What are people saying about us?

feedback and reviews

After you have read the book and listened to the music, pretty please write us and tell us what you think...

We will only use your first name, age of your child or children and the state you live in.

“utter delight”                                                                                              “ENCHANTING”

                                    “dazzling graphics”

                                                   “... conversation with my children that I have never                                           experienced with any other children's book...”

As a father and grandfather, I wish this book were required reading for all parents, caregivers, and especially our precious children.

Such life affirming messages are vital to children developing the confidence to cultivate and express their own unique talents and skills they've come to deliver on the planet.

                                                                                                               Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith

                                                                                                                   Author of Life Visioning and

                                                                                Founder of Agape International Spiritual Center

MACARONI AND CHEESE VOL 1 is a kind and sweet experience to be enjoyed by children and the adults who love them! As a father, a Principal, and Design Thinker - I appreciate the simultaneous simplicity and depth of this work! I appreciate that this is a springboard where I can connect to Empathy & Compassion with my own daughters, and it brings about important conversations in our home. Learning through story is such an important approach for children - it allows parents & educators to be along for the journey with children where lessons are experienced in tandem. I appreciate this anthology deeply, and I encourage all educators to dive deep with it.


                                                                                           ~ Eric Chagala, EdD

                                                                                              Founding Principal

                                                                                              Vista Innovation & Design Academy

The Macaroni and Cheese Anthology is a brilliant way to educate students to use their creative thoughts and imagination to learn.  This anthology is needed in every classroom.

                                                                                       ~ Mrs. Gina Stutzel  M.Ed

                                                                                          Principal, Soleado Elementary

The Macaroni and Cheese Anthology does a beautiful job of tackling an issue that is rarely addressed in children’s books: Sometimes there are people in your life who assert a subtly negative influence, and you need to follow your own instincts and find your joy.  I was particularly impressed with the short story Sabrina and her Committee, because it allows a child to see that even adults are sometimes wrong.  Through a gentle demonstration of emotion coaching, Sabrina learns to disregard the unkind voices of others, especially her critical classroom teacher, and she is finally able to hear her own sweet, affirming voice.  Stacie Isabella Turk uses words, drawings and music to plant the idea that each child can indeed change his or her world, if only by learning to cognitively reframe the behaviors of others. In reading Grumpy, Grouchy, and Grateful, children will learn that different people can look at the same set of circumstances and have widely varying perspectives.  Stacie Isabella Turk gently gives children permission to reject unhealthy views and develop their own positive, inclusive views of the world.  This is a lovely collection for parents and teachers to read with children.

                                                                                                             ~ Carrie Goldman, author of     Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear.

The charm of Macaroni and Cheese: Comfort Food for Kids is inescapable and the lessons it imparts are priceless. Each tale has its own theme, yet many others can be found within these pages. In the back of the book are some suggested activities and questions children (and grown-ups) can ponder and discuss together. The book, combined with the CD, would make an excellent addition to any home-school or classroom shelf. Of course, a little macaroni and cheese on the home front is the perfect recipe for a big smile!

                                                                                                                ~ Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Entire review here:               http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/childrens/turk.shtml

   When I received the MACARONI AND CHEESE book, my children didn't give me a minute to look at it, as they were immediately drawn to the cool graphics and they begged me to be the first to read it. My 8 yr old son sat down quietly and I didn't hear from him for a while, apart from when he was laughing out loud. I was intrigued so I sat next to him and asked him if I could read it to his brothers (ages 7 and 3) and soon, we were all four of us laughing and enjoying Stacie's masterpiece. Later on that evening, my 14 yr old daughter read the book and it was her turn to laugh and enjoy the beautiful drawings. I am a teacher and it's very rare that one book is liked by all of my children who are different ages. I believe the reason why we love MACARONI AND CHEESE, is that the story is told in a fun and fascinating way and I was able to start meaningful conversations with my children after reading it.  

   MACARONI AND CHEESE contains three stories; each unique with lessons impressing issues such as: mediocrity, self-esteem, and how to cultivate gratitude. My husband and I want to educate our children with good values and we felt that this book was a great help to start discussions and impact our children positively. 
   Thank you Stacie!

                                                                             Sarah P., Elementary School Teacher, Mom

                                                                             Kids’ ages 3,7,8,13

Wise, entertaining, and meaningful. A must read for children at home and in the classroom.

In this debut collection, Turk champions inspirational stories that promote child-development and thinking outside of the box. Macaroni and Cheese contains three stories and two songs; each unique with lessons impressing issues such as: mediocrity, self-esteem, and how to cultivate gratitude. Children thrive on means of self-expression, thus making this a must-have for their bookshelf.

The author has done a wonderful job creating a new paradigm in the relationships children maintain and the difficulties they face. With a deep, perceptive message—this is a book that is entertaining, and promotes a continuing process of emotional development. With a memorable cast of characters, ethereal illustrations, and new perspectives regarding issues children face at home and at school—Macaroni and Cheese truly is “comfort food for kids.”

Promotes literacy and togetherness. An overall great addition to any children’s reading list or library.

Full Review: http://atlanticbookreview.com/2013/12/23/book-review-macaroni-cheese-anthology-by-stacie-isabella-turk/#sthash.3LjLzAN0.dpuf

                                                                                                                       Atlantic Book Review

As a school psychologist with many years of experience working with elementary school students in helping them develop both positive self-esteem and positive attitudes toward life in general, I found that the Macaroni and Cheese stories and songs are great tools for parents and teachers to use with children.  The concepts of positive vs. negative self talk, mediocrity vs. questioning, expanding, and not-settling, and taking a positive, inspirational, adventurous approach to life are presented in stories that are easily accesible to children as young as Kindergarten age and up to about age 9 or 10.  The stories can be read by parents or teachers, though the CD narrators are very engaging and the songs are lively and reinforce the messages.  There are accompanying activities and discussion starters to assist the adults in translating these critical messages, so that children can really understand how important they are for their healthy development.  I look forward to future stories in the anthology.


                                                                                                                       Allan P. Gold, Ph.D.

                                                                                                                       School Psychologist 

                                                                                                                       Reed Union School District

                                                                                                                       Tiburon, CA

I recently received a copy of a very cool book and CD set that is really wonderful for kids

4 to  9 years! Macaroni and Cheese is the kind of book kids need more of! Addressing emotional themes, this book helps children to question the negative commentary that sometimes keeps them from accomplishing their goals and takes a look at key themes like gratitude and self esteem. I will recommend this book to all of the moms and dads in my parenting practice!

                                                                                                                  Jill Spivack, LCSW

                                                                                                                  Co-Founder, Sleepy Planet

                                                                                                                  Co-Founder, MomAssembly

I love books that come with Audio CDs (very practical on the go), but I’m specially partial to books that come with songs, to boot. When you top that with stories that cater to the unique viewpoint of a child, you’ve got my full attention.

Macaroni and Cheese is a hardcover compilation of three stories, an activity list, and a CD. It is aptly named “comfort food for kids” because the stories address being adventurous, grateful, and strive for betterment, but mostly, because they teach little ones how to be comfortable in one’s skin.

What I love most about this book: This book promotes self-esteem through imaginary stories. Also? There’s illustration and then there’s sublime illustration! This book would make any graphic artist proud. It is visually so pleasing that it comforts the eyes before it comforts the soul. I find that I’m as in love with the typesetting as I am with the characters (my favorite? why, Grouchy, of course!)

                                                                          Megan Broutian, Behavioral Analyst and Mom



I had only read one story to them (the one about Sabrina) before we had to leave the country but it was so beautiful, it made me cry. Of course now Liliana wants to cut her hair, so it may have made more than one impression on her! :) That's her favorite story, although she likes the other ones now too.


It is a perfect book for Liliana- Alexander is more interested in non-fiction so he is usually reading science books to himself, or if he reads fiction it is The Hobbit, so it is a little young for him.


Liliana has a CD player in her room and she has been playing the CD. She likes listening to the stories. They are wonderful and wise messages. I hope they will stay with her as she gets older!

                                                                                                  Llyswen - Los Angeles, CA kids 6, 8yrs

   Wise, entertaining,and meaningful. A must read for children at home and in the classroom. In this debut collection, Turk has created inspirational stories that promote child‐development and thinking outside of the box. Macaroni and Cheese contains three stories; each unique with lessons impressing issues such as: mediocrity, self-esteem, differences, and attitude. Children thrive on means of self-expression, thus making this a must have for their bookshelf.

   The author has done a wonderful job creating a new paradigm in the relationships children maintain and the difficulties they face. With a deep, perceptive message, this is a book that is entertaining and promotes a continuing process of emotional development. With a memorable cast of characters, ethereal illustrations, and new perspectives regarding issues children face at home and at school.

