Category Archives: Inspiring People

Why is Children’s Author Dan Gutman Playing Baseball with a Dinosaur?

Helping your child learn how to read definitely requires some patience…

0a04370f0959caa592efddeb9a1e77b1

However, once they reach second grade, AR quizzes begin and they are expected to say goodbye to Dr. Seuss and hello to easy chapter books. Back when my older daughter was little…

She heard the words “chapter books” and came home with these!

51qmjn9tchl

Just a few weeks before, my child couldn’t even read the word “forget.” There is no possible way she could read or understand the complex words in those books.  I needed to help her find a book that was just right.  A book that she was actually reading and not pretending to read.

We tried SO MANY easy chapter series books…

12-easy-chapter-book-series-for-early-readers

None of them were good enough.  She still hated to read. How was I going to get her to read 25 books in a school year for those AR quizzes???  So I asked her, “What kind of book do you WANT to read?” She wanted to read a “weird” book!

So, truth be told, I googled “easy read weird chapter series” and I came up with The Weird School Series by Dan Gutman!

61tqh3vgkol

They were perfectly weird!!! 

She loved them and read every singe book in that series.  To this day, she has developed a love for reading from these books and I am forever grateful to Dan Gutman for writing them.

41ybgic79ul-_ux250_

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Dan last week to talk about his imagination!  Dan Gutman is a freelance children’s book author, who has published over 120 books.  He LOVES to write fact based fiction!

I thought to myself…Since Dan writes fact based fiction, was he inspired by his own “weird” childhood school when he wrote the My Weird School series?

51irvukupal

“I got the idea for the My Weird School series when my daughter Emma was in second grade. She was really enjoying the Junie B. Jones books, and I wanted to try a series for that age group. I thought it would be cool if there was something like Junie B. Jones told by a boy. Most of the books in Weird School, you may have noticed are dedicated to Emma. The first title Miss Daisy is Crazy came from the old song Tutti Fruiti….had a gal named Daisy, she almost drove me crazy.”

Dan has written SO MANY books, but what is his FAVORITE book?

51fpzyuvlfl

Dan Gutman loves his book Johnny Hangtime! “It is the story about a boy who is a Hollywood stunt man. He’s always jumping out of windows and having himself set of fire…I like to take an ordinary kid and put that kid into extraordinary situations.”

Dan loves his job!  “I have the freedom to work at home, to write what I want, and to go on vacation when I want…”  Dan loves getting emails from parents, teachers and librarians, telling him about the kids who develop a love for reading from his books!

What is Dan’s greatest moment of his career so far?

(Caution for viewers…explicit words in video)

“It happened just a few weeks ago.  On his HBO show, John Oliver spent five minutes talking about my book The Kid Who Ran for President. The book is nearly 20 years old and had pretty much stopped selling…within 24 hours, it was one of the best selling books in America! Very exciting!”  I remember reading your post and jumping up and down for you, Dan!  SO awesome!

So, how did Dan get started in this career of writing books for children?

When Dan was little, he loved to learn by reading non-fiction.  All that reading gave him to tools to create his children’s books! Dan went to college and studied Psychology, but it just didn’t feel like the right choice. He started writing when he was 25 years old.

“I always enjoyed writing letters to my friends, so I just decided to start writing.”

Dan tried several different styles of writing, such as newspaper articles, magazine articles, screenplays and non-fiction for adults.  Nothing felt right…

“Then, my son Sam was born in 1990 and I started reading children’s books for the first time since I was a kid. I decided to try writing for kids. And as soon as I did, I felt, THIS is what I am good at! THIS is what I should have been doing all along! So, I switched to writing for kids.”

banana-family

Dan Gutman has two children…Sam is now 26 and Emma is 21. “Sometimes we would sit on the front porch of the house and I would challenge them to guess the color of the next car to drive down the street. It got very competitive!”

It got me thinking, what would Dan play when he was little?

little-league

Sometimes he liked to pretend he was a dog sitting under the table, but mostly Dan loved playing Little League baseball!  Now I completely understand why baseball loving kids everywhere love his Baseball Card Adventure Series.  He poured his own love for baseball into those books!  While we don’t have baseball fans in our house (we are a hockey family…go Sabres), I have heard amazing things about this baseball series.  Be sure you check it out, if you have a Little League player of your very own!

514mfflmosl

Which leads me to this question…

Why on earth did I create a silly portrait of Dan Gutman playing baseball with a dinosaur?

julie-mcgann-dan-gutman-baseball

As you probably already know, I am a wish granting digital artist and soon-to-be children’s book author, who captures the imagination of little dreamers worldwide by giving them the dream pet they have always wanted.

I asked Dan, “When you were a child, if you could have any animal in the world, what would your dream pet be?”

Dan wasn’t really into animals.  His childhood dreams were “to be a rock and roll star or a professional baseball player.” If he were to pick a dream pet today, it would have to be Rappy the Raptor, which is a picture book he wrote about a rapping dinosaur! Dan’s newest Rappy book Rappy Goes To School just came out in June! He would definitely want to play baseball with Rappy!

Enjoy your afternoon of baseball, Dan!  Thank you so much for speaking with me!  I love your imagination!!!

So, if you are interested in some seriously awesome books by Dan Gutman, stop by and check them out! He has written over 120 books!!

Here are the books I have mentioned…

61tqh3vgkol61xihjm5tml 61m9liq8gxl 51fpzyuvlfl 514mfflmosl 51clmqf0al

What is your favorite Dan Gutman book?

Let us know what makes you smile!

Blog Images:  Baseball picture from Julie McGann Fine Art Portraits, Dan‘s Book Covers from Amazon, Dan’s pictures from Amazon and his Personal Collection, Stock Images from Camelfobia and various personal stock

SUGGEST SOMEONE you admire with amazing imagination skills for Julie to interview!

READ MORE INSPIRING PEOPLE POSTS

COMMISSION JULIE for your own child’s portrait!

FOLLOW US
Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

SHARE THIS
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Why is Children’s Author Tara Lazar Having a Tea Party with a Bunch of Frogs?

I have always considered myself a Toys-R-Us Kid.

I wear a pony tail almost every day, because I love when it swishes from side to side as I walk. Full House is still one of my all time favorite shows (Yeah, I almost named my daughter Michelle…lol). Oh and between you and me, I may or may not have just had my hair cut like Kimmy Gibbler on the new Fuller House.

My friends often look at me like I have two heads when I come up with my crazy imaginary ideas for portraits! After a while, I felt like my pictures were wasting away on social media. I decided to create children’s books, so they could be in the hands of young children all over the world, who would truly appreciate their whimsical wonder.

Julie McGann 2

When I began my research for literary agents, I came across Tara Lazar, an amazingly silly author!  She had filled her blog Writing for Kids While Raising Them with an enormous amount of resources for new authors. I discovered her one day when I was looking for information about fractured fairy tales.  Her video was HYSTERICAL! I had finally discovered that there are other people in the world as weird as me! Last week, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Tara to find out more about her wild imagination!

Weird is a side-effect of awesome!

1146929_542986979089077_1488306810_o
I was instantly attracted to Tara Lazar‘s newest book Normal Norman, which is an incredibly cute story about a purple orangutan named Norman who thinks he is not-so-normal!  It’s a book that celebrates our weirdness and I love that!

Tara explained, “I have never felt normal. When the name Normal Norman popped into my head one day, all I really knew about him was that he could, in no way, BE NORMAL. He would have to revolt against everything I threw at him, doing unexpectedly zany things instead–proving that normal is impossible to define.”

“It’s the crazy stuff that makes us interesting, the quirks that make us human (or purple orangutan, take your pick)”

nnTara has written several books and loves them as if they were her own children!  She enjoys sharing her stories with children across the country, teaching them about the joys of writing.  Back at home, Tara has two daughters of her own, who also love to use their imagination to write stories. “We love the website Storybird.com where we can pick illustrations and imagine the story behind them. It’s like solving a puzzle with words.”  That truly is a magical site Tara!

Tara believes it is important to give “kids and their parents the chance to laugh together over a book, to share special moments while reading. Those are some of life’s first and best memories.”

