The Lion of Tupungato – A Great Book, Great Read, and Great Cause

A Great Book, Great Read, and Great Cause

The Lion of Tupungato

I am sitting, drinking coffee, in Minnesota finishing a lovely book on a cool spring day. I thought I would share this book, The Lion of Tupungato, with you as it truly “warms” my heart.

A bit about the book and its author and illustrator,

Leanne M Benson

Leanne is a friend of mine and the author AND illustrator of “The Lion of Tupungato.”  In fact, Leanne is my daughter’s mother-in-law. Several years ago, she had a story in her head that she felt compelled to get on paper. She was initially motivated to write this book to support children fighting blood cancer (leukemia and lymphoma), but her story has certainly evolved into much more. This delightful book pulls at my heart strings and can give hope to others who are facing challenges in life. That pretty much includes all of us. We all have challenges – some greater than others, but none are exempt.

Why is this book so important to me?

The Lion of Tupingato and Leanne’s desire to use some of the profits of her book for blood cancer research especially touches me. Those of you who know me, know that our daughter, Kelsey, is a 21 year leukemia survivor. Without research dollars for blood cancer, I would not have had the honor of watching Kelsey grow up and thrive. But there is still so much to do in the area of childhood cancer. Blood cancer is still a leading cause of death in children, treatments are incredibly toxic, and they can leave lifelong health issues.

Lion of Tupungato porcelain figure

I ask that you all take a look at The Lion of Tupungato. In addition to the book, Leanne has created a limited number of sculptures of the “Lion” from this book. I have attached a picture so you can see how beautiful they are. Leanne is an amazing artist, and the illustrations in the book and sculptures are as incredible as the story.

Please read some additional information that Leanne gave me about her book and her hopes for the readers.

Leanne M. Benson is a local Minnesota author and artist, who has just released her first book, “The Lion of Tunungato.”. “The Lion of Tupungato” is about a young teen, who figures out some of life’s biggest challenges; sometimes with excitement and other times with trepidation. Talking about our insecurities and fears can be daunting. Leanne admits, “The characters in this story allowed me to examine some of life’s obstacles and hopefully open the door of communication for others.”

For years, Leanne has pictured readers enjoying her story. Looking back, she remembers, “It was during long walks that I would become the most honest with my feelings and emotions. Writing and rewriting, in order to stay true to each character’s personality throughout the story, and until the most meaningful life lessons had been created, my dream was to have others enjoy and be touched by the lessons in my book. We’ve all been a little broken at times in our lives. It is my hope that this uplifting story provides inspiration, comfort, and guidance to those fighting lymphoma, leukemia, other cancers and illnesses, bullying, inequality, or anything that makes us feel less of a person.”

Leanne is excited to get this enchanted story, with her own thirty charming illustrations, into the hands of readers of all ages. This book was crafted with advanced readers, fifth grade and older in mind, however, testimonials from grandparents and parents have expressed how much they enjoyed sharing this story with children much younger.

How can I get Leanne’s book?

Leanne’s book is sold on Amazon. Check out  her website, with a link to the Amazon page. To reach Leanne with any questions , to purchase a figurine, or to receive a signed copy of her book, send her an email through her website. At the bottom of her home page is an email contact.

News from Talk It Rock It and a 50% Coupon Code –

I am excited to report that Animation Station 5 & 6 is in the final stages of development. If you have enjoyed our Animation Station song videos, you will LOVE this one, too.

You don’t have Animation Station 1, 2, 3, or 4? Perhaps you should check them out. Go here to view samples which are excellent for individual speech therapy session, small preschool groups, and home speech practice. To order and to receive 50% off either Animation Station 1 & 2 or Animation Station 3 & 4, go to our shopping page here.

Coupon Code for 50% off –

At check out, write the code, Animation, and you will receive 50% off either a single set or multiples of the sets to use as loaners for your clients or to give as gifts. Sale expires on May 1, 2019.

