Home Education

A New Children’s Book Coming Soon

It’s always a privilege to get my hands on a good children’s book, especially before it is published. Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to review a pretty cool children’s book and offer a giveaway! Keep reading to find out more about this new children’s book coming soon!

Annabelle’s Big Dream

Annabelle is a typical little girl with big dreams of doing what some would consider the unthinkable. She wants to be a race car driver. She starts her journey with begging her father to go to real races, and eventually she gets to go down in the pits.

This is when Annabelle stumbles upon a go-cart for sale and she knew she had to have it. With a little deal made between father and daughter, Dad bought her the go-cart in exchange for a promise to do her best.

After weeks of fixing up the go-cart, Annabelle was finally ready to hit the tracks. To her surprise, and the other racers, she was the only girl. Annabelle then realized that she would have more to get over than just the actual race. She needed the pep talk of her Dad to help soothe the nay-saying boy racers.

Annabelle realized that she was right where she needed to be – racing… and she did great! She also went on to compete in some big races and came out on top. When her Dad asked her about her next scheme, she said, “I want to drive a real race car of course!”

There is much more to this wonderful story and the various messages it sends is amazing.

Lessons Learned

The author, Joy Hardin, admits that, “Since the fourth grade, I’ve always dreamed of writing a book. I’ve dabbled with writing on and off, but I’ve never found a project that excited me – until now!”

After she and her husband took their daughter to an actual race and saw her excitement, Joy says that it reignited her love for motorsports-

My love of motorsports, my desire to help girls understand they can be anything they want to be, and my recent experiences with homeschooling our preschool age daughter led to me dreaming up Team ABC Racing

Joy’s idea behind the Team ABC Racing series is to offer both a love for racing and educational components, such as:

  • learning the ABCs
  • letter recognition
  • letter sound recognition
  • lesson plans for parents to download

She is also-

excited about this project because there are not many books that feature female racecar drivers. The book also has a good message and will hopefully help students who struggle with letter recognition. Finally it is a good opportunity for Dads who like racing to make a connection with their daughters.

Support Joy’s Dream

Annabelle’s Big Dream is the first book in this series and it’s well on the way to being completed by mid-October. The release date could be much sooner with your help!

Joy has a Kickstarter campaign set up with a small goal of $500. She is almost half way to that goal and is offering some pretty cool incentives for early backers.

Pledges of:

  • $1 or more get a look behind the scenes at drawings, drafts, and more.
  • $5 or more get their name in the book as an early thank you (plus $1 donor perks)
  • $10 or more get a nice discount on the digital copy
  • $15 or more get a free digital copy and a discount on the physical copy

She offers several more perks so click here to check those out and become a backer to Annabelle’s Big Dream, the first book in the Team ABC Racing series!


Joy would also like to bless someone from our audience with a free copy of Annabelle’s Big Dream. To enter the giveaway, simply comment with the answer to the following question: What was your favorite book as a child?

Winner will be notified by message on comment here and email attached to comment no later than October 31, 2019.

To learn more about Joy and her journey to writing children’s books, click here.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with a small monetary compensation and free draft PDF of this book in return for an honest blog post review and giveaway. All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own and were not persuaded in any way.

Home Education, Reviews

Two Books to Add to Your Children’s Library NOW!

Update: GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED – but these are still two must-have books that make perfect Mother’s & Father’s Day gifts!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, then you’ll know I’m an advocate for building a children’s library. I have always been a lover of books and my husband and I are both hard copy kind of folks – especially in the day and age of all things digital.

There’s nothing like going to the bookshelf and pulling off a physical book.

Recently, I came across an amazing opportunity to review two books from Children’s Book Author, Glenys Nellist. I cannot say enough good things about her two most recent writings – God Made Mommy Special and God Made Daddy Specialtwo books that I highly recommend that you add to your children’s library NOW.

These books are well thought out, well written, and super engaging (even for the most youngest child). I especially enjoy the durability of these books because I’ve got some little hands that can wear a book out (LOL)!

I had the privilege of speaking with Author Glenys personally and pick her mind to find out her vision behind writing God Made Mommy (and Daddy) Special. Watch the exclusive interview below, and afterward, scroll down to read my interview with the Illustrator, Estelle Corke!


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*DISCLAIMER: With the Huddlestons does not endorse the celebration of Christmas and Easter (or any other mainstream holidays); however, we DO endorse the observance of Biblical Celebrations (Feast Days) as commanded by YHVH. If you’re interested in learning about these, CLICK HERE.

It was also an honor to catch the vision and thoughts behind the beautiful illustrations of Glenys’ books. Below you’ll read the question and answer interview from the Illustrator of God Made Mommy (and Daddy) Special – Estelle Corke.

  1. How long did it take you to come up with the illustrated characters?
    I usually take anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours to come up with each character. Some are easier than others! I always look at photographs of each animal on Google images or in books to see the physical and personality characteristics in real life. I then do rough pencil sketches in my sketch book to get a feel to how the animal might move as I animate the drawing into the position I want. I then modify the drawings to make them look younger, softer and “children book “ friendly.
  2. What do you do with concepts that don’t make it to the final project?
    They stay in the back of my head and sketch book.
  3. Do you ever reuse them in a later piece of work?
    Sometimes they’re useful for a different project; even if they are just a basic idea to be then developed later.
  4. Do you often refer to other things for inspiration? (Where do you find your inspiration?) If so, do you mind to share?
    Whether the characters are animals or children, I refer back to my relationship with my daughter and family. Also, my visual memories of films, television programs or events in my life are my inspiration. Animals consequently become ‘anthropomorphic’ in that I illustrate them with having recognisable human traits; that makes them very cute.
  5. Do you ever go with your first mind and go from there?
    I try not to put pressure on myself, and think, “this may not work out, I’ll just do some more until it does” that usually relaxes me and I don’t have to do loads and loads ‘til I get the right one. Sometimes, the first thing that comes into my head is the best; otherwise characters can become “overworked”.
  6. Do you find it challenging to not use a character you’ve previously used, or is it something you are not concerned about?
    Common characters happen in books because they are popular, for instance, bears, and a publisher might particularly ask me to illustrate a book because they’ve seen something I’ve done before and they’ve chosen my particular style- so some of my characters may look familiar. I do try and vary them slightly, and the stories are different, so that changes the look of the book instantly. I’ve never illustrated a mother and baby snail and octopus before though!
  7. What would you like readers to take away from your illustrations in these books?
    I would hope readers will like the way my characters interact with each other, truly reflecting Glenys’s lovely words, and they find them fun and cute! My favourites are the baby monkey swinging in the tree with the banana and the hamsters cuddling in bed asleep.


If you would like to connect with Author Glenys Nellist, find her across most social media @GlenysNellist and visit her website. Connect with the Illustrator, Estelle Corke on Facebook and see her portfolio here.

CHIME IN: What are some children’s books that are must-haves for you? Share in the comments below!

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