Thursday, September 29, 2016

INTERVIEW: Hazel Mitchell, the Author/Illustrator of Toby (Candlewick, 2016)

Lynne Marie: I remember with fondness, quite some time ago, meeting you in the front row of the SCBWI Conference at LA. How has the SCBWI played a part in your success? How long was your path to publication?

HM: LASCBWI - that was a while ago! I learn so much at the conferences. SCBWI is a huge part of my journey to publication. I got serious about pursuing a career in children's books in 2010 when I attended by first SCBWI NY Winter Conference and was such a newbie. I’d no idea how to pursue a career in trade books. So I read and listened and learned and sent out postcards on my return from that conference and got my first contract to illustrate a trade non-fiction book in Fall 2010. I haven't stopped working on children's books since and now I’m loving writing and illustrating.

LM: Writers are always interested in finding out how to get an Agent. How did  you meet your Agent, Ginger Knowlton? How long had you been searching for an Agent before you signed with Ginger?

HM: I had heard from a friend that Ginger liked an illustration she’d seen on a joint mailing postcard. It took me 3 years to contact her! Boy I wish I had done it earlier, but it's the fear syndrome, which is silly! (Be bold, people). I’d been looking for an agent since I began illustrating books. I signed with Ginger at Curtis Brown Ltd., in 2014. There were a lot of rejections before then. Who knows why? I’m very happy and honored to be a part of the Curtis Brown stable. (Also Ginger signed me when I sent her the first dummy of Toby ... so it was meant to be!)

LM: Toby’s story is a heartwarming and sweet. What made this story the story you needed to tell in your author/illustrator debut?

HM:  My whole heart is in this story. I’ve always rescued dogs, but Toby is special. You know when you’re writing a story that just comes out so easily. I’d been chasing trends a lot before I wrote Toby. Don't chase trends! 

LM: Toby is somewhat of a celebrity, not only in this book, but in the news. Please share a little bit about Toby’s special circumstances.

HM: Right, Toby is a legend! Toby came to me as a foster dog in 2013, he quickly turned into a foster failure when we adopted him. He had a lot of issues and we knew he’d spend his time being sent back and forth to the shelter. Toby and eight of his family of poodles were rescued from a puppy mill situation in Aroostook County, Maine. They’d been kept in the dark and I don't think Toby had ever been outside, was totally unsocialized and extremely fearful. He became somewhat of a celebrity on social media when he was lost from a place he was staying for the day and many, many people helped us search for him. People all over the world were checking in to see if Toby had been found and it was heartbreaking to think we wouldn't ever see him again. We hired dog trackers and walked miles, but no one had seen him. The book I’d written was all ready being considered by Candlewick Press. If we didn't find him I knew I wouldn't have the heart to do illustrate it. But good karma was with us - Toby was found and, although scared and shaken, in good shape. I couldn't believe our luck  in having him back home! 

LM: Toby’s story definitely raises awareness of how dogs, like people, sometimes need time to adjust. How long did it take for Toby to settle in, once you began fostering him?

HM: He’s still settling! An abused dog never really recovers totally and we see little improvements every day. Like the boy in the book, we’ve had to have endless patience to win his trust. N he loves to cuddle with us, run around in the garden and is very talkative. We have another rescue poodle, Lucy, who loves people and helps Toby a lot. There is some sibling rivalry for sure!

LM: At what point did you realize that you needed to tell Toby’s story? What was your goal in telling it?

HM: I began to draw Toby as soon as he came to live with us. I was toying around weaving a story around his journey to recovery and talked to Harold Underdown at a retreat about the idea. He said 'Do it!', so I did! I’d thought there were so many picture books about rescue dogs that another would be too many. But it turns out it's all about the story, as it always is. I wanted to show how a dog needs patient and understanding and things might not always be okay. The boy and dad in the story help to create an emotional journey for Toby that children can relate to. I also thing that Toby is 'every child' in the book - there are so many things that children go through in life that equate to the struggles Toby deals with.

LM: Which parts of the story are based on real life? Which parts are fiction?

HM: There’re lots of incidents … being in the pound, Toby hiding under the table on chairs, not eating treats, not letting us touch him, howling at night and my husband sleeping on the sofa next to him, being scared of the cat. I included his favorite stuffy, his rabbit, in the book. Then when he gets braver, he’s looking for us out of the window, chewing eyeglasses, and collecting shoes! Of course the main fictionalization is the setting, the boy, the dad, the house. I had to shorten the time it has taken Toby to rehab in the book, because it makes it easier for a small child to follow.

