Happy Book Birthday: CHOWDER RULES: The True Story of an Epic Food Fight

No candles on the cake for this birthday celebration! Oh no! We’re going to have yummy bowls of soup…CHOWDER, that is!

I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK! It’s written by one of my favorite authors (and critique buddies) Anna Crowley Redding, published by Islandport Press and illustrated by Vita Lane. I remember seeing this story when it was just a rough draft…that’s always such a thrill to see a manuscript become a real book!

Here’s a little snippet from Amazon to give you an idea of what the book is about:

Maine lawmaker Cleveland Sleeper loved steamy, creamy, dreamy clam chowder. Thoughts of tomatoes in his chowder made him see red. So he proposed a bill to make it a crime to add tomatoes to clam chowder. New Yorkers were offended! A war of words raged, until finally a duel of chefs settled the matter once and for all. The story behind the great chowder cook-off of 1939 is told by author Anna Redding with gusto, humor, and, of course, good taste.

And we are sooooo lucky because Anna found time in her busy (very busy – she has a Zoom book launch tonight that I hope everyone will attend – here is the link you’ll need to register: https://www.printbookstore.com/event/redding1020 Registration is free and easy-peasy!) schedule to stop by and and chat with us.

ME: Anna, welcome to Picture Books Help Kids Soar! I know you don’t have much time, but could you tell us something funny about the path to publication for this book?

ANNA:
One of things that cracks me up about this book is what happens when I talk about it to other people. Usually when you mention you write books, people want to know what it’s like, what the process is, etc. As soon as I mention CHOWDER RULES! is a story about whether tomatoes should be legal in clam chowder? They tell me in the most passionate of terms where they stand on tomato vs. no tomato! I love it. This book strikes an intense culinary nerve which is also why I wanted to write about Cleveland Sleeper and his attempt to save Clam Chowder from becoming vegetable soup! 

ME: That’s awesome, Anna. And you know what? I just might have to make some clam chowder tonight! But will I use tomatoes? Or no tomatoes? That’s up in the air…but what I’m sure about is that I’ll be attending your Zoom launch later today at 6:30pm Eastern time. We’ll let you go now…and we’ll see you later tonight.

ANNA: Thanks so much, Vivian! And I hope everyone pops into the Zoom launch tonight. It’s hard not having onsite bookstore events, but the awesome thing about the Zoom launches is that people can attend from ALL OVER THE WORLD. See you all later!

I hope everyone will register for the launch…both Anna and the illustrator will be there, chatting about the book…and perhaps the process of creating it. I always learn something at these author/illustrator discussions. This one will be at 6:30pm tonight – Tuesday, October 13.

Here is the link for the Zoom launch registration:  https://www.printbookstore.com/event/redding1020

And here’s a SNEAK PEEK illustration that Anna sent me:

I hope you all have a lovely week…remember the best way we can tell our favorite authors that we love their books is to:

Buy them if we can, review them, tell friends about them, and ask our local library to purchase them for their collection.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: RESCUING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Plus Giveaway and More

It’s a good thing that Stephen Pleasonton had a better sense of timing than I do! Otherwise, we might not have the original Declaration of Independence to view when visiting Washington DC. The actual launch date for this book was April 14th…and I was supposed to announce that in a book birthday post…but since I missed the birthday, I decided to turn the Perfect Picture Book spotlight on this awesome picture book. And author Anna Crowley Redding not only is generously giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner, but she is also stopping by to chat with us a bit. Make sure you scroll through the post so you don’t miss her!

Rescuing the Declaration of IndependenceRESCUING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Continue reading

Anna Redding: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

ANNA Crowley Redding- Author of Google it! A history of google

ANNA CROWLEY REDDING

Anna is one of my favorite kidlit people. She is smart and kind, passionate about writing and compassionate about life. We’ve been critique buddies for several years and have had many long Skype one-on-ones. We live in contiguous states. But…

…we’ve never actually met in person. Each conference at which we were supposed to connect, something happened and one of us couldn’t go. I’m making a promise that, before the end of next year, Anna and I are going to hug each other for real! Anna…I hope you are listening!

Anna Crowley Redding is the debut author of YA nonfiction Google it: A history of Google (How two students’ mission to organize the internet changed the world). Her debut picture book RESCUING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPEDENCE (illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham) will hit the bookstore shelves in 2020.

Before diving into the deep end of writing for children, Anna Crowley Redding’s first career was as an Emmy-award winning investigative television reporter, anchor, and journalist. The recipient of multiple Edward R. Murrow awards and recognized by the Associated Press for her reporting, Redding now focuses her stealthy detective skills on digging up great stories for kids and teens — which, as it turns out, is her true passion.

Dear readers, thanks to Anna, we have a giveaway of a copy of GOOGLE THIS! Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

book cover

ME: It’s definitely an honor and a pleasure to welcome you, Anna.

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

ANNA: I loved Maurice Sendak’s In The Night Kitchen. I can remember being about 5 or 6 years old and poring over the illustrations and I can remember being completely captivated by the fact that illustrations spilled out of their borders. He went outside the lines of each spread and I LOVED that. He was a rule breaker and I identified with that immediately. I also loved that he used the cross-hatch technique for shadows, fill, and definition. My father, then, taught me how to do it. That technique gives children a lot of freedom when they are drawing and I loved that, too.

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

ANNA: Learn the rules of writing, craft, structure . . . so that you can break them really well, in just the right spot. This adds more depth and voice to your writing and punctuates your storytelling. But if you don’t learn the craft first, you can’t properly break the rules in compelling ways.

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

ANNA: There are four places I love to write. 1) My desk which is a piece of live edge pine from Maine. The trick is not staring off at the ocean endlessly. 2) On the floor in front of the fireplace. I love sitting in front of the fire. It’s such a creative and cozy spot. I stack up my favorite books and plop my laptop right on top. 3) At the coffee shop. There is something about writing in a public space with other people around that makes me super productive. I mean first of all you want to look like you are working which usually leads to actual work. 4) The Library. I love writing with lots of other books around and you cannot beat the expertise of real live actual librarians for help with research questions, mentor text ideas, and market knowledge. Plus, they are fun to be around.

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

ANNA: I write on a schedule, keeping normal business hours and adding a couple of nights and some weekend times. For me it’s like going to the gym. If I take a break, then starting up again is super painful. So, I try to keep it going all the time.

ME: Why do you write for children?

ANNA: I have wanted to write for children and teens since I was in early Elementary school. I think it’s a very creative time in life with tremendous purpose. And so creating books that might inspire and empower young readers or capture their imagination, really, there is nothing better!

ME: And Anna, your books are definitely going to do that! Thank you so much for sharing so much of your process. If you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.

ANNA: To young writers, don’t ever give up. Keep writing, keep learning, try new things, and learn as much as you can. All of your life experience, what you read, who you meet, the music you listen to . . . all of it informs and shapes your own writing. Get out there and experience life, soak up as much information as you can, and don’t forget to share what you learn with others along the way. And have confidence in your writing and your ability to grow. The pithy nature of social media writing is making your generation a really fabulously practiced group of writers. Social media really forces you to get to the heart of every story. That is such an exciting quality you guys are growing up cultivating. Once you have the heart of your story, you can build out from there. What a fun journey lies before young writers!

ME: WOW…what great advice for kids…and we, as older writers, can probably follow Anna’s suggestions, too.

One thing I know we will want to follow are the instructions for her delicious banana muffin recipe. Take it away, Anna!

ANNA: Here’s our Banana Muffin recipe. We love to make this when reading IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN By Laura Numeroff :

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 maple syrup
  • 2 eggs or egg replacer
  • 4 mashed bananas (honestly I throw mine in whole)
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon chia seed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flax-seed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream butter  and sugar
  3. Add Maple syrup and apple sauce
  4. Add two beaten eggs
  5. Add bananas and combine well
  6. Add dry ingredients to combine
  7. Add vanilla and cinnamon
  8. Spoon into muffin tin
  9. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until an inserted knife comes out clean

Yield:  A dozen muffins (we had enough for two extra 

Thank you so much, Anna! I’m thrilled you stopped by to chat with us today. I hope everyone tries the muffin recipe, buys a copy of GOOGLE THIS!, and leaves a comment for the giveaway.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. I thank you so much for spending your precious time here with us. I hope you’ll be back often this month…we have a FULL schedule with Perfect Picture Book Friday reviews EVERY Friday and Will Write for Cookies author/illustrator interviews EVERY Saturday PLUS FOUR book birthday posts! Lots of giveaways, lots of insights, and hopefully, lots of fun!

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