Express Yourself 101
Uplifting Poetry
Nancy Michaud
Lisa Morton
Ken Nebel
Steve Pileggi
Ada Rodriguez

Nancy Michaud   I am an up-and-coming illustrator who received a degree in illustration from the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts. I specialize in animal portraiture, plants, and children’s illustration. I work water-based paints, mostly acrylics, as well as watercolors, inks, and gouache. I currently live in Lebanon, Connecticut, in close proximity to Hartford, New Haven, and Providence. My first published book, "Heart of Stone", written by Ana Monnar, is now available at,, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, and Fine Bookstores worldwide.

Heart of Stone by Ana Monnar, Linda Weinerman (Editor) , Nancy Michaud (Illustrator)

Corazón de Piedra by Ana Monnar, Nancy Michaud (Illustrator) , Myriam Del Castillo (Translator)

Contact Information

Nancy MichaudLebanon, Connecticut United States United States

Please Contact: Nancy Michaud Mobile: (860)608-1766  e-mail:

Recent Clients
• Ana Monnar, Writer - Readers are Leaders U.S.A., Inc.

• Animals
• Botanical
• Children
• Editions
• Fine Art/Limited Editions
• Humorous
• Landscapes
• Portrait
• Sci-Fi/Fantasy
• Whimsical
• Pet Portraiture, Plants, publishing
• Adobe Illustrator
• Adobe InDesign
• Adobe Photoshop

Heart of Stone

Long ago there lived a maiden with long black hair of silk, deep blue eyes, a perfect nose, chin, and glowing skin. She had long lush lashes and smelled like jasmine, yet was vain and shallow.

A marriage between the maiden and Prince William had been arranged by their parents, but the more William thought about it, the more he knew it could not be. This beautiful young lady spent hours on her beauty, endlessly brushing her hair. Underneath her lovely shell lived a self-centered but lonely girl.

Her name was Vanity, and it suited her. She would stroke cream all over her face and body until she glowed radiantly. By the time she would be ready to go out, William no longer felt like going, but off they would walk together. They had no conversation, no similar interests, and no chemistry.

They would sit in the deep green forest by the sparkling lake. All Vanity would do was gaze at the reflection of her fine silk and lace dress in the lake.

Vanity did not see William with love and compassion. He was just a tool to buy her treasures, creams, robes, and precious jewelry. She did not see him as a companion to share hopes, dreams, pains, or growing old together. With such great differences as a couple, what kind of children could they raise?

Imagine living with such distress, not for a minute, an hour, much less for a lifetime. With strong conviction Prince William looked her in the eyes and informed her that the wedding would never be. Vanity looked puzzled and blurted out, “This cannot be happening! ” All that worried Vanity was what people would think and who would buy her robes, creams, and jewels. Her biggest fears were not about love because she had a heart of stone.

The wise young prince walked Vanity back home and wished her well. From there Prince William went to face his mother and father with respect and dignity. Back at the castle, the king and queen listened to their son’s feelings and desires. The couple loved each other very much, as they indeed loved their two sons, whom they conceived.

But a promise is a promise. They had given their word about the arranged marriage to Vanity’s family, and their word was as good as gold. Yet they had to spare their son such dismay because they loved him so.

Their younger son, Prince Charming, was naive and had a crush on Vanity’s beauty and fine clothing. Overhearing the discussion, he volunteered to carry out the promise of marriage.

Both families met in Vanity’s palace to plan her destiny once again. Both sets of parents reached an agreement. Vanity seemed pleased and did not mind as long as her needs were met. Prince Charming looked forward to a life with such flawless beauty. He spent hours gazing at her and admiring the perfection of his future bride.

Winter turned to spring, with flowers blooming and the breeze so sweet. Prince William decided to ride his horse along the forest’s edge. His horse galloped so elegantly. His mind was clear and fresh, when from a distance he spotted a plain young lady caring for quite a few animals. She caught his attention because she seemed so happy, singing and dancing freely.

The wise young prince approached Joy, the cheerful girl, and within moments both felt an attraction. They talked and talked and enjoyed each other’s company. The Prince came back day after day. William and Joy would sit or walk, holding hands as if they were one. If he was down, she would lift up his spirits, and he would do the same for her. Some days they talked much, and other days they welcomed silence, but it always felt as though they were on the same page.

Joy did not care much about fancy clothes or fine linens. She only cared endlessly about William’s heart, mind, and soul. Caring for animals and flowers came naturally to Joy. For his part, Prince William was not afraid of sweat on his forehead or working with his hands in the fields. On the contrary, he felt much satisfaction in living as simply as he could.

Prince William had longed for a lifelong companion. The right one did come along. Call it fate and what was written by the power from above. True love is when the newness and passion slow down, yet the trust, comfort, and friendship still remain and grow.

