Hello and welcome back, dear KidLit Oasis Readers!
My guest today is my friend, critique partner, and agent-sister, Author Annemarie Riley Guertin! It's a pleasure to celebrate her newest book realese and I can't wait to share it with you! I'm also excited about our chat because Annemarie brings a very different perspective with her publishing experience, as she had a very interesting road to success. Her breakthrough was amazing as you're about to find out.
Her journey to publication can be described as fast and fabulous, which is not what we usually hear in this business, but she did it! So let's dig in and see how she made it into children's publishing!
Plus, Annemarie is generously offering a choice of either a non-rhyming picture book critique or a copy of her new picture book, ABC Rise Up and Be! to one lucky winner. (See the details on how to enter the giveaway after the interview.)
Welcome, Annemarie! Thank you for joining us on the blog. Please briefly describe your journey to publication.
A: Thanks for having me! My road to publication began in April 2016 when I decided to write my first-ever children's book. Little did I know that my attempt would quickly become my first published work. I was teaching first grade at the time, and I was having a bit of difficulty finding lesser-known folktales to read aloud to my students. Every time I pulled out a book, I was met with, "We read that last year." So, in my quest to find new material, I poured over anthologies from the early 1900s that contained dozens of folktales and fairytales (my aunt handed down her collection to me). As I was thumbing through them, I came across the original version of How the Finch Got Her Colors and decided to put my spin on it. That was how my book How the Finch Got His Colors was born.
After I wrote it, I joined SCBWI, and that is where I met my dear friend Sarah who graciously mentored me through the whole publishing process. Sarah helped me edit Finch, craft my query letter and marketing plan, and get everything ready for submission.
After everything was set, I began to research houses that were open to unsolicited manuscripts (I did not have an agent at the time). I scoured the internet and the SCBWI PAL list and wrote down all the publishers I felt would be a good fit for my story. I started out small by sending Finch to just six houses. I wanted to see the kind of feedback I would receive before subbing more widely. To my surprise, by June 16th, just two months after I subbed it, I received four offers of publication! Since I did not have an agent at the time, I hired a lawyer to go through each contract with me. We ended up signing with Familius, and the rest is history! My story is not the norm―lightning in a bottle, really. I know that people spend many years in the trenches. I feel really blessed.
Yes, my first shot was a lucky one. I know that. But that’s not to say my path has not had its challenges, too. I have had my fair share of rejections. I have had my first agent quit the business. I have made it all the way to acquisitions several times, only to be turned down at the last minute. But you can't let the bumps along the way deter you. If we choose to give up and not persevere, our books will never make it out there. So, keep on striving. The world needs to hear your story.
Q: What do you find most challenging in this business, either on the creative or publishing side of things? What do you find most rewarding? What helps you stay motivated?
A: The most challenging thing about this business is the wait time. It can take months (up to a year) to hear back on a submission you’ve made. I think the other thing about this business that can be a challenge is when you don’t hear back at all. That can be disheartening.
The flip side to this question is the reward that you get when you do hear that YES. There is nothing like knowing that your written word will be out in the world, touching the hearts and minds of young children. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, and that is what keeps me motivated. It never gets old.
Q: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project? What does your revision process look like?
A: This may sound very basic, but when I used to teach writing (former elementary teacher), I always had my students fill out a story map prior to crafting their stories. The story map is a simple sheet of paper where one plans out the characters, setting, problem, plot events, and resolution parts of a story. I have a similar template on my computer and use that to jot notes for each picture book. Once I have that set, I begin to craft my story. I will say, though, even with that structure in place, my writing doesn’t always go according to plan. This is why it’s crucial to have critique partners. Sometimes I get so focused on creating a solid beginning and ending that my plot falls entirely flat. My critique partners are vital in helping me to identify the weak spots in my story and tighten them up.
In terms of the revision process, sometimes it is easy―a tweak here or there, and sometimes it’s a beast. I have one story sitting in my WIP box that has been there for almost two years! I just can’t seem to get it right, and that’s ok. It will happen when the time is right. With stories that work off the bat, I take notes from my critique partners, agent, editor, etc., and let their words soak in. If they resonate, I make the necessary changes. It really depends on the feedback that I receive.
Q: What's coming up for you next? Please tell us about any new releases, exciting news, upcoming events, or anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
A: I have so many forthcoming projects. I have 6 books releasing in the next 3 years, and I hope even more than that!
1. Thundermaestro (Familius, Spring 2022)
2. Finding Mr. Trunks (Familius, Fall 2022)
3. A deal that I can’t announce just yet… LOL (Coming Summer 2022)
4. 123 Counting on Community (Familius, 2023)
5. Monsters Hide and Seek (Familius, 2024)
6. Turn on the Night (Hurn Pub Kids, 2024)
And many more projects in various stages in publishing.
Wow! Congratulations on all your success, Annemarie, I'm so happy for you and glad that we're on this journey together! I can't wait for all of your upcoming books, and I know there will be many, many more!
Readers, please support our featured authors/illustrators by following them on Twitter, requesting their book through your local library, posting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and of course, purchasing their books.
I hope you enjoyed this post — social media shares are appreciated. Thank you!
Click on the book cover to order your copy of ABC Rise Up and Be!
Annemarie Riley Guertin is a wife, mother, teacher, and author of several books for children. As a middle child, she found her love for writing very early on, crafting everything from notes about running away to poetry. It wasn't until 2016 that she began her career as a professional children's writer. Annemarie holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in education (summa cum laude) from Wheelock College and Fitchburg State University. She teaches Early Childhood Education at Methuen High School in Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband Michael and their two children.
G I V E A W A Y! ! !
Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway for a chance to win your choice of a picture book critique or a copy of Annemarie's new book.
(Please indicate your preference in the comment.) Good luck!
Sharon Coffey wins a copy of ABC Rise Up and Be!
Chitchat with Yeehoo Press Editor Helen Wu Plus a Critique Giveaway and Above the Slush Pile Submission!
Hello, lucky KidLit Oasis Readers!
I am so excited to have you back, because you are in for multiple treats with this post! Are you smiling already? I hope you are, and in just a moment, you'll see what I mean...
My guest on KidLit Oasis is the amazing Helen Wu, who wears many hats in the kidlit industry: she is an editor, publisher, author, illustrator, graphic designer, and translator! How impressive is that? Oh, and she's also my acquisition's editor for my upcoming picture book, The School of Failure: A Story About Success. So, it's my great pleasure to have Helen on my blog, and I'm truly happy to chat with her about her role as an editor, in particular, and get the scoop on what goes on behind the scenes at Yeehoo Press, so you could be in the know as well!
Plus, Helen is generously giving away a picture book critique to one super lucky blog reader! And, she's giving my readers an above-the-slush-pile submission opportunity! Hooray! (Find the guidelines at the end of the interview.)
Now, without further ado, welcome, Helen! Thank you for being my guest. I have lots of questions, so let's get started.
1. How did you become an editor? Did you have any mentors who helped you along the way? And please tell us about Yeehoo as a publisher -- what are the company's values, goals, and missions?
I’ve been passionate about writing and drawing since I was a kid, but I never thought it would be a career option growing up in China. After I graduated from the University of Georgia with an MS in Economics, I landed a job in the marketing field. I learned how to use and draw in Photoshop to make attractive marketing materials. I did digital drawings and put a portfolio online. To my surprise, someone asked me if I could illustrate their picture book. Gradually, I illustrated more self-published picture books. I got involved in every step of bookmaking—from illustration to layout to cover design, typography, and book printing. When my son was born, I was inspired to write and illustrate my own picture books. The positive feedback encouraged me to do more. In 2018, with 10 picture books that I wrote and illustrated under my belt, I realized I wanted more than just a book out there. My dream was to write a book that could reach a wider audience and be carried by libraries and brick-and-mortar bookstores. I knew I needed a professional team with an editor, designer, and art director and marketing resources to back me up. Traditional publishing was the route to take. I started taking classes and attending conferences.
In August 2019, I attended the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles and met Mr. Zhang, the publisher, and two editors from Yeehoo Press. Luyang Xue, the acquisition editor, told me they were looking for someone to take charge of their publishing house’s US division. They wanted someone who could speak Mandarin and English and had experience in children’s book publishing and connections to authors in the US.
My background was a perfect fit for Yeehoo’s criteria. They invited me to visit their offices in Shanghai and Suzhou for an in-depth discussion with the whole team. After a few months of talks and planning, I officially joined the team in November 2019.
Yeehoo Press creates and publishes fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children’s books for audiences worldwide, focusing on universal messages. Yeehoo publishes the English editions in the US and the simplified Chinese editions in mainland China. Starting with the US and Chinese markets—two of the largest children's book markets—Yeehoo’s goal is to find common ground between different countries and cultures and provide books with universal interest and appeal for readers worldwide.
2. What is your favorite part of the job and what is your least favorite part? What brings you joy in your position day in and day out?
Definitely getting the chance to think creatively—not only the book itself but also the whole collaboration process and all areas of the publishing business. To be the best advocate for your book, you have to know about contracts, subsidiary rights, the target audience, writing, art style, graphic design, marketing, publicity, sales, and so on. The goal is to support the author and the rest of the book team, including the illustrator, designer, and marketing team, in telling a compelling story. I love to see each step of how a book takes shape from plain text to a finished book. I always marvel at the journey of making picture books. You plant a seed and work hard to nurture it, and it surprises you months later with flowers!
3. What is a typical workday for you? If there's no "typical" what are some of the tasks that have priority in any given workday?
Last year, I focused more on acquisitions. I used to read and review picture book manuscripts before presenting potential books to the acquisitions board. Some weeks, I only had a few manuscripts to read, while I had too many in other weeks. It can be really hot and cold, but every day starts with reading and taking notes.
This year, I focused more on the marketing side of the business, and our other editors do more of the acquisitions. I’m constantly looking at timing and scheduling. I always start with things at the top of my to-do list, and I regularly check on deadlines. I’m in meetings, liaising with different departments for each book, including editors who write the descriptive synopsis and catalog copy, the production team, who prints and ships the books, the sales team, who handle ads and promotions, and our acquisition editors about our new lists and acquisitions. It’s the little bits and pieces you’re doing throughout the day and over the course of many months to bring books into the world.
4. Are you actively acquiring new books at this time? What are some of the stories you're looking for? What appeals to you?
We’re developing a new list, and our manuscript wish list will be updated from time to time. The best way to keep informed of our most up-to-date list is to check our submission guidelines https://yeehoopress.com/submissions/ and follow us on social media.
5. How do you evaluate submissions? What marks does a manuscript need to hit to be considered for acquisitions?
We’re always looking for strong writing, compelling plots, and universal messages. We also have to think in terms of our list. We have four editors acquiring picture books, and the acquisition decisions are made by the whole team. We will do in-depth market research on the books we’re ready to acquire in the US and Chinese markets. Depending on the market, readers’ tastes differ, and the way to promote books is different. We try to find books with themes that have common ground in different markets. Once our books are published in the English and Chinese editions, I believe it will be easier to reach other countries and cultures and be enjoyed by readers around the world.
For the acquisition process, our editors go through stacks of submissions, consider what we think may work for our program, create a memo to share with the team that includes a positioning statement about the book’s topic and why someone might want to buy it, a brief description of the story, an author bio, and comparable titles. In the US, the books will be published and promoted individually, while in mainland China, books by different authors and illustrators are commonly sold and promoted as collections or sets with a common theme. For a set of books, it could be from 3–10 books. We usually need to acquire at least three books about a particular theme—say emotions, STEAM, non-fictions about a particular topic—to establish a set of books.
6. What happens next? How is the acquisition process handled? Could you walk us through the process from submission to contract offer?