1008835_526648907389551_536451482_o

Back when Tara was little, she was extremely attached to her stuffed animals, which she thought were “real animals.” “I remember sitting on my bed, looking up at all of them arranged atop my bookshelves and bawling, pleading with them to talk to me. I thought whatever I ate got magically transferred to their tiny tummies and that they came alive while I was sleeping. “Please say something! I won’t tell anyone your secrets!” I sobbed. Crazy? Maybe. But also good preparation for being a children’s book author.”

So why did I create a silly portrait of Tara having a tea party with a bunch of frogs?

sea-of-frogs

As you probably already know, I am a wish granting digital artist, capturing the imagination of little dreamers worldwide, by giving them the dream pet they have always wanted.

I asked Tara “When you were a child, if you could have any animal in the world, what would your dream pet be?”

Tara loved building blanket forts as a child. “Oh, how I loved building blanket forts and pretending they were my own home! I made truly EPIC forts because we owned unbelievably huge blankets that could stretch across the entire playroom. My forts had rooms inside. Entire wings, even!”

But why frogs?

Tara’s childhood dream was to have her very own sea of frogs!

“I had my dream pet for one fateful evening. My grandmother and I had gone for a walk and happened upon a COLONY of frogs. I immediately ran toward them and they began hopping away. I was screaming, “Catch one, Grandma, CATCH ONE!” And there’s my plump Italian Nonna bounding after a sea of froggies who were changing directions like starlings. We caught one, placed it in a beach bucket, covered it with foil. I punched small holes in the foil so it could breathe and left it on the back porch. That night we had a terrible, whip-crack thunderstorm and in the morning I discovered a gaping hole in the tinfoil. My very first pet had been spooked and leaped to freedom. I was devastated.”

Oh Tara!  How unbelievably sad! How can I deny her of her dream?!  Enjoy your “sea of frogs,” Tara!  I hope they bring you a “sea” of happiness!!  Thank you so much for speaking with me! I just love your imagination!

So if you are interested in some seriously silly books by Tara Lazar, stop by and check them out!

nn71HdbAku6WL 51Jg8NVErlL 517W9OB7cIL

It you are an author-in-the-works, like me, be sure to read her wonderful blog Writing for Kids While Raising Them!

taralazarskatingbanner

What is your favorite Tara Lazar book?

Let us know what makes you smile!

Blog Images:  Frog picture from Julie McGann Fine Art PortraitsTara’s Book Covers from Amazon, Tara’s Logo from Tara’s Website, Tara’s pictures from Tara’s Facebook Page, Stock Images from Meta Stock, Cassy Blue, Dragoroth Stock, SteppelandStock, and various personal stock

SUGGEST SOMEONE you admire with amazing imagination skills for Julie to interview!

READ MORE INSPIRING PEOPLE POSTS

COMMISSION JULIE for your own child’s portrait!

 

 

 

FOLLOW US
Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

SHARE THIS
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Why is Rachel Coleman from Signing Time Riding on a Dolphin?

I wasn’t always an artist…

Before I had children, I was a special education music teacher for children with Emotional Behavior Disabilities at Hillside Children’s Center in Rochester, NY.  I used music to soothe anxieties and stimulate non-verbal communication and self expression.  In return, the children showed improved self esteem. I enjoyed bringing smiles to their faces in the midst of their emotional turmoil.

When I became a mother, I decided to leave my job to devote my entire life to making my children’s lives happy and full of love.  I thought about how I could make a difference in the world, while still remaining a stay-at-home Mom. It became my life goal to make the impossible possible for children through art!  However, my love for music will always be strong and it definitely played a large roll in my children’s childhood.

Years ago, the Nickjr channel was called Noggin and it opened up my world to new children’s music!

1551562_10151844671342227_1711123948_n

That is where I discovered Rachel Coleman!

Many people don’t know this about me, but I have struggled with hearing my entire life. While I am not deaf, I do have hearing loss and wear a hearing aid in one ear. I have spent countless times in my life smiling and nodding in situations where I have no idea what is being said to me.

When I discovered Rachel, at first I was captivated by her happy orange shirt and colorful fingers. However, I was immediately drawn to her message in the song “What are you feeling!”  Not only did it bring music to children who could not hear or communicate verbally, but it also introduced sign language to children who could hear and speak!

995745_10151540944442227_47906522_n

I had an incredible opportunity to speak with Rachel on the phone last week! Her stories tugged at my heart strings!  So much so that I found myself trying really hard to hold back the tears on the other end of the line…only able to muster out the words for my next question. She is an amazing woman and has done so much for children!  I feel so honored to have spoken with her!

For those of you who don’t know her, Rachel Coleman and her sister Emilie own Two Little Hands Productions, which creates educational programming to teach children sign language. Rachel has received many awards for her Signing Time television series, including an Emmy nomination!  She even created a Signing Time Foundation to help make sign language “fun and accessible to all children” throughout the world!

So how did all this begin? Let’s start at the very beginning…

Family

Rachel grew up in a family of nine children and was always very shy.  Her father was a composer of Mormon music, so the love of music filled their lives on a daily basis.

When Rachel was little, she shared a room with her sister Rebecca who was two years younger than her. They loved to play house together! She remembers a time when they saved up money to buy a plastic clubhouse for their room.

They would often walk down to the local store to buy chocolates.  When the sales woman asked if it was for a gift, they would always say yes, so that each chocolate would be wrapped in the most beautiful wrapping paper. Rachel and her sister would then take them home to their clubhouse and invite all their teddy bears, their pet snail and her sister’s imaginary friend Glandy to join them. Everyone would get a pretty chocolate package to unwrap and enjoy.  It was a memorable imaginary game that Rachel and her sister enjoyed playing often throughout their childhood.

When Rachel was in college, she discovered her music ability as a singer/song writer and played guitar with her folk rock band.  She continued to perform until Rachel discovered her daughter Leah was deaf at 14 months old. She gave up music to devote her life to learning sign language, so that she could communicate with her daughter.

Unlike ordinary imagination games we play with hearing children, Rachel loved to play the Hand Shape Game with her daughter Leah.  It was sort of a like a word association game with signs. Rachel would begin the game by giving a sign and then Leah would have to come up with a sign that has the same hand shape.  It would continue on, until they had run out of ideas. Leah loved this game!brand

Rachel and her sister Emilie decided to start Two Little Hands Productions to help other children and parents learn sign language together through educational videos called Signing Time. It is a family run business. “Rachel and Emilie’s father, Lex de Azevedo, is now the CEO, their youngest brother, Aaron, is involved in production and marketing, and Rachel’s husband, Aaron, is involved in filming.”

“You must believe in your children!”

11951635_1048716441807250_2851763116044217571_o

Emilie had asked Rachel to create a theme song using her musical talent.  In addition to creating a theme song, she also wrote a song called Show Me A Sign, which they ended up using as the closing credits of each video. This song was dedicated to her other daughter Lucy, who was born with Spinal Bifida and Cerebral Palsy and did not communicate with anyone.  To her surprise, one day, while watching Signing Time, Lucy actually signed “more!” Rachel could not have been more happy!  She had found her life’s purpose!

logo-signingtime

Since then, Rachel has written over 200 songs for Signing Time, Potty TimeBaby Signing Time, and her newest series Rachel and the Treeschoolers.  When composing her songs, she sees “music like a puzzle.” Instead of teaching the children random words, she likes to create songs with words teaching them how to be responsible and have manners, such as the sign for clean your room or make your bed. Her songs are filled with love!

“There’s always heart there…my experiences as a Mom and my family.”

colemanfamily

As I spoke to Rachel about family, she told me a tear filled story of another daughter named Laura, who she had when she was 17.  She had given her up for adoption in hopes that she would live a great life that she was not ready to give.  She missed her terribly and wrote a song about her sad feelings called Nobody Would Know.  Even though she had no idea if she would ever meet her again, she still celebrated Laura’s birthday every year.

Back when Rachel realized Leah was deaf, she decided it was important to send a letter to the adoption agency, informing the family.  Then, when Lucy was diagnosed with Spinal Bifida and Cerebral Palsy, she sent another letter.  Rachel never really knew whether or not Laura’s family received these letters, but thought it was important to try and tell her family anyway.

