Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Son Can't Stop Reading This Book!

It’s been a day of praise for SwordPen Publishers. Two especially heart-warming acknowledgments, that came from opposite ends of our readership spectrum, show how diverse our readers are. And that is why we claim that our books are from “three to ninety-three.”

The first came from RoomToRead.org. They are an amazing organization that places wonderful stories around the globe. Many children that will never see the inside of a library are able to read lovely stories that bring them such happiness. A publishers book has to be approved before RoomToRead will accept the book for their young readers. After receiving our first book, we contacted them to see if they were interested in our more recent releases, such as The Hippo That Flew and Don’t Get Stuck On Being A Duck!

Here was the response of RoomToRead.org.

“Based on the quality of the first book you sent, I don’t believe we need to review the other titles before accepting them for donation. I really enjoyed reading through How Mice Became Small and I am sure children who use our libraries will as well!”

We nevertheless wanted them to see our next gorgeous children story book – that will be out before the New Year. Here was their response.

“Don’t Get Stuck on Being a Duck! is another fantastic one that we enjoyed reading immensely."

But the height of our day came from a busy mom, who wrote a quick one sentence remark (along with a picture of her son holding an ice cream cone – this kid was having his ice cream and reading it too!), that simply read …

“My son can’t stop reading this book!”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SwordPen Food for Thought

As parents and teachers we know that perhaps the most important “job” we have as guides and mentors for our children is reading with them and encouraging them to read on their own. Great reading habits are the most precious gems that we could ever instill in our children. In fact, reading is the most important talent your child will ever acquire. Reading stimulates the imagination, encourages creativity, and enhances intelligence.

Reading with your little ones and creating within them a love for reading is a priceless gift that will last them a lifetime – and make their entire lives a more worthwhile one. It will help them excel in their personal and business relationships. It will help them continue to grow even at a ripe old age! And isn’t that what life is about? Some of my happiest and bittersweet moments in life were when I’d walk into my children’s rooms at night to read to them – and they were already deeply engrossed and reading on their own. It’s such a wonderful milestone.

Offering your children real literature as opposed to simplistic, immature gibberish might not seem like too difficult a choice, but many parents today quip that their kids “will only read junk.” That’s like having a child that lives on a diet of sugar, cake, and soda – and a parent who refuses to teach her about healthy caloric intake. Fruits and vegetables are delicious! Just as physical obesity is a plague, “literary obesity” is another chronic illness that many of today’s youth suffers from. Great literature is the obvious “diet” for your child’s cerebral cortex.

At SwordPen Publishers we believe in love – the love of a great book, the love of a parent for a child. We’ve woven great tales and exquisite illustrations so that you can offer your youngster a rare delicious treat from the Literary Garden of Eden. Offering up the “right book” to your child might feel a bit daring at first … but not after you hear her say … “Thanks Mom! It’s my favorite book!”

Look for the SwordPen logo, and fill your child’s library with great books. And be sure to back out of her room quietly when you find her engrossed in her favorite story from SwordPen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SwordPen vs. Henry Holt and Davis Wright Tremaine

After nearly four years, a plagiarism lawsuit still continues in
Federal Court. But what makes this case so unique is that it is
between one of the biggest law firms in the world (Davis Wright
Tremaine)--and a single CEO (Zev Lewinson) acting pro se.

The following was the original court motion order and can be found on
the Pacer website for the United States District Court - Southern
District of New York:

SwordPen vs. Holt has been scheduled for oral argument on all pending
motions before the Honorable Kenneth M. Karas,United States
District Judge, on Wednesday, September 9,2009 at 10:00am in Courtroom
521,U.S.District Court, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, New York
10601. Oral Argument set for 9/9/2009 at 10:00 AM before Judge Kenneth
M. Karas. SO ORDERED (Signed by Judge Kenneth M. Karas).

Holt has retained the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine as defense counsel
in this "David versus Goliath" plagiarism suit. SwordPen Publisher CEO
Zev Lewinson is acting as pro se litigator in the case. After several
rounds of written arguments and repeated requests for dismisal by DWT,
alongside requests by Lewinson for discovery, both sides appeared
before His Honor Judge Karas. Davis Wright Tremaine is the prestigious
firm that waged an epic battle against Exxon for almost two decades in
the now historically infamous Valdez oil tanker spill.

