Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 12, 2019

Book Giveaway: A DAY SO GRAY by Marie Lamba

Marie Lamba has another picture book, A DAY SO GRAY. It is illustrated by Alea Marley and published by Clarion Books. They have 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 Marie and Alea!

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!


Once you start to notice, colors and reasons for gratitude are everywhere, and that changes everything! Celebrate the hues and comforts of a cozy winter day as a discontented girl at first notices only dull grays and browns in a snowy landscape but is coaxed by her friend to look more closely. Soon she finds orange berries, blue water, purple shadows, and more. Warm friendship and a fresh way of seeing things transform a snow-covered landscape from bleak to beautiful!


How did A DAY SO GRAY come about?  Well, it started back when I was little. My father and I would trudge, mitten in gloved hand. “Look,” he’d say. “Do you see?”

Suddenly I noticed that snowdrifts had purple shadows. Red weedy canes rose up from the field. And golden poofs topped long grasses that nodded in the wind.    As we noticed these details together, the dreary winter landscape transformed from a dull slushy gray, into one that was filled with colors and shapes and stunning beauty.

“Noticing” is something I still do every day. When I drive by a large open field, I automatically pick out russet-colored branches, dusty blue puddles, and swaths of golden and red weeds. And I’m always struck by the subtle beauty that is all too easy to overlook.

This inspired me to write my picture book A DAY SO GRAY (illustrated by Alea Marley, Clarion Books), which I’ve dedicated, not surprisingly, to my dad. Kirkus noted that it has an, “almost magical way of seeing and appreciating the world”.

If there is a magic to seeing, it’s a simple one we can all conjure up for ourselves. One that we can pass like a treasured spell book from parent to child.

If my dad didn’t take the time to point details out to me, would I still be spying these details myself? Would I have become a writer, an observer of the world? And would my kids now lovingly tease me when we take walks, saying, “Yes, Mother, we see the orange leaves and hear those birdies tweeting!”

I’m not sure, honestly. I do think that when a parent presses the proverbial pause button to spend time with his child, to share the joy of noticing, well, that’s powerful stuff. Whether on a dreary winter walk, or when cozied up together to share a book, the child notices. She notices and takes this experience along with her far into her own future.

I’m grateful that, no matter how busy my dad might have been, he always took the time to hold my mittened hand in his gloved one so that we could actively see some of the world together.

If noticing is a special magic, it becomes even more powerful when shared. It is magical to be so alive, to find beauty in the grayest of days. And to do that with someone whom you love? That is pure enchantment.

“Look! Do you see?”

Yes, Dad. I do.


Marie Lamba ( is author of the humorous young adult novel What I Meant… (Random House), which Publisher’s Weekly dubbed “an impressive debut.” She’s also author of the summery YA novel Over My Head about a girl who has either met the love of her life or a player out to break her heart. Marie’s newest novel is a time travel YA romance titled Drawn, which is about an artist who falls for an attractive medieval ghost with a sketchy past. Her short story “What I Did…” is in the Philadelphia Liars Club anthology Liar Liar (Mendacity Press). Marie’s debut picture book Green Green (Farrar Straus Giroux), co-authored with her husband, and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, comes out in 2017.

Marie and her father Santo Busterna at her book signing last Saturday.

In addition to her fiction, Marie has published numerous articles in national magazines, and her essay “The View from the Outside” is in the anthology Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing). She lives in Pennsylvania, is a proud member of the Liars Club, and is a Literary Agent for the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in NYC.


Alea Marley is a children’s illustrator living and working in England. She loves creating whimsical scenes that are filled with patterns, texture, and bursts of colour! Her favourite mediums to work with are chunky pencils, watercolour crayons, and digital brushes.

Picture Books
Everybody’s Somewhere by Cornelia Spelman, Seagrass Press – October 2017
Loretta’s Gift by Pat Zietlow Miller, Simon & Schuster – August 2018
The Many Colours Of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, Sterling – September 2019
A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – October 2019

Upcoming Picture Books
Goodnight Little Dancer by Jennifer Adams, Macmillan – July 2020
Goodnight Little Superhero by Jennifer Adams, Macmillan – July 2020
Get Up Elizabeth by Shirin Yim Bridges, Cameron Books – Autumn 2020
This Is Ruby by Sara O’Leary, Tundra – Autumn 2020
Phoebe Dupree Is Coming To Tea by Linda Ashman, Candlewick Press – Spring 2021
Henry Without Liza by Megan Maynor, Clarion – Spring 2021

Macmillan Children’s Book Prize 2017 – Highly Commended

Alea was featured last Saturday on Illustrator Saturday. Here is the link.

Thank you Marie for sharing your book and its’ journey with us. The illustrations go perfectly with your text to create a perfect warm and cozy book for winter. I am sure kids will want to visit and read many times this season.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks beautiful! I love the challenge to look for beauty in the world, and the illustrations are charming!


  2. I love the idea of this book seeing what’s really all around us and finding the positives


  3. What a lovely story! I can’t wait to read this!


  4. This looks like a great book for anyone working on challenging cognitive biases!


  5. Love the positive message! The world becomes how we see it! Congrats! 🙂


  6. Looks like a delightful book by Marie Lamba. I corresponded with her a few years ago and am happy to see her work.


  7. “…colors and reasons for gratitude are everywhere” Love this! Congratulations!


  8. All of our stories lead to home somehow, don’t they? This sounds like a delightful read.


  9. Beautiful book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy. It seems like the perfect Thanksgiving read.
    I tweeted about it ( and posted on FB.


  10. Growing up in Canada I saw plenty of gray days and a touch of any color was always a welcome relief. This book looks really fun, thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image 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!


  11. Books and dads. What could be better? Congratulations, Marie!


  12. I am not a fan of gray days but your book has encouraged me to look for the colors that are hidden! Love it!

    I shared this post on Twitter.


  13. What a sweet story and what a sweet-looking book. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for telling me about it and the back-story.


  14. I love this! I have always enjoyed the colors of winter even though it is not necessarily my favorite time of year. I love the idea of teaching littles to look around and see what others might overlook. I signed up to follow your blog, Kathy and enjoy it every day. I am also going to share this interview now over at Twitter. Thanks for the extra tickets. 🙂 I would love to win this book.


  15. Thank you for a chance. So excited for this book.


  16. I love the way this picture book encourages readers to look at both sides of what is evident. Wonderful! Can’t wait to read it! Maybe it will help me when our winter days stay GRAY for weeks at a time. 🙂 Congratulations! I will tweet this post. I also follow your blog, Kathy, by email. Thanks for all you do!


  17. I would love to read more.


  18. What a positive message. I look forward to seeing it.


  19. I’ve got this one on my request list at the library. Now that I’ve learned the backstory, I really can’t wait to read it!


  20. This book looks lovely and is something I can relate to as we have a lot of gray winter days in MI. I subscribe to your blog.


  21. What a wonderful way to make a Gray Day look more lovely than usual!


  22. Thanks for all your kind words! It means a lot. 🙂


  23. We all need to take time to notice more. This book will make a difference in the lives of all who read it!


  24. This is so lovely. I can’t wait to see it.


  25. I LOVE the story behind this book…the whole premise…and especially the pic of Marie with her dad 😀 ❤ Tweeting!


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