Thank you for your support of our small but mighty company – a company that provides “simple songs that kids can simply sing!”

Thank you again!

Rachel Arntson,

Speech-language pathologist,  M.S., CCC-SLP

Owner, Talk It Rock It

Do Children’s Songs Go Too Fast?  We have a Solution!

Do children’s songs go TOO FAST! No problem. It’s easy to slow them down.

50% off all Talk It Rock It Song Sets

Do Children’s Songs Go Too Fast? We have a Solution!


Do children’s songs go too fast? When we record children’s songs, we often think about this question. We also have many other goals in mind for any songs we create.

– Slow pace

– Embedded speech and language goals and techniques

– Frequent repetition of simple words and phrases

– Some instrumental tracks to create your own speech practice songs

– Visuals that illustrate each song to enhance learning

BUT we understand that every child is different.

We also understand that the speech of some songs may still need to be adjusted to meet a child’s needs. It is true that some children’s songs go too fast.


Download the free app, Music Speed Changer, by Single Minded Productions, LLS

You can load this app on your smartphone, computer, or tablet and play any of our songs at normal, slower, or faster speed. What is so amazing about this app is that the pitch does not change, and the words and voice do not get distorted. Oh how technology has changed!

There are many other speed changers, too!

Although I currently have Music Speed Changer on my cellphone, I have had Anytune on my iPad. The point is that there are many options for you. I have found Music Speed Changer easy to use for our purposes.


Have you tried our songs for speech therapy sessions, for preschool groups, or for home practice?

We believe that songs and visuals should be used for all kids. Music enhances learning, plain and simple. We have a song for endless speech and language goals! Go HERE to listen to song samples of EVERY song we sell. And remember that our songs also come with printable visuals.

Do you want to try our songs and visuals? Would 50% off entice you?

To order and to receive 50% off any of our CD or USB Song Sets, go to our shopping page HERE.

This deal includes the following individual song sets:

– Imitation Exploration Song Set 1 – Simple imitation of sounds, words, and phrases

– Rock and Roll with a Language Goal Song Set 2 – Language tasks using catchy rock and roll tunes

– Drills for Sounds Song Set 3 – Sound sequencing and articulation practice of specific speech sounds, especially great for children with apraxia

– Digo y canto Song Set 5 – Speech and language practice for Spanish Language Learners

– Animals Movin’ and Groovin’ Song Set 5 – Imitation opportunities for gross motor movement and animal sounds – This set comes with the MUST-HAVE Animal Face Posters. Read on to learn a new song using our animal faces.

Have you seen our new video using our Animal Faces?

This video will teach you a simple but effective song for helping children learn to verbally imitate. Go to to view.

Coupon code for 50% Off –

At check out, write the coupon code, SongSets, and you will receive 50% off a single set or multiples of sets to use as loaners for your clients or as gifts. This sale does NOT include our combo sets which are already discounted.


Thank you for your support of our small but mighty company – a company that provides “simple songs that kids can simply sing!”

Thank you again!

Rachel Arntson,

Speech-language pathologist,  M.S., CCC-SLP

Owner, Talk It Rock It

Are you going to ASHA? I have a deal for you!

I love going to ASHA and meeting SLPs who enjoy our songs and other products. Our conversations have warmed my heart! I thoroughly enjoy listening to how you incorporate Talk It Rock It into your daily work with children. Thank you for sharing! I’m excited to see many of you again and to also meet many new people in Boston.

Come to Booth 456 to see our new Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set! If you want a tool that makes speech and language drill and practice fun and motivating, you will want to see this. If you want an interactive tool for children with apraxia, you can’t miss this opportunity to “play” with our Blast Off Board. The response from our customers has been incredible!

The Blast Off Board is a two-sided, magnetic board that gives children opportunities for imitation, naming, and direction-following all while matching, scanning, and pushing magnets to watch them fall. You really need to see it to believe its endless uses.

If you purchase either Level 1 or Level 2 Blast Off Board Sets, we will give you a Blast Off Board canvas carrying bag for FREE! ($20 value)

For more details about the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set, go to our website, .

