Friendly Blog

Why ‘quality over quantity’ should be every parent’s mantra this summer

Published 26 days ago by Alexis Alexander

We’re well into July now and if the parental guilt hasn’t hit yet, it probably will soon. You know the feeling - it’s a beautiful, sunny day and your kids want to hit the park. You do, too, but there are so many emails sitting in your inbox, a meeting to get to, documents to prepare...can they just play in the backyard for now, so you can get a little work done at the kitchen table? Or maybe you left the house early this morning to get to the office, leaving your kids with your partner or a babysitter, and you’re feeling guilty about missing those summer days at home. Being a working parent is hard, but it can feel extra challenging in the summer!

Happy Canada Day from Friendly Fables!

Published about 2 months ago by Alexis Alexander

The long weekend is here and we are thrilled because in our family, Canada Day means cottage time. What’s better than a lazy summer weekend in Muskoka? Not much, and we can’t wait to hit the road!

In the old days, our family cottage on Muldrew Lake near Gravenhurst was accessible only by boat. This didn’t stop anyone from going up north as often as possible - in fact, it was quite the opposite! Many older generations of the family worked as teachers and got the whole summer off, so they’d be up for weeks on end. It’s hard to resist a traditional cabin on a beautiful, quiet lake, even when getting there means driving several hours and then portaging in. While our family mostly visits the cottage on weekends these days, we can dream about a life where there’s no rush to head “down south” to the city on Sunday evenings! (And yes, we have a road now - that helps.)

Happy Canada Day from Friendly Fables!

Published about 2 months ago by Alexis Alexander

The long weekend is here and we are thrilled because in our family, Canada Day means cottage time. What’s better than a lazy summer weekend in Muskoka? Not much, and we can’t wait to hit the road!

In the old days, our family cottage on Muldrew Lake near Gravenhurst was accessible only by boat. This didn’t stop anyone from going up north as often as possible - in fact, it was quite the opposite! Many older generations of the family worked as teachers and got the whole summer off, so they’d be up for weeks on end. It’s hard to resist a traditional cabin on a beautiful, quiet lake, even when getting there means driving several hours and then portaging in. While our family mostly visits the cottage on weekends these days, we can dream about a life where there’s no rush to head “down south” to the city on Sunday evenings! (And yes, we have a road now - that helps.)

Get to know these local causes we love

Published 2 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Giving back is something we’ve talked about many times on this blog and other channels, from our relationship with Sick Kids Hospital to donating books to the Super Sofia Project. Today, we want to highlight some of these incredible local charities who do so much to make our community (and the world) a better place. Please read and share - the more people know about these organizations, the more great work they can do!

Which character from The Office best represents your parenting style?

Published 3 months ago by Alexis Alexander

The team here at Friendly Fables has been binge-watching old episodes of The Office lately and it’s got us talking - if your parenting style was summed up by one character from the hit television show, who would it be? Humour us and share a laugh...you might learn something about yourself!

Jim
The handsome, “fun” dad all the kids love and the school moms have a crush on. His wife loves him too, but wishes he’d stop goofing off and maybe do the dishes. Ok, he probably does the dishes, too. JIM IS PERFECT except he pulls the occasional prank on his children. #dadgoals

Pam
The crafty mom who volunteers in your kid’s art class and sends in Pinterest-worthy teacher cards on every holiday. A little frazzled but always smiling. Has a large collection of pastel sweaters and rocks them like only a mother can. Banned from Chili’s but otherwise, has a spotless record and is well-liked by all.

Here comes the Easter Bunny...and The Little Gnome!

Published 4 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Holidays are a special time for families. They encourage quality time and togetherness, are a great excuse to eat chocolate and give people a chance to slow down (unless you’re a parent, maybe). In childhood, every holiday seems magical. You go to sleep, wake up and boom - TREATS! What could be more exciting?

Easter is my second favourite holiday (number one is Christmas:). Here’s how my family and I celebrate:

Everything starts early in the week when we tell our two young children that a phone call came from 'Buggly Bunny' - aka, the Easter Bunny. We tell the kids that Buggly Bunny is stopping by on Easter to hide some eggs. Naturally, they get incredibly excited and spend the rest of the week looking forward to Buggly’s visit.

My First March Break as a Storyteller

Published 5 months ago by Alexis Alexander

After a very busy March Break and a few days spent getting back into the swing of things, I’m finally able to stop and take a deep breath. What a week!

I had no idea when I started this adventure how awesome and important March Break would be. I’d experienced March Break as a parent, but this was my first official year experiencing it as a children’s author!

In addition to super fun readings at Chapters Ajax and Canadian Tire, I spent time with kids enjoying March Break camps hosted by Umbrella Central at Lord Elgin, Sunset Heights, Gandausitaigon, Walter and Bellwood public schools.

My First March Break as a Storyteller

Published 5 months ago by Alexis Alexander

After a very busy March Break and a few days spent getting back into the swing of things, I’m finally able to stop and take a deep breath. What a week!

I had no idea when I started this adventure how awesome and important March Break would be. I’d experienced March Break as a parent, but this was my first official year experiencing it as a children’s author!

In addition to super fun readings at Chapters Ajax and Canadian Tire, I spent time with kids enjoying March Break camps hosted by Umbrella Central at Lord Elgin, Sunset Heights, Gandausitaigon, Walter and Bellwood public schools.

My First March Break as a Storyteller

Published 5 months ago by Alexis Alexander

After a very busy March Break and a few days spent getting back into the swing of things, I’m finally able to stop and take a deep breath. What a week!

I had no idea when I started this adventure how awesome and important March Break would be. I’d experienced March Break as a parent, but this was my first official year experiencing it as a children’s author!

In addition to super fun readings at Chapters Ajax and Canadian Tire, I spent time with kids enjoying March Break camps hosted by Umbrella Central at Lord Elgin, Sunset Heights, Gandausitaigon, Walter and Bellwood public schools.

Celebrate March Break in Durham Region with Friendly Fables

Published 6 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We’re hoping for warmer temperatures and some great later winter hiking opportunities, but you’ll also want some indoor activities to keep the kids busy. While the usual crafts, movies and science projects at home will keep them occupied for a few hours, you’ll definitely be wanting to get out of the house. Never fear - we’ve got you covered. If you’re in Durham Region, come see us for one (or all!) of these great, FREE March Break events!

Thursday, March 14th: Chapters Ajax, 11am - 12pm

Thursday, March 14th: Indigo Oshawa Centre, 2pm - 3pm

Friday, March 15th: Canadian Tire Ajax, 10am - 11am

Giving back to Autism Canada with Preston the Proper Pig

Published 6 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We believe that every child deserves to be themself - their true self, however ‘different’ that may be - and have the support of their family, friends and greater community. This allows kids not only to be themselves but to be their best selves.

Our friends in the Autism community here in Ontario have been fighting a battle for support lately, and we want to stand with them. Preston the Proper Pig isn’t about a particular medical condition, but it’s a book that many kids and parents identify with as it explores differences, bullying, acceptable and being true to yourself.

In support of children with Autism and their parents, we will be donating $1 from every copy of Preston the Proper Pig sold in the month of March to Autism Canada. These proceeds will support Canadian families as they navigate this challenging time.

Creative Writing Workshops for Elementary Schools

Published 6 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Every story you’ve ever loved started with a simple spark of imagination. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s great thinkers, doers, artists and writers. If we can help light that spark, we’ll have done our job.

Alexis Alexander offers inspiring, interactive creative writing workshops for elementary school-aged children. These workshops are best suited for grades 4 to 8 but can be adapted within reason. Each workshop involves a presentation and an interactive discussion. Students are sent home with writing prompts to keep sparking creativity long after the workshop is over.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Friendly Fables

Published 8 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Christmas is here and we find ourselves filled with gratitude for the incredible adventure 2018 has been. From our initial Friendly Fables book launch and other special events to dozens of school visits across Southern Ontario, we’ve met hundreds of enthusiastic Friendly Fablers. It’s been a joy to see your smiling faces and hear you laugh along with our stories again and again. We love knowing that you’ve shared our books with your family and friends, and feel so fortunate to have the support of young readers (and not-so-young readers!) from all walks of life!

This holiday season and always, we are happy and grateful to be on this journey. Our team would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. We hope it’s filled with quality time with family, peace and joy, lots of love and turkey dinner - and for the parents of little ones, some much needed rest!

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and here’s to a fantastic 2019!

Review us on Amazon to win a set of Friendly Fables books

Published 8 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We may have had a great year but we are still a brand new book series. Because we’re so new on the scene, we need to work hard to get our name and our stories out there. This is where you come in - the amazing readers who have already discovered Friendly Fables. We need YOU to leave us a book review on Amazon! This is one of the best ways we can showcase the books online - through real, honest, positive reader reviews. As a thank you we are giving away our books!

Thank you for helping us support SickKids!

Published 9 months ago by Alexis Alexander

These past few weeks have been incredible and we’ve got YOU to thank for it - our friends, readers and supporters across Canada and the U.S. We’re not just talking about the success of the books - we’re talking about how you’ve helped us make a difference in the lives of children and their families by supporting our recent book drive for SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

The magical, never-ending, old school joy of books

Published 9 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We love books - always have, always will. From the magic of a childhood picture book to the fascination of a good novel, books are an integral part of our lives, education and imagination. They’re the perfect escape, an excellent gift and a key part of our intellectual and emotional growth. A book is a window into another world and an amazing way for family members to connect. After all, what is bedtime without a good story? And then there’s TV, smartphone apps, videogames and iPads...mom (or dad) guilt...and real life.

Give the Gift of a Friendly Fables Book Subscription!

