Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 13, 2015

Kudos: New Book and Give-away


This week Dianne Ochiltree sent me a copy of her new picture book IT’S A SEASHELL DAY. I have to tell you that I love this book. The story is interesting, the rhyme is perfect, and the illustrations are fabulous. Dianne has given us another wonderful book and she has agreed to offer a signed copy of IT’S A SEASHELL DAY as part of her book launch to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment to get in the running. Reblog, or tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win.

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I had a few questions for Dianne and thought you may find them interesting.

Did the shores of New Jersey or Florida inspire this book?

The shores of New Jersey, Florida and every other coastline I’ve ever visited inspired this book, for sure! My first experience collecting seashells was as a toddler with my mother, combing the Fort Lauderdale beach on a family vacation. I’ve been searching for seashell treasures to tuck into my sand pail ever since.  The shells grace my bookcase, and these days, I’m the one taking our grand-daughters to search for shells on the Siesta Key beach just down the road from our Florida home.    

Two years ago you published another book, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT (Illustrated by Betsy Snyder) with Blue Apple Books. Did you have a two-book deal with them?

No, I didn’t. But sales of the firefly book were very strong from the beginning, so I wrote a companion book to that title with the hope that Blue Apple Books would be interested…and they were. We’re all crossing fingers that the seashell book will have similar appeal to readers and retailers. 

Blue Apple Books is located in Maplewood, NJ. Did you know the publishers or editors? How did you get your foot in the door with them?

No, I did not know the editorial staff of Blue Apple Books prior to the acquisition of IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT. But I have truly enjoyed getting to know the good folks of Blue Apple Books! They’ve been very supportive of my efforts.  I was introduced to the publisher by art rep and literary agent Lori Nowicki of Painted Words. She is wonderful, too.

dianne Ochiltreeinterior

Did you know Elliot Kreloff before he did your illustrations? He has done a wonderful job. Did he ask for your input? Who thought to perch the two seagulls on the “e” and the “L” in the title on the cover page? So cute and clever!

Yes, Elliot’s illustrations are ‘beachy keen’! His unique illustrative style and cheery color palette really bring the excitement of a ‘day at the beach’ to life. He has captured perfectly the sights and sounds of the sun-kissed seaside, as well as the warmth of a parent and child enjoying their beach stroll together.  Elliot was very generous in asking for my input at appropriate times in the creative process—but truthfully, I’ve always considered my primary source of illustrative input to be held within the text of the finished manuscript. My primary job as picture book writer is to provide a springboard for an artist’s imagination to take off in whatever direction excites him or her. I agree that the seagull accents on the book cover’s title is a great idea…and it’s all Elliot’s.   

It was a nice touch to end with a page that gave the names and descriptions of the shells. Do you think this will help get school visits?

Like the firefly facts on the last double page spread of IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT, the seashell facts certainly do add to the book’s interest to schools, and libraries. Whether this will translate to more school visits for me is not certain—as we all know, lots of schools now face budget cuts and tough decisions on which programs receive limited dollars.  What I can say for sure is that the inclusion of seashell facts plus the book’s major theme (collecting, sorting, and counting different types of seashells) certainly makes it useful for educators, and anyone else who wants to foster an appreciation of nature in the little ones in their lives.

Can’t wait to see who wins a copy.

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Click here to read about the book on Amazon.

If you live in Sarasota, FL Dianne is having a Book Launch Party!

Date & TIME: July 16, 2015 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Place: Bookstore1Sarasota 1359 Main St. Sarasota, FL

You should stop by and meet Dianne. If you haven’t stopped by her website lately, then take a look, it recently went through a re-design.

Congratulations Dianne!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What a wonderful book! Perfect for summer.

  2. I absolutely love the illustrations in It’s a Seashell Day. Thank you for the giveaway, I’ve pinned, tweeted and shared on Story Snug’s Facebook page.

  3. This book sounds so fabulous — I am a Floridian now and would appreciate it anytime of year!! Thanks for the give-away.

  4. It’s a Seashell Day looks and sounds lovely. I can’t wait to read it. I love books that encourage kids to get outdoors and interact with nature.

  5. As both a seashell and a firefly lover, I must pick up your delightful books! These illustrations look lovely as well.

  6. If I lived in Florida , I would be at that signing because I would love an autographed copy! Thank you , Dianne for the interview and to Kathy, for brining it to us! I’ll share you post on FB!

  7. Kathy — When I saw that Dianne lives in Sarasota. I e-mailed her directly–that’s where I grew up. Wish I had a Star Trek transporter to go to her book launch!.

    • Wish you could transport back to Sarasota, too! We’d love to have you at the book launch. ;o)

  8. What a great book! I love that the boy collects shells and that the audience can learn about them. The art is wonderful too!

  9. I’m a (Georgia) beach girl myself so I can’t wait to read Dianne’s book–looks wonderful!

  10. I love the ocean and love collecting seashells. This book sounds like right up my alley. The illustrations does have a light airy feel to it that goes with the beach.

  11. I am still a fan of walking the beach for sea glass and shells. Sounds like a perfect summer book.

  12. I think the art matches perfectly. Have you been to Sanibel Island? Awesome sea shell collecting there.

  13. Thank you, Kathy, for featuring my book on today’s blog! And thanks to your readers for all the great comments. I can’t wait to find out who will win the signed copy. Good luck to all!

  14. Thank you for sharing this book. It looks like so much fun.

  15. Looks like a fun book…perfect for summer!

  16. Just tweeted and posted to FB. Sounds like a great book for my grandson!

  17. Love the seashore! I look forward to reading the book, Dianne!

  18. The illustrations for this are so inviting. I look forward to reading it! I vacationed on the Jersey shore as a child, and on Anna Maria as an adult. Still haven’t made it to Sanibel… maybe next February. : )

  19. Greetings from Australia. I hope this book arrives ‘DownUnder’ – it looks wonderful and I’m sure the words sound wonderful, too. Many thanks for the interview, Kathy and huge congratulations to you, Dianne and Elliot, and all the publishing team. I’m sure our children would be interested in the names of American shells and marine life.

    • Oh Peter,

      I never thought about that. Are seashells different in different parts of the world? I’ve never been to Australia to know.


      • I’m sure children love comparing their local experience with pictures and descriptions of wildlife overseas to find out what is similar and what is different. Well, I do! 🙂

      • Peter,

        I agree. I just never thought about it, until you brought it up.


  20. What a perfect toddler beach book!

  21. It’s A Seashell Day looks wonderful! What a great idea. Can’t wait to read it!

  22. It’s a Seashell Day! what a perfect book to take to the beach. Just the sort of book I’d love to review.

  23. What a lovely book! 🙂

  24. I’m missing the beach!

  25. Congratulations to Dianne on another wonderful book. I am anxious to get a copy. Was out of town for the book signing or I would have been there. I thought of you all week while visiting my friend in Ocean City, MD who has been collecting sea shells all her life. Her beach home is filled with beautiful sea shells of every variety. Hugs to a very special writer!!!

  26. Looks so cute!!! Wonderful kids story for summer

  27. I tweeted! (LH171) wish I lived in Florida, I’ll love to attend your book launch party! 🙂

  28. Such lively illustrations! I’m amazed that every day at the shore you get a slightly different ocean and shell mix. Last week we could only find minis. Last year there was a day where 20 different kinds of crabs were washing up by the hundreds. Always a surprise!

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