EskieMama Reads Saturday Spotlight w/Giveaway: Big & Small in the Mirror & The Magic Leaf by Mary Feliciani



Welcome to EskieMama Reads Saturday Spotlight!

Today we are in for a treat, as mother of 4, stepmom of 3 and a grandmother to many step & "adopted" grandchildren I am delighted to spotlight 3 children's books by Mary Feliciani!

Big and Small in the Mirror
The Magic Leaf
Humanitarians, Visionaries, Heroes, and You

Enter below to win 1 of 5 Amazon or iTunes copy of Big and Small in the Mirror & The Magic Leaf  & print copy of Humanitarians, Visionaires, Heros & You from Mary Feliciani!


Big and Small in the Mirror
(Ages 7-10)



Friends Carlo and Marco learn the effects of bullying on their self-images and that positive relationships help them grow.

A discussion page appears at the end of the story to help foster a deeper understanding of the issue of bullying, and to put the story in perspective. The author creates empathy for the victims while at the same time showing that bullies don’t feel good about themselves.

Big and Small in the Mirror is the first of a trilogy of books about bullying that happens at school. The author uses the same characters and setting as The Magic Leaf — Carlo and Marco in a small Italian town named Roseto. Each book will focus on a different aspect of bullying.




Grab YOUR copy TODAY!


The Magic Leaf
(Ages 5-8)



This book is about a small town boy who learns the value of friendship. A medieval, Italian town named Roseto serves as the backdrop. The beautiful and colourful illustrations – all done in paper collage style – depict different parts of the town and journey. Although, the story unfolds in a different time and place, the message is universal and timeless.

About the Author:
Mary Feliciani is a Canadian author, independent publisher and former elementary school teacher. She attended UTM where she studied psychology and still lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Mary’s background in psychology, work with children and passionate interest in the human condition, which stems back as far as she can remember, are all evident in her writing.




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Humanitarians, Visionaries, Heroes, and You
(Ages 10-12+)


This book is a collection of seven inspiring mini-biographies. The author uses the voices of Mattie Stepanek, Martin Lurther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Terry Fox, Craig Kielburger, and her own reflections to encourage the reader to join a growing movement towards social responsibility and global citizenship.




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Amazon CA (Print Only)


Q & A with Mary Feliciani about Big and Small in the Mirror & The Magic Leaf!

Tell us about Big and Small in the Mirror, and The Magic Leaf.
The Magic Leaf was the first book that I published. It was published in 2006 and is about a small-town boy who learns the value of friendship. A medieval, Italian town named Roseto serves as the backdrop. The beautiful and colourful illustrations – all done in paper collage style – depict different parts of the town and journey. Although the story unfolds in a different time and place, the message is universal and timeless.

Big and Small in the Mirror is about bullying that happens in the school environment. The two main characters, Carlo and Marco, learn the effects of bullying on their self-images and how positive relationships help them grow.

I provide discussion questions at the end of the book to help parents and teachers facilitate a discussion about bullying, and to put the story in perspective.

What initially inspired you to write Big and Small in the Mirror, and The Magic Leaf?
I wrote the manuscript for The Magic Leaf while I was at the University of Toronto studying psychology. As a young adult I was very idealistic and was hoping to find the one theory or the one famous psychologist who had all the answers, but what I learned was that there wasn't a theory that could explain everything and even among psychologists there were differences of opinion. I began to believe that having a good support system in combination with, whichever theory one might subscribe to, was very important. I realized that friendships were necessary even as we grow older. The deeper meaning of The Magic Leaf is that life's journey is made easier if you walk with a friend.

The motivation for my latest book, Big and Small in the Mirror, actually started with the first book that I authored, The Magic Leaf. The Magic Leaf was published in 2006; in this book, as I said earlier, the characters learn the value of friendship. It was my idea, at the time, that I would go on to write books about issues that children faced in their everyday environment. What those issues were going to be was still a mystery to me, but the seed had been planted.
In time, I became increasingly aware that the issue of bullying was very challenging to both parents and teachers and that this would be the issue to tackle. Big and Small in the Mirror was published in 2015, and is about bullying that happens in the school environment.

Tell us a little about the characters in this book.
Big and Small in the Mirror has the same characters, Carlo and Marco, as my first book, The Magic Leaf. The setting is also the same – an Italian town named Roseto. The audience for Big and Small in the Mirror is an older age group (ages 8-10, grades 3-5). The Magic Leaf is appropriate for children ages 5-7 or grades SK - grade 2.

The characters have a very healthy relationship with each other. They don't compete with one another; they support and learn from each other.

What was the hardest part of writing these books?
In terms of The Magic Leaf, the writing wasn't difficult. I knew what I wanted the overall meaning of the book to be, and then worked backwards to accomplish my objective.

The publishing of the book was more daunting. I began at a time when self-publishing services, in Canada, were difficult to find. I started my own publishing company as a result and had to research everything that I have learned.

With Big and Small in the Mirror I found the ending the most difficult to write. I had to be careful that the ending suggested the safest way to handle a bully in the short term, but at the same time, I wanted the reader to realize that there were long-term solutions. I think that I accomplished this by including discussion question at the end of the story. It was that dilemma that prompted me to write questions.

What was your favorite part to write and why?
With The Magic Leaf it had to be the twist at the end of the story. I don't want to give it away.

Regarding Big and Small in the Mirror, the physical confrontation between Carlo and Danny that took place during a soccer game at recess, was my favourite part to write about. Let me make it clear – for those who haven't read the book – Carlo wasn't physically hurt, but the description of the turmoil that went on inside him will leave the reader feeling great empathy for the victim.

What are your future project(s)?
Big and Small in the Mirror is the first of a trilogy about bullying. When I complete the trilogy I plan on publishing something that is more fun.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about your books?
I have a third title, Humanitarians, Visionaries, Heroes, and You, published in 2012. This book is a collection of seven inspiring mini-biographies. I use the voices of Mattie Stepanek, Martin Lurther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Terry Fox, Craig Kielburger, and my own reflections to encourage the reader to join a growing movement towards social responsibility and global citizenship. The book is for an older audience than the other 2 books I talked about (grades 5 - 8), but I think that adults will like it as well.


About writing she says:

"Writing is a way of communicating with people on a large scale, and yet it is an individualized experience for each reader. When I write I feel as though I am speaking to that one person, one-to-one."

"Writing is a way to connect, to say things you might not be able to say in person, or ever have the opportunity to discuss. It's both cathartic and introspective. It forces you to search corners of your mind that you might not get to in any other way."

"I only write when I feel like writing. I only feel like writing when I have something to say. And there isn't any use in saying anything unless it's the truth; the way you see it."

Mary is as passionate about traveling as she is about writing:


“Traveling isn't just about adventure. It fosters an appreciation of other cultures and facilitates the recognition that every country has been influenced by other countries. You not only see the differences, you see the similarities. Traveling also gives you the opportunity to see the natural beauty of the world, without the imaginary borders.”


Mary is a Canadian author, independent publisher and a former elementary school teacher. She attended UTM where she studied psychology and still lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Mary’s background in psychology, work with children and passionate interest in the human condition, which stems back as far as she can remember, are all evident in her writing.

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Big and Small in the Mirror & The Magic Leaf

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