Cover Reveal: MAY SAVES THE DAY

#GIRLPOWER #WOMENINBUSINESS #JOBEQUITY #INCLUSION

Can such heavy topics be presented in an entertaining and engaging way?

And the answer is…YES.

TA-DA!

May Saves the Day cover

MAY SAVES THE DAY

Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Serena Lombardo

Published by Capstone Press

Ages: 4-7

Synopsis from Amazon:

From her trendy suit to her messenger bag, May is the picture of a successful businesswoman. After all, she is founder and sole proprietor of Word Saver, Inc. Carrying her trusty bag of letters, May saves the day again and again, turning angry BEES into playful BEETS and a rampaging BEAR into a silly BEARD. Stu begs to be her sidekick, but May insists that a businesswoman does not need a sidekick. However, May quickly realizes that teamwork may be the word of the day when a tornado threatens the town. Author Laura Gehl brings word play to a new level in this adventurous and humorous picture book, featuring spirited art by Serena Lombardo.

Here’s a bit about the author:

Laura Gehl is the author of nearly two dozen picture and board books including One Big Pair of Underwear (Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, International Literacy Association Honor Book, Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice); the Peep and Egg series (Parents’ Choice Recommendation, Amazon Editors’ Pick, Children’s Choice Book Award Finalist); My Pillow Keeps Moving (Junior Library Guild selection, New York Public Library Best Books of 2018 selection); I Got a Chicken for My Birthday (Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2018 selection); and Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer (A Mighty Girl Best Book of 2019). Laura’s 2020 releases include Baby Paleontologist (Harper Collins); Judge Juliette (Sterling); Apple and Magnolia (Walker Books); The Ninja Club Sleepover (Page Street Kids); Cat Has a Plan (Simon & Schuster); and May Saves the Day (Capstone). Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.lauragehl.com.

And here is a bit about the illustrator:

Serena Lombardo was born in Naples, Italy, in 1990. She graduated in Fine Arts and later studied Concept Art and Character Design. As a child, she dreamed of being a valiant knight, and found her true Excalibur in a pencil. Drawing  fantastic and adventurous worlds has always been her passion, and making others dream by telling stories through illustrations her mission. She works now as a full-time illustrator for books and magazines in the United States, Great Britain, Belgium and Italy.

Right now, I am visiting with my son and his family in Chicago. My granddaughter, Sophie, is almost seven – I read the story with her and she LOVED it! I asked her why…she told me she loves that the main character is a girl businesswoman. She loves how words and letters are used to save the day. And she loves that Stu gets a job with May in the end.

Yes…I agree…there is so much to love about MAY SAVES THE DAY!

MAY SAVES THE DAY is now available for preorder on Amazon!

And now I’d better get packing…we leave on Thursday for 10 days  in Barcelona and Madrid…and I already have two tentative kidlit meetups planned…what fun!  I hope you will all check out the lovely Perfect Picture Book review that Beth Anderson did for Making Their Voices Heard.

Please don’t forget that the official post for #50PreciousWords goes live on February 29…I’m looking forward to reading all of your wonderful stories!

 

COVER REVEAL for AMBER HENDRICKS and CONTEST REVEAL for #50PreciousWords

Grab a cuppa and hold onto your hats, folks! This is going to be an exciting post.

First of all...I am so honored to bring you the covers of two very special books wriiten by a dear friend of mine, Amber Hendricks. She’s the author of SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR (Clear Fork, 2018) which is one of my granddaugther’s favortie picture books…and the upcoming EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY ELLA (Amicus, Feb 25, 2020) and SUPERHEROES DON’T BABYSIT (Beaming Books, June 2, 2020). But Amber also has two board books in the pipeline for 2020 and 2021 – that is amazing!!! And what is even more amazing is that Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: BEAUTIFUL SHADES OF BROWN

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! 2020 seems to be a banner year for stories about strong women who engendered change in one way or another. And I’m so excited to review this particular book because it’s written by one of my favorite nonfiction picture book biography authors, the one and only Nancy Churnin!

BEAUTIFUL SHADES OF BROWN: THE ART OF LAURA WHEELER WARING

Written by Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by Felicia Marshall

Published by Creston Books (February 4, 2020)

Ages: 6-11

Themes: Discrimination, perseverance, art

Synopsis: From Amazon

Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn’t see any artists who looked like her. She didn’t see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC’s National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured.

Why I love this book

  • Well-paced lyrical narrative that engages the reader from the first page to the last
  • Glorious illustrations
  • I love true stories of perseverance and courage

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Paper Plate Self-Portraits

Photo courtesy: https://happyhooligans.ca/paper-plate-self-portrait-craft-kids/

I love using paper plates for art projects…they are inexpensive and so versatile.

For detailed instructions: https://happyhooligans.ca/paper-plate-self-portrait-craft-kids/

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And I hope you come back tomorrow for our VERY SPECIAL COVER REVEAL of TWO of Amber Hendricks’ upcoming books PLUS a SNEAK PREVIEW of our upcoming #50PreciousWords Contest and the list of prizes. PRIZES? You’d better believe there are prizes!

Launch of an Imprint & Launch of a Book – Good News for Kidlitland

Hello everyone! Today’s post is filled with GOOD NEWS!

First of all, a dear friend of our kidlit community, the incredible Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork Publishing, is announcing the launch of a new imprint and a limited-time ABOVE THE SLUSH opportunity for readers of this blog.

