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: 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.

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: 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.



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.

Kid Lit Love: Tulip and Doug

Welcome to the Kid Lit Love blog series where new picture book releases are featured on Mondays with an author interview. I am thrilled to feature my critique partner, Emma Wood and her debut picture book Tulip and Doug, illustrated by Carla Martell, published by Scholastic New Zealand. And as an added bonus, I’m including a review of this adorable book!

TULIP AND DOUG by Emma Wood and Carla Martell

Synopsis:

Tulip was famous in her neighbourhood for two reasons: 1. She was a fearless adventurer. 2. She went everywhere with a seriously strange sidekick-a potato, called Doug!

Tulip and Doug are inseparable, until catastrophe strikes and Tulip
loses her best spuddy buddy. She is inconsolable, until another unlikely friendship blossoms.

My Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and full of heart! An unlikely friendship between an adventurous girl and a potato (?!) is funny and full of delightful surprises. The adorable illustrations add whimsy and fun, plus the view from Tulip’s headquarters is spectacular. Will Tulip ever find find Doug? Will Doug be forced into the compost bin? There’s plenty of suspense in this story to keep the pages turning.

And now I’d like to welcome Emma Wood to the blog! Emma, author of Tulip and Doug, has been one of my critique partners since 2018, when we joined Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge.

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

It’s a familiar story, really – I read my own children many, many picture books, and soon developed a love for the form. I revisited all the titles I adored in childhood, which was gorgeously nostalgic. But the best part was discovering some remarkable contemporary picture books. It was a revelation to experience these beautiful, moving, profound, hilarious, outrageous and clever books, and to see how the interplay between text and art could elevate a story. I felt inspired to have a go at writing them, too.

In my day job, I write primarily for adults – I’m a former journalist who now works in communications and public relations. However, I’ve never been especially interested in writing adult fiction. I like to write for children because they are the most wonderful people on the planet. I write picture books because they introduce children to elements of language, art, storytelling, and the wonders and workings of the world around them. Children deserve to read excellent, fun, engaging, meaningful books – every bit as much as adults do.

  • Tell us how you came up with the idea for your book .

I was painting my living room walls and listening to a podcast, actually! The podcast guest shared that as a child, they had a rock friend called John that they pushed around in a pram. I found this funny and charming, and it struck me as a cute idea for a picture book. I then thought a potato friend might be even funnier than a rock.

I got to thinking about the potential ramifications of having a potato as a friend – that other children might find it a little strange, and that a potato wouldn’t be the most permanent of pals. The story of fearless adventurer Tulip and her dear, ill-fated Doug grew from that seed.

I’m delighted TULIP AND DOUG is now a book, and I hope children and their families will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

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

My advice is to find your people! There are so many excellent resources and supportive communities online for children’s authors and illustrators. I highly recommend Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, which is where I met my wonderful critique partners (hi, Cynthia!) and learned so much about the craft of writing picture books. SCBWI is another great resource. Storyteller Academy has some fantastic courses and teachers, as does the Children’s Book Academy. And there are heaps of Facebook groups like Kidlit 411 and Sub It Club where you can connect with fellow authors and illustrators. I’ve found all of these communities to be welcoming and encouraging, and a treasure trove of industry and craft knowledge.

Here are Emma’s social media contacts:

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.

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

Kid Lit Love: How Long is Forever

Happy Monday and welcome to Kid Lit Love where new release children’s books and book creators are featured weekly. Today we feature HOW LONG IS FOREVER by Kelly Carey, illustrated by Qing Zhuang, published by Charlesbridge. This book was just released April 7, 2020! The title is a question many of us can relate to around the world as we wait for our isolation period to come to an end.

HOW LONG IS FOREVER?

Synopsis: In How Long Is Forever?, Mason is waiting for the first blueberry pie of the season and it’s taking forever. At least that’s what Mason thinks, until Grandpa asks him to prove it and sends Mason searching the family farm to find the meaning of forever.  

Fans of Guess How Much I Love You will love figuring out how long forever is alongside Mason and Grandpa.

Kelly Carey

It was a pleasure to connect with Kelly through social media and she agreed to answer a few questions about her experiences as a writer.
  1. Tell us how you came to write books for children.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was obsessed with Dynasty and when she graduated from college she thought she was destined for chunky earrings, power suits, and the thrillingly creative field of …insurance. I ended up working with actuary tables, deductible formulas, and stop-loss policies. I learned about big business, marketing, and customer service, but I was miserable.

Enter motherhood and suddenly I was a happy stay-at-home mom rediscovering a joy in books and in picture books in particular. My own mother encouraged me to apply for a course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. Best decision I ever made! (Thanks Mom!)

I loved the feeling of crafting a story and creating characters, and I found that magical space where time stands still because you’re in the zone. Writing was my zone. My power suits were donated and I turned my attention to writing and finding the KidLit community through groups like SCBWI, Julie Hedlund’s 12×12, Storystorm, ReFoReMo, and The Writers’ Loft.

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

            The nugget that inspired How Long Is Forever? happened when I was a teenager. A song I loved came on the radio and I excitedly squealed, “Turn it up! This is the best song ever.” My friend’s Dad scoffed, “Really? This is the best song ever?”.

That exchange stuck and launched the interaction between Mason and his Grandpa in How Long Is Forever?. Mason is waiting for the first blueberry pie of the season and it’s taking forever. At least that’s what Mason thinks, until Grandpa sends Mason searching the farm to find the meaning of forever. I loved the idea that what can seem like the best song ever to a teenager or feel like forever to an eight year old can be very different for an older adult.

The idea for a story can come from childhood memories that linger in your brain. Those standout moments that hold a reserved space in your mind, are probably the moments that will resonate with a reader. Those are the archives I love to mine when looking for a book idea.

By the way, my friend’s father was right. Thomas Dolby’s, She Blinded Me With Science was NOT the best song ever! And Mason is going to find out that waiting for a blueberry pie to bake is not forever.

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

The best thing I ever did for my writing was to really immerse myself in the KidLit community. My advice would be to take a class. Check out the offerings at the Institute of Children’s Literature, and join The Society of Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Both offered me a wonderful way to get feedback on my work and to improve my craft. It was through SCBWI that I met my first critique partners and we started 24 Carrot Writing a blog for writers, that has been offering help and advice to fellow writers for over five years.

My advice to other writers, based on my journey, would be to get out into the writing community. Meet fellow writers, take classes and workshops, offer your own help and advice, listen to editors and agents, and become a part of the community. I think the community will reward you for your efforts – it did for me.

You can connect with Kelly here:

website:http://www.kcareywrites.com/   

twitter: https://twitter.com/KCareyWrites

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellycareywrites/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCareyWrites

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.

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

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.