CAROLE GERBER: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


Plate of Cookies





I think it’s really special when guests come back to visit, don’t you? It probably means they had a good time, right? I know we all enjoyed having our Will Write for Cookies author when she was here back in July 2017 to celebrate the launch of BAND OF BABIES. And today she is here, celebrating the launch of her newest book, HOW YOU CAME TO BE.

Carole Gerber has worked as a high school and middle school English teacher, an adjunct professor of journalism at Ohio State, a marketing director, editor of a company magazine, a member of creative teams at an ad agency and a hospital, a contributing editor to a computer magazine, and – finally! – as a freelance writer of hundreds of elementary textbooks, magazine articles, speeches, annual reports, and patient education materials. Plus, she is the author of nearly two dozen picture books, early readers and chapter books. To contact Carole or find out more about her books:

.ME: Welcome, Carole…we are so happy to have you here on Picture Books Help Kids Soar. Thank you so much for stopping by to chat and for offering a giveaway of a copy of HOW YOU CAME TO BE. And we are excited to find out more about you and your writing journey…so let’s get started.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

CAROLE: If my little sister and I behaved when my parents took us along to do the weekly grocery shopping, we were rewarded by each being permitted to choose a Little Golden Book. At that age, I was just learning to read so was drawn by the illustrations on the covers. There was no public library in the little town where I grew up, but the bookmobile came every two weeks during the summer when school was closed. That’s where I discovered Laura Ingalls Wilder and all her wonderful, timeless books.

ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?

CAROLE: I trained to be a writer at Ohio State where, after a brief stint as an English teacher, I earned a master’s degree in journalism. I received a graduate assistantship that paid my tuition and a stipend for producing two articles a week for the hometown newspapers of students enrolled in the university’s honors program.  Having these deadlines in addition to the work required for my journalism classes gave me lots of practice in writing quickly and concisely.

After graduating, I worked for an ad agency, as in-house magazine editor for Blue Cross, and as the marketing director for a company that organized business conferences. After these in-house jobs, I began freelancing for businesses and gradually moved into writing educational texts books and ad copy for educational publishers.

 The shock came when I began writing and submitting the manuscripts that I wanted to write. Like everyone else, I got lots of rejections. It’s a tough business. Even excellent manuscripts often get rejected multiple times before they find a “home.” It took my agent two years to sell my new book, HOW YOU CAME TO BE, which got great reviews and is selling well. New writers should not take rejection personally. It’s part of the process. If editors who reject your manuscript make specific comments about how it could be improved, follow their advice! 😊  

ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?

CAROLE: I write on a desktop computer in my home office, facing a big window that looks out onto a large retention pond by my house. I live near Charleston, South Carolina now so enjoy getting distracted by gulls and other sea birds, as well as the gator who swims by in search of fish. I enjoy watching him from a distance. Down here, everyone knows to give alligators all the space they need!

ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?

CAROLE: Most weekday mornings, I sit down at my computer after I eat breakfast and complete a few household chores. I’m old school in that I follow the BOC work ethic for writing. It stands for “Bottom in Chair.”  I strongly recommend this approach. If inspiration doesn’t immediately follow, check out various sites and look for ideas.  Inspiration will usually creep in if your mind is open to it. If it doesn’t, take a walk or meet up with a friend. Give your brain a break! 

ME: Why do you write for children?

CAROLE: Children are the most curious and honest humans on the planet. When I lived in Ohio I volunteered for years as a tour guide on a working farm called Stratford. It was a popular destination for school visits. There were cows, sheep, pigs, llamas, chickens and other interesting critters to meet and feed, plus lovely trails and streams through the woods to hike and splash in. I’d often play a game of “I Spy” to get the children to look closely at nature and the animals. As a children’s book author who wrote many nature-related books, it was my way of keeping in touch with my audience. Now I live just a few miles from my two- and six-year-old grandchildren. These darling little girls are my up-close-and-personal audience!

Thank you so much, Carole. These wonderful insights are going to be so helpful for all of us! But I know you aren’t done sharing…you’ve got a fabulous cookie recipe!