As it turns out, Laura’s family did read those letters!  When Laura was in high school, she decided to learn sign language, so that one day when she met her deaf sister, she would to be able to communicate with her! During her sign language class, someone presented an article on Signing Time’s Rachel Coleman, who just happens to have a little girl who was deaf and a little girl with Spinal Bifida. Could it be?!  The room began to spin as she realized that she was quite possibly looking right at her birth mother’s face!  Tears filled her eyes as she ran from the classroom…

Completely unaware of what had unfolded, Rachel was still hoping that Laura might decide to come and find her on her 18th birthday.  However, when her birthday came and went, Rachel was filled with sadness once again.  Maybe she wouldn’t ever come.  But to her disbelief, on Mother’s Day, Rachel received the email she had been waiting 18 years for.  “Happy Mother’s Day. You are always in my prayers and in my heart.” Laura had written to her!  Rachel’s heart filled with enormous joy that day!  “My heart was healed!” The big day had finally arrived! Laura is now very much a part of Rachel and her family’s lives and they couldn’t be happier!

“My wildest dream had just come true!”

4966882784_f5d24ccfa4_b-300x213

Rachel has done a lot of amazing things for children, but what was the best moment in her career so far?

make-a-wish-logo

Of course she could say, “Well my Emmy Nomination of course…” However, Rachel‘s greatest moments in her career are not about her at all!  It is about the children and family’s lives that she touches. “It’s the moments I share with the families. I am just so lucky to be a part of it.”

Not once, but FOUR TIMES, children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation wished for a visit from Rachel!

“Out of everything that a child could wish for in their last days, they wished for me!”  

Rachel wanted to make it even more special than just a visit. She told me of one visit, where she flew across the country to give a private concert for one little girl, her family and her closest friends.  She invited her onto the stage for the concert and gave her one of her orange jackets.  It was so incredibly special, because it turns out that what she wanted most in life was to wear one of her orange jackets!

A few months ago, Rachel called to check in on the little girl and she had taken a turn for the worst.  Rachel wanted to surprise her with another visit, but unfortunately, she passed on before she arrived.  Rachel was kind enough to sing at her funeral, because she meant the world to that little girl.

“It’s such a gift to have the love and trust of children.”

Rachel

Now you are probably wondering…why on earth did I make a silly picture of Rachel Coleman riding on a dolphin?

Rachels Dolphin Web

As you probably already know, I am a wish granting digital artist, capturing the imagination of little dreamers worldwide, by giving them the dream pet they have always wanted.

I asked Rachel “When you were a child, if you could have any animal in the world, what would your dream pet be?”

It turns out, when she was little, she was in LOVE with dolphins. She can remember begging her Grandma to allow her have a pet dolphin to keep in her Grandma’s pool.  She wanted to do all kinds of tricks with her dolphin friend, but mostly, she just wanted to ride on the dolphin’s nose.

Rachel has made so many dreams come true for other children, that I was happy to make her childhood dream come true as well!  Enjoy your new pet dolphin Rachel and thank you so much for speaking with me!  I love what you do!!

If you are interested in learning sign language, please visit Rachel Coleman’s website and see what she has to offer!  She has a little something for every age!

resizeresize (3)resize (4)resize (1)

What do you love about Rachel Coleman?

Let us know what makes you smile!

Blog Images:  Dolphin portrait from Julie McGann Fine Art Portraits, logos/series pictures from Two Little Hands Productions, Rachel’s family pictures from Rachel’s Website, Rachel’s business portrait from Rachel’s Facebook Page, dolphin stock from Love Photoshop, and pool stock from Jean52 

SUGGEST SOMEONE you admire with amazing imagination skills for Julie to interview!

READ MORE INSPIRING PEOPLE POSTS

COMMISSION JULIE for your own child’s portrait!

FOLLOW US
Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

SHARE THIS
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

New Monthly Blog Series – Inspiring People

As you know, last week I had the great opportunity to interview Mindy Thomas from The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius Xm’s Kids Place Live!  If you missed it, be sure to check out the post!  I was overwhelmed with joy at how much everyone enjoyed my blog post about her…including my absolutely silly portrait of her roller skating with a purple polka dotted elephant!

