Review of Kathy Stemke’s pb Trouble on Earth Day

I’m happy to welcome Kathy Stemke to my blog today. Besides sharing the same publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing (who published my picture book, Fantastic Flight and Kathy’s Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep), we have another interest in common. And that is Earth Day. If you’ve read my novel, Wounds (published by MuseItUp), you might recall the character Nelson Ark. He was named in honor of the founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson. Kathy’s book, Trouble on Earth Day, is published by Wild Planes Press. The book was honored with the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

The artist, Kurt Wilcken, illustrated the book. His amusing cartoons, er…Kurtoons, can be seen at:


Trouble on Earth Day opens in the cozy home of the anthropomorphic squirrel family. The little girl squirrel, Shelby, excitedly enters with the news that her poster won the Earth Day Poster contest.

The poster shows a vibrant green and blue earth on a red background. Highlighted around the earth are three examples of Rethink, Reuse, and Recycle.

Shelby and Mom and Dad do some rethinking. They go through the house finding things suitable for recycling and reusing.

When Shelby hears crying outside, she goes to investigate. She finds TROUBLE. A sad bluebird is homeless because someone cut down the tree his nest was in. Shelby gathers reusable items—such as cut up newspaper strips and bright pink yarn—and helps the bluebird build a new nest. They situate the beautiful new nest up high in another tree so it can be seen for miles around.

And it seems that the bluebird is quite musical. Together, Shelby and Charlie, the bluebird, “Danced and sang ‘Chur-lee, chur-lee,’ all day.”

Here is what Kathy says about her book:

With Earth Day Approaching on April 22nd it’s time to focus on educating our children about conservation. Trouble on Earth Day would be a great resource for this purpose and a super addition to any school or home library.

Learning how each of us can take steps to protect our environment is important for children and adults alike. It will take all our efforts to help improve the environment for a healthier tomorrow. Trouble on Earth Day is a great start for children.

 Here are examples of the games and songs found in the twenty-three pages of activities in the supplement.

Going Green Game

Have the children form a circle to represent the earth, then read each statement aloud.

If a statement is something good for the earth, the children jump up and down.

If the statement is something that will hurt the earth, the children squat down and touch the

floor, then shout out a better way. (ex: Sleep with your lights on will hurt the earth, children might yell out turn the lights off before you go to bed.)

Fix a leaky faucet.

Sleep with your lights on.

Join with your friends to collect trash in the neighborhood.

Throw the newspaper out every day.

Turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Catch rain in a bucket to water the garden.

Grow a garden.

Put a bird feeder in the yard.

Donate your toys to charity.

Let the water run when brushing your teeth.

Throw trash out of the car window.

Let your helium balloons fl oat into the sky.

Use both sides of the paper.

Throw your food away when you are full.

Plant a tree.

Throw your old clothes in the trash.

Fill your bath tub to the top.

Rethink, reuse, recycle.

The Fuzzy Squirrel

To the tune of I’m A Little Teapot

I’m a fuzzy squirrel, black and gray.

Watch me run around finding nuts today.

Won’t you help me look now, far and near?

We’ll find the big nuts, and hide them here

I’m a happy squirrel, big and strong.

Skip and jump with me, it won’t take long.

When the winter sneaks up, then you’ll see,

We’ll have some nuts for you and for me.

Another book by Kathy is Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep which is available through the publisher, and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.

Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on Kathy’s blog: and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.

Author bio:

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, Kathy Stemke has published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. She is a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and a former editor for The National Writing for Children Center. As a retired teacher, Kathy has several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. She is also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U, a writing services company that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, and resumes.

Award winning author, Kathy Stemke’s first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. Her next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011. Both of these books have been awarded the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  Visit her book blog at

Kathy offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM, on her blog.

Kathy Stemke
Award Winning Author/Educator/Freelance Writer


Trouble on Earth Day earned the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep won the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Sign up for FREE monthly newsletter, Movement and Rhythm:


I was provided with a copy of Trouble on Earth Day; my comments are given freely and honestly.


20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy Stewart
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 08:57:42

    I love this book! Your post is lovely, too, Barbara. Thanks, Ladies, for making me smile on a Monday morning…


  2. dancekam
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 09:10:38

    Thanks for stopping by Nancy. I’m glad we made you smile. Have a great day.


  3. barbarabockman
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 12:13:31

    Many thanks for being my guest and allowing me to spread the word about Earth Day. And congratulations on the awards!


  4. anthony stemke
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 12:16:02

    Thank You for this exciting post about Kathy’s wonderful book. Educating youngsters about important conservation factors, summed up entertainingly in the Rethink, Reuse, Recycle motif of “Trouble on Earth Day ” is a great concept.

    When you see the happy children performing the exercises in the book with Miss Kathy, you see a very joyous fun-filled event.

    Thank you for reviewing this book and bringing it to the attention of educators everywhere.


  5. karencv
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 14:43:36

    Barbara, great review of Kathy’s book! It really is an wonderful children’s book.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing


  6. Bill Kirk
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 15:21:17

    Nice hosting job, Barbara. I think Kathy has a real hit on her hands. The classroom activity (stand up-sit down) has given me some ideas for our Troop meetings when we talk about Leave No Trace.


  7. dancekam
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 17:43:46

    Anthony: The kids do have fun doing the activities, don’t they?
    Karen: Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your support.
    Bill: Glad to hear I’ve spured your imagination.


  8. Susanne Drazic
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 19:00:04

    Hi Barbara. Wonderful review of the book. This book should be in classrooms, school libraries and children’s homes. It is important to take care of the earth, because it is the only one we have.

    Kathy, best wishes for a very successful tour!


  9. dancekam
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 19:03:43

    Thanks Susanne. It is the only Earth we have.


  10. barbarabockman
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:22:12

    Hi Susanne,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my review of this terrific book. Let’s hope teachers and librarians are looking for ways to promote Earth Day–and find this book.


  11. barbarabockman
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:23:37

    Kathy, it was great telling folks about your book, Trouble on Earth Day. Let me know when I can review another of your books.


  12. barbarabockman
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 14:01:14

    I’m moving Margo Dill’s comment to this page. (I made a mistake on the other one).

    Margo Dill
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 22:01:58

    I remember looking at this book before. It is a super book for this time of year–perfect for classrooms or home schools.


  13. barbarabockman
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 14:46:29

    Hi Margo,
    Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad Kathy’s book is getting lots of exposure.


  14. Trackback: Kurtoons Online - The Squirrel Artist Speaks!
  15. barbarabockman
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 00:15:26

    You will notice we have a Trackback: a link to the cartoonist’s blog. Just click on it and visit Kurt to see how he illustrates a book.
    Thanks, Kurt, for pinging back.


  16. Hattie
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 13:47:25

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything.
    But imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this
    blog could certainly be one of the very best in its field.

    Good blog!


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