Veteran Educator and Professional Artist Collaborate on Engaging New Middle Grade Series, The Adventures of Cricket and Kyle.

Author/educator Christy Bass Adams and artist/illustrator Lisa Isadora Thompson are celebrating the release of Imagination Checkers, the first volume in their whimsical and engaging new series of middle grade novels, The Adventures of Cricket and Kyle. The new novel released to retail on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 from WordCrafts Press, and is already generating enthusiastic praise from educators and fans like, debuting at Number 29 on’s Hot New Releases chart in the Children’s Books on Disabilities category, at Number 96 on the Hot New Releases chart in the Children’s Chapter Books category, and at Number 96 on the Hot New Releases chart in the Children’s Game Books category.

Award-winning author and international literacy and leadership consultant, ReLeah Cossett Lent, encourages readers to, “Enter the amazing world Christy Adams has crafted to enchant the child in all of us, one where adventures never end, the chaos never calms, and the belly laughs leave us breathless… This is a perfect book to help children experience the sheer joy of reading.”

“Christy Adams is an imaginative storyteller, and her book is a lively action-packed tale that will keep young readers engaged,” adds author and educator Rose Knox.

And Elementary School Media Specialist Stephanie Sharp declared, “This heartwarming story shows us how a simple game combined with friendship and imagination can bring joy to even the toughest situation.”

Imagination Checkers is like playing checkers… only better!

Poppy made up the rules and they are simple. Pick a character. Dress the part. Make a move on the checkerboard. Then do something the made-up character would do. Like the time Cricket and Poppy pretended to be the only surviving humans during a zombie apocalypse and used Grammy’s air freshener as zombie spray. Or that time they dressed up as astronauts and pretended to drive a rocket.

Everyday is a new Imagination Checkers adventure; until Poppy ends up in the hospital.

After weeks of visits and no improvement, Cricket’s hope begins to fade. Until she meets Kyle… a boy diagnosed with cancer who lives on the fifth floor. Best friends from the start, Cricket teaches Kyle how to play Imagination Checkers and the whole fifth floor is entertained by their regular shenanigans. Frog hops, ninja battles, and pillow fights are just a few of the adventures they create.

Join these imaginative characters and fall in love with Poppy and Cricket’s favorite game… Imagination Checkers!

Adams and Thompson celebrated the release of Imagination Checkers with a party at North Florida College in Madison, Florida, where Thompson serves as an art instructor and as curator and director of the Hardee Center for the Arts.

“It was such a pleasure having the opportunity to bring these colorful characters to life on paper,” Thompson said. “I am looking forward to getting started on the next book in the series!”

Adams also made an appearance at Pinetta Elementary School where her son’s third grade teacher had read the book to the class. “The kids were all dressed up for Halloween, and we played Imagination Checkers as a class,” Adams said. “It was a blast!”