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!


Good news! I have book mail!!!

THE LULLABY MONSTERS have arrived. Children will enjoy this hybrid between picture book and early reader with six short chapters. A close sibling relationship, rascally monsters and a stolen music box make for a fun-filled night time adventure. Great for children who are just learning to read.

Get the book! There’s lots of ways to order!!


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


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!

Monster Cookies: Recipe

In my story THE LULLABY MONSTERS, cookies are something the monsters absolutely love. So what kind of cookies do you bake to please a monster? Monster Cookies of course!

Here’s my recipe for Monster Cookies that’s sure to please any little monster running around your home.

Recipe for Monster Cookies
*note: I have tested and tweaked this recipe and it is awesome!

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 – 3/4 cup candy coated chocolate pieces

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Step 2

In a very large bowl, cream together the margarine, butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and rolled oats; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and candy-coated chocolate pieces. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Step 3

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. If you like chewy cookies, take them out before they look done.

Curious about the book? You can get it here!

Thanks for reading my blog! You are welcome here any time 🙂

Summer Picture Book Giveaway Closes Tonight at Midnight!

Hello and thanks for stopping by! My summer picture book giveaway opened on June 30th and will close tonight, July 15th at midnight Pacific time. So here’s your last chance to enter. What are the prizes, you ask?

Giveaway Prizes:

  • TULIP AND DOUG by Emma Wood and Carla Martel
  • THE LULLABY MONSTERS by Cynthia Mackey and Paula Nasmith
  • BENJAMIN’S BLUE FEET by Sue Macartney
  • LULLABY MONSTERS book swag (stickers, book plates, etc.)

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment here on this blog and you will be entered into a random draw. You can also retweet the Twitter post for a second entry. You must be 19 years or over to enter. Winner will be chosen by random draw. Contest closes July 15, 2020 at midnight Pacific time. Good luck!


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!


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.  


 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.

 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.

 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.

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.

 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*


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 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

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!

Kid Lit Love Picture Book Giveaway! Still time to enter!

Hello and welcome! We’re celebrating so many lovely picture book releases this year and to help us do that we have a summer picture book giveaway for you!

Giveaway Prizes:

  • TULIP AND DOUG by Emma Wood and Carla Martel
  • THE LULLABY MONSTERS by Cynthia Mackey and Paula Nasmith
  • BENJAMIN’S BLUE FEET by Sue Macartney
  • LULLABY MONSTERS book swag (stickers, book plates, etc.)

I can’t wait to send out prizes to the lucky winner. Have you entered the giveaway yet?

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment here on this blog and you will be entered into a random draw. You can also retweet the Twitter post for a second entry. You must be 19 years or over to enter. Winner will be chosen by random draw. Contest closes July 15, 2020 at midnight Pacific time. Good luck!

Kid Lit Love: Rescuing Mrs. Birdley

Happy Monday! Welcome to the Kid Lit Love blog series where we spread a little love around our small and friendly writing community! Thanks for stopping by. Today, we feature illustrator, Emma Reynolds and her book Rescuing Mrs. Birdley, written by Aaron Reynolds. It is published by Simon and Schuster Young Readers and the release date is July 9, 2020.

Rescuing Mrs. Birdley

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 30, 2020)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534427044
  • Grades: P – 3
  • Ages: 4 and up

Synopsis –In this wildly charming and fantastically imaginative story by the New York Times bestselling author of Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear, a young animal expert knows just what to do when she spots her teacher in the wild.

Miranda is an animal expert. Or at least, she watches a lot of Nature Joe. Nature Joe is incredible. He rescues animals, returning them to their natural habitat.

Mrs. Birdley is a teacher. The natural habitat of a teacher is a classroom.

So when Mrs. Birdley escapes school and ends up wild, loose, and confused at the local grocery store, Miranda knows just what to do: she must use her brain, her guts, and her extensive knowledge of Nature Joe to rescue Mrs. Birdley—at any cost!

This delightfully over-the-top picture book illustrated by newcomer Emma Reynolds explores the weirdness of seeing a teacher outside of school and will have young readers laughing out loud every time they read.

It is a pleasure to feature Emma Reynolds, illustrator of the book here on the blog. Emma took the time to answer a few questions for you.

QUESTIONS –1. Tell us how you came to illustrate books for children –
It’s been my dream to illustrate books since I was 5 years old! I’ve always loved drawing since I can remember, and I used to make little books and staple them together when I was a kid. I studied art at University, and fell in love with the puzzle solving aspect of planning a picture book. I signed with my agent in summer 2018 and have my first illustrated book coming out this summer, it’s so exciting! Aaron’s manuscript was such a joy to work on, and I’m so happy to have been able to illustrate Miranda and bring her to life – an adventurous, outgoing and wildly hilarious little girl!

2. What is your favourite part about illustrating a book?
My favourite part is thumbnailing the book, and coming up with the characters and portraying the hilarious moments! Plus, I got to draw lots of animals which I love doing (Including ring-tailed lemurs, which are adorable!) Miranda was so much fun to design, I wanted to give her this BIG mane of hair, that would fly behind her when she was feeling proud like a cape, and droop down when she was sad. It is a great way to have another part of her that accentuates her emotions 🙂

3. Share a piece of advice for children’s illustrators. Draw what YOU want to draw! Be authentic to yourself and what you’d like to create – rather than making a portfolio out of what you think people want to see. The work you really care about and comes from the heart will be your best work – and other people can tell 🙂

Emma Reynolds

Emma Reynolds is passionate about storytelling and creating unique characters. She is based in Manchester, UK and is currently working on her author-illustrator debut Amara and the Bats about bat conservation and overcoming climate anxiety. Emma is the founder of KidLit4Climate, a campaign bringing together over 3,000 children’s illustrators and authors in solidarity with the youth climate strikers. She is inspired by nature, animals, exploration, and seeing the magic in the everyday.

Emma Reynolds 

Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds
 is a New York Times bestselling author and has written many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Here Comes Destructosaurus!, and Carnivores. He lives in Chicago with his wife, two kids, four cats, and anywhere between zero and ten goldfish, depending on the day.

Book Website link –

Thank you to readers for stopping by my blog. If you stop by on Mondays, you’ll find more new children’s book releases, both fiction and non-fiction. You are welcome here any time!

Sign up for my newsletter, Cindy’s Book News, and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.