CAROLE: This is a simple but delicious recipe you can make with children.

Nursery Cookies


1 egg, beaten
1 cup of sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 small bag of Hershey’s chocolate kisses


Combine egg, sugar and peanut butter. Mix well.  Form into small balls and place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press one chocolate kiss into the middle of each cookie. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove from oven, remove cookies with spatula and cool.

Hurray! These look amazing! I know we are all thanking Carole for sharing
her journey, her insights, and of course, her delicious cookie recipe. And I
hope that all of you will share in helping Carole’s new book, HOW YOU CAME TO
BE, become a success. You can buy the book,
review the book, tell friends about the book, and ask your
local library to purchase copies of the book for their collection.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to WIN a copy of
HOW YOU CAME TO BE…and if you share on social media (which I hope you will),
you get extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

I hope you all have a beautiful and safe weekend. As always, I’m grateful that
you spend your precious time with us.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: DEAR RAINBOW BABY Plus Critique & Zoom Chat Giveaway

Hello dear friends! Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday. Today’s featured book is beautiful…but more than that, the message it carries will touch many hearts. The author, the lovely Samantha Gassman, is an amazing person…she shared how she came to write this story:

This book is very precious to me, as the first draft was written in the days following my miscarriage in Nov. 2019. Writing was a way of healing and recovering after the tragedy and forced me to look forward with hope. I learned of the offer of publication a week before my rainbow baby, Kayla, was born in Aug. 2020. She shares her birthday with the book, and coincidentally, National Rainbow Baby Day.

Dear friends, not only did Samantha open her heart and share her sorrow to help others with theirs, she is also offering an incredible giveaway: a Picture Book Critique PLUS a 30-minute Zoom chat. The winner is going to be one very lucky writer, that’s for sure. Please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the giveaway. And if you help make this book’s launch a success by pre-ordering a copy of DEAR RAINBOW BABY via her Linktree link: – Samantha is going to send you a signed bookplate


Written by Samantha Gassman

Illustrated by Timothy Lange

Published by Clear Fork Press


Themes: New baby, loss, hope

Synopsis from Amazon:
The term “rainbow baby” refers to babies born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Because rainbows often occur after a storm, these babies represent healing and hope for the fTheuture. DEAR RAINBOW BABY follows a family’s transition from grieving their loss to welcoming their rainbow baby.

Why I Love This Book:
1. Beautifully written lyrical story of loss, hope, and new life that will touch every heart that hears it.
2. Gloriously illustrated – the illustrator gave great depth of emotion to each scene.
3. Based on the author’s own experience, this book is appropriate for children, but also perfect for adults who have suffered loss.


Photo courtesy: Shutterstock:

Oh my gosh…do you have wee ones and are wondering when they will be old enough for arts and crafts? Your wait is over! Check out this awesome website with activities such as Sensory Spaghetti, Edible Playdough, Painting with Ice Cubes and so many more.

Our favorite authors and illustrators need our help. You can, of course, buy their books. If you purchase a copy of MY RAINBOW BABY from Samantha’s Linktree link: ,she’ll send you a signed bookplate. And her book will reach more readers if you leave a review.

And definitely don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog post to be entered in the FABULOUS giveaway of a PICTURE BOOK CRITIQUE AND A ZOOM AUTHOR CHAT with this wonderful author!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please stop by tomorrow to say hello to Carole Gerber who will be in the Will Write for Cookies house.

Happy Book Birthday: IF ANIMALS TRIED TO BE KIND Plus Double Giveaway

I’m definitely dancing for the launch of two new board books from one of the kid lit community’s favorite people! Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands On Guide From Story Creation to Publication was the FIRST book on the craft of writing that I read! How about you?

But Ann is a prolific writer of picture books and board books, too! Did you know that? And these two new ones are part of a fabulous series sure to delight all the littles you know.

This one launched on August 2nd:

Written by Ann Whitford Paul – Illustrated by David Walker – Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux
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