Picture Book Friends

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 gâteaux. 

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.


Hi! My (and my son's) favourite book is Harold and the Purple Crayon, a classic! I'd love to read your book. Best regards from a reader,
Marta García
A Bilingual Baby blog
Hello! My favourite children's book was probably ( there were so many, hard to choose!) a Wind in The Willows. A little older than the ones pictured here, but I still hear my Dad's voice when I re-read it, and that brings back all kinds of lovely memories....
A great giveaway!
Carrie Gelson said…
What a lovely post and peeks at so many great titles. Hurray for Canadian talent! I have so many favourite books - I even did a post on Nerdy Book Club about all of my favourites from when my children were young: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/books-that-my-children-and-i-treasured-when-they-were-tiny-by-carrie-gelson/ An absolute favourite title is Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed why do I love children's books? Because I can attach all of these words when talking about them: hope, whimsy, nostalgia, wonder, magic . . .
Val said…
I suspect my writing process also might leave something to be improved upon but it works for me on a daily basis. My children's stories are about ducks, and crickets, and imagination, and finding ways to do the impossible. My favorite children's story growing up was "A Bag Full of Nothing" by Jay Williams. He may just be my favorite children's author as well.

Thanks for introducing me to other wonderful writing (and illustrations) to add to my collection. I'd be happy to add a won title to the shelf too :)
Laura said…
I've heard about your book and would love to add it to our library. My favourite picture books to read to my kids are The Gruffalo and and of Sandra Boyton's books.
Unknown said…
Some of my favourite picture books are Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerran and Barbara Cooney, The Giant Jam Sandwich, by John Vernon Lloyd and Janet Burroway, Me ... Jane, by Patrick McDonnell, Virginia Wolf, by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault, and, of course, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey. I went to Woozles again yesterday and Lisa and I talked about If I Wrote a Book About You -- I'll be happy to buy it from her if I don't win a copy. I'm looking forward to reading it, along with Julia, Child and This is Sadie.
Sara O'Leary said…
Thanks for all the comments so far and nice to hear all your book recommendations. Will be drawing a name tomorrow so stay tuned.

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