Would You Read It Wednesday #337 – Mighty Little Nikita (ER/PB)

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but now that autumn is officially here I’m wondering what’s up in the animal kingdom.

The only wooly bear caterpillar I’ve seen suggested a mild winter (mostly brown, only a little black at nose and tail.)

But the acorns are falling like nobody’s business – pattering down on the garage roof and the driveway and all through the woods almost constantly –

IMG_8575

and the bears are out and about more noticeably than usual.

Last week I saw one little bear in the woods while out horseback riding (luckily my fearless steed was unperturbed by the experience.  And by “unperturbed” I mean she happened to be looking the other way and was thusly oblivious 🙂 ) Then, not two days later, another little bear trundled across the Clove Valley Road in front of my car – not so close that we were in any danger of bumping into each other, but close enough for a good view! (This video is actually from last summer, not last week, but I was unable to video whilst driving 🙂 )

What does this mean?

In the old days, I’d think it was a sign of a hard winter.  But these days, what with global warming, that doesn’t seem possible.  So I think Mother Nature is just having fun at our expense 🙂

In any case, it definitely calls for Something Chocolate because, well, really , around here, doesn’t everything? 🙂  Today I think we should feast on Pecan Pie Bars Dipped In Chocolate, partly because they sound delicious (and everyone knows pecans are good for you! 🙂 ) and partly because they come from a website called Hugs And Cookies and what could be better than that?!

Pecan Pie Bars Dipped In Chocolate

YUM…

…YUM!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sri who says, “A little bit about me: I love writing stories and reading them to my little kids who turn out to be some of my strongest critiques. I have self published some of my stories but I am looking forward to that day when I can call myself a published author in the more traditional sense!”

Sri gained her inspiration to write stories because of her two young kids who love to read books. Her kids love her stories and are in fact her best critics! Sri presently lives and works as a research administrator in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Sri is also the author of Tales of Rishi and Neela which was published in April 2019. When she is not working or driving her kids around for classes and play dates, Sri likes to spend her leftover time creating jewelry or listening to podcasts.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:

Age/Genre: Early Reader/Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Nikita has a problem, rather a huge problem. The problem is that she is small – smaller than all of her friends.  Everyone in her kindergarten class call her little Nikita. Her friends think it is cute to call her that way but Nikita does not like it a wee bit.  Nikita complains to her mom who is also hmm…short but her Mom dusts her off saying that’s just in our geneticsGenetics .. whatever that means, Nikita thinks. Nikita’s fate withLittle Nikita continues until one day a huge insect comes into the class and scares the peanut butter out of everyone; well, everyone except Nikita, who is small but really brave. The rest of this funny story revolves around how Nikita works bravely to trap the huge insect to release it outside. She thus rewrites her name from Little Nikita to Mighty Nikita – a name that she is absolutely proud of.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Sri improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are about 2 openings left for this year, so if you want one, let me know!  You can polish your pitch and put it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Sri is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing something new today.  Who knows what? Maybe something fun! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

A Holiday Tuesday Debut!

Okay.  So there was teensy mix-up with email…

As a result I don’t have a true Tuesday Debut today.

But it occurred to me at the last minute (this morning!)  (as you can tell by the lateness of this post!) that I just so happen to have a new book coming out today, which is technically a Tuesday Debut for the book 🙂

So I’ll share that instead.  No time like the present (no pun intended) to get to work on your letter to Santa!  It will give you time to write and revise!  Make your list and check it twice 🙂

Dear Santa
written by Susanna Leonard Hill
illustrated by John Joseph
published by Sourcebooks Wonderland
October 1, 2019

Dear Santa Amazon cover

Santa Claus gets thousands of letters every year. But this year, Santa’s going to get a letter he’ll never forget…
This enchanting Christmas story about one boy’s honest letter to Santa is sure to become a cherished part of your holiday traditions for years to come.

Here’s a little sneak peek inside…

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 7.05.48 AM

text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2019, illustration copyright John Joseph 2019      Sourcebooks Wonderland

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 7.06.05 AM

text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2019, illustration copyright John Joseph 2019      Sourcebooks Wonderland

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 7.06.35 AM

text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2019, illustration copyright John Joseph 2019      Sourcebooks Wonderland

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 7.06.55 AM

text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2019, illustration copyright John Joseph 2019      Sourcebooks Wonderland

Isn’t John’s art amazing?!

Also, he made a coloring page…

dear santa coloring sheet

illustration copyright John Joseph 2019

and a word search!

word search dear santa

illustration copyright John Joseph 2019

which will be available to download from my site (from the For Teachers And Parents Coloring & Activities Pages in the menu bar above) very soon!

The book contains special holiday stationary at the back that kids can write their letters on, and the letters can be mailed (instructions supplied in the book) so that they will receive a personalized reply!

There are 4 choices, but here’s a sample:

I hope you all know someone who can have fun with it!

Happy Writing Tuesday, Everyone!

 

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

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

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, once again, and I have such a lovely book to share today.

It comes from Cori Doerrfeld, the talented author/illustrator who brought us The Rabbit Listened (which you all know I totally loved and raved over in a PPBF post a while back!)  It’s perfect for the beginning of a new school year as well as for many other occasions.

goodbye hello

Title: Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

Written & Illustrated By: Cori Doerrfeld

Dial Books For Young Readers, July 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, balance of life, coping with change

Opening: “Bye, Mom.
Every goodbye…
…leads to a hello.
Hi, I’m Charlie!
Goodbye to sitting alone…
…is hello to sitting together.

goodbye hello 1

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2019 Dial Books For Young Readers

goodbye hello 2

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2019 Dial Books For Young Readers

goodbye hello 3

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2019 Dial Books For Young Readers

Brief Synopsis:  Transitions are hard, but two best friends help each other through changes big and small.  When one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin.

Links To Resources: draw a picture of someone or something that was hard to say goodbye to; write a letter to someone you love; tell a story about a time it was hard when something ended or a time when you were excited about something beginning; grow butterflies at home or in the classroom so children can see how saying goodbye to a caterpillar allows you to say hello to a butterfly; butterfly life cycle coloring page; bake cookies so you can say goodbye to dough and hello to cookies 🙂

Why I Like This Book: this is a sweet story about coping with change which helps young readers to see that letting go of one thing, though it may be difficult, can give us the opportunity for something new and also wonderful. It covers the ground from the matter-of-fact (the snowmen of winter giving way to the puddles of spring, the sun giving way to the stars) to the harder changes of having to say goodbye to someone we love.  The book will help children to view change with positivity and optimism.  The text is gentle, sweet, and poignant.  Cori is a master of getting to the heart of things with exquisite simplicity.  And the art is warm, engaging, and appealing.  A great choice for every child.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

goodbye hello 4

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2019 Dial Books For Young Readers

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!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #336 – Isaac’s Apple Tree (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor for June and July!!!

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!  Woo hoo!

And you’ll all be thrilled to know that we get to start today’s proceedings with a triple Straight From The Editor!

You’ll recall that back in June we had a tie between Deborah and Ana.

Deborah’s pitch was for Farmer Jo and the Chicken Coop Calamity (PB) –

Henrietta, Goldie, and Pearl are three chickens with grand ideas. After convincing Farmer Jo to build improvements on their hen house, word spreads and many new chickens come to the farm to roost. But the weight of the situation proves to much to bear and the results are shattering as the hen house splinters apart.

 

Erin said:

This pitch has potential and could be very funny but it’s not telling the story. Are the three chickens with grand ideas the protagonists or is Farmer Jo? Is the conflict that the hen house collapsed  or that too many hens came to roost? If the three hens are the reason for the problem—too many hens in the hen house—how do they resolve it? That’s what you need to get across. Who are the protagonists? What is the conflict and what’s the resolution? Right now you have the first two, but not the solution.

