Welcome all! It’s been a busy month, for sure! Writers writing! Judges reading! And an entire kid-lit community supporting with encouraging comments. To me, the thread of almost 11,000 positive comments is probably what I love most about the contest. Well…perhaps the 770 fabulous stories and the courage of their authors are what I love the most. And honestly, I’m pretty fond of my five assistant judges who read all of the stories and commented on them. It was only when the sheer number of comments broke the Linky List that I instructed them not to comment, but to concentrate on reading because the blog was taking so long to load after each comment.
Please put away the scale…it’s time for CAKE and Candles and a big
HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY for…
First of all…just look at that cover! Doesn’t it make you smile? And want to dance and move?
Plus, it’s a special type of picture book…it’s a SHAKER BOOK! Yes, kids can actually shake it and interact with it.
And the author, Melanie Ellsworth, stopped by to share a few words with us also about her path to publication with this book.
ME: Welcome, Melanie. I’m so happy you were able to swing by to chat!:
MELANIE: Thanks for having me on your blog, Vivian! I’m glad to celebrate CLARINET AND TRUMPET’s book birthday with you and your readers. CLARINET AND TRUMPET is one of those books that comes from “writing what you know.” I often lean towards “write what interests you” or “write what brings you joy/makes you laugh out loud,” and luckily, this book hit all those notes for me! I have vivid childhood memories from band days in elementary school. As a clarinetist, I sat right in front of the trumpet section, which I strongly suspect enjoyed out-blasting the woodwinds. That friendly rivalry between brass and woodwinds carried on through high school, but eventually we changed our tune. We all came to understand that we were there for the music. Sure, it was fun to have a solo in our section, but it was even better when the music swelled from all the sections in the band. In CLARINET AND TRUMPET, I wanted to highlight the beauty and importance of each instrument (and individual!) but also the joy of coming together as a community for a purpose. There’s a special instrument – who shall remain secret – who helps bring Clarinet and Trumpet back to the music and to friendship. (And here’s another secret – that instrument was not part of my original manuscript.) Illustrator John Herzog did an amazing job breathing life into the instruments; you can feel all their emotions as you read the story.
ME: Truly…I can feel it just from the cover…there’s a lot of joy that emanates from that illustration!
Synopsis:Clarinet and Trumpet have a pitch perfect friendship. But when Oboe convinces Clarinet that woodwinds should stick together, Clarinet and Trumpet’s harmonious relationship falls flat. Woodwinds and Brass face off – until music brings them back together. With pun-filled text and emotive illustrations, CLARINET AND TRUMPET honors the important role music plays in creating community.
Starred review from School Library Journal:
“K-Gr 4–A lyrical tour de force about individuality, friendship, and community, this humorous picture book highlights such values through musical instruments, showing how even small fractures can become deep divisions… A timely book that gently explores issues of similarity and difference, of holding on to one’s individuality while also recognizing the importance of others, this is a first purchase for all libraries.” (https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=clarinet-and-trumpet)
“Music aficionados and pun aficionados alike will appreciate the many musical puns interspersed throughout the text.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
WOW…those are awesome reviews! And we are so fortunate because Melanie and her publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, are offering a copy of the book as a giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment…and of course, sharing the post on social media to spread the word is always appreciated – and rewarded by extra tickets in the giveaway hat.
If you don’t want to wait to see if you will be the lucky winner, CLARINET AND TRUMPET launched TODAY…so you can purchase it, review it, put it on your Goodreads Want-to-Read list, ask your local library to buy copies for their shelves, and tell friends about it.
And please come back tomorrow – that’s when I will be posting the #50PreciousWords Winners.
My sister used to call me Pollyanna because I always found something to be glad about. Our recent health crisis has negatively impacted so many people – and perhaps you might feel that there couldn’t be anything positive. But just about a year ago, I got to connect with two amazing kid-lit people, author and editor Helen Wu and author/illustrator Songju Daemicke when I hosted them for a Will Write for Cookies post to share about their book on Covid-19. So, when I discovered that Songju has an amazing nonfiction picture book launching later this year, I knew I’d want to tell the world about it. And guess what?