Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 6, 2020

Book Giveaway: TIP AND TUCKER: PAW PAINTERS by Sue Lowell Gallion

Authors Ann Ingalls and Sue Lowell Gallion have co authored a new picture book titled,TIP AND TUCKER: PAW PAINTERS, illustrated by Andre Ceolin and published by Sleeping Bear Press and coming out on August 15th. Sleeping Bear Press has 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 Ann, Sue and Andre!


Say hello to Tip and Tucker! These hamsters are best friends and like to stick together. But while little Tip is sometimes nervous about new situations, Tucker likes to explore and see new things. Everything changes when Mr. Lopez purchases them from the pet store and takes them to his classroom. In the third of the series, Tip and Tucker Paw Painters, the students in Mr. Lopez’s class are doing art projects, and Tip and Tucker don’t want to be left out of the fun. But hamsters + paint = a big mess! In this new reader series written especially for the K‒1 audience, Tip and Tucker will help beginning readers explore new feelings and learn to navigate classroom dynamics and relationships.


This is Sue typing our book journey on behalf of my co-author, Ann Ingalls, who had hand surgery two weeks ago and is casted from fingers to elbow. Yes, it’s her right hand, and yes, she’s still writing and submitting!

The journey of the third book in a series is very different than the first book or a stand-alone title. We already know our main characters and their world, and it’s a delight to come up with new adventures for them. Our editor, Barb McNally of Sleeping Bear Press, asked us to brainstorm several options for a third book in summer 2019. We came up with four ideas and wrote one paragraph summaries for each of them. The three of us had a phone conversation to discuss Barb’s favorite option, and then off we went to our favorite bagel shop to get to work.

Our process as co-authors is to sit at our favorite table (right next to the electrical outlets) over skinny bagels and coffee, and dive in.  We read the earlier books aloud to get back into the voice. Then we start talking and typing at the same time. (People at adjacent tables do look at us strangely, and we’ve had some interesting conversations with other bagel aficionados!) After a few hours, one of us volunteers to take the draft home and revise. Over the next few days or weeks, we email new versions back and forth and brainstorm further by phone.

Once we’re happy with the story, we start fine-tuning to make it appropriate for the K-1 audience. That means getting rid of most compound words and contractions and tightening sentences. Sentence fragments sometimes work best to keep the reading level low enough. We work to balance the vocabulary between high interest words and sight words and pay attention to how illustrations can offer the readers additional clues to decipher the word. These books also include some Spanish vocabulary. Our goal is to provide an entertaining story with lots of opportunity for illustrations as well as a rewarding reading experience.


Fiction books also take research. In Ann’s years as a classroom teacher, she had hamsters as classroom pets as well as about any other creature you can imagine. But she never had hamsters escape into spilled paint! In our early brainstorming, we pictured the hamsters getting a bath in a bowl. Wouldn’t that have been a charming illustration? But when we researched further, that’s not safe for a hamster. We settled with a soft cloth to clean off their painted paws.

When we were happy with this draft, we sent it off to Barb McNally. Barb is a terrific editor. She has a big picture perspective of the series and has keen insights into the characters and consistency between the books. For example, our hamster characters have internal thoughts and dialogue with one another, but they behave like real hamsters. This series doesn’t need to be read consecutively, so each book must stand alone as well as make sense with the other books. At the same time, each book has to feel fresh. It’s been a treat to develop this series with Sleeping Bear and we both certainly have grown as authors through this process.

The time schedule for an early reader can be a lot faster than a picture book. In just over two months, the revised manuscript was on its way to Andre Ceolin, the wonderful Brazilian illustrator. A few months later, Barb shared a sketch dummy with us. In spring 2020 we saw the color pdfs. Didn’t Andre make the most of the spilled paint and hamster tracks? We love the color palette he used in this book.

In this period of COVID uncertainty, virtual resources for teachers and parents are especially important. The plot of Paw Painters lent itself perfectly to a marble painting activity sheet, which Ann wrote and Sleeping Bear produced. Don’t miss Ann’s tip to put a few drops of Dawn detergent into each container of paint. It makes cleanup a whole lot easier!


In whatever form school takes this fall, we hope young readers enjoy this new addition to the Tip and Tucker series. Stay safe, everybody.