 

Ana’s pitch was for Bella The Best Quits Again (PB) –

Bella, a Latina girl as sassy as Junie B. Jones, quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s not the best at it: her backflips look like giraffes rolling downhill & her dulce de leche frosting: crocodile skin. Bella must learn it’s ok to try again or she won’t be good @ anything. For kids who enjoy  The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. Back Matter Famous Div. People who struggled. #PB #Humor

 

Erin’s said:

Bella seems like a great girl and the story could be sweet but the comparisons you make—like Junie B Jones and  The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes are taking away from YOUR story. You can say those things outside of the pitch but it would be better to let your story shine through on its own merits. What if you said something like, “Bella, a sassy seven year-old Latina, won’t do backflips because she looks like a giraffe rolling downhill and her dulce de leche frosting tasted like crocodile skin (which are great images BTW), so she refuses to make anymore…”  And then you need a sentence that tells the reader how she comes to accept that practice makes perfect…

 

The July pitch winner was Nancy with her pitch for Cupid’s Tango (PB)

Cupid, the prairie chicken, has his feathers all in a twist over his flock’s step dance contest. If he fails, no hen will pick him to go to the All Species Ball. The problem – he is horrible at step dancing and when he’s nervous, he’s worse. When the contest ends in disaster, Cupid is determined to find a dance he loves and win a hen’s heart to go to the ball.

Erin said:

This looks intriguing. I’d tweak the bit about if he fails no hen will pick him to go to the All Species Dance (which is adorable, BTW) because somebody’s got to lose so only one prairie chicken will go to the All Species Ball from all the contestants? That’s what it sounds like. Even if you phrase it more like “no hen will want to go to the All Species Ball with a chicken with two left feet” it will make a big difference.

So much fantastic pitch feedback straight from our talented and generous neighborhood editor!  I hope you all find Erin’s thoughts as instructive as I do!

I’m sure we will all absorb that helpful information much better with Something Chocolate to stimulate our brains!  How about some Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes With Oreo Crust?

Chocolate Mini Cheesecake With Oreo Crust

Sounds like brain food to me! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Marcia who says, “Aspiring writer, not yet published…I have lived in every New England State but one. I am slowly restoring an 1858 cape and love to explore historic houses. On a mission to visit as many presidential homes as I can, in between responding to the demands of my Siberian princess of a cat. Member NESCBWI and 12×12.”

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: @MZ_Parks

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Isaac’s Apple Tree

Age/Genre: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book (ages 4-8) – includes Author Note

The Pitch: The tree that facilitated the discovery of gravity (leading to the principles on which all space missions depend) now has “space offspring.” In Isaac’s Apple Tree, the tree under which Isaac Newton sat that fateful day tells its own astounding and far-reaching story.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Marcia improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are 2 or 3 openings left for this year at the end of November/beginning of December, so you could still get your pitch up before 2020 for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Marcia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing my new book!  Did I say that last week? I think I might have!  But I’m still waiting for the books to arrive (because I live on a blueberry-covered mountain in the apparent Middle Of Nowhere! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Christine Evans!

The ants go marching one by one
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by oneants
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one
Christine debuts with some buggy fun
And they all go marching down
Into the ground
To curl up with a Tuesday Debut picture book!  😊 😊 😊

It’s Tuesday, everyone! And I can’t wait to introduce you to today’s Tuesday Debut-ess, Christine Evans, and her bug-a-licious book, EVELYN THE ADVENTUROUS ENTOMOLOGIST!!!

Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist: The True Story of a World-Traveling Bug Hunter
by Christine Evans (Author), Yasmin Imamura (Illustrator)
Innovation Press
September 24, 2019
Nonfiction (biography)
5-10 years

Evelyn cover

Trailblazing entomologist Evelyn Cheesman embarks on eight solo expeditions, discovers insect species, and tangles with sticky spider webs in this biography about a hidden figure.

 

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Christine!  We’re so excited to have you here today!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

CHRISTINE: I knew I wanted to find an unknown woman in science to write about. When my google searches led me to a short article about Evelyn Cheesman I got a fluttery feeling and as I started to learn more about her I knew I had my subject.

 

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

CHRISTINE: I first read about Evelyn in around May 2017. It took me a few months to have a first draft. Then the revising and the revising and the revising began. I took the manuscript to conferences for professional critiques, to my fabulous critique partners, and I sold it in April 2018.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

CHRISTINE: In that year from when I first started working on the manuscript (and even after the sale) I must have gone through around 50 different revisions.

I love putting my manuscripts through different tenses and points of view to help nail the voice. I also spend the revision process looking for places where I can add a repetition or refrain I can use. I love the one we landed on for Evelyn—which happened in the revisions with my editor after I sold it.

