Perfect Picture Book Friday – Deadline For Frantic

Somehow it’s Friday!

Where has this week gone?!

Here’s what I’ve got.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 8.55.08 PM

Title: Deadline For Frantic

Written & Illustrated By: Yours Truly

Disaster Area Books, May 29 2020, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: anyone with a deadline

Themes/Topics: deadlines, writing, panicking, writing, deadlines

Opening: The big hand of the clock is at 12.
The little hand is at 4.
It is 4 o’clock in the morning.
Nearly deadline for Frantic!
Editor said, “It is time for your manuscript.”
Frantic said, “ACK!!!!  I have until 4 o’clock this afternoon!”
Editor said, “You are right.  But get cracking!”

Brief Synopsis: Enough said

Links To Resources: chocolate, caffeine, chocolate, caffeine, chocolate, caffeine, am I repeating myself? I feel like I’m repeating myself….

Why I Like This Book: I think I will like it if I finish it.  I definitely have a better chance of liking it completed than half done.

That’s all there is.  There ain’t no more.
Until I’m done.  Then I will snore.
You’ll likely hear me near and far,
So get some earplugs . . . ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 😊

When next we meet, it will be JUNE!!! 🌸🌸🌸

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Sarah Kurpiel!

Welcome to another episode of Tuesday Debut!

I’m excited to introduce today’s debut-ess who is both an author and an illustrator!  Illustrators are way under-represented here on Tuesday Debut, since most of our debut-ers are authors only, so it’s exciting to have a chance to hear about the publication journey from someone who does everything!

Please join me in welcoming the talented Sarah Kurpiel and her amazing book, Lone Wolf!

Title: Lone Wolf
Author/Illustrator: Sarah Kurpiel
Publishing House: Greenwillow/HarperCollins
Date of Publication: May 19, 2020
Category: Fiction
Age Range: 4-8

LoneWolf_Cover_Kurpiel_med

Synopsis: Maple the husky is mistaken for a wolf so many times that she starts to believe she might be one.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Sarah!  Thank you so much for joining us today – we are thrilled to have you!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

SARAH: Lone Wolf was inspired by my childhood dog. Years ago, I drafted a few comic strips about her just for fun. When brainstorming story ideas, I thought back to those comic strips and chose one idea I felt had depth: a husky mistaken for a wolf. I imagined how she might feel about being called a wolf again and again. That’s how the story got its start. But that’s not the final story that went on submission. My co-agents—though they weren’t my agents yet (they would offer representation later that year)—provided feedback that pushed me to develop the story further. I’m glad they did. The conflict at the heart of Lone Wolf remained the same, but the point-of-view and story arc evolved.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

SARAH: I spent about two months on and off developing the dummy I sent to the agents who had expressed interest in possibly representing me. Over the course of three months, they gave me several rounds of feedback. I found it helpful to take a few days to absorb the feedback before approaching revisions. Sometimes I feel so attached to an idea that it’s hard to see how it could work another way—at first. All in all, it took me about five months on and off to write this book.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

SARAH: I revised the story text many times. I save each version in a new file and end the file name with the date. This helps me keep track of revisions. You never know when you’re going to need to take a step back. When it comes to editorial feedback, I prefer reading it right away and listing all revisions I need to consider. Giving myself a task—methodically translating feedback into a checklist—helps me avoid becoming too overwhelmed. Then (if I have time!) I’ll take a few days to let it sink in. I tend to start with easy revisions while ruminating over the larger ones.

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

SARAH: When my agents felt it was ready, I trusted it was.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

SARAH: In late 2018, my agents crafted a letter, to which I contributed an illustration, and sent me the first round of editors they intended to contact. Once everything was ready, they sent out the letter, dummy, and samples.

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

SARAH: About a week after submission, I had my first call with an editor. Her vision for the book aligned well with mine. A week after that, the book went to auction. I ultimately chose the first editor I spoke with.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

SARAH: After accepting the publication offer, I remember feeling elated to share the news with my family. I don’t quite remember much beyond that! The signing of the final negotiated contract came months later. By then, I was nearly finished with the book! It was certainly a happy moment to sign the contract, but nowhere near as exciting as the day I accepted the publication offer.

Roxie
Sarah’s writing buddies, Roxie and Cad 😊

Cad

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

SARAH: Before the book went on submission, I’d spent a little time researching publishing contracts and reading the results of surveys where picture book makers anonymously self-report information. This gave me a sense of averages, but I still didn’t know what to expect. That’s a huge reason why having an agent is important for me; I don’t know enough about the business side. I don’t yet know what’s reasonable to negotiate and what’s not. When I read the contract it all seemed about right to me, though I had a few questions which my agents helped me understand.

 

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about the editorial process?

SARAH: Since my co-agents are editorial, I went through several rounds of revisions with them back when they were first considering representing me. I didn’t have a critique partner or group, so I was grateful for the opportunity to receive feedback from people well-versed in the market. After the book sold, I revised further based on the editor’s feedback. By that point, the overall story was pretty well set, so revisions were more pointed. The editor had a nice vision for the book. All the changes made sense, but some took a little getting used to. For example, I was asked to consider making a change to the way I’d been drawing the main character. At first, I worried I was going to lose what made her design unique. But I’m glad I tried it because, in the end, it was the right decision.

 

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the illustration process?

SARAH: So far, I’ve never written a manuscript start to finish before illustrating it. Some of the illustrations in Lone Wolf preceded text. Others were developed alongside the text. Since I draw digitally, I like to build each new draft upon the previous draft, so I rarely “start over.”

LoneWolf_Interior2_Kurpiel

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

SARAH: Yes! My editor sent me advance reviews. It was always such a nice surprise.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

SARAH: Sixteen months.

 

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

SARAH: Greenwillow distributed copies of the book at events prior to the pandemic, distributed copies to influencers and reviewers, created activity sheets, shared Twitter posts about the book trailer release, updated the book description as reviews rolled in, and offered to connect me with local bookstores.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

SARAH: My favorite marketing-related task I’ve done is make a few animated GIFs. I then applied for a GIPHY Artist channel so the GIFs could be used as stickers in Instagram Stories. The GIFs were fun to make, and I’ve ended up using them in ways I didn’t originally expect: Twitter, videos, and my website. I also made a 15-second teaser trailer (basically a long GIF) and a 1-minute book trailer. One of my favorite bloggers agreed to host the trailer premiere, and I lined up interviews and reviews with a few other bloggers whose blogs I enjoy, including this one!

 

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

SARAH: In December 2017, I purchased a copy of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2018 and started a dummy. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about making picture books before that point, but buying that book cemented my commitment. I sold Lone Wolf in November 2018. The reason it took less than a year is thanks to a stroke of luck. An illustration account on Instagram shared one of my drawings and the right person saw it. If that hadn’t happened, I’m not quite sure when (if ever) I’d have felt ready to query agents.

