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Cover Reveal: FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: An Animal Counting Book

I AM SO HAPPY TODAY!

I get to REVEAL THE COVER of my third debut picture book of 2019!

FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK

four otters cover amazon

 

I’m absolutely head over heels in love with the incredible woodcuts that illustrator Mirka Hokkanen created.

Just take a peek inside at the first spread:

1st spreadPublished by Pomegranate Kids, the book launches on March 15, 2019, but you can preorder it on Amazon or from Indiebound or if you want a signed copy, you can order it from my local indie, Toadstool Bookshop. I also plan to have bookplates that I will sign and send to people who buy a book from their own local bookstore or from Amazon.

turtle spread

The story has a very special place in my heart because it was inspired by the fly fishing trips I took with my husband when we lived in Colorado. The pristine mountain river habitats we frequented were home to many endangered species: kit fox, yellow mud turtle, peregrine falcon, and of course, river otter. 

otters spread

Note to parents and teachers: the back matter is fabulous! We’ve created a glossary that includes details about each of these animals…and the kids will LOVE the fun facts. Do you know which is the fastest animal on the planet? The peregrine falcon who tops 242 miles per hour as it dives to the ground to pick up prey. And as parents, we sometimes complain because our babies need frequent feedings. How about the yellow-billed cuckoos who feed their young THIRTY-ONE times a day!

A huge thank you to my critique buddies who saw this lyrical piece years ago when it was titled: Visitors to Deep Pool, an idea that was born during Tara Lazar’s Storystorm Challenge . I’m also extremely grateful to my agent, Essie White, who fell in love with this manuscript and had a vision to pair it with the woodcuts of one of her illustrators, Mirka Hokkanen – pure genius! And of course, I so appreciate the PomegranateKids team who are bringing this story to life in such a beautiful book which I know children will enjoy as they count the animals, listen to the music of the lyrical language. and discover how conservation efforts can reap great rewards.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thank you for letting me share my good news with you…and I hope you will spread the word about FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN!

 

PICTURE BOOK COVER REVEAL: NINITA’S BIG WORLD

WOW…what an honor! I get to reveal the cover of Sarah Glenn Marsh’s latest picture book!!

 

ninita_cover

 

I first fell in love with the subtitle…I mean, how can you not be head over heels about NINITA’S BIG WORLD: THE TRUE STORY OF A DEAF PYGMY MARMOSET? And then I saw the cover…Ninita is super cute, right? The book pubs from Clarion in 2019, and here’s a short blurb to get you thinking about it:

 

Meet Ninita! She’s a pygmy marmoset—the smallest type of monkey. As a baby, she was the size of a human thumb. Full grown, she fits easily in the palm of a person’s hand.            

Ninita is deaf, but that doesn’t stop her from exploring the world. She loves to climb, taste new foods, and follow interesting smells to exciting adventures. With her sharp eyes, Ninita is always spotting things that her pygmy marmoset friend Mr. Big and the other animals miss—sometimes creatures even smaller than she is!

Pygmy marmosets are native to the Amazon rainforest, but Ninita and her friends live at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Florida, where they are helping to save animals from extinction. Published in partnership with the RSCF, this charming story introduces readers to biodiversity and wildlife conservation—and to a tiny, adorable little monkey who is making an important difference in the world.

What a wonderful idea for a story…and based on a true character…that makes it even better! And here is a little bit about the author.

Sarah Glenn Marsh is an author of young adult novels including Reign of the Fallen and Fear the Drowning Deep, as well as children’s picture books like Selfie Sebastian and A Campfire Tail. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, three birds, and many fish.

 

When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures. You can visit her online at http://www.sarahglennmarsh.com, and follow her on Twitter @SG.

Earlier this year, I featured Selfie Sebastian and A Campfire Tail on Perfect Picture Book Friday and I gave away a copy of each. Maybe next year we’ll be able to turn the spotlight on NINITA’S BIG WORLD: THE TRUE STORY OF A DEAF PYGMY MARMOSET and do a giveaway.

There’s a big beautiful week coming up, dear friends. Happy 4th of July…wherever you are going and whatever you are doing, I wish you joy, peace, and safe travels.

 

 

 

 

 

PPBF: Mountain Chef

Hurray…autumn is here! I love the scarlet and gold of New England’s fall foliage. The cool crisp mornings and the warm sunny afternoons remind me of the vacations I’ve taken at many of our country’s incredible National Parks where even in the middle of the summer, the mornings can be really chilly because you are at a high altitude.

Have you been to any of our National Parks? Yosemite is the one featured in today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection. If you’d like to see more of this week’s Perfect Picture Book reviews, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.

I’m really excited to review this brand-new book—I just connected with the author, Annette Bay Pimentel…and guess what? I’ll be interviewing her for Will Write for Cookies next October!

cover-mountain-chef

MOUNTAIN CHEF: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service

Written by Annette Bay Pimentel

Illustrated by Rich Lo

Publisher: Charlesbridge (2016)

Ages: 5-9

Themes:

Discrimination, conservation, National Parks, cooking, ingenuity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

The true story of a Chinese American mountain man who fed thirty people for ten days in the wilderness–and helped inspire the creation of the National Park Service.

 Tie Sing was born in the mountains. The mountains were in his blood. But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing’s prospects were limited. But he had bigger plans. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California.

 When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men—writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star—to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook.

 Tie Sing planned diligently. He understood the importance of this trip. But when disaster struck—twice—and Tie Sing’s supplies were lost, it was his creative spirit and quick mind that saved the day. His sumptuous menus had to be struck and Tie Sing had to start over in order to feed the thirty people in the group for ten whole days. His skills were tested and Tie Sing rose to the challenge.

 On the last night, he fed not just the campers’ bodies, but also their minds, reminding them to remember and protect the mountains.

 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created by Congress on August 25, 1916.

 Today, you can hike to Sing Peak, named for Tie Sing, in Yosemite National Park.

Opening Lines:

Tie Sing was a frontier baby, born high in the mountains in Virginia City, Nevada. Growing up, he breathed crisp Sierra air and scuffed through sagebrush. He learned to write in both English and Chinese.

Why I like this book:

  • I love unknown gems of history uncovered by writers who weave great picture book stories for kids.
  • This story has so many different levels…National Parks, racial discrimination, conservation, cooking, ingenuity, courage…parents and teachers can use it as a springboard for many different discussions.
  • Wonderful illustrations that help you feel you are camping right alongside Tie Sing.

 

RELATED ACTIVITIES

 

  • If you have a National Park in your area, why not plan a day trip. When we lived in Colorado, we often drove 2+ hours to get to Rocky Mountain National Park…in the summer, we’d fish…in the fall, we’d stroll around Estes Park, the town right at one of the park’s entrances, where elk would walk up and down the streets…and in winter, we’d go up for a weekend and stay at one of the local lodges in the park…to snowshoe and cross country ski during the day and soak in the outdoor hot tub in the evening.

 

  • Fortune Cookies

fortune-cookiesPhoto courtesy: Taste of Home

Have you ever made fortune cookies? The kids will have fun thinking up their own fortunes to put in the cookies.

You can find the recipe here: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/homemade-fortune-cookies

 Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear friends and readers.

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