Playgrounds can be tricky for disabled kids. Imagine the disappointment of thinking you are going to get to go to the park and play with your friends only to realize, once you got there, that it is full of steps, pebbles, narrow walkways, and other barriers that make playing on it impossible for you. We have been there... a lot.
However, thanks to some awesome communities and engineers banding together, boundless playgrounds are making their way across the nation! We lived in Alaska for a time, and almost every playground there had been transformed into an inclusive playground. It was so nice for Kaylee to be able to play with her friends instead of sitting on the sidelines with me!
These playground's are life changing for disabled children and their peers!
Alexander Elementary, a school in a neighboring city, is currently trying to raise money to get their very own boundless playground! Their fundraiser was started by a mother who wanted her daughter, and other children with disabilities, to have the opportunity to play at recess. The community has raised over a 1/3 of the funds they need so far.
If Alexander is able to build their playground, it be the only playground of its kind in their city and I want to help them reach their goal!
Lets Help Alexander Elementary get a Boundless Playground!
dFrom August 26th 2021 to September 4th 2021 50% of all "Our Service Dogs" online sales will go to Alexander Elementary Schools Boundless Playground fund! This will include all book purchases from Amazon.com AND AmberDianeHill.com!!
It would not be a proper fundraiser without a coupon code so here ya go!
At checkout on AmberDianeHill.com, use code ALEX21 for %15 off your book purchase! The code will be valid until 9/4/21 and is only valid for hardcover purchases on my website.
Here are some buttons with helpful links ;) Use the last one to donate directly to Alexanders fund.
50% of profits from all purchases of "Our Service Dogs" on Amazon.com and AmberDianeHill.com will go to Alexander's Boundless Playground!
Amazon reviews are so important for a self published author like myself. Not only do they give valuable feedback for both the author and reader, but they also make it easier for potential readers to find the book. The more Amazon reviews a book has, the sooner it surfaces in searches. Thank you for your reviews!
Here are a few of my favorite Amazon reviews of "Our Service Dogs"
This book should be in every library, home, and classroom.
As a children's librarian and literacy consultant, I can think of few books that I consider essential to complete a collection for today's young child. "Our Service Dogs" opens the window for understanding the benefit of service dogs in an accurate and positive way by providing a range of children and their services dogs. There is no book that I can find like this and the illustrations and story engage the reader from the cover to the helpful notes at the end.
Absolutely lovely book! A smooth fun read aloud that also teaches kids all about different service dogs. I love how this book not only teaches about service dogs but also what behavior is expected from people around service dogs! Not to mention the adorable illustrations!
My Toddlers New Favorite
Ever since we got this book last week this book has become #1 for my toddler (and I thought it was more targeted towards older kids, so just goes to show that kids at any age will enjoy this). He's always asking to read the "doggy book" and we especially enjoy the illustrations since I think that's a big factor of keeping him so engaged. I also really loved this book for it's content. Even as an adult I loved learning about the different kids with disabilities and how dogs help out and what I can do to learn more. I love that my toddler is learning this too. Overall a wonderfully engaging, beautiful, and educational book!
Great Book... so glad someone made this
The information and illustrations are awesome to teach kids and others about service dogs. I love this. I hand it out to schools when I go to demonstrate service dogs. I give talks and demonstrations with service dogs that I train. This is a great adjunct to my visits. I bought several for my family members and to take along to my visits.
"Our Service Dogs" is a children's book about 9 different kids who use service dogs to help them with their disabilities. All of the teams featured in "Our Service Dogs" are based on real kids!
Click on the pictures to learn more about each team that is featured in my book "Our Service Dogs"
You may have noticed that one team is missing. Ben and his mom, from the book, are based on a team that wanted to remain anonymous.
A few of my featured teams have amazing social media accounts! Check them out by clicking on the names below (trust me, you're going to want to see these!)
Charley and Eevee Facebook (Team pictures and updates)
Charley and Eevee Instagram (Team pictures and updates)
Abri and Oliver Instagram (All about Abri's incredible journey)
Abri and Oliver Facebook (All about Abri's incredible journey)
Kaylee and Riley Instagram (Team pictures and updates)
Lane and Thunder Facebook (Updates about Lane, his rodeo adventures and his animal friends)
Lindsay and Quigley Instagram (Mental health inspiration by Lindsay)
Sarah and Bella Instagram (Team pictures and Updates)
Attention service dog trainers and educators!! Join me virtually on May 15th 2021 for an exclusive reading of "Our Service Dogs". Get a one of a kind look into my new children's book, "Our Service Dogs" and get access to awesome deals!
Fill out the form below for an official invite with the Google meet link!
Well, its finally here! The hardcover of "Our Service Dogs" is now available for purchase!
There are two versions of the hardcover available as of today: a regular, but still fabulous hardcover, and a "premium", signed, hardcover. Read on for the differences.
"Our Service Dogs" Hardcover
This copy of "Our Service Dogs", aka the "regular" version, is available to purchase on Amazon.com or my website for $21. It is printed through Ingram Spark, and is "Library Quality". These books are printed when ordered, and shipped right to your door. It is all set up for expanded distribution (discounted rate for businesses), so if a library or store were to sell my book, this is the version they would be selling.
Cover: Matte hardcover, case laminate
It has an ISBN so it is perfect for Libraries and bookstores. It is also likely to show up on B&N and at other book stores. The quality is definitely there! The cover is thick and strong but not too heavy. I color corrected my files a few times for this version, but they still turned out brighter than my KDP paperback. Some of my family members actually like the colors in this version better, but I honestly think they are both great!
Unlike the paperback, this hardcover has the dedication and legal stuff as the first page. Overall I was really happy with the printing and shipping process of this book.
"Our Service Dogs" Premium Hardcover
The premium version of "Our Service Dogs" is only available on my website. It comes signed by Kaylee, Riley, and myself. These copies were printed at a local printing shop, DiggyPOD. These books are printed in bulk and shipped by me once they are ordered.
Cover: Glossy hardcover, case laminate
The glossy finish on the cover and pages are really nice! I love the way it looks and feels. This version is the only one with the cute yellow pages before and after the body text. It does not currently have an ISBN as it is intended to be a limited edition and only sold on my website. That may change in the future.
I was impressed with the printing quality and the color is pretty much how I intended it to look. The spine of this hardcover is the sharpest and strongest of all three versions of my book, but it does make a very slight creaky noise when you open and close the book (most glossy covers do).
And of course, I love that I can add a personal touch with a signature and custom note! This version would make an excellent gift or addition to your home Library.
*This Giveaway is now closed! stayed tuned for more giveaways to email subscribers.
The Hardcover release is just 2 weeks away!!
I have been blown away by the support and interest in "Our Service Dogs". As a thank you, I will be giving away not one, but TWO premium hardcover copies of "Our Service Dogs" on April 15th to 2 different email subscribers!
These copies will be singed by Kaylee, Riley , and myself! You will also get a cute service dog bookmark to go along with it!
If you are already subscribed, then congratulations, you are automatically entered! If you would like to enter to win a premium copy of my book, subscribe to my email list by entering in your email below!
Winners will be announced via email on April 15th at 6:00pm!
entries close on April 15th at 5:30pm . only one entry per person.
Kaylee is the main character of "Our Service Dogs" and my daughter. She has so much energy and spunk! Riley has brought a lot of wonderful things to our lives.
Kaylee was born with cerebral palsy and diagnosed at age 3. She took her first successful un-aided steps at around 4 years old and still needs a bit of help to get around. When we got Kaylee's first walker (age 4), we took her to Costco and let her loose. It was her first time ever getting to walk around in a store and she absolutely LOVED it!! It was a freedom she had never experienced before.
However, it did not take long to realize that the walker and wheelchair had some pretty major limitations.