Ann Ingalls passes the day exaggerating (writing fiction) or telling the truth (writing nonfiction). She has written nearly fifty books for young readers. Her books have won several awards: The 2015 Annual American Graphic Design Award and the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation’s “A Book Just for Me!” When given the choice between educating children or entertaining them with her writing, Ann chooses to do both! Before she was a children’s writer, Ann taught elementary and special education classes and worked as a parent educator. Ann’s students enjoyed rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, canaries, salamanders, fire belly toads, and what seemed like millions of fish.

Ann Ingalls, represented by Liza Voges, has written more than four dozen books for young readers. Titles include PENCIL: A STORY WITH A POINT!, J IS FOR JAZZ, WHY SHOULD I WALK? I CAN FLY!, and the Tip and Tucker easy reader series with Sue Lowell Gallion. Ann had more than 850 early childhood and special education students during her teaching career. She has three adorable granddaughters: Sadie, Stella, and Evie.

Ann has three new titles are forthcoming in 2020, 2021, and 2022. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, Winston. Please visit her at


Sue Lowell Gallion has three books releasing in 2020: OUR WORLD, A FIRST BOOK OF GEOGRAPHY, a nonfiction board book from Phaidon Press, ALL EXCEPT AXLE, a picture book from Aladdin, and TIP AND TUCKER PAW PAINTERS, the third book in the Tip and Tucker series co-authored with Ann Ingalls. Previously Sue worked in nonprofit and corporate public relations. Sue is represented by Liza Voges of Eden Street Literary.

Today, Gallion is the author of eight children’s books including two series: the Pig & Pug picture books and the Tucker and Tip early readers. Gallion’s work has also appeared in various children’s magazines such as Highlights and High Five.

Sue is the author of the award-winning PUG MEETS PIG series.  Sue has two other books releasing in 2020 in addition to OUR WORLD. Her latest picture book is ALL EXCEPT AXLE, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak Wiley, the story of a new car anxious about leaving the auto assembly plant. Aladdin/S&S releases ALL EXCEPT AXLE on Sept. 22. TIP AND TUCKER PAW PAINTERS is the third in the early reader series written with Ann Ingalls and illustrated by Andre Ceolin, published by Sleeping Bear Press and releasing Aug. 15. Missouri Library Association Building Block award winner for 2019, PUG MEETS PIG, illustrated by Joyce Wan (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster) released in 2016. PUG & PIG TRICK-OR-TREAT released the following year. PUG & PIG AND FRIENDS will release spring 2021.

In 2013, Sue received the Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript award from SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Passionate about books and the importance of reading, Gallion’s also a frequent presenter speaking to librarians, parents and early childhood educators about literacy. She also shares her love of books with children at libraries and elementary schools — in person or via Skype. And once a week, Gallion volunteers as a reading mentor for children with low literacy skills as part of Lead to Read Kansas City.

Gallion takes her craft seriously. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and was the former regional advisor for the Kansas/Missouri region.

She has two preschool grandsons who live nearby. You can visit her at:


André Ceolin is a self-taught illustrator based in Brazil. He first worked as a professional illustrator in advertising agencies. However, being afraid of such labor market in Brazil, he elected to attend pharmacy school at college. Nevertheless, his passion for illustration spoke louder and he decided to devote 100% pf his time to what really fascinates him: illustrating. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Here’s the link.

Ann wishing you a quick escape from that cast covering you from hand to elbow. Sue, thank you for sharing the book and writing up Ann’s and your journey with the book. I just received a copy. It is perfect for kids from Kindergarten to 1st grade. I love how it introduces them to a few simple Spanish words so easily. Andre Ceolin illustrations make it a very cute visual book. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks like a great addition for my classroom!


  2. I’m an artist! Would love to have this for my art book collection!


  3. What a fun and sweet book -congrats!


  4. Such a cute looking story! Thanks for sharing. Great work, Sue, Ann, & Andre!


  5. What a terrific idea for an early reader for K – 1. My students love animals and hamsters are easy to care for in a classroom. Thank you for offering a free book. I will post on FB too.


  6. Congrats Ann and Sue! I’m excited to read about Tip’s and Tucker’s new adventure in the classroom.


  7. How adorable is this book. Thank you for a chance.


  8. Anything Ann Ingalls has her hand in is bound to be great. Thanks for telling me about this one. I will check it out.


  9. Tip and Tucker are adorable! My grandson loves MEMOIRS OF A HAMSTER, so I know he will love this series!


  10. So awesome! Can’t wait to read Tip and Tucker’s new adventure. Love the insights into early readers. Hope Ann’s hand is healing well! Stay safe!


  11. What fun! Looking forward to reading this one 🙂


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