Welcome Author Jill Dana – Giveaway Alert

Today I am excited to share my interview with author friend Jill Dana who I met as a judge with Rate Your Story . We are also part of Picture Book Gold, a promotion group that has recently celebrated the release of Jill’s second book, BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP, illustrated by Rachel Tan-Hwee. Jill has been a wonderful friend and resource as our group works together to improve our social media skills, she offers wonderful critiques for any level of writer, and her March on With Mentor Texts post about anthropomorphic characters is an excellent look at how characters in picture books can be anything – even a butternut squash!

Jill is offering one lucky winner a “your choice” prize of a copy of BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP or a picture book critique. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.

What were you like at the age of your target audience?

I lived in Brooklyn until the middle of second grade, when my family moved to South Florida. When I was a kid, I loved reading, going to the library, shopping, clothes, dolls, acting, singing, swimming, friends, birthday parties, animals, nature, pets, arts and crafts, music (especially Madonna and George Michael), movies, travelling, Italian ices, pizza, and more. In other words, I was a very similar person to the woman that I am today.

What inspires you?

There is so much that inspires me.  I’m especially inspired by plants, animals, nature, my family and friends, kids, the kidlit community, people who aspire to make the world a better place, all art forms, kindness, good food, and boba tea.

What do you hope readers take away from your books?

There are many things that I hope readers take away from my books, but if I had to choose one today, it’s a connection to nature. And on an even deeper level, a reminder that we’re all one, including nature and animals. Since the Butternut series, parents tell me stories about how their kids are excited to visit the produce department and see the squashes. When I hear the books inspire kids to learn about different types of produce, where foods comes from, gardening and plants, I feel fulfilled that they are connecting to nature in a joyous way.

What’s next for you?

I’m super excited that Butternut is now a series.  The first book, BUTTERNUT, focused on Butternut’s search for where he belonged and his journey of self-discovery.  Am I butter?  A nut?  Squash or Squashed?  The second book, BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP, focuses on Butternut’s friendship with Buttercup and the search for the perfect birthday gift.  And I’m thrilled to announce that more Butternut series picture books are in the works.  Seeing my books bring joy to young readers and/or a new or deeper understanding, a reminder of their specialness, a reminder that they’re not alone, and/or that we’re all one (including nature and animals) motivates me to keep creating books for young readers.  I consider writing (and illustrating) books for young readers an honor.  And, I have so much respect and appreciation for the children’s book community and enjoy spreading the word about other book creators’ books as well.  I know you, Laura, do as well and I appreciate the opportunity to introduce my books to your readers.  And thank YOU for dedicating so much time to spreading the word about children’s literature.

To learn more about Jill, Butternut, and upcoming books:

Twitter & IG @jilldanabooks 

Facebook: Jill Dana Books


Published by authorlaurablog

I'm a reading specialist from Chicago, now living in the beauty of the Roosevelt National Forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My first book "Aliana Reaches for the Moon" features a creative and curious girl who loves science, her little brother, and her very patient parents. I'm currently writing a MG novel and several picture books with STEM elements and dogs.

46 thoughts on “Welcome Author Jill Dana – Giveaway Alert

  1. This book is adorable and sounds not only fun to read, but provides the reader with a universal heart message. Thank you for the interview!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations, Jill, on more fabulous BUTTERNUT books to come! I can’t wait to read them. And I love what you said about us all being one with nature. So true!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for Jill. I love these books, too and there’s something wonderful about the grocery store setting that feels so relatable and of course the nature connection is perfect! Good luck in the giveaway.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for mentioning the grocery store connection, Laura. I think many kids love visiting the grocery store and it’s fun to show kids the connection between the store and the farm. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog! It’s a charming book and the combination of a familiar setting and some word play they children can understand make it a lovely read. And the sweet friendship story is just the best! Good luck in the giveaway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura, thank you for the interview. It is nice to read the inspiration behind this sweet friendship story and her invitation to connect with nature. The book reminded me that special moments make the best gift we can offer those we care for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judith, thank you for reading and sharing your kind words for Jill. This book really spoke to my heart because I’m not a gift person. My love language is time together and this is what Butternut learns in the story. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for doing this interview! It is so fun to learn about different authors and to hear about their books. I would love these books for my Junior Kindergarten classroom or my grandchildren!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading, Kendra! BUTTERNUT and BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP are both perfect for your students or your grandchildren. There’s some wonderful fun extension activities with them and they are both books that are fun to read over and over. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Laura and Jill, for this interview! I love Jill’s themes of respect for each other and nature and understanding our connections that underly these friendship stories. The adorable characters are irresistible! I love too that kids are thinking about where their food comes from and the importance of caring for planet Earth. Happy to hear there are more Butternut stories to come!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sorry I’m behind on reading blogs and just catching up, but what a great interview! Jill, you were (and are) adorable! Little Jill had the cutest smile and the best hair, just like grown-up Jill. ❤ And I love that you took your love of nature, plants, and good food and used those interests to write the BUTTERNUT series! You know I adore your books and I'm so excited for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading, Jolene! And yes, little Jill’s picture made me squee with delight because she’s as you said adorable then and now! 😍 It’s also interesting to hear BUTTERNUT’s origins. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Liked by 2 people

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