Discounts on our other products as well – All of our song and movie sets are discounted at ASHA! I love visitors, so please stop by our booth. Just ask for Rachel!

Awesome Carrying Case

Thank you for your support of our small but mighty company – a company that provides “simple songs that kids can simply sing!”

Thank you again!
Rachel Arntson,
Speech-language pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner, Talk It Rock It

Back to School – 20% Off Entire Talk It Rock It Store

Welcome back to school with a 20% discount to get you started! I have been retired from my work in the public school system for 3 years now. I miss my students and my colleagues. The paper work? Not so much.

Would you like to make your job a little easier this school year? That 20% discount on EVERY ITEM on our website can help. Remember, some of our combo sets are already discounted 50%. We want to give you an added savings.

Here are some items to consider –

Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set – Give yourself a refreshing way of providing therapy for kids with apraxia, autism, and articulation disorders. The motivating “pushing of magnets” is a concept that is simple but is amazing for holding a child’s attention.

Our CD and/or USB song and visual sets – Do you need simple, upbeat songs for small group activities? Our songs have been praised by educators across the country as a “must-have” learning tool for individual and group sessions.

Our movies, available on DVD or USB, have been a HUGE HIT for classrooms that have a SMART board. Animation Station 1, 2, 3, and 4 may be exactly the product you need for teaching simple vocabulary, direction following, imitation, and much more.



–  – We have many different children’s books from our I Love book, to Talk With Me, to our Poke-a-Dot books. Check them out.

Poke a dot Old MacDonald's farm

Poke a dot Old MacDonald’s farm

This incredible offer is only available until September 30th. At check-out, use the coupon code, Back to School, and you will receive 20% off your ENTIRE ORDER! Yes, that’s right!

Go to our website at for this incredible savings.

Purchase Orders are also welcome. Just write Back to School on your purchase order and subtract 20% off your bill.

Take care and have a wonderful school year!

Thank you for your support of our small but mighty company – a company that provides “simple songs that kids can simply sing!”

Thank you again!
Rachel Arntson,
Speech-language pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner, Talk It Rock It

Summer Song and 30% off our ENTIRE STORE!

Summer Song 
Living in Minnesota or anywhere in the northern US brings an intense love for summer. I love summer and camping! I love doing so many things that we cannot do in the winter months. This winter was especially long with a 22 inch snow storm in late April. Seriously!
So, in honor of SUMMER, I wrote a little poem/song below to share with you and your students, clients, kids. I challenge all of you to do the following things with this song.
  1. Illustrate the lyrics and have your students do the same. (I promise to do the same as well and will share them in the very near future.) Combining visuals with auditory is always a positive learning tool.
  2. Ask your students to make their own Summer Plan. You can start to explore descriptive words, action words, and imagination as you talk about what you all love to do in the summer. You can go to a rhyming dictionary online such as to find words that rhyme with your lyrics. Writing a song is a great way to teach your children about rhyming, an important precursor to literacy.
  3. Put these lyrics to a tune. In writing a song, I often start with the lyrics. Then I read the lyrics in a rhythmic and sing/song way to follow the natural, musical flow. That will lead you to your own unique song and melody. You can sing this song or turn it into a rap with some rhythm instruments. Let your imagination be your guide.
  4. Share your song with all of us. I would love to publish your added verses in my blog and newsletter. With your order, please add your song to the message section in the shopping cart or send it to my Facebook page.
  5. Take advantage of this 30% off SUMMER PLAN. Here’s my SUMMER PLAN for you. I want each of you to have songs to listen to in the car as you are driving to some of your amazing summer adventures. My granddaughter is ALWAYS asking for “Grandma’s Songs” while we are driving. They have been an incredible learning tool for her.

Summer SALE – 30% Off – 

Because our summer has finally arrived, we are offering 30% of anything in our store! This includes our new Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Sets, all of our  Music in CD’s or USB formats, all of our Animation Stations in DVD or USB format, all of books, and our combo sets that are already significantly discounted! This sale will end on June 30th. Share with others!

