Tuesday Debut – Presenting Pam Webb!

Welcome to Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

Today we’re meeting a wonderful author whose debut book embraces the very timely topic of hope that we’ll soon be together again.  I am so pleased to introduce you to Pam Webb!

TITLE: Someday We Will
AUTHOR:
Pam Webb
ILLUSTRATOR:
Wendy Leach
PUBLISHER:
Beaming Books, 2020
TOPICS: family, visits, multi-generational, anticipation
AGES:
K-3
FICTION: Hardcover

Pam Webb Cover

In Someday We Will, kids and grandparents mark the time until the next visit by anticipating all the wonderful activities  they’ll do together someday, from bicycling down a hill to whiling away the hours on a beach to applauding a sunset’s beauty at day’s end.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Pam!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  We’re so glad to have you here and look forward to hearing about your book’s journey to publication!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

PAM: When my granddaughter was born I began a list in my head of all the activities I could not wait to share with her as she grew up. She just turned 13 and we have done most, if not all, of the activities that are featured in the book.

 

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

PAM: I played with rhyming couplets and activities off and on for ten years! Rhyming picture books are tricky—getting the rhyme and rhythm right is important. I would work on the manuscript and then put it away to move on to other projects. I finally brought it to one of my writing group sessions, wanting feedback if it was worthwhile to pursue. The group was quite enthusiastic and encouraged me to keep working on it.  One of my writer newsletters featured Beaming Books and I sent off the manuscript in April 2018 and received an offer in June 2018.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

PAM: Before I submitted the manuscript I didn’t go through many revisions, it was more of a matter of completing the story idea. Once my story was accepted, I worked closely with Andrew De Young, who was the editorial director at Beaming Books. He convinced me to write the story with less rhyme and more lyrical prose. We probably had two or three revisions as we worked through our ideas together. It was a very positive process.

 

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

PAM: After my writing group encouraged me to keep working on the story I kept with it until I felt it was complete. I then did my usual practice of ignoring it for awhile and then returning it to with fresh eyes. I still really liked its upbeat message of anticipation and thought the couplets worked out well. When I saw the call out for manuscripts from Beaming Books, I felt it was the right manuscript for them.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

PAM: The newsletter came out in March of 2018 with the Beaming Books announcement for manuscripts. Whenever I see a publisher, editor, or an agent advertise a specific call out, I take the leap. I am a freelancer, so it was just a matter of taking the initiative of sending it in to them.

 

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

PAM: I received a text message from Andrew De Young stating how much he liked the manuscript, especially relating to it with being an expectant parent and having great memories of his own grandparents. He stated the terms and I accepted them via email.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

PAM: My husband and I went out to dinner and then to a concert featuring the students from the local music conservatory. It was surreal sitting at the concert thinking “I’m going to have a book published. I’m going to be a published author.”

 

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

PAM: Yes, having read up about contracts through SCBWI and being a debut author, I thought the terms reasonable. I received half the advance and then, as required, worked on the suggested revisions. Once those revisions were accepted by Beaming Books I received the second half of the advance. Originally the book was to come out in the fall of 2019, but it was pushed to April of 2020 to be in the season for Mother’s Day. I received 21 copies—the PR department sent a bonus copy!

 

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

PAM: My original manuscript was rhyming couplets and after I signed the contract Andrew gently and persuasively suggested to shape it to be more prose. At first, I was devasted, but I saw his wisdom and the changes made the book much stronger by focusing on the emotions of each moment. During the revision process I replaced the rhymes with more prose. Andrew “rescued” a couple of his favorite lines from the book and ironically, they were rhymes. I very much appreciated Andrew’s guiding hand and I felt that he was personally invested in the book. His vision and encouragement made the entire process pleasant and I feel I have grown as a writer due to his caring editor style.

 

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

PAM: Once the contract was signed, Andrew asked me to find illustrator styles. I promptly parked myself at the local library’s kids’ section. After some time I whittled my pile of books to three and sent photos of the covers to Andrew. He found Wendy Leach who provided bright, lively illustrations that complement the text well. I was able to see the proofs and make suggestions. I appreciated having so much input. I did not include any illustrative notes with the manuscript. I felt Andrew’s vision and Wendy’s abilities matched my own ideas. I especially enjoyed Wendy’s approach to the sidewalk chalk drawing spread, as that was a favorite activity with my granddaughter.

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?

PAM: Kirkus provided the first review and they were quite positive and encouraging. It is certainly a lift to read that reviewers like my book! Our local children’s librarian was impressed about the review, mentioning not all debut books are reviewed. My publisher forwarded a positive review from Midwest Book Review a couple of days ago. I am hoping more reviews will be forthcoming.

 

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

PAM: From offer to copy in hand took about two years due to the push to make it a spring release instead of a fall release.

 

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

PAM: Having a debut book come out in April 2020 meant it was released just as the pandemic shut down bookstores, libraries, and schools. The traditional marketing and promotion format has been challenging, to say the least. Beaming Books has provided a superb Amazon page, along with author pages for other online venues. They have highlighted Someday We Will on their own website. They will be contacting the possible markets I provided them, arranging for promotion as soon as the coast is clear again. Beaming Books provided books to my launch team members, and in turn they are promoting the book to their circle of influence and providing reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. Word of mouth among friends is very helpful. My own local library has recently opened and there are plans for a launch party; however, they are not ready for programs yet.

 

 

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

PAM: I have been quite actively promoting my book pursuing all sorts of marketing paths ranging from my college alumni newsletters to inquiring websites specializing in grandparenting. I even queried NPR, The New York Times, and AARP about how my book addresses how there is hope that Someday We Will be together again, that it is not only an audience for grandparents and grandchildren, but for everyone feeling the separation and anxiety of our situation. Since I am a teacher, I announced the book’s debut through our school web blog and held a giveaway through my WordPress blog. I have contacted local magazines and newspapers as well. I have made a couple of book trailers and submitted resources to SCBWI, who is essential in supporting authors.

 

 

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

PAM: My first published story was in 1988 through Highlights for Children, and although I have been actively publishing through a variety of publications, it wasn’t until 2020 that I sold a book under my own name.

 

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?)

PAM: In the long course of publication, I have learned perseverance is essential. I don’t let rejections bother me (or at least not discourage me) and I always keep writing. I have many projects I am working on, always ready to submit something when the right opportunity comes up. It is also important to be part of a writing community. I have received a great benefit from being involved with the national SCBWI (since 1991) and our regional chapter. Being part of a writing group is important for feedback and polishing up manuscripts. So, two words of helpful advice: don’t let rejections interfere with your creativity, and become active in the SCBWI, if a children’s author/illustrator.

 

 

SUSANNA: If your book has been out for at least one statement cycle, has it earned out yet?

PAM: My statement won’t be due out until September, so I am waiting…

 

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

 
PAM: At first I thought it detrimental that my book debuted during the pandemic; however, the book’s message of hope, of holding on to the optimism of being together again someday takes on an entirely different meaning now that we are separated from loved ones. I have come across at least three videos on YouTube where Someday We Will is featured as a story time selection. Each reader expressed how the book’s message provided them the reassurance and inspiration needed to get through these challenging days. It turns out the delay to be published might be fortuitous after all! Grandparents day is in September, which means the book gets a second round of notice. Taking advantage of opportunities is important would be a third bit of advice to writers!

Pam Webb

Author Pam Webb

Website: www.pam-webb.com
Goodreads

 

SUSANNA: Pam, thank you again for taking the time to join us today and share your experience with us so we can all learn!  I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the best of luck with this and future books!

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

You may purchase Pam’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

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Lisa Katzenberger!

Welcome to another exciting installment of Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

It’s been awhile since we had one!

Today I’m delighted to introduce Lisa Katzenberger and her debut picture book, National Regular Average Ordinary Day!

Title: NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY
Author: Lisa Katzenberger
Illustrator: Barbara Bakos
Publishing House: Penguin Workshop
Date of Publication: June 23 2020
Fiction or Nonfiction: Fiction
age range of your book: 3-7

9781524792404_National_CS.indd

Peter does not like being bored, so he comes up with a way to have some festive fun–he’ll celebrate a different holiday each day! But when he wakes up one morning to discover there isn’t any holiday, he realizes he’ll have to take matters into his own hands and make up his own!

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Lisa!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  We are thrilled to have you and can’t wait to learn from you!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

LISA: I worked as a Social Media Manager and wrote copy based on different “holidays” like National Barbie Day, National Homemade Bread Day, etc. I jotted down “crazy holidays” as a Storystorm 2017 idea.

 

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

LISA: This book, like no other book before or since, kind of dropped out of me. It was my December 2017 12×12 draft. I worked on it a lot over the holiday break, and my critique partners thankfully had quick turnaround. My agent put it out on submission in February 2018.

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

LISA: I went through 11 revisions with this story before I sent it to my agent. I put it out for critique on the 12×12 forum and hit up two different critique groups.

 

 

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

LISA: I knew it was ready to send to my agent when I was only getting small tweaks from my critiques, instead of more extensive notes. I went through two more revisions with my agent, and when she felt it was solid, she put it out on sub.

 

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

LISA: I had an agent and she submitted the manuscript to 16 editors.

 

 

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

LISA: I received the call about an offer just two weeks after we went out on submission. It happened super fast!

 

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

LISA: I had some champagne! But the sweetest part was the day I got the offer, my husband came home from work with a small plant for me. He said he didn’t want to give me flowers because he knew the publishing industry moved so slowly, and he wanted a something that would grow with me for a long time. Sadly, the plant is not around to celebrate the book’s publication. I am terrible at taking care of plants, but the sentiment was lovely!

 

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

LISA: I actually was really shocked by the amount of my advance (in a good way!). It’s from a Big 5 house, so I’m sure that made a difference. My agent was able to negotiate a 25% increase beyond the original offer! The rest of the terms were pretty standard. There is a non-compete clause that I couldn’t publish any other book for six months after NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY’S date of publication. My book ended up getting pushed out two seasons, so it meant it would be longer before my next book could come onto the market.

 

dining-room-table-1

Lisa’s dining room table writing space 😊

 

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

LISA: The editorial process was pretty straightforward! My editor, the lovely Renee Kelly, sent me a marked up manuscript with her revision notes. Once she paginated it, she asked me to fill two additional spreads. So I created a friend for Peter to interact with! I added the new content to the beginning of the story to better set the stage. I also had a call with Renee after she sent her notes just to chat through her comments and establish a rapport.

 

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

LISA: I did not see anything until the book was complete, and I wasn’t aware of progress during the illustration process. This was probably best because I had nothing to stress over! My editor sent me the final design in a PDF when it was ready. I cannot properly express how joyful and happy I felt when I saw the finished product. Barbara Bakos saw the humor in the story and brought all my characters (even the squirrels!) to life with perfection. It is bright, vibrant, and fun, better than anything I could have imagined!

I did submit the manuscript with art notes. As Peter rates each holiday, I knew this could potentially be expressed in the art instead of the text (we ended up going with both).

 

 

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

LISA: I’ve had positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. I kind of read them ready to cringe at an awful review, but both publications had kind things to say. Frankly, it felt like a relief!

 

 

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

LISA: It took 19 months!  –FYI, I asked my publisher for the print run, but it is not their policy to share that data publically.

 

 

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

LISA: During the current circumstances with COVID-19, marketing and promotion has been kind of different! They are working to set up some virtual storytimes with local independent bookstores.

 

 

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

LISA: I made bookmarks to take to conferences and hand out at signings, share with friends. Let’s just say that given our current environment I have a few extras hanging around! I hired Blue Slip Media to create an free downloadable activity kit. I am also doing a virtual book party launch with The Writing Barn. I will be featured on a few other blogs as well. I was nervous about contacting authors – who wants to write about little ole me? – but everyone was so gracious and welcoming! It never hurts to ask.

 

 

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

LISA: I have been writing seriously since college. I started on short stories, wrote some angsty poetry in my 20s, then wrote a few really bad novels. It wasn’t until I had my own children that I focused on kidlit, which was in 2015. I don’t think it’s fair to say it took 3 years, as I’d been studying the craft of writing for more than 20 years.

Lisa Katzenberger Head Shot

Author Lisa Katzenberger

Website: www.lisakatzenberger.com
Twitter: @FictionCity
Instagram: @lisakatz17

SUSANNA Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to join us and share your experiences with us today!  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 Lisa, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Lisa’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

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means vacation for Perfect Picture Book Friday until September.

What better way to kick off summer than with a wonderful beach story?!

sandcastle

Title: The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Written By: Megan Maynor

Illustrated By: Kate Berube

Knopf Books For Young Readers, May 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: seasons (summer), cooperation, perseverance, cumulative tale

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.53.25 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

Opening: “This is the sandcastle that Lola built.

Brief Synopsis: Lola is building a sandcastle. One challenge after another is surmounted by resourcefulness and cooperation.  Until the wave…! Will Lola ever get that sandcastle built?

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.54.16 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

Links To Resources: design and build your own sandcastle at the beach, playground, or your own back yard! Draw a picture of what you think would be the perfect sandcastle.  Write your own cumulative tale about something that gets bigger and bigger, or more and more complicated, or crazier and crazier!

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because the story is cheerful and friendly and the  illustrations are sunny and fun.  Lola is trying to build a sandcastle to signal mermaids, but first a foot kicks it over, than a bulldozer digs into it, then a bucket of shells falls on it… In each case, Lola cheerfully invites the newcomer to join in, recruiting them to build protective walls, dig a surrounding moat, lay a pathway of shells… and the sandcastle becomes better and better the more children join in.  When the wave comes along and washes Lola’s beautiful castle out to sea she despairs of ever seeing the mermaids (who appear in the clouds above her), but her new friends encourage her and are keen to try again.  It’s a lovely story of determination, friendship, and cooperation all at the beautiful, sunny, summer beach!  You’ll want to pack a copy in your beach bag 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.55.10 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

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 fantastic summer, everyone!!!  There will be sporadic posts here during the rest of June and July – mostly a few Tuesday Debuts unless anyone signs up for Would You Read It, or I get the hankering for another hare-brained scheme 😊, but a bit of a blog vacation so enjoy reading and writing and sunning and funning! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Will You Be Friends With Me?

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I have a sweet and lovely book to share with you today.  It is technically a board book, not a picture book, but its message of acceptance, tolerance, and appreciating difference  seemed so apt and so timely in the midst of current events that I wanted to share it.  We can all use a friend 😊💕

Will You Be Friends cover

Title: Will You Be Friends With Me?

Written By: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Illustrated By: Jo de Ruiter

WorthyKids, July 7, 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: Baby – 3

Themes/Topics: friendship, appreciating difference, acceptance

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 7.45.32 PM

text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Opening: “I wake early.
You sleep late.
My hair’s curly.
Yours is straight.
I say, “Now!”
You say, “Wait?”
Will you be friends with me?

Brief Synopsis: We’re all different but life is more fun that way! Anyone can be a friend!

Links To Resources: draw a picture of yourself and a friend doing something you both enjoy; write a poem about what makes a good friend; make friendship bracelets for your friends Easiest Friendship Bracelets; host a baking party where each child brings an ingredient and make Friendship Cookies; Friendship Keychains; Friendship Flowers

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 7.42.14 PM

text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Why I Like This Book: This book is simple and sweet and shows youngest readers that embracing difference is a good thing.  Kids can be different from each other in many ways, but that’s part of what makes life interesting and fun.  Friends are everywhere. The rhyme flows smoothly and is a pleasure to read, and the art is engaging and sweet, depicting a pleasantly diverse array of children. A lovely choice for any little one’s library, especially now.

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Library’s Most Wanted

Yee-haw! It’s Friday!

And I’ve got a rootin’-tootin’ choice for y’all to lasso and mosey on home to your corral with 😊

It’s extra perfect for the front end of summer when you might want to (and will hopefully be able to!) git-along down to your local library and stock up on books for those lovely summer days – if not at the pool or the beach, at least in your back yard hammock or pleasant window seat.

Check it out! (hehe)

Library's Most

Title: Library’s Most Wanted

Written By: Carolyn Leiloglou

Illustrated By: Sarah Pogue

Pelican Books, May 25 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: books/reading, perspective, responsibility

Opening: “When Aunt Nora asked her to be deputy librarian, Libby took her job very seriously.

Brief Synopsis: (from the publisher) “Libby longs to be a great librarian like her aunt Nora, and it just chaps her hide when kids vandalize books. She hangs up Wanted posters to drive the “outlaws” from her “territory.” But when she realizes that a librarian’s real job isn’t protecting books but connecting them with readers, she must find a way to lure them back.”

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 9.11.11 PM

text copyright Carolyn Leiloglou 2020, illustration copyright Sarah Pogue 2020, Pelican

 

Links To Resources: activities from the author’s website (coloring page, wanted poster, word search); library activities for elementary school

Why I Like This Book: I love the concept of an assistant librarian being like a deputy sheriff, and the whole western theme of the book.  It makes the story fun and accessible.  The story is also a wonderful introduction to the idea that there can be more than one way to look at a situation.  Libby’s love for books makes her want to take good care of them and make sure they are never damaged, but that is not everyone’s idea of how to love books.  Libby has to learn that the important thing is that everyone love books – not how they love them.  The art is appealing, and I especially love all the Wanted Posters – first for the “outlaws” and then for the readers.  A wonderful celebration of reading!

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!!! 😊

P.S. PPBF will go on summer hiatus as usual in a week or two. . . just a heads up.

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Vicky Fang!

Hello, all, and welcome to Tuesday Debut!

Today’s debut-ess has written a book I’m sure we all need at the start of summer.  What could be better than having all our little darlings invent their own perfect pets?

Invent-a-Pet
by Vicky Fang
illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarong
Sterling Children’s Books
June 2 2020
Fiction, Ages 4-7

Invent-A-Pet Cover

When a mysterious pet-making machine appears in her living room, can Katie figure out the formula for her perfect pet?

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Vicky!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  We are so excited to have you!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

VICKY: The idea itself came from a mashup of two ideas I had jotted down in my notebook at very different times: “mixing machine” and “mixed-up animals.” I find that I often need to combine my random ideas to get a story with appealing depth. As a product designer of technology experiences for kids, I was also able to pull from deep personal experience and craft the heart of the story I wanted to tell.

 

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

VICKY: I wrote the first draft in May 2017 during my Writing With the Stars mentorship with Peter McCleery, who was an amazingly patient and insightful mentor. In early 2018, a pretty final version of the manuscript landed me my wonderful agent, Elizabeth Bennett! We sold the book in May 2018.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

VICKY: I rewrote this manuscript dozens of times, with the help of feedback from Peter, from my critique partners, from paid editor critiques at conferences, and editors via R&Rs. A lot of the revisions were really about craft – getting the pacing and character arc just right.

 

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

VICKY: At the point that I was getting R&R requests, I knew that I was close.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

VICKY: My agent submitted for me.

 

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

VICKY: There were two houses interested in the book, which helps to move things along more quickly (in relative terms for the publishing industry.) I think we had an answer in about six weeks.

 

SUSANNA: 6 weeks is amazing! How did you celebrate signing your contract?

VICKY: You know, I don’t think I even did! I think I quietly signed it, did a happy dance, and filed it away. I hadn’t told most people I was writing books yet and to be honest, I kind of didn’t think it was real.

 

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

VICKY: Everything was pretty standard about this contract. I think we adjusted some small things, like a few more author copies for me and more limited option terms. I really didn’t know what to look for, so I was grateful to have an agent to help me through this!

 

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

VICKY: My acquiring editor left, so there was a little bit of realignment that happened when my new editor, Rachael Stein, came on. It turned out to be a wonderful partnership! Rachael has since also left, but we worked together from initial manuscript to final ARCs.

 

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

VICKY: The illustration process was so exciting! Rachael consulted me throughout the process, from early directions to my character vision, but Tidawan brought such energy, light, and humor to the art! My kids are completely enamored with the wacky animals she created.

Invent-a-Pet Spread

Invent-a-Pet spread, ©2020 Sterling Children’s Books

 

SUSANNA: It is very. engaging! 😊 Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

VICKY: My publicist sent me the Kirkus review before it launched, which was so exciting! It was such a relief to get a positive review.

 

Vicky Fang's 2020 Books

Vicky Fang’s 2020 books

 

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

VICKY: I still don’t have a copy of the book, as author copies are backed up right now! But offer in May 2018 to ARC in Feb 2020 took twenty months.

 

 

SUSANNA: That’s tough!  It’s hard enough to wait until publication day without having to wait beyond it to see your book.  Such crazy times we’re in!  What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

VICKY: I’m sure they’ve done much more than I am even aware of! I know that my wonderful publicist, Sarah Lawrenson, has been and will be sending it out to reviewers, media outlets, social media, trade shows, and award submissions. They also had a batch of fantastic bookmarks printed for me.

 

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

VICKY: I’m in the middle of this now. I’m doing blog interviews, posting on social media, and I put together a read-aloud/activity post that Sterling helped me boost.

 

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

VICKY: I started writing seriously in December 2016, so it took me a year and a half to sell my first picture book.

 

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

VICKY: I couldn’t have done it without the welcoming and supportive kidlit community!

Vicky Fang

Author Vicky Fang

Vicky Fang is a product designer who spent 5 years designing kids’ technology experiences for both Google and Intel, often to inspire and empower kids in coding and technology. Through that work, she came to recognize the gap in education and inspiration, particularly for girls and minorities. She began writing books to provide kids with accessible STEAM-inspired stories that they can read again and again, learning from characters they love. Her goal for her books is to inspire computer literacy for a wide range of kids—while letting their imaginations run wild with the possibilities of technology! Her debut books, LAYLA & THE BOTS (Scholastic early chapter book series) and INVENT-A-PET (Sterling picture book), are launching in Spring/Summer 2020 and feature courageous and innovative girls in STEAM. You can find Vicky on Twitter @fangmous or at her website  www.vickyfang.com.

 

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Vicky!  We all really appreciate your time and expertise and wish you the best of luck with this and future books!  And I hope you get your author copies soon! 😊

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

You may purchase Vicky’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

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

 

 

 

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

 

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!

 

 

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.”

Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 8.54.53 PM

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 😊