Sometimes things are just meant to be.
A couple of months ago, I noticed author/illustrator Brian Lies was promoting a new book and offering a signed copy and an original illustration sketch as a giveaway. All you had to do to enter was to share the post. Of course, everybody knows I love sharing the word about new picture books…so I did. And guess what?
I won! The book is AMAZING! And the sketch will be hung in a place of honor in my home. But even more special is that I got to connect with Brian. And when I asked if he’d like to participate in a Will Write for Cookies Q&A, he said: YES! Plus, because Brian is a generous soul as well as being a super talented author/illustrator, he’s doing a DOUBLE giveaway…a copy of THE ROUGH PATCH and a copy of his other new book that just launched, GOT TO GET TO BEAR’S. So, please make sure you leave a comment here and also come back tomorrow when Brian stops by to chat with us.
THE ROUGH PATCH
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
Published by Harper Collins/Greenwillow Books (August 2018)
Themes: Loss, grief, friendship, hope
Opening lines: “Evan and his dog did everything together.”
Synopsis: From a Starred School Library Journal Review:
“Lies taps into the powerful nature of love, loss, grief, and hope in his latest picture book. Evan, a fox, and his dog are best friends and in a series of acrylic, oil, and colored pencil vignettes, they are shown attending a fair, playing games, and, most important, working in Evan’s meticulously groomed garden. These loving scenes are abruptly cut short by a large spread of white space with spare text stating: “But one day, the unthinkable happened.” On the opposing page, white space surrounds a grieving Evan as he mourns the loss of his dog. In his grief, Evan destroys the garden that reminds him so much of his friend and weeds grow in its place. When a pumpkin vine sneaks into the garden, Evan allows it to take root and with it, hope returns. With lyrical figurative language, Evan transitions from being devastated by heartache to a being willing to step back into the world again. With his pumpkin, Evan rejoins his friends at the fair. Although it’s not the same without his best friend, he enjoys himself again and even wins a prize for his pumpkin. His prize and the hope of all those who suffer love’s loss is a chance to love again with a new puppy. While best suited for independent readers or shared moments during a loss, this poignant picture book provides an exquisite depiction of grief and hope. VERDICT A remarkable first selection for all libraries and a helpful guide for children and adults who are going through their own rough patches.” –-Rachel Zuffa, Racine Public Library, WI
Why I like this book:
- The subject: we need more books that will help young kids cope with loss and grief – this book is perfect for a parent or teacher to use as a vehicle for opening a discussion when a child is going through a rough patch.
- Even more importantly, I think, because of the fabulous illustrations, it is a book a young child can ‘read’ just by turning the pages and looking at the pictures. THIS is a book where every picture is worth a thousand words.
- And the words that Brian does use, are absolutely perfect, setting just the right tone and pace for loss, grief, and finally, hope. This is a wonderful book for writers to use as a mentor text if they are looking to write a picture book about loss.
Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com
Paper plates, paper bags, and just plain paper – that’s what you’ll need for most of these fun fox crafts, plus scissors, glue, and maybe a couple of googly eyes. I even see one that uses autumn leaves. How cool is that! Hop over to get detailed instructions here: https://iheartcraftythings.com/10-adorable-fox-crafts-for-kids.html
Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a chance to win one of the two books.
Brian’s newest book, GOT TO GET TO BEAR’S (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) actually launched last week. This author/illustrator is on fire!!! And one lucky person is going to win a copy of it. Here’s a short synopsis from Amazon:
Bear never asks for anything. So when she sends a note to Izzy urgently requesting her presence, Izzy can’t refuse! But a blizzard begins and slows Izzy’s progress. As the snow accumulates, so do her friends, helping her on her way to Bear’s place.
This heartwarming tale from best-selling author and illustrator Brian Lies shows readers the rewards of counting on friends to get you through, snowstorm or not.
And please do come back tomorrow when Brian shares insights, inspiration, and a lovely cookie recipe with us that has been in his family for THREE generations!
Speaking of family, I just booked a last-minute flight to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my son and his family. I have to honestly say that Brian’s book, THE ROUGH PATCH, was part of the push to do that because it makes you realize how very important friends and family are. We need to enjoy them and cherish them while we can. And when my 5-year old granddaughter heard I was coming, she told me she will be doing the cooking of the salad, turkey, and dessert. I am surely in for a rare treat!
Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!
Do you love music? I do! All kinds! From classical to rhythm and blues. From jazz to folk. But best of all, I love rock and roll.
I totally cannot listen to this song without jumping up and dancing!
And today’s Perfect Picture Book review has EVERYTHING to do with Rock and Roll. But first, we need to take care of some unfinished giveaway business.
Lovely Melissa Stoller offered a copy of her book, SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH. And the winner is….
She also donated a fabulous pb critique. And the winner is…
Wonderful Viviane Elbee offered a copy of her book, TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI. And the winner is…
Fantastic Amber Hendricks offered a copy of her book, SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR. And the winner is…
And Amber also donated a super pb critique. And the winner is…
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE WINNERS AND A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE GENEROUS AUTHORS! I will reach out and connect you all. And by the way…the author of today’s book is offering a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE to one lucky winner…so make sure you leave a comment later.
ROCK AND ROLL WOODS
Written by Sherry Howard
Illustrated by Anika A. Wolf
Published by Clear Fork/Spork (September 2018)
Themes: Making friends, Sensory Integration Disorder
Synopsis: From a starred review by Kirkus
When noisy new neighbors move into a bear’s quiet neighborhood, it takes him time to adjust in this debut picture book from author Howard and illustrator Wolf.
Kuda, a brown bear, loves the soft noises that fill his neighborhood, including a whooshing stream and the chirps of local birds. But during his walk, a new sound seems to attack him: “BOOM whappa whappa.” When Kuda asks Rabbit where the noise is coming from, Rabbit explains that they have new neighbors. Kuda’s surprised that Rabbit, Owl, and Squirrel all like the racket, and he soon goes home and buries himself in blankets and ear muffs. When he finds an invitation to a “ROCK & ROLL celebration,” however, he decides he’s had enough of being alone. He sees friends dancing and playing music, and he slowly lets himself feel the rhythm, too. Soon, the new fox neighbor invites him to jam with them. Howard’s clever, onomatopoeic text is full of sound-words that young readers will love, and her sensitivity in portraying Kuda’s difficulty in trying something new will resonate. An author’s note at the end describes sensory-integration issues and autism with clarity and compassion. Wolf’s adorable, stylized cartoon animals, and the rainbow-colored stream of the music, make the woods feel welcoming.
A tale that offers a kindred spirit for readers who struggle with change.
Why I like this book:
- As a kid, I hated going places I’d never been and meeting new people and I always got a headache at family gatherings because they were so noisy. I totally identify with Kuda, and so will many children.
- Wonderful text that kids will enjoy hearing over and over.
- Bold vivid colors in the illustrations really make the book pop!
- Important helpful back matter information about sensory intergration disorder and other sensory issues that many children (and adults) experience.
Photo courtesy: https://ourpastimes.com/rock-n-roll-art-crafts-for-kids
Turn up the rock and roll music while you do some of the craft ideas that you’ll find at: https://ourpastimes.com/rock-n-roll-art-crafts-for-kids-12288608.html
Thank you so much for stopping by today. And please do come back tomorrow when Sherry stops by to chat and share a treat with us on Will Write for Cookies.
Before you go, I wanted to mention again how important it is to connect with your local library to keep them informed of the wonderful new books that are launching. Librarians are so busy, they might not see every great book and you can help by recommending a book via an online request form or by going in and speaking with the library staff. I was thrilled to find out that the lovely Elizabeth Curry just got a message from her local library that they’ve agreed to purchase one of my debut pictures of 2019:
Selection staff has decided to purchase material based on your recommendation. We will reserve the item and notify you when it’s ready to be picked up.
Title: Sweet Dreams, Sarah: From Slavery to Inventor
YAY! Thank you so much, Elizabeth! And she also told me that they’ve already ordered Pippa’s Passover Plate for their collectionThe other thing that we can do to help increase the chance that these wonderful books will be a sales success is to leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites
Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the PB Critique giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. And come back tomorrow to hear some words of wisdom (oh yeah…you better believe it) from Sherry Howard…and snag a not-to-be-missed holiday dessert recipe!
Did you know that my 5-year old granddaughter’s name is Sophie? She’s a ball of fun and energy…and she LOVES books and hearing stories and having the mailman deliver envelopes with her name on them. And so, when one of my dear friends and critique buddies, Amber Hendricks, wrote a story called Sophie and Little Star and it got published, I knew I’d be getting a copy for her. And of course, sharing it with all of you for Perfect Picture Book Friday!
And guess what? This talented and generous author is gifting some lucky reader with a Picture Book Manuscript Critique…yes! Just make sure you leave a comment and you will be entered into the giveaway.
SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR
Written by Amber Hendricks
Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
Published by Clear Fork/Spork (2018)
Themes: Friendship, helping one another, determination
“Every night, when the sun had set and the stars gathered in the heavens to shine their light on the world, Little Star watched, wishing she could join.”
“Sophie and Little Star is a delightfully charming tale about friendship and finding where we belong. A wonderful bedtime treat!” -Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles
When a little star falls from her home in the sky, she finds help from an unexpected friend. Together, the new friends search for a way to send Little Star home, but soon discover that not everyone you meet is kind, or helpful. Little Star begins to wonder if she’ll ever find a way home, and if she does, will she be able to leave her new friend, Sophie, behind?”
Why I like this book:
- I love stories about friendship, especially those with a bit of pixie dust and magic woven in.
- I love stories where the main character shows determination – and this one is a mighty girl who just isn’t going to give up until she helps her new friend, Little Star.
- The illustrations are beautiful and Raissa captures the dreamy night-time feel throughout the pages.
- I love sweet bedtime stories and so do kids!
Photo courtesy: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/
STAR PROJECTS FOR KIDS: For detailed instructions, please go to: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/
Bundle up and go out in the evening to look up at the stars. Get a book for kids on the constellations and see how many you can identify. Check you library for Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky by Michael Driscoll.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Please make sure you leave a comment to enter the giveaway…and come back tomorrow when Amber visits Picture Books Help Kids Soar and shares her writing journey and a very special No-Bake cookie recipe from her mom.
This post joins all the others on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up where bloggers review their favorite picture books.
And please don’t forget that our favorite authors need our help to spread the word about their books. BUY THEM! REVIEW THEM! TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THEM!