Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 16, 2018

Book Giveaway: My Pillow Keeps Moving by Laura Gehl

Laura Gehl has agreed to give away a copy of her picture book MY PILLOW KEEPS MOVING to one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running 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.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A lonely man tries to buy a pillow . . . and ends up with a new best friend in this silly and sweet doggy tale, perfect for fans of Officer Buckle and Gloria.

Dogs make good pillows, don’t they?

A clever pup ends up in a cozy home, and she’ll do anything to stay there. She impersonates everything the lonely homeowner needs–a pillow, a footstool, a jacket. But in the end, being herself works best. Laura Gehl’s spare, humorous text and New Yorker cartoonist Christopher Weyant’s expressive characters will leave young readers giggling and begging for more.

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

I used to play a game with my kids at bedtime. I would put my head down, using one of the kids as a pillow, and pretend to fall asleep, complete with loud and dramatic snores. Inevitably, the “pillow” would wriggle and giggle. After declaring, “My pillow keeps moving,” I would threaten to return the pillow to the pillow store.

This game was the seed that grew into the book MY PILLOW KEEPS MOVING, now charmingly illustrated by Chris Weyant.

In my first draft, I had a tired dog take a nap in a comfy pillow store. An unsuspecting customer brought the dog home and tried to get a good night’s sleep. After tossing and turning, he attempted to return the pillow (“My pillow keeps moving!”)—with no success, thanks to a friendly but utterly unhelpful salesperson. The next night, the pillow was too loud (WOOF WOOF! ARF! AROO!), prompting another unsuccessful return attempt, and so on.

Even with the first draft of this book, I knew I had the start of something special. But it wasn’t there yet. What really made the story magical was my decision to give the dog intent. In my next version, I didn’t have the dog just happen to fall asleep in the pillow store. Instead, the cold, homeless dog wanted to find an owner and intentionally impersonated (im-dog-sonated?) a pillow as part of this quest. Now the story had a lot more heart.

Another big change came with the realization that I could add humor by having the dog impersonate different objects—first the pillow, but then a footstool and later a jacket.

The final change came when the dog, formerly Jack, became Jackie. My editor, Joanna Cardenas at Viking, thought a female dog would be a good counterpoint to the male pillow-buyer and male salesperson. And she was right.

I should mention that both Joanna and my wonderful critique partners were invaluable through this journey. The book wouldn’t be what it is without them.  And of course Chris Weyant’s illustrations add so much humor of their own. Creating a book is truly a team effort, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result.

LAURA BIO:

Laura Gehl is the author of popular picture books including One Big Pair of Underwear and the Peep and Egg series. Other upcoming books include Peep and Egg: I’m Not Using the Potty, illustrated by Joyce Wan, releasing February, 2018; and I Got A Chicken For My Birthday, illustrated by Sarah Horne, releasing March, 2018. Laura lives with her family in Chevy Chase, MD. Not one of her four kids makes a satisfactory pillow. Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com

Laura, thank you for sharing your book and its’ journey with all of us. Looks like another cute book. I am sure the winner will it.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This looks like a great story! The idea of a little dog impersonating everything it can to stay in his new home is fabulous! I love the illustrations.

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  2. This is adorable and so true! My pillow went away two years ago, but he used to move too! 💗 What a great book.

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  3. What a fun story! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thanks for sharing the book’s journey.

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  4. Oh, my! What a fun book. Can’t wait to lay my head down on this one 🙂

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  5. Ah! So much fun. Well done Laura and Christopher 🙂

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  6. Can’t wait to read this story, Laura!

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  7. This looks adorable. What a fun premise.

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  8. This book looks hilarious (and adorable!). Congrats, Laura. I look forward to reading it soon!

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  9. Looks like a fun story to read over and over. Congrats!

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  10. I want to read this book! So much humor and heart. Thanks for sharing how your idea evolved as you revised.

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  11. This story looks so cute, adorable and fun! It was wonderful to hear the book’s journey too! Congratulations!

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  12. Tweeted!

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  13. Laura’a book looks adorable! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. I’ve also tweeted about the giveaway.

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  14. This story looks adorable! Thanks for sharing its journey!

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  15. Excellent idea for a book (and for a dog too). I love the earnest expression in Jackie’s eyes, it’s just the way my dog Jasmine looks at me. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/953345214688538624, and pinned an image with a link on Pinterest: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/953345214688538624
    Thanks again, have a great week!

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  16. I used to “pretend” my kids were pillows too! But I didn’t have the brilliant idea to turn it into a book. This looks hilarious. I can’t wait to read it! I posted a link on my Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/heather.stigall?hc_ref=ARQH4ZOfZJLRuwMjYmAfTXuFXGewjAuNorwzJqUeJWJoFCXICaKgoXCHcsqY_KP9iVI&fref=nf

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  17. I’m excited to read this one. You have me thinking about adding intent now, too. Thanks!

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  18. Wow! Thanks Laura. Not only did this story come about organicly, but was right under your nose 🙂

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  19. Laura, what an aDORable premise and the game you played with your kids—how precious 😀 I was all over this book when I saw it was you and Christopher, and I’m a HUGE fan of OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA, so am I hoping for this book? You bet! 😀

    Sharing…

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  20. So fun! Dogs can worm their way into our hearts. Loved hearing the journey of your book!

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  21. This looks hilarious. Great idea!

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  22. This looks like a perfect match of text and illustration. Thanks for sharing how the story evolved, so helpful to know others don’t churn out a perfect first draft!

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  23. I love dogs. I love pillows. A match made in heaven! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

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  24. Love your books and this one looks just as delightful! Looking forward to reading it.

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  25. I so love that cover! And all of it looks like it would be great fun!

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  26. This looks like such a fun book! Hope I win it 🙂

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  27. This looks like such an adorable story! The illustrations are great too!

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  28. What a great premise! Love the illustrations. Congrats!

    Like


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