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August 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 8




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Writer Invests Self in All 4 Kidz

Author Turns Traditional Dilemma Into Innovative Material


“Our books are true to ourselves.” Angela E. Davis-Lewis, All 4 Kidz Enterprises
Most writers know that being published involves getting an agent and suffering rejection and disappointment. But Angela E. Davis-Lewis of All 4 Kidz Enterprises avoided these traditional obstacles by creating her own publishing company that offers multi-cultural titles and educational materials.

In 2005, Davis-Lewis, a retired educator and early childhood specialist, and her husband, Robert E. Lewis, a retiree who served as a school principal for more than 26 years, teamed up with illustrator Darrell Spicy to create All 4 Kidz Enterprises. The company has released 18 books, but the road to success had its detours, Davis-Lewis told TDmonthly Magazine.

SELF-PUBLISHING A DREAM

Although she had written books that she had shared in her classroom, Davis-Lewis still had to “learn all the ins and outs of publishing.”

And what she found wasn’t always promising: “Publishers wanted to change the books’ format, pricing, everything. They wanted smaller books and different drawings.” Loath to change a format that her training told her would help children, Davis-Lewis opted for self-publishing.

“We have much more control,” she explained. “We’re different, and that’s OK. We have had great feedback from our readers and from the people we meet when we travel. They’re amazed at the illustrations. Readers tell us all the time, ‘I’ve never seen a book like this before.’”

A GOOD DIFFERENCE

Being different has earned All 4 Kidz Enterprises a dedicated following and praise from more than 40 educators. According to Davis-Lewis, it has meant success: “In the classroom, we didn’t have these types of books — books that are truly multicultural and offer real stories.”

Plus, she explained, “Our books offer language development. You can play the CD and have the children read along, so that they learn to recognize the words. We also use very rich language in our books, not the sort of ‘I see the cat’ books, but books that offer real immersion.”

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF

The couple must travel frequently to promote their books, Davis-Lewis added, which gives her the opportunity to meet with readers and educators. She noted, though, that major bookstores are not always eager to stock self-published works.

Despite the challenges, All 4 Kidz Enterprises is prospering. Davis-Lewis has penned more books that are scheduled to be published later this year, and the company offers other educational materials, including multicultural number, color and alphabet cards, border trimmers, books and CDs.

All 4 Kidz Enterprises is living out the kind of inspirational story that its books encapsulate. And that’s something we can all learn from.

Here are some All 4 Kidz products that are currently available:




MSRP: $17.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



The “Urban Kidz” characters that appear in other All 4 Kidz Enterprises books reappear in this exciting adventure. In this story, they come into contact with the world of insects. Readers learn all about various insects while getting a face-to-face look at the insect world. Bright illustrations and large format make this book a pleasure to read while the multi-cultural backgrounds of the “Urban Kidz” appeal to all children and make every reader feel part of the story. The book comes with a CD that lets young readers “read along.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13499      (added 6/15/2007)
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MSRP: $17.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This book and CD set introduces readers to Trudy, a young girl who loves spending time with her mother and loves playing sports. In this book, Trudy learns that girls can do anything they wish. This is a great text that teaches a real-life lesson about acceptance and self-esteem. Readers will love the bright illustrations and the large, unique format.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13500      (added 6/15/2007)
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AD


MSRP: $17.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This All 4 Kidz Enterprises book introduces readers to Patty, a girl who loves cheerleading and modeling. Patty wants to be the best she can be, but in this adventure she has to learn how to make healthy choices. In today’s world, when unhealthy eating is so pervasive, educators and parents are sure to enjoy this positive message. Children will love the rich language, bright illustrations and great format of this book. Readers can “read along” with the CD.
— The Urban Kidz I Promise series was voted one of TDmonthly's Preschool/Early School Roundtable's favorite products, and is used almost daily by two of the Roundtable families.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13501      (added 6/15/2007)
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AD


MSRP: $12.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



These multicultural cards are brightly colored and teach upper- and lower-case letters. Each card has one of the "Urban Kidz" characters from the All 4 Kidz Enterprises book series. Used alone or in conjunction with the books, these cards will teach young children the letters of the alphabet. For those children who have read the books, these cards will also remind them of the life lessons that the All 4 Kidz Enterprises multicultural books teach. Unlike other illustrated letter cards, these cards feature children from different backgrounds, making them an ideal learning tool for a diverse classroom.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13502      (added 6/15/2007)
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AD


MSRP: $12.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



The multicultural number cards teach young children the numbers 1 to 20. At the same time, each card includes a word and an "Urban Kidz" character from the All 4 Kidz Enterprises books. This means that children can practice learning language arts and review the life lessons taught by the All 4 Kidz Enterprises "Urban Kidz" characters. Each character is from a different background, so these cards are perfect for teaching acceptance and diversity as well as math.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13503      (added 6/15/2007)
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AD


MSRP: $10.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



These color cards help young children learn 12 colors: red, purple, black, blue, brown, green, orange, white, yellow, tan, pink and gray. On each card, one of the "Urban Kidz" characters from the All 4 Kidz Enterprises books is displayed, wearing the color indicated on the card. These unique cards integrate multi-cultural characters, so that children can learn about cultures and backgrounds as they learn about colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13504      (added 6/15/2007)
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AD


MSRP: $15.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



These multicultural border trims depict the "Urban Kidz" characters from the All 4 Kidz Enterprises books. Each of these characters is from a different background, making this border ideal for educators who want to create a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere in the classroom. For teachers already teaching the All 4 Kidz Enterprises books in the classroom, this border trimming is ideal for reinforcing the positive lessons in the books. Children will love the bright illustrations they recognize from the books.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13505      (added 6/15/2007)
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A. AntonowWriter's Bio: A. Antonow is a freelance writer who lives in Canada. She has written for businesses and individual clients alike, developing copy, content, advertising and ghostwritten material. Read more articles by this author

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