Book Trailers: Big Imaginations and Little Humans

We are making a book trailer for This Is Sadie and are looking for video clips of small girls and boys with big imaginations doing whatever it is that they like to do. What my boy likes to do is make films and so he will be putting this together as a special gift to me.

Head over to This Is Sadie for details and to see a great video by my pal Stephany Aulenback's darling daughter Sylvie.

Video clips can be sent to thisissadiebook@yahoo.com.

And here's a trailer we enjoyed for Little Humans by Brandon Stanton.


Ridiculously Wonderful Books to Read With Kids

This Is Sadie is set for release next spring, but has already made a Buzzfeed list of 25 Ridiculously Wonderful Books to Read With Kids in 2015. What a ridiculously nice thing to happen.

Check out the whole list--there's lots to be excited about there. I'm looking forward to Debbie Ridpath Ohi's Where Are My Books (Simon & Schuster) about a book-loving boy.

I very much like what reviewer Mallory McInnis has to say as well: "This is a story for those with a deep love of stories." I can't think of anything nicer.

If you're looking for an independent bookseller carrying the books, it's always good to check Indiebound.  And if you really wanted to be kind, you could mention the book to your local librarian. We love libraries!


Be The Hero

The promotional poster for my forthcoming book with Julie Morstad, This Is Sadie, makes me want to cry in the best possible way.  

In our story, Sadie is a little girl who likes to imagine herself right inside a story--in Julie Morstad's beautiful illustration, she actually dives right into a book. And what I hope for is that all children--boys and girls--feel free to imagine themselves as whoever they want to be in that fictional world, because that is, after all, a stepping stone to imagining yourself as whoever you want to be in the real world.

This image of the little girl on the horse makes me think of Elizabeth I and her Prince of England speech, which I love. Here's Cate Blanchett on her white steed.

All of this got me thinking about the whole idea of princes and princesses. Over at A Chair, A Fireplace, And a Tea Cozy, Liz Burns takes on what she calls "Princess Shaming" and avows the right of every child to play princess, read about princesses, and all that.  She's writing partly in reaction to this article on Slate, The Princess Trap which basically takes the position that girls who play at being princesses will never grow up to be scientists.

Really what we want, I suppose, is a world where girls can play at being princes or princess and boys are free to do the same.

Liz Burns quotes novelist Meg Cabot as saying: "the princess thing is amazing. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, protecting the people you love, and never letting the bad guys win. It’s about rescuing yourself, and yet risking your heart when you meet someone who seems worth giving it to."

And on those terms, I do agree. Be the hero of your adventure is all I really want to say.


This Is Sadie

My new picture book This Is Sadie, co-created with the ridiculously talented Julie Morstad, and produced under the tender care of the brilliant editor Tara Walker at Tundra Books will be out in the world next spring. 

Today I saw it listed for the first time online and am so very happy to be able to share the cover!

More here.


Picture Book Friends (and a giveaway)

One of the nicest things about making picture books is the lovely people you meet along the way.  I was invited to participate in the latest blogging chain mail enterprise by Kyo Maclear (her post here) and because it was Kyo Maclear and because I admire her and pretty much everything she does, I said yes. I agreed to answer these questions:
What am I working on? Why do I write what I do? How does your writing process work?
I'll answer the last first, just to get it over with

Q: How does your writing process work? 
A: Not very well.

Really I agreed to do this blog tour as an opportunity to talk about Kyo Maclear's latest book because it is a thing of beauty and (prediction) will be a joy forever.

Julia, Child is a story about childhood and friendship and mastering the art of slowing down and enjoying life. It is only in the very loosest sense about Julia Child and in its most profoundest sense about nourishment. 

Here is a little look at the interior art.  Note all the adults rushing around and the children watching on bemused.  The text here reads: "Life was filled with far too many grown-ups who did not know how to have a marvelous time. The girls had no wish to become big, busy people--wary and worried, hectic and hurried."

Julie Morstad's illos here are a wonderful mix of spare line drawings and vibrant colour and there is great pleasure to be found in all the delightful details. It's a perfect little gem of a book and an excellent reminder to slow down and smell the petits gรขteaux. 

Okay, that's enough not about me for a bit.

Q: What are you working on?
A: Many things all at once.

     I am doing a picture book called This is Sadie with the glorious talent that is Julie Morstad. It will be published next spring with Tundra Books and I just wish I could show you the cover right now because it is perfectly swoony.
     I am also working on a series of baby books with the fine folks at Owl Books.  
     I am also at various stages with various other things which I probably shouldn't talk about. One of them is a middle grade novel about a red-headed boy that I am writing with my very own red-headed genius of a boy.  

I still intend to answer one more question but first let me tell you about who I will be handing the blog tour baton over to and let's get to the giveaway portion of this blogpost. 

Stephany Aulenback has just published her very first picture book and while I am quite sure it won't be her last it seems cause for celebration. In lieu of champagne, I've received permission from her publisher Simply Read Books to offer a copy of the book to one lucky reader. (Sorry but Canadian addresses only on this one.)  

Stephany Aulenback's  book is called If I Wrote a Book About You and it is illustrated by Denise Holmes.  It's a wonderful paean to parenting and creativity. Here's a sneaky peek for you.

To win a copy just leave a comment below telling me what you might write a book about or what your favourite book is or how much you'd like to win a book. Basically, just leave a comment. Or you can tweet something about why you love picture books to @saraoleary using the hashtag #stephka and I will enter your name.  

Last question now....

Q: Why do you write what you do?
A: Because I stumbled into writing for children and consider myself very, very lucky to write books for the very most important readers there are.

That's it. By way of a disclaimer I should mention that I am inordinately fond of both Steph Aulenback and Kyo Maclear although I have never actually met either of them in real life.  

Finally, some other blog tourists I have spotted on my travels.
Susan Juby
Sophie Blackall
Carin Berger
Vikki VanSickle

UPDATE:  We have a winner! Congratulations Carrie Gelsen. A book will be winging its way to you from Simply Read Books.