Tuesday, March 18 2014 10:59

Join Me for the #PBSKIDSWrite Twitter Party!

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PBS KIDS VIPHere's a Rock Father fact that most people don't know: In 1987, while in Fifth Grade, I became an award-winning author... a "Young Author," to be exact. After penning a short story called THE LITTLE CHAMP (which I'd later come to find out was a very technically-inaccurate portrayal of a race horse), I got to represent my school at the Illinois Reading Council's Annual Young Authors' Conference at Illinois State University. Fast-forward about 27 years, and I'm a parent, and through my relationship with PBS KIDS, am helping to spread the word about getting other kids writing for the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest. TONIGHT (March 18, 2014), I will be co-hosting the #PBSKIDSWrite Twitter Party, and I'd love it if you could join!

By definition, KEITH RICHARDS is, indeed, a "Rock Father," but the type of excess that THE ROLLING STONES' guitarist is known for doesn't exactly line up with the title of "Children's Author." That changes today, with the announcement that a childhood experience detailed in Richards' memoir, LIFE, has been adapted by Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro for the new picture book, GUS & ME: THE STORY OF MY GRANDDAD AND MY FIRST GUITAR. Featuring illustrations by Richards' daughter, Theodora, the book will be released in hardcover and ebook on September 9, 2014 via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 

I really need to get back into comics... not just reading them, but as a creator and writer. My personal foray into that realm was brief (as was the existence for the publisher I worked for), but the couple of books I did create have been made available on Amazon as Kindle Editions (they're FREE!) and oddly enough, they still hit the charts (DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #1 is currently number #13 in horror - tonight). I miss regular reads, and often times, catching up via Trade Paperback is the way to go (I still like to hold a real book), and tonight I spotted some upcoming releases that I'd like to highlight here on THE ROCK FATHER. Actually, I think we'll make this a regular feature. 

Is it too early to think about Christmas 2014? Nah... never too early! 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the animated classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (first aired back in 1964), and to celebrate this milestone of Rudolph's travels to the North Pole and the Island of Misfit Toys, the folks at Silver Dolphin have announced a special pop-up book using actual images from the iconic TV special.

Friday, January 03 2014 23:11

STAR WARS Comic Books head to MARVEL in 2015...

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Two STAR WARS related stories in one day? That's a bit different here on The Rock Father, but I can't complain (here's the first one), as The Force is strong here at Rock Father HQ, and has been since the release of STAR WARS back in 1977. If you haven't heard, Disney announced today that the STAR WARS Comic Books will be returning to MARVEL Comics in 2015 after being handled by the folks at Dark Horse for more than two decades. It was the MARVEL books that I first experienced as a kid in the late 70s and early 80s, but it was the great treatment by Dark Horse that really helped place STAR WARS back on the map in the 1990s. But, with MARVEL being owned by Disney, a lot of people have seen this move coming since it was announced that Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012.

Little PimIf you're not familiar with Little Pim and are interested in working with your children to learn a foreign language, you definitely should be. I've mentioned the multi-platform language learning system here on The Rock Father before, and I've been dabbling with their French and Spanish sets here at Rock Father HQ. I say "dabble" because I've yet to be able to devote the time I really need to into it, but I'm getting there. I want my girls to learn early, and Little Pim has a fantastic program to do it, complete with music (DAN ZANES and MILKSHAKE appear on the Spanish disc we have), books, DVDs, flashcards, Apps and more, all geared toward kids from birth-six. But now they have an additional project in the mix that they could use a little help funding a Holiday e-Book for Kids called AROUND THE WORLD WITH LITTLE PIM. They're looking for $12K and are about halfway there on Kickstarter* with just 11 days to go. If you're inclined to help, you'll get some pretty cool products in return. Let's take a look.

For Day 12 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013 here on The Rock Father, I'm doing something different... I'm shining the spotlight on something that I created long before becoming a parent... years before becoming "The Rock Father": DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. A multi-genre horror/crime hybrid, DWTS was initially conceived as a screenplay in 2004 - the ultimate mashup between monsters and the mob. I'd completed the screenplay with my friend, Ben Brezinski, and then the project took on a nearly-legendary "life of it's own," in 2005 as we entered into a production deal for a movie... which was then touted as "A Trilogy." I ended up penning the sequel, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS II: THE LONG DECEMBER, and a line of prequel comic books was announced. Problem is, despite scoring a Spike Scream Award Nomination for "Most Anticipated Film," being featured in countless media outlets, getting well into pre-production to the point of soundtrack demos, set/prop/costume design, storyboarding, location scouting, FX tests completed, and a preliminary cast in-place with merchandise already being sold, the movies never happened. Hollywood horror story? Sort of, but some comic books were made...

It's a great month for JESSICA FLEISCHER. After releasing FROM THE START, her debut album under the LOTS OF LOVE moniker just two weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based performer has announced the September 24th release of her first-ever Children's Book, LITTLE LUNA AND THE UNIVERSE. Written and Illustrated by Fleischer, full details on the book can be found below...

Sports Illustrated Kids - Brand AmbassadorEach year, Sports Illustrated Kids puts out a call for nominations for SportsKid of the Year. A celebration of children aged 7-15 who have demonstrated "outstanding sportsmanship through their accomplishments on the field, in their classrooms and in their communities," the 2013 SKOTY will appear on the cover of the December issue of Sports Illustrated Kids, receive a SKOTY jacket, and a trip to New York City to accept the award at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year ceremony. The question is: Is YOUR kid the 2013 SportsKid of the Year? If you think they should be, click here to nominate them right now!

I've really been enjoying sharing the world of comics with my kids, and one series we've been known to check out on occasion is DISNEY FAIRIES by PAPERCUTZ. On August 13, Disney Fairies Vol. 12: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure will be released, a 64-page Graphic Novel based on the popular Disney film. Available in both softcover and hardcover editions, it's a new way for children to experience the world of Tink and friends. Papercutz hit The Rock Father with some preview pages, and I'm sharing them with you tonight. Take a look...

Sports Illustrated KidsWhen I became a Father for the first time nearly four years ago, I had no idea that being a Dad would lead to this website, nor that doing this site would lead to relationships with other outfits that would choose me to represent them in helping to share stories beyond that of my own. As of today, I'm proud to reveal that I've joined Sports Illustrated Kids as a Brand Ambassador. What that means is that I'll be working some great content from SI KIDS into the mix here on The Rock Father, all as a compliment to my own stories about getting my little ones active. With my girls in swimming (even Baby Finley, who just turned one) and gymnastics, we've got some athletic experiences in our weekly routine, and as Addie is showing interest in Baseball, Soccer, and Hockey, some new worlds are about to open up, and my relationship with SI KIDS fits in nicely.

Earlier this year, I got an out-of-the-blue email from a guy named Shawn Currie. He and his wife had recently launched Lookio Books, a new publisher of custom, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind children's books. In addition to practically being neighbors here in the area far North of Chicago, it turned out that Shawn is also a fellow "Rock Father" - the former keyboardist for The Blank Theory - a band that had a couple of hits back when I was still pushing records with Sam Goody (a lifetime ago). After chatting about mutual friends and shifting focus from music to kids, Shawn let me test-drive the Lookio System. 

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