Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 23, 2019

Book Giveaway: JUST READ by Lori Degman

Author Lori Degman has a new picture book titled, JUST READ. Victoria Tentler-Krylor illustrated the book. Lori 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 Lori!


These kids all love to read—alone or together, on a bus or in a parade. And every time they open a book, they open up a whole new world, too!

Learning to read is a big accomplishment, and this exuberant picture book celebrates reading in its many forms. In lively rhyme, it follows a diverse group of word-loving children who grab the opportunity to read wherever and whenever they can. They read while waiting and while sliding or swinging; they read music and in Braille and the signs on the road. And, sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they’ve built. The colorful, fanciful art and rollicking text will get every child more excited about reading!

“A delightful tribute to reading anything and everything all the time. . . . There’s something for everyone.” —Booklist
“A chipper, colorful celebration of the limitless possibilities for what, where, and when one can read.” —Publishers Weekly


When I do school visits, I am usually asked “How long does it take to write your stories?”  And my answer is always, “It depends on the story”.  I spent several years revising my first book,1 Zany Zoo, and it was many more years before it was published.  In contrast, I spent five months revising Just Read and it sold about nine months later.  Sometimes a story just pours onto the page without the struggle others impose. I think one reason Just Read was easier to write and edit is because it doesn’t have a true story arc – and plotting is usually what slows me down.

Here’s how the story came about: 

Growing up, reading was hard for me – I was always in the lowest reading group.  Actually, I’m still a really slow reader.  It wasn’t until I discovered the type of books I really love to read (murder mysteries with short chapters and anything by Stephen King) and figured out the best place and ways for me to read (ie: not laying down or I’ll fall asleep), that I started to enjoy reading. Because of this, I wanted to write a story that would encourage kids to read – and to do it any way they want or can. JUST READ!  I wrote my first draft as more of a traditional story about a girl who has just learned how to read and loves it so much, she reads anything and everything she sees – cereal boxes, washing instruction tags on clothes, street signs.  It gets out of control because she just can’t stop reading**.  While writing that story, I thought it might be better to have a group of diverse kids who love to read and have a book club in a tree fort. Then I got the idea to break it down into when, where, what, how and with whom you can read.  At that point, it was just a matter of creating reading scenarios with those things in mind.

**I’ve started working on that story again – so I call DIBS!

I shared the manuscript with my critique groups and other writer-friends and got some helpful feedback and a lot of encouragement to send it out – so I did and Meredith Mundy (then at Sterling) bought it.  Sterling found the perfect illustrator – Victoria Tentler-Krylov!  She had just been a runner up in the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase.  She topped herself this year – she was the grand prize winner of the showcase this past February!  So, needless to say, the illustrations for Just Read are amazing!

Looking back, I realized my last post on your blog, about Norbert’s Big Dream, was a huge shout out to SCBWI.  Well, this one has an SCBWI connection too!  I’d attended the SCBWI-New Jersey annual conference in 2015 and did a “First Pages” session with Meredith Mundy and another editor.  I was happy when they laughed in all the right places, but they both seemed uninterested in seeing more of the manuscript – or more from me.  I’m a professional rejectee, so I took it in my stride.  Well, five months later, I received an email from Meredith asking if the story was still available and to send it if it was.  Of course it was available (and it still is in case any editors are interested J)!  I sent her the story, and she took a pass, but invited me to send more manuscripts.  I did and one of them was Just Read.  Thanks, SCBWI!


Growing up, Lori Degman struggled with reading, but the more she read, the easier it got! Now she reads all the time. She is the award-winning author of 1 Zany Zoo and Cock-a-Doodle Oops!, Norbert’s Big Dream, and Just Read. Lori was a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and is now a full-time author. She is a frequent presenter at schools and conferences.

Lori’s forthcoming books are Like a Girl (2019) and Travel Guide for Monsters (2020). Learn more about Lori at

Lori, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It look like such and fun picture book. I am sure it will be a big hit with kids and encourage them to read.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Just Read sounds amazing, Lori! I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks Kathy for having her!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Lori! Look forward to reading Just Read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun Book, Lori! Looking forward to READING! Wishing you all the best of success!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, fun! Love this idea and can’t wait to read your new book. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea for a book!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the message here! Congrats on a great concept children will enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How can you not LOVE a book about reading?! Such a great cover, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story behind the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lori great idea for a book. Can’t wait to read to my students. Thanks for supporting teachers in the trenches trying to encourage students to love books.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I Love the playful rhyme Lori brings to her books and am sure this one will be a winner! I am tweeting and sharing this to FB.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Looks like another winner, Lori! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the perfectly rhymed and metered verse. I love the illustrations. Most of all, as a writer and former English teacher who struggled to get 7th graders to read, I love that such a great book was written by a formerly reluctant reader. Congratulations, Lori!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My neighbor is about to have her first baby and I just gave her a stack of books with a note about how she will want to help her child to fall in love with reading and with books. To get that baby familiar with them by visiting bookstores and libraries as much as possible and to read, read, read to it! And now…here’s a book saying pretty much the same thing. I love it. I can’t wait to hand-this one at the bookstore I work at. Hooray! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the idea of Just Read. I thought I was kind of weird and different when I was a kid because I spent so much time at the library and reading my books. No need for kids to feel strange about reading anymore. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image with a link on Pinterest:
    Thanks again, have a great week!


  15. Looks like a splendid book, Lori. I look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow. This is a terrific idea for a picture book. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This book is a gem! Here is the tweet I posted singing its praises!


  18. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments! I hope you like the book when you read it.


  19. Love the story behind your story, Lori! Congrats!


  20. What a wonderful idea for a picture book. Sounds like a great title for my grandson, who is just starting to read but keeps telling me he likes math WAY better.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ooh, I hope they make some posters of those gorgeous spreads. Looking forward to reading this. 🙂


  22. This is such a great idea for a book! It will definitely help inspire kids to read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: