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RT: Your first book, Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten!, was inspired by your efforts to find a suitable book to prepare your child for school. It seems that major bookseller have lots of titles on this theme, can you tell us more about what you, as a Mom, wanted to have to get your children ready for school?

Stacey: I read together with my kids every night. I was trying to find a book that I could put my then 3- and 1 year-old girls in my lap to get them interested in learning the Kindergarten curriculum without knowing they were actually learning it. I wanted something engaging and fun that I could teach simply by reading. I could only find storybooks about going to Kindergarten or workbooks too advanced for my girls. Since, I could not find exactly what I wanted, I decided to write, publish, and distribute the series myself.

RT: The book is enjoying great success, and is currently being used in several school districts throughout the country. Do you or your co-author ever find yourselves going back to say "maybe I should have added x"?

Stacey: Yes, all the time. Because this is a curriculum-based series, we will update the book each time the curriculum changes. Both books have been approved for use by the California’s social compliance review board to be available in California Schools, so I will be revising the books to keep current with curriculum standards. In fact the Kindergarten book was released in October 2005 and revised with cover changes in March 2006.

RT: In March 2006, you added Let's Get Ready for First Grade! to the series. Do you envision continuing to add additional grades? If so, how many?

Stacey: I am currently working on Let’s Get Ready For Pre School! and Let’s Get Ready For Second Grade! I would also like to release each title in Spanish/English and Hmong/English versions.

RT: In the front verso for each of your books, you include a list of childhood skills that comprise the requirements for becoming a successful kindergartener or first grader. Are these the elements of the national learning standards?

Stacey: Yes. I worked with teachers, educators and curriculum specialists from around the nation. We put together the most comprehensive skills that would thrill every Kindergarten and First Grade teacher if each child had mastered these skills before attending that first day.

RT: The best way to describe Let's Get Ready for First Grade! and Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten! is as activity-driven materials. Why did you decide to create the books in a workbook-like format?

Stacey: We have too many storybooks on Kindergarten that don’t focus on the curriculum and too many workbooks that are set up to master a page, but after you master the page you move on and don’t go over it again and again. Instead, I wanted a book that you could read over and over that looked like a workbook but would enable kids to come back to the same information over and over again. Unbelievably, there is nothing like these books on the market!

RT: If you could select just three pages from each book as the most important for a parent to share with a child, what would they be?

Stacey: Kindergarten: the alphabet out of sequence, the numbers out of sequence and counting to 100. This is all information every Kindergartener is tested on within the first four weeks of school.

First Grade: Any one of the letter sounds pages, the addition, and subtraction pages. It is all-important to master this in the beginning of first grade, as these are the essence of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

RT: In 2004, you created Cedar Valley Publishing as a venue for publishing your children's titles. More recently, you've added Stacey Kannenberg Unlimited as a subsidiary resource to help writers seeking a publisher. Do you have a specific genre that you're looking to publish?

Stacey: Honestly, I have been evolving into a book shepherd; someone who helps others own, self-publish, and distribute their own work. Empowering others inspires me. Cedar Valley Publishing will focus on the Let’s Get Ready series and Stacey Kannenberg Unlimited, which is an imprint of Cedar Valley Publishing, is producing two books by syndicated columnist Jodie Lynn, Syndication Secrets and Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) Having, Doing, and Surviving It All! Stacey Kannenberg Unlimited will also publish Barb Rockaway’s Mommy, Where are You? and Daddy, Where are You?; as well as Aaron Hurvitz’s Here, There and Everywhere, all to be released in 2007. I am a consultant for the book Miracle Mouse released in July 2006, which features a group of former Disney and Warner Brother’s animators who created a new studio in Richfield, WI. We hope to generate enough interest in Miracle Mouse the book to create Miracle Mouse the movie.

RT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Stacey: am on a mission to change the way we educate our children. I am working on an educational patent to "peak" interest in reading. I love working with educators to help excite parents and kids to get more involved at the core. My seminars geared are designed to bridge the gap between preschool learning and Kindergarten learning. I have learned so much from volunteering in schools. I want to bring a parents' philosophy to education and find educators who want the message to be shared.

Website: http://www.cedarvalleypublishing.com


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