Cover Reveal: BRAINSTORM! Plus Giveaway

Revealing the cover of a picture book is like when the curtain is lifted off an important piece of art at a museum. We get a peek at the creative process that has been ongoing for a year or more with input from editor, art director, and perhaps even the author. We gaze at the brilliance that teamwork generates.

WOW! Pretty awesome, right?
And there’s another WOW because the author and her publisher are offering a GIVEAWAY…one lucky winner will receive a copy of BRAINSTORM when it launches July! Make sure you leave a comment and share/tag friends on social media to be entered…more details at the end of the post.

Book Title: Brainstorm!
Written by: Rebecca Gardyn Levington
Illustrated by: Kate Kronreif
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Pres
Release date: July 15, 2022

And hurray! We are so lucky because author Rebecca was kind enough to stop by to share a bit about her book and also the story behind the story and the path to publication – and I know we all love to hear how books came to be!

ME: Welcome, Rebecca!

REBECCA: Hurray right back, Vivian. I’m so glad to be here.
My debut Brainstorm! is a rhyming concept picture book that begins with a little girl sitting in a classroom, frustrated because she can’t think of anything to write about. (Hmm, sound familiar?) As she stares at the storm brewing outside – kerplink! – a tiny thought falls from the sky. The girl gradually finds herself surrounded by a whirlwind of words, pictures, and ideas swirling all around her, as she eventually becomes caught up in a happy downpour of her own creativity.

Brainstorm! is targeted to children in grades K-3, who are beginning to learn how to shape and sharpen their idea-generation and storytelling skills. It includes writing prompts and a glossary that parents and educators can use to encourage kids to have fun playing with their new ideas.

ME: Where did the idea for Brainstorm! come from? 

REBECCA: One rainy October day, much like the little girl in my story, I had a terrible case of writer’s block. I was doing my best to keep my B.I.C. (“Butt In Chair”), but my brain felt like the weather — cloudy, gloomy and gray. Instead of staring at the blank page, I found myself looking at the rain outside my window when I felt the drop of an idea…

What if…

 IDEAS poured down from the sky?… Like a…

…rain storm?…

No! Wait!

Like a….

                                    BRAINstorm!

I immediately began writing what I originally thought would remain a short little poem. But over the next months, I kept coming back to it and tinkering. I kept adding more and more to the storm on the page – VERB clouds filling the sky, ADJECTIVES swirling around, funny PHRASES and wacky WORDS falling down in a torrential downpour. I was having so much fun getting drenched by this magical storm of ideas along with my MC. Before I knew it, I had a fully formed first draft!

Kate Kronreif did an incredible job with what I realize now was an extremely difficult manuscript to illustrate. I mean, how does someone illustrate a line like: “An easy breeze becomes a blast/of funny phrases flying past?” Thank goodness Kate and my editor, Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press, totally understood my vision and really took it to the next level.

I hope this book inspires all writers to embrace their creative storms and have FUN stomping around in their puddles of possibility!

Vivian, thank you again for hosting the cover reveal of Brainstorm! I am beyond grateful for all your generosity and support over the years and I can’t wait to share the rest of Brainstorm! with everyone on July 15, 2022 !

And good luck to everyone entering #50PreciousWords!

ME: Thank you so much, Rebecca! I loved everything that you shared!


And dear readers, we all know that books need support…please help authors and illustrators spread the word about their books. Here’s a few specific things Rebecca suggests you can do for BRAINSTORM!

Brainstorm! is available NOW for pre-order wherever books are sold.

And please addit to your “To Be Read” shelf on GoodReads too!

Here are some links! (Thank you in advance for your support!)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Brainstorm-Rebecca-Gardyn-Levington/dp/1534111484/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brainstorm-rebecca-gardyn-levington/1140898205?ean=9781534111486

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/brainstorm-9781534111486/9781534111486

Indibound.org: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781534111486

Target: https://www.target.com/p/brainstorm-by-rebecca-gardyn-levington-hardcover/-/A-85893568

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60485305-brainstorm?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=VwXMLtsbXh&rank=2

Here’s a little bit more about Rebecca:

Rebecca Gardyn Levington is a children’s book author, journalist, and poet with a particular penchant for penning both playful and poignant picture books and poems — primarily in rhyme.

Her debut picture book Brainstorm! (Sleeping Bear Press, 2022) hits bookshelves this summer. She has four more rhyming picture books releasing in the next two years, including the inspirational I Will Always Be… (HarperCollins, 2024).

Rebecca’s poems have been or are scheduled to be published in Spider Magazine, Highlights High Five, The Caterpillar, Countdown/The School Magazine, and Honeycake: The Jewish Magazine for Creative Kids as well as in the anthologies Hop To It: Poems To Get You Moving, Imperfect II: Poems About Perspective, An Anthology for Middle Schoolers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Cats.

Rebecca has a master’s degree in magazine journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a specialization in business administration from UCLA. In her life B.C. (“Before Children”), she was a freelance journalist who wrote and edited feature stories for numerous national magazines and newspapers.

Rebecca lives in the suburban jungles of New Jersey with her husband and two boisterous boys. She is represented by Kaitlyn Sanchez at Context Literary. To learn more, visit www.RebeccaGardynLevington.com and follow her on Twitter at @WriterRebeccaGL.

And here’s a little bit about illustrator Kate Kronreif:
Kate Kronreif is a British illustrator specializing in picture books. She studied fine art in the UK many moons ago before working in London and New York as a graphic designer. She now lives in Vienna, Austria with her family. To learn more about Kate, visit www.katekronreif.com

Please remember to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of BRAINSTORM. And please share the post on social media, that helps spread the word about the book and increases the number of people who will pre-order the book. When you share on social media, please tag one or two friends who should know about this book for their kids. And maybe someone who enters #50PreciousWords will order this book for the literacy initiative. That would be awesome!

I have a feeling I don’t need to say much about why everyone needs to pop back here tomorrow. It’s the start of #50PreciousWords! Along with a fabulous team of judges, I’m ready to read all of your precious words!

60 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: BRAINSTORM! Plus Giveaway

  1. I love reading about your inspiration for this story! And what a beautiful cover! I have added it to my Amazon list, and can’t wait to read it. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  2. What an amazing concept for a book. I am an elementary school librarian and I have begun teaching my students the process of writing. We were just discussing how hard it can be to brainstorm. Thank you for this “novel” book.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Shannon! I’m thrilled to hear that you might be able to use my book in your school. I really hope this will get kids excited about playing with their ideas and not be afraid to just let their brains wander!

      Like

  3. Some days I know exactly how Rebecca’s MC feels! What a wonderful concept to help young kids learn to use their ideas and words to make stories!

    Like

  4. Wow, totally awesome! I love your idea and can’t wait to read your new book! Sounds perfect for people who are stuck, I mean young readers who are stuck getting ideas! (not me, heh-heh). 🙂

    Like

  5. I literally just thought this morning, after a conversation with my 6-yr old, how ‘Brainstorm’ would be a great title for a children’s book! It sounds brilliant and I can’t wait to check it out : )

    Like

  6. Congratulations, Rebecca! As a person who struggled coming up with ideas and writing in general as a child, this will be such a great guide for kids. I can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  7. I cannot wait to read this. What a helpful guide for little new writers. Reminds me of the first story I remember writing. Well, I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember it was first grade and we were to find a picture from a magazine and write a story. I picked a kid with a pencil and a blank piece of paper. Never thought about now, but that was the start of the journey. I always remember that memory very fondly. Now I know why!

    Like

  8. Thank you all for your amazing comments! I’m overwhelmed and so grateful! My computer keeps glitching out so I can’t respond to all of you individually, but I truly appreciate your support and can’t wait to share BRAINSTORM! with you in July! 🙂 xoxo

    Like

  9. What a terrifically perfect idea! I am excited to read and see it all for myself. Congratulations on all of your successes. It looks like your personal brainstorms have helped you reap quite a harvest!

    Like

  10. This book is original and will be liked by kids, parents and teachers. I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait to see the wonderful illustrations. The cover looks amazing. Super Congratulations!

    Like

  11. So clever, original and FUN! Can hardly wait to read it and check out the illustrations! Congratulations on BRAINSTORM’s upcoming book birthday!

    Like

  12. My favorite children’s picture books are written in rhyme. I look forward to reading yours. I love the back story… and I love your acronym for sticking to it! BIC…lol; I am going to remember that!

    Like

  13. Oh my goodness what a fantastic book for kid writers and teachers! This looks fabulous for K-3 who will love it. Although, I just finished teaching a long term substitute job for creative writing in 7th grade and I think it would be totally useful to them too. I personally can’t wait to review the whole story and use it in my substitute teaching bag! Bravo!!! – for Brainstorm!

    Like

  14. REBECCA: OH, I SO LOVE how your own BRAINSTORM created this BRAINSTORM! You and Kate have TRULY CAPTURED the HEART and SOUL of CREATING! THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION and ENCOURAGEMENT to “embrace [our] creative storms and have FUN stomping around in [our] puddles of possibility!” BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Like

  15. Pingback: The cover for BRAINSTORM! is finally here!!! - Rebecca Gardy Levington

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