I would like to relate a personal AHA moment I recently had. While doing  a presentation about PiggyBack Books – the feedback my audience gave me was they didn’t get PBB! didn’t get my committment! I was shocked – to say the least — I have been pouring my heart into this really my whole career and especially this last year – how could they not get my commitment to this??

That night, right before drifting off to sleep – I asked – what was off – what am I not communicating – how can I express my vision so others get PBB and the difference it will make, how special it is?

Wow the dreams I had! I was back on the playground in Kindergarten – sharing that my mom had just told me my twin and I were adopted – and that meant we were special!  forward dreamstyle I was telling the audience from that day – that I was adopted and that meant we were special. Flash back – next day on the Kindergarten yard. –I saw them asking  their parents – Am I  adopted? I want to be special. Their  parents told them “adopted doesn’t mean special it means the real parents don’t want you!” Which of course in the next frame – a big group of kindergartners came up and told me the “truth”  Fast Forward – the audience chanting back – you’re not special – you’re not special – (of course their real feedback was much more subtle than this) All of this was really no surprise – I had worked through this aha – so many times I knew that was when I decided it is not safe to share your dreams or what is special about you with anyone. Thought I had worked through all that – right? Wrong! there are just too many layers  of the proverbial onion. (just got something – onions make you cry – HELLO!)

Anyway – back to the story- When I woke up, I immediately spoke with a friend who had been in the audience and shared my bizarre dreams. She said – Dorothy don’t you get it? You created PiggyBack Books – so every child can say, “I am special- I wrote this book!”

It was like a 2×4 hit me on the head — Yes that was it! – God gave me this gift – gave me that wonderful opportunity at age 5 to tap into my talents and develop my capacities – set the path in motion to bring PiggyBack Books to the world. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! (I know too many !’s – if you don’t know already I am all about breaking the rules. )

So here I am preparing for September in a whole new way. Over the summer I really started to see the Home School and Unschooling Movement and how it is really going to transform how children are educated – I mean this is really huge! I saw – I/PBB can make a huge difference there – they will see how fun and interactive and empowering PBB is for their kids!

My other big AHA – I don’t have to do it alone – there are so many wonderful teachers who are recently credentialed or recently displaced – who love kids – who are creative – who think out of the box – and if education is transforming – PBB will be leading the way and I am committed as CEO that teachers with vision  and creativity be paid their worth and be part this transformation. I just posted on Craig’s List yesterday this opportunity – I have over 30 qualified teachers to choose from this is an extraordinary time! I  am so grateful and full of the abundance that life is – Thank you for the blessings!

August 20th, 2009 will go down in my life as one of benchmarks in PBB history.

Please go to the page labeled Home School to learn more about the programs to begin in September.


Deadline MAY 31 NEED 400 Votes

Posted by: dorothy in Categories: Uncategorized.

Below is an email you can use to copy and send to your list. PBB needs at least 400 more votes to get a grant for 25K  Please help us by votin/rating it at http://shar.es/1wvr
My friend, Dorothy  Fest, needs our SUPPORT!  Her business will really help children learn to be authors and entrepreneurs. She was a 1st grade teacher for 25 years and is taking her expertise and taking the method she used to get her 1st graders to write 6 to 10 books a year to a website – it will also empower them as entrepreneurs. It is called PiggyBack Books  <http://piggybackbooks.com>

Here is what she needs to win a $25,000 Grant with Intuit Small Business United:
She is a finalist because her original story finished 20 out of over 2000 entries.
Please support her:
She is currently ranked #34 out of 50 finalists and she needs 400+ votes to be considered by the judges for one of the top 5 prizes.(40% based on ratings, 40% based on quality, 20% based on Creativity)


1. Watch her video Toto We’re not in Kansas Anymore; The Journey from Educator to Entrepreneur <http://community.intuit.com/contests/c0×9KIlpWr3QVhacfA8pyY>
2. Rate it — to the left of the video click on Inspiring
3. Sign in or sign up to the Intuit Small Business United Community — make sure the user name is unique (not outlined in red)
[She assures me they do not spam and send you all kinds of emails! -- really - if they do just unsubscribe when they do]
4. That will rate the video as inspiring then you can also rate it funny and useful
5. and most important please send this out to as many people as you can – you can do this by using the Share this Video link on the side of the video  or by calling your friends etc…

Thank you so much, this is a fabulous business that will make a huge difference in the world for children, getting this grant will make it possible to get the business off the ground.


Hello friends and colleagues,

You can help PiggyBack Books get off to an amazing start this summer by rating our video in the Intuit Small Business Community Grant Competition.The story I wrote about my journey from being an Educator to Entrepreneur using the analogy of the Wizard of Oz was ranked 21 out of 2000 entries. Your votes really made a difference and I am now one of 50 finalists. With the help of some dear friends I made a video . IT IS VERY FUNNY.


So go to http://shar.es/1wvr to rate the video

Watch it, click on rate this video – please mark it in all 3 (although more funny and inspiring than useful) –

It will take you to a screen to sign in (if you voted last time you are already registered) if not then please sign up – really Intuit has sent me nothing = it is a useful site especially if you are in business.

if you have any questions email me at – new email dorothy@piggybackbooks or text 562 234 1423


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