Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2018

Book Giveaway: Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush by Melissa Stoller

Author Melissa Stoller has new book titled, SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH! It hit bookshelves today. She has agreed to share a book with 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 do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Melissa!


What would it be like to have a magic paintbrush?

Scarlet knows.
She paints perfect pictures . . . until her brush disappears.
Will she ever be
able to create another
masterpiece without it?


I got the idea for SCARLET while standing in front of a Monet painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I marveled at my favorite Impressionist artist, and wondered what it would be like to have a magic paintbrush to paint perfect pictures like Monet. “What if” questions filled my mind and the story started to take shape.

I wrote a first draft, and then made many revisions to make sure I had a well-plotted story with humor and heart. I relied on my trusted critique partners (you know who you are – thank you!) to help me with the story arc, layers, and themes. Eventually, I did a critique with Mira Reisberg, founder of The Children’s Book Academy and my editor and art director at Clear Fork Publishing/Spork. Mira loved my draft and made excellent suggestions that helped polish the manuscript. 

My publisher, Callie Metler-Smith at Clear Fork Publishing/Spork, was already working on my chapter book series (The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection). I realized that Callie loves art history and the Impressionists as much as I do. I pitched SCARLET to her and I was thrilled that she loved the story. Soon after, we signed a contract for my debut picture book. And a few months ago, when Callie was in New York, we visited some Monet paintings at the Met and talked about SCARLET’S journey!

Callie Metler-Smith and Melissa Stoller

Mira paired me with the incredible illustrator, Sandie Sonke. I couldn’t ask for a better collaboration. Sandie had a beautiful vision for SCARLET and included so many stunning details in her artwork. I loved the cover immediately and adore all the inside illustrations. She really brought the magic to this story!

Thank you for featuring SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, Kathy! I’m so happy that my dream of being a picture book author is finally a reality! I already have some school visits set up and I can’t wait to see this book in the hands of the youngest readers. My heart is filled with gratitude for everyone who helped me along this journey.


Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection – Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and Summer 2018); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, Fall 2018). She is also the co-author of The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009).

Melissa is an Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, an Admin for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and a volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators/MetroNY. Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. Melissa lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy. When not writing or reading, she can be found exploring NYC with family and friends, traveling, and adding treasures to her collections.


Sandie was born and raised in sunny Rancho Cucamonga, California. She graduated with a BA in Studio Art from Cal State University Fullerton in 2010. Wearer of many hats, Sandie is a freelance illustrator, wife, and mom to two inspirational souls. Sandie is happy to be a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2015. When she is not drawing you can find her playing legos with her kids or sipping coffee with her husband. Sandie was featured on Illustrator Saturday. You should check it out.


Thank you Melissa for sharing your Book and its’ journey with us. It is a great match with you and Sandie. It looks like a winner.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This story sounds picture perfect! I can’t wait to read it. Congratulations, Melissa, on your debut picture book.

    I have shared to facebook and Twitter.


    • Thank you, Nancy! And thanks for sharing! I hope you enjoy the story!


  2. Congratulations Melissa and Sandie! I loved reading about how this book came to be, and what a great inspiration–from Monet. All the best to you both for this beautiful book!


    • Thank you so much, Anina! I’ll be heading over to the MET Museum tomorrow to take pictures with Scarlet! Thanks for commenting and hope to see you again sometime soon!


  3. Congrats, this book looks lovely!!


    • Thank you so much, Lydia! I really enjoyed writing this story and I’m thrilled that it’s release day!


  4. Congratulations, Melissa and Sandie! Look forward to reading it. The book sounds adorable.


    • Thank you so much, Robin! I am grateful and excited that this book is out in the world! And you know I love your recent PB, NO PEACOCKS!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So sweet of you to say! Thank you! 🙂


  5. I always love getting an inside peek at the journey, Kathy! Thanks so much for sharing your story, Melissa, and for writing a pb that will help kids unleash their own creative magic!


    • Thank you, dear Vivian! You are the best cheerleader in the KidLit community. I always appreciate your support and friendship! And I can’t wait for your 4 releases in 2019!!!


  6. This book looks absolutely charming. I love the main character and the illustrations as well, Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link too,
    Thanks again, have a great week!!


  7. What a sweet book. Thanks for telling me about it and Melissa’s journey. I will pass on the giveaway. Buried in books here.


  8. As a lover of art history myself, I’m excited to read this one and share it with my art loving kids!


  9. I’ve enjoyed watching this book become real! I knew it was inspirational from the first moment I read it, and the illustrations bring it to perfection! So happy to see this in the world! Expecting my copy to arrive any day now!


  10. This is such a fabulous story concept – and the illustrations are spectacular! Congrats to both Melissa and Sandie! Well done, ladies!


  11. I can’t wait to read this book! Love the back story to how it came to the world. Congratulations!


  12. Congratulations Melissa and Sandie!


  13. Hooray for you both, Melissa and Sandie. Your book is a little jewel of art and story.


  14. A wonderful insight into the inspiration and development of Scarlett’s Magic Paintbrush. So excited for this book; too many kiddies worry too much about being perfect.


  15. Hi, I love reading about a book’s journey to publication. They’re very inspiring.


  16. I love books about art; they are great for budding young artists!


  17. Book really sound interesting, and I will be happy to have it and share it’s content to my daughter.


  18. Reblogged this on anagalicblog.


  19. This looks like such a cute book. Congratulations to all involved!


  20. This book looks magic! I can’t wait to get a copy! Congratulations Melissa on this beautiful book!


  21. SWEET!!


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