Happy Book Birthday: A DIVE INTO THE BLUE Plus Giveaway

We’ve had quite a few cover reveals recently. And today, we get to celebrate the final step on the path to publication for a picture book…launch day! I’m so pleased and honored to sing Happy Book Birthday to Ellie Huynh’s debut picture book: A DIVE INTO THE BLUE, illustrated by the talented Bao Luu and published by Beaming Books! Ellie was kind enough to stop by to share the story behind the story and a bit about her writing journey. And she is also kind enough to share a copy of this beautiful book – for a chance to be the lucky winner, please make sure you leave a comment on the post.

ME: WELCOME, ELLIE! We are so happy you could stop by. Congratulations on your debut picture book, A DIVE INTO THE BLUE. I love it so much and I know that the story will help many children, not only those who may fear the water (as I did), but those who are overcoming other fears. Can you share with us why and how this book came to be?

ELLIE: Thank you so much for featuring my book, Vivian. It’s an honor to be here on your blog. And I’m so happy to share.
My journey to publication has been a whirlwind. I began taking craft classes through Journey to KidLit and Storyteller Academy in January 2021. Memorial Day Weekend, 2021, I sat down to sketch and instead wrote a poem about a childhood memory- learning to dive and the fear of the drain at the bottom of the pool. Out of that memory, A DIVE INTO THE BLUE was born. 

In A DIVE INTO THE BLUE, the drain at the bottom of the pool will swallow you up–at least that is what a small girl believes as she is learning to jump off the diving board. However, believing something and believing in something are two different things.  The girl must decide what she thinks to be true to take the plunge into the blue. 

The day after I wrote the story, I sent it off to Beaming Books editor, Elizabeth Schleisman, and in September she asked to take it to acquisitions.  A week later A DIVE INTO THE BLUE was acquired.  I am so grateful for the privilege of working with Beaming Books and the amazing illustrator Bao Lu

WOW! What a wonderful story, Ellie. It was our mutual friend, author Hanh Bui, who connected us – and I’m so glad she did. A DIVE INTO THE BLUE is only the first of what I know will be many wonderful books you will write.

And now, dear friends, here’s a little bit about Ellie:

Ellie Huynh grew up in a large family in sunny Southern California. In the third grade, Ellie wrote her first poem, and writing naturally became a daily practice, whether dreaming in her journal or penning poems and short stories.  In high school, she took English writing classes as electives and loved studying all kinds of literature, from Shakespeare and Chaucer to Amy Tan and Isabel Allende.  

Ellie graduated from the University of California, Riverside, as a Liberal Studies major with an emphasis in English.  She received a Dual Teaching Credential in Multiple Subjects and Mild-Moderate Special Education the following year.  

For many years Ellie focused on sacred writing, from prayers to poetry to devotionals.  She has been teaching kindergarten for over twenty years.  The children surrounding her each day (including her own) and the amazingly adorable things they say and do serve as her inspiration. Ellie’s poetry and stories reflect themes of friendship, perseverance, and wonder.  A DIVE INTO THE BLUE is her debut picture book and will be published by Beaming Books on May 23, 2023.

Besides writing, Ellie is passionate about creating art, mainly acrylic and watercolor painting.  She teaches art classes, has participated in art shows in her community, and enjoys creating with her children. Other hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Ellie is a member of SCBWI and Courage to Create. She lives in Southern California with her wonderfully wise husband and three beautiful and brilliant children.
To connect with Ellie:
Ellie Huynh | Facebook 
Her book can be purchased at independent bookstores everywhere as well as on Amazon and Bookshop.org.
Please consider reviewing it on Goodreads and Amazon.
And remember to ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

Thank you all for spending your precious time with us. Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win the giveaway copy from Ellie. Maybe you can share a time you overcame a childhood fear.

37 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: A DIVE INTO THE BLUE Plus Giveaway

      • This is really silly but when I was very young, I was afraid to go into the basement alone. There was a big wooden trunk there that my mother stored things in. But one of my brothers told me that a vampire lived in there and I believed him. I don’t remember why but at one point I had had enough and just opened the trunk during the day and realized it was full of stuff. It was such a relief.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I was about seven. I was playing at a friend’s house when there was a fire. When we had a fire drill at school a few weeks later I was really freaking out. My mom had to pick me up. I don’t remember what happened after that but I’m ok now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah! Yes, learning strategies to be brave is an important and timely Social Emotional Learning skill. It’s a topic that we discuss in my kindergarten class a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marty! This story is autobiographical. My fear as a four year old was also born out of a recurring dream about the ocean and I’m sure that is why I imagined the drain pulling me down into the deep.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I had this same exact fear as a child! Of the pool drain, specifically, and of diving into the diving pool with it lurking at the bottom. I’m sure many kids will be able to relate to this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes!! Me too. So many times at the end of the diving board, only to return and climb down. My first jump happened when the kid next in line said “hurry up” and startled me. Lol, I jumped!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How exciting, Ellie! Congratulations on your debut picture book. I love the wonderful message your story addresses. Being afraid of the drain at the bottom of the pool is so relatable for small children and addresses how to overcome fears.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous topic for a story. I am so excited to share it with my readers. After watching Jaws as a teenager, I struggled to get into the lake at my grandparents’ camp. Even though my brain told me there were no fresh water sharks, I could not get the scenes from the movie out of my mind. Thankfully I was able to overcome my fear, so I can enjoy swimming in lakes today.

    Liked by 1 person

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