LM: What was your favorite part of working on Toby? Which came to your mind first, the concept, the words or the art?

HM:  The art. Because I started to make sketches of him and doodle around with a story before it was even a concept. I loved working on the final art and creating the moodiness and emotional connection in the colors and line. Here is a link to the book trailer for Toby, which highlights some of the art:

LM: Describe your creative process for this book. About how long did it take for you to complete it? How has your process changed since you began your journey?

HM: It took about two years from concept to final publication date. I spent about a year on the dummies and art when the book was with Candlewick Press, working with my editor, Liz Bicknell, and art director, Anne Stott. We did a lot of revisions on the dummy, maybe four or five drafts.  So the concept changed in that way and the story became much simpler. Which is good! I get too complicated! (Which is why we need good editors and art directors).

LM: How many times you did submit Toby before being offered a contract on it?

HM: Once … to my agent who signed me … and once to Liz Bicknell at Candlewick Press who bought it 4 weeks later!

LM: Who, or what has been an inspiration in your career?

HM: I think all the great people I have met on my journey in children's books. Especially Ashley Bryan and Melissa Sweet who both live in Maine. And Eric Rohmann. And Harold Underdown. And Emma Dryden.  In my school days a teacher in high school, David Fulford, who was the first person to really encourage me to look at things. People are everything. (oh and dogs!)

LM: What was your occupation prior to being a picture book author and illustrator?

HM: I have always worked in art and design, mostly as a graphic designer and commercial illustrator. I also spent six years in the Royal Navy, luckily enough working in design!

LM: You are originally from Great Britain. How would you say the picture books there differ from the picture book here?

HM: People talk about the 'European style' and I guess if it is anything it is that. The art tends to be 'artier' and sometimes the concepts are more cerebral. But I think that’s a generalization. There are a lot of commercial books everywhere, and especially in the English speaking countries books jump borders frequently. Mainland Europe has a different style I think. I once went to a conference in Paris where the editors talked about different books and it was said that British books were much cozier. Well, we are a cozy island! But look at the books that are on the Kate Greenaway list every year. They are diverse in every sense of the word.

LM: Name favorite picture books (one from US and one from Britain) that you would want to share with readers.

HM: David Weisner – Flotsam (USA) & The Snowman – Raymond Briggs (UK)

LM: What projects are currently on your horizon? Which project are you most excited about?

HM: I have a new book out in the fairy series from Down East Books in Maine -  'Do Fairies Bring the Spring?' with author Liza Gardner Walsh in Spring 2017. I am excited about a middle grade mystery set in England I am revising and I want to get back to that!

LM: Where can readers get the latest updates on Toby?

HM: On Twitter @meettoby and on his website page (where you can find a teacher's guide, how I wrote Toby resource and lots of activity pages and goodies!


LM: If you were a dog, what breed would you be? 

HM: Border Collie (or poodle)

LM: If you were a character in Harry Potter, which one would you be? 

HM: Hagrid, because he rescues animals.

LM: If you were a literary character, which one would you be? 

HM: Elizabeth Bennet

LM: Who is your favorite children’s author? 

HM: Philip Pullman

LM: If there is a book you wish you wrote, which one would it be? 
HM: His Dark Materials

Thank you, Hazel for this fun visit with you!

Monday, September 26, 2016

A REVIEW OF: Monday Is Wash Day, written by Mary Ann Sundby. Illustrated by Tessa Blackham.

BOOK: Monday is Wash Day
AUTHOR: Mary Ann Sundby
ILLUSTRATOR: Tessa Blackham
PUBLISHER: Ripple Grove Press
PUBLICATION DATE: September 27, 2016

SNIPPET: Rain or shine, Monday is wash day. Mama brags that Annie and I help do the wash. "Can't I just go out and play?" I ask in my kindest voice.

"First we work, and then we play." Mama smiles but walks with purpose to the porch.

REVIEW: Right away, the tone of the text and the warm, hand-painted collage illustrations are perfectly paired. One by one the family gathers clothes until interesting historical laundry method steps and a simpler life reveal themselves in well-thought out prose.

For me, this book provided a heart-felt reminder of a task that disappeared when I was very young. For my daughter, this book is a timeless portrait of how things were done in the days of her great, great grandparents and as a reminder to count the blessings of a modern life.

REVIEWED BY: Lynne Marie. The opinions stated herein are entirely my own.

