KIRSTI CALL: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

KIRSTI CALL

I love relaying how I met each of our Will Write for Cookies guests – I think it shows what a close-knit kidlit community we have. As co-coordinator of ReFoReMo (Reading for Research Month), Kirsti was one of my first kidlit mentors. I loved participating in that challenge – it really helped me focus on the importance of using published picture books as mentor texts for my own writing. And I’m grateful to her and to Carrie Charlie Brown for creating such a helpful resource.

Kirsti Call is the co-host of the Picture Book Look Podcast and the co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She reads, reviews, revises and critiques every day as a 12×12 elf, a blogger for Writer’s Rumpus, and a member of critique groups. She’s judged the CYBILS award for fiction picture books since 2015. Kirsti’s picture book, MOOTILITA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee) debuts fall 2020. COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) release in 2021. Kirsti is represented by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency.

And I count myself fortunate to have connected with Kirsti in person…we’ve met at our regional NESCBWI conferences, as well as at other local book events. Plus, she generously invited me and Alleanna Harris to be the very first author-illustrator duo to be interviewed on her fabulous new undertaking: Picture Book Look Podcast.

ME: Howdy, Kirsti! I’m thrilled to have you visiting here today! And I know that everyone is excited to hear more about you and your writing journey – so let’s get to the Q&A.

Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

Kirsti: I absolutely loved Maurice Sendak’s quirky stories and his expressive illustrations. 

ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?

KIRSTI: I wish I had known how little I knew.  Haha.  But seriously. There’s so much that goes into the craft and business of children’s writing—I had no idea. I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed the journey and been less frustrated about the concrete results (or non-results) of my work.  I now know that I’m closer to creating exceptional books with each new day that passes.

ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?  

KIRSTI: I like to mix it up.  I write on paper and on my laptop.  I write inside and outside.  I just finished converting my sunroom into a writing studio! 

It’s the perfect place for creating. I have a desk and a papasan and windows that overlook a backyard teaming with birds and animals.  And of course I have a stream filled with frogs.  And children to enjoy all of it with me.

ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?

KIRSTI: Early mornings are my favorite time to write.  But in actuality, I write in the open spaces and the ten minutes crevices of time between kid interruptions.  Having five kids and my husband home full time makes for a chaotic (and fantastic!) household, so focused writing time is rare. 

ME: Why do you write for children?

KIRSTI: I write for children because I love them. I love how silly kids are, how they let curiosity lead them to learn, how easy it is for them to love other people, how kind and open hearted they are, how they soak up stories.

I write for children because reading has been one of favorite things for as long as I can remember.  I hope my words make children laugh and maybe even learn a little too.

ME: Kirsti…thank you so much. I love that you write for kids because…you love them! Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

KIRSTI: I sure do, Vivian

Failure lives in the neighborhood of success. 

The more rejections we get, the closer we are to getting those book contracts.

Just. Keep. Writing.

My first book came out 7 years ago.  It took me 5 years after that to get an agent.  And now I finally have another book coming out.  Persistence, baby!

Enjoy the journey.

There’s nothing better than putting words together in a way that will influence other people for the better!

Thank you so very much, dear Kirsti! We are all loving your insights…and I know you are sharing a great recipe with us – because when it comes to cookies…there is nothing better than putting great ingredients together!

KIRSTI: This has been so much fun, Vivian! And I sure do have a super yummy recipe for everyone.

WOWOWOWOW! Rice crispies in date balls…that is an amazing combination. Thank you so very much, Kirsti!

Hey, dear readers…I know we are all grateful to Kirsti for her thoughts and for the recipe…and please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of MOOTILLA’S BAD MOOD, written by Kirsti Call and Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Claudia Ranucci, and published by Little Bee Books.

