Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 10, 2019

Book Giveaway – BUTTON AND BUNDLE by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan

Gretchen McLellan has written a picture book titled, BUTTON AND BUNDLE and illustrated by Gillian Flint. Gretchen 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 Gretchren and Gillian!

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!


A tender story about two best friends who must move away from each other. With a sprinkle of imagination and a lot of love, Button and Bundle will learn the true meaning of friendship.

Button and Bundle are best friends. So are their dolls.

But when Button has to move away, she’s sad and lonely without Bundle.

Until one day, Button finds a single yellow balloon and an idea. With a little luck, maybe she can reunite Bundle with their dolls again!

Knowing that her faraway friend would be happy is the happiest idea of all.

This sweet and charming friendship story addresses how to cherish old friendships while making new ones. With fun, imaginative play, Button and Bundle create a world they’ll share no matter how far apart they are.


Button and Bundle is a story very close to my heart.  I was raised in a large, highly-mobile military family and moved more times than any young heart should bear. Some good-byes were tougher than others, but none as tough as saying good-bye to my first friend and the imaginative world we shared.  We both loved dolls and made clothes and furniture and homes for them.  After moving away from her, I can’t remember ever playing with dolls again. I don’t know what happened to my doll either.  Button & Bundle is the story of what happened in my heart.

We can mark the changes in children’s lives by what they are playing with, as well as what they are ready to leave behind. Favorite toys are often vehicles for a rich imaginative life between young friends.  When children are abruptly separated, they lose this world of play too. Button & Bundle shows how Button honors and finds a way to keep alive the uniquely personal world of play she created with her friend Bundle and how to move on.

When I committed myself to writing for children, I was led by the beauty of the form of the picture book and a desire to give voice to the voiceless child. I never saw myself in print until I was an adult, not in a picture book, but in a sociological text about growing up military. That experience was profound, a homecoming and an awakening, and I pledged to give this experience to others to the best of my ability. I pledged to represent the experiences of the Third Culture Kid, particularly the military child, in literature, children who do not have a single home.

Yet my stories are for all children. In an interview in Children’s Book Insider (March 2017), my editor was asked to describe a book that she knew right away that she had to have. She responded, “I recently acquired a picture book text that I fell in love with immediately. It’s the story of two little girls who are best friends, and one of them has to move away. The author managed to evoke so much emotion in such a spare, simple text that it blew me away.”

Later, in an email to my agent she wrote, “From the moment Iopened this submission, I knew it was a special one. As I began to read … I knew this manuscript had everything I was searching for. It’s incredibly sweet and gorgeously written, with just the right amount of sensitivity. I love the way the author honors very young friendship, and accomplishes so much in the spare text.”

Button & Bundle is ultimately a story about the true meaning of friendship, how we learn to love from our friendships and carry this love forward. I am deeply grateful to my amazing agent, editor and her team at Knopf and my wonderful illustrator, Gillian Flint, who brought my Button & Bundle to life.

Button & Bundle is dedicated to my first friend and first friends everywhere.


Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is the author of many upcoming picture books, a lover of teaching reading, playing word games, baking, hiking in the woods with her dog, Koby, cross-country skiing, and the culture of childhood. If she were in retail, she’d have a children’s book and toy store replete with espresso bar and bakery and places to write and draw. She seeks out places just like this to write in. Have any suggestions? She is also on a personal quest for the best hot fudge sundae on the planet. Gretchen loves to travel, especially returning to the Germany of her nomadic army-brat childhood. She once traveled overland from the Netherlands to Kabul, Afghanistan with a backpack full of, you guessed it, books. Now she hopes little backpacks will be carrying her books on adventures of their own.


Gretchen is a former elementary reading specialist who now devotes her time to writing and visiting bookstores and schools. She lives in Camas, WA. She is the author of Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3 (Peachtree 2017), I’m Done! (Holiday House 9,25,18), Button & Bundle (Knopf, 2/29/29) and When Your Daddy’s a Soldier(Beach Lane, Spring 2020). Find out more at  Catherine is a Portland, Oregon artist and Saturday Market Vendor. Find her there and at Both are available for events.

Thank you Gretchen for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like an awfully cute picture book. Helping children tresure old friendships while making new ones is a good thing to learn. Let’s us know when your next book comes out!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Beautiful book Gretchen and a fun interview. Thank you Kathy.


  2. What a wonderful concept! Hope your story finds it’s way into many homes, including mine!


  3. This looks so sweet!


  4. Om m,y what a sweet book -I love the illustrations too! Thank you for sharing your journey. 🙂


  5. Congratulations, Gretchen!! Such a tender story, and the art is beatutiful and intimate, just like their friendship. Well done, everyone. xo


  6. Hi Kathy, What a great surprise this morning! Thanks so much for this lovely feature. Is it possible to add my No Party Poopers, illustrated by Lucy Semple (Little Bee 2020) to my publishing credits and to switch the pub date on When Your Daddy’s a Soldier to 2021?

    Thanks and Happy Holidays! Gretchen

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Just send me the text and I will switch it out.


  7. This looks like such an adorable book. I enjoy reading your daily blog, Kathy.


  8. Sweetness is just oozing from this story! Much success to you.


  9. I love how both the spare text and sweet illustrations work together to show the strength of this young friendship and the pain of their separation. A universal experience, but certainly one that military kids must handle over and over. Great that Gretchen has written for this audience. If you haven’t already, you should try to get the book reviewed/publicized in blogs/mags that are read by military families.


  10. What a special book! The love for a best friend is priceless. Having a friend move away us a universal theme that children can relate to. Congratulations to Gretchen and Gillian! You make a wonderful team.

    I am so happy to receive your daily blog, Kathy.


  11. Sweet! Such an important and trying time in the life of young children. Can’t wait to read this. Congratulations, Gretchen! Will share on Twitter. Also follow this blog by email, Kathy.


  12. So sweet❤️


  13. This looks absolutely charming. Thanks for telling me about it. I will be checking it out.


  14. I normally gravitate toward funny picture books, but this gentle story is pulling at me. I remember moving across the country as a child, leaving my best friend behind. It looks like you’ve captured the heart of a universal experience.


  15. This book looks SO sweet and I LOVE the classic feel of the illustrations (which I’ve been told just “isn’t wanted” these days; I will always consider that opinion wrong!). Totally tweeting this 🙂 ❤


  16. What great names, Button and Bundle.


  17. I love that you said what children are playing with marks the changes in their lives…so true. This looks like a beautiful story!


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