Kisses for Karen!


It is not every day a special friend launches a first book – but today is one of them. You’ve all heard me talk of Karen Collum – my twitter buddy, crit partner, #pblitchat co-convenor, soul friend, and totally beautiful lady…

Well, today that Karen Collum is delighted to be launching her debut book, Samuel’s Kisses at Greenbank C&K Kinder. And I have the pleasure of launching her blog tour around cyberspace!

Welcome to my blog, Karen. And congratulations on this wonderfully exciting celebration. May there be many beautiful memories and moments throughout this long-awaited day. And may Samuel’s Kisses steal the hearts of young and old – and fill their world with love. xx

On this first blog tour stop, we’re talking about activities that can be used in the home, classroom, or maybe even book launch, to enhance Samuel’s Kisses. And who better to ask than mother, teacher, optimistic thinker and author … Karen Collum.

Over to you!

Picture books are a great starting point for activities at home, and I’m delighted to say that my debut picture book, Samuel’s Kisses is no exception. Aimed at the pre-school age group, Samuel’s Kisses is a warm-hearted story of optimism and hope. As little Samuel blows kisses to people he meets, they are transformed  from impatient to happy, tired to playful, run-down to energetic. Filled with love and warmth, and with beautiful illustrations by the amazing Serena Geddes, Samuel’s Kisses makes the perfect bedtime story.

Here are three activities that parents (and teachers) might like to do after reading Samuel’s Kisses together:

1. Kiss Obstacle Course

Samuel’s Kisses uses the concepts of over/under/behind/around/through (prepositions) to describe the journey of the blown kiss. Using a little imagination, parents could blow a kiss and get their child to follow directions to trace the path of the kiss throughout the house. Eg. “Mummy blew Nathan a kiss. It went around the chair, under the table, behind the door, over the couch and landed on his cheek with a splat.” This is a great way for kids to learn prepositions and to physically engage with the story.

2. Brighten Someone’s Day

It’s never too early for a child to learn the positive impact they can have on someone else’s life. Parents can take the opportunity to talk with their child about someone they know who might be feeling sad or lonely or unwell and do something to brighten their day. Together they could draw a picture together, bake some biscuits for the friend or make a card.

3. Happy/Sad Puppet

Using  two paper plates the child draws a happy face on one plate and a sad face on the other. The faces can be as simple as pencil drawings or be more creative to include wool hair, googly eyes and a button nose. Like the illustrations in Samuel’s Kisses, include a heart on the cheek of the happy face to represent a kiss. Now join the two paper plates together back-to-back and include a popsicle stick for a handle to make a puppet. Children might like to hold the sad face up and wait for the parent to blow a kiss. When the kiss reaches the child, they can spin the puppet around to show the happy face.

Karen Collum is a mother to three beautiful boys, with a baby girl about to join the family in December 2010. She is passionate about developing optimism in children and empowering them to make a difference in the world. Visit Karen’s website at to find out how to purchase your copy of Samuel’s Kisses and to read more about Karen’s work.

Follow the kisses on through cyberspace…

Dec 1: Kathryn Apel
Dec 2: Dee White
Dec 3: Sheryl Gwyther
Dec 4: New FrontierSerena Geddes
Dec 5: Rebecca Newman
Dec 6: Susan Stephenson
Dec 7: Katrina Germein



  1. Kat & Karen,

    I just love this blog post. It is so full of warmth and sparkle just like both of you.

    Congratulations, Karen on your beautiful new book. I can’t wait to read Samuel’s Kisses and show it to my Samuel (who starts his Year 8 exams today but is still just as beautiful as the Samuel in your story).

    Great activities too:)

    I hope that your launch is everything you hoped for, Karen.

    Dee xx


  2. To Kat and Karen,
    Love this lovely positive post. Congratulations, Karen! Your ideas for extending the experience for children are great – wish I had a littlie to try them out on, but I’ll have to wait for the first grandchild, I guess! 🙂
    I’m looking forward to hosting you on Friday the 3rd December. Our topic is on “Planning a Picture Book”. XX


  3. Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful post in celebration of my launch, Kat. I’m grinning from ear to ear 🙂

    And thanks to everyone else for your amazing support. Being a children’s author in Australia has to be one of the best jobs in the world, purely because of the people you get to meet. I feel so very blessed!

    With kisses xx


  4. Thankyou all for visiting. I’m looking forward to seeing the pics of Karen’s real-life launch at Greenbank Kinder – due to start very shortly!! I’m sure there’ll be heaps of kisses, a few tears, and lots of love and fun.


  5. Thanks Kat for hosting Karen’s on-line book launch here today:))
    Karen, I know your launch at the Kindy would be tremendous fun today with all those kid centred activities.
    Can’t wait to see your photos … Cheers, Karen :))


  6. Hey Kat and Karen

    Wahooo! Its at last out there and in the world – well done Karen!!!! So so happy for you!!!

    And huge thanks Kat for kicking off this wonderful blog tour! Love the idea of the book travelling through space to everyone….


    Bye 4 now


  7. Lovely post, Kat and Karen.
    Karen, the book ounds fantastic.
    Very gentle and warm.
    I really like how you stress optimism – it’s never too early to start,
    and you even offer activities.
    Happy, happy launch;


  8. Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm and support! I really do appreciate it. It’s still hard to believe my book is now officially launched 🙂 If you’re interested you can see some photos of the launch on my blog:

    And today I’m over at Kids’ Book Capers with Dee White talking about real-life inspiration 🙂


  9. What a busy day you had with your launch, Karen, and we had on the blog. Blessed to be a part of the children’s writing community – both within Australia, and worldwide. Supportive, creative and friendly.

    Enjoy the rest of your tour.

    Thankyou everyone who has visited, and the friendly, familiar kidlit faces who have left comments. 🙂


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