Monday, July 2, 2012

Author Splash with the Fabulous Jo Linsdell

Hello fans! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the JLB Creatives Blog.

Summer is in full swing, and we're having a blast preparing for our upcoming tour of
Maycly! Author Janet Beasley and Illustrator Dar Bagby will be appearing at
three locations in Michigan's U.P. Aug 30 - Sept 1.

Maycly is available in paperback and ebooks.
Taking the middle grade and YA arena by storm!

Stay tuned to the JLB Creatives Blog for dates and details...coming soon!

This week we're proud to offer the fabulous author
Jo Linsdell in an Author Splash.

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Introduction to
Jo Linsdell

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 1980 was a special year. J.R. got shot in Dallas,  the David Letterman Show debuted on NBC-TV daytime and Walt Disney's "Fox & The Hound" was released. It was also the year that I came into the world ;)

I was born in Gillingham in the UK but have moved house and travelled repeatedly ever since I was young. In fact I think I attended every type of school there is in England. From mixed-sex comprehensives to single-sex grammar schools. This didn't stop me from making some exceptional friends and being part of the action though. 

Oh no, I was always centre stage and loved acting, art and basically anything creative. It wasn't really a surprise when I came out of school with high grades in subjects like English language and literature, drama and art. I often participated in theatre productions and I also did some modelling over my latter teen years and into my 20's.  
 In July 2001 I decided to come to Rome, Italy with the intention of staying for 3 days and then going on to visit the rest of Europe. I'm still here! Weeks turned into months and then into years and although I occasionally get the urge to venture off and discover new places, I can't really imagine living anywhere else now.
I met my now husband at Piazza di Spagna and after several years together, we got married in July 2006. We now have two wonderful sons together. Matteo who is 4 1/2 years old and Lorenzo who is 10 months.

 Although I've been writing pretty much since I could hold a pen, I only started taking my writing career seriously in 2006. I'd had various jobs writing for others including working on publications for the dental industry and writing research papers for the Department of Neurology at Rome's main hospital, but it wasn't until I saw an ad asking for submissions for an English language newspaper in Florence that I started writing about topics that interested me. I sent off an article and it was accepted and published in the very next issue.

Since then I've come a long way and had numerous articles published both online and off for a large number of clients. I'm an avid blogger and have won several awards over the years and in 2009 was name in the "Who's Who of Literary Society" by Literary World. I've also published several books including Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy and most recently the children's picture book Out and About at the Zoo (for which I'm also the illustrator).

I opted to self publish my books as I wanted complete control all aspects and I'm really pleased with the results. Out and About at the Zoo was released on 1st June 2012 and already has a large collection of 5 star reviews in it's favour.

I love my job as it allows me to combine the things I'm most passionate about; writing, art and marketing (I'm a huge social media junky too ;)).

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Out and about at the zoo

Written and illustrated by Jo Linsdell
Rhyming text and colourful pictures accompany 

this fun day out discovering different animals at the zoo.

Available on Amazon!

Zoo based lesson plans

By Jo Linsdell

Jo Linsdell is the author and illustrator of the rhyming children's picture book OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO. Find out more about her at

Children will love learning about the zoo with these simple lesson plans:

        Animal picture books- Provide each child with several pages of paper folded and stapled together into a book. Give them pictures of animals cut out from magazines and get them to choose which pictures to glue into their books. Then have them label the names of each animal.
        Zoo collage-  Get the children to cut out pictures of animals and make a collage.
        Teach children about habitats. Place 3 plates on the table. In one put water, in one put sand and in the other some grass. Have some small toy animals and get children to put them in their natural habitat.
        Play pretend. Get the children to act out being zoo animals. How do they move? What noises do they make?
        Animal fact file. Have children research the different animals and put together a fact file for each one.
        Animal poetry. Talk about the different animals at the zoo. Talk about poetry and show them some examples. Have the children write their own poem about one of the animals.
        Have each child make a word-search using the names of zoo animals. Each child then completes the word-search of another.
        Alphabet animals. Get the children to help you create a list of animals using the letters of the alphabet e.g. A for Alligator, B for bear, etc...
        A quick research on the internet and you'll be able to find a huge variety of zoo themed colouring pages for some creative fun.

Have you done a zoo based lesson with your child? 


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Author website:
Release Date: 1st June 2012

Product details:

ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591
Page Count: 32
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Language: English
Colour: Full Colour with Bleed
Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse

Purchasing links:

Contact details:
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5 Stars

I review many books. When I see a children's picture book, I tend to savor the artistic way the writer and the artist tend to mesh. Sometimes its the blending that makes a simple child's book something really worth reading.

Out and About at the Zoo is a combination of the artist and the writer being the same person Jo Linsdell. She crafted a very cute and adorable children's volume. This simple children's book with bright colors of animals from the zoo is crisp in it poetic delivery. The art sparkles in its simple characters of the zoo animals.

Ms Linsdell seems to know her target audience and gives them a bright a images for them to enjoy. These young children will delight in this books rhythms that come from its verses and art. It is a good book to give for those young and young at heart".

5 Stars

"This is a fun, short book for the grandkids! If you love reading to your children or grandchildren, this book will become a family favorite quite fast. The simple wording and bright interaction of characters makes it easy for very young readers and exciting for toddlers still listening.

Jo puts some serious thought into toddler reactions and includes those in the book. My favorite part was the last page, because my toddlers decided immediately that we needed to take a trip to the Denver Zoo. "Yay!!! I get to see the elephants!" (Okay, that part was ME not them. But they get to go too.)"

5 Stars
"Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one".
By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella's Birthday Surprise
5 Stars 

"Out And About At The Zoo is a cute book that describes a child's memory filled trip to the zoo. Are you heading to the zoo and you would like to tell your kids what animals they will see there and what they might be doing? Then Out And About At The Zoo would be a great choice. Easy to understand and easy for children to read along with. It is filled with simple yet colorful pictures that even held my one year old's attention!

Would also make a good gift for young readers who are just beginning to read!"

5 Stars 

"What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?  Author and illustrator Jo Linsdell both describes and pictures a fun day at the zoo that a young lad has with his mum.  They get to look at colorful parrots, tall giraffes, screaming monkeys, meat-eating lions and tigers, striped zebras, scary crocodiles with big teeth, hopping kangaroos, bathing hippos, and huge elephants.   But how does the boy feel when it’s time to go home?   How would you feel?

Children love to visit the zoo.  Our two boys certainly did when they were little, and we still do even today.  Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and artist who is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Rome, Italy, with her husband and their two young sons.  The rhyming text and colorful pictures in Out and About at the Zoo not only make a truly fun story for children to read or have read to them and imagine what it’s like, but will also help to familiarize them with the different kinds of creatures that they will discover at the zoo when they do go."

By Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

5 Stars 

"I have always been told that if you are going to write a rhyming picture book you had better make sure the entire thing rhymes. An author named Verla Kay has many picture books written only in rhyme. Her rhymes are excellent and I use her as a standard for good rhyming. She would enjoy this book!

Jo Linsdell has written a picture book with pictures that are so adorable you want to hug each animal in the book. Both the pictures and the text bring a child's wonder and excitement during a day at the zoo to the reader. The illustrations leap off the page and the animals are so inviting. Each one has a smile and the text tells children what each one does. I think this would be a great bedtime story for any child or a good introduction to a day at the zoo. As a primary teacher, I recommend this highly for a beginning reader. After a few readings the child will be able to read many of the words."

5 Stars 

"Jo has chosen a palette of bright flat colours such as young children love for her first picture book, “Out and About at the Zoo”, which she wrote with her small son acting as honorary head of her children’s consumer advisory panel.  Her son influenced her story’s creation each step of the way, which has made the whole experience  of making this, their first picture book, very special indeed.
The images of the animals are cheeky and fun and are complemented by the simple narrative with a strong rhyming element. Children love the musicality in rhyme so I can see why her little boy loved this mode of storytelling. I’m sure other children will find it fun too!"
By Jennifer Poulter
 5 Stars 

Out and About at the Zoo is such a fun book. I can't wait to read the rhymes in this story to my grandbabies. I know I will be sending them their own copy of this book to read and soak up the colorful pages.

The illustrations are so cute and will definitely grab the child's attention to the bright colors and the zoo animals they are visiting in this darling book.

Here is one of my favorite pages, it teaches the child about the description of the animal and teaches colors in fun rhyming words.

"Zebras with stripes
of black and white
trotted over, much to my delight."
page 14

I see this as not just for a fun read but also for the education of young children.

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5+ out of 5

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That wraps it up for this week!
We certainly hope you enjoyed discovering author
Jo Linsdell, and will make her one of your kids


  1. Thanks for the amazing feature Janet :)

  2. Wow, Janet, another big splash as only you can do them. If Jo Lindsdell is anything like me, she must be feeling like a million dollars right now! I'm so impressed with the awesome way you present your interviewees and the professional (yet friendly) way they portray themselves.

    Jo, I really love your blog, but you make me feel ancient. Born when J.R. got shot! Ha-ha... I was around 52 then and had six kids and umpteen grands... So I guess you can figure out, I really am ancient. LOL

    I truly enjoyed learning about your life and your books. I'll check the Zoo book out because exotic animals are fascinating to me.

    Heart hugs - Betty Dravis

    1. Thanks for your comment Betty. I totally agree. Janet does an amazing job with her author features.

      Compliments on all the kiddies. I have two and they keep me busy enough!

      My 4 year old told me I'm getting old the other day as it's nearly my birthday and he discovered I'm going to be 32. I guess to a 4 year old over 30 is definitely in the 'big people' category. Still as Chili Davis once said "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." ;)

      I hope you enjoy the book.


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