Give Something Away Day Winners

Today I am happy to announce  the winners to two recent give-a ways. The first was for a copy of Robin Newman’s picture book NO MORE PEACOCKS:  Mike Allegra

The next is for # separate prizes from the Give Something Away Day post of Kim Pfennigwerth. The winners are:

Donna Taylor receives a set of picture book by Annie Silvestro titled  Bunny”s Book Club and Bunny’s Book Club Goes to School.

Robin Newman wins a pair of MIA MAYHEM chapter books illustrated by Leeza Hernandez.

Evelyn Krieger wins the historical fiction YA book THE SHALLOW GRAVES by Jennifer Donnelly + a 30 page critique of a novel-in-progress.

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and a HUGE thanks to all who participated in the give-away. Please contact me with your address, so we can send you your goodies.

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Celebrate National Macaroni and Cheese Day With Phil, Jim, and Harry.

Did you know that Sunday, July 14th is NATIONAL MACARONI AND CHEESE DAY? I think it’s fitting to have a special day for such an iconic food. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love some form of this dish? Many of us grew up with that orange-staple-in-a-box and survived college eating it. Just about every restaurant has some kind of mac & cheese on its menu. And, I’m sure we all have our favorites.

To celebrate the day, I am giving away a copy of the delightful PB by Robin Newman titled NO PEACOCKS, where peacocks Phil, Jim, and Harry set out to sample the local school’s world famous mac & cheese.

No Peacocks!: A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies

To enter for a chance to win, please share what you think is the best macaroni and cheese ingredient ever. The one special thing you add to your recipe that elevates it to new heights. I will put your name in my hat and draw one random entry for the give-away.

Enjoy the day, and may all your macaroni and cheese be DELICIOUS!

2016

Picture Book Author Robin Newman Presents: Squawking with Jim, the Peacock + Book Give-away.

Today it is my pleasure to be a stop on the blog tour for PB author Robin Newman’s newest book NO PEACOCKS which is illustrated by CHRIS EWALD (Sky Pony Press). I’ve got the inside scoop from none other than Jim, resident peacock.

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Every day Phil, Jim, and Harry are fed sunflower seeds by the staff who care
 for them at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But one day, they decide they’re sick of seeds. They make a break for the New York City streets in search of pizza or Chinese takeout. But everywhere they go, they’re told “No peacocks!”

So, they try to get an ooey, gooey, delicious meal closer to home. But 
how are they going to sneak into The Cathedral School’s dining hall and get their wings on the school’s world-famous mac ’n cheese? A little plotting, some stolen disguises, and help from the students, and the mission is a go!

Will the peacocks get their mac n cheese? Or will their cover be blown, forcing them to fly the coop? This fictional feathered tale was inspired by the real-life beloved celebrity birds living on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

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DBJ: Jim, you are the first peacock I’ve ever interviewed.

Jim: It’s funny but you’re not the first person to say that to me.

DBJ: Just a bit of background for my blog readers. You and your brothers, Phil and Harry, live on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on 112th St. and Amsterdam Avenue in New York.

Jim: That’s right! Harry and I have been around since about 2002. Phil came later.

DBJ: I couldn’t help but notice that you and Harry are the traditional blue-green peacocks while Phil has white feathers.

Jim: Phil is a leucistic white peafowl. Everyone seems to think it’s a big deal (especially Phil!) and tourists are always trying to snap his picture but personally I don’t see the appeal.

DBJ: Is there a way to tell you and Harry apart?

Jim: Ask any of the children. Each one seems to have a foolproof system for telling us apart. Say, are you going to eat those almonds?  All I had for breakfast were some sunflower seeds. And those pesky neighborhood pigeons kept pecking at my food.

DBJ: You poor bird. Please take the entire bag.

Jim: Thanks!

DBJ: Speaking of food, I hear that there’s a new book about the three of you focused on food.

Jim: No Peacocks! A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies, by Robin Newman and illustrated by Chris Ewald. It flies onto bookshelves September 4th.

DBJ: Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Jim: It’s about pizza and baked goods.

DBJ: Anything else?

Jim: Our quest to try the world’s best mac ‘n cheese.

DBJ: And?

Jim: I don’t want to spoil the plot (or your appetite). You’ll have to read the book.

DBJ: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Jim: If you read the book, and like the book, please leave a review. Also, please come by and say hello. You can even check out our fancy new coop. The New York Times wrote an article about it.   You can see the article at the end of this post.

 DBJ: Thanks, Jim!

Jim: Wait! I forgot to mention. Harry is stopping by Patricia Tilton’s blog, Children’s Books Heal, on September 7.  https://childrensbooksheal.com

Oh, and we’ll be looking for you at our BOOK SIGNING tonight! Be sure to stop by, we’ll be serving our favorite food (hint…it’s cheese)

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Robin Newman was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She is the author of the Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and The Case of the Poached Egg, as well the picture book, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, illustrated by Chris Ewald. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels, who are extremely fond of Phil, Jim and Harry.

Website: www.robinnewmanbooks.com

Twitter: @robinnewmanbook

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RobinNewmanBooks/339179099505049

Robin is giving away a signed copy of her book to a random person who leaves a comment on this post.  If you share the post on social media, I’ll put your name in the hat twice. The winner will be announced on WEDNESDAY 9-19 on this blog.

Interview with Detective Wilcox about The Case of the Poached Egg.

Today I am meeting with Detective Wilcox, #2 Missing Food Investigator on the force at Ed’s Farm, to discuss the latest developments in The Case of the Poached Egg.

DBJ: Is it true Henrietta’s precious egg, Penny, was egg-napped on the eve of Farmer Ed’s Big Speggtacular?

DW: At 10:00 am on Tuesday Henrietta Hen reported the disappearance of her egg, Penny.

DBJ: Was it an egg-napping?

DW: It’s too soon to tell.

DBJ: Any suspects?

DW: I can’t comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, but I can tell you we plan on speaking with particular animals of interest.

DBJ: Do you think Penny’s disappearance has something to do with the Speggtacular?

DW: We’re exploring all possible angles.  

DBJ: Was fowl play involved?

DW: On a farm with over 100 hungry thieving animals, it’s always a possibility.

DBJ: Are those cheese donuts on your desk? I’ve never had one.

DW: Help yourself.

DBJ: Do you know how they came about?

DW: The cheese donuts? Some crazy children’s book author named Robin Newman came up with the idea. Now I’ve got to scramble if I’m going to crack this case. Let’s hope this case finishes sunny side up. Sunny side up, indeed.

About Robin Newman:  

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs and peacocks. She’s the author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery (Creston Books) and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep (Creston Books). The second book in the Wilcox & Griswold mystery series,

The Case of the Poached Egg (Creston Books), releases April 2017 (but is already available for pre-order at your favorite independent bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble) and No Peacocks! (Sky Pony Press), flies onto bookshelves fall 2017. Robin lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels.

Website: www.robinnewmanbooks.com

Twitter: @robinnewmanbook

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RobinNewmanBooks/339179099505049

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah Zemke Talks about Illustration, Writing and Her New Book.

My first picture book, The Way It Happened, came out in 1988. Though long out of print, I still read/show it during school visits to demonstrate how we “read” pictures, and also because it’s fast, fun and a good read aloud. The curious thing is that the story progresses through a narrative line and through speech bubbles, which is also how I wrote/pictured my newest book, Bea Garcia: My Life in Pictures. That didn’t dawn on me until recently when I was reading My Life to second and third graders. It’s funny how much you discover about a book when you read it aloud even after you’ve spent a year creating it. So from my first book to my last, I’ve come full circle—though maybe it’s a widening circle as My Life is a 134-page chapter book with close to 200 illustrations.     mylifecover

 

I’m thrilled that My Life has been so well received and am simultaneously at work on the second (finish art) and third books (writing/sketching) in the series. The second book is based on the first story that I wrote, though completely and utterly revised. My agent suggested I develop that story into a series and that’s when Bea Garcia truly emerged—to expand beyond a single story line meant painting Bea with a fuller brush, as it’s her humor and imagination that drive the stories. As the Kirkus reviewer noted, There isn’t anything real or imaginary that the endearing Bea cannot draw; she straddles fantasy and real life…and even more gratifying to me… Readers will find inspiration to write, draw, explore, and imagine.

 As I tell kids, I love words and pictures and what happens when you put them together. I love letters, too, and have done a series of doodle books in which letters of the alphabet are turned into pictures. It still seems like magic to me that you can turn an A into an Alligator!      mylifewishAs author and/or illustrator, I’ve produced over 40 books, from poetry to humor to picture books to drawing books. I enjoy illustrating other writers’ stories. People sometimes ask if I wouldn’t rather just do my “own” books, not understanding that these are very much my own books!  Illustrating a book is not visually depicting the words, it’s visually telling the story. Imagining other people’s words and worlds takes me places I wouldn’t go on my own. I’m currently having lots of fun sketching out the second book in Robin Newman’s Wilcox and Griswold mystery series.  

You can visit Deborah at:   carrotcake_cover03

www.deborahzemke.com

www.beagarciabooks.com

Zemke, Deborah ds

Zemke, Deborah

 

 

 

 

New Spring Picture Books from Creston Books

CRESTON BOOKS – the small publisher run by Marissa Moss in Berkeley, CA – continues to impress readers and reviewers alike.  Many of its books, my own WHEELS OF CHANGE included, have won awards.  The new spring list is out and it looks like another winner.   Check out these gems:

The Girl Who Saved Yesterday
Written by Julius Lester, Illustrated by Carl Angel                Yesterdaycvr

Julius Lester at his best, language so rich you can feel it on your tongue

When the girl, Silence, is sent by the trees to save Yesterday, she doesn’t know what her
task is, only that it is important. Returning to the village that cast her out, Silence recognizes her
purpose: to join the dead with the living in an act that celebrates their memory.

