Fairytale Teaches #1 Birth Defects Virus Prevention and Table-Setting


The #1 viral cause of birth defects, congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), can be spread when people share dishes without washing them first. Congenital CMV is much more widespread than Zika (the mosquito virus).

Mother and daughter collaborate to teach table-setting and germ prevention through the book, “Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale.” The illustrator designed a free placemat for downloading and coloring. A child in their family was born severely disabled by congenital CMV because the mother wasn't aware of CMV and the precautions to take.

For more information and links to images, please see the following press release, or click on Fairytale Teaches #1 Birth Defects Virus Prevention and Table-Setting.

There will be an "Author Meet and Great" with Lisa Saunders on
Saturday, Feb 27, 1-3pm, A Taste of New England, 12 Steamboat Wharf, Mystic, Connecticut.  (860) 572-4896


Lisa Saunders
PO Box 389
Mystic, CT 06355


Grandmother and Mother Teach Table Setting Skills
To Keep the Dish from Running Away With the Spoon  

Fairytale includes germ prevention, including CMV, which causes more birth defects than  Zika (the mosquito virus)

Mystic, Conn.—  Lisa Saunders of Mystic wrote a table-setting fairytale to teach children how to set the table in a fun and memorable way. Her daughter, Jackie Tortora of Virginia, co-authored “Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale,” which includes germ prevention tips against viruses spread through saliva such as congenital (meaning present at birth) cytomegalovirus (CMV), the leading viral cause of birth defects.

About the book: When a young girl can't remember how to set the table, her grandmother teaches her to listen to the silverware. Learn why the table is set the way it is. Why does the knife keep a sharp eye on the plate? Why does the fork want a napkin bed and the cup insist she and the others get a bath before being shared? Once Upon a Placemat ” is an expanded version of the fairytale Saunders told in her children’s novel, “Ride a Horse, Not an Elevator,” featured in Cornell University's  “Horse Book in a Bucket " Program.

"The lesson of how to set a table is valuable as this is part of encouraging a family to sit down and eat together—a main intervention in preventing obesity."  Alison Dvorak, MS, RDN, CDN, Franklin, Connecticut.

Lisa Saunders is an award-winning writer living and parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Foundation. In  2015, she was in instrumental in helping Connecticut become one of the few states in the country to enact a law combating the leading viral cause of birth defects, congenital CMV.  Saunders said, “CMV is carried by a high percentage of apparently healthy toddlers. It is found in bodily fluids such as saliva and is of concern to women of childbearing age because the virus can lead to complications in their baby's development if they are pregnant while infected.” According to an article in Quartz, "The CMV virus causes microcephaly in babies, and it's much wider spread than Zika." (Zika is spread through mosquitos.)
Once Upon a Placemat” co-author, Jackie Tortora, is a digital strategist living with her husband and their young son in Vienna, Virginia. She created the title, cover illustration, and additions to the tableware characters in 1999 when she was 12 years old.
Once Upon a Placemat” is illustrated by Marianne Greiner of Bloomfield, New York.  She designed a free placemat for downloading and coloring.


News: Westerly Sun: http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/latestnews/8430308-129/mystic-authors-new-release-is-about-setting-the-table.html

Book Details: “Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale"

List Price: $6.99

Publication Date: Feb 02 2016

ISBN/EAN13:1523750790 / 9781523750795

Page Count: 40

Trim Size: 6" x 9"

Language: English

Color: Black and White

Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Cooking & Food

The book is available on Amazon and by ordering at your local bookstore. To purchase books and/or larger placemats in bulk, write to Lisa Saunders directly at LisaSaunders42@gmail.com.

Links to images:

Author photos and captions:

Lisa Saunders, parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation, is pictured next to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy holding a photograph of her daughter, Elizabeth (1989-2006), at the ceremonial bill signing for Public Act 15-10: An Act Concerning Cytomegalovirus at the Office of the Governor in Hartford on July 28, 2015. See:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Klfxar2CmjRF82YmRLbVNKNnFQNHNRdV9GVXladC15dmJN/view?usp=sharing
See for full caption with others in the Lisa/Governor photograph, see:

Lisa will be autographing copies of your books:
Saturday, February 27, 1 - 3 p.m.
A Taste of New England
12 Steamboat Wharf, Mystic, CT: (860) 572-4896
Friday, April 15, 2016, 4:30pm
Niantic Community Church Children's Center
170 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic, CT. 06357
(860)739-0877, Kathy Tiller, Director
Saturday, April 16, 1-3pm
“Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale”
Book signing with Lisa Saunders
Bank Square Books, 53 W Main St, Mystic, CT 06355


"'Once Upon a Placemat' finally accomplished what we could not--getting our kids to remember how to correctly set the table! Now, I hear my 12-year-old saying to herself, “Mr. Knife stands between Mrs. Spoon and Mr. Plate. Mr. Knife keeps his eyes and teeth toward Mr. Plate because he doesn’t trust him since there was that time the ‘dish ran away with the spoon.’ What a brilliant extension to an old nursery rhyme.Once Upon a Placemat’ will also help your kids better understand the importance of washing their hands before meals and not sharing dishes. Short story--big impact. Finally, a story that sticks!” said Dr. Rebecca Cihocki, an audiologist in Scottsdale, Arizona.