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!
Welcome to the Kid Lit Love blog series, celebrating new picture book releases every Monday! Today’s new release is by Lisa Katzenberger, illustrated by Barbara Bakos, titled NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY from Penguin Workshop. This celebratory book will be available June 23, 2020.
Synopsis: Peter does not like being bored, so he comes up with a way to have some festive fun–he’ll celebrate a different holiday each day! He even rates them on a scale of 1 to 10. But when he wakes up one morning to discover there isn’t a holiday, he realizes he’ll have to take matters into his own hands and make up his own! That’s easier said than done, though, and nothing seems to go right–until Peter realizes that even a regular, average, ordinary day can be something worth celebrating.
I had the pleasure of connecting with Lisa through social media and I asked her a few questions about her experience as a writer. We realized that both of us have done the 12×12 Picture Book challenge and loved that experience. Here’s Lisa’s interview:
1. Tell us how you came to write books for children. I have always loved books and wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, taking creative writing courses in school any chance I could and studying journalism. I even landed a job after college as a writer — albeit a technical writer. As an adult, I kept writing on the side, focusing on short stories at first and then a few novels. It wasn’t until I had kids that I remembered the joy of books for children. Reading piles of picture books, I finally knew where I fit in!
2. Tell us how you came up with the idea for your book. I used to work as a Social Media Manager and we began writing content around national holidays like International Women’s Day. Then I started to notice all the fun national holidays became popular on social media — like National Waffle Day. I wondered how a child might celebrate these different holidays and the story grew from there!
3. Share a piece of advice for children’s writers. My really basic, no-frills advice is to just keep writing. This week I was looking back on some of the picture books I wrote when I was starting out 5 years ago. Stories that I queried with, stories that went out on submission to editors but never sold, stories that I thought were good. Looking back, they were fine stories but they are not as strong as the stories I am writing today. What if I had given up when the first book I went out on sub with didn’t sell? I would have completely lost the opportunity to grow and hone my craft. I would have lost book deals. I would have lost my dream. But even in the face of rejection and frustration (which I still face today), I just kept writing. Keep writing everyone!
I am thrilled to be returning to myKid Lit Love series featuring picture books from members of the Kid Lit Community! Today’s book, to be released in May 2020, is titled BEDTIME, DADDY! by Sharon Giltrow, illustrated by Katrin Dreiling, published by EK Books.
Putting Daddy to bed can be hard work. Especially when he starts crying! This story will show you how to wrestle your daddy into his pajamas and read just one more bedtime story. “I’m thirrrrrrrrssssssty,” says Daddy. “I need to poop … I’m hungry … But I’ll miss you,” he says, while he looks at you with cutie eyes. You’ll have to battle the bedtime excuses and use go-away monster spray until Daddy finally goes to sleep. Bedtime can be a mission for many, but with these gorgeous illustrations of a little bear and his dad, this is the perfect role-reversal bedtime story to help put any fussy child to bed in a fun and positive way. Full of heart and humour, Bedtime, Daddy! is for anyone who wants to try and put a grown-up to bed.
Sharon Giltrow grew up in South Australia, the youngest of eight children, surrounded by pet sheep and fields of barley. She now lives in Perth, WA with her husband, two children and a tiny dog. When not participating in writing challenges and writing, Sharon teaches with children with Developmental Language Disorder. Sharon was awarded the Paper Bird Fellowship in 2019. Her debut PB Bedtime Daddy, is due to be released May 12th 2020 through EK books.
For those homeschooling their children, you can download Sharon’s Teacher Guide to accompany the book here.
It was a pleasure to connect with Sharon through twitter! She took the time to answer a few questions, giving us a behind the scenes view of BEDTIME, DADDY and writing for children in general. And her list of facebook groups is so valuable for children’s writers.
1. Tell us how you came to write books for children.
I loved reading and writing as a child and even had my own personal library set up in my bedroom with library cards and all. Also, from a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Now as a teacher what I love most is to read books to children. Writing my own picture book seemed to be the logical next step. So, I started writing picture books back in 2006 when my first child was born. It has taken fourteen years for my first picture BEDTIME DADDY to be released.
2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book.
