Why This Book Is So Timely in

Parents and educators around the world are waking up to the need to limit children’s screen time, spurred in part by an report from the World Health Organization (WHO). This sparked lots of fresh reporting on the need to limit children’s screen time, including this Business Insider story that says the inventors of our digital media already limit their own kids’ time with their devices. And that urgent issue is the main theme of Sadie Sees Trouble!

The WHO’s summary begins:

Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

AND: The pattern of overall 24-hour activity is key: replacing prolonged restrained or sedentary screen time with more active play, while making sure young children get enough good-quality sleep. Quality sedentary time spent in interactive non-screen-based activities with a caregiver, such as reading, storytelling, singing and puzzles, is very important for child development.

Guidelines for Children, World Health Organization

Learn About the Book

Sadie Sees Trouble is a unique invitation to parents to engage children with the delightful tale of Sadie the Dog as she tries to lure her little girl Penny back into active play around their home. Responding to nationwide calls by educators to reduce screen time among young children, veteran educators Linda Jarkey and Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski developed this first book in a series of Sadie stories so that it literally opens doors in family literacy.

What doors? Well, first, the doors to your kitchen cabinets! All of the book’s colorful illustrations were produced by arts educator Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski with items typically found in a family’s kitchen. The components are listed at the back of the book, from strawberries to mustard. After reading the story, readers can visit this website to download free black-and-white illustrations of Sadie and Penny to become a lively part of their story.

Want a copy?

The book is available directly from Front Edge Publishing, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores.

Download Free Coloring Pages

Click to view, download and print coloring pages from Sadie Sees Trouble:

Can you color these pages with things found in and around your home?

Helpful tips

To get you started in your own treasure hunt for colors—here are some of the things illustrator Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski used in creating this book:

Tomato Skins
Rit Fabric Dye
Food Coloring
Food Coloring
Lawn Grass
Worcestershire Sauce
Graphite (pencil lead)
Rainbow stick
Magazine Strip (collage)
Line Art
Sharpie Markers
Faber Castelle Markers

Share Your Ideas

What colors can you discover? Tell us about your discoveries!

Meet the Authors

Linda Jarkey has served as a secondary language arts teacher, public school administrator and assistant professor at the university level. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and her doctorate in leadership in administration from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski is a noted arts educator, teaching both fine and applied arts at the high school level. Among her many accomplishments, she served as chair of the Visual Arts department for the huge Utica Community School District in Michigan.

Over the years, these sisters have presented popular sessions across the U.S. and Canada for parents and educators, including workshops, conferences and retreats.

They also are a big hit with children! They have appeared in libraries, schools and other community settings where kids love hearing the story of Sadie—then using colors from common foods.

Fourth grade students sitting at a table making bookmarks
Fourth grade students in Hazel Park Michigan create their own bookmarks using colors from popular foods. It’s all part of a Linda Jarkey program to promote reduced screen time with the book Sadie Sees Trouble.

In the Spring of 2019, Linda Jarkey marked International Screen Free Week by visiting do a reading of Sadie Sees Trouble for fourth graders at Webb Elementary School in the Hazel Park School District. She read the book to the class, which touched off a lively discussion of what it means to be screen free and to make healthy living choices about technology. The story of Sadie and Penny helped students understand the importance of interpersonal relationships. Then, after the reading, students did a coloring craft using food items such as beets, blueberries and mustard to color a Sadie bookmark.

Linda Jarkey Sadie Sees Trouble reading

Advance Praise

This book is a must-read for young children who use technology. Interaction with others and childhood play activities are losing their edge over tablets and smart phones. This delightful book, written from the point of view of Sadie the family dog, helps parents define limits.

Nancy Jayroe, MA, LPC, NCC
Professional Family Counselor and Educator

As an educator in Special Education, I found this story to be a wonderful way to enlighten today’s youth on the effects technology can have on our daily lives. I love that this story reminds us of this through the eyes of a dog, man’s best friend. What better model to encourage children to get out and play than the one creature whose job is to do nothing but run around, have fun and to love us?

Melanye Stromberg
Speech-Language Pathologist, Queens, NY

A unique commentary written from the point of view of the family pet, Sadie will touch the hearts of young readers. The story brings out a modern-day state of affairs, which will also give pause to adults who read it. What a marvelous idea to make the book interactive by challenging readers to follow the concept of illustrations created by household materials. Sadie presents a win-win for youngsters and parents!

Robert Wilcox
Retired Elementary Educator, Executive Member of the Utica Community Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence

I am always looking for books that are accessible, as well as linked to real life situations. Sadie Sees Trouble rhymes and uses vocabulary related to a child’s world, as well as textual connections and a clear theme. All are easily used for narrative writing modeling, and to generate conversation. There is even a delicious hands-on activity to re-create the flavorful illustrations. This book will resonate with entering level ELLs as well as G.E. students.

Alan J. Reiff
ESL/ENL Coordinator, NYC Department of Education; ESL Adjunct, LaGuardia Community College CUNY

Sadie Sees Trouble is timely and terrific. Talk about significantly addressing a huge family concern related to tablet time! This story more than captured the issue with both narrative and illustrations. People around the country are in need of a primer to be used in mind-setting their children about living life, as opposed to an existence overly dominated by tech platforms and programs. All of the ingredients are included, (e.g. cool dog, salvageable kid, kind Mommy, toys, love, etc.) in the best ways possible to make this story and its most important message sing. Loved the coloring concept as well!

Dr. Stanley Olson
Superintendent of Schools, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Wow! This hit the nail right on the head!  It’s definitely indicative of where we are with our children nowadays! Sadie Sees Trouble is a great reminder of the childlike joy and mindfulness that pets evoke in us all. It inspires us to live in the moment without the distractions of technology.

Laura Knight Cobb
Mother, Educator, Writer, Fulbright Scholar

Many children today are missing out on being kids because of technology. They always seem to be plugged in to something. Sadie realizes this problem in Linda Jarkey’s delightful book, Sadie Sees Trouble. Jarkey skillfully conveys the message so all ages can realize Sadie’s sadness and respond to the ways she copes with the issue. The use of rhyme, cleverly placed text and highlighted words leads the reader through the story. Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski’s illustrations add a new twist using natural elements for coloring. The subtle use of thought arrows and soothing colors sets the gentle tone of the book. Allowing readers to download blank illustrations encourages creativity in children. Sadie Sees Trouble should be on every kid’s wish list. Sadie is a marvelous friend and teacher.

Carole J. Chotkowski
Grandparent and Retired Kindergarten Teacher

As a grandmother of four, I am always looking for meaningful and unique gifts for the youngsters. When I find something that fits these criteria, I feel like I have found a treasure to share with the little ones! Sadie Sees Trouble is truly a treasure that I look forward to reading with my grandchildren. It is a charming story, written in a style and with delightfully illustrated characters that will very much engage the little ones. Most importantly, the story is extremely relevant today, given the role of technology that distracts even the youngest child away from actively interacting and playing with others. The story of Sadie and Penny is an inspiration and reminder to young readers that while electronic devices are part of life, developing social and physical skills through play is also fun and important.

Jeannette Saquet, PhD

Love the book and illustrations! With seven grandkids, aged 5 to 10, tablets do seem to be my competition. I try very hard to start family traditions that do not include tablets. The older they get, the harder that is.

A Reader

I’ve read countless books to my children, but this book is way on top! This story touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. It’s so topical and relevant now. These are words that I hope will also resonate with the parent who is reading this story to his or her child. Sadie’s message is an important message for us all.

Dr. Karen Potchynok-Lund

Sadie Sees Trouble is absolutely wonderful! Not only is the subject matter timely and in great need of being addressed, I loved that it rhymed! It flowed so beautifully that I’m sure kids and adults will enjoy reading it, thus connecting to the message. And kudos to the illustrator for her work. Sadie, who is adorable, looks so real that you can really feel her pain! I look forward to buying a signed copy soon so I can read it to my grandkids and share it with everyone I know.

Connie Olson
Mom, Grandmother and Retired Elementary School Teacher

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