DWT "won" the oral arguments and a forty seven page response was
written by Judge Karas. Saying that it was a "close call," Judge Karas
explained that he seldom writes more than a two or three page decision
to explain his views, and that many times he merely issues a statement
from the bench. That forty seven page response may one day become a
case study for how huge publishers can get away with stealing "ideas"
(that are not protected under copyright law) and change them (barely)
enough to avoid intellectual property theft. It's a case that many law
schools will surely enter into their curriculum.

(just Google lewinson vs. holt)

DWT then asked Mr. Lewinson if he would sign a document stating that
he will not appeal or refile the suit under the updated copyright of
his allegedly plagiarized story. For that signature they were willing
to forgo a request of fees for 108K spent by Holt as defendants. When
Lewinson refused to be intimidated, DWT filed the motion for fees, and
he and Holt's legal team were again asked to appear in court before
Judge Karas. At that meeting Judge Karas berated DWT and said that
"Mr. Lewinson is a very bright person ... and consulted with counsel
and acted in good faith ... to put it bluntly, I've seen a far less
(amount) of persuasive arguments and professionalism from (other
lawyers) than I've seen from Mr. Lewinson." His Honor continued in his
praise of Lewinson, saying ... "I think the way you have conducted
yourself in this lawsuit is actually quite admirable. It's not just
because I like your book (better than the dumbed down version
plagiarized by Karen Katz)." As Judge Karas continued his effusive
praise for Mr. Lewinson, he was interrupted by Mr.Balin (Holt's gun
for hire) in an effort to stop the flow of accolades. His Honor than
warned that Holt may continue with their motion but that it might be
more wise to quit while they are ahead (on technical grounds) and
behind (in the 108K in fees).

At that point the court warned that it would not grant fees and Mr.
Balin requested permission to withdraw his request for fees.

At the present Lewinson is deciding if he will refile the suit. "I
learned a lot the first time," Mr. Lewinson explained. "Holt knows
they are wrong. They tried to intimidate me and it backfired. I barely
understood what oral arguments were and was only able to devote a few
hours a week to deal with the onslaught of paper that they sent me. My
inexperience and lack of legal knowledge compared to Holt's well oiled
obfuscation machine and battery of legal talent was like a mouse
fighting a lion. But I learn fast and I am a writer. Most important,
the truth is on my side. That said, I'd still prefer to use my energy
in a positive way - producing more stories for the children of the
world. On the other hand ... I'd still love to go to discovery!"

Lewinson is waiting for his updated copyright at which time he will
decide whether or not to continue this ongoing saga. You can contact
him at zev@swordpen.com for documentation with regard to the suit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

They Were Mezmerized!

I am so excited! I recently read The Hippo That Flew to a class of first graders (26 of them!). You could literally hear a pin drop. One might think that the book is a trifle long for the attention span of a six year old. Yet the kids sat on the edge of their little seats as they “watched” the story unfold. They just loved it! They could not stop staring at the illustrations as they paid intense attention to the story! I had a drop of apprehension about the possible reaction of the children with regard to Wilbur’s “going to heaven,” but Wilbur’s transition is done with such innocence, and with such happiness, that their reaction was totally positive! We had a question and answer period at the end of the story and the children asked wonderful questions. They also loved seeing the author’s rough draft at the very end of the story – which happens to be a great teaching tool that the teaching staff loved! Another very cute question that one adorable little lady asked was, “Where can my Mommy buy the book?” The Hippo That Flew is sure to become a classic!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"I felt like I was the one flying!"

Dear SwordPen Publishers,

It is ten P.M., and my first grader is still up, and so after sending
her to bed for the fifth time, I decided to turn negative time into
quality time, and so I figured I'd read your latest story, The Hippo
That Flew
, to her. And so as she sat perched on my lap, I began
reading a story that I enjoyed as much as she did! I had no idea as to
what the outcome of the story would be ... well, I just can't describe
what a beautiful story it is! Thank you so much for taking the time to
produce such a beautiful book! I'm sure it will win a Caldecott! Or a
Nobel Peace Prize at the very least!

Ahuva W.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fiction Children’s Books Make Great Gifts for Any Occasion

All of us at Swordpen publishers are dedicated to providing quality, entertaining, and stimulating literature for children. Although most parents would love for their child to take up an interest in reading, it’s pretty difficult to get books to compete with flashy video games, movies, and TV shows. But a great way to get your child reading more is to buy children’s books as gifts.

Fiction children’s books are easily available and make a great gift for holidays, birthdays, and just-because days. Kids (and adults) love surprise gifts, so find out what your child is interested in an get them a book based on those interests.

Here a few fun reasons why books make the perfect gift:

•Fiction children’s books are easy to wrap!

•Unlike toys, books are pretty hard to break. (Unless it’s in the hands of a 2-year-old.)

•Books aren’t lead-based and don’t have any tiny parts that can cause choking.

•Books are trans-fat free.

•You don’t have to worry about buying the right size. With fiction children’s books, one size fits all.

•Unlike that crazy swing set you bought last year, books don’t require complicated assembly.

•Books have a long shelf life.

•A good book never goes out of style.

•Books are a quiet thing for your child to do.

•Books nurture your child’s imagination and make them more curious about the world around them

Friday, February 19, 2010

From age three to ninety three ...

Publishers often label the age appropriateness of their children’s stories.
At SwordPen Publishers we shy away from that idea. We believe that no two children are alike. Our stories are truly geared for the entire family. From Grandma to toddlers! SwordPen produces books that the entire family will love to read. We refuse to create a ‘level’ for our readers. Many times the ‘adult’ in the family will grab our books just to enjoy for themselves!

Children of all ages have what to love from each of our books. And if they need a little help reading some of the words … well, that’s what parents and caregivers are for! Our books are for the child prodigy who may be four years old – to the sixteen year old with some dyslexic issues. SwordPen childrens book publishers are proud of every story they create. So no matter what age your child is … give her a library of SwordPen books!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dying is a sensitive topic ... how do you explain death to your little one?

The Hippo That Flew, SwordPen Publishers latest fiction childrens books release, isn’t just an awesome story, about never giving up, that is worthy of a Caldecott … it’s a story that allows any parent to gently explain “what life’s about.” Using Wilbur (an abstract animal character) to discuss death with children makes it easier for them to comprehend and digest, without feeling the fear that it could happen to someone they know personally. Meaning, if the story portrayed a (human) Mother/Father or Brother dying, it would hit “too close to home,” and could lead to fears of, “What if my Mommy or Daddy dies.” The disassociation of an immediate relative, makes it easier for the child to be introduced to the concept of death without feeling scared.

By using “Wilbur,” an absolutely adorable cute and cuddly hippo, an animal character that children are accustomed to seeing/reading at their age level, a separation is effected that takes the edge of fear out of their precious “little,” yet very imaginative minds. SwordPen Publishers was very careful in making their main character Wilbur extremely friendly and “happy” looking – even as he continues to fly for eternity!

It’s truly a phenomenal way to gently and sensitively explain the concept of death and passing to your child. Read the book to your child and you will see what we mean! The Hippo That Flew, even though it’s sub-plot is about a difficult and sensitive topic, is truly a must-have for every child’s storybook library.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Room Without Books ...

G.K. Chesterton (a prolific writer of over eighty novels) once said that, A room without books is like a body without a soul. At SwordPen Publishers we feel that a child’s soul is the most precious soul of all, and that is why we believe (almost fervently!) that your child’s room should be filled full of books!

Our goal is to produce one hundred books within the next five years. Our acquisition pipeline now contains over a dozen awesome stories and we plan to release our third book, Don’t Get Stuck On Being A Duck! by next Thanksgiving. SwordPen believes in old fashioned values when it comes to your child’s “mental nutrition.” Just imagine if you were able to feed your child an ice cream sundae and fries while giving him the nutrition of spinach and broccoli.

Our stories entertain while provoking and stimulating young minds. Even our illustrations are carefully planned – as we write and edit the text – so that your child can infer much of what they are reading. So look for the SwordPen logo – and get each and every one of our stories into your child’s room … and soul! Your child will thank you … and you will one day thank us! SwordPen books – for keen young minds … and sensitive souls!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Swordpen Wants You To Help Your Children Read

When I was a wee lad, I was a big reader. It all started with my father reading fiction childrens books to me as a child. He was rarely home because he worked so hard, but when he was, he would read to me before bedtime. We read stories of all kinds, at first with illustrations, and gradually without. Eventually he stopped reading to me, and read with me.

It’s really a matter of enthusiasm. I remember how he worked to teach me to read and write my letters, when I was around four years old. I could write almost all of my letters, and he would fall off of his chair and pretend to faint on the floor. I jumped on him laughing, telling him to wake up! The only trouble arose when I had to write my b’s and my d’s. I couldn’t get them right, and he, probably worried that I was dyslexic, only struggled harder to teach me. Continuing to fail, I burst into tears and ran away from the learning table, only to be comforted by him telling me that it takes practice.

And after that, practice I did. I would buy children’s books every week, and devour them greedily. But it all started with my parents taking the time to teach me. Here at Swordpen, we know that reading makes kids smarter, but when kids are just starting out, it takes two. You are the best way to get your child to start reading, and those memories last forever.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why You Should Read to Your Child Everyday

As technology has developed, we’ve become a society of TV watchers and computer addicts. Reading has become more of dreaded chore than a hobby, for children and adults alike. But according to neurologists, TV puts children into an “Alpha State”, and does little for their mental growth. Children can’t learn from most TV programs because most are designed to sell products not to teach.

At Sword Pen, we believe that although books are often overlooked as source of entertainment, they are extremely important to develop a healthy mind, especially if you’re still growing.
As Deirdre Donahue, USA Today children’s book reviewer put it, "If you want to raise readers, you must provide them with books as soon as humanly possible. This is a parental obligation on par with vaccinations.”

Books build a child’s imagination, which is extremely important for the mental growth of children 3-7 years old. So buy childrens books and make it part of your routine to read to your child, daily. Childrens book publishers like Swordpen, recognize that stimulating young minds with new words and ideas is crucial to growth and development and fiction childrens books are a great way to do that.

Quality doesn’t have to come at a high price. Fiction childrens books are available at Swordpen.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Hippo that Flew: A Lesson for Little Ones — and Big Ones Too!

If there’s anything you want to convey to a small child, it’s that giving up is not an option—no matter what people say. Fiction childrens books are a fantastic and fun way to teach your child this important lesson. In Sword Pen’s latest literary gem, The Hippo That Flew, a young Hippo named Wilbur is certain that one day, he will fly. His peers, close friends and even his family tell him he’s crazy, but his spirit and determination is relentless. He is certain that nothing will stop him, not even gravity itself. Despite failing a few times and being laughed at by everyone, he still doesn’t give up and eventually his good attitude and his persistence pays off.

This story and most other Swordpen books are a perfect example of why everyone should buy childrens books--- they contain relevant lessons for all ages. The beautifully written, simple story makes the lesson clear for children and reminds even the most cynical adult that positive thinking leads to positive results. Follow your dreams, your passion, and your vision no matter what odds are or what any one says, and eventually you will succeed.

Childrens book publishers like Swordpen strive to share fiction childrens books with the world---high quality educational material should be affordable for everyone. So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your child, The Hippo That Flew is available for purchase at Swordpen.com.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Swordpen - Sharp Stories for Keen Kids!

At SwordPen Publishers, when we say “sharp stories for keen kids,” we mean it! Our stories are engaging to the mind and the eye. Children actually write in asking when our next book is coming out. There is a desire among many exceptional children (and which child isn’t exceptional?!) to read books that have real content. They don’t want to be talked down to – or read down to for that matter. And even children with reading issues (my own daughter) want to read REAL stories.

At SwordPen, we believe in old fashioned values. You won’t find ebonics, txtspk, pig latin, valley, or ghetto language in our stories. You will find English – creatively composed and meticulously edited. And you won’t be told again and again what Walter The %%#$%@!! Dog does – as if it were funny the first time. It’s merely Random House being very random.

SwordPen CEO Zev Lewinson grew up in a world where the concept of “lowering the bar” just didn’t exist. He still has old fashioned values of raising the level of the reader and his short term goal is to produce one hundred masterpieces in the next five years. When you plan to buy childrens books, please visit the SwordPen website at www.swordpen.com so that your child can read the first three books. You will surely be ordering the next ninety-seven.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Great Illustrations Are So Important

At SwordPen Publishers, we believe in sound investments, cover to cover.

For example, we invest our time and effort to bring you the best authors of the wonderful stories we publish. But we don’t stop there. At SwordPen, we understand that the authors’ words come even more alive when portrayed by a superb illustration.

That’s why we also believe strongly in investing in the best artists – artists whose imaginations equal their artistic abilities.

Why the best? Because great illustrators don’t just statically depict the story – they help tell it. There are times when we actually with-hold some of the story line, but instruct our illustrators to depict the idea in part of the picture. This allows the child the pleasure of inferring an idea on their own. It allows them to be creative learners instead of passive ones.

Illustrations can also help a new reader learn to read. A vivid illustration helps her imagine what all those words are saying, literally and figuratively. Creative illustrations have the power to not only bring joy to the new reader but also give her the desire to keep at it as her skills grow stronger.

