Happy Book Birthday: RANDALL AND RANDALL Plus Giveaway

I love birthdays! Especially book birthdays! Especially book birthdays of author friends! Especially book birthdays of author friends for books that I saw in the early draft stages!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO YOU, RANDALL AND RANDALL. And Happy Book Birthday to friend and author Nadine Poper, illustrator Polina Gortman, and Continue reading

Cover Reveal: Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

OH MY GOSH! A couple of days ago, I found out that my Ella Fitzgerald/Marilyn Monroe book had a definite launch date: January 14, 2020. So, I started thinking about who I should ask to do a cover reveal…I thought perhaps I should ask the editor if the cover image I had was the final one. And then, this morning, guess what I discovered?

MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE is available for preorder on Amazon. With the most glorious cover image I’ve ever seen!!!

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This was a manuscript that was very close to my heart. I’m a long-time admirer of the velvety tones of Ella Fitzgerald…and I always believed Marilyn Monroe was so much more than she was given credit for. But it wasn’t until I came across a picture of them at a nightclub that the idea for this story came to me back in 2014.

ella and marilyn in nightclub

 

And the more I researched, the more I came to admire both of these women…trailblazers in the fight for equality! Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was the first movie star to own her own production company? Or that in 1956, Ella Fitzgerald won a lawsuit against Pan Am for racial discrimination?

A few years ago, Bonnie Greer wrote a play about the nightclub incident and it was performed in London.

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I’m so grateful to Essie White, my incredible agent, who had faith in me and in this story. And to Little Bee editor, the fabulous Courtney Fahy, who fell in love with the manuscript and believed it should be a book. And to the talented Alleanna Harris whose illustrations have brought the story to life!

I am over the moon excited and just had to share with all of you, my dear friends! And to all my critique buddies whose feedback on dozens and dozens of revisions resulted in this stellar story – I thank you!!!

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: NO BEARS ALLOWED and Picture Book Manuscript CRITIQUE Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

Today is the first day of summer…and what could be a more perfect selection for our picture book review? Here’s a story about bears and summer and…well, you’ll find out.  Plus, to celebrate the summer solstice and the launch of this adorable book (July 1, 2019), the author, the lovely Lydia Lukidis, is offering a Picture Book Manuscript Critique as a giveaway! What a fabulous prize!

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NO BEARS ALLOWED

Written by Lydia Lukidis

Illustrated by Tara J. Hannon

Published by Blue Whale Press (2019)

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Overcoming fears, friendship

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Rabbit is afraid of many things, but most of all he’s afraid of gigantic, monstery, BEARS! The very nervous Rabbit is soon confronted by his worst fear who appears to be far more interested in making new friends than causing Rabbit any real harm. Despite his apprehension, Rabbit agrees to join his jovial new acquaintance for dinner, but wait a minute . . . is Bear planning to “have” Rabbit for dinner? In this tender story about a very nervous rabbit and a lovable bear, Rabbit discovers that things aren’t always as scary as they seem, and sometimes you may just have more in common with others than you think.”

“Tara J. Hannon’s whimsical, fun, colorful drawings enhance a fine picture book story highly recommended for either independent pursuit by ages 4-7, or read-aloud pleasure.” — D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“This adventure offers an effective brain exercise in graphic storytelling for young readers. . .” — Kirkus Reviews

Why I love this book:

  • Love the refrain about the pointy teeth and sharp claws
  • Love the humor
  • Love the simple message of friendship helping to conquer fears
  • Bold, bright kid-friendly illustrations will have children turning the pages

RELATED ACTIVITIES

paper-bag-puppet-bear-craft-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: https://www.craftymorning.com/paper-bag-bear-puppet-kids-make/

I think you all know how much I love paper bag crafts…inexpensive and so easy for the little ones to work with. For detailed instructions: https://www.craftymorning.com/paper-bag-bear-puppet-kids-make/

For more information about this talented author, please visit: http://lydialukidis.com/

Lydia Ludikas headshot

And remember, Lydia is giving away a picture book critique…which is AWESOME! Just leave a comment below…and don’t forget the best way to let our favorite authors know how much we love their books is to: buy their books, review their books on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites, tell friends about the books, and ask our libraries to purchase copies for their collections.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. And I’ve got a wonderful book to review that fits perfectly with this season of spring.

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GROWING SEASON

Written and illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Published by Sterling House Books (2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship, gardening

Synopsis: From Amazon:

El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they’re inseparable. But what happens when Jo starts to grow? This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up.
 
El and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asked every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El! Continue reading

Happy Book Birthday: GROWING SEASON Plus Giveaway

Light the candles! Get ready to sing! It’s a Happy Book Birthday for a fabulous new picture book by one of my friends and critique buddies, Maryann Coccoa-Leffler!

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One of the loveliest things about being in this kidlit community is when a friend has a new book coming out. ESPECIALLY when you’ve seen the story in it’s early draft stages!GSReadingSpot

I’m so thrilled to be sharing this special day with such a special friend…today is the birthday of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH, as well! Woo-hoo!!!

And guess what??? If you leave a comment, you will be entered into the giveaway of a copy of this fabulous brand new book!

Julie Abery and I are training to the Bologna Book Fair today…and meeting up with kidlit friend Maria and fellow Storm agency teammate, Fiona. I’ll have the opportunity to connect with some of my editors…what fun! And we’ll be seeing some of the wonderful 2019 books on display…I’ll be looking for GROWING SEASON at the Sterling Books booth and my books at Creston, Holiday House, and Pomegranate.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE ROUGH PATCH Plus Double Giveaway

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? Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: ROCK AND ROLL WOODS Plus PB Critique Giveaway

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. Continue reading