• Chicago Skyline by Mike Warot

Longtime Chicago educator releasing new series for kids

Written by Ysmay.

Maxwell MouseMaxwell MouseOne mouse brings magic to the pages of a new children’s book from longtime educator Maureen Stolar Kanefield to be released this September titled The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail.

Maureen attributes her inspiration for writing the first Maxwell book of a planned series to her personal philosophy. Maureen believes that children should be surrounded with opportunities of all kinds at all levels, and that they should seek and find what interests them. But what is just as important, is having the confidence to rise above anything that impedes their dreams.

In The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail, Maxwell is that character. He overcomes the difficulty of having a tail too long and discovers he is stronger and better because of it, not in spite of it.

“The book is a metaphor to every child’s life,” Maureen explains. “A child will always have to overcome one or more obstacles in their young years. It is finding the strength or ‘magic within’ through positive direction and self-realization that enables a child to move forward. From there, children will open their minds to erudition at the highest level.”

Through Maureen’s words and Carlos Aõn’s illustrations, you will embrace the story and empathize with Maxwell as he struggles with a tail that is much too long. Eventually, he is able to ignore his classmates’ jeers and snickers by searching for the magic within, and discovering endless ways to use his tail. 

Maureen is already at work to expand Maxwell’s world. She is creating a series that will take a spin in all academic directions while fulfilling her young readers’ social, emotional, and educational needs. Maureen will continue to have readers engage themselves in the fictional works of Maxwell as he wears many hats – literally – as a chef, artist, athlete, musician and others.

“Children should revel in what they’re reading. But there needs to be those teachable moments in the story that intertwine fiction with nonfiction,” she said.

Maureen will provide resources on her website that align the books to the Common Core Standards for educators and parents to download. During her more than 30-year career as an educator in the suburban Chicago area, Maureen helped to develop an integrated curriculum for her grade level. She held several building roles, such as, Team Leader, Mentor, and PTSA Representative. Some of her district committees were in Language Arts and Social Studies, Special Education, District Negotiating, and Scheduling. Maureen was decorated with Years of Service awards.

As an active volunteer in children’s nonprofits, Maureen is donating a portion of her book’s proceeds to the Special Kids Network and other children’s charities.


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