   Macaroni and Cheese truly is “comfort food for kids.” Promotes literacy and togetherness.

An overall great addition to any children’s reading list or library.

                                                                                                                                Penn Book Review


As a father of five, my children are already enthralled by these uniquely visualized characters and their stories, but especially our youngest. 


As a family therapist, I know you will be blessed by this collection for its ability to impart virtues,  principles, and discernment to all who are fortunate enough to be delighted by it.

                                                                                                                     Scott, LMFT - Austin, TX

                                                                                                                   kids ages 5,7,7,14,16 yrs.

I am a parent, an elementary educator, and an individual seeker of excellence, so I am always watching for things that uplift and inspire. It is crucial that we provide tools for our children and students to help them navigate life's challenges, and Macaroni and Cheese is a wonderful example.  The vivid artwork will capture their attention while the stories will give children ideas and strategies to help them grow to become confident, well-adjusted individuals.  

The suggested activities in the back of the book will provide parents and teachers with a variety of ways to help children stay connected with the values shared in the stories, and will encourage them to invent other activities.

                                                                                          Melanie - Los Angeles, CA.

                                                                                                              kids 18, 15 yrs                                      

Macaroni and Cheese Anthology, Vol 1 has become a dog-eared book in my family library. My three children ages five and eleven, love that they get to read three books in one, then get to listen to the music provided on the CD.

GRUMPY, GROUCHY AND GRATEFUL is my personal favorite. After reading the story, I am reminded how important it is to take care and notice the little things that get lost in my everyday life, like looking up to see what is going on above me- shifting clouds, leaves rustling on a tree, the sound of that teeny tiny plane flying by in the distance. Recently, I took a walk on our family farm in Missouri. I remembered Stacie telling my second grade class to look up in the sky and notice the things going on there. On my walk, I looked up into a huge old tree and watched the rustling leaves, cicadas buzzing on and off and noticed that a purple Passion Flower vine was growing up from the ditch below up and around the tree. I truly needed that moment and shared my discovery with my family later that day.

Thank you, Stacie, for reminding me to be grateful. GRUMPY, GROUCHY AND GRATEFUL will continue to be a story I go back to over and over again with my children.

                                             ~ Laura Jane Boushell

                                                Mom and Teacher-Torrance, CA. (kids 11, 5, 5 yrs)


The MACARONI AND CHEESE Anthology is an amazing collection of children's stories that both my boys and I loved reading!

The voice of the characters and the detailed illustrations bring these stories to life, making me feel like I am inside the characters’ heads. I can relate to Sabrina because I certainly have my own committee, and was happy to see in the end that she was able to find her own voice.


What’s great about reading the MACARONI AND CHEESE Anthology to my children is that when we finish one story, we aren't finished with the whole book..there is always more. The music is great too! These books explore life lessons so the end of a story initiates an amazing, thoughtful, and insightful conversation with my children that I have never experienced with any other children's book.


All I have to say is: WE WANT VOLUME 2 !!

                                                                                               Susan - Los Angeles, CA.

                                                                                                kids’ ages 6,10 yrs

Hi Stacie,

It was a pleasure and a God Breeze to meet you yesterday, at the post office.

The book was absolutely Aaaaaamazing.

Allie (the blue mouth one) was consumed by the enthusiasm from the book and meeting you. I read it twice, she read it to herself, and must of played the CD at least 4 times before even considering going to sleep.

She convinced Brandon and Gabby that she "needed" this more than they did and if the ever they wanted to “borrow it" they could??? I'm not sure about that one. I think there were some "Legos," chores and some candy trading somewhere in between. LOL.

Brandon's grinned reply... "It's okay I don't know how to read anyway, I just want to look at it, but Allie can you read it to me?" (As he is playing with this new Legos and eating his piece of candy).

I played the Attitude song this morning as they were getting ready for school. They were jumping and singing on the bed, I couldn't help myself but to join in. :) Hey, if our mornings are like this everyday it's going to be a great day for mama and the kiddos, too!

Thank you so much for reminding us all of the gift of gratitude and a positive attitude. What a great way to start each morning.

What a Blessing you are to all the lives you touch. I know my family will be forever grateful.

Have a great day!

                                                                                                             Lizette -Manhattan Beach, CA

                                                                                                              kids ages 2 1/2, 5, 7 yrs

Thank you very much for visiting our 2nd grade and 2nd/3rd grade classrooms at Towers Elementary. The older children loved your storytelling workshop and the younger ones truly enjoyed creating gratitude journals with you. They wrote an entry every day until the last week of school. I could tell that they looked forward to coming in each day to write their thoughts and draw their pictures. Thank you for inspiring them to see the beauty right in front of them. I wish you all the best in the future.     

                                 ~ Laura Jane Boushell, Elementary School Teacher, Mom

This is a must have book for all parents and teachers alike. This book is so deep, yet easy to read   and understand. It will build your child’s character and boost self-esteem."

...and 2 songs that will get you and your kids up and on the dance floor together, laughing and   dancing…I know we did :-"

I loved all the stories but SABRINA AND HER COMMITTEE was my fave…It was so deep that it broke my heart and then healed it!"

With my girls, at times, it can be an uphill battle to get them to really care about everything they are doing. This will inspire you and your kids to do your very BEST!


GRUMPY, GROUCHY AND GRATEFUL will teach your children the importance of love, joy, peace, kindness and gratefulness, no matter what may occur throughout life. They will be encouraged to view the world in a new light!"

I really cannot say enough about Macaroni and Cheese, Volume 1. It is truly a treasure. My hope is that all parents and teachers get this book. It will plant positive, uplifting and encouraging seeds within our children and even within ourselves. It will spring up new and important conversations with you and your kids and bring to light these very common issues we all seem to face, but do not exactly know how to handle. Don’t forget to check out the activities in the back that line up perfectly with the stories.

                                                                                           Forest Rose, Home School Mama Blog

Your book is to be treasured forever as it applies not only to children but to all of us as we hopefully grow. My favorite story was MEDIOCRITY, as that is the level I see so often in people my age. They cannot and will not change as they are afraid and most comfortable at that level. They are downright boring and will never change. Oh well, water seeks it own level and I've been lucky enough in general to find some wonderful souls.

The work involved let alone the writing (no small feat), art work, the music and all the aspects of getting it published is just mind boggling. We are in awe of you and you effort as very few of us have your talent, tenacity to follow their beliefs and dreams.

                                                                                         Rosa and Larry - Los Angles, CA

                                                                                         kids’ ages, adult

Stacie Turk has been a part of my classroom for years. She has been a wonderful volunteer reader and helped my students write, illustrate and publish a class book. Now, she has authored a thoughtful and engaging anthology of stories. In MACARONI AND CHEESE, Volume 1 Stacie writes about self-esteem, community, and gratitude in a way that connects with both kids and parents. I am excited to share her stories with my students!

                                                                                           Miss D., Kindergarten Teacher LAUSD

My name is Sorina. We met and I purchased your AMAZING book, Macaroni and Cheese, at the Festival of Books this past weekend. We bought the book to add to my baby girl’s rapidly growing library. I must tell you that out of all the books that we purchased that day your book was the best thing we brought home.

I just wanted to say thank you. Your story is so beautiful and as a mother of a girl, the message is one that I hope she carries with her forever. Sabrina is an inspiration to girls, young and old. I have relatives that have stopped by and I have read it to each of them. I have also passed on the title to all my teacher friends (I teach in Santa Monica). Every classroom needs to hear your story!

 Please keep writing. I am a huge fan!

                                                                     Sorina Dickerson -Mommy and Teacher

                                                                                                                                      kid 2 yrs


I am hoping to host 'Macaroni and Cheese week'  here at Palm Tree Elementary which I understand includes the customized writing, art and musical workshops with the author (based on this material) and a copy of their own for each child to have and continue to use in their classroom as well as at home. Stacie Isabella Turk has given us three delightful stories, songs and activities that speak of improving our human character.  The illustrations for each story complement the content...children AND adults will benefit from this wonderful union.

MACARONI AND CHEESE, Vol 1 is a delight to children in yet another way.

                                                Gerald Luke, Principal at Palm Tree Elementary

                                                Palmdale School District

Macaroni and Cheese is a great book with motivational stories that helps students learn important lessons, not only for the classroom, but for life as a whole.

                                                                                                ~ Seema Syed (Mother 3, 9 yrs)                                               

                                                          B.A Linguistics, M.A in Education with emphasis in reading

                                                                                              12th year teaching public school K-6  

                                               Corona Norco Unified School District, Caesar Chavez Academy                                     

Macaroni and Cheese is a collection of three stories that highlight challenges our children may face and seeks to inspire a spirit of creativity, self-esteem, and gratitude. The stories are relatable and done with beautiful illustrations. Included in each volume is a CD with two original songs and narrated versions of each story, as well as suggested activities for enhancing your children’s understanding and experience.

We love that this book tackles issues such as mediocrity, standing out from the crowd, and grumpy attitudes. Each story is playful and sweet, with memorable cast of characters. Macaroni and Cheese would make a beautiful gift for elementary-aged children or as an addition to a classroom library.

                                                                                     ~ Becca, Editor Goleta, Parentclick.com

At the annual Young Writers’ Conference at Alta Vista Elementary School both students and teachers enjoyed Ms. Turk’s presentation. All three of her story-telling and writing workshops were full of great ideas on writing with lots of enthusiasm and visual props. By the end of her workshop, students were buzzing with ideas and eager to share what they had written.

                                                    ~ Rena and Julie, Founders Young Writers’ Workshop

I fully recommend this woman! She speaks personally to the kids at schools. The subject matter of Stacie's books is so important and imperative for young minds. I wish I had this information about self-esteem and gratitude when I was a kid... might have made some better choices!!!! :). I can't speak highly enough about her words and the impact they have on my girls.                    

                                                                        ~ Gina, Mom - kids ages 6 yrs

Whether you are 5 or 95, at various points in our life we all experience internal voices of doubt and criticism. Sometimes those voices can be so powerful that we put more attention on hearing what they are saying rather than listening to our own heart.   In "Sabrina and Her Committee", Stacie Isabella Turk did a beautiful job capturing this conversation in a child.  She then went on to pair emotion-filled illustrations by Gary Solomon to her story of a little girl, Sabrina, whose voices live in her hair as her "committee".  The most heart-warming part of the story is when Sabrina recognizes her own internal voice and reclaims her true self.

So far I've not met a single child who cannot relate to this type of self-sabotaging internal dialog.  I'm thrilled that Stacie found a way to open a conversation about this topic between parents and kids through this delightful story. Reading it again and again will provides a healthy platform to keep the parent-child dialog in the foreground and put the "committee" dialog in the background, resulting in more confident kids who learn to trust their own heart.

~Jane Massengill, LCSW

   Master Certified Coach

   Director, The Gremlin-Taming® Institute




Three stories showcase being grateful and thinking outside the box in Turk’s debut collection with color and black-and-white illustrations by debut artists Solomon and Muffins.

Does your brain have a committee of voices judging you? Do you ever suspect that your neighbors are aliens, content to live humdrum lives? Are you so grumpy and grouchy that you forget to be grateful? These are the types of questions asked by the three tales in this book. In “Sabrina and Her Committee,” a young girl with very long hair and a huge imagination discovers small voices, nestled in her hair, which criticize her. Eventually she finds the smaller voice of her heart, Grace, which teaches her to love herself. Unfortunately for Sabrina, her schoolteacher is the loudest of the critics outside her head, judging her penmanship, her focus, her art, and her appearance. Indeed, the teacher’s verbal abuse will surely elicit commentary from adult readers. Turk captures Sabrina’s genuine worries very well, though adults may wish that the character focused less on being “pretty enough.” Solomon’s brightly colored ink-and-paint illustrations reveal Sabrina’s big personality. “Mediocrity,” a list of rules for identifying aliens from the “planet, ADEQUATE from the universe, MEDIOCRE,” will make readers think about whether the people they encounter every day are merely sleeping through average lives; it’s accompanied by Solomon’s grayscale cartoons. “Grumpy, Grouchy, and Grateful,” featuring boldly colored, humorous illustrations from Muffins, tells of three caterpillar brothers, only one of whom bothers to look at the world around them and hope for a brighter future. Each story offers opportunities for young readers to identify themselves and recognize attitudes and behaviors that may make it hard to succeed and be happy. Turk uses an accessible vocabulary in the sometimes text-dense stories and creates fun characters with whom children will empathize. The varying art styles fit their stories well and are sure to draw interested browsers. The book also includes an audio CD (not reviewed).

A compilation that’s best for libraries looking to increase their offerings about positive thinking and gratitude.

                                                                                                     KIRKUS REVIEWS