 

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication? (Or what is your most helpful piece of advice for up and coming writers?)

SARAH: Don’t wait until you’re ready because you may never feel ready. And after you sell your first book, join a debut group if you can. I’m part of the 2020 Debut Crew. It’s reassuring being part of group that shares ideas and answers each other’s questions. Plus, I’ve gotten to know some kind, talented writers and illustrators in the process.

Profile_Kurpiel

Author/Illustrator Sarah Kurpiel

Website: sarahkurpiel.com
Instagram: @sarah.kurpiel
Twitter: @SarahKurpiel

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for talking with us today, Sarah, and sharing your experience so all of us can learn from it!  We are so grateful for your time and expertise!  I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the very best of luck with this and future books!!!

Readers, if you have questions for Sarah, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Sarah’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week #3!

I know.  It’s Monday.  When the last thing we need is confusion!

Here’s the situation:

It was brought to my attention that “Eenie Meenie Miney Mini” was a poor choice of name for my writing challenge.

I chose it innocently, thinking of the rhyme as a childhood game of random choice that was fun to say.  Nothing more.  I thought it a good representation for the challenge because it’s something kids (and kid lit writers) are familiar with and it represents making random choices, as we do with the prompt selection.

But someone more educated than I pointed out that it was based on a rhyme that was racist and potentially terribly offensive to anyone who knew its origin.

Now that I know, I cannot in good conscience keep the original name in such a public way.  I would never want to offend anyone.  So I have changed the name to the less-fun-to-say-but-more-appropriate Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge.  I changed the graphic and tried to go back and correct all the places I used the original term.  If I missed any I apologize and hope no one will be offended.

But it is still the same writing game and you are still in the right place!

Onward then, to the newly named but still the same

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #3 for Week of May 25:

So far we’ve played with characters, setting, and emotion (or a combination, depending on where your random choosing landed you), and with nursery rhymes and point of view. 😊   This week we’re going to play with a picture prompt, fun names, and a plot point!

Here’s the picture, drawn by the incredibly talented Julie Rowan-Zoch (illustrator of LOUIS by Tom Lichtenheld forthcoming from HMH October 6, 2020!) and used with her permission for your writing fun 😊 (Thank you, Julie!!! 💕)

2953C608-C019-4000-88CB-EE72BFAC62D8_1_201_a

illustration copyright Julie Rowan-Zoch 2020 used by permission

 

These will be the characters in your story!

Now, choose character names from the following list and one of the plot points!

Character Name Plot Point
Mugsy Make a friend
Tick Tock Share a secret
Delphine Get in an argument
Henry Cook up a plan
Marigold Get in trouble
Pip
Zico

Write a 100 word story for kids about the pictured characters, using two of the name choices and one of the plot scenarios and post it in the comment section below!

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by character names that are not on the list you can use them instead – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing, not specific names!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which plot point you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.

 

I’m going to have to skip my sample today – I have a deadline this week and I used up my blog post writing time on tasks I hadn’t planned for – but if I have time and can add a sample later in the week I will! 😊 Meanwhile, I am SO looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!  There have been so many amazingly creative, clever, fun, and entertaining stories written so far!!!

Now come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

 

Check out the Week #3 stories!

Mugsy Shares A Secret – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf  (share a secret)

Time For A New Bird Feeder – Jess Murray (cook up a plan)

Who’s The Favorite – Sue Lancaster (get in an argument)

Ball Trouble – Genevieve Petrillo (cook up a plan)

Henry And The Wind-Up Chick – Rose Cappelli (share a secret)

Name Game – Brenda Whitehead (share a secret/make a friend)

Tick Tock Pip – Leslie Denkers (get in trouble/cook up a plan)

Pip’s Plan – Barbara Renner (cook up a plan)

Duck Hunt – Colleen Murphy

Henry And Marigold – Linda Staszak (make a friend)

Marigold And Mugsy’s Dance Battle – Jamie Bechtelheimer (get in an argument, make a friend)

Henry And Marigold Get In An Argument – Sara Ackerman (get in an argument)

Hank, Pip And The Garden – Susan Schipper (get in trouble)

Mugsy And Marigold’s Morning – Deb Sullivan (cook up a plan)

Delphine’s Secret – Linda Schueler (share a secret)

Pip’s Perfect Partner – Jill Lambert (cook up a plan)

Miss Marigold Fluffington – Susan Inez (hatches a plan)

A Day At The Dog Park – Matthew Lasley

Pip And Dip – Sarah Meade (get in trouble)

Tik Tok Of Zico – Candice Marley Conner (get in trouble)

Henry And Pip Make Friends – Marley Conner age 9! (make a friend)

Tick Tock Makes A Friend – Mary Van Beuren (make a friend)

Mugsy And Marigold – Cindy. S. Boyll (share a secret)

A Pal To Play With – Ashley Congdon (make a friend)

Dot And Edna: Chick Trouble – Deb Buschman (get in trouble)

Storm Secrets (Zack & Pip Share A Secret) – Di Litwer (share a secret)

Tick Tock’s Luck – Michelle S. Kennedy (get in trouble)

Different And Yet Alike – Eleanor Ann Peterson (get in an argument)

Marigold And Mugsy Hatch A Plan – Patricia Nozell (make a plan)

Henry And Marigold – Beverly Baird (make a friend)

Pip And Zico Share A Secret – Corine Timmer (share a secret)

Henry And Marigold Cook Up A Plan – Susan Krevat (cook up a plan)

Mugsy The Chick’s Tricky Trick – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (cook up a plan)

Pip And Zico Cook A Plan – Ketan, Aiyka & Ravi Ram (cook up a plan)

Pip And Henry – Mia Geiger (plot a secret)

Pip And Zico Share A Secret – Kristy Nuttall (share a secret)

Big News – Dawn Young (share a secret)

Untitled – Kay DiVerde (share a secret)

Butch And Kip Cook Up A Plan – Liz Kehrli (cook up a plan)

Limerick – Marty (make a friend, Delphine)

Untitled – Dot Anson (cook up a plan)

Pip And Delphine Cook Up A Plan – Tracy (cook up a plan)

Tick Tock (and GusGus) Come Up With A Plan – Penny Adler (cook up a plan)

Bing And ShickShick – Amy Flynn

Mugsy And Marigold Share A Secret – Alicia Meyers Kelly

A Chick For My Hat – Lily Erlic (cook up a plan)

Zico And The Fiesta – Katie Schwartz (cook up a plan)

Untitled – Lauri Meyers

Pip And Tick Tock Cook Up A Plan – Ugo Anidi

 

 

PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Federico And The Wolf

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and I have such a terrific title to share with you today!

