Happy Book Birthday to THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS + 10 Qs with Rosie J. Pova = win-win!

Hooray! It’s the Book Birthday of Rosie J. Pova’s new picture book, 

THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS,

illus. Monika Filipina, Yeehoo Press!

Don’t you LOVE this cover?

“A sweet and sassy fractured fairy-tale about beloved characters who don’t make the final cut to be in a famous story but still find their starring roles.”

–YeeHoo Press

“”Failing your way to fabulous.” A delightful and refreshing take on failure that shows kids how imperfection is an expected and necessary part of success. The story highlights the importance of experimenting as a tool for discovering your true self. The detailed illustrations are immensely fun to pore over. A wonderful addition to any child’s library.” –Karen Yin, author of Whole Whale and So Not Ghoul

Welcome to the blog, Rosie J. Pova!

Let’s Ask Some Questions!

Q 1. What was the inspiration for SCHOOL OF FAILURE: a Story about Success?

Rosie J. Pova: Our family was away on Thanksgiving a few years ago, up in the mountains in Colorado, in a cabin, and between cooking the holiday meal and getting ready for our celebration, I sat down to write. I brainstormed possible book titles, trying to come up with one that would be interesting and memorable, and THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE came to mind. I thought it was intriguing, and so I wanted to find out what that story could be about. Later, I added the subtitle because I didn’t want readers and educators to get the wrong impression for the book, and because I needed the title to communicate the positive aspect of “failure” that the story explores.

Patience and Persistence

Q 2. Were there any times during the writing & publishing process of this book, or your #kidlit journey that—much like your characters Wolfred, Zinderella, and the Non-evil Queen—required patience and persistence?

Rosie J. Pova: Yes, plenty for both!

My #kidlit journey did require a ton of patience and persistence and it still does. (THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE is actually an autobiographical story. 😉 LOL)

As for the book, I guess it was only logical for a book about mistakes to go through a lot of “mistakes” ha-ha. This story definitely holds my personal record of the most revisions ever. There were other bumps on the road to its publication as well, and the release date had to be postponed a couple of times. But it’s finally here and I am excited to share it with readers around the world!

Interior art by Monika Filipina from THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS by Rosie J. Pova (Yeehoo Press).

Rejection…

Q 3. What advice would Wolfred, Zinderella, and the Non-Evil Queen say to rejected picture book characters (and possibly their authors & illustrators)?  

Rosie J. Pova: Ha! Having graduated The School of Failure, I think they’d say, “rejection is redirection” and also, “NO stands for ‘next opportunity’ that could be a better fit.” And if they’ve really learned their lesson, they might add that “failure is your friend because it’s leading you on your own personal path to success. Just keep going and trust the process.”

Q 4. What surprises did illustrator Monika Filipina bring to the book?  

Rosie J. Pova: So many surprises! For example, the Headmaster being a bat or the Fairy Godmother being a pink dragon.

Interior art by Monika Filipina from THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS by Rosie J. Pova (Yeehoo Press).

Tips, Tools, and Techniques

Q 5. Taking a question from your wonderful blog, Rosie: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project?

Rosie J. Pova: I have many and revise in tiers but to mention a couple techniques that are really helpful:

1) As I read my manuscript out loud, I imagine that I’m in front of 300 first graders and try to anticipate their engagement and reactions to the story as well as checking against my own excitement sharing it with them.

2) I look for opportunities to insert something unexpected, especially in the opening or ending of the story. I pay extra attention to making sure my beginning doubles on the hooks and that my ending has triple powers—it’s satisfying, memorable, and effectively wraps up the intended emotional takeaway.

Interior art by Monika Filipina from THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS by Rosie J. Pova (Yeehoo Press).

Support & Celebrations

Q 6. Who’s part of your #kidlit support system? Who gives YOU support and encouragement in your writing life when times get crazy?

Rosie J. Pova: My critique partners, author friends, and my agent are invaluable in being my support system!

Q 7. Do you have a launch planned for this book? Details, please!

Rosie J. Pova: No official launch planned for this book, but if people follow me on social media (or subscribe to my blog) that’d be a great way to stay in touch and get updates on upcoming events, giveaways, webinars that I host, or interviews with industry professionals that I post on my KidLit Oasis Chitchat Series. I would also encourage emerging or unpublished writers to join my Facebook group, The Unstoppable Writer if they’re looking for support and resources.

Takeaways

Q 8. What do you hope readers (young and old) will take away from this book?

Rosie J. Pova: I hope the book will be entertaining and elicit a few laughs, but also that it would serve as a conversation starter on how making mistakes is an opportunity to grow and learn, how failing could be perceived differently, and the importance of persistence. I think young readers will identify with one or more of the three characters’ personalities and, as they follow along their fairytale journeys, kids will feel more empowered and unafraid to face challenges in their own journeys.

It would be wonderful to know that the story resonated with readers, both young and old, and that they’d happily read the book over and over.

What’s Next?

Q 9. What other projects are you working on?

Rosie J. Pova: Lots in the works and it keeps me busy—I’m never bored! We’re about to go out on sub with a board book, in addition to some picture books we’re waiting to hear on. I have a chapter book series that my agent and I are getting ready for submission as well. Next will be finishing revisions on my non-fiction picture books.

Plus…..

I’m teaching my online writing courses and mentorship programs for other writers.

Q 10. What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Rosie J. Pova: Oh, so many things…. I love school visits, I like helping other writers, I enjoy the flexibility of writing, and the thrill I get from a raving reader review never gets old! 😊

To learn more about Rosie J. Pova and her books,

check out her web site: rosiejpova.com

and follow her on social media:

Twitter: @RosiePOV

Instagram: rosiepova

Happy Book Birthday, Rosie!

We know THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE will be a huge SUCCESS!

Happy (almost)Book Birthday WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE + 9 Qs with Karen Kilpatrick and Germán Blanco.

WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE by Karen Kilpatrick, Illus. Germán Blanco (Henry Holt & Co.) releases next Tuesday, May 10th, and we couldn’t be sparklier!

In the third hilarious picture book in the award-winning When Pencil Met Eraser series, underappreciated Glue longs to stand out. It’s a sticky situation until Glue meets a new friend, Glitter, who helps bring out her inner sparkle, confidence, and creativity.

Illus. by Germán Blanco, WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE, written by Karen Kilpatrick (Henry Holt & Co.)
Illus. by Germán Blanco, WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE, written by Karen Kilpatrick (Henry Holt & Co.)

We are very excited to have both author Karen Kilpatrick, and illustrator Germán Blanco answer our questions today. Welcome Karen and Germán!

1.     You two have teamed up on so many wonderful projects! How did the two of you meet / start working together?

Karen Kilpatrick: We actually met while working at the same toy company. Germán was the Creative Director of the division I led, and I was always so impressed with his work. When I wrote my first book, he seemed like a natural choice to illustrate it. I knew his work ethic and talent, and we had already worked on numerous creative projects together. It just made sense. 

2.     They say each of our books is a tiny bit autobiographical. Which character in this series (including WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER, WHEN PENCIL MET THE MARKERS) is most like you: Glitter, Glue, Markers, Pencil, Eraser?

Karen Kilpatrick: I think I’m a mix of Pencil, Eraser, Glitter, and Glue! Sometimes I get annoyed while working with others (Pencil), sometimes I am super exuberant and positive (Eraser), I really love helping people shine (Glitter), and sometimes I intimately relate to Glue (working hard in the background without being seen). 

Germán Blanco: I feel like Purple Marker. I like being weird and a bit crazy, and like the Purple Marker, I like coloring outside the lines and coming up with my own things. 

Illus. by Germán Blanco, WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE, written by Karen Kilpatrick (Henry Holt & Co.)

3.     Were you the kid who always wanted to write/illustrate books someday, or did this creative journey begin along the way to something else?

Karen Kilpatrick: I don’t know that I knew I would write, but I have always loved books. I was one of those kids who read under the covers with a flashlight and couldn’t go to sleep because I had to finish a story.  I’m still that way to this day! I started my career as an attorney, and my path to this space has been a long and tangled one, but storytelling, reading, and writing have always been a constant. 

Germán Blanco: I always liked doodling, but I never thought I would be doing it for a living, so that was a nice surprise. I went to school for advertising thinking it would be a creative field, but I diverged into graphic design and eventually illustration.

4.     Germán — Do you have a favorite spread in WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE –or one that was most challenging?

Germán Blanco: My favorite spread was when Glitter gets stuck on the glue, I think it’s funny and I always veer towards comedy.

Illus. by Germán Blanco, WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE, written by Karen Kilpatrick (Henry Holt & Co.)

5.     Germán –What’s your favorite medium? Does it change with each project?

Germán Blanco: My favorite medium is pencil and paper, the classics. I like to keep things simple, which has always been my style. However it is fun to try new things and new styles with each new project.

6.     Karen–How do you balance (juggle?) your busy author career with your work at Genius Cat Books and East West Literary Agency, and parenting? Any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way?

Karen Kilpatrick: I joke that my life is like having 50 balls in the air at any one time, and then diving for the balls that are closest to the ground so they don’t hit the floor! But I don’t think you can ever balance everything and that’s okay.

Love what you do.

Karen Kilpatrick: I am focused, I work hard every day, and I love what I do, which makes everything easier. I have learned to be kind to myself and have clarity about my goals. This allows me to focus on what is important and not necessarily worry about the rest. 

7.     What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Karen Kilpatrick: Everyone wants to be seen. It’s an incredible gift to be able to help someone shine. Be the Glitter to someone’s Glue!

8.     Please tell us about your other projects, to be released or in the works.

We have some really exciting upcoming titles for Fall ’22. Our first early graphic novel, P.I. Butterfly, will be released in October. I just love the curiosity, spunk, and goofiness of the characters and the interactivity of the book. We’re really excited about that one! We also have a picture book, Nobody Likes Bedtime, a new series (What Is Dog?), and a guided journal called The Power of Me

9.     Is there a question you wish we’d asked?
Karen Kilpatrick: Yes–Why do you enjoy being a writer? I believe in the power of storytelling as a way to connect. Stories can inspire, educate, and heal. Writing allows me to contribute to the world in a way I feel good about and gives me a purpose beyond myself. 

To learn more about Karen Kilpatrick and Germán Blanco, check out their websites:

KarenKilpatrick.com and germanblan.co

And follow them on social media:

Twitter: @AuthorKarenK

Instagram: kayppin and germanbl_nco

You can also find then on the East/West Literary Agency website:

Karen Kilpatrick

Germán Blanco

Happy Book Birthday, WHEN GLITTER MET GLUE!


Happy Poem in your Pocket Day = Mather Heights Elementary 2nd grade Blog Takeover!

Did you know that today is Poem in your Pocket Day? We wrote poems about Earth when we zoomed with author Erin Dealey on Earth Day, and we are taking over her blog to share them with you.

Our poems are on display at our school:

Don’t they look cool? (Hey–that rhymes!)

We learned to write a “First Line/ Last Line” poem with Erin Dealey.

First we wrote one together:

Then we got to write our own.

We paired them with our Earth Day art projects:

We are so excited that Erin Dealey let us take over her blog! Now we are published authors! 

This is DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 by Erin Dealey

(Harper Collins / Illus. by Luisa Uribe)

We are proud to be poets and Earth Heroes.

Look at our garden!

We think Earth Day should be every day. Don’t you?

We also think writing poetry is fun! We hope you like our poems.

Thank you, Mrs. Fong, for helping us take over Erin Dealey’s Blog.

Sincerely,

The Kids in Room 13,

Mather Heights Elementary School

4th & 6th grade Poems for #EarthDay, #PoetryMonth and #Peace, from Del Dayo Elementary –> Blog Takeover part 2

We’re ba-ack!

Remember our Del Dayo Elementary Blog Takeover a few weeks ago? It all started with our Author Day zooms with Erin Dealey. We learned that Writing is NEVER wrong–and it’s not as painful as we thought…. (It’s kind of cool.)

We wrote SO MUCH and we wanted to share our poems, so here’s Part TWO:

Check out Mr. Corcoran’s 6th grade DEAR EARTH…. bulletin board display!

Here are a few of the poems from Mr. Corcoran’s class. (Be sure to zoom in to read them all!)

The Life

I hear silent footsteps walking across the beautiful beach.

I sit and watch the sunset.

The little fraction of the sun just over the mountain tops.

Wind and sand fall over me as I lay.

Glistening waves crashing against the hills.

This is my image of a dream.

by Kwynn Carrillo, 6th grade

My Dream

My friends help Earth

echo through the night

while they dream of the

web of plastic exploding and

disappearing while the Earth

wakes up to a silent plastic tree

world and the world will

thank you for it.

by Elias Mijares, 6th grade

KEEP IT CLEAN

Don’t let this earth explode or overload.

Help keep it clean and green.

Don’t make it disappear.

Just persevere.

Look at your dreams

Make them come true just go and pursue.

By Cooper Anderson, 6th Grade

Footsteps

I sit on my bed

staring out my window

at the magnificent image of Ukraine’s bright sunset.

Silence

I hate the quiet,

soon broken by rushed

and eager footsteps.

Footsteps

loud and echoing,

My friends and family rushing to get packed.

Tears form in my eyes.

I begin to tremble.

Bombs, suddenly heard in the distance

for a fraction of a second

the footsteps stop.

Tomorrow we leave.

I lay my head down to sleep.

I dream that the people of our Earth

will soon come to peace.

By Molly Hodapp, 6th grade

Mrs. Nye’s class (above photo) wrote “Poker Poems” too. (You can read more of them here.)

Erin Dealey gave us five words that we had to use in our poems. We could trade them in for others, once we wrote the poem.

Can you guess which words they were?

Illustration by Luisa Uribe, from DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5, written by Erin Dealey (Harper Collins.)
Illustration by Luisa Uribe, from DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5, written by Erin Dealey (Harper Collins.)

Thank you, Mrs. Alcalay, for being our amazing Librarian, and for inviting Erin Dealey to Author Day.

And thank you to all our fans who are reading our poems.

We hope you like them!

PS Since it’s Earth Day, why not take the Earth Hero pledge?

Illustration by Luisa Uribe, from DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5, written by Erin Dealey (Harper Collins.)

Cheers to making #EarthDay = Every Day, #NationalPoetryMonth, and PEACE.

–from your friends at Del Dayo Elementary.

Happy Book Birthday to A GRANDMA’S MAGIC + 6 Qs for author Charlotte Offsay + 3 Book Pairings!

Charlotte Offsay‘s new picture book, A Grandma’s Magic,

illustrated by Asa Gilland (Doubleday Books for Young Readers),

released April 5, 2022–and we’re keeping the celebration going!

A Grandma’s Magic is a picture book celebration of grandmothers and all the ways in which they are magical. It is for kids who ache at the end of a visit, and for their grandmas, whose love and tenderness is with us no matter how far away they are. ”

John Schu —Watch.Connect.Read
NataliaLPhotography

I’m so happy Charlotte Offsay could join us on the blog today!

Let’s ask some Questions!

Q 1. What was the inspiration for A GRANDMA’S MAGIC?
Charlotte Offsay: I first began writing what would eventually become A Grandma’s Magic in early 2018 when I was taking a Picture Book class via The Children’s Book Academy. We were encouraged to generate story ideas around the things in our lives that we cared about the most. At the time I had just returned from a lovely visit with my own grandma who lives overseas and who I don’t get to see as often as I would like. I was consumed with missing her and decided to write a story around a young girl who is convinced her grandma is magical and wants to be just like her.

SCBWI

I submitted a version of this story to SCBWI LA Writer’s Day 2019 and was fortunate to be paired up with Doubleday Books For Young Readers editor Frances Gilbert. Frances helped me to see that at its core, my story was a celebration of grandmas. She encouraged me to rewrite it as a lyrical ode to the relationship.

An Ode to Grandma

I followed her advice and pulled from my own memories of baking, quilting and special outings with my grandmas as well as from watching my children with theirs. I used those memories to rewrite my manuscript into A Grandma’s Magic, a lyrical ode to grandma magic – how it touches us, shapes us and stays with us always.

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Offsay

Q 2. What is one of the most magical memories you have with one of your own grandmas? Or your kids’ grandmas?  

Charlotte Offsay: Oh, my goodness, so many that it is hard to pick! I am blessed to still have both of my grandmas in my life, although I moved away from them when my family immigrated from England to the United States when I was nine. I think the distance between us made me cherish the time we got to spend together that much more.

Interior art by Asa Gilland, A Grandma’s Magic by Charlotte Offsay, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Charlotte Offsay: I used to shadow one grandma in the kitchen – she is a fabulous baker and I think those fond memories are why I love baking in my own kitchen with my children so much. I can clearly remember pulling out my grandma’s weighing scales and covering her kitchen in flour.

Interior art by Asa Gilland, A Grandma’s Magic by Charlotte Offsay, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Charlotte Offsay: My other grandma used to make the most beautiful quilts. Growing up, I always had one of her quilts on my bed. She used to teach me to quilt whenever I visited and saved fabrics that she knew I would love in anticipation of our visits. Time would disappear on her living room rug as we cut and sewed together. Thank you for this lovely trip down memory lane!

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Offsay

2 Qs on Craft

Q 3. Can you tell us about any edits or cuts you made to your manuscript on its journey to becoming a book?

Charlotte Offsay: In its final form, A Grandmas Magic is a little over 200 words. It took a lot of cuts, drafts and help from my editor, agent and invaluable critique partners to get the word count that low. I initially wrote the story around one single grandma and had a much higher word count. I had to work to pare back the text to feel more lyrical but also to be more general so that it could apply to all grandmas. In doing so I found the sparse, specific language more impactful.

Q 4. Did you face any “Revision roadblocks”?

Charlotte Offsay: One of the hardest parts of writing A Grandma’s Magic for me was finding the right structure and deciding to move from a traditional narrative arc to a concept book structure. I hovered between the two for quite a while before I was fully ready to let go of the story revolving around a single grandma. Moving to a concept book format allowed me to more fully embrace and celebrate the unique bond between grandma and grandchild which was the heart of the manuscript from the beginning.

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Offsay

Q 5. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope readers will see their own magical relationships reflected in Asa Gilland’s stunning artwork. I hope that readers will be encouraged to reflect on their own relationships and celebrate them in turn. 

Bonus–> 3 Book Pairings!

Pair: The Big Beach Clean-up by Charlotte Offsay, Illus. Katie Rewse, Albert Whitman

for #EarthDay or any day,

with DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 by Erin Dealey, Illus. Luisa Uribe, Harper Collins.

Pair: A Grandma’s Magic by Charlotte Offsay, Illus. Asa Gilland, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

for Mother’s Day, or Grandparents’ Day,

with Grandma’s Favorite by Erin Dealey, Illus. Luciana Navarro Powell, Kane Miller.

Pair: How to Return a Monster by Charlotte Offsay, Illus. Rea Zhai, Beaming Books with

Brand New Baby Blues By Kathi Appelt, Illus. Kelly Murphy, Harper Collins;

OR–go the “monster” + How-to guide route with A Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman, Illus. Dave Szalay, Sleeping Bear Press.

Thanks again for stopping by, Charlotte!

Photo: Children’s BookWorld, LA.

To learn more about Charlotte Offsay and her books, check out her website: www.charlotteoffsay.com

and/or follow her on Social media:
Twitter: @coffsay
Instagram: @picturebookrecommendations

Happy Reading!