We usually have several rounds of acquisitions meetings. Occasionally, the manuscript might need some revisions, so we’ll also talk with the author about the possible revisions and make sure we’re on the same page and agree on the book’s direction. Acquisitions might take a few weeks to a few months, depending on our list. If we rush to complete a set of books, the acquisition will be faster. If we’re developing a new list, like we have been the past several months, we’re slow at acquisitions. When we’d like to acquire a book, we’ll send the author an offer with advances, royalty structures, and any other terms.
7. Are you currently taking submissions from illustrators?
Yes, we take submissions from illustrators. We’re actively looking for illustrators and browsing illustration agencies, portfolio websites, and social media. Submitting directly to us is a great way for us to get to know the artist.
8. What is the one thing people should avoid in submissions?
Some submissions don’t have a proper query letter. The query letter includes synopsis, pitch, age range, a short bio with the author’s writing experience, and three comparable titles. Though eventually, it’s the manuscript itself that we evaluate, a strong query frequently makes the difference in the submission grabbing our interest immediately.
9. How does Yeehoo support its authors and illustrators after the acquisition process and post-publication? Would you highlight some of the marketing, promotion, and distribution support your titles receive? For example, do you work with indie bookstores, big chains, school libraries, do you submit your books to journal reviews, awards etc.?
After the acquisition, we have several editors in the US who will do the actual editing with the author. They all have years of experience working in large publishing houses and will make the manuscript the best it can possibly be. It is also time to find an illustrator. We’d like to ask potential candidates to draw a sample character to see their interpretation. We select the artist based on the art style, character design, timeline, and budget. After we officially bring the illustrator on board, they will create a storyboard, then rough sketches, and then colored spreads. Our designer will jump in to start the layout design when 90% of the artwork is finished. The art director, the designer, and the illustrator will work together to ensure the final book is polished to perfection.
Our marketing starts about six months before publication. In China, we share the marketing channels and resources with our publishing partner, Phoenix Media & Group. We have distributors in different provinces in China and for online and offline bookstores. In the US, we also partner with the distributor here to make our books available to teachers, librarians, and booksellers through the regular sales channels. We send our books to be reviewed by all the major children's literature journals, such as Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and so on, and submit them for national, state, and numerous other awards. We also reach out to blogs, podcasts, and social media influencers for reviews and shoutouts. We contact independent bookstores and libraries for author events and storytimes. There are so many marketing ideas and approaches, and we love to work with amazing authors and illustrators to achieve success in the literary world.
10. What projects are you working on right now for Yeehoo's list? What are you excited about and why? Any upcoming titles you could share with us?
We’re really excited about our upcoming titles this year. Milo’s Moonlight Mission (June 15) by Kathleen M. Blasi, illustrated by Petronela Dostalova, is an emotionally resonant, heartwarming tale of a parent and a child struggling to find quality time together—a challenge with which many parents and children can identify. The Perfect Party (August 10) by Laurel P. Jackson, illustrated by Hélène Baum-Owoyele, celebrates the beauty of different cultures and the strength of collaboration. The Whole World Inside Nan's Soup (August 24) by Hunter Liguore, illustrated by Vikki Zhang, in which Nan shares the wisdom that one bowl of soup contains an assortment of traditions and places. From farmhand to delivery drivers to market merchants, readers can see all the essential hands it takes to bring a meal together. Chameleon Can Be (September 7) by Carolina Farías is an adventure of guessing riddles, learning about animals, and discovering the importance of being true to yourself.
We’re also working on another eight titles for spring 2022, and we can’t wait to bring all these adorable books to life!
I cannot wait, either -- especially since one of those adorable books in my own! Aaah, I'm so excited and look forward to sharing it with the word. :)
Thank you so much for your time, Helen, and for giving us such thorough insight into the publishing process at Yeehoo Press as well as sharing all these amazing books on Yeehoo's list!
I know that you also have a new book of your own coming out, published by Beaming Books, so I hope you'll be back to KidLit Oasis as a guest author next time.
I wish you all the best on your journey and I look forward to many more books from you, personally, and from Yeehoo Press.
G I V E A W A Y ! ! !
Helen Wu is giving away one non-rhyming picture book critique.
Here's how to enter the giveaway by 6/14/21:
1. Leave a comment on this post
2. Subscribe to KidLit Oasis
*Social media shares are optional, but encouraged and appreciated! Spread the word, and invite your writer and illustrator friends over to KidLit Oasis!
Don't forget to tag me (@RosiePOV on Twitter)
>>>>>The winner will be announced on 6/15/21<<<<<
Ellen Leventhal won the picture book critique by Helen Wu! Congratulations, Ellen!
Above-the-slush submission opportunity:
Open until 6/30/21
Follow the submision guidelines of Yeehoo Press when sending your picture book manuscript to Helen Wu, and put "Kidlit" in the subject line. Good luck!
Helen H. Wu is a children’s book author and illustrator of over 20 picture books, as well as a translator, graphic designer, and publisher. Her new picture book, Tofu Takes Time, illustrated by Julie Jarema, will be published by Beaming Books in spring 2022. She illustrated the educational coronavirus picture book Be a Coronavirus Fighter by Songju Ma Daemicke, which received many praises all around the world and has been translated into 12 languages. Helen is the Associate Publisher of Yeehoo Press, a Los Angeles based children’s book publisher. Being fascinated by the differences and similarities between cultures, Helen loves to share stories that can empower children to understand the world and our connections. Born and raised in Hefei, China, Helen moved to the US in her 20s. Currently, she resides in sunny Southern California, with her family and two kids.
Connect with Yeehoo Press and Helen Wu:
Yeehoo's website: https://yeehoopress.com/
Yeehoo's Twitter: @yeehoopress
Yeehoo's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yeehoopress/
Helen Wu on Twitter: @HelenHWu
Helen Wu on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helenhwu/
Helen Wu's website: https://helenhwu.com/
Book Review of KINDNESS IS A KITE STRING by Michelle Schaub, illustrated by Claire LaForte
Welcome back, dear readers!
Surprise! This week, instead of my regular interview with a KidLit professional, I am reviewing a book!
So, let's dive in as I introduce to you this newly released picture book, Kindness is a Kite String, written by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Claire LaForte, published by Cardinal Rule Press (April 1, 2021).
Description by the publisher:
During a year fraught with a global pandemic, racial injustice, a combative political season and a “new normal” way of living, Kindness is a Kite String is a welcome, cheerful, and simple story designed to embrace diversity and encourage empathy.
Have you ever felt sunshine warm on your face? Watched a kite soar? Crossed over a bridge? Kindness is a Kite String describes kindness through experiences children will find familiar, using similes and metaphors. The story guides the reader through a journey of the power of empathy and explains how kindness spreads happiness like sunshine; ultimately connecting diverse groups of people and the community at large.
* * *
This uplifting story with easy rhymes explores many simple ways for kids to be kind ― from a caring hug to a helping hand or a friendly smile... Just a small gesture "starts the day off right" and creates a ripple of empathy, support, and connection.
The bright illustrations complement the mood of positivity and consideration for others as the pictures demonstrate the immediate effect kindness can have. Multi-cultural representation and diversity are also reflected in the art, adding a layer of inclusivity.
A detailed before/while/after-reading guide for parents and educators is included within the book's copyright page with a list of questions and discussion prompts to help adults expand on the reading experience.
In addition, there's a back matter about similes and metaphors for use in the classroom.
Overall, this is a nice book to share with your kids or students!
Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion in review.
Check out my
Picture Book Critique Services
Author School Visits
and don't forget to subscribe to my blog if you haven't already!
Chitchat with Author Nicholas Solis and Sleeping Bear Press Editor, Sarah Rockett, plus a Giveaway!
This week, I am so excited to welcome an author and editor team to KidLit Oasis! Nicholas Solis and his editor at Sleeping Bear Press, Sarah Rockett, will give us the inside scoop of their collaboration on The Color Collector, the behind-the-scenes details from submission to acquisition and beyond, plus much more!
But that's not all! Sleeping Bear Press is also kindly giving away a copy of the book to one of my blog readers -- check out the details at the end of the interview.
And now, without further ado, here are Nick and Sarah! Thank you both for being on KidLit Oasis and for sharing this wonderful book with my readers! Let me start with my first question to Nick...
1. Nick, please tell us about the journey of publication for The Color Collector -- from the inspiration for the story and writing the first draft to how it ended up on Sarah's desk. I love hearing about the story behind the story and my readers do, too!
My inspiration for The Color Collector was a piece of art that was hanging up at The Austin Art Garage in Austin, TX. It had a lonely little girl, with the saddest eyes I had ever seen, catching falling leaves and placing them in a knapsack. The painting stuck with me for days and I just kept wondering about why she was so sad. I wrote several rough drafts, but none of them felt right. Then one night I woke up at two in the morning with the entire story. I quickly wrote it down before I forgot it. It was much sparser than the original drafts, but the text felt like it fit the lonely little girl with the sad eyes. I continued to work on the draft over the next few years, and started taking classes at The Writing Barn, where I was able to edit it with the help of the fantastic authors who taught there.
In 2018, I was at the International Literacy Association Conference where I started talking to Sarah about books. We traded contacts and I sent in some of my stories to Sleeping Bear Press, and she liked The Color Collector!!!
2. Sarah, please guide us through your thoughts and the process from when you first read The Color Collector to acquiring the story. What made you fall in love with it? What stood out?
Meeting Nick at the ILA conference was such a joy! I could tell how passionate he is about his students and writing for kids—I knew he would be a wonderful author. Nick ended up submitting a handful of manuscripts to us. They all had a ton of potential, and most were really funny, but Color Collector felt really intentional and soulful. The themes of finding beauty in the discarded and being a friend felt really timely. There were so many directions a reader could go with the story. And it had such amazing illustration potential. Luckily, our acquisition team agreed and we were able to sign the project!
3. Nick, how different is the final, published story from the draft that Sarah saw?
It’s pretty similar to the draft that Sarah saw. Sarah has a fantastic eye for editing, and she helped me really tighten up the story. But overall, it was just losing a word or phrase here or there. We did lose one page of text, but that was replaced with the amazing illustrations of Renia Metallinou!
4. Sarah, what was the revision process like after acquisitions?
Nick is right. Not a ton changed with the manuscript in the revision process. But when you’re working with a picture book manuscript—and especially one like Color Collector that is lyrical in nature and already has a tight word count—every single word and punctuation mark is really important. We made a handful of word choice and style edits, but not much more than that. Nick was collaborative and flexible as we worked on the story. It was a great partnership!
5. Nick, what surprised you the most in the journey of this book?
The thing that surprised me most was the editing process. This is the first book that I ever worked with an editor on. I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go. When you sell a book, you’re just happy to get it out there and you’ll pretty much agree to anything. But you struggle with questions like, “What if they change my entire book?” or “What if they get rid of a part that I really love?” But when Sara came back with edits, I thought they were all really great suggestions.
One thing that I absolutely appreciated was when I asked Sarah if we could change the characteristics of the narrator and she enthusiastically agreed. I wanted someone who looked more like me. I’m Mexican-American and I’m trying to push for more representation in the books I create. Sarah and Sleeping Bear Press were on board without question. We gave the boy character tan skin and dark hair like mine and many of the students I teach. I love that they can see themselves inside this book.
6. Sarah, please tell us how the illustrator was chosen and how the selection process works at Sleeping Bear Press. What was your vision for the art and who were the people involved in the decision? Are authors asked for input?
The illustrator selection process is really a team effort at Sleeping Bear. I always ask the author for input on what they see as the style for the book. And then the art director and I talk about what we see working and narrow down a list of choices. Sometimes we all see something different for a particular story, but in this case I think we all wanted to see something creative with dramatic colors. Our art director is wonderful and always guides this process in the right direction. She has a knack for seeing artist portfolios and knowing how they might be able to use their style to make the book shine. And then our authors are looped in for notes throughout the sketch and final art process. The illustration process can be stressful for authors. It’s like sending your kid to sleepaway camp or daycare for the first time! But this is the author’s story and we want them to love the book 100%.
7. Nick, what do you hope readers will take away from the story and what do you believe would resonate with them? How do you envision young kids connecting to your characters?
The main thing I would love readers to take away from this book is that even a small act of kindness can make a huge difference. The narrator is curious about what Violet does with all of the things she collects. He basically asks her a question and then just listens. That’s it. But that small act of kindness made a huge difference in her life. My parents divorced when I was young, so I had to move schools in the middle of the year. I had no friends and no one to talk to. I was absolutely miserable. But one day in class a kid named Dylan said hi to me. We talked for a bit and I met some of his friends. That small interaction changed the course of my entire life. I was a shy, introverted kid. But as the school year progressed, I came out of my shell. I made more and more friends. I later became a teacher that used my story to help spread kindness throughout my classroom. And now I am a writer with a book hoping to spread that message to a wider audience. It all happened with a simple, “Hi.” But it completely changed my life. I hope the readers will do the same for someone else they meet along the way.
* * *
>>>Click on the cover image to order your copy directly from Sleeping Bear Press!<<<
A new classmate from abroad and a boy who notices she's lonely as he, too, was new once... and in the midst of grayness, a quiet friendship is born. The two kids progressively warm up to each other-- observing each other and connecting from a distance --slowly closing the gap between their two separate worlds.
As their friendship blossoms over time, so does the burst of color on the pages.
The emotional arc is quite effectively enhanced by the visuals, with the art starting in black, white, and gray spreads and slowly progressing towards a gorgeous, full-blown rainbow palette.
Themes of friendship, empathy, and immigration will resonate with readers on multiple levels. Great addition to home and school libraries, for ages 4-8 years.
* * *
Nicholas Solis is an award-winning elementary teacher and author. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Grant from We Need Diverse Books. Growing up, he didn’t have a lot of friends. He moved around a lot and being the new kid at school wasn’t always easy. But in junior high, one kid reached out and was simply nice to him. That gesture of friendship has shaped Nicholas’s entire life. He regularly brings up that story with his students in the hopes of motivating them to reach out to others whenever they can. He lives with his wife, Morgan, their dog, Charlie, and their amazing son, Leo, in Austin, Texas. Learn more about Nicholas at nicholassolis.com
Sarah Rockett has been working in the children's publishing industry for more than a decade and truly believes that picture books have the power to change the world. She loves traveling, spending time outdoors, and--of course--reading. She lives in Michigan with her husband, young son, and lazy cocker spaniel.
G I V E A W A Y ! ! !
Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the drawing for a chance to win a copy of The Color Collector!
(As a reminder, make sure you are subscribed to the blog, and also to share on social media. Good luck!)
Carolyn Combs is the winner of THE COLOR COLLECTOR. Congratulations, Carolyn!
If you enjoy my blog and you'd like to support my work, please consider purchasing any of my books for your kids, as a birthday present, or to gift to a teacher or a school librarian.
Your support is much appreciated! :)
About Rosie J. Pova
Rosie J. Pova is a multi-published, award-winning children's author and kid lit Writing Coach. She's the creator of Picture Book Mastery System™ that is proven to help emerging children's writers advance their career and get closer to their publishing goals.
Rosie's latest picture book, Sunday Rain, was featured in The New York Times and recommended by Parents magazine. Her upcoming picture book, The School of Failure: A Story About Success will be released in the spring of 2022 in both China and the USA.
Rosie also loves to visit schools and her interactive workshops empower students to unleash their creativity and grow in confidence through reading, writing, and creating. Teachers and librarians love Rosie for her bubbly, upbeat personality which captures students' attention, encourages them to think creatively, and motivates them to pursue big dreams.
She has been featured on TV, radio, podcasts, and print media, and also speaks on women's and moms’ topics, sharing her journey from a Bulgarian immigrant to a published author.
Find out more about Rosie's online courses, mentorships, and her work by visiting her website: RosieJPova.com
Check out her Critique Services here, her Workshops here, and her school visits page here.
Rosie is represented by Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Literary.