After a year of courtship the prince broke the news to the king and queen. They were pleased to see that their older son had found his true soul mate.

The prince went to Joy’s parents and asked her hand in marriage. Joy’s plain and simple parents were happy to view such love in the couple’s eyes. Blessings were in order, and hugs and kisses followed as well. Acceptance, kindness, and warmth filled the air in their home.

Those who did not know Joy and her family well would have thought that they had no wealth. The clothes they wore had to be comfortable; there was no need to impress the rain, sleet, or snow. What really mattered was nurturing and encouraging, and doing for others less fortunate.

The king and queen planned a double wedding for their two sons. Noble families were invited, as were people from the nearby town. It did not matter how much gold was in their pockets, just the gold that blessed their hearts.

It all happened for a reason. Both couples lived happily ever after, because each couple valued something different.

Vanity constantly brushed her hair while Prince Charming continued staring at her flawless beauty. He did not agree with people who thought that Vanity had a heart of stone. He loved her and did not see her as shallow or conceited. In her own way, Vanity also came to love Prince Charming. She experienced a love she had never felt before.

Prince William and Joy liked each other’s company and glorious smiles, and felt their love. They would gaze at each other with sparkling eyes. Prince William and Joy shared the bond of devotion, commitment, and affection until eternity and forever more.

Written by Ana Monnar © Copyright

Illustrated by Nancy Michaud

Corazón de Piedra by Ana Monnar, Nancy Michaud (Illustrator) , Myriam del Castillo (Translator) Paperback ISBN: 9780976803577  Book Description
Los padres del príncipe Guillermo y de una bella doncella los habían comprometido en matrimonio desde niños. Pero cuando el príncipe pensaba en esta boda, comprendía que esto no podía ser. Sólo imaginar que tendría que vivir en esta angustia le hizo darse cuenta de que no podría ser ni por minuto, ni por una hora, mucho menos por toda una vida. Con esta convicción, el príncipe Guillermo, mirándole a los ojos, le informó que esta boda nunca se llevaría a cabo.

The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to honor the best children’s books, authors and illustrators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading.

Announcing the 2008 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Results
Here are the best children's books of the year as determined by the Moonbeam Awards judges.

25.  Spanish Language Book

Gold (2): Ensonacion y el Jardin de Suenos/Dreamygirl’s Field of Wishes, by Jorge Betancourt Polanco (Stephens Press) and El tirburón que me enseñó ingles/The shark that taught me English, by Michelle Markel; illustrated by Bo Young Kim (Lectura Books)
Silver: Piedrin y Goliat: El Verdadero Heroe/Stony and Goliath: The True Hero, by David P. Alcorta; illustrated by Jill M. Schmidt (Book Publishers Network)
Bronze: Corazón de Piedra, by Ana Monnar; illustrated by Nancy Michaud (Readers are Leaders USA)

Adelaida : A Cuban Cinderella by Ana MonnarNancy Michaud  (Illustrator), Linda Weinerman (Editor) 

On the island of Cuba lived two sisters named Adelaida and Marisol. Although identical twins in appearance, their personalities were as different as night and day. Adelaida was noble and loved to help others. She understood that the situation at home was not easy. On the other hand, Marisol believed that the world revolved around her. Will the sisters' actions affect their fate?

Adelaida: A Cuban Cinderella
Written by Ana Monnar

{PAGE 1}
Once upon a time, on the island of Cuba lived two sisters named Adelaida and Marisol. Although identical twins in appearance, their personalities were as different as night and day. Adelaida was noble and loved to help others. She understood that the situation at home was not easy. Their father worked 14 hours a day and their mother was frail and very ill. So Adelaida would wake up very early every morning to cook breakfast and have it ready for her father before he’d go to work. They would eat together while they talked about many different matters.

{PAGE 2}
Adelaida would then prepare a tray for her mother; with love and tenderness she fed her each meal of the day. She also insisted on helping the nurse care for her much-loved mother. She spent time brushing her mami’s hair and would take pleasure in it.

{PAGE 3}
On the other hand, Marisol believed that the world revolved around her. After sleeping until noon, she expected a breakfast menu. From the moment that she stepped out of her bed, she would holler, “Adelaida, bring me my breakfast! ”
Adelaida would serve her sister bacon, eggs, toast, juice, and milk. She would hurry to take the plate to the table and cater to her sister. But Marisol always complained that the food was not hot enough, or the drinks not cold enough. No matter how much Adelaida would try to please her, it never seemed to be enough. Marisol often wanted favors during the very moment that her sister was caring for their mother, and so Adelaida would ignore her sister’s whining and tend to her mother first.