My picture book BEDTIME DADDY is based on real life events. Well mostly 😊. The inspiration behind BEDTIME DADDY is my children and their daddy. One night when my husband was putting our son to bed, I thought that I would love for someone to put me to bed, especially at 7 o’clock. Cue lightbulb moment! How about a book where the child puts the parent to bed? Then I researched or mostly remembered all the steps it takes to put someone to bed. The protests, the stalling, the distractions, the excuses, the monsters but as well as all the sweetness and fun of bedtime. A sprinkle of humour and BEDTIME DADDY was born.
3. Share a piece of advice or a resource for children’s writers.
My advice for children’s writers would be to find your writing community. Join the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Join writing groups. Find critique groups. Surround yourself with other writers. Having a supportive group of fellow writers is essential. Here are some great Facebook groups you can join:
Hi There! I thought it might be fun to share some stories from my childhood. Some of these are my own memories and some were shared with me by parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. I’ll admit my memories may be off a little, but what the heck. We all love a good story.
At the age of four, I walked to and from kindergarten with friends. Not every day, but some of the time. No parents accompanied us. We were independent and free as can be.
One time on the way home, some older kids told us they had lots of money and asked if we’d like some. Of course our answer was…“YES!”
They led us down what I remember as a really long flat driveway. It went way back from the road and there was a small rancher style house at the end. We followed them up to the front door and they asked us to wait outside.
“If you want the money, all you have to do is close your eyes and hold out your hands, palms up,” they told us. They went inside the house ‘to get the money.’
So there we were, the most little, gullible kids you can imagine with eyes closed and hands held out waiting expectantly to be given a fortune. What I imagined I would buy with the money, I cannot tell you but I’m sure I believed it was the key to living my best life ever.
And then SLAP! All they did was come out and hit our outstretched hands. I honestly cannot remember if I cried or just stared at them dumfounded but I do know they laughed and laughed and I’m sure our expressions were hilarious to them.
I was completely shocked that kids would tell me something untrue. No one had ever lied to me before. Ever since then, I find I just cannot lie. It’s just impossible for me, maybe because I know how incredibly disappointing it is to believe in something so whole-heartedly only to find out it isn’t true.
Do you have any memories from your early childhood years?
Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I love. All the picture books I review in 2018 from this point forward will be the books of 12×12 members! So here is my featured picture book for March: Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day by Tara J. Hannon. It is also important to note that Tara self-published this book, which is a journey all its own. Congratulations, Tara! I’d also like to note that Tara is one of my critique partners and I really value her input and writing expertise.
My preschool class and I thoroughly enjoyed Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day. In this simple story, Rabbit and Lion go through their day together with each page featuring opposites such as bottom/top, near/far, open/closed. The illustrations are adorable with changing scenes of Lion and Rabbit indoors and out. They are friendly and playful characters that are very relatable for children. This is a simple story but an important one to add to your collection as there are few children’s picture books on the market that feature opposites in such a fun and relatable way. The end of the book has an opportunity to help rabbit remember some of the opposites he learned. My class loved trying to come up with the opposites when the story was done and were pleased with their own success in remembering the words.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Tara a few questions. Here’s my interview with Tara.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
For me, the best part of writing is creating and exploring worlds that only exist in my mind’s eye. There is nothing quite like sitting in a quiet room and letting my mind create something from an empty canvas. And very rarely there is a moment when something within those vast creations ‘clicks’ and an idea is born. That is the best.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Do the work. Research. Read. Study. Connect. Like any art, writing for children requires practice and knowledge. Sign up for the webinars, buy the books, find a critique group. Go whole hog and let yourself dive into it. You will never look back. Honestly, it took me a while to realize this. Once I did, my work improved tremendously.
Where does your inspiration come from?
The five year old that lives inside of my head. (haha) But really, she is still in there somewhere and I am always trying to see things the way she would.
Why do you write for children?
There are so many reasons. But if I had to pick one, I’d say its because they see things we adults can’t. Their imaginations are enviable and it is an honor to contribute to that magic… And I want them to think I’m cool.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Friends don’t steal pancakes. Oh, and that everyone is different. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Befriend it. 😉