Kid Lit Love: SOAKED!

I’m thrilled to feature Abi Cushman’s new book, SOAKED! here on Kid Lit Love! Thank you for sharing your book with us, Abi! Published by Viking Children’s Books, SOAKED was just released July 14, 2020. Congratulations, Abi!

SOAKED by Abi Cushman

Synopsis

A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a bunny in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear.

It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Bunny, and Moose don’t seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try?

Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!

Pub Date:​ July 14, 2020
Pages:​ 40 pages
Publisher:​ Viking Children’s Books | An imprint of Penguin Random House ISBN:​ 978-1984836625

Author, Abi Cushman

Abi took the time to share a little about her experience as a children’s writer and I’m so happy for the opportunity to give you the inside scoop on Abi’s experience as a children’s writer.

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

I’ve always been interested in illustrating picture books. In fact, I took a few illustration courses in college. But I never thought of myself as a particularly creative writer. That changed in 2015, when I was reminded how much I loved picture books after reading a ton of them with my new baby. And then, in a sleep-deprived New Mom moment, I had an idea of my own for a book. So I decided to make a go of it. I wrote the words and created a dummy and went to my very first SCBWI critique group meeting. Since then, it’s been so much fun writing stories I think my kids would love or ones that I would have loved when I was a kid.

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

It was a hot summer afternoon in 2017, and I was out for a walk with my husband and daughter. We were about a mile away from home when we felt the first few drops. The drops quickly escalated into a torrential rainstorm. Normally, we all would have just started booking it for the house, but I was eight months pregnant at the time, and my movement was down to a slow waddle. So I told my husband to run home with our daughter, and I’d meet them later. And what I realized on my soggy walk home was that once I was completely soaked, the rain was actually quite pleasant. Refreshing even! So I thought it would be interesting in a picture book to play around with the idea of your attitude changing despite the circumstances staying the same. And I thought it would be so much fun to show a character completely embracing the rain and splashing around in pure joy.

3. Please share a piece of advice for children’s writers.

The simplest thing you can do to figure out how to write books well is to go to the library and read a bunch of new books and analyze them. For picture books, look for the main problem (what does the character want), what sets off the story, what escalates the tension in the story, and how is the problem resolved. And finally, what makes the book special? What gives it heart? After doing this many times, you’ll have a great foundation for how to structure your own stories, and you’ll get a sense of the kinds of books being published today.

Thanks, Abi. I love your rain storm story from 2017. It’s funny because that same summer, our family got stuck in a rain storm while in Florida. We were NOT dressed for rain. While I wasn’t pregnant, I was wearing really slippery shoes so I was the only one moving slowly because I didn’t want to fall. I really was SOAKED but I never laughed so hard!

You can connect with Abi here:

Abi’s Instagram

Twitter: @AbiCushman

Thanks for the interview, Abi and congratulations on your new release!

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

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Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! You are welcome 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!

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Thanks for stopping by; you are welcome any time!

Reading for Research: Reforemo Challenge Wrap Up

At the beginning of March, when I began the Reforemo challenge, I had no idea that the libraries would be closed and much of the world shut down. Here’s my March 7th post, before the world changed. The first half of the month, I was able to check out many of the books and I still have many of them at home with the library currently closed and the loan period extended. Honestly, the whole world pandemic thing threw me for a bit of a loop, how about you?

Thank you Carrie Charley Brown and Kristi Call for doing this challenge; I hope to catch up and read through the daily posts I’ve missed over the coming weeks.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read over the past 2 weeks, some of which I’ve researched using You Tube read alouds:

  1. Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli
  2. Vroom by Barbara McClintock
  3. Twinderella by Corey Rosen Schwartz
  4. Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers
  5. The Bear’s Garden by Marcie Colleen
  6. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
  7. Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
  8. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small
  9. Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  10. Truman by Jean Reidy
  11. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
  12. Nine Months by Miranda Paul
  13. Pirasaurs! by Josh Funk
  14. Whale in a Fishbowl by Troy Howell and Richard Jones
  15. On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen
  16. Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing by Jane Yolen
Truman

How did I do with the challenge?

So keeping it real, I didn’t quite make it through the Reforemo challenge to read 100 picture books in the month of March, but I did discover a bunch of fabulous picture books in my research and what strikes me above all is the sheer diversity and variety of books out there available to children. It opens up new possibilities for creating books for young children and inspires me to keep writing as each writer has a unique voice that contributes to our diverse and changing world.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers for my picture books, including my 2020 release, The Lullaby Monsters.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are welcome back any time!