Three Times A Charm with Penelope Anne Cole

It’s time for Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is award winning picture book author, Penelope Anne Cole. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Penelope. Tell us a little about you, if you don’t mind.

Hi, I’m Penelope Anne Cole. I’ve taught and tutored at every grade level. I enjoy writing children’s stories for read aloud time. I believe that reading to children is the best way to help them love literature. I have a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an M.A. in Education. When I’m not writing stories or reviewing children’s books, I enjoy walking my dog, reading great children’s books, gardening, church and choir activities. I’m a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Fremont Area Writers of the California Writers Club, and I’m a Certified Reading Therapist with Read America. My book reviews are on my blog at

Penelope, you are so generous with your reading time. Thank you for supporting your fellow authors by reviewing our books. And speaking of books…I hear you have a brand new release. What’s it about?

I’m excited to add Ten Little Tricksters, to my published books. It’s a reverse counting book with cute Halloween creatures out trick or treating—for ages 4 to 7. My Magical Series is recommended for older kids, 6 to 9:  Magical Matthew, (in Spanish: Mágico Mateo) and Magical Mea. Both books show kids dealing with problems and overcoming obstacles. What would you do with a magical secret power? The next year two more are coming:  Magical Mea Goes to School and then Magical M and M. 

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them. 
Lately, I’ve been on a middle grade book reading spree. It’s my preferred children’s literature genre. I adore Kate DiCamillo’s books and have read Because of Winn Dixie, Flora and Ulysses, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I also love Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. These are all near perfect MG novels. I have three I’m working on in various stages of revision.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.
As a parent and teacher, I’m usually giving advice to parents. Okay, here goes for kids. (1) I advise kids to go outside more—play, run, explore, go to parks, enjoy the great outdoors. Many kids are inside a lot—some studying, but too many watching TV, YouTube/Internet, playing video games—being entertained. They need to get active to be healthy and be more in touch with the natural world. (2) Please read more great books. There are wonderful books that will open up their minds and imaginations much more than their virtual internet world. (3) Please learn the joy and satisfaction of helping others, be it other kids, animals, or any person in need—volunteer, get involved, and help out. You will feel great—like Matthew and Mea do in my books!

  • Top 3 favorite places.
Although I’ve traveled all over—the U.S., Hawaii, Europe, even some trips to Asia—I don’t travel much these days. My top three favorite places are parks, bookstores, and my own yard. All Parks are wonderful, either in a natural setting, or one carefully planted and maintained. You can see trees, grass, flowers, animals, and enjoy them all. All Bookstores are marvelous because you can explore the wonderful world of words and pictures. Bookstores are getting fewer and fewer—enjoy the ones we have left. And my own yard is my personal park and retreat. It gets nicer with each new plant, tree, flower, veggie, and herb I plant. Watching things grow is uplifting.

Really great advice, Penelope. So, before we all run outside, where can our tech savvy readers find you online?

My blog, where I review children’s books:
My website, listing all my books, awards, writing services,
My Facebook page is: PenelopeAnneColeAuthor
My Twitter is: Twitter@pennyannecole
I post book reviews on my Pinterest Board, Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

It was wonderful of you to join us on this week’s Three Times A Charm. Best of luck to you and your books.


GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. Hi Kai, thanks for featuring me and my books today! It's always a pleasure to visit with you. You are awesome! Penny (See my reviews now at

    1. Good to have you on the blog, Penny. It's been awhile since your last visit. Best of luck to your books.

  2. Hi Penny,

    Sound advice on children getting outside and enjoying the world. Congratulations on your continued success.


    1. Parents teach the lesson best when they make family outings a habit. Though, when my kids were younger I remember saying, "Go outside and do not come back in until 4:00." That is also an example parents can set ;)

    2. Hi Donna, thanks for your support -- wishing you much success, too.
      Yes, Kai, I remember as kids we were out till suppertime and then out again till dark. We ran, played hide and seek, capture the flag, cowboys, indians, and wild horses. We'd ride our bikes, or skate, or pull each other in wagons around the block. We'd play at the school yard park. It was outside all the time in summer and nice weekends. I hope some kids still get that. Thanks again. Penny

  3. I agree children need to play in the fresh air, read great books and sit less. Thanks Kai for wonderful posting. Good luck Penny. Your book is a winner! .

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your support. Great minds think alike! I hope some kids are still outdoors a lot in the summer--though I don't blame them if it's really hot and humid. Thanks for always helping, and for your good wishes. Blessings, Penny

    2. I still play outside during the summer! Thanks for stopping in, Susan.


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