Not too tired from celebrating over the 4th of July weekend I hope because we definitely need to be cheering for this brand new picture book from the awesome Sandy Brehl. And Sandy, being the awesome person that she is, put together a super special giveaway – a copy of this beautiful new book AND a stuffed animal! Make sure you leave a comment, share the post of social media, and follow Sandy’s blogs.
Here’s a bit about the book from the Amazon synopsis:
When storms send you running for cover,
be brave, look up. Find a story in the storm
to calm your fears and you just might help
someone you love.
IS IT OVER? celebrates the power of love and storytelling to overcome fear. A prowling, growling thunder storm sends Risa running to Daddy to make it stop. When the storm worsens, Risa wants a story. His childhood storm stories changed while he was a soldier, so they aren’t helpful. Inspired by her toy elephant, Ivan, Risa summons the courage to find her own story in the storm, one that helps them both.
Doesn’t that sound like a book so many kids need to hear? In fact, there are times when all of us search for our courage, right?
And I’ve got a book birthday surprise for you…author Sandy and illustrator Rebecca stopped by to chat and share a bit of the back story of how and why they created this story.
SANDY: I dedicated this book to my niece, now an impressively competent adult and mother of two. As a child, though, she was terrified of thunderstorms. Little Andrea’s panic, and the trembling anxiety I’ve observed in kids of many ages, led me to write about overcoming storm fears through storytelling. One storm-story says that people in heaven are enjoying a fireworks show. Well, I’ve known small children and had pets (of many sizes) that trembled in terror during Fourth of July noises. That was NOT the storm story I would use. I needed story based on strength, but also comforting.
It took years of revision and re-visioning of the manuscript to focus on love and empathy to instill courage, to empower a child to look into the storm, imagining a personal story to soothe themselves and others. The daddy-daughter relationship and subtle suggestion of a fearful parent emerged over time. Throughout countless changes, though, my dedication remained the same.
REBECCA: I was honored when Sandy emailed me last August and asked if I’d be interested in illustrating this book. Working on this project was a bright spot in a difficult and uncertain year, and I am truly grateful to have been a part of it. An early challenge came during the character development. I knew I wanted the readers to understand Daddy was a veteran, but I wanted them to come to that realization along the way. So I did a bit of research online and decided to give the character a prosthetic leg. It tells us why Daddy has a difficult time with loud noises without him ever having to mention it.
This spread is my favorite from the book. It is one of those rare pieces that comes out on paper (or in this case, digitally on screen) exactly the way it was in my head. I knew when I pictured this image that I would be able to illustrate this story.
Sandy Brehl is a retired elementary educator and active member of SCBWI. She lives in the Milwaukee area and is the author of the ODIN’S PROMISE, a WWII resistance trilogy for middle grade and older. She shares news, reviews, and interviews at AN OPEN BOOK tab on her website. She features picture books at Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books and Good reads.
Book reviews, sales links, and teaching resources are available on her website: www.sandybrehl.com
Rebecca Hirsch is a picture book author and illustrator. She strives to capture the magic and the playfulness of childhood in her work. She is an active member of the Wisconsin chapter of SCBWI. She lives with her husband and children in Waukesha, WI. She came in Second Runner-up in the 2017 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Illustration contest. Her illustration received the “People’s Choice” award at the SCBWI Marvelous Midwest Conference May, 2019. As of 2021, Rebecca is the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI-WI. She can be found online at www.rhirschillustration.com or on Instagram as rhirchillus.
Thank you so much, ladies! And I hope every will enter this fabulous giveaway and share the post on social media and follow these talented creators on their blogs and buy their books and review them and ask their local libraries to purchase copies for the collection….because that is how we help authors and illustrators to keep on writing and drawing.
I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week…and please come back on Friday for another fabulous new book, MY SCHOOL STINKS by Becky Scharnhorst…and on Saturday when Kristen Nordstrom shares insights into how her newest book, MIMIC MAKERS: BIOMIMICRY INVENTORS INSPIRED BY NATURE, came about…and so much more on Will Write for Cookies.