Book Review: Loukoumi’s Gift by Nick Katsoris

Loukoumi, the fluffy, cuddly lamb, returns this fall with Loukoumis Gift, the fourth title in the award winning series of illustrated books by Nick Katsoris for children 4-8. This iParenting Media Award winning story features a bonus download of the story narrated by Jennifer Aniston and Days of Our Lives star John Aniston.

Other celebrities lending their voices to characters include Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, Grammy winner Gloria Gaynor, American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis, Guiding Light star Frank Dicopoulos and CBS News anchor Alexis Christoforous.

The new book follows Loukoumi through her day as she discovers that the perfect gift need not cost a lot of money, but instead can come straight from the heart. (The CD narration is available as a free download on the website Loukoumi.com as well as on the companion CD of the related book, Loukoumi’s Good Deeds).

Loukoumi’s Gift, by Nick Katsoris, was released on National Make a Difference Day, on which over 300 schools nationwide hosted Loukoumi s Gift Storytimes. After the readings over 10,000 kids mobilized to do a good deed on National Make A Difference Day.

The book follows in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed book, Loukoumi s Good Deeds, released in April 2009, which is also narrated by the Anistons. The book continues the adventures of Loukoumi and her friends Gus the Bear, Fistiki the Cat, Dean the Dog and Marika the Monkey.

Whether it’s a thoughtful act, a handmade card, or a delicious cookie or cake, kids will learn that there are many cost-free gifts that can make a huge difference in the lives of those around them. This message is especially important to kids during these tough economic times as we enter the holiday gift-giving season.

The book encourages kids to do something nice or make something for their loved ones as evidenced from the book’s recurring line: A gift is a thought your heart creates and need not cost a penny. A gift can be anything that you wish made for one or many. A thoughtful act, a handmade card, a delicious cookie or cake. The perfect gift comes straight from the heart, whatever it is you make.

Loukoumi’s Gift is dedicated to Daisy, a cleaning lady from an office the author Nick Katsoris worked at 15 years ago. The story is inspired by the real life experience when Daisy gave Katsoris a pair of gold cufflinks because he said “Good morning” to her every day. The part of Daisy on the CD is voiced by Jennifer Aniston.

Every time a child reads Loukoumi’s Gift he or she will be performing a good deed. $2.00 from the sale of each book will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit stjude.org.

LOUKOUMI’S GIFT
Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Price: $15.95 ($2 from sale of each book donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital).
Publisher: NK Publications/Dream Day Press (November, 2009)
Other books in the series: Loukoumi, Growing up with Loukoumi (book & CD), Loukoumi’s Good Deeds (Book & CD).
Website: www.Loukoumi.com

Grandparents would like to buy LOUKOUMI’S GIFT for their grandchildren because it teaches kids that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to give the perfect gift. You could do something or make something from the heart instead.

We just had over 10,000 kids read the book in schools and then do a good deed on National Make A Difference Day. Many of the kids did things with or for their grandparents. For example, in the companion book, Loukoumi’s Good Deeds, where Loukoumi calls her grandparents and tells them that she loves them.

The book will also encourage grandchildren to do things with their grandparents. Grandparents might also be interested in hearing the book narrated by the celebrity cast and also the fact that $2 from the sale of each book is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Loukoumi’s Gift is Nick Katsoris’ fourth book in the series following Loukoumi, the iParenting Media Award winning Growing Up With Loukoumi, and the iParenting Media Award winning Loukoumi’s Good Deeds. The books have been translated into Greek by Livanis Publishing in Athens. Katsoris also sponsors the national Growing up with Loukoumi Dream Day contest where kids get to win the chance to spend the day in their dream career.

Last year’s winners included witnessing a spaceship land on Mars, playing soccer with the NY Red Bulls and cooking on TV with a TV chef. Katsoris is a New York attorney as General Counsel of the Red Apple Group, and President of the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over 500 scholarships. Nick is also author of the legal thriller Crimes of Fire. He currently resides in Eastchester, New York, with his wife, Voula, a real estate attorney, and their children, Dean and Julia.

Narration of Loukoumi’s Gift available on home page of www.Loukoumi.com. Feel free to link up to it so grandparents could hear the story.

PRESS:
Gloria Gaynor reading Loukoumi’s Gift on FOX & Friends: http://video.foxnews.com/12055376/stories-survive

The books also benefit children’s charities and last month I visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for a special reading of the book for the kids: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/news/tennessee/102009_St_Jude_Holds_Story_Time

Here is a link from NBC news where little Sophie went to NASA to watch a spaceship land on Mars and Lionel played soccer with the NY Red Bulls. http://www.loukoumi.com/news4.html

Below this is yet another clip where 10 year old Nika lived her Dream Day by cooking on the air with CBS-TV chef Tony Tantillo. http://wcbstv.com/video/?id=117778@wcbs.dayport.com.
This is now an annual contest based on the book

Then with our third book Loukoumi’s Good Deeds, which teaches kids that it is fun to do something nice, we had the book read last month at hundreds of schools and then over 10,000 kids did a good deed on national Make A Difference Day after reading the book. http://www.usaweekend.com/09_issues/091018/091018diffday.html

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