 

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

CHRISTINE: When I wasn’t getting any major issues back from my critique partners except line edits I knew it was time to send Evelyn out in the world.

 

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

CHRISTINE: I entered a Twitter pitch contest and Asia Citro from Innovation Press liked my pitch. So I submitted to her and meanwhile I submitted to agents I thought would be a good fit. I signed with Elizabeth Bennett (Transatlantic Agency) and we got a formal offer from Asia a few days later. It was an exciting whirlwind!

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?  (If you care to share 😊)

CHRISTINE: I can’t remember. I have two small children so I probably had to carry on cooking them dinner and get them to bed before I could really celebrate!

C Evans 1

 

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

CHRISTINE: I didn’t know what to expect but my agent guided me through the process. I’m so happy I had her in my corner!

 

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

CHRISTINE: During the very collaborative editorial process we really nailed the structure and the repeated refrain. The final book looks quite different to the original manuscript.

 

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

CHRISTINE: I was thrilled when my editor shared Yasmin Imamura’s work with me and asked if I thought she’d be a good person to illustrate Evelyn Cheesman’s story. Of course I said yes! I got to review the book at both the sketch stage as well as later when the art was almost finished. And then again at the proof stage.

 

 

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

CHRISTINE: My editor shared some reviews from SLJ and Booklist which was really exciting to see. I can’t wait to hear what readers think!

 

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

CHRISTINE: I sold the book in April 2018 and here we are in September 2019 and I have a real book! That’s pretty quick in the publishing world – I’ve heard tales of five years for some people although I think two years is average.

 

 

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

CHRISTINE: I’m having a launch event at a local bookstore and have made bookmarks, buttons, and even custom cookies.

My biggest promotion tool has been my debut group, Picture Book Buzz. We have been promoting each other’s books, held giveaways, and even took over #PBChat on Twitter.

C Evans 2

 

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

CHRISTINE: Around two to three years — I started really writing with intent at age 36, got an agent and a deal at age 38, and now I’m 40 and my book is out in the world! I know that sounds fast but I’ve been writing my whole life in one form or another—I was a communications manager and wrote copy all day pre-kids and pre-moving to the US.

 

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

CHRISTINE: I would like to encourage fellow writers to follow their passions outside of writing, read widely about what interests you, and follow the little nuggets of information that make you get a fluttery feeling. You never know where it might take you!

Christine Evans

Author Christine Evans

Website: http://pinwheelsandstories.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christinenevans
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinenevans/

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with us today, Christine!  It’s so helpful for all of us to have a chance to learn from one another!  I’m sure I speak for everyone when I wish you all the best success with this and future books!

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

You may purchase Christine’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

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

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready For Winter

Howdy, folks, and welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the first day of autumn 2019 is Monday September 23…which is in a couple days.  I am not in ANY way trying to hurry the onset of winter with today’s selection!  I love autumn.  And autumn is the time when animals prepare for winter.  So even though today’s book has a wintry-looking cover, think of it as a celebration of autumn rather than a harbinger of cold and snow! 🙂

Snack Snooze Skedaddle

Title: Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready For Winter

Written By: Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrated By: Claudine Gevry

Millbrook Press, September 3, 2019, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-9 (I think younger kids will enjoy it too!)

Themes/Topics: nature, animals, preparing for winter

Opening: “Soak up the sun, breathe in the breeze,
Munch crunchy apples that fall from the trees.
Enjoy every morsel you feast on today:
the banquet of autumn will soon fade away.

So plump up or burrow or journey before
frosty winds rattle and batter your door.
Snowstorms and dark nights are next to arrive.
Here comes winter!
PREPARE.
SURVIVE!

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 6.50.21 PM

text copyright Laura Purdie Salas 2019, illustration copyright Claudine Gevry 2019          Millbrook Press

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “There is more than one way for animals to prepare for winter. Some, such as mice, foxes, and moose, simply tolerate the cold. Of course black bears hibernate, but chipmunks, wood frogs, and garter snakes do too. And then there are the creatures that migrate, including hummingbirds, blue whales, and even earthworms! This rhyming nonfiction picture book by Laura Purdie Salas tells you all about how animals survive chilly weather.”

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, full of facts about toleration, hibernation, and migration.  There are several pages of back matter about survival strategies, survivors, and a glossary.  Hibernation activities; Hibernation Migration activities

Why I Like This Book: the rhyming text is engaging and fun to read aloud and provides a lyrical aspect to the nonfiction content. It is accompanied by simply stated facts that children will find accessible.  And the text is beautifully complemented by the colorful art which is both eye-catching and warm and appealing.  The whole book is a gem that you and your little animal enthusiasts will love!

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 6.49.58 PM

text copyright Laura Purdie Salas 2019, illustration copyright Claudine Gevry 2019          Millbrook Press

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!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #335 – P.I. Goat And The Case Of The Missing Bone (PB)

Hey there, everyone!

Hope you’re all having a lovely week so far!

Since it’s Would You Read It Wednesday, I have something fun to share that I hope you will read!  (There should be a rhyme about that… maybe something like how many books would a woodchuck… uh, well, actually maybe not that 🙂 Devouring books is fine, but not necessarily the way a woodchuck might 🙂 )

I am fortunate to have many friends who are talented writers and illustrators, and I always love to share their books.  If you’re looking for something great and hot off the presses, check out these two titles released in the past week!

vole and troll huggle wuggle

 

Congratulations to Iza and Della on their newest books! (and don’t miss their previous titles! 🙂 )

Now that we’ve got some good new books to read, let’s cozy up with Something Chocolate  – a breakfast treat I’m sure we can all agree is totally healthy and delicious for myriad reasons – Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

 

Not only is this Something Chocolate totally yummy, I got to use the word myriad and it’s always a good day when you can work that in! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kim who says, “I’m blessed to be pursuing my dream of writing full-time after a career in mortgage lending. I have two grown boys but no grandkids to read my stories to yet.”

Find her on the web at

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: P. I. Goat And The Case Of The Missing Bone

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch:  P.I.Goat gets his first case when Puddles, a puppy, hires him to find Paw-Paw’s bone. Nearsighted Paw-Paw thinks Goat is a pig, but Goat has a worse problem: he faints when startled! Despite the lack of help from a cast of wacky farm animals, Goat unravels the startling truth behind the Case of the Missing Bone. He also discovers that being a P.I. is not for the faint of heart—KLUNK!

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kim improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in October, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing my new book which is due out in a couple weeks and which I am hoping will show up on my porch one of these days VERY SOON!  (Not that I’m impatient, mind you.  Not me!  I’m a model of calm and decorous waiting 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Nadine Poper!

Yee haw!  It’s Tuesday! And you know what that means!

Time to meet another brand new author and find out how she navigated the path to publication!

Today I’m happy to introduce Nadine Poper and her funny informational-fiction sea story, RANDALL AND RANDALL!

RANDALL AND RANDALL
written by Nadine Poper
illustrated by Polina Gortman
published by Blue Whale Press
release date Oct. 1, 2019
fiction picture book, ages 4-8

thumbnail_randall-randall-cover-ISBN9780981493879-highres

This very funny informational-fiction story about one of the sea’s naturally-existent odd couples illustrates how certain species depend upon their symbiotic relationship for survival.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Nadine! And thank you so much for coming to share your book journey with us today!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

NADINE: The idea for RANDALL AND RANDALL came while researching unusual animal relationships ( I actually Googled ‘unusual animals relationships’, I think). When I saw that a specific species of goby fish and snapping shrimp have this symbiotic relationship, a light bulb went on. I said to myself, “There is a story here!  I don’t know exactly what yet, but there is a story here.”

 

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

NADINE: Writing this story didn’t take too long.  The more I researched these two animals and their natural relationship, the idea for their friendship (and their slight moment of animosity) formed rather quickly. Their true behaviors in the ocean were so comical to me that the plot just rolled out.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

NADINE: RANDALL AND RANDALL didn’t go through a ton of revisions. I was pretty satisfied from the beginning with the overall storyline that came out of my head. The Spanish language needed to be tweaked often because I knew I wasn’t going to get it correct right away. That was probably where I spent most of my revision time, on the Spanish.

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

NADINE: I had taken it to my critique groups at least twice. I wasn’t getting a lot of advice or feedback that was major. t just felt that it was ready to submit.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

NADINE: RANDALL AND RANDALL is not the manuscript I queried to the editor Alayne Christian at Blue Whale initially. I had queried her with my book that is coming out November 1 titled PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET. It just so happens that R&R is coming out first. I do not have an agent but at the time I queried Blue Whale, I had queries out to agents. I saw that Blue Whale was looking to grow their list and I felt that PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET was what they were looking for.

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

NADINE: I received an email from Alayne two days after submitting saying that she would like to talk to me about it and when would be a good time. We arranged a call for two days after that email. I was offered a contract for it. I didn’t accept immediately since the manuscript was out to agents, one of which expressed interest as well. As the industry expectation and out of courtesy, I had contacted that agent to let her know of Blue Whale’s offer. After about two weeks, I had made my decision to sign with Blue Whale. During that time, I had sent Alayne RANDALL AND RANDALL, which she also wanted to sign. I was just beyond thrilled at this point!

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?  (If you care to share J)

NADINE: Honestly, I don’t think I did anything! How boring, right?  I should have made one of your amazing chocolate recipes Susanna from Would You Read It Wednesdays and celebrated with that!

 

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

 

NADINE: I didn’t have any experience with contracts so I wasn’t completely sure of what was acceptable, but it turns out that yes, the contract was extremely fair and is pretty much right on target with what I hear about other authors’ deals. Since I submitted right to a publishing house and without an agent, my royalties are slightly higher.

 

SUSANNA: Tell us a little bit about the editorial process?

NADINE: There weren’t too many big changes to the manuscript. Alayne had suggested some areas needed clarification since the one Randall is singing and then he goes into spotting a predator. The way I had it written, it seemed as if Randall was still singing when he wasn’t. The ending is stronger too because of a suggestion Alayne had made.

 

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

NADINE: Aren’t the illustrations just so awesome??  From the beginning, Alayne had sent me a list of illustrators she had come across and whose worked she liked. I was encouraged to look at all their online portfolios and share my thoughts with her. We then agreed on Polina. I can’t quite pinpoint why I was drawn to Polina’s art, but that it just felt that my Randalls would be in good hands with her. I saw proofs and sketches along the way. I didn’t really have my own vision of what the characters or the setting was to look like. Polina’s attention to detail in the undersea world she created is impressively meticulous. That part I never imaged. As far as art notes, looking back, I think the copy I sent initially may have had one or two about the animals that the goby Randall was calling predators. I realize now that they weren’t necessary. So, no. I don’t think I had art notes.

R&R interior page

text copyright Nadine Poper 2019, illustration copyright Polina Gortman 2019

 

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

NADINE: Yes. Kirkus actually awarded RANDALL AND RANDALL a blue star. That was thrilling.

 

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

NADINE: The offer came April of 2018 and real copies will be available October 1, 2019. So 18 months from query to release.

 

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

NADINE: Blue Whale has created a book trailer and has sent the book out for reviews. Alayne is busy on social media too.

 

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

NADINE: Well, I started writing seriously in 2013 so about 5 years.

Porcupette and Moppet cover

coming soon from Nadine Poper

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Nadine!  We so appreciate everything you shared with us today and wish you the very best with RANDALL AND RANDALL and your forthcoming PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET!

 

nadine-poper

Author Nadine Poper

www.nadinepoper.weebly.com
PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET 2019 
RANDALL AND RANDALL 2019
“A clever introduction to a scientific concept with an accessible moral.”-Kirkus
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Friend me on Facebook

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

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

Indiebound
Amazon

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, 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

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?

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday Returns! – Two Tough Trucks

Welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Friday, everyone!

A week later than I intended, but, you know, stuff happens… and better late than never 🙂

You all know I like rhyming truck books, having written a couple myself and shared more than one of Little Blue Truck’s adventures here.  Today I’m thrilled to be sharing one written by two of my very talented friends.  I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Two Tough Trucks

Title: Two Tough Trucks

Written By: Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca Gomez

Illustrated By: Hilary Leung

Orchard Books, September 17 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: cooperation, compromise, working together, friendship

Opening: “One Mack, revved up and ready to go.
One Rig, a wreck, unsteady and slow.
Two trucks off to school for their first day of class.
One riding the brakes.  One hitting the gas.
VROOM! ZOOM!
A beep-beep goodbye.
A Rig holding back, a Mack saying “Hi!”

Brief Synopsis: (from the jacket) “Mack and Rig couldn’t be more different.
One loves the fast lane. The other, the off-ramp. But when they’re forced to pair up on their first day of school, can Mack and Rig figure out a way to get along and learn what it really means to be a tough truck?”

fullsizeoutput_1b30

text copyright Corey Rosen Schwartz & Rebecca Gomez 2019, illustration copyright Hilary Leung 2019

Links To Resources: Transportation Same & Different Cards; Monster Truck Car Wash Song (video); Truck Coloring Pages; make truck-shaped snacks (truck shape made of pancake or cut out of waffle with banana round wheels; sandwich cut in shapes that can be assembled to look like a truck with cucumber round wheels)

Why I Like This Book: this delightful book brings the concept of learning to get along into the world of trucks.  What could be more fun? 🙂 Mack and Rig are as different in their skills and personalities as they can be, and at first it seems there’s no hope for them to accomplish anything together.  But they learn what we all need to learn: that our differences complement each other and working together is always better than going it alone.  The story is engaging with fun to read-aloud rhyme, and the art is warm, bright and appealing.  A great choice for little truck-lovers and for kids who need a little encouragement to give potential friends a chance.

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!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #334 – The Airport Goat (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner!!!

Cheerio, friends!

(Somehow that reminds me of the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy writes a play and then there’s confusion amongst the actors about whether they’re performing with a Cuban accent or a British one and they keep saying “Pip! Pip! Cheerio, wot?” 🙂 )

lucy writes a play

(And since Lucy wrote a play, that is a writing reference and therefore appropriate for inclusion here… 🙂 )

But ANYway… 🙂

After a month off, it’s time to get back to everybody’s favorite past-time: Would You Read It Wednesday! (Which. I’ll have you know,  is a legitimate educational writing feature and not just a thinly veiled excuse to eat chocolate 🙂 )

First, I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of the July Pitch Pick was Nancy with her PB pitch for Cupid’s Tango!  Congratulations on a fabulous pitch and a terrific story idea, Nancy!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments and I’m sure she’ll get back to us at her earliest convenience. Then we can have a Straight From The Editor party with Erin’s thoughts from the June and July pitches!

Congratulations also to the other pitchers from July who did a great job writing and revising their pitches as well!  It takes a lot of courage and dedication to your craft to put a pitch up for everyone to read and comment on, but it’s invaluable because we all get to learn from the experience and hopefully the pitchers end up with something stronger than they started with!

I think all your awesomeness calls for a little Something Chocolate, don’t you?

Let’s hang onto summer a little longer with some S’mores Fudge Bars!

S’mores Fudge Bars

 

Don’t those just make you think of summer sing-alongs beside the campfire with the starry heavens up above?

“The other day
The other day
“I met a bear
I met a bear
A great big bear
A great big bear
Away up there
Away up there
The other day I met a bear….
A great big bear away up there!”

Come on, everybody!  “He looked at me…” 🙂

Okay!  Enough campfire singing 🙂  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Erin who says, “I am a book writer, avid reader, twin mama, and cf fighter. I have called WI, MN, MS, NYC and now San Diego CA home.”

Find her on the web at:

www.erinbuhr.com
Twitter: @erin_buhr

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Airport Goat

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: On the airport lawn, a herd of goats munches grass day after day, but one goat is not content. One morning, tired of his repetitive diet, this goat takes off to investigate new culinary options. He will have to search high and low and avoid airport security, but surely somewhere there are more delectable things to eat.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Erin improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are actually still openings in September, so you could get your pitch up very soon! for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Erin is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the return of Perfect Picture Books on Friday (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! – my best intentions last week were derailed!) because I have a fun book to share! But you’ll just have to wait and see what it is!  (How’s that for a cliffhanger ending! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