&mg

TAKE IT AWAY, CALLIE!

We are accepting submissions for our Spork Children’s Imprint and for our new imprint &MG.
&MG will feature Middle Grade books and we are asking for submissions right now that deal with some of the tough issues that kids ages 9-14 are dealing with. 
Submissions can be made by going to http://bit.ly/2NZN7pp or by emailing the submissions directly to callie@clearfork.media. Please put Above the Slush somewhere in the header of the query letter.

Oh my gosh…what an opportunity! If you’ve got a polished manuscript you think would fit the Spork vision or you’ve been holding on to that MG work, wondering who you should send it to…here is your chance!

A big thank you to Callie for this generous offer!

So, the title of this post was Launch of an Imprint and Launch of a Book. We’ve revealed the Imprint launch…and now for the Book Launch.

Are you ready to sing a big Happy Book Birthday to…

MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF
ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE
ella and marilyn

Launching January 28, 2020

Illustrated by Alleanna Harris
Published by Little Bee Books

Here’s what the reviewers are saying:


Kirkus Reviews:
This warm story emphasizes Ella’s role in her  (Marilyn’s) success, thus avoiding the trap of the white-savior narrative. Many white artists have benefited from imitating black ones; this is the rare narrative to acknowledge that.
Harris’ illustrations capture the iconic looks of the two stars.
A good volume to include in a larger conversation about friendship, allyship, and social justice.(author’s note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

School Library Journal:

The relatively simple text is supported by an author’s note and extensive sources, both primary (videos and interviews) and secondary (books and online resources). Kirkfield makes clear that both women brought deep personal feelings to their performances. Harris’s digital illustrations are varied, from vignettes to full and double-page spreads.

VERDICT An inspiring story about 20th-century icons that will be unfamiliar to most young readers. Recommended for schools and public libraries. 


Booklist:
Sometimes even stars need a little help to shine.” Focusing on the friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, this picture book highlights the similarities between the two women and the ways in which they helped each other succeed.
Back matter includes an author’s note and primary and secondary sources. A solid purchase for larger collections.

I’m excited for all of the upcoming book events that will help spread the word:

Jan 29 at 7PM: Andersons Bookstore in Naperville, IL
Jan 30: School visits to Naperville and Aurora, IL
Feb 4: School visits to Skokie and Evanston, IL
March 10: Kids’ writer workshop at Amherst Town Library, Amherst NH
March ?: Author Event at Books of Wonder in NYC
March 21 at 10am: Story time at Silver Unicorn Bookshop in Acton, MA
April 4 at 11am: Story time at Toadstool Bookstore in Nashua, NH
April 18: Sustainability Fair in Wilton, NH
April 25: Children’s Festival of Stories in Denver, CO
May 18: Wilkins Elementary in Amherst, NH
June 25-30: Annual ALA in Chicago, IL
July24-27: LASCBWI Conference

Thank you, dear friends…having your support and encouragement means the world to me.

And thank you, dear Callie, for providing this fabulous submission opportunity to my blog followers.

LAURA RENAULD: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

 

TODAY’S GUEST

LAURA RENAULD

It’s been quite a while since our last Will Write for Cookies post. And there’s no better way to jump back into this author interview series than with someone like today’s guest.

LAURA RENAULD is the author of Porcupine’s Pie, illustrated by Jennie Poh (Beaming Books, 2018) and Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers, illustrated by Brigette Barrager (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2020). She is also the creator of the Debut Review Challenge which encourages readers to write online reviews for debut authors and illustrators. Laura lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and their two story-telling sons. Read her blog, sign up for her quarterly newsletter, and learn about the Debut Review Challenge at www.laurarenauld.com. You can also find her on Twitter (@laura_renauld; #DebutReviewChallenge), Instagram (@laurarenauld), and Facebook (@kidlitLaura).

I am so very thrilled Laura was able to stop by today to answer a few question about her writing journey…and of course, we are excited to see what delicious treat recipe she will share with us, plus she’s offering a giveaway of Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Numenia and the Hurricane Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. And this book is definitely a Perfect Picture Book! I love it so much…and the author/illustrator, Fiona Halliday, that I’m featuring her and her book THREE times. And that doesn’t happen very often! Last week a Will Write for Cookies post. On Tuesday, a Happy Book Birthday post. And today, a Perfect Picture Book Friday post. Please remember there will be a giveaway of a copy of the beautiful book, so don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog.

Continue reading

Happy Book Birthday: NUMENIA AND THE HURRICANE Plus Giveaway

Written and illustrated by one of my Storm Literary Agency sisters, Fiona Halliday, this is a book to be treasured by adults and children alike.

Stay tuned for a Perfect Picture Book Friday review of the book and a Will Write for Cookies Q&A with Fiona later this week.

The book launches today and is available on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere!

And, if you leave a comment, you will be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of NUMENIA AND THE HURRICANE! Also, don’t forget to come back on Friday and Saturday and you can comment on those posts and get another entry ticket in the giveaway hat!!!! Also, please share on social media for extra chances to win. When you share on social media, you extend the circle of people who will discover this beautiful book!

Enjoy the week, my friends. I’m in Chicago at the moment, getting read to do an Author Night presentation for my granddaughter’s school, the Lycee Francais…sharing my new picture book, MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, illustrated by Alleanna Harris and published by Little Bee Books.