We have never had a sale like this. The only catch is, only valid with a minimum of a $100 shopping cart.


Just write SUMMER as a coupon code when checking out.


30% off everything in our store

Even the fantastic Talk With Me book is on sale!

30% off our already discounted combination sets. This has never happened before!

Summer Plan
I’m going to the beach. I’m going to eat a peach.
That’s my summer plan today.                                     
I’m going to read a book. I’ll be fishing with a hook.
That’s my summer plan today.                                            
I’ll run in the rain. I’ll ride on a train.
That’s my summer plan today.                                             
I’ll play in the park, draw a picture of a shark.
That’s my summer plan today.
   Summer plans are grand! Summer plans are great.
Summer plans start now. Don’t wait. Don’t wait!
Thank you for your support of our small but mighty company – a company that provides “simple songs that kids can simply sing!”
Thank you again!
Rachel Arntson,
Speech-language pathologist,  M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner, Talk It Rock It

The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set has really taken off, no pun intended.

After going to ASHA in November and to CESA-5 Speech-Language Symposium in Wisconsin this past weekend, I am so excited by the positive response for the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set.


Let’s face it. Some of the drill and practice that we do with kids is not all that fun. When something as difficult as speech is to certain children, the last thing we want to do is to make it painful and boring. That is why I created the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set.


The concept is simple – Kids match pictures to the magnetic board and then poke them out the other side. What can I say? Kids LOVE pushing the pieces out and watching them fall. They can actively participate while practicing difficult sound sequences.


30 boards in one! This board contains the Starter Set of 10 pictures of common objects. In addition, though, there are 29 other sets of pictures and overlays that completely change the practice board. So, if you are working on vowels and vowel combinations, you use the Vowel magnets and overlay. If you are working on Consonant-Vowel productions with another child, you can choose between the CV magnets/overlays. Does a student need two words phrases? Grab the two-word phrase magnets/overlay. Click HERE see all of the magnet/overlay sets of Level 1.

Special FREE offer –

There may be many of you who work in a clinic or school who would want to share the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set with your colleagues. I have an exciting opportunity for you to get one FREE Blast Off Board STARTER SET!


Manufacturing can sometimes create products that have slight defects that cannot be sold to a customer. This happened with the Blast Off Board Starter Set. I have a number of boards where the shapes printed on the front are just slightly off center. The quality is still excellent, and the board can be used exactly as it was intended. Please see the picture of the defective board below, and you may not be able to tell that there is any problem with the board at all.

Anyone purchasing a Blast Off Board Level 1, Blast Off Board Level 2, or the combination of Level 1 and Level 2, will receive an ADDITIONAL FREE BLAST OFF BOARD Starter Set. You will receive the “defective” board and the 10 magnets that accompany the Starter Board. This is a $30 value and will give you a chance to share the entire Sound Sequencing Set with a colleague.


This special offer remains as long as supplies last. You must add the Starter Set to your cart AND also use the coupon code, STARTER, to receive this extra board. (Please note your cart will be credited $35 to cover the cost of the Starter Set and shipping of it)

Shop here for the products:

FREE Blast Starter Set: Click HERE (With Purchase Below)

Blast Off Level 1: Click HERE

Blast Off Level 2: Click HERE

Blast Off Level 1 &2: Click HERE

This special offer is also valid though Purchase Orders. Please call or e-mail us!

Blast Off Board and FREE products? Awesome!

Announcing the amazing Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set and up  to 2 free products ($80 value) for the purchase of a complete set!

Happy New Year to all of you. My new year has started out with a BLAST! After years of pondering whether to develop another Push-Pull Puzzle, I am thrilled to say that I have something even better. The Blast Off Board is more durable, made here in the United States, and is essentially 30 puzzles in one!

FREE PRODUCTS with Level 1 or Level 2 purchase!

In addition to the purchase of either Level 1 or Level 2, you can receive any of our CD/USB Song Sets 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 or DVD/USB Animation Station 1 & 2 or 3&4 Sets ABSOLUTELY FREE! If you purchase BOTH Level 1 and Level 2, you can receive 2 of our song or movie sets for FREE! Here is what you need to do. At check-out, write a message to us in the box with the title of the set or sets you would like. Also, be sure to specify whether you want a disc or USB flashdrive. *This free product is only available if you write us a note in the message box at check-out.

So, what is this new product?

The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set has 3 elements.

  1. The Blast Off Board Starter Set – A 2-sided, magnetic receptive board with 10 common object magnets.
  2. The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set, Level 1 – 13 sets of magnets and overlays covering sound sequences from vowels, vowel combinations and CV structures to 2-syllable words, final consonants, and 2 word phrases.
  3. The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set, Level 2 – 16 sets of magnets and overlays covering beginning consonant sounds in CVCV structures and some two syllable words.                                    

Check out these videos describing this product which is especially valuable for children with apraxia or other articulation delays

While written descriptions are helpful, our videos demonstrating the Blast Off Board will show you the specific details much more. You really need to see it demonstrated to see the expansive uses of this wonderful product.

The Blast Off Board Starter Set 

The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set, Level 1

The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set, Level 2

The Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set Quality and Durability


Finally, have you ever seen our movie samples? Check out our other YouTube videos showing samples from our Animation Station 1, 2, 3, and 4 movies.


I wish you a very Happy New Year!

The BLAST OFF BOARD Sound Sequencing Set is finally here!

Are you tired of using picture cards for speech practice ?

You need the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set which combines speech practice all while having fun! This amazing new product is especially excellent for children with apraxia, articulation delays, or other sound sequencing disorders.

Do you need sound sequencing practice that is motivating for young children?

The Blast Off Board is a complete sound sequencing program from vowels to multi-syllabic words and phrases. This amazing tool is a high quality, durable product made entirely in the USA.

The Blast Off Board is 30 boards in 1!

Based on the concept of our Push-Pull Puzzle, the Blast Off Board is a two-sided magnetic-receptive board with 10 holes cut into it. Children match the magnetic pictures to the front of the board and push them out the other side through the holes. Children have a “blast” pushing the pictures that are embedded into a scene on the back.

You need just 1 Board, but it becomes 30 boards in 1 as you add magnets and overlays! Go to to read about this new and exciting product.

There are 3 components to the Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set

1. The Blast Off Board Starter Set –

The starter set contains the magnetic board with 10 magnets of common objects chosen for phonemic variety.

2. Level 1 Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set –

This set contains 13 magnet sets and overlays of sound sequences starting with vowels and vowel combinations, and progressing to consonant-vowels (CV), CVCV, VC, VCV, two-word phrases, and final consonants. This is an excellent program for children with apraxia or other sound sequencing difficulties.

 3. Level 2 Blast Off Board Sound Sequencing Set –

This set features 16 magnet sets/overlays of beginning consonant sounds in 1 syllable words and some 2 syllable words. This is a typical articulation set of initial consonants.

Check out this amazing new product. I used the prototype for years, and I am THRILLED that I am finally able to share it with others! Kids LOVE it!

Be a Team for your Child – Teachers and Parents Together

Several years ago, I wrote an article entitled Hey There Educators – Who Needs You More? You may want to read that over as you begin a new school year. But for now, let’s talk about being a team! ‎

Parents, as you begin a new year with your child in school, think about what your child’s needs and strengths are. Let your teacher know about anything that may help your child be successful and comfortable. Teachers, truly listen to your parents. They are leaving their precious gifts in your watch, and they need to learn to trust you. It takes time to build a relationship that is positive, warm, and caring.

