Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Today is one of those days I love.  Not only do I get to share a truly delightful picture book, it happens to be by an author whose friendship I value and whose work I am already a fan of.  AND I got to read an advance copy, which means it’s like a secret – practically no one else has gotten to read it yet.  I’m like a member of a super special secret club!  Maybe we should have a secret handshake… Ooh! or a password…! but I digress… 🙂

Come on!  Quick!  You’re going to love this one! 🙂

Title: Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep

Written By: Robin Newman

Illustrated By: Chris Ewald

Creston Books, Fiction, April 12, 2016

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: problem solving, communication, fractured nursery rhyme/fairy tale, humor

Opening: “There’s a little-known secret about Hildie Bitterpickles.  She needs her sleep.

Every night Hildie brushes her teeth, puts away her spell book, and goes to bed with her cat, Clawdia.

Until the night when Hildie’s quiet neighborhood changed.

Someone moved in next door.  A very loud someone.

Brief Synopsis: What’s a desperate-to-sleep witch to do when an elevator-clanking giant, an old woman with a shoe full of noisy children, and a roof-blowing big bad wolf move into her previously quiet neighborhood? Checking the real estate listings and moving seems like the answer, until she learns that a little communication can go a long way and it’s better to deal with your problems than run from them.

Links To Resources: Fabulous Teacher’s Guide!; discuss with your kids or students what things might bother them while they’re trying to fall asleep or do other activities and how they might constructively cope with those annoyances

Why I Like This Book: First off, Hildie Bitterpickles and Clawdia!  Who could possibly not want to read about characters with names like that? 🙂  The story is tons of fun.  Poor Hildie gets grumpier and grumpier and more and more discouraged, until she comes full circle back to a very familiar spot.  She learns an important lesson (in a not-at-all-preachy way!) about the importance of facing problems rather than running from them.  And she comes up with some clever solutions that solve problems for everyone.  Plus there is a whole spread in the middle showing a page from The Daily Witch that will tickle your funny bone 🙂  Favorite line in the book?  When the wolf says, “My specialty is demolition, but I could give repair work a try.” 🙂  Appealing art in soft fairy tale colors for daytime and rich night-time hues round out the book perfectly.  Pre-order your copy, encourage your local library to do so as well, and/or write a really great Valentiny Contest story and possibly win a signed copy! 🙂


And if perchance you missed the trailer where it was posted on the Valentiny Contest prize page, check it out!

Click HERE for the complete list of Perfect Picture Books (and by complete, I mean seriously behind but undergoing updating so eventually it will be complete! 🙂 )


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!  And keep a weather eye on the… well… on the weather, since the most important weather prediction day of the year is coming up next week!  You all know what day THAT is… 🙂

PPBF bloggers… sorry!  I still haven’t figured out how to get a link list up here, so hop over to the old blog and add your link to that list if you don’t mind.

Valentiny Contest Prize Update!!!

Hi there, everyone!

I hope you all had lovely weekends, and that those of you within range of Snowmageddon all stayed safe and warm!  For I think the first time in history, the storm missed Blueberry Hill – we may have gotten a quarter millimeter of snow, but that might be exaggerating 🙂

I realize that Monday afternoon is an odd time for a blog post, but I have a few minutes, and some very important news to share!  So I’m taking a totally random moment here to say that kidlit folks are the best in the world – absolutely and without equivocation!

valentiny logo

First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest! Guidelines HERE

Scrambling to rummage up some prizes for the unplanned Valentiny Contest, I sent out a few hopeful requests – some to people I knew, some to people I didn’t! – asking if they’d be willing to donate expertise/time/work/awesome books.  Without exception, every single person I asked stepped up and offered a prize!  I’ve got such an abundance, I’m not even sure we’ll need them all for this new contest, which may not receive the number of entries the more established ones do.  So I hope, after you’ve seen what’s on offer, you’ll spread the word to all your kidlit friends because there’s some REALLY great stuff up for grabs 🙂

Check it out!

– A Picture Book Read and Critique from literary agent Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis who is actively building her picture book list!

– Enrollment in literary agent Jodell Sadler‘s Pacing Picture Books 2 WOW picture book writing class in March 2016!

– A spot in an upcoming Ariel Richardson webinar, Rule Breaking In Picture Books: The Chronicle Books Edition offered by Jodell Sadler

– Winner’s choice of free enrollment in ART OF ARC: HOW TO ANALYZE YOUR PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT OR a deep analysis critique from Alayne.

ART OF ARC is a self-study course that will deepen your understanding of picture books written with a classic arc and introduce you to other picture book structures. The course gives you tools to analyze your work prior to investing in professional critiques. It shows you how to avoid common writing errors and how apply writing elements that will enhance your stories to take them to a higher level. It includes 217 pages with ten lessons, seventeen supplements, and eighteen worksheets. Plus bonus materials and resources.

– A Picture Book Critique/Developmental Edit (non-rhyming picture book manuscript) from Beth Stilborn. (Beth does  developmental editing and copy editing through her Flubs2Fixes Editing, Consulting and Writers’ Resources service for writers. )

– A Picture Book Critique from the fabulous Robin Newman, author of The Case Of The Missing Carrot Cake and the forthcoming, eagerly awaited Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep (please don’t miss the fantastic trailer! 🙂 )

– personalized signed copies of The Case Of The Missing Carrot Cake and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep by Robin Newman

– a personalized signed copy of The Night Before Valentines Day by Natasha Wing!  Natasha Wing loves Valentine’s Day because it’s a week after her birthday. Natasha is the bestselling author of The Night Before series (Grosset & Dunlap). To find out more:

Night Before V Day

– personalized signed copies of Clara Bowman-Jahn‘s delightful picture books Annie’s Special Day and Edmund Pickle Chin

As well as the previously mentioned

– Enrollment in Julie Hedlund and Emma Walton Hamilton’s Complete Picture Book Submissions System!

– I Heart Picture Books – a 5-pack of Valentine picture books including A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger, Love, Ruby Valentine by Laurie B. Friedman,  Zombie In Love by Kelly DiPucchio, Love, Splat by Rob Scotton, and Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood PLUS 3 Endangered Species Chocolate Bars!

For those of you who are feeling too overwhelmed to count, that is TEN (10!!!) unbelievably awesome prizes!!!  So I hope we get at least 10 entries! 🙂

Please join me in thanking Christa, Jodell, Julie & Emma, Alayne, Beth, Robin, and Natasha for their incredible generosity, and show your appreciation by visiting their sites, buying and recommending their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, writing them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and showing your appreciation to them in any way you can!  I truly can’t thank them all enough!