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.



Eight Days until Book Release: The Lullaby Monsters

Hi Guys! I’m happy you’re here and thrilled to begin our 8 day countdown to the book release of THE LULLABY MONSTERS, my early chapter book/picture book hybrid for children 5-8 years illustrated by Paula Nasmith. We’re going to meet each character one at a time as we count down to the book birthday and I share their back story with you. Yay!!

Meet Gunther! Here are some fun facts about Gunther…

  • Name: Gunther means ‘warrior’
  • Age: 7.5 years
  • Birthplace: Starry-ville
  • Hobby: Opera singer
  • Greatest fear: Stormy nights
  • Favorite Food: Ice Scream
  • Favorite Lullaby: Baa Baa Purple Sheep

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.

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

And if you return to the blog on June 30th, book release day, you get a chance to enter to win a copy of the book, 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!

My First Net Galley Review!

Hello to my 2.5 readers! I have taken the plunge and posted THE LULLABY MONSTERS on Net Galley for review. And I’m so excited to have the first one posted today. FOUR STARS!!!! Woohoo!!

Here it is copied from Net Galley!!

Mayu P, Reviewer

Last updated on 15 Jun 2020

My Recommendation

Such a cute and beautiful story. And the illustrations are just so adorable and sweet, they are sure to charm young readers. Also through these adorable illustrations and beautiful story The Lullaby Monster gave a message that is very important for young readers.

If you're a parent who wants to buy a book that has beautiful illustrations, very lucid language which is apt for a child and also has a message. This is the one for you.
Here’s a cute bookmark to match the cover, created by Paula Nasmith

Curious to learn more about the book?

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: 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!

Goodreads Mistake Fixed!

Hello to my 2.5 readers! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Back in January, in an eager attempt to get my book out there early, I created the Goodreads posting for my new early chapter book, THE LULLABY MONSTERS, releasing on June 30, 2020.

I didn’t have the cover file completed yet, so I naively figured I would just put this cute little bookmark there as a place holder. Bad idea.

Book mark image

I thought it would automatically crop to book cover size but….no! In fact, it looked incredibly silly because it was labelled as a book, but clearly, not the correct shape.

I scrambled to delete it, but found there was no possibly way to do such a thing. After some poking around the Goodreads website, I discovered that only librarians can make edits like this so I was in trouble.

I sent an email to the librarians, requesting the image be deleted. It was not a simple process. First, I had to upload the correct cover image. I didn’t have that completed for some time, so I had to wait and in the meantime, my book stayed there looking silly.

Finally, I had the cover image ready so I uploaded it with instructions for the librarians to replace the old cover image. Nothing happened.

After some further emails back and forth, I learned that my next step was to create an alternate edition. This worked, only the original edition remained there on Goodreads, like a sore thumb with the alternate edition only visible by clicking below.

My next step was to combine the editions into one. That was a bit of a complex process and I would advise you look for the directions on Goodreads and follow the instructions very carefully. When I first tried to combine the editions, it seemed as if my book had completely disappeared from Goodreads. I couldn’t search it anywhere!

And then, I tried to create a new book with the proper cover, but it wouldn’t allow me to link the ISBN, because apparently it had already been used! I panicked, thinking I didn’t want my book to be unsearchable and temporarily gave up. Back to the my problem in a moment…

Here’s a bunch of the books I’m excited about that have released or are about to release this year!

Now back to my Goodreads problem!

I had to do something, so I looked for other book websites comparable to Goodreads. I found The Library Thing, which I quite liked, and set up the book there which made me feel a little better. And it was easy to import my Goodreads library there so hooray for that!

After more thought, I figured it would be better to have my book on Goodreads without an ISBN than not there at all so I created a new book for myself, leaving the ISBN blank. Imagine my surprise the next time I opened Goodreads to discover my new book there WITH the ISBN attached and a review (that I thought was lost) along with the people who had added it to their to-read list! Whew!

So now, when you search for THE LULLABY MONSTERS on Goodreads, you WILL find it with the proper cover that you see below. I love Paula’s starry night sky, don’t you?

I hope you enjoyed the inside scoop on the life of an indie author and some of the behind-the-scenes things we do to get our books out there!

If you have a minute, I’d sure love it if you added my book(s) to your Goodreads to-read list!

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

Thanks for stopping by; you are welcome 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.