Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 23, 2020

Book Giveaway – NO PARTY POOPERS! by Gretchen McLellan

Gretchen McLellan has a new picture book, NO PARTY POOPERS!, illustrated by Lucy Semple and published by Little Bee Books. The pub. date was just changed to June 9th. Gretchen has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is 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 Gretchen and Lucy, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

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!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

You’re invited to the bears’ party! But be warned, there are absolutely, PAWSitively no party poopers allowed!

Two bears decide to throw a big party in their neighborhood, but they’re having trouble making the guest list. One bear wants to invite all the neighbors, but his friend thinks it’s a bad idea. He’s worried that they’ll ruin the party–the rhinos will pop the balloons, the goats will chew up the party hats, the crows will hoard all the shiny prizes–in other words, they’ll be party poopers! Can his friend convince him to change his mind in time for the party?

BOOK JOURNEY:

How do you tackle difficult and even heartbreaking topics in a picture book? In NO PARTY POOPERS! I turned to animals to explore the difficult subjects of stereotyping and exclusion and used humor to poke at speciesism. From the distance that using animal characters and humor affords, I could then explore how challenging preconceived notions and risking change can welcome in new friendships and invite everyone to a party where all of us belong.

It is often said that writers have three themes that they return to again and again. One of mine is belonging. I spent my childhood negotiating an ever-changing set of cultures, moving from the outside in as best I could before I had to move again. I have always been keenly aware of issues of inclusion and acceptance and experienced my share of rejection because of stereotypes others held against me and my passport country. When I saw xenophobia rising in the United States, I was compelled by heartbreak to write.

So, NO PARTY POOPERS!, like most stories, has deep personal roots and started way before I put pen to paper. The first version, written in early 2017, was titled, SHOULD WE INVITE THE PARTY ANIMALS? and began as an experiment with writing a story completely in dialogue. The basic structure and arc emerged in the first rush of words. I was tickled that the text was under 200 words, a first for long winded me. Of course, revision followed. Lots of revision. My agent began submitting the story later that year, and after a revision request, Little Bee bought the story in 2018. They were looking for a humorous book to balance their list and my story fit right in. Lucky timing! The story went through seven joyful rounds of micro revisions, as my editor and I worked on pacing and deciding who would ultimately be invited to the party. So many animals wanted to come! We hated excluding a single one.

Lucy Semple charmed us all with a funny energetic sketch for the book and was signed to illustrate the story in February of 2019. We celebrated when she delivered her fantastic full color art by the end of the year. I made final edits to the text at that point so that the words and pictures worked optimally to tell our story. Our pub date was originally set for May 5th, 2020, but the coronavirus struck and disrupted the publishing world. The book birthday for NO PARTY POOPERS! is now scheduled for June 9th and you are all invited to celebrate with me. Details to come at http://www.gretchenmclellan.com. I am sure not a single party pooper will come spoil the fun.

Please visit my site too for free downloads of NO PARTY POOPER! coloring pages, templates to make paper bag puppets and suggestions for using the puppets as prewriting tools to create stories. (Maybe kids in your life can write a story and include all the animals who did not fit in mine.) Lucy and I will be adding to the cache of party favors over time too!

Thank you so much, Kathy, for asking me to share my story journey with you and your readers. Thank you too for featuring Lucy Semple on your Illustrator Saturday!

Celebrate!

GRETCHEN’S BIO:

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, 2/29/19) and When Your Daddy’s a Soldier(Beach Lane, Spring 2022). Find out more at http://www.gretchenmclellan.com

LUCY’S BIO:

Lucy Semple is an illustrator based in Nottinghamshire, having graduated with a degree from Loughborough University in Graphic Communication and Illustration.

She always dreamed of one day slotting into a creative career, as a child she would either be using the family video camera to direct a rendition of a Roald Dahl poem or have her head firmly buried in a book. Specialising in children’s illustration she now enjoys channeling that creative energy into drawing bright, bold and often furry characters.

When she isn’t bringing her scribbled creations to life, Lucy enjoys drinking considerable amounts of tea, baking and cuddling up to watch a film with her partner, daughter and their grumpy tom cat Nim.

Midlands based Illustrator specialising in children’s publishing.

She loves creating little worlds for fun, humorous characters to live in, which are often inspired by her daughter, who when Lucy is not illustrating is taking up most of her time. Lucy is represented by The Bright Agency and has won YCN Student Awards 2017 and Loughborough University Award for Enterprise and Innovation 2017. Lucy was featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Gretchen, thank you for sharing your book and Journey with us. The story and the illustrations are great. I like the way you show how including others who are different can end up creating new friendships. The book looks like a lot of fun. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This sounds like a great book to share with kids!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fun with a serious message. Thanks, Susan.

      Like

  2. This looks like so much fun! Perfect use of animals and the party theme to show ways to include everyone! Congratulations!

    I will tweet this post and I follow your blog by email, Kathy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Angie. There will be tons of fun, crafty and educational downloads on my website to accompany the book. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the title, and love the premise. Wish you so much luck with this fabulously looking book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are definitely invited to the party, Elizabeth!

      Like

  4. Looks adorable! I love how you left so much room for the illustrator to have fun. (Kathy, I’m a subscriber.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janet!

      Like

  5. THis sounds great! I can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have the taste of a true party animal, Charlotte. Thanks!

      Like

  6. This book looks so fun! Can’t wait to read it. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Danielle. Stay tuned for bonus limited edition illustrations signed by me and Lucy to come with presales.

      Like

  7. What a fun book — can’t wait to join the party! Wishing you ladies all the best! Kathy – I am a newsletter subscriber 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynne Marie. The coronavirus is the ultimate party pooper but we won’t let it keep us from celebrating inclusion and community!

      Like

  8. What a wonderful book! I share your love and need for inclusion. Lovely job Gretchen:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Then you are definitely not a party pooper, Sheri! I’m posting lots of extension materials on my website to go with the book. Take a look.

      Like

  9. Congrats, Lucy and Gretchen! This looks adorable. I’m subscribed to emails as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations Gretchen! I love the title and look forward to finding out just who made the guest list! (Hopefully everyone!) Thanks for sharing your book’s journey.

    Kathy, I shared on twitter and I get your blog every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This looks adorable! I can’t wait to read it. I’ll tweet & post on Facebook to promote your book & the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for joining the party, Heather!

      Like

  12. What a fun book! I look forward to reading this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jill!

      Like

  13. Aww! This looks like a fun read. Congrats Gretchen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jena. BTW, I love your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww! Thank you Gretchen.

        Like

  14. Such a creative idea for a book–I can imagine your super-fun launch party! I follow your blog, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy. I’m trying to reimagine the launch party virtual style. Start creating your party hat now:)

      Like

  15. This book looks amazing! Can’t wait to read it!! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!

      Like

  16. This such a great concept for a book. I saved a long time ago animal stereotypes as a possible book idea. You wrote it in a fun, creative way. Congratulations!

    Shared on Twitter and I receive your blog daily through email.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my free downloads on my website, I have an animal stereotype matching game for kiddos and lots of other ways to dig deeper into the text.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for sharing. I’ll check it out.

        Like

  17. Congratulations, Gretchen! I haven’t done a good job keeping in touch and am thrilled by your good news. Yay! Thanks for sharing this Kathy (your blog follower for sure!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks, Wendy.

    Like


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