Winner Announcement 3/23/23

Congratulations Julie Hauswirth, winner of Stephanie Gibeault’s wonderful giveaway, TOBY TOOTLES, illustrated by Mary Sullivan. Thank you, Stephanie for being on the blog.

Julie email me at ljrwritenow @ g mail dot com with your mailing address.

Tuesday I shared my interview with Picture Book Gold friend Jill Dana author of BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP, and coming in April I have two more wonderful Picture Book Gold interviews coming your way: author Marcia Bergner sharing inspiration for her recent release BUSY FEET, and Molly Ruttan author and illustrator of SOMETHING WILD. Trust me, you’re going to want to read all of these!

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 

Winner Announcement 3/9/23

Congratulations to Lana Montalban winner of the critique giveaway from Catherine Ciocchi, author of SCIENCE MATTER AND THE BASEBALL PARK, illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne and published by Gnome Road. Lana, please email me so that I can connect you with Catherine for your prize.

Readers, did you see my interview on Tuesday with Stephanie Gibeault celebrating her debut TOBY TOOTLES which releases next week? Go check it out! And come back on 3/21 when another Picture Book Gold friend Jill Dana stops by to share her new book BUTTERNUT & BUTTERCUP!

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