Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 3, 2019

Book Giveaway: The Night Baafore Christmas by Dawn Young

Author Dawn Young has a new picture book titled, THE NIGHT BAAFORE CHRISTMAS, illustrated by Pablo Pino and published by WorthyKids, owned by Hachette Book Group. Dawn 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 Dawn and Pablo!

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!


Bo just wants to fall asleep before Santa comes, but when the sheep he’s counting rebel and wreak havoc around the house, Christmas Eve starts to go baa-dly wrong.

It’s Christmas Eve and Bo can’t sleep, so he starts counting sheep. But when the sheep get bored, they scatter, wreaking holiday mayhem all over the house. “Sheep 4 gnaws the stockings–leaves holes in the toes; 5 swallows some garland, and tinsel, and bows!” Children can count along with Bo as he finds the 10 mischievous sheep misbehaving throughout the house. With a house full of sheep and a mess to clean, will Bo get to sleep before Santa comes? Find out in this hilarious story of a night before Christmas gone wrong. With exuberant verse and comical illustrations, this book will have children begging for repeat readings.


The idea for The Night Baafore Christmas began years ago, when one of my daughters saw the movie Barnyard and got so scared by the coyotes that she had trouble falling asleep. I’d tell her to think good thoughts and imagine herself at fun places like the circus or the zoo. 

With that in mind, I wrote Good Night Thoughts, in which a child, struggling to fall asleep due to bad thoughts, imagined doing those same fun, happy things. But going from the fair to the circus to the zoo and more, felt flat and it wasn’t helping the child get to sleep, so…I called in the sheep. Soon, the child, now counting sheep, but still struggling to fall sleep, took those mischievous sheep along on the adventures. 

At that point, the story had some spark but things went from flat to frenzied. The story was more scattered than the sheep after they spot the goodies. I had seven adventures in one manuscript, and I had to pare it down. I chose to keep the sheep, and rather than have bad thoughts be the reason the child couldn’t sleep, I had excitement over an upcoming event, like the eve of a birthday or a holiday, be the reason instead. I played around with both ideas but leaned more toward the birthday path. Then, after seeing a holiday mishap contest on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog, I shifted to Christmas, and wrote a draft of what is now The Night Baafore Christmas. 

From there, the story went through many, many, many revisions. Although it was a Christmas story, it didn’t feel festive enough, so I revised to make it more Christmassy. There were big changes as well. The story, originally told in first person, changed to third person with the addition of Bo. Also, the sheep originally appeared, by number, randomly to mirror the craziness of the story. Then, I received feedback suggesting I number the sheep in ascending order when the action escalates and in descending order when the momentum slows down. I revised accordingly, and it worked great and gave the story a smoother flow. 

I had so much fun revising this story.  The sheep came to life in my mind. They were like children on Christmas morning, filled with excitement and wonder, minus the mess (or maybe not).  My kids, now teens, were very young then. Looking back, I see that the sheep symbolized the life I was living at the time – crazy and full of good spirited chaos!

Finally, after rounds of revision, just when I felt the story was ready to go out on submission, my agent and I parted ways. I was devastated. I threw myself a pity party but luckily, my incredible critique partners RSVP’d no and instead, (kindly) kicked me in the butt.  I regrouped and emerged more determined than ever to pursue my dream.

Soon after, I read a blog post by the wonderful Kathy Temean informing us that WorthyKids Publishing was seeking holiday stories. I tucked The Night Baafore Christmas in an envelope, slapped a stamp on it, wished it luck and sent it on its way. Yep, that’s right – this was a snail mail submission. 

A few months later I signed with my agent, then shortly after that WorthyKids emailed to let me know that they were considering the story. Months later, the offer came. My agent handled the contract, and now The Night Baafore Christmas is out in the world and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  And I feel so fortunate that Pablo Pino is the illustrator. The Night Baafore Christmas couldn’t have been in better hands!


Dawn graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later with an MBA.  For years, Dawn worked as an engineer and, later, manager at a large aerospace company, until her creative side called her to pursue her dream of writing children’s books. After reading and writing hundreds of corporate documents, none of which were titled The Little Engineer Who Could or Don’t Let the Pigeon Fly the Airbus, Dawn is thrilled to now be reading and writing picture books instead.

Dawn is also a math enthusiast. When she’s not busy writing and reading, she can be found doing math problems, sometimes just because… In high school, Dawn’s dream was to have a math equation named after her, but now, she believes having her name on the cover of books is a million times better! Dawn lives with her husband, three children and golden retriever in sunny Arizona. Some of her best memories include reading to her kids while they were plopped in her lap, all giggling at silly, clever picture books. Dawn is an active member of SCBWI and many other children’s writing groups.


Pablo Pino was born in August 1981 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He grew up watching cartoons, playing football and drawing a lot. These days, he doesn´t watch as much TV and only plays football once a week, but still has the joy of painting every day. Why? Because, for the last 10 years, he‘s been working as a professional illustrator for different print media. What he enjoys the most is illustrating books for children and teenagers. Besides the 40 published books Pablo’s illustrated, among novels and tales he also do characters designs, board games and collaborate on designs for schoolbooks and magazines with various worldwide publishing companies. Pablo is self-taught and his illustrations are mostly computer drawn, but he always adds textures that he makes with pencils, crayons, acrylics and pretty much any material that lets him get messy like when he was a child.

Dawn, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. This is a very cute book and perfect for the holidays. I am sure kids will find it funny and want to hear the story read to them many times.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Such a fun idea. The MC sounds like my son every night. Looking forward to reading it. Shared on twitter and follow your blog.


    • Thank you Ashley. We many many restless nights at our house when the kids were young, fortunately minus the mess!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So fun — love the concept and art and so want this book! Bravo!


    • Thank you! Yes, Pablo is amazing.


  3. Love the book, great title!


  4. This looks fun! Just in time for Christmas! Congratulations and Merry Christmas! I follow your blog by email and will share on Twitter. 🙂


  5. So much to love about this book! Thanks, Dawn, for sharing your story. I’m so glad you stuck with it. This is just your first of many, many fabulous picture books! xo


    • Thank you Danielle for everything, especially the (very kind and supportive) kick in the butt! xoxo


  6. Love love love this book! And I’m excited to turn the spotlight on THE NIGHT BAAFORE CHRISTMAS (just love that title!) on Perfect Picture Book Friday tomorrow! I’ll be sharing this post on Twitter. And just saying: every kidliter needs to be following your blog, Kathy…I sure do!


    • Thank you Vivian! Excited to be on your blog tomorrow and I agree Kathy Temean’s blog is amazing. She is so generous with her time and support!


  7. Congratulations, Dawn! The book looks like SO much fun! I can’t wait to read it. And I’m thrilled if the holiday mishap contest gave it a little boost in the right direction!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanna! I have so much to thank you for. I appreciate all you do for the kidlit world.


  8. What a fun book! Congratulations, Dawn!!!


  9. Christmas will be here before we know it and this looks like a super cute book!


    • Thank you Lynn and yes, Christmas will be here baafore we know it! 😉


  10. This sounds like a really fun book and I love the look of the trouble-making sheep. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link as well:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, have a great day everyone!!


    • Thank you so much! They certainly are trouble makers and thanks for sharing the post!


  11. Cute story! And I loved hearing the back story. Congrats!


  12. Dawn, Thanks for sharing the journey of your clever, holiday/bedtime book!
    I shared on twitter @jkspburg


  13. This sounds so fun!


    • Thank you. The sheep sure had fun 😉


  14. The book looks great! Congrats to all! Thanks for sharing your insights. I linked to this post on Twitter too 🙂


  15. I love the way the sheep have a sort of halo around them to indicate they’re not quite real. 🙂


    • Thank you! Yes, the illustrator did so many clever things! He’s amazing!


  16. Agent Smagent.


    • Things definitely worked out for the best.


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