Each June, National Smile Month reminds us how important our smiles are to our well-being. Supporting our oral health, mental health, and overall health — our smiles are a powerful thing! This year, we’re celebrating Idaho authors who make us smile. Their stories and illustrations share important messages with younger generations. Check out our list of Idaho authors to smile about and let us know if we missed your favorite! One even works for DDID!
Stan Steiner — P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet
Every kid growing up in the great spud state should get a chance to read P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet. Renowned Boise State University professor Stan Steiner, aka “The Bookman,” is known for his infectious love of reading. In his children’s book, Steiner explores the best of Idaho from A to Z, “from the Appaloosa steed to the zinc mines…”
What a delightful way to celebrate our great state and spread the smiles! Learn more about Stan Steinerand P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet here.
Jane Freund and Stacia Mers — The Girl Who Had a Big Adventure – Cancer, Chemo and Cupcakes
Jane Freund is another former Boise State University professor and children’s book author. She brings smiles to children going on a different kind of adventure. Freund co-wrote The Girl Who Had a Big Adventure – Cancer, Chemo and Cupcakes with Idaho 3rd grader Stacia Mers, who was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer around 2010. In this book, the dedicated Girl Scout and athlete helps other children understand what chemotherapy and radiation are like from a child’s perspective. The story and illustrations help guide kids diagnosed with cancer and bring them smiles along the way
Jane Freund — Grandma, Does My Moon Shine Over Your House?
This bedtime story by the same Idaho author helps close the gap between kids and their far-away grandparents. No matter the distance from the family, or even from Idaho, Grandma, Does My Moon Shine Over Your House?reminds us that we’re all looking at the same moon. Click to learn more about Jane Freund.
Carol M Green — Gary learns to Skate and Gary Learns to Fish
Gary loves new things, but really who doesn’t? In these stories, this brave little boy takes on the exciting feat of learning with his “awesome aunts” in both Gary learns to Skate and Gary Learns to Fish. Through these stories, Idahoauthor Carol M Green shows kids that it’s good to try new things. Another fun twist is that the Illustrator of the books, Margaret Marie Olson, was 6 and 7 years old at the time she illustrated Gary learns to Skate and Gary Learns to Fish! Click to learn more about Carol M Green.
Michael Weitz — Even Dead Men Play Chess (Volume 1,2& 3)
Not only is the author part of the Delta Dental of Idaho family, but he is also a fantastic creative writer!
Ray Gordon loves chess. He studies it, he plays it, he teaches it. Chess should be a pretty tame way to make a living, but sometimes, checkmate can be murder.
There’s something to be said about being in the right place at the wrong time, but for Ray, his dog Morphy, and his best friend Carla, that something isn’t always good.
Remember, chess is more than just a game…
Judy Cox — Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!
We all know schools are currently turned upside-down, but in Mrs. Millie’s classroom, that’s the norm! Silly Mrs. Millie asks the kids “to hang up their goats, eat gorilla cheese sandwiches, and to remember to wear their bats and kittens when they go outside for recess.” Though not an Idaho native, author Judy Cox did teach kindergarten in Idaho! We wonder if she talked like Mrs. Millie did!
The silly wordplay she uses throughout the story should put a smile on anyone’s face. Click to learn more about her 27 other children’s books here! Learn more about the award-winning Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! story here.
For more things to get your kids smiling, check out: