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 –https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Rescuing-Mrs-Birdley/Aaron-Reynolds/9781534427044

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.

Did You Have a Problem Ordering THE LULLABY MONSTERS?

Hello to my 2.5 Readers! I’m doing this post because THE LULLABY MONSTERS has been showing up as ‘currently unavailable’ on Amazon.com this week… which is my release week. YIKES!

Cookie plate
Tea service in the park

Live and Learn

I got tipped off and discovered the problem, which was that my Canadian pricing was rejected by Ingram Spark. All I had to do was change the book price by 1 penny and voila! Problem solved. I have no idea why it is so finicky but live and learn, I guess.

It still shows as unavailable on Amazon.ca but Canadians can order through Amazon.com and it will ship to Canada. They’re saying only 3-5 days! Yay for that! I’m hopefully that by July 10th it will show as available in Canada as well as it takes about 5 days for the new pricing to take effect.

If you’ve had any problems ordering, please let me know! Local people, I’m waiting for my box to be delivered but you’ll be able to buy them from me soon.

Giveaway!!!

And you can enter my giveaway to win 3 fabulous new children’s books including THE LULLABY MONSTERS up until July 15th. Can’t wait to send out the prize package to the lucky winner!

Coming Soon on Kid Lit Love!

Oh my! There are so many wonderful picture books about to be released over the next few months. Check out these books being featured soon here on the Kid Lit Love blog.

I hope you’ll stop by on Mondays to read interviews with these creative and talented authors. Pour a cup of tea and find out about the new books that will keep your children interested in reading all summer long. Get tips from the authors on writing for children and meet some people from the most welcoming and kind community ever…the kid lit village!

And did I mention, my summer reading giveaway starts tomorrow? Visit the blog between June 30 and July 15th to find out which three children’s books I’m giving away and enter yourself to win!

Kid Lit Love: Benjamin’s Blue Feet

Welcome to the Kid Lit Love blog series where new release picture books are featured on Mondays! I’m excited to have Sue Macartney as today’s featured author. Her debut picture book, Benjamin’s Blue Feet, published by Pajama Press, will be released June 16th, 2020

This is a special post for me because Sue and I are critique partners. We first met through Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, discovering that we live in the same city! Now we meet regularly as part of Vancouver Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators, our local SCBWI chapter. I had the pleasure of reading and critiquing an earlier draft of Benjamin’s Blue Feet so it is a thrill to see it come through to publication.

Benjamin’s Blue Feet by Sue Macartney

Synopsis: Benjamin the blue-footed booby is coming of age in his flock’s world of flying, diving, swimming, and fishing. But he already has a unique gift: treasure-hunting. One day, after finding a mirror, Benjamin becomes convinced that his beak is too long, his wings are too wide, and his feet are too big and blue. He decides to use his treasures to change himself. But without his beak, wings, and feet, is he even a blue-footed booby anymore?

Author/Illustrator, Sue Macartney

Welcome, Sue, to Kid Lit Love. It is a pleasure to connect and get a behind the scenes peek at writing for children from your unique perspective.

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

Thinking about the “why” of how I came to write books for children takes me back to my childhood experiences.

My family traveled extensively overseas when I was young.  We didn’t have a television but we always had books – early on reading and drawing became my favourite go-to activities. I treasured my little “library” of books even the ones I had outgrown and they came with me to each new home. The magical feeling of being transported to other worlds through the images and text of these early stories has stayed with me.  Being able to revisit and share this feeling with children through my own work is what motivates me to write.

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

I’ve been playing with the idea underlying Benjamin’s Blue Feet for a while now. Two years ago when I was doing my daily, January “Story Storm” challenge I finally hit on the version that felt right – a little shout out here for the wonderful Tara Lazar! Ultimately, many things lead to that “Aha” moment for me – inspiring blog advice, takeaways from good writing classes and conferences… and that elusive pixie dust that eventually brings everything together in your brain at the right time!

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

Hang onto your passion and determination! There are a multitude of tools to help you on this journey – online blogs, writing classes, professional associations, conferences, critique groups – deep breath, take the plunge and find the mix that works for you.

You can connect with Sue Macartney through social media in the following ways:

Website: www.suemacartney.com

Twitter: @suesumac

In a couple of weeks, I will be doing a blog giveaway, with children’s book prizes including Sue’s lovely book so be sure to check back at the end of the month and find out how to enter!

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!

New Releases Coming Up on Kid Lit Love!

Hello and Happy Monday! I am thrilled to have some fabulous picture books and author/illustrator features coming up on Kid Lit Love!

Look for BENJAMIN’S BLUE FEET and author/illustrator Sue Macartney featured on June 15th!
HOUND WON’T GO by Lisa Rogers and Meg Ishihara date TBA
Look for THE LULLABY MONSTERS with a feature on illustrator, Paula Nasmith coming up June 29th!
Look for RESCUING MRS. BIRDLEY and a feature with illustrator, Emma Reynolds coming up July 5th!
And look for SOAKED! with a feature on author/illustrator Abi Cushman is coming on July 19th!

Here’s a List of Past Kid Lit Loves features and interviews in case you missed them!

Kid Lit Love: Seven New Children’s Book Releases in 2020

A couple of months ago, I was able to connect with several authors in the kid lit community who have new books being released this year and would like to be included on the Kid Lit Love blog series. It was amazing to get such a positive response from creators of children’s books and has been a pleasure to help get the word out about them. Some of these are debut authors and though 2020 may not be the easiest year for a book release, it is a pleasure to celebrate book birthdays together! I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all who have participated and those who will be participating in the future. I hope you will take a closer look at these wonderful new releases. Let’s all spread some Kid Lit Love!

Here are the books and authors featured in March and April:

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.

Scotland’s Outdoor Play Initiative

Scotland had planned to use the outdoors to accommodate more children in child care. And their planned increase in fully funded child care hours was interrupted by the pandemic.

The outdoor play initiative was introduced for other reasons as well: to combat childhood obesity, to reduce screen time, to improve mental health and to increase the family’s connection to the environment. Here in Canada, we are seeing more outdoor and nature programs. For more information, visit Forest School Canada.

The belief is the outdoor environment allows the children to exert more control over their activities but the question remains to see if parents will support these programs. I feel the outdoor environment lends itself well to oral storytelling, which can be wonderful for supporting creativity and listening skills.

Nature trail
A nature path provides a different kind of classroom.

The opportunity for children to learn about risk management is beneficial as a life skill. But will the colder weather be a deterrent for educators and families alike? It will be interesting to see if the idea takes hold in Scotland, as it has in Scandinavian countries. According to what we are hearing from medical experts, it sounds as if the coronavirus is far less likely to be transmitted outdoors. So maybe our current situation and efforts to reduce spread of the virus will increase the support for outdoor learning.

One thing is certain: proper clothing and risk management are important for both teachers and children in outdoor settings. If these factors can be managed, I believe children will be more content and fully engaged outdoors and able to better to connect with the natural world, able to improve gross motor skills, and able to self-regulate with greater ease. Most of the things we do indoors can be brought outdoors as well.

I will be curious to see how the people of Scotland receive such programs as they seem to continue to spread here in North America.

Do you have any outdoor learning programs in your community? Are there any challenges to making them work successfully? I would be interested to hear your comments.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about children’s book release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

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