I had SO much fun speaking with Mindy and writing about her, that I have decided to create a new blog series called Inspiring People.  Every month, I will post a blog about someone who inspires me!  It will not be your ordinary interview…I will try to reach way down and capture the spirit of their inner child!  And once I do that…I will surely make a silly picture of them living out their childhood dreams!

So, if you want to know more about people who inspire me and how I get them to reveal their youngest childhood dreams, stay tuned!  You are not going to want to miss this!

Julie McGann Mindy Web

COMING UP IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, WE GET TO LEARN ABOUT…

Kristen Chase, CEO at Cool Mom Picks 

 The creator of an awesome site for weeding out the junk on Pinterest!  I know I spend way too much time surfing Pinterest!

cmp-logo-small

Tara Lazar, Children’s Author  

Tara’s newest book is Normal Norman! It is an incredibly cute story about a purple orangutan named Norman who thinks he is not-so-normal!  It a book that celebrates our weirdness…and we all know I am full of that!  

50338833

Sign up for my newsletter to be sure you don’t miss these!  

I can’t wait to discover their inner child and create a silly portrait with that spirit shining through!

SUGGEST SOMEONE you admire with mad imagination skills for Julie to interview!

FOLLOW US
Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

SHARE THIS
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Why is Absolutely Mindy from Sirius XM’s KidsPlaceLive Roller Skating with a Purple Elephant?

Leaving the house with children can definitely be extremely stressful, right?

I can remember one warm sunny summer day, when my two year old daughter was wearing the most adorable outfit. It was a peach gingham shirt with delicate white ruffles, peach ribbon trimmed bell bottom jeans and little white sandals. She was cute as a button with her hair pulled back in braids tied with tiny white bows. Unfortunately, she did not feel the same way as I did about her appearance. As we headed towards the car, she began screaming, which turned into a full blown meltdown, complete with shoes flying and braids unraveling. As fast as it began, she suddenly became silent. She reached down…pulled up her shirt… and BLEW HER NOSE IN IT!  “Mama, my shirt is dirty now. I need a new shirt.”

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!

ff7d591424bf32279988d1400a92560e

Our mornings were often filled with yelling, crying or frustration, but somehow once the car left the driveway, it felt like we went on a little vacation thanks to Mindy Thomas from The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius XM KidsPlaceLive! For those of you who may not know Mindy, she is like a super cool babysitter to entertain your kids while you drive, so that you can gain back (some of) your sanity.

She has the incredible magical powers of an imaginary Fairy Godmother, granting the wishes of all of her listeners!

1537647_10152220129680947_7951915438802863934_o

I had the great pleasure of speaking with her on the phone last week about her crazy amazing imagination skills! I have to say, I was a little star struck, because she played such an important role in my children’s childhood! We have spent countless birthdays following her Wacky Birthday Missions and we always discussed her hilarious Would-You-Rather questions. My kids favorite Would-You-Rather question to date is when she asked the listeners, “Would you rather shoot chocolate chips out of your belly button or toot rainbows?”  Their answer, of course, was “toot rainbows!”

Mindy’s goal on The Absolutely Mindy Show is to create a “shared listening experience” for parents and children in their cars, as a way to “diffuse their stress.”

Every day she follows a different theme for her listeners. “The Backseat Breakfast Club was created for kids who never seem to have enough time to eat breakfast at home.” The Hot Mess Express discusses comical reasons “why one might be late for school that day.” Tuesday Traffic Parade is for those who are stuck in traffic jams and want to discuss why they are going so slow. She asks listeners to “imagine their cars, as if they were remade into parade floats.” Mindy brings laughter into your morning struggles, so that you walk away with a smile!

How exactly did Mindy become a wish granting imaginary Fairy Godmother?

It all began in Tampa, Florida, when she was a little girl in love with the Q Morning Zoo Show.  By using character voices and musical parodies, the radio show brought comedy to the presentation of the day’s news. Much of her childhood was spent playing radio with her brother, where they created fake commercials and took calls from imaginary listeners. She loved to pretend she was older and very important. Some of her favorite imaginary friends were Rose from Golden Girls and Diane Keaton’s character from Baby Boom!