The illustrations we use for all of SwordPen’s books add color, excitement, and heartfelt sentiment to any tale. The combination is magical. Our books prompt youngsters’ minds to imagine and inspire them to think.

A great book shuts out the noise and prattle that permeates today’s world and invites readers young and old to retreat, relax and relish another time and place – even if only for a little while. It is surely a place to which they will constantly want to return. Especially for another SwordPen book!

At SwordPen we will continue to use all of our resources, both monetary and creative, to invest in your child’s life long reading career. When you buy childrens books, you have our word that we will always do our best to create and expand our library of, remarkable and memorable, quality children’s literature.

After all, there is no better investment we can think of than our children’s future.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Buy Childrens Books Your Kids Will Love

Whenever I buy childrens books, I always wonder, what makes a good one? It’s a difficult question, and the answer is different for every child, depending on his or her age, interests, reading level, family values, and mood. Because, let’s face it, when your child is feeling restless, no book is a good book.

But for those glorious moments when your child is ready and willing to read, here are three basic guidelines to follow:

Find a plot with a beginning, middle, and end.

A good plot isn’t just entertaining, it’s a perfect opportunity to teach your child about cause and effect, and that everyone’s actions have consequences. In fact, following the events of a story can help sharpen key critical thinking skills that will benefit your child all the way up to the SATs, and beyond!

Look at the quality of the illustrations.

Children, especially young ones, probably aren’t going to catch every word of a story, so it’s important for you to find a book with informative illustrations that restate the content of the narrative. Besides, if the art is really beautiful, it might even inspire your child to create something special.

Make sure it was a book first, not a movie.

Most adults look down on reading the “novelizations” of films and TV shows, and they shouldn’t encourage it in their children, either. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a book inspired by a movie, but all too often these texts include sparse narration next to still shots from the original production.

Hopefully these tips will help you select children’s books your whole family will enjoy. You can begin your search right here at Swordpen today!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fiction Childrens Books We Love: How Mice Became Small

It’s so nice to find a children’s book that parents can also enjoy, but most fiction childrens books are written without any jokes or references designed for grown ups. You’d think all that effort you put into acting out the different voices would earn you at least a couple of big-people laughs, wouldn’t you?

Fortunately, some books are fun for parents as well as children, such as Zev Lewinson’s How Mice Became Small. Enhanced by Debi Coules’ beautiful illustrations, this book tells the story of how mice were transformed from giant, ferocious creatures (bigger than lions or tigers!) to the cute, snuggly animals we know them as today.

All that might sound pretty childish, but How Mice Became Small includes a variety of jokes for adults, like the tyrant mouse ruler King James, who appears on the cover of “Newsqueak” magazine and, following unrest for his underlings, unabashedly declares “Let them eat cheesecake!”

And for the kids, How Mice Became Small is full of fun-to-read sections, including the frequently repeated title, “His Royal Highness, King of Kings, Haughtiest and Naughtiest, Epitome of Evil and Ruthlessness, King James,” as well as the rhyming spell cast by a heroic elf.

Available from Swordpen, How Mice Became Small truly has something for everyone!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to SwordPen Blog!

Sometimes it feels that with all the iPods, Wiis, PSPs, HDTVs, Youtubes and Twitters, the only words we read are electronic words that are splattered on a screen. Indeed, all the gadgetry and technology made us forget about books and it seems that the only time we turn to books is when there’s a power shortage, and the iPhone’s out of battery or something.

But the fact is that no electronics or machines can come near to the excitement we get when reading a good book. That’s the reason SwordPen Publishers takes reading as more than just a minor pastime when there is really nothing else to do. At SwordPen we take reading as a passion, as one of the best things to do any given time.

I mean, look back to your childhood. Do you remember you and your dad playing Nintendo? No! Well, of course it wasn’t invented yet but still, try to relive the moment when you set on your parent’s lap with your favorite story of all times. You can’t match that! Not with a video game that’s for sure.

Yup, we could’ve gotten into video games and make a lot of money, but we chose to recreate that warm memories that you have, for your children, through our quality books.

The books that we publish are great for children of all ages and they aim to help them deal with life’s surprises and situations while promoting their spirits and inner growth. These are stories that will not go away, but stay, inviting new thoughts and nurturing your child’s mind.

We got this blog up and running in order to keep you and your family updated about the wonderful world of fiction childrens books that is out there and. So in the meanwhile, visit our site at www.swordpen.com and don’t forget to visit our blogs weekly and… you will live happily ever after.