Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 5, 2019

Book Giveaway: RANDALL AND RANDALL by Nadine Poper

Nadine Poper has a new picture book titled, RANDALL AND RANDALL. The fun illustrations were created by Polina Gortman. It is being published by Blue Whale Press and will hit the book shelves on October 1st and is available for pre-order now.

Nadine has agreed to share a copy 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 Nadine and Polina!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Randall, the pistol shrimp, is a master at excavation. Randall, the goby fish, is his skittish, yet happy-go-lucky watchman. The problem is that both have quirks that drive each other bananas until one day their relationship is driven to the breaking point. This very funny informational-fiction story about one of the sea’s naturally-existent odd couples illustrates how certain species depend upon their symbiotic relationship for survival. It also shows children how two very different beings can embrace each other’s peculiarities and become best of friends.

Foreword written by Dr. John E. Randall, senior ichthyologist emeritus, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Based on a real-life symbiotic relationship, this silly tale makes the science approachable through the goby’s giggle-worthy antics. Notes from ichthyologist Dr. John Randall describe the phenomenon for adults, and Gortman’s closing illustrations supply diagrams of the charismatic creatures. The picture book’s cartoonish interior images deftly mix human and animal characteristics . . . Poper’s simple English text seamlessly introduces a few straightforward Spanish-language phrases due to the coastal Mexico setting. The ingenious aquatic tale also encourages readers to realize they can find friendship even if they don’t see eye to eye with their cohorts.” —Kirkus Reviews


So, two characters with the exact same name??? I wasn’t sure it would work, but I decided on the title for what I think to be a good reason.

Fall 2017  During my research on animals that participate in symbiotic relationships, I came upon the goby fish and pistol shrimp (sometimes called snapping shrimp). The information I was reading was both fascinating and entertaining. The loud snapping that the shrimp makes with its claw and the wiggling back end of the goby put a smile on my face. Kids would love this, right?

I also kept noticing that randalli was appearing in the species name for both animals. I said to myself that randalli must have something to do with a person, perhaps the person who discovered them. And upon further research, I was right . . . almost.

I decided that I needed answers to some tougher questions, one being “Who was Randalli?” I said ‘was’ because I assumed whoever, if anyone, was attached to the species name, is probably no longer living. I was wrong!

Late winter 2018  At this point, the first few drafts of RANDALL AND RANDALL were written, and I consulted secondary resources. Even though the story is categorized as fiction, it includes many behaviors of both animals, the purpose of the flicking tail, the impact of the snapping and how it drives predators away. I wanted to verify my research with primary resources. As a librarian, I know the importance of fact checking and reliable sources. I began my inquiries with University of Tampa marine biology faculty Dr. Michael Slatterly who got me in touch with another faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Wortham, who put me in touch with Dr. Lori McRae. It was with Dr. McRae that I learned that indeed there is a living Dr. John Randall, world renowned ichthyologist who has over 900 publications, including 11 guidebooks on fishes! And she gave me his email address! I am so incredibly grateful for her generosity. Dr. Randall and I have emailed each other back and forth for several months, me asking questions, and him providing accurate and fascinating information along with personal underwater photos he took. I learned that randalli is the species name, which was given by the person who prepared the scientific description of the genus for both animals to honor Dr. Randall. That is why I titled the book RANDALL AND RANDALL.

March 2018 When Alayne Kay Christian at Blue Whale Press offered me a contract for PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET, I mentioned that I also had this manuscript. She suggested I send it to her to read. She loved it as much as I did.

Summer 2018 Even though the contract was signed for RANDALL AND RANDALL, I still kept in contact with John. I knew I was going to include his name in the acknowledgements. And it is possible that a foreword by Dr. Randall will be included in the book. John will be 95 this June.

So, what is this story about? Well, a snapping shrimp and a goby fish of course! Goby fish often do not make their own dwelling and will pair up with a snapping pistol shrimp. The shrimp endlessly digs a burrow while the goby fish stands guard. If a predator approaches, the goby will flick its tail to warn the snapping shrimp not to come out. In exchange, the goby gets free rent. They live cohesively in the burrow the shrimp created.Just as in PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET, I was given a list of illustrators. Paulina Gortman’s online portfolio showed a few whimsical underwater pieces that were a perfect match for RANDALL AND RANDALL. I am so incredibly lucky to have Paulina’s name on the cover.


Nadine Poper is an elementary librarian for an urban Pennsylvania school district who loves how fortunate she is to be surrounded all day by books and children to share them with. As a mom to three boys and two dachshunds, Nadine became a huge wiener dog fan and self-published three children’s books about dachshunds. She is also a foster home for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue and donates portions of her book sales to the rescue.

When not writing, Nadine loves to travel to dog and dachshund events with her husband to promote her books. She also enjoys gardening in her Blandon, Pennsylvania backyard, and of course reading and writing children’s literature.

Learn more from Nadine at


Polina Gortman is an illustrator living and working in Seattle, Washington. Polina draws her inspiration from old fairy tales, wildlife and nature.

She was raised in Siberia by my grandmother, and spent my childhood exploring taiga, feeding burdock leaves to cows and making up stories about precarious adventures of toys lost in a vegetable garden. As a young girl I spent hours poring over illustrations in kids magazines and story books.

Her hobbies include picking at stalagmites of books that grow in random locations around her house, and stargazing.

Polina is an active member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a local author-illustrator critique group The Broad Strokes.

You can read more about Polina by going to

Thank you Nadine for sharing your book and journey with us. Reading about how these creatures of nature depend upon their symbiotic relationship for survival, is a great theme for children to learn. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What a great story!!!!


  2. I love a book that takes our fascinating ‘real’ world and makes it into a fictional story. Bravo! I’m entering for an elementary school that I’m mentoring this year as I’m sure they would love this book. Fingers crossed! (Shared via Twitter as well:


  3. Congratulations Nadine and Polina! Wishing you all the best of success. Thanks for sharing your story. Lynne Marie


  4. I love books that show cooperation between animals. Congratulations!


  5. That’s a nice looking book and a great message for kids too. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I pinned an image on Pinterest:, and tweeted a link to this post:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, have a great day everyone!!


  6. I got a sneak pick in one of Alayne’s webinars and I can’t wait to read the rest. Congratulations! I shared on Twitter.


  7. What a lovely book. Congratulations, Nadine and Polina. It’s a fun way for kids to learn more about the amazing creatures under the sea.


  8. Such an adorable story! I really love the theme!


  9. What a fun story! I never knew this bit of nature science. Yay! Congratulations!


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