Danny the Dragon Hosts Gluten-Free Cupcake Party!

Cooking, Cupcake Parties, Cupcake Party, Events, gluten-free, healthy eating
Leave a comment

This Child Loves Danny the Dragon!

This lovely and heartwarming letter came in to me today from a mother in England who purchased a book via this Danny the Dragon website. As an author this is one of those special moments in our lives that we know we are doing what we love and it is touching others. I think any other children’s author will agree with me on this.
Hi Tina 🙂
We have one VERY EXCITED little boy!! 🙂
He absolutely loved waking up to a package on Saturday morning. Jumped out of bed and said “Can I go to School today?” and I said “No. But there is a surprise for you downstairs for being so good this week!”
Thanks again for the great service via the site and the ordering arrangement.
As for some of the extra bits and bobs sent in the package ( door hangers, bookmarkers, tattoos, pencils) some of them Ro intends to share with his friends. They will all be enjoying Danny the Dragon here in England.
Thanks so much!
Children's Book, Childrens' Literature, family, moms, parenting
Leave a comment

Natural Remedies for Your Child’s Tinnitus

When I visited a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour for my children’s book, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I hardly knew much of anything on the subject of deafness and hearing problems. Since making the promise to myself to reach out to deaf and hard of hearing children, first by releasing the first children’s book iPad app with sign language interpretation, I learned about tinnitus among children, surprised by how common it among kids. If your child has been diagnosed with tinnitus, you two can rest fairly comfortable with the fact that many children with tinnitus eventually grow out of it. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can do to alleviate it in the meantime. Along with a qualified healthcare practitioner, you may be able to find some natural remedies that can lessen your child’s tinnitus or cure it altogether.

There are many possible causes of tinnitus, a condition used to describe hearing a noise, such as ringing, not present in the environment. Tinnitus varies in its severity, ranging from hardly noticeable or mildly annoying to debilitating. Some possible causes of your child’s tinnitus could include ear or sinus infections, leftover fluid from an ear infection (which can last up to three months after the infection), earwax buildup, ear injuries, circulation problems, or abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear. Due to the variety of possible causes behind tinnitus, your child’s doctor may suggest any of a number of remedies including medication or sound therapy. Studies have shown, however, that there are natural remedies for tinnitus. It may be worth checking with your child’s doctor about these supplements and treatments. After all, according to health researcher and journalist June Russell, medications rarely improve tinnitus.

First, evaluate whether or not your child’s medication or diet is causing or aggravating the tinnitus. It’s possible that his or her medication may be toxic to the ear (“ototoxic”) or have the condition as one of its side effects. Switching to another medication, reducing the dosage, or discontinuing its use may help the tinnitus or get rid of it altogether.  Food allergies have also been linked to tinnitus. Some possible diet culprits include aspartame, cheese, chocolate, soy, and tonic water. A diet low or free of salt and fat has also been recommended by experts.

A regimen of nutritional and herbal supplements has been recommended by physicians to help with tinnitus. Russell reports that tinnitus sufferers tend to be deficient in B-12. She writes, “Emily A. Kane, naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, recommends a daily dose of 2,000 mcg of B-12 for one month, followed by a dose of 1,000 mcg daily, if needed.” Dr. Michael Seidman, MD, Director of the Henry Ford Health System, Department of Otolaryngology, Tinnitus Clinic, in Bloomfield, Michigan, recommends a wide variety of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, choline, magnesium, melatonin, vinpocetine, Ginkgo biloba, ipriflavone, arginine, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, , n-acetylcysteine, Chinese herbs, B vitamins and garlic.

In fact, Ginkgo biloba is becoming increasingly used to treat tinnitus among European and American doctors; according to Russell, “a few good trials suggest that this herb may lower the perceived loudness.” Meet with a qualified health practitioner about how much of this supplement, and which type, to use for your child’s tinnitus.

Some other natural treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathy. Relaxation has been shown to relieve children’s tinnitus, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Consult your family’s physician for affective relaxation techniques and take practical steps to minimize your child’s stress level, such as helping him or her with homework or making sure he or she doesn’t take on too many extracurricular activities.

The good news is that, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, “most children with tinnitus seem to eventually outgrow the symptom.” However, this doesn’t mean your child should have to experience the discomfort of the condition if it can be remedied or at least alleviated with natural remedies. I encourage parents of children with tinnitus to meet with a qualified practitioner as soon as possible to find out if your child may benefit from these.

Tina Turbin


American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Fact Sheet: When Your Child Has Tinnitus http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1328

Communication Agents Journal: Treating Tinnitus Naturally http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2005/05/04/treating_tinnitus_naturally.htm

Advice, family, healthy eating, Helpful Tips, Research
1 Comment

Writing and Reading

Writing and reading go hand in hand. As Stephen King wrote, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” That’s why I set aside time every day to read, not just children’s books, but works of adult fiction and non-fiction that inspire me.


When my children were young, I used to take them to the library every week in order to expose them to quality children’s literature and cultivate an interest in reading. My imagination would take off like crazy during these trips, as I saw examples of fine illustrated kids books. I couldn’t wait to create a series of my own.


Even now with my hectic schedule after I’ve launched my Danny the Dragon children’s  book series, and even though my kids are all grown, I still keep abreast of the children’s literature market for my own edification and inspiration by checking out the latest kids books. I also devote part of my day to reading whatever captures my imagination from children’s and adult book authors alike.


Tina Turbin




Advice, Education, family, Family Time, libraries, Library Visits, literacy, moms, writing

Staying True to Your Vision

One of the most important parts of being a writer is staying true to your vision and standards. This can be pretty tough in today’s world when many agents and publishers put pressure on you to alter your creation so that it is….(that dreadful word!) marketable.

I promised myself when I was finding an illustrator that I wouldn’t compromise my vision of Danny the Dragon. It was quite a search, taking nearly a year, but finally I found exactly what I was looking for with Aija Jatsuna, who lives in Latvia, Europe and didn’t even speak one word of English. As soon as I saw her renditions of Danny, I knew she was the one!  I am so proud of myself for having stayed true to my uncompromising standards and grateful to Imagination Publishing Group for their support.

With more and more independent publishing houses cropping up and  self-publishing becoming increasingly popular, there’s never been a better time than now to stay to true to your vision.

Tina Turbin





Advice, Children's Book, Helpful Tips, writing

Danny the Dragon Makes the News in Iran!

Danny the Dragon is quite the worldly traveller–he’s made the news in Iran!

www.ibna.ir, the Iran Book News Agency, has reported that I took first place for Best Illustrations in the Five Star Publication Purple Dragonfly Awards for my illustrations  by Aija Jasuna.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Turbin’s illustrations were enthusiastically praised by the judges who praised them as ‘outstanding.’ They went on to say, ‘Not only are the illustrations charming and expertly rendered, the paintings practically leap off the page! Rather than static or two-dimensional, they are full-bodied, full of movement and motion. They speak well to the story and would engage the imagination of old and young alike. An excellent job!’

“Turbin searched far and wide with uncompromising standards for an illustrator who could bring her vision of Danny the Dragon to life, connecting with Aija in Latvia, Europe. ‘It’s so gratifying to see the book and illustrations have resonated so deeply with another judging panel as they have with our public. It really goes to show that the author and illustrator are quite a team in picture books.’”

You can read the full article here: http://www.ibna.ir/vdcba8b8wrhb8zp.4eur.txt

What an unexpected pleasure it was to discover this!

Tina Turbin



Books, Children's Author, Children's Book, Press

Stories of Famous People with Tinnitus to Share with Your Child

Tinnitis can vary in severity among children, but as with any health condition, it can be hard to cope with it, especially when you’re a child. When I visited a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour for my children’s book, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I connected with the kids on a very special level and began to conduct research in the areas of deafness and hearing problems such as tinnitus. One of the most interesting discoveries I made had to do with how common tinnitus actually is, and how many great artists and celebrities must cope with this disorder as well. Share with your child some inspiring stories about artists who have learned to cope with and bring awareness to this complex condition.

In fact, with an estimated 50 million Americans suffering with some degree of tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, it’s not an uncommon condition, as it affects more than 15% of the population. The severity of the condition varies, ranging from hardly noticeable or mildly annoying to debilitating. Your child’s tinnitus could have been set off by an ear or sinus infection, earwax buildup, medication, or an ear injury, among many possible causes. There are several recommended treatments and therapies, and according to experts, it’s likely that children with tinnitus will eventually outgrow the condition. One of the recommendations by the American Academy of Otolaryngology is to reassure that your child isn’t alone. What better way to do this than to share with your child the fact many artists and musicians have had or currently have tinnitus?

Despite their tinnitus, some famous figures from history were able to accomplish many great things in their fields. Such figures include the most famous reformer in history, Martin Luther, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Vincent Van Gogh, and Jean-Jean-Francois Champollion, who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone. American presidents with the condition include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

Many musicians have suffered from tinnitus as well, including Ludwig Van Beethoven, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Ozborne, Huey Lewis, and Bono. Songs about tinnitus include “Call Letter Blues” by Bob Dylan, “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger, “Something I Can Never Have” and “The Becoming” by Nine Inch Nails, and “Staring at the Sun” by U2.

Several celebrities have tinnitus caused by damage done to their ears during their careers. According to RingingEars.net, actor and comedian Steve Martin developed tinnitus from a gun shootout during the filming of Three Amigos! Pete Townsend of The Who sustained severing damage to his ears from playing music as well as an incident on stage when drummer Keith Moon blew up his drum set, which caused permanent deafness in one of Townsend’s ears. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy both experienced damage to their ears from their work on the set of Star Trek during mid 1960’s. Other celebrities with tinnitus include Sylvester Stallone, Leslie Nielson, and David Letterman, who has had tinnitus in one ear for a long time, according to RingingEars.net.

Your child is not only not alone with tinnitus, but he or she has the company of many great individuals who have learned to cope with their condition and sometimes channel their feelings into their work, creating musical pieces and contributing to their respective fields. Share some of these stories with your child and listen to some songs about tinnitus, and I bet your child will not only feel not alone but even a little special.

Tina Turbin


American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Fact Sheet: When Your Child Has Tinnitus http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1328

Advice, Children's Health, Deaf children, family, Helpful Tips, Research

Writing Spaces

As early as Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, people have been talking about the importance of having a place of your own to write. People often ask me, “What does your writing space look like?” I love to close myself up in my studio, tucked away in a quiet part of my house. From my writing desk is a beautiful view through my French doors behind our home of a Monet-like setting—calm lake water, shady trees, and colorful flowers. It’s an ideal setting for sure, but you know what? With my busy schedule I’m hardly home, so I have to create my own writing spaces wherever I go in hotel rooms and vacation rental properties.


When I’m on a book tour, visiting schools, libraries, and hospitals, I travel far and wide. Perhaps I’ll be staying just for the night, maybe even a few weeks. It’s a good thing I have bicoastal residences—one in Los Angeles and another in Florida—but even then I often find myself on the go.


In the end I’ve found that a writing space is important, but at the same time all you really need to have are the right tools and a place where you won’t easily be distracted. If it’s hard to find a whole room just for your writing, a corner of the room or just a desk will do the job just fine. Laptop, paper, pens, and paper on a desk top–that’s all I need! I turn off my cell phone and tell everyone, “I’m writing! Do not disturb!”


All right, you aspiring writers out there: What does your writing space look like?


Tina Turbin



Advice, Books, Helpful Tips, writing

Writing Routines

When I visit schools and libraries, the inevitable comment arises from aspiring authors (adults and children alike):  I want to write, but I can’t get started. Sometimes they say it’s hard to find the inspiration or motivation to write.  Well, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration,” as Thomas Edison said. It may not sound glamorous, but in my experience I’ve seen that writing is about routine. If you sit around waiting for inspiration to wash over you, you may be sitting there for quite some time!

