Tag Archives: picture books

Book Review MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS: A Teacher And Writer’s Perspective by Laura Roettiger

Book Review MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS: A Teacher And Writer’s Perspective by Laura Roettiger

Book Review MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS: A Teacher And Writer’s Perspective by Laura Roettiger
— Read on frogonablog.net/2018/11/17/book-review-maximillian-villainous-a-teacher-and-writers-perspective-by-laura-roettiger/

My guest review on Frog on a Blog!

National #STEM Day

A few more photos from Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum to celebrate National STEM Day! A museum made to inspire anyone who looks at the sky with wonder!

My debut picture book is available for preorder! ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON – on Amazon and Eifrigpublishing.com

Love this tribute to teaching and all things STEAM! Science, technology, engineering, art, math

Cover Reveal for my debut picture book!

“In this charming STEM book, children will see how the light of the full moon inspires Aliana to create a present for her brother Gustavo which will surprise the whole family.”

ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON releases 2/19/2019 with Eifrig Publishing and is available for preorder now at EifrigPublishing.com and Amazon.com

Beautifully illustrated by Ariel Boroff

Full Moon Announcement

The full moon, has always been an inspiration for me. On this full moon, I’m happy to announce that I have signed contracts with my publisher and my illustrator for a book that will be released in early 2019!

Photo of the harvest moon 9/24/2018

Writing Date

I don’t typically write about my own writing in my blog so indulge me, if you will.

Today a friend who is a very accomplished author with wonderful habits and rituals came for a writing date. She explained how she infuses fun in her daily life and writing process. We visited for a while and she met my new puppy, Charlie. 💗🐶💓

Then we agreed to silent, dedicated writing time sitting side-by-side. We’ve talked about how writing alone shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes the focus isn’t there.

It was a lovely morning for so many reasons. I wrote the final draft of the back matter for a picture book and revised another book based on feedback I received over the weekend. Thinking about the ritual of writing and what makes it both gratifying and successful is now something I will consider as I write. I know this will impact my productivity and my enjoyment.

Catalina and the King’s Wall

Today’s post is about a soon to be released book and the current kickstarter campaign. I was lucky enough to spend time with the author at a retreat last fall and we have become friends and writing partners since then.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Boise, Idaho with my husband, a toddler, a dog named Pippa, and a dog named Spencer. I have a BA in Psychology from the University of St Thomas and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. I currently work in higher education and have had my research on attention and implicit processing published in journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Consciousness and Cognition, and Psychological Science.

I was inspired to write my first book, Catalina and the King’s Wall, while attending the Women’s March in January 2017. I am excited to say that the book has successfully garnered a lot of attention and pre-orders, well before the launch date of May 5th, 2018. I am also currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise PR funds and also funds for local refugee organizations.  https://www.kickstarter.com/about

My background in neuroscience helped me to write my first picture book. It is designed to be a teaching tool for progressive parents to discuss current events with their young children.

I am an active member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and my local Idaho-Utah chapter of SCBWI. I am a member of 12 x 12, a supportive community for picture book writers, encouraging us to write a new picture book a month. I recently was offered representation by a New York Agency and I am currently working on my second picture book.

What inspired your book, Catalina and the King’s Wall?

I was inspired to write this book after I took my son to my local women’s march in January 2017 following the combative U.S. presidential election. I stood with him on that cold and snowy day and wondered: What kind of world was he born into? How will he learn to always be kind? I was deeply concerned, yet hopeful because of the turnout at the march. I wrote my book to help parents discuss these questions with their kids in a fun story format that children can relate to. I would love for all kids to hear the story of a persistent cookie baker named Catalina and how she never gave up on seeing her family again.

Tell us about your main character.

I really love how Catalina turned out. Catalina is a talented young baker, away from home, happily baking for the king. However, she learns that the king wants to build a wall to keep anyone who is “different” out. She realizes that her family, due to visit her soon, won’t be able to visit if a wall is built. She is too busy baking to take time off to go visit them. Catalina is determined to come up with a plan to stop the king from building his wall. She is persistent, never giving up on her dream of seeing her family. She speaks in baking puns and a positive tone. When she is trying to come up with her next idea, she says to herself “Oh, for goodness bakes!” and when the king demands more of more of her cookies, even when yelling that he does not like them, she thinks to herself “He really frosts my cookies!”

What do you think readers will find most appealing about your book?

I think parents will find the underlying message and subtle political jabs – both in the text and the illustrations – amusing. I think kids will like it because it talks about cookies, cake and frosting! They will like Catalina’s silly way of talking in baking puns and how persistent she is in standing up for what she believes in. She is the true underdog to root for and kids will be rooting for her the entire story!

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a non-fiction picture book biography. I was recently offered representation by a New York Agency, but I am not allowed to say more until a book deal is made – most likely later this spring.

American Writers Museum in Chicago

A visit to the American Writers Museum at 180 N Michigan Avenue in Chicago with a fellow writer is the source of renewed inspiration and energy for writing and reading.

The museum, which opened in May 2017, has a variety of exhibits including an entire room devoted to picture books with large displays of cover art and a library for families to enjoy reading time together.

A special exhibit dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder is captivating for anyone who has read the books, watched the TV show, or sees themselves as an explorer or pioneer. We were especially captivated by the panel about how Laura became the “eyes” for her older sister when Mary became blind from illness. This is likely the reason Laura became such a wonderful storyteller.

My friend and I were reminded of so many favorite books and authors from high school and college days, and were also surprised at how many more we need to explore.

You can go home again

I was lucky 🍀💚🍀 enough to spend a decade at a great school with fabulous colleagues, the most supportive families, and children that filled my heart every single day.

I’ve been gone for 17 months but whenever I return to Chicago, a priority for me is reconnecting with the children who made getting up at 5:30 worthwhile. I may no longer remember all of their names, but I remember stories about each one – how hard they worked, how genuinely sweet and caring they were, and sometimes how challenging and challenged they were.

Yesterday (in my first 24 hours back in town) I visited school and was made to feel like a celebrity as a chorus of voices called my name. 💕💓 💕

Children who I knew from kindergarten and first grade are now eighth graders and beyond. I met kindergarteners yesterday that are the baby of a family I’ve known since before they were born. The magic of children never fails to impress and inspire me.

And in a perfect twist of fate, yesterday was the Scholastic Book Fair which is also something I treasure. Buying Matt De La Peña’s book and sharing it with the sweetest children in the world is a new memory for me to treasure.