Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 3, 2020

Book Giveaway – NERP! by Sarah Lynne Reul

Author/Illustrator Sarah Lynne Reul has a new picture book, NERP! Today is it’s birthday, so you can now find it on bookshelves. It is published by Sterling Children’s Books and they have agreed to share a giveaway for one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. If you Re-blog, Tweet, Post on Instagram, or talk about it on Facebook with a link, 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, Instagram, Reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping to support children’s books and talented authors like Sarah!


What’s for dinner? How about skizzle klumps n’ gizzardlumps? A hilarious look at mealtime with a pair of persnickety eaters, in the most fun made-up language ever!

Would you like a bite of frizzle frazzle hotchy potch? How about a plate of mushy gushy bloobarshNERP, says our hero. Nerpity nerpity nerp! (That’s “NO” to you!) With nonsense language and humorously expressive illustrations, this delightfully silly picture book tells the story of two picky eaters—one child, one pet—of indiscriminate species, a multitude of supposedly tasty goodies, and one surprising solution to a familiar childhood situation.

Kirkus STARRED review:

“A tyrant in a footed, mustard-colored onesie proves that no household is safe from the squeamishly finicky toddler. Once solid food is introduced, it’s an uphill battle for supremacy. The tot or the caregivers—who will reign supreme? A parade of gourmet delectables is presented with fanfare, amid appreciative tongue swipes from the equally finicky family pet. Does it matter that the child presents as a green, bipedal iguana or that the pet resembles a reptilian anteater? No! “Nerp” means “NERP!” no matter the species. Who cares that these caregivers have clearly toiled at cooking for hours? Garble snarfy barflecrunch elicits a definitive “NERPITY NERPITY NERPITY NERP!” The surprise payoff will wrinkle a few faces in delighted disgust, but the toddler is happy—”Blurp”—and the caregivers are…resigned. Reul’s clever use of nonsensical monster vocabulary plays very well against the expressive green and yellow countenances of her charming and sympathetic characters. Even the scaly pet’s personality pops, especially when eying the foul contents of its food bowl. The creativity of the menu—both the names and the neon images—is half the fun of this homage to dinnertime chaos. Will persnickety children drool after their own “squishalicious” masterpieces? “Yerpetty yerpetty yerpy yerp!”-Kirkus STARRED review.


Thanks so much for featuring NERP! The seeds for the idea of this book were planted a few years ago, when I was participating in The 100 Day Project, a daily Instagram challenge where the goal is to create something and post a photo each day, with a unique hashtag for your project.

I had chosen to do #100daysofdrawingonphotos, where I took a photo each day with my phone, and then drew on it, either in Photoshop using my Cintiq tablet or in the Procreate iPad app. I really enjoyed combining made-up elements with images of real things from my daily life.

A couple years later I attempted the challenge again, but this time tackling #100daysofmakingtinythings.  Each day, I’d design miniature objects out of cardboard, paper or other stuff I could find around my desk and in the recycling. Although this project was time-consuming, I really loved the process of conceptualizing and experimenting with the materials. I realized that I could draw on the photos that I took to post online, and from these experiments combining my projects, the illustration style for NERP! began to develop.

While sketching one day, a little monster family appeared on the page, gathered around a kitchen table, and I decided to explore what those characters might be cooking and eating.  Around the same time, I discovered this article (Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat?), which explores how we interpret the sounds of food-related words, and how the different sounds can affect our perception. I began making lists of food-like sounds and playing with them, mixing and matching how they could go together. I then started collecting photo references for the made-up foods, fell in love with the weird, fancy 1950’s-style recipes (think jell-o molds and elaborate presentations), and developed my own mash-ups for the parents in NERP! to concoct.

Working on NERP! has helped me remember the importance of play and experimentation. It’s also reinforced how daily, low-stakes practice of mixing and matching odd things can lead to something really fun.  After much tinkering and many drafts, NERP! is finally available and out in the world, thanks to this process, as well as to my lovely agent, Emily Mitchell and all of the wonderful people over at Sterling Kids Publishing.


Sarah Lynne Reul is an author, illustrator and award-winning animator who likes science, tiny things and drawing on photos. Originally from Brooklyn, she now lives near Boston with her family.

After some years in science museum education, she was lured back to school by the magic of making drawings come to life. Armed with an MFA degree in 2D animation, Sarah Lynne now strives to pack the energy of animation into each illustration. She spends her workdays creating new books and talking with kids during school author visits throughout New England and beyond.

Her books include THE BREAKING NEWS (Roaring Brook), ALLIE ALL ALONG (Sterling), PET THE PETS (Little Simon) and NERP! (Sterling Books).

Sarah, thank you for sharing this delightfull picture book and your journey with its’ creation. Having two picky eaters—one child, one pet—interact in the most fun, made-up language shows some very creative thinking. Oogly boogley, I’m sure this book will tickle the bellies of children and their parents. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Sarah, this looks like so much fun! I can remember teasing my kids w/ bat wings & frogs toes. This is SO much better. I know a couple of friends I can’t wait to give this book to! Thanks Kathy for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So fun!!! Love the story and the art!


  3. This looks adorable. I really enjoy getting your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! Kids and parents will both get a good laugh from NERP!. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve pinned an image on Pinterest with a link:, and tweeted a ink too:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!


  5. This book is such a slurpalicious winner! I love wordplay and the idea of making up words to go with food. I tweeted, shared on FB and reblogged.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This book sounds hilarious–love the creative wordplay! Can’t wait to eat while slurping some squishalicious treats:-)


  7. Wow! This book looks loads of fun! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This looks like a really cute book. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LOVE this book! So much fun language. I imagine it’s a hoot to read aloud. Congratulations! Will tweet this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This book looks SO FUN bth textually and visually. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Super cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your newest book!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ooh – a starred Kirkus review! Congrats Sarah!


  14. Congratulations, Sarah! A starred review, too! This looks adorable. I love the fun language and monsterly illustrations!

    I shared on twitter.


  15. Congrats on your new book! It looks like a feast for the eyes, I adore the colors!


  16. This book looks like a lot of fun. Congrats, Sarah! Sharing on Pinterest and Twitter.


  17. The language in your new book is amazing! Congratulations on the release of NERP!


  18. Wow! The combination with the cardboard diorama is spectacular. Well done!


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