Writing every day is key, setting aside a regular time of day—even if it’s just for an hour—even if you don’t really feel like it. Before you know it, you’ll see that you can create your own inspiration and motivation. I don’t have to wait for inspiration anymore. When I’m writing actively, it comes when I call it—while I’m writing and throughout the day.

Set aside some time every day just for your writing, and write no matter what. It’s not as romantic as waking up in the middle of the night and writing your heart out in a fury of inspiration until the sun rises, but I bet you’ll get a lot more writing done!

Tina Turbin



Advice, writing

When Should Your Child Get Cochlear Implants

Before my visit to a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour to promote my children’s title, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I hardly knew anything about the subject of deaf literacy. However, since that life-changing day,when I decided to do something on behalf of this issue, I now understand the complexity of the issue, especially for parents of deaf children. Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make as the parent of a deaf child is which method of communication is best for your child. If you’ve decided that your child should join the 219,000 deaf people worldwide who have opted for cochlear implants along with deaf oral education so that they can use spoken language, the issue of timing comes up: when is the best time for your child to get the cochlear implants becomes an issue?

As the parent of a deaf child, it’s likely that you yourself are hearing and that the deaf world is new to you. After all, 90% of deaf children have hearing parents. That means there’s a lot to learn. If you’re interested in getting your young child cochlear implants, you’ve likely chosen this because you’d like your child to have the same opportunitities, educational and professional, as hearing children and adults. As your child becomes better and better with spoken language, you’ll find that he or she is able to attend the same regular classes and participate in the same activities as most of his or her peers. In this way, cochlear implants can be an exciting prospect with the promise of a bright future for your deaf child.

Now the question of “When?” arises. When is the best time for your child to get cochlear implantation surgery? According to research, early implantation allows for earlier exposure to sounds during the critical speech-learning period for children. According to Bella Online, most children are between the ages of 2 and 6 when they get their implants. In the U.S. in 2000, the age requirement for one of the types of cochlear implants was lowered to 12 months.

Is this too young? According to Bella Online, research is showing that “an overwhelmingly majority” of deaf children who don’t have any other health issues see an enhancement in their quality of life as a result of their cochlear implants: “The earlier the implantation the more likely the child will develop hearing, speech, language and cognitive skills at a level similar to a normal hearing child.” In addition to having the same educational and career opportunities, these children are easier to handle by their parents, fit in better socially, able to do activities like using a phone or going to the movies. Science Daily reports that in one study, “the children who received cochlear implants at the youngest ages have nearly the same spoken language skills as children with normal hearing.” Other unpublished studies show that by the age of 4 and a half years old, early implantation children have normal speech and could most likely start school with their hearing peers.

Deciding whether or not to go with cochlear implants is a complex decision, however, that requires time and research. Just as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Parents may also be hesitant to have their small child undergo such an intensive procedure, and understandably. Moreover, once the procedure is done, the parts of the ear involved in hearing are permanently destroyed so that natural hearing will never take place. Deaf oral education and auditory-verbal therapy are also time-intensive, requiring the participation of the entire family. By the time your child has been correctly diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing, you’ve done your research, and come up with the funds for the operation, your child may be well into his toddler years or older.

As a children’s author and child and family advocate, I’m often asked for advice on all sorts of issues. Although I do lecture, speak, and write on a variety of subjects related to children, I always reassure parents that they are ultimately responsible for their child and know what’s best for him or her. Study the facts, seek professional advice from as many qualified specialists as possible, and consider what’s best for your child. The facts are showing that early implantation is highly effective in establishing language and speaking skills in deaf children, but the decision to go ahead with this is highly involved and will affect your child and your family from here on out.

Tina Turbin

Advice, Children's Health, Deaf children, Education, family, Helpful Tips, moms, parenting, Research