Ariel Bernstein: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway


Plate of Cookies






I met Ariel a couple of years ago while participating in many of the kidlitland writing challenges. Then, when my debut picture book was scheduled to launch this year, I joined PICTURE THE BOOKS 2017, the group founded by Ariel, Katey Howes and Julie Segal Waters.  And even when my book got pushed, they let me stay in the group…which just goes to show you what an awesome person Ariel is.

Ariel Bernstein is a children’s book author. Her debut picture book, I HAVE A BALLOON, illustrated by Scott Magoon, releases Sept. 26, 2017. Her chapter book series, WARREN AND DRAGON, illustrated by Mike Malbrough, will be published Summer 2018.

Ariel, I’m thrilled to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar.

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

ARIEL: My parents had a book of Russian folk tales that I read and reread many times. I thought that Baba Yaga was the creepiest villain and it felt kinda crazy that she was allowed to be in a children’s book, which made the stories all the more enticing. The illustrations, by Ivan Bilibin, are incredible.

baba yaga.jpg

And I loved Beverly Cleary’s RAMONA books. Ramona was also a younger sister, so I felt like I was seeing myself in some of those situations. I appreciated that she was a relatable kid in so many ways – she didn’t always do or say the right thing, but she always felt real.


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

ARIEL: When I first started writing, I heard a lot about writers who write every day, no matter what. So I thought I needed to do that. I ended up getting burnt out and not enjoying the process at times. I realized it’s 100% fine to take a break and then go back to writing. Every writer works differently. For some, it really does help to write every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. For me, breaks help me to write with a clearer mind and more creative energy.

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

ARIEL: I like to write on my laptop while inside, usually in my living room. I often think of my best ideas while walking though, so I’ll take my phone and every once in a while I’ll have to stop to write something quickly in the notes, otherwise I’ll forget it by the end of the walk!


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

ARIEL: I try to get most of my writing done in the morning or early afternoon during the week before getting my kids from school. I wish I was one of those writers that can grab 10 minutes here or there to write, but I need a big block of time to devote to writing.

ME: Why do you write for children?

ARIEL: I love reading books when you can practically hear the narrator dictating the words aloud, such as stories by David Sedaris. With picture books and chapter books, they actually do get read out loud by parents, teachers, librarians, and beginning readers. So it’s fun to write them knowing the reader will often get the experience of hearing the voice and tone interpreted by whoever is reading it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, ARIEL! I loved getting to know you a little better…I can’t believe that Baba Yaga was your go-to book when you were young…MINE, TOO!!!!

Dear friends, Ariel is generously offering a giveaway of a copy of I HAVE A BALLOON. Please leave a comment here or on yesterday’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review of the book. Her book is available for preorder on Amazon or at Indie bookstores everywhere…and remember…a review on Amazon or Goodreads is a gift of love for your favorite books.

book cover

You can find more about Ariel at, and on Twitter and Instagram @ArielBBooks.

And now…drum roll please! Time for Ariel’s favorite cookie recipe!

Super Chocolate-y Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 300


1/2 lb butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 TBS milk

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 3/4 cups oatmeal

2 cups ground walnuts (optional)

2 packagas chocolate chips


Melt the butter

Beat together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar

Add the mixture to milk, eggs, and vanilla. Beat together.

Add and beat together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Stir in oatmeal, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

Cool the batter for two hours.

Bake for 20 minutes (or until done).

YUM…those sound

This past week has been a nightmare for many in Texas and surrounding areas. Please keep them in your prayers and help in any way you can. Many kidliters are banding together to raise money. The fabulous Kate Messner has a KIDLITCARES auction going on with fantastic items like critiques and more: KidLitCares Hurricane Harvey relief effort

Thank you for spending some of your precious time here, dear friends…we’ve got several treats in store next week when PENNY PARKER KLOSTERMANN is in the house…and then a dynamic duo Q&A over the weekend with author NANCY CHURNIN  and illustrator DANNY POPOVICI.



About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on September 2, 2017, in Cookie recipe, Uncategorized, Will Write for Cookies - Author/Illustrator interviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Lovely to hear Ariel say that writing is different for everyone and that you need to find what works for you. Nice to find out a little more about Ariel and her book. Thanks for a lovely interview, Vivian.


  2. katrinamoorebooks

    Loved reading this. Great interview, Vivian and Ariel! :-). Must try this recipe now!


  3. Thanks Vivian and Ariel for the great interview. Congratulations and much success for “I Have A Balloon”!


  4. Love the insight into the writing process, Ariel. While I’d love to say that I write everyday, the reality is that this isn’t possible for me and, I’d guess, for many of us. Thanks for sharing that success is possible even when you don’t follow every “rule.” Look forward to I Have a Balloon soon!


  5. Thanks for sharing your writing journey!!! ENCOURAGING!!


  6. How inspriring! My best thinking occurs while I walk, too. And I have to jot it down before I forget. But the difference is that it goes on a to do list. We can’t wait to read your books. Andrew has not forgotten about a certain dragon and a certain treat.


  7. Great interview and your PB looks adorable. Congratulations Ariel! Thanks for your insight on your writing life.


  8. Fun, fun, fun! This books looks like a winner! I also need to have a chunk of time to write…though I’m quick to jot down notes all the time. What a mess! Congratulations and thanks for the cookie recipe! Mmmm


  9. Thanks so much, Ariel! I can’t wait to read your book!


  10. mariagianferrari

    Your book sounds wonderful! Congrats, Ariel! I love the cover art!

    And the recipe looks delicious too. I’ll try it w/o walnuts 🙂


  11. As much as I absolutely adore Ariel, I realized I didn’t know her as well as I would like so I really enjoyed this interview of her! I’m so thrilled for her writing success and hope to meet her one day in person. Thanks for the yummy sounding cookie recipe, too! (I just bought 5 lbs of chocolate chips at Costco so am looking for many recipes to use them in. LOL!)


  12. Congratulations, Ariel. Looking forward to reading your debut books! Nice to know someone else who works better when you can take a break now and then!


  13. Congratulations on your debut! Thank you for taking the time to give us some insight into your writing and love of books. And the recipe will definitely be tried here!


  14. Thanks for a great interview, Vivian and Ariel! I love the Ramona books too! I can’t wait to read I HAVE A BALLOON! And your chapter book series too! So happy for you!!


  15. Everyone, everywhere is going to love I HAVE A BALLOON. I think this book is destined to become a classic. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person :-). Congratulations, Ariel and Scott!


  16. Loved the interview. Thanks for a peek ointo your writing life Ariel!


  17. Yay Ariel! Great interview, though it left me curious if the fish provide any assistance with your writing or just totally stare at you nonstop:)


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 about children's books!

Mary Jo Beswick

Artist - Children's Book 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: