Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wall Street Journal features A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK for Earth Day 2018

On April 22, the Wall Street Journal featured A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, illustrated by Daniel Miyares and published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin! I'm honored to be included with the other titles focused on Mother Earth!


Monday, February 19, 2018


It's here--release day for A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, illustrated by Daniel Miyares (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin)!

Available from your local independent bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and others.

I'd love to hear what you think!


Friday, July 7, 2017

PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW at the National Book Festival!

Hey everyone,

I am beyond thrilled to announce that PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW has been chosen by the Missouri Center for the Book to represent our state at this year's National Book Festival in Washington DC on September 2! The annual festival is hosted by the Library of Congress. 

Thanks to the Missouri Center for the Book!! I am so honored!

Come celebrate with me on Twitter @jodywrites4kids! 

National Book Festival https://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

Monday, June 19, 2017


We had a great time Friday night at Barnes & Noble/Zona Rosa launching PRUDENCE into the world! Thank you to all who came out and supported me. It was a magical night. Enjoy the pictures!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Meet the Author interview with the Johnson County Library

Hey, everyone,

Happy Spring (or Fall, depending on which hemisphere you inhabit)! I'm ready for warmer temperatures here in Missouri.

The Johnson County (KS) library system interviewed me for their Meet the Author series. I talk about books I've written, where I grew up, and other really deep things.😊You can find the interview here, if you're interested.

And here's a picture of the phlox just starting to bloom in front of my house. Enjoy!


Monday, November 28, 2016

We have a Winner! Interview (and Giveaway!) with GILLY'S TREASURES author, Julie Murphy!

Hey, everyone!

Congratulations to Sue Lowell Gallion, winner of Julie's Gilly's Treasures!
Thanks to everyone who entered!


Today, debut fiction picture book author Julie Murphy joins us to talk about her recently released book, Gilly's Treasures (Cedar Fort). Welcome, Julie, and congratulations!

Thanks, Jody! It is wonderful to be here. Thanks for having me over.

First, tell us about you. You live in Australia, right?
Yes, I live in Melbourne, which is a major city in southeastern Australia. Melbourne is located near the coast. I love the sea, and have a few favorite coastal spots that we regularly visit for family holidays.

It looks amazing! How did you come up with the idea for Gilly's Treasures?
It was a combination of my love of the beach, and my feelings about advertising constantly bombarding us with messages that we will be happier if we get more stuff. Seagulls can be greedy for anything edible, and my character Gilly takes it a step further. He likes finding shiny, pretty things, and can’t stop wanting more.

Sounds really cute, and relatable! Did the writing come quickly, or did you write several drafts?
The story has been with me for so long that it is actually quite hard to remember! I think the general story came fairly quickly but I have no doubt that, as with all my stories, I then revised it ad infinitum. I actually entered it early on as a short story in a Fable (for adults) competition and it got an honorable mention, which was encouraging. So then I developed it into a picture book. I remember it took me ages to even settle on a name for my main character. For a while I was quite attached to “Gulliver.” I thought “Gulliver’s Treasures” had a certain ring to it. In the end, however, the name didn’t flow well in the text, and I thought the joke probably wouldn’t work with most children. (GULLiver, and the classic story "Gulliver's Travels." Get it? Okay, never mind.)

Ha! Once you finished writing, how long did it take to sell it? Cedar Fort is a US publisher, right?
Right. Cedar Fort is a Utah-based publisher. Many of its books are LDS-oriented, but they also publish general books that are uplifting and help people to think about what’s important in their lives. I discovered Cedar Fort when I read a tweet from their then Commissioning Editor, Ashley Gephart, on Twitter’s Manuscript Wishlist (#MSWL). She said that she was looking for “uplifting/family values” stories. So I sent off Gilly and quickly got a favorable reply. My pitch went something like: While out fishing, Gilly the seagull finds a beautiful, shiny treasure. He loves it so much he can’t help searching for more…and more. Will he ever be satisfied with what he has? My experience just goes to show how important it is to target manuscripts to appropriate publishers!

Wow! Social media to the rescue! Did you work with your editor on further revisions?
Yes, some very minor ones - only changing a word here and there.

What would you like kids to take away from your book?
Great question! I would like kids to take away a number of things. Firstly, a love of story and reading…although hopefully they already have that! I’d also like them to spare a thought about what matters most to them, and to be encouraged to get out and experience nature for themselves. And lastly, I hope they enjoy the fun and playfulness in Illustrator Jay Fontano’s striking artwork, which offsets my story really well. Jay has introduced a great little character too – a friendly crab – who children will have fun spotting on many pages.

What else is on your plate?
Oh, I always have lots on my plate, but I generally enjoy the juggling act. Right now I have several stories at different stages of development; most are picture book manuscripts (fiction and non-fiction), and there is an early reader also calling for my attention. My next book to be published is a non-fiction illustrated picture book for 4-8 year olds, about fascinating feet of the animal world. It will be called I’ve Got Feet! - from Amicus Ink (distributed by Chronicle) in 2017. I also have more deals in the pipeline that I can’t talk about yet. I am almost bursting from wanting to spill the beans! Rest assured that when the time is right I will happily reveal all on my website and Twitter - follow me via the links below to stay in touch!

Ooh, secrets! Sounds great, Julie! And now, readers, for the giveaway:
Cedar Fort has generously provided a copy of Gilly’s Treasures to give away to one lucky US reader. To enter, tell me your favorite beach activity in the comments below. The winner’s name will be posted on this blog and on my Twitter (@jodywrites4kids) on December 12.  

You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphybooks.com
Facebook (with book preview): www.facebook.com/GILLYSTREASURES

Gilly’s Treasures is available from many on-line book stores and Cedar Fort’s sales site, Books & Things (which offers free postage to most parts of the USA) - www.booksandthings.com

Thanks, Julie, and good luck with Gilly's Treasures!
Thank you, Jody! It has been an absolute pleasure.

Friday, September 16, 2016

RACE CAR DREAMS by Sharon Chriscoe

Hey, everyone,

Today we're joined by Sharon Chriscoe, author of the just-released RACE CAR DREAMS from Running Press Kids. 

Sharon, thanks for joining us. I had a chance to read RACE CAR DREAMS, and it’s really cute! I predict a huge first place finish with little readers everywhere. Tell us about your book!

Aw! Thank you so much, Jody! And thank you for having me on your wonderful blog! RACE CAR DREAMS is a rhyming bedtime story about a little race car getting ready for bed. After his high octane filled day at the track, he washes his rims at the Tickle-and-Wash, fills his tummy with oil at Guzzle-and-Gulp, and chooses a book from the Speedy-Reads Library that’s all about speed. Then, once toasty and warm, he drifts off to sleep, shifts into gear . . . and dreams of the race!
Where did you get the idea for the book?

A couple years ago while I was reading the super-talented Jane Yolen’s HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT? for around the tenth time, I found myself wanting my very own unique twist on a bedtime story. After much brainstorming, and some trial and error, it hit me . . . full throttle! A race car! Kids love race cars and I had never read about a race car getting ready for bed. I spent the next few weeks in my mobile office drafting those first words.

Yep. That’s right, my office is not only mobile but it’s the passenger seat of a bread truck in which I work alongside my super supportive husband on our bread route.

It took almost another year of tweaking the story, revision after revision, draft after draft (nearly 50 in total!) before Race Car became a book that was submission worthy. And I am so thankful to my wonderful critique partners and the SCBWI Blueboard members that encouraged me and helped me to get him all polished and shined.

How did Race Car Dreams end up at Running Press Kids?

My amazing agent Jessica Sinsheimer sent RACE CAR DREAMS out on submission March 18th, 2015 and right away we received a lot of interest in our little race car. We actually had an "I'm taking this to ed board" note in 35 minutes! Already he was breaking land speed records. On April 1st, we were thrilled to have Running Press Kids as our publisher. Yes, it was most definitely not April Fool’s Day at the Chriscoe house. The entire process took two weeks.    Gotta love a fast race car!

I'll say! Do you have a favorite line or spread?

I do! Of course, as the author, I love all of the lines. :) But I have to say my favorite is “He’s sleepy and full and ready to read. He chooses a book that’s all about speed.” The idea of a race car not only getting ready for bed, but reading a bedtime story of his own, is unique in its portrayal yet so normal in a child’s bedtime routine.

As for my favorite spread, it actually coincides with my favorite lines. It’s the Speedy Reads Library scene where Race Car is choosing his book all about speed. I remember the first time I saw the little tree library and thinking it was just the cutest thing I had ever seen. I now have it displayed on my website.

What are you working on now? Anything else in the pipeline?

My editor, Julie and I recently wrapped up book two in the series. Here’s a summary of BULLDOZER DREAMS which releases in the fall of 2017: After a day of pushing, scooping, and clearing, a bulldozer shifts down his gears and prepares for bed. As he lifts his blade and his spotlights turn on, he rolls through the gate and heads to the Wiggle-and-Shake for a bath, the Sip-and-Slurp for a fill-up, and the Mighty-Reads Library for a bedtime story . . . and soon happy cheers fill his dreams as children swing, slide, and race on their new playground.

As for what I’m working on now, let’s just say that there will be more of the vehicle dreams books hitting shelves in the future.

Ooh, a mystery! Where can people find you online?

I can be found on my website at www.sharonchriscoebooks.com and my blog where I regularly update any exciting news at www.sharonchriscoe.wordpress.com

Thanks, Sharon. It's been great hearing all about your books!

Thank you again for having me Jody. It’s been so much fun!

Friends, Sharon has agreed to give away a copy of RACE CAR DREAMS! Just leave a comment below to enter. The winner will be chosen September 30! Good luck

Sharon Chriscoe may not vroom around a race track, but she does zip and zoom around in a bread truck with her husband, Ricky. Fueled with fresh bread, snacks, and writing tools, Sharon has made this her mobile office! She and her husband live in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. They have three children and one grandchild on the way, as well as an assortment of dogs, cats, bunnies and occasionally a groundhog. In addition to RACE CAR DREAMS, she is the author of BULLDOZER DREAMS (a companion book to RACE CAR DREAMS, Running Press Kids, 2017), and THE SPARROW AND THE TREES (Arbordale Publishing, 2015). She is also a contributor to several magazines such as Highlights High Five, Highlights Hello, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids. She is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She is represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. To learn more about Sharon, her books, and future events, visit her website: www.sharonchriscoebooks.com