Denise Fleming: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway



Plate of Cookies






I’m often praising the mentors in our kid lit community. They share their expertise graciously. And our Will Write for Cookies guest is one who has led the way. I was already a fan of her award-winning books when I met Denise at a writing retreat two years ago. Her workshop on paper making was filled with passion. And during our one-on-one, she pointed out important problems in the picture book manuscript I was working on at the time.

Denise, I’m thrilled to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar!

ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?


 My favorite book when I was a child was The Giant Golden Book of Cat Stories. It was full of stories and poems about cats. For my fourth birthday, my grandparents gave me a Siamese kitten. From then on I was drawn to anything written about cats.

kid and cat

 I also read every issue of National Geographic magazine. The photographs and articles about places and animals, so different from my everyday experience, fascinated me.


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


Actually, I can’t think of anything I wish I had known when I first started writing. All the info out there now on the internet, the classes and workshops would have intimidated me when I started. I just burrowed in and started reading as many books as I could and made notes of what I liked, what appealed to me.


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


I write most everywhere – in bed, in the tub, outside, wherever I feel comfortable at the time.

outdoor work space

I worked on my first book in a tent in Canada with a doe keeping an eye on me.

I write on yellow legal pads with soft lead pencils.


When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?


I am not a morning person. I am an owl. Most productive work starts after 3 in the afternoon.

I do not write or make book art every day. Some days I garden, work in clay, make art dolls , read, or sketch out ideas.

cat on wall


Why do you write for children?


Children are open to adventure. They jump into new ideas. They enjoy animals and nature. They find butterflies and bugs interesting. They paint with abandon and laugh easily. Children are a great audience. They are my people.

ME: Denise, if you have any special tips or thoughts for writers, teachers, parents…please share.


Read as much poetry as you can. Not just poetry for children, but adult poetry too.

Listen for the rhythm of the language.

Think like a child.


Denise, this is a mantra I think all of us need to embrace! Thank you so very much for stopping by to chat with us and sharing your insights.

Dear readers, if you’d like to find out more about Denise and her fabulous books:

And check out her newest book, coming in Spring 2018:

robin nest cover 

And guess what? We are not done yet! I know you are all waiting for a sweet treat.

Denise says:

Now, about that recipe, cooking is not really a part of my life anymore.

I do suggest you take a good-sized spoon, dip it in in the peanut butter, then into the jar of Nutella. Top this spoonful of deliciousness with a honey roasted pecan half. Yum.

May be served in spoon.


And wait…this post has ONE MORE dollop of awesomeness thanks to our lovely guest. Denise wants to do ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!  Leave a comment on yesterday’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review of 5 Little Ducks and you might be the lucky winner of a copy of Beetle Bop. AND, if you leave a comment on THIS post, you might be the lucky winner of a copy of 5 LITTLE DUCKS.


I told you this kid lit mentor was one of the best! Truly, Denise, your generosity is much appreciated.

And the way WE can show our appreciation is to go to Amazon and/or Goodreads and write a review for 5 Little Ducks

 and Denise’s other fab books.

Thank you all for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend and I wish a most Happy Father’s Day to all those who fill the role of a dad.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on June 17, 2017, in Author/illustrator Interview, Giveaway, Uncategorized, Will Write for Cookies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Kathy Mazurowski

    I have been a fan of Denise Fleming for a long time. One year (a loooong time ago) I was able to watch her do her paper making magic at the Art Institute of Chicago and listen to her talk about writing picture books at an Illinois reading convention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, Kathy…she is a paper making magician! Glad you got to hear her speakabout writing picture books! Wish I could go to one of the Highlights Foundation workshops she leads. 🙂


  2. I love Denise’s colors, compositions and animals. So appealing to kids (and adults.) Looking forward to seeing her new book. Love the robin’s expression! And I agree that thinking like a child is helpful in making picture books, and it is a good way to live our entire lives- with a sense of wonder and appreciation for our natural world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing! I adore Denise Fleming’s distinct picture book style. When I spot one of her book covers, I instantly know who created that magical picture book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vivian and Denise, you make an awesome pair. Love both of you and your writings. And that recipe, it’s one that my little niece has been trying out a lot lately!!! Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vivian, I think we both met Denise together at WOW. She is a real treasure of the kid lit community and I admire her and her art and words amaze me. I’d love to win DUCKS. thanks for getting the word out about her newest book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love all your books!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vivian, I’ve always loved Denise’s writing and gorgeous, unique illustrations. And, she’s from MY hometown – Toledo, Ohio!! Denise, thank you for sharing a little bit about your writing process and how you got started on your journey of creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vivian, thanks for introducing me to Denise’s books! Denise, I look forward to using your books as ‘mentor books’!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My favorite thing about Denise is her sense of humor! She’s really funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you Vivian and Denise- Love Denise’s simple advice: Think like a child. Simple but not always easy to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Among the more amazing things about Denise’s books – and there are many – is how she makes her little creatures’ faces so expressive using paper as her medium. The 5 little ducks all have different expressions! And I love the little robin’s eye – she looks a bit surprised, doesn’t she? And did you notice the ladybug crawling up the side of the leaf? I honor this talent in my fellow Buckeye!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sue Heavenrich

    Thanks for sharing Denise’s wisdom – Thinking like a child is harder than it sounds… Always looking for new books by this fun artist/writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for a peek I to the creative process of one of my favorite author/ artists! I CNT wait to get my hands on This is the Nest That Robin Built!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mariagianferrari

    I love Denise’s art, and the cover for 5 Little Ducks. But the bird nerd in me cannot wait for her The Nest That Robin Built! I am obsessed with birds, and with nests. My favorite winter hobby is to search treetops for nests!!

    Congrats, Denise on both of these books, and thank you for sharing, Vivian!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I got to see Denise in action at the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival in NE. The way she builds a story and the art is something to behold, and she is such fun. Congratulations on your new book, Denise, and thank you for being the hostess with the mostest, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you Vivian for introducing Denise to us. Love the look of her new book. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m a teacher and thinking like a child is indeed the hardest thing! Love the cover of her books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Lisette…thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll continue to visit…we always have great picture books to review and lots of fun chatting with authors and illustrators. What grade do you teach? If it is K-6,I hope you and your class will participate in the fall when I host #50PreciousWordsforKids!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Polilla Writes

reading, writing, celebrating the written word

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Michelle Eastman Books

Kid Lit Author and Advocate


about reading, writing & thinking children's books

Laura Boffa: Write of Way

Giving the way of writing the right of way


A Gallery of New Picture Book Talent

EMU's Debuts

From Deal to Debut: the Path to Publication

Wander, Ponder, Write

A KidLit Journey...

Picture Book House

reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

Pernille Ripp

Teacher. Author. Creator. Speaker. Mom.

Norah Colvin

Live Love Laugh Learn . . . Create the possibilities

Gathering Books

Singapore | United States of America | Philippines

Beth Anderson, Children's Writer

Reader, Writer, Miner of Moments

Susanna Leonard Hill

Children's Author

The Stinky Backpack

Traveling the Everyday World

The Runaway Palate

Food. Travel. Cooking. Random musings. Maybe some historical stuff.

The Reader and the Book

"O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Authors & Illustrators Wild About Kidlit!

Teresa Robeson

thoughts on kidlit nonfiction, diversity, and food

Tracy Campbell

Heart for Ewe Publishing

kidsbook friends

Check out this blog featuring kids' books with correlating questions & activities!

Mary Jo Beswick

Artist - Author & Illustrator - Teacher

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer


READING: like dancing in your brain

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Stacy S. Jensen

Reader | Writer | List Maker

Reading With Rhythm

book reviews from Rhythm the Library Dog

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Laura Sassi Tales

Celebrating writing, reading, and life.

Erika Wassall here... The Jersey Farm Scribe

Author, Freelance Writer, Entreprenur... LIVER of life

Angie Karcher

Writing Children's Books

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The Blabbermouth Blog

Literary Agent Linda Epstein's Yakkety Yakking

The Waiting

Turns out, it's not the hardest part.

%d bloggers like this: