7 Qs with Sandra Nickel about her NEW nonfiction pb, The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe

I’m completely starstruck by Sandra Nickel’s new NF picture book:

The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe 

Illus. Aimée Sicuro / Abrams

releasing March 2, 2021

Click here to view trailer. 

I was hooked from the start by the lyrical title of Sandra Nickel’s #must-read NF picture book biography, and it certainly lived up to its promise. Readers of all ages will be drawn in by young Vera, growing, questioning, and persisting in a world where women were to be seen and not LEARN or–heaven forbid–enter the man’s world of astronomy. Nickel’s lovely imagery is equally matched by Aimée Sicuro’s magical illustrations.

This book is truly “made of stars.”

Interior art from The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe by Sandra Nickel / Illus. Aimée Sicuro / Abrams.

“This engaging biography will appeal to budding scientists, particularly those with a penchant for sky searching.”  ― Kirkus Reviews

And we get to learn more about it!

Q 1. When and how did you first learn about Vera Rubin?

Sandra Nickel: I learned about Vera the day after she died. The New York Times put out a long, beautiful tribute to her, and Kate Hosford, a fellow picture book author, told me about it. I was immediately captivated by Vera and her accomplishments. I was also heartbroken. She had showed what no other scientist had been able to prove—that dark matter makes up 80 percent of the universe—yet she had been passed over year after year for the Nobel Prize in physics, as it was given to men and never a woman. It was so immensely unjust that I started researching Vera’s story that day. I can’t give a Nobel, but I can tell kids all over America about the incredible woman and scientist that Vera Rubin was.

Vera Rubin working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1965. Photo Credit: Carnegie Institution

Q2. Are there any qualities in Vera Rubin that you see in yourself—or you wish you had?

Sandra Nickel: There are many qualities I admire in Vera. One is the love and dedication she gave her children. In fact, her dedication, in a way, led to her discovery of dark matter. Other astronomers were racing to gather data so they could be the first to pull ahead of the pack with new theories and observations in other areas of astronomy. Vera didn’t have the time to join the race because of the time she gave her children. Instead, she chose to look at questions no one else was looking at. By doing so, she made the immense discoveries relating to dark matter. 

Vera also showed her love and pride for her children by putting them on her CV, which is magnificent! Why aren’t we all doing that?

Q3. Which of your many previous jobs have most influenced your career as an author? (ED Note—I’m a theater teacher and my husband is an attorney so I’m guessing one of your answers is actor or lawyer, but then again there’s Playground supervisor… Nurses Aid…)

Sandra Nickel: I think about this question all the time. Recently, I’ve come to it from the other side, asking: What inside me drew me to each of these different jobs? One thing is a love of stories and storytelling. This is how I ended up acting and lawyering—and writing, of course. But through journeying through all these different jobs, I’ve come to realize that storytelling—and storylistening—is the yarn that bound me to each of them. It didn’t really matter if I was in a nighttime room in an old folks home or on the grass of a playground or taking an order at a restaurant, the story of each person is what I noticed and keep to this day.

Q4. Taking a page from your own blog… What’s on your street? Your desk? Your TO DO list?

Sandra Nickel: This is so much fun! I’ve never had the chance to be on this side of the What Was on questions. So, let’s see, What Was on Sandra’s. . .

Street: Lots and lots of grapevines. In the 12th century monks terraced the land around the road I live on in Switzerland. They planted white grapes for winemaking and folks still grow the same grapes today. If you continue downhill through the vines, you run into Lake Geneva and after about 8 miles of water, you run into the French Alps on the opposite side. It’s an unbelievably beautiful part of the world.

Desk: Not very much. I’m a bit of a neat nick when it comes to my desk. But behind me are shelves stockpiled and messy with picture books, favorite things, old family photos, and my picture-book muses.

TO DO List: Read the 39 books of the 21 other authors in my fabulous promotional group, The 2021derfuls. Prepare for school and bookstore visits coming up in February and March. Attend the SCBWI Golden Kite Gala, to celebrate the finalist books, among which is Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack. Elevate Women.

Click here for fun NACHO’S NACHOS activities!

Q5. What might we find on Vera Rubin’s TO DO list?

Sandra Nickel: Elevate Women. (Yes, it’s true, I copied her for my own list.) Vera Rubin always made time to support women. She read their articles. She discussed their ideas. And when committees met to award prizes, she picked up the phone to make sure the committees didn’t forget the impressive women in her field.

Interior art from The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe by Sandra Nickel / Illus. Aimée Sicuro / Abrams.

Q6. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Sandra Nickel: You can overcome roadblocks. You can forge your own path that is different from how others are doing things. And, for my young girl readers, despite what the weight of history may tell you, you can make incredible contributions to the world, whether it’s in science, in the arts, or as a citizen of the world.

Interior art from The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe by Sandra Nickel / Illus. Aimée Sicuro / Abrams.

Q7. Can you tell us about your next project, BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS?

Sandra Nickel: With pleasure. Breaking Through The Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson is about the first female meteorologist in the world.

As with astronomy, meteorology was a real boys club in the 1940s and 1950s. The male meteorologists actively worked to keep women out. One professor at the University of Chicago even told Joanne Simpson that “No woman ever got a Doctorate in Meteorology. And no woman ever will.” The male meteorologists also ridiculed her for being interested in clouds, which they thought didn’t affect the weather in any significant way. Well, Joanne was tough as nails—and stubborn—and she proved them all wrong. She not only earned her doctorate in meteorology, her work with clouds sparked an entire branch of science. Like Vera, Joanne was also a huge supporter of other women. A young female meteorologist, who flourished in the wake of Joanne and her work, said Joanne Simpson didn’t simply blaze a trail for women, “she blazed a road.”

I don’t have a cover yet for Breaking Through the Clouds, but here is a photo of Dr. Joanne Simpson in 1956 at the Woodshole Oceanographic Institute. Photo Credit: Nasa Archive

WOW!

To learn more about Sandra and her books check out sandranickel.com  and follow her on

Twitter: @senickel 

Instagram: sandranickel

Next up on the blog:

Happy Book Birthday to

Dow Phumiruk, illustrator of…

 An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America 

Written by Helaine Becker / Henry Holt

We’re Ba-ack! 4th Grade Blog Takeover–part 2 = Writing is not like Math.

Hi Again–Room 313 is back from Bainbridge Island, WA, with a few thoughts about writing, and a few poems that we wrote with Erin Dealey!

That’s our teacher, Ms. Strayer (above), with two of Erin Dealey’s books.

We read a bunch of them. See our last blog takeover (click here) for the reviews.

This blog post is about our writing.

Writing is a way to share our opinions. Writing is not like Math, where there is only one right answer. Some of us thought writing poems would be boring and painful but it wasn’t.

Poems can be about things you like:

You can share your feelings.

I hate to write 

Writing is kinda fun

Fun = Sam 

Sam is my friend 

Friends, I only have a couple 

                                         by Liam

Poems can be about your pets! 

Nora (my dog) is the best, 

best at running

Running fast 

Fast eating too,

She is so cute!

        by Luisa

Poems express our feelings. 

This poem is about report cards,

report cards are scary,

scary things are worth screaming,

screaming is normal,

normal is this,

this is a poem about report cards

                                         by Sam

Poems can surprise you! 

Poems can make you smile. 

That tiara is sparkly 

Sparkly like jewels 

Jewels make me do the opposite of frown

Frown is the opposite of smile

Smiles make my day just like that

That tiara is sparkly

by Hannah

Poems can help you get through tough times. 

Poems can be about sports. 

Taekwondo is fun.

Fun things like weapons and sparring. 

Sparring is a part of taekwondo .

Taekwondo is a cool sport.

                                       by Cristina

Poems aren’t boring after all!

See what we mean? 

My underwear 

My closet is full of underwear everywhere 

Underwear is taking over 

My poem is over. Underwear.

                                       by Sean

We hope you liked our poems.

(You can tell us in the comments if you want!)

Thanks, Erin Dealey. We think you’re funny.
We like your books.
We voted on our favorites.

 Happy Book Birthday PETER EASTER FROG! 

Bye bye. That’s all for now from Room 313. Except:

And…check out this reading song from Erin Dealey:

Click here and sing-along! 

(also on YouTube and iTunes!)

Happy #BookBirthday to HOME FOR A WHILE by Lauren Kerstein + #BookGiveaway

Today on the blog, we get to ask my friend, #kidlit author & clinical social worker, Lauren Kerstein questions about her new book HOME FOR A WHILE–illustrated by Natalia Moore / Magination Press–which releases today! (Cue confetti!)

Check out this **STARRED REVIEW**

HOME FOR A WHILE “takes apart the fostering experience as few books have-from the newcomer’s point of view…VERDICT Most books with this much purpose fall down on the ­lessons. This one transcends them, for a true story of how a home happens.”

 — School Library Journal

Happy Book birthday to HOME FOR A WHILE, Lauren. Everything about this book is so huggable!

Lauren Kerstein: Awww! Thank you so much!

Q1. I love your YouTube reading of HOME FOR A WHILE, and the activities you share about how to take charge of your feelings. What big feelings have you experienced as HOME FOR A WHILE went from idea seed to manuscript to this Book Launch?

Lauren Kerstein: I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the reading and activities. Wow! I must admit, I have had a lot of BIG feelings. This book poured out of my therapist’s heart. The first twenty or so times I read it, I either teared up or outright cried. I can finally read it without crying. On the flip side, I have experienced so much joy watching this book—this tribute to all of the amazing children and families with whom I’ve worked—come to life. I am excited for the world to meet Calvin!

Q2. I remember last Sept. when we celebrated your second Rosie the Dragon & Charlie book, you told us HOME FOR A WHILE is “straight from your therapist’s heart.” What did you mean by that?

Lauren Kerstein: For years, I worked with children who were in and out of foster care, or who were on the brink of foster care. I watched them struggle to make meaning out of their worlds and of themselves. I wanted to write a book that not only paid homage to them, but also offered a way to help ALL children see their strengths. I hoped I could add some light to dark times, and highlight the incredible resilience and fortitude of the children with whom I’d worked. I also wanted to offer emotion regulation strategies that any child might embrace. Finally, I worked with wonderful, caring foster parents, and I wanted to show the positive ways a person can impact another.

Q3. Given that this is such a unique approach to an important topic, and Magination Press, the children’s imprint of the American Psychological Association, makes sure their books include relevant back matter written by experts or professionals, how did you decide what back matter to include?

Lauren Kerstein: For the first time in a book by Magination Press, the back matter is only available online. Magination Press decided to give the text the breathing space it needed and offer the supplemental information on their website. I decided to focus on emotion regulation in my back matter. We all need help managing our emotions (especially right now) and that felt most helpful and relevant to me.

Q4. How is your work as a clinical social worker similar to writing picture books? How is it different? (and HOW do you balance your time?)

Lauren Kerstein: I love this question! I actually find that there are a lot of commonalities between therapy and writing.

As an author and a therapist, I need to:

  • Identify and build on strengths.
  • Dig deeper into the heart of the conflict.
  • Look beyond the surface of the character/person to their true selves.
  • Think about what growth looks like for that specific person/character.
  • Harness creativity.
  • Be open to feedback.
  • Embrace flexibility.
  • Help the character/person see the amazing qualities they bring to the proverbial table.
  • Identify the back story.
  • Individualize the process for each and every person/book.
  • I also love to ask my clients a developmentally appropriate version of the following questions: If you were reading about this situation in a fiction book, what would you want the character to do? What would you like to see happen? Looking at it through this lens really seems to help.

Balance: Ha! Although my ability to achieve some level of balance has improved, I must admit (in case it wasn’t already obvious) that I’m a bit of a workaholic. But, I’m lucky because I really enjoy my work! In reality, I don’t think of balance as a destination, I think of it as a journey. Here are some strategies that help me on this important journey:

  • I have been slowly decreasing my private practice so that I can increase my writing.
  • I have a rule that I can’t add something to my plate unless I take something off. (This works about 45% of the time.)
  • I deem Wednesdays writing-task only days (Wacky Writing Wednesday) and ensure that I leave about half of the day for creation or revision.
  • I try to “touch” my writing every day, even if it is only for a moment. Connecting on some level with my writing makes the day feel brighter. I often use a 30 or 60-minute sand timer and then either work on ideas, revise, create, research, or review past ideas to see which ones I’d like to explore next.
  • I think of Thursdays as private practice catch-up days.
  • I try to schedule clients only a few days a week and protect other days.
  • I make sure to exercise every single day.
  • I take a 14-minute nap to recharge if I need it.
  • I read wonderful books in a lovely bubble bath every single night!
  • I try to meditate for the last few minutes of my bath.
  • Although I sign into social media, I don’t scroll. I use my trusty sand timer or a stopwatch to limit how much time I’ll allow myself to be on Twitter, FB, and Instagram.
  • Finally, I never used to watch much television, but during the pandemic, my family and I have been watching a variety of entertaining shows together. It is wonderful to have that designated, predictable time to relax together!

So the answer to your question is that I try to find balance by avoiding rabbit holes, and incorporating enriching activities into each day

Q5. What do you hope readers—young and old–will take away from this book?

Lauren Kerstein: I hope readers will walk away with a new perspective—a paradigm shift of sorts. I hope that instead of focusing on their weaknesses, they will see their strengths. And I hope readers will learn that all feelings are okay. It is important to let ourselves feel, even though it is painful and hard. Finally, I hope readers see that although we can’t control tough times, we can control the strategies we employ in the midst of our struggles. We can all be superheroes like Calvin! And finally, may we all have a Maggie in our lives! (Fun fact: I chose the name Maggie because we had the most amazing, intuitive, sweet, and loving rescue dog named Maggie. She passed away, but her unconditional love will remain in our hearts forever.)

Q6. What do you hope the future holds for Calvin?

Lauren Kerstein: I hope that even if Calvin is only with Maggie for a while, his newfound trust, emotion regulation strategies, and ability to see his strengths will support and bolster him wherever he might go.

———————————————–

HOME FOR A WHILE “…is as much a model for foster parents as it is a story to provide validation of foster children’s experiences…Gentle and wise—especially as a read for foster parents.” 

  Kirkus Reviews 

 

 

Lauren Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who currently lives in Colorado with her husband, their two dragons…er, daughters, and their rescue dog. Lauren is the author of the Rosie the Dragon and Charlie picture book series (Illustrated by Nate Wragg/Two Lions). Her latest picture book, HOME FOR A WHILE (Illustrated by Natalia Moore/Magination Press) moves into shelves February 2, 2021. Lauren also writes books in her field. Lauren is one of the founders of #ReVISIONweek, a judge with Rate Your Story, runs a critique business, and is a long-time member of 12×12 and SCBWI.

Her writing goals are simple. Read voraciously. Embrace feedback. Grow each day. Work hard. Be passionate. Write courageously. Touch children’s hearts.

Thank you so much for joining us, Lauren!

#BookGiveaway news: Lauren would love to give away a copy of HOME FOR A WHILE plus some cool PB swag! To enter RT this post on Twitter, Instagram and/or FB, and be sure to tag us both. For bonus points, and another chance at the giveaway, add a comment below and tell us who you’ll be reading this book to.

You can visit Lauren at www.LaurenKerstein.net, and follow her on Twitter @LaurenKerstein , Instagram (laurenkerstein) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/laurenkersteinauthor).

Next up on the blog:

 

Feb. 9th: Part 2 of Room 313’s Blog Takeover–> WRITING POETRY!

Feb. 16th : #Kidlit author Sandra Nickel talks about her out-of-this-world picture book biography:

The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe.

Last but not least–this Thursday,

in honor of all the

I LOVE TO READ events and #WRADs,

my first record,

If You Love Books and You Know It

will drop!

Stay tuned. (Literally!)

It’s a 4th Grade Blog Takeover Day = 10 Qs, Reviews, and Poetry because #WritingIsNeverWrong

Room 313 here–taking over Erin Dealey’s blog. 

Hi from Bainbridge Island, WA!

Before we zoomed with Erin Dealey last week and celebrated PETER EASTER FROG‘s BOOK BIRTHDAY, we read a bunch of her picture books. Here are 10 questions we had for her, and a few of our reviews:

Q. 1 —from Vivian & Hannah: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be an author?

Erin Dealey: I was teaching high school English and Theater. (That’s OLD!) I was not the kid who wanted to write books when I grew up. Remember those journal entries from 6th grade that I shared? I thought writing had to be perfect. I liked Math because I knew how to get the right answers. That’s why I tell students #WritingIsNeverWrong. We need to rethink the “Writing Process.” Those edits don’t mean what you wrote was wrong. But we do want other people to be able to read it, don’t we? That’s where the editing tools (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and format) come in handy. They help us to turn our WRITING into READING.

Q. 2from Luisa: Why do you choose to write rhyming stories?

Erin Dealey: I honestly don’t choose to write in rhyme. The story idea shows up that way in my head. I’ve always been drawn to rhyme and rhythm–from my favorite songs, cheers (Yes, I was a cheerleader.), to studying and directing Shakespeare. You’ll notice that while my first books, like GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, rhyme all the way through, my most recent books, PETER EASTER FROG and DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 are combinations of rhyme and prose.

GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX

Room 313 Reviews:

This story made me laugh and I enjoyed the character of the brother and how he behaved.   —Vivian

I enjoyed how her little brother was so excited she was sick (spoiler alert!) then he got chicken pox.  —Sophie

We liked when her brother (spoiler alert!) got chicken pox. —Kaleb, Annika, Liam, Mason, & Sean

Q. 3from Naomi and Vivian: Why is LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP in black and white?

Erin Dealey: I loved that Room 313 asked me this question. I turned the tables and asked them to guess the answer. Here’s what they said —

  • The story takes place at night.
  • She is anxious.
  • She is having a bad dream.

And here’s the real answer: It’s not supposed to be in black and white!

Buyer beware: There is a batch of BO PEEPS printed in black and white that have been circulating for years and years. I tell people to either send it back for a correct copy–in color–or keep it as a collector’s item. Then again, it’s a great writing prompt AND life lesson: No one is perfect.

LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP

Room 313 Reviews:

We like how Erin Dealey included other fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. —Mason, Harper, Naomi, Benjy, Hannah, Liam & Sophie

I liked the plot line of Little Bo Peep because of how Little Bo Peep was having such a hard time telling her parents that she lost her sheep. —Sam

Q. 4 —from Sam: What inspired you to write SNOW GLOBE WISHES?

Erin Dealey: I wrote SNOW GLOBE WISHES in 2017, at a time when it was beginning to feel like the whole world needed a hug. I know I did.

Q. 5from Annika: What would have been your snow globe wish?

Erin Dealey: They say most stories are a tiny bit autobiographical and I agree. For SNOW GLOBE WISHES, I think my wish would be the same as the girl in the story.

SNOW GLOBE WISHES

Room 313 Reviews:

I enjoyed that Erin Dealey used things that we sometimes do on power outages and snowstorms. —Benjy

I liked when she made a fort. —Annika

I loved how at the end it showed them in the snow globe. —Sean

I enjoyed how her snow globe wish was peace to the world. —Sam

Q. 6 —from Sean: Have you ever met or become friends with an illustrator?

Erin Dealey: If you mean the illustrators of my books, I’d say the one I know the best is Luciana Navarro Powell (GRANDMA’S FAVORITE, GRANDPA’S FAVORITE, and BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS–Kane Miller.)

We have the same agent and although she lives closer to you–in Bellingham–we have met in person and I am lucky to call her friend. I am also very lucky to be friends with many other illustrators on social media.

Q. 7from Naomi: What do you like to do to save the earth?

Erin Dealey: I actually follow all of the earth-friendly habits that the kids in Room 5 do in DEAR EARTH… Everything from turning out the lights and using less plastic, to my reusable water bottle, our compost bin and garden, and recycled gift wrap and ribbon. I pick up trash along our road way too often (WHY do people throw things out car windows?) but I can’t stand to see it just lying there. EARTH deserves better and needs helpers! I am so happy to have written a book that might help encourage others to join in.

DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 

Room 313 Reviews:

I loved the illustrations (by Luisa Uribe), they had so many colors and were beautiful. —Luisa     (*No relation but how cool is it that you have the same name?) 

I enjoyed  that Erin Dealey made the earth write back. —Cristina

This book made me think how everyone can help out taking care of earth and make earth healthy again.  —Stella

The book is a great example of what people should be doing to help make the earth a better place. —Naomi

I loved this book because it was a good lesson. —Liam

The book gave you really good ideas to help make the world a better place.  —Hannah

Q. 8 —from Stella: Have you ever tried to illustrate one of your books?

Erin Dealey: Fun Fact–I minored in Art at U. C. Davis, but I have not illustrated any of my books. I did create illustrations for a manuscript I wrote a long time ago. Hmmmm…. Maybe I should take a look at that again?

Q. 9 —from Benjy & Sean: Have you ever written a chapter book?

Erin Dealey: I’ve written several chapter book manuscripts but none of them have been made into books–yet. That is definitely something I would love to do I have also written a middle grade novel that my agent is going to start submitting SOON, so think positive thoughts about these, please!

Q. 10from Sam: Did you write any books when you were a kid, for fun?

Erin Dealey: I liked to draw so when I was a kid, I made birthday cards and anniversary cards for my family, and when I got older I liked to rewrite the words to songs, but I don’t think I ever considered writing a book. First off, we didn’t have author visits or zooms when I was in school. I guess I thought all the books were written by really smart old people from long ago. I never ever considered the fact that I could write one. (Remember my 6th grade journal? haha That’s proof!) Now I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. To me writing is like recess: SO Much Fun!

Speaking of writing…

We wrote a group poem:

We wrote our own poems too. Erin Dealey says we can have another blog takeover to post what we wrote. See you on Feb. 9th!

Happy Book Birthday to PETER EASTER FROG! 

From Room 313

 

 

Happy #BookBirthday PETER EASTER FROG by Erin Dealey & G. Brian Karas + #Giveaway and WAITING…

Here comes PETER EASTER FROG,

Hopping down his favorite log…

We know what you’re thinking: “What about the bunny?”

Good question! First graders help predict the answer in today’s blog post,

celebrating the release of

PETER EASTER FROG

by Erin Dealey / Illus. G. Brian Karas

(Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Atheneum/ Simon & Schuster).

A Junior Library Guild selection 

Plus–super affordable: $9.99 !  (I know –right?)

Think hybrid sing-along parody + silly read-aloud!

PETER EASTER FROG by Erin Dealey / Interior art by G. Brian Karas / Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Atheneum /S&S / 2021

Uh oh…

Meet the Illustrator: PETER EASTER FROG is illustrated by NYT Bestselling G. Brian Karas, whose amazing career spans four decades and over 100+ books including Incredible Me by Kathi Appelt; the High-Rise Private Eyes series by Cynthia Rylant; Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! And Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! by Candace Fleming; and Ivan by Catherine Applegate, which was a New York Times bestseller. His books have been named ALA Notables, Booklist Editor Choices, SLJ Best Books, and Boston Globe Horn Book Honor books. How cool is that?

G Brian Karas photo William t. Ayton

To illustrate PETER EASTER FROG, Brian used a mixed media style. He worked with a combination of gouache and pencil for linework, textures and fills, which he then scanned and assembled in photoshop, with more color added. To learn more about Brian, check out this interview from PW’s archive.  

So what does a FROG do in a pandemic to celebrate a
Book Birthday?

Also what about the bunny?

And the #Giveaway?

Wait for it…

There will be an official launch on March 20th –with video shared on Face in a Book’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for more info about our PETER EASTER FROG Story time–with prizes. AND kids can pick up a paper Easter egg to decorate & return to the store by 3/19/21 to be hidden for the BUNNY to find!  

Meanwhile, I zoomed with Mrs. Harris’ 1st graders today in Virginia. I asked the students to imagine beforehand what PETER EASTER FROG might look like. Check these out:

This is by Noah: 

Aren’t these cute?

They had a few predictions about the bunny too…

  • The bunny will get mad.
  • The frog will get hungry and eat the eggs!
  • They will go to the bunny’s house. Uh oh.

ONE of their predictions matches up. Which do you think it is?

Hmmmm…..

I’m SO very grateful for all the wonderful early reviews. 

Thank you to my critique partners, the PBJs,

and the @2021derfuls who are helping to spread the word.

Publishing a book in a pandemic takes a village, to be sure!

As for the WAITING…

Did I mention I haven’t held an actual hard copy of this book in my hands yet? I have been waiting for my copies to arrive, but publishing a book is like expecting a baby—

The “Book Baby’s” arrival is on its own timeline!

Speaking of which, Fun Fact:

I signed the contract for PETER EASTER FROG in 2015.

You read that correctly.

To those of you who are WAITING for a YES on a manuscript, or an agent, or your own Book Birthday, all I can say is good things are worth the wait!

Enjoy the journey–not just the destination.

Speaking of journeys, today is also the Book Birthday of my friend Vivian Kirkfield’s book, FROM HERE TO THERE… You can read her Book Birthday interview here. 

Thanks to those of you who joined this Birthday blog today.

Special thanks to Mrs. Carolyn Harris and her wonderful 1st graders! 

In honor of PETER EASTER FROG’S big day,
I hereby offer a
Picture Book Critique giveaway.

To enter:

  1. Add a comment below about your own #kidlit “waiting” or pre-published journey.
  2. RT the post on Twitter, FB or Instagram (and tag me!)
***For extra papers in the GIVEAWAY hat:
subscribe to this blog,
and/or follow me on social media–
Twitter @Erin Dealey & Instagram erindealey.

Winner will be selected on Jan. 26th. 

Next up on the blog: a 4th Grade Takeover! We can’t WAIT!

(See what I did there?)