Kid Lit Village : SEASIDE STROLL

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Kid Lit Village blog. I’m glad you decided to stop by. Today I’m featuring the book SEASIDE STROLL by Charles Trevino, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga. What a great example of how an author can leave room for an illustrator with images and text working together to tell the story! SEASIDE STROLL is published by Charlesbridge.


by Charles Trevino, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga

Seaside Stroll launches into the vast sea of readers January 19, 2021.

Join a mother, a daughter, and a doll for a wintry outing on the beach.

Scruffy shoes, socks, sweater… scratchy, silly scarf. Step, Step, Sidestep… snow.

(Kirkus and Booklist provided generous reviews prior to release.)

Welcome, Charles to the Kid Lit Village blog! Congratulations on the publications of your book and thanks for answering a few questions for the post.

Tell us about your path to publication.

I knew writing would demand discipline.  I made time to write, but soon yearned for a writers’ community to keep me on the path.  After visiting several writers’ groups, I chose SCBWI as the community to encourage me on my journey.  (For thirty years now.)

As an ASL/English Interpreter and Trainer, I found I enjoyed the Picture Book as a true piece of work, where craft and art mingle – each completing the story.

I learned a critique group was exactly the structure/environment I could thrive in – weekly.

I sought out critique groups which were deft with questions, comments, and constructive criticism. My critique goal was (and still is) to listen to the members to understand how each sees, hears, feels, and even tastes and smells, the words, the pacing, and the heartbeat of the story.

With that, I gleaned how to write leaner and more intentional for the story to survive in the readers’ world (since every story published belongs to the reader).

Critique partners and regular meetings together are so valuable! And finding the right group that functions well together is not always easy to do.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

Though writing can be a chore, I actually enjoy the process of revisioning, revising, and rewriting.

Tell us about the inspiration for your book.

For Seaside Stroll I borrowed an idea from ASL poetry, where the poet uses only one handshape to completely relay the story throughout the poem.

For telling this tale, I chose only words which begin with the letter “S”.

I had attended an SCBWI Conference and listened to yet another editor say she is always looking for Picture Book manuscripts which are unique, fresh, and leaves room for the illustrator.

This time I heard the challenge – leave room for the illustrator.

I wrote STEP, STEP and continued to add only S-words that suggested action and emotion.

The manuscript submission was a single page of words, accompanied only by an author’s note: an adult, a child, and a doll visit a wintry beach.

As author, I allowed the editor and illustrator to interpret the impressions made by S-words. 

The inspiration was the challenge.

Your book sounds beautiful, Charles. I live on the west coast and I know children here will relate to those winter beach visits.

The ‘leave room for the illustrator’ is something we hear a lot but it takes a certain skill to do that properly. I appreciate your description of what the manuscript looked like. I think it will be most helpful for aspiring picture book authors.

Thanks so much for doing the interview and sharing your insight, Charles!

Here’s a link to purchase Charles’ book!

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Thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Village this week! I hope you’ll find ways to support these authors any way you can: request their books at the library, share on your social media, add their book to your Goodreads to-read list, or leave them a review. And do stop by on Mondays and discover new books for children; you’re always welcome.