Monday, March 1, 2021

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY of The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty

The Thingity-Jig byBy Kathleen Doherty

Illustrated by Kristina Listen

Publisher: Peachtree, 2021

People often ask me where I get my ideas. I usually say from reading piles of picture books...from everyday life...and from childhood memories.

The idea for THE THINGITY-JIG (April 1,  2021, Peachtree Publishers) sparked one day while I was walking in my neighborhood. I spotted a discarded couch at the curb. I remembered as a kid jumping on the couch when my parents weren’t looking. I could envision that couch with its gray nubby fabric and bullion fringe.


Then I started to play “what if?”  What if a cub couldn’t sleep one night and wandered off into people town? What if the cub found a couch and had never seen one before? What would the cub do with it? What would the cub name it? The more I played “what if?” the more the story took shape.

Author Joy Cowley calls this going down to the well—digging deep down to past experiences and reliving the emotions. Try it! Then use those emotions in your stories.


Kathleen enjoys bringing kids and quality literature together. She's a Reading Specialist and an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction. She's written standardized test items for Pearson Inc. in alignment with the Common Core Standards. Her love of learning has led her to graduate from four different universities. 

Nothing scares her. Kathleen has taught elementary school for over 30 years. A student once told her she'd make a great vampire because she's tall and her teeth are sharp! 

She was first published in TIME Magazine when her letter to the editor about cartoonist Charles Schulz was boxed and illustrated. Her work has also appeared in The Mailbox, Spider Magazine, Highlights Hello, Highlights High Five, and Highlights for Children. She's won the Highlights Pewter Plate Award, the Highlights Celebrate National Poetry Contest, and a letter of merit from SCBWI's Magazine Merit Competition.

Her first picture book, DON'T FEED THE BEAR, illustrated by Chip Wass, debuted from Sterling Children's Books and is featured on Kirkus Reviews' recommended list. Her second picture book, THETHINGITY-JIG, is forthcoming April 2021 with Peachtree Publishers.

Kathleen donates 100% of her author earnings to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.



 Author website:



 And if you liked this book, please check out Kathy's previous Story Behind the Story post DON'T FEED THE BEAR HERE.

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