Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 10, 2017

Book Giveaway – Chicken Story Time

Congratulations to author Sandy Asher. She has a new book CHICKEN STORYTIME and has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running to win a copy is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


A wonderfully silly take on library story time that’s perfect for children, chickens, and everyone in between.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to story time at the library, of course!  The children like the chicken, the chicken likes the children, and everyone loves story time. So it’s no surprise that more children (and more chickens!) get in on the fun until there are more kids and critters than the librarian knows what to do with. Luckily, she comes up with a creative solution and manages to find little R & R for herself.

Fans of Bats in the Library and Library Lion will fall in love and story time will never be the same!


I was a teenager, babysitting for my nephew David and reading GOODNIGHT, MOON, when I began dreaming about writing picture books.
I tried . . . for years . . . and gathered rejections.
And then, something the late Sue Alexander said at an SCBWI gathering changed my approach. I included it years later in my anthology, WRITING IT RIGHT: How Successful Children’s Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories:
Picture books, she explained, “must work on three levels.
* The very young child appreciates the events of the story…
* The older child appreciates the meaning behind the events…
* The adult appreciates the universality…”

I returned to an oft-rejected manuscript and asked myself, What does this story mean to the younger child, the older child, the adult? I revised with new understanding. (cont.)

PRINCESS BEE AND THE ROYAL GOOD-NIGHT STORY, my first published picture book, came out in 1990. My little nephew David was 34.
I went on trying. I gathered more rejections. When STELLA’S DANCING DAYS came out, David was 45.

I should mention the obvious: My natural story-telling voice is not that of a picture book writer. During this time, I published poetry, plays, articles, short stories, chapter books, and YA novels. But I wanted to write picture books. And I don’t give up easily.

When my third, TOO MANY FROGS!, came out, nephew David had two little boys of his own. Lo and behold, the Penguin Group sales reps named it their Pick of the Lists, ChildCraft published a Big Book version, Scholastic bought book club and book fair rights, it was nominated for state awards, and it became a stage play. (cont.)

End of bumpy road? Nope. TOO MANY FROGS was followed by WHAT A PARTY! and HERE COMES GOSLING. Sales were slower; they went out of print. No more books about Froggie and Rabbit were requested.

In a snit of grief and frustration, I attended another SCBWI event where an editor announced picture books of 1000 words were no longer wanted. Five hundred words were preferred; 250 would be even better. (I have issues with this. I fear children are being denied language at the very age they most need to absorb it. But that’s another story.)

FINE! I grumped. I’ll write the shortest book possible. No frogs and rabbits? How about chickens? But I’m bringing forward an important part of the Froggie and Rabbit books: READING! I’ll set it in a library, with a librarian as the main character. Froggie and Rabbit will love this book, even if they can’t be in it.

I wrote CHICKEN STORY TIME quickly, still in a snit. It was accepted quickly. But it took four years to produce. Much in publishing is way beyond the writer’s control.
CHICKEN STORY TIME is out there and doing well. (So is my nephew, whose older son is starting college.) At this writing, it’s just been nominated for the Kansas Reading Association’s 2018 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award.

End of bumpy road at last? Nah. I still collect rejections. That means I’m still trying. I often tell students, “It’s not those with the most talent who succeed, it’s those with the guts to keep going.”

I’m Exhibit A.


Sandy Asher grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and now lives in Lancaster, PA, with husband Harvey, dog Gracie, and cat Friday. After Philly and before Lancaster, she and her family lived in Springfield, MO, where she wrote many of her award-winning books, ran Good Company Theatre for All Ages, and served as Drury University’s writer-in-residence and Missouri Regional Advisor and national board member for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In Lancaster, Sandy has kept busy organizing and participating in programs for the Library System of Lancaster County, Lancaster Public Library, the Lancaster Literary Guild, the Lancaster Day Care Center, New Choices in Career Development, and other organizations. She currently serves as the first Lancaster County Children’s Laureate, promoting literacy and creativity. As Children’s Laureate, she organized the April, 2016, “Celebrate Libraries!” event at Millersville University’s Ware Center, involving libraries and children county-wide. Sandy enjoys visiting schools and libraries and has taught writing workshops for all ages — K-12, adult, and multigenerational — from Anchorage, Alaska, to St. Petersburg, Florida. As Sandra Fenichel Asher, Sandy has written more than three dozen plays for audiences of all ages, performed throughout the United States and abroad and published by Dramatic Publishing Company. Little known fact: “Fenichel” is pronounced FENN eh shell. Easy when you know how! Visit Sandy at

Thank you Sandy for sharing your book and it’s journey with us.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I remember sandy from Chautauqua! So nice to see her again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the pleasure of seeing Sandy Asher and Mark Fearing present at a workshop in Portland, Oregon earlier this spring. Love her dogged pursuit of the picture book — I need a story of perseverance paying off today!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much good information here, Sandy! Congratulations on the newest pb! I never got to hear Sue Alexander. Going back to review the levels in my stories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration and a role model to aspiring authors like me. I’m always delighted to hear stories where persistence pays off, so congratulations on Chicken Story Time and keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sandy – this story sounds like so much fun! And your writing journey is an inspiration – thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have a couple of little boys who would love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved hearing about your book and your bumpy road, Sandy! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This book looks hilarious, and I LOVED your Illustrator Saturday that featured Mark. Just brilliant 🙂 And, of course, I’m tweeting this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It looks very fun and colorful, and fraught with incident!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing your low and high moments. Your journey of patience and persistence is really inspiring. It strengthens some of us aspiring writers who are still trying. At least we are not alone. Keep it up Sandy, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

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