Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 15, 2020

Book Giveaway: JUDGE JUILETTE by Laura Ghel

Laura Gehl has written a new picture book, JUDGE JUILETTE, illustrated by Mari Lobo and publish by Sterling Children’s Books. They will send a copy to the 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 other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Laura and Mari.

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!


Meet Juliette, girl judge! She’s set up her own backyard court. But what will she do when her own parents come to fight it out . . . over a pet? A must-read for fans of Sonya Sotomayor’s Turning Pages: My Life Story and I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.

Court is in session, with Judge Juliette presiding! Ever since preschool, Juliette’s favorite game has been settling cases. This young girl, with a firm sense of fairness, adjudicates all kinds of neighborhood disputes right from her own backyard—from determining a fair bedtime to figuring out where to locate competing lemonade stands. But now she’s faced with the toughest decision of all: her parents have finally agreed to let her have a pet . . . and they’ve come to her court to argue over whether to get a cat (dad’s request) or a dog (mom’s preference). What will Juliette do?


I first had the idea to write a book about a little girl who is the judge of her neighborhood thanks to reading two picture book biographies with my own daughter. The first was Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter and Edel Rodriguez, and the second was I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley. Even today, there are significantly fewer female judges than male judges, and I wanted to write about a little girl who has a passion for the job from a very young age.

I imagined different scenarios where Juliette could hand down rulings in her backyard court….two competing lemonade stands wanting the same spot on the street; one kid losing another kid’s ball; two siblings each wanting the last cookie. My critique group encouraged me to think bigger. Even grown-ups could go to Juliette for fair, impartial rulings. Even the mayor!

The first part of the book fell into place relatively quickly. But I knew I needed a BIG CASE, an extremely difficult case that would challenge Juliette in a new way. And that big case proved elusive. I tried a number of different scenarios: a case where the defendant was Juliette’s best friend, for example, and a case where Juliette suspected one of the parties was not telling the truth.  Nothing worked. Maybe I should work in a jury at the end? That didn’t work either. I put Judge Juliette on the back burner and worked on other projects for a while.

I can remember perfectly the moment when I thought of the BIG CASE this book needed. I was sitting on the porch of an airbnb, looking out at the gorgeous garden. The idea of Juliette’s parents squaring off in court over which pet the family should get came into my mind, and I knew it was exactly the right case to complete the story.

One of my favorite parts about writing this book was getting to use legal vocabulary that I knew would be unfamiliar to most readers—terms like “adjudicate” and “legally binding.” I loved learning new words as a kid, and as a parent, I liked books that introduced new words to my own children. I wrote a glossary for the back of the book defining the legal terms. Since I am not a lawyer myself, I asked my dear friend who is a judge (and to whom the book is dedicated!) to double-check everything for me.

I hope this book will inspire readers to have conversations about fairness and justice, to learn more about how the legal system works in our country…and maybe even to consider “judge” as a career option one day!


Laura Gehl is the author of more than twenty picture books, board books, and early readers, including One Big Pair of Underwear, the Peep and Egg series, My Pillow Keeps Moving, I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, and the Baby Scientist series.

Laura’s 2020 releases include Baby Paleontologist, May Saves The Day, Judge Juliette, Cat Has a Plan, The Ninja Club Sleepover, and Happy Lllamakkah. Visit Laura online at, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram



Mari Lobo was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazill. She moved to California and attended the Academy of Art University, where she earned her masters in Visual Development for Animation. She lives in the Bay aArea. You can follow her on Instagram@mari.sketch and at:

Laura, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how you incorporated legal words and phrases into the story and followed up with a page at the back to explain the legal terms. Mari’s illustrations are great. Your text and her artwork are perfect together. Congratulations on a wonderful picture book I am sure kids and their parent will love.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Someone has been very busy writing! This sounds like a fun book (with new vocab-I love it!). Great job. Congrats and best wishes!

    I will Tweet this, Kathy, and I follow by email. 🙂


  2. Congrats again, Laura! Wow, you’ve been busy! This sounds like a fun premise for a story. Thanks for sharing all the attempts you made before coming up with the big story problem.

    I am retweeting this post and I follow you daily, Kathy!


  3. What a great looking story! Congrats!


  4. Laura comes up with clever concepts and I’ve enjoyed all her books I’ve read. Congrats! I shared on Twitter


  5. I cannot wait to read this book! Sounds adorable. (I tweeted about it and get the emails.)


  6. WOW! What a tremendous idea! Careers and girl power. Love it! Also posted on Facebook.


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