She still feels like she is playing radio today!

12733536_10153223851860947_2710715782342248260_n

Her most recent radio show creation with Kenny Curtis, Senior Director of Kids & Entertainment Programming at KidsPlaceLive, was The A-Cat-Emy Awards, complete with red carpet and meow sounds! They interviewed famous movie cats, like Tom Cat Hanks! Purr-fectly paw-some, Mindy!  She “loves being able to pretend,” creating an atmosphere for children to believe in the impossible.

“It’s like theater of the mind!”

One of her favorite imaginary games to play with her listeners is to pretend to deliver a surprise imaginary box to each child’s house. They need to call in and tell her what is inside that box!  Mindy “always comes up with something in addition to their idea to make it even cooler!”  Oh I see!  So, it makes them think OUTSIDE the box, right Mindy?!  He he!

But how did Mindy get started at KidsPlaceLive?

Mindy graduated with a Television News Broadcasting Degree. She had done some commercial radio in Tampa, but had always found that she was just “acting like a news reporter” and didn’t really want to be one. The day after she graduated from college, Sirius/XM was just launching a kids channel. Kenny Curtis loved her, calling her “delightfully twisted.” She sent in an idea for a show and the rest is history! Mindy has been on KidsPlaceLive for 15 years now!

What was Mindy’s greatest moment in her career so far?

51lYNKOBAQL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

She had the special opportunity to interview Julie Andrews on her new book series The Very Fairy Princess. Julie had said to her “Something tells me you let a lot of sparkle out, Mindy!” Mindy thought in her head, “OMG! Mary Poppins just said I had sparkle!” Mindy loves to make her “inner 9 year old” happy!  I think that would have made my “inner 9 year old” happy too, Mindy!

Back at home, Mindy has two young children with very active imaginations, as well!

They love to find imaginary ways to ride in to the playground, such as imaginary roller coasters or even imaginary ponies. Mindy’s children have a pet cat, but if they could have any pet in the world, it would most definitely be one of Mindy’s forty five imaginary stunt cats with helmets! They run crazy around her office, shooting each other out of cannons!  How awesome is that?!  I need to meet these cats!  I wonder if they ride tiny motorcycles too…

Now, you are probably wondering, why did I create a silly portrait of Mindy roller skating with a purple polka dotted elephant?

Julie McGann Mindy Web

My kids are HUGE fans and wanted to ask Mindy their own Would-You-Rather question…“When you were a child, would you have rather played on the monkey bars with a wolf wearing a blue sparkly dress or gone roller skating with a purple polka dotted elephant?”

As it turns out, Mindy LOVES rollerskating, both when she was a child and still now very much as an adult. When Mindy was little, she and her friends would put on their rollers skates and pretend they were ice skating. “We would make up a routine with dance costumes and put on a show.” When I asked if I could create a picture for her, she responded “You know I own a pair of roller skates, right Julie?” Absolutely Mindy!  I imagined you would be just as fun off the air, as you are on the air!

So, if you are in need of some imaginary inspiration for you little ones, just tune into The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius XM’s KidsPlaceLive channel 78 weekdays from 7am -12pm or listen online!

483698_10151292926920947_1425571586_n

I can guarantee your kids won’t ever let you turn the station again! Mindy Thomas is absolutely entertaining for your morning commute!  Mindy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me!  I love what you do!!  I definitely would not be where I am today in my career without your fun imaginary adventures of the mind to inspire me!

What do you love about The Absolutely Mindy’s Show?

Let us know what makes you smile!

Blog Images:  Roller skating picture from Julie McGann Fine Art PortraitsElephant stock from Lydiard Wildlife, The Very Fairy Princess from Amazon, Kids Place Live logo, Sirius XM Logo and Abby Cadabby picture from Sirius XM, Kenny Curtis/Mindy Thomas picture from McCarthy Photo Studio, Toddler Cartoon by NickMom

SUGGEST SOMEONE you admire with mad imagination skills for Julie to interview!

READ MORE INSPIRING PEOPLE POSTS

COMMISSION JULIE for your own child’s portrait!

FOLLOW US
Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

SHARE THIS
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail