Beautifully Different: Children’s Book Spotlight and Giveaway

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Guest post: Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures: Beautifully Different

Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures is a series of children’s picture books written by Dana Salim and illustrated by Pavel Goldaev.

Beautifully Different, the second book in the Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures series, teaches children that every person is different but that’s what makes us beautiful. 

Yousuf wonders if being different is a good or a bad thing. Kids who are different get teased, bullied and picked on. It would be a lot simpler if everyone were the same. Yousuf’s dad suggests that he play the Time Travel game to see if he can find some answers. Yousuf loves that game. He settles back in a comfortable position, closes his eyes, clears his mind of distracting thoughts, and before he knows it, he is on a boat heading towards a far-away island.

Why are people different?

Why can’t we be the same?

Find out with Yousuf,

in the Imagination Game.

Get yourself ready

to sing, swing and shout!

The Weeds are coming,

and there’s only one way out.

“Beautifully Different offers children a fun-filled and enlightening fable wherein Yousuf learns why being yourself is special and perfect, even if you’re not like everyone else in school. I loved following Yousuf as he travels over the waves and learns for himself the importance of celebrating diversity. He sees how if different people join together, they become strong enough to stand up to the bullies, and, in their unity, become even more special. The illustrations in this book are marvelous! Each panel is bright and cheerful with bold colors that pop off the page as Yousuf plays his Time Travel game and discovers that being different is beautiful, and that appreciating everyone’s differences is best of all. Beautifully is most highly recommended.” –Readers’ Favorite 

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The first book in the series, Dreamland with Mommy, is the perfect book to read before bedtime. An exciting adventure filled with colorful illustrations and an amusing rhyming riddle, the story takes readers on a magical journey to dreamland.

Bedtime is here, it’s time for a game,
Yousuf and his mom decide.
Adventures are waiting to be explored,
as reality and Dreamland collide.
Come join them on this journey,
to a land where dreams come true.
From musical birds to a wacky pirate,
take our hand and join the crew!

Parents around the world have been creating wondrous bedtime stories and songs for their children for centuries… those stories and songs fade away like dreams as kids get older and tuck themselves in at night. Dreamland With Mommy reawakens memories of the crazy, cozy homespun bedtime stories many of us heard from our own parents and elder siblings. It provides children with a new way of looking creatively at the world, while also providing adult readers with the inspiration to keep the tradition of storytelling alive.” — Dawud Wharnsby

“Dreamland with Mommy by Dana Salim is a wonderful book ideal for bedtime. I picked up the book for my three year old and it is much cherished by myself and my son. Combined with stunning illustration by Pavel Goldaev, it takes us on a magical journey to dreamland where we get to meet elephants, singing birds and a pirate on a boat on wheels!”— S. Jaleel

My daughter and I love reading this book together! The story is exciting, fun and easy to read. My daughter loves the pictures in this book and stops to talk about everything she sees on the pages. It’s a great book that will keep your child engaged the whole time.” – Ashley Kline

About the Author:

Dana Salim

Dana Salim loves singing silly songs, standing in the breeze and eating chocolate cake. But most of all she loves spending time with her son, Yousuf, and her husband. From row-boating, walking on frozen lakes, hiking to caves and waterfalls, to reading new books and learning new things; everyday holds an exciting adventure for the family!

Her first children’s book “Dreamland with Mommy” is the first book in the series “Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures”. The second book “Beautifully Different” will be coming out April 2017. (So stay tuned!)

Dana’s childhood adventures were split between Amman, Jordan and Vancouver, Canada. She finished Industrial Engineering at the University of Jordan before moving to Ohio, which was home for four awesome years. And now she resides in McAllen, Texas where she is always on the lookout for new adventures with her family.

Dana founded DS Publishing, LLC with her husband in August, 2016. Their mission is to provide products that instill and encourage diversity, acceptance and confidence in one’s self and dreams.

And if there’s one thing she would want to tell you right now it would be “Believe in yourself and go after your dreams, it’s never too early or too late. Right now is the best time to do it!”

To learn more, go to

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We will be giving away a copy of Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures: Beautifully Different, to one lucky winner!
Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at and leave comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.

3. Facebook: Follow Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures and leave a comment about the giveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 4/22/17

Beautifully Different Winner


We Can Go Anywhere: My Adventures on Daddy’s Chair



I’m very excited to share an amazing resource for families, written by an incredible father, Glen Dick. 

I was 25, a graduate of Temple University with a degree in landscape architecture, and taking a rare break from work to spend July Fourth weekend with buddies when one of those buddies playfully pulled me into the water off of a dock. I hit my head on the bottom, broke my neck and was left paralyzed from the chest down.

I was so worried at this point – everything that was important – my physicality, my looks, my job, my money – was taken away. I was convinced that I would now never fulfill my dream of getting married and becoming a father.

But 10 years later, I found my soulmate and we were blessed with a daughter, Elaina. After she was born, we became a team. My wheelchair was her ticket to ride, and Elaina gradually became my hands: opening jars and doors, moving the pieces in a board game, making a sandwich.

She never saw me as “Dad in a wheelchair”, she just saw me as “Dad” and through her sense of imagination and wonder, we find new adventures every day. I wanted to write a book for her to capture these memories, but what resulted was a story about living with a disability and the strength and resiliency that result, but in its truest sense, it is a story about the love between a father and a daughter. Any young child can relate to Elaina’s travels to the moon and back with her Daddy, and all young children want to be cuddled in their father’s arms while exploring the world.

I hope that the book’s message of resilience will resonate for other parents in wheelchairs and will open dialogue for all families about disabilities and difference and how they don’t necessarily have to be limitations.

glen-dick-we-can-go-anywhereAbout the Author: Glen Dick was born and raised in Doylestown, PA. Glen Dick’s career as a landscape architect, his sense of adventure and zest for life were temporarily slowed, but not defeated, by a spinal cord injury in 1995.  The birth of his daughter helped him see that his limitations were actually a blessing that have led to hours of creative imaginative play.  He lives in Chalfont, PA with his wife and daughter, but their adventures take them all over the world.


Win a copy of We Can Go Anywhere: My Adventures on Daddy’s Chair

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.comand leave a comment on this post.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.
  3. Facebook: Follow We Can Go Anywhere, leave a comment on their page.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck, winner will be chosen 1/21/17.

Spotlight and Giveaway on The Adventures of Frank and Mustard

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 I am very excited to introduce Simon Calcavechia, the author of The Adventures of Frank and Mustard, a children’s book that empowers kids to overcome challenges.

In 2002, I moved to Australia to follow my dream of playing rugby.  After my third game of the season, I was injured in a scrum leaving me with c5/6 quadriplegia.  Several years after the injury, I graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts.  After graduating, I spent most of my time volunteering with preschool children which inspired me to write about “The Adventures of Frank and Mustard“.  The book stars a dog with wheels for back legs and his best buddy Mustard. The idea behind the book was designed to allow me to share my experiences with quadriplegia and spread disability awareness. The message in the book inspires optimism and strength for life’s obstacles. We hope that in sharing these stories, children will see that they have the choice to see challenges as opportunities for growth. These books will emphasize the power to create love, joy and strength in response to life’s events.

With the book, I am also finding new ways to reach out to all kinds of people. One of those ways is through motivational speaking. I have talked to audiences as young as pre-k as well as audiences that are much older than me. Recently, I spoke to Capital High school students. The librarian said this about my visit:

“Simon, you rocked in all three classes today: English, Advanced Marketing and Leadership. Your message of the power of volunteerism, the spirit of adventures, and the ambition to follow your passions will be remembered by all. Thanks for selflessly sharing with us!” – Kristi Bonds – Capital High School Librarian

My dream is to continue on this path with the goal of inspiring people of all ages to live up to their full potential. The bottom line is that I would love to share this journey with as many people as possible.

To learn more check out and follow on Facebook.

Win a copy of The Adventures of Mustard and Frank

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at and leave a comment on this post.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.
  3. Facebook: Follow Frank and Mustard and leave a comment on the post.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck, winner will be chosen 6/29/16