Light the candles on the cake! And get ready to sing Happy Birthday to a beautiful new book that launches today!!
This is a wonderful book that empowers girls, encourages kindness, and sparks curiosity about our world. And if you stick around for the entire post, you can leave a comment and be entered into a giveaway for a copy of FINDING BEAUTY.
Synopsis from the publisher, Beaming Books:
You are beautiful from the top of your head to the tip of your toes–but beauty is far more than something you can have. It’s also something you have to find. In other people. In nature. In acts of kindness. In math, and art, and music, and sports.
In this beautiful inspirational book for girls, author-illustrator Talitha Shipman turns the concept of beauty inside out, transforming girls into beauty-seeking adventurers charging out into the world with confidence and ambition to find beauty and make beauty wherever they go!
I know we are always curious as to how manuscripts get in front of editors…and how the process unfolds. I was especially thrilled to get a chance to chat with Talitha Shipman about her journey with this book which is her author/illustrator debut.
“Finding Beauty’s publication was the result of a Twitter pitch, but it almost didn’t happen! For those unfamiliar with Twitter pitches, you share a short blurb about your story in a Twitter post. If an editor or agent wants to hear more, they will “heart” your post. I pitched the idea and got a heart from Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books. I shared the manuscript with them. Andrew DeYoung responded that although they liked the concept, they weren’t interested in the story in its current form, and he suggested some edits. Then he hired me to illustrate another book titled On Your Way by John Coy. Honestly, I forgot about Andrew’s comments because I was busy working on the art for On Your Way. When Andrew followed up on Finding Beauty, I was surprised. I thought it was dead in the water. Looking back, I should have realized that an editor who sends detailed revision notes probably wants to see the manuscript again! I went back and edited the manuscript, and the next thing I knew, I had a book deal; my first author/illustrator title! I wrote for ten years before Finding Beauty. There were so many times I wanted to give up on writing, but something deep inside me (my muse, faith, my stubborn streak) kept pushing me past all the doubt and frustration! I continue to work on my writing skills and I still have so much to learn! I’m also very thankful for the folks at Beaming for connecting with the heart of this story, and for emailing me back after I shelved the manuscript!
To have Finding Beauty accomplish my author/illustrator goal is very special. This book is written to my daughter (and all girls) who find themselves surrounded by a concept of beauty that is often toxic and limiting. The message I see over and over again is this: it’s all about you! Women are still judged by impossibly high standards. You have to be the prettiest, the smartest, the strongest, to make it in a world where odds are stacked against you. We should fight these unrealistic standards, and we’re making progress, but the fight is exhausting! I wanted to find a healthier way to approach the concept of beauty. I realized that when I’m focused intently on something or someone else, I can let worry and self-imposed obligation go. I can gaze up at a starry sky or observe delicate frost patterns on a car window. This outward focus can recharge us if we access it on a regular basis. I want my daughter to become a keen observer of what is good and beautiful in the world so she can find sources of unexpected beauty in her own life to inspire and renew.”
Those are inspirational words!!! Thank you so much, Talitha! I hope everyone will check out this lovely book. If you are able to buy it, please do. Tell your friends about it. Ask your library to order copies. Remember, reviews are so very important to the success of a book. And don’t forget to leave a comment – that is your raffle ticket for the giveaway. If you want more raffle tickets, please share on social media…tweet, share on FB, Pinterest, Instagram.
I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. Please don’t miss coming back for the post on Thursday, February 11…when I celebrate National Inventors Day (well, I did write a book about nine inventors, right?) with a heads-up announcement of some of the prizes that are being offered for the #50PreciousWords International Writing Contest…oh yes…it’s almost time (March 2-7). I’ll share the guidelines and more! So, sharpen your pencils, my friends.