“The Girl Who Saved Yesterday reads like an ancient myth. At times I found myself getting
lost in the dreamlike text, but the joys of re-reading allowed me to dig deeper into the stunning
illustrations. A challenging, but ultimately very provocative tale with illustrations to match.”
– Martha Pettit, Folio Books
ISBN: 978-1-939547-24-8              Ages: 4 to 9

Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep
By Robin Newman, Illustrated by Chris Ewald

Hildie Bitterpickles has the perfect home until a cast of noisy neighbors move in next
door. Who can sleep near a giant clomping on his beanstalk, children running all over their
shoe house or three blind mice who like to play with hammers and saws?     HildieCoverFINAL

“Bewitchingly funny, Hildie Bitterpickles’s story leaves kids howling with laughter while
sharing with them a lesson about how to solve our problems and get along with others.”
– Mr. Gilvarry’s Third Grade, Southold Elementary School

“This magical story teaches us all that it is better to face your troubles, rather than run
away from them. Young readers will delight as they recognize some noisy guest stars among
the pages, visiting us from classic fairy tales.”
– April Howe, Villa Park Public Library
ISBN: 978-1-939547-23-1        Ages: 4 to 8

Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming By Marissa Moss
Mira travels to 1864 San Francisco to confront her mother about changing history only to learn that things aren’t what they appear and much more is at stake than she could have imagined.
In the last book of the time-travel series, Mira explores the past of her familiar Bay Area,
discovering layers of history in San Francisco and learning the real reason her mother has
been working to change history. On the way, she meets Mark Twain and uncoversMiraCalifCvr the Watcher’s real identity.

“Readers will enjoy this enthralling glimpse of history.”
– School Library Journal
“An engrossing, diary-style blend of history, mystery, and time travel.”
– Publishers Weekly

ISBN: 978-1-939547-22-4    Ages: 8 to 13

 

 

Busy Busy by Lucy Scott

What do toddlers really do all day? Busy, Busy lets you in on the secrets of their imaginative world.
Parents may think their toddlers are simply playing or making messes, but really they’re building cities, going on exciting adventures, and creating masterpieces.

“Busy Busy captures in stunningly detailed illustrations the glory that is an energetic toddler. Kids will adore seeing what a mess the nameless busy, busy narrator can make in this quirky, fun book.”
– Martha Pettit, Folio Books                 BusyCvr

“In the delightful Busy Busy parents are sure to recognize their own child, whether she is an explorer, an architect, a master chef, or just plain tired.
– Jim Averbeck, author of One Word from Sophia
ISBN: 978-1-939547-25-5
Ages: 3 to 5

Please address any questions to Marissa Moss:
marissamoss@crestonbooks.co
Creston Books
PO Box 9369
Berkeley, CA 94709

facebook.com/crestonbooks

Twitter @CrestonBooks
http://www.crestonbooks.co

 

ALA ROCKS!

I went to Chicago this past weekend and attended my first American Library Association (ALA) Convention.  IMG_5266

I got to share the excitement with fellow Creston Books author ROBIN NEWMAN.  Not only did we share a room, we also shared our first book event with other authors from Creston as well as our Publisher/Editor/Mentor MARISSA MOSS.  Below is a photo gallery of some of the highlights from this amazing trip.

Up the escalator to the world of...BOOKS!

Up the escalator to the world of…BOOKS!                                                 

FINALLY meeting my wonderful editor Marissa Moss!

FINALLY meeting my wonderful editor Marissa Moss!

Friday Afternoon...Meeting and hanging out with the world's best school librarian: John Schumacher AKA Mr. Schu

Friday Afternoon…Meeting and hanging out with the world’s best school librarian: John Schumacher AKA Mr. Schu

With Fellow CRESTON BOOKS authors: Marissa Moss, Robin Newman, Lori Degman at ALA Convention Center Friday Evening

With Fellow CRESTON BOOKS authors: Marissa Moss, Robin Newman, Lori Degman at ALA Convention Center Friday Evening

Creston Books author Marcia Goldman and Lola...a favorite attendee.

Creston Books author Marcia Goldman and Lola…a favorite attendee.

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Also spotted at the event....

Also spotted at the event….

Bookstore signing event on Saturday at Anderson's in Naperville, IL.

Bookstore signing event on Saturday at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL.

Also at the Book Stall in Winnetka, IL

Also at the Book Stall in Winnetka, IL

Got snowed in an extra day...

Got snowed in an extra day…

And after several rounds of cancelled flights...

And after several rounds of cancelled flights…    Made it home safe and sound.

It was an amazing event and I was happy to share it with so many wonderful, book-loving people!

 

 

Robin Newman and me waiting at Chicago O'Hare airport for yet another delayed flight...tired but happy from the weekend's events.

Robin Newman and me waiting at Chicago O’Hare airport for yet another delayed flight…tired but happy from the weekend’s events.