{PAGE 4}
During the long hours of each day Adelaida would sweep the floor, wash, iron, and do the dishes. In between chores, she would hurry each time Marisol rang a bell demanding her services. Marisol would command, “Curl my hair! ” “Wash and iron my clothes! ” “Make my bed! ” “I’m hungry! ” “I want chicken and yellow rice, salad, and custard for dinner! ”
Adelaida would just give in to her sister’s demands to avoid confrontations that would disturb their mother’s peace. Luckily Adelaida had dogs, cats, and birds that adored her and followed her around. Even the mice would come to keep her company and help out. Little Maria the mouse carried the napkin on top of her head to set the table. Sometimes Adelaida and her critters would have fun together carving a giant pumpkin to make pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin custard.

{PAGE 5}
One evening when their father came home from work he called both of his daughters. Adelaida and Marisol both kissed him and listened to what he had to say. With a frown, he mumbled, “My boss is having a dinner at his mansion and he wants our family to attend. Mr. Perez wishes to reward me for being the employee of the year. He also is very proud of his son who just finished his internship and graduated as a doctor. He is coming home just in time for the Christmas holidays and he would like for us to meet him.' In his mind he was thinking, ‘How am I going to get my wife to go? She is so weak and frail.’

{Page 6}
Adelaida, who felt and shared her father’s concern and sorrow, read his mind and replied, “Papi, you go ahead and enjoy the party and take Marisol with you. I will stay home with Mami and I promise to call the nurse if I need the extra help.”
Marisol leaped and yelped, “It sounds like a great plan to me! Take me shopping for a new dress, shoes, purse, and jewelry.” Deep in her mind she was scheming to snatch the young doctor. If she married rich she could have servants, a chef, and a chauffeur.
Their father tried to coax Adelaida into going with them. He said, “Adelaida, please come along with us and I will call the nurse to care for your mother during the few hours that we will be gone.” Adelaida gently but firmly begged her dad to let her stay. He finally agreed.

{Page 7}
The dinner was only two weeks away and Marisol continued nagging about a dress, pair of shoes, purse, jewelry, and now even added perfume to her inventory. Finally, even after working 14-hour shifts, Papi took Marisol out on several occasions to buy her luxuries. If Adelaida, their mother, or the nurse tried to reason with her insistent demands, Marisol would weep and whine until she got her way. Their father looked fatigued and could barely keep his feet firmly on the ground. Adelaida hugged her father and whispered, “Papi, I love you.” He cracked a slight grin and kissed her on the top of her head.

{Page 8}
Adelaida felt sorry for her father and hoped her sister would grow up and mature someday. They were both 23 years old and even though they were twins, their actions and values were poles apart. Adelaida often proved to be as wise as an owl perched up high in a tree as the moon glistened and sparkled above.

{Page 9}
Finally the day of the invitation arrived and Marisol was ecstatic. This would be her big break for securing her future husband! She just wanted to get away from their home, which reeked of medicines, antiseptic, and illness. Adelaida helped Marisol into her gown, but instead of showing gratitude, Marisol's whimpering continued. Marisol applied globs of make-up. If someone were to wet a couple of fingers and roll them against her foundation, rouge, and eye shadow, they would have enough watercolors to cover a canvas with frolicking ocean waves. When she put on her big gold hoop earrings and dabbed on cologne, Marisol was thrilled by the look and smell created by these finishing touches.

{Page 10}
Marisol scurried to her mother’s room and waved good-bye from the door. The nurse could have been knocked over by a feather after observing such selfishness from Marisol. She pondered how one sister could be so kind, loving, and gentle, while the other was egotistical and self-centered. The nurse had been coming to the house for weeks, having been hired when the mother began to feel weaker and was confined to bed. She was a dutiful and observant nurse who continuously nourished those who needed her help. When the nurse went home for the evening, Adelaida would sit by her mother and hold her hand as she sang to her. Her soothing voice would help her mother fall asleep.

{Page 11}
Adelaida’s father kissed his wife’s forehead and then thanked Adelaida for being so caring and devoted. Marisol yelled from across the corridor, “Papi, hurry up or we’ll be late! ” Although he loved both his daughters equally and played no favorites, he could clearly see the difference in their behaviors.

{Page 12}
Marisol and her father arrived at the mansion. The butler greeted them and announced their appearance. Mr. Garcia’s gentle boss, wife, and son welcomed them. Mr. and Mrs. Perez inquired about the whereabouts of his wife and his other twin daughter. The humble Mr. Garcia replied softly with sad and shameful eyes, “My wife is ill, weak, frail, and bedridden so my other daughter Adelaida stayed home caring for her. She insisted that we come and have an evening out.” Young Dr. Perez did not even glance at Marisol. He just thought it odd that one sister was out partying, while the other was looking after her mother. Mr. and Mrs. Perez felt sorry for the family’s suffering and offered to take the meal to the Garcias’ home and eat there instead. Marisol was flabbergasted! ‘This can’t be happening! I must be having a nightmare! ’ she thought.

{Page 13}
Both families drove to the Garcia residence. The servants and chauffeur carried the meal inside. The Perez family members were guided to the master bedroom where Adelaida was brushing her mother’s hair as she sang so sweetly. Although Adelaida had no make-up and was wearing simple clothes, she looked cool, calm, collected, and as faithful as a saint. Young Dr. Perez looked at Adelaida’s emerald-green eyes and realized that this was one young lady that he would love to befriend. At the end of the corridor Marisol’s green eyes displayed her jealousy and envy.
They sat down around the ill Mrs. Garcia, spoke softly, and ate holding their plates with one hand and their forks with the other. They ate black beans, rice, pork, and fried plantains. Adelaida did not begin eating until she slowly and gently fed her mother first. By this point Marisol was starving, so she devoured her food.
After this very enlightening visit, the young doctor asked Mr. Garcia if he could come regularly to check up on Mrs. Garcia and visit Adelaida. Mr. Garcia was very grateful for his interest and agreed.

{Page 14}
The next day the young doctor appeared at the Garcias’ home. He read the chart with the diagnosis of the illness and then examined Mrs. Garcia. Dr. Perez wrote a prescription for a medication that had been tested and approved in the United States, but was not yet that well known in Cuba. He asked the twin young ladies to go to the pharmacy. Adelaida without hesitation obeyed and was ready to walk a mile and a half to buy the medication. Marisol, however, refused to go with the excuse that she was too tired. She thought that if she stayed while Adelaida was absent, perhaps the doctor would notice her instead.
As Adelaida walked the distance, she took joy in observing the squirrels climb the trees. In the meantime, Marisol, without any concern for her mother, just batted her eyes at the doctor and continued her selfish ways.
Each day Dr. Perez would come to check on their mother. It was very clear that he had compassion for the poor suffering woman. He also fell in love with Adelaida and her good deeds.
Marisol tried every trick in the book to split them up. But the more she tried, the more love bonded her twin sister with her new-found love.

{Page 15}
The nurse, an observant witness to Marisol’s selfish actions, was astounded. She waited until the doctor left one day and led the twins to the garden. She did not wish to upset the lady of the house.
As all three stood outside, the nurse said in a very sweet voice, “You, Adelaida, are sincere, kind, loyal, and nurturing, and for that I will grant that every time you speak, good things will come out of your mouth! ”
Then the nurse turned to Marisol and with a harsh tone of voice said, 'You, Marisol, are so selfish, self-centered, mean, and manipulating that each time you open your mouth to speak, only bad things will come out! ”
Adelaida quietly pleaded, “Please don’t hurt my sister, she is just immature and will one day change.” When pearls, rubies, and diamonds suddenly came out of Adelaida's mouth, Marisol was amazed and looked frightened but thought, ‘I wonder, what if I speak and get riches also.’ So she dared say, “Now what sort of bad things could really happen? ”
A snake slithered out of her mouth and she looked petrified. Marisol, without thinking, squealed, “Stop it! ” Before she even finished speaking, a crocodile dashed out of her mouth. Adelaida, being a kind soul, begged the magical nurse to forgive her sister. She cried, “Please take my riches away each time I speak, and remove the curse from my sister’s tongue, ” while more jewels spilled from her mouth and onto the floor.
For the first time, Marisol was enlightened by her sister’s love for her. Deeply touched, Marisol felt sincere remorse. The nurse could sense both sisters’ love for each other, and love conquered evil. The spell was broken, ending after 23 minutes had elapsed. One minute for each year of their lives,23 minutes that seemed like an eternity.
When their father returned that evening, he saw that both sisters were waiting hand and foot on their mother.

{Page 16}
The young doctor returned each day and their mother grew stronger and healthier. Once her health improved miraculously, he continued visiting Adelaida every single day. He asked her parents for her hand in marriage and they were pleased. His parents were very happy for their son and blessed him for choosing such a nice and noble girl.
The next day he surprised Adelaida by knocking at her door. On her front lawn was the most elegant elephant. The circus was in town and young Dr. Perez hired the ringmaster to assist with the elephant as a unique surprise.Riding it was the cutest mouse holding a sparkling diamond ring. Adelaida was in awe as she accepted his proposal. This time around both sisters’ emerald-green eyes shimmered. Marisol was very happy for her sister and gave her a big hug full of love.

{Page 17}
The wedding took place in Varadero Beach under the sunset. Only the immediate family attended. But off in the distance the magical nurse observed the scene and smiled. She knew that the Garcia family would not need her services anymore and it was time to move on to help another family.
The seagulls glided and flew in sweet harmony as the breeze broke the waves along the shoreline. The young doctor and Adelaida decided to make their home in Havana, Cuba, near their parents, where they lived happily ever after.

Ana Monnar