Wait until you see this one!!! 😊

Federico

Title: Federico And The Wolf

Written By: Rebecca J. Gomez

Illustrated By: Elisa Chavarri

Clarion Books, May 19, 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: fairy tale retelling (Little Red Riding Hood), courage, quick thinking

Opening: “Once upon a modern time
a boy named Federico
left to buy ingredients
to make the perfect pico.”

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 3.29.48 PM

text copyright Rebecca J. Gomez 2020, illustration copyright Elisa Chavarri 2020 Clarion Books HMH

 

Brief Synopsis: In this modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, a young boy named Federico, dressed in a red hoodie, rides his bicycle to the store to shop for the ingredients for pico.  When he arrives at Grandpa’s shop, Grandpa’s beard is so thick! and his arms are so grande! and what on earth is up with his dentures?  He does not look the way he should!

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 3.31.30 PM

text copyright Rebecca J. Gomez 2020, illustration copyright Elisa Chavarri 2020 Clarion Books HMH

 

Links To Resources: the back of the book has a recipe for pico and a glossary of the Spanish vocabulary included in the story; read with other retellings of Little Red Riding Hood – Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, Little Red Writing by Joan Holub; make up your own version of Little Red Riding Hood (or another fairy tale 😊); Little Red Riding Hood Teaching Ideas and Activities (for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school)

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 3.30.56 PM

text copyright Rebecca J. Gomez 2020, illustration copyright Elisa Chavarri 2020 Clarion Books HMH

 

Why I Like This Book: I love that in this retelling Little Red is a boy!  He rides a bike through the city streets and park instead of skipping through the woods 😊 His bike basket is filled with ingredients for making fresh pico.  The text is written in perfect rhyme and sprinkled with lots of accessible Spanish vocabulary for kids to learn from. The story is delightful from start to finish and the art is bright and engaging.  Clever and fun!  You won’t want to miss this one!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!  I hope you’ll all get to celebrate Memorial Day in an appropriately socially distant way!!! 😊

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Gabi Snyder!

Welcome to Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

We all have our favorite books from childhood, and one of mine happens to be GO, DOG. GO! by P.D. Eastman.  If you’re as ancient as I am you may be familiar with it 😊 Anyway, although it is new and different, there is something about today’s debut picture book which hearkens back to that a bit, so I instantly loved the look of this brand new title!

Today’s Debut-ess is the lovely and talented Gabi Snyder, here to share with us her journey to the publication of TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE!

Two Dogs on a Trike
Written by Gabi Snyder
Illustrated by Robin Rosenthal
Abrams Appleseed, May 19, 2020
Fiction; baby to 5 years

Two Dogs Cover

Count up to 10 and back down again in this picture book starring 10 traveling dogs and one very tenacious cat!

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Gabi!  Congratulations on the publication of your delightful book, and thank you so much for joining us today to share your experience!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

GABI: The dog versus cat dynamic that plays out in TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE was inspired, in part, by my childhood pets. I grew up with a cat we called Kinko (named for his kinked tail) and an assortment of dogs. Kinko was the undisputed boss. Now my family includes one dog and one cat. (They take turns keeping each other in line.)

And, as a kid, one of my favorite picture books was GO, DOG. GO! by P.D. Eastman. I must’ve read that book hundreds of times. The silly dogs and sense of movement and fun in TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE are, in part, an homage to the P.D. Eastman classic. (But as one of my critique partners pointed out, “without the weird hat stuff.”)

Gabi work space writing buddies

Gabi’s work space and writing buddies 😊

 

SUSANNA:  How long did it take you to write this book?

GABI: Unlike most of my stories, drafting TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE was fairly quick and painless. It came out mostly whole. Of course, my brilliant critique partners still had suggestions for taking it to the next level.

 

SUSANNA:  Did you go through many revisions?

GABI: With this book, revisions were fairly minimal. But, in general with a picture book, I think it’s helpful to get a complete first draft down in one sitting. And then I like to let the draft sit and marinate for bit – at least a week. If, after marinating, it still shines, still feels like a promising idea, I revise again. Sometimes I revise several more times before the manuscript feels ready for my critique partners.

 

SUSANNA:  When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

GABI: I didn’t! It’s lucky I shared TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE with my critique partners because I might not have thought to submit the story to agents and editors if my CP Mary Worley hadn’t encouraged me to send it out.

 

SUSANNA:  When and how did you submit?

GABI: I submitted TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE, and many other picture book manuscripts, to agents as well as editors at small presses before signing with my agent, the fabulous Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary, in July 2018.

 

 

SUSANNA:  When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

GABI: We received an offer from Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed in late August 2018. It all happened very quickly – but it followed a long wait! I’d been submitting picture book manuscripts to agents and editors since 2014.

 

 

SUSANNA:  How did you celebrate signing your contract?

GABI: Honestly, it took awhile for the good news to fully sink in. I didn’t quite believe it and mostly went on in a business as usual manner for a few days. But my awesome critique partners encouraged me to take a moment to pause and celebrate. So I took my family out for a special dinner.

 

SUSANNA:  Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

GABI: The contract was in line with my expectations. I was happy to have my agent negotiate the contract for me and know what improvements we could ask for. For a first book, I think the advance was reasonable and the royalty percentages line up with industry standards. I’m delighted that 20 author copies will be coming my way!

And, for picture book publishing, the timeline was actually pretty fast—from offer to published book in under two years!

 

SUSANNA:  Can you tell us a little about what the editorial process was like?

GABI: I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with editor Meredith Mundy and the team at Abrams. The suggested text changes were pretty minor, but definitely strengthened the story. Additionally, we made some punctuation edits—changing the periods in the counting down section of the story to exclamation points to heighten the urgency of the chase!

 

 

SUSANNA:  What can you tell us about your experience of the illustration process?

GABI: As a newbie, I didn’t know what to expect, but was happily surprised that Meredith kept me apprised of each new development with the art. Once we had a finished book, Meredith asked me whether the illustrations matched what I envisioned when I submitted the text. In truth, the book’s illustrations are even more adorable and humorous than I’d imagined. The 80s retro vibe/wardrobing of Robin Rosenthal’s characters is very much in line with my aesthetic. It may sound clichéd, but there’s something magical about the picture book collaboration between an author and an illustrator. The whole is so much more than the two parts!

Art notes played a huge role in my manuscript! For example, at the start of my manuscript, I included this overarching note:

{Art: A cat watches as her dog escapes their yard through an unlatched gate. The reader sees the cat follow, but she is unseen by the dogs. With each new mode of transportation, another dog joins the adventure.}

Here’s one of the finished spreads, showing the cat in hot pursuit!

Two Dogs Int. Spread

 

And here’s another one just for fun 😊

Two Dogs Int. Spread 2

 

SUSANNA:  Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?  What was that like?

GABI: So I’d heard several writers and illustrators advise new authors (and really all authors) NOT to read reviews. They can sometimes be disheartening; not everyone will love everything you write. And I was all set to follow that advice! But then in late February my editor emailed me with the news that TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE had received a Kirkus starred review! Reading the review still gives me a thrill. You can read it here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/gabi-snyder/two-dogs-on-a-trike/

Though not as glowing as the Kirkus review, SLJ also gave the book a positive review, calling it, “A recommended purchase.”

The downside of that fur-raising first review from Kirkus is that since then I’ve been waiting and watching for more reviews! I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been Googling my book. Not recommended!

 

 

SUSANNA:  How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

GABI: I received my advance copy in December 2019, so from offer to first copy was only about 16 months – super fast! The announced first print run was 15,000. Fingers crossed all those copies sell!

 

SUSANNA:  What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

GABI: I think the bulk of the pre-publication promotion has focused on advance mailing to trade reviewers, educators, and librarians. I believe Abrams intends to promote more at publication with targeted outreach to parenting websites and blogs as well as social media campaigns.

 

SUSANNA:  Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

GABI: I joined a debut group, the 2020 Debut Crew, to help with marketing and promotion. We share marketing strategies and help spread the word about each other’s debut picture books.

And Robin Rosenthal has created a whole bunch of amazing graphics, including this one, to promote the book.

Two Dogs Promo Graphic

 

SUSANNA:  That is beautiful! 😊  How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

GABI: It depends on your definition of “writing seriously” – LOL! I studied creative writing in the early aughts but then mostly set my own writing aside for several years.

Fast forward to 2013: when my kids were little (3 and 5), we moved from Austin to Corvallis, Oregon. With a break from work following the move, I found time to get back to my own writing. Only by then, reading daily with my two littles, I’d become immersed in the world of picture books and fallen in love with this form of storytelling. In 2014, I wrote my first picture book and soon after started submitting to agents and editors. So you could say I’d been writing seriously for children for four years before I sold my first picture book, but I’d been a writer much longer.

 

 

SUSANNA:  What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication? (Or what is your most helpful piece of advice for up and coming writers?)

GABI: Be gentle with yourself; in other words, don’t expect instant brilliance, instant success. And be especially easy on yourself right now when your attention is likely pulled in so many directions. In times of stress, it can be easy to fall back on bad old habits, like berating yourself for not getting enough writing done or mindlessly scrolling through social media when you mean to be writing. That’s when it’s especially important to lean heavily on your good habits. If taking walks helps clear your head and let you focus, then (assuming you can safely walk right now) keep taking walks!

(Also, keep writing new stories not just revising the old!)

 

SUSANNA:  Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

GABI: You never know what’s might inspire a story; keep an open mind and jot down every idea!

 

SUSANNA: Great advice!  Thank you so much, Gabi, for taking the time to participate in this series and pay it forward to other writers!  I know I speak for all of us when I say congratulations on your starred debut and all the best of luck with this and future publications!!!

GABI: I hope my answers are helpful. Thanks, Susanna, for all you do for the kidlit community. Your blog and website are such amazing resources!

Gabi Snyder

Author Gabi Snyder

Website: gabisnyder.com
Twitter: @Gabi_A_Snyder
Instagram: @gabi_snyder_writer

 

Readers, if you have questions for Gabi, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Gabi’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

 

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

 

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week #2!

I hope everyone ate their Wheaties this morning because it’s time for the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #2!!!

 

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

For a full description of the challenge or to enter your Week #1 entry, please go HERE

 

Let’s jump into Week #2!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #2 for Week of May 18:

Last week we played with characters, setting, and emotion, or a combination, depending on where your eenie meenie miney moe-ing landed you. 😊   This week we’re going to play with Point of View!

Eenie meenie miney moe, choose a Nursery Rhyme below. . . and rewrite its story (for kids) in 100 words from the point of view of someone or something else mentioned in (or conceivably associated with) the rhyme.  For example, if you choose Humpty Dumpty from the list, you can write the story of that famous tumbling egg incident from the point of view of the wall, or one of the king’s horses, or one of the king’s men, or a tree hanging over the wall watching the drama unfold, or the grass underneath that got landed on, or the chicken that laid Humpty Dumpty to begin with, or anything else you dream up! Post your story in the comment section below to get your Week #2 entry in!

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by another Nursery Rhyme that is not on the list below you can use that instead – as long as you rewrite a nursery rhyme from a different point of view from the original – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which rhyme and what point of view you’re using at the top of your entry along with your word count.

Choose a rhyme: (rhymes included for your convenience in remembering the words 😊)

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two
The mouse went “boo!”
Hickory dickory dock.

Three… the mouse went weeee
Four…The mouse went “no more!”

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Jack And Jill
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper,
He went to bed to mend his head,
With vinegar and brown paper

There Was A Crooked Man
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
and they all lived together in a little crooked house.

 

Here’s a little sample 😊

 

Week #2: Humpty Dumpty, POV of lawn beneath the wall (199 words)

Rock Til You Drop

Okay, so technically? It might be that Humpty Dumpty didn’t exactly fall off that wall.

It was the night of the Rock ‘Til You Drop Dance Contest, and that egg head was taunting me.

“I’m going to win!” he boasted. “You can’t rock and you can’t roll!”

He showed off his moves, rocking and rolling on his round behind.

I was green with envy.  But I wouldn’t let him mow me down.

“I may be lawn,” I shouted back, “but I can sway to the beat better than you!”

I showed off my moves. Swish! Swoosh!

Then I laid it down.  “Besides, I’m taller than you.  No one will even see you!”

I watched him boil.  He knew I was right.

“Unless. . .” I said slyly, “you get up on that wall. . .”

Humpty enlisted one of the king’s horses to help him up.  He teetered on top.  “Just watch me shake my booty!” he gloated.

The beat boomed.

“Shake-shake-shake!” I dared him.

Humpty shook.

But the wall was narrow.

Too narrow for that big-bottomed-boy!

Rock…

…roll…

BLAM!

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!

I won!

I had egg on my face, but it was worth it!

 

 

So come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

 

Check out the Week #2 stories!

 

The Water’s Tale – Jess Murray (Jack & Jill, water’s POV)

The Moon Above The World So High – Candice Marley Conner (Twinkle Twinkle, moon’s POV)

I Am Not Afraid – Genevieve Petrillo (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Miss Muffet’s POV)

Jack And Jill Continued… – Colleen Owen Murphy (Jack & Jill, Jill’s POV)

No Running In My House! – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf (Hickory Dickory, clock’s POV)

Twinkle Twinkle Neon Light – Corine Timmer (Twinkle Twinkle, star POV)

Little Miss Muffet – Susan Inez (Little Miss Muffet)

Children, Children – Rose Cappelli (Twinkle Twinkle, star POV)

Star’s Reply – Sue Lancaster (Twinkle Twinkle, star POV)

Not Again! – Dot Anson (Hey Diddle Diddle, moon’s POV)

The Clock Snaps – Sara Ackerman (Hickory Dickory, clock’s POV)

Cutie Lamb – Jamie Bechtelheimer (Mary Had A Little Lamb, lamb’s POV)

A Little Crooked Smile – Brittany Pomales (There Was A Crooked Man, house’s POV)

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Bear – Brenda Whitehead (Twinkle Twinkle, star POV)

Who’s To Blame? – Sue Lancaster (Jack & Jill, multiple POVs)

Teacher Had A Long School Day – Amy Flynn (Mary Had A Little Lamb, teacher’s POV)

The Clock – Linda Schueler (Hickory Dickory, clock’s POV)

There Was A Crooked Man – Barbara Renner (There Was A Crooked Man, cat’s POV)

Baa Baa Black Sheep – Shariffa Keshavjee (Baa Baa Black Sheep)

The Wall And The Fall – Michelle S. Kennedy (Humpty Dumpty, wall’s POV)

Look! A Crook! – Jill Lambert (There Was A Crooked Man, stile’s POV)

Hickory Dickory Dock – Susan Schipper (Hickory Dickory, mouse during quarantine POV)

Jack Sprat – Leslie Denkers (Jack Sprat, dog’s POV)

Humpty Dumpty – Anne Cavanaugh Sawan (Humpty Dumpty, mother’s POV)

Lenny The Lamb – Ashley Congdon (Mary Had A Little Lamb, lamb’s POV)

Hickory Dickory Dock – Kristy Nuttall (Hickory Dickory, clock’s POV)

Jack Is Still At It – Boyll(Jack Be Nimble, narrator’s POV)

Vinegar’s View – Deb Sullivan (Jack And Jill, vinegar’s POV)

Pail’s Tale – Patricia Nozell (Jack And Jill, pail’s POV)

Jack And Jill (And Jen) Go Up The Hill Again – Sarah Meade (Jack And Jill, big sister’s POV)

That Icky Spider – Linda Staszak (Itsy Bitsy Spider, house’s POV)

Do You See Me – Michelle S. Kennedy (Twinkle Twinkle, star’s POV)

Trying Something New – Dawn Young (Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Raindrops –  Shariffa Keshavjee (Raindrops)

The Unbreakable – Jarmila (Humpty Dumpty, king’s horse POV)

Old King Cole: A Limerick – Marty (Old King Cole, fiddler’s POV)

Yes, You Can – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (Twinkle Twinkle, star’s POV)

Hickory Dickory Dock – Matthew Lasley (Hickory Dickory, cat’s POV)

Operation: Find Little Bo Peep – Di Litwer (Little Bo Peep, sheep detective’s POV)

Baa Baa Black Sheep – Susan Krevat (Baa Baa Black Sheep, little boy down the lane’s POV)

Hickory Dickory Dock – Everard Anson (Hickory Dickory, clock’s POV)

There Was A Crooked Man – Liz Kehrli (There Was A Crooked Man, crow’s POV)

Hey Diddle Diddle – Beverly Baird (Hey Diddle Diddle, moon’s POV)

Our Friend Humpty – Mia Geiger (Humpty Dumpty)

Miss Mary Mack – Mary Van Beuren (Miss Mary Mack, elephant’s POV)

Spout Off – Deb Buschman (Itsy Bitsy Spider, water spout’s POV)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Bear – Lori Himmel (Twinkle Twinkle, Little Bear (ursa minor)’s POV)

Jack & Jill – Ketan Ram (Jack & Jill, hill’s POV)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Ketan Ram (Twinkle Twinkle, moon’s POV)

Cock-a-doodle Doo, My Dame Has Lost Her Shoe – Ketan & Ravi Ram (Cock-a-doodle Doo, fiddle bow’s POV)

Little Bo Peep – Tracy (Little Bo Peep)

Jack And Jill – Kay DiVerde (Jack & Jill, Jill’s POV)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Firefly – Lily Erlic (Twinkle Twinkle, firefly’s POV)

Sing A Song of Sixpence – Penny Adler (Sing A Song O’ Sixpence, king’s POV)

Untitled – Alicia Meyers Kelly (Hickory Dickory Dock)

Untitled – Katie Schwartz (There Was A Crooked Man, house’s POV)

Untitled – Ugo Anidi (Jack and Jill, hill’s POV)

Untitled – Lauri Meyers

 

PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Baby Bear Discovers The World

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

It’s May on Blueberry Hill, and you know what that means:

Baby goslings.

Baby foxes.

Baby snakes.

Baby rabbits.

Baby groundhogs.

And given the black bear you all know was hanging out on my porch last week eating bird seed,  I’m betting there are some baby bears around too, even though I haven’t seen any… which is probably just as well because no one needs an overprotective mama bear too near their house! 😊

In the spirit of baby animals, I have chosen this very delightful book for today.  I dare you and your young reading companions not to love the pictures 🙂

Title: Baby Bear Discovers The World
Written By: Marion Dane Bauer
Photography By: Stan Tekiela
Adventure Publications Inc, 2006, Factual Fiction with great photos

Suitable For Ages: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: wild animals, growing up, independence, nature

Opening: One fine spring morning Baby Bear said to his mama, “Mama, I’m a big bear now.  It’s time for me to go out and discover the world.  Then he kissed his mama so she would know he meant business.”

Brief Synopsis: From the jacket: “Follow Baby Bear’s excursion into the big world as he tries to prove his independence, wandering closer and closer to places he doesn’t belong.  Using twin cubs and the assistance of a handler, Stan [the photographer] succeeded in getting all the photos for this book from the cubs’ natural reactions to their surroundings.  His ability to capture everything from their inquisitive faces to actually tumbling from a log is delightfully documented.”

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Links To Resources:  Everything you need is right here!  The back of the book has a section on bear facts – characteristics, activity, diet, cubs, and hibernation.  It also has a section on how the book was photographed, and another section of “outtakes and bloopers” photos – SO CUTE! 🙂  You can also go for a walk and look for signs of animals – paw prints, nests, etc.  City or country, you’re likely to discover some fun things, just like Baby Bear 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I just absolutely adore wildlife photography.  This book combines a fun story about learning independence with exquisite photography of lots of animals besides the bears along with the surrounding flora.  It’s fun just to look at the pictures 🙂  The outtakes and bloopers photos are also tons of fun and make the experience of the book even better.  Wait until you see the picture of Baby Bear licking a mouse 🙂

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 😊

And for those of you who want to join in the Eenie Meenie Miney Mini Writing Challenge, here’s the link to week #1 for easy access 😊

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Sharon Giltrow!

Welcome to Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

You are in for a treat today! Our debut-ess is sharing some fabulous information on her writing process, query letter, and marketing that we can ALL learn a great deal from!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Sharon Giltrow and her very entertaining debut picture book BEDTIME, DADDY! which, incidentally, would make a ***fantastic Father’s Day gift*** for anyone who happens to need one!  I have had the pleasure of reading it and can highly recommend it, and there are purchase links below for your convenience!

But now, without further ado. . .

 

EK Books

Bedtime, Daddy!
written by Sharon Giltrow
illustrated by Katrin Dreiling
Publisher – EK Books
Fiction, 5-8 year olds

51Zx7leYiBL._SY486_BO1,204,203,200_

Synopsis- Putting Daddy to bed can be hard work but it can be lots of fun. This story will show you how to wrestle your daddy into his pyjamas, read just one more story, battle bedtime excuses and uses go away monster spray to get your daddy to sleep. Full of heart and humour, BEDTIME, DADDY! is for anyone who wants to try and put a grown-up to bed. 

Release dates – 1st May 2020 (Australia)
12th May (America), which is today – Happy Book Birthday to me. 😊🎈🎉

Here’s a birthday cake to celebrate. Let’s eat!!

birthday cake

SUSANNA: Welcome, Sharon, and Happy Book Birthday to you!!!  We are all as excited for you as you are, and thrilled to have you here with us today! Where did the idea for this book come from?

SHARON: The idea for BEDTIME, DADDY! was sparked in 2017, during Tara Lazar’s writing challenge – Storystorm. A writing challenge where you are encouraged to be open to ideas and write down thirty ideas in 30 days. On Day seven of the challenge my husband was putting our eight-year-old son to bed, after my son brushed his teeth, he found his daddy lying in his bed. That gave me the idea of a role reversal story where the child puts their daddy to bed.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

SHARON: In June 2017, I took my idea and started brainstorming how to put a grown up to bed. I planned out all the steps in the bedtime routine. I researched funny parenting memes, and parenting blogs. Then I used this brainstorm and research and wrote the first draft of BEDTIME, DADDY!

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

SHARON: Once I was happy to share my story, I sent it to my international critique group – THE WORDLIES. We share stories at the start of the month through a google docs group and critiques are due by the end of the month. I took the suggestions that were helpful and revised and revised and revised. Version six sold to EK Books in June 2018. One year after I wrote the first draft. Here is how the beginning of BEDTIME, DADDY! changed from version one to the final published version ten.

How to Put a Grown-up to Sleep – version1 Bedtime, Daddy! – version10
A grown-up can get grumpy.

A grown-up can get tired.

A grown-up sometimes needs to be put to bed.

And this is how you do it.

When your grown-up starts rubbing their eyes and yawning.

Announce “It’s time for bed!”

Your grown-up will start crying immediately.

HOW TO CONSOLE YOUR GROWN-UP

Give your grown-up a cuddle.

Wait for them to stop crying.

Explain that bedtime happens every night and that it isn’t a punishment.

And wait for crying to stop again and say, “still bedtime”.

Then watch your grown-up move at a snail pace to their bedroom.

 

When you see your daddy rub his eyes and stifles a yawn.

Announce, “Bedtime daddy!

Your daddy will start crying immediately.

Give him a cuddle until he stops.

Tell your daddy, “it’s still bedtime.”

Watch as he moves as slow as a sloth to his bedroom.

 

 

final first spread

Final first spread

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

SHARON: In November 2017 I started submitting BEDTIME DADDY. But, after receiving a number of rejections, I decided that the story wasn’t quite ready. So, with more help from my critique group and a publisher’s critique I started submitting again.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

SHARON: In June 2018, I submitted directly to EK Books who are an Australian publishing house who accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Here is the query letter that I sent.

Dear Editor,

As an author with an interest in humorous picture books with heart, I am seeking representation from a like-minded publisher. Pasted below for your consideration is my 343 word, 5-8-year-old, – humorous, plot driven picture book manuscript, Bedtime Daddy.

Putting a daddy to bed can be hard work. But it can be loads of fun too. A little girl wrestles her daddy into his pyjamas, reads just one more story, battles bedtime excuses and uses go away monster spray to get her daddy to sleep. Bedtime Daddy, a story for anyone who has ever tried to put a grown up to bed.

Readers of such picture books as Jean Regan’s How to Babysit a Grandad, Tammi Sauer’s Your Alien and Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Bedtime for Mommy will similarly enjoy the story Bedtime Daddy.

I am a member of SCBWI and the 12×12 picture book challenge. I am also an Early Childhood teacher working with children with Developmental Language Disorder. I have several other submission ready PB manuscripts available upon request.

Thank you for your consideration and time. I look forward to your response.

I still use a similar query format for current submissions but my bio has now changed and now includes my publishing credits and writing awards.

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

SHARON: Two weeks after submitting to EK Books I received ‘the email’ while on a family vacation. I read the email over and over again to make sure it was real. Then I researched EK Books some more, looked at their published books, emailed one of their published authors and then made the decision to accept their offer. EK Books didn’t request any revisions and I signed the publishing deal in August 2018, two months after I submitted BEDTIME, DADDY!

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

SHARON: To celebrate signing the contract my family and I went out for lunch at our local beach side café. After lunch I made them take photos of me, thinking that these would be my author photos. I later got professional author photos taken 😊.

 

 

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

SHARON: As this was my first publishing contract, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, through the great KidLit community I knew what clauses to be wary of. The contract didn’t contain any red flags and was straight forward and fair. I didn’t receive an advance. I receive 15% royalty of the publisher’s net receipts in Australia. For copies sold overseas I receive a 10% royalty of the net price received. In addition, I receive 7 author copies. Ten additional copies have been sent to book reviews and KidLit gurus around the world. I was also able to purchase author copies at a discounted rate of 40%.

 

 

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?

SHARON: After sending version six of BEDTIME, DADDY! to Anouska Jones, the editor of EK Books, I made slight changes at the word level which were accepted. Anouska suggested one textual change, which was change the title punctuation from BEDTIME DADDY! to BEDTIME, DADDY! Anouska also suggested that the characters be bears instead of people. I had always pictured the characters as people but when she shared her reason, which was that bears would have more of an universal appeal, I was happy to accept the change.

 

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?

SHARON: Anouska then asked the amazing illustrator Katrin Dreiling to do some preliminary sketches for the characters. These sketches were of people and bears. I put these sketches up on my wall so I could compare them. Once I had seen the sketches, it became even clearer that bear characters were the way to go.

first sketches1   first sketches2

First sketches

first sketches3

 

Then Katrin’s story board was shared with me, which I added my text to. I made a few suggestions and both Anouska and Katrin where very open to these. Katrin revised the sketches and seven months later I saw the first coloured PDF’s. That was a very exciting day.

fave spread

One of my favourite page spreads

 

I was very happy with the way that Katrin illustrated my story and I was very happy that I left room in my text for her to add her illustrative ideas. When I submitted the manuscript for BEDTIME, DADDY! I only had one illustration or art note, which was for the last page. Illo note: Child falls asleep outside the door; daddy gets out of bed picks the child up and puts the child into bed and winks).

illo note example

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?  What was that like?

SHARON: Not yet but I hope to 😊.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

SHARON: Twenty-one months and the initial print run was 2000 books.

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

SHARON: Approximately six months from the release of BEDTIME, DADDY I devised a marketing and sales plan. I sent this to EK Books and asked their marketing and sales team what they would do, what I was expected to do and what we would both do. This is the marketing and promotion that EK did for BEDTIME, DADDY!

  • Created a Media Press Release
  • Sent the Media Press Release to local press, bloggers, reviewers, radio stations
  • Set up Media interviews
  • Cover release to all online book stores
  • Shared the ARC with media and reviewers.
  • Posted reviews on their social media
  • Designed and printed book marks

bookmarks

EK Books has a fantastic international sales and marketing team which reply promptly to any of my queries They also sent me a guide to getting consumer reviews for my book.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

SHARON: The first and best thing that I did in regards to marketing and promotions was to join a debut picture book group. Our group is called the 2020 Debut Crew. It was through this group that I learnt how to create a marketing plan. Without the support of this group the marketing of BEDTIME, DADDY! would have been a lot harder. Here are some of the marketing and promotion that I did.

  • Had professional author photos taken
  • Had a Daddy Bear soft toy made through the company Budsies
  • Wrote the book blurb
  • Made my own stickers
  • Organised a cover reveal
  • Made a list of KidLit gurus that I wanted copies of BEDTIME, DADDY! sent to.
  • Developed a blog tour
  • Set up an author page on Amazon, Goodreads and Library thing
  • Promoted pre-orders through social media
  • Wrote guest blogs
  • Set up interviews on blogs
  • Planned my launch party and re-planned a virtual launch party.
  • Created twitter giveaways
  • Created teaching notes
  • Created a book trailer

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

SHARON: Five Years 

 

family        niece and nephew

Photo of my family and I with my first copy         Photo of my niece and nephew

 

work space and work buddy   daddy bear with book

My work space and work buddy                           Daddy Bear with his book

 

Sharon Giltrow

twitter
Instagram
Facebook

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Sharon!  We’re so grateful to be able to learn from all the wonderful specifics you shared about revision, querying, and marketing, and we wish you all the very best of luck with this and future books!

Readers, if you have questions for Sharon, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Sharon’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day

Announcing The Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge!!!

Rise and shine, my friends!

It’s about time for some new high jinx and shenanigans!

Given the unusual circumstances we all find ourselves in at the moment, I bet you are all challenging yourselves each and every day!

parenting

There’s the What Can I Make For Dinner Out Of 1/2 A Cup Of Raisins, A Sleeve Of Saltines, And A Can Of Baked Beans? Challenge. . .

. . .the Total Body Workout On Top Of The Coffee Table Because That’s All The Space I Have Challenge. . .

. . .and the Lord Help Me How Will I Entertain The Children On What Feels Like The Millionth Evening Of Quarantine (If I Have To Play Candy Land One More Time I Will Have To Be Committed!) Challenge!

It is just possible that the novelty is beginning to wear off of these a teeny tiny bit. . . 😊

So I am here to offer you something new and different! (and feel free to use it to solve #3 above as well 😊)

When life is so topsy-turvy it can be hard to find the energy and motivation to write, so how about a little boost and a little encouragement with perhaps a soupçon of competition?

It’s time for

The First Ever Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge
For Children’s Writers!

 

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

(Not a contest exactly… no room in the blog calendar, no time for judging, no gigantic prizes on offer…but still (hopefully!) tons of fun!)

Here’s how it works:

Starting today, each Monday until June 22 (which makes 7 Mondays total and will get us to the end of the school term) I will post a Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt for a 100 word story.  Post your story in the comment section for that week’s challenge (or if you have trouble posting it, email it to me and I’ll post it for you.)  At the end of the 7 weeks, everyone who has posted one story for each week’s prompt will

A) have 7 brand new stories to play with!  (Who knows? Your next picture book or even chapter book or longer might be sparked by something you write for the Challenge!)

B) be able to take credit for entertaining lots of stuck-at-home fellow writers and their kids (not to mention you’ll entertain yourself and your own kids!)

and

C) qualify to win a prize from the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Mystery Bag of Marvelous Prizes for Writers! (I’m not really expecting 400 people to complete this challenge… if that happens we will have to eenie meenie miney mo winners until we run out of prizes, but you will still win A and B above!)

You can compete with yourself to see if you can write all 7 stories!  You can compete with your writing friends to see if you can write more than they do! And if you want to get really competitive, you can all read the stories that are posted and “like” the ones you think are best and see who gets the most “likes” 😊 (If you do that there might be some special prizes…who can tell??? 😊)

When the going get’s rugged, children’s writers beat the blues by playing writing games and creating new stories to keep themselves and everyone around them entertained!

So here we go!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #1 for Week of May 11:

Choose one item from one or more of the columns below – minimum 1, maximum 3.  You can choose only one item (for example, one item from Column B), or you can choose one from Column A and one from Column C, or you can choose one each from Column A, B, and C – whatever combination you like depending on what you feel you need to spark your story.

Write a 100 word story for kids which includes at least 1 and not more than 3 of the items below.  Please either highlight them or list them at the top so it’s easy for me to see who has qualified for the challenge. (If you want to use a title, the title will not be included in the word count.)

Post your story in the comment section (or email it to me to post.)

Read, enjoy, and comment on each other’s stories! 😊

Here is today’s mix ‘n’ match list:

Column A Character Column B Setting Column C Emotion
knight birthday party cranky
alien school bored
camel beach jubilant

*For those of you who feel you would benefit from a little more structure, you can make this a Mother’s Day story – but that is a suggestion only for people who want it, not a requirement for this week’s story.*

So you might choose “camel” only.  Or you might choose “school” and “jubilant”.  Or “knight”, “beach” and “cranky”. . . (And you can throw in Mother’s Day if you want to 😊)

Get the idea?

In an attempt to answer possible questions I will say:

  • you can write as many stories as you want each week
  • you can post them at any time during the week (just make sure they’re on the Monday Mix ‘n’ Match Mini post for the week you’re entering – e.g. below for Week #1))
  • you can play catch up (so if you miss a week you can go back and add to an earlier week if you’re trying to complete the challenge and qualify for prizes as long as all entries are posted on the correct week and are posted no later than Saturday June 27th at midnight Eastern time.)
  • no illustration notes
  • if 2 or 3 items from one column are what get your creativity sparking, that is okay (e.g. you can use knight and alien if you want)
  • You may go over the word count if you’re on a roll and you wish to (because there is not judging 😊)
  • You may write in poetry or prose

 

Here’s a little sample to show you how it works:
(No comment on the dreadfulness of the sample 😊)

Week #1: camel, school (99 words)

Camel School

Cami was excited for school!

Would she learn reading? Writing? To count past 12?

“First class, Hydration,” said Miss Dromedary. “Try for 30 gallons of water in 13 minutes. Practice makes perfect!”

Cami couldn’t imagine drinking that much!

“Next, Spitting! Try for 120 feet. Practice makes perfect!”

Cami’s tongue flickered like lightning, but could she spit far?

“Now, Sand Running! A steady 25 mph. Practice makes perfect!”

“Even practice can’t make me that fast!” cried Cami.

Miss Dromedary patted her head. “This is Camel School, dearie.  Chameleon School is next door.”

“Phew!” said Cami, scurrying to join her friends.

 

And here’s a little sampling of the prizes up for grabs to whet your competitive spirit 😊 MORE TO COME!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

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Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

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Writing Journal (x10)

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

So come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE!!! 😊

Check out the Week #1 stories!

How To Have A Camel Birthday Party – Brenda Whitehead (camel, birthday party)

A Knight At The Beach – Jess Murray (knight, beach)

Puddles From Pluto – Julie Abery (alien)

Untitled – Candice Marley Conner (knight, beach, jubilant)

Birthday Surprise – Genevieve Petrillo (birthday party)

The Knight And The Bouncy Castle – Little Cornish Writer (knight, birthday party, bored)

Andromeda And Nick – Cindy S. Boyll (alien, knight)

Carlos The Camel Goes To Revere Beach – Susan Reese Krevat (camel, beach, bored)

Chloe’s Extraordinary Bunny Beach Birthday Party – Corine Timmer (birthday party)

Wake Up Call – Jill Lambert (alien, school, cranky, Mother’s Day)

Cranky Camel At The Beach – Susan Inez (camel, beach, cranky)

Blast Off – Barbara Renner (alien, school)

Mommy’s Cranky Beach Baby – Jamie Bechtelheimer (beach, cranky)

Night Knight School – Matthew Lasley (knight, school, cranky)

How To Pet A Camel – Jeanette Jones (camel)

Untitled – Carmen Castillo Gilbert (cranky, birthday party, beach)

An Ode To Our Teachers – Michelle S. Kennedy (school)

The Uninvited Guest – Jarmila  (alien)

Knight Light – Margo  (knight)

Sir Grumpsalot’s Lesson – Dot Anson (knight, beach, cranky)

The Knight’s Princess – Linda Schueler (knight, birthday party)

Camel’s Surprise – Susan Schipper (camel, beach, jubilant)

The Birthday Party: A Circular Story – Rose Cappelli (camel, birthday party)

Alien Beach Adventure – Ashley Congdon (alien, beach)

Prehistoric Hairdo – Kristy Roser Nuttall (cranky)

Beach Bummed – Sarah Meade (beach)

The Cranky Alien On The Beach – Linda Boyden (cranky, alien, beach)

A Good Knight – Patricia Nozell (knight, school)

It’s Not My Party – Sarah Hoppe (birthday party, emotion of cranky but not the word)

Back To School – Deb Sullivan (school, alien, cranky)

Ulric, The Tap Dancing Knight – Brittany Pomales (knight)

If You Invite A Camel To Your Birthday – Sara Ackerman (camel, birthday party)

Grandpa’s Style – Leslie Denkers (jubilant)

Camel On Vacation – Dawn Young (camel, beach, jubilant)

Untitled – D. Litwer (alien, beach)

Alien Annie – Linda Staszak (alien)

Untitled – Mary VB (beach, knight, cranky)

(K)Night School – Bev Baird(knight, school)

Mr. Camel Needs A Break – Sue Lancaster (camel, beach, cranky)

Lost In Time – Colleen Murphy (knight, beach)

Sir Sunny – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (knight, beach)

Horace – Amy Flynn (camel)

Gismos The Alien – Everard Anson (bored, alien, jubilant, cranky)

A Limerick – Marty (knight, jubilant)

Pal – Mia Geiger (camel)

How To Homeschool An Alien – Liz Kehrli (alien, school)

A Knight’s Delight – Nancy Riley (knight, beach)

Zara’s Blooming Flower – Lori Himmel (camel, school, jubilant)

Cranky Camel – Deb Buschman (camel, cranky, beach)

Clanky Cranky – Laura Pomar (knight, school, cranky)

The Jubilant Beach – Ketan & Aiyka Ram (beach, jubilant)

Untitled – Kay DiVerde (knight, bored)

Mix And Match – Shariffa Keshavjee (knight, bored, camel, alien, school)

Good Knight! – Lily Erlic (knight, beach, cranky)

Untitled – Penny Adler (school)

Show And Tell – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf (alien, school, bored)

Aliens Have Birthday Parties Too! – Alicia Meyers Kelly (alien, birthday party)

LeeLee Croaks – Katie Schwartz

Untitled – Lauri Meyers (bored, knight)

Untitled – Ugo Anidi (knight, birthday party, bored)

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bloom

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and . . . my youngest’s birthday! 😊

So I’m sharing a book that celebrates May flowers and extraordinary girls 💐🌸🌟💕

Bloom

Title: Bloom

Written By: Doreen Cronin

Illustrated By: David Small

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, February 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: girl power, appreciation/gratitude, encouragement, believing in yourself

 

Opening: “Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom, there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom.  Her boots were caked with mud.  There was dirt between her teeth.  Beetles rested in her wings.  Bloom’s magic could spin sand into glass, turn weeds into blossoms, and grow a trickle of rainwater into a racing river.  Bloom was a helpful creature, but her footsteps were HEAVY, and she left a trail of tiny cracks and mud wherever she went.

Brief Synopsis: A glass kingdom is a tough place to be a Mud Fairy. Bloom and her mud fairy magic can turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but all the people of the kingdom do is complain about the trails of dirt and puddles of mud she leaves behind so, feeling unappreciated, she leaves.  When the kingdom falls into disrepair, the King and Queen search out Bloom, but it takes the most “ordinary” girl in the kingdom to restore the magic.

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Links To Resources:  Here are some resources to get kids outdoors to celebrate earth and gardens.  Plant A Family Butterfly Garden, Big Seeds For Little Hands, Information & Resources For Gardening With Children

Why I Like This Book:  This story has the delightful “Once upon a time” opening that creates the delicious anticipation of a fairy tale about to unfold.  Bloom is an unusual fairy – dirty, willing to work hard, not traditionally “girly”.  Genevieve, the “ordinary” girl whose only job has been to polish the queen’s crystal sugar spoon has never had the opportunity to discover what she’s capable of.  Working alongside Bloom, she learns that she is anything but ordinary and that she can save the kingdom.  Favorite line: “Tell them there is no such thing as an ordinary girl!” said Bloom.

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For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 😊🌷

A very happy birthday to my daughter and a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there 💕💐💕🐣