Friday, September 23, 2016

PPBF: A Review of Loud Lula, Words by Katy S. Duffield, Pictures by Mike Boldt

BOOK: Loud Lula
AUTHOR: Katy S. Duffield
PUBLISHER: Two Lions (
YEAR; 2015

SNIPPET: Lula was born smack-dab in the middle of one of the biggest twisters Pryor County had ever seen. Winds howled. Trees snapped. It was bust-your-eardrums loud. But...

REVIEW: Okay I am going to admit right here on Page 1, that I am already hooked. With a opening like that, you can almost feel the wind whipping. And of course, I can't wait to see what happens on the next page.

As promised by the title, Lula is LOUD. So loud that when she calls her cat for dinner, cats as far as Crowley's Corner come running. Seriously, how fun is that?!?

After a few comedic anecdotes about Lula's loudness, the tension increases as she goes off to school. But when pending danger threatens the schoolhouse, will Lula use her outside or inside voice to save the day? Read and find out!

I absolutely loved this book with it's perfect text AND pictures. Just the right combination to share on Perfect Picture Book Friday. Whether you read it out LOUD or in your head, this book is sure to please and entertain. I can't say it LOUD enough -- READ LOUD LULA. You'll be thankful you did! And teachers and librarians, listen up. This book is an excellent read aLOUD.

REVIEWED BY: Lynne Marie. The opinions expressed in this review are absolutely my own.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cybils 2016: Fiction Picture Books Judges


Cybils 2016: Fiction Picture Books Judges

Round 1
Deb Nance The Reader Buzz@debnance   
Jennifer Wharton Jean Little Library@jeanlittlelib 
Kirsti Call Reading for Research@kirsticall 
Lynne Marie My Word Playground@Literally_Lynne 
Ami Jones A Mom’s Spare Time 
Sue Morris Kid Lit Reviews@suemmorris 
Kate Unger Mom’s Radius@MomsRadius  

Round 2 
Teri Lesesne Goddess of YA@ProfessorNana 
Mel Schult Let’s Talk Picture Books@spiky_Penelope 
Benji Martin Tales of an Elementary School Librarian
Lauren Davis Happily Ever Elephants@KidLitLauren 
Emily Andrus Literary Hoots@literaryhoots

Congratulations to all the Judges. I am proud and honored to be a part of this Cybils crew!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

INTERVIEW with Gaby Triana, Author of Wake the Hollow (A Sleepy Hollow-inspired Story)

Gaby Triana is the award winning-author of six YA novels, including her latest, Wake the Hollow, Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita and Backstage Pass, as well as sixteen ghost-written novels for best-selling authors.

Lynne Marie:  Are you a suspense/horror fan? If so, what is your favorite suspense/horror author? Your favorite suspense/horror movie or t.v. show?

Gaby Triana: I’ve always loved scary stories. I grew up reading Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, Shirley Jackson, and anything with ghosts in it, so it’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed, both reading and writing. Other favorites are Joe Hill and Chuck Palahniuk.

LM: Is there a unifying thread between any of your six novels? If so, how would you describe that thread?

GT: No one is all good, no one is all bad. I’ve always tried to stay away from hero/villain stereotypes in my writing, so redemption is an underlying theme in a lot of my stories. What makes someone do the wrong thing? What dark secrets do good people have? We all have a little bit of lightness and darkness in our personalities.

LM:  I am especially intrigued by your latest book, Wake the Hollow. How did you come up with the initial concept for that book? Which came first, the concept or the title?

GT: Wake the Hollow is basically the book I’d want to read if I were browsing the shelves looking for something spooky. There was nothing out there that was a retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with lots of ghosts. And Halloween stuff. And a haunted house. And Hispanic characters. And, and, and… So I wrote it myself. When I looked at what I’d done, turns out I’d basically written a more YA/adult version of Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost!

LM: How did the title Wake the Hollow come about?

GT: The main character, Micaela Burgos, goes through a personal awakening. After living naively for so long, she finally opens her eyes to things that had been going on all around her without her realizing. The town of Sleepy Hollow itself also goes through an awakening from the moment Mica comes back to town. Things lying dormant awakening and coming to the surface is an underlying theme throughout.

LM: What was your job before you became a full-time author? How did this job inform your current profession?

GT: My Master’s is in Elementary Education. I began as a 4th grade teacher for 8 years, then I wrote full-time for 10 years, publishing 4 of my YA novels, then I went back to teaching for one year, then I ran a cake design studio for 2 years, then I went back to teaching for another year, and now I’ve been full-time writing and ghostwriting again for four years. Whew. Tired just reading that. 

LM: How many times did you submit your first book before receiving an acceptance? Please share the details of how you went from unpublished to published.

GT: Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost, still unpublished, was technically my first submission. Then I submitted Backstage Pass, and I got my agent immediately with that one and a 2-book contract with HarperCollins one month later. I had a very lucky start in the business, but subsequent books have been harder to sell.

LM:   What are your thoughts on being a member of SCBWI? Critique groups?

GT: SCBWI is a great starting point if you’ve never dealt with the publishing industry before. They help you find a critique group, learn the basics of the industry so you know what you’re doing, and they offergreat writing courses to help you improve your craft.

They’re indispensable to a newbie writer. Critique groups are super important if you’ve never shared your writing before. It helps to know what 10 people think before you submit your writing to the world.

LM:   I know that when you’re writing, you also make cakes. What is your favorite cake? Why?

GT: I don’t make cakes anymore, but I did for a long time (Cakes by Gaby on FB). My favorite type of cake was cinnamon vanilla with dulce de leche buttercream, but I’m gluten-free now (autoimmune disease), so feel like the cake years are now a lifetime away, since I don’t eat that way anymore, nor do I have time for it.

1.      If you were a color, what color would you be?  YELLOW
2.    If you were a sea creatures, which sea creature would you be? GIANT SQUID. So I could live at the bottom of the deepest ocean in solitude and nobody would bother me.
3.    If you were a character in Harry Potter, which one would you be? SNAPE. Nobody is all good, nor all bad. ;)
4.    If you were a literary character, which one would you be? POE’S RAVEN
5.     If you were a mythical creature, which one would you be? GARGOYLE
6.    Who is your favorite children’s author? ROALD DAHL

7.     If there is a book you wish you wrote, which one would it be? HARRY POTTER. Lol

Monday, September 12, 2016

INTERVIEW: Writing and Illustrating's Kathy Temean, Creator of Free Fall Friday, Illustration Saturday and Take-a-Look Sunday

Today, I am pleased to interview the Creator of one of my all-time favorite blogs – Writing and Illustrating ( and, as well as former SCBWI NJ Regional Advisor. 

Kathy's blog provides information and support to both unpublished and published children’s writers and illustrators. Kathy does this in the form of a diverse variety of methods -- tips, interviews, give-a-ways, book buzz, articles, agent and editor features, illustration critiques EACH Sunday, AND one Free-Fall Friday each month in which you can submit for a chance to get your first page reviewed by an Editor! Plus, every Saturday she features a talented illustrator, interviews them, shows off their illustrations, and shares a step by step of their process of their work.

Lynne Marie: When and how did the concept for this fabulous blog come about?

Kathy Temean: Eight years ago, I started thinking about all the information coming across my desk and how it would help the members in my chapter. I resisted blogging, because so many people at the time where blogging about what they ate for breakfast or other frivolous things, so I decided blogging was a waste of time. One of the problems at the time was building an audience with a blog. When Twitter hit the scene, I realized how it could drive traffic to a blog, so I started with the idea of sharing things to help writers and illustrators get published and signed up for Twitter.

LM: How do you come about the content for the blog – is it all generated from you, or do people work with you to provide this treasure trove of children writing gems?

KT:  I do not have anyone who helps me, though I encourage people to offer articles they write that could help other children's writers and illustrators. Erika Wassall (the New Jersey bFarm Scribe) was writing an every other week post for Writing and until she had a baby and had to take some time off. Other writers have written other articles, too. It's a win-win – I win because I get a day off and the writer gets their name and writing seen by over 3200 people who visit daily from all over the world. My followers include editor, agents, art directors, and other industry professionals, besides published and unpublished writers and illustrators, so it is a good marketing tool.

LM: About what is the reach / readership of Writing and Illustrating?

KT: My blog automatically is shared on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. It has grown each year in both followers and visitors. Currently, it's at 3200 visitors daily, not counting Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. I don't count them, since there probably is some overlap.

LM: I see you have a call out on your website for Illustrators to share content. Are there any other opportunities? What are your current needs?

KT: Illustrator have lots of opportunities to show off their work on Writing and Illustrating. There is Illustrator Saturday, where I feature a talented illustrator. On Take a Look Sunday, illustrators submit two or three sequential illustrations for an artist rep to review. Illustrators can send in illustrations to use in daily posts. This is a good way to get your work seen and a great way to keep your name out there.

LM: Two of my favorite focuses of your blog are the amazing Agent and Editor opportunities. How do these come about? Do the industry professionals contact you, or do you contact them?

KT: I do a lot of research on the Internet to find agents who might be interested in looking for clients and try to provide what they are interested in, so a writer doesn't waste their time submitting to agent who would never represent them no matter how great the writing. I do a lot of surfing to discover what editors are open to receiving unagented submissions and what type of books they like. I also, attend conferences and talk to agents and editors. Agents and editors do contact me and ask if they can be on my blog.

LM: Do readers sometimes update you with their success as a result of these feature? If so, please share a few success stories.

KT: I really like when writers and illustrators let me know when they are successful. I love doing Kudo posts to celebrate their achievements. It is so very sweet when someone points out how I helped. I wish people would remember to share their successes, since it is not only an inspiration to me, but to everyone reading the post. We all need encouragement to keep pushing forward and I like to think this is needed, too. Note: Anyone can send me a success, even if it had nothing to do with me.

LM: Another favorite focus of your blog is the Free Fall Friday. How do this type of feature come about? Do the industry professionals contact you, or do you contact them? Do readers sometimes update you with their success as a result of these feature? If so, please share a few success stories.

KT: I am always looking for ways to help writers and illustrators. I started Frist Page Sessions while the New Jersey SCBWI Chapter RA. About five times a year, I would bring in two industry professionals to listen to first pages. Everyone who attended had their first page read. Critiquing all is not feasible on Writing and Illustrating, but writers can learn a lot from hearing what is said about another writer's first page. Many of the problems talked about can apply to things other writers make in their work, so I continue this on my blog. Each month I ask an editor or agent if they would help out by reading and critiquing four first pages. I appreciate the many agents and editors who have participated and shared their thought and knowledge. I think it has helped a lot of writers.

LM: How does the selection process work for this? Do you forward all submissions to the editor? Or do you screen and submit promising submissions based upon your knowledge of the editor or agent’s needs?

KT: I take all the submissions that followed the guidelines and randomly pick four.

LM: What tips can you share to writers to maximize their chances with regard to this opportunity?

KT: Follow the submission guidelines. Make sure your story is formatted correctly. I figure if you can't follow guidelines, then you will have a tough time getting published, so this is a good place to learn.

LM: I am a huge fan of illustration Sundays.  How do this type of feature come about? Do the industry professionals contact you, or do you contact them? Do readers sometimes update you with their success as a result of these feature? If so, please share a few success stories.

KT: This actually took hold because of artist rep. Christina Tugeau. She said I should do something like the first page critiques for Illustrators. I had been mulling over in my mind how I could do something like that for illustrators, but I hadn't come up with a good way to do it. Christina brought it all together. I like the feature and hope it continues. It will as long as the illustrators out there send in their work. Right now, I need submissions. Nicole Tugeau owner of Tugeau2 (Christina's daughter-in-law) has agreed to do the rest of this year, so I hope the word gets out to the illustrators to submit.

LM: Is there anything else you would like to share about your blog?

KT: Yes, I just started showing off new books, with a book give-away and sharing the books journey. The books journey can be very interesting and provide ideas for other authors and illustrators, plus it is fun to win something and it's a nice way for authors to promote their book. Sometimes I do an interview, like the one coming up with Ginger Scott. She is my new favorite author. She wrote 11 novels in three years and self-published all of them. I had to find out about that, so I contacted her and I will be featuring her next week to help readers discover her books. They are so polished and so well-written. I love seeing someone do the self-polishing thing right.

LM: Please tell us a little bit about the writing retreats you host.

KT: This is the best thing I have ever put together. While I was RA I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to have and editor or agent read a full manuscript and help improve the work, but there wasn't a way to do this with a whole chapter, so after I retired, I came up with the fall writer's retreat. It's small. This year, Session One has two agents and six writers and Session Two has eight writers and two agents. Each writer gets a full manuscript critique with one agent and a 35 page critique with the other agent. We also work in groups to discuss each other's manuscript – lots of great ideas have come out of this. We even do first pages, too – so many of these have turned into published books. I rent a house where we all work, sleep, and eat together. It is a ton of fun and it gives everyone a lot of opportunity to ask questions and mingle with the agents/editors. We've had lots of success come out of this writers retreat. Many have signed with agents and quite a few manuscript have ended up as published books. It also has brought people together and built friendships. Writers have flown in from all over the world – France, Puerto Rico, Canada, California, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, plus all the East Sates – to attend the retreat.

LM: You spend so much of your time helping and promoting others. Is there anything that you would like to promote that I can share here as far as your writing and illustrating?

KT: I just finished my YA novel POLEGATE and a MG novel I HATE BOYS – NOT. I am working on the first draft of the next book a continuation of my YA and finishing a first draft of another YA titled, Violated. As far as my illustrating, I illustrated books and articles when someone tracks me down. Not because I don't love illustrating – that is what I studied in college – but because it just doesn't seem like there is enough time in the day.

LM: Please share a little bit about your other children’s writing related work – teaching, web design, etc.

KT:  I have a business called Temean Consulting. I help writers and illustrators market their work. I do critiques, develop websites, and consult on how to get noticed and published.

Check Out Kathy’s Blog at:
and Temean Consulting at:

Friday, September 9, 2016


TITLE: Maxfield Parrish, Painter of Make Believe
AUTHOR; Lois V. Harris 
ART: Credited 
PUBLISHER: Pelican Publishing Co., 2011

SNIPPET: Fred's eyes sparkled on his third Christmas when he saw the pictures in his new sketchbook. His father, who was an artist, had filled the pages with drawings of funny animals and elves. Fred copied the pictures and practiced. By age seven, he drew wicked dragons for his friends.

REVIEW: And so begins the magical tale of the man who grew up to illustrate "The Reluctant Dragon," "Old King Cole," and other  "timeless" art, including fantasyland picture storybooks, magazine covers, calendars, box art and adult books. 

Notably, this beautifully-written book does what all non-fiction books strive to do. It enticed me to become interested in a person that I  previously had no awareness of. And, it did it with perfect prose, relevant references, interesting facts, and captivating pictures.

In Maxfield Parrish, Painter of Make-Believe, Lois V. Harris takes on the subject of Maxfield Parrish via a time-line and associated art and successfully paints a clear and concise picture of how a young boy named Fred evolved into a best-selling fabulous artist. 

From this moment on, I am a big fan of Maxfield Parrish and his art AND Lois V. Harris and her non-fiction. It is with great anticipation that I now look forward to reading her other books, Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Painter and Charlie Russell: Tale-Telling Cowboy Artist. 

REVIEWED BY: Lynne Marie 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Review of Race Car Dreams by Sharon Criscoe, Illustrated by Dave Mottram

Written by Sharon Criscoe
Illustrated by Dave Mottram
Publisher: Running Press Kids, 2016
Editor: Marlo Scrimizzi

SUMMARY: After a day zooming around the racetrack, a race car becomes tired and after his bedtime rituals, falls asleep and dreams. 

The zooming has stopped.
The sun's almost set. A race car is tired.
He's wringing with sweat.

His day has been filled with high octane fun...

Had I not signed up for a Tuesday blog post for this book, I would have featured this delightful book on a"Perfect Picture Book Friday." It truly is a perfect book. The illustrations are active, vivid and cute, and the text is active, engaging and just fun rhyme to read and hear. 

Sharon Chriscoe cleverly creates parallels between the race car turning in for the night and the bedtime of a child. Dave Mottram cleverly colors his scenes with hues that allude to sleep and dreams. While Running Kids Press is a newer and smaller publisher, it has done an outstanding job with the production of this beautiful book. I look forward to seeing more books from this author, illustrator and publisher! 

All considered, Race Car Dreams is a great book for both boys and girls to enjoy as they finish their day's race and wind down in preparation for dream-time. 

PLEASE take some time and visit the other blogs on the RACE CAR DREAMS Blog Tour :
9/7 MomReadIt
9/14 MamaBelly

REVIEWED BY: Lynne Marie. My opinions are my own.

Friday, September 2, 2016

PPPF: A Fairy Friend -Written by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Claire Keane
A Perfect Picture Book Friday Review

Written by Sue Fliess
Illustrated by Claire Keane
Christy Ottaviano Books,
Henry Holt & Company, 2016

SUMMARY: Fairies are all around us, and if you want to have one come to you, build a fairy house to have a fairy visit.

There are fairies in the sky.
All around you fairies fly,
Flit and flutter, tumble, twirl,
When the wind blows, fairies swirl....

Sue Fliess entertains the reader with a whimsical and lively rhyme, perfectly paired by Claire Keane's fanciful illustrations, In addition to describing fairies, the author suggests where to find them, how to build a fairy house from natural materials and even offers important tips.

Beautifully written by a talented poet and beautifully illustrated by a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, this book is a great find for your little pixie.

REVIEWED BY: Lynne Marie. My opinions are my own.