Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 2, 2020

Book Giveaway: DUSK EXPLORERS by Lindsay Leslie

Lindsay Leslie has a new picture book, DUSK EXPLORERS, illustrated by Ellen Rooney and published by Page Street Kids. It hits bookstory today. Page Street Kids 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 Lindsay and Ellen, 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!


It’s that special time of evening, when the hours and the possibilities seem endless: Light is fading. A buzz of excitement and wonder takes over the neighborhood….What outdoor adventures await? Join a diverse group of suburban kids as they dash and dodge in classic street games like tag and kick-the-can and reconnect with nature’s simple pleasures catching frogs, hunting fireflies, and climbing trees. These explorers play, laugh, and make the most of their own front yards right up until their parents call out that “It’s time to come home!” But when the sun begins to set tomorrow, they’ll be back for more evening excitement!

This ode to the timeless magic of summer evenings spent outside will remind kids of the fun and friends that wait just outside their doors and leave adults smiling with nostalgia for their own dusk explorations.


DUSK EXPLORERS jumped into my mind or was recalled from the depths of my subconscious while taking a session called The Verse Curse with Julie Hedlund during the 2016 Picture Book Summit. Many of us in the children’s literature world have heard that you shouldn’t write in rhyme unless you really really know what you are doing. I really didn’t, so I was curious to begin my learning on the subject. During the session, I didn’t fall in love with rhyme. In fact, I wonder if I will ever write in rhyme. Probably not. But I did fall head-over-heels in love with free verse and playing with the rhythm of words. I became a huge fan of lyrical writing and pulling on all the senses to bring a reader into the story.

During this session, I believe Julie asked us to think back to a childhood memory that might have staying power today. Our best way to relate to children is often to call up our own memories and take a modern twist, if need be. The moment in time that rushed forward for me was the many summer nights I would spend outside after dinner with my older sister and neighborhood friends. We would play old-fashioned games that still stand the test of time. We would catch toads and fireflies. We would share secrets and climb trees. We would all wait for the streetlights to blink on and give us the warning that our parents would soon call us home, and when they did, we would try to ignore them. I needed to write about that.

I first approached the manuscript from the perspective of the outdoors calling the children to come play because it missed having them. That’s how I connected it to the children of today. There are so many distractions, ahem … video games, that keep kids from enjoying the simple pleasures and wonders of playing outdoors. Plus, safety seems to be more of a concern today than earlier decades and parents may not be letting their kids go and explore on their own. The story took a gentle shift from that perspective, but the whole of the story stayed true to what I had written in my first draft. My other stories up to this point were heavily edited and shaped. This one seemed almost fully baked from the first draft. My editor, Charlotte Wenger, and I played a little bit with the flow of the various stanzas and a few word choices here and there. We tweaked the intro and ending and renamed the story. Otherwise, the meat of the story stayed pretty much the same. And that’s how Dusk Explorers came to be.


A diary keeper, a journalism major, a public relations executive, now a children’s author—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books.

Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESSNOVA THE STAR EATER, and DUSK EXPLORERS (Page Street Kids). She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two boys, two fur-beasts, a guinea pig, and a tortoise.


Ellen is an illustrator, designer, and artist. She’s from the state of Massachusetts, but now lives in the southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Her first picture book as illustrator, Her Fearless Run, was published in April, 2019. She is busy working on more!

Ellen loves graphic shapes, textured colour, printmaking, drawing outdoors, painting. Her hidden art powers are released when cutting up paper. As a designer, her superpower is x-ray vision: if she stares at dense information, she can see its lovely skeleton just waiting to be shown to the world. Ellen thinks this is why she really loves interpretive design (stuff like museum exhibits and nature trails). Or, she says, “maybe I’m just a big nerd. Who can say?”

Lindsay, thank you for sharing your book and its journey with us. It brings back memories of the summer nights running around catching lightning bugs. That was so much fun; just like your book. Ellen’s wonderful illustrations kick up all the fun another notch. Kids and their parents will love to read this. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I remember those days, too.
    This looks like an exciting, and different, type book for children. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. what a cute book, and I know it’s a favorite time of day for children


  3. This looks so fun! Love the illustrations, too. Congratulations!

    Kathy, I follow your blog and I’ve reposted to Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!


  4. Love this ode to the outdoors and magical in-between time! Congrats Lindsay and Ellen!
    (Kathy, I follow your blog and I reposted on twitter too)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This book reminds me of my own childhood, when all of the neighborhood kids would gather to play hide and seek and chase lightning bugs together.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this book! I grew up in Arizona, and in the summer, dusk was a favorite time of day, and you have mentioned several in your book! Congratulations and best wishes!

    I will tweet this and I follow by email. 🙂 thanks for sharing such wonderful books!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats, Lindsey and Ellen! I follow by email.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dusk has always been a magical time for me. This book looks lovely!


  9. Oops, I forgot to add that I follow your blog and love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t wait to read this one! It looks gorgeous. Congratulations Lindsey and Ellen!
    I just sent this out over twitter and I’m a follower of your blog Kathy – Thank you for all you do for us all day by day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This read looks like a fun and wonderful adventure – can’t wait to read! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Have similar memories. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love, love, love this book! I think that stories are so much more powerful when they come from an author’s deep connection. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I couldn’t wait for this book to come out when I learned about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t wait for this one! I vividly remember that magical time of day from my own childhood. Fireflies!!


  16. Oh, my, this looks like such a fun book. What wonderful illustrations and what a wonderful concept. Thanks for telling me about it.


  17. Lindsay and Ellen, your Dusk Explorers looks like a sweet read that not only will stir up memories for grandparent and parent readers, but will also give children a wonderful way to focus on their own ways of marking this precious point in time when any given day begins to melt away giving way to the start of another new beginning! It would be an honor to win a copy of your book!


  18. I did all those things! My children missed out on fireflies (and most frogs) since we live in Alaska now. But they played outdoors for hours in the summer, when the sun didn’t set until midnight. Your book could prompt some great parent-child discussions!


  19. This reminds me of my childhood. Love the cut paper kids. Yes, i get this blog everyday and will post on facebook. Good luck.


  20. I adore this book already! Can’t wait to see every page! Nice work Lindsay & Ellen!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations, Lindsay and Ellen. This book brings back so many childhood memories. I still remember my favorite hide-n-seek spots!

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


  22. I shared on PInterest, twitter, and FB and I NEED to win this book. My two step-daughters are Leslie and Lindsey!!


  23. This looks divine! I’m a blog subscriber and I’ve shared on Twitter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Timeless, so connected to childhood memories, making my senses tingle as I remember the details of the cool damp grass between my bare toes, the giggling with delight as I catch my own lightning bug and watch it blink with the others we’ve all collected in the jar. It reminds me of another book, The Paperboy, by Dav Pilkey, as they both capture the spirit of what it means to be part of a community, and a neighborhood. Thank you for bringing it to life!


  25. Would LOVE to add a copy of this book to my collection! It looks BEAUTIFUL! It captures such beautiful summertime moments.

    I’ve followed your blog, shared via Twitter and Instagram! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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