That summer, we went to a rocky beach with a group of friends. As all of the kids ran around playing, Kaylee crawled around after them trying to keep up and her knees started to bleed. I watched her struggling, thinking to myself that there had to be a better way. That is when Riley's story started. But I'll go more into that on another post.
Riley is trained to walk next to Kaylee and give her mobility support.
As of right now, we mostly use Riley at home and other places where wheels don't make sense, but we occasionally take her to the store or public gatherings if Kaylee feels like walking off the beaten path.
Riley has brought a lot of confidence, companionship, and peace into Kaylee's day to day.
The two of them love to play outside together, train, and just be silly.
I love watching these two learn and grow together and cant wait to see what the future brings!
Find Kaylee and Riley in "Our Service Dogs" available now!
I'm super excited to introduce you all to our littlest service dog and her amazing person, Sarah.
Most of the service dogs in my book do work for people with disabilities that are recognizable from the outside. Bella's work involves helping Sarah with her invisible disability.
Sarah has debilitating depression and anxiety. People with mental illnesses often opt for an emotional support animal (ESA), but Sarah trained Bella to do more than give her support. Bella is trained to take specific action to help Sarah with her disability, making Bella a psychiatric service dog.
Bella alerts Sarah when her heartrate begins to elevate. She also interrupts anxious behaviors. If Sarah starts nervously shaking her legs, Bella gently paws Sarah. Bella is trained to find and alert Sarah's mom, if Sarah needs her. Bella's most common task is to apply light pressure therapy, which sends calming signals throughout Sarah's body.
Bella, has made a crucial difference in Sarah's life. Mental illness can be just as debilitating as any other disability. When I interviewed Sarah for my book, she said, "My favorite thing about Bella is how loving and caring she is. Bella has improved my life a lot. I wouldn’t be here without her..."
Not only does Bella help Sarah using the tasks she knows, she has also helped Sarah in giving her a fulfilling hobby: dog training! Sarah did all of Bella's service dog training and the two have been hard at work learning agility, tricks, stunts, exercising, and passing many training tests, winning certificates.
I really enjoyed getting to know Bella and Sarah for "Our Service Dogs". Not only is Bella one of the cutest dogs I've ever seen, she is also an incredible asset to Sarah's life, and I bet if we could ask her, Bella would say the same of Sarah.
Find Sarah and Bella on Instagram @theservicespaniel
See Sarah and Bella in "Our Service Dogs" Available now on Amazon.
A really common question I get is, "What breed of dog can be a service dog?"
So I made another infographic all about service dog breeds.
Scroll through and comment with your favorite dog breed!
*All dog photos from Pexels.com
Meet Abri and Oliver!
Abri lost her left leg to Ewing Sacroma, a rare form of cancer, when she was 7 years old. Oliver was meant to be her service dog. He was supposed to grow to be around 80lbs but ended up being much smaller than Abri and her family had anticipated.
He is too small to do mobility work for Abri, but he is perfect for another really important job. Oliver spends most of his time in Abri's shadow, encouraging her on hard days, and giving her lots of love on the good ones.
Oliver may be small, but he is really smart! Abri loves teaching him new tricks and thinks she may end up teaching him some official service dog tasks in the future. For now, the support he gives emotionally is exactly what Abri needs.
I had the opportunity to video chat with Abri and Oliver recently. It was so fun to see how connected they were. Abri was smiling ear to ear while she talked about how smart and loyal Oliver is.
Abri has had some pretty tough experiences but I am so impressed with the way she faces life head on! She has done motivational speaking, been in many news articles, gone on Crystal Maze on Nickelodeon, modeled for Abercrombie kids, competed and won a recent dance challenge, and is using her voice to spread awareness for childhood cancer! This girl is unstoppable!
To learn more about Abri and the amazing things she is doing, follow her on social media @teamabri.
See her Instagram here
Don't miss Abri and Oliver in "Our Service Dogs" available now!
Amber Diane Hill
A place for me to dump info about my book
Blog posts about some awesome kids who use service dogs
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