If you’d like to check out the other stops on the book blog tour for MOOTILLA’S BAD MOOD, check this out:


August 17   The Story Behind the Story

August 19   Grog

August 24    Kidlit Oasis

August 28    deborahkalb.com

September 1    ReFoReMo

September 1    Picture Book Look Podcast

September 2  Future Bookworms

September 4  Perfect Picture Book Friday 

September 10  https://www.nancychurnin.com/

September 12  Will Writer For Cookies

September 15  Writer’s Rumpus

September 25 Mining for the Heart

And remember…the best way to help your favorite books success is to buy them if you can, review them on Amazon and other sites, share them with friends and on social media…and ask your local library to purchase them for their collections.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend…and please swing by next week for more Picture Book awesomeness when we feature NO VOICE TOO SMALL and authors Jeanette Bradley, Keila Dawson, and Lindsay Metcalf.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: COUNTING ELEPHANTS Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

Today’s book is written by one of my favorite kidlit people. I met Dawn Young back in 2015 when she created a super cool video for Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo (a rhyming challenge now called Rhyme Revolution). And now she has several picture books – and here is her newest that launched in March.

COUNTING ELEPHANTS

Written by Dawn Young

Illustrated by Fermin Solis

Published by Running Press Kids

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Counting book,

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Math + Magic = chaos. A zany book about counting elephants before they disappear!

Our poor counter just wants to count her ten elephants, but – POOF! – her magician friend is making it impossible. Ten, nine, eight… each time we get back to counting, one of the elephants has been changed into something unexpected. Puppies, frogs, peanut butter and jelly, and, of course, a rabbit and a hat appear and disappear in this funny, fast-paced story.

Why I love this book:

  1. Filled with humor – kids will love the funny interaction between the kid who is counting elephants and the magician who keeps changing the number of elephants by turning them into something else.
  2. Love the illustrations!
  3. Great STEM element with the math.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Photo courtesy: https://artsycraftsymom.com/20-enormously-cute-elephant-crafts-for-kids/

Look at all of these awesome elephant craft activities. For details, click on this link: https://artsycraftsymom.com/20-enormously-cute-elephant-crafts-for-kids/

And if you need a smile…and a chance to get up and exercise, here is that super cool video Dawn did:

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of COUNTING ELEPHANTS. 

And don’t forget that our favorite authors need our support. If you can, purchase a copy. If you read the book, please review it. If you love it, please tell your friends about it and ask your library to purchase copies for their collection.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend…and please stop by tomorrow for Will Write for Cookies when Kirsti Call visits to chat about her writing journey and her newest picture book: MOOTILLA’S BAD MOOD.

Happy Book Birthday: BESS THE BARN STANDS STRONG Plus Double Book Giveaway

Hello dear friends! I hope you all had a lovely long Labor Day weekend and are well-rested – you are going to need to sing a strong Happy Book Birthday for this wonderful new picture book by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia: BESS THE BARN STANDS STRONG.

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday, dear BESS THE BARN! Happy Birthday to you!

BESS THE BARN STANDS STRONG

Written by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia

Illustrated by Katie Hickey

Published by Page Street Kids (TODAY! September 8, 2020)

Here’s a little bit about the book from the Amazon sales page:

A steadfast old barn shows she’s sturdy enough to save the day.

Beam by beam and board by board, Bess the barn is built by able hands to keep the farm’s animals safe and sound. Through many seasons and celebrations, that’s just what she does, until she starts to sag…and creak…and slump. Then new everything comes along: a new farmer and a shiny new barn. A mean storm arrives not far behind, putting both barns to a dangerous test―can old Bess weather this threat to the farm?

Bess opens her doors wide, welcoming all to celebrate the year-round ups and downs of farm life and admire the enduring strength and importance of something made to last.

And here’s an early STARRED review from BookPage:

“A true storyteller, Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia gives Bess life with literary gilding; there’s repetition, imagery, personification and more. The prose flows, poetic and brusque by turns, as the finely wrought story oh-so-delicately addresses the concept of passing on… Bess the Barn Stands Strong reminds us that love shelters us through all storms. – BookPage, starred review

And here’s a link to the author’s website and a post about how the story came to be.

I love this story! And I love that, even with the health crisis and the crazy world we are living in, authors, illustrators, and editors are committed to continuing to create beautiful books. Please remember that we can all contribute to the success of books we love by buying them, reviewing them ,telling friends about them, and asking our local libraries to add them to their collections.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway if you’d like a chance to win a copy…author Elizabeth is generously offering TWO copies…so we will have TWO WINNERS! Why not share a time when you had to stand strong?

I hope you all have a wonderful week…and be sure to return on Friday and Saturday when we will be featuring two more brand-new picture books.