I’ll never forget my daughter’s first grade teacher, Mrs. Hoeschen. Her compassion combined with competence was truly a masterpiece to watch. Our daughter was in the height of chemo-therapy treatments, and Mrs. Hoeschen had a plan for our little girl that covered every base from academics to medical needs. AND she listened to us, the parents. She put us at ease immediately. I hope every teacher truly knows how deeply important you are.

Parents, I hope you understand just how impossible the job of a teacher is. I hope you also see how these miracle workers somehow manage the impossible every day. So if I may be so bold, I have a few suggestions for parents as well. Be realistic and know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Build on the strengths and teach strategies to manage the weaknesses at home so that she can use those same strategies at school. At home, if your child has a difficult time sharing, following directions, conforming to a schedule or a break in routine, cleaning up, taking no for an answer when he wants to use an iPad, listening to others, showing compassion for those who are hurting, being helpful, etc., there is a strong possibility that those same skills will be difficult for him in school. If you struggle with anything at home, don’t be shocked if you hear that your child struggles in school with the same things. Be patient and supportive of your teacher as he or she tries to understand and guide your child’s learning.  As a former educator, the support I received from parents was so important! Thank you, on behalf of all educators, for your support of them.

I encourage all of you today to set a goal of being a TEAM together – the child, the parent, and the teacher. You will have frustrations as you continue your year. Just keep those lines of communication open. Best wishes for a new year!

Here are a couple of greeting songs that may be useful in your first days back at school. Enjoy!

You may also enjoy using the Hi Song from our Imitation Exploration Set 1. Our sale this new school year is 50% off any of our individual CDs, USB Flashdrives, or DVDs. (Does not include Combo Sets as they are already significantly discounted.) Check them out in our shopping cart.

Who’s in the Window? (I’m a Little Teapot)  (Use a picture frame or poster board cut in the shape of a window. Take turns passing the frame or each child can have their own frame, perhaps of a different color.)

Who’s in the (blue) window? Who do we see?

Jacob, Jacob lookin’ at me.

Hello Jacob. Hi, Hi, Hi

Hello How Are You? (Mary Had a Little Lamb) © Rachel Arntson, 2003

Hello children, how are you?

How are you? How are you?

Hello children, how are you?

Who is sitting next to you?


Erik’s sitting next to you.

Hello, Erik, how are you?

Hello Erik, how are you?

Who is sitting next to you?

Building Sounds to Make Words

Helping children build sounds to make words is incredibly rewarding.This illustrates a recent experience I had with one of my students with limited ability to produce sounds. We brainstormed how to encourage positive communication even with limited verbal skills.

Motor Planning Issues – One of my little students has been working on producing vowel sounds and shaping them into words. We have also been emphasizing consonant-vowel (CV) productions and also CVCV. Here are some highlights: 1. This child’s staying power and willingness to try has skyrocketed. Why? because we have chosen motivating activities for speech practice. (ie – Swinging in a blanket onto the couch creates movement as well as excellent eye contact and opportunities for speech practice.)
2. We looked for immediate carry-over. This little one could say, “ah”, so we shaped it into “on” and “off”. Today we heard spontaneous “on” and “off” for turning on the microwave and also as a request to get something off.
3. To build sounds, I often start with vowel productions. For this student I used my vowel pictures (free in my Free Resources page), the Apraxia Kit from Talk Tools help with lip rounding for oh and oo, and vowel combinations to get sounds and words such as “uh oh,” “oo wa,” and “eeya.” This drill has paid off as vowel productions are getting more consistent and “wawa” is now a spontaneous word.
4. I discussed the progression of sound development with a parent. Describing the relationship between sounds has really helped this parent understand the struggle the child has and what makes one sound easier to produce than another.
5. Creating opportunities for a child to produce sounds when playing has been a goal. It is amazing how quiet some children are during play. My belief is that some children are not able to motor plan gross motor movement with oral motor and speech. So while playing with preferred toys, I typically brainstorm with the parent on what sounds would make sense in particular situations. When a child realizes that he/she can vocalize while playing, this increases confidence and verbalizations. He/She is giving himself speech therapy each session.