JULIE ROWAN-ZOCH: Will Write and Illustrate for Cookies PLUS Giveaway


Plate of Cookies





Back in 2013, before I had taken any picture book writing classes and before I had attended any conferences, I really felt like a newbie. Luckily, there were fabulous kid-lit people who lived in my neck of the woods (I lived in Colorado Springs at the time) – and when an opportunity came to attend a book launch for Peter Brown and his MR. TIGER GOES WILD at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, one of my dear friends, Stacy Jensen, said she would drive. It was a fabulous afternoon, not only because I got to meet Peter Brown, but more importantly because I got to meet the two Julies…Julie Hedlund, the founder of 12×12, and Julie Rowan-Zoch, author/illustrator extraordinaire!

Left to right: Stacy Jensen, Julie Rowan-Zoch, Peter Brown, Sherri McCrimmon, Vivian Kirkfield, Julie Hedlund – September 2013
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Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE GRUMPY PIRATE Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

Has another week truly passed by? I can hardly believe it. I’ve been up to my ears in boxes and taking stuff to the dump and giving away books to the library and to friends…just how many books can a person accumulate over the years? And yet, with all of the hundreds of books I gave away, I still have more than a dozen boxes of books in the storage unit, waiting for October 1 when we move into our new house.

One of the books I will definitely be keeping is today’s Perfect Picture Book selection – I connected with the author, Corinne Demas, at my local NESCBWI conference last year…and I absolutely love her newest book that launched in June.


Written by Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig

Illustrated by Ashlyn Anstee

Published by Orchard Books/Scholastic (June 2020)

Ages: 4-7

Theme: Emotions, getting along with others, friendship

And getting along and friendship were definitely important factors in the creation of this story – here’s a picture of co-authors, Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig.

Synopsis: From Amazon

Gus the Pirate is always grumpy, but can the wise Pirate Queen convince him to change his ways?

There is one grumpy pirate.
They call him Grumpy Gus.
He grunts and gripes and grouses,
and always makes a fuss.

Gus the Pirate complains about everything — ARRRRRGH! Gus grumbles about his lumpy bed and his itchy clothes. He complains about the yucky food and doing his chores on the pirate ship. Even sailing toward buried treasure can’t make Gus happy! Finally, the other pirates have had enough! They ask the Pirate Queen to help.

So the Pirate Queen gives Grumpy Gus a pet parrot — but the parrot is grumpy, too! After Gus spends the day with a parrot who’s just as grumbly and grouchy as he is, Gus realizes his bad attitude might be a little hard to deal with. Can Gus turn his frown upside down before the other pirates make him walk the plank?

All kids can relate to feeling grumpy like Gus, and this swashbuckling pirate adventure teaches kids the importance of trying to have a positive attitude!

Why I love this book:

  1. Starred review from Kirkus: The art is cartoony and appealing. It won’t take much searching for kids to recognize themselves (or their siblings) in Gus’ general poutiness… A paean to grouchy Guses everywhere presented with pouty piratical aplomb.”
  2. Great rhythm and rhyme…a rollicking tale well-told about getting in touch with our emotions.
  3. Wonderful illustrations full of fun that keep the reader engaged from first page to last.


Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/66927/25-pirate-crafts-kids-can-make/

Avast, me hearties! Here are 25 super cool pirate crafts to make with the kiddos. For detailed instructions: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/66927/25-pirate-crafts-kids-can-make/

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the generous giveaway from Corinne and her publisher of a copy of THE GRUMPY PIRATE. Maybe you can share what makes you grumpy.

I hope you all have a beautiful Labor Day weekend. And please come back next week when we have THREE blog posts…a book birthday for Liz Bedia’s BESS THE BARN STANDS STRONG, a Perfect Picture Book Friday for Dawn Young’s COUNTING ELEPHANTS, and a Will Write for Cookies with Kirsty Call who co-authored MOOTILLA’S BAD MOOD with Corey Rosen Schwartz.

PB 14:14 – Top Ten Elements of Picture Book Stories – Word Play

Almost two years ago, I was privileged to travel to Singapore to speak at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I met authors and illustrators from all over the Pacific Rim countries and beyond.

For Day 12 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge, I’m offering one of the books by author/illustrator Christopher Cheng. Not only is he an amazing creator of children’s content, he’s also a stellar speaker at events all over the world – he’ll be presenting at the NESCBWI Conference in Chicago this April…wish I could go!


Title: Water

Author: Christopher Cheng

Illustrator: Susanna Gaho-Quek

Publisher: AFCC Publications

Date: 2013

Word Count: 180 estimated

Top Ten Element: Word Play


Opening Lines:

“In the air that we breathe

on ice capped peaks

frozen in time Continue reading