Published 9 months ago by Alexis Alexander

The holiday season comes along at the same time each year but somehow, it still manages to sneak up on us. No matter how much you love Christmas, Hanukkah and other year-end holiday celebrations, life is busy - before you know it, it’s December and your shopping list is a mile long. This is especially true if you’re a parent, of course, and get to double-down as Santa!

Before you panic, read on: we have a solution.

Help us bring Friendly Fables to your kids’ school

Published 10 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We got into this business not for the business of it at all - it was all about sharing stories and chasing our dreams. Today, Friendly Fables children’s books are on shelves everywhere, from bookstores to family homes and even school classrooms. This brings us more joy than we can describe and has led to the development of in-school reading and writing workshops by Alexis Alexander and the Friendly Fables team. We’ve already been to many schools in Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area - and yours could be next!

Heroic Hospital Quest: A Book Donation Celebration

Published 10 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Alexis Alexander, author of the Friendly Fables children’s book series, is donating 1,000 copies of Heroic Hospital Quest to the SickKids Foundation. A regular volunteer at the hospital and a former SickKids parent himself, Alexis is thrilled that these books will be given to pediatric patients during their hospital stay. Additionally, the author has committed to donating $1 from every copy of Heroic Hospital Quest sold in support of the hospital.

BOO! Would you rather be scared or feel silly this Hallowe’en?

Published 10 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Hallowe’en is just over a week away so there are ghouls, ghosts and goblins everywhere you look. Creepy as the sight of witches and vampires may be, many of us love a good haunted house - but you may wonder, why is it so much fun to be scared?

The real story of Daizy’s Monster

Published 10 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We’ve all had that pivotal childhood moment when we asked ourselves the same question: is there a monster under my bed? Maybe in your imagination, the closet is where the monster was lurking...or in the basement, under the stairs, even in that dark hallway between your bedroom and the bathroom (very inconvenient, that particular monster). Well, for Daizy the dog, the monster in her imagination was hiding in the backyard! What a fright.

Enter to win our Hallowe’en Giveaway!

Published 11 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Friendly Fables is relatively new on the book scene, but what an amazing first few months we’ve had! From reading at community events and book stores to putting on classroom presentations, author Alexis Alexander has been everywhere. Plus, our books are available online through our website, on Amazon AND in select bookstores like Chapters and Indigo. We are thrilled with the incredible response Friendly Fables has received and want to show our gratitude to you, our readers and supporters. So, we’re having a giveaway!

What to Be for Halloween

Published 11 months ago by Alexis Alexander

So many costumes, but only one Hallowe’en night! What will it be - the witch or the bat? These are just some of the things Annie and her friends consider dressing up as in What to be for Hallowe’en. There are so many choices - some spooky, some cute - but what will it be on October 31st?

Oink, Oink: Meet Preston the Proper Pig!

Published 11 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Some kids are happiest with rocks in their pockets and dirt on their hands. We get it! There’s nothing like running through the woods, riding your bike all over town, climbing trees or making mud pies. Childhood is all about exploration and adventure, and the Friendly Fables team believes that a little dirt shouldn’t get in the way of having fun!

Sick or hurt? Don’t be scared - be a Heroic Hospital Warrior!

Published 11 months ago by Alexis Alexander

We’ve been talking about SickKids a lot lately and they are bound to come up again because they are important us. Before we move onto other books and topics we wanted to share one more post about our relationship with SickKids and why this partnership means the world to our family.

Happy first day of school from Friendly Fables!

Published 12 months ago by Alexis Alexander

It’s the first day of school and parents everywhere are shedding a tear, letting out a big whoop of joy or both. Whether your baby is starting JK, grade three or university, it’s a big day! We hope the back to school experience at your house is a great one.

In My Cool New School, Annie isn’t nervous for her first day at ‘big kid’ school - she’s excited! New friends, amazing teachers, painting, dinosaurs, yoga, recess and more - what’s not to love?! When Annie’s dad arrives at the end of the school day, she can hardly believe it’s time to go home. The day flies when you’re having fun!

Create a little kindness in the world

Published 12 months ago by Alexis Alexander

As parents and caregivers, we strive to model kindness. One way to do this is to help children perform acts of kindness for their friends and family members (and remember - no act of kindness is too small). They’ll quickly learn that it feels good to make Grandma a birthday card or bake cookies for a special teacher. Once kids connect with these feelings and values, you’ll be amazed how their empathy and confidence grows! As always, we’ve got a book to support this journey.

Everybody wins when kids play fair!

Published about 1 year ago by Alexis Alexander

We often tell kids how important it is to tell the truth. Sometimes, it’s a simple reminder and other times, it involves a gentle (yet loving) threat from Mom or Dad. (Did you wash your hands? Will they smell like soap if I sniff them?! Tell me the truth because I’m going to sniff them!)

Hello, and Welcome to Friendly Fables

Published over 1 year ago by Alexis Alexander

There is so much to say in our first blog post, but first of all - welcome!