THREE NEW PICTURE BOOKS COMING SOON ON KID LIT LOVE

Hello Lovely Readers! I am happy to tell you that there are three new and wonderful picture books coming up on the Kid Lit Love blog this August!

And for kid lit creators who have been enjoying SCBWI’s Summer Spectacular, August has been a fabulous month, indeed!

SATURDAYS ARE FOR STELLA by Candy Wellins, illustrated by Charlie Eve Ryan, blog feature August 17th
DANCE LIKE A LEAVE by AJ Irving and Claudia Navarro; blog feature, August 24th
A GIFT FOR AMMA by Meera Sriram and Mariona Cabassa; blog feature August 10th

Stop by on Mondays and learn more about these books and their creators!

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers related to my picture book, THE LULLABY MONSTERS.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are welcome here any time!

Kid Lit Love: SUPERHEROES DON’T BABYSIT

Hello and Happy Monday! Welcome to Kid Lit Love where a new release children’s book is featured on Mondays with an author and/or illustrator interview. Today we feature SUPERHEROES DON’T BABYSIT by Amber Hendricks and Kyle Reed, published by Beaming Books, June 2, 2020.

SUPERHEROES DON’T BABYSIT by Amber Hendricks and Kyle Reed

Synopsis:

Superheroes leap buildings, chase bad guys, and save the city from the evil Emperor Zog. Superheroes DON’T babysit. Except when their dad asks them to. In an epic battle of sibling rivalry, will this superhero finally meet her match? Or will she find exactly what she’s been missing all along?

In Superheroes Don’t Babysit, author Amber Hendricks tells a story full of humour and heart, and illustrator Kyle Reed’s super-powered illustrations pack a punch with their bold colours and sharp lines. This book is fun to look at and to read with siblings who consider themselves rivals or friends, or maybe something in between.

Amber Hendricks, author

It is a pleasure to have Amber Hendricks join us on the blog today. Welcome and congratulations on the publication of SUPERHEROES DON’T BABYSIT!

Please tell us why you write books for children.

I believe there is a real magic in introducing a child to the love of reading!

When I first started to pursue publishing, I thought I’d write Young Adult novels. But I was running a preschool/daycare at the time and picture books were a huge part of our day. I began to see the complexity in those seemingly simple stories and challenged myself to give picture books a try. I fell head-over-heels in love!

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I love the discovery…. of taking the tendrils of an ideal and weaving them together with words to form a fully fleshed out story. I also love being a part of such an amazing community!

Tell us about your path to publication.

Oh, goodness! It’s been everything I hoped for and nothing like I thought! Long and winding, and yet at times, a rush of activity. I’ve been blessed to work with great agents, editors, and critique partners along the way! I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all path to publication and success can come in many different forms, so it’s important to find what works for you.

Check out ALL of Amber’s Books!

  • Sophie and Little Star
    Clear Fork Publishing
  • Extraordinary Ordinary Ella
    Amicus Ink 2020
  • Superheroes Don’t Babysit
    Beaming Books 2020
  • Little Nature Explorers Board Book Series
    Amicus Ink 2020 and 2021

Connect with Amber via facebook or twitter!

Thanks for stopping by Kid Lit Love today!

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers related to my upcoming picture book.

You are welcome here any time!

Kid Lit Love: SOAKED!

I’m thrilled to feature Abi Cushman’s new book, SOAKED! here on Kid Lit Love! Thank you for sharing your book with us, Abi! Published by Viking Children’s Books, SOAKED was just released July 14, 2020. Congratulations, Abi!

SOAKED by Abi Cushman

Synopsis

A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a bunny in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear.

It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Bunny, and Moose don’t seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try?

Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!

Pub Date:​ July 14, 2020
Pages:​ 40 pages
Publisher:​ Viking Children’s Books | An imprint of Penguin Random House ISBN:​ 978-1984836625

Author, Abi Cushman

Abi took the time to share a little about her experience as a children’s writer and I’m so happy for the opportunity to give you the inside scoop on Abi’s experience as a children’s writer.

1. Tell us how you came to write books for children.

I’ve always been interested in illustrating picture books. In fact, I took a few illustration courses in college. But I never thought of myself as a particularly creative writer. That changed in 2015, when I was reminded how much I loved picture books after reading a ton of them with my new baby. And then, in a sleep-deprived New Mom moment, I had an idea of my own for a book. So I decided to make a go of it. I wrote the words and created a dummy and went to my very first SCBWI critique group meeting. Since then, it’s been so much fun writing stories I think my kids would love or ones that I would have loved when I was a kid.

2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book or how you came up with the idea.

It was a hot summer afternoon in 2017, and I was out for a walk with my husband and daughter. We were about a mile away from home when we felt the first few drops. The drops quickly escalated into a torrential rainstorm. Normally, we all would have just started booking it for the house, but I was eight months pregnant at the time, and my movement was down to a slow waddle. So I told my husband to run home with our daughter, and I’d meet them later. And what I realized on my soggy walk home was that once I was completely soaked, the rain was actually quite pleasant. Refreshing even! So I thought it would be interesting in a picture book to play around with the idea of your attitude changing despite the circumstances staying the same. And I thought it would be so much fun to show a character completely embracing the rain and splashing around in pure joy.

3. Please share a piece of advice for children’s writers.

The simplest thing you can do to figure out how to write books well is to go to the library and read a bunch of new books and analyze them. For picture books, look for the main problem (what does the character want), what sets off the story, what escalates the tension in the story, and how is the problem resolved. And finally, what makes the book special? What gives it heart? After doing this many times, you’ll have a great foundation for how to structure your own stories, and you’ll get a sense of the kinds of books being published today.

Thanks, Abi. I love your rain storm story from 2017. It’s funny because that same summer, our family got stuck in a rain storm while in Florida. We were NOT dressed for rain. While I wasn’t pregnant, I was wearing really slippery shoes so I was the only one moving slowly because I didn’t want to fall. I really was SOAKED but I never laughed so hard!

You can connect with Abi here:

Abi’s Instagram

Twitter: @AbiCushman

Thanks for the interview, Abi and congratulations on your new release!

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers related to my upcoming picture book.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! You are welcome any time.

THE LULLABY MONSTERS: Reviews

Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m happy to share a couple of recent reviews of THE LULLABY MONSTERS for you here. If you are looking for a solid early chapter book for your child, who is a beginning reader, this is a great choice! It also works as a read aloud for younger children. In larger format, librarians and teachers will be able to read to a class.

Kelsey and Thomas must not let those mischief-making monsters get away with their lullaby box. Join them on their adventures!

FLON

Ashley D, Reviewer

Last updated on 13 Jul 2020

My Recommendation

A cute story about missing lullabies and monsters. A fun bed time story for kids! The artwork is simple and cute and the story is short and sweet.  

BRIO

 Carissa T, Reviewer

This is a fantastic story with clear easy-to-understand language that makes a great book for children to read on their own! The story is fun and interesting. The illustrations were wonderful and fun! I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
JAZZ

 Alyssa B, Librarian

Oh those rascally little monsters…I want to see what happens next. Cute story, loved all the repetition between Thomas and the little monsters.
GUNTHER

 Mayu P, Reviewer

Such a cute and beautiful story. And the illustrations are just so adorable and sweet, they are sure to charm young readers. If you’re a parent who wants to buy a book that has beautiful illustrations and very lucid language that is apt for a child. This is the one for you.
TRIXIE

Beckee C, Reviewer

Me and my son (6) read this together, and together we came up with the resting. For me, personally, the story was a bit flat. However, remembering its target audience, asked my son what he thought and he loved it. He found it easy to read, the sentences were nice, easy and not too complex and he loved the repition. Overall, easy 4* from us.
EDWIN

 Colleen S, Reviewer

Monsters are always a good start to a children’s book. Especially when they are a cute and a little mischievous. These monsters were delightful. The story was cute and short and the illustrations were colorful and kept my child’s (3) attention.

THE LULLABY MONSTERS is an early chapter book, great for early readers ages 5-8!

You can order the book now through Indiebound!

Kid Lit Love: SHE LEADS: The Elephant Matriarch

Hello and Happy Monday! Today, we welcome author, June Small to the Kid Lit Love blog with her memorable picture book, SHE LEADS: The Elephant Matriarch, released May, 2020, published by Familius. Illustrations are by Yumi Shimokawara. This is a lyrical nonfiction book that follows the matriarch as she teaches, cares for, and protects her family.

She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch

She is the Queen. The matriarch.

She leads her daughters and their daughters.


Inspiring text and striking illustrations follow the empowering journey of an elephant matriarch as she leads her family through the wilds of Africa. With facts about African elephants on every spread and a message that will encourage young girls to be the trailblazers of their generation, She Leads offers an incredible story and an unforgettable tribute to the strength of a true leader.

Open your eyes, princess. One day you will lead.

*Kirkus starred review*

Interview:

I was able to connect with June through the Kid Lit 411 facebook group and it is a pleasure to have her as a guest on the blog!


1. Tell us why you write books for children.

I love reading! In kindergarten reading the Mr. Men and Little Miss books in the library bean bag chair, crushing all the Boxcar Children and Saddle Club books I could get my hands on in late elementary and middle school, mysteries though high school, I couldn’t get enough books. 

When I got serious about writing, I wanted to build readers. I wanted children to fall in love with books. I wanted to create non-fiction that pulled a kid in and made them curious and hungry for more and fun fiction for them to escape into. I write for children to spread joy.

2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book.

I had done some elephant research for a chapter book series. On International Women’s Day my agent retweeted an elephant fact and said she’d love a book about elephants. I had an AHA moment. I had the research for a larger book, but maybe this could be perfect for a picture book!

The structure I chose was unlike anything I’d ever written. It has a short lyrical story and in addition to that the story goes deeper with non-fiction sidebars on each spread. I did this mainly because I couldn’t decide if I wanted a beautiful story or one with the cool elephant facts, so I did both, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

3. Share a piece of advice for children’s writers.

Study different books with different structures and styles. If a piece isn’t working for you, step out of your comfort zone and try it a different way. Approach your problem from a different perspective. 

Yes, it can be time consuming and yes it may fail fabulously, but artists should always be learning and practicing their craft. Time consuming is not the same as time wasted. It will teach you something and expand your writing toolbox. You may not like the POV change or structure change for this book, but it may work perfectly for your next book. Be brave and don’t fear failure.

Thank you for the interview, June. Your comments about the inspiration for the book really spoke to me and I have revisited one of my works in progress after considering how I might incorporate non-fiction sidebars. It is a beautiful way to make a book that is both lyrical and educational at the same time.

You can connect with June Smalls via her website www.junesmalls.com or through Twitter @June_Smalls

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers related to my upcoming picture book.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are welcome here any time!

Two Days Until Book Release: The Lullaby Monsters

Hi Guys! Only two more days until the book birthday for THE LULLABY MONSTERS! Yay! And that’s when the giveaway starts so be sure to come back for a chance to win. I hope you’ve been enjoying meeting all the characters and getting a sneak peek into their world.

Meet Thomas!

  • Name: Thomas (means twin)
  • Age: 5 years
  • Birthplace: Fern-wood
  • Hobby: Teddy Bear collector
  • Greatest Fears: Monsters and stormy nights
  • Favorite Food: Jelly Sandwiches
  • Favorite Lullaby: Goodnight Thomas (the one Kelsey sings every night)

We’ve been meeting each character as we do a countdown to the book release! Sign up for my newsletter to find out how to get book marks, book plates and stickers while supplies last.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is front-cover.jpg
THE LULLABY MONSTERS

Synopsis:

In this night time adventure, Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees, and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas can’t sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure she can help.  Then Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen and Kelsey must face her monstrous fear. In doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

This book a hybrid between an early chapter book and a picture book and will appeal to those who love Frog and Toad, Charlie and Mouse, or Jack and Annie (Magic Treehouse). Divided into 6 short chapters, it is ideal for children aged 5-8 years who want a slightly longer read-aloud story or are beginning to read for themselves. If your child enjoys ghost stories with a dash of suspense, this will be for them.

Release date: June 30 2020

Thanks for stopping by! You are welcome here any time. I hope you’ll join me Mondays for my Kid Lit Love series where I feature new release children’s book from fellow authors and illustrators. There are some great books coming out this year!

Four Days Until Book Release: The Lullaby Monsters

Hi Guys! I’m glad you’re here. Only four more days until The Lullaby Monsters, my new early chapter book/picture book, is released. And I’m so excited to introduce you to all these cute little monsters. Also, you can pre-order now and the book will be shipped to you on June 30th!

Meet Edwin!

  • Name: Edwin (means rich friend)
  • Age: 6.5
  • Birthplace: Boo-town
  • Hobby: Reading Adventure Stories
  • Greatest Fear: Dragons
  • Favorite Food: Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies
  • Favorite Lullaby: Go to Sleep Little Monster
Meet each character as we do a countdown to the book release! Sign up for my newsletter to find out how to get book marks, book plates and stickers while supplies last.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is front-cover.jpg

Synopsis:

In this night time adventure, Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees, and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas can’t sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure she can help.  Then Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen and Kelsey must face her monstrous fear. In doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

This book a hybrid between an early chapter book and a picture book and will appeal to those who love Frog and Toad, Charlie and Mouse, or Jack and Annie (Magic Treehouse). Divided into 6 short chapters, it is ideal for children aged 5-8 years who want a slightly longer read-aloud story or are beginning to read for themselves. If your child enjoys ghost stories with a dash of suspense, this will be for them.

Release date: June 2020

Be sure to come back to the blog on June 30th when the giveaway begins! You will get a chance to enter to win a signed copy and some awesome book swag PLUS two more new release picture books for summer reading!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment. You are welcome back any time. Have a wonderful day!

Six Days Until Book Release: The Lullaby Monsters

Hi Guys! I’m happy you’re here and I am so stoked that there’s only 6 days to go until the release of THE LULLABY MONSTERS, my picture book/early chapter book hybrid. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting all the characters including each and every one of the cute little monsters on the cover!

Meet Jazz!

  • Name: Jazz (means vitality)
  • Age: 2.5 years
  • Birthplace: Monster-ville
  • Hobby: Playing Kazoo
  • Greatest Fear: Wasp stings
  • Favorite Food: Jelly Sandwiches
  • Favorite Lullaby: Rock-a-bye Monster

Meet each character as we do a countdown to the book release! Sign up for my newsletter to find out how to get book marks, book plates and stickers while supplies last.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is front-cover.jpg
THE LULLABY MONSTERS

Synopsis:

In this night time adventure, Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees, and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas can’t sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure she can help.  Then Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen and Kelsey must face her monstrous fear. In doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

This book a hybrid between an early chapter book and a picture book and will appeal to those who love Frog and Toad, Charlie and Mouse, or Jack and Annie (Magic Treehouse). Divided into 6 short chapters, it is ideal for children aged 5-8 years who want a slightly longer read-aloud story or are beginning to read for themselves. If your child enjoys ghost stories with a dash of suspense, this will be for them.

Release date: June 2020

If you stop by the blog on June 30th, that’s when my giveaway begins! I will be giving away a copy of the book, some book swag PLUS two more new release picture books for summer reading!

Thanks for reading! You are welcome here any time. Have a wonderful day!

Kid Lit Love: Hound Won’t Go

Hello and Happy Monday! Welcome to Kid Lit Love, a blog series where a new release children’s book is featured every week. Today we have two guests, Lisa Rogers, author of HOUND WON’T GO and Meg Ishihara, illustrator of the same book! I had the pleasure of attending their Zoom virtual book launch…what fun! HOUND WON’T GO is published by Albert Whitman & Company. What I particularly love about this book is the word choice for young beginning readers. What a fun story for learning to read!

HOUND WON’T GO

Synopsis:

Out for a walk on a cloudy day, Hound suddenly decides that he’s gone far enough…right in the middle of a busy intersection! His owner tugs on his leash and offers treat after treat, but Hound won’t go. Then those clouds open up into a thunderstorm—and Hound goes and goes. Short, bouncy text and a sweet ending make this the perfect story for all who love dogs, even at their most stubborn.

I’m pleased to have Lisa Rogers as a guest on the blog today. We were able to connect through Justin Colon’s #PBChat. Welcome, Lisa Rogers, author of HOUND WON’T GO!

Tell us about the inspiration for your book.
This book was inspired by my stubborn yet endearing, smart yet goofy, Treeing Walker Coonhound. He’s a big, 90 lb baby and I’m crazy about him!

He has his own mind and what he wants pretty much goes! We got him after our smart, obedient, and loving Dalmatian died and we were so, so sad. Tucker made us laugh with his silly antics, unique personality and booming bay–ah-woooooooo! He’ll suddenly stop while walking and refuse to move because he has a different destination in mind, or lie down on someone’s lawn because he’s ready for a tiny nap, or who knows what? Our family motto is “Expect the Unexpected.”

One day as we were nearing an intersection, I worried that he might want to go a different route and would plop right in the middle of the street– the famous Plop O’Doom of which he is a master. I can’t pick him up and he just kind of goes boneless, so it’s impossible to move him!

“Uh oh. Hound won’t go” popped into my mind, and I started playing with the idea that became this picture book! It’s fantastic that Meg totally got Hound and his sweetness (and that definite stubborn streak)!


Share a piece of advice for children’s writers.

Less is more–much more. It’s not just a low word count that you’re after, it’s an economy of thought.

I’ll pass along this piece of advice that did not start with me, but is so crucial: Tell the story to yourself, then tell it to others. I learned when I was a journalist that there are so many different ways to write a story, and the first way you try is not always the best way. 

Write out all those marvelous facts and thoughts that you have for your story. Then pull back and focus on the heart of the story. That heart usually comes to me while I’m out running or walking Tucker, or first thing in the morning when I do a kind of meditation while the coffee’s brewing and before Tucker starts howling for his walk!


What part of being a writer do you love most? 

I was just allowed back into my school to pack up. At the beginning of the year my fourth-graders and I each wrote a goal for the year. I happened to find mine: “I want to bring kindness and caring to the world through my teaching and books.” For me it’s all about sharing the wonder of stories with readers, and through that, a window into other worlds.

Thank you, Lisa.

And I’m pleased to have Meg Ishihara as a guest today. Welcome, Meg Ishihara, illustrator of HOUND WON’T GO!

More about HOUND WON’T GO!

Connect with Lisa Rogers on twitter!

Visit Meg’s website!

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers related to my upcoming picture book.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! You are welcome any time.