Happy Book Birthday: SOMETHING WILD Plus Giveaway

Hip Hip Hooray! It’s time to welcome another beautiful book to the world!

Written and Illustrated by Molly Ruttan – Published by Nancy Paulsen Books – February 28, 2023

Does this book cover look a bit familiar? Maybe you remember the cover reveal back in September of 2022. And now it’s time for SOMETHING WILD to kick up a ruckus in bookstores! Why not hop over to your local indie and see if it’s there?

Here’s a little bit about the book from the Amazon sales page:
Performance jitters lead to some imaginative what ifs before a little girl finds her confidence.

Hannah loves to play her violin—as long as no one is watching. On the day of the recital, she’s wishing something wild would happen so she won’t have to go. Perhaps a dolphin will jump out of the fountain and carry her away, or a giant rabbit will abscond with her violin. Hannah’s big imagination dreams up all kinds of entertaining scenarios that could change the course of her day, but what actually happens is the most amazing of all!
Children and grown-ups alike will relate to Hannah’s stage fright and get a laugh out of all her wishful thinking. Most importantly, they will be right there beside her on recital day when something wild—and beautiful—happens. 

I know we can all relate to performance jitters…it happens every time I have a presentation – but as soon as I start sharing about my passion for writing, I feel much better. I’m sure that many children will relate to this as well.

And guess what? Molly stopped by to chat a bit about her path to publication for this book. It’s really helpful to all of us who are on this writing journey to hear the behind the scenes stories and the inspiration for a manuscript.

Piece from the original “Violin Sequence” I created for a class assignment. ©2023 Molly Ruttan

MOLLY: A fun note about creating Something Wild: Something Wild’s beginnings are from a sequence of illustrations I created in a class taught by Marla Frazee, back when I was pre-published. When our class was given the task to illustrate a sequence, I was inspired to illustrate something I had recently been experiencing. I painted a short narrative of a girl who was afraid to perform in a recital, but when she took the stage and remembered how much she loved to play, the world around her transformed into something wild and beautiful. When I completed the assignment, I was excited by the idea that it was the start of a book! It took me several years to figure out that it was the end of a book!

Interior spreads from Something Wild, written and illustrated by Molly Ruttan. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Random House ©2023.

And here’s a little bit about Molly:
Molly Ruttan is an author/illustrator of children’s books. She grew up making art and music in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and earned a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art. Molly now lives in the diverse and historic neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles, where her family has recently grown with the joyful addition of a granddaughter. She played violin as a child, and now plays drums, sings in a community choir and has just started the viola. She loves exploring all kinds of fine art and illustration mediums, including making her own animated book trailers. Her life is full of art, music, family, friends and all kinds of pets and urban animals.

Molly’s titles include her author/illustrator debut, The Stray, (Nancy Paulsen Books); I Am A Thief! by Abigail Rayner, (North South Books); and Violet and the Crumbs: A Gluten-Free Adventure by Abigail Rayner (North South Books). Something Wild is Molly’s second author/illustrated book and has received a starred Kirkus review. She has two additional books forthcoming.

And here’s an awesome book trailer for SOMETHING WILD

Molly is represented by Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency, www.prospectagency.com. Find her online at www.mollyruttan.com; https://linktr.ee/mollyruttan

If you would like a signed copy of the book, order from Molly’s local bookstore:


Remember, Molly is generously offering a copy of SOMETHING WILD as a giveaway – one lucky person will win the book and a bunch of book swag! Please make sure you leave a comment. Maybe you can share if you were ever nervous about a recital or performance as a child or as an adult. And please share the post on social media…that helps spread the word about books that are launching!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Tomorrow we have another Book Birthday…for BUTTERNUT AND BUTTERCUP by Jill Dana – and then on Friday, #50PreciousWords opens!

33 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: SOMETHING WILD Plus Giveaway

  1. Wonderful! This is beautiful, Molly, and just right! Even in grade school, at least ours, my grands have music concerts and most of them get to speak up into a microphone to announce something. Wow! I remember being so nervous to even SING in the whole group at a concert! The teacher told us to not lock our knees so we didn’t pass out. That is something I’ve always remembered! Congrats and best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can so relate to pre-performance jitters! I grew up performing in choirs, orchestras and other ensembles, but whenever I had to step out on my own, I was terrified. Then afterwards, I was so elated! I am looking forward to reading this book and giving it to the kids in my life. Everyone has to perform at some point and it’s important to understand the dynamics of stage fright and getting past it. I love your illustration style, too. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This book sounds amazing! Music and performance has been an important part of my life, and now my daughter plays violin. She’s going to love this book! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This book looks wonderful, and I look forward to chatting with Molly on PBJamz soon! 🙂 I performed in chorus, theater and band, so I know a thing or two about performance jitters, but also the feeling of the transformation into something wild and beautiful. Now I get to teach my K-2 students the same with every performance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Molly, I love your illustrations and the idea of being transported by doing something you love. Having experienced butterflies as a kid, both at dance recitals and later doing debate, and as a mom, watching her daughter play piano, I